Whatever your heart clings to

2002 01 03 - 20:36

Millions of people over thousands of years, have debated the nature and purpose of what they term as god. Wars fought, families split, hate aggravated... over something we are - on the other hand - supposed to see as an entity of peace and love. So much distress over whose idea is correct.

They all are, and none of them are. It's a fruitless debate, and a cyclical argument that cannot be won.

I don't believe in God; I don't think I ever really did. Not even when I was young and going through the pretenses of trying to be a good Catholic. Then again, it seems to me that religion has nothing to do with God, and more to do with the faith of humanity, or the need of humanity to find a sense of belonging in something and a higher power to explain the things for which we can - as yet - divine no answer.

To some, God is nothing more than power; that which they may use to bend, bind, and control, others. The deities of fame and fortune to serve the master.

That seems so empty; so devoid of substance. Basing a faith or a way of life upon so fleeting a thing. Inner strength seems so much more worthwhile, though it be as fleeting a thing as the others. Still, ephemeral or no, it seems a better practice to build upon that which we can carry within us; rather than to build on that which has no real connection to us at all - that which exists completely outside of our own bodies.

So, what's best and better? What is God? What is love? How can you explain any of it?

You can't, but at the same time you can.

As simplistic as this might be to some, and as open to use for negative purpose as it might be, the only explanation that can satisfy everyone, is the following quote:

Whatever your heart clings to, that is your God.

So, what is God? God is that which is central to your being; that which is core to you; that which is most important to your life; that which you love.

Love is no more easy to define than God, even though we bandy that word around so lightly, and often so limply. We put so little weight behind a word that we can - at times - cling to so strenuously; more dependant on it, it seems, than life or breath itself.

There's another confusion though, the mistaken perception that sex equals love, or that somewhere on some level you can't have one without the other. Why is it that we've bred a world full of individuals who think sex and love are the same thing?

Anyhow...

There are as many different kinds and interpretations of this chameleon creature we call love, as there are interpretations of that entity some call God.

We can't, much to the chagrin of many, and much to the consternation of others, all live life with the same definition of love. We all have the same ideal of what it is; the same larger concept. But each and every single one of us has a different spin on it; and each and every one of us has a million little different ways in which we express it, and to what we express it.

What is love, then? Love, also, is whatever your heart clings to.

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Moments

2001 12 27 - 21:06

It's a wonderful, heady feeling, when you realise that you can still surprise yourself; when you realise it's still there inside you someplace.

The weather conspired to snow, and I am cooped up comfortably in my flat, trying the various ways I know to keep from feeling chilled straight through. Flannel jammies in blue and green plaid, a big sweater, hand-knit purple socks, and a warm cup of freshly made tea. Look, I never said I colour-coordinate when I'm lounging. So there.

This would be a night of cocoa, but I haven't any; and frankly, I'm just not prepared to put on proper clothing and walk 'round to the store to buy some.

The weather conspired to snow, and it lays like infrequent lacework across the streets, and lawns, and parked cars that huddle against the curb looking for even an ounce of warmth. There they sit, their dirt covered or washed away by the whiteness; looking fresh and clean and nearly new.

I remember once coming around a corner in the dark of a winter night. The air was cold, the sky clear, and the moon fully bright and visible. There, there stood a tree covered in ice. Each branch was like crystal, sheathed in perfectly clear ice; stalactite and pristine. It glimmered. It was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen.

Often I wish I had a photograph of it, some kind of keepsake to remind myself of its loveliness. Some things, though, are better fleeting. They are meant not to last in any measure but our memory. They are meant to be of the moment and momentous.

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Value

2001 12 20 - 21:16

I think we're all prone to wanting to be what we aren't, simply because we get so used to being what we are that we lose sight of its value.

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When We Were Young

2001 12 03 - 22:26

Oh when we were young,
And the future was only tomorrow,
When all we saw,
Was a brand new day,
And all we knew of sorrow,
Was yesterday.

Oh when we were young,
And hope meant a sunny afternoon,
When all we wanted,
Was for the moon,
Not to come too quickly,
Too soon.

Oh when we were young,
And knew we were immortal,
Knew we'd live forever,
Never a better day than today,
Never a better time,
Than right now.

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Unintentional quasi-haiku

2001 11 29 - 22:29

The point of changing,
Is rearranging what was,
Into what will be.

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It's not only a journey of sight and mind, it's also one of sound

2001 11 28 - 22:30

I can set my clock by the noises I hear.

The sprinkler on the lawn across the road in summer, means it's 3:35 a.m. precisely. The whooshing breath of the neighbour's dog, means that it's 6 a.m. on the dot. The overly loud television sounds from downstairs, means that it's past 6 p.m. on the weekends.

I don't know that people pay all that much attention to the ambient noises in their lives; those noises blend into the background so easily. They melt in, and we stop noticing them after a while. Sometimes we only notice the absence of them, too.

When I first moved into this flat I stopped hearing the trains, and missed them. I missed the rumble of thousands of tonnes of heavy metal scraping across tracks, the whistles as they crossed streets. It was a small hole in my day that took a long while to get filled in with some other noise that I now no longer notice; some other sound that's lost its meaning admist the conglomeration of other sounds that bury it.

