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Archive for December, 2007

wondering

One of my greatest flaws is caring too much what other people think of me, especially friends. Specifically, I have a few friends have a great deal of sway in my life, regardless of rhyme, reason or how emotionally healthy it is (or isn’t). One of said friends broke off communication with me this spring in regards to my personal and emotional issues. I can’t say I blame them, honestly. Sometimes I’m a writhing mass of intense and strange feelings that I can’t manage, let alone someone else. I can’t say I was particularly happy about. In fact, I was down right crushed. To be honest, I still am, somewhat.

She finds fault in how I need words of affirmation. I as much as I try to cope with this, it’s impossible for me. I need something, anything to tell me someone has some sort of affection for me in return. Often, I feel like I give a great deal to some my friendships and receive little back. Could it be too much to ask for someone to say something positive to assure me that I am wanted? Or is that only feeding my need for acceptance from others?
I have this same problem with my relationship with God. I feel like He’s silent far more than He is a roll of thunder. I know this means I need to readjust my antenna, that God is broadcasting on a frequency that I am not tuned into. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do that. I’m probably too busy waiting for a friend to assure me that I have worth to them.

God speaks in so many different ways to us, but most commonly, I always pick up the frequencies found in the Bible and in nature. However, in winter, I rarely find God’s majesty and love in muddy grass, gray clouds and short days. So I only have the Bible to search for God’s words of affirmation to me. Even now, as I use convenient websites to help me locate a verse that pertains to my situation, I can find nothing.

It is my prayer everyday that God will show me, and the entire world, how much he loves us. I miss Him when I can’t hear it.

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Waitress

I’ve always had the old adage, “write what you know” stuffed into my face. Or, those grating people who say “Ooh, do I have a story for you!” Of course, the stories are rarely all that fantastic and never match up with my own personal vision. Which brings to one of the reasons why I love writing: Everyone has a story. Everyone. It’s all in the matter of telling , getting it out.

The 2007 movie Waitress is one of those little, quiet, personal stories. The movie focuses on unhappily married, pregnant waitress, master pie baker Jenna. For many months now she’s been quietly planning her escape from her smothering husband…until she discovers the unplanned pregnancy.

Sounds like every little misguided and sad woman, doesn’t it? Well, the writer and director, Adrienne Shelley (who was unfortunately murdered before her movie premiered), made sure it wasn’t. The little nuances (the song Jenna’s mother sang to her, her unlikely friendship with the owner of the diner, played by Andy Griffith, the little, extremely personal letters she wrote to her developing baby) created something so real, so credible, it might as well have been nonfiction.

In a way, it was. Just as one of the archetypal characters is “everyman” Jenna is everywoman. She embodies the hope for a better life, a good life, we all strive for, the ever illusive American Dream. She represents that, yes, there is still a gender gap, whether we all want to admit it or not. And it was all done without being preachy. There was no soap box. Only the journey of a young woman in search of something better.

No, Waitress isn’t a masterpiece, but it is a quiet, beautiful, fun little movie. I highly recommend it to all who want to send a cold afternoon in with a warm story. While your at it, think about your own story. It doesn’t have to reflect your life’s events. But I truly believe that all fiction holds within some aspect of the author’s truth.

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what words can describe
you enough to be worthy?
 you who wash me away and
and never leave me?
Merry Christmas 
(photo credit: Square America)

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less than three

Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Sometimes I’m astounded by the wisdom I find in some of the world’s greatest people. It’s almost like he had foresight into today. Or, it’s just that the human race has learned little over these decades?

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do not want

My love, though silly, is more brave ;
For may I miss, whene’er I crave,
If I know yet what I would have.

-from “Negative Love” by John Donne

 A few days ago, my mother and I ran into a boy, Zach, who’s a friend of my cousin, Sam (the closest thing to a brother I have). Zach has been Sam’s friend since middle school and is a groomsman in the same wedding I am a bridesmaid. Zach also happens to be my sister’s ex-boyfriend.

Zach and Kelly haven’t dated for years now, but my mother still clings to the idea of Zach being “a good boy.” I wouldn’t say he’s a “good boy” but more of an “okay boy”. My mother can’t seem to comprehend this idea. “But Brianna!” she nearly begs me, “He’s such a nice boy! I know why Kelly won’t date him. Why won’t you try? He’d be good to you!”

I tried to explain to my dear mother that I have very important and distinct characteristics for dating (which I won’t bore you with). Why should I waste my time being in a relationship with someone who 1) I’m not compatible with both in temperament and more importantly, morally, politically and intellectually, 2) doesn’t share any interests with me, and 3) I do not find attractive (on both a physical and emotional level) just so I can say I’m dating someone?

