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September 21, 2011

Question: What are these people running from?

It is entertaining to work at a book store, and especially to shelve the Fiction Genre on a daily basis, because I begin to see trends in book titles and cover design. Like this annoying trend that would seem to make a book mysterious, haunting, intriguing, and artistic. But attempting to be creative and artsy with a book cover becomes moot when everyone is doing the same thing. 

Just throwing it out there.

July 09, 2011

Every teardrop is a waterfall.

We laugh. We cry. We breathe.
In the midst of our tears and pain. 
Through the rubble, we live.

(the song is #77 in my playlist, if you wish to hear it.)

I turn the music up, I got my records on
I shut the world outside until the lights come on
Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone
But I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song

And all the kids they dance, all the kids all night
Until Monday morning feels another life
I turn the music up, I'm on a roll this time
And heaven is in sight, Ooh

I turn the music up, I got my records on
From underneath a rubble sing a rebel song
Don't want to see another generation drop
I'd rather be a comma than a full stop
[ Lyrics from: ]
Maybe I'm in the black, maybe I'm on my knees
Maybe I'm in the gap between the two trapezes
But my heart is beating and my pulses start
Cathedrals in my heart

As we saw, oh, this light
I swear you emerge blinking into
To tell me it's alright

As we soar walls
Every siren is a symphony
And every tear's a waterfall

Is a waterfall, ah
Is a waterfall, ah
Is always a waterfall
Every tear is always a waterfall, ah

So you can hurt, hurt me bad
But still I'll raise the flag, Ooh

Every tear
Every tear
Every teardrop is a waterfall

More lyrics:

April 28, 2011

I want this t-shirt. Haha.

Perhaps what is saddest about this picture is that I remember those cassette days.

Does this mean I'm old yet?
I'm sorry I've been so bad about updating this blog.

Really, I am.

I'm in a sort of survival mode right now.

You know the drill of the end of the semester:

-neglected essays needing to be completed and ideally, turned in

-random exhausting spring viruses that inhabit the body

-grading papers (and papers, and tests, and papers...never ending)

-bittersweet goodbyes

-graduation parties to be planned

So, I have a lot on my mind, okay?

Be back sooooooon.

April 12, 2011

Source: None via Aaliya on Pinterest

twenty four by christing-O-
twenty four, a photo by christing-O- on Flickr.

TWENTY FOUR by Leo Reynolds
TWENTY FOUR, a photo by Leo Reynolds on Flickr.

Source: None via Aaliya on Pinterest

Happy Birthday, my love. I hope 24 is your best year yet.

March 24, 2011

Down-side up.

At The Foot Of The Mountain

At The Foot Of The Mountain by Pursue It! on

Life is so utterly beautiful to me right now. I'm waiting with clenched fists under a presentiment that something shitty and disastrous is about to happen because my life feels too stupendous right now to be really happening. After years of sorrow, loneliness, anxiety, and not knowing my place in the world, suddenly I am overwhelmed with life and a sense that things are working their way(s) out. 

And now I am filled with angst because this ineffable joy is not normal. Why can't I just soak this up? Why am I waiting for something to crash and my life to turn upside down again?

March 21, 2011

Today, I attended my very first Cornerstone Chapel all semester, and I had to physically shake my head and walk out because it was so infuriating. 

Just my luck-or maybe not.

March 17, 2011

The Essence of Vulnerability

Listen (caution: she's a bit overly dramatic): Radio Theatre Group: He Wishes for The Cloths of Heaven by WB Yeats. Performed by Charnie Demir

And if you want, read as well: 

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, by WB Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

I interpret this poem as trying to capture the vulnerability of love in human relationships. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of life on earth is vulnerability. Without vulnerability, we would all be floating above the ground-we wouldn't feel the rugged earth pushing back, reminding us we are bound by it, that we are mortal, that it is pushing back. Vulnerability makes loving another that much more powerful-because in giving to them, they are taking something so essential to your own life; your joy, your vitality, your renewed sense of purpose in being, possibility even your sanity. 

We are vulnerable, and it is so beautiful but delicate and terrible at the same time.

March 12, 2011

Currently listening.

Born From Dreams

Born From Dreams by Miss* Negrofonte on

The storm is coming but I don't mind

People are dying, I close my blinds

 All that I know is I'm breathing now

 I want to change the world

Instead I sleep

I want to believe in more than you and me

But all that I know is I'm breathing

All I can do is keep breathing

All we can do is keep breathing now

All that I know is I'm breathing

All I can do is keep breathing

All we can do is keep breathing

-Ingrid Michaelson

Click here to listen, too.

