Saturday, March 31, 2012

it's really wild, but i just don't have any words any more and no one seems to realize just how insane it's been driving me

if you want me to be honest

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Selling thoughts, buying worlds

"They're just words from someone's brain."  Those words ring in my brain now, words that my father said last Thursday afternoon, driving me home from a class.  It's Sunday now, but they won't leave my head.
"I'll never think of books the same way, since you wrote Islander."
How do you mean? I asked, glancing away from the window for just an instant, the wind pushing my hair into my face as it sweeps by the car.
"I mean-- that's all books are.  They're just words from someone's brain."
It's true, that's all they are.  Just words-- and everyone has words-- that someone's thought up and transposed and is giving to you as part of their brain and part of their thought.  Anyone can write down words on paper and give them to anyone else, words to be absorbed into our own heads and considered and contemplated and enjoyed.
The rub comes in when you have to make your words good enough-- good enough that people want to take your thoughts and think them themselves.  You have to advance them to a place where people want them.  To get people to desire your words and crave your thoughts.
I have plenty of words.  Everyone does.  You just have to get them good enough so that people desire them.  Refine them.  Arrange them.  Force and prod and whip them into submission if you have to but your words have to be desireable -- you have to be good-- or what are you but a person with words in her head and sores on her hands from holding her pencil wrong for hours by candlelight?
Make people
crave your words
[and then you are a force to be reckoned with]

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In Regards to the Future

Come and listen, come to the water's edge, all you who know and fear the Lord.
Come and listen, come to the water's edge all you who are thirsty, come.

February 24th.  A crazy day at my house-- full and insane and busy, so, so busy.  I was a bundle of anticipation, stress, nerves, terror, uncertainty.  I was a walking distaster, a ticking time bomb on a proverbial dam holding back countless future worries and the terribly dark waters of the unknown.

Let me tell you what He has done for me.
Let me tell you what He has done for me,
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

It was nap time.  Everything was quiet, my mom preparing for a trip with some girlfriends, my dad and brother at work.  I slunk up to the black formica countertop where she was working, looking sullen and despondant.  It only took one comment-- "I'm sorry you're having such a bad day"-- and I collapsed with my head in my hands. 
"I have no direction!"  I wailed, the tears filling my eyes.  "I'm a complete failure.  My life has just been one missed deadline after the other.  I missed the deadline for the March SAT, it's the end of February and I haven't filled out my FASFA, it's my final year of high school and I don't know where I'm even going to college, much less what for, and I have no idea and I'm still missing credits and I can't even function with this hanging over my head and I can't do this anymore!  I just can't do this!"
I was a mess.
"No, you're in a good place,"  my mom said, her voice comforting, just like I was a little kid again who had lost her hairbow to the vacuum cleaner, or had skinned her knee for the umpteenth time.  "You're where God wants you, relying on Him.  And you might not know what you want to do but that's okay, that's good.  It's good that you're waiting on Him."  She went on, but I was barely listening, too busy seeking out tissues with my hand like a blind person.
"Besides, maybe God doesn't want you to go to college. Maybe He has a wonderful young man waiting for you in the wings, or maybe He's planning something totally different that doesn't have anything to do with college . . ." She went on, and slowly my tears stopped.
But those words didn't leave my mind.

Come and listen,
come and listen to what He's done.
Come and listen,
come and listen to what He's done.

That night a dear friend came over and spent the night.  We lay in the spare bedroom, staring up at the dark ceiling, hardly lit by the small lamp we had turned on so we could see one another.  I was recounting the day, telling her my stress about the next year had peaked that day and I'd had a breakdown.

Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.
Praise our God for He is good.

It was probably two in the morning.  And as we sat, she shared that she didn't want to follow the American dream.  To graduate high school, head to college, mold in a classroom for four years for a piece of paper, then get a good job, get married, have a few kids in the house with the picket fence, raise them, send them off, have grandkids, grow old, die.
"My mom's best friend graduated high school, and right after she moved to Hawaii with two friends, they all got jobs, and they lived there for a year.  And they just hardly got by but they had an experience and it was worth it.  They came back and went to college.  That's what I want-- an experience. I don't want the American dream, I want an experience. I don't want college.  I don't feel called there."
"I think that's great," I said, just listening.
"Wouldn't it be great to just move somewhere, get involved in some churches, and just minister to people?  Maybe I'd be poor, but I'd be living and it would be worth it.  I'd be living.  And you'd get an experience, the same as if you'd be going to college, it would just be a different experience.  I wouldn't be wasting anything."  She was thinking, really pondering this.  "It would be different. I'd remember it for the rest of my life."
"Yeah," I agreed.  "And it's not like you can't learn outside of college, anyway."
We lay there, talking for a while longer, and eventually turned off the clip lamp and went to sleep.  But the words I had said didn't leave my mind.  Learning outside of college.  I had forgotten you could.  Actually doing instead of being spoonfed secondhand.  Making things yourself instead of learning from someone who did.  Learning, really learning, by absorption and action instead of notes and cards.
The words couldn't leave my mind.

He has done for me,
He has done for you,
He has done for us.

February 25th.  A Saturday.  I had just woken up from a four hour nap after she had gone home.  I was thinking about what I should read in my Bible that day, ignoring my bible study book because it was rehash of a different book by the same author. 

Come and listen,
come and listen to what He's done.

My eyes fell on a piece of paper where I had hastily scrawled a verse in my college-bound mindset.  "And the Lord will guide you continually . . . "
Isaiah 58.  It was as good a place as any.
"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted
, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
"If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Come and listen,
come and listen to what He's done.

God isn't calling me to college.  It isn't necessary.  Do you know what he wants from me?  He wants me to live like a Christian and do what He says.
There aren't any limits.
There just aren't any.
Live like a Christian and do what He says.
Live like a Christian, and you shall take delight in the Lord, and He will make you ride on the heights of the earth.
The very heights of the earth...!

Am I going to waste my life?
Of course not.
I'm going to keep learning.  I'm going to memorize and study and apply myself and write, oh, how I'll write.  And I'll do things, and I'll serve how He calls me to, and I'll hang on one crazy day at a time and I'll make it and He's the only one who knows how and it's glorious.
Because I am a competent person.  And I can't claim any of this myself.
To Him be all glory, and we'll see where it takes us.

Let me tell you what He has done for me.
Let me tell you what He has done for me,
He has done for you,
He has done for us . . .

Christina Kuri Icarus