Friday, August 27, 2010

Yesterday's mutable ways

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly! -yet soon
Night closes round, and they are lost for ever:

Or like forgotten lyres, whose dissonant strings
Give various response to each varying blast,
To whose frail frame no second motion brings
One mood or modulation like the last.

We rest. -A dream has power to poison sleep;
We rise. -One wandering thought pollutes the day;
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:

It is the same! -For, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free:
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sous Servant

I've been COOK and BAKE. I'm not sure what did it. Maybe it was the Food Network. Maybe I was inspired by my Aunt's cooking whilst I stayed with her in Maryland. It's possible that inspiration could also be coming from my best friend/former roommate. Her and her family's cooking habits have always impressed and/or inspired me to get to know the kitchen. Maybe it's because I just watched Julie & Julia. Or maybe it's the fact that I need practice for the coming years. Soon, I'll be on my own. But, as it conflicts with the latter, I think it's because I have someone to cook for. My family. Though, I'm only home for a short time, I know my way around the kitchen, and it sure feels good. In the past week, I've made a meal for my family every day. Monday was Jumbalaya, Tuesday - Monterrey Chicken, Wednesday was leftover day, but I'm still counting it. And today, gourmet chicken and veggie stir fry.

It's funny. I would always excuse myself from cooking because I always failed at it. Burn, flake, explode, and deteriorate were all parts of my whining kitchen vocabulary. But something in me changed.

When you think about it, the kitchen himself is quite attractive. The sparkling knives hanging in the corner. The pots and pans hanging from the ceiling, decorating the space most unexpectedly to a beautiful cozy haven. the drawers and cupboards so graceful when they open and welcome you. Oh, kitchen. He can break my heart when I burn the chocolate souffle or melt it when I flip a perfect over-easy egg onto a golden piece of toast. It's amazing what he does to me with the kinds of things that come out of his inner workings. He will always be there, treasuring my hands, because they're what makes him alive.

This got me to thinking. My budding relationship with the he holds my heart (even when it's broken) and how much he values the work of my hands, what comes out of them, how they can be used to nourish bodies, is a sign that I'm starting to appreciate and better understand the concept of relationship. Not just marriage, though that's a big one. But relationship - friendship, courtship, etc...all the good sailing ships. We're meant to cherish one another's skill of hand and efforts, toward each other and toward good.

Who knew that the kitchen could illustrate love like this?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joyful state of being

I've never seen the stars twinkle and shoot so much as I have this night. Every second, at least three stars would wink at me, and I counted 8 shooting stars, falling across the sky like little sparkling skylarks that are so fast you have to limit your blinks in order to snatch them into your photographic memory. I like to lay low on my wide porch step and look up at Abraham's innumerable blessings. At times like these, I could never miss the city, with all of its man-made aesthetically pleasing displays of affection. The stars bring company in even the heaviest states of loneliness. And since the stars are not man made, but unfathomably made by the same love that hand-crafted our hearts, there's not even a drop of doubt that something so big bright and beautiful waits for us when we die.

Sometimes, I wish I could capture these things in a photograph, but it's impossible to do the visual justice. It just is. No photograph can truly capture the immensity of belief in that moment. I'm not even sure words can capture it, either. But words come close when drawn directly from the core. The only thing stopping the flow is the human default to edit almost every word that leaves our mouths, which brings the point back around again...nothing that humans do can even faintly compare to what God has done for the human race that he loves.

I used to get annoyed by really happy people. Or when people would say, "I've found true joy!" I'd say, 'Is it even possible to have true joy as a human being?' I'm not sure if I'm a realist or a pessimist, or if I'm depressed or angry or jealous of those who seem to be more joyful than I. I thought that true joy was only of God and not of this earth. But there are glimpses, in love, maybe, between people. I see it because I have Christ in me. But I still say, 'Wait, absolute, true joy?' Then another question arose, 'If we sought and found true joy on earth why would we want to leave it?' and 'What if earthly joy is media-fied, or politically driven, arisen from a desire for superiority ('I'm a happy Christian, and you're not.') over others who don't always see it?

But, here's something in hope. There is true joy in Christ - no, something even greater and more pure - the purest love, unfathomable. And in this, there could be joy - of God - here on earth, shown in his creation and in the hearts of those who love Him; surpassing realism or pessimism and going beyond absolutely everything we know, or think we know. This was the Baby Jesus. The cross. And this is what we sing about, and what we marvel about when we look up.