write, right?

for the past few weeks, i’ve been thinking a lot about writing. thinking thoughts like, “write a poem! write a note! journal!” all this thought has led me back to somewhere i never thought i’d be. writing on my blog.

about an hour ago, i was poking around Design Archives with a friend. we agreed that it was much easier to be inspired than to actually do something (which is why i’m posting this from the floor of my room where i’m surrounded by books, clean clothes, the dumped contents of my tote bag, and other various items i really need to unpack. i’m inspired to put them away, but as for the action, well…).

hoping to encourage my inspiration to sort my room, i am taking initiative on my inspiration to write. i don’t have much to say, just exercising my typing fingers.

so on that note, a thought:

there are many things about driving a car that make me wish i was a passenger. i realized this a few weeks ago as i was driving myself home from the beach. i had become delightfully lost and was moseying my way through rural South Carolina when i began to notice the most beautiful things. it was the “golden hour” (as my photo expert lil sis would tell me) when the sun is just about to be setting and everything, from the line of tractors outside of the Tank and Tummy gas station/convenience store to the new baby cow eating his hay dinner was stunning. so stunning, in fact, that i forgot i was driving a car (my mom’s!) and almost had a petite fender bender (mom, if you read this don’t worry. nothing happened. pinky promise.).

seemingly, everywhere i turned was a kodak moment that no camera could truly capture. if i were in the passenger’s seat, i would have just stared, trying my best to make a memory. as it was, i turned my head around like an ADD owl, desperately wanting to soak in all the beauty that surrounded me, but feeling too rushed to do it justice. i was happy for the glimpses, but a bit disgruntled too. the desire to absorb the scenes around me led to the desire to park the car and knock on the door of the white two-story farmhouse with a wraparound porch and asking those who live there a string of questions about their lives. the peek at beauty made me want to know the culture and people who made the quiet town so lovely (Tank and Tummy included).

in my head, i ran through how a conversation like this might go: “Ummm…hi! I’m Sarah. What’s your name? I’d like to know about your daily life. Are you the owner of that fuzzy faced calf who looked so sweet in the sunlight? What’s the calf’s name? Do you grow the hay that you feed it? Has it’s mother had any other calves? What do you typically eat for dinner? What are your thoughts on subsidized farming? Do you like country music? Oh, no, I don’t work for a newspaper. And no, I’m not a talkative over-aged Girl Scout. I’m just curious. I think you’re cool…”

i decided to keep driving.

and then, on my way home, i drove right into the most magnificent sunset i’ve ever seen in my entire life. ok, maybe i was just on a “the world is so beautiful!” high, but it really was beautiful. i began cheering. it just felt right. there was no one else to see me, i was listening to Mylo Xyloto and i just needed to shout.  the sunrise kept getting better-deeper hues, intriguing light contrasts, an aspect always shifting and changing. 

that sunset made me desire something, too. i wanted to know the One who created the sunset. and for that matter, created the people in the farmhouse, the fuzzy baby cow, and i’d bet He’d claim the Tank and Tummy too. i fought the urge to learn and experience rural South Carolinian culture, but i didn’t have to risk looking weird or crazy in getting to know Him.

sometimes, i forget that God is beautiful. i fight Him for allowing pain and suffering and my anger can make me forget the beauty. i don’t want to see the world through rose colored glasses. pain and suffering exist and i must be responsible in it. but i don’t want to be blind, either. i want to see the beauty, embrace the sunset, and in getting to know the One who created it all, become more and more certain that He IS good, IS true, IS love.

RAH RAH WOOHOO SUNSET!!!!

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thankful for

  • imaginations
  • clouds
  • job prospects
  • public libraries
  • Christmas lights
  • beauty from ashes

to do

today i feel like this:

there’s so much do to and think about and plan for. i want to jump up and down and yell like the avetts. i just did, in fact [minus the yelling for the benefit of my studious housemates]. somehow, i get this feeling that they looked way cooler than i did, but it sure did feel good.

and now i make a list of things i’d rather do than study. i end up making them every semester. they make me feel a bit better about doing the work and give me something to look forward to. here’s a sample:

1) for one hour, i will limit my modes of transportation to: a) the wheeled ottoman for house use or b) parkour for outside

2) watch the return of the jedi, the best of the trilogy in my opinion. the nerd within wins.

