Simply a Phase
And then one or other dies. And we think of this as love cut short; like a dance stopped in mid-career or a flower with its head unluckily snapped off—something truncated and therefore, lacking its due shape. I wonder. If, as I can’t help suspecting, the dead also feel the pains of separation (and this may be one of their purgatorial sufferings), then for both lovers, and for all pairs of lovers without exception, bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love. It follows marriage as normally as marriage follows courtship or as autumn follows summer. It is not a truncation of the process but one of its phases; not the interruption of the dance, but the next figure. We are ‘taken out of ourselves’ by the loved on while she is here. Then comes the tragic figure of the dance in which we must learn to be still taken out of ourselves though the bodily presence is withdrawn, to love the very Her, and not fall back to loving our past, or our memory, or our sorrow, or our relief from sorrow, or our own love.
- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
It’s funny, even being separated in Taiwan makes me feel like I can identify with Lewis’ loss, though to an infinitesimally small degree… this is what I fear about marriage, not the “having to spend my life with someone” but losing that someone and having only memories to keep her “alive.” This is what makes me question, “Is it worth the risk?” because won’t it always end in heartbreak? Living out a long life together seems to be the least painful… yet there would necessarily be an unfairness that one gets to leave before the other.
Gosh, thankfully I leave tomorrow morning back to the States! And, I sure do miss all my friends :)
work today went pretty smoothly, and i think i got the hang of it though i would still forget a thing or two. i talked to more people and got a bit more comfortable with conversation and such… it still bugs me though that i have to make the extra effort to tell myself to wish other people a happy holidays or a merry christmas. or else, i just nod, or say you too. or something. and it kind of leaves me with regret… i guess that’s interesting because it reminds me that i have a lot to learn about how to interact with people :/
ah, and i managed to finally clean up my gmail account! wow i had emails ALL the way back from the beginning of the year… so that was kind of a stroll through memory lane… anyways, i’m probably gonna do that with my entries, but i’m going to skim them for the most important events that happened this year :) hopefully, that won’t take too long! oh, i thought it was pretty funny that i recently got an email saying i got waitlisted for KRUP, and when i went back through my emails, i found last year’s email about being waitlisted for KRUP again… haha owned! hopefully, i get to go again :)
also, after the day ended, i realized i was pretty tired, even though i sat around most of the day. and i think this week was the first time i actually worked a full day. sad, i know. i’ve never technically “worked” unless you count working for my dad, which i don’t, because it seems a lot easier than working for a boss i don’t know… i’ve never held entry jobs because i usually do volunteer stuff, and prior to this experience, i’ve always worked for just a couple hours at the office before heading back home. so this week was fun, though i did have some reservations because i know my dad is always tired when he comes back from work and i feared i would feel the same. and, well i guess i do feel tired, but it’s different than what i feel at school… i’m not sure how to differentiate between them, but it’s like productive exhaustion… like physically tired instead of mentally or emotionally tired… not sure if that’s right. (or is it labor vs. work?) anyways, i actually didn’t mind working too much, so that’s another fear overcome :)
returning home, we had dinner, and then i set out for a final christmas gift run! thankfully, i managed to complete everything i set out to do for gifts and such, mostly for my family, and it was fun going from guitar center, to borders, to the supermarket, and finally to the mall. lots of walking… but rewarding! i hope everyone likes their gifts :) hmm… now i gotta wrap them, but i pretty much suck at that :/ i follow the calvin & hobbes model: “do it bad enough and they won’t ask you to do it again” so now, my sisters don’t ask me to wrap gifts… so i watch. =) and when i need to make gifts look nice, bags & boxes with tissue paper do the trick :P
anyways, on my way home, it was kinda ironic to see that while i was driving 65 mph in a 55mph zone, the police car ahead of me was moving further and further away… i sped up to 75 and i still wasn’t matching his speed! i’m not sure how that makes me feel… haha.
getting home, my parents and sisters were wrapping gifts for the children at church tomorrow since it’s become a tradition for all the kids to get gifts for christmas! so i watched :P and did some of my own organizing for my sisters and parents and grandma’s gifts :) i then proceeded to play starcraft 2 with kavin, and lost every. single. game. whew, well that game won’t keep me addicted long… then, i cleaned my desk. it made me SO antsy because i like order… but there was so much stuff. i REALLY need to unpack and reorganize my room because it’s a mess too :( ENTROPY. AHHHH.
so, cleaning is a big thing on my mind right now, but at least i got some of it done. the other thing that’s bothering me is the fact that i got a ridiculous grade for psych, because all the test scores have been posted, but it doesn’t add up to the grade i received… it’s like a letter too low. and THIS is why i think my psych professor shouldn’t be teaching… ugh. i know this’ll get resolved, but it’s mistakes like these that bug me because after a couple mistakes, now the only thing that comes to mind when i think of him is incompetence… lol. ok no more complaining. it’s christmas eve tomorrow!
Gosh, it felt so weird “sleeping” for 3 hours… I went to my 9AM and felt find but crashed when I got back. Nick also got back in the morning since he slept over at Northeastern at Sean G’s after watching a double feature & missing the T. so, we both knocked out from 10 until almost 12! and we both had class… so we rushed to class and we were just a few minutes late. classes were fine, and justin and i got lunch at the rat. shinyoung joined us as well and we talked.
one thing that’s been on my mind is alcohol…i’m 21 yet i haven’t “exercised” my new rights, and in a sense, it’s been a stumbling block for me. for some reason, i came to the odd conclusion that for myself, drinking responsibly is more Christ-like than abstaining…weird. possibly because i hate losing control if i can help it, and i always focus on the negative aspects of alcohol. to the extent that drinking would result in me judging people negatively because of said action. sad, i know… because i’d probably judge some stuff i do as unchristlike. and, i arrived at another conclusion: i’d totally judge jesus if i saw him at a bar. and that’s when i realized i had a problem…
so i talked with justin about it, and i think my main fear is losing control because i’m such a lightweight. yet, hearing how justin & young & dave went out for a drink and how it was a great time, especially since it was dave’s first beer, made me realize that it’s really not a slippery slope.
we headed back to our rooms because we all had retreats to attend, and nick & i packed for kairos! as usual, i overpacked, but we made it to the bus on time, and headed off to dover. on the ride there, nick & i talked about alcohol as well because i wanted his perspective, and again, i was affirmed that it’s not that bad. actually, if god made it, then it’s actually good! it was interesting to hear his stories of trying alcohol and realizing his limit, and i think i’ll have to experiment as well, though with much caution….i hope i don’t approach this like i do to solutions in organic chemistry… that’d be a huge fail. and one last thing that i took back from the two conversations i had about alcohol is that i want to definitely do this in the company of friends i can trust because i won’t be judged (hopefully!) and they’ll have my back if anything does happen. so, hopefully, i can update my journey/progress soon!
arriving at the retreat center, i was excited to see what the secrets of kairos were all about…but since i’m afraid i’ll spoil any fun whatsoever for those who have not yet gone on kairos, i can only say that i’m enjoying my time so far and the leaders really know how to get everyone comfortable & reflective quick! oh and it seems nick & i will be spending LOTS of quality time together! i can’t wait for tomorrow :)
this is probably one of the earliest times i’ve slept…oh but i mean, i don’t have the time, so i’m guessing :P sorta. i’ve cheated a bit by bringing my cellphone with me to tell time but i’m deliberately putting it away to prevent distractions! thought…. what’s harder is to stop thinking about homework :/