Greetings. I've been away for good reason: productivity. Long story short, I had a mid-semester melt down and realized some things needed to GO if I was ever going to finish what I'd set out to do. (Said that last phrase in my head with an air of Julia Child.)
8 classes, 22 units. It's a lot...so I decided not to watch TV. Duh, right? Well, it took some gentle prompting from the Holy Spirit for me to realize that TV was a waste of time in this season. He is so good, our God. A breath.
So I've been doing a lot of homework! And guess what. I've been enjoying some of it, particularly my reading for American Lit II. My Bildungsroman class, I like to call it. My new nightly ritual is: work 'til 9:00 or so, grab a bit of dessert, light the lavender candle, and read from one of my Anthologies 'til I doze off. It's been working out marvelously since I need to get reading done anyhow and knew that when I gave up TV, I would have to replace it with some other relaxing evening-time activity. I am thankful, very thankful.
And I've been absolutely captured by good writing. I always derive great joy from a well-put-together sentence (unlike this particular one). Last week, I finished Willa Cather's "My Antonia" and fell in love with the farm. This week is Nella Larsen's "Quicksand" and I'm really connecting with the writing style. I read this sentence yesterday and clutched my heart. This is how I feel about spring!
"Little by little the signs of spring appeared, but strangely the enchantment of the season, so enthusiastically, so lavishly greeted by the gay dwellers of Harlem, filled her only with restlessness. Somewhere, within her, in a deep recess, crouched discontent."
And though my heart-clutch was one of joy in connecting to a character, the sentiment with which I agreed was a sad one indeed. Oh Helga Crane, I get you. The new life of spring is so heavy, isn't it?
And so I am inspired. I am inspired to write with more imagery. I am inspired to pay attention to my surroundings, and to take more photos, and to share with you what I see. So today, this is where I sit:
My old, provided-with-the-apartment kitchen table resembles a tie dye T-shirt one might make at summer camp. The "What is that, formica?", lifts off the simple plywood structure here and there, telling the story of the many souls who have used this kitchen for their 9-month school term. But the plants and the light and the good coffee make up for the drab table. For the yellow, fuchsia, red, and purple freesias I brought home from dinner at my Nana's last night sit contently in a mason jar, promising that this spring won't be all bad. They smell sweet, but they tickle my allergies just enough for noticing. My succulents in their yellow pot give me hope that I can keep a plant alive; maybe I will be a good parent. Books stacked up just beyond my inviting computer tell me that it's Friday. There is time to sit before I work...time to write and enjoy the coffee from a Disney Princess mug before it gets altogether too juvenile for me. The coffee is cold, but it will soon be refilled and fragrant again. My ESV version of the Word, Therapeutic Techniques text, and "Encountering Theology of Mission" tell the story of my mixed collegiate studies. I feel comfortable in my long peasant skirt-dress as I dream of cooking through "The Epicurean". Some dissatisfied girl downstairs whines though, unaware that her complaints are being published. She needs the gate opened. Oh, listen, a kind fellow answers her call. A deep breath brings me back to my kitchen: now crumby, asking to be cleaned. By Sunday, we will all have done our chores and she will smile again. My "Miss. Austen's quiet sounds" playlist sings and I am filled with peace. These are the sensations that make up my morning.
May you find something good to read this weekend and take a moment to notice your surroundings.