Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dr. Seuss Haunts Me

Listening to Bob Dylan and wallowing in curriculum seem to be persistent themes for me these days. A new tutoring job involving less savory subjects than creative writing has added some running about, study time, and many, many books to my life.

That is my excuse for snubbing the arrival of 2012. My next post will endeavor to give it due thought... And try to rescue this blog from its current sentimental tendencies.

First, but means of house keeping...

I thought the world should know that my most visited post is still One Fish which is now well over 10,000 views.

Recent comments, especially on Dear Last Year have been very encouraging. Thank you, people!

In celebration of my new job, I received a Dr. Seuss journal. It is very bright and beautiful betwixt all my Eiffel Tower notebooks, journals, and stationary.

While downtown, I bought an extraordinary mechanical pencil of extreme awesomeness. It is so fancy I just recently found the eraser. I used to be addicted to mechanical pencils. They seem to hold the key to algebra and geometry. But after a few peaceful years without such horrors, I'd forgotten how vital they were. I guess I had become solely dependent on my Waterman, but mechanical pencils make reviewing and teaching algebra so much better. This distinguished fellow needs a name and title.

The Erratic Muse was on my "possible let go list" for 2012 while I was trying to organize, prioritize, and balance life. It did, however, make it through my ruthless refocus and organization. My plan is to post once or twice a week... hopefully something a little more thought provoking and interesting than this poor thing.

Thanks for reading. :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Joy of Books

So many pages. Be still, my heart. :-)

Created by Type Bookstore in Toranto.
Discovered on Exodus Books Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dear Last Year, I'll Miss You.

Life, you are so busy, wonderful, and complicated
my God is good. Always.
So ends 2011.

To give this year a full review would be beyond human capabilities. It was, after all, just another year, but a full, blessed, previously unimaginable one. I want to write it all out and keep it forever...but that isn't feasible or probably helpful, so here are merely a few mildly random snapshots-

-Roadtrips with people I down, music blaring, insane laughter until we howled in pain.

-Sitting on a dead redwood writing anything and everything on anything and everything.

-Scribbling clumsy poetry while knee deep in ocean waves.

-Powell's. Portland. I have no more words.

-Writting my main character's last words in St. James cemetery.

-Starting the thirteenth beginning of Where Loyalties Lie, aided by the epicness of Joe Hisaishi.

-Falling head over-heels in love with Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Not in a creepy way, I assure you.

-Climbing hundreds of steps to see Gdansk from St. Mary's tower.

-Huddling in a circle on the floor while plenty of couches sat abandoned, staring at a candle while everything around us was dark in the rain and wind, laughing and talking with my sisters until.... an undisclosed hour.

-Walking down the beach with both of my sisters and realizing that we did, in fact, grow up.
At least so it appears.

-Watching dear friends fall in love, get engaged, get married, show the world that love isn't what it thinks it is... it's something bigger, more terrifying, more wonderful, harder, more rewarding.

-Singing Psalm 34 with my two year old niece. One of the cutest most beautiful things ever.

-Staring at the stars from an Idaho golf course. Perfect moment chiastically flanked by sprinkler attacks.

-Being wildly proud of my little sister who graduated with flying colors. Then sniffing (aka sobbing) over Chipotle guacamole all the way home for no apparent reason. My poor mother.

-Sitting on the hard floor in our dark room clad in a sweater big enough for you, your laptop, and your pillow pet and writing pathetic prose until you think you can finally sleep...or the sunlight creeps through the blinds and tells you the moment you'd been madly chasing is gone.

-Singing everywhere possible in Poland.
Spending two weeks with an fantastic group of people. Learning to talk and walk outside my comfort zone. Gaudete will never be the same, you most wonderful, lovable, memorable, beautiful hymn!

Most goose-bumpy vivid moment of the year (possibly ever)- singing We all Believe in Malbrock Castle. No way to explain it.

-Walking through silent Gdanks trying to remember all of Hamlet and wishing it could last forever. Then staying up all night with Rachel the magnificent...trying to make it last forever.

-Seeing Les Miserables live. Burst into tears after the first chords. Screamed until I was hoarse at the end.

-Driving the car with leather gloves. Yes, this was on my bucket list.

-Watching my brother marry the woman of his dreams. Miss my brother, glad he has the rest of him now. :-)

-Rereading Chesterton's Orthodoxy...three times. Rocked my world, smacked me on the head, and then had me running around the back yard with my best banshee impressions, picking roses with bare hands, and jumping on the trampoline with a retarded grin.

-Many, many late night conversations when the only options are honesty and insanity.

-Seeing people and doing things I didn't think were possible.
So thankful for friends and for family and for family that are friends and friends that are truly family.

Lessons learned and learning...

-You go places. You meet people. You leave. You miss people.
It hurts.

-Relationships take work. Hard work. Sweat, tears, and lots of laughter.

-Never take myself too seriously and never take what I'm about too lightly.

-Faith isn't a band-aid.
It's more like an intensifier.
Sorrow hurts like hell.
Joy can turn you into a wild lunatic...or make you want to sit completely still in a corner and wonder until your head explodes.
It can also make you sick. And want to be sick forever.

-Real, tangible Hope that you can touch, feel, and taste gives you the highest high of all.

-Light shines whether we have the sense to look for it or not.

Welcome 2012.
What adventures and craziness can you possibly hold that will outshine last year? I'm pretty sure I'm unprepared, but I'm ready. :-)

Praise to a God beyond our imagination for the plans He has had for us since the beginning of this wonderful, swirling, terrifying, exhilarating world.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

By Kindly Powers Surrounded - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Written to send home to his fiance, family, and friends in a Gestapo cellar prison four months before his execution. 

By kindly powers surrounded, peaceful and true,
wonderfully protected with consolation dear,
safely, I dwell with you this whole day through,
and surely into another year.

Though from the old our hearts are still in pain,
while evil days oppress with burdens still,
Lord, give to our frightened souls again,
salvation and thy promises fulfill.

And shouldst thou offer us the bitter cup, resembling
sorrow, filled to the brim and overflowing,
we will receive it thankfully, without trembling,
from thy hand, so good and ever-loving.

But if it be thy will again to give
joy of this world and bright sunshine,
then in our minds we will past times relive
and all our days be wholly thine.

Let candles burn, both warm and bright,
which to our darkness thou has brought,
and, if that can be, bring us together in the light,
thy light shines in the night unsought.

When we are wrapped in silence most profound,
may we hear that song most fully raised
from all the unseen world that lies around
and thou art by all thy children praised.

By kindly powers protected wonderfully,
confident, we wait for come what may.
Night and morning, God is by us, faithfully
and surely at each new born day.