Thursday, December 6, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
It is one of those days for no particular reason at all, and for every reason in the world.
It has been a gray, rainy, lonely, ragged, tired, heavy, tried-to-pull-myself-up-but couldn't, kind of day.
It is days like this that I must write. Sometimes without really having anything to actually say, but I must say something.
I need someway to move forward. Something concrete to look at. Words. Maybe they aren't really concrete. But they are the something that I need right now.
Words are the something that I need to write or read or hear or speak.
I am an emotional person. I've finally, after many years, embraced this about myself. All of the joy, anger, grief, quietness, anxiety, "blah-ness", empathy, and any other emotion you could possibly think of need some place to go, and today they go here.
They become words.
People need words. It is our words that inspire and move and change us. Words can break us into a thousand bits. The absence of words can do the same. And sometimes that's just it I've noticed. The absence of words can break us to bits. The absence of words can destroy us.
I often wonder why I blog or why does anybody else for that matter, and that's just it. I do it for words. Mine and others.
We need each other. We need words. And although, I will always, always, value the real life words, of a real life person--flesh and bone and heart and beauty--sitting across from you with the weight of the world or the joy and wonder of it within them, so much more. Somehow, I think we, or at least I, need this. This space. This very odd, public space to give and receive the wonder of words.
So, as I make it through this dark day, that is here for no reason in particular and for every reason in the world, I at least have the quietness, and steadiness of words to see me through.
Thank you for being a part of it.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
It is this time of year,
that the tall and golden sun flowers bow their great heads, to mourn the end of summer.
quietly and carefully the garden has been turned under in a kind of closing ceremony,
like the fresh and sacred ground of a tomb.
Preparing the soft and giving earth to wait out another winter.
The sweat and wonder of summer has long since left, and we wait.
We wait in the fiery, golden, light of autumn, set against it's lengthened shadows,
deep and mysterious.
We wait in its damp morning fog
Or its gray drizzling mornings.
Our hearts grow in heaviness and awe at the sight of the first frost, cold and unforgiving
The geese call out, harsh and metallic, a warning
and a wanting.
Different days are coming.
It is this time of year, that we celebrate and grieve. We let go, and hold on, and we wait, and remember, the days that are to come.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
So far I am learning reality. I am learning that all the grand things I dreamed of in my class room are a thousand times harder to achieve than I ever dreamed.
I am learning to trust myself. It is easy when you are new (and when you aren't really on the payroll) to second guess yourself. To think that there must be someone else who knows better. Maybe some days they do. Maybe some days they don't. The only way to know is to move forward. I got into this business because I believe I have something to give, and I do.
I am learning to trust my students. They are smart and wonderful and creative when I get out of the way and let them be.
I am learning to not be afraid of my students. 14 year olds, especially in great numbers, are the most formidable group I have yet to cross paths with. And just as creative and smart and wonderful as they can be, they will, to their own demise, try not to be some days. It is my job to accept nothing, absolutely nothing, but their best.
I am learning to let it go. Some days don't go as planned. It doesn't feel okay, but it is. Some plans that I thought would be wonderful--aren't. This is okay to.
I am learning to still, like always, hold on to my idealism with all of my soul. The world will always want to strip us of this. I can't let it. I can't let it take idealism from me or the 110 faces I see everyday for just 50 minutes. I must hold on for dear life...because that's what it is.
I feel I'm doing much more learning than teaching these days. I hope that this is always always so.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
This is how life feels right now. Like maybe everything is too good, too wonderful, too strong, and vibrant and alive. The worrying side of me wants to wonder when the bottom will drop out, but surprisingly and wonderfully, that side of me is not winning.
Life is not perfect right now, not even at all but its good. So so good. (Did I mention life is good?)...
I am coming off of a wonderful summer filled with spinning (I bought a wheel!....more on that later), baking, growing tomatoes and what seems like a million other green and lovely summer things, spending time with my wonderful grandma, sweet red wine, fires in the back yard....Just goodness all over.
This week I started my student teaching, well unofficially. My official Kent assigned day is September 4th, but I have a fabulous cooperating teacher who has welcomed me into her room. I've spent the last few days at staff meetings, getting the room ready etc. I've been so impressed with how positive the staff there has been. Its been a refreshing and terrific change in comparison to some schools I've been in through out my experiences. Tomorrow the kids show up, and the real (but good, so so good....like everything else) work begins. I can't wait. I am surprisingly unnervous (yep, I made that word up) and I'm completely excited.
I've started running again, and for the first time in 5 yeas (5!) it doesn't hurt my back. There is lots of walking and panting involved, but lots of smiles too.
So life for now, seems like its too much of a good thing, but its not too much and I love it. Smiles all around and happy Tuesday everyone!
