You’re too young to blah blah blah

Lately when discussing my hopes and intentions to marry sometime this winter, I have been scoffed at for my age. I can not help but laugh to my self at the assumptions made about me because I am young. I am 19. I plan on getting married. I have spoken with quite a few wise people about this. I feel confident in the decision. Clearly. And yet people of all shapes and sizes who don’t know me well at all ask me but one question when I mention my intentions: “…and how old are youuu?”

P-lease. How old am I. As if there are not more important questions to be asked. “How well do you know this man?” “You are marrying a man, right?” “Is he capable of providing for you?” “Are you capable of making that large of a decision?” “Have you thought this through properly?”

I could go on.

And yet this is the question that comes up. This is the grand decider of whether or not I should be getting married. My age. I am offended. Particularly by my Christian brothers and sisters, when it comes up. Paul writes in his letters to the churches that if possible, men should not be married in order to focus their lives on the Lord. However, he specifies that for those who yearn for a woman that they should be married quickly so that their lust does not burn for each other. Clearly that’s not word for word. If you would like the word for word, I suggest 1 Corinthians chapter 7. From the passage we can make the deduction that if you are planning a marriage and have thought through the process properly and have arrived at a decision with no reason for delay, then it is just to go ahead with that marriage.

My Christian siblings should be more concerned of my thought process than my age, for it’s only a fool that believes all young people are flippant and all old people wise.

Clutterbrained

Yes, clutterbrained. Not scatterbrained. But clutterbrained. That, my friends and likewise friendly readers, is what I am. A dear friend of mine pointed out two and a half years ago (or so) that when there are many different ideas on my mind, I tend to quickly shift from thought to thought. He called this clutterbrained, as my thoughts are not scarce enough to be scattered. And every now and again I’m reminded of just how very clutterbrained I am. Such as my post last night. I’m pretty sure that it’s quite clutterbrained and that once I sit down and properly edit it, I’ll just want to delete the thing entirely. Likewise, after a good sleep last night dreaming of being late for work and lucking into a wonderful career that provides for me to move out, I have been just as clutterbrained, if not more, this morning. And here is the determining factor, folks:

I, myself, am a fan of literature, theatre, and music. Those are the particular forms of art I adore. And all three of those arts demand smooth transitions. In my thinking and in my speaking I try to keep tabs on myself that I have smooth transitions and keep track of this and that so that it all makes sense once I’m to my final point. This is why I’m so frustrated with myself when I realize I’ve started a story halfway through, and with others when they interrupt me during a telling of the thought that forms in my brain. So on days like this, where ideas, dreams, musings, and other various forms of thought jump up and down in my brain as if they’re all attached to pogo sticks, I feel quite discombobulated and realize my thoughts rarely come into line in a practical manner. And thus, for these confusions, I apologize.

And now for something completely different: I’m currently working on two choral works and I long for theory classes that I may learn to write down ideas I have for symphonies.

Curfew

My name is Denise. I am nineteen years old. And I have a curfew. A curfew (ker-fiew) is a mandate often issued by a parent or guardian of a specific time an adolescent must return to their house. Translation: curfews are for immature or problematic children. Not responsible college students.

My parents have explained to me many times that the reason I have a curfew is because they worry that something could happen to me. … “something could happen to me”… uh huh. Something…Well let’s see now. In the venues I keep myself within, the most that could possibly happen to me would be some form of car accident, speaking on a realistic scale. Speaking on a far more broad spectrum, I could have a nuke land on my head. But let’s keep within the bounds of realism and give it another few months before I’m keeping an eye open for falling houses and nuclear bombs.

In further discussion with some wise friends of mine, we have outlined that the cause of this worrying is fear. Fear that “something might happen.” Now call me naive or call me fearless, but I really don’t think that setting a time for me to be home by will change whatever may or may not happen to me. If the good Lord allows me to be raped, I will be. It’s not something I’m pursuing by any means, but it is possible. five minutes to five hours will not change what will happen to me because what will happen to me, in a way, already has, even though it hasn’t. (Free will advocates who understood that, unite!) There is no benefit to being scared of everything that may or may not happen to you during the course of your life. For God’s sakes, I may still end up doing missions in Africa, our society may collapse, I can not live in a hole hold-up because of what MIGHT happen to me. And I refuse to. In fact, it is directly against my direction and life pursuit as a follower of Christ. I am to be in the world. Not of it. But in it. I have been so commanded, and thus I shall follow.

