Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Giving of the Thanks

It's Thanksgiving here in the good ol US of A. While most are off with family and friends, eating hoardes of turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, heavenly green bean casserole, and....well, not much else matters after green bean casserole, I am at work. SpongeBob on in the corner. Family and friends scattered throughout the globe. Usually, at work I succumb to the internal writhing resulting from the mindnumbing, life-sucking nature of my job which leads to feeling like a giant pavement roller is slowing making its way over my bones from metatarsal to occipital. But, today is a day of giving thanks. And so here is a list of 14 things I am thankful for...1 for each hour of work today. These are in no particular order.

1. Family/Friends
2. Travel experiences

3. Spending a bit of time with the Gilkerson's today.
4. Music
5. My dogs (at my parent's house)

6. Having a 2 year old squeal with delight and run up to me everynight when I get home from work.   (Roommates' son, Jonas)--Um, and my roommates Nicole and Dustin :)
7. South Dakota sunsets

8. The ocean

9. My lifegroup (from "my" church, The Crossing)
10.The smell of horses
11. Finland

12. Coffee (and days like Monday when I get to just sit at the coffee shop with my book, sketchbook, and    notebook, and pen)
13. My education
14. Hope                  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm (Not) On A Boat!

I wrote this a while ago, when I was still one of those seminary kids. It was a creative project for a class. I randomly thought of it a few minutes ago, when I was thinking about being completely disenchanted with life. I'm not really sure why it took on the tone that it did. Lots of stuff I write ends up writing itself..and those are usually the better pieces.

Based on Matt 14:22-33

Yo, Pete

You go mad or sumpin’, Brothuh? What was you thinkin’? Don’t you know rocks sink? That’s wha’ yer name means, right? Rock? Was it ‘cuz you had rocks fer brains? Steppin’ out the boat like that. You musta done gone crazy, man. Maniac.

See this boat I’m a standin’ in all safe and sound like? See how I’m all dry and warm? You was out ‘ere coughin’ and a snortin’ out all the watuh that done washed right up yer nose. Yer buddies all starin’ wide-eyed at ya, thinkin’ they really be fishers of men now, ‘specially fer you.

Yessuh, I’m a fairly certain you had to ‘ve lost yer marbles. I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout those shiny shooters ya get at the dime store, neither. No suh, you was out yer mind. You won’t erer see me steppin’ out this boat. Uh-uh. No way. I ain’t no fool. Not like you.

Didn’t ya see them waves? ‘Bout a mile high! You just lucky you didn’t a get swept right out t’sea. Wind was a howlin’ ‘bout a thousand miles an hour, ya idiot.

That dude you was a-chasin’ woulda got there eventually. No need fer you to be jumpin’ ship just ta prove sumpin’. Who’s ya tryin’ to prove sumpin to, anyhow? Yaself? Yer buddies up ‘ere on board the boat? That shadowy dude out ‘ere on the watuh? I jus’ don’t get it, man. Ya left all ‘at safety and s’curity for a stormy swim. Why’d ya do it? You lucky that dude grab ya when he did. Fish food otherwise, brothuh.

Anywho, I jus wanna write you this letter, let ya know I think ya crazy. Don’t get out’the boat again, man. I hope you a learned yer lesson. Take it from me. I’m a jus gonna sit right here in my lil’ raft. Watch ‘uh world go by. Ya enjoy th’ watuh.

Yers Truly,

One mighty concerned dude

Dear Concerned Fella,

You gotta get out ‘the boat, man. The only thing holdin’ ya back are fears and insecurities, and I tell ya, that jus’ won’t do. You wanna let those win, then you jus’ stay there in yer little raft of false security. You keep tellin’ yerself you’ll be alright.

Ya, I’m aware I looked a fool, but there’s only one place fer me, and that’s where he was and where he a called me. Ya didn’t see the look in his eye when he said that one little word. “Come,” he said. Well, I a tell ya, there wasn’t no time to waste after ‘at.

‘Sides. I ‘as the one who asked him if I could come out ‘ere. I mean, I ‘spose I was a expectin’ him to say, “just a hold on, I’ll be right ‘ere,” but he didn’ and after that there was a no holdin’ back. I couldn’t a lived with myself if I’d a stayed put. So I went.

Nearly peed my robe, too. Yer right. Those waves seemed a mile high. Wind seemed a thousan’ miles an hour. Scared the hell outta me. (Good thing I got the keys to Hev’n.) An’ I tell ya, I hadn’t even finished yelpin’ “Help me!” when he grabbed me an’ pulled me up from that current. Mighty strong ‘un, too.

