One Year

It’s been one whole year, folks, since I started this little shindig.

Writing publicly here provides a certain challenge I have fallen in love with: how do I write this well, clearly, and sensitively? How can I show through my words? How can I stop using so many forms of to be?

Writing for Climb Ev’ry Mountain opens my eyes to the strange and the wonderful and coincidences in my life I doubt I’d otherwise notice.

Writing publicly reminds me that I don’t just write for myself. I do write to extract these lessons for myself, but also for anyone else who happens to poke his nose around these hereabouts.

Here’s to many more years of thinking deep thoughts and writing deep writes. Thanks for reading.

Staying Nimble on Mental Feet

When people find out I’m taking a Women’s American History course, they’re usually confused. You see, I attend a conservative college, and the two fail to fit together in most people’s minds. I beg to differ.

We read our Nancy Woloch textbook critically, and supplementary reading includes the personal letters of Flannery O’Connor and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. We ask questions like, what effect did the loss of the image of Mary the Mother of God have on the colonies? Did the Great Change for women actually happen back with Luther & the Protestant Reformation? I have a lot of fun classes this semester, but Women of American History (or WOAH) tops them all.

The first supplementary reading was Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. Martha was a midwife in Maine post-American Revolution. Albeit a bit slow in places, the work is very in-depth; it is wonderful to see the portrayal of a woman that involves such complexity. Highlights include the phrase “disgruntled lobster peddler” (he ends up burning down part of the town) and Martha’s battle against despair via finding meaning in her work through her relationship with God and in the writing of her diary.

In this way, I could relate to Martha Ballard, even though we live in vastly different worlds. I never could articulate why I love writing so much, why letters and this blog and even emails are so important to me: processing my life through these mediums helps me to give them meaning. Like I was saying yesterday, I don’t want to be mentally immobile, so I have the urge to move around. Writing is another way to stay nimble upon mental feet.

What Flying Feels Like

Live music is just the best. Being surrounded by music, bobbing your body in whatever way you please, singing along, being surrounded by other listeners…it’s just a great feeling. Anything, from my little sister’s piano playing, to a huge outdoor concert, to singing by yourself, to a choir during a religious service. Wow.

Ingrid Michaelson was playing at the Pageant, a smallish venue in St. Louis, tonight, and since no one else seems to be visiting this fine city on tour this summer, I found myself there. I say I found myself because sure, I’ve heard of Ingrid Michaelson, but I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan or anything. But, wow, I actually had goosebumps for a song, and at one point I was thinking to myself, “This must be what flying feels like…”

Ingrid’s style of songwriting is really neat top. Give “You and I” a listen…it just sounds like, “Ah, I have this thing in my head that I just have to get down on paper because I don’t want to forget how this moment feels because wow it’s just PERFECT and holy cow it actually translates to words, I had no idea, dang, this is actually good YESSSS.” At least, this is what songwriting would be like for me if I had that talent. It’s just so full of life and feeling.

Colorado

Sorry, folks, Colorado was pretty insane. Still, I owe you.

I just got back from taking an astronomy class in the middle of nowhere in Colorado, and it proved to be one of the coolest experiences of my life thus far.

One night, I stayed up late enough to see the Milky Way rise. It stretched across the sky, an arc of clouds of stars, like a nighttime rainbow. My friends and I were so in awe all we could do was stare and recite a prayer or two. It blows my mind how small and big we are at the same time.

Another day, I drove up to Cumberland Pass with some friends, and saw the purple mountain majesties. I sang a broken, more-like-I’m-talking rendition of America, the Beautiful as I drank in the sight. Then we drove up to the Alpine Tunnel, and I went for a run at 12,000 feet.

We learned about the Big Bang and black holes and I can point out constellations. I was still enough for hummingbirds to land on my finger.

That’s what Colorado was. I was just lucky enough to  be in the right place and of the right mentality for a hummingbird to pause and land upon my finger. The world stood still for me in Colorado, and I just let it wash over me. I wish I had written, yes. But I’m not going to regret it. I’m just going to learn my lesson and keep writing no matter what, and see where it takes me.

It Is Finished.

I’m baaaaaack.

I, Need A Pen Name, am finished with my freshman year of college.  My English final exam was this morning. I didn’t care about the quote IDs from Dante and Milton. I rocked the analysis of Owen’s poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, which is a beautiful poem that I would like to sit with in the future. [Note to self: Start a list of poems to sit with.] The final essay was similar to my major essay, so that was convenient.

I love writing. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog…I needed a reason to write more! This semester really affirmed in me that I do have potential as a writer as well. My English professor loved my minor and major papers, saying I wrote sentences with “aplomb” and he admires my “control of diction and syntax”. I, in turn, loved English this semester. I might go so far as to say it was my favorite class…and I took psychology and biology classes this semester, too.

For one thing, my professor was awesome…as we say around here, the man is a god. He’s definitely joined the ranks of my rather exclusive list of favorite professors. He made English a class about, yes, writing and reading, but he gave us tools for life as well. How to read without a teacher guiding you. How to organize thoughts into a thesis. How to enjoy a poem. Why did Dante write his Commedia? What can we learn from the epics? What is a hero? It was beautiful, it was.

The problem with all of this is that I loved it so much. I loved writing for once! I’d been leaning towards biology as a major and nursing as a career. But I love the humanities, too. That’s why I chose a liberal arts college. But it’s moving beyond that. It’s definitely going to roll around in my head for awhile. I wonder where all this will take me. Exciting places, to be sure. It already took me here, after all.

In other news, I played a pick-up game of soccer, began to pack, and started using the webapp Fitocracy. Fitocracy is pretty cool: it allows users to track their fitness, whether it be a pick-up game of soccer or a run or the elliptical. But it also awards points, has challenges…it makes fitness a game, which so far, I’m a fan of.

Bullet the Blue Sky

Another bullet post, my apologies:

  • Someone told me I was “too beautiful to be doing laundry” today. I took it as a compliment.
  • I’m going dancing and to see The Avengers tonight, and nothing’s going to stop me, not even the two papers due tomorrow.
  • I gazed at the back of Bruise Boy’s magnificent head for the last time (most likely) yesterday.
  • I got over myself fully and am back on good terms with Mickey.
  • I got people to  people laugh about Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. Quite a feat, if you know anything about it. This might be scientifically sacrilegious, actually.

Yes, tonight will be a good night.