Monday, March 26, 2012

the last days of judas iscariot: time to ask big, scary questions

April 10-21, 2012: a Pound of Flesh Theatre production at The Cultch, design credit unknown.

This morning I had the extreme delight of sitting in on the first read-through of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and being produced by Pound of Flesh Theatre in association with Pacific Theatre, Neworld Theatre and presented by The Cultch and Rumble Productions.

Mostly I laughed. But I also began a lot of thinking; thoughts like "That's totally Jesus!" and questions like "Ummm, does Satan get to talk like that?" Yes that's right, this show has Jesus and Satan in it. And a flattery-prone councillor (reminiscent of an Arabic Mr. Bean), Sigmund Freud and of course, Judas Iscariot.

I have never before given much thought to Judas and his story. And the supposed unforgivableness of his actions, first the betrayal and then the suicide, hit me square in the chest. These are things that I, like many others, know too well but do not understand.

And then, all the air rushed out of my lungs, Satan just claimed that Jesus loves him. My brain bellowed with confusion and anger, "Lies!" But the parallel of Satan and Judas (potentially the two most hated and "doomed" biblical figures ever) began to emerge, gaining footing in my heart even while my brain lined up to take another swing at it. Satan, like Judas, knew God personally and then of his own free will (God's one creation flaw as Lu sees it) chooses self over God. Satan was cast out (or chose to leave) heaven, Judas chooses to leave Jesus and then, earth. And there sits Jesus, across the room from me and only a table away from Judas, pleading with him "I love you, I love you, don't close your heart to me, I LOVE YOU!" And Judas again rejects this redemptive hand-up, sitting in the pit of hell, he turns inward, believing self and tuning out Jesus.

And now I am left to wonder, does Jesus still love Judas? Judas who, repentance aside, betrayed him and then, overcome with despair, took his own life. And if Jesus loves Judas still, as he is and where he remains, could Jesus love Satan? 

A frightening question to hear myself ask, but how else are we to exist, but to question, wonder, learn,  believe. I don't think for a minute that God has any love for arrogance, deceit or selfish ambition. He has no room in his perfection for these things that repulse him. But does Jesus, who knows every temptation and human frailty, understand and if he understands, could he then still love the man that betrayed him? Does he wish Judas would just take his hands off of his ears long enough to hear his words "I love you, my brother, my heart, I love you"?

And then I wonder, if there is redemption for such a man, could there have been redemption for Satan? Is the fatal mistake that we all have the capacity and freedom to make really as simple as repeatedly rejecting God's sovereignty and lordship of the universe, of our lives? And if so, how different am I from Judas or even from Satan? I acknowledged Jesus once...but daily I retake the throne, determining how I will live, doing what seems right in my own eyes.

If grace is extended to me, even now as I am, who else does God extend his grace to? Who else would break his heart if they turned away, choosing eternal separation from him? Everyone? Every single one that  turns away, choosing self over God? Heart breaks. And it should be mine.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

success with a twist

So these are my results from yesterday's blog post. I think it's safe to say that they prove two things. #1 Katie is a great teacher, and #2 anyone can do this! 

I modified and cut-corners, allowing for my hair being longer, finer and having a natural curl. And then before I knew it, ta-da! 

Much like when I cook, the results coming from "a little of this, a little of that" seemed iffy up until, final bobby-pin in place, it was done!
Right-side view

Left-side, with a braid

This is the twist. While I used the side-braid idea from Katie's picture, I followed her video version of her side messy-bun.

And even though in the end, it didn't end up really being a bun at all, I was quite happy with the results. Add a cute clip or flower and there you have it, something new for spring!

And yes, I was pleased with the results!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

daily discovery: the small things blog

I'll be getting gussied up and heading to work in just a few hours and I really needed inspiration. Wonderfully enough, I've found some at the small things blog! 

I get bored easily: with tasks, the weather and, yes of course, with clothes. And right now I'm not exactly in a place to be shopping, even with spring bouncing closer each day, and me feeling desperate for something fresh and springish. The best thing to do in this situation?  Find a new way to do my hair!

today's look

   a hair how-to with kate, will probably try this one tomorrow

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

a fairy-tale ends

When I read my childhood autobiography it reads like the modern fairy-tale, raised by her mother and never enough money, but since the prince was just around the corner, there was nothing to fear. My childhood was sheltered from almost all forms of darkness, the gates firmly locked, holding back the attacking armies and the unknown dragons of the world. And for all my eye-rolling and wondering at my mother's insistence on such a conventional and “safe” upbringing, I now wonder if perhaps she was right all along.

