Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
My soul feels malnourished, ill, forsaken and sick. If I am in my head for too long, this feeling spreads to my stomach and reminds me how inexplicably real my soul is, despite its too frequent absence in my consciousness.
When I am not aware of my soul - when the five overt senses reach out more than my heart - I find myself stupid. Denying myself simple and accessible water, I stretch out on the beach, filling my throat with sand and swallowing sea salt. My increased thirst does not lead me to water. Instead I'm fooled into seeking more from dry grains.
Once a week, I shovel handfuls of beach into my mouth before I stumble to a hose. There I try to expediently power wash the dry disillusionment that coats inside hollow cheeks. My weakened capacity to receive goodness causes the water to ricochet off the back of my throat and I am not satisfied. I need more - more time, more awareness, more heart - but I don't seek it. For some reason, it is easier to slump back into the sand and lazily lick up its stale taste.
So when my stomach starts to churn, even though I've eaten well; and when my chest tightens despite sitting still and relaxed - I remember the sand. I've tried to let it sustain me for a long time now. It is an old friend and my taste buds have dulled enough to enjoy it. Oh, but I remember. I remember the way water used to feel before I fed from the beach. I remember a pure, cool sweetness of the simple drink. I want that again. I'm just not sure how to get rid of the sand.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Wow! I was reading some of my recent posts and dang, I'm depressing! I don't write much but I guess I feel most moved to write when I am sad or feeling reflective. When I go back and read on my blog, I'm going to have to remind myself that those spaces? Those long gaps between one post and another? Those were good times. Life was good enough that I didn't feel the need to emotionally vomit on the internet.
Moving on before this becomes the most narcissistic post of all time...
I've decided I must re-watch this movie as soon as possible.
One carpet bag and an umbrella to whoever knows what movie this refers to!
Next post will be a positive one, mkay?
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please Him...
II Corinthians 5:1-9
I read this at 7:15 this morning. At 7:55, I learned that my grandfather had passed away in the darkness before dawn. That is, he passed from darkness into dawn.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Tonight, I found myself jealous. Jealous of a homeless man with a mental handicap. Despite the fact that he wasn't "normal," he had an incredible musical talent. Sitting on a park bench, with all his possessions at his feet, he played a cello. Standing near a tunnel, his trumpet tunes made music with the city sounds. Once he was student at Julliard, but now he lives his passion a little differently. He does it on the street, since the way his brain works prevents him from a normal job. He adores music so much that nothing can stop him from it.
I'd rather be homeless and doing what I was created to do, than have a safe warm home and not know what dreams to pursue.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I'm feeling somber tonight.
When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows and the stars appear
There is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love
I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I will never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
There's no doubt in my mind where you belong
I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love
There storms are raging on the rolling sea
Down on the highway of the grave
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain't seen nothing like me yet
I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do -
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love
Monday, February 23, 2009
I'm not as good at talking as I am at writing. And that's not to say that I'm fabulous at writing. I'm saying I do very poorly when talking. Either I don't or - when I do - I stutter, stumble, mumble or make little sense. Every once in a while I say something however, that is almost as honest, heart-spoken, and clear as when words come off my pen (or keyboard).
At a party the other night I met a couple of people and one of them asked me what I do. I replied candidly, "Nothing. I don't do much..." That was stupid, Andrea. Recover, woman! "I'm learning many things, but I wouldn't say I do anything, at least not well." I wasn't saying to be mysterious or clever. I didn't necessarily want to talk about it, but simply spoke the very thoughts that came to my head when he asked the question. My answer was strange and I tried to recover - "I mean, my job is teaching. I teach kindergarten." .....awkward pause.... "I like it."
Then this person asked what I was learning about.
"Lots of things, I guess...how to knit...how to blog...how to be a good wife....a good friend...." at this point I was feeling kind of silly, but I kept going. "I have a lot to learn." Like how to make small talk at parties, I'm thinking to myself. I kind of wanted to crawl into a hole at that point.
At the risk of sounding egotistical, when I look back, I love what I said. Quite simply - it's true and I just said what was on my heart. Every day I'm learning something, and every day I'm reminded I have far to go in mastering that skill or relationship or ability.
"Hi, I'm Andrea. And I'm learning."
Monday, February 9, 2009
Goals. I'm not big on them.
However, I'm kind of at a place where I need them. It's funny because one would think goals would be created when you have a vision and know exactly what you want. For me, my goal-making was birthed out of not really being sure...about anything. I think this path may be possible....these steps could be successful....Go
d might want this for me...but I'm not positive. Might as well pursue one of them than sit around and wonder.
