Resting in the arms of hope, of joy, I find my comfort. I am home amidst the fallen leaves and dying branches. Must I leave these arms when they are still warm and tender for the world so bitter and dry? Or could I possibly stay in these arms. Or at the very least, simply near them– still feeling the beating heartbeat in the short distance, no matter how far it may actually be.

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pain//hope//pain

It’s sometimes the days you can be most joyful–in the purest of hope– that you see the brokenness of the world. of your own backyard. the realities of pain are real, they are here. but so is the hope. the hope is here in the smiles revealing missing teeth, in the calloused hands, in the stories of grown women and men.

we have hope in the God who raised Jesus from the dead, that God’s world will be restored.

a lesson in language

My decision to pick up a minor in reconciliation here at SPU has allowed me to take some really great classes, I otherwise would not have needed to take. Last quarter I took Eschatology (the study of the end times). This class, and the subsequent conversations and discussions, have completely changed the way I read, think, pray and live. Having a direction and a hope to live towards, and live into will dramatically change the way live your life. What is it you hope for?

This quarter, I have been taking a cultural anthropology class with Dr. Neuhouser—one of the best professors at SPU. Dr. Neuhouser has spent extensive time in Brazil, studying culture and helping many villages develop. The other day, during a lecture about ‘language,’ he shared a story about Brazilian culture.

Often times, there is not a word-for-word translation that can be used in translating some languages. In fact, the Portugese language (which they speak in Brazil) has a word that does not exist in English, unless there is much explanation.

Saudade (pronounced saw-daj-ay) is a word that means both pain and joy. It is a memory which is both sad and joyful, of things distant and gone, and is accompanied by the desire to once again see or have them.

When Dr. Neuhouser shared this word with us, all I could think about was themes of hope and the Kingdom of God. What would it mean if we held this pain and joy in tension in our day-to-day lives. What if we lived right in the middle of pain and joy? When we feel weighed down by the weight of the world, what if we looked forward to the possibilitys of the future renewal. And when we feel ecstatic and joyful, what if we also remembered the past, where we came from to get to this current joy.

Saudade by Almeida Junior (1899)

community rules

Community is beauty. And beauty is community.

These past weeks have been so lovely. Spring break has brought the good fortunes of friends, family and food with the aditional provisions of books, beer and beverages (the third one was a stretch, but it emphasizes the vast amount of coffee and beer I consumed in Bellingham and Portland.) Which leads me to a humbled attempt to describe my last few days. In order to re-tell these traveling tales I would need to far exceed the maximum characters wordpress would allow me to use. Therefore, what follows is a sub par and succinct summary of my time spent in bookstores and bars with close friends and family.

It began in Seattle. An excellent day of coffee followed by time with Aly and Scott, cooking and drinking wine.

From there, we followed the sunshine up north to bellingham to spend time with Ryan and Lettie (my newly engaged friends). We went to two breweries– Boundary Bay and Chuckanut– sipping on all the IPA’s these artisan brewmakers had to offer.

The next stop was my parents house in Longview. We cooked a satisfactory meal out of the Jakes Seafood recipe book, only wishing we had used less lemon in the lemon caper butter reduction. After dinner, my Dad, Scott and I took a 6-pack to the basement and shot billiards. I’ll mention that I beat my dad on the first game, but I seem to have forgotten the standings on the next three games. But don’t ask my father who won.

Next leg of the tour would be in Portland. Scott and I had planned out a three day brewery crawl. We count around 35 beers from 7 different breweries. Top five in no specific order:

Boundary Bay IPA, Hair of the Dog Blue Dot Double IPA, Breakside IPA, Deschutes Inverted Pale Ale and Deschutes Hop Henge Imperial IPA.

Needless to say, I’m feeling very lathargic today.

Throw in a screening of the Acadamy Award Winning movie “The Fighter” at McMenamins Bagdad theater, a ton of stumptown coffee and too much greasy food and I’ve come close to describing my spring break.

The beauty of my spring break hasn’t come from what I did, but who I was with. It has been a remarkable collision of people. The craft beer was just an extra perk.

 

I recently picked up the compilation album for Mark Mulkahey in the used in at Sonic Boom. This track struck a chord with me. There is something about love that calms a stormy heart, and eases an occupied mind.

my new years resolution will be to start blogging again. i may try and make the blog a little more public as well. it’s just terrifying to put out thoughts, ideas and words for anyone and everyone to read. actually, its terrifying putting thoughts, ideas and words out for friends and family to read. but to appease my small amount of readers, i will leave you all with my top 10 albums of the year:
10. The Tallest Man on Earth- The Wild Hunt
9. Menomena- Mines
8. Dr. Dog- Shame, Shame
7. Josh Ritter- So Runs the World Away
6. Drew Grow and the Pastors
5. The Head and the Heart
4. Beach House- Teen Dream
3. The National- High Violet
2.The Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
1. Sufjan Stevens- Age of Adz

Noteworthy additions:
– Wolf Parade- Expo 86
-Yeasayer- Odd Blood
-Woods- At Echo Lake
-Owen Pallet- Heartland
-Pearly Gate Music

what its all about

These last two weeks I have been free-loading on my best friend’s couch. It has been wonderful. Beyond being very relaxed, and back in Seattle, I have simply enjoyed the people around me. There is no place like “home,” even if I am just staying temporarily, I know this is a good place to be– the right place to be.

This weekend I went home to go to a friends wedding. It was beautiful. But what was most beautiful about the weekend was the people I got to be around. My family, friends and church congregation were such a wonderful weekend encouter. It was so good to be home again. Anyone who has listened to music in the last year has heard the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe. I am going to resist the urge of relating this post to that song, and instead choose another song. Although, it too is an popular indie song.

Today in the car, while driving back to Seattle with my best friend from high school, Ryan, we listed to Mumford and Sons, just screaming the lyrics at the top of our lungs. It was beautiful. First of all, the album is incredible, despite what ANYONE says, it is a piece of art. There is no single lyric that fails to carry the weight of a heart; each is thoughtfully placed, and painted colorfully. The first track, (the title track), repeats the line: Man is a giddy thing…

But it doesn’t just end the song there, in despair, it resolves it. It ends with this verse. Make the connections yourself.

Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,

It will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be.
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7TrU4_-JTY