Saturday, September 30, 2006

that inspires me.

yellow leaves

Recently, Katrina got this e-mail from someone she admires. It said that she is living evidence of what is good and true in this world. That she and her life are proof that there is good worth fighting for.

That inspires me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

life, pumpkins, and katrina brown

flower in water

My favourite thing about autumn is the smell of the air. But right up there in my favourite autumnal things is pumpkin. When I was little, Grammie would make me pumpkin pies. I would slice myself a big wedge and sit down with a big smile and a big fork and a big blop of whipped cream (if we had it). I loved those pumpkin pies. I still do. Pumpkin anything is terrific in my book. Katrina Brown shares this fondness with me. When I was at her house Sunday, we drank coffee with pumpkin spice creamer while we studied. And this morning, when it was rainy and sunny and we were wandering around between work and classes, we treated ourselves to pumpkin lattes and muffins at Starbucks.

While it drizzled, we found a bench under a plant with fat green leaves that blocked the rain. We nibbled on our muffins and sipped our lattes and talked about life. I like talking about life with Katrina Brown.

"Lindsey, it just totally sucks. I went to God and I asked Him to transform me. I asked him to transform me as much as He can transform a person. I asked Him to take me further. To use me and change me. But it hurts so much. It has to hurt. Sometimes God reminds me of V in V for Vendetta. I don't know if that's a healthy view of Him or not. It probably isn't. But Evey had to go through all that stuff in that extreme way or she wouldn't have lost her fear- not like she did. I know that the pain I'm feeling now is good for me, but it hurts."

Katrina said this in that measured, steady way she says things. Genuine. With a small smile. I love how Katrina Brown says things.

I've seen V for Vendetta. I didn't see a lot of God in V. But I see what Katrina is saying. I feel what Katrina is feeling. Yesterday, I was sitting by the lake between classes. The sky was bright blue and there were sailboats on the water. He found me there by the edge of the lake and plunged his hand deep into my guts. And it hurt. He is gentle with me. His touch is tender. But it still hurts. It hurts like it would hurt to hold a block of granite if all your life if you had only touched marshmallows. Which would be funny. Marshmallow land. Ha!

But it didn't feel like marshmallows, it felt like God. Sometimes I want to curl up in a warm quilt and hide inside a house. But He'd find me there. Sometimes I want to block Him out and hide inside school and friends and other wonderful things in my life. But He finds me there too. I can't hide from Him and I can't deny Him. I see Him everywhere (and in that everywhere, He finds me).

It wasn't always like that, though. I mean, I remember a time when I found it very easy to hide away. So easy, I didn't even know I was hiding. And then one night, He put His hand on my head and gave me a glimse of who He is. And I chased Him. I chased Him and chased Him and chased Him. And then one day, I discovered that He was chasing me. When I look back, I am amazed at my courage and persistance in those early days. To say, "God, I am going to follow You. Whatever that means, I'm going to do it"- that is hard. I was a scrappy little thing.

I don't think I'm so scrappy anymore. I don't really need to be. But I still need courage. Because sometimes a marshmallow bed looks a whole lot comfier than a mountain. God scares me, but I love Him. And He loves me. He loves me so much, it hurts. Loving is hard. Sometimes it's really, really hard.

But, at the same time, it's so good. Even though it's scary and it hurts, it's good. I'm sitting here in knee-high socks and it's sunny and windy and rainy outside and I feel like my insides are being taffy-pulled and I am very very happy.

I was reading e.e. cummings today under the fabric tree (which is now golden and bright)- wrapped in sun and Adam's scarf. E.e. cummings always reminds me of God. Today, this poem really hit my guts:

being to timelessness as it's to time,
love did no more begin than love will end;
where nothing is to breath to stroll to swim
love is the air the ocean and the land

(do lovers suffer?all divinities
proudly descending put on deathful flesh:
are lovers glad?only their smallest joy's
a universe emerging from a wish)

love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star

— do lovers love?why then to heaven with hell.
Whatever sages say and fools,all's well
It's scary to see Him. It's scary to seek Him. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Because He is that to me- the voice under all silences. And I love Him more than I knew I could love anything. Loving Him is teaching me how to love. How to live.

Living hurts.

But life is so SO good.

Monday, September 25, 2006

i know, I know...

yellow trees

I know, I know, two boy-posts in a row. I have more going on in my life than Boy, I swear.

In fact, he was gone all weekend. And I did things like watch TV on the couch with my little sister and study at Katrina's house for hours and explore "Pick More Daisies" (the most terrific, girly little shop on Willy Street) with Janelle. And I enjoyed the fall colours like crazy and had a good talk with my favorite teacher and journaled and thought. And it was great.

