July 2002 Archives

I couldn稚 sleep this morning � still depressed and anxious about the move coming up. Not that I知 not looking forward to it, but saying good-bye just sucks, as Amy would say. So, I picked-up on the article in the July/August edition of The Atlantic Monthly, a great magazine by-the-way, American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center. This is supposed to be an incredible article - at least that is what the NPR reviewer said.

The author, William Langewiesche, had immediate access to the site and just finished a paragraph talking about his experiences oversees being in the midst of failing societies and how this reminded him of those experiences and sites, except for one added element � the uniquely American character of the whole unfolding event.

Many people talk about the uniqueness of the American psyche, a unique culture that expresses itself in both good and bad ways. This is one of the examples of an American cultural psyche at its best.

One paragraph in particular sums up this understanding: 釘ut you could never confuse New York with a back corner of the world, and the ruins did not actually look like a war zone either. There was sadness to the site, to be sure, and anger, but there was none of the emptiness � the ghostly quality of abandonment � that lurks in the aftermath of battle. In fact, quite the opposite quality materialized here: within hours of the collapse, as the rescuers rushed in and resources were marshaled, the disaster was smothered in an exuberant and distinctly American embrace. Despite the apocalyptic nature of the scene, the response was unhesitant and almost childishly optimistic: it was simply understood that you would find survivors, and then that you would find the dead, and that this would help their families to get on with their lives, and that your resources were unlimited, and that you would work night and day to clean up the mess, and that this would allow the world痴 greatest city to rebuild quickly, and maybe even to make itself into something better then before. From the first hours these assumptions were never far away.� (p47)

I think, for various reasons, Americans are still, over all, 砥nhesitant and almost childishly optimistic� in a good way. There are plenty of detractors who condemn the many things Americans get wrong, but for the most part there is a unique quality of the American cultural experience that continues to give us an optimism, an unhesitant desire to help those in need, a belief that we can do anything. Again, this sense can get us into all kinds of trouble, yet the world looks at America and sees something different and to many something unique and positive.

I thought Langewiescheç—´ paragraph summed-up just a part of the American experience.

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Nice, clean, shiny car once again. Now, to sell it is all I need (aside from the best price I can get!).

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I just received an e-mail news update concerning the International Anglican Conversations on Human Sexuality. They have just published their report detailing the outcome of a three-year study on homosexuality in the Anglican Communion world-wide, which is THE issue right now and which could well divide the communion. Click here for the article from the Episcopal News Service

I just don't know where this is all leading. It causes me a lot of consternation. I have this underlying fear that I will finish seminary and for whatever reason will not be ordained, regardless of what my Bishop says or intends to do. He is committed to inclusion and has ordained gay people in committed relationships, and the rest. Things change, though. And, I'm just getting so tired of this debate. I'm getting tired of the pro-inclusion camp being of the belief that scripture does not play the major role in the formulation of Church policy - I believe it does. I'm tired of the prohibitionist camp claiming that anyone who believes in inclusion cannot possibly understand scripture or doesn't take it seriously - which is completely untrue. I believe in inclusion because of what scriptures says, not what ancient teaching says the Bible says. Ancient teachings have gotten things wrong before, and I believe they are wrong on this issue, too. Yet, it will depend on who has the upper hand as to whether the Communion will remain together, whether gay people will continue to be ordained, and what kind of role gays will play in the Anglican Church - locally in the Episcopal Church - USA, and internationally. It just makes me nervous, and I've been around long enough to know that despite what those above me may say, my best interests are not generally theirs'.

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I have no clarity. I feel lost. Emotionally, I’m all over the place, absolutely. I feel this pang in my chest and don’t know where it is coming from, don’t know how to identify it. It’s there all the same. What am I feeling? Do these feelings mean anything – something I won’t or can’t recognize, admit?

I’ve written a lot about missing John, at least in my journal, maybe more so in my paper journal, but I know things were over a long time ago and we are both probably better off, at least as the people we where then. As Vince said back then, “you’re just too much for him,” but I pray that he will be too much himself – deep, secure, joyful, sincere, with a thrill for life. That he becomes the person he is meant to be – full-life.

Yet, I can’t seem to get over the thoughts or feelings of the sense of lose I’m feeling about friendship with Pat. He is such a unique individual – someone you come across once in a lifetime. I don’t think I will ever come across someone like him again. I’m feeling the loss of seeing him and working with him every weekday even now, even before I leave, even though I will see him in a couple hours. I have learned what kind of person I want to be with, share my life with, from him. Is that realization contributing to this melancholy?

I really donÂ’t know anything right now.

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Life is better with two.

