Wednesday, December 26, 2012

fifty two

year of our lord
two thousand and twelve:

to you, two thousand and twelve.

to the calming explorations of sounds the half-hearts, and the icy bridges. 
oh the abundant sunshine for all of the rambunctious law-breakers. 
how it did rain in the morning, how the heartache did swell in the evening, and all throughout
the glorious mountains remained.
the mountains who reminded me that grace and love and faith are abundant. 
divine blood filling the empty cups and the birthday of no one terribly important. 
all of the lazy artists, the do-nothings of society, thinking thoughts and creating beautiful things.
remember the adventure unparalleled? the pure hearts? the young dreams? the faithful Father?
trees with ghostly white petals.
stars in the sky. 
a friend who died.
and a thank you note to those dear little ones who kept me alive. 
the living too large and dying too old.
the trying to exist in reality. 
the comfort of darkness.
the joy of being in the presence of light. 
the blowing of too many kisses and that little ginger candy obsession. 
the notes to self. 
my pink, freckled shoulders.
the number nineteen.
many lazy lightening bugs. 
this dirty city and this filthy heart.
my beautiful ayiti, who takes turns haunting me and comforting me daily. 
a noodle-crazed panda. 
the fact that my friends are not sailors. 
old canoes and rough living. 
singing crickets and singing chad. 
Jesus the man who knew what it was like. 
the truly believing.
the river, so full of peace. 
those flashbulb memories. 
when i couldn't come out and really say "iloveyou".
the waning moon and the dying sun. 
the fact that i'm disappointing, my dear. 
those panic-stricken birds. 
the missingmissingmissing. 
scary/happy/lovely/nice/strange dreams. 
the no good heart that was so wrong. 
the fictional story about my dear sister and misplaced love. 
my love-affair with roan mt. 
may day merry making.
reminding myself to sieze the day. 
remember how i diagnosed myself with selective attention deficit disorder?
oh and those moon walkers
and that divine little boy doomed to die because he loves us and is obedient to his father
and finally, all of the children screaming for peace.
i have survived the end of the world.
i have seen love.
i have witnessed the strength that only grace can supply.
i have been reminded of my own darkness.
i have been comforted with the fact that it is not my own any longer.
life has gone on.
the breathing has begun. 

may grace and peace come to you, next year.
and may the love of Christ infest and infect you so i have no choice but to accept it.

thus ends fifty two weeks of writing.
thus begins a lifetime more.

Monday, December 24, 2012


every year, i have a different Christmas. i know that's a result of passing time and changing experiences. but it still takes getting used to.
this year, i didn't have a very long Christmas season. it really only hit me that it was Christmas a couple days ago. my mind has been full of questions and those questions have distracted me. not questions like "why?" and "how?" or "when?"

the questions in my mind have been the kind without the question marks.
Jesus was born a perfect child who carried both death and life with Him his whole time on earth. He swallowed death for us, and the killing of death was the only way humanity could ever hope for life.

the kind of people that surrounded and admired Jesus when He was a child were the same kind of people who actively killed Him later.

we sing all these songs about how the night that Jesus was born was silent and holy and beautiful when the fact is, they were in a crowded little city in the middle of a census. mary was probably bedraggled and joseph's nerves were probably worn thin. Jesus, God of the universe, was not born a spotless babe. He was born gross and weird looking- like any baby. (don't get me wrong, i love babies, but they are are gross and weird looking at the very beginning...) the shepherds weren't sweet men with trimmed beards and the angels weren't these white, blonde-headed, winged, androgynous beings. it is wrong to  sugar coat these things. or it's just human nature to make the best of the situation.

seriously though, what is this Christmas thing all about? (i feel like Charlie Brown)

it is about a baby who was doomed to die by His own loving choice.
it is about a night when the heavens rejoiced and mourned.
it is about the fact that we all die. and through death, we all live.
it is about the end of the world and what happens afterwards.
it is about love. wondrous love.
it is about joy.
it is about peace.
and most of all, it is about hope.

a hope that won't let any of us go.

so we sing songs.
and we put up lights.
and we hang out with our families.
and we give eachother things we need and things we don't need.
and we watch silly movies where everything ends up as it should.
and we get excited about snow and pretty trees.

it's one day where we can stop and be thankful for the little boy that was born with the world on His shoulders. the Prince of Peace. born out of conflict. into a bleeding world.

happy christmas.
i could say "don't forget the reason for the season" or something cliche like that.
but i think i should say "continually remember the reason you're alive."

a little babe swallowed death for you. be thankful, be hopeful, have peace.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

fifty one

little filthy children.
so loud.
because they know that no one can really here what they really want to say.
the blood in their veins lets them know the music's playing.
lets them know their dirty little hearts are working.
their screams a result of their want for love.
their want for life.
their guaranteed death.

it is their own fatalist mortality that makes them scream.

death and the coming apocalypse is an accepted fact instead of a feared coincidence.
the turning world will come toa halting stop.
the impending death of a finite existence.
coming to a close.

it is their own fatalist mortality that makes them scream.

Friday, December 7, 2012


the celestial boy that was told by his father to become human to die and wanted to because he loved us so


the true meaning of christmas

the little babe
with the songs of angels
ringing in his little ears
they are whispering
"death will bring forth life
and love and
joy and peace"

the little lamb
saving men
with his blood
and selfless love
you will bless and cleanse
our filthy hearts

we love you Jesus
for being born
for being perfect
and suffering greatly
and carrying darkness
to the grave
carrying darkness
to the grave
the grave

ah baby boy
choosing to die
we celebrate you
with silent night
and candlelight
and white snowmen
and chestnuts roasting

now christmas is here
proclaiming joy
caused by the death
of the baby boy
in the mangers
in our living rooms
and law-firm lobbies
and department stores

we love you Jesus
for being born
for being love
for bringing peace
for killing death
and giving life
giving life

post script: just a reminder that i am fully aware of two things: 1) i am shamelessly copying sufjan by using really long and depressing titles 2) i know there's more than three weeks left in the year. i swear i don't know how my counting was so off.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

forty nine

"what if we were on the moon instead of driving from elizabethton?
that time i looked at the moon and thought about what it would take for me to hold your hand"

the moon was so large we could've driven into it. the mountain highway turning into a moon highway. the trees around us turning into large grey boulders. the road beneath us turning into thick dust.

i would grab your hand, if we found ourselves on the moon. you probably wouldn't mind on the moon. i wouldn't want you to float away from me.
to lose you forever to the black space touching our shoulders.

and now i become glad we're in the mountains and not on the moon that's rising round above the tree line.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

electrical apocalypse

i could not stay awake
though the large earth quaked
and your voice came down to meet me

my eyes closed slowly
"hold me if you love me"
were the last words i heard you speak

remember the road east from nashville,
the morning in our eyes?
you wrote me love songs
while i told you lies

we thought "this will be forever
we thought the end would wait
now we're stumbling together
as the

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


i woke up this morning on time.
i got to my 8:15 class on time.
i walked in the cold and felt alive.
today was beautiful because of those things.

i am now sitting at my desk in my room.
my ears are still cold from the walk i took in the damp evening.
i have my little desk lamp shining golden on me and knitted socks on my feet.
when i look to my right, there is a wall full of photographs. one of those photographs is of two little girls named Jenny and Nadine.
Jenny and Nadine are from Haiti.
they made me smile so much while i was with them.
they make me smile now.
Nadine with her funny pink bows and Jenny with her hands mid-clap.
tonight is beautiful because of those things.

