Tag Archives: New England

We Are Of The World, And That’s Okay

I was taking a walk yesterday, and I was amazed at just how colorful the trees in my neighborhood were. It’s kind of funny, actually; it’s like I forget that they get this way every year. They really are beautiful, and they drop giant piles of orange and red leaves that smell amazing.

I take a walk just about every day if it’s warm enough outside, and yesterday was about perfect. It was a bit cool, but not uncomfortably so. There was a bit of a breeze, and the sun was warm. My walk takes me around the horseshoe of the street I live on, then down a busier street, and onto the street that leads to the cemetery. I then wander down to the back of the cemetery, which is connected to my friend’s back yard, and I cut through there to get home. I sometimes sit in the back of the cemetery for a while and look at the sky or follow ants, or sometimes talk to my grandmother on the phone. Sometimes I just talk to myself. Yesterday I just sat there with my eyes closed. It was very nice.

There are a few particularly colorful trees on my street, and they, along with a video I remembered, made me think of something: The world itself is not evil. The world worships God. A similar thought came to my mind after seeing (or rather, hearing) this video in one of my classes. It is the sound of crickets slowed down to what they would sound like if they had the same lifespan as humans:

I remember a quote from John Keats that has stuck with me since high school. He said in his poem Ode on a Grecian Urn: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty–that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” An idea that is thrown around a lot at my school is that, as Christians, we should be “in the world but not of it.” Well, the fact of the matter is, we are “of the world,” and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Nature is beautiful and innocent, and we are natural beings. Obviously we, along with many things we create, have been corrupted by sin, but we were created in the image of God, and I think that somewhere within us, that innate goodness remains. If it didn’t, I don’t think it would be possible for us to know God. Furthermore, I don’t think it would be possible for us to be creative.

What I’m trying to say is that the trees changing color is their way of worshiping God. Birds singing; crickets chirping; water flowing and giving life; the sun rising and setting everyday; it’s all Creation’s way of worshiping, and saying “thank you” to the Creator. As humans, we often try and do it so elaborately, with complicated music and ceremony and what have you: but in a way, even just existing and acknowledging where we came from and our place in the world is a form of worship; possibly the purest form.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

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If I Saw You In The Airport

I wrote this story after I wrote a song called “Airport Song.” It’s based off musings about what would happen if I ran into Jesus in a public place. It just happened to be an airport for some reason, and I think it works well. I haven’t really edited it much, but it’s very short. Furthermore, the narrator in the story sin’t necessarily me. She’s sort of based on me, but I’ve altered some details. Anyway, here it is.

If I Saw You In The Aairport

I was on my way to California when I met him. I had never been to California, and now I was going. I was finally going. I was so excited to see the West Coast. I guess I’ve always sort of had an idealized idea of what it’s like. I had never really left New England up until that point, and I was nervous as I checked my bags, got a hot dog and found my gate. The airport was extremely crowded on that day. It was early May, and still a bit chilly in Boston. It had been a long winter, and it seemed, or at least I guessed, that everyone was headed somewhere warm.

Finally I found a place to sit that was slightly less crowded near one of the big windows that look out over the runway. I sat for a moment in silence, rather breathless, and then, to pass the time, I dug out my phone and looked up the weather in San Francisco. Eighty degrees and sunny for the next week. Perfect. I had at least an hour to kill, so I ate my hot dog, played some games on my phone, checked Facebook and called my grandmother. Then I noticed the time and saw that I would be boarding my flight in twenty five minutes.

It was at that moment that a young man, I guessed a few years older than myself walked up carrying only a small carry-on bag with him. He looked tired, and perhaps a bit distracted, but content. When he noticed me watching him he said, “Hello.”

“Hello,” I said. “Are you looking for a place to sit?” There were several empty seats on either side of me at the moment.

He smiled and said, “Yes.”

“Well, sit down,” I said. “Where are you going?”

“I don’t know,” he said as he took a seat. “I’m waiting to see.”

“See what?”

“Who I’m traveling with.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll know where I’m going once I know who I’m going with. That’s all.”

“But what if you find out the person you’re supposed to be going with has already left?” I felt that I had been rather cleaver in asking this question.

“They haven’t. I’ll find them before they leave.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Because I believe it.”

It felt to me as if this conversation was going in circles. Clearly this man was crazy.

“I’m not crazy,” he said as if he knew what I was thinking. I figured since I would be leaving in a few minutes that it would be at least interesting to continue the conversation, and I would have a reasonable, not-rude excuse to cut it off if it got weird.

“Alright. I didn’t say you were crazy,” I said patiently.

“You were thinking it, though. Where are you going?”

“California.”

“Have you been there before?”

“No, I haven’t. It’s sort of a little present to myself. I just graduated college.”

“Congratulations,” he said, so sincerely that I was actually touched by this over-used, uninteresting word.

“Thanks… Have you ever been to California before?”

“A few times. I’ve been just about everywhere for my work.”

“Really? What do you do for work?”

“I guess you could say I’m a teacher.”

“Like a traveling professor?”

“In a way.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I don’t get paid because I don’t charge my students. I hardly ever spend a whole lot of time in one place, and I’ve never been tied to one institution. All I ask is that people listen, think about it, and spread the word.”

“How do you live if you don’t get paid?”

“I live off the charity of others.”

“Why?”

“It’s part of my teaching. I want people to be kind to one another.”

“I’ve never heard of anyone like you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Pretty sure.”

“Then you’ve misunderstood.”

“Misunderstood what?”

“You’ve misunderstood what you say you believe in.”

I was silent for a moment. I was very confused at this point, and my plane was leaving in just a few minutes, but for some reason I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to know more.

“You’ll miss your flight,” he said, once again reading my thoughts.

“That’s alright… I’ll catch another.”

