26 May 2008


damn. i wanted to utilize the brevity of that writing tool without having to inadvertently refer to the movie title...

but anyways:

"P.S. I love you".
I loved this movie. I laughed a lot, I cried a bit (BIG DEAL), and I smiled often. I felt it encapsulated the reality of life and loss-- which I know was a criticism of many people who saw it--but I tend to favor reality and crave things that seeks to explore what's real--and I thought it was beautiful. (And, OH GOOD LORD, that man is beautiful! I would argue that the element of this movie that demanded criticism was the fact that it might have given women the unrealistic expectation that they will find such a hot, charming, and darling foreign man who will fall head over heels in love with them and marry them.)

But yes, see it, and tell me your opinions. I liked it more than most things.

"and you're not happy, but you're funny..."

I didn't think the post-college depression and phase of loneliness would occur so quickly...

I'm pretty sure mine first settled in prior to the actual date of graduation--perhaps around the time when we first started packing up our apartment about a week before school ended. I certainly held no strong emotional ties to Crestview N210--it was yet another place that I've lived in the long list of residences I've held over the the past four years (I believed I've moved into new places about 11 times since I've started college? That includes my treks home for the summer as well). The sadness occurred because I had to face the looming reality that "life as I've known it" was ending, several of the things I've learned to value and depend on were likely to leave, and stability of any sort was simply not in the picture for the time being.

Now, I would argue that I've been raised to live in instability: my mother seemed quite keen to instill in me her adventurous, un-settled spirit that she had in youth in my sister and I (though I would argue sometimes with no avail). I've always been encouraged to try new things, enjoy my freedom, live while I'm still young, etc. I don't think I've done an especially good job at that. Sure, I've traveled, lived in another country (England--which arguably isn't that much of a stretch), lived in inner-city Los Angeles, been involved in things that are really important to me while on campus, blah blah blah. I hope all of this looks good on a resume. Whilst participating in all of these privileged activities, I haven't been able to shake the feeling that life is just not about what you do, but who you are. Or, more precisely, what you do that stems out of who you are becoming. The importance of this very fine distinction is something that been haunting me since Los Angeles term, and haven been gratefully learning since Oxford.

I've been able to evade my feelings of anxiety, panic, and loneliness with various hours of work and time spent with my temporary roommates and friends--most of whom will be leaving and no longer be in close proximity to me anymore. This has been helpful. I should say that our discussions about how lonely and panicked we all feel should have provided comfort to me, but, honestly, it hasn't. (And I have to say this: I sometimes resent the comment "well, I'm going through [insert pain-inducing situation here] right now, too; does that make you feel better in dealing with yours?" How the hell is knowing someone else is going through pain as well as I am going to make me feel better? What kind of sadists are we?) Again, fine distinctions seem to be something we need to practice: there is empathy, and then there is the common acceptance of social ills and "generational struggles" (I suppose?). There is something wrong with the fact that college students feel unprepared to function in society and feel systematically abandoned by their parents and family and that the average twenty-something now experiences a quarter-life crisis. That is wrong--I am making a value-judgement here.

I know that I am speaking of the angst of the middle- to upper-middle class educated white experienced (forgive my generalization). In most parts of the world (including in this country), we should be rejoicing in the fact that we are alive--and that's the exact point. We are so isolated from community and fragmented within our society, we can't even recognize lifewhen it surrounds us. I can't believe I've gotten to this point in my life, but I'm about to reference a Zulu proverb that my old boss quotes with slightly irritating frequency: a person is a person through others. I really don't believe that we can truly be who we were lovingly and intentionally created to be unless we are being reciprocally supported, invested in, and developed by our community--those who love us the most and with whom we travel on the road that leads towards the same goal. My community, the church, fashions its focus towards the cross, and we are constantly simultaneously holding and sharpening each other with the implications of that vision in mind.

Ha. I always tend to bring it back to the cross and the church. Guess it's quite evidential that my perspective's gone through a paradigm shift this semester...

I'm not sure what the conclusion of this blog should be. I honestly didn't want to include any hopeful musings about the church or of God when I started it, because I really wanted to dwell in the reality of the severe loneliness that most people can acutely relate to. I guess this blog is long enough without adding any other banter to it. I just hope people starting thinking about and discussing what they are experiencing, and then maybe commit--in small or big ways--to fight it. Eradicate it.

Lord, may we, through the guidance of your Holy Spirit, discipline each other to fight the fragmentation and isolation that is a direct result of individualism.

21 May 2008


It's amazing how much shit absorbs sound. When you take all of your shelves that are filled with things, dressers that are filled with things, etc. away, you simply hear so many more sounds. Maybe that's why we fill our lives with shit and crap and things we simply don't need: it absorbs the bouncing echos of our cries of hurt and pain that we can't help but utter.

10 May 2008

[prayer 1]

Lord of all that was, is, and is to come, grant us the grace to live outside of ourselves.

In a world that promotes individualistic ideology and self-fulfilling consumeristic tendencies, may we as your people be audacious enough to live lifestyles that pervasively speak against a culture that seeks to fragment and disconnect us. May Your Holy Spirit give enough fortitude to reduce the noise of self-obsession that permeates our lives so we are able to hear the whimpers of the suffering. Give us the courage to leave the paths that lead to success, comfort, and safety, and walk together on the rocky path that Jesus Your Son and our Savior walked, facing the Cross and Kingdom. Turn our heads away from facing our impending futures, personal goals, and plans of self-promotion to face the poor, broken, and discarded that sit and lie next to us every day.

Create us to be a Body, affix us together, so that we are no longer ourselves, but Christ who lives in us. Give us the great privilege of being Jesus, the Body of Christ, the Crucified One who was buried, the Risen Savior who makes all things new, to the world. We pray in hope and for hope for the establishment of Your future eternal Kingdom, but ask that You give us the grace and strength to live as though we are living in it today.