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Belonging









I always find Jack's flashbacks interesting. This week we see that he was told by Achara that she perceives him to be "a leader and a great man" whose greatness causes him to be a "lonely and angry" person. She marks him with a tatto that (on the show) is translated to read, "He walks amongst us, but he's not one of us." Jack says, "That's what they say. That's not what they mean."

So what do they really mean? What is the implication about Jack that is being communicated by the seer's reading of him? Clearly, something about Jack keeps him from belonging. What are your roadblocks to belonging? Have you ever felt like a "stranger in a strange land" no matter where you go?

18 Comments:

Blogger chucklez3 said...

first!!!!!!!

2/22/2007 8:33 AM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

yeah, too often. haha.

2/22/2007 8:35 AM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

What I found most interesting about this episode was the idea of marking yourself. I have 5 tats and am waiting for the appropriate time to get my 6th. I've had it planned for some time, just the right "moment in my life" has not come up yet. I think Jack's idea of marking himself in an attempt to define himself is an important aspect of the mentality behind both tattooing and finding oneself. Each of my tats is specific to a point in my life. They are visual reminders and snapshots of what was going on at that point. Each has a very specific meaning to me. My Native American bear with life sign was my first tat and is a symbol of introspection and self-strength that I've held close to myself since I was 12. My second was a blue electric violin that I got before I got married to represent my personality so that I would not feel lost once my life changed(plus, I really want the real thing but, er, it's $1300 and the tat was $90). THe third I got with my husband on our honeymoon - Celtic knot. He's Irish-American and he got the same one. It was a way for me (Italian/German) to feel connected to his heritage. The fourth was the sanskrit symbol jnana - standing for spiritual knowledge. I was in a yoga phase searching for myself a little at the time. The last one I got the day I left my old job and started my own business and it's my logo. What I'm getting at is that for many people tattoos are less about vanity than about defining themselves.

I thnk what's important about Jack's tats is that perhaps he never saw himself as a leader until the seer saw it in him. WE all saw his mopey leaderishness. But, did he see that in himself? And when he was told this, if he didn't beleive it, then perhaps he needed the visual reminder. So, yes, they may literally say one thing, but what they mean is a personal thing that someone else is not going to ever understand. Meaning does not mean the words, but the underlying belief/reason for the tattoo. I wonder if Jack needs to remind himself that there is more to him than he realized. Perhaps he did not believe he could truly lead, the tattoo then became a mantra for him to help him become what he was meant to be.

Sorry for deviating from the questions presented!

2/22/2007 9:32 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

I so get that!

If I got a tattoo it would probably be my way of defying all the ways past events and people have "marked" me in ways I didn't want. And this is connected to the last thread too with what Amused2BHere said about grieving. It's only been three years January since my dad died. I'm still caught up in grieving his loss, but I'm also grieving the ways he "marked" me, life and soul. I keep having to be reminded that it's appropriate to grieve those hurts too.

2/22/2007 12:25 PM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Also, to get back to Admin's questions, I've always been an outsider. Too nerdy to be cool, not quite intellectually snooty enough to be a nerd.So, I always felt like I didn't fit in. Not just that but, let's just say, my self-esteem not so healthy. Getting tats was sort of my big hand gesture to a lot of what people thought about me. People who didn't know me (and it does tend to be hard) always see me as bubbly, occassionally ditzy, and probably kind of uptight (although I prefer high strung).

Getting tats was something that I'd always wanted to do but that did not fit in with the picture of me that people had. So, when I started getting them, it was kind of freeing. An ability to be myself. To mark myself in the manner that I wanted. To allow my body to show myself.

Ironically, it has both alienated me and helped gain access to a community. Alienated with certain business types (most of my tats are visible, one on the inside of each wrist). A few months ago, a client saw one peeking out of a shirt sleeve and asked if it was new, in a very disdainful voice. I chuckled to myself and answered, "Nope, got it when I got married. Had it for four years." (I'd worked there for two) On the other hand, with my closer/artsier friends, they looked at me when they saw them the first time(s) and were like, "wow, you don't look like someone who'd have a tattoo but that's really cool". It's this weird sort of - if you like it, fine. If not, too bad. It's allowed me to have further confidence in myself b/c I know that what other people think should not impact how I feel about what I've done.

And, for the records, no, I do not regret any of them. As a matter of fact, the jnana one which is big and bright blue and the one that sticks out the most, I knew I should have had made smaller at the time it was done. I was too wimpy to kind of stand up to the artist. In retrospect, that tends to be both my most and least favorite of them all. :-) A continual, large, bright blue reminder of why you should always stand up for what you want.

BTW - for anyone thinking they want one, the inside of your wrist is SO not the place you want to get it if you want little to no pain. Ahem.

2/22/2007 1:58 PM  
Blogger Call Me Betty said...

I have always felt different like an outsider too. My parents are deaf. I grew up in two cultures--Deaf World and hearing world--and learned how to adapt to both without fitting into either well. I was both adult and child in one body, interpreter for my parents and inexperienced guide in the hearing world. The world bewildered me and I was frequently hurt by those around me. I don't have tattoos so the only visual you could see to make me stand out from everyone else is when I use my hands to sign.

2/22/2007 7:59 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

I've been wondering if the feeling of being an outsider/different from others is universal to us? I can't imagine my life without feeling that way. Some, like Betty, may feel it more than others. Having to straddle two cultures definitely can increase those feelings and heartache.

So I'm sincerely asking - Does anyone feel they have always belonged, always been included, or like they weren't different?

2/22/2007 8:51 PM  
Blogger Amused2bHere said...

