Tuesday, April 29, 2008


A hard food to give away, in more ways than one.

Would you like an apple, ma'am. I dug around my purse for the mid-afternoon snack I'd thrown in that morning. I had passed it up in favor of apple hi-chew. I held it out to her in all its shiny unwashed (the sticker was still on) glory though she seemed to be busy searching the floor of the subway for loose change.

I have no teeth, she said.

Of course -- why hadn't I noticed before? Retracting the apple, I hastily apologized and exited the train. A hungry man stood near the stairs asking for food and money... I offered him the fruit, but he also did not have any teeth.

A few hours later I was on my way home. I realized that all I'd had to eat that day was that pack of hi-chew... But the apple just did not look appetizing anymore, not that its appearance that changed since the morning except for a few nicks and bruises from bumping around in my bag all day.

I set it on my desk -- that was Tuesday. Later I decided on a spontaneous visit to Baltimore. Josh had asked me to overnight some stuff in the mail, I thought I'd do better. =P I barely made the Tuesday night train. And so much for my 4:45AM Thursday return to NY... I ended up staying in Bmore until Saturday evening. I like crabs. The non-STD kind.

The Amtrak lost power on my way back -- does that ever happen? We sat and waited for 80 minutes for another train to come so we could transfer. Saturday night I got back and the apple on my desk was looking pretty disgusting, though by then it was probably a lot softer than it had been Tuesday.

Next time I'll be armed with apple sauce... and spoons.

Praise God we do not always feel good and rewarded about our acts, intentions, attempts of generosity and service. It really is a mercy unto us...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Itchy & Scratchy Show

If my head explodes,
There is gonna be pollen
Freaking EV'RYWHERE.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


How do you capture a soul in 250 words and sell it to a university?

Pearl pleads please please do it.
I promise to try, but is that ever enough?
No. Fight. Left.

Why have You opened these doors?
Shall I charge.
Or will You slam them shut again.
I feel... caution and curiosity.
You. Baffle. Me.

Stop tickling me! Ha... ha... ow.
Stah -- Ah HA -- Stop --It -- That -- Pickles -- Ha - Ow -- How.

Here We go again. The uppercase is for You, Emmanuel. Because You're WithBeforeAboveBehindBesideAroundTheGroundBeneathInside me.

When the dust settles again, just let me sing hallelujah still.
Even if it's a cold and broken whimper.

I must have You!
If nothing else in this world
I must have You.

Praise You for laments and losses. Lest I love my life my self and my trash too much. Pastor spoke on Psalms 90-91 Sunday, and I remembered that morning You with Irene and I sat only a trimester ago, marveling at the way the light bounced off the icicles outside. We rested by these same words. You have a funny way of digging up skeletons. Maybe I will learn this time around.

Making You my Home. Not a cop-out, retreat, escape -- at least, not the way I've made it my last resort. Entering Your wing is active, forward trust. Entrust. My life and heart are Yours. I was made for You.

So I can ask You God to relent and deliver, and You might even deem the prayer good and acceptable... But is this enough? Even those without the help of Your Spirit can cry to be delivered from their trials. So instead I ask for this (God! take these trembling hands before I shrink from Your touch again, hear my shaky words before I try to swallow them back): let my affections be purified in this furnace. Grant me a teachable heart, to learn sooner rather than... not soon. To abandon this life and all its temporary glories and causes, to find in You full and satisfying all in all in all... A stilled and swaddled: child in her Father's arms. I knew no such picture in this life it must be You.

Funny thing about swaddles... I feel freer already.
Whatever's next... Just keep me near.

Tomorrow I'll write of the apple.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stuffy Face

Tickle my itchy eyeballs.
I inhale pop rocks.

Allergic to spring
But addicted all the same.
Please give me Zyrtec.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Poor Tea Infuser

It must be custom
for Germans to break your glass-
ware then put it back.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Be Still

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 "Raphah," and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
11 The LORD of hosts is with us . . .

* to
sink, relax, be disheartened, drop, abate, withdraw, cease striving, let go, abandon, be quiet.

