Showing posts from May, 2011

Broken Stories and the Goodness of God

All I know is the broken. That's all that makes sense to me. It's not a pleasant thought, but there it is. And along with that thought come the words of the Mumford & Sons song Roll Away Your Stone . Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think? And yet it dominates the things I see. I realize this when I get quiet enough and still enough to look inside my own soul. I'm realizing it again as I work on writing stories, pushing at new characters to see how they respond, digging deep into backstories to find what makes them how they are. I like writing stories; it helps me understand the real world around me better. But I don't like what I find as I search for deeper connections, for motives and stories. I knew good characters are broken at points, but they are broken all the way back, and the further I go, the more there is deeply wrong with them. Because it's what makes sense. I don't like finding these things about my characters. It's bad enough that

Weeds, sin, and hope

Pulling weeds tends to make me philosophical, because there is not a whole lot else going on. That means that I have an abundance of time to be philosophical this summer, as my full time job consists mostly of pulling weeds. One thing that I tend to think about a lot with weeds is how they're like sin, how pulling them is like sanctification. So here are some thoughts for the week. It leaves you far more sore and exhausted than you think you should be. Especially for the first two or three days, I hurt all over. It was awful. I got back to the house where I was staying, went into the bedroom, and fell asleep on the floor for, oh, a good hour. And I felt absurd about it... I mean, all that I did all day was pull little plants out of the ground. It doesn't sound like it should be that hard. I think I tend to do that with sin too. It can't be that hard to not be selfish. It can't be that exhausting to hold your tongue. Yes it can. The little weeds are often th

And the class of 2011 graduates...

They have been here as long as I have been here, and so I do not know what to say. I can't yet imagine it without them. I've had friends in other classes who graduated, but the class graduating tomorrow morning -- the class one year ahead of mine -- is the class full of people who mentored me. The ones who were just out of the awkwardness of everything being new when I came in and everything was new for me. I was a mess of eager confidence energy and a lot more cluelessness than I realized, and they were gracious enough to not let onto it for the most part. So tomorrow I am going back and I will watch them graduate. And I am proud of them, because I know the work they have put in. I've spent three years watching these people, and learning from them how to do things, and I am delighted to get to see the beginning of the next piece of their lives, this stepping over the threshold. But also sad. I will miss them. I will miss the laughter and the familiarity, the having s

Tangles in the Weaving

It's hard to wrap my head around, to know how to feel. January 24th, Monday, and I was checking my email before going to Dag, and found the breath knocked out of me as I read words on my screen. No, this doesn't happen. Not to people I know. Not to students in the class I TAed. Not here. How do you lose a person? Where could he be? What was going on in his head? Was he okay? The questions seemed to stretch endless. And the time between then and now seemed endless in some ways too. At first it cuts through everything. We lost someone. There is the oddness of waking up thinking about it, of walking down the sidewalk and wondering when you'll see him next, of seeing that no one is sitting at that particular table in the library. A lot of searches on google. And then, eventually, there is nothing, and there continued to be nothing. The prayers continue, but so does the rest of life. Searches continue, and classes do too. Winter gradually gives way to spring, an