Friday, September 9, 2011

On being luke warm.

Apathy sneaks up on you, and then jumps out screaming obnoxiously and waving its head and hands back and forth while making some hideous face that's meant to be goofy-scary. Times like these, I find myself in the midst of a situation wondering how on earth I got there, and knowing exactly how, all at the same time.
Maybe it's a questioning thing. A test of faithfulness?
 It's weighing what I want with what I need and deciding I'm tired of making the difficult, right decision.
Then it's the aching to be whole. Whole like I felt when I made the difficult, right decisions.
And then, I'm walking forward, back on track. And apathy is lurking in the shadows, waiting for the next best moment to jump out.

I just want answers. And ease.

I feel like the author of Ecclesiastes. Life is short, so eat, drink, and be merry. Focus on good things.
No, I don't really feel like that always.

I just want to find a balance. I'm always hot or cold, and things I do in one state completely oppose things I do in the other, so it's like I'm constantly climbing fences that my alter-ego has built.
Is this the struggle of the human spiritual condition? Or am I just strange?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Confessions of an introverted photographer

I usually feel incredibly awkward in social situations. I really like my alone time, but then when I have my alone time, I get incredibly lonely.

My photography professor and I had a conversation about content today. Photographic content. What is my content?

It took me a little longer than it probably should have to realize that I photograph the most when I'm somewhere alone, somewhere beautiful or warm or happy or intriguing. All of my favorite photographs are of things that I find incredibly pleasant (or ironic or interesting) and long to share with someone else.

I have often felt like an inferior artist because there's no deep philosophy or planning to my work. I just like to capture things I like -and share them. I like to pause, examine the things that I find beautiful, and somehow make someone else examine them too. Look at that gorgeous sunset, or look at the color of that chair against the color of the brick, or look at the laugh lines on that sweet woman's face. 

I guess the truth is that when I am photographing, I mean really photographing -not just doing some assignment, but really being me and taking pictures because I want to take pictures at that moment- well, it's really just a huge part of me saying, "I wish you were here. Whoever you are, I just really wish you were here."

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Be proud of your bananas

I have a confession - I haven't been recycling since school started. I'm only one week in though, and I've mostly used my plastic water bottle/brita filter for drinking... but still... I've definitely tossed a few bottles this week. Gotta step it up.

I did, however, try to shop responsibly, and since I have this obsession with peaches and bananas, I decided to research my bananas. 

For the record, I buy Chiquita, and you can check out their adorable website here. Now, I'm not completely naive (debatable, I know), and I know that this is information from the company, not from any critics or whatever, but I did google-image their plantations and that all seemed legitimate. I still feel like that's a pretty futile research effort, though. Where does one go to find out the truth about these companies? 
We need another journalist like Upton Sinclair. Okay, so there's plenty of journalists out there like Upton Sinclair these days, especially since being socially responsible has become the "hip" thing to do, but I just need to learn how to find them. 

In other news, I went home for the summer, and when I returned to Clarksville I discovered that my church exploded. Not in the literal sense, in the metaphorical sense. Our little choir of 20-some people is now a vast choir of 60-some people, and all the leadership team just seem so happy, and it's not that superficial our church business is finally making a profit kind of annoying happy that you find in "successful" churches these days. It was a legitimate excitement. You know, that moment immediately proceeding an incredibly dry, seemingly stagnant period of life, when you look around and think My goodness, God, You're working and I can see it! It's like that kind of happy. I'm excited to see what happens!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A new morning

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Climbing atop my soap-box for a moment (because I feel guilty discarding it when I know it can be used for something)

So, lately I've been really convicted about waste. Waste... and environmental health... and starving people in America, and Africa, and China...
Maybe "convicted" isn't the right word, necessarily, but these are things that have really been on my mind lately --so much so that I utilized a paper grocery bag I discovered in the pantry to begin collecting all the plastic bottles and such around the house for recycling.
On that note, though, I'm thinking we really need to stop buying bottled water in the first place. I feel guilty every time I pop one open -especially when it's just a matter of convenience. I mean, recycling is good, but why not just try to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste altogether? By purchasing these 25 (or whatever) bottle palettes of water we're still contributing to that plastic-bottle-circle from that Brita commercial that stretched around the earth 190 times! (Great marketing, by the way. That one really stuck with me.)

