Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Breaking News from the Volleyball World

I got the most amazing news today! My beautiful, talented sister was asked to play on the NAU volleyball team as a walk-on middle! Her club team--the Eastside Spikers--just played in the Fiesta Tournament at ASU. 

(And they were creamed, by the way. Fourteen games and didn't win a single one :( A caveat, though: their team is mostly 16-year-olds competing in the 18's league. Inexperience and sloppy reflexes cost you when you're playing against well-oiled Amazons.)

Anyways, a scout from NAU was there, checking out my sister. Wait. I mean... Well, you all know what I mean...:)

He taped her as she warmed up, watched her pound the ball on the ten foot line, and kept taking out his stylus and Blackberry. Of course, as a spectator to the courageous battle against volleyball dismemberment, it did cross my mind that no matter how good each player was individually, nobody showed to the best advantage on a team that was still learning to trust and compete. So when Karis called this afternoon to tell me she had received an offer to train with the team freshman year, it was a gleeful surprise. 

I can't wait to watch her become an awesome volleyball player. Not that I don't think her awesome now (and trust me, I never let bias into my opinions), but I can't wait to see how good college coaching and weight regimens will make her. On second thought, I won't be able to beat her up anymore. I keep seeing visions of a ripped Karis sauntering into the room, tearing the cheesecake out of the feeble hands of a flabby Kaylee.

Oh well. I guess we all have to make sacrifices for the team. Or...maybe...I could start working out so I would be better able to defend my right to the pursuit of dessert happiness. Now how's THAT for motivation!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Gathering Paradise

So I finally caved.

I now have my very own free, public, self-exposing blog.

Does this make me a geek? Officially, yes. Unofficially, not really. I was born a geek and I'm proud of it. Good thing, too.

I think for the first post of this blog an explanation of its title is in order. Emily Dickinson is one of my favorite poets, and I have taken the liberty of stealing her glorious words to describe myself and what I do.

I dwell in Possibility-
A fairer House than Prose-
More numerous of Windows-
Superior-for Doors-

Of Chambers as the Cedars-
Impregnable of Eye-
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky-

Of Visiters-the fairest-
For Occupation-This-
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise-

--Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility. Ah, it's the curse and triumph of being an Idealist. (Don't ask unless you really really really want to know all about THE BOOK...the personality book, of course:) It's also why I am majoring in English Literature. Give me abstraction, analysis, a dash of creativity, a sprinkling of inspiration and a heaping spoonful of antique flavor and I'll be happy as a clam at high tide.

How happy a clam really is is a matter of speculation best saved for another post. We must be content with the idiom as it has been handed to us.

I have very narrow hands. Literally and figuratively. Actually, I have some of the smallest hands I've ever seen on an adult. Not that I claim to be an adult, thank you very much. I consider the status forced upon me by a cruel and heartless calendar. Maybe in 10 years I'll get used to it...

But back to hands.

My hands and my brain are woefully inadequate for anything more than paddling in the Ocean of Truth we all inhabit. Compared to the vastness of knowledge to grasp, experiences to gain, conclusions to draw and jeweled islands to explore, my hands are narrow indeed. But this is no excuse to avoid the grapple of big questions or shrink from the exploration of the Unknowable. Others have gone before. There are maps to follow, and glittering treasure lies at the bottom of the darkest seas. 

For of course, the treasure I seek is Paradise. Not Paradise in some abstract sense, though that holds some attraction. No, there is a paradise called earth in which we live, filled with adventure and good things, yet broken and sick. There is another Paradise, invisible yet real, unseen but present. It permeates the visible, and the world we inhabit is merely the interim between Paradise-that-was and Paradise-that-will-be. We live in a Paradise Lost, and yet are not utterly undone. For all these Paradises are ruled by One even more beautiful a desirable than His Kingdom.  In the person of the triune, eternal, omniscient God I find more than I even imagined to ask for, the answer to every question and the hope for eventual victory--Paradise will come again. Through Him, we are agents of restoration in this flawed world. In the end, He is what I was looking for all along.

And so my life is a glad chase, searching for the God who already found me, laying hold of every promise and every blessing for which Christ has already laid hold of me. 

Gathering Paradise.

Creating Paradise.

Desiring Paradise.

Pursuing God.

This is me.