Thursday, August 16, 2007

hub-jub on second from the last night in cambridge

Tomorrow will be my last day in Cambridge.
I am at my desk analyzing the eminent question,
Why didn’t Guinevere ride away with Lancelot?
A question more urgent for me at 8:54 tonight than for mankind.
I set the mood.
Moved the yellow bedside lamp to my desk,
Or to the shelf rather, that is as far as the plug would reach.
I like it better than the ceiling light,
Maybe because it glows like candlelight
Maybe I like candlelight because things feel old here.
My window is open to the third notch.
There are six notches. A bird flew into it the last time I opened it all six.
Outside was gray today and I can still tell.
I turned on Vivaldi on the floor behind me and
Made a single cup of raspberry tea with hot sink water.
It’s sitting on its saucer to my right. But raspberry tastes like daytime.
Oh well. Their picking some sting instruments behind me, I think a mandolin.
The tea bag drizzled on Malory. Page 77 is pink.
My courage angel stands bow-chested, arms spread, closer to the window than me.
A picture of my sister below her. I’ll see her soon.
The room is yellow but the breeze feels blue.
It is like when you drop an ice cube into warm tea
and the temperature swirls in your mouth like Van Gogh’s Night Sky clouds.
Maybe we only do that in the South.
My tea is fading in temperature and measurement,
Six weeks and I still haven’t figured out the metric system.
The chandelier in the Trinity College chapel is on,
The tall arched windows are lit up.
I wonder if anyone can see my window from there too.
I wonder if anyone can hear my music from the street.
I wonder if Guinevere would have like raspberry tea and electric lamps.
I hope the weather is good tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's raining here. My hair is drying. It's a good thing it's not cold in here. Tomorrow is my last day in Cambridge. I bought some of the cookies that I eat around here. More for Carter than for me, I'll let Carter sample each one of them. I climbed to the top of St. Mary's bell tower today and looked at town £2. We are going to see Midsummer Night's Dream in the Trinity College garden tonight- but it may be raining- no good for sitting in grass with eyes open. I like the rain though. I was far away from the college umbrellaless with it started and it made me smile. I saw memorials to Newton and Tennyson and Lord Byran and John Drydan today. We took a little field trip there (across the street) during my King Arthur class today. I'm done with that class. Three papers and no exam. three shorter papers for Shakespeare with a final. I liked the classes here. They are small and intimate. We meet in "The Green Room" around an old dining room table. The classroom is right below my bedroom, I just tap around and around that dimly lit, tight, stone spiral staircase, through the hobbit door, across the banister, down the huge wooden staircase, and glance up at the elaborate red ceiling on my way in. Doesn't that sound nice. It is so wierd to live with my professors too. He just says, "if you have any questions, just run by my room." We eat breakfast and dinner together and take 11am coffee and 4pm tea together. It is a strange tightknit community that we have here, probably much like living in a cult just without the religious aspect. It is a weird thought that we will never all be in the same place at the same time again. To live with 40 other people for 40 days and 40 nights and then poof, it's over. I've gotten pretty close to quite a few of the people here. But don't get me wrong, I am so excited about coming home- I'm ready. One week longer and I'd be passed ready. One week less and I'd be short.

this is an old journal entry

I read a quarter of shakespeare's Othello at a pub called The Eagle... "At present, I sit in a fireplace. A long sense heavily used fireplace- I fear that if I lean on the bricks it would turn my blouse black. The Eagle is a famous aviator's bar and in the back room, aviator's names are burned into the ceiling with lighters 'wild hare, 'dark harrone,' '159.' the floor is dry wood and cracks beneath my feet, but I am sitting on the hearth. The walls that are not uneven brick are dark cracked plaster between wooden beams not unlike the ones that HOLD UP the sagging ceiling. Small windows show it is twilight and the room feels almost candle lit. The place is filled with shouting people-mostly men but to me it is muffled because I am three sides enclosed. I feel like a hanging portrait looking out into the ruckus. A portrait of a curious girl with life and passion in her eyes. When they walk by me ,I hope they stop and look." then i drew a comparison to a Christopher Reeves movie, Somewhere in Time- go watch it if you want to- it is one of my favorite movies.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Market to Market to buy a...

Today I went to a tiny art festival in a garden circle. a street guitarist stood by the fountain and sang familiar tunes and I gave him 20 pence. there was a jackson pollock-like painter with dreadlocks painting while he sold his work. lots of wood work and carpentry, pottery, jewelers- some making things while they sold them, handmade bags and blankets (I bought a cute iPod holder there), an odd metal worker, a candle maker- making candles out of bees wax-she winds the comb around the wick into a candle stick, photography, and flowers. but the flowers werent for sale.

