Thursday, December 19, 2013

first snow

Snow makes whiteness where it falls,
The bushes look like popcorn balls.
The places where I always play,
Look like somewhere else today.

Author: Mary Louise Allen

So our first snowfall came and went and now everything is absolutely covered in snow here. It's so amazing how different a place can look when covered in snow, even as you look at it every day. As I wade thru piles of snow and scrape my windshield with a plastic cup from Jimmy Johns, I'm still amazed at how fast the roads can be cleared and still struck by the magic of snow. I feel like a child these days (in all the best ways) and I may or may not have been seen multiple times around town standing out in the snow with my head tilted back cathcing snowflakes on my tongue.

My friend Tom often shakes his head at me and utters, "oh you are so southern." Oh and no one here knows about snow cream. WHAT?!

So I owe you an update on my fall commitments that we discussed over caramel apple and coffee:

Short and sweet: I'm feeling good. I loved fall and I'm living and loving winter (as evidenced above). You can still find me on Thursdays drinking beer and covered in clay. I've still got a long way to go. I'm almost there, but I'm still here.

INTERACT: How are you? Have I told you lately that I miss you?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

a lifetime of turningpoints

I've had a few experiences recently that I truly feel will eventually change my life.

My friend MK would often say something like, "We never know the impact that this experience has on people down the road of their lives."  I have a strong sense that one day I will look back at my time in Lafayette, IN as not only a formative time but also an immensely magical and shifting time in my life.

I'm not really ready to share the details (mainly because I don't know all of them yet, but I want to acknowledge out loud that there's something out there, "down the road of my life," and its going to be good.

I'm also consistently reminded that when congruence is a valued discipline and utilized strength, every day and every moment can have a significant impact on shaping who I am and who I am becoming.

I think its high time for a list (oooh I love a list!).

Possible Life-Changing Happenings:

  • Started the "unravelling process" with about 140 other women around the world by joining them in this Susannah Conway e-course that I have been eyeing for awhile.  
  • Walked through a magical paper lantern lit path to a Tator Fry, laughter and love at Warren Piece.
INTERACT: What is happening right now that (might) change your life? 

Monday, October 07, 2013

let's slow things down a little

There's nothing that a coffee pour-over and chocolate covered caramel apple can't fix. That's what I always say.  At least that's what I'm saying these days.  This past weekend as I sipped my coffee at the perfect patio spot and graded papers, I waited for a rain storm to come in and I breathed.

I decided that I need to slow down.

Here are some commitments I made to myself to help me take more moments to breathe.

#SacredThursdays. I've been taking pottery classes at here for about 3 months on Thursday nights and meeting up with some folks after for drinks and laughs.  I love that the clay requires me to unplug and be present, physically and mentally.  I've come to value the friendships made in the class and really appreciate what I am learning about letting go of control and perfection from the craft and my classmates.

#MondayNightMadness. An old habit in a new town.  I know myself too well to commit to walking out the door when the clock strikes 5.  However if I commit to one night a week of working late and barreling through tasks, I'm sure to ease my anxiety and guilt from the nights when I'm hanging with friends.  Best part about Monday Night Madness? A few of my student friends join in on the fun and set up post to study in my office.  Lots of laughter on those 5 min breaks.

#JustOneThing. I will do one thing every day towards my decision to choose to live. Inspired by this post When I am overwhelmed with how long the list is, I have decided to do JUST one thing instead of freezing.

#ExperienceFall. I absolutely love fall and I haven't gotten to enjoy it in the last 8 years in Texas.  I do not want to miss it because I am running from one thing to the next or sleeping in on weekends.  I'm committing today to NOT miss it, but to LIVE it.  

When we get our first snow, I will check in again with an update on how I'm doing with these.

Interact:  Do you need to slow down?  What will you do this fall to ensure that you take a moment to BE?

Monday, September 02, 2013

Make Me a Mixtape: 5 songs for working people

Labor Day is more than an opportunity to mark the end of summer; it is an opportunity to reflect on the contributions of working people and the American labor movement. Organized labor has a lot to teach the broader community about leadership and social change.  Listen to some tunes below and think about how solidarity can show up in your life more often and remember the lesson of the working people: each person has a responsibility to look out for the interest of all.  

PUSH PLAY

Let's start things off with a voice-over of my favorite Woody Guthrie musings:

"I hate a song that makes you think you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody.No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim. Too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. I'm out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you.

I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own songs and to sing the kind that knock you down farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow." -Woody Guthrie 

SIDE A:

1. Which Side Are You On? // Pete Seeger
"Don't scab for the bosses/Don't listen to their lies/Us poor folks haven't got a chance/Unless we organize."

2. Solidarity Forever // Pete Seeger
"When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run/There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun/Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one/But the union makes us strong."

3. Bread and Roses // Julie Collins
"As we go marching, marching/We battle too for men/For they are women’s children/And we mother them again/Our lives shall not be sweetened/From birth until life closes/Hearts starve as well as bodies/Give us bread, but give us roses"

4. Ballad of Joe Hill // Joan Baez
"From San Diego up to Maine/In every mine and mill/Where working men defend their rights/it’s there you’ll find Joe Hill."

5. Three Miles Down // Gil-Scott Heren
"Hard to imagine workin' in the mines/Coal dust in your lungs, on your skin and on your mind/I've listened to the speeches/but it occurs to me politicians just don't understand/the thoughts of isolation, ain't no sunshine underground/It's like workin' in a graveyard three miles down."

INTERACT: What would you suggest for the B Side?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

this place is starting to feel like, well, you know, home.

This green chair has been with me in all of my homes post-college: Jackson, Waco, Ft. Worth and now West Lafayette.  Its the only piece of furniture that can claim the honor.  I am often reminded of a family that gifted it to me along with their love and I am thankful.  I surround myself with things that remind me of those places I am homesick for and the lessons that I learned in those places along the way. But its really important for me to call THIS place home, physically, emotionally, spiritually. It feels really important for me right now to remember that this place, home, will teach me even more lessons and continue to shape who I become. 

This place is lonliness, excitement and unknown.  This place is smaller yet bigger and mysterious.  This place is single, transitional and dancebreaks.  This place is opportunity, self reflection and small kitchen.

I told a student once, "Sometimes you actively live where you love and sometimes you actively love where you live. But it's always home."

So as I moseyed down main street last Saturday and watched the belly dancers do their thing, I realized, "I love where I live, because I am home."

INTERACT: Where are you home?


The August Break 2013

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin