Unveiling the Preppy Culture

I was just answering some quizzes on Facebook to de-stress. A sort of reward after a hectic and stressful week in school. All of the quiz results told me that I’m preppy. I had a vague and simplistic understanding of the preppy culture. I posted an article by Chris Hogan below explaining the origins of the preppy culture. Indeed, preppy is not just limited to fashion. Read on. 🙂

The Roots of American Preppy

This column grew out a discussion on my blog, Off The Cuff DC, on the relationship between classic and preppy styles. The subject quickly became an effort to identify the real roots of American preppy and what it means today.

New England preparatory schools, conservative protestant values and social stratification all combined to create an environment which produced the uniform we know today as the preppy look. Actually, what passes today as “preppy” is a fantasized ideal of make believe history. It is a manufactured past that distorts the classically rooted values which gave birth to the preppy culture. When a kid is called a prep today, it usually means that he wears rugby shirts and shops at Abercrombie & Fitch (I remember when A&F was, in fact a great store). There is no sense of history or understanding of the preppy culture and that’s too bad, because it’s a pretty interesting history.

Yes, it started mostly at New England prep schools and ivy walled colleges. But the roots of preppy style can also be traced to a focus on social achievement, uniformity of style, propriety, proper decorum and class distinction. Conformity of dress at school resulted in the basic uniform of coat, tie, button down shirt, grey flannels or chinos and loafers or lace ups. Codes, traditions and sports also helped to nurture a bond and familiarity among budding preps and instilled in them a feeling of belonging.

This environment helped create a culture of exclusivity that had real influence. To say you prepped at Andover (a feeder school for Harvard) or Hotchkiss (a feeder school for Yale) could win you access to the right social circle or get you into really great parties. And once in the working world, to say you were a Yale man could mean getting the right job, joining the right club or vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.

As preps sought to instill that sense of tradition and lifestyle in their own children, they looked, of course, to their own preppy past. To the oak paneled lecture halls of Exeter, the squash courts of Deerfield and the rowdy but stylish nights at Choate Rosemary Hall. So their offspring were trucked off to the old alma mater and the cycle began again. But, as with so many other attempts to create a bubble of exclusivity, the prep school aesthetic eventually moved beyond its original sphere of influence.

People want what they do not have or what seems more attractive than what they do. So, when the Preppy Handbook hit the shelves in 1980, its editor Lisa Birchach (herself a Brown grad) overnight became the arbitrar of all things pink and green. People didn’t care that it was intended to be both a send-up of the “true” prep culture as well as a tongue and cheek education for those looking to emulate the life. They saw a way of living that was far more exciting, cultured, sporty and stylish than their own – and they wanted it.

For the first time, preppy culture had been distilled into a portable and easy to understand resource. The privileged and windswept lifestyle that had taken generations of Blue Bloods to develop and refine was now a commodity to be bought and imitated. I often use the term “democratization,” to describe this moment in the life of prep. That is because once the Preppy Handbook came out, kids across the world latched onto the most attractive aspect of the preppy life: its look, the rumpled and ironic blending of dress and casual clothes.

As one of my readers sharply pointed out though, the iconic Ralph Lauren image of mixing dress and purposeful clothing did not start out as a fashion movement; “you don’t wear foul weather gear over your blazer because you’re a blue-blooded American demonstrating your accessibility without appearing tacky; you do it because you’re a wise-mouthed elitist who smugly tells your Latin professor, technically speaking, you haven’t broken any rules so there’s nothing he can do about it. And of course it’s sailing gear, because your father does own a yacht…”

The original audience for the rebellious “foul weather gear over the blazer” look was other preppies and their families. Yet, as this type of hybrid style came into its own, it seeped out into regular society. Eventually spreading to Madison Avenue, it was popularized by style influencers like Ralph Lauren. The prep boom of the 1980s waned over time due, I think, to its extreme and vibrant interpretation of the preppy culture; there was an almost cartoonish quality to the movement. Broadly speaking, the current resurgence in preppy style has taken on a more worn, comfortable and “vintage” personality. It seems approachable and less stuffy.

