Wednesday, April 30, 2008

God Bless 19th century British Fiction

17 chapters into George Eliot's Adam Bede, and what do I find but a playful, philosophical, spiritual discourse from the author directly to her female readers- a confrontation over what her readers expect her to write about, and what she instead has chosen - to write about authentic, complex, flawed people: the "real breathing men and women, who can be chilled by your indifference or injured by your prejudice." (p. 176).

This is one of the most surprising, delightful and impacting chapters I've ever read in a book, and the fact that it's nudged a third of the way into a 6 volume novel written by an iconoclastic, pseudonymed woman in 1859 makes it all the more poignant and potent. My favorite line, (though I'd love to write a whole thesis paper on this 9 page chapter), says this:

"Yes! thank God; human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth; it does not wait for beauty--it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Haiku: Queen Anne & Mercer

Looks like I'm standing
at the bus stop, but inside,
I'm rollerskating.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Haiku: April, again

Can't help feeling I
might have wasted all of my
bravery on you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Night Haiku

Sometimes you have to
cry alone while "Billie Jean"
plays in the background.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I had this assignment today:
"Take 5 photos of your “context” from the time you leave your house to the time you arrive at school. As you choose what to photograph, be intently aware of the journey from home to school. What strikes you? What provokes you? What makes you want to stop and gaze? These are the things you should photograph. Don’t over think it and don’t try to figure out “why” the image stirs you. We’ll talk more about that in class. Just snap the picture and move on."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

1...2...3 Everybody's Doing It

Book Meme.

The rules: turn to page 123 of the book(s) you're currently reading and copy down lines 6, 7 and 8.

Key Concepts in Psychotherapy Erwin Singer

emotional difficulty: the pathology of feeling compelled to en-
gage in "acitivity" which he knows he cannot puruse;
he must be free to know when to say "no," must not feel compelled to

The Brief History of the Dead Kevin Brockmeier
and dad. So many people. I should remain professional here.
I'm sorry. No wonder we never heard anything from Coca-Cola.
I'm sure we'll manage to get in touch with somebody sooner or

The Web of Life Fritjof Capra
ory is the first mathematics that enables scientists to deal with the
full complexity of these nonlinear phenomna.
The exploration of nonlinear systems over the past decades has

Long-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Glen Gabbard
the previous night than a daydream they had only minutes before the session began. Patients seem to feel more responsibility for daydreams and therefore feel that their secret fears, wishes, deficiencies, and conflicts are

Adam Bede George Eliot
tuition which is the distinguishing attribute of their sex, see at once
that he is "nice." The chances are that he will go through life without
scandalizing any one; a sea-worthy vessel that no one would refuse to

Introducing the New Testament Achtemeier, Green, Thompson
to some, Mark the Evangelis has appeard as little more than a chronicler,
having put the sory of Jesus' career in written form for the sake of posterity. Thisview has been helped along by the ancient tradtion stating that Mark served as Pe-

The Kingdom of God is Like... Thomas Keating

doesn't have 123 pages...sorry buddy

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Kj, I was reminded of you when the Dalai Lama spoke."

-Jamie Sprio

You can't buy PR like that!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Rundown

Activity of the Day: Rolling my eyes and muttering obscenities

Song: "Lies" Glen Hansard

Paradoxical Self-Description: Fragile Pugilist

Book: I can't wait to start reading "Adam Bede" by George Elliot. I have missed 19th century British fiction

Desire: Kiehl's Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133

Joy: Katrina Monta is getting on a plane and arriving here Monday morning

Quote of the Week: (upon walking out my front door Friday morning) "Freaking Spring! Shut up birds!!"

Just bought: Bach: Goldberg Variations, by Simone Dinnerstiein

Blessing: Taking a sick day

Celebrity Crush: Fritjof Capra

Catching up to the rest of the world: Powerpoint presentations

Movie: Jane Eyre, 2006 Masterpiece Theatre version

Drink: Absolut Vanilla and Coke

Love: My housemates

Friday, April 4, 2008

"MHGS Worked For Me!" - My life as promo

In general, our school has a pretty fun and post-modern slant on development and fundraising. For example, we don't call our supporters "donors" we call them accomplices- we implicate them in what goes on here. Has a nice ring of danger and criminality to it.
Well, every couple months, our accomplices get a newsletter with a little interview or reflection from a student, staff member, faculty member and alum. This month I got to be the student. They said write whatever I wanted, but it made most sense to try to summarize why I came here, what its been like and more or less, why i think we're worth giving money to. So, here's my little blurb. It's hardly even the tip of the iceberg as far as why I'm here and what's happened, but it's still accurate- it sounds a lot more simple and shiny than it really is. But that's typically how blurbs work anyway.

Student Reflection
Kj Swanson
Master of Divinity Student

In Spring of 2006 I decided to leave my life in New York City, working various capacities in the Off-Broadway theatre world, and see what would happen if I gave as much time and study to my love of God as I’d given to my love of theatre. Since that was the goal (I called it marrying my passion for God to my passion for academia), the 2 year Christian Studies degree program seemed ideal. By the spring of my first year, however, it became increasingly apparent that the kind of exploration, deep questioning and vigorous creativity I was being called into here at MHGS needed more than 48 credits worth of investment.

I sought advisement from faculty members, talked with other students, and wondered out loud what exactly it was I wanted from my time at MHGS. What emerged was my need for trial and error; a praxis approach to dreaming on behalf of the church, the arts and contemporary culture. What if I could actually DO some of the things I’ve dreamt of before leaving Mars Hill Graduate School?

It was a short road from these questions to switching to the 4 year MDiv program. The change has been life-giving. During that time of questioning, I also joined student leadership as a member of Sacred Space, and have thus had a solid support system for taking creative risks out of a desire to serve and give voice to the spiritual longings in our community. It takes my breath away to see, for the first time in my life, how the ways I have worked, thought and created for theatre can now make sense liturgically, worshipfully and relationally. The beauty of this community challenged me to see and hear more clearly what God was calling my heart towards. I’m so thankful and excited to have two more years with Mars Hill Graduate School.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A quick barometer quiz

I Stole this list from Lucy (see side panel), and I couldn't resist the procrastinatory invitation to blog instead of writing another page of my 15 page treatise on whatever it is I'm writing about tonight.

Thought: Will I scare my neighbors if I start smashing bottles in our cul-de-sac late at night?

Heroine: Sofia Coppola

Contemplation: When is God not about process?

Film: The Matrix. It keeps coming up. Everything in my life right now seems to bring up the Blue Pill or Red Pill question. I definitely downed the red one...

Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Listening to Dashboard Confessional's "The Best Deceptions." A LOT

Color: White- I've started wearing it again, a little bit.

Wish: for a counterpart

Song: 'Stop Whispering" Radiohead

Book: Kevin Brockmeier's "the Brief History of the Dead"

Triumph: I'm kicking my homework's ass!!! (but I might be bruised internally just the same)

Celebrity Crush: Steve Martin

Indulgence: French Baroque Opera

Story: The Diary of Anne Frank

Surprise: Receiving a $10 McDonalds gift card in the mail from my favorite paradoxical fast food friend Neigel Smith in NYC.

Field Trip: I don't get to go places. But I do have two of my favorite people on earth headed out here within the next six weeks.

Feeling: anger, anxiety, rage, rest, spite, serentiy, stupidity, the usual...