the past year has left me breathless.
summer 2011 left me breathless. i saw children come to Christ and felt such a real community for the first time in my life.
fall 2011 left me breathless. all the darkness that had accumulated in my heart for the past few years infected my mind until i was under the control of my own sin and self-loathing. i wanted to kill myself, but was saved.
winter 2011 left me breathless. in Hosea it says that the Lord "will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." that's how He came to me-gentle and real. this bleeding heart began one of the many healing processes it needed (needs, and will need) to go through.
spring 2012 left me breathless. i lost two people. one young and beautiful that i barely knew. one old and wise that i loved dearly and love more everyday. i was sick and tired and through. not with life, but with school and all i wanted was to move on.
summer 2012 left me breathless. i saw the most broken and the most beautiful place that i've ever seen. i met the strongest people. i saw God work huge things in little actions and words and prayers. i was humbled, isolated, and loved.

as this fall is coming to an end, i am beginning to catch my breath. or maybe i'm learning to breath a different way. i was talking to my mom over thanksgiving break about how little community i've found at school. how i felt a lone in my thoughts and beliefs and values and whatnot.
yesterday i began to realize. all this time i've been here, i've been wanting to "plug-in" or "put down roots" or "find fellowship." but that's not what God had for me.
this semester was about me and Jesus.
i get that now.
now don't get me wrong, i am not saying that i am not supposed to be fellowshipping or communing with other believers. what i'm saying is, i have spent the last year scrambling. just when i have thought i could start breathing, God has knocked the breath out of me. He has broken me. smashed me. crushed me. ground me into powder. mixed me with His grace. and now He is tenderly forming me into something new. i can feel it.
so although i've not completely "plugged in" to a group, i'm not worried.

Hosea one says this:
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and will bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her."

i had to make it to this special wilderness i'm in.
this new wilderness.
this wilderness where i can barely breathe because of all the past wildernesses. as i walk slowly through this, i hear a voice speaking tenderly to me.
it is Jesus.

Monday, November 26, 2012

bare wrists

so every year (especially during the summer) I collect bracelets. by the time the end of the year comes, my wrists are covered halfway up my forearm.
i love it. i love knowing that each bracelet is connected to a memory or a thought or people or all sorts of different things. i really do. and the only time having that many bracelets is a pain is when i get out of the shower or wash dishes. then my wrists are damp for the rest of the day.
but still i love it.

however, every year, i get to a point where i start anew. i shed my bracelets and bare my wrists. it's a cathartic process.
usually, that time comes with the new year or christmas or something.
but because i'm stressed out and wanted to do something drastic to channel that stress, i shed them today.
sitting in the library, working on a paper.
it feels so good and freeing to have clean arms and let go of the people/memories/heartache that are attached to the bracelets.
there's a picture on my photoblog, if you're interested.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

forty eight/journal entry

i literally have never been so content as i am today.
and yet, i am absolutely yearning to go home. i want people i love all around me.
the people that i have felt infinite with.
i always feel so young and awkward and out of place. i’m waiting for the day when i wake up and i’m like “oh hey i belong.”
school gets so hilarious to me sometimes. a bunch of people reading books and hanging out and partying and doing what they love until they grow to hate it. how does that even work out?
i need to remember to be all here. i mean like, wherever i am, to be fully focused on that. too often, my mind wanders to the future, past, an alternate present...anything else except what i’m doing now.
it’s like selective attention deficit disorder or something.

Friday, November 23, 2012

le cafe.

"Jean-Jacques said that he always entered a cafe with a certain emotional disturbance"
-F.J.W. Hemmings. Baudelaire the Damned

i am currently sitting in my favorite cafe (that is also one of my most favorite places) writing a paper on Charles Baudelaire. i stumbled across that statement in one of the biographies i was perusing and i couldn't help but share it.
there is something magical about cafes/coffee houses.
there is an atmosphere of forgiveness, inspiration, and comfort.
they are a place where one goes to think, write, love, draw, speak, read, be still, and countless other good things.

a stranger that i recently met, named Raoul, said that he goes to cafes to "solve life's problems."


if you're not a coffee-drinker/cafe-goer, i pity you.
they are beautifully perfect little places.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

cherry tomatoes

i've figured out the purpose of the grading system.
all my life (pretty much) i've been a good student. or i've cheated to seem like one. i've strived for a's and papers free of red markings and pats on the back and praise and every sort of accolade you can think of.
this is not because i've wanted to learn the topic well. if the school system really wanted people to learn, it would be grade-less and degree-less...but that's a different issue.
grades (and any other sorts of ranking/rewarding systems) exist because, more than anything else, humans are hungry for the assurance that they are okay.
from the day we are born, we want to know that everything's going to be alright. we want to know that we're alright.
think about it. when someone's grades are slipping, the first thing we think about is "i wonder if there's something going on at home" or some other cliche like that. the average american generally thinks that a person's (especially a young person's) academic performance is directly linked to their psychological condition. it's true.
now sometimes, this is the case. but personally, i think more often it is quite the opposite.
when everything around us is crumbling, we tend to cling on to something that will make us feel okay. we want assurance. we want to know that we're good at something or that we can succeed.
thus, the grade system.
i'm sure grades were originally conceived to reward those who worked hard and learned things thoroughly. now they have turned in to a necessary evil. something that consumes people and steals people's identities.
grades lie to young people everyday. i know. they've lied to me.
example: last year, i was taking 19 hours and working at the studio and heavily involved in church. i received a after a on my assignments and my professors loved me. i obviously was okay. my grades were great and people liked me.

uh. no.

i was freaking suicidal.
i wanted to die all of last fall semester. i was tired of life and tired of the pain all around me.
but still i strove for good grades. why?
because they lied to me.
they told me i was okay. they told me that everything was fine. they were something i could physically hold on to and display to everyone else to disguise my problems.
i had ran away from God.
and had began running towards academia.

fast forward one year.

my grades are the worst they've ever been. i have a b in all of my classes except one. i've gotten b after b on my papers. i'm not even that concerned, either. i'm actually very happy with school this year.
because i know how okay i am. i also know how not-okay i am.
i don't need to be lied to.
i have been assured that it doesn't matter if i am "doing well."
no, no. it matters that i am living well.

i'm only taking fifteen hours next semester. that sounds like slacking off to me. even sharing that is slightly embarrassing. i'm excited though. because that means that i'll be rested and who knows, maybe i'll be well? what? is that even possible?

anyway, this is not a post to completely bash the grading system and school or say "hey, be a slacker!"
(i mean, i'm still trying and working hard)
this is just a post telling you that you're not okay. and if you are, it's probably definitely not because you have good grades. it's something so much more life-filled than that.

live on, friends.

p.s. i love cherry tomatoes and i just wanted to share that somehow.

