Thursday, May 5, 2011

i feel like benjamin button today

I got a class ring a couple days ago. Apparently I've finished enough hours to earn one. And after Friday, I will be 3/4 done with my undergraduate career. This summer, I start looking in earnest at grad schools. Several of my friends have gotten and are getting married this year.

I'm 19.

Hence the Benjamin Button feeling. I am finally older than almost all the freshmen (there are still a few, darn them), and I'm about to be a senior. In college.

Where did it go? This semester was the first one that flew by. Seriously. I cannot believe there are only a few days left. It helps I have a tight group of friends here, which is a first. I'm actually in the group, not floating on the coattails of several groups. I've been asked out, almost kissed, driven thirteen hours round-trip into another state for a weekend, driven a friend to the hospital, slept in a hospital (twice), signed an apartment lease, turned in a writing portfolio. All in the past seven months.

Ever older and ever younger. I think that's going to be my life.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

hella weird day.

Well, it's been a helluva day. My eleven o'clock was cancelled, due to the professor's being out of town. I planned to sleep. And then sleep some more. I woke up around 8:15, stretched, planned to go back to sleep, but saw my phone blinking. A text from one friend saying, "Whoever gets up first, call me", and then from another friend saying, "You up?"

This was unusually early (yes, on a college schedule, it is) for anyone to be texting me. I texted back, "Yeah, what's up?" The next text received read, "I just took [friend's name] to the hospital."

The adrenaline spike launched me out of bed. I got dressed, cracked open a can of Vanilla Coke and down half it, grabbed some notebooks and booked it to the ER. I've been here before, about three months ago when a different friend whacked her head against the arm of a sofa and got a concussion (yeah, not even kidding). I spent the next four hours in alternating states of a brightly lit room, a very dark room with only this pale bluish light from the vitals monitor, being wide awake, nodding off, wondering when exactly I'd finish studying for my final at 3.

But it's amazing how things like exams get kicked back in their place when you're holding a girl's hair out of her face as she throws up for the fifth time into a bedpan, when her head's pressed against your chest as she turns death-pale and whispers "make it stop", when you're sitting there trying not to cry along with her.

It's been a long day. It's not over yet. Another friend (there are five or six of us in this pretty tight circle) showed up in time for me to run to my first class, make it to my exam, and now I'm back here. They've admitted her (after trying to discharge her, for which I was not present) and moved her out of the ER to an actual suite. It's amazing the effect a big window and a picture of bluebonnets have on a room. It's also amazing the effect the right anti-nausea medication will have. She's sleeping now, which is good. Better than good. I can't imagine she's really slept in almost a full day now.

I'm having one of those odd moments where I feel fragile and invincible all at once. I've never seen someone in so much pain, much less someone who hates showing pain. But this - this being here for someone, it's one of the few things in my life I've never questioned. I was made for it. Yeah, sure, it's rough sometimes, but this is what I am supposed to do. By supposed to, I do not mean obligated to morally, I mean designed to. It''s a reassuring thing on a day like this.

Bonus: the nurse for this new room remembers us from the last time we were here with the other friend, the one with the concussion. What is it with this town? The nurses recognize me on sight now, apparently, and some of the baristas by name.


About an hour after I wrote this, a round of bad storms swept through town, bringing with them tornado warnings and sirens. Everyone in the hospital got moved into the hallways for safety's sake. For an entire hour. Then apparently really honest conversations happen late at night in hospital rooms, and things get said I never expected to, and good grief I've reached the point of sheer disbelief today could actually happen in real life.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I'd love to write something sweet and beautiful and heartwarming right now. I would. So desperately. But life doesn't give us that all the time. That's why I write fiction sometimes. I'd love to say I write for the beauty of the words and the impact I can have on lives. But sometimes I don't. I'm not that altruistic. Sometimes I write because I'm hurting. Because friends are hurting. If I were as spiritually advanced as some, I could just submerge myself in prayer and scripture. I'm not there, though. Sometimes the words I write form another world, a fragile sphere only lasting as long as I create it, as long as I can read it.

Sometimes writing keeps me sane, gives me hope, gives me an escape hatch into some different place for a few minutes. But those few minutes help. Maybe it's just like imagining warmth in a snowstorm. It isn't real, but the thought of a fire can make me feel warmer and give me another glimmer at the end of the tunnel.

