Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Lenten Talks 2010 - Hurts

I read an article by Daniel O'Leary today while I was praying and I had to share.
It really helped me to continue to reflect on what Fr Brendan shared with us yesterday.
Enjoy :)

"As Henri Nouwen wrote, we must live through our wounds instead of thinking them through. 'It is better to feel your wounds deeply than to understand them, to let them into your silence. You need to let your wounds go down into your heart. Then you can live them though and discover that they will not destroy you. Your heart is greater than your wounds'.

Instead we cover the hurts of our hearts with the bandages of the mind. We bury our painful emotions and think that they are dead. We forget that out presence and personalities are profoundly influenced and shaped by these underground and often violent realities. We live and act out of the invisible shadowworld that turns, silently, within us. Pain needs light. Nothing heals in the dark. Michael Leunig writes:

When the heart is cut or cracked or broken
Do not clutch it, let the wound lie open
Let the wind from the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt and let it sting.

The scars of Jesus, inside and out, were always there for all to see. He let Mary wash them, Thomas touch them, his mother hold them. he openly wept, openly cursed, openly blessed. He mourned losses with others, he was angry in a crowded temple, he carried his cross in public places. His was a transparent life. And it cost. He was always dying so as to achieve that state. Nothing less will do for us.

In Lent we grow by dying. There is no other way. In this dying we recognise the false face we've grown used to, the daily lies we tell, the thoughts of deception that cross our minds, the infidelities we do not commit only because we might get caught, the lovelessness of our lives parading as shallow compassion, our collusion with conformity, our fear of beauty and big dreams Nowhere else but in this awareness of our sins, can we ever be reached and saved. We die to self when we sweat blood to stay faithful, when we sacrifice the ego of our vanity for the essence of our truest being.

This is the dying that daily scrapes the self-renewing fat of pride from the ribs of our soul bringing a fearless, inner lightness and clarity. When the eye is unblocked, the Buddhists tell us, the vision is sure. This is the liberating dying that puts the truth in our eyes, the resonance in our voice, the power in our presence, the depth in our listening. Since we are now connected up inside, our heart is no longer divided. Rinsed and cauterised, all that is unauthentic is zapped from our infected being. When the small gods go, God arrives. Heaven, in the end, is where we belong."

Just something to think about.

A Bientot,

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Icing On My Life

I'm supposed to be studying, and that can only mean one thing: I have a tray of baked goods in the oven and a baby cousin on my lap.

This is my Ode to Procrastination.
Hi, I'm Kristina.

Yesterday I started thinking about all the things that make me me.
The things that make some people laugh, while others roll their eyes.
Some just flat out don't like me. I don't float their boat.
Ah well. All I can do is smile and keep on swimming.
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

I like to bake. Well OK, fine. I guess that's an understatement.
Like if I were to say I like Blueberry Muffins. Not enough.
According to some, it's my goal in life to make people fat.
I guess there are worse things I could be accused of.
If you don't like it, don't eat my brownies. [I'm just saying.]

Art Galleries. I cry. No seriously: I cry.
I. Am. Art. Nerd.
And I embrace it, so that's OK.
I can't imagine things being any other way.
[The Force is strong with this one]

Music makes the world go round, the world go round,
The world go round. Well it gives it a soundtrack at any rate.
I keep forgetting not to sing at the top of my lungs,
Cause Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore and there are people living underneath us.
But I sing really loudly in the shower. I figure it doesn't count.

Jane Eyre took no shit. I give her props for that.
War and Peace is burning a hole in my library.
The library that my dad had to build for me since I had enough books to fill an entire wall.
Floor to ceiling. I like to read. I'm bookish. I even have glasses dont'cha know.
I read Shakespeare because I like to. Not because I have to.

Jesus is the reason I am.
That's all there is to it really. He died and I am saved.
And though I could never deserve a love like that, it is freely given to me.
Now I don't know about you, but in my books that's pretty incredible.
And I live in celebration everyday because of that fact.

