Monday, December 13, 2010
Imagine a small school gym and in that gym: five rows of chairs, an aisle, a cross, a tree of twigs, four lamps, a cello and guitar, and maybe fifteen people--our Blue Christmas service. The service was comprised of the call, complaint, and answer. We remembered that this time of year is not always fa la las and not always warm and cozy we remembered those that we grieve, and ultimately, the world we grieve for. "Things are not fine." "During this time, being sad is called being a scrooge--the sadness is just a problem in your head--but, really, things are not fine." And it's true. That is the reality. There is pain that surrounds, there are addictions that suffocate, and grief that seems endless. This, again, is the reality, but this is what the season of Advent was and is all about--waiting and hoping through the darkness and scarcity. But we are given an Answer. The answer is the Child--the child that was born, the Light that entered the world on Christmas day. Through Christ we are not guaranteed an easy, "fine" life, we are to be sure of hurting, sadness, loneliness, and pain, but through the humanity of that poor child who lay in a bed of straw (!) we see our own suffering and we are given a hope because of his life, death and resurrection of the Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
There is a poem that has been appearing over and over and over throughout this season. It is Wendell Berry's "The Slip" and (taking this directly from Seth:) it "captures well the nature of hope and longing in this glorious season:"
Monday, December 6, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Once in royal David's city
stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for his bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.
He came down to earth from heaven,
who is God and Lord of all,
and his shelter was a stable,
and his cradle was a stall;
with the poor, the scorned, the lowly,
lived on earth our Savior holy.
And our eyes at last shall see him,
through his own redeeming love;
for that Child who seemed so helpless
is our Lord in heaven above;
and he leads his children on
to the place where he is gone.
[I have to admit that the only Christmas albums I ever listen to are the Hark! It's Christmas! or whatever they're called by Sufjan Stevens. But Seth just dug up the Bright Eyes and Low Christmas albums! YES! totally indie!]
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I was reminded this morning that some of my closest friends/family are not around. And that I miss them. I couldn't name everyone, but if you are not inside our little home across from the park, I miss you. My friend Sarah Evelyn made Seth and I a collection of cds to play on our honeymoon as we drove across the different states we were visiting. Not only are these some of my favorite musics, but they are also potently transportable--I am transported to certain ideas, memories, and hopes whenever i hear them..again. Maybe that's just music's nature--to inspire something.
There is this song that gets me everytime. Not only does it practically speak for how I want to conduct our home, but specifically, right now, for missing and longing after friends and family, "there will always be room at my table for you."
lead you to my door
it will always be open
there will always be lights on
there will always be room at my table for you."
I feel very blessed. Happy Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
So. I love Jackson Pollock's work. I was initially enchanted I suppose back in 2005 when I took Art Appreciation at University of Nebraska and we watched the movie Pollock. Yeah, it's embellished, liberally, and might not be exactly representative of his process or what have you, but nevertheless, the struggle, the pyschology, the pain felt his his work and life was something perhaps I could sympathize with and could identify with. Maybe I saw his work (as Kahlo's) as opportunities for me--I didn't know at the time what those opportunities were but now I'm starting to see, through knowing the contexts and backgrounds of these artists, that these opportunities translate to understanding and being better able to be a contributing member of humanity. By seeing pain and having the courage to show it, in whatever form, might be a way for us to have those opportunities to help.
This semester, I've been a little bummed about the art we've learned about. Last semester I was positively moved by the work of Byzantine art and Renaissance work. Maybe because it was largely Christian which was congruently inhancing my growing involvement back into a church. So, as art moved away from worship to more a worship of man and vanity, I felt the stories behind the works to be...dull. I briefly was excited by the ideas that propelled certain modern movements (the focus on formal elements of a painting rather than the content--but I feel this can be taken too far), but nothing seemed that ground-breaking, meaningful, and substantial--maybe i feel this is what art should strive to be. Reaching towards some type of truth (maybe the truth that there are nontruths--is there such a thing? you know, like rejecting truth--which is a very real thing in the world. because in rejecting truth, i feel experience follows that shows the effects of feeling that there is no truth) Surprisingly to myself, I started to enjoy discussions about surrealism. I hate Dali's work--maybe just his painting technique and style but I find the reasons behind surrealism to be real, important, and something crucial for human experience. (Besides, before Seth and I were dating (way before) he would ask me to write dream poetry--that is, write as I was just drifting into sleep--this I have learned in Art History III is a type of Automatism!)
