Wednesday, October 20, 2010

here it comes

yesterday I got myself ready to

make the pilgrimage into the

city and I gathered all my

things and

walked down the stairs to the

exit of my apartment. I opened

the door and breathed in... and

there it was. Right when I

wasn't expecting it. That

perfect, clean scent that

absolutely nothing

else can replicate. That

intoxicating aroma that

invigorates you from your

head, all the way down

to the tips of your toesies.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it

smelled like snow.

Now it was much too warm to

actually snow, but its promise

is there. It is lingering in the

near future. All at once I am

equally thrilled and weary at

the prospect (because walking

to the bus

stop and waiting for the bus in

the snow, not to mention

riding it on icy streets...I mean,

come on

people. you would be worried

too). But no matter what,

I love the smell of snow.


Monday, October 18, 2010

has the mail arrived?

"The power of regular letter writing cannot be overstated. Even if all they consist of is the minutia of everyday life, letters maintain and even strengthen intimacy, no matter how many thousands of miles separate the sender and receiver."

I wish there was some sort of profession in which I could write people letters all day long...
I love letters. I love to write them. and i really love to receive them.
I think they are powerful and beautiful and significant.

is this adventure?

When I went to the airport for my final departure from California I learned that the security guards are really nice to you if you look like you have been weeping and you don't really intend to stop anytime soon...

note: in the future when i have to make any kind of significant departure i will do it in the morning because it is a little bit brutal to have to say goodbye over and over all day long. My flight was leaving at midnight and from about 6:00 on I had been intermittently weeping. I wondered why on earth I had even bothered to put on any make up. that was just silly.

I told rachell we needed to stop at the grocery store so I could buy some tissues. I just wanted to buy one of those small packages. the kind you can fit in your purse. However, it seems you can only buy a case of like six of those small packages...and i was crying a lot, but not 6 packages worth. But there I was carrying 6 packages of tissues around in my purse. Just to add to how ridiculous i already felt.

So then rachell and mikael drove me to the airport and when we arrived we got my luggage out of the trunk and then I hugged rachell and then I hugged mikael. Mikael and I both just started crying and from then on i could not stop. (that is how i learned about the security guards...).

I trudged my way to the gate and sat down. They were playing the most melancholy music in the airport which was not helpful to my state of mind. Then I read the letter Mikael gave me. Commence even more weeping and significant amounts of embarrassment while i sat there with my packages of tissues and thought to myself, "This is ridiculous. who chooses to leave everyone they love on purpose? this was a horrible terrible idea"

And then I thought about how you rarely actually see anyone crying in the airport. It is a place where people say hello and goodbye, but usually the space in between the two isn't large or unbearable. I thought how strange it was to be nearly certain that I was the only one in that airport gate making permanent plans to leave the people who had become my family, my heart. what a strange, lonely feeling.

And then I thought about this part of the adventure. I had always considered my move to new york to be an adventure. Really, the first big uncertain adventure i had ever made. And up until the moment i was sitting in the airport I thought it was going to be really fun and full of intrepid outings and funny moments. I never considered the part that actually made it an adventure: The fact that it would be hard. That it would try to break me. That it would involve a fight. When we think of adventure we almost always just think about the triumph of it all and we forget about the parts that almost defeat us. But we usually think of adventure from the outside. when the adventuring is over, or before it has begun. When we are in the midst of the adventure we don't refer to it as adventure. We tend to refer to it as life, and we frequently don't like it.

For a long time after I got here I was really sad. I am still sad, in truth. But less sad than i was. Mostly, these days I am just thankful i have people i love so much that it hurts to be away from them. There are so much worse aches to be had, and I am grateful for this one. This is my adventure. My first adventure, i will not forget to appreciate it as such, because once I come out of it I will be able to see the epic worthy moments of triumph, such as apartment decorating last night and sleepovers in the city with my best friend. And I will move forward in hope and I will carry my homesick heart with gladness and I will protect it and remember how many people i have to help me protect it. even from far away.

how i love you all...


