Under a rock

OK. Well then. I think I’ve been patriotic all these years because I guess I’ve been living under a rock. I am 31 years old and I have had NO IDEA what “normal” mores were in this country.

Six months ago, I was shocked by the questions on OKCupid: “I would need to sleep with someone before I would consider marrying them”. I was even more shocked to discover that men openly checked “yes”. The very idea that they would just cheerfully require sex of a woman they dated, so they could evaluate her and decide if her performance was up to their standard to consider marrying…. And they brazenly espouse such requirements like a…like a… greying man with a yacht and a rolex cruising in international waters and thirty years of grease on his soul.

…I mean, even nineteenth century playboys weren’t that…that…that..crassly demanding of their would-be lovers. Crass like a….soulless chintzy grasping businessman haggling….. These people, by comparison to their crassly pathetic selves, suddenly make every single villain in a Jane Austen novel now appear to be some kind of Romeo/Saint George combo…. even MITYA KARAMAZOV at the height of his carousing looks like a shining knight in armor made of unapproachable light. Because, wow, he actually had some feelings involved. And he burned with shame for years at the thought that for a single moment he had actually considered coldly demanding it. And he was the bad boy of that novel. Hell, they make even FEDYA KARAMAZOV looks like a loving Romeo.

…anyways, I just thought — get a grip girl, it’s because you are 31 and scraping the bottom of the barrel. These are the online guys…of course a bunch of em are going to be some kind of narcissistic creeps who have either crawled (1) out of their mother’s basements or (2) off their 80 hours/week corporate ladders, so they just have no idea of what the real world, love, or girls are actually like. And naturally, when they meet a real girl, they’ll blush at the dim memory of their contemptible chintzy idiocy, and laugh at the very hubris that another human being could be reduced to a consumer product with a 30-day guarantee, and “I’d better save that receipt because I need to make sure“.

And an hour ago….I just found out how….awful the Bachelor and Bachelorette actually are. I heard references to it for years, and I knew it was this fake tacky competition dating show thing, but…but I thought that it was just people walking around talking to each other and faking drama and maybe at most kissed once or twice. This whole…making out sessions thing….the fantasy suite thing with three different people in three nights…the ritual of it…the competition of it….the whole performative aspect of actual real human beings…being treated like that. ugh ugh ugh ugh.

This is literally prostitution. Literally. In the worst American form — consumerist vicarious competitive prostitution.

This show in general American culture is considered haha-trashy-funny, but still very much mainstream.

Our culture has gone absolutely insane. Everyone is a product now.

And every American who watches it is helping to build the whole filthy cash machine.

I am beyond ashamed for my country.

All or Nothing: God and Happiness

This report is on marital satisfaction, but it reveals something deeper. So, according to the survey extremely progressive egalitarian couples and extremely religious couples are both the happiest married couples, but everyone in between is not: https://freebeacon.com/issues/report-religious-couples-have-happier-marriages/

They have their own theories for why, and I have mine. But it confirms what I have long suspected: the Christian religion is only suffocating when we do it half-heartedly. But when we really give God everything, when we really fling ourselves into the whirlwind, when we really die to ourselves…. his burden is easy and his yoke is light.

Religion was meant to work completely, or not at all.

And I still bet those extremely religious couples are happier than the strictly egalitarian progressive ones. Not because their spouses are better, but because the relationship doesn’t have the pressure of being the be all and end all. There is great joy that comes from knowing that your actions are like offerings, small flowers laid on a small stone altar by the children playing in the pasture, to the God of Heaven and all that is Good and True and Beautiful.

Wouldn’t you be really happy too, if the God of Heaven came to you, face to face, and gently asked you for everything you are and ever will be?

Let me only know

O Holy Spirit

beloved of my soul,

I adore You.

Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.

Tell me what I should do…

give me Your orders.

I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me.

Let me only know your will.

Generally happy

I have been generally happy, and things are ok. But there are moments when life hurts so much it is hard to breathe. Things are really fine, other than the usual career stress and occasionally family issue. Why does pain not fade. Why am I such a high strung mess. Why does life just too much.

[[Edit: Hormonal cycles were the cause of part of this, as was a deep-seated root of bitterness and resentment I had to let go of. I was up to 2am the night of this post, crying and having to forgive some authority figures for not giving me their approval. When I forgave them for what wasn’t even their fault, but forgave them all  the same, I felt relief. So much pain in life is due to hidden unforgiveness I have for people for things that aren’t even their fault. But we need to forgive all the same, to cry our own pain out, and lay it on God’s altar.]]

Thoughts after deactivating my OKCupid account

Modernity & Progress have stormed the heavens, and killed God; and in its place they have given us sex. Polyamorous, noncommital, blindfolded, group, dressed up, chained, roleplaying “sex”, to be precise. You can even get a polyamorous sperm donor as you near 39 while still looking for the ‘real’ boyfriend, so empowering! Liberation. It is all really great, just also need to go to the therapist every week for some reason, but yeah, whee, fun fun, yay!

