Home sweet throwing up at home.

Ever have that feeling after you worked out that maybe that last push was a bit much? I’m right there right now. And despite feeling like decorating my furniture with the insides of my stomach, it’s good. Weird how two separate and opposite dispositions can exist at the same time in the same person.

There’s a lot I’ve been thinking about recently, but I’ll save that for later. Right now I have to watch the movie Laura so graciously loaned me. I believe it’s called Bambi… so I’m going to go for the tissues before my eyes flood with tears this time.

Tinkering beneath the hood.

Again, let me harp on something none of you may care about. I’ve made some changes – things I’ve wanted to tweak for a while now, really – and if you’re aggregating this blog in any way, you should know about them.

First, tags are no longer going to function like they used to. Instead of /daniel?tag=poetry the link will be /daniel/tag/poetry/ just makes more sense. You can, if you wish, aggregate a particular tag’s feed if you like. For instance, if you’d like to read none of his blog except for all thing poetry, you can grab that tag’s RSS feed, or you could do the same with any of the others.

Also, if you subscribe to the main feed, you’ll have noticed how it includes the tag links twice. I’ve found the troublesome option that causes said duplicity and disabled it. You shouldn’t have that cosmetic peccadillo bothering you any longer. It always bothered me.

And that’s all, folks. Thanks as always to Christine for creating UTW.

Form following function.

Thanks to Tom for letting me go ahead and “do what you want, bro”. Freak.

I have a friend who was a staunch Reformed Baptist for most of his life, yet one the day he just left. Simply walked away from his church, from the faith, from all the things he had grown up with and seemingly believed until them.

Whenever we talk, that’s the elephant in the room; until last week when I cracked the ice and just bloody well put it out there. I asked him what mechanism led to that decision.

Honestly, I expected him to list off a bunch of reasons why Christianity is for intellectually stunted idiots – and let’s not even talk about those who believe in scripture as a rule for their lives. But his answer was far more interesting than that.

He told me it was the sum of his habits, his addictions, the things he wanted to do. Or, his mind followed his body, not the other way around. He lived a certain way and eventually his beliefs got in line.

Makes me wonder how many people have gone through this, giving up a belief simply because the alternative is so much more attractive, so much easier. I know life includes an element of letting go – but how much, and what?

The scary thing is I see this tendency in myself as well. Maybe it’s in everyone. Form follows function. We mold our philosophies by what seems pleasant and easy and accessible and by what we simply can’t let go of; we shape our minds into very strange geometries indeed.

Indie rock is the new punk.

Ever find yourself drawn to a particular style of music? Don’t know what it is, I just love jangly indie rock – if it’s got excessive cymbal work, if it’s danceable, if it’s fast, I fall in love with it despite my better judgement. I can’t help myself! For instance Boy Kill Boy isn’t exactly art at its finest – I just like their music. Indie rock these days is like the new punk, just with more hipster flourishes and people who can actually play instruments; it’s all about energy, dancing, getting sweaty, just plain old enjoying yourself.

Much better than the hipster days of old, when the boys and girls were afraid to get their square-toed leather scuffed. This I can get on board with.

Sunday was a good day.

I have two favourite days of the week: Sunday and Monday. The reasons are, of course, quite different, but the fact remains. Two favourite days. Perhaps the most salient points in all of this aren’t why these two run neck-and-neck in the eternal greyhound race of days, but why they differ. Fully expecting you not to care even a tiny little bit, let me explain.

Sunday I go to church. Twice, even. For most people, that’s a little bit of overkill, and to be honest with you, I see no good reason that there should be two church services instead of one; the fact remains there are two, so most weeks I attend both. My church has good preaching, another thing I enjoy: it’s not often I am challenged spiritually outside of those sermons – except for my good friends, thank you. Often I have to challenge my thinking based on the drama of scripture; though I’ll be frank and admit I have a difficult time placing myself under it instead of over it. I’m no genius, that’s for sure; I may be on the cusp of brilliance, but always on the cusp and never actually fully there. All the same, I have the same crippling burden of knowlege and ego to go with it, and scripture constantly plays the hammer to my self-loving nail. In those moments, I’m glad my mind can’t come up with the ten thousand ways to escape from underneath it: I am not so smart as to avoid God where he shows himself.

That’s not the end of it, though. Church is community, and I enjoy my friends, their conversation, their company, and at the end of the day just love the fact that they’re there. Some of them could live a little closer – you know you should all move to Mississauga, the Bedroom City – but all the same, there they are.

A great lazy day, too. I’m not sure about all the Sabbatarians out there, but I fully enjoy Sundays just doing nothing at all. Then again, you know me: I get bored quickly. It often turns into a time to play piano, play guitar, read a smashing novel, tinker with my own mind to find how very awkward its geometry is, or talk about anything at all under the sun to anyone who can return words.

Monday is different in every way. Monday is the rush of adrenaline, the loading of springs, the bustle, the flow of things coming and going. I’ve never – as far as I can remember – had a boring Monday. Every customer calls on Monday, and every package arrives. Employees come to work ready to hit the bricks: we always get a lot done on Monday.

And at the end of the day I collapse into bed, feeling like ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag, but aware how in one day I’ve actually made a difference in someone’s life. Even if that difference was merely getting tools to them on time; I may be a small cog in the economy, but I’ve done my bit. And my bit is good – it makes me happy.

