Tuesday, January 6, 2009

trying to find connections

Apparently I am the most frustrating ever and Brittany no longer wants to hear that I ran for 25 minutes straight. But that run was quite the accomplishment and needed proper acknowledgement.

I went through all my old keepsakes yesterday. The things I felt needed to be saved at 8 years old are pretty strange-- sheet music for a lap harp, the kind of valentines that doesn't require a personal note(with minnie mouse or barbie or someone like that dressed in red), a plastic set of jacks. It was funny to see my hospital bracelet from when I was five years old and broke my leg. I was going to throw it out and then I showed it to my mother and she gave me this look that made me keep it. I also found a birthday card from Giz that I still don't know how to translate. Maybe the school teacher can help me? It says, "I love you Emye/ I naoe I/ am bede/ men/ love/ you/ ney." Hmm.

At dinner we tried to decipher it. The two most likely translations we found were "I love you Emmy, I know I am bad and mean but I love you anyways." The other was "I love you Emmy. I know I am bad but men love you anyways."

I keep trying to find connections between what seems like the disparate parts of my life. Being in Asheville for Christmas, having a month to mull over things, I think I am searching for this harder.

I have made Egyptian food, listened to Amr Diab, studied Arabic, written to our newest senator about the atrocities in Gaza.

I have watched "Once," talked to the Clarkes in Ireland on web -cam, been knitting a baby blanket for some friends in Dublin who are expecting, hung out with Ciara and Paul.

I have been to Abby's to hang out with UNC people, looked for houses and part-time jobs in Chapel Hill, and eagerly checked blackboard for any spring class syllabi.

I have cranked up country music stations, been the dripolator for nice indie coffee (well, tea) multiple times, had reunions with lots of old friends.

Most areas still feel disparate. I want so badly to find ways to link them all.

This afternoon I took Giz to dance so that I could stop by the new studio and see my old teachers. Actually, Nichole, who uses to run the ballet companies and taught me, has moved on. But I wanted to see Tracey, Nichole's co-owner, my jazz teacher, who was also the stand-in mother for all of us dancers. I parked the car and went in with Giz to see the new facilities. We passed by a classroom where my friend Shannon was teaching. Shannon is four or five years older than me. She was the oldest in the companies when I was the youngest, by the time I left for Ireland she was already starting to teach classes. There were little girls lining the barres in light pink leotards. Shannon saw me and said, "Hey!" She stopped teaching and came over to me, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!" The little girls giggled. "You all have to stop doing this to me, coming in to say hi."

She cupped my face in her hands and looked at me, saying,
"You are a woman!"

I asked if Tracy would be in, she said that Tracy didn't teach on Wednesdays and I should stop by again tomorrow. And after that I had to get out of the studio, because I was feeling a wave of emotion and needed to sit down.

I got in the car and drove to the coffee shop where I am now, sipping down darjeeling and thinking about those words, "you are a woman!"

We always hear about masculinity and how men need other men to acknowledge their masculinity. But when Shannon said those words I realized that I am a woman.

And I felt lots of other sentimental things about growing up with so many women at dance that I won't share with you all, and I know people hate dancers and all the competition and the diva/prima donna crap but oh how I loved those girls and still do and sometimes would give anything to be on stage warming up for a performance with them, or even gritting my teeth through a grueling barre with them.

* * *

So there you have it. A blog post without talking about running 25 minutes or politics. But if you want me to talk to you about Gaza, I sure will.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

not out of any necessity

Today i ran for twenty five minutes. Can you believe it?

Actually I was about to stop in the middle of my third lap around gimghoul, but then T.I.'s "You can have whatever you like" came on Abby's ipod shuffle, and T.I. got me through.

Anyways, I have been thinking a lot about art recently and how it brings dignity to the human experience.

When I was being trained in and working my first ten hour shift at memorial it was before an Andrew Bird gig. Andrew Bird was having a tech rehearsal, so while I did trivial, menial things like sweep backstage and learn how to use power tools properly he was playing music. Maybe I was just imagining that my life had a soundtrack, but my existance seemed much more significant in those moments. There is something about creating beauty just for the sake of the enjoyment that will come from the result and not out of any neccessity- I think it shows us that we have worth.

About two or three weeks ago I decided to go look for leaves and stitch them into designs and put them up around the room. Not because Abby and I need them in the room but just because I thought they were bright and beautiful and I wanted us to see them on a regular basis. (Now, however, they are old and crumpled and really need to be taken down. Luckily that didn't happen in the case of Andrew Bird's music.)

On other fronts, it has been a strange week, with vestiges of the past coming up again. It is good to be reminded of what has been and to realize that what had meaning once has not lost its meaning, it only holds less of an urgency.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The whole point of henna

Today mum and I went to West End Bakery for an hour or so between our schedules. We decided to split a cinnamon roll. I am utterly unable to eat a cinnamon roll just by biting into it like a dinner roll-- I like to slowly unwind and eat the coil. When mum and I sat down I just assumed that she would saw it in two with a knife and hand me half but instead we took turns pinching off several inches of the wound dough. We are similar in more ways than I think.

Today was good- I went to Brooke's and she and Grace and Julia and I ate and drank tea and ran around in the forest playing pop psychology games. I love pop psychology.

There is one exercise where you have to say your favorite color, favorite animal, and favorite body of water, and give three words to explain why for each of them. (If you do this and tell me what they are I will tell you what it means. It is most interesting, so if you read this please do and get back to me).