3) skip around the quad while throwing wildflower seeds on the ground

hghuogiohrwhoihhgrho;wGHAWOHhdofighhhstudyinghereicome…

Tulip Twins


Today I met the tulip twins. Barbara and Bernice, 90-year-old twin sisters, have a garden in Chapel Hill and welcome anyone to walk through. I went running on a route that I haven’t tread on in a while and slowed to a walk as soon as I saw the garden. At first, I peered in from the safety of the sidewalk, but then I saw a sign reading “Garden Open” and was encouraged to explore by a woman with a clunker camera around her neck. She informed me that the sisters have opened their garden to visitors for years and that they’re typically on the front porch, waiting to make friends. I ventured into the garden and hoped that they’d pop onto the porch so I could meet them. EVERYWHERE I looked, flowers. Flowers, flowers, flowers. Azaleas, tulips, daises, and copious amounts of flowers I couldn’t name covered the ground. The beauty, the sweet smell, the sound of birds chirping, GLORIOUS! The only thing that could make it better would be to meet one of the twins. Thankfully, just as I was ambling out, I met the famous twins. They were just as sweet as they could be. I think I’ll go back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…

busy bee

my dear devoted readers (all three of you), i blog again after a two month hiatus. i’m sorry to report that my new years resolution has not yet been realized (i dined on a quesadilla about an hour ago and am currently waiting on a sweet potato to finish cooking. terrible combination.) i have, however, been perusing foodie blogs. check this one out: http://whatkatieate.blogspot.com/. much has happened since my last update. in short:

i’m moving to Memphis in June for the next 4 plus years to be a teacher!  the idea of all this can be a bit overwhelming. thankfully, lately excitement tends to be the dominant feeling. my friend blaire asked what job we would have if it was guaranteed that we would be great at it. my immediate response? be an excellent urban educator. and i really think that the program i’m doing (http://www.memphistr.org/home) will get me there. i’m still amazed that i actually get to be a part of this.

i had Spring Break plans with the lovely rashida to go on  a food tour of north carolina. we got as far as raleigh and durham before i came down with strep. the highlight was going to The Pit BBQ, which was featured on a “throwdown” with bobby flay. needless to say, it was delicious. a bit to fancy in my personal opinion for a barbecue joint, but the food made up for the lack of down home ambiance.

i have officially become a Tarheel basketball fan! don’t get me wrong, i’ve always cheered for the heels, and even forced friends to watch the ’09 NCAA playoffs with me while at Gordon, but i’m finally getting what the hype is all about. i think it’s a result of us having a good team this year, beating Dook, and  me being a senior, which brings me to my next point…

i’m going to miss this place. one of the very first days of junior year, back when i was a disgruntled transfer student, my dear friend margaret said, “i bet you’ll not want to leave come spring semester senior year.” she was right. i’m just starting to love this place, and now it’s on to the new. i’m ok with this, excited about new adventures, but i do wish i could spend more time here. so i’m tackling my bucket list with fervor and trying to savor the time with these wonderful people.

Resolved

Hello, 2011!

The Christmas gifts have been given,

the remnants of the tree are on my bedside table,

and it’s time for resolutions to be made. Every year I make the same lone resolution, and typically don’t make any more. This year, I’m spicing things up: two resolutions will be made! And just what will that second one be? Glad you asked. This year, I’m learning how to COOK!

I am in awe of people who know what spice to put in which dish or which leftovers to throw together and make a new [delicious] creation. I can bake [i.e. follow directions] with the best of ’em, but knowing how to cook is a totally different ballgame. I figure that the best way to learn is to dive in head first–once a week or twice a month, I’ll choose a [possibly complicated and hopefully cheaply priced] recipe that I’ve never made before and go for it. “See ya later”, Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joes, and “Adios!” to my lemon pepper chicken, I’m moving on to new frontiers.

