Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chocolate Cake

Last night it all piled up - the stress of the day, loneliness, worry, future, fears - simply overwhelmed.  You know that feeling when everything just seems wrong - heavy - sad?  Well my roommate and I both felt it - so we escaped - just for an hour, but it was wonderful.  We set off in search of truffle fries and chocolate cake.  We found the truffle fries, and after much searching, my roommate decided to just make chocolate cake.  Tired, I didn't wait up.  I stripped off all my clothes, climbed in bed with my hot water bottle and chased sleep.  I woke-up suddenly around 2am - tiptoed naked to my kitchen and there it was - a delicious unfrosted chocolate cake.  I cut myself a tiny sliver, dipped my finger in the bowl of buttercream frosting and licked my fingers clean.  Another sliver later and I was back in bed, feeling content - satisfied - cozy.  I guess sometimes it just takes a little chocolate cake and a hot water bottle to remind this girl it will all be okay.  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Lately, I have been thinking quite a bit about my future.  Where I will go - what career I will have - the life that I will start to build for me.  The future is so vast, open, consuming -.  I look around and see so many people about to be married, head to grad programs, step into really big life decisions.  I am just not at that point, and today, today that feels okay. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sister I Love You:

I found this in a past blog:

“As the tears came uncontrollably I thought to myself, 'I am crazy.' I crawled out of my bed and went up the stairs. As I jumped in bed with my little sister and snuggled so close to her - I thought she would push me away. But she didn't.  She simply grasped my shaking hand - so tight.  And we lay there, talking about how we were ever going to get through this, I could feel love, pulsing through her hand.”

Thank-you sister for always being the one to grasp my hand with such unconditional love. You are my best friend and I love that we share the worst and the best.


"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Today I met this girl, she told me a story - and I could hear her heart in her words - I could feel my heart cringe as I absorbed all she said.  Putting her heart into words is impossible, but I told her I would try:

And there she stood, waiting - hoping - holding.  Her knees locked firm, her smooth jaw clinched, her pleading hands stained blood red.  Her dreams are piled to her left, her hopes to the right, her fears weighted heavy on her back.  Her dreams rustle in the wind, she fears if she waits much longer they all might flutter off.  Even though there is snow, her hopes have somehow melted into the thirty below. And her fears - they bear down - threatening to make themselves part of her being, eking though the thin skin she now wears.  She thinks if she could just wait a bit longer, the door might open, her dreams could be carried in, her hopes found and her fears pried free.  She forces her trembling body to still, for she simply cannot tame her spinning mind.  Atop the cold concrete steps she quietly waits.  The past clawing, banging, prying only thickened the door and left her trying fingers splintered and raw.  The brass doorknob is biting ice, frozen in place.  She used to have a key.  She once never even needed a key.  A cold rush of loneliness rips through her transparent skin right to her unprotected soul.  She long dropped her guards, walls and defenses - traded them for safe passage to this heart.  She held her own bleeding heart in her own hands offering it to a door that just wouldn't budge.

The thump, thump, thump, of her once pounding heart grows faint as the moments tick to memories.  She stood and waited.  She waited till she realized she could wait there forever.  That she would wait till she was a faint shadow of her vibrant self.  That she would waste away waiting for a door that just wouldn't open.  She knew she had to stop waiting, to pick up what she could, stuff her heart back into her chest and move.  She couldn't carry everything she had brought.  So her raw fingers began to salvage.  Gather the dreams still piled, scoop the hope still pooled, and pry the fears from her tired back.  She stacked the fears neatly outside the door, left her hopes she couldn't scoop and her dreams that no longer belonged to her.  Unlocked her knees, tucked her unruly hair behind her burning ears, took a deep breathe and stepped down.  Her eyes stung from tears cried, her limbs ached from gathering, tearing, leaving -- but her heart.  Her heart starts to find its place back in her chest, her skin a bit thicker and her hands cling to all she knew as good.

And there she stood, when I saw her, breathing deep, solitary - hoping - holding.  I never would have guessed where she had moved from.  She has a silent strength that she says only comes from a heart that has been stripped and rebuilt.  

