December 18, 2009

true story

we saw her before we even came in the door-

throwing her whole buxom body into each stroke against the inside windows of the pierside cafe.

"just sit anywhere that's clean," she said proudly as we came in the door.
"we have two drink specials this morning: margaritas and bloody marys."


"we also have coffee."

December 17, 2009

slapdash #4: grace garland

i have noticed time dripping down my face recently, leaving little line trails by my eyes. it might be the weather drying my skin out or whatever, but i see a changing face.

i rather enjoy the changes. my plump adolescent face never proved the beauty it should have at 20 anyway. the skin clings to the bone a little more, more at home. bone, meet skin, skin bone: "how do you do?"

as far as i'm concerned, it feels good to grow into my face. the body hurries excitedly along, pushing borders, thirsting God, creasing skin. it is only the fool who thinks the best is behind and the purpose mute. it is only the fool who longs for immaturity and a baby fatted face because somehow innocence once rested there. the best innocence i have found is grasped for yet, and stands our victor's garland after all has ceased its thirsting.

the best innocence is a gift that no youth ever earned.

December 6, 2009

viva la.

this entire excerpt is from josh garrels' blog.

i am inspired:

"it's better to have a little and be content, than to have amassed stock piles of ill gotten gain, this is what wise king solomon once said. yes, we're the small ones, and we're moving somewhere beneath the worlds power and influence. relatively undetected. within random rooms and forgettable cities we work quietly, using what resources are within reason, pushing and exploring the parameters of our less than perfect instruments and surroundings...and thoughts. we're hoping to handcraft something, anything, that has integrity and purpose, even if its made from another mans trash. 'those who are full loath the taste of honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.' we're living within a gridlocked structure, a system that is loathsome and full, that refuses to feed its inhabitants with anything of substance. and now, we little ones are hungry, and we're digging through the trash heaps and roaming the forgotten woods; searching, stalking, and slowly banding together to survive on the bitter roots and bread crusts we happen to find and share. we are joyful and content with what we've been given, as we sit around the fire sharing our stories, pictures, and songs that bare a reflection of the lives we've chosen to live. with love, and respect for one another we'll find the meaning and purpose embedded in life once again. for the answers the psycho-systematic spokesmen have sung to us have been as empty as our stomachs, and we're tired of chewing on that meatless bone. the devil cannot feed us true food because he is the little god of emptiness, the god of what is not. but there's manna from heaven, free and fulfilling, for all who have been led out of slavery."

November 21, 2009

slapdash #3:

Peter's first breath contains this to us:

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the dispersion...[who are] elect according to the foreknowledge of God..."

the king james version uses the word "strangers" for pilgrims, which i find harsher and thus more appropriate. "elect" simply means "picked out, chosen."

to us, these ideas next to each other are risky and uncomfortable. "lets be honest," peter says, "you people have no home here. you feel the cold. you feel the distrust of the world. you feel an ache for the home you are told you have...

but do you know what?

you were picked out and this is part of it."

the world scorns you to your face. overwhelmed. scattered. questions. lusty for direction. when to make eye contact.

but this is all very intentional and calculated. you feel displaced because YOU ARE. and its no accident, so feel chosen because YOU ARE. you have to mix both, or despair will ensue. you have to mix both because God made it that way and fools are the only ones who think they know more than He would about the subject.

"the meek shall inherit the earth," the psalmist said. implied is the fact that it isnt theirs yet, and it wont be until it is given. they, these meek ones, live on hope and promises...dare i say faith?

we may be strangers, but our company is good
and our life more than food or cloth.
our eyes will adjust to the preoccupied distance they were meant to hold
like deep heaven.

November 17, 2009

slapdash #2

"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. and above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. be hospitable to one another without grumbling." -1 peter 4:7-8

does the phrase "fervent love" smack any one else around but me?

the definition of fervent (greek): stretched out, intent, earnest, assiduous

the definition of fervent (english): having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, enthusiasm, etc.
-hot; burning; glowing.

what about the word "assiduous" up there-
english definition: constant, unremitting, working diligently at a task, persevering, industrious, attentive.

have i ever loved anything like that...other than myself?

these definitions kick my butt, though not on their own necessarily. i am shamed and challenged when these definitions are combined with thoughts of the people i know who love others FERVENTLY. these people that i think of may not even know how fervent their love is- but they are obsessed with it- intent on it- wondering always how the broken masses of flesh around them can be bettered- unburdened- cared for like gods.

when i was talking to ian about this, he brought up 2 peter 3:10, 12 where peter says that as the world ends, the very elements will "melt with a fervent heat." when i think of how busy the heat will be reducing all we know into ashes, i realize i have a long way to go if i want to love people like that- like jesus did.

fervent heat is what it will take to melt the world, both in its substance and its cold, awkward loneliness toward God. the earth will burn like the star it is- may our love do the same. may the space filled with struggle between each other as brothers and sisters, melt and recede until we forget the "multitude of sins" that we kept there.