Twinkle, I think it is human nature to experience loneliness. It drives us to seek out companionship, yet we are prevented from true oneness with others because we are encased in a house of flesh. I believe God created us to need Him, and each other. We need each other (even if we don't want to admit it.)
Remember in Eden, when Adam was created God said it is not good for the man to be alone.

Yet that is what we are. Each of us lives a singular life. How many times in scifi have we seen a telepathic entity enter a human and remark how utterly "alone" we all are?

That's why we feel good when we "belong". We all want a place "where everybody knows your name". I feel a special affinity for those who have lost their parents, for example. Or those who are grieving in general. Loss is loss, and all loss must be grieved (adjusted to) to one degree or another. (Btw, three years is not a lot of time to grieve. Keep going, honey. You'll get there. Remember, you never get over it, you just get used to it.)

I hope Chucklez move goes ok. {prayers and hugs!}

2/23/2007 6:20 AM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

So we should not be surprised when we feel different or alone. It could be a signal that we were made for something we aren't getting naturally.

Thanks for your encouragement, Amused. I know three years isn't long. I just feel so wrapped up right now in grieving the way our relationship should have been and wasn't. Maybe I haven't even gotten to the grief from his death yet? Trying to put myself in Chucklez' place, he just found out about his mom's death but he may have a whole lot more grief related to their past together too and that's valid.

2/23/2007 7:05 AM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Alone vs. Belonging - I think it's an interesting distinction. I think that feeling alone can be more at one point in time. In other words, we all have different experiences as individuals. No one can 100% identify with the experience of another - just like you said here about Chuckles, Twinkle. I think, however, belonging is about community. You can feel as though you are alone even within a community. You can feel alone even within a marriage or close relationship.

Belonging on the other always involves the idea of "group" to me. As for feeling like you belong, I have finally found a community in which I feel comfortable just being me. I think belonging, in that sense, is my group of friends where I know that even if I can't be in the other peoples' shoes, I can try to help in my own way or try to make their lives easier because I want to and because I care about them. To me, that is belonging. Does it mean that I never feel alone, even when we're all together? Gosh no. But, it does mean that I know that when I feel alone I have somewhere to go to try and figure out why/how.

2/23/2007 10:34 AM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

well, i'm here in jersey and settled in. freakin lot of snow falling now. my first day is tomorrow and not sure how well i'll get to work, if at all. just another thorn in my freakin side. ugh. but at least my girlfriend is back. now, hopefully THAT part of my life will finally fall back in place where it belongs. hahaha............eh......

well, again, thanks for all the support peeps.

talk to you all when i have more time.


-----chucklez (dan)

2/25/2007 5:24 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Have a great and safe day at work today! Glad the move went well.

Thanks for the analysis of belonging versus alone, Kvonhard. Good points. Sure is quiet around here without Dark Angel. Hope everything works out!

2/26/2007 3:31 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Ooops! I guess by now it's "Hope you had a good work day." I was having trouble logging in.

2/26/2007 3:32 PM  
Blogger capcom said...

Chucklez, glad your move went A-OK, you have a lot to be thankful for. Well, think on the bright side, on snow days there are many hour-to-few-hour delays for companies and other openings. Sometimes, if it's very bad, everything just shuts down!

Good comments by everyone about belonging, being alone, etc. I also have never felt like I fit in anywhere. For one thing, I was always too goody-goody to fit in with the tough/hip crowd, and too weird to fit in with the straight crowd. I finally got used to it but it took a long time. I like what you said too Kvonhard about being alone when not alone. That's one of the things I learned about judging any relationship that I'm in.....if I feel more alone IN the relationshiop than I did without it, then I need to fix it or get out of that relationship.

I also think that there is a big difference between being alone and loneliness. I can be alone for very long periods of time, and never feel lonely (maybe because I always feel that God is with me everywhere?). I guess I just got used to mostly being on the outside of every clique in the world...old age can do that. :o) I sort of turned into the way Rose is on the island before she found Bernard....just being on my own doing the things that I need to do to get by and live, trying not to sweat the small stuff, MMOB, and keeping the faith. At least that's what I work towards anyway.

It's very true about how in sci-fi stories writers have written about how lonely humans are. I love the comments in the Star Trek ep where the creature in the box inhabits Spock's body and talks about how all alone humans' lives are. Good points on that in the movie Contact as well.

2/27/2007 4:53 PM  
Blogger chucklez3 said...

still don't know what to do about lostnuts. she still "doesn't know" what she wants.

whatever.

i'm done with all this. ugh. my number and email are on the lost community blog.

gotta' go for now.

later.

p.s. life sux.

2/27/2007 5:01 PM  
Blogger Twinkle said...

Dude, chucklez. Times are tough for you right now. Hope you get connected in your new area.

2/28/2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger kvonhard said...

Capcom - I'm with you. Too goody/goody nerdy to be cool. Too artsy to be in the nerd crowd. Oh the ironies. :-) However, I just want to say that I think I was trying to say that feeling alone is lonliness. In reviewing my comments. As opposed to being alone. I am a loner and generally prefer to be by myself. :-) So, I agree that you aren't always lonely when you're alone.

Chucklez - sadly, for the most part, we women rarely know what we want. Heck, it took me 3 years of being married to realize how truly happy I was. That's probably a pretty delayed reaction. You made a leap of faith. Maybe she just needs time to be able to do the same thing...sending good wishes your way.

2/28/2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger Administrator said...

Guys,

Apologies for being MIA. My heart resonates with the "belonging" dialogues. I have very vivid memories of literally being outside the circle of cool kids trying to figure out what they were talking about. In some ways that feeling has translated into my adult life...its certainly unsettling when I notice it.

Chucklez, dude...we are all here for you right now. Praying for you consistently. I told some of my friends about your situation and they have prayed for you too.

2/28/2007 6:50 PM  

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