mere adjectives

"They wanted, as we say, 
to 'call their souls their own.' 
But that means to live a lie, 
for our souls are not, in fact, our own. 
They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God,
 'This is our business, not yours.' 
But there is no such corner. 
They wanted to be nouns, 
but they were, and eternally must be,
mere adjectives."
-c.s. lewis

"He has
paid us
of loving us,
in the deepest, 
most tragic,
most inexorable
-c.s. lewis

"God might have arrested this problem by miracle...
but this would have been to decline the problem
which God had set himself when he created the world,
the problem of expressing his goodness
through the 
total drama
of a world containing free agents,
in spite of, and by means of, 
their rebellion against him."
-c.s lewis

(quotes from "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis)

not less than everything

these are quotes i wrote down in my moleskin after reading 'A Severe Mercy' by Sheldon Vanauken.

'tormented thought & worn-out shoes/take all & dwell therein'

to be a christian: 'a condition of complete simplicity/costing not less than everything.'
-c.s. lewis

'thus, rather improbably, began what i must call, judging by all others i've known of, a rather remarkable love. its remarkableness lay, not in our falling quite desperately in love--many have experienced that glory--but in what we made of that love.'
-sheldon vanauken

when the waves turn the minutes to hours

my father used to/still does sing this song whenever the waves begin to pick up on the lake. my mother always quickly hushes him, but we all sit there humming in under our breath. saying these little prayers. looking out over the lake that is so calm and gentle, yet so ruthless and unforgiving. its this level of respect for the water. i couldn't quite explain it when asked recently, but the song always seems to sum it up.

"The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty.
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.
The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Gales of November came slashin'.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'.
Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya.
At Seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in, he said
Fellas, it's been good t'know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searches all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.
They might have split up or they might have capsized;
May have broke deep and took water.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee'.
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!"

the less i know

"seems like everywhere i go, the more i see the less i know"

isn't that the truth.

ebb and flow

its strange isn't it?

how things come and go.
this tide.
this ebb and flow.
this rise. this fall.

for the past five days, the sun has been excruciating. shining with a warmth that is no longer pleasant, warm, or inviting. but instead. pushing past soft cottons to delicate skin. burning. this source so necessary for life begins to assault life itself. contradiction on the greatest scale.

and then.                   
i slept in. and woke up this morning to a most unusual thing. to the rushing coolness of this summer breeze. the ironic turn of the hot land colliding with lake air and rushing in and down the streets of this sleepy summer town. 

and thats it. right there. the burning, scorching, hungry heat comes. but. so does this cool, rushing wind. 

for always is always now.

For we have thought the longer thoughts
And gone the shorter way.
And we have danced to devil's tunes
Shivering home to pray;
I take you now and for always,
For always is always now.

'we are far to easily pleased'

thoughts today in quote form:

"God isn't calling you to a mediocre life. And don't you dare settle. DON'T YOU DARE. It's not what you thought it would look like. so what!? When does it ever look like what we think it should or thought it was going to? Never. It never looks like we thought it was going to. God has been making you promises. He is just and faithful to those promises. He did not die on a cross to give you a life full of empty promises and have baked plans. He has a plan, a beautiful, full, abundant path for you!"
-my own words in a letter to a friend [funny how our own words are often preached to ourselves]

"There is no passion to be found in playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
-Nelson Mandela

"Indeed, if we consider the the unblushing promises of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
-C.S. Lewis [The Weight of Glory]

"for no other reason that that he is himself an extension of life around him"

Just moments ago finished a book that I have loved for many years. My mother gave the book to me about 10 years ago (i've read it several dozen times), trying to satisfy my insatiable appetite for reading and love for nature. The book is written by my hero, Jane Goodall, and is called Reason for Hope. In it, she speaks about her beloved chimpanzees, her love for nature, for people, and life. Among the many wise words she has to say about the deep rooted relationship between spirituality and science, her focus, as it always has been, is on our responsibility now. She describes a lecture she gave at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. 

