Wednesday, April 27, 2011

wake up

the dream is over.
wake up,
the dream is over.
everyone's shutting down,
the people are so worn out.
wake up,
the dream is over.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Life is Good

Here I sit, 4 A.M. I am working on my forty page paper, as per usual. Adderall, Monster, and cigarettes are involved. During a particularly refreshing cigarette break, I took a minute to meditate on my life...

Today, (or rather yesterday) I attended a networking dinner for my Social Work major, and we were discussing the specifics of which part of social work we are interested in, and why. I personally am interested in the prison/inmate population, because of my ex boyfriend. During my senior year of high school, I was overwhelmed with AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, and AP Statistics - not to mention that math and science are not my strong points. At the same time, my long standing relationship of nearly two years was suffering as my boyfriend began to get more possessive and I began to have less time to spend with him. Things blew up in a bad way when in an act of lunacy he decided to shoot at me with a rifle. I called the cops on him, and he was taken to prison. I had no desire to reunite with him on the same level we had been on, however I wanted to be there as a friend, and spent many weekends in the Correctional Facility he was in. This inspired me to pursue a career working with inmates. From bad, came good. I discovered my calling.

Throughout my childhood, I attended Catholic schools and a very close-minded view was drilled into my brain. As I got older, I questioned many of the points that my religion made, and hated this judgmental Lord. I moved away from Christianity, and formed my own moral views. This year, I was thrown in a class called "Jesus and Moral Life" to account for my humanities core requirement. In this class, I met Dr. Michael Long and he reintroduced me to Christianity. Through him I realized that my moral views corresponded greatly with the views of an emerging paradigm of Jesus Christ (although that's a story for another day). Through this I was returned to the faith and realized my calling to Religious Studies. I also gained a job from this, working for Dr. Long on his new book. My newfound love for religion and ethics also determined my course selections in "Philosophy of Religion," "Peace, War and Nonviolence," and the "Social Ethics of Martin Luther King, Jr."

Overall, the nasty things in my life, I have noticed, are being reborn into beautiful things. This gives me much confidence and overall, I am feeling beyond happy with my life. I just felt the need to take a break from my studies to reiterate this in text, so whenever I'm feeling down, I can revisit my faith in the Lord, in my self, and in the world.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rainy Friday Morning

Adderall + Caffeine + 40 page paper.

