Saturday, January 31, 2009

The house of lies

One day, when the cards wipe themselves clean, and the silence of a thousand voices deafens... One day, the change will come up on gilded wings, and find the simple refrain that will resonate... One day, the earth will take a fine precipice of waiting and turn it into a long notation for changes... One day, the strange will no longer mean the same.

I am a blessed person. I have been put into job that lets me feel like I am doing something that matters. I live in a place where I don't have to feel like I'm just marking time. D gives me dishtowels. Kids come up and randomly hug me. Growth happens and I get to see it.

Life is. And I Am, I am humbled by my place in it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

You Window!

Since I last posted, I've had good days.

I did some work yesterday. I also had to tell one of my friends that he unfortunately has melted parts in his computer, and so it's not working now. That was a downer. I helped D decorate her classroom some (actually, I took stuff down and sorted. She did all the hard stuff.), which we also used as an excuse to listen to Whit and Eugene some. Then we went and ate supper and hung out with the school's science teacher and his wife. We had a really good time, they're great people.

Today, I got up, went to meeting, then went out to eat at the Korean restaurant with our team. Our evening plans fell through afterwards, so D and I watched We Are Marshall, and then had silly fun for a while. She taught me the alphabet in ASL, so I tried to spell out some messages for her.

Tomorrow, another new week starts, and I'm ready to face it.

I may not always have the power I want, but I have submitted myself to a higher authority, and so I get what I need.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Clams and clouds, chowder and chanceries

I haven't been having the best of weeks. Lots of reasons, mostly having to do with my trying to figure everything out all the time. Why must it seem that my discussions are always about solving? Whatever ends this may come to, I know that it is for my growth.

What do I hold until the end, until the stilling of my breath and the loosing of my hands? What do I find to hold onto in the strong redoubt in which I take shelter when the storm rages around me? Days come up around me like the tide, and I wish to know the measure of them. Yet not for me is this knowledge?

So I take to heart the things that I have been taught. I leave behind the things that belong not to me, as able as I am to bring nothing that is not already in Your possession. Take what I am, take this broken refrain. What can I give that You don't already deserve?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Silent at the whisper

Words. Words that tear us apart.

Words that focus on the ailments and the troubles, not words that focus on the cures and the solutions. Words that focus on the foolish and the misguided, not the wise and upright.

Words. Words that take us away.

We had a guys meeting tonight. It was big, more people than we've ever had. And I was granted a new perspective on some things, in ways which I can't describe to you.

There is so much swirling around in my head right now, and I want to get it out, but it's hard to know how to post some of this.

I am wrapped up in so many things these days. How am I going to get all these things done, how am I going to start to deal with my new boss, how am I going to understand how to grow, how am I going to be the man that I need to be for D, how do I build our friendship and relationship at the same time appropriately, where is my life headed, what do I need to do to improve? There's always a storm cloud of some kind waiting over the horizons in my life, it seems.

But really, there isn't. I read OT5-2 this morning, and, I'm struck at how the obstacle put in place is not there to dissuade or discourage, but to encourage and to spur on. They just got through two other countries just fine, and then this strife comes up in the third. It's not to knock them down, it's not to scare them. It is to show them their need to rely on Someone other than themselves.

There's a situation going on here that my remembrance about it has become not about the situation being resolved, but about the light being shown. About the conduct and behavior of the people involved would show something of who really matters. And the challenge in that remembrance to myself is to become a person who is always focused on that display. To become a man who is not about wanting good things to happen to me, but about who I Am.

This leads me to the difficult happiness and joy that my relationship with D is becoming. Difficult because neither of us has been in this kind of relationship before, and we get to figure all kinds of things out together. Happiness because she is a pretty great person to spend time with, and she brings me chocolate. ;) Joy because of Who she knows and makes me want to know more. Because I know that I can never be a man who deserves a woman like her without Another. I want the relationship that we have to Show.

Things in this life don't happen quickly. Events may seem to, but I think that it is a matter of scale. A hurricane may seem to happen quickly, but viewed from above, it slowly develops. That's my life. Slowly developing. I'm slowly growing, quickly falling, getting up again eventually, and becoming who I Am wants me to be.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


It is raining here.

Rain here is wonderful. Isa thirty.

I haven't been posting here as frequently, sorry. It's hard to post because I want to say more than just what I did today, but a lot of my writing effort is going other places, and so I don't have much to say.

But can I just say that it is fundamentally a difficult thing to do to try to build a friendship and relationship at the same time? I'm glad I have a great partner in trying to do that. And I'm glad that we both know who is really in charge of us.

Another day beginning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Mysterious Quadrophonic Stereo System Appeared

I'm not sure how I manage to avoid getting fired.

