Monday, April 26, 2010

A Cup and A Half

Patience is not my strong point.

Occasionally, my roommate brings her younger sisters over to spend the night. It is truly lovely that she lives close enough that she can offer to relieve her parents of her siblings for a night. Her sisters are darling. One is around thirteen or fourteen years of age and the other is ten years old. They both have long hair which I envy from afar (stroking their hair does not go over well). Honestly, I do not mind to have them over because it is nice to have some younger girls about the house. Some funny things do occur, though.

For example, our living room which moments before their arrival was the scholastic mess of college students preparing for finals abruptly becomes a child’s playroom with polly pockets and all things pink. This change I don’t mind so much. It’s actually downright lovely. Now, my bedroom which already houses three adult women and their stuff explodes with the addition of two more girls. The floors that had been barely walkable are no longer visible. Also, the matters of beds become an issue. We have five girls and three beds. Well, two to a twin bed is not so comfortable, but two out of the three beds end up containing two girls. The days of sleepovers are not done.

Around three in the morning, I climbed into my bed which my roommate was sleeping in and tried to sleep. Unfortunately, I got overheated sharing a bed with my roommate so I stumbled down the stairs and fell onto the couch. It was easily four in the morning. With the blanket sprawled across my body, I fell into a half-a-sleep. Soon after, I abruptly woke up, stood, and turned the light off. Probably about two hours later, I was jerked awake. My eyes creaked open and widened. Standing above me was my dear roommate’s youngest sister. She asked me something – I swear it. I must have mumbled a reply because she left. Not two hours later, she appeared again in the same manner. And this time, she did not disappear. With less than five hours under my belt, my patience was being tried.

She wanted to watch a movie. The TV wouldn’t work. The DVD player was being jank. She was hungry. There wasn’t any food. The laptop could not turn on fast enough. I got the movie set up. I sighed and hoped that I could begin my homework at least. That’s when her hunger re-presented itself. She opened our sparse refridgerater and began asking about the food inside. “No, you cannot have that. It’s not mine. No, I’m sorry not that either. We don’t really have any food.” Out of desperation, I yank out a box of muffin mix and offer it as a peace offering. In moments, I am on my way to Kroger to get the necessary ingredients. Hopefully, she would sit and watch the movie. No such luck. When I returned, I found that she had eaten a thing of applesauce that I had told her not to eat. She was legitimately sorry.

This littlest sister is a sweetly peculiar girl. I’m told that she’s a tad autistic. I know what the term means, but it doesn’t really mean much to me. It just means that she walks on her toes and she has an uncanny musical ability. She is also oddly friendly with blunt questions. It’s not uncommon for her to stand and stare at one while they worked on doing something else. She is a sweet girl and amuses me greatly. The best thing that comes from these little-sleep-patience-mornings is a good story. Hopefully, this is just that because I want it to be nothing but a good story about my patience victory. After all, the sweetheart is still alive and well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Of Dawns Past

Old men how odd they are in their careful ways with their slow thoughtful movements. Their gray-covered heads and their wrinkled skin sagging on their skeletons. The heavy thoughts that have brewed in their minds for years rest in their jaws waiting to be freed to the world. The lids of their eyes swallow their eyes of wisdom and observation. The bones of their bodies creak as old houses live through those groans. Old men see things that young forget to see in their rush to achieve success.

How funny old men are with their old styled clothes and their old fashioned ways! They reminisce of days gone past and when it was safe for children to roam the streets. Lapses of silence casually occur when their memories fly faster than their lips can form words. These old men have seen much and have dealt with much. Within themselves, they are young. Perhaps, this is why they hold onto their 40 year old wool caps and their worn vests. They live in memories and dreams of the past when their bodies did not trap them.

Old men have learned the adage "one step at a time." It may have been a forced lesson, but it is one learned nonetheless. Lifting one foot ahead of the other has become a struggle. Down the sidewalk, the old men creak as they move one step at a time. Unlike young men, they live no longer in the future nor fully in the past. They have seen that life moves quickly even when one moves slowly. "One step at a time" has become an adage of physical meaning.