So Jackson Pollack, who is an abstract expressionist who was influenced by surrealism (psychology), is all the more important to me. I feel it's kind of a cop out for me to say that I love his work, because as someone who cannot render well, I feel its self indulgent of me to justify my work by respecting someone who had, for the most part, nothing figurative about his works. They were, in a way, just about the formal aspects of PAINT. BUT there is the other side of it. I learned today that his therapist suggested that he paint as a way to heal. And I feel its evident that there is struggle in his work. That's why I immediately feel uncomfortable or sad or overwhelmed by looking at his mural sized works. I'm not saying that pain is beautiful, but that a person is willing to share that pain into something that transcends words and pictures to something that is a guttural feeling of shared deep experience is something crucial to living. To healing. To being able to heal ourselves so we can in turn help others. Professor Fenton mentioned Pollock's footprints on the canvas, his temporary house paints used, and the fact that he wasn't interested in making lasting art (say, like the Greeks) but I take this as knowing our place as dust. The struggle that comes with that realization and what the hell to make of ourselves after that discovery. (that's my own take...maybe too much) Lastly, Fenton pointed out that being from Wyoming, Pollock was exposed to Navajo Sand Paintings. The nature of these paintings were temporary, being that the art was in the making of the painting, that the wind would blow it away after completion, or it would be deliberately destroyed. These paintings were for healing. The sick would sit in the middle while the "healer" created the art around the sick. Pollock, it can be inferred, was acting as both the sick and the healer. I think that's so profound. That's what I'm trying to do. Maybe that's why I get choked up by Gary's photo slide presentations, or when Dave says artists are the most normal humans on the planet.
We're struggling to understand and while trying to understand (this existence) we are able to make the decision as to how to live (good or bad). Art of all types, I hope, records these experiences of growth, discovery, and experience itself. Or not, because that is a valid option, too. (i say valid, not right or good).
Maybe this makes no sense. Sometimes it's really hard for me to know what art is for, but I am suddenly inspired and needed to write it down. Messy and maybe incoherent, but maybe there's some truth in here.
Anyways, it's time to go to photo (last class before break, thank God!). I am working on my final, and speaking of self indulgence, we are assigned to have a self portrait and supporting works to tell something about ourselves. Here's what I'm working on.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The holidays are coming up though and I find myself wondering how to celebrate them. It's this balance or something that I want to retain the things I've grown up knowing and doing while interjecting with some "new traditions." But can new traditions be called "traditions" like which I'm trying to do? I don't think they can be. Life needs to pass and patterns will surface--i suppose.
One of the newest things for us--something that's going to be radically different for me, is going to a new church for Christmas. I'm really blessed to be a part of a community who celebrate the Advent season, and I am excited to see how this period of waiting and expectancy will put us in a state of reverence and understanding. This way we are able to celebrate Christmas in a way that is not tinted by nationalistic ritual (buying!). Celebration during this time will rather be seen through the reflection and anticipation that Christ will come again.
On Saturday, I went with some friends up to the Abbey of St. Walburga since, as a church, we had been learning about various ways to worship (through our work/bodies/health/family/money/church). Seth has developed a relationship with the nuns over a couple years and so we got to have a nice introduction to the Benedictine abbey. "Prayer is our work, AND our work is our prayer." This way of living seems to embody what it is to Worship in our daily lives. Sister Walburga pointed out that they try to live moderately--that is, virtue starts with moderation, which is so beautifully stated since we as outsiders, might see an abbey or monestary as extreme versions of life--but their work is to be representatives of non Christians and Christians alike--their prayer is their work, and their work is their prayer. They live simply--they spend all day working (they run and maintain a grass-fed beef farm) only to be interrupted by the sound of bells to be called to the various times of prayer throughout the day. It is a true inspiration as to how to live our lives--simply, treating our work as our prayer, to pray, to welcome the stranger, to commit our lives to a group of people, and to live in Peace.
Now, it's time to go back to school.: to watch the film Tough Guise, to finish up my first abstract painting of the semester (yes! pictured: end of day 2), to take a test, and to work on my Self Portrait final photo project.
Monday, October 4, 2010
i need some encouragement but seth won't be home for another few hours. and I want my mom to say, "they can't take your birthday away." but she's in germany. sheesh!!!
I guess I'll find other ways to cheer myself up. Like talking baby talk to Julian, or looking at the mums and dahlias in and about my house,
make some dinner, and yeah, maybe remind myself of the final prayer we pray on sunday mornings,
"Send us out to the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord, Amen."
maybe that's how I'll get through tomorrow.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I have not always practiced this. I certainly try now and I certainly fail now, but I am trying to live healthily so that I can be a good person. I have found through years of struggling with what it means to be healthy, that I am more able to love and be happy when I do things like eat well, try to buy locally, and run some but not alot. Practically speaking, I am actually able to actively love abd when I have energy which comes from diet and exercise. But I will probably always kind of want to be "healthy" so that I can fit in tiny jeans, but hopefully I will be reminded that that will only go so far, and that this will only benefit (or rather, destroy) myself. Anyways, I love my salads and clean feeling foods, but that meatloaf smells real good too... What I really hope for is to be known as the really joy-filled, hard-working, and peaceful, Brooke Forwood: wife, sister, daughter, friend, student, aunt, and someday, God-willing, mom.
this kind of thinking also always refocuses me especially when I am having one of those oh so debilitating bouts of insecurity and selfishness. I don't need new clothes or a new hair color to be (and feel) better, I probably need to go outside pick some of our squash and make some soup for my friends.
