Sunday, December 20, 2009

The only moment we were alone.

It always comes as an understatement: Music is powerful. I seem to be reminded of this most of all when I listen to something instrumental. As someone who loves language, writing, and words, I look for the lyrics first in a song. The lyrics are a big deal to me. They need to be clever. Whatever words are used, they need to be clever. And there's no limit to how this can be done. I've heard songs with short and simple repetitive words, and I've heard songs with phrases and words I've never heard of or would never think to put together, and they all are brilliantly written. It's not the words that are used, it's how they're arranged. If I can predict the next line in the song, it's usually a poorly written one. I love lyrics.

But without the lyrics, the song still stands. It's the instrumental stuff that pierces me because sometimes it's not about words. Sometimes I just need to shut up. One of my favortite stories (probably made up, who knows) was about Beethoven going to visit a friend mouring the death of a loved one. Beethoven never spoke a word at this visit. He simply went to his friend's piano, played a song, and left. The friend said he received more comfort from that visit than from anyone else's.

On Sunday mornings I have a brilliant and talented group to lead me in worship. They know and love their music. Sometimes, my worship leader can go a whole song without ever opening his eyes. That's power. To be taken somewhere else entirely by an arrangement of sounds. Music is powerful. Beautiful. When you see someone that lost, the words don't matter anymore. Perhaps even the music doesn't matter anymore. It's all been blended into a collection of somethings that takes you ...... somewhere. And you're lost. But right where God wants you. I'm listening to Explosions in the Sky right now and I gotta say, it does a pretty good job of clearing my head. That's nice at the end of the day. It wouldn't work if the song was cluttered with words which would only clutter my mind more.

So many of my greatest blessings were experienced with music in the starring role. Tonight at our Christmas service, our worship leader played my favorite worship song. It wasn't planned, it was the last one, and I never hear anyone do it in church anymore. I usually have to sing it to myself to hear it. But God can do anything. For me. On the way back to my house on July 27, 2009, I was stuck in a traffic jam. Never think your day can't get any worse. Sitting in a daze of hardest loss I've encountered, what should come on the radio station that rarely comes in? That song where every word and sound matches your every thought and feeling at that time. Because God can do anything. For me.

"Music is a fair and glorious gift of God," a random piece of wood on a wall once said. Indeed.
"We'll sing and dance in heaven," Grandma once said. I sure hope so. Because I think "pretty music" is in the definition of heaven somewhere. Along with "smells like chocolate chip cookies" and "Bekah will finally be able to play the violin."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

And so the warmth and fragrance fade as the mug empties for my consumption.

Sand castles have been on my brain recently. As I spent Sunday afternoon by the ocean and created a few things with my creativity, I began to ponder why I bother. Sometimes I feel as if all my actions are merely sand castles waiting to be trampled by other feet or just nature herself.

My actions are impermanent. And it doesn't matter where I work. I could work with stone or rock, but water will eventually corrode that as well. All material actions mean something for a while, but time always destroys gradually the effect of such effort.

So I try not to be materialistic. All my clothes will wear out. All my cleaning will be uncleaned. And my skin will not always be so smooth. So my energies should be spent on words and music and food and homemade salsa with fresh celantro and lime juice and jalepenos and sweet onions and mmmmm......

Every time I spend money on something for pure enjoyment, I have to try not to regret it. I've never been in trouble, so I shouldn't stress too much about it. But I always feel like I could have not spent it. But at the same time, I don't want to turn down all invitations and lose friends so I can save ALL my monies to do something absolutely spectacular by myself because I have no friends. But I haven't been doing that either. So I guess I'm okay and ranting for nothing.

Why do I worry... I've added nothing to my life. If anything I feel like I've shortened it because I wasted time. How about I not do that anymore?

I'm currently reading James Patterson's When the Wind Blows and listening to Rosi Golan.

Also I have a Harry Potter snuggie. I know you're jealous.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cinnamon sticks.

My new favorite music for rainy days is Rosi Golan and the Dan in Real Life soundtrack. Just listen to it, and you'll want to do nothing but lay on the couch and sip coffee while you stare out the window. I promise.