March 05, 2011

I received comments from very special people in response to this post I wrote last month about "Heaven and Hell". I would like to offer some of my thoughts in response to what they said. 

     My intention in the post was not to overemphasize the ‘gospel of heaven’, at the exclusion of Christian faith as a whole. I realize I did, and can see how it could be read that way. I should have been clearer. I was attempting to criticize the Christian mentality of exclusive, “who’s in, who’s out” to emphasize what I believe matters more-living this life the fullest we can (whatever that entails…) instead of defining one way or another what is assured after death, because I don’t see how we can know beyond reasonable doubt what actually happens and who goes where.

“From Genesis 3, our biggest problem is not that we are going to hell, but that our relationship with God has been fractured by our sin (which will result in eternal death - hell).”

Deducing from this statement, it seems Hell is a big problem. If fractured relationship with God=Hell and everyone fractured the relationship, then everyone has a huge problem if they don’t figure out how to mend the relationship. The Christian assumption of how we mend the relationship is troubling to me, because it seems, then, that people have to be born in the right place at the right time and believe the "right things" to understand Christ as Savior. I am not saying that Christians do not achieve salvation by putting trust in God for forgiveness, but that the Christians’ exclusion of others achieving that salvation damns an awful lot of people very specifically just because they don’t believe a, b, c, and d.

I don’t think we can really know one way or the other who “goes to Hell” and who “achieves salvation”.  I know this sounds very anti-Christian of me, but my intention is not to bash Christianity (at all!).  I exclusively criticized that idea of “heaven and hell” because I hear Christians these days claim that “reaching the ‘lost’ for salvation” should be the main focus of Christian life. I have to disagree with that notion, because I believe life is so much more than accepting a conception of reality to escape eternal death and separation from God.  I believe if one cannot know without reasonable doubt one way or the other who goes where and what happens after death, then obviously that should not be the focus of life. 

I probably made you more confused with my ramblings. Forgive me!  I am still musing, reading, and contemplating, so I definitely do not claim to have everything figured out All I have is my limited reasoning abilities and 22 years behind me, so I know I have a lot to learn and not a lot to show for what I have learned. So be it.

March 03, 2011

A Duncan Sandwich.

"God is unlimited. Thought and language are limited. 
God is the fathomless but beautiful Mystery Who creates the universe and you and me, and sustains it and us every instant, and always shall. The instant we define this fathomless Mystery, It is no longer fathomless. To define is to limit. The greater a person's confidence in their definition of God, the more sure I feel that their worship of "Him" has become the worship of their own definition." -David James Duncan

Holy cow. I love David James Duncan. I hug his book. I am putting aside imminent responsibilities right now to read God Laughs and Plays. Thanks, Molly. I blame it on you. 

But really, as I read, I find myself thinking, "Hey, you are stealing my thoughts!" And I am not narcissistic to think my own thoughts are original, but it is definitely refreshing to see my own wanderings and questions put into so many words. He's such a good writer.

"Like grace, wonder defies rational analysis. Discursive thought can bring nothing to an object of wonder. Thought at best just circumambulates the object, the way a devout pilgrim circles Golgotha, the Bo Tree, Wounded Knee, the Kaabah. Wonder is not an obligatory element in the search for truth. We can seek truth without wonder’s assistance–but seek is all we can do: there will be no finding. Until wonder descends, unlocks us, turns us slack-jawed as a plastic shepherd, truth is unable to enter. Wonder may be the aura of truth, the halo of it. Or something even closer. Wonder may be the caress of truth, touching our very skin." -David James Duncan


February 17, 2011

Mat Kearney makes me sentimental.

Listening to Mat Kearney always makes me extremely sentimental. 

But it's okay, because Kearney's writing is sentimental. Right? 

Oh well, I'll just embrace it. I like his music. And City of Black and White isn't too bad. 

He definitely can't beat Nothing Left to Lose. 

But that would be hard to beat.

Back to grading papers about personal aesthetic standards in art, how the Christian worldview relates to their interpretations, and what makes art "good" or "bad". 

Oh boy.

February 15, 2011

Heaven, Hell, or Olam HaBa?

Pick One

Pick One by mes114 on

I admire (and accept) what Jewish thought has to say regarding eternity. The idea of Heaven or Hell is not a disturbing or daunting question for them. Heaven after death is not a matter of ultimatums. By this, I mean Jews do not understand Heaven and Hell under a Christian idea of "If you don't believe __, then hell, if you do believe __, heaven". 

