Church

Atheists have as strong a belief system as anyone

Linus: Do you ever pray?
Lucy: That’s kind of a personal question, isn’t it? Are you trying to start an argument? I suppose you think you’re somebody pretty smart, don’t you? I suppose you think. . .
Linus, turning to Charlie Brown: You’re right . . . religion is a very touchy subject.”

Had a disturbing discourse the other day.

An atheist woman I know was annoyed to find that a friend was a Muslim. Religion, she noted was a bad thing. Her friend was smart, couldn’t she see how stupid religion was? Her god wouldn’t make horrible demands, kill people and do bad things, she said.

But let’s follow the bouncing ball of logic:

How does she know that God doesn’t kill people and do, what we would think, are bad things?

Because if she had a god he would not do such things.

But then, that makes her her own god.

The god of her mind hasn’t fashioned her in his image so much as she has fashioned him into her’s. Therefore her god, or lack thereof, can never be greater than herself at her best.

That is dangerous because people fail themselves all the time (I know I do). And if your god comes from within instead of without, I submit that you are headed for some grave times when misfortune does come.

And it comes – man, does it come.

Everyone falls to their knees at some point because, life is cruel.

Now, I’m totally ok with the fact that I could be wrong about everything I believe; my religion is all about that (Matthew 26:41) but it bothers me that atheists are often so smugly certain that I am wrong.

I’ve actually never met more narrow-minded people than atheists (I’m not saying all atheists but most). This one, for example, has completely cut off communication with me because she disagrees with me.

And for those that say atheism isn’t a religion, I submit that it is because: we both believe in something beyond our abilities to prove.

I cannot prove to you there is a god but you cannot prove to me there isn’t.

It’s the zealots of any religion that drive people crazy. Those that are so certain that they are right that they just don’t want to hear any other possibility. She’s a zealot for atheism because, she’d rather tune out someone rather concede she might be wrong.

I do believe in God.

To believe otherwise would mean that I’m solely in charge of my life. And that’s far too much responsibility.

As Martin Luther said to his friend, Pray, and let God worry.

I respect what you believe, regardless if you are atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, whatnot.

I worry enough as it is.

Location: still in front of a stack of papers
Mood: bored
Music: worry, worry, super-scurry; call the troops out in a hurry

Enhanced by Zemanta

St. Val

What makes a date a date? Food?

Got a date for St. Val’s day tomorrow. I’ve been on dates before, yes, but I’m really looking forward to this one.

Did you ever read Miss Manners? I’ve got lots of issues (admittedly) but poor manners isn’t one of them. On that note, here’s her view on what a date is comprised of:

There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection IS the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted. — Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior

Think I’ve got the entertainment and food part down.

If I manage to get some sleep the night before, I might be normal enough to work in some affection.

Who am I kidding? I’ll settle for the food and entertainment.

Location: Yonkers, New York
Mood: curious
Music: every time I try to make it right, it all comes down on me

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friends

Your friends bring out different parts of you

Went to see my college friends again last night. We don’t get together as often as, I think, we would like.

Life gets in the way.

Heard once that JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and a third writer were all close friends and when the third writer died (Charles Williams?), CS Lewis said something along the lines of “When he died, I thought, ‘at least I’ll have more of JRR, but in fact I had less,'” meaning that, when the third friend died, CS Lewis found that the third friend brought out things in Tolkien that CS couldn’t.

In any case, I see my friends individually but when we all get together, it’s a different dynamic. I see things in my friends’ faces and hear voices from over a decade ago.

And it’s good seeing my old friends again.

I haven’t seen me in years.

Location: @3AM, taking the train home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Good times, bad times, give me some of that

Enhanced by Zemanta

Love and Pride

Met up with the Ex one last time

I’m tired – my insomnia’s returned. I’m running about at half-speed and, more stressing, half-wit.

Saw my ex again a few days ago. She came by to pick up one last thing she left here. It was actually pleasant. She and I both managed to crack a smile or two.

Told her that I was seeing someone. Nothing yet, I said, more the chance that it could be something.

She nodded and slowly smiled and said that she hoped it worked out for me.

I believe her.

She also said that I should get a handle on my insomnia because it was a major problem in our relationship. The irony of her comment was that it kept me up all night despite a massive amount of chemicals.

But the other thing that kept my past girlfriends and me from being happy, I realized, was pride. Admittedly, it was usually mine. It’s a horrid sin.

Our respective pride has not served my ex nor me well.

Regardless of who I end up, I’ve decided to choose her over my pride.

Pride enables you to say, But at least I was right, to an empty room.

And I tell you from experience that there’s no more deafening an echo than that.

Location: in front of a nice warm cup of espresso
Mood: busy
Music: love is stronger than…it’ll serve you longer than pride

Enhanced by Zemanta

Clear Blue Skies

I’d like to move away – but I’d miss my family

The funeral I went to has been on my mind. It’s made me pensive and sappy.

I have no death wish – far from it. I have a master plan to live until I’m 100. But the plans of mice and men…

What I think about is whether or not I’ll get to find out if my father is right or wrong.

My father, you see, believes me in. I don’t know why, especially in light of my dismal track record in, well…just about everything. Yet, he thinks that I am capable of things I don’t think I am.

He always says, The race is long, one day you’ll fly.

Maybe he’s just like every other dad in the world. Maybe he really believes it.

I like to think he believes it.

That’s the real reason I don’t just pack up and leave to Beijing, Berlin or someplace where no one knows me, you know?

Because it would be nice if I could prove him right.

