Saturday, October 11, 2003

I would love to come across a road sign in the middle of the forest.

"Beware of falling leaves"

It would make me laugh so hard.

The Lion King is a wonderful wonderful movie, and is a huge contributing factor in my search for identity and revelation as far as my relationship to God, God as a father, destiny and maturity..... blah blah blah..... it's just such a wonderful analogy that every time I watch it, I can rearrange the roles and pick out a different truth.

I'm such a visual learner. You could stand in front of me and tell me that God is my father and loves me unconditionally based on that relationship, you could tell me that I'm the heir to the kingdom of God, you could tell me all that stuff about being seated on the throne with Jesus. You could explain to me how coming into one's inheritance requires a period of "coming of age" and you could try and convince me until your face was blue that the time has come to stop running, brave the desert and claim the spiritual authority that is mine in Christ...... and so on and so forth.

It won't do a lick of good, not without a picture to back it up. And just you try to find any other visual media that illustrates all these things with the humor, beauty and intensity as The Lion King.

It's out on DVD now. Go get it. Watch it prayerfully. See if it doesn't speak to you. Watch it twice. See if you don't see something new. Maybe nothing you didn't already know, but if you're like me, knowing the words in your head isn't enough.

Pictures are good. Even more so if they move. And talk. And sing songs.

Of course, we've talked about this before.... the fact that I like to draw analogies from everything I see..... in the interest of understanding this life in general thing that I'm supposed to be surviving.

Seriously..... rent the movie, get yourself in that reflective devotional hyper spiritual mood and then watch it. I promise you...... you won't regret it.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

In my dream there was a village where small dilapidated houses were scattered haphazardly across a hillside.

In my dream I knew most of the people who lived there, but in reality I only recognize a couple. I lived there, as did Clark, but whether we lived together (as is currently the case) I do not know.

There were men, dark men, with brown wooden shields and white spears. They may have been cambodians. They arrived in two huge trains and proceeded to round up all the women in the village. All the women, including Clark and myself, were herded into the first of the trains.

Inside the train, each car was like a big room, with furnishings, and they were crowded with all the women of the village bustling about, getting dressed and putting on makeup and all sorts of other stuff...... but being a curious person I immediately set about the business of exploring the train and figuring out what was going on.

I snuck through car after car and finally found what looked like a church, set up with pews, and many of the women were sitting there facing the front. In the front, facing the pews, was a row of men. People were talking, and I was trying to understand what was going on. I spotted Clark near an aisle. She quietly slipped out of the pew and left the room, glancing at me as she passed. I watched her leave and then made my way to the front of the room.

All of a sudden, (as is so often the case in dreams) the room was empty, except for myself. I sat in the front row and watched some men file in front of me and sit down, facing the pews. There were all the token guys. The asshole, the jock, the skinny guy with the squeaky voice.... the comedian, all talking amongst themselves and looking at me. A man who looked like the boss of the arrangement stood to the side.

"Is this all the women that are left?" he asked.

The chatting between the men increased as the situation dawned on me. They were here to steal our women and make wives of them!!

I began to sidestep towards the aisle as they continued to talk and watch me. Finally I reached the aisle, whereupon I spun around and bolted from the room. I knew that the leader was in hot pursuit and so I flew through the cars, which were now empty. I reached the caboose, burst through the door, and hit the ground running. It was night out. I raced over the hillside and ducked into a house whose door I knew would be unlocked.

I crouched there in the darkness, listening to the resident family sleep, catching my breath as silently as possible.

But the leader of the Cambodians had a german shepherd, and the damn dog sniffed me out. The Cambodian ordered me to come out, or else he would set the house on fire. Not wanting the family to lose their home, I obliged.

The Cambodian led me back towards the train, and as he did I watched a bit of a cutscene, in which more cambodians were rounding up more women on the other side of the hill. I wondered how Clark had made out, whether she'd gotten away.

I woke up while plotting my escape.

weird, hey?
Standing in the middle of the parking lot.

Lots of cracks, heaves, holes, crevices.

Makes me think that the earth doesn't really want to be paved.

Standing under the trees on the riverbank..... the yellow leaves glow like a stained glass window under the sun. The forest is God's cathedral. I don't care what anyone says. All the architectural masterpieces of mankind will never compare.

I like to lean against a tall tree, wrap my arms around it, and rest my ear on the bark and listen to it breath. The branches shudder in the breeze and the long narrow trunk waves indiscernibly and I can hear it..... it sounds like breathing.

In a depression in the bank, where the ground rises up behind me to hide the buildings, and the yellow leaves are a vaulted ceiling above me, and the river flows slowly by in front of me..... always the same, always constant. I drop to the ground, and rest my back against the trunk of one of the larger trees. There I sit, listening to leaves fall all around me, right beside me, trying to discern between the sounds of falling leaves and sparrows in the bushes, squirrels on the ground. My knees are pulled up, and I'm seven again, in my magical secret hideout where time stops and no one can find me.

