Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday/Wednesday Coffee/Study Friend/Fellow English Major

I met a girl in my classes last year. She's always been so sweet.
This semester is the first time we've really had the chance to get to know
one another outside of classes, which is so funny because it's the first semester
that we don't have class together.

Anyway, without planning, we've just started to meet up each Monday/Wednesday in between
our classes. Before, I'd already be at the school coffee shop and then she'd come and sit at a nearby table and we would briefly chat about the books we're reading and the papers we are writing.

But the past few times she has asked to sit with me.
We say that we're doing homework, but the truth is that we end up talking
about our grad school dreams, and our favorite pieces of writing, and what it's like
commuting or taking a particular course.

In a way, we aid in one another's procrastination, although it's a healthy type.
In fact, she's actually been teaching me about flexibility.

I am usually guarded about my study time,
but this semester I have been working hard to change that --
just in time for my Monday/Wednesday catch-up time with a new friend.

I just wanted to write this down, mostly as a reminder for myself,
that no matter how busy you feel you might be--and trust me, I know we
live in a crazy busy society--there is almost (always) always time to make
for others. In fact, I have found myself to be more productive after our chats.

Here's to new friends, essays, coffee and books.

The little things.

The end.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

sometimes

i allow myself to think about just how badly i want to be a writer.
i release my thoughts just enough so that they can graze the surface of my inmost pool of dreams.
and then i have to stop myself,
because the dream is bigger than i can fathom -- this i know.
i could potentially drown in all the chaos and depth and ambiguity that resides there.
and to let my heart go there in my mind, almost always brings my eyes to well up out
of both inspiration and fear that perhaps i won't achieve such a dream.

to say that one wants to be an artist is to face the eyebrow raisers, reality checkers, chuckle laughers of listeners who don't quite understand because they're smart and chase tangibility --
leaving the artist petrified, thought exhilarated just the same, to take a leap or faith, to sing that silly song of a lifestyle that not all take part in.

my professor says that the state of being in wonder and in terror is called the sublime.
i learned this when studying edgar allen poe this week.
and so i now know that some dreams are fleeting, while others are the epitome of the sublime.

it happens most when the sky is tinted yellow in the evening,
or when the blue hues of 6:30 am creep through my translucent blinds.

it happens when a certain symphony comes through my headphones,
or when i'll over hear a conversation and someone says a word--a single word--
and my mind fabricates an entire dialogue between two non-existent beings.

or--or, it happens when i look around me, and everything is quiet,
and i remember that writers have quiet libraries of their own, stored up within their heart...

...just waiting to be explored.

the end.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

One of the biggest blessings in my life, currently:

My Christian Perspective course -- which is, essentially, an upper division philosophy class that I generally feel very unqualified for, although I am required to take it for graduation, so...

Anyway, what started out as a daunting course is quickly turning into something
that juxtaposes the daily conversations that I not only have with others but in my own mind.

Just the other night, as boyfriend and I explored the book of Acts, I found myself trying to explain what I believe in my heart (which is never really an easy thing to articulate, am I right?). We only read Acts chapters 1 and 2 -- which are major! The ascension and Pentecost?! So much good stuff!!

So today it was fascinating when my professor had the Bible scheduled for lecture...yes, the Bible...in a nutshell, essentially.


He started out by asking the question, 

Does history have a beginning? Because some, like Christians, believe that this earth has a beginning, though our God does not. 

Then there are many others, but for now we'll simply reference the secular naturalists that believe we have a beginning and an end and nothing else.

Christians, too, believe in an end for this life as we know it, although we also believe that there is no stopping eternity's time.

Where Christians also believe in is that the earth has purpose, where as others are inclined to believe that everything happened by chance and for no other reason.


In my opinion, this is a sad mentality.
And, no, not sad as in pity-worthy-sad,
but a hopeless sort of sad.

I couldn't fathom that mentality just as much as a believer in nothing couldn't fathom mine.
I respect a difference of belief from mine, but I'm not here to compromise right now.

Anyway, the next question was big:
Why did God do this?

And then:
What is God getting at?

I can speak only for myself with certainty, but I assume that not many Christians ask themselves these questions.

Life's routines and everyday worries and the ups and downs all become commonplace distractions -- I sooooo relate! 

But when you do come around to asking yourself these questions, like I did today,
your mind can be totally blown and totally blessed.

I could go on and on about the nitty-gritty parts of the lecture,
but I can't do the details justice in the way that my professor can.

