Friday, May 31, 2013

The Weight of All Good Things

The amount I've posted on this blog reflects something of the amount of enthusiasm I have towards this summer at the moment. The end of the semester was totes cray (as they say) and now is the perfect time to pick up the miserable amount of my slack. Thus far the heaping quantity of the summer's lame-itude has been frustrating BUT, nevertheless, this blog is not only supposed to serve as an outlet for whatever bloggers blog about but also specifically for talking about the gobs and gobs of things to be happy about in each and every boring day. And that means no matter how pathetically dull it gets there's still many a reason to get on with things with a good ounce or two of gratitude.

So. What am I happy about after too many trips to the dentist this week, separation from many of my friends and my amazing little nephew and my terribly crazy and fun sister and her husband, a general feeling of complete and utter rottenness, and the lull of waiting for a job application to be processed?

Well, here's a list:
  • Books. Now is the perfect time to spend with my other good friends (the ones I've never actually met because regrettably they died before I was born) - Tolkien, Chesterton, Lewis, St. Augustine, Newman, O'Connor, Wodehouse, Dostoyevsky, etc. (And I'm just guessing I'd call the last three "friends" because I'll admit right now that I haven't read very much of them yet. This is precisely why I need to tackle my massive reading list.)
  • Tea. 'Nuff said.
  • Sleep. At the very least I'm not pulling all-nighters and that's something to be thankful for.
  • Time with the rest of my family. When it's not overly chaotic it is very pleasant to be able to sit down and just talk with my mom or dad and have silly exchanges with my brother.
  • The potential to meet up with my lovely high school friends. I say potential because none of us have actually done it yet *cough*. Darn those conflicting schedules.
  • The excitement of Rome this fall. It's not always something I'm looking forward to because I'll absolutely hate to leave behind the Dome and my friends but, c'mon, even if it turns out to be an awful year it won't be half that bad.
  • The ability to do so many things with all this time I magically now have...things like writing, drawing, physical exercise (*snort*), and most especially playing music.    
So, while I gather up my energy to do the things I would like to I wonder if maybe this chronic summer slump every year isn't due in part to the crushing weight suddenly thrown on me of having the time and freedom to accomplish all sorts of things. I know for quite a while I've been in need of a rest and silence and now that that chance has come I'm put off by it. It makes everything seem like some sort of burden because I'm not rushing around and I'm used to that. Now summer is just a wasteland of time. The slump under the weight of this time is only made overwhelming by the myriad possibilities of what I can do with it. But the heaviness of things makes us appreciate their magnitude and there's a lot of good that can be done in the presence of gratitude. After all, God isn't very subtle about His goodness to begin with.   

Friday, May 10, 2013

Brought to you by the Number 3 and the Letter E

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder. I wouldn't know because I'm a particularly beauty-stricken beholder. What I do know is this: Beauty is all around us if we want to look for it. It's often hidden, but believe me, we want the mystery of beauty. Without it, our minds, as Augustine might say, would become bored.

So, let's go on an adventure.

Here we are on a college campus on a Friday night. It's noisy and raucous (in fact, nothing like THIS Friday night, since most people are moved out or moving out right now) and we are sitting around on RA duty. (Ok, that's more or less accurate.) We have three assignments due on Monday and we know it's going to be a long night of busting parties and confrontations with drunk undergrads (who are, as you might guess, nothing like the Mere Undergrad.) So, where's the beauty?

Our detection skills tell us to look outside. Even though a thick cloud covers South Bend, a small space in the cloud is able to let the light of a single star in. The wind is blowing through the trees and an owl hoots (or is it a mourning dove?) Looking up at our dorm, we realize that the very idea of Shelter is beautiful. We were made with many strengths. We have a rational mind, and yet we can not naturally protect ourselves. We must make a shelter for ourselves, and our rational mind is put to the task of creating such a shelter. Then we are protected from the wind and the cold. We realize that warmth is beautiful. The moon breaks through the clouds and reflects off the lake. The cold blue light creates a world where mysteries wait to happen. Suddenly, we think of the blue light of the moon and the yellow light of the sun and how each has its place and each is perfect for its place. Then we think of Blue itself and Yellow itself. Our eyes can see color which is waves of light reflected off of objects on which our eyes are fixed. It is like the lake, with waves hitting the shore and our eyes are like children standing with the waves lapping around their feet, refreshed and happy.

So with that, dear friends, we find beauty. We solve the mystery and have forgotten even where we are in the process. When we lose ourselves in beauty, we become bound by the beauty, and when we are bound by beauty, we become truly free.