Friday, November 16, 2012

forty seven

carpe diem!
he opened his eyes as the words shattered into little pieces all over his mind. while wondering if his dreams were actually real life (or vice-versa), he pulled on some jeans. his mom's voice could be heard in the next room coaxing his little sister out of bed. before he headed downstairs, he glanced at the mirror and nodded quickly. as he turned the hallway corner, he was faced with his little sister.
she was dressed in white.
he pointed to the banner in her hand, "what do you have, Claudia?"
it made him uneasy to see his buoyant little sister stand so very still. she didn't speak as she stretched her arms apart. as the banner was pulled tight, the words on it came into view.
carpe diem! 
it was painted on in eight-year-old brushstrokes.
he shivered a little as he walked past her and mumbled, "that's cool, sis."
his denim jacket lay on the banister. he put it on and pushed his hands into the pockets. something crumpled in his fingers. he pulled it out and smoothed it on the table as he ate his breakfast. it seemed to be a candy wrapper covered in vibrant designs. he strained his eyes to read the tiny print on the label.
carpe diem!
he said it out loud to himself many times. the first, "carpe diem." was stated in an apathetic tone. then next "carpe diem?" was asked in a bewildered way. the final, "carpe diem!" was not said but growled. he suspected his mom was pulling some sort of a joke. she had been telling him to get a life ever since his dad had died.
regardless of it being a joke or not, he wasn't laughing. he began to search for his mom to ask her what all of this was about and tell her he does have a life and so on. but she wasn't around. he grabbed his backpack full of books he never opened and walked outside.
his eyes flicked to his dad's car in the garage.
his dad had known very little of him. he had spent half of his life striving to preform, but his dad never noticed. then his dad died, so he stopped trying.
all these thoughts and disappointments were sprinting through his head as he walked to the bus stop. a car screeched to a halt so as to avoid hitting him. the window rolled down as the driver, his neighbor Lucas, began yelling. he flinched and expected a flood of explĂ©tives. but instead all that came out of Lucas's mouth was a loud and angry,
carpe diem!      
his eyes grew wide. this was too much.
"no!" he yelled back. then everything came. he yelled about how there was no point to everything. and how everyone expects too much of him for him to succeed, so why not just fail? he yelled about missing his dad. he yelled about hating his mom for no reason. he yelled about Claudia crying sometimes when he got angry.
all the time, Lucas the driver continued to repeat,
carpe diem!
it became said gentler and gentler until it was a comforting whisper.
by now tears were escaping his brown eyes.
the and Lucas the driver didn't see the car that was swiftly approaching.
there was a collision and an explosion.
carpe diem!
he opened his eyes as the words shattered into little pieces all over his mind. while wondering if his dreams were actually real life (or vice-versa), he pulled on some jeans.

*a note about the 52 weeks project: it has come to my attention that there are more than 5 weeks left in the year (not many, but i've still miscounted). i mean, i'll write til the end of the year, that's not the problem. the problem is how confusing it will be to see something labeled "fifty-three."
haha anyway, thanks for sticking with me for this long. we're almost done!

carpe diem.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

let's not talk about things that we can break

somethings i've learned lately:

-love is inseparably joined with life. one cannot exist without the other. that's why humans are so unique. we naturally crave and destroy both life and love. crazy right?
-carpe diem. 'nough said.
-sleep becomes something that's a blessing and a curse. i have slept less this semester than ever before.
-you are obviously your harshest critic. cut yourself some slack. it's pretty much beautiful feeling. i have been less hard on myself about grades this semester than ever before and i love it. i am still excelling, but i'm less stressed out about it.
-life is a sucession of present realities. life is always now. alwaysalwaysalways
-there's a difference between being lonely, isolated, and independent. the line between all three is tiny.
-guitar's by far the most comforting instrument ever. to listen to. to play. to look at. to hold.
-the future is always going to be unknown. that's an old truth. but seriously, how often do you find yourself planning?
-night showers are the best way to de-stress before bed ever. that and hot oatmeal. oh the weird rituals you pick up when a student.
-courtney marie andrews is a musical goddess. i knew that already. you probably knew that already. but you know, you can kind of never stop realizing.

okay that's all.

title from this incredible song that you should listen to right now. go ahead and click this sentence. do it. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I don't want to do color theory. part one.

this story is about a little girl who didn't know why the sun rose up in the mornings.
one day, as she ate her oatmeal with brown sugar, she looked out the window and smiled at that the light striding through it.
this girl,
-we'll call her lula-
so lula climbed off of her tall chair and stepped towards the light.
she cupped her little hands and whispered "why do you shine so? everyday, you're here to say hello. why?"
the light,
-because of course sunlight cannot talk-
didn't answer.
instead he tugged playfully at lula's curls.
lula was very dejected after this very one-sided conversation, so she decided to go for a walk.
while walking down her little street, she saw the sunlight hiding behind a tree.
lula spoke to the light again.
but this time
-instead of whispering-
she spoke in her "outside voice"
-that's what her mother called it-
saying, "hello, good sir, can I ask you why you wake up so early?"
again the light didn't reply.
instead he tucked himself underneath a cloud and pretended to disappear.

to be continued....

i guess i'll work on those retinal paintings now.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

litte fern.

i really like my very best friends.
i think i've written about that a lot...but it's true. i appreciate that the people that i love most are brilliantly creative and intelligent individuals.
i really like that part of my itunes library is music recorded by my dear ones.
i really like that some of my favorite authors and lyricists are people that i know inside out.
i really like that a few of my biggest inspirations for art, love, and life are those that i'm closest to.

all that being said, it's sometimes stifling to be so far from those friends. i feel like somehow our lives are just missing eachother.
however, through the music, art, writings...etc, they are apart of my life here.

how incredible is that.
sometimes it's just good to express thanks.

p.s. i know this has nothing to do with ferns. i was looking at the little fern on my desk when i began writing this.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

forty six

two little lovers

with a rose-wreath around their shoulders
holding them together
so that when they grow older
they won't be able to part
because the little thorns will prick their little arms

and save their two little hearts.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

a year ago today

a year ago today,
I realized that my life is a gift to me.
a gift that I have no right to destroy.


if you don't know it already,
you're incredible. you were created the way you are on purpose. you're not alone, and you never were, and you never will be. life's never easy, but that's the fun of it. you are being challenged so you can grow even more beautiful than you are.

(and trust me, you are already very stunning)

I love you.

live on, friends.

Friday, November 2, 2012

journal entry/sometimes

October 30th
sometimes I feel so alive I could be dead.
like some how the blood coursing through me is actually only saltwater and I’m actually some weirdly shaped wave that’s just waiting to crash and wash over some dirty spot on the sidewalk at school.
sometimes I feel so alone that I’m claustrophobic. 
like the air around me is actually full of tons of people waiting until to hurt me or to be hurt because that’s all humans can honestly do to eachother.
sometimes I feel so young that I grow old.
like somehow I am burdened and aged by the fact I know and have lived so much less than I want.
sometimes I feel so cold that I’m burning.
like the rain is actually little bits of fire spreading on my skin and setting flame to the old body, just leaving the new, tender skin of my real self.
sometimes sometimes sometimes.
more like all the time.
all the time I feel dead, claustrophobic, old, and burning.
like somehow I’m going to be fine because I’m just as much of a mess as everyone I know.
that’s all. 
the end.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

forty five

mountain fog fills your lungs
ice creeps into your heart
winter is entering intravenously

the trees have shed their skin
the sun has grown thin
November strips the mountain naked

climb to the top
and cast off
the things that you never needed
your eyes have grown old
and your fingers cold
hold onto
the thoughts you've never spoken

white snow is falling fast
it fills your small mouth
and freezes the ends of your eyelashes

the yellow grass on the balds
is beaten by the wind
as she pulls you toward the frigid cliffside

climb to the top
and cast off
the things that you never needed
your eyes have grown old
and your fingers cold
let go

