Friday, September 29, 2006

and no need to worry that's wasting time
and no need to wonder what's been on my mind

every word you say i think i should write down
don't want to forget come daylight
"I am considering not how, but why, He [God] makes each soul unique. If He had no use for all these differences, I do not see why He should have created more souls than one. Be sure that the ins and outs of your individuality are no mystery to Him; and one day they will no longer be a mystery to you...

Why else were individuals created, but that God, loving all infinitely, should love each differently? And this difference, so far from impairing, floods with meaning the love of all blessed creatures for one another, the communion of the saints. If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be like an orchestra in which all the instruments played the same note. Aristotle has told us that a city is a unity of unlikes, and St. Paul that a body is a unity of different members. Heaven is a city, and a Body, because the blessed remain eternally different: a society, because each has something to tell all the others - fresh and ever fresh news of the "My God" whom each finds in Him whom all praise as "Our God." For doubtless the continually successful, yet never completed, attempt by each soul to communicate its unique vision to all others (and that by means whereof earthy art and philosophy are but clumsy imitations) is also among the ends for which the individual was created.

For union exists only between distincts; and, perhaps, from this point of view, we catch a momentary glimpse of the meaning of all things."

- C. S. Lewis "The Problem of Pain"

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wow. wow wow wow wow.

I never thought that looking into the past would help with my future. Don't they say you're not supposed to look back? Did they ever try?

I'm understanding things again. Things are falling into place. I'm nervous; this... "feeling" I have is faint, I'm almost afraid to label it. It's almost too underdeveloped to understand yet. Is it hope again, after I tried so hard to kill it? Is it happiness, that I thought was too unattainable? Is it just simply joy, a choice that with its determination is irreverent to pain?

I don't know, but I like it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

So it looks like the only way to move 600 emails from my old AOL account to my new gmail account is to go through them one by one and forward them. Should I do it? I only have until Friday. Unfortunately, I only have until Friday to submit my application to my other university. So am I going to have to choose which I want?

On a "high"er note (haha, I'm so witty), there's this story that has become a favourite of the children recently about a rat that loses one of his pet bugs in the garden. And there comes a point in the story when it talks about all the places that he looks around for Lester, his bug, and every time I get to "He looked around the empty plant pots" I always slip up and say "pot plants." I can't help it, even when I know it's coming.

Ever feel like your past is really something that happened to someone else? Or that your life could be told in quotes from sappy (but quality) movies and songs by Coldplay? Ever wonder if you keep making the same mistakes that you're trying to fix?

Life is good. I may still be a fool, but that's ok : )

Monday, September 25, 2006

When there's nowhere else to run
Is there room for one more son
One more son
If you can hold on
If you can hold on, hold on
I wanna stand up, I wanna let go
You know, you know - no you don't, you don't
I wanna shine on in the hearts of men
I want a meaning from the back of my broken hand

Another head aches, another heart breaks
I am so much older than I can take
And my affection, well it comes and goes
I need direction to perfection, no no no no

Help me out
Yeah, you know you got to help me out
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
You know you got to help me out

And when there's nowhere else to run
Is there room for one more son
These changes ain't changing me
The cold-hearted boy I used to be

Yeah, you know you got to help me out
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
You know you got to help me out
You're gonna bring yourself down
Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down
Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down

I got soul, but I'm not a soldier
I got soul, but I'm not a soldier

Yeah, you know you got to help me out
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
You know you got to help me out
You're gonna bring yourself down
You're gonna bring yourself down
Yeah, oh don't you put me on the blackburner
Yeah, you're gonna bring yourself down

Over and out, last call for sin
While everyone's lost, the battle is won
With all these things that I've done
All these things that I've done
If you can hold on
If you can hold on

- "All These Things I've Done" the Killers
Today, when it was just me and Josiah hanging out in the afternoon, he climbed up next to me and said, "Amy, I'm gonna marry you." And I laughed and asked him why. He got this sorta cross face on and said, "Just because I want to!" Then I told him that if he married me, he'd have to do everything I said. He thought about this for a minute, then said, "Mhmm." However, he also said it means I'd have to stay here in England, so I don't think it will work out.

