Monday, September 27, 2010

When painting and calligraphy are combined, it's fairly easy to view a work and imagine you could do better. By all means, please do so. So often I see or hear of something and find myself mentally improving on it. This is one of the beauties of living in a highly creative area; it brings out a sort of competitive side to typically mellow artist-types. And with the internet, you don't even have to live anywhere near anyone else to feel that pressure to create something better, just because you can. 

Though I wouldn't call myself a perfectionist, I do fairly constantly feel a desire to "fix" things (though I'm not sure how else a perfectionist is defined). I tend towards the mentality that everything can (and therefore should) be beautiful as well as functional. For example, food is necessary for life, but more appetizing if aesthetically pleasing. Hence the whole premise of Epicute. One really doesn't have to spend too much time with a person to know where they stand on this. It's a spectrum, as many things are, and the Japanese do a laudable job of balancing the concepts of beauty and functionality in essentially all aspects of their culture. Our God created a world of beauty, full of things that don't need to be. Really, none of this needs to be. But it is. It has reason and purpose, merely by existing. The world looks different through that lens. If we really believe that even "mistakes" have beauty, how do we treat people who, frankly, are unattractive to society? Can we see the wonder in creation? Will we stop trying to manicure our lawns and let them reflect the climate we live in? (sorry, pet peeve)

To summarize, musing and ranting late at night on a caffeine-free day makes for posts that follow meandering trains of thought.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In the month, I've suddenly been prone to burst into tears in the midst of conversations. On average, it happens at least half a dozen times a week. I have no idea why. As usual, I blame hormones/sleep deprivation/something in my eye, etc. But God is good. And sovereign over whatever thing it is that makes me cry this time, from talking about child abuse, to hearing some beautiful music. It's a hearty blow to my pride, because let's face it: crying just looks weak. It shows my failure to control my emotions in the socially appropriate way I'd prefer. If someone asks me if I'm alright, I might actually have to explain what's going on instead of being able to convince them that "I'm fine".  The ironic part, most of the time, I actually am fine, I'm just having a moment. Guess that's what living with girls does to you.  =)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts on obedience at work...

The lesson is hard
but oh, it is good;
to do what we are told
when we should.

No ifs ands or buts
proud justification cease!
Trust God is in control;
follow your Sovereign's lead.

Be called a fool;
be thought a child;
in submission is freedom,
slavery's wild.

P.S. Yes, I just sat and tried to make sense of the meter of this "poem"...Better go squelch the formalist in me with some more chocolate.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why yoga?

"Royal Dancer" pose...someday, I'll be able to do both hands on my ankle. And pigs will fly. 
1. Because you never know when you'll need to do this. 
2.  I can have a killer workout and feel sore without really ever getting out of breath or disgustingly sweaty. 
3. I can do it alone or with others, here, there, and everywhere (in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, on a boat, with a goat, in the dark, on a train, in the rain...)
4. Cost of yoga equipment =  $10. Benefits of doing regular exercise = more energy, flexibility, muscle tone...broken record, I know, but that whole "eat well and exercise" thing isn't that far out.

Of course, I'm not very orthodox in my yoga. I mean, playing swing music and dancing in the middle of an ashtanga vinyasa is hardly clearing your mind. The focus on coordinating breathing and movement has been helpful, and really, it's just more fun to work out this way. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I write this, sitting in the back of a "train", having to give up my sticky note ticket to my little conductor every few minutes as he returns to the other side of the couch to drive. Apparently, we're going to visit Elmo. Just an average Thursday, really. Only this time, I had the foresight to actually bring something to write on.

Grey fall skies have a surprising beauty, the air is crisp and sweet. And only in Washington does one's lawn and garden look more green in September than it does in May. It's rather bizarre, for the first time I can remember, these seasonal changes aren't welcoming me back to school. Funny how even though I've known this was coming all summer, it's still striking me as odd. And truth be told, I miss it sorely. On one level, it's helpful to know, because once I graduate, I'm going to have to find some other way to meet that intellectual need in my life other than academics. For now, my creativity is being tested as I try to find things to read and write as a challenge And more honestly, my perseverance is tested as I try to actually apply myself to do what I come up with and not just laze around when I get off work.

Sitting around last night, it really occurred to me what an effect living with a temporary mindset can have; how knowing that I'm leaving soon has really brought out the worst of my natural introversion. Sometimes, I don't want to meet new people just because they'll just be more people I'm never going to be around. More people to miss. But the fact of the matter remains, if  we're believers, it's never "goodbye", but always "see you later". That's been a great encouragement of late, and a reminder to make what little time I have in each place count. What am I leaving behind? And yesterday, I got a glimpse of the answer.

I was talking to my boss, who attends the small group at house where I live, and she mentioned something about the "Kelsey bird" with a knowing grin. Unfortunately, it would seem I was the only person who had no idea who or what the Kelsey bird was, so I had to ask. Embarrassed, she explained that at small group last night, a friend of mine had shared about how one night, I had asked her if she was really going to let frosting steal her joy (long story). So now, when she's tempted to be frustrated in a circumstance, she gets a "Kelsey bird" on her shoulder that asks her if she's going to let it rob her of her joy in Christ. Granted, my first thought was much more akin to mortification at hearing that this was shared in front of a "small group" of about 40 people I don't really know than joy at hearing people rise up and call me blessed. But on reflection, I realized that by the grace of God, I'm being a blessing. If that's all that they remember about me, if that's what they learn from my life, that's more than enough! So I'm a pestering bird. I'd rather parrot the words of Christ than be a noisy gong.