March 15, 2017

afraid to fly : conversation with self | Kathryn

now that the engines are starting
the wheels are turning
i'm afraid
what if I soar high, touching the sky
only to
landing in a a pile of pain
a broken mess of shattered hopes
yes, yes, but what if i fly?
looking below with that glowing satisfaction
of self accomplishment that
this will fuel me
this will give me wings to fly

February 02, 2017

Memento Mori | Nina

2016 could best be summed up in a Latin phrase I learned about in history and haven’t stopped thinking about since-
Memento Mori.
Remember that you will die.
Remember that you are mortal.
Remember that time is short.
As death after death, terrorist attack after attack, natural disasters and violent human actions, turmoil and anguish left people reeling with no chance to regain their footing, 2016 seemed to be one long yell into humanity’s face-
Memento Mori.
Celebrity deaths, it seemed, hit closer to home than outrageous acts of terror. Public mourning and tributes to dead artists were sometimes more heartfelt than those for victims of the attacks in Nice, or Istanbul, or Berlin, or.… Fighting over politics seemed to occupy more thoughts than the fighting in Aleppo that claims the lives of innocents everyday. It is estimated that 6 children a day die in Syria- a horrible thought softened only by the realization that a quick gathering into the arms of their Father is better than an drawn out existence among the constant unrest and bloodshed of their homeland. The people of Syria live every day in the shadow of death.
Memento Mori.
Of course, in America alone, every day it is estimated that 3,000 unborn children are sacrificed to the gods of sex, freedom and un-responsibility. The unrestrained sexuality of our country is more deadly than Syrian bombs, and only slightly less public. These faceless, invisible infants add their silent voices to the scream-
Memento Mori.
All this death, and I haven’t even scratched the surface. And then, we could move to the spiritual death that walks, un-dead, all around us in the guise of human beings. But then we would never end. Suffice us to remember even a little of the death that wracks each day. We don’t come face to face with the real grin of the reaper very often, in our lives. Movies, deaths of relatives or friends, sickness…. yes. And yet, we still somehow feel oddly innocuous to that ivory-boned hand on our own shoulder.  But when it somehow reaches our vital, beating hearts that, yes- someday it all will end, how do we react?
Do we curl up in a dark room, deciding a self imposed coffin of despairing safety is to be preferred over the great wide expanse of recklessly uncertain life? Or do we laugh away the ghost of death and, fearless in the knowledge that our time will come when it comes, march on the world to love, to work, to help, to tell the world just why we live so hard?
For a Christian it had better be the latter. I think we cling to a false pretense of ‘wisdom’ sometimes, use it to excuse ourselves from action. But the wisdom of God is not the wisdom of earth (naturally) and it teaches us not to fear but to trust.
What about artists, since this blog is for artists primarily? We must- MUST- be honing our craft, be pushing our own personal boundaries without thinking about society’s, and being mindful of the strength of the thoughts that go into our creations. We have to remember just how much power art can have if those of us who have been given it’s sacred flame are willing to carry it high and unashamed, as if we were racing towards an Olympic finish. For indeed we are. After all-

Memento Mori.

January 25, 2017

Perfection, a 5 Minute Reflection

"It's perfect"
"Her eyebrows were so on fleek"
"The best"
"I need it to be perfect"
I think our society throws the idea of perfection around carelessly. Mediocrity, perhaps even feigned effort, can pass for “perfect.”  The truth is, we’ll never be perfect. It’s part of our human nature.

There’s an actual word for the fear of imperfection, atelophobia. It eats away at you, giving you the feeling that you’ll never measure up.  

But no, don’t give up. Just because you’re never going to be perfect doesn’t mean you stop trying. When you strive to do something to the best of your ability, you grow as a person, molding your character and product into something you can be proud of. It’s a kind of wonderful, admirable trait that human beings have, this never ending race to the greater end.

That’s why, this new year, I invite you to join me as I try my best to please the Lord, do my daily work (school, chores, exercise), and work towards my goals.

This year, try having a couple lofty, long term goals that you can work towards over a longer period of time (these could be to read a certain amount of books by the end of the year, get a part in a play, or get your book published.) You can then balance these out with mini goals that you have the power to fulfill right now (be kinder to that irritating girl at school, help your mom with the housework because she’s overwhelmed, listen to your friend’s problems with patience.)

You can even have a journal where you write these goals, along with recommendations on how your goal journey is going. This can help you be more present and anchored in what you want to achieve.

The more you work and try, the higher your personal best will get. This is the greatest and truest “perfection.”

You have potential.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
Colossians 3:23-24