Monday, June 28, 2010

On the Romantic Implications of Lying

So any psychologist, back-seat therapist, talk-show host, or modern housewife will tell you:  lying in a relationship is bad.  Guaranteed ticket to a quick end.  And yet, every now and then, a little lying can actually improve the relationship.   Let me sum up.. No.. not enough.  Lemme e'splain.

Back when I was in college working on my final attempt (thus far) at completing my degree, I stumbled upon a young lady whom I shared an evening schedule with including a sizable gap in the early evening before our last classes of the night.  How we met is a geeky story I'll save for another time, but the point is, we found ourselves spending our evening break together more and more frequently, and sometimes to the point where we'd just not go to our evening class.  It was the best time I ever had ditching classes. :-)

One particular evening, I had remembered that the symphony was going to have a performance that weekend, and that night was one of their rehearsal nights.  Being that the symphony played on campus at the performance hall, and in the interest of students, their rehearsals were open, and you could take your books in and study to the sounds of whatever classical was on the bill for the weekend.  At least, that's how they used to do it.

That particular night, I found out the hard way that they didn't offer that anymore.  Unknowingly, I took my lady friend to the front doors hoping to get a chance to listen to some music with her, and when we arrived, the doors were locked.   Someone inside had noticed us trying the doors and had asked what we needed.  I explained my understanding of how rehearsals worked, and this gentleman apologized and kindly explained that things had changed and that rehearsals were no longer open.

Disappointed, we stepped away and began walking from the door.  We took a seat at some stonework benches in the courtyard and sat and contemplated what to do next for the evening.  At that moment, I noticed the conductor of the symphony at the green-room door ushering in his musicians for the night, and at that moment, with a little prodding from my lass, I walked up to him and explained our situation and my original impression of how the rehearsals were open.

He graciously explained some particular reason for the change, which I don't recall, but I seem to remember it having to do with money (don't most things?) and that they needed to close them now.

Crestfallen, we began to step away when suddenly, we heard him question us: "Do you have tickets for the performance this weekend?"

I swear to $deity that I wasn't deliberately trying to impress my lady friend when I responded with a timid falsehood.

"Yes.  Yes we do."

"You have tickets to the performance?" he confirmed.

"Saturday evening," I lied with a greater confidence.

"Well..." he said, "I guess then it isn't that big a deal if you guys come in tonight."

My jaw hit the floor.

"Please come in," he ushered us into the green-room,"and if anybody asks, tell them you are my guests."

We quickly obliged, thanked him profusely, found good seats, and vibrated with excitement of what we had just done!

As the orchestra seated and tuned, the original young man who stopped us at the front doors wandered by and remembered us.   He walked up and asked how we had gotten in.

As we had been instructed, "We're guests of the conductor!"

He paused a moment, smiled rather largely at the pair of us, and said, "Good for you!" and wandered off.

We were masters of our domain that night.  King and queen.  The symphony played for US!

It was that night that I fell in love with Rachmaninoff's Concerto #2.  And further in love with a certain brunette goddess.  The swells and the tension of the piece were overwhelming!

While things didn't work out in the end (and not as a result of any lying. hehe), I still look back very fondly of that evening, and to this day, my heart soars every time I hear that particular Rachmaninoff concerto.  :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Praying For World Peace

If you've never read this blog before and are just now reading this piece, I recommend that you spend some time getting acquainted with the archives.  In there, I include a lot of the prejudices that lead me to feelings and conclusions I will address in this particular post.  Take it as you will.

No matter what religion or system of belief that involves the ritualistic worship and deification of some higher being, I find that in my opinion, there is a prevailing fallacy present in almost every case to which many if not most practitioners fall victim:  The idea that prayer, unto itself, is a predominately viable  solution to resolving problems.

Catholics do it.  Pagans do it.  Even ecclesiastic fleas do it. (Sorry.. couldn't resist).

But in my experience, rarely does anybody think to address all that can be accomplished in the physical plane before jumping straight to the spiritual.

Need a job?  Light some candles and burn some incense.

Home life suck?  Say some rosaries and go to Mass.

Feeling down on yourself?  Go to Temple and do some baptisms.

Heaven forbid we work a little harder at networking people and sending out some more resumes... or directly address some of our problems at home.. or think about and act upon the non-pharmaceutical factors in mood and well being.

Personally I'm undecided on the issue if prayer does anything more than to self-placate and soothe ourselves, or if it may have some connected property that tips fate in our favor.  But I know unequivocally that using ONLY prayer is a great way to become disgruntled with your deity.

The old Christian saying about God helping those who help themselves isn't just a boot-strappy Libertarian agenda.

In my opinion, if God(s) is up there offering us a nudge here and there based on our willingness to pay them homage, they aren't going to go out of their way if the most we're doing is standing there like a spoiled petulant child with our hand out, pointing and praying at the emptiness of our palm.  Rather I find it more likely that should we put forth every effort we have to do what we need to do, and in doing so find ourselves at a tipping point and at that point pray for help, it is then that they will be more likely to tip in our favor as an acknowledgement of our efforts.

I respect those whom use prayer as a giving of thanks and as a means to offer help and support to others.  And certainly as a means of meditation and introspection. And I don't really begrudge people asking for help for themselves as long as they are making their own efforts and not just looking for a supernatural hand-out.  As for others, karma will do its part, and it ain't pretty.