A Bit of Writing

It has been quite a long time since I’ve written in this space. And honestly, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve written at all. Until recently. I met some great ladies through my husband, and I’ve begun writing for them over at their site, Upwrite Magazine. You can check out the couple of things I’ve done here and here.

Then, as these things tend to go, the Upwrite ladies introduced me to some more great writing women, and I have a piece in the upcoming (print!) issue of Tapestry Magazine. I’m not sure if it will be available online, but if it is, I’ll link it up here.

Finally, the month of March was the release of a podcast I was invited to be a part of at work. Fuller Theological Seminary’s president, Mark Labberton, has a podcast called Conversing, and him, my friend and colleague Jeanelle Austin, and myself got together to discuss implicit gender bias. I felt very honored to be a part of such an important conversation.

I’ve been feeling the itch to write more, lately. While I’m not typically the committal type, I’m hoping to begin making more use of this space. I’m realizing that I don’t have to have something profound to say in order to write it down. What a concept, eh?

How Should a Person Be: a Quote

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This weekend I raced through Sheila Heti’s book How Should a Person Be? This passage really struck home for me, and will serve as a daily challenge to the ever-present thought that I have to find my “one thing”, my one passion, and I’ll “never have to work a day in my life.”

“You remember the puer aeternus–the eternal child–Peter Pan–the boy who never grows up, who never becomes a man? Or it’s like in The Little Prince–when the prince asks the narrator to draw him a sheep. The narrator tries and tries again, but each time he fails to do it as well as he wishes. He believes himself to be a great artist and cannot understand why it’s not working. In a fit of frustration, he instead draws a box–something he can do well. When the prince asks how it’s a picture of a sheep, the narrator replies that it’s a picture of a sheep in a box. He is arrogantly proud of his solution and satisfied with his efforts. This response is typical of all peurs. Such people will suddenly tell you they have another plan, and they always do it the moment things start getting difficult. But it’s their everlasting switching that’s the dangerous thing, not what they choose.

Why is their everlasting switching dangerous?

Because people who live their lives this way can look forward to a single destiny, shared with others of this type–though such people do not believe they represent a type, but feel themselves distinguished from the common run of man, who they see as held down by the banal anchors of the world. But while others actually build a life in which things gain in meaning and significance, this is not true of the puer. Such a person inevitability looks back on life as it nears its end with a feeling of emptiness and sadness, aware of what they have built: nothing. In their quest for a life without failure, suffering, or doubt, that is what they achieve: a life empty of all those things that make a human life meaningful. And yet they started off believing themselves too special for this world!

But–and here is the hope–there is a solution for people of this type, and it’s perhaps not the solution that could have been predicted. The answer for them is to build on what they have begun and not abandon their plans as soon as things start getting difficult. They must work–without escaping into fantasies about being the person who worked. And I don’t mean work for its own sake, but they must choose work that begins and ends in a passion, a question that is gnawing at their guts, which is not to be avoided but must be realized and lived through the hard work and suffering that inevitably comes with the process.

They must reinforce and build on what is in their life already rather than always starting anew, hoping to find a situation without danger. Puers don’t need to check themselves into analysis. If that just remember this–It is their everlasting switching that is the dangerous thing, not what they choose–they might discover themselves saved. The problem is the puer ever anticipates loss, disappointment, and suffering–which they foresee at the end of every experience, so they cut themselves off at the beginning, retreating almost at once in order to protect themselves. In this way, they never give themselves to life–living in constant dread of the end. Reason, in this case, has taken too much from life.

They must give themselves completely to the experience! One thinks sometimes how much more alive such people would be if they suffered! If they can’t be happy, let them at least be unhappy–really, really unhappy for once, and then they might become truly human.”

A Meaningful Weekend

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This past weekend was sorely needed. The month of May has been packed full of events, both personal and work-related, and Michael and I were both looking forward to three days off. Michael did some writing for a class he’s auditing, and I read two books (this one, lent to me by a friend, and this one).  We’ve also been giving ourselves a movie history lesson, and have been watching a bunch of classic, well-loved films; Howl’s Moving Castle and Casablanca were this week’s hits. We’ve also really been enjoying watching the PBS show “The Mind of a Chef.” It’s super fascinating and inspiring to see the process behind that kind of creativity, and I love hearing about how certain foods like miso or ramen have such a rich, deep history behind them. I even roped Michael into watching the episodes on Southern food, and he loved them. I’d highly recommend it!

 

It felt so good to have no plans, no commitments, and no requirements this weekend. I’ve started this week feeling rested and inspired. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt either of those things! My mind was finally given space to dream for myself, and being given that space, I realize just how much I was missing it. I’d really like to be more intentional about where I put my time and energy- towards rest, meaningful hobbies, and people who matter most in my life. I’m already looking forward to it.

i thank You God for most this amazing day

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(photo by Devin Pedde)

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e.e. cummings

Moving forward

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I’ve recently decided to start pursuing something that I want desperately, but scares the hell out of me. (I’m not pregnant, just to be clear.) I’m only just scratching the surface of all I’ll have to do to prepare- making lists, reaching out to people who have gone before me, lots of reading- but I’m already hearing the loud voices of my insecurities, telling me that I’m not good enough for this, I’ll never make it, it’ll be too emotionally and mentally draining, etc. etc. Last night I had a dream where two people separately told me that they knew this was the right thing for me to do, and I felt really reassured when I woke up. But midway through the day, I’m back down on myself. So, I went searching for some inspirational words to help me through some of the darker thoughts. It’s way too easy for me to get down when I feel inadequate, but I also know that I have to do this thing, or I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. And it feels very right, despite how very scary it remains. Details aside for now, I’d appreciate any encouraging words. Here’s some that are helping me right now:

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What motivates and inspires you?

 

Nature is speaking

Have you seen the videos for Conservation International’s newest campaign? They have these gorgeous videos, with famous actors giving voice to different aspects of nature. Harrison Ford is the voice of the ocean. Robert Redford is the voice of the Redwood Forest. Kevin Spacey is the rainforest, and Julia Roberts is Mother Nature.

I think they’re really beautiful, and their campaign is really well done. And, for every time you use the hashtag #NatureIsSpeaking, $1 is donated to Conservation International. Here’s a few of the videos, and more can be found at their website. Watch, share, and be sure to use the hashtag! For more information on Conservation International and the work they are doing, visit www.conservation.org.

 

 

 

Happy Friday!

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This has been one of those weeks that has felt two days too long, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I’m going to do a lot of baking, and we’ve been invited to what looks to be the most amazing dinner party I’ve ever seen. I’m really excited about it!

Hope you have a relaxing weekend, and here’s what I’ve been looking at this week…


Why millennials are so individualistic

I love this casual, cozy look (and the rest of the collection!)

Meaning vs. happiness

I’ve found my life word

Really wanting this book to dive in deeper with essential oils

The most beautiful tea kettle

An easy way to spice up my everyday hairstyle 

A different kind of piano man (an oldie, but still fascinating)

Still waiting for my invitation to the always ad-free Ello