Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prospectus, 2.

Marina Keegan, Yale '12, wrote: "We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time."

I'm 22.

She died in a car accident last Saturday "at a time when the members of the class of 2012 have separated for the foreseeable future, and underclassmen have scattered for the summer. There is no physical space for us to mourn..." She had just commenced; graduated magna cum laude five days before her death.

What she had was what I aimed my heart at, what I wanted out of college, the years I was so sick with envy, wanting the "opposite-of-loneliness" that she described.
It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together... [College] is full of tiny circles we pull around ourselves. A cappella groups, sports teams, houses, societies, clubs. These tiny groups that make us feel loved and safe and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers — partner-less, tired, awake. We won’t have those next year. We won’t live on the same block as all our friends. We won’t have a bunch of group-texts. 
This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse – I’m scared of losing this web we’re in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now. 
But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York...
Actually Life is more than the "tiny circles we pull around ourselves." More than college.

There is permanence, non-elusive Joy. There is certainty beyond "We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have."

We build our sandcastles, meanwhile, Christ is building up his Church. I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, we confess. The True Church of all places and times.

As I wrote before, I would have built my life upon these fleeting tiny circles, on possibilities and probabilities. I tried. But Christ had mercy on me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Out of the depths of ruin untold, Jesus I come

Been spinning this song on repeat lately. :)

Looking at the last year, I could never regret the times I responded this way to grace's draw, as costly as they seemed at the time... bids me come and die, and find that I may truly live. But always, always, I've been drawn into more freedom and more life than I could have chosen or hoarded for myself.

Jesus I come
into Thy freedom, gladness and light
out of my sickness
into Thy health
out of my wanting
into Thy wealth
out of my sin
into Thyself
run, don't walk!
into the glorious gain of Thy cross
out of earth's sorrows
into Thy balm
into Thy calm
out of distress
crawl if you need to,
or have friends carry you
into Thy blessed will to abide
out of myself
to dwell in Thy love
out of despair 
into raptures above
out of the fear and dread of the tomb
into the joy and light of Thy home
out of the depths of ruin untold
into the peace of Thy sheltering fold

just come. rest. dance.
ever Thy glorious face to behold

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Remember college viewbooks? Those glossy marketing pitches that schools mailed to you junior and senior year after PSAT's and state tests.

Come and see, they beckon. 
Hear what our own have to say about us!

Join us and this is what you'll become.

Join our mission! Catch our vision!

Ah, enlightenment.
So you apply yourself.

The university prospectus.

* * *

I remember viewbooks. How religiously I read them.

I collected them. Fascinating, pretty things of hope, promise, life, future, and identity to me. Tantalizing.

I was sold. Somewhere in a basement in Naperville, there are still 30 some viewbooks fileboxed away.

* * *
Such appeal.

They were an appeal to your freedom and choice.

An appeal to your wallet. All this bang for your buck! Or 50,000 bucks yearly. Worth it!

An appeal to your time. In just four years, they promise, we'll make you youer than you! A difference of a lifetime!
An appeal to your imagination. To become one of those Brooks Brothers-clad souls, walking, laughing, books in hand, a leather messenger slung cross-body, under towering stately oaks and flying stone buttresses. Imagine! the life! the access! the privilege! Join the aristocracy!
(all images above adapted from

An appeal to your affections.

* * *

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy...
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
// Matthew 6.19-21

"It's obvious, isn't it?" says Eugene Peterson. "The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being."

* * *

The prospectus, appealing to your heart, shows you who you'll become.
And in your choice, your priority, it reveals to you who you already are.

Where you aim your heart, where you set your sights,
There. is your reward, your heaven.

It will dominate your vision, hold your imagination,
warp time and experience,pull your whole life to itself.

Yet once more I will shake not only the earth,
but also the heavens...
in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore let us be grateful
for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken...

August 8, 2007
for our God is a consuming fire.
// Hebrews 12.26-29

i was H-bound.
hopkins-bound. hell-bound.

Christ had mercy on me.

He loves me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The year I learned to love team sports, was the year that I began letting go of all that my parents had never done for me, and all that they'd done to me. For example, they didn't let me play even when I made the cuts in high school. And I got to let go of my bitter what if they had?s.

So props to the bros who first believed and took a chance on my noobness. A first taste of playing like a team and playing to win. And later, a stark glimpse of what it costs to not trust and cover each other and play as one.

Growing up means mom and dad can't be excuses anymore, for me not going for it or anything. Walking on to the team that season and having to earn my place--it was the year I began unlearning Mom's insistence that raw talent was all that mattered. Sugar and gold and clay alike need grueling. Working my way off the bench into the starting lineup, earning that white jersey, man, I had the time of my life! It was a godsend, a healthy distraction, the blessing of busyness, to keep me forward facing and forward moving the two seasons. I believe in team sports! ... Bullieve? :)

So CUNY's athletic program, like its academic program, is a total joke. So we were a ridiculously large, ragtag rookie team. But in Division III we played--with Heart. The mental toughness you had to muster in order to be in that gym, for those hours--such a gift. A safe space. A sweet mercy for that autumn. If I flaked or was late to stay in bed and cry, they ran suicides.

No, you man up. You never turn your back on your teammates. And if they turn, you don't let their jealous hate sabotage you.  The ones who execute, not the ones who try, are gonna be the ones in the game. If coach and captain say you stay, stay your ground. See what a long way you have to go, and know that learning this, too, is progress. Persevere.

Jen & Me-Oak; awesome coaches

Know irrelevant voices from the voices you should listen to. Leaders are those who went before you, who brought you on seeing who they could make you, who you would become. Trust them. Do the discipline of forsaking entanglements for now to fight, and play, and practice. Worries will wait. The coach who dug down deep to draw out diligence and competition. The value of now. This point. This play. Grace for yourself and for your family; it is, after all, a game moved along by mistakes. Don't think yourself above errors.

You never rise to the occasion, you only fall back on your training. So bring yourself, your whole self, your mind your strength your game, to the table. Every time. Be all there.

My cute lil Pokemon

There is more, much more, that volleyball tangibly taught me. But asked why I give my Saturdays now, I say, you only can give what you've first received.