Saturday, July 23, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
they didn’t know because spiders don’t think
“Hey there’s lots of us,
maybe we can take on this giant beastly thing.”
They didn’t know because all they thought about
was how I was an enemy to them,
bigger than them
What’s the saying?
I could squash them like bugs?
Did you know I’m scared of spiders?
How pathetic am I to panic at the site of
Those little tiny creatures that would never hurt me,
or so says my friend Bob the arachnologist (arachnophile if you ask me),
“They are just misunderstood”
Murder next door, and I’m afraid of spiders.
The flies took her life, and I’m afraid of spiders.
Spider genocide in the streets, and I’m afraid of spiders.
The mob dispersed and as one lone spider walked towards me
my defenses rose and my heart started to race.
Suddenly in a foreign accent he asked
“where is the toilet?”
I smiled and started to laugh.
No matter what language you speak,
You know how to ask for the bathroom.
Today I saw a spider eat a fly.
Today I saw a spider clinging for life
as the storm came.
I picked it up and brought it inside.
Made it dinner, had a chat, learned its story
Brought it back to life.
He told me, no one listens to us spiders,
we have no voice.
I told him, he had a beautiful voice,
it’s people who are too afraid to listen.
Guess they didn't think I was an enemy.
Guess all they wanted was a friend.
So while I was leaving Pisa packing up my things at my hostel, I realized that I lost my tickets that I ordered months before to go to Nice. Luckily, the train was running late so I had time to buy another ticket. However, once I got on the train I realized that it was not at all great that the train was delayed because I had a connecting train to catch, and there was only a 10-15 minute layover. Once we got to the connecting station, Ventimiglia, I saw that I had missed my train. It was the last train to Nice for the night, so I had to stay the night. But the interesting thing was that the second I got off the train there were swarms of people, cops, and news crews. It was crazy. There were over 200 people staying in the station with me waiting to get on the next train to France. I had no idea what was going on. To be honest I was a little scared for my life, my passport, and my identity. I mean the police were everywhere, and they were packing some serious firepower. And all the people around me were speaking a language I could not recognize.
About an hour into being stuck there, I learned from another student who was traveling that all the people were refugees from Tunisia. After hearing that I freaked. I didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of refugees. What if they want to hurt me, take my passport, kidnap me for ransom? There were so many thoughts going into my head. Then suddenly someone walked up to me and asked if I had a cigarette. I said no. I sat there after that and thought to myself, well that went fine. Then I looked around and thought no one is trying to kill me or anything like that. I felt foolish. The looks on their faces said it all. All they wanted to do was get somewhere safe. They ran away from home and were as much a foreigner as I was. They were just as scared as I was. Scared they may not get into France, scared they may have to go back to the country they left to find a better life, and scared that they may never see their families again (there were only men). It was such an experience for me. I often regret not going up to one of them and asking them what they were doing. I don’t know if any of them spoke English, but I should have tried. I should have learned their story. Because after reflecting I now see that they are more than just refugees, they are people, with husbands, wife, mothers, father, jobs, and lives that go far beyond the refugee part. But even without talking to them it was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
So my girlfriend has this thing about calling me a puppy or dog and joking that she feeds me treats. I always thought of it like wtf…why do you keep calling me that…but after listening to the radio I kind admire the nickname. I was listening to WPOC Baltimore’s Country Music Station (obviously) and the person who was hosting the show said something that caught my ear. She said that if people greeted each other every day just like dogs greet people, everyone would just get along much better and be so much more loving toward each other. I thought that was simply amazing. I mean when I go over to my sister’s house and see her little Boston terrier he runs wild. And yeah it may be some natural uncontrollable instinct for a dog to go wild when someone walks in the door, but doesn’t that just sound amazing. Like I had this uncontrollable instinct to run over to my mom when she came home. I had this uncontrollable instinct to tackle my friend to the ground out of love. I had this uncontrollable instinct to squeeze my partner when I got home from work because I miss him or her so much. I had this uncontrollable urge to show my love to a complete stranger yesterday because I just simply wanted to. I had this uncontrollable urge to greet the person working at Starbucks like they had been my friend for my entire life, even though I never met them in my before.
What a world that would be. If everyone greeted each other like their dogs greeted them. More ecstatic to see a human face and be touched by human hands than all the dog food in the world.
That’s something special.
That’s something to think about.
