Sunday, March 28, 2010


It's Palm Sunday. Well, now it's Monday... I forgot to post this... :P

We are in a sacred time. The world has been sleeping, and soon it will wake up from winter and spring will arrive. Likewise, we have been in Lent, sleeping, fasting, and anticipating the unknown, the coming of the new day, and the hope that what we believe is surely true, and that the snow will melt, the sun will rise, the flowers will bloom, and Christ will conquer.

Because it must have been... terrifying. I was struck by that this morning. How terrifying it must have been, to not know, and to place all hope on something seemingly irrational. There's a Jon Foreman song I really like to listen to that has this lyric, "For these seeds to give birth to life, first they must die." in it, and it's so true - whether it's Christ's death on a cross or stepping back from something you realize is unhealthy to give it the chance to flourish. It seems irrational, and illogical that death begets life, yet it does, strangely enough, and we must have hope in it. Lent is the time when we await death to bring on new life. Those three days at the end of this week is the culmination of the most faith-filled event in history. The death of the world, to rise and triumph over evil. I hope I'm making sense, honestly, all of these ideas are just spinning away from my fingers, and I don't know what I'm going to say next. In class, we've been talking about sacred time, and how there are moments in the day that are truly sacred, and times in the year that are sacred, and that we must be aware and in solidarity of that sacredness. The order of the world is very important, and aligning ourselves with that order is also important.

This has been the most difficult and trying Lent I have ever experienced. And Facebook was the bottom of the list of my concerns this Lent, though to the outside world, it was seemingly my "only" concern because I had given up that silly website. Facebook was peanuts to being in solidarity with fasting, waiting, praying, and truly wondering... what DOES the end of the story look like? Instead, I took the forty days to step back and critically examine a lot of things in my life: relationships, goals, my wishes, hopes and dreams, and work to align myself more with God, and be in solidarity with what is taking place right now. It was a very fruitful time. I realized many things, and took the time to just rest, rejuvenate, and quietly and gently be led to think and pray on different things. I'm fairly certain that's what Lent is truly about. Not just giving up something, but doing so to place yourself in solidarity with the world, to wait, anticipate, and in that time of fasting, be led to rest and back away from what is unhealthy. Allow the healing to happen when you allow it to be taken away from your fear-filled hands and allow goodness to shine through. For these seeds to give birth to life, first they must die. The world is waking up. The ground is thawing, the flower are beginning to burst, and the birds are beginning to sing once again.

And here: Another link to a terrific blog post.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The photoshoot.

Mike Salvatore doesn't like music.

As a musician... I find this hard to believe. But he doesn't like music, I suppose the same way I do not like cold weather. Which, ironically, Mike Salvatore likes. In the summer, he and his wife Mary have two air conditioners running, side by side.

Mike Salvatore doesn't like music... until DPrime introduced him to Wilbur Sarunablahblahblah. Wilbur is this superstar from India who wears aviators and has a mustache. One of his songs is about how he wants a love marriage, not an arranged marriage. Another one has a chorus that repeatedly says (for a couple of minutes) "Please check my blog." - It's the kind of stuff that gets stuck in your head easily, and STAYS THERE. AND DOESN'T LEAVE. oi...

But you wanted to read about how the photoshoot went, I suppose. :)

What an experience. It was profound for me, to seek to really actively see the beauty within each of the people, and best present it. They were all very awkward at first, and they eventually all warmed up as I got them telling me stories about their kids, and seeing how they smiled and lit up when they told me about their children. The first lady was so beautiful, but so shy. I felt like I was slowly peeling back layers and seeking an un-posed, natural beauty to give to them to say, "See? You're beautiful. You're worthwhile. You're created." And their kids were so wonderful. They had the biggest eyes, and loveliest smiles. I wasn't sure how I would do things, but the light was AMAZING that morning. I took pictures in a church, because the light went through the stained glass windows and caused everything to just GLOW. I was so thankful for one sunny day in a week of dreary, frozen weather. It was a real blessing. I really hope for more opportunities like this. I've already been invited back to the pregnancy center. If you know of other places that will also have people in need who deserve this kind of gift, please let me know! (I will stick to posting two photos from this awesome experience on

Tomorrow's my birthday. I'll be twenty-one. I have twenty one blessings. I don't feel older, but I do feel a more profound awareness of how young I am, and how much life there is out there to live. And that really excites me. I wonder what new adventure is next!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ends and Beginnings

This morning in class I filled out my first course evaluation forms. This means the semester is almost over. Which it is. In two weeks, classes will be done, exams will begin, and... *hopefully* I'll have a clearer idea of where I'm living and what I'm doing this summer. At the moment I feel like a fisherman, and I've cast out all these lines, and I'm waiting for something to bite back.

