Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Today, today we, today we are

Sometimes, I think I just need to write things down in these little black and white words. Fall is here, hear the yell. Back to school, ring the bell. FALSE. It is not fall; unless very much mistaken, my calendar still reads august. But the rain did pour today, as I sat in the basement eating apple slices with only my back teeth.

Sometimes, I can be singularly impressed by a sentence, ignoring entire tomes to sit and stare at eighteen words. Oh so impressive.

When I was in seventh grade I had a dream that I went to the Oscars with the entire cast of Lord of the Rings. Just a fun fact about me.

Today is sleepy: time for melancholy music and watching the rain and trying to build a novel out of one impressive sentence.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

think think think

too much fun has been had, i think.
daddy jeans and towheaded kids.
coffee by the sound and secret girlfriends.
shaky hands and nerding out.
my heart beats too fast often,
but sometimes too slow.

like time.

it breaks my heart to say goodbye to you.
be safe.
have fun.
you will make friends, i promise.
its impossible not to love you.
i love you so so much.

hey anna, did you see the ginger kid?
over there, rolling in the grass!
the one the other kids are kicking?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


What Matters More
Derek Webb

You say always treat people like you'd like to be.
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality;
You love when people put words in your mouth
About what you believe,
Make you sound like a freak.

'Cause if you really believed
What you say you believe
You wouldn't be so damned reckless
With the words you speak:
You wouldn't silently consent
When the liars speak,
Denying all the dying of the remedy.

Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?

If I can see what's in your heart
By what comes out of your mouth
Then it sure looks to me like being straight
Is all it's about;
It looks like being hated
For all the wrong things;
Like chasing the wind
While the pendulum swings.

'Cause we can talk and debate
Till we're blue in the face
About the language and tradition
That He's coming to save,
And meanwhile we sit
Just like we don't have give a shit
About fifty thousand people
Who are dying today.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Now that's encouragement

Goodness.  Both the exclamation and the noun.

Yesterday, at Neilsen's:
I love this place.  It's the happiest place in the world.  There is light, coffee, pastries, happy little old people, strangers walking by outside just begging to be written about.  Oh, and a small beam of sunshine named Holly.

Thank you for this moment to not have expectations.  To sit and sip and read.  To escape from the sun, but still feel the summer.  To know that I am known.  Because there is great value in that.
Today, Jill and I walked down the ninety degree streets of Seattle, talking of religion and truth.  That is my most favorite.  I have learned to love answering questions with, "I don't know."  And I've learned that there is no shame in that answer.


My pastor asked me out to coffee to talk of Iona and Celtic Christianity.  I am more than excited.  I am also indescribably encouraged that someone so wise [and so cool] thinks the Celts had it right.  I was getting a little worried that my grafting onto their version of Christianity wasn't the best of plans.

But really, I think they are great.  I'm not sure about the assurance of angels, but I have to hold so tightly to the belief that everyone seeking the sacred truth of God [no matter under what name] to to be wholly respected and accepted.  This is so difficult to implement in reality, but if this is a part of our foundation, it's a good place to start. 

I have to accept that we are not doomed, that there is choice everyday, to encourage or destroy.  But the tension this brings up in regards to the redemptive work of Jesus is troubling: isn't that something not to be questioned?  Anything that undermines or weakens the power of Christ's death and resurrection...  but perhaps there isn't a lessening, but a necessary new emphasis on the resurrected Christ, and his continued work and presence in us - this is how we see new creation every day and how God is still at work in our world.  And I do love that; I feel as though the crucifixion is often too heavily emphasized to the detriment of the power of the resurrection.  Without the latter, the former means nothing.

It's hard though; you still have to question a lot of things: When someone walks up to you and says, "Why is there evil in the world?" what is your answer going to be?

To be hope-filling in the world, life-giving; not hopeless and life-draining.  This is what I subscribe to.  People of hope, harvesters of light.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Parking Lot Prayers

I should not drink coffee.  Honestly and truly, I think it's unhealthy.  My hands shake, my brain sort of feels like it's floating above my head, everything is the smallest bit more unstable, my heartbeat makes itself painfully known, and anxiety is heightened one hundred fold.

After sitting outside Cafe Fiore with Jill and Paul, sipping an iced latte, watching an Australian and his dog, talking too much about housing for next year, we set off in the little green camry to drop Paul off at Pacific Place.  This is five-thirty: hello, rush hour in Seattle.

Too many cars.  Pedestrians crowd the zebra stripes, making turns impossible.  That light is yellow, this street is one way.  Inching forward, while Mumford & Sons seem to be screaming about raining down.  Drop off Paul.  Jill really has to pee.  Where does this road go?  Oh my gosh, bicyclers - please don't let me accidentally run you over.  We're going to be so much later than we told Mom.

Heartbeat is deafening.

Walgreens parking lot: Jill dashes off.  Turn off the stereo.  Turn off the car.  Pry shaking fingers from around the steering wheel to lie limply in my lap, palms upturned to the roof.


I explain my freak out, how it's silly and I know it's so.  I apologize.  I say thank you.  I breathe deep.

And we're all going to be ok.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Pastor Phelps

Hold your sign and scream at me
And I’ll scream right back, honey.
Picketing soldier’s funerals doesn’t
Make what you believe the truth.
You’re so sure about your ‘elect’ness
But I’m sure about my God’s love.
I wish I could sit down with you over
A cuppa and talk and talk and talk.
Where are you from? Who is your
Family? Who do you love? What
Is significant in your life? Can you
Tell me your life story? Please?
Because standing on either side of
This street, with respective signage
And screams won’t change either of
Our minds. Can I listen to you? Will
You talk instead of preach? Will you
Listen, in turn, to what I have to say?
Next time I’m in Kansas, I’ll look you
Up and find out.

