Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Moving On...

I've decided to switch over to my other blog, Favor the Brave, as my primary blog for the time being. Please visit me there and consider following to keep up with my adventures back in the United States.

Thanks for your support.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Fear and Our Hope

I recently watched the movie "Invictus" starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon and it was phenomenal. It told the true story of the Springbok South African rugby team and their amazing World Cup victory, helped along by the personal interest of President Nelson Mandela and his visionary leadership. It made me think of this quote I picked up a couple years ago from the speech Nelson Mandela gave at his inauguration.

Our Fear

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech

The movie also centered on the poem "Invictus," for which the movie was named, and I thought that would be worth reposting here as well. It's not hard to imagine a work like this sustaining someone through trials, as it did for Nelson Mandela during his 30 year imprisonment. Works like this are the reason I write.


by:William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Loomings 2011 Release


After a long few months of work, I am happy to report that Loomings, Benedictine College's literary magazine, is avaliable to the public! We had a wonderful little release party earlier this afternoon where we recognized the award winners and heard some great poems from the magazine read. It was so rewarding to work on such a beautiful magazine, especially as Co-Editor in Chief. 
Best wishes to next year's editors!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Colorspiration: True Green

Colorspiration: True Green

Green has been my favorite color since I was in middle school, and these bright green items are so springy and wonderful! Check out some green flower earrings like the ones pictured in my Etsy store!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting Ready for Loomings!

We're counting down the days until Loomings (the literary magazine I edit) comes back from the printers! In anticipation of its release, I'd like to share a poem of mine that is included. Enjoy!


I couldn’t say for certain
why it is that I feel so
foreign to myself
when I speak about
the reigns of kings and the
mud most often used
for bricks in Kenya
but each time my mind
fights to understand those
things I do not know
my artist heart can’t help
but feel a little lost
about itself.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot

I'm writing my seminar thesis paper on one of my favorite writers of all time: T.S. Eliot. In grappling with his complex ideas about time I have gotten to read some new work of his, such as the play Murder in the Cathedral and the poems in The Four Quartets, which are stunning. I have also stumbled across some old favorites, including this poem that I would like to share with you today: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. This stunning work all but defined the modernist movement and I can never get enough of his amazing diction and imagery. Enjoy!

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

by T. S. Eliot

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question…
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate,
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute win reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in
upon a platter,
I am no prophet-and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along
the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good Advice (and Happy Birthday to Me!)

Today I'm legal and I think this is some solid writing advice. I mean I did study writing in Ireland, so what do you expect?


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Colorspiration: Dainty Pink

Colorspiration: Dainty Pink

Even though I've never been much of a pink person, I can't underestimate how hot this color is going to be this spring. As always, everything is avaliable for under $50!

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Abbreviated Performance of the President's Legacy

This kid is seriously too adorable. Props to his parents--I hope I'm that cool when I have kids! Happy President's day everyone :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vintage Postage Stamp Box

A few years ago I came into ownership of a HUGE quantity of stamps, as well as many foreign stamps and duplicates. The appraiser I had come and look at them said that they weren't really worth anything, so I decided to be creative with them :)

I've explored lots of ways of using these stamps and I've used them to make pendants, decorated ball point pens, and boxes like this one.
This particular box is covered with bright colored stamps from all over the world. I painted the box with a base coat and then mod podged the stamps onto it. I then used foil tape to tidy up the edges of both the lid and the box. Then I covered the whole thing with a clear glaze and added green felt to the bottom of the box. I absolutely love the finished product! Check it out:

Hope you like it!


Monday, February 14, 2011

"i carry your heart with me" by ee cummings

As I'm sure you're aware, it's Valentine's Day. However you're celebrating it and whoever you're with, it is important to remember that we always hold the people we love in our hearts. 
Also, I just love e.e. cummings.


i carry your heart with me

by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Day of KCACTF

Today I leave for the Kennedy Center College Theater Festival! I will be away from my computer for awhile, but never fear, my posts are all scheduled to pop up each day just like they have been.

Break a leg!


Friday, January 14, 2011

"The Thing Is" by Ellen Bass

This poem is by Ellen Bass, a genius poet whose distinctly modern style caught my attention right away. This is my favorite work of her's. It has become something of an anthem for me.

The Thing Is

by Ellen Bass

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, how can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

(This from Ellen Bass' book  The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007))

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Day of Spring Semester

School starts this morning and I this is how I'm feeling... 7 AM comes so early!

Happy Spring Semester everyone!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Brilliant Suitcase Reboot

While I was studying abroad last semester I got a brilliant idea for a jewelry carrying case. I decided to get an old suitcase from the thrift store, add a metal mesh screen to the inside of the top and use the bottom for transporting half trays of rings and pendants and other miscellaneous pieces of jewelry. My dad helped me execute it, and let's just say I'm in love. It worked even better than I thought it would and everything I want to take to college with me to sell this semester fits beautifully. I think there's over 200 pairs of earrings on that baby.

I love it when a plan comes together!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Resolutions

I'm about a week late, but here are my resolutions for this year:

1. To learn a whole (and recognizable) song on the guitar.

2. Get paid for publishing something.

3. Get a real job.

4. Only wear clothes I feel comfortable in.

5. Read books for fun.

6. Start practicing yoga regularly again.

That should do it for now. I'll let you know how it goes.



I try to read this poem once a week. I have it on a little plaque that I keep in my room, and so to start the new year I wanted to share this with you. Enjoy!



by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

A New Semester

I'm leaving to start a new semester of college tomorrow morning, and so on this last night at home I am reflecting on the five semesters that have ended and the one that is to come. It's exciting and a little bit nerve racking to be going back, especially since it's been a year since I started a semester in the United States! But I have hope that it will be the best semester yet.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Irish Blessing for the New Year

It is obvious that I have a love affair with Ireland, so this seems appropriate for the new year. I would also like to point out that it's 1/1/11. Awesome.
God bless.

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