Sunday, August 30, 2009

I've Been British RTed?

These past few days have been filled with incredibly good news. Elaborate? Nah. Nothing of substance is really actually going on in my life for once. If I tried, though, substance would show up. I'm not worried. It'll be here soon.

Here's the thing. I'm getting up early tomorrow to move back to the university, which sounds like love at first sight to me. Living there is like living in an asylum in the best possible way. That is why I must go.

For example, I dropped by yesterday and in the twenty minute span of me being in Holmes Hall, SO many ridiculous shenanigans took place. Long story short, I learned a very valuable lesson: do not attempt to use toilet paper that has been accidentally doused in scented oil. And then I'm left asking why these things ALWAYS happen to me...but really? I love my hilarious existence. A friend told me yesterday that I lived such an adventurous life while she had worked all summer, and I responded by pointing out that I've no money to show for all of my adventure. Looking back, though, I'd much rather have adventure than cash. So lets see how long I last with that mentality.

On a new subject though, I was explaining my hectic fall schedule to another friend, and like most people after hearing that list of nincompoopery, she asked if I wanted to kill myself, as if I made the rules for the university and had a personal death-wish. I said yes; and the sooner the better.

Obviously, I was kidding. But what am I doing all of this for? I've been flippantly telling people that, no, I'm not going to work for NASA--NASA will work for me. That's the plan. And I see no reason why not.

But then I realize how little I know. How hard I've been working and how much harder I must work. How much strife is worth it? How do I measure success, because I certainly don't measure it like the rest of the world seems to. Not deep down.

So here's the real answer. If you want to know what in the world I'm going to do with an Astrophysics doctorate, why the hell I am in love with Ireland so much, why I didn't choose music school over science school, why I've awakened the activist in me, here's why:

It makes me happy. This is the closest thing to fulfillment that I can find; everything that I do I have at least a little reason for doing. However I don't and shouldn't have a concrete plan for life; that's silly. I have a general outline that looks like a ball of yarn. It goes in a million directions but it comes together into a semi-perfect sphere. What is life if you can't enjoy at least a portion of the ride? It doesn't have to make sense. I do what makes me happy.

See, nothing of real substance here. Can't make this mean anything today, but like I said, I'm not worried. Substance is near. Stay tuned.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Justice And/Or Mercy

There is a song by Flyleaf called Justice and Mercy, and from the moment I heard it I was sold. Lyrically, it's empowering. Musically, it's powerful in itself. Theoretically, it's revolutionary. Literally? I'm not so sure. I didn't actually think about or decompose the words 'justice' and 'mercy' until this morning, when Pastor Marvin was talking about 'the demands of justice' versus 'the longings of love'.

Because until now I figured that justice and mercy were attainable concurrently.


People want justice for those who have done them wrong, but mercy for when they themselves do others wrong. It's just so very human.

I'm not a fool. I don't really actually think that justice fully exists. We live in a relatively justice-less world, where getting away with it, whatever 'it' may be, is the only thrill that people want. Getting away with it is pretty simple here, because people have added fluff to justice. Fluffy minimum sentences. Fluffy parole dates. Fluff. Justice is not a fluffy word. It's heavy and it has its own baggage. Justice will condemn a person. Justice will assign and enforce responsibility. Justice will rightfully kill a person.

On the flip side, though, mercy exists a bit. Mercy is the reason that justice is so absent. America, or Michigan, or Ingham County, rather, will give second chances out like candy. It's a free-for-all. You've made a mistake? Oh, you've killed? You've raped? Well, darling, crawl onto the judge's lap and say you're very, very sorry; he or she will give you a stern talking-to and maybe even smack your knuckles, but then wipe your tears, pat your back, and send you on your way. So go ahead. Kill again. Rape again. Mercy will set you free, because mercy trumps justice here.

That is so unbearably twisted. Justice would condemn; mercy just...forgave. Flippantly. With disregard. I'm not so sure that was in the original plan for mercy.

I just wish that the two could coexist. Not a mixture of two extreme opposites, but just a cooperation. The ONLY place where the two meet is at the cross. The ONLY person who experienced justice and mercy concurrently is Jesus Christ.

Because the demands of justice required a brutal death, but the longings of love, this depth of mercy, required a second chance for every man, every woman, every child. Everybody.

It's massive. It's ground-breaking. Justice meets Mercy. North meets South. East meets West.

That means that there exists a hope for me. I deserve the very depths of literal, condemning justice, but I don't experience that. I get away with it, BUT more than that, though, I have the option to make things right. I have the option to experience mercy, but not without the requirements of judgment. I'm judged by what I do, and I am sentenced to death, but Somebody has mercy on me. This is important: the foot of the cross is where the two meet. It isn't anywhere else, certainly not any courtroom in America. Justice and Mercy, at the cross: the opposites coming together.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Post-Eire Era

Update: I am in America, currently. Back from a ridiculously successful trip to Ireland, but not really sure what to say. I remember when I got back from Ireland for the first time, I sat down and typed out page after page of memories and stories and...I have just as many things to tell this time, I just would rather tell them to you face-to-face, if you ask. I'll tell you that Ireland is getting better. I'll tell you about the darkness but then I'll tell you about the light that is to come. I'll tell you about the huge amount of power in the land and sea. I'll tell you about the kiddos, about the parents, about the friends and foes. I'll tell you about the team, about the food, about the victories, about the laughter, about the tears, about the unity, about the signs, the wonders, the miracles. If you ask.

Because I'm head-over-heels in love with it; with it and the people within it. If you usually read my documentations of thought, you probably know this already. You know how much I felt like I had to go back. You know how addicted I am. You know how obsessed. You know, so you must know how incredibly good it was for me to breathe Irish air again. But that's all terribly dramatic, isn't it?

As I said, I'm in America. I look and feel like a wild child of the summer, complete with burned nose and wispy, sun-blonde hair. It is good to be home, whatever "home" is. I'm moving back to the university soon, where I will disappear into a void of scheduled pandemonium and all I will have to worry about is achieving seventeen credits of awesome. Well, that and swimming until my lungs give out. And fighting along with the colleagues as hard as ever to eradicate the existence of sexual assault. And grading a zillion math papers. And all the things that I do.

But when all of that smoke clears away, and I take with me the things I learn and the memories and friendships and empowerment, support, experience, growth, I will be left with opportunity after opportunity. I have a rough plan, but it's foolish to plan. So, version two of my plan, or Plan B, if you will, is to jump on every opportunity that I have enough sanity for.

So basically just do what I do always. Keep living life. Keep. Living. Life.