that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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perspective

A week ago, a man I met through Ken almost two years ago, died in a motorcycle accident. He was 24 years old. His wife (whom he married July 14; the accident was July 20, six days later) was sitting on the motorcycle behind him. She is fine. Physically.

Do you ever wonder what marks our timing? It’s fascinating to look at the world through the eyes of a child, one who sees the world as it should be seen: enhanting and scary and full of endless possibility. Whose laugh glitters our lives like the sun reflecting on the surface of the water. We see a future in the dancing eyes of a child, who makes us believe in the chance that there is hope for our own lives.

Look at the world through the eyes of our grandparents; or our parents grandparents. Their eyes are weathered and wise, filled with experiences and reflect everything that is possible, simply because they’ve lived.

But to look at the world through the eyes of someone who just lost the person who consumed their world, it’s a harder scenario. How does her future look when just a week ago, there was no part of it that didn’t include him. Not one world of an individual, but two worlds that collided, for seven years they had been colliding, before binding eachother together. Each dream, each plan has him embedded into it… how easy is it to stand on her own? God’s will for our lives is so indescribable, but sometimes, that’s the only thing we can find comfort in, knowing that God made it happen. It’s scary and confusing but somehow it is ok.

I challenge you today to look at your life from a perspective that does not hold grudges or speak ill of another; one that allows vulnerability and unanswered questions. Let go of your pride, understand that you may be the one wrong, not everyone else. Stop judging others or trying to stuff your true feelings. Forget that your child didn’t clean her room or that your boyfriend hasn’t called you for three days. Stop the dance between yourself and you. Look at your world from the eyes of a child, with the hands of an elderly, and learn to dance to the tune of life… one that offers you no room to be angry, proud, sure, comfortable, and higher than someone else… we’re all individuals, who need to understand that life offers you NO guarantees… yes, not even you. Or me.

I sure hate this.


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read..

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Seriously. If you’ve read the rest of the series, by J.K. Rowling, and haven’t picked up a copy of the series last book, do it. Seriously. It was fantastic.

Also, have you read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini? It’s my favourite book of 2006. For my birthday, I got his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Please, please, please read the novel, it is incredible…. Hosseini is the kind of writer I aspire to be and this book (which is in NO way connected to The Kite Runner — they are not a pair) is positively moving. I love love loved it. Make it the hit of 2007. For me, atleast. It’s not a difficult read, but the story is phenomenal.

Currently, my light reading selection is Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom, which is alright… it’s also quite moving, but more humourous than the aforementioned.

My coworker is a HUGE Clay Aiken fan so I am working my way through his autobiography, Learning to Sing, which is surprisingly, not as painful as I thought it might be. It too is very light and he seems to be a God-lover which is awesome. I am hoping to finish it soon so I can return it to it’s beloved owner.

I am still trudging through Shantaram. Trudging is the wrong word, I love the novel, all 900+ pages of it. It’s super long. I have it on my lunch hours at work, it is Jordie’s (Jocelyn’s boyfriend) favourite book so I am quickly learning why. It is about a man (the author based the story on his own life/experiences) who escapes from prison and creates a life in Bombay. It’s an excellent story…one that you can’t skim or you’d miss too much… so his escapades are keeping my mind reeling. Again, if I could write something like Shantaram, I would be rather proud of myself!! Also, it is being made into a full length feature with Johnny Depp playing the main character so check it out.

The last one I started today is The Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. I am a huge Steinbeck fan and I’ve been waiting for a copy of this to turn up at the used bookstore in Penticton and it finally did! That store is to me like a candy store is to a deprived child… it’s loaded, seriously, wall to wall and floor to floor of books. There’s even a waitlist to get a job there since so many people want one. Plus books published in the 40s (like a lot of phenomenal authors works) are 2$… the amount the book cost 70 years ago!! Fantastic!!

I highly recommend you check out some of these titles… I love summer for this only reason. 🙂

Cheers


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zebra-striped thinking

First of all. Brian, I don’t remember posting about facebook so if I did, I am truly embarrassed and I won’t do it anymore. But yes, your text message was heartfelt and delightful. And I can’t give up on the Vic scene… more to come later.

My brother and I went to the movie tonight. When we were there, I saw a boy with a broken leg that was the same boy we had past last night when we went to the beach and the night market for my birthday. I pointed out to Nate that he was the same kid, and Nathan was shocked that I remembered. I don’t think it’s the remembering that is interesting, it is that I noticed him at all.

Often, people will make comparisons in their lives that are best explained as “black and white.” Such as the truth and lies are black and white. Or the rules set in school are black and white, you break them, you get punished…no in between. But what about the grey? We strive so often for answers and understandings that we omit the areas that seem to have no concrete place; order notwithstanding. It intrigues me how much we leave behind when we are searching for one…or the other. I think what is interesting is that the most solid things are ones that occurred in the past: I had blond hair; I read that book; I went to school; I didn’t like that soufflé; I love soccer but now I love baseball more. All of these absolute experiences and favours are results from our dabbling in them.