Friday, October 26, 2012

forty four

my sister saw your face buried in the leaves

but i don’t believe her

one day she cried
she saw me walking by your side

but i don’t believe her

it’s been three long years
that you’ve been gone
and three long years
that i’ve been sorry

my sister hold my cold hand
through the wood
and i love her for it
her dark eyes say that she knows
all that i don’t

and i love her for it

the fiery trees
tell me it’s autumn again
and i wish your head
was here on my shoulder

my sister rarely laughs
since you’ve passed
she loved you more than i could
i hold her close
and tell her to let you go
but she loved you more than i could

together we run through the snow
to your little grave
together we say hello
we blow a kiss to your wintery face

it’s been three long years
that you’ve been gone
and three long years 

that i’ve been sorry

it was three quick years
that she loved you
it was three quick years
that you loved me
i’m sorry sister
that i didn’t know
i’m sorry lover
that i said no
we have no time
no time you know

so let’s wait three months

and she’ll be older
and i’ll be wiser
you won't be forgotten
but after the winter
is when all things blossom

Saturday, October 20, 2012

but now they live with me

i used to know
where the night terrors go
after the sun wakes up

Thursday, October 18, 2012

forty three

while staring out the large window this afternoon:

the raindrops on the window
are making the world look wrong

there’s a crumpled leaf in my filthy hand
faded words are written on it
words I don’t understand

there was dirt on the carpeted ground today
and old black tea in the new brown pot

the autumn mountains exhaled its smoke

as I ran to meet the evening

as I ran to the arms of a dying oak

you once told me that everyone’s alone

that we think we have love but we don’t

that the seed of solitude was once and forever sown

that there’s no good man that can atone

for everything

for everything we’ve done.

the sky turned yellow before it went dark

my feet were cold from the aging dew

your thin face appeared in the thinning clouds

with my eyes shut tight and my heart wide open

you were wrong you were wrong I began to shout

there’s a stone where you sleep

it says that you lived but that’s not true

you were dead the day you were born

I untied the black ribbon from around my neck

and laid it amongst the lady fern

you once told me that everyone’s alone

that we think we have love but we don’t

that the seed of solitude was once and forever sown

that there’s no good man that can atone

for everything

for everything we’ve done

with my eyes shut tight and my heart wide open

you were wrong you were wrong

now I know that no one is alone

that we are loved wildly by a force unknown

that flowers of hope have already been grown

that there was a good man that did atone

for everything

for everything we’ve done

Monday, October 15, 2012

in general, right now.

so I haven't blogged in a while. I mean really blogged.
I guess I talked about camp, so that's partially untrue.

the truth is, I haven't written a lot at all lately.
there have been some things weighing heavily on my mind and even more heavily on my heart.
they've stifled my creative thoughts and caused me to just give up before I've even begun to try.
if you've ever been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
if you don't.
well, bless your heart.

anyway, God is incredibly loving. we all know this. but honestly, sometimes He gives us beautiful things that we don't ask for.

like fall break, for instance.

I drove home tired, nervous, and a bit depressed.
I've had a tough time with this semester.
God knew this. He knew I needed to spend time with people I love and who love me.
He knew I needed to let some things go.
He knew that in letting those things go, I would feel more relieved and revived than I've been in two months.
He sent photographs of little Haitians and a good friend who's moving in with me next year and a faithful friend who always loves me (even when I'm being dumb) just to show me that He really, truly loves me.

something else hit me this weekend.

what I'm going to do with my life has always been a mystery. there are some concrete options that I guess I can choose from. and there are these dreams that I cling to and want to choose even though they're not concrete.
since last spring, I have seen these two separate worlds being knit together. all of a sudden, my concrete options and "career paths" are flowing into the dreams. the "real" world is becoming a dreamscape.
I think that's a good thing.
I think God wants us to be dreamers.

I guess this is why I never post actual blog-like posts. I'm always so disjointed and unorganized with my thoughts.

but I guess all this to say I hope that God gives you rest and blessings. and I hope that, even if your "real" life careers and so on are already in existence, you never ever stop dreaming.

Friday, October 12, 2012

forty two

sent to jessica when I got home today:

Home. When I came over the hill and saw the mountain range I yelled because those mountains are mine.

Monday, October 8, 2012

monday mania

a list:
granola, almond milk, craisins. in a clown mug.

painting and john denver on vinyl with brandon

cold, cold rain


new rain jacket

that's neon pink


sufjan coming to chattanooga in a month or so

me going to chattanooga in a couple days or so

biking at night





a letter from a dear girl


louis armstrong and ella fitzgerald

Sunday, October 7, 2012

forty one/journal entry

october 5th.
i cried.
cried more. 
it’s going to be alright.
this is just too hard.
that’s all.
the end.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

a dull ache. the explanation.

you may have noticed that a while back i posted just pictures and entitled the posts "a dull ache."

missing camp this year has snuck up on me.
last year, the day i got home from camp, i missed it.
the feeling was vehement and real and then subsided into anticipation for camp the next summer.

this year, the day i got home from camp, i was relieved.
i missed the routine, i guess. but i didn't feel it.

the word miss is derived from an old english word missan. missan is failing to hit. when we fail to hit something, we lack that thing or have avoided the target.

so missing something means you lack something you once had.
you probably know all of this, but it's good to be reminded what words mean.

anyway, i didn't miss camp right away. camp this summer was different for me, as most of you know, so what i was lacking didn't become evident right away.
being here has slowly shown me all that i had this summer.
the situations i've been in, the people i've come in contact with, and the opportunities i've had to share have shown me just how rich this summer really was. and just how much i really love camp.
all this to say, the process of me missing camp is completely reverse of last year. it's started tame, and become more and more violent.
the anticipation hasn't come, because i don't know if i'm working next year (that's a whole different adventure.)

so anyway, how does this apply to you?
well friend, whether you know it or not, your heart is aching. it could be a violent ache. it could be a dull one that you're so used to you don't notice.
whatever it is, it's because something is lacking.
you're missing something.
ultimately, we're missing heaven and perfect unity with our maker.
however, there are things that we miss that can be recovered.
i don't know if this makes any sense to you, but i would encourage you to examine what you're missing. and if it's worth missing. and if it can be found again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


the fishing line breaks
and we laugh
the rowboat rocks
and the waters crash
the trees stroke the tiny lake
and the morning light shines on your face

the cancer came and stole your breath
your gentle love was the only thing left
you're a good girl, you whispered once
then you closed your eyes

and waited for peace to come.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


i had this dream where i was facing a young man and he held

one of my hands and placed his
on my chest. he was distress
ed and showed it through sweat on his forehead and glistening
he asked "is everything going to be okay?"
d i said"
everything's going to be okay

he tightened
his grip and mumbled

i woke,
up and my fingers were tingling.

Monday, September 24, 2012

no good heart

i've found myself in a constant state of need lately.

something written recently:

your coat hanger is empty
your worn hat is gone
your steps are slow and heavy
and your face is calm

you walk amongst the trees
into a clearing in the wood
you drop down to your knees
and cry “my heart is no good.”

i won’t pretend to call you stranger
when i see your face
i won’t pretend to call you friend
when i accept your embrace
i won’t pretend to call you nothin’ 
‘cause in my mind
your photograph is fadin’ 
in the harsh daylight

thick salty water 
washes over your thin mouth
remember when you left your father
for the promise of riches in the south

news has come
that you’re headin‘ home
you know you’ve got no one
you’ve got no more earth left to roam

i won’t pretend to call you stranger
when i see your face
i won’t pretend to call you friend
when i accept your embrace
i won’t pretend to call you nothin’ 
‘cause in my mind
your photograph is fadin’ 
in the harsh daylight

and i won’t pretend to call you lover
‘cause i’m through with bidin’ my time
my heart hasn’t found another
but these mountains are all mine
see the sun gives me grace
and the wind she speaks
and i’ve erased your face
from the cliffs and the creeks

i won’t pretend to call you stranger
when i see your face
i won’t pretend to call you friend
when i accept your embrace
i won’t pretend to call you nothin’ 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

incredible things are happening in this world.

so I made a real live website for my photography. so this blog will be strictly writing.
also, in case you forgot, I have my flickr .
finally, I'm updating my facebook page.

so there you go.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

nothing, really.

