It is finished

Well. Hello again. This is embarrassing. I mean, it’s just been a while. Anyway, yeah, I finished a Master’s at Duke – finally. Not the one I came in with. That was the Master of Theological Studies. But I finished a shorter degree called the Master of Arts of Christian Studies. Besides joking with people that I have become “divine” on completing Divinity school (and seriously I look more like traditional portrayals of Jesus now than ever before in my life – getting close in age, too…), I have told people my MACS degree means I “study the Christians”. Which may not be so far off, especially since I consider myself at least somewhat apart from that designator, but what I did with my MACS and the tone of the program is much less judgmental and removed than “studying Christians”. Duke Divinity would probably like it better if it was described simply as it is named – a Master’s-level education in the arts of Christian studies – those (academic) pursuits that people tend to be drawn towards due to (their) Christian faith.

I think that’s about all I want to say at this point. I am far less “gung-ho”, for lack of a better term, about my “agnosticism” now. I don’t want to say I’m a Christian, but I don’t want others to say I’m not a Christian, if that makes any kind of sense. And not because I want an “in” so I can bone Christian women, though, that would be a decent reason. But because neither of those are fully accurate. I am different now, but also very much the same as I ever was. Certain beliefs and values have gained vastly more or less importance than was true before, but I don’t feel there has been some entire kind of severance from the old – read, pre-doubting (~2011?) – me.

I’m not in any kind of rush to see where I will go next, or what I will think next, though I would like to return to “the fold” some day. I’m also not in any kind of rush to self-improve, which, meh, kind of bothers me, should probably bother me more. But then, I was burning the “All for Christ” torch of self-mastery for most of my life before all this, and I think I’m just tired. Teaching middle school will make you tired too. Really tired. But more on that for another day. For now- cheers!

And, Duke – meh. You were really not my favorite place. Your students were extremely pretentious, fairly profligate, and riding the environmentally/racially/gender/politically/theologically/socially-conscious train frequently less consciously than they should have. In contrast, your professors were largely brilliant, decent, even kind human beings. But stop trying to be an Ivy-league school. Your education just is not worth the price you put on it. Especially when I know thousands – perhaps tens of thousands – of my dollars went unnecessarily to building campaigns and athletic programs.

Spectrum of spectra

Right and wrong, black and white, male and female, salt and pepper.

If you’re like me, you grew up thinking in binary; something was either one thing or the other.

My liberal arts education, even at a Christian college, helped rattle that notion, that things like morality were black and white, but the binary thinking is largely still there. I suppose another part of the reason it lingers is my hatred for ambiguity. Whatever the case I propose that we think more along a spectrum than we seem to about many things : politics, gender, race, etc. Here I want to consider sexual orientation, mental health, and belief.

I owe my housemate on this one. One night I was talking with a friend and my housemate at a bar about sexual orientation and my housemate offered up that he thought of sexual orientation as on a spectrum. This was some time ago, and initially I balked against this; my knee-jerk reaction was to think “No – what’s natural is for men to be attracted to women and women to men. Our society is pulling up its own anchors in the name of freedom and confusing its citizens by giving them the freedom to choose to be attracted to something unnatural. There is no spectrum; only the choice of affirming the natural heterosexual desire or denying it.” But, since then I have come more to agree with my housemate. The things we observe seem to support him: there are people who are attracted to people of the opposite sex, same sex, both sexes, neither, etc. And he used a helpful analogy. He said though he had a low score on the Kinsey scale he knew if he had to have sex with a man he would pick a man he thought was attractive (in this case, Brad Pitt). That he has an idea of who are and are not attractive men does not support his spectrum view of sexuality but that we can conjecture about the strength of our own attraction to men and/or women with something like the Kinsey scale does.

Thinking about sexual orientation in terms of a spectrum makes more sense out of human experience than the traditional binary I was raised with. Adopting this view raises many questions but it can also help someone (in this case a man) with an upbringing like mine (conservative Christian) to be at peace with a thought like “Wow — that is a handsome guy” and not worry that I have become homosexual or been abandoned to sin by God or something like that. I don’t think many conservative Christians intentionally push those messages, but they don’t try to eliminate them either. And, of course, “homosexual/gay” do not have to be bad words or be equivalent with “abandoned to sin” either. The American church, especially the conservative church, absolutely needs to abolish moral judgments made on others solely based on their orientations.

Depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder. All these are words we attach to certain sets of symptoms. We then typically define ourselves or others by them. People become “depressed” or “OCD”. Using labels we or others become the illnesses we have. And then, through Baconian-inspired evaluations of human bodies and minds, those with mental illnesses become inferior, lesser, worse, even more wicked than those “without”.

I talk with others about “my depression” to the point that I hate the sound of the words as they pass my lips. I think its helpful to call things what they are and speak frankly, but I say “depression” as if I am lumped in some category setting me apart from anyone without clinical depression and putting me in with everyone with it. Is my story as boring and simple as that? No, in fact I experience life in ways that could be common to anyone from Rasputin to Norman Rockwell and particular to no one but me. It seems the truth is that we all have ways we think or feel which are not ideal, which are harmful or debilitating to some extent. Because of this, I probably shouldn’t even use the word “depression” to define my own experience: I must be defined by something else. (That’s for another post.)

Lastly I wanted to address belief. Again, “my agnosticism” are words I have come to hate the sound of (the way I pronounce them is particularly grating to the ear any way, and I’m particular about sounds). But besides being discordant, perhaps such terminology is wrongheaded. Sexuality, emotions, thoughts, beliefs — these things are so personal and individuated. Rather than thinking in terms of either belief or disbelief/unbelief, would it not be better to think across a range? We would have to agree on the content first; the easiest example is god, or god’s omni-benevolence. But then rather than asking “Do you believe?” we could ask “How do you believe? What do you believe less? What do you believe more?” And talking about belief, or any of these matters, as if it’s something static, unchanging seems puerile too. We each have our own individual paths of belief and who can say where they’ll take us?

We’ve discussed the “spectra”; now for the “spectrum”. (This is where it gets meta.) I don’t want to get nominalistic or abuse our entire language of abstract ideas. But I want to consider some linkages. Sexuality, mental health and belief. Could these things not be each other? More than merely affecting one another, can I talk about sexuality as mental health and belief, and mental health as sexuality and belief, and belief as sexuality and mental health? Rob Bell talks such in SexGod, and better still, Rowan Williams writes beautifully about sexuality and faith in “The Body’s Grace.” We could tease these ideas out further but a benefit of this view is the integrating factor it bears on the individual.

These are just some thoughts I’m exploring. Feedback welcome.


Samson, Santino, Sex and Superiority

Recently I chatted with my Hebrew prof about the character of Samson. Apparently his name — sounding like “sheem-shone” in English — means something a bit like “Sunny” in Hebrew. Which got us thinking about “Sonny” (Santino) from the Godfather (surely the Godfather is never too far from a man’s mind). There are similarities there. Samson is hairy, brash, sometimes seemingly stupid, extremely confident in his strength, vengeful, prone to destructive outbursts. Sounds a lot like Sonny from the Godfather, as well. (James Caan is the man, by the way.)

However, I wanted to write about a interpretation, new for me, that helped me make greater sense of the Samson and Delilah story. This is Judges 16.4-22.

You may know that weird things happen in this story. Samson has fallen for Delilah. The lords of the Philistines know this and bribe her to discover how to make Samson weak so they can overpower him. She asks Samson, he lies, she tries it, he “escapes”, and she gets upset. This happens thrice; and his answer gets closer to the truth each time. Then she asks again, stronger, and he tells her the truth. Then she binds him and he can’t escape and gets his eyes gouged out by the Philistines.

I was always perplexed why Delilah thought she could get Samson to tell her how to tie him up when in the text the Philistines are always present. She ties him, then yells “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”, and he breaks free. I knew the Philistines were there and was confused why he eventually tells Delilah the truth.

Well, dramatic irony is part of the answer. Though the Philistines are hiding in the same house with Samson and Delilah (at least for the first three cycles), you will notice it never says they actually come out when Delilah yells “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” So, as the readers we know that the ambush is waiting there but Samson is unaware.

