underneath the colosseum pier | the living water

8 april 2017
jesus, i hope i can play with you tomorrow

9 april 2017
easy acoustic guitar, soft singsongy voices, and citrus lime cake.

we sit quietly in the car afterwards, speechless really. golden hour approaches, the 6pm sun is setting. we are headed to the beach.
when we park the car, the street is sunday busy, so not really busy at all.

we are barefoot before we hit the sand, flip flops in hand.
stephen starts us off as we run to the water, sand slowing our speed, but not our energy.

we jump and splash and kick in the puddles. it’s cold but it feels good

activating

a spring of life, the first taste of summer.

it wakes up the children in us.

we run to the pier,
against the wind, our jackets and towels picking up air like kites and capes.

underneath the pier, it feels endless.
as big as a colosseum, with the sun slowly lowering over white foamy waves, falling over, folding over, each column they run into.
standing ankle deep in clear water, feet playing with the loose sand, and little sand crabs, and tiny baby sand clams,
gently brushing our soles.

we stand there for a while, watching the liquid land in front of us wave in and out
the unblocked sun steadily burning our skin, eyes, the tips of our noses – unable to look away – thinking about how we got to this day.

we walk back, the edges of our shorts soggy from the last wave
smiling, overwhelmed at what we were doing.

stephen picks a washed up stick and runs in a spiral
circling it along the sand as justin, jordan and i chase him
completely careless and stupid happy
children playing tag before supper
this is a life that’s full of color

the wind picks up as we take our time back to the car
the sand behind us, a thin grey haze itching our ankles.

justin grabs a handful and lets the breeze push it from his hand
it follows the wind

we are kid_s
this is wonder_ful

x

the blue and the pink haired fairies | storytime

hello again. happy monday!

step i: bleach

there were these two friends who thought they knew everything there was to know about hair.

it’ll be easy

the one with dark-hair said.

now, these friends were pretty different, but pretty similar, too. one had dark brown hair and the other had this thick mix of browns, and what she liked to think of as gold, but was really just light brown.

one day, they decided they were tired of their old hair colors. and they did something about it.

they got the supplies they thought they needed, and quickly found out that they were wrong.
they needed so much more.

fat bottles of powders and thick creams, and small bottles of nose-hair-singeing liquids, and mixing sticks and bowls, to mix with the mixing sticks the powders and creams and nose-hair-singeing liquids, to slap and spread out onto their unsuspecting heads.

what was so unsuspecting was how cold it would be.
and how itchy it would get.
and the burning. oh, the burning.
but the worst of all was how long it all took.
transforming hair from one color to another takes a very long time, and so patience was something these two friends learnt.

it took a week to get their brown heads blond.

cycles of bleach, day after day, the substances slowly sucking the natural oils from their scalps in between deep conditions, or feeble attempts at keeping the hair on their heads from drying out.

but they got it done, step one, and then got to move on to the next.

step ii: color

tiring of the process and lack of results, it seemed like nothing could excite them for what they set out for.

but then, the day finally came when they could add color.

pink… i want pink… one tube should be enough, right?

skeptical, but certain she could make it work, the previously dark-haired friend agreed.

when they got back home, they worked in the dark, empty kitchen all night, the previously dark-haired friend painting each strand of hair on the previously gold-haired friend’s head as best she could with the very little dye she had, as the previously gold-haired friend sat, watching movie after movie, and turning her head when necessary.

it seemed an eternity later, but at long last the previously dark-haired friend finished. the tube was squeezed dry, and every bit of coloring smattered onto the previously gold-haired friend’s small head.

then they left it in for thirty minutes, balled up in a hair bag, and let the hot pink to settle deeply into each piece of bleached out hair.

then

head in the sink
faucet pouring water from forehead to the tip of the hair
towel dried, then combed.
the previously-gold haired friend was now
pink!

it worked!

the pink-haired friend exclaimed. it was so exciting they whooped and whooped at the fact that they didn’t do it all for nothing.

do you like it?

the previously dark-haired friend asked.

i do! i feel… different somehow, too…

different? why, just because your hair is a different color?

no! i feel different… maybe it is just because my hair is pink… but maybe not… anyways… it’s your turn now!

the previously dark-haired friend pulled out a box with an obviously photoshopped model on the front.

well i want silver… and the picture on the box looks silver… but it’s called ‘smokey blue.’ should we do it?

looks good to me. let’s do it!