Happy first Saturday of October...geez it is so beautiful outside.
(here's Father Steve's podcast if anyone wants to listen. http://web.me.com/thetenfoldcollective/Site/Podcast/Entries/2010/9/26_Eighteenth_Sunday_After_Pentecost.html)
Friday, September 17, 2010
I was thinking yesterday as I went home from school, and after a pretty successful developing session, how scared I originally was to develop film, and then how complicated enlarging seemed. The butterflies are gone and I am able to go into a darkroom feeling completely at home. I really really like it. I might not know exactly how to get a great print, but I'm working on it. And I like that. I used to dread going the studio (in fact, I still hate going in to finish paintings......grrrrrr), but going in on my day off for photo is a completely different story. I don't know if I've ever enjoyed "practicing" anything like I enjoy "practicing" the darkroom.
Now. Let's hope I can get the exposure time right.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Anyways, I just couldn't believe it: a Christian radio station that plays secular country western music. It's like they are suggesting perhaps the stereotypical assumption that, overall, country music is more wholesome than other genres (rock, pop, hip hop, rap). I argue: how can they elevate country to that level? It's kind of like they choose certain songs and pretend the others by that musician don't exist. Travis Tritt has some uplifting songs, I'm sure. But what about his song, "Girls Gone Wild?" (i looked it up. i was not convinced he was the most outstanding Christian figure, at least from my experience, these types of stations try to promote). What about Carrie Underwood's song about getting revenge at her ex? Sure, we all experience similar feelings, but that's not really a Christian virtue: revenge. This radio station, "God's Country" uses this tactic (taken from their website http://www.godscountryclub.com/index.html):
"Our approach uses the medium of Country Music to attract an audience that may have an aversion to traditional Christian radio. Through our use of mainstream Country icons like Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, we hope to capture mainstream America."
That's right. Lure them in, to "God's Country," which has bad connotations in and of itself, [if you've read my blog enough you should know what I think about people calling USA, a nation under God....plah plah plah. This is not God's special country. and country music is not God's music. The good ole country folk are no better or worse than anyone else.] with a misleading listen into what is good and wholesome.
I feel as though God's art/music/whatever should probably give a true look listen or feel into something. Wow. That says nothing but everything about what I'm trying to explore in my own studies as an art student. Certain things might not be appropriate, sure, for some viewers/listeners, but I feel real art is that that truely shows or gives..............And that art is what we as humans, as a society, as a culture are lacking maybe?
This could easily move into why Disney movies might be most inappropriate for children. What is true about those (where is the virtue in Cinderella?)? I'm not, at all, arguing that everything has to have a virtue to be art, but that it can't run around pretending that it does when it doesn't. OR maybe what I mean to say is, we should reconsider what we think is "good."
"God's Country" is a little strange, or maybe just a bit humorous. Dolly Parton (whose music I love) is on the homepage of their website. It's just strange to me that, from one who used to try to find secular-musicians-who-were-also-Christians I could look up to, that this site is essentially putting Dolly miss, "You'd be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap!" Parton on that pedestal.
Basically, if people want Christian art or inspiration, look at this or this.
Anyways. That's enough of that. I walked into my house after a great day at school to the smell of our crockpot simmering away. I had almost forgot that I had started it earlier today. It smelled like what I think a Grandma's house would smell like....it's been a while.
yummmmmmmmm. time to eat.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
But then I have these other stupid classes that are demanding my attention. And after this semester, I will have more stupid classes. Really. I don't want to paint. I don't want to learn history (I used to love both of these thing). So when I looked at my outline of the next three semesters, and realizing that my time is going to be more and more constricted, and that money is going to get more and more tight, I convince myself that school is irresponsible. I am not contributing, I am draining our funds. And all this money is going purely to something that I might fail at.
I'm not going to drop out. But that's my natural escape.
This was my train of thought this morning. Desperation, insecurity, fear. But then I went to the darkroom for the first time. And I made a proof sheet. I fogged the first sheet, but the second test proofs came out. Sure, the first negatives I made were ruined because of error in putting the film on the stainless steel reel, hence the screwed up proofs, but it's something I made. The little moments I saw a week ago are back and I can see them all, again.
really though. these suck. not because one side is dark (we were supposed to do that), but those chemical blotches make me kind of sad. Maybe it's good though; I made a huge mistake my first time; hopefully it can only get better. and don't i look totally indie?
happy freakin friday.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
and my reaction to these pictures?