I stepped outside of my dorm, and was greeted by grey skies and rain. I knew I shouldn't have worn my moccasins. (Side note: I always remember how to spell moccasins because the word "ass" isn't in it.) Light up a cigarette, and feel the anxiety slip away. Yeah, I can deal with the rain today. Usually, my introverted self hates even leaving the safety of my room except when necessary. I've been awake for 24 hours, but it feels like I just woke up. Usually, I get minimal amounts of sleep, and I feel especially groggy on rainy days, so it was pretty accurate. Three cars pass, where they aren't supposed to, so I wait. My hood is pulled up, but its not much protection from the rain. My moccasins are collecting raindrops, and I take another drag from my Newport. I felt the need to specify, because people always comment on my cigarette choice. I'm addicted, but that's a story for another day.
Finally, the cars pass. It feels like it took ten minutes, but it probably only took two. But, maybe it did take ten, since they were going down a walkway, rather than a road. My bag feels heavy on my back; heavy with the teachings of Niebuhr and Jesus and Rev. King. I spent the past 12 hours, or more, reading. Book after book. Highlighting and underlining and typing. I needed to get out of the dorm. The library made the most sense. I needed "Preacher King" to continue my paper. About that: 40 pages, and a week to write it. All of it. Should I have started in January, when the paper was assigned? Probably, but where's the fun in that?
I depart towards the library. Has anyone ever noticed that a hood that is not reminiscent of KKK uniform will never cover your bangs? I realized this today. The library opened at 7:45. It was 7:45 when I stepped outside of my dorm. The world is a dream. A wet, dreary dream. At first, I try to avoid puddles. Then, it's pointless. My moccasins are coming apart, and the water is getting to my socks. Soggy feet. Once I reach the library, I somehow have about a quarter of a cigarette left. I put it out and threw it away. This only matters because I have $2.08 to my name, and I wasted that cigarette. I didn't realize it, because I was thinking about Martin Luther King, and the rain and how heavy my bag was with books to return.
I feel so awake, yet my body is in slow motion. It wants to rest, but it has been laying around reading for hours, so it has gotten enough rest. It just hasn't gotten the memo yet. At first, the library looks closed. Dammit. It's unlocked. I almost printed Rev. King's dissertation, but saw that it was 209 pages, and I just simply don't have the patience for that. Dragging myself up to the third level of the library - it seems like it didn't happen. Maybe it didn't. I feel like if I were to do it again, however, there would be dragging.
323.4. Lischer.
I can't find my book. It should be right here, on the shelf in front of me, as I'm crouched down with my bag nearly pulling me over. It makes no sense. It should be here. It isn't checked out. Oh, this is 324.3.
I retrieve my book, and fall the rest of the way onto my ass and stare at the titles in front of me. Child Marriage in India? I'm ready for another cigarette. Adderall will do that to you. It will also make you chew gum, even though you hate chewing gum. But really, you hate grinding your teeth even more than gum, probably, so you'll choose the gum. I did. It lost its flavor around 4 A.M. and I can't remember where I put my brand new pack of Orbit Sweet Mint.
I take my books to the front desk, mechanically pull out my I.D. and then the books to return. I almost hate to see them go. Reading four books in one night, I know I didn't do them justice. However, they aren't really worth my time. The only one I plan to buy is "The Rise of the Christian Conscience," because it's like $2 on Amazon.
Finally, I am finished in the library. My dorm is to the left, but I go right. The rain has increased. I decided that the only thing I want more than a cigarette is coffee. I realize that my hood is still up, which is convenient, because it's raining. I walk into the on-campus coffee shop. I don't put enough coffee in my cup, and think that creamer will fix that. Another funny thing about adderall, is that everything is disgusting. I don't even want creamer, but it's too late. I change my mind about filling the cup with creamer, and get more coffee. It's scalding hot, and it burns the roof of my mouth and my tongue, but I don't really feel it. I probably did, but I don't remember feeling it.
The walk back to the dorm was a blur, accentuated with another cigarette. Countless cigarettes. A red car went by very fast, she looked important. Professors are late for class sometimes too. The rain is worse. My pants are wet, so I will have to change them, but I wish I didn't, because PJs will be too comfortable. I dread taking a shower, because it will be too comfortable.
I drop my keys three times before I get the right one in the door. Rain is going all over my coffee and all over my bangs, because my hood is normal. Finally, finally I am back in my room. And organizing my piles of books, and putting on shorts so that I'm freezing because they are comfortable. I want to keep reading about Jesus, King, nonviolence. I have other homework. Homework that's due at 2pm.
Hot coffee slides down my throat, so bitter, and my psychology text awaits. I don't care about it. I don't want to read it. I just want to read more. However, my 40 pages aren't just reading, no, I will have to type. And think. I haven't done that in a while. College is bullshit. I have no creativity. Recently, I did an oil pastel drawing of my sister in 5 minutes. It turned out well, so I know that it's still possible for me to do it, I'm just rusty.
The rain is tapping at the window, and my roommate rises for school. Actually, her alarm goes off, she has a seizure, and then throws herself from bed. She's making conversation, I think. I wish I was asleep. Or better at pretending.
So what is all this bullshit? Who gives a shit about my rainy Friday morning? Well, I sure as hell don't. But sometimes, Adderall just possesses you in ways that you don't understand. I felt like I might die if I didn't recount my trip. I'm safely back in my dorm, but soon I will have to venture out into the wilderness again. I must pick up more Adderall, and discuss Statistics with a professor whom I have never met before. I wish I could start the night over, and keep reading. But read different books, and still keep the knowledge of the ones I read.
I hope by the time I must leave the rain will have stopped. I don't mind the dreariness, however, I really like to wear my moccasins.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Broken Heartedness

This is an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s sermon, "Guidelines for a Constructive Church," given on June 5, 1966 at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

"...And Sunday after Sunday, week after week, people come to God's church with broken hearts. They need a word of hope. And the church has an answer--if it doesn't, it isn't a church. The church must say in substance that brokenheartedness is a fact of life. Don't try to escape when you come to that experience. Don't try to repress it. Don't end up in cynicism. Don't get mean when you come to that experience. The church must say to men and women that Good  Friday is a fact of life.The church must say to people that failure is a fact of life. Some people are only conditioned to success. They are only conditioned to fulfillment. Then when the trials and the burdens of life unfold, they can't stand up with it. But the church must tell men that Good Friday's as much a fact of life as Easter; failure is as much a fact of life as success; disappointment is as much a fact of life as fulfillment. And the church must tell men to take your burden, take your grief and look at it, don't run from it. Say that this is my grief and I must bear it. Look at it hard enough and say 'How can I transform this liability into an asset?'

This is the power that God gives you. He doesn't say that you're going to escape tension; he doesn't say that you're going to escape trials and tribulations. But what religion does say is this: that if you have faith in God, that God has the power to give you a kind of inner equilibrium through your pain. So let not your heart be troubled."