Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Last Glances of MA

From the BU Union Building:

Brilliance concluded.  Lent broken.  Stomach churning with the thought of having to return to the rainy city in just a few hours.  Back to the familiar.  Back to the silence.  Back to routines and friends and everything I know so well.  You love that place: hold on to that thought.

But I can love here, too.  The buildings and the history and the T.  The people I've met in the community and the accents and the used bookstores.  It's new and I like wandering, pretending I belong when I so blatently stand out: west coast vs. east coast in opposition.

I don't want to go home.  Maybe I'm fooling myself by saying I don't like change, that I want everything nailed down.  I love being a stranger.  I love having one completely familiar person to come home to while everyone else is a mystery.  I like just being another face in the crowd: no responnsibility, completely anonymous.  No chance to hurt or be hurt.  No expectations.

I want to graduate and move away.  Live by myself or in a boarding house somewhere.  Learn a new city.  Write a new culture.  Become someone new.

Maybe it's just too esy to fit myself into the mold of who everyone expects me to be.  Changing and growing are scary for others, and therefore supressed.  But here, I can be who I am, without the limitations of expectations.

I will always watch and listen to people, and they will always make me smile.  I need to learn how to love a new people, without skinny jeans and vans, with leggings as pants.  I need to put aside myself.  I need to relearn how to forgive...  That one might be the hardest lesson to engrain in my head.  Mostly because I so strongly just don't give a damn right now.  I would rather stay the way I am.  Fear of change?  I'm confusing myself now.

I need to write this out and look at it.  Why haven't I done that yet?  A possible project for the plane.

Strip bed, drop off key and thank you note, take drugs, pack bookbag, learn to forgive, read McSweeny's.  Assignments

Why is it so hard for me to let go of bitterness?  Really.  When the theme of my life comes directly from "love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sins," how can I hold on so desperately to hatred?  I can't get over being hurt easily.  Oh well... we live and learn to love better.  And I would rather be broken than do the breaking.  All righ, bitterness, it's time for you to take a hike.

Fix novel, do laundry, email Ali, order books, order proof copy, guard heart, read over Michael's notes.  Future assignments.


Monday, March 22, 2010


It was raining today. Eighteen dollars is the price to stay dry whist surrounded by heavily gilded frames, creaking floors, and noisy school tours.

How do you do that with paint?

Silent, empty rooms, just as the galleries have opened. Alone except for the curators, lurking awkwardly too close as wandering happens, trying carefully not to miss anything.

The impressionist room is my favorite. And the flying kids. And the great sweeping corridor with the highest ceilings filled with religious art. Especially that one empty space where stood nothing but wires and a note card.

Wandering, eyes tracing, looking for something that will steal breath; occasionally pausing to read a title, an artist’s name, a short description.

These are souls laid out on canvas.

How is God depicted here? The annunciation, the crucifixion, the trinity, altars, icons, sculptures…

Who is that supposed to be?
Psh, Jesus doesn’t look like that.

Infinite truth in those words, thrown out thoughtlessly by a high school girl. God cannot be encompassed in art.

Museums are like libraries to me. I love wandering slowly, taking time to look at things possibly missed by the quickest movers. What’s in that small frame in the corner of the random off-the-beaten-path room? Yeah, I know what it is.

Don’t step too loudly. Beauty of this caliber deserves reverence. Museums… my kind of place. Quiet, immaculately clean, filled with people and art and inspiration, so familiar yet full of so many new discoveries.

Light: what makes a painting perfect.

Stand just close enough to listen in on a tour group.

These feet are tired from finding freedom. These eyes are heavy with not enough sleep. This mind is racing, loving these moments.

I love being able to be on my own in a city.

It’s typical to have waffles, as you can see the lady is eating waffles, at this feast.

She talks about the lighting… yes! That always makes me want to be a tour guide: to have that much knowledge and be able to pass it on to the world… but how is that helping anyone?

Continuing on.


