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Published on November 13, 2005

I really should write in here more often. I used to write a lot more, but lately my entries have tapered off to one or two a week. Usually that’s indicative of the fact that I have someone else with whom I’m sharing the thoughts and observations that go in here, but that’s not presently the case. Granted, I’m making friends, but the prospect of having someone in this neck of the woods with whom I can share more than just casual observations is remote. Part of the cause of the dearth of entries it is that I just haven’t had time, and I think another part of it is just my innate perfectionism and having to sculpt, polish and hone most of them until they’re “acceptable” for mass consumption (and by “mass” I mean all four of you). More often lately I’ve plowed through half an entry only to decide the insight was inane or ill-conceived or just not worth sharing. It’s like I want to share a fully-formed opinion or a complete thought, but how many of even my more lengthy entries fit that description? Hardly any. I don’t know where I draw the line. I think like most right-brained endeavors, it’s intuitive. The entries just feel like they’ve come to a good stopping place. And if I don’t have the sense that there’s been enough of substance by the time the entry reaches that point, I’ll usually nuke it. Maybe I shouldn’t. But regardless, I just want to write more, even if it is just about my flight training or life around Winston-Salem or worldviews and apologetics or fixing my car. So brace yourselves for more reams of half-baked drivel constructed of appallingly dyslexic turns of phrase. Hee.

The Sunday night mood is back. I’m sitting here at the keyboard of my seven-year-old computer, v-neck undershirt, jeans and old shirt on, letting my gaze drift over to the wall over my bed and wondering why I haven’t decorated it even though I’ve been here two and a half months. It feels like longer. Maybe some of the slow pace of the community here, the intrinsic cadences of the houses that have been here for decades, lived in by dozens of families, maybe some of that slowness of life makes its way into the air and time. Who knows. We’re descending into winter and the frost is already appearing on the ground most mornings. Perhaps as the molecules of the matter around us resonate more slowly in their orbits, they transmit a slowing effect into some sphere of thought or sense or impression.

The past Christmases all blend into one. There was a time when each was distinct, when I could pick out which of my toys and Lego sets I had received last Christmas and which were given to me several ago. I remembered individual pageants, songs, shopping trips, concerts with the boys’ choir and my dad mentioning me by name one Sunday morning in church as a sermon illustration when he was guest preaching and I had shared with him how disillusioned I was one year because I couldn’t “get into the Christmas spirit.” I remember my pride at being referenced by my father overwhelming whatever petty ennui I felt from the slight shift in my approach to the season. I’m light years away from that now; I don’t even feel the impression of this time of year until the holiday itself is almost upon us. I’m seriously contemplating not even getting a tree this year, which would be a first. For all my busyness and multiple endeavors I lead a streamlined life, free of any excess I can find and composed of only the necessities. But what is excess? Have I drawn the line too far in the direction of austerity? A big part of me feels that it is right to fĂȘte certain things. But at the same time I have the undeniable sense that there should be a prerequisite to any attempts at seasonal embellishment–relationships. Friends. People. I’m taking small steps in that direction through my involvement with the church group, but…I still have a way to go.

Back to homework… I’m looking forward to next semester when I don’t have class at 7:20 a.m. But it will be just my luck if I’m assigned a flight block then. I guess we’ll see.

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  1. i’m happy you’re resolving to write more. i look forward to your entries – even if they may seem mundane to you. <3

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have several comments to make in regards to this post…

    In order of importance:

    1. I am insanely jealous that you got Lego’s for Christmas as a kid. I always dreamed of (and yes, I’ll admit I still desire) a Lego Knight’s Castle. And not one of those new fangled one’s where the walls are comprised of four giant pieces, oh no, I wanted the one with 4 trillion little gray Lego’s all to go down in specific order and with it’s own special place. There’s a bitter story to go with this, but I’ll leave that for another time.
    2. Now that we’ve gotten the whole jealousy thing out of the way, GET A TREE! Trust me when I say you’ll regret it. Last year my mom convinced me to put my two little 4′ trees up at her house instead of my apartment. When I came back after the five hour drive from home I walked into the gloomiest, most un-Christmas-ed apartment I think I’ve ever seen. So, real, fake, or Charlie Brown style, get something that resembles a tree and decorate it!!! It will make all the difference in the world. If it doesn’t, blame me. : )
    3. You mentioned that it feels like you’ve been here longer than just two months or so… I have to say, I agree. There’s something about this town… When people ask me how long I’ve been here I have to fight the desire to say “For ages!” or “It’s been years now,” and instead mumble something about a little more than two years. I think the size of Winston and it’s distinctive way of being able to drive down Stratford Rd. only to turn left… onto Stratford. The whole town is like that! It’s a navigator’s nightmare, but the tricks of the trade are quickly learned and I believe that makes one feel more at home. I could be wrong. It could totally be the slowing of an electron or two!
    4. Lastly, write and post… don’t think. Some of the best posts (in my humble opinion) are from late night ramblings or in-the-moment passionate rantings! Now, I do see you point in presenting a complete, well-thought-out idea (especially when you have a small audience) and definitely post those as well, but it’s the incomplete thoughts that generate great discussions!

    And that’s my two cents. Feel free to “send back the change” if you don’t find it valuable! Besides, what do I know? I’m just visiting!! : ) Oh! I forgot, keep up with the “making friends” process… it’s vital.

  3. admin says:

    Thank you Erica :)

  4. admin says:

    I wanted the one with 4 trillion little gray Lego’s all to go down in specific order and with it’s own special place.

    I have very strong opinions about this. Lego as an institution has been in a tailspin ever since its heyday in the late ’80s/early ’90s. And the root cause is just as you describe: There are fewer and fewer pieces per set, giving not only fewer possibilities when it comes time to construct something besides what’s on the box but also shortening the construction process in the first place and giving less of a sense of satisfaction upon completion. I can only conjecture as to the reasons: more marketing tie-ins necessitating more specifically-shaped pieces, rising litigation costs from parents whose kids ate the smaller pieces, etc… But whatever the case, I’ve been saddened by Lego’s direction. The castle/space/town sets I have from that era were the best they ever released and provided the bulk of the raw material from my later projects, not the newfangled compound-curvature one-use-only pieces from the newer sets. It’s tragic.

  5. admin says:


    …yes? :)

  6. eviefencer says:

    hmm…yes, i will agree with the conversation about legos sets and how much better they were back when i used to steal borrow them from my brother…though i did go for some of the sets with more specialized pieces, for me it was always best when they were most complicated to build.

    do you think i really bother to check if my posts have coherency? nah. just post, don’t think too much. too much thinking is bad for the brain (so my students tell me)…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tragic doesn’t even begin to describe it, but believe me when I say, I’m scouring eBay constantly looking for mint sets of such things. I’m always so impressed to see the Statue of Liberty or some other giant construction purely made of Lego’s… I can only imagine the satisfaction of creating something like that from scratch without the instruction sheet… In my own personal experience I’d say it could probably be likened to the time I carved my own eagle into a pumpkin for Halloween, but I don’t have anything to base that on!

    I’m glad to see someone else is passionate about the disgraceful nature of modern day Lego’s! It makes me feel a little less weird!

  8. zooromancer says:

    instead of getting a christmas tree for inside, why don’t you buy and plant an evergreen somewhere in your yard? (passive solar teachings recommend east or west facade). you can decorate it with strung popcorn, peanut butter and seed coated pine cones, lights, whatever. it will be different than an indoor tree, because it will have a long term presense that the indoor tree won’t, it will help celebrate the season (birth, hope, life), and it will beautify your yard.

    the other option is simply decorating your foyer with balsam sprigs or garlands. the smell is wonderful and festive for you, and you avoid the ‘excess’ of a full sized tree.

  9. admin says:

    That’s an idea. I dunno if my yard is really suitable for a tree, though. It’s more of a deciduous neighborhood around here.

    Good ideas :)