Monday, June 23, 2003

Who Are We?

Sometimes, when I least expect it, raw emotions from two years ago resurface somewhere from a hidden crevice inside my gut to the front of my face, right under my eyes and nose.

Jan was my "best friend" in college, then things crashed in May 2001. She spurned me after I said something about her relationship that she perceived as being judgmental. She sent several terse, angry e-mails. And at the 10-year high school reunion dinner, she didn't say a word to me, though it was a small gathering. Then the communication stopped.

Only through the grapevine did I hear what she was saying about me (she and a friend calling me a "hypocrite" and a "non-believer," whatever that can possibly mean, confirming to each other that "we don't like Ruth"). But then again, I'm guilty of saying unkind things about her, too.

I felt weak. I felt raw. Truth be told, I haven't forgiven her. I don't know why. I don't really understand forgiveness at the core. Perhaps your best intention can be to forgive, care, love unconditionally, move on. But there is material that can be left behind, no matter how good your intentions are.

Perhaps part of the anger relates to how regretfully weak I was during that whole year we struggled to communicate. Perhaps the anger relates more to an anger toward who I was back then and less toward Jan. During that harsh year, I constantly told her that I cared for her and that we were still friends and that I wanted the best for her and that I respected her, despite her harsh e-mails and her need to "cut things off." I acted in a way that was very Christian, very forgiving. It was the right thing to do, I thought.

But deep inside, I was extremely angry and hurt. I wanted to lash out, the same way she did to me, slicing into me with her e-mails. But my muscles don't know how to do that.

I sit at my desk on June 2003, and I don't understand this energy. What does one do with things like this?

Sometimes we think we've left the past behind us, that it can't touch us any longer, like we can separate ourselves the same way a video tape is physically separated from our existence.

Who are we, really?

Posted by ruth at June 23, 2003 01:13 PM

There is no set time for how long painful memories require to heal, but the sooner this one does, the sooner you will be able to answer your question of who you are.
Posted by: kane on June 29, 2003 09:55 PM

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Philosophy of Song

I went to local jazz gig last night, and this out-of-town singer "sat in" (musician speak for when a guest performs a song or two during someone else's gig).

Warm, colorful voice. Deep and wide, mellow and strong. Butter, cognac. And she had the chops, scatting every which way. I really think she could do anything and everything with her fine instrument.

Unfortunately, she did.

On her Latin tune, she did a lot of bending and delays, swooping and dragging, which can be sexy and cool. The crowd loved her. They were amazed and were left breathless. She ended her tune to much clapping and "Hana hou!" She definitely delivered on the "wow" factor.

But I was left with a completely different feeling. I don't prefer acrobatics strewn throughout an entire song with no relief in simplicity. Sometimes when performers "go for it" that way, the essence and emotion inside a song is lost to the flashiness of the vocalist.

Perhaps it's a matter of philosophy. I believe the performer is simply a vessel for the true thing of value, which is the work itself. Before you let me sense your awesome skills, let me sense the song.

Posted by ruth at June 18, 2003 11:30 AM

Hmmm ....

A lot of guys like golf.

Posted by ruth at June 18, 2003 03:00 PM

A lot of guys like The Three Stooges. I never understood the appeal of either.
Posted by: Ryan on June 19, 2003 12:49 PM