November 9, 2009

slapdash #1

Apparently the tide came in like crazy yesterday.  I have to admit, I was a little depressed when I got out of my truck to survey my running terrain.  There were inlets and pools of water marooned on the mushy sand as far back as the dunes, which meant running on the beach was going to feel like running through a world made of porridge.  The tide had worked greedy fingers through every level part of the wide shore, leaving confused water trails very far from the wind blown, raging ocean with no promise of return.

There is a verse in Job 38 that I love in a very "tell me a story" way and I thought of it as I stared in disappointment at what was going to be a very rough workout.  In the verse, God is teaching Job about Himself by asking rhetorical questions about His greatness. He speaks of His control over the very borders of the ocean:
"Or who shut in the sea with doors...when I fixed My limit for it...and said, 'This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop.'"

It's as easy as attending a Sunday school class to discover God's history with the world and floods, and how He promised to never destroy it by deluge ever again.  He promises us He's got the ocean handled and we don't have to worry about it overflowing onto the whole oxygen breathing world's living space.   What once overtook, is now bound in and reigned by His decree and this fact is very comforting.  All of us who live here near the ocean are glad that it answers to His commands and that He is on our side... especially those who build houses next to the sea!  

But while I was doing my best to jog my way over a scarred and whimpering beach yesterday, I could feel the question of flood and boundary gnawing at my muscles.  No, the water will not go past His decree.  And for most of the year that decree is nicely placed in a predictable part of Morro strand with no sign of changing.  But when the water comes where we didn't expect it and wretchedly alters the path we're on, did it disobey or did He decree it?

Sometimes our nice, predictable, carefully coddled world feels more water and more wave than we prefer.  We hate it that we have to pick our way through a landscape made more difficult to traverse by what seems like a sudden mistake on the topography.  Why is this water here?  It's never been here except for today when I decided to drive a half hour to take a run on this beach!  Why is this struggle here?  I thought things would be one way and they are another.  

Let's simplify what goes on in our heads.  These surprising roadblocks that mush up our path force us into one of two modes of thinking: either God decreed this inconvenient and seemingly random change in the landscape, or the elements of the world are more powerful than Him and were able burst His established mode.

If the sea was able to break His bounds, then He really isn't in control and thus really isn't God like He says He is, and we might as well throw in the faith-towel now because He lied about the whole thing.

But if God did decree this temporary touch of water to land (I'm gonna go with this option), then the question becomes one of motive:  Is He is out to get us, or out to prove us.  Is He out to take us down or to strengthen our resolve.  Hopefully we know enough about God to trust despite circumstance that love love LOVE is His motive.  It is a fatherly, wise love that says, "I know you want an easier trail.  But here are some stronger legs you'll gain by a longer, sandier route."  And if we can get to the point where we believe that a harder life or path does not equal an unloved-by-God life or path, then we will have grown in our faith indeed.

I hope that you have tasted enough of God's character to know that If God is who He says He is, then as we show up to unexpected rough workouts and rough patches of life it is for us to choose to purely believe Him.  It is for us to choose to let go of our inner control-freak and tread joyfully, submissively and willingly over altered, difficult terrain.  This is possible only if we are absolutely convinced that this terrain is formed for us by a God who truly loves us.  It's simple and very radical, and in my opinion, just crazy enough to work.  

May the God who writes our days and forms out path freely change our reaction to change.

November 6, 2009

yarrow and note roper

my lovely roommate, mo, and her dad are geniuses with music and lovers of God. because of these simple facts, their worship song "You comfort me" has been selected for publication in Worship Leader Magazine and will come out on a cd called Song Discovery Vol. 81, which is pretty keen if you ask me. they share the cd with the likes of matt redman, evan wickham, etc.

mo and her dad (along with her sister and fellow artistic genius, colleen, who designed the cover for the ep) decided to use my yarrow painting as the main theme for the cover of the ep and the website, which is also pretty keen in my opinion :)

you can (and get ready here, because this is pretty schnazzy), not only go to mo and her dad's website and see the painting in action, but you can also buy the songs her and her dad wrote and recorded off itunes.

the website (because i'm not cool like robin and dont know how to imbed things slyly) is:

and on itunes type in "bare roots worship" and you'll find the ep they recorded in nashville.

i like the fact that God is so creative, that innocuous and random objects of life- a musical tone, a song, a yarrow painting- has the lofty hope of somehow spreading His love.

October 13, 2009

la valise turns one

this time last year i was living with 6 other females (if you think that sounds crazy, you're smarter than i was) in a non-insulated back room across the street from chico state university.
i was drawing naked people in a figure drawing class
and watching the chico trees themselves undress
reading les miserables and the chronicles of narnia
running everyday to keep my sanity
day dreaming about slo
ripping pages from a cheap bible to paste on the wall
trying to keep cool, then warm
trying to believe that life would not always be so gnarly.

and now, 13 months later,
i have an address in the town i love
only prayers to pay my bills
(i complain not, i assure you)
half the roomates
twice the recipes
the grapes of wrath
a summer spent with my jesus beneath a fig tree in my friend's backyard
a red hair boy who sat under that fig tree and wept

and the tree outside that was blighted by the heat, but decided not to give up and grew new leaves in october anyway.

