G.K. Chesterton: “Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.” (Orthodoxy)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grief Letter

7 Months

Hello friends,

Today marks the 7th month mark of losing mom. I'm sorry if I have been silent about my grief. So many of you have done lovely tributes, shared memories, and have prayed for my sisters, my brothers, my dad, and myself. So many times I wanted to say "thank you" or comment on on a post but I haven't. I check mom's Facebook page like every other day. Sometimes I just scroll though pictures of her because I need something to remember. We know that you love us and yet often we have remained silent. At first it was just too painful . I'm sure you could all see it. But as the time passed and life happened I stopped showing it on my sleeve. And I understand, life kept happening to everyone. Terrible things may have occurred in your life as well. I suffer alone so much of the time. The nature of grief is loneliness because something living, breathing, laughing is torn from you-they just no longer exists in a tangible sense. But to me the wound is still bleeding, no longer gushing but not yet clotted. Most nights I still find myself crying myself into my slumber and into my dreams.

I'm not writing this to get your sympathy or even your attention. I'm writing this because I desperately needed to let it go, let it out. My grief book recommends that you put it in a letter and distribute it but I feel like that is too awkward and too personal. But I needed to put it out there because my sadness isn't something that is going away-its a part of me for now. It has settled like a dust in my lungs, in my heart, in my brain and through pressure and time it is becoming a shell. For now I'm leaving it there.

It has been seven months and this girl misses her mama.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Our house is a very, very fine house.

Well I've done it again. I am back in the old bf. the house is lovely.
This, my friends, is what I like to call an adventure.

End scene.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Surviving and chickens

For a girl that is great at surviving being "comfortable" is hard. This is the first time that I have not had to scrimp to get to the next day or put $5.00 in my gas tank and pray that it would last a week. Don't get me wrong-I like this life (for now) but I don't know what to do with myself. I keep considering picking up a weekend job (which is a stupid idea...considering I LOVE my free weekends!)

I need a hobby or a horse or something.

In other news I've been house-sitting (well technically I'm just house-living because I've been temporarily "living here" for the last three months). They have a dog, 3 horses, chickens and an evil, evil cat. Their cat bite me on the hand the other day because I wouldn't let him take a bite of my sushi, the horses have managed to take and instant disliking to me and the dog doesn't think I play Frisbee with it enough. It's going so well. Ha ha.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh SNAP...history.

Bureaucratic red tape can be frustrating. I've spent the last hour clicking around on different sites trying to figure out how to get my SNAP benefits renewed. So far I've come up with nothing. And an important thing to point out here is that you can't just call the welfare office because a) they won't pick up and b)their voicemail is always full. Go figure.

As an AmeriCorps member I'm eligible for SNAP benefits because without them I probably would be giving up food for the year. The stipend covers rent, bills and occasionally getting to work/my service site. The month or two before I got through the red tape the first time (sigh) I was living off of free potatoes and peanut butter. Not exactly a healthy lifestyle. And just so you know there IS a stigma still attached to receiving Food Stamps...the cashiers aren't the problem (in fact more times than not my EBT card strikes a commonality with them and we chat about it!)it's the people in line who automatically start to judge my purchases when I state that I'm using my Access card (EBT, ACCESS Card, Food Stamps...all the same thing basically...just government lingo...). That may be the reason I find myself sneaking to the grocery store in the late hours of the evening.

But I'm also very grateful for the assistance.

I've been in reflective mode lately. A few weeks ago I sat down with my friend Ryan and we talked about life. Where we were, where we were going, where we've been. Ya see I've been focusing on so much on the now and beyond that I've forgotten about my past. Remembering history, knowing our history is so important. My housemates and I were sitting around a campfire this past weekend reflecting on the concept of history. How it's impossible to advance without knowing where we came from and how that influenced who we are. History is both personal and shared, both private and public. The Civil War, Prohibition, and the Great Depression all affected my life as well at the birth of my siblings, the growth of my hometown and the colleges I attended. I wouldn't be where I am without those things happening first.

So back to me (this is my blog after all...ha ha): It wasn't until my discussion with Ryan that I came to realize how much I've changed the past two years. I've been so focused on surviving, on finding a path, on being happy that I've missed how much life has impacted me! I've gained confidence, I can argue with the meanest of mechanics, I can sorta fix leaky pipes, I can teach, I can worm my way into an organization, I can make a mean cup of joe, I've become bolder...and so on...

I guess the point of this is that I'm glad that I have history.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Looking for lost poetry...

I fell into reading an article this afternoon about noticing beauty and art around us. It was quite long but I was completely enthralled in it while sipping my afternoon cup of joe. It made me start to wonder what kind of experiences I could be having if I wasn't so stuck in my normal routine. (Read it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html)

Take this morning for example. Usually on a Sunday morning I get up barely in time to get ready. I throw back a cup of coffee and try to put on clothes that match...on a good day I remember to brush my hair. Then I grab my overfilled purse and Bible with too many papers in it and rush out the door to get to church late. This morning my routine was disturbed by a phone call inviting me to breakfast before church. "What kind of nonsense is this?", I thought to myself. And then I realized that I would really love to have conversation and breakfast before church. We had time and I love these friends. Why not? It was because of my routine...my stupid routine that is frankly, boring. Thankfully I got myself together and had a great time (and ate a great Western PA breakfast!). It was a lovely, lovely way to start off this Sunday. And I also found a new place to eat that is right down the street from me (how had I never noticed it before???).