Monday, August 23, 2010
I really like the idea of "settling down." There is something really great about getting out there and experiencing--but perhaps there has been this loss in the importance and the value of "settling down." With all my theoretical reasons for sitting still, I have been able to see all the great things about Fort Collins. There is always something new to this town. I mean, I just (after, what, 14-15 years of living here?) experienced the Poudre River. Admittedly, the river was really low and anticlimactic, but, wow, how beautiful.
Who knows what and where we will be, but for now, at least for a long while, we have no plans to leave. There is so much freedom? (could i say, life, instead?) in being tied down to a place and people.
Friday, August 20, 2010
In the documentary Jackson Katz talks about how the media is largely to blame for the violence and, to me, demoralization of society. haha. that's big but i think it's probably true. One of the most interesting points to me was when he compared action figures (Luke Skywalker, even) back in the days that they first appeared on the market, and now....the arms, legs, and chests of these male heros are so freaking big the original figures look scrawny.
It is interesting to think our society moves more and more into the habits of consuming (images, values, ideals) to escape our own realities, that the product is going to be (beauty muscles brains) accessible yet disappointing all the while. Look at how many problems arise out of fake, outer beauty, or what it is to be an ideal "woman" (bad self esteem at the very least) and look at the complications that come from being a manly man (lack of sensitivity or vulnerability, violence, anger), but most of all the most damaging and most vital to recognize since it encompasses everything it is to live a meaningful life, is that we're disconnected from creation or from ourselves as a part of creation.
I believe as of right now, maybe men are stronger biologically and maybe women are a bit more sensitive. And maybe it's opposite sometimes, or neither of these things sometimes. It really shouldn't matter, probably. As individuals, we are great, but as a whole we are better. Guys compliment girls, girls compliment guys, guys compliment guys, girls compliment girls. It's when there are expectations that are often fed to us by images or expectations handed down after generations that we are seemingly trapped in a facade of what it is to be man or woman.
I don't have the answers or even know much about all this, but in my own life, this issue of roles, societal expectations, unfortunately kind of rule my life at times. Confession: I, like so many (I hear it doesn't really ever leave!!!!!!!!!) struggle alot with self confidence. It takes me forever to get dressed--to the point that it's obsessive. (I know it sounds trivial, but I see myself more concerned with vanity at times than I am with doing other Real things) It's this lose lose situation. I don't like wearing makeup or showering really, but then I realize maybe I can't get away with that--maybe I should probably put a bit of effort into "getting ready". But then I "get ready" and feel just as insecure, if not more, than when I got started. And then I want to go makeup shopping to fix it. Or maybe I need some new clothes. When really all it is is this never ending pressure on looks (looks that can or cannot be bought--i think there can be both the pressure to look together or disheveled--but in all cases, it's a pressure to "look" or express a look) to get ahead, to get some sort of acknowledgment, or something.
I know what I should do and what we all should do, but it's so deeply rooted in our psyche to be successful in some sort of way (in looks, or reputation, material wealth, or even immaterial wealth) that it's nearly impossible just to rest in doing good or being good and, frankly, not caring how others see me.
Sometimes what's best when I experience the troubling weight of insecurity is to walk around and be distracted by people (when, for me, I would rather sit secluded rather than be seen in during my insecure rants), to be surrounded by the real and true. Gardening helps, and seeing little kids helps, and knowing that my husband loves me and cares more that I like good things helps and hearing him say, "having kids is going to be a real liberating thing for you :)" helps.
oh. and i love crap like this. I love Beauty and the Beast; but even my love of the movie and reluctance to "give it up" is kind of a dead give away of the subtle ways media influences. a sweet children's movie is easy to dismiss. it's nostalgic and eye candy but i don't really know that there's anything that redeeming about it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CWMCt35oFY&feature=related the end is the best.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
That little meeting actually really made my day.
And now I am avoiding realizing I'm close to school--I DON'T WANT TO GO. but because of some encouragement and a push in the right direction (I actually have the name of a photo lens to get--now if i only had some $$$$$) I, feeling a surge of confidence that comes with having even the slightest sense of direction, found some information on digital photo editing which in turn left me knowing that I'd be learning all these things formally in only a matter of weeks. This is what I've been wanting--but I'm dreading it--maybe to cope with the possible disappointment, or the fear of failure. But if I focus on these things--oh yeah and the beauty of Colorado autumns, perhaps, I can further prepare my mind for this school thing.
