Mom is in Atlanta, repainting the Den from top to bottom (as in: painted over the red brick that houses the fireplace, painted all the walls, painted the built-in bookshelves, painted the ceiling, and is currently painting the crown moulding.)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
It was a good question, when posed.
I had just found out that I was going to be posted in a grade school for my Volunteer Year. Probably in the Pre-K classes.
The last time I hung out with pre-schoolers was when I was a pre-schooler.
Flash forward. And I'm assisting in Pre-K 2 with 18 precious 4- and 5-year-olds.
And they are nothing short of hilarious.
Eddie had to learn that the urinal was not, in fact, a conveniently placed little-boy-sized sink.
Greg learned how to write his name... which was a big deal because his twin sister has been writing her name for a few months.
I discovered that Ava, despite her totally-in-my-own-world-ness, is actually the brightest 4-year-old I have ever met... and I want her clothes. Seriously. They're adorable.
Adrianna has an uncanny sense of music, and is always concerned when others are breaking the rules but adorably ignorant to her own infractions.
They're all amazing in their own way.
Still, there are the sad tales, too. Yaviel was bright and kind and always willing to share or play with other kids. But because Lawrence is one of the poorest towns in Massachusetts, it's not all that surprising when a child disappears from school because his parents can't afford $200/mo. minus financial aid for tuition.
But overseeing the socialization and education of what seems like millions of tiny little humans is wildly fun. The amount of love they just want to give is miraculous. You think, "gee...everyone in the world was this loving once. What happens when we grow up that changes us so much?"
Love. Hold onto the Love. Find it where it burrows away inside yourself, pull it out, and give it away. It will always come back to you, tenfold.
Monday, November 1, 2010
It's been awhile since I've posted some aimless, thesis-less, pointless pretty.
Let's get down to business...
Tulle and pearls and inky eyes. Lovely.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wuzza Bunny... adorable.
BONJOUR, PARIS! Let's go dancing down the avenue.
Chapeau, frock, and feet!
Black White and So Pretty.
I don't know what I love most... the dress, the wallpaper, or the pillows...
Evan Rachel Wood as the Queen of Louisiana... Someone find me a creme suit and pearls!
There are no words.
It's not easy being green...
And a little memory of my climb of some 14ers in Colorado
Cup of tea and a reverie...
Gorgeous. And she looks like my mother.
50's rendezvous, whispering sweet nothings...
A roll in the wheat with some fabulous shoes.
Green Goddess on the Red Carpet.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.
Hello my darlings.
It's been awhile.
Two months ago, I was thinking that once the sky cleared and I set off on my new-found path for the year, I would have plenty of time to write, and to keep posting on this blog. But let me tell you, there are not enough hours in the day.
It's hard to put life into a nutshell. But here goes:
I was feeling a little restless this summer. (Could you tell?) So I applied to a Volunteer Program that many of my friends and many marvelous people have been apart of. The Augustinian Volunteers is a small service program affiliated with the Augustinian Friars.
On a Tuesday night in Boulder, I found out that I was accepted into the program.
On that Friday morning, I set out for Georgia, having packed away my life, bade farewell to my roommate (who wasn't even in the state...), posted my furniture on Craigslist, and haphazardly left goodbye messages for my friends and employer.
What can I say? Spontaneity suits me.
A week later, I was flying back to Philadelphia, car-less, job-less, taking only what I could carry, and having no idea what my year would bring.
I hadn't yet found Thomas Merton. But it seems he often felt the same way I did on that three-day drive across the country, or that unending flight to Philadelphia. It isn't always about having the most well-lit path. It's about having a little courage, hope, and faith, that you're gonna be alright.
Long story short, after three years in the corporate America airline marketing world, and a year of happy-go-luckifying in Boulder with writing and singing taking the place of bread and butter, I am now teaching. In an elementary school. In the Pre-K classroom.
Multiple savvy, Chesley-knowing friends had the following comment: "Do you even LIKE children?"
My pre-service answer: "I don't really know...."
Well, let me tell you, dearlings, my kiddies are darling.
But more on all those details later.
Here's the thing. Some people think I'm a little crazy. Others, who know me better, just flat-out KNOW that I'm a little crazy. No, I don't make plans very well. Yes, I make gut decisions, snap decisions, spontaneously dedicating myself to something in a matter of moments. And I'm really, really good at staying afloat, rolling with the punches, working on the fly, accentuating the positive, figuring it out, staying on top, and smiling all the while when I find myself embarking on something strange, different, and new.
What is most important about this new decision, to take another radical life-course-change and put everything on hold (including my anemic bank account) for a year of service, is this:
Once upon a time, the only person I had to get out of bed for in the morning was me. The amazing difference in the state of my mind, heart, and soul, now that I'm crawling out of bed in the morning (albeit at 5:55 AM) for someone else (a whole lot of little someone elses) is almost beyond words. Life was, for awhile, like looking in a mirror all the time. Now it's more like looking through a window. I see a little of my own reflection, but also the gorgeous things that lay beyond the pane.
The Least are those that I am serving. And I will talk more on that soon.
But in order to make this change, I had to go a little old-school... like New Testament old school. Thomas Merton spoke of having Faith and Hope when life is uncertain. But to channel that Faith and Hope, one must have Love, the Greatest of These.
And I turn to St. Augustine for an explanation of Love...
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
And heaven only knows where to begin.
I'm back. I've settled into my new home in Massachusetts with 3 new roommates. I've begun a year of service with the Augustinian Volunteers, which involves teaching at a local grade school (I have PRE-SCHOOLERS!) The details, I will get to... eventually.
But in sum: I have decided to give back to the world that gave me so much, I have opened my heart to The Universe's plans for me,
and in return, the Powers That Be have been incomparably generous.