And I'm still journaling and thinking and all such great things. But now Adam's back and I had a whole 4 hours to spend with him today between class and work. And I could talk about what I've been journaling and thinking (I'm sure I will) or the fall colours. But, right now I just want to talk about how Adam and I drove out to the West Side with the sunroof open in the yellow-leaf, blue-sky day listening to the Thrills and how we got fish'n'chips from this little fish market and how it was so good and we washed it down with sparkling water and how he bought me little speakers for my computer (you know a geek likes you when he buys you electronics) and how he's the only geek I know who can go through an electronic store without putzing like crazy and how he's the only music snob I know who isn't snobby about music at all and how we went to Escape and I studied and he read and we both drank cappuccinos and ate the amazing (A-MAZING) licorice he brought be back from Nebraska (if you haven't had kookabura licorice- DO) and played footsie. It was a lot of fun.

Next time, I'll have a pretty picture and a poem or maybe something brainy, even. And it won't be about Boy. Not even a little. I swear.

But for now I just have two things to say: I like Adam Whitlock and hanging out with Katrina Brown makes me really want to read Pushkin.

Monday, September 18, 2006

meet adam whitlock


(Walking hand-in-hand at night after a full day of wonderful IKEA-ing and piling big boxes of furniture into his house and smoking pipes of spicy tobacco.)

Adam: You are just what the doctor ordered.

Me: Yeah?

Adam: Yup. I went to him a couple months ago and he said, "Find Lindsey Girman!!"

Me: Really?

Adam: U-huh. And I was like, "What?" And he was like, "Go!" and then he turned into an orangutang and disappeared.

The juicy news in my life these days is that I have a boyfriend. Adam is sweet and makes me laugh. I think it's pretty good news. :)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


katrina and hannah

i have the most amazing friends.

Last night, Brianna, Hannah, Janelle, Katrina and I set out for a night on the town. We were going to smoke a hookah at the Casba, but all the outdoor seats were taken. So, we took my pipe and a pack of Katrina's cigarettes and smoked on the stoop of the capitol. It was a warmcool night with a soft breeze and stars and Brianna sketched Janelle and Katrina and Hannah laid on their backs and talked about God and life.

pipes on the capitol stoop

They are so beautiful, these friends of mine. And it was so good to be with them last night. We giggled and hit each other's butts and talked about how amazing life is, how we are so big and so small at the same time.

bri drawing, hannah looking

We talked about how much we love each other, how sweet friendship is, and how good God is

And it was night and the streets were lit and the wind was blowing.

This morning, Janelle and I invited James and Adam over for breakfast. Still in our pj's, we made them toast and omelettes while they played with Comet and Eliot. The sun was shining through the window and music was playing. Janelle made a burnt, eggy mess trying to cook Jame's omelette on 'High,' and we were bent over laughing as we tried to salvage it (the salvaging didn't work). The other omelettes worked out better and the toast had smiley faces and birthday cakes toasted onto them. We drank tea and laughed.

I have the most amazing friends.

Monday, September 11, 2006

it turns out autumn is amazing

my rainy window and yellow flower

I was really nervous about autumn. Really nervous.

And then Friday night the wind changed and it became rainy and cold. Sweaters were put on, jackets taken out, umbrellas, socks, shoes. The air smells different now. It's spicier, sharper, twists on the tongue a bit. This air does funny things to me. It hits my soul in this way that chrashes deep into my guts. It stirs me in a vivid, vivid way. It makes me feel alone. It makes me remember. It makes me want to cry. And I love it.

Especially at night I love it, when the cars splash down the street and the lights hit the rain. I want to take long long walks in that air. I want to drink it like coffee. It reminds me of so many sweet things. It reminds me of so many good walks I had in Romania. Walking home from class today, I could smell the pastries I would buy at the pink bakery in Constanta on cold days. They were very sticky- I could taste the sugar that I licked from my frozen fingers while I walked by the Sea in my red hat. Inspired, I bought a small strawberry turnover at a bakery by the capitol. It wasn't sticky and I was wearing a yellow hat, not a red one. But it was still pretty wonderful.

Saturday night, my friend and I went for a long walk late at night in that air. It was in a part of town I had never explored- the sweet roads and houses along the lake behind Jenifer Street. We stopped on a yellow-lit bridge because the moon came out from behind the clouds and looked just right on the water. I said that it reminded me of a Munch painting.

