Sunday, November 30, 2008

For the Beauty of the Earth...

...For the glory of the skies
for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies
Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

It's late. But I just want to say, Thanksgiving is great. I love my family. We love each other. Even when things in my life aren't together and perfect, I seem to forget all that and just have fun. I wish there would have been snow, but there were pine trees, lots of pine trees. We cut one down to decorate for Christmas. We ate pumpkin pie and played games and drank coffee and went for walks in the crisp fall air. We sang around the piano. This may sound cheesy, but things like this are totally awesome at Thanksgiving. Cuddly cousins who give you hugs all the time, long conversations with lovely aunts, laughing at goofy uncles (everyone has one), the list goes on. Seeing the stars at night above the hint of a white mountain in the distance, then turning to see the house decorated with Christmas lights dad made sure to get up before you got home. Seeing your breath in the air, then going inside to get warm. I think I romanticize things a bit after the fact, but the fact is, that's how it is.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Despair Doesn't Work

I don't want to go into detail, wear my heart on my sleeve, or wear my life on my facebook page (or in this case, blog). <-- That was for you, Carla.

I have learned the importance of keeping a quiet heart... although rarely do I actually realize how effective that is.

Two verses come to mind:
"...and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

"In quietness and trust shall be your strength." -Isaiah 30:15b

More often than not I would rather just splat everything out, display all my emotions and think it's the end of the world. I would rather despair.

So, simply put, today was rough. But I refuse to despair.

This morning before work I was a little down. It was still dark outside and through my window I could see the moon peering through the trees. I stared at it. I closed my eyes. I swallowed. I opened my Bible to Psalm and I read chapter 34, (I just put some of it here):

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. <--That's me!
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them ALL.

Today was not without good things, even if it is hard to sift them out.

I am thankful for my sister.
I am thankful for my mom.
I am thankful for my cousin.
I am thankful for MY GOD.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Tribute to Jackson Pollock....Not

Disclaimer: This is a very personal opinion, and if you're a person who enjoys screaming and paint splattering, I hope you are not offended. Also, I am not judging you. Maybe someday you could explain to me the meaning you find in these things I discuss.

I don't consider myself an expert on music, by any means, and I am not really picky about it - I appreciate and enjoy most genres. However, I do have my favorites and my not-so-favorites. Then there is the music that I just don't understand at all. The kind I'm referring to is the start out screaming and scream until you have no voice left and no one understood a word you said but it must have been deep and insightful and brought out all the hurt of your childhood because you screamed it, and everything carries so much emotion when it's thrust from your throat with a raspy push music. Now, I realize there was a lot of opinion packed in that last description, but it's my blog. Feel free to comment, or start your own blog if you disagree. I don't hold this opinion across the board, though. There are a few songs in which I actually think screaming is effective. For example in Showbread's song "Age of Reptiles," at the end they sing "the truth is only You" over and over until it crescendos into a scream. I think this is effective. At this point of the song though, I know what the meaning is because I know what the lyrics are. I know where the artist is coming from, and the message they are trying to get across. Granted, there are some songs I still don't understand even when I can hear all the lyrics clear as a bell. But there is something to be said for thinking about a song after you hear it, and trying to figure out what certain lyrics mean - in fact, that might be what I like most about some of my favorite songs, the fact that I think about them and find different meanings hidden each time I listen to them. That's much different than being screamed at, though.

Maybe this same inability to decipher and appreciate screaming in music has something to do with my dislike of some modern art. I like modern art, and to prove it, here are some paintings I've seen lately that I like:

Tokyo Suburbs by Joe Bachelor

I don't know the title of this one, but it's by Richard Silva

If You Listen by Gail Lapins

Mid Summer Night by Lorna Teixeira

Wooden Room by Anselm Keiffer

Self Portrait by Chuck Close
Untitled by Lee Bontecou

However, I fail to see the talent in a painting like this, by Jackson Pollock.

Or paintings like this Who's Afraid of Red by Barnett Newman:

There may be deep meaning behind it, but that doesn't mean a 5 year old couldn't paint the same picture. There's no substance for me to interpret in the splattering. To me, that picture is a visualization of the sound of screaming in music, and I don't get it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008