Monthly Archives: December 2011

This ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race

I’m sure most of you recognize the title as a song from Fallout Boy…well we will get to why in a moment.

First I need to talk about dreams. I believe that dreams have power. I believe they tell us things. Things about ourselves that maybe we don’t know yet, things about our world we don’t notice consciously, and things we want but don’t see why. In short, oftentimes they answer questions we haven’t asked yet. Now whether dreams come from some higher power, or our own subconscious is up to speculation, but regardless they tell us things.

As I am sure you can guess, I had a dream. And I have been trying to figure out what it means all day.

It started off with me leading a group of my loved ones through a city, trying to get us out as fast as possible. I never thought of what the danger actually was, I was so focused on getting us to the countryside. The next thing I can recall is meeting my dad with the group in front of a lake and he had all these supplies. Well we gathered them up and went on, making camp after hiking for a while and beating back a lake monster. And after camp was set up I saw my dad standing a little apart, so I went to talk to him. He just looked me in the eye and said “It’s time to live up to those words now.” “What words?” I asked a bit confused. And he replied “This ain’t a scene, its a g__ d___ arms race” and I woke up.

This has been going around and around in my head all day. What does it mean?

In the song, they are talking about how life is all about making money, not providing comfort, or making someone’s life better, or anything besides making money. (“I am an arms dealer, selling you weapons in the form of words, I don’t care which side wins, as long as the room keeps singing, that’s just the business I am in”)

Kind of makes you think about how we feel like bands are speaking to us, and how much music can affect someone but really it’s just about making money, not changing lives.

Unfortunately, that seems what the world is like these days. Oddly enough, I have always felt like I was meant to change the world. I guess that is arrogant, or prideful, but it’s always been a truth to me not a question. After all, that is what gave me faith in my plan to graduate college, and why my world was shattered when I failed out the first time. I remember have a long conversation with my junior high youth group leader about how I wanted to program computer games, and my desire to change the world through my games. We talked about all kinds of Christian friendly games I could make (it was church after all) and he shared my faith in myself and my plan.

Somewhere along the way I have lost that faith in myself.

I remember telling someone that it was easier to endure difficulty when I had someone else in my life to work for…when I was working towards a goal. It seemed like everything cleared up, and became so simple and easy…when I had a clear path instead of slogging through the muck. I guess what I need…what my dream was trying to say is that I need to find that level of motivation by myself, for myself, and not for someone else. I need to stop settling for good enough and start reaching for my greatness before too long because “this ain’t a scene, it’s an arms race.”

Halfway Down the Stairs…

Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
other stair
quite like
it.
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead!

Now, if you are like me that poem by A. A. Milne sparks a lot of thoughts. Things like:

How often do we try and actually make it to the “top” of the stairs? Or do we just settle for the middle?

How nice would it be to actually have a place that’s not really anywhere just to stop and chill for a while? 

Can someone really be nowhere? Especially since we imbue objects with purpose, surely where we are is somewhere. 

Today, however I was really wishing for this place. Some place I could just go, and take a deep breath and calm myself. I talked to my boss today and he was very understanding, but I guess I just didn’t realize how much pressure I have been under from my family. I took this job at Boomtown because I felt like I had too. And it’s not a bad job by any means, but it’s about as far from what I want to do as you can get and I felt like I was trapped. And I am pretty sure that’s why I have been so sick the past few days…the stress from everything was just boiling over and making me physically ill. It certainly hasn’t been fun…

So I don’t know exactly what I will do yet, but I just can’t take this pressure.

So I leave you with two videos:

 

Christmas, Faith, and the Weird Stuff

So, time for another blog…it seems like I wait until my mental cup is overflowing and then get it out in a single cleansing purge…but so here goes nothing.

Someone on my Facebook today mentioned that she asked a little boy if he was ready for Christmas and he said he hadn’t told Santa but it was okay because he would know what he wanted anyway. She seemed kind of bothered that this little boy apparently decided Santa was omniscient, but she has no problem believing in God.

Here are my thoughts, which granted are the thoughts of an agnostic deist so they certainly won’t be Christian. Christmas is about so much more than Jesus Christ. If that was all it was about why would a non-Christian celebrate it? Just to give gifts or put themselves in debt? No. It has become a secular holiday as well, and represents family coming together and spending quality time. It represents a renewal of the bonds of love and friendship that hold people together. Now to Christians obviously it means something more. But Santa does not represent some BIG EVIL degradation of Christmas, and this is why.

Santa (as well as all those other silly things kids believe in like the Easter Bunny) teaches kids how to have faith. If you sit your child down and tell him or her “It’s silly to believe in Santa, can you prove he exists?” how can you expect them to believe in a God who they cannot prove the existence of? Kids believe in the magic of the world because they want to. They have an undying faith that the world is good, amazing, and magical. Yes, we live in a world of harsh realities and hard truths, but that just makes that magic period of childhood so much more important. The concept of God is something full grown adults struggle with, and we have to learn how to have faith before we can truly attain it.

Because I’m going to tell it straight out: A man who delivers elven crafted toys around the world in a single night, riding a sleigh with flying reindeer that must fly faster than the speed of light, who also lives at the North Pole, is much easier to believe than the concept of an omnipotent being that exists outside time and space and created us all.

And now for something completely different.

Well two things really.

The first is another Facebook post from one of my friends about how when she was a kid she always figured she would be normal when she grew up. This got me to thinking…I was the same way. When I was a child, I didn’t relate well to others. It seemed like I was about three steps ahead of most of the people around me which was probably a result of my mother not putting me in gifted classes in kindergarten, for which I am grateful for the social skills I did develop. I am, and always have been an introvert. As a general rule, I don’t talk to strangers, and sometimes I don’t even talk to people I know when I seem them in every day settings. The friends I have made are more like family to me, brothers and sisters who chose each other…which is also an oddity of my life and something else that sets me apart. There are a laundry list of things I could natter on about, but you get the point…I am FAR from “normal”.

But I have to ask you this…who really wants to be?

Most people do, but not because they are unhappy with themselves or their weirdness. It’s more like they don’t want to be the ugly duckling, or the black sheep. But what we’ve got to realize is there aren’t any pretty ducks, or white sheep. Everyone who is so called “normal” is just hiding their weirdness. They aren’t as open or comfortable about it, or it’s not something that comes up in every day conversation.

In this scenario, “normal” is cake.

And as we know…the cake is always a lie!

 

Happy Holidays,

CG