That’s something simply amazing.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
So I may or may not have some serious writer’s block. What’s up with that? I wasn’t aware that I ever ran out of things to say. I suppose in some ways I didn’t since I am sitting here typing away about my inability to write. I tried to write about why I love human beings, why I love life, the things that make me smile uncontrollably, but nothing I wrote could fully express either the visuals or the joy that they give me. I couldn’t do any of it justice. Even now, I feel like I can’t express the inexpressible nature of my joy. How do you just sum up what makes you glow? How do you sum up the glory that is humanity? How do you describe the indescribable?
I also tried to write about my sisters. I ran into a similar problem. If you think I could ever put in words everything I love about my sisters in a way that would give you a fraction of an idea of my love for them, you clearly haven’t met them. I thought about publically writing to each of them, thanking them for all they have done for me, but I didn’t even know where to begin, and whenever I tried to begin, I was not satisfied with anything I wrote. Instead I have decided to complain to you about the limitations of words…
I love words. So freaking much. There is poetry I love so deeply that I weep at the sheer sight of it on a page. But, alas, words strong enough to describe certain aspects of life just don’t exist. I suppose I have been experiencing a lot of that lately. How do I describe my time in El Salvador? How do I describe the transformation it caused in me? How do I describe how socially awkward it’s made me? How do I describe how hard I’m trying to remember that I really am constantly in the presence of the divine? How do I describe how meaningless certain aspects of my life seem in comparison to the aspects that nourish me so deeply? How do I describe my love for the people in my life? How do I describe my love for my life itself? How do I describe the fire within me? Words are failing me. I am so on fire, I am so transformed, so intensely feeling, that I cannot find words to tell you much of anything right now. Although it’s kind of fantastic, hopefully one day soon I’ll settle back down and have something of use to say. Until then, I’ll be sending my love and channeling all this inspiration into my dreams.
i love you.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I took a hiatus from writing for a while because I went to Ireland for a semester. Let me tell you, it was amazing. I went to the Blarney Stone, naturally, and was able to see the beautiful Irish countryside with amazing lakes, rolling hills, and scenery so picturesque it could make you cry. I now understand what Yates and all Irish poets mean when they speak of Ireland as this breath-taking beauty. I sampled the local beverages from time to time, overindulged at other times, while having a great time and never caring about the time. I learned a lot about Ireland and Europe in my classes. I went to Spain, Italy, France, and other countries and loved every minute of it. I could spend hours writing about what I learned, felt, and experienced. I could talk about my new knowledge and appreciation of other cultures I found while traveling, but since having to write my immersion project I’ve been reflecting on my time abroad and have picked out moments that I think are the most special of all.
The moments involve pictures, laughs, and smiles. I’ll try to sum up all of Europe into what I think are the top three most beautiful sites i visited (you can imagine how hard this is) but I would say Corniglia in the lemon orchards, Nice looking down on the city, and La Rambla in Barcelona. Now I have a picture of all of these places, but the thing about pictures of yourself is that you have to ask people to take them for you, and when you travel in Europe, you don’t also find someone that speaks English. But the beautiful thing about it is everyone knows that when you walk up to them and hold out a camera, they want you to take a picture, and then you usually return the favor. What a delightful friendly system that is. You are storing memories of beautiful moments in the form of a picture and making friends in the process. I’ll never forget the faces of the people who I took pictures for and who took photos for me. You may not speak the same language, but beauty can act as a common language, and it’s perfect when you see it with your eyes and capture it in a picture.
In Barcelona they have street performers. There were two in particular that stick out in my mind. One was a headless man and the other was a baby in a carriage. Both times someone walked in front of the street performers and the performers scared the shit out of them. Everyone who was around started laughing. I looked around at people and people looked at me, and there was that moment of connection where you understand someone through laughter. It was nice to laugh with people. It felt good. I didn’t need to talk to them. I don’t even know if they spoke the same language as me; it didn’t even matter. It was a great moment.
And in Corniglia I looked at someone on the cliffs who turned to me and we smiled at each other. We smiled because we saw how much we appreciated the same beauty of nature. It was a wonderful moment with no words needed.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I talk a lot. And I really do like human beings a lot. So much so that sometimes I forget to be alone for extended periods of time. And yes, I do yoga (of course), but even during my practices I sometimes get so wrapped up in what my body is doing or in thinking about or praying for one of the people I love so very dearly that I forget to reflect on myself and my own life. This of course is not very good for me and so I eventually find myself having a complete and total melt down in which I feel as though I can't hardly function and therefore will probably never be okay again. During such melt downs, you can usually find me fully clothed (shoes included) in my bed under the blankets in a state of panic because I can’t figure out how to begin to sort out the mess that I have found myself in. People try to talk sense into me (for example, my mother telling me that figuring out what to eat for dinner should not distress me this much, but regardless, I do need to eat), and I respond by spewing out dramatic, snarky, hopeless, and usually illogical arguments… until I realize:
the peace you long for exists within you.