Jessica told me I can say I got at least one proposal while I was in England. Thanks, Jessica.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I blog a lot more. I talk a lot more. I almost started journaling again.
I'm looking for a friend.
I'm trying my best. I'm trying my best. I'm trying my best. I promise.

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Til Kingdom Come..."

I was talking to my dad the other day, and I made a frustrated comment about my life. I told him I seemed to have this personality trait that liked to pick the most difficult path in life as the one I wanted to take. I like to do things the difficult way. For instance, I couldn't just stay at my old university through all four years. I couldn't spend my whole time off at home, with my family in a normal boring job, I had to go to England. I just don't like to do things the easy way apparently. And I was just expressing frustration to him that sometimes it made me so stressed out, trying to get everything to work together. And then he said to me, maybe sometimes it's not worth the stress. Maybe sometimes you should just take the easy option. And I thought about that a little (I was a little put off at first, I don't know why). And then I thought, but I don't want to. Every decision I've made, I'm glad I've made it. And I've made a surprising number of things work. Sheer determination has gotten me through some of my trips in England. I managed to get to England in the first place, and I'm being paid to be here. I waited three years, and it was worth the wait. The thing is, all these "difficult" things that I moaned about, they're what I want. In addition to that personality trait, I have another one, the one that motivates it, and I'm sorta proud of this one. I have a hard time being satisfied with good enough, with fine, with ok. I don't really care what sort of blood, sweat, and tears I have to shed for however many hours, days, months.

Fine just isn't fine with me.

If I fail, it won't be for lack of trying. And even if the less stressful option might be "worth it," I'd rather not take it. Sometimes the mistakes need to be made. Sometimes you need to cross the line to know where your limit is. Sometimes you have to know when to risk it all.

And if all my efforts don't work, and things don't follow through in the way I hope or plan or pray, then I'll just go at it from a new angle of making it what I want.

"Doesn't matter, dear heart maker. You decide."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Today was a beautiful day. It was the ditch-the-world, kite-flying-and-picnic, be-with-your-best-friends, reading-and-writing-in-the-shade day. I was working most of it. Work is a little bit strange at the moment. All the adults are stressed out about their personal lives. I'm struggling with my relationships right now, with my friends, with my family here, with myself. I think I'm getting the hang of it, though. I've given in and am now going to sleep ridiculously early, which means that I almost have enough energy to last the entire day.

I'm so psyched about NaNo. I'm going to write a novel about an au pair, because the weird family dynamics you get when you add in a third quasi-authority figure are just amazing. It's going to be complete fiction, though. And I've started ruminating on my next screenplay. I really want to rewrite The 4:05, but I need a hard copy, and I don't know where to print out a 50 page document. Of course, I was looking over it all last night, and it all looks completely brilliant to me, except for the horrid bits that need to be changed. Alas, I have to wait several months for any unbiased feedback. But I'm hoping to get it cleaned up for a contest next year.

I crave intellectual engagement.

Anyone else supremely disappointed by the casting of The Nanny Diaries?
You can't be scared of something that's already happened.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thank God for Grace

Recently, I've been learning about God's 'tough love.' Tough love is, in itself, a familiar concept; most people know it through authourity figures, parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. A couple of months ago I went on a weekend trip to desolate and beautiful Norfolk and got tough love straight through my soul. Thank God. With me on the trip I had brought C. S. Lewis's book, The Problem of Pain. The man is brilliant, and this book is no exception. It explains divine love in so many beautiful aspects, even the harsh ones, that makes the reader grateful for God's unsparring love.

In one sense, it makes tough love endurable. But sometimes, only just.

