Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A year in lyrics...

It would be pretty sweet if I came up with a list of my top ten albums of 2008 as many people tend to compile at the year's end, but seeing as how I had no money to really buy music or time to keep up with the new albums, these are just some songs that played throughout this past year. A friend posted music of 2008 this way and I thought that was such a cool way to sum a year, especially since I am constantly listening to music and looking for meaningful lyrics.
Here's a glimpse of my year through music...


I was born to laugh

I learned to laugh

Through my tears

I was born to love

I’m gonna learn to love

Without fear

(Born-Over the Rhine)

What a day to visit Seattle

What a day for San Francisco

What a day holy Toledo

What a day to get in the air and go

What a day to give up smoking

What a day to have some Jim Beam

What a day to welcome a baby

To begin breathing

(What a day-Greg Laswell)


She still shines

Though the night falls around her

By her light, I find my way

When I fear the path lay before me

I look to the light of her face

And thank her for being so brave

(The Moon-Kendall Payne)

I have much farther to go

Everything is new and so unpredictable

I should just kick my heals together and go home

But I’m not sure where that is anymore

(Much Farther to Go-Rosie Thomas)


My friend, it’s been a long day for me

I miss seeing your face and I miss your company

I could use a hug from you and you know I would love to talk with you, too

But I will just have to wait, until I see you again

(The Note- Late Tuesday)

I’m afraid I’m not all that you see along the coast of me

I’m camouflage, a desert mirage, a nobody

But you came so close

And I assumed you were looking for the piece of yourself that’s lost

It is the hiding place inside everybody

And though we love to numb the pain

We’ve come to learn that it’s in vain

Pain is our mother, she makes us recognize each other

(Nobody Number One- Over the Rhine)


Why is it impossible now to trace every echo back to its birth?

Why is it impossible now to kiss every fever away?

There is truth that’s hiding behind every wall that surrounds us

It takes a lifetime to pull the bricks away

If our words are cameras, hold still

Shutters slide to unveil, fingerprints of angels

In a language made of film

(Hold Still-Sleeping at Last)

All the blood and all the sweat
That we invested to be loved
Follows us into our end,
Where we begin to understand
That we are made of love,
And all the beauty stemming from it.
We are made of love,
And every fracture caused by the lack of it.

(Needle and Thread-Sleeping at Last)

I don’t know nothing except change will come

Year after year what we do is undone

Time gets moving from a crawl to a run

I wonder if we’re gonna ever get home

You’re out there walking down a highway

And all the signs got blown away

Sometimes you wonder if you’re walking in the right direction

(When it don’t come easy-Patty Griffin)


I’ve been holding on

I’ve been holding on

All that is inside me

Screams to come back home

(Shine your light on us- Robbie Seay Band)

I’m gonna sing this song

To let you know that you’re not alone

And if you’re like me

You need hope, coffee, and melody

So sit back down, let the world keep spinning round

Yesterday’s gone and today is waiting on you to show your face

And it might not be the prettiest thing that you’ve ever seen

But it’s a new day, oh baby, it’s a new day

And it might not look like a beautiful sunrise

But it’s a new day, oh baby, it’s a new day

I know it might seem that the world is crumbling

But it’s me and you dancing in the kitchen at 2am and we’re still alive

Standing in the rain and nowhere to go

Laughing and spinning and I hope that you

Remember this day for the rest of your life

Me and you love, everything’s all right

And it just might be the prettiest thing that you’ll ever see

It’s a new day, oh baby, it’s a new day

(New Day-Robbie Seay Band)


I woke up this morning

With this feeling inside me that I can’t explain

Like a weight that I carried had been carried away

But I know something is coming

I don’t know what it is

But I know it’s amazing, you save me

My time is coming

I’ll find my way out of this longest draught

It feels like today

(Feels like today- Rascal Flatts)

This is how it works

You peer inside yourself

You take the things you like

And try to love the things you took

And you then you take that love you made

And stick into someone else’s heart

Pumping someone else’s blood

And walk and arm in arm

You hope it don’t get harmed

And even if it does, you just do it all again

(On the Radio-Regina Spektor)


What if I fall further than you?

What if you dream of somebody new?

What if I never let you in?

And chase you with a rolling pin

Well, what if I do?