an excerpt from my first post:
"i shall embrace my fate as a pilgrim, tethering myself loosely to this one stationary a kite, i guess. tethers are great because they help you remember where you're from, and that the wind will not always carry on so forcefully...they are a hope that someday you will be reeled back in."

and in the meantime, i bake. today is irish soda bread made with white whole wheat flour, bob's 10-grain cereal and flaxseed...

you gotta love the irish for the crosses in their bread

September 24, 2009

i see you over my open book

i see you over my open book
folded in half
still in the chair
the floor a desk
each hand
playing each your toes
biting your thumb
over careful lines
and feet of space
which is rolled over itself again
until you find me out

i see you over blighted leaves
crowded with hope
glorious, prone,
fissuring laughter
surrendered pause
and will
for they are yours-
these rights to linger
trying not to be afraid
like you
for you
as you find me out

August 20, 2009


the sweet and commendable ian returned from his long voyage on the sea...  

bearing a grin on his face and a 25 lb bag of Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour on his broad shoulder.

by the end of a surprise visit from jinell, 8 or 10 grocery bags full of food presented themselves on my kitchen counter as an anonymous retaliation to my current financial strain.  someone bought me food out of the kindness of their heart and God's, and sent it with jinell as a phantom donor.  it was totally stuff i would eat too- healthy this, vegetable that, white whole wheat the other thing.  there were even a couple chocolate bars  (*drool****).

by the end of the day, i was called to schedule an interview for today for a job at the rocky mountain chocolate shop downtown.

i learned of the salvation of a friend.  the tears of his surrender making the air redolent with the furious love of the crucified one. 

i am fueled by the stern and sagacious proverbs, who redden my face with conviction and send me seeking back to the arms of a God of grace.

August 5, 2009

pigeon post

i dont know what to say
so you send me postcards

and joke about homing pigeons
and how ginger is a fine spokesman, indeed.

July 15, 2009

see robin? i'm trying to be disciplined :D

here's a little 8x10er  i did today-
something about poppies...morning...i'm still thinking of a title.

the stems are phrases from an old book.


update on the yarrow painting: 
sara said she had been coveting it for days, so i sold it to her!  
this painting i'll sell for 25 dollars (or trade for something cool) in case you're interested.

you're right, janelle...i should get some kind of etsy thing going...later maybe.

July 13, 2009

seeing yarrow

being jobless does funny things to you...
this time its a painting of the yarrow flower.  love love love yarrow.

i have a vision of doing a whole series on the yarrow flower, but my visions are usually based on the fictitious strength of the disciplined side of me.

it is the stuff of faery tales.

(yarrow detail)

there's nothing about this painting that's original, really, but i had a good time doing it.

aaaand....this is the mint i'm drying for tea on the clothes line in sara's backyard.

aaaaand...this is the biscotti i made this morning: 3 forms of ginger.  fresh, crystallized and powdered.

i have been reading matthew 6 lately.
over and over and over.
the fig tree in the backyard is fruited half-way, 
finding water somehow through her ancient root fingers.

and though i have carefully watched,
i have not seen the birds building storehouses yet
nor the garden tremble in toil

July 4, 2009

the why: an addition to my previous post

so the question is why.

why quit coffee?

i know coffee isnt good for you.  i've known this for a long time but in faithful adoration to my treasured brew have not been willing to face the facts.  love thinks no evil.

i was doing some yard work for a lady on wednesday, and on thursday my wrist hurt really bad...i thought i had really messed it up.  and i got to thinking about WHY a person my age would be experiencing a body that is MIA as far as holding itself together under only slightly more stressful activities than normal life.  

and then i thought back to my favorite morning love...and how it leaches calcium and other minerals out of one's bones...and how my dear old mom's gene contribution left me with a nice brittle frame for this body i'm in... a how i dont have any health insurance.


i just think it's time.

it doesnt mean i wont social drink the stuff.  i mean, seriously.  i have certain friends that will only be my friend if i drink coffee with them, which is fine by me to be sure.  i'm definitely not above that mindset.

but the whole acid headache addiction thing...tut tut.
i must live with open eyes, so that i CAN make it to the age of 87 (or sooner) where i WILL, at that point, do whatever i feel like which will include gallons of coffee.

so rest assured, loved ones.  it is a valiant battle.

July 3, 2009

lonesome coffee cup

i cant believe i'm saying this, but i'm going to try to quit coffee.

i know, i know.  you've already decided i cant do it.  well, you know what?

you might be right.

there's something to be said for giving such a sad state of caffeine-free humanity your best shot
(hee hee...shot...never mind.)

and i already have a headache from my half caff situation of this morning...
so you can officially feel welcome to pray for me.

but i swear, if i make it to the age of 87, it'll be coffee breakfast lunch and dinner from there on out.

goodbye, my sweet, acidic, calcium robbing panacea...know that you are my favorite habit i've ever tried to quit...we shall meet again when my knees are in the Jordan and maybe i'll let you row me to other side.

