• December 16, 2013

    satisfied with the fancy

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    “in matters of love, it takes no time at all to become deceived. it is so easy to get a quick, fanciful picture of what love is and then to be satisfied with the fancy. it is still easier to get a few people to associate together in self-love, to be sought after and admired by them till the end…

    [love of your neighbor], however, is self-renunciation’s love and therefore trusts in the you shall…this you shall, means equality.

    in this sense love is blind. perfection in the object has nothing to do with perfection in love.

    to love one’s neighbor, therefore, means essentially to will to exist equally for every human being without exception.”

    -evening thoughts from kierkegaard (and one of my favorites from the library of congress)

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  • December 14, 2013

    thoughts on :: just sitting

    theres’ a boy sitting at the coffee shop doing nothing. he flipped through the pages of native for a few minutes but finished that pretty quickly. now he’s just sitting, looking a little bored. I’m pretty sure he’s waiting for his dad to get out of some sort of meeting at another table. but he’s not even really trying to find something to do. he’s just hanging out and waiting. for some reason, it’s striking to see someone at a coffee shop just sitting. there is no smart phone to to be a technological security blanket. no computer screen to illuminate his face with that soft LED glow. no book. he’s not even trying to sleep, which is kind of surprising, as he’s sitting on one of the more nap-inspiring couches. he’s just siting. and waiting. kind of bored. kind of annoyed. increasingly restless. but for the most part, he seems content to sit. he seems unworried and unstressed and generally unfazed by the fact that he is not doing anything “productive.” it would be kind of odd if, at the moment, it did not seem totally appealing.

    I haven’t just sat…in I don’t know how long. there’s always a book I have to finish. a facebook post I have to write. a tv show to watch. there’s always a friend to catch up with. a journal to write in. a thought to over-think until I’ve torn it to pieces. but what if, at the end of the day, the sitting is what matters? the act of doing nothing. the act of letting my mind wander and not trying to accomplish something or produce some sort of result. for someone who, too often, measures her worth by what I am able to “do” in a given day, it is increasingly dangerous for me to be part of a world where we have become obsessed with posting and tagging and documenting everything. I may have a quiet moment watching the evening settle into the coffee shop, shadows playing with the light and brick wall in front of me. but I will immediately take a photo. and post it on instagram. and title it “a quiet moment.” it’s completely ridiculous…but no less true.

    listen, I’m not about to give up all social media and become some sort of buddhist zen master. all I’m saying is that sometimes I wonder if my value being tied up in what I do that people see, is directly related to the fact that I never let myself just sit. I never take time to let myself be. but at the end of the day, maybe that’s what is going to shape my identity in more constructive ways than finding a cool song to post about on facebook or watching west wing for the hundredth time. maybe at the end of the day, there is a reason I was named a human “being” and not a human “doing.”

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  • December 13, 2013

    photo friday :: 6

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    last night I had pimento cheese for the first time, which I didn’t like too much. and then I went to a concert at the ryman and listened to dozens of nashville musicians sing their hearts out, which I liked quite a bit. “y’all” has officially become a staple in my vocabulary. I still can’t grasp the sentiment behind “meat and three.” I am cold when it is 50 degrees and I can’t imagine living anyplace where the leaves do not change with the seasons. I don’t think I will ever like country music, but I’ve become a big fan of bourbon. living in the south is some strange sort of adventure.

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  • December 12, 2013

    things i miss

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    today I read a ridiculous leslie knope-inspired meme about how to get through your college finals. and all of a sudden I missed college. and the time in my life when my biggest stressors centered around aforementioned finals. and writing 10-page papers at the last minute because I had first decided to watch seasons 1-4 of friends for the seventh time. here are a few other things I miss:

    1. riding a bicycle.
    2. the feeling of not having a cell phone all the time.
    3. the extra row of seats (barely) bolted into the back of the blue explorer. facing backwards, making me car-sick everytime.
    4. n’sync.
    5. watching it’s a wonderful life on christmas eve. because dad insisted it was tradition. it was also tradition that he fall asleep before the opening credits.
    6. disposable cameras.
    7. working at a coffee shop.
    8. my college apartment.
    9. jumping on the trampoline in the backyard.
    10. playing oregon trail during recess. not the computer game. actually pretending to be on the oregon trail. I was always the one who ended up getting typhoid and dying early. in the end, I guess we were kind of morbid children.
    11. star-gazing.
    12. the first blizzard of winter. snow days.
    13. mixtapes made off the radio.
    14. reading peter and wendy for the first time.
    15. seeing améile for the first time.
    16. the pacific northwest coastline.
    17. writing papers. because I’m a nerd.
    18. building homecoming floats.
    19. school pride.
    20. thanksgiving walks at fallen leaf.
    21. the first week of officially having my license.
    22. dominic’s laugh.
    23. my creaky, wobbly white metal daybed. with a trundle for sleepovers.
    24. real fires in the fireplace.
    25. powell’s.
    26. nannying.
    27. writing letters. snail mail.
    28. going to the library. summer reading challenges.
    29. lisa frank school supplies.
    30. taking naps.
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  • December 11, 2013

    I spent most of today steeped in my inadequacies. steeped in the feeling that, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t do anything right. I spent most of today up against that measuring stick that keeps telling me that I am not good enough. the one that measures me against what others expect of me and what I expect of myself. and despite my best efforts, I am lacking. my mistakes are seen as intentional. my words are misunderstood. my need to please rears it’s ugly head. and I am undone. the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to beat back the measuring stick with…well…a stick. but some days, I am just too tired to fight it. some days it’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other and make it back to my house and back to my bed. there is victory in the simple completion of the day.

