Morning musing 4.24.16

Early morning musing 4.24.16

I’m thinking of writing for my eyes only an ongoing narrative called “What Bothers The F*** Out Of Me” or WBTFOUM for short.

Now while it might appear to be over the top, after all I’m using a variant of the “F Word” in the title, it’s a strong word because I have strong reactions to some things; such as social injustice, food deserts, racism, grace and forgiveness being withheld on my part, responding out of fear and not love, mental health stigma internal and external, et al.

All of the things that bother me in this life mainly pertain to human behavior, and not the human in and of himself/herself. Which I think is good, because I can work through reaction and respond with action.

I don’t see human beings as issues, their own or imposed, we all have faults and cracks. Yet this is how the light gets in (as so elegantly sung by Leonard Cohen in Anthem), and so I want to expose my cracks and be illuminated.

I have cracks, I have faults, I have an inner darkness, I have fear of true intimacy. But I have a desire for the light to expose all of me, I want to be seen for who I am and not some cheap imitation that’s “socially accepted” and that’s it.

I was made for more than that,
You were made more than that ☺

Onward and upward,
Nathanael

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Church Incognito: In the beginning…

Because of a change in my work schedule, I now have a traditional Saturday and Sunday weekend. So I have decided that I will help out with my church’s youth group on Saturdays and visit different churches in my area on Sundays.

I am undertaking this task because I like diversity in community, that is, the more we might appear in our differences the more we are actually the same. I’ve grown up in the church and there are some traditions of faith that are unfamiliar to me, and so it is my intention to engage in said traditions of faith both in showing up, but also by interacting with those who attend if I am able to do so.
I have no guidelines as to what places I will attend, but I will allow the Holy Spirit to prompt and guide me in finding God in church (building) and Church (the people). I will be honest and sincere with others. I will listen, take notes, and BE and perhaps even DO with others. I will have fun. I will listen with open ears and an open heart. I will be dutiful in writing about my experiences here.

Onward and upward!
~Nathanael~

For the like of Guinness! – 27/28

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I enjoy beer, not overly so, but enough to enjoy it and converse about it and hang out with those who do.

Is drinking wrong? I think it depends on the person; if you’re prone to drinking in excess, or alcoholism runs in the family, or if you don’t even taste what you’re consuming…drinking might not be for you.

There was a time in my life where I probably identified with drinking and not really giving a rip about what I was drinking. I wasn’t a drunk, I wasn’t out of it, I just kinda went with the flow of things and drank a bit too much one time from not paying attention to what I was handed to me. Ugh, Jagermeister/Jager shots/all things Jager…that was me, excessive and hard liquor for a usual lightweight/bantam weight drinker…bad combo right there, but that was me, and how I “celebrated” NYE/NYD a handful of years ago.

As I look back at it wasn’t healthy, oy vey it wasn’t, they say being hungover is akin to drowning due to dehydration and I believe it…my hangover was intense, after vomiting it all up again, I was out of it for a good 11-12 hours! I don’t recommend it, and yet it strikes me as pure Hollywood to capitalize on this ala Hangover 1 & 2 and I think I read somewhere that a 3rd one is in the process. It strikes me as bad taste to focus on such a low in someone’s life whether it be the first time or if it is a repeated occasion…but that’s Hollywood so much of the time, schadenfreude packaged in a 2 hour movie.

I haven’t gotten drunk since that day, I drink hard liquor but in very very small doses, and even with the beer I drink, I drink in moderation. I don’t want to be caught up in a beer today gone tomorrow ordeal ever again, getting drunk once was twice to many.

~Nathanael~

I am a funny serious/serious funny guy…deal with it! – 26/28

I am funny guy…this is true.

I am a serious guy…this is also true.

I am both, and can switch gears where needed be and yet it perplexes some people sometime that I am both, well to the naysayers who say you can’t be both…deal with it!

***

So maybe people don’t reject the possibility of being a funny serious guy or serious funny guy, but sometimes in my getting to know the opposite sex I’m isolated or worse, I’m the funny guy who can’t be serious…or I’m the serious guy who can’t be funny. It hurts me a bit to be labelled for this or labelled at all, I switch gears with my funny and serious as needed be, what’s so hard to comprehend about that?

I don’t like being labelled, because as Kierkegaard put it best; “when you label me you negate me”, and I don’t want to be considered worthless for any reason especially reasons pertaining because of the particular type of person you think you I can neatly identify as.

I am not neat, I am a problematic individual, I am a wanderer, I am a questioner, a doubter…these aren’t labels, but attributes I recognize about myself. If I look past the labels affixed to me I see an individual who is bright and cheery about things happening in the now and things that will happen in the future, a dreamer, a planner, a lover of love who wants to love and be loved.
I want to transcend the bullshit that so often is at my feet, I want to avoid the proverbial Damacles’ swords that hang over head, I want to walk through that door and not look back at past mistakes but look back so as to reminisce in a slightly nostalgic way as to what got me from here to there. 🙂

It’s not an easy road, God knows that the portion of “Amazing Grace” that sticks to me is the “Through many dangers, trials, and snares” part, I’m not at the “I have already come” portion of the song but I’m getting there, little by little day to day. There have been moments in my life where I have learned things the hard way, or ways where if I just had a healthy guide to lead me I wouldn’t have made some rudimentary mistakes…but I’ve learned, and sometimes relearned.

