Saturday, October 31, 2009

Favorite photos from flickr

I stole this idea from this girl's awesome blog. I think I'm gonna do it a lot. :-)

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Friday, October 30, 2009

extra hours

When I was in third grade, I read the book The BFG, in which a Big Friendly Giant tells a little girl that she is only half her age because she has slept half of the time she's been alive. I thought, even then, "Not me!" I'm a lot closer to my real age than most people, going by the BFG's standard.

Ever since I can remember, I've had insomnia. Some of my earliest memories are of lying awake, hours after the rest of my family was asleep.

Looking back on my life... well, the short 22 years of it that I've lived so far... I think I may agree with the BFG. I think that the time I spent awake when I aught to have been asleep my well have changed me almost as much as living a few extra years would have. Not that it's necessarily matured me. But I don't think that years necessarily do that either. Its just changed me.

First of all, it taught me to function, work, and learn while operating at much less than peak capacity. I can get up and go do what I have to do even when I'm totally exhausted or sick or.. whatever. And that helps life. A lot.

For another thing, I don't think I would love books have as much as I do if it weren't for those years of nights when books were my only way to while away the hours. I probably would still love reading, but my love for the physical books around me would definitely not be the same. My most worn out copies of old favorites hold a place in my heart akin to an old stuffed animal or blankie or even a childhood friend. When I pick up my copy of Anne of Green Gables and smell its pages and feel its rough, cracked binding... memories flood over me. Many of books have wrinkled pages, wet with tears of frustration as my exhaustion refused to put me to sleep.

But I didn't always read. For one thing, my mom would knock on my wall and tell me to turn my light out. For another, my eyes gave out. Most of the time, I would just think. Sometimes I would imagine the most delightful things, so wonderful I wouldn't even want to sleep. Other times I would scare myself so badly that I would have to get up and go down to the kitchen and be comforted by the commonplace sound of the dishwasher and the sight of the fluorescent light over the sink. I would not have been half as caught up in my own world if I hadn't been forced to go there night after night.

There were times though, when my eyes gave out long hours before and my mind wandered aimlessly, fitfully, unable to focus on anything at all. I don't know if I can describe the severe discomfort to anyone who has not gone without sleep for long periods of time. I think I have had a small taste of what sleep deprivation torture must be like. To feel that your mind is out of your control is a terrible feeling.

What has done for me is hard to say. I suppose one thing that has arisen from these nights is a desire to have a disciplined mind. It is pleasant to let the mind wander, it is terrible to be unable to recall it at will.

The best thing that has come from this quirk of mine is this: I learned to talk with God. When you're all alone and everyone you know is asleep, and you have a million thoughts with no one to tell them to... you find Someone to tell them. I learned to have a long close, confidential conversation with Someone I can't see. I look back on the long lonely nights, and they don't seem so lonely anymore. I remember Him being there. And that is... oh so sweet.

Now that I'm married and much more emotionally healthy than I used to be, I only have an occasional night of sleeplessness... like last night for instance when I probably only got 3 hours total. Blah....

I'm still oh so tired, but I feel better. Thanks for remembering with me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ships at sea

Another writing exercise. Man, I'm rusty.

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board."(2) And as Gent watched the harbour he wished with all of his heart, not for the treasure that may or may not be on board one of the ships, but to be aboard the ship himself.

'If only they would take me. Not likely. The Screit men who owned all of the shipping companies here would never hire a barbarian like me.' Gent could taste the bitterness. This colony was beautiful but there was a price to be paid. Marma never seemed to notice, she was just glad to be away from the constant filthy human traffic of Allorin. The transporter that brought them had been filled with the Screit upper class. The caste system had technically been abolished a century ago; but out here, so far from the up and coming capital, old bloodlines still ran true. And the upper class all looked related to Gent. Their pinched noses always suggested foul surroundings... like they were born to be the snooty aristocrats that they grew up to be.

'I wonder if there are any uninhabited places on this world... All I've seen so far are established Screit communities or overrun tourist hot spots. Or maybe I could join a farming community and live among the lowest Difeen... where I belong.'

He slung the string of Haitun over his shoulder and made his way past the other fisherman his footsteps loud on the hollow metal tubes that made up the swaying dock. Trying to ignore the open stares at his foreign features. He looked up and saw Sewl rising in the west, and quickened his step. Marma would be ready to go to market and would want the fish to sell. Most of the fishing done on Screitla was highly comercialized, but the Haitun were so soft bodied that the large, broad casting nets of the big fishing boats tore them beyond hope. And so, until an applied scientist solved the problem, independent fishermen still were in demand by the wealthiest of the city. They considered line-caught fish a delecacy left-over from a simpler time. It didn't pay well, but it helped.

"Hurry UP! GENT!!" The stars climb high!"

"I'm coming Marma!"

He ran up the stairs, Marma was waiting for him. He handed her the string.

"Good catch today?" Marma didn't have very much imagination... he could just see the days stretching out before them...the same questions again and again week after week.

"Yes Marma, and before you ask, no I didn't see anyone we know on the way."

Marma laughed her sweet laugh. "Ok, ok. I'll be back in a little while. Here." She handed him one of the fish,"It is a good catch."

Gent took the fish eagerly. He was hungry, and it wasn't very often he got to taste his own catch.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes." Marma smiled, "I'll be back."

Gent cleaned the fish carefully, not losing any of the precious, tender meat. He carefully placed it in a pan with a tiny amount of yerthia, his favorite of the local herbs that Marma tended in their window. He cooked it for only a moment or two and then put it on a plate and knelt at the table. He ate half and saved the rest for Marma, and then left the flat before she could get back and make him eat the rest. She was so thin, but he knew that she would want him to eat it, if he was there. Older sisters were like that. But he also knew that she wouldn't let the delicate fish go bad by leaving it for him to eat that night.