And I’d miss them all.

Location: sick in bed
Mood: sick
Music: So, all alone I keep the wolves at bay
Site Meter

Another new year…

With increased intelligence comes increased capacity for pain

Arthur Schopenhauer said something like: with increased intelligence comes increased capacity for pain.

Tend to agree with that.

Feeling some trepidation about New Year’s approaching. You see, my ex’s older sister was born on December 31st so we always had standing plans for New Year’s.

Hell, I’ve always had standing plans – women seem to like mad rakes.

This year, I’ve no plans, really.

That bothered me a little. Just a bit. There are two people I would like to get to know better and I’m so tempted to try but I know it would just end badly because I’m such a basketcase right now. They deserve better than that.

So I never call them.

Had lunch with a friend yesterday and she too is going through a breakup (must be something in the water). She decided to cut him off but says it’s hard. I told her about the Schopenhaer quote and she agreed that she should push through.

I’m great with the whole giving of advice.

Taking it’s a whole different matter.

Location: @7:20, on 39th Street playing Crazy Eights
Mood: confused
Music: Ten years older and I’ve finally found my pride
Site Meter

Enhanced by Zemanta

Stretching the legs

We don’t make ourselves worse by walking so walk while you can

Woke up at 1PM today – fell asleep at 5Am or so but I had to take something to help me fall asleep.

Yesterday was full of little but expensive annoyances:

  • it was the first day of a shoot for the sitcom that totally bombed. We ended up canceling the shoot and taking the barebones crew out to eat breakfast
  • I got a $100 ticket parking ticket
  • I cracked the screen on my ultra-compact camera that I’ve had for a while – this may mean no pics for a bit

It’s all those little annoyances that make you want to scream.

Think people like to read blogs because it gives insight into their own lives.

Another blogger, undergoing treatment for her own things, wrote that she saw an old man on crutches struggling to walk, despite it being easier to be in a wheelchair. She observed that, “We do not make ourselves worse by walking. I say walk while you can.”

I say, she’s right, so off I go…

Location: @1PM, snoring away
Mood: disappointed
Music: Everyone’s saying different things to me, different things to me

What’s my name?


This song came up in a class I’m taking – I couldn’t believe two people never heard it before.

My fav lines (which seem to resonate even now):

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made

Thought it was kismet because of my last post. Looking at the lyrics, I always thought the devil’s us.

Then again, I thought my 1990 BMW would run forever and that 2006 was going to be a great year for me.

Shows what I know.

Location: @12PM, in the Bronx getting wet
Mood: okay
Music: I laid traps for troubadours who get killed before they reach Bombay

Enhanced by Zemanta

Kindness is valuable because it is rare

Liver anyone?

I believe that people are bad at heart. What with historical events (like Nazi Germany, the Inquisition, the Great Leap Forward), psychological evidence (the Zimbardo and Milgram experiments), and current events (pick up a paper) I’m fairly disgusted at our species as a whole.

However, that’s not entirely a negative sentiment. I think a bit of kindness is nobler against the backdrop of our craptastic-ness.

So I had four recent bits of kindness:

  1. I met a girl that lives in France a while ago who shot me a sweet email. She’s seeing a French guy now. It’s ok, the late night conversations were enough for me.
  2. I got another very personal email from a co-worker wishing me a happy holiday. It was nice to get because, while we work closely together, we’ve never actually met (like you and me).
  3. I met a girl tonight that I found refreshingly honest about life. Honesty without meanness is so rare.
  4. Finally, today, I got an Xmas card from a reader amidst my usual bills. As an aside, she looks completely Caucasian but she’s got a Chinese last name. It turns out that four generations ago, her grandfather was Chinese. I find that so cool.

Regarding (4) I think we’re supposed to meet up for coffee (just coffee – she’s in love with a boy from Indiana) but I’m reminded of a quote from Margaret Atwood:

Wanting to meet a writer because you like their books is like wanting meet a duck because you like pate.

Eh, I’ll risk it.

Location: the basement of my brain
Mood: pleased
Music: And so and now I’m sorry I missed you

Enhanced by Zemanta

On your knees

Life gives us blows and we do what we can to survive them

(c) AP Photos

2 Samuel 12:22 tells of when: David had a kid with his buddy’s wife, killed said buddy, pissed off God, God took David’s son.

Now here’s why I like the story: David’s a wreck while the kid is sick; David won’t eat, won’t sleep, etc. But when the kid finally dies, he picks himself up and begins to live his life again.

When asked why he was such a wreck when the kid was alive but much better when the kid dies, David goes, “When the kid was alive, there was hope that he would live – that God would be gracious to me. But He was not and I can’t change what’s passed. My son can’t come back to me but I can go to him.”

At times, Life brings you to your knees.

Those phone calls you never want to get:

  • “It’s about your younger brother…”
  • “I’m sorry to have to tell you…”
  • “I thought it best that I be the one to tell you…”

Been brought to my knees twice in my life. I’m lucky because it was only twice.

Dreading the next time.

Thought about this because I went to a wake yesterday. It was my second third funeral experience; sadly, I’m sure they’ll be more.

Today is also the 65th and last official anniversary gathering of the Pearl Harbor veterans. And I’ve also been keeping up with the story of CNET editor James Kim; he wasn’t there when I was there but still…

Despite all the ugliness, we move through life with a balance of hope and acceptance. At least we try to.

Location: @2AM, missing someone I barely know
Mood: Contemplative
Music: you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking

Enhanced by Zemanta