Tomorrow morning, I have a photoshoot with a pregnancy center. I can't begin to express my excitement in this! Things are coming together. My dreams are turning into realities. I bought a camera about a month ago. It was a decision I had been sitting on and contemplating for a long time. I didn't just want to buy a camera for a selfish reason though. See, Canon and Nikon had a very good idea of making the digital SLR camera extremely marketable, so that anybody who had about $1000 could buy for themselves everything they needed to get started in photography. They even stuck an auto function on their SLR's. So it's very easy to find "photographers" these days. Anybody who has a bit of money can do it. So, I wanted to do something different. Anybody can take macro shots of flowers. So I bought the camera with the thought that I can impart something truly good to people. A portrait is something somebody will keep for years, maybe their entire life. But portraits are expensive. So I started contacting pregnancy centers and other places (with the help of my friends at EBC who do field eds at such places!) and offering to do free portraits. And I have my first one tomorrow. I'm really excited, but also nervous. By no stretch of the imagination am I a professional portrait photographer. I've never even done this before! I've been practicing, and doing research (haha, looking at photography websites) and I have ideas. Tomorrow will tell. I really can't wait.

My friend Becca also posted a really beautiful post recently. It was relevant to me, and I really appreciated reading it. Check it out:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Where the wild photos are


I will post my photos on a different website. This website is

My blog will still be on here. But if you like my pictures, feel free to check out my photoblog!

(This is being done because tumblr is a much better photo-hosting site than blogger, but since tons of people subscribe to this blog, I feel bad changing my blog site out of the blue. So I will post blogs on here, and pictures and update on my photo adventuring on

Thank you! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Check-in time!

There was an issue at work last week, where I had the same conversation with the other two girls I worked with about how they were unhappy about some stuff that had happened. So I contacted my boss, and we got to sit down, and meet about it, and talk about the best and most loving way to resolve the conflict so there wouldn't be dissent among the team. She ended up meeting with the other two girls, and talking to them so that they felt like they were being heard, and that the issues would be addressed. (See why I like my job! I can openly and honestly talk with my co-workers and solve things in a positive environment where there's room for growth, and support!)

Later, the one girl I worked with, Thusa, said to me that she thought I should do a seminar on conflict resolution for a work meeting, and that I had life skills to impart. (Really? I get into conflict all the time! I'm very humbled though that she thinks I am an "expert" on conflict resolution enough to do a seminar on it) And Lia (my boss) was asking my advice and input about how she should address and talk to the other people on the team, and listening to the ideas that I had about how to resolve the dissent the others were experiencing. She ended up taking my advice too. I was humbled, again.

On another day, Sarah, the other girl I work with, was talking with me about it, when she said,

"You know what would be really healthy and beneficial to have? It'd be good if we can meet one on one with Lia maybe once a month, and be able to openly address any conflicts, and talk about things that are going well, as well as things that need to be improved."

"You mean like... a CHECK-IN??"* I asked.

"Yeah! A check-in! And then she can know if we're stressed out about other things, and if there's conflicts to bring up, and she can talk to us about things we can improve on!"

"And we can talk about our stress levels! And bring up action requests!"

"Yeah! Check-ins are so healthy! I'm definitely going to bring it up at the next meeting that having a monthly check-in so that there's open communication and honesty about what's going on is a really healthy thing to have!"