‘Cause I am giving up

On making passes

And I am giving up

On half empty glasses

And I am giving up

On greener grasses

I am giving up

(Giving Up-Ingrid Michaelson)

The more I sing this song

The more I feel your love fall down on me

In the darkness I am found

Found with your love surrounding me

Feel this, can you feel this

My heart beat out of my chest

Salvation under my breath

Can you let go?

Can you let go of the past?

What if I told you

Your tears have never been ignored?

(Feel This-Enation)

Give me a reason to fall in love

Take my hand and let’s dance

Give me a reason to make me smile

Because I think I forgot how

I want to fall asleep with you tonight

I want to know I am safe when you hold me tight

I want to feel how I want to feel forever

Girls need attention and boys need us

So let’s make everybody glad

That they have each other

In each other’s arms

Let’s make everybody glad

(Reasons to Love You- Meiko)


It’s been a long year

Like a sleepless night

Jacob wrestled the angel

But I’m too tired to fight

Every Wednesday for two years we’ve met

I’ve showed you all my anger, doubts and bitterness

There was no judgment in your eyes

Just the silent peace of god that felt so real and you

Will you hold the light for me?

I want to feel redemption

Flowing through my veins

I want to see with clear eyes

Beyond lust and hate

I want the war to be over

And know the good guys won

I want love to hold me

And know I’m not alone

Standing around a willow weeping

Praying in the backyard

The chill of night,

The friendship light reminded me,

Who we are

Will you hold the light for me?

(Hold the Light-Caedmon’s Call)

There’s something in the way you laugh

It makes me feel like a child

Aspects come alive

They confuse me

You and your thesis amuse me

After an afternoon

And your rich brown eyes

Your lips and your dark hair

Elbows, exposed knees

Tossing towards your ceiling

After an afternoon

Love, love

Face to palm, tear to tear

Mouth to tongue

Heart to ground

Heart to ground

I am in love

(After an Afternoon-Jason Mraz)


Oh my love

Help me open up my heart again

Tear it open let the rain fall in

Wash this hardness underneath my skin

I know that in the dark, there’s a fear of letting go

I know that in my heart, that I fear what I don’t know

And this feels like, letting go

I’m letting go

It’s hard to trust

When your hearts been broken times before

You pull the curtains and you lock the doors

Swear you’ll never go out anymore

I’m stepping out

I can’t see and there is no sound

Seeming void becomes a solid ground

The sight I lost, becomes the faith I found

And this feels like letting go

I’m letting go

(Feels like letting go-Matthew Perryman Jones)

Life keeps on changing

You tell it to stay still but it won’t listen

I just want you near me

Like you are now, for good.

(Tinfoil Hats-Rocky Votolato)

I’m gonna write you a song

To tell you just how much I’ve been missing you

(Make it up- Joe Purdy)


I’ve been a fool

I’ve been cruel to myself

I’ve been hanging onto nothing

When nothing could be worse

Than hanging on

Something tells me

There must be something better than all this

I’ve fallen many times in love

And every time it’s been with the wrong man

Still I’m out there living one day at a time and doing the best I can

Cause we’ve all made mistakes that seem to lead us astray

But every time, they help us to get us where we are today

And it’s as good a place as any

and it’s probably where we’re best off anyway

It’s a long and rugged road

And we don’t know where it’s headed

But we know it’s gonna get us where we’re going

And when we find what we’re looking for

We’ll drop these bags and search no more

Because it’s gonna feel like heaven when we’re home

(Heaven When we’re home- The Wailin’ Jennys)

And you’re not happy but you’re funny

And I’m tripping over my joy

I just keep on getting up again…

Morgan says maybe love won’t let you down

All of your failures are training grounds
and just as your backs turned

You’ll be surprised, she said, as your solitude subsides.

