Thursday, May 27, 2010

"You just keep on trying till you run out of cake."
(or How Not To Love, In Fourteen Easy Installments)

Yesterday I realized that I totally fail and something that is really important to me: love.

I imagine that I have a huge heart, an enormous heart, because I feel such love for everyone – even those who annoy me. The annoyance is temporary. So is my snapping back at you in frustration. But in my heart of hearts I forgive you your faults – never mind how it appears on the surface. I love you. I truly, truly love, accept and forgive you.

I just don't always have time to show it.

OK, I'm becoming melodramatic here.

Yesterday I was reading I Corinthians 13 (that's from the Bible, for those of you who don't know – or from the Holy Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, for those of you who do.)

I came across this remarkable passage. (This is where I realized I'm an idiot too – because I've known this passage my whole life.)

(3)If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
(4)Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (5)It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (6)Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

How this led to such a revelation (and revolution) in my heart is as follows. As I went through that checklist above I discovered that I failed completely in love at ALL of the various points, with the exception of three. That's not so good considering there are 14 different aspects that define love pointed out here. 3/14ths is only slightly more than 20%.

I won't bore you with the details. But now that I've discovered this I realize that when I tell someone "I love you" – whether it be my own immediate family, or someone I'm actually reaching out to, maybe even with the notion that I'm "trying to help" – well, the way it works out is, what I really mean is "I want to love you."

Yes, I'd like very much to treat you with patience and kindness, in a way that is un-envious and non-boastful, and neither proud, nor self-seeking, nor rude, nor easily angered.

Maybe I should just never tell someone I love them – not even "love in Christ" - and especially in the sight of witnesses who will tear me to shreds as soon as they realize how faulty I am in my "love."

The only three aspects of love that I think I've been successful at are ones that I'm only successful at because of my stupidity (I'll sing the rest of the song in a moment, so that you'll understand.) Namely: I rejoice with the truth rather than delighting in evil, I hope, and I persevere.

Yeah, nobody can tell me I don't persevere after you all keep telling me I'm obsessed. You don't even understand what I'm obsessed about (well, you have your ideas, but they are all greatly mistaken), but you do at least recognize that I "wont give up" when I've got my mind set on something, don't you? Yeah, well, that's perseverance. And the fact that I now must persevere in complete isolation from the object of my "love" is called "hope" (yes the second aspect of love I can actually claim I'm good at – sometimes... when I'm not despairing.) And what is it I'm obsessed about (I've told you before) – truth.

Sometimes the truth can be unkind, and unfriendly, and the fact that you are obsessed with it makes you seem rude and self-seeking. So, to be honest, my pursuit of the truth has been un-loving. But not for lack of wanting to be loving. More for the lack of proper skills.

The bottom line is that I've FAILED completely at love. I feel grievously foolish about that and I can tell you all I'm terribly sorry, but you won't believe me until you actually SEE me exercise love. (This is what we call repentance.) But I am sorry. At least I feel sorry... the same way I "felt" love.

Now, I'm going to press on and try to succeed.

{the rest of the song...}
I'm not even angry.
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though you broke my heart.
And killed me.
And tore me to pieces.
And threw every piece into a fire.
As they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!
Now these points of data make a beautiful line.
And we're out of beta.
We're releasing on time.
So I'm GLaD. I got burned.
Think of all the things we learned
for the people who are still alive.
Go ahead and leave me.
I think I prefer to stay inside.
Maybe you'll find someone else to help you.
Maybe Black Mesa
Anyway, this cake is great.
It's so delicious and moist.
Look at me still talking
when there's Science to do.
When I look out there, it makes me GLaD I'm not you.
I've experiments to run.
There is research to be done.
On the people who are still alive.
And believe me I am still alive.
I'm doing Science and I'm still alive.
I feel FANTASTIC and I'm still alive.
While you're dying I'll be still alive.
And when you're dead I will be still alive.

[yes, still not dead... but starting to understand life anew...]
{theme song from Portal inserted because it works so beautifully with the theme of this blog post.}

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lessons Learned

The most important lesson I've learned so far this year is "never sprint forward into the dark." No, I didn't bang my head on a low ceiling and knock myself out. I didn't come smashing through a huge window and cut myself all up. No, I didn't accidentally crash into a waiter with 13 plates precariously balanced on a tray (although I did upset a dainty little table full of teacups where some little old ladies were having a tea party.) No, I didn't even accidentally step off a cliff, or fall into a boiling cauldron, or embarrassingly find myself in the ladies restroom.

No, the main reason you never want to sprint forward into the dark is that there is always someone hiding in the shadows with a pie in their right hand which is carefully aligned to act as a catapult toward your face just as you round that corner.

The second most important lesson I've learned so far this year has been how to act dignified at a dinner party when you have pie all over your face.

It is a lesson I am still learning, as there is still pie all over my face. You'd think I'd wash my face, wouldn't you? But I leave the pie there, just so that everyone who sees me will realize I've learned my first lesson, which was "never sprint forward into the dark."

Not to mention, I can have it as a snack later on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Thought For The Day

"I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me." -Banksy