Some mornings it's interesting to sit and listen to the world waking up around you. One sound, then another, then a few more. They're like layers of icing on a cake. Too many, as I said, can bury the flavour of the cake underneath.

One layer, then another, then another still. They build.

I can't sleep in dead silence. I remember once during highschool I slept over at a friend's. At the time she lived in what I'll term "the middle of nowhere". I was so used to the noises of major streets and inner cities, that being out there in the dead of night was near numbing. There was nothing; no sound at all. Not even her dog barked or made noise. It took me ages to fall asleep in the wasteland of deadness that pressed around me in the dark.

Some morning, if you can, sit in silence before dawn and listen to the world wake up around you. Listen as the layers of icing on the cake coalesce to form a day.

What do you hear?

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Four-letter words

2001 11 23 - 22:35

Like is a four-letter word,
Linking in kindred empathies.

Love is a four-letter word,
Like opulent, voluptuous entanglement.

Hate is a four-letter word,
Helps aggravation to eternity.

Fear is a four-letter word,
False evidence appearing real.

Pain is a four-letter word,
Pulsating, acute, intense nausea.

Hope is a four-letter word,
Having opinions positively expanding.

Time is a four-letter word,
Trust it mends eventually.

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The love of money

2001 11 22 - 22:37

I think I'll long for a life of near-destitute academia, where one's importance as a person is not determined by the size of one's bank account.

I'm as much a capitalist as the next person, in that I want money and all the joys it can bring; but I'm enough of a socialist to be disgusted by money being treated as some sort of sacred cow. The struggle for money for no other purpose than to have more of it for its own sake, is repugnant to me.

I discovered just the other day - while listening to someone describe a friend of theirs only in terms of job status and bank account - that I actually loathe people who seem to only be impressed by, or want only to impress others by, their money and "importance" of job. It also made me wonder if that person could think of nothing else to say of someone they call "friend". I don't know about you lot, but I define my friends by means other than the superficial nature of their existance.

Certainly money is an important thing, and certainly having a decent job is also important; but if those are the only things you can think of to define yourself as a person - if that's what you've become slave to - then you certainly have a lot of empty places in your self; don't you?

Coming from the perspective of one who's had very little money her entire life, the prospect of having a lot of it is certainly attractive; but not having money seems to do one of three things to people. Either it makes you realise how unimportant it is in the fulfillment of a person; you become a slave to getting it and become shallow; or you become totally repugnant of it simply because you are a have-not.

Not having money has helped me personally to realise what things do have real worth in life. Value is not solely defined by something worth its weight in gold bullion.

Not having money has also made me extremely conscious of security. Certainly I want money so that I do not have to worry about what will become of me when I'm elderly, where my next meal is going to come from, and not having to turn my friends down when they want to go out because my last dollar has to go towards buying a litre of milk rather than a bottle of beer down the pub.

Mind you, that's where the debate of worth and value really comes to the fore. I will, and have, starved myself for a few days so that I could spend time with friends. People are more important than money. Reading good books and improving the self are more important than money. Doing something so that you have somethng to share with others, is more important than money.

It has always seemed to me that a person who only talks of their financial resources, doesn't have very much to say for themselves. It's not merely repugnant, it's also boring.

Then again, you have to wonder about any person who obsesses so constantly about any topic. We all have our obsessions; we would not be human without them. There are, however, reasonable limits.

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Dr. Fraser prescribes Mother Nature's medicine

2001 11 10 - 08:44

Feeling down? Feeling blue? Me too...

... but I have just the thing to cure what ails you!

As silly as it might sound, but just hear me out on this one, go outside and find a nice expanse of lawn covered in the fallen leaves of autumn, and scuff through them. I don't mean walk, stroll, kick, or run, no; I mean scuff.

You wouldn't believe the restorative that is. Go on. Go out and try it. Let me know how you feel after a good scuffing.

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Today's minor story of woe (or: whoa, you're a dipshit!) (or: maybe you should be more observant)

2001 11 02 - 08:53

I went downtown today, to practice the ancient art of shopping as a celebratory ritual. I thought to myself that I should buy some books as my reward; so off to the bookstore I trotted with atm card in hand.

I poured through the stacks and shelves and sales tables, picking myself out some nice literary treats, and went to the counter to pay for them. Lo and oh-woely, my bank card had managed to disappear between my home and the bookstore's check-out desk.

"Shit," says I, "I'll have to go across the street to the bank and get a new one." I was only minorly put out by this disappearance, since one no longer has to wait six weeks to get a new bank card; they'll do it for you right on the spot.

Today was the day of the Really Long Bloody Queue In The Bank. After half an hour of waiting in line between the old Scottish lady who wanted to gossip, and the young man with a run-amok toddler, I procured my new atm card. "Damnit," says I, "Now I'll have to memorise a new bank card number. Bugger."

I got back to the bookstore to pay for the stack of books I'd left on the counter, only having had my starvation genes slightly teased by the smell of greasy foods from the mall's nearby food court. Madame le Check-out Lady picks up my Dickens and rings it through, proceeds to pick up my Homer and ring that through, and right on top of Wilkie Collins' Moonstone is, you guessed it, my (now useless) old bank card.

It's now resting a useless death in the garbage bin of the bookstore, after being cut in fours by a whopping great pair of scissors the lady lent me for the task.

Oh, why was I celebrating? Because I got accepted to Athabasca University.

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