Culture

Belonging


I find it amazing how we are all very individual and unique, yet at the same time we’re all the same. All of humanity searches for answers to the bigger questions of life. Questions with answers that oftentimes seem beyond our reach.

We also have the same needs and inner longings. One of them being the need to belong. Not just the need to belong to a community, or to be a part of something; but a need to belong to someone/thing. We ask, “Who am I?” and rarely, “Whose am I?”

I love this quote by St. Augustine:

  • “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

A fellow blogger friend, ‘Rusty Foerger‘ posted something recently that made me think about this universal ‘sameness’. In his post he writes about a well-known Urdu poet, ‘Bulleh Shah‘, from the 16/1700s, and includes a music video by a popular Indian musician (Rabbi Shergill) that was based on his poetry.

Please take a moment to read the post, “I know not who I am”, from “Curriculum of the Spiritual Life”, and watch the following music video.

Culture, Poem

Heart Change


Heart Change

Life is all about making choices. It’s also about living in the moment, because that’s all we really have. We need to notice the beauty in moments. Even the tough ones. One thing I’ve learned is that I am constantly changing, growing, learning and transforming. The other thing I’ve noticed is that it’s not of my own doing. I look to someone higher and greater than me for that transformation.

I’ve also learned that I don’t need to believe and accept what popular culture preaches. Actually, a lot of it I reject. This post I wrote a while back is an example of that. I used to believe so much, just because of what society and popular culture preaches. Allowing truth and light to enter my heart and mind, to transform me, to fashion me, to change me, and to heal me has been revolutionary. The great thing is that it hasn’t stopped. This tranformation is continual and will continue until the day I die.

Do you notice the beauty in moments, even the hard ones? Do you allow yourself to learn through life experience? What are your views on society and culture, and it’s effects on your thinking and actions?

Culture, Life

Then and Now – 11 years of love


Anniversary - Then & Now

November 15th, 2003 – The day we were married. Who would have ever thought that there would be a man who could put up with me? My step-dad told me on our wedding day, while I was anxious and flustered, “Staci, you couldn’t have found a better man than Daniel”. And you know what? He was right. He is my friend, companion, adviser, helper, teacher and lover (and unfortunately, as well as gracefully, my punching bag every so often). All this rolled up in one. He is the one that I philia, storge and eros, and always will be. I am the one he philia, storge and eros, and always will be. How can I be sure? As I responded to a comment from my beautiful blogger friend:

We have been through some serious rough patches (especially in the first year, and me not knowing about certain health issues I have), but have always stuck it through. I am dead set against divorce, unless there is some type of abuse of infidelity, and I have full assurance and trust in my husband that would never happen. There have been temptations along the way, but my strong convictions in my faith, spiritual beliefs, God and morality are what serve for me a foundation that can’t be shaken.

Marriage is tough. Anyone who says it’s a walk in the park, full of ooey gooey feelings and romance all the time, hasn’t been married, at least not for very long. These past few days I have been posting about the ancient Greek words,’philia, storge and eros’ for our one English word, ‘love’ . It has helped me to appreciate ever so more the true meaning of this word and the many facets of it. So even in a culture, where true love and the entirety of its meaning seems to be declining, or at least mis-understood, we have gone 11 years and will go another 11. And if we should survive beyond that, 11 more, and so on. We have decided to be counter-culture and to stick it out. Through thick and thin. Through good and bad. In sickness and health, we are one.

What are your thoughts on marriage?

Culture, Poem

Romantic Love


Eros

 

When you think of the word ‘love’ what comes to mind? ‘Love’ seems to encompass so much more than just the vagueness of one word. The Greek had four different words for our one word. Two days ago I posted about Phileo (or Philia) love, known as a brotherly love, or the love one would find in an authentic friendship. Yesterday’s poem was about Storge love, or affectionate/familial love. Today’s focus is on ‘Eros’ love, or romantic love.

Eros is where we get the English word, ‘erotic’ from. It is the type of love that we would so often hear now-a-day as ‘being in love’ or ‘falling in love’. It is the type of love that lights a fire within us and is felt physically, sensually, romantically, etc. Eros is what allows us to procreate with pleasure.

