!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> rachman-unprecedented: It's Good to Be Young!


So what is this going to be? A little bit of everything I think. Maybe that's it. What I'm thinking. What I'm believing. I hope what I'm knowing. And why would anyone care what I think I know? There's no reason in the world that you should. But then why are you here? Cuz you have to be somewhere I suppose. I've never been here before. I may not be back. I might get too busy to care; time is short. That's fine. Nobody can deal with it all at once. There is a lot to deal with.

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Location: The Great Plains, United States

I try not to take myself too seriously, but I know I have far too much. So I'm trying to learn how to laugh again, as I had forgotted for a while there. Also I'm relearning to enjoy life; you know, like when we were kids. The biggest challenge ahead is learning how to love God with all my heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. This one is not really that hard when you know the truth. But along with it comes learning to love others as I love myself, and that one is, as they say, "a horse of a whole different color." I think I need to learn to love myself a little more, but the problem may be that I know all these facts about me. Sometimes the facts are simply wrong or they are just stuck in the past. I'm trying to get my facts to line up with the truth. As someone once asked a great man, "what is truth?" If he had only known.

rachman's weblog

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's Good to Be Young!

I admit it. I would have no poetry in my soul at all, if it were not for the fact that I'm a sucker for a poetic lover. Once they whisper those sweet "nothings" in my ear, I am doomed. They might as well put the ring in my nose for they can now lead me around wherever they want.

I think I suggested before that my first love won me over by whispering a Shakespearean sonnet under a summer moon. Actually it was a street lamp peering in from between the curtains, but it was summer all the same. We had strolled through the city park and the air was full of the fragrance of Magnolia blossoms. Well I assume this to be true, as my sinuses were stopped up, it was the south, and those big gaudy flowers were everywhere. It was my first time away from home and I was on my own. I had never been in love and I thought that it couldn't happen to me. I don't know why I thought this, except that I had always been a lonely soul of sorts with little expectation of love. We met in the park and started talking about the book I was reading. It was one of the "Lord of the Rings" books, but I don't remember which one. Today I would probably use something completely different for a pick up, but then, as we were at the "just out of college" age, it was perfect. We talked for hours and I couldn't imagine anyone being more fascinating, intelligent, or beautiful.

We noticed that the "shadows were growing long," and yes, we actually used that phrase, and knew that we couldn't waste much more time on talk. We had dinner together--okay, it was a cheap dinner--remember we were just out of college. But with every laugh, and every gesture, and every glance, which was no longer stolen but indulged, I became more mesmerized and had no clue as to why this time was different.

We spent that afternoon, that evening, and most of that night, together. Sometime during that night, between the pseudo-intellectual banter and the awkward and callow maneuvers of youthful love making, to my surprise, I thought and then said, "I think I love you." I was not new to the "aren't we the intelligent and worldly sophisticates" masquerade, nor to the youthful play of passion. There was something more. That added component that I didn't think I would ever know. There it was and I didn't know what to do with it. The next morning I was scheduled to leave and I did.

We pledged our love to each other, in the love letters we wrote for years, but saw one another only when my work took me back to that part of the country. Our lives were a thousand miles apart, but we thought we were one and we were inseparable. We thought our love would last through eternity. We were young.

During this time, on the eve of one of our separations, we shared this farewell, this valediction:


~ by John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go,

Whilst some of their sad friends do say,

"The breath goes now," and some say, "no."


So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;

T'were profanation of our joys

To tell the laity our love.


Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears;

Men reckon what it did, and meant;

But trepidation of the spheres,

Though greater far, is innocent.


Dull sublunary lovers love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Of absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.


But we by a love, so much refined.

That ourselves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.


Our two souls therefore, which are one,

Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

Like gold to aery thinness beat.


If they be two, they are two so

As stiff twin compasses are two;

Thy soul the fix'd foot, makes no show

To move, but doth, if th' other do.


And though it in the center sit,

Yet, when the other far doth roam,

It leans, and hearkens after it,

And grows erect, as that comes home.


Such wilt thou be to me, who must

Like th' other foot, obliquely run;

Thy firmness draws my circle just,

And makes me end, where I begun.



It's good to be young ~ rachman



Blogger Rob said...

This is a touching story. I find myself wondering how it ended.

The picture at the top is from the film of Romeo and Juliet isn't it?

Sometimes I wonder if youth is such a good time. For many it is a long battle with insecurity.

18/10/06 6:00 PM  
Blogger rachman said...

Hello, Rob, my friend,

The story was originally meant only to introduce Donne's valediction, but as I started to share "just a bit" of it, I felt I needed to explain more and more of it.

As I came to the sharing of the "farewell" I was really kind of relieved that I didn't need to share any more. I don't mind however, since you are gracious enough to ask. (You were asking, weren't you?) Perhaps I should bring it to a close in a post, but I'm not sure that it really deserves an entire post.

