29 April, 2010

i'll be so good to you

Annie Clark (St. Vincent). She looks like my beautiful mother, doesn't she?
Mercy! Done with classes. Two final exams and then I'm really done with academic work for my undergraduate career. Graduation happens, and then I'll move home until we get married (which happens in a MONTH, for those who care). These have been swift, swift weeks.
I got to see St. Vincent and The Love Language last night for free at Memorial Hall. Emily came with me and we adored Annie Clark (see above) from a not-too-far distance (we had third-row seats). I also got to see Angela almost get herself kicked out of the concert for being so happy and dance-y. She stole most of the show with her joyful antics and managed to drag Emily and I (and about twenty other people, including Sarah E., who I was pleased and surprised to see but not too surprised, because it's St. Vincent) back to dance with her.
"She said, 'Why is my life so uneven?' ..."
Today was my last day at UNC Press. They threw me a mini food party and my eyes misted up. I am sad to leave these people. They have been such excellent coworkers and endlessly encouraging and patient. I would work here again one day if I could. If we ever return to Chapel Hill...
Things I'm excited about doing in Charlottesville:
- Getting to know all of the great shops and restaurants in the Downtown Mall
- Reading The Hook weekly
- Having a full-time job and being an Adult
- Making friends with our neighbors
- Becoming a part of a local church

26 April, 2010

the recognition of things

This is my last week of classes as an undergraduate. Somehow, I never imagined getting here. When I arrived on campus as a bright-eyed first-year, I never pictured reaching The End. College was supposed to last forever! And now here it is: The End. It seems like a very morbid way to think about it, but I'm excited about what lies ahead. I talked with Danielle about it last night, and we both agreed on this general feeling of readiness. At the same time, I feel unusually possessed of the awareness of time, of the need to be very present this week.

"He thought that in the world it had always been and always was like this: a bearded man lies in a room on a bed. The boy had just entered into the recognition of things. He still did not know how to distinguish their different existences in time." -- Yuri Olesha, "Liompa"

I will miss riding my bike around campus. I hope I can still bike places in Charlottesville.

Annie Dillard wrote in Living By Fiction that language is like shining a light on Venus. She didn't really explain what she meant by that, but I will keep thinking about it.

I started a personal study of Jude for the next few weeks. It's a very dark little letter. But I like his opening greeting, which expresses this hope: "May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you" (Jude 2, ESV). I like this expression of these virtues (spiritual gifts, perhaps) as finite things that may be increased many times over.

Still anxious about jobs and a place to live. But I'm getting married to the best man I've ever met in 32 days, so I don't really have much to worry about.

22 April, 2010

preliminary marriage goals

Things I want to do after I get married:

- Start reading for pleasure again
- Begin a little garden
- Become more experimental in the kitchen
- Be really savvy with money
- Use the public library so much that I get to be on a first-name basis with the librarians
- Volunteer: after-school program or animal shelter
- Yoga once a week with husband
- Start writing again
- Write letters to friends
- Keep lots of plants in the house
- Try painting again (something should happen with that gouache)
- Run
- Pray with my husband every morning
- Become a better blogger
- Get plugged in with a great local church
- Develop a calligraphy service on the side
- Keep a clean, simple house
- Hike the Appalachian Trail, all the time
- Memorize scripture
- Go on mini-adventures with Guion on the weekends
- Explore Charlottesville
- Did I mention I'm going to start reading again?

13 April, 2010

bluebells are ringing

(The long, strong arm of the tree outside the Shoebox.)

I persuaded my Russian lit professor to let me write my final paper as a short story instead. I'm writing a response to Chekhov's "The Lady with the Little Dog," creating a narrative from the perspective of the main character's jilted wife. It's been a great exercise, but it's also made me realize how rusty my fiction skills are. I may need to enlist some savvy editors to help me whip this funky little piece into shape.

I had two vivid dreams last night: one inspired by No Pants April and the other by reading too many wedding blogs. In the first, I dreamed I went home and was rummaging through my small, small corner of our giant closet (Property of A.G.F.) and was astonished and delighted to find 10 brand new, beautiful dresses. They were colorful and flowing and I couldn't wait to take them back with me to continue this month's challenge. In the second, Mom and I were walking in a field with Mrs. Edwards (where she came from and why, I don't know) as she showed us her set-up for a backyard wedding she was planning (for Sarah, perhaps, I don't know). She had hung a giant red birdcage from an oak tree and over the hill was an enormous field of bluebells. We laid down among the flowers and then Mrs. Edwards told us that we had to go corral a sow.

Guion and I are very, very blessed to be surrounded by such a great cloud of family and friends. I realize this more and more every day.

About 100 pages left in Ulysses. I've got to read something fun and easy next. Proust shall be postponed until the middle of the summer.

06 April, 2010

serenaded hourly

Jesus' practical question was a relevant one last night:

For who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?

I'm so happy we're going to Charlottesville. I'm also so worried about finding a job. Jesus says he feeds ravens and clothes lilies, though. This ought to be enough.

Emily wrote an excellent thesis. I was privileged enough to get to read it last night after I had edited my own and I was so impressed. Clamor for "Backstitch" to be published; it would improve us all greatly.

No Pants April was a great idea, if I may say so.

I have much to do this week. I feel frightened and somehow caged when I consider that I do not have a single free weekend between now and getting married. Things will slow down, won't they? They have to. It is simply inhumane to live at such breakneck speeds. Proulx would denounce it; Woolf would use it as fodder and then call it spiritually destructive. Only McCarthy would laugh.

Somehow this was touching to me on Sunday night, as Kelsey and I drove back to Chapel Hill. I was thinking about the microcosm of Carolina and how I am quietly sad to leave it:

Well, just look around.
It's why I love this town:
just see me serenaded hourly! celebrated sourly!
dedicated dourly; waltzing with the open sea -
clam, crab, cockle, cowrie : will you just look at me?

- "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie," Joanna Newsom

01 April, 2010

just kidding

Nope, this isn't an April Fool's joke... we're actually going to Charlottesville! It's been a really crazy weekend, but God provided the unexpected with the University of Virginia. I'm really, really excited. And now I really, really have to do some homework, but I promise to write more soon.

Also, to all of my lady friends who are joining me in No Pants April: Happy inauguration day. Don't your legs feel free and gorgeous?