It all boils down to this (for me, anyway) :
I am a consumer.
I don't produce, I consume. I go to the store and buy my apples and oranges and water and oatmeal and chicken and yeah, all of that stuff.
And I rarely consider where it's coming from.
Questions like What kind of pesticides do these farmers use and how is it going to affect the land for future crops? or How are these hormones and antibiotics in this chicken going to affect my body? or Could this cause genetic mutation? or Is my future sweet baby girl going to have a third eye? (okay, I'm exaggerating) never really cross my mind.

And when I buy that super cute shirt, or those really comfy jeans, or those astonishingly sweet flats, rarely do I consider where the cotton came from, or where the fiber was woven, or where the stitching was done and who did all of the labor and how they are treated or what kind of super cute, really comfy, astonishingly sweet clothes they may or may not (most likely not) have.

Heck, most of the time, I don't even consider the corporation running the store where I'm buying all of this morally compromised product! How do they treat their employees? How do they view philanthropy? What do they do to reduce waste? How does their CEO spend his/her billions? What are their trading policies?

And, honestly, these are all really important questions (except for maybe the one about my hypothetical tri-clops baby). And they're questions that I, as a consumer, can answer with my money by making informed, responsible choices. Where I shop, what I buy, what I reuse, what I recycle, what I stop using -all of that can make a difference. I may just be one person, and the difference may be small, but hey! At least Chaco will think I'm a hero.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A mediocre breakfast, cyanotype painting, and Photography Day

Today has been a really fun day, and I'm just... thankful for it. I saw earlier that it's National Photography Recognition day or something like that, so I took pictures here and there.

First of all, I really wanted to eat better today. I can't say that I kept the carbs down as much as I'd like, but I did stick to my calorie goal (Approx. 1300)... baby steps.

So, I started out with breakfast. I really wanted eggs and toast... so I made this strange variation of French Toast:

My calorie estimate:
3 Egg whites = 45 calories
2 slices wheat bread = 100
Pinch of cinnamon sugar = 15
1/2 banana = 53
Total = 213

Don't be fooled by the cuteness of it... It wasn't great. BUT it hit the spot.

Anyway... Here's what I really loved about today:
Painting a recycled canvas! I say "recycled" because that smeary stuff you see on there is a failed Cyanotype. (The chemical wouldn't stick to the sizing.)
So, the fact that this was almost a Cyanotype photograph inspired me, so I decided to make it a blue monochromatic landscape.
After a little progress ^

The photograph was taken on the Appalachian trail between Viking Mountain and Horse Creek. There's this spectacular exposed ridge line section with 360 degree views -Greene Co. to the left and vast wilderness to the right.

So, here's the finished product... my hand painted "cyanotype" reproduction:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Charlie Brown, PMS and Blue Grass... this is me after all.

I've always enjoyed Charlie Brown and his melancholy cartoon nature. From the "wahwahwahwah" voice of his teacher on the telephone, his dog with a mind of its own, and scenes like the one above... he just gets me.

It hasn't really been an awful day, but I am pms-ing which means that incredibly annoying combination of feeling horribly bloated and having the insatiable munchies. Ladies, you know what I mean.
It's like this: gosh, I feel so fat today... *chompchompchomp*... gosh, I feel so guilty for eating all of this chocolate and popcorn... 
It's okay though... I set my alarm for 6:45 and I'm heading to the YMCA at 8am with my Dad. I'm not sure what he's expecting out of this daddy-daughter workout initiative, but I fully plan on sweating the last two days out on an elliptical machine. (I love those things... they make my knees feel young again.)

