06 December 2005

A long week

Gone for almost a week? Well, it's been a long one. A good one, but a long one. You might recall that I spent most of this year preparing for the Japanese Proficiency Test (Level II, sweetheart). After twelve months of back-breaking, you know, labor, I am finished finally. My trip to Sendai was a kind of bus-riding epic as the projected four hour ride stretched into eight hours due to a shit-load of snow and some confusing route choices by the man at the helm of our bus. This led to me missing dinner with the friends I was staying with and instead eating a bagged piece of bread that claimed "the flavor of cheese."

I'll tell you, that didn't put me in the right test-taking mood. But you know the dude, I'm all about resilience. So I shrugged it off and took the test like the man that I am.

Being certain for the last month that I was going to fail, I didn't have a whole lot to live up to and although I probably did fail, I did better than I thought I would. I tried hard and I'm beginning to think that's worth a lot more than I have given it credit. As they collected the last answer sheets, I felt a light inside of me that I have missed for a while. I walked outside and we got on the bus and for the next two hours, I felt incredibly content. More than I have in a long, long time.

For posterity's sake, I wanted to write that out out. I want to remember that moment for at least the rest of the week.

Many of you know that I have been working out. I gained 5 kg since September and am starting to look pretty hard in areas that I used to be soft. Working out is less about getting sexy (although it's certainly about that), and more about the dude getting control of his body. Also, with winter upon us, I need something to help me keep my will to live. And wading through a foot of slush ain't doing it for me. You'd be surprised at how much your will to live increases after twenty minutes on the treadmill. It's almost up to 90% by then.

Hanging around the men's locker room, I've had an epiphany. The man's body is a beautiful thing, for the most part. It's strong and broad and symmetrical. Broad shoulders are sexy, sure, I think I can understand that. Men's bodies are beautiful until we take our trunks off. And then it's like, everything goes wrong. There is nothing attractive about the pen-is. I mean, seriously, it's pathetic. Like," 'Huh?" That's the perfect caption for a picture of a pen-is, I think. "'Huh?" It's just ugly as sin. No two ways around it.

So men, let's stay beautiful and keep our trunks on.

Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to punt on my West paper as I was trying to put a square peg into a circular hole. West presented too many silly problems, the kind of problems that I didn't really want to talk about (like how you explain to a Japanese dude why it's okay for Mr. West to use the word "nigga" in a non-pejorative sense). No, no, this will not do. Also, I don't want to have to explain proper uses of the word "fuck." No thank-you.

So? I'm going to write about a much more upstanding woman and a much more upstanding song. That's right, Madonna's "Hung Up." Certainly, there are many of interesting things to be said.
I been knocking Christian song lyrics lately, but I remembered one that I really liked and thought I'd share. Rich Mullins who, despite writing his share of dumb shit, managed in a couple of places to really, really (really) nail it. I remembered this song today, "Jacob and Two Women"

"And her sky is just a petal pressed in a book of a memory
Of the time he thought he loved her and they kissed"

Here, Mullins talks about the story of Jacob and Rachel and manages to really pull something off with this petal. The sky, I could take or leave, but this petal--this kiss kept and held in the memory. This moment is so precious to me. A kiss as a petal in book. A kiss that is from love, but a love thought, not a certain love. Sky compressed to a moment or kiss or flower petal.
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