Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tree 6369: A Short Story

Here's a short story I wrote ...

Tree 6369

She was full of life and energy, a breath of fresh air, and she exploded into my life one summer. It wasn’t like my life was particularly boring or meaningless up till then, so when I say that she was a spark, it means that she really was. Quick-witted, quick to laugh, quick to become attached.

I fell fast. My dad used to say that we don’t ‘fall’ in love; we always have a choice about who we love. I don’t think we can choose or simply decide not to feel certain emotions, to feel certain ways—all we can do is decide what to do with those feelings and emotions. All I know is, the moment I saw her, I was in over my head. And that was the start of it.

She made me step outside of my comfort zone. Because of her, I’d do things I never thought I would—cast aside responsibilities far too tightly-gripped, act spontaneously, step out on a limb. Sometimes, when I had time to catch my breath, I’d wonder if I was becoming more or less myself. She challenged me, tested me, stretched me, with late-night conversations, penetrating comments accompanied by sly smiles while her eyes glittered with mischief. She made me feel completely comfortable in my skin for the first time in years. Every touch was intoxicating, every word inebriating, every laugh breathtaking. She was like no one I’d ever met.

I suppose the term for what happened would be a ‘whirlwind romance’. The ‘whirlwind’ part is especially apt: she came in without warning, stirred stuff up and threw it all around, and then left as quickly as she’d appeared. She said that I knew her so well that it scared her away. I never did understand that.

“Isn’t it a good thing to know someone well?” I asked.

“I’m complicated,” was all she said. Her smile wasn’t reflected in her eyes.

Isn’t it funny how a person can turn your world upside down and make you laugh, make you hurt? And yet that person may not be the one you spend the rest of your life with. Coz I’m realizing that if you open yourself up, there are lots of people who can turn your world upside down and make you laugh, make you hurt, and not be the one that you spend the rest of your life with. Maybe that’s just the way it is; maybe that’s just the way of life.

Before she left, I wrote her a letter and left it on her table. I don’t think I said those three words. But I meant them.

“You’ve captured my heart, dear friend. You looked at me, and I fell in love. One look my way and I was hopelessly in love."
Song of Songs 4:9

Why DTRs should not be conducted over Messenger

Why DTRs should not be conducted over Messenger

I’m thinking.

You're thinking … what?

That I need to think more …

About …?

About talking about this so indirectly.

You mean, talking about you and me like we're not talking about you and me?


Okay …

Yikes, well, my roommate’s pestering me to go to dinner coz we’re meeting people. We’ll talk, though.


Okay. Talk to you later …

“Later”: at 10 months and counting.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Things I've discovered

Things I’ve discovered in the last couple days (in no particular order):
  1. I wear my heart on my sleeve
  2. to “cut a rug” is to dance
  3. watching Pride & Prejudice makes me miss England (and English girls? Haha.)
  4. I can score a touchdown in flag football—beginner’s skill?
  5. although I’m the youngest of three, I’m a functional first-born; nonetheless, I do display some youngest child tendencies, e.g. for (mild) spotlight-seeking
  6. Tim’s coming to California!!

Thanks to friends and family who’ve listened to me, talked with me and prayed with me. You keep me going.

Monday, September 24, 2007


God spoke to me through my crazy dreams last night. Not so much in an audible booming voice, but more in what he revealed: about relationships, about life struggles, about my wanting to escape, feeling pressured and pursued (not in a good way).

I want to remain in Christ.

See, for the last couple weeks—I guess, since the end of summer assignments meant I had more time to process—I’ve been incredibly frustrated with life. And over the last few days, I’ve come to realize that one of the main reasons for this frustration is that I can’t have what I want. Not right now, anyway; and this applies to a number of things in my life. But I know that it’s not the right time, it’s not the right season.

And so the gist of Brandon’s sermon in church comes home: life—the Christian life—is made up of seasons. And the one that I’m in now is one of frustration, of helplessness, of waiting, of patience, of difficulty, of discontent, of struggle. And I’m realizing that that’s okay—I don’t think the psalmist was particularly exuberant when he expressed his feelings of abandonment by God in Psalm 22; I don’t think he was in a particularly happy place. But he knew where to turn. And so do I.

God is preparing me, reshaping me, pruning me. And it hurts. It hurts like hell. And I kick and shout because I don’t like it, because I don’t want to be hurting or in pain or in difficulty. But my Father holds me tighter in his arms, tears in his eyes because he hurts to see me in pain, and he whispers: “I know this isn’t nice; I know it hurts; I know you would rather be anywhere but here. But it’s for your good. It’s for your future. And after this season, there will be a season of joy. Though the sorrow may last for a night, the joy comes in the morning. After the hurricane, the sun will burst through.”