And speaking of school, I just had been talking about this very profound moment that happened to me when I was living my first semester in Grand Rapids. I had been reading The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis on the seemingly long bus ride home from the downtown city campus to my sweet "Colorado Ave House." During this time, I was sick (mentally, physically, emotionally), I was alone, and struggling with one of the darkest times of my life, but there was this house on the top of the hill of our street with a mom, a dad, three kids or so, and a grandpa. This is what I wrote about it when I got home from the walk from the bus stop:
[I wrote this entry really neatly as opposed to my usual scribble--I remember knowing that the day would stay with me forever]
September 21, 2006
A change from the arguing clouds and sun of yesterday, today's brightened and shortened autumn day prompted me to walk lightly with my feet and carry a book in my hands. It was warmer outside. My happiness was nearly pouring from my eyes which would seem to block out any sense of where I was -- but I was also so aware of all that surrounded me -- the speckles of sunlight that found their ways through the luscious trees, so it came as an interesting surprise and expectation that the featured violinist -- Colorado Street's own professional -- was saying to me, "Good Afternoon."
Still being surrounded in the perfection of my reading I stopped what seemed to be my swirling head to confirm who was talking to me. "Ah, coming back from school? And already starting on homework." I explained it was only for enjoyment. And this is when my happiness rose higher than I could stand, "Ah to be young....And go to school again."
Here I am in Michigan, surrounded in trees, and I have the privilege to go to school, and be young.
After he spoke to me, I continued on down Colorado Street.
I was warm.
That's it; and funny how it's reminding and pushing me now. That old creaky man looked down from his porch then and gave me some clarity. I was really blessed to receive it from him.
Now I should start dinner for my husband. But how about a too cute video? yeah, i think it's called for. This is my niece Andi who decided she wanted to call her Aunt B....couldn't you just melt?! the inflections are so hilarious.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
But again, Seth always steps in and reassures me. With something more than, "we'll be fine" or this is only how it will be now.....He says something like how he tells his residents how poverty is a blessing. A virtue. What?!
And then he leaves a note for me on the kitchen table, "read from page 53" in a book called, God Christ and Us by Herbert McCabe. On page 53, the chapter, "Poverty and God" profoundly challenges our very realities. Put quite simply it says, "In a way, the success story for Christians is from riches to rags." I know most have heard that we're supposed to sell what we own and give to the poor. And I feel, since I do it all the time, the idea of giving and living simply is often looked over. It's another Christian mantra that everyone hears but don't really care about doing. ( how does that fit in with American living/reality!?) It's just normal and accepted that we must eventually progress and succeed to build a huge place (house or, worse, church) to sit idle and to sit in complacency. I am so guilty of it of thinking in the same way: first I have to get this so I can give that. And what do i give really? I don't know. But I know what I should be doing, and what I shouldn't. That is, aiming for riches.
McCabe makes the claim that "there is something godlike about being able to live in poverty; so we shall have to think about the poverty of God." And then! he brilliantly starts talking about the distinction between possessing and being! "Taking is essential to possessions. Being or life, on the other hand, cannot, in this sense, be taken. It can only be sheer gift." He argues that no one can talk about the riches of God. What can he take? If he is. "He can only use one creature for the sake of another, for the benefit of another. Nothing is or acts for the benefit of God." woh.
He goes on to write that though we can't talk about the riches of God, we can talk about the poverty of God. (he includes that God's poverty is different than our poverty, just as "his wisdom is not the same as ours") He says though that "He only has life and being. And, if you want to press the point, he does not even have life, as he does not have wisdom or have goodness." [i have to admit I love this kind of writing, i get so excited] Wait. What? oh right, "In God, being alive or being wise or being good are just simply being God and nothing more, nothing extra he has."
McCabe says that creation is an example of God's poverty, He "gains nothing by it." We have been created by a "purely gratuitous act of love, that characteristic act of love which is life giving." And that we can aim for riches or aim at poverty, that is, "growing up in our being." And this is where that verse from Mark comes in, we can only live when we "throw ourselves away." This is what we're to aim at. And this is where Seth and I get our purpose or maybe you could call it our world views and goals, etc.....We won't try/aim to live comfortably. Because how Christian is that? Sure, we want to give to our [future ;)]children, as we've been given, but our culture has so many temptations to slip into comfort, complacency and you know, that thing i always complain about, independence....
After writing all this I am aware that I still am a hypocrite. I want things for the house, I want to improve aesthetics, I always want new clothes, I want that good makeup. I wish I had whiter teeth. But where does all this come from? Perhaps the national religion--materialism/spending money!!!! So that's why I went shopping in Lacey's abandoned closet (sorry Lacey, you'll see them when you get back), why there are twigs framing the map that is trying to cover the wood paneling and why i should cut back on the coffee. We just don't want to be pawns in the the little game of consuming. I don't want to be as disposable as the money, commodities, and life that this culture encourages. And I don't even think it's a matter of what "we want to do;" rather, we MUST seperate ourselves from the "American dream" (read: terrible life of sorrow), and we MUSTNT seperate ourselves from our neighbors, family, from Creation.....our friends. For, by being, as McCabe encourages, we are able to be friends, and thus we are reflect "God's creative poverty."
So, welcome to the Forwoods, God help us make our home into a place where all are welcome. Really, I make cookies. Please "intrude."