An interesting thing has happened to the breeding grounds of prepdom too. If you walk through Harvard Yard or Yale’s Old Campus, you don’t see too many of the snooty old-line preps anymore. They are still there of course, along with Skull & Bones and the legacy kids whose wealthy parents bought their admission. But what you really see is that a majority of the kids milling around campus these days more closely reflect the modern world. The prep thing is still very strong – stronger perhaps than in the 1980s – but it has been modernized and updated. Just like everything else in life.

Confessions of a Mag-aholic

I am a magazine addict. I can spend almost half of my allowance on magazines alone and I am not exactly proud of that. I love magazines. I love the fresh-from-the-press smell it gives off when I open the plastic, the beautiful photographs that fill its pages, the well-written articles about art, fashion, and travel, and just the sheer joy that I get from holding a bunch of glorified, glossy papers bound in an attractive cover.

When I got to watch The Devil Wears Prada, my fascination for magazines and the amount of work that goes behind it increased. Although it was a lot of hard work, it looked like it was fun. But the most interesting part in that movie was when Andi (played by Anne Hathaway) transformed from plain Jane to fashionable Amazona. I realized that my attraction to these expensive books is not just limited to the published work. It was the lifestyle, so different from what could have been if not for these magazines.

The first time I laid my eyes on a copy of Candy was when I was a high school freshman. The cover alone suggested everything that an awkward 11-year-old could ever ask for—fun, fashion, and with the tagline “The best-est friend you’ll ever have,” a friend that can give advice that none of your real friends can even think of. I thought that it was my ticket to escaping the ordinary life that I suddenly found myself in.

When I entered college, I started reading Seventeen just because it claimed to be ‘Your ultimate college life guide.’ I thought that college won’t be fun, memorable, and worthy without Seventeen. Last April, Seventeen released its last issue. But I must say that I lived through almost five months without it. Although it’s sad because I won’t be seeing a new issue every month anymore, it also got me thinking that I can live my life without the tips and advices, whether in fashion, school, or relationships, that Seventeen gave me for the past three years. Also, the absence of an “official life guide” led me to the scary truth—my identity was based on what these magazines told me.

Beauty, fashion, and relationships, wrapped up in a heavy dose of advertising, have long been the staple of women’s magazines. For over 300 years, titles have been directed toward the female sex. The first recorded woman’s magazine, the London-based Ladies Mercury, which was launched in 1693, promised to provide answers to all “the most nice and curious questions concerning love, marriage, behaviour, dress and humour of the female sex,” which set a pattern for all women’s magazines for centuries.

Fast forward to 2009, lifestyle magazines still claim to have a special and sacred knowledge of things that are beautiful and acceptable. They set the standard and with that standard, they sell an identity that each of us can put on. It seems that through the photographs and text, the magazine pleads with us to experience both pleasure in consuming idealized lifestyles and a sense of failure and guilt if we can’t apply such representations to our lives.

To have is to be. That’s the basic message these magazines tell you. So if you can’t achieve what these magazines represent, you can’t be the “fun, fearless female” of Cosmopolitan? You’re clingy and needy because you’re not the “independent woman” of Metro? You’re uninteresting because you’re not the “Because You’re Not Just Another Girl” G! magazine caters to?

I’ve read somewhere that “music and newspapers were once lodestones of both daily life and collective experience.” Since the rise of lifestyle magazines, I’m sure that it’s a part of the foundation of mass culture that we adhere to today. But I’m scared to see the day when all of us would be walking around looking and acting exactly like the girls in those magazines.

I don’t want to hinge my identity on those publications because my identity cannot, and should never, be bought. So when I strip myself of all the characteristics I possess due to immersing myself in the lifestyle that they promote, who am I really?

Beauty from Ashes

We live in a dark world. Everyone who has watched the nightly news or read the newspapers knows this fact. But have you ever wondered who the people in the news are? Have you stopped to consider what’s really going on in their hearts? Or are they only names to you? Names that are then forgotten the moment another evil deed is exposed?

 

All of us have been wronged, betrayed, or violated at least once in our lives. Some would blow their whistle and demand justice no matter how delayed it is. But once justice has been served, they still have that bruise in their hearts for the rest of their lives. Others wouldn’t get the justice that they wanted and would only be another number in the ever-growing list (or statistics) of victims of heinous crimes. But a number would choose to stay quiet, overcome by shame, hoping that time will heal their wounds.

 

I met Frances (not her real name) in one of my classes last school year. She’s a good student, participative in extracurricular activities, and she has a lot of friends. You won’t even see her walking around campus without a smile on her face. On the outside, you’d think she’s fine. In fact, she looks like she’s just having the time of her life. And that’s exactly what she wants you to think.

 

Deep inside, she’s crying for help but she can’t trust anyone. For 14 years, she’s built a great wall around her, a wall composed not of mortar and bricks but of anger, bitterness, shame, and self-sufficiency. She figured that time will heal her wounds and while she’s waiting for time to do its job, she’s working on hardening her heart so she can no longer feel hurt or pain.

 

Contrary to popular belief, time doesn’t heal wounds. It only buries them for a while but they have a way of catching up with you in the end. And it’s catching up with Frances right now.

 

Despite all that, Frances is not just another hopeless case. In fact, it’s when we’re broken that we realize we have nothing to lose and we discover something we should have known all along—we are loved and God is the healer. There is nothing too great for Him to restore. All your hurts, burdens, and sorrows can be healed by the Great Healer. No wall is too strong or hard for His grace, mercy, and love to break through.

 

Find it hard to believe? Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (emphasis mine). Jesus is the only one that can set us free. He heals even the deep places if only you’ll let Him.

 

Isn’t it ironic that the things that we work so hard to keep away from Jesus are the very things we should give up to Him? Why are we so focused on holding on to our bruises and wounds? Why do we choose to hold on to our ashes? What exactly are we protecting ourselves from? If God be with us, who can be against us?

 

I’ve always wondered why this world is so full of hurting people. Maybe it’s because we prefer to close our hearts so there’s no way anyone can ever hurt us. Yes we can no longer feel hurt or pain, but we can also no longer hear God when He speaks to us or love others when they’re crying out for love or receive love when someone wants to love us. It’s a cycle that’s been going on since the beginning of time. But God offers a beautiful exchange. The passage goes on in verse 2: “…to give a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit…

 

He’s offering this to you right now. Will you take it?

Guilty Pleasure

The Twilight craze has elicited varied reactions from different people. Some like it to death that they would defend their addiction to just about anyone who criticizes Stephenie Meyer’s masterpiece. While others hate it to the point that they would pick a fight with just about anyone who admits to like this “lousy series.”
Honestly, I didn’t know which side I was on. I can read a book in the Twilight series until four in the morning and talk with just anyone who’s willing to admit that they like it. While I can also point out what I don’t like about the series to anyone who’s bashing it. But I’m through pretending that I am caught in the middle.
I admit that I love the series so much that I finished reading all four books in the series in a span of two weeks. During that time, my daily schedule consisted of my classes and staying in my room to read the books. Obviously, I don’t bring the books to school because my addiction puts me in danger of not paying attention to the lessons. Yes, I am that addicted to it.
I decided to read the Twilight to satiate my curiosity. I was wondering why a lot of people, mostly girls, are talking about it. I have never seen such a phenomenon since Harry Potter. But I am not going to compare the Twilight to Harry Potter or to any other story, so chill.
The first time I heard of Twilight was around this time last year from a friend who really loved it. She kept on telling me to read it but vampire and love stories never really appealed to me so I was content with listening to her tell me the story. The next thing I knew was that everyone was talking about it. I told myself that I would never get infected with this new craze so I stayed away from the books as much as I could. I was even one of those people who would proclaim their hatred towards the series. But curiosity got to me in the end and I just had to know what made the story so famous that people would actually take the time to read the book just so they can criticize it properly.
Ever heard of the saying that goes something like, “Huwag magsalita ng tapos”? I had to eat my words after reading the first book. Yes, it’s really nothing great. The words are simple and, more often than not, you have to stop reading once in a while to roll your eyes because of its cheesiness. The writing style is not rave material. I feel like I’m reading a Baby-Sitters’ Club book that I collected when I was 10 years old. But we have to understand that the book was intended for tweens in the first place. Why compare it to something Shakespeare wrote? And, of course, you can’t expect all the guys to appreciate it in all its cheesiness. People have different tastes that are determined by the longings of their hearts.
I like the series because it’s an easy read. After reading heavy stuff in newspapers or books, wouldn’t it be nice to read something really simple and light once in a while? I don’t have to pretend to be all-intellectual and force myself to read more “worthwhile” books just to keep my brain cells working. I appreciate an effortless story to truly relax and just dive into the fantasy world where vampires are good-looking statues who have special abilities. After all, a little wonder doesn’t hurt.
Another reason why I like the series is that Meyer gave a new angle to the mythical creatures. The vampires don’t melt under the sun, sleep in coffins, or die when a stake is driven into their hearts. I admit that I have never read a vampire story before so I’m no expert when it comes to these creatures. But where else can you read about vampires glittering under the sun? Obviously, this is a work of fiction and the author is given full control over the world he/she creates.
Because of its readability and the I-just-can’t-put-it-down factor, the Twilight saga has made it to my list of guilty pleasures. You may love it or you may hate it, you’re entitled to your own opinion. But for those who are quick to judge, give it a little credit. It’s written in a particular genre that you may not like. You don’t have to like it if you really don’t like it. But some of the harshest critics are those who are just reacting to the craze in order to be different. Myself included.

