I have a confession.

I think I have an addictive personality.

Tonight, in the cafeteria, there was candy out everywhere for Halloween. In rapid succession, I ate 4 mini-m&m packs and then felt a little sick. As I was leaving, I laughed to my friends that I am trying to quit my addictions and threw the candy stashed in my pockets back onto the table.

But it's really true- I rarely buy candy or keep it, but if it's available to me, I can't stop.

It's the same with other things too- I get addicted to working out, for example, or routinely doing things... things as omens, or in a specific order...

All of this to say, sometimes this stuff freaks me out- when I feel terrible if I don't work out for the right amount of time, for example, or eat like 500 pieces of candy in a row- because there is so much alcoholism and some drug addiction in my family. I want to be careful with these things... especially because so many of my Northern friends have been to rehab (and often, back again).

I heard this interview with Donald Miller last winter- it was about learning to live in withdrawal. He said we should always live in withdrawal in some form or another so that we learn not to idolize things- not to love them more than we love the One. He said all of this so tenderly; it was quite profound. I think living in withdrawal is quite contrary to our Western mindset (the same with fasting, it seems). For anyone interested, the interview can be found on the 2/23/07 and 3/2/07 Relevant podcast.

So I think I am going to eat no more candy for one month. December 1st (heh, that's just in time for Christmas:) ). Posting it here makes it more of a commitment, I think.

Yeshua, I don't want to need things more than you. Even ridiculous things.


Right... I was trying to figure out how to add photos (any photo, really) to my blog. But apparently I'm incompetent. So I give up. And yes, it's 3:47am... and yes, I already went to bed... and no, I can't sleep. This is all quite silly.


"Am I a student?" he said, looking at me closely, "Sure, I study. But if I could do anything? I'd smoke cigarettes, and I'd paint, all day. And I'd do it anywhere but here."


The Fire

Most of you have probably heard about the fires sweeping through from Malibu to Mexico. Today several of the fires merged with 100+mph winds. My family in Malibu has been evacuated, and my roommate's family in North San Diego is packing as I write this. They should be ok (ie: the fire would have to go through huge residential areas to reach them), but any prayers that the fire doesn't devastate so many lives are needed.

The weather up here in Santa Barbara has been ashy and smokey- we had crazy gusts this weekend that blew soot and debris over everything (including me, when I was trying to run in the foothills). The power went out several times Saturday night, but the winds have now died down. The light is very odd today, though. Santa Barbara is under evacuation warning, but that is all so far.


"It did not feel like 'renewal' then. It felt like disaster, like loss, like like liberation, like life gone wild. And it felt like all of them at once."
-Sister Joan Chittister, "The Wary We Were: A Story of Conversion and Renewal"

Our stories twist and turn and intertwine, until our hearts are all sewn together, red string stretching across mountains and oceans. My heart feels too much- too much rending for the cracked bride, too much pain for the hatred and isolation between disciples and Jews and Moslems. And I'm broken for my dear friend Geofrey turning 20 today- homeless Geofrey and his new baby daughter... and I'm indignant for him, and I'm righteously angry- and, yet I'm full of pride. I'm angry at all the fascism material I read for CPI this week- I'm revolted at all the Christian Identity movement and other such horrible groups I researched... I'm furious that some have the audacity to use Y's name. I don't even want to write it here. And I'm saddened that the Enemy is such a liar- that he has lied to so, so many people, that he lies to me continually and I believe him.

I'm horrified that 60 million in the 20th century alone have been killed in war or genocide, and that's not even including soldiers.

I'm broken that one of my old, favorite profs is caught up in a huge sex scandal- I'm confused at our justice system and I'm trying not to make judgment calls, because I am not the Judge. I wish I could tell his sweet family that it will turn out, that he'll be able to teach again, that he won't be convicted, that this will all blow over. I hurt for my friend Liz and her epic love story- I wish I could tell her it'll all be ok, it'll all turn out well.

But maybe things turn out really shitty. Maybe "justice" looks really fucked-up. Because this week, Lisa's cousin really did die, really did leave 4 kids and a husband behind. And my mom's coworker really did get in an accident, losing her husband and daughter in a head-on collision that left her and her son severely injured.

I just don't know anymore.

I listen to In Rainbows and think of my friends Amanda and Russ, and how they finally got together, after years of pain and confusion and beauty and friendship. I think of the redemption in this.