“I’m glad. I like talking to you.”

“Thanks.”

He was silent for a moment, then he said, “If you could go anywhere, where would you go?”

“Right now, somewhere warm. Anywhere warm.”

“What about Africa?”

“Maybe.”

“Have you ever been to the desert?”

“Well, once when I was very little, but I hardly remember.”

“It can be beautiful, but also unforgiving. I spent a long time in the desert once.”

“Were you lost?”

“No, but I did a lot of thinking. Things were different after that for me.”

“What do you mean?”

“I guess you could say I came into my own. I knew what my purpose was.”

“And what was that?”

“To make the world better than it was before. That’s what my teaching is all about.”

After a moment I asked, “Do you know where you’re going yet?”

“Not yet, but I’m getting an idea.”

We sat in silence for another minute, then I asked, “Would you like something to eat? I’ll buy you something.”

“Alright. Thank you. I appreciate it.”

“Great. Do you like pizza? I saw a pizza place around here somewhere.”

“I’ll eat anything. Pizza sounds good.”

We walked over to the pizza place, and I bought him a couple slices of pizza and a bottle of ginger ale for us to share. When we got back to where we had been sitting we discovered that our seats had been taken, so we wandered around the airport, looking to see where all the flights were going. During this time we didn’t talk much. It didn’t feel like we had to. For some reason I felt very comfortable around this man even though he was a bit strange. I led the way as we walked from one end of the airport to the other. The whole place was very crowded and noisy. There were people standing in long lines waiting for food and sitting around talking about where they were going and what they would do when they got there. I wondered if my new friend was listening to any of these conversations. I didn’t understand what he was looking for in his mystery traveler, and I eventually thought that it might as well be me.

We sat down near a random gate. The flight was leaving for Nebraska in an hour. I thought about buying a ticket for this flight, but dismissed the idea as frivolous.

I asked my friend, “Would you like to go somewhere with me?”

“Yes, I would.”

“Okay. Where should we go?”

“You decide.”

“Well, where haven’t you been?”

“I’ve been just about everywhere. Where haven’t you been?”
I laughed. “Everywhere. I mean anywhere. I’ve hardly left New England.”

“How about Istanbul?”

“Alright,” I said. “Why?”

“Because you haven’t been there.”

“Okay. When should we go?”

“Tonight.”

“What if there isn’t a flight tonight?”

“There will be. Don’t worry.”

“How do you know?”

“It’s meant to be.”

“You wanna bet?”

“No, I don’t.”

“We don’t have any hotel reservations or anything.”

“That’s alright. We’ll manage. We’ll find a place to stay.”

“You’re crazy.”

“A lot of people think so.”

“We haven’t packed the right stuff to go all that way,” I said, looking at his small bag, and thinking of all my luggage, which was now on its way to California.

“Don’t worry about that. You don’t need a whole lot, really.”

I laughed. “Alright. I’ll go with you to Istanbul. Just don’t let me get lost.”

“I won’t. Just stay with me.”

“Alright, but what about my stuff? I missed me flight to California.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

“Really?”

“Yes. Do you trust me?”

“Yes,” I said after a moment. “I do.”

“So it’s settled then.”

“Yes.”

Somehow

Somehow I have 51 followers now. I’m still not entirely sure how that happened. I ramble about coffee, faith and music…. while drinking coffee and listening to worship music. I’m not that exciting, guys! I come to conclusions about huge issues that are probably not as well thought out as they could be, overly simplified, absurd or just straight up wrong, but for some reason y’all still seem to like what I have to say.

Well, I want to say thanks so much for reading, and I want to let y’all know that I have a plan. It has taken me forever to formulate and commit to this plan, but I have one! For the next two years while I’m working on my English degree I’m going to be writing songs, recording and working on setting up gigs for the summers. I’ll play in the Boston area and hopefully spread out to all of New England. After those two years I’m just going t0 jump in head first and go as far as it takes me (Europe, perhaps? I miss you, Frenchie!). Hopefully I’ll have enough recognition to live off of this musical insanity. If not I’ll try and get some kind of writing job that will allow me to work from anywhere. As long as I can remain mobile, I should get this to work.

At some point I’m also going to move the music-related stuff to a blog called “The Meandering Hat,” which I haven’t got started yet, but I want to still be able to use flyinguineapig for philosophy and personal stuff. So that’s the plan! I also need to see about getting signed. I’m actually not worried about that. I’ve never had a bad reception of my music. Everyone seems to like it (except for my brother, but I think it’s a prerequisite to being a younger sibling). It’s astonishing, weird and encouraging. 🙂

Seriously though, I think this is the first time I’ve ever really had a plan. The future used to scare me a lot, but it doesn’t as much now that I’ve definitively decided to follow this crazy dream of mine. I know I’ve said I’ve had plans before, but that wasn’t always entirely true and they weren’t really long term, future plans. I think I was inevitably going to end up here. I couldn’t just finish the album and do nothing with it. music is what I’m best at and I want whatever I do to glorify God. This seems like a pretty awesome way to do that. Prayers are appreciated. Wish me luck, peeps!

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Snow Day

It’s snowing! We’re supposed to get a good dumping (I think 1 1/2 to 2 feet). I usually only have 1 class on Friday, but classes were canceled today. I would have got up early to do homework this morning, but I slept in since I didn’t have class. It was glorious. It doesn’t seem to be snowing too hard now, but I guess it will get bad later this afternoon and tonight. It will be really nice with the wood stove cranking. I think a good nerdy movie like Star Wars or something is in order. Some people have man caves in their basements. We have a nerd cave. I’m just about done with my cup of coffee. I might grab a second and some food and get some non-school-related work done before I tackle the homework.

I don’t know if any of you guys who read are from New England, but if so, good luck with the snow! Enjoy it! 🙂