I'm loud. I talk a lot. When I laugh it sounds like a goose being strangled.
Don't worry, you'll get used to it pretty quickly.
I fall over my own feet if given half a chance. I say stupid things when I forget to think before I open
My stupid mouth. But I always say sorry.
And mean it too.
I own funny hats. And scarves. LOTS of scarves.
I'm average height. For a ten-year-old.
Enough about me. You'll figure the rest out as we go along.

Hi, I'm Kristina.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A nervous smile. A new beginning.

I don't know why I'm writing this. I honestly don't.

I had pretty much given up on the whole blogging thing, simply because too much has happened. When I read my last post and think about all that I have to say, the prospect of trying to pick up where I left off proves too daunting.

I'm not the same person I was when I started this blog. A lot has changed. A lot has stayed the same. Some things I didn't expect. Others that I took for granted never really happened.
There have been ups and downs. Some people have faded out of my life as quickly as they stormed into it. Others have set up camp and don't seem to have any intention of leaving any time soon. I'm feeding them Cinnabons as an incentive to stay. I like these new co-stars in my life.

My relationship with God has been a rollercoaster ride. Soul Survivor changed my outlook on life, but the high's wearing off and I need to recharge, to reconnect. But I know that He's always going to be there, waiting for me to remember that He's the only source of power I'll ever need.

Christmas is almost upon us. I can almost hear those disgustingly cheesy Christmas songs screeching at me from every angle. Matt: I know you love that stuff. I can see the glee on your face as you read this. Don't get me wrong: I love Christmas. I love LOVE love Christmas. The mere thought of all the baking I intend to bang out is enough to send me into a sugar-induced coma. I love everything about Christmas. The mass at uni. Giving presents. Being with the people I love most. Remembering the awesome love that was born into this world some 2000 years ago. But Christmas this year brings with it the end of all that I've taken for granted these past 5 years.

I graduate next year. Me. A graduate. Meaning I need to start thinking about the rest of my life. Scary stuff. Fracking exciting scary stuff. I can't wait. When I think of everything I went through this past year, and the person I've become because of it, there's only one thing left to say:




Sunday, 28 June 2009


*cracks fingers*

you wouldn't believe this, but this is Simon, typing on his mac, but using Krissie's screen from one county to the other. she is just sitting there watching letters appear as my fingers dance across a different keyboard.
*smiles* macs are amazing

It's rather cool actually. Kind of like sharing a brain for a little while. Like two lemmings. Fighting for the cursor instead of the mic. He's trying to make me write bboooobbies guys. Very mature Sim.


Possibilities are indeed endless. I think we should use the evil powers Apple so kindly supplied us with for good. Don't you?

I can foresee many interesting projects...anyway it's even more fun because while i'm typing on her blog (while not signed in to her account, just want to make it clear) I can browse her windows files and so on....her computer is completely open to me .*evil laugh*

*swallows* followed by *nervous laughter* Simon. I can see the cursor moving. STOP IT. (I'm correcting his grammar. He doesn't like it. Well tough. S'my blog.

(we just had a cursor fight)

well....along with having her computer on my screen, i, sadly, have her voice in my ear :P I joke i joke.

*How MEEEEEAN!* (I actually just said that.) As soon as he wrote "sadly" I knew what was coming. Thanks ah!

trust me guys, the capital letters are justified.

Teehee ^^ This could go on for a while Sim. Dammit I should be studying...ah well. If all else fails it's Cafe time!

i agree....so:
*with a bow and a touch to the forehead* i bid thee farewell


Ta ta for now.

Friday, 26 June 2009

If I close my eyes, I'm there.

There's the most amazing smell; a mixture of roast coffee, fresh muffins, oil paints and well-worn paperbacks. I can see the art on the walls, the beanbags and squashy sofas, the giant coffee cups...practically bowls with handles...you know the ones. The sounds of pages turning, people laughing and the gentle strumming of a guitar being tuned in preparation of a live set.