Matthew 14
30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him . . . those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Father You are King over the flood
I will be still, and know You are God

Find rest, my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust...

what i meant to say is that
some times i just need to
yel low g chat dot a lit tle
fade to grey on AIM a lit tle
i dle sink and drown a lit tle
a ban don all the trash i love
be dis heart ened dropped laxed a lit tle
feel the ter ror of per fi dy
to reach a gain for the Trust wor thy
One stan ding there all a long
the still ness shouts His God ness

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dora's Playground No More

Lots of thoughts lately on propriety, not so much in the moral/behavioral sense of what is correct, but in regards to what is wise, prudent, safe, honorable.

What should be done when one and another develop mutual interest?

So many variables to consider... So complicated.

On second thought, it's very simple. It is not time for me to date. And while it's perfectly natural (made for good but inherently fallen) for me to like someone, there is a correct time and place for those desires to awaken. To sustain a "special" friendship without stated intentions or non-intentions of pursuit seems to me rather naive, if not foolish and cowardly and non-committal. Comfortable, for sure... But not without consequences. I feel like I wouldn't be able to be actively involved in the life of someone I like without having to dangerously tiptoe around my overdrive, without unfairly binding him by my expectations. Maybe I just don't compartmentalize well enough. To sustain the same friendship while claiming no further intentions seems equally strange, like it is sure to backfire. I don't think I (should) want my person to be enjoyed by someone any more than he enjoys his other friends... outside of a committed relationship.

I am fleshly and desire accordingly.
Desires are manageable... when everything else is.
I cannot count on having sensible circumstances that allow me to resist temptation.
I must flee and cut off. Must I flee and cut off?

This is my heart...
deceitful above all things
prone to wander and stumble.

It gropes around in the dark
& learns by trial and error
though those growing pains would be needless
if I only take Him at His word.

I wonder if my heart were more teachable,
would I still be here.
quae miserrima.

I need to run,
but I need You to show me
that it is out of obedience and correct fear.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Queen Esther

Intentions, intentions.

We have so many.

Must depend on calling.

Must not demand unnecessary answers from God
To fit His plans into my desires.

His purposes are more important than my having clarity.
Clarity for the sake of knowing?? Doesn't simplify anything, does it...

Esther was a queen... of excuses.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's Not Absence

Hidden depths of sin,
Hidden why's of suffering,
Hidden modes of grace.

Monday, April 7, 2008

To 21218?

Well spring break isn't for another two weeks for me. Uber lame, since everyone else will be gearing up for finals and finishing up the term by then.

Josh and I talked about visiting him at JHops for part of break. Guess I must have been thinking about it before falling asleep because I dreamed I was there... And there was a carnival for some reason. But anyway, part of it went something like this: Maybe it was prophetic ;)

I ran into a few familiar faces and maneuvered a few "Esther! Where've you been all year! It's almost summer and this is the first time I've run into you on campus..." and delighted in $6 burritos at the Chipotle by Charles Commons.

Later that day I somehow met John Latting, the Director of Ugrad Admissions. We exchanged courteous pleasantries; he didn't seem to recall who I was and the ordeal he had put me through in this last whirlwind of a year. I bid him goodbye and smugly quipped "So nice to finally put a face to the name. Now I can hate you more completely." And I reveled at the look of horror that crossed his face as the magnitude of his injustices dawned on him. Unlikely, since he's probably actualy cruel and stoic.

And as I turned and walked away from him in this very self-aware dream, I wondered to myself why I had said such a thing when I really didn't hate him. I'd reminded myself many times that the man was just doing his job. Although it was... a very dick job he did. My next thought -- well, realization really -- was along the lines of "Esther, you're going straight to hell," the repartee to which naturally followed as I nibbled on an elephant ear: "Oh well, better make it worth it."

I awoke from the dream highly amused at my very witty and pagan subconscious.

(To which my next thought -- well, realization really -- was, "Esther, you're going straight to hell").

Oh boy... Lord have mercy.