I went after that to the open market and bought myself bread and cheese and a fruitdrink and bought flowers for my room. There was a rockout accordion player playing there- i didn't know that was possible. I think I will buy some loose leaf tea and a pocket burlap's work of coffee beans. Am I aloud to bring that into the U.S.?

Stratford, home of Shakespeare

We went to Henry IV Part I at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford on Avon. Good play. I like going to plays. I wish I liked ballets but I dont think I do.
I drew a picture of my dinner with markers. It was "bacon"=ham in grease, fried egss, "chips"=fries, fresh green peas, a solitary grilled tomato, and a fat, completely satisfying mushroom, with a chilled John Smith stout. on a leather big leather couch all to myself in an all darkwood pub with 500-year-old wavy glass in the windows. The pub is called The Rose and Crown, and red roses tapped on the glass at me from outside so it fits.
Then I went and sat in the park and watched houseboats on the Avon and talked about housewives with a few unwed girls like myself.

Alot on Coventry, the Reconciliation Church

Yesterday I went with one of my professors to Coventry Cathedral. That is where Lady Godiva rode naked on her horse through the city streets. She threatened her husband that she would do it if he didn't lower the taxes- he didn't so she rode and then he did.
The town was a manufacturing center during WWII and made military supplies so obv it was a blitzkrieg target. The Germans bombed it in 1940 and the cathedral was destroyed. When they were going through the rubble, a man spotted two wooden beams had fallen into the shape of a cross (kinda like Trade Center cross in the metal beams) and he bound them and set them up behind what was left of the altar.
The people became very passionate about peace and forgiveness and reconciliation. Now, Coventry Cathedral has become a famous symbol for peace. We went to the litany service there where they pray for people and nations. The church members and clergy use this place as a base for so many awesome mission programs. They left the ruins of the medieval cathedral there and built a new one right beside it in 1956-62 in the modern architectural and artistic style. IT IS AMAZING. And the place is decorate with christian artwork from all over the world- a passionate madonna and child from a church artist in Stalingrad Russia, the largest tapestry in the world from a women in France (took 3 years to build) it covers the entire back wall and it is very modern looking- bright green, some picasso looking modern stain glass windows from a reconciliation group in Germany, a metal city-scape piece about diversity from a church in Cincinnati, Ohio, a crucifix from Czechoslovakia, and their baptismal pool is carved from a rock outside of Bethlehem, on of the most emotional and truly beautiful statues I have ever seen was made by Josefina de Vasconcellus- it called reconciliation and it is a bronze life size of a two people on their knees facing each other- each laying their head on the others shoulder with their arms around each others shoulders and head. 23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." The sculpture was between a Jewish woman and German soldier. It makes me cry. It was outside in the ruins instead of in the new building. Oh and John Piper designed the main stained glass window inside. it is called "the Coming of the Glory of God" and it is set in 3-D panels so that you cannot see it until you get really far away from it. It is just a giant white-to-yellow round form surrounded by bursts of blue and red in weird shapes. It is hard to describe- actually impossible to describe- but I loved it. I stood there and just stared at it for a good 5 minutes. I don't know what to say. "The window represents the glory of God flooding into the world." The floor at the entrance of the new cathedral said in silver on black letters "To the Glory of God, this Cathedral burnt November 14 AD 1940 is now rebuilt 1962."
The ruins were beautiful. A wedding was ending there when we got there. I sat atop of what used to be a pillar in the middle and drew a sketched a few pictures. the bell tower is still up and it rings. Most of the windows are just bear frames but some have shattered glass still in it. There was garden in the back and that was very peaceful and lovely. my professor is not a Christian. we had a neat conversation about God and faith- we had a few hours on the bus.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Russian Girl

