Monday, February 27, 2012

Love is making its way back home

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20

Whoa. All construction paper. No effects added. Maybe we're sort of like construction paper - boring, square-ish (ha), effect-less. But made beautiful and...effective, in Christ. Love comin' back home. Check it!

Josh Ritter - Love Is Making Its Way Back Home from Josh Ritter on Vimeo.

I wonder as I wander out under the sky, how Jesus the Savior did come forth to die, for poor, ornery people like you and like I. I wonder as I wander, out under the sky. That one's been in my head all day.

"I still wonder and wander along the path, sometimes as lost as the exiles in Babylon and sometimes meandering home, sometimes weeping and sometimes singing, but I never cease to hope that the seeds I sowed in tears will one day yield a harvest that I will reap, rejoicing." - Maggie Kast, writer and dancer

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mind get weary, heart get heavy

I have a habit of thinking, then thinking too much, then over-thinking. Eventually, I psych myself out of whatever it was I was thinking about doing or trying. And then I don't do it. Then I think about not doing it. Then I get frustrated that I over-thought and didn't actually do anything. Vicious cycle.

Ray Lamontagne says:
"Don't let your mind get weary
And confused your will be still, don't try
Don't let your heart get heavy
Child, inside you there's a strength that lies"

No matter what I'm thinking at any given time, certain music always has the ability to calm my thoughts, my frustrations, my doubts, and my over-thought failures to think clearly.

Morten Lauridsen writes music to:
"O great mystery
and wondrous sacrament,
that animals should see the newborn Lord
lying in their manger."

It doesn't get clearer than that midnight clear, does it?

Does anyone else also find their impressive beards comforting?
They're exquisite.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Days with Mr. Morris Lessmore

Technology is not my friend as of late. In just three days, I've lost three to four hours of work on a computer, because somehow, my HUGE file just disappeared. Every time I go to read the email on my phone, it takes me to all my text messages, instead of all my emails. Yesterday, my voice recorder recorded everything but the voice I needed to hear in an interview. You can hear everybody else and their dog.

But, it's not about me. It's about something bigger.

Ironically, it is today's technology that can actually lead us to appreciate our past without it, the material experience of reading and writing, imagination, animation! and the creation of one of my favorite short films - maybe ever. I don't want to talk it up too much. I'll just ruin it. I hope you're able to spare 15 minutes of your time.

I think Mr. Morris Lessmore and I could be great friends.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Compartmentalization, sans my sanity

I've decided to organize my life - or at least my writing. I've recently discovered that this space for free expression might not provide for half of the writing that comes out of my head here at school - for real assignments and projects. I imagine the different types of textual expressions having a Fight Club-esque smackdown. It doesn't look pretty. While I hope to be professional all the time (different definitions of professional), this blog was founded on personal musings way back in 2010, instead of a different gusto that can define the outer arts world I write about and/or my future career. I mean, what future employer wants to read about an indecisive, mushy, selfish 20-something and all her blunders? Not that every word thus far has not been worth it.

This sort of compartmentalization has a lot to do with me. If you didn't know it, I'm a freak about organization. I'm not OCD, but it makes me, um, happy to know where everything is situated. On the other hand, there's a part of me that wants to throw all that same organized shit (excuse me) into a raging bonfire in the alley behind my apartment. So I can be free of it. So I can let go.

I suppose we can keep the raging fire going here in this space, while my professional (I just made fun of that word in my head by saying it with flamboyant quote hands) life can appear well-organized.

Aren't we all torn in two? Maybe not. Maybe it's just me.

So, I've decided to create a new blog - but I don't like to call it that. We'll call it a writing portfolio. If you want to read what I'm writing about culture, art, and all of those fancy things, you can visit my new "writing portfolio" here. Still in it's beginning stages. These things are also important to me, and they deserve a place to breathe. Otherwise, you can stick around at Definitions - for another round of very unprofessional shots and endless pitchers of Blue Moon around the fire, while I continue to attempt to define my life as it goes. I think the shots will help.

It just hit me how jealous Blogger and "Definitions" in particular are going to be when I'm spending my school nights with Wordpress. But, what the eff, it's just a computer, and computers are not and never will be as smart as, nor have the emotional and creative capacity of, human beings.

