Thoughts on Love

Posted May 6, 2010 by Imrahil
Categories: Uncategorized

Boy, I never blog.  So probably no one will ever actually read this.  However this is a therapeutic thing for me at times, and today is certainly one of those times.  I have been thinking about love a lot recently.  Partly this is due to a conversation I had with someone not too long ago, and partly this is due to the fact that today is the three-year anniversary of my marriage to my beautiful wife.  So love seems to be the topic that is most interesting me at the moment.

Now, for anyone that has been unfortunate enough to hear me go off on this subject before can testify to, I am very opinionated about what love is, and I think that most people tend to have it wrong.  I include myself in this pool though, so I guess it is okay.

The pebble that got the proverbial ball rolling for me these past couple days was a comment about Soul Mates.  Now, I believe in Soul Mates after a fashion.  I believe that two people can be so connected that they become physically, spiritually, and emotionally one for eternity.  To me this is truly what Soul Mates are.  I also believe in such tropes as Love At First Sight, True Love Conquers All, and Destined Romantic Interest.

However, there are some things with the Idea of Soul Mates that really bothers me.  Well, one thing primarily.  I hate the notion that there is one person out there for you, and that you can only love that person, and that you need to love that person in order to truly understand love.  This is a common theme in romantic literature and film.  The example that is currently handy in my mind is Drew Barrymore’s film “Ever After” in which Prince Charming Henry (Dougray Scott) is taught by Leonardo (painter, not turtle) that there is only one woman out there for him, and that he needs to go out and find her, and that he will know who she is.  Do not get me wrong the film is pleasant enough (okay, I really like it, now get off my back about it, okay) but I have to disagree with the depiction of that renaissance man.

I do believe that love is something that requires searching and seeking, but this is not everything.  Typical understanding of Soul Mates leaves one to understand that all one must do is find the “Right Person” then all will be well and the chemistry will work out all the problems.  Too much of the world is still looking for their perfect match, and have left a string of divorces and broken hearts and homes in their wake as a result.  I see this kind of seeker as someone with a seed, that keeps looking for the perfect spot of ground in which to plant that seed.  He will test the ground, and prepare it for the seed, then by chance find another spot where the sunlight hits the ground just right and move onto that spot.  Thus the ground never receives the seed, and the seed is never planted.

For me what really makes love valuable and wonderful is the fact that it is a choice.  If I cannot help but love someone, then what is the worth?  Popular understanding of Soul Mates basically states that True Love is basically some biological impulses that are forcing you want to be with another person.  Nothing says love like uncontrollable serotonin secretions!

One of the things that makes my wife so wonderful is the fact that she continually chooses to do things for me and with me, not because she is forced to, but because she chooses to.  I know that she could have gone on to be with any number of other guys if she wanted to, but she didn’t.  She decided to love me instead.  That makes me the Luckiest Guy, the One In A Million.

People change and have different ideas and desires during the course of their life.  In all truth there are days that I think blonds look better than brunettes (usually only after watching The Lord Of the Rings films though).  There are days that I think having a wife that loved to go running more than reading or sewing would be really great.  If I were thinking that I could find a perfect Soul Mate then I would probably do what the rest of Americans in my age bracket do and leave my wife in 2-10 years in order to find a wife that better fits my “needs.”  In contrast, I chose my wife (and she thankfully chose me), and I can always chose to keep choosing and loving her.

Now the astute readers out there might remember that I stated my belief in Destined Romantic Interest, and then went on to tear down the walls which hold up anything that remotely looks like fate.  How clever of you to point this out.  The truth is that I do believe that for some people there is a special person out there that God (for I am a Christian) is preparing for them. and then He arranges it so they meet under auspicious conditions.  There is no forcing involved, just two people who are good for each other and prepared for a life together.  They still must choose to be together though.  I believe this for several experiences I have had in my own life and have seen in the relations of others.  I do not think that all people have a “special someone” prepared for them.  I think God prepared Aleatha for me because I was too inept to come up with a wife on my own.

Love is the noblest of all virtues, and I am lucky to be loved by a wonderful lady.

I will sign off now.  If there are any spelling, grammatical, philosophical, psychological, or theological errors, then I beg your forgiveness, and remember, I did say I was wrong anyway at the beginning of the post.  Until next time I can’t sleep, adieu.

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Changing The World

Posted April 14, 2009 by Imrahil
Categories: Uncategorized

I do not yet know his/her name, but there is definately something in the world that is changing the quality and type of my existence that was not there just a little while ago.

