Musings of an Irish-American

Sometimes I think about stuff, and then I write it here…

Monthly Archives: November 2008

a beautiful holiday

As much as people talk about Thanksgiving being a holiday of togetherness and giving back and whatnot, I never more fully believed or felt this until today.

I was at Thanksgiving day Mass this morning because my old church music director asked me especially to cantor for today’s service, and I am very very grateful for her want to include me in the service like she did (especially because I find it so fulfilling to give back to my parish in the form of music as thanks for this beautiful gift God has given me).

Anyway, in the middle of the Mass, the people of the congregation were encouraged to come up to the altar and bring any canned goods or food they had brought to donate for the poor. At first, two people walked up and the one thing I thought was “Oh, no. No one had thought to bring anything and there’s gonna be nothing up here.” And then, in a way that I’ve never felt before, my heart was so deeply moved to see a great portion of the congregation get up and bring forth their food to donate. The altar was soon covered in canned goods and other food. I managed to keep my composure (and, believe me, it was difficult), but never before had I felt so reaffirmed in my faith in people and proud of my parish community. It was quite a spiritually invigorating moment for me.

And, of course, in all ironies, the second song we sang during Communion was called “Surely The Presence Of The Lord Is In This Place”. Never before had these words rung so true to me.

In this season of being together, I leave you with a quote from the third verse of the same song:
“Surely the blessing of the Lord is in my heart.
And it’s here when we’re together or apart,
Now I feel the rush of angel’s wings and I know how great Thou art.
Surely the blessing of the Lord is in my heart.”

A blessed and happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your families.

Warmest regards,
Martin

another truth

I’ve realized something important: sometimes it’s easier to be frustrated about how something’s not going your way than to be happy that things are the way they are. That is not to say that one should be happy with complacency, but, rather, should try to take some solace in the current situation instead of bemoan about what hasn’t happened (or won’t happen).

I guess I came to this conclusion because of the fact that I’ve been extremely confused about the state of my life (both in terms of good and bad). Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t think so hard about some things, mainly because I’ve found that the less I focus on something the better I do on it (see: Music History). And I’ve been told multiple times to not focus on the state of my romantic life at the moment, but I guess I find it hard not to. It’s kind of funny; I think I have this highly idealized/romanticized idea that, if I was in a relationship, everything would be fine.

However, it’s this time of season, as it’s said in a song played this time of year, where “the world falls in love”, and I want to say that I’m thankful for all the people in my life that keep me sane and that keep it interesting (meep meep). I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

A quote: “Take courage friend. The way is often hard, the path is never clear, and the stakes are very high. Take courage. For deep down, there is another truth: you are not alone.” – Wayne B. Arnason

-MJH

i hate politics

That’s just the way it is.

And this isn’t some post-election “I hate Obama” rant, because 1) I don’t hate Obama and 2) that kind of stuff is petty and not constructive.

The politics I refer to are the politics which govern our lives. The fact that, almost everywhere you look, there are structures in place where certain people can exercise their power or seniority over a group or organization and influence it in their favor or toward their preferred outcome. This was a very sobering fact coming into college, but the School of Music is the perfect microcosm of the politicking that we come across in our lives.

And it’s not like student organizations are any different. Things happen or occur because of politics about “seniority” or “experience” or whatever you want to call it. Why can we not govern ourselves so that each person stands on his or her own two feet and proves themselves, not succeeds because that is what is expected from a certain group or is the outcome that is wanted by one or a few individuals.

Even in our personal lives, there’s politicking interpersonally as well. Manipulation to get what one wants, no matter the effect of the person being manipulated. All that matters to people is the the end game; it doesn’t matter how you get there, but just that you get what you want or what a group of people wants that matters.

But is that really how it should be? Do the ends justify the means? What’s the matter with some common decency in being honest and upfront with people and letting things run their course, no matter what? I’d just like it if people prioritized what it is they really want and then assess how they go about in their lives to get those things; if it’s at the expense of others or only occurs because of the sway of someone with more authority than others, maybe you need to look at the value of what you’ve accomplished, and find that it may just be wholly lessened because of that.

-MJH

clearly murky

My brain hurts.

