Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Once More With(out) Feeling

We truly are beautifully and wonderfully made.  And horribly ourselves from the beginning.  I enjoy the strength and grounded sense of self that have been the cornerstones of my person from day one.  And I continue to try to compensate for and/or make peace with my complete lack of empathy.

Sometimes, on days like today, I feel as though I turn around and am suddenly face to face with that fact.  It's not surprising or hugely disappointing even.  It just is.  And I say, "Oh.  Right.  This is true.  Now what?"  Then I reach for grace and divine understanding.  I ask The Big Good Thing to help me be bigger and gooder.  I work hard and I try to care.  Sometimes I just pretend to care for awhile, while I pray like hell for actual caring to enter my heart at some point.  Usually it does.  But oh goodness, some days it is a lot of work.   

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mother Monster

Lady Gaga made a Country Road Version of "Born This Way."

I just died and went to my twisty, trashy, giddy, ridiculous version of Heaven.


Oh gosh, I don't know.  Sometimes I think I could tip over the edge and become a crazy, out-of-control fan of someone like Gaga or Beyonce.  I'm more than a little obsessed with them today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Today Alan, our musical director, had the ensemble stand in a circle around him to sing through the group numbers.  He said it was his idea of musical heaven.

Can I just say, I love talented, hard-working people.  The ensemble in my show has beautiful voices in every single part.  And we also have great blend.  We're so lucky!  Eeeheehee.  I get giddy about good choral sound. :)  When we sing the finale a capella (not because it's that way in the show, but just because Alan loves to hear the harmonies), I feel completely at home.  like I'm doing what I was made to do.  I'm such a basic, unselfconscious version of myself at musical rehearsals like that.  I bounce up and down, I bob my head to time my cut-offs, I close my eyes, I smile hugely at the person across the circle from me.  How is there so much freedom within a choir to be completely oneself?

I always leave ensemble rehearsal feeling like I've been filled.  I believe that there is something divine in creating and crafting music with like-minded people.  I would like to press my hands together and dip my head down towards that sacred goodness.  God is in these Good Things.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Painting a Thank-you.

Oh man.  I've been struggling with the running lately.  Remember when I hurt my knee?  Well, I stayed off it for about a week and then went frolicking through Tryon Creek State Park.  It was fun and I felt pretty good.  Then I got a horrible cold that made me feel tired and unhappy.  I ran a little, but it was hard and stupid.  Still, I tried about once a week.  When did two miles become so difficult?  I went running again at Tryon Creek State Park and I had to drag myself through 35 minutes.  Blagh.  Dumb dumb dumb.  But I keep trying and hoping that it will get better.  Jess said, "one day you'll have an awesome run that you'll feel like you didn't work for."

Hallelujah!  Today was that day!  I went to the park again; I had music (this seems to be important); I had time; I told myself I could walk a bit if I needed.  And then I ran for an hour. :)  There was even a hill that I conquered!  Oh goodness, I feel so relieved.  I haven't been defeated!  What a good day.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am now a successful bread maker.

Yesterday I attempted to make a little loaf of bread for the first time EVER.  I was scared.

But I was armed with ambition and a page full of useful bread-making tips!  The cookbook I use is kick-ass.  Given to me by my health-conscious (to put it mildly) mother.  It's called Good Food Great Medicine and it supposedly will keep you from getting heart disease, something my mom thinks will happen to her entire family.  Moving on!

Side note:  Henry and I went hiking the other day.  We would stop to look at things along the way and when he was done he would cry out, "moving on!" with an upward inflection at the end and I would reply, "moving on!" with an emphatic emphasis down.  It was hysterical.  to me.

The bread-making attempt started out fine.  Warm water, yeast, a little flour.  What could go wrong with that?  Nothing, except the fact that I just really didn't have enough time to be making bread.  I needed each rise to take only an hour, no more.  And really, if I was going to finish my loaf before rehearsal, it needed to take less time than that. 

Long story short, the first rise took an hour-and-a-half and even then, I was cheating.  By the time I set it aside for the second rise, I had to leave.  "Oh well, " I thought resignedly.  "At least it was a baby loaf, so I didn't waste too many ingredients."  I was prepared to leave it to die.

However, fast-forward three-ish hours ... I returned home to find a delightful doubling of my dough.  I called my wonderful mother to ask if I could still use it even though it had been sitting so long and she said, in short, "why not?"  Why not indeed.  So, I pulled the sticky ball of dough out and began kneading.

Soon I looked like this.

I spent way too long trying to knead my overly sticky dough and cackling hysterically at my attempts to dust the countertop with flour by holding a spoon with my elbows before giving myself permission to add more flour; proportions be damned! (sheisse, that was a long sentence!)

Ha.  Anyway.  I put it aside for the final rise and surprisingly enough, IT ROSE!

And then I put it in the oven and IT BAKED!



next up:  regular-sized loaves ...

P.S.  Don't forget to read and comment on the previous post.  I'm incredibly interested in your thoughts on bravery.  Although bread and baking thoughts are fun too!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Being Brave

What does it mean to be brave?  There is something that I cannot quite understand about the whole being brave thing.  Who can teach bravery?  

There is a bravery that is
a big thing,
a fist thing,
a facing the anger thing.

Sometimes bravery is a
                  me against the world thing.

But I think there is a personal, intimate bravery too.

Bravery with love.
I think it's
               a quiet and difficult thing; it's simple and hard.

I think about two people sitting down and talking about something difficult with compassion and a willingness to work hard.  That is so scary and so brave to me.  I want more of that bravery in my life.
Brave as a bear, with a heart rare and true.    
What are your thoughts about being brave?  What does it look like?  What do you think it means?  I'd like to know, and in knowing, learn to better understand this whole being brave thing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nasty-Ass Cold

Umm ... anyone else feel really mean when they're sick?

I swear, my internal monologue was evil this afternoon.  I felt awful and I wanted everyone else to feel awful too.  Except for my mom and Peter.  Because I would like them to combine forces to take care of me.  No, correction:  I don't want the people I care about to feel awful, I just want all the strangers who annoyed me today to be cursed with my germs.  Stupid people.  Getting in my way.  Looking at me with their eyes.  Their stupid, poopy eyes.

Ok.  Anyway.  I feel mean.  and sick.  Quick! Someone put me in a nest of pillows, turn on a good movie and spoon-feed me macaroni and cheese!!! and then check on me often and offer to do nice things for me.

When I was little, I would read whenever I was sick.  I would lay in bed all day and read three or four books.  Ever notice how there is no real comfortable way to read while lying down?  Think about it.  Every position either requires neck support, or tires your arms out.  Why is that?  Someone solve that problem already.