Monday, September 29, 2008

the old sails sing their song.

In days long gone I was someone else.
We spent our days always together.
She taught me a rhyme, but it had no tune;
I forget what once it meant.

She gave me a doll, but it had no name.
She built us a town, but it had no bridge.
She made a doll’s house, and it had no fire
but the smoke of the towers in the night.

Here in the darkness we try to remember.
Even the shadows on the wall
have faded out of reach,

and here are the echoed sounds that surround us,
opening their mouths for the audience of mountains.
On backs of mountains old, rivers climb down
and mingle with the salt of the ocean.

Here there are sounds, but there is no light.
Gazing at the formless song, we know
that day is passed—and also night is passed,
but morning is forgotten.
Gone with songs,
our years of songs,
and days devoured, those weary whispered words.

Quiet. Close your eyes.
She sang to me, in the soft hum of the stillest night.
In my mind I ran,
on the sand of the song.

Touch the rocks, or feel the sky. I stand atop
the sea cliff. All the open blue, sails as I sit
beneath the sun, and birds above.
Bright waves crashing, winged throats calling,
circling song: memory steals
my old wild eyes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

as long as a piece of string.

My cat is an inside cat, and isn't supposed to go outside--but she does, when she's too fast at the door or when my family feels sorry for her. Today I caught her pouncing on a brown mouse (actually, my little dog Kailye told on her and made me come and see, as she did with the bird and the lizards: I think hunting distresses her!), and I told Josana off, let the mouse go and made the cat come inside. My parents and my brother are not very happy with me for punishing the cat for doing what she's 'supposed to do', and maybe they have a point about mice who get into the house. Fair enough. But it's not like she goes hungry; and I suppose the little mouse and his family, if they heard our conversation, would be relieved to hear his plight at least considered. I think that makes all the difference :P

Anyway. Today I'm working with my HSC English notes, as one of my Year Twelve friends is coming over to study. It's making me anxious, just reading them again! Haha. I should have done it last night, but instead I went out to Thai with Vic's family to celebrate her finally finishing, and then we went back and watched bits and pieces of films--finally settling on V for Vendetta, which I hadn't watched before, and consequently getting to sleep at about two a.m. Such a good night.

I can't believe it's only been a year since I left school. It feels like so much longer.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yay... Finally finished! And from today I have a reading week in which to happily stay home, write two more essays that are due the next week, spend time with a few friends, and do all the other things that take my fancy :)

Speaking of holidays, I really want to find more work for the summer break. Where will I work? That is the question.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Duloc is a perfect place.

So for this essay I have to hand in tomorrow, I've been looking at a number of early modern Christian texts and ideas. It's thought-provoking. On the one hand, many of the writers and people of that time are incredibly inspiring: I feel like their seriousness about things that matter, their delight in things that truly are wonderful, their utter humble awe and deep devotion for God and their carefulness with private and social obedience leave me with a lot to match. On the other hand, some of the prevailing attitudes (seen in their own writings and actions, not the caricatures, which I know are largely false) of the heroes of those centuries seem not to be necessary or helpful--even if really sincere--or to be things that we would want to take up in our living and our culture. And some things are just unbelievable.

But I always feel wary of how influenced we are by our culture. If such godly people (many really seem genuine and admirable in many ways) in different times are so sure, then how much of that feeling comes from my context? How much from the Bible? The issue of interpretation can be difficult, with something that's intended as such a blessing of absolute truth and authority for us. I guess it's just important to know how to live as real people in a real world, and not to use the concept of the 'spiritual' as our weapon and shield when we should be relying instead on God himself, who makes so many good things free and safe (how much I've had to learn this!); but we also need to really be a lot more careful and deliberate than we often are, and sometimes make some harder calls than we do, now so afraid as we are of losing the liberty we feel we've recently reclaimed.

It all comes down to an awareness of real grace; it's also a cultural thing. I love that I know so many people within my culture who do life pretty well with God and people. But realistically, there are still so many areas now that seem grey--and you can make decisions about what's helpful or not so for yourself, but then when others call you to make a standard for them (or to decide you shouldn't, with all the implications of that), and also to justify why what you value and do is important, it becomes much more complicated. Then you can think you have it right, but look again and realise you're missing things in your blind spots. I love what I've already seen of grace in community, but I also don't think we can ignore the helpful mirror in the lessons and values of our heritage. You certainly can't just discard it, or read it through a modern glass without really making sure.

I'm going to need to keep thinking about this one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I usually find myself having just nothing to say in reply.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

mama says he's bona fide.

I've been thinking that I want to become very, very honest. Even though I do try to be a deliberate truth-teller, and in my relationships, while I still have much to learn, I've been led to be much more real and open--still, I know there's a place of courageous security and costly valuing of genuineness, complete allegiance to the goodness of simple truth, that it's easy to slip from if you're not careful. I've felt this recently, especially when I've walked away from conversations with people I don't know too well: I've been literally honest, but have I been real or misleading? Even if you're being careful until people build trust with you, I think there's a large degree of raw honesty that is safe and shouldn't be lost to insecurity.

And even in simple truthfulness, I think you find the lines become easily blurred when you feel vulnerable and aren't rooted in a deeper level of careful integrity. It can be easy to be shyly evasive, let people keep their assumptions, protect ourselves from trouble or seeming weakness, and try to give an impression that keeps the doors of interest and relationship open with people. But if only I realised how safe I am--and how a lot of the time truthfulness is attractive anyway, or at least allows the freedom of taking responsibility for parts of who you are, what you value and what you do. Imagine living with the realness, security and wisdom of the life that is offered to us, no strings attached. I feel challenged in this right now, and am going to try to catch myself on it and make sure my heart hears and learns :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

of hope.

On the train today I read the first few months of Bonhoeffer's 'Letters and Papers From Prison', with his essay 'After Ten Years' at the start. It's making me think. I'm reading it for my Twentieth Century Politics and Culture essay, on the effect of Nazism on Protestant Christianity in Germany. Was excited to find this question on the list.

I'm being challenged by his letters. Some of his ideas take some thinking through; but the thing that is striking me is the challenge of maturity that hopes, trusts, and actively freely chooses obedience that rests completely on dependence. Sometimes we can have such an ideal view of how life and goodness should be, but we forget to be truly, deeply established in the essential goodness of what life in God always is--so there's weariness, disillusionment and weakened resolve where the world groans in its fallenness. Sometimes we obsessively shelter ourselves from discomfort, or engage with it only out of fear. I want to live more full of joy and awareness of the unfailing, unconditional affirmation of God's love and support of me in all I need, of his understanding and compassionate sovereignty over the things I'll face, so that I can choose to embrace his call in each moment with resources that I need not worry are my own, and with courage that knows both reality and promise very well. Sometimes I feel fretful or discouraged, but this is a habit with no real basis, and one that it will be safe to learn to discard. I love how close a companion our God is when we walk with him.

Walking home just now, the afternoon was absolutely beautiful. I'd forgotten this half of the year, and have fallen completely in love with it all over again.
When April’s sweet showers drench March’s dry roots,
And bathe every vine in the power
Of the rainy liqueur that brings forth as its fruit
The blossom and bloom of the flower;
When the West Wind as well, with his fragrant bouquet,
Breathes life through the woodlands and heather
Into budding green leaves, and the young sun’s halfway
Through the Ram, bringing warmth to the weather;
And small songbirds twitter melodious tunes
(For so nature pricks them to revel)
And sleep open-eyed by the light of the moon,
Then folks feel a longing to travel...