(Absence of God-Rilo Kiley)

I read with every broken heart

We should become more adventurous

(More Adventurous- Rilo Kiley)


My bones are shifting in my skin

And you my love are gone

My room seems wrong, the bed won’t fit

I cannot seem to operate

And you my love are gone

So glide away and so be healed

and promise not to promise anymore

and if you come around again

then I will take the chain from off the door

I’ll never say, I’ll never love

But I don’t say a lot of things

and you my love are gone

(The Chain- Ingrid Michaelson)

This is how the story went

I met someone by accident

You blew me away

You blew me away

It was in the darkest of my days

When you took my sorrow

And you took my pain

You buried them away

You buried them away

I wish I could lay down beside you

When the day is done

And wake up to your face against the morning sun

But like everything I’ve ever known

You’ll disappear one day

So I’ll spend my whole life hiding

My heart away

Hiding My Heart- Brandi Carlile


People say that you ain’t been happy

They say you should

But you don’t know why

Is it gonna get easier

Is it gonna get tough

Are the waters gonna open wide

Are they gonna get rough

Are we gonna have to sing right down

Or are we gonna get to paint this town

A deep blue and green

(Easier-Joe Purdy)

When I had no one to call

All the world had shut me down

I showed up at your door, so blue

Thank God I had a friend like you

(Friend like you- Joshua Radin)

Thank you for opening the window

The sky is clear as my mind is now

I was a long, long way off

Journey in welcoming the sun in

It’s much brighter than the night

I get in

I was a long, long way off

And I think I like how the day sounds

Through this new song

It’s well worth the time that it’s taken

To get here now

(How the day sounds-Greg Laswell)

Created for a place I’ve never known

This is home

Now I’m finally where I belong

Where I belong

Yeah this is home

I’ve been searching for a place of my own

Now I’ve found it

Yeah, this is home

(This is home- Switchfoot)

Happy New Year, Cheers!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

this is my wintersong to you...

Portland has gotten so much snow that it's beginning to feel like I live in Aspen or the North Pole. It's beautiful and I LOVE tromping around in the snow or sitting in a cozy cafe and watching the snow fall. However, cities like Portland and Seattle, they are blindsided by winter storms and arctic blasts such as this and the city is left at a standstill. I have barely left my neighborhood this whole week. I’m going stir crazy. I made it out once for lunch with Allison and a run to Powell’s and another time for Christmas shopping. I haven’t made it to hardly any social outings because of road conditions or cancellations. I’ve just been working at the coffee shop all week and am so thankful for it because I need to see people. I need to engage with people and laugh and make stupid jokes and fall for stupid jokes for a day to really feel like a day.

It really started to snow yesterday and I couldn’t handle staying in my two block radius of work and apt, so I decided to take a winter walk all over the Northwest Portland neighborhood and enjoy the snow, the powdery sparkly snow! I didn’t know this kind of snow existed. If this is the snow that’s up in the mountains…well maybe I could try snowboarding again.

Some pictures from my winter walk around the neighborhood…”this is my wintersong to you…”

NW 24th Ave

NW Thurman St.

Align CenterStill with me?

The neighborhood

I hope I'm able to make it up to Seattle tomorrow. They aren't running the train. The roads are a nightmare. Yikes. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 19, 2008

stuck in the drizzle

Bringing back a post from last winter. Even though I am sitting in a bustling coffee house watching huge fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky, I'm feeling the drizzle again...

“God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip.” –Amazing Grace

Drip. Drip. Drip.

I like that. Often when I get the courage or the faith to pray a big prayer, I expect or hope for great big things to happen, for lightning bolts and change. And it just doesn’t always pan out that way. It doesn’t mean God isn’t working because He most definitely is, but just not in the way, or more rightly put the timing that I would like.


I find it funny that this word found its way into this quote; it’s the perfect word. Who really likes drizzle? Drizzle is a pain and I never really know how to deal with it. It mists my clothes and face so after some time, I am sufficiently soggy but it’s rarely enough for me to break out the umbrella. It’s just something we all put up with and endure.

So here I am, I have prayed some big prayers, and in the waiting is the drizzle. I’m okay with the gentle drizzle, because I know God will be faithful. I may get soaked and soggy, but deep down, He tells me everything will be okay.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

live well.

I was out running this afternoon and I always run past this memorial cemetery and rarely do I give it a second’s notice. But I was at a tired moment and decided to take a stroll through. The sunlight was gorgeous and beginning to set which makes the whole cemetery idea much less intimidating and scary. I’ve seen too many scary movies about pet cemeteries and dead people coming to life to eat brains…gross. I place full blame on my brothers who forced me to watch them when I was little. Anyway, it’s hard to be afraid when it’s a heavenly day.