"I took, as my text, Genesis Chapter 1, verse 26: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." I explained that many Hebrew scholars believe the word 'dominion' is a very poor translation of the original Hebrew word 'v'yirdu', which actually meant to rule over, as a wise king rules over his subjects, with care and respect. It implied a sense of responsibility and enlightened stewardship."

Stewardship is an uncomfortable world in western vocabulary. Responsibility for the world, the animals, the creation around us. We were given stewardship over creation. Instead, we move about our days recklessly. We pillage the land for its resources. We rape the earth of its wild places. Our planet is increasingly becoming a sad place to live. Our forests are smaller, our land is over farmed and infertile, our livestock are crammed into disgustingly small spaces, our fruit is grown to abnormally large sizes, injected with hormones. Our air becomes increasingly poisonous, we pour toxins into the atmosphere and destroy the layers that protect our very existence. 

There is really no such thing as an environmentalist, as a "tree-hugger", as a "green" person. There are simply those who understand the responsibility of stewardship and have the desire to live. There is simply no reason, that anyone with the desire to live life, cannot carry the weight of stewardship. Buying local produce. Purchasing meat raised and slaughtered humanely, or not at all. Picking up trash. Exploring better ways to do the necessary day-to-day things we do. Its not remarkable. Not even difficult. But necessary. 

Someday, I want my children to play in trees older than myself. I want them to romp in fields of wild flowers. I want them to swim in the lake that runs through my veins. I want to take them on hikes of the wild island I fell in love with as a child. I want them to see a peregrine falcon in its natural habitat. And I want them to wonder. I want them to wonder that even in the midst of our destruction, mankind turned, saw the world, and began to undo what it had done. I want them to wonder at creation and say, "It is good."

"A man who possesses a veneration of life will not simply say his prayers. He will throw himself into the battle to preserve life, if for no other reason than that he is himself an extension of life around him."
-albert schweitzer
things i'm obsessed with this week. my weekly emails of art, music, food, style, life, etc. are going over a little transformation!

coming soon via video to an art blog near you.

vimeo vs. youtube--feedback anyone?

to search deep.

"Most people are like: oh this is nice, this is bad. No one wants to search deep. Sadness. You so would."

[i've never been so flattered in my life.]

you yourself are capable of both

go camping. fish for dinner. and sleep on the forest floor with me. 

"Adventure is a path. Real adventure - self-determined, self-motivated, often risky - forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it, Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of human kind - and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever be black and white again."
-mark jenkins

the society of the sea

"If the coast guard did stop by, it was for a cup of coffee. We were part of a society: the society of the sea."
-Latts & Atts

from the first week i breathed life on this planet i became a member of the society of the sea. i have the seas in my veins. and i will promise you this friends, there is no better life than the one spent on the water.

"Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind
That our forefathers harnessed before us
Hear the bells ring as the tight rigging sings
Its a son of a gun of a chorus"

dear friends,

i must say, i truly enjoy reading your blogs. i enjoy reading about your dreams [sleeping or awake], your travels, your thoughts, your struggles, your triumphs, your lives, and your stories. i love being able to connect with you through your words. whether you are 2 blocks, 2 states, or 2,000 miles away. 

i love reading your words, listening to you wordsmith. listening to you wrap and weave words with the skill of wise craftsmen. and you all use them so differently. so beautifully. some of you use raw words. writing allows you to escape, to say what you want to say. for some of you, your writing is thought out, detailed. every word is carefully chosen, exchanged over and over and over until the right combination is found.

your words. i read them all [although perhaps a little too often]. i love your words. i value your words. so please. please. please. please. please. please. write. write a little. write a waterfall of words. but please, write. because if you don't, who will? who will tell the world of your dreams? who will tell the world of your travels? who will tell the world of your stories, your struggles, your anger, your beauty, your sorrows, your joy?

please continue writing friends. 
i like your words.


many new photos up on my art blog: visual abundance

doesn't mean i'm lost

lately i've been loving the song "Lost" by Coldplay. its a song about losing, but not being lost. and there is something about the way that the notes fall into the riff and the way chris martin sings that speaks about redemption.

