Il est trop tard (the narrative) — 52

Don’t let us get sick, don’t let us get old, don’t let us get stupid, all right? Just make us be brave and make us play nice, and let us be together tonight. — Don’t Let Us Get Sick, Warren Zevon

“What did you say this was called, again?” Thomas asked. They were lying down facing each other, their nose touching just the slightest bit.
“Eskimo kissing,” Aimee answered as she wiggled her nose against his with a grin.
“I…” Thomas turned away and sneezed. He sheepishly peeked back at Aimee.
“Gesundheit,” she whispered as she pecked his nose.
“Sorry, it must be all that rain,” he grimaced.
“I’ll fix you some tea and chicken soup to make sure you’re all healthy tomorrow,” Aimee said, grabbing her t-shirt and pulling it over her naked body.
“I’ll come with you,” Thomas started to get up, only to be pushed back down to bed.
“Remember what I told you about not liking it when people look at me cook? Besides, you need to rest,” she smiled teasingly and kissed his lips.
“But you’re leaving in a couple of hours!” Thomas protested, sitting up.
“Thomas…” Aimee started to say, but the look on his face was determined. She gave up.
“Okay, fine, let’s go, I’m getting hungry!”

Il est trop tard (the narrative) — 51

<strong>Give me one reason to stay here and I’ll turn right back around because I don’t want leave you lonely but you got to make me change my mind.</strong> — Give Me One Reason, Tracy Chapman

*phone rings*

“Hey”
“Haha, no, I’m just chillin! It’s raining so I’m on the couch having some tea. How are you?”
“That’s great! I’m awesome, really enjoying myself here!”
“Oh don’t be silly, of course I’m coming back tomorrow”
“Sure, why don’t you. At your place?”
“My place? Ha. Okay, why not, I guess. But you’ll have to help me clean up”
“Yeah, okay. Hey, listen, Dave, I’ve got to go”
“Yes, no, still going to stay indoors”
“Because it wouldn’t be very nice to make Thomas just listen to me talking on the phone now would it?”
“I know, but really, we can talk tomorrow. I have a long train ride”
“Oh you’re right, I did book the quiet train. Well we could still text”
“I’ll be back in Geneva very very soon, Davey, what is wrong with you?”
“Yes, I miss you too, and everyone else. I’ll see you soon”
“Okay. Bye, Davey!”

“Sorry, that was Dave, my friend from Geneva”
“He likes you, doesn’t he?”
“Well of course he does, he’s my best friend. OH, you mean… no, I don’t think so”
“I do. But he’s not here, and you obviously think he’s just a friend… and my goodness Aimee don’t do that, you look irresistible!”
“Hmmm”
“Mmm”
“I think you’re getting really good at kissing, how good are you at other stuff?”
“If you stay, you might be able to find out”
“Really. Why not now?”
“Oh. Wow!”
“Shh… kiss me”
“Where?”
“All over.”

Il est trop tard (the narrative) — 50

The last and final moment is yours, that agony is your triumph! — Ballad of Sacco & Vanzetti, Stéphane Pompougnac

When Aimee finished showering, Thomas had prepared some tea. She gratefully picked up the warm cup and curled up on the couch. Noir immediately jumped up and curled up next to her. Thomas watched her and smiled, sipping on his own cup of tea, a towel wrapped over his shoulders. Aimee smiled back, but then her expression became somber.

“Thomas…”
“Hmm?”
“Would now be a good time to get back to that discussion on what we’re doing?” she said cautiously.

Their eyes met, and both knew they didn’t really want to talk about it, except perhaps it’s best if they did. Thomas took a gulp of tea. Aimee slowly sipped on hers. The cat had fallen asleep.

“Can I shower first?” he finally asked.

Mary Did Know

Okay, so it’s advent and Christmas songs are everywhere and I love that, and there’s this song that once made me cry because I thought it was really touching, and the song is called “Mary Did You Know?”

I believe the version by Pentatonix is the one everyone is playing.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will calm the storm with His hand?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.. Mary did you know

The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

 

Yes, it’s a very powerful song. And yet, as I was reading this article about Mary, it suddenly hit me that Mary did know. After all, an angel came to her and told her all about the baby she was going to be carrying. It’s not like this baby was a normal baby who turned out to be God-in-human-form. Instead, both parents knew that this baby was special. That this baby was Immanuel — God with us.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart.