Rainy days can become boring. But I've learned how to knit, and that's taken up much of my time for the day. And don't bother with the old lady jokes, I've heard them all. I even sat in a rocking chair with a lap blanket while I worked on my scarf today. Also I have a stack of books that are needing to be read by me this Christmas vacation, so I guess I'll just say bring on the rainy days! just don't flood my driveway, please.

Time to reflect, as that is what rain does when it keeps us inside. So far no new reflections have surfaced. I wish so-and-so were still here. I wonder how things would be different if such-and-such happened. I should have done this-and-this differently.
And then there's the constant in the back of my head: Be better.

It's quite tiring. Always having to be better. I know God doesn't want to leave me the way I am, but sometimes I wish he'd just back off. Can I just be messed up for a while? It's such hard work having to be better. But then time goes by and I realize that I haven't done any work. And I'm still not better. So I really shouldn't complain about having to work so hard because I haven't.

Oh God make me better.

And my room smells like cinnamon because my Secret Santa friend gave me a broom so I can finally play Quidditch! And it smells like cinnamon. Perfect! Because it isn't Christmas unless life smells like cinnamon. I mean that. It is an established fact. A fact established by me.

Done rambling. So all I have to say is please stop and smell the cinnamon. Please just sit by your window and stare at the rain. Please don't rush anywhere, and take your time with your coffee.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I've decided POA is one of my favorites. After HBP.

And then that might change after Deathly Hallows. I'm talking about the movies, not the books. Actually I think it's the same with the books. So nevermind. Also, my dog will be named Harry Potter. Yes, I am pulling a Lorelai. Also, also, what is up with Ron's wardrobe in POA?

In other news, I've finally started watching True Blood at the urging of the coffee girl.

. . . um . . .

That's all I have to say about the show so far.

Speaking of Louisiana, I'd really like to go to New Orleans. SO if someone knows someone that would let me stay there for free so I can explore Cajun country, that would be awesome. I love French and Frenchish things. I'll be in France in a year to get the French things, so I just need a trip to New Orleans to get the Frenchish things.

Meanwhile, I'm having a fascination with Bohemian and Romani cultures. I don't know why, but something attracts me to these simple and unattached lifestyles. And yet, in it's unattachedness, there's strong ties among those in the culture. Besides that, they all just look so cool! And those Roma people have pretty skin. Maybe I'll find me one and I can have pretty skinned babies. I think what I love, though, is the unconventional lifestyle.

Honestly, I don't know how well I'd adjust. I do love the idea of being untied, and I already have the free spirit part down, but I like to have some conventionality. Obedience is necessary for anyone to live. And yet perhaps that isn't even an issue. Because, even if one is disobedient to one authority, it's because they're being obedient to another. There is always something or someone we're going to follow. So really, no one can accuse them of being disobedient to authority because they are being obedient to their own laws. SO THERE.

And I'm on Twitter. I don't know. You should follow me. I'd post a link but I don't know how.
Oh yeah that reminds me of what else I wanted to say! I'd like to be more computer savvy. I should make a list of all the things I want to do, and maybe I'll have a friend who will show me all those things and when I get rich, I'll buy an island and name it after them. Maybe. If so, I can move to LiveJournal and do more things.

And since I can't seem to find a "listening to" or "currently watching" thingie on here I'll just tell you I'm listening to the Hush Sound and watching Prisoner of Azkaban and I'm not reading anything. Oh yeah that reminds me of what else what else I wanted to say!

Christmas break projects 2009:
  • learn to knit and make Gryffindor scarf
  • read lots of things
  • road trip
  • be lazy
  • and look awesome doing it

Ok I think that's all. For real. I love all you peoples.

Monday, November 30, 2009

IT'S F.I.N.A.L.S. Y'ALL!!!!!!!!!!

It's also after midnight and I have no reason to be awake. I mean, I have no exam tomorrow so it's not like I'm studying or anything. I do have one on Wednesday at 11:30 which will probably take me around 2 hours, and I might do good to get a good grip on the information before the day before the exam, but come on, really who does that?

