lent, week 3: baptize my mind.

Reaching, always reaching, never reaching solid ground
Seeking, always seeking, never seeking what I’ve found

My mind is flooded constantly with thought–
thoughts of grandeur, of lust, of pride, of frustration,
of hatred, of anger, of annoyance,
of despair, of trivialities. And it’s hard for me to
break through the surface sometimes
and breathe, and look at the sun.

Both my hands are filled with guilt
Both my eyes are blind with filth

So I go swimming deeper in pursuit of buried treasure,
while my tank slowly runs out of oxygen,
and the captain of my boat starts diving in after me.

Be my absolution, be my absolution
Hey, baptize my mind

I need even clearer waters to find my home in–
maybe the river that makes the city glad.
Pull me out of the chaotic deep and take me to
Jordan’s shores, and let me feel it peeling off my
wet suit for real skin.

100 women I admire.

In honor of National Women’s History Month. This is a historical, personal, and occasionally fictional list.

1. All the nameless women who have prayed and remained faithful to Christ throughout the centuries, whose names I’m only going to find out on the other side.. 2. Sojourner Truth. 3. Harriet Tubman. 4. Gillian Welch. 5. Sandra Oh. 6. Rebecca Black–not her song, obviously, but how much grace she’s shown under fire. 7. Kate Austen. 8. Jane Eyre. 9. Patty Griffin. 10. Karin Bergquist. 11. Nicole Kidman. 12. My mother, of course. 13. Mrs. van Wagner. 14. Mrs. Smith. (These two women are moms of two of my friends, both long-married to men who have passed on. Two of my constants.) 15. June Carter Cash. 16. Meg White. 17. Patti LuPone. 18. Sutton Foster. 19. Heather Headley. 20. Lea Salonga. 21. Idina Menzel. 22. Mavis Staples. 23. Sandra McCracken. 24. Kathleen Norris. 25. Flannery O’Connor. 26. Mary Jane Grooms. 27. Denise Johnston. 28. Lauren Winner. 29. Zora Neale Hurston. 30. Elizabeth I. 31. Sarah Kay. 32. My biological mom, who made a pretty hard choice. 33. Professor Callan, one of my writing profs. 34. Dr. Rice-Lively, one of my profs at UT. 35. J.K. Rowling. 36. Condeleeza Rice. 37. Michelle Obama. 38. Lauryn Hill. 39. Carrie Brownstein. 40. Aung San Suu Kyi. 41. That Libyan woman who fought to tell international press about her rape, even as the police were dragging her away to jail. 42. Molly Wizenberg. 43. Molly Weasley. 😀 44. Hermione Granger, while we’re at it. 45. And Lucy Pevensie. 46. Anne Frank. 47. Abigail Adams. 48. Helena Bonham-Carter, mostly for being true to her wacky, Tim Burton-loving self. 49. Jane Austen. 50. Charlotte Bronte. 51. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 52. Mary Wollstonecraft. 53. Mary Shelley. 54. Emmylou Harris. 55. Adele. 56. Kaylee Frye. 57. Buffy Summers. 58. Sara Watkins. 59. Sarah Jarosz. 60. All the women who raised all the good men I know. 61. Cate Blanchett. 62. Kate Winslet. 63. Katherina von Bora. 64. Susan B. Anthony. 65. Dolly Parton. 66. Viola Davis. 67. Laura Bush. 68. Elizabeth Bennett. 69. Claire DeTamble. 70. Harper Lee. 71. Dr. Martha Norkunas. 72. Michelle Dahlenberg. 73. Joan Baez. 74. Judy Collins. 75. Esperanza Spalding. 76. Linda Holmes. 77. Marie-Elizabeth Mali. 78. Emma Thompson. 79. Emma Watson. 80. Katharine Hepburn. 81. Audrey Hepburn. 82. Julie Andrews. 83. Marian Cotillard. 84. Virginia Woolf (questionable sexual ethics and suicide aside, the woman could write). 85. Noel Piper. 86. Joni Erickson Tada. 87. Anne Bradstreet. 88. All the women I know pursuing postgraduate degrees, some with families. 89. Sacajawea. 90. Julie Taymor (bizarre Spider-man-related incidents aside). 91. Leigh Nash. 92. Ree Drummond. 93. Lynn Rosetto-Kaspar. 94. Marketa Irglova. 95. Khaira Arby. 96. Abigail Washburn. 97. Lori Chaffer. 98. Meg Murry. (Can we call Aunt Beast and Mrs. Whatsit women? Probably not, or else I’d include her, too.) 99. Joy Gresham. 100. Dorothy Sayers.

a few thoughts after my friend lindsay’s dad’s memorial service today.

1. The great thing about being a Christian is that laughter at your funeral is entirely appropriate–and anticipatory of things to come.

