It is hard for me to write out here in Delta. It feels like I am always busy, but nothing ever happens here. There is a weird time distortion that takes place on the river. Nobody is in a hurry, and time passes slowly. The most exciting events in my recent life have been the planting of a small garden, baking, and repairing a damaged board in the kitchen floor. I have been studying for the GRE, and I am mildly excited about the prospect of graduate school. I have also been thinking about doing freelance photography, and I am more excited about that. The thing that has me the most excited is, as usual, relational. I cannot wait to see certain people back home.
I finished Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinland, a couple of days ago. I was most impressed by the character of Jubal Harshaw, a cranky old man who is said to be the only human who can grok (understand) without speaking Martian. This character is even more interesting to me than ****Mr. Universe**** in The Watchmen.
In a discussion toward the end of the book, Jubal defines love as “a state of being in which ones own wellbeing is directly tied to the wellbeing of another.” While I do not accept this definition as final, nor would I completely accept any definition of love that came from a human, I do consider it to be one of the better attempts to define an indefinable word that I have come across. After reading this, I spent a while considering all of my relationships and trying to determine who I really loved according to this definition. I was surprised at how neatly the results coincided with the people that I already believed that I love. The most valuable insight that I gained from this was the realization that my mother loves me, my dad, and my siblings (and strangers) more than anyone else that I have ever seen. Her well being is so intimately tied up in our own that it is impossible for any of us to suffer without her suffering, or be happy without her being happy (she has somehow learned to be happy and suffer at the same time, which is an impressive feat).
I was amazed to think about how deeply I am known by my mom, and how little that is in comparison to how I am known by G-d. I want to know, and I want to be known. I believe that this is fundamental to how and why G-d made me.