Today I picked up a copy of Yancey's "What's so Amazing about Grace?" from my host family's spare bedroom. I heard about it a while ago and have been curious about it, though I'm not in general a big fan of common man theology books. It's pretty great. I've always been a big fan of love, and I'm learning how to love people better (slowly), but sometimes I forget about grace. Truly, love and grace are inexorable. Grace flows from love, and love would not be complete without grace. They are perfect expressions of each other. And suddenly, there's the way to be really happy in awful times. Embracing grace in times of hardship. Because I am only human, I can only *accept* purifying love. With grace I can be glad in it. Because in one sense, it doesn't really matter than. It doesn't matter if it sucks or I feel like I'm falling apart or I have no idea what my future will be like. Everything is forgiven, I'm accepted, and I have divine love that not only cleanses but also embraces. And all this for nothing I've done - *in spite* of what I've done. Could life get any better? I submit that it could not!
I got toothpaste in my eye this morning. I'm still not sure how it happened exactly, but don't try it. You may end up blinded.
What is it about hope that makes it so hard to kill?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Yesterday was trouble. Friday night, and I'm utterly exhausted in every way. And quite randomly, at a time when I was minding my own business (aka being self abosrbed), a lady I know comes up to me and says, "It's alright. You'll get through it. We've all been there, and it all comes out alright in the end." I was stunned, because I hadn't shared anything with her (though she could probably witness the struggles that happen with the children.) This woman has been through more than I could ever dream of enduring; It was encouraging, because sometimes I can be a great fatalist.

AND I got to talk to one of my best friends for the first time since being in England. She's amazing. She even let herself be late to a party by 45 minutes just to be there for me. :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

This is one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a long time. Don't let the lyrics deceive you.

Oh doubt in the girl by your side
She’s feeding your pride
As you go for a ride down the star mile

Worlds arise as she lets you come in
A duo begins
To the Hollywood din of lonely

And all the gold dust in her eyes won’t reform into rain
You had and lost the one thing
You kept in a safe place
Remember the face
Of the girl who made you her own
And how you left her alone

All’s well at the base of the hill
You might need to fill
a prescription to kill off the silence.

Look down from your tower on high and take in the night
Look her right in the eye
She’ll listen

And all the gold dust in her eyes won’t reform into rain
You had and lost the one thing
You kept in a safe place
Remember the face
Of the girl who made you her own
And how you left her alone

Life comes to those that are true
The regular news
Over playing the blues with the light on

And if you burn the road that’ll lead you back to her in time
I'll watch you turn to stone
Can’t find the sublime

She’s moving on without you
The tide breaks
You watch the stars fade
They gather you back to their home
I guess it’s better than being alone

"Star Mile," by Joshua Radin
I had a great idea yesterday, for that one person who knows what I'm talking about. I've been struggling a lot with finding the "joy of the Lord" or peace or happiness or whatever you want to call it. It just seemed to elude me. And then I realized what part of my problem was. To be happy, it's not just enough to make God the center of your life. He can be your focus, and you can not be looking towards other things for your happiness, and you can still miss it. You need to actually make Him the center of your happiness. The fact that He loves me is happiness. So because God is the center of my life and my happiness, I can be happy even when my life isn't causing any happiness. Or something like that. Not that you won't ever be sad, but it's a start, for me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

If you don't like a social club's rush, then don't rush it. If you're not rushing it, don't make a flatline judgement about it and hurt those that are rushing it or have rushed it. No rush is perfect, and the blame usually lies with individuals and not the rush as a whole. No person outside of rush will ever understand all of rush; they'll just never get all the information, the attitudes, the sisterhood to form a true opinion. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what should be done, and everyone seems to think that they are experts in deciding whether people's motives are sincere or whether they just have power complexes and have decided that rush is their opportunity to exploit their evil genius. Please. All this rhetoric just shows those social clubs that 1. you don't know what's going on 2. you're judgemental 3. you have a big head. And that's not good for the social club - rhetoric spewer relationship. That will drive us away. If people find worth in Rush, let them rush in peace.

