Sunday, May 2, 2010


I've been living in slow motion, making myself aware of every moment as it passes and reaching out and claiming it for my own. So this is a slow motion account of the last few days.

This was the last weekend of freshman year. (And what a weekend it was.) Two finals, dinner date with Shannon, stretching out on the Quad and talking with Morgan, Alice, Claire, and everyone else who passed by, techno party with the Delts, dancing one last time with Morgan and Taylor, art, ramen and coffee, watching the moon like it's a drive-in movie, taking a Saturday mini-road trip to South Haven, donuts and coffee, homework on the beach, onion rings from Clementine's, coffee and burgers, pulling off the road to watch the sunset, taking 25 minutes to get from Simpson to Olds watching the clouds and trees and wind and rain, talking with Anne on my floor for an hour, brushing my teeth with Roomz, tucking each other in and then my favorite thing in the world: "Goodnight, Roomz." "Goodnight, Roomz." "I love you." "I love you too."

(I love the whole concept of roommates. It's like automatic family. Married or not, I never want to live alone. Ever. I too much enjoy cleaning out the fridge and brushing my teeth with another human being.)

And this is the last Sunday morning of freshman year. Woke up early, prayed, stretched, made coffee for me and Roomz, brushed my teeth for forever, studied until Roomz woke up, hung out in the bathroom (in Olds this is a completely legitimate way to spend one's time) talking to Mabs and Mary, packed away the hundreds of notes that I've received and saved this year, watered the sunflowers on my windowsill. And I'm listening to the Avett Brothers and the wind's in my hair blowing through the windows and Roomz and I are drinking coffee.

And I love this.
I have loved freshman year, the newness, the new faces.
I have loved Olds.
I have LOVED my chill, funny, friendly, generous, cuddly roommate.

And I have loved living slowly.
I think Jack & Dorothy would be proud.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I have a poster hanging up in my dorm room that I made a couple months ago which says: "MAKE ART as an outpouring expression of God's grace in your life." Tonight I turned my dorm room floor into an art studio: And made strong coffee: And made some sad art: And I made some happy art. Art like this: This one says "but you will find slowbreathing sleepyhappy REST." And more consolation art like this: Which says "And REAL God-breathed inspiration." And I made funny scatterbrained art for a friend. And I thought much about future art projects and the fact that people here constantly ask me why I'm a political science major instead of an art major. And I thought about self-expression and how "eros" means oneness and about two toothbrushes in a single cup on the sink. And I thought about The Republic and grace and words and Uncle Jack and Aunt Dorothy and ripples in lakes. And Megan sang me songs. And I defined myself in color.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday morning without classes.

I woke up at 9, sun streaming through the windows, my little sunflowers growing toward it on the windowsill, tangled in a sea of white-and-orange sheets and blankets. I threw on my favorite roommate hoodie (Roomz and I are practically married and we share clothes like none other), made a huge pot of coffee, carted my Bible and weathered copy of The Republic and my laptop and my coffee down the hall, and snuggled up in the nook. All morning I've been digging deep into the 6 pages of The Republic that provide the basis for my entire philosophy paper. Sunshine + Coffee + Plato. I love it. Tonight, after dinner with Megan (every interaction with Megan feels like a visit to the New York City MOMA), Shannon and I are doing our collaborative art project: I make the art, she photographs the art, and our friends are the canvases. Pure magic. It's going to be beautiful.

I thank God for this day.

Monday, April 26, 2010


"I like the way you see, the way you connect things and express yourself. I like your consciousness of 'man standing in need', how comfortable you are with human finiteness and the grayer areas and the commonplace and The Real. And I like what you're seeing in all of that. I know that all of this seems like a mess right now, but you know where you're going and what you want this to look like and where you want to bring it to rest. Just keep pushing it toward that point, toward your vision. You always have a great vision. Just be confident, Caroline," said my English professor this afternoon.

He was talking about my final English paper.
Or I think he was.
Maybe not.
Either way: it meant a lot more to me than simple editing advice.

He said it again as I walked out the door: "Just be confident, Caroline. Just be confident in what you're doing. You know where you want this to lead."

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need." -Hebrews 4:16.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The moon and things.

Tonight the moon swept me off my feet. I thought about my love for the moon and stars and my preoccupation with incorporating both into my art. It got me thinking more about what my art/words/relationships/daily life says.

There is a photographer whose work I really liked until about four months ago. Four months ago was when she started compulsively posting photographs of her and her boyfriend. Don't misunderstand: they are beautiful, envy-inducing photographs of their very sweet, deep relationship.

(And that is a huge however.)
She used to photograph things: rainy days, grocery stores, homeless people, patterns of light on the floor, old radios, people jumping, little girls laughing in red wagons. She used to say things. Now all I see is the same pose, the same cute expression, the same hands holding the same hands. I don't get it. After all, I'm guessing that he fell in love with her for the same reasons I fell in love with her photography. Those photographs--before Boy took center stage--spoke of simple grace, deep wisdom, love of Christ, hope, joy, whimsy, everyday adventures. As soon as they started photographing themselves holding hands, her photographs stopped talking. Her art stopped saying the things that brought them together in the first place.

I want to say things. I don't just want to throw words and colors and emotions and actions out into the cosmos. I don't want to splatterpaint my feelings and impulses like meaningless abstract art. I want to do more than word vomit. I want to live with intention. And as much as I love holding hands, I don't want a single one of my relationships, platonic or otherwise, to stop saying things either.

I want my art to speak. I want my music to speak. I want the way I interact with strangers to speak. I want to say things worth the words I use to craft them. I want relationships (and, eventually, a marriage) rooted on a mutual passion for the real, the true, the bright, the bold, the meaningful, the brave, the lovely, the Cross. A relationship based on things.

Yes, someday I will likely make art influenced by my inloveness with someone. I'm not belittling that. But inloveness is not something worth dying for, worth living for, or worth photographing for four months straight. Hold hands, sure. But say things too.

And take a look at that moon.