Friday, November 23, 2012

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic, Speech at the Sorbonne Paris, April 23, 1910

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Prince to the Fox:

"What does tamed mean?"

"It's something that's been too often neglected.  It means, 'to create ties'..."

"'To create ties'?"

"That's right," the fox said.  "For me you're only a little boy just like a hundred thousand other little boys.  And I have no need of you.  And you have no need of me, either.  For you I'm only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes.  But if you tame me, we'll need each other.  You'll be the only boy in the world for me.  I'll be the only fox in the world for you..."

"I'm beginning to understand," the little prince said.  "There's a flower . . . I think she's tamed me . . . "

"Possibly," the fox said.  "On Earth, one sees all kinds of things."

"Oh, this isn't on Earth," the little prince said.

The fox seemed quite intrigued.  "On another planet?"


Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

" 'Listen,' said Granger, taking his arm, and walking with him, holding aside the bushes to let him pass.  "When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor.  He was also a very kind man who had a lot of love to give the world, and he helped clean up the slum in our town; and he made toys for us and he did a million things in his lifetime; he was always busy with his hands.  And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn't crying for him at all, but for all the things he did.  I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood of help us raise doves and pigeons in the back yard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did.  He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them just the way he did.  He was individual.  He was an important man.  I've never got to over his death.  Often I think, what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died.  How many jokes are missing form the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands.  He shaped the world.  He did things to the world.  The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.' "

. . . .

"Granger stood looking back with Montage. 'Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said.  A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made.  Or a garden planted.  Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.  It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.  The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said.  The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime."

Thursday, November 1, 2012


The truth about carving pumpkins is very simple, I enjoyed it much more when I was a child, carving with my dad.  You see, he did all the hard stuff.  He cut the top open, scrapped the inside and did any of the hard carving.  I got to simply reach my hands into the gooey pumpkin guts, draw the face and watch as "my" pumpkin was carved.

Tonight I carved my own pumpkin, all by myself - and it really wasn't as fun or magical as I remembered.

I wonder how many things in life will be this way - so much fun in theory, but just not that good in reality.  It was a bit of a let down, but also reminded me how much I appreciate my father and the people who help make my life full.  It reminded me that things are not magical, it is the people, the interactions that create magic.  It made me appreciate the people who take time to care for me, to check on me, to make me smile, laugh.  Life really isn't always that wonderful - people are often mean, selfish, sometimes things don't work out.  But every once in a while there are people who are wonderful - who stay when they shouldn't, who care when no one else does, who make you laugh when everything seems to be falling apart and remind you to see the good. There are people who look at you when you are sick, tired, ugly or worn and see you as beautiful - who see past your face and to your soul.  They lift you up when you can't even see anything good, especially in yourself.  These people are worth more then pure gold, the people who love you when they shouldn't and see the good in you even when it is hard to find - these people, these people are one in a million.  I am so thankful for the people who love me even when I don't deserve it.

I guess sometimes it takes a disappointment to remind you to appreciate the good times, the good people and the good you have.

And you know what - carving that pumpkin wasn't magical, I didn't create a masterpiece and it didn't measure up to my memory -- but finishing it, was fulfilling.  I did it.  Life isn't always wonderful, isn't always easy, but I am realizing I can do the hard stuff.  I don't have to always like where I am or the way things turn out - but getting through the hard stuff - is possible - and maybe, just maybe the hard stuff is just a step to the next good thing - who really knows.


I honestly have been trying.  Trying very hard to hold things together - today I came across this video and it made me laugh out loud - because in that moment I realized this little girl is the perfect example of how I have been feeling.  She is trying so hard, so sincere in her endeavors, but it is just comical. It is SO obvious she needs some help, is such a beginner and simply needs more time to master this skill.  I am sure she will - I mean it is the first position - so basic.  ha. "basic" is all relative! 


“Trust in the people I love. Not trusting in them to be perfect, never mess up or always be around, but to trust in their character and the intentions they have. I am learning to trust in other people’s choices and accept that I have no control over some things. Trusting with the risk of being hurt, forgotten, or replaced. Learning that trust is a tricky thing to give, but it’s a compliment to receive.”

(taken from a past blog I wrote - sometimes we just need to remember what we already know)