Mar 2, 2011

Silence: A Project

The last few months, I've embarked on a sort of maniacal self-education campaign. My job has been evolving, I've been taking on more violin students, the band is alive and kicking, I am running a (teensy) craft business, I have gigs to play, I find myself reading voraciously* in spare hours, and if I have to stop reading long enough to make dinner, well, I might as well try out new recipes and techniques. And I am trying to learn as much as can about all of these areas, because I can and I want to. It feels a little bit like being in school...only the pressure is entirely self-imposed, and I set the requirements. If I were to write out my current course listing, it might look something like this:

-Literature You Should Have Read in Highschool and College (If it Hadn't Been for Poor Teachers, Family Crises, and Music Performance Degrees)
-Gourmet Cooking in a Hurry
-Starting a Violin Studio 101
-Crash Course in Church Communications ("Hello, You Are Now the Communications Director")
-Performing and Promoting Quality Indie Rock

I feel completely alive. I feel myself growing branches and roots (and hopefully some fruit, too). I've never read Kerouac or Dostoevsky or Orwell before, believe it or not. I've never thought so deeply about what it means to be a Christian living outwardly in the heart of a city as now. I've never been able to pull off such good pot roast or cupcakes in my life. And I have absolutely no spaces in my day that are not filled.

I'm realizing that I also need to take a crash course in silence. Silence without a book in hand or a skillet on the stove or a timer ticking or an album playing in the background. Silence for centering, listening, praying, and waiting. It's a strange project for a musician's to-do list. But I think it's what's been missing.

*In the last eight weeks I've read...
The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
The Next Christians – Gabe Lyons
Pavilion of Women – Pearl Buck
Persuasion – Jane Austen

War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells

When Helping Hurts – Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor

1984 – George Orwell

The Swan House – Elizabeth Musser

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
The Cellist of Sarajevo – Steven Galloway

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

Animal Farm – George Orwell

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevsky (in progress)

Jan 7, 2011

A Reading List

Off the top of my head, I've come up with a list of the books that I read in two thousand and ten (though I'm sure there were others that have slipped my mind). Anyway, it's an average of about one book every two weeks. Not bad, considering it was an insanely busy year.

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - David Wroblewski
The Good Earth - Pearl Buck
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
Metaphors We Live By - Lakoff & Johnson
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Out of the Silent Planet - C.S. Lewis
Long Day's Journey Into Night - Eugene O'Neill
The Jungle Books - Rudyard Kipling
The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri
Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
Death at La Fenice - Donna Leon
Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
The Maytrees - Annie Dillard
The Supper of the Lamb - Robert Farrar Capon
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - Yancey & Brand
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
My Life in France - Julia Child
Girl With the Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
The Optimist's Daughter - Eudora Welty

Jan 2, 2011

My mom and I spent Thanksgiving weekend sorting through boxes upon boxes of Christmas ornaments from her attic, picking out ones that we wanted to use on each of our 2010 trees. I discovered all of my grandmother's vintage ornaments and carted them home to Atlanta, and subsequently the trimming of the Z's tree developed into a study in vintage-y textures and colors. A few spools of lace, some strings of beads from my jewelry drawer, one pearled garland, inexpensive fuzzy yarn (looped and knotted), tiny vintage knickknacks gathered from around the house, and all of the fat little birds I could find, all nestled into the boughs, and voila!...a very vintage tree.

Nov 11, 2010

The New Year

...It's coming. I know it's only early November, but at work I'm already planning twenty eleven. And so it feels like it is already twenty eleven. Plus, I can never keep track of the date. Plus, I love calendars and I think they should be nice to look at since they're the main thing I look at every day, besides my computer screen and my fingernails. And so I have created some for my office.

Which reminds me, since we're on the subject of time passing...countdown to NYC = 4 days.

Nov 4, 2010

What the mail brings

Why, hello. Will you accompany me on a plane?

Oct 29, 2010

A delightful little recipe

Autumn weather,
Thank you for showing up in time for our pumpkin cheescake and chai tea
Late October evening indulgence.
It would have been wrong to partake of such spices
In eighty five degree weather.

Oct 25, 2010

Don't you love New York in the fall?

It makes me want to buy school supplies.
I would give you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils...

{It's been one year too long. New York, here we come.}