It has been a lot of fun setting my goals and laying out plans to meet them. For example I set Goal A and Goal B. Under each goal, I listed three or so things of what I think those goals require of me long-term, i.e. how I plan to meet that goal.
Now, at the beginning of each week, I am laying out the specific actions for me to make steps toward reach
ing my goals. Amazing, I know. I will be writing a self-help book, Realize Your Dreams - See Your Success - Now! Coming to stores soon.
So anyways, when I make these weekly goal-meeting plans, I'm writing it all down in my journal. I love my journal. I love the intimate writing experience between me and God. Ever since my first prayer journal (Precious Moments) and first diary (Garfield - I know, right?), I've loved the secrecy of a private thought-space. So naturally, my journal stays closed. It looks cuter this way. Unfortunately, I'm finding that when I write down things and then hide them with the cute but opaque covers of my journal, I tend to forget all the plans and goals I had.
So, while it is driving my slight ocd crazy, I'm leaving my journal out and open most of the time. The accessibility has really worked so far - both days I've done it. Ha.
I have some house-wifely duties I must get done now....and no, those weren't exactly on the goal list.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Things that made me happy:
- Holding a week old baby
- Watching B play his bball game and discussing it afterwards
- Deciding not to exercise today (I'll do it tomorrow. Really.)
- Sharing advice with a new teacher
- Watching my kids dance the Hokey Pokey (they've got some moves!)
- Making reservations for V-day at the best local Italian restaurant
- My pink camisole
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I've been reading Jane Eyre over the last two weekends, in exchange for actually accomplishing anything. Finished yesterday. Beautiful story, interesting characters, and well-balanced plot. The story didn't lend itself to being quoted, but there were a couple parts I marked that I really like.
"I was surprised to find how easy I felt under the total neglect of the one and semi-sarcastic attentions of the other...the fact was, I had other things to think about; within the last few months feelings had been stirred in me so much more potent than any they could raise - pains and pleasures so much more acute and exquisite had been excited, than any it was in their power to inflict or bestow..."
"Better tire my limbs than strain my heart."
I signed up for a knitting class yesterday. The end.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Something about being young(ish), married, and no kids gives you a little bit of a feeling of being unaffected by the passage of time. B and I pretty much look the same (plus 5 lbs or so) and our life circumstances have not changed drastically. I've graduated, started teaching; B's been in a job or three and is still improving himself constantly in the professional world.
This unawareness of time's passing makes me act foolishly sometimes. I don't treasure people and simple moments as much as I should/could. I don't live life like it is precious - I frequently take it for granted and get bogged down in the mundane.
I remember when dear friends of our had their little girl. She was not a blood relation and not my child, but being there for her birth and holding her shortly afterward made me want to be a better person. The awe in looking at a baby and realizing that it is a little person gives one a pause in their thinking. It made me want to exercise, love more, learn more, and live abundantly. It made me want to make the world a better place.
I want children. Very much. I look forward to the days when I have consciousness of time's quick passing because there is a rapidly growing life in front of me. For now, to be aware of mortality, I have to work to be conscious of it. I do not want to take this time for granted any more than I would if I had a child. The breath in me now is just as valuable as the ones I will have when I'm a mother.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Yesterday the the sermon was entitled "Abortion and Racism: How Both Are Blasphemous." It was little bit of a jolt to read such a straightforward title on the front of the bulletin. Not that I disagree with the idea, but it had been quite some time since I'd heard these topics spoken on plainly "from the pulpit."
That's what our pastor did. He spoke plainly, first referencing Psalms 139:13-18
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.How precious to me are you thoughts, O God!How vast is the sum of them!Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.When I awake, I am still with you.
Our pastor described the kinds of abortions we have legalized in our country, presented arguments of "choice" and their counter-arguments. Some people listening gasped as he proceeded, one or two left the room (for reasons I do not know), but all were engaged and listening.
I was glad to be hearing the topic of abortion and the principles of life and death spoken about in church. I'm tired of it being a part of political debates. It is not a political issue and will not be solved through politics. It is an issue that is swayed by our fundamental beliefs about who a person is. Those fundamental beliefs are a matter of faith, of religion, of spirituality. It is not something our government can decided for us, though they may try to tell us what to think. And, I could certainly be wrong here, but I do not think that you are accountable for what your political leaders do. Let them stand in their own decisions. Concern yourself with the choices you have made. There is more than enough of yourself to worry about. You have some loving to do.
