Monday, August 28, 2006

the last pages of my journal


16:17 8-28-06

It’s time to bring this journal to a close. This chapter of my journey with You has ended and a new one is beginning. I began this book just under a year ago in an airport across an ocean- full of uncertainty. I end here in my room, my little green room with a pipe in my mouth and a kitten curled up nearby. It’s raining outside. Just a little.

I’m not uncertain anymore. The sky outside is cloudy again, but I see You in the clouds today.

You have fulfilled every promise you made me this year. Where my heart was broken, You restored it. The dead things that were decaying in my have died. And in those places, You have cleared room for things to grow. A forest. You have mended broken ties. Lit fires in the darkest frozen parts of my soul.

You have taught me. You have loved me. You have led me to so many wild and beautiful places where I have met so many wild and beautiful people. It has been a year full of growth and restoration. But more than anything, it has been a year of LIFE. And when I think back on it all, I am full of wonder and gratitude. Life with You, God, is more than I ever imagined life could be.

You are a wonder.

I thank You for these pages, God. I thank You for this life. I am amazed, God, and I am grateful. You are my joy and you are my light. I will always love You, my Lord. Thank You for these pages. Thank You for the pages to come.


Friday, August 25, 2006

things to eat before you die

The Traveler's Lunchbox came up with this brilliant idea. There are lists of things to see before you die, things to do before you die...why not a list of things to eat before you die? Please leave me some comments on what foods you think should be eaten in this lifetime. I would love to hear your list!

Here's mine.

Five Things to Eat Before You Die:

1. 'Squeaky' Wisconsin Cheese Curds from a little rural cheese shop or the Madison farmer's market

I grew up in Wisconsin. I grew up eating cheese curds. They remind me of summer and camping and sitting on the beach and going on picnics and roadtrips. The louder they sqeak against your teeth, the better. They are wonderful. The farmer's market in Madison smells like sunflowers and basil. There are a handful of cheesestands there, scattered around the capitol building and they always offer free samples. Take them up on it.

2. Fresh Figs

Until this last year, figs were...the brown stuff inside Fig Newtons. In Constanta, there was a little fig tree on the side of the street. I didn't eat the fruit, but I stepped on the pink sticky bits that fell onto the sidewalk and were flatteded into the concrete. I didn't give much thought to them then either. It wasn't until this January that I ate a fresh fig. I was in Mossel Bay, South Africa, visiting a friend of mine at 3 Colours Blue Guesthouse (a pretty wonderful place, owned by his very wonderful family). His mum and dad were crazy about figs, and snatched them up wherever they could. There were often freshly picked figs in the house- they taught me how to peel them and eat them and love them. I was so surprised at the taste. It's a bit like honey, but lighter, fresher, fruitier. And the texture...I've never tasted anything like a fresh fig before. They amaze me. I wouldn't want to die without trying one.

3. Gogosi

When I was in Romania, I spent a week in the town of Hunedoara. In Hunedoara, there was a little gogosi stand that my friend Simona used to work at. We stopped by to say hello to her old coworkers, and couldn't resist buying some. We didn't have a gogosi-less day the rest of the trip. A gogoshi is a Romanian doughnut. These particular ones were huge and flat- something like an elephant ear. They were taken hot out of the oil, smeared with a chocolate spread simular to Nutella, and folded in half. The chocolate got extra gooey on the hot pastry and often ended up all over my face. It was delicious.

4. Freshly picked berries swimming in vaniljesaus in Norway

Personally, currants are my favorite. There is something about a sunny summer day and bitter red currants and thick, sweet vanilje saus that makes my heart beat a little bit faster. But I can't limit it to only currants, because that would be unfair to Norway's other berries. The strawberries are more flavorful than any I've tasted, and Norwegain blueberries are an experience of their own. The mossy floor of the old pine forests are full of them. The berries are small and dark and so so lovely- and the forest is even more beautiful. I can't imagine that berries in vaniljesaus would be quite as good anyplace else. Something about the fresh, light taste of the air in Norway makes a big bowl of berries three times as delicious. Don't take my word for it. Try it yourself.

5. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

What can I say? They are just so good.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

the new man in my life

hi, eliot.

Meet Eliot.

He's named after a poet and likes purring in my ear sleeping on my belly.

Hi, Eliot.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

out of my finals bubble

friends chillin'

My final papers are done and over. I finished them at midnight on Sunday, which despite my procrastination, technically was a wee bit early. Most of my weekend was spent sitting in a pile of scattered notes and a laptop. The last couple days have been a bit jumbled too- Monday I worked a full day on 2 1/2 hours of sleep and Tuesday, I worked 12 hours. Now it is Wednesday. I am rested, alive, and have finally crawled out of my pit of scattered notes.

Time to tell you what's been going on.

I have recently moved into a new house on Willy Street. I live with my old roommate and dear friend Janelle, and two girls who I had never met before named Angie and Monica- and both of them seem really wonderful. We all share a crooked white house tucked back behind Willy Street. It's the most wonderful house. You have to hold down the handle of the toilet a long time when you flush, none of the floors are anything of even, and the bathroom mirror reminds me of a funhourse (It's now fondly referred to as the "midget mirror"). It's great. I have my own little room that is green and lovely and currently has books scattered all over the floor (haven't had time to organize yet). I see trees out my bedroom window, and at night, I hear more crickets than cars.

And I love our crooked little Willy Street neighborhood- full of sunflowers, messy lawns, and organic food. Our house is a stone's throw away from our favorite coffee shop, Escape. When Janelle and I were Gorham Street girls, we ventured across East Washington regularly for a good cup of coffee. They know our names and who we are and what we're like. Now that it's basically across the street, I walk past Escape several times a day. Someone is usually outside and they wave and I wave, and it's lovely. Last night, Janelle and I stopped by "just to say hi" on our way to the Corner Store and ended up talking for nearly an hour. I really like things like that.

