Monday, January 31, 2011

lessons.

quotes of teaching to me that i want to remember from the past week (and before):

"the sins that you are aware of probably only scratch the surface of the depth of your depravity.  your legalism probably blinds you from some of it, as much as you think you're thorough."

"it took God to actually physically remove me from this country to understand that i wasn't desiring him and was replacing him with things of this world."

"God's been guiding man since the beginning of time, so he's pro, and that will never change."

"whom God will use deeply, He will hurt deeply."

"no experience is the same, and different things can be learned from each one."

"i know you're an all or nothing kind of guy, but you can't go from 0 to 100 in a day, as much as you want to.  growth is slow."

"thinking outside of yourself in pain and suffering is one of the hardest thing to do."

"your one biggest desire?  to let everyone know you're the coolest motherfucker there is.  and you have to change that."

"in our lives, we fall into depression.  and we fall deeper into despair because we believe that we need to find our own way out.  we tend to believe that we need to walk alone.  Jesus in all his trials, suffering, and hardships took his walk and was fine, because he knew he was never alone."

"He's what i've been searching for in this world for a while, but it just took me 7 years to find.  it's all in the timing and the where you are."

"i'm gonna pray for the holy spirit to slap you in the face.  get ready, the slap is coming."

Saturday, January 29, 2011

risk.

"the only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

- cs lewis

sadness.

i had the fortune of meeting jason min of miss vintage fame a couple years ago.  he recently came out with a song that made my heart stop a beat.  the song is in the perspective of a wife viewing her husband after she has alzheimer's.  this was just so moving to me, and i've been listening to it for a bit.  it's songs like these that help keep things in an eternal perspective.

hope you guys enjoy.


lyrics:


How do you put on my coat every morning
When I don’t know your name
You rake the leaves while I am sleeping
When I don’t know your name

I don’t know who you are but

Please don’t leave me alone here
‘Cause I’m coming undone
Oh, tell me you’ll stay
When I don’t even know your name

I know you try to be quiet
But I heard you weeping for me
You wear a smile, act like it’s nothing
But I know there’s more

You, I don’t know who you are but

There’s a picture
In the middle of the living room table in black and white
The scene looks familiar
but I just don’t remember this man and his wife

So will you play your guitar
And sing me a love song
When I don’t know your name
When I don’t know your name


Friday, January 28, 2011

difference.

i read a book recently called crazy love by francis chan.  normally, i don't really resonate with books like these, books that seem to pick at one's emotions to try to shock them into action.

it wouldn't be so powerful i suppose without knowing the actual lifestyle of the author.  he wants people to step outside of their lives, and to come to terms with the growing satisfaction of the current status quo of the "american christian" lifestyle, to just tread water and be content with pursuing the typical american dream, and living out christian values whenever it's just convenient.

it illuminated to me a few things.  it convinced me that it was not wrong or prideful to try something different than what everyone else was doing, that people's advice of doing what is stable and proper were just self projections of how they think i should be living life.  to them "godly" life is just maintaining stability and not taking risk, while putting on a good image for others as good "christians".  what "taking a risk" is can mean different things for different people obviously, but for me personally, this difference manifests itself occupationally, because i believe that i am being prepared in that way to eventually be positioned to do something great for His kingdom.  what i'm going through and the struggles that i face i don't quite understand at the moment, but i can only pray that i will eventually have my "owen meany moment" and realize what it has all been for.

it also convicted me of my own contentment with how i am living, and how sinfully i carry on through life not caring, not loving.  it reminded me of the lack of love that i have for others, how i long to have that genuinely but how it has not really manifested for probably over 10 years.  how i have to stop seeking out acceptance from others and put myself out there, to love without expecting anything in return.  because that kind of love is conditional.  i have allowed that kind of love to shape who i am, how i think, and how i respond to others, but i realized that that kind of love only will fail in the end, as people (myself included, as much as i pretend to think i'm not) are ultimately fallible.

but it told me that as long i'm genuinely searching for truth and justice, it will all someday fall into place.