At which point, all the tears abruptly cease, my body suddenly begins to relax, and I find myself seemingly involuntarily praying. I don’t mess around; I pray directly to the spirit that I know exists inside of me. I acknowledge her (and the fact that I haven’t been doing so enough lately), I chat with her, and I give her some seriously well-deserved and long-awaited loving.
The most recent prayer went a little like this:
“You, my dear, are stronger than this. Stop coping. Start living. You have the strength to be the woman you so want to be. It will be hard. And, to be honest, I am not quite sure what it will look like or how it will take shape, but you must do it. You don’t really have a choice. You will never forgive yourself if you give into difficulty, pain and fear. Plus, you’re going to be okay, I promise. In fact, I think that in a lot of ways you are better than okay. Think of how much healing has already occurred within you! Forgive yourself for not having it all figured out. You're not supposed to. And more importantly, my love, have patience with yourself.
“‘Human beings are not like bread. We are never done.’
“Embrace the journey. Take time to remember how much value you find in discomfort, in overcoming fear, in acts of liberation, in growth, in learning, in challenging yourself, in living fully, in motion, in uncertainty, in trusting, and in letting go. These things will only bring you closer to your authentic self. She is waiting for you with open arms. More importantly, she is waiting with more joy and more love than you can imagine. Trust in her. Run full speed towards her. And don’t look back. The past cannot define you any longer, sweetheart. Set yourself free. It’s time. It's time.”
Also, for your viewing pleasure, here is a slice of inspiration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATC5OGh3adg
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
O.K. This is going to be a long one, so microwave some organic popcorn (it’s delish) and enjoy.
So, I recently moved into a new apartment. And there isn’t a full length mirror. EEEK. I know. A girl needs a full length mirror. I have one at home that my brothers frequently storm into my room to use. I have one in a dresser that is in my usual dorm room. I suppose this is the first time I have never had a full length mirror in my room. But to tell you the truth, I find myself not caring. Does it really matter if I don’t look perfect? Oh, no, my shoes don’t match my shirt. What to do? And this is a big deal considering the fact that I always used to prefer my ensemble to match. I like to keep it classy.
Recently, I went to a little shindig for my father’s prosthetist. No not prostitute. Gross. My dad is an amputee; I hope that clarifies your confusions.
Anyways, we were talking to his prosthetist who said that the worst age and gender for someone to lose their leg is a 13 and female, because as a 13 year old female they are already undergoing so many body issues. When you are 13, you just want to fit in and be normal. You by the clothes that the cool kids wear. You cut your hair like Taylor Swift or someone else teenagers now adore (I really have no idea…Justin Beiber?). My dad meets grown women in parking lots who are too afraid to wear pants because that would show their prosthetic limb. They always ask my dad the same question, “I can’t believe you are wearing pants, aren’t you afraid of what people will think?” And my dad’s response is always “Why should I care what others’ think.”
I never think twice about the way my dad looks, or any other amputee that I see out and about, if anything I checkout what model prosthetic they have, but I always would think twice about the way I looked. So as I was standing in the prosthetist’s office listening to him speak about 13 year old girls with body image issues, all I could think was that it never really changes, no matter the age. But to me, that 13 year old girl is beautiful, every woman is beautiful. My worry in that moment was how can I tell a 13 year old girl wearing a prosthetic limb that she shouldn’t care what others think; when I care what others think?
I’ve come to the conclusion that we should just remove all of the full length mirrors. I mean don’t break them because being Polish, I believe that to be bad luck, but don’t put one in your daughter or son’s rooms. In fact, take yours out right now.
And I’m not saying that mirrors are bad. Hey, we need them for driving and such. Maybe looking in a mirror occasionally even helps you see yourself clearly and you end up liking what you see. But we shouldn’t waste our time standing, observing every inch of our bodies from our heads to our toes.
I’m going to trust my decisions from now on and I won’t second guess the way my jeans look, or if the color of the shirt matches the color of the skirt. They only real reason I did so before was because I didn’t want people to think I looked like a fool…but why should I care what they think?
Friday, June 10, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
First, I want to thank mt for allowing me to write for this wonderful blog.