Another thing I like about where I live is my daily commute. I had every intention of moving closer to downtown, and while I'm not much farther east, shifting to the other side of East Washington added a good 15 minutes on my already 30 minute walk to work. Most days, that's just too much. So, I've pulled out my bike lock and ultra-cool swirly helmet(pictures to come), slipped spandex under my skirts, and switched to biking. Not only is biking heaps of fun, but I have just about the best ride in the world. I get to pedal down Willy Street, up to the Capitol, down the entire length of State...every day. It's so wonderful. If you don't know Madison, just take my word for it. It's a great ride.

Besides a new home, here are other little new things in my life:
-one new favorite brand of yogurt (yes, it's more expensive. but I figure, I save money by buying the big containers of plain stuff, anyways. it makes up for it.)
-two new bags of delicious pipe tobacco
-three new library books (Praise of Folly, and two books of Chesterton essays)
- a new great place to go out on Saturday nights- we sat outside in the twinkly night for hours over amazing appitizers, conversation, and hookah smoke.
-some great new plates and other thrift shop finds (I should take some photos of those to...)

There is quite a lot going on in my mind these days, and heaps of stories and moments to tell. But for now, I will have to be satisfied with posting these tiny tidbits of life. I hope these days are falling sweetly for you. Have a very good one.

Thursday, August 10, 2006



Sometimes, I really like finals. They make me feel very serious and studious and give me an excuse to drink lots of tea and have papers strewn about.

The downside: I don't know where I'm going to sleep tonight. Either the papers will end up in a heap on the floor or we are going to cuddle.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

night #1

self portrait tuesday

It's the first night in my new room. I have no drawers, the floor is strewn with paint cans, plants, papers, and most of my stuff is still at my old place. But, it feels like home. It's currently an unfinished, unfurnished mess, but I love my little green room.

And now, I'm going to doze off. Goodnight, everyone. Goodnight, moon.

Goodnight, room.

what i've been up to

It has been a while since i've blogged. I've been pretty busy. I've been fasting and playing and studying and piping and eating pizza and drinking tea and painting and moving and shopping and staffing a retreat and having long lovely talks and steaming in the heat. But more than anything, I've been thinking.

I've been thinking a lot about a lot of things. About life and God and hope and hoplessness. About idealism and despair and foolishness and wisdom and what is real and what is fake. Religion and love. The future and the past. I've had mad thoughts, happy thoughts, sad thoughts, hopeful thoughts.

Basically, there has been a lot happening in the Lindsey skull.

Right now, I'm typing from the matress on the floor of my new room with green walls and green plants and a green cup of green tea. The matress is naked and purple with journals strewn about on top of it and a blue afghan crocheted by my grammie. Badly Drawn Boy is playing on the boom box I got in fifth grade that sits in the corner. The song is really perfect, actually. "I don't know how to hide and keep my shadow alive...I don't know how to tell if it's heaven or hell that I'll be going to, just as long as I'm there with you."

There are a lot of things I don't know. There are a lot of things that confuse me. Frustrate me. Religion frustrates me. It frustrates me to listen to a pastor pray and hear nothing real or true in his voice- to hear a preformance, not a prayer. I just wish people would start being real. I wish we would stop playing these stupid games and just say it as it is. I was with a pastor this weekend who did not stop preforming- not for one second. Not when he was walking down the hallway. Not when he was up in the pulpit. Every time I saw him, I got so frustrated. I wanted to pull him aside and shake him and ask him what was going through his head and what he hoped and feared and worried about. Who he WAS. I just think the world would be so much sweeter if we were all a little more honest with one another. And, if nothing else, a little more honest with ourselves.

Another thing I don't understand: God. I've been wrestling with Him a lot lately. I have this one teacher who is really wonderful and really real. He and I were talking about God one evening on State Street when the city was all lit up and bright. He said something that I found very profound out there on the street, it went something like this, "A lot of people think I don't believe in God because of science. That's not true. I don't believe in God because, if He's there, He's never revealed Himself to me. A lot of Christians make it seem like you have to seek God and make Him turn His face to you. But look at Paul. He was out slaughtering Christians and then God blinded Him and Paul believed. God would know that if He'd reveal Himself like that to me, I'd be there in a second. Maybe someday I'll wake up blind, but until then..."

I remember talking with God as I walked home on the dark streets. "God, what....why...?" I said. "I'm already working in him, Lindsey. Don't fret." "But, God...I..." "I know. Me too." "But, can't You...?" "I'm already at work, Lindsey. Don't worry." "Okay."

And it was okay then, but I kept thinking about it. And it made me sad and it made me frustrated with God. He blinded Paul. Why can't He just blind everyone else? Because I know God, I know Him. And I know that He loves us, and I KNOW that He wants us to know Him. He is the only hope in the world and He wants to give us that and so much more. So why doesn't He encounter us all? Why doesn't He shake us until we see Him? I didn't understand. I don't.

It confused me very much, and I spent heeps of time scribbling and painting about it: about this, about religion, about the sad things I see in people's hearts these days that make me ache. It frustrated me, the whole thing, the whole state of the universe. I didn't understand. I was confused. I am confused.

And then I opened up my beloved e.e. cummings book to his poem, "i am a little church(" The last line struck a chord with me that it never has before.

winter by spring, i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever;
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

There are a lot of things I don't understand. There are a lot of things that confuse me. A lot of things that make me frustrated and sad. There is so much that I do not know. But there is one thing I do know. I know God. And I will follow him, even if I don't understand. Because I love Him. So much.

(he is our only hope, you know. we need hope more than oxygen.)