Tuesday, July 10, 2012

courage to love

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” -C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves 

I pray always for the strength to be vulnerable, the courage to love with abandon, knowing full well that my reward may be heartbreak. That is unconditional love, that is the cross, that is Christ who died for those He foreknew would reject Him, would walk away from the love-adoption He offered. That is the naked vulnerable heart of the Creator of the universe placed in my hands. 
Oh give me grace to love like that. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

feast yer eyes

You know a book is good when it has a place in my tragically reduced bookshelf. 

Books are food 

for the soul. 

So here's my print

and paper 


of a feast.

  • The Man Who was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton. Simultaneously the trippiest, most profound book you'll ever read. It contains the one sentence in the world that made me cry. Not that I haven't cried in other books (I do all the time), but usually it's a gradual progression of emotion. Only Chesterton has the word-magic to make me cry in just one sentence. 
  • Melisande, by E. Nesbitt, illustrated by P.J. Lynch  (non other than my favorite illustrator. Ever.) This classic child's fairy-tale about a bald princess was the only thing I asked for on the mature occasion of my 16th birthday. 'Nuff said. 
  • Um, this one is just my sarcastic homeschool yearbook. It happened to be on my shelf at the time of the photo, I'm not suggesting you read it. 
  • The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. You always need a play to spice up the mix, and this one's classic, and one of my personal favorites. "But it is my NAAAAAMMMMEEE" (actually it's Elisabeth's monologue  at the end that I love the most). 
  • Emma, by Jane Austen. Mr. Knightley. Once again, 'nuff said. 
  • The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery. This book is summer vacation trapped between binding. 
  • The Bronte Sisters, by uh, duh. Really this is only used as my copy of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights is only good for one read in my humble opinion, and I haven't gotten around to Agnes Grey. Jane Eyre on the other of the best romances and redemption stories out there. It has characters you love to love, and characters you love to hate even more (Ehem. Brucklhurst). 
  • Complete Poetry and Selected Prose of John Donne. I'm not much into blood sucking insects as metaphors for sex, but once he gets to God it's unparalleled. "Batter my heart" is still my favorite poem. 
  • Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller. My favorite of Miller's. How can you not love a book with chapter titles such as "Fine Wine: The Failure of Formulas" and "Adam, Eve, and the Alien: How the Fall Makes You Feel."
  • Sailing Alone Around the Room, by Billy Collins. Collins is the poet I'd kill to be. I still haven't read all of this collection, I grab it and read a poem occasionally as a gift to myself (plus I bought it in an adorable out-of-the-way bookstore in North Shore Boston, which makes any book better.) 
  •  Girls Like Us, by Rachel Lloyd. The story of GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) which helps girls escape from sex trafficking in NYC, interwoven with the harrowing account of founder Rachel Lloyd's own experience as a sexually exploited teen. This is a devastating, eye opening book. If you don't know anything about sexual exploitation and trafficking in the US (fact one: it exists), then read this book. Actually, just read this book period.   
  • Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier. A fun, light summer read, but I'm partial to it because it is a retelling of Twelve Dancing Princesses, a less known fairytale that I adore. 
  • Confessions, by St. Augustine. Augustine is the 4th century's best kept secret. Except he's really famous, so not actually a secret at all. Every vague, unformulated, profound scrap of wisdom and revelation about God I've ever wanted to express, turns out Augustine already did. If someone tells you it's boring, they're lying. Or stupid. 
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. A slave girl turned double spy for two arch enemies, adventure, intrigue, romance on the Nile; this is ancient Egypt at its best. A family favorite, I cannot count how many time I have read and re-read this book since my dad first kept us little kids up way past our bedtime, because we couldn't stop reading this aloud. 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. If you have not already read this book, or are not aware that you should, then I am not sure how you exists as an American. The crazy thing is that it's actually as good as everyone says it is. 
  • Children of Hurin, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Anything by Tolkien will always have a place on my shelf. But frankly, that's the only reason it's here. I've heard Tolkien wrote this (one of the unfinished tales) when he was recovering in a hospital from WWI. Let's just say it shows. 
  • A boxed set of The Hobbit, and the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy. If you have not read these books we cannot be friends. It's that simple. 
  • 100000 Baby Names. "Um, Anna, you have a baby name book on your shelf," people often inform me, with an odd and questioning look. "Um, you don't?" I respond, with a scornful glance, tempered with pity. Because really, what a sad life, no baby-name-book to their name. (If they ever become a famous novelist, their character's names will have lame-ass meanings because they neglected to look them up in this treasure, I can tell you that.) 
The only thing this list is lacking is a depressing Russian novelist. But that's 'cause I'm reading it. Dostoyevsky oh yeah!  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why I am glad I am not Megan Fox

(Spring 2011)

Why I am glad I am not Megan Fox-

If life were a cocktail party
you'd never notice me.
Uneasy in high heals,
little black dress too little for me
I am space between
leggy blond in blue, buxom brunette.
Narrow hips and broad shoulders;
a triangle turned up.
Nose- "regal" my mother calls it,
"large" I say.
My cleavage could be eye catching if I chose-
but I never will.
If that's why you want me
I could never want you.
But I don't mind
that it would take
the accidental introductions of life, 
slow unveiling of me
for you to decide
my sudden braying bursts of laughter
inexplicable attraction to books
incurable nerdiness 
are endearing. 
My inability to walk in a straight line 
is irresistible, 
you want to stroll through life with me 
zigzagging beside you
chasing you off the pavement.