April 28, 2009

slow loris


So cute. This video caused all-house uproar yesterday when it was sent to someone during study time. It turned five adults into balls of "awwww! IT'S SO CUTE!" today.

I just finished my second paper, so I feel like I'm at the crest of my schoolwork, peaking over the edge, lingering at the top of the wave for a few split seconds before everything comes crashing down at once. Then I emerge in the surf, covered in globs of wet sand and stringy seaweed while the wave recedes.

I'm going to enjoy the lingering and head to bed before I get started on my next paper. One's due Saturday and one's due next Wednesday, 8-10 each.

Bacher out.

April 26, 2009

an earthy, sticky smell

It's currently 81 degrees and I'm sitting on my porch, enjoying the slightly cooler air as the sun sets behind the houses across the street. Weather-wise, this has been a really great weekend. Personally, this has been a really great weekend.

I've been going through "lasts" - last class period, last Spring Fling, last Friday Eucharist chapel service, soon to be last papers, last coffee hour, last YDS. It hasn't sunk in that these are my lasts, there's still some surrealistic notions in my mind, almost like I don't believe it. I know it, but I don't understand it. One month from today is graduation and I'm out of here shortly after. The unknown looms, but still theoretically. There could be endless summer evenings on this porch for all I know.

I'm really going to miss this place - the people, the love, the humor, the academic and personal challenges. I almost want to compare my time here to a mountaintop experience where things are awesome but you can't stay there; you have to descend for the green, flourishing valleys. But that's not the case - I feel really sustained here. Life isn't barren but beautiful like on a mountaintop, but really rich and amazing. I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet, but I know this - I leave changed. Parting is bittersweet, indeed.

At the same time, I'm itching to get back to Minneapolis. I miss Amy and Drew and Kari; seeing MOK kids for Nat's wedding was really great. Reminded me why I love them so much and shaded these past few weeks with a longing for their company. Besides the friendships, I'm ready to start working. I'm ready to jump in and get my hands dirty. In chapel Friday, Emilie Townes asked us if we could smell the wetness of clay, waiting to be molded and shaped. Without a doubt, yes.

There's an intrinsic sweetness to a cool breeze. It carries an earthy, sticky smell.

April 22, 2009

9 days

Me from now to the end of the semester - aka at the library.

April 20, 2009

April 19, 2009

End of Semester Numbers Game

Life's busy.

12 days, 8 hours, 40 minutes until I'm done with work for YDS.

4 papers to write, 3 events to plan, 2 books to read, 1 degree to complete.

1353 miles to drive at the end of May to get back to MPLS.

Many jobs to apply for.

I had a great weekend enjoying the nice weather and good company. It's about time to crack down and get my numbers list down to zero.

April 10, 2009

today you will be with me in paradise

This is a reflection I wrote for my Passion of Christ in Literature and Art class this semester:

Today you will be with me in paradise? Are you kidding? I don’t have time for paradise. I have things to do – I have reading; I have homework; I have plans to make and people to call. It just isn’t a good time for paradise right now. How about tomorrow? That looks better for me. Or even this weekend? “This weekend you will be with me in paradise.” So I’ll pencil in paradise for this weekend – say a late breakfast? I’ll be more prepared this weekend… I’ll be ready for Jesus in a few days.

In a world driven by instant gratification and the need for more hours each day, we are pushed and pulled between the now and the I’ll get to it next week and the ask someone else. But at this moment, we’re being told that today, we will be with Jesus in paradise. Today.

But what about tomorrow? I’m all ready for the endless tomorrows; today, I’m a little less certain. I’ve been making plans for after graduation – applying for jobs, finding places to live, imagining a future of summer bike rides, fall leaf raking, winter sledding, and spring gardening for seasons to come. I’ve thought so much about what the future holds that I’m not sure what today holds. Maybe today is that future I’ve been planning for. Maybe there won’t be endless tomorrows.

The man hanging next to Jesus didn’t have a tomorrow. He only had today. Condemned to die, the criminal asked Jesus to remember him when he comes into his kingdom. Even dying on the cross, his mortal coil shuffling like hell, the man looks to the future and starts making plans. Jesus says no, seriously, trust me. Today. Today you will be with me in paradise. Not tomorrow. Not next week. No need to call ahead or spend time worrying about it. Now. We’ll be there today.

Woah. Hold up. Today? Like I said earlier, today doesn’t work for me. I have things to do. I thought we were going to meet this weekend. But Jesus is calling. Like fishers by the side of the lake, Jesus is calling and we’re going NOW. Ready or not, here Christ comes.

