Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
So, here goes...
the moors lie, an open canvas
blown smooth by the wind --
barrenness, barrenness, barrenness that
gives birth to so much beauty.
the opening dawn brushes the heart
steals it away into the sweet, the familiar mundane
wavering chords of birdsong
weave through thick emptiness
fading, fading, fading
into the fog; straying,
waking in the rain.
lost hope is called back
and love wanders into the sun,
leaves its nest behind
to soar into heaven's sanctuary,
circling, circling, circling
over the gentle folds of the earth.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I'm not overly worried about doing poorly on the exam -- I've calculated that, even if I get a low mark on it, I can still retain a 90-average because of other work that I've done in the course. My concern isn't that I'll bring down my mark; it's that I'll let my teacher down. Just a few days ago, he told me that he was really pleased with how I was doing in the course and asked if he could use one of my projects to show as an example to future classes.
This was a very pleasant surprise, considering how much I've hated math all my life. Oh, I know that most everyone "hates" math -- but I'm sure that few people have ever cried every day for a whole year before math class, as I did in fourth grade (we were learning long division -- now, I have a scientific calculator for that chore!). Math has always scared the wits out of me, and, even though I've always managed to scrape by with A's in the subject, I never really understood it or felt confident in it. It's only in my final year of high school that I've managed to find an aspect of math which I enjoy. I never expected to like math -- much less be good at it -- so this has served as a nice lesson in doing hard things for me.
The problem is, I still feel like my good grades aren't really representative of what I know. In many of the units, I only got high marks because tests were easy and I happened to memorize the right notes; not so much because I understood what I was learning.
And now I'm feeling the pressure. My teacher, who thinks I'm great at math, expects me to get an equally great mark on the exam, and I just don't think I'll be able to manage it. I've memorized all the formulas and practiced all the questions, but get stuck as soon as I encounter a new question, and only manage to understand it after I check the Answer Key. Plus, my brain's really, really about to melt.
So I'm really going to let down my teacher on the exam -- and I hate that feeling! We've all seen singers release not-so-great albums, athletes do sub-par on the Olympics, writers publish disappointing sequels -- I hate to think that I'm going to make someone feel that way with my own work. I really don't like letting people down; whether I'm blogging, Flickr'ing, or working on schoolwork, I'm always worried about how my work will measure up to all that I've done in the past. In fact, that's why I quit writing for several years after sixth grade -- I wrote a few good (for my age) stories that won me an award, and I stopped experimenting, afraid that I would fail to produce something equally good.
This fear of pressure is also why I stopped blogging three times (on other blogs, not this one) and quit art in middle school. It's ruled a lot of my life. I've learned, in time, to overcome it, but it's getting the better of me tonight. And it's making me wonder.
Why do I care so much about what my teacher will think of me if I fail, and so little about what God thinks when I disappoint him? God has seen me as a devoted, trusting, and on-fire disciple, and now he sees me slipping away, running after the transient, emphemeral charms and deceptions of this earth instead of stepping closer to him. He sees me trip over the world's worthless lies, and fall so, so far below what he wants and expects me to be.
Why do I care so little?
Granted, there's no pressure. In God, I am free from pressure, competition, deadline, and stress. He wants me to work, rest, and commune with him out of my own will, not as a response to prodding or force. It's my choice to serve God, and it's my choice to care.
Tonight, I feel at peace. Whether I do poorly on tomorrow's exam, or whether I hear another "Good job, Oksana," I know that only one thing matters: it's whether or not I will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Only one thing matters.