Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Honors Program

Check out this article my friend wrote on our honors program! I spoke a bit on the video:)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Part of a Poem I wrote in Greek

Sorry I keep writing poems in that class...

To Oxford I came, in Oxford I found
men who think the right things about Hemingway
and the wrong things about the Porter.
There I found true knowledge and a heady
sort of wisdom- knowing, if I really believe
In the God of St. Mary's,
Then most all the Radcliffe souls will perish
in fire and anguish- books
all burning to the flame of their rejection
of simplicity.
While women in Alabama- who annoy me
will wear crowns in eternal splendor
eating pecan pie.
Not concerned one bit with Greek
but believing the Word of God.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Poem for students who cheat, inspired by Lemony Snicket.

lying is to life as poison to my coffee
it's fun to try to put one past me
but i'm smarter than you guessed 
and you have an F, and I 'm not dead.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another poem I wrote in class...

In Class Today

My professor bounces back from
chalkboard to desk
never letting my mind rest
as persistant questions storm the
bridge of time with broomsticks.
Mudpie Walls fortify our notecard city
we pick the leaves to make a wreath
of flowers we cannot grow or name.
You go on, shoving definitions down
the throat of my small brain.
I cannot take it. I cannot know anymore
without understanding.
I cannot pile up my mind with half
comprehensions of misty dreams
you must stop bouncing and teach me things.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Sinner's Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, 
Son of God, 
have mercy on me,
 a sinner.

Say it 50 times in a row. I dare you.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A poem I wrote in Greek Class.

Dr. Bear gave Samatha
a pencil, which she passed along to me.
In purple square font is written
"I dwell in possibility"
I like this pencil.

Lately the storm rages on in my
little fishbowl of a world
swirls of chaos always gathering
on the edges of my coffee breaks.
I am one small girl, who no one will write
brave words about.
I keep pencils to remind me to go on.

My life is no small battle, and
I know no end of the petty fights
against the clock.
i am no true soldier
i want to be, but always miss my cue.
I dwell in possibility.
I carry pencils to remind me of the truth.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Jack and the Journey West

I've got a vision and an atlas
and the pennies i have saved
pressed against my pocket
with dried flowers and your face
on a picture on the dashboard of my heart.

I've got a mystery i'm solving
with each passing corn field view
instead of flying over
i'm fighting my way through,
i'm going where going men have gone.

Jack and the Journey West
searching for a different point of view
squinty eyed in all the light and mess
this is the stuff that doing doers do.

Jack and the journey west
on the road, just to risk the wind and hope
and maybe, driving long enough
we'll end right back at home.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yacht Club Pier (poem 2 of the Fairhope series)

we tread lightly in a world so dark
and sneak up to the yacht club pier 
like five children with a secret
under the only light in the universe

How can softness, fearlessness, peace
be realized by eating ice-cream 
in a circle of light
we, being suddenly, newly
aware of each other
and the weight of our lives.

the vast distances of souls
 by the communion of the night
you, knowing me, as i knew you
under the only light in the universe. 

as all time swirled into a single moment
and the ocean leapt for joy.
we, transfigured by the heart of light
tread out into the darkness once more. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

After Dinner at Anna's

I am working on a series of poems about my favorite places in Fairhope. Typically I try to write a poem about different significant events in my life, just for myself, because it helps me capture the feeling of the event rather than the raw facts. Having lived in Fairhope almost 6 years now, it's a veritable treasure trove of memories and beautiful places. Let me know what you think, or if you have a favorite place in Fairhope I should try and capture. This first one is my best friend Anna's house.

After Dinner at Annas

When for only the second time God parted the waters
the dry space between was your kitchen,
And our ships settled nicely on the countertops.
Four captains, we sat-
In flushed tones and true voices
Moments made holy by the storms held back
on either side of the house.
here we all knew- was something,
some few moments that touched the bottom of reality.
The brilliant colors of companionship
and the idea that, despite everything,
the world still persists in being beautiful
and that the four of us had tasted it.

as the waters start to flood the kitchen again
and the clocks tick
we sail away on our vessels
the world to be Magnificent.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Marginalia- a poem by Billy Collins that i can't stop reading.

