I think Paul would rather agree.
Rory Williams, showing us what it is to walk with a Lord of Time… we could learn a lot from The Boy Who Waited.
I think Paul would rather agree.
Rory Williams, showing us what it is to walk with a Lord of Time… we could learn a lot from The Boy Who Waited.
I became affianced last week. There are many fantastic things about this, oh yes, precious. People know that, and they keep saying things like this:
“Oh, you must be walking on air!”
“Oh, you must be over the moon!”
“Oh, you must be just ecstatic!”
Well, to the first, thank you, thank you very much; I am rather to be congratulated, as it happens. The others, though, do cause me to feel somewhat awkward. I usually respond with a nod and a giddy giggle or grin, looking down at my truly lovely ring.
But while I am very pleased, I am not, by my own standards, “walking on air,” “over the moon,” “ecstatic,” or even as giddy as the giggle I give people because they’re expecting it. The reason I’m uncomfortable with this is… well, it really feels like I ought to be. Right? I thought, shouldn’t I be all of those things? I know I’m capable of it. But excepting the day on which the question was popped, I really haven’t been.
“Walking on air” is every time I remember The Day of the Doctor. “Over the Moon” is when I think of what an awesome and hysterical pair BBC’s John and Sherlock make. “Ecstatic” is when the phone rings and it sounds like the TARDIS engine whooshing.
Those–those feelings are for my obsessions. I’m not planning on marrying my obsessions. If David Tennant… no, let’s make it even crazier. If the Tenth Doctor had showed up out of the blue last Friday, cut in line, and for whatever reason, dropped to a knee and asked me to marry him, my mind would have been blown and I would have felt shockingly honored and I would have given him an enormous hug and said no! No! Of course not!
(But can my lad and I be your companions even so? You take affianced couples sometimes, right?)
To be perfectly honest, I might secretly spend some time kicking myself for making the wise choice, but in the end, it would be just that: the only wise choice. Because the thing about obsessions is, they fade. They morph. They’re replaced, in time, by something seemingly bigger and brighter that eclipses them–even if you can’t imagine it before the fact. Holmes and Watson are already beginning to edge in on my adoration for the Doctor, and I would have sworn that would be impossible. In five years, I wince to admit, Doctor Who and Sherlock will be things I still geek out about every now and again, sure, but they probably won’t occupy the same space in my mind, heart, and life.
I would never believe it, except that I’ve seen it happen. Because it was Redwall, then it was Artemis Fowl and especially Butler, then it was A Series of Unfortunate Events, then it was everything by Tamora Pierce, then it was Harry Potter and especially Snape, then it was fencing, then it was Sword of Truth, then it was the works and characters of Danielle E. Shipley, and then, and then, and so on. Now when I think of these things, they still bring a smile to my face, and I’m still happy to talk about them, even maybe wear their paraphernalia sometimes. But they are not what they were to me, once. As Pippin says at the end of his heart wrenching song, “All shall fade… all shall… fade…”
But there’s a ring on my finger that calls for a faith to be kept, a faith not fading. It doesn’t call for me to be walking on air over the moon in a cloud of ecstasy–though it would be fine if I were, it is also, I think, well that I am not. The ring means many things; Bambi-like twitterpatedness is not one of the things that it means.
It’s a brilliantly lovely claddagh ring, very traditional and very Irish. A crown for loyalty, a heart for love, and hands for friendship. That’s what my lad meant he was giving me, when he slid it on my finger, and that’s what I mean to give back.
Loyalty, love, and friendship. Am I wrong to be less than over-the-moon over this? Should I feel guilty that my man is not my obsession? No. Because I am stepping out onto a greater thing than a cloud of happiness. I am making a commitment to a far truer connection than obsession.
This ring is a vow to avow–is, to my mind, the backwards echo in time of an oath to be taken in future. To me, the very weight of such intent tinges the very idea with a sort of sacred solemnity. And I have no quarrel with solemnity! It is certainly no lesser of a sense than is giddiness, and can even be greater. And if it’s an echo of a sacrament; well! So much more to the good. Seriousness and solemnity does not preclude joy; rather it enriches it. But it does lend a certain quietude to the matter.
But people do not want to hear, “Oh, I am so solemnly pleased,” so I play up the “pleased” lest they think something wrong, and simply grin and laugh. And thinking on that, it does not seem to me to be right. So henceforth, I will be honest with people: I am not giddy. I am deeply, truly glad. But I’m not going to react as I react to my every passing obsession, for this is not a passing obsession.
