Broken-down Poetry: July 2008


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Honor thy (grand)mother and (grand)father.

Again, totally not in the mood to write. Even if I wanted to write, I should work on my online class or trying to get something published, not wasting my time (and yours) blogging about nothing interesting. Sigh. But I'll do it anyway.

I was reading in I Timothy today and there's a lovely verse about taking care of the elderly. Yes, taking care of old fogies. Apparently it's a pretty big deal (or it was back in the day) to take care of your relatives, especially those unable to take care of themselves.

"Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. . . . If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." I Timothy 5:3-8 (emphasis mine)

Now, I love my mom but today more than ever I realized how much I cannot live the rest of my life with her. I just can't! I love when we can sit around watching TV or eat lunch together, but that's about all of Mom I can handle.

Turns out we have a little unspoken deal. When I am a kid (and hopefully when I'm a poor college student) my mom will provide for me. If I need food, she'll make sure I get it. If I need snow boots, well, off to JC Penny's we go! That's in her Mommy Job Description.

But when I'm an adult and she's near dymensia, it's my duty to take care of her. (You know, throw her into a nursing home and all that.)

They cycle is thus complete.

But I wonder if that's what we're supposed to do. I mean, what kind of culture do we live in that we throw our elders into a sterile brick building with other fogies like themselves? Back in the day grandparents lived with their kids until their deathbed--and somehow everyone got along okay.

I'm not speaking out of experience because I don't have any grandparents, nor do I plan on letting my mom live with my husband and me. But it still has me thinking.

Do we honor our elders? Do we discredit them because they're not on the up-and-up with culture?


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A rant. Please enjoy.

The book I have to read for my TUFW online class tells me that I need to consistantly write/blog in order to develop a discipline. And so that is what I am doing. I hope that excites you. ;-)

Today I spent time reading fine poetry. No wait, I was listening to Thrice. Oh... same thing.

I know I lost about half my readership right then because for some reason no one seems to share the same love(/obsession) with Thrice as I have. But anyway, let's forget our prejudice and listen to Auntie Lauren for a little bit.

Wow, I think I lost the other half of my readers.

Anyway, I was reading my fine poetry when I realized that HEY! this song by Thrice is formatted like a Shakespearean sonnet. It turns out that saying that music is just poetry put to a melody was correct about Thrice anyway.

It turns out Thrice has 4 songs written in this format. All four are the final songs on the Alchemy Index EPs. If you knew that already, good job.


So these four sonnets also have something ELSE special about them. They all are written in the point of view of one of the four elements: earth, air, fire, water.

And not only that, all the elements can be juxtaposed with Christ Himself. (But WAIT if you call now...!)

I mean, comparing Christ to FIRE kind of makes sense (think, consuming fire and all that). And comparing Him to WATER kind of makes sense as well (living water n' all that). But EARTH and AIR? What kind of crazy world is this?!

Uhm, it's a Thrice world and we are mere listeners and fans.

-- END RANT --

So for those of you who still disagree with me that Thrice is not the best band ever, I have decided to start an ongoing project called: PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT THRICE IS THE BEST BAND EVER. (Creative name, huh?) Which means this: After every blog I write (unless it's so serious that it'd totally kill the mood) I will list one of my reasons. I know, you're excited. It's called freedom of speech, my lovelies. You must deal with it.

So to begin, I will start with reason number 1:


Thrice wrote a song called CHILD OF DUST which not only is written as a classic Shakespearean sonnet, but it takes a nice spin on the Prodigal Son story found in Luke 15. The song is in the point of view of EARTH calling mankind her "prodigal" who has taken advantage of EARTH's beauty and destroyed it for his own gain. But instead of the Biblical repentance-redemption story, EARTH lets mankind pay for their mistakes. ("A child of dust to mother now return/ for every seed must die before it grows / and though above the world may toil and turn / no prying spade will find you here below") EARTH let's her child die because she believes that may be the only way her prodigal learns. It's not a story of hope, but one of justice. (And I think it's beautiful. Kudos, DK, kudos.)

Dear prodigal, you are my son and I
Supplied you not your spirit, but your shape.
All Eden's weath arrayed before your eyes;
I fathomed not you wanted to escape.

And though I only ever gave you love,
like every child you’ve chosen to rebel;
uprooted flowers and filled the holes with blood;
ask for not whom they toll the solemn bells.

A child of dust to mother now return;
for every seed must die before it grows.
and though above the world may toil and turn,
no prying spade will find you here below.