One thing is for certain, I'm ready to get back to school and work out a daily routine. I'm not sure if I can handle another week of rationing my chores so that I have at least something to occupy my time tomorrow. However, I know in about 6 weeks I'm going to be wishing I had this kind of life, so I should embrace this moment... live in it, stop wishing for what's next like I'm really good at doing. ...but I am excited about this semester.

I'll only be taking 13 hours -that's the least number of hours for my entire college career. And I'm pretty set on getting guitar lessons (I've recently added embracing my passion for blue grass to my list of career options. Which reminds me, I have a joke for you: What's the difference between a turkey and a banjo? ...A banjo can't feed a family of four*. HA! Well, at least I laughed.)

Anyway, thanks for reading this totally pointless post. I think I'll go to sleep now.

*Oh, and joke credit to my wonderful friend Lou Murrey who makes me laugh.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bringin' it back around

"Goodbye, Mountains," was the caption to a photo a friend of mine recently posted. Reading the words made my heart turn in my chest.
I remember my high school years... I thought there was a great big world outside of this town and my purpose in life was to see it. 
I don't know what my purpose in life is, aside from worship in all things, and I still believe that there is a great big world outside of this town... but it's amazing how leaving this place and pursuing my concept of purpose has caused me to realize that there really is "no place like home." 

I love these hills. Being here allows my soul to expand. There are people here that I can pour my heart and soul out to, and by the grace of God they breathe life back into me. It's like remembering who I am, every time I'm here. 

It's so funny. I sat at lunch today with a friend of mine that I haven't really caught up with since high school, and it hit me how much this place means to me and how much I long for it when I'm away. Not just this geographical place but this spiritual place - and I wonder what sends me on my journeys. They always seem to bring me full circle. Right back to where I belong, sometimes with new understandings, sometimes with skewed ones, sometimes with hurt and sometimes with love, but always, I think with growth. Always, I know, in the arms and gaze of Christ. 

I know I must leave this place again. I know that each season and chapter of life comes to a close. And I am scared. 
But I'm also very excited, and I know in my heart that I will be home again soon.
And I know in my heart that the Lord will be with me wherever I go.
So I go into this next year praying... pleading that my heart will stay with His, knowing that He has prayed for me already and that everything comes from God. 

I don't think I've expressed in this post what I intended to express when I began writing, I don't know if I had a plan at all, really... or if I just felt like saying something. I just have this feeling in my heart that I can't explain... an odd mix of awe and peace and wonder and hope. 

Hope. That's what it is. I am filled with hope. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Following Trevor into basements (and other meanderings of late)

I visited Boone this week to investigate Appalachian State and its Music Therapy program. I can't say I'm too keen on 4 more years of school at this point -so that's probably out, but - man, I love Boone.

Wednesday night was music night in Lou's neighborhood. Believe me when I tell you that there isn't music equal to that made by neighbors in a living room, picking for the pure love of it. I sat there wishing I could take every single person in the room with me wherever I go.

Thursday, I sat on a porch downtown, sipped my coffee, and procrastinated my departure. Lou snapped photos of simple things -the grace of hands on a railing. Beauty. Moments that I'm convinced only she can capture.

We followed Trevor through a downtown alley, an inconspicuous door to an ordinary basement, and into a newly built recording studio. As I left the owner said, "it was an honor and a privilege playing that song with you." His sincerity humbled me, and left me speechless. No one has ever said anything like that to me before.
I always leave Boone feeling like I have a place to return to.
I always return home and miss the people who have left. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You have me, You have my heart completely...

It's been such an amazing first week of camp at Long View Ranch. I can't explain the ways in which God moves, or the way His love envelopes.
I have to admit that I am completely humbled and captivated by how faithfully He loves. I am so far from perfect -but it doesn't matter, not in the slightest. I am a walking failure sometimes (haha), but that's not what it's about. It's about His love; His redeeming love. And it's about glorifying Him with everything I am. It's about accepting grace and forgiveness and living that grace and forgiveness out loud.
I've been thinking so much about the past, about my wondering heart. My love has been so disloyal, and there have been moments that felt so secluded, dark, and empty. I've had moments in which I felt completely worthless, faithless, and lost. And then there were those moments, in the quiet, when I lay in bed, scared mindless, and something inside whispered, pray. 
I see now, those moments were His faithful love. Those moments were Jesus holding His broken child in His hands, never letting go.