Tradition binds old men. Their tired feet have carried them long in these traditional ways. They swerve neither to the right nor to the left. These old men chase the traditions of their young age. When presented with change, they stumble away in uncertainty of the unknown as they murmur weakly, "But, it has always been done in this way." Tradition grips them by their wrinkly old necks. Old men have no strength to free themselves from these long-held traditions.

In the heat of the afternoon, old men sit in the controlled environment of their living room where nothing can cause havoc unless permitted. They have experienced the world and live with the regrets of the young. In the early morning when the young sleep, the old sit on park benches welcoming the dawn of a new day. For a time, they can pretend that they are young once again as the sun spills over the horizon. Old men - how amusing they are in their words and their works!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Life of Uncertainty

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.” - Helen Keller

Ever since I have laid eyes on this quote, I have loved it. I am a fairly pragmatical-not-spontaneous person. I like to have all the facts and everything make sense. I want adventure, but I generally wait for it to find me opposed to me seeking it. At least, this is the way that I view myself. The above quote by Helen Keller kicks me in the butt every time I read it. I create security in my life and I put up barriers to protect myself from things that I fear.

Fear is a constant struggle in my life. I cannot seem to escape it. My mind is continually assailed with the ‘what if’ sequence that is very common in today’s society. I picture the worst and that sends me packing my bags so that I can return to the safe comfort of my own childhood home. Yet, I am not a child anymore. To run and hide from my fears will not make them lessen. In fact, those fears will grow and over take my life. We cannot have that.

Therefore, I trust. Actually, I try to trust. I am incredibly terrible at trusting. In fact, I fail at it daily. Don’t you dare think that I’m exaggerating. I have to trust that God knows what is best in my life. Yes, the “GOD” factor is extremely imperative and crucial in my life. Even though, this is God we are talking about I have a difficult time trusting Him. Yes, trusting God. Don’t judge me! What if He is God? Yeah, so I still have a hard time trusting Him. Well, I have found another area in my life where I can trust God.

Ready? I applied and was accepted to The Experience with the Kingdom Building Ministries ( This is a 50 day intensive program. If the word ‘intense’ doesn’t scare me enough, the cost and rules do. I am certain that God has led me to this program. Yet, I am lacking a nice five grand. This is where the trusting enters in on a very grand scale. Like any normal college student, I do not have any extra money lying around and summer is for making money. I’m spending seven weeks of the summer paying rather than being paid. Can you hear the panic slowly creeping into my type? If you don’t, let me assure you that it is there.

The Experience is an excellent opportunity because it is a ministry. I wanted something for the summer that included ministry and working with people. I wanted to be able to use my limited but growing Spanish skills somewhere. I was looking for a program that would allow me to be at home for a portion of the summer so that I could see my family. Ultimately, I want to grow more in my relationship with my Heavenly Lover of my soul. This program covers all of that. We shall even be going back to my second home of Jarabocoa in the Dominican Republic. I never thought I would go back to the Dominican Republic. I was wrong. I also did not think that I would “settle” for a ministry option that did not pay. Yet, I do not find this to be settling. God has a lot to teach me this summer. I am eager to see what it is and a little bit frightened.

I am holding tightly to that quote by Helen Keller. Life is uncertain. This is good. If life was certain, where would the excitement be? There would be no need for a Celestial advisor. As long as I have my Advisor, I shall take on this world of uncertainty.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Freedom of Fear

I have never been particularly good at anything.
I have found that I am particularly good
At nothing.
Is not it odd that I find contentment in that?

I love discovering things and adventures.
I have found that I am particularly good
At learning.
Is not it strange that I want to learn forever?

I have never been good at freeing myself from fear.
I have found that I am particularly good
At fear.
Yet, is not it lovely that I still find freedom?

Freedom. It is whispered in the zephyrs.
Freedom. It is chanted by the ocean waves.
Freedom. It is sung by the birds of the trees.
Freedom. It is found in the eyes of Jesus.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My Fairy Tree

There is something so magical about Spring. Everywhere I can see evidence of the dance of the fairies. Every morning, I discover some new beauty to the world. There is a lovely tree with purple blossoms. I swear that it actually glows during the day and the evening. I am certain that this is the tree that fairies live within. Spring is a magical time.

