Monday, November 23, 2009

The Yellow Windows of the Evening Train

The day was passing class by class;
mind filled with Hawthorne and Gibbs.
It was rather prosaic a fall afternoon,
but for the door that opened to me.

Dark brown hair dangled freely,
a frame housing lovely features.
Exquisite to behold, quite the dame,
these are words that go together well.

But for such a rare moment,
it was not unlike any other day.

between the lashes of your eyes

This is what you shall do:
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labors to others,
Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people,
Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
Or to any man or number of men,
Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
And with the young and with the mothers of families,
Read these leaves in the open air,
Every season of every year of your life,
Reexamine all you have been told,
At school at church or in any book,
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
And your very flesh shall be a great poem,
And have the richest fluency not only in its words,
But in the silent lines of its lips and face,
And between the lashes of your eyes,
And in every motion and joint of your body.
--Walt Whitman

I was reading "Leaves of Grass" last year, during a Chem lab I think, when I came upon this passage, which is an absolute delight (they should probably make a commercial for bluejeans with it or something). I stumbled upon a representation of it today, which jogged my memory, so naturally I had to share it. There's not necessarily a particular line that I can pick out as a "good" one. The whole passage comes as a package. What it comes down to, is that I want to be this poem.

Largely, I think this passage is Biblical as well. Whitman certainly didn't intend it to be, but except for "argue not concerning God" (anti-evangelism maybe?), I think that Jesus lived each line of the poem. His life was a great poem in the way he lived it, in order to die for us. As Christ followers, the life we live should have the "richest fluency" not in the language of men, but of God.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

¡A Alemania!

Voy a vivir y trabajar en Alemania durante el proximo verano! Tengo un puesto de interno con una compania se llama Boehringer Ingelheim en Ingleheim, Alemania. Es una compania de farmaceuticos. Recibi las noticias hoy, de mi profesor. Es en Alemania ahora, con mi jeffe futuro. Hasta hoy, solo he viajado a Canada, en terminos de otros paises. Asi, estoy muy emocionado para ir a Europa y vivir solo conmigo.

Puedo communicar en espanol con un poco dificultad, de mis quatro anos en la escuela secondaria. Pero aleman no es espanol. Ahora tengo la opportunidad aprender una otra lengua, y para mi, es el parte mas fantastico (y tambien la cultura y la compania y viviendo en un otro pais con extranjeros).

My mind traces the steps, passed over so many times,
etched into memory, they leap out, concrete.
VanBuren, Marlin, childhood stomping grounds;
dreams of following jets to unknown places.

We would lie on the grass, having vanquished our imaginary foes,
and see their trails stretch across the sky.
Inklings of other times, places, to be explored someday,
under circumstances more Franklin and less Bond.

What business has a boy from the salad city,
tracing the steps of humanity, history?
His business is wisdom,
and the development of his frail mind.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Lately I've been reminiscing about Young Life, and my experiences I had there. Particularly I've been thinking about Campaigners, and missing the guys from that group, and the discussions that we had. I haven't found anything like that since I've been at Calvin; those friendships are hard to build quickly. In that context, Sunday night came as an absolute delight, and blessing to me. As a house, we did a Bible study. It was nothing elaborate, no one had planned anything for it, but we talked about some scripture, and about some of the different things that had happened during the week. And it was the most amazing thing. I've been living with these guys for over two years now, and now have the opportunity to talk with them seriously about things that matter. It was refreshing to be sincere and to think deep thoughts with some of my peers, and I fervently hope that this becomes a regular thing.

I've been listening to Hillsong quite a bit lately. Here are some of the lyrics that have been particularly stimulating to me.

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
my heart and my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out
--From the Inside Out

Also, I have to include this, because it is awesome:

Amazing Grace Techno - Computer Controlled Christmas Lights from Richard Holdman on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Wow, what a day today was. First of all, it may have been the most beautiful day of 2009. Scratch that, it was the most beautiful day. It made me happy to have to wake up early and do some work, mental and physical.

The biggest part of today was cleaning up the old house and getting everything moved over. It should be noted that some walls were torn down today. Namely walls of drywall and two-by-fours. At this point I would like to recommend that if you must dismantle such a wall indoors, it would not be advised to use a circular saw. It may be that in the course of your cutting you in fact fill an entire house with dust. No guarantee, but...yeah, it's a guarantee.

The rest of the day can be summed up very succinctly: Cam'nNate, Guitar Hero, hw, "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," apple pie.
A cloudless bluebird sky hangs effortlessly above,
taunting beautiful spring before a blustery onslaught.
First morning breath, afraid to leave, catches in my throat,
but is welcomed by balmy arms.

As my bike gathers speed, the squeaking and squealing build in a distinct crescendo,
and I reach the peak, easing into a gentle coast; suddenly silent.
The warm air rushes past my face,
liberating from my vocal chords an expressive, "Yawp!"
--Cómo hermoso el día, la vida

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Housing update

We moved on Saturday and now just have a few things to take care of at the old house. However, currently we have only one key to our door, and it only stays closed when it is locked, so that's fun. Our garage doors are stuck open, and tied that way which means that I keep my bike in the living room, also fun. Finally, we won't have Internet access until Friday, which is why I'm writing this from the basement Chemical Engineering lab. Despite some rather unfortunate parts, I really do like the new house a great deal. Most everything about it is better, it is cheaper, and since we split up the seven of us there is more room in the refrigerator (in which there is a joyful dearth of alcohol). Also, there is just more space especially since Mark and I have the whole basement as our room now.

Though, the best part of the new house is the natural light in my room now! I wake up, and am bathed in wonderful soft, white light, and I see the bare trees that stretch skyward, trying to grab the planes constantly embarking and arriving. Their swarthy bark, a stark contrast to the pale grey sky above, having dropped their colorful charges to the ground beneath, like a slow steady rain. That is why I love this house.