Sunday, February 27, 2011

Freshman Year Revisited: Languor

Boredom inspires words. I sit here in an empty dorm going completely insane. My only company is some music and a cell phone that occasionally vibrates when some friend remembers my existence. Ennui seems to rule my life. Overdramatic? Perhaps. Without drama, life would be horribly dull - just ask Austen. Elizabeth Bennett’s life would have been simple. She would have met Mr. Darcy fallen in love in due time and then been happily married. As it was, Miss Elizabeth Bennett had a mother that reveled in intrigue and drama. There was never a moment where Mrs. Bennett was not in the midst of some excitement. If it had not been for her mother’s drama queen abilities, Elizabeth would never have discovered that Mr. Darcy could separate and then bring lovers back together. Also, we would never have discovered his more admirable qualities. As it is, I still think he is a complete snob with a gloomy outlook on life.

Not only am I bored, but I am also held captive within my very own room by the very fact that there is water falling from the sky. I do think that it is a very bad day for the sky to choose to such a behavior. After all, you would think that the clouds would know that this girl has a bad case of cabin fever. Obviously, they don’t. You know what I think? I think that the world has ceased to revolve around me. For the longest time, I believed that if I snapped the world would crumble at my fingertips - to quote a good friend of mine, “Reality continues to ruin my life” (Calvin & Hobbes). My world has been successfully ruined. Thank you, world. I greatly appreciate this loss of childhood fantasy.

Wonderful. Oh, yes. I am bored. My tinker bell night light might as well stop shining. If it did, I wouldn’t clap my hands. Peter Pan can do it by himself. I will sit here with my arms crossed. It rained on my head. My flowers died. A cold found it amusing to torture me with a stuffed nose and multiple sneezes. I do believe that sneezes are a cold’s way of laughing at you. The best thing is that the cold uses you to create its laughter of a sneeze. SPLEN-did.

My homework sits undone and sprawled across the floor next to me. For all I care at this moment, it can just lay there. I will have no mercy upon it. It almost begs me to complete it. No way. It’s Friday. Any conscientious college student would be capable of ignoring the antagonizing whine of their homework until Sunday night. Unfortunately, mine has a pretty high pitched squeal that cannot help but irritate me. Like any good mother to their whinny child, I am considering giving in. Yet, I cannot do that. To give in would be to condone that type of behavior. Therefore, my homework will continue undone until she can stop bothering me.

When this type of ennui sets in, possibilities are endless. One could read a book, watch a movie, take a walk, talk on the phone to some long ignored friend, take a luxurious nap, come up with mathematical theories, solve something that doesn’t need solving such as Global Warming, invent a car powered by air, or sit and do absolutely nothing. Oh, the possibilities are endless. Sadly, I feel none of these. After much thought, I have decided that I want wings. My concentration is focused on my shoulder blades in hopes of growing my own set of wings. My forehead is scrunched with such deep focus that I will have horrible forehead wrinkles by the time my wings do emerge. I think my shoulder blades are tingling. I promise they are! When I shut my eyes, I can almost feel my wings slowly growing. They are very fast growing. My wings are oddly shaped and a strange color. The color is so odd that one cannot even see it. If I was as fantastic as the king in The Emperor’s New Clothes, I would convince the entire population of the world that I truly do have wings. Of course, it might prove detrimental if I was required to prove my ability of flight.

Have I thoroughly bored you with my ramblings? I do hope so because then I will not be so very alone! We can share the ennui together. Of course, I am no longer bored because I have just spent the better half of an hour writing this thoroughly ridiculous bunch of paragraphs. You know, I hope you did not just read all of this in hopes of finding something useful to do because obviously I have no good suggestions whatsoever. I have decided that ennui is a choice. I keep telling myself that I will endeavor to never complain of boredom and that I will try not to be bored. This is turning out to be a very difficult challenge. How could something so simple become so very challenging? I don’t know. Ask my planner. It will blankly stare at you. This expression of my planner’s terrifies me. That’s it! I think I am going to grab a sharpie and write nonsense all over my planner.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Culture's Expectations

Underneath the city of Chicago, the business-like metro thundered through the tubes to a clattering stop at its next station. The doors swung open and people spilled out. They flew by in flashes of color and motion as they flowed around islands of people waiting for a specific metro. With less speed, new people boarded the waiting metro. Adeptly, the passengers bee-lined to seats. A few chose to stand. Before the doors slid shut, a man and woman straggled onto the metro. Walking as though they had not slept in days, the woman chose two empty seats and sat by the window. The man lowered himself into the seat next to her.

