Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hollywood Love

I'm in Hollywood and it's raining, really raining, pissing rain. I'm about ready to build an ark. And it's not glamorous Hollywood rain, people aren't dancing in it. It's just rain, lots of it, and I'm still cold and dank from the last time I tried to go outside and do something adventurous. This little vacation isn't exactly looking like a California dream so far. I was feeling sorry for myself until I bought a New York Times and was reminded about the nightmare in Haiti. They wish they had my problems. No matter how bad you think you have it, it's nothing like Haiti. When your hear about things like that, it seems like those things are happening on some other planet. It's so far from our bourgeois utopias, where we feel depressed for not having lives that look like the ones in the movies.

Love usually lets me down, sooner or later. I think I still have the wrong idea and I'm trying to get it right. I'm trying to dream of love in a way that stands a chance in the real world. A love that not only lasts, but flourishes, even through the vapid seasons. Like it or not, life will chip away at your ideals until you see the world as it actually is. We cross a threshold when we stop talking about the way things should be, and start working with what we've got. Still, I'll always be both a romantic and a realist, hoping to coalesce the paradoxes of life and love.

Beauty, in all its forms, is fleeting. Real love transcends beauty. No, it redefines beauty. No, it bestows beauty. Anyway, God loves us out of Himself, not because we are naturally beautiful people, but because He is love. His love projects beauty onto unbecoming souls. It's not a blind love, but it is certainly optimistic. It sees beauty in the most unlikely places. I want to love more like that.

Well, the rain just stopped and the sun is fighting through the canopy of clouds. Maybe, it's a sign of better things to come. Maybe, it's time to go outside and try again. Who knows? Maybe, Steven Spielberg will spot me and ask me to be in his next film. And then maybe I'll get a star on the Hollywood Boulevard, next to a couple other tarnished stars and a homeless guy who's dreaming of his next meal.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lover's Block

I haven't written much lately. Maybe, I'm going through some sort of writer's block. But I think I'm just in a rut, all around. A rut is the most uninspiring place to be. Who wants to read about that? Who wants to read about a guy who is bored? Who wants to read about a guy who is tired of praying the same things over and over and over? If God was nothing more than a good buzz then I would probably be looking elsewhere, right about now. This is the kind of stuff that God and I talk about. I hope I'm not boring him. He probably hears it all the time. If I was God, I would get tired of people nagging and yakking as if they know what it's like to be God.

During these seasons, I don't feel depressed as much as I just feel nothing. I'll call it "lover's block." The Bible says that in the last days "the love of many will grow cold." I don't want to be a part of that statistic, and I just need to keep asking God to help me love Him so I don't become religious. Not that He's hard to love, but I just forget who He is unless He reminds me. As a child, I remember walking into church and wondering why everyone was so quiet. I thought maybe God was taking a nap and that nobody wanted to wake Him because He might be cranky. I didn't like that God. Fortunately, later on, I discovered the audacious God of the Bible. It's fitting that God is portrayed as fire throughout scripture. He is both beautiful and terrifying. The flame of His presence licks our voracious hearts until they glow red-hot. During these times, I must warm myself by the fire and reacquaint myself with the living God. I cannot love Him without His love. He is more than a history lesson. He is more than a self-improvement method. He is more than a campaign or fundraiser. He is more than a meeting. God is love. And I want Him.

I'll finish with a little parable that I came up with. It's a really a commentary about empty religion versus intimacy with God. . .

Once upon a time there was a husband and wife. Each night before bed, the wife wrote out a "honey-do list" for her husband and stuck it on the fridge. And every morning the husband would memorize the list and carry out every single task without fail. He prided himself on it. But eventually, he became so obsessed with the list that he forgot everything else. He stopped doing anything that wasn't on the list. Before long, he stopped acknowledging his wife, as if she was a ghost. He stopped having conversations with her. He stopped kissing her. He didn't even look at her anymore. This went on for months, and months turned into years. All the while, he scrupulously followed the list of duties, checking them off one by one, with a twinkle in his eye. Until one day, the husband got out of bed and looked at the list. It read "Call 911, there's a stranger in the house." So, the husband called 911 and told the operator the situation. When the cops arrived, his wife came to the door, pointed at her husband, and said "Arrest that man, I don't know him."