On an exciting note: we no longer have to check out with our CA before we leave for Christmas if we're coming back next semester. Yaya! Praise the Lord, that was such an unnecessary hassle. I mean come on, we're coming back, do we really have to go through watching you snoop around so you can just say, "ok cool you can go"? No worries though. I can finish my exam, pack up, clean so I won't get charged and fly away! Well not really. I have to be somewhere on campus at 7:30 so really I'll just be killing time. And considering that I sorta live in town, I'm kinda not going anywhere. So the excitement is a bit... um... dumb.

Also on my mind: thirty-second soulmates. "What are those" you ask? Oh, well allow me to enlighten you on such things. Thirty-second soulmates are the names I have given for those people (mainly strangers) who share a moment so wonderful with you that even though you'll never see them again, you feel all light and giddy inside knowing that for those thirty seconds you were perfect for each other. Or maybe that was just me.
I've had three thirty-second soulmates so far.

First one:

Freshman year. On campus, walking to Cromwell alongside the white not-picket fence bordering the Dem school field beginning to cross the street in front of the art building. I'm passing a guy in a yellow running suit.

Guy in yellow running suit: on cell phone rambling nothing important to me


Guy in yellow running suit: rambling blah blah BLESS YOU blah blah


Guy in yellow running suit: rambling blah blah AGAIN blah blah

Me after having passed him: THANKS! (i think i might love you can we be friends what's your name you're kinda cute)

Second one:

Some camping trip last summer. Sitting on a picnic table staring at random guy's back. Dude, even that was pretty.

Me and random guy: start singing the same song at the same time that someone randomly brought up in random conversation that I cannot for the life of me remember Oh why can't I remember it????

Third one:

Starcucks. Weekend of Little Sister's birthday in Eastern Shore trying to order a chai latte. mmmm.

Me trying to say "grande chai latte" and "medium chai latte" at the same time:uagmahduhfsdjhdlfkjhghrguihsd. sigh.

Starbucks barista: ?

Me talking slowly: Can I have a medium chai latte, please? (giggle.)

Starbucks barista: It's okay (laugh). There are no words to describe how awesome a chai latte is!

Both of us: Laugh.

Shut up y'all. These are my moments. I'm keeping 'em.

Grace & peace,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meanwhile... in a town called Spoons...

Went to see New Moon on Sunday... wasn't bad. I liked it. I mean, I didn't leave the theatre wide-eyed and keeping my fingers crossed for the Oscars, but I was very well pleased with the production. And of course I loved the storyline. But I like romance in books and movies, so it's not that surprising.

With this story on my mind, I want to take a moment to express my irritation with Twilight obsessed people. I'm not just talking about the ones that sigh and squeel every time an Edward or Jacob shows up on a TV or a magazine cover or a door to Burger King. I'm also talking about those that sigh and roll their eyes and talk about how much it sucks and how Meyer ruined the vampire image and how it wasn't that great of a book and how Bella's an anti-feminist and whatever else came next that I tuned out.

I will say this one more time. I know I've said it before, but that doesn't stop people from complaining. Stephanie Meyer is not a bad writer. I think she has many strengths when it comes to fiction and painting imagery with words. I may not consider her works to be worthy of the classics, but I'm also sure there were many who were pissed when Dickens or Poe or Twain were put among them. If you want to go there, then I'll ask, what exactly makes something classic? As I think over this, the only response I can come up with is that it has to be so widely recognized and loved by the masses, that it becomes something timeless. Timeless=classic. It is so popular that it will be passed on to our kids. Classic -- because it's timeless. So basically, it is society (with their notoriously ever-changing popular viewpoint) that decides what is classic. And you know what? That's how it's always been. I guess in that case, Twilight could be on its way to "The Classics."

I don't have a problem with that. Again, if it's society that decides this, then what can I do? I don't have to like it. If having "Twilight" everywhere annoys me, so what? There are many things so much worse in this world, why would I dwell on a cult classic that will be replaced by something else in about 5 to 10 years? But the thing is, I do like it. I like the story. As stated before, I like that kind of thing.