I wrote this a couple days ago. Or re-wrote it, really. And as I read it again, it does help. I hope it might help you too, or if you don't need help right now, that it'll at least make you smile.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


It doesn't often occur you watch someone sleep, not least because 'watching someone sleep' now has the unfortunate association with certain pale and glittery not-young man who has a penchant for being abusively over-protective. But sleep does something to people - not the sleep of bad dreams, running away or drifting lost at sea - but an ordinary, healthy sleep, or even the quiet drifting into oblivion of an exhausted person. Hands folded over waist, bare feet propped on a table, sleep's gentle hand smoothing away forehead worry lines. There's a certain enforced peacefulness, silence, vulnerability even. One becomes like a small child again, cradled in sleep and lost to the world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

love and vulnerability and bruised hearts

I had such clear-cut view of love when I was a little kid. I was supposed to love everyone because Jesus loved everyone, but I didn't have to like everyone (a point which brought me no small relief), and there were two kinds of love. There was the love I had for friends and family, and then the kind of love my parents had, that forever romantic love in sappy movies, that force permeating the air in churches and bride-walked aisles.

The older I get, the more I see love isn't one thing but a whole genus with so many different species. That love thing, the one we all look for, that undying unfaltering devotion and starry-eyedness, it's such a rare bird I don't know if it exists. I'd like to say it does. I think I've seen it. I have to believe it does in order to keep going some days.

Then you get those kinds of love that start as friend-love then move beyond that into some kind of 'real' love (because somehow our culture thinks friend-love is rarely 'real') and can lose it. You can fall out of *that* kind of love. Maybe sometimes it does last. I know once you choose to care about someone, some part of you can never really quit. But that kind of deeper love? Losing that or being forced to give it up is so damn hard. It plays with you in ways you never imagined capable.

But don't tell me it doesn't exist. It exists in those moments between time, the spaces between seconds when you see a man and a woman create their fragile own world as they look into each other's eyes. Whether it lasts? That is a question too great for me. I'm too young, too inexperienced to even attempt an answer. Perhaps I always will be, perhaps I'm always destined to chase the answer.

The one thing I know is that Love exists, and He is perfect, the Form of love, if you will. And some days that knowledge doesn't feel like enough. It is, though. It is enough. Because if we had that perfect love now, we would have nothing to anticipate, for which to hope, in which to have faith.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bit of a change here

Lately I've run out of things to say that aren't too revelatory, shocking, or deeply personal. But I've also had a few experiences lately, seemingly born of pure chance, or fate, if you will, that make me query whether being deeply personal is all that bad.

Straight-up, intimacy terrifies me. Not the physical kind (not even in that stage of life yet), but of thought, of belief. I have opinions and beliefs so much stronger than most people know, and they don't know either because I don't want to offend or to be judged. At least, that's the way it's been most of my life. I've had a few moments of to-hell-with-it where I've given my uncensored opinion, or, more frightening, in a particularly vulnerable moment told someone exactly how I felt about a matter than affected me emotionally. These occasions are the exceptions. It's reassuringly safe to be the person always listening, never venting, to hide insecurity behind a wall of sarcasm. It's also a terrifying prospect when someone recognizes and hits the wall with a battering ram, and you realize it wasn't made of reinforced concrete all along, and try to hold together all the pieces in your arms.

That's something I want to change. Maybe need to change. Some might call it being too personal. Maybe it's just having nothing to hide. It's not a change that can happen overnight. I'll screw up, I'll hide my less-than-shiny aspects of my personality, I might offend someone. It's a risk we all run. And to be honest, part of me isn't doing it because the body of Christ is called to community, and that entails people knowing who you actually are, encouraging you on your good days and slapping you upside the head on your bad ones. The adrenaline junkie in me likes that thrill of stepping off the edge, the part of me that grins like a maniac on twisting rollercoasters and trying to see exactly how fast my CR-V goes.

So this is me. I'm Maddee. I'm nineteen going on either thirteen or thirty, depending on the day. I love good books and great books. I love Augustine because he was the master philosopher-theologian. I like dark chocolate (milk chocolate is a great evil that must be expunged from the universe). I cried when Tinkerbell died. Ultimate Frisbee is one of my greatest passions, but if I had to choose between it and running, I'd have to choose running, because I've been running since I was seven, and it keeps me sane. I have a PC but want a Mac. I've somehow never broken a bone. I love to write, because I love words, and there are so many beautiful ones, like beatific and pulchritudinous and mellifluous. I someday want to marry someone who is passionate about Jesus, because what could be better about loving Jesus with someone who's on fire for him?

I think this blog may be not so much about writing anymore, but actual writing, probably about stuff that matters sometimes, quite of a bit of theology, sarcasm, and who knows what else. And you know, whether anyone reads it is not a concern. I hope if someone does, it'll be useful, or at least, a tiny bit thought-provoking or a little amusing.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

what is it that attracts the eyes of those to whom a beautiful object is presented, and calls them, lures them toward it, and fills them with joy at the sight?

is there some One Principle from which all take their grace?

beauty addresses itself chiefly to sight; but there is a beauty for the hearing too, as in certain combinations of words and in all kinds of music, for melodies and cadences are beautiful...