27 October, 2009


The orchid I am trying to coax into blooming again.

My little study (a room of my own) is the only thing that's keeping me sane right now. At the end of every long day, all I want to do is retreat in here with my textbooks and a cup of tea. Particularly when the weather's been so dismal, as it has been all month.

Registered for classes today for the last time. That was terrifying and sad, but I'm very pleased with what I'll be taking: Diversity in Communication; Place, Space, and Time in Religious Artifacts; Russian Short Stories; and Writing a Thesis about a Topic within Woolf that Remains Woefully Undecided.

In that vein, I am beginning to think I am not smart (or, at least, analytically minded) enough to write an honors thesis. It's a little late to be figuring that out.

Because I hate Hallowe'en, I'm not going to dress up. I will go on Franklin Street for 15 minutes, tops, as I decided with Emily. If I do dress up, I'm going to put on a flannel shirt and call myself Annie Dillard. I've always wanted to go as an obscure female author that no one would recognize.

I feel disoriented this week, but seeing red and yellow leaves splattered on the sidewalk make me brighter.

19 October, 2009

just right

Spent the weekend with Catherine at my home-away-from-home. We made perfect BLTs (with lettuce and tomatoes from Mrs. S's "victory garden"), snuggled on the couch, drank tea and ate candy corn, and then went to see Carolina Ballet perform their interpretation of some of Picasso's works. It made me wish I was even a little flexible. I think their dance on "Guernica" was my favorite. Very dark (spoiler alert: there is a suicide), but appropriately haunting.

So much for thinking I was cool for doing two 365 projects. This woman is reading a BOOK A DAY for an entire year. That's sick. I'm really jealous.

My new favorite photo blog: My Parents Were Awesome. Unlike most popular, snarky photo blogs these days, this one is just kinda sweet and honoring to one's rad parents. But really interesting, too. It's inspiring, to one day be the kind of parent that would be suitable for such a collection. (I know mine are.)

Also, have revived The Unrehearsed Reader. I'm going to try to post every Friday.

I have been dreaming about going home for fall break for weeks and weeks... and now it's almost time! Kelsey and I will be home, at long last, on Wednesday night. Couldn't be happier about the prospect of family dinners around our long table, watching trash TV with Grace, listening to Sam sound better on my guitar than I ever did.

15 October, 2009

until the day breaketh

Lilies that Guion brought me. You can say it. Or I'll say it: He's the best.

I drove to Southern Pines on Tuesday night and relished the pure beauty of long country roads. They were sparsely populated and curved gently around pockets of these tiny towns. Driving alone is rather like walking alone, allowing the mind to untie itself, loosen its knots. I felt this surging impulse to hold it all in; to remember everything--all of the shadows on the sides of brick ranches with car ports, the glint of the sun on the edges of Jordan Lake, the silhouette of the pine trees over the next hill. All was calm, all was bright.

I drove to Southern Pines to go to the Young Life banquet that the Pratts hosted, but mostly I went to meet Allen Levi, Guion's spiritual and aesthetic godfather. It was well worth the journey. By all appearances, he seems to be a man who has not compartmentalized his life. Everything is music and story and art and community and Jesus; there are no divisions in his speech. He sounds like one who has absorbed the very words of Wendell Berry and Annie Dillard and actually lives them out. He pulled out a little notebook from his pocket and asked me for the five great books he should read. As I struggled to come up with titles he hadn't already read, I found myself realizing that I need to be more like him, more curious, more eager, more... whole.

Grace, since you'll be a licensed instructor soon, I need to practice yoga with you. My tired spine feels so cramped lately. I am very busy, I do not stop moving.

There is an small elderly man in my English class. He is bent almost in half and his back has grown so crooked that his shoulders have risen up to swallow his skinny neck. His face is brown and covered in moles and spots. He wears white linen pants every day and laughs often. He seems well-aware of current events, but likes to make references to the time before all of us were born, the time when he was young like us. I like him. He has the skinniest ankles I've ever seen, about the circumference of my wrists, and he wears a wedding ring. I think, when I see him, his wife must be happy.