The Haitun wouldn't be biting anymore and the docks should be pretty empty by now.

2. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston, 1937

Owl City

'Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance


I love Etsy! I've always hated spending money and now I know that
one of the reasons is that I hate buying things that are cheap and
run-of-the-mill. On Etsy I can buy things that are one of kind.
Art. :-) I ordered Christmas presents this morning and can't
wait to give them! Here's a couple pics of some things I love:

I'm kinda glad that I didn't know about this awesome website
before my wedding, 'cause I probably would have spent a fortune.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A new beginning

I'm not really sure how I'm going to use this blog. I used to blog all the time. I'd write mysterious, personal, poetical sounding things and let people guess what I was talking about. One of the things I look back on and laugh at. But I'll probably end up doing the same thing on here. Its been a while though, so I thought I'd just start out with a few of the fiction exercises I've been doing lately, trying to be an "obedient servant" like Madeleine L'engle told me to be. Not me, specifically... although, in all my arrogant artsy-Anneishness, I'm convinced that she would have found me a kindred spirit if only we had met. Oh gosh. This already sounds ridiculous.

Okay here's the first one. A new beginning to a story I've tried to tell over and over. The one that always gets away.

in the land of goshen... where the four rivers meet.

In my name I am prosperous and no where else. Shen looked at the the paper before him. Unacceptable.

Reject if received in such and such condition.

Instead of starting AGAIN the assignment that he has completed twice already Shen typed those words into the empty space:

"in the land of goshen, where the four rivers meet, the grain waves like the sea. The Blue sky meets the golden sea just out of my reach. then I look and see a road. A earth-brown road, firm and smooth, making its way through the sea. A road through the sea all the way to the blue, blue sky. The wheat rubs against my legs as I make my way through it, pushing it aside gently, trying not the break the stalks. I get closer and closer. But before I can reach the road the sky darkens and black clouds roll in, more quickly than seems possible. They burst forth and flood the land.

I can't see. It pours and pours until I can't breath without choking. And then, right as I start to suffocate, the clouds roll back and the rain stops. Leaving behind broken stalks without heads and mud knee deep.

The sun comes out and beats down on me as I try to make my way through the muck. Even as I walk, I hear the grain crackle and dry in the heat. The mud hardens. I can't get me feet out. They are stuck fast, and I whither in the sun like the wheat.

So much for the land of Goshen."

It was a dream. Only a dream. Born of his parents strange choice for their fistborn. "We're not even Jewish."

Perhaps they thought naming him after a prosperous place would bode well for their his future.

But they were wrong.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Night

Fridays nights with Jon and Amy are either really lame or really awesome depending on your taste. We usually turn on the xbox and watch The Office. Sometimes we will go out... no we don't. we watch a ton of Office.

So... whats been on my mind lately... Halloween.

The boys that I nanny love Halloween. Monster Mash, Frankenstein, black cats... the whole nine yards. I took them to Party City to see all the costumes... Its so creepy. Like super, super creepy. Severed heads.... smoke.... I dreamt last night about some really scary looking dragons and I think its from all the Halloween stuff. It was actually a pretty cool dream... Bean and Ender were there... we were tight. Bean was dying and I gave a truly wonderful my-friend-is-dying speech. But I digress....

My original point was about Halloween. Now... since knowing some people that have been terribly hurt by Satanism... and knowing that Halloween is their biggest day... and knowing that they do horrible things on that day... my family doesn't do Halloween. I think that's the main reason why I get so creeped out by it. I remember enjoying it as a kid.

I've been thinking about the purpose of Halloween... lots of cultures have holidays like it. Day of the dead and such. The psycologists tell us that we have to mock our fears and so we dress up like demons to scare away the ghosts, or like ghosts to scare away the demons... or whatever. I think this is semi-legit. It makes sense to me, and it would explain why children get so into it. They have very little control over their world. Life happens to them. It makes sense that they would feel empowered as the scary guy for one night.

Halloween is just one example of this fear fettish that we have... horror movies and books, haunted houses, ghost stories...
What is it that draws people, grown people to revel in these things? Especially since they know that some of it at least, is real. We tell kids... there is such thing as monsters. And some of them believe us... some of the time. But we know that there are real monsters. Real witches. Real demons. Maybe not red ones, with pitchforks and horns... but there is scary stuff in the world. People who kill people. People who do things much worse than kill people. I'm listening to Paralandra on my walks this week and am once again shivering at Lewis' depiction of Satan. If you haven't already, read both that one and Screwtape Letters to get a vision that will get you on your knees fighting off these powers of darkness... until human apathy sets back in... soon enough.

Okay... I'm home alone and I'm kinda giving myself the heeby geebies... so I'll get to the point. My point is this: human beings are starved for awesomeness. We have this need to break out of the common place into something huge and
terrifying and totally unlike us. A spine-tingling otherness. Something powerful and overwhemling.

In the end I guess it comes down to what it always comes down to... people trying to replace God, in all of His glory and wonder and magnificence, with something else... anything else. There is nothing so great and awesome, but nothing so frightening to we mortals as the Immortal. We try to fill that need with anything and everything... as long as it isn't the real thing. What a twisted way to replace God only wise, who dwells in unapproachable light!

Thanks be to God that we can have this spine tingling awesome experience which we hunger for with Hannibal Lector or mucus covered creatures ever coming into play.

Okay... thats it for now... cause this keeps not getting published...