Saturday, November 29, 2003
Today I had a great day. It felt like summer again - it was hot, the sky was perfect and there was that great half-film-of-sweat-all-over-your-body feeling. It felt great driving with the window down and music up and Harbord has a such a beach-holiday feel about it. Today it felt great to be Australian.
I had a good think about stuff this morning: about what I blogged and whether or not I should have blogged it (too late now) and just about things. Something occurred to me while I was in this thinking state. Isn't it somewhat of an indightment (no idea how to spell it) on society that people need to pay someone (a counselor) to listen to them? I have absolutely nothing against counselors, I think they do a great thing and they are necessary help for many people, but I was just thinking that it's kind of sad that they need to be there in the first place. That people living in this world today will fork out a lot of money if only someone would listen. I think I could definately listen more. I want to do that...and really listen too, because there is nothing worse than talking to someone and watch as their eyes move and they start looking at something over your shoulder. I know what it feels like and I want to make sure I never do it to someone else - no matter how uninteresting someone's topic of conversation may be, it is still interesting to them otherwise they wouldn't be talking about it...
I spent tonight with a whole group of people I didn't know (aside from a couple - literally). I don't usually like those situations a whole lot, and I'm not overly sure whether I liked it tonight, but it felt good to do it. There are so many people in the world with so little hope in their lives (to quote the words of a great writer) and we are so fortunate. Like really. That fortune must come with a form of responsiblity I'm sure.
I think I'm ready to step up to the plate...
Friday, November 28, 2003
People notice. One side of my brain wants to just disappear into a hole in the ground and be invisible and the other side is crying out for people to see. This battle goes on in my head between self-indulgence and insignificance. I know that when I wake up in the morning perhaps things won't be so black. The good thing is that I do have an explanation for it. I do know what it is and that helps greatly when I feel good, but when I drop again it doesn't seem to mean that much any more.
Sorry - this is not a plea for sympathy in any way. I shouldn't even post it. I guess I'm hoping to be able to look back at this place and see objectively what it is like to write from the blackness...
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Old friends are cool... you forget about old things and then one day they just pop up... is good.
I have direction. It feels cool to say that. It's taken me a while but I can definately say it now - direction have I. Plans will change of course, they always do, but what I always need is a path with some idea of where it's going and I've found the path again. (sounds a bit matrix-philosophical huh...oh well, you never really know a person until you fight them)
Things are always good in theory, that's what makes them a theory. We never use theories we know to be wrong, therefore if we're basing things on a theory we must think it's correct at the time of writing it. Often we are wrong, we just don't know it.
I don't think that made any sense. (Or it does, you just have to try really really hard)
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
I had a great time on Saturday night - I've never enjoyed Rugby quite like that. It was brilliant we sang songs, we Aussie-Aussie-Aussied in all the appropriate places and we even sang the National Anthem with our hands on our hearts. I love it when Australians get patriotic. It doesn't seem to happen all that often except for sporting events. It's something the American's are very good at and I envy them for it. We saw it in the Olympics and then again this last few weeks. It's great. I found that when I went overseas. For the first time I really was proud to be an Australian. I felt that I could have an identity in that. I felt that I fitted it. We have a reputation for many things overseas and I love it all...
I also need to comment on Michael Jackson. I'm also tempted not to comment, simply because everyone in the media is commenting, but I'm going to speak in the man's defence. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? I think Michael Jackson is a very sad character. I believe he's deluded. I believe he is a ten year old inside a 40 year old body. For that reason I feel really sorry for him. I also think he is Hollywood's fallguy - the token weirdo. His whole life is filled with painful betrayals of those closest to him and now it's happening all over again. My understanding is this: the kid who was in the interview with him, testifying to the fact that Michael Jackson never touched him, leaning on his shoulder while he talked, has come out now with his parents and claimed that he was abused. That's the extent of the evidence. Next thing we know a 90 strong police force storm his home, the media all conveniently in place with their cameras so that the police could simply video Jackson's house - that's all they did in there. Then, when they arrested him they handcuffed him. Why was that exactly? The guy turned himself in. He is not a security threat and he is not a flight risk. Looked good on the six o'clock news though didn't it. And since when do we release the mug shots of those arrested? We already have plenty of photographs of Jackson, but that one looked good behind the Current Affairs presenter didn't it... The key to it is this: Michael Jackson gets ratings because he's different and people love to knock those who are different. The guy's welfare, his privacy and his rights are forgotten. His supposed "friends" are turning up on talkshows (no doubt with a nice lump of cash in their pocket) and saying how they think he may be guilty. His own friends are disloyal to him. I don't know how Jackson gets out of bed in the morning. He only gets ripped to shreds.