The diversity of people here is crazy. People come here to learn English from all over the world- especially during the summer months because the Universities are not full of regular students. Obv England is closer to most countries travelwise than the western hemosphere but also it is really hard to get a visa in the US- not something that i didn't already know but, you know, talking to international students in US, you only hear from the ones that did get visas. I talked to a Chinese boy named June at Harry's Cafe last night and he said that it is his dream to study in New York but he can't get a visa. It's just interesting.
I'm encountering a lot of cultures at once. But of course it is skewed because I am only meeting the wealthy minorities of those cultures.
I randomly met a Russian girl named Elaina in Borders Bookstore Starbucks today. She was reading a book on Hillary Clinton, "A Woman in Charge" - i flipped through it and it was filled with propaganda (if you cant tell by the title). So we started a conversation about government and war and gradeschool history classes and then on economy. She was 8 years old when the communist regime fell in '91 so she talked about what it was like then and the changes. She thinks animal rights activists and vegetarians in America and Europe are stupid and don't know a thing about the world. In Russia, fruits and vegetables are so expensive in all but 3 months of the year that only rich people can eat them. They really on grains and cereals and potatoes mostly and can usually afford meat. So they dont really have the opportunity to balance their diets and be healthy. She also said that if you tried to tell a siberian not to kill an animal for his fur coat you'd get shot in the teeth. Clothes are so expensive there too. She can barely afford to live here. (my living expenses are twice as much here from America) The exchange rate is 52 Rubles to the Pound! So she has to go back soon. She is afraid she will forget English. I told her about Harry's and she said she is going to go. She is not a Christian. i have to go it's dinner time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Harry's Cafe

Tonight I went to an International Students Ministry in town. There were like 30 students there! They come here for the summer to learn English and this Christian team runs a cafe inside a gothic church fellowship hall and Asians, Eastern Europeans, and whoever else come there to work on their English and learn about Jesus. There are colorful tables set up all over the small, but high ceilinged, hall and we are welcome to just sit and chat about whatever over coffee or tea. A guitarist played and sang Jars of Clay songs quietly in the corner. They had a little drama to introduce Bible Study which they were invited to go to but not pushed. I went to but I didn't talk much- I wanted to see the set up and how it was led. The leader was an Irish pharmacist and 7 people came. He read Luke 5 about the Paralytic very slowly then he explained some of the English words they might not know, then he broke down the concepts by asking questions and stirring discussion. So it helped them with reading skills and vocabulary and of course with learning who Jesus is. 2 of the foreign students in there were already Christians but the others were completely new and were very curious. After Bible study, I sat downstairs and talked to some guys from Slovakia, Japan, and Korea and we talked about predestination and about God's guiding hand in our lives... and music.
HIST-335-500 EUROPE 1890-1932 MWF 0150PM-0240PM HECC 201
Oh I really miss junior high kids! I know that is radom. Allen Jenkins posted some old JUMMP pictures on facebook today and I flipped through them and Oh gosh I love those kids and I love that age group and don't get me wrong, I am so so happy to be in England- I am having a great time and learning so much here- but I am missing spending my summer with youth. Hey Mom and Carter, there are pictures of you on facebook- one of mom on a roof but she's in the background.
Laura Joost and I read a Max Lucado book together in June called "Cure for the Common Life" and it had quizzes throughout about where we serve God most effectively and joyously. I don't usually read selfhelp books but I learned quite a bit from this one. I LOVE youmg people. I love them I love them I love them. I am a leader to a degree but not a head honcho. So I wouldn't want to be a HS principal but I'll be a merry teacher and I wouldn't want to be a church youth director but I want to be very involved in my churches youth program as soon as possible. Sunday School, trip chaperone, mission trip helper, mentor and accountability group guide. I enjoyed working with S.O.S. 4thand5th grade girls and I liked Pine Cove Elementary kids, but Jr. High and early High School girls are my favorite. I hope I have some time to work at the Venue this semester. I missed JUMMP this summer.
I am definitely enjoying being in college ministries like the Wesley Foundation. But I am looking forward to getting involved in a big church's young graduated-real world persons ministry and then working with the youth in that church too. That will be so much fun. I want to do building projects and other mission work too. I hope I'll have time- I don't have much time right now. This semester is going to be insane!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Welcome to Scotland. We stole the tune to their national anthem. "my country tis of the...LET FREEDOM RING." Theirs say's "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN."

10 hour bus ride. We stopped in Haworth, England, where the Bronte sisters grew up on the way up. (authors of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights). The town was absolutely adorable- I want to go back- I didn't want to leave. Cambridge is relatively flat compared to northern England and Haworth is on rolling hills- you get a work out just walk through the cobblestone streets and everywhere you look you see green and gold hills of farm land.
We hiked around the famous moors. They were lovely. Foggy, cold, and damp and completely COVERED in purple heather! We had a photo op of me sitting in the heather and making heather angels in the heather and such. I enjoyed the attention. Unfortunately they are not in full bloom right now so they are more green than bright purple but that is okay.

I bought a feather dip pen and sone sienna dipping ink! Then I journaled with it! I was so excited. I also bought a wooden calligraphy pen for myself. I can just insert the various nubs that I already have- perfect. My handwriting needs alot of work though.