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
When I needed it most...we went to a good friend's wedding out of town. We laughed, and danced, and celebrated with them. It was a thousand degrees out and we drove 13 hours to get there, but I couldn't have cared less. My heart was so full of joy for them and for all the wonderful people there celebrating with them, that I cried like a total idiot during the toast, because I tried to hold it all in during the ceremony. Nobody cries like that during toasts. Especially ones they aren't even giving. But to be honest, I love that being with people can make my heart feel so so big, it just has to spill over in wonderful, lovely, seemingly endless, tears of shear joy.
When I needed it most, we found friends that we can stay up with and watch a fire dance in the night while our laughter danced right along with it. Even on week nights, when we should all be in bed like responsible adults. Discovering that we have so much more in common than we thought. "Oh, you stay up at night every now again wondering if you're becoming a serial killer or some other terrible illogical thing but just don't know it yet? Me too!! It must be totally normal".... Even if its just one other person, its nice to find someone whose you're exact kind of crazy.
When I needed it most, we found friends that listened. And rather than give more empty advice, we all just prayed. I say "just", like its no big deal, but really, nothing (absolutely nothing) could have been more freeing.
When I needed it most, good friends, the life long kind, came to visit. Coming from all corners of the globe to laugh and laugh and laugh (okay and maybe eat). To stay up late, talking about life and laughing more. And getting up and drinking coffee (and eating) and talking and laughing still more until we think we could burst (from the laughing that is....er...)
When I needed it most, all the little things in life, that really aren't so little, came crashing down around us in one beautiful mess. Life has seemed so good, I just can't believe this life is really mine. And all when I needed it most.
"Every good and perfect gives comes from above..." James
Saturday, July 28, 2012
You start out knitting for yourself.
From the needles comes a scarf,
someday a sweater.
From your own hands , and the clacking of metal on metal comes warmth to get you through a thousand winters.
It's independence , self sufficiency.
You can stand alone.
Then you discover it.
The joy of knitting for another.
With skill and time
comes a gift.
Something to ease grief, or welcome one into the world,
Something that celebrates or mourns or both.
Something to soften and warm and brighten,
in those long winter months ahead.
Each stitch, a prayer.
The wool moving through your fingers like beads of the rosary.
Holy and sacred. Giving life and goodness.
You started out alone,
and you needed to. Learning to stand on you're own is all a part of it.
But the next part, is watching something you created, something you labored over, something you touched and admired
move from your hands,
into those of another.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life."
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I've been thinking a lot lately and trying to figure a lot of things out lately. Maybe this is even a repeat of the post from a few years ago. I will say though, that I am very much less afraid to be honest with people about where I am than I was when I wrote years ago.
I still am at a very funny (although it's probably not funny at all) place with my Christianity. Even typing that word Christianity causes me to take a deep breath and a step back. I'm still at a loss sometimes of what to think, maybe even more than when I wrote my original post.
I'm about to sound whiny. There, I warned you.
When Dave and I first got married, we changed churches for an abundance of reasons, and it was exactly what we needed at that time. We have been at our new church for almost three years now and we feel very much...alone. We started by going on Sundays, it was refreshing to be somewhere bigger, somewhere new. We were in a small group and then we led one. All said and done though, it is still of little consequence if we are actually physically there (I say physically because our church offers their services online as well, which is a whole other topic for me, probably not nearly as important).
Dave helped out with the acting and comedy ministry at our church. Still, nobody talks to us, or calls except for one couple and to be honest if that one friendship is why we have been there, I'm okay with that on some level. I also know though, that point of church isn't just to sit through a sermon. At least that's not what I want from it.
I know that three years ago I would have told someone saying these very same things to me that "Well, you just need to make an effort, call someone, join a small group, join a ministry....etc." or "Well, remember, it's not about you anyway, just find someone that you can reach out to." That all sounds pretty empty to me now and I'm sorry to anyone that I ever said that to. What I should have said was, "Hey, do you want to go grab a coffee or come over to dinner etc???" I feel like we have done those things (joined ministries, made an effort, blah blah blah) and still we are figuring it all out alone, and I hate it. I know that Christianity was meant to be lived together, but I have no idea how to accomplish that.
Along with that, new questions in my own mind have come up about Christianity, perhaps because of the alone-ness we are experiencing. (???) Things like how did politics and Christianity get all jumbled up into one big tangled mess? Being an election year I find myself hiding Facebook statuses and rolling my eyes as Christians tell me who to vote for and why and I find it all...tiring? Maybe? (Honestly, I shouldn't just blame Christians for this, everyone does this, but sometimes Christians can do this with a particular zeal).
