Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Why Grape?!

Sometimes my life is a lot like a paper muffin wrapper filled with mildly liquefied grape jello. You might think that such a metaphor is pretty weird, until you actually make grape jello in paper muffin wrappers and then leave it out for a few hours. Right out of the fridge it’s a brilliant plan – self contained and flexible, no spoon required – but if you ignore it and don’t tend after it carefully it tends to ooze out of its thin boundary and it loses all structural integrity. This is almost okay if you catch it in time and stick that sucker back in the chill, but when you’re not paying attention and your grab the wrapper by one of its crinkly edges, that wiggly little piece of joy turns into a humungous splattered mess all over the carpet.

Welcome to my life, kershplamm! ...blob on the floor.

[Heather: sorry for the stain that my reality-based metaphor has left in the living room...]

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A Case of Rapunzel Blues

Once upon a time there lived a girl who fancied herself a princess of sorts. She had big dreams and an untameable imagination and too much time to herself to think. This particular combination of attributes has led her into terrible, complicated messes in the distant and not so distant past. She, in fact, expects that it will likely cause her problems throughout her life, though it may someday lead to paying off her student loans... but that is not the point of this story.

She used to have this pen-pal. He was a pretty cool guy, a prince of a sort from a neighbouring kingdom. For a long time they communicated by carrier pigeon, letters coming every other fortnight or so. After a time, their lettering became more regular and the princess-esque girl and her imagination were racing. Without warning her heart decided to get involved, and soon she was outnumbered: imagination and heart verses reality. It was a competition she could hardly hope to win. And so she lost it, with a smile.

Well, as it happens, all of the major kingdoms in the area held a conference and all of the princes and princesses were invited. Some of the other courtly members attended the event as well, since it was slightly less formal than a royal ball. No pumpkins were involved, no mice or other members of the rodent family, but (to the princess, now mentally held hostage by her daydreaming imagination and her trapped-in-a-tower heart) the day did possess some of those fairytale qualities. Reality was disconnected and the dream lived. His name, by chance, was Kingly. Prince Kingly suddenly went from pen and ink to flesh and blood and voice, and the princess was completely overwhelmed. In folklore, this would have been identified by an exaggerated "swoon" moment, but she didn't recognize it, and was blinded to hesitation, conflict, warnings and holds. As far as the princess was concerned, this was the beginning of her happily ever after. But then, it was all heart and imagination at work. She hadn't really consulted her mind in a while. In fact her mind was still shackled to the dungeons of her being when the day ended. Naive, dangerously encouraged and with little resolve to give her head a shake from the clouds, she finally headed home to her castle.

There is always a bit of a problem when the mind is locked up; even when released, it has been starved and shut away from the sunlight, it is weak and soft… it takes time to recuperate. It took four passes of the full moon for the princess’s mind and heart and imagination to make peace in her body. There is still some tension there. As previously mentioned, it is a battle that her mind will likely fight forever. But it’s balancing out slowly. The problem was, in hindsight, a very complex issue for the princess, but one important and now recognized element was a simple conundrum that no part of her apparently multi-personalitied psyche had anticipated: Prince Kingly was one of the only well matched princes she had ever spent much time with. He was the only pen-pal she had invested any thought into, any imagination, any heart. Other suitors had come and passed through finding little traction with the princess at all… perhaps because she was so enamored with this one friend.

So, where are they now? Well, they’re back in their own castles, their own worlds, overlapping by occasional carrier pigeon. It was not her ideal, but maybe that is because The King has something better in mind for both of them. She isn’t always sure what His plans are, but then, who is she to question the will of The King? He knows his kingdom and his family better than anyone. It’s His role and His rule, and He does both very well. And so, she has returned to her tower and her birds, trusting that The King will figure out major details as they need to come together.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Morning Glories

I woke up with the sun today, just before he crested over the treetops, just was he was completing his morning stretches of purples and pinks and yellows across the clouds. I’m sitting on my bed, still, simply enjoying the moment, staring out my window. The maple outside is silhouetted against the blue rainbow of the sky, the frosted windows and roofs are still covered in white and I know that when the sunshine finally does hit them they’ll sparkle like nothing else and then quietly melt away, for now. This is truly the beginning of a new day.

I did not enjoy yesterday. I did not make the simple pleasure of spending time in this life a priority – I felt overwhelmed by thick clouds of doubt and guilt, mostly associated with my academics. But now, as I stare out of my window at the ever-brightening morning, at the gulls that seem to dance across the mid-air path between the sun and my room, out at the melting, colourful clouds, I am reminded.

God gives each day unique purpose. He makes every day new and every human experience of that day unique from every other. “The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.” (Psalm 50:1) He is in ultimate, powerful control of this universe... and yet is delicately aware of even the smallest of details. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

What an amazing God I serve.

And so I will serve Him today, with this day He has given to me, a day He has shaped with intention and careful design for His own pleasure and for our pleasure and benefit and instruction. What will today bring? I think it’s fit to say that “God only knows,” but I will know soon as well and I pray my eyes will be opened to everything it may hold for me.

The sun has hit the frosted housetops... my cue to go.

Keep your eyes and your heart open today. It is full of promise and beautiful potential.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Eeew. Grammar.

If, when you wake up in the morning the first thought on your mind is of a grammatical nature, if you find yourself scribbling verb conjugations on the corners of your napkin, if your favourite song is "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here" and you love it enough to walk down the aisle to it on (arguably) the most important day of your life, you should take a Language and Rhetoric course. If any of those examples made you whisper "No, thank you" to yourself (or made you, like me, laugh aloud at the prospect), you really have no business in ENGL 2025.

All you would-be English majors... don't say I didn't warn you.