Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Water In The Brain

This is just a quick reflection of an experience today.

At my brother's high school basketball game, I took advantage of the half-time period to hit the facilities. As anyone at today's historic inauguration will tell you, it was "darn" cold outside. As I washed my hands, I felt the ice cold water, chilled by the pipes, run through my fingers and I had the sudden sensation of thirst! I struck me as amazing that pure, cold, water on my hands developed an urge to drink. The more I thought about it, I began to wonder about the connection of this correlation and other experiences in life. We are inspired by the environment around us. Some inspiration is fleeting, but sometimes we may find ourselves heading in a new direction or making life decisions due to a new fascination with a subtle yet enchanting experience.

Movies seem to be an easy example: SAVING PRIVATE RYAN or BRAVEHEART are now classic examples where heroes have captured the souls and inspired the minds of the male audience, THE NOTEBOOK and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE for the female side, and rightly so. But I'm wondering about inspiration at a much simpler level: just as water on my hands gave me the urge to drink, how much of our desires and urges are dictated by subtle yet sensual exchanges that we unwittingly take part in. I want to ponder the idea of, what triggers my passions, my aggressions, my insecurities, my strengths, my self image, my decisions, etc. 

It has occurred to me that the greatest of our actions are influenced by the smallest of our experiences.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Way I See It . . .

When it comes to journaling, I am the worst. I question myself: Why start a blog? It started with a Starbucks cup. This morning I had some errands to run on the other side of town (Manassas...civil war town). I went to a Starbucks to feed my habit (yes, I am a junkie). When the barista handed me my Venti Pike Place, I found it double cupped (Which is actually against Starbucks policy). Since there was no sleeve, I found myself reading "The Way I See It #112" on the side of the cup:
  • "If you've got a dollar and you spend twenty-nine cents on a loaf of bread, you've got seventy-one cents left. But if you've got seventeen grand and you spend twenty-nine cents on a loaf of bread, you've still got seventeen grand. There's a math lesson for you. --Steve Martin
Entertained by this bit of insight, I split up my double cup to read the second quote, "The Way I See It #141":
  • "I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say "Hi." They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibly is worth that one word."      -- Augusten Burroughs
As I considered the second quote, I realized how profound this person's thought process was. He found something very positive in the midst of a very cynical situation. Now his insight is immortalized on the sides of Starbucks cups. It is not my goal here to have my thoughts printed on the sides of coffee cups. It is my intention however, to draw on and consider my own insight about life on a personal level and on society as a whole. My goal is to push past any negative posteriors that life presents and find meaning, purpose, and perspective. I will not sugarcoat my thoughts, I will be honest, and I offer my thoughts for your consideration.

Before signing out, I want to comment on the title of my blog: THE LIONS. This is symbolic in many ways. On an anecdotal level, when I was in Rwanda this past summer, many of the locals could not pronounce my name: Ryan. Instead they placed an "L" in place of the "R" in which my name became "Lion". As one Rwandan exclaimed with surprise and amusement, "Ohhhhh, like SIMBA!" Which is Swahili for "Lion". On a more significant level, I find the Lion very symbolic of God. C.S. Lewis uses this symbolism in his book series, "The Chronicles Of Narnia". In the Bible, God is referred to as, "The Lion of Judah". You will notice that my title is plural. This is not to signify the existence of multiple gods, indeed, I am monotheistic. I want this title to symbolize our pursuit as human individuals to be more like God, and to imitate Him and His nature as we learn more about who He is. Therefore, We (myself and those who also consider themselves apart of this journey) are "The Lions". We are lions who long to be more like the Great Lion, God Himself.