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Posts Tagged ‘Random rambling’


My day has been rather full today. It began with an abrubt but friendly wake-up call from my mother. She opened my bedroom door at 8:00am and woke  me up so that I could accompany her on errands to Walmart, Ocean State Job Lot, and Big Y. It was nice to go shopping with her an we managed to get all of the errands done in only two hours. While we were out shopping, a number of complete strangers said hello to us and wished us a good day/weekend and we wished them the same in return. If only everyone treated eachother in such an open and warm way. I feel deeply that well-wishes can and should always be spread around and are beneficial for all.  After we got back I helped her start preparations for lunch.

While she continued with making lunch I was assigned the task of re-painting the fence and gate that connect our back yard to the front yard. This task would take a while but I definitely preferred it over having to do any other sort of yard work. I enjoy the gardens and landscaping my family has done to the yard of our home but I am definitely not a gardener of any kind. As Michael (and my family) may say/tease, I am quite a wimp. While painting the fence I was able to make use of my ipod touch that I had been neglecting. I love listening to music while I work and I am glad that I am getting use out of my rather expensive but well-worth it reward (I bought the ipod back when I graduated from High School).

After Lunch, a meal always made amazing by my mother, I finished painting the fence and grabbed one of the books I have been trying to finish (no thanks to the demands of school). This particular book is one that I had started during winter break before my spring semester at College. The book is titled Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant. It was a beautiful and thrilling book to read and it kept my attention up through the very last page. I plan on writing more about this book in my other blog: Wanderer’s Cornder.

There is something beautiful and fulfiling about the finishing of a good book. I felt an extreme satisfaction in being able to finally close the covers of the book with the dust jacket back in its right place instead of one end wedged into the page I left off at. I feel both light hearted and excited about the possibilities of what I could choose to read next. I also feel a contentedness about having read an extremely well-written tale with some loose ends that tickle at the fringes of my imagination.

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Once again I have lapsed in regularly writing. I guess it has come time again for me to place myself back onto a regular schedule of waking up earlier in the morning to write with a cup of tea before the rest of my family gets moving.

I have had quite a whirlwind of visiting and activities the past week. I’ve spent a ton of time away from home and visiting friends in another town. It has been extremely fun. I was able to go to a fair called Farm Day and watch my boyfriend Michael make swords all day.

I sat down today to try and attempt writing more prose for the first time in a long while. But, I found myself getting rather stuck. For the past two years I have focused on writing poetry (because I have been in poetry classes) and now all I seem to do is fall into writing with a poetry form.

One of my goals for the future is to begin experimenting and branch out from my poetry-only ways.

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Would I rather be productive or creative?

Sometimes I want to be both. To me, creativity is sometimes simply the ability to think and write without referencing the work of another and thinking up new ideas to write on.

Productive is something I wish I could be all the time. When I am productive for a burst of time and actually get required writing/reading finished then I am able to move on to other things. Those other things may be getting ahead for once or, gasp something not assigned and that I want to do just because.

In general when I am asked if I would rather be productive or creative my answer would be either. When I am either creative or productive then I am not sitting in a slump of no creation and completion at all. There is nothing worse than wanting to complete/create and not being able to.

Would You Rather Be Productive Or Creative? Serious question. I'm not persuaded one can be both all the time. We all need time to think, reflect, ponder, meander, take some detours, some of which — being immediately unproductive — lead into dead ends, some of which lead us off into totally new and hugely profitable (financially or … Read More

via Broadside

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This week’s productive procrastination post is geared towards the essay I am currently writing (due Monday) for my Pilgrimage and Spiritual Journeys class. My troubles this time around do not necessarily involve one main problem. I should have all the material I need on the subject and this paper should be an easy thing to simply pound out. The dilemma is finding the information I remember reading at some point in my four or five texts that are available and then actually writing a cohesive paper.

Here is the assignment (how my professor sent it in her email to the class):

For paper #2, the focus will be on the interior journey and the spiritual journey of prayer.  Making use of The Way of the Pilgrim, this scan of the “Three Keys..” and the former scan of Catherine of Siena’s reflection on prayer, as well as an additional course text of your choice about interior journey, please analyze the dimensions of the interior journey of prayer as articulated by the Pilgrim and the other texts, making note of the stages of longing, preparation, movement, transitions, and ‘walks’ of prayer that are offered in the readings.

So, the main point of this paper is for me to analyze the dimensions of the interior  journey of prayer while making note of the stages of longing, preparation, movement, transitions, and ‘walks’ of prayer that are offered in our assigned readings.

This whole prompt and concept for the essay is all well-and-good, but where to begin? I need some sort of opening paragraph to discuss what exactly an interior journey of prayer is and then I need to write about each of the stages and layers of meaning/experience/enlightenment/feeling that comes from those.

What is an interior journey?

Before the dimensions of an interior journey of prayer may be analyzed, a definition of an interior journey must first be laid out. An interior journey is an exploration of the self from within that is trigged by spiritual or intellectual curiosity. It may be the mental envisioning of imagining a physical journey while sitting in one place or it is a development and discovering of a person’s own spirit and self in some sort of relation to the divine or universe.

What is Prayer?