In conclusion, it's official. It's been two years, yet YouthBuilders still manages to find a way to permeate itself into every single aspect of my life. That may not be a bad thing though. :)

*We had check-ins every day on YouthBuilders. It was a time we set aside to talk about stress levels, things we appreciated about either the people we met, each other, or anything else (it's always healthy to voice appreciations) as well as to bring up any issues that might be going on, and to address all people's sides of the story, and hopefully come to a resolution of the conflict. The other team apparently, had really great check-ins, from what I heard. Our check-ins were usually quite painful, stress-filled, two-hour long terrible processes that required recuperation afterward. But either way, the check-in is one of the most open and welcoming (depending on who with...) environments I know of to address issues.

Also! On another note: Angela told me yesterday that apparently fish, and soy, are both extremely, very very very good for your skin. This excited me, because sushi is mostly, fish, and soy sauce. Therefore, I should eat more sushi. Take that, Dan Cook!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lent, and the job fair

Lent is halfway over, now. Over halfway over, as of yesterday. I have never kept count of Lent, or counted down the days. One of the things I've been learning in school, and in life, is that the order of things is of utmost importance, and maintaining awareness of that inherent and intrinsic order. Oi, that makes no sense. I was explaining it to Becca the other day. Right now, the world is sleeping, and beginning it's wake up from being frozen and sleeping into welcoming spring once again. It's also Lent right now, so it's a time of anticipation, and fasting, and awaiting. Out of the darkness and into the light. That is what the world is in right now, and that's how I feel right now. I only gave up Facebook for Lent, yet I feel like I'm anticipating something bigger. I've never been so excited for Easter. Lent has never been so slow, and trying, and Facebook is not the difficult part. Weird thing is, I really don't know what is going on...

I did something monumentally stupid the other day. At least, depending on how one looks at it, it's either stupid, or hilarious. I'm not troubled about it, looking back. I went to a job fair at The Aud. I was hanging out with Isaiah in the morning, then I got dropped off there. There was a forty minute long lineup of people who all... looked the same. They all were wearing suits, and had briefcases, and were clutching resumes. I had this suitjacket/hoody thinger that Angela gave me (that I REALLY like) on, and my tye-dye bag from Ghana, and my camera bag. I looked twenty years younger than everyone else, (because I AM...) and very much out of place, and out of league. I only had three resumes on hand because my printer ran out of paper and I needed to conserve the next few pages I have to print off an essay. It was really cold out, not to mention, and I have no body heat, so I just freeze. So, being cold, feeling like I am not in the right place, not to mention standing in a line... (I do believe, especially from seeing lineups at Tim Horton's, that lineups are a symbol of bureaucracy, and the dehumanizing effect of "the system." I can pull out my notes from RS 121: Evil class I took last year to prove that my profs also believe that bureaucracy is evil. Since lineups symbolize bureaucracy, let's jump and say lineups = bureaucracy. Bureaucracy = evil, igitur lineups = evil.) (I'm just saying igitur... because it's the only word I remember from Latin 101. It means "therefore." Wait. I remember Sapientia. That mean's "wisdom")

So, the prospect of standing for forty minutes in the cold in a place where I did not feel I belonged, and I also believed to be evil (in a way like how scorpions and mantis shrimp are evil, y'know? I use those two terrible creatures because I've personally seen how evil they can be. But those are other stories to tell)... was no longer appealing. So I pulled out my camera, strolled into the building, and pretended I was the hired photographer for the event. That is... until the actual photographer for the event showed up, and they realized they had no idea who I was, and asked me to leave. So... no job for Jessie. I'm definitely a job snob. This is because, in the past, I've had wonderful excellent jobs, so I set high standards, and I want to enjoy wherever I find myself working. I walked home wondering if I was a total idiot, or doomed to be poor the rest of my life, and then realized two things: A) I am WAY too hard on myself. I'm not an idiot, and yes, that was a perfectly useless exploit, but one that'll make a funny story in the long run, and B) the significance of that job fair will vanish in not too long at all. I made a better memory from what I did, and I recognized that I have high integrity about what and where I'll work for. This is good. Even better, I took a really awesome picture of this really happy looking tree stump while walking home. The sun was out, the colors were gorgeous, the light was perfect, and the weather was fresh. I got some fantastic photos. That may have made it worth it in the end.