I could go on forever, but I'll just post this song instead:

Out on the farthest edge, there in the silence
You were there.
My faith was torn to shreds, heart in the balance
You were there
Always faithful, Always good
You still have me.
You still have my heart. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4

On a day of victory, why do I feel so defeated?
This morning I woke up feeling so far behind. Maybe I'm finally realizing what the past couple of years have cost me -what not being true to myself and not holding fast to my beliefs has cost me...
What not believing has cost me.

But what good does dwelling on these things do? Maybe there is something constructive to it, I don't know. I guess pain and remorse are sometimes necessary for real understanding. I do believe in grace and I do believe in love and forgiveness, but maybe I don't believe enough to let myself walk forward too easily.

Maybe I should. It is a brand new day, after all, and I am working. Actually, I am striving, and maybe that is the problem. Maybe it is time to rest in grace and love, to hold on hope and focus on positive things, on what I can do for others rather than myself.

 My burden is heavy, and it is time to trade it for a lighter yoke. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

If anyone asks you what you're living of, say love.

     This morning I woke up wondering what on earth is the matter -just one of those blue days.
I've been loving The Avett Brothers this weekend. There is so much truth in their music.
Don't you love that? When you connect to the lyrics in a song and realize that a million other people connect too and that we're really not alone at all? I love that.

      Sometimes, though, it feels like those millions of other people that feel like you do are located everywhere in the world except for right next to you. All the people right next to you (or the people that you hold close to your heart) are in an entirely different place - happy, maybe, or in a fruitful relationship, maybe, or surrounded by new, exciting people that they connect with.

      Maybe that's just me. It's doubtful though. Maybe I am learning to be content with myself and God alone. That is an important lesson, and it's one that I've never really accepted. I always want more. I never feel like waiting. I have my faith, but I want to see it right now... not later... and that's a very impatient kind of faith, isn't it?

      So, this morning I prayed a little and put my iPod on random play with the idea that the first song that came on would be one I needed to hear. This is what came on, and I thought... "hang in there. Remember what you're thinking of, where you're coming from, and what you're living of."

... Try to walk ahead and leave the pain behind. If the days aren't easy and the nights are rough, when they ask you what you're thinking of, say, "love," say for me, "love." ...

... Say, "Yes, we live uncertainty, and disappointments have to be, and every day we might be facing more. And, yes we live in desperate times, with fading words and shaky rhymes. There's only one thing here worth hoping for." 
With Lucifer beneath you, and God above, if either of them asks you what you're living of, say, "love." Say for me, "love."  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Speaking of Adventure

I always find packing for AT hikes with my Dad highly entertaining. So many others would look at these several day excursions as minimalistically (not a word, I know) as possible... but with Dad... every night of camping is an opportunity for a feast. I mean, I'm looking at our food rations thinking where am I going to put my sleeping bag? Haha... oh well. I'm definitely excited to get my feet back on the trail.

One thing I love about backpacking is the realization of how much I can live without, and I see it as no coincidence that this issue keeps coming up for me. With this year ahead of me, this moment of what is next, so many issues are working to influence my decision-making paradigm. Sadly, money is the greatest of these issues. How much money is involved?
Isn't that repulsive?
I understand that money is a necessary evil, but you know, I just keep thinking of things, quotes, scriptures: "Take nothing for the road, no walking stick, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and do not take two shirts a piece (Luke 9:3)." Of course, me being me, I promptly grabbed a Goodwill-bound trash bag and began shoving it with clothing items that I haven't even considered in months, but that's not the point is it?
No, the point is how hard would it be to "sell your possessions and give to the poor" when you really have no possessions yet? When you're just starting your life, just choosing a direction? Why do so many of us choose there will be time to make a difference once I've made my riches?

