my sister recently came across a letter i had written her years ago while she was deeply steeped in depression and self-starvation. it began “hello, are you finding new reasons to live? i do hope so” – a greeting which generally sums up the way that i related to her during those tense years, a mix of proactive concern and attempted light-heartedness.

i suppose it sounds naive to think that keeping a running tally of the good to be found in the world could fix her problems overnight. but i still don’t think it’s a bad thing. moreover it tends to be the way i handle most of my bouts of melancholia, assuming that if the world seems dim its simply because i’m not looking hard enough.

that said, i found a perfectly horrible description of the cold season that is upon us in (the very appropriately entitled)  Les Miserables today:

“Winter! No warmth, no light, no midday, morning merging into evening . . . . The sky had become a grating, the day a cellar, the sun a poor man at the door. The terrible winter season, which turns the rain from Heaven and the hearts of men to stone!”

…and thank you, Hugo, for perfectly articulating the way i feel these days. cold, cold, cold, and irritated to boot. (i don’t mean to be a debbie-downer).

i really do wish i was one of those people that just loved snow. and while i can get into layers and boots, i am also eagerly anticipating the freedom of dresses that don’t require two pairs of leggings (plus socks).

all this to say, i’m following my old advice a lot these days. i’m a hunter of hope and poacher of all things bright this dreary season! i’m steadfastly trying to embrace and savor the littlest moments. i’m fiercely protecting the peace and coziness of my home. i’m becoming more conscious of the blessing of a warm bed. i’m avoiding despondent hibernation. its an uphill battle, to be sure, i don’t always make much progress, to be sure.

mark and i shared a really wonderful weekend, probably spending more time alone than we have since the summer. with our plans cancelled both friday and saturday, we rested well, ate well, and worked well – him still pouring over applications and me successfully completing 2 craft projects that have been on the ‘to-do’ list for far too long. we deep cleaned our apartment (come over! soon!), and watched some lovely movies. it was nice, to say the least, and has been a resource of energy for me when the toil of the work week (and less frequent bus service!) starts to get to me.

i’m a hunter of hope, a poacher of all things bright….

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January 14, 2010

well, i’ve not really much to write but i’m writing anyways.

i guess that is the novelty of the blog – existing more to dissipate my boredom than to spark anyone else’s curiosity.

this week has drrraaaaggged. last week was lovely. so fun. right off the long break and time spent with friends and stuffed full of activity. quite great. but now it seems like there is gum in the clockworks or something. we’re not moving forward.

its quite silly how the days seem so long and then i get home and its like a race to enjoy myself before its bedtime again. so much to do! make a meal, converse with mark, and then attempt to clean and wash myself in the most abbreviated amount of time possible.

this week i have been obsessed with making small fabric flower garland (don’t ask – i have no idea what i’m going to use it for). perhaps this is some latent desire for spring i’m expressing, i don’t know. i just can’t seem to stop. it’s all i want to do. even now, i’m wishing i was making a fabric flower.

in addition to this, we have started a biggest loser competition here at work which has also begun to snatch snippets of time (an odd situation, wherein none of us actually really need to lose weight but we’re competing with other offices…so we’ve got to try to lose something, i guess). i notoriously hate working out; i’d much rather trick my body into activity than set it on a treadmill or some other similarly awful machine. however, because we have to weigh in each week and are part of this larger competition, i feel this “good student” responsibility to actually get in shape, lose weight, etc. …bollocks.

since my body (well, my mind) is so repulsed by gyms, i’ve tried my darndest this week to exercise in my own way. i’m taking “small, manageable steps” i keep telling mark. and what its basically come to is doing pilates for about 20 minutes until i get bored and turn off the tape (ab workout), running hesitantly in the snow around the block a few times (aerobic workout), and carrying lots of beer home from the store (upper body work out).

i’ll probably have my own DVD by this time next year.

everything is all right.

January 8, 2010

“We are at Jesus’ disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he wants you to proclaim His work in the street, if he wants you to clean the toilets all day, that’s all right, everything is all right. We must say, “I belong to you. You can do whatever you like.” And this is our strength, and this is the joy of the Lord.”
– Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

if he wants you to use your two hard earned bachelors degrees to answer phones all day long, that is all right, everything is all right.

i came upon this quote from the deeply beautiful Mother Teresa shortly after i started working this receptionist job. i used to read it every morning, sometimes several times, just to remind myself not to be so haughty and awful. of course i am real good at forgetting things – even the most important sorts of things – and so this week i sat in irritated boredom, day in and out, forgetting to whom i belong and, in that forgetfulness, losing my strength and refusing God’s joy. oh, what a wretch.

but we get lots of chances to improve. constantly, in fact. so today i am doing my best at belonging to God and not clinging to myself, even though i still always end up having to pry my attention off my own needs.

last night we attended a lecture on Saint Anselm and it left me thinking a lot about God’s desire for obedience from us. it seems to me that so much of our faith gravitates towards this one thing: obedience. of course it was obedience in a very grand form that led Christ to the cross but it was also obedience at various degrees that moved the history of our faith through time, back from Adam all the way to present day. it seems like such a simple thought that for me to love God, i just need to obey. of course obedience is hard, especially when my distracted heart doesn’t even take the time to listen to He who asks for obedience.

what’s a gal to do?

obey, i guess. keep trying, i guess. yup.

ironically i was just ranting to mark about something of this nature today when he met me for lunch. he has been in on-and-off tizzys about phD applications for…well awhile now and was awaiting some rather decisive news today. my anxiety levels have, of course, been keeping pace with his (sometimes exceeding) but today for some reason, thinking about these aforementioned things and also struck by how obedient mark has been with his time and his gifts and his faith, i just thought, “everything is going to be all right.”

and sure enough…good news came this afternoon.

i feel like i’m about to slip into the preaching of some sort of prosperity gospel if i keep this up so i’ll stop there (though friends of mark should be sure to ask him about his latest encounter with the great Jean-Luc Marion).

anyways, i’m perched with a full heart at the edge of what i know will be a lovely weekend full of french movies, meals with friends, and (YES!) some babysitting of my dearest little pal, erik.

until next time…