Archives for the month of: July, 2008

this weekend was really amazing. it felt like one of those afternoons where everything has a golden cast from the sun. or like watching little kids playing in a fountain. it was just beautiful and delicate and rich. leah drove up from virginia beach to philly where she met talitha and i for a day of sharing art, curry, laughter, and our hearts. it was a glimmer of heaven: redemption, reunion, glory, expression. words fail me.

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tomorrow i start my new job. i was “unemployed” for 10 weeks. during that time I:
– had 8 formal interviews
– worked one part-time design job in Roslyn formatting research, another at a seminary in McLean, another creating identities and billboards with a small design firm in Reston.
– did 15 hyperbaric oxygen treatments
– completed 4 freelance design projects (a brochure, a t-shirt, a form, a wedding liturgy booklet)
– went to 4 different doctors (at least once)
– flew home for 12 days
– spent a day or more in: North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Delaware
– ate indian food in: Falls Church, Philadelphia, and Chicago (with most of my favorite people)
– attended a wide variety of churches including: Anglican, Methodist, Bretheren, Presbyterian, and non-denom
– went on/to 2 real dates, 9 lunch/breakfast date-meetings, 3 parties, and one hipster club
– had a major flare-up and relapse of symptoms
– called home crying every day for about 3 weeks
– spent quality time with my sister, mom, dad, extended family, Talitha, Bridget, Leah, Anna, and my dear friends here
– got 4 job offers, worked one temporarily and have another for nights & weekends and accepted the one with the salary and benefits.

it’s been a wild ride. i really thought each week that that would be my last week of uncertainty and that any second now i’d be getting a job. i feel ready now to start working: my health is mostly back to “normal,” i got to see my family, i feel more at peace. we’ll see.

yesterday as i was driving through maryland, i decided to write another small blog post that said something about how no men want to commit anymore and how none of my friends will ever get married. then i had a chat with Bridget where she referenced an article by the woman who wrote about the global SYF movement. That article was truly fascinating because it described the life that i and my single friends are living and linked us to women across the world. Well, she’s done it again. With great humor and insight, she’s put her finger on the pulse of changing American culture and young men in particular. Apparently, it’s not just my friends and I (and Carrie Bradshaw) who ware whining about men–it’s an epidemic. Cleverly titled Child-Man in the Promised Land, this article is fascinating. it addresses all our favorite sources of discontent: why men don’t grow up and refuse to commit, why they play video games and indulge in other media, and the general cultural shifts that have made all this possible. I think her theories about what has gone awry are a little weak and there are much bigger factors, but I still enjoyed what she had to say. take some time to read it and tell me what you think.

are simply amazing. gosh, i really love calligraphy and letterforms that communicate meaning through appearance as well as signifying sounds and characters. i was at a lovely boutique in ohio where i found this book and had to buy it. the calligraphy and illustrations are amazing. all done by hand with watercolors and india ink by one man before 1918. click here to view some illustrated pages on amazon.

i’ve been realizing over the past few weeks that i’ve got a pretty pessimistic view of the future–especially with our current environmental/energy crisis.

trash eaterhowever, thanks to my brilliant friends, i just gained a little hope tonight. check out these cool links:

an amazing water purifier for the developing world

a plasma trash-eater as an alternative to landfills

yay!

really.  this was with an old crusty native of my hometown that I chatted with while we were purchasing things at a local boutique (I for myself; he for his wife).

“so you grew up here, but you’re living in Washington DC now?”
“right”
“i’ve had a few chances to leave Darke County, but I didn’t take them!  They wouldda paid a lot more money!  There was even one offer to help run a new business in Los Angeles!”
“you might’ve made more money there, but everything’s more expensive, too, so you probably made the right choice”
“damn straight.  if i moved my house from here to LA, it would probably be worth 2 million dollars.  and I’ll tell you what: it’s not worth that much here!”
“i think it’s good to stick around home.  stay with your family, put down roots.  and Darke County’s not bad.  Well, take care.”
“you too.  and I tell ya, you get those people in Warshington DC to straighten this country out!”
“I will.  I’ll deliver a little midwestern common sense to them”
“you do that.  good luck!”

