Little Somethings

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
That quote hangs on a wall in my bedroom, a reminder to keep my eyes open always and to expect to be surprised every day. I've experienced many incredible little things throughout my life, but not yet "the incredible something."

I know it's out there. Waiting to be known. By me.
Maybe it will be so beautiful and awe-inspiring that I'll want to share it with everyone. Or maybe it will be something significant only to me, a little something happening at just the right time to be a big something. But until I find that something, here are some little somethings I've enjoyed.

This summer I re-read "The Great Gatsby", this time for understanding of what could be found behind those haunting eyes and golden lights on the book cover. You know, I get Gatsby. He has this dream of who he wants to be and how he wants others to perceive him. He strives to be this person that has no cracks through which to see his weaknesses. He must have it all and be it all. He wants to be a realization of everything he holds onto. And Daisy...she is an embodiment of all his ideals - wealth, beauty, and importance, but more than that - these form a haunting, desperate, lingering thing behind a curtain he wants so badly to uncover. Gatsby builds a god out of gold-sand and it holds up until he gets close to it and touches it. Then it crumbles. And he knew it would. 

And this fine fellow bellow caught my attention at an art museum. His turquoise blue and the mirrored shadows on either side of him are striking.  He stared me down and then after I finished looking at the other displays in the gallery, I came back for a photo. 

Pottery Class

 I'm finally around to posting photos from this summer. One of the best times I had at camp was when I took a ceramics class. Besides messing around in a friend's studio years ago, I haven't touched clay since. I fell in love with pottery the first day I took a lump of clay in my hands and began to shape it and feel the coolness in my hands, the endless possibilities of beauty.

This little bird dish was inspired by something I saw at Anthropologie. It was very simple, really - I cut out a circle piece of clay, pulled the edges up to make a shallow bowl, and shaped the bird, attaching it with a roughing method. Next time, I'll make the dish larger and add more detail to the bird. The basic steps of making a ceramics piece are: shape the piece out of clay, let it dry, fire it in the kiln, glaze it, and fire it again. The part where I messed up was with the glazing. I was instructed that two layers of glaze would be enough, but my pieces needed 4 or 5 layers. The black mug in the above image is the only piece that was glazed correctly. The other pieces were underglazed and did not produce the colors I had intended. But that's okay! I enjoyed every bit of it, and can't wait to get my hands on some clay again.

The Thankful List


A few weeks ago, I started reading "A Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. And I couldn't put it down. In her simple, beautiful, heart-cracked-open style, Ann writes about thankfulness to combat ingratitude and how she started a list of things she is thankful for, intending to list one thousand gifts. I began to realize how often I live in the valley of not enough and condemn God for all the things I seem to be missing, instead of thanking Him for all He has given me and is doing around me. As a intentional act to change the way I think and see, I started a list of my own. Not only has it been soul-refreshing, but it is a lot of fun. I carry my journal around and often will take it out and write down something that came to my mind that I am thankful for. Like right now: quiet moments by myself after everyone goes to bed. White steeples against blue skies. Acrylic paint. Windy days. 

The thing is, the more I list, the more I feel like I'm relieving myself of some obscure load and freeing up space in my heart. Who knew that blackberry jam and warm towels meant so much, could do so much to the mind and spirit? Sometimes it feels insulting. Could the key to thankfulness really be this simple? Is joy something that comes with a refusal to see the shadows? Or could it be that the shadows themselves hide beauty? That I should be thanking God not only for the blessings but the struggles? Maybe, just maybe, the rough edges and tears and difficult circumstances are a blessing if I see them as such. An opportunity to draw closer to God in dependence and faith. This has been the hardest gift of all for me to write down.