What I'll state, however, are the points that moved me and are making my mind bend all over right now:

1. You can't have the Old Testament without the New Testament -- they correlate
perfectly, illustrating God's ultimate purpose and desire for humanity
2. People like King David are used as foreshadow for who Christ is even in spite of their flaws
3. Babel and Pentecost can be read simultaneously, and the connections between the two also foreshadow the Kingdom God is preparing
4. Covenantal mentality (i.e. Abrahamic, Mosaic, Noahic...) is also a foreshadow for the promises
God intends to keep with his people
5. A snapshot of what God is getting at can be seen in Revelation 7-9
6. Another snapshot of the community we can hope for in Heaven can be seen in 1 Peter 2:9
7. What is God honoring by having Hell?*
8. We have to take Hell as seriously as Jesus took it since we are called to the Great Commission
and since we are called to be Christ-like
9. With this, we are all called to be students and to make students not converts, so as to add to the 
Kingdom God is building
10. (What blew my mind today) The book of Acts just kind of ends. We learn a little bit more from the Epistles, and we primarily hear about Paul and his missions. However, where we are today on the great scale of life (which my professor so humorously had us illustrate on the white board) is in between where the Bible leaves off in Acts and the second-coming for Christ. Which means (BRAIN BLAST MOMENT) that we are here today still writing out the book of Acts, still living out the rest of the Biblical story! How cool is that!?!

To end, I'll leave you with a quote that the professor gave us from Dallas Willard.
He sums up the question of what God is getting at by saying this:

"God's aim in human history is the creation of an all inclusive community of loving persons with God himself included as its primary sustainer and most glorious inhabitant."

And, from what I am also learning from my next paper for this course,
Heaven--God's Kingdom--is not some up in the clouds location. Heaven will be here on earth, consisting of great many nations--and most importantly, God--who are the people group that chooses God. A people group that has exercised its freewill in accordance to God's desires. A people group that lives and worships and is in community on earth at its most perfect state. A people group not separated from the presence of God.

All inclusive, all about love, and all about the Kingdom.




Sometimes, I love college. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sending:

Love and Prayer and HUGS 
out to friends serving abroad right now.

I have one particular friend in mind.

You guys, to be completely honest and open, 
this past week I have been completely reminded of the beauty and importance of the 
GREAT Commission.

God works in the most glorious, inspiring ways.
And he calls everyone to some aspect of this commission.
NO ONE is too young or incapable.


There is so much beauty to be had in the great pursuit of God.
It's a love-story totally not worth missing out on.

It's frightening and inspiring and adventurous.

And these are just human words that can't even do it justice in description.

God is so good. 

I often forget to remind myself of this,
even though he yearns to cover my days, all day every day.

Just feeling blessed by the people in my life who are brave enough to say "yes" to the call.

Just feeling humbled by God's goodnesses.

Earlier today I was losing sight of the prayers he has already answered for me, as well as the provisions he wants to promise me.

So, thank you to my friend who just reminded me what living out on pure faith looks like.

I't's beautiful, and so is her personhood.


The end. 

A Thesis.

Professors who have had me as a student for multiple semesters know that one of my biggest struggles with essays is the clarity of my thesis.

I am SO happy to say that it only took a week or two of major brainstorming,
two idea changes,
and ONE thesis pitch to get my advanced seminar in literature capstone essay (AKA: my senior thesis; AKA: the biggest paper of my academic career thus far; AKA: basically preparation for my masters dissertation??) approved. What's more, she described it as nicely specific -- which made me feel a sense of, ok I've got this!

So, I'm going for it.
And, I'm excited!

One of my professors gave me excellent advice: make it a passion project.

I'm taking that advice and running with it!

For my paper, I will be exploring the idea of grief in film. I am a literature emphasis, but film is considered a form of text, so I don't have to read for this paper -- thank the Lord ;)

When it comes to grief in film, I want to examine how plot, characterization and the overall mise-en-scene of a film tell a visual story. I will be looking at Malick's The Tree of Life, Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, and Mitchell's Rabbit Hole.

Each film holds a special place in my film-loving-heart, which is what really aids in making this paper a passion project.

The Tree of Life is thick with biblical implications and symbolism. It's perspective on grief is told primarily from a brother's perspective, though years later in his life. It's a serious film -- very focused on the overall aspect of life, including pre and post Earth existence.



The Darjeeling Limited focuses on the relationship of three brothers following the death of their father. Each one of them handled his death differently, and their time together allows them to heal old wounds and address big life decisions while on a literal journey through the unknown (Hint: The Darjeeling Limited is a train...). This film is the most lighthearted out of the three, so the approach I take to it will have a distinguished outcome.



Rabbit Hole is a haunting film. I watched the first two films in a film class two years ago, but Rabbit Hole is a film I watched towards the end of high school with someone who was going through a great deal of their own grief. That individual found the film to be an accurate portrayal of the aftermath of the death of a loved on. It is told from a parent's perspective. The film is simple in cinematography and overall scene style, though the storyline is complex and the underlying meanings go much deeper than initially noticed. The protagonist wants nothing to do with God, so--though it is a drama--it is opposite The Tree of Life when it comes to biblical motifs.



Ok, so that was a lot about stuff people don't tend to care about,
but! I want to document this semester/year. This thesis will play a major part in that, so I will probably talk about it again!