We have this amazing gift of life, a life filled with joys and struggles and good days and bad. But it’s ours and it’s not going to last forever, maybe not even to tomorrow. God gave us this gift and we’re wasting it. From dust we were formed and to dust we will return. We’re reminded of that at least one day a year, when we walk with the mark of our mortality for all to see, when God’s claim on us is made visible. The rest of the time? We’re untouchable. When we live with immortality in our blood, the truly important things get put aside for tomorrow or next week. That can wait. I’ll get to it later. I’ll call her next week. Oh, we can catch up another time. I have more time to volunteer next month. You know, next year I’ll really start to focus on social justice issues.

We only have so many days before Christ comes to us and says “It’s time. Today’s the day. Today you will be with me in paradise.” So start acting like it.

April 8, 2009

two out of three

I walked out of the house this morning and ran into my friend who lives down the street. As we walked to class together, we talked about how little time was left in the semester, how much work we had to do, and what I'm going to do after graduation.

In her experience, someone should have at least one of three things when moving to a new city: friends, a job, or a place to live. Well, I've got great friends and as of Saturday, I've got a place to live. Kari and I found (what looks like) a great place in Uptown, really close to lots of things to do. I'm looking forward to living there with Kari. She's emailed and called countless times to ask questions about rooms and rugs and plates and shower curtains... Needless to say, she's very excited.

Now I just have to get that job nailed down. I'm oh-so excited about the search process. Ok, a little less than excited, but I'm working on it. Two out of three 'ain't bad.

Next up: Nat's wedding.

April 4, 2009

walt whitman - song of the open road


AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

The earth—that is sufficient;
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are;
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;
I carry them, men and women—I carry them with me wherever I go;
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)


Allons! to that which is endless, as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys;
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you—however long, but it stretches and waits for you;
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it—enjoying all without labor or purchase—abstracting the feast, yet not abstracting one particle of it;
To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them—to gather the love out of their hearts,
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,
To know the universe itself as a road—as many roads—as roads for traveling souls.

-excerpts from Walt Whitman's Song of the Open Road, Leaves of Grass

April 2, 2009

ben folds - not the same

So since that last post was a little stressful and depressing, at least in my opinion... Here's a something cheerier and bit of what Tim and I did last Saturday night.

Ben Folds is phenomenal. I love this song, and even the way he stands up to play. In the album version, he does some really great stuff with alternating vocals that I love love love. It was a great show and I think Ben Folds is one of those people that everyone should see live at least once.

This was also another great concert experience a few years back with Amy, Nat, and Drew:

Guster - Jesus on the Radio (acoustic)

They released the info for The Current's Rock the Garden, and I think Jake and I are going to go. If Kari and I end up living by Loring like planned, we can walk over! I hope Nat comes up to visit then, too. The Decemberists are playing and she loves them.

April 1, 2009

full speed ahead

As I've been telling Olivia lately, my mind is mushy. I feel like it's going to be mushy for another few weeks, still. I feel like there's a push regarding getting stuff done - I've got a presentation in class tomorrow, I had a paper Tuesday, I have another presentation/paper Monday and another the Tuesday after that. Then starts the round of final papers.

Looking at a calendar, I'll have all my grad school work done by May 2.

Then I can breathe again.

Kari and I are looking at apartments and it's a little nerve wracking, partially because I'm not there and partially because I don't have a job yet and partially because it's the first step in a post-education world. We're looking around Uptown and Loring Park. At least in that department, there's lots of options and lots of leads to follow. Well, Kari's doing most of the calling and touring.

I've got a list of jobs to apply for, mostly it's just the cover letters that need to be written. I also have a corresponding list of jobs where I've sent resumes/interviewed; that list fluctuates as I add jobs and I take away jobs when I get the (seemingly inevitable) "we've recieved a record number of applications and have decided not to interview you" email. Although I'm anxious to get out of school, part of me wishes I was waiting a year, when hopefully things won't be so bad. Perserverence, I suppose.

I'm flying out for Nat's wedding on Wednesday, and there's a long list of things I'd like to accomplish before I head out there. I suppose it's not stuff that I'd like to accomplish, but that I have to finish. While I'm there, I'd prefer it if I didn't have to do any work at all and can just focus on enjoying my friends and what's going to be a wonderful weekend.

I should go to sleep. It's getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. Plus I have to be at school early tomorrow to prep for my presentation. At least it's something I love talking about - violence and The Passion of the Christ. I was specifically asked to be on a panel for one of my classes because of my research in undergrad. It's an honor, really.

Only four weeks until I can breathe.