"and then,” she whispered (to no one in particular)”and then we see that in the end, all she misses are his kisses.” she bit her lip and half-closed her eyes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

thirty nine/journal entry

september 16th 2012

sometimes I get overwhelmed with words. they begin to suffocate me with their possibilities and their variety and their potency. I want to express my thoughts and heart-whispers, but the words confuse me. 
so then I take pictures.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

three little things.

a newer idea:

the rain it fell from the silver sky
you grabbed my hand and the thunder sounded
we ran down the trail towards and old oak tree
slipping on the stones and the shining leaves

a newer photograph:

a newer favorite song

Thursday, September 13, 2012

thirty eight

the words echo inside my mind
crashing against the walls of my brain
causing my vision to blur and my eyes to smart

tired of having dreams where i feel you with me
i wake up to the sun shining cruelly on me
she reminds me that i am here and you are not

the words sound as far away from me as you are.

for myself.

"find what you love and let it kill you."
charles bukowski

ginger candy

discussing a kiss

fra angelico

skyping my brothers

being cold




apple and cinnamon oatmeal

rubber cement


letting things that I love kill me

radical obedience

dwelling on what that looks like in my life

night noises

asking why, how, when, and why not now?

seeking truth


night air

knowing I have an 8:15 class

dark circles around my eyes

scratchy throat


not knowing

and that being okay

doing something foolish just to remind myself I cannot take myself too seriously

the end

Friday, September 7, 2012

thirty seven

lazy monday morning
the sky is grey and white
you'll look out your window
and watch the birds take flight

their blurring bodies
their solemn song
their perpetual panic
their thriving throng

breath and blood escape you
as you prick your snowy finger
the satisfaction is painful
and the pleasure never lingers

your blurring body
your solemn song
your perpetual panic
your writhing wrong

a single leaf is tossed
to the ground by the cruel wind
all alone she travels
no companion can she find

her blurring body
her solemn song
her perpetual panic
her lamenting long

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

contribute to

contribute to, to be an important factor in; help to cause:

as I was sitting in my Early American Literature class today, I became frustrated.

there I was, in an air-conditioned classroom that was chalked full of people.
the question, "why am I here?"came into my mind.
don't get me wrong, in the past I have had some pretty strong anti-college sentiments. I'm not about to go into that.
I'm glad I'm here and I'm glad I'm at school.
that's not what sparked the question.
I did a little introspecting. I wasn't necessarily asking "why?"
I think what I was really asking myself was "what am I doing here?"

as a student starting a new semester, I am facing my own sort of helplessness. I am taking in everything around me (good and bad). I am learning skills and growing in knowledge. all of this I am doing to prepare myself for "real life."
I'm not really contributing to the world that much.
think about it.

why is that?
why can't I?
what does me contributing to the great big earth as a whole look like?

I haven't really answered those questions.
I could conclude this with a saying like "everywhere's a mission field" or "be the change" or something cliche like that.
I know those things ring true.
anyway, I'm not going to just stop at thinking about it.
remember project "Praedicare Veritatem"?
I'm going to re-launch it soon.
but this time I'm going to do it right.
I'll keep you posted.
in the meantime, tell your friends about this crazy girl with crazy ideas and a crazy blog.  you have no idea how much I would appreciate it.

also, contribute to the world around you. even if it is by just existing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

and all I had was a cell phone camera

story time:
so God always gives us what we want.
(I can imagine you raising your eyebrows to this daring statement)
however, what our soul often really longs for and wants is very different than what our flesh wants.
luckily, we have a good Father that listens to the longings of our heart and soul and does not listen to the longings of our flesh.
labor day weekend was hard for me. I was suffering acutely from PACSBIITB (otherwise known as "Pining After Chattanooga Syndrome Because It Is The Best"). I biked to downtown Johnson City on Saturday to find someplace to escape.
no such place was found.
on Sunday, I had a lovely afternoon with a new friend. it was beautiful, but it still didn't give me the peace I was kind of frantically searching for.
I rarely ever find peace in any situation until I know there is some place that I can make my refuge. I had countless places like that in Chattanooga. whenever I was restless or impulsive (which us a lot. like a lot a lot.) I would go to those places and think or process or create or do something to work out my restlessness.
labor day, I made a list of coffee shops to look into. you know, little locally owned and operated places where the drip coffee is served in mugs and the pastries are made daily.
that sort of place.
so I hopped in my car and began searching.
I thought I wanted to sit inside and write and think about home and how much I miss the river.
that was not what I wanted, however. I found that out when my search for a little homey coffee shop resulted in a bunch of names of places crossed out on a list.
while getting my hair trimmed on Saturday, the nice lady talked about how pretty the trails were at Erwin, Tn.
so after a series of disappointments, I got back in my car, turned on Courtney Marie, and put Erwin Tn into my GPS. it was pouring rain when I got on the interstate, but I didn't care.
I got on Rock Creek Rd and began to drive up. and up. and up.
I passed a trailhead and didn't stop.
I passed another one and didn't stop.
all of a sudden, the road led me down. and down.
I turned around as fast as I could and thought to myself "I just want to stand on the mountain side and feel alive."
I pulled off at the trail head, thinking I was just going to check it out.
the sign designated the trail as apart of the AT and a landmark called "beauty spot" was a reasonable distance.
so I, wearing a long skirt, hiked. and hiked. and while I was hiking rain fell. and the mountains misted. and everything around me sang a song of praise to its Maker.
then it hit me.
this is my escape. I thought I wanted to be holed up in a little man-made building, surrounded by strangers.
but my Father knew my soul wanted to be free in the mountain air, surrounded by trees and sky and His Spirit.
when I got to the "beauty spot", I sighed a sigh of elation and bliss.
I felt peace.
my restlessness was worked out.
it was as if the wind carried whispers that said "you'll be okay" and "you're where you should be" and "you are going to grow and grow here" and "look at the mountains!"
the end.

oh here are my cell phone camera pictures

Monday, September 3, 2012

thirty six

turn your eyes away as i kiss your face.
i don’t want you to see that mine are wide open,
unblinking as a doll in a clear glass case.
i ask myself what i want, then

disregarding my solemn thought,

i place my lips on your youthful eyes.
your body shifts, in my arms you are caught.
you tell me you love me, but my heart it shies

away from the idea of being loved.

i don’t want to be known.

you see, i’m afraid of being disappointing
i’m not afraid of being a lone.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

color wheel.

