my friend Peter sent me this article. not that I am purporting that the statement that is about to follow is saying very much, but this is one of the very best articles I have ever read.
I think much of why this article affected me so deeply is very personal as well, since I have been wrestling with many of these questions for the last five or so years of life. More importantly, humans have been exploring these themes since the beginning of time.
In the smallest of ways, I struggle everyday to find meaning and beauty in the work I am given. I spend my whole self and my heart in order to strive towards that intersection of beauty and existence…
this article is an excellent summation of Becoming.
WHAT is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs, And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
I have a feeling that this weekend is going to be a lesson in contentment. Leaving town in escape mode might not have been the best idea, even though it did force me to get my trial brief done early. Still I am beginning to realize that a lot of my academic ambitions are misdirected. I am beginning to realize how very blessed I am to be at SIU, to be surrounded by such an amazing, unassuming community.
Here I am, sitting in one of the nation’s oldest law schools. On one hand, I am ready and open to embrace all that such a historical and academic wealth offers; on the other hand, I am still an outsider peering in. I wonder if I would be able to do well and perform at such a high level, without giving up the kind of person I have become and the passions I have developed…or is it about giving them up for the sake of pursuing excellence according to this culture? I have yet to figure that out.
I struggle with contentment. This is not news. One of the main reasons I was even remotely interested in coming to this conference was because I yearned for something I [thought] I did not have. In my absence, Nate was cold-called on in Civ Pro. I feel like this illustrates a trend in my life. All my life, I have been given blessing upon blessing, and yet I would long for something else, the next thing, etc. and end up abandoning some form of commitment within my abundant blessings.
Not a big deal, just an observation…one step at a time to make the fickle-Joyce dead to me.
today, i spend my heart remembering, aching, and missing the rare, amazing bonds and ties of true love in friendships.
There is a little bird house in my soul that I had built for you all. Some people have jars, others use coffee cans, I just have an emotional bird house. In my soul.
There, I’ve compiled various threads of precious memories, scraps of perfect moments, and gems of words and ideas that somehow fluttered their way from your lives into mine.
Therein resides the very hearth that fires the essence of who I am, who I was, and who I am becoming. Embers smolder but never cool, sparks fly in nothing less than magnificent fireworks, flames burn mysteriously strong, even more colorful than the Northern Lights.
Therein contained is the source of the symphonies, melodies, and medleys that sustain my every day, that beckon me to new and beautiful experiences, and sing inspiration into my very soul, that flow through my very bones to move my foundation towards Light.
Therein lies the balance of justice and diversity — breathing, heaving, alive. Love is constantly being molded, stretched, carved, and sculpted. Peace rules with abundant graces and gifts. Joy rushes about, spontaneous and faithful.
There, you all hold a purity of love that is unlike any other. I wish I could just take a day, a sleeping bag, and a cup of tea to revel in the richness, to soak in the glow, to try to help you all understand just how very much you mean to me, just how very much of you I hold inside of me, in this humble bird house of mine.
For the sake of clarity, I feel the need to explain that I am posting these ETA blogs now not because I had just gone on the trip, but because I intentionally delayed blogging about my adventures from Thanksgiving 2010 in an effort to prolong the opportunity to reminisce. This post begins where eta 3 left off, as I left New York City.
Southbound on the Northeast Regional
Pulling out of Penn Station happened so quickly, it caught me by surprise. The weather could not have been better for a mid-morning ride south, along the Northeastern corridor. Once again, even though the sun was up this time, I felt like we were all riding in Hayao Miyazaki’s cat bus, bouncing and gliding past the historic cities.
I really should have done my research on the route that we were taking, because I might have decided to stop in one or more of those cities. Our train stopped at various states and cities that are what I would refer to as ‘the Greats’
These places stand out as The Greats in my mind because I had always heard about them, known close friends who move there for school, read magically unique things about the unnoticed corners of their historical identities, and imagined each Great to be a certain feel and color.
We traversed New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, to arrive at the District of Columbia. From the suburbs of Jersey to the crowds of skyscrapers by UPenn and Philly, I could not help but feel that the image in my mind about The Greats had been completely different from reality. Of course, we merely passed through them all, but I have never been so encouraged by reality. Usually, when the actual place is different from how I envision things in my mind, I deflate and yearn for more.
This time, seeing the edges of the Greats inspired in me new possibilities. Possibilities of progress and ambition, of education and expansion, of renewal and Hope.
Corridor of Doors
In this way, it is quite appropriate that the Northeast Regional’s route would be labeled as a corridor. Each town was a door that presented diverse groups of people, palettes of color swatches, mixtures of cultures, and endless experiences according to the riches at the heart of each city.
I became really excited as I peeked through the crack of each door as we sped South, delighted at the myriads of snapshots and first impressions I captured for the global scrapbook in my mind.
For now, these reels of landscapes are stowed away cozily, and I patiently await the day when I will dust them off in order to continue memorializing the moments beyond the frames of motion blur.
Station of The Union
By this point, I had figured out that many cities name their primary train station as “Union Station.” However, I had arrived at THE train station of our great Union of States. The grandeur of everything was extremely fitting, complete with chiseled archways that lead into high-ceilinged chambers and marble floors, causing one to stop and wonder.
I could hardly believe that I was finally standing in the capital city of the USA. Having no words to describe my feelings, and no time to ruminate on them, I got in line for the Capitol Limited, whispering to the great Washington, DC that I would soon return…to fall in love.
I’m headed Home Yeah, but I’m not so sure That Home is a place you Can still get to by train
So I’m looking out the window And I’m drifting off to sleep With my face pressed up Against the pane With the rhythm of my heart And my sleepy girl’s breathing With the rhythm of the southbound train
I’m no expert on what the difference is between an art and design blog, but this blog is one of the best I’ve seen (introduced to me by my best friend, of course, aka finder of all good things on the internet). I feel like my life is better just browsing through the curated posts for even a mere few seconds :)