Marginalia - Billy Collins

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.
Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
"Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
who wrote "Don't be a ninny"
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.
Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony"
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.
Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
"Absolutely," they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
"Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.
And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written "Man vs. Nature"
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.
We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.
Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird singing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.
And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.
Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page
A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
"Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love."
- Billy Collins

Monday, June 25, 2012

Spiritual Tanning

I told one of my friends that this trip has been a lot like tanning. When you go to the beach you can never tell how much you have actually tanned unless you go back inside. That's what this is. I have no idea how much I'm learning, how much I'm growing and changing. Maybe I'll be able to see my tan when I get back in the states. metaphorically.
I'm going to wimbledon this afternoon with a couple from the church in London, I've been working with Sarah Katherine at the church all morning. It's been nice, in a quiet way. Everything here works at such a different pace than Oxford. I mean, for one thing I'm not living in a flat, I'm staying with a family that doesn't eat standing up and I'm eating food besides soup and yogurt and pasties. So that's a nice change. It's also totally different working with a church instead of doing schoolwork.

On a side note- I'm having to break down and buy a second suitcase because I bought so many books in Oxford. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Headed to London

I'm spending the week with friends in London doing mission work at an international church in West Ealing.
Saying goodbye to Oxford is hard. I love it so much. And of course, like anything, the second you settle in is the second you have to leave.

Going on a walk with Sarah Katherine, I'll catch up writing very soon.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A thank you of sorts

To my friends at St. Aldates church and my stanford friends.

It is so amazing to find that wherever I am in the world- if I am with the body of Christ I am home. I have been blessed and overwhelmed by the love I've experienced with the people of St. Aldates. It has been my absolute favorite part of Oxford.

thank you

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Ashmolean. (sp?)

in this episode, i will drink tea and convince myself to walk to the museum by myself. I like museums, but art is so much fun with friends.
If I go by myself, I can feel really sophisticated, like an art student. Maybe I can bring a notepad and stare thoughtfully at paintings, acting like I'm preparing to draw something brilliant.
I like art. I took Councilman's Art Appreciation class this past semester. Since that class, I have become a profuse appreciator. I can appreciate art anytime, anywhere. I even know who Manet is.   But if I go to the museum by myself, no one will notice how appreciative I'm being.
This is my dilemma.

oh, I went punting today. Actually, I sat in the punting boat while my friends figured out how to navigate in the current and i read wordsworth. I'm great at punting. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Now I don't have homework and i'm still waking up before everyone else to write. I'm sure my roommates will think I've lost my mind.

I never do a good job of describing England, but a lot has been written on the subject before me, so it's probably alright. I live 3 floors up, above a bicycle shop and across the street from a pub. the Thames is a couple streets over on one side, the Eagle and Child a few streets the opposite direction. Yesterday I bought The Allegory of Love by Lewis for  3.50 pounds.
This morning we have lectures at New College, then i'm meeting friends for lunch at Brasenose college, then going to the Kilns. (The Kilns is C. S. Lewis' house) and then after the Kilns, probably something amazing. :)

Here' some Tolkien-

In Paradise perchance the eye may stray
from gazing upon everlasting Day
to see the Day-illumined and renew
from mirrored truth the likeness of the True.
Then looking on the Blessed Land 'twill see
that all is as it is, and yet may be free:
Salvation changes not, nor yet destroys,
garden not gardener, children not their toys.

To be an Inkling

Today, after walking around Magdalen College and the Thames river, Claire, Brooke, Matt and I all decided to have an informal Inklings meeting. Currently reading each other our work and writing and editing, drinking loads of tea.
I read my poem I posted earlier today- since it was fresh on my mind. I just thought i'd stop here for a moment to document tonight.
Intellect is not intellect without communitas; without the marriage of true minds.  It is comforting to find that in all the world there are, in fact, true minds.

in the words of Sleeping At Last-
"unconditionally cared for by those who share our broken hearts."


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a bit of poetry

This is in honor of Mrs. Rose, i wrote it in class.

My little griefs I give
To the overwhelming rivertide
of love: which I do not understand.
That like a thousand dewdrops
My metaphors drop
into the absentmindedness: of loss.

Only in the depth of pain are we made.
Like a hand finally relaxed
Against the tensions of time.
And even the deepest joys are my sufferings-
Crystalized by love.
Born again in the death of life.

And grief of wild despair
Is the hope
That I feel death, because
love has born fruit on this earth.

A time to study.

Believe it or not, the best time for me to study happens at about 6 am. Because my days have been packed between the formal dinner monday night and Stratford yesterday, my only time to read the thousands of pages of Roosevelt/Churchill letters due this week has been from about 6-8:30 am on my couch. It's very still and quiet at this hour- but not like it is if you stay up too late. No, it's an alive quiet. as if you have something that only you and the sky are experiencing.
Being so much further north, the sun sets at ten pm and comes up at around 4am.

