Saturday, April 28, 2012

about the Bauhaus..........and failure

When I was young, my mother had a subscription to Architectural Digest.  Though our home was nice, comfortable, and definitely my mother's style, it was nothing like the homes in the magazine.  But, an art teacher friend of my dad recommended it for her, and she began to receive.  The other day, I checked out an issue at our downtown library.  Why?  Because all the copies of House Beautiful were checked out.  And perhaps I was feeling a bit nostalgic.  And I'm thinking about becoming an architect.  [not really... a folk band lutist, perhaps, but not an architect]

I thought about the Bauhaus the other day.  Are you familiar with the Bauhaus?  I am, a bit, due to the fact I was an Interior Design major for one semester.  I remember learning about the Bauhaus and its importance to design elements and that sort of thing.  Often when I think back to my first semester of college, I associate that time period with my first encounter with failure.

Why?  Because I pretty much failed as an Interior Design major.  At least from my perspective.   Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I was young, naive, and influenced by an academic adviser named Clayton Peterson [I think] who said if I didn't take 4 design classes plus an English course, I wouldn't be on track.  So, I jumped right in.  My parents forked out mucho dinero for Staedtler products.  I felt a bit lost.  A bit swept away in a sea of artsy people that I didn't much fit in with and didn't feel I measured up to.  I liked my Intro to Interior Design course a lot.  I did fine in it.  Yet Drafting 101 [or whatever it was called] did me in.  I received the grade of "D".  My academic scholarship was lost, I felt I desperately needed to do a 360, and ran to another department.  A history professor took interest in me and set up an interview with an interior designer.  I don't remember much about the episode, as it happened in 1986, but it wasn't enough to sway me into keeping on that path.  I changed majors and sold the Staedtler products to a young lady who hopefully fared better with them than I did.

Looking back, I realize I didn't give myself the best shot.  I was into music and academics as a high schooler.  I wasn't into drawing or designing, and I didn't have much guidance into the next steps for my life.  In college, I quickly realized there's a difference between being a designer and being a decorator.  Looking back though, I sort of wish someone would have showed me some other options.  Perhaps something related to the design field, yet something that didn't require drafting........

Because sometimes I miss those Staedtler pens and tools.  Sometimes I regret giving up so easily.  Sure, we all have limits to what we can accomplish.  Yet, I think my failure was more in running than it was in the "D" in drafting class. 

I wholeheartedly believe it's alright to have regrets.  And I regret, just a bit, that I left the College of Design. Okay, maybe not so much leaving that particular department and plan, but that I allowed a failure to change me and confine me.

So while I realize quite realistically I was never meant to be the Dorothy Draper of my generation, I sometimes mourn the girl who grew up going to antique stores.  I mourn the girl who in 1985 wore her aunt's clothes made in 1961.  The girl who read her Mom's Architectural Digest and happily researched the [Effects of Color on Interior Design].  Fortunately, I think I return to being that girl a bit more everyday.  And I hope I encourage my daughter and son to not let their failures, or perceived failures, define them.  Shouldn't we be who we are?  Maybe I should have been a mediocre interior designer.  With an assistant to do the drafting. . . . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

If you follow my blog, you know I'm working through Common Prayer this year.  Conversely, if you don't follow my blog, you now know I'm working........

Discipline can be a pooper.  Repetition can lead to blah.  But it can also be rewarding, fulfilling and often, it can teach you something.  On Friday, the entry in Common Prayer hit me.  Hard.  It seemed to be what I needed to hear.  That day.  So I'll hit the highlights.  You can send me a thank you, if you'd like.

Exodus 34:1-17
 He'll do an awesome work with me
I Thessalonians 5:12-28
rejoice always
pray w/out ceasing
give thanks all the time
He is faithful/He'll do it
Psalm 102:1-4
 listen to me/please answer my call

A theologian and poet of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Fran├žois Fenelon wrote, “We must have faith during the period of our grief. We think that our afflictions will be greater than we can bear, but we do not know the strength of our own hearts, nor the power of God. He knows all. He knows every folding of the heart and also the extent of the sorrow that he inflicts. What we think will overwhelm us entirely only subdues and conquers our pride. Our renewed spirit rises from its subjugation with a celestial strength and consolation.”

Good words 
The power of God/He knows all
Hard words
He knows the extent of the sorrow that he inflicts
Hopeful words
Our renewed spirit rises from its subjugation with a celestial
strength and consolation

Saturday, April 21, 2012

happy record store day!

My mother proposed marriage to my father in a car, in front of the record store his parents owned.  The record store was in a little town called Pawhuska that was part of various Oklahoma oil booms through the years.  If you like The Pioneer Woman, which I really hope you do [because she's great], it's the town in which she grocery shops and attends church, today.  Albeit, a bit different, as the oil boom days have come and gone and come and gone yet again.  Pawhuska is the county seat of Osage County, which is entirely an Indian reservation. Just a bit of trivia.  I like trivia.  It's trivial, but it makes the world go 'round.

So, whether you give a flying rat's booty that it's Record Store Day, or not, I wish you a happy one, nonetheless.  My son has a record player, and like any musician worth his/her salt, knows vinyl trumps all other forms. 

