Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pink Tennis Shoes

so the other day, I went to Barnes & Nobles. It's Spring Break. The campus is like the impersonation of death. It's ghostly quiet. Everyone is at home. Yet, there are still a couple of ghosts haunting - that would be my friends and I.

Due to all buildings being closed. We had to find other places to hang out so we went to the mall. While at Barnes & Nobles where I was being my very geeky self and delving into books, I felt that intense pain in my bladder that could possibly proceed one peeing their pants. I swiftly made the bathroom my destination while trying to make it look like I was not desperate for it.

I awkwardly questioned a lady standing outside of the bathroom if she was waiting. She looks at me with my spiked short hair and says, "No, but I do know that three out of the four stalls are without toilet paper." I look at her and shrung. In my head, I chuckle to myself, "no toilet paper? I've been to the D.R....really?" Not to mention, that peeing my pants was not an option that I wanted to take.

Casually, I sashay into the bathroom and walk into the nearest stall. Sweet Relief with full knowledge of no toilet paper. As I squat with my pants around my knees, I see two little pink tennis shoes walk into the next stall. The shoes are facing me. The little girl bends down and I suddenly see her knees and then her hands. An odd sense of foreboding creeps into my mind. I bend down more to try to see this Peeping Penelope and I am feeling extremely vulnerable.

Just then, her errant mother realizes that her daughter is trying to make contact with the alien in the next stall. As I pulled up my pants, I had to giggle to myself as I listened to the mother and child converse. Children are just curious.

And this is what occurs in the bathroom of Barnes & Nobles.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Moving Brilliancy

I have an odd obsession with names I have noticed. Perhaps it is in the way that they are so completely and totally connected to the object to which they are named. Recently, I have begun to notice the way of signatures. Not only is that the name of the person but it also in their writing. Signatures are so very minuscule yet incredibly important. Afterall, they are used daily whether to sign a card for your lover or a check for a million dollars.

For as long as I can remember, I have always signed my name with a shooting star flying below it. Originally, I only signed my name with a star because I loved stars. Yet, it needed the movement so it transformed itself into a shooting star. Since I am so very enthralled with the meaning of names, I began to muse over the meaning of the shooting star that had become so much a part of my signature.

I realized that the shooting star had become a stationary object in my signature when a friend of mine forged my signature on a card. The thing that made my signature was in the fact that she had the flying star beneath my name. I realized that the shooting star had become a part of me by being a part of my name.

The symbolization of a shooting star can be many things. For example, a shooting star is generally wrapped up with quickly shooting to brilliant success in a person’s ventures. Yet, at the same time, a shooting star fizzles out rapidly. It is here briefly and then gone forever. This moving brilliancy is like one’s life. It is short.

From now on, when I slash the star across the bottom of my signature, I shall endeavor to remember the shortness yet brilliancy of life. Life is brief. So when I sign that card for my mom and that fifty dollar check, I will remember the starry gift of life that I have been given.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Supporting a sister

I have been blessed to have a younger biological sister who is very craftily inclined. Deborah has entered herself in a craft contest that could possibly end with a new sewing machine. The concept of a new sewing machine is the epiphany of her creative dreams. So help a sister out and go to the following site, scroll all the way down and vote for "Deborah Plastic Cup Lampshade":

On another sisterly note, one of the girls that I currently live with and whom I went to the Dominican Republic with just lost her younger brother in a car accident. He was 18 years old. This has rocked our world. Brittany is like a sister to me especially after all the experiences that she and i have shared so think of her and pray for her.

Thank you for helping me take care of my sisters.

Monday, February 15, 2010

with a cup of cynicism

With a cup of cynicism, I have many rants in my life some center on love, some on quality, some on boys, some on girls, and some that are completely random.

"I am determined that only the deepest love will induce me into matrimony. So... I shall end an old maid, and teach your children to embroider cushions and play their instruments very ill."
~ Elizabeth Bennett (Pride & Prejudice)

I have so many problems with the phrase “the one”. You do know what I mean. Girls talking about how they are going to find “the one” and maybe perhaps he is just not “the one”.

Within the church, I feel that we have a responsibility to excel in every aspect of the arts and the technology. Since we claim a deep relationship with God, we should be striving to be the best in whatever field that we have a passion.

