Posts Tagged ‘Hell’

Life: Favorite Things

June 5, 2017

oceanOne of my very favorite things about my life is that I get to live in the city. When we were looking at houses over twenty years ago, I tried to get us right downtown in an old dilapidated fraternity house, but the financing was no go.

We ended up in an older home up on what is called the Bench, or the New North End, as realtors like to call it now. The old North End is an area with tiny cottages and postage stamp yards that are uber expensive. It was once the yucky part of town. Then someone decided it was the trendy wonderful “historic” part of town, and now it is expensive.

It is a mecca for the political left. One of my conservative friends was stopped at a light and a man who objected to her bumper sticker got out of his car and forcibly removed it from her bumper. She was an elderly non-confrontational type of person, but it was upsetting for her.

I would have responded and, it would not have been one of my best What Would Jesus Do? type of moments.

I write tangentially. If it is driving you to distraction, my recommendation is to read just the first paragraph and the summary sentence of the last paragraph, or as an alternative, you could read the blog of someone more mentally balanced.

The Bench is not nearly as expensive, but boasts older, usually but not always, larger homes with old trees.

Another of my favorite things is just taking walks around my neighborhood. I have a favorite route that is three miles. I know because I drove it in my car for the purpose of measuring it. Sometimes when I am extra ambitious, I also take in the Capitol Blvd. hill which if you return behind the Anniversary Inn is about ninety nine steps pretty much straight up, or as straight up as you can be without having to actually climb.

There are a lot of beautiful gardens in the front yards of the houses in my area. They probably have some eye popping floral spectacles in the back as well, but I don’t want to be found trespassing to find out.

I was going to say that people are really friendly, but the truth is that I would not like it if they were overly friendly. I like the level of friendliness that lands somewhere between nodding and/or smiling as you pass one another or for the other end of the parameter, the extreme of bold, saying something inanely rhetorical such as, “Isn’t it a beautiful day?”

I don’t want political comments or satire or investigative questions. I don’t want to have the burden of having to remember the name of someone who lives one and a half miles from my house. Life is just too darn short for that. An exception would be that I don’t mind knowing your dog’s name. I like petting other people’s dogs since I don’t have one and won’t anytime soon in the future.

Have you ever thought about volunteering to walk someone else’s dog for them? I have, but then I thought it would involve a lot of interaction and actually getting to know other people, and I just felt all tired inside.

I was reading a book the other night in which someone expressed my thoughts about people so brilliantly, so succinctly that I noted it in the margin and indexed it in the back of the book.

I will be quoting from Furiously Happy, A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. Remember in my review a few days back, I said it was incredibly funny, encouraging to mentally ill people and completely profane. You have been warned.

“I believe it was Sartre who said, “Hell is other people,” and I suspect he wrote that after spending an hour with over-involved parents who won’t stop yelling at coaches, instructors, or crying four-year-olds who really just want a snow cone.”

I love my family and friends, some of my neighbors and co-workers, but people are exhausting. Let’s be honest. Part of walking is intentionally leaving the cell phone, the internet, and people behind, so that I can recover whatever emotional equilibrium is left to me in this life. Why would I want to talk to people while I am doing it?

Well, there you have it. Two of my favorite things. I was going to do three, but I don’t know what the third one is. It is probably seeing the ocean, if I had to guess. If I don’t know what my third favorite thing is, I don’t know how to find out. I will got out on a limb here and say that my third favorite thing is the Oregon Coast/Pacific Ocean/any ocean. The only bad thing about seeing the ocean is that when it time to leave, I always feel incredibly grieved with my whole heart to the point of actual tears. Yes, it feels like a death to drive away from the Oregon Coast. That is why it is number three and not number one. If I could stay there always, it would be number one.

I like to take walks there and be comfortably distant with people and friendly to their dogs. Lots of people bring their dogs to the Oregon Coast. It’s the thing. The ocean always make me think of the Lord and how He is big beyond anything we can really grasp with our minds or senses. He is just as big when I am in Boise, Idaho, walking around, but I don’t think about Him that way when I am here.

That is probably why I usually carry around a little card with a Bible verse on it when I take my three mile walk. It just turns my heart that way spiritually. I don’t need any cards on the Oregon Coast. It is like the difference between skyping someone or actually being with them.

My last paragraph was no doubt filled with heresy or scriptural inconsistencies or both. I meant that is how it feels.

My three favorite things are living in the city, walking in the city, and chaining myself to something immoveable at the ocean.

The End