Tuesday, January 25, 2011

only those who know

something has been sticking with me.

i've been thinking about legacies - how we leave them, what kind of people are known for them, what does a legacy mean?

maybe the people most memorable and impacting are the ones who let us be ourselves. they aren't looking for a way to make their world easier, but other people's burdens lighter. they are searching for depth in another person's soul. they are listening to the long talks that aren't leading to a specific place, but may just understand the necessity of allowing a person to share. to be quiet and sit across from someone and let them unleash the harsh inner battles of thoughts that swirl around is to turn on a flashlight in a dark cave.

this past week made me think of people i have lost and the people around me who have lost friends as well. there is no way to explain pain enough to keep it from stinging. there is no prayer to make our tears stop when we simply have to mourn. there is no formula to protect your heart from breaking. somethings just have to be felt and processed and let to set their course. i will never understand that, but i'm trying to figure out how to accept it.

i really can only observe the people in my life and how they have faced these inexplicable experiences. i'm in awe of the leaders around me who continue to push through, persevere and yet allow themselves to cope. i don't understand how this works but i'm letting it become a truth. i read this quote by brennan manning that pretty much sums up how i have viewed the people around me:

"Only someone who has been there, who has drunk the dregs of our cup of pain, who has experienced the existential loneliness & alienation of the human condition, dares whisper the name of Holy to our unspeakable distress. Only that witness is credible; only that love is believable"

Monday, January 17, 2011

and it all came rushing in

tons of young voices. some excited. some groggy. some just a mere whisper. we're all new to this place once again. 63 twenty-something year olds are all about to embark on a semester of journeys - many different routes are to be taken, but they all lead to one goal.

i'm still trying to figure out how i am a "veteran" to working at invisible children, yet everything is completely new and completely different. they say that doing two tours is crazy - the exhaustion and the amount of energy put into one is enough to sleep for days on end after its all finished. our boss, zach, said the next four months is a sprint, not a marathon. ha! well, lets hope my lungs can withstand it.

i kind of picture it as the last two go's in the suicide running drill. if you've played basketball or soccer you know what i'm talking about. the back and forth running, time after time, one right after the next without much breathing room in between. its a drill you perform that expects you to give everything you have even when you're already exhausted, to finally reach that finish line.

but all sports analogies aside before i start sounding like a gatorade commercial...

here i am, alongside 17 other returners and 50 new roadies, working to end a war and provide means of safety for Congolese and Ugandan people. 12 hour work days are long, for sure. figuring out what it means to constantly work hard is still in progress, too. but without the practice there'd be nothing to show for it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


one thing that i'm excited to experience these next few months of my life is the return of north east accents into my daily routine. if only i could expand on the beauty of the nasally, elongated vowels, and yet sharp tone that spew from the phone receiver at the office! the beauty of the Tri-State culture that we'll come across is that they are much more globally conscious than Fran Drescher in "The Nanny" and yet probably have the ability to tear down any poorly skilled driver on the Jersey Turnpike. i'm ready for their strikingly different ways of operation compared to the long drawals and fluctuating tone of the southerners i'm so used to being around.

below is a song from the movie Garden State. the woman's voice is hilarious and eloquent. i mean, what isn't classy about a Lionel Richie cover? anyways, it gives you a taste of what it's like during my conversations at work.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

mirrors, lakes, minds

i'm listening to a mix called quiet nights. i'm reminded that reflection isn't only for mirrors or placid lakes, it's for our souls, our minds, our hearts. looking over what you've experienced.

i've only been home, or whatever you call my location (seeing as how it changes weekly), for around 3 weeks now. i'm on the brink of leaving again for 6 months and entering into a fast paced, ever changing environment. i could spend this time reflecting on my internship, my travels, my experiences this semester, but instead i want to reflect on the people in my life.

there is no doubt in my mind that the song "Georgia On My Mind" was written because of the way this place resonates in your heart even after you've been gone. i, for one, can attest to the fact that the people i know are one's you'd write books about. characters in stories that are loyal, dependable, deep in character - that sort. these fictitious representations are mere shadows of the people i know and have met and have lived life with. when i leave you, i cry because i love you. you are forever in my heart as some of the most impacting people in my life. i wouldn't be here without you.

you are the Atticus Finch, the Charlie, the Denver Moore, the Samwise, the Ron Weasley & Hermione Grainger. you don't just make me feel good on a bad day or share the same interests - you're the challengers, the stubborn friend who won't let someone keep doing dumb things. you're dedicated, loving, and yet completely unique and true to who you are. to the few chosens - i love you. i need you. i respect you. and i'm excited for you.

until we reunite again.