But ya, see, nuthin’ woulda happened if’n I hadn’t a gone out ‘ere in that storm. I’d a lived my simple lil’ life, all the time a wishin’ I’d just taken that lil’ risk and stepped out. Ya gotta take a risk, friend. It’ll be aight. He ‘on’t let ya go nowhere. But nowhere's the only place you'll go if’n you don’t step out. You can a keep yer raft, fella. I’m a gonna walk on watuh again and again.


Simon “The Rock” Peter

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday School Songs Gone Awry

Tonight, at church we sang the song "They will know we are Christians by our love."
I made 2 observations

1. They'll know we are Christians by our love, until they tell us something we disagree with or that contradicts our interpretation of what we call the Word of God. Then, they'll know we are Christians when we tell them they're going to burn eternally in Hell.

2. I'm not very good at loving people like Christ does.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Dreams

What if our beds were portals to another world? Get your heads out of the gutter, I’m talking about dream worlds. I’ve been having super vivid dreams the past view nights. Dreams seeming more real and even more physical than dreams I’ve had before. I’ve had dreams that I’ve thought about throughout the day, but these stick with me just as real as yesterday. They hover over me like memories of a recent vacation. And honestly, that could be it. I’ve just returned from a vacation to the mighty northwest, and I drove back alone…over a thousand miles. I left at 9:30am Thursday morning and returned 11:30pm Friday night. So it’s quite possible that I’m still reeling from such a strenuous drive. Especially, because driving or needing to be getting on the road has been a substantial part of the dreams. But so vivid they are! I walk past my bed like it’s a door, waiting to whisk me away to this other place, often much more pleasant than the one I leave when I close my eyes and draw the covers over my head. It’s a sensation that leaves me both a bit leery and a bit excited. Leery, because, well, it’s a strange sensation to have such realistic dreams. Excited, because my dreams are warmer than reality.

I hope I don’t sound like a raving lunatic. (More than I usually do.) To clarify, I don’t actually think my bed and/or sleep is a portal which magically whisks me off to happyland. But it’s a fun idea. One I may flesh out into a story sometime, though I’m fairly certain it’s been done. But to that I say, “Meh!” I’ll probably do it anyway.
Sweet dreams and safe sleeping,


Also, after writing this, a certain song is stuck in my head. I imagine you can figure out what it is, but I thought I'd post the video for entertainment sake.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How He Loves-John Mark McMillan

Here is a video I took when I was in Washington.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Prayer

Sounds of distant waters
Voices of distant dreams
Hold fast to me,
And speak to me
In this time of
Topsy-turvey turmoil
Through falling leaves and silence 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coffee List

On an old blog, I posted a list of people I want to sit down and have coffee list. I wanted to refresh my memory, so I'm posting it again here, with some updated names, which requires the absence of space and time contraints.

CS Lewis
Kathleen Norris
Alex Trebek
Jane Goodall
Krista Tippett
Anne Lamott
Samantha Brown
Anthony Bourdain
Chris Martin
Derek Webb
Shane Claiborne
Greg Graffin
Christopher Moore
Aaron Wiess (of mewithoutYou)
John Mark McMillan
The folks in charge of Iowa's Writing Workshop
Jonsi and the Sigur Ros kids
Martin Luther
Rainer Maria Rilke
Jesus (Ok, I debated putting him on the list, because it seems so cliche' and obvious, but hey, I wouldn't turn down a cup of Joe for some face to face time to finally be able to "get it." "It" being stuff that he said and who he is. Or...maybe I would. Coffeetime with him may be more life altering than I would care for it to be.)
Donald Miller
Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild)
Conan O'Brien
Jeremy Enigk
Shane Claiborne

That Adorable Michael Cera

How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
*shrug* I don't know. The answer's pretty obscure. You've probably never heard of it.