Natural Selection went really well last weekend and I’m looking forward to three more performances with the fantastic cast of this show. Brush-up tonight, and shows the next three nights. Monon Football Game on Saturday, so the craziness goes.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother worrying about things when I definitely feel that I have no role or influence on the way they play out. And this even falls under personal matters. I think I don’t feel like I have any ownership of my actions at all, that I dictate my life by the terms that I have no part in what’s going down. It sounds idiotic, I’m sure, but I guess I just don’t take as active a role in certain aspects of my life as I could or should.

I should probably stop trying to beat around the bush and just own up to the fact that I’m not going to do anything about the way I feel right now because of how hopeless it feels. If I had any motivation whatsoever, I might be bothered to try, but there’s been no indication, no reciprocation, nothing…nothing to show that I should even bother.

So I guess I know what I don’t know right now, which is a lot.

the beginning of the end (as it were)

Natural Selection opens tonight…I’m excited and somewhat relieved to have gotten to this point with my sanity intact (everything else, however, is quite the mess). It’s been such a great experience, working with such a small cast and being able to work with someone (like myself) who is an active SAG member but (not like myself) has found great difficulty in working as an actor (and I mean that in the sense that I haven’t had to try it as a career, not that I’ve been 100% successful at it all the time), that along with the fact that he is a Native American that is very aware of his heritage but also aware of the media’s perception of the Native American people has made it all the more interesting.

And so the beginning of the end of the world (in the show at least) begins….

To read more about Natural Selection at DePauw, you can find it here.

-MJH

trying to keep my head above water

And so goes my life. What with tech week, hearings for Chamber Singers, not having practiced for my piano lesson since my last lesson, I feel I’m in what you’d call a dilly of a pickle. Not only that, I’m exhausted and am starting to slip behind in music history again (which I feel is going to be my downfall in that class). I’m doing my best to commit myself to the show and my work and my mentor group, but I also feel like I’m failing all of them by not being able to commit myself solely to any one of them. On top of this, I’m having an amazingly frustrating time dealing with certain people (one in particular), if only because I feel that my intentions are being misconstrued. But, I have decided, why put myself through the hassle of dealing with this person if I’m just going to get frustrated because of it? So that’s it.

Now if only I had a strong enough resolve to actually pursue the action behind that statement…

Another discussion about respect last night; I talked about this at length with a good friend of mine and I think my biggest qualm was that I thought respect went hand-in-hand with being liked in general, when she told me that you can respect someone but not like them. I guess I don’t see much point in being respected then; if you respect someone, then you should demonstrate that by not treating them like an asshole…maybe I’m crazy, but I think, in some sense, I’m right.

Life is crazy…
that is all.

-MJH

unbelievable

So I just talked with my mom and, apparently, some jackass who doesn’t know how to drive is suing my mom for a rather substantial amount of money, claiming damage to her vehicle and physical problems. The part that pisses me off most about this is that this accident happened almost two years ago. Of course, the statute of limitations has to be two years, so this fucking jerk decides to sue my family just within it. This is the problem with our justice system, right here. If this person has had so many fucking problems, why wait until almost two years later to do anything about it. It’s spineless and a perfect example of how people abuse our judicial system in an attempt to make a quick buck. It’s petty and people don’t realize how seriously it can fuck stuff up for the other person….I think it’s absolutely unfair and unjustified that this is happening to my family right now, especially considering I don’t think we can afford the amount of money for which this jackass is suing us for. But, to them, that’s not what this is about; to them, it’s about getting what they think they’re entitled to, even despite the fact that it seems like almost an afterthought. It really makes me question the good in humanity at all these days…People make mistakes, and we should be able to recognize that and then be understanding of how that happens, not jump on one’s mistakes for the sake of bettering ourselves or to promote one’s own agendas. It makes me sick to my stomach and ridiculously unhappy…I’m sorry if this reflects in my thoughts, actions or deeds, but I mean no offense, I’m just gonna need some space and a bit of understanding.

And isn’t that what we all need? Just a little bit of understanding?

-MJ

REVISED: I got this quote from St. Paul the Apostle’s Church Bulletin; I find it so ironic because it seems to relate to a lot of what I’m feeling lately: “Compassion is one of the most beautiful presences a person can bring to the world and most compassion is born from one’s own woundedness. When you have felt deep emotional pain and hurt, you are able to imagine what the pain of the other is like; their suffering touches you. The greatest evil and destruction arises when people are unable to feel compassion. The beauty of compassion continues to shelter and save our world.”