it’s snowing again. yawn.
this winter has been forcefully introspective. i hear all sorts of people saying the same thing. there aren’t a lot of places to go when the windchill dips to negative fifty, you know? there’s a lot of time to sit, to think. so i have been.
i’ve been practicing my lettering a lot, too, and i went to my first class. sometimes i feel like i have so many ideas and plans swirling around in my head i might burst. and then i go online and wonder how, what with the internet and everything, anyone manages to have an original thought anymore. everything i think of exists somewhere already. there’s always somebody out there doing it better. it makes me tired.
one of my twenty-fourteen intentions was to be inspired rather than intimidated by all the creative goodness i find online. so i’m trying to cultivate some patience and tenacity. i’m trying to protect this little flickering hope that i can make something worth making someday, too. i’m counting all my goof-ups and ink smudges as steps in that direction. and there are a lot of ink smudges. you should see our coffee table.
matt is smart. he took me to the conservatory last weekend because he knew it would cheer me up. i was springtime-style giddy in there. no coats! green things growing! humid air that doesn’t make my nose bleed! there is a whole room full of incredible succulents like the ones pictured up top. i could’ve stayed there all day.
so, to january i say: goodbye, good riddance, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
to february i say: let’s get this over with, shall we?
to spring i say: don’t dawdle. just about all of chicago is on the struggle bus* at this point, and we’re getting awfully antsy.
*thanks, kate bell pederson, for that phrase. i’ve been it using on the daily ever since our fajita date a few weeks back. so perfect.
i was amen-ing out loud, reading along with rachel held evans the other day when i happened upon this new-to-me blog, tamára out loud. i’ll circle back to her seriously refreshing candor in a minute, but first…
you know, 2013 was kind of garbage. and i don’t mind saying so.
i managed to dig a few positive memories out of the heap for the sake of my sanity and our christmas card…but in general last year really was tough.
death, car wrecks, unemployment, anxiety attacks, long-lasting sickness, frozen pipes…if it didn’t happen to me directly it happened to someone i love and it was just too much.
and in addition to those real and really difficult things, one stupid thing tripped me up over and over again, all year long.
that thing is the internet.
in particular, the internet became a sort of spiritual stumbling block for me in a season when i really needed spiritual things to be safe and un-confusing.
[i’m about to get mid-level churchy right now, fair warning to you.]
what i mean is…i am pretty much a church-going, jesus-loving type of person. but the jesus i kept meeting on the internet - the way people were representing him in tweets and comments and status updates - it didn’t line up with the jesus i believe in.
i could use a lot of colorful language to describe what i read online and all the ways it made me angry, but that probably wouldn’t represent him very well either, so i’ll skip it and you can think what you will.
all i know is, i really need to wipe off the residue of 2013. really, really.
so. tamára out loud. i just want you to read what she said, because it is so beautiful, and so simple, and so much better than keyboard mud-slinging. mostly i love it. here you go:
"HOW IS GOD FOR YOU?"
"how is god for you?" my friend asked, but i read it wrong.
i didn’t see the “for you” and i said, flippant but honest, “i reckon god is good as ever. haven’t asked in a while.” and i guess maybe i read it right.
because it made me go and ask god, “how are you?” and i looked up to the ceiling when i prayed it, but that was wrong too. i tucked my head down to my chest, closed my eyes, asked again.
"how are you?" and i really wanted to know. because that’s how relationships between people work, and god is a person.
"i’m in love with you." the answer was instant. and god does that - responds to me faster than my brain can conjure, probably so i will really listen before i can get in my own way.
i took that in. that’s how god is? not happy, sad, okay, fine or the hundred other shifting ways we label our state of being - but in love. with me. that’s how god is.
“i want to be in love with you too,” i said it soft and close and i meant it.
"you will be."
i smiled. and that’s how god is for me.
how is god for you?
i asked for a beginning calligraphy set for christmas.
and, do you know? i really, really like it.
last year i talked about setting intentions for a new year, rather than making resolutions. these pens and ink are my intention for 2014.
i’m going to work a little less so i can practice a little more.
i’m going to let all the beautiful hand-lettering on the internet inspire me, rather than intimidate me.
i’m going to go to workshops and classes and learn as much as i can.
and, if you want, i’m going to write your favorite quotes in my very best lettering on my very prettiest paper and mail them right to your front door.
we’re coming for you 2014…just me and my pens and my ink.
hello from the couch! under the comforter! surrounded by mess and medications!
my annual winter break illness arrived in full force on friday like it tends to do. only this time, it’s the flu! and my fever is hanging out above 100 degrees. and so it goes.
the bright side:
i took my first bubble bath in years yesterday.
i’ve watched three seasons of the wonder years on netflix. that show! the soundtrack, the history, the adolescent struggle! solid gold. [and yes, netflix, for the fifteenth time…i AM still watching…so stop judging me.]
i’ve been reminded about a thousand times how nice matt is. he’s done all the dog walking and food buying and water bringing and temperature taking and…you get the picture. but he is nice and i love him and i’m lucky.
i think i sidestepped my beginning of break guilt. the first few days of break are always weird, because everything sort of comes to a screeching halt and the work inertia tends to make us feel like big lazy-faces. but the fever and body aches have pretty much glued me in place, and matt’s been busy enough taking care of me, so…we win? kind of? as much as you can win with crippling seasonal flu, i feel we’ve won.
now i just need to heal up in time to light the luminarias, eat chinese food, and sing silent night at church on christmas eve. so, if you don’t mind, i think i’ll get back to doing a whole lot of nothing now.
wishing you and yours the very merriest!