Present blacks and whites are a little less obvious for me. There are very few things of concrete existence: I am 22, my Mom and Dad are Jack and Lucy; I am a Christian, I work in an office, I
have brown hair, I like to sleep, I go to university. Currently, these aspects of me are black and white, no variations, no opposites… what I’ve listed is what is true. And what is true is what is real. Yet the best part is those are all subject to change, I just won’t know it until it happens.

So why do we think in black and white? Why do lives so consumed in brilliant colours need outlines of white and black? Things are not always one or the other way… the little things, that often go unnoticed, do not always match very easily or stand firmly on their own. No, these parts of our worlds rarely catch the glint of our eyes and harness the avenues of our minds. I think that there is a huge part of me that is looking out for those components in my worlds, almost like if I blink I will miss it… or I look around, at everything, drinking in every littlest detail of my surroundings. It’s why I notice when the girl in the corner of my english class, who’s bottom lip is trembling. Or the little boy in my grade 5 practicum class was hesitating to join the other children. It’s why I read stories without skimming paragraphs (unless it’s a Karen Kingsbury novel) or how I don’t need to watch a movie twice to understand how they did that. It’s how I remembered that boy with the broken leg.

I have decided it’s because I think and see the shades of grey. The undefined, quiet, shy, lonely, independent parts of life… my world is consumed by the lack of labels and the fact that the fantastic parts that colour my world are made so by their shadows of grey.. Because I can guarantee you, things we used to believe are black (or white) can get to be pretty grey now. We need to be vigilant in protecting those things we are sure about… so that once we stop focusing on the things we already know to be true, we stay driven to discovering and learning about those parts that are grey. The parts that stand alone and in dire need of our attention.


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to my brother-in-law

Mark, I love you, you know that right? I mean, you’ve been a major pain- I mean PART – of my life for the last, what, 2.45 years? I feel like you and I have fostered a friendship that is going to weather many storms. I trust you with my fears and anxieties and excitement and feelings. You take care of my vehicle. I mean, we support eachother. You support me in wanting to go to Victoria, and I support you in wanting a VW bus from Washington. We get eachother, I mean, we both seem to think Jess is pretty great, that Prison Break is super intense, and that some things are better left unsaid. I feel like I can approach you about anything and that (potentially) you will respond in a way that I leave feeling as if I understand a little more. Basically, you’re like my Robin to my being Batman, in the event that I need some side-kickin’ (or savin’ the world). So Mark, can you please bring Jes home for my birthday? Please? That’s kinda all this is about. Heck, bring her down in your bus.


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puh-leeze

I think that facebook is ruining people’s lives. I mean, the phenomena of an Internet website is astronomical. I don’t understand. Yes, I have facebook and yes, it served as an unintelligent procrastinating mechanism when I was at school. But now that I’ve been on holidays for a little over two months, I’ve been able to stand back and notice what a waste of time that thing is; and how it has been detracting from all other things that are most enjoyable. Such as, the last e-mail I got was from Jocelyn, and Jessica, on the same day. 10 days ago. Before that, I hadn’t gotten one since Jes sent me one before that, weeks and weeks ago. But see, Jes doesn’t have facebook. Also, I haven’t posted on my blog simply because between the 38 degree heat, a full time job, going to the gym everyday, and my pending birthday looming in my brain, I haven’t really felt like sitting down at the computer to vent. And I don’t have much to say. But… can everyone else who blogs have such rampant excuses like mine? Probably not! There is a list of about 15 blogs that I check regularly, given that I am on the computer. Guess how many have updated since a month ago? Three. I am convinced, that what once used to be a tool for ONLY college students to post notes and get together for group projects, has now turned into this extreme mass of preoccupation by most people who have access to Internet. It is not longer “Oh can I check my e-mail?” but now it’s a pile driven rush to “GOTTA check my facebook! I wonder who tagged me or wrote on my wall in the last 20 mins since I left my house and got to yours.” What’s worse, not only do you post pictures or have people write on your “wall”, people can download these “applications” to put on their pages where members can have fish tanks, flower gardens, food fights, have favourite friends, graffiti, and the list goes on. Basically, they are ensuring that youth of today don’t need to do anything but own a computer. Why would they have to go elsewhere? They can do it all on face-beek. They can have pets or talk to people. I think it’s actually disgusting. But like I said, I do have the gimmick.

I never thought an e-mail or text messaging would be outdated; that msn messenger wouldn’t just have replaced the phone, but been replaced itself. No longer are people going to be wishing for snail-mail. Ohh no.

I hate to admit that this 21 year old (well for T-2 days) is already feeling her age, and potential burnout from this digital era. All I want is an e-mail. Or a phone call. “I remember when my best friend actually KNEW my phone number from repeated usage….” Ahh.

I digress.


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habited

We got a PLACE!! Today I got the call and we were accepted at the place we want to live in for the fall! It’s 1500$/mo but it has everything…all utilities, cable, and internet included! It’s 10 minutes from UVic and it is going to be brand newly renovated (it’s not even DONE yet). Laminate floors, carpets in bedrooms, tile in bathroom, ground level suite! Brand new appliances…and a DISHWASHER! Couldn’t be more pleased…. WHAT a load off!!! We get possession for August 15th! So if we want to move stuff in periodically that month, we can. So Dan (my cousin), Adrienne (a friend from Calgary), and I will be living there. We are so blessed… house hunting is such a pain, I am thrilled it’s done…and what a good deal we got!! 🙂

Cheers!