June 26, 2009

Just Do Something

today i have a treat: my friend mo is a guest author on my blog.

she graduated with an english degree at cal poly, so be sure to judge her accordingly (just kidding mo :)

I want to buy a thousand copies, stand on the corner of Higuera and Garden, and kindly hand one to every single person aged 18 to 30 who passes by.  Of course, I might hand them to some people over the age of 30, especially if they happen to be male.  I am talking about a wonderful book that I read two days ago called "Just Do Something."  It is quite timely, especially the part that encourages guys to seek wisdom, get a job, and get married sooner rather than later.  A very necessary encouragement to those of us in the "tinkerer" generation who love Jesus and are trying to live our lives for Him and for each other, rather than ourselves.  So go by a copy for yourself and everyone you know who is sitting around trying to find God's perfect purpose for their life, paralyzed with indecision and fear that they will somehow make the wrong decision. It worked for me. Okay, so I'm still unemployed, but I have serious plans to move...hey, can you blame me? I'm a tinkerer and after all, I'm only 23.  

June 14, 2009

martin has a crack

yep, my martin has developed a crack.  right down the front center of it.  seriously: whose guitar just CRACKS?  whose MARTIN guitar just cracks?


sometimes your good friends just fall apart.
we must forge on.  

June 11, 2009

"sleeping diagonally"

i appreciate the fact that there are a lot of things about God and being human that are mysterious.

like the latter half of this verse in psalm 139:
"when i awake, i am still with You."

i've been a christian for, like, ten years and i still dont understand why David randomly throws this stray conclusion in among his musings of how numerous and precious God's thoughts are to us.

i do have some ideas though-

the phrase "i am still with" means "again and again, repeatedly: an action, hardly intermitted, is repeatedly begun anew."   like breathing maybe.

lovely, right?  
my awareness of You becomes fresh all over again.

but i just think it's weird that he makes the implications that he does in this verse.  what does sleep or wake have to do with God staying or going?  it still speaks to me though, deeply, as good poetry should- maybe because the implied conclusions of our own thought processes really are this odd.  

the only idea i can picture in my mind is this:

two seconds into your newly acquired consciousness for the day your mind is pummeled by the fact that you've got to be late for something.  Seconds number three to five of your consciousness then is spent in INSTANT PANIC choking down a gasp while reaching for your clock/cell phone to figure out-for-the-love-of-crimini  what time it is.  

dont worry.
its 6 am.
you dont have work till 8.
you were stressed for nothing.
in the summer time the sun comes up really early, remember?

you let out a sigh from the gasp you were holding in and instantly relax your entire being in full body relief.

maybe thats the experience that David was talking about- not in the physical sense so much, but (and here's where the poetry comes in...dont be afraid...poetry is good....gooooood...nothing to be worried about) in the sense that when something slumbering inside you jolts to life in instant panic, it wonders if this whole time it was sleeping alone and what might have happened to it unawares while it was dozing on the job.

and we all know how rational a newly awakened anything is:
"maybe i missed Him...maybe He got tired of waiting and left...Maybe he gave up on me...Maybe i'll never get Him back....Maybe i screwed up my own life by ceasing to be aware of Him for a while and now its all over..."

"maybe" is a cruel word, full of fear.

and in the panic we gasp and reach for the indicator that will tell us if He is still there...His hand, His face perhaps.  and our hand touches something solid and familiar and warm and our body gives itself permission to lay off the adrenaline.

and in David's world, this is an again and again thing- like some people's compulsive habit of checking for their keys to make sure they didnt lock them in the car.  

and every 
single time
i realize You are still there...
i didnt screw up for good...
i didnt lose the one thing i have worth living for in You...

i didnt sleep alone after all.

May 21, 2009

cas mcshady

view from van Gogh


"i wear my suuunglasses at night"

dang.  i have too much time on my hands.

last final tomorrow!

May 20, 2009


i wish i would have made toast this morning.
the coffee is shuffling a geriatric pace through my blood and has spitefully neglected the region of my brain.  the morning is a promise of cooler, normal weather- like a last meal before execution.

"here ya go.  here's some comfort before the heat.  drink your coffee while its still cold enough to enjoy it."

we walk like musical instruments across our second story college apartment, lovingly referred to as The Tree House.  it must be like listening to a Balkan garbage can tuba band from the apartment beneath us.

and last night, when i dared to play guitar in the delicious gloaming of the warm night out on our shared  porch, the neighbors opened their window to listen, saying when the noise bleeds through the walls they quiet down and eavesdrop.  

and today, i am Abraham all over again.  at least in his beginning sense.  "here's for today, Abraham: go.  dont try to understand or plan.  just go and live."  permission and command.  command and permission.  

It reminds me of driving across the salt flats when i was 14 and we were almost out of gas so we couldnt listen to the radio or feel conditioned air.  
it reminds me of lying in bed when i was 18 years old the night before i left for bible college, wondering.
it is blank canvas, picking the colors in my mind...wishing You would pick them for me.  my imagination is not a long distance runner.
van gogh eating yellow ochre oil paint at San-Remy.  a childish wish to take the color into himself.

by this time next week, the long dark dream of chico will be over.  i want to lay my head on a rock and live somewhere between esau and a withered hip socket- watching the ladder carry traffic from Him to me.

