Showing posts from August, 2004

"Well me and the Lord. We got an understanding..."

It has taken me a long time to fall asleep as long as I can remember. Typically these days it's 1 to 2 hours. Once I am asleep, I tend to sleep well and I love to sleep in (especially as I can't fall asleep quickly). But something about turning off the light and setting the book down...suddenly no matter how close to sleep I was my mind begins racing, and racing over thigns which are not sleep-friendly. Worries, anxieties, things which bring up strong emotion for me of all kinds. Martial arts, lifting, sex.

My therapist tells me this is because my mind is hauling butt so much of the time, spinning the ocd spin above the anxiety and dread beneath (and the emotion below that), that when I lay down without stimulus of any kind, wham-o, my mind doesn't want to slow down or shut off. A lot like a kid who doesn't want to go to bed. My brain keeps getting up for a glass of water and a pee. Usually, this is not too bad, as even when I take Mikey to school at seven puki…

Knowing Just a Tiny Bit About Emergent, Here I Go...

The following is a blog I posted yesterday; I want to add a couple things at the beginning, a prequel, like George Lucas. I want to say that if St. Paul can be glad the gospel was being preached with poor intentions just as long as the gospel was being preached, I certainly can be glad the gospel is being preached regardless of the flavor. Emergent does not have to be a divisive movement, nor a proud we're-better-than-you movement; for Pastor Dave it certainly isn't. Think of the Jesus people of the 60's, 'looking past the hair and into the eyes;' the Christian coffeeshop movement not long after that, the whole non-denominational explosion, the guitar masses of the 70's and 80's. These all led people to Christ and gave them a place to grow where they felt their generation could be understood; a place to worship and pray on their own cultural terms. I do not want to come across like some bigot who is opposing the next generation's vision of what chu…

Much Ado About Something

why my college begins in the middle of August, I don't know, but last week was the first week of school and I'm buried. I'm working on a longer article on the Sacraments, but it will be a while before I post it.

I did see Much Ado About Nothing (an old fave of Scooter's and mine) at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare festival last night. Shakespeare right on the lake, with the moon setting behind the stage. It's stunningly beautiful there. And the play made me think of many things: one is how much Shakespeare draws on Christian mythos. Of course he was writing in a Christian culture and there are overt references to God (serve God, love me, and mend) throughout. But on a deeper level...Hero is resurrected as a bride, her shame removed forever; Claudio gives up all his rights as a man by agreeing to marry a stranger he does not know is the woman he loves (echoes of the old story where the knight is offered the choice: do you want your new witch-wife to be beautiful…

Faith and the Host

I would like to write more on the Eucharist at another time, but I saw this article and had to point it out: what would St. Paul have said, for whom sacrament depended on faith and not form? I hope this situation is resolved speedily; I think the church is in error.


I was watching Olympics with Mikey

and I couldn't believe the bodies; I'm talking about the guys. The first event we saw was the male synchronized diving; I had forgotten what obliques actually look like on a man. Mikey thought that the swimmers would have more body fat so they could float better in the water and hence move faster, but alas, no, those guys were also ripped and lean. It's a whole different look from the bodybuilder ideal, and it reminds me of just how long ago my early 20's were. Truly beautiful men.


July Film/Fiction Recommendations

So it's August. Bear with me.

The book of the month is Anna Karenina. I know the Russian names are a pain in the butt (Stepan, Stiva, Oblonsky, and Stepan Arkadyich are all the same guy) but it's worth wading through the first 100 pages until you figure out who the major characters are. It's beautiful. Its great strength is its realism, especially internal realism, the interpersonal emotional details Tolstoy chronicles. Highly recommended.

And in film:

I'm only going to name films I think are worth renting: Divided We Fall is a remarkable movie about the Nazi occupation; Happy Times is a very original Chinese film about all kinds of things, human kindness foremost; and Little House on the Prairie. We began with the first season of LH and are somewhere near the end of season three. I never watched these as a kid, but they are excellent television, an attempt to portray a truly loving family, and sometimes they actually preach the gospel. Worth your time if you …

Great Expectations (Estella's Story 1.0)

It's late; I read my wife to sleep; Eudora Welty. A beautiful start of a story about an abandoned albino woman and her twins. King MacLain was her husband's name I think. A Golden Shower. (Yeah, it's an odd title. See what has happened to us gen xer's?)

The night is warm, and the crickets are throbbing in the wood. There are so many of them. My mood is starting to lift a little; my anxiety dropping. It's been a shitty weekend. My wife is working four straight twelves in a row, and it's nice to have Mikey back, but school is starting, I'm already preparing, and I miss vacation and the constant company it brought. I was alone so much as a child. I sometimes isolate now, but I don't like it. When I can get it, I prefer company.

And truthfully, this is the first time I've started blogging with no idea what I'll say.

Fact is I'm used to support groups where nothing gets held back. I haven't been in one since I moved north, so say…

Avalon Revisited

Many thanks for the positive comments on my poop post. What Karen said, that she sees hope even in my 'outside' posts, is very encouraging; and what Ian said, about the most powerful thing he could have said, 'you're not alone.' Dude. How true. How quickly I forget that fact. Belief that I suffer in isolation or that my pains are unique is one of the great delusions of the human condition.

I have lots to say. I'll try to get out what I can.

First of all, Avalon in August is different from other times of the year; and now there are three cruise ships a week docking off that tiny harbor. The big kind of cruise ship. Like Kathy Lee used to sing on. It's like adding three enormous hotels to the tiny island while they're there.

My advice: avoid town on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (cruise days) and on weekends in summer. Descanso was like spring break. I did not dig. On days like that the only cure is to get into the interior, or head to Buffalo Nick…

Poop Floats

I'm hanging around, packing for the trip, and I feel my anxieties creeping back in. They are so hypnotic, so troubling, a constant state of disaster/distress. I've kept things from really blowing up, and I can't talk about my obsessions in detail here, but suffice to say THEY SUCK.

I see my therapist today for the first time in three weeks because of vacations, and I'm looking forward to it. No doubt, much of the time I was away was good, some hard but some of it very good, and I've felt more hope this summer than ever because of the new kind of therapy I started doing in March. But just when I think it's safe to go back in the water...kind of like that. I've come so far, and what I want is a normal life and marriage, though I admit I'm not sure what normal means. Certainly my obsessions/anxieties are not normal, or healthy.

S and I have actually been getting along well lately. I've finally realized anger is okay. Fights and conflict are okay. I use…