Monday, December 1, 2008


Alter/altar: To change or make different; modify
An elevated place or structure before which religious ceremonies may be enacted or upon which sacrifices may be offered.
Crest: The top, as of a hill or wave.
The highest or culminating point; the peak
A usually ornamental tuft, ridge, or similar projection on the head of a bird or other animal.

Last week I was at the zoo with the altercrest kids and we found the red river hog. Some of them had never been to the zoo. Sometimes I wonder if I am really altering the crest they are about to walk over, tumble down, into drugs, gangs, violence, depression. It is a strange thing to watch someone walk over a hill, their head like a human sunset and then they are gone. I think about the people in my past who I tried to love more than the people who thought I was fun to hang out with (why did I try so hard to recruit people to the second category?) I think about Emily, the autistic girl I worked with, all the time. I know I will think about these students for the rest of my life. I will wonder if my sacrifice made a difference. But maybe even if I didn't alter the looming horizon of adulthood that they will soon walk over, at least they will be men and women who have seen a red river hog and who might remember that once there was a small band of teachers who wanted what was best for them and put up with all their shit.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I am feeling fragmented. When I feel fragmented I stop acting. Even having two blogs just conceptually was overwhelming. I couldn't handle it. Whenever I have two of anything I feel torn and depressed. I have two important papers due (10 pages each) soon and I feel more overwhelmed than when I had a 100 page one due. I feel immobilized completely and anxious. I am a best friend kind of person. I could never cheat on anyone or I would self-conbust with the intense duality of it all (if not anything else). I believe Christianity is true in the deepest sense, but honestly, on a practical level it is nice that I can organize and align every desire against my first and greatest desire to abide in Christ. I don't think I'm anal or really obsessed with order or anything like that. In general I am a relatively free and dirty (literally) spirit. I like creativity. I like plurality. Bring on the postmodern heteroglossia, but give me a singular space, a room of my own to think in. Two rooms is too much. Two blogs, a vast desert. I'm graduating soon, and I feel pulled in a million directions. I've divided and divided and divided and divided my time, my obligations, torn between past/future, pictures of myself, coasts of the country, and on.... Spiritually, I've been living on the surface lately, and there is no deep pool in which to imagine all these things floating and suspended in grace and providence. I need you to remind me, because I can't walk around myself and say I'm only in one piece.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Musings on Career Fest 2

I went to career fest almost a week ago at twenty five miles an hour desperate to get a job whether the weather hated me or not (and trust me it tried) to kill me (a sudden splash of opaque sludge on my windsheild), slippery slip past our exit. We were late but it was better to avoid the "never" that snapped at our ankles. Upon arriving I realized I forgot all my resumes (the point for coming) on the kitchen table. In basketball, the term for this is "self-checked," I do not need anyone guarding me or trying to block my shots. So I pulled myself together and did what I always do in the face of adversity...I went to my car and cried. I did come back though, and decided to talk to the employers anyway. I talked to so many employers, I was blue in the face. I started to become more and more lax as the day went on, "can I have a pen?" "Oh, man, Kirsten is totally my favorite American girl doll," "did you know that my dreams take place half the time in amusement parks?" The last question prompted a strange look, and a stuttered, well, I guess this is your destiny, by the Six Flags rep. I did find some good social servicy opportunities though. We will see we will see as the crystal ball drags us through reality. One good thing was this. I stopped by Athletes in Action, a really large Christian sports organization that ran a camp called King's Domain that was really important for me to start understanding who Jesus was. I didn't buy it, but seeds were scattered along the arteries if not in my heart. So I told the rep this and he said oh my goodness I was a councelor at that camp eleven years ago which is the same exact year that I went. And that is my story of how in a cold and sterile business bonanza, I met a childhood friend who played guitar in the woods and clapped at all my volleyball games. In other news: We killed a mouse that was in our house. On Monday, there was a foot of snow everywhere but it was raining and thundering. And yesterday was Ash Wednesday. From dust you have come and from dust you shall return.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Musings on Career Fest #1

