Learning to Listen
Life, Mysteries and less and less of Me
Monday, July 31, 2006
Okay, so, about two weeks ago my girlfriend of about 10 months broke up with me. She had been praying about it and said she didn't think this was the time for her to be in a relationship. I think somewhere I had known this myself as well so I've handled it pretty well (no screaming fits or crying or whole days of pure misery) but I still feel strange. Stranger, because she called me a week later and said she was kinda seeing someone. That took the whole "it's not cause I suck" thing away from me, but still... I'm dealing with it the best way, and I think it's brought me closer to God. However, I feel strange. And of course, there is another girl on my mind now, one I have been semi-interested in since before I met my now ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately, not only am I certain this girl isn't interested in me at all, I often thinks she rather dislikes me. I jokingly put my ever getting her favorable attention in the impossible category. I can't get her off my mind, though. At least its not anything to interfere with me getting stuff done (something I'm still learning how to do) but one of the main things about it is I don't understand it. She's beautful, yes, intelligent, very... and she doesn't like me. She has a glare that could punch a hole clear through an M1 Main Battle Tank... the long way. She also has a way of looking wonderfully open and honest when she's discussing things. God made women very beautiful, it amazes me. Anyway, so I put any possibility of me ever getting this girl to like me in the impossible category. If my God wasn'ta God capable of doing the impossible, I'd say there was no hope, but I know if he says something is to happen, it will. So I'll pray to be content with what he decides. I've asked if I should even be considering this, but I'm very bad at listening, hence the blog name. Oh well, He'll get through when he wants to.
Posted by Cameron Olson 2006-07-31 23:55:57
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Have you ever seen yourself in a harsh light truly as you are? Done something that you thought was alright, or knew was wrong beforehand but just didn't care, and then seen the line running straight from that action to the depths of your heart and into your very nature? There are so many good things I could be doing with my time, so many people in need of a friend, so many stories to be written, jobs to be done, so much that is worthwhile... but I waste my time doing something that only ever makes me feel empty and as if I'm knocking chunks out of my heart and soul. I see who I am here and now, and I see who I so desperately want to be... and I'm helpless to get there. Someone will call me weak. I am. Someone will call me a pervert. I am. Someone will say it's alright, but they'd be wrong. It's not alright, so often it feels like it will never be alright, and here I am in the gutter again staring into my own eyes and wishing this person had never been born, because then he couldn't fail me so completely. A million if only's and the greatest is if only I wasn't so arrogant I wouldn't try to change myself but get help doing it instead. If only I wasn't who I am, maybe I'd truly want to be better, but for now all I can do is want to want to be better. I know that not even that is enough, helpless against myself is who I am. I cannot rewrite my own code, and for every common failing I overcome I will receive in compensation a double helping of soul poisoning pride. The blessing in being helpless, however is that I am even helpless to console myself. I don't want to be consoled. A man who consoles himself lies to himself, as the very one who has proven that he is imperfect is telling himself that next time he won't be imperfect. I might as well tell myself, "Next time I'll get away with it." Better that I not. All that I can do is wait for the one who can truly console me to speak again and let me know that the lot of the helpless and imperfect is to be helped by the perfect helper. No, I can't rewrite my own willfully buggy and messed up code, but the codewrite certainly can.
Posted by Cameron Olson 2006-06-15 17:16:05
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Learning to Listen
Okay, so it took me a few minutes to even get to the point where I'm able to type in a box for this blog thing. Apparently for once Firefox has less utility than IE. Go figure. Anyway, what was I thinking before I once again convinced myself I'm not the sharpest cookie in the toolshed...
Oh yes, I was thinking of how I read some of the other blogs, and how the people writing them sound so smart. Reading other folk's writing always makes me feel very little. I think "here is someone writing smart witty commentary about life on a near daily basis, and that's the least of the things they (apparently) accomplish." I consider myself having a good solid day when I wake up in the morning and decide to get out of bed instead of going back to sleep. It's a very crucial decision point, as I have about 25 seconds of actual reasoning power left over from the day before at that point and if I don't use it to get myself out of bed right away I'll be a very illogical person for the rest of the day.
Whatever the case, though, hereI am actually writing something to share with other people. I'm in the perfect position todo so, that being sitting on a comfy bed looking out a window at arainy gray day that I don't have to be out in. ::thumps the wonderful plastic bed provided by theUniversity::Well, comfortable to sit on, at any rate.
So I've only been signed up with this site for a few days, but I'm already certain I'm going to likeit here. The people seem amiableenough, anyways, but more than that, its so in depth. But enough blathering, I should probably put down something worthwhile if I can.To that extent, there are questions I've been thinking about alot lately.I'm approaching that horrific and joyous time called graduation, and my life is going to suffer some major changes soon because of it. One of the questions I face is: Why am I writing?