Today my wife had an apointment to determine if she trully was pregnant, and if so whether or not it (currently named Lime for it’s present size) was in fact alive.   My beloved wife could have and did express to the nurse that yes she was pregnant, but they have to check these things just to make sure you know.  So after the routine check up (which I will spare you the details of because I do not like thinking about them) the nurse did decide that my wife is pregnant and that it is late enough along for us to hear Lime’s little heartbeat

The nurse got out the little thing to rub all over my wifes abdomen.  Then she smeared jelly all over my wife’s pregnantlookingnotfatlooking belly.  Then we listened to the annoying crackle of the machine being turned on.  Then we listen to my wife’s breakfast being digested.  Then we heard some blood cells moving around.  It all rather sounded like something from Star Trek.  Unfortunately there was no hearbeat (well, I guess we did hear my wife’s a couple of times), and the nurse looked for a good 30 inutes.  She even got a second opinion (add more of the same aformentioned smearing of jelly and Star Trek noises) that no, there in fact was no noticable heartbeat.  So, being profesionals they sent us to someone else.

We went to get my wife an ultrsound.  This was not until teo hours later though, so we went to the mall and looked at maternity clothes (for my wife) and sharp pointy things (for me).  We then went out to eat at Cafe Rio, which was really good and yummy and don’t all you people who left us alone here in Utah wish you were still here so you too could enjoy the yumminess wich is Cafe Rio.  Then we drove around for awhile.  Then we went to the ultrasound.

And there it was.  Looking like a little ET with spindly little arms and legs flailing about it.  Little chest heaving because the heart was beating to forcefully for the little body to hid it expansions.  So cute… in an ugly, alien sort of way.

For me, it was one of those life changing events.  I have known that my wife was pregnant for some time.  Up until now though, she was just pregnant.  Now, we are having a baby.  This is a subtle change perhaps, but a real one for me.  Before the only evidence that I had of the existence of new life was my wife’s word (which I believed) and her expanding though only pregnantlookingnotfatlooking belly.  Now I have seen lime.

I do not know what more to say.  There is difference now.  Something has changed.  I cannot say exactly why seeing little Lime changes everything, but it does, and I am fuller and happier now than I was before.  Sorry all.  I just wanted to get this down before I forgot.

Happy Resurrection Day!  Until next time, adieu.

Getting Jolly

Posted December 22, 2008 by Imrahil
Categories: Uncategorized

Well, I love Christmas.  There is not much more to say about that, but I am going to anyway because one sentence is a lame excuse for a blog post.  So I am going to spend your time talking about why I like it.  Cool, eh?

One reason that I love Christmas is because of the music.  I am one of those random people that others secretly feel should be locked away because I honestly enjoy Christmas music and love singing it loudly and unashamedly.  I remember one year while I was singing in primary when a girl sitting in front of me turned around and told me to shut up in the middle of a Christmas carol.  I sang louder for her benefit.  And I got to feel all self-righteous about it too, because she was the one trying to keep me from singing praises to my God.  Win win situation if you ask me.  I think Christmas songs are meant to be sung with the sort of wild abandon that makes other people feel vaguely embarrassed for the singers.  Kind of like singing with your eyes closed or something like that.  It always bugs me when I go to church and listen to people try to sing Christmas songs sweetly.  It just does not work for me.

Another factor that I love about Christmas is the chance to happily and freely mix my paganism with my Christianity and not get looked at like I am a heretic.  I firmly believe that Santa Claus is a story and character worth perpetuating.  I loved Santa Claus growing up, and I love him now, and I want my children to love him too.  Sure he is pagan.  But there are a lot of things that are pagan that we Christians have adopted and do not think twice about.  For instance in prehellenized Christian art angels had beards and no wings.  Beards!  How cool is that?  They did not look like Orlando Bloom with sanctimonious constipation.  There is no account of a female angel in the scriptures anywhere, but if the angels aren’t women in modern Christian art then why did all the men get shots of estrogen and have laser hair removal done? That came when Christians appropriated pagan temples and began using the art there for their own purposes.  Some winged victory goddess became an angel, so Michael became a girly-man with wings.  Point being that many Christians whine about Santa as a pagan figure, but not about their girly-man angels.  Selective bias right there if you ask me.

