Friday, 21 December 2012

The Turn of The Tide by C.S. Lewis

Found this in a book of poems by C.S. Lewis. A beautiful imagining about the birth of Christ. The meter is a little strange, I had to read a couple of phrases more than once to find the rhythm.
Also, there are leprechauns.

"Breathless was the air over Bethlehem. Black and bare
Were the fields; hard as granite the clods;
Hedges stiff with ice; the sedge in the vice
Of the pool, like pointed iron rods.
And the deathly stillness spread from Bethlehem. It was shed
Wider each moment on the land;
Through rampart and wall into camp and into hall
Stole the hush; all tongues were at a stand.
At the Procurator's feast the jocular freedman ceased
His story, and gaped. All were glum
Travellers at their beer in a tavern turned to hear
The landlord; their oracle was dumb.
But the silence flowed forth to the islands and the North
And smoothed the unquiet river bars
And levelled out the waves from their revelling and paved
The sea with cold reflected stars.
Where the Caesar on Palatine sat at ease to sign,
Without anger, signatures of death,
There stole into his room and on his soul a gloom,
And his pen faltered, and his breath.
Then to Carthage and the Gauls, past Parthia and the Falls
Of Nile and Mount Amara it crept;
The romp and war of beast in swamp and jungle ceased,
The forest grew still as though it slept.
So it ran about the girth of the planet. From the Earth
A signal, a warning, went out
And away behind the air. Her neighbours were aware
Of change. They were troubled with a doubt.

Salamanders in the Sun that brandish as they run
Tails like the Americas in size
Were stunned by it and dazed; wondering, they gazed
Up at Earth, misgiving in their eyes.
In Houses and Signs Ousiarchs divine
Grew pale and questioned what it meant;
Great Galactal lords stood back to back with swords
Half-drawn, awaiting the event,
And a whisper among them passed, 'Is this perhaps the last
Of our story and the glories of our crown?
--The entropy worked out?--The central redoubt
Abandoned? The world-spring running down?
Then they could speak no more. Weakness overbore
Even them. They were as flies in a web,
In their lethargy stone-dumb. The death had almost come;
The tide lay motionless at ebb.

Like a stab at that moment, over Crab and Bowman,
Over Maiden and Lion, came the shock
Of returning life, the start and burning pang at heart,
Setting Galaxies to tingle and rock;
And the Lords dared to breathe, and swords were sheathed
And a rustling, a relaxing began,
With a rumour and noise of the resuming of joys,
On the nerves of the universe it ran.
Then pulsing into space with delicate, dulcet pace
Came a music, infinitely small
And clear. But it swelled and drew nearer and held
All worlds in the sharpness of its call.
And now divinely deep, and louder, with the sweep
and quiver of inebriating sound,
The vibrant dithyramb shook Libra and the Ram,
The brains of Aquarius spun round;
Such a note as neither Throne nor Potentate had known
Since the Word first founded the abyss,
But this time it was changed in a mystery, estranged,
A paradox, an ambiguous bliss.
Heaven danced to it and burned. Such answer was returned
To the hush, the Favete, the fear
That Earth had sent out; revel, mirth and shout
Descended to her, sphere below sphere.
Saturn laughed and lost his latter age's frost,
His beard, Niagara-like, unfroze;
Monsters in the Sun rejoiced; the Inconstant One,
The unwedded Moon, forgot her woes.
A shiver of re-birth and deliverance on the Earth
went gliding. Her bonds were released.
Into broken light a breeze rippled and woke the seas,
In the forest it startled every beast.
Capripods fell to dance from Taproban to France,
Leprechauns from Down to Labrador,
In his green Asian dell the Phoenix from his shell
Burst forth and was the Phoenix once more.

So death lay in arrest. But at Bethlehem the bless'd
Nothing greater could be heard
Than a dry wind in the thorn, the cry of the One new-born,
And cattle in stall as they stirred."

Monday, 26 November 2012

Christmas giving: what's it going to take?

To all of my readers (cuz I know there is actually a plethora of you out there, just for some reason you're not showing up in my view count thing...) Ahem To all of my readers, if you don't believe in God, I hope you will still read my blog, and learn about why I believe in God, and why I live the way I do. If you don't believe in God and it really irritates you to read blogs which refer to him... I still hope you will read my blog.

So, the other day I was in Sobeys grocery shopping, and when I left I walked past one of the Salvation Army Christmas Kettles. After I walked past it I asked myself, why do I always walk past these things? I discovered that, oddly enough, my main reason for walking by is embarrassment. Why the heck would I embarrassed to give to charity? For some reason the thought of stopping in the middle of a doorway, having to dig through my purse for my wallet, and then through my wallet for change, and then try and get it into the little slot (slots are such a challenge for me!) makes me break out into a cold sweat. So really, is that a good reason not to give to charity? I don't think so. I think about all the sad news announcements about charities not reaching their donation goals and feel very guilty. So I says to myself I says "Kaitlyn, there will be other kettles. The next time you come across one you will put money in."

