14 March 2009

The Narcissism of your Facebook Friend...or perhaps, yourself

From "The Death of Facebook"
Relevant Magazine
Brett McCracken

"I like seeing the dissonance between someone’s facial expression and or body language and what they are saying"

"Whatever happened to that wonderfully unsteady sense of mystery, that awkward flubbing around in relationships that used to characterize “getting to know” someone?"

"Human beings are far, far more complex and wonderful than their status updates and “ingredient listing” profile pages. And it is far more rewarding and profound to get to know someone in an unsafe, slightly uncertain and awkward way than to rigorously research them and pretend to know them via all the accumulated Internet data on them."

To rigorously research someone. A temptation, either because "I heard from him that she said that he was..." (and you just have to know who this person is) or to stave off boredom.
But consider that phrase "rigorously research someone." That's just plain creepy. And it's you. And it's me. Doing the research. Being research. Why? To "know" people? Is it because we care deeply for their souls, for the way they live their lives...is it because we wish to come alongside and share in their sorrows and carry their burdens?

Probably not.
Because were that the case, you would do far more than "rigorous research." You would pick up the phone and talk. Go out for coffee. Take a trip to Walmart with them. You would get to know them in that awkward, "slightly uncertain" way.

I have had direct experience this past week with that "wonderfully unsteady sense of mystery" that comes with getting to know someone. And in part, it had to do with a transition from being a "facebook friend" to a person with whom I speak face to face. It is wonderful. (But I must admit, that Facebook has its place. In moderation, it can be a tool, but one must wield it with wisdom)

05 March 2009

Slower passing are the hours/To tell this tale that takes its time ("Rita," by Bebo Norman)

Memories of dreams are some of the strongest, and sometimes the most sickening, memories. I dreamed two days ago that I was drowning and that I did not realize it. That I was drowning, slowly breathing in the heavy water as I slept. And I tried to wake up. In my dream, I never did. In reality, well, I awoke a thankful and air-gasping person. I wonder if I ended up drowning in my dream.

Another dream this week, a memory plagiarized from I Am Legend. I won't describe it, but it wasn't fun. Only one person didn't want to kill me. And that was because he didn't really have the time.

Why do I mention my dreams?
Because even dreams take part in shaping my "worldview"
And because I had an interesting conversation about dreams last week.

Different accounts were given by people my age about dreams predicting or warning. And that is all that I can say on the topic right now.

03 March 2009

a day's remnant

I would ask a person's first impression of the word "remnant." I think of Israel. But of late, I thought of the morning I went to work @ 6:45, the sky cloudy and pouring forth rain in the semi-darkness of the small morning. (la lluvia en las sombras de una mañana pequeña)
The joke that day was that, by the time normal people awoke on that fine Christmas Eve, they would not even know that it had rained.

At 2 o clock that afternoon I went to my car and started it--the windshield wipers came on. A remnant of the morning no one else remembered because no one else experienced it. A remnant no one understood. The remnant is that which exists in every life-the part of each person no other person experiences. The remnant is, for the one who experiences, a choice to either remember or to forget.

Mere thoughts

-"The more spiritual the exercise, the sooner we tire."-Charles Spurgeon
-Communion with the Lord.
-When am I fullest?
-Whose advice to I take the most?

"This is the world as best as I can remember it/
Rachel's weeping for the children/she thought she couldn't bear.../
seems love comes for just a moment and then passes on by"

And the world was felled in less than a day-
did the first even eat of the Tree of Life?
It would seem that is left to us (?)
That knowledge was corrupted to look better than life
and that Eve ate
is no great mystery.
But that she ate and yet lived should be a greater one.

How much greater is the grace coming from a judicious God than a God who gives merely grace and love, the God we have convinced ourselves is better, nay, the best? The "god" of our creation....Why do we not weep to know good friends, healthful food, and a blessed rain?

Did fear not pound in Cain's heart, when he was angry at the Lord?

Upon Noah was the Lord's favor set.
"And the Lord shut him in" Gen. 7:16
You O Lord have hedged me in, behind and before.

"I'm beggin' You for mercy...And I'm beggin' You to forget everything that I've ever done..."

Lord, search me and try me. Know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
Because today the past accosted me.

I went back to read some writing I had done for the Ukraine trip I went on this summer. I couldn't finish reading it, for it hurt me too much to do so. I spoke of "shiskas" and newly made friends named "Dima." I spoke of offering all to God and He not requiring all of what I offered. I spoke of not knowing what to do when back in the States. I didn't want to stop writing, for fear that the inaction would close the trip, finally and completely. I feel all of it again, even as I read it. The camp counselor's (Meisha's) last words were "and if we do not meet again on earth, it is in Heaven I shall see you next." But no. Why does the past haunt me? Not like, haunt me as if I had grave sins for which I must do penance, nor haunt me as a mistake I made would haunt me. But, grip me. Remind me that I had forgotten. That I have, not grown numb to God, but to the piece of His greatness that was Ukraine. That I have not let my Amerikanski self upset me more. Oh, I do. I do. I have changed since Ukraine, by the very grace of God. But Achoom and Sasha? And Dima and Julia...Galia, Yasha, Meisha, the ones that bring tears to my eyes because I remember faces...but not the names that were so very ingrained in me. I remember very little of the Russian.
Numbness I feared, forgetting I trembled at. Yet these very things have I done. What part does this play in His work of redemption?

"...for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer." Psalm 6:8-9

May the grace of God be with me in truth, that I may see His glory, a glory too great to look upon but for His Son.