Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pathetically Out of Context: Reposted

It's been a long 3 days. The family is family, but Nova must squish back into Sarah. I'm not Sarah Antigua anymore, try as I might to return. Sarah Nova thinks differently; thinking differently, she must act differently, but how?

So far, Sarah Nova has been trying with all her might to move her body and mouth in accordance with Sarah Antigua's vaguely-retrieved will. But the Thought of the New will not fit the Old, nor does the Old dance to the new tune. A new patch on an old garment, new wine into old wineskins: tears become worse, skins spit from fermentation.

Tonight I couldn't help myself; I looked up the Augustine College website and skimmed the info, dwelling on the professors' mini-bios. I looked up St. F. X. University on whim, just to see if they had a Nursing Program. I shouldn't have: they do. (Shoots self in foot) I should really head to bed, but instead I introspected a tad. All I could think of was the word "pathetic." Sarah, thought I, that part of you neither Antigua nor Nova, you are pathetic.

Then I stopped short (as I have frequently done in the recent past concerning things of this sort). What had I said? What does "Pathetic" really mean? Ought I not be pathetic and if not, in what sense not? I called upon Dictionary.com.

–adjective
1.
causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful; pitiable: a pathetic letter; a pathetic sight.
2.
affecting or moving the feelings.
3.
pertaining to or caused by the feelings.
4.
miserably or contemptibly inadequate: In return for our investment we get a pathetic three percent interest.

Hmm. In my present state, I surely ought not be 1. I've no reason to evoke pity or sorrow on anyone's part, except perhaps by my ignorance and presumption. I've certainly been blessed in every way possible. What is left in my condition that I should be pitiable, except that I do not appreciate my riches?Number 2. is irreduceably vague. Number 3. is an impossibility.

Number 4. however, strikes me as woefully accurate. Miserably or contemptibly inadequate. Yep. Not that I'm feeling miserable - nothing of the sort, just tired and a trifle confused, wearily trying to search out among my acquaintances a confidante for things my soul would say just now. But I am inadequate: miserably and contemptibly so. I, who once thought myself capable, skilled in communication, able to build and repair comfortable (or at least supportable) interpersonal relationships, adept to adapt, find a portion of myself isolated from the rest of myself. I have split my life between two poles which do not yet understand each other and who have either no time (even if interest) or opportunity to attempt to understand each other. I find myself unable to communicate between myselves.

I find myself unsure. Unsure not of who I am, but of what the shell of me should do, act, comport itself. People see the shell and think they recognize it, that they know it internally. Sarah Nova wears the crust of Sarah Antigua. It is exhausting enough to become aquainted with one person; once aquainted we humans tend to forget that change is imminent and unavoidable. What shall we then do but attempt to recognize that the person who spoke to me yesterday is the same, but different. What we shared we may not still share except in memory. If we don't face this fact, if we attempt to employ the past in the present, we will fail to share the present; for the past cannot bridge a gap unless one lives in the past. If we would live in the present, we may summon the past to memory and learn from it, cherishing it, and building from it in the present, but the present must be carved with its own tools.

In memory, one does not have a person, but what a person was. It is in the present that a person is. Memory is beautiful because it treasures up a present in the past which still operates upon things which are. But memory cannot join two people in the present except by both persons gazing into the past. The past "present" is not present in the present, but informs the present.

And I dig the hole deeper. Someone push me in. :D I'm not sure if I'm making any sense to anyone but me.

I guess I'm trying to say something like this:We change. Instead of denying change in practice (even while we affirm in theoretically), let's try to understand the people that are now, even if that glimpse may be altered in a year.

And this:I'm not sure how I am able to act currently. If I'm a bit awkward or unintentionally rude, please, please be patient with me and chalk it up to reverse culture shock. All the same, do chide me and direct me how I ought to relate to you. I'm not very good at contextual hints anymore since I've been totally thrown out of my context, aclimated to a new one, and have been thrown back into an altered one.

I'm like a quote out of context right now. Please put me back into the right context. Treat me critically. I'll try to figure out your context too.

11 comments:

TruthQuestioner said...

Nana has left a new comment...

(*sigh*)

TruthQuestioner said...

elizabeth has left a new comment...

Dear Sarah Nova,

You can still be Sarah Nova you know, or this will always be part of who you are now.

This seems to be part of journey of adulthood, or at least how the journey has translated itself to me through the years. I would say what you are going through, in my often ignorant and not always humble (please forgive) opinion, is ultimately for the good.

The hard part is that one does not fit where one used to be, but you may find in the end that you do not want to be where or who you used to be;

not that I have arrived at where I want to be, myself...

but when you find people who are more akin to one's own soul, one begins to see a new mirror of one's self that leads a person, I hope and pray (for me too) that is towards who they really are and need to become.

remember though for St. F-X that it would be more costly for you as it would mean international student rates. For Canadians it may be affordable, for Americans it could be quite costly.

I wish it was not so hard though; the pain of parting does lessen overtime, but while are in the midst of it, it really hurts.

It may be that you need to arrange time to talk to those you left - we Canadians do have pretty good phone plans.

My love to you.

TruthQuestioner said...

Uncle Ick has left a new comment...

Sarah is Sarah. Not Nova if anything else. Sarah is Sarah. And as far as I can tell she is just as Sarah as she was before she left just a lot smarter!

TruthQuestioner said...

Janice has left a new comment...

Aw, I'm praying for you. My past few days have not been a struggle to reconcile the new me with the old (I have had those struggles many times before, as I think we discussed, but thankfully there is no occasion for them at this juncture) but rather to piece together what is left after most of what was new has been taken away. Nova, Antigua, and Sarah, you are missed.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

I'm glad you re-posted your thoughts and reflections, as I am grateful for this additional way of knowing you, Sarah, God's-own-child.

Who you are is whom God has called you and declared you and recreated you to be in Christ Jesus. Even as you grow and mature, and learn and reflect, still, His Name upon you and His Word both to you and concerning you, His forgiveness of your sins, and the attitude of His heart toward you, none of these things fluctuate or change. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His Word shall never pass away. And not only that, but in Him, all things are made new.

Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia. That is the answer of His Cross, and that is the answer to everything.

God bless you, Sarah. And welcome back to your earthly tent and sojourn here in this wilderness.

TruthQuestioner said...

Nana: (*sigh*)

Elizabeth: mmhmm.
I wasn't seriously considering St. F.X. It was just a spurr of the moment impulse to peek at the institution I heard mentioned at least 5 times a week.

Nick: Sarah is Sarah. She'll always be the same "person". Nova and Antigua are not separate people from Sarah but are merely ways of designating personality developments during and before my four months at Augustine College. Though it might not be obvious now that I am back home and trying to fit into my old life, I DID live, think, and act differently at Augustine: not badly, just differently. Currently, the two aspects of Sarah are trying to collaborate and meld into one, but there are a few conflicting aspects between the two which are sorting themselves out (even if they are not outwardly apparent.)

Janice: Thanks, and I appreciated your latest post.

Pastor Stuckwisch: Thank you very much. Your sermons, conversation, and faithful administration of the blessed sacraments have afforded me much comfort and have greatly helped to smooth the transition home. Thank you. Praise Christ for His Gospel!

Nana said...

Sarah, I hate to disagree with you but you will never be the same again. You change. It is part of growing and is for our good.

Even if you change,

we all still love you!

TruthQuestioner said...

Nana: We have no disagreement there, dear sister.

Nana said...

:0
I know.

Nana said...

Though sometimes I did wish the old Sarah was back

Nana said...

Not that the new Sarah is bad.