and i think that's kind of what its all about. i lose. everyday i lose. but i'm not lost. and thats the greatest irony in all of history; everyday we're losing, but at the end of the day, we're not lost. at the end of the day
we have redemption.
we have grace.
we have mercy.
we have restoration.

and that's the truly beautiful part. not just that we are given redemption, grace, but that then
we are restored.
we are made new.
we are brought into a new and better life.

this week has been a week of redemption. its been increasingly refreshing in a world of dry leaves, like small trees bursting through the rotting decay of the forest floor. and leaves opening up to warm, warm sunshine. i feel like i'm feeling the sunshine for the first time in so, so long. 
but its alright. because i feel like redemption is better. being brought back from wandering, from losing, from making a general mess of life is the best gift of all. 

"just because i'm losing
doesn't mean i'm lost."

nice things:

*cleaning the boat with my father
*lightening storms
*ray lamontagne cover of gnarls barkley's "crazy"
*the Lost theme song
*people taking photographs with my camera


new photographs up on my art blog. check out some visual abundance.

wedding dress

The raw, but very convicting words of Derek Webb:

If you could love me as a wife 
and for my wedding gift, your life 
Should that be all I'd ever need 
or is there more I'm looking for 

and should I read between the lines 
and look for blessings in disguise 
To make me handsome, rich, and wise 
Is that really what you want 

I am a whore I do confess 
But I put you on just like a wedding dress 
and I run down the aisle 
and I run down the aisle 
I'm a prodigal with no way home 
but I put you on just like a ring of gold 
and I run down the aisle to you 

So could you love this bastard child 
Though I don't trust you to provide 
With one hand in a pot of gold 
and with the other in your side 

I am so easily satisfied 
by the call of lovers so less wild 
That I would take a little cash 
Over your very flesh and blood 

Because money cannot buy 
a husband's jealous eye 
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

be a localvore:

10 Reasons to Buy Local Food

  1. Locally grown food tastes better.  Food grown in your own community was probably picked within the past day or two.  It's crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor.  Produce flown or trucked in from California, Florida, Chile or Holland is, quite understandably, much older.  Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles.  In a week-long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality.
  2. Local produce is better for you.  A recent study showed that fresh produce loses nutrients quickly.  Food that is frozen or canned soon after harvest is actually more nutritious than some "fresh" produce that has been on the truck or supermarket shelf for a week.  Locally grown food, purchased soon after harvest, retains its nutrients.
  3. Local food preserves genetic diversity.  In the modern industrial agricultural system, varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen simultaneously and withstand harvesting equipment; for a tough skin that can survive packing and shipping; and for an ability to have a long shelf life in the store.  Only a handful of hybrid varieties of each fruit and vegetable meet those rigorous demands, so there is little genetic diversity in the plants grown.  Local farms, in contrast, grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest, an array of eye-catching colors, and the best flavors.  Many varieties are heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation, because they taste good.  These old varieties contain genetic material from hundreds or even thousands of years of human selection; they may someday provide the genes needed to create varieties that will thrive in a changing climate.
  4. Local food is GMO-free.  Although biotechnology companies have been trying to commercialize genetically modified fruits and vegetables, they are currently licensing them only to large factory-style farms.  Local farmers don't have access to genetically modified seed, and most of them wouldn't use it event if they could.  A June 2001 survey by ABC News showed that 93% of Americans want labels on genetically modified food - most so that they can avoid it.  If you are opposed to eating bioengineered food, you can rest assured that locally grown produce was bred the old-fashioned way, as nature intended.
  5. Local food supports local farm families.  With fewer than 1 million Americans now claiming farming as their primary occupation, farmers are a vanishing breed.  And no wonder - commodity prices are at historic lows, often below the cost of production.  The farmer now gets less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar.  Local farmers who sell direct to the consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food - which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm, doing the work they love.
  6. Local food builds community.  When you buy direct from the farmer, you are reestablishing a time-honored connection between the eater and the grower.  Knowing the farmers gives you insight into the seasons, the weather, and the miracle of raising food.  In many cases, it gives you access to a farm where your children and grandchildren can to go to learn about nature and agriculture.  Relationships built on understanding and trust can thrive.
  7. Local food preserves open space.  As the value of direct-marketed fruits and vegetables increases, selling farmland for development becomes less likely.  You have probably enjoyed driving out into the country and appreciated the lush fields of crops, the meadows full of wildflowers, the picturesque red barns.  That landscape will survive only as long as farms are financially viable.  When you buy locally grown food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape.
  8. Local food keeps your taxes in check.  Farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas suburban development costs more than it generates in taxes, according to several studies.  On average, for every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments must spend $1.17 on services, thus requiring higher taxes of all taxpayers.  For each dollar of revenue raised by farm, forest, or open space, governments spend 34 cents on services.
  9. Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife.  A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued.  Good stewards of the land grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by their crops.  Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat global warming.  According to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage could sequester 12 - 14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry.  In addition, the habitat of a farm - the patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds and buildings - is the perfect environment for many beloved species of wildlife, including bluebirds, killdeer, herons, bats and rabbits.
  10. Local food is about the future.  By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow, and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.

