Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Futility of Sophistication

Of course, we can tell ourselves the old familiar Lies over and over again: to have a friend, be a friend. Ladies first. It'll all work out in the end. You're a good guy--someone has to appreciate that. Don't worry about it.

The truth is, we live in a fallen world. The truth is, we have two options: to behave in a civilized (Christian) manner and be kicked over and over when we're down, all in hopes of eternal life in the society of our Creator and all His saints, or become cynical, or world-wise, or cut-throat, or whatever adjective you prefer, in order to stay alive. It's really a catch-22, in the end: do we try for "certain" happiness in this life, by adapting to the way the world works, or do we aim for happiness in the next, by letting ourselves be stepped on over and over?

Oh, if only Adam had abstained from eating the fruit on the tree! That would have kept everything so much better. As it is, we're caught in limbo, many of us undecided about whether we'll aim for certain "happiness" in this life or uncertain Happiness in the next. Add to this divine intervention by malevolent and benevolent forces, and we're positively screwed.

Long live generalizations!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Simply Glorio Poem

It made one of my thorniest professors weep. 'Nuff said.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent14 for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Long live ardent poesy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Things I Didn't Want To Say In That Last Post

...just because it didn't seem right.
Jim Carrey is an underrated comedic actor. I say this while watching Fun With Dick and Jane. He's good.
My second point, I can not remember. If I remember it, I'll put it up here...

Remember The Sabbath Day, To Keep It Holy, Among Other Things

Those of you who know me understand that I'm not precisely one to Preach. Pontificate, yes. Preach, no. What beliefs I do hold, I hold strongly, but I'll leave the instructioning to more intelligent and eloquent people. Yet I must needs share something which occurred today.

Back in December I auditioned for the Children's Play CUW produces every year; this year we're doing Alice in Wonderland. When I auditioned, I knew it would be a touring show, and I knew we'd probably perform at least once on a Sunday. Sure enough, today we performed at 2 pm at a Milwaukee-area high school, and I had to miss church.

I didn't expect it to be as traumatic as it was. See, I've never missed church except for sickness. And since I never get sick, I haven't missed church in Donkey's Years. It seems I have grown accustomed to the daily worship of our Creator, and it was rather strange to not be there. It was strange not to spend the time fellowshiping with my fellow believers; it was strange not to worship corporately; it was strange not to have the comfort of Christian instruction. It was strange not going to church today.

While church can sometimes seem like a drag, especially when one must needs wake up early, never discount it. It's an integral part to the day, and I have a strong feeling that this week will be rather different from the norm, because my Sunday was different.

Long live traditionalism!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Ver' Disturbing Experience

So...I just tried to go to sleep, and it didn't happen. I could not sleep. I mean, I'm tired, but the sleep just would not come. Mysterious.

In other news, School (with a capital S, in case you didn't notice) is ver' busy right about now, which explains without excusing the lack of blogposts of late. I am Pontificating, Pontificating busily, but I'm Pontificating in class. Therefore, if you have become addicted to my Pontifications, you should attend my classes.

Speaking of classes, I'm delightfully over-loaded this semester. After tonight, I'll be doing a grand total of 22 credit-hours, although only 18 of those are for credit, the other 4 being audit. This raises the question "Why audit?" Quite apart from the financial considerations, it is a legitimate question: why should one audit a class when one can expend nearly the same amount of effort on it and get a grade? For me, School (again with the capital S) is as much about Learning and Preparation For The Outside World as it is about getting grades and gradiation. And yes, I know I just mis-spelled "graduation." I plan on doing well in School, of course, and I also plan on doing well in my career, if I live that long. Auditing therefore is an integral part of how I'm going to be functioning.

That did not make much sense. Perhaps I'm losing my blogging touch. Perhaps I should read the selections for tomorrow's The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy class. Perhaps I should try to sleep again.

Long live decision-making!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Supper Bull

Okay, fine. And after that sublime poem I wrote yesterday, this is almost a sacrilege. Because it was sublime. I really really like it. Note, please: this is not cockiness. This is awe. I didn't know I had that in me. Or rather, I knew the emotions were there, but the words...? Masterful.

Ahem: I intended to write about the Super Bowl, but I'm just going to say this: I don't really care. I would be quite happy if the Cardinals won, because it's such an awesome story. I'd be quite happy if the Steelers won, because that's a classy organization, and they deserve every one of their six Super Bowl titles.

The one thing that makes me a bit angry is how everybody is picking the Cardinals. Dudes: the Cards were 9-7 in the regular season! They got spanked on repeated occasions! They are a suspect team, and they're going up against the # 1 defense in the NFL! And you're picking this team to WIN--yea, even to score more than 30?

No. Just, No. If I had my druthers, the Cards'd win, just because they've never won a Super Bowl before. But you know what? I think Troy Polamalu and the Steelers defense will make the Cardinal Party end.