For me the stories and myths of the paganism were just the attempts of people who did not have divine revelation to connect with God.  There is good there.  Christians can learn something from it.  There is something neat about solstice celebrations.  Maybe Christ was not born in December, but maybe he was.  There is something to celebrating Christ’s birth at the time when the sun is starting play a more active role in the lives of the average earth citizen.

Another reason is that I love my Savior.  I like thinking about Him.  I like thinking about what He did.  Christmas is a time when we can praise Him in a little more of an old-fashioned way without too many people getting mad about it or at least feeling a little awkward.  I like paganism, but only where it fits in with my Christianity.

Another thing that I love about Christmas is that it is a time to spend with family.  Some of my fondest memories growing up involve loading too many people in a car that is too small to drive on dangerous roads to get to a relative’s house that does not have enough room for everyone.  One of my favourite places in the whole world is Tennessee where my grandparents lived.  Going to Tennessee meant that there would be a big family get together with a lot of people and a lot of fun times.

Anyway.  I could probably go on a lot further on what I think I great about Christmas, but I have probably already spent too much of your time.  So, Merry Chritsmas everyone!  Enjoy the time you have to be jolly and merry without shame!  Adieu.

Twice In One Day!

Posted December 6, 2008 by Imrahil
Categories: Uncategorized

What will you do with yourselves?  I was not planning on doing two today, but after posting the first one I found I had been tagged.  Ah well.  It is good for me.

8 UTube videos I love to watch (we have no TV):  We have no UTube (stupid BYU internet service) so I will do TV shows from Hulu, DVD, and simply on the internet
1. Fraggle Rock
2. Samurai Jack
3. Avatar The Last Airbender
4. Bleach
5. My wife really wants to see the Regency Men Holding Out For a Hero Video on UTube
6. New movie trailers (usually involving superheroes or 80’s cartoons)
7. Flight of the conchords
8. Dumb little videos having to do with Robotech, Transformers, or that Holding Out For a Hero song

8 Favorite Restaurants in Provo:
1. Bombay House
2. Tandoori Grill
3. The Creamery on 9th
4. Burger Supreme
5. Two Jacks Pizza (actually in Springville, but what heh)
6. Thai Ruby
7. A little hole in the wall place that My Tall Friend With The Mustache introduced me to, but I cannot remember the name
8. The Chinese Buffet with the all you can eat dumplings!

8 Things that happened yesterday:
1. Blew my nose
2. Had a sore throat
3. Read more of the Hogfather
4. Went to work
5. Gamemastered Star Wars saga edition for a 16 year old at work
6. Had the chance to watch Twilight and refused
7. Had a chance to eat several plain marshmallows and refused
8. I walked in to BYU twice

8 Things I’m looking forward to:
1. Leaving work today
2. Leaving my job forever
3. Being accepted to the perfect grad school with a full scholarship
4. Living somewhere closer to family
5. Spending Christmas with my wife
6. One day having Christmas and holidays with extended family again
7. Raising a family
8. Growing up to be a Real Boy

8 Things on my wish list:
1. Wish I was done with my job
2. Wish I knew where I was going to grad school
3. Wish I did not have to work this Christmas
4. Wish I had some people to roleplay with
5. Wish I had time to roleplay
6. Wish my society did not have such a lame view on marriage
7. Wish more people understood how cool Jesus Christ is
8. Wish all my friends and family a happy Christmas and a very new year!

Almost 8 People I’m Tagging:
1. My Wife
2. Mary
3. Master
4. Veiltender
5. Awkward Man
6. (running out of people who read my blog)
7. (who have not been tagged already)
8. Anyone else who reads my blog who also blogs themselves (you know who you are!).

A Review, Late In The Comming

Posted December 6, 2008 by Imrahil
Categories: Uncategorized

So I need to apologise to the two of you out there that care about the tardiness of this review.  I have in fact seen Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and I have not yet made any effort to let my opinions on this matter be commonly known.  I am sorry.  Allow me to rectify the situation.

I did not hate  it.

There you go.

I was excited as the credits rolled past.  I was ecstatic when Plo Koon did this neat little lightsabre twirl.  Then the scene ended and we saw no more of him.  I went in hoping for a movie that showcased the abilities of the Jed iMasters that did nothing but die, but ended up with another show stating just how amazing Anakin is.

Therefor, for what it is it is not too bad.  It was an advertisment for a TV show.  I have not seen the TV show so I cannot say how good of an advirtisment it was.  But I enjoyed the movie  more than the parent show that inspired it.   The movie was less over the top than the original show (yes I know it is a movie about people with laser swords that came jump 30 feet into the air, the old clone wars show had Mace Windu fighting armies by himself and leaping miles in one bound).