It’s like that picture I had a few years ago—for a friend originally—but I realized soon after that it applied equally to me, and to probably all of my Christian brothers and sisters. It was the picture of a horse, straining at the bit, wanting to be given its head and being released to run. And God, the rider, was crouched close to the horse’s ear and saying, “Just a little longer, and then you can go as fast as you want …” There is a time for everything, a season for everything (Eccl. 6). If we try to push ahead, to force the right time to come around, we’re working on our agenda, on our timing, which doesn’t—can’t—take into consideration the bigger picture, the universal scheme of things.

There’s a human desire to see things done the way we want them done, at the time that we want. But life is bigger than us.

Fortunately, God is bigger than life. And it’s in trusting him—especially in the times when we just want out—that we grow the most. Coz that’s what relationship’s about: growing in trust and love, learning to let God do what he’s doing, coz he knows far better than we do what he’s up to.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I take it back ...

I do actually like the rain. I stood outside in the pouring rain for a little while tonight.

I miss rain ... [as long as it doesn't disrupt any of my best-laid plans.]

But seriously, listening to rainfall and having that as your lullaby, while curled up with a warm duvet/comforter? Wonderful.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Storming in California

It was a year ago that I first experienced rain in California. And I wasn't too impressed.

Now this ...

Monday, September 17, 2007


So it’s been awhile since I let y’all know what’s up—since Seattle, I’ve been busy finishing off my summer class assignments and exams, which I did on Tuesday of last week. So it’s been a week since I got done.

Since then, I’ve been trying to recover from the year. It’s been long and hard, and I’m worn out. My body and spirit are tired—not just in the way that will be remedied by a good night’s sleep, but on a deeper level: I feel tired in my very blood stream; I’m BONE tired. And I’m not quite sure how to remedy it, or whether or not I’ll be ready for the new school year to start in six days’ time.


I was in Seattle for a week, from August 25 to September 1. I had a great time, catching up with Hannah, Phil and Jason, people I hadn’t really seen in years.

I hadn’t been to Seattle since Christmas 1992, when I was ten, and it was cool to walk the streets of a city for which I have much affinity but (if you think about it) not much reason to have this affinity. There was a part of me that really felt at home in the Pacific Northwest, with the mountains, the trees, the various lakes, the beautiful port of Seattle, the cooler climate, the drizzle.

For the most part (six days out of seven), it was warm, sunny and breezy. And I commented more than once that if the weather was like that the whole year round, I might consider moving. But it’s not. So I’m sticking to California for now …

So much to say

There’s so much I could write about. I could write about the trials of relationships and dating and; I could write about keeping in shape and healthy and P90X; I could write about finally finding a church to be a part of—Ecclesia; I could write about being desperate for changing and starving for truth.

But I only have so much time to write about life, and if you want to know more about these things … ask me.

If any path had been different

I often wonder about the journey that God has led me on; it’s been, at times, long, tortuous and trying, while also being a wonderful process of learning and loving. I think about how things could have been different if I’d made different choices, or if something or other had worked out differently …

Oh, what I could (have) be(en). I could (have) end(ed) up:
actor, rockstar, lawyer, novelist, professional athlete, cop, politician, pastor, doctor, teacher; in London, Morocco, Hong Kong, Seattle, Texas or DC.

Sometimes, I look back. And then I look forward. And wonder where I’m going. Time will tell, I suppose. Right now, I feel like a running back, waiting for the right gap to open up in the opposition’s defense so I can go for it and really hit my stride. But the right gap is taking its time to open up at the moment, so patience and perseverance are a constant prayer request.


I realize that some of you who are on my blog don’t have membership with Facebook, and so don’t get to see many of my pics. So here are some links for you to check out:

Seattle trip album #1

Seattle trip album #2

Back in California

Thursday, September 6, 2007

From the pen of a loved one ...

Busy lives. People rushing. Cars honking, bicycles, rickshaws, taxis. Self-involved.

See the world through your own eyes, not understanding perspectives or preferences of others. Focused on here and now not there or then.

‘Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ I don’t want to live with my eyes on trouble every single day. To be consumed with here and now and limitations and problems. To live in the bubble of what I see, hear and do.

I want possibilities. Endless possibilities. The Far Pavilions and the horizon and the dreaming spires. I want ideas and dreams and gifts and waiting and hoping. I want to know the creator of the world in everything I do. To know the Spirit and the Soul behind the world at work in my character and personality. Not to stick with here and now or me exactly as I am.

Impatient for change but change takes time. Cogs and wheels turn. Things are set in motion. Things grow and are harvested. Things rot. Some are reborn.

God has plans for me. Far beyond small ideas he wants world-changers.

First he wants me-changing – hungry and thirsty. Pure through and through. Humble and meek. Giving mercy and receiving mercy from others. No room for fierce individuals with ideas like a fort that they hide inside.

Open, ready, generous, eager.

Come on Jesus.

Ally Maughan, 6th July 2005