I just finished painting my color wheel for color theory (as you can see). it was not as easy as some would assume.
the way color works is fascinating, so I thought I would share.
This is from my textbook (Color: a workshop approach, by David Hornung):

"Color is said to be contained within light, but the perception of color actually takes place in the mind. As waves of light are received in the lens of the eye, they are interpreted by the brain as color...A ray of sunlight can be conceived of as being divided, like a rainbow, into a continuum of color zones. Each color zone contains more gradients than the mind can distinguish. The boundaries between colors are blurred, not sharply delineated...The perception of colored surfaces is caused by the reflection of light from those surfaces to the eye...Lightwaves that are not reflected are ont perceived as color. (page 13)"

the wavelengths are, of course, created by the vibrations caused by the movement of electrons and protons. these vibrations are constant. interesting right?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

thirty five

(this is an idea. it may or may not be developed later)
he looked at her with vacant eyes.
she looked at him with a crumbling heart.
they had once known each other truly and deeply.
no they are strangers merely sitting in the same room.
their lips touch and their arms embrace, but a mountain range and a wide river separate their heavy souls.
her eyes are waning like the moon.
his spirit is dying like the sun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

thirty four

august 17 2012

you probably
don't think like me
and if you do and if you do,      
                    that's a misfortune.
because if
you do think like me,
every time you put
you over-analyze and pull u  s   a  p  a  r  t until we end in
if you think like me,
every time a little ant of a thought of us that's ideal and happy occurs,
your mind squishes it with it's
great    big      rational      thumb.

and moves on.
I think too much.
that's why I'm always
that's why I'll always be

I've thought enough about my own heart's condition to know that
there is a
       wound in my heart
                         that cannot and
                                          will not be healed.
until I die.
"but you're a happy person" you say.
well I'm happy because that makes you happy and I want to make everyone happy because we're all going to die in the end anyway.
"but you believe in something beyond this life" you say.
I do. I do.
50% of the time
I am
believing and rejoicing.
the other 50%
I wonder
"what's the point"
"if I died, would anyone care?"
"why don't I just die now?"
and that leads to a spiral

into a

 deep pit

of self-mind-mutilation that only someone whose mind is built like mine could know.
a mind that thinks
a mind that knows
that the
                                     one  thing
its heart wants
can never be
on this great big earth.

so all this to say

but I
don't expect
it's true.

*the style is shamelessly based on the style of e.e. cummings, who is my favorite*

Monday, August 27, 2012

thirty two/thirty three

thirty two/journal entry from the beach with Jen
(July 30th, 2012)
...God promises "peace like a river" in the end [of Isaiah]. I could not help but think of the coursing waters of the Tennessee River. It is so powerful and beautiful. It's life-giving and it never stops. It cradles those that are upon it and it snuggles with Chattanooga. God's going to give us peace like that.

thirty three
(this is a snippet of a larger idea that will be expounded upon someday)

an expiring flashbulb in the skies
the bright street lamps and my blinking eyes
the asphalt shifting below a thousand tires
and the smoke rising from the forest fires
this drought of my heart now plaintively crying for rain
expected satisfaction when the thunder came
your arms held me close, but no showers did pour
instead my heart was left as parched as before

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

thirty one/reasons

so here's the deal, I didn't write a thirty one.
I had a spotless record until the week after I got home from camp.
It makes sense to me though. The summer was so hard and long and draining. When I got home, I just wanted to detox by unpacking and doing laundry and laying in my driveway in the sun at noon and hiking with Joe and getting coffee by myself.
Things like that helped me process everything.
So I guess I'm okay with not having an official "thirty one".

This summer, Bethany, Jamie, and I were going separate ways. We wanted to do something that would tie us together. So we were supposed to ask ourselves, weekly, why we believed in God. The reasons, as expected, varied from week to week.
Here's a list of reasons why I believe in God:
-the childlike faith of the Haitian people
-I see His wisdom in my campers
-God is our Father and He is good, He is good, He is good
-He swallowed up death forever
-He can use any fumbled, sleepy words I say for His purposes
-He works through the broken hearted
-If you ask, you will receive because He remains faithful to you
-The incredibly powerful ocean and incredibly powerful forgiveness

Why do you believe in God?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

twenty nine/ thirty

journal entries from cedar lake camp

twenty nine
(July 10th 2012)

...the crickets fill the quiet night with a plaintive song. the hushed voices of children harmonize with the night music. camp is so perfect most of the time, but especially nights like this:
-nights that are cool because of the rain that fell during the day.
-nights full of the sound of Chad strumming and singing beautiful little songs written from a young heart.
-nights where the words "I'll miss you" keep running through my head.
-nights when the sandaled feet of my kindred companions are resting on the wooden porch.
-nights when the rocking chairs are empty.
-nights when the birds are hushed.
-nights when the stars are tucked in a blanket of clouds.

perfection seems to sprout out of these moments. reminding the young to have hope, that life can always be beautiful, and that they are wildly loved by an untamed God.


(June 12th 2012)

in Isaiah 53, it talks about how Christ was afflicted like us.

(June 15th 2012)

how He carried our afflictions and burdens and sorrows. if I believe that, then it makes me wonder if Christ ever suffered from [the consequences of] misplacing His affections. If He ever loved someone He could not ever tell He loved. If His heart ever wanted and longed for a person who could never be His.
yikes. that's so far-fetched.
but it makes you wonder.
Is. 53:3-7
vs. 4 "Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrow..."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

twenty six/twenty seven/twenty eight

(from my journals at cedar lake camp)

twenty six
June 20th 2012

Noodles the Terrifying Panda (he is real)

-He doesn't like it if you bathe in "gel-low" chocolate pudding from Canada
-He loves Tapioca
-He is neutral on vanilla
-He was created in the twilight zone of the Atlantic Ocean
-He attached Guy in 1884
-He attacked Chad in 1966 (sucked out his bones)
-He is a nomad
-He likes fat Americans
-He doesn't sleep
-He's immortal
-He has 5 hearts and 3 brains (he's very cunning)
-A wooden stake tipped in "gel-low" Canadian chocolate pudding through the heart will kill him!

twenty seven
June25th 2012

camp sunsets are gorgeous
the silver sliver of a moon is hanging in the baby blue sky. lace like clouds surround it
dust and ants are covering the land beneath me
it seems to be wailing, crying out for rain
my feet stomp the ground in rhythm, my heart beats fast
the trees around me shake their leaves, my voice raises-imploring the sky to loose her tears and water the earth
the dust cakes my feet, my hands
by the time the golden light streaks crimson in the evening, I am exhausted from my dance
"red sky and night, sailor's delight" sounds over and over in my mind.

but me and my friends are not sailors.

-I love it when the pink light of the sleepy sun leaks through the wise old trees at camp. the cool breeze blowing. Daniel's voice speaking truth about my Savior-God. the campfire crackling. kids falling asleep and sparks against the blue of the pool. the smell of dirt and sweat and camp being blown in the breeze.

twenty eight
Canoe Camp 2012 (MK, Jen, and Julie helped with this one)

day one:
As the sun rose over the plateau, we set off on our journey. Like a ghost in the night we were whisked away that early morning to the water's edge. We could say "we were gone with the wind." After losing our way, we answered the call of Taylor's Ford. Backs bent and brows sweating, we loaded our bags and our burdens onto the valiant vessel. The Spirit of Dale Hollow welcomed our canoes as we guided them in.
The bow of our boat cut through the water like a knife through slightly warm butter. Our paddles shattered the serene glassy blue-green surface of Dale Hollow.
The burn in our arms was like a furnace cooking the clay piece of a master potter.
And our hearts beat as one.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

ayiti mon amour. from Leogone./twenty five

(june ninth 2012)

...the air was polluted by dust and smoke. beautiful dark children with their arms around each other's waists and their flashing smiles. the chaotic city marched and ran and balanced her way around our vehicle. the lightly golden crumbling rocks and grey metal sheets coat the area all around. bursts of vibrant color interrupt the  monotonous shades of neutral.
there are currently two precious little girls in our courtyard...they question us with their little dark eyes while never uttering a word. they respond to our love with only their unwavering trust.