About half an hour later I was leaving Canadian Tire and, what do you know? Another kettle. Now's my chance! I'm walking closer, closer, closer, and... I pass by. I hear the pathetic "jingle jingle" as the door shuts behind me, and I've missed my chance again. Even the immense pain in my conscience is not enough to get me to turn around. "There will be others," I tell myself. "You will have another chance!"

About half an hour later I am at the cash register at Independent. I have just paid for my order when the cashier from the next till says to me "Did you get that goat cheese, dear?" Lo and behold, I had goat cheese in my cart, hidden under my purse, and I had been about to leave with it! Embarassed, I paid for the goat cheese. As I'm headed out the door, guess what I see? Another kettle. Already flustered by the goat cheese situation, I am clearly incapable of stopping, opening my wallet, searching for change, and getting it in the slot.
As I walk through the automatic doors I nearly barf all over the linoleum floors. I make myself sick. I am a despicable human being. Ever heard of someone being a Judas? Well I'm a Peter. Three times... cockadoodledoo!!!

 I get to my car and am searching in my purse for my phone when I feel a mysterious object in my purse. I pull it out, and, horror of horrors, I discover that I HAVE STOLEN something! A stick of organic, paraben free deodorant, no less. Apparently, I had put it in my purse after checking to make sure it smelled good (it does, by the way). It takes me about 2 seconds to realize I am going back in to pay for my deodorant. I march myself into the Independent and announce: "I stole this, and now I would like to pay for it."

You better believe that after all that I PUT MONEY IN THE STUPID KETTLE!

Just another little story about why I believe in God. He knows us, He knows our hearts, and He knows what it will take to get us to act. I need to be a more giving person. Clearly.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Hebrews 4

Over the past week or so I felt just awful. I knew I should snap myself out of it, but I didn't care enough to. This is what I wrote...

I feel frustrated, lost, overwhelmed, and angry. I feel like I have given up so much, and for what? If God told me tomorrow to hop on a plane headed for Africa, I think I'd do it. This sitting around and waiting is the worst. It's not even nice waiting, like anticipation, because I have no idea what's coming or when or if it's going to be any fun when it gets here. I'm worried I'm going to be stuck here, in this place emotionally, physically, and spiritually, forever.
I'm uncertain about what to do with my time. There are so many things I could be doing but I don't know what I should be doing.
I feel so far from God, and so tired. I need to be peaceful and rest in Him, but I also need to "not grow weary in well doing." 
I'm sinking into the green, filthy murk of my own pride.

Hebrews 4:18 "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted."

Jesus must have been tempted to sink into melancholy. The Holiest of Holies, dwelling with our filth. He knew the eternal destiny of every soldier marching past, ever merchant selling their wares, every beggar, every Pharisee, ever child. He knew his own fate, to suffer on the cross, to be separated from God for a time. How tempting it must have been to just stay in bed, go back to sleep, stay in the garden alone and weep.
He must really get it when people can't seem to stop being sad, when they are feeling overwhelmed, tired, weak.  "He... being tempted... is able to aid those who are tempted."

Hebrews 4: 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

It is a humbling experience to ask for help, whether it is from a friend, a mentor, or God Himself. He longs to equip us with what we need to meet our day, our responsibilities, our trials. To greet whatever comes with a peaceful, confident attitude. Whatever comes.
Whatever comes. 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

driving in cars with grandmas

Sitting in the passenger's seat while my 82 year old grandmother drives puts a whole new meaning to the words "awe" and "fear". If you were in the queue of cars behind us, I apologize.
"Nana, just so you know the speed limit is 80 on this road," I say sweetly.
"Oh, ok."
Continues to drive 65. A couple of times I feel the car speed up and glance hopefully at the speedometer, only to feel that horrible lurching feeling of the brakes being applied. Have I mentioned I'm sorry if you were behind us?
Next we get to the highway. It's a 4 lane, highway, not big, but clearly a highway.
"Is it 80 on this road?"
"No, it is 100."
"Oh. That's why all the cars are passing me."
Yes, that would be why.
When we get into town, we approach a round-about at a fairly steady clip, getting closer and closer to the black truck ahead, whose brake lights glow a foreboding red. Closer, closer, closer, my life flashes before my eyes and I think to myself "Well, there are worse ways to die", when she finally applies those wonderful brakes.
Next we approach a stoplight. We will be turning left, but the light is red.
"Where am I going?"
Proceeds into intersection.
"Not on a red!" I can't help myself, but the light turns green and we continue driving.
"What was that, dear?"
I laugh nervously, "Oh nothing, I was just like, 'no, not..." The brakes make a comeback and we lurch to a stop. This exchange has taken only a matter of seconds, and we are smack in the middle of the intersection.
"No? Not left?" she questions in a panic.
"No! I mean, yes, left! GO!!"

