Monthly Archives: April 2010

house.

I have written words on pages since I can remember. I have kept constant journals since I graduated from High School. Just yesterday I pulled out a bunch of journals and was flipping through them. I encountered so many memories from the past; trips to California, time spent in Colorado, troubles, travels, loves, music, family, friends. It was really interesting to see my progression of thought and how my writing has changed over the past few years.

My pen has felt clogged lately- I just can’t quite narrate my days like I used to. Am I not allowing myself time? Space? Even when I have bursts of creativity I no longer reach for a pen and paper like I so often did- I am channeling in other ways. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, it just became apparent to me since I read all of these things from the past. Anyways, those are just random thoughts.

A lot of stuff has been going in Grand Rapids- I feel like I haven’t addressed that in quite a few posts now. WE GOT A HOUSE! Not just any house but THE TREEHOUSE. By we, I mean the girls of the intentional community I am involved in. It is just across the street and down a few houses from the guys house – The Barth Bag- and suits us perfectly. Jaclyn, Deborah and Kristen are moving in this weekend and my move in date is pending on several things. Praying about that. What a gift this house is! It has so many windows and is light inside, we have a prayer cantina and so much space for cooking, crafting and communing together. Blessings, blessings, blessings!

And finally, I decided to go to school. Here is why… Last week Jaclyn, Kristen, Michael, Matt and I went out to a farm to work and learn and help. It was such a beautiful day and the whole time I felt so passionate about learning from this woman, Annie. She was full of knowledge about the earth, how things grow, sustainability, horticulture, etc. I began to pray about how this could be used in my life and by goodness I realized this is what I need to study in school! So Environmental Studies it is! This fall! Hooray! School!

These sunshine days are too wonderful. Thank you thank you!

spring days.

spring days.

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poem.

Just for the purpose of sharing such beautiful words…

THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

tracks.

This is today…

Beginning again. New fellowship. Secret rooms & passageways. Chocolate hummus. Strawberries. Exploring new train tracks. Falling in love with rain. Stepping on fish. Bitter wind. Bridges & birds. Cold feet. Breathe owl Breathe meets The Tallest Man on Earth meets Anathallo. Pages and pages and pages. Words and words and words. Chickens. Piling under quilts. Reading old correspondence. A fox mug. Drifting eyes.

This is where the weather led me…

“As he rose to his feet he noticed that he was neither dripping nor panting for breath as anyone would expect after being under water. His clothes were perfectly dry. He was standing by the edge of a small pool – not more than ten feet from side to side – in a wood. The trees grew close together and were so leafy that he could get no glimpse of the sky. All the light was green light that came through the leaves: but there must have been a very strong sun overhead, for this green daylight was bright and warm. It was the quietest wood you could possibly imagine. There were no birds, no insects, no animals, and no wind. You could almost feel the trees growing. The pool he had just got out of was not the only pool. There were dozens of others – a pool every few yards as far as his eyes could reach. You could almost feel the trees drinking the water up their roots. This wood was very much alive. When he tried to describe if afterwards Digory always said, “It was a rich place: as rich as plum cake.”  (The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis)

350.

It’s Earth Day Week!

There is a lot of great stuff out there about the Earth- and lots of stuff you can do to make it a better place to LIVE! Let’s all celebrate the beautiful creation this week by acting on all of the things that we have been made aware of in the past few years with the “green” trend. For starters- check out this website… http://www.350.org !

It is great great great and talks about solutions to the current climate crisis we have found ourselves in and getting CO2 out of the atmosphere! Also, there is some great media that goes along with this. Make sure you check out all of the videos and especially the May Erlewine special… so wonderful.

earth.

I have been thinking a lot about this earth that we live on, walk on, learn from… I keep seeing it for what it was, as if nothing man made was ever built or created or invented and there was still land to roam, land untouched, land to explore that held mystery and beauty. There is still so much beauty, daily, the trees silhouetted against the sky, the purple and pink sunsets, the trees blooming in the spring… but I just get very confused and angry and numb when, for instance, I drive down 28th street and see business after industry after corporation, and people in their cars- another way our culture has individualized itself- stopping and going, like ants marching in a line. There is such a desire within me to resist it all. Sometimes I want to stand up and yell, why don’t we feel anymore? Why do we lead such fragmented lives?

I have been praying that my reasons to feel would become very sincere to me- important enough to do things to change how desensitized I sometimes feel. Simple steps, big steps, I want change. We all choose our own way, at the end of the day.

