Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Week has always been a deep favorite of mine in the liturgical year...and yet somehow I'd never attended Tenebrae (the Wednesday candlelight service) until last night.

We gathered in the church, clustering closely, the Divine Office in our hands, and gazing at the the ascending fifteen candles nestled in a wooden, triangular stand. The solemn rise and fall of Latin prayers, Matins and Lauds, filled the air as we listened to the grief and lamentation of the Psalms + Jeremiah. 

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God." 

With each reading, a yellowed candle and the overhead lights were extinguished until only the center candle, white to represent the Christ, was the only light. It flickered calmly and quietly. 

We gazed at the Light that stood alone, the entire church shrouded in darkness and shadows. 

Then a clamor arose - knocking and drumming, wild noise of clangers and our hands beating against the wooden pews - symbolizing the chaos and tumult that arose in Nature itself when the Light of the world went out. 

And then...silence. 

Pure, deep, and profound silence such as I have never heard before. 
Tenebrae. Shadows. 

The mourning of our Lord. 

His Calvary begins. 

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God. 

Current Thoughts

Monday, March 14, 2016


(warning: brain dump or stream of consciousness post ahead)

-I'm typing away in my cozy little nook of a room in lamplight while the Chet Baker radio station on Spotify plays (instrumental is the only kind of background music I can study to, and jazz is always always my jam). It's been a while since my last post and I actually feel inspired to blog again which is a rather foreign feeling lately.

-I've been shaking things up around here to help transition into some big changes that are either coming or have already happened. I'm finding myself reaching for tea more than coffee now...I've started bullet journaling (which has, to my complete shock, been so therapeutic and calming), listening to lots of contemporary film soundtracks (Lost in Translation, You've Got Mail), making more of an effort to roll out the yoga mat or doing 5 minutes of meditation before bed (the free app Ritual is what I've been using, so sleek and simple), and I'm doing a lot of reading for my soul...blog posts about faith, about the ordinary moments in life. I've also been binge-reading Brain Pickings about the psychology of mastery in creativity, Ursula K. Le Guin, Edith Wharton on being alone, and other brilliant reads.

-my head feels like a jumbled mess of feelings, literary terms, characters, deadlines, names, emotions, over-analysis, and constant thinking. I think for the first time, I'm really trying to gently sort through it, organize and lay things out to look at them properly rather than trying to deeply understand them.

-I bought my first piece of what feels like grown-up jewelry from Old Navy the other day during a sale. It was one of those days, where I got some bad news and then I dropped my glass coffee pot which shattered everywhere, so I said "Screw it," and drove myself to buy a donut and then went shopping. In most stressful instances I don't resort to spending money to make myself feel better, but this was a particularly stressful day and I just needed to take a "personal day" and cheer myself up. It worked.

-I have a secret board for this year, because it feels like a year to keep things a little more private and personal. I'm learning you don't have to share all of your creativity with the outside world. I highly recommend it (having your own secret board, that is - not boasting about my board, ha). It's good to have inspiration and outlets that are just for your eyes alone without worrying about validation or getting likes/repins, and it means I can pin WHATEVER without worrying about offending someone or someone getting worried about whether I'm being passive aggressive or trying to garner self-pity.

I look at it as a self improvement board where I pin things about emotional health, physical health, mantras, and things that really speak to me during what I've dubbed my "Adele year." What does that mean? It means taking control of my life, learning to stop apologizing and worrying about what other people think of me, and just being proud of who I am, who I've become, and the natural personality I have.

-also can we just take a minute to talk about how wonderful secret boards on Pinterest are? I have. so. many. Mostly storyboards for various books and screenplays I have in the works, but also for gift ideas, for fangirling purposes, and for really private things like love + relationships. I'm a huge visual person, which is why Pinterest + Instagram are my favorite social media platforms, and I love words/sayings, especially ones that describe what my emotions as they change over the months and years, but I don't always want to broadcast that to all of the internet. Enter...secret boards. Ahhh. So lovely.

Thank you, People in Charge of Pinterest. Thank you.

-this semester was supposed to be my "Yes Hiatus" one...meaning that this was the semester I gave myself permission to not say yes to things and people if I didn't want to/need to. As always, when it comes to setting boundaries, I've been pretty sub-par and found myself panicking last night at 2 am thinking of certain things that I needed to get done today and then realized I didn't have to do them. They were all things I had decided I should do. Not things I needed to do. 

In other words, the world was still going to keep turning if I didn't them. So I sat up in bed, grabbed the small journal and pen I keep on my bedside table and made four lists.

What I Can Say No To Right Now
 -saying yes to a weeknight commitment
-certain circumstances of negativity 
-submitting an application for something no longer time-sensitive

Things I Will Do
-study for test this week
-do homework
-do yoga/workout
-save energy
-answer emails
Things I Have to Do 
-go to work
-go to class
-prep for an upcoming retreat I'm staffing 

Things I "Should" Do (But Won't Right Now)
-go to events on school nights
-say yes 

And instantly I felt so much better, and my shoulders truly felt lighter as if weight had been lifted off of them. Gotta love a good list.

So that's things currently.