We park and I go into a store while Nana waits in the car. When I come out and get in the car I tell her.
"Ok, Nana, you're going to go straight now and then turn right at the light."
"Oh, ok." She responds, and we pull on to the street.
"Ok, so see that light? You're going to turn right at that light." I say.
We pull up to the light.
"Ok, so where am I going?"

I won't even try to explain what happened when we got to the roundabout again and had to turn right twice within a matter of seconds. It was almost beyond us. We managed, however.

Later we get to the parking lot at Wal-Mart.

"I'm going to try to get nice and close," she says as we cut across parking spaces willy-nilly.
"Ok," I reply. I am not even bothering to watch for other cars at this point, I figure if I'm going to die, I don't want to see it coming.
"How about right here?" She asks. I open my eyes and find we are between two enormous trucks, a mile away from the entrance and with the nose of our car jutting out about 3 feet past the others.
"This is fine, Nana, but I think you need to back up just a smidge," I say when I have unlocked my jaw.

The ride home is much faster, though as I watch that scary white line on the side of the road get closer and closer to our tires, I'm wondering if we were better off communing with the snails.

We made it home. Safe and sound. I hope that when I'm 82 I can still drive a car, and will be willing to move to a new town "up north" after living in the same home for 30 years, to live with my son and his wife and their crazy radical daughter who has no job, isn't in school, and almost all her friends have moved away and left her.

Yes, I think my Nana's pretty cool, and I'm going to keep letting her drive. Life's short and I want to live it, and I want her to live it too.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


I can't believe what happened this weekend. My Kevin got married. MY KEVIN GOT MARRIED! Also, my Lay-Ka got married.
To my Kevin.
Why are we all so OLD?

Anyways, Kevin is one of my best friends in the whole world. Our moms met in the hospital when we were just weeks old (we were both sick, poor wee babies). They would chat and Kevin's mom, Glenda, would keep an eye on me in the hospital when my mom had to go home to look after my older brothers. They lost touch afterwards, though.
About two years later, in a little town called Bracebridge, a two hour drive north of where they originally met, my mom saw, or thought she saw, Glenda in McDonald's, with a little boy about my age. My mom hesitated though, and then they were gone. Five minutes later, we ran into them again in Zellers. Friendship was rekindled. What was the likelihood of both families moving from "the city" to the small town of Gravenhurst, and then running into each other on an outing in Bracebridge? Destiny, that's what.

19 years later I'm driving in my car to McDonald's to buy Kevin a small regular coffee. I just bought him a present at GT Boutique, camo "onesie" pajamas, and next I'm headed to the LCBO for a can of Richard's Red. In my trunk I have my entire collection of beauty supplies, a black dress, grey tights, and black Toms. I get to his house, he takes a swig of coffee followed by a swig of beer. I ask him the question I already know the answer to.
"Have you eaten anything yet today?"
"I'm making you food. How about pancakes? Want some pancakes? I'm making you pancakes. Glenda, where is the pancake mix? I hope you have some because I don't know how to make pancakes otherwise. Do you want pancakes too? How about everybody else? You know what, I'm just going to make everybody pancakes! Kevin, get me a frying pan."

This pretty much sums up our friendship. I don't know how he endured my bossiness all throughout the years. I think he learned to just suffer in silence.

A few hours later I'm watching him watch his bride walk down the aisle. I'm listening to him say his vows. I'm crying because he's crying. It is taking everything that's in me not to run into the pastor's office and rip the phone jack out of the wall. I was definitely not feeling the love of Christ toward whoever chose to call the church at that moment.

There were pictures in the pouring rain, there was a beautiful reception with singing and dancing and more tears. There was delicious food and I got served first along with the bride because we were the only people gluten and dairy free (so awesome, remember that next time you go to a wedding! People with allergies get special treatment...)

So two of my dearest friends were married. I get to see my Kevin loved and cherished by a beautiful, godly young woman. I get to see him love and cherish her. Life is good... and God is better.

Monday, 22 October 2012

hope and humbling

God has been shaking my confidence lately. When God shakes your confidence, it's a frightening thing, but you come out just... better. I believe this is called "humbling". 

There are really hard things in all of our lives, and there are some really hard things in mine. I have wishes and hopes and dreams for the people around me, but I'm forced to stand by and watch as they suffer and dig themselves deeper and deeper in sin and pain. I pray for them, I try to pray with faith. I try not to be like the man in James 1, who was a double-minded unstable doubter, like a wave driven and tossed by the wind, yet that is exactly how I feel sometimes, well, most of the time. I always fear that my prayers won't be answered in the way I want them to be. We talk about praying for God's will, but I think our secret fear is that His will won't align with ours.

I was thinking about hope, and how hard it is to have hope for other people. It seems like so much of what happens in our lives is directly dependent on our own behaviour. We live in a world of sin and consequence, of work and reward, of reaping and sowing. My hopes for other people are dependent on them, that they will turn away from their sin and turn to God. My hopes for myself are based on my own self-discipline and obedience to God. The problem is, these hopes aren't fail-proof. I want something I can hope in with confidence, really believing it's going to come to pass.

