Awake, my dear

Just so you know I wanted to crush you tonight. I didn’t get angry til later, but it was: you told me and then you insulted me/us. I thought, how dare you. I wanted to crush you with all the glaring faults and flaws I’ve seen. All the crap that stares me straight in the face every single day. And then I realized you did it because you’re an asshole. An asshole like me. I guess that’s why we’re friends.

Why a pinch? Why do we pinch ourselves to see if we are awake or if we are dreaming? It’s the pain. I guess the logic is, if you’re in a dream and you feel the pain, it will wake you up. And if not, then there’s just the pain. I’ve been suffering from a sort of blockage. My bowels haven’t been moving (figuratively), my back has been tight (literally) and I’ve been feeling just enough discontentment to make me wish I was discontent enough to actually get sad about something.

It wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable enough to break up the clot, at least a bit. 10 miles later and my body temperature is up, my blood is flowing, my stomach kind of hurts (from three bowls of fried rice and a beer for dinner) and my legs have that beautiful ache… I am Awake.

Why has it taken me so long to realize that openly struggling with Pride isn’t the same as being humble? It’s like a guy who has an open, festering sore walking around and pointing to it saying “Look at this disgusting sore!” and thinking smugly to himself, “Man, I sure am glad I took care of that.” It’s weird. I glimpsed my Pride up close once, I backed up to get a better view of it, to figure out how to destroy it, and then just sat back and admired my handiwork.

I am the worst person that I know.

One of my big problems is that I am Awake so little. I literally sleep in way too much, but the bigger issue is that sometimes I will be jarred out of my normal sleepwalking state. If I am awake long enough I will begin to plan and dream and set things into motion. I’ll enjoy a nice, fresh feeling of accomplishment and then I will inevitably fall back asleep and find myself six months later working on an ambulance not really sure where my life is headed and why I went in this direction in the first place.

I was thinking about the nature of video games yesterday. I realized that the reason why I like video games so much is that they’re fun (duh? haha). They’re fun as you play them but then what? You get to the end of FF7, you Omnislash Sephiroth into oblivion and then you turn off you PlayStation, realizing that you’ve spent literally hundreds of hours breeding chocobos and killing precious stone Weapons and now the black screen is staring mercilessly back at you and all the worries and fears and (true) desires start welling up and freaking you out. What to you do?

I have some anecdotal experience that tells me that non-virtual interactions are the opposite. In Canada I would spend hours fixing fences. The actual doing was tedious, hard, tiring and frustrating as hell. But at the end of the day I could look down a quarter mile of straight ass high tensile wire, take off my gloves, wipe my brow, and walk home emptied, in a sense, but also full.

I just need some pruning. I fill my time with what is permissible with nary a thought as to whether these things are beneficial. I spent so many hours playing games today when I could have been tutoring a kid, or working out, or making money, or taking Betty to K-Mart for shoes (or… whatever she does there), or any of a million things that are SO NECESSARY, half of which I would probably enjoy and feel enriched by. But I guess sleep begets sleep. When I allow myself to drift, I will always take the path of least resistance, but where is the line between comfort and decay? (People develop sores from laying down for too long…)

I am a coward in a world that needs brave men. I have gone the way of cows (get it?). I don’t want to go that way any more.

As I was running I was thinking of whether I actually wanted to become a fitness freak. That got me thinking about Tragedy. The one sure way to live a life of tragedy is to seek One thing that is not Sure. Be the fittest person imaginable, but you are just as susceptible to being paralyzed by a car or getting cancer or just suffering the ravages of age as any fatty you see on the street. What’s the point? Part of being awake, I think, is seeking the gems imperishable that hide amongst all the glimmering glass. But what are they?

Earlier in my car I was just whispering “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” to myself. I didn’t know what to say or do. All I could think to do was run. From or to what, I can’t be sure. I guess it’s the grown Christian’s version of “Mommy, mommy, mommy.” I’m okay with it though. I feel like sometimes my ineffable prayers are the ones He understands best. When “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” really just translates to something like “Oh my God, I have made such a mess of everything. Jesus, Jesus I don’t know” sometimes it feels like coming Home, like I’m finally being honest with myself.

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”


~ by justinhong on February 19, 2012.

2 Responses to “Awake, my dear”

  1. Man, I like this.

    I’ve been feeling like I want to sleep too. It’s the easiest thing to do when you feel heavy and weighty. But you and I talked about this: running is also a way to run and hide too from the heaviness.

    I like what you say at the end: Jesus, I’ve made a mess of everything, Jesus I don’t know. I’m feeling the same now. And that honesty is freeing.

    Okay, got that out of my system. Let’s run a million miles.

  2. The Gospel, in its raw, unedited, unfiltered beauty, does not allow for any spritualized “king of the hill” games. A hecka pride smasher. Any wonder why we have such a hard time with it?

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