Friday, July 20, 2012

endings and things

Tonight I finished knitting a mitten, and listening to an audio recording of Gaudy Night, by Dorothy L. Sayers. One of these two endeavors ended considerably better than the other. Together, their amiable and domestic progression flavored a delightful little epoch in my life. Now, it is done.
     Fortunately, I have a least one (probably two) more mitten(s) to knit, and more Lord Peter novels to read. And after that there are other things, I suppose... other things to put my hand and ear to, things that will  find room for themselves in my malleable affections next to other simple things like these.
     How attached I get to happy routines. Usually when I finish a good book there's a pretty painful gap in my middle. But the exquisite solidity of this one, and the surety I have that there is more to be got out of it in future, along with the quiet thrill of the Potential for Future Mittens, have like a clean snowfall covered the usual sadness-- lessened the melancholy and amplified the lingering savory.
     Hmm. Things. I've bought quite a few books in the past few weeks, which has got me thinking about things. I mean physical things-- objects, like a book. What part do they have in the life of a spirit-animal hybrid like me? In the life of one who was made from dust and for eternity? The dark blue mug I bought at an art fair on Father's Day, solid and copper-toned underneath the dark watery glaze and the elegant handle, the one that makes me feel like a patron of The Green Dragon when I drink from it... The homely copy of Paradise Lost I got from a used bookstore and re-covered with cut-out letters and patches of color... Rocks small and striped, white, grey, black, and sparkling, smooth and razor-edged...
     And the splintery timbers of an old rugged cross, and the bread, and the wine in a cup... These things, I think, are more than mere playthings of an omnipotent intelligence who spoke matter into being as a cog in the story. He became flesh, to die to redeem it.

I call it Luminaries Amidst Junk.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

a collusion of titles

Well, I actually mean collection, but I like the anthropomorphic, conspiratorial tone of collusion. It also possesses the marketable asset of phonic resemblance to both collision and confusion. Today, collusion gets the job.

      I like titles. I paste names liberally across my experiences, and watch them work like clotting reagents to draw disparate thoughts and happenings into a narrative. With a title to rule the roost, every character has a home, a job description [can you tell I've been doing a lot of college and career brainstorming lately?], a home address. Story-tellers are kind of like truth taxonomists, I think. [Also I went to a conference today about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. It's steered me into rather a technical turn of phrase.] Putting names to ideas makes them makes sense
     I've got a greenhouse of anemic baby narratives-- of titles. Some are literally sitting in my blog drafts dock toting empty posts after them (or with bits of text, or a few lingering images), and some just live in my head, wispy bits of carbon never given a chance to see the light of day, to sprout and grow into the green beans or spires of Astilbe they could be. And since I'm having a hard time growing them up enough to bring them out to be planted and  face the rigors of sun and wind, I now invite you into the greenhouse for a Guided Greenhouse Tour. Be nice and speak softly. (Because these titles don't have immune systems.)

Unpublished Titles (until now...)

like an unlit candle   December 17, 2011

     I slouched in my dining-room chair after dinner in the dim December dusk, eyeing the Advent centerpiece glumly. That's how I feel, I thought. Like an unlit candle. And promptly perked up because this way of describing my feelings so perfectly had hopped into my lap like a compliant bunny.

on reading a book    December 27, 2011

     Which I've done a lot, and which seemingly never fails to induce a lot of pondering. I'm thinking my Why-Do-Stories-Affect-Me-So paper trail will prove a fruitful mine for college application essays.

poems and hostages, christian rap and a blood-striped savior    January 11, 2012

    Project Week (a school-week without classes, used for writing research papers) this year furnished an eclectic mix of content-intake, apparently.

Naming my Niche    January 14

     Here's what this one says:
          With the experimental warmth of '60s French films and the pizzicato flavor of horizontal hip-hop, Simon Green's Bonobo project established the welcome niche of a pretension-free, post-party intellectual chill-out.
-Pandora bio of [the musician] Bonobo
     I liked the sound of that.

The Importance of Being Er-- Positive     February 5
  Attitudes aren't everything, but they are potent, and reflect what we think this story is all leading to, and Who's leading it.

A Life of Study     March 3

     After visiting several Great Universities of Old, and returning to a blizzard of schoolwork.

new friends and old masters     March 5

     After visiting the Wondrous, the Renowned, the Enormous Metropolitan Museum of Art. I think I still want to write this post.

on busy-ness     June 7

     I wrote a practice essay for the ACT on the question of whether high school should be extended to five years. This was it, pretty much unedited.

sensory overload     June 10

     Seems to happen to me a lot.

the world is so full of such a number of things     June 26
See above.

Monday, July 2, 2012

sin (a prayer)

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Merciful God who hears the prayers of the sinful,
O my God, in you I trust,
the Bridge you have built, not the filthy rags I wear.
Let me not be put to shame
Don't abandon my soul to the disease of its decadence.
Let not my enemies exult over me
Don't let me go, ever.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame
Glory be.
They shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous
Prone to wander, Lord, am I! Bind me to yourself.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
to know them
teach me your paths.
let my feet know them well
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
Creator, King-- also Teacher.
for you are the God of my salvation;
and I have no other hope
for you I wait all the day long.

Pride creeps softly. A cold heart settles in like hardening wax.

For your name's sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
for your name is greater than my guilt,
and your mercy, glorifying your name,
predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies sinners.

Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
I belong to a God who owns these things, this mercy and this steadfast love
for they have been from of old
I belong to the God to whom this ancient shepherd prayed
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
Remember not the sin that clogs my sight right now
according to your steadfast love remember me
according to the blood-spattered Demonstration of your love remember me
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
Because all of this, always, is about You.

Psalm 25