the deepest pain of an artist

Sir, I pin my butterfly to the world,
then hawk my wares: calling out,
pointing my finger, attending death – 
“This is a valuable specimen,
worth your expense, a rare masterpiece”
for a staring public rich with ignorance
and I must be paid for my travesty,
for chasing my butterfly and defining it
piercing my soul with its death
and marking it clear with my name.
Being executed, it dies, sir, 
and my living is made by its death.



the fantasy epidemic of my era

I’ve just been thinking that this era of people, mostly young but including middle aged people too, is entirely taken up with fantasy worlds. Maybe it started with the computer? I don’t know. but consider it- the 3D worlds in Wii & other computer games, the virtual network of facebook, the giant wishlist of pinterest, the madness over fantasy literature like the Hunger Games and Twilight and all movies in general – we don’t go out and do things anymore. We stay in and escape from this world into another one…. ironically, that one usually has even more problems than ours does, it’s just that we have more control over it. I first became aware of this epidemic when I felt its work on me. I wanted to create something – I had a that creative turn of mood that comes onto me every once in awhile. But did I? No, I sat down and watched two murder mysteries. Out of this world for a blissful hour and a half… into another one. Strange. I need to teach myself to pursue art, love, hiking, stargazing, and all those lovely things that require me to be entirely engaged in this world and realizing that I am a person that affects my own reality and that of all those around me. This isn’t a game, or a bad dream to escape from. I only have one life, and I refuse to waste it escaping from reality.

cath’s evening journal

Tonight I wanted to listen to some certain music. I yearned for it, even while knowing that I had never heard it before… just as I sit before this screen, knowing that this is the time I would be giving to him if he were here. I know what it is to miss someone so badly that there is a vacuum inside, even though this person has not entered my life yet. It is the feeling I have after waking up and trying to remember what I dreamed… I always find it impossible to catch the images, because they flee from me. I encounter this trickery again when my heart cries out to go home, but remember that I am already there- or am I? and I long for a place where I have never been, loving things and people that do not yet exist for me.

a prayer: honest poetry

my Father,

somehow I know tonight that you work in me,

even as I moan, weary of my sin disease.

I hate my flesh that loves all that is in the world;

the twin lusts and the exalting pride destroy me.

though a child of my own Father, I feel a bastard

and see the sickening resemblance of heart and mind

to the dark master in my past. I am weakness.

am I an invalid in the house of my Father?

why is victory wrung, and defeat commonplace?

I remember sovereign love in the pain

Yesterday my family all gathered together for the first time in two years. It was to be a weekend full of quiet reunion and just living together for a few rare days. Then came in one son and brother, with heaviness and pain showing in his face and his step; yes, it was a lingering health issue we all knew about- it was easy to forget his pain because it was so daily and familiar. Honestly, when I saw it was worse, I wished it away and got a little angry. This, of all days to be weighed down by sickness! when we were all in one place for once and just trying to have a party before reality set in again.

And then my Daddy came in and gathered us all together. “We need to pray,” he said, “because when one member hurts we all hurt.” With his Bible trembling in his rough hands, he read from psalm 91, wavering but always coming back with strength. And he prayed. The often absent brother prayed too, full of love and boldness and coming to the throne for his brother. And I wept… because here I found meaning in the pain that I had wished would go away. It wrapped us all closer together in the arms of God and in such a deep family love that I could feel it, and I remembered that He does all things well.

in which my art teacher scares me to death

Today after one of our art finals, the teacher gave us what he called “his speech.” Basically, he told us that we had to have enough of a passion for art to really, really work at it, because it wouldn’t be easy. We had to know what we wanted and be good at it, or, in his words, “the art world will chew you up and spit you out.” He rather scolded some of us for not giving our best or working at a college level. After he said “have a good summer” and we left, some of the students were happy that they wouldn’t have to see that teacher for three months… I think we were all intimidated and a little scared that we wouldn’t make it through the rest of our college career. Maybe some of them will change their major to business admin or humanities. Me? I am scared to death and have added a bunch of things to my “to do in order to be a professional artist” list. I do know, however, that God has made me an artist. I know how it feels to be so overwhelmed by beauty, that it results in a sort of sickness- a throbbing pain in the heart. I know the pressure of pent up self-expression and also the impatience of putting it all aside. I will not give up… I will give it my best!

dr. stanley: the fruit of love

I’ve been feeling the absence of love for others in my heart, and need this truth…

1. Joy is love enjoying.
2. Peace is love resting.
3. Patience (or longsuffering) is love waiting.
4. Kindness is love reacting.
5. Goodness is love choosing.
6. Faithfulness is love keeping its word.
7. Gentleness is love being able to empathize.
8. Self control is love being in charge.

-Dr. Charles Stanley,

the eagle: on flying high

“On a day in the autumn, I saw a prairie eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot. His eye still gleamed like a circle of light. Then he slowly turned his head, and gave one more searching and longing look at the sky. He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings. The beautiful sky was the home of his heart. It was the eagle’s domain. A thousand times he had exploited there his splendid strength. In those far away heights be had played with the lightnings, and raced with the winds, and now, so far away from home, the eagle lay dying, done to the death, because for once he forgot and flew too low. The soul is that eagle. This is not its home. It must not lose the skyward look. We must keep faith, we must keep hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ. We would better creep away from the battlefield at once if we are not going to be brave. There is no time for the soul to stampede. Keep the skyward look, my soul; keep the skyward look!”

-Streams in the Desert

losing big money & trusting the Giver

This morning I found out that out of sheer stupidity, I lost a scholarship. Misunderstandings & missed deadlines removed the possibility of a very much needed payment on my tuition bill. It made me so mad I cried… I walked along to my dorm and said, “Why do  I have to fight so hard to do your will, God? You know, I could do something easier.” Both my parents and I have been working for years to make college possible, and it hurts me to see how much they are sacrificing for plane tickets, laundry, care packages, clothes… etc. I am paying for tuition with my own blood, sweat, and tears, and I just lost half of what I would make all summer long.

Then I read the Psalm that was open on my browser. “Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled… they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel.” I’m not going to pretend that everything is fine now, but I do know that God has brought me to my third year of college with no debt- He will certainly be faithful for the last two and a half years. Through the fire & the storm, I pray that I will still be able to look up and praise Him for His goodness and His wonderful works in my life. “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the LORD!” [Ps. 106:48]