Elizabeth, a girl across the aisle, noted the presence of the disgruntled couple with mild surprise. Her eyes widened as the woman laid her head in the lap of her male companion. Elizabeth watched as the man drew a comb from his pocket and began to pull it through the woman’s ponytail-creased blonde hair. Elizabeth’s face scrunched as she watched this motion. She looked over the couple’s clothing again and took note of the dirt and the wrinkles. As Elizabeth’s eyes came to the man’s face, she stared. Like a pirate, a black eye darkened his left eye. Subtly, Elizabeth shifted so the couple sat more in her direct view.

With this movement, Elizabeth became aware of others in the metro. She glanced over at two teenage boys who scowled at the couple. Through clenched teeth, they whispered to each other.

“That’s gross.”

“This is a metro. Lice should not be combed out on public transportation.”

Elizabeth’s mouth dropped open slightly. She turned her chin towards the couple as her eyes flitted to the comb in the man’s hand. A small black speck fell to the floor. Elizabeth leaned closer to the window as she scratched her head. Abruptly, Elizabeth yanked her hand away from her head.

The metro pulled into another station.

As passengers streamed onto the train, people seemed to steer clear of the bedraggled man and woman. Those who sat near the couple ignored them. A gorgeous woman clad in a lovely outfit took one look at the couple and marched to the other side of the metro. Elizabeth tossed her hair over her shoulder and quietly shook her head.

The metro grunted to a start.

As Elizabeth fumbled in her handbag for her phone, she glanced at this man and woman through her eyelashes. Again, Elizabeth surveyed the black eye and the lice. A wrinkle formed between her eyebrows. As the train slowed, Elizabeth’s head jerked up to check the stop. Quickly, Elizabeth closed her bag.

The metro ground to a stop.

Elizabeth stood, looked at the couple, and turned her face away. With alacrity, Elizabeth propelled herself out of the metro’s doors. Elizabeth’s heals clicked on the concrete floor. The wind of the exiting metro blew her hair temporarily out of place before it settled about her shoulders once again.

(picture above found here)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making Friends in Blogosphere

As I acquaint myself with the blogging world, I have stumbled upon some treasures. These jewels can keep me distracted for sometimes up to an hour as I explore them. Therefore, since I enjoy them thoroughly, I thought I would share them with you all.

First, I find that I adore looking at comics with strange twists of perspective. When I find myself craving some amusement, I go to INCIDENTAL COMICS. My favorite comic so far has been the definition of a Productive Snow Day.

Second, I love reading personal blogs that hit on life issues. However, I do not want to read about how your new baby just discovered his nostril (your mother might like that, but i don't). Avidly, I read The Journey which is updated by Katie,an American single mother of thirteen African beauties. They reside in Africa.

As a hopeless romantic, I find that I cannot help but love a blog devoted to archaic pictures of black and white love. All types of love quotes are sprinkled throughout this blog. Want a quick dose of love or romance, take a peek at Kissssing.

An oldie but a goodie is a blog written by my friend, Greg. His blog partly inspired me to begin my own blog. Not only does his writing share life experience, it is carefully written and thought provoking. Introducing Questing for Wonder, a blog that started my own quest in writing.

My most recent finding in the blog world is a blog that has more than 5,000 followers. Yes, my jaw dropped. It is filled with pictures and thoughts that cry creativity. Also, as I shared the link with friends on facebook, I noticed that the link showed up with "hello, friend. you are loved." This small touch makes me instantly love this blog. Hello, Friend will be my new haunt for the next couple of days. Explore with me!

Treasures like these ought to be shared. I hope you enjoy looking about these blog sites. Also, I'd love to hear about the blogs that you love following!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Conversing Squirrel

As I walked rejoicing in one of spring’s false starts, a squirrel gnawing on none other than an acorn sat stoically upon a rock. Eyes glazed over with fervor for the acorn, the squirrel made no indication of at all noticing me. As a human and a girl, I felt slighted. Am I not at least worthy of a blink?

I halted in front of this frustrating creature and declared to him, "Hello, Sir Squirrel, how is your nut?"

Since he refused to respond or acknowledge my presence, I leaned toward him and asked, "May I try some if it is so good?"

The squirrel spastically leapt from the rock and skittered up a tree.

Offended by his rude behavior, I marched away. During the continuation of my walk, I happened upon another squirrel. She, too, frantically chewed upon an acorn. She, too, had the same bored expression as Sir Squirrel. I assumed that these two squirrels were related.

My interaction with Lady Squirrel mirrored my previous monologue with Sir Squirrel where squirrel mildly freaks out and flees.