I think I'd like to be an elf..... like the ones in Lothlorien, because they make their homes in tree tops, tree tops with golden crowns, like these ones. I'm looking straight up as I think this, to the point where the trunks of the trees sprout into a million branches...... that's where I'd build my house, if I were an elf.

Squirrels are kind of like elves. Not that they're beautiful, or elegant, or wise, or maybe they're wiser than they look, I don't know. But they make their homes up there in the trees, they run from branch to branch as though it were a spacious manicured lawn.

What if one of those squirrels was afraid of heights?

It would be a slap in the face of squirreldom. What would you do if you were a squirrel, and you were afraid of heights? The very thing that you were meant to do would fill you with terror, and you'd find yourself sitting here on the ground, beside a thick tree trunk, looking up at the tree tops and wishing you were an elf, or maybe a squirrel that wasn't afraid of heights.

I can draw a parellel to myself here, but I bet you knew that was coming. Figure it out yourself. I'm not afraid of heights. I love heights. The higher the better. There are other things, things that I'm meant to do but I just can't work up the courage.

I'm not seven anymore, and time can't stand still. My lunch break is over, and I make my way along the river to where a path leads up to the property. As the five riverfront buildings come into view, I can't help but think how beautiful they would be if the stucco was only chipped and covered in vines and moss.

I always love the way things look once they've been abandoned by humanity. Like they're finally free to get back to the way they were before they were ripped from the earth and fashioned into cold hard breathless things.

It's so easy to forget what I am, down here by the river. So easy to see what I could be.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

New computer game. Forgot to blog. New PS2 game too. Rented movies. Eggnog is in season. Up too late again. I promise I'll say lots tomorrow. I had lots today until I forgot..... but it's all up here...... but I don't have time...... but I'm still kinda hungry...... but I hafta sleep...... goodnight.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I should have been fast asleep quite some time ago. Not really tired, somehow.

Uh..... maybe I am rubbing eyes I'm giving myself 5 minutes to get into bed.

For the last long while I've been surrounding myself almost completely with people who I know, and who know me...... as I begin to venture out to stuff like, say.... creative writing workshop..... it becomes apparent to me that I'm no less socially retarded than I used to be. Strangely enough, the nicer you are to me, the more nervous and tongue tied I become.

Why am I like this? What's my problem? Humans are not scary. Humans are not intimidating. I am not insecure, and I have no reason to be.

I think I'm going to Steinbach on Wednesday to attend a housegroup with some old acquaintances. The thought fill me with trepidation, but I have my reasons. Pray that I retain my sanity.

bed.... pillow..... teddy..... sleep.....

Sunday, October 05, 2003

People are always talking in church about "hearing God." I just sit there thinking, "hear God??? I can't even hear the preacher!!" and just as quickly my attention span has jumped the tracks and I'm thinking about what I'll have for lunch or about how I need to clip my nails or the currency exchange in Rwanda..... or what time it is..... oh look it's time to go home..... I wonder what the preacher was talking about...... mmmmmmm..... chicken fingers........

If you think I'm kidding or exaggerating, it's only because you haven't met me.

I can count on three fingers or less the people who can hold my attention from a stage or microphone. My former pastor, David Ruis, who moved to California while I was still in bible school, I could listen to him talk all day. He was normal, down to earth, and never said a word without illustrating it with a vivid picture or a great joke or a funny voice. If he was speaking, I was understanding, and I left church thinking, "hey that was fun, I like learning God stuff!!"

Of course, while there are many excellent speakers in my church, I haven't heard a word from the pulpit since...... with the exception of the weekend David dropped in on us. I try so hard, but seriously, if we're not face to face, I just can't hear it.

But today we had a guest speaker who just happened to be the brother of a couple friends of mine and I heard every word he said. I laughed, I took mental notes, I understood his talk on..... get this..... hearing God.

So I was thinking while sitting there in church that it might be a good idea to make a point of blogging on sunday afternoons about what I got out of going to church, thinking that maybe it would provide accountability to not only go, but to learn something while I'm there. The other thing is that I learn best by teaching, so it might be just the thing to pound some spiritual truths into my thick undernourished skull.

I don't feel like doing that right now though. I think I'll drop in on the evening service just out of curiosity, and maybe write again after that.....

The speaker instructed us to ask God a question..... the question that he provided was "What grieves You here in winnipeg?"

Immediately a newspaper article popped into my head, regarding a squatter in the west end and a neighbor who was unimpressed by the way the squatter "makes the neighborhood look." That instant brought back my initial indignation and outrage at the calloused attitude of those who are priviledged...... so many opportunities here to fly off the handle, but that's not what this blog is about.

The speaker says, "God's voice is the one right before you started rationalizing it away." Whereupon I found myself focussing on my rationalization..."I only thought of that squatter because it grieves me" Whereupon God, ever the opportunist, came right back with "Hey that's cool!! We're grieved by the same thing!!"

Seriously..... who knew you could hear God in church?
my site feed
powered by blogger