26 October 2012

White-Skied Days

Above: An outing in Germany in mid-summer, when the skies were vibrant and laughing.

The news from my corner of the world, of late, has been excited chatter about inclement weather. Roaring winds and thrashing rain are expected soon, the effects of a hurricane making its way north. I do so love storms, and I look forward to watching trees dance wildly, laughing with joy, leaves chasing each other madly like screeching, rosy-cheeked children. The skies have in past days, however, revealed nothing of what is to come. Indeed, the weather has been unbearably nondescript, neither sunny nor truly cloudy, neither warm nor cool; simply overcast with a still, white-grey sheet of sky far above. Time seems to pass so slowly in this white-skied autumn. Limbo, I called it today. Unremarkable. Unchanging.

But these skies, I find, hold a lesson. Reminiscent of a place where time stands still, they echo moments that occur in my life too frequently for my liking. Perhaps you are familiar with them: a gradual awareness that you have been doing exactly nothing for far too long, staring at your computer screen, wasting precious time. And perhaps you blame it on exhaustion or boredom or monotony or perhaps on something else entirely, but you feel out of sorts and frustrated and useless, and you are very ready for a vacation. Do you have moments like this? Please tell me you have these days, too.

This semester has been far too full of them. In the time between classes and volunteering and work, instead of moving forward on my never ending to-do list or doing those things I dream about when I am busy, I sit stupidly in my room, zoning out into some unknown, usually on my computer.

I feel lazy.
I feel ashamed.

And yet, I need to remind myself to practice gentleness. Kindess is essential to my body and to my soul; this includes focusing on eating well and getting the sleep my body needs, and speaking to myself with love. Gentleness does not mean, though, that I continue to allow myself to justify wasted time, but that I – gently – push myself to be proactive: do five minutes of research, or reading, or writing; tidy the desk; take a twenty minute nap; read a book, just for fun. Dance furiously to a guilty-pleasure song with all the energy of a hurricane. Take baby steps towards a goal, no matter how small. Move ever forward. Be the sun, and emerge from behind those colorless, listless, clouds.

15 October 2012

Dancing and Daydreams

Oh, this sweet lady. All gentleness, depth, and light. I met her on a whirlwind trip to Berlin, and felt like a celebrity when she ran to greet me. I was – I am – so humbled. We spent a day wandering, photographing, art journaling, and sharing, and this friendship, rooted in online exchanges, simply blossomed in person.

There was not one awkward or uncomfortable moment all day. We danced through pouring rain together, took hundreds of photos of droplets – Tröpfchen – lingering in the garden beds, chased mosquitoes away from one another, wandered through enormous ancient parks, and shared stories and cake. And oh, how we laughed and remarked again and again how dreamlike it all was. Kindred spirits in their element, celebrating the world!

In the evening, the day having passed in the blink of an eye, we slowly and carefully examined each other's art journals (and tears brimmed when I realized she had been so inspired by this painting of mine that she did her own rendering). Then, exchanging our journals for an hour or two, we gifted creativity to one another, collaging, painting, sticking, and writing love notes for the other to keep. And I wrote in her art journal: you are love. And so she is – Love. Loved. Loveable. Lovely.

It was a day I will treasure forever. Vielen Dank noch mal, Süsse, für einen wunderschönen Tag! Bis bald! Go say hello here, and read what Miss Sandra wrote about (and see more photos of) our visit here! Oh yes, and the result of our work? See below – and note the completely accidental color coordination! Whee!


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