Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Retroactive Thinking

So.... I've been doing some serious thinking lately, and I'm not sure.... am I ready to talk about it yet? It seems like an epidemic, and so the nonconformist part of my personality wants to say, "No, too many people are thinking. You should stop." But then, at the other hand, there's a part of me that says, "Yes, join the fray. Add your two cents in. Be part of the group."

I guess that's what a lot of my thinking has to do with. The Group. People In General. It sort of goes back to Bible class. I don't remember which day it was, but we were talking about man's mutiny against God. We were talking about the fact that God's original plan for humans was to be in perfect union with him and with one another. And Dr. Miller said something that really stuck in my head.... he talked about that empty feeling, that feeling of aloneness and alienation we have, and that it was never intended to be part of our make-up at all, that it was a result of mutiny. And it made me think a lot.... because it seems like a lot of people think you need only get married and the alone feeling stops. You need only get a boyfriend and the alone feeling stops. The emptiness and alienation will stop, if you have enough friends, if you cry with enough people.... To smell the coffee.... to wake up and realize, no, that's never going to go away.... and it explains why friendships are so hard. I mean real friendships. They may begin easily, but in the end.... They're all heartache and tears, because there'll never be an end to the alienation you feel. In the end, will it just be too much trouble?

I find myself.... wishing for a lot of shallow, frivolous relationships. So that no one can come close to piercing the veil that hides my emptiness. If I kept them all at bay, maybe I could delude myself into thinking that there's no hole.... and I'm fine....

"and the world's doin' just fine
without me....
doing anything of any consequence
with my life...."


I found this today. I'd written it as a draft in January, and just never got around to posting it. It's funny how much of a difference four months can make. I am still of the opinion that because we live in a really messed up, corrupted world, our relationships very often have that sort of hole in them, that sort of feeling of alienation. No matter how close you are to someone, there are those moments when you know you're two people, not one, and there's a gap you don't know how to bridge - a fundamental alienation from other human beings caused by our fundamental alienation from God. But I also think, now, that the struggle of working out a real frienship is definitely worth it. That I want to be known, and not just surface-seen.

I'm also of the opinion now that the alienation doesn't have to stay. I'm thinking, although I'm not sure upon what to base this rationale except on the faithfulness of God, that there are those relationships, those friendships, when you're all united with God and before God and the little invisible wall breaks down. When the human-love part of the hole is filled and the God-love part of the hole is filled simultaneously. Now obviously we're all screwed up, corrupted humans. So it won't happen all the time and it doesn't happen easily. But, right now at least, it seems worth it to me - to risk being not-known in order to be known in those few close friendships, wherever you end up finding them. The risk of discovering you're empty is worth it if there's a chance it can be filled.

Yeah, pretty much this is idle jabbering because I don't want to do my homework - but I thought, hey, my blog readers seem to evince a remarkable tolerance for my self-centered, narcissistic ramblings, so why not write them some more of my thoughts? I don't actually expect most of you to care, although I hope some of you at least understand what exactly I'm trying to say here. I know, they're baby thoughts - I'm baby-thinking my way to a better understanding of life, like Bob*, who baby-steps his way into sanity and a much less OCD life (as well as a very lucrative book deal). Unlike Bob's therapist, I'm asking you to simply listen and maybe comment if you think I'm right on or totally off base, and not to tie me up and strap explosives to me. Because as we all know, it will backfire on you and your house will be destroyed.

*reference to the Bill Murray movie "What About Bob?" in which a psycho drives about ten therapists out of business, eventually becoming a normal functioning member of society when his latest therapist tries to kill him - with lots of OCD episodes in between. I totally recommend, if you want some funny mindless entertainment.


Domino said...

"The world has enough youth. What we need is a fountain of smart." Go ahead... jump in.

Captain Shar said...

That's a really good thought. I'd always felt like you couldn't really, really know anybody, and thinking of the fall only confirmed that feeling. But you're right - since we can now have a right relationship with God, perhaps, sometimes, we can actually really know each other. That makes me happy.

Mackenzie said...

Jenn.... that's the greatest quote ever in the history of mankind. What we need is a fountain of smart... so true!

Jess said...

"mmmm.. mmmm.. oh mmm.. oh, Faye, this is so delicious! is this hand-shucked?"

Mackenzie said...

Haha... I was so confused when I read that - I was like, "Whaaaat?" But then I realized that it was a quote from the very movie I recommended. Or at least some neurons somewhere in the hazy back of my brain insist it must be so.