Left standing alone, I stared forlornly at a half chewed acorn before I remembered the delightfully warm, sunshine-filled day. After recovering from my emotional scars of being ignored, I chuckled at myself and those poor desensitized squirrels. I think they may have forgotten that we aren't confined to sidewalks.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Penned Thoughts

People like to call me “tall, dark, and handsome.” You know, I’d like to think that they are right. I would agree that I am tall but quite thin. My darkness depends on my ink cartridge. Currently, dark is my thing. As to handsome, it depends upon the hand that holds me. If they’ve got good handwriting, I’m handsome. However, I have had my not-so-handsome moments. For example, a little child wrote with me one time. That was not a splendid experience. We’re talking slimy, pudgy fingers with dirt under the finger nails. To a guy like me, that is just repulsive. I consider myself to be a sensitive type of pen. I prefer writing letters to beautiful women in calligraphic script. Of course, I can settle for something as simple as a shopping list.

Now, I am the type of pen who likes to be held by a strong and sure hand. Although women’s hands are softer and finer, as a pen I’d prefer to be held by the strong callused hand of a man. Oh, I am as straight as they come. The reason I enjoy a man’s hold is he writes to women and I take great pride in writing eloquent things to women. Of course, I do not come up with these lines of romance; but I do make them possible.

To me, the written word is imperative. If I could, I would spend all of my days in writing lovely things. Dancing about the paper with the desire of describing a gorgeous woman or sketching a particularly touching scene just makes me want to cry. However, as a pen, I cannot cry. My great grandparents left ink splotches all across stationary. That kind of tearing up is inappropriate because it tampers with the clear beauty of the script. To leave an ink splotch on a love letter – the very thought mortifies me.

As a pen, I am a very dependable creature. Not only do I have a dependable ink flow, but I must depend upon a hand to use my skills. After being chosen from a package with many others identical to myself, I tried to exert my independence upon the hand that guided my design. Unfortunately, it did nothing. The hand set me down and chose another pen that would more easily surrender to the hand’s will. The loneliness of my independence surprised me. I watched as other pens danced upon the page with fluid letters and shadowed sketches. Slowly, my desire to be a part of the hand’s design overcame my wish for independence. After all, I could not do anything by myself except lounge forgotten near the edge of the desk.

These days, I revel in my dependence upon a hand to guide my skills. I never know what I’ll create. Yet, I trust that it will be more than I imagined. I’m still your one in a million tall, dark, and handsome pen with a style that matches perfectly with any hand. Also, I’m the world’s best at romancing women. If you’ve got a woman that you like, I’m the pen with which to romance her. Just call me “Tall, Dark, and Handsome.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bittersweet Day

“Happy Valentine’s Day…or are you celebrating anti-valentine’s?” A friend asked me via text after I had sent her a quote about love.

“No. I celebrate love. I’ve come full circle. I used to hate it, but honestly, today is just another day for me.” I responded.

Valentine’s Day is a bitter day for singles. On this day of the year, their loneliness is amplified as they spend hours pitying their sorrow. My friend has been happily married for almost three years. In all the time that I have known her, I have never gone a date. I suppose that I have reason to be bitter against this holiday where romantic love is celebrated.

In my high school days, I hated Valentine’s Day. I dreamed of receiving red roses and having a boy shower me in attentions – that’s what I wanted. My friends talked about how their boyfriends were going to do all these things for them. I listened. I had nothing to say. I did not have a boyfriend or even a prospective boyfriend.

Since those days of toxic bitterness, my heart has changed. No longer do I tirade against the holiday of cupids and hearts. I celebrate love. Valentine’s Day might be a great time for stores to advertise silky red lingerie and chocolates; but for me, the day is about showing love to those that I love or who need to be shown love. Valentine’s Day commemorates the importance of love in our lives.

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~Kahlil Gibran

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Life of a Frozen Pea

The first thing I recall is being poured into this sizzling black circular object. As soon as I landed in this thing with all of my look-alikes, the icy layer that had kept me unmoving for a long time began to disappear. For a moment, I hoped that I was back in the lush greenery of my growing up days. No such luck. As the ice melted, I became aware of an uncomfortable sensation that was totally different than my previous state. Previously, I was unmoving and swollen to the biggest size that I can ever recall being. Now, my skin was slowly imploding inward. It wrinkled and browned when I was left too long on that side.

Roughly, my cohorts and I were rolled onto another circular object that already had a bed of long wiggly things that I have never seen before. Next to these strange things was one big mass of dense stuff. It was odd because it wasn’t separated in any way. As we were all reclining in this weird noodle pool, a huge wad of slimy melty stuff landed on top of all the stuff. The entire object was moved by a grand hand to another resting place. A giant prong came down and lifted some noodles and cohorts away. I tried to see where they went. I couldn’t. The prong came down again and grabbed more. Suddenly, I knew that I couldn’t stay.