But this still leaves the question, “Why does Samson repeat this cycle at all? Why would he come closer and closer to revealing the source of his strength to Delilah until he actually does?” Sex, specifically foreplay, is my new answer for that. The chapter has already begun with Samson and sex (v. 1 — “Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her.”) Also, the Philistine lords ask Delilah to learn how to overpower Samson that they can “humble” him (v. 5), and later Delilah asks how Samson could be “subdued” (v. 6). The word here is “anah” which can also be used for sexually “defile” or “humiliate” as in Gen. 32.4 (“And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her.”). There is definitely something sexy (kinky?) about Delilah’s request: I mean, on the surface of things, she wants to tie him up.

When one thinks about it, sure, viewing this strange story as a game of foreplay used treacherously makes a lot of sense. But there’s a bit more complexity: it’s important that the Philistines need Delilah in order to defeat Samson, and that Samson gets defeated by Delilah and not the Philistine lords on their own.

In a patriarchal society, women coming out on top of men was an obscene embarrassment. Besides showing God’s displeasure with the male characters in view, this occurrence might signify that society itself was in disarray. The threat of female domination of male characters has happened, and been realized, in Judges earlier. In the story of Deborah and Barak (ch. 4), as in that of Samson and Delilah, we have the words “tent pegs/pins”, “thrusting”, and “sleeping”. However here there are some more layers. Barak, an Israelite man, defeats the army of Sisera, a Canaanite man. One point for the the Israeli boys. But in the beginning Barak had said he wasn’t going to battle Sisera’s army unless Deborah, Israelite judge, prophet and woman, went with him. She then prophesied that “the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (v. 9). So let’s give a point to the Hebrew women for Deborah going and making this conquest possible. And then it is Jael, and not Barak, that ends up personally killing Sisera (with the tent-peg, in the tent). So maybe another point for killing Sisera and a second for doing it instead of Barak. Then we have three points for the Hebrew women team? But wait, Jael is not even Israelite! She is of another tribe (a Kenite). Thus a non-Israelite, non-male character delivers Israel from the Canaanites. Women humiliate men then here and with Samson and Delilah.

Sonny, sex, and stupid men/super women. The story of Samson and Delilah in a nutshell.


“Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another — physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.” — The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison

‘Twas beauty and romantic love
Did gyre and gimble in her heart:
All mimsy was the dreamed-up stuff
That caused her dreams to smart.

Beware the mythic blue-eyed Doll!
The hair that’s blonde, the cheek that’s white!
Beware Maureen, she comes in Fall,
bewitching folks she’s right.

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the diz’ying drink he drought.
To rape his girl was not his plan;
To love a doll he’d sought.

And as in uffish state she cow’red
Old Soaphead Church, with eyes ablaze,
Came promising an iris flower,
But doll-eyed death, the gaze.

One, two! One, two! The blood is shed!
Pecola’s self-esteem and child,
She left for dead, and dropped her head
Gone crazy for a smile.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come, give an answer, Miss Pauline!”
Our sons and daughters in the stocks
Condemned; the Doll, serene.

‘It seems very pretty,’ she said when she had finished it, ‘but it’s rather hard to understand!’ (You see she didn’t like to confess, even to herself, that she couldn’t make it out at all.) ‘Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas—only I don’t exactly know what they are! However, somebody killed something: that’s clear, at any rate.’  — Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

Voices from Beyond

Recent messages I have received from people from my alma mater. The first is a response from the alumni office about whether there were any alumni groups for non-Christians (I had offered to form/lead one if not). The second is from an acquaintance from my time at college.
“Hello, ____.  My staff passed your note along and I wanted to take a minute to respond.  Since all alumni events and groups sponsored by the College are representative of the College’s commitment to the Christian faith, we don’t have a formal group for people who no longer consider themselves Christians.  That said, I hope you’ll stay connected with ______ no matter where your faith journey takes you.  You’ll always be part of the ____ family, ____, and I wish you the very best.
Take care,