I was early to costume design yesterday and so I wandered through the old graveyard before I went into the theater. I love reading epitaphs, particularly here. The graveyard is old and Southern and the lines are almost always drawn from hymns or scripture. The one that caught my eye was for a William McDade, born 1885, died 1947, that said only: "Until the day breaketh."

12 October, 2009

rain and little creatures

Rain like this is infinitely more frustrating than rain that pours. This stuff--this cold, light, whining drizzle--is miserable. But it is making me fantasize about breaking out all of my nearly-forgotten sweaters and thick socks and blankets. I may also be going to Catherine's for a night this weekend and, selfishly, I'm almost wishing for a weekend with weather like this, so we can just snuggle on her big couch and drink tea all day long.

I'm re-reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek because part of me wants to return to the earth and I appreciate her voracious mind. This woman has read everything about every conceivable topic. Everything fascinates her. I admire a writer who can focus and successfully execute an entire book that is not about people. She just spent two pages talking exclusively about the spiders she lets take up residence in her house. She will just sit and watch them spin webs over her coffee mugs and she set up towel bridges in her bathtubs so they wouldn't get stuck in the slippery ceramic basins. I like the idea of being that kind of woman (like Susan in The Waves, I imagine), but I admit that I violently drowned all of the big, thick-limbed spiders I found every morning in the tub at my house in Denver.

I want to give gold stars to people who whistle when they walk down our street. Surely they have happy hearts. No sad people whistle.

I wonder if my orchid will bloom again. Mom brought it back to me when she and Dad came up last weekend and it's sitting in A Room of My Own (henceforth abbreviated ARMO), craning its long, slender body toward the window. Right now, it's just a thin stick with big, waxy green leaves. I'm not sure what I have to do to coax it to reopen, but I'm still watering it once a week, like I was told. I wonder if she is resigned to being a stick forever.

11 October, 2009


I like posting old, awkward pictures of other people on Facebook.

The first half of this weekend was so great (Guion came, we went to a wedding, we danced and laughed) and then it degenerated into stress about all the work I needed to get done. I think I knocked it out, though. I'm feeling more stable.

"Observe, observe in the streets at twilight, when the day is cloudy, the loveliness and tenderness spread on the faces of men and women."--Leonardo da Vinci. I think Da Vinci's been reading Woolf. Or, at the very least, Eliot.

04 October, 2009

like and like

Dad ate his pepperoni pizza across from me; Mom sat at my right, cutting the end off her slice. They told me stories about the people back home, our house, my grandparents, the neighbors. Eating with them reminded me that love happens in such ordinary moments--in the unfolding of a napkin in the lap, in the tilt of the head, in a raised eyebrow at a comment, in the light of attention from the eyes. I am grateful that I not only love my parents, but I also like them.

"'Like' and 'like' and 'like'--but what is the thing that lies beneath the semblance of the thing?" The Waves, Woolf

Also, something Tyler repeated today at church that I really needed to hear:

"If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe in, but yourself."--St. Augustine

(A shot from my bedroom art wall. Photo, by Heather of Flickr fame, is framed on pages from The Grapes of Wrath.)

03 October, 2009


For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:10-14

The heart rises and falls, rises and falls.

01 October, 2009

totes perf

Just a few things:

- Cristina and Eric got ENGAGED yesterday! Great happiness and celebration.

- Unbelievable. I don't understand how this is even possible. Beijing artist Liu Bolin is about to blow your mind.

- Smells like autumn around here.

- God is the gospel.

- Reports from the New Yorker's Book Bench: The Internets have likely forced 16,000 words in the new Shorter Oxford English dictionary to lose their hyphens.

- Jonathan and I had a marathon two-hour dinner at the BBQ Joint last night. He ate a pound of pork and it was great. Or, in his words, "Totes perf."