As for her ruining the vampire image, well... that argument just sucks. Who owns the rights to non-sparkly vampires? Nobody. Guess what, y'all? It's her mythology. She created this world. She had the freakin dream, let her put it in the story. It's not a story that revolves around vampires anyway. It's a love story that just happens to have vampires involved. In fact, I may have been even more impressed with this than if she had just followed what had been decided about vampires long ago. She writes fiction. Fiction is creative writing. The thing about creative writing is that we get to do what we want. We get to CREATE. We get to do new things. We get to throw everyone else's rules out the window because following what everyone else does is not creative. Duh. If you like the other kind of vampires better, then go read about them and stop complaining.

As for the anti-feminism, well... I say just shut up. Bella chose what she wanted to do, and isn't that the foundation of feminism? She chose it. No one forced her into it so stop whining, feminazis. Geez.

If I have annoyed anyone with my love of the story, I apologize. Just so you know, this hasn't received any more attention than anything else I've fallen in love with in the past (such as Harry, Stars Hollow, the Winchesters, most recent crush). I'll do my best to be better. I know it's not easy. We, who claim to have a life, are rather annoyed with those who don't and live in this fantasy world of books. But I say just let them. They're not hurting anybody. Yet.

Next time you hear fifteen-year-old what's-her-name fawning over a Cullen or Quileute, just ignore it. By having to lash back all the time you become one of them -- an obsessed Twilight person. So don't let it get to you. And let me enjoy the movie. Thanks!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Before you stone me...

Concerning the recent announcement that the governor will request a merger with the W and MSU, I would like to say that I am in favor of it. I do realize all that it could possibly entail, but my position comes from, I believe, a practical view.

There are many (faculty, students, and alumni) who are beginning to strategize in order to fight this "tooth and nail" (as one professor eloquently put it). I, however, would like all of us to simply breathe, slow down for a few seconds, and realize


It very well could be months before any final decision is made, and even if the state does decide to merge, the transition could take a year or two or three... I don't know... No need to freak out. Yet.

But back to the reason I approve of the merger. Let's say we all band together to wage this battle to save this university, and we win. The question I ask is, what exactly are we saving? We are still going to be left with a university that is struggling for money, struggling for students, struggling for faculty, struggling for more and better programs, and struggling for a better campus.

I recognize the fear that all of the W, its history, its personality, its traditions, and its specialization in women's studies and history, will be absorbed and essentially lost in the ginormous institute that is MSU. And I do greatly love the W for all these things. I like the smaller classes. I like that the professors know my name. I like that I can walk to all my classes and save my gas. I like that we have social clubs instead of sororities full of carbon copies. Of course I don't want that to be lost. But my hope is that maybe it won't have to be. I don't see a problem with both campuses offering core classes. MSU is a technical school. They can keep that. We can keep all our specialties as well. We can keep our housing. There's no need to require students to drive between towns to get all their classes.

I also recognize the fear of job loss. And that point is not easy to debate, so I won't. I only know that the W was already planning on cutting 70 jobs over the next two years. Well to be more accurate, I only heard that and I'm not sure of the original source, so I really don't know for sure.

In the long run, I believe a merger will be the best decision. The state does not need (and cannot support) 7 universities. And it especially does not need two universities half an hour apart. I know the tradition, "Boys go to State, girls go to the W. We're sister schools." But change is inevitable. I say embrace it, and make it work for you. If we could keep our personality and history, then what will it hurt? If we become a fine arts extension, those with degrees from here not in fine arts may not have to worry, employers might just look at the MSU part of the name. And for those who, being caught in the transition, fear having to completely restructure their schedules, don't worry. I believe that State will have to honor what y'all have already done and not require you to switch to their curriculum, which may require starting over. I think they will let you finish as if you were at the W.

That is my opinion and my position. For those who oppose this, go ahead and do something. However you feel, there's no need to sit by and watch things happen. Be active!

My only request: please wait until I graduate. I cannot afford MSU's tuition. That is, after all, why I came to the W.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My ultimate dream(s)

First: to be a roadie. That doesn't sleep with the band. Well, unless I'm married to one of them I guess. I do want me a musician:) I'd like to be with the band but not in it. And I like travelling. And I love music. So that sounds good, doesn't it?