Buy local food.
Sustain local farms.

these friends of mine

friends. i see Jesus in these people.

the God loving, earth caring, food cooking, beautiful soul that i call my best friend. a lover of God and of people. so full of adventure and life. when i'm around her, i'm more compassionate, more honest, more of the me that God is calling me to be.

lays down her life for the best and worst of friends. holds tightly to God's promises and is a friend who truly understands what it takes to stand in the will of God. she keeps me sane when i'm tip-toeing the edge of insanity.

the kindest man i know. loves those who don't deserve love. cares more deeply for the people around him than anyone i have ever known. chases after God with such fervor. and never, never, never gives up on anyone.

the thinker. the professor. the contemplator. he wrestles with every idea, relationship, aspect of life. when he cares, he cares deeply. he is one-hundred percent in or one-hundred percent out. he is deep and good and full of wisdom. he is my brother, the first person i call. his wisdom is a strong, steady keel in an ocean of waves.

makes everyday new. everyday bright. everyday beautiful. she's a rock in a crashing sea of unsteady friendships. beautiful, free, and young. she grows boldly and pulls others up off the ground as she grows upward. she's full of forgiveness and mercy. she's my neighbor, my friend, my late-night-confidant. i laugh harder and breathe deeper when we are together.

sacrifices sleep, food, homework, sanity for his friends. gives so much of himself. lives abundantly, beautifully, and true. lays down his life for his friends daily. honest and true, and his friendship makes me more so. our first conversation was 10 hours long. (not exaggerating)

his smile, laughter, humor are contagious, but not ignorantly so. his kindness shows the wisdom of a life that has seen less happy times. he soaks up each day so fully, sometimes, i swear i can see each ray of sunlight sink into his skin. he is so sincere, and i learn what sincerity is every time he hugs me.
wonderful. wonderful. wonderful. one of the most intelligent minds and souls that i know.  a lover of words and thoughts. he has taught me the value of every-single-word.  every word is carefully chosen. every thought, thought out. he is bluntly honest and wonderfully bold. his life humbles and encourages me.
humble and beautiful. steady and bright. her laughter lights up rooms. her compassion topples buildings. she has a voice that the most talented lark would envy. a beautiful woman, down to the deepest part of her soul. i am humbled to call her friend.

you bless me more than you know.

"in case of rapture"

i saw this license plate border driving back from the thrift store:

the pedestrian life

i made my first dinner in the new house!
i cooked for trena, gabe, mike, and ben. i made stir-fry with lime-cilantro chicken and peppers and onions. i also made home-made guac. everyone seemed to enjoy it!
pictures to come of food and house soon!

(also: going on a bike ride tomorrow on sophia[my schwinn breezer])

"This is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience."
-shauna niequist


if you know anything about me. you know that i love lists. and its about the end of one season and the beginning of another, so it seems right. 