Girls are always being accused of being overdramatic. I think that the drama of boys is often overlooked. It drives me crazy the stereotypes that we place on ourselves. Girls are ditzy. Boys are dumb. Where did we get these ideas?

Music is overused and underdeveloped. Don’t even ask.

College life is transitory. Here today and gone tomorrow. One semester, a friend might be here and then the next moment (the next semester) that person is long gone and possibly never to return. Yet, they are considered to be the best of times – oh yeah, that phrase ends with – the worst of times.

Hair. How significant is it really? Is a person made by their hair? I think not. It is just another element that develops more of the outer-cover of a person. Never judge a book by its cover.

Valentine’s Day is one day out of the year that causes people to feel completely and totally isolated although they share a common status of singleness. There is a choice involved – be bitter or share love.

Women who are coy. Nuf said.

With a cup of cynicism, I take on the daily monotony of life.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is love a fancy, or a feeling? No.
It is immortal as immaculate Truth,
'Tis not a blossom shed as soon as youth,
Drops from the stem of life--for it will grow,
In barren regions, where no waters flow,
Nor rays of promise cheats the pensive gloom.
A darkling fire, faint hovering o'er a tomb,
That but itself and darkness nought doth show,
It is my love's being yet it cannot die,
Nor will it change, though all be changed beside;
Though fairest beauty be no longer fair,
Though vows be false, and faith itself deny,
Though sharp enjoyment be a suicide,
And hope a spectre in a ruin bare.
--Hartley Coleridge

I would consider myself and absolute failure if I lacked the time to spend a bit of time musing on the concept of love especially on this Valentine's Day. Love is a thought and feeling that most every girl or guy needs in his life. Valentine's Day is often that day where one can feel the most lonely or forgotten. It's the day of love. Therefore, couples romantically rush into each other's arms and smother each other in kisses and the rest of us stand and gaze wistfully or turn away repulsed.

Throughout high school, the day of love never ceased to make me feel more alone than ever before. I had bought into the idea that Valentine's Day was only for lovers and if you didn't have one that you were out. I believed it. When Valentine's Day came around I would be one of those mopey singles that should have been mopped of the floor. Yet, one year, something happened. It snowed. It snowed and it snowed. On Valentine’s Day, we found ourselves snowed in without school and without the commercial version of the day of love creeping in upon us. As usual my mother sent us children out to clear not only our driveway but the driveways of some of our elderly neighbors. While we shoveled, I continued to grovel a bit and be depressed. I can put it down to nothing but God because as I physically exerted myself, He was loving on me.

My home street has a lot of people that are old living on it. I had noticed that at one particular house a quaint little old lady lived there alone. Since my siblings and I felt motivated to shovel, I thought to myself what is one more driveway after we had already completed three. We shouldered our shovels and trekked to her house to do her driveway. I thought that we might get away without anyone being the wiser of what had occurred at her unshoveled snowy driveway. Yet, as we finished the last shovel stroke, the door swung open and our tiny frail neighbor stood before us. The sweetheart offered us money. I being the eldest became the automatic spokesperson. Quietly, I explained that we just wanted to shovel her driveway for her and we wanted nothing. She begged to pay us and I simply said, “Happy Valentine’s Day. Consider this a gift of love.”

From that moment on, my idea of Valentine’s Day has completely and totally changed. No longer do I see Valentine’s Day as a day only for those who find themselves love-sick. It is a day of love. This idea of love comes in many ways. After all, there is brotherly love, neighborly love, self love, and others besides just romantic love. I choose to focus and the loves that I already have in my life. No longer do I wonder “is there something wrong with me that I am still single?” I ask myself, “It’s Valentine’s Day. How can I extend love to the people in my life?” Oh, I can join in the rant about Valentine’s Day with the best of them, but I find that I am less and less inclined to do so because I would prefer to share the love of God that has completely and totally filled my life.

And so this afternoon, you will find me a group of lovely girls painting fingernails, watching a romantic chic flick in honor of Valentine’s Day, making cookies, and being reminded about the love that we have for each other. Then later on, our guy friends who have become like brothers shall join us for some games and some eating of cookies because where would we be without those guys who feel share some of our same wishful dreaming of love. We girls are not the only ones that are pressured by the Valentine’s ideal.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

and life

There is something about being super busy that just brightens my day. Of course, one could say that it is also very stressful. In which case, they are right. Trying to simultaneously balance all of the different activities of life is insanely difficult. For example, I have been awake for 19 hours now and I still have not completed my homework. I find that I would not trade any of my responsibilities so that I could get a full 10 hours of sleep every night. After all, in college, what type of existence is that?