Second: to open my own business. A cafe that everyone loves because I'll be open early for the mommies with kids and I'll be open late for the students. And I'll have wireless internet. And I'll be able to afford a staff so I don't have to work all the time. And I'll have a store with it too, and we'll sell fun things like Vera Bradley crap and monogramed toilet paper and "after you go" spray and homemade candles and soap and coffee mugs that don't have another like it. And they won't be name brands. And I'll also give away free recipes instead of coupons at the register. Well maybe I'll give away coupons. And it'll smell like chocolate chip cookies. Until it starts to hurt my business. And it won't be crazy expensive!

Next on my mind is that I'm turning into an all-things-organic lover as long as it tastes good and I recognize it and it's not too much out of my wallet (as all-things-organic likes to have as a characteristic). For example, yesterday I bought a bottle of Naked All Natural Fruit + Boosts superfood. It's blended juice that tastes like a smoothie. My particular flavor is Blue Machine and it has 57 blueberries, 6 blackberries, 6 3/4 apples and 2 1/3 bananas. AND it comes in a 100% recyclable & recycled bottle. AND it's rain forest alliance certified (I don't know what that means actually, but it sounds nice). It cost me about $4, but it's 32 oz. and there's no sugar added and it's worth it because it's way more than you'd get for the same price-ish at a coffee shop that shall remain unnamed.

I used to get annoyed with the environment activists (still do sometimes) because I thought they took things too far, but really, how is it so bad to recycle more or reuse the other side of your paper before you throw it away? Or make sure you get every drop of that lotion before you discard the bottle? Or throw your leftover food outside instead of in the trash can? There's no way to avoid using and wasting energy, but what does it hurt to at least attempt cutting back? If anything, you'd also be saving money because you don't have to buy trash bags as often if you don't fill your trash can as much. I think it's a good thing.

And when I become a roadie, we'll use vegetable oil for the bus that will be the location of the creation of my great novel.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I didn't sign up for this.

It's quiet right now. As quiet as the city can get. Phone's silent. Well it was until Melissa just texted me. Roomie's gone. Music's ended. TV's off. Three months ago I would have gladly soaked this in. Three months ago, I had a life I thought was put together.

It wasn't what I would have called put together then, but after realizing how worse things could get, it definitely looks put together compared to now.

My days are never easy, nobody's are. And even though this last string of days has been worthy of me calling them "good" and really meaning it, I still feel like I'm about to fall apart. My threads are barely holding me in. Everything's about to burst and I don't know why. I need to let it out, but I can't. The tears won't come. The screams won't come. The words don't exist.

Why won't they come? Has my biggest fear come true:
“Do you not know that there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to throw off his mask? Do you believe that life will always let itself be mocked? Do you think you can slip away a little before midnight to avoid this? Or are you not terrified by it? I have seen men in real life who so long deceived others that at last their true nature could not reveal itself;… In every man there is something which to a certain degree prevents him from becoming perfectly transparent to himself; and this may be the case in so high a degree, he may be so inexplicably woven into relationships of life which extend far beyond himself that he almost cannot reveal himself. But he who cannot reveal himself cannot love, and he who cannot love is the most unhappy man of all.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Have I hidden myself for so long that the real me simply doesn't have the ability to reveal itself? I feel alone, but I know I'm not. I feel unloved, but I know I'm not. I feel unnecessary, but I know I'm not. It's a tiring feeling, but I'm not tired. And there's a horde of other things holding all this in. One of them being that I don't want to share this with anyone because any person I choose is just as tired as I am. I can't add to their load. It's this same reason that leads to the guilt for feeling this way. Every direction I face reveals someone who has it worse than me. Always. Why should I feel sad and tired and want to cry when everyone else has more of a right to it than I do? My problems aren't worth getting upset over. If I lost a child or had cancer or was confined to a wheel chair, then I would be justified in hurt or anger or sadness. But not my petty problems. This is why I don't like the quiet anymore. I'm not strong enough to battle my thoughts.

Oh but it's eating at me. I want it out.

