I type this post with fingers salty from tears and behind eyes, bloodshot and tired, with a knot in my stomach and a sore heart.  My beautiful best friend Agnes left this morning to spend a semester studying in Europe.  She’s way cooler than I am.

Saying goodbye to her this morning was so hard.  First of all, she’s my best friend, we spend tons of time together, so her departure rips a giant hole in my social network.  Secondly, I’m selfish, I want her all to myself.  The idea of her new friends makes me really sad, and jealous.  I know they’re going to be so wonderful, but it’s hard not to feel territorial over my best friend for 9 years.  That’s a long time!  Thirdly, and lastly, I’m terrible at saying goodbye.  I suppose this wasn’t so much a goodbye as a see you later.  But this later is so much later than other laters I’ve wished in the past.  This is the longest I’ll have ever been separated from someone I love, and I love Agnes a lot.  Here’s why:

1.  She has an incredible ability to have way deep, theological, thought-provoking, mind-boggling conversations with anyone…at any moment.  It’s so cool.
2. She’s a babe.
3. She does this thing where she kind of half-giggles after things that she says.  I’ve never told her how  funny and great I think it is…well, I guess I have now.  Agnes, I love when you half-giggle after things you say, that aren’t necessarily funny.  It’s so cute.
4. She dresses really well.  So euro-chic.

5. She loves Jesus so much, and desires that for everyone she knows.  It’s really beautiful.
6. She has an outstanding ability to twist her beautiful face into terrible things.  Remarkable, really.
7. She has exquisite taste in music.
8. She has really long arms.  I like that.

I love a lot of other things about Agnes, but thinking about it more will make me sad.  Well, more sad than I already am.  I’m so thankful I was able to spend the morning with her, Abby, and her beautiful mom, Kelly.  We danced around the dining room…correction, I danced around the dining room, ate donuts, aided the gardener who got stung by a yellow jacket, prayed, cried…really, it was a great morning.  I just wish it could have happened more times before Agnes flew across the ocean.

Agnes, if you’re reading this, I hope you’re cozy and happy and drinking tea, since you’ll be in England and they do that a lot.  I pray your flight was good and that you got a window seat next to someone that didn’t snore, that the air pressure didn’t make your ears hurt, that you like the music I gave you, that you drink enough water, that you got all your luggage, that your reunion with Will at the airport is worthy to be filmed, that his dad offers to take you to Kenya and asks you to invite a friend, that you choose me to go to Kenya with you, that you have fun, that you are SAFE (please be safe!), and that Jesus becomes more real and powerful to you than ever before.  You’re crazy beautiful and I love you to the moon and back.

Here’s a song for all of you to listen to.  It’s sad and beautiful, like this morning.  I’m finding comfort in belonging to Jesus, no one  or nothing else, forever.  Talk about security.  Mmmmmm


Indie Romance

I’ve recently been realizing more and more just how deeply I desire to be “indie romantic”.  I drool over blog after blog, whether it be about homemade lanterns (Agnes loves lanterns), poetry, acoustic music, weird looking shoes, or making your own cleaning supplies…and for what?  Well, I find some really neat things, very romantic.  Not romantic like gondolas and sharing a spaghetti noodle (which, to be quite honest, I’ve never thought was romantic…not even a little bit), but romantic like summer dusk and fireflies, or loose floral dresses and hair sticking to your forehead and neck, damp with sweat…or big sweaters and french movies.  That’s what I like.  That kind of romance.  I think it’s easy to get caught up in it, especially at this point in my life, when nothing’s for sure, things are all sort of crammed into this dreamy haze, fleeting but lingering on.  I know some of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about.

Here are a few things that I believe hurl me even deeper into the black hole of indie romanticism:

1. The hours between 7-9:30 p.m.
In summer, at least, dusk is prime time for that bubbly, drifting, almost homesick feeling, for me, that is.  I think it’s positioning of the sun.  The shadows are all cast long, sun rays are coming through leaves in the trees, you’re done working, things are quiet…if you were being filmed and you were predisposed to being indie-romantic and adorable and free, it would be sometime between 7 and 9:30 when you would take off barefoot running through the yard, or a field of tall grass, with some flowers (but not filled with flowers, that’s too cliché), and your audience’s stomach would be tied in dreamy knots and their eyes would be dewy and filled with light, breezy love.  Don’t lie to yourself, you know exactly what I mean.

2. Softly Epic Music
Eluvium Radio on Pandora.  You feel like you’re in a movie. Also effective: http://www.indieshuffle.com and  http://stereomood.com

3. Gritty Black and White Photography


4.  Letters
I’m talking real, in the mailbox with a stamp, sealed with spit and written by hand letters.  What a beautiful, forgotten thing.  A very nice, very handsome young man in my life writes me letters, and every time I receive one, I feel like a million dollars.  A lot of my friends have been away doing cool things/being at home this summer, and writing them letters has been so nice.  Even if there isn’t a lot to say, it feels good to write words on paper and send those words to another human, who will receive the words you smashed together into sentences that may never be written or read again, unless your name is C.S. Lewis, in which case, every word you ever spoke, wrote or even thought will be written down and memorized by christians and romantics and really cool people all over the world forever.
5.  Quasi-Hipster Attire
Lipstick, hairbands around your forehead, light-wash, cut-off jorts, bare feet, thick-rimmed glasses, always wearing pants that expose your ankles, always.
6.  Etc.
Bicycles, leather satchels, christmas lights, mandolins & banjos, wine, window boxes, messy hair, film cameras, sitting on rooftops, blankets on the ground, City and Colour, craft blogs/wedding blogs/all blogs, tree houses and forts,Wes Anderson films, independent coffee shops, sidewalk cafes, thrift stores, Polaroids, TOMS, imported tea, fair trade, burlap, empty streets at nighttime, birds, books, doodling, baking, creeks, climbing rocks, colorful socks & poems.
And there you have it, people.  The keys to my indie-romantic heart, beating away, rhythmically, of course, but not in the same rhythm as anyone else, because indie people are special and unique and solemn.
Dream on, lovers and friends, it’s summer time.