The Pain of Intimacy

As I write my heart has a knife in it. My lungs buckle under the strain of gasping for breath. Pain spreads over my clouded chest as both Continue reading

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Poetry: Ruth, Chapter 4

And so we come to the final chapter of the Book of Ruth which recounts the tale of the romance of great-grandparents of king David of Israel, the ancestors of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God the Son. In chapter 1 we saw how Naomi brought Ruth, her daughter-in-law, to the Land of Promise after the deaths of both their husbands. The story continued in chapter 2 where we witnessed the meeting of Boaz and Ruth as she and her mother-in-law struggle to make ends-meet. He is kind to her. In chapter 3 Ruth goes to Boaz late at night to ask him to take up their cause and redeem her and her mother-in-law. The story concludes in chapter 4.

The tale of Ruth and Boaz’s love and God’s orchestration was put to verse by John Bunyan (1628-1688), the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress and of many other poems, books and tracts.

RUTH – CHAP. IV.

And Boaz went up to the city gate,

And after a short space, while there he sate,

The kinsman of whom he had spoke, came by,

To whom he said, Ho, [‹1.6›] such a one, draw nigh,

And sit down here. He came and sat him down.

Then he took ten men, elders of the town,

And caused them to sit down. Then to the man

That was of kin, thus he his speech began,

Naomi, said he, who not long since sojourn’d

Among the Moabites, is now return’d;

And doth intend to sell a piece of ground,

The which Elimelech our brother own’d.

And now to give thee notice, I thought fit,

That if thou pleasest, thou may’st purchase it.

In presence of these men assembled here.

Then if thou wilt redeem it, now declare

Thy mind, but if thou wilt not, then let me,

For thou art next of kin, and I next thee.

Then said the kinsman, I will it redeem.

Boaz reply’d, if good to thee it seem,

To buy it of the hand of Naomi,

Thou also art obliged the same to buy

Of Ruth the Moabitess, wife o’ th’ dead;

On his inheritance to raise up seed.

The kinsman said, I cannot do this thing

Myself, lest I an inconvenience bring

Upon mine own inheritance, what’s mine

By right, therefore I now to thee resign.

Now this in Israel did a custom stand,

Concerning changing and redeeming land;

To put all controversy to an end,

A man pluck’d off his shoe, and gave his friend;

And this in Israel was an evidence,

When e’er they changed an inheritance.

Then said the kinsman unto Boaz, do

Thou take my right. And off he pluck’d his shoe.

Then Boaz to the elders thus did say

And to the people, all of you this day

Appear for me as witnesses, that I

Have bought all of the land of Naomi,

That was Elimelech’s or did belong

Either to Mahlon or to Chilion:

And Ruth the Moabitess, who some time

Was Mahlon’s wife, I’ve purchas’d to be mine,

Still to preserve alive the dead man’s name

On his inheritance, lest that the same

Should in the gate where he inhabited,

Or ‘mongst his brethren be extinguished:

Behold, this day, my witnesses you are.

Then all the people that were present there,

And elders said, We are thy witnesses:

May God this woman thou hast taken bless,

That she, like Rachel, and like Leah be,

Which two did build up Israel’s family:

And thou in Ephratah exalt thy name,

And through the town of Bethl’hem spread thy fame;

And may the seed which God shall give to thee

Of this young woman, full as prosperous be,

As was the house of Pharez heretofore,

(Pharez, whom Tamar unto Judah bore.)

So he took Ruth, and as his wife he knew her,

And God was pleased, when he went in to her

To grant the blessing of conception,

And she accordingly bare him a son.

Then said the woman, Blessed be the Lord!

Bless thou him Naomi, who doth afford

To thee this day a kinsman, which shall be

Famous in Israel; and shall be to thee

As the restorer of thy life again,

And in thy drooping age shall thee sustain:

For that thy daughter-in-law, who loves thee well

And in thy sight doth seven sons excel,

Hath born this child. Then Naomi took the boy

To nurse; and did him in her bosom lay.

Her neighbours too, gave him a name, for why,

This son, say they, is born to Naomi:

They called him Obed, from whose loins did spring

Jesse, the sire of David, Israel’s king.