This leads to a daze. You know this feeling, don't deny it. The one where you're driving and you don't know how fast you're going and you don't care. Then you see a light pole and think of how easily a car can veer off the road without any effort from the driver.

The effort goes into keeping the driver alive. It's so hard sometimes.

P.S. This is not a suicide note. I may be conceited, but I'm not selfish.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Accompanied by the scent of coffee

I want to talk about inspiration: a muse, people you love, nature, music. What influences your creativity? What is your inspiration? Or a better question might be: what exactly IS inspiration?
I think all would agree that it's a feeling, something that encourages action to create. I want to say that it's a spiritual power, an energy. It's something that takes you from one perspective to another. Your focus has shifted, and you see something new. The response is to create something new. So that can eventually lead to: what is your inspiration?
I hate cliches, but I'd have to say - anything! I find inspiration in the common things like art, music, movies, nature, my close friends, good conversations, the Bible, and other literature. But I want to propose that the best and most surprising ways inspiration comes is through the little things.
My daffodils, my coffee, the fire crackling, some stranger laughing, the singing leaves in the breeze, random quotes, a fine piece of chocolate cake, driving windows down and tangling the hair, a baby's dimples, clean laundry, church bells, someone who holds my hand. These are just a small number of all the possible things that spur my writing.
I have always believed in the importance of tiny things. I believe that God is in the little things just as much as he's in the big things. I believe that there is a purpose to every bird that sings and every stranger that smiles and every orange that just tastes so good I don't even care about the juice staining my shirt. And I believe that God delights in our enjoyment of it. I think it makes him happy when he can provide us with something and we revel in it. I encourage indulgence of these small pleasures. Because I find peace in them. I know that they are from God, and they are for me. I believe that it makes his heart happy when I smile at something.
Because when I smile at something, I usually will turn that smile into a piece of writing. As a being created in the image of a Creator, how can I NOT create? I think he likes seeing us attempt to follow his steps.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.

My life is full of fears. I fear I'll never find the love of my life. I fear I'll never leave town. I fear I'm wasting my time. I fear I won't pass a class or an assignment. I fear my friends will leave me. I fear for my safety. I fear for my family's safety. I fear I'll forget what I'm supposed to remember. I fear I'll say what's really on my mind. I fear I'll embarrass myself. I fear rejection. I fear vulnerability. I fear humility. I fear community. I fear poverty.

But I love too. My life is full of loves. How can that be? How can the two coexist in me? Perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Oooohh it's 11:11, make a wish! I think this verse is talking about salvation and how we shouldn't fear because fear involves torment, but there is none of that in salvation. "He who fears has not been made perfect in love."

To love someone, you must trust them utterly and completely. If you fear, then you do not trust and if you do not trust, is that love? I guess it all makes sense now. If I fear, I am not trusting God with my life and everything that is involved with it. I am safe, that's for sure. My soul is secure, so what is there to be afraid of? Everything that depends ultimately and only on me has been done. To fear is not to love. The two cannot coexist. One is always beating down the other one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.

I've been thinking a lot on forgiveness today. When someone who cares nothing for you offends you, it is far easier to let it go, move on, and perhaps even smile at them as they pass you by. But when a love of your life causes you hurt, it feels so right to hold it against them forever. They should have known better, you say. There's no excuse. And you're right. There is none. Not ignorance or distraction or forgetfulness. None.

So what does that say about you? That you care more for the well being of some almost stranger to release them from your grip, but for someone closer they, have to live under your bitterness until you decide you're ready to let it go? Oh, well that's different. The stranger didn't know better. Okay. Is that still an excuse?

"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." - Proverbs 27:6
What does that mean? I took it to say that when our close ones rebuke or discipline us that we shouldn't be discouraged. We should trust them to speak those things for our benefit. And when others we don't know or trust very well begin to feed us with words sweet to our ears, we should be suspicious. They might be after something for their own selfish benefit.

