Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Rabbit on the Path; A Snake in the Road

Those of you who know me, and can consider yourselves people who know me well, know that I am a mess.  Most of the past few years have been spent packing, unpacking, laundering, moving, running, scheming, yog-ing, taking off, flying, landing, and generally making a world of my own on so many terms that I'm not sure which are mine.  Sometimes I sleep, too.  And sometimes I fit baking or other culinary pursuits into my scatter-brained time table of life.

 I have some few things, people, that anchor me to any given spot or any moment in time.  I float.  But I try and float in a good way, a positive way.

Which is why I crave simplicity; and why it is nice to be reminded of that simplicity even in this ludicrous world in which I exist (I suppose we all exist in this world, but bear with me).  I can ride my bike to work.  Back and forth I go, usually with my iPod in, usually cruising in a potentially dangerous- because it's terribly spaced-out- manner.  I play chicken with cheeky squirrels; I meander and watch the shadows from the forest trees (of course I'm not watching the road); I try to make it on time for my 8:45 start hour.

This morning, in the stillness of early summer, there was a rabbit on the hiking path which bisects one of the roads I take to work.  It watched me as I rolled by, and I watched it.  I think my music playlist had shuffled me either to Jose Gonzalez's "Heartbeats" or Josh Ritter's "Monster Ballads."  Either way, it worked.  I was captivated by this silly little creature; this emblem of simplicity just sitting there on the trail, unmoving and unafraid.  I rolled by, unwilling to disturb it.

That's when I found the snake in the road.  I spooked myself, really.  The snake was newly dead but still plump and lifelike enough to jar me from my rabbit idyll.  I swerved to avoid- it just stayed where it was.  I nearly crashed- it just kind of hung out.

There are great things everywhere; sweet moments that when strung together give me a stronger anchor chain.   Even if one consists of a rabbit, another of a dead reptile.

Cheers, friends.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stop, Drop, and Roll Won't Work in Hell

Honestly, I was really struggling with a title for this post.

I thought about "Back in Black" because every time I return somewhere, I start humming that particular AC/DC song to myself.  Or I sing it while I run.  It is a peculiar addition to the soundtrack of my life.  I do believe it runs a nonstop loop in my head because it makes me feel slightly badass.  Not badass enough to actually be a badass, but badass enough.

I also thought about "This is How it Works."  Fans of Regina Spektor will recognize this title as a line from the song "On the Radio."  This is a lyrics killer, every line is amazing and meaningful and creatively beautiful and I am of the opinion that this song has one of the best definitions of love (which is on my mind often and especially when I am leaving China and my love):

"This is how it works: you peer inside yourself,
you take the things you like
You laugh until you cry,
 you cry until you laugh,
and everyone must breathe,
until their dying breath. 
and try to love the things you took-
and then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart

Pumping someone else's blood"

I know it seems weird, but listen to the song and you will understand.  And then you will be on board with me potentially using that as the title to this post-China post. 

Finalist number three was "Things I Learned in China." It would have been a hilarious blog about the trials and tribulations of living as an ultra non-fluent foreigner in a foreign land.  But I am not yet ready to reminisce; the feelings are still too close to the surface.  Reminiscing in this case would probably mean tears; and tears in a NPS house full of girls is not a great idea.  Like at all.  Besides, the "Things I learned in China" list would probably be somewhat scary and potentially vomit inducing.  For example:  Things I learned in China: You can very clearly (crystal clearly) hear epic loogies hawked. Over a radio. In a cab... so over all of the traffic, music, jarring car noises... there's the omnipresent loogie.  

How could I possibly have chosen between the three?  The short answer is that I couldn't have.  There was just no way. 

So a big shout out to the JESUS CHRIST UNIVERSITY in Manteo NC for providing me with the most excellent substitute title of all time.  In case you were wondering, no- Stop, Drop, and Roll Won't Work in Hell.  Personally, that is a load off of my mind (I'm probably mixing some sayings together with that one).   Who knows what would have happened if I hadn't happened upon that particular sign while biking to the Family Dollar for an extension cord?  Would my immortal soul, confused on that point, be wasted in an eternity of stopping, dropping, and rolling?  Perhaps I would have gotten a free pass because of my own church's lack of clarity on the proper procedure for burning in Hell?

Welcome to my New World.  NPS Summer Season 2011: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo NC, 
Roanoke Island.  About two miles down from JCU- the apparent paragons of amazing spiritual advice. 

Cheers friends.  And think about investing in fire extinguishers, eh?