Poetry: Ruth, Chapter 3

On Monday, we read chapter 1 of the Book of Ruth. The story follows the meeting of Ruth and Boaz, the great-grandparents of king David of Israel and the ancestors of Jesus Christ. In chapter 1 we read about how Ruth came to the Land of Israel while in chapter 2 we witnessed the meeting of Boaz and Ruth. The love story continues in chapter 3 as we read John Bunyan’s versification of the story of these star-crossed lovers (these terms I use quite loosely).

RUTH – CHAP. III.

Then Naomi said, Shall I not, my daughter,

Seek rest for thee, that thou do well hereafter?

And is not Boaz, with whose maids thou wast,

One of the nearest kinsmen that thou hast?

Behold, this night he in his threshing floor

Is winnowing Barley, wash thyself therefore,

Anoint thee, put thy clothes on, and get down

Unto the floor; but make not thyself known,

Till he hath eat and drank, and shall prepare

To lie him down; then take good notice where

He goes about to take his night’s repose,

And go thou in there, and lift up the clothes

From off his feet, and likewise lay thee down,

And what thou hast to do he will make known.

And she made answer, Whatsoever thou

Hast me commanded, will I gladly do.

And down unto the floor she hasted, and

Forthwith fulfilled her mother-in-law’s command.

So now when Boaz had his heart refresh’d,

With meat and drink, he laid him down to rest,

Near to the heap of corn; she softly came,

Uncover’d’s feet, and lay down by the same.

And, lo! at midnight, as he turn’d him round,

He was afraid, for at his feet he found

A woman lay. Who art thou? then said he.

I am thine handmaid Ruth, replied she,

Over thine handmaid therefore spread thy skirt,

I pray, because thou a near kinsman art.

Blessed be thou, said he, because thou hast

Made manifest more kindness at the last,

Than at the first, in that thou did’st, my daughter,

No young men, whether poor or rich, go after.

And now, my daughter, be not thou afraid,

I will do to thee all that thou hast said:

For all the city of my people knows,

Thou art a woman truly virtuous;

And now though I am kin and undoubtedly,

Yet there is one that’s nearer kin than I.

Tarry this night, and when ’tis morning light,

If he will like a kinsman, do thee right,

We’ll let him, but if not, I myself will,

As the Lord lives; till morning lie thou still.

And till the morning at his feet she lay,

And then arose about the break of day;

And he gave her a charge, not to declare

That there had any womankind been there.

He also said, bring here thy veil, and hold

To me; she did, and thereinto he told

Six measures full of barley, and did lay

It on her, and she hasted thence away.

And when unto her mother-in-law she came,

Art thou, said she, my daughter come again?

Then what the man had done she told, and said,

He these six measures full of barley laid

Upon me, for said he, This I bestow,

Lest to thy mother thou should’st empty go.

Then, said she, sit still daughter, till thou see

What the event of this intrigue will be;

For till the man this day hath made an end,

No satisfaction will on him attend.

Winds of Change: Days 175-179

Awaiting emancipation

I actually wanted to post yesterday (day 178) but I felt too terrible. I was shivering the whole day, had hot and cold sweats and almost fainted on the train on my way home yesterday afternoon. My mom said I was as pale as if I had never been in the sun before. Each and every muscle in my body contracted and relaxed to it’s own beat. A dissonant symphony. The muscles in my back all the way up to my neck did the Mexican wave. I could barely concentrate on my work. But luckily I finished my allotted portion for the day.

My vision blacked out on the train as I did my best to remain conscious. I didn’t want to collapse and have my bag stolen. I even thought of asking one of the seated passengers to exchange places with me, but thought the better of it. Before boarding the train, I asked the Lord to give me a seat, but He didn’t. In retrospect, I’m glad He didn’t else I would’ve slipped out of consciousness and missed my stop which is only one station away from my work. I also prayed that the train wouldn’t stop in between the two stations as it frequently does. That prayer God answered affirmatively. When I disembarked I grabbed hold of the woman in front of me’s shoulder when I saw that there was no way I would be able to disembark without falling on my face on the platform. My vision still hadn’t cleared up by the time I reached my destination.

As I made my way home my constant prayer was that the Lord would send a bodyguard of angels to protect me and that He would sustain me. My legs were weak and quivered with every step. You can do this, Eleazar! Rome wasn’t built in a day and you are building Rome with every single step you take! Just continue planting your one foot in front of the other.

