searching

I went to a concert tonight with Jeff. The Dear Hunter played, and then they performed as the backing band for Anthony Green. It made me really sad to hear Anthony Green. He is a very lost and struggling man. There was so much pain in the room. Maybe I’m a little hypersensitive at the moment, but I just suddenly realized how lost and scared and confused all of these people were. There are so many people searching for anything with any sort of meaning and falling completely flat on their faces. I feel like one benefit of the current state of our postmodern society is that there’s a real lack of false substance in the world. It isn’t like that everywhere, but I know that as I looked around the room tonight, there were a lot of lost people trying to find meaning and knowing they were all just pretending to have found it. That angry emo teenage stuff we remember seeing around in high school is matured now. It’s a lot more than a phase for a lot of people. The advantage here is that I think in this group of people, everyone is a lot more desperate and they know that what they are trying to be satisfied with is completely failing them. That’s dangerous, but it’s also a huge opportunity for God to really move in peoples’ lives. Anthony Green was like a 7 year old throwing a tantrum on stage. That description fits his stage presence, his singing, and really his music in general. He’s a 30 year old emo high schooler. And he lives for his fans. That’s not a safe thing to live for. Some of you may have seen the quote I posted on Facebook the other day, C. S. Lewis said “Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose.” I can’t imagine the pressure he must feel, hoping he doesn’t disappoint people. The scraps of self-deprecating¬†humor he tossed out had far too much belief behind them. When he thanked the crowd for their applause, there was far too much relief and vulnerability in his voice.

 

Just had to get all this out, lots to think about. There are a lot of lost people out there. I know I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve got one big one, and everything else depends on that.

opportunity

For a collection of reasons I won’t get in to, I feel like God has carefully engineered my current situation to get my attention on Him. This is alternately extremely frustrating and exciting. I suspect I will end up sharing bits of this here on my blog in the coming weeks/months/years or however long I keep using this blog.

I’ve been waking up several hours before my alarm for the last few weeks. When this happens, I end up completely wide awake for a long period of time. I’ve been trying to just stick it out and lay in bed when this happens. The last couple days, though, I’ve decided to use that time to read my Bible, even just for a little bit. In the past, I’ve always read my Bible before bed. It’s easier for me to keep that as a habit. The last few days, though, have been extremely productive for me, and I know God is showing me new things in this time. I also generally need at least 8 hours of sleep to not be dead tired all day, but I’ve been getting far less than that and so far it hasn’t bothered me. I hope to make this my new routine. We’ll see how it goes.

memo

i cried this morning. im getting a late start to my day because i think i need to put some more words out there. it’s not something i’ve ever been terribly good at or comfortable with. i think part of the reason for that is also the reason i’m writing this.

ray bradbury died. i know it was two weeks ago, but it didn’t hit me until this morning as i listened to neil gaiman read a short story he wrote about him (http://soundcloud.com/neilgaiman/the-man-who-forgot-ray-bradbury). i’ve always thought it was more than a bit ridiculous for people to get emotional about the deaths of celebrities they didn’t know at all. i guess i’ve never connected with a celebrity like this before ray bradbury. in explanation, i think part of the reason i’ve never been comfortable putting my words down for people to see is that ray had the words i didn’t. not just the ones i wanted, but the words i didn’t know were there.

for those of you who haven’t read any of his stories but fahrenheit 451, you don’t know ray bradbury. you simply must read more. you owe it to yourself, to ray, and to humanity.