It's magical in more ways than one. I am thinking of all those little furry animals that are finding their soul mates. I see squirrels playing a frisky game of tag. The ducks are quarreling over the limited amount of females. Bouncing across the sidewalk, the toads sing together. Outside my window, the birds melodious alarm-like song wake me in the morning. The creatures call to each other. It is magical.

It's hard not to feel pressured by nature. Apparently, I am not the only one feeling this pressure. Last weekend, three engagements occurred. Mostly, I laugh at the funny little dance that the animals and humans do to attract the other animals. Did you know geese choose their partners for their entire life? I'm not a big fan of geese, but this softens my feelings towards them.

Magic. Spring is the rediscovery of the world. The world has forgotten color. Spring brings little surprise purple blossoms hiding the grass. The tulips firework from the ground in explosions of reds and yellows. The flowered trees seem like huge globs of cotton candy. As I walk through the world, I find myself occasionally abruptly stopping just so that I can revel in a small discovery. One moment, all is dead. Magically and gradually, the world gets colored in.

Throughout winter, we trusted that spring would come. It didn't seem like it would. Winter seemed immoveable and uncaring. Yet, spring did come. Some things just seem illogical. How can it be freezing cold one day and then like summer the next? The world is a mystery. It defies logic. I don't understand it and I won't pretend to understand it. I do know that Spring is magic.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ranting's Bones

My fist and the sky have become good friends. I keep re-introducing them to each other. This fist motion occurred due to some fun turmoil that I have found myself. This is how my morning began. I introduce my fist to the sky. Unfortunately, my fist gained no response at all. I reintroduced them. Nothing.

So that was morning.

My afternoon was delightful.

My evening equaled my morning.

At the hour of one, I serenaded the sky with my scream. I walked out the back door onto the porch. To the giggling chorus of my roommates, I let out a horrific grunt/yell. The cool air refreshed my frayed emotions. Purposefully, I stalked back into the house and the slam of the door rang out behind me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Meeting Mr. Pipe Man

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blogpost about Mr. Pipe Man who lives down the road from me. Well, my mother decided that she wanted to take a copy of the article to the man. I was a bit uncertain about the idea, but she coaxed me into agreement. The other day, she went to visit Mr. Pipe Man who actually does have a name. I do believe that he will live forever in my mind and heart as Mr. Pipe Man. The irony of their conversation is in the fact that he is a retired english teacher. Mr. Pipe Man declared that he would hang my article on the wall. He has also requested to meet me when I'm in town again. This is all very odd to me and I'm uncertain how our visit shall go. It almost seems strange that I would actually meet this man who I could only imagine what his story was or is.

If you'd like to meet the Mr. Pipe Man of my imaginings, here's the link to that post: I'll be meeting the Mr. Pipe Man in person in a month or two and then I shall get back to you possibly about Mr. Pipe Man.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hair Today

As you are aware, I shaved my head about three months ago. I gave my hair to locks of love. It was a strange experience to be navigating through the world without hair. For the majority of the first two months, hats became my dearest friends. We went everywhere together. I didn’t leave my house without a hat. Within my house, I had established with my housemates that I wouldn’t wear my hat. They were extremely accepting and I was grateful. Throughout the day, I yearned for the time when I could walk through the door of my house and whip my hat off my head.

Wearing a hat daily was a struggle. On an extremely shallow level, sometimes my hats would not match my outfits. Then, I would deeply desire to have my mop of brown hair back so that I could not have to match my head covering to my outfit. Other days, I just was tired of hiding. All of my close friends were aware of my lack of hair, but many people didn’t even realize that I didn’t have hair. I covered my head because I didn’t want to shock people. I covered my head out of respect for my mother. I covered my head because it was cold outside. At the same time, I felt as though I was trying to hide who I was with my hat. To whip it off my head at the end of the day was like screaming the declaration of freedom. I wanted people to see me for who I was and still accept me.

