Lessons from Art

I have come to feel that everything, even the most ordinary affair, is enriched by the lessons that can be gleaned from art: that beauty is often where you don't expect to find it; that it is something that we may discover and also invent, then reinvent, for ourselves; that the most important things in the world are never as simple as they seem but that the world is also richer when it declines to abide by comforting formulas.

And that it is always good to keep your eyes wide open, because you never know what you wil discover.

From The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa by Michael Kimmelman



Sidenote: I have at least twenty drafts sitting in my queue, and I fully intend on finishing and posting at least half of those. They're not current reflections of my life, but still, I'd like to post them.

[from April 2011]

Some days it just gets harder. Waking up with weakness and pain wears me down until some mornings I feel thin and stretched, too broken to even start the day.

At one point, I felt a strange, strong apprehension. Almost as if I saw depression, looked into the dark days ahead, felt the cold pain touch my mind. I cried in fear. I had faced this before. Please God, not again. My weakness crashed down on me - physical, emotional, mental - and I felt powerless to stop the depression. I wanted to choose joy, to see light, but I couldn't. Not on my own, not with this brokenness.

So I asked for prayer with a quick post on Facebook, which only a handful of friends could see. I quickly pressed enter, shut my laptop, and walked out of my room before I could delete my post.

I went outside and looked at the stars. Their beauty gave me clarity. I felt terribly small in the face of this terrifying and huge world. I lay on the concrete. It still held warmth from the forgotten sun. I felt small points of despair ebb away, and I knew joy would come in the morning.

That joy didn't wait for the morning. It came with the stars that faintly light up the LA sky, the chilling breeze that came through my window, in a peace that I cannot ever quite explain. The next morning, my pain was still there, but I had lost the sinking feeling of despair. But not the feeling of brokenness, I didn't feel whole, and still don't.

The miracle is - it wasn't my choice. I didn't choose joy, the way I didn't choose depression in the past. Joy chose me and sought me out in my darkness. It was the way the light filled my room, the prayers of my faithful friends, the text messages from classmates who missed me.

And for now, that's enough. Having joy is enough.


This gentle falling

This gentle falling into grace
Held within a sunlit space --
I caught my breath and blossoms fell
Mingling light with softer smell
Of purple flowers, whole and crushed
And over all, a golden dust
Some part faery, some part pain
The pain that never leaves these days --
This gentle falling into grace
Helped some pieces fall into place.



It's strange to say that school has ended. I didn't write/blog much during the school year, mainly because I said all the words I had to say to the people around me. Conversations are the essence of school itself: between professors and students, students and students, students and books. I learned and loved so many things through these conversations. And now it's over. For two and a half months at least.

The end of school collided with a cousin's wedding and a sister's graduation, all events which traveled at the same velocity of the school year, so I didn't have much time to realize school is over. Now, these days should seem abrupt, unfamiliar, or at least new, yet they don't. They feel right, perfectly placed transitions between school days and summer days.

Hello books, golden light-ed evenings, and adventures always just around the corner.

Hello summer.


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