A few days ago on a particularly gloomy and rainy day, my car fishtailed while I exited off a highway. For a few tense moments I literally saw my life flash before my eyes. Thankfully, I’m fine. I regained control of my car after my ABS (anti-lock braking system) kicked in, thanks Honda! After recovering from the initial shock of almost skidding my car into oncoming traffic and possibly dying or really hurting myself, I realized how SACRED my life actually is. It was like the universe shaking me up and telling me to LIVE.
I graduate in a few days and I’ve been running on emotional autopilot. My almost accident reminded me that life’s too short to not be present in every second of our time on earth. In the words of the beloved St. Iggy, “Go forth and set the world on fire.” LIVE & LOVE.
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
Monday, May 16, 2011
I have this weird habit of not talking about some of the things that are most important to me. Once someone asked me if I want to be a mother, and I was so startled by the question. I so badly want to be a mother! In fact, I get giddy when I talk about my future babies that I cannot wait to meet and love and adore and dote on. Who will they be? I don’t know, but I get uber excited to find out!!! I can’t wait to get to know them and have the opportunity to watch them grow into the people they were born to be. What a gift.
The other thing I don’t talk about, but cherish very much indeed, is nature. Just take a peep out the nearest window. IT IS SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL OUT THERE! I swear the color green has a power over me; seeing it--really seeing it--causes a pulse inside me, intensifies my heart beat, deepens my breathing, sparks the very life force within my spirit that keeps me going day after day.
I get confused when humanity, or maybe I should say society, exists apart from nature. I get confused because… well, we are nature. We can pretend to separate ourselves from it as much as we want, but we are one with it just as we are one with each other. Sometimes I wonder what society might be like if we existed in these two realizations. I could be very wrong, but it seems to me that love might reign.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
"This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud. And i suppose my happiness could have taken the form in the words: "Thank God, thank God that I am like other men, that I am only a man among others.
"I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
"If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed...I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.
"If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another."-Thomas Merton
Monday, May 9, 2011
I’ve realized that I am much better at extremes than I am at balance. If you want something done big, I’m your girl, but otherwise, not so much... I need to work on this. I think it’s about time that my mantra shifts from consistency to balance. I don’t really know that I have achieved consistency, but, similarly, I don’t really know that consistency is something one can achieve per se. I suppose consistency, like so many other concepts I value, such as love and forgiveness, lies in the choices and decisions one makes time and time again, day in and day out. Time passes and I’ll just wake up one day and say: oh, man I’ve gotten pretty good at this whole consistency thing!
In other news, my newest addictions (speaking of my extreme personality) are: green tea, Ani DiFranco, desert boots, fruit pizza (see picture), Kashi cereal, Adele, chunky bracelets, painting my nails, and writing. Here is “Both Hands” by Ani DiFranco:
I am walking out in the rain
And I am listening to the low moan of the dial tone again
And I am getting nowhere with you
And I can’t let it go and I can’t get through…
And the old woman behind pink curtains
And the closed door on the first floor
She’s listening through the airshaft
To see how long our swan song can last
And both hands, now use both hands
Oh, no don’t close your eyes
I am writing graffiti on your body
I am drawing the story of how hard we tried, how hard we tried
I am watching your chest rise and fall
Like the tides of my life and the rest of it all
And your bones have been my bed frame
And your flesh has been my pillow
And I am waiting for sleep to offer up the deep with both hands
And in each other’s shadows we grew less and less tall
And eventually our theories couldn’t explain it all
And I’m recording our history now on the bedroom wall
And when we leave the landlord will come and pain over it all
And I am walking out in the rain
And I am listening to the low moan of the dial tone again
And I am getting nowhere with you
And I can’t let it go and I can’t get through
So now use hands, please use both hands
Oh, no don’t close your eyes
I am writing graffiti on your body
I am drawing the story of how hard we tried
How hard we tried, how hard we tried.
I would really suggest giving her a listen. I added her to my yoga mix, which is really saying something. Y'all know how I feel about yoga ;)
Monday, May 2, 2011
A couple recent events, one personal and one global, have stirred something in me. I feel the need say some things….
First, I believe in the dignity of each and every single human life. I believe in the value of life. I believe in the deservingness of love that lies within each and every human spirit. I worry that we, as human beings, think that peace can be achieved at the hands of destruction, at the hands of murder, at the hands of hatred, of cruelty, and at the hands of disrespecting and degrading a human life. I don’t know that peace, or justice for that matter, can be achieved this way and therefore I fear retaliation. I believe justice lies in realizing the value in human life not in punishment, retribution or even murder. I am worried about our nation. I am worried about the world I might one day welcome my children into. I am worried about humanity. I am worried about us all.