I saw Julius Caesar with the Royal Shakespeare Company last night. Really good, but it's funny because i'm studying WWII and Lewis and then now Caesar and everything seems to go back to things about war, about nations rising and falling. Sometimes it's overwhelming to think about- but i don't think I'd really understand this country if i didn't attempt to understand its battles.

snow- sleeping at last. one of the best songs i've ever heard.

Well, it's officially 6:30, time to letter.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why was Churchill so mistrusted before 1940? My tutorial essay. Dr. Lemay liked it!!

It is not in question that Winston Churchill was a great man- but insofar as greatness is concerned, I believe those same traits that raised him above ordinary men can also be attributed to all of his failures. During the course of his political career until 1940, he moved from failure to failure, outspoken, extreme, and disliked and mistrusted by many. He was always acknowledged as brilliant and eloquent, but he was not liked. This change from mistrusted politician to one of the greatest men of the 20th century, I propose, was not a change in the man himself, but rather due to a change on the face of Europe.
           Mistrust is not always evoked by poor decisions, although Churchill made some poor decisions. Mistrust is a feeling rather than a logical, proven judgment of someone’s character. The peoples’ mistrust of Churchill had less to do with his policies (although they did pave the way for some poor decisions) and more to do with his lack of commitment to a party, and his self-assurance against all others and quite frankly, his attitude. Churchill never doubted himself, and consequently jumped from party to party depending on which most fell in line with what he had personally decided was the right choice. He felt no loyalty to his aristocratic heritage, his party, or any set of beliefs widely held by politicians or the public. Instead, he pursued what his own brilliant intellect predicted would happen.  In cases where he was in error, this made him seem bold, ridiculous, and extreme. His speeches, which matched the needs of the people in WWII, felt out of place on issues in which people did not strongly agree. Still he spoke on, bold denouncing and insulting anyone who stood in the way of what he believed.
In the case of the rise of Nazism, his outspokenness made him fiercely diligent to distrust Hitler and declare that another war would come. The people of Briton were feeling the effects of depression and still very much remembered the first world war, and most refused to see the implications of Hitler’s Germany until it would have been far too late for action. Churchill’s defiant trust in his own keen insight was his demolition on issues such as the Dardanelles defeat during WWI, and of Indian home rule, and yet allowed him unprecedented authority in 1940.
In order to adequately understand why the British people mistrusted Churchill, it is worth examining why they trusted him - and trusted him immensely during the course of World War II. The characteristic of defiant self-appreciation, which made party lines, bloodlines, and most men below his gaze, was precisely the kind of thing that could lead Briton to victory. Brilliant as he was, he was remarkably unquestioning of himself- and so, when men listened to him they did not question.
I was once told that great men see what other men do not see. I find no better example of this than the life of Winston Churchill. The man was brilliant, and the fact was not in question. However, great political leaders are required to posses more than sight - they are required to possess strength. Churchill is not a man who it can be said did everything with accuracy, but he did everything with the belief that he was accurate, and that is what marks him. Churchill’s belief in himself dominated all other personal characteristics throughout his life. His authoritativeness superseded commitment to the position of aristocracy he was born into, political parties and the ties of any current thought. It is a remarkable human spirit that can navigate the waters of his own society. There is nothing more untrustworthy to a people than a politician who will not settle- who constantly changes his party depending on who best sides with his view, who constantly stirs up trouble with bold and offensively direct speeches and ideas. In not all situations was he correct, but he possessed keen insight into history, which enabled him, often, to accurately assess the future of Europe. Churchill was undoubtedly in the right place at the right time in 1940. When England was forced to face a war more horrible than seemed possible, Churchill stepped in. He spoke boldly and confidently of success, he was born for times of war and expected to have complete authority, which gave the average man listening to his words courage to hope.  It is a special kind of genius that fears no man in speaking a truth no man wants to hear, but it is no little thing that even the Israelites stoned their prophets.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sir Winston and I: thoughts on the tutorial system

I am studying Winston Churchill for my tutorial. For those of you unfamiliar with the Oxford system, let me do a bit of explaining. Instead of attending lectures, the Oxford student attends tutorials. Tutorials are one-on-one's with Oxford Dons for an hour a week. Mine is at my Don's house and his wife serves us tea.  A typical tutorial goes something like this: you defend your essay from the previous week for an hour, at the end of which the Don gives you a list of books to read and a new essay topic, which you prepare for the next week.