To be sadly honest, nobody knows until they're in a club, any club. It wouldn't be right for me to make judgements about Alacritis or Agathos, even though I have some privately forming. I just didn't want to rush those clubs. They weren't for me. If a club isn't for you, don't rush it. But don't think you know everything about it then either. If you talk about not judging, then don't judge. I give our rushees full permission to judge us. But I don't give it to anyone else.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You know you've been out of the country for too long when you get Become A US Citizen immigration spam email.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why, why are You still here with me?
Didn't You see what I've done?
In my shame I want to run, and hide myself yeah
But it's here I see the truth
I don't deserve You

And I need You to love me, and I
I won't keep my heart from You this time
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need you to love me

I, I have wasted so much time
Pushing You away from me
I just never saw how you, could cherish me
'Cause You're a God who has all things
And still You want me

And I need You to love me, and I
I won't keep my heart from You this time
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need you to love me

Your love makes me forget what I have been
Your love makes me see who I really am
Your love makes me forget what I have been

And I need you to love me yeah
I need you to, love me, yeah yeah yeah
And I'll stop this pretending that I can
Somehow deserve what I already have
I need you to love me

I need you to love me, yeah
I need you to

Love Me

- "I Need You to Love Me," by Barlow Girls
Sometimes I feel like my life is a cross between "The Nanny Dairies" and Ibsen's "A Doll's House."

Monday, September 11, 2006


In the months following September 11th, a version Sarah McLaughlin's "In the Arms of an Angel" with sound clips from news programs and speechs was played on several radio stations. I cannot listen to this song without the breathe leaving me. There's nothing I can say.

We will never forget.

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
Theres always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lie
That you make up for all that you lack
It dont make no difference
Escaping one last time
It's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

- "In the Arms of an Angel," by Sarah McLaughlin

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The past few days have been all about partying.

Ok, maybe not really. But there have been a couple of festivals going on in the villages/cities around our area, and I've definitely made the most of my weekend. All weekend long there's been a food festival in Emsworth. Big to do. Seriously. Like, this thing is perhaps half the size of a New York City street fair, and they close down the center of town, it's all anyone does for the whole weekend, etc. But it's good fun. I tried some food - I tried a chili! it was very spicy - and managed to refrain from buying a lot more. I don't know - am I the only one who has trouble spending money on food? Like I'd eat lunch *before* going to the food festival, which doesn't really make sense. I guess it has to do with food's transitory nature. You buy it, hold onto it for about ten-fifteen minutes, and bam! it's gone, and all you're left with is a warm memory. But it was fun. I went all three days for a little bit of time at least. And we branched out from the usual au pair group and met up with friends of Nadine's from college, a German woman and a Polish guy. We're still working on meeting some English people.

The other festival was the Chichester film festival. It's been going on for two weeks, and I'm sorry that I was only able to make it on the last day, but it was still very cool. Nadine came with me and we had to get seats in the very front row because that was all that was left. It was a small theatre, so it wasn't too bad, and having infinite leg room was nice, though then I didn't know what to *do* with my legs. We saw "Driving Lessons" with Rupert Grint (that's Ron from Harry Potter), Julie Walters (who actually plays Ron's mother, though that's not her best accomplishment) and Laura Linney (who also plays in Love Actually. Great movie). Picking this movie was sort of a gamble. I mean, the synopsis looked interesting and I think Grint's been amazing in the Harry Potter films, but I didn't know anything else about it. It turned out to be great! It was so funny and original and decidedly English. It's a movie I'll want to get when it comes out on DVD not just because it's good, but because it will help me remember England and all the great stuff I've done here. Nadine loved it too, which was great because I had sort of dragged her along with me. The script was pretty excellent, the cinematography was really interesting, and the acting was superb. And it was just funny. I felt so artsy going to a film festival (though most of the audience were, ahem, "older patrons"), and it was a great atmosphere. Everyone just cracked up at the funny bits in a way that doesn't happen in big theatres.