2. And the great thing, too, is that tears are also entirely okay, because church ought to be a place where you can grieve without feeling like you have to be strong. Being strong is not the Christian’s job, anyway.

3. It’s interesting to me that, most of the time, the only two places you’ll get nearly everyone you love in the same physical space at the same time is when you get married and when you die.

4. I know I keep thinking about this, but one day that’s going to be my dad we’re remembering–and my mom, my brother, my friends, maybe one day my husband. And that’s true for you, too, unless, heaven forbid, you happen to be the one to go first. Everyone has a lot of loss in their lives already, and there’s a lot to come. Death is our enemy, you guys. But it has been conquered, and one day we’re all going to rise.

5. I went with two of my friends whose dads are both gone now, after cancer. If I can grieve with any part of the courage and strength they (and their families) have shown since then, it will be more than enough. I kind of worry about that, because grief and stress are major depression triggers for me (which is not really surprising, of course), but see point 2 above. Jesus is always going to be enough.

6. Anyway. It was a good service. Lots of singing. I didn’t know Mr. Ehrhardt that well, but hearing the stories today of his faithfulness and humor and love made me think he’d be a pretty good guy to know. I’m looking forward to getting to know him on the other side of the veil.

I haven’t seen Lindsay in years, so it was good to see her (although the circumstances were not great). Pray for her and her sister and mom and her dad’s mom and brothers.

7. I can’t think of any more appropriate thing to say than what Paul already did, so this is 1 Thessalonians 4:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Saturday night and Sunday morning.

1. I know too many young women who’ve lost their dads. While I can’t fully have any idea how they feel, the thought occurs to me that one day I will, and that is a scary thing, one that drives me to my knees (and makes me want to hug my dad).

2. The longer I live, the more I feel like my generation needs a multitude of parents. Not that our parents are necessarily bad at their jobs, but sometimes they’re gone (see my friends without dads, for example), or we have stuff in our lives our parents have no frames of reference for or just take for granted. So we need a whole bunch of wise people to walk beside us, especially in a time when people my age have a hard time figuring out what it means to be adults.

3. Grateful for these days: Daylight (vitamin D = depression buster, huzzah), long walks, this recipe (pork shoulder + chipotle peppers + a bottle of Dr Pepper + Crock Pot = YUM), sleep, good friends, knitting, and, of course, my parents and all the other wise people in my life.

4. Oh, and Lady Bears basketball. Sic ’em.

music check.

We haven’t done one in a super-long time, so here we go–put your music player on repeat, list the first 20 tracks…

1. David Crowder Band, “Deliver Me” (Illuminate)
2. Radiohead, “Fitter Happier” (OK Computer)
3. Phantom Planet, “Always On My Mind” (The Guest)
4. Aireline, “Rest Your Bones” (Ocean Songs from the Year of the Horse)
5. U2, “Freedom For My People” (Rattle and Hum)
6. Waterdeep, “Everyone’s Beautiful” (Everyone’s Beautiful)
7. Jars of Clay, “Lonely People” (Who We Are Instead)
8. Kirk Franklin, “He Reigns” (The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin)
9. The Normals, “No Alibis” (Coming to Life)
10. Wilco, “Less Than You Think” (A Ghost is Born)
11. Andrew Osenga, “Photograph” (Photographs)
12. Jet, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (Get Born)
13. Joan Osborne, “Cathedrals”
14. Martin Pearlman and the Boston Baroque Chorus and Orchestra, “Behold the Lamb of God” (Messiah)
15. Caedmon’s Call, “Somewhere North” (40 Acres)
16. Rihanna, “Don’t Stop the Music” (Good Girl Gone Bad)
17. Andrew Bird, “Sovay” (The Mysterious Production of Eggs)
18. Broadway Inspirational Voices, “Have You Heard About the Baby?” (Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas)
19. Bebo Norman, “In Your Hands” (Ten Thousand Days)
20. Johnny Cash, “Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart” (At Folsom Prison)

lent, week 2: bad.

If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again

I wonder sometimes if I’m addicted to
sadness, to worry, to angst.
It feels safer because pursuing joy
sometimes seems like chasing after
the wind, all the while I don’t understand
that the wind chases after me.

If I could, you know I would
If I could I would let it go
Surrender, dislocate

As Taylor said, depression too is a kind of fire,
the one that lights up the spoon
that fills the needle that I inject straight to my heart,
the one that will eventually kill me unless
I can get clean, the one that
will set my whole house ablaze when I’m not paying attention.

So let it go and so not fade away
Let it go and so not fade away

I need You to pry open my fists,
and open up my windows to
the fire of the morning star that burns brighter
than my smoldering wick
Let me be able to love the ones whose sorrow
burns down their houses
without torching my own into oblivion

I’m wide awake
I’m not sleeping

Because You were set aflame
by all our shame and sin and suffering
so that You can take all these charred bones
and bring them to life again.

