Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lucky Shot (147/365)

Whoa!  My hermit crab was too distracted by her strawberry to notice that I was taking her picture.  I never knew that she even liked strawberries so much!  She rolled the entire berry out of the seashell food dish and was pulling off bite-size pieces with her claw.   Pretty adorable, huh?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This is who I am (145/365)

Well, that sounds like a terribly smarmy ad for athletic shoes, doesn't it?   But as I was looking at my shoes just now I felt that way.

I wish I could have taken pictures on my run this evening.  It was gorgeous and perfect, and it came at just the right time.  While I walked home from work I was talking to my mom, and she could hear the noises from the busses and honking cars.  She asked me if I was loving the bustling city life (which I got hooked on after my first field trip here in sixth grade).   "Um, no." I said.  "Not the noises.  I tolerate them, but I don't like them.  I like City of Constant Noises, but it's stressful living here."  And I snuffled. And Mom listened.  And then I told her I needed to go running before it got dark out.

There are so many things I love about my gorgeous hometown in my Peach Blossoms and Tidewater State, but the best thing is probably our parks.  I could spend an entire summer running with my dark-haired friend and hardly have to repeat trails.  The earth is soft and the green branches hang over each path and the sunlight is dappled over us.  It's thrilling yet familiar, and I miss those trails.  But Peach Blossoms and Tidewater State does not have the other amenities that City of Bustling Noise does, like round-the-clock access to public transportation and vegetarian restaurants, so I'm here.

So I laced up my shoes and I struck out to our Steel Grey River, my soles padding softly against the sidewalk, across the pedestrian crossing to the riverfront park. I was surprised at the beauty. The trees were bursting with leaves, and the Steel Grey River looked deep, sea blue.  I broke off from the asphalt, and heard its waves against the rocks.  I found an earthen path between the ball fields and the water, and I smelled the clover and the honeysuckle.  It was the kind of experience I couldn't get most of the time in Shrimp Town, and I felt relieved. It was joyous.

My high school cross-country coach used to tell us that he felt most successful when he bumped into one of his students years later and she said she was still running.   I left off running for a little while but this fall a new friend I made encouraged me to run with her, and it stuck.  It felt like a homecoming.  Running became part of me, and running now makes me feel like me.  I'm a person who runs.  And as I looked at the little bit of mud caked on the back of my Asics, I thought, "This is who I am."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lonely Leche (143/365)

Well, it's happened: my love affair with Lärabars is over.  I usually go to Whole Foods after Irish class and stock up for the week.  I also occasionally treat myself to dumplings from the salad bar and two Lärabars.   I was excited because the Whole Foods in the edgy, really hip area of City of Keeping of Appearances sells them for a dollar, so I assumed that the Whole Foods by my class did, too.  And I don't check my receipts.  But today I only needed to buy milk, so I definitely noticed when my total was much higher than it should have been.  $1.79 for smashed dates, yes, smashed dates with an alluring Key Lime Pie flavor, but none the less smashed dates?!?  No, I'm not paying that.  (I will, however, spend $4 on a dish of frozen yogurt later this week.)  So my milk is lonely tonight.

Also, there are a lot of opportunities for other people to think I'm looney.  First, I stand on the platform taking pictures of  a bottle of milk inside a paper bag, over and over until I'm satisfied with the lighting.  Then I get on the train and take out my Irish homework.  It's impossible to study without moving my mouth.  There I sit, mouthing "Beidh mé ag dul go dtí Baile Átha Cliath amárach ar a trí a chlog," until I think I can say all the words.  What must people think of me?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Startling (140/365)

Remember the farm share?  Well, I used my portion of the giant sweet potatoes, and there was a potato left, which I left in the milk crate underneath the kitchen table.  It was one of those situations, I think, where each roommate thought the potato belonged to someone else.  (I know for a fact, though, that it wasn't my potato!)  So it went on living in the milk crate.

My roommate took some of the crates back today, and the potato emerged.  


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Peace (137/365)

I feel at peace today.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Great Night (129/365)

What a great night! First was Irish class; then Whole Foods had whoopie pies,* and I got a new tin of strawberry-chocolate red bush tea on sale.  Then I had a movie waiting for me when I got home. Brilliant.

*Love ya, Maine, but I'm siding with Pennsylvania on this one.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

pillows (125/365)

ohmigosh I'm so TIRED!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tenement (124/365)

This window is frosted and I never see out of it.  Sometimes our cleaning lady opens the glass and I'm always startled to see into the court yard, to see all the windows, ledges, and walls.  How many people look out on this courtyard?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Script (123/365)

I'm so excited to be taking a class on the Irish language.  Opportunities like this are exactly why I moved to the Big City.   I'm learning to speak Irish for no practical purpose - just because I want to, and I love it.  We're not learning the old-fashioned Gaelic script - Irish has been modernised now, but I looked it just because it was beautiful.   This picture comes with my apologies to real Irish speakers who I'm sure can find plenty of mistakes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Human Dignity (122/365)

I feel thoughtful today, and my heart feels heavy.  The reports of gallivanting, celebrating crowds are distressing.  I don't feel jubilant at the news of Bin Laden's death; I feel distressed.  

I don't see what there is to celebrate from a practical standpoint, as Osama anticipated, even welcomed, his death (or his martyrdom, as he saw it) and was surely training others to take his place. 

I don't see what there is to rejoice in from a spiritual or moral standpoint. How can my heart rejoice in anyone's death?  If I don't rejoice in the death of the innocent or the death of heroes, why rejoice in the death of a sinner?  Why exult in anyone's (assumed, not assured) damnation?

The only reason to celebrate is out of vengeance, and I don't believe that's worth celebrating.  Vengeance is satisfying - it feels like justice.  Reveling in vengeance is tempting and instinctual, but as humans we have the capacity and the grace to train our hearts for compassion and to leave vengeance behind.

My best friend emailed me first thing this morning. She said the whole thing made her wonder what kind of world we're trying to create. My own question is a little nuance of that: 
HOW do we think we're creating the world we want?  Do we think we can sow violence and reap peace (to use a cliché)?  You know that saying about television, "The medium is the message?"  I think with peacebuilding, the method is the vision.  Can we approach our policy as the work of peacemaking itself, instead peace as the end, achieved through any means necessary? I hope that we can come to see that we ARE creating our world with each action, so if we want peace, we have to ACT peace all along the way.

This wasn't the picture I was looking for today.  It was so overcast, and I felt so overcast.  But I came across this scene on my way home tonight.  There was that group of friends staying to laugh and talk — just a little bit longer! — in the mist.  A boy slouched on a post, deep in a cell phone conversation, talking urgently.  A couple stood at the edge of the sidewalk, turned just a little bit in toward each other, and waited for their cab.  They looked exhausted.  There was a crush of people streaming from the subway.  In the background the fountain glowed green and hummed.  It seemed to be asking us to celebrate the people around us.  

Celebrate it!  There's so much life, so much good in humanity, this broken, redeemed, saved race.

This fall I was stuck in infernal traffic on my way to City Where the Water Bends. I needed to pick up an order of cupcakes before the bakery closed, and time was ticking away. "Damn it all!" I swore aloud, and immediately and urgently repented.  I've never shaken the fear I got when I was small and we asked our catechist why "damn" was a swear word.  She told us that when we wish damnation on someone it's our own souls that are in danger.


This is what we pray in every decade of the Rosary:

O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! Come, Holy Spirit, and dwell in the hearts of your people!

Sunday, May 1, 2011