Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the double-edged fear of writing

Summer has drawn to an end and I find myself no more familiar with my blog than I was at the beginning of summer, 4 months ago. I read a book by beautiful author and friend, Jo Kadlecek this summer and something she wrote really stuck out to me:

"I have come to believe that writing is double-edged fear: You fear having your words, your thoughts, and your stories read, but you fear more that they will never be read at all."

Those words are so descriptive of my approach to writing. Half the time I don't stop to write my stories, musings, ect. because I think, "no one reads it anyway" and the other half of the time I don't because I'm afraid someone actually will read it.

Too many things in my life are run by fear. I don't watch certain movies because I'm afraid I'll have weird, disturbing dreams. I drive the speed limit because I'm afraid I'll get a ticket. I workout because I'm afraid I eat too much junk...and the list goes on and on. Obviously not all those fears are bad things, but, overwhelmed by them all, I find myself unwilling to give in to some of them.

And so here I am, back to blogging, making another attempt at putting together meaningful sentences, though no one may ever read them, because though I live under the weight of the double-edged fear of writing, I refuse to let it completely overtake me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

my blog manifesto

My first full year of grad school has come to a close and I'm slowly emerging to find the things I left behind when school work took over my life. Though I haven't blogged in a really, really, really long time, I've been thinking a lot about my blog these last few months: why I have one - what purpose I see it fulfilling - what compels me to write my thoughts for all to see. What I've found is that I love to write. It gives me great enjoyment to process life by putting words on paper. I love that months later I can go back and reread what I wrote, remembering the process of writing itself--whether the words flowed effortlessly or I struggled to articulate my thoughts, writing the same paragraph again and again--I simply love to write.

As I thought about why I have a blog and what I want to do with my blog, I found that I don't want to have a theme--a knitting blog, a localvore's blog, a gardening blog, a married life blog--I just want to have a place where I can write. So as I struggle to find time to write for fun--in the midst of homework, class, work and life--though I may write about knitting, gardening, eating local or my faith, they will never be the purpose of this blog. This blog will simply be a place to process through life by writing my thoughts. Here's hoping the summer holds more time for this processing and more posts on this blog...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

hearts of flesh

I've been obsessively listening to the latest Regina Spektor cd since I bought it a week or so ago. I keep thinking I'll get sick of it, but the more I listen to it the more I want to listen to it. My favorite song so far is Calculation, the first on the album (you can listen to it below). I often find myself asking what makes a song good - what gives it worth? As a Christian many would expect me to claim a song has to be produced by a Christian label to be worthwhile, but I have to say I think there's so much more to good music than simply looking for a Christian label.

Regina Spektor's latest album, and her song Calculation in particular, are such a great example of this. A portion of the lyrics:

"So we made the hard decision
And we each made an incision
Past our muscles and our bones
Saw our hearts were little stones

"Pulled 'em out they weren't beating
And we weren't even bleeding
As we lay 'em on the granite counter top

"We beat 'em up
Against each other

"...We struck them so hard
So hard until they sparked"

reads almost exactly like an Old Testament passage from the prophet Ezekiel:

"I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh."
(Ezekiel 11:19 ESV)

where God, speaking through Ezekiel, says that he will remove the hard, uncaring hearts from his people and replace them with loving, compassionate hearts of flesh (embellishment my own of course).

I wouldn't claim that this song is good simply because it seems to parallel scripture, however, but that it's good because it's true. Our goal is often to not allow our hearts to break, to not feel pain, to deal with the realities of an ugly world without feeling anything, to be come numb because having a heart of flesh means that our hearts hurt regularly. Why should we allow ourselves such pain? Because it is our hearts of flesh that make us human. It's our ability to feel pain and compassion and love for and with others that separates us from machines. A truth that I think screams from the lyrics of Regina Spektor's beautifully crafted song.

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