I have read a couple of articles that have suggested that eros naturally fades in a sensual relationship within the span of a year. Although, one specific source, ‘From Eros To Agape’ suggested that he doesn’t think it has to fade at all. “Types of Love” says, “Although this romantic love is important in the beginning of a new relationship, it may not last unless it moves a notch higher because it focuses more on self instead of the other person. If the person “in love” does not feel good about their relationship anymore, they will stop loving their partner.”

I love this one quote by CS Lewis, from his book, “The Four Loves”

Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities. –CS Lewis

I believe that it’s this type of love that many youth (and not-so-youth) now-a-day consider ‘Love’. Once one falls out of love, they discard the object of their past affection, breaking a heart and hurting emotions. ‘Love’ in this sense then, is purely selfish.

Do you think that many now-a-day think of ‘Eros love’ as ‘Love’ itself? Do you think Eros, in and of itself, completes a relationship between two people?


The above poem is a modern version (The Message) of the book, “Song of Solomon” from the Bible.

Culture, Poem

Familial Love


Storge

 

When you think of the word ‘love’ what comes to mind? ‘Love’ seems to encompass so much more than just the vagueness of one word. The Greek had four different words for our one word. Yesterday I posted about Phileo (or Philia) love, known as a brotherly love, or the love one would find in an authentic friendship. Today’s poem is about Storge love, or affectionate/familial love. It is the type of love found amongst family members or within a community. It implies that there is a deep commitment and certain duty that goes along with it. Even for married couples, when there seems to be no sex drive, or they go for a long time not being intimate, this is the type of love the holds them together. They are loyal to each other. They stick together, through thick and thin. They have a commitment to each other, and their commitment is, in a large part, unconditional.

I found the following on Wikipedia about CS Lewis’ book, “The Four Loves”:

  • It is described as the most natural, emotive, and widely diffused of loves: natural in that it is present without coercion; emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity; and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed “valuable” or worthy of love and, as a result, is able to transcend most discriminating factors.

What do you think of this statement? Do you think that there is a lack of Storge love now-a-day, especially amongst married couples and lovers? Do you think that the lack of this love could be part of the reason we see so much divorce and lack of commitment? What are your views on this?


The Katauta poetry form is a short Japanese form, much like the Haiku. It is three lines in length. The first line has five syllables. The second line has seven syllables. And the last line has five or seven syllables. It does not have to rhyme.

 

Culture, Poem

Friendship Love (clogyrnach)


philia love

 

Philia is one of four ancient Greek words for love, and this specific word implies a love felt between friends. Thomas Jay Oord defines it as an intentional response to promote well-being when cooperating with or befriending others, and that it also gives humans authentic friendship (source). For Aristotle, the object of philia is “another oneself” because one must feel philia for oneself in order to feel the highest form of philia for another (source). CS Lewis describes it as  the least biological, organic, instinctive, gregarious and necessary of loves. It is a type of love that is freely chosen. He believed this type of love to be almost ‘a lost art’ and that modern society ignores friendship, in comparison with examples we have from the past (source).

What do you think? Do you agree with CS Lewis? Do you think that modern society ignores true, authentic ‘philia’? And if so, how do you think that has impacted western, and/or global culture today?


Clogyrnach is a poetry form of 6 lines. The first two lines has 8 syllables each. Lines three and four have five syllables each. The last two lines have three syllables each. Lines one, two and six must rhyme, and lines three, four and five must rhyme.

Culture, Poem

Heart Ticks


Heart Ticks

I was watching a Ted Talk on Youtube late one night a couple of weeks ago. Paul Morgan was the speaker and his topic was, “How postmodern humans can wake up and find their groove.” There were a number of different things he said that really impacted me, such as:

–We live in a culture that nourishes distractions.

–The world we’re heading towards is of social and ecological chaos.

–A place without nature, eating food out of machines (like The Jetsons)

–A world full of high-tech stuff without a decent planet to put it on.

He said that we needed to start putting an emphasis on ‘being more’, instead of ‘buying more’ (really becoming happy not working hard, and then eating pills to become happy).

When I started to write this poem, I didn’t know where I was going with it. However, as I progressed with it, I knew I wanted to touch on this subject of depression and modern culture.

What do you think about Paul Morgan’s words? Do you agree, or disagree with what he said? Do you believe that a lot of the reason we are seeing an epidemic of depression is because of working too hard, aquiring too many things (hoping that they’ll bring happiness), and a falling away from values that were held in high regard in the past, especially during pre-indrustrial times (community, hospitality, etc.)?