"We do not live by building ever more secure fences of possessions around ourselves, but by giving to others space to live. This is to give life to others. The human animal, human society, flourishes, not to the extent that it possesses riches, but to the extent that we give life to each other, to the extent that we imitate the creativity of God."ps. you can read this book or chapter in this book if you go here: http://books.google.com/books?id=P6hQ5KNoniMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=God+Christ+and+Us&source=bl&ots=4_I7sn9tFe&sig=5k_9vwE78SmH1RebcH0tedTj2H4&hl=en&ei=OPROTJn1EI6msQOxiKWTBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Seth's sick with a cold, I'm sick with fatigue and dull pain. But then Seth sent me two poems. This is going to be a personal, kind of too much information post. Maybe a little selfish. But my brain is fuzzy and thinking might make me feel like I've accomplished something today.
Now I sit, calmly experiencing the recovery of a morning of pain and a brief encounter with the bathroom floor and consider our descision of nfp. I've heard the pills help with the pain and that the pills take away from the worry. But the pain to me is more tolerable than than uncertainty, the separation, and the questioning about the authenticity of added hormones. I just cannot trust them.
I went outside and saw our garden. Things are really starting to grow. I can see it. I see our beans, our zuchinni, and that our dying tomato plant is living--and thriving. I see a lone peach growing on the peach tree whose branches suffered through a real late spring snow (mother's day snow--what?! and for a tree that only fruits every other year, we were very disappointed to know that the freeze would have inhibited any of the possible fruits for this year) This is living in and according to Creation. It dies or lives. And when it lives, it lives according to the seasons, the world the good God created. The organic, the real the true. Nothing artificial, Nothing fake. Nothing I can buy. Learn and look at nature; look at how I'm a part of it. I worry when I say things like this I sound a bit new age; "granola girl" as my dad would put it. But I don't really see it that way--I'm not really affiliated with the right or the left; I value conservative thinking in terms of simplicity and "conservativeness" in terms of my grandparents' simple philosophies on life, but I agree with some "liberalness" too. Politics are a load of bs and that's why I hesitate in saying that I'm leaning more towards either "side." Frankly, I think Jesus wouldn't be on either side. Don't we stand for so many things Jesus was so adamently against (rich, materialism, competition?) Anyways, aside from all that crap and all the connotations that go with using the words, "a part of Creation," I believe it's a huge way to live a True, Honest, Christian life. Here's one of the poems Seth sent me this morning. Hoorah, Wendell Berry!
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Doesn't this just sound so right? Nothing that extreme but so simply alternative all the same.
And now a great song just came on. Parentheses, by The Blow. For me, tt started as a cute song me, Sarah, and Hannah would sing and dance to. It was the words, "when you're holding me we make a pair of parentheses" that seemed to speak to our friendship--this mysteriously beautiful bond we shared during some of the most confusing and healing months of my life. The words go so fast that only recently I really read the first verse and found that the song really is perfect. This too is the good life--that is living together--caring together--dependency--active love.
Some philosophies fuel a belief in the self,
constructed to keep one's goods on one's own shelf.
Built well you're a strong letter I,
with the feet on the ground and the head to the sky.
Now and then you can bend,
it's okay to lean over my way.
You fear that you can't do it all,
and you're right.
Even diligent day takes relief every day
from its work making light from the night.
This is how I want to approach all of life, all my relationships. We're all so broken. We all need each other. As strange as it sounds, and maybe I'm just taking shots in the dark trying to tie all these weird at times abstract thoughts together, but whatever, as strange as it sounds, I am finding this out as I'm struggling with this aching want of a job--in photography. I haven't really told anyone about this since it's such a strange opportunity, but for the sake of the story I will mention it. This past Saturday I had an interview with a woman who is redesigning her photography business and is looking for four assistants to train--kind of from the ground up...I had written her an email practically spilling my heart, "I JUST WANT TO LEARN I WANT THIS SO MUCH." essentially. no i didn't use all caps. I admitted at the interview that I had had no training, I only use a little point and shoot. Still, I got good feedback from her, and I was encouraged but I'm weary of this program. I don't know what to think of it. OR what to do. Maybe more on that later, but while waiting to hear from that program I remembered to email a photographer (Amazing) who is friends with one of my friends at church. She gave me some of the best, most encouraging advice. And she offered to help. I'm learning I'm going to need to be guided. I'm learning that me asking for help is not a terrible thing...I'm not a burden ? Wow, that's a concept. I only pray that as I'm depending so much on others now that soon I would be able to give what others have given me...advice, comfort, encouragement, love.
"Now and then you can bend,
it's okay to lean over my way.
