Category Archives: Blogging

Taking A Break

I’m taking a break from blogging.

I need time to get my head on straight.

I don’t know when, or if, I’ll be back on WordPress.

Thank you to everyone who made me laugh, think, and/or realize that all the writing I was doing was not in vain. You know who you are.

Goodbye.

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“Why, God?” What A Certain Girl Teaches Me About Suffering

So, I recently saw The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) and enjoyed it very much. It was everything I wanted it to be, and more. Beautiful, sad, funny, and thought-provoking.

Up next in my series of posts about the film:

What Makoto teaches me about suffering.

Image result for the girl who leapt through time makoto gif

In The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, the following things happen to Makoto before she gets hit by a train:

  1. Accidentally sleeps in.
  2. Is berated by her younger sister for her laziness.
  3. Is late for school.
  4. Fails a pop quiz.
  5. Causes a fire in her cooking class.
  6. Gets a boy thrown into her.
  7. The brakes on her bike go out.

Needless to say, her day has sucked.

So, when she gets the power to go back in time, Makoto does the following…

  1. She sleeps as late as she wants.
  2. Well-rested, she’s ready for school before her younger sister has even had breakfast.
  3. Makes it to school on time.
  4. Aces her pop quiz.
  5. Asks a classmate to take her place in cooking.
  6. Dodges the boy who was thrown through the air.
  7. Walks home.

…only to discover that, to quote another teen time travel story:

Image result for this action will have consequences
Life Is Strange (2015)

Because, you see:

Because Makoto aces her pop quiz, her friend Kosuke gets jealous. (“How could that bonehead get a higher grade than me?”) And, as a result of his jealousy, he breaks a girl’s heart (Kaho’s) by turning her down when she asks him out, because he wants to focus on his studies.

What about that classmate who Makoto asked to take her place in cooking? Well, he ended up causing the fire that was originally her fault. And his fellows are pissed at him for his mistake, never letting him live it down. Which causes this young man to fight violence with more violence.

But the worst comes when Kosuke and Kaho, now an unofficial couple because of Makoto’s time leaps, are riding Makoto’s bike as the brakes go out, sending them into the path of an oncoming train.

Image result for the girl who leapt through time gif

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” Makoto (no longer able to time leap) screams, trying to alter the fabric of reality through sheer force of will as her whole world comes crashing down.

I am reminded of a saying: “God will never give you more than you can handle.” And, that’s why I believe that Makoto (before she could time leap) had the awful day that she did: because she can handle it.

What I mean is: Makoto is not going to go homicidal on her classmates as a result of starting a cooking fire. Makoto’s failing grade on a pop quiz isn’t going to cause a friend to reject a girl. And Makoto being the one on the bike isn’t going to mean the death of two lovers. Everything that happened to Makoto was horrible. But, when all is said and done, I am convinced that she would rather have it happen to her than to someone else.

Suffering is an unfortunate reality of life.

We can’t run from it…

…but we can handle it.

Image result for the girl who leapt through time makoto

Why I Won’t Be Finishing “Wild Child”

I won’t be finishing “Wild Child,” a short story I was writing about a mother and her child who live in nature, and what happens to them when they encounter civilization.

The reason why is: I realized I was writing for the wrong reason.

To explain:

3 years ago, I dropped out of university.

And this fall, I enrolled at a community college, in order to pick up where I had left off; in order to receive an education that would allow me to put bread on the table.

And in all that time, I feel like I’ve been running away.

I’ve been trying to escape from my struggles. Even if I know that, ultimately, my struggles will make me a better person.

And, I found my “escape” in fellow blogger sunshine lou.

Her writing about being naked in nature is what gave me the idea for “Wild Child.”

Her writing awakened a longing in me. A longing to be, in her words, “Naked and free.”

I didn’t want to just be free from clothes and out in nature — I wanted to be free from the struggles that were sapping my love for life, and get away from a mindset (“I’m a failure because I dropped out of college”) and an environment (college) that were causing me to hate myself.

And, I’ve realized: That’s no way to live.

What I mean when I say “That’s no way to live” is:

Through my writing, I shouldn’t try to express an experience (being a woman naked in nature) that is not my own because, ultimately, my words won’t be authentic.

I’ll never be Lou, and I shouldn’t try to be.

I need to learn to not hate the struggles that have made me the person I am today. I need to love myself for all that I am.

And that won’t happen if I keep on wishing I was someone else.

Wild Child — Update

Upon reflection, I believe that Part 7 of “Wild Child” is not up to the standard I’m setting for myself. One reason why being: Part 7 illustrates the drawback of writing a story on the fly.

To explain:

I have a vague idea of the story’s plot points, but “Wild Child” has essentially just been me writing whatever part of Thorn’s story I wanted to write next; me writing the first words that come to mind whenever I think Wild Child. And Part 7, I believe, shows that more than any of the other parts.

