Saturday, August 29, 2009

And all manner of things shall be well.

Ellllooooo lovely people. I sincerely hope that this post finds everyone having a genuinely joyful day. I have a lot of words and feelings in me, but have seriously started and restarted this entry six times already, so I'm just going to spin a few thoughts that I really want you all to know, underlying all the while that even know I'm an awkward blog greeter, there is never not a huge relief when one is known. A here we go, a here we go now.

Tomorrow will my third day ever of teaching, and I find myself in a very interesting pattern of activities and emotions, if you will. For contextual purposes, I will say that the first week of most Special Education teachers' school years are spent meeting and diagnosing kids, meeting with their general education teachers, and then trying to work out a schedule, based on what the kid needs to learn much, and so on and so forth. All of that to say that although I've been Ms. VZ for two whole days, my interactions with kids, and teaching in general is far less than I would have hoped, so I might be a rare case for a first year teacher, in that I am craving something to work hard for and get sweaty palms over- because I see my peers on their feet, teaching like their hair's on fire all day, and I am reading case studies and histories of kids. Really interesting kids, but you get the idea. I say this all the while knowing that come Monday, this will all change I really hope, because there is so much to do, and thus far, I can confidently say that I am blown away by the fact that I get paid to do this. There are many eternal things in this world, to be sure, but teaching in any medium, and the personal investment that comes from that, is a consistently humbling and overwhelmingly thankful feeling.

Having training end, Skotti come to Gallup, being home, and moving in for reals here, has been a collage, if you will, of being provided exactly what was needed, but what I had no idea was needed. Skotti, you were such a refreshing presence to have here, and having you know what the astroturf in my backyard feels like has subconsciously given me the assurance that Gallup does not have to be a forgotten place unless I make it that way. I'm learning little by little to celebrate, with every facial expression I have, the small victories, like the fact that the skies here are absolutely massive, or that I look and speak and act very differently from most of my community. And the fact that My housemates are good people, and inch by inch, real conversations are taking place amidst house scream-venting fests and Gilmore Girls nights; so in so many areas, I couldn't ask for anything more.

Upon receiving our diplomas, we departed to save the world before we turned 24. This concept has been spoken upon and emphasized over and over in all great literature and sermons, but I still don't know what it looks like to be patient. I gave myself about 2 hours to make Gallup feel like home and make teaching an easy endeavor, and it's just another example of the myriad of facets of my character that are being incredibly humbled and brought into the bright New Mexican light- as relocating seems to do, I suppose.

You all inspire and fill me with things only genuine friends can fill anyone with, and those words are no less sincere than they were when we were singing our undying love to Taylor Swift's Romeo in the all-time favorite ballad. Even amid the silences, all my prayers and thoughts are being shot toward you.

Peace like a river,

Saturday, May 30, 2009

In the jingle-jangle morning, I'll come following you.

This small, yet significant attempt to share myself with the world is currently going out to a few very specific people who deserve much more than a blog post from me. There is a poem by Hafiz that goes like "After all this time, the sun doesn't say to the earth 'you owe me'. Look at what happens with a love like that-it lights the whole world". That sentiment expresses a love so sincere and selfless that it can only happen with family; and true family might have been there from the beginning, watching you shoot out of your Mom, or maybe family has been there since whenever you were lucky enough to find them, and have been watching you struggle, find the funny, learn, be rejected, realize hope, and all the while, drinking white wine by the jug because that is how classy ladies do.

I have been adventuring and experimenting and reading and listening for years partly in search of a better understanding of who I was made to be, and what that person can do for this world. Excursions of the Middle Eastern persuasion have left me with an unparalleled appreciation for falafel (and a whole lot more, let's be honest), but the past 6 months of living with people who are so much more to me than just housemates have been absolutely incredible for my development and understanding of myself, that I might as well have been locked in a house with some of the most interesting and caring people on earth who care for me equally as passionatly.

When I look back on my last two quarters of college, after getting back from Israel, I would say that they were purposefully spent securing a job for next year, learning as much as humanly possible from education inside the walls and inside relationships, and every available moment with people who remind me so much of God that sometimes I explode with affection. None of those activities were things of productive significance, such as starting a non-profit, or working relentlessly on the behalf of others; and although I do not want the rest of my life to be as such, I am very thankful for the gift that I was given to simply be for a little while. That being said, it is difficult for me to believe my wonderful housemates whenever they express admiration, because the truth is that I feel like I've taken a bit of a hiatus from striving since I have lived with them, which is where most appreciation in our lives are rooted.

I have been loved unconditionally, not in spite of my lack of productivity, but in lieu of it. Perhaps those moments of shooting the shit in the kitchen are far more eternal and holy than bringing down "the man" in one single swoop, though that is completely legitimate as well. It's entirely possible that learning how to accept love when I truly feel as though it is undeserved is the sole reason why any of us, not just myself, are here. And maybe that's the answer to the second part of that question, what can we possibly due for the world?

I step out into a new frontier of Land of Enchantment: New Mexico with the full confidence that I am appreciated and taken care of just because I exist. It is only with that confidence that I can be selfless for the people who need me to be selfless, and that, my dear friends, is the most beautiful cycle of all. Your companionship is enough for me to believe that God, or the universe, or breath, or being, or anything at all, is a good thing. This collective gives me hope as bright as the sun that community of that splendor can happen again, and will only add to the continuing investment and adoration that exists in this moment. I sincerely agape (what's up, greek roots?!) you all.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

wakeful dreams.

