Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Go on... Brush your shoulders off...

I'd like to pretend I could own Annaliese in a fight, but in all honesty... she could probably kick my trash... any day of the week.

Amy and Mila went to cooking group this morning and I decided to stay behind to work out, shower, and study. I was home alone and just sitting down in the computer room to jot some thoughts down when I heard a crash in the other room. My first thought was “Some clumsy British Burglar just broke in”! Then my next reaction was to grab my empty coke zero can (for protection) and cautiously search the house. What was I hoping to do?! Distract him by throwing the can at him and then run off?! Some great fighter I’d make!

Which leads me down memory lane to my first and only real physical fight. While attending BYUI, I had no life other than my studies…until my second semester when I moved in with some semi-wild ladies. They went through a phase where they LOVED fight nights. Now, fight nights are nights when a bunch of BYUI students meet up in a dimly lighted basement to box (in my opinion) out their sexual frustration. I had no life and no other friends, so I would tag along with my roommates to these events. One night there was an especially large crowed of spectators in a much too stuffy basement, watching the fights. My roommates and their friends somehow got it into their heads that it would be an awesome idea for me to box. Being deprived of attention and a social life, I gave into their raving chants…”Gretchen! Gretchen! Gretchen!” So I walked out, tight button-up shirt, jeans, and all, into the middle of the ring of sweaty people to wait and see who would have the guts to box my intimidatingly athletic self. To my surprise … and horror, I looked over and saw the infamous BYUI She-man step out into the ring and put on her gloves (which she probably brought with her to these special occasions). I looked over at my supposed friends, who all gave me worried smiles and thumbs up. “Maybe she’s not as tough as she looks”, I thought. Wrong. I didn’t even get a punch in. Her punches were an endless buffet of pain. I made it to the bell of the first round. I had gotten royally spanked. I wasn’t intending to enjoy another spanking, so I quickly retired from my boxing career. We left soon after.


I've been trying to decide whether to put some of my real thoughts down on this sight or whether just to put funny traveling experiences. I'm sure the funny traveling stories will come in plenty and I will write them on occasion. But this blog is a waste of time if that is all I do. So here is my first of, I'm sure many, things written that are important to me. They are thoughts that can be debated and scrutinized and I hope they are because I love people challenging what I think. It brings new perspective. I also am doing this because... let's get real... not many people are going to see this thing :)
I'm a big believer in that thought by C.S. Lewis in "The Great Divorce" about Heaven and Hell working backward. I've seen it happen in my life through experiencing both, the Atonement and sin (I use the word sin as a turning from God and not choosing to love His children... not this fire and damnation stuff and runs around Christian doctrine like a chicken with its head cut off). When we are completely present in God, it is as if everything in life had been worth it up to that point, especially our mistakes. And when we are in our sin, in the heat of despair, nothing seems to have been worth it in life. There is a complete lack of hope. This brought me to the thought of what people refer to as Judgement Day. Will this be a day of Awareness? A day when we are completely awakened and made present to either joy or despair? For the Joyous, will it be a complete awakening to the serenity of their sincere desire for God and to love His children? And for the despairing, will they become present for the pain of the awareness of how much they wasted - talent, love, relationships, growth, potential, authenticity, time? I think for the despairing, it will be like throwing open the curtains on a bright afternoon and pouring water on someone who has slept the morning away. They have wasted the day and slept through the hope of the morning. The Son and Living Water have awakened them, but to what? Can they be saved even then?

Monday, 28 June 2010

In the Land of Sheep

A flower shop in Prestbury....obviously
This is where Benjamin, Samuel, PJ, and I decided it would be a grand idea to run away and find jobs at the ages of 7, 5, 4, and 3.... yup.... We got half way to the next town before being picked up by the police.
The lane that leads from the village to our house. It's a gorgeous walk.

A tombstone in at St. Peter's church.
A bench in the village.
The Village os Prestbury. It's incredibly enchanting.
A field of sheep lies two streets from our house.... I guess that explains why I think it would be awesome to be a shepherd for a summer....


14 years and I still remember the smell of this church. Prestbury, my village, looks enchanting in the morning light. 10 o'clock. The church bells ring. Quarter past. Bells. Half Past. Bells. I remember in Israel loving the bells in the Old City because they reminded me of here. This church. This village. "That's the best sound in the world", I would say.
I love the East Coast. It's gorgeous. Yet it wasn't until yesterday that I realized that the reason I love it out East is because it reminds me of Cheshire. Fields. Sheep. Trees. Green. It's all here. What had been a blank canvas of memory is now filled with what I have always loved. Funny how that works.

Monday, 21 June 2010

some London goodies

Hyde Park Corner
My favorite painting of all time is one done by Monet of parliament at sunset. I wish I could have somehow captured an angle of parliament that would be even 1/100 as beautiful... but alas... this is what you're stuck with.
Big Ben
Me at Hyde Park
Hyde Park
In the Victoria and Albert Museum, there was this structure called the tower of books. It was one of my favorite things in that museum. It was essentially.... a tower of books....
Peej, I tried to take a picture of me with some Dolce and Gabbana purses, but was reprimanded before we could get away with it.
Will is one of Rob's best friends and biggest heroes. He is also probably one of the best traveling buddies I've ever chilled with.

London Baby

Hello London. Yes, I think I will stop and have Falafel at a Lebanese CafĂ© while watching the World Cup and drinking refreshing diet coke. I guess I’ll stroll through Hyde Park if you insist upon it. Oh, and you want me to see Big Ben, Parliament, and West Minster as well? Alright, fine. Will and I went into London today. He was such a great traveling buddy. We walked around everywhere. It was nice just chillin and doing whatever. We started at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which was incredible, and I saw the tower of books and this jewelry collection that was stunning… (which is saying something because I’m not usually into jewelry). It also had models of a bunch of famous architecture which was way amazing. Not to mention the huge bed they had as well. No comment. I’m afraid my mother would be sorely disappointed in me if I made one at this point. I love going through this stuff at my own pace and listening to Blind Pilot and Bon Ivor (which I’m obsessed with now…thank you Emma Richey) and not having an ear piece in my ear, pretending to listen to some tour guide as he explains stuff about cisterns … in the most boring way possible… or tries to be interesting, but still isn’t… which is almost worse because there seems like the hope of something entertaining…a hope that only appears long enough to be recognized before it’s dashed to pieces on the rocks of pointless facts.