I think sometimes we think of hope as being more along the lines of wishful thinking. Yet that's not the definition of hope. Webster's says it is "to desire with expectation of obtainment" or "to expect with confidence". This certainly doesn't suggest a passive wish or fancy. The bible doesn't suggest that either. 

As I was struggling and trying to figure out how to hope in faith for God to answer my prayers, I felt Him saying to me. "I have given you an everlasting hope."

Romans 8:23-25

New King James Version (NKJV)
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

This speaks of a hope in an assured future, waiting knowing that it will happen, knowing your perseverance won't be in vain.

I realized that He is the only One worth putting any hope in at all. The words of Chris Tomlin's song "Jesus Messiah" rang in my head. "All our hope is in You. All our hope is in You" I wondered to myself, what would my life look like if I put all my hope in God? 

If I put all of my hope in the assurance of my salvation, then I would have hope that never fails. If I put all my hope in the promises of God's Word, then I would have hope that never fails.

 It takes so much trust, though, trust that God is bigger, greater, wiser, and infinitely more loving than I could ever be. If I put all my hope in that, in the promises that He makes, wouldn't I be able to live in perfect peace?

I wrote in my journal.

"If all of my hopes are placed in God, how can they ever fail? I need to fixate myself on eternal dreams, dreams that are so caught up in God that they are prophetic."

I like the word "prophetic". It means predictive, foretelling events that will happen. I believe the promises in God's Word, so I can I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will come true. How awesome is it that we can have hopes and dreams that we know will be fulfilled? If our dreams are caught up in Him, in the assurance of His Word.

So I will cling to those promises, that He will never leave me, that He desires that all should come to Him, that He will save those who turn to Him, that His justice will prevail (that's a hard one), and that His plan is better.

Personally, I think that's better than any old wishing star. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

giggle fits, skunks, and kindred spirits

I consider myself a grown up. I am twenty-one, I have lived away from home, I have my G, I have a cheque book (blast this american spell checker! Cheque is a word. It means MONEY. A check is something completely different, like a spell check!), I love to grocery shop, and I am beginning to insist that all my footwear is supportive. These, I think, are very grown up things.
All my life I have lived in the illusion that when I am grown up I will no longer fall victim to... the giggle fit. I have realized, sadly, that this is not the case.
It was clear at 17, when my dad prayed for my girlfriends and I, thanking God  for our friendship and asking that we would continue to "pursue each other", that we were not yet over the giggle fit stage.
It was clear when we were 19, with 6 of us cuddled in a massive snuggle pile while my friend's dad prayed, that we still had not yet overcome.
It was clear to me tonight, at 21, during a very grown up bible study, without even the support of my giggly girlfriends, that I am still prone to the attack of the dreaded giggle fit.

In order to understand how this fit came on, I must relay to you an incredibly sad story.

We have a family who are very very dear friends of ours. I call them aunt and uncle and their daughter is like a younger sister to me. Recently they went on a trip and left their dog and cat with Grandpa.
One night, Grandpa discovered that the dear dog had had an accident on his carpet, well, not just one accident but several. So he sent her out into the backyard, and got down on his hands and knees and scrubbed his carpets clean. When he let the dear dog back in, she was covered in mud from the yard. He patiently cleaned her off with a towel, but, neglected her legs. Moments later he found yet another mess all over his carpet. He put her out again. He scrubbed his carpet again. When he opened the door to let her in for the third time, he must have immediately known his mistake. Arrested by the strong stench, he was temporarily stunned as the dear dog rushed passed him to again desecrate his carpet, this time infusing it with the charming odour of skunk.
That same night, Grandpa's sewer backed up and flooded his basement. And who should get lost in the basement but the lovely cat? So in addition to dealing with the dear dog, Grandpa also goes wading in the basement with a flashlight to search for the cat.

Horrendous story isn't it? Yet they laugh as they tell it because apparently Grandpa is laughing about it, too. It's either laugh or cry, right? He says "Well, I might have to burn the house down to get rid of the smell!"

So. After story time we settle down to study time. I like being around people my age, but I don't feel uncomfortable with older or younger people, in fact I think it's important to socialize and study with varying ages. That being said, I am at least 30 years younger than everyone in our study group except for said friend-like-a-sister. She sits across from me.
We are reading the scriptures laid out. It is a deep topic. "The Great Apostasy". The scriptures are intense and require great concentration. We are taking turns reading the assigned passages and I look over mine as I await my turn.

2 Peter 2: 22
"A dog returns to his own vomit" and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."

I press my lips together in a very thin line. I knit my eyebrows together. I bite my lip. I try to think about something else. I try to concentrate on the passage currently being read. I take a note. I lick my lips. I know my turn is coming. I must not look up at my friend across the room. One look at her and I will lose it. She is a kindred spirit. She will either know immediately why I look so pained or want to know and then all will be lost. It's my turn. I read the passage. The part about the dog and the sow is at the end, so I am able to feel the weight of the passage, and when I finally come to that part, I do not hesitate. I press on, perhaps speaking a little faster than usual, and... I make it through! I did. not. laugh.