It ended like a great bonfire. After about three and a half years of the passion flaring up, consuming our emotions and energies, and then settling back into a warming glow until one or the other of us would stir it back up into flames, it finally came to a sputtering end. I suspect that we both grew weary of our energies being spent on someone on the other side of the continent, who professed love, but was unwilling to do whatever was necessary to be together.

It is just at this moment that I realize that perhaps we were in love with the "idea" of being in love. Or is "first love" always like that? I don't know.

Yes, the picture is from Romeo and Juliet. (Franco Zefferelli--1968)

You're right of course about youth, but as for me, I had just come out of the "awkward" stage and was beginning to love who I was and was ready to love someone else. When I think of myself then, I think of the kids from "The Fantasticks." (Try to remember the kind of September.) This time in life lasts about 15 minutes, so it is easy to let it slip by, don't you think Rob? Rob...Rob, wake up! Sorry, I said I wasn't going to do a post and I did one anyway. I can get carried away at times, but it is so much fun to visit with old and new friends.

So long, Rob,
~ rachman

19/10/06 12:28 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Thanks for sharing that.

19/10/06 5:18 PM  
Blogger S. Scott Craft said...

Thanks for sharing your story about your first love.
Take care of yourself,

20/10/06 7:33 AM  
Blogger rachman said...

Scott, Hello, it's good to hear from you! Thanks for listening to my story. See ya' around.

~ r.

21/10/06 12:04 AM  
Blogger Leo (Leonard) said...

To be frank, I haven't had my first love.
Maybe I am just waiting.
Life is cruel sometimes, and time is limited.
If only I were always young~~~

Really good photo,
and moving story, rachman~

21/10/06 8:53 AM  
Blogger rachman said...

Hi Leo!

What a surprise it was to hear from you. And it is a pleasure to have you come visit my blog.

If I remember correctly you are about 19 years old. If that is correct, then relax. You have plenty of time for that "first love!" I was about 22 or 23 at the time of my story and I never expected it to happen when it did. The only thing you're waiting on is the right person to come along.

And it's a pretty universal feeling that we all want to be young forever. Few of us get that wish granted, for time is short, as you say.

But you are also right that life doesn't always work out the way we would hope. It can seem cruel, but allow me to give some older brother advise. Don't give up. Keep working toward your goals. I told you that I admired your words about "being strong" and I meant it. Those words are an inspiration to me, little brother.

If you have the time and inclination, share with me about what is going on in your life. Are you still leaving the university to work and help the family? I know that is a hard decision for you.

Whatever happens, know that I wish you the best, my young, strong friend.

~ rachman

22/10/06 1:05 AM  
Blogger Leo (Leonard) said...

Well, rachman, I am actually 21 years old now. Sorry to make you confused. In fact, in this year, according to lunar calendar we use in China, Nov.1 is my birthday~~~lol (we chinese people have different days of celebrating birthday each year due to the lunar calendar we use, interesting?)

Another question, do you think it is much better for me to make my blog title "Be Strong" or "Being Strong"? Which one is much correcter?

Well, I do think I had experienced much hard times, but it is also part of my treasure, isn't it? I will tell you more when you want to listen to me,lol

25/10/06 5:32 AM  
Blogger rachman said...

Hi Leo,
Of course I want to listen to you! You are a fascinating young fellow, Leo.

I'm not sure if it is always the case in listening to someone who is learning or mastering another's language, but with you, listening to my language spoken (or reading what you write) is as if I am hearing English for the first time. You come up with phrases that are almost like poetry.

(ex: Well, I do think I had experienced much hard times, but it is also part of my treasure, isn't it?)

You could not have ended that sentence any more beautifully or appropriately if you had been a native speaker.

But on to your questions, observations, and comments. I did notice that you had updated your photo and age the last time I was at your blog. I'm embarrassed that I was off by so many years. I know here in the U.S. it is very important to be 21 years of age. So I'll be first to say, "Happy (Up Coming) Birthday!"

I did not know that about having your birthday on a different day each year. That is very interesting.

"Be Strong" or "Being Strong." Either title is fine. I mentioned being strong only because your title had inspired me to do just that. However "be strong" is my preference for two reasons:

First, "being strong" means you are in the process of showing strength. Many people would prefer this because they don't mind you doing it, they just don't like having someone else tell them to do it. Whereas "be strong" is an admonition or even a command to the reader, both you and me, to do so. I perfer the command because it is a positive and necessary command.

The second reason I prefer "be strong" is because it is a direct quote from the ancient wisdom which I follow:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

You are correct that your hard times have also become a part of your treasure. You are a stronger young man now, because of them. I would enjoy very much listening to you speak of the things you would like to share, and I would be honored for you to let me hear them.

~ rachman

26/10/06 12:12 AM  

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