I am part of many online communities where I meet people who are literally obsessed with being single. Or they are obsessed with being alone. They date people they know are not good for them. They hook up with random people in bars. They stay with people who hurt them emotionally. People use sex as a way to fill a hole within them, to desperately affirm that they have some connection in this disconnected world. I worry about the friends and acquaintances I meet there. Has eros love and romance just broken down to a commodity we “need”, like water, just to get by in a distant and cold world? By all accounts, I think it has, for many, many people.

My mother just wouldn’t drop the topic, even hours later. “Brianna, you’re going to have to lower your expectations sooner or later or you’ll be alone the rest of your life!”

This seems insane to me! Why would I set myself up for heartbreak and conflict by lowering my standards and being with someone just to experience the commodity of eros  love (the old adage is true: sex sells)? Yes, I understand that every relationship is a compromise within itself, but why should I compromise what I feel like I need as a person just so I’m not “alone”?  Does everyone do this? Is this the dirty little secret of marriage? Did everyone lower their standards just so they could fulfill a biological imperative?

I have said many times before that I feel like I’ll never get married or have children. And you know what? I am more than fine with that. These last couple years have opened my eyes to worth I possess with out anyone else attached. I don’t believe I was made just to compliment someone else. I was made to have my own life, to bring something completely different to this world that has never been here before. That blows my mind every time I think about it. Each and every single one of us have never, ever been made before. We are new. The whole world has never seen a person quite like us.

Maybe I am made to have a “better half”. I’m alright with that But if I don’t, it’s okay. Not ever experiencing a physical, sexual love? Sounds okay to me. Because of the commodifiction of sex and “closeness”, people probably think this is crazy. Am I crazy? I don’t think so. No one has ever died because they haven’t had sex.

Am I the only one in this world who is alright with this possibility? Well, I’m not the only one but sometime I feel like it, especially among Christians. I know God said “Go forth and multiply.” But does God have multiplication as an operation in my equation? (AHAHHA sorry, worst play words ever!)

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And now for something completely different: musings on modern art. Oh God. I know. Just hang in there. We’ll get back to movies and writing tomorrow.

I recently signed up for Stumble Upon, (if you don’t know already) a free program built into your browser that takes your interests into account and brings you to randomly selected websites. It also sets you up with a blog to talk about your discoveries. My blog is here. Anyway, through stumble upon, I have really been milking the web for all it’s worth. It’s taken me to throughly interesting and intelligent websites I would have never thought to go to myself.

untitled by Robert Gober

Tonight, I was taken to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Making Sense of Modern Art” program. At first glance, I was going to click the stumble! button and pass over this website, but on a whim, I entered the program and have been blown away. I’m not even 100% through the first part of the presentation and I already understand and appreciate modern art in a whole new way. Not to say I was ever one of those people who grumble “What’s so special about some splats of paint on a canvas?!”, but I’m certainly not an art expert, or even an art student.The program starts out slow, introducing us to the basic foundations of understanding all art: definitions of style, understanding how art changes society and how society changes art and how artist’s personal histories and perspectives influence their art. And that’s just the first of three other sections (artists in context and comparisons across time being the others)!

What really grabbed me was artist Robert Gober and his affinity for sinks. Yes. Sinks. That little fixture we use every day of our lives. Simple enough. So what in the hell does it mean, hanging a sink on the wall?

To understand the sink pieces, you almost have to have some insight into the artist’s world view and history. Gober, during the time he created the series of sink sculptures, was a young gay man, watching as AIDS destroyed many of his peers (sfmoma.org). In the artist’s words: “[I remember] standing in front of sinks, spending a lot of time washing your hands, and washing and cleaning, and not having it do any good.” Thus, the obsession with sinks. Yeah, I wouldn’t have gotten it without the commentary from the SFMoMA, either.

I found this piece, untitled (I wish people would put titles on their art!) especially killing after I read about the artist’s perspective, which I would have otherwise found completely ridiculous. I’ll let you have your own interpretations.

In general, I think modern art gets a bad wrap for being “ugly”, “pointless” and “artsy-fartsy”. And maybe it is. But I think when we make these snap judgments, we are forgetting what one of the overarching purposes of art: Expression. And God knows when I’m expressing my sadness through emotions, with fat, wet, juggernaut tears, bright red dots popping up all over my flesh, ribbons of snot fleeing my nose, it’s in no way pretty.

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God Hates The World music video

I felt like crying when I saw this. Not because I suddenly realized that I was GOING TO THE FIREY DEPTHS but because these people are systematically undermining EVERYTHING Jesus taught us.

Luke 1:76-78 7And you, [Jesus], will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.

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