Instead, it was people around Mary who had no idea who this baby was. “Oh look, what a cute little baby!” her neighbours cooed. And Mary smiled, politely, thanking them, all the while thinking “if only they knew!”

And maybe as we listen to this song, it’s not Mary we’re questioning. Maybe it’s ourselves, because maybe as we celebrate Christmas all we remember is the cute little baby, and not the fact that this baby is the great I AM. And it’s important to remember this, because it would change everything. It would make Christmas that much more significant.

Starting Over (Again!)

It might just be a sort of mental disorder, the starting over syndrome, one might call it… but I miss blogging (a lot), even though I still have many reservations about blogging again (sigh!).

A few months back I decided I wanted a clean slate and I started blogging on my wordpress.com account (see this post), but I have this quirky domain that fits me (and my life) very much and is actually printed on all my name cards so why am I wasting it? Plus, I like being self-hosted a lot better because there are less limitations. And so, here I am starting over again.

This time around, my plan is to slowly pull all my blog posts (and by all I actually mean ALL posts I’ve ever written, like all over the web, since the first time I started pouring out thoughts online, if at all possible) so that they’re all at one place. At the same time, of course, I hope to produce new content every once in a while (read: hopefully a lot more than before).

My current main issue is deciding on categories for all these posts and then how to lay them out in the menu, so if you’re reading this and you get lost along the way, I’m sorry. Renovation dust will be all over this place since I even went through a step that I might possibly regret (but was necessary), namely starting over with a fresh install on a new server — thereby deleting three blogs I had on subdomains before. My main regret on that is limited to the images, however, and I would probably be able to solve that since I do have the backup files (I think).

Alright, enough rambling, off I go to do some cleaning up again. Ciao!

 

5 Lessons on Relationships from “The Last Five Years”

From Wikipedia because I’m lazy:

The Last 5 Years is a 2014 American musicalcomedy-drama film starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Based on Jason Robert Brown‘s musical of same name, the film is written and directed by Richard LaGravenese.

last five years

The movie basically chronicles the love story of Cathy and Jamie in their five years together. It starts however with Cathy singing about Jamie leaving, then jumps to Jamie singing about their first night together… and so it goes, Cathy’s timeline moving backward while Jamie’s move forward until we get to their wedding day, and then we get the same moments told from the other’s perspective, ending with Jamie saying goodbye while Cathy recounts their first parting.

Presentation wise: mindblowing! Yet, none of the songs were particularly memorable. At some point they just seemed to fuse into one song… and I found myself walking out of the theater singing “For the First Time in Forever” — Yes, the Frozen song — instead of a song of the movie, which should tell you just how boring the songs were… and one or two of them probably sounded like For the First Time in Forever, otherwise why would I be singing that song??

Also, since the movie is about the ups and downs of Cathy & Jamie’s relationship, there’s really no clear plot/climax/message. Yet, watching it I was reflecting on my own relationship and realized there are very good lessons to be learned, as follows.

Lesson #1 — Being in a relationship means walking together side by side.

One of the biggest problem in Cathy & Jamie’s relationship I think was described in Cathy’s third song “A Part of That” in which she describes how Jamie drifts off to his own faraway land and while at first Cathy is happy because she gets to be a part of Jamie’s creative process, soon enough she sings the following lines: “And it’s true I tend to follow in his stride instead of side by side. I take his cue.” and eventually she questions whether she’s really part of Jamie’s world. And that’s the thing. For a relationship to truly work, both people have to be partners side-by-side. If one person feels like he/she is just being dragged along then you have a problem.

This is not to say that you both need to be successful, which seems to be the problem for Cathy: Jamie being a success while she keeps on failing. I think if a couple really are equals, then the success of one will not make the other feel neglected/invisible.

Lesson #2 — Being in a relationship means making mutual compromises and supporting each other.

This one was painfully obvious in the song “If I Didn’t Believe in You.” It seems that while Jamie tries to be supportive of Cathy, but he really has his dreams and career as his main priority. He seems to think that Cathy didn’t need to be cared for because she’s strong and Jamie says “If I wasn’t certain that you’d come through somehow… I wouldn’t be standing here now.” This song made it seem like Jamie was a nice guy who believes in Cathy and Cathy is the one who needs to fix her problems, but being in a relationship means fixing each others problems together, not soaring on while we let the other deal with their feelings.

