August 6, 2007 @ 4:46 am by sean
Editing is necessary for this.
Liz, Lauren, and Amy from camp have a slightly unfamiliar and peculiar quality of wholesomeness that I want. My perception of their wholesomeness may be based largely on first impressions but has been maintained uncontested over the last ten weeks in a way that may be understood only by experience, as I cannot easily define what gives them this quality. Katie Hutson, Carolyn and Zach are in the realm as well. Regardless, I want to be wholesome. My first stereotypes regarding the wholesome (but not necessarily affirmed by Liz, Lauren, or Amy, nor necessarily true) are ignorance and oblivious to the ills of the world while generally lacking opinions, and I am struggling to figure out how to be wholesome while still striving for awareness of what is wrong with the world because I am wont to use that as a base for how to change things. I have categorized people as either the typical consumer American who is not only ignorant and oblivious to the ills of the world, but often a main contributor. Although this is a broad range, in many significant ways they hardly seem different. And then there are the others, who may be called alternative, revolutionary, rebels, hippies, or whatever terms I have for them. As I do not want to be what I have defined as the typical American consumer, I align myself more with the other side. I do not necessarily like every part of that though because there seems to be much conformism in the non-conforming to things I do not necessarily like; a certain look – dirty and/or baggy and/or ragged clothes and/or dreadlocks, necessary poverty, makeshift everything, vegan, etc. It seems the non-conforming must be taken to the extreme to be worthwhile or authentic; a penchant for dumpster diving, anarchism, dreadlocks, living in a community/homelessness, organic gardening, biodiesel transportation, hatered of what is not them, staunch political activism, etc. These are not bad, some, like community living, organic gardening, and a biodiesel car are very interesting to me, but the others are not generally what I want to do. I do not want to look like the Psalters. For the last ten weeks I have been out of touch with both of the sides that I have defined so I am having a difficult time remembering all that I have thought about them.
Regardless, I have identified certain traits of myself that conflict with wholesomeness and consequently must go: contentious, outspoken, judgmental, repugnant/anti-, pessimistic, vain, vulgar, sexual, pretentious. I seem to focus on the negative to eradicate it for the sake of the positive, rather than focusing on the positive to eradicate the negative. In the play the Screwtape Letters they did at Judson there was a part where the main character accused his significant other that she was ignoring all the bad stuff going on around them as they were being attacked during World War II, and she replied that instead she was focusing on what was beautiful (dancing to orchestral music). The dialogue was much more elegant. I have read many times that Cameron Sinclair, the co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, refers to his profession as ‘eternal optimist.’ I am not that. I cannot seem to separate existance of evil as the reason for eliminating it, necessitating much effort on awareness of what is wrong with everything, rather than it being eliminated by default of glorifying what is good. God figures into that somehow. Glorifying Him, loving Him, following and obeying Him because He is Him, not because evil things are not Him. It is in the rhetoric and the attitude. Jesus said that a house clean and left in order but vacant will be reoccupied by more demons than the previous residents; Paul said if he does anything but does not love, it is all in vain. Not doing wrong for the sake of not doing wrong only accomplishes half of the goal.
I want wholesome to be a middle ground that is not ignorant or oblivious with a proclivity to strive and advocate for the amerlioration of God’s creation while not being repugnant/anti-everything, opinionatively and judgmentally outspoken, and pessimistic.
I want to be wholesome because it seems like a better way of life and I cannot define it, and I want to be what I want to be and free of the definitions I have given to everyone.
I am dissapointed that camp is over, and it is likely I will never see them again. I would like to spend more time with them to learn their ways and adopt their behaviors, and because I genuinely enjoyed interacting with them and wish I had more friends like them.