At once, I knew

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I was not magnificent.

I have not posted for a long time. But a lot has been going on. I had a hell week at the beginning of this week, as academic stress adds to mounting insecurities. Where will I go, what will I do? I’m feeling senior pressures in my Junior year. How will I pay for any of this? How blessed I am, and how often I squander what is so precious to me.

I’m growing impatient with my life. Impatient with who I am, what I do, where I’m headed… because I’m not headed anywhere. I’m not doing anything. I’m not…

Magnificent.

I used to see life as a dance. Flowing in and out of events, glorious movement, an art unto itself. I would dream in this art. But I haven’t danced for a while. I have a dancing partner uninterested in my style, and I can’t leap and know he’ll catch me. I see others moving with greater skill than I could ever hope to achieve, and I envy them. My endurance is down, my guard is down, and I simply can’t choreograph. I still hear the music… and I weep for my lost skill.

I once saw life as a photograph. It moves without moving. Tears may stain the bent corners, but it has endured the worst and keeps your memories close. I didn’t take this photograph, but it’s not of me anyway. I barely remember this time, when the beauty in the photograph was real… and around me.

Life is methodical, persistent, and irrational. All at once disgusting, and magnificent.

And my heart can feel it
and yearns for it
and…

“Someway, baby, it’s part of me, apart from me.”
you’re laying waste to Halloween
you fucked it friend, it’s on it’s head, it struck the street
you’re in Milwaukee, off your feet

…and at once I knew I was not magnificent
strayed above the highway aisle
(jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

3rd and Lake it burnt away, the hallway
was where we learned to celebrate
automatic bought the years you’d talk for me
that night you played me ʻLip Paradeʼ
not the needle, nor the thread, the lost decree
saying nothing, that’s enough for me

…and at once I knew I was not magnificent
hulled far from the highway aisle
(jagged, vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

Christmas night, it clutched the light, the hallow bright
above my brother, I and tangled spines
we smoked the screen to make it what it was to be
now to know it in my memory:

…and at once I knew I was not magnificent
high above the highway aisle
(jagged vacance, thick with ice)
I could see for miles, miles, miles

-Bon Iver, “Holocene”
(lyrics from azlyrics)

-Fox

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Being Real

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I ought to be real. What benefit would it be to be fake?

And so I’ll tell this story. It’s a grand adventure pop-up novel about how I am still unemployed.

Once upon a time, in a galaxy quite near to you, I became a Zumba instructor. And I asked the first week of school if I could teach classes. The mornings would be quite good, but let me check. So next week I checked in. I was too busy, come back next week. So I come back the next week. Yeah, the lady who coordinates the time slots for that room is out. She’s recovering from cancer. I’ve been trying to contact her…

So not only was it Wait a Sec, it was Wait there’s Cancer Sec. And I felt so bad that the woman who is indeed recovering had to be bothered with my trivial request. Furthermore I received a message later that said No time for you.

I had an interview earlier this week for a job that occurs on weekends and mostly next year. A different job hired two people before I could get to. The cafeteria has hired too many people already.

This is me being real. I feel like a job failure. And I don’t have good enough skills, I feel, to do much of anything else.

This entity called the economy is beginning to weigh on me. This reality is a little disheartening.

Here’s a photo.

-Fox

It’s not ‘Just War’

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Today I went to a commemoration for the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. It was a panel of 4 people representing perspectives from Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and their personal reactions.

The general idea that every single one of them (rightfully) was getting at was “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others as you would have them do to you”. Each were trying to explain how their different religions all came together at least on that point, and despite our differences, it is best for all of us to unite as one. Yes, there are differences, but that is okay.

And I’d like to agree. It is okay to have differences!

There was group discussions afterward, and we had the chance to present a comment or question to the panel. Nothing seemed to touch exactly what I wanted to hear, but I couldn’t articulate it until it was too late to pose the question.

In the aftermath, however, I was able to ask the question that was burning inside me:

Was the war in Iraq a proper response to 9/11?

The response: No. Not at all.

The war in Iraq, he explained, had very little, if not nothing to do with 9/11. It was more out of convenience for the American demand for blood that they invaded. Hussein was an evil dictator, but there were better ways to go about removing him from power.

This is a bit on the edgy side. Can I hear from my audience? What do you think about the war and 9/11?