When I got home my mom and sister were already there. My mom, the worry wort, fussed over me. I let her. I mean I could’ve died. Any woman with a maternal instinct would’ve have fussed over their only son like my mom did. So I got into bed and slept after eating a dry roll and drinking a laxative. My strength returned to me with time.

This morning my sister more than made up for my constipation. She vomited top and bottom. Her bed clothes became soiled in the process. I will spare you the nasty details. But suffice it to say that she is now lying in bed with a whole of rehydration packs and some pills to stop her diarrhea while I’m sitting in bed waiting for some indication from my body that it wants to commence some bowel movements.

Focus on sculpture

I spoke to an American fine art sculptor over the weekend who belongs to my denomination about nudity in art. He was very encouraging. He even wanted to Skype and teach me about the fine art industry. When I told him about the scale at which I intend sculpt initially he realised that he couldn’t help me. I greatly appreciated the affirmation I got from him. He convinced me to sculpt with clay, to start off with nude sculpts in order to get the anatomy and proportions right, and to sculpt maquettes and at the minimum size for a sculpture to be fine art.

So, yesterday saw me contact local sculptors to hear where they purchase their clay from if they work with clay. I got two positive responses so far of the six I contacted: one works with clay, the other with a wax-based substance. I will call the supplier of the clay sculptor later today.

I also bought a book on clay sculpture and a tree anatomy book today. They should arrive at the end of this month. When they arrive I will buy the rest of my clay sculpture tools. I photographed all my tools and equipment for the American sculptor who said that they are more than adequate. But I don’t feel they are. I want to buy larger sized loop tools, a lazy susan (i.e. a round rotating table), wire for armatures and my own set of wire cutters, side cutters and pliers.

Because of the stress I experienced last week, I have become more prone to headaches. The constipation definitely contributed to the headaches I’ve been experiencing.

Saturday night live

I attended a Christian poetry concert this weekend which was awesome. The poems aimed at making you do introspection and recommit your life to Christ. I attended the event because the poets usually support my youth group’s events and because one of our own belongs to them.

Life modeling

Today I came to the decision that life modeling is not for me. Not because I have hang ups about my body, but because I can’t sit still to save my life. Some part of my body must always move. If I try to sit still, I always end up rocking back and forth. So kudos to all the life models out there!

Counting time

Oh yes! Before I end this post there are 99 days left to my second masturbation abstinence anniversary and I’m one day way from the six month mark of my porn abstinence anniversary.

Love is in the air

Do you remember the girl I wrote about the last time where I wrote about the embarrassment that overwhelmed me while I greeted her and her mother in church as we made our way out of the building? (I will have to find the post and link to it tomorrow . . .) Well, she was in church this weekend and was quite shy. My reaction: Oh no, Eleazar! What have you done?! The woman thinks I’m in love with her. Anyway, my cousin who was standing next me with her (my cousin’s) cousin said, “What’s wrong with you, Eleazar? Why don’t you go for her? She’s so sweet.” I was taken aback by that statement. The woman only greeted me shyly after class over the weekend. (I will explain this class setup at a later date.)

To be honest, I like the idea of dating even marrying the lady but I’m not so sure whether I like her. I haven’t seen any bad character traits and her father is a pastor. Her mom and mine were friends. Her dad’s family and my mom’s family basically come from the same region of our country. But, and this is a very superficial reason really, I don’t find her physically attractive. Whenever we spoke I’m guarded. I am not myself. And it’s important for me to be my “unruly” self with the woman I will marry.

What complicates the situation even further is that I may not act the way I usually do when I know a lady likes me romantically. I’m usually cold, distant and almost a jerk about it. So now I don’t know what to do. But, it’s not that big of a deal.

Had she looked differently would I have pursued her? I’d have to answer no. I’m not ready for a girlfriend right now. I’m only six months into my porn recovery and am still finding my feet career-wise and financially. My thesis is not finished yet. So I don’t have time. A girlfriend (or wife) takes time, money and patience. The first two I don’t have much of right now and the latter I have plenty of since I can wait.

If I had all those things at my disposal would I pursue her? No, because I’m not so sure that I love her romantically.

This is going to sound very arrogant: I think my shyness and embarrassment comes from the fact that I know she likes me and that I could “have” if I really wanted to. Both sets of parents (hers and mine) would approve of the relationship.

But yeah . . . I’m leaving it in God’s hands. He knows who I am best suited to be with and who is best suited to be with me. If I am to get over this lack of physical attraction, He will make it happen.