No matter how strong a man or a woman is, the reason why she/he wants to be with you is because at some point they’re going to be weak and they’re going to need you to support them.

Lesson #3 — Being in a relationship means taking the time to make the other person feel special and important.

One of the moments in the movie when all the girls in the theater went “Awww” was when Jamie decorated their whole apartment to tell a story to Cathy and make her happy again despite having had an awful day. Well done, although at first I was about as pissed off at Jamie for forcing this girl who obviously needed peace and quiet to listen to his story as Cathy was, but okay, all is good in the end. AND YET… a few years later (though actually this scene came first), there was Cathy singing about how they could make the relationship work and Jamie went on to say that he’s going to leave soon and we find out it’s Cathy’s birthday. DUDE! You should be with your wife on her birthday, period.

Lesson #4 — Being in a relationship means keeping the flame of passion burning.

This is something that seems to be problematic for many people… at first you can’t keep your hands and lips and bodies off of each other, and then suddenly that flame is gone. And that’s when other people become attractive. No, no, no. No matter how old you get, be passionate about your partner. This is why you really shouldn’t be in a relationship with someone because you think they’re good looking because there will be a time when they no longer are, but if you love them for all that they are then it doesn’t matter how they look like, you will want to make love to them and be intimate with them all the time. And yes, that includes the time when you are no longer able to have sexual interaction. Intimacy and passion goes much deeper. But first, you have at least 10 to 20 years before the sex drive clears out, so make good use of it!

Lesson #5 — Being in a relationship means being honest with each other about everything.

If you feel like your relationship is breaking down, tell them. If you feel like you can’t take it anymore, tell them. If you are struggling with yourself because you’re finding someone else attractive, tell them! What are you afraid of? That they’d get angry at you? If you have a true relationship where you are equal partners who make mutual compromises, keep each other feeling special, are passionate with each other, then you shouldn’t have that fear. At the same time, if a relationship isn’t build on trust and honesty then you will not be able to do all of the other things.

You chose to be together, “try a little harder and bend things to and fro to make this love as special as it was five years ago.”

Let Go and Let God

We human beings are strange little creatures. It seems that because we are told that we have been created in the image of God, we end up thinking that we were created to be god(s). No wonder we become so frustrated in life, trying to plan our lives and then exhausting ourselves trying to make the plans work. We strive harder and harder to become better and better. We look for ways to gain more power, to control the world around us, the things, even the people. We compare ourselves with our neighbors and either boast at our superiority or sink in feelings of inadequacy.

But the Bible tells us:

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

— 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)

We are not created to be god(s), so let’s stop trying. Let’s admit that we are confused, that we have no idea what we’re doing, that we’re tired, that we have failed, that we are in fact very very weak. Let go, and let God…. for in our weaknesses, God’s power shines through.

On Memories of Past Loves

Blessed are those who do not have many crushes and ex-lovers in their lives, for you are saved from the random moments when your brain decides to throw a memory at you triggered by a mundane thing.

Like the janitor’s new cleaning liquid that reminds you of the boy you had a huge crush on. Or a perfectly happy song playing on the radio that makes you cry because it was the song you once dedicated to someone on Valentine’s Day. Or a Facebook like from someone you once had a crush on who is now married with kids that makes you remember how sweet his messages used to be.

And don’t even get me started on how meeting up with a friend at a cafe gives you the chill or how someone’s text gives you a nervous breakdown because it made you think of that guy who turned out to be abusive.

What makes it worse is that you’re pretty sure you don’t have any feelings for these people any longer, but when these memories pop up it feels like your ground is shaken. It doesn’t make any sense, does it? To remember that you once felt something for so many different people? You question why it is that you remember this feeling, why it still makes you smile, or (in most cases) pierces your heart.

And then you remember that your past loves are lessons… every smile, every laugh, every tear, every scar, every memory, they are there to remind you what you’ve learned. This is why they pop up at random, it is when your brain decides you need a quick refresher of your course.

And you can look into the eyes of THE ONE and tell him:

“I’ve loved many before you in many different ways, they have shaped the love I have for you. Like a mosaic of different pieces, my love for you is unique, you remind me of all those I’ve loved before, yet at the same time I realise the difference. You are special, because you’re the last piece, the one that completes. With you, I will have a different sort of lesson, one that I have been prepared for by all the lessons before you, one that will never become a random memory, because it will go on until the end.”