thick rip of cardboard.
wrinkle spread of the instructions on the table.
poke puncture of the shiny tube of coloring.
crap squirts of the gel into the mixing bottle.

shake shake
squeeze squeeze
spread spread
onto the one with the previously dark-haired head

this one took only twenty minutes to put in. another thirty-five to leave the dye on the hair for the color to attach to the hair, until it’s washed off.

a spot rinse, then full on shower.

when she got out, the mirror was too foggy for her to see what she actually looked like.
so she opened the door to air out the bathroom, and get dressed. when she went back in, an involuntary scream of shock .

it’s blue!

the dark-haired friend, who now had blue-hair, stared at it in the condensated mirror, water dripping slowly down the reflective surface.

she ran back into the kitchen, to show her pink-haired friend.

IT’S BLUE!

yeah it is!

and i feel different too… somehow… is it just because it’s a different color?

i don’t know… it didn’t feel different after bleaching.

hmm. that’s right.. well i’m sure we’ll find out in the morning. but it’s late. let’s go to sleep.

yes. sleep. yes.

the blue-haired friend and the pink-haired friend and their slightly damp heads laid on pillows and cozied up under many warm covers and slept a deep dreamless sleep.

step iii: magic powers

the pink-haired friend woke up first, in a bundle of blankets that took her a long time to free herself from.

but once she got free, she was astounded.

the pink-haired friend looked down from the top of a mountain of blankets. she did a quick spin, and looked up at her room… everything was huge.
the bed was the size of a building.
the blankets were spread across the floor the span of a football field.
and her blue-haired friend was just as small among it all.

the pink-haired friend ran down the blanket mountain – or thought she did. as she descended, it felt like she was floating. she looked down and saw that in fact she was! her feet did not even touch the soft ground.

oh my!

she exclaimed, and sped down to her friend, still asleep in the comfy mass.

she shook the blue-haired friend awake.
no budge.
she shook her again.
no budge.

so she summoned up all the energy inside her, and in one quick swoop jumped up thirty tiny fairy-feet in the air, and came back down, hand out and ready to slap her sleepy friend on the face.

but as her hand swiped across the blue-haired friend’s face, it went right through – like a ghost.

the blue haired friend woke up.

what are you doing.

i’m trying to wake you up! look! we’re small!

the blue-haired friend looked around, quite in shock.

how did this happen?

i don’t know.

she stood up, and touched her face.

did you just slap me?

no. well, yes. i mean, i tried to. my hand went right through you face. look.

the pink haired friend went to poke the blue-haired friend again, and as she did, her finger quite unmistakably met cheek.

hey!

what? that didn’t happen before!

and before the blue-haired friend knew it, the pink-haired friend was winding up to slap her across the face again, and as she did, her hand went right through the blue-haired friend’s face.

they were too in shock to scream.

are we fairies?

the pink-haired friend asked.

i think we are.

the blue-haired friend replied.

and so, the two of them walked and floated down blanket mountain, the start of a new life as small fairies.

step iv: montage of powers

the friends used their powers for fun. the pink-haired friend floating around, and the blue-haired friend walking through walls and things.

it was pretty cool.

and they went on many adventures that day.

the pink-haired friend flew up to the counter to retrieve a giant cookie, and the two of them devoured it, stuffing their tummies full of the sweet treat.

the blue-haired friend passed through walls and found interesting things within them. pennies, buttons, small crumbs and dried up flowers.

it was all very magical.

as the sun began to set, and the friends began to tire, they decided to do one last thing before falling asleep on blanket mountain.

let’s fill up the sink and go swimming! 

the pink-haired friend said.

yes yes yes! 

the blue-haired friend agreed.

so they stopped up the sink and filled it with water, making sure to add a bit of hot water so the temperature would be just perfect.

as the sink finished filling up, they jumped in, and quite suddenly, things got crowded.

the two friends began to grow at an unsafe pace.

not unlike a ‘grow your own dinosaur’ the friends got big, and ended up on the bathroom floor, very much normal sized.

they looked at each other.

your hair’s not pink anymore!

your hair’s not blue anymore!

they looked at each other again.

upset that the color did not stay for very long, but grateful for the adventures they had that day as fairies.

maybe they would do it again sometime.

but for now, their hair needed to rest.

they went to sleep in the bundle of blankets, and dreamt many dreams about magical things

 

the end.

