Announcement

I’m having trouble keeping up with returning comments, and the semester just started. I have a ridiculously busy semester, with a lot more responsibilities than I anticipated (but that’s a good thing!) and I’m sorry, but I think I have to put the blogging temporarily on hold once more, at least until summer break. Or at least until people stop pulling the fire alarms in my dorm building at three in the morning so I can get some good rest.

It will pass faster than you know it!

Either that or I think I’ll try to update once a week and return all comments then. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to give up blogging altogether, like I did last semester.

Thank you for your support and all your comments! They mean a lot to me!

to lay down fears that hold

She was leaning a little forward, her head bent as if she were trying to hear some unfamiliar sound in the distance.

– The Perilous Gard, by Elizabeth Marie Pope

I struggle with my fears a lot. Mainly the fear of failure, fears of not being good enough, fears of not being able to get what I think I want.

Sometimes I’m afraid that my blog writing is not good enough and that no one will want to read it. Or that I only think I’m good, and that in reality it doesn’t match up to invisible standards. I suppose that’s stupid, because I do have a very loyal readership. Or that I’ll stop blogging for a while to take care of other matters and then find out that no one wants to read my blog any more once I come back.

Pointless, all of them. But I have to admit that I am really relieved to find out after reading the blog posts of many of my blogger friends that I am not the only one who feels this way. I’m not the only one who struggles with thoughts that her writing isn’t good enough. I’m not the only one who is afraid of losing readers by posting thoughts that people may not want to hear. I’m not the only one who is hesitant to reveal struggles because of alienation — “but what will people think?” I’m not the only one who is afraid that I will get so caught up with the idea of comments and readers and compliments that I will lose myself and the whole point of my blogging somewhere in the mess.

From Blair at Wild and Precious:

I know I might lose followers & comments might be few, but I am set on not letting my days be dictated by numbers. I will break free from blogging rules – my posts might be too long, too personal, uninteresting to the majority of readers, but they will be me.

These bloggers are ones I look up to. I consider their blogs standards of which to aspire to.

I wonder what they were thinking as they typed out their confessions; if they were wondering how many readers would turn away with disgust at the decisions they were making. But instead of regarding them with scorn for their struggles, I feel blessed by their honesty and willingness to share their thoughts.

If anything, I look up to them more.

The knowledge that I am not alone is infinitely encouraging, especially through this blogging journey. I have much to thank for their honesty, because it has helped me.

Everyone struggles. That is a fact of life. But who knows who may be helped by the reassurance that they are not alone in their struggles, and that others have gone through similar experiences and triumphed?

Who knows who may be helped because someone decided to open their heart?

Reader, I just want to let you know something. You are not alone in this. Fear is crippling. It has a tendency to take hold, and once it takes hold, it grows thick roots. It’s nourished by discouragement and failure. But it is a burden which can be laid down.

I am trying to let courage take its place.

What fears will you lay down this year?

Thanks to Ingrid at My Peacetree and Blair at Wild and Precious for their honesty. ❤

*Pictures taken by me.

hot chocolate

To my mind, there are few things better than this on a cold and snowy day.

Stay warm!

And naturally, a book.

What do you do on your snow days?

Oh, and Teton Cocoa Company on Etsy is having a giveaway until January 25th! The winner gets a large bag of cocoa.

I’ve never had their cocoa, but I’m sure it’s amazing!

Link to giveaway

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.

you are so sweet (once more)

Sometimes I wonder what stories people have to tell.

This is why I like people-watching. I like imagining what brought them on to the subway late at night… what they are going home to, what they are thinking of… the things their face reflect. Is it peace, joy, sadness, complacency, disgust, blankness, humor, love?

What shaped them into the people they are?

Where are they going?

That, or I’m some creepy stalker.

*Pictures taken by me.

i hear in my mind all of these words

Sometimes we forget that words are very much alive. That we can use them like swords, and that people can fall from the hearing. It is eerily easy to make someone feel as if they want to die by a few mis-chosen words. This example should be evidence for that.

New York Times article:

The seemingly empathetic nurse struck up conversations over the Internet with people who were pondering suicide. She told them what methods worked best. She told some that it was all right to let go, that they would be better in heaven, and entered into suicide pacts with others.

But the police say the nurse, who sometimes called herself Cami and described herself as a young woman, was actually William F. Melchert-Dinkel, a 47-year-old husband and father from Faribault, Minn., who now stands charged with two counts of aiding suicide.

How chilling is this? It’s an example of someone who used the wrong words quite skillfully. Many of them actually fell for it. The combination of someone who seemed very sympathetic, while encouraging them to go find a rope to hang themselves, and their vulnerability.

While definitely not as bad as this example, I know that I can be someone who is at fault of using words carelessly. There have been people who have been hurt from the things I’ve said, long ago, who still hold those words inside their hands, even now, though they hurt at the remembering. I regret that.

It’s frightening when I think of how powerfully words could be used for all the wrong reasons. As a writer, I have that power. I could say all the right things to a person, but then again, it is so easy to slip into saying all the wrong things and making them feel even worse than they already do. It’s sobering. And almost makes me want to stop writing, sometimes.

But words can be beautiful things. They can be used to build as well as to pull down, to strengthen as well as to weaken, to love as well as to hate, to heal as well as to wound, to forgive as well as to

By them we can cast stones, aspersions, judgements of worth. Perhaps that is the most dangerous of all.

I hope to be the kind of person who handles words as if they were the most precious of beach glass, slowly formed by the wearing of time and the sea, and not as the stones cast at the woman in the street.

And to the photographer of the first picture, you are so incredibly brave…

I am a constant satellite of your blazing sun

Brown is such an ordinary color, isn’t it? It’s the color of mud. Poop. Unflattering things.

And actually, quite a lot of lovely things as well.

… moths…

… tea…

… chocolate…

… tree bark…

… sepia toned photography…

… driftwood…

I want one of those lamps in my house.

… wet sand…

… and Vienna Teng’s music video for Gravity.

She’s wearing a pretty dress, playing the piano in the middle of the wilderness. What’s there not to love?

All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.