It's so backwards. I get so backwards sometimes.

Anyway,  here's to having a full backpack and ready feet and 13.7 miles of hungry trail ahead of me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Sometimes I get really frustrated with my quiet self. It's funny, because other times I get frustrated with how obnoxious I am.

I guess I'm just tired of feeling like everyone is talking down to me. Everyone seems to think they have something to say that I need to hear -like I'm void of common sense or something.

In this way, I'm tired of being the girl with these hopes and dreams piling up within. I have ideas on how to achieve them, and sometimes I get frustrated because my ideas are looking a little more hopeless than usual, and I start to let my faith slide and my heart sink.
In these moments, I like to talk to someone, but it seems like all they have are matter-of-fact answers to all of my emotions. I know the matter-of-fact answers. I'm not an idiot. I know that life takes dedication, motivation, etc., but sometimes I'm lonely and tired and dissatisfied. Sometimes I just get out of sorts.

I know that things are going to turn out all right. I know that some days are going to be greater than I ever could have imagined, and that other days are going to be monotonous and depressing, and on those monotonous and depressing days... well, it really sucks for someone to come along and tell you all of the things you could be doing, when really you'd rather just get on a plane to some exotic country and have an instant adventure and all of your dreams come true right this instant. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

And at the most unlikely of times love explodes in the heart

So, I'm floating comfortably and freely in the single life. 
Just like the ocean, there are those moments when there's an area of cold water, probably stirred up by the violent spinning of a boat propeller just a little of shore. Those are the painful moments... the ones that make me question this new adventure, the ones that are caused by harsh words or interference from both well-meaning and malicious outsiders. 
Sometimes, I wish I could just say to them, "please, leave it alone. It's over. We're walking forward. We want to heal, we want to be okay. Enemies, find your entertainment elsewhere. Friends, let's just smile and have a nice time. I'll talk when I need to." 

In reality though, these painful moments have been greatly minimized by the joy that I have found. The love I have discovered for others, and the comfort I have found regarding myself. 
For the first time in a long time, I really feel beautiful. And it's not in a material, appearance-oriented way, it's from the inside out. It's like I finally realize that this heart of mine has something to offer: love, grace, hope...  
And we all have that to offer, but I think we just have to be willing to fight a battle -a battle against negative thoughts and a judgmental attitude... and both of those are so natural for us sometimes, so easy. Sometimes finding something to love is difficult. Sometimes being angry, or hiding in bed, or burying yourself in romantic literature (while all the while scoffing at the unrealistic nature of it all) is so much easier than mustering up the courage to walk outside and look up at the sunshine and into the faces of others. It's so much easier to dwell on yourself than on the hopes and fears and hardships of strangers and loved-ones. 
But until you do this, until you step outside of yourself, your problems, your hurts, and your defeats will not grow smaller. They will only magnify under your keen focus. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm editing the photos from my first wedding as a photographer! I'm actually enjoying it, even though there are parts of the process that are excruciating... like those family photographs taken in the sanctuary which really didn't have enough light... but so far, I'm enjoying myself!

Friday, May 27, 2011

This beach is beautiful, but I find I'm sitting for hours trying to decide what to think about. Who to think about.

And I have so many questions.

So I sit and admire God's handiwork and thank Him for his vastness and apologize for my selfishness and wish I could be more like He created me to be and wonder what I'm supposed to do next and what my calling is and where I belong, where I fit.
This time is so full of questions and loneliness and fear... and a sincere desire to cop out and work for Olan Mills or something. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

They do, but I don't... yet.

I'm photographing my first wedding this weekend.
I'm half excited and half absolutely nervous. Documenting this momentous day in my friends' lives is up to me?
It's surreal, actually.
But then again, I am excited. I'm so excited for them. I'm so excited for her! I've sat next to her so many nights while she scourged the internet for inspiration, and tried to juggle her own desires with her fiancé's and her mother's and his mother's, etc. I can't wait to see how it all fits together. It's going to be stunning.

