Saturday, September 22, 2018

Another good hymn

Give to the Winds Thy Fears

Give to the winds thy fears,
hope and be undismayed;
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God shall lift up thy head.

Through waves and clouds and storms,
He gently clears the way;
wait thou His time, so shall this night
soon end in joyous day.

Still heavy is thy heart,
still sink thy spirits down?
Cast off the weight, let fear depart,
and ev'ry care be gone.

What though thou rules not,
yet heav'n, and earth, and hell
proclaim, God sitteth on the throne,
and ruleth all things well.

Leave to His sov'reign sway
to choose and to command.
so shalt thou wond'ring own His way,
how wise, how strong His hand!

Far, far above thy thought
His counsel shall appear,
when fully He the work hath wrought,
that caused thy needless fear.

Thou seest our weakness, Lord,
our hearts are known to Thee;
O lift Thou up the sinking heart,
confirm the feeble knee.

Let us in life, in death, 
Thy steadfast truth declare,
and publish with our latest breath

Thy love and guardian care.

~Paul Gerhardt and John Wesley

Friday, September 7, 2018

Academic Writing Assignment

It might interest you. Advice? It's kind of long.

Growing up does not happen in a day, but rather it occurs gradually, over the course of months, years, and events. When searching my mind for an occasion to write about, I could not think of one specific time after which I was grown up. Perhaps it has not fully happened yet. I did not really relate to any one of the stories in the book Growing Up in Minnesota. Perhaps because I am raised in a different mindset, not a street kid or the rebellious type. I do not swear and curse or do the gross immature things the kids did in the stories. Perhaps my imagination is dull and that is why I did not connect with their growing up stories.
In 2017 when the weather was turning from summer to fall, from green to amber, my horse began the decline of age, and I faced the dreaded question of when to say goodbye. I pushed it away, not wanting it to be reality, not wanting to make the decision. It did not take long before I caved  and all my emotions spilled out and we set a date and time to let her go. When that dreaded day came, the knowledge was the worst part. The knowledge that this was her last day, her last few hours, her last minutes. And she was calm and oblivious, not knowing her fate or worrying about it. Yet I, on the other hand, was at one moment collected and the next an emotional puddle. The goodbyes were said, and she slipped peacefully into her repose. Later my sister told me that this was a life-changer, and it would give me freedom. And she was right, I had freedom to get a car, get a job, focus more on my school and primary hobbies. Is freedom the goal of growing up?
The second occasion that I remember is when my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. My grandparents lived in New Hampshire, so my mother had a long way to travel to go be with her, and she went multiple times. On most of those trips she left me in charge of the house, the chores and the meals, with help from my sister and father. One of the biggest things I learned during that time was responsibility. I must do the work, I must be disciplined, things must be done on time. When my grandmother died, the grief was not there for me, and I do not mean that in an unfeeling way. She suffered through so much pain that death was sweet and quiet. We mourned, but the most important thing I learned was not about grief, for it was still distant to me. I learned responsibility. Is being responsible what it means to be grown up?

The third event happened just a week ago, so the thoughts and feelings are all still quite real and fresh. Late one night one of my friends killed himself. The grief and pain individuals, families, and community are feeling is immense. You would never expect that one of your friends, let alone the funny, caring, and gregarious one, would do such a devastating thing as suicide. It is a true shock when it happens. The process of denial, coping with the idea of it all, the tears, and finally the acceptance that this all really happened is something I have never known before. It is not a dream. It is reality. Inside me the hole left is gaping. I have learned how to grieve, how to deal with the aftermath no one ever wants to deal with. I have learned that suicide is selfish. I know that when I come through this I will be more grown up. But is knowing true grief part of being grown up?

All three of these stories have shaped who I am, how I have grown up, and who I will be tomorrow. They shape how I will respond to life’s adventures, tragedies, and hopes. I would not say that after each of these I was grown up, but rather that each of them helped me understand adult-hood; each of them taught me something else about being an adult. And who knows, another event will come along and teach me something new. Something else to give me that one piece closer to being complete. Being grown up means having a well-rounded view of life, and a way to be efficient and knowledgeable. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Oh, What Their Joy and Their Glory Must Be

Oh what their joy and glory must be, 
those endless Sabbaths the blessed ones see!
Crowns for the valiant, to weary ones rest;
God shall be all, and in all, ever blest.

In new Jerusalem joy shall be found,
blessings of peace shall forever abound;
wish and fulfillment are not severed there,
not the things prayed for come short of the prayer.

We, where no troubles distraction can bring,
safely the anthems of Zion shall sing;
while for Your grace, Lord, their voices of praise
Your blessed people shall evermore raise.

Now let us worship our Lord and our King,
joyfully raising our voices to sing;
Praise to the Father, praise to the Son,
praise to the Spirit, to God, three in One. 

~ Peter Abelard

Saturday, August 25, 2018

In Memory . . .

. . . of Leonard Bernstein, on his 100th birthday. He had a passion greater than many musicians, a desire to make music a connecting point for humans anywhere, and a heart for teaching. 

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All images not my own.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Goodbye work, hello school!

Yesterday was my last day of working at the bakery. In some ways I was sad to leave, but in other ways I am excited and relieved to be moving on. I learned a lot there, from kitchen skills to people and communication skills. I am welcome there whenever I want to put a few hours in, or come Christmas when the order sheet gets to be very long. So perhaps I will work there a few more days this year.

For now, I have about 11 days of resuming home life before I commute to the nearby (nearby as in an hour away) college for PSEO classes again this fall. It's looking like I'll have 12 credits. If I do well again this year I may, possibly, hopefully, make it on the Dean's List. That's being awfully optimistic, though. I'll be taking speech, economics, academic writing, orchestra, and piano and harpsichord. All the classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays, and orchestra is for sure on Tuesdays. Lessons will vary. Tuesdays will be looooong days, no doubt. I'm going to be working at getting better at note-taking in class --- so Wednesday morning when I go to do homework I remember what actually happened in class. Any tips on note-taking?

I'll technically be a senior in high school, which is a funny feeling. Senior pictures and recitals and all that are on my mind. . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

All the flowers, please!

We planted flowers on Coco's grave this spring and they are stunning right now. Mostly warm colors, but with the occasional periwinkle bachelor's button, or the white cupped flowers. It's hard to photograph the bright ones, though.

 This last one is my favorite.

I like playing with black and white, too. It really brings the texture out.

Which flower color is your favorite? 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Violinists are weird

We do photoshoots with our instruments, cuz they're pretty. 

This first one's dark, I know, but it adds to the mystery of the picture.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Silver Leaves

"Down they all went, and at the bottom they found themselves in a most delightful grove of trees; 

and the leaves were all of silver 

and glittered and sparkled beautifully. 

~ The Twelve Dancing Princesses 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Southwest Minnesota String Festival 2018!

Dear everyone,

Hello from a satisfactorily tired violinist! Today I have pictures to share with you, and not stories, since my brain will not spin a tale right now. If you'd like to watch one of our concerts, here you are: I start playing at 1 hour and five or so minutes.

 <--- the musicians of the Motley Crew

 <---- best friend!

 <--- in the cafeteria?

 <--- final day!

 <--- more friends. . .

 <--- all the friends! 

 <--- best friend (again)! :) 

 <--- friends!

 <--- the BSU (Bacco Student Academy)

 <--- Musicianship class group one! 

More to come later!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Nothing to see here!

It's been pretty quiet around here, hasn't it? I've been working and teaching but nothing remarkable has happened. Next week is camp already, so along with work this week I will be packing. I will definitely write about camp this year again --- so there will be activity on here in a few weeks! :) 

What have you been up to this summer?