Monday, December 13, 2010

things that are real

For me things are becoming quite interesting. I get hit with a lot of people, perspectives, places, tastes, smells, you name it.  

Often times things move so fast they don't feel like they've actually happened.  Its often a surreal and hard to describe experience.

But i press on.  I am beginning a monologue about things that are truly real in my current phase. 

These things are real...
Truth is often and mostly spoken in different languages.  Herein lies the problem, we don't speak every language.  Maybe more important, is that we don't want to. I have encountered only a few souls that are actually intent on finding the truth underneath the language, underneath the culture, and in spite of my own worldview.  But its there.  Its peeked it's face out at me from time to time.  In moments that are mostly not intended.  Its often much bigger than a book, a story, a passion, or a perspective.  Its always an "Aha!" and a "i am not really sure what we are talking about" all at once.  At about every turn when i have processed truth and it has become truly real, it has been over a meal, a bottle of wine, a smoke, a walk, a hospital visit, or a truly terrible moment.

I once had a brilliant conversation with a friend in Tokyo.  We talk a couple times a year but it is always meaningful.  We got through the pleasantries of life; work, music, food, etc. and then finally to talking about my son.  Whose name is Greyson.  I was asked why did Katie and I name him this? (I am often asked this)  There were a few reasons, but most notably for this conversation it was about truth.  And truth to me is quite grey.  It represents the intangible that is still there and for all of us a different shade of the same thing.  We spent time discussing the nature of this, culturally, socially, truthfully.  It was quite a revelation that came about in a living manner in this conversation.  Katie, my wife, was the first to point this out.  For her and I, its not about the definition of what is black and white, maybe its more about creating the grey.  Making the grey okay.  I am often asking myself if God is this way.  IF it was set up like this on purpose.  If this world is so confusing because we keep trying to define it, or to make it a black and white argument.  I am resolved at this point in my life to attempting to find the grey between the lines.  To live there and cherish it.  I hope that more do this.  I hope that in this we see the beauty in things, because they are all different shades of quite the same thing.  (as a shout out to all my Christian friends, i believe that this is the great work of healing that we must embark on in this world.  I believe that the Church has often been pretty terrible at doing this.  We must attempt to live in the manner of Jesus spoken through story, illustrated in as many different ways as possible.  We must stop the black and white system of control.   To quote a favorite band of mine "grey is not a compromise it is a bridge between two sides.  i would even argue that it is the color that most represents God's eyes.)

For me the mystery of death and pain is most definitely real.  I have come to respect this mystery as it is seemingly unprovoked, and unpredictable.  It is however an elixir that demonstrates perspective.  I hate this potion, however, like i said, i have come to respect the reality that exists in hospital beds with the people who matter most.  I have experienced the hospital too much these last few months.  But that experience has changed me.    

My son
My son is real.  I am still grasping at how to describe being a father.  I find this a worthy adventure.  I have not met anyone who has been able to describe the fatherhood thing to me.  I always hear,"you can only know if you have a Child.". I don't like this perspective.  More people need to attempt to express this in words.  Here is my start:  Greyson is a wonderful and pressing, tangible representation for my species to me.  He makes me understand more what i am made of, and where i came from.  He is cute, needy, fun, gross, and wonderful in a moments notice.  He is so unshaped.  Its so weird to have this as a normal part of my routine.  Its great, its a challenge, its going to be a great new adventure.  
This world has spent millennia attempting to explain love.  Because there are times where love invades.  Greyson invaded our life and with him more love.  The mystery of this Love becomes manifest in a person.  A person.  My son looks like me (so I've heard).    He already acts like me.  He also looks and acts like my wife, the person to whom i am most devoted.  That alone elicits a very powerful love.  Like this, i really like cheddar, and if you give me a cheddar with some different characteristics, I will most likely like that too.  Much for some of the same reasons, but for different ones as well.  I think having a kid is like that.  I want to believe that most days i like the person i am.  I also want to believe that i love my wife wholly and without question.  I see those two people in my son, the two people i know best in this world.  I I'll say that there is something incredible in making someone smile.  This alone is a worthy life's objective.  My son reminds me of this fact.  He also has played a strangely important part in the life of my family already.  A few months before he was born, my wife's grandfather passed away.  The birth of Greyson softened the loss and reminded us all that life endures.  This truth alone has changed me.

Time spent talking makes things real for me.  Relationships are the most vital out of body or mind experience we can have.  So many of us keep our worlds too small.  We have two few relationships, we don't meet and talk to new people.  I believe that we are destroying our potentials with isolation.  Thoreau lived in the woods for a while, wrote a great book about isolation and a perspective on a better life, but he emerged and shared it.  This is the point.  Life, our experiences, our souls must be beared to one another.  Life is multiplied in this world.  We must great this as a mainstay of living.  I think that this must be purposeful as well.  A practice.  I appreciate that I have a few friends that challenge me to do this.  They ask me questions steeped with the intention of knowing more.  knowing me more, knowing life more.  I feel like i get this on a date with my wife, or almost every conversation I have with my friend, Ian.  It happens in foreign countries where we don't really understand each other, but there is an effort that must exist in order to bridge the communication gap.  So often I breeze through life, just existing.  Eating the same thing, answering the same questions in the same way.  This is just part of it for me.  I think this might be the rest part of engagement.  But also, I must engage, write about it, talk about it, and live it out.  

Need is real for me.  It seems at every corner, need is aching to be met.  I think that the world's greatest people devoted their lives to attempting to solve this issue.  The person on the street who needs a meal is obvious, but the subtle needs that exist in the world are the ones that drive our relationships.  We must be cognizant of this as well.  To attempt to flush out the need in the friend who is keeping it just beneath the surface, waiting for YOU to let it out.       

I want to make sure that the people in my life that are making an influence on my world are acknowledged.  My wife pushes me, she is patient with me, she understands me, and she teaches me so much.  

My friend group that so often is at my home, eating with me, drinking my wine, and sharing their lives with me.  

Those of you who have lived in my home.  I have learned more from you than you know.  

Those friends I meet on the road.  At a bar, in a restaurant, at a hotel or whatever.  My uber social nature compels me to talk to you, but thanks for reciprocating.  Gunn, this means you, as well as my friends I have met in Tokyo who have helped it become a second home to me.