Wednesday, December 9, 2015


I experimented with writing poetry for my Intro to Poetry class this semester.  I needed to imitate a specific poetic device, and I chose the way that E. E. Cummings uses long and short lines create dynamics in his poems, and irregular line breaks to cause a jarring effect on the reader.  I chose to also use almost no punctuation, as he does in many of his poems, to create a kind of breathless, run on feeling.  I'll post more explanation and reflection later, but here's the poem. 


By Jessica Varvil

give me
a moment
to catch my

i need to do everything
i can to make sure that nothing is left
too much has been put off now it needs to be done and i don’t have time
crushes and pulls me from every direction what needs to be should have been still may be

time though i don’t know
why i thought there would be check it again
my heart is racing
is that bad
my sister would always
ask me that when we were young
and i would lie and laugh but theres nothing
funny in thinking you’re dying
like i do when i can feel
my lungs pressed in from every side
and struggle to draw it in when i know that
the battle is inside my mind not my body but that doesn’t
make it better just harder

finally a deep long rattling that fills lungs with hope and air but is a desperate war for control
over my own mind and body i wish i’d prepared more maybe if i’d done
more i wouldn’t feel this way now but i didn’t and i can’t
but i can now i can win against it 
i just need to
it’s gone
i have to work again to 
get it back i need it to be calm and 
to finish everything check another item off
the list of never-ending tasks that make up a life
and make the difference between success and failure to
achieve anything to look back and regret every wasted moment and
wonder if your life meant anything at all of if it would have if you had just
been able to finish more do more be more for everyone would they love you more

I took a deep breath.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Why I Need to Write More

I thought of my old blog today as I stared disappointedly at the date on a different blog I was reading.  The last entry Brian J. Fruzen had posted was an elaborately crafted Pathfinder adventure called "The Fall of Fairhaven".  As a new GM (game master) for a group of my friends, I looked into the pre-created adventure, loved it, and added my own flair onto it.  I plan to use it with my Pathfinder group in a week or so, and I was intrigued by the author's alternate ending with a world catastrophe about to reappear.  I went back on his blog and realized that "The Fall of Fairhaven" was posted all the way back in April.... of 2013.  I was disappointed, knowing that I would probably never get to hear what Brian J. Fruzen had concocted for a campaign against world-ravaging earthquakes and dragons.

I even got a little indignant, thinking that it was extremely irresponsible to give people an expectation that you'll continue writing, then squash their hopes and dreams when you never do.

Then I realized that I was being a hypocrite.

Now, I haven't really put out any earth-shattering, engrossing posts on my blog that would frustrate readers when I decide to stop writing for a year and a half, but that doesn't mean that I don't get emotionally invested in what I write.
I have a lot of thoughts and stories that swirl through my head constantly, but I don't let them out very often.  I think that many people, including myself, have just gotten into the habit of keeping it all inside.  As little as people want to hear about my philosophical and political ideas in casual conversation, they want to hear my stories even less.  But I think that one of the wonderful things that the internet can bring us is the audience that searches for you.  People who do want to hear about your intricate storylines will find you, just as I came across "The Fall of Fairhaven" because I was interested in Pathfinder adventures.

All the parodies that show bloggers and other people who post online as a multitude just shouting out their words to the masses have it a bit wrong.*  Sure, on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, people have chosen to follow you, but may not be interested in hearing your every waking thought, but the beauty of blogs is that people choose to listen to what you have to say.

More importantly than putting my thoughts out there for the few that may be interested in it, and the fewer that will find them, I want to write more for myself.  Actually writing a blog, and doing it well like Elle at Vicarious Vicissitudes, takes discipline.  One has to make the time to write and then figure out a suitable topic.  Then they have to take that topic, find out what they really think, why they think it, and make it suitable for the public.  Bloggers also have to realize that what they have said is now out there for everyone to see.  Every potential employer, friend, relative, or partner can now see what you thought about a certain current issue or a story that you made up in high school.

Which means that if I don't follow up the post with more posts, everyone is going to realize that I flaked out on writing my blog.  Again.  But that's okay; it means that I have a little extra incentive to keep writing, to feel confident about my ideas, and to share them with the world.

*Videos like this include: Things You Do Online That'd Be Creepy In Real Life and others, just search around :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Intrinsic Value of Nature

As a Christian, I believe that God created the heavens, the earth, man, and all creatures and things that dwell on the earth.  Nature is God’s creation, and that creation points to and glorifies it’s everlasting creator by it’s very presence
This was taken near North Bend, Washington.
in the world.  Evidence of not only nature’s use to man, but also it being used by God can be found all over scripture.  God created this world, and all in it, for a purpose.  As we heard in the chapel video this Monday, “God doesn’t create trash”.  What he makes has worth simply because he has made it.
The opening verse of Job chapter 38 states that God spoke to Job “out of the whirlwind and clouds”.  I thought that this was a very striking image of God using nature to show His glory and majesty.  It was almost as if God wanted to place heaven itself above Job, as if His throne were right there commanding Job’s attention and obedience.  In verse 7, God paints a picture of him creating a world in perfect harmony, and being praised by his creations all the while.  I think that this image of the angels praising God for creating the stars evokes a strong sense that the stars, and therefore the rest of creation, have value in themselves, even before humans were made.
God speaks of the sea being ‘born’ in verse 8, almost making it seem like one living creature.  Verse 14 seems to at the very least imply that humans were the only creation upon the Earth that was given the power of speech, which is something that many scientists have used to separate humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.  Now, we know that other animals, such as the orca whale, have something very close to language.  While I do not have enough information to say whether humans are the only animals with the power of speech, I can have the pious opinion that this verse was being used to illustrate the power and majesty of God through his creation.  I find this interesting, because we, just as the rest of creation, glorify God because we were made by Him.
Chapter 39 of the book of Job begins with God saying that he marks even when the deer and goats give birth.  This shows that God cares infinitely about his creation, and does not forsake even the most remote creatures.  Why should we, as humans endeavouring to follow in the example of our Lord and Saviour, neglect his own beloved creatures?  The answer is that we cannot, not with a full and right understanding of scripture.  We must understand that God gives value to nature, even relieving the childbirth pangs of wild animals, and we ought to give them value as well.
When I was reading Job chapter 9, I got the sense that God has created wilderness, not just the tame creatures that we tend to think of in conjunction with God.  As C. S. Lewis drew the analogy in The Chronicles of Narnia, God is no ‘tame lion’.  God has created the wilds, the tigers and the creeping things, as well as the kitten and the bunny.  This made me remember the transcendentalism and frontier romanticism movements from the age of American romanticism, where people put a heavy emphasis on finding themselves and God in untouched nature.
The more one reads scripture, the more one is lead to the undeniable truth that nature has it’s own intrinsic value, apart from just what human beings need to survive.  We take the Word of God as absolute truth, so therefore we must realize that because God places value in his creation, so should we.  God has placed things in a certain order, and he has placed people in dominion over the Earth.  He has given us the ability to grow to such heights that we have the power to destroy the world, and we need to realize that we have the responsibility to care for nature past what we need to meet our own ends.  Nature can be a help to humans, giving us sustenance, medicine, meditation, and even entertainment, but it has value apart from all of these things as well.