Sunday, June 6, 2010


Dear Whoever (Whomever? Whatever.)

These are the entries brewing that I owe you before the week is up:

The Smell of Water

How I Feel About "Stuff"

Present in the Presence

Sorry I haven't been around much; I figure the issue is I have no papers to avoid writing.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finals: Day 3

This may be the worst day so far.

I have a migraine that could end the world, conflict resolution issues, a paper to finish, a final to write tomorrow, a D on a paper from a prof who typically loves my stuff, a complex trying to figure out how I will make theatre a part of my little life, a problem remembering to take my meds, and a perpetual need for sleep.
I am praying for the rapture.
and I don't even believe in the rapture.
I'm going crazy.

I was studying Greek tonight and thought to myself, wouldn't it be lovely if I could turn on montage mode in my life? Like in the movies, I could just turn on a song from the 90s and watch little vignettes of me reading various textbooks, nodding at various teachers' comments, scribbling in various notebooks, figuring out various formulae on whiteboards, all in a span of 30 seconds after which I could sit back and write my exams confidently! Even a romance montage! Or a cleaning and packing montage! I think if I meet my fairy godmother tonight, I will wish for a montage mode in my life.

Instead of a rapture.

Finals: Day 2

Woohoo! Well, I handed in Archie's little masterpiece last night and mailed a paper into Todah today. After many many computer issues I was able to copy out and trim and print off my monologue, work it, eat mcdonald's, work it some more, have a little fun time with my Randall and watch Benny and Joon. Would I rather be anywhere else in the world tonight than in the arms of that darling Sam? No. But I am sufficiently content. I will work some more tonight, shower, sleep, and blow my class away in the morning.
Sleep sweet, dear world. I'll see you on the morrow!
p.s. happy birthday, dear Mama xoxo

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finals: Day 1

I've spent most of my day indoors, avoiding eye contact with the take-home I need to hand in by midnight tonight. Bad life choice, but they say to pursue what you're good at and I'm good at procrastinating. And making bad life choices. But that's for another blog. I think.

I went for a procrastinatory walk this afternoon around four to drop some borrowed books off at my prof's office and I was transported by the very air back to my childhood. With no breeze, the air was thick and warm and still; it could have been water in my Nana's pool on a perfect summer evening ten years ago. I walked slowly, breathed slowly, and let the deep air wrap around my legs like a watery blanket. It even smelled like summer at my Nana's house, and for the first time in quite a few conflict-ridden and painful years, I wished I could be back in the field behind her house on the highway hunting for bullfrogs; on her back deck feeding our chipmunk, Charlie; in her red-carpeted guest room listening to the traffic and her soft snoring on the other side of her thin wall as I fell asleep.

Back in my stuffy little lounge once more, after only a few minutes and a million memories outside, I am trying once more (but not very hard) to think only about this final. It's hard though, with both windows open blowing precious memories my way.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Six Months < 6 Months

Today I received a letter. The letter was from my dear old self, wayyyy back in September! It was so lovely to read and to be able to reflect on what amazing things God can do with six short months, and how humbling it is that He would choose to rain down His blessings on me, even when I am not paying much attention.

Dear Tia,

It's September 29th and it's the first cold and rainy day of Autumn. I love living in Robson with so many of my friends, but the year has started off rough. I'm still feeling some of the pain from my surgery this summer, and I'm praying for God to provide the money to make it through my school year. Mum is home from the hospital and Dad is overwhelmed with taking care of everyone while dreading his own November surgery. I have had to give him an ultimatum: if he doesn't go through with the operation, I won't come home for Christmas.

I'm having a hard time seeing my parents so helpless, and find myself making plans to take care of my little sister and brothers. Worst case scenarios are where my brain goes when I am not heavily distracted and my Doctor said it's affecting my health. A lot of days, I can barely breathe.

I think God is trying to show my just how DESPERATE I really am. I long for commitment, yet I fear it; I yearn for romance with a future, yet I feel God showing me that now is not the time. It scares me, but I know God's hand is ever present on my shoulder and path. I have made a list of ways I want to grow this year and it hangs by my bed. More than anything, what I need is a desire to grow and right now I feel more apathetic. I'm asking--or plan on asking, if I'm really honest--God to change my heart into a heart of FLESH again; something has hardened it, and I haven't objected too strongly.

I hope that when I pick this letter up again, I will be thinner, but more than that I hope I will be happier, breathing, praying, and LOVING LIKE MY LORD DOES.

if I'm not...take heart. this year is not your whole life.

The Lord is With Me Like A Dread Warrior.