My own politics have changed over the past year, a lot, and in ways that have surprised me.Why? Mostly from being in classrooms with kids that have next to nothing. I don't know that I can look a student in the eye and say "Yeah, I voted for you not have health care." I just can't. I hate that Christianity is often connected with being Republican. And to be honest, I'm not really either. I am not democrat or republican and maybe that's a cop out, or maybe its being balanced, or maybe its both or neither. I don't want to be either. That's another post for another day. I guess I'm saying, why all the hateful politics connected to Christianity sometimes? (I say sometimes, because I also recognize that not every Christian or every church has hateful politics).
All this to say though, I am trying so desperately to make the connections. Every. single. thing. that I know of Christ is loving and good and yes, even holy (but I think our idea of what that is has gotten skewed over the years). I can't line it up though with the current breed of Christianity and I don't know where to go next. I can't even tell you exactly what I would like to see in a church. I can't , and I don't know what that means. I do know that somewhere in it all I still believe that Christianity wasn't meant to be lived alone, but I don't know how to fix that. I don't have a next move.
This all sounds way more bitter and disillusioned and even much more vague than I intended. Wow. Sorry. You don't need to worry, you aren't going to find me out on a ledge somewhere, and surprisingly despite all these nagging questions I have, I am not on the verge of a panic attack (any of those who have known me for years know how great of an accomplishment that is for me) :). Also, this wasn't intended to bash Christianity. I still believe it, and understand it be something that can be life-giving and beautiful, but the last few years I have come face to face with it's ugly side over and over and I am still trying to make sense of it all.
I do know that these questions are important to me, and I do know that I still haven't given up on the whole thing, I even know that it will be okay and Dave and I will someday (hopefully) find a place that we can be and feel less alone.I also know that that was a run-on. This is just where we are for now. Hopefully, when I write part 3 of this (I have no idea if or when that will happen), maybe some things will be figured out. To be honest though, I'm glad I've asked these questions, I think when we don't ask, we don't grow, in Christianity or with anything really. So, that's that. For now.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Some of my favorite moments:
Friday, April 20, 2012
The small radio on top of the fridge,
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
as old as the ground we stood on, as time-worn as our words.
“This we believe, this we truly believe”.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
When I look back at that memory I have two initial reactions. The first is that I sort of want to recognize that memory as sad. How did I not realize how "uncool" I was? Were all my friends just pitying me by being there? Oh my gosh, I was such an nerd and didn't even know it. The worst kind! I almost get embarrassed over my ten year old self. No wonder I was never a "cool kid." It can kind of be a painful moment to look back on.
Then I think about it for a second longer, and I laugh and I'm honestly proud. The thing is, when I look back at that memory, I wasn't embarrassed at all. It didn't occur to me on February 20, 1995 that nobody else skated. It didn't occur to me that I was skating in circles by myself. I just had a blast. The DJ played the music and I just went for it. I skated forward and backward, and did the scissors, and tried to go faster and faster each time around. I would say I was brave, but to be honest, I don't remember it being something I was afraid to do, I just did it because it was fun and I wanted to.
Now, why am I telling you about my tenth birthday??? Lately, there have been these moments where I've felt like I'm skating in circles by myself. I've had moments where I didn't even know I was alone in what I was doing, and I looked back and realized no one was joining me. This feeling has come up with my job, with some friendships, just everywhere lately. I felt like maybe I was still that 10 year old skating in a circle by myself not going anywhere, looking uncool.
Then I rethought it again. I realized that sometimes in order to really live, you just have to skate in a circle by yourself, because it is fun. The truth is, everyone else usually wishes they could go out there and skate. After all, how is not fun to listen to "Ghostbusters" and feel the air flutter through your mushroom haircut, as you zoom around on a bright orange floor while the lights from the disco ball swirl around you??? I mean, come on. Everybody is just too afraid and fear makes us miss out. We sit and we think of a million reasons why we shouldn't be out there. We think about our ability or lack thereof, we think about how dumb we might look or how uncool it is (adults worry about coolness just as much if not more than Jr. higher's I've noticed).
Life sometimes, is trying to rip the hope right from us--through criticism, through painful experiences, through disappointment, but I've realized that that's the fight. The battle is to hold on to hope, simply because its worth it. Sometimes in order to do that it takes skating in a circle by yourself. It even takes grit. Not the kind that makes you calloused, but the kind that can still love even when things feel unlovely. The kind that believes in other people (or even yourself) even when it seems like there is no reason to. It takes laughing and smiling and rejoicing even when no one else seems to care to join you. The hope is that maybe they will join you, maybe they will feel less alone, less afraid, if they just get out there.
Maybe this still seems sad, but I don't think it is. It's freedom. I hope that I can always look back at 10 year old me and have the courage to rejoice and to hope, and to just be me really; I hope that you can be you too.
" Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place." --Unknown
"No child on earth was ever meant to be ordinary, and you can see it in them, and they know it, too, but then the times get to them and they wear out their brains learning what folks expect." --Annie Dillard