I’m sick of telling OKCupid that no, really, the idea of being whipped is not a turn on, and no, I am not interested in being slapped in the face, and no, I think all the creative things called ‘sex’ nowadays have been recognized as sick by even the barely civilized barbarians on a grey beach under a cold north atlantic sky fifteen centuries ago, so no, I really really really really don’t want it, no matter how “fun.” I’m just sick of scrolling through pictures of sad-looking men, men specifying exactly what type of BDSM or non-monogamy they subscribe to, so liberated and weird and hollow. Or the straitlaced ones, who plan on sex only *after* the sixth date and ready to be whipped (or whip) if you want. Their meaning in life is drawn from Game of Thrones TV Show. The cringing male feminists faking anger at their compatriots in hopes of scoring a date, and the actually angry anti-feminists retreating to their embittered hatred of the left. The ex-husbands all fresh and ready for another forsaking-all-others-till-death-do-us-part. The one thing they all have in common is their misery, you can see it throbbing through the bravado and the kinks. The smiles are often grimaces, you can see the pain in the back of their eyes, the casual masks, the hey baby’s, the shirtless pics awkward in front of the mirror. The throbbing, hollow pain.

Doesn’t anybody cry out for light among the throbbing shadows, cry out like a child for light in the dark. Don’t you really want the sky? The smell of deep-down freshness of the ancient things? Is this really what you want — this “love” that is all “preferences” digital buttons and electronic blinking lights, instead of the burning fire of sacrifice, with its updraft to the deepening blue sky and the first stars glimmering over the pine trees and the spires? The old way, to love deliberately reckless and gentle, honoring the sacred things, all craving desperate for holiness, the wind and the rain and the starlight: God himself. Freedom, where falling and flying become one.

No wonder our entire generation is on the brink of suicide. There is no deep immovable poetry to the universe, only preference and sick cheap thrills. In place of God we have sex, and in place of sex we have these comically ghastly excuses for the real thing. We have sold ourselves for a pittance, and even that was counterfeit money. It is not a surprise then, that millennials are not afraid of hell; we are already in it.

:_(

Self Pity

A year or two ago, I thought I should feel sorry for myself. But it has made the pain worse, not better. Deep in the background of self-pity is a fundamental assumption that somehow, I have not received what is rightfully mine….that I am a loser. Self-pity soothes but actually ends up increasing the sting of shame.

Gratitude is a state of mind, not just of the things we receive, but of the gift of our very own self. Gratitude is honoring your own self. And with that comes freedom.

Longing to be burned

There was a bin of old books about to be pulped. I picked it up for 15 cents to save it from that fate. Look what I found inside this old timey hymnbook from a “Holiness Pentecostal Church”, printed 1957.

A couple of days ago, longing for myself and all I loved to to be burned in God’s holy fire — longing hard, more than anything else wanting so badly, like a thirst and a heartache and the cry of the high elves, I wondered if there was something wrong in my head. This seems like a confirmation. I am not so alone after all. Other Christians have felt this way too.

Suffering now and hope in God’s Fire

So….working on my dissertation. Most major crises of the personal nature are either (1) averted, or (2) pushed off to another day.

I’ll be turning 31 in a week. I’m a virgin, will most likely remain one, & I want to have babies. However, with the exception of a certain historical event of some significance, those generally don’t go together. 😉 So…. I have been hosting self-pity parties of one. It does nobody any good though. I know this is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it sorta aches sometimes, but I know eventually I will get over it, as millions before me have as well.

On another note, it is extremely painful when the people & institutions you love, that you love precisely for holding the ideals that make you get out of bed in the morning, violate their own holy ideals, and do evil things to small children, teenagers, or other vulnerable people. It hurts bad, and the crowing of the commentators doesn’t help, but in the end what hurts has nothing to do with the crowers. That suffocating sadness that falls silently like volcanic ash, covering the entire landscape in a grey-black snow. It has to do with a broken trust in God himself, God, who promised he would not snuff out a flickering wick, and a bruised reed he will not break, and carry the lambs close to his heart. Why he lets these things happen, why he lets his own fall so horribly — why he couldn’t just mercifully paralyze them or strike them dead before they fell into doing such a horrible sin — I will never understand.

What does forgiveness look like on earth? So often it seems like justification, excuses, minimization, acceptance. But you can’t do that with evil. Is there repair here? I don’t know if it can be made new now, now, sickeningly papered over and compromised…

If you pour water on this ash, it only makes more caustic lye. And I can’t ignore it either. My only hope is fire. I hope he burns them and us (because there is no us and them) — all of us — with the fire of his wrath. A holy fire, a fierce fire, a fire of judgment and justice. And on the other side of the flames, perhaps everything can be made new again. And we will find each other again, burned and judged and healed and shriven.

Why God let us be what we are — a spark of the divine fire and the sulfur of hell, all mixed together — I will never know. But I must and will trust.