(these are not in any particular order or rank)

good things this year:
~winning pull (legendary '11)
~hope women's lacrosse
~reading thoreau all december long
~seeing live in concert:
   -denison witmer (for probably the 7-8th time)
   -brooke waggoner
   -my brightest diamond
~deciding to stay at hope (yes, i almost transferred)

things i want to cook this summer:
~calamari (nummmmmmy)
~vegan/vegatarian everything
(also, buying all food local is the hefty goal via my beautiful bicycle with shiny new baskets!)

to be continued....

oh my gosh i'm human.

i cannot tell you the last time i felt this alive:

it's a brand new day

this song came on pandora 2 minutes ago.
It’s a brand new day
The sun is shining 
It’s a brand new day
For the first time in such a long long time
I know I’ll be ok

Most kind of stories
Save the best part for last
And most stories have a hero who finds
You make your past your past
Yeah you make your past your past

It’s a brand new day
The sun is shining 
It’s a brand new day
For the first time in such a long long time
I know I’ll be ok

This cycle never ends
You gotta fall in order to mend

It’s a brand new day
It’s a brand new day
For the first time in such a long long time
I know I’ll be ok
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

-2 Corinthians 12:9


these are quotes from a notebook from last year that i wrote down when i heard them.

"Some of us are afraid to have faith, because it might lead to a cross we didn't want to carry."

"May we be uncommonly committed to one another."

"Be willing to die, but also to live."

"God's invitation for you to work with him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action."
-Henry Blackaby

"These times are so uncertain...but I think its about forgiveness"
-Don Hemly

"I am a great sinner and Christ a great forgiver."
-John Newton

"We need a theology of abundance, not of scarcity."

"You should not feel guilty about pacifism, you should feel guilty about not exploring what you don't understand."
-Dr. Cronkite

visual abundance

if you would like, i will be posting my artwork here.

wise words

"Why is music so amazing?"

"...because it speaks to the soul when everything else speaks to the mind."

-the wise words of eric lunderberg

" At one point in my life I'd kill Chirst for 10 bucks, cause He was messing with my status as God."

Easter is a strange time of year. The reverence for what Christ has done for us and the joy of his resurrection. How do we handle it? I was challenged by the words of one of my more recent favorite writers. Check out the Hollywood Pastor.

"it is good": fighting the good fight and holding out for the cross.

a theme i've heard reflected over and over and over and over and over and over this week is one of holding out. holding out for something better. something beautiful. something worth fighting for.

i feel like this isn't a lesson you learn without experience. this isn't a lesson you learn sitting on the side lines. this. this is a lesson you learn after you come close. after you get singed by the fire. after you compromise. after you almost settle.

and let me tell you about settling. it leads down the same road every time. i've done it. i've been there. i've done that. and i'm over it. i'm over it. all streams feed into the same river. settling leads to heart break and emptiness. because settling means choosing less than what God has for you. less than abundance. less than the cross. 

its something that last night i laid in bed thinking about for hours. because for the first time, its not the settling that hurts. its the choosing of something better. its the leaving behind of the easy way. its the choice of something more beautiful, deep, and worth the fight. it hurts because its a leaving behind of self. of flesh. of easy and quick and effortless. 

its a good choice. its such a good choice.
but i don't mean "good" in the way, "yeah, that's good, that's nice."
i mean it in the way God says, "and it was good."
there's more meaning to it isn't there?

choosing depth. good.
choosing beauty. good.
choosing abundance. good. 
choosing the good fight. good.
holding out for the cross. good.

its good to choose good.

*[on a separate, yet related note.]
thank you. thank you for sitting next to me. thank you for speaking truth when its hard to hear. thank you for being a three-in-the-morning-i'll-right-there-friend. your friendship is far more than i deserve. 

i am the cowardly lion.

monday and tuesday were overwhelming to say the least. but i must admit, i've stumbled hard these past few days. the amount of tasks i needed to complete this week over took me, but instead of taking things one at a time, i proceeded to freak out, stress out, forget that God has already told me not to worry, and proceed to slip in to a coma like state, hoping all the trouble/stress will disappear.

