School is almost out. This time last year, I was filling journals with lightning speed, inspired by all that I was learning (what it means to be a good woman, eschatology, music theory, etc.etc.). I watched the Tree of Life for the first time with friends that challenge my thinking, and ever since the film has set me on a different aesthetic path. I was being broken out of my prim little ways of thinking about the world. The NSA choir, of which I am a part, was preparing for its spring concert, whose arrangement also taught me a lot about Christian aesthetics. For this I have to thank Dr. Erb, whose evenhandedness gave me hope that Christians should never be fundamentalists about music. Anyway, the world was beautiful and nothing hurt. Put that on your gravestone.
It’s been a year, and things are quite different, even though a lot is repeating itself. School is still inspiring, but more back-breaking. I want to quit more; I cry a lot less. Stress is still stress is still unbelief. Though school sanctifies me and undoes me daily, and that undoing is why I’m here in the first place, I have come to a point where I just want to write and write and not do anything else except go to work and read Bildungsroman novels in between. I want this to be a time of imbibing as much literary material and as much of the Bible as I can. But it’s not the time! I need not complain so much. But I do it anyway! I’ve written a lot of short poems on this waiting and how absolutely mediocre that period of time often feels. I’m nothing special. Not yet. Maybe not ever. Just a bag of small, small bones. It’s been a season of disappointment, in so many areas, but I just have to take it and not break my hands and heart trying to avoid it.
I’m trying to orient myself towards the fact that everything I’m doing is for me and my sanctification in mind. History, natural history, faith and reason, LATIN (!). All well and good. My classmates and I had a picnic for all of our professors, in which various classmates of mine read speeches for a particular professor, pointing out all the ways in which they have challenged and blessed us. There is too much to mention, but it all rang true for me. Everything they have given me is for my good. IknowIknowIknow, but I’m tired and thought that life would look the same as it did back then. (Strange how I think of one year’s time as “back then”).
Another update: I am beginning a poetry series called Rooms of the House. The collection is about the different places we inhabit, their histories, their landscapes, and how everything about a place effects us. Super broad, but it will focus on the various homes I have lived in throughout the years, thinking about the seemingly small, insignificant things that knit their small webs in our thinking, making connections between places and across time. This draws from the Herodotean/Schlectean perspective that history is not just a timeline of ideas and inventions and wars, but that everything has a history and an effect. History is made up of tiny dots on an endless timeline. I’m excited about it! But there are books to be read and papers to finish and prayers to be said before this can happen.