going, going

there I was lying on the carpet,
raised on my elbows, making bookmarks
precision knife poised like a tiny javelin
red squeeze marks on my knuckles
the promise to come downstairs electrified solitude
and as my bedroom reverberated with strains of his symphony
Tchaikovsky cradled loneliness with reverence
like me

there were the Proms in their last week
and I leaving for a two-week vacation,
voices and orchestras made me fade
blowing wide their memory
the anticipation of leaving intensified festivity
and as the walls reverberated with strains of applause
Petroc Trelawney described the Albert Hall with reverence
like me

there you went leaping over garden rows
spiking the volleyball, sipping your milkshakes
fresh haircuts, tan and taut legs
stretching my heart
and the thought of me ever going from you- or you from me- energised camaraderie
and as the Honda reverberated with strains of your mirth
no one listened to your laughing with as much reverence
as me

NCFCA memories part 3: farewell

So it’s over. There will be no more sitting on dirty carpet waiting to speak after the 4th person on the list. No more spending all day in suits-of-many-layers and stiff black shoes. No more rushing back to the common room to grab a forgotten apologetics box. No more using the convenient phrase, “Um, I have to go give a speech now,” in order to escape an awkward conversation. No more scarfing down Chick-fil-a sandwiches before the next round.

And part of me feels pensive and slightly plaintive. But the loss of the above facets of competition is nothing to me, because it’s YOU I care about. You priceless, ridiculously wonderful people. I don’t want to lose you, and I foresee myself going to great lengths in order to avoid that. =) But “whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine by being my friend.”  We seniors are ready to move on, but our readiness is due so much to what we’ve learned from our fellow competitors and comrades.

And I will never forget what you have been to me. “I thank my God every time I remember you.” -Philippians 1:3

More (for everyone I love in the NCFCA)

I remember the beginning
I was a little bit scared.
I was ready for the judges…
But I was so unprepared.

I had been warned you were skillful…
That competition would be tight.
But no one warned me you were wonderful!
I got a shock of delight.

Because you’re so much more than a first-place award.
You’re defined by more than your I.O. boards;
The joy in your eyes is a smile in a thunderstorm.
I felt that spark when I first walked through those doors.
And you’re so much more than a balanced chart.
You’re business-attired works of art.
You scribbled your names on the flowpad of my heart
And I’ll never forget it, even when we’re far apart.

I remember returning
How could I stay away?
We were comrades and allies
And this was our heyday.

We dropped our defenses,
And picked up guitars.
And we whirled through the season,
With songs, words, and linked arms.

And I loved you, ’cause you’re so much more than a first-place award.
You’re defined by more than your I.O. boards;
The joy in your eyes is a smile in a thunderstorm.
I still feel that spark when I walk through those doors.
And you’re so much more than a balanced chart.
You’re business-attired works of art.
You scribbled your names on the flowpad of my heart
And I’ll never forget it, even when we’re far apart.

You’re so much more than I was looking for.
You’re so much more….
Than I could have hoped for.

Now life is so picturesque
Since we’re all here again.
But my time’s almost up–
I’m nearing the end.

Now I’m one of the Seniors.
We almost wish we could stay.
But we are stones full of promise.
And this league is our trebuchet.

Thank you for being so much more than a first-place award.
And defined by more than your I.O. boards;
The joy in your eyes could bring a smile to a thunderstorm.
I still feel that spark as I walk out of those doors.
And you’re so much more than a balanced chart.
You’re business-attired works of art.
You scribbled your names on the flowpad of my heart
And I’ll never forget it, even when we’re far apart.

 And I’ll never forget it, even when we’re far apart.

This video is a commemoration. A reflection on times of revelry and revery. A wistful celebration. And it’s for you. You are NCFCA.

And because I knew you, I have been changed. For the better. For good.

(p.s. I wanted to get everyone in this slideshow. I really tried. Unfortunately, there are people I know I missed. If I’ve talked you you more than 3 times, you really should be in this… so mentally add yourself. 😉 This video is for you, too.)


