Thursday, March 23, 2006

a longy: a funny feeling about big G's something.
so, i'm actively (semi-)particpating in Lent, trying to hold my tongue when instinct says to say something nasto. we'll check in about that later. [i was really good week one and two, then blew it this last week. i'm only huuuuu-man, of flesh and blood i'm maa-aade... p.s., i guess we just checked in.]

so all this pseudo-faith think has stirred something inside me, and even though i am not a catholic by sheer politics-alone, i am a cathlo by family/lineage/history, so sometimes i hunger for some type of service. a check-in. alright, i'll say it, a mass - like, a pipe organ, holy water, and incensetown. even though it's not "me", i haven't found anything better for a formal engagement. i am generally comfortable with where my heart alone stands with the world and what i think on it, how i strive to be good, all those things, but sometimes i just want something tangible. just saying that bugs me, because i don't believe that's where the magic is more than anywhere else, just like i don't believe visiting a cemetary will help you high-five your lost.

several off-shoots to these thoughts...

i have a friend who believes that people who are happy are dumb. it is evident in the way he lives his life, the way he holds people at a distance, the judgement that's there about people i usually like to hang around. since he's chosen to live his life a certain way, he thinks that people who live glass-half-full are naive and transparent and unthoughtful. [this point will come into play in a second.] i hope that i am a constantly questioning, thoughtful person, and one who's been through some things; i believe that being cautiously optimistic is healthy, hard, and for me, simply unfalse. so, his way of thought (though accurate like many things are at least some-of-the-time) is not the way i choose to live my life, because for me - that's a sad way to live my life.

i went to church on sunday the 12th. i went by myself. i dipped my fingers in water by the door, sign-of-the-cross-ed, then immediately noticed how that LogIn with G made me feel sad. weird. throughout my life, i've had formal and informal talks with something - and the face of that thing has been everchanging. when i was younger, it was man-with-beard; during angry times it was a faceless, shapeless being; sometimes it's just been with the best version of me; right now, it's with nothing (or everything) -a force. force of light, good, it, whatever. whatever.

i noticed something in me present itself as i watched people around participate in this mass - and that thing, besides a shade of reverence, was sheer sarcasm. like the friend i have that doubts a person's IQ/EQ by how emphatically they embrace the day to day, i found myself judging the people around me for simply believing. what the hell? i mean, i don't feel like that. just because i'm not fully on-board doesn't mean that i think people are assholes for believing. i know that the me-est me doesn't feel like that - but where does that instinct of cynicism come from?

just like my friend who recoils at happsters, maybe iiii think there's an element of disconnect one has to do in order to have faith. well, faith like that. ...and because you can't know, you just CAN'T KNOW, have i unintentionally judged those who choose to wish there is?

and, here's where it ties into many of us do: maybe there's something about being "funny" that makes you unable to completely buy into anything all the way. that could be a sign of our generation as well... and for comedians, i mean, it's everything. the best at comedy, in my opinion, are those who truly observe the world around them as well as they are able, and if you become someone who "BELIEVES", or someone who LOVES People Magazine!, or someone who goes to John Barleycorn's, or someone who someone who someone who - you are one of them, one of something else, one of the masses, one of those you are supposed to observe. how can you provide a true critique on something that you, yourself, Are?

do you just continue to be anyway?
do we need to ultimately categorize ourselves in order to "get it"?
is it weird that part of me wants to be a faction a group that feels such conviction, while simultaneously thinking that some and their blind faith is exactly that - blind?

what do you think?

i mean, i just don't know.
see you guys in Philo tomorrow.

Ethan "Before Sunrise" Hawke


Blogger Tyler said...

I feel the same way sometimes. I'm from Virginia, so I think it's my good ol' Southern instinct to just judge people who like things that I don't like ("Oh, you've seen Dave Matthews Band in concert five times? That's just nice.") I also grew up Episcopalian, so I don't really understand the concept of religion as anything other than a hobby.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Brandi. said...

Your post has sparked a bunch in me. I'll try and hit them right.

The whole comedy observer thing. It's ironic because, on stage, the best work comes from just being whatever/whoever you are playing. Yet in life you're just supposed to observe? Not let yourself feel it all the way?

I struggled with this when I was a journalist. Both being and not simultaneously. It led me down a sad path where I only half-participated in life. Not half like I'd sandbag a thing if I was in it, but do something really really hard, then do nothing for awhile. Part exhaustion, part trying to even it out.

Only after pulling away for awhile, from both journalism and performance, did I realize there's more to it. It makes me happier and more me for sure to be. Which means there's a lot of complication. I read The New Yorker, but I also check out the online pictures of People magazine. I love learning but have quit school. I try and treat others the way I want to be treated but sometimes make fun of people for no reason. I don't like bars. I'm religious, but also smart.

I feel like there is a G-d judgement and that it goes hand in hand with the happy judgement. I've seen it and I don't like it. One of the things I've always liked about you is your attitude. It reminds me to have a good attitude. I was friends with a girl who was really negative and everytime I was around her it would make me unhappy. Finally, I realized it was outlook thing. Seeing the world as an awesome place is more true for me. I think, like with the G-d thing, how easy it could be to make a judgement that this kind of outlook is naive. There's so much horror in the world, how could it be awesome? I believe that the horror in the world is horrific--there's no denying that. But, I think we can do our part to make it better. And I choose to celebrate those things rather than feel moved to inaction by everything bad (cause that's what happens to me if I look at the glass the other way).

There's a Jewish tradition called tikun olam. It means repairing the world. The idea behind it is that G-d poured Himself into vessels as He was creating the world but the vessels couldn't hold him so they broke. This leads to the question of it's G-d, wouldn't He know the vessels wouldn't be strong enough? Why wouldn't He just make stronger vessels? In any case, the world has tiny pieces of G-d scattered all over it and in each of us. It's our task to find these pieces and bring them together, reuniting and repairing the world.

I like this because it helps me feel stronger in my faith (I'm a peep), but even more than that, it helps remind me that my outlook is a good thing, even though I'm sometimes in the minority.

By the way, I've always thought Lent is so cool because it gives you the time to reflect on something by giving it up. It's part of the reason I keep a very very relaxed form of Kosher. It gives me the ability to think about things that I would otherwise do almost unconsciously. The symbollism helps.

Thanks for letting me write a novella over here in your comment field. It's been something I've been thinking about too and your words finally helped me put the last pieces together.

11:41 AM  
Blogger tara d. said...

you guys, thanks for writing.

brandi, what a insightful post. i love everything you wrote about, and think it's awesome that you talked through it here.

something that really resonates with me is a., the stressors you noted about juxtaposition of everything we're capable of being, and b., the uber-cool statement of saying how you won't be moved to inaction by everything bad. what a clear, succinct way of noting why positivity is a wonderful thing, that it is a ever-challenging choice to make, everyday. to me, it is the hardest and most rewarding way to live.

i really appreciate you talking here.

hey, by the way - isn't sader soon?

1:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Counter
Web Site Counter
« chicago blogs »
<-- ? In MY Opinion # -->