Written whilst sitting beneath Bandits Leading Prisoners by Dutch painter, Jan Both, (1646, oil on canvas).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Leaving Here [With You]

I get to go home tomorrow, after my one o'clock final.  Last thing to be completed of winter quarter, and then we can put all this madness behind ourselves.

Today is grey and fantastically blustery.  I want to be standing on a pier somewhere, wrapped up in peacoat, scarf, and gloves, having my hair flung about me with the strength of the wind, while staring out at the horizon with stinging eyes.

Just listened to Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand.  It's kind of an odd music mood in which I find myself.  A brilliant song. nevertheless.  Here's the music video, which has an awesome steampunk vibe.

So if you're lonely
You know I'm here waiting for you.
I'm just a cross-hair;
I'm just a shot away from you.
And if you leave here,
You leave me broken:
Shattered, I lie.
I'm just a cross-hair;
I'm just a shot, then we can die.
I know I won't be leaving here
With you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On Provision

Life has sufficiently run me into the ground.

These past months... I don't think I have the words.  Discouragement, uncertainty, shock, accusations, hurt, tears, sleeplessness, silence, heartbreak...

But also peace, certainty, trust, contentment, communication, laughter, understanding, and healing.

I'm slowly learning how to live by being shown how not to live.  By being led patiently by the hand by a loving Father.  By being taught that I can't expect others to love well, how none of us can love well, because our own selfish desires get in the way.  But He forgives, and holds, and heals.

I have nothing but peace from my God.  I beg to continue to be broken down (why stop when we're on such a roll) that nothing would be mine: that it would all be His.

And He provides.  In the moments when those who were supposed to love me most ripped themselves violently away, He never left.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30
Yes, He provides:

With much needed talks with my old roommate while sitting in wooden chairs outside an independent coffee shop whilst eating pie in the early spring sunshine, sharing our struggles and heart breaks and hopes.

With walking onto a familiar floor and having a dear friend recognize me just by laughter.

With sitting in a green round chair with the wind playng songs among pictures pinned to blue fabric, eyes tracing words of genius in an extraordinary novel.

With sitting at a counter, eating a snickerdoodle and drinking hot cocoa at a local bakery and learning about old age while humming along to the Rent soundtrack.

With watching episodes of Glee with two dear friends on a scary floor.

With eating leftover Mexican food and remembering all the fun of Friday night, including Dave's children, the Original Squeeze, and the train going into the tunnel (I love you guys).

With being the opposite of productive for what I'm sure was several hours.

With yelling, "We'll miss you," eating cookies and complaining of a cat-like bacon stench.

With watching X-Men with two of my favorites.

With sitting on the floor of my room, listening to Coldplay, running my fingers through Jill's hair again and again.

With Sunday Funday.

With walks in solitude.

Thank You for not abandoning me, even when all else fails.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On Paper Writing

Raconteurs and hallway sitting.
Bible-thin pages and rapid typing.
Avoiding fun, avoiding thoughts.
One last paper before the end comes.

Flourescents and cinder blocks.
Grey and blue mottled carpet.
Familiar doors and walls and voices.
Background of assertions and evidence.

Reconciliation and discrepancy.
The gap between rich and poor.
A postermodernist parable with
The solution to the problem.

The question of faith and works.
A difference twixt prayer and action.
Hope, rights, disgust, and blood.
Word studies and blue margin notes.

Unable to help - building up walls.
He needs to unlearn distance.
Hell imagery, Biblical allusions.
Parallels and Enlightenment thought.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On Headaches

On Tuesday, I got the idea for a new piece [of yet undecided length] titled BELL CURVE, or the Normal Variance of Emotion Experienced by Any Given Congregation in Any Given Worship Event on Any Given Day.  Sometimes, I really like subtitles.

I want to follow five people, see what their lives are like for a little while, and see why their emotions are as they are in a chapel service on, let's say, a Tuesday morning.  The five variants:  Ecstatic, joyful, indifferent, prayerful, inconsolable.