To grow old with those we love is to see the death of a million potentials. Little corpses scattered along the branches of the straight trunk of a time line of what really was, spreading out infinitum. Bitter fractals bearing fruit, yet to be picked, grown overripe and soft. I don't just mean the famous zoologist waitressing at Denny's, although maybe that's part of it. But it's more than that. It is the kindness we did not do. Little moments that could have sustained us if we would have lifted our heads to look. The relationship we beat into a pulp, even when we were graciously given a hundred second chances. And sometimes I don't know what to do with all these things I could have been, all the beauty I could have found had I not taken the easy road. Like so many of us, I have shorn against my ruins a host of resolutions. I beat, whip, pull, bind myself with the stretched out leather of my bootstraps, limp and thin. It is not enough. So I reinvent myself in the image of the ideal bait. The one that will attract the boy, the job, the future I want, the approval of God. I cannot earn what I long for so I have set about to seduce it. And what is seduction other than the desperate attempt to take power away from the one we desire to want or need something other than us? And how often has my "love" taken this form? It is embarrassing to say. But perhaps I've found a morbid solution to match my morbid state. Some blood soaked ground in which to kneel. The tree of time has been a crucifix for the one for whom there was no other possibility, no other cup to drink. And all my corpses, potential selves, those of my friends who sometimes fail me, have been redeemed by one. I cannot tell you the satisfaction of feeling that I am allowed to come unafraid to the True Object of Our Apologies. I am not going to pretend that I do not have doubts about my faith or that I am not a pretentious fake at times. But I have attached myself to Christ fully. If He has died and that is all then let my dust mingle with His. But if he has risen, let me go with Him. I guess my solution to missed opportunities that time provides is found outside of time. Perhaps that is a cheap answer, or maybe it is the answer. Whichever it is I know that it that this earthly life matters. Because His time has broken into ours in the Incarnation, there is meaning here and now. I have put all my eggs in His basket, but He has given them back and hidden them here. However, an Easter egg hunt is so much more fun than a landmine field. I might become a famous psychologist or a newspaper editor or a waitress. Maybe I will dance with my great grandchildren on my 50th wedding anniversary. Maybe not. But I know that ontologically, and in the deepest sense, I will be and am OK.

Friday, February 1, 2008

This is so I don't get out the swing

This is so I don't get out the swing of things. Because when I do that. I do not return for a year and a half. It's documented. Look it up. This is going to be one of those anticipation blog entries, what's going to happen! cliff hanger kind of thing. Very exciting. Tomorrow I am going to a festival of careers. I basically walk around a huge convention center and try to sell myself to every job rep I meet, and convince them why I would be better at the job than the hundreds of other people that will be there. It is going to be a zoo. A civilized (and lurking under the surface, not so civilized) zoo. There are going to be all sorts of employers there from American girl, to working at a ranch, to the publishers of Playboy. Once I was told by a very good friend of mine that he was very happy he would never have to meet me for the first time again. I always think about that and it makes me laugh, but the truth is I am a horrible horrible first impression maker. Anyway, that is the cliff hanger. To be continued....So this morning I put on a coat that I haven't worn since October or so, I put my hand in the pocket and out came a folded piece of paper. hmmm....what is this...I thought to myself. I carefully unfolded it and looked down and there in terrible and frightening scrawl: "I just killed someone." I seriously kind of freaked out. I thought perhaps it was a friend playing a joke on me (after my pregnant stunt, I would have deserved it). And then it dawned on me....I bet someone really did kill a person and had to confess to someone so they slipped it in my pocket while I was shopping or out in public somewhere (the king has donkey ears...the king has donkey ears..). I was about to run down and tell Karen when a second dawning occurred: this was my prompt for an improv character I played back in October. Mystery solved! But it really did freak me out. Seriously.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


A couple of months ago I was sitting in the Beamer Center talking on the phone, when Karen gave me a look. The "your zipper is down" look. (It is important to have friends of this high quality around.) It had been down all afternoon. This would be an embarrassing story if I stopped there, but it goes on. Later that day, in the privacy of my room, I zip my zipper down to see just how bad it must have looked. Some down zippers don't matter, but in these high waisted jeans, they did. And then the door bell rings and I run halfway down the stairs and there is a guy there I'd really like to impress. Of course I notice him looking at my zippered down zipper, and of course there is nothing I can do but stand there and talk as he is eye level with said zipper (due to the stairs). It was like a twisted Shakespeare balcony scene.That's pretty much where it ends, except yesterday during improv I have to do a monologue around the word "zipper" and of course that story comes to mind. And I had to tell it as a triathlete. It started out pretty good. I pretended I only wore spandex and wasn't familiar with these archaic zippers. But then I didn't know what to say next, so I started jogging around the room, and it was like time stopped. The blank brain in front of a crowd is perhaps one of the worst feelings a person can have. Last time this happened I was running as well, chasing my daughter with a giblet and when I finally caught up to her, I put her in a headlock and said, "let us nibble this together." Anyway, time didn't stop, and I coughed up a few words about the three adidas stripes and took a seat. In recording my dreams, I have no new news other than all the characters in my dreams have been African American for the past four nights. Except Brittany. I have no explanations.