When I cut my hair off, it caused a lot of confusion. I was confused. Significant people in my life were confused. It was a mess. Yet, I knew that I had followed through with a decision that I felt strongly about doing. That first month, I was very confused and hurt. I mismanaged situations and hadn’t treated some people in the way that I should. One could say that I withdrew into the safe arms of my college friends who are much more accepting of the strange and the odd. I did. I stopped writing my college chronicles because the uppermost subject on my mind was my hair. My lack of hair had become like sensitive information. Of course, these friends of mine are not your ordinary suburban-grown adults. They chose to look past my hair. That taught me a lot. Number one: Communication is important and make sure you communicate overly much so that all aspects are covered so no one gets surprised. Number two: Judgments based on appearance are a no-go (although I find myself still having problems with this.) Number three: Just because all past cases have turned out badly – does not mean that this is the rule. Number four: Short hair is like a dream to care for. I am sorry for all the confusion that was caused in the lives of the people close to me. Yet, I am extremely thankful for the learning that I continue to gain. Hopefully, we will continue to learn together.

Without hair, I was extremely vulnerable. I had lost some of my identity. There is a reason that the Bible calls a woman’s hair her “crowning glory.” I felt ugly all the time. I thought that I would stop caring about my appearance so much if I didn’t have any hair. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I found that I cared more deeply. I was embarrassed to take my hat off in front of even my close friends. I think some of that may have stemmed from some initial reactions that occurred within the hour after I shaved my head. To take my hat off was to bare not only my head but my heart as well. I was opening myself up to rejection. I have experienced rejection before and it is one of my least favorite feelings.

One evening about a week or two into the second semester of school, all of my friends came over to my house for a movie. The guys and the girls came. Up to this point only one boy had seen my shaved head and that had been by accident because he was my roommate’s boyfriend. I had answered the door expecting someone else. I was struggling with feeling attractive. I didn’t know how I would be able to face my guy friends with a shaved head. I was petrified. As I stood in front of the sink, washing the dishes, I turned to my dear friend, Alicia, and said, “I want to put a hat on, but I don’t think that I should.” After much discussion, we agreed that it would be more awkward for me to put a hat on especially since I had established that within my house I would not wear a hat. When they arrived, I was still in the kitchen washing dishes. One of the boys walked in the kitchen and then promptly left when he saw me. I read that as a type of rejection. (I was wrong about that as I found out later that he simply wanted to allow me to come out when I was ready.) When I did finish washing the dishes, I stood by the sink for long minutes telling myself to breath. I couldn’t do this. I wanted to hide in the refrigerator for the rest of the evening. Finally, I walked out to them and I didn’t breath. I turned bright red, felt ugly, and felt like a freak. No one acknowledged my lack of hair. I bolted. I ran upstairs to find my hat. I could not take this. Well, Alicia intercepted me. She helped me to determine that I needed to lose that hat. Eventually, my hair became the center of attention and life moved on. Guess what. My guy friends are still friends with me and they have even petted my head a couple of times.

That experience helped to instill some confidence back into my life. I still felt like an alien and an ugly duckling next to all these beautiful college girls. Yet, I was overwhelmed by all the people that God continually placed in my life to repeatedly tell me, “You are beautiful.” I was thoroughly overwhelmed and wondered at it. Yet, someone pointed out, “When someone compliments you, they are complimenting God.” It was a light bulb moment. Yet, He knew that I needed to hear these compliments from all these different people. Not only did friends tell me, but also acquaintances and even random people in malls and stores. That always threw me for a loop. God just stood right next to me. Of course, this is all still a hair rising experience and I have found that my hair is growing on me. My growth does not end here. It has only begun.

advent of discovery

God has created us with such a capacity for mystery and depth in the very center of our beings. He made us with so much depth that we shall never fully discover ourselves. That shouldn't be depressing. In fact, it has made me realize that I will always be discovering new things about myself. Even when I am 94 without teeth or hair, I shall be discovering more things about myself whether it be of the past or present. I want to support the fact that we are so very mysterious and black-hole-like with the fact that God created us in His image. We cannot even to begin to think that we can fully understand God. Since we were created in His image, the depth of His character must extend to us as well. Therefore, whether we realize it or not, we are continually learning about who we are. Life is adventure. Living life is adventure. Self-discovery (for lack of a better term) is adventure. People believe adventure comes in the shape of crazy escapades. I beg to differ. Adventure is life.