when it comes to batman movies, west is best. but when it comes to geography, my heart will always find quiet contentment in the east. and by that, i mean all three iterations of the east that i have experienced: the south, the mid atlantic, and my home state of florida. a few quick observations from the first month of my return home:
- sunrises are stunning. they are even better when sitting on a kayak with shrimp baited to your fishing pole.
- the pedestrian life does not exist. i miss it. and public transportation.
- college football. enough said.
- there’s a fine line between politeness and chauvinism. i have yet to re-learn the boundaries, and i am subsequently on edge whenever an older man winks at me. the winking happens a lot here.
- some things don’t change. getting onto 408 from i4 is still a pain. but it is still i4 and not the 4.
i am home, but this is all new. my feet are firmly planted in mid air.
In the last few days, the mission statement from my high school has been running through my head. It’s one of those statements that contains a lot of prepositions about the kind of students we will become – service before self, character over career, wisdom beyond scholarship, and participation as a way of life.
I’ve been preparing for a while, filling the resume and getting excited about the next thing…until i realized that I was forgetting to live in the now. The proverbial gift-that-is-the-present is not just a line from your favorite edition of chicken soup for the soul, and I have the opportunity to move about with confidence in the decisions that I make.
Who knew that said decisions would put me back in my hometown eight years later? Seriously, I’m still not sure this job was available two weeks ago, or that this is real. And by job, I mean coffee director at downtown credo – the non-profit and shop that has served as my home-away-from-home in the last year. Our credo is a little different than the mission statement of high school:
Life is worth living. I refuse to merely exist. I pursue a life of meaning and purpose, fulfillment and joy. The world is not yet as it ought to be. Neither is my city. Neither am I. Yet, I reject apathy and despair. I engage the world, my city, and myself to make an impact for good. I am not alone. I press through narcissism, isolation and self-sufficiency striving to live in authentic community.
Yep, this is real. Let’s get to work.
Things have moved rather quickly over the last ten days, and in the next few weeks I hope to take stock of it all. In the meantime, here’s to new beginnings in familiar places! I am thrilled for what is in store, humbled by the reception here, strengthened by the support both near and far, and perhaps still a little overwhelmed.
More to come soon!
putting down my current read long enough to share:
any writing which has influenced the thinking of the lives of innumerable people is important. now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. and there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘thou shalt.’ nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. but ‘thou mayest’! why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. he can choose his course and fight it through and win.
…these old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. they are critics of truth. they know that these sixteen verses are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. they do not believe a man writes fifteen and three-quarter verses of truth and tells a lie with one verb. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and successful lives. but this – this is a ladder to climb the stars.
you can never lose that. it cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.
Steinbeck, J. (1952). east of eden. new york: penguin books.
like Lee, i have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. thou mayest. timshel.
i wanna know, have you ever seen the rain? have you ever heard it with a steel drum cadence? you are welcome.
the status on the clothes has not changed, and here i am ready to write another post. call it making up for lost time. i thought i would take a quick moment to synthesize my week. it has been written, experiences, prayed for, and otherwise expressed in too many mediums, so this will hopefully be concise.
- insomnia + anxiety + two weeks = public meltdown during a work event. i don’t recommend it…mostly because your supervisor will not believe any subsequent rational thought from you. For example, supervisor: “how are you?” me: “i’m ok, thanks for asking.” supervisor: “are you sure? there are varying reports that say otherwise.” i can’t make this up.
- apparently anxiety isn’t some crazy thing that crops up in my life alone. don’t get me wrong – the aforementioned collapsing may be, but i am not alone (oh, and btw: neither are you).
- you like me, you really like me. for the sake of throwing out a seminary term that i haven’t heard in a while, let me put it this way: the juxtaposition of the depths of my internal isolation with the depths of the support have been a bit of a juggling act, but the latter has outplayed the former by leaps and bounds.
- i’m going home! the land of cars, suburbia, 4Rivers bbq, formative years memories, grad school reunions, and jamaican food is calling my name for a few days. i’m a little worried that my vaca is already planned for me, when all i really want to do is crash in the house…and eat good food.
“one love” came just came up on the player. truly, life is better with reggae. yes, i am reposting previous thoughts on the idea. it still stands, even during the ungodly hours of the night. give thanks and praise to the Lord and i will feel alright.
take that, insomnia.
oh hey personal blog, i’ve missed you.
another midnight screening in the books. flight to orlando in a couple hours…and i’m 80% determined to pull the all-nighter. if i succeed it’ll be 2 for 5 in my lifetime. in the meantime, the reggae is playing, and i am staring at a pile of clothes over the computer screen. this all-nighter may happen after all.
ok, the dark knight rises. arguably the most anticipated movie of 2012 (you know, by those people who argue that stuff). i’m not too far removed from the experience, and i’ll see it again soon in imax, so i will reserve coherent thoughts for when they actually come. for now, here are a few things that i thought of on the bus ride home:
- is joseph gordon levitt my generation’s robert redford? my recent viewing of butch cassidy and the sundance kid may have something to do with this thought.
- this is a grittier film than the previous two. i can count on hans zimmer, but the sound editing for the fist-to-face-to-kick-to-body-breaking was more than i anticipated. it takes the movie out of the shadow of the dark knight but i’m still on the fence about whether or not i liked it more.
- i didn’t hate anne hathaway. well, i didn’t entirely hate her. one scene toward the end reminded me why, though. more to come on that later.
- not sure how i feel about the characterization of alfred in this movie. nothing, however, diminishes in my love for michael caine (ok, mostly impersonations of him, but i digress).
- straight up brawl. none of these long-range, impersonal fights. mass chaos. again, a departure from the previous nolan renderings.
but at the end of the night (beginning of my day?), the most important thing to remember: “sometimes you just can’t get rid of a bomb.” those who have ears…
seriously, y’all, west is best.
my word(s) for 2012:
…more to come as this year unfolds.
bonus video below: some things you cannot unsee. welcome to my world.
from any human heart, by william boyd:
my nature is essentially urban and, although Los Angeles is indubitably a city, somehow its mores aren’t. maybe it’s the weather that makes it feel forever suburban and provincial: cities need extremes of weather, so that you long for escape. i could live in Chicago, i think – i’ve enjoyed my trips to Chicago. also there has to be something brutal and careless about a true city – the denizen must feel vulnerable – and Los Angeles doesn’t deliver that either, at lease not in my short experience. i feel too damn comfortable here, to cocooned. these are not experiences of the true city: its nature seeps in under the door and through the windows – you can never be free of it. and the genuine urban man or woman is always curious – curious about life outside on the streets. that just doesn’t apply here: you live in Bel Air and you don’t ask yourself what’s going on in Pacific Palisades – or am i missing something? (351)