(june eleventh 2012)

Henry Nouwen "The Genesee Diary"
pg 1. "...maybe I was slowly becoming a prisoner of people's expectations instead of a man liberated by divine promises. was not at all that clear, but I realized that I would only know by stepping back and allowing the hard questions to touch me even if they hurt." holy crap.

in Momance, I was physically exhausted and emotionally strained. we walked around the village and prayed for the women in the "houses." we prayed for health, love in abundance and safety. my heart was stirred by the simple genuineness of the people. the beauty of their faces and the touch of their bodies moved me. when we returned to where they were working, I couldn't comprehend the emotions and thoughts that were pounding in my head and my heart. I cried because the people are strong in the face of adversity. I cried because of the beauty of the people in the midst of disaster. I cried because of the joy of the people in the midst of extreme darkness.
I'm still drained and emotionally damaged. it's okay, though. I will be renewed.
today has been about settling down. and that's okay.

(june twelfth 2012)
...oh hey, I rode on the back of a motorcycle in Haiti.
yes. it's true.
so exhilarating. the mountains rushing by me and the wind caressing my hair ad the sun beaming down on me. it was literally on of the most exciting things I've ever done.

(june sixteenth 2012)
-tap-tap rides at sunrise
-shooting stars on the roof
-black coffee on an aged stove
-well-water showers
-dust in my lungs
-dark eyes
-broad grins
-peeling laughter
-immense pain
-terrifying amounts of joy
-Kyle and his crazy self
-ta-ta loving on Chris and Lewis
-crumbling walls
-endless mountains
-kisses in abundance
-feeling useless-but knowing you're not
-faces that bear all the traces of suffering and bodies scarred by lost battles against time and sickness and life in general. it seems that Haiti keeps on losing. the people are sick and have no homes. the women are weak and have no hope. the men are lost and have no livelihood. their God is largely unknown in most ways. He is a mystery who takes more than He gives. He is a God that causes the earth to quake and great walls to fall. This God is power. This God is all-knowing. This God is seemingly nothing like my God. My God that blesses me with rainy days and hands to hold and sweet words.
This God is Love.
This small favor-granting God is a pure-bred American delusion. He's there when I want Him, but stays in His box when I need Him no more. this is not the God of the Haitian people. the God of these strong, beautiful people supplies them with Joy.
gives them Hope.
grants them Peace.
Haiti is beating in my heart. the mountains and the water are pulsing through my veins...
-thoughts of goodbye that don't even occur until after the goodbyes.
-prayers. in creole. in anglais.
-Nadine telling for me to wait for her. and me and the tap-tap leaving. me not getting to kiss her sweet face one last time. not getting to see those bows blowing in the wind again. not hearing her say "Em-el-lie" in her little womanly voice. that was so rough!
-this trip has been dreamlike. I want to  I'm going to go back to Haiti and really live next time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

twenty four

I feel the streets of the city in me:
spreading throughout my body like winding veins.
my ribs are the many bridges that cross over the flowing river of
pulsing life
inside of me.
the quiet nights and the mysterious darkness of the city
is what happens when
I cover my eyes
with my hands.
I'm not wanting to see the sun.
the filthy heart of the city is as dark as
the dirty beggars on the deserted corners are but voices coming from
I'm begging for affection.
for comfort.
I am this city.
this city is apart of me:
with its coffee shops
and museums
and dingy clubs
and public parks.
all of these places people go to
to find themselves.
the street singers.
the lights of the valley.
the mountain sunsets.
I am this city.
this city is a part of me.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Psalm 42

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of 
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
By day the LORD commands his 
        steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

I hope to post about Haiti and Camp separately and in-depth sometime in the future, but for right now, I'm going to sum up my summer as best as I can.
This summer has been more difficult than I could imagine or expect. It has broken my heart and left it in pieces. It has challenged my patience. It has not been the easy and refreshing summer I hoped for. It has not rebuilt me in the same ways that I was rebuilt last summer. This summer has been the hardest summer of my life. That sounds so dramatic and a little bit whiny, but it's true.
But, (oh the blessed article, it insures something hopeful after all the hopeless) it has been good. This summer has perhaps been the best summer of my life. I have been crushed and re-crushed by God's breakers and waves. And that's okay. God is never done growing me. He's not ever done taking things that I think I need or that I want away. He's never done refining my faith.
I stumbled upon this Psalm while at the beach last week with Jenny.
I read it three times in a row without stopping. After the third time, I thought "this is this summer."
It is.
I shall again praise Him.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

two ballet lists

-lots of little girls crowding around you to give/get hugs and take silly pictures
-tearing up whilst saying goodbye to seven year olds
-curtain malfunctions. no big deal.
-wielding an axe as Alice in Wonderland
-Jimmy and Butch in their purple dresses giggling backstage
-fairytales. so many fairytales.
-running around in the parking lot with Cara. during the show. in costume.
-howling at the moon as Alice.
-Rhonda. Always watching.

-sleepy barre
-lots of "lasts"
-muddle and scuddle
-four year old m&m's. ah yes.
-teary eyes


current song obsession. cannot get enough.

I am off to camp then Haiti then camp tomorrow.
except nothing from me for a long while.

write me!

Mary Emily Vatt
c/o Cedar Lake Camp
235 Conatser Ln
Livingston, TN 38570

Thursday, May 31, 2012

twenty three

firefly thoughts, keeping me awake.
lightning bug summer, wishing to stay.

thunder is rumbling, the night is calm.
the heaven's tears hit the rooftops, in rhythm with my own.

saying goodbye, is not something I do.
I'd rather you kiss my eyes, while I say "see you soon."

see you soon.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

twenty two/severely jumbled thoughts

"when I was nineteen, I wish I had..."
I never want those words to escape my mouth.
I only want to remember being young, so young, and reckless.

unconcerned with the consequence of some action.
abandoning all caution.
living unbridled.

that all looks so foolish, but that's the magic of youth, I think.
it's not that we are beyond making mistakes.
we make many more mistakes than most people in the world.
I think a true liver knows deep down that the mistakes made in youth eventually turn into the reason they become "older and wiser."

so nineteen year old me, here's my advice to you:
live and love recklessly, always with truth and light on your mind.
you won't regret it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Why do I believe in God, this week, today, this month, this year, this season of my life?
What do I want the most? Why?
What do I fear the most? Why?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

a thought.

I love summer Sundays.
Summer Sundays when you get home from a sunny church service, all air-conditioned and cold, and talk over the beautiful truths heard with your father about your Father.
Summer Sundays when you open your bedroom window after lunch and climb into bed with a good book. You read until the words muddle together and lazy, sleepy thoughts enter your head. Soft thunder sounds outside and grey clouds begin to occupy the sky. You pull your blanket closer to your face, mark your place in your book, and rest.
Summer Sundays when you wake up in the late afternoon to the the sound of light rain hitting the roof. You wash your face, make some tea, and drive to church again with the windows down to sit with an intimate little group in the large wooden sanctuary.
Summer Sundays when a teacher's voice fills the echoey hall while the sun sets slowly. The sky's a faint blue. The air is cool and damp, perfumed by the earth and the rain.
Summer Sundays when the twilight is spent picking raspberries and listening. Listening to the songs of little creatures in the woods. Listening to the secret whisperings of the green trees. Listening to the pulse of the cool blades of grass beneath your bare feet.
Summer Sundays when Monday is looking anything but blue.