*For the record, I wouldn't do something as stupid like that without a "plan B"... later that night I had a phone interview for a neat summer job I applied for back in January, that finally contacted me! And they liked me a lot! Yay! And I got rid of my resumes by dropping them off at places that I would ENJOY working later that afternoon. I am going to be fine, this I am confident in.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The LAST Mini-Saga, and my reflections on the week

The people who owned the car I rear-ended said to me, “Money is common. It comes and goes, but somehow we manage to pull through.” Whenever I get nervous about this uncertain future, I remember the people I crashed into, and think that I worry about too many menial things.

Now... this has been an interesting week. It's been good for me to find a medium in which I can quickly express my thoughts creatively. While I was on YouthBuilders, I did a really expensive and comprehensive personality analysis called the Highlands Ability Battery (There's more info about this thing on and they basically said, that because I scored very high in musical ability (pitch, tonal, and rhythmic recognition) that I NEEDED to have music, or a creative outlet in my life, or it would be very, very, very bad for me. This isn't music, but it is a creative outlet, and I wonder if that kind of creativity or need to express it is the same as the need to express and play music.

I've struggled in University, because I decided to go to school so I could pursue being a writer, but University has given me the worst writer's block I've ever had! So I've been submitting long stories, poems, and narratives instead of essays whenever I get the chance (There really is only one professor that I know of who will tolerate it, which is one of many, many reasons why I keep on signing up for his course! Though I honestly do read those essay outlines very very carefully to find another course that will give me this freedom) because I think that one of the ways I most effectively express my thoughts, not just through writing, but through writing creatively. It's refreshing to me to find a place where I can express this creativity quickly, and effectively, and still be challenged in the effort of writing a story that's only fifty words long. I wrote far more than seven mini-sagas. All in all, this was a positive assignment, and I think I will continue writing mini-sagas for my own sake. :) Mini-sagas = win.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mini Saga #6

Traffic stopped this morning for two geese crossing the street. Two feathered people, going on a quiet morning stroll; they took their time, oblivious to the busy schedules of mediocrity that ticked around them as they took in the morning sun. I think we have much to learn from geese.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mini Saga #5

It took my queen, and both of my rooks to corner you. I was afraid you’d swoop in with your bishop but I was always one move ahead. I left my king undefended, but I was determined, and I had a faint feeling that this game was mine. Check Mate.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mini Saga #4

We had journeyed for so long to find that treasure. We had spent all we had, going to the darkest corners of the earth, and standing at the top of mountains where the sun shone brightest. When we finally found the treasure, you looked at me and said, “Now what?”

On another note: Angela sent me a link to one of the most beautiful and enigmatic music videos I've ever seen. Check it out:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mini-saga #3

Once when I was young, my dad asked me to light the stove. I didn’t know what a pilot light was, and as I stuck the match in, the flames jumped up and seared me. It was a terribly great way to teach a little girl how to be careful.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mini-saga #2

Death doesn’t look so scary when it’s sitting in a cup on the table. Nor does it feel scary when what it amounts to is the culmination of life’s work. Now my soul can be freed from my body. In death I will live. In this, hemlock tastes quite sweet.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I found this blog, that this guy in London ON is doing, where every week of the year, he tackles a new project, and does something new. (Wow. I'm really bad at explaining it. Way to be vague, Jessie! You should check out his blog, though. :)

But week 7 (While week 6 was extremely cool) seemed to be pretty awesome. For every day of the week, he wrote a mini saga. Which, according to Wikipedia, is, "A minisaga is a short piece of writing containing exactly 50 words, plus a title of up to 15 words. However, the title requirement is not always enforced and sometimes eliminated altogether. Mini sagas are alternately known as microstories and ultra-shorts."

I haven't done any creative writing since my last essay (The dialogue between the Boy and the Fairy Queen) so I think this would be fun to do. So every day this week I'll post a new mini saga, and see how they go. I'll start with today:

He observed the lovely weather today. I wondered if he had ulterior motives. We sat together on the bus and talked about living in Calgary. I asked open-ended questions so I didn’t have to speak. Maybe I don’t have anything to talk about. Maybe I'm just too afraid to trust.