So why am I rambling on about curfews and sitting here whining about my parents? Well that’s the thing. I love my parents, with all of my heart, and they are (most unfortunately) two people who are a superb example of a point I would like to make: that selfishness and fearfulness come in sheep’s clothing behind eyes we do not expect. Upon arriving home this evening I was plagued as to why I was five minutes late. This is an absurd question to be greeted with, and I was quite insulted. Why was I late? Yes, why were you late? What time did you leave? Perhaps you should leave fifteen minutes earlier. You really don’t care, do you? She doesn’t care. Yes, that’s right. I don’t care. What an absurd thing to say. If I didn’t care, I could show it in far more forceful ways than to show up five minutes after curfew.

…for the sake of keeping things sane in my house, should either of my parents ever learn to use a browser and find my blog, I will refrain from the fullness of my reprimand and leave my words at this: everybody, all of us, is guilty of being selfish. I was earlier today in my thoughts, wondering if I will spend more time with my love once we’ve wed. He’s been quite busy lately and I miss him so. But it was important to squelch that selfish thought, as it was directed negatively to guilt him into more time spent with me, rather than to let it go and feed my selfish desires, in whatever manner. So the important lesson here (besides the whole not letting your life be run by fear thing) is to remember the lives of those around you. That woman behind the Starbucks counter that you gave the really hard time to because he didn’t put whipped cream on your coffee? He’s so very low on money that he’s using food stamps and only has two left this week. The retailer you threw clothes or lotion at because she didn’t have what you want? She’s 7 months pregnant and barely makes ends meet now. And the guy you wouldn’t let over merging? Just coming home from spending a week at the hospital with his dying father.

These are all stories of people I know. These are very real things going on in people’s lives. And all they can do is to go on with their lives day by day. It’s all any of us can do. But perhaps if we would all step back and be a bit more rational about the way we treat each other…I would not so weakly suggest “perhaps” the world would be a better place. For if we rationally consider those around us, instead of selfishly driven by our own lives, the world, both your world and mine, would be a better place, my dear reader. A better place, indeed.

I am writing a note of complaint.

Now, those of you who know me personally know that for the amount of complaining I do on a day to day basis, it rarely is to a degree that requires action from me, specifically. However, this time I am annoyed and feel that this warrants a rebuttal and thus I plan on taking action against the false ideas perpetuated in this article. The article is talking about this bill. I have never been so disgusted with Focus on the Family in my entire life.

And that, ladies and gents, is a vast understatement.

I am seething. Focus on the Family, this “Tom” person, specifically, has taken a bill that is federally mandating a clearer definition of hate crimes and turning it on it’s ear to make it sound as if Christians are being persecuted more than they really are. We’re persecuted enough on a day to day basis, globally, thanks. I don’t think we need to exaggerate the lives being given in any number of countries in the name of Christ and of freedom. And this man dares, DARES to suggest that our freedoms will be snuffed out so easily. Dares to suggest that pastors will be put through civil disciplines because they don’t like homosexuals? ABSURDITY IS RUNNING A MUCK AMONG US!!! I am honestly in disbelief of this man’s Ignorance.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me, but my furosity is getting the best of me, so instead of writing an original incerpt here, I’m going to cut and paste from an email I sent to my mom in response to this.

That’s an absurd fabrication of the bill. The bill is being passed to federally mandate specifics on hate crimes, that is to say crimes committed because of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If pastors are telling their congregations that the should be violently attacking and vandalizing against the black sins of the world (such as homosexuality and transgender procedures) then they should already have lawyers in place considering no public speaker that encourages violence should be so naive as to assume that should their followers actually take action, that leader will not meet civil discipline. And that’s assuming that civil authorities get to the pastor first.

My bigger shtick about this bill is that it’s federally mandating something that is already specified in almost every state’s legislation. Every single state in every single jurisdiction has penalties against any crimes that could be consider hate crimes, so this bill is merely blanketing all of those state laws to investigate intent and label those suitable as “hate crimes”. In my opinion the federal government has no business in this. States are responsible to decide what is and is not a crime and what is punishable to what degree. The federal government has no business getting involved.

I posted this on facebook to get some feedback and Nick made a good point: it seems as if this writer is producing a topic that will be controversial and wide spread so as to get more publicity, especially considering that there is not one opportunity, but two to make donations to the organization, highlighted in blue, one of which is in a sidebar bordered and standing out rather nicely. Particularly the blue “give now” button. I would think that were this as serious an issue as this man makes it to be, the idea of getting donations would be so far less of a concern that it would not be included at all.

It DISGUSTS me to see Christian circles sensationalize around this bill. There are similar news stories in other Christian forums and it’s absolutely absurd. Christian organizations need to get their heads checked. As do blind Christian followers. Our faith is one following Jesus, the Christ. What we’re doing following large organizations that seem to know what they’re saying (and clearly are mistaken with some further research) I do not know. I will be praying for those people who read this article. That they will not be so very blind.