100 random pop culture things I like.

1. Lost.
2. EW’s Doc Jensen’s commentaries on Lost.
3. Firefly.
4. Actually, anything Joss Whedon does (except for Dollhouse, which I never really watched, and his atheism).
5. Pixar movies.
6. The extra features on DVDs.
7. Hip-hop music.
8. Tap dance.
9. Kanye West’s Twitter feed.
10. NPR’s All Songs Considered.
11. NPR’s Monkey See blog (and the accompanying podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour).
12. The Muppets doing “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
13. Celebrity guest spots on Sesame Street.
14. How I Met Your Mother.
15. So You Think You Can Dance.
16. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
17. The Garden State soundtrack (although the movie was kinda terrible).
18. The singalong in Magnolia.
19. Inside the Actors Studio.
23. Awards shows, even though (or maybe because) I know they’re ridiculous.
24. The Nerdist podcast (enjoy your burrito!).
25. American Public Media’s The Dinner Party Download.
26. Mashups.
27. Mythbusters.
28. Dexter.
29. Live albums.
30. Concert DVDs.
31. Phineas and Ferb.
32. Heaven help me, but the “whassup?!” commercials from Budweiser.
33. Drunk History.
35. “I have a crush on every boy!”
36. Celia Cruz, “Quimbara”.
37. College a cappella groups.
38. Crowdsourcing.
39. Peter Gabriel’s cover of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” (“It feels so unnatural to sing your own name…”)
40. The Morning News‘s Tournament of Books.
41. XKCD!
42. Mahna Mahna!
43. Animaniacs.
44. 30-second re-enactments of movies…by cartoon bunnies.
45. Jimmy Fallon and Bruce Springsteen whip their hair back and forth.
46. Rent.
47. Les Miserables.
48. Next to Normal.
49. Company.
50. [almost] anything U2 does.
51. Coldplay’s live album.
52. Literally everything Ben Folds does, including judging The Sing-Off. Well, okay, maybe not his divorces and the reason he wrote “Brick”, but everything else.
53. The bathtub scene in Rachel Getting Married.
54. Jeff Bridges visits a shop dedicated to Big Lebowski memorabilia.
55. Blooper reels.
56. Slam poetry.
57. Flash mobs.
58. For reasons I cannot explain, war movies.
59. Year-end lists.
60. Jack Black singing “Let’s Get It On” in High Fidelity.
61. The post-credits breaking of the fourth wall in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
62. “I’ll turn him into a flea…”
63. The Late Late Show.
64. This lovely bit between Steve Martin and Noam Pikelny on Letterman.
65. Ace of Cakes (SO SAD THAT IT’S OVER).
66. “Rhapsody In Blue”, Fantasia 2000.
67. Radiohead and the USC Marching Band do “15 Steps” on the Grammys.
68. The fact that someone made a NES game of The Great Gatsby.
69. The whole “royale with cheese” dialog from Pulp Fiction.
70. Steampunk!
71. This shirt. Oh my goodness.
72. Talking to other people about pop culture.
73. Put a bird on it! (Also: Did you read? I feel like a bunch of my conversations are just like that.)
74. People‘s sexiest men issues. (I know, I know.)
75. Sweeney Todd (the stage version, not the movie–although the movie’s okay).
76. Every live show by the Frames that I’ve heard recordings of, they manage to sneak in “Pure Imagination” from WIlly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and it’s gorgeous.
77. DJ Earworm’s “United State of Pop” mixes.
78. The Cosby Show.
79. MASH.
80. The picture in U2 By U2 of all of their dads.
81. ABBA is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That makes me oddly happy.
83. Chess (the musical).
84. A Wrinkle In Time.
85. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
86. Everything is Illuminated.
87. The Time Traveler’s Wife.
88. Old Tin Pan Alley songs.
89. Motown!
90. That VW commercial with the little kid in the Darth Vader helmet.
91. For reasons that I hope are obvious, the Skittles commercial with the Scots-Korean (although, really, they’re oxymoronic, not contradictory).
92. American Girl dolls. I am 26 and will still gladly flip through those catalogs.
93. Movie scores–Lord of the Rings, Master and Commander, Gladiator, Slumdog Millionaire, The Social Network…
94. Fashion magazines.
95. Reading celebrities’ answers to the questionnaire in the back of Vanity Fair.
96. That Thing You Do!
97. Craig Ferguson and the puppets do “The Lonely Goatherd”.
98. Trivia game shows–Jeopardy, Cash Cab
99. More lit nerdity than anything, but picking out the monomyth in fictional narratives.
100. “Well, I don’t want to live on the moon…”