I say this irrospective of whether or not he is guilty (although I'm mighty suspicious about these allegations because of allegations previous and the timing of these ones). If he is guilty then I think it's close to the most disgusting act a human being can do and he should go to jail for the rest of his life. Either way, until proven Michael Jackson should be afforded the same decency as anyone else. Why go so public with these charges other than to ensure that while bounded by the borders of the United States Michael Jackson will never get a fair trial...
Thursday, November 20, 2003
These highly intelligent people decided that it would be a smart thing to do to sneak onto peoples farms and feed pig meat to their sheep. They thought this was an ingenious thing to do because then the Muslims couldn't eat the sheep and therefore the poor sheep would no longer have to suffer the long boat ride to the Middle East. I'm sorry, but does that sound stupid to anyone else???
Firstly, Australian farmers have an uphill battle as it is, what with the drought and the US tarrif fiasco and the rest of it. These guys contribute significantly to our economy and they have a tough time doing it. We should be supporting these guys as much as we can, not sneaking onto their property and contaminating their animals!!!
Secondly, if they'd done their research they would have discovered that the pig meat mixed with water that they gave the sheep doesn't stop the Muslims eating the sheep at all. Within three days the solution will have passed through the animals system and the meat is fine. Oops, should have read the Koran...
Thirdly, their entire motivation is to protect the welfare of these animals. Do they not realise that they're are travelling to the Middle East to be slaughtered and eaten! You're talking about protesting over the conditions with which the animals travel to their death. They're dying anyway...(and besides, for heaven's sake, they're sheep!)
Fourthly, as the guy on A Current Affair pointed out tonight, for the Melbourne Cup horses travelled from France and the UK and all over the world to come to Australia. Did anyone protest about their conditions? We're talking about transporting animals here! A whole lot of farmers have just had their years work ruined and they now have to figure out how to put food on the table for the next twelve months because some dumbass hippie thought he'd make a name for himself by attempting to upgrade the sheep from Economy to Business Class!
Some people are just looking for something to protest about and anything will do. Maybe they should go and get jobs and start contributing to society...
Monday, November 17, 2003
How good it feels to be liberated. I've been freed from something recently - something that has kept me down for quite a while, something that I didn't entirely realise was there and over the last few weeks I can see God's hand in it. I can see the way that he has used other people to not only identify this thing but also to release me from it. I am so blessed and it's a real eye opener to begin to see the world through a new filter. There will always be something or other that I will feel would make my life better, something that I will want, but look at what I have got. An amazing family who I don't deserve. So many friends who are so different and diverse and inspiring. A job working with great people in an industry I'm passionate about. The opportunity and freedom to worship my God in any way at any time. How could I ever complain about anything?
But I do. Not all the time, not when God opens my eyes to all the things that I do have, but when I choose to focus on those things that I want, the things that I don't have. And you know what, I want to learn to be able to hand those things back to God. I think I'm learning. Slowly, I'm learning.
God spoke to me the clearest he's ever spoken to me the other week. He gave me a sentence, or rather a question. "Could you love only me?" And it wasn't that I felt he was asking me to love nothing but him, it was more a question of could I do that? I honestly answered no. There were too many other things - I could endeavour to put him first but I couldn't love only him. Over the next week I was challenged on that more and I feel that for the moment that's what I'm being taught - to get to a place where I can say that. Only Him. Not for the rest of my life, not as something I HAVE to say but rather something I am ABLE to say.
God gives and he takes away. He provides and he holds things back. I'm learning to leave that to his discretion which usually means I don't understand. And in the midst of not-understanding we find the hardest place to trust. But it's what we're called to do isn't it?
Saturday, November 15, 2003
Friday, November 14, 2003
I was sitting on the bus yesterday when an insanely attractive girl and her boyfriend got on. I was in the middle of thinking something along the lines of "man, he's doing all right for himself" when I realised they were in the middle of a domestic - an argument which continued throughout the bus trip. An argument which I had the privelage of overhearing.
The crux of it was that she wouldn't let him go to a night out with the boys unless she could come too. He persisted in begging her to let him go while she repeatedly came back with "you're not going". As this pitiful exchange took place it got me thinking about the nature of today's male. I began to think about the typical dopy Hollywood-male stereotype (Seinfeld, Raymond, Roseanne, Simpsons etc...) and that every stereotype must stem from some level of truth. (Like a cliche - once upon a time it was an original idea).