I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World today. Oh, Micheal Cera, how adorable you are. I imagine you being able to have any of the ladys thronged around you, each a sweet little waif with scarves adorning thier pastey necks, doting on you in barely audible mouse-like voices. You, oh King of the Hipsters, bring joy by light of the video screen.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


I still feel like I'm moving. Though, it feels fantastic to be sitting stationary. Last night, I had dreams of driving on dark, windy, forrested roads. Driving for so long alone most is the most likely suspect.
I've just returned from a road trip to end all road trips. I helped my friend, Brandon, move to Seattle, which means that while he drove some of the way out, I drove back....alone. Now, according to Google maps, it's 1480 way. So, round trip, plus cruising around the city and a day trip to the Pacific totaled 3714 miles. My brain is fried and my body is still adjusting to not being in constant motion. Brandon and I left last Wednesday night, Nov 3. I left Seattle Thursday, November 11 at 9:30am. I fell onto the couch at my house at 11:30pm on Friday November 12. It was a long drive is an understatement. However, it was thouroughly enjoyanle.  To reflect/process on my trip, I wrote down 37 observations, 1 for each 100 miles. Some of them are things I suppose I've known for quite some time, but hours and hours and hours of driving time coupled with being far away from home and being surrounded by such intense beauty gave way to churning them over in my mind. Here they are in no particular order:
1. There are a lot of F*#^ing stars. Central South Dakota in the middle of the night is the perfect place to appreciate them, as well as to be awed by a meteor shower.
2. Who is Clark and why does he have 11 forks? (or maybe it was 12, I lost count)
3. Anywhere from Livingston, MT to Coeur d'Alene, ID I could just stop...and stay. Forever.
This is Livingston

4. While I drove and drove miles and miles:
     a. Long haul truckers need be hearty folks
     b. I saw no black dogs, but got to cuddle with a golden lab in Bozeman
5. Due to things like cuddling with golden labs and meeting pleasant people, I would much rather stay in a hostel than some stingy smelling, God-knows-what's-on-the-bed, alone with cable TV, bad artwork crookedly hanging hotel.
6. Idaho? U-da-ho.

7. I heart Montana.

8. Seattle traffic is worse than I remember.
9. Aaron Sprinkle is short.
10. The Fremont Abbey Arts Center is fantastic and has really blossomed into something amazing. Good job, guys.
11. A giant bottle of Blue Moon after 12 hours of driving makes me sleeeeepppppyyyyy.
12. Kettlehouse Brewery in Missoula, MT makes a Scottish Ale that you should really try. One of the top beers I've had, I think.
13. I'm a little bummed at the yuppifying that's happening in Seattle....Honestly, it reminded me a bit of Korea. Tearing down and/or closing cool stuff and building the same condo buildings all over the city. They're just different colors, as opposed to Korea's single white building scattered across the country.
14. The best cup of coffee I had the whole time was actually not in Seattle, but at Java, in Coeur d'Alene, ID. (Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of good coffee in Seattle, too.)
15. The Top Hat in Missoula, MT is far superior to the Top Hat in Sioux Falls....though with far less nostalgia, I suppose.

16. Eat at Glo's on Capitol Hill...order the Salmon Benedict. Trust me.
17. The shellfish in Puget Sound are toxic....and not like Brittany Spears.
18. Driving through 2 times zones, only to have Daylight Savings Time end the next day really messes me up.
19. Driving sans shoes is way better than with them.
20. Sometimes I hurt people I care about.
21. I'm pretty sure I missed my calling as a Ski Bum.
22. Dead birds don't bounce.
23. It takes a really long time to feel like you're not moving after driving a thousand plus miles.
24. It's fun to say stuff like "sleeping with strangers," but in reference to staying at a hostel rather than what one may think when that phrase is mentioned.
25. Sacajawea is placed both seperate and behind Lewis and Clark on signs indicating a place they were. Interesting...
26. 17 year old poets are the most honest human beings on the planet.
27. Pumpkin gelato tastes exactly like pumpkin pie....and makes me quite happy.
28. Going to the ocean is really really good for the soul. Driving on the EDGE(not being inside) of Yellowstone is not.
29. Toms get really smelly.
30. One starts do to strange things when alone in a car for so long.

31. While Montana does in fact now have a speed limit, obeying it seems optional.
32. If you're tired enough, you can sleep anywhere.
33. Cloud Cult is amazing.
34. Sigur Ros is (obviously) the perfect music for driving through hazy mountains.
35. I still see God at the ocean.

36. Burritos the size of babies are among man's greatest innovations.
37. Sometimes, blessings are messy.

Here are the rest of the photos.

Reading through this, I realize there are spelling and grammatical errors which will remain as indicators of how wiped out I am. Also...sometimes I make spelling and grammatical errors and want to pretend I don't. Consider it an exercise in humility?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Day Blues

Another big day for America, as millions of us poured into polls, searching for redemption in those who scratch and claw and tear each other to shreds in the name of completely divided unity. I can't wait for Hope to arrive, when we can stop choosing between the lesser of two evils, and fiinally stop scratching and clawing and tearing each other to shreds for opposite votes; when we will see evil cast off the ballot all together and dance perfectly in unison.