12:36 PM - Amnonymous Coworker:
what time do you expect the copy guys?
12:36 PM - russ:
I thought this morning.
12:36 PM - russ:
They obviously never showed up?
12:36 PM - Amnonymous Coworker: they didn't show
12:36 PM - russ:
12:37 PM - russ:
I'm going to call them
12:37 PM - Amnonymous Coworker:
you want me to beat them up for you?
12:38 PM - Amnonymous Coworker:
I'm pretty sure I could take them all at the same time...
12:38 PM - Amnonymous Coworker:
probably because they'd be so shocked they wouldn't be able to move...
12:38 PM - russ:
Only if you do it wearing a pink panther costume while the music plays somewhere in the background, and the haunting sound of a long-dead musk ox bone zither floats in tender whisps across the scene.
12:38 PM - russ:
12:39 PM - Amnonymous Coworker:
oh come on...this is so much more fun
12:39 PM - Amnonymous Coworker:
do you have a pink panther costume
12:39 PM - russ:
12:40 PM - Amnonymous Coworker:
wow...I don't even know how to respond...
12:40 PM - russ:
That's right.
12:42 PM - russ:
You just hide in your tone-deprvied world, sobbing while you play a phantom musk ox bone zither which you can only hope to hear some wild day when you are free, running through the deep grass of a bassoon, the sharp december wind of a flute, and the mellow river flowing from the saxophone.
12:42 PM - russ:
My gosh, I'm posting all of this on my blog right now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Self-Reductive chemistry

Sigh. Today was a day where I spent about an hour and a half in my office. It was long and kind of frustrating in so many different ways. So much to do, so little time, so many different directions being pulled. I had five different people's computers or devices in my office to try to fix today, three different equipment reservations, and two major projects to work on. It was long and trying.

But then, I got to take D off campus for dinner, nothing fancy, but just nice to be away from school and with her. I didn't want to eat supper with the group because I just knew that someone would ask me to do something else. And it's great to spend time with her. Can I also strangely say that I really like it that she doesn't fight me about paying for her dinner, because it makes me feel good to do that. Yes, I know I'm weird.

Then we had a team meeting, where we recorded a version of the staff singing lean on me. It was semi-frustrating, but I think we got a good product.

Then, the inauguration. That man has so much pressure on his shoulders - it's almost as though he is carrying the hope of much of the country, nay, the world himself. I don't want him to, but what if he stumbles? He's a white knight, he needs a dark one. (Oh, I'm aware of the racial undertones that seem implicit in that, but I don't mean them that way.) Still, I do have high hopes for what he can inspire to change. We'll see.

I'm so ready to be past this stage of everything, but I know I just have to stay here while the work in my heart is Accomplished.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My mouth full of gravel

Until the end of all of these things has past, what am I left to know but that which holds not the measure of my days? Until the end of all of this, am I left to be other than the touch of a cold hand in a darkened world? Hello my good old friend.

See this mire? Surrounding me and pulling down to the synthetic climax of the razor sharp wire, I can not retreat from the inexorable grip on my own. I pull my head back and still do I fail to fight my way free from the knowledge creeping up my spine. Lost to all of the slow replacement, the calcification and fossilization of the limbs entangled by the grip of this pit, I fall subsumed in my own dreams, my own self.

In the pit of my stomach, it starts. Nausea.

Alone I stood to fight this dark decay.

Fire in the sky.

Is this what I was designed for?


A darkness had surrounded me. I had dropped the baton, let the semaphore fires burn too low. Yet the whole time, I looked back to stare and wonder. Never again would I think I had been abandoned.

Despite the despair, regardless of what the optimists say, I know only one thing, only one man of whom to speak.

And through, through comes Victory.

Friday, January 16, 2009


We played Ultimate yesterday in the cold, the wet snow, the mud. I had a good time. Except for one of the guys (not a co-worker) tripping and breaking his nose.

There's lots going on in my heart and head that I just don't know how to post.

It's cold here, and I have started using the propane heater in my office. I'm hoping it isn't cold for very long.

D makes me happy.

I get to start student activities (which means BASKETBALL!) this week. I'm excited, even though it is freezing cold and can be wet on the court.

Someday when things are slow again...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On these reparations

So. The swing is hard to get back into. I read an article this morning which suggests that almost every skill takes ten years to develop expertise in. I'm at less than 10 for most everything, except eating and running (both of which I do with aplomb unrivaled on this side of the French Revolution). There's so much which I shall never know, and so much that I needs must forget. There is so much that I will never need to know, and so much that I will forget. In between these two is a balance.

I find that much of life right now is balance. Balance my work load with my tasks and outcomes, balance my growth in friendship with D with the growth in relationship (the subtleties of which I am only barely beginning to see), balance submission with acceptance, quiet with study, speaking with listening.

I wish I had something far more profound and meaningful to share with you, but I don't. So I leave you with a question?

Monday, January 12, 2009

We always said we would get it

Ah. Day one of return to school.

It went well. It's cold here. The shoes that I got this summer which are a size to big are just perfect for putting three-pair of sock clad feet in. We've had some more issues with our generators so I have to use propane if I want heat in my office instead of the electrics, which means I really have to bundle up. But that's OK. I was built for this.