Monday also seems the best time to catch up on a weekend’s worth of stories. Elyssa, as always, will have puttered around the house; Rebekah will remind me she’s still guyless and enjoying her life; Jerry will walk through the door, coffee in hand, ready to pawn off on me another hapless female; Steve will have put yet another piece of trim somewhere important in Casa Anjema; and Daryll will still be eyeing my head for his skull collection. I’ll walk over to the manual department and maybe get one of those date-filled cookies from Stu, and we can all have a mighty laugh at what outlandish garb Brian may or may not be sporting that day. I love stories; thus, I love Mondays.

This Sunday sticks out, though. For some reason it’s the best one I’ve had in months. If you were to ask my why, I could list several reasons, but at the end of examination I simply feel better. Or, as Nick says, we’re welcoming back the Dan we haven’t seen in two years.

Maybe that’s the meat of this post: I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere, but that place is closer to where I started. Am I wiser for the wrong road taken? Yes, and in that sense there is no shame in having walked that way, but in another sense a cloud has lifted from over my head. And it’s good to feel it go. And it’s bad to feel it go.

Do you know what I’m talking about? The movie Swingers does, in its own testosterone-filled way. You live with something so long, good or bad, when it’s gone, sometimes you miss it – simply because you were used to it being there. Yet, I was no more certain of my future a year ago than I am now; but with the kite string untangled and that old fabric and wire floating away, I can do it right this time, whatever this time holds. Or I can do it better. Or I can at least give it the ole college try.

Like I said. It was a good Sunday.

I have a confession to make.

This may come out of theological left field for some of you, but I have to say it anyways. Considering that quite a few people I know are just now contending with Federal Vision issues, it would appear that I’m a little ahead of the curve, but that’s neither here nor there: the more I read of the emergent conversation, the more I find myself in common with so very many of their talking points.

I never thought I would say this. Really. I still have a dream of having the five solas tattooed on my arm, but there’s something about the emerging church that’s very, very attractive.

Maybe it’s that they give a crap. They realise the old ways aren’t working, and despite the flailing arms of a few of the weirder ones, they’re finding ways to influence culture and create infective community. I can respect that no matter what theological racing stripes you wear.

I’m giving some thought to this today: what am I doing where I am to create community, to reach out, and to find ways to play the drama of scripture in others’ lives? The answer, I’m pretty sure, is nothing.

This is the question: how much of my wonderful Reformed theology would have to go by the wayside? None would be a wonderful answer, but let’s face it, there’s about five Reformed churches in Mississauga. To imagine a missional Reformed church (even a missional Presbyterian gathering of any sort) is a bit too much to ask.

My emergent sympathies aren’t that strange, I don’t think. They’re an outgrowth of a growing question: what am I going to with my life? And how am I going to do it? And how does it become something that isn’t simply about me, my goals, my ambitions, my dreams, my prosperity, my exegetical boxes, my razor-edged beliefs, and my own self-fulfillment?

It was the best of feelings / it was the worst of feelings.

I will proceed to explain the title of this post, if you’ll allow me.

The best feeling I can think of is meeting someone it seems like you’ve known your entire life: how was she not there in all the memories I have? Someone who, when it comes down to crunch time, will hear out the worst of those memories and its cascading repercussions, but also hear out the best and smile along with me as if it was her own. Someone who loves coffee almost as much as I do to the point of a beverage being how we met in the first place (a boring, altogether charmless story Hollywood would be ashamed to film). Someone who I can relate to on so many levels, emotional to physical. Someone, in the last analysis, to be there.

The worst feeling is a settling understanding that despite the seeming perfection, I am not simply her friend, nor she mine. She is someone you know well enough to see the reciprocity. The only difference being – no, the defining difference being – that she doesn’t see how lopsided this will become. Or, she sees a difference of opinion where I see an unfalthomable gulf. She is someone who I connect with on every level except that most important spiritual level.

I ask myself what to do as realisation dawns. For a moment I question my resolve, even question whether or not that absence is as important as I thought, and at the time it seems such a small thing, such a tiny obstacle. But I know how this plays out, at least I think I do. A stand must be made, and I must be the one to make it: the cascading repercussions of giving in are lessons I am supposed to have learned.

Then I say things to her I know will seem proper later. The drama is over; I’m stage right again. My friends will proceed to encourage me. Former lovers will say sooner is better than later. And I will say tonight I am frighteningly alone: I miss her. Not her potential, or her ideal. I miss her.

Some voice within me says, be calm. Be rational. Be mature. I pray, and the prayer connects me to the God I must believe is behind these movements. I am not alone, not really, but I still miss her.

Dreaming of you…

Okay, last night I had one of those dreams where nothing in particular sticks out except one strange moment, which has been with me all day long. In this dream, me and this girl I very barely know (who will remain, for the benefit of our possible future fledgling friendship, nameless) were sitting on a couch all comfortable-like until she asked me if I liked her.

Now, this is odd and I know that: as the moment progressed in the dream my mind was rationalising what I would say next. I distinctly remember thinking to myself that if I say no, I blow the romantic possibilities for sure; if I say yes, I probably ruin the friendship eventually.

I don’t remember what came next. But I’m pretty sure I said no. That’s what I think I’d do now.