and when it all piles up, i'm just an ostrich with my head in the sand, hoping the world will disappear before i have to deal with it.
picture: google images

so now. right now. no more. i'm pulling my head up out of the sand because this world is spinning far too fast, far too elegantly, far too beautifully through the universe, and i don't want to miss a second of it worrying about things i cannot control.

i'm not afraid to say i don't know

there is so much i want to say, but i am at such a loss for words.
i don't have the answers, but shoulders. 
to carry the questions. 
to carry the weight.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Carry the weight of your brother
Carry the weight of your sister
I'm not afraid to say I don't know

Carry the weight of your father
Carry the weight of your mother
I'm not ashamed to say I don't know, anymore

Carry the weight of your neighbor
Carry the weight of a stranger
I'm not afraid to say I don't know what to do

And so I carry the weight
Carry the weight
Carry the weight
Carry the weight

Carry the weight of each other
Carry the weight of another
I'm not afraid to say I don't know"

-denison witmer "Carry The Weight"

growing one way or the other

i turn twenty on tuesday.

i don't feel that old.

or that young.

so i guess i feel twenty?

How to (not) train for a marathon:

step 1:
unaligned hips. don't bother spending the money to go to the chiropractor that insurance doesn't cover. your hips don't really need to be aligned. this is actually unimportant.

step 2:
finally attain some great distance (23 miles), then take your hips out of their sockets. allow them to pop in and out for say...a week.

step 3: 
try to walk up stairs with hips out.

step 4: 
barely be able to walk let alone run.

step 5: 
take 2 months off to allow hips to "heal" (i.e. not hurt). do not seek professional consult. do not see a doctor. do not try to proactively fix the problem. this is all very much unnecessary. "these things heal themselves". (ha)

step 6: 
run on icy pavement. when its below freezing. i hear this is great for your joints. do this as often as possible.

step 7: 
finally start upping your mileage again. up your mileage really quickly in an effort to catch up on your training. 

step 8: 
good, long, wonderful run. 

step 9: 
last mile. cue the hip pop.

step 10: 

The Year in Visual Form:

this year has been a good one...

Celebrated New Years Downtown with Abby and Co.
Finally got around to getting my Level 1 Certification with Trev and Travis
Tested K2's 2009-2010 Lineup. Remembered why I love them. Fell in Love with the new (not yet released) Jibpan (which just so happens to have Michael Sieben graphics, one of my favorite artists of all time!)

Got surgery to remove a cyst on my back.

This past summer I got involved with an Art Collective called, "The Ambrose Collective"
Learn more about Ambrose.

As always, spent a good deal of my time at The Burg, working hard and hardly working.

It's been a good winter, and I've been blessed to ride and progress a lot.

We won Pull breaking records and truly becoming the Legendary team we set out to be.


i had something on my heart and typed out here on this screen and then my window shut for no apparent reason and i am so frustrated and its just not worth the energy to write it out again. and frankly, i'm out of drafts to publish so i'll leave you with this.

"I'm awake in the afternoon
I fell asleep in the living room
and it's one of those moments
when everything is so clear

before the truth goes back into hiding
I want to decide 'cause it's worth deciding
to work on finding something more than this fear 

It takes so much out of me to pretend
tell me now, tell me how to make amends

maybe, I need to see the daylight
to leave behind this half-life

don't you see I'm breaking down

lately, something here don't feel right
this is just a half-life
is there really no escape?
no escape from time
of any kind

I keep trying to understand
this thing and that thing, my fellow man
I guess I'll let you know
when i figure it out"

-Duncan Shiek "Half-life"

"there is nothing more sacred and profound than this day."

"I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe 

that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this 

day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big 

moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered 

like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny 

moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we 

grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of 

life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, 

because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think 

I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, 

every conversation, every meal, every meeting."

-shauna niequist

to ally and kelly:

thank you so dearly for so many lovely. honest. day-to-day. meaningful moments these past few weeks. and truly, the big moments are in every mongiamo's pizza, every milkshake, every vegan cupcake, every oven explosion. 

you are more deeply loved than you know.

