Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beauty will save the world

There is something so generous and hopeful and freeing about this quote. I don't fully understand or comprehend it.... but I want to.
I want to understand the richness of beauty, the power of beauty.
This quote reminds me of the cellist who chose to go into a bomb crater in Sarajevo day after day and play his cello while the war raged on around him.

And what does this mean for me? For us? How will this change the way I live? How do we contribute beauty to the world in our everyday lives?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"The Year of Journalling Fearlessly" by Lindsay Crandall

Recently I read "The Year of Journalling Fearlessly", a beautiful article by Lindsay Crandall at Curator Magazine and it moved, inspired and challenged me so much that I can't help but share.
Like Lindsay, I love notebooks, but haven't journalled in years. Yet over recent months I have been longing to write more and create more... to see more and document more as a way of stretching my writing... to open myself up to observing creativity and reveling in beauty. So the idea of a notebook without the pressure of a traditional journal was appealing.
So today I stopped by my favourite new bookstore near work - Kinokuniya - and purchased a bright red, blank page, hardcover Moleskine.
Armed with my favourite fine tip blue pen, I'm going to start filling the pages with the things that inspire me, the quotes that move me, and the thoughts that fill me days.
And as the Henri Nouwen quote suggests, I want to "discover what lives in us."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resolutions Schmesolutions

During a road trip in the final days of 2010, a friend asked me if I was going to make new years resolutions.

1st response: cynical laughter.

2nd response: No! If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s not to make plans – life changes them anyway!

And now my 3rd response: I’m a planner. I like making lists. I prefer predictability.... and I struggle with change.

But the reality is that life happens. I get Glandular Fever and Post-Viral Syndrome. My mentor suffers a massive stroke and endures multiple brain surgeries. The medication that helps manage long-term Depression, robs me of the ability to concentrate for long periods of time (making study and my love of reading difficult activities).

And so how can I reconcile these things and look ahead to the new year of 2011?

I am reminded of the old Carolyn Arends songs New Year’s Day; while slightly corny, it is definitely profound. After suggesting that we treat every day like it’s a new year’s day, the bridge says:

Every day is...
one more chance to start all over
one more chance to change and grow
one more chance to grab a hold of grace
and never let it go
New Year's Day - Carolyn Arends 1997

Perhaps in reflecting on the year that’s been and planning for the year ahead I should focus more on my hopes and dreams, my ability to grow and adapt and transform the way I see myself and the world and the God who created it all.

I’m not sure yet how to achieve this... there is still plenty of things I’d like to accomplish this year (finally finish my BA for instance!). But I’d like to resolve to LIVE more, to see beauty, seek justice, be intentional in my relationships, be creative... and when unexpected things come along to embrace them, experience and grow through them.


P.S. Of course, I couldn't resist, and in the last few days have jotted down a number of goals for 2011! But I hope I can be more lenient with them. I don't want to measure my success or failure in 2011 simply by whether I achieved my goals or not.