Exactly one week after photographing that wedding, I'll be traveling to Florida to attend another.
And two weekends after that?
I'll be a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding.

So what is with all of this Love and Marriage? I know that it's wedding season, but why is it that this year I know all of the Brides and Grooms?
I'm surrounded by couples who have found that special someone. And I'm happy for them, very happy for them. And I'm excited for them, and I am full of hope and prayers and best wishes for them.

Yet, I can't help but wish for my own groom. Who is he? What's he like? Where is he? Who is he with right now? What is his life like? What is his heart like? Will my parents love him right away, or will it take years? Is he someone I know, or is he someone that I haven't met?
Will he fit right in with my family? God, I hope so.
Will he play guitar and drink beer on occasion? God, I hope so.
Will he have this beautiful, loving heart underneath his calloused, hard working hands? God, I hope so.
Will he love God and talk to me about it, and listen to me when I need to talk about it? God, he had better.  
And what about me? Will I be the woman he's always dreamed of?

Ah, well. There is a time for everything, and sometimes the waiting and the dreaming can be a lot of fun.
Especially with men like Russell Crowe and Gerard Butler on the big screen.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


My heart asks questions,
and soon after Your answers follow.
Your words are full of grace,
so gentle.

Help my unbelief. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's funny how things crumble,
How life comes a long and sweeps us all in separate directions.

It's funny,
We all start to miss some moment in our lives, some security we once had,
some innocence.

We all start to notice how our own hearts have changed, how the hearts of our old friends have changed,
How some have spiraled upward, and others spiraled down.

It's funny- we all miss each other and the unity, the friendship, the iron-sharpens-iron aspect of our community- that memory, that increment of time, how we ache for it.

So we project that ache on to each other, we blame, and judge, and glare, and whisper
when really all we want
is for things to be the same way
that they were before. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Awake My Soul

I was reading through my journal today. Some of the back-entries are so alive. Some are naive. Some are bitter. Some are beautiful.
More than anything though, they made me realize that I have been desiring the same thing for a long time:
It seems I am constantly trapped.

A thought occurred to me: perhaps to give to others you must keep yourself alive -spiritually, mentally.
It's difficult to offer anything of value to others when you are empty.

I, perhaps all people, have become so consumed by chores, studies, work, the internet (note: I am currently updating my blog) that introspection and personal renewal fall by the wayside. I fail to devote time for God -and God is my personal source of strength and renewal and passion.

My apathy is the result of ignoring God.

Awake my soul, for you were meant to meet your Maker.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thoughts on balance and waiting

I may break.
I am so impatient,
so impatient that I ruin most things.
I'm so impatient
That I am apathetic.
I've lost feeling

The other day, driving down the interstate, cruise control on, mindless motion, hours of nothing.
I actually prayed for pain, or something, anything, that would awaken the passion that used to be present in my soul.
A love for others, now overshadowed by love for myself.

I want to reach beyond me, I want to love others more.


I've been floating on happiness
Comfortably sprawled in its sunlight
My toes dipped gently in the water

This was an exciting place
One without difficult questions
and challenging answers
One without obsessive introspection
and self judgment

Now, I am longing for a season of depth.
Growth, wisdom, understanding.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Say for me "Love."

I want to get lost somewhere. I want a new adventure.

After class, I jumped in my car and picked up Steven. We ate Mexican food, and made a right turn out of the parking lot, from which we should have turned left.

"I bet if we turn up here it will get us back to campus eventually," I said.

Mumford & Sons drifted gently over the speakers beneath our conversation. Was it love or fear of the cold that led me into your arms? "That's my favorite line of this song," I said and repeated the phrase out loud.

The road that I chose began heading in an unexpected direction, and Steven noted the suspicious nature of the neighborhood. I felt the urge to just drive around -but I have so much to do.


Now I have Living of Love by the Avett Brothers playing again and again on Grooveshark.
I packed up most of my things to take home this weekend, and my walls are almost completely bare. Almost.