So even though I derailed myself in this post that started out about me explaining I’m a serious AND funny guy, not separated or divided…deal with it 😉

~Nathanael~

Last train home from a summer concert – 21/28

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2 summers ago a few friends and I boarded the Aurora IL train out to Chicago, it was free concert night! Iron & Wine were the main attraction, with a few opening acts, and it was good…but before any of the bands hit the stage, we had to get through the crowds.

People? I’ve never seen that many people gathered in one place in Chicago! I’ve seen a lot of people at the Chicago Art Institute, but they’re spread out; they’re all not gawking and being entranced by Night Hawks despite how good a piece of art it is. I’m fine with crowds, I really am, but this was ludicrous or at least so this is what happens when Iron & Wine plays for free was what crossed my mind.

Trying to find a seat was a crap-shoot, my bro and his girl went one way while my friend and I went another way. We lucked out and found two seats that were comfortable and enjoyable…apart from the fact that while the sun was setting I was in a position where my forehead was burning. We watched the show, had a good time, and walked back to the train station to catch the last train home…

Now that experience I had of being around a big crowd was magnified 1000 fold aboard the train! Packed in like sardines would be one thing, but that statement does injustice to sardines and whomever was on that train. I think it was overwhelming for the conductors and other train staff as well, because I was never had my return ticket stamped! So it might have been the most crowded and free train ride ever, I’ll have to get in touch with Guinness Book of Records about that one 😉

The Aurora IL is the last stop of the train line, so it became less and less crowded by the time we got back into town. Our lesson was certainly learned; when free and concert are paired together, everyone, and I mean everyone, will show up for it.

~Nathanael~

The one where I converse about Converse (and other shoes) – 20/28

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I’m not a sneaker freaker, but I do like a good pair of kicks for feets sake!

I have 2 pairs of Converse All-Stars; a black on black pair hi-top and a red-brown-gold low-top pair, the latter looks ugly in a beautiful shoe kind of way.

The other shoe style that I like to wear are wing-tips/oxfords, I have a few pairs that are comfortable…unlike the horrible pair they rent you for when you’re a groomsman. In hindsight I should have had them pay me to wear those horrible if-I-wore-them-longer-I-would-have-gotten-blisters “shoes” more like prison chains…but the things we do for love when our good friends get married, and it was a good wedding, and a better marriage was created on that day! 🙂

Lastly in this shoe post, I like hiking shoes; I am a big fan of the great outdoors, and ideally hiking shoes with good ankle support are a must. I have for the most part been prepared for hiking in this area with few blisters along the trail, but I certainly recall being with friends who were not ready for hiking shoe-wise and dang blazes, the horror…the horror!

Choose your shoes wisely, for feets sake!
~Nathanael~

 

The little things in life; where did my childlike wonder go? – 19/28

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(not me, but I did like playing in boxes when I was little)

When I think about where I am now, the “little things” are as follows; drinking French Press coffee, sleeping in, spending time with my little nieces and nephew, driving through the country, taking time to photograph, taking time to read, taking time to be… But even now, some of the “little things” in my life are way more complicated than what were the “little things” when I was young.

When I was young the little things were playing in a box, catching fireflies, watching the sky for shooting stars, playing with my sisters and possibly annoying them all the while. Those little things didn’t require much, just time, friends, and family.

One thing that crosses my mind as a follower of Christ is what Christ said about following him in Matthew 18:3 – and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” The way to get to know God is a simple way, not a simplistic way, it is one holding on to the Father’s hand even if the grasp is a mere pinkie, it’s about faith and doubt and being unsure of where it is all going…where life is going, and taking what he said by faith and bound up religious dogma, making following him a lengthy list of do’s and don’ts.
So much of Jesus’ ministry when he was alive on earth was to the poor, the weak, the marginalized, the downtrodden…and also, to children! He went so far as to rebuke his disciples when children gathered to spend time with him, and in that day and age that’s rather astounding.

So when I examine the little things in life both past and present, I realize that while so much has changed I still can find ways to live a more simple life. It’s the Lenten season for followers of Christ, and while some might be all about giving up something, I recognize that if I am going to do that it must be something that lasts longer than Lent. I’m still not sure how I fully approach a more simple lifestyle, the big one that comes to mind is living in excess, living with more this and that, when I really don’t need more material possessions in my life.
The little things in life help me recall who I was and who I am, but also who I want to be. I don’t live in self-imposed guilt for having too much, but it does weigh upon my soul when I see and interact with people who have less than me. so it begins with change and figuring out what I can to approach life by way of the little things, but also to approach God as a child in innocence and awe of a God who is bigger and better than I couldn’t have ever imagined.

~Nathanael~