Friday, May 21, 2010

Awesome thing of the day #4

Guess who found orange moccassins with lemon-and-white-striped lining while she was shopping with her mama and sister last night? Mm hmm, I have happy feet.

PS. You can expect other posts of similarly startling insight and intelligence during these next few weeks leading up to The Great Wedding of 2010 and the Epic End of Semester.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Weekend Journal XXI :: It's a littleme!

As indulgent as it feels to sit down amongst the Everything and write these little posts, I cling to them as evidence that the world is still the familiar and cosy place that I know. When I was small, I relished the unexpected. More recently, though, Change and I have had a rather strained relationship. And just now -- with the looming wedding (only 3 and a half weeks away) of my sister and super-pal -- I hold on to the small things that convince me that life is moseying on as usual.

My mother and littlest brother flew back to this side of the country, arriving last Thursday night, and intend to stay until after the wedding. As much as Lauren and I find it cool to "own" this big house and live in a girly paradise (okay, it would be a girly paradise were there not a rather desperate fiance forever lingering in the wings), things are so much more fun when more of the family are around. I mean, when it's just Lauren and I here, things like small brothers impaling their hands with dining forks or attempting to lasso unsuspecting sisters as they climb the stairs just don't really happen.

Our weekend reflected the happy change of pace with everyone mingling between work and study and a picnic and a bonfire and church. On Sunday, we got to spend time with the excellent family that is Ruth & Jonno, plus say goodbye to Ruth's sisters, Hannah and Grace, who were -- sadly -- zipping back to the US of A. Amongst soup and chocolate cake, we talked internet lingo to one another like dorks, discussed mutual Doctor Who appreciation, laughed at the always excellent antics of small children, cooed over an exceedingly cute little chubby baby, and launched plans for a hippie commune that will save the world.

Hannah pretty much made my weekend by giving me one of her amazing artworks (above) featuring a much smaller, much cuter me! It's truly adorable -- she's so clever. I hope one day to go into Borders and buy books that have been illustrated by her -- and I believe it will happen because she's that good.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This is it.

I sometimes get tired of saying that life is busy. It's usually said as an excuse for not doing something else:

I haven't replied to your letter because life is busy.
I haven't sat down and read a book because life is busy.
I haven't kicked the soccer ball around with my brother because life is busy.
I haven't written in my journal because life is busy.
I haven't composed a blog post because life is busy.


Today I was thinking about that, because just now it's busy with the sort of busyness that makes you lie awake of evenings alternately panicking in case everything doesn't get done in time and then asking yourself if maybe none of it matters that much and you should just sleep in instead and spend all afternoon making ruched fabric flowers. The thing is, life is always going to be busy. If it isn't busyness coming at you externally, it'll be the sort of busyness that you intentionally surround yourself with. Because being busy means you have a job and a life and a network of people that mean something. Things are happening.

And if things are happening, it means you are living life. This is what I am beginning to realise. And if you are living life, you want to make time to do the things that bring life.

Jesus once challenged the Pharisees because they were hung up on following the letter of the law and keeping their tithes managed to the neatest fraction of measurement, yet completely forgot the stuff like loving people and caring about justice. He didn't want to them to ditch the former, but He wanted them to also be engaged in the latter. "These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others," He said in Luke 11:42.

I'm beginning to sense that things won't ever slow down. Something else will always come up. The key, I think, is to stop waiting for this to be done or that to be over, and start existing in the present. That means scheduling in, if necessary, time for people and creativity and sitting on the grass.

This is the realisation I am slowly coming to. I am only at the realisation stage. I have no idea how to actually do this. How do you do what needs doing, while also making time for what you should be doing? I don't know. But I want to learn. I want to learn to live where I am instead of looking ahead all the time, to do these, without neglecting the others.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


This morning, after nearly drowning in several surprisingly deep puddles left by some heavy duty rainfall, stamping and posting an overwhelming variety of packages (including bridal shower invitations Mother's Day mail, and a chubby birthday parcel for my 3-year-old niece), and returning several [overdue] items to the library, I jumped at the chance to buy the Pixar Collection of Short Films while it was on sale at K-Mart. I've had my eye on it for a while because I love those little shorts. To me, they're the film-making equivalent of a short story: a focussed storyline centering around a limited number of characters with minimal distractions and a complete tale with real emotion which shines the spotlight on what might be a rather tiny moment.

This evening, during an early dinner before Lauren headed out for an evening of Bible study, we watched a couple of them and then a feature on the beginning of the Pixar animation franchise. From a nerdy-but-I-know-nothing-about-it perspective, it was cool to watch the evolution of the computer animation world from its baby steps in the eighties when individual frames would take 8 minutes each to render (and that was a few years into the endeavour, when things were moving faster) and Pixar was just a bunch of inspired geeks doing all-nighters and spending six months on a single two-minute film. Amazing.

But from a creative perspective, it was especially cool to see the intense correlation between inspiration, rational thinking, and serious hard work. For every Pixar short, the inspiration and the brain wave probably factors in at about 2% of the entire work process (yes, I just plucked that number from the air. But I'm not kidding). Someone gets an idea, someone else thinks it's cool -- and then there is hour upon hour of modelling, graphing, layering, rendering, and whatever else they do. What's more, the folks at Pixar did this kind of stuff for about ten years before anyone even took notice. But they cared about what they were producing, and they were willing to put the hard work in no matter what.

I'm pretty sure this is a valuable lesson for anyone who wants to be creative and not just think about doing things, but actually do them.

PS. Sorry to have been all missing in action here at the blog. I have about a dozen posts in mind but I've been busy doing laundry, writing essays, making invitations, not forgetting to go to the events scribbled in my diary, and talking to my various family members who seem to live everywhere but here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...