"surely the Lord is in this place and i knew it not."

May 19, 2009


it would almost be easier to talk to You if You were only half listening
like everyone else
like i assume You are

and me with my new type of perjury
lying thickly to the teary child face
still poised on Your knee
still attached to me

but sometimes, faintly
i know i've slipped away from the cruel falsehood
of Your diverted attention
and arrive breathless from fleeing

i cant remember what i came here to say 
now that i believe 
in Your nearness

but how can anyone be awkward around You?
how can anyone feel at a loss with You?

maybe i didnt lose my words and my thoughts
maybe i just dont need them.

finally surprisedly willingly confined in what i came for
realizing that it was 

and simply

this whole time

May 7, 2009

the parking meter i drew that day

parking meter in ball point pen.

what a symbol of frenzied, restricted time this thing is... kinda like my time here i think.  try and try to make it beautiful and its still just a parking meter, counting time, gray and metallic, void of person or passion.

i have grown exceedingly discouraged with the course of my life right now.  i don't see the point of getting twelve grand into debt over an art degree.  

pray for me if you think about it.  

May 4, 2009

the brotherhood of man

"can i see what you were drawing?" came a voice from beneath the shaggy blonde haired head that had been sitting at the small table to my left since i started the picture.  he had come in from sitting outside where i had walked past him a quarter hour before into the coffee shop.  i had noticed him because i always notice shaggy people who mean to be shaggy- they have the look of a forest animal so proud of its winter coat that it will stand unflinchingly in the snow.  maybe its a hippy thing deep inside me trying to find my own kind.

"ya, sure," i said furtively.  good thing i had been drawing something worth looking at this morning...its not always like that.  i never know if its a scrimmage or a game day with drawing.

today, it was the parking meter batting its flashing zero eyes at me from just outside the window.  today would be working on tones with a blue ball point pen.  an emaciated hippy girl with a half-sleeve tattoo and a nervous cigarette flounced spasmodically in and out of my line of vision of the meter as she talked to her two seated friends outside.

holding my drawing up awkwardly and probably crookedly from his perspective, i held it up long enough for him to say, "i like it."  

"what are YOU doing?"  
"planning my day," the shaggy head answered pleasantly.  
i glanced quickly at his tattered notebook written all over with sloppy male handwriting: one doesn't look too long at personal thoughts.
"everyday i try to just sit and think about what would make up a totally amazing day- what i would REALLY want to do that day.  after i write it down and get it all out on paper, i go about my usual life and feel a little better about what happens."
"do some of your 'amazing day' things ever happen?" i asked as i packed up my sketchbook to leave for class.
"o ya," he assured me with a quick smile which i didnt take the time to enjoy.  i always wish for random people to talk to me and then i get all flustered when they do.

"well, i hope you have an amazing day," i said sincerely.
"i hope you do too," he answered in the same truthfulness.

"thank you," i muttered as i walked out the door to my own waiting day, taking with me a shared part of his.

ps.  the parking meter sketch will come later.  had to turn my sketchbook in for class.

May 2, 2009

aunty cas

my friend jen has a new baby bird-- silas jude.

i've never held a baby this small before!

cas, silas and his mum.

i'm in love :)

May 1, 2009

you can take the girl out of humboldt, but...

a guy with dreds who i was sitting behind at a cafe.  i love the one bead he has on that one dred. 

tree study at bidwell park

April 30, 2009


-painting on raw canvas

come home.
-acrylic glazing project

(i am an art major for at least one reason: how painting stuff like this takes you back to 3rd grade)
-modeling paste exercise

night. (bad photo colors on this one, as usual.)
-modeling paste exercise

April 20, 2009

some wisdom

dont fart in front of the oscillating fan

(unless you really mean it)


April 18, 2009


my dear Friend, i have missed You.

dear because i fancy to disagree with You
and fight with You
and wish my will for my own sake
and pretend quite convincingly that You can be unraveled just as You were wound

until to blush when i hear of You
like a flower that blooms at night
that You silently kiss and tuck in Your coat pocket
the one on the left, just by the heart
proving you noticed

until i wish of  Your bias
like the spot in Your mind that holds the music
tilted out in your own voice
my favorite voice
Your favorite grace
i'll just lay here and listen

just sing whatever you want

April 12, 2009

which hat?



i was wondering if anyone could tell me what i should be when i get around to growing up...

wondering if anyone had any good suggestions...
or strange suggestions...
or light and fluffy suggestions...


April 5, 2009

in progress

our assignment this time in painting class is to paint all the tones in on a picture and then to go over again with transparent color (kinda like coloring an old photograph).  this is stage one in the process that i finished up at a picnic table in the park today.  stay tuned for further stages.

i stole the picture from my roomate's vogue magazine, so i cant take credit for how amazing the image is :)

speaking of in progress, here's your verse of the day, kids...
in case we share the same fear that we'll outlive our chances:

"...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."

-or The Message version-

"there has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears."