Interim Vice President for Advancement & Alumni Relations
“Hi ____.
I don’t know if you remember me from being in ___ at _____, but I wanted to tell you that I really find a lot of comfort from the blog you write. One of my former roommates from ______ sent me your blog because she thought I could relate to it, and I can. I went to _____ because I was losing my faith and I never really recovered from being on the fence. I wasn’t raised Christian, but became Christian in high school. I found a lot of meaning, comfort, and friendships in Christian circles and from what I thought was God. Its still something I deal with and can’t really walk away from or embrace. Its not fun to go through, but it is comforting to know that I am not the only former _____ kid who is dealing with this type of thing. Its really hard to find a niche to have doubts and not be ready to move back into Christianity or entirely away from it. So thank you for sharing your thoughts on your blog. I feel creepy reading it, so I thought I’d tell you I was a fan haha”

the California Raisins? (Steinbeck in Little Miss Sunshine)

Does anybody remember the California Raisins — the singing, dancing raisins that seemed to be racially black? What was with that? So Strange!

Anyway, I chose that name to introduce a short list of how The Grapes of Wrath (GOW) drives the plot of Little Miss Sunshine (LMS). (A fun, great movie!) This is old news and has been written about seemingly much (see this or that). But I just want to add my list to the inter-webs because I like having things in list, easy-to-read formats. (NB: list not exhaustive!)

Following the list I have an original note of analysis about GOW which I have not found on Sparknotes, Cliffsnotes, or Wiki. That’s not to say it isn’t in any commentary but I hope not?

Starts with one member coming “back from the dead”
-Prison (GOW)
-Suicide attempt (LMS)
Family in dire circumstances living in Am. South/Southwest
Opportunity arises in California
Family takes long car trip to California
Granddad dies along the way
The Law and Corporate America trouble them along the way
Every member experiences tragic personal failure
Youngest member is their last hope but that member also fails
-Baby stillborn (GOW)
-Daughter loses competition (LMS)
The family unit is their salvation


Here’s my hopefully new (but probably not) insight into The Grapes of Wrath.

Rose of Sharon. Her family calls her “Rosasharn” as Steinbeck renders it. SPOILER! In the final scene she lends her breast to a starving man to try to nurse him back to health.

Now, it’s nothing extraordinary that she plays a Madonna kind of role. For Steinbeck, I feel like almost every female character is the Madonna.

However, consider her name. “Rosasharn.” Sounds an awful lot like nothing in English. But sounds strangely like “Russia” in Russian, which I might render phonetically “ros-ee-ya”. Not perfect, but close.

Steinbeck got into trouble with this book. He was labeled a communist for this and other writings. He certainly portrays capitalistic America very poorly.

The take-away, in my read, of The Grapes of Wrath, is that the Law, corporate America, and the rich will not help the poor; the poor must help each other. Rosasharn’s selfless act of nursing a starving man is the one glimmer of hope in this story of attrition. Her baby stillborn, her family penniless, she does what she can for another suffering family. I don’t know much about Steinbeck’s political ideas. I know in the end he visited Russia and Ukraine and wrote scathing pieces about what he really found there. But in the 1930s, it’s plausible that he was taken with the idea of a country where the poor rose up to take destiny into their own hands, while his own country was squashing the poor further into the dirt.

So, yes, Rosasharn is Mother Mary, but she is also Mother Russia.

New blog?

I am getting ready to shed the skin of this identity: the devil at divinity school. I don’t want to be “a devil” anymore. I don’t want to be “a divinity school” student anymore.

I’ve thought about continuing blogging in another blog, a new one (you’d have to ask me the url; I might tell you). I don’t need a blog to help me define myself but I certainly may use one. The names I have thought of are “screwed-up, not a screw-up”, “bruised, not broken”, or “ashes”. These names kind of suck — suggestions welcome. The content would be on the same topics and ideas but also more writings about literature, movies. I am a fairly analytical reader, and I might use the blog to post my readings of certain pieces of art and get responses.

I also have some poetry I’d probably post to it. Below is a poem of mine on Endo’s Silence. This book has been pretty significant for me this past year and through this blog. I wrote this poem for a class I took first semester. It should be read after having read the book, but please enjoy even if you haven’t read Silence. (A “fumie” is a small wooden carving or image of Christ or Mary. Fumies were banned at this time in Japan.)