And, here, I'm also assuming that anyone is reading this. How arrogant of me. But, just in case you are, reader, I'd like to dedicate this new re-organization to you. That's weird, I've never dedicated something like that to anyone. Because I want you to know how important you are to me. And if you are very well reading, thank you for rambling along with me. It's possible a young woman simply needs a space to ramble, reflect, pray, and dream...right?

Here's me, happy to know you. Sans bonfire. I'll keep it together, I promise. Although that straw elephant would light right up.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Follow-up: I cave.

In relation to my last post, I will submit to some truth in my own writing. The only way I can do so is to insert an excerpt from a previous paper I've written. Yes, about the dying art of print journalism. Let me go bury my face in a pillow for a few seconds. Be right back.

December 13, 2011

“When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before news systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it,” writes media analyst Clay Shirky in his online essay Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable. “They are demanding to be lied to. There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.”

While aiming to tackle the facts, bring art history to life, and make good art into narrative, the arts journalist now faces the the decline of print journalism and the birth of the blogosphere. Both create greater obstacles for arts advocacy.

The newspaper used to be a direct line of arts communication. Arts writers within were able to heighten awareness of the arts and define its role in a community – critiquing individual exhibits, performances, productions or products, educating readers about current art offerings in a social or historical context, and demystifying the creative process.

Today, newspapers in places like Denver and Seattle have lost their second papers. San Franciso, Miami, and Philadelphia were discussing the dissappearance of their daily printed news as early as 2009. The Detroit Free Press printed three times a week then. Even The New York Times sold Renzo Piano Tower, made steep cost cuts, and threatened to close its susidiary, The Boston Globe.

An online news engine, Miller-McCune, clearly addresses the crisis. “The situation is most dire for the journalist themselves, who find themselves no longer able to make a living pursuing their passion, but it is also of great concern to arts administrators, who are just now coming to grips with the impending cutoff of one of their strongest lines of communication with the community.” writes Tom Jacobs in “Will Critique Work For Food.”

...but here's what I concluded...

Efforts for art advocacy and definition are on the rise. Engine29 defines itself as “a project for constructing an argument for arts journalism.” It was an experiment that gathered 29 arts journalists from across America and around the world for ten days in November. The journalists worked on six projects aimed to define arts journalism. They documented what they found out on their website,

In one project entitled “We Are All Journalists. Now What?” a segment of their findings addresses today’s arts journalists. “We are nosy; curious; passionate; inquisitive. We are all storytellers — grown up daydreamers operating in reality,” speaks Celeste Headlee, a recent Midwest correspondent for NPR.

“The reality is, the numbers do not cease the work of measuring how many of us are disappearing. Yes, we know our pages are shrinking. We have heard our listeners are tuning out and viewers are turning away. Where once we kept them rapt with the expertise of our craft, there are other voices now — many other voices now — that compete for their attention. The world evolves. And so we must, too.”


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thoughts on Provisionality

Is first person "blogging" actually journalism? I'm a journalist, but I would never claim my blog as a legitimate form of journalism. Hence my struggle with terms likened to "arts journalism." And, hence my struggle with the realm of arts education with which I am currently acquainted.


I cannot tell you how frustrating it is NOT holding my subscription to Blackhawks Magazine in my hands. Or the New York Times Magazine. Or a real live book. The computer screen's brightness can kill the appeal of great design - meant for print. Untouchable, unreachable. We can also blog about our person, in the most personal of ways. And maybe that's part of the reason the overnight uproar against SOPA and PIPA snowballed so quickly. Half of Internet users seemed in a panic because they believed their precious emotional invincibility on the World Wide Web was ultimately threatened. In the end, it was a power struggle between the web and Hollywood, not to mention the government and the people.


Sometimes, it's unsettling when I think about how much time I spend staring at a screen, in one day. I ask myself the same question these same days: Remember the time when Ella Fitzgerald didn't have the Internet and she was (and is still is) the best? But then I proceed to enter her name in Google search, YouTube her videos (man, it's a verb, now), and enter an online library to view electronic books about her music.

Of course, here I am blogging (sort of emotionally) about how much I loathe the fact that Blogger and Youtube, and Twitter are creating a new "Golden Age" of journalism. I might be getting it all wrong, misunderstanding and/or forgetting the good things that the web is doing for great writers - and journalists - all over the world.

But at the end of the day, when all I've done is read words, peruse photos, and watch videos from a giant expanding universe of digital information (often misleading, untrustworthy), I just close the "window." Then, thank the Lord, I can get some real fresh air by opening a real one.