Here's to the power of story-telling, and my attempt to better understand how film illustrates one of life's toughest inevitabilities.

Monday, September 14, 2015

IT'S BEEN FOUR YEARS....

...SINCE SENIORITUS HAS HAD ME IN ITS GRASP. NOW. HERE I AM. AND IT IS IN FULL EFFECT YET AGAIN. 

and i'm all like, "uhhhhh."

and it's all like, "MUAHAHAH."

i feel like it's like the oprah of my life right now.

and i'm the audience of one.

and it's all like,

"YOU GET A PAPER. AND YOU GET A PAPER. AND YOU GET THE BIGGEST PAPER OF YOUR ACADEMIC CAREER THUS FAR. AND YOU GET A MIDTERM IN SEPTEMBER!!! AND YOU GET ANOTHER IMPOSSIBLE-TO-UNDERSTAND FOREIGN FILM. PAPERS AND QUIZZES AND ONLINE ASSIGNMENTS FOR EVERYONE!!!"

and my soon-to-come tears are the confetti.
like, can't i just win a new car or something?

no? okay, so i'm actually either the emoji with x's for eyes. or the one of the girl flipping her hair or raising her hand.
or whatever.

but you guys, i'm totally okay.
no sarcasm haha.
i'm embracing this season!!!
the pre-graduation season is always glorious in retrospect.

so i'm soaking in the glory early.

actually, it hit me very recently that this is in fact senioritus.
i was lying on my bed all like, "well...why do i feel like this?"
and then it hit me.
and i felt so brilliant.
AND ENTITLED.
senioritus comes with wonderful entitlement haha.
it's an excuse to eat too much junk food, watch too much netflix, etc.

but in all seriousness {sorta haha} i realized that another four year mark has indeed rolled around.
so i'm welcoming it with open arms in all of my denial.

so. great. you guys.

ANYWAY,

all i am really dreaming about this evening are the dreamy fall sky tonight, the CRISP wind, writing topic ideas, and...well...SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

remind me of my excitement come january, yeah?
thanks. :)


so, in between my favorite folk tunes and christmas music 
{yes, i always start the christmas music in september...and slowly it progresses throughout the season...}, i am listening to music that reminds me of my socal days.

these are the best yet.

goodnight, friendlies.

i have a paper to write, a film to watch, an online post to post, and popcorn to eat. yay.








Thursday, September 10, 2015

*sigh*

this exact time last week i was making my way through davis.
i remember because the sun in all of its orange-sunset perfection was setting
over the first of those glorious east-bay hills.

i was going home.
i was going to san francisco.
i was bound to see my lovely parents.

so tonight, amidst major procrastination {seriously, i have a paper due at midnight, and i'm writing it on anne bradstreet...yaaaaay puritans!} i am all nostalgic.

the good thing is that i don't feel sad about not going home this weekend,
or possibly next weekend, as well. 

the truth is that i am trying to slow down time;
and by doing i am required to be still;
to remain in the here and now without focusing too much on the wherever elses.

i love the space i have been blessed with.
it is so lovely and mine.
i love coming home, which is something i haven't always felt while at university.
but this place is warm, cozy, inviting and quiet.

it gives me enough time to think,
and perhaps too much time to procrastinate...oops.

so, wherever any of you are, i hope that your heart finds as much contentment as my room is giving me now.
i hope your evening is as glorious as those californian east-bay hills that seem to roll and roll for eternity, fumbling towards the blue bay that i love so very much.

the end. 


^^^ a picture of my room last wednesday as i procrastinated work and looked forward to going home.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

san francisco.

i will be in love with san francisco until my dying day.

my love for the city is rooted in some of my earliest memories of childhood.

it also reminds me of falling in love with boyfriend, since our first date took place
scattered amongst a few of its corners.

any chance i get, i try to reach the city.

so when my mom suggested staying a night, i couldn't protest.



the day we spent amongst the city was so beautiful.
the skies were clear, no karl in sight.
it was one of those days when the breeze keeps you cool just right,
and the hustle and bustle of the sidewalk is tolerable.

i love the stains of san francisco.
it's stained by diversity, wall colors, mismatched architecture;
it is littered with the yummiest foods; crammed with desperate cars;
every crevice is a story of some sort, and its inhabitants are a million stories
all their own.

i just can't express my love of it enough.

this trip, i was happy to bring my canon along.
i'm still insecure when it comes to stopping and taking a picture,
but i'm getting better with just allowing myself to stop and capture something
i find intriguing or beautiful.

i take the pictures for my own recollections, anyhow.


p.s. if you're ever in the city, i recommend the mill sf off of divisadero,
fresh sandwiches {or a pretty bouquet of leaves...eeeek!} from the bi-rite just down the block, and then a stroll to see the painted ladies.

just saying.




until next time!