Tuesday, October 30, 2007

documenting the mundane. it's my favorite.

For extra credit for my Introduction To Literature class my teacher told us we could attend a reading of an author\Alaskan fisher woman, Leslie Fields who would be visiting our campus. I can never pass up an opportunity to be read to so i went at 7:30 pm last thursday. Here's my paper. It's due tomorrow.

Leslie Leyland Fields is a small woman. When I heard "a fisher woman from Alaska," I half expected her to appear in overalls and a plaid shirt underneath, the smell of the sea and salt still lingering on the fabric and hovering around her. I imagined she was thick: broad shoulders, strong arms, a weathered face and maybe a low voice. She was, after all, living in Alaska, a land of wilderness. She spends her summers on an island fishing with her husband seven days of the week. Nothing fragile could survive that. This type isn’t usually the writer type. They are usually people about whom books are written, but are far too busy and absorbed with hobbies to care about setting it down in words. I went because I can never pass up the chance for someone to read to me but also to give some answers to the fluttering curiosity in my head.
When I did arrive in that yellowed room I found Leslie, small-boned and fitting very nicely behind her podium in the front of a room full of clean, comfortable women. Her voice was soothing, strong and clear. She wore a sleek black button-up, nothing like a plaid shirt I was sure I would find. Her jet-black hair was cropped and styled; it was edgy. A chunky, beaded necklace encircled her slender neck. I liked this woman. She admitted half way through that everything she wore was from Wal-mart and she’d bought it the night before. This woman was quirky and inviting. I relaxed easily into my swivel chair in the back of the room and listened contentedly to her adventures.
They were not the adventures I was expecting. She talked rarely of fishing and admitted that she no longer helped her husband fish but rather surrendered her five boys to the wide ocean for the whole summer, each day. They were knocked around by the waves, dried by the sun and disciplined into fish-picking machines. Leslie talked of the rigorous work involved in this job. Cups and utensils were nearly impossible to hold at the end of the day. Exhaustion dominated each muscle, joint and bone. These were fourteen-hour days. Leslie talked of her husband carefully selecting twelve strong boys at the beginning of each summer to help in this salmon-gathering expedition. They had to be physically and mentally solid. Some boys, she stated in her evened voice, broke down in tears from the sheer load of the work. This is what I had come to hear about, but they were not what she talked about for the majority of the time, neither were they what I most loved hearing about.
She talked of her family; of not expecting her last son, Abraham, the sixth installment. Leslie said she longed to be free of diapers, of nursery, of spit-up on her shoulders, of unexpected late-nights and of the demands of pregnancy on the body. What she said was honest. I like that she could speak of things that would horrify most women. I’ve rarely heard a Christian woman speak so honestly about raising a child. She talked of feeling like she was backtracking, that she’d worked so hard to get everybody grown up so she wouldn’t feel stuck. She dreamed of traveling with the family once the children were beyond diapers and cribs and now, she thought, they finally could. Like the rest of us she found reason, in the midst of blessing, to complain and worry. And unlike some of us, she urgently prayed that God would change her; help her not to have a set plan for her life but to be open and joyful. She wrote about traveling to Guatemala once the kids were older and how dangerous it was. In the midst of the danger, however, this woman was aggressively trusting in God to protect her family. I liked her spirit of adventure, of danger, of leaving home for long amounts of time and the love she had for her family and her husband without sounding clich├ęd.
I was disappointed to leave early. The day grew darker from inside the glowing room. Her words kept going and my thoughts slowly wandered towards the unfinished projects I had. I had to leave but as I crept out of that nest-of-a-room and walked briskly back to my dorm through the crisp, night air I felt like I had been somewhere; a new somewhere. I felt like there was a somewhere out there that was very much open to me. Her words made me excited for tomorrow and for the future and for all the little things that may sound daunting: family, jobs, leaving home, and made them sound like an exciting challenge. I could work on my art project and work late into the night, I thought, it’s mundane and I’m tired but it might make a good book someday.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

we two

hey we took lots of pictures for you guys. check flickr! and comment..mkay?
this was sienna and me before heather richardson's wedding. we left the reception early cause we were freezing, took the elevator up to the fourth floor, changed from our dresses to our sweat pants and hoodies and snuggled into bed to watch The Painted Veil. only wish it was snowing outside or something like that.

ps. sorry for the load of blog posts. i've just had the urge today and last night and figured i should go for it. when it rains it pours. expect more soon. i'm on a roll!

jo's coming today

the nest

not sure why it's so important to me to show people where i live but there's so many little details i want you all to see since most of you will never come visit me on my mountain. so here's a glimpse of what i see everyday; where me and jessie coexist oh so well. more on flickr