April 2, 2009

art and and the finer aspects of obeying traffic signals

well kids, here's some art for ya

i put up two pictures of the same painting because it's really hard to take a good picture of a shiny canvas...the actual colors of it are somewhere between the two images.  the assignment was to paint without the use of white or black.  

this is an etching print, done with acid eating away at the spots i designate it to on a copper plate.  this will have more versions up soon because i keep changing the plate.  we  had a little student art show this last week and i actually sold this image printed on pages of old robert frost poems.  the money goes to the art department...but i think this might be the first piece that i have sold to a total stranger...kind of exciting :)

(in case the photo is exceptionally and characteristically crappy, it is a tree whose arm has turned into a typewriter while another arm types...the assignment was to make a surreal image that also gave the idea of space)

this is a "linocut," print which means on a linoleum block i carved away all that is white in the picture, inked it, and ran it through a press.  it's called "love your neighbor as yourself."  i really like this one but i think i only got, like, a B on it.

in other news, i almost accidentally stepped out in front of a bus today- 
i had just got out of school and my mind was completely distracted when i got to the corner i was going to cross that is in front of the school.  the sign going down the street said i thought that meant me...but my sign was red.  so i stepped down off the curb and looked left and this bus was coming super fast with its blinker on to go right.  since i thought it was my turn i was a second away from just stepping in front of it- i just thought he would stop because apparently i am a little to overtrusting of traffic lights.  through the haze of my tiredness i think God just stepped in and stopped me.  when i saw the bus go past me i realized how gnarly that could have been.  

it was surreal to walk safely across the street, knowing i had just escaped smearing my body all over the was like those books with two endings...or like a soul passing into heaven on a bridge over hell thinking, "that could have been me down there."  


let me tell you, that's enough to wake you up.

March 27, 2009

beer pong

in case you still wish you could be twenty again and in college, just know that the apartment next to ours is playing beer pong on our balcony as we speak.  i cant think of anything more annoying than beer on the breath of twenty year olds standing right outside our door.

hopefully, if you had forgotten how good you have it, this will remind you.

now if i could just convince myself of the same thing.

March 22, 2009

spring break and rugs

on the edge of the north american continent
(the ocean is beneath us there)
this view of the trees will most certainly end up in an art project
mo on my shoulders to take a picture
quite an expressive one, mo.

we may be smiling, but at this point we smell like campsite.  
the only thing running through our heads is the word, "shower."

well kids, school starts tomorrow at 8 am.

the first monday after spring break...o man.  pulling into the driveway of my apartment complex has never been harder.

the pics are from a weekend trip mo, her cousins and i took to big sur for her birthday.  un-bloody-believable scenery.  it reminded me of something i heard one time in some sermon some where about the beauty of our pure life in the garden before sin came- how God gave man the job to basically wander around and explore for the sake of exploring.  

to enjoy for the sake of enjoying.
a concept we made foreign almost as soon as the world was introduced to us.

"and now, for something completely different,"

 mo's family owns a rug business named "creative accents" and they had me sketch out some designs for them for some new rugs back in january.  while i was in tehachapi for break i got to see a picture of one of my rug designs in actual rug form... meaning from my sketch they made a digital template of it and actually made a rug from it and then photographed it for the new catalogue. 

there was my rug.  
in my hands on a piece of paper.
descended from a casual sketch i made on the side of my binder paper a year ago in community college.
i just held it and stared at it in wonder like it was a newborn child.
a true fruition of art....
i gave them 5 or 6 designs so we'll see what they end up using.

so stay posted, kids, and as soon as they have them up on their website you'll be the first to know :)
here's their website in the meantime.

and i'll have some more assignment art up soon.  
gotta get around to taking pictures of it.
gotta get around to real life again.

March 12, 2009

forest for the trees

i had a small epiphany while i was people watching at school a few days ago.

i was sitting on a bench under a redwood tree, thinking about the things  my painting teacher had said about her view of God.  she had said them casually and with sad eyes... how she'd lived too long one way to change and how the church is chauvinistic.

the opposition is in the air.  
so is the deep-seated pain.
from the second floor of the art building to the bench beneath the redwood tree to the .6 mile walk home, i cover my mouth to breathe.  
there is a feeling of being overwhelmed.

between watching people walk to and from classes to the rhythm of my ipod music (a surreal by-product of listening to music that isnt much faster than a heart beat) i read in matthew 25 about the sheep and the goats.  

maybe its the hippy in me, but i am a shameless liker of "the message" bible.  this is how it phrases Jesus' words to the sheep and goats:  "Then the King will say: 'whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me- you did it to me...whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me- you failed to do it to me."

in surfer lingo, we call a verse like that gnarly.

obviously what really struck me was the "overlooked and ignored section."  and how in real life it is a section.  a section of people about whom we are being watched, to see how we react.  Jesus reacted to them by BEING them.  one reason i read the message bible is because i know what the text says in the formal language; "the least of these my brethren" is what that section of people is called.

i realized that the caustic fumes brewing beneath our fallen beings will get stronger, but being overwhelmed for the lack of fresh air isnt the right response.  that's called panic.  it stops a  person from thinking straight.  instead, i think what Jesus is saying to me, to us, is to stop ignoring the needs of the people around me that i notice.  

