Sunday, October 26, 2008

For everything there is a season...

And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance,
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8

This verse reminds me that life is cyclical, and that gives me hope. We all need hope, I think.

It's fall right now, and I feel like it's the autumn for a lot of people's lives. It certainly feels like it for me. It's widespread: Everything from nature, to our personal lives, to the economy seems to be spiraling right now.

This weekend has made me aware of this whole cycle in a very real way through many different experiences, both positive and negative. One of my good friends in the fraternity's father was killed on Tuesday morning in a tragic car accident. Death, especially premature death, can be really hard on people. I never met the man and I had a hard time dealing with it for some reason. It just brought the absurdity of life to the forefront of my mind and made me realize that it could have been MY parents or ME that died. I am guaranteed nothing.

I went to visit one of my favorite professors on Tuesday to talk about my future and when she opened the door, she was wiping tears from her face. I'm not sure what was wrong, but she'd been canceling all of her classes for a few days prior (which is very out of character for her) so I was really worried. Another example of this season getting the best of people, I suppose.

I've also got some family issues weighing on my mind pretty heavily. Things just happen sometimes, you know? I'm not in control of anything, really. I just hope I can deal with some of these things that happen when they hit so close to home like they are doing right now. When things go wrong with the people you love and you feel helpless, it's a terrifying feeling.

Tomorrow I'm going to the school counselor to talk some of this stuff out. Thanks, Citizen, for suggesting that idea. There is too much on my plate for me to be able to sort through all of this stuff in the ways that I know I need to. I wish I could be the superman that people see in me, that I could just "work it out," but I don't think I can. And I'm trying to come to terms with not being the perfect person I aspire to be.

But to everything there is a season. Now in my life is the time to sow. It's the time for the sheep to be sheared, for the field to be made barren. It isn't without pruning that the plant is able to grow to its fullest, and you can't reap fruit if you don't first put in the work to make that fruit able to prosper. I'm not sure if this is an ultimately hurtful metaphor (What if my time to reap never comes? What if I'm building my happiness on a dream that will never come to pass? What if I'm wasting my life right now banking on happiness later that will never happen?), but right now I need hope.

There is hope if I look hard enough. My best friend Keith got an amazing new girlfriend - I met her today and we all spent time walking around Lake of the Ozarks state parks. He says he's in love! I'm sooooo happy and relieved to see him engaging life so fully. It inspires me and reminds me that life IS cyclical, that things happen both good and bad. Neither side seems to win out over the other, so I have hope for my own spring time.

So here's to patience - to holding out until spring. I'm sure it's on the way, and I know I've got people to look to that will hold me up when I feel like I'm getting too weak to stand on my own. I think that's why we're all here together. We can lean on each other when we get weary. It helps.


In other news, I got a tattoo in July. I'd been thinking about it for about two years, trying to find something that would be meaningful to me as I grew older, but I wanted to wait to post it on my blog until I got a chance to talk to my parents about it in person (both of them read this blog). So here it is - a symbol of religious peace and tolerance and a work of art. I couldn't be happier to have it on my body for the rest of my life.


Another P.S.,
Every picture on my blog from now on will be mine. Every picture on this post is the result of me just carrying my camera around and trying to capture the beautiful things I see in my life. Hopefully that will create a bit more personality on my blog, and it will also make me not feel bad for copying and pasting everyone else's work!


Anonymous said...

You're welcome. Perfection is over-rated anyway.

I love that passage in Ecclesiastes, and find myself singing the song verson frequently. And that's quite a tatoo - really beautiful (but, ow!).

PeterAtLarge said...

The quote from Ecclesiastes is one of the most beautiful passages ever written--anywhere, any time. Such infinite wisdom and sadness. Love the tattoo. Wear it in peace, and in good health.

PeterAtLarge said...

Oh, and good work for Obama! Thanks for everything you've been doing...