What if it means that when someone we love hurts us deeply, whether intentionally or not, it is still to be trusted? Only the ones who know us best can know how to hurt us most. What does that mean? At what point do you give up and say enough? Never? What if it continues? How much hurt are you supposed to endure? And maybe they didn't know better, though they should have. Isn't that an excuse? Maybe they really should have known better, and there is no excuse.

However, the ultimate truth of all these questions is that no matter the extent of betrayal and cruelty, the only true freedom from it is forgiveness. Never let anyone have a grip on you because of somthing so wrong. And never hold a grip on them, because you will hurt yourself and strengthen the pain. I have no answers. Just that people, no matter who they are in your life, will cause you harm. And people, no matter what they've done, can only be saved through forgiveness. Don't you want everybody saved?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I will live by my pen...and a man who makes money.

I'm going to spoil a movie if you haven't seen it. But don't worry. When you watch it you'll see that I've really done nothing wrong.

Why can't I have both? Must I choose between love and the pen? This feeds the hate side of my relationship with pop culture. I just finished watching Becoming Jane and I will say it was not a bad movie. The only problem was that I kept seeing Anne Hathaway instead of Jane Austen in it. But other than that issue, I was pleased with the overall production.

As for the actual message of the movie, though, I was saddened. Jane couldn't marry the man she loved because they were both too poor and he had to support his family. She left him so he could marry someone with more money to provide for his parents and siblings. And she would "live by her pen." It is a rather encouraging message on one hand, it proves that no matter how desirable a lover may be, he is not necessary. She made it just fine by her career. However, when she was making plans to run away with her love (though they were both engaged to other people at the time) her sister pleads, "How will you write?"

What the heck? Is that supposed to mean she can't pursue her other dreams and desires because she's married?!? I'm sorry, but I thought we lived in a world where having both is entirely possible. Certainly not easy, but having each individually isn't easy either. And I don't want to hear how the times were different then. It's easy to say that because of Emily Dickinson, Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Louisa May Alcott. And then we have those of the 20th century, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, whose lives were downright tragic.

Guess what? I don't want anyone telling me what I can have and how much I can have. I'm not unaware that most of those things will be sacrificed at times, but I'm getting what I want and you better understand that. I will work and I will love. I've never had trouble with priorities. I'll make it. And I'll prove that to you.

But the dilemma is, if some things will have to be sacrificed at times, how will I know which one to sacrifice and when? am I being too selfish if I say no to love so I can build up my career? Am I making the biggest mistake of my life if I give up my dreams so I can have a husband? Either way, I'm going to look back and wonder what could have been if...

No. If I want both, I'm getting both. If he doesn't support me and my aspirations, then he doesn't deserve me. I know there IS someone out there who understands that if he wants a woman to support him and what he wants, than he BETTER be expecting to offer the same. And he better realize that if she doesn't expect that from him, he deserves better. And that's when I will introduce myself, "Hello, my name is Better, and you are?... Oh, well it's nice to meet you Mr. I've Been Waiting For You My Whole Life. I'm so glad to be making your acquaintance and your life worth it."
Hmmm... it does sound nice in my head. But we can't all live in a Jane Austen novel. Let's just be thankful we don't live in a Jane Austen biography. That would suck. Although, if she did marry for love, would we still have those novels? It was, after all, a different time. And the ending was satisfactory.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sad day, sad say.

I have a love/hate relationship with pop culture. I love movies with happy endings (predictable chick flicks) and I love top 40 (my seat bouncing music in the car). What I don't love is that when I turn the radio off or leave the theatre, the world I return to is nothing like what I've just left.

I want to have a sit-down with Taylor Swift and make sure she knew that Romeo didn't get a happy love story ending with Juliet.

I want to document an attempted entry into Harvard Law School using the same techniques as Elle Woods and send it to MGM.

Life isn't full of happy endings. It's full of crying little girls begging Daddy not to go away again. It's bombarded with disappointment over both possibilities of a pregnancy test. It's abuntantly supplied with headstones displaying a shorter than wished for lifespan. It brings us big red F's and criticism. It has long and drawn out court dates. It has the brokenness of unreturned love, the shattered pieces of relationships, and the tears of unanswered prayers. And worst of all, the unbearable loudness of God's silence.