Needless to say, this system is absolutely brilliant for a former homeschooler. This is how I learn.

Winston and I have been fighting it out. I'm on my third cup of tea and I haven't moved for around 2 hours.
I'm working on the idea of leadership, exemplified in Winston Churchill's life. One of our speakers said "great men see what other men do not see." but i'm beginning to think that great leaders also act when other men do not act. Winston had brilliant perception, but more than that, he was fearless. He felt no ties to any party, any belief system other than his own head. While this created a great mistrust for him in the British people before 1940, it allowed him the unique ability to grasp hope and to act against the tyrannous storm gathering in Germany when many men felt helpless.

soup time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

windsor castle and WWI

I'm overwhelmed by the amount of beauty around me. It is perfected by the books that I have to come home and read every night. consequently stayed up for two hours reading Winston Churchill last night. When I read his description of the start of WWI i stood at my window and cried. It could be the jetlag, because i'm usually not that sentimental. But I don't think we Americans know the meaning of war. 
The beauty and history of Windsor Castle, of the streets of Oxford, are matched just as equally by the great words I am reading. 
I would very much like to go to school here.

Friday, June 1, 2012


I have been in Oxford since tuesday night but it feels like a lifetime. Today was our first real day of classes. The other two days before were nonstop orientation lectures, tours, sightseeing and general overwhelming. I met with G. H. L. Lemay, my tutorial professor, for the first time today. It was really wonderful. He's let me BORROW one of his books to read for the week. I'm studying Winston Churchill with him, and I'm attending C. S. Lewis lectures every day.

I just had soup and tea and crumpets with the girls I'm living with. really wonderful girls who are also in the C. S. Lewis programme. I would write more but at the moment everything seems wonderful and I don't know if I'm up to the challenge of describing the beauty and the history all around me. Oxford is everything I ever wanted in school. It's already going to be hard to leave.

ps- when I told Lemay about how much of Oxford I've been shown in a few days he said "Oh that's no good. Oxford has to be nibbled, you know."

Monday, May 28, 2012

Oxford Bound

It's 6:41 AM and I am so awake. I leave in an hour for the Pensacola. I will arrive in Charlotte at 1:36 and then depart for Philadelphia at 4. I will leave for london at 10pm tonight and arrive in London at 10 am london time (4am our time) and then find the train to Oxford and then find the Study Abroad Office. and then go to my apartment and fall asleep sometime tuesday night, in Oxford.

I am scared to death.

I mean, it will be fun and it's not like I didn't fly to Russia by myself at 18. (a somewhat more precarious business) it's just... you know. an Adventure.

I woke up this morning thinking about how many Americans have traveled across the pond to Britain to study at Oxford. How many brilliant minds have asked the very same questions I am asking myself.
I usually love flying. And really the flight itself will be enjoyable. it's just the navigating multiple strange airports and cities while jetlagged that i'm not looking forward to.

I do however, enjoy people watching in Airports. I usually create names for people in my head and imagine their lives. Perhaps I will write down a few of the best ones for my blog?

I should have more epic thoughts, but my mom is making me an omelet and really, what are a few elegant words compared to a good breakfast?

We can't have them galavanting up there like kangaroos, can we? - Mary Poppins


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


If ever there was a time in my life for Born and Raised to fall into my lap, this is the time. A true America album, full of cowboys and harmonicas. John Mayer, wherever you are- I dig it.
On Monday I head off for my Europe adventure. Which, as many times as I say it, doesn't feel real. How do I imagine something as wonderful, as ridiculous, as a trip to europe by myself? And I do sometimes feel as if it's secretly ridiculous. Even though I have been saving every penny for a year- it still feels as if I must live in unheard of luxury to be able to do this kind of thing.
The first chunk of the trip is Oxford. That terrifying and glorious institution. Everyone seems to have their travelers list of what they need to do there. Naturally, I have my own.
The Eagle and Child- hopefully on my first night.
Oxford Farmers Markets- where i plan to get my veggies
The Parks- I know myself in study mode. If I am going to kill myself writing papers, I might need to spend some time walking in the parks. make that every day.
Exotic food- you know, the stuff I can't get in the states
H&M- cheap clothes from Europe? Yes. Yes please.