Incidently, since I'm in a nostalgic mood, I'll share another bit of trivia.  My grandma ended up with a garage full of old records, due to the closure of the store.  What I wouldn't give for them today, but alas, I believe they're gone. . . .    And she is too.  Anyway, my fav of all the records I played there as a child was this 45:

The Night They Drove 'Ole Dixie Down.  This song was recorded by The Band.  One of their members, Levon Helm, died the day before yesterday.  He didn't live to see Record Store Day 2012.  How terribly sad. As a child, I didn't comprehend much about what the lyrics meant, and I confess I'm not one of those "the South will rise again" types.  I think I just liked the "Na, na, nas."

Back to the beginning of this entry. . . .
Yes, my mother proposed to my father.  He was shy and apparently she decided she better be the one to say the words.  Thankfully, Dad said "I will".  Actually, I'm not sure of his exact words, as it occurred four years prior to my birth.  But, they've been married 47 years.  So, in honor of the fact my parents began their committed life together in 1964 in front of a record store at the exact moment some person could have been inside purchasing their first Beatles record is, shall I say, a cheery thought.  And who doesn't need more cheery thoughts?

Happy Record Store Day to you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


the failure of hopes or expectations to manifest

The hardest part about parenting is the disappointment.  One of the hardest parts of wifing [I think I just created a new word] is dealing with the disappointments.  I'm not writing of the disappointment caused by our children or spouse, but walking through the disappointment they face, with them.

The outsiders don't see it like we do.  Sure, a teacher knows and to an extent understands the feelings of a young man who doesn't make the team, so to speak.  A co-worker can lament the struggles one faces at work.  But no one sees or comprehends the depth of what a loved one goes through like an emotionally engaged mother and spouse. 

And often that's the biggest source of frustration for me.  The questions.  Why didn't a situation work out?  Why are we here and not there?  Is it wrong for us to be cynical about a group instead of accepting?  Questions based on disappointment.

Perhaps God's will. 
Perhaps not.  
Maybe our own ridiculous mistakes or issues. 
Maybe someone else's own ridiculous mistakes or issues.

At times it can seem so overwhelming.  Maybe not just seem, but actually be overwhelming.

Earlier today I posted this song, because it captures, in lyrics and music, how I feel today:

A Place Only You Can Go

Maybe tomorrow hopes and expectations will successfully manifest.  Until then, I'll keep listening to the above song........

{a place only}

[click on the title to hear the song]

Pain is alive in a broken heart
The past never does go away
We were born to love
And we're born to pay
The price for our mistakes

Grace, she comes with a heavy load
Memories, they can't be erased
Like a pill I swallow, he makes me well
But leaves an awful taste

Oh, I know this song won't do
Enough to prove my love to you
In my heart you'll always know
There is a place only love can go
There is a place only you can go

Take my notions and words to heart
This is the cry of a man
I can't bring you fortune or noble life
But I'll love you all I can

Oh, I know this song won't do
Enough to prove my love to you
In my heart you'll always know
There is a place only you can go

Oh, I know this song won't do
Enough to prove my love to you
In my heart you'll always know
There is a place only love can go
There is a place only you can go 

The Reckoning

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I can begin.  Right now.  Today.  

I left Christ Church Cathedral this morning, ready to start anew.

That's what I received from my.lenten.experiment.  The hope of a new beginning.  An opportunity.

For years and years, I've thought about Easter in terms of salvation.  The replacement of the sacrificial system.  That Jesus made a way.  Which is, I still believe, true. 

Yet, isn't Easter also a chance of redemption?  Isn't it a fresh start?  Doesn't the tearing of the temple curtain mean, besides direct access to the Father, that it's a new day?  BOOM!  Everything changed.  Can't I try that today?  Can't I leave the cathedral and start over?

I've learned through my experiment this season, that justice and peace are part of the Plan.   Actually, I've come to realize more and more that the [Plan] is all encompassing.  It's more than a ticket to eternal life.  It's more than feeling nice when I buy a low income kid a Christmas gift.  It's more than whether or not you or I or anyone is doing anything.  The Plan is bigger than that.  Because really, if it all depends on me or you or any human being.....we're all doomed, right?  So maybe, just maybe, I can relax.  

And I've learned that not all my mistakes are [sins].  Dare I say that?  I've done some things wrong.  I've swayed off the path that's most likely best for me.  But I don't have to assume the guilt of a horribly wretched person.  And I don't have to concern myself with the seeming success of others who may/may not be doing what they are supposed to do.  Does God reward.bless.encourage success like the world?   Wouldn't that mean that Tim Tebow's team will always win the Super Bowl???

I am [thankfully] forgiven or accepted or whatever label I choose to use.  And that means freedom.  Freedom to be me.  And start over.  

This guy, Clarence Jordan, puts it better:
"The resurrection of Jesus was simply God's unwillingness to take our 'no' for an answer.  He raised Jesus, not as an invitation to us to come to heaven when we die, but as a declaration that he himself has now established permanent eternal residence here on earth.  He is standing beside us, strengthening us in this life.  The good news of the resurrection of Jesus is not that we shall die and go home to be with him, but that he has risen and comes home with us, bringing all his hungry, naked, thirsty, sick prisoner brothers with him."
I agree with Clarence.   And I wish you Happy Easter.