i hope you'll check it out.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

it is now

i always come back to the realization of my introversion.  i am probably going to take somewhat of a personal retreat into the recesses of my mind to draw out what's truly within.  at least, i'll use this snowstorm as a backdrop for such processes.

you find out people's true character when the chips are down and the luck seems to run out.  people become desperate, clamoring for any opportunity they can, and showing what they are willing to sacrifice and what they are not.  what is truly dear to their hearts becomes known by what they decide to throw away in return for what they decide to keep.



four years ago, during a talk, someone's words permanently etched themselves into my brain.  i was asked, "what is your biggest fear?"

i thought for a while and said, "it's to look back at my life at age 40, and regret what i had done with my youth."

that person made me promise that i wouldn't do that.

13 years left to do something.  i always keep my promises.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

today

is the first day

of the rest of my life.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

phonecall.

i remember the day.  friday.  thank god it's friday, huh?  i guess.

it was cloudy.  rainy.  coming back to nyc.  images of the lincoln tunnel and the subsequent 30s street exit signs come to mind.

i was in a black car.  a car service that takes you from the airport to the city.  probably expensive, maybe like 150 bucks or so.  it was ok, i didn't have to pay for it.  it was nice tho.  leather seats.  comfy.  rain droplets building up slowly on the windows.  a darkening afternoon.  i'd like to say there was a cool sunset like streak in the sky somewhere, but the truth is it was probably mostly a mundane boring greyish color.

i held my cellphone.  waiting.  wondering.  wondering when the call would come.  gripping it, flipping it open and close a few times, as if that would bring it to life somehow.  as if it would summon that call to come.

it didn't.  i knew it wouldn't.  i knew it wasn't coming.

things were different.

but i had to put on a happy face for the rest of the day.  pretend i was strong.

mask my disappointment.

forget my acknowledgement of transition.  change.

it was over.

this was the beginning of acceptance.

i couldn't wait for the day to be over.

futility.

"Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick."

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2011/dont-date-a-girl-who-reads/

i want more than just a good time.

more than fine
more than bent on getting by
more than fine
more than just ok.

- switchfoot

Saturday, January 8, 2011

musical magic

amidst the soul searching and adventurous path i took in 2008, i had stumbled upon something which i had not found in a long time.


music.

a girl named priscilla ahn from a town a bit west from philadelphia, decided that instead of going to college, she would instead go to los angeles with nothing but a guitar to pursue her dream.  ok, she probably went with something more than a guitar.  equally compelling was her half korean heritage, and though she probably had a lot of fans from koreans just because she was korean, i thought she was good enough to stand on her own.

after reading several magazine stories and listening to her music, i took it upon myself to drag my then roommate fred to a small radio studio in manhattan where she was doing a small interview and gig.

upon going to the event, i expected a lot of people to be there, but miraculously, it was just me, fred, and probably a few of priscilla's friends and the interview people.  after she performed her songs, which me and fred were around 10-15 feet away for, i had finally understood the concept of Greek mythological Sirens.  i was starstruck, and to top it off, it was an intimate setting where it was almost like we were the only audience.  it was in a word, awesome.  i convinced fred that we needed to take a picture with her before she became super famous and what not.

it would've been great, except i'm freaking awkward, so fml:



her voice alone is surprising, especially when you hear her speak.  she kind of actually sounds like how you would imagine a cali girl to sound, kind of on the ditsy side, etc.  but when she sings, it has this airy quality that i usually find annoying, but she makes it work because there's definite power that she has behind it.  she also is multitalented, playing a variety of instruments, and knows how to work a loop pedal to perfection.  and damn, if a girl lists some of her main influences as radiohead, sufjan stevens, pink floyd, and jeff buckley, you know she's got some taste as well.  i can definitely hear the influences in her music.  as folk music, her lyrics easily paint vivid images of her life and her experiences.

here's illa, doing work:




what got me is that she's around my age, or a little younger.  yet she had the balls to really do what she wanted, to pursue it even amidst the long odds against her, believing in herself fully to be able to take that leap of faith.  i guess that's a factor in what got the wheels turning in my head, a concept that i held onto, that maybe i could do something that great and inspiring with my life as well.

and she's an amazing live performer as well.  listening to her on stage is almost hypnotic, she knows how to really play to her strengths.  it's very good music to really lose yourself in.

my favorite tracks are still "dream", "rain", "wallflower" and "girl in a tree".  you can listen to some of those tracks here.  as she mentions in her blog, she's finishing up a new album soon, and i know i'll be checking it out asap.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

stranger than fiction

some fictionalization:




so, that was it.

