the square of simplicity

Belly full, relaxed, happy. I am especially appreciative of the life I lead. Gratitude is always there, but it’s good to dwell on it. I recall a book a friend leant my some time ago, a persuasive, albeit “new age” book: The Circle of Simplicity. The premise was, ahem, simple. Trim the fat. Get rid of the unnecessary. Western lifestyle is all about entertainment, distraction. Life should be about enjoying the basics; silence, calm, family, nature, relaxation, creativity. Life should not be about rushing around endlessly, microwaved food, stress, road rage, endless hours in the bathroom primping…

Partially unconsciously, partially deliberately, we’ve lead a comparatively simple way of life, with a easy amount of “social” activities, uncluttered and entirely pleasing. So many people have so much going on; I lifted an eyebrow when some of my coworkers started talking about their schedules. I’m surprised they are still sane. I’d be stark raving mad if I couldn’t take a break from people. It’s such a sweet relief to come in the door to a calm apartment, to someone who knows you in and out, who loves you genuinely and appreciates you fully.

The Carolina-Montreal series is on right now; we’ve decided to allow ourselves TV only until the playoffs are over and then it goes back into storage. It’s completely unnecessary, especially with the ushering in of warmer weather. Martin and I have no trouble occupying each other, and not just in the most obvious way. We vintage shop, and try to find cheap places to eat. He helps me pick my hockey pool and flexes his sexy belly for me. We work in the yard and clean up the neglected property. We work around both of our loner streaks. We play Settlers fiercely, competitively, and although I do not cheat I could be described as ’devious’. Martin is very displeased when he loses, or when I gloat. I’m no better when I lose. When I was freshly engaged, someone who went to Bible school with Martin warned me against playing games with him. I find that very amusing, as now he is my favourite challenge. Ah, me, who knew Bible school boys could be so deliciously bad.

I am greatly anticipating this summer; hopefully a chance to see old friends in Portland, and Drew and Beth in August. And of course, returning with my new husband to Sweden and revisiting the scene of some of my finest adult memories. This time I need to get some better photos.



It's crazy: The world is sailing along smoothly, things are fitting well enough, and then the smallest thing stops you mid-stride and you wonder.

My thoughts are muddling about the idea of "identity". I am wondering how people perceive me. I wonder if people read something into my way of being that I can't see. I wonder, "Do I have any self-perception at all?" Or is the idea of thinking I am self-aware just another deception? Do people know ME, and do I really know MYSELF?

I have made some large "awareness blunders" in my short life. I thought I loved with someone for a long time before realizing I didn't. I thought I was doing well for myself but wasn't. I thought I was convincing people of my happiness and didn't realize they could see right through me.

I mean, everyone has a story, and you wonder if people can really "get" people if they don't know that story. Take the above photo. You will see a rather tall Santa's elf kissing a pleased, albeit bloodied and bruised, female Asian hockey player. What's the story? Is there anything to get out of this but a little curiousity and confusion?

I wouldn't be who I am today without these two people as part of my story. Jihae and Aaron are their Halloween costumes. I did Jihae's makeup. Jihae is back in Korea now and my eyes burn if I look at this picture too long.

I am in this channel where I can't stop thinking I must be a different person to each person who knows a chapter of my story. And where do I fit my definition of myself? The answer, I know, might be: A new creature in Christ. But who and what is the new creature, and does anyone know it?


am i who i say i am

Night is settling in; the sound of traffic bounces off cement walls and I can hear the drive clearly even from the back bedroom of the apartment. I feel quite satisfied. Winter is a season of the past; snow melted and green things poking from the earth. Tired from a good day's work, bare-fingered from working in the yard, turning up everything worn and dirtied from the winter. Working outside is so satisfying. I have secret unrealistic dreams of hobby farming or having private acres of land to create my own little haven.

I like to hammer things and clean things and dig up things and chop things. I wish I was enough of carpenter to build my own four-poster bed, but that may come. I dreamed up long ago how I could build such a bed with simple materials, and then saw this bed in a tredy futon store in Kensington this past weekend, for over $1,000. It was beautiful and made me laugh. I think I should try building one. Martin may be dreading the prospect of such a project as it took me 6 months to finally complete the window sill in our bathroom. But maybe I can win back his confidence.

The apartment creaks and the ceiling makes odd noises; sometimes it sounds as if ghosts are walking above our apartment. We are on the top floor and there are no apartments above, yet it often sounds like someone is walking and thumping on the roof. I don't believe in ghosts, of course, at least not in the traditional "haunted by a poltergeist" sense, but it definitely sounds like someone is up there sometimes.