To go into more detail:

Part 1 sets up that this story is Thorn telling her mother, Skye, how she found herself in possession of a scarf, and what this contact with civilization means for the two of them.

But: Part 5 is written from the point of view of Skye. Something that Thorn would know nothing about since she is off in a castle and Skye is in their cave, wondering what to do. So, Part 5, in the context of Part 1, currently makes no sense.

So:

Over time I’ll be revising what I have already written and doing a better job of planning exactly what I want to happen in this story.

Thank you, everyone, for reading.

May it be a story you enjoy.

And: Feedback of any kind is always appreciated.

One more thing:

Despite this being a story about a naked little girl and a naked woman — a child and her mother in nature in their natural state — this isn’t a “dirty” story.

What I mean by that is: If you’re reading this story in order to think lewd thoughts and then do lewd acts, you’re in the wrong place.

Yes, there is nudity.

Yes, there might be sex. (Haven’t decided yet.)

But: My goal with all of it is to move the story along in some way. Not to put it there just for the sake of being there.

For example: Skye is naked, and she raises her daughter to be naked, because she doesn’t want anything to do with civilization anymore. She wants to put her old life behind her. For a reason that will be made clear later in the story.

A Catholic Responding To An Atheist Responding To Lutheranism

Excerpts from A Look At Luther’s Small Catechism by The Closet Atheist, and my thoughts:

“And make it very plain to [parents] what an awful harm they are doing if they will not help to train children to be pastors, preachers, clerks . . . and that God will punish them terribly for it.”

So every child must be a pastor, preacher, or clerk?

I understand being a “preacher” in the sense that one is willing to share their faith when the circumstance calls for it. After all:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
~ 1 Peter 3:15

Otherwise: Being boxed into three roles feels, for lack of a better word, limiting. A child can’t grow up to be, for example, a writer?

I was raised to believe that… trans people were disgusting, and… should be avoided.

Hmm. What does Jesus say about avoiding others and seeing certain people as “disgusting”?

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
~ Matthew 25:40

In case, after reading my post that deals with total depravity, you didn’t believe that there are Christians who really believe that we are “worthy of none of the things for which we pray” and “deserve nothing but punishment,” well, here is your proof.

*raises hand*

I believe.

This probably disgusts me more than anything else, especially when we are still urged to pray for what we want, even after being told that we don’t deserve to have our prayers answered. At the same time though, this teaches that no matter how bad we are, God will still give us everything we pray for (because of grace)…

What’s so bad about not deserving anything, really?

If I told you that I had told my girlfriend “I deserve sex,” you’d (probably) justifiably think This guy is a misogynist.

Granted, that is an extreme example.

But my point is: When we go around saying “I deserve ___,” that can lead one down a dark path…

Despair3
Photo by Pavel Tereshkovets.

Regarding praying for what one wants:

Not all prayers will be answered. And even if they are, not always in the way that one wanted, or in a way that is immediately clear.

Why? Because:

Ideally, a prayer isn’t a person saying “Do ___, ___, and ___ for me and I’ll continue to love you and serve you, God.”

Ideally, a prayer is: “God, please do ___, ___, and ___ for me. But, trusting that you see what I cannot, and trusting that you have the best interests of humanity at heart, not my will, but your will, be done.”

…we’re told to do good unto others, when, after all, we can’t be good, only God can. So why try?

We “can’t be good” in the sense that, despite the good we do, we will always, to some extent, fall short.

No one is perfect.

Which is why there are signs like this:

Sign3

Just because I’m not perfect doesn’t mean I can’t still strive for perfection, though.

To bring up my girlfriend again: Just because I can’t see the world from her perspective — just because I can’t be her — doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try and empathize with her.*

I am reminded of a quote:

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”
~ Michelangelo

1:55 — 3:01:

“What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.”

This is just gross and weird. I don’t have anything else to say about it.

Hmm. To give my two cents:

In the desert, God gave his people bread to eat.

Since Jesus is one of the three aspects of God, eating his body is the evolution of that act: No longer are people eating bread that God sent down from Heaven to sustain their life — now people are eating God himself, who has come down from Heaven to be the bread that will sustain them.

I am reminded of the starving passengers in Snowpiercer (2013). Running low on food after scrambling to board a train that is the only hope for survival, the passengers, in their hunger, eventually resort to cannibalism. One of the passengers, seeing that a baby is about to be eaten, cuts off his own arm and says “Give me the child. If you’re so hungry, eat this instead.”

What Jesus is saying when he offers us himself is:

“Do not eat yourselves. Eat me instead.”

The hunger Jesus wants to satisfy is not physical, but spiritual.

*I actually don’t have a girlfriend. 😥