"i was hungry and you fed me...i was in prison and you came to me," the rabbi says.  i found myself one way, and you wouldnt let me get away with it, even for just a moment, both emotionally and physically.

i have noticed that when a person really is able to show God's love to people, there is usually no lack of a hungry and lonely and thirsty section lined up for just a second's worth of pure, fresh light.  think peggy pottenger: need i say more.

its because a person who shows God's love isnt ignoring what he or she notices about other's needs just because its easier.  

i dont know.  i guess it helps sometimes to take the bigger picture and narrow it down to my part.  

its a funny feeling to have permission to miss the forrest for the trees.

March 7, 2009

horses and girl fights

i went to a training class today for some volunteer work i'm going to do in the next couple months with an organization that helps disabled people ride horses. 

maybe it has something to do with a childish wish for a horse, but i like the scene...i like the dirt...i like the work...the perfumey aroma of horse dandruff...the fact that we are helping disabled people have fun...the people...

horse people are hilarious.
there are a few types: 

-the wishers (thats me): wide eyed with wonder and the feeling of being 5 years old watching a parade...dreamy with visions of thousands of years of history born on the back of horses...wishing cars would go away forever and that a regression of transportation modes would take place.  i think it has something to do with being a girl, but i still dont know what the draw is. 

-the talkers: the people who really want you to KNOW that they own horses 

-the genuine: the people that own horses who dont care what you think or know (these are the ones you want on your team...they are also the ones who you dont mess with...they push around thousand pound animals and they arent afraid of YOU)

it felt lovely to get out of chico and feel like a human again (author's note: humans and students are different entities, and shifts can be made from one to the other in an osmosis-like fashion based on a combination of internal and external circumstances.  please do not mistake students with humans, and be sure to feed any students you encounter in the wild).  

i made a friend (actually God made a friend FOR me) who has 3 horses and she says she'll let me ride with her, which made me so excited i couldnt even see straight.  i must have REALLY looked five years old and wide eyed and dreamy when she told me that.  i was talking to her for like 5 minutes and she busts out with, "you've never ridden in an english saddle before?  well you should come out and ride with us [her mom was there with her].  let me get your number before you go."  

who does that?  

she's a high school student who is taking her senior year at community college.  she was telling me stories how she got so sick of the girls at school picking on her that she just started punching girls who picked fights with her.  like, literally decking them, which is funny because she's this skinny quiet thing.  she said after 5 or 6 fights, she didnt have anymore problems.

as you can see, my new friend falls into the third category of horse people as listed above.  she trains this thoroughbred that is 16.3 hands high...that means that if she was standing on one side of its withers and you were on the other, you wouldnt be able to see her...and she's an inch taller than me.  you would see horse shoulder.  thats it.  thats crazy.

March 4, 2009

the serrano incident -or- a short primer on the exfoliating effects of oatmeal

hey kids-
here's a new lesson of the day for you!

serrano peppers may produce a burning sensation on the skin if...i dont floats in the air after you cut it and it lands on you.

symptoms can be indicated by an acute burning sensation on the face, like how spicy things make your mouth burn...except on the face

exhibit A:
notice in this photo series how she has spread softened oatmeal (at the behest of her roomate) all over said burning area in order to alleviate the burning

note that she is probably not having as much fun as it may appear.  after all, her face was on fire.

this is a true story...
all i know is that i was cutting up a serrano for a curry recipe i found and a couple minutes later, this.
i have to say, rubbing soft oatmeal on your face is actually kind of amazing.  it smells all oaty and you want to eat it...except my snot was dripping in it from the whole burning face thing so i decided against eating it.
happy to say, the burning went away after like, 15 or 20 minutes.
so take notes, kids.  
this could be you someday.

February 25, 2009

tales from the sculpture lab

my design teacher is one of the funniest teachers i will ever have.

we are making these wire sculptures and he'll walk around putting any sculpture he can on his head as a hat.

during our critique of our geometric cardboard sculptures, any sculpture that looked remotely like a rocket ship was zoomed around complete with sound affects.

God bless crazy art people

the girl i sit next to said something about how he should do some sort of improv comedy act, so when he made his way around to where we were sitting i asked him if he had ever done any acting before.

"i got kicked out of acting class.  i was too amped up for them."
"is it even possible to get actually kicked out of an acting class?" i asked.
"well, i just couldnt help it.  everytime i did an improv act i would just have to swing in from the stage rope."

i just put my head down on the desk in soundless hysterical laughter.

God bless crazy art people.

February 24, 2009


its called "flowers destroy mathbot."

bloody amazing.
i dont even know who did it, but if i owned it i would hang it in my living room.

in other news, my hands are raw from my owl wire sculpture and stained from 3 hours in the print lab praying for and thus producing some satisfying miracles.  

the thought of spring break keeps me going.
the thought of graduating next spring keeps me going.
its sunny today so that helps too.
i painted a picture in a monastery orchard last week.
and with the help of my roomate and her boyfriend, managed to steal two bags of those oranges i've been longing for.

we are on the up and up.