The movie told me I could leave everything behind. I could run away with nothing but a duffel bag, and begin a new and successful and better life. I've tried running from my problems. On a smaller scale, of course. Guess what? They followed me. Like the smell of Mexican food from Mi Toro. They just stuck around.

But maybe a happy ending wasn't always the intent. Honestly, I don't think God ever intended on any kind of ending. Just an ongoing party forever. And if I flew straight to the happy ending, I'd miss the whole middle. And I'd never grow. And I'd never be better. And I'd never know the beauty of hope or how far grace would go. If I missed the whole middle of brokenness and strain and missing pieces that I endlessly search for. How would I ever know how far his love for me goes if everything's peachy?

I don't always wake up to peppy music starting my day. It was rainy this morning. And dark.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

All I want is a room somewhere...

I had to get a new phone last Thursday. First one they offered me? The iPhone. Did I want my monthly phone bill doubled? No, thanks! Would I have used half of what it offered me? Most definitely not. Soooo... I settled for some other touch screen thing that I don't like. I'm taking it back. I like buttons. And preferably something that doesn't cost $100.

This recession has caused many people to cut back. For instance, microwaves and dryers have gone down in sales. Kind of scary, isn't it? That is until you look at the products that have NOT suffered any decline: HD televisions, iPhones, and designer jeans.


That makes me wonder if we really are in trouble or if most don't believe we're really in trouble. Probably the latter. Those all sound nice. I like pretty and shiny, but come on, let's be practical here. If I'm going to spend a buttload of cash on something, it's probably going to be my trip to Europe, or children in India, or something that won't completely die once water contacts it. As I read recently, "Trips to Europe give memories that last a lifetime." Jeans from Europe?

You know, I've never been one for labels. Truth is, you could be covered in them and I wouldn't think they were any different from my hand-me-downs. I just don't notice it. And maybe it makes me weird, but I just don't get the big deal about it. I almost want to be famous so I can go to some award show and have all the annoying people with microphones ask me what I'm wearing so I can say (after all the stars have responded "Armani/Dolce & Gabbana/Dior"), "My mommy made it!"

I do love pretty things. But I aspire to practicality. What will this mean to me in a year? A microwave is something I would rather have on hand. Seeing how I don't like to cook and we're not allowed to have anything else in our dorms and that's my only way of food preparation and I don't want to pay money all the time to get food when the caf's closed, I kinda need it.

The life of a nomad is looking pretty good to me right now. Yes, yes, I know. A guaranteed roof and income for food and gas and stuff is nice. And anyone who really knows me knows that I go on freakout mode when that's in jeopardy (at that point I usally run from the room and call mommy so she can talk me down with common sense). But Jesus never had any needs unmet. I wish we could still live like that. I wish I trusted God enough to not worry about anything if my life did take some crazy turn.

No, I don't feel a call to leave my home and travel around with no money, trusting fellow brothers and sisters to take me in until I have to pull out my umbella and fly to the next set of people in need. I feel like a spiritual nomad already, and that's enough unsettling for me. In a way, we're all travellers, wandering, searching, running, dancing, limping, crawling, even being carried at times. But physically speaking, I'm supposed to be here right now. And I like stability. But even then, perhaps the simpler life of those with nothing but peace and trust in God to provide for them in their area of calling can teach me that I don't need much. The state of the economy is scary, but if it shows me that I can cut back and still be okay, then it's not all bad. I really don't need much. Just to see the world. I can do that barefoot, right?

Let's all be hippies! And then stuff ourselves with Twinkies when we get tired of it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I have a blog.

I have to admit that I thought blogs were for people with no social life. And I like to think I have a social life. But I like to write. And I like people to hear what I write. And Facebook isn't primarily for that. So I have a blog. If you want tidbits of my scholarly wisdom, if you're bored, or if you're a stalker, then hopefully you can find something of use to you here. I enjoy expressing what I think through type and ink, but I am learning to use my mouth when necessary. But I still like writing more than talking. (Okay, maybe that's a lie half the time, BUT I love writing.)

I think everybody has something to offer. This is what I have. I'll be back.

Grace and peace to you all!