Music is the best means we have of digesting time

Chanticleer, December 2007 "The kind of music I want to continue hearing after I am dead is thekind that makes me think I will be capable of hearing it then." SarahManguso, "Hell" From 12 round mouths and 24 mirrored halves of vocal cords, muscled flaps banging together and then apart at 440 times a second, Ave Maria, let it be done unto me. Breaking the seal between life and death between air and not air between believing and not believing oh break the seal at 440 times a second, Ave Maria, let it be done unto me. An elderly man sitting down the pew is not afraid to cry for who is worthy to be here who is worthy to hear these notes as pure as robin's eggs held together in gorgeous unease, the flapping of the angel's wings, at 440 times a second Ave Maria, let it be done unto me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More disjointed Personal Stories

When I was little, my dad wanted me to become a chess champion. He had us watch "Searching for Bobby Fischer" a million times. It is about a little boy who wins lots of tournaments. Bobby Fischer died a few days ago. The hoax is up. I will never know how to open a chess game. This morning I came down the stairs head first walking on my hands. The stairs gave my stomach and elbows a nasty ruggish burn. Two minutes later after an impromptu film documentary, my heart stopped and I couldn't see a thing. Then my heart began again, very quickly, and I could see. I put an icecube on my forehead and it stopped. By that, I mean it went back to regular. I volunteered at Emmaus today in the ministry center. One of the guys asked me what I was doing at school. In general, he was extrordinarily well spoken and mannered to the point it was easier picturing him in a French parlor than living on the streets. After I told him I was a senior in college however, his mannerism totally broke and he said, "mm, mm, mm. grrrl, you look like you are in kindergarten." And then he smiled his charming smile. I hope we get to be better friends. The day was bookended with two good conversations with Karen. It is so wonderful hanging out with her. We are like the Frog and ladybug on iGoogle. They play croquett in the sun; we make pancakes in the kitchen. They tell ghost stories at night; we predict and try to counterpredict horror stories about our futures. It is funny that they are my current picture of friendship, but they just are. That is just the way it is. I have to write down my dreams and write a paper on them for my Psychology class. Two nights ago I had a dream where I was at a Bible study and everyone was passing around a ziplock bag filled with urine. I think it has to do with my fears about peeing in my pants in public, but I don't want the whole world to know about that! ^_^ Peace to you.

Musings on Time

I read an article on time recently, and it was really fascinating. Today we think of time as a continuous line stretching out into the future, but for a long time people thought of time as a much more cyclical phenomenon. We still have seasons and a sense of what that might have been like, but for the most part time marches forward. What the author was proposing was that it was the incarnation of Christ that forever changed the cyclical view of time, because suddenly there was an event (at least in the mindset of the Western world) that was unrepeatable. Thus the circle of time was broken and unfurled like a scroll. It was only later on that this radical shift in the conception of time fully took root, but it is interesting to note that during the Enlightenment, even in the midst of the "de-enchantment of the world" the idea of time remained a vector. The kingdom of God was replaced with ideas of progress, etc. The World Wars (and for some like Wordsworth and Blake, the Industrial Revolution) brought disillusionment with the idea of progress in a merely physical, mechanical universe. The imagination and art became perhaps the main way people struggled to re-enchant the world. The imagination took place and usurped the role of a spiritual plane (perhaps analogous to Plato's forms?). The imagination as we define it today was barely thought of 250 years ago. Now with ever increasing leisure time and technology, our ability to enter into the inner realms of another's imagination has increased dramatically. At the same time, it seems like this realm has offered an escape rather than engagement. We have been cut off not only from the concept of time and history due to this but even each other. So what do we do now? On this trajectory of time, trying desperately to re-enchant the world with art, trying to make our lives like art, failing so often. I speak as one who is tragically stuck in this pattern. Can a poem be a sacramental thing? If so, we have lost consubstantiation to the symbol, and the incarnation to a fairy tale. So anyway. That's all for my reductionistic thinking tonight. With that I leave you with a W.H. Auden quote that I think is interesting but slightly connected: Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Day in the Life

