Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Boys Will Be Girls

And odd experience occurred yesterday. I try to visit the International School of Kenya a couple times a week. Yesterday I probably should have opted to not visit.
Unwittingly, I walked onto to the MS campus to hangout with the guys I normally see only to be confronted by most of those fellas dressed as fellettes. Some were merely wearing the addition of a wig to their average everyday clothing choices, but those were the wimps. When it came to the bold and daring, some had dressed to the nines, donning tutus and painting their nails.
Being home schooled, I have never felt comfortable in schools. Walking into them always makes me feel like I don't belong and never will. It's something about teachers and how they look at anyone as if they're a predator if they don't recognize them. I guess that's healthy, but it always makes me feel like they think I'm a creep. Furthermore, all the intricacies of school society have been, are, and will be foreign to me. My daily school/social interactions were completed by the time I had greeted my family at the breakfast table. Walking up to a table of kids that I only ever see in a school setting, and trying to play it cool like I belong is a challenge for me. I may never get the hang of it.
Walking up to a table of kids, who are dressed in the clothing of the opposite gender and taking liberties to act on their clothing style, is one thing that will never make anyone feel comfortable.

O the frivolities private schools in Kenya allow...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I Was Under The Impression

I was sitting in a chair surrounded by people I know, a lot of whom were kids in my small groups. I'm not sure if I was talking, but I'm pretty sure I wanted to. I didn't know how I wanted to say what I was thinking. I didn't know what I wanted to say. I could feel the pressure building up. There was a song in the background playing the whole time, but I didn't notice it until it got to one point in particular. The song is called "Kids" and it's performed by the band MGMT. It's not the most profound song. I think it was only in my dream because of the way it sounds. It has a fair build up, which leads to a fade. The fade turns into the sounds of children playing, but is cut short by the sound of one child screaming, which, in turn, is the segue back into the rest of the song.
Where was I? O yeah, I remember.
The song "Kids" is playing in the background when it reaches the scream. As soon as I recognize that portion of the song, I look up and scream along with that child. I scream as loud as I can.

It is becoming clearer and clearer to me how dangerous impressions can be. Similar to assumptions, we can never be sure of them and they are frequently making us look foolish. At first sight, one impression may seem to be this, but then turn out to be that. E.g. If one is under the impression that life is simple, upon taking up that philosophy, he will stagger under the weight of the impression of a complex life. When his ignorance is revealed and he sees that he is under the wrong impression, he may seek to find the simple impression he once thought he perceived, but it will come to no avail. You see, that was a trick impression. Life is both simple and complex. That poor guy is never going to get out from under there.
Furthermore, the application of many impressions can soon lead to the destruction of one's perception of reality if one is caught beneath said rapid fire practice of impressions. E.g. Think of your perception of reality as a big bowl of playdoh. Think of impressions as the mold we mash our perception of reality into in order to give it shape. One, seemingly harmlessly, begins to impress the molds into his playdoh. One, like a child, enjoys this thoroughly. But he overlooks an important aspect of the mold-to-playdoh relationship. You see, he doesn't take time to reshape his playdoh once the mold has been removed. Mold after mold shape and reshape his once healthy ball of doh until all the qualities of retaining shape are absent. He gets frustrated as he tries to clean out the pieces of dirt and dust (and the occasional hair) that have helped the molds turn the doh into crumbly bits of something once useful.
In addition to the first two dangers, I have determined a third. Aside from wrong impressions and being too impressionable, there is "crushing impressions," the weight of which you do not want to be under. Crushing impressions, as you may be able to gather, tend to stamp so forcefully that their weight leaves no room for further impression. I.e. They leave one unimpressionable. E.g. For this mental exercise I ask you to imagine your healthy moldable mind as a reasonably sturdy wagon. If you choose for it to be a bright red and gleaming Radio Flyer or if you choose for it to be of wooden make, it makes no important difference. But I would choose the Radio Flyer if I were you. And now, if you would indulge me, imagine impressions as neighborhood kids. As everyone knows, children do not spend all of their lives in wagons, but they can, if given the opportunity, spend as much time as their heart desires. Impressions, like children in a wagon, are not permanent, but they can take their time to leave. Sometimes, One allows too many neighborhood cronies into his Radio Flyer. The addition of one crony without removing the other causes great stress on this once sturdy, now dangerously weighty wagon. The scene plays out as we all imagine it will, and the wagon folds under the weight of too many chubby, little impressions. The children run, leaving One with a useless wagon.

When I awoke from my dream, I think I was feeling the weight of what I can only assume were impressions. What was I impressed with? Good question. Let us consider...

I believe one impression I was under could have been that I was in control. Another option, or perhaps, in addition to that, I was beneath the impression that I was secure in my walk with the Lord as a solitary pilgrim. I'd been feeling pretty good about who I was and where I was. So I pulled my wagon along with Solitude and Control sitting happily inside and occasionally grabbing snacks as they rode along and got fatter. My wagon's journey didn't end there. You see, Control and Solitude kept calling their friends to join them, and the weight continued to impress upon my Radio Flyer. I didn't think it was too many until it was too late. I recall thinking that I didn't even know all of those kids as the axel snapped and I watched their chubby, little legs scuttle off into the distance.

The weight was too much. Removing the weight didn't fix the situation. I scream as loud as I can.

I think what brought the break was the death of one of my friends from the school I attended for a year in Wisconsin. Shannon Norman was killed in a car accident. Instantly, I could see Control ducking behind some bushes, pulling Proximity and Friends along with him as they hid from me. A blur caught my attention, and I turned to see Invincibility clear a fence as he continued at a sprint to abandon me. I stood there confused as more of my so called companions cleared out. Only Solitude stayed for any length of time. I guess he thought he could help. In actuality, his only solution was to once again apply himself to my poor Radio Flyer. His reapplication broke further the already busted fragments of my once wholesome wagon. I realized his uselessness and kicked him out.

Impressions are dangerous.

Now I have to piece my perception of reality back together. I've spent time alone. I've gotten angry. I've been sad. I've craved other people. I've craved to be where I cannot. It's not helping. I need truth.