I have nine weeks left in my charming backwater village in England. There's a lot left I want to do - hopefully enough time to do it in. It's a little sad to think it's drawing to a close. In the same way that I couldn't imagine coming here, it's strange to think of going back. I have grown into a life here, albiet definitely not fully and definitely not in a way that I would like to remain long term, but the girls who I would meet up with because they were the other au pairs and the only girls to be my friends really are my friends now. I have been so lucky (though I don't really think it's *luck*) with my host family. They are wonderful, and I've gotten to know these children so well. But I think most of all, I'm worried about leaving all the English people around me, because they have been a constant source of entertainment for us au pairs, and I'm just not sure that Americans will be as funny.

Tomorrow is Monday, and we start again.
Sometimes life is such a piece of work.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

been up all night
staring at you
wondering what's on your mind
i've been this way
with so many before
but this feels like the first time
you want the sunrise
to go back to bed
i want to make you laugh
mess up my bed with me
kick off the covers
i'm waiting
every word you say i think
i should write down
i don't want to forget
come daylight
happy to lay here
just happy to be here
i'm happy to know you
play me a song
your newest one
please leave your taste on my tongue
paperweight on my back
cover me like a blanket
mess up my bed with me
kick off the covers
i'm waiting
every word you say i think
i should write down
i don't to forget
come daylight
and no need to worry
that's wastin time
and no need to wonder
what's been on my mind
it's you
it's you
every word you say i think
i should write down
don't want to forget
come daylight
and i give up
i let you win
you win 'cause i'm not counting
you made it back
to sleep again
wonder what you're dreaming

- "paperweight," by joshua radin and schuylar fisk
So earlier today, I was taking Josiah for a walk, and we came across a pair of flip flops on the pavement. Ok. Someone just decided to leave their shoes behind, it happens I guess. However -- when I was walking along that same road today, there was only ONE flip flop! Someone had taken the other one. I'm still tracking down the clues, but I think it's gang related.

Sometimes, this town is just too hot to handle.
If I could spend a day hanging out with anyone, Zach Braff would be my second choice and Joshua Radin would be my third.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I managed to get through another day before caving in and buying the Last Kiss soundtrack (on a side note, I think Zach Braff and I would get along really well). Just like Garden State, incredible songs, that I'm in love with. Musicians amaze me (I get along really well with most of the too).

This could be the very minute
I'm aware I'm alive
All these places feel like home

With a name I'd never chosen
I can make my first steps
As a child of 25

This is the straw, final straw in the
Roof of my mouth as I lie to you
Just because I'm sorry doesn't mean
I didn't enjoy it at the time

You're the only thing that I love
It scares me more every day
On my knees I think clearer

Goodness knows I saw it coming
Or at least I'll claim I did
But in truth I'm lost for words

What have I done it's too late for that
What have I become truth is nothing yet
A simple mistake starts the hardest time
I promise I'll do anything you ask...this time

- "Chocolate," by Snow Patrol

Monday, September 04, 2006

10 Things

Today I:

1. Got a tan on the last day of summer (ok, maybe it's a little pink, but at least it's color)
2. Will probably cave in and buy the soundtrack to The Last Kiss on iTunes (who is *not* anxiously waiting for Zach Braff's new film?)
3. Finally went running
4. Buried one of my kids
5. Discovered that if you wear a necklace to the beach, you will end up with a funny tan line (guess I'm wearing *that* necklace for a while)
6. Was part of several minutes of successful kite flying (finally)
7. Realized that things at AU haven't changed; you still have to wait for forever and jump through hoops when dealing with finances or the registrar
8. Failed as a mind reader
9. Got rejected a Tesco's (for having an old 5 pound note. It was only afterwards that I thought up the brilliant plan of going on and on about how I need the milk for my four children in the morning before I sent them off to their first day of school in shoes that I had slaved to buy for them. I don't think it would have worked anyway)
10. Almost gave up on something, again

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I had a dream last night that NaNo was over and that I won but I had forgotten to submit my novel for verification. It was very upsetting, until I remembered that in real life, November is still two months away.