I have a different perspective on seeing the kids than other people do. Because I don't really have a class of my own or anything, and because I like to pretend that how it is is how it has always been, to me it's just business as per usual.

But then again, nothing is really usual or unusual anymore.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I return to the 'Stan. It's cold. It's good. I really enjoyed hanging out with friends yesterday in Dubai, it was warm there.

Work tomorrow, then school starts back Monday. I'm excited to be back here. The U.S. and Turkey were good, but here is home for now, and it's nice to be home.

And I get to see D! :) Every day!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Bring your floats to the disco at 9 sharp, we'll have a tarantula race

This is my last night in Turkey. I've had a rather enjoyable time here, it's been cool to see my sister's school (which is a sister school [ha!]), to meet her friends, and to experience part of her life here. I'm just sorry I haven't come at a time where we could experience more of Turkey. Maybe next time.

So this experience has led me to understand much more about our school by seeing hers, and that has been cool. This experience has also helped me see all that I appreciate about my life in the 'Stan, all that I miss living there, and how each of us seem to end up in the places that we fit into well, when we seek to follow the Way set before us.

How could I be anything else?

I did have to be bailed out by my sister's quick tongue today. Thanks for the save!

Traveling tomorrow more. Dubai for a day, get to see some friends there, then back to the 'Stan. I'm excited to get back to life there, a sense of regularity, of knowing what day it is, of being able to hear about all my friends' breaks, engagements, visits.

But I'm most excited because I get to see D again! I would enter a large number of smileys here, but that would seem cheesy, and I'm all about low cheese. (and melted cheese) I have really missed being with her, and I'm happy to be able to re-enter the toils, frustrations, and joys of life in our compound in the country we have and get to be in together.

Monday, January 05, 2009

No antonym to reality

What I get to say here is something simple and something less profound than I want it to be, but I say it anyway.

There's nothing really profound in this post, which is kind of the point. Instead of treating you to an occasional post of depth and meaning, I make do with frequent outbursts of the things that percolate to the top of my head.

So here they are.

- This place is a bizarre mirror-world version of both a cross between the U.S. and the 'Stan. The school where my sister works feels a lot like a nice private school in the states most of the time. Then I help out by spending a morning running cable for them, and it's running through cheap cable channel and holes drilled in the concrete wall. They have power and heat, but often not hot water. The people look semi-familiar because of the similar ethnicity, but then there's not enough of one ethnic group and they speak a weird language. I'm spending the day at a school that is not my school, and so doesn't really feel like school. Finally, my sister is here and around, which just makes it a nice weird place to be.

- I get mistaken for a native here, too!

- I got to talk with the narcoleptic ostrich farmer about music and books while I was in the U.S., which was cool because he's pretty much the only person in the world I have met who shares roughly similar tastes, and whom also knows me well enough (and vice versa) to be able to make recommendations.

- I have it easy in a lot of ways where I live. It's nice to step somewhere where I can really recognize that. I wish sometimes that other people could step out and see that. Even though I don't like everything the cook makes, or what they decide we should do about drivers, or all that jazz, we get taken care of really well.

- I am someday going to be somewhat successfully at being wholly given over to surrender.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Solid Kingdom (A Page Unfinished)

So keep back your laments.

I went around the city some today with my sister after a lunch with some of her friends. We went to a history museum, got to see lots of cool stuff. Cuneiform is really amazing, as is the preservation of basalt carvings. We had a good time.

I get to go to school with her tomorrow, and that will be interesting. Only the second school I'll have been in a whole day of it being in session.

I am given reminders all the time of the solidity of the Day, and it can be kind of cool to see, and really cool to think about. It's an encouragement to see another country, to see what is occurring, and to know that the same things can happen in the 'Stan, as discouraging as it can be there some time. It's also kind of nice to see another life and understand how much I was built for the situation that I am currently in, and how good I really do have it most of the time. Perspective is always a plus.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Western Enclosures

How the freedom we had turned us up as dead men...

I'm in Turkey with my sister now. We had good flights, no problems. It's nice and warm here. It's a neat thing to visit her in her environment.

So life is good, I'm a little jetlaggy but better than my usual arrival to the 'Stan. I slept some on the overnight flight. I'll be here a few days, and hopefully not too jetlagged during that time.

Alright, I'm now around here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

No more ganders

Chicago, then. Flights ok so far. Found a nice little workstation place to sit at and surf. Going to eat in an hour or two.

Fly me to the moon...


Wichita. Leaving today.

Going to spend 5 days with my sister in Turkey before heading on to the 'Stan.

It's been a good break, but I'm ready to go back. Life keeps going.

I get to see D in 8 days! I'm excited.

Work will begin, life will continue to spin, and I'm glad I got this time to step off the carousel (or at least move to the inside where apparent motion is not as great.)

See ya!