"that was it?"

yeah.

"it must be hard, after like half your life, to lose someone you loved."

loved?  well, it's not like she died or anything.  and i don't know about love.  love is such a strong term...i don't know if i've really ever been in love before.

"you loved her."

did i?  that seems almost accusatory there.  (sigh) maybe, if i were to apply some sort of storge love concept to it, then sure, you might be right.  but...i'm not so sure of the eros type...

"it's plain and simple.  you're complicating it too much.  you're just overintellectualizing."

what...no.  am i?  i'm not.  what?  bleh.  meh.  mer.  ber...fine.  fine.  fine.  ok.  well, yeah, of course i am.  how can i admit to love?  if i do that, i admit to everything that will cause me pain and suffering.  i admit that i had something invested.  i admit that i lost that which i invested.  i admit that that worth, that my whole being of self worth, was invested in something stupid, and is now worth nothing.  a net return of -100%.  i admit to being an idiot for doing something so stupid. i admit to the fact that things don't really look that hopeful from this point forward, and that i really only have myself to blame for the stupid place that i find myself in.

"see?  it wouldn't be that hard to forget about if it weren't love.  whether it's some idealized or fantastic version you might have in your head, you loved her.  but your problem is that you keep trying to fit all these definitions that you THINK are independent of any sort of previously held belief onto your concept of love, in order that your philosophy on the matter might be 'higher' than society's.  you're saying, 'hey, it didn't matter to me.' because that way, when it DOES work out down the road, you can be all like, 'see, i didn't ACTUALLY make a mistake there.'"

fine.  bastard.  i loved her.  i goddamn loved her.

"good."

it's just...

"no."

i mean, it's just, that it ended because she changed.  like her whole being changed, abruptly i might add, and so our whole relationship changed.  like in memento, when the wife can't accept that sammy jenkins has that condition because it's all psychological.  it's just like she wants to KNOW for sure that that sammy is gone, so that she can move on.  you know what i mean?

"eh?"

like, if that sammy is gone, she can accept that this is the new sammy and live from there.  but if there's ANY possibility that she could revive the old sammy, get that back, she'll try to do that.  even if it meant forfeiting her life.  it's like i love the old her, and i don't know what happened in between, as if the old her, had just, well you know, died.

"that's a bit morbid."

i know.  well that's what it's like sometimes.  a proper end to grieving demands some sort of closure sometimes.  closure that i wish i could say that i had.

"i'm sorry."

why are you sorry, you didn't do anything.  that always puzzled me, and it's probably been said before, but it seems like that phrase needs changing, "i'm sorry for you."  maybe something like..."i am trying to be as empathetic as possible towards your circumstance."

"stop being an intellectual idiot."

i'm sorry...i mean, i am trying...wait i guess it doesn't really work there.

"stop being an idiot."

yeah.  okay.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

elihu pwns job

something that convicted me recently.


job 35 (esv)

And Elihu answered and said:

"Do you think this to be just?  Do you say, 'it is my right before God,' that you ask, 'What advantage have I?  How am I better off than if I had sinned?'  I will answer you and your friends with you.  Look at the heavens and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.  If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?  And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?  If you are righteous, what do you give to him?  Or what does he receive from your hand?

Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself, and your righteousness a son of man.

Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out; they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.  But none says, 'Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?'

There they cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride of evil men.  Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it.  How much less when you say that you do not see him, that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!

And now, because his anger does not punish, and he does not take much note of transgression, Job opens his mouth in empty talk; he multiplies words without knowledge."