Friday, January 30, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Well, my favorite shows are back on. 24 and Lost. I know that some people pit these shows against each other, but I’m an integrationalist by nature. I also like the Office and American Idol. The American Idol thing is especially unique in that I can watch it with my girls. The laughter and mirth we share is transcendent.
I know that I’ve written before about my love of story and the idea of living a storied life, but I don’t think you understand. I soak in story like a taproot. I marinate in it. I gestate. I percolate. It flows in and out, through and through. It is romanticized, yes. But it is romantic even more. It is vicarious, yes. But it is so much more than that. It is a wellspring of life giving nourishment to the soul looking for a picture of what is and what could be if only...
I realize, believe me, that none of the aforementioned four shows serve to speak perfectly, or deeply for that matter, to my soul’s yearnings, but they do shake certain desires out of their slumber and these desires pandiculate as they stretch their sleepy arms toward the starry sky. The sleepy seeds flake and fall. The eyes of the heart are illuminated, enlightened. The blind in me sees. The deaf in me hears. The dumb in me speaks. And I am taken, if only for a moment, into something more than what I’m living. It reminds me of what a heart could look like if it was fully alive.
Some people watch shows for amusement. A-musing by way of definition is “no thinking”. It speaks of shutting down and going limp. But I watch shows to start thinking, which is what the word entertainment evokes. To wake up, to excite, to illumine. And how desperate we are to wake from the long winter of the soul. How much the mass of men needs something or someone to press lips against the cold and blue lips of the dead soul needing resuscitation.
Stories show me what I’m missing, what I’m wanting, what I’m wasting, what I’m wishing, what I’m feeling, what I’m trusting, what I’m hating. They aren’t pressuring me with propositions that I’m not adhering to. They aren’t beating me over the head with duties to perform and disciplines to instill. They are beckoning me, seducing me. Some days they’re killing me softly. Other days they hurt me so good. All in all, I feel transported to a better place. A place that feels safe, safe enough to relax and let your heart’s hair down. Safe enough to be yourself and even take out your cup and let life kick you as hard as it can. I need this. I’m so guarded, even when I don’t know it. And when I shed the armor or amorous activity, I feel things when they touch me. I feel the prick of compassion. I feel the pinch of passion. I feel hurt and healing. I feel stirred and stayed.
Stories do this for me, be they great like “Slumdog Millionaire” or decent like “Lost” or silly like “American Idol”. They move me. Maybe that’s why they are called “Movies”.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Proverbs 27:5 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love."
Some days I wonder how much people are holding in, holding back. I wonder what they would look like if they could just let their hair down. What would they look like if they weren’t covering themselves with that dang Edenic fig leaf? That covering that spoke of secrecy, withdrawal, and suppression.
What would people say that they don’t for fear of sounding juvenile? What would people do if they knew they wouldn’t fail? What would people let out--blurt out—if they weren’t guaranteed immunity from the label—stupid?
I see how people live. I watch the goings on of humanity. I see the pent up passion that is looking for a runway to land on. People are cagey because they are caged up inside, shackled to insecurity and inferiority. They have so much to offer, but they are scared to do so, scarred from offerings in the past that have been turned down and turned against them. And so they hide. We hide.
The Bible says the fear of man is a snare. It also states that the shameful run when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. And I wonder…how often do I come across someone who isn’t hiding to some extent? Have I ever truly met a man who does have fig leaves hiding his naked thoughts and feelings? What would such a soul evoke if I happened upon it? Would I be able to look it in the eye or would I affect to laugh and crack jokes to buffer the awkwardness of full exposure? What would I look like if I stopped hiding my true self…if I stood naked before a clothed world? If I let out a yelp occasionally that reminded everyone of Eden? If I chirped a freedom song? If I grunted out a pang, an ache, an angst of bare-naked longing? What would happen?
I know what would happen…I would rush to the thicket and seek cover once again. I would redouble my efforts to look for fig leaves that weren’t as see-through, sowing them together for additional layers of protection. I would make sure I wasn’t embarrassed ever again. T.M.I. (Too Much Information) And what gets hidden isn’t just me, it’s love. Because love is life and life is love. When someone isn’t experiencing or offering love, they aren’t living, they aren’t human. And yet, so many hide their love for fear of how it will be received.
What would they say if I told them I really wanted to be their best friend? What would she say if I told her my deepest fantasies about her? What would people think if I worshipped on the outside they way I am on the inside? How would I offend people if I took this abstract feeling and incarnated it…made it happen? What if I hugged that person? What if I shared with him how much I look up to him? How would she react if just kissed her in public when I feel like it? What if I struck up a conversation and asked that one question I’ve been dying to know? What if I told the group what I was really thinking? What would be the fall out of unleashed love? Would others lose respect, would I lose my reputation, would I lose control, would I be humiliated? Would he leave me? Would she give me that look? What would happen? What’s the worst thing that could happen?
And we deliberate carrying on this conversation within ourselves, back and forth, talking ourselves out of things…talking ourselves off the edge…talking ourselves into falling out of love. And it lays hidden yet another day. Covered under composure, a place it was never meant to be. A place that is as foreign as “smelling the color nine”. It will never make sense…and love will keep whispering that to you until you let it out, let it go.
So I dare you…let love win today and do what it says. Don’t hide it another day…you might meet yourself for the first time…because you haven’t really experienced life until you’ve experienced love.