Anything else I need to do while I'm there?

ad astra per aspera

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hedge Therapy

This morning I rode my bike to the bank around 8:00am. Probably the best thing one can do around that time of day in my opinion, although to call me an early riser is an understatement. The scenery was breathtaking. If ever you forget how beautiful Fairhope is, just bike. Sometimes i think i live in Magic Kingdom.
The weeks home from school before my trip to Oxford have been simply aesthetic. I had no idea how much time I'd spent indoors this semester until I played outside every day. This revelation (which hit me as I was biking) is what brings me to the Hedges. I was looking at the hedges and thinking about how something in the giant bulk of green touches the deepest parts of my soul. It doesn't make sense, it doesn't have to. We are in part, animals. And we forget that in our lecture halls and final exams. We are afraid of our skin, and we retreat to our brains. I hope that I never become so intellectual that I forget that intellect is a gift. Like being a soccer player, so is being a sociologist. It is not "higher'' it is a different type of skill. Something modern education has simply forgotten or ignored- we are not all smart. And for the fortunate few, who can use their brains to abstract formulas and complicated concepts- theres is a place and a purpose, in some ways of great importance, and in someways not as important as someone who can fix my flat tire. I hope I never forget the southern beauty of landscape, and the fact that Love and selflessness can be known and expressed without intellect.
In the end, the books don't matter. And books mean everything. Read all the books, see all the hedges. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On writing papers and being Jordy's sister.

as i stare at a sheet of facts that i have copied with my careful handwriting, my little brother is writing songs downstairs.
They're good songs. Sometimes they're better than my papers.
Baroque- Movement that explored innovative compositions with intense images of LIght and Shadow.
I'm too young for this birthday/ not ready to start, calling myself 17.

The rules to great writing are very fussy now. I mean, they come from this long literary tradition and in order to have something to say it's supposed to sort of Remind everyone of Dostoyevsky or the Republic.
My little brother has to have such a knowledge of music theory that he makes jazz sound all like improv from the soul. freedom in knowledge, in joining the conversation. or joining the song.
There are some people who are brilliant. who have something to say that everyone wants to listen to. I think my little brother is one of those people. I think the people who grade my papers will one day get in their cars and listen to his music on the way home. Because it's on the way home music.
That used to make me very upset, when i started to realize my brothers genius. in the 8th grade i knew for the first time, and when i started trying to play guitar. it used to make me mad and hate myself and decide i was never going to be a musician. I would sit in my room and cry because when Jordy sings, the music comes from somewhere deep inside him and then gets lost in the universe, and everyone looks up from their conversations and wants to be IN it. not just listening to it, but IN it. and somehow everyone get's reminded of how they really feel about everything.

Renaissance- rebirth, laid the foundations for modern society.

It's different now- maybe I've stopped trying to be Jordy and started being proud of him. I think it happened when i read Socrates. when i realized there is something that i love more than music. Or maybe that for me, music is how i get to socrates. it's the vehicle, not the thing itself. And most people will not read my papers and poetry and blogs. and if my brother becomes a rockstar, I'll be Jordy Searcy's sister. And that's a good thing. Maybe I'll be teaching a class one day and someone will learn something from me. And that's like writing a song. In its own way. For me, to be in conversation about important things is to be a songwriter. It is to join in the great song.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I'm typing my paper while Jennifer cooks with my mom and Jordy records downstairs. I'm glad that my family has always been big enough to gather together all of the people I love. especially when tackling a subject like existentialism for my paper, it's good to know that just down the hall my mom and jennifer are cooking.
and the people i love most belong in this house.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I have to admit that I probably feel a little too comfortable with this blog, because I'm fairly certain no one reads it except my mom. I want to write about some tough issues, and since it's a blog I can do that. that is precisely what blogging is for- saying whatever you like and not caring if you have to site it or use any sort of grammatical rules.
Maybe I have an ulterior motive in my purposeful ignorance of grammar in this article. I am in some small way, rebelling against being smart. This is a blog to say that I wish no one had every told me I was smart. I wish no one else ever thought they were smart either. I wish no one talked about big lofty concepts to feel important. I used to think that in true intelligent company, wisdom came before facts and truth before applause. I was wrong. intelligent people have displayed all the most base and carnal vices of envy and fad. I supposed that when i read socrates i would fined everyone who read him was a little more like him. I was very, very wrong.
If i stop reading milton, I'm going to start thinking about reading Milton. which is grave error and a terrible thing and makes for professors who talk much too loud at dinner parties about things they studied a long time ago.
but enough of this. I'm going to read, and ignore the smart people. I'm tired of people who have facts and no discernment.

