Breakfast: Warmed blueberries and strawberries, grilled avocado on French bread, topped with honey and cinnamon, coffee with Baileys creamer
My real life.
Just finished yelling at my mother on the phone for neglecting to tell me until after that fact that my father spent three days in the hospital unexpectedly last week because she ‘just didn’t think of it.’
For anyone who has ever suspected that I struggle with interpersonal communication and emotional skills: meet the Deans.
Perhaps the most terrible thing about me is that when it finally happens, as devastated as I will be, I’ll also be relieved.
There aren’t words for the exhaustion that comes with always waiting and knowing it’s coming.
I struggle a lot with guilt. It’s probably merited.
"I am still thinking about you
I know we just talked, but not for too long really. I miss you Caitlin. You are an important part of my life, and I don’t want that to change. So I’m going to try and stay in your life as much as I can. So, if I can’t call, I’ll send messages. You have my heart. You got me fair and square and you continue to have me. I just want you to know that."
It’s okay if you completely disagree with my religious views.
It’s not okay if you go out of your way to compare my beliefs to unicorns and numerology every time I use Facebook to share something pertaining to my faith.
For one thing, if you can see said post, you’re allegedly my friend. I already know we disagree. It seems awfully socially ignorant and inconsiderate to go so far out of your way to bash my beliefs on my own page several times in a week.
…So I put the offender on a restricted list. Turn the other cheek? Sure. But I’m also not going to sit idly by and let someone berate my faith, not to mention individually attack other friends who’ve commented positively on such posts. I share articles and verses to encourage, to engage, to build community with my family in Christ. Discussion is one thing. Insulting and name-calling is something else entirely. The world has enough of that. It’s not what I need on my own social media page.
Just like politics, if you can’t hold a civil conversation, one where you’re actually open to both parties politely discussing and learning and listening, there’s no place for your conversation with me. I want to grow and be challenged in my faith, and that happens through educated discussion. I’m open and interested in listening—if you actually have something worthwhile to discuss rather than blatant disregard and insults. I’d appreciate if you behaved in kind.
And now I’m done with Tumblr posts regarding my Facebook/religion. I’m irritated with myself that I’ve been so bothered by a few individuals lately. But pointing a finger at someone and telling them they’re wrong (and, in more words, an idiot) isn’t exactly an effective way of fostering discussion or growth—particularly not with people you consider ‘friends.’ I’m often perplexed by the lack of tact on the internet, with strangers or with acquaintances. In the last few years, mostly in my work place, I’ve been similarly disappointed in the way I hear some individuals talk about Christianity. I don’t expect everyone to believe what I do. But I do expect my coworkers (all of whom I consider friends) to respect me and my intelligence. I never know what to say when I encounter my own friends talking about how dumb Christians are because they ‘believe in unicorns’ or whatever the current fad insult is. Do those people not know what I believe? Have I done that poorly a job of living my faith? Or do they really think I’m that stupid?
Maybe I made a mistake sharing the first C.S. Lewis quote that I did. Out of context, it seemed harsher than I meant it to.
'If you are a Christian you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong all through. If you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the whole word is simply one huge mistake. If you are a Christian, you are free to think that all these religions, even the queerest one, contain at least some hint of the truth.'
One friend said I wasn’t very humble. That has stayed with me and made my heart hurt. It’s a conclusion so far removed from why I shared that quote. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, not in the slightest. It wasn’t about being better. It was about the biggest divide in religious thought: what causes our innate sense of right and wrong? How can anyone claim a sense of morality without attributing it to something greater? Lewis took a lot of steps to arrive at this conclusion; even typing this comparatively short explanation, I’m sure I’ll offend someone by making such a vast leap from morality to higher authority. I promise, there’s much more to his reasoning. You should read Mere Christianity. Lewis is much smarter than I’ll ever be, and certainly more eloquent and logical.
I should have included the next bit, too.
'When I was an atheist I had to try to persuade myself that most of the human race have always been wrong about the question that mattered to them most; when I became a Christian I was able to take a more liberal view. But, of course, being a Christian does mean thinking that where Christianity differs from other religions, Christianity is right and they are wrong. As in arithmetic - there is only one right answer to a sum, and all other answers are wrong: but some of the wrong answers are much nearer being right than others.'
I wanted to encourage other Christians. To remind them that, even in a world of divided religions and so many proclaiming to know the truth, there is common ground. I wanted others to experience the logic and thought process C.S Lewis adheres to. I should have shared the whole chapter leading up to this conclusion, or shared nothing at all.
Sometimes I don’t know the right words to explain why I believe what I do. Sometimes I don’t have enough courage to tell those friends that they’ve hurt me, in more ways than I could ever list. I’m okay with others not believing exactly the same things that I do. It doesn’t make me love or respect those friends any less. But it has certainly felt lately like it changes the way they see me.
I haven’t had much to say in months
But last night we laughed for hours.
You unbegrudgingly accompanied me to the grocery store. We rode the cart down empty aisles, giggling and scrutinizing every item before tossing each one haphazardly into the cart. Strangers’ eyes bore into us, amusement, longing, disapproval swimming through their gazes.
We wove our fingers together by bath towels at Target, then spent 10 minutes comparing photo frames for a white elephant gift.
Now, your fingers rest motionless against my knee, your breathing steady and slow, your mind dancing quietly away from a busy weekend.
We have been lighter, gentler, kinder.
Where had this part of us gone?
OMG e e cummings wuz the father of modern junior high-style txting lol omg
English, Rochester College
Why are so many individuals incapable of seeing something on the internet they don’t agree with and just…leaving it alone?
Seriously. Let me post something thought-provoking and encouraging to my Facebook without spewing your unkind comments all over it.
Having a surreal moment
Thanks to Facebook.
Looking through an ex-boyfriend’s old profile pictures, remembering which ones I took of him, as his girlfriend, and, for years before that, as his best friend. Seeing the gaps between uploaded photos where he deleted shots that included me. The ridiculous photo that I uploaded for him one night over winter break, when he let me goof around on his profile to try to cheer me up. I’d been quiet all night, practically in tears, admitting that the relationship I’d just ended had been filled with emotional abuse for over a year.
How can you know so much of someone’s life, be so much of someone’s life, and then one day, not know anything about them at all?
No one else has ever felt as comfortable and simple. It’s never been so easy as it was then. My whole life since has been an endless string of over-thinking and questioning.
My memory is sloppy. Some details, it preserves pristinely. Others, it pushes away. The ones it keeps seem irrelevant most of the time. The t-shirt I was wearing when E. told me he’d cheated on me. The cereal I ate for breakfast on the first day of sixth grade. The smell of B.’s cologne on a date night. The first time I had my blood drawn. Things like my license plate number or what kind of cancer my dad had, well, those things are mostly a mystery to me.
But the phone call where I rode my bike and asked him to come back to Kansas City for the summer? Reading my senior capstone paper, all 20 pages of it, to him over the phone? Watching Superbad for the first time in his bedroom, both of us sniffly with colds? Those stupid, useless, unimportant scraps of my past still haunt me.
I wish my priorities were straighter.
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost."
Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via oliviacirce)
When I lose hope in the world, I remember this poem.