Friday, November 28, 2008

Angst and Secrets and LOVE

Gasp! I have emerged from the dark depths of paper writing...for a brief expound upon the angst of my soul.

And to share with you a poem/prayer by Walter Brueggemann from his book "Prayers for a Privileged People"

Exposed to Mercy, Truth, and Newness (on reading Psalm 32)

"We begin the new week toward you,
from whom no secret can be hid.
We have had a night,
and a weekend,
and a lifetime of secrets.

We have stored the usual list of secrets,
of acres of guilt unforgiven,
of desires too rich to utter.
Beyond that, we have a secret list of hurts,
from ancient days with parents and siblings,
from assorted bullies at playschool
and in adult life;
some of us overly sensitive,
all of us grown protective
and capable of self-pity.

Beyond that, we have a secret list of hopes,
some selfish and some noble,
hopes of new freedom and new reconciliation,
of new security and new recognition,
of doing well and being well.

We have so much to keep hidden.
And you know--
you know because you made us and have watched us
from the beginning;
you know because you see us in our waking and our sleeping;
you know because you love us right through,
beyond all of our covert capacity."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Dad's Truck

Ok, when you have survived almost plummeting over a VERY steep cliff WHO has the presence of mind to take a picture of it with their cell phone? My dad is intense.

"His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall." Psalm 91:4

Friday, November 21, 2008

Community Continued....

I think that I entered into this school year with a slightly idealistic perspective about community. I thought it would be relatively easy to enter a new environment and meet people and live happily ever after. Perhaps this is due to living so many years in the wonderful bubble that is the Providence College Residence. Making friends there is not hard. But somehow, when you enter the "real" world, it seems as though the friend making process significantly slows down. Friendships that took days to form, now seem to take weeks, months.

So I am left with the feeling that I need to work harder, be more outgoing, and talk to people more than I am. Ok, I can try. Because relationships are worth it. And community is so much of life.

As a pretty dedicated introvert I cringe at the thought of stepping outside of my comfort zone and pushing myself to initiate conversation. Is there an easier way? Maybe...but I think life is too short and too painful and too beautiful to wait for someone else to make the first move. I offer myself advice in this regard: start small...but start.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Community is a dance. A harmonious, warm, beautiful movement.

It is our burden. Our duty. Our longing. Our purpose.

It is action. It is growth. It is development.

"This is the duty of our generation as we enter the twenty-first century -- solidarity with the weak, the persecuted, the lonely, the sick, and those in despair. It is expressed by the desire to give a noble and humanizing meaning to a community in which all members will define themselves not by their own identity but by that of others."
Elie Wiesel

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Reader's Disgression is Advised....

Today is the anniversary of my almost severed fingers...It happened one grey, dismal Thursday afternoon 9 years ago...

The Woodworking Classroom:
...I was making my mother a cutting board in woodworking class. Grade eight. Mr. Jenson. I had this beautiful piece of maple wood, and I was using the planer so that it would be smooth and beautiful, and the wood got stuck. Now most people who are smart would have turned off this highly powerful machine in order to remove the stuck object...but I did not. I tried to pull the wood back towards me, but the blade was so strong that it pulled my fingers closer, and closer, and ZOINK. That is the sound that was made when my fingers hit the blade. I stood in shock holding my hand awkwardly, the bones protruding, the blood oozing (this is my favorite part!) and then I tried to walk towards someone, help, anybody...but my legs wouldn't move, so I stood there for awhile until help arrived, and then I was sat down by the sink, so that I would not bleed on the floor, while the school contacted someone who had first-aid training to come to the basement level, and bind me, before I left for the hospital...

The Hospital:
Three words describe this time period: tears, pain, embarrassment.
The tears did not arrive until my mother did. The pain was present for the duration, particularly while they unwrapped the initial dressing, put needles in between my fingers, and took x-rays...The embarrassment occurred when one of the nurses told me that her son was in one of my classes, and I was imagining the future discussions that would take place around school ("did you hear about the girl who almost cut off her fingers, and cried? yeah my mom was her nurse.")

The Night:
Very awkward sleep.

The Next Morning/afternoon:
Crying in the hospital waiting for the plastic surgeon to look at my hand for 5 hours...And finally having surgery, and getting my fingers reconstructed!! A happy time because they gave me morphine.

The Recovery:
Doctor's appointments.
Fellow peers laughing at the posture that my middle finger had in its bandage. Sometimes I would point it in their direction if they got really irritating.
Fear that my fingers would get infected, and amputated.
Uncomfortable bathing experiences.
My stuffed frog
and LOVE....

The Moral(s):
When there are signs on power tools that say "CAUTION" or "DANGER" pay attention to them.
There are people who care about your well-being...even people who you have never spoken to before express concern...It is frustrating that it often takes a crisis to know that you are I hope this is a reminder for you that you ARE!

The End.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Recent Insights that Have Proven Invaluable in the Past Few Days:

-I cannot drink coffee any later than noon...and before that only in very small quantities...otherwise, this strange phenomenon occurs where I cannot breathe and I feel like I have to run around in circles. Plus, it makes me talk in class...yeah, its pretty bad.

-I occasionally can use humour in a negative way to reflect my cynicism. This is sometimes funny...and sometimes very awful. I would rather be a dull-witted earwig than say hurtful things to the ones I love.

-I am a people pleaser. I already knew that, but it still proves to be an invaluable insight in recent days, so there it is.

-I am skill-less...Yes it is true. I have this yearning to be cool and stuff...and have skills like sister is a great preserver. Or a great baseball brother is a great 2nd base man...Or the friendly neighbourhood Wilderness Guide, I love the forest...Or an amazing singer who carries her guitar 50 blocks to the local coffee shop in order to entertain customers in exchange for free coffee and good conversation. But, here I am, in the prime of life with no real grasp on myself, except for a list of things that I would LIKE to be good at. All this to say, I have great hope for day I will laugh in the face of my skill-less days.

-Listening to Waking Ashland reminds me of my first year at Prov...and flopping around on the floor in helpless giggles. Oddest combination with this particular music choice, I know.

-I must always, always carry my house keys with me (see final insight for further insight, ha ha)

-Be a person of love and acceptance and warmth and relationship, and utter humbleness...

-Cut fingernails before playing bowling (is that the correct phrase? do you play bowling)

-Make my lunch and supper the night before Monday in order to avoid frantic grabbing of very random food items.

-Go to bed earlier to increase my brain is a true fact. I read all about it in a health magazine today while sitting in the hospital waiting room for dearest roommate who cut her self trying to break into our house.