And then about a minute and a half ago, I came to the realization that I experienced the two extreme ends of my bell curve, only one day apart from one another.  How is this even possible?

On Tuesday, in chapel, blown away by Suzzane Wolfe, adoring the worship, praising God for the sun, for the happiness welling up in my heart; unable to stay still in the peace radiating throughout my life.  What joy!  What blessing!

On Wednesday, crumpled on the carpet of Upper Gwinn, unable to fathom the unique ability I have to hurt others without trying; ceaselessly apologizing to God, unable to do anything at all to alleviate this situation.  What confusion.  What utter sorrow.

Silly writing, being able to predict things that will happen in my life.  Stop that.

Here's an excerpt:
You've never woken up screaming before.  You've woken up abruptly, so many times I've lost count [I don't know if you know that I know this, but I do].  Sitting up with a gasp, the movement of your lofted bed shakes mine down below.  I never know if I should say something ["Hey man, you ok?"], so I pretend to just still be asleep.  But I hear you crying sometimes after these episodes of jolting out of sleep.  But you've never woken up screaming before.  This is different.  You're scaring me.  Are you ok?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On Questions

John Wesley's Small Group Questions:
  1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am?  In other words, am I a hypocrite?
  2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
  3. Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence?
  4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
  5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
  6. Did the Bible live in me today?
  7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
  8. Am I enjoying prayer?
  9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith?
  10. Do I pray about the money I spend?
  11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
  12. Do I disobey God in anything?
  13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
  14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
  15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?
  16. How do I spend my spare time?
  17. Am I proud?
  18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
  19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward, or disregard?  If so, what am I going to do about it?
  20. Do I grumble and complain constantly?
  21. Is Christ real to me?
Just something to think about.

Romans 12:12

Monday, March 1, 2010

On Goodness

All of my life,
In every season,
You are still God:
I have a reason to sing;
I have a reason to worship.
I start again with these lyrics, because they ring so true.

All of my life

Every single day, every single second, He is good.  From the moment I fall asleep until the [few] hours later when the buzzing of my phone brings me back into waking, what more can I scream but words of praise?  You are good.  You are love.  You are provider, protector, planner, author, perfector, everything.

In every season

In the midst of waiting for the bus in the rain after wandering for many a minute around the residential streets of Queen Anne attempting to find that ellusive brick building of the library;
in the midst of sitting on a couch, phone cupped tightly in anxious fingers, imagining two beautiful souls reading rhyming clues and running to various familiar locations to act like fools;
in the midst of screaming rounds of Scattergories, impromptu punch making, Spanish films, and sneaking off the brother floor;
in the midst of moments of crippling doubt whilst standing in a congregation, thoughts that make me want to melt into the floor and never pray again;
in the midst of sunshiney and perfect time walking through booths of typewriters, organic fruit, and old books;
in the midst of hours of reading and nothing crossed off the to-do list;
in the midst of moments of oh shit, what do we do now?;
in the midst of sitting in the hallway, surrounded by UCOR materials, listening to Rhapsody in Blue (and the Glee soundtrack coming from the bathroom), trying to write words that can convey thoughts that are so much bigger than words can hold [I love you.  You amaze me.  Thank you for being in my life.  You are so great.  Keep holding on.];
in the midst of trying to encourage, and always feeling inferior.

You are still God

Thank You.

I have a reason to sing

Um, You are God, even when I'm flipping out, even when I'm stressed about school, even when bills are passing and countries are rattled and roommates are bawling on the other side of a wall and the church is segregated and not Your body and there are no answers to how we're supposed to fix anything... You are God.  You are good.  You hold us.  You have so much more in Your hands, and we are blind and small minded and need to just hold on to You, trusting that it will all be amazing.

I have a reason to worship

Love.  Joy.  Peace.  Patience.  Kindness.  Goodnes.  Faithfulness.  Gentleness.  Self Control.
He lives in me.

I could not be more at peace.