There is one face that I just don't want to take down.
There's only one thing here worth hoping for... say love. Say for me "love."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The campus of Austin Peay and I are in desperate need of a prolonged break.

I just need the mountains.
And a good dose of "look on the bright side."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Working through life issues within one post

I'm really discouraged.
I only have one semester of my undergraduate left... and I still have no idea what I'm supposed to do with my life. I don't even know what I want to do.
I have very general goals... and no real idea of how to attain them.
So... in the spirit of at least focusing on something... here are my general goals, in no specific order:

1) Make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
2) Have a family.
3) Make art... especially with my (someday) kids.
4) Have a Bluegrass-Folk band.
5) Make music. Perform music. Record music. Share music. Enjoy music.
6) Love and be loved.

I've been thinking about Music Therapy a lot lately. I really believe in it. Playing and writing music has always been therapy for me. And I want to help people...

Music is such a powerful coping mechanism, and it's an opportunity to say what needs to be said without holding back.

For some, music inspires. For others, music gives courage.
Some may simply need a moment of escape from life... and how much more constructive is music than other avenues of escape?

And music is so valid; it expresses so many things: worship, love, guilt, anger, sadness, joy, compassion...

I guess this all seems very settled.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Say Anything

This is the third night in a row that I will turn this movie on in order to dose off happily.
I find that in my alone times, I always choose some romantic comedy to imagine as my own.
My last get-over-him-stop-thinking-about-it period revolved around 10 Things I Hate About You,
but this go-around, I find myself falling for a somewhat less conventional cutie... with an adorable awkwardness, endearing sweetness, and irresistible habit of saying whatever comes to mind.

Lloyd Dobler... you are precious.

In other news... I've found myself writing a lot lately. Constantly.
When I have an idle moment... I almost have to be writing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Saddest

The woman that sits next to me in Chamber Choir had a miscarriage this past weekend. Her husband is military, and currently deployed.
My heart is broken for her.
We are singing a song called "Autumn," and I think it will be difficult to get through after this. I will always think of her.

"Autumn" Text by Rainer Maria Rilke. Translated by Edward Snow.

The leaves are falling, falling as if from far off,
as if in the heavens distant gardens had withered:
they fall with gestures that say "no."

And in the nights the heavy earth falls
from all the stars into loneliness.
We are falling. This hand is falling.
And look at the others: it is in them all.

And yet there is One who holds this falling
with infinite softness in his hands. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I think I finally understand.
Grace is recognizing that the past has passed, that every day is a new day, and every moment is a chance to do better than before. To hell with the past. Who cares if they call you a hypocrite. It is time to step forward.

My fortune cookie today said,
"It is never too late to do well."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Questions that I can't answer

Is there someone else?
No, but there's the possibility that someday there may be.

I've been living a lie, and one thing that I've never wanted to be is a liar.
Alas, I am lying to you and everyone else,
because I am such a coward.

Dear God,
Give my heart peace.

I am horrified of the quiet time when I will be alone. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Chamber Tour

Is it strange that I am most excited about the idle time on the bus?
So far, I've purchased the March issue of In Style, two photography magazines, and a Curious George coloring book.
Now, I just need to update my iPod, and I'll be all set!

I love traveling. I love having nothing to do besides wait patiently for my destination. I love finding ways to occupy my mind, and I love watching the highway signs pass by, each one is a picture with a thousand stories. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Reflections on sweeter times

If you are doing what you are doing for any reason other than loving what you're doing, you may just be doing it for the wrong reason.

Re-familiarize yourself with your passion.

Remember what inspiration drove you to your current state, and find a way to reconnect.

If your heart is absent, so are you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Warning: This post is a pity party.

So... my Spring Break plans got cancelled.
I can't really begin to tell you how phenomenally disappointed I am.
I'm not really sure how to distract myself from the fact that my brother will be in the United States, and that I won't be with him or my sister.
I know that I should be happy and excited for everyone that does get to go, but I can't lie, every time I see an excited little facebook update about Vegas, my heart sinks a little lot.