There is no shortage of events or attitudes in this world that can impart extreme pessimism and hopelessness in the best of us, with the greatest of ease. Last night I read an article about women in Haiti that due to there literally being no food available to most of the population, making cookies out of dirt and leaves to sell to their clients. Right now there is half-eaten food being tossed all over my house. I know that I don't have to spell out the dire need that so much of our world is in to anyone, I know that it is common knowledge that children are dying from completely preventable causes, but I find that when huge statistics are thrown out, the reality of the situation, even the urgency of the situation, loses its effectiveness on me because I can't imagine 50 million of anything.

Offering individual services are absolutely beneficial, and my hat goes off to anyone who is signing up to look the worst of the worst in the face and offer something, anything, whether it's a hard day's work, just sitting with someone who is grieving, or anything in between. My hat goes off especially to those, who even though they're not in the optimistic bubble of higher education, keep a youthful energy and dream about them that one would think would have no choice but to fade with time. 

All of this to say that what I saw in the last week, competing in the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition at UW, blew me out of the water, and although those minds are a fraction of the greater population, they are strong and brave and will prevail. Business plans that consisted of feeding India's poor with full meals that only cost the consumer 10 cents, using SMS technology in West Africa to identify the 33% of counterfeit drugs that are killing people every day, or trying to send children in Ghana to secondary school so that they can become our future's leaders and teachers and thinkers...don't need a competition to give validity to their mission, and have the every confidence of all who listened to them, even for a minute, that they will succeed. 

There are a lot a lot a lot a lot a lot of ways to allow light to shine through in this existence, and on this particular morning, I'm choosing to not give so much credit to the greed and hatred and loneliness that causes so much strife. Maybe that can be for tomorrow. Maybe not.


Monday, January 26, 2009

study break.

this could be my favorite. check it.

Body and Soul

In the morning
After taking cold shower
---what a mistake---
I look at the mirror.

There, a funny guy,
Grey hair, white beard, wrinkled skin,
---what a pity---
Poor, dirty, old man!
He is not me, absolutely not.

Land and life
Fishing in the ocean
Sleeping in the desert with stars
Building a shelter in mountains
Farming the ancient way
Singing with coyotes
Singing against nuclear war---
I'll never be tired of life.
Now I'm seventeen years old,
Very charming young man.

I sit down quietly in lotus position,
Meditating, meditating for nothing.
Suddenly a voice comes to me:
"To stay young,
To save the world,
Break the mirror."
~Nanao Sakaki

Truly believing that really could make all the difference. Word?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Channeling R. Kelley!

Alright guys, real talk coming at 'ya from the corner of my new bedroom in the lovely grey hue of Seattle. First off, I hope everyone has found 2009 to be an incredible year thus far. I know that personally I never truly thought this year would come, only because we are the "class of '09" and the likelihood of graduation after my marathon changing of majors was bleak, at best. But alas, this past week has been an absolute joy, and I feel more than a little bit compelled to do what I can to reflect and share.

I must admit (and I feel a short novel coming on, so prepare those reading glasses!) that especially toward the end of my time in Israel, I was very much looking forward to coming home, both to California and Seattle. Now, I honestly do try my best in all situations to be completely present, and though I find it immensely challenging to be fully successful, I was disappointed in myself for anticipating picking up these relationships so much. Not to say that the experience in Israel was lost necessarily, but I suppose that a huge thing that I learned there was that it is not an unspecial thing to find people who love, accept, and inspire you for exactly who you are; and those interactions and adventures and conversations are far too important to let go by the wayside anymore than that allotted time.

Since coming back to the 206 last Tuesday, it has been a whirlwind of the most fun kind. The public screams and completely genuine long embraces have made every time I leave my house an enjoyable one. To be completely honest, few times in my life have I felt such exuberance to see people that I think are the cat's meow anyway, and few times have I felt so appreciated. This isn't a testament to myself by any means and I'm sorry if it sounds like that, but it's so much a tribute to the kinds of people that I've been fortunate enough to call my friends.

Which leads me to the next thing that's really been on my brain lately. The last time that I went abroad, I went into it being prepared to be changed by my surroundings, the new community, the new found solitude that travel provides, etc. And, indeed, I came back believing different beliefs, valuing different values, changing another major, and turning my focus socially, academically, geographically, and spiritually upside down. Although I wouldn't have admitted this before that excursion occured, my life needed certain changes to be able to become the kind of person who I wanted to become, and that trip sticks out in my mind as one of the most positive experiences I have ever had the fortune of having. When preparing for J-ru, I went under the impression that anything and everything foreign would show me something new that I needed to fix, and for that reason, it would be much harder to adjust to the home life, as the last time had shown me.

I know there are facets of myself that underwent transformation during those 5 months, and I know that I am sort of a change junkie (this can be seen if one were to witness the change of hair colors that my poor strands have endured), so I was ready and willing to look my crap in the face and deal more effectively with it. This absolutely happened, but what I've seen since being back is that while I'm not a perfect Peggy, as it would take 10 seconds to figure out, living more into who I am is what real maturity looks like. It's not about picking up the art of glass sculpting and dying my hair rainbow, and getting tatoos on my forehead, unless I feel like that's the next step. Which, I'm pretty sure, isn't. But I will never say never.

Maybe it's ok that it's been easier to adjust to home more than it was before, and maybe it's ok that I can't see all the changes yet. Although exploration is good and valuable, I do not adore my friends because they keep revising themselves, I adore them because they give themselves the grace to keep growing when growing should occur, and enjoying their whole selves all the while. If every month saw a radical transformation, I would have to learn them all over again- and perhaps we're finally at the age where our senses of self are developed. I surely hope it's not over, as I don't want to be done learning or seeing, but this could be a solid foundation, and in a way, it's a really good feeling to know that that identity was never worth letting go of, even there.

You shiver my timbers and I cherish you very much.

Lindsey VeeeeeZeeee