“He will now trample on what he has considered the most beautiful thing in his life, on what he has believed most pure, on what is filled with the ideals and the dreams of man…. The priest placed his foot on the fumie. Dawn broke. And far in the distance the cock crew.” — Silence, Shusaku Endo

christ s purest face in dreams i d see
i m christ s i used to comfort me
now christian faces all ablaze
surrender all to god for me

japan s a swampland and a maze
oppressing christ the silent gaze
of padre god are you still here
ferreira tempts my fall from grace

betraying what i ve held most dear
the screams of martyrs in my ear
a hideous christ shouts trample me
i join the mocking spitting jeers

i drop my foot the martyrs free
i m judas yet you died for me
a new life christs inside of me
a new life christ s inside of me

“‘My struggle was with Christianity in my own heart.’” — Okada San’emon, formerly Sebastian Rodriguez, in Silence, Shusako Endo

House of Cards

The following are writings of C.S. Lewis on faith and understanding. He reached these realizations through great suffering, but you don’t need to suffer like Lewis to hear his point: our perceptions of reality are often skewed and unfounded, in need of razing (He writes “All reality is iconoclastic.”). Hence the beauty and truth of, and opportunity for new creation from, a scattered house of cards.

“Bridge-players tell me that there must be some money on the game ‘or else people won’t take it seriously.’ Apparently it’s like that. Your bid — for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity — will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high, until you find that you are playing not for counters or for sixpences but for every penny you have in the world. Nothing less will shake a man — or at any rate a man like me — out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.

And I must surely admit — H. would have forced me to admit in a few passes — that, if my house was a house of cards, the sooner it was knocked down the better. And only suffering could do it. But then the Cosmic Sadist and Eternal Vivisector becomes an unnecessary hypothesis.

Is this last note a sign that I’m incurable, that when reality smashes my dreams to bits, I mope and snarl while the first shock lasts, and then patiently, idiotically, start putting it together again? And so always? However often the house of cards falls, shall I set about rebuilding it? Is that what I’m doing now?

Indeed it’s likely enough that what I shall call, if it happens, a ‘restoration of faith’ will turn out to be only one more house of cards. And I shan’t know whether it is or not until the next blow comes — when, say, fatal disease is diagnosed in my body too, or war breaks out, or I have ruined myself by some ghastly mistake in my work. But there are two questions here. In which sense may it be a house of cards? Because the things I am believing are only a dream, or because I only dream that I believe them?

…. God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.

…. My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of His presence? The Incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins. And most are ‘offended’ by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not.”

— C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

the fidelity of betrayal

My dream has been to live a comfortable life as a Christian family man with Christian friend groups in a nice suburb. Being a professor became part of that vision in the last couple years. Living in the vicinity of great natural beauty would be nice as well.

The kicker: one could say I have “betrayed” myself, my loved ones and the faith. Yes, apostasy is betrayal. Yet as I see it, I have risked all those things (“crucified my flesh”, to use biblical language) in my pursuit of truth and my aim to obey my conscience. By saying the tenets of Christianity cannot be proven and are difficult to believe, I have risked and am risking my friend groups, my potential desired mates (conservative Christian women mostly), and my future dreams and plans. I am actually taking the claims of Christianity very seriously, probably moreso than many of my peers at divinity school. Inevitably some of them will find themselves in my shoes in the future, only they will have a ministry, a church at stake. I hope they can be true when that time comes.

I said I have crucified my flesh; I could have said “lost my life for [truth’s] sake” as well. I am not using these flippantly. In a context of cultural Christianity, perhaps forsaking all for the sake of truth, or even Christ, looks exactly like what I am doing. How else could I know how committed I am to truth than to risk all the external forms of Christian-ness in a culture where being a Christian — going to church, having bible study friends, upholding “Christian” values, claiming the Christian god — is the norm, the status quo? (I’m speaking specifically of my own Christan sub-culture here, but contrary to popular conservative Christian belief, Christianity is even a dominant way of life in our wider public sphere. Trust me. Living abroad or becoming an agnostic will show you how dominant Christians are in the American public sphere.) When put like this, the title of Peter Rollins’ book — The Fidelity of Betrayal — actually makes some sense (though I have yet to read it or know its contents in the slightest). Do not Jesus’ words about hating mother and brother and father for his sake make more sense in this light as well?

