Spoken upon long-distance melody...
Maybe then honesty need not be feared as a friend or an enemy
This is the distance
And this is my game face
There's really no way to reach me
'Cause I'm already gone
The time I spent in Saskatoon this weekend was a curious mixture of time spent. There were errands and crossing things off my in city to do list. There was a movie, a party, several recipes of friends and other friends, friends and food. Several visits alone. A lot of mental reshuffling, working out who I am today after four solid years of life without a break, without stopping. A lot of new music and new ideas contributing to the change in me. The era has officially ended.
This weekend a wise man, my friend Mark, told me a story about pigs and electric shock and made several other amazing analogies. Men and women are like waffles and spaghetti, for instance, in how their emotions function in daily life - men are compartmentalized, women's emotions are intertwined in everything. We talked about pleasure in life, about how denying yourself is not always the right thing to do. We talked about other things. Gardening. How to appreciate beauty without abusing the appreciation. He gave me a life truth that I realy appreciated, one I am adding to my rules for living that I started compiling a long time ago.
Aquaintances just need entertainment to keep the relationship alive. Friends need communication first and entertainment second. Marriages need commitment, communication, and entertainment to survive - in that order. You can't save a marriage with entertainment. You can't save a marriage with just talking. It's the commitment that saves its life, and the other two that keep it truly living.I found a freedom just yesterday that may last me for a long time - a realization about myself and how I live my life that changes everything. It's been creeping up on me for awhile now. A friend counseled me about the anger I felt in the grief of death this past March. She told me not to fight the grief. And yesterday as I talked about other areas of struggle in my life, the question was asked, why are we fighting so hard not to be who we are? Where is the answer to the divide between love and lust, between appreciation and abuse, between God's will for us as people and our will to be people?
All my life I thought "fighting it" was the answer. A hundred Christians espouse fighting as a rule, quoting scriptures about fighting the good fight of faith. But we're supposed to be fighting the enemy, not ourselves. Sometimes the line is blurry, but this is the first peace I have felt since learning to accept my own anger and hatred. Now I may be learning to accept myself and my own love, a much bigger struggle.
You see, a fundamental part of what classifies me as an artist is a finite attention to beauty beneath the notice of the average person. It is difficult for me to explain the moments that I see beauty and it captures my heart, my senses, my emotion, my spirit. It could be the simplest moment of touching a person's arm and appreciating the softness, or admiring the pattern in the wings of a dragonfly, or estimating the height of a tree so as to properly visualize your own small height, or appreciating the curve of someone's neck. Walking into a coffee shop and smiling because the woman at the counter is stunningly beautiful, eager to please the customers, and efficient all in the same package. There's beauty in all that and more. Sometimes the beauty takes you by surprise and makes a base or perhaps even vulgar moment into an intimate moment of experience. When I blogged a few weeks back about Robert Lentz's comment regarding God's erotic involvement with his creation, I understood it because I feel so deeply about that creation myself. The word encompasses the power of the love and appreciation I feel toward whatever living thing catches me in that moment and makes my senses more acute, closer to the way they were meant to be.
And yet with that closeness I often experience guilt - especially if that moment of appreciation is for part of a person. I experience guilt because it is not acceptable to tell strangers or friends that you just saw a glimpse of heaven in their goosebumps, passion in a curve of their face, beauty in their gesture. And yet the urge to share that moment is explosive - it is a part of who I am that I long to share at all times. I try to express it in words here, where I have a partial kind of freedom, and sometimes people appreciate what I say, but the power of a hundred tiny moments in a day of this experience is impossible to express. Overwhelming, stunning, expressive of the very essence of beauty, and therefore love. I am never more at home than when I am in a place, whether physical or mental, that feeds my hunger for this very thing. And yet, it is my struggle to understand where the line is drawn between something I appreciate and something I desire.
I choose friends based on these moments of beauty. They are not all physical, some are emotional or intangible, but without them there is no foundation to build upon. They make up the fabric of my life.
I basked in the glow of love and appreciation of others this weekend. I am buoyed up by it, it's as if I'm wrapped in layers - a blanket straight from the dryer, loving arms, and affection. The number of moments and ways in which someone said or showed that they loved and appreciated me was absolutely overwhelming.