I'm not talking about now, but about any writing I do in general, about all the writing I hope to do in the future. When I was younger I wanted to be a hero. Dragons and magic and mysterious women from other worlds figured largely in my imagination, to the extent that I really actually hoped I'd run into something like that some night and not have to stay here on this world anymore. When I first started at college this was wonderfully balanced with my choice of Technical Communications as a major (It doesn't get much more boring than that. Guaranteed good income, though nothing mindblowing by US white collar standards, and pretty easy work fixing other people's writing mistakes in the business world). I figured I'd get a job working at some company and do that while I figured out how to write fantasy/sci-fi books and become famous/rich. Something in me objected to that and I failed out of that first college when I stopped doing anything. Took three semesters to complete the process.
Later I got involved in magic, going for the direct approach to finding the dragons and otherworldly women in my imagination. I was still writing, still wanted to be a writer, and figured I'd write based off a little real experience as well as a healthy imagination. I still didn't get anywhere (except for one completed short story, which was a first, though in retrospect it was really badly written. Putting oneself in a fictional story, at least for me, seems to be a bad idea.)and eventually the whole magic thing (as well as the otherworldly woman thing, did I mention her? She was, and I pray isn't anymore, a sorceress)collapsed my excuse for a life and I was back to square one again.
Still with the writing, though. It seemed to be part of who I am, perhaps the necessary expression of some of the ridiculous amount of imagined story in my head to prevent it from exploding. Whatever the case, I eventually got back to writing. I had been working on love poetry before the collapse, soafter the collapse I resorted to thatmosthorrible of things, love lament poetry. Its all so disgustingI get queasy thinking about it now and seriously consider deleting the folder where I have all of it locked up. Blessedly I gotpast the lamentphase and started another story. The crucial part about this story, though, seems to be in the subject matter. It was an exploration of a character. Previous stories I had attempted had been the"little known character becomes a hero" type indicative of my displeasure with my own life. Thisstory, however, focused on a mysterious person from my own concocted story universe. Her name at that time was Rylisa. All I really knew about her was that she was an android designed to bevery human and that of all the female characters, for most of the time she had nothing to do with me or my heroes. She was a loner, with her ownstory, who just happenedto show up in my otherstories (unwritten andkept in my head) and pitch in.Oddly, I had a powerful desire to know who she was and exactly where she came from, so I set out to writejust that. I don't know whether it was my genuine interest infindingout about a character who didn't just exist so I could imagine I was a cool guy with a cool girl, or what, but even in the first sixteenpages, her storystarted getting interesting. The first sixteen pages part is important, becausearound page sixteen, I went to a church andfor the first time truly believed what the pastor was saying. At page sixteen, I became aChristian and Rylisa became Azure, a woman with a past identity lost in death and a present and future identity shrouded in mystery. As I haven't mentioned it before, I'll mentionit here: Prior to Azure's story, I had suffered from a 30 page limit. Any book-depth story I attempted would stallout at page 30.On thanksgiving of 2003 I wasat my parents house working on Azure's story and I wrote 20 or more pages in one day. Adding that to what I already had at that point,I had50. The book became real.
I'm convincednow that it's an actual phenomena that at some point during the writing of a story it solidifies into a foundation that therest of the story can be grown on. Before that there's not enough to knit it all together, but once that point is reached the outcome of the story is set.Or not. Anyway, about a year and a half later I had a whole book of 200 some pages. Nowadays I actually have a reason to think I might be able to be a professional writer. At the very least I'm capable of seeing an entire story through and drawing it to a close. However, this still doesn't answer my initial question of why I'm writing. The answer comes only from pondering what mademe able to finishwriting that whole book. I had something to say. For the first time, I actually had something I really truly wanted to tell someone. I didn't just want to look cool or be successful, I wanted to tell Azure's story, and more importantly, to say all these things I wanted to say about the God I now knew, with her story. I'm not talking about throwing in religious sound bites, what I'm talking about is having a coherent and powerful belief about the world I'm in and about the meaning of all things around me. Something I genuinely believed worth sharing. The story itself was a language. The actions of the characters, the challenges they faced, their reactions and the events around them, all of that was an incredibly deep language that I knew could carrythe things I believed with greater depth than a theological paper ever could. This is how I see all the good writing now,from the little I read ofHemingway to myfairly largeintake of C.S. Lewis.These writers had beliefs they wanted to share, and they did it with a great tact by using a truly beautiful form of communication, the story. So that answers me as to why I write. To share the very way I see the world, and not just dry ideas or technical information. To serve.
Posted by Cameron Olson 2006-06-13 17:44:30