Sunday, November 24, 2013

Closure: Leaving the Course for the Last Time

Cross Country season is over...all too soon. I am honestly so thankful I still have track to look forward to. Getting ready to qualify in the marathon!!! (say WHAAAT???)

The Crossroads League Championships (conference race) was two weeks ago; that was a memorable day. It reminded me why running all those miles last summer was worth it. The Spring Arbor University Track and Field men's and women's teams both came out to support us; there's not doubt SAU had the best represented (and loudest) fan base that day. It was pretty incredible to be a part of it all. 

Kyle Anderson and I both took first in the conference!!! I'm not sure, but historically I think that's pretty rare. Shout out to Noah Hoverdink and Nathan Anderson as well, both finished in the top fifteen (all conference). 

Finishing in the top five at conference landed me the opportunity to race in Lawrence Kansas on the Rim Rock Farm course at the NAIA National Championship race.

Let me tell you...

I loved every minute of it.

The course itself was a beast. Seriously, the most brutal 3.1 miles of my life. Hills. Hills. Hills and hills, especially in the third mile. I crossed the line at 18:35 and placed 33rd (6 seconds away from being an All-American! close). Teammate Elley Hinkel flew out with me for moral support; I definitely could hear her screaming for me. She's hoping to make it out to the NAIA meet next year. I know she's absolutely capable. I'm excited for her season.

I wish I could devote more time sharing all the details, but to be honest the trip has put me majorly behind with homework and such...

So I will leave you with and article from the SAU Athletics website:

Also, if you're a senior in high school (runner or not), and trying to decide where to go to school, come to Spring Arbor University. Over the course of these four years, this place has challenged my thinking and general understanding of life, enabling opportunities to live in community with some pretty incredible individuals, and (hopefully) set me well on my way to life beyond college and the cross country course.

SAU has become more than just some obscure college to which I randomly (and completely last-minute) decided to commit. The people I've met here and knowledge and experience I've been given will stay with me the rest of my life.

I feel ready for what's next (whatever that is), but I'm also thankful for the time here.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thesis On Riprap

Life is incredibly hectic right now! Still, I am thankful I have a lot to look forward to. The NAIA cross country meet is next week well as the first draft of my senior thesis. The thesis is coming along well, I'm writing about Taoism (an ancient Chinese philosophy), poetry, and one of Gary Snyder's poems. I'm on page 10 of 25, and thankfully still have more to say. 

The poem: 

Gary Snyder

Lay down these words 
Before your mind like rocks. 
  placed solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
  in space and time: 
Solidity of bark, leaf or wall
  riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way, 
  straying planets, 
These poems, people, 
  lost ponies with 
Draggling saddles --
  and rocky sure-foot trails. 
The worlds like an endless 
Game of Go. 
  ants and pebbles
In the thin loam, each rock a word 
  a creek-washed stone
Granite: ingrained
  with torment of fire weight 
Crystal and sediment linked hot 
  all change, in thoughts, 
As well as things. 

Gary Syder

Snyder was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Turtle Island, his 1974 collection of poetry, which he hoped would override his “Beat poet” epithet; even so, his personal friendships with other leaders of the movement had forever endeared him as a Beat writer. He graduated from Reed College and began his masters in anthropology but quit soon after he began. In 1956, he left from San Francisco to Japan to study at the First Zen Institute of Kyoto. In an interview with Nathaniel Tarn, Snyder explained that “Anthropology was concerned with understanding human nature--but then why go to other people, why not study one’s own nature. So…Zen.” Two years later, in 1958, he returned to the States and published his first book of poetry, Riprap (1959). “The Zen tradition of Buddhism often defines itself as ‘seeing into one’s own nature,’” Snyder explained, “and its discipline of meditation aims at gaining a clear perception of the self and the external world.” Zen, an echo of the more “orthodox” Taoist philosophy, was the foundation driving Snyder’s work. When explaining the inspiration behind his condensed yet distinctly nuanced poetic lines, he said, “I tried writing poems of tough, simple, short words, with the complexity far beneath the surface texture. In part the line was influenced by the five- and seven-character line Chinese poems I’d been reading, which work like sharp blows on the mind.” Snyder’s “Riprap,” the poem his first book was later named after, is similarly composed into “simple, short, words” that allows the reader to feel the prick of reality beyond the syntax; the words themselves were not the pinnacle of meaning.

Charters, Ann. (2001). Beat Down Your Soul. “Gary Snyder.” Penguin Putnam Inc.  
Tarn, Nathaniel. (1972). From Anthropologist to Informant: A Field Record of Gary Snyder. Alcheringa, issue 4. 
Almon, Bert. (1977). Buddhism and Energy in the Recent Poetry of Gary Snyder. Mosaic: A Journal for the Comparative Study of Literature and Ideas, Vol. XI, No. 1.


Saturday, November 9, 2013


I love small spaces and old places! 

On one of my running routes, I routinely passed by a mysterious rustic tiny house. Naturally, it roused my curiosity and I always made a mental note to come back for pictures. Finally, this past weekend, I had the opportunity.

After getting a closer look, I discovered there wasn't just one tiny house, but three!! I was thankful to spend the afternoon with a friend and capture some quality photos in the process.

Someday, I will build my own tiny house...


I love the Tiny House movement! 

I have dedicated a whole Pinterest board to it: 

And I also get a newsletter from this site: 

Share in the love. Even space is more accommodating in moderation! 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Quotes from The Brothers Karamazov

“A man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he does not discern any truth either in himself or anywhere around him, and thus falls into disrespect towards himself and others” (44). 

"It sometimes feels very good to take offense, doesn't it? And surely he knows that no one has offended him, and that he himself has invented the offense and told lies just for the beauty of it, that he has exaggerated for the sake of effect...he knows all that, and still he is the first to take offense, he likes feeling offended, it gives him great pleasure, and thus he reaches the point of hostility" (44).

“It’s already a great deal and very well for you that you dream of that in your mind and not of something else. Once in a while, by chance, you may really do some good deed” (56).

"The more I love mankind in general, the less I love people in particular, that is, individually, as separate persons...I often went so far as to think passionately of serving mankind, and, it may be, would really have gone to the cross for people if it were somehow suddenly necessary, and yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone even for two days, this I know from experience. As soon as someone is there, close to me, his personality oppresses my self-esteem and restricts my freedom" (57).

"You will behold great sorrow, and in this sorrow you will be happy" (77).

"But to fall in love does not mean to love. One can fall in love and still hate" (104).

"She loves her own virtue, not me" (117).

"I know your thoughts. Your heart is better than your head" (134).

"He has hidden indignation seething in him because he has to put on all this holiness" (135).

"No, maybe you will love her eternally, but maybe you won't always be happy with her..." (145).

"Lord have mercy on them all today, unhappy and stormy as they are, preserve and guide them. All ways are yours: save them according to your ways. You are love, you will send joy to all!" (160).


Only a little preview of Part I (the furthest I've read)