When I was in grade nine I was the student director of a musical called Merrily We Roll Along, one of the least successful musicals by one of the greatest composers, Stephen Sondheim. I would pace nervously across the back of the theatre, stressed about all sorts of details. Letting a ninth-grader direct the musical was rare in the high school hierarchy and I was driven to perfection insofar as I knew how to be. But there was Amanda the techie who would emerge from the shadows, all in black, and say, “Hand squeeze,” and we’d crush each other’s hands with all our strength. It was not the slightest bit romantic. It was pure drama nerd mutual psychological support. She’d squeeze out the rage of missing adapter plugs and burnt out bulbs and just the general rage of having an artistic vision well beyond our high school’s budget. I’d squeeze out the frustrations with adult supervision that was at once unsupportive and micromanagerial, upper classmen who were tone deaf but had paid their dues and “deserved” solos, and eventual parents who couldn’t comprehend plot devices in theatre their 14-year-olds grasped with ease. We squeezed silently, unlatched, and went about the business of making the greatest show we could. Continue reading »
I am distracted and distractable and often quite distracting. Clincally diagnosed so. Left to my own devices, I am a mess. My mind wonders and rushes and between idea to idea. Sometimes they rush by too quickly to ever be made manifest into meaningful communication. Sometimes they come like an attack, inescapable and unrelenting. A certain midnight blog post, for example. But distraction’s unrelenting power is a pragmatic hassle at best, and a life-, or at least making-a-living-, threatening risk at worst. Continue reading »
Let me know my end, Lord. How many days do I have left? I want to know how brief my time is. (Psalm 39:4 CEB
Stop wasting time. Your earthly life is finite, its end both inevitable and unpredictable. Don’t use your limited time poorly.
I get it.
You’re productive. You don’t waste your time. You’re important and always do important things. Continue reading »
“Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.”
Saint Paul, who cannot be accused of overabundant elation, in 2 Corinthians 12:7
I love him, but Saint Paul has always come across to me as a bit of a grump. I admit I could be biased. Or maybe I just have read Galatians a few times. I firmly believe he is a saint, but he hardly strikes me as a ray of sunshine walking into each room he entered. While contemporary pop culture idealises, and a bit idolises, the cheery disposition (c.f. Joel Osteen’s permasmile).
Saint Paul was a Holy crank. And for good reason. God, Saint Paul tells us, either gave or allowed Satan to give him a “thorn” “in the flesh.” Continue reading »