28 September 2008

"you're not silly, you're human."

Some observations and conversations of the past few weeks:

1) I am a know-it-all. And you probably are too. So often we've a plan for our lives -- a great plan. THE PLAN. But maybe we're off. Maybe I'm off. I think I know what's best for myself, but I don't always. Sometimes I need to cut the rope -- trust that the Lord has something in store for me, even if I can't see it. Why are you putting off a good thing? Why wait? Maybe you're more ready than you think. Maybe I'm more ready than I think. Maybe I think too much.

2) The power of one. And yes, I believe that is an EFY song this year. Yeah yeahhh! It always amazes me how just one small happening can change everything. One hello. One phone call. One chance meeting. One wrong step. One bad word. One right word. One look straight in the eye. One day together. One month apart. Everything changes.

3) The power of many. Goals set in groups go so much farther. Collette and I have set work out goals -- it is so much easier to be healthier, stronger, and more committed when you are working alongside someone equally as committed. I'm sure that carries to so many other life venues. I was talking about this with my home teachers. Here's an example: A clean house. If not all the members of the house are committed to working together to keep it clean, there will be tension. Some people will put work in and get cheesed the others are slacking. The slackers will be annoyed by the nagging cheesed-off-ed-ers. Set a goal as a house. Everyone puts some effort in. More happy faces. Less nasty crap on the counters. Life is good.

4) New leaves make all the difference. Maybe it's fall. I love autumn so much. My mom called the other day and was describing the changes to me, and those bits of my heart back at home throbbed and thudded all the way to Hawaii. I want those golden fields and stacks of hay. I want the crunchy grass and colorful leaves. I want the chilly air, warm sweaters, and cozy scarves. Instead I have blue skies, warm, thick air, and endless salt water. I honestly can't complain. I live in Freaking Hawaii. But, there is just something about the shedding of leaves, the cleansing winter blankets of snow, and the new growth in spring that just gets to me. Collette and I have been setting goals (see #3) and "turning over new leaves" about every week. We are trying to kill off our bad habits and replace them with a shiny, pleasing new leaf. Being better makes me feel better. Please know I'm trying.

5) I hate Relief Society. Why? I don't know. I can come up with reasons and then I end up contradicting myself. I'm the epitome of relief society. WHY?!! And how did I get this way? I bake cookies, I give Valentines to the mail ladies and the cooks, I send homemade Christmas cards, I cut hair, I have a craft box, I wear grandma sweaters, I talk like my grandma, I sew with my grandma, I drive like a grandma, I like to chat with old people, and I'm everyone's mom's best friend. These aren't bad things. But I want to be sincere. And I think I am sincere, and maybe this is why I have a problem with Relief Society -- it just seems so fake to me! The appearance that has to be kept up -- straight lines, cutesy handouts, centerpieces, sugar cookies, overly-excited faces, stories about lost lambs, fellowshipping sisters. I know these all have good intentions, and heck, I love cutesy crap and sugar cookies more than anything. I'm pretty sure I'm over-excited 87 or so percent of the time, and I want to be everybody's friend. But I mean this. Maybe as I work in the Relief Society, I'll see things a little differently. Maybe I'm just being too skeptical to see the sincerity.

6) Actions speak louder than words. Your talk does nothing for me. When it comes to people, I need to see it to believe it. Really, since when did I lose trust in others' honesty and sincerity?

Scratch that. I think I know. But, you know what, NEW LEAF. The past is the past, and all people are different. You're lovely and I love you no matter what.

I'm gonna go make picture frames with Jesus.

18 September 2008


Today in Narratives, Culture, and Identity, we discussed personal narratives and the family novel. I feel so strange after class. I feel so drained of excess energy, and well, excess everything. Now I don't carry any extra weight, but I don't feel light either. I feel like I poured my self out into a glass and watched the densest parts sink and the others rise. At the end of class, I drank my self again, every bit sliding back into it's proper place.

But if I'm used to living and thinking and feeling and being the way I was before, how do I adjust? I've never felt things in their proper place, and I feel I should act differently now. I am different now.

I'm just learning a lot. I've got theory coming out my earballs. Poetries, philosophies, histories, spiritualities, mysteries, peripheries (okay so I kinda just threw the last couple on there for fun) lining all of my insides, and coming in, sliding down, circling around, and going back out a little strangely. Strange in a good way. I think.


I am Erika, and I have spoken.

12 September 2008

can't stop

I've kinda been listening to this song nonstop. Thank you Bryce and Jay and Sunday pancakes.

Oh Jesus I love you
And I love Buddha too
Ramakrishna, Guru Dev
Tao Te Ching and Mohammed
Why do some people say
That there is just one way
To love you God and come to you
We are all a part of you

04 September 2008

tao whachoo gotta tao

So this fall I'm taking Cultures of Asia, which is not nearly as exciting as I hoped, but oh well. The rest of my classes are great, BTW!

Anyway, right now I'm reading about Taoism, and I am so glad to be reading about Taoism. I fell in love with it a year ago during World Religions. I particularly fell in love with The Tao of Pooh. I highly recommend reading this book at some point in your life. Now would probably be a good time, but you know, let it happen when it happens.

The reading I'm looking at for class has some fantastic quotes about the Tao:

"The Tao has represented the [...] gentleman in his private chamber or mountain retreat, seeking surcease from the cares of official life, perhaps a little drunk, but more likely intoxicated from the beauties of nature or of the world of the spirit."

You see, the Tao is nature as it should be. It is The Way. The Tao is "undivided unity in which all the contradictions and distinctions of existence are ultimately dissolved."

Following the Tao is acting (or rather, not acting - wu wei) and letting things be as they should be. You do what you do, don't interfere, don't worry, don't meddle, and let the Tao run it's course.
All things will fall into place if you let them.

Wu wei is like water:

"Of all things weak and yielding in the world,
None is more so than water.
But for attacking what is unyielding and strong,
Nothing is superior to it,
Nothing can take its place.

That the weak overcomes the strong,
And the yielding overcomes the unyielding,
Everyone knows this,
But no one can translate it into action."

The Tao of Pooh is great because it uses the characters and stories to illustrate Taoism. Pooh is simple, right? Pooh is just Pooh and doesn't try to be anything but Pooh. And sometimes things go his way, sometimes they don't. But it always works out on the end.

The Owl is too busy being a smarty-pants to really pay much attention to the way things really are. Eeyore is too busy feeling sorry for himself and wishing things to be different than they are to ever actually achieve anything. Tigger bounces around too much to be aware of the world around him, and Rabbit is too busy trying to control everything to ever get anything done! But Pooh, dear Pooh, is just Pooh.

That's what wu wei -- nonaction/inaction/acting without action is about. Not worrying too much or pushing against nature, but knowing yourself, being aware, and letting life happen. Be free. Be love.