 

x

unfamiliar friend | the raconteurs

i’m sure it’s true, that you can only keep in contact with a handful of people after college, but this prompt was harder than i thought it would be.

picking the person
thinking about who i won’t be able to give my time to
in a few months
in a year
more,

is hard.

every time i think of a person, it feels like it’d be hard not to keep in contact with them. but the working world hasn’t got a hold of me yet, and i guess i can’t know until it has.

is it bad that i’m writing you this letter?
i’m not trying to be coded, i’m sure you’ll know it’s for you.

but does this make it worse, knowing that i’m not going to try very hard to be your friend?

would you call this a goodbye?

dear XXXXXX,

when i think of you, i think of classic college experiences: late nights and underaged drinking.

we spent that one night at the beach, running around, playing with fire, excitement when the flames finally lit.

and not that it should be condoned,
but we played beer pong at your apartment, and avoided the fact that you were underage, and it is a moment that has stuck.

i thought you were like thirty when i first met you.
but that’s only because you’re tall, had a beard, and knew about computers.

turns out, you were younger than me.
that was weird.

we became friends pretty fast. you’re easy to talk to, and we have a lot of the same interests, music and hobby wise.

we spent the boat ride back from spring conference talking about the beatles, twilight and other things i can’t remember.

we’ve had significant moments.

but somewhere along the way they stopped happening.

it feels like you were just someone i was meant to spend random time with.

a filler friend
now unfamiliar,

you were someone for me to hang out with while i was exiting my comfort zone.

not insignificant,
not unimportant

but not here anymore, either.

sorry friend,
sami

x

originally published on raconteurcollective.com, a new group of storytellers and stories to explore! 

ichthys on my arm

“i think you are a bad christian”

unmoving, upset, unbelieving.

ashamed

why would you say this?
why would you say this to me?
…is it true?

i have never thought of myself as a ‘bad christian’
but i’m not sure i’ve ever thought of myself as a great example, either.

sometimes i pride myself on the fact that i ask good questions in bible study
sometimes i pride myself on knowing all the words to a worship song
but most of the time, i feel too insecure to talk about my faith to anyone other than a fellow christian, within my christian fellowship.

i don’t know why it’s so hard to talk about with people i am close to, who don’t know jesus.

fear of judgement, probably?

i got a tattoo of an ichthys on my arm to remind myself of why i’m a christian.

we are fishers of men
we are here to talk about jesus
and as silly or as young or as naive as it may sound,
getting a tattoo was the reminder and strength i needed
i have no excuse now if someone asks me, it’s there forever
so let the conversations begin

because i am loved, and not judged, by God.

speed dating was so weird

i went speed dating at my school last week
and it was so weird!

i invited lots of friends to come, and three showed up, which i was very grateful for.
before the event, we tried to hype each other up for it, but most of us are introverts, so we were not looking forward to it that much.

i was asked by my own friends if i was ‘seriously prospecting’ or if i was doing it for lols.

i did it for lols, and because it’s a weird experience that you see in movies, but never really get a chance to do.

so it was pursued for lols and living out a movie.

and
speed dating was so weird.

the event started with the emcees telling us not to ask questions like, ‘do you know what chloroform smells like’ and then sending us off.
the girls sat on the inside of a square of tables, and the men rotated around us in three minute dates.

sit, shake, swoon
but not really.

it was more like,

‘hey, tell me about yourself’

‘so, what’re your hobbies’

‘this is me, blah blah blah’

the guys pretty much always started, which was a bit of a sad lady observation, that i didn’t actually really want to start the conversation… but i still responded, and when i did, i responded with the whole truth:

 

waiting patiently for the thing to start, SAMI, a small girl with newly bleached hair sits between strangers, splitting the coffee bean decorations with her nervous energy. a smiling dude takes a seat, shakes her hand, and introduces himself as DUDE.

DUDE
hey, tell me about yourself

SAMI
EHH that question is awful. it’s way too general for me to answer, ask me something else.

DUDE
what? what am i supposed to ask?

SAMI
just ask like, what’s your major…?

DUDE
oh ok

silence and sami’s expectant stare. dude says nothing, so sami asks the question…

SAMI
so… what’s your major?

dude answers, and then the timer dings and the thing starts all over again. sami loses more energy.

i was also spreading the gospel to at least half of the guys i talked to, and got some of the strangest responses from them.

 

shaved head, vest, and slow speech, GUY, who was way to old to be ‘prospecting’ college girls, tells sami about himself before asking her about herself.

GUY
so, what are some of your hobbies?