I wandered through the green grass and headstones, glimpsing pieces of the lives that have been lived. Some had lived to see the turn of two centuries; some had not lived to see a decade. Some lived long after their spouses had died and others lived less than a year. I would try and fit together pieces of lives from the little one can gather from a headstone. What had happened? What was their family life like? Did they have a good marriage? What must it have been like to live thirty years after she lost her son? I wonder if he died of a broken heart, he died one month after his wife. I just got to thinking about how obituaries always talk about so and so being survived by…a wife, a granddaughter or other relative etc. I never really understood that section. It felt like the listing off of a family tree. But I am learning the importance of survivors and surviving. When someone dies, there are others who must go on living, no matter how hard it may be. Life goes on even in the midst of tragedy and loss. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, The Secret Life of Bees reads, “It is the peculiar nature of the world to go on spinning no matter what sort of heartbreak is happening.” Anywhere there is death, there is also life.

I remember a sermon that Gary Haugen gave at Imago
He is the founder of International Justice Mission (IJM). An amazing organization that I hope to work for one day, if I’m lucky. He was one of the first people called in by the United Nations in the genocide investigation in Rwanda. He talked about how his first job was to sort through the bodies, the carnage. If that alone wasn’t overwhelming enough, he was able to meet with survivors of the genocide and hear their stories. There is sadness in the loss, and more sadness in the lives spared, the ones who now must live with the heartbreak and loss. In the midst of death and tragedy, he found life. It just got me thinking about living and surviving. I think there is certain strength in the word “survivor”, like the simple act of living is an accomplishment and a call to live well. So that was my lesson for the day, live well. Find life in the midst of death.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

cup your hands around the flame.

It’s late. I’m not sure why I’m up when the rest of the world is asleep. But I woke up and felt the need to just be with my thoughts in silent contemplation. It’s just me and a candle, bundled in blankets in my very cold apartment. The candle doesn’t give much light, but I find comfort in its glow. I find myself feeling fragile these days, both fragile and strong if that makes any sense. I haven’t always been a feeler of feelings, sounds silly but it’s true. I would skip over anger, hurt, sorrow, wanting not to dwell in the valley and in the darkness. I would rarely even acknowledge I was there, even for a moment. Lately, I find that I am allowing myself to feel, to actually be with those emotions. It’s as if those emotions sink deeper than ever before and sting more than ever before. But I am finding comfort in a quote. Rilke said that “the person who suffers needs to stay with it, must not be a waster of sorrows”. He noted elsewhere that “the more still, more patient and more open we are when we are sad, so much the deeper and so much the more unswervingly does the new go into us, so much the better do we make it ours, so much more will it be our destiny.” I see this feeling deeper, and letting the new be rooted so much the deeper as my own version of holy gardening. I’m praying for roots.

I’m thinking about that stereotype that sensitive people are weak. That has got to be the farthest thing from truth. It takes so much strength to really feel. It takes strength to endure, to persevere. In that sense, I am feeling strong, finding hope in the darkness, cupping my hands around the flame and letting the darkness become light.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Slam poets

I saw this girl(Jodie Knowles) perform at the Wordstock festival this year and just loved her words. I am so inspired by slam poets, how to they put words together in such a moving and deep way? serious talent.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seasoned People

There is so much wisdom accumulated with age. I feel as though I should be wiser than I am at my ripe age of 25. I guess it is all quite relative though. I just listened to a podcast from Imago Dei last week and the speaker was a 92 year-old woman talking about her faith journey. I have always had a thing for old people. Well, let me rephrase that, I’ve had a thing for old people since I stopped having nightmares of elderly woman chasing me in the night, so probably since I was about fourteen. I love talking to old people. Also, I’m sure there are better terms or verbiage to classify this population, but I find the term “old people” endearing in its own way. Actually, I kind of like the phrase “seasoned people”, one who has lived many seasons…maybe I will use that. Anyway, back to my love of seasoned people, I love talking with them. I feel as though there is so much to be absorbed in every conversation. I also feel that when one has lived so many seasons, they realize their own wisdom and experience and wish to impart some of it to the world around them in direct ways through conversation or advice and indirect ways like the way they carry themselves or handle situations that come their way.

