Friday, March 18, 2011

faraway spring

Another little painting for you to enjoy. I love changing my desktop to different Ellenshaw paintings throughout the year and according to season. There is just something so nice about opening my computer and seeing a simple, sweet and wonder-filled scene of all my old friends. 
This one in particular has a rather peculiar effect on my heart. The picture reminds me of a spring I've lived, faraway and long ago, secret in my memory. The way the golden light shines in and how  little everyone seems beneath the canopy of fresh and quiet trees make is magical.  I had many spring moments like this as a child, running out doors with my friends, playing in the twilit park with my dad, and sailing on the cool dark ocean with my family. These fragmented memories of light and happiness  are what I feel  the glow and wonder in this painting attests to. As I look at it I feel sheltered, there's a quiet over my mind as I observe the innocent play, and my heart rests as I imagine the infinite woods rustling with life. Isn't it nice that through art those moments of a faraway spring can come rushing back? I hope you feel some of that as you look on this, allow your heart and mind to sink into that dear child within you and rejoice over a few memories. Please feel free to share below, I'd love to listen.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

Alright my dears, I have decided that I can trust you and because of that I have decided that it's time for me to confess my complete and slightly unwholesome obsession with a book called Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand published the book in 1957, it weighs in around 1060 pages and it continues to be a top-seller in book stores to this day. I started the monster in 2008, it took me roughly four months to read it, it's a very long book and not for the uncommitted reader. To say I became obsessed is accurate except that it doesn't fully express how every single thought, comment and idea that popped into my head over ensuing year revolved around the book. I breathed it, and got so passionate about it I would sweat. I knew it was bad when Bryce said he couldn't take anymore. I broke the patience of the most patient man I know, he lets me tap his face endlessly to my own amusement but he couldn't take any more of Atlas. Needless to say n reading it I learned many things about myself, how neurotic I could be, but more importantly, I saw my moral and economic outlook change as I recognized Rand's belief that they are steadfastly linked to each other. Rand's philosophy deems people that work hard, earn their own living, who don't rely on the charity or sympathy of others as morally and economically upright individuals. She condemns free-loaders, looters, and anyone willing to complain before they are willing to work. She treats these kinds of people as evil, immoral, shameful and untrustworthy. - It sounds just and I love it, parts of it. She motivates me to work because I am conscious of the fact that as I work I am fairly, morally and truly earning the lifestyle that I have. It is a great feeling, I am indebted to no one, I've made it on my own, I worked hard and I deserve what I have. However, in the novel, Rand takes this philosophy of "objectivism" and applies it to  every aspect of human life: sex, love, work, clothing, relationships, etc . . .
In short, Life of Capitalism = Good, Life of Communism/Socialism = Really Bad/ you suck.

Problematically for me, I couldn't get my Christian philosophy reconciled to Rand's objective outlook. The problem for me, was grace. Grace is never earned or deserved, I am and will always be indebted to the sacrifice of Jesus and I can do nothing to decrease the cost. This was very, very frustrating to the fresh Atlas fanatic that I was. In seeking to reconcile these philosophies I knew I could not accept anything that conflicted with Biblical truth so I turned down the idea of having to earn the love of my husband and chose to just accept it. For example, despite the fact that I failed to do the dishes last night, he still told me he loved me today (yes!). I have limited Rand's philosophy to my work attitude, it boosts me to go and put in the hours, do my job well and in a way that I will be proud of. It is so satisfying to work and leave thrilled with what I got accomplished (even if it was explaining to a dear old man that wifi means "wireless" and no, we don't have a cord to connect your wifi nook to the wireless internet).
I have had to acknowledge that I am not a rational, heroic character out of Rand's book. I am a flawed person, in need of grace, in need of so much more than I can get for myself. Lately, God has been sprinkling money about the earth for Bryce and I. Last week I found a little pile of $3 at school, Bryce found a $50 on a car a few months back and I am always finding pennies or dimes on the ground wherever I go. Our parents have been generous to us in chipping in on groceries and blessing us with sweet gifts. All of that is all money we haven't earned, but God's love and grace has brought it to us. Therefore I will be thankful. I will also go to work tomorrow with the goal of earning enough money to purchase this bracelet conceptualized in Atlas Shrugged. 

 It's made of Reardon Steel! I WANT IT NOW. 
Go read the book and you'll understand how I could so passionately want to earn something as ugly as this.


a fine frazzle

it's been a whirl wind of a week, or month, or whatever that was that just passed me by. oh yeah, the whole beginning of the year! my goodness, how has so much time frittered away? I know I haven't been too attentive to my little bloggy here but that is to blame for two things: school & american idol (with emphasis on Steven Tyler). yes, I am pretty hooked. It's not a show where I've religiously watched season after season but I like mocking people in the beginning at the city auditions and after that my interest inevitably fizzles. however, this year has me interested mostly because of the intelligent, well-versed and actually qualified judges. pretty fun. I'm not sure who I'm voting for yet, I don't think I've ever voted before so making sure I really weigh all the pros and cons and make the right decision could take me some time. I am really into the Paul McDonald guy, so soft-funky that it's ridiculous - like this blog - I mean this one in particular not the whole blog
. . . eeegh. 
obviously I'm up way too late, dishes are in the sink and my brain is more than a fine mess. just wanted to chat. also, I have an x-files dance, yes, it's a legitimate dance that I perform whenever the intro music comes on. I'm proud of it and will probably never share it with any of you because I like to tease like this. 
you'll just have to ask bryce.

good night!