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…and some things make no sense at all.

“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his GRACE, expressed by his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through FAITH – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:6-10

This was my morning devo today and it seemed fitting, now, for what the day held for me. My coworker succombed to his stomach cancer this past weekend. 5 weeks ago. He was diagnosed merely 5 weeks ago. And just like that, he’s gone. It is interesting watching my fellow comrades grieve. I don’t mean interesting like movie watching intrigue, but peculiar. He lived a full and rich and positively influential life; he was a Christian, and knowing that, makes the loss and true celebration for his life. This is apparent in the fellow believers’ eyes at my work. I ache for the angry and denying and bitter ones, those who seem to see the loss as a painful goodbye to a dear man… and not as a bright, shining greeting by our Maker. I mean, everyone grieves differently… I rank high in the denial category, and I like to be alone in doing so… but the loss is different for me.

So I ask you to pray, not only for his wife and children and all the others he called family. But pray for the hurt, the angry, the confused, the avoiding… so that in light of the very tragic of circumstance, God finds a way to make himself shine.

Then, the only tragedy would be in forgetting that this is all a part of God’s purpose for his life. For our lives. Today though, it just really hurts.

God speed. You’re all in my heart today (and always).

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…” Philippians 1:3


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it just makes sense

It’s how things fit. Like sunshine and sunscreen. Or coffee and a good friend. Mittens on a cold day or an A+ for excellent effort. Life throws at us a lot of things that seem to confuse us but every so often, something comes along that just seems to fit. It just makes total and utter and complete sense.

Enter Paul. I’ve posted about him before… but it was one of those metaphorical-post-modern-esque blogs where probably the only person to understand it (and know who I was referring to) was Paul… so I obviously didn’t do him the justice he deserves.

Paul makes sense. He challenges me because he knows how my mind works. In knowing this, he understands how I think more abstractly as I look at the world in it’s every little piece, not in its entirety. See Paul challenges me simply because he gets it and seems to know the capabilities of my head and has me figured out to a point where I wish I could just tell him to turn it off. He not only knows my dreams and desires but he pushes me harder and consistently more than anyone. I often say I don’t care about something… and when I say it and don’t mean it, Paul’s the one who will call me on my lie. And when I tell him I don’t want to talk about something, he won’t let me. He is stubborn and sometimes annoying, but only because he is caring and insightful. And strong. In both ways. You might say he scares me into being me. But I wouldn’t say that. I would say he brings out the “me” in me. And I like that. I need that. I wish I could say I do no wrong by Paul, but I do. But he’s the only friend I have who tells me so, in pure kindness, and then hugs me when I stuff my pride to admit that I was wrong. I am NEVER wrong. But yes, now I know I can be. He makes me do things… not peer pressure but things he knows I wouldn’t do unless he made me. Like stand out on my own or be vulnerable or question people. He always says “You only live once” and I swear, he thinks he came up with that cliché. He will tell me when I am being stupid… but then says the world won’t stand a chance against me… which is frustrating, because I wish he would just make up his mind. And yes, I am this exact same way, back towards him. We recognize each other’s faults, but we don’t relish in them. Because without them, we wouldn’t be us. And us wouldn’t fit.

I lived in residence with Paul, on the same floor, my first year. We had class together and became fast, close, smart friends. And by smart I mean we had conversations with more than “what did you do last weekend” headings and we studied together a lot. Since then, we lived in residence another year then he moved to Ontario. I was going to go there too but it was his dream, not mine… although, I sure would’ve loved to borrow him from it for awhile. So it’s been three years of midnight Tim Horton’s runs, watching him play hockey, chillin‘ to Dave Matthews, writing his papers, text messages, e-mails, too much phone talking, coming to visit when I had kidney issues, parties, old friends/new friends, and those infamous, 3:30 am college-life hang out times… and basically, just tons of talking. Trusting. And recognizing something great.

K Paul is just on my mind because I JUST SAW HIM! He came down to Vernon, him and his girlfriend Dani, for the weekend… but I, lucky girl I am, got them all to myself for a few hours. I never really spent any time with Danielle before (she’s from out east) and after that, I realized I couldn’t hand pick a better girl for my dearest friend. It was like “old times” seeing him again… but it’s not “old” it’s just right where we left off… and for a window of time I let myself remember just how much better my world is when my friend is closer to me. I am also glad that he’s a guy who seems to value this as much as I do… because we do a fine job staying in touch. But it was sure nice to have him in person for awhile. I needed his straightforward opinion and view and support, face to face, for a night. Getting to know Dani was an added, HUGE bonus. I love her too.

But yea.

Paul is my buddy and as previously mentioned, my dearest friend. I’ve got a best friend or two, but I think I need a different word for him because he stands kind of alone. Dearest isn’t masculine enough. Or us enough.

Because him and I just always seem to work.

We’re just like that.

Paul and I? We’re just the one thing in my life that always makes sense.

I hope you have a friend like that!