The Soul of Wit

I would like to start
Simple drills in brevity --
Not my strongest suit.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

More on Work & Play

"There is nothing better for a person than that he should... find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God" (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
So meaningful work, or at least the meaning part, is apparently a gift.

Without that significance, the only thing that keeps me at work is fear. It's a sad strife.

At death,
Buddha: "Strive unceasingly."
Christ: "It is finished."

I loved those verses from Romans 5 once. These days I feel more like testing demands perseverance, perseverance requires character, character allows hope, and hope sets ya up for another whoppin letdown.

Why so inclined to feel victimized? Am I actually so virtuous? Powerless? Probably not as much as I'm attracted to think. Why the martyr complex... To be long on love, grace, humor, compassion, patience. Short on pride.

God I could plow through all this... as to You. But I need to know that what I'm doing is from You! Why, if You won't lift the storm, won't You increase my belief? I'm clearly not enough, come and be strength. God O God...

I hardly even suffer.
I have not persisted as Job.
I have not endured the cross.

Perspective, please.
Come and be light.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


IreneEmeth Learned today that je suis excite is more accurately translated as i'm aroused than as i'm excited, similar to how embarassada in Spanish is actually the feminine modifier meaning pregnant, or how mahal kita in Tagalog means je t'aime, te amo, I love you, 我爱你, but is understood in Malay as we are very expensive (though Love often is ultra costly). And Pearl I'm sure you'll be delighted to learn that eehee apparently means to pee in Tagalog? Filipino? so calling you Peehee is now twice the fun. I wonder how many people I've told I was turned on while lost in translation.

With the arrival of Emeth "Capri" the cute little miammy bread bundle of April foolery (future JKoh?), Mrs. Sun is no longer an embarassed woman. il n'est pas grand! HOORAY!! Can't wait to meet the lil guy.

Learning new languages, or even little brain fart phrases in other languages, is too much fun for me. Someone told me once you live a new life for each language you learn and it's occurred more than once to me that maybe when we do this we begin to undo what we did or at least remedy what we scattered at Babel. Koine Greek, Medieval Latin, maybe even Biblical Hebrew. French, Italian. Mandarin, Taiwanese. Japanese, Atayal. Paiwan, Amis. Worthy pursuits? Holy burden? or flights of ADD?

I can't remember why I thought I could stand doing BME, it is so much work... And that's about all it is to me, although for another (maybe you) it could be a lot more meaningful and maybe even redeemable. Guh I'm hoping and praying with all self-interest (oh and for your good too I guess) for a yes to p-relgoog (err... okay I'm not quite as aroused by these languages) and the legos and Odwalla supply and NYC residence that would come to you with such an answer. We should converse in dead languages more often, goof. I love you for putting "fluent in conversational Latin" on your resume.

What if I could also find something, some major, some vocation so d'lovely that work and play would be one and the same? I suppose many pondered these questions even while in high school; I unfortunately am way behind since without receiving (or at least without recognizing) the soggy fleece I'd feebly asked for I had mostly only considered factors such as Joshuaness (ballerness, leetness, proximity to my closest genetic match, distance from my two favorite genetic donors) and Asianness (lucrativeness, pragmaticalness, pedigree, nerdiness)...... Mallory I miss those days of incorporating Dictionary.com Words of the Day into our convos each day and of practicing seducing each other in French and Italian during Latin class and promising to learn and e-mail each other in both of those when you went off to Yale and I to JH. But now you're there and I'm here, and we're both not learning either life!

I guess this substandard interim is an okay time and place to consider all this and discover that maybe I'm not cut out for your major after all Josh, though I have to thank you for being contagiously and genuinely passionate about it. I'd like to love something on my own and infect others with its contagion. If I were where you are and paying what you pay to be there how long would it have been before I realized my tedium? How long now that I have will I still stick it through? How much of it is even up to me?

Anyhow what if I were so arrested by vision that discipline would be more than just drudgery? I suppose this is what makes QTs bearable and psets un; the latter takes similar effort but to me lacks purposefulness delightfulness (purpose delight?) and d'loveliness.

I mean seriously! How does circuitry conjure any of that.