Friday, October 19, 2012

The Language of His Feelings

"I asked him did he really love New York or was he just wearing the shirt.  
He smiled.  Like he was nervous.  I could tell he didn't understand which made me feel guilty for speaking English, for some reason.  I pointed at his shirt.  'Do? You? Really? Love? New York?' I said,  'Your Shirt.'  He looked at his shirt.  I pointed at the N and said 'new' and the Y and said 'york.'  He looked confused, or embarrassed, or surprised, or maybe even mad.  I couldn't tell what he was feeling, because I couldn't speak the language of his feelings.  
'I not know was New York.  In Chinese, ny mean 'you.' Thought was 'I love you.'" 

Jonathan Safran Foer 
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Since I've Been Away...

Today is a good day.  There is much to be done over this lovely, long weekend.  But for today, I have acquiesced to the pajamas, the couch and the blankets.  A beautiful thing.  It is cold and rainy outside, but inside it is warm and cozy.  And much has happened since I've been away.  The long and the short of it?  Life goes on.  And it's just getting better and better. 

I've spent these past days... 

* sipping wine at an outdoor festival in the middle of downpour. 
* watching Nebraska football from the South Stadium (#26)
* singing in a USO show on the last trip of a historic dinner train. 
* relearning how to crochet. 
* buying a Smash Book.  And staring at it blankly for want of inspiration. 
* singing broadway and Freebird at a funeral.   
* grading 232 essays. 
* posting discussion boards for a most uninspiring online course. 
* discovering, to my serious dismay, that Pumpkin Spice lattes and my tummy are not friends.  
* making homemade pizza. 
* Drinking vodka and noshing suharyki, caviar, black bread and salat olivia with Peace Corps friends and their Russians. 
* Pretending I'm 21 again with college friends.
* remembering just how awesome Amigos' fake mexican food really is.  
* limbering up and feeling awfully feisty after a trip to the chiropractor.  I am a new woman.  
* questioning most things. 
* celebrating National Coming Out Day with word and song. 
* looking a righteous mess in the name of school spirit. 
* celebrating connection, love, and commitment regardless of law, popularity, or gender. 
* re-mastering the art of Victory Rolls.  
* seeing Esperanza Spalding, lusting after her talent, hair, and style. 
* teaching the children. 
* talking my jaw off at parent-teacher conferences. 
* jumping up and down after being invited to my very first bar mitzva. 
* reconnecting with friends. 
* making new ones. 
* connecting with 100 years of sisterhood - for the first time.  
* finding balance - or at least dreaming of it. 

* embracing my irreverence.  
* reading a bit, pondering more, and laughing so much. 

Who knows what the next days will bring...



In the darkness of my lonely days and moments in Ukraine, I found peace and calm in the most unexpected of places.  I would perch indian-style in the chair I always dragged to the little end table that housed my laptop, books and cup of tea, and look through the open window across the courtyard.  Quiet.  Calm.  I often found myself looking up at the building across the courtyard from my bloc at a single window.  It was the balcony and living room window of an apartment much higher up than mine - one room, full of golden light, and the silhouette of a single hanging plant.  I never met the people who lived there.  I never even saw their shadow.  But inexplicably, gazing at that light, that glow in the window gave me comfort.  It made me feel just that much less alone.  I would look up at the light without a thought and it would help me stay calm.  It made me feel like all was right.   A mysterious solace.  

This past weekend, I traveled back to a place that surprised me by how much it felt like home.  As though the place reminded me and woke me up to the person I should be.  The person I am.  I returned to my college town with not a hint of excitement.  Nervous that the worst of my memories would be there to greet me.  That the people I travelled to see, would see the worst in me.  But I was wrong.  In so many ways, I was wrong.  

This place, at once beautiful and unpredictable, full of parts of my life that I didn't think would ever coalesce, was perfect.  Exactly what I needed.  The reminder I needed and the connection I've yearned for.  It was everything I could have remembered and more.  A soothing slap in the face that reminds me that nothing good is done unless you make it so.  

This song is much the same.  Perfect for this moment and this day - as the wind swirls and the leaves dance through the sky, as robins puff their feathers seeking the warmth of a day that will not come to them.  It is the perfect song for this moment, this place in my life.  Reminding me of all the things I thought were once done, that turn out to be forever.  I am calm and content.  With no need to look outside for the light.  It is already here.  

The Best of Days

I've raised a very particular kitten.  She is moody and choosy, and much to my chagrin, she rarely enjoys a snuggle-fest anymore.  These moments, these rare moments when kitten decides to cuddle, these are the moments that make it all worthwhile.  

PS... I know it's lame to use another's kitten photo here... but when kitten decides to snuggle, disturbing her to grab the camera is perhaps the worst idea ever.  But this little lovey is a dead ringer for my Amelie-Melo.  So I don't feel too bad.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Much Ado...

Sometimes we procrastinate.  We allow the essays to build up and soon we realize the quarter's end is upon us and there is no time for anything else but grading said essays.  It is a bleak time in this house.  

Think good thoughts, friends.  Think good thoughts.  
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