Star of David: what it means

We see the star of David almost everywhere. It is found on the flag of Israel and a lot of people wear them as jewelry. I have always wondered what that symbol on the flag of Israel really means and I’m thankful that this article helped me a lot. It’s definitely more than a symbol, it’s one of the best symbols I have ever known. –emarrah

by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

In modern times, the Star of David has become a premier Jewish symbol. This six-pointed star (hexagram), made of two interlocking triangles, can be found on mezuzahs, menorahs, tallis bags, and kipot. Ambulances in Israel bear the sign of the “Red Star of David,” and the flag of Israel has a blue Star of David planted squarely in the center.

What is the origin of this six-pointed symbol?

The six points symbolize God’s rule over the universe in all six directions.

Through the Jewish people’s long and often difficult history, we have come to the realization that our only hope is to place our trust in God. The six points of the Star of David symbolize God’s rule over the universe in all six directions: north, south, east, west, up and down.

Originally, the Hebrew name Magen David — literally “Shield of David” — poetically referred to God. It acknowledges that our military hero, King David, did not win by his own might, but by the support of the Almighty. This is also alluded to in the third blessing after the Haftorah reading on Shabbat: “Blessed are you God, Shield of David.”

Various other explanations exist on the meaning behind the Star of David.

One idea is that a six-pointed star receives form and substance from its solid center. This inner core represents the spiritual dimension, surrounded by the six universal directions. (A similar idea applies to Shabbat — the seventh day which gives balance and perspective to the six weekdays.)

In Kabbalah, the two triangles represent the dichotomies inherent in man.

In Kabbalah, the two triangles represent the dichotomies inherent in man: good vs. evil, spiritual vs. physical, etc. The two triangles may also represent the reciprocal relationship between the Jewish people and God. The triangle pointing “up” symbolizes our good deeds which go up to heaven, and then activate a flow of goodness back down to the world, symbolized by the triangle pointing down.

A more practical theory is that during the Bar Kochba rebellion (first century), a new technology was developed for shields using the inherent stability of the triangle. Behind the shield were two interlocking triangles, forming a hexagonal pattern of support points. (Buckminster Fuller showed how strong triangle-based designs are with his geodesics.)

One cynical suggestion is that the Star of David is an appropriate symbol for the internal strife that often afflicts Jewish nation: two triangles pointing in opposite directions!

The Star of David was also a sad symbol of the Holocaust.

The Star of David was a sad symbol of the Holocaust, when the Nazis forced Jews to wear an identifying yellow star. Actually, Jews were forced to wear special badges during the Middle Ages, both by Muslim and Christian authorities, and even in Israel under the Ottoman Empire.

