Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Dying Profession? (via The Digital Immigrant)

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Interesting read about our library system as it relates to technology and the world’s movement toward a digital era.

A Dying Profession? A recent Wall Street Journal article caught my attention this week. In this suburb of St. Paul, the new library branch has no librarians, no card catalog and no comfortable chairs in which to curl up and read. Instead, the Library Express is a stack of metal lockers outside city hall. When patrons want a book or DVD, they order it online and pick it up from a digitally locked, glove-compartment- sized cubby a few days later. It’s a library as con … Read More

via The Digital Immigrant

30 Days and a Shitload of Words

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1,667 is a pretty big number. So is 50,000. Especially when those numbers refer to words, and in this case, they do. I just committed myself to NaNoWriMo. What the heck is that, you ask? It stands for National Novel Writing Month. My friend Sarah introduced me to this lovely yet brutal project, and after some brief thinking and discussing, I decided to sign up. So beginning November 1st, I will immerse myself in a one-month long novel-writing project, in which I must complete 50,000 words over the course of 30 days. That translates to 1,667 words per day (that is if I consistently write each day…).

Uh-oh…that’s what you’re thinking, right? Don’t worry, I’m thinking it, too.

Thankfully, though, ‘crap writing’ is totally acceptable, even encouraged! Quantity over quality is key (which basically goes against everything I believe in, but this time, it makes perfect sense). Regardless of the quality of one’s writing, the project encourages discipline in the life of the writer, and Lord knows I need help in that particular department! I’m the worst when it comes to being disciplined with—well, any of my artistic endeavors, really, but particularly with my writing. Especially lately. I often have ideas but rarely feel motivated enough to put them down on paper (or onto the paint canvas or whatnot). So here’s my chance. No excuses this time! Will I fail? Will I succeed? I guess we’ll find out.

That brings me to the issue of subject matter: what in the world do I plan to write about? So far I have one idea, but I’m not quite sure if it’s “the one.” But the clock is ticking, so I need to make up my mind pretty quickly. Let’s hope the light bulb turns on between now and November 1st! And if any of you have any ideas in the meantime, feel free to shoot them my way! Also, I’d like to ask that ya’ll pester me about this as often as possible. I need the accountability. The more you bug me, the more likely I’ll sit down and actually write, even if I’m only writing crap. But, alas, something is better than nothing. So, as I’ve already said, bring on the crap!

[Click HERE for more info. on the official project!]

Slippery

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Restless, restless…

Bleeding thoughts that comprehend no – wait!

No, not like that.

And certainly not now. Later,

Yes, later. When time permits.

But will it ever?

Dismiss it; forget it.

We’ll think of that again, but only when –

Wait!

When did the sun set? And why

Was I not there?

Absent from the sight of the blood-colored sky,

Unable to feel

Her warmth,

[punctuate; no time for solitary deep breaths]

Unable to watch as the darkness, arriving at its throne…

To understand…

 

Behold! Morning

Awakens the sun and

Yesterday’s weariness, unsuccessful in conjuring

up a dream,

Reconsiders and relents.

Endless Questions & The Oprah Magazine

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DISCLAIMER: This is more or less an exaggerated rant written for the primary purpose of getting my thoughts out in an uncensored fashion. Please don’t e-mail me with questions about my sanity or overall well-being. As Orlando Bloom’s character in Elizabethtown said, “I’m fine.”  =)

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Yesterday I was standing in line at the grocery store, and this caught my eye:

Due to lack of time, however, I didn’t bother picking it up. (Okay, and maybe secretly I didn’t care, since this is, after all, Oprah—and yes, for those wondering, I’m not a fan.) Regardless, the title got me thinking.

Calling.

I sometimes detest that word. Thank you, church culture, and—more importantly—thank you, Northwest University! In all honesty, though, the general overuse of the word is not my problem; my problem is the lack of clarity when it comes to its definition.  Forget asking the question: ‘What is my calling?’  What the hell is a CALLING, anyway? If I were to ask a handful of people, I’m positive I’d get a handful of definitions (in fact, this has happened already). And therein lies my issue with the concept of calling.

Four years ago, I thought I knew what my calling was. But four years ago, my definition of ‘calling’ was synonymous with my definition of ‘vocation.’ And while I’ve learned that the two are separate entities, I still haven’t quite figured out what ‘calling’ means.

All I know is this: as of this very moment, I’m not where I should be. If the ultimate goal is to love God and love others the way I love myself, then I have quite a few miles to travel—especially since I don’t love myself right now.  I look at the person I’ve become and cringe; I’m often bitter, full of doubt, angry (at myself, at others, and sometimes at God), unmotivated, and overall uninspired.

What happened?

What happened to the girl who made it her mission to push through the harsh circumstances? The girl who once embraced life’s challenges and still managed to walk forward? Where is the girl who had dreams, goals, and aspirations, who once knew how to set goals and move toward them? Where is the artist who looked at her life and the lives of others and found raw, creative potential there?

And where on earth did this person come from? This person who always wants to hide, who tells herself constantly that she’s never going to be good enough, whose eyes are suddenly on herself and hardly ever on others? How and when did I become this person? And how do I find my way back to the right path? (Whatever that means.)

Perhaps I’m thinking too hard again, and perhaps I’ll one day look back at today and laugh, but right now, this all feels just as unpleasant as a sleepless, insomnia-infused night.  It’s like my very soul has insomnia, and no matter how much I toss and turn, the restlessness refuses to retire.

I have more questions than answers, and the more I seek out answers, the more complex my questions become. And as a result, I find myself shying away from everything—questions, answers….everything—until I’m completely numb and hopelessly immobile. But immobility is a dangerous disease, a type of cancer, really. And I loathe myself for getting to this point.

Once again, there’s a pretty significant chance I’m just thinking too hard. I do that often.

Anyway, I was reading Amitabh Bachchan’s blog earlier, and he opened his entry with these words. They really caught my attention:

“It is the simple things in life that move us the most. It is the common things in life that affect us the most. It is, I have discovered, life itself that touches us the most. I wait patiently for life to present itself to me. I wait till it summons me to notice. I wait in expectation of that which shall unfold itself, and having found it, expect more.”

Thinking too hard or not, I seem to have caught some sort of strange amnesia when it comes to being moved by the simple, common things in life. The “big things”—life altering circumstances, etc.—keep pushing me down. And my general expectations—for myself and for others—are terribly low.

But I’m so damn tired of that! I’m tired of crawling out of bed each morning with the sole purpose of making it through the day. Simply surviving. I want to have higher expectations and I want to be able to find meaning in the small, normally unnoticed aspects of life. Only then can I discover and grasp the bigger notions: my purpose, my calling.

Fear will paralyze you if you let it, and I certainly have. But it’s now time to arise, to make new discoveries, to move toward something new and fresh, whether that “something” is big or small. Head held high, no turning back.  But the daunting question remains: how?

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“Wake up, O sleeper,

—rise from the dead…”