Back to basics

Spent most of last Saturday curled up in a ball on the floor of an overcrowded train carriage, on my way to and from my brother’s birthday celebrations; I wonder if my spinal column will ever recover from the damage. However, due to a sudden illness, we were deprived the key ingredient of his company. In his absence, I was still overwhelmed by the constant presence of football fans, in every location I visited, at all times.

For the first time in years, I’ve been properly practicing my instruments, in preparation for an audition to a music course I want to apply to. Flashbacks to hours spent as a child sat in front of a piano, especially during Sixth Form, where all my free time would be devoted to music. I’ve grown so used to playing piano standing up, it’s fascinating how different it is sitting down, and how much easier certain techniques are.

I happened to read Revelation 7 a few days ago. Amongst various praise explosions is the phrase, “The Lamb will be their shepherd; he will lead them to streams of loving water.” This reminded me of the famous Psalm 23, which David wrote.

I think many people view heaven as a destination, but the emphasis in this passage is a future journey. It says in Psalm 102, “The heavens are the work of your hands… They will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded.” So what many people consider to be the final page, to God is a worn-out pair of jeans.

In a description of the end of all creation is this phrase about a revelation of worship David had thousands of years ago. I don’t know why such large demonstrations of pain and bloodshed in the time that lies between are necessary to grasp such a simple concept.

Reboot

For whatever reason, I don’t usually catch colds, but due to an unfortunate combination of circumstances, for the past few days I’ve been a constant vessel of infection and nasal spray. At times like, this only the most basic rules apply. If sleep doesn’t work, drink honey with warm water. Failing that, Lucozade. After that, my eyes are watering, not only with feverish tears, but those of sorrow. I refuse to resort to painkillers.

It was annoying, because until Saturday, I had the highest amount of control over my busyness for a long time. Then a day of work followed by a late-night worship event three everything off course. Partnered with a ready meal for tea, the stage was set for disaster, a so had to get up really early for morning worship at church. This was followed by an outdoor McDonalds lunch. I’m very attached to my gilet, but at six degrees, this was one scenario it was not created for. 

I do wonder about how much emphasis we put on our emotions when we play worship, though. Surely the time sacrifices I make, not just in the present, but all the hours of practice in my past, far outweigh any ecstatic feeling I may or may not feel in the moment?

There have been a few glorious moments, although it is sometimes difficult to discern between a passing of the spirit, and a hot flush. The highest of these was when I purchased a new notebook and diary, at the same time. Such an unprecedented shopping spree. A bright orange journal with “Reboot” written on it spoke to me, as well as an Alice in Wonderland diary.

Decided to write down my general life goals, all of which can be summed up by my desire for universal, megalomaniacal rule. It’s interesting how the designs and format of all my notebooks reflects on what general state my mind is in for that period. In my last one, I was writing down my thoughts in short lines, and turning over the page whenever I moved onto a slightly different topic. While wasting a lot of paper, that helped me achieve some separation between thoughts that merge so easily. This new one has no lines, so endless open spaces for my tyrannical intellect.

Break the seal

Lately my life has been following the predictable cycle of lamenting how much social interaction I have to endure, pushing through this and actually enjoying it, then listening to electronica music in my spare time to wrap myself in a mood. After a strong, two-year stint, my music taste’s pop phase has just past its peak. Thank you Lady Gaga for starting this wild, wild journey, but now Lorde has enlightened me. 

It was after the fifth successive play of her Melodrama album that I experienced a pure worship moment, the kind I spend my whole life seeking, and then instantly strategising afterwards. I heard Jesus say, “Break the seal.” This provoked two thoughts:

“Why can’t he speak to me in normal words?”

“Dammit, looks like I’m going to have to read Revelation again.”

I saw a scroll that unfurled, and out of it came ribbons. I felt the scroll represented the order I expect, and assume, that life and certain scenarios will follow. But Holyspirit said that instead of a certain progression, or end point, he wanted me to aim towards a different target. The ribbons were symbolic of reaching unity with other people, rather than completing the scroll, on which was written what I thought should happen. By this point I was seriously confused, so resorted to the imagery contained in Naruto to help me.

Scrolls and seals are used often in the anime, and are linked to power. Power struggles, placement of power and increase in capacity are all themes that spring to my mind. Often, when a character uses a scroll, breaks a seal, or both, what follows is a release of energy or technique far beyond the expected, or their usual capacity.

Then underwent the uncomfortable act of reading Revelation. After ploughing through plenty of death, destruction, and questionable metaphors, I reached one, relevant conclusion. When a scroll opens, God is showing humanity a new level of spirituality. What follows is hard to imagine or cope with, because there is no previous frame of reference to deal with it.

How do these concepts merge? Not entirely sure yet, but keep praying, “Break the seal.” Maybe I’ll suddenly obtain the power of a sage, or go on a horseback rampage. But it definitely ties in with my need to have a different perspective, or insight, into my everyday.

Public service announcement

This is a public service announcement, with regards to the daily updates. The definition of “daily” is now more fluid, and may be interpreted as every other day, sometimes, when I can be bothered, or when I have something interesting to say. This decision has come straight from head office, to provide the main character of said stories with the necessary space to think without expectation, that he often desperately needs.