And it's not just the Vegas trip, it's other things as well, and I realize that.

I feel like crying.

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is Appalachia, and We are home.

I've been stressing for a while about graduate school applications... and mine aren't even due for another year. 
I guess dreaming about being accepted to an art school that only welcomes 7 out of 200 applicants per year to its graduate photography program will do that to you. 

I keep wondering what I'm best at. 

Another stress has been my Senior recital, also a year away. 

Like most artists, I find that I'm best with what is familiar to me, with what I enjoy, with what comes naturally. 

I love Appalachia, everything about it. The culture, the dirt, the rust, the hippies of Asheville, the rednecks of Greene County, the mountain-man beards in Hot Springs,
the smelly hikers, weary travelers, muddy boots, and worn-in Chacos. 
All of those things are so beautiful to me, so I'm going to use them. They will be my subjects for an on-going project between now, and next Spring. 
I will take pictures of them, and I will sing about them, and on that one night that is all about me, I will combine the two actions under one title:
This Is Appalachia, and We Are Home. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today, I mustered up the courage to do something for myself.

I walked in through the back door of the Music and Mass Comm building in an angry fluster, and immediately stomped away from my patient companion's side. Stairs? Hell no. I'm taking the elevator this morning.
Last night, I laid in bed, restless, my mind racing until 2am. I had been studying for hours. I had two tests to prepare for, work at the Downtown Artist's Co-op, what was I supposed to have memorized for choir tomorrow?
Riding on that elevator, I considered how much happier I would be if I could just completely withdraw from college.
WITHDRAW FROM COLLEGE?! Umm, no. Back up for a second. Something has got to give.
I realized then that I could not keep up this current schedule. My brain is dying. My retention rate is zilch. I can't even function without vitamin B12. I can't pay attention to anyone or anything for more that 20 consecutive seconds before I start thinking about what I should be doing instead.

>>>>>Fast Forward to 3:30 pm.

I approached my professor, the conductor of Vocal Ease. This ensemble had given me so much joy, so much release at one time. Now, it had become just one more thing.

For what feels like the first time in my life, I quit something I had signed up for, committed to. I felt absolutely terrible about the girls I would be leaving behind. Two of them are people that I value and respect so much... I just knew how disappointed they would be - possibly even angry. 

But still, as I walked from the music building towards my apartment, towards friends waiting to go out, eat mexican, and let me throw back something liquid, delicious, and relaxing after this week from hell, I felt the most sincere relief I have experienced in ages.

Now I can breathe. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Once per year

I've really been missing my brothers and sister lately.
Katie called today, leaving behind an urgent voicemail, with exciting information:
Jan Christian got a ticket for Vegas over spring break, and the two of them are willing to help pay my way.

Just two days ago, literally two days ago, I made plans to go to Florida.
I'm still really excited about my Florida plans, but I have been thinking about my siblings so much lately.

They are even the indirect subjects of my still life assignment for photo 3.

Oh well. I'm sure something will workout soon. For now, sending happy thoughts back and forth will have to suffice. Postcards, pictures, emails, and even occasional dreams of travels and rendezvous for the four of us.

Someday, we will all be able to afford to see each other more. When I get to that point in my life, my goal is to be with all three of my siblings at least once per year. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Maybe it's the endorphins or a little bit of optimism

Tonight I can't stop thinking about how incredibly blessed I am.
I am 21 years old.
I've already done so much and there is so much more left to do.
My goals are so high... and I admit, I am terrified that I may not be able to attain them,
but I am still going to give it my all.
I am giving it my all. Right now. Already.
That feels so good. To really give something my all...
I am so happy.

Quixotic. That defines every bit of my dreams, but I'm okay with that.
I can't help but to think how much my life has already been like a fairy tale:
There has been adventure, love, heartache, forgiveness, emptiness, fulfillment...
so many beautiful things already, and I am so thankful for every single one of them.
I can't wait to see what is next!