i don’t expect this blog post to be a proper memorial to how i feel about him, so i titled it “memo” instead. that seemed a bit closer to what i feel capable of. i mean, i’ve always had a big imagination. i’m kind of a dreamer. okay, “kind of” doesn’t do it justice, i’m a dreamer. i don’t mean just in daydreams or night dreams. all of my thoughts are dreams, really. there’s sort of a grandiosity of beauty that characterizes the things i imagine. i can’t explain it without sounding pompous, like i’m bragging or something. i promise i’m not. i’m just trying to describe it for you. i guess you might call it the justice of beauty. there is a proper rightness to the beauty of existence that i imagine in everything. and i saw that in what ray bradbury wrote. i feel like i owe him thanks for giving his words to my dreams, for showing me that these kinds of things can be expressed with words, even if i’m not the one who can do it. additionally, i owe him thanks for writing stories that are more real on paper than they even could be in my head. usually as you read, your imagination picks you up and fills in all of the things between the lines that isn’t written down; a picture is worth a thousand words, and your mind makes that picture for you if you aren’t given one. i think bradbury is the exception to this saying. i think any story of bradbury’s is worth at least a thousand pictures per word. your mind doesn’t fill in between the lines. there’s no room between the lines for your own pictures. his pictures are already there. he says more than the words he writes account for.

i’ll leave you with that, then. if you are looking for something to read, i think summer is a great time to read “dandelion wine.” if you want something heavier, try “the martian chronicles.” if you want to read the only book that has left me shaking, sweating, and terrified (in my high school spanish class, where i was supposed to be paying attention, not reading a book), try “something wicked this way comes.” maybe it’s just me. maybe you won’t get from these books what i did. in any case, i’m sure it will be worth your time.

another step or two in the right direction

I”m finally getting the rest of my stuff put into my apartment this weekend. My brother Tom is graduating from Bethel and my parents are coming up with the trailer full of my stuff. I’ll get my stuff moved in and then he will pack his stuff up in the trailer. I can’t wait to not be sleeping on an air mattress anymore.

I’m gonna be seeing some of the guys I went to Bethel with tonight. I haven’t seen most of them for a couple years, so that should be fun.

I got some swimming goggles. I’m going to be swimming at the gym with Jeff whenever he goes now. I really need the exercise, last time I was there, I was embarrassed at my lack of endurance. The summer after high school, when I was a lifeguard, I don’t know what my “limit” was, but I once swam a mile and a half. When I went to the gym on… Tuesday? I swam a length and a half, and then I had to stop because I was out of breath. I have lots of room for improvement.

minnesota bound

I’m heading north later today. My cat, my clothing, and I are setting out to camp out in my mostly empty room for a week until next weekend, when my dad will bring up the trailer with all of my stuff in it. My brother Tom graduates next weekend so I will unpack my stuff, then his stuff will be packed up and hauled back to Iowa. This week, then, is going to be a little less than comfortable as I make do with no bed or furniture. Fortunately, my roommate Jeff is already moved in, so the apartment has furniture. It’s only my room that is empty. I have to figure out if I can fit all of my stuff in my room and what things I’ll have to not keep around. I hope to fit my couch in my room, but that’s probably going to be one of the first things to go.

Jeff is marinating a steak for supper. That will be good.

My cat is going to have to learn to get along with Jeff’s cat. That will be interesting.

I’m not so good at making these blog posts worth reading. I’m going to have to work on that. I will improve or quit. I promise.

Beginnings

I’m moving back to Minnesota this Friday. I’m currently in Iowa, visiting for a while before I move north. I haven’t been here since Christmas, and it’s really great to be back.¬†

While I’m not technically done at Purdue, I did pass my thesis defense. This means I’m only bound to finish my thesis and turn it in, pending the approval of my committee. I’m also going to be writing a few papers, though, so there is more to be done this summer. Regardless, I’m translocating to New Brighton to finish my work remotely. I will sorely miss my good friends of the last two years and the wonderful coffee served at Greyhouse. If you ever find yourself within a hundred miles of West Lafayette, Indiana, you should detour and get some coffee there. You won’t regret it. Fortunately, the same technology that allows me to finish my work remotely also allows me to stay in touch with my friends. I can’t say the same for the coffee.

I’m excited to be moving back to MN. It’s going to be good, and I plan on having many exciting and enjoyable times. I’ll be living with Jeff, my former roommate from my years at Bethel. We do well as roommates. I had a few analogies to describe how we work together, but one was odd and sappy and the other was amusing and slightly insulting. I decided not to use either of these. Finding a good analogy is difficult; it’s like…