Monday, February 28, 2005

"Why can't we just look the other way?"

The good news is that I am going to see Interpol on Wednesday night. That is exactly what I need, because it has been far too long since I have been to a good concert.
Lately, I just have forgotten myself too much. I have persisted in acting like I am someone that I am not. I am not meant for late night sessions at trendy New York bars, clubs, and lounges. I am not someone who can carry on with effortless, shallow conversation with people I barely know. I always forget these things. I try to fit in with these people with whom I have nothing in common. These people probably wouldn't know Bill Moyers from Tucker Carlson. These are people that assume the West Coast consists of Los Angeles.
I have been persisting in these shallow patterns in part because being myself has just made me too sad lately. There used to be a time when I would gladly spend a weekend at home writing and reading books about children in war. Now, all of it just seems to depress me too much, so I thought that going out and acting a fool would make me feel differently. It has just made me sort of numb.
Even if I have to go to the Interpol concert alone, at least it will be an outing that is like me. Their alienation is back to something I can relate to.

Friday, February 25, 2005

For Hugh

Hugh Nibley died. He was very old, but his words had so much relevance and meaning to me, I can't help but being somewhat sad. The way he wrote about things, well, he did alot for faith and understanding of my religious beliefs. I grateful for that.
The sad thing is that he died amid so much controversy because his daughter wrote a book, claiming that he sexually abused her. It isn't my place to determine the truth of that allegation, all of his other children have vehemently defended him. But what it has caused me to think about is sometimes the blame that individuals assign to others as a means of justifying their actions or why they chose to believe or not.
The easiest thing to do in the world is to blame other people for our decisions. What people should really say when they decide that they no longer want to be a part of an organized religion is say, I didn't believe that, because what it really comes down to is a lack of faith on an individual's part. That lack of faith may be affected by the actions of others, but it is a person's own choice to believe or not to believe. Blaming a 90 year old man who can't defend himself hardly seems like a valid exercise.
I have thought alot about my own reasons for doing or not doing what I have been taught is right in my religious cannon. Sometimes, I think it is easy to blame someone else for my lack of perfection. It isn't fair - the choices I make are my own. The wrongs that have been done to me are owned by the person that perpetrated those wrongs, not by me. We are defined not by what people do to us, but how we react to those things and how we act ourselves.
It gives me a moment to pause, because at times I have felt like my church isn't worth the sacrifice it requires. But then I realize, that the people I know who have unconditionally surrendered their will to do what they believe is right, according to my religion, are generally the happiest people I know. In contrast, the people I know that have said that the sacrifice is too difficult, and are therefore not pursuing religion anymore are generally not happy, but fault other people for their misery. Faulting other people doesn't make them any happier, it only results in them finding more fault in more people.
It doesn't work when all I want to be is beaming and radiant. It doesn't work when I believe what Nibley has written about the way that we approach Zion, the way that we become more Godlike ourselves.
I am by no means a model Latter-day Saint. I make mistakes all of the time, and I have my own struggles with doubt. However, something about the way Nibley wrote about scripture taught me that I too can work things out in my own mind at at the end of the day find a place to work out my own salvation.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

no justice to be had

I don't just say that because this is a particularly wretched day in the Bronx Family Court. I mean, the sewage pipes in the ceiling did burst. Everyone has to walk around wearing nose clips. It is too foul even to adequately describe.
No, what I am referring to today is the shocking realization that my belief in some cosmic karma to balance things out may not be as immediate as I hoped. It turns out that sometimes people who treat other people badly and who walk all over others and who take advantage of them, well, sometimes they do get what they want. Sometimes they get to have the happy ending, while the people whom they took advantage of and utilized for their own gain are now working in offices that smell like shit.
Alright I am over it now.

Seattle was good. I think. There were some confusing moments. But I think a resolution is on the horizon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

guilt?

At least Bronx Family Court doesn't make me cry anymore. I just had a crappy day because two judges yelled at me. I am so sick of caring about what goes on in the confines of this building. The truth is, there is rarely justice inside of these walls.

So much for my youthful idealism.

I am far too young to be so cynical about so many things.

Here is something else I am trying to resolve - do I just create excess faults in other people so that I don't have to deal with my own foibles? Do I always assume the worst about others so I don't have time to look at how many issues I have?

All I want to do these days is eat sushi and read social gospel critics. I have loved reading William Sloane Coffin lately. Perhaps it is just because I am suffering from Bill Moyers withdrawl.

Oh why did you have to retire, Bill, why? If you were still around on Friday nights then perhaps I wouldn't engage in reckless behavior just to avoid sitting alone in my apartment. David Brancaccio is nice, but he is no replacement for you Bill! Why have you abandoned me in my deepest hour of need?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Saffron

I went to The Gates exhibit in Central Park on Saturday. On Sunday, I decided to walk home from church by way of the park as well. Those simple pieces of cloth swinging in the breeze - they were exactly what I needed. New York seemed like a more personable and beautiful place. Central Park actually seemed like the community commons that it was intended to be. I walked and watched and listened to my fellow New Yorkers enjoying the park in an entirely new way, knowing that in two weeks, it wouldn't be like this anymore. I hope that the memory of the exhibit will allow us all to see the park in a different way days, weeks, months, and years after the Gates come down.
The saffron gates reminded me of monks in Buddhist monastaries. That peacefulness and tranquility is something that I have needed in my life as of late. The colors gave me pause for moments of quiet meditation and ultimately led me to returning to some of my writing that I have put aside for too many years, from days when I used to be thoughtful. Those days certainly have seemed far removed as of late, because of so many hours I have invested in not thinking about much of anything.
Orange is a much better color than the annoying red of Valentines Day. Of course, who am I to talk - I am wearing a new pink shirt today that I purchased this weekend from Anthropologie. I must be stopped before I hurt someone.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Floating Holiday

So today was a floating holiday from work, meaning I could take today off, or if I chose to work today, then I could take any day off in the future and substitute it for today. I chose to work today, even though I did not get any sleep last night.

In between obsessions over Russian girls and Jewish boys this week, I read this article:
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050210/od_uk_nm/oukoe_economy_romance and became concerned with the fact that DJ told me he had hired someone who looked like Anna Kournakova (sp?), fearing the worst. It doesn't take much to upset me these days.

I should have stayed home and slept today. Last night, I was actually out too late on a work day. I went out with Erik and Ed. Ed had a particularly trying day yesterday so I am hoping that we at least managed to make him feel somewhat better.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

If only...

Since I am always complaining about the cold, I should at least comment that it has been significantly warmer in the metro area the past few days. This weekend, the highs were in the 40s and it was sunny.

Otherwise, the family court is still making me crazy. Yesterday, I had a homicide detective in my office who was sharing with me the details of a homicide case that he was working on Friday when he was unable to come to court. It was so graphic and disturbing, it made things painfully clear that I picked the wrong profession for me.

Lately, I also have noted a significant problem in my life of being unable to digest regular food. I have no desire to eat vegetable or anything that might provide badly needed nutrients, but instead, I want to eat things like Lucky Charms or Cake Batter Ice Cream for dinner.

I saw the movie "In Good Company" again. Those nuanced jabs at corporate America are very appreciated considering I think that the whole working world is insane these days. I don't seem to know anyone who is content at their jobs these days. Well, I should rephrase that, no one who is currently employed in a traditional job that is. The happiest people I know are the ones that are out changing the world on their own terms on the opposite side of the world or the ones that have refused to surrender to practicality and are making a go of it in their own chosen art. I wish I was that brave.