The second part of the sermon was begun with the scripture Revelation 5:9-10
You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.
After this, Sam read a letter Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in response to a few white pastors who were requesting that King slow down a little and be more patient. King's letter methodically went through the way life was for him everyday and the world that his children were beginning to see, poisoned with ignorance and hate. He told those men that if they had been through all he had, they would never be so patient.
I am going to speak plainly now. I struggle with prejudices every day. I see parents of my students and I assume I know what they are going through. I judge a coworker, believing he works here only because he cannot get a job elsewhere. I do a double take when I see a cashier at Wal-Mart who is white, well-dressed, and articulate. I am a racist. Do I want to be? No. Do I feel like I am less prejudiced than some others in this country? Yes. But I have my assumptions and biases, each day a "preconceived judgement or opinion" (www.merriam-webster.com).
The matter of abortion does not concern me much right now. I feel sure in its horrors and I know where I stand. I value life from conception to death. Racism is the matter I find myself thinking on more. I may say "I value life from conception to death," but do I value every life from conception to death? Do I act as though every person I meet is worth the same? Because they are. Each knitted in the womb, a wonderful creation with days ordained and a God killed for them. ...God so loved the world...
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Journal Entry 1/10/09, modified
I wait for no one, no man
There is no space in me to hear
Buzzing thoughts or consolations
Prizes do not appear
There is room for one hole
One space in me to fill
Not another thing after the other
Heavy leaves me final
Expanse far between me and the last thing
Remaining still, aspire
Is it better than the first one
Hopes may this one help me fly
A consolation prize
The martyr deserves
But truly a heart barren
Has nothing to die for
So plant deep in me
Pull back those greenhouse shades
Filter in the light
One ray, spilling harder as it grows
The concealed part
Stretching out that realm of belief
Grow in me that thing called faith
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
It wasn't worth it. Last Friday, when I was putting groceries in the fridge, I noticed a couple tupperware containers with some food that had to be going bad. Into the sink they went, to dump after the groceries were put up. But I decided that I wanted to make some chocolate chip cookies to send to our neighbor and for B's never-fulfilled appetite for them. I baked three dozen, put the rest of the dough in the fridge and set the dirty dishes by the sink. I was a little tired, so I decided to sit for a while. I came across a movie I'd wanted to see, so I plopped my butt down and my feet up and watched. No dishes done that night.
Saturday and Sunday were busy busy with running around to family events. I was also on a specific eating plan and wasn't in the kitchen much. When I was, I tried to ignore it all. Between B's breakfast dishes, my occasional plate and fork, and glasses galore, we soon had a hazardous situation on our hands.
You will be spared the suffering of seeing inside the sink....that's where the moldy leftovers were growing.
Hurrah for transformations!
Please be sure to notice the fabulous Kitchenaid/Christmas present. It was the real reason I had to make cookies last Friday...
Hope this isn't too exciting for you. I'll try to scale back next time. =)
I remember the semester I started student teaching, two dozen different people told me to be sure that I took care of myself. When they said this, they meant to take time to do leisurely things - indulge, pamper, stay rested etc.
I'm not very good at indulging monetarily, unless it is something huge like a special vacation or trip, then I throw caution to the wind....and stay in hostels. I don't do therapy shopping, or drop into Starbucks for a pick-me-up mocha. I'm not a spa person, though I did get a massage once and it was amazing. Regular visits are not my thing, though.
Once upon a time, I loved to read. In that read-on-the-toilet-flashlight-in-bed-this-part-is-too-good-to-stop-at kind of way. I still have a lot of affection for books, but I haven't read through a substantial novel or non-fiction text in a while. Light reads here or there, but I don't consider myself a "reader" right now.
I feel that a good teacher is a creative teacher. Someone who thinks outside the box and shares the world she's discovering with her students. A creative teacher is one who takes the time to foster her own knowledge, grow spiritually and emotionally, and broadens her own horizons every day.
I feel like I've hit a wall (the first day back to school!) where I don't have any more to share with my students. True - they may be found in euphoric rapture when you create a paper snowflake out of a coffee filter, but sometimes it seems they know when I no longer have sought new thoughts, ideas or dreams out for myself. Or maybe it is that my eagerness to share new things with them diminishes when I have not had a recent experience of discovery for myself. Am I still making absolutely no sense?
I need to make some discoveries, use my brain for things besides planning, teaching, and budgeting. I need to read, create, write, draw, converse, and play. I will have nothing to give if I have nothing inside to give from.
What do you do to inspire yourself?