Shusaku Endo’s Silence is about this idea in my read: The greatest expression of the protagonist’s internal commitment to Christ comes ironically through externally denying Christ. Endo writes a historical fiction about the life of a Portuguese priest who comes to 17th century Japan to provide leadership to a persecuted underground Catholic church. Through Endo’s fascinating book, the relationship of Christ and Judas becomes a motif. If I have it right, Endo provides a beautiful read of what happened between them. Christ commands Judas “What thou doest, do quickly” knowing Judas must do it, and wishing for Judas’ pain in his action to be as quick as possible. Though it looks like Judas spurns the love of Christ through betraying him, in fact, he obeys Christ in a way that is necessary and that breaks both of their hearts. Prima facie, it seems Christ then dies “on the tree” (Gal. 3.13) for nothing. Does the reader not have similar misgivings about Judas’ death on a tree, that he dies a miserable failure, misgivings that might belie the truth?

I seem even to myself to be a traitor. For most of my life, Christ has been in some way real to me and my relationship to Christ has been central to my self-understanding. Right now, I do not affirm Christ’s resurrection. Nor do I deny it. Perhaps before all is through I will deny it. And perhaps, much as I wish to the contrary, Christ didn’t resurrect. I think the takeaway is that what I am going through is a difficult process of discerning who I really am that highlights what my deep-rooted values are and how much I can risk in allegiance to those values. Not that I have ever once narrated my life to myself through the story of Wolverine (eyebrow raise — doubtful frown), but like him I am a survivor who has endured much. The scars are invisible to others, remembered only to me. They remind me how much I have taken and that I can still take more. Though I wish to come through this by being a Christian again, believing in Christ again, I will be glad that I have been true to myself and risked much of what is dear to me towards that effort regardless of my future positions on faith.


Here I will begin substantively responding to my questions about purpose (offhandedly addressing “the role my privileged and carefree life plays in my metaphysical quandaries” from my last post).

Viktor Frankl, a Viennese Jew, survived the horrors of Auschwitz and other camps for four plus years. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl writes about the grasp on meaning in life that made it possible for him and others to survive the camps.

One’s current life meaning (“current” because changed circumstances bring about different life meanings) can be discovered in three ways: “(1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering” (Frankl 133).

This would put me in some kind of crisis, I suppose. Hmm. Well, Frankl would say I have to discover my meaning in one of those above ways, implying that surely for at least one of them I can conjure up some life meaning (he doesn’t let people have no meaning).

(1) Creating a work/Doing a deed. For now I can stay on top of my research language skills and reading to give me the most options for the fall. Either I will continue trying to succeed in Divinity School or take time away from it to pursue test prep tutoring. Both of these seem good steps towards a future in education/teaching, something I believe I enjoy.

(2) Experiencing something/Encountering someone. I’ll focus on experiencing something (or encountering some people) here. I hope to deepen friendships made here. To do this I think I will actually open up about being agnostic. It’s time. And, I don’t think I can really get close to people without disclosing this part of me. I also am looking forward to tutoring, and the very, very faint chance of doing some international travel this summer. Lastly, I look forward to lounging about, hiking, sex, children, marriage and such things. All in due time, all in due time.

(3) Attitude towards suffering. I feel this third way, finding meaning in suffering (though my suffering is minuscule compared to others’), probably strikes a chord with me the most. For the summer, my meaning would be to discover how a person who has everything up in the air and is thousands of dollars in the hole can succeed and thrive. Finding meaning might need to be through enduring, yet again, my depressive tendencies and state of total ambivalence about my life’s direction, while trying to remain optimistic, joyful, selfless all the while. Damn. I guess I have my summer’s work cut out for me.

Frankl, Viktor E. Man’s Search for Meaning. New York: Washington Square/Pocket, 1985. Print.