Saturday, March 30, 2013

That's just too good.

Yesterday was Good Friday.

And it was a good Friday.


When I see something I like on facebook,
I tend to comment,
"That's just too good."

I often feel like life is too good to be true.

Like God forgot that life is supposed to be terrifying,
and so He didn't hide the good parts away fast enough:
we got a peek.

But really,
life at its truest and realest
is the good life,
not some faceless feeling of terror.

So I should never be surprised.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Home Sweet Home.

Let me paint a picture for you
of a typical night at my apartment.

I'm coming home from school,
and before I even get inside,
Megan and I make faces at each other 
through the kitchen window.

I ask her about work,
and she has a great story to tell
while she concocts some amazing
gluten-free dish.

Genevieve is in the kitchen too,
playing some inspiring music,
chopping garlic
and bubbling over with joy
as she tells us an interesting fact about it.

Katie is in her spot in the corner,
exclaiming things about math
that we don't understand.
But she's making us giggle.

Amy has her books in a semicircle around her,
planning lessons for her fourth graders.
She pulls out one of her headphones
and puts on that cute face she makes,
telling us about something cool that she did today.

Ashley emerges from the back,
stands next to the food cupboard,
and exclaims something
that sends us into fits of
"Right on!"

If we're lucky,
there are one or two boys there
just sitting,
doing their homework,
or distracting us.

It's a beautiful thing,
and it's a good life.

End scene.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


In high school,
I had an hour on the bus every day after school.

I was never bored,
looking out the window
to notice the things that changed
from day to day.


In life, there are things to be noticed.

Like when you're talking to someone,

the muscles jumping
underneath their face,

the shadow of their eyelashes
on their cheeks
when the light hits right,

the sound of a boy's hand
rubbing his five o'clock shadow.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Enthusiast.

This is Allyson.

To put it simply, she's a lovely person.

When we met, she seemed quiet and shy,
but inside,
all along,
she was Brave.

The following list of statements,
when taken in its entirety,
is meant to give you a taste of her 
and utmost 

She can talk sports with any boy.
Probably better than most.

She knows everything about every old movie 
you've never heard of.

She will keep score for your basketball game
or join your inner tube water polo team
at the last minute.
And score.

She has high class tastes,
for the Oscars
and for Fashion Week.

She effortlessly and tastefully
brings the historian's perspective 
into life's great questions,
offering much needed practicality
to those whose intellect waxes esoteric.

I could go on.

Maybe read her blog instead?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Live Music.

Here's what I love about live music:

You just stand there
and listen.

You're not expected to do anything,
but you're not bored either.

And so you're free to think,
usually about how life is funny and beautiful
and how glad you are to be living in that moment.

You also get the chance to look around at other people
without them noticing.

Truth is,
they look silly if they're bopping around;
they look silly if they're standing still.

Everybody looks silly.

I love when it's loud
and you can feel it rumbling inside you.
not like metaphorically or anything.)

It's like mixing your sense of hearing
with your sense of touch.

The other day, I felt the bass humming and buzzing
behind my belly button,
and I wondered if that was what it felt like
to learn to apparate.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let's Talk About Ice Cream.

On Sunday,
I was at church with my aunts.

There was a beautiful old lady there,
who was taking care of her handsome old frail husband.

I kept watching her in awe.

During the third meeting,
this lady raised her hand to make a comment.

She said that her mother had been a lovely woman.
When she was in a group of women
and the talk turned to saying unkind things 
about other people,
she would say,
"Let's talk about ice cream!"

And I thought,
Maybe one day I could be the kind of person
with so much love
that I would rather talk about ice cream
than say something unkind.

Maybe I really could feel that way
and it wouldn't be preachy or false.


I want to reverence people.

Reverence is
profound respect
mingled with love.

Usually, it is an emotion reserved for 
how we feel about God.

But I can only dream of how rich life would be 
if I respected everyone for the divine parts of them
and if I loved them for it.