The things I have discovered about giggle fits.

1) Don't start. If you start, you're done for.
2) Avoid eye contact. Don't even think about eye contact.
3) Think about something unrelated. Not something sad, because anything highly emotional could set you off at this point. Try to concentrate on what's going on around you.
4) They are not a sign of ditziness. I always associated giggles with being a little dumb or immature, but I recently read a book about a girl getting her MPhil at Oxford who openly confessed that she was prone to giggle fits.
5) Tell a kindred spirit about what made you want to giggle afterwards at an appropriate time, and have a hearty giggle about it then.
6) Forget what made you want to giggle in the first place so it doesn't come back to haunt you at an inopportune time... like during a sermon.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

health nut

Most of you who know me know that in the past years I have turned into a total crazy health nut/monster.
 Anyways I read the book the Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin and it pretty much changed my life forever. My mom read it too and she, my dad, and I try to follow the healthy lifestyle that Rubin lays out in the book. I do this not just to be healthy, but also for existing allergies and sensitivities that I have to food. Basically I don't eat dairy, gluten, and eggs. People are always shocked and horrified and say "that must be so limiting!". When you think about it, though, that still leaves a whole host of delicious and healthy foods! I eat a ton of meat including beef, chicken, and fish but excluding pork and shellfish (scavengers, ew!). We buy local grass-fed beef and are currently looking for somewhere to get chicken at a decent price. I also eat tons of vegetables, the more the merrier. It's been great this summer because we were able to get a lot of local and organic stuff at the farmer's market. We also got local honey there, which is a great alternative to sugar in tea, coffee, and baking and also helps with seasonal allergies. I eat tons of nuts, and love soaking them in warm water and salt for 8 hours (3 days for almonds, draining them a couple times a day) then roasting them at 150  until they're dry (which takes hours and hours, but they're so delicious!). I can also stomach goat dairy products, which are now carried by pretty much any grocery store, so I eat a lot of goat cheese, yogurt, and use the milk in my tea and coffee. I do eat some grain products like rice and quinoa, but not very often. We try to eat sweet potato instead of white potatoes, and we usually have them a couple of times a week. Basically, I eat TONS!

Today I made gluten, dairy, egg, and sugar-free (as in refined sugar free, there is plenty of natural sugars from the dried fruits) pumpkin muffins. I was going by memory from an ordinary pumpkin muffin recipe, and using up some ingredients we had in the house.

They're not super sweet, but I like them. The spices give them a bit of kick, and though crunchy on the outside, they're nice and moist inside. Since they're a treat though, next time I would use another 1/2 cup of dates, and not boil them for so long, because it took too much of the sugar out. The only reason I boil them is to soften them so they can be blended. If you put them in the blender with the pumpkin and the oil you might be able to get away with not boiling them.

1 cup dates
2 1/2 cups flour ( I used 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour, 1/2 cup quinoa flour, 1 cup coconut flour, and 1 tsp Xanthan gum which I think was too much)
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup raisins - soaked for 10 minutes in warm water
3 eggs (or for me, 3 tbsp. flax seed and 9 tbsp. warm water)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
14 oz pumpkin

Boil the dates in water, drain, then shove them in the blender with the pumpkin. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix together, fill your muffin tins and bake at 400 for 15 minutes or so-ish.

Enjoy with chai tea and honey goat cheese. yum yum

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

a me novel

I have thought for some time that my life would make an interesting book. Or rather, that I could make my life into an interesting book. I've always felt, however, that I couldn't write it without knowing how certain things turn out.
Now, I'm beginning to realize how I have come full circle on some of those things. Even though I'm in a place of uncertainty in my life, there are some things of which I am very certain.
It's not time to write that book yet, but it is time to start living book two.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

I am ashamed to say, I got lost again.
Never again will I brag about my amazing sense of direction. This time I was lost for a good half an hour, driving around Barrie trying to find the mall. I had gone to Barrie to pick up my grandma, and she chatted happily in my ear the whole time, completely willing to let me drive around until I had exhausted my own patience and finally stopped to ask for directions. I must remember her example next time I'm with my dad and he gets us lost...

Today, I went to the Bala Cranberry Festival. My dad has a booth there, advertising "Straight Shooter Tops", his upholstery business. The vendors who were there from local businesses were pretty normal, but the ones who make their living from travelling around to different shows and festivals... some of them were pretty interesting. It's just so different, such a different job description from what most of us are used to. Some of the things they sell are weird too, you have to wonder how they do any business. There was this one vendor, I'm afraid of saying too much because I think he was local, he was selling possibly one of the most boring things in creation, and only that one product. He looked like a Calvin Klein model, and the way he stood made him look like he was posing, and his gaze was so aloof like "approach my booth... if you're worthy of my beauty". I never saw anyone approach his booth.