They are concerned with serving God now, as God has commanded them in the Scriptures, not concerned with "Olam Ha-Ba" or "the world to come". It is simply not a matter of concern, because Jews admit that we cannot know for certain what is beyond this life, and even if we knew, we do not have the ability to determine our destiny, anyway. 

What is beautiful about Jewish thought about the Afterlife is that they do not submit to God because of a fear of entering Hell, but from pure love of God and desire to follow his commands. There is no means to an end for them, (in contrast to Christian ideology that says if you believe in Jesus, you will go to Heaven, therefore believing in Jesus would be a means to an end)  They believe, what is the point of musing about something we cannot determine for certain? We do not know or have absolute proof about what will happen in eternity; we can only speculate. So let us live our physical existence in the best, most just, caring, loving way possible. Let us live the existence we were made to live, and trust that if we do this, God will take care of the rest.

What is our earthly life if all we are seeking is some Heaven that we don't know anything about? Humanity is created essentially for earth. That is an obvious fact. We are physical-we eat, sleep, laugh, have intercourse, converse, and so forth. We have bones, breath, and bowels. So if God created man to live on earth, and our sole purpose in existence on earth is to help others "secure" what is beyond this life, then what the hell (pun intended) is life?

I believe in Olam Ha-Ba. I do hope it is true. But I say, "Enough!" to living for what is mere speculation that we have absolutely no control over either way.

We are of this world, so let's live in it the best way possible. 

February 03, 2011

Chaos Is A State Of Mind

Chaos Is A State Of Mind by *Nanda Arag√£o* on

How I am feeling right now. Can't wait until May 7...

January 31, 2011

Contrary to popular belief...

Today has been a good day. I...

  • slept in (until 9:30am!)
  • read a couple chapters of "Dead Souls" by Gogol, which is a hilarious Russian piece of satire.
  • drank some french press coffee in the meantime.
  • read some of Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves (have both agreements and disagreements concerning his opinions)
  • Listened to good ol' Baroque music, as well as a couple sacred choral ensembles while I read, which I highly recommend.
And..that is all so far. But it's a pretty darn ideal day for me, necessary at least once a week. I am now pondering this question:

  • Is something moral because God says so, or does God say so because it is moral?
I'm pretty sure popular opinion in the Christian world, at least, would give a simple, frank explanation that the first option is the true one. Of course God is the definition of "Good", so therefore anything God says is moral. BUT there is a problem with this.

If the first option is true, if "all morality rests on the spoken word or action of a divine being "God"', then what makes morality necessarily “good”? For example, what if God said it was okay to murder or rape (which, in some religious texts, he does)? This understanding of morality as under God's control makes morality subjective to God's whims, thoughts, reactions, and opinions. 

If the second option is true, if "God says so because it is moral", then morality transcends God. And to many, nothing can transcend God. 

So which is "true?"

My opinion is still forming on this issue. Kierkegaard's thought about the teleological suspension of the ethical (the idea that God is above human ethics and that humans can be permitted to do unethical things because God commands it, like the Abraham sacrificing Isaac story) makes sense on paper, but the problem I have is: How does one know if a "suspension of the ethical" was truly God-ordained? Any person who is mad and intends to do harm can claim that God destined him to perform this act of harm. If Abraham were alive today and sacrificed his son Isaac in God's name, we all would think he was a nut-case.

I do believe that morality is subjective in some ways, because something that could be immoral in one circumstance is permissible and even necessary in another circumstance. 

An example of this would be if a man was dying of starvation and came upon a grain field or an apple orchard that was cultivated by a landowner. Is it morally "right" for this man to steal from another's production to feed himself, and even steal the seeds from that fruit to cultivate for his own food? 

Aka: Is it morally acceptable for this starving man to steal from a man who has plenty in order to survive? Technically, no, this would not be acceptable. But in theory, and even in reality, we all might permit it. 

I am interested in a diversity of opinion and dialogue on this matter. But this I believe: that morality has flux, cannot be contained in a black and white picture, if you will, contrary to popular belief. Something that is immoral in one culture is perfectly moral in another culture, and that is okay with me. The Bible does not have easy answers to philosophical questions, contrary to popular belief. And that the Bible does not have all the answers, period, contrary to popular belief. The Bible is literary in nature, which is interpretive. So we must think, interpret, guide, perceive, and reckon with each other and for ourselves.