Saturday, September 29

hm. a lot can happen in a week.

or even a day...
thanks for all prayers...God is blowing my mind away with His mysterious ways. There is so much i have yet to understand and i'm trying not to be afraid...i'm far from being where i need to be but He will get me there. i'll say more later, but just know that nothing is hopeless. i wish i had my camera.

love, colleen

Saturday, September 22

i drove back to my apartment at rained


Friday, September 21

Lord, help me to be wise and may i
be apart from Your Will
because the death of me
would be better
than to deny

and Lord help me to ask
before i do anything
before i say anything
and for anything

because i forget You love me
and her
and him
and all of them

and i want to tell them
so You can show them


Sunday, September 16

yaay for drugs

Thanks to prayers and muscle relaxers and a lot of laying (lying? lieing? english is whacked) down and being terribly stir-crazy, my back is getting better. i am able to walk almost normally...still can't bend over to pick something up or sit up without using my arms or rolling over but HEY i'm just glad to be able to sit in my studio and paint today. i have a self-portrait due tomorrow, and my friend Mike and i are the only ones here in the studio on a Sunday because we both have the same assignment due in the morning. i would have done it earlier except for, you know, the whole couldn't-sit-down thing. so i'm doing a one-day self portrait. i actually like it so far...
yesterday there was a reunion of the group that went to Italy, so i got to see everyone and look at pictures and reminisce and, oh yeah, turn in our papers. i did that this wee, too. i just typed "this wee". hehe. wee...

Last night i watched two Miyazaki movies with Edan and drew a pink owl on one of his homework assignments.
i should probably get back to my painting. Mike and i were just talking about going through phases where nothing you paint seems to come out the way you want it you've forgotten how to handle the brush or something. then he told me he liked the painting i did in class this week. i told him i hated it, but i liked the painting he did in class. he told me he hated it. Then he slugged me. So i dragon kicked him. We stared at each other for about 8 seconds of intense and tactile tension. He spit out some blood. i cracked my neck. Then we laughed it off and went back to our homework.

i'm tired.



Thursday, September 13

So, ah, God recently saw fit to snap the base of spine in half with a pair of supernatural pliers.

Tuesday morning as i bent over to put on my running clothes i felt a blinding pain erupt in my lower back, and within seconds i was collapsed on the foot of my bed in such intense pain i could hardly breathe. Thank God my cell phone was within reach and i called my mom, who made ready to leave and drive all the way to my apartment to help me. For the next 2 hours i was pretty much paralyzed from the shoulders down...if i so much as moved my foot my back would spasm so horribly i once almost passed out. Finally i had to pee so bad i rolled myself slowly off my bed onto my knees and crawled on all fours toward the bathroom with all the trajectory of a tree sloth...
Needless to say i missed school. My aunties Jeannie and Alice were immense helps, the former coaching me over speakerphone with therapeutic exercises and the latter perscribing some awesome medication that eventually took the edge off, so by that afternoon i could shuffle around my apartment.
Yesterday mom and i ran a few errands, and met up with a friend from school for lunch. I walked along slowly and gingerly and went to bed early last night. i woke up this morning very very sore, barely able to walk...but here i am at school! yay...
i'm not staying long. i can hardly sit and i still can't arch my's so swollen it looks pretty freaky...and i look pretty darn hilarious going about my way like an old lady.
nothing beats being super behind in my senior year of art school in my third week and not being able to do much about it...but the Lord is good. He is so good...i read a beautiful devotional by Amy Carmichael the other day...i need to post it here because it encouraged me greatly.

The sounds of the ac, mellow conversations about painting, and the music of Nick Drake floating over into my studio area are relaxing me.
My camera is still broken...

i should go lie down. :P


Wednesday, September 12

thank you Kristina!

i had completely forgotten about this. ah, the old days...

Friday, September 7

it feels like every day another amazing person leaves this life behind...

Madeleine L'Engle, one of my favorite authors, died today at 88 years old. She wrote a book called Walking on Water that has been a huge inspiration to my artistic philosophies. I have posted about her more than once...there are some people that when they die the world just feels different. She is one of them to me. i always wanted to write to her and tell her what her book and her faith meant to me, and i kept putting it off. Another lesson for Colleen...stop procrastinating!

The weather here in Laguna is pristine. i'm currently sitting in my studio at school...yes, my STUDIO! As a senior i get my own space to work in with the other fine artists. It's amazingly wonderful. it's not quite set up yet, but it's getting there. i wish my camera worked to i could put up pictures...))):
So, right now i'm , ah, "doing homework"...this next year is going to be killer. But i'm strangely looking forward to it...the school part. The other stuff...? Let's just say i'm taking it a day at a time.
At least i can look forward to meeting Madeleine L'Engle someday. I'll try to find some sweet quotes from her and type em up.


Thursday, September 6

expect the unexpected

"Our readiness to see what we expect to see causes us to overlook a lot."

I was assigned an essay to read last week about art restoration.

Most people know that i have a habit of writing down things that i hear, whether they speak to me somehow, or just help to remember a hilarious moment, whether they are funny or insightful or beautiful...and that phrase didn’t just speak, it more yelled right into my ear and temporarily deafened me. For about 5 minutes i forgot the context of the article and just sat and thought about how my life lately (rather, that last year or so) has been so defined by my dependency on expectation rather than looking for what has already been prepared for me. The most extreme case, of course, is found in the Bible, where Christ was a stumbling block to the Jews. Because of their expectations, because their sight was so limited, they missed out on the MESSIAH. Of course it wasn't just the Jewish people, everyone is guilty of denying Jesus' divinity. I'm one of the worst, because i'm someone that knows the truth but so often still refuses to accept Him.

Honestly, i think my life would change dramatically if i could just learn to let go of what i think i want and need. I would cry a lot less and worry a lot less and sleep a lot more, which means i could actually wake up and go running in the morning. i just get so panicked that the way things are and the way i feel right now will in many ways never change because i don't know what it is to NOT be the way i am...

i did a drawing of Pip a few weeks ago, and i feel like i re-learn this lesson of "process" every time i do a piece of art. it never EVER looks good for about the first 3/4 of the time. it's out of proportion, bland, flat, and sometimes it looks just plain bad and i can't figure out what to do and i have to put it aside for a few days. But in the end it comes out to look pretty good. Not perfect, or even great. But then i'm not God and i'm not fashioning the life of a human being. i'm just an art student trying to put my friend's likeness on a piece of paper.

I try to take pictures of various stages of my work so every time i start something new i can look back and say "see? that one didn't start out so hot...but you worked through it and got it there." Sometimes it takes a few days...sometimes a few weeks...
In the case of myself, it is a literal lifetime...however long that may be. I'm nearly finished with another portrait drawing which gave me a very hard time...but now i love it. When i get my camera fixed i'll put the pictures up. (yes, my camera's broken...i could just kill myself)

At one point, the essay switches from the object of restoration and the restoration process, to the restorer himself:
“…he does not limit himself to the technically possible; on the contrary, he regards the technically impossible as a personal challenge.”
i don’t know if i would go so far as to say that God is challenged by His work of restoring us…or maybe I would. The point being, how lucky for me that He does not limit Himself…and that consequently we must not think of ourselves as being limited to what we are.
“Nothing is impossible…”
Why do i forget that so easily? Because i am human, i am in the middle of a process of perfection and all i can see is how cracked and discolored and unfinished i am. But restoration will come, the restorer promised it, He refuses to rush it, and the results will be beyond my wildest, pathetic, lofty expectations.


Monday, September 3

it's one hundred and five degrees outside

hot, humid, with a scorching wind

it looks pretty from here

happy labor day