day late dollar short

March 30, 2004

hear it in the stairwell:Howie Day-Stop All the World Now

all too common

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Checkers Instead

March 27, 2004

hear it in the stairwell: Levi whining at me for want of attention

Amber is putting on her scrubs and getting ready for work, so I’ll have to step in and record this evening’s events myself. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jon.

Two days ago, Amber anticipated that she would be craving HaHa Pizza tonight, so that was our first stop. The establishment, along with the entire Yellow Springs area, was extremely laid back, and I suspect that is why it took forever for our pizzas to arrive. During this time, I watched hungrily as Amber ate a hefty salad containing every vegetable but lettuce. Fortunately, once the food arrived, all complaints were forgotten (until now). Anyway… I need to be less wordy or I’ll spend all night writing this thing.

HaHa’s was great. I loved it.

Unfortunately, it was raining too much to explore the rest of Yellow Springs, so we moved on to the safe familliarity of Starbucks.

Upon noticing that the tables doubled as chessboards, I challenged Amber to a game. Since she didn’t have any idea how to play, we played checkers instead.



Since I don’t want to embarrass Amber, I won’t go into any more detail on her blog. Check out mine for more details (if I haven’t written about it when you check… just give me a little while. I’ll get to it sometime this weekend.)

I suspect the primary reason Amber had my company tonight was so that she could use my camera to photograph her dog. Of course half of her hard drive is committed to pictures of Levi already, but now she’s growing even more (sideways)



and it’d be a shame if we missed any stage in her development. So now I’ll present you with what tonight was really all about: taking pictures of Levi



can’t see my shadow

March 26, 2004

hear it in the stairwell: Guster- Rainy Day

After work on a typical morning I drag myself to the gym and zombie my already exhausted body through some sweat-inducing workout. This morning I was feeling unusually energized. I watched the morning news with Alfie and saw that at 5:30am it was already a balmy 62 degrees. My motivation to drive to the gym was already waning after a traumatizing situation in which fellow treadmiller had a heart attack in my arms the other day….but I digress. So I joyfully pass up treadmill running for the great outdoors and park my jeep at Carillon Park, heading for the riverfront. I begin to run. But today isn’t the normal run…the training-for-marathon run, the desire-for-thin-thighs run, the push-until-it-hurts run. As each foot hits the pavement I feel stronger and faster and I want to run harder. Howie Day is pounding in my headphones and when she says she wants someone to love i hope you know that she doesn’t mean you and my eyes are fixed on the path ahead as I sort through my busy mind and offer my craziness up to God. And then I hear it. The loudest crackle and crash that completely overpowers my blaring mp3 player. Thunder and lightening and I seen the most ominous storm cloud hovering overhead. Within seconds the downpour starts and I try to look back through the torrential rain to come to the very sad realization that I’m about 5 miles from my jeep. Not feeling quite as bubbly and energized as I did a half hour before, I pull a 180 and begin sprinting. My hair is drenched and in my face so I continue running as I struggle to resecure it in my ponytail holder. No longer paying attention to path, my feet cross a strip of littered bubble wrap and the popping sound (very similar to shots) causes me to have my own heart attack. I scream hit the pavement in the same breath. Man down. 62 degrees doesn’t feel so spring-like and refreshing anymore.

Which of my many music-savvy friends is responsible for NOT introducing me to Howie Day? We need to have a talk! I’m not super crazy about his mediocre lyrics but his music and voice are great! Try him out.

I’m treating my very bruised ego (and knees and elbows) to HaHa’s pizza tonight. HaHa.

oh no you di-ent!

wandering

March 25, 2004

hear it in the stairwell: Howie Day

In the middle of it all, he leaves. He’s in the middle of a thriving culture, the middle of an extensive family and the middle of his father’s house. He’s in the middle of it all, and he leaves-never to return.

Abraham chose exile. Like a fugitive, he leaves the safety and identity of the past behind and follows a call to pilgrimge into the middle of nothing and nowhere, searching for the place that is beyond all.

Searching, searching, always searching. Abraham keeps searching for the perfect place. Nothing and nowhere else will do. The only place his weary limbs can rest is in that perfect place.

In the middle of his search, Issac appears like a kiss from heaven, bringing a smile to Abraham’s desert-cracked face. Yet once, again, in the middle of it all, Abraham is told to go. Before, he left behind his past; now he must leave behind his future.

On the sacred mountain, Abraham says goodbye to his inheritance and offers Issac to God. In the middle of the sacrifice, an angel stops him and offers a ram instead. Issac leaves, yet Abraham has already left.