So then we got to Scotland and the mountains made me want to be on a motorcycle so bad! Actually, I met a Bostonian drummer man in Edinburgh and struck up a convo because he was wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt and he said that he wanted to rent a bike while he was here but they charge you by the kilometer and not many places rent them so he couldn't. Sad- Sorry Bob. Anyway, we came up to the Firth of Forth off the of the North Sea and there were huge cliffs on the water-WOW. I melted. Edinburgh is a prettyneat spot. It's built between two mountains and there is huge mound in the middle on which a fortress was built starting in 1093 under King David of Scotland. The town basically grew up around the castle. It is so wild- there's just this random huge 4 sided batholith-like rock. there is absolutely no way to get over those castle walls except through the court. I stole these from the internet: href="">

The first night we were there, we ate a yummy pub dinner and then hiked up one of the mountains called Arthur's Seat. It's a Volcano so it is like a three pronged peak with a grassy knoll between them. you can see where the lava flowed down the North side into the Firth. It probably wasn't too smart to hike up there at 9:00 at knight but the sun doesn't go down until 11:00p here so... There were 5 of us and we had to climb a garden wall and hop some barbed wire (which was invented in Texas by the way) and climb a 10 foot rock wall to begin. The Scotland National Flower is the thistle- there are so many of them and they hurt through your jeans making climbing a strategy. We visited both mounds- it is fun because the land between them is just a soft slope so we could roll down it till it bellied out and then go up the other, much rockier one- it looked kind of like the endless stair into Mordor- I was looking for gollum. The view from the top was incredible. I really dont even know how to describe it. The mountain is sandwiched between the sea and the city and there are higher peaks in the distance behind the farmlands. So if you turned to the West, twilight was pink and purple and orange and the clouds were navy and few and it looked like they were being sucked away from us through a funnel because of the wind and their elongated shape. We could see the old city and the castle and the first with the light reflecting off of it. We were there during their summer festival so the Military Tattoo (which went to the next night) was being held in the castle court and we could barely hear the drums from that. The wind up there sucks sound up- you can't yell across long distances because your voice is stolen as soon as you talk- like Arial in the Little Mermaid. Then if you turned to the East, the sky was already deep navy on the horizon and there was an almost full but very big, low, yellow moon just over the water. It was pretty much breathtaking. Climbing down in the dark was an adventure.
We toured the castle in the morning. That was SO fun! there is so much history there it is crazy. It's huge- and various parts of it have been blown up and re-replaced and re-re-replaced. I can picture armed men running around there and calling out orders and big warships coming out in the harbor. There are like 10 batteries and the biggest canon in Europe is there.
The stone of destiny is there so i got to see that- England stole it from Scotland hundreds of years ago and sat it under their coronation chair- which i saw in Westminster Abbey in London (1,000 year old fancy chair)- until 1950 when some Scottish school boys stole it and took it back to Scotland. They didn't official get it back till 1999. Saw more crowned jewels, a scottish veterans memorial and such.

Leading down from the castle, there is a road called the Royal Mile and it is lovely but sadly so touristy; it leads to the Palace of Holy Rood. Entertainers lined the street- which was always fun. there were at least two random perades marching down it- one was women in lingerie. Jesse and Dave bought kilts (flippin £70)

Some of the buildings look normal stone colored, but some are oddly black. The reason for that is that was a less environmentally friendly manufacturing center, the smog was so bad that it turned the buildings black. The normal ones are the ones that have been sand blasted since then. geez. I ate a baked potato with cheddar cheese and cold corn in it for lunch. They don't know what chili is here. The Queen of England goes up to live in the palace of Holy Rood in September but when she is at Buckingham, Holy Rood is open as a museum. It is very fancy of course- nothing like Kings of France though- I dont think England ever got that outrageous. I saw marry queen of scotts bed chamber and the blood stains on the floor from where Rizzio was stabbed 56 times in 15__ and the skull of Robert the Bruce- the skull was random placed on display between a necklace and a brooch. awkward. My favorite part though was the old chapel out back. there was a monastary there a long time ago and it is just ground ruins now. the chapel though, the roof collapsed in the 1600s and was never repaired. So it is basically ruins now! I wish I could have been alone in there a while. It was so beautiful

That evening, I went with 3 other girls to the harbor and ate in the cutest friendliest all-wood pub at a table that overhangs the water. Mushroom soup and a childs order of pesto pasta with cider.
And went to the famous annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo in the evening. The tattoo takes place in the court of the castle! That's the part just outside of it- like in Ever After (one of my favorite movies ever-it's been too long since I've seen it) when Danielle "goes to court" and she is outside of the palace on the elevated stone walkway where only courtiers can go- that's where we would be. They started at dusk with fireworks and canons then the gate to the fortress opened up and Royal Army Band of Bagpipes marched out. They were in full traditional dress- a hundred and something bagpipe players! It sounded like nothing I have ever heard and I loved it! They did an aggiestyle turn around and marched out with loud drums!