When the prong came for me, I took a rolling jump off of it and bounced away. I rolled under a huge mass. It was dark and I felt save. However, I couldn’t move. My momentum was gone. There I sat until the mass moved. A gigantic moving thing with five moving things connected to it picked me up. It felt like flying except there was a lot of squeezing involved. Abruptly, I was dropped into a big container with lots of other things. I haven’t moved since, but I am the only one of my kind here. There are some weird noodle things, but they are only bits and pieces. It’s mostly quiet here unless something else gets thrown in.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Celebratory Eve

After trekking across campus in almost knee deep snow with a venti chai tea latte in my hand, I arrived at my friend’s apartment. Once inside, I removed my snowy jeans since in the winter it is my custom to wear leggings for added warmth under all of my pants. With exuberance, I bounced downstairs to discover another friend reclining on her bed with a book in hand. We spent an hour catching up. After discussing the monotonies of life, she delved into her most recent date while I hung on her every word. As the conversation ebbed, Brittany and I decided to participate in the activity of the house.

While the blustery wind yowled outside, five girls sat contentedly in a sauna like room with homework and teaching assignments out. The temperature of the room seemed almost tropical and no one was permitted to turn the temperature down because there was a fear the electricity might go off. Instead of blankets and hot chocolate, we sat in summer ware and ate ice cream.

As the youngest in the room, I had class work to finish. However, all the other girls were working on creating class plans for the following day. Every other sentence seemed to be a wish for a snow day. One girl obsessively checked the listing of schools closed. With every refreshing of the page, another school was cancelled. As the snow fell in tiny bullets, the anticipation mounted. One by one each girl cheered as they discovered their school was closed. They would not student teach the following day. After all the girls except me had cheered in their snow day, one girl finally chirped, “Bethel College is closed.”

The pressures of tomorrow were eased.

Someone exclaimed, “We should watch a movie!”

“What type of movie?” I asked

“A chick flick. Definitely.” Another replied.

Before long, five college girls sat enraptured before a chick flick. Every once in a while someone expressed frustration at the television since it was beyond annoying with its buzzing and humming. Personally, I believe that the television was harmonizing with the wind. Once the movie ended, we all sat in contentment. No one needed to work. Our time was open and we were at a loss of what to do. Rarely did such a break explode upon our school weeks. We looked at our nails and some laptops popped open for instant amusement.

“Dennisse, would you paint my finger nails?” With that question, the entire room erupted in a chorus of similar questions. Nail polish appeared and little girl chatter ensued. To the music of our girlhood d.j.ed from youtube, we embarked on a night that was reminiscent of many middle school sleepovers. We celebrated the eve of a snow day.

As curfew approached, I worked quickly in designing my friend’s finger nails. In my head, I fought a battle of indecision. I had no idea if I wanted to go back to my apartment or stay the night in this summery house of middle school memory. Thoughts of my bed wooed me.

At a quarter to one in the morning, I pulled on my jeans and crammed my boots onto my feet. With a glorious sending off of good byes, I slowly plowed my way out into the gusty night. The snow did not seem much higher than before except that it coated every surface. With snowflakes trying to imbed themselves into my face and my feet dragging through the weight of the snow, I slowly made my way back to my apartment. As I walked on an invisible sidewalk that I had to trust the existence of, I was struck by the hush of the world. Nothing moved except a million little white blurs. There were no cars on the usually semi-busy four lane road. It was almost quiet. It was odd.

For a moment, I stopped midway. Unable to fully turn my head because of my scarf, I did a slow turn about myself. It was eerie.

“This is what it must be like to be alone in the world. This is what it would feel like if the world ended and I was the only one left.”

It was odd and uncomfortable. Momentarily, I wondered if I was suddenly alone in the world. Cold breath of reality filled my lungs when I happily saw the headlights of a huge truck lumbering down the road. I jauntily continued my trek.

Upon returning to my dorm, I swiped into the building, greeted my roommates, and was in the process of removing my winter gear when the door alarm sounded. I jumped. With a look of horror, I rushed out of my room to see that the bank of snow that I had walked through when I had opened the door had kept the door jarred. Firmly, I grasped the handle of the door and yanked it shut. Cringingly, I returned to my room expecting at any moment to be jumped by some angry dorm-mate who had been woken by my stupidity.

