Bridges are better than walls. thanks.

 

I’m thankful for bridges—that they exist so people can walk over them and get to the other side and reach each other. I’m glad that they exist because if not it would just be a bunch of people peering over at each other.  Yelling words that could so easily be blown away by the wind.  Maybe there would be people using telescopes and binoculars to read each others lips. I don’t know.

I’m glad that there are bridges so folks can walk over to the other side and touch each other. Hug other. Love each other.

With bridges the gap simply becomes a crack in the path.

If  we did not have bridges maybe there would still be people who think the brown in my skin exists because I’m dirty.  Maybe the gap would make them think they were never supposed to meet me in the first place for that reason. With bridges, I know that if I hear someone yelling for help or screaming in pain, I can run to help them.  Otherwise, maybe I would assume that the obstacle is evidence enough that they are not my problem.

If there were not bridges we would just have to assume—be content with the stories we tell ourselves to make ourselves satisfied with not fully knowing. Perhaps we do that already.

Little

I watched the boy run in circles and topple over himself, only to do it all over again. My body instinctively jerked many times to stop myself from running to his rescue—down he would fall onto his small hands, but it did not take long for his little legs to straighten out and he would shoot into the crowd, dodging the coaxing arms of his father and other cooing bystanders. How bold. How unaware.

The little boy had no idea, but he provided much needed comic relief and joviality to the internal crescent of the protest. Most everyone held signs expressing their convictions—their faces dimmed and furrowed against the bitter wind. If they did not hold signs they chanted. Fists were outstretched and legs stood as straight as pillars and still the little boy lurched and traveled betwixt them. At times the boy would explore the empty space between the Rush Rhees stairs and the curved arrangement of protestors. He was happy to have the space all to himself.

When did we become so afraid to fall?  When did we become afraid to stand alone in empty spaces?  When we trip and stumble we become embarrassed—wishing to dissociate ourselves from the moment.  Now that we are bigger, we sit  within our chairs.  We log into our media and look at stilled realities that we rarely consider lifting more than a finger for.  We may be hesitant to eventually approach the towering realities that have the power to shape our minds.

We are only bigger because we have grown fuller with the ideas of others.  We have been shown what to think and when reality proves contrary, we are forced to rise.

I was tempted to hold the boy close, to keep him from falling.  Others continued to reach for him, but he would struggle and cry out—his arms would nimbly contort ensuring that his escape was successful.  I wonder if we have forgotten how to fight for our individualism—apart from the clothes we wear or who we choose to love.  I wonder if we have forgotten how to fight for our individual mindfulness. We seem to sacrifice it so easily now that we are bigger.  We are told that college will open up so much to us, but we are content to explore so little of it for the sake of having similar opinions.

 

Signs of A Clouded Mind

Clouds

1.) You wake up (late) and you feel heavy inside.

2.)Your thoughts are scattered and you can’t focus well on one task whether that be cleaning off your desk or picking out your clothes for the day.

3.) You are frustrated easily over the smallest things like your sandals coming off when you’re walking or struggling to turn the handle to the shower.

4.) You feel paranoid.  Like, somehow, the world is working against you.

5.) You criticize yourself, for being human. Why did I message that guy?  Am I needy?  I haven’t worked out in a while…I’m failing…why am I failing? I’m freaking lonely and this sucks.

6.) The negative thoughts pour through your brain and you try to stop them up with funny YouTube videos, nosing about through your Facebook feed, watching some Netflix.  You become discontent when you realize that you don’t do a very good job at distracting yourself, from yourself.

7.) You go to bed late because you are not convinced that the internet, for once, doesn’t have the answer. 1 am rolls by and the Buzzfeed channel hasn’t said anything you couldn’t guess.  2 am gallops by and Jim and Pam’s relationship office relationship has you feeling a bit green inside. 3 am saunters in and you are doing intense research on how the bullet journaling system could work for you…but then you slowly recoil at the sight of numerous layouts, stationary flair (that you don’t have), the apparent necessity for pricy notebooks that have graph paper inside of them, and colored writing utensils that make a ballpoint options look pathetic.

8.) You reflect and decide to be honest with yourself.  I’m having a sucky day emotionally, but I gotta blog.  I gotta get my camera fixed.  Gotta do laundry. 

And guess what?  Theres a whatever percent chance that tomorrow will be better.

Redundant

Opening Line

It wouldn’t be the first and it wouldn’t be the last.

She would toss and turn in the night,

her mind assaulted by her past.

Tremors and mumblings she constantly restrained,

her heart and soul still in shock from the pain.

No.

It wouldn’t the first and wouldn’t be the last,

where romance would enter slowly

and die so fast.

She was a stranger to reciprocal affections.

She was always privy to her emotional defections.

No.

It wouldn’t be the first and wouldn’t be the last.

So many would leave and she would wait behind,

Feeling so deeply she was her own anchor.

The first to give and the first to die.