In the light of my last ever regional tournament, this is really all I have to say to the people in Region 4:

Concert clips

The most recent activity to demand my full attention (attention I was happy to give, since it was so delightful an opportunity) was my Junior vocal concert last Friday night. Having prepared for this since last year, and having never given my *own* recital before, I was immensely excited, and not unduly so. It was a blast. There’s honestly almost nothing I enjoy more than singing for people. Of course when I got up there on stage I did experience the frailness of humanity… I forgot words, stumbled over myself a bit when I was talking, felt slightly awkward at times, AND accidentally left my hair band on my arm (a horrid pet peeve of mine)… but overall it was a marvelous evening. In case you wanted to know. 😉

I have pictures:

Car ride amusement–

^these girls have won so many awesome points. It’s ridiculous. =) ❤

And I have videos too– of every single song, actually. And there were 14 songs, so I’m not going to post them all here. A couple of my favorites are below, but you can view the rest on my YouTube channel,

‘The Dark Island’

‘I Love a Piano’

"What do you mean you still like that song??"

Fireflies. The immediate hit by Owl City that had teens raving over it for weeks. Until… everyone got tired of it. But I never will tire of it. I do, however, tire of people asking me,”What do you mean you still like that song??” =) And so here is my answer, once and for all.

“You would not believe your eyes…” Driving in the morning along the ocean. I was cold, or at any rate, I was shivering. The van smelled so special (I’ll always love that smell). We got out Avery’s ipod and soon ‘Fireflies’ imprinted itself indelibly on my heart, because we were together, on our way, so nervous, so glad! “They fill the open air and leave teardrops everywhere…” The sea foam was shining gold for me, like it had earlier in the breakfast room- that ballroom on the top floor. They could have served us anything up there and it would have been delicious. And I still wouldn’t have been able to eat it, because I was so excited. None of that excitement dissipated as we drove past sun-enchanted buildings. It was only a ten minute drive, or less, but it seemed like a precious lifetime of wonder. “I’d like to make myself believe that planet earth turns slowly…” I smoothed my skirt, fiddled with my lip gloss, and was so thrilled that first morning. Unbelievably nervous and excited. I write it how it felt, and my fingers are trembling now like they did then. The jolt when we rolled into the parking lot was the sudden leap of my heart. Getting out of the van, I donned my lace gloves and Avery borrowed a pair. Holding hands like ridiculous children, we scampered across the blessed Corpus Christi asphalt. We found the Clarkson’s and did some impromptu hopping about. It wasn’t cold, so what was with my trembling? I was bubbling over like a fountain with a shot of dish soap. We fluttered/skipped/walked to the nearest entrance, but hardly anyone was in the church yet, so we waited by the stairs. Renee Sprinkle said hello (I love her), Mrs. Aschmutat as well, and Phil gave Avery and I quick hugs before he went to help set up registration. “Cuz I get a thousand hugs from ten-thousand lightning bugs as they try to teach me how to dance!” I noticed a skate park out the window, and Avery and I laughed at nothing in particular as we stood together examining its concrete simplicity. We walked back down the hallway towards the stairs, still chuckling (and still trembling, on my part, at least!), and oh! there was Tim coming down! Somehow we managed to hug on the second step or so, before my brown pumps betrayed me into tripping backwards slightly, and we had to descend a few inches to earth. “The disco ball is just hanging by a thread.” Did I mention how much I was smiling? How could I keep myself from it? My brother, and Avery, and a whole four days in front of us! I hugged Ed again. Soon it was a blur in that building, as kids came filing through, and tables were being carried, and interns were flying around like maniacal fairies. “I saved a few and I keep them in a jar.” Registration magically appeared, and I waited in line, not knowing most people, but ready for anything. Eric Fleming looks crazily like his older brother. I heard Tim tell his fellow intern Kelsea, ‘see my sister Susan?’, and I smiled even wider. I got my name tag with the whimsical purple-faced parrot on it (that name tag we were supposed to relinquish at the end of the conference, but I have it still, by accident. And I’m happy about that!), and somehow I remembered to find Mrs. Aschmutat at the food table and register for meals, and I kept hugging people I knew. I ended up in this small room, sitting and waiting for general assembly to commence. “everything is never as it seems…” And as I sat there with a whole row to myself, I could feel the inside of my heart begin to tremble on the brink of change, accompanied by the inspiring instrumental music of Michael W. Smith. (But it isn’t his music that conjures up these memories!) So began one of the best weeks of my life.

I cannot be thankful enough for that wonderful, marvelous, absolutely sensational week! The repercussions still fly through my bloodstream, waking the senses, forcing up laughter. I cannot hold it in! I was so happy, and happiness returns at the mere memory of CFC.

This is why I still like that song. 😉