You fear that you can't do it all, and you're right."
happy wednesday...but i now want to write more! about how stupid the movie Paper Heart was and this funny review of the Twilight movies. ah well.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Something about me: I really don't like paying attention to detail. I take shortcuts. I realize this could be really bad. When it comes to my "art" i suppose I've found that it's when I can work quickest that I reach the ultimate, "brooke style?." That is I reach what I like the most. I think of painting or my style of so called photography....it's those things that are most quick and most instant that I find most sucessful. My painting prof. was encouraging at least because she would say, "you work so quick so you should try to do this...." and followed with a suggestion that rather than reigning in or encouraging me to slow down, taught me how to make the use out of what it is that I do: things that are often sloppy, messy, and crazy. However, I think i get really embarrassed by it. I usually try to validate the things I do in order to save my self the embarrassement of "what others are thinking" by saying, "it's still a work in progress" rather than admitting, "I'm done, I like it, I don't care if you like it."
All this to preface how I've been approaching my house. decorating. I am don't claim to be a designer or
know what I'm doing but I, like taking a random, "secret" picture, love to see the instant result...often results that are most beautiful and surprising to me. It's in the surprise that I get the most satisfaction. I suddenly got the idea the other day to use yellow accents in my well, there is no color scheme so I'll just say, dining room. I have a blue and white floral rug under an old rickety table covered with a red and yellow and orange striped table cloth. There is a huge world map hanging perpendicular to the table framed by twigs that i found in the back yard. today I went to Joann's fabrics and got a few yards of yellow plain jane fabric and some burlap. these so called window treatments (i don't know what they are freaking called) are so cute to me. It's amazing what some fabric and ribbon does for me; how much satisfaction it gives to look at our kitchen and see bunched up burlap over the kitchen windows: we don't have blinds or curtains yet but we're experimenting....I'm trying! This place is slowly coming together and for cheap, I think! (18 for fabric and ribbon, pillows and mirror for ten, and the cutest little 60s styled chair for 10).
But I really could go overboard. It's hard for me sometimes to get past "having a nice looking home." I worry about it. But what's really important I think is trying to make it a place of comfort and warmth, a home for my family, a place of shelter for those who need it, and a place to build up over the years. I love it here.
And, even though I am actually kind of content in my quick working nature (read: impatience), I know that I have a lot to learn from others. Take for instance, Sethy. He makes cheese and beer; things that take measurements, time and PATIENCE. I love that he teaches me. He makes me better. I have alot to work on....but I still quite fond of my crappy (unfinished) window treatments :)
happy 6th sunday of pentecost
and have a safe 4th of july
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I found a note on our kitchen table today. addressed to me. it was from seth and i am still looking at it. i think this letter not only exemplifies the beautiful character that is my husband seth, but also where our hope lies in this marriage. And really, how we want our marriage to "work." It is the relationship between not only ourselves but with our community, that is the Body. Since really we only know how to love due to the love that has been shown to us which is ultimately only possible by the Son, Jesus Christ.
We are now a month into this lifetime together and already we have been faced with some big descisions and big things to consider: the big ones being: buy or rent a house or an apartment (deciding to buy a house is big. so stressful; and we got back from the honeymoon and were forced to make a descision--quick), how does natural family planning work?? and the usual stuff like switching all the insurances, moneys, and names.....
"My Beloved Brooke, We are nearing the first month of marriage and, aside from the (mostly) care-free honeymoon, we have had cares and worries for a full year it seems. Through this and the many coming months together I want to provide icons as guideposts so that we can find our way. There will be distractions, discouragements and disaster but, I am confident that if we live virtuously and embody the grace so powerfully present in the life of Christ- in the narrative of scripture and in the Church we call our Family - we will be spared the clutch of Despair....."
Seth went on to give me another Byzantine icon of "Follow Me" which is an image of Jesus as the center in red and blue garments and surrounding Him, six scenes from the Gospels. I love icons. I think they are a brilliant way to communicate the story of Christ. I always joke that I learned more from my Art History 111 class at CSU about Christianity/Bible stories than I did throughout my youth and childhood at church and sunday school.
hmmm i don't know what else to say. it's way too hot. i like icons. my husband is really thoughtful. i need to practice my lines for the telenovela tomorrow. and there is a house inspector on our roof right now--at least he's nice and told me that we had our air filter in the wrong way.
awe....buying a house..........
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I know better than to read any of it because I know I'd just be discouraged and angry at modern marriage culture! But when the subject line in my inbox read "Jealous of a bachelor party?" I had to read it.
Bachelor and Bachelorette parties are messed up. I mean, popular, mainstream parties? How could anyone get behind or logically defend bachelor/ette parties (strippers, lap dances, penis games, etc?) Even the ideas of "one last night of freedom?" I argue this attitude might be a symptom of why so many marriages fail. First of all, if one goes into a marriage thinking that the way to prepare for the upcoming wedding day is to watch another girl get naked or fool around with penis paraphernalia something is wrong. They are setting theirselves up for a life of disappointment and individualism if they think they need to relieve themselves of the things that would be repressed in marriage. I feel that marriage is the opposite: it opens up a world of opportunity. True, a bachelor/ette party is a great time to spend with people who are really behind the marriage or people who have been really close to the bride/groom. For me, it's a thank you, a homage to the old days, the days that will indeed end (since, I mean, yeah, when a person gets married they are part of a new identity/reality: that of a husband or wife to their spouse...but I am not at all under the assumption that friendships or anything changes...there is just more love to go around...)