The vendor across from my dad sells jewellery. My dad says he's an absolute tyrant, sweet and flattering to his customers one minute, and cursing them the next. I guess that's one thing about being a travelling vendor, you don't really need to have a reputation with your customers.

I went to the gym this afternoon, and this song came on my i-pod.
Against the Grain - City and Colour

I really like this song. I find it encouraging and relaxing. I feel though, that this whole "follow your heart" thing that our culture and world embraces is often used as an excuse for doing whatever we want (YOLO!). God says (Jeremiah 17:9) that are hearts are wicked and deceitful... so I'm not sure they're the best compass to follow.

So I'm going to believe this with my whole heart.

Psalm 3:5 &6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

It just seems like a way better idea. My heart can be a little spastic sometimes.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

I am clearly the most faithful blogger in creation.
So... kind of a lot has happened since the last time I blogged. But since the only people who read my blogs are people who actually know me, I'm just not going to go into it. Ok? Ok.

So, we moved, and now I can walk through my backyard into a gloriously quiet, serene forest, with interconnecting trails surrounding a large pit and also one long one that takes you far far away into lands unknown.

Yesterday I went for a walk in my forest in the rain. I had my poochies, Buddy and Molly ( I knooow, most clever dog names of life, right?), with me. I have grown up in this town, and subsequently, in these woods, however I'm not familiar with all of the little trails and how they connect to each other. I have always prided myself on having a very good sense of direction. I always know the direction I have come from, and if I've been somewhere once, I can usually get there again. I can find my way around a new town as long as the streets are in grid pattern (unlike Orillia, the other week I got lost going to my orthodontist. It was my third time going there. I tried to take a different route- anyways that's another story!).

However, somehow I managed to get myself completely... turned around, let's call it. I knew where I was. I was behind the cemetery. I just didn't know how I got there. In my mind's eye there was one big pit, and I had no recollection of crossing that pit. I am pretty sure I would have noticed. I hadn't however, and even now, I still don't know how I got to the other side. My brother informs me that "the pit" is actually in the shape of a donut, but that still doesn't make sense to me, unless the center of the donut is connected and makes a bridge across the whole pit. In which case, it would not be a donut.
I digress.

I was not frightened, but there is something a little unnerving about being unsure of your way in the woods in the pouring rain. Then my dog Buddy began misbehaving. There is something extremely comical about an already rather dumb dog who is also going deaf and blind - except when it is pouring rain and you are slightly unsure of your way. Then it is annoying. Molly, our faithful black lab, just trotted along behind me happily. I ended up turning around and going back the way we'd come, only to come out at yet another familiar landmark, uncertain of how we got there. I am sure I will figure things out, but I was quite disappointed by my internal compass. Alas, pride comes before a fall.

I'm thankful for familiar landmarks. I can't imagine what it would be like to be really, truly lost. Sometimes I get confused and I'm not certain of the way, but there is always someone or something to point it out to me.

OOO so deep. Someone go make that last bit your facebook status and impress all your friends with how deep you are!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Hunger Games: Part 2 My Favourite Characters

The Hunger Games: My Favourite Characters

Hokay, so Suzanne Collins is definitely not a fan of creating perfect little characters. They’re all very real, multi-dimensional, have good qualities as well as bad, and make both poor and brilliant choices. There are a few characters that I have picked as my favourites.


Such an obvious choice. Who doesn’t love a good “gay best friend” character? Ok so I know there’s nowhere that says he’s gay, but he definitely falls in that ever-popular character category. He is more than just a stereotype however.

Katniss: “So you’re here to help me look pretty?”
Cinna: “No, I’m here to help you make an impression.”
Cinna wanted to not only help Katniss, but her District. He wanted to make them proud and give them all something to fight for. Later in the series, Cinna makes some pretty amazing sacrifices for the greater good of Panem. He got it. He understood that it wasn’t just about putting on a good show.


Prim is kind of displayed as a weak character, but sometimes it is hardest to be the person who is left behind. I think that as we get to know her better throughout the series she becomes a truly excellent character. She cares about the people around her, not just those closest to her. She is willing to lay her own safety and comfort on the line to help others. She hates seeing anyone suffer. In a series so full of violence and gore, she is very refreshing.


Well first of all, I have to admit that I am such a sucker for the whole “best friend romance” thing. Gets me every time. But before you think that I’m just one of the many fan girls drowning in the sultry grey eyes (it just took me a good 2 minutes to figure out what colour his eyes were) of Liam Hemsworth, I do have some legit reasons why I love Gale.

Gale is manly. He provides for his family, he works hard and makes many sacrifices for them. This is awesome. Men should do this.

Gale sees the big picture. He loves Katniss, yes. He wants to be with her, to protect her and provide for her, but not at any cost. He is concerned about his entire district, and the other districts as well. He has a strong sense of justice and is willing to fight for freedom for everyone. His passion for freedom does become misguided, and he becomes willing to sacrifice too much. However, he is one of the few characters in the book that is truly passionate about the greater battle being fought. He isn’t stuck in his own little world of himself and Katniss and his immediate family, unlike some other characters who I will mention tomorrow in…

Katniss: Why I Think She is a Terrible Example for Young Girls/Everyone.