My emotions, probably to the disappointment of some, will not shine as sparkly and bright as the gold and emerald on my hand. But as it is written in the great tomes of Lord of the Rings, all that is gold does not glitter. And with that sudden inspiration, I conclude:
All that is glad does not giggle.
True love doesn’t always wear gloss.
A heart seeming of stone stands a riddle;
Plainly graven but sloughing all moss.
‘Tis an alter where fire may be woken;
A cistern God’s touch turns to spring;
With a love so much more than emotion,
It is crowned and held fast by the King.
Okay, I promised I’d keep my Doctor Who posts to a minimum. I’m doing that, I swear, but I had to post this one. If you don’t watch the show, you might not understand what I’m going on about. Sorry.
Why do I love the Doctor? Why am I absolutely obsessed with the Doctor? I’ve been trying to figure it out as I’ve found my love of Doctor Who creeping into every area of my life. What is it about that madman and his bigger-on-the-inside blue box? Why do I wish so hard for him to show up in his TARDIS and show me the universe—and to help him save it?
Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but speaking for myself, it’s for the same reason that I love most of the incredibly powerful hero types I love. They stand as human (or humanly relatable) icons of that great and wonderful God of mine, for whom the universe is awash with the grandest of titles, but whose true name none know nor can speak.
Sometimes, he’s so very human, in his errors, in his failings, in his never knowing quite where he’s going or what his plan is.
And all that is very endearing and sweet and relatable, and without those things he would be too perfect to build a television show around.
But then, there is that in him that is beyond humanity, there is that enormity, that awe-inspiring size and age and depth and breadth of his being.
“He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time and can see the turn of the universe. And… he’s wonderful.”
Why do I love him so? It’s in the mercy and the justice.
It’s in the love so very big, and the mountains of pain to match.
It’s in how he finds a way to do the impossible when it seemed all was lost. (Even, wouldn’t you know it, when Roman soldiers are dragging him to his doom and the seeming doom of the universe.)
It’s in that he saves people, great masses of people all the time, and still the individual tiny little persons that mean so much to him.
It’s in that you never know everything he’s seen and fought and won and done, and you can never understand what goes on inside his mind.
It’s in how he invites you to abandon life as you know it and run with him into the wildest rollickings of the universe, and makes so much more of you just by being there.
It’s in how very much he wants his people at his side.
He’s not God, no, not by half, and his worst moments are those when he seems to suppose that maybe he is. But he’s nearer to God’s heart than many of us little humans, and there is so much in him that reflects so much of God so very dazzlingly, and that is what I would follow through the twistings and turnings of the time vortex, into danger and out of it until my very death.
And that’s when I thought, oh, my, God. This is so exciting. You have no idea, how excited I was when I realized this, how excited I am now.
I’ve already got a Time Lord. I know a Great Doctor who has invited me into his time vortex, and maybe I’m only traveling mostly forward for the most part, but so what? I am the companion of a Time Lord, THE Time Lord!
Do you know what I see when I look out of the window of this coffee shop he’s brought me to, full of people I’ve never seen before? I see dusky blue skies and curling whitish clouds gone pink with the last fading whispers of the sun’s jubilee, the humming purples that promise a beautiful night ahead. In front of these I see trees, great spreading trees with leaves gone lovely brown or orange-over-green, all of it swaying and trembling in the excitement of the autumn breeze. I see the gleam of light on the metallic curves of cars, row on row in parking lots or whizzing past in the street, I see their lights and the lights of signs glowing everywhere, evidence of man’s seemingly impossible harnessing of fire’s rage, and now the light of that same fire in the form that roils at the center of our galaxy brightens on one cloud, a breathtaking hurrah, then the sky goes soft shades of red as everything begins to darken into evening…
My Time Lord is showing me the wonders of the universe every day. He shows me marvelous creatures and plants and scenes that will take my breath away and bring tears to my eyes if I’ll only let them. I’m going to spend my whole life seeing things I’ve never seen before!
I’ll see all kinds of faces, their inner workings so familiar and yet so alien to me, every one important, and he cares about every one and he would have me to care about every one, to touch their lives with him and to add to their pile of good things as we explore this universe, to turn their faces to its wonders and to see them become what he sees that they can become!
And I’ll see him, and his marvelousness, I’ll see him laughing at the hilarious things that spring up around us, I’ll see his love so marvelous, find his words, so profound, everywhere I go.
