The First of the Year

Well, I’m back. Happy Christmas and New Year and all that. I’ve been gone from the blog for a while, but I have been knitting! Here are first finished items of 2014: Socks, Yarn is Patons Kroy Socks FX, Pattern is from a ball band.

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And a Hat, Yarn is Yarn Bee Alpaca, and Pattern is Brioche Hood Hat

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What have you been working on this New Year?

Still

I took wedding photos today. Happy, happy! You will see the outcome tomorrow. Bob is halfway done. Now before you get on my back about him, think about this: it took me about a week to knit a sock. Bob is bigger than a sock. Bob will take longer than a sock. He will be done at some point before December…(I hope…).

Today was a beautiful day. It was a cloudy, cold, November day, but it was beautiful. I love days like today, when Nature is still and I can let her infuse me with her stillness. Our world moves so quickly, and so often we forget to be still. I was reading Shakespeare out in the woods by a lake and came upon an old, unexpected friend.

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
   This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
   To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

~Sonnet 73

Requiem

Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.

So begins the Verdi Requiem. Over 200 musicians have banded together at my university to perform this beautiful work.

A requiem is about death. Many people have written them, many more have enjoyed them, wept through them, and come out more whole. Death is a universal phenomenon. We cannot escape it. And so there will always be mourning on this earth. Several years ago my father and brother were killed in a 4-wheeling accident. As you may imagine, it has not been an easy time for my family as we have struggled to continue with our lives. But with God’s help we are moving on. I have come to realize that the pain never really goes away. You learn to live with it just like you learn to live with back pain or chronic headaches. But there is something healing about acknowledging that the pain is there and praying for it to be relieved. That is what the Verdi Requiem is to me. I am so grateful for a chance to sing this for my loved ones.

And the best part is that I know they are in heaven and that when my turn comes to die I will see them again.

It’s been too …

It’s been too long… I’m sorry for neglecting you all. I have no explanation except that I’m a senior in college with everything in the world going on at once. I’m trying to plan my senior recital (April 12 is the proposed date). So far I have 2 sections ready: Eric Whitacre’s “5 Hebrew Loves Songs” and A Vivaldi motet, “In furore iustissimae irae.” I’m looking for maybe some Schubert, some French and English, and an Aria. And  a most glorious dress. So if you see anything, let me know 😉 Hmmm…maybe some Faure….

I’m also working on Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915.” Good stuff there! I love how quintessentially American it is…it just strikes a chord in me. ❤

In tatting news, I’ve been working on a new design for a small motif. Not sure if it will get me any closer to a potential  for my necklace, but it’s good to be creating. 🙂

Easter eggs and bunny rabbits

Easter. A time of family, friends, and chocolate, right? But did you ever wonder if there was anything more to Easter? How did the holiday start? Why do we still celebrate it?

Easter began as a Christian holiday – literally, a holy day. For those of us who believe, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. But, logically, in order for Jesus to come back to life He must have first died. Jesus did die. He was beaten and mocked and tortured before His death, and yet as He was dying He prayed for God to forgive His murderers. You see, Jesus was innocent. He was not a criminal. In fact, He had not even committed the nominal, ordinary, every-day sins that you and I excuse so often. Jesus was completely sinless. He was God before you or I ever existed, and He loved us so much that He wanted us to be with Him forever in heaven. But there was something in the way of that: our sin. God is so holy that He cannot even look on sin. He has to punish it – if He didn’t, then He would no longer be Himself, no longer be God. But He is so awesome that He figured out a way that He could have His cake and eat it too. God sent His Son, Jesus (also God) to die for you and me so that we could be in heaven with Him forever after we die. Isn’t God awesome!? All we have to do is accept His gift. No “good works” are necessary. There is absolutely no way you can earn your way to heaven. God has done everything that needed to be done. And now he holds out His hand to you and me asking us, “Will you accept My gift?”