Leaves fall, storms rage, the heart soars

I have had quite a week, and it’s been a while since I’ve posted so this may take some time. Let me see, where to start? I went to Orientation at school to volunteer, I am a mentor for 2 students at Hollins in the Horizon program. It was wonderful to recognize that it has been exactly a year since I returned to school. Sitting at the table with the new Horizon students took me back to when I first started and how excited and yes, a little scared I was. The check-in process, the financial aid hoops I had to jump through, the constant moments of getting lost for the first 3 weeks. I felt pretty alone at first. Thank goodness I was accepted into the Chaplaincy program. I had a built in circle of friends. That reminds me of some of the tasks I need to take care of for SRLA. (Spiritual and Religious Life Association) My co-president, the Internal Chair and I have been working a lot on planning the first 2 meetings and signed up many Freshman and some Horizon (Adult) students at Check-In. I was a dual volunteer on Orientation day. I moved back and forth between Horizon and the Chaplains. It was actually very invigorating.

I also attended training sessions for the Hollins Activity Board over the weekend (3 different sessions) and met some great young ladies. We answered questions as part of the “get to know you” games. They were questions like “If you could be any person in history, who would you be?” Lots of interesting answers. We also had a bead party where we went to a bead store in downtown Roanoke and made some jewelry, had some pizza. I chose amber and glass autumn leaves. I crafted a charm bracelet and earrings from them and enjoyed the pleasure of creation. Even a small thing can provide sustenance for the artist in you.

I saw the Dark Knight again this weekend. I had a welcome visitor from Greensboro over the weekend and he had not seen it. It was a true pleasure to screen it again. A second viewing left me with lingering thoughts. Complex questions about the nature of the anti-hero and society especially in light of the situation in Iraq and the way that America is perceived in the world. In the film, the good citizens of Gotham are portrayed as alternately noble and mob like, as prey and predator but ultimately unable to handle the truth of darkness of humanity. It is Batman’s role to assume the mantle of darkness to provide Harvey Dent with the image of the “white knight”. A vision of purity, a hero they can believe in, though it is in fact, a false one. The true hero is of course Batman, who is in actuality pure. So pure that he will not kill or use guns. He puts others first, always.Even at the cost of his own needs and wants. Even if it means some innocents must die so that a terrorist is not negotiated with.

The Joker on the other hand is portrayed as an agent of chaos, anarchy. Like Batman, he sees the world as full of possibility and darkness. Only he has reached the conclusion that the rules that people live by are simply a sham, a series of lies told to control the population and keep the status quo. He believes that it doesn’t matter intrinsically if you follow any kind of moral code, since any code is based on the mistaken idea that living by a code has any relevance in a world where there is no judgment.

Batman has come to an opposite conclusion, that living by a code matters to HIM, even if it matters to no one else. His own judgment is sufficient unto itself. His own honor has value. That is all the reason he needs. He chooses to be good, not to maintain a status quo, but to maintain his own identity and make order out of chaos. He is a creator of order versus The Joker, a destroyer of order.

The next day I read the Old Testament reading in church at the 10am service, which is always a little scary. (All those funny words like Hivittes and Jebusites) It was about Moses and the burning bush. The Reverend Barkley Thompson gave a wonderful sermon about the reading which was about being open to seeing the presence of God in the world around you.

It was a wonderful Sunday. We went to the Homeplace for lunch. It’s an old farmhouse restaurant in Catawba which features Southern home cooking. I especially love their fried chicken and apple butter. It all comes served family style and all you care to eat. Perfect Sunday dinner food. Later that night after The Gathering (5pm service) we went to see Hamlet 2 which was hysterical. Labor day was laid back. I was sleepy and late for a training session with the Hollins Activities Board because I stayed up too late. The Hurricane was hitting the Gulf Coast and of course all of my family and many of my friends live there. So far all seem to be fine.

My schedule is shaping up to be a little overwhelming, but I kind of like that. It’s like an obstacle course, or Survivor. I enjoy testing myself, challenging myself. I am the only person I really want to compete with anymore. Classes start tomorrow and tonight will be an early one.

I’ve written a couple of poems, just trying to de-rustify my skills prior to class tomorrow night and also because I had something to write about.

My daughter seems very happy and is doing well. I miss my internship. I miss being at church every day. I did correspond with the office at school about the January internship though so I plan on teeing that application up shortly.

As for the huge political events of the last week. I could write a book about them. I attended a party to watch the speeches on the final night. I thought Al Gore’s speech was fantastic and Obama’s well, it was one for the history books. To experience that speech at the Fork in the Alley (on C-Span of course) with about 60-80 cheering Obama supporters surrounding me was a one of a kind experience. It was a huge high. I recorded it on my DVR and have watched it a couple of times since and it still gets me going. I have to say, how anyone can care what a Republican thinks or believes at this point after what they’ve done with this country over the last 8 years is beyond me.

As for the Sarah Palin “selection”. I don’t quite know what to say. Senility springs to mind.

Really? If he conks, this is who they want in the White House? This is their best and brightest? Take a look at this interview from CNN of Tucker Bounds as he attempts to explain how Sarah Palin somehow is Commander of the Alaskan National Guard!

I’m not suggesting God isn’t on their side or anything, but man, they seem to be getting a lot of bad breaks lately. Not that I’m complaining. Their Gestapo techniques against protestors and even national media leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

My song of the moment is by Landon Pigg called Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop. You may recognize it from a commercial if you take a listen. It reminds me of someone I am thinking a lot about these days.

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