And now for something completely different: The Annapolis Area Christian School Golden Eagles Marching Band is doing a show called the apocalypse this year (or something similar). I am thrilled with it because it’s in a minor key and has some wicked chord progressions. Now if we could just get a few more trumpet players…

Pouring Life Down on Me

I was listening to some music today that is not entirely out of character, as my snobby music taste goes, but also not a group I frequent. I was listening to Evanescence. I enjoy their music because a lot of it has lyrics I find highly relate-able with music I find expressive enough to tolerate what it lacks, and there are songs here and there that tug on my heart strings, they are so very expressive. One of my favorites of their songs is a song titled “Good Enough,” from which the title of this blog is borrowed. The song details how a woman’s love puts her under a man’s spell and she slowly looses herself to his will and is blinded to the loss of her self due to her unfailing love to him. She also speaks of the pain it causes her, but this love she has pushes her further into her own self sacrifice, giving her own bleeding heart at a mere whim, and similar other word paintings. She repeats “I can’t say no to you.” And through the bridge she seems to be pleading with the heavens “I’m still waiting for the rain to fall, pouring life down on me” as if to get a heavy dose of consequence could be the only thing to bring her focus back into reality. Through the song she emphasizes that only with this one person does she feel good enough, but as she continues she begins to wonder if she really is good enough, eventually identifying the good feeling as a dream, but still trying to convince herself that she feels good, facing her fears in the climax that she can’t hold on to anything good in her life, and then having that fear perpetuate the re-entrance into the cycle of the relationship she can’t say no to. And although it sounds strange to come to this conclusion of all conclusions you could derive from this song, the idea of expectations has been weighing heavily on my mind with it.

So many times in our relationships with others, with parents, teachers, friends, loved ones, lovers, we have expectations in those relationships, and being a fallen people we often don’t reach those expectations. Whether it is honesty or faithfulness, turning in homework or turning over a new leaf, if we know a person long enough we are bound to let the down one way or another. My point in making this rather direct explanation is this: it is not wrong to have expectations of others. There are very reasonable expectations to have in any relationship with any depth. Honesty (truth), Accountability, and Communication are my big three. I can not imagine a functional relationship without all three of these things. Now I know there is a person somewhere in the crowd jumping up and down and waving their hand frantically yelling about love. In a relationship you’re responsible for your actions that both directly and indirectly affect that other person you are specifically taking note of in any given relationship. If you follow those three above your relationship will be functional. I believe that in a relationship specifically, again, in -any- form of relationship, your actions will speak louder than your words. Therefor if you are taking action in love and maintaining these three ideals, you will be acting in love and there is no need to proclaim it from the heavens, though it is nice to hear now and again. 🙂

So where am I getting to with all of this? What on earth do expectations have to do with this song and being good enough? Well, I can only figure that it came to me like this: when the expectations in a relationship surpass what a participant is able to uphold, that participant feels their failure full well. Depending on the depth and length of the friendship they may feel disappointed or shamed and guilty. That knowledge and weight of the shortcomings sparks a very small idea that because that person has failed they are not good enough to continue in this relationship, and, if that person allows the idea to grow, it may bleed into other relationships to a point where that person feels they’re completely unworthy of any functional relationship because a functional relationship will immerse them in acts of love. So instead of pursuing a functional relationship, this particular girl in this song has pursued a relationship in which she convinces herself that things are just fine because this being in love stuff is just like being in a dream…but at the same time somewhere deep in her she knows that it’s just a dream.

And that, I believe is where the idea of “pouring life down on me” comes in. When we, as a culture, use the word “life” in artistic or literary ways, we often mean it in a heavy and begrudging way, frequently referring to some form of consequence. For example, “I went to the dealer today and got my car repaired from that fender bender and you know it cost me hundreds of dollars? But hey, that’s life, right?” Even in such small terms, “life” is characterized as the realism that settles down upon us, the rhyme and reason that keep everything in line. So in this particular case when we see the idea of pouring life down on me, it would seem that this person desires, more than anything, to be met head on with her own consequences, with her own reality, because then and only then can she look her problems in the eye and grow and learn and move on. However her fear of leaving this comfortable dream traps her back into the same old bullshit.

Now, I understand that this is but one interpretation of the song and that there would be many plausible outcomes. I also admit to pulling from personal knowledge and experience , so it’s entirely possible that my interpretation will be completely different from the next person’s. But consider this: I worked my way backwards through the reasoning because I arrived at the conclusions before they were capable of being formed. Normally when those kinds of conclusions come to me so swiftly and so clearly and I have to work on the how we got there, it’s because the Higher Power has directed me to them for some purpose or benefit. Tonight it was so that I would sit at this computer for an hour and a half instead of going to sleep like normal folk. So I hope, dear reader, that you will think on this post. For even if I do not influence you to learn or be swayed otherwise, I hope that my words would stir a thought or consideration within you.