Timing. Timing is of the utmost importance.

In my first few weeks here in the city I have learned that. You can no longer be running a couple minutes late while you are getting ready and think to yourself, "Its ok, i will just be five minutes late." Because if you are even one minute late you have missed the bus. Now you are waiting at least a half and hour for the next one. Yes, I have chased down a bus. i only had to to it once, and it wasn't really my fault as the bus was actually early on this day. Sue and I were going to an audition and so we were both dressed nicely and we were making our way to the bus stop and we got to corner and we saw the bus we needed start to drive right past us. We looked at each other a bit panicked and then we both took off! we ran right into the street and down two blocks and we abandoned all our modestly as our skirts flew much higher than a skirt ever should...but we made it to the bus. Also, I have missed the bus. Timing.

And then on the other hand, you can rush down to the lightrail station only to get there and see that the next train doesn't arrive for 17 minutes. And then you have to wait around till it gets there and you wish you would have checked the schedule so you could have arrived in a more timely fashion. and then it takes 45 minutes to get to the city instead of 20. Timing.

Too late. Too early. both aren't good.

but of course, I am not really talking about transit.

life and death and the spaces between.

I have a friend I met at pepperdine, her name is Greta. I haven't talked to her in a few years, but she was my small group leader at my church in malibu. She is, and will always be, one of the most beautiful, brilliant people I have ever encountered. The picture above is from an album she has on her facebook page entitled "Thank you notes". Each picture in the album has a caption underneath it which thanks God for some glorious bit of life as we experience it here on the earth. It is a truly lovely album and I look at it frequently as she adds photos every week or so. Yesterday I was looking at it and I came across this picture and the caption she wrote for it which states, "Thank you for a dying swan dahlia, and thank you that she will come back again someday."
And in one of those rare moments, my breath caught. And I had to stop and listen to my breath and give myself a moment to ponder.

This time in life is an interesting one. It stings frequently. In moments you don't expect. There is a lot of triumph and heartbreak to to found all mixed together, and sometimes it is hard to decipher the two as the thoughts and emotions intermingle. For the past 5 months or so I have listened to a lot of people share their various wounds and their fears and the things that break them. many have found themselves in dark places. I have found myself in a dark place. And it is that which makes me ever thankful for the small inextinguishable light that is hope and for the way I found it in this picture.

Perhaps people are more like flowers than I ever expected. We are fragile and we need care and sun and rain. sometimes we are surprisingly resilient and we refuse to give in and sometimes we find that we have done a face plant into the dirt and we try to hold onto our color and we try to stand tall again, but sometimes we cannot. Sometimes we die. And perhaps that is ok. Perhaps that is what is supposed to happen. We all accept that flowers die. The winter comes and it gets the best of them and they always die. But they do come back someday. As do we. sure enough the spring always follows the winter and we find our heads lighter and easier to lift. Death has not conquered us.

"Thank you. Thank you God, for people and for all their broken places and blocked paths and the bits that feel as though they can't be mended. Thank you for the people who seem to be dying, and thank you that you can bring them back someday"

Until Death do us part

These are my friends who got married on October 9, 2010. Rebekah and Ryan. Aren't they Beautiful?

I was a bridesmaid. This was my first time to be a bridesmaid. I was really quite elated about it, but I didn't think it would be a very big deal. Walk down the aisle, hold some flowers, smile, watch bride and groom kiss, follow them outside. I was not unfamiliar with weddings. I have been to a few and I have watched them on tv. It seemed a rather basic principle, but somehow it became so much more to me.

This wedding was by no means extravagant. the flowers had been arranged by the bridal party the night before from flowers bought at costco. The bridesmaids all wore dresses of their own choosing which the bride had not even seen until the day of the wedding. We all did our own hair and make up. We put up all the lights ourselves. It was a simple wedding, but to me it was stunning. It was everything a wedding should be, because it wasn't about the wedding at all. It was about the fact that people were getting married. And that made the whole thing feel extravagant and full. Every time I would ask Rebekah a question about some sort of mindless aesthetic thing she would say something to the effect of, "I don't really care, whatever you want. I just want to get married." I hope someday that I can keep this same mentality when I find myself engaged.