I can't wait to make it a reality. As of right now, that's my dream for the future. I know my Professor's already planning my Doctorate degree. Right. I'm going to have to break the news to him at some point. Maybe when I tell him about my year out...that's going to be a fun conversation. Ah well. It'll be worth it. The place I go when I close my eyes: I'm going to make it a reality. Just try and stop me.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Positive Procrastination.

It's inevitable. The moment I sit down to work, my mind jumps from one possible for of distraction to another. Food. Email check. Facebook. Tea. More Facebook. Even cleaning up my room (yes, it has come to that.) Anything that will keep me from facing the massive pile of notes awaiting my highlighter. Yes, I highlight now.

Anyway, I'll get to the point. The point being my new Hillsong United CD. The one that has sent me into sporadic spasms of excitement and glee over the past couple of months. Finally, it has arrived. So I have decided to give in to a more positive form of procrastination. I am going to share my CD with all of you :) I have uploaded all the songs onto www.yousendit.com.

Just click on the links below and they'll lead you to the files, all ready to be downloaded.
My procrastination present to all of you hardcore study fiends out there.

1. Freedom Is Here

2. No Reason to Hide
(I assumed you all have that one already so I didn't bother uploading it ^^)

3. More Than Anything

4. King of All Days

5. Desert Song

6. Oh You Bring

7. Tear Down the Walls

8. Soon

9. You Hold Me Now

10. Arms Open Wide

11. Your Name High

12. Yours Forever

They'll be up for 7 days before the website disables the files so hurry hurry hurry! Enjoy :)

One more thing. For some reason I was thinking about last year's CLC Seminar today. One of the things that had impressed me most was a short film in Spanish that Josie showed us. I won't tell you what it's about, because I'll ruin the whole point of the film. It's really short. 6 minutes, that's all.

While you're waiting for the songs to download, take six minutes to watch this video. It's one of those things that makes you think. And keeps you thinking. I know the aversion that most people have to blog videos, but this is worth it, I promise.

OK...so I was going to actually upload the video. But my internet is fighting me on this. So I will leave you yet ANOTHER link...but please follow it ^^


So there you go. 
Positive procrastination. The way of the future :)

A Bientot!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Just a thought...

...on my head exploding.
Do you ever get the feeling that you have so many things floating around in your head, jostling for attention, that a fight's going to break out and your thoughts are going to make a run for any available exit? At the risk of having the remnants of ideas oozing out of my ears, I have decided to relieve some of the pressure here, in my very own Pensieve. Yes. That was a Harry Potter reference. Deal with it.
I apologise for what is to follow. It will probably take the form of verbal diarrhoea.

...on the weather.
I mean seriously. What is UP with the mood swings? My guess is that the world's weather man is PMS-ing.  Two days ago it was so hot I thought the Verona carabinieri were going to have to scrape the-puddle-formerly-known-as-Krissie off the pavement with a spatula. And yet, as I wrote this yesterday during Medieval Art, the sky was black. It was 4pm. The thundering got steadily closer and the tree-swaying became more frantic. Somebody get Al Gore on the phone.

...on canned fish.
In the past five weeks I have eaten some form of tuna salad nearly every single day. I can count the exceptions on my fingers. This is not good. Can one overdose on canned tuna, I wonder? I hope not, otherwise I'm screwed.

...on weddings.
I seem to have missed an incredible day last Sunday. It was to be expected really. Congrats to Joe and Ang! On Saturday I bore witness to a very different type of wedding. The father of the bride was very proud. And I was warned that hers was a family I'd never want to take sides against. Unless I wanted to sleep with the fishes. OK I'll stop now. Bottom line: I watched the Godfather for the first time. Wow. And I mean wow. I am seriously impressed. It was 3am on Sunday 24th May - I'll always remember this date as the day I my eyes were opened to the glory of gangster films. I am hooked. If I buy cotton wool and a grey-striped cat, someone please stop me. Use force if necessary.