I think of watching Jane Eyre on stage last night, and how Jane held on. I think of holding on. And maybe holding on isn't what we think it is. Maybe holding on is pressing our palms up against each other's thudding hearts and writing bad poetry and singing some verses together and crying into our tea mugs. Maybe holding on is thanking him for his goodness in light of and spite of everything, then crying in distress with outstretched hands. As my friend Liz says, we must first bless him because he so loves us. Adonai, thank you for your patience. We're all growing cold, but we want to stay alive.

Yesterday I read Volpone for British Lit, and there was a sidenote that said patience originally meant "enduring blows." And I think, if I'm ripped up at all this injustice, how much more so is he, the Judge and the Just Himself?

How long, O G-d? It's growing cold...


some bad haikus (or, I am a pretend poet)

each foot crashing down
fifty ants carelessly slain
i am a giant

knotted, tangled hair
a vista of tossing surf
wind means autumn here

bowing trees to the sky
sunlight dancing on the leaves
the wind holds her breath


These days are a bit lonely, and my heart aches a little. For autumn and for missed friends and for your nearness, Yeshua. Every piece of community is a rich, warm liquid in my throat, a blessed island in the sea of chaos and homework and disconnect.

Last night, I randomly ended up at Bread of Life talking to Don and Cynthia and Bill. Don is probably 55 or 60 and his parents are in their 80's now. Cynthia told me she was born in New York City in 1926 and came West when she was 21. Bill told me, his eyes twinkling, that they met in October (1946?) and married in April because he wanted to marry her before someone else did. He had just gotten out of the war and started a job as a civil engineer for Los Angeles.

They talked about raising Don and his siblings in Portland, about their grandchildren, about Don's education at UCLA and Cyntha's jaw cancer... I know they're not homeless, per se; Don takes care of his parents, but things like Bread of Life, free dinner and community at a park, keep them fed and loved.

What is it like being so poor? Being without health care? Honestly valuing every conversation with another?

Today, I got a surprise package from Jenn with a Tunisian scarf (she just came back from there) and lots of random notes and funny pictures. Arianna left a tea bag and note in my mailstop.

And suddenly, Adonai, you're not so distant and not so elusive. You're a mystery, but Mystery who holds me. And I am very small, and not so wise, and not so humble. My heart is torn, but maybe it's getting softer. And I am safe in the cleft of your rock, beneathe your wings.


I need to pack for Yosemite. We're leaving early in the morning to hike and camp up there for a few days, 4 of my suitemates and I. I think we're doing Half-Dome, too. Check out an Ansel Adams photograph here:

Today was beautiful. I woke up at Shannon's house and we took a long walk, packed the car full of food and gear, and longboarded a little. On the way back up to the Barb (Shan lives about an hour south), we stopped at the Avocado Festival. Up north today was Ciderfest, so I was really missing autumn. But the lovely 101-N ocean-drive and some killer guacamole were beautiful gifts.

To top that off, Jenelle came, and I haven't seen her since February! So I met them down at the drum-circle, and we went to dinner, then Nelly and I went for coffee. We came back and watched a couple Office episodes in Trevor's room, with tea and bread, and Jesse really randomly said he missed hearing me worship and that my voice is beautiful.

I get so insecure singing- to hear Jesse call me a worshipper was really life-giving. Yes, I want to be a life-giver too.

And I really miss worship. Last weekend I was out-of-town at my cousin's house; this weekend I'll be camping. I need some Vineyard in me. I need some communion of the saints.

My words are so empty, but Adonai, You are so good. thank you.


If you have time, watch this video:


(I'd try to figure out how to post it, but I need to study...)


Night is our diocese and silence is our ministry
Poverty our charity and helplessness our tongue-tied sermon
Beyond the scope of sight or sound we dwell upon the air
Seeking the world's gain in an unthinkable experience
We are exiles in the far end of solitude, living as listeners
With hearts attending to the skies we cannot understand:
Waiting upon the first far drums of Christ the conqueror...

-Thomas Merton


Autumn Day / Rainer Maria Rilke

Lord: it is time. The summer was so immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials,
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

I want to go home and go to Cider Fest. I want to breathe the brisk, crackly air and pick my orchard's apples. Year two without autumn...sigh...