to all the rocks i did not throw:

[this blog is best paired with anything except simon and garfunkel’s “i am a rock”]

to all the rocks i

did not throw:

may you multiply in

numbers.

may time wrap you tenderly

in a blanket of dust.

and may we look at each

other as strangers.

or not at all—

removed as the remover removes.

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devoid of understanding

[this blog post is best paired with dermot kennedy’s “a closeness”]

i don’t speak turkish.

and i live in place where it is hard or impossible to communicate with anyone without turkish.

in my first month, i’ve achieved about a first grade reading level, but my listening comprehension is getting a lot better. however, i still cannot speak very well.

so i’ve done a lot of listening, a little understanding, and even less talking.

in this time, i’ve learned the importance of listening even when i cannot understand–you can feel the tone of the conversation. it is important to feel heard, even if you know you are not understood. creating a posture of openness and availability–even one devoid of intellectual understanding–allows for intimacy and a different kind of understanding.

thoughts i’m feeling, a haiku–

to offer myself

as my story blends with yours

hearts can still be felt.

kindnesses

[this blog post is best paired with emily hearn’s “waking up again”]

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sometimes i don’t know how to talk to god during heartache. our conversations are short. and sometimes far apart.

but i retain knowledge of his goodness.

i do not always feel assured, affirmed, or consoled by him. but i know he is good–he is right–he is all powerful–he is wise–he is deep love–and he is for me.

over the past month, i believe jesus has given me little kindnesses to remind me to take and feel joy. these kindnesses are pulling me back to thankfulness. this is a time in our relationship when thankfulness is not easy–as labored breathing from a weight on your chest–and therefore so much more important.

among the most valuable are:

  • bird scooters
  • prayers from new brothers
  • eclectic turkish thrift stores
  • people willing to communicate with me through google translate
  • an informal turkish lesson
  • games
  • breaking into a monastery
  • the texture of local rocks
  • welcome cards and candy bars
  • just the right shade of orange
  • the interaction of coffee and ink on paper
  • and the sound of water crinkled paper
  • an abundance of stars
  • pizza–a feast of pizza in a rural turkish village
  • real laughter

and here, a haiku–it is a prayer, a hope, an expectation, a tension of desire and reality.

when thankfulness is
least familiar—let us
praise before resolve.

and so. i will continue to search for things to celebrate because i know they exist.

hebrews 1:3

[this blog post is best paired with jack johnson’s “radiate”]

he is the radiance

of the glory of God

and the exact

imprint of his nature,

and he upholds the universe

by the word

of his power.

this is beautiful.

and i’m still reflecting on it.

temporary

[this blog post is best paired with pressing strings’ “what’s around you” https://open.spotify.com/track/0HGp8ZMGsmiE1GDjACyytx ]

a thought on plastic straws, living for good, and a world that will fade away:

not disposable–

certainly impermanent

begs small sacrifice

for what is ultimately

a better and lasting good

performing propensities

[this blog post is best paired with the staves’ “steady”]

leah and i filmed a performance art piece this week as a response to toby’s show.

our piece is a rejection of passivity in response to injustice and hardships seen in the world. part of toby’s artist statement says, “progression that surpasses our spiritual maturity inevitably comprises our well-being. this is true at the individual and collective level. we are born into the turbulent stream of technological advancements and ideological wars; conversations that have gone on for millennia that we have just walked in on. the primary reaction is to isolate ourselves in homes with our boxed objects and framed photo-shopped memories as water leaks under the doors. those of us who sense this futility tend to only create our own subcultures where the currency is social media reactions, tattoos and in-crowd references.” 

it is not enough to notice the stream of ideology and injustices that we witness everyday–although it is a start. our piece asks the audience to notice, and invites intervention.

the work shows my hand in front of a brick wall and dark foliage holding a piece of glassware then suddenly dropping the vessel. outside of the frame the glass crashes on the ground (in a bucket to catch the glass shards), leaving the viewer only with an audible crash. my hand pulls out of the frame and about 45 seconds follows. in those seconds, the audience can hear birds chirping, cars driving, and spots of morning light dancing in the background. after the seconds of stillness, my hand enters the frame with a new glass, drops it and the pattern continues for about 23 minutes. in the gallery, the video is projected onto a floating sheet (repurposed from a tablecloth), and the glass shards displayed on a box under the video.


a thought on process–

most of the art that i make is usually contemplative in process. much of the value of my works are found in the process of meditation during the making.

that was not the case during this piece.

while we were filming, i didn’t find myself thinking about toby’s body of work or what purpose the piece serves. i was consumed by execution. although, i did enjoy the therapeutic monotony of dropping a glass every minute followed by shattering glass.

it was a strange way to experience execution, but i think that made the performance aspect of the piece more real for me. and unlike most of my pieces, this was meant for others to contemplate, rather than my own expression of meditation.

it was a good experience.

a good different.

[this blog post is best paired with judah and the lion’s “going to mars”]

i’m not an intern. and that’s different. but it is good.

a few days ago, dan told me that i’ve changed.

but he said that he appreciates past and present me.

i asked what he noticed as different.

he said, “you’re bold now.”

he told me that he had a couple guesses as to why i’ve changed—the first being that i’m no longer an intern (we both agreed that we shouldn’t be people who tone ourselves down for a work position) and the second being that i’m dating samuel now and dating changes people.

i have several thoughts—

i don’t think i toned myself down for the internship. i think i’m comfortable enough in my own skin to allow myself to be.

if i have changed already because of samuel, good. it’s foolish to think that i could give so much of myself to another and not be affected by that. i hope to always have the kind of relationship where samuel and i will allow ourselves change and growth.

it also makes sense that i would be bolder because i recently spent a lot of time with kat. she always inspires boldness in my thoughts and vocal cords. (but that’s also very interesting because while i was staying at her house, she noted that i have become much more introspective. interesting.)

this is not the first time i’ve been told that i’m suddenly bolder. i must take my time to get settled. when i moved to kansas, i was quiet and soft, but later in my first year people began to remark on how open and bold i had become compared to the months before. now it’s happening again. when i moved to richmond, i was not as quiet as i had been when i started college, but i had been more reserved than i usually am. maybe that’s how i deal with change. it’s like i’ve spent the last year taking inventory of what’s been missing–surveying what is me and filling in the gaps of what had been others. i’m learning to rock the things i have in stock and maybe backorder what i don’t.