Monday, 28 May 2012

The Hunger Games Review Part 1: The Questions

I recently succumbed to the trend and read the Hunger Games Trilogy. I saw the film in theatres before I read the book. My first impression was that it was good. I enjoyed it, was entertained, admired some of the performances, and that was about it. The more I thought about it afterwards however, the more disturbed I was by the violence and, what seemed to me, the disregard for the sanctity of human life. I read the books in the hopes of discovering the authors true intentions behind this bloody and violent series, marketed for young adults. I also just wanted some light summer reading to distract me from the bigger issues of life, ugh.

Ok so, if you haven’t read the trilogy or seen the film, here’s a quick summary. Die-hard fans please skip this because I’m sure I won’t cover all of the details you consider so essential to your survival as human beings.

The story takes place in the country of Panem. It is the only country/civilization mentioned in the book, so it’s basically their whole world. Panem is a futuristic North America, after several natural disasters changing its physical characteristics and many wars changing its politics. So we’re left with 13 districts, and one Capitol which is the seat of political power. District 13 rebelled and was annihilated by the Capitol. Every year the Capitol holds the annual Hunger Games, taking a boy and girl between the ages of 8 and 18 (is that it? I can’t remember) from each of the 12 Districts, shoving them in an arena and making them fight to the death. There is only one winner. The people of Panem are forced to watch The Hunger Games on televisions as it plays out live before their eyes.This is to remind the districts that they are powerless against the Capitol, and any repeat of rebellion will result in the death of those they hold dear.

The districts produce materials mostly for the consumption of the Capitol, including coal, electronics, food, etc. The Capitol is where the privileged live. Its citizens are obsessed with cosmetics, undergoing all manner of treatments, tattooing, and surgeries in the name of fashion. They eat and eat then just throw it up. They are dying of diseases but stay alive with the aid of modern medicine. A society which revolves around pleasure, the people of the Capitol worship the tributes of the Hunger Games as their celebrities. They are obsessed with watching the Hunger Games unfold, betting on their favourites, and even helping them by sending gifts. Winners of the Hunger Games are rewarded with a life of ease and fame.

Sound familiar?

Let the Capitol represent Western culture: we, the privileged, killing ourselves with kindness. More than half of our diseases are a result of our own mistreatment of our bodies. Our health care is burdened with caring for people who have knowingly damaged their own bodies. If someone is unhappy with the way they look, they need only pay the fee to change. While we are on the pursuit of pleasure, the underprivileged are providing us with commodities and dying of starvation, not unlike the districts of Panem.

Reality tv. It has taken over.  We watch people starve themselves, destroy their marriages, give birth to babies, get arrested, do drugs, intervene, lose themselves to win a title, and so much more all just for entertainment. That is all. Just entertainment. 

We put weapons into the hands of our children and tell them to have fun. 

It’s just a game. It’s on a screen. It’s not real. And we are sacrificing them with our neglect.

Where is this leading us?

Regardless of the authors intentions in writing the Hunger Games, I definitely think it will make people question our society and where it is headed.

More tomorrow on who my favourite characters are and why!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

another school year over

So here is the story of my life this past school year. 
The first part of my year was insane. It was like when you're in a hot tub then go roll around in the snow then get back in the hot tub. That kind of physical shock. Every Monday and Tuesday of every week. I'm pretty sure none of us were prepared for the intensity of the dance program at SLC, I shouldn't speak for my fellow MUTHers though (MUTH is our program code, so it's what we call ourselves). I know for me, my body wasn't ready for floor barre (aka ballet torture).

 Our ballet teacher is an absolutely fabulous Mexican woman who knows her stuff and is one of the most fit and flexible women I have ever met. I trust a dance teacher who can still really dance. I always thought that ballet was pretty and relaxing before I met her.
INTERRUPTION. Just had a very pathetic life moment. The other day I got this sick feeling randomly that I didn't hand in my final scene study assignment but I was all pshaw I must have. 
I didn't. Just found it in my binder. Sat down and cried.
Back to ballet. So our teacher is a huge believer in floor barre.

Floor Barre -  lying on the floor with your body in strange and unnatural positions while doing endless sets of crunches.

 We do this to develop muscle strength, but mostly to develop muscle awareness. Floor barre makes it easier to understand which muscles you should be engaging while dancing. The first few weeks we did floor barre the entire 1 hour and 15 minute class, Mondays and Tuesday. This put most of us into great amounts of discomfort. Then there was the stretching. 