Part of the reason that you find me stressing is because I am helping out with the musical of Jane Eyre. I adore the music. It's hauntingly beautiful. As one guy observed after listening to me play the piano, "Huh. You really like melancholy music." It's gripping. It makes you want to know the mystery that is wrapped deep with its depths. In this musical, I am helping with make up, hair, and costumes. My costume job requires a willingness to get up close and personal with different actors and actresses. I have become rather good at undressing Mr. Rochester and helping him change into another outfit within three minutes. By some, this might be considered to be a rather scandalous skill. In the moment, one is only thinking of the fact that this actor has to be on stage in less than three minutes and so we do what we must. Thankfully, I consider those that I work with to by my friends which makes things less awkward for me.

Well, it's 2 in the morning. I should finish that homework. Waking up tomorrow is going to be a drag.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mountain Top Experience

At my college, I was asked to speak in chapel about my time in the Dominican Republic. The following is what and I read very shakily in front of my peers.

The open-backed truck rumbled along the roads of Jarabocoa filled with Bethel College students. We sat prepared for one of the excursions that we had long been awaiting. Some of us were much more excited than others. I, for one, was determined and wary. Our destination was the mountain Magote. This mountain was one of the mountains that encircled the town of Jarabocoa in the Dominican Republic. All around me buzzed the happy chatter of the team as they shared stories from their week and their workplaces. We bemoaned the amount of starch that our Dominican mothers loved to feed us and we reveled in the sharing of the delicious delicacies that we had tried. The sunshine glazed the world in a golden glow and the wind whipped through my hair as our truck climbed nearer and nearer to Magote.

At the beginning of the trail, we all clambered off the back of the truck and armed with our water bottles set off. For the first twenty yards, we had the expert guidance of two cows that lumbered ahead of us down the middle of the pathway before the cows realized that they could not keep the pace. Within minutes, our team became segregated by speed. I brought up the rear. Even with the daily morning runs with my roommate, Adrienne, I was in no shape to speedily climb a mountain and that is why I had been wary of Magote. Yet, I was determined. I could climb this mountain.

For a while, I hiked by myself. It was lonely. Eventually, I caught up with my friend, Alysha. Although the climb was tough, we were not prepared for how it steepened and became more difficult. After a while, I seriously doubted my ability to put one foot ahead of the other. Yet, I knew that one step at a time would carry me to the summit. Instead of rushing to the top of the mountain, I found myself getting distracted. With the sunshine sparkling down and turning the leaves of the trees into glitter how could I not revel in the beauty all about me? Alysha and I stopped often to gaze at the town far below us and the sky all around us. Admittedly, those stops were also for a brief break from our trek. At one such break, I glanced at a tree along the path and suddenly a beam of sunshine spilled through the trees and hit the tree trunk which I had been casually looking. My eyes widened. The sunshine illuminated the diamond palace of a spider. It took my breath away. I felt as though I had entered an entirely other world almost like a paradise while I hiked. Of course, the trash that lined the trail reminded me that I was not the first to climb this path.

As the hike seemingly lengthened and steepened, Alysha and I tired more easily and more often. I found myself chattering to her nonsensically. We talked of palaces in the sky, hermit houses, and the Swiss Family Robinson home. Sometimes I would burst out into song trying to keep our morale strong. I paraphrased bible verses such as ‘do not set your mind on the things of the world but on things above’ or ‘through our sufferings, we persevere and through perseverance, gain character. From character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.’ And we ultimately would reach the top of the mountain. These were encouraging as we found ourselves crawling up the mountain in especially steep portions. Along the way, we encountered sour orange trees, a place that reminded us of the Sound of Music, and a portion of the hike where there was nothing on either side of us except a steep drop. In my mind, I referred to this portion of the pathway as the valley of the shadow of death. Neither Alysha nor I are particularly fond of heights, therefore we had to work through our fears and keep moving forward. There were moments that I was certain that the shifting dirt that I had my foot on would slip and I would plunge to my death. Through all of this, we looked up physically and spiritually.

