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.