Also, I sat in a different pew then normal. That was great. I got to see an older gentleman that I've never noticed before pouring out his heart to God. It made me pause and really appreciate everything about this life.

Back to the article I mentioned earlier. This line particularly stuck me: "The poet Billy Collins once laughingly observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother's heart is in iambic meter. Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too."

I'm taking this to heart. I'm going to go out this week and try to find the poetry that I've lost. I'm going to break routine. I'm going to do something crazy. I'm going to talk to someone new. I'm going to enjoy life a little more.

And I'm going to keep listening to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp-Gl-70dSo

(Sorry I had to put the whole links in...they wouldn't show up any other way!)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Listening to bus life...

This is the story of a girl who rides a bus. I find myself on at least 4 daily. It's an interesting experience-buses have their own culture. Most sit in silence absorbed in books or music or their thoughts I suppose but a few brave people talk and you know that everyone else is more or less listening. I usually stick ear buds in and fade into music oblivion but the last two days I've forgotten my MP3 player and have had to listen. Most it is gossip about people that I don't know. Some of it is small children yelling. I hear fights and phone calls, secrets, family stories, and tips on washing dishes. Occasionally I find myself in conversations with strangers. We talk about work or school, and we always about what buses we ride and when we ride them. We talk about the drunk on 61C or the lack of runs on the P7.

I'm losing track of all thoughts but bus life and who wants to hear about that?

Not even the people that ride do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thank goodness for road rage, junk food, and Jesus

I'm starting to develop road rage. I never understood why people felt the need to flip a rude gesture or scream in frustration while driving but the fog has begun to lift. I drive nearly an hour and 1/2 everyday to work (one way). It's suppose to be only a 50ish minute drive but with the traffic through the tunnels it takes an extra 40 minutes of what I call "mind-numbing-radio-blaring-people-cutting-me-off-and-cutting-in-line-huge-buses-being-pushy-rainy-break-light-hell".

I started off this commute with a pretty pleasant attitude. "Its only until July", "Some days traffic is lighter", "If I want to live in Quip and have an awesome service position I have to do this"...these are the thoughts from the early days of the commute. I let people in front of me, I quietly accepted stupid drivers, I laughed at stopped traffic, I left early to beat the rush and I sang and danced along with the radio.

Those thoughts quickly turned into these..."I'm only going to let a couple of people in front of me today", "I wish people would stop breaking in the tunnels", "Ah, why did that guy DO THAT...oh well maybe he was late for work". At this point I was less pleasant but still singing to the radio, shrugging at bad driving, and considering an apartment closer to the city.

>>>fast forward to today>>> "AH WHY IS THAT GUY AN IDIOT", "I CAN'T SEE YOU TRYING TO CUT IN FRONT OF ME...I CAN ONLY SEE THE BUMPER OF THE GUY IN FRONT OF ME!", "RAIN! WHY DOES IT ALWAYS RAIN HERE!?!?!", "ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGG!!!". Lets just say today's drive wasn't pleasant. A small ball of anger started welling up inside of me and suddenly I just began SCREAMING in my car. The screams that came out of me where like that of a dying animal. It just erupted. And then I began to sob.

Life is frustrating.

It wasn't just the traffic that caused what I call a "mental meltdown" but it's also the apartment to take care of, the bills that I never seem to have enough money to cover, the time I never seem to have, the lack of sleep, the lack of heat in my car, the bad weather, the leaky facet in the bathroom, the messed up social welfare system, the stress of trying to get my AmeriCorps hours in, missing my grandpa, missing my family, the stress of maintaining friendships, the occasional loneliness, the monotonous of life's routines, the people that seem to have it all together...to cut this short it's a lot of things.

But I have an incredibly great life. And I was ashamed of crying because of all the great things I have, I was ashamed because it's Christmas and I'm suppose to be filled with joy, I'm ashamed because others (like the homeless guy on 376) have it much, much, much worse. I tried to wipe my eyes before I went in my apartment. I didn't want to admit to my housemates that life just is wearing me out.

Now that I have some time to calm down I'm feeling much better (the Oreos and milk helped). And I decided to admit to my weariness on here because I decided that I shouldn't be ashamed of this. I shouldn't dwell in it for long but I shouldn't be ashamed of it. I'm just a human being and I'm bound to melt down sometimes. I suppose that's why God gave us friends, family, junk food and Jesus. And I'm thankful that he did because otherwise these meltdowns would happen by the hour.

Life is infuriating but life is incredibly good.

Enter, breath; Breath, slip out; Blood, be channeled, And wind about. O, blessed breath and blood which strive To keep this body of mine alive! O gallant breath and blood Which choose To wage the battle They must lose. -ogden nash