My favorite customers at the coffee shops I’ve worked in were always of the “seasoned” variety. They had an endless amount of stories to share and a love of sharing, which may or may not have been the most welcomed thing at 5am when my eyelids could barely be lifted and I could only hope to produce full sentences. Eyelids open or not, I loved hearing about their lives, their love stories, their travels, and the pearls they had picked up in the trials of life.
I always have my ears open for these pearls when I’m talking with seasoned people. They are privileged with perspective and the ability to look back on their life and see all the various ways that God worked in their lives, how certain decisions led to certain outcomes, how prayers were answered but maybe not in the way they had hoped. They can look back on their lives with different eyes. Maybe it’s those eyes that I crave, that perspective, a knowing that my life is on a path that will bring glory in the end.

This woman who spoke at Imago, who has seen 92 Winters and Springs, during her talk, in the most precious voice, said countless times throughout, “hang on” and “hang in there”. She talked about how the 20s and 30s can be a really tough time in our lives because by this time, we have had time to form expectations and dreams for what our lives would be and when we don’t see things turning out how we thought or we are faced with crisis or suffering, we begin to doubt and we begin to throw the idea around that we should give up and throw in the towel. “Hang on. Hang in there”, she says. You can’t see what God is doing, but you will. Hang on. In all of her words, I clung to those and will continue to cling to them. I will keep hanging on. And someday I will have the perspective and pearls to look back on my life and say I am so glad that I hung in there and kept holding on.

“Hang on. Hang in there.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

On forgiveness.

It’s stormy today in Portland (actually, it’s gorgeous and sunny in Portland today but I wrote this last Wednesday between classes when it felt like monsoon season). While I sit in the window of a bustling downtown cafĂ©, I find myself trudging through a multitude of thoughts on forgiveness. We watched a powerful documentary in my social work and spirituality class called The Power of Forgiveness. I can’t stop thinking about it, like a shiny pretty thing, I can’t draw my attention away. The filmmaker proposed that forgiveness is the key to achieve social justice, reconciliation and peace in the world. He talked about how important it is to forgive, to let go of the anger. To forgive is to do something for yourself. If we hold on to anger, we only hurt ourselves by sitting in an open wound. When we forgive we let go of the anger; we are no longer continually hurt by it. We don’t forget but we incorporate those pieces into who we are and we keep moving. The film talked about forgiveness between faiths as between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland and what that might look like. They are teaching forgiveness in children’s curriculum, teaching them about the inherent worth of every person and when we forgive, we see people with new eyes not for what they have done.

They shared a story of a 14 year-old boy who shot another young man, the pizza delivery boy, because he refused to give them a free pizza. When I hear stories like that I can’t help but feel sick and judge and blame. They followed the victim’s father as he embarked on a journey of forgiveness for the young boy who shot his son and the boy’s grandfather. He forgave. The Amish families who’s children were gunned down in their school. They forgave. It’s a daily act of forgiveness. They wake up in the morning and actively choose to let go. It is woven into the fabric of their faith and lives to forgive.

There is nothing reasonable in forgiveness. In a society so hell-bent on justice and retribution, it doesn’t make sense to forgive. It doesn’t add up. I remember a conversation I had about heaven and faith with my step-dad. We talked about how God forgives and anyone who believes will go to heaven, no matter what they have done in this life. He couldn’t understand a heaven that would include a serial killer and an innocent child. There was no justice. A killer deserves to go to hell. I couldn’t respond. It wasn’t justice alone. It was mercy.

I get really emotional when I hear or see stories of forgiveness. I was watching Grey’s Anatomy (I know, I know, I’m addicted) and a husband and wife ended up in the hospital and it came out that the husband had been having an affair with the wife’s best friend for months. I was writhing in anger. Later the husband had written a letter to his wife asking for forgiveness, pleading for another chance and declaring his love for no one but her and made a statement that he would spend every day for the rest of his life trying to make it up to her. I was bawling at this point. Infidelity is something I have the hardest time with. As with all wrongs, someone makes a choice, and another is hurt as a result of that choice. Once it’s done, it’s done. Once you’re stung, you can’t get un-stung. When Eve picked the apple, she couldn’t just give it back as much as she longed to. It can’t be undone or forgotten but it can be forgiven.

That’s what I’m pondering today, while I’m supposed to be writing a zillion papers…gah..