Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ride the train i can't sleep.

This weekend I traveled home to spend Easter with my family and a few extra friends. Home never ceases to be everything I need it to be. It's consistently a source of such refreshment and restoration. Each time I drive the roads between here and there, the roads becoming more and more familiar with each journey, I am reminded how undeservingly blessed I am. How blessed I am to have the dearest family on the face of this planet, how blessed I am to have parents that welcome in the world, to have sisters that like to bake and laugh and dance, to have a brother who is full of surprises and thoughtfulness...(not to mention grandparents who never fail to shower me with hugs and kisses.) Every time I go home I seem to struggle to put everything into words; everything seems far too beautiful for words. While at home I do my best to burn moments into my memory, to stare and take in the way we shuffle about on the wood floors (the wood floors that my little hands helped to lay) while the sunshine explodes on the big glass windows all around us... to burn into my memory the way the birds sing in the morning, I try to take note of the way my grandfather's hand feels in mine as we clasp them in prayer, or the way the sun pierces my eyes and makes me walk around all stumble-y and squinty eyed for what feels like an eternity in the morning (haha) ... and yet, some things are so beautiful that words just slip right off. The most perfect sentences in the world could not pin them down. This is where I find myself so often.

These days I have really been wrestling with what to fill up this blog with, unsure as to who still reads this and how much time I should really put into it... sometimes I just do not have much to say, or nothing seems worth saying. So for now, here's just some snapshots of my Easter thoughts and writings...not much, but maybe it will satisfy those of you who still read this. I'll try to come up with something more thoughtful and creative next time. . . (sorry for the hiatus and lack of thoughtfulness recently.)

Good Friday.

The clouds are painted grey today. Rain hits my windshield in persistent streaks. It is Good Friday and the rain is fitting somehow. I feel like it must have rained on the day Jesus was crucified...the whole world must have cried a grey cloud of tears, slowly stumbling down rolling hills and on into rippling, wailing brooks. It is hard for me to imagine. It's hard to wrap my thoughts around a love so great. Like comparing nameless beauty with fiction, it's hard to grasp the reality of it all.


The rain fell again last night, just before the hours turned into the dawn of Easter. This time we did not run inside to shield ourselves from the downpour. Rather, we let the drops fall boldly onto our faces, into our pores, and all over our clothes. Washing away the remaining remnants of dust and dirt and death, reminding us that we have had much more washed away than we will ever comprehend.
Like children playing in the rain, we are free.


I want always to remember the way a soft spring breeze dances through the screens and into the warm yellow kitchen - the feeling of bodies bustling around preparing food and occasionally bumping into each other with smiles. I want to remember the way the trampoline squeals and sinks, gracefully bowing beneath the weight of one too many friends... to never forget the way my brother crawls out of his bedroom window and casually walks in the door to surprise us. I want to remember the green - so lush and vibrant. (it too is a reminder of life so full.) I want not to forget the song birds and their melodies that fill the air like water to the soil, though not sufficient alone, quite necessary. Please tell me I'll remember the yellow explosions on the forsythia - and the varying shades of buds bursting forth after a long winter. (spring is coming in close behind fall on the season marathon.) ... I want always to remember my mom's unspeakable hospitality, the way she welcomes and provides for and pleases all who walk through our doors. [I want to learn from her.] I want to remember this time, so precious, so shared, so full of love and joy and anticipation...

praise God from whom all blessings flow.

also, please listen to this song. 
radiohead's "no surprises" 
the soundtrack to my heart these days. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

cloudy days are grey(t)

for the past two days rain has been in the forecast, instead the sun beamed lovingly.

today, however. today it rained.
i awoke this morning to raindrops on the window and puddles on the sidewalk. thunder and lightning rumbled a low, slow, "good morning" to the day. tiny thunderstorms in the morning make me so happy. they're so unexpected. it's like eating pancakes for dinner. it does not happen terribly often - but when you show up to dinner and your mom has pancakes on the table it is such a delight, it's somewhat bizarre, but so so good. pancakes for dinner and morning thunderstorms are fantastic.

there is something incredibly beautiful about grey days. granted, a whole bunch of grey days in a row can definitely drive me crazy but today - today, with grace, my attitude was not one of scorn. i drove into Boston on this grey afternoon and marveled at the magical view of buildings lined up, side by side. their different colors and textures and sizes form a magnificent collage of life. i thought of how nice it would be to live in the city have a roof top garden and ride my bike everywhere. i thought how nice it would be to live so close to others, to share life and favorite places. i longed for more time and energy to explore the intricacies of this city so close to me. . . (how ironic, because when i first met Boston, we hated each other. ask my mom. :) )

a thick cloud of fog hid the heads of each of the buildings as though they were playing a stationary game of hide and seek - or maybe they were all on really unsuccessful blind dates.

i love how grey days make every color stand out with so much more confidence:
the pale yellow lettuce seeds were a brilliant contrast to the moist brown soil,
like easter eggs nestled in the most perfect hiding spaces.
the red on the trees is deep and majestic -
the flowers outside my dorm are sprouting into the most delightful pink attire.
all of spring is like a treasure hunt.

hope your day, (if grey,) is grey(t) !

Thursday, April 7, 2011

i can't focus.

sunlight floods into this upstairs room in the library. bon iver drowns out the thoughts not related to school, his magical harmonies help me to focus somehow.  my email occasionally "dings" notifying me that something is calling for my attention - network outage, pay day announcement - deletedeletedelete. to my right sits a girl from my science class, twirling her hair and wearing a white hat... she's probably working on the paper that is due on Tuesday. the grassy quad, finally free of snow, is home to people kicking a soccer ball around. (i like sitting here because i can watch what's happening outside. i hate sitting here because i can watch what's happening outside.)  a man in purple sits at a desk across the room, he looks like he's meditating. two others sit at tables behind me. dear hannah v comes in, taking the seat where hannah becker sat just half an hour prior.

on Sunday i spent two hours people-watching for my research methods class. i sat on a couch in pleasant street tea company and scribbled notes about everything i saw. just now i transformed those scrawled notes into conclusions and narrative observations. whenever i intentionally watch people and intentionally notice things, i am reminded how much i miss in day-to-day life. i am not a very observant person.

i stitched a heart onto my (free!) yellow shoes yesterday, i told genny i did it "for the observant." perhaps each time i look down at my feet i will remember to look around more closely. to search and find the little hearts stitched on those around me.

we need each other.

both genny and the woman who made my sandwich today reminded me of this. last night at dinner genny sheepishly told me that as we were walking to theology class in the morning i exclaimed, "it's SUCH a beautiful day!" and that one little statement changed her whole outlook on the day. this left me speechless; i barely remember saying it. (i'm always saying what i'm feeling and hardly even thinking about it - most times i think it's a problem, haha.) today at lunch i asked, "how is your day going?" to the woman whose head i could barely see behind the piles of bread. "...this morning was wonderful. there were so many birds singing this morning at 6am it was like God was declaring his day..."

i missed the birds. (and the frost.) but this small statement reminded me that today is God's day.
he declared it this morning whether i heard it or not. hallelujah.

"I want to beg you as much as I can... to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves...Do not now seek answers which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer... take whatever comes with great trust, and if only it comes out of your innermost being, take it upon yourself and hate nothing." 

edit//: guess who is finally going to get to see the west coast?! looks like i'll be hiking the john muir trail in the sierra mountains (northern california) come september... eeeeeeeee!