Other acts included: the Middlsex County Volunteer Fifes and Drums. they're from Boston and are dres like 1770s militia men. They carried an American flag of course and played Yankee Doodle on their way out. (the harley davidson guy i met was a drummer in that group), A marching band and drill team from a girls school in Taiwan, Massed Commonwealth Highland dancers (Lesley and Sarah Elizabeth would have loved them) they did trad. highland scotland footwork and made fun designs, A bunch of stunt devil boys on motorcycles came out for intermission- they were funny and crazy- making body pyramids on zooming motorcycles, driving backwards and doing death crosses, driving on ladders, and one big jump at the end, The Band of the Moscow Military Conservatorie- I enjoyed them- very Russian, Mounted band of the lue and Royals! they were a band on horseback-geez, Trinadad and Tobago Defense Force Steel Orchestra- welcome to the carribean mate- the only steel band orchestra in the world! They were awesome. a bunch of black guys in all white shimmying their shoulders and playing music that Jimmy Buffet would enjoy. A woman decked out in feathers came out and limbod under a flaming stick, The the Massed Military band came out again and they were my favorite.

On Saturday, about 12 of us drove up to Pitlochry (about an hour and half northwest) and went on a seven-mile hike. That was adventurous and gorgeous! I don't like taking pictures so i didn't take my camera. I'll get pictures from friends and a video from laura of me making a heatherangel in the heather on the side of a mountain. we started in deciduous trees and creeks and flowers; and walked a constant incline for two miles into all conifurs. then we cam to an area with absolutely no trees but it was ALL heather. We climbed up to well, the second highest point and we could see for miles- including a medium-sized castle neat a village down below! The heather is softer than it looks- or springy at least. so as long as you are wearing jeans and cover your face, you can roll down hills of it and actually feels quite nice. The heater comes up to about mide calf so you can't just run through it like normal, you have to either bounce or high-knee it. I went bounding across the little hills on the big hill and first i compared myself to a gazell and then i recompared myself to Amanda price skinny dipping- running high-kneed across yards of shallow water till you get to waist deep. I climbed up a big rock in the middle and spread my arms into the wind and sang that one song "I'm Alive I'm Alive I'm Alive..." I wanted to sing louder but I was with three girls. the wind helped in stealing the sound anyway. We walked through a low part of greener grass but learned that the reason it is so green is because it wet there- really muddy wet- as in i definely ruined my maroon deisels. i'm sad. surprisingly wet feet didn't bother me at all- they dried quick tho. Hiked back from heather to conifurs to deciduous and flower to ice cream which was pretty much the best ice cream i have ever had in my life. Something I learned: I think i would be okay with going on a few day hiking trip. when we finished i was nowhere near ready to stop. The backpacks that some of the boys brought here are really easy to carry- it's like they lie to you about how much they weigh. i think i'll ask for one for Christmas. One of the boys here, Jesse, he and his brother hiked the Appalachian Trail in 99 days last summer. All the way from georgia to maine in one trip would be a little much but to divide that up and go up parts of it for a few days at a time over about 10 years would be cool huh. Anyway. Hiking was fun and it didn't stop there! We hiked back up Arthur's Seat for sunrise! And I didn't sleep a wink that night! ha. We walked into town for a late dinner at a Chinese Buffet- yum and then went to this spot called Three Sisters. I could not figure out what that building used to be but it was something odd in like 1750 something- old. now it is a bar and restaurant. I bet there were about 20 of us out (mostly girls) and they played 80's and 90's music the whole time! So there was no excuse for grinding. We just jumped and bouncy personal space danced and laughed and sang at the top of our lungs the whole time. We are really clicking now- i feel really comfortable with these people and our conversations are getting deeper and I even tackled a girl today. I like it that i can be out without a drink in my hand and be comfortable. I didn't drink at all when we were out. I have a drink with dinner sometimes and i have gone to pubs a few times too but it is never more than one and half the time i dont drink anything at all. i like it better like that. We stayed there until 2am then walked back and played ball in the parking lot and then those of us who hadn't given up and gone to bed (about 6) hiked up for the sun rise. it was cloudy so it wasn't an amazing sight- the sky just went from dark to grey to light grey but that's okay. i'll save that experience for another time. i slept solid, curled up in a ball the whole drive home!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Today I almost got hit by a garbage truck.

Tomorrow I'm going to Edinburgh, Scotland. I'll be there for 4 days.