Besides the article and this line in particular, "but when you start putting restrictions on him for no good reason" (how is saying no to seeing a girl degrade herself and thus contributing to the smut that is the pornographic industry such a bad thing--this is the indicator of a culture in trouble--degradation isn't worried about--people don't keep each other accountable to morals. Relativity. no right or wrong? i don't think so.)
there are the comments. There is this strange trend for women and its that many say "I trust he wouldn't do anything to hurt me" and thus talk themselves (or rather make a safe way for their spouses to do things that shouldn't be okay in a marriage into being okay with something that should hurt) into a dilemma. So many have been manipulated to think that it's wrong for significant others to put restrictions on the unmoral behaviors they engage in; that it's [boundaries for the sake of "other"] the worse of two evils.
Strip joints are foul places. There is no excuse for them. And I get really sad when things like this are thought of as "normal" or expected behavior.
The problem is thinking of boundaries as restrictions. It's the American perception of freedom: no boundaries, celebration of the individual , and materialism. For me, in life (and marriage) I give myself over and in turn I actually gain more life: full of richness and "realness". But first you give it up. AND if both spouses are giving themselves to the other, there is no room to fear control and confinement.
Anyways, that's my rant for today. Maybe tomorrow it will be what I think about big families and the environment. I love being married to Seth. I am blessed with a really really really great person for my husband.
We've had quite the intense week after returning from the honeymoon. Actually, the night before the wedding we saw a for sale sign in front of our rental...we have been trying to make the MAJOR decision of whether to buy this beloved house or not. UGHHHHHH. But hey, it's so awesome to be able to have someone to make these decisions with!!!!
I think Julian likes us married too.
Brooke (for the first time on this blog) Forwood
Monday, May 24, 2010
I've been sort of avoiding this post; the post where I admit my nerves, my anxiety, and anticipation surrounding the excitement of the wedding (IN 5 DAYS).
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Two weeks and I'll be Brooke Forwood. I have to kind of tilt my head to see if I'm looking at that right....really? I'm going to be married?!
Friday, April 30, 2010
I'm so excited, just like the excitement I used to feel when I'd wake up in anticipation of drive through the gorgeous rolling landscape.
I don't care what anyone says. Nebraska flat scenery cannot be beat.
Here we go! And when we get back, it will be May, my sister will be home, and I'll be refreshed (i think this might be the only way to get me really "destressed") and ready to finish the last week of classes...then...finals.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Clearly, I can't read things like this on mornings like these. This status update by one of Seth's housemates, Riley, set off this weird reaction. I'm unsettled in a good way. Emotional, excited--the accumulation of knowing that everything is changing. I'm excited for it but it happens so fast and is overwhelming.
This past week my sisters and mother in laws threw me a bridal shower that was beautiful, delicious, hospitable, tear-jerking, and funny. At times I feel like I don't deserve all that was given to us as we start our home. Everyone was so generous. But I moved a lot of the stuff (lamp, mixer, stoneware, coffeemakers, towels, dishclothes,aprons!) to Seth's, and suddenly I'm realizing, okay, this week, next week, finals week and then fourteen days of preparation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 32 more days. what what what what what what.
here are some pictures from the shower. I'm so blessed, and great, "I'm crying again."
Friday, April 9, 2010
As the school year winds to a close, so does my engagement to Seth Forwood. We soon will be married. It's so hard to do homework when all I want to do is prepare for the life and home that we will soon live in. I haven't touched my reading today, which in someways I think is a very healthy thing for me. I'm a bit of an obsessive student, addicted to As and I would rather put an appropriate amount of energy on this new life changing event: marriage. Sure, grades are great, but they are so temporary. This is what I am trying to tell myself. So, for the moment, I'm ignoring the homework, and focusing on our future.
After buying my seeds and supplies, I found an email from Seth waiting for me. It asked if we could include this slow song during our wedding reception playlist. I listened to it, and immediately found myself so moved by its feel, words, and theme. I kind of want it to be the first song we dance to. And so funny that I received it right before starting my seeds. It's a story of a couple tied to Creation, to virtue, to Love....yeah. It's a picture of the kind of life I've been trying to illustrate in these blog posts. Timeless in it's message, it's a song that tells of our grandparents' marriage and all those we hope to emulate. It's inspiring to say the least.
Here it is: excuse the video....I haven't even watched it, i just searched for Ryan Adam's "In My Time of Need" and this is what came up.