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Packing up stuff... well, starting to at least. Sifting through my books to figure out what goes to New York, to Lima, to somewhere else. I came across my old journals - these particular ones spanned 1992 through September of 2000. I wish I had been more diligent - there are wide gaps missing, significant stuff gone but for memories fading. Lots of struggles with being gay, being Christian, being one thing but wishing, wanting for another. Struggles to remain faithful to what I professed, then struggles to come to terms with what was real. Struggles with Mark. Even greater struggles with John. Parents knowing. School starting and then in a flash ending. The beginning of my Episcopal self, discernment, off to General the fall of 2000. None in that particular order. If I had actually started then, this would be my final year. I just can't image that. So much has happened these past two years. Three weeks plus left until I actually do leave. What will I be after the end of the next three years?

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I've been reading Genesis lately (in the Bible, just in case there is a question), up to the 24 chapter right now. Reading of the beginnings of God's work and eventual covenant with his creation, (I don't know what word to use) I'm struck/encourged/??? by how the simple lives of people like Noah and Abraham where taken up, changed, moved forward into becoming the agents of dramatic events. Simple men and women who for the history and destiny of peoples changed the course of events, the course of history. Neither of them where in the beginning considered great men, yet God took them and made them into their destiny, their potential, the true selves.

I think that within each of use, God imprinted the ideal person for ourselves to become. With that ideal, we find our fullest potential, our fullest sense of wellbeing, accomplishment, peace, purpose, joy, satisfaction, and in the end the ability to look back and not regret. In the person inside that God has created us to be, we have life to the full - mature, complete, and lacking nothing. I'm not saying that we are pre-ordained or pre-destined to be or do anything, necessarily. I'm just saying that without the influences of a corrupt world, that ideal person inside is who we would becoming. We would reach our true, complete selves (and that isn't being self-actualized - well, maybe it is but in a different context). Yet, we live in a world that does its best to corrupt our true selves - everything to corrupt God's imprint and cause us to move further and further away from God's intent. We become less-then our true selves, less-then what we could become - half-lives, sad lives, unfulfilled lives, un-accomplished lives with a sense of missing... something. In the end, we cannot look back on life and be satisfied and proud.

The idea of Christ coming to begin reconciling the world with God, the idea of taking each of us and beginning the process of change so that we will come to understand and then recognize the true self that God created within us - to recognize the self buried deep and covered over by a myriad of layers of masks, layers of protection and self-preservation, layers of lies and distortions born of fear and insecurity and abuse, layers of misunderstandings that cause us to see ourselves as far less then we honestly are - becomes so foreign to us that we push it away, deny it, reject it, or replace it with notions of self-help and self-speak. The idea is to be continually renewed as we are made into the image of Christ - a lifelong process that at times is horrendous and at times ecstatic, but all the time worth it!

This is the process that so many live without. There is so much searching and seeking to fill that void that seems so real and so present during many times of our lives. We try to fill it with religion, with work, with love, with sex, with drink, with renown, with fame, with power, with education, with money, with position, with altered states, with thrill and danger, with a mountain of things, yet we come out on the other side of the effort and the void is still there - it seems to be mocking us. "Fill me with more and more and more and you will be satisfied! Try harder to dull the pain and make me satisfied and you will be happy! Feed me, feed me, feed me..." After a time, it doesn't work anymore. The drugs ware off. The money doesn't bring the happiness and security was seek. The fame doesn't make us feel better about ourselves. All the while, a still small voice, a voice that is not rude or abusive, is calling us to the process of reconciliation with God, of understanding and seeing our true selves that will once and for all fill the void and shut-up the shrill voice of the void that demands all our attention always. The process of being made into the image of Christ - our true selves, our fullness, our purpose, our joy - to live life to the full.

This life may not be what we expect (or even initially want), but it will be the life worth living, the life that is satisfied and proud in the end. I believe like Noah, like Abraham, like Sara, and so many others over the millennia, we cannot even begin to know what life awaits us. Each of us will accomplish great things - maybe in just one other life (a small girl that we help become the leader of many), maybe in a thousand lives (a discoverer of a cure), yet the accomplishment will change life for ourselves, for that one other, or perhaps for nations.

The processes is glorious - we become far more then we could imagine of ourselves and shed ourselves of the false sense of who and what we are. We rid ourselves of the fear and insecurity that kills us inside. We simply live life to the full. Will we begin the process? Will we allow God to begin the work inside of us? Can we muster the courage and determination? It begins with a yes - a simple yeilding to the still, small voice. "I want to be the person you created me to be. I want life to the full." More then we could ever imagine...


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I was listening to NPR on my way home today. They had a bit on Heather Nova's new CD, South, and the song Virus of the Mind. She was talking about how we so often get caught up in the expectations of others, our society, Madison Ave., and the like, that we loose track of who we are - allowing others to determine who we are, what we believe, what we want, rather then relying upon our own intuition, our own sense. She calls this a virus of the mind.

I just don't think I can take being forced into the form of an Episcopal priest that most people will expect. I'm having a hard time with that. I don't know where I will fit in, but the notion that I loose myself because of the position and the position's expectations.

