I think that most Christian music lovers have a song that anchors their soul. For some people, it’s an old hymn; for others, “Good, Good Father” is the instigator of peace. My song, as I was reminded this past weekend at Hymnfest–an hour-long concert of hymns–is “Be Thou My Vision.” While other worship songs have had varying meaning in my life–”Worn” by Tenth Avenue North was integral during my freshman year of high school–this hymn has been my favorite for as long as I can remember.
I recently read an article titled “The Death of Traditional Publishing.” The ominous title brings to mind the image of the gravestone, titled, perhaps, “RIP Random House. Your books are much-loved.”
My mother often took me to the library as a little girl. Before I started school, we made the trek each week so that I could be there for story hour. Our trips were less frequent once I started school, but there was still something almost holy about the place. My childhood memories of the local public library are colored by the light through the windows of the adult reading area, the odd texture my palms and knees took on after crawling between the shelves, and the strangely specific scent of mildew, plastic, paper, and some other unidentifiable thing that permeated through the library.
I follow multiple poetry accounts on Instagram and Twitter. Those accounts usually post short poems in Courier, the vintage-y black and white lines a welcome addition to my feed. These accounts will repost from other accounts and authors too, creating a social network of authors and audiences within each social media network. It was within these networks that I first saw Rupi Kaur’s book Milk and Honey.
I stood there, watching the group laugh, before focusing once more. The woman raised her hands and then, with a flick of her wrist, the group opened their mouths and began to sing. I leaned against the door and watched as the twin emotions of solemnity and joy painted their faces among uniform, o-shaped mouths.
I like grammar.
I like knowing when things are right or wrong, finding mistakes, and fixing them. Taking a red pen to a paper and destroying it in the name of perfection is a hobby of mine. (One of the perks of being the only English major on your dorm floor is that there is never a shortage of papers to edit. After I finish writing this, actually, I plan on editing my roommate’s paper! For fun!!) I’m not perfect, of course, but I recognize a lot of mistakes–and not because I’ve had much formal training. This knowledge that native speakers have of their language–just because they speak and read it–is what scholars call tacit knowledge. Most of my grammatical knowledge is tacit, but I did learn it somewhere–why else would I have so much of it?
According to Psychology, our identities are half-based on genetics and half-based on experiences. So whenever I am asked a question like “how has x affected the way you do y,” I don’t have a simple answer. The fact of the matter is that my identity–gender, race, class, etc–come from many sources.
Western Oregonians only see the sun for a few months out of the year. October, November, December, January, February, March, and April are wet months. Roads and sidewalks hold tiny ponds. The sound of windshield wipers is a constant. Hair frizzes, mascara runs, and a certain heaviness settles over the valley, the kind that leaves rain jackets eternally damp.
A sphere of influence is a country or area in which another nation has the power to affect developments although it has no formal authority. In simpler terms, if someone is in your sphere of influence, they have informal power over you. People usually talk about spheres of influence in the context of international relations or political science, but one can think of spheres of influence in terms of their own relationships: who do you influence, and who influences you?
My mother kept a journal of things I did as a little girl. There are many silly anecdotes written on those pages, but my favorite is a little more serious. As the story goes, I often played by myself as a toddler, happy to be alone in my own little world. Sometimes, though, my mom would sing to me, and whenever she did, I would stop whatever I was doing and listen intently to the music.