Sarah Nadine Blog » Blog

No other time of year really spotlights the phrase that “humans are creatures of habit”. I mean, you take the same boxes out that hold the exact ornaments that you decorated with the year prior. A strange tree is bought and brought to your home to celebrate the holidays with you and your family. The consistent handful of songs are resung, remixed, and replayed each December … And, it’s not just one family, country, or race, it’s a myriad of people everywhere, repeating actions over and over and over again!

I first started thinking about the ‘why’ of traditions the other day when I was driving with Matt and Colten, and none of us could figure out why we put trees in our houses! [see the link below!] I never really thought that I was one that “clung” to traditions, but something as simple as a Christmas tree … hmmmm …. !!!

As much as I am one for adventure, searching for new ways to conquer the day with unique and daring elements …. familiarity and routine knit together a ‘comfy’ sweater I cozy up in as I face each new stimulation. When I was a kid, it didn’t matter how much I craved to be living in someone else’s shoes, in another era [I continually asked God why I wasn’t born 200 years earlier as settler/explorer, 400 years earlier as a forest maiden, 1300 years earlier as … etc!], or AT LEAST with a super power, my Mom & Dad’s arms were what comforted me when I cried through such issues. Their warm hugs meant comfort, established and unreserved love. I think that feeling is we expect when we perform traditions and repeat ‘what we did last year’. We forget the integral ingredients of relationship, love, peace are that “toastiness” which is trying to be recreated.

‘why’ a tree?!

pic pix: a tradition that our family holds … my Dad lifting one of us kids up to put the angel on THE tree!! This year … MY turn πŸ™‚ December ’09


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fore-ground: noun [the part of the view that is nearest to the observer; the most prominent or important position or situation]

fore-ground: verb [make (something) the most prominent or important feature]

Isn’t it funny, when something is on your mind, EVERYTHING seems to relate to that thought?! Say if it were someone … reflections and faces remarkably resemble one of his/her features. If its a feeling or emotion (like being in love) … you can be guaranteed that every song, photograph, and happy thing makes you want to smile because of its similarity to that which is on your mind.

I thought about this tunnel (there I go relating things again!) when my mind started to wonder and ponder on the thought above. When I am in a tunnel of thought/vision, everything casted beyond that tunnel is shadowed with a foreground of my current “tunnel”. This very tunnel in Quito, apart of la Calle Ronda, had lights that would illuminate different colors every few minutes. After the sequence of colors was played, I knew I wanted to photograph the deep indigo blue hues because of the contrast and the ‘vibe’ that I felt – mysterious warmth.

Daily, I know I do the very same thing. Maybe not with varied colors brightening a tunnel, but with circumstance, emotion, and people we surround ourselves with. Creating a symptom, persay, known as being ‘tunnel-visioned’. The dictionary describes “tunnel-vision” as a short-sightedness … myopia … focusing only what is immediately in front of you, blurring objects [life] that are farther ahead.
Rather than getting stuck within a concentration of myself (only my woes, joys, prospects, realities), I will change my foreground and REJOICE in ALL that is given to me in view today! I set out and advance with HOPE as my vanguard, pushing aside selfish sights, making “prominent” this beautiful panorama without limits.
pic pix : la Calle Ronda tunnel, Quito, Ecuador – ’08
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When you are absolutuley sure about something, you exhibit confidence, you stride with a bold step, you “know what you know”! Sometimes I wonder if I am really CERTAIN of joy, and what it beholds …

Its not only a word to understand, its a lifestyle. Seen not just through one pane of glass named “JOY”, but perceived through a frame that’s expanse encompasses the sky above us. Classified as an emotion, known as a state. Its entirety supremely surpasses the extent to which I understand … do I really KNOW joy?

Of course, I have experienced, seen, and been blessed by joy. For one, those that love me bring me such joy in the thought of it! Receiving the ultimate Gift of Salvation (another attribute of love), and living in a life interpreted within God’s promises is also casted with joy. But if I am so confident that I associate and identify with joy as a certainty, why do I allow myself to sometimes be depressed, sad?
I do not doubt that it will be something that each of us will face as we tread our path here on earth. But we need to walk in CERTAINTY, savoring that JOY that is not only sustaining but everlasting. Our days are numbered and unknown, that of which I am also certain(!). Each moment breathed must be authentically concrete … for we can have real, assured JOY!

… Hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the Light of day …
{vs 2 – JOYful JOYful, We Adore Thee, Henry J. van Dyke}


Colorfully leap in such certainty … πŸ™‚


pic pix: me & boo’s “love-joy-peace walk” – Fish Creek Park ’08

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  • December 8, 2009 - 1:31 pm

    sara k arsenault - My dear friend,

    First, your picture captures so much what joy is. It’s easy to see, it’s abundant, and yet it can fly away as quickly as it came. But the important thing is, like your cute little leaves, it is everywhere!

    It makes it firm in my mind that we could not experience true joy without experience true pain – in its other forms – like depression or stress. How could we determine what feels so wonderful without knowing it’s nemesis?

    Sometimes the eyes that we look through are clear, light, easy, and expectant of what is to come. Add the darkness of doubt or pain and all of a sudden that view we had is not so clear. The more ambiguity that surrounds us casts a shadow that can change the look of certain things in front of us. But He is here to light your way. And we (as in me and Korean) ok, and everyone we know are here to help move those uncertainties.

    I pray for you to find more joy for your day. You deserve the most because you are joy in a person form.

    xoReplyCancel

  • December 8, 2009 - 1:33 pm

    sara k arsenault - Um, it appears I have left my grammar at home.ReplyCancel

  • December 9, 2009 - 12:07 pm

    sarah nadine - grammar shmammer … either way, we’ll find a way to clamor! thanks for your insight and the ‘always’ JOY you bring wherever you go:) love loveReplyCancel




I went out with a ‘kindred spirit’ for a latte last tonight. Though we are exact opposites, I say ‘kindred’ because regardless of our personalities and character styles (which are on each extreme end of opposites!), we still face the similar struggles, breath the same air, ask paralleled questions. Often, I think that much I go through is a ‘person’al battle and no one could have ever encountered that which I have. It’s not just ‘likely’ that we do … it’s reality.

Obviously, we’re not identical(!) and the way we dice and knead issues are interpreted on very different spectrums. Like capturing a moment on film … we can see that my girlfriend is taking a picture of a SFO street and we can assume/guess how it’ll turn out. But even if its ever so slight, the image won’t be depicted that way you or I saw it or how we would’ve presented it. Neither are more right than the other, both are true views of what it was … it’s just our interpretation that is different.

Interpretations make each one of us SO unique. All the variances of thoughts, executions, and desires create millions and billions of faces, colors, and ideas. When I’m riding on the C-Train (temporarilily an every-morning experience) I’m intrigued with all the eyes and stories behind them. The SILENCE (which nearly kills me!) and the ‘here and there’ expression … almost give away more to what they are thinking. After people watching for a bit, I almost feel allied to their field of vision, despite how unresembling we may be, because I know we feel and see the same things. For example, a very pregnant woman came on the yesterday train and started looking for a seat. All were taken, so I gave her mine. Though there wasn’t a long explanation of words before or after she sat down … I knew she was relieved actually relaxed. Even though it was the simplest of gestures, and probably one of the most apparent ‘needs’ that was present, I ‘briefly’ saw the a glimpse of her thoughts with what her physical state exhibited (a very pregnant belly! tired eyes, long sigh). And because of my interpretation, I ‘briefly’ was connected.

It’s a circle of Needing, Seeing, Interpreting, and Giving … a daily question of “what part of the circle do I SING today?”

pic pix: a ‘kindred spirit’ illustrating her interpretation in San Francisco – March ’09

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  • November 24, 2009 - 7:27 pm

    sara k arsenault - Oh my Sarah Nadine!
    What lovely words you write. To catch a glimps of your thoughts makes me feel all the more special to know what goes on in the world of S.N.L…to be A!
    What a nice gesture of you on the c-train, and just a tiny slice of the kindness that is you.
    Sarah, Miss Sarah, I think you SING everyday.
    xoReplyCancel

  • November 24, 2009 - 9:57 pm

    sarah nadine - Thanks for the encouragement … in more ways than one!! The way your wrote your words almost had a lilt to them. Must be daily that you let out a little fa-la-la and do-re-mi too!! Love ya girl …ReplyCancel