What happened to the front porch? What happened to local bonded communities? I am really thankful because I think I have found a group of people here, a community that desires all of this. We are re-rooting, we are going against what our culture has taught us, we are being called back to a Kingdom lifestyle.

Last night there was a benefit concert for the Barefoot Victory Garden and it turned out to be a joyous picture of family. Everyone was jumping, dancing, singing, skipping, smiles on everyone’s face. Music is so powerful in that way, in a way of connecting everyone, with everything else falling away, at least for a little while. I became very aware of my grateful heart and the gifts I have been given with landing here in Grand Rapids.

In response to all of this I have come across a poem, a long time favorite. I was reminded of it yesterday because it was read at the concert. It’s words are so strong and can teach so much- every time I read I ask that my eyes are opened to something new that can be learnt.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay.
Want more of everything made.
Be afraid to know you neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery any more.
Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something they will call you.
When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute.
Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace the flag.
Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.
Give you approval to all you cannot understand.
Praise ignorance,
for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium.
Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion–put your ear close,
and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.
Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap for power,
please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap.
Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions
of your mind, lose it.
Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go.
Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

twentytwo.

“How well God must like you- you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College. Instead you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.” (Psalm 1:1-3)

Where to begin… I am surrounded by goodness. I have got some great, great people in my life. The One who has called me is indeed faithful.

I am turning yet another year older, time seriously flies. I have been thinking about my last birthday -my 21st- spent in New Zealand on Faith Week. I have never been so attentive to God’s voice as I was during that particular week of my life and I think He is trying to communicate something with me about that time. I knew no distractions, I was on the road, on foot, with nothing, literally nothing. God promised me a year of growth and learning and expanding my relationship with Him in ways I could never imagine or dream of. He did just that. So now, I am sitting in my bed about to fall asleep on this lovely birthday-eve and I am realizing all of these wonderful and abundant blessings He has handed me. I am seeing all of these promises fulfilled.

Tonight began with a superb dinner with the Kuiper + Ywam family. I feel so fortunate to be so close to these wonderful people. Their wealth in love and loving others exudes with joy and transmits to those around them. I am just so well cared for around here it blows me away.

After that we headed over to the Barth House for a semi-surprise birthday party on the rooftop of Matt’s store- overlooking Wealthy Street. Truly magical. As I was climbing out of the window onto the roof I was immediately serenaded with ‘Happy Birthday’ and greeted by many familiar and loved faces. I was totally smitten with the situation I found myself in. I could never re-create that moment with words but the lighting was just right, the sun had just gone down, the breeze was slight, the smiling, singing faces seemed to radiate with joy and as I looked around at everyone I was totally overcome with bliss and gratefulness. It was a very fanciful evening.

On top of all of that (and this isn’t even the end) I was given a new bike, an original painting, tropical dots, and a few items of vintage clothing. Like I said, so well cared for.

And then… we were all gathered around talking, sharing stories, enjoying each other’s company and Jaclyn initiated a time of prayer for me- so good. I feel it is so important to be prayed over and for on your birthday- what a huge day of symbolism, emergence, family, spirituality. So a few prayed out over me claiming my inheritance as a Child of God and thanking Him for His gifts and so on. All the while I just felt God telling me that this year, my 23rd year of life, is going to be a year of New Life, Imaginative Existence. Along with that I just feel so restored.

What a good night.

To cap it off- Jaclyn gave me two verses… Psalm 1, which I opened up this blog with, and 1 Peter 1:3-9 which I want to share with you in two different versions of the Bible.

(TNIV) Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

(The Message) What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven- and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all- life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him- with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.

See what I mean- New Life! (All of this and it isn’t even really my birthday yet, blessed beyond belief.)

spring.

We have settled in. Being in this new house is utterly fantastic. This past week we set up a compost, planted a garden (tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, peppers, carrots, basil, cilantro, oregano and onions!), and got chickens! I guess this is our way of nesting.

Our chickens are so cute! They are only chicks now and live in a box with a warming lamp… Wendy, Zimmerman, Scurvey and Featherfoot, they will be laying eggs by the end of August. I have had this great inspiration lately to do thing myself. I want to be able to sustain myself and my habits as well as possible. I think this summer we are going to try and set up some workshops with friends. There are so many gifted people in this city who have so much to give, we want to format it in a way that anyone we all know that has learned a specific trade, to take a day and teach the rest of us. So far we have a tanner, photographer, soap maker, cheese maker, wine maker, musicians, seamstress, wood cutter, painter, the list goes on…

Also, feel the need to also note my loves for bicycling, reading in my hammock, sitting around our new fire pit, and Jonsi’s new album.

It’s Springtime!