Saturday, August 29, 2009

You can call me The Rev...

Some of you are aware of the fact that I was recently ordained in order to officiate a wedding for some amazing friends. Being a part of their special day was an honor (more on that later). Check out a few outstanding pictures of the llama-filled event here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cataloging Memories

We only have just over 10 months remaining up here in the Great Northwest and I keep catching myself making mental notes of things I want to remember from this time in my life. I had one of those moments today as I was driving back home after a therapy session. The weather was beautiful - a perfect 70 degrees at 5:00 in the evening. The sun was out, the skies were blue with only a few patches of clouds. I was listening to Rosie Thomas, whose lyrics seem to be written onto my heart now, as I was feeling the kind of inner and relational connectedness and contentment that seems to often follow therapy sessions. It's the equivalent to the afterglow that follows the intimacy of love-making. As I drove the stretch of I-5 from Greenlake to Downtown in the middle of rush hour I welcomed the slowness of the pace so that I could simply take in the sight of the city from that vantage point. It's my favorite stretch along I-5 and it's even more beautiful when it's all lit up at night. You can see Lake Union on both sides of the highway and the space needle sits perched in such a way that it looks larger than it actually is in comparison to the ski-scrapers of this city I've grown to love. It was a moment of fullness and of presence that I don't ever want to forget.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reading for my final year of grad school has begun...

"Whether consciously or unconsciously, each of us has a set of convictions about ultimate reality. We believe something about God, ourselves, and the purpose of life. And these foundational beliefs surface in what we say and how we live. Every person is in this sense a theologian.

Although all persons have beliefs, many people give little thought to how they form their fundamental convictions. And they rarely reflect on how these convictions are affecting the way they live."

~Stanley Grenz in Created for Community

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Movie Marathon

I am currently recovering from another apartment move which was immediately followed by a vacation in Cali, which was then followed by a week of playing hostess while Brian's family was in town. All three experiences were well worth the efforts required (without a doubt)...but nonetheless, my body and mind are both begging for some well-earned rest.

I didn't get as much reading done this summer as I had hoped to but I did manage to get through an interesting and entertaining book titled, "Olive Kittredge" which was named after the main character. It was written as a collection of short stories whereby the reader is afforded the opportunity to get to know the main characters from the variation of many different vantage points. It was not life-altering by any means, but I connected to the story and was drawn into the humanness of this retired Teacher who has a difficult time facing her own loneliness and bitterness.

So...when reading isn't the main item on the agenda, I often find myself in desperate search for engaging (read: dramatic) movies to wrap me up in a blanket and rock me until I am asleep to my own life momentarily and awakened as an observer to some reality completely other than my own. The Time Traveler's Wife, disappointingly and not-surprisingly, did not do the trick. The books was a thousand times better - and sadly, as is often the case, most will no longer feel compelled to read the literary masterpiece when they can gather the "gist" of the story by watching the movie.

Fortunately, my hope in dissociation via movie-watching was not a complete failure. I watched Revolutionary Road yesterday and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly this evening. Both movies have left me quite stirred, though in very different ways. More on both of these movies later. But that's all for now. I am going to attempt to get in the rhythm of writing more habitually. My hope is that it if I simply sit in front of the computer long enough stuff just starts seeping its way out from the inexhaustible space within and onto the screen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Growing Ears to Hear

So I've decided to start personally blogging in this space now that my counterpart on No Longer Mute has officially moved within a half a mile from our new apartment. You can read about my reasons for bidding adieu to that blog here. I've actually taken quite a long sabbatical from communicating via blogosphere and it was a much needed break, but this morning I have enough angst to awaken my rusty fingers and motivate them to work their magic.

Brian and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in California with my father and step-mother. My sister and brother-in-law joined us for a good portion of the trip as well. We were sad to leave, but are currently looking forward to our anticipated visit from Bri's family in the coming days!

So back to my morning angst. Upon our return we discovered a bill from my dentist as we collected our mail last night. We were being charged from a visit that wasn't really a visit at all because when I arrived at the office all they did was inform me that they had schedule me with the wrong doctor, looked in my mouth for (count-it) 1-2-3 seconds and then had me reschedule my appointment (for a third time, I should add). Beyond this ridiculous co-pay they also tacked on a late fee because they didn't actually collect a co-pay while I was at the office. Ridiculous (yes, I just said that again).

Not an uncommon ordeal. Nor is it an ordeal of any great significance. But an ordeal none-the-less. Brian attempted to call the corporate office to get this situation worked out and it became a mess of miscommunication and there was no real resolution except that at the end of the phone call they at least removed the late fee. My feathers are still all ruffled now about 20 minutes and a full cup of coffee later and I'm trying to make sense of this noticeable energy surging through both my mind and body. I could careless about the $15 copay...seriously. But what is left making my stomach churn my coffee with soy vanilla creamer round and round is the evidence of how difficult communication really is. Human beings seem fairly intent on self-protection (a.k.a. covering our asses) and often this fixation is to our own detriment. Instead of simply listening to one another, we are working so hard to build up our wall of defense and in the process we ALL become UNTOUCHABLE. And we wonder why we're all filling our lives with distractions from our own loneliness 24/7!

I'm just as guilty as the next gal at hiding behind the wall. Heck I've personally build one as high as the Eiffel Tower. But I'm working at dismantling the wall brick-by-brick and am hoping others are inspired to do so as well.