...on my sources of entertainment.
A quick shout-out to my daughter and my social date. You know who you are. You have entertained me muchly recently. I salute you. And dance around with my Piglet soft toy, to the lilting sound of Chris Martin's voice, in your honour.
P.S. A collective "heeeeey :)" to the inhabitants of Room 101.
P.P.S. Thanks to Emily, Sam and Charlene for the recent messages :) you made me smile. And I will reply. I promise. 

...on Class Trips.
I've had three in the past eight days. I am mentally and physically exhausted. "Pooped", if you will. Yesterday, in Padova, I experienced something very odd. In the space of 7 minutes I was made to feel both utterly mortified and rather proud of myself. You see, I have this professor who scares me a little. He knows I'm foreign, and yet he persists with asking me question after question, bringing my 'foreignness' to the attention of the rest of the class. During his lessons I live in a constant state of terror. Did I mention that he teaches me a Master's course on the theory of artistic criticism and iconology? I think my mask of frozen panic is justified. 

Anyway, yesterday he proceeded to interrogate me, exposing my non-existent knowledge of the early Renaissance art of the Veneto plains. A tad specific, but still something the art students here seem to have learned alongside their ABCs and 123s. Needless to say, I was humiliated. But then a ray of hope hit my tomato-red face= he turned to the only Baroque painting in the entire hall. Was he really going to hand me my one and only chance to prove that I'm not completely ignorant, a fraud, a wolf in art-historian's clothing if you will? Yes. He was. I nearly broke out into a victory dance. One of the Renaissance buffs started going on about how the painting HAD to be early Seicento. I squirmed with impatience as I waited for him to finish. Then it all kinda wooshed out of me. Nay, my dear fellow. Early Seicento it was not. And I proceeded to explain why, complete with Sciberras-esque acting out of the Classicist affetti. Lis, Nic - you know what I'm talking about.

My professor kissed his fingers to his lips. The visiting lecturer smiled and said: "Perfetto". I felt utterly vindicated. It felt good. Please excuse my blatant lack of modesty. Try and understand; I've spent the last three months with a giant question mark glued to my forehead. I was getting desperate. I beg your forgiveness.

...on my Bible.
It still hasn't arrived. Ho hum. I'm fed up of having to use internet Bibles for my quiet time. I guess it's my own fault for forgetting both of mine at home over Easter...

...on tanning.
I refuse to spend hours in my balcony sprawled on a chair in an attempt to go from white to bronze. I need a cooling device- shower, pool, sea, something! I can't just lie there until I'm covered in sweat, with nothing to look at except blocks of flats. Not to mention the leering men with whom you have to avoid eye contact. Not my idea of a good time. So, until I get a natural tan, white will just have to do. Thankfully most of my friends are Scottish.

...on poverty.
This probably deserves a blog to itself, but I'll try and condense my thoughts, as this is turning into a post of epic proportions. I can't take it anymore. Nearly every single day someone comes up to me asking for money or food, or for me to buy the rose/lighters/tissues they're selling. I don't know what to do. Every time I give them something, I feel like I could have/should have given them so much more. And then someone else comes up to me. I look into their eyes and I hate myself for spending three euros on soyamilk, or thirty euros on a dress. The Italians ignore them and tell me to do the same, but when see a beggar on the street and just walk past  without even giving them the chance to form the word "monetta" with their lips, I feel like I've just walked past Jesus and spat in His face. Like He set me a test, and I failed. I don't know what to do. Should I build up a collection of lighters that I'll never use? Of roses that will turn black and die? I don't understand how the State can let this happen and go on as though everything's fine. I think about the month I spent in Egypt and I feel like a hypocrite. I honestly don't know what to do. 

...on a more positive note.
I can actually sign off with a "See you soon", because I will! Thank you Maltese government, and your eagerness to bring me home to vote for the EP Reps! My mum phoned yesterday, and her opening line was "Kris, do you want to come home to vote?" I think you can guess what my answer was. I will have to study while I'm back...do some work for my thesis...Blurgh. Other than that: bring on the swimming, Dr.Juicing, chaplaincy-ing, CLCing, Community-ing, Y4J-ing, baking and general joy. 

Bye-bye for now. See you in eight days!