Where is the place for the typical Australian male? I think after feminism took the world by storm the blokes were left feeling somewhat bewildered. Are we really needed? If a woman can raise the kids and earn enough to support the family then what is the man's role? It's a sobering thought to think that if they were to take in mass sperm donations it is possible for the male species to die out and the world not change a whole lot. You couldn't say that the other way around.
A brilliant book on the subject of men searching for their place is The Riders by Tim Winton (the only book I would consider reading for the 4th time). As I listened to this guy beg his girlfriend to let him go out it made me think that perhaps we (as a gender) have lost something. I am all for equality of the genders and women's rights and equal opportunities but sometimes I wonder whether the feminist movement has actually swung things the other way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a gripe about it and I'm not blaming anyone. I think it rests with the men, the search for who we are. What is it that defines us? Can we be built on principles and strength of character when society is drawn to attach us to the stereotype? Can we have a confidence in who we are, regardless of where society ranks us?
I don't have any answers, but then I figure - you've got to have questions if you want to find answers...
(I'm just going to post this before I think better of it)
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
That is my shortest "issue" post ever...
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
I enjoy learning about people. I like spending time with them and getting a better idea of how they tick. People are fascinating - the diversity of them, the way no one thinks exactly the same, the way one thing is funny to one person and not to another. The irony of people.
It's also fascinating how we relate to different people on different levels. Some people we click with, some people we are drawn to, some people we never quite lock on to, others we just like to be in the company of. And people compliment us in different ways - some make us laugh, some make us think, some annoy us, some challenge us. And most of the time, we can never quite explain why. What a diverse world...
What a creative God...
Sunday, November 09, 2003
For anyone who cares (which, I think, basically means you're bored) I'm launching a challenge. I made the note mainly for myself (but also because I felt like confusing people who wanted to be confused) however, thinking about it, I'd be quite interested to see what people could come up with.
If you email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) what you think could be the connection between Emily Dickinson and Marshall Mathers then I'll tell you whether it's what I was thinking (and if you're not I'll explain why I wrote it). I'd just like to see what people think...
...not that I expect anyone to bother. Just depends how much sleep you're currently losing thinking about it doesn't it...
If I were to give this post a title it would be: The Phenomena of Worship, but I don't give my posts titles so it remains nameless. (but just keep that in the back of your mind as it might come in handy later on)
I was thinking a lot the other day, as I do. (I had taken a break but alas, I'm thinking again...) How would you explain worship to a non-christian, to someone who's never set foot inside a church? I mean, if you couldn't use any Christian-code words like "praise" and "exalt" and "glory" and other bits of Christian jargon (I think we do actually have our own venacular, whether we like to admit it or not, and I don't think it's a good thing but then there's not a lot I can do about it). The concept of worship is something that is so huge, a river with many tributries if you wanted to attach a horrible metaphor, and I don't know how I would express it to someone who had never experienced it.
I'd be tempted to say something stupid like singing songs although it's got nothing to do with that. I'd say that if I was feeling lazy, but I'd be lying. I might say that it's a way of honouring God and we sing to Him (or dance or play instruments or drip paint or whatever...I'm not being exclusive here) because we want to give something back to Him, but even that sounds oddly lame.
I guess it dawned on me what an incredible, inexplicable gift it is to be able to worship. I've been putting a song list together just now and thinking how great it is to give to God, but receive so much at the same time. I don't think people could grasp it unless they'd been there. That sounds kind of weird and arty I think. It's not meant to. I can only put it down to what I've posted about before - that it is an inherent part of our nature to worship; designed to worship God but so often we bestow our attention and love and devotion on other things. When we return to the one we were created to worship then something undefinable slots into place...
On a completely unrelated, almost offensively opposite topic - I have now seen Revolutions, concluding the Matrix trilogy for me. To put it simply, I think they stuffed it. They started to head into dangerous waters with Reloaded and I was hoping they would save themselves with this one. They nearly did, they were really close, and then in the last twenty minutes they got lazy and it showed. (I could go into my reasons but I'm not going to bother)
It is a travesty that 20 minutes can tarnish a whole six hours of cinema...
(I've used brackets a lot in this post I've noticed...including right here)
Thursday, November 06, 2003
Allow that to simmer in that little brain of yours....
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
The funny thing is, reading that sounds like I'm really unmotivated. Ironically, I've been feeling highly motivated to do lots of things the last couple of days. Motivation is great. It's cool to get things moving again.
The new wave of blog-motivation though, that I'm still waiting on...