I picked
Brown: because it is earthy, exotic, and yet very plain at the same time.
Killer whales/orcas: because they are so smooth, and because they are playful, but yet seem wise at the same time.
The Irish Sea: Because it is stark, and cold, and in a way very spiritual.

I also went crazy with henna tonight, but it appears that the henna I bought doesn't dye skin very well. The whole point of henna is to dye skin.

I feel at the intersection of many things. Today, being in Fairview, standing in the parking lot of the Ingles, waiting for my mom to come pick me up, I felt dropped back down into this place. I do love a lot of it, but I feel like an anachronism. I am some character who shows up in the poem to jolt the reader, because I shouldn't really be here at all.

Today, at that coffee shop, I was talking to my mother about how God seems to work a certain theme in my life--namely that of my life not going smoothly, not working. My path just doesn't seem to fold out neatly and beautifully before me. I don't get the exclusive scholarships. I don't get great jobs. I wind up as a nanny for violent children. I spill water on my computer and I spill all types of food on my shirt and I buy henna that doesn't actually dye anything.

In response to all of this, my mother pointed out that very few peoples' lives actually work, and that no one ever related to people, connected with people, over being success stories. People usually connect over pain. And being successful would only isolate me and cause people to feel pressure to emulate me, not to talk to me about things.

She had some good points.

I'm hungry and want a cinnamon roll. I also wish my henna designs would stay on my body. I also kind of want to go to sleep, so goodnight.

Monday, September 15, 2008

if McCain is elected and-God forbid- dies of one of many possible health complications

I know blogs are a cliched place to vent about politics but I can't focus on my reading right now for class tomorrow. I have to get this out.

I am just adjusting to the idea of perhaps living in the US for a while after graduation. I don't know if I can if McCain and Palin get elected. No, I won't move to Canada, but I may have to move somewhere. I'm not saying that Obama will save America or the world or that he is Jesus or even Mother Theresa. But kids, pay attention to the news.

Palin has only had her passport since 2006. Yes, that means the first time she even left the country was two years ago.

And this woman will the president of the most powerful and influential nation in the world if McCain is elected and -God forbid- dies of one of many possible health complictions? She will be the commander-in-chief of the army of a country that has proportionally ten times the military spending of any other country? Really?

In the words of willmill, oh my chitty chitty bang bang.

Bringing up the possibility of death is not intended as agism against McCain. Trust me, if these two are elected I will be praying daily for the man's health. I just feel we need to think rationally about this.

You are killing me, American public. You're killing me.

Friday, May 9, 2008

don't we all

Because you are the faithful ones, I wanted you to know the address to my travel blog first: http://hemilym.blogspot.com . I will defo post on that one this summer and I may post on this one some too. I have already posted on that one just for practice. It still needs some work.

Don't we all.

Good night my dears.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

contributing in a mildly obsene way

I'm posting!

I am very tired, despite the early hour. I spent all of today running around with Grandma, contributing in a mildly obsene way to the American economy just by buying clothes that I can wear in Egypt. A lot of what I bought from Goodwill is as ugly as h-i-e-l-l but apparently nearly every inch of my foreign body needs to be covered for the best results this summer.

Again, I am tired. And I have become anxious in the past few days about being couped up this summer. I don't know for sure that I will be but it seems likely that I will spend way more hours indoors than outdoors, paricularly in the evenings, and I will be in the same house for much of that time. I'm going to need a pretty interesting thought life, or at least tire myself out enough during the day that I just want to go to bed. That prosepect seems promising.

I did buy a camera! So there will be photos!

Autumn seems so far away, which makes me a little sad.

I am thinking about the idea of God, the idea that loving him is a virtue, the idea that leaving one's heart open for him is inherently good.

It is such a strange thing, that we trust a God and know him to be good. But ultimately there is something in me that feels deeply that there is someone much greater than me who delights in the earth and the creatures of the earth, who wants the things that have gone wrong to be set right. This idea resonates undeniably in me.

I think perhaps I am re-learning truths these days, one by one.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

hearts all over the world tonight

This post is for Giz, for protesting. And for Abby, for being.

I am, quite unashamedly, listening to "With you" by Chris Brown, and it is giving me immense proportions of joy. It also makes me think of Eric(U), which ties in directly with this joy.

I have been thinking about joy. I am struck by the word enjoy and how it essentially means taking joy in something. And then I am stuck by the fact that joy primarily comes from seeing the beauty and goodness of things and people outside myself. With these thoughts, joy doesn't seem so far off.

I spent Easter at my aunts with an aunt, an uncle, a sister, a couple of cousins, and the girlfriend of a cousin. I don't think I'll say much about it, except that at dinner we were discussing a friend whose new wife is a bit controlling. My cousin Adam jumped in to defend their relationship, saying,

"With all due respect, H----- women, present company included, can be quite controlling and forceful themselves."

What could we say, my aunt, my sister, myself?

I lied. I will say more. My aunt and I were talking about the word "feminism" and how so many people see it as this extreme irrational uber-liberal concept that no reasonable woman subscribes to. I'm a feminist. And I think a lot of the men and women who preface statements with "I'm not a feminist but..." are really feminists.


Today I really wanted to sing with my little sisters, particularly:

hold my hand all the way
every hour, every day
from here to the great unknown
take my hand, let me stand
where no one stands alone

But tonight, it is just me

and Chris Brown. Hey lil' mama..