And just so you know, I love [prefer, in fact]  to with people and for people. Come on over and we’ll cook [and eat]!

Happy New Year, everyone.

Thankful Today

it’s been a while since i’ve made one of these lists. here goes. today i am thankful for:

windows

the color blue

two year-olds

soft blankets

paperclips

electricity

family

warmth

socks

Between the Layers

If you live in the span of earth between Charlotte and Greensboro, you probably saw a gray sky for most of today. Overcast, dreary, even downright dismal is what you could label the conditions.

Guess what.

You’ve been tricked–the sky was actually painted with the most marvelous shades of blue.

I would have claimed the sky to be gray as well had it not been for the vantage point from which I was able to observe this display of hues. At lunchtime, I was in the Charlotte airport, and the sky threatened to spit rain. Before I knew it, I was in the air on my way home. We ascended into the clouds, breaking through the first strata, and my eyes had to re-adjust. Sunlight flooded through my tiny window that revealed a view to which I had nothing to compare. It was like being in the blue icing layer of a white cake. I was sandwiched in between two fluffy layers of cotton, surrounded by innumerable hues of blue–from barely blue, to carolina to new baby boy and every blue in between.

My blue view was such a reminder that the way we see the world is entirely different than the way God sees it. It’s easy for me to walk around and see only gray, forgetting that blue exists above it. It’s easy for me to become burdened by multifaceted problems, frustrated when things don’t go the way I think they should, to feel, at times, like I’m working towards nothing.

I’ve been learning that viewing life with God’s lenses puts everything into a different perspective. When I ask to see the world the way He sees it, problems become a reason to hope, frustrations become a reason to trust, and work becomes meaningful, not because I’m the one doing it, but because through it, I get to glorify God. I guess I’m learning about faith–what it means to be assured of the things unseen, like blue skies behind the gray ones.

Found: Dinosaur Bones in the Playground

Welcome to first grade recess, where mounds of dirt become blueberry, chocolate, or vanilla cakes and dinosaur bones and fossils are discovered daily. It is here that I am educated. If Cassie and I do not gather acorns for squirrels and put them in a pile, they will never have enough food for the winter. Spies cannot play with ninja warriors because they are different kinds of fighters. The tie dyed silly bands are by far the coolest.

“Look at what I can do!” is often heard. I watch Carmen go across the monkey bars for the tenth time today, Missy hang upside down from the ladder, Stacey and Chris race from one side of the blacktop to the other, or Jonathan flip over the bars.

It is here that I get a peak into the lives of these great kids. Jonathan’s favorite superhero is the Hulk and has a little sister who he admits sometimes beats him in wrestling. Cassie’s grandma is visiting from the Ukraine for four months and they went all the way to D.C. to get her (it was a reaaaaally long trip). Sam loves making lines of leaves into racetracks.

A common thread I’ve observed is that all of the kids want to be noticed and affirmed. Look at what I’m doing and then tell me it’s great is what they seem to tell me in their unique ways. I am thankful that I get the opportunity to affirm them—to tell them, “Hey! That pumpkin you colored looks great! You are so good at math! You should be a gymnast—you crossed the monkey bars so fast!”

I finally admitted to myself last December that I wanted to be a teacher. I’ve loved hanging out with these kids this semester. It has been another affirmation that, in some capacity, I was made to teach. So for now, I pursue routes to becoming an elementary teacher! Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be working my way towards licensure.

To hear more about my heart for education, check out my friend Betsy’s blog. She puts it beautifully. Urban education in the U.S. gets us pretty riled up. I, for one, have literally fallen out of my chair for excitement over what is being done (specifically in Memphis) to change the status quo and redeem education. I’m sure Betsy can attest to similar experiences. I love having friends who share the same passions. [And regarding urban education, I am triply blessed: two girls I live with also have big dreams for the power of education to lift people out of poverty and bring about life changes that will effect generations].

Currently listening…

 

you betta SING, nina.

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