It wouldn’t be the first and wouldn’t be the last

College Kid Tourist, Stop Acting Like One

Tourist

I’m not talking about college tours, where a few enrolled students master the perpetual smile, the backward walk, and the knack for university trivia for the sake of roping in more applicants. I am talking about the already enrolled student body and the 4 year (or more) tourism that tends to ensue.  I haven’t blogged for six days and partially it is because I have been a little apprehensive to tackle this issue.  I plan on writing on this issue a little bit at a time, but for now I want to comment on the student mentality of tourism.  

What is distinctive (and  aggravating) about tourism is sometimes a two-sided issue.  It all depends on what side of the fence you are on.  I’ve been a tourist before, and its a fun experience because I became an observer to people, and a culture I had never encountered before.  I ate foods I had never tasted before. I learned bits of history that was beyond my knowledge.  Of course, my eyes were dazzled by the architecture…there were magical moments when I saw the Colosseum and I thought, I saw that in my history book and now I’m actually here in front of it…

That sounds like an accurate account of tourism, right?  Sure.

Something that is often forgotten, is that tourism does not stop when tourists leave.  Being a tourist, touring, and tourism alters the dynamic of the locality (maybe for the better or for the worst) of that destination.  Another fact to consider is that tourism and being a tourist can happen at the domestic level.  Examples (off the top of my head) would be major cities like New York City, national parks, little islands like Antigua, and university campuses.

Campus tours give the illusion that either the local area does not exist or that the locality is a distant external force. Everything displayed is for the student and for academia. There  is no need to look outside of the campus anything,  with the exception of entertainment (festivals, concerts, food etc.)  The student is not encouraged to learn about the city/place they will be living for the next four or more years of their lives.  This bothers me.

We, as college students, tend to act like tourists when we have definitely overstayed our welcome.  We sometimes fail to acknowledge and educate ourselves on the impact of our presence on our host-cities and towns. We may not be local, but we are not tourists

(will be continued…)

Awe, Like a Cave

Awe
The word itself is a vocal exercise.  I remember my choir teachers demanding that we open our mouths like a cave.  Round and tall.  Awe. Awwwwwwwwgh.  Other than that, “awe”  has limited usage in my vocabulary.  Instead, I tend to say the following when met with something interesting, pretty, or impactful.

When I’m riding my bike around sunset,”Dude, look at that sunset! Whoa!” I might say this regardless of the fact that I am biking alone.

When someone tells me something very surreal, “Oh man…thats intense…” It slips easily from my lips.  I wouldn’t want to just stand there staring at the person, mouth agape.  That might get a little awkward.

In the event that I am surprised beyond reason I will explode with, “OH Sugar Honey Ice Tea!” or other fun words.

The truth is, I haven’t been in awe in a very long time.

The last time I probably was in awe was when I was a little girl, and I don’t remember the time or place…  I think I was with my aunt, uncle, and grandparents, and I saw this huge fountain. Like a tall building, except it was composed of fast moving water. Granted it was huge to me because I was pretty miniature at the time, but I felt like a particle.  It was terrifying, but I wanted to get closer. Soon, my eyes turned into fountains of their own, and I would inch forward and then turn away—retreating into the refuge of my family.  After I while, I just stared at it, timidly reaching my little paw out to catch drops of water that separated from the downpour.

I hesitate to use the phrase, “I felt awe” because I think the thing that differentiates awe is that the feelings you do feel are so contradictory and perplexing that it becomes a state of being.   It could be a few minutes or an hour-long session.  But for those moments when you are in are in awe, you have no words. In that moment, you are coming to terms with something that outsizes you.  I think thats part of the reason that awe is such a human reaction, because I live in a world where humanity is the pinnacle.  Humanity is biggest, the best, and the brightest, and if I do encounter something that makes me feel vulnerable—whether that be a shooting star, a red moon, or crack in the earth’s crust—I can always figure it out…collect my factoids.

Awe is like a cave.  You enter the cave, and it is a cave because it can engulf you.  Its dark and intimidating, but its awesome.  So you continue to go deeper. I look forward to experiencing awe again one day.

 

Doors and Locks

The Story Behind a Door

Doors like this can appear anywhere—in your basement, in your relationships, in your dreams.  This door was all too familiar in my early house.

This house was rather pristine, although no more unique than all the other pop-up suburban houses that neighbored it.  Most suburban doors are white adorned with indented rectangular quadrants with a gold-plated door handle. I would knock on this particular door often. It was always cold on my knuckles and my muscles tensed upon finding the handle constantly immovable.  The door kept more out than letting anything in.

***

“Hey, can I come in?”

The door spat back, “No. Go do something constructive—like read a book.”

“I just haven’t seen you..”

“No.”

“Okay.”

***

The door would sometimes yell and scream in different voices. It acted like I wasn’t there listening, but I was.  When I heard the lock pop, I would scurry away, only to come back later in the night to listen to it whisper.  My name came up often, but it spoke of things beyond me.  Sometimes, I thought the door was hurting because I could hear it moaning and panting at night.  Then sometimes it was completely silent, no matter how many times I asked for it to open.