that is my rant.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Smart Problem

Reading Surprised by Joy this morning and C. S. Lewis described a loss in the 'old thrill' of the texts and things that used to give him wonder and joy. He said the whole problem was that there came a change in seeking not the thing itself of which joy was a byproduct, but instead seeking the joy and the "thing" as a means to that joy.
Here in, lies the incredible danger in being told, often, that I am smart and talented. The unforeseen problem of being accepted to study abroad at Oxford University this summer, is that people's automatic remark is "wow. you're smart!"
The danger is that i have begun to believe them. The old pleasure was in reading for hours on end because T. S. Elliot makes me feel things I can't explain. C. S. Lewis opens up doors to rooms in my mind that I didn't know existed but, once entered, feel as if I'd been thinking about them my entire life. I cannot read Plato without suddenly feeling as if the world is a little clearer, a little better, and virtue a little more tangible.
It has slowly and imperceptibly been being replaced by the feeling that i "ought" to read big books because "I'm smart" and because "I understand" the things most people don't understand. If i really remembered my first love of knowledge i would remember that I fell in love with The Hollow Men when i understood about a fourth of it. That i cried when Sydney Carton died.
That i was not searching for the "joy'' in being smart by reading those books. I simply read them because I loved them better than anything. This is my attempt at honesty, and my search to regain my passion which is not for my own advancement, but to seek the thing itself. If going to Oxford this summer is about being smart, then it's not worth going.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I saw Collyn last night- and it reminded me.

I wrote this poem for Collyn when i was 16. I don't remember the poem, except that it ended with

There are so many people to love.
So many, many people.

That line that i wrote has comforted and haunted me at different times. But i always come back to it. Because it doesn't really say that people are required to love me, it just says that there are always people around me who need my love. and when i don't know what to do, when i'm confused and lost and lonely- there are still people around me for me to love.

There are so many people to love.
So many, many people.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What theater kids taught me about belief

Real belief is about a way of life.
Theater is a way of life. No, really. You can dress like a theater kid, listen to Cats all you want, but if you've been in theater at all, you know. Being a theater kid means your sentences are laced with references that are a foreign language to anyone on the outside. It means you say "yes sir' when your director makes you rehearse till 2 am and then you still show up for your 8 am class the next day. It means you are painting sets on your saturdays, you're sitting in the cafeteria watching a basket ball player and trying to memorize the way that he walks so that you can imitate it for your Acting 2 class. It means you fall asleep with shakespeare ringing in your ears.

As an ex theater kid, i am often a mediator between theater kid and the outside world. When a non theater kid gets involved in a production, they don't take it that seriously. deadlines are seen as optional, and the work calls are often avoided. This is like walking up to a true theater kid and stepping on their cat and spitting in their eye. There is no greater insult. I often have to calmly say things like "Sally doesn't understand. Theater ins't her life, she isn't going to be here on time, we just have to accept it. or kick her out of the show, but she isn't going to get it. this isn't her world."
Theater is not about fashion, it's about theater. Theater kids are seen as weird and inexplainable by other people. Because theater kids don't know anything in life except theater.

I have said all of this to say- theater kids taught me a lot about belief. They taught me, for one, that I am not a theater kid, because i can't believe in theater the same way they do. I love it yes, but it is a hobby for me, not a lifestyle. But they showed me what life looks like when you believe in something. I mean really believe it. They showed me that my Christianity was weak and too much about fashion.

If Christians lived like theater kids they would join together. Their minds would be so constantly filled with Christ that they would be able to spot an impostor in a moments notice. If Christians lived like theater kids they would be... different. They would seem weird to everyone else. When God asked them to do ridiculous things they would do them, and surround themselves with people who understand that sometimes God asks us to do these things.

most of the time, when Churches try to be different, they do things like being "relevant". Like have coffee or paintings around. Theater kids never try to be relevant, they just try to be theater kids. and trust me, they're different. I think perhaps all of the "change" and all of the true faith we've been looking for is found in just actually wanting to be like Christ. Because most people don't believe anything at all.

All of this ramble can be summed up like this: Belief is sufficient. Christianity in the west is struggling and everyone has their own solution. Well, here's mine: Christians should believe in Christ like Theater kids believe in theater.