Now safe beneath their wisdom and their feet,
Here i will teach you truly how to sleep.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lauren+Reading too much=Random Blogs

A freelancer (as I am, is a lot like a Geisha. Now, I don't mean that freelancers entertain Japanese businessmen or give away their mizuage to the highest bidder (thank the Lord for that one), BUT we have other similar qualities. And, in light of rereading Memoirs of a Geisha (again) and loving it just as much as before (would the Chairman care for more sake?) I will entertain you with my comparisons. Enjoy.

1. Freelancers, like Geisha, must make friends wherever they go. A geisha is to be polite and courteous wherever she entertains because a favor may be needed by a tea house mistress or... of course, you want to make a good impression on a man. Men=gold for geisha. Anyway, freelancers must make friends wherever they go as well (turns out people=gold for freelancers. If you don't have any clients you remain broke.)

2. Freelancers must dress for success. Geisha's have really elaborate outfits: a decorative kimono, obi, perhaps hairpins and ribbon. Freelancers must dress professional for their clients as well. Sure there is no "dress code" for a freelancer (because their jobs are rather nomadic) but it's always nice to make a good impression. As mentioned in number 1.

3. Freelancers must always honor their clients as kings and queens. A geisha must always bow and show interest to her client. It's her job, really. A freelancer must do the same. When their client asks for a hideous font to grace their website, the freelancer must use it. (Dang it, I know.)

I probably could continue, but this is just making me want to read the dang book again. Gosh, I need to get a life. OR rent the movie.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Refine hate and love, fall afresh on me. End this crisis of identity.

It turns out I don't know who I am. I thought I knew; I thought I had everything figured out. I was wrong.

Amanda and I were talking about identity, how college is the time where you find yours. I guess that makes sense. That is, after all, what everyone had told me.

Amanda (God bless her...) had one of her "realizations" last night when we were talking. She said that when you put your identity in other people rather than Christ, you're more likely to blame them when you get hurt.

This week (and really this whole summer) I've been wrestling and I haven't been sure quite why. I've been in a spiritual trough, but those have never bummed me out to this extreme (because I trust in the temporary state of the season). I think it's because I don't know who I am.

It turns out I have been looking for my identity in everyone and everything but Christ. I've looked for it in my friends. And, already, I have begun looking for it in my future career.

I know who God has called me to be (what to do with my life), but that only tells me about what I am going to do, not who I am. So I'm going to find out.

I want to go to Tinker Creek to find out, but that's not exactly realistic. I don't live in Virginia. And I hate camping. Hmm.

Anyway, I think college will do my some good (ha, who would've thought?). In the meantime there's a thing called prayer and a thing called journaling. I shall see where that gets me.


This is my voice, all shadows stayed this is my heart, upon the altar laid
Please take all else away, hear my cry, I beg, I plead, I pray
I'll walk into the flame, a calculated risk to further bless your name
So strike me deep and true, and in your strength I will live and die both unto you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Jesus People USA.

It's been a few days... it's time to recap the missions trip.

My youth group went to Chicago, Illinois where we worked with Jesus People USA, a community of Christians that live out the infamous Acts 2 example of Church. While most of the JPUSAs were putting on Cornerstone Music Festival (the Woodstock of the Christian world), our team held down their fort.

Our jobs: Cooking for the remaining JPUSAs, working at their homeless shelter, serving their senior citizens, cleaning their main building, and, of course, showing people the light of Jesus through our actions.

Honestly, it was one of those missions trips that the focus remained on the service rather than the outreach. And after talking to my friend Amber, I realized that these are probably the best kind of missions trips (short term anyway). We get to show God's love which will make a greater impact than simply befriending people for a week then leaving them.

And so that's what we did. And truly, it was though that service mindset that we BUILT relationship and potentially CHANGED lives.

On the last night we stayed at JPUSA, we had planned a game night with the seniors. Only a few showed up (sad, sad) so my friends and I just played a rousing game of Pictionary by ourselves. Well, then there's this nice man named Jim (who wasn't really that old, but have Elephantiasis) asked if someone would like to play a game with him. Well, sure. That was why we were there.

Carlee, Nathan, and I played Hearts with him. It was amazing. We just had fun, laughed, made small talk, etc. I didn't think much of it. I didn't feel like I was working or trying to proselytize.

The next day at breakfast Carlee, Nathan, and I got a card from Jim thanking us for playing cards with him. Just a game of cards. (That I nearly lost both hands of.)

Before we left Chicago he told Sarah to thank us for treating him like he was normal. Normal.

I find that ironic. Playing cards with someone is one of the most "normal" things you can do--and he did that just fine. He may have a disease, but he was still a man. He was still a sacred human being, formed by God.

And we got to bless him.

I learned from this trip that it's not the big things you can do that solely make impact in people's lives. It's the little things. It's the scraping of grease off a pan. It's the playing cards with a lonely person.