journalling

I am in favor of journalling.  As catharsis, as a thought-process, and as a recording of not only events, but the way that God moves through them and your feelings and perceptions in them.

I finished my most recent journal a few weeks ago, and it was an odd feeling.  Accomplished, yes.  I realized that almost all of it detailed my summer and its decisions.  Each successive volume that I complete seems to cover a shorter and shorter span of time.  That’s a good thing, I think, because it means I’m writing more and more about less trivial things.  Looking back on Volume 1, which spanned several years and simply kept a record of events, I’m glad I’m growing.

I thought I’d post the last few pages of this one.

I’m sitting on my bed, per usual.  My desk is cluttered, and I haven’t used it.  I have three Czech Mucha posters above my desk, and it’s no secret that Hamlet is my favorite.  My super classy bookcase. Posters: El Greco, Rene Magritte, Sherlock, Vertigo.

I’ve finally opened the window, and a cool breeze is drifting in.  I can hear it softly moving the trees.  It’s carrying fall, and the seasons will change and change again until I am grown and dead and gone, and then they will continue to change.

I’ve been trying to name the breeze in the leaves.  It’s not quite an ocean. The best I can do is to call it breathing, living.

I’m reminded of the moment when Aslan approaches the statues in the White Witch’s castle, breathes softly on them, and brings them back to life.  Yes.  It’s carrying magic.

Deeper magic.

And God’s been breathing softly on my heart, and I know He’ll continue to do so as I turn and grumble and strive and harden.

It’s apt that this journal, filled with so much anguish and confusion and so many places, faces, worries, and miracles should end on such a note as this.  It isn’t what I expected. I was going to write about my doubts in writing, my feelings of inferiority in fiction, and my fear.

No.  Instead, I speak of peace, of changes, and of growth.  I speak of the God who breathes life into my own heart as surely as He moves the trees with an unseen power.

I worry, and I strive.

But there is One who takes my worries and shoulders my strivings, bearing them to death and beyond.  There is One who forgives and gives me life and stills my frantic soul.

So.

I will write.  I will write and write and look forward and backward.  I will live and not just exist, I will follow my God wherever He leads and trust in Him.

I will not write for others, afraid of their judgement.

I will write for myself a small bit, and for my readers, if they exist, and I will write for my God.

May the God of peace and life-giving breezes melt your frozen soul.  May the God who has the power to move mountains and dig rivers, who deserves all awe and glory yet loves us still, and who has the power to move our broken hearts in an immensely personal way, be with you always.  In the name of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ,

Amen.

On to Volume 5.

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airport.

Friday, 2/3:

I’m in the airport, and some odd instrumental version of Phantom of the Opera is playing over the loudspeakers.  It’s kind of weird, but whatever.  I don’t think that the Phantom is going to come through the windows behind me and teach me how to sing.

The loudspeaker tells me that someone’s forgotten their iPad, which is quite a shame.  It keeps muttering over the bustle of the terminal in constant reminders, a disembodied Hermes, shuttling messages to forgetful mortals everywhere.  Maria might miss her flight to Las Vegas if she doesn’t hurry.

Airports are always the most marvelous place to people-watch.  I can’t think of a better one.  Nobody stays in an airport.  That’s not what it’s meant for.  It’s inherently a locus of comings and goings, entrances and exits, a stage of life where no one stays for very long.

People become a single one of their features as they quickly pass: a bald head, a funny hat, velcroed shoes, an enormous book, a wedding band, a stroller, a designer handbag.

Final call, flight 1683.

It’s interesting to dream up stories here, watching the ebb and flow of humanity.  Everyone is going somewhere, and each of the lines of each of their lives momentarily converge, mingle together, tangle and untangle, before separating to continue on with their own hopes, dreams, wants, needs, families, friends, jobs, studies.

I’ve tried to employ and improve my powers of deduction (what has Sherlock done to me?), but it hasn’t been hugely successful.  She’s married? Well, considering her husband and two point five children, I probably could have guessed.  Or, he’s left handed!  …Useful.

After a failed attempt at conversation I managed to deduce that my cab driver was a Baptist, was orderly and careful but not anal, not very fond of his job, and a fan of R&B.  All not very useful things.  But I’m starting somewhere.

I should probably stop watching and start interacting sometime soon, but everyone’s pretty wrapped up in their phones, magazines, novels.  I guess I’ve got my laptop, here, as well.

Maybe in a moment.  But I just thought I’d stop and reflect on the interestingness of airports as a singularly liminal place and the sympathy and empathy they give me for the lives of others.

Final call.

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new tab!

Although most of my break has been spent reading, seeing friends, and watching entirely too much British TV, I haven’t been completely unproductive.  I’ve uploaded some of my photos from various trips or just everyday life.  Take a look?  🙂

https://theparadigmshifts.wordpress.com/photos/

Thanks, guys.

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expatriates

Sometimes, I kind of just want to be an expat.  I don’t want a “real job”.  Not really.

I just want to sit outside of a Parisian, Sevillan, or Venetian café, sipping tea and scribbling things into a notebook as I watch the people pass me on the sun-inundated streets, laughing with each other and babbling on in the Romantic cadence that these languages possess.  I want to look at cobblestones, and old architecture, and great stone edifices and feel a connection with the past and the people around me, thinking of who else walked those same streets before I did.

I want to sit nestled in the corner of some Irish or English pub as the rain drizzles on outside and talk about life with locals, or talk literature with the Inklings.  I want to be a part of something like that where I can listen and contribute, mentor and be mentored, and be in the presence of great minds.

I want to experience different cultures, and travel, and live somewhere entirely different, and meet people as I travel.  It doesn’t matter where, really.  Or for how long.  I’ve never been somewhere that I didn’t like in its own unique way.  I dream of far off markets that bustle with the life of a different group of people, museums of art and history where I can wander for hours, and quiet moments shared with friends in front of the ancient and the modern.

T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, Ezra Pound and Henry James were all expatriates from the early twentieth century, when that sort of thing seemed to happen quite frequently.  I’m sure there are thousands more, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.

I feel like all of these famous authors were male, though, which could pose a bit of a problem, but no matter.

I suppose I don’t have to be an expat to be involved in a literary discussion group or salon (in the old French sense), though.  Something like the meetings of the Inklings shouldn’t be something that has become outdated and extinct with the advent of the Internet, modernity, and everything else.  I could still discuss fiction, life, God, the eternal, and writing with people here.  Any takers?

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Read this: just because I’m a little obsessed with Holmes: http://www.online-literature.com/doyle/study_scarlet/