i’ve been thinking a lot about this topic of acting on your own behalf, treating yourself well, etc. i’ve met and read about a few different women who are able to listen or intuit what their body wants and needs a little better than most people and i’m realizing i’d like to live more like that. my sister said it’s like her mind is a hurried anxious mom dragging her body, like 3-year old little sister. the harder she works to push through and get things done, the more likely the little girl is to start crying. i want to treat my body gently, recognizing my limitations and kindly deferring, despite my mind and will wanting to power through. of course, all this is easy to say writing from a plush chair in the middle of our tranquil living room in rural ohio. it’s quite another to carve out rest and space in a big stressed-out metropolis.

as i’ve been learning to listen to my deep heart and body more, i’ve been concerned that feeling and listening are bad introspective practices that might be taking me away from my relationship with God. as i was drifting off to sleep last night, i was thinking through psalm 16 which i memorized a few years ago and the following verse popped up:

I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

isn’t that interesting? the Lord counsels David during the day, and at night he hears from his heart. maybe they’re not contradictory. if we have the mind of Christ, maybe intently listening is hearing from God. now, i know what you’re thinking: i’ve gone off the deep end and am now a psycho new-ager. but, i’m not. i’m just observing something.

Dear Amy,
Thanks for your concern and encouragement. In response to your earlier letter, you’re right, we have been eating your protective myelin sheath. We know it’s causing inflammation and pain, but we’re convinced there’s been a major breach of security in your cerebrospinal fluid, and we’re doing our best to correct the problem. We suspect there’s been an invader that our security forces have identified as candida albicans [later edit:and borrelia burgdorferi, commonly known as Lyme disease]  but we’re not sure because it changes identities by showing different receptors to our gatekeepers. As far as clearing up the misunderstanding, we’d like you to go on a strict diet and make sure to take supplements things to kill the invader. Once it is starved through diet and decimated with supplements, we’ll take it from there and will stop the high level of security, therefore lessening the inflammation. Thank you for your cooperation on this very important matter.
Sincerely,
Your T-Cells, CSF special forces

i’m currently in Milwaukee, WI where i’m with my mom, sister, and brother-in-law. this morning, we drove a little over an hour south to a north Chicago suburb to Devan Street or Little India. It was fabulous. sequined Sari shops. Grocery stores with spices stacked to the ceiling and more mango products than you can shake a stick at. buffets with palak paneer, chicken korma, tandoori chicken, aloo gabi, naan, yogurt sauce, samosas. we ate til we were full, then got mango lassis. we shopped and bargained, we battled traffic home. it was a glorious day. i think jordan got a little bored and mom was over-spiced, but bonnie and i had a great time.

i recently purchased a whole load of music:
– Vigilantes of Love : Audible Sigh (indie country? rock? fab lyrics and Bill Mallonee is an amazing songwriter all around)
– Brad Paisley : 5th Gear (pop country. i officially have a crush on Brad. I love his cultural criticism and pleasant melodies)
– Dustin Kensrue : Please Come Home (folk/rock? i listed him as a fav musician for his love song a few posts back.
– Feist : The Reminder (weird futurist girl rock? who knows? she’s hip and has a rainbow coming out of her neck)
– Jack Johnson : On and On (mellowy beachy folky guitar. i never bought him when he was popular a long time ago and just got a hankerin’ for him)
– Maroon 5 : Friday the 13th (rock. i didn’t realize it was live. ehh)
– The Mountain Goats : Heretic Pride (indie folk post-punk. how’s that for a genre classification? really poignant lyrics. the vocalist is a bit of an acquired taste, but once you get over that, they’re a fabulous band all around, and amazing live)
– Red Hot Chili Peppers : Greatest Hits (again, i missed them in their prime, so i’m making up for lost time.)
– Rodrigo y Gabriela : Rodrigo y Gabriela (amazing latin guitars, no vocals. they’re awesome. good for driving or just savoring their incredible technique)