More time

A break.

At last.

It’s a time for reading. A time for dreaming. A time for making. A time for doing all of those things that I craved during the semester.

Unfortunately all I have done is sit on a couch and become highly addicted to Bones.

A great show that I really recommend watching if you want your life to be sucked away from you and your thoughts to revolve around how to solve bizarre and often revolting murder cases.

Little by little I have attempted to become more and more productive. By that I mean, get away from the television.

So far I have baked Red Velvet cupcakes, slightly rearranged my new room, gone out to dinner, read a Bond novel (which was hilarious by the way), made felt flowers…and now I am becoming really depressed by how little I have to show for my holidays so far. Damn you David Boreanaz.

I need to get inspired again. Watch some Wes Anderson’s, draw more, discover new music, buy some new stationary, play with my handwriting, go to a gallery, write more.

Sorry for the randomness, but this is me hoping that a self-berating post will pressure me to actually do something.

Hurrah! Holidays!

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life

…and I’m back. Sorry for not posting in a million years. I’ll be back properly soon I promise! I’ve just been experiencing a lack of things to say and too much uni homework.

I had the opportunity to share my experience of Nepal, which I hadn’t really done yet and now I’m wishing I had done it earlier. So therapeutic.

I’m realising how blessed I’ve been this semester with my course. I was worried that when I came back from Nepal, I would end up separating that experience from my real life. Fortunately for me, God hasn’t let me do that! In one of my design subjects we talked about Advocacy and Design, the Developing World and Design, Sustainability and Design, and the Environment and Design. We also had a class about the lovely Michel Gondry, who I want to be friends with, but that doesn’t really relate to Nepal.

It seemed that in terms of Uni I haven’t really been able to escape these issues. I’ve also written an essay and learnt all about postmodernism, a discourse that I simultaneously am very grateful to, and hate vehemently.

I’ve learnt a lot, I’m a lot more aware of how this ridiculous Western culture that I kind of love and hate works, and now I’m not really sure where I am. I still trust that this course is what I’m meant to be doing for the next year and a half, but that’s all I know. Meshing my Nepal experience and my uni life with my home life is becoming increasingly difficult. And working out that tension between who I am and who most people know me to be is still a process I’m going through.

So messy.

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated. And I mean that. This blog is such a good space for me to process and think. There is something exciting about having a big blank page in front of you where you can write and create anything. Where you’re able to place a tiny fraction of yourself.  I’ll stop myself before I get too Jonathan Safran Foer. But, yes, writing is pretty excellent.


messy

Ah. Sorry I skipped last week. I was at the Surrender conference for the weekend and I had neither the metal capacity or the physical capacity to write a post. I was mildly exhausted.

My current status has not changed unfortunately, and mentally I can’t seem to hold on to a single thought for more than thirty seconds.

God. Love. Bookman Old Style. Objectification of women. Action. I really love Lykke Li. Incarnational. Reconciliation. Stories. Sharing. The West Wing. Immanence. Life. Grow. Change. Honesty. Newness. Work. Different.

Gah. My mind. Crazy.

I don’t really know where to go or what to say now. But I can say that I got excited this past weekend. I got excited and I got angry and I wanted to do something. I’ll go into that more when I can focus my attention fully and don’t have an assignment tugging on the back of my mind.


in this city

We talked about faith in church today and about getting into the Word of God. Which got me thinking about Nepal again.

Here are some fun little facts about the church in Nepal:
*There have only been reports of Christians in Nepal from the 1960s.
*By the 1970s there where at least 3000 Christians.
*Until 1990, Christians in Nepal were severely persecuted.
*Today there are somewhere between 500 000 – 1 000 000 Christians.

Wow.

When I was over there I had the privilege of visiting two Nepali churches. The first was a ‘mega church’, the other was held in a shed with about 4o people attending. One of the sounds I can still recall fairly easily from Nepal is the sound of hundreds of Nepali men and women singing the worship song ‘God of this City’ in their native tongue. It was beautiful and seemed so much more meaningful coming from them. The chorus of this song is:

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

Chris Tomlin

Such a powerful song to sing in a city and country that is so effected by poverty. And country where Christians are still being persecuted for their beliefs.In fact the whole bible seems so much more relevant in Developing Nations. We saw some of the stories and parables in the Bible being acted out. Lowering someone through the roof of a home seems so much more plausible when a roof just consists of tin foil, rocks and mud! Context is such an important part of understanding God’s word.