Furthermore, I’d like to take a moment to remember the first responders, going out, sometimes even though they didn’t have to, to save people’s lives. Many died. This event I do not mean to belittle, rather to understand. I was young, and people died. And that’s difficult to understand, to comprehend, even now. The people in the buildings, on the planes, the rescuers who died; they were mothers and fathers, Christians, Jews, Muslims, unbelievers. They had family, they were alone. They lived for a reason, they tried to find reason. They are all loved by God. And there is something immensely tragic in that alone, more than it was our country attacked, more than our ideals attacked. It was our human race. Our people, their people, us.

And I don’t think we responded right.

-Fox

Efforts

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I always seem to get ideas about posts when I’m no where near a computer, no where near a notebook, with no where near enough time to do anything about it. But as I skimmed through unimportant details of the internet, I was struck with an inspiration. No, with more of a desire to write a entry.

I suppose this: I have been struggling with mediocrity recently. Those grand questions that most seniors ask (and I am only a junior)- what the hell am I going to do with my life after college? What is this degree even for? What were my plans when I came here? Really? Those were it? Am I actually planning on going somewhere with that? Oh to be young and naive again!

Watch out, this post is bound to get  a little deep. For my few viewers, you have been warned.

I have lived a life, so it feels, that so many efforts are so casually blocked that it seems that whomever I parry this life with, yawns on the other side of the net just to mock me. I begin to sweat with effort and my unseen foe merely humors me without letting me get too far. Things I’ve done are never done good enough, or never come to their proper end or recognition. The grandness I dream of- for my work, for my efforts– always remains bent sideways. Everything’s too thin. And this, even, is too vague. I get online to raise support and awareness of things: like, Vote for blah blah contest! It’d be sweet if I could win! or, I’ll enter this such and such, and maybe, just maybe I’ll see the fruit of this effort. Scholarships, photo contests, even just the desire to get people to read my blog, perhaps take interest in some candid form of myself; these efforts all seem oddly thwarted in small, insignificant, and infuriating ways.

By no means a call to attention. Just a rant, a lament.

Soon I’ll be going to school, and will have even less time to divulge in the things that I love. Photography: I do indeed love it. I am pro at makeshift preparations, the unseen paparazzi among friends for candidness, or making my photographer presence known, just to get that real, that raw image to show what I see. But I look back at the photos, and memory doesn’t serve the image, or the image doesn’t serve memory. Frustrated, I set my projects aside. And photography. What can I do with it? The market is rough for photographers, and I’m by no means the best candidate for the job. And I see once friends excelling, seizing opportunities afforded by the popularity of their work I craved, and I feel starved of significance.

So, there’s a raw image of myself.

Yet I never stop my trifling efforts. Because somewhere in this growing pessimism is the optimism I once held so dear, and I find peace. I still try this and that, keep trying. Not everything I do is gold, but if I can find even a glint of beauty in it, I’ve been successful that run. And it is that glint that gives me hope for my next run. Even the run after that. I’ll be rejected thousands of times, and thousands more, before I give up completely and surrender my soul to ashes…

But what is an artist going to do with a theology degree?? I ask myself.

Exactly what I planned. I will go, because the Lord sent me, and there’s no doubt of that. Though sometimes I wonder, I sleep in peace knowing His love and His grace. Though I am terrifyingly human, I am still in love with Him. So I try. I’m still young, I’ve got to try.

from an upcoming stop animation

-Fox

Pride and Prejudice

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The most beautiful movie I have seen in a very long time (perhaps my whole life) is Pride and Prejudice. I am not ashamed of it. The the beauty of perfectly timed romantic suspense, flawless symmetry in cinematography, the sweeping melodies of the soundtrack that parallel the emotions of the movie. Poetry of words, beauty of nostalgia, taking you through ups and downs so gloriously that you arrive at the end in an orgasm of satisfied romance. It leaves me rolling in girlish glee every time I watch it.

Literally rolling.

It is my belief that a majority of females who indulge in this movie end up seeking their “Darcy”. Yet, I would like to point out this. Jane found her Bingly who was absolutely everything that Darcy was not. Darcy was perfectly suited for Elizabeth and Elizabeth only, and many females, should they encounter such a dark and mysterious man would discount him as an anti-social fellow with harsh judgments despite his handsome face (which only got handsomer as his true character was exposed). So I guess I conclude this: to every Lydia thinking she is Elizabeth, step back and reevaluate what sort of man you are truly suited to be with.

Furthermore I’d like to point out that life is never that beautiful. It was perfectly framed is such a gorgeous way that it couldn’t help itself. But life that we lead is messy now because there is no third person author framing our lives yet.

I suppose that is the reason for nostalgia.

And so I follow up with this video:

-Fox