With my wide-eyed innocence lasting until long after it was fashionable, I was often a little on the fringes of my social groups. It seemed that I lacked the skills or at least the secret knowledge of what it took to make the "right" people like me. I had friends, wonderful friends at that, friendships that have lasted until this day, though they have changed and shifted as we have followed different paths. But I always wanted to be at the centre of it all. I would sit in my tower-like room, painting flowers on my furniture because we rented and I couldn't paint the walls, devouring books about the people outside the gates and imagining that I was someone else, living in a different land, able to have and do all the things that I wished for.

This insular world was perhaps to my own detriment in some regards. I mean I never even learned how to interact with the neighbour boys, let alone preparing myself for the much-anticipated prince. But on the other hand it made me. I developed a depth of contemplation, imagination, and independence that is at the core of who I am today. It took years for me to sift through the layers of reserve, self-questioning, feelings of being odd and left out, but at last, palms flat against the gates, I pushed them open and stepped forward.

And the world beyond the gates was not as scary nor as dragon-filled as I had been led to believe. And though its true that I had always longed to be apart of the inner court, I had grown into someone who valued relationships of various shapes and levels, but would not settle for shallowness. I was suddenly faced with all of the crazy and scary things that happened outside the gates, but they actually held very little appeal for me. There was no forbidden fruit awaiting me, but instead a gamut of moments that challenged and refined who I already was.

It was in these same moments that I stepped out beyond familiar walls that things inside the castle began to really fall apart. I had chosen and gained my independence at a time when everything else was crumbling, the walls and the gates no longer strong or tall enough to protect me. Brokenness in trust, in feelings of safety and home, in family and loyalty, it all crashed down. And I could leave it all behind, I now had the rest of the world.

I regret nothing because how could I have been anything other than what I was. However, looking back, I see what I wish I could have been and truthfully, it is what I still wish to be. Impervious to personal pain, able to hold everyone and everything together, be a saviour to those I love, and fix the messes we find ourselves in. But I was not so strong. Nor was I that selfless. In a surge of independence I turned my back on everything that hurt me, choosing instead to go it alone because I couldn't imagine how I could take any more.

But of course the other shoe did drop, and I was not there to catch it. I collapsed under the weight of what we had lost. I will never forget nor be proud of how I tried to go it on my own, only to lose something so indescribable. And it was then that I, the independent one, needed someone strong enough to do what I could not. To hold my family and myself when I could do neither. 

The fabled prince had still not arrived. I realize now that I had grown up believing in two things. Firstly, in myself and secondly, in the prince. What did Bible stories offer as a captivating narrative in comparison to the fairy-tales that we told ourselves again and again, that promise of a happy ending. And then I, finally not enough, broke, on bruised knees, my arms thrust to the sky.

And he came. Folded me into arms and held me. He required nothing of me. When I at last came to, opened my eyes, gazed upon my rescuer, I was shocked. It was not the prince but my father. A father I had always heard of, but never really known. It was the father I had always spoken of vaguely, positively but without any proof of his existence, nor of his unstoppable love for me.

The fairy-tale that never really was, ends like this. The peasant girl, who always believed she would be found by and marry a prince, thereby becoming a princess of worth, redeemed by his actions, was actually born of a king, a princess by birth. She needed no one but her father to understand her worth, her inherent value as a unique and gifted person. His view of her was unwavering and as he showed her what he saw, her self-constructed armor shattered, revealing the soul, the heart, the loveliness of what he had always known her to be. My fairy-tale ends like this, but my life, the real part, continues.

We need stories for the moments when reality is too hard to see. And so, its purpose served, I close the fairy-tale book and continue to write my biography.

I use the language and imagery of fairy-tale because its a part of my narrative, vocabulary of my world as a child. I use it for how it helps me to see and understand myself and my journey and not because I actually want to live a fairy-tale. I hope my personal understandings will, when explained with a common vocabulary, make sense to someone other than myself.