I am not into creating controversy, but I am into creating space for love, questioning, contemplation, reflection, and growth. I do not have the desire to force these thoughts or beliefs onto anyone, but I do feel the calling to express them for myself and for anyone who may feel similarly but may also feel silenced for whatever reason. When I am worried about the world, as I am today, I feel called to discuss and then to act.
Second, I have endless hope in healing. The human spirit is resilient. It amazes me how much we can endure, but it amazes me more the magnitude of joy and love we can experience in our endurance. I have mentioned before my own darkness, I have told you about my descent into depression and about the ways in which I slowly but surely climbed out. I have told you, too, about my joy. I have been thinking back to my darkness quite frequently in the last 5 or 6 months and here is how I feel about it:
Grateful. I am so grateful that I had the support to help me climb out of depression, grateful for all the days I have lived since then, grateful for all that I have experienced since then, grateful for all the love I have know, grateful for each time I have laughed, for each hug I have received, for each sky I have witnessed. I am grateful for my life and everything in it.
Youthful. I feel young. I am much more aware of the power that time has to heal the human spirit, and therefore am much more aware that no matter how dark night seems, the sun will rise again in the morning.
Excited. I cannot wait to continue healing, processing, growing, loving, laughing, and living. I look forward to falling more deeply in love with myself and everything around me while growing into the woman I was born to be. I look forward to honoring my resilient spirit for the rest of my beautiful life.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Slow the heck down. Take some time to think, to care for and love yourself, to reflect, to grow, and to decide who it is that you really want to become. Don’t you dare lose yourself in the busyness of life—we’ve come too far.
Stop second-guessing yourself. Believe in your power, in your wisdom, in both your light and your darkness. Forgive everyone. Forgive yourself. Know with faith that the universe will call you forth when the time is right and only then will you know how to best serve the world, how to best meet the world, how to best love the world. This time is not wasted time, it is a time for growth, a time for chance, a time for opportunity, a time for loving and forgiving oneself.
Stop questioning who you would be if life had turned out differently. It didn’t. And you aren’t anyone else. You’re you. Find gratitude for the life and LOVE you have been given, for your tender heart, for your open spirit. Look at me. You will help light the world.
I love you,
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Okay, so I know this is almost 20 minutes long, but it’s a glorious 20 minutes and therefore totally worth your time.
I decided to share it specifically because she says she heard that to be a successful writer, one must have had a rough childhood.
In some ways, I did have a rough childhood, but in a lot of ways I didn’t. I think this may or may not be a human experience—the oscillation between joy and pain and everything in between. Rocket science, I know. Some things are hard and some things are easy, imagine that. Anyway, in listening to this woman’s thoughts about “a single story,” I realized that I am allowed to experience and express both that pain and that joy. In fact, I value in myself the fact that I so intensely experience both these emotions, as well as a full gamut of other emotions. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that my story is one of vastly varying emotions, each transforming me in its own right.
Enjoy. Love, mt
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I noticed lately how hard it is to talk about all the things we take part in that may stand out. I thoroughly dislike when people ask me to tell them what makes me a leader. I DON’T NEED AN AWARD TO TELL ME THAT MY INVOLVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY IS WORTH DOING, SO STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME SHOW MYSELF OFF LIKE I AM A PAGEANT CONTESTANT. I AM NOT A TODDLER AND I REFUSE TO WEAR A TIARA. GOT IT!
When we participate in activities, we don’t stop and think, “Gee will this make me look better to a company when I am applying for that internship in the Fall.” We just do them (while wearing Nike sneakers). I mean maybe some people do things based on what they will gain…I am not judging you if you are one of them. Don’t hate me.
I suppose my main life question is why do I need to talk about myself? Don’t my actions shine enough without words? Doesn’t my smile say enough?
But at the same time the question remains, “Why am I not comfortable speaking about myself?”
I don’t really have an answer. Maybe it is because I am the youngest child and I never got a word in, although I did get quite a few tears in. Maybe it is because I lack the words to describe how brightly my true colors shine. JK. Maybe it is because we all shine brightly and no one is better. I recognize the light in every individual. Holla at me, Quakerism. Get it. Or maybe it is because my actions aren’t about the praise I may receive from others. Why live your life based on what others will have to say?