An interesting thought came up in a conversation this week. My need to perform, at least at home, was never an issue of unconditional love – I knew that my parents would love, accept, and care for me no matter what. It was, often, an issue of maintaining the peace – wanting to avoid conflict, especially when I felt like a disappointment.
I hate when I have to give updates to people, especially over digital communication. I think there’s an expectation with digital communication that you can be more in-depth than you are in person (i.e., “How are you?” “Ok”). But how do I communicate everything that I’m going through without being overwhelming? What’s the right balance of transparent sharing and polite conciseness? It’s so much easier when things are genuinely just good. The struggles compounding on one another… Not very fun.
An interesting historical read, but I’m not sure I agree with the last statement:
“One of the paradoxes of Japanese Christian history is that if all Japanese Catholics had refused to trample on the fumie and instead chosen to die as martyrs, Christianity in Japan would also have died,” said Mr Hull.
“It is only because some made an existential decision to trample on the fumie, despite their belief that this action was gravely sinful, that Christianity in Japan was able to survive.”
You could say I identified with Lloyd because he’s a journalist, but I think I mostly identified with him because he’s an adult human in a society where we’re told, from a young age, that the best way to fix something is to work harder. We swallow existential questions, and the despair or wonder that blooms from them, and work. Fear of losing a job, fear of losing a parent, fear of being a bad parent — instead of sitting with those feelings, again, we work. Because work means money, and money brings a modicum of stability, and relief, however temporary, from that same fear. Work doesn’t actually give us peace or solve our problems. But for a lot of us, it’s what we’re good at and what we know, which is far more comforting than staring at the abyss of what we don’t.
In a different sort of movie, the audience would be privy to Lloyd’s thoughts via a tear-jerking, sepia-toned flashback. Instead, the camera sits with Rogers and Lloyd for that full minute. In movie time, it feels like an eternity. Which is part of the point: We’re so unaccustomed to taking one full minute of time to be with ourselves, for ourselves only.
“If you think of him as a saint,” she says, “his way of being is unattainable.” But it is nonetheless a practice: a decision, made every day, to care deeply about others, but also to refuse to insulate himself from the emotions that care requires.
Slept a lot. Have some physical issues I need to deal with: I’ve been very, very dry-mouthed, and I’ve had to pee a lot especially while sleeping. But overall, the constant nagging that there’s church responsibilities to deal with is the biggest thing I’d like to get rid of.