Tia xoxo

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dreaming of my Dreams

I actually dreamed about the Addams family the other night. My waking life desires were close enough to touch...until I woke up. At 21, I am just losing hope. I fear I will have no choice but to become a pageant-type mother who lives vicariously through her black haired, pasty white daughter. If I ever have a black haired, pasty white daughter. Only time will really tell.
Lately when I sit down and think of it though, I don't think it's really Wednesday that captured me so much as it was her morbid, mysterious, and melancholy air. I think I feel so attracted to her because I see those same qualities hidden deep within myself. A couple months ago, I saw a heart-wrenching musical called Nevermore that just brought me to tears. I saw it alone and found myself face to face with my own reaction.
I realized that when I experience art with a friend or classmate in tow I think very differently about the subject, constantly watching for my friend's approval of the piece and for their reactions in general. Riding transit alone, finding my way to the theatre alone, and sitting alone between two very squashy (but nice) old ladies, gave me ample opportunity to get to know myself and how I interact with the world as a solitary person. Come the end of the first musical number in the production, I was surprised to find at the back of my throat a most unexpected lump. By the time intermission rolled around, tears were streaming down my face and the squashy ladies were giving me sympathetic glances...I escaped to a glass of white wine and fresh lipstick (alone). At the end of the play, as I waited for an empty cab, I think I discovered that while I felt a definite connection to Edgar (Allen Poe, upon whose story the play was based), and my heart broke at experiencing his tragic and mysterious story, what I really found myself wanting was a place in that story. A place on the stage moving my body in the almost unnatural ways these actors used to portray their characters, a place in rehearsal being challenged by my director to dig within myself until I found the darkness needed to truthfully portray Elmira or Sissy. I wanted someone to ask me, "Tia, are you dark? Tia, do you know sorrow? Tia, will you let it out?"
The overall darkness of the production (proverbial and literal), made me realize upon further introspection, that everything I have envied in Wednesday Addams is the darkness and morbidity lurking deep within myself. As a smiler and a people person, I find myself hiding from anything other than that within me--even if what I conceal is true. My joy is safe and approved of by the people around me. I desperately fear the judgment that might come were I to reveal to my friends and family the dark things of my soul. Everything I loved in the characters, set, costumes, music, and general story of Nevermore depicted the 'role' I long to play in my life. I don't want to hide behind my smile (although my joy is real) because there is more to me than laughter, there's more to my heart than bright colours and a sanguine point of view. I am coming to terms with the grief I have experienced in my life so far, and I am no longer so ashamed of the attraction I have to melancholy music and poetry.
More than I have ever feared the darkness I feel so inclined to though, I fear that no person could love or appreciate, or most of all just believe in the truth of this dark soul. It is not a despair that I harbour in my soul, rather a darkness that recognizes the hope in the light. It is not so much of an opposite to my loving and joyful nature as it is a reflection of my experiences and the suffering I have seen, little black beads stringing together a rosary of little (and big) sorrows that strengthen and justify my true joy, and the consolations of Christ that heal my broken heart.
If you're asking, I am dark, I know sorrow, and I want to let it out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Staunchly Liturgical and Loving It

Reflections of a Humbled Roman Catholic

I remember cutting an article out of the Mars’ Hill (my university's student newspaper) a year or two ago, which discussed the spiritual diversity of our campus. In it, one of my wise evangelical friends quite innocently mentioned what he seemed to think were two opposites: Protestant “Charismaniac” and “Staunchly Liturgical” Catholic.

At the time, I was still very much on my guard and pridefully fearful concerning my Catholic faith and the way I practised it. It was almost as if I expected to be offended by sloppy language or by ignorant hole-dwellers at every turn. The accusation that I was a polar opposite of charismatic, and ‘staunchly’ anything, really ticked me off.

‘Don’t you know, Mars’ Hill writer, that I am quite charismatic myself when given the opportunity?’ I shouted in my brain. ‘Don’t you know that you don’t know me?’ Well apparently, I didn’t know myself very well either.

While a perfect storm has been brewing in my head since reading that article and posting it on my bulletin board all those months ago, I have been trying to come up with a noble way to ‘defend myself against the haters’ who accused me of this heinous crime. Quite recently, a curious professor challenged me in class to look at what shapes my lifestyle, and I was forced to think on the spot about the culture surrounding my spirituality. I realized, to my embarrassment and excitement, that I am staunchly liturgical!

My life, spiritually and generally, is shaped around the liturgy. It is through the liturgy, through the ancient prayers of David, Mary, and the Church Fathers, repeated and relived through the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours (the two official prayers of the Roman Catholic Church) that I have come to know and grow
in Christ.

It would be unthinkable for me to miss Mass on Sunday and painful for me to go too long without the sacrament of Confession. While you may catch me praying in tongues under my breath or raising my hands to our Lord in Praise Chapel, I can also be found in that posture during a recessional hymn after Mass. I am most at home on my knees before a tabernacle with a missal or rosary in my hands, praying in the ancient liturgical (but often fresh and charismatic) tradition that I am so proud to be a part of.