Exactly two hours and thirty seven minutes after beginning our climb, Alysha and I reached the summit of the mountain. I seemed like a weary and worn old traveler. My legs felt like jello and my body was covered in a sheen of sweat with a dusting of dirt. Yet, we had made it. It seemed impossible. We were greeted by the rest of the group that had become like a family to us. After locating my lunch, I sat with my friends to eat. I carefully ate, desiring to keep my dirty hands from touching the food. Yet, my intense hunger won out and I ceased to care about the dirt on my hands. As I sat, I marveled at the view that surrounded me. I could see for miles. Overwhelmed with awe for the Lover of my Soul, I turned my conversation towards God. I complimented Him on his lovely mountains and the living beauty that I had witnessed. Abruptly, my flow of compliments was interrupted by a reminder placed in my mind by my God. It seemed as though He said to me, “Do you remember that list of goals that you created for your life years ago? Do you? Remember what was on that list.” My heart froze in my concentration and filled with understanding. On a long ago day years before I entered college and knew that I was going to go on a semester abroad, I had sat down and had written a list bursting of crazy dreams and aspirations. Sitting on the top of Magote, I realized that I had just completed one of my goals.

I had climbed a mountain.

God remembers. I had forgotten, but not Him. He is faithful.

Just as the climb up the mountain had been infuriatingly difficult at points, the trip down the mountain was the complete opposite. We slid our way down. Once you started going down, it was almost impossible to stop going. One of the girls, Brittany, somehow managed to fling herself down the mountain and finished it off with a couple head over heel flips. From that moment on, we tried to be more cautious. Of course, I had not yet finished my lunch so I was eating an apple, walking, talking, and trying to find the safest pathway down. I turned to one of the leaders who was picking his way down behind me and I said, “Do you want to lead?” When he replied, ‘no,’ I proclaimed, “Okay, but I am eating, talking, and walking. I’m going to fall.” Just finishing this statement, I took a bite of my apple and simultaneously my foot slipped. The apple flew out of my hand and my butt landed on a rock. I burst into laughter. There was absolutely nothing else to do but laugh because a moment ago I had been saying that I would fall. The only thing I regretted was the loss of my delectable apple.

Going down is always simpler than climbing up. Yet, the struggle to the summit is the challenge. It is the feeling of testing yourself against nature, persevering, and completing the silent contest. At the same time, the return trip was difficult as well because we were physically exhausted. When we finally hauled ourselves into the back of the truck, we were sweaty and dirty but satisfied. On the return trip to the base, contented silence held us. I was wrapped deep within my thoughts. When I had set out on this trip, I had dreaded the unexpected. I anticipated challenge, but I had never realized how God would meet me throughout my journey. His remembrance of me in my puny struggles and crazy dreams made my heart glow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


There was a girl. She had brown hair, big eyes, and music in her heart. It would have been her greatest joy if the world would join in the song that she sings in her heart. There were days when the weather seemed to be in perfect accordance with her feelings. Yet, she found that the weather did not have to match for her to have a day that caused her to dance down the sidewalks.

Once I walked behind a couple, they were holding hands. No they were not old nor were they children. They were young and very enthralled with each other. For some reason, I did not feel bile rise in my throat. Perhaps it was in the way that they simply walked along and talked. They did not cling. I smiled a small smile. Abruptly, the man-child began to skip energetically causing his girlfriend to laugh. I could tell that she was partly embarrassed but light heartedly amused. By accident in his fervor to skip, he stepped on her foot causing her to almost fall into a pine tree. Disaster was put off by the strength of his hold of her hand. After the girl caught her balance, she began to skip as well with her laughter perfuming the air. By now, my smile had grown and a giggle crept through my lips.

I know a girl who for her birthday cut out the center of her vanilla with sprinkles and chocolate iced cake. I think she ate it with relish. I do not know, though, because I found the cake missing its heart the next day. Everyone knows that the center of almost any dessert is by far the best.

Five boys stood near the frozen pond. Two lingered by the edge of the pond. The other three boys were spread out across the surface of the pond’s ice. They took turns using an axe to hack at the ice. These men were very intent upon their work. Perhaps they wanted to try ice fishing. Perhaps it was some type of statement meant to declare that they are manly men. Well, all that can be seen is that there are two awkward holes in the surface of the ice. Hopefully, they caught a goldfish for all their labors.