    I realize, of course, that this line of thinking becomes an endless cycle of comparison that is the thief of joy. I realize, of course, that even as I discover new flaws, abounding grace has already covered them. but it’s just really frustrating to be human and broken. it’s frustrating to feel like nothing I do is right. it’s frustrating to always be fighting for clarity. to always be fighting to see the ribbons of light and truth in the midst of my inadequacies. it’s even frustrating that I can’t seem to make these words make sense right now. they look to me like sludge on the screen.

    tomorrow, I will wake up with a fresh perspective, I’m sure of it. I will see the forest through the trees and I will get out the “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” stick to beat back the “you are not good enough” stick. and I will swing away. because thank goodness tomorrow is a new day. but for now, I am just going to read andrea’s words over and over again. because these are the words I most need to realize tonight:

    the love of God is not a magic trick, not a secret potion to consume to make it all go away but it quiets my mind when nothing else will, is bigger and brighter than a thousand suns. for this, I am thankful.

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    Filed Under: RIBBONS OF LIGHT, SELF

     
  • December 9, 2013

    silver and gold

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    silver and gold. silver and gold. everyone wishes for it. how do you measure its worth, just by the pleasure it gives here on earth. 

    oh i’m getting old. oh i’m getting old. everyone wishes for youth. how have i wasted my life trusting the pleasure it gives here on earth. 

    sufjan. over and over.

    (also. if it’s going to be this cold in nashville, I wish it would just go ahead and snow already.)

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  • December 7, 2013

    the porter flea

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    number 21 on the list and I am just breezing through it, if you ask me. (although I may eat my words come july and I am still exactly as far as I am right now.) the porter flea was just okay. it was kind of like what etsy would be like if if existed in real life. and only had things from nashville creatives. which, don’t get me wrong, is awesome. I think my ambivalence mostly came from the fact that when you explicitly use the word “flea” in your title, I expect flea. and I get really excited. about digging through piles of junk to find slightly rusted hidden treasures. about pieces with history and character and a story. porter flea had some awesome stuff, but it was kind of all similar and kind of all REALLY expensive (oh hey there, cutting board with a $700 price tag). I guess in the end it was really just a result of mixed-up expectations.

    I did manage to walk out of there with this print, which I love more than anything. and maybe it’s fitting that I got it at the porter flea, where the reality didn’t quite meet my expectations. because I don’t think the savior of the world starting out as a baby born in the middle of a barn met anyone’s expectations either. I don’t think anyone saw that coming. isn’t god cool like that?

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  • December 6, 2013

    photo (booth) friday

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    number 17 on the list and I have officially (sadly) exhausted all my portland memories. the photobooth at the ace hotel has been on my bucket list forever. mostly because of this lady and her genius friday ritual. sweet jyndia and I had the best time…after we figured out that it started taking pictures immediately upon your payment (hence that first one with my face caught unaware and my mouth forming an unintended expletive in surprise). gosh I love those black and white grainy photos that drop into the little slot still a bit damp from their fresh development. nothing better, I tell you. nothing better.

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    Filed Under: 26 BEFORE 27, ADVENTURES BIG AND SMALL, PHOTO FRIDAY

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  • December 5, 2013

    plastic molds

    a lot of days (most days), I measure myself against standards I have allowed to become standards. I worry about how tall I am and how much I weigh and if my clothes are cool enough. I don’t often compare myself to magazines…I’ve learned enough to know how totally airbrushed those things are. but I do compare myself to roommates who are lovely and tall and beautiful or friends who exude poise and class or even to random strangers who I think are prettier than me because their cuticle beds (or something equally insignificant) are better than mine. I buy clothes and I reinvent my “look” and I do what I do…all because I long to be seen as beautiful.

    and then of course, I watch videos like this and the people featured are just SO beautiful. their smiles fill up the screen and I am absolutely flabbergasted that mannequins defined as “flawless” are preferable to the extraordinary bodies before me. it blows my mind that in a world full of so much real physical beauty, we seek to create plastic molds that are not like any of us. and then we seek to emulate them.

    beauty is in the eye of the beholder. and if we see the beholder as the world we currently inhabit, videos like this will always be needed to remind us of the truth. the truth that the beholder is not a cultural standard or another person. it is not even our own selves. the beholder is the one who created us. in his image. broken and beautiful.

    {two more extremely impacting spots from pro infirmis here and here.}

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  • December 4, 2013

    a poem…

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    …for a day in december that feels like a day in may.

    autumn day by rainer maria rilke

    lord: it is time. your summer was superb.

    lay your shadows on the sundials,

    and in the meadows let the winds go free.

    command the last fruits to be full;

    give them only two more southern days,

    urge them to completion and chase

    the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

    whoever has no house will never build one now.

    whoever is alone now will long remain so,

    will stay awake, read books, write long letters

    and wander restless back and forth

    along the tree-lined streets, as the leaves drift down.

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