So that is it.  I really  do not have much to say about it because  I really do not have much to think about it.  It was okay.  Not great but okay.  I think I enjoyed it more than E II at least.

That’s my review folks.  Kind of useless eh?  One of the reasons I have not posted it until now.  But I figured I owed it to some of you (sorry Master for taking so long).  Until next time, adieu.

What Does It Take?

Posted November 30, 2008 by Imrahil
Categories: Family, Friends

What does it take to make someone write on their blog?  Why do people write about the useless things in their lives?  Does it make people feel that they are special because their life is now recorded in such a way that the whole free world can view it if they wish?  Does allowing others to be partakers make our actions somehow more glorious?  Or do we think that our life is already so special and we are simply doing the world a favor by publishing our woes, fears, hopes and misshaps?  And while we are at it, why do people eat smelly cheese anyway?

For myself, the reason I am moved to blog seems to be connected to how much fun I seem to be missing in the world.  I am sick.  My nose is clogged, my ears are clogged, my throat hurts, and I was somewhat nauseated the past couple days.  And all this on the holiday where the primary celebration is to eat.  I was a veritable vegetable over Thanksgiving.  While I enjoyed the food and all that, it did not have that much of a taste unless I excavated my nasal cavities every ten seconds or so.  We sat around and watched movies for most of the day (The Big Sleep, The Nativity, and two episodes of Cowboy Bebop).  I snuffled my way through these movies and was almost able to forget that I wished to not be sick anymore.  Even calling family was a bear as it required speaking, which was somewhere between a nuisance and a literal pain in the… throat.  All in all I spent all my time wishing to be better.  It is hard to be thankful when one is hyper focused on a rather simple desire.  I spent most of the day being desirous, and the Day of Desires just sounds like something you would find in the 50 cent bin outside of a used bookstore with a busty woman on the front doing something steamy.

Now all this would not be so much of a problem if I did not know that other people out there were having fun without me.  Here I was stuck at home feeling grumpy, while friends and family were getting together and actually enjoying themselves.  How dare they!  How dare you!  Why didn’t you know that I was stuck at home with my wife and her crazy brother?  He kept on asking me to play games and talk about Lord Of the Rings like I was a geek or something!  She kept on telling me to call my family and to sit down so she could get me something!

Yup.  That is why I blog.  To let all you know that you are a bunch of meanie heads for having fun in areas where I am not.  It therefor stands to reason why I never blog.  I am far too nice of a person, who only ever focuses on the sunny side of things to stoop to such debasing actions more than once every three months or so.

Thinking of you all, and hoping you had a great Thanksgiving!  It is good to have friends and family around.  We miss you.

But really.  Get back to me about the smelly cheese thing.

About Time For Another…

Posted July 23, 2008 by Imrahil
Categories: Uncategorized

Greetings all. This post is inspired by the fact that many of my friends and family have all successfully added several posts between now and my last post (which was a throw-away anyway). It is also inspired by the apparently somewhat alarming revelation of my geeky role-playing fandom. It was also brought by the number 3 and the letter A (Sesame Street? Get it… never mind). I am going to attempt to explain what I understand the position of my church, and Christianity in general, to be on role-playing and why I do it.

For the newly initiated, Role Playing Games (RPG) sprang from fantasy board games where the players moved little miniatures across a map and fought things like ogres and dragons. The very first RPG was called Dungeons And Dragons (D&D). D&D was a step up from the old board games in that instead of simply playing a piece of plastic that moved across the board, the players create characters with unique histories and personalities. The players then attempt to act in a manner that fits with their character’s peculiarities in response to various dangers that another player called a Dungeon Master (Or a Game Master or a Story Teller or something else like that) would devise. Thus one player controlled all the bad guys and non-heroic allies of the heroes (think Elrond or Galadriel from Lord of The Rings) while the other players all played the hero characters (think Aragorn or Legolas). Later games would either focus more or less on the combat or the improv acting aspects of the game.

At one point in time AdvancedD&D (It was still very new and basically the only RPG) became very big, and some people became very involved in playing the game. Some people became too involved in playing the game, and began doing things like shirking familial responsibilities, becoming more attached to a fantasy world than to reality, and so on. A leader of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints stated that members of the church should not play the game, but should rather avoid it. It should be noted though, that the statement referred solely to this game (which I have never played).