Our amazing jazz teacher taught us all about PUSHING and PULLING and REACHING to make us as strong and flexible as can be. So basically any muscles that weren't already hurting from ballet now hurt from jazz. Jazz is such a fun class. We get to do and try so many different things, and the energy in that class is always amazing. Our teacher is so encouraging. I honestly have never once heard her say anything negative. She always just wants us to go farther and be better. 
I hate tap. Love our teachers. Hate the dance. Must force self to love it. 
Enter the vocals. When I first met with my vocal coach (and Masterclass professor) I told him I wanted to be a belter. He went through some vocalises with me and had me singing in my chest voice the first day (something I'd never consciously done before, I literally did not know where to "place" my voice). This was really really exciting for me as I had been told in the past that I was "not a belter" and never worked on anything but my usual soprano. 
Our acting classes are varied and with multiple teachers. We learn different techniques and styles in each class which is really fun and a great learning experience. We've had the opportunity to work with lots of different industry professionals this year, which is really important for young actors. It's encouraging for us to see different types of performers, different ways of thinking about things, and different styles of acting. Theatre is art, there's no set format or rulebook.
Music Theatre History and Anatomy = sweet respite from physical activity/using the creative half of your brain! The only classes where we do anything mildly academic. Second Semester we also had Stagecraft. What you mean sit at desk? What is that thing called whiteboard? Do you really excpect us to sit still for 2 hours??? We're only adults!
There are many things I can say about many classes, teachers, and fellow students. Not to mention our production. So much to say, I wish I had kept up better with blogging. But this post is just meant to be a summary, so I won't. I will however, include some quotes from a letter I was writing to my BFF throughout the course of the schoolyear.

"I have a headache. My coffee addiction is getting out of hand."

"Motto of my program: 'I'm OBNOXIOUS!'"

"NO MORE SCHOOL COFFEE blech blech blech"

"You know what I am afraid of? The day I am told to wear fishnet tights. Ugh."

"I just made my squinty eye face at Julija and it almost popped my contact out."

" 'I have a story to tell that is insignificant to anyone else but this topic reminded me of it so HERE ME NOW!' " - music theatre kids

"My coffee is only warm now, not hot. It makes me feel very unsettled."

"We are watching a video of the can-can song played by an orchestra. Everyone is very excited."

"If I want to make it, I have to be fearless."

"Goal of every acting teacher: make their students cry." 

"I don't know why anyone would want to teach us."

"I don't know how to always be real. When I do, I'll be an actress."

Friday, 13 January 2012

outside the snow is falling...

Snow day!!! Except not the kind where you get to sleep in. The kind where you do a dance and vocal warm-up at 8am only to find out your classes are cancelled. ah well.

I've been rather negligent in the blog department, waiting for inspiration to hit. I think I had better learn to write even when I'm not feeling very inspired. Hmm... motto for life?

I haven't really written much about myself in this blog yet, so I guess I'll do just that.

I'm a musical theatre student. That's one of the biggest things in my life right now. It's quite the thing to go to "school" for. It's more like  having a 5-day-a-week rehearsal, or living at a dance studio, or being on Glee. My life is a musical. My days are filled with dance classes (ballet, tap, and jazz), vocal tutorials, acting classes, vocal masterclasses, rehearsals for our upcoming production, music theatre history, and anatomy, which is basically learning how to help our bodies survive our hectic lifestyles.

I love school. Two of my main focuses this year have been ballet (I'm kind of obsessed, it's so pretty!) and working on my belt (aka, singing with chest voice, for anyone reading this [it is entirely possible that no one will read this] who doesn't know what that means, it's basically singing really loud and strong). I've been working really hard in ballet, going to extra classes and practising on my own. I feel like I improved a lot last semester. I can now do a fairly solid double pirouette and usually a triple! My improvement is definitely based on what we are learning about core strength and engaging the right muscles. Singing came a little more naturally. It was mostly about learning how to use what I already had. I still have sooo far to go in everything but I'm feeling encouraged about my progress and so supported by my teachers and peers.

I feel that I am really in the right place right now, but I'm trying to be open to wherever God might lead me. I am really passionate about writing, specifically creating new works for theatre. I hope that one day I will be creating musicals and hopefully performing in them as well.

The theatre world is obviously very secular. In some opinions, it may not be the best place for an NCG (Nice Christian Girl), but I am a firm believer that Christians need to infiltrate the entertainment world, not just stand alone creating works solely for the enjoyment of other Christians. GAH that bothers me so much. Plus they almost always suck. Sometimes it is almost offensive. Are they perhaps making fun of our intelligence levels?

I think that Christians have a responsibility to use our gifts and talents to honour God and to spread the Gospel. I love what C.S. Lewis has to say about this. (He is referring specifically to the public's expectation that the clergy be moral leaders in all areas of society.)

"The application of Christian principles, say, to trade unionism or education, must come from Christian trade unionists and Christian schoolmasters: just as Christian literature comes from Christian novelists and dramatists- not from the bench of bishops getting together and trying to write plays and novels in their spare time."

I don't particularly want to be a Christian dramatist, though I suppose I probably will receive that label. I want to create entertainment that is for everyone, but that challenges people to think deeper, to feel more, and maybe reach out.