So whether it is a blue star waving proudly on a flag, or a gold star adorning a synagogue’s entrance, the Star of David stands as a reminder that for the Jewish people… in God we trust.

http://www.aish.com/literacy/concepts/Star_of_David.asp

The Beauty of Prayer

Recently, God has been impressing prayer on my heart. Not just praying because I want to get something from Him. No, because prayer is so much more.

A lot of people say than Christianity is a fire exit for someone who is in deep trouble. One gets down to his knees to pray because he is currently going through something that he can’t handle on his own. That’s great! Because God’s power and sovereignty is acknowledged by knowing that Someone greater than you is up there, ready to listen and help you. But what usually happens after that? That person forgets about God and goes on his life as if nothing happened. Until the next trial comes.

In the past, I looked at prayer as something I should do before I go to bed. And my prayers were centered on me. I pray the hardest when it comes to school. I pray hard when exams are around the corner. I especially prayed hard for my Math subjects because I didn’t want to drop a section lower. But that was it. Most of the time, it’s me, myself, and I.

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will forgive their sins and heal their land. (2Chronicles7:14)

God can do more through prayer. You may ask why do we need to pray if God is so powerful? Because, like a father, He wants to be asked.

Prayer is so powerful that He can “heal [our] land” and “forgive our sins”. Prayer is so much more than just asking. It’s us seeking His face and His perfect will for our lives. And don’t you want to talk to your Father in heaven?

The Vision

In a world where all the lines are blurred, it’s normal that people, especially the young ones, get lost, confused, and disappointed by this fallen world. And I’m writing this to tell you that there is hope. We just have to have vision. The Bible says that without vision, “we perish” (Proverbs29:18). Unfortunately, this world has cast off restraint is dying by degrees. We lack vision to do a lot of things. For students, we lack vision in our education that a lot of people have thrown caution to the wind, destroyed their lives and are now running around, aimlessly. They smile but there smiles are empty. They laugh but deep inside they don’t feel as happy as they look. Without vision, we lose ourselves. Without vision, we are empty. Without vision, we are walking but not seeing.

Just want to share a really good poem by Pete Greig entitled The Vision.
It has touched millions of lives from a single room in England to Washington D.C., Sydney, Australia, and the underground Church of China. These words have stirred artists, DJs, filmmakers, and countless ordinary people to live “dangerously, obsessively, and undeniably” for Jesus. (words borrowed from Pete Greig’s book The Vision and The Vow)

The Vision – by Pete Greig

So this guy comes up to me and says:
“what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?”
I open my mouth and words come out like this:
The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.
You see bones? I see an army.
And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons.
They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday.
They wouldn’t even notice.
They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won.

They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations.
They need no passport.
People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence.
They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.

What is the vision ?

The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes.
It makes children laugh and adults angry.
It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars.
It scorns the good and strains for the best.
It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation.
It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games.
This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause.
A million times a day its soldiers choose to loose,
that they might one day win
the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground
The whisper of history in the making
Foundations shaking
Revolutionaries dreaming once again
Mystery is scheming in whispers
Conspiracy is breathing…
This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.
Young people who beat their bodies into submission.
Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms.
The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes.
Winners. Martyrs.
Who can stop them ?
Can hormones hold them back?
Can failure succeed?
Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man
with groans beyond talking,
with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and
with great barrow loads of laughter!
Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive

Inside.

On the outside? They hardly care.
They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide.
Would they surrender their image or their popularity?
They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,
they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.)
Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus.
Their words make demons scream in shopping centres.

Don’t you hear them coming?

Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks.
Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes.
They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension.
Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be.
It will come to pass;
it will come easily;
it will come soon.

How do I know?

Because this is the longing of creation itself,
the groaning of the Spirit,
the very dream of God.

My tomorrow is his today.
My distant hope is his 3D.
And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.

Amazing Grace

I will never listen to “Amazing Grace” the same way ever again. After watching a movie of the same title, the song has more meaning and life.