February 13, 2009

God bless college

the life i am living now is hilarious.

just like this cardboard poster from the 80's that i found at the thrift store and carried back to my house in the freezing wind this morning (i'm sure you can imagine how fun that was).  i hope i can manage to keep this poster for the rest of my life.

and like those drawers in the background my roomate and i were too lazy too close.

and the 8am class on fridays.  friday.  friday.

and the invention of the subwoofer, which i didnt know until now, is the single largest cause for most of my anger.  Its not the sub in and of itself, but the sub in possession of the 20 year old neighbors around us.  it is strange feeling like a piece of technology is actually personally out to get you.  

someday cas.  someday you will have acres and acres between you and the screwballs next door.

and my sweet roomates who eat all the funny things i cook.  they are champs.

and the hundreds of pounds of oranges i stroll under every day.  left to rot right on the tree.

and the experimental art i'm making these days.  like this:

and this:
and my sweet jesus who will never leave.

"she looked pretty and happy and a little breathless, as though she had done a pleasant but dangerous thing..."

February 2, 2009

a day in the life



AAAAH!  whats that sound!

and why am i engaged in mortal combat with a large rat and his 2 mouse buddies?
i'm not.
class in an hour and its 7 am

cas.  how do you do this every morning.  why does the alarm know exactly what tone best enters dreams?

i cant feel my fingers or my nose.
past the two gauntlet inspired one way streets.
past the bars on all four corners of fifth and ivy.
broken glass

now to orange trees planted in the sidewalk bursting with fruit a mere 15 feet up.  a mockery to every malnourished college kid who hasnt eaten in weeks.
speaking of college, i miss meat. 
meat has nothing to do with oranges.
except for thats why you are up this morning walking in 40 degrees.  so that someday meat will fit in your budget.

its too early though.

January 31, 2009

bird in the hand

these are a series of 8"X8" square pieces that i did for my friend's new baby, silas.

i covered the canvases in pages from an old robert frost poetry book.  painted the birds and tree based on some fabric silas' mum sent me....added buttons...added orange stamped letters.  they are more "scrap-booky" than i would like, but i had an amazing time doing them.

i dont know how the blog will place them but they are a series.  from left to right it's brown bird, tree, and then orange bird.  and yes, those are real buttons.

in every room in the art building are a bunch of hand made signs that someone posted too high for anyone else to reach and one of them that inspired me to do these last night was a sign that said "doing art at 4am makes me happy."  so ya.  i stayed up till midnight making art.  i had forgotten how much fun that is.

some of the other signs are really funny too-- "not going to a snotty art school makes me happy."  "coffee and cigarettes make me happy."  "not fitting into the artsy stereotype makes me happy."  "knowing i will always answer to the title 'artist' makes me happy."  in class i always stare up at the signs wondering what grad student finishing a project at 3 am decided to grab a bunch of his buddies and a ladder and make the art rooms a better place.  

January 26, 2009

Thy name shall be called no more Jacob

well kids, just like you knew it would, it feels better already here.

i see now how much of a funny farm my old house really was.  you thought i would fit right in, didnt you.  but let me tell you, there are certain shades of crazy that will wreck a girl's complexion.  

its kind of amazing how different i am towards being here and even school itself than i was a month ago.  just a month.  

it was just a run on the beach actually that did it.
the day and 2 miles after art school fell through, i faced the sea because tears ache, like a river, to tell the ocean their secrets.

i dont know what made that time of prayer/desperation any different than the others, but the rocking horse snapped beneath my feet and something like submission (but lacking the metallic taste we have been taught to notice) knocked the wind out of the chase.
something consented.
something asked for a blessing.
something told me the touch on the hip was it.
the shrunken sinew
that to this day his people will not eat.
for i have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

God is superbly and perfectly mighty for just takes a "yes" to Him that you can feel down to your toes.

"and jacob went on his way, and the angel of God met him."

January 11, 2009

my light is blue, how bout you?

someday, while you are still wild,
this is what you need to do

-wait for full moon and ten o'clock.

-46: both the speed and the hwy.

-yo yo ma's applachian waltz and beethoven's moonlight sonata (God bless the obvious).

and no head lights.

bloody amazing.  
you feel like you're flying.

January 3, 2009

rachel hazel

before i left tehachapi two days yore, mo and i decided we would each write a murder ballad before we saw each other again.  why?  because music that tells a story is interesting...and plus how could you not love an old fashioned murder ballad?  just ask townes van zandt or gillian welch.

here is mine.  see if you can put the pieces together.
(keep in mind it is set to music.  poem wise it doesnt do itself justice...i like it to music much better)...

rachel hazel

rachel hazel eyes like her mother
true as the clouds in the lake
that storm and wind and plates and glasses
just arent sufficient to break

where would you find it if it still existed?
what part would carry the blame?
where would you find him if he still existed?
feeling the sky in the lake

o, how she slept
that night in the bullrush
dreaming of how the waters close

rachel hazel binds on her bible
true as the words she wont take
the wind forgets us still as his  breathing
out through the clouds on the lake