He is searching, looking for his inheritance: the city of God. From time to time, he sees a faint glimpse of a glory that surpasses all glory. And this glory is enough to keep the search alive.

In the middle of his wandering life, he dies. His tired, aged body tumbles into a grave. And he enters the city of God through the gates called Beautiful.

Now Abraham cheers us on to pilgrimage. Yet often, we reject pilgrimage and instead look for heaven on earth. We have fewer dangers and enjoy more freedoms and luxuries than any people throughout history, and somehow, we think we deserve more.

So we look for perfect marriages, perfect friendships, perfect jobs and perfect churches. Yet none of these exist. We are not in heaven. Rather, we’ve been called to pilgrimage.

In the middle of it all, we are invited to leave. In the middle of our high paying jobs, in the middle of our comfortable homes, in the middle of our fractured families, we’re called to pilgrimage. We’re called to a city whose author and founder is God.

As exiles on this earth, we wander and wonder, receiving every breath as a gift from God. He is leading us through the land of letting go so that we might rest in the land of receiving.

Instead of worrying about the perfect life, welcome the call to journey- experiencing every imperfect moment on our way to God’s city.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers–most of which are never even seen–don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Matthew 6:30-34

waking life-waking amber

March 21, 2004

hear it in the stairwell: Death Cab for Cutie

Saturday.

Slept with window slightly cracked. Enough to feel the warm breeze and hear the pouring rain.

Used new RED sheets. Cotton and comfortable.

Ate winter-cooked squash. Topped with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Gave Levi a bath. Puppy finesse fresh dog-shaking wet.

Wore a skirt with no tights.

Breathed deep outside in the springtime temperatures.

Acoustic music at coffee shop. Updated friendships and laughed.

Saw “Eternal Sunshine” with absentee roommate. Amazing movie-see again. (IS it better to love and lose than to never even love?)

I didn’t get much sleep today. I fell asleep around 9a.m. and immediately began dreaming. Dreams of people I’d never met and places I wanted to see. In my dream I hear someone cough. Really loudly. I hear the same loud voice reciting numbers. And in my confused dream/wake state of not being able to decipher what’s real or imagined, I realize there is a man in my room, standing over my bed. My initial response to anything disrupting sleep is to pull the covers over my head. I do just that. I wait and see if it(he) will just go away. I remember watching “Waking Life” with Jon Black (another amazing movie, by the way) and being told that if you’re not sure you’re dreaming, look at a clock because in your dreams, you can’t read clocks. (try it, it works). But my new red sheets are pulled over my head and I’m not about to peek out. I begin to shake the confusion when I hear Amanda, my roommates voice. I put all the pieces together and realize that she thought it was a wise idea to let the guy who was doing her window estimates into my room in the middle of my night to measure my window (which, by the way, is the exact same size as the window in my other *awake* roommates room). First of all, she’s lucky that they found me sleeping fully clothed. This is not always the case considering that I do have a room to myself and my room’s internal thermostat is set on 100 degrees. Secondly, it’s only noon. Just four hours of sleep!

**

He asked me yesterday to tell him how I’ve changed in the past year, and I didn’t know how to respond. The changes are evident to me, they’re even obvious to the people who’ve managed to fight their way to my deepest parts, but how do I tell someone who’s never known me? Trying to convince him I’m a better person is useless, he’s never known me as anything worse. I can tell him stories of my life before but they’d never paint an accurate picture. The threat remains that if I reveal too much of my weaknesses he won’t want to know me more, there’s a chance to be lost brooding over me as I try to condense myself into words.

There’s such a freedom in meeting a person and having no history with them, but what anxiety appears when you realize they don’t know you. How do you start to explain yourself? What do you tell them to reel them in? How do you grow to know each other? A person who’s never seen you upset or angry has no capacity yet to comfort you when you have a bad day, such an empathy is learned with time by assessing intimate facets of a person’s character. Having not spent quality time with a person it’s difficult to know straight away when they are bored or unaffected or simply being sarcastic. You can’t know a person until you’ve given yourself to them, until you’ve given them your time, your attention, your affection.

It’s possible to accelerate friendships and feel close to someone you just met; those are times when chemistry defies time and you find a person you’re instantly comfortable with. It’s possible to share an emotionally charged event with a stranger and leave with a best friend. People start those friendships in broken elevators, in hostage situations, the first day of school. Why can’t everyday friendships start out so easily? Why do we need to slog through the pleasantries and the uncomfortable confessions before intimacy begins? Sometimes it feels like such a harrowing task, trying to convince someone to like you.

He asked me how I’ve changed, and I was speechless.