SAMI
oh well i’m in this CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP CALLED INTERVARSITY AND I LEAD A SMALL GROUP WANNA HEAR ABOUT IT

GUY
oh i believe in God

SAMI
oh cool, would you want to check it out next semester?

GUY
oh maybe… i believe in God. but i only believe in four of the ten commandments

SAMI
oh you know they’re all important

GUY
yeah, but i really hold these four to the highest respect

he counts them out on his fingers…

GUY
respect thy mother and father, don’t steal, don’t kill, and thou shalt not commit adultery

SAMI
oh ok… do you go to church?

GUY
yes, sometimes… i went to church last week with my mom. and i’ll probably go this week too

as he explains his church schedule, the timer goes off, and he stands up to leave, and sami calls out to him with her last minute advice

SAMI
ok. you should keep going to church!

 

and some guys were just completely stressed out.

 

JOHNATHAN, full suit, gelled hair, upside down name tag greets sami hand first. she takes it and shakes it.

SAMI
hi johnathan! your name tag is upside down!

eyes wide, johnathan rips off the nametag and puts it right, on his chest.

JOHNATHAN
damn!

sami has no idea how to respond with his stress, so she just lets him lead the conversation.

 

yeah
speed dating was weird.

but i’d do it again in a single heartbeat. ❤

filtered air and carbon bubbles || Drinks on an Airplane

i’m by the window, watching the little guys move the bags of luggage from cart to airplane belly, waiting for the runway, for the takeoff, for the fasten seatbelt sign to come on, and slowly, slowly becoming more, more parched.

‘we offer a variety of inflight snacks and beverages to tempt your tastebuds

i wait for the cart to come out…

…do i leave my earbuds in?

…continue watching the movie i’m twenty minutes into?

…finish the page of this book?

or stop everything i’m doing and just stare at the flight attendant, hoping that after this person she will ask me what i want: ice, can or cup?

the anticipation is killing me.

i look down, not wanting to waste a minute of the five hours i have on this airbus staring into space. i look up, not wanting her to skip me.

the anticipation is killing me!!

she looks at me.

‘would you like anything’

‘YES!’

a rasp of relief, the filtered air pushes out of my lungs.

‘ginger ale, please. yeah, i’ll have the whole can’

crack, pour, fizzle and spray of carbon bubbles, the cup and can carefully passed to me through the hands of the middle seater.

forty minutes later and my throat is coated with sugar and ginger.

i stick my headphones back in. 

Why I Love Thanksgiving // That Empty Christmas Feeling

It’s difficult to find people whose favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Most people seem to really hate Thanksgiving, but I think it’s really great.

Christmas was my favorite holiday as a child. In school essays, I would write that I loved Christmas not for the presents, but for the people, because I was such a sweet kid knew that if I said it was for the presents, I would appear as selfish and greedy to my teachers.

But to be honest, Christmas has always left me unsatisfied and underwhelmed, no matter what I got or wanted or not. And I think it is because the culmination of Christmas, the shop decorations, TV movie specials, baking, cocoa, advent calendars and that slow growing pile of presents beneath the tree all ends on the twenty-fifth, and then it’s done.

The holidays are over in less than an hour. It means that fall is finished, and everyone has to go back to work and school, and the winter wonderland is shut down for another year.

It’s a big, cold drop.

But, if you rewind and take the holidays in from Thanksgiving, you end up with so much more. Thanksgiving is the beginning. Thanksgiving is welcoming the holidays with open arms, taking out sweaters and rain boots, putting on hats and gloves and eating all the canned soup you can. It’s the beginning of the best part of the year, the end of the year, and that is why I love it. It’s great!

And funnily enough, though I never believed it would be, gone is the lust I once had for those piles of presents, and in its stead is complete satisfaction with just having a break. Thanksgiving is the perfect break. It is the sabbath of the year.

It is four days of sleep-in, pajama-wearing, stay-at-home-and-watch-TV-all-day laziness.

At least for my family, it is. I know that for some people, the holidays are stressful, and that sucks.
This year, I set my eyes on Thanksgiving on the first day of October, so that when the fourth Thursday comes and goes in November, I know there is still something to look forward to. Not to putting my sight solely on Christmas helps it all last a little longer. Instead of being the one best part of the holidays, Christmas becomes the next part. You’re not supposed to put all your eggs in one basket, and that’s what people do with Christmas. They forget about Thanksgiving, even though it’s the perfect holiday.

Thank you, Thanksgiving, and thank you America.

x