Those feelings would mingle 
into a sense of 

It's you I like,
not the things you wear,
not the way you do your hair,
but it's you I like.

The way you are right now,
the way down deep inside you.
Not the things that hide you,
not your toys--they're just beside you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I daydream about having super classy children
who only play with toys
made of wood 
and scrap metal
and yarn.

Forget plastic.

They will play with these:

from here.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Last week, I was with a friend.

And I got this overwhelming feeling:

It is such a privilege to be loved by him.
What did I ever do to deserve this?

I thought through it.

There's no way I ever did anything to deserve 
that kind of love.

And so,
the natural conclusion is
everyone deserves it.

Everyone deserves to be loved.

A Humorous True Account.

Once upon a time,
the same grad school
sent me 
not one,
not two,
but three rejection letters.

I mean, so far.

Two via email,
one crisp paper copy.

All signed by different people.

I'm not upset.

But really.

Pull yourselves together, people.
I get it.
I'm not some clingy girlfriend who won't take a hint.
Communicate with each other.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Warm Weather Wishes.

It's getting warmer
and all I want is

a pair of Sperrys for every occasion


a little bit of ankle.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


John Mayer songs might be a little dumb,
but I try to live my life by the adage
say what you need to say.

This week, the name of the game has been

Bona fide communication.

If you want to say something nice to someone,
say it.

Don't worry about how it will be perceived.

It's worth it.

That's how I ended up telling my friend
that I liked the veins in his arms.

And that's only one of the ridiculous things I said.


By why not say what you mean?

I meant what I said,
and I said what I meant.
An elephant's faithful,
one-hundred percent!
Horton Hatches the Egg,
Dr. Seuss

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Place for Pain

I have never quite understood people
who are always happy and cheerful.

It's admirable, of course,
but seems quite beyond attainment.

Yesterday in a church meeting, I asked myself,
If I had to be cheerful all the time,
would I still be me?

I'm not sure I would.
I spend a lot of my life
thinking and writing about beauty
and what it means to be human--

two things that can only be understood
in the context of pain.

How is possible that these cheerful people,
I often quip,
don't feel the pain of the world around them?
And how do I become like them?

I beat myself down,
without an answer to these questions.

But a few minutes later,
in that same meeting,
the speaker quoted C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain,
which compares kindness with love.

We often think of God as Kindness,
the type of kindness whose only end
is to see others happy.

This kindness says,
"What does it matter so long as they are contented?"
There is no concern for whether people become good or bad,
"provided only that [they] escape suffering."

This kindness is like the cheerfulness I have described--
an end unto itself,
naively misapplying its own virtues.

"If God is Love, He is, by definition,
something more than mere kindness.

And it appears, from all the records,
that though He has often rebuked us
and condemned us,
He has never regarded us with contempt.

He has paid us the intolerable compliment
of loving us,
in the deepest, most tragic,
most inexorable sense."

God's love for us means that it's okay if we suffer.
He was willing to suffer for us so that we don't have to,
but He knows we will.

He has more in mind for us than just our escaping suffering.
He wants us to become like Him.

So there is a place for pain.

If cheerfulness is like the kindness Lewis describes,
then I think real happiness is like the love he describes.

Happiness is possible,
and men exist to have joy,
but it requires a price.

It is a joy because of pain,
not one in spite of it.

And I sure am glad.
I wrote down in my book,
"A world with only cheerfulness and no pain
would have no room for me in it."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My life is a movie.

In 2010, I had a silly crush on a guy in one of my classes.
I didn't know him at all.
A bit more than a year later,
I wrote this.
And last night, I went on a date with him.

Crazy, right?

He correctly identified the pattern of his shirt
as gingham.

At the planetarium,
we learned that constellations are kind of dumb.

And we ate hipster food.

I wanted to order the Jack Kerouac burger,
just because.

But I got the Chubby Checker.

Isn't life funny?