I love autumn. I love this chilled, rainy weather. I love listening to Badly Drawn boy in these grey days. I love the things it makes me remember. I love baking and making risgrynsgrøtt with cinnamon and vanilla. I love how it makes coffee taste. I love autumn. ♥

Saturday, September 09, 2006

upside down

On Friday nights, we watch movies on the projector at Escape. This week, we decided to go for a chick flick and ice cream. We watched Addicted to Love. And we watched it upside-down with our heads on the table and our feet dangling off the top of the chairs. It was very uncomfortable.

and pretty terrific.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

my first day of school


For the record, I HAD heard about Barrett. When I was logging into my handy-dandy UW website, it was up in the little campus news area. I skimmed the article- partially because I was lazy, mostly due to disinterest. I have a limited amount of space in my brain and a limited amount of stuff to cram into it. 9/11 conspiracy theory is not high on the list, nor are articles about controversy surrounding someone teaching it.

I had heard about Barrett. I just didn't really care. And when the camera's were rolling in front of the door of my Islam lecture hall, I didn't connect the dots. I thought it was some university advertising or something.

But when I sat down, I was informed that this was THE guy and these were reporters lining the hall. I thought it was pretty exciting. Controversy excites me sometimes.

When I left class, this girl in front of me got pulled aside by a reporter with a camera and was given a microphone. I laughed- amiably- and she laughed a bit too. And then another reporter (who had this really sweet face and smile) pulled me aside, "I saw you laughing at that girl, so do you mind if I pick on you?" She asked me some questions and I answered quickly (she seemed in a hurry- you know- the whole reporter thing). By the time I left the Social Sciences building, I had thought of a million better things to say- things about how every professor enters the classroom with their own personal bias and how it's important as a student to recognize that and to seek what is true and real, under any professor, not just Barrett.

'oh well,' I thought, ' What I said was pretty lame, but at least they'll never use it.'

Except, they did.

Yeah, it's a bit lame, but my name is in the paper. And I kind of like that.

Read it here.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


i love apples

Yesterday, Katrina Brown and I walked around campus scoping out our classrooms while we skipped out on orientation. I have a lot of terrific classrooms: big lecture halls with rows of desks, cozy little rooms with tables and chairs. But the very best one is my grad class classroom. It is old and beautiful and brown and white and has old black chalkboards and nice windows. Katrina said it was Harry Potter-esque. I just thought it was lovely. I've been looking forward to that class from the moment I weaselled my way into it. But if I hadn't been excited before, those chalkboards would have done it for me.

While we were strolling, it was sunny and warm and Katrina asked, "What are your biggest fears about school?" I love Katrina Brown. She's full of good books, good answers, and good questions. I thought about it a bit, and decided that I was a bit nervous, but not so much about school. I was nervous about autumn.

It's September 2nd, and it kind of scares me.

Spring is my very favorite season. I love watching green burst through the grey and seeing the people and the tulips come out. I've never really cared much for autumn- especially the early part of the season. I don't know why. I've always loved the color and the clothes and the coziness. I like caramel apples and cider and pumpkin pie. But autumn always makes me sad, somehow.

I feel like I haven't had a real autumn in a long time. Three years ago, I was in Norway for autumn, and it was different. Two years ago, I had too much running through my mind to notice anything outside of it. Last autumn (last year?!), I was in Romania and it was different. I feel like I haven't had a real autumn in a long time and I don't know how it is going to be and I don't know if it will make me sad. The unknown gets me nervous sometimes.

Adam is a regular at Escape. He prefers his coffee black like in Grapes of Wrath and can devour 250 page books in under 2 1/2 hours. The other day, he said, "The reason people in LA are so fucked up is because they don't have any seasons. Every day is the same. They wake up and it's the same. You don't have to get things ready for winter or anything like that. There's no progression." I've never been to LA, so I can't really say anything about that, but I can imagine that Adam has a point. I think if I didn't have seasons moving around me, I would be heaps more of a mess. When I look at it, my own process seems to tag along with the path of the seasons. Wintertime is very peaceful and internal for me. I often make big choices in the winter. Learn big things. See a lot of stars. It's a really beautiful time. Spring is when lots of growing and planting and greenly things happen. It's a really rich time. Summers are external, a lot of change and action. It's a very bright time.

But in autumn, everything dies. The leaves fall, the grass turns brown. The air changes its taste and the wind blows harder (if I love one thing about autumn, it's that: the wind). The dying of fall scares me. But I know that it's good: for the earth and for me. And even though I am nervous about it, I am looking forward to fall with all of my heart, even if it does make me sad.

I think a bit of sadness is a very healthy thing.

Let me say with full sincerity: Welcome, September. I'm glad you are here.

What do you think about seasons and how do you feel about fall? Which seasons do you love and which do you dread and are you glad it's September?