Today I woke up. I spent the whole morning looking for grad schools. I just don't know where I want to go, what I want to do. Psychology? Theology? English? These are my big academic passions right now. It's funny because I feel like I am finally entering a time in my life where I'm ready to learn. And now I'm graduating. One day I would love to write a book I think. I would love to be the kind of person who has life-giving things to say to others. Dishes. Prayer group. Class. Lunch. Guitar practice. Karen! (whom I love dearly). Reading "The God Delusion." Improv workshop. I was a Chinese woman named Mrs. Springfragrance who was very shy, but witnessed a Chile's being burned down and had to testify on a talk show. Working out with Katheryn and Abercrombie and Fitch model (last time I saw him, he was on a huge billboard in London.) I shouldn't refer to him like that, but it is a defining characteristic nonetheless. It is always awkward when you are running on a treadmill next to someone who is a much better athlete, but the stakes gets raised even higher in this kind of situation. Fortunately I didn't care too much so I sweated and panted it out anyway. It is difficult enough trying not to think about the red-lit numbers: 34.2 calories….34.6 calories….34.8 calories…..etc, etc. My mind is so undisciplined! I came back and talked to my roommates and practiced my dance. I ate a potato. Tomorrow is my first day working at my internship with an autistic girl named Emily. I am really nervous. My life is really full of good things right now and I feel really thankful. May the things we learn in the light stay with us when we travel into darker times.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


But their idols are silver and gold, Made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, Eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but cannot hear, Noses, but they cannot smell, They have hands but cannot feel, Feet, but they cannot walk; Nor can they utter a sound with their throats Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. -Psalm 115:4-8 Verses like this can be found throughout the Bible, and I don't think you necessarily have to believe it is the Word of God to agree with the principle it teaches; we are shaped by and, in a sense, become what we worship. If we worship money, we will become greedy. If we worship sex, lustful. If we worship people, selfish and/or dependent. Whatever we worship, owns us, and we are all so much less free than we believe. The problem is that I really believe we were made to worship. We are all looking for something/someone to redeem us, something to put our trust and hope in. (Perhaps, I am generalizing too strongly, but this has been my experience.) I also firmly believe that the best person in the world, the most kind, beautiful, and loving person, does not deserve the worship of the lowliest dregs of society. Their worship is too good for her. At the end of the day, wrongly directed worship seriously fucks up relationships. I don't care what the movies say. It hurts the person who is worshipping; it hurts the person who is being worshipped. Sometimes I wonder if celebrities are ruined, not only by wealth or privilege etc etc, but also by their worshipping fans. To be honest, I think I've probably had a taste of both sides of this situation, and it is always awful. They have never been able to deliver what I ultimately need, and I certainly have not been able to deliver. Distinguishing between love and worship is a tricky thing. Worship means never letting go; in fact, you can't let go; you have put all the anchors of who you are into that thing. It is inappropriate to let go. However, so many times, when we love people, as corny as it sounds, it requires us to let them go. This is a conflation of a personal message and something I've been thinking about lately. I hope it comes off not a judgment as much as an encouragement. If you are reading this, I probably love you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Journal entries about dreams are always a bit presumptuous. It is presumptuous enough that I think that you will care about my real life, much less my subconcious life unless, let's face it, it is rediculously dirty or violent. And at that point, it is usually not the fact that the dream is disturbing as much as the fact that you are sharing it online, once again bringing it into the "real life" category. But that being said. Oh well. It feels like everyone I know is pregnant. On top of having recently pretended to be pregnant, it makes sense why I would be thinking and dreaming about it a lot. So last night Dan Gast was twelve years old and got this other twelve year old pregnant. Her body was too small to go through with the whole thing so they re-emplanted it in me whereupon my abdomen kept swelling to gargantuan proportions daily. (I was also having a parallel dream that I was feeling my stomach grow while sleeping on my bed). The 12 year old girl wanted Zygote (as we affectionally called him) back and so they yanked him out of me. Then I went drinking with Brittany whereupon I got really drunk and projectile vomitted all over this beautiful garden. There was a lot of other stuff too. Chris and Chad got in a huge fight during a movie. Random things. A lot of sad and lonely things in general. So that's that. I just wanted to let you know.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

myspace mypulpit

It has been a year and a half since I last wrote to you, my love. It is 2008. I've just finished watching the movie "capote" and the feeling of the solemn piano music of the credits is still with me. It's interesting, those moments after a good movie, before the rest of your life. A curtain call of names that you don't read as much as feel, as the whole production reveals it was just a production (these names are not our names, no people or animals were actually hurt, the scenes were shot in Oklahoma not Kansas.) The credits is this period of time when we are forced to hear the art asking us if we will allow it in some small way to change our lives. Which is why, of course, great art needs great audiences. But we've been formed for the culture of entertainment or perhaps catharsis and then release; art has become a masterbatory act. Let it be for me that way. please. Let it not be for me that way. Thank G-D it is not for me that way. It becomes this sterile, fruitless pleasure. We can let them mourn for us yes, but at some point, we must mourn for them, the potential fleshy thems who might someday push on the boundaries of our love in some harder way, the TV screen being the glass box that holds the bug we learn to love but later must learn to live with. Art sometimes provides the back door to love or hate. Backwards, perhaps. Dangerous yes. But good in its proper place, imagination the handmaiden of Truth.