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.

Art, poetry, Uncategorized

Hope in the wasteland


Jpeg
Mixed media – Hope

Wasteland:  A barren or desolate area of land, not or no longer used for cultivation or building. a region, period in history, etc, that is considered spiritually, intellectually, or aesthetically barren or desolate ⇒ ■ American television is a cultural wasteland. –Google

T.S. Elliot, the author of one of the most influential poems of the 20th century, “The Wasteland“, was deeply bothered by what western culture had become. The Wasteland was an expression of that. Thankfully, his lack of hope didn’t last.

A quote from his poem, “The Four Quartets“:

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
but the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light and the stillness, the dancing.

Do you believe that western culture has become somewhat of a cultural wasteland? Have you ever read any of T.S. Elliot’s poetry?

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

The Quiet Journey (Monotetra)


The Quiet Journey

Do you think of life as a journey? I do. If I look back to how my childhood was, and then my adolescence and youth, and right up until now, I can easily see that my life has been a journey. The experiences I’ve had. The ups and downs. The joys and pains. The good decisions and the bad, as well as the consequences that came with them. I’ve suffered a lot, and I’ve experienced great joy and peace. I’ve thought a lot and grappled with my world-view. God willing, I still have a good number of years ahead of me, so I know that this journey continues. I’m very thankful that I don’t walk it alone, and that I am constantly learning and growing. I know that the phase, or season that I am currently living will come to an end, and mesh into the beginning of the next phase or season. And when my life comes to an end – well – that’s just the beginning to a whole new phase.

Do you think of your life as a journey? Have you considered how your experiences and choices have shaped you into who you are today? Would love to know what you’ve learned throughout your journey, and how you’ve reacted to it.

The above poem is a Monotetra, which is a form that is made up of four lines in a stanza, each line being eight syllables long and each line rhyming. The last line in a stanza is a couplet of four syllables repeated. This is also in response to “The Reverie Journal’s weekly prompt, which this is week was “Quiet Journey”.

Culture, Songs, Uncategorized, World

In Your Eyes


In Your Eyes

I can see
Through this window to your soul
There’s a need
To know peace, to find some calm
Tranquility
I can see
You’re just like me

In your eyes
Sad, sad eyes
Your eyes
Sad, sad eyes
In your eyes
Sad, sad eyes
Sad, sad eyes

You can’t change
The way you feel the things you do
There’s no hope
No escaping this emotional zoo
In a prison
I can see
You’re just like me.

Have you ever suffered with depression? Have you ever wondered why so many people now-a-day suffer with it? Have you ever wondered why depression has become the epidemic of the 21st century?

I started writing this song a few years ago, and just haven’t gotten around to finishing it yet. I don’t really know how to finish it. I have suffered from something since my early 20s, although I have never received a full diagnosis. All I know is that you don’t want to be around me if I don’t take my medication. I don’t sleep. I get extremely irritated. I inhale my food, unable to control myself. My emotions are all over the map, and I am ultra-sensitive. There have been speculations of bi-polar, depression, anxiety disorder and ADHD. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll find out what it is, but for now I’ll keep taking my meds, because they seem to help.

Depression isn’t anything new. It dates back to pre-history and medieval periods. Now-a-day, we hear of depression as being the disease, or epidemic of the 21st century. Why is that so? Could it be because of the breakdown of family structure in modern times? A Government study mentioned on ‘Mail Online’ says,Children from broken families are nearly five times more likely to suffer damaging mental troubles than those whose parents stay together.” Another article says, “Depressed: Children from broken homes are more likely to be plagued by suicidal thoughts in later life.” Freud also emphasizes early life experiences as a predisposing factor.

Maybe the problem lies in our values system as a society. We hold ‘being happy’ as the be-all, end-all of life. If I have the perfect body, make a lot of money, have a healthy family, am healthy myself, have a big house and acquire the things I like, then I’ll be happy. If one doesn’t achieve these things, is continually striving for them, and never satisfied with what they have, then they have been unsuccessful at reaching their goal of ‘happiness’. Depression creeps in.

Then there’s the problem with actually acquiring all of these things, but still not finding happiness in it all. Then what? One may have all they could ask for, but it still doesn’t satisfy. So then, the search for ‘happiness’ has proven to be a waste of time and life.

I’m sure that depression is caused by a number of things. What causes it in one, may not be the cause in another. I believe I have some type of chemical imbalance, yet why do I? What contributed to that happening? Is it because I didn’t have a good father? Or because I bought into the lie of needing to be perfect, yet never attaining it? Who knows?

Now back to you. Have you ever suffered with depression? Have you ever wondered why so many people now-a-day suffer with it? Have you ever wondered why depression has become the epidemic of the 21st century?

Culture, Poem

Connection


 Connection - Ryan McGuire of Bells Design.jpg

Lover of my soul
Will you listen to me
I know you will
My spirit you see
My heart you touch
My soul you shape
My being is yours
I’m here, please take
Me away to that secret place
Where we connect

Do you long for real relationships? Not the fluff ones, which have no real soul or depth.  The superficial ones where you talk about nothing and they don’t have an impact on your life.  Do you long for relationships where you truly sense there’s a connection? I do.

Connectivity.  It’s what we, human beings long for.  It’s what we were made for.  Relationships. 

This poem was written for the one I have the deepest and most profound relationship with.  Do you have a relationship like that with anyone? Is there anyone you can share your innermost secrets with? If not, do you long for that type of connection?