So how does this all relate to the message this morning? I think I was just reflecting on the different emphasis put on the Gospel in the Western World compared to the Developing World. It seems over here we struggle so much to maintain faith, whereas over there it is what they rely on. They rely on God to provide for them and their families. To save them from the poverty that is taking over Nepal. Here we have easy access to everything. And the illusion that we can manage on our own is easily maintained in a world where you can sit at a computer and order anything from food, to furniture. Because we have the tangible stuff covered. The spiritual stuff is easier to ignore or avoid.

It just interesting I guess. That different focus of message. If I didn’t have homework nagging in the back of my brain, I’d probably explore that a little more today.


Aged 8

And it’s Sunday again so it’s time for yet another wonderfully insightful post.

I promise not to rant this time.

I miss this. I miss walking up stairs to the top of buildings and seeing a whole other world. People reading, cooking, eating, doing homework,  doing washing, drying grain. I miss seeing new things. Hearing new sounds. Learning new words. It makes me think of this quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle.

Ladies and Gentlemen. I stand before you today because I never stopped dawdling like an eight year old on a spring morning on his way to school. Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn. I am a very happy man. Thank you.

It’s so easy to do this, to be amazed in a country or place so different from your own. I remember some Nepalese men and women laughing at a few of us on my trip who were fascinated by what turned out to be goat feed.

I miss feeling like that here, like an eight year old. Everything here is same old same old at the moment.

I don’t know what this post is about really. I was just flicking through some photos and then this happened. Maybe this is just something I need to be thinking about this week. Maybe you can think about it too. Hopefully this post isn’t completely useless. Ha.

 


no guilt

I feel like such a mess right now. Just all over the place. Putting together a coherent thought is hard. So please bear with me!

Over the last six months I’ve really been working through this sense of pressure and obligation I have to do everything right, whether that’s in a Church context or just life . I have to help run things. I have to live a certain way. I have to act a certain way. I have to buy certain things.

I’m starting to see how ridiculous this is.

I am twenty one. TWENTY ONE. Whatever happened to having fun? Just relaxing. Being a bit stupid.

I feel like at Church, our generation are all carrying this sense of ‘we have to change the world’. Which is great, but also kind of intense. There is so much pressure for us to live up to good Christian standards and set ways of doing things.

You love God? You have any sort of semblance of leadership? Great! Help us lead youth group! Run a small group! Lead worship!

I should clarify that I am aware that people are called to these things. Everyone has different paths and different journeys. And it’s great that the Church is really open to providing space for young people to grow in this. But however unintentionally this idea is being broadcast, it is still there. It’s like we go from 18 years old and in youth group, to 30 running events and groups for people only a few years our junior. There’s no room for making mistakes and mucking around. We have a reputation to keep up. Where did our 20s go? Suddenly we’re all married, driving sensible cars and going to bed at sensible hours.

Oh dear. This is turning into a rant. Let’s try again.

Your twenties is the season in life where you can relax, we’re not going to have this much total freedom forever. Responsibilities will come. And I don’t mean the kind that you can cram for and finish in one night. Full time work, mortgages, families, bills and grocery shopping that doesn’t involve a large percentage of bacon and chocolate is on the horizon.

Have a few drinks, go to a gig and have a dance, road trip, go for a drive at three in the morning, stay up all night and sleep all day. Have real fun!  Whatever that means to you.

God wants us to enjoy life right?

 


a fish out of water

Separator by Radiohead.

A new Radiohead album. I love these guys because their lyrics are written in a way that you can interpret them however you want to or need to.

I think at the moment, this song is speaking to me about this new perception of real life. Of the real world.

“I’m a fish now, out of water” and, “It’s like I’m falling out of bed from a long, weary dream. The sweetest flowers and fruits hang from trees. Just exactly as I remember. Every root. Every gesture.”

A scary new beautiful world that I need to learn how to exist and participate in.

Today at church I had the opportunity to pray with someone about how I’m going. About my fear of judgment and inadequacy. Of never being good enough. Of being the older brother in the Prodigal Son story.

The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

Luke 15:28-32

Trying to accept that there is nothing I can do to earn or lose God’s love, it’s unconditional, is kind of hard.  And today praying about this stuff I had the lyrics, “If you think this is over, then you’re wrong” playing in my head. Not in a condemning way, but like Thom Yorke sang it. In a sad, optimistic, bittersweet kind of way.

This is a journey. Something that I’m going to really work hard on with God. Not alone.