Monday, April 22, 2019

Finding Joy

Last week was a rough one. The weekend was worse. I was dealing with some fatigue and a vague kind of apathy. The weather didn't help. The weather here has been off-and-on gloomy with teasings of sunshine. Weather can be my friend or my enemy. And I am sometimes my own bad medicine. Most people fight dark moods with good company. Me, I duck out of invites. I don't like pretending that I'm okay when I'm not - at least not any more than I have to just to make people not worry. So I usually only socialize when I feel sociable.

I spent Easter alone and just kind of meditating on the season's message that Jesus died and rose. He did both - going into the grave and coming out - for us and maybe his other gift was teaching us how - with his love - to rise up out of our emotional graves.  By the time I went to bed last night, I was thinking about how we, human and flawed, have to regenerate from things that kill little pieces of us every day.

Some people don't heal from all that hurts their feelings. Some people just put up walls and won't let the hurt get too close. I heal with laughter and music and imagination. So this past week when I was tempted to stay hidden away in my tomb of despair, I thought about God's love for me and I was able to rise out of the nice, cool, dangerous darkness.

My laughter comes from small things. I'm that person who breaks out into giggles while grocery shopping because I remembered something that happened ten years ago. Last night, I was listening to a podcast when one host misspoke about a location and then said that he was no "geographist". His co-host teased that he was also obviously a not "wordist". I had to pause the podcast for at least five minutes while I laughed.  Yeah, you had to be there. Ba dum bump.

Music is my other balm. My latest song obsession came about while I was watching that show Lucifer (Yeah, I'll address that in a moment.) The song is "Restless" by a band called Cold War Kids. Since I don't listen much to the radio, I find new music via TV shows or movies. Let's give a shout out to the Shazam app right now. It's on my home screen with other Most Used icons right next to the bank app that I check to keep myself from going to jail over bounced checks.

Anyway, I love this song so much. Anyone who's read my blog more than 20 times knows how often I mishear lyrics. I don't usually even pay attention to lyrics and just let the music take me where it's going.
This time though, for some reason, the lyrics grabbed me. The melody (arrangement?) is also beautiful. Do check out this band and show support.

What humor and music can't heal in me, love and imagination can. Love's currently in hiding - or maybe even in witness protection - so I had to lose myself in my imagination. Imagination is tricky though so I have to be careful. I might start out headed toward a mirage of paradise and end up in places darker than my reality. Usually, I can get myself to a place of peace just by imagining what that place might look like.

At any rate, I was able to pull myself back into some kind of balance. Today, I decided to skip this weeks methotrexate injection. I want to feel good to enjoy this moment of not being entombed.

As for the show Lucifer, I realize that a lot of Christians were in protest when it premiered. I never bothered to watch it just because I was in my 5-year period of refusing to own a television. When I noticed a couple of weeks ago that it was on Netflix, I put it in my queue and forgot about it for a few days. After a little bit of debate with myself, I decided to watch the show. Here's the thing, I'm strong enough in my beliefs that a silly TV show is not going to shake my faith. I live in a world that is a documentary of evil. I read the news and observe people every day. If that hasn't turned me away from the cross, I don't know what can.

The show is entertaining. I mean, it's mainly about the Devil in existential crisis because of issues we humans deal with on a daily basis. The bad theology (which seems to blend Biblical teachings with that of Greek and Marvel Universe mythology) could be misleading to someone weak and not curious enough to search further. For me, it's just a show made up of fictional characters loosely based on real people. I can handle that.

**I walked away from the keyboard for a minute and almost forgot what this post was about because I have the attention span of a gnat. Forgive me if the rest of the post is a little off kilter.**

 I just wanted to get across that we have to find ways to heal ourselves and hang on to live for another moment. Rinse and repeat. That's all life is - just making it from moment to moment and breath to breath. And, like I said, I think that the healing - in our hearts and imagination or through little joys - is all a gift from God.

I want to include another song that I always find soothing. This one has pulled me through some seriously dark moments.

Ironically, Lucifer -or, as I call him post-fall, Satan - was the chief musician. So music can soothe or damage. Remember that David played the harp for Saul.