Steelers 24, Cardinals 13

Long live Equivocation!

A New Poem

I am deeply apologetic to my avid readers that I have not posted in so long: this week has been quite hectic what with the renaissance of School. However, here's an original poem which I think is my best yet.

the water is creeping up slowly
cold, murky, dark water
drowning and suffocating
flowing gently down my throat
but there’s no peace
it chokes, it burns
the lank dark water burns as it bubbles
struggling into my lungs
cool but not refreshing
blackness dark like the black murky water
clouding up my sight
the eyes close…
No! I live, I am safe, I am fine
no…I live, I am not fine.
why did the dream end…
dust, ash, and grey oblivion.

now I am sitting in a chair
I have been sitting here for too long
everywhere the pain, the ache
the sorrow…the wrenching at my heart
my throat is dry
the shackles at my wrists chafe
the shackles at my ankles chafe
the shackles at my heart chafe more than any
I strain at them for long
and then I ask myself Why strain?
I lean back against the wood of the chair
and I let it all slip away
I let my breath slide slowly out of my body
again the darkness before my eyes
but I know how it goes
I have been here before…
and again I wake…
I live, I am safe, I am fine
No…I live, I am not fine.
why did the dream end…
dust, ash, and grey oblivion.

where can I find hope
where can I find joy
is there hope to be found
is there joy to be found
or is it all grimy gritty dust
is it all choking fine ash
is it all mindless shivering grey oblivion
is this the way the world ends
where is the whimper

why can I see the hope
in You
why can I see the joy
in You
why can I never feel the hope
in Me
why can I never feel the joy
in Me
why do I only feel dust
why do I only feel ash
why do I only feel grey quaking oblivion
is this the way the world ends
where is the whimper

I see no gleam of light
I see no ray of hope
I see no glimmer of reason
there is nothing for me
nothing but dust
nothing but ash
nothing but grey sniffling oblivion
is this the way the world ends
where is the whimper

I hear a bell
chiming a chime
sounding hollow and faint
whispers of snow against the dead cold of autumn
is that my heart stirring
or is this yet another dream
a cruel taunting
soon to end in a dream-death
a dream-death from which I will wake up
as maddeningly alive as ever

what do the bells say
I can just hear them
(hark how the bells
sweet silver bells
all seem to say)
what do they say

I begin to hear
they are coming closer
(one seems to hear
words of good cheer
from everywhere
filling the air)
yes they are words
words of good cheer

now they are clearer
yet still somehow hollow
and there is another sound
a sound of drums
or hoofbeats
someone else is coming
(O how they pound
raising the sound
o’er hill and dale
telling their tale)
they are coming for me
the hoofbeats

I know now
this is no dream
this is no fancy
I will not awaken
and I foresee as well
that I do not welcome death
it was ideals
it seems I do fear those pounding hoofbeats

hollow and faint the rings are again
(gaily they ring
while people sing)
they will not see me
they will not hear me
they will not help me
(on on they send
on without end)
the hoofbeats are coming closer

the dust is rising
the ash is settling
grey mirthless oblivion
is falling on us all
the hearts of young men fail
the courage of warriors faints
the sun is black

the hoofbeats are a knell for my heart
is death then a comfort
is joy a myth
is hope a dream
(my flesh and my heart may fail
but you...)

the bells are silent now
(gaily they ring
while people sing
song of good cheer
Christmas is here)
the bells are silent now
and the thundering of the hoofbeats
the pounding
the pounding
(Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord)
it’s louder than ever
death breathes down my neck
and the breath is cold and clammy
yet it burns
(Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.)

death catches at my wrist
death catches at my throat
death catches at my heart
(If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?)
I look behind me
I look where his cold hand touches my wrist
and there is nothing there
and again I feel the dread
it was lighter
but now it returns
(I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.)

no more hope
no more waiting
nothing but dust
nothing but ash
nothing but grey shiftless oblivion
(But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.)
I do not fear
I dread
I weep
but I do not fear
why do I not fear
(My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.)

the waiting
the long incessant task of waiting
and will there be a morning
will I find Hope
will I find Joy
(Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.)
where is my redemption
where is Israel
where is mercy
where is hope

why must I hold out
why must I forget death’s cold hand at my heart
where can it all go
where will the dust go
the blinding scratchy hoarse dust
where will the ash go
the flaky reeking floury ash
oh where
where will the grey sublime oblivion go
the dull aching slimy gasping oblivion
the grey oblivion
where will it go

dust, ash, and grey oblivion
where do they disappear to
is this the way the world ends
where is the bang

here is the bang
here is the hope
this is the way the world ends
(And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.)
in you is forgiveness
let Israel hope in the Lord
my soul waiteth
Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away
Lord, hear my voice

And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

my friends
grey oblivion
Where have you gone?

And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.