I’ll watch that pain, as deep as his love, cross his face when suffering and death and all evils rack the universe, when humanity is less than what he dreams it can be, knows it can be, when people say goodbye, and he knows he’ll never see them again. And when I see it, I will cry with him.
I’ll do things he tells me to do that don’t seem to make any sense, but I’ll trust him to work things out for the impossible good, even when all seems lost again and again. Because I’m his companion, and I’ve seen his fingerprints throughout history, and I know he pulls it off.
There’s a Time and Relative Dimension In Space.
It stood before the foundations of the earth and it can touch everywhere and everywhen.
It’s old and new and beautiful and the truest true ever.
It’s small and simple and made of wood, but it’s bigger on the inside.
Inside, it’s more complex and impossible an powerful than anything else in our reality, and it belongs to the Time Lord.
It brings hope wherever it goes, and it is the nightmare of every nightmare.
And I will go anywhere with my Great Physician and his Cross.
I feel like I should write an introductory blog post before I just start slinging all kinds of piles of words about like so many word piles. As a hello to my yet-nonexistent following, perhaps? As a way to tell people why they should become one? Or as a sort of “Caution: the following thoughts are under construction!” sign?
I suppose I just want everything that follows to feel less out-of-the-blue. Maybe this compunction is based on an illusion–does a sign on a door reading, “Warning: paint-splashed willy-nilly on the floors ahead,” really make much difference to the person walking into the besplattered room?
It’s probably an attempt to explain why I’m doing this; my excuses to the blogging world in general (and the spiritual blogging world in particular) for why I should contribute to cluttering it up. More likely, I’m just trying to explain as much to myself.
God, me, and loquacity. The loquacity bit is no joke. I talk a lot, to the air if no one is there, or to the blank page if one is handy. Time to start making those thoughts googlable, I guess, in the hope (shared with most every blogger, I’m sure,) that someone will find value in them.
The truth is, it seems to me that I should have this blog. Why has it taken me so long to make it, then? Because I have another blog, a blog about writing and fantasy and so on, that I hardly ever take care of. Why should I have two of a thing when I can’t take care of one? It’s a legitimate question.
The answer, I think, lies in the fact that the subject of this blog (God and what have you,) has become more central to me than the subject of my other blog (fiction and its creation,) and I’m quite glad of that, but it has drawn some energy away from The Ink Caster.
My other blog feels clogged with all these posts I wanted to post, but didn’t want to post there. There, I tried to keep a balance between how often I chattered about spiritual things and how often I wrote about book and writing and words and the like. Otherwise, I felt like I irritated the readers who hadn’t signed up for double portions of God-talk.
Maybe I shouldn’t care, eh? Sure, I’d likely have lost a few followers who grew weary of it, but I shouldn’t care about that, right? But it felt wrong, somehow. Different posts for different folks. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,” but there’s a difference in the way I’d talk to someone who doesn’t care about God, and the way I’d talk to someone who does.
It’s like this–imagine you really love a TV show. Say, for instance, Doctor Who. You’re really excited about it, and you want to talk about it all the time. So you find someone who watches the show as well, and you gabble in Whovian with them for many happy hours. Then you go to a friend of yours who’s never watched the show, and you’re so excited you can’t help but do the same thing. You want them to watch the show with you, after all!
No matter how much they love you and try to care, you’re probably not going to help the Whovian cause. Trust me on this one. I’ve done it. And that’s with people who already love you and try to care.
If I had it to do over again, I’d have bitten my tongue a good nine times out of ten, and simply murmured an intriguing sentence or so every now and again. Maybe they would actually have wanted to watch, then. Maybe even now, if I dial it back sufficiently, I can still get them to sit through Blink with me.
So that’s what I’m saying about God (and me, and loquacity). I really, really love God, and I really want to talk about him most of the time, and I love talking about him for hours to people who also love to talk about him. But for the others, those that don’t care yet, it’s probably best to bite my tongue nine times out of ten, keep posting what I told them I’d post, and simply murmur an intriguing sentence every now and again.
But that’s over there, at The Ink Caster. Here, I open my mouth. That much is in the title. Here, I’m talking to the fellow-enthusiasts, or people curious enough to listen of their own volition. Here, I’m not going to restrain my loquacity on my favorite subject.
But don’t worry–I’ll only talk about Doctor Who one time out of ten.