Tuesday, November 25, 2008


movies have been made about it. books have been devoted to it. songs, essays, badly-written fourth-grade state reports, well-written fourth-grade state reports, poems . . . hollywood, death valley, yosemite, salinas, the sierra nevadas. san francisco, los angeles, yreka, eureka, sacramento, palo alto, mckittrick, strawberry, temecula, marin, mono lake, mt. shasta. all day i've had the rufus wainwright lyrics on repeat in my head. and it makes me happy, makes me glad to live where i do and nowhere else.

I dont know this sea of neon
Thousand surfers, whiffs of freon

Aint it a shame
That all the world cant enjoy your mad traditions
Aint it a shame that all the world
Dont got keys to their own ignitions
Life is the longest death in california

Youre such a wonder that I think Ill stay in bed
So much to plunder that I think Ill sleep instead
Youre such a wonder that I think Ill stay in bed
So much to plunder that I think Ill sleep instead

'and God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.' -gen.1:31

Monday, November 10, 2008


it is not even funny how many times each day i think about this word. mostly thanks to a seed planted in my brain by my friend michele and, as usual, she's onto something.

life is all about expectations.

the last week or so, i've come home after work and been surprised to realize that i am feeling sad. not crying or depressed, but definitely what you might call down. uninspired. and that gets me thinking. what are my expectations for my new job? what have i been hoping for, and are those hopes realistic? (disclaimer here about hopes not having to be realistic and dreaming big, etc. etc.) why do i expect my job to provide me with so many things that i know, on some level, i cannot get from a job alone-deep personal fulfillment, rich friendships, constant intellectual stimulation? what would happen if i just let my job be a job? i bet everything else would be a bonus. i bet i would be able to take things much less personally, and that i would be excited when i had a great interaction with a colleague instead of going home disappointed that my day wasn't full of them. i bet i could do great data entry and free up time for my supervisors and still think creatively about publicity.

life is seriously all about expectations.

and not only at work, of course. if i don't expect my friends to be perfect, i will not be disappointed (mostly) when they are not. i will be free to respond with grace and love, rather than the insecurity and fear that is bred by unsynchronized expectations. if i don't expect my job to give me what God wants to give me, then i will be free to enjoy my career in meaningful ways and gratefully accept anything about it that goes well. if i don't expect perfection and mind-reading from my boyfriend, i will be free to empathize with him and be with him where we are, instead of worrying about where one or both of us ought to be.

if i expect God to keep his word on all that he promises me, i will be free to live the richest, loveliest, sometimes scary adventure that will send me running whenever i fall back on my own understanding.

it's all about expectations.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

m&m parade

when we were very little, my parents used to throw us m&m parades. they were very specific occasions, celebrating a specific achievement, with rewards and a walk around our house and a delightful little tune that went along with it all. and today, with my wilting 'i voted' sticker half-attached to my sweater and watching cnn videos semi-covertly at work and hitting refresh every five minutes on the color-coded map of america and talking politics with colleagues . . . today, i kind of feel like the whole country is involved in a huge m&m parade.
and while it's easier for me to say because i am aligned with the man who will be president, i hope that our country can pause a moment and put aside partisanship and celebrate the stiiiiinking incredible thing it is that we have elected an african-american as our leader, breaking barriers and shuttering fears centuries old.

that, and that most especially right now, is worth and m&m parade. amen.