Friday, May 18, 2012

twenty one

a tiny sting shoots through me as I touch my shoulders.
today I was simply kissed all over by the powerful sun.
an overwhelming warmth is pumped through my weak veins.
golden light drips down my eyelids and lingers on my lashes.
today I was simply held in the arms of the flirtatious wind.
he tugged at my hair and played with the hem of my dress.
I had quite a grand day, with my two lovers.
all the red on my shoulders is but the blush of my cheeks, a bit migrated perhaps.
perhaps dear, perhaps.

Monday, May 14, 2012

tossed hair, broken loves

dried flowers hanging from my window sill,
reminding me that I'm alive and well
if you give me your hand to hold,
I won't refuse it.
but if you give me your affection,
I swear, I'll just lose it.

forgive me for being cursed,
for I'm a daughter of Eve.
you can try to fix me,
but I can only love brokenly.

I am prone to getting things wrong
and not seeing things through.
if you can stand by this mess,
then I will try to love you.

you toss your hair,
the sun doesn't care,
so please put your hand in mine.
you assure me that you're a broken little boy.
so with our fractured hearts let's try to find joy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


As the quiet rain is falling, I am surrounded by the fragrance of Earl Grey tea and scones baking in the oven.
Nothing could be lovelier.
As it is Mother's Day, you would think I would be sharing thoughts on mothers and how dear they are and how we cannot exist without them. While all of that is true, that's really not what's on my mind.
The other day my mom and I were having a discussion. That sounds like a way to disguise a fight, but we really were just discussing things. Disagreeing on some things, agreeing on others. It's kind of a normal happening.
Anyway, we were talking about how humans, just like anything else in the world, are generally reactionary. Especially when it comes to my generation's thoughts on the church, reactions could not play a bigger part.
Newton's law of motion (roughly... I learned it in middle school) states that for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.
Humankind generally follows this law. We, like time, are always in motion, even when we feel we are stagnating.  Generally, children raised in strict church environments do one of two things: they abandon the church, or they follow faithfully in their parents footsteps. I say generally, because there are some exceptions to the "law". Children raised in loose churches or a non-church environment tend to reach out for more structure, or stay the same as always. So often, the reactions are largely said to be to the "church". In truth, the youth are reacting to the sinfulness of man (found everywhere) and the ultimate authority God has over our lives. I find this pattern in my own life and in my own heart. C.S. Lewis nails this human condition when he describes himself: "what mattered most of all was my deep-seated hatred of authority, my monstrous individualism, my lawlessness (Surprised by Joy, 171)." Our reactions are almost always dictated by our own or other's actions. Especially when Christ isn't involved, this sense of reactionism becomes heightened.
Why does this matter? Well, our reactionary nature makes it ever more wonderful that we don't serve a reactionary God. He reacts, yes. But His reactions are neither completely "equal or opposite". They're uniquely perfect and Holy, "faithful and just". He sees our sin and is not surprised. He sees the Son who died and loves us deeply because of the Son's bloodshed. His reaction is barely what's defined as a reaction, it's more like a positive reaction.
What a breathtaking picture of how God defies laws of man. Sorry Newton, you couldn't hold Him in.

Friday, May 11, 2012

journal entry/twenty

written yesterday.

Dear self,
you need a good talking to right now, so I'm going to give you one.
Stop. stop letting your heart get involved in every situation you're in.
don't let attraction dictate your reactions.
don't let your encouragement become affected words that stream from your mouth aimlessly and effortlessly.
press on to be closer to your Lord and don't forget to listen to what He says.
think always of what you can do for others to show your love.
be hopeful, self.
for sometimes I feel that you become quite helpless and hopeless.
don't become a person who keeps to herself. that's fatal.
be known and know others.
pursue others without having fear of what they think.
be gentle, kind, and content, always remembering why.
to lie with your actions or your assumed "selfs" is just like (if not worse than) lying with your lips.
speak always the truth, then, with yourself.
be careful and wise, but also be a tiny bit reckless-for fear is a crutch that stops you from living life fully.
let go. of you completely. I mean, for real, you are not your own anyway.
be free.
be a servant.
focus-above and on others.
be patient! waiting for things makes them even lovelier when they come.
breathe. drink more water. laugh more.
just let it be.
and live.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


your mouth tastes like ginger candy
tears fall from your muddled blue eyes
they sting both of our young faces
and they offer no disguise

summer kisses in my bedroom
light is streaming through the glass
birds are laughing, trees are clapping
do they know that nothing lasts?

holding hands down some deserted
neighborhood, dead-end street
we stare down the two sad faces
in the puddles beneath our feet

when we're older, will we linger?
will we travel the same roads?
will I love you, will you care dear?
oh my darling, only God knows.

we must always hope. always hope.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hey I don't mind whatever you're going through.

Summer is here.
Summer, the word itself has an aftertaste of pink lemonade, cold water, and fudge pops. It hints of laughing with children at camp, laughing with friends in Haiti, and in general, lots of laughing.
I am so excited to laugh too much and to be happy again.
I feel like all I ever do is complain about how hard my life is. The truth is, everybody's life is hard on different levels. And compared to many people, my life is extremely comfortable.
This school year has been hard.
I told someone the other day that if a person came up to me and read my life to myself from the end of last summer to now-I wouldn't believe it.

I have too many thoughts running in my head about time and how it's dream-like when you start really thinking about it and about loving people properly in spite of being so broken myself and about how much my little decisions may effect other people in bigger ways than I intended.

If my life up to this point has taught me anything, it's been these things:

Love others truly. In the end, relationships are all we have in the concrete world.
There's nothing but the blood of Jesus. Without Christ and the Gospel there's no hope. None at all. And that's terrifying and comforting at the same time.
Living a selfless, God-centered life can happen in any circumstance. I don't have to travel the world to find people to love and share Jesus. I need to keep telling myself that because I get discontented sometimes with my current situation.
Speak only the truth. It sets you free.

So now onto golden summer.

p.s. this song is the title.

Monday, April 30, 2012


today the sun was gloriously grinning at everything in sight.
she rose as I rose, lazy and content.
I blew kisses to the blue sky in the morning.
I blew kisses to the pink sky in the evening.
today the lovely sun set in subtle colors.
she lovingly said goodnight to me as I waved to her.
sunrise thoughts.
sunset memories.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


listening in sociology?

it is in the dark that my mind wanders. it sails over oceans and scales high mountains. it skips through the field alongside deer.
out of the corners of my mind comes fear.
my heart beats faster and my mind slows down. my thoughts turn from the light and hope of the day coming to the darkness of my own weak heart.
the monster becomes appealing and I want to draw closer. he becomes a handsome being and draws me in. my mind's eye blinks once.
and I see the hideousness of the creature, with a discolored face and sharp, crooked teeth, and a mangled body.
my mind races from this thing but he jerks me close.
we are face to face, eye to eye, and our noses are barely touching.
"you can hope all you want," his cruel voice rasps, "but God knows you can only love darkly."
I tremble for a moment, not breathing, not daring to live for another second. fear and my mind are having a staring contest.
a smile creeps onto his twisted face.
he knows he has won.
a tear creeps down my stricken face.
I know he has won.
a hand grabs mine and pulls me swiftly away into the light of dawn.
then comes a voice.
a kind voice that says "I know you can only love darkly, my dear. but I long for your dark heart anyway. I will make it good like Mine," the sweet voice says,"so be free from fear."
my mind rests and my body wakes. I feel exhausted from the tumultuous, un-restful sleep I just endured.
I shudder as I look at the dark circles around my eyes in the mirror. Some letters written on my chest catch my eye. the word "fearless" is ascribed on my heart.
only to wear off by the evening.
this seems to happen every night.
every time the darkness comes.

but I am longed for and loved.
fearless and free.