It's too dark now and evening has lost it's charm. The only light in the apartment is the white of the computer screen. Martin's already gone to bed and he's too quiet, therefore I miss him. I have been an insufferable tease today; I am sure he's enjoying his moment's peace. But now I will go cut that short.


free love

Today is Maundy Thursday, in which the liturgical gather together and wash eachother's feet in a symbolism of Christ's washing of His disciple’s feet. I can hardly concentrate at work.

The sun is shining, we have a long weekend ahead of us, and most importantly, Martin's visa application was approved! No more waiting or wondering! No more hanging around, waiting for Canadian bureaucracy and wondering when we will be able to see Martin’s family again. No more indefinites on our relationship. We are free!

Well, maybe that's an exaggeration... but we are more free than before. And we were a bit shocked at the speed of approval; the government had been so painfully slow up until this point, to have an answer so quickly was very unexpected. We were thinking we'd find out in summer or fall, even.

So the question remains, what to do?

First we send his passport into to get his “landed immigrant” status. Then, we can drive to Portland, Oregon (please, Martin, can we go to Portland?). I am so stoked! And we can go to Sweden, and any other place we want…

I love my hot Swede. (Yes, Martin, you are mine!)

We are going to eat Alberta steak tonight and celebrate. My mom is cooking brunch tomorrow (Good Friday) and that's going to be a happy occasion.

It's definitely weird to think of Martin getting a job and being out of the house. I have become so dependant on his work around the home. He does the laundry, keeps our place shining clean, and has become a pretty good cook. He thoughtfully goes grocery shopping, makes our bed, runs baths for me, and generally makes himself completely indispensable. I don't know what I'll do when he doesn't plan dinners. Or when he isn't waiting to wolf-whistle or call suggestive things to me from the apartment window when I get home from work.

Well, things can't last forever. He's absolutely spoiled me for the past six months. I wouldn't say I am totally rotten yet, but I sure have been enjoying it.

Ah, me, I should get something done.

I get to keep my hot Swede!


i like/i cannot lie

Today is Sunday; I am up fairly early as usual. At 11 a.m. we are invited for a Sudanese lunch with our friends Daniel, Benjamin, and their roommate. I have been looking forward to it. They are wonderful people with a hugely inspiring story. ( I wrote about it once; the SPLA post.) I hope we will have the chance for good conversation; their life experiences are unbelieveable, and I learned much from hearing Daniel share his opinion and observances on life, culture, politics and destiny.

My life this week has consisted of work, getting better from a sinus cold, watching a lot of Flames hockey (and enjoying it), and experiencing my very first cold sore. Gross! The worst part of realizing that I have a cold sore is knowing that now I am susceptable to them for the rest of my life. I hate being an adult sometimes.

I have been working on finishing our bathroom window - finally. It's been going on six months. The window is in the shower, and was totally nasty when I moved in. It's involved stripping old paint and silicone off, removing mildew, dirt, and miscellaneous crap, re-enforcing the weak window frame, sanding, heavy puttying, painting, etc... on it goes. I am finishing priming, and soon it shall be completed. I am quite proud of what I've accomplished. It's not perfect, but it was quite the job, and it's looking excellent. I really like the feeling of being able to do things like this by myself. I enjoy home renovations, alhough I can be slow and Martin really hates it when I leave my stuff out.

I read a piece yesterday about low-end prostitution in our city; a profile these poor, desperate women who will sell themselves for "$10 or a pack of cigarettes." Drug addictions eating away at them, wearing long underwear and running shoes while working... one of the girls spoke of having "the dream": husband, home, kids. What a simple, sad, dream. I have so much! How many of us have that "dream" and still strive for more? I have all I need and then some. I have been really caught lately by how the Bible talks often of the woes and dangers of wealth. We wouldn't be considered "wealthy" in the this culture, yet still it's so easy strive for something worldly and not realize it. I said to Martin yesterday how I wanted a flat-screen for our computer. What a stupid thing to say. This screen works just fine.

To think I am living someone's dream... I wonder how often we stop to think that we are literally living out someone's dream. It's humbling, it makes my mind heavy with responsibility.

Outside the church bells are ringing, spurring me to notive the time and realize that I should try to make myself look presentable, as I cannot wear a read fuzzy housecoat. From the window the sky is clear-blue, and sun shining, the traffic moving busily, and it's only 10 a.m-ish. I think I shall wear a skirt, in honour of spring.

First things first though; teasing my husband out of bed.


temper girl

Sunrise from our apartment building at 7:15 a.m. Saturday, April 1.
This is as much as I can manage for a post. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. for no good reason and now I think I am going to go take a nap. Maybe I will explain the "temper girl" thing some other time.