Saturday, November 13, 2010

.5 post + The Epic Album

So this really isn't a post. It's more a promotion/plug. Shameless? Absolutely! There's no shame in supporting other artists... But as a random side note, if you have to add "shameless" before your plug doesn't that automatically make it a little shameful? If it's shameless why do you even need to say it's shameless? Just a thought... It's late I need to go to bed.

Shameless, shameful, or what have you, this plug is for the album I mentioned earlier in my Futile Devices post. And while "epic" is making the comeback that "rad" never managed (which, in my view as a child of the 80's, is just sad and unfortunate) it really is the perfect word, the only word I can think of to describe this album. Galactic. Apocalyptic. Mind-blowing. These too could work, but I think "epic" encompasses it all. Yep. I'm sticking with "epic." What word would you choose? Listen, buy and let me know.

P.S.  I promise to write an actual post on this album/concert in the near future. But for now this will have to do. As of now, my current favorites are "Futile Devices" and "Get Real, Get Right." But who am I kidding? They're all rad. Yes. I'm starting a revival... but me thinks this word lacks wings.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I need new feet...

Raise your hand if after reading the title of this post you're:
a) agreeing with me,
b) laughing, or
c) all of the above.

Ballerinas are known for having beautiful legs, but our feet, well, they generally leave something to be desired...
Unsightly? Deformed? Disfigured? Yes, yes and yes!
Well if you put all your body weight on your toes what do you think's gonna happen?
We shop the aisles of the drugstore that generally are only frequented by the geriatric. I just spent $40.00 at Wallgreens buying corn-pads, bandaids, Vaseline, Second Skin (this gel-like stuff that's used for skin burns) and masking tape - all items necessary to get me through the first weekend of the All Tharp Rep we're finishing up this coming weekend.
I'm a "waterbaby" in Twyla Tharp's Waterbaby Bagatelles, and the combination of boureĆ©ing my toes into oblivion during the finale and wearing the flesh-dyed pointe shoes (who's boxes are coincidentally hardened by the dye) created the perfect atmosphere for disaster: the box of my pointe shoe literally sliced the big 'ol callous I'd built up on my pinky toe leaving a thick flap of flesh and an enormous gaping wound.
I didn't just have a blister on my pinky toe... my pinky toe was a giant blister. If only I had a picture... it would be a nice post-halloween scare for you all.
It's therefore not a surprise that I, Jessika Anspach, am notorious at PNB for having the ugliest feet in the company (and for wearing my pointe shoes the longest, but that's for another post). Now that's saying a lot!
So are all my shoes closed-toed? Ha! I'm sure there are people who wish they were... Nope. I unabashedly wear my flip-flops or gladiator sandals in summer. I mean hopefully people are looking at my face and not my feet. And for the most I try not to care what other people think. For the most part...

But there are some days when I wish I had some new feet. And there are some days when I know I need new feet... but not in the way you're thinking. You see there's someone else who's a lot like me:
"In the first place she was a cripple with feet so crooked that they often caused her to limp and stumble as she went about her work.  She had also the very unsightly blemish of a crooked mouth which greatly disfigured both expression and speech and was sadly conscious that these ugly blemishes must be a cause of astonishment and offense to many who knew she was in the service of the great Shepherd." 
Her name is Much-Afraid. She is me. I am her. Her story is told in Hinds Feet on High Places, a story that I'll be working my way through this year as we both (Much-Afraid and I) make our journey toward the High Places, having our crooked mouths corrected and our crippled unsightly feet transformed to hinds feet.
You'll be hearing much more about Much-Afraid and me. And you'll be reading many more snippets of this book. Why? Because, well, it pierces my heart... it cuts right through the thick of it. It says what I cannot. And hopefully it speaks to you too.
And so the journey begins...
"The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places." Habakkuk 3:19

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Futile Devices

It's been a long long time...

Funny. This is not only true of this blog, but also the opening line of the opening song in Sufjan Stevens' newest album, The Age of Adz (pronounced "odds").

There's so much to say, and on so many different topics - this album, this concert (I was blessed to see Sufjan at the Paramount Oct. 30th), this job; dreams that have awoken, lessons that are being learnt... There's so much to say. So much so that it almost overwhelms me. I told my mentor the other day that I felt like I was in the eye of a tornado with life swirling chaotically around me (also a somewhat ironic analogy since I just finished studying cyclonic storms in my Weather, Climate, Geography & Soils class... but I digress). It feels like so many things are up in the air, and I'm waiting to see where everything lands before I can move forward.
And yet I have peace.
For those of you who know me you understand what a miracle - how "of the Lord" this is. Shoot, if you're a Type A, natural born planner, a.k.a. control freak, you understand what a miracle this is.
Generally speaking, even the mere mention of chaos, lack of direction or movement makes my chest tighten and soul cringe as anxiety washes over me. This is my natural "old-self" reaction. But "the old has gone, the new has come"! Praise the Lord He is making me new.
I am new.
I am in the eye of the storm where all is calm amidst the dark whirling storm. I am full of peace. But I am tired. See, it does take energy to stand firm, to stay in the eye, to not get sucked into the cyclone. And that's okay - okay to be tired ("Old-self" would have been shaking her finger at me for not being superwoman). Because I have the Everlasting Arms to rest in... just like the little boy I saw at church today who was sleeping in his dad's arms during the service.

So I curl up in my Abba Father's arms and I rest. And I feel safe. Nothing else matters. This first song on Sufjan's album inspires these feelings in me - it's an invitation to rest, to trust, to peace.
It's been a long long time, and there is so much to say. There's a lot of storm to describe. But I've come to realize that at times, when it comes to describing my swirling life, "words are futile devices."

Enjoy "Futile Devices" by Sufjan Stevens via youtube. And buy his newest album here. Just do it.