October 29th (untrivial pursuit)

Something about this prayer thing seems to be working. Don’t know what it is, and normally hate the formality, but since yesterday my life has been amazing. Apart from a drug and alcohol fuelled woman relentlessly barraging our door at four o’clock in the morning, convinced it was another property. But these are minor details.

Was in chameleon mode at work, effortlessly and deceptively switching between multiple roles, to the extent that I’m now very confused as to my true purpose. At home, I revelled in the glorious ness of hair washing. I waited long for that moment.

After listening to Jess Glynne, embarked on a huge Hillsong United worship journey. Thinking about how sometimes Jesus speaks really dramatically, and other times whimsically, but whatever he says is never trivial. It was in Isaiah 55, “The word that goes out from my mouth will not return void.”

October 28th (three)

Integrated a period of fervent prayer into my morning exercise. It’s rarely I do this officially, but I was in dire straights. Adopted Jeremiah’s plea: “Lord, lift me from the pit.” Was calling down blessing on every aspect of my day of work that entered my brain, metaphorically on my knees, but physically in the classic tree-hugging pose.

Something happened anyway, as it’s the first Saturday I’ve ever worked without sustaining some level of stress trauma. Three people in the kitchen is the key; in all situations this is the magic number, apart from perhaps marriage, and thumb wars. Almost got ahead of myself by having two coffees on my break, but the latent fear of uncontrollable urination kept me in check.

I was therefore delighted to fill my evening with stressful recreation, such as the deceptively simple task of transferring audio files from CD to iPod. After three hours of whirring, and erasing and replacing my entire library, I met with success. Eventually surrendered and listened to Amanda Cook for an hour in worshipful bliss. My first day I’m a while where over fifty percent of stuff has worked out above average.

October 26th (hello world)

Definitely ranking up there in my top fifty most unproductive days of all time. Notable achievements are cooking a stir fry that successfully used up excess broccoli, only for the heartbreaking discovery afterwards that there were, indeed, spring onions in the fridge. My quality of life missed out on a while percent.

Did manage to send off some important things, including a letter to the council to take back money that is rightfully ours, but without the need for green leggings and a bow. Played a MIDI keyboard for the first time in a music-playing session: I hate the phrase, “jam.” Found myself in a mini glory shower on the train back, but then realised I was tired. Classic corner has become an essential evening item. I assess how much damage the world has inflicted on me, and vice versa, while listening to wordless music that can’t judge me, or force me to feel a particular emotion. 

October 25th (unspeakable emotions)

I thought I’d amassed enough internal energy over the past few days to rival a small, nuclear power station. How misinformed I was, having been reduced to a shivering wreck by a irrational lunch rush at work. I cannot understand why such a large number of people decided to eat at such an unconventional time. But my life is full of constant surprises, with no follow-up explanation. 

Massive revelations about church and Jesus’ love tonight, in the form of relentless mental rants, unbeknownst to my companions. Ok, I really understand why being in community is important, but how many carrot cakes do we need to eat before we decide to be friends? I feel sorry for people with lower metabolisms than me.

Also, we’re always approaching God’s love like it’s something to be attained. People, it is inside you, waiting to be comprehended. When you can’t sense it, that feeling is not enough to evaporate it’s reality. Listening to Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, connecting with those lovely, unspeakable emotions.

October 24th (yes Thor)

I had to go to morning prayers this morning, having unwittingly agreed to lead them: yay. With a broken piano and guitar, someone really didn’t want worship to happen, but he spirit prevailed. Then a talk about dealing with negative emotion, featuring a few obscure bible verses and half-baked theology to prop up my political agenda.

After cleaning, I said an unexpected hello to the sun, before heading to Costa again to continue my expedition into Lamentations. Normally in the Old Testament, God’s busy killing nations opposed to the Israelites, but this time there’s no racial discrimination; strange. Then the long-awaited conversation with Gethin, about psychology, intelligence, and the overarching wisdom of anime.

Double cinema time, first with Thor: Ragnarok. Please can I spend my life running around, trailblazing lightning? If the vacancy of hammer god is open, I’ll gladly take it. Hephaestus may contend that, but don’t know if I can supporting merging mythologies. Broke my year long Subway fast. Waiting for the twelve-year old buzz to return, but think it’s gone forever. Then watched The Party. Cillian Murphy has been intoxicating in every role I’ve seen.

October 23rd (embrace your humanity)

Monday’s are the only day at the moment when I can lie in, but are also designated as my Chi Kung and Pilates, pre-breakfast killer combo. This means I go from my highest state of lethargy to intense exercise within the space of an hour. I never stop breaking limits, with breakfast and lunch merges intonation unbelievably short time. There is no limit to my time efficiency, provider I’m allowed a ten minute leeway to any appointments.

Yet again, certain piano lessons concluded with surreal, improvised prayer songs; the best kind. And then followed by the coffee trip, where I balance my aversion to chain organisations with my need to sit quietly for an indeterminate length of time. Thinking about being a real person, and dealing with problems. When God created us, he said, “His is very good.” That statement covered our potential for success, but also unlimited failure. So why do we often act as if Jesus is hampered by our difficulties, like they need to be dealt with before “progress” can be made? He’s not as squeamish as we think.