The next step that must be done before one can accurately attempt to analyze the dimensions of the interior journey of prayer is to define prayer itself. Prayer is a spoken or mental calling out to the divine in which positive energy is exchanged. Another definition is that “Prayer is an act of intimacy between created being and Creator” and that intimacy “can happen in the blink of an eye or fill an tire day.” (Forest 15) This intimacy is the exchange of energy where the person who prays freely opens themselves up to the divine in the most open way possible. Further, there are different types of prayer because the idea of prayer and the action can truly be “anything we do to be aware of God’s presence.” (Forest 16) A prayer can be expressed in spoken word, created through art, thought, and even felt at the core of a person’s being. The intensity and form of prayer relies entirely upon the person who is praying.

Interior Journey of Prayer

When a person prays properly–as in they wholly open themselves to the divine and believe in the prayer they give–there is bound to be an inward change and experience that takes place. It is this change and experience that is known as the interior journey of prayer. Now, the depth of the journey depends on the intensity and focus of a person’s prayer. A simple prayer and quick prayer, such as grace, will have an equally simple affect because it is only a brief opening up to the divine. There is still a small journey but it isn’t permanently transformative to a person’s spirit and sense of self. A much more extended form prayer will then, logically, create a much more profound journey and affect on an individual.

 

Well, it looks like I’ve started writing my paper. Before I end up writing it all out here I believe it is time to move back to my no-longer blank word document.

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Yesterday I was not prepared for it to begin raining. But, thankfully I love the rain and a friend of mine offered to drive me back to my dorm.

There is something beautiful and soothing about the sound of rainfall. My favorite thing to do is sit with a good book or a blank page of paper and pen and listen to the drops hit the ground, trees and my window.

In honor of my remembered love for rain I thought I would share a couple videos. The first is a recording of real rain I found on youtube.

This next video is an animation of rain. What I love about this video is the music that comes along with it. The song is dedicated to raindrops and I feel expresses the soothing nature and feel of a good rain shower.

I could listen to this song endlessly and just like a clean rain shower it puts me in a wonderful mood.

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The hardest thing about writing as an English Major is learning, or in better terms, unlearning how to write. Ever since high school I have been programed with a ridiculous need to be able to sit down and just write the perfect paper from the start. This task is impossible and I have to unlearn the habitual need. I have to learn to love academic writing again and to let myself loosen up.

I need to let myself just free write on the subject until I sort out my ideas and then work on the paper from there. Drafts are good things and I need to embrace them rather than try to skip over them. If I can learn to unlearn the experience of writing as a pressure intensive experience then things will get a whole lot easier.

I am always saying that I miss the days when I could just write to write. Well, time to stop saying and force myself to change my mind. Writing is supposed to be fun and effortless. Who cares if I use poor grammar and sentence structure the first time around. Nobody will see the first draft and rambling except me (unless of course I do some more productive procrastination posts).

One, Two, Three, Write. That will be my motto now. Who knows what my fingers will click away onto the screen. Starting today I will work to unlearn the habit of pressuring myself to write an essay in one shot and learn to just sit and let any and all words pour out of my head and heart onto the blank page.

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I am supposed to be working on the next essay on my long list of homework assignments I wanted to complete before break ends. Am I? No. Instead I am taking a short break from researching two different pilgrimage sites and pilgrims to just type randomly here. Well, maybe not randomly. I am sure that if I keep thinking and typing long enough I will end up making some sort of point dealing with my essay assignment. I’ve certainly been thinking about it enough.

The assignment is for my Pilgrimages and Spiritual Journeys mid-term exam. I had three “essays” to write and this is the third and last one. It came as a prompt emailed out by my professor at the begining of the week:

Please review this ‘photo essay’ from NPR site:  after you have done so, do a little research on this particular pilgrimage and pilgrimage site.  Then, compare/ contrast the practices and experiences of the Guadalupe pilgrims (as evidenced in the photo essay) with the practices and experiences of the pilgrims to the site you presented (or will present) in class (this might mean a bit more research into your pilgrimage site).

100 Words: Photographer Alinka Echeverria On Pilgrimage

Seems easy enough, right? Wrong. The research I need to do has been about as productive as a wild goose hunt. There are very few articles online about the actual pilgrims who journey to either site. Most of the information I have found deals with the site itself and the history, not the people.

The information I have found is minimal and leads me to the conclusion that all pilgrims are similar. They may be heading to a different destination and hold varied beliefs. But, besides that they are all looking to experience the sacred and to find awe at the site they journey towards.

A pilgrim heading to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City goes to pay homage and ask the blessing of the virgin Mary. Or they simply go because they are curious to see the Basilica and the apron worn by Saint Juan Diego upon which an icon of the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared.

A pilgrim heading to and through the levels of the Buddhist temple Borobudur in Java, Indonesia also travels to experience the wonder of the place. To observe the history engraved on the walls and to pay homage to the birth, enlightenment, and transcendence of the Buddha. There are also many who only come to view out of curiosity as tourists, some with more appreciation for the site than others.

Something both sites have in common is that once a year both places have a festival to which thousands of pilgrims flock. The festival at the Basilica occurs starting on December 12th with the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe. The festival at and around Borobudur, known as the Waisak Festival, occurs each May on the night of the full moon and lasts several days. Both celebrate the people to whom the sites were dedicated to and festivities, including candlelit processions, happen at each.

The only major difference that distinguishes the pilgrims of Guadalupe from those of Borobudur is their religious beliefs, location, and how they look. Otherwise, in spirit, all pilgrims are the same. They travel to experience, learn, and pray.

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