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

my new favorite snacky snack

for the time being these cinnamon honey deliciousness might even have replaced wheat things as my favorite-est thing to crunch on. i don't know why but i've found i usually develop strange cravings and likings at covenant. last year it was trail mix..i lived for the stuff! now it's grahm crackers. they just hit the spot. we got a box of them for smores the other night but there was only three people and all of them preferred cigarettes to smores so i ended up putting the only dent in the stash. i'm not complaining. i've got a sort of whole box of them left (plus two full bags of marshmellows which i hatehatehate).

ps. almonds are still at the top of my snack list. they have not budged.

pps. chalice, this does not mean i dislike your gift of sun-dried tomato basil wheat thins. i still very much in love but maybe a tiny bit less for the time being in light of this new graham phenomenom.

that's all. fall break is over and i'm glad to have jessie safely back in the nest but sad to see sienna wander off down the hall now when it's time for bed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

what monday holds for me

it's monday and i don't wake up to my screeching, high-pitched cell phone alarm clock. i don't stumble out of bed in the darkness and creep to the bathroom room and have to step around the door as it's shutting because the room is so tiny. my eyes are not shocked by my morning face and the 60 watt bulb that shoots into my tiny white bathroom. i don't have to do my whole morning rountine in less than 10 minutes. i can do it in 15 or 20 or i can take an hour to wash my face, brush my teeth, use lotion, do my hair, get dressed, find socks and shoes. and the best thing about it is that i don't have to do it at all if i don't want to! it's fall break and will be until wednesday night. oh the intense joy of having no rush.

i don't like sleeping in so i was up at 7:50 this morning. partly because i couldn't go back to sleep anyway because of a big beeping tractor right outside my window and partly because i wanted to get up. i have a whole day packed of wonderful things to do that arn't school. and my company is the best of the best: sienna.

My Monday To Do List:
getting winter clothes (because the weather is quickly spiraling down and i'm not prepared),
sienna's going brunette at 2:00
throwing on the wheel to make at least one more cylinder
having lunch at kiko's cause she's home today
visiting Taryn in the lab to see a dissected shark
running on a beautiful trail i found the other day, as soon as my shuffle energizes
cleaning my room for Jessie and for myself because the dirt is becoming visible now
eric gets back tonight!
camping and making s'mores tonight with fall-break friends.

so instead of scrubbing the chapel forom 7-9 am and then racing to breakfast and doctrine class in a herd of tired, quiet students i get to do this instead and it's making me happy.

pictures soon! we took them, just have to upload them. will be appearing here and on flickr soon. promise.


ps. what is in my ears right now. i love chris martin:

you're the target that i'm aiming at
and i'm nothing on my own
got to get that message home

and i'm not gonna stand and wait
not gonna leave it until it's much too late
on a platform i'm gonna stand and stay

that i'm nothing on my own
that i love you please come home

my song is love is love unknown
and i've got to get that message home.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

i want to say thank you. to annie huntington.

for capturinng the world so beautifully... not only with her lense but with her words. read about her days... she's linked under our "friends" as "coolestgiRl". she is a gem, a treasure, one of those rare finds. Those are her red shoes that i really love (and am wondering where you found them) and below is my mother, Kate, with sort of my other mother, Kate too... Kate Howard and Kate Huntington. the mother's of annie and I... this is mom's real laugh. and im so glad annie trapped it in this photo.

Monday, October 08, 2007

i miss this one.

that girl with cool glasses and dark hair. the one i met two semesters ago and found a friend in. that one who resembles Wendy and appreciates good coffee at the back table in the library. the one whose voice makes me calm and peaceful and whose example to me was consistently one of patience, humility, love, and tenderness. she used to live in carter at the end of my hall in this big room where twinkle lights lined the ceiling and roses hung above the couch. I miss studying on that couch with tobi beside, sitting at her desk making earrings or fighting through a paper...one i'd be blessed to read afterward. I miss late nights of jack and kate and dinners at six.

tobi anderson, you're one of those people i'm finding very hard to forget. the mountain misses you. (i miss you)

Friday, October 05, 2007

little sister turned 19 (!)

... and we had a sushi/soccer party on sunday at vincent and kiko's new stoop. It was really wonderful..kiko, kyrie, and i prepared all day and then friends came down from the mountain and enjoyed the meal sitting on kiko's floor table. soccer was exchanged for badminton, and ice cream cake completed the night.

kiko shows us how to make a sushi roll!

we watch..

(precious boys)

jon-fin & finster (aka lowen's pup)

one of my favorites...

it had ice cream inside!