Rules are made for

Show, don’t tell.
I take things terribly personally, but you’ll never know. I’ve taken after my trusty stuffed animal friend with my propensity for burying.
Write what you know.
I joke about being afraid of rejection, but it’s based wholly in a true and crippling fear. What did I do wrong? Why are you leaving?
Avoid clich├ęs.
I fall in love at the drop of a hat.
Don’t underestimate your reader.
I think I hide this better than I actually do.
Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.
I play the piano to drown you out.
Don’t split your infinitives.
I want to boldly speak my mind, but I can’t [won’t].

Monday, August 9, 2010


J: what time are we leaving tomorrow morning?
A: like 8:20.
J: and it takes half an hour to get there?
A: about thirty five minutes.  But I always leave extra time in case the bridge goes up.
J: does it ever go up?
A: only when I'm late, and then it always does.
J: kind of like that one law.  Who was it?
A: Milton's law?
J: No, that's not it.
A: Newton.  No, wait that's a real one.
J: Smith's...
A: Murphy's Law!
We're in college.

Lead me to the truth

“Anna, do you have quiet time?”
I skipped around this question, skirting the tickling guilt of a blatant “NO” staring at me bluntly.
“What does it mean to live as a Christian? And are you living that way yourself? Wow, that was a lot more profounder than I thought it would be. And then I said profounder and ruined the moment.”
I don’t get it – we could talk forever [and I mean that, probably for years on end] about these topics and ideas of church and worship and Christianity and prayer and ‘quiet time’ and community and what do you actually believe? Can you articulate it?

It’s fascinating to me to talk with people [ok, let’s be real, listen to people] and get down to the core of what they believe. Where are your views coming from? What ‘truth’ is ingrained in your theology?
“And are we sinful because we sin or because it’s in our nature?”
“It’s in our nature.” No hesitation.
“Interesting. Continue.”
Where are you getting truth from?

The Bible.
From pastor’s lips.
Books on spiritual formation.
Moments on top of mountains.
Song lyrics.
Blog posts.
Are you going to tell me that my truth is wrong?

This summer has been good to me, especially these last days. The time spent with Jill, with Val, with Nate, all the conversations, all the music obsessing, all the thoughts.  It's just been good.  Shakespeare and coffee dates and Aslan in the car and letters and hugs and love. 

God's restorative power has been displayed in so many ways [who knew I could heal?  who knew family could be so close?  who knew we could be friends again?  who knew we had so much in common?  who knew the security in speech?].  I am unworthily learning how to speak with my God, what prayer means, why it is important.

New ideas [too many of them?] circle in my mind, mixed with literature, harmonies.  How can an evening spent hiking on an island in Scotland, buffeted by the wind, watching the sunset on the longest day of the year hold just as much meaning as an evening spent making dinner and watching RENT with a dear friend?  Significance is where you place it.

Be floored by a moment today.  Let it take your breath and leave you reeling with its importance.  If it's a stranger holding open a door, a moment where all you can hear is the birds in the tree outside your window, someone who is genuinely glad to see you, or God's audible voice screaming at you to just shut up and listen!

I don't know if it's the caffeine talking, the high from the double bass and banjo, or something akin to joy... but time is stretching boundlessly before me.  And I'm so thankful for the chance to see where I'll end up.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Smell of Smoke

I wash my feet in the too small sink:
Grime of Garden's gold [grey] granules
Slips in spirals down the drain.
Kristina makes everything into a musical reference.  Like Alex, the Fire Nymph: THE MUSICAL!
High school pals: I'm glad we're still close.
Let's hang out more.


Friday, August 6, 2010

A day for

Today is a day
For summer clouds
For listening to Mumford & Sons
For nerding out
For dark chocolate covered edamame
For sleeping in
For buying composition books
For house cleaning
For sending text messages, emails, letters
For cat cuddles
For questioning your disappointment
For list making
For sun breaks and leftovers
For thoughts.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Sit back and breathe, drinking up your words so fast I’m worried I’ll choke. You [have a gift, are richly blessed with talent, understand, see beauty, seep out truth, amaze me, are so essentially yourself]. Thank you.

I don’t think I have deep thoughts like that, so thank you for voicing that which I know is true but am not able to speak or write or even think.

I feel unworthy to sit in the presence of your words.

You’re so fucking brilliant. I need you in my life.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Awake, my soul

You’ve got to know that God is friggin’ sweet:
When you spend days just wishing for amends,
Or sleepless nights of wanting to retreat
Into a world where answers are the ends.
And God says, boom, ‘Just try to ignore me:
You must know that I love you, my sweet child.
And just because I might not choose to speak
Does not mean you’re alone out in the wild.’
I laugh. Oh God, you know me top to tip;
With ever perfect timing, you can make
Me, reverent, silent, draw a breath and sit
In awe of all you do for just my sake.
I’m thanking you, the only way I know:
With words [and rhymes and rhythm just for show].

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Friend Crush

Slides click by
Silently, it seems.
This is a sanctuary filled,
Bulging at the seams.
Wrapped in a fleece and baggy grey jeans, soft spoken,
A sweet still stutter, too.
“Matt; nice to meet you.”
Stolen breath, a hand pressed to a heart.
Watching the back angle of your part –
Jaw works with worshipful words,
Smiles quickly and freely when Papa D.
Speaks of cities [which God loves more than trees].