Now then, why do I, a good Latter-day Saint, play RPGs? It is somewhat complicated. It all started while I was about six. I roomed with my brother and the two of us were practically inseparable. We played games together and would often engage in make believe. We would often play outside with action figures or make believe walking around with swords and such with our older brother. The real stuff happened at nights though. After we were put to bed, my brother and I would often stay up for an hour or so playing make believe in our beds. This involved picking a story world (usually X-men or Ninja Turtles) and then we would divvy up the characters, and then we would talk about what happened describing things as we talked. At times we would talk as if we were the characters, other times we would share what our characters were doing. There were no figures, no visuals, no rules, only have a good time, tell a good story, and speak quietly enough that Mom and Dad would not be able to hear us. Incidentally, Mom used to say that my brother and I would hold conversations in our sleep, probably she just heard us role playing. Sorry Imma.

The next thing to come up came several years later when a new family moved into our ward, and the boys brought a strange new game on camp outs. It was a photocopied version of a Star Wars RPG. It was Star Wars, and I was hooked. I was not allowed to play at the time, because the book said for ages 12 and up, and because I was a kid brother and they are rarely allowed to participate in the things that older boys do. But I really wanted to play, badly. I thought of cool character ideas, and begged and begged. Finally on one camp out they said I could play. In the game the story had come to a point where the characters were stranded on Tatooine with a broken ship that none of them could pilot. So I was told I could play if I made a character that could both fix and fly the ship. So I did. Hook, line… and sink her. It was the exact same thing that my brother and I used to do anyway, only with rules, and in such a way that others would do it with us (I had tried explaining this game to school friends many times before with weird looks as the only fruit).

It took much longer for me to get into fantasy RPGs. This was primarily due to the fact that there is a scripture in the bible stating that everyone should flee from sorcery, witchcraft and the like. I did not desire to be involved with things that purported magic as a good thing. I had several arguments with siblings (read Avram) about whether or not magic is by its nature evil. The end result is that I still do not play people that use magic in RPGs, but I have accepted that magic is an important and even desirable part of a good fantasy story. I just like playing knights, not wizards.

My favorite RPGs today are Star Wars, a game called Legend Of the Five Rings (based on Japanese myths and legends), and a game called 7th Sea (based on swashbuckling stories like Captain Blood, Three Musketeers, etc). I like a wide variety of games due to my brother and his massive collection, but these three are my favorites.

So that is the what and the how of role playing for me. So know I am going to get into the why. There are several reasons. One of the biggest is that I love good stories. I have always loved to read, and it has always been a desire of mine to write good stories. I love fantasy. I grew up on Endor and spent my vacations in Narnia and Middle Earth. I wanted to be able to tell stories that were as good and as important to me as those books were. RPGs give the chance to make stories, and take on the part of mighty heroes that are seeking for higher things.

More importantly than simply story telling though, I play the games because they remind me of heroes, and carry echoes of things that I wish to remember. I believe in heroes. I think that David, Joshua, Moroni, Elijah, Moses, and many others like them were heroes. I think that in the modern day there is still a battle being waged between what is dark and what is light (no, not black and white, right and wrong). Telling the stories of heroes reminds me that I too long to be a hero, and that I long to be like the Greatest Hero. If we came from Gods presence and the gospel is a memory to us through the vale, perhaps the stories of heroes are one of the many tools that God uses to point us towards His Son.

At the end of the day, role playing for me reminds me of my desire to be good, and to be holy. I am certain that there are better ways to accomplish this task. I am also certain there are worse ones. For me this helps much more then sitting around watching men throw a ball around a field while fans call the fans of the other team dirty names best not repeated in public or private. I know that there is more to sports than that, but that is certainly an element of it. Role playing replaces sports for me. I care not whether Kobe Bryant is the best, or how close the game between Nadal and Fedderrer was. Those heroes were not fighting evil, only each other.

Again, I do want to say that I am not saying that organized sports is a bad thing. I just find it difficult when sports fans point out that role players killed themselves over their game, but forget to mention how many sports stars and fans have died through the years over their sports. Sports is not better to my mind, it is just accepted by the masses.

Role playing, like most things in this world, can be an obsession that causes people to do bad and stupid things. It can also be something that helps people achieve newer heights of virtue connection to the Highest. I role play because, for me, I think that it does help me to look for the land that was promised to us by Him, and to seek for goodness and true heroes.