Decisions, Decisions

It’s that time of the year again. Yes, that’s right, the time to register for fall classes. I want to pursue music full force between this semester and the next, but I’m not quite sure of which classes, specifically. I’m considering entering a chorus and/or some form of concert band to get my chops back. It’s a shame, a true shame, that I’ve let my trumpet, my poor poor Stradivarius Fritz sit in the corner for so long. A Jazz class would be great in heightening my chord progression recognition, which will be useful more and more as I pursue some form of composition, either full or part time. I may take a guitar class. And perhaps repeat Developmental Psych. I was surprised to learn I’d passed sociology and not psych. But then I suppose it doesn’t take much to pass sociology.

No offense to you kind sociologists, but really, there isn’t much to it. :p

So yes yes, registering for classes. Because of my low gpa, due to my lack of interest in my pre-reqs for nursing (which I am no longer pursuing, my what a silly bout that was) I am only allowed three classes this semester, and I wonder at taking three, but I don’t want to bore myself with two. I find that the majority of my scholastic career has been boring. Boring me slowly to death. And due to lack of challenge or lack of interest, I have never attempted perfect grades, except for once in fifth grade when I was offered a laptop if I got straight A’s. I nearly failed spelling, so that didn’t work out so well.

I’ll also be tweaking my time clock (my what fun that will be) so that I will have class perhaps at ten and maybe eleven some days and have work immediately after so that I won’t have to work until eleven every other evening. Granted, I enjoy the nocturnal hours, but they are not so conducive to school.

THE GUNFIRE AROUND us makes it hard to hear. But the human voice is different from other sounds. It can be heard over noises that bury everything else. Even when it’s not shouting. Even when it’s just a whisper. Even the lowest whisper can be heard – -over armies… when it’s telling the truth.

In other news: I posted the quote above on my facebook as my status message yesterday. It’s from the movie The Interpreter and it tugs on my soul a bit. It amazes me how very narrow minded America has become as a nation, turning a blind eye to the violence going on in other countries, globally. Compared to such astronomical tyranny and unjust violence bleeding through nations in Africa, South America, the Middle East, and spots throughout Europe and Asia, no doubt. . . our nation is so very blessed to have such gracious circumstances. And yet. And yet.

“The world of dew —
A world of dew it is indeed,
And yet, and yet . . .”

Issa was a Buddhist poet. Famous for haikus. He was considered a haiku master. Though I do not agree with him on matters of faith, his words do captivate me from time to time. Another translation of this poem I’ve heard is:

“The world is dew.
The world is dew.
And yet. And yet.”

For me it translates this way: in my faith and thus through my eyes this world is merely a ruse and the true life is the one yet to come. This world is tainted and one day it will be cleansed and then, there is where life will begin in it’s truest form. And thus, this world is but dew. Small. Inconsequential. But regardless of the importance of this world comparatively, there is still work to be done. There are more lives to save, people to stand up for. The cold and the weak and the weary. The hungry. The poor. Those who can not speak for themselves. As insignificant as this life will seem millions of years from now, it still holds great importance somehow. I can not yet comprehend it, and thus I am having difficulty communicating it. Perhaps it is best said like this: this life on this fallen world is very important. But with the knowledge of how much more important the next life will be, this life can easily seem pointless.

When I die, I don’t want any large memorial. I don’t want endless tears and a large to do. I just want a lily in my hair and for people to look at my life and to see that I lived for the Lord and that in that life of devotion to Him, I made a difference.

I love my brothers.

I have two brothers that are related to me through blood and they are the best brothers a gal could ever hope for. We’re not particularly close and as families go, we all have our secrets, but I know full well that they love me and would be willing to go great lengths to protect me and my honor, for that matter. Great lengths that potentially involve knives and shotguns. Actually…Mike would probably prefer a rifle. . . . anyway.

I also have a few unrelated brothers. Unrelated meaning we do not have any form of genetic or blood relation. The kind of unrelated brother that if they were to give you a kidney there’s a good chance it would kill you off faster rather than do any good. There are six I can think of off the top of my head, and I shall not name them here because they know who they are and should I list names I’d probably end up forgetting one or two so there you are. These brothers are my strength and my encouragement, my laughter and my tears. They have seen me through the good, the spectacular, the bad, and the devastating. I love them all dearly and I can not convey my thanks to them regularly enough. To tell them of my sisterly love for them daily would fall short. So here and now I would like to thank them for their help, and for their encouragement, and for their strong arms to hold me and carry me when I am not strong enough myself. I love you all with all the love a sister’s heart can bear.

Excuse my random interludes today, I’ve gotten a decent night of sleep last night and there are a few me-isms coming out stronger today, which is super-encouraging for me, so bear with me.