If you are the water, I am the waves
If you are the writer, I am the page
If you are the fire, I am the rage
You left a light on, in the back of my mistake

familiar, distinct, and strong.

today i was walking to class through downtown holland when i smelled the scent of smoked salmon. and all of a sudden, i am 9 years old again chasing my brother through the docks on the dam. the indian fishing boats are coming in. the sun is just short of noon. the stores are opening. and we are running up the hill to town. 

in the grocery store, we buy fresh cherries and jones soda. then we stop at the shanty for fresh cheese and bread. i always get a sourdough roll, i like the bitterness of the thick bread against the sweetness of the deep red cherries. my brother likes the sharpness of the Wisconsin cheese.

then, to Carlson's for the fish. 1/2 pound of smoked salmon. i don't like the taste, but the smell is familiar, distinct, and strong. and finally, down to sit on the docks, watching the fish eat our bread crumbs and nibble at the pits of the cherries that we spit into the clear, crisp, northern water. 

and then, taking the boat, my brother and i escape to the beach. we're not really old enough to drive, but we push quietly off the back of the sailboat and head out of the rocky pier that protects all the boats, out of the safe harbor. and we spend the afternoon collecting treasures. petoskey stones, coral, sea glass, and sand. i'm best at spotting the stones, even when they're dry on the shore. but dad will yell at us later for getting sand in the boat and weighing the sailboat down with our treasures. apparently you don't really need 200 petoskey stones.  "you should really  leave some for other people to find." 

ending the day on a picnic table that rocks back and forth on a track. the warm summer air filtering through the streets of the quiet little town. eating ice cream. and the stars begin to shine through the deep indigo sky and the sun sinks into the lake, illuminating the islands in front of it before it drops beneath the surface. 

and sixteen sweet summers full of life, adventure, and unadulterated innocence come rushing back.


today was unbelievably cold. 
it was the kind of day where the wind is so bitter, so fierce, that it fights through your jacket and sends shivers erupting down your spine. 

the snow was wrapping aggressively around street lamps, trees and buildings. today was the kind of day when the coldness sank a little deeper than hands, flesh, or bones. the kind of day when the coldness seems to comes straight at your heart. 

today, was cold.

and as i walking, my pace ever quickening, i felt as thought i would freeze right through before i ever reached the other side of my door. i thought for a fleeting second that my veins would begin to freeze from the tiny capillaries in the tips of my fingers,
up my arms,
across my shoulders,
through my lungs,
then the ice would begin to crackle up into my chest,
and theh-bump, theh-bump, theh-bump________
_____.         and i would freeze over and cease to be.

but the beauty of this cold afternoon is... i didn't freeze.
i had enough warmth to walk across 9th street and then 8th street. enough warmth to run across the snow dusted lawn, up the cracked cement path, and slip through the entrance, to the other side, the warm side, of my door. 

the beauty is that we have enough warmth to make it to the door. enough to persist through the bitter cold. enough to run quickly home. 

we have enough to make it to the other side of the door. 

end again. begin again.

"...and i thought, be still my heart this could be a brand new start."
-The Postal Service

"it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
-e.e. cummings

simple fanaticism

i think the most fanatical way to live a christian life is not loud or prominent or crazy. but a day-by-day, semi-boring, not too exciting sort of way. 

i don't need to live in an exclusive christian community.
i don't need to go to every bible study. every worship service. every church camp. every chapel. 
and when i drop something on my foot, i say shit. it hurts.

real, fanatical christianity is 
breathing because i can.
feeling the warmth of the sun in the depth of winter.
savoring a grapefruit.
loving my God.
loving my friends.
loving my neighbor.
loving my enemy.

true christianity is being fanatical enough to decide that every day counts. that serving dinner to friends is ministry. that a coffee house can be as holy as a church sanctuary. that your body is a temple and should be treated as such. fanatical enough to know that some days are hard. some days are boring. some days we just get by. some days we just have grace enough for today. 

the part of you that couldn't finally thinks you can

"this is what it's like
finding your feet again
the part of you that couldn't
finally thinks you can

and you said...

go now in the light of your god
go now in the love of your god
go now in the peace of your god
go now in the joy of your god"

-denison witmer