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Just got done talking with Ruben. We've been playing phone-tag for a few weeks now, but to be honest he has been much more diligent in trying to get hold of me then I him. Time - where does the time go? I was very glad to talk to him. We met a couple years ago during the Soulforce action in Cleveland during the United Methodist Convention. Ruben is a really neat guy - very interesting, very passionate, honest. Hopefully, he will be able to visit in New York (he lives in Miami).

On another note, I was talking this morning with a new guy who came to Frontrunners (actually he has been there a couple times before, but I haven't really talked to him). When he found out I am going to seminary conversation turned to those sorts of things. He made a comment about his observations of gay male culture that really resonated with me. He said he has observed three things of gay males (which of course are generalizations, yet certainly true for many), 1) they are lonely; 2) they are obsessed with sex; and 3) they have been so disillusioned (my word) with the church/Christianity that they deal not at all with their own spirituality or get involved in an unconcerted way with new age and/or nefarious sorts of spirituality.

I think I agree with him.

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I picked-up my Aeron chair yesterday. I'm happy. This chair is absolutely comfortable - studying will be much easier now! lol

Thanks to my brother, the architect, who got the chair for about 60% off retail! I couldn't afford it otherwise. It still wasn't cheap and I'm wondering whether spending that much money was a wise thing to do, considering the computer stuff I want to get, and now the enormous car repair bill I have. A month and a half before I get rid of the car and I have to pay $1,000.00 to get it fixed. I'm going to be lucky to break even. Anyway, the chair is great and whether it was wise or not, I have it now. I'm sure in a few months I will certainly appreciate it!

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As I've read a number of other people's journals, websites, especially those with cams, I'm struck how many of them while having full lives say they are a bit challenged in the relationship department. Something along the lines of, "I've given up on the idea of having a relationship - too busy, too insecure, just don't seem to fit....” A number of them have also said something like, "after all, I don't know who would be really comfortable with the website."

I'm wondering whether the weblog phenomena, personal websites and cams, on-line journals, etc., are all an attempt by many to fulfill the very real human need of knowing and being known. Rather then being honest and vulnerable with a boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse, they instead pour themselves into their websites, their virtual selves, in order to be known.

I wonder about this myself. Even though I have high-sounding reasons for trying to be open and honest in a public venue for the sake of others who may struggle with various things, I wonder whether this is an attempt to have others understand me - to know me.


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It is amazing some of the information one can find on the Internet about someone else. I did a google search for one of the guys I will be rooming with in a couple months. He graduated from the conservatory at U.of Cincinnati - I found some music he has done on acidplanet. Mostly remix-sample-techno stuff, but I think good. This sound be interesting.

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Since this morning, those of us rooming together at General are now saying a bit about ourselves - intro type stuff. So, here is what I wrote as an introduction of myself. Pretty general, but hey...

Since Roy began the intro process and I neglected to in my last e-mail, I will add my two cents here:

I grew up in a small town in Ohio along the shores of Lake Erie. I currently live in Akron, OH and work at Kent State University as a techno-geek - although I think of myself as one of the cool-geeks. :-) I was supposed to begin seminary last year, but had a cancer scare and had to put everything off at the last minute. Anyway...

I grew up Pentecostal (Foursquare Gospel Church). Upon graduating from college I spent 7 years in campus ministry with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowships (Assemblies of God) in Ohio and Germany. I taught high school for one year. In '94 I finished my graduate work in Higher Ed./College Student Development and became an Episcopalian. The past few years have been quite interesting for me spiritually.

I'm a neat person, although I can be a bit cluttered. I'm pretty laid back, although quite fidgety. I'm definitely a morning person (I'm usually just wake-up by 5:30 am or so - my best studying time is early in the morning). I think that will help in trying to schedule bathroom time. I try to be in bed by 10:30 pm. I love to get into discussions (which my Mom calls raging disagreements) about all kinds of things. I tend to play the devils-advocate. Sometimes, people get the wrong idea and think I'm getting mad, but really I'm just animated (mildly so - my Mom is just a little over sensitive). My spiritual/academic interests revolve around faith-development, young people, and technology. Where those three things intersect is where I want to be.

I have a website, but am hesitant to give it out because you guys would know a heck of a lot more about me then I know of you all. I think I would rather you meet me in person first. I have a proposal for you all concerning the website! I love sci-fi (even the bad stuff), all kinds of music, movies, travel, just walking around and discovering new places, eating new kinds of food, working-out, jogging. I am pretty adventurous.

I'm Anglo-Saxon with a good amount of Cherokee thrown in for good measure, 5'10", in good shape, normal stuff. I plan on moving in NYC August 17th.

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Well, General sent my housing stuff to my parents. Why? Who the heck knows. Anyway, I got an e-mail this morning from one of my future roommates. That's cool! I'm excited about this.

Man, has it been hot. It's not just the heat, but the dang humidity that's the killer. I actually broke down and put my tiny air-conditioner in the front window. It isn't really big enough to cool the place effectively, but enough to take off the edge and keep the humidity down. When it doesn't get below 80 degrees at night, even a cool basement doesn't stay too cool any longer.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2002 is the previous archive.

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