Monday, February 25, 2013

I lost this on a train in Europe

Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller:Young Peasant Woman with Three Children at the Window

If you've ever traveled in Europe you know that the one thing you can count on is that you will inevitably leave something on a train at some point.  Well, when Wayne, Nate and I went on our big trip 2 years ago, I bought a print of my favorite painting we saw at our favorite art museum (the Neue Pinakothek in Munich).  I kept such good track of it, until the very end of our travels, when I left it on our train from Florence to Rome (I think).

Since then, I've kept my eye out for it and haven't encountered it again, until today.  Painted by Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Be Prepared To Be Surprised

There's this goofy Norwegian named Sondre Lerche.  You probably know him from the soundtrack of Dan in Real Life, which is a movie I like.  This week I've had one of his songs playing through my head.  It's called To Be Surprised.  I love the instrumentation and the way the chords roll into each other.  And I love the idea.

Life ain't always what you think it's gonna be.  (Sorry for all the pop music references here.  Ahem, thanks, The Band Perry...)  But really.  For good or ill, life is full of surprises.  We could never predict the mishaps that will befall us, nor could we plan out better joys for ourselves.

In the Book of Mormon, when Ammon is talking to his peeps, he's like, "Hey, guys, look how much good we've done!  We've taught a whole community about Jesus.  What a great surprise!  I mean, we used to be such losers!  'Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state?', and, 'could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?'"

I remember feeling similarly last fall.  One day in October I wrote the following poem (it's really bad; please don't judge; I'm not a poet and this one is in desperate need of revision, but I just want to put it in anyway):

Surprised by grace, astonished
at the wholeness

Light of the world
the Word
the Truth
darkness cannot comprehend

Rest and a wellness of
joy and confidence and otherness
and bright bright okayness

Delicious, warm yesness
Wise warm whispers

Legs to run and dance and skip
and lungs to shout

The Death of Possibility

One of the best things ever is that rising feeling of hope.  When in your chest there is a promising, yeasty loaf of possibility.  Yesterday, outdoors smelled like impending Spring.  Which, of course, catalyzed the yeast in my soul.  But it also made me aware of the opposite - one of the worst things ever is when possibility dies.  I've been mourning the death of one possibility for a couple months now.  And although I feel like things are right, and that I'm moving in the right direction, I still miss that hopeful maybe.