The movie tells of the great story behind the song which is composed by a man who used to trade African slaves to more developed countries. When God found him, he repented of his sins and wrote the song to express how he was blind before. As he lived with 20, 000 ghosts of the slaves he traded, he helped in the campaign William Wilberforce forwarded.

William Wilberforce is the man behind the abolition of the slave trade in 1833. The bill was only passed after 17 years of waiting and perseverance. But his story is not all the time full of hope. There were a lot of times when he was low and thoughts of giving up the campaign entered his mind more than once. But God used as many people as He could to bring William back to his feet and serve the mission he was called for.

I am encouraged after watching the movie. No matter how hopeless the situation seems, nothing is impossible for God. As humans, we don’t see the bigger picture. We live by sight. As the saying goes, “Seeing is believing.” But not for God. We’re supposed to “live by faith and not by sight.” One year may be a very long time for us. But for God, it may be only an hour or a minute!

Impatience will get us nowhere. But trusting in God and holding on to His promises is the best thing we can ever do. Only God knows what will happen. And, the Bible says, once He starts something He carries it on until it is completed. Just trust in God. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

“A man’s heart plans his way but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs16:9)

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbid to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

Receiving and Surrendering

I just read a very powerful statement in Passion and Purity. It talks about why we should surrender everything to God. Before, it wasn’t clear why I should surrender everything to Him. I kept on thinking, “why?” And God was just kept on asking me to surrender. Now I know why.

He gave all.

He asks for all.

Because of His great love, He gave His only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for all our sins. He saved us from the punishment we were due. And because He didn’t hold anything back from us, He asks us to do the same.

I am bought with a price. And God paid for me. Now He asks me for my life. To give everything to Him. And when I really think about it, my life is worth nothing. Yet He asks for it. And the best thing that I can do is to give it to Him. To let Him use me for His glory and for His great plan. I have received the best from Him. Now all I have to do is to surrender my all.

Oh Child by Nevertheless

I want to come closer
But you are so distant
Lately your thoughts are so far
And I want to show you all that you’re missing
I’ll meet you right where you are

Oh love, I’ve always known you
Oh love, you’ve always been mine
Oh love, I’m only asking you for your life

Say that you need me
I know what you’re feeling
You cannot do this alone
I gave my word and I gave you my life
So you’ll never be on your own

Oh love, I’ve always known you
Oh love, you’ve always been mine
Oh love, I’m only asking you for your life

Is this what you wanted?
Is this what you needed?
(You’re waiting for this life to be what you’ve been waiting for…)

Oh love, I’ve always known you
Oh love, you’ve always been mine
Oh love, I’m only asking you for your life
Oh love, I’ve always known you
Oh love, you’ve always been mine
Oh child, I’m only asking you for your life

Walking on Water: A Book Review

Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water is a must-read for all artists. This book talks about why most artists just don’t get their craft. Why people lose the creativity they once had when they were children.

This world has a lot of dirty devices. People longing for success, for affirmation, for control. These are the worst dirty devices this world has to offer. Because of these things, we forget how it’s like to believe in angels, we forget what it’s like to lie down on the grass and listen to the sounds nature has to offer, we forget how to look at life in a positive way. Instead, we try so hard to climb up the ladder of competition. And in the process, we unlearn how to imagine, how to really create, how to just be. We strive so hard to achieve perfection, to be the person that we want to be that we suppress the person that we should be.

We are afraid of non-being. We are afraid of vulnerability. That’s why we try to control everything around us which is not really a good thing. In art, we are supposed to listen to the story. We’re supposed to let the story flow and let it be. When the story is finished, we can see that the story definitely knows more than we do. And if we don’t listen to it’s soft, still voice, the work is doomed, mutilated, deformed.

Trust is a big issue when it comes to creating. You have to trust the characters, you have to trust the notes, you have to trust the brush and pencil. In other words, walk on water. Don’t look at the dirty devices around you. Don’t let them control your work, control you. You have to remember how to walk on water. Don’t look at the strong wind and the ravage waves. Just look onward. Serve the work. It knows where it should go.

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