I always thought that I would make it through my own wedding without crying until I got to the father/daughter dance, but when i found myself weeping as rebekah walked down the aisle at the REHEARSAL I changed my mind. I now fully expect to cry all through my wedding...which is a little bit unfortunate...but what will be will be. The rehearsal was the day of the wedding in the morning and I must admit that until we got there I was still a bit stunned by the fact one of my best friends was getting married. I had a bit of a fear of marriage, largely because I regard it as so important and I never want it to be taken lightly. But I think being at this wedding calmed many of my wedding related anxieties. By the time we actually started the rehearsal it felt so natural and perfect and filled with an ever bubbling joy and I decided that I love love weddings. Every part of them. And as I stood there on the stage waiting for rebekah to walk down the aisle I was struck by the symbolism of the wedding party and i felt so very honored to be a part of it. The wedding party represents the fact that the couple entering into the marriage covenant acknowledge that they cannot make it through without people, friends and family, supporting them on both sides. That is the way it should be. and being a member of the wedding party is the same as making a decision to make sure you help to support the marriage and remain dedicated to keeping the two people together in the way you live and the advice you give and the prayers you offer. It was all so lovely and I was so glad to stand in support of people who were giving themselves to each other with the utmost love, repect, and reverance.

I saw weddings in a new glowing, golden light I had never understood before, and I will always remember it.

I love weddings.

just around the corner.

I have always believed God to be intricately involved in our lives. I don't think God is the kind of God to create something and then abandon it...particularly if it is something He loves enough to have sacrificed His son in order to save...That kind of love requires more care and depth than I can really understand. But, all that to say, I do Believe God to be intricately involved in the in's and out's of our daily lives.

However I was wondering the other day just precisely how exactly and intricately involved He is. Does God have a hand in which parking spot I chose to park in? or (now that I live in a city and have no car to park) what about the streets I walk down? There is a never ending series of ways I could end up in one place. If I have to go both north or south and east or west the thing that decides which streets I walk down is the "Walk" or "don't walk" sign. Say i am on 38th and 6th and I need to get to 42nd and 8th and I am walking north on 6th but when I get to 40th the "don't walk" sign is on. Then I would just turn and start to head west toward 8th. and if i hit 7th and the "don't walk" sign was on then i would turn again and continue to go north until i hit another "don't walk" sign or reached 42nd st. And this could happen at every street. I could change directions ever other street, or I could end up walking all the way north and then turning west. And in the city the varying streets offer so many different things. My walk to port authority could be completely different depending on one varying street because there are so many people and so much to see. Is God involved in that? Is God orchestrating the street lights in order to direct what i see or experience on any given day? And if He is, then He is doing the same for everyone else....and that is a lot of streetlight organizing. Of course, God is big enough to manage that I suppose, even though I am kind of baffled by it. And I am just baffled by the number of people and streets in New York City, let alone the rest of the world.


tree house

I want a treehouse. someday.

Ever since I was a kid I have been rather enamored with tree houses. (tree house. one word or two? treehouse.) Usually, you find that as you grow the desires of your childhood fade, such as my deep deep desire for one of those little barbie cars you could actually drive, but I think I will always want a treehouse.
For me a tree house represents escape and adventure and lots of time and space for big and little thoughts. It is beauty and wonder and I would keep lots of blankets in it so I could still sit inside during the more crisp months of the year.
if i had one, i would invite you over to hang out inside with me.

I want a treehouse. someday. soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010


sometimes when my computer is off I type all sorts of secrets and thoughts and things i am too scared or not ready to say. or things that are just too rude to say. all the horrible all too human keyboard knows them.