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Just got back from church.

Paul Norris spoke this morning at the Northwoods U.U. Easter service about change and rebirth, and he did it with (what I have learned is) typical Paul Norris flair and style; using himself for a model and having no real learning-- no grad school classes or research-- on the subject, he winged it, and hit himself a bull's eye. He didn't cry (for once), but he made others get a little teary-eyed.

The girl who packs everything into her inside coat pocket has been switching coats, and thus I found myself without a damned pen when I truly wanted one. Figures.

I have only my fading memory of what he said, but I remember him touching on many subjects: fear, loss, longing, idealism, vocation, awareness of ability, fear of failing/falling, the shared experience of change and loss, learning the ability to accept the bad with the good, the inevitability of grief and mourning. I remember this because I felt it. Paul said there is nothing outside human experience than we cannot, on some level, understand. Microcosm reflects macrocosm; I am all of humanity, the world, the universe, in miniature: perfect in detail.

He spoke of the idea that we are given skills, and that we blind ourselves to what we can do in order to focus on the skills others have been given.

(I got yours and you got mine / I can swim, but I should fly)

He spoke of serving the world with the skills that we have, of sharing our abilities and becoming more aware of what we are, what we can do, instead of focusing on what we are not and cannot, and sulking about it.

He talked about the mingling of honor and joy and terror, hinting at the universal nature of the fear of change, which is in some ways just another fear of the unknown. We cannot prepare for it; it sweeps over us; it overtakes us; it drowns us, and though we may have learned how to swim, nothing can prepare us for the painful force of torrent that lifts us from our feet and carries us off.

(Fukai, fukai...)

Change isn't voluntary. We don't get to make a wishlist-- there is no opportunity to pick and choose what we want to keep, what we want to lose, what we get to become. We are always losing ourselves and becoming something new; we are constantly mourning for what we lost, sometimes unable to appreciate what we have become, sometimes unable to connect with the person that we were.

The me of right now is not the me of two hours ago, is not the me of two days ago, is not the me of two months ago, is not the me of two years ago.

I'm reminded of something I read once. An arrow has to pass through the point exactly half-way between the bow and the target; it also passes through the half-point between the half-point, and that half-point again of that distance, and so on. Looking at movement in this manner suggests that there is no such thing as movement, and that arrival at an endpoint is impossible-- it is all an illusion of the arrow racing through points half-way to the target, never completely reaching it, always being half of half of half of half of half (etc.) of the distance to the target.

I have left the bow, and am in space, halving the distance between initial incident (birth, incarnation, what-have you) and an impossible goal, striving for something I can never reach.

Stuart Davis would eat this up with a spoon. Maybe I'll bring this up when I see him.

(Doped up in the goddamn drama / groping for the Golden Dharma / Birth and death both rubber band / back to the Bardo, / cue the laugh track!
Into the lie of time / Into the veil of space)

Maybe I'm just feeling better by daylight. Maybe it's the large amounts of cold medicine I consumed earlier with the liquid sugar I call tea. Maybe the pseudo-Christian part of my mind tripped over and has convinced me that today is a day of second chances. God only knows.

I still don't feel like writing that history paper. I feel like crashing somewhere and watching Saiyuki and Chobits until my brain explodes... maybe even while getting my Christian Thought homework done.
I have to remember that I have to call that woman who's giving me a ride to the Cities on Tuesdayish, and to check with Daysha before then to see if she can take me over to Duluth for Sunday. I also have to remember to maybe study a bit for finals, find a place to dump the rats for two weeks, and pack up for Tom's.
Ahh, Tom's. Where I plan on sitting on my ass studying astrology and Japanese for a full week, and life will be good.
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