My snow day began late and lovely at the hour of ten. Sleepily, I rolled out of bed and happily greeted my roommates. Being practical women, we all shot for productivity with a mixture of fun. In a strange conglomeration of film and paper, I finished an action movie while reading bits and pieces of David Copperfield. Breakfast was inconsequential. Lunch delighted me since one of my roommates and I combined our culinary skills to fashion a chicken-rice-pea-with-white-sauce-creation. A group of eleven friends procured dinner at the college student favorite of Tradewinds.

The evening closed with a game of Jenga 32 layers tall which is almost twice the size of the original tower. Many students had gathered in the lobby of the Lodge to play games, watch movies, work on homework, and talk. Contentedly, we interacted in the safety of the Lodge with a view of the fluffy stark landscape.

Around midnight, the fairy tale of a snow day struck out. Reality came prancing back into our minds. Homework must be finished. Thursday would come and it would be demanding. The shimmering hours of magic left and the freezing cold of reality returned gripping us students by our necks.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Sparkles

1. I love icicle hunting.
Basically, this is code for running around like children looking for the biggest icicles available and then trying to carefully remove them from the surface to which they cling. Upon removal, one either screams in exhilaration or fear as the icicle either comes off cleanly into your hand or comes toward one like death.

2. Winter Blues = The Sniffles
This means you have a perpetual sniffle and an affinity towards sneezes. In the middle of the night, you are woken by your roommates to be told that you were snoring. The snoring is a side-effect of this wonderful winter cold.

3. David Copperfield and Flyboys
These two medias just don't mix. Don't try it. You'll either lose all interest in Copperfield or in Flyboys. Cut your losses and choose one. Don't do both.

4. Snow Days
These lovely days that I never knew while I was home schooled. I have now experienced my second real snow day. Guess what. I did homework. Wow, that's cool.

5. Rice and Chicken
Winter inspires hibernation. Since I'm in the midst of enjoying two winter colds - one outside my body and one inside my body - I have found that I am rather adept at creating healthy and delicious lunches without stepping a foot into the horrid outside.

6. Ice
Upon the suggestion of a friend, I will now pass onto you the best advice I have ever heard. If you slip and fall on some ice, then stay there! Make the best of it and create yourself a little snow angel and then bounce back to your feet in a careful-like way.

7. I Love Lucy
Drink hot chocolate from "I Love Lucy" mugs. It tastes the best in these mugs especially if you're watching "I Love Lucy" with your roommate.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Pig's Pearls

I will waste my life.

Searching for a new worship song in which to listen, I stumbled upon a song by Misty Edwards entitled “I will waste my life”. My interest was piqued because I was drawn to the word ‘waste.’ This is a word that I associate with trash and things that are not wanted. Confused, I listened to the song.

I will waste my life
I'll be tested and tried
With no regrets inside of me
to find I'm at Your feet
I'll leave my father's house
and I'll leave my mother
I'll leave all I have known
and I'll have no other

I am in love with You
There is no cost
I am in love with You
There is no loss
I am in love with You
I want to take Your name
I am in love with You
I want to cling to You Jesus

Just let me cling to You Jesus
I'll say goodbye to my father my mother
I'll turn my back on every other love and
I'll press on yes I'll press on
More lyrics:

Frankly, I listened to the song many times over trying to completely grasp the meaning of the song. What I did hear and understand humbled me beyond measure. That first line gets me every time. I will waste my life. It’s a promise for every future moment. This line goes directly against everything that I have been taught. I’m sure most parents will point different people out to their kids with “kids, don’t waste your life like he or she did. Life is a gift. Don’t waste it!”

Generally, waste meant that you were unsuccessful and you had been a deviant from society.

Since discovering this song, I have been carefully considering what it means to me. This thought and wondering has been bouncing about in my head. The other day, a friend had me read a blogpost written by a Katie in Uganda who has, in essence, adopted 14 children. Although eloquently written straight from the heart, a simple message emerged. Through Katie’s many words, I heard the phrase loud and clear “I will waste my life.” By the ideas of many, Katie has wasted her dreams and her life by caring for 14 nobody-orphans.

Sitting in my warm apartment in the middle of a harsh North American winter, I am left humbled. From the very deepest cord of my heart, a note resonates. It harmonizes with the line “I will waste my life.” My heart desires to play that melody.

“A woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Matthew 26:7-9 (New International Version, ©2010)

In the eyes of even the disciples, the men closest to Jesus, the woman wasted the expensive perfume. She poured out the perfume before Jesus for his pleasure only. All who saw considered it waste. Sometimes our best offerings to Jesus will seem like waste to everyone else.

Am I willing to throw away the most precious thing to me? Am I willing to disappoint all the people around me to please an Invisible God? Am I willing to squander my life by Christian and Secular standards alike?

Am I willing to waste my life?