Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good Gravy Good Thanksgiving

I've done a solid half of what I set out to do this Thanksgiving Break. But mostly the half about watching Japanese animation epics. And only half of that. And I started my applications to graduate school.

But mostly and bestly, I spent a lot of time hanging out with my nephew and niece. We went to the park twice in one day, bought Christmas presents for a little girl without any presents at all, played Mario Party, watched The Incredibles (twice), cleaned up baby throw up, went to the mall, read The Flash's Book of Speed, had a birthday party, wiped fingerprints off the walls, surprised Grandma, learned 3 good knock-knock jokes (and infinite not-so-good ones), put up Christmas decorations and talked on the phone with Mom in Cambodia. Good times had by all (except, perhaps, the Bad Guys).

I'm sleeping here two more nights, but I go back to regular college life tomorrow. I've enjoyed my exotic trip into the world of semi-motherhood (or just more engaged aunthood?) and I really do see how important it is just to be there for someone. But it's close to impossible to get anything done.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First Fight

My three-year-old nephew is having his first fight with God. He refuses to say his prayers. He doesn't understand why a Heavenly Father that loves him so much won't let him have a little brother or sister.

Frankly, it's an understandable complaint. My sister deserves to be a mother of whole nations and anyone would be lucky to have her for a mother. It seems pretty unfair, especially when we've all prayed and fasted and gotten our hopes up through two rounds of in vitro and nothing. Almost nothing.

There being a library of what I don't know about the reproductive system, I can't tell you how it works but somehow my sister has ended up with the morning sickness and no baby. She's been really brave about it. She tells me this is the one thing that she's put entirely into the hands of God and not worry about. She worries about a lot of things, is very independent and motivated, but this is something she's willing to go on faith on.

I haven't called my sister yet, I ought to. I wanted to send a condolence card, but Mom said probably not to, that my sister's just working through this stiff-lipped right now. I'm a bit upset, sure. Twice I've prayed in fervor for this to sort out as it ought to, and twice I've been frustrated. Okay, so maybe God has other plans, but surely there's nothing unrighteous about wanting more babies in our family? I, too, I guess, am working through this stiff-lipped, trying not to be disappointed in the omniscience of my God. After all, I know pretty well all sorts of philosophies of God not being Santa Claus and His knowing a lot better than any of us, and His will, not ours, so I can get through this okay.

So how do you explain all that to a three-year-old? I sent him a package with a hat I had knit and some chocolate-covered cinnamon bears. It's not a bribe to restore his faith in something good, but maybe it will support him as he gets through this wrestle, his first wrestle with angels.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Poetry Reading

Any requests?

(Poems or treats: I'm thinking store-bought frosting and graham crackers...you decide for what part)

Friday, November 9, 2007

When You're Hip...

Ah, yes.

This is what I'm talking about.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Good

I'm sick of complaining here. Here's some good news:

I took a practice GRE which make me want to shower, but now I know I can get a 600 without studying. Let's see if studying does me any good. But I'm all registered and signed up and everything, which means there's no going back. There is potential not showing up, but going back? Not a chance.

I've turned in my thesis proposal. I hope it gets approved in time for me to register for graduation. But it is one solid proposal. Woo-eee.

I got accepted for a reading series, which is scary and fun. I need to practice. And make cupcakes. eg thinks I'm not so good when I read my own stuff--I get scared and go too fast and am apoligetic for having written poetry, which reminds me: I could have submitted something not-poetry, but I didn't know that at the time. I'm happy, though. Very happy.

And it's a nice sunny day and last night I had a pretty good date and I think I'm going to go buy chocolate for my next class.

yeah, life is good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sunday, November 4, 2007

An Open Letter to My Future Family

Dear Eventuals,

I hope you don't mind the Beehive-y feel to this assignment. I hope you don't resent that everyone besides you has had the opportunity to read this long before your even existence. But if you do mind and do resent, you at least do and therefore are and so what do any of us have to complain about?

I wish for you all the best. All holiness and gratitude, all achievement and all comfort. I wish for you sensible, pleasant lives. But I'm not naive enough to believe that your lives will be all honeysuckle and backrubs (but let's have some of that in our lives, too, shalln't we?), because there never is any point to the untested life. But I can wish two things at least for you.

One is that we'll listen to one other. I hope that I can teach you something and that you'll learn the things I know from me. I don't have all the answers, but I have done a lot of stupid things and seen the results and, let me brag a little on this, have avoided doing many stupid things that have led to great heartshed in some of the less lucky around me. Let's make a pact: you come to me and I'll come to you. We'll offer up that which we have to each other and see how it fits in the holes we find in our lives, how it solutions our problems. Let's talk about it. If you can't accept a thing I say, don't find any value in it, then let you at least know where my loyalties lay, what I deemed important and why I was devoted.

Here is the other thing I can wish for you: I hope you don't doubt your incredible, ferocious abilities to do good in this world. This is a great comfort, but also a terrifying responsibility. Second-guessing your wisdom, your talents, your goodness will not do you any favors. It's not humility: it's fear of greatness. I'm not expecting all of you to become Nobel Prize winners--I'd still love you just as much--but an inch of good is far better than a mile of evil. And I am confident any of you will be doing far more than just an inch of good in this world. There is a lot of good that needs doing.

I'll try to be the sort of person I hope any of you would be. Not just for your sake, for my own of course, but if I expect something of you, it's because I expected it first of myself. I hope that when you meet old friends of mine or rifle through my journals that you find someone there you like. I hope that I am being brave enough, kind enough, hopeful enough to warrent your admiration. I'll try again when I slip up.

I'll love you more when you aren't just abstract, but I have a vague ghost of love for you already. This foreshadowing I'll seal for you in closing.

Mary Leah Hedengren

Things That Don't Really Matter That Much

Getting your wallet stolen, because you can cancel your credit cards.

Missing a test, because nice teachers will let you take it later.

Being late for an engagement, because the others are running late, too.

Getting locked out of your apartment, because you get to talk with the neighbors.

Chelsea poetry magazine folding, because at least it's not a rejection letter.

There's a lot of mercy out there. Everything will be better.