Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ask the Clock.

A while ago, someone asked my what is my favorite time of day.

"Night."  I answered almost immediately.  A night owl, post-sunset is when I do most at home.  Running, walking, cleaning, cooking...all done in an audience of stars.  Nighttime, when the city is sleeping, its breathing barely detected among the empty sidewalks and flickering street lamps.

But then I reconsidered, remembering tranquil mornings at university.  The mornings (though few) where I got up before an 8am class and wondered why I didn't get up that early every day.  The mornings I still felt a chill in the air and dew gripped onto the grass for a few more precious moments before the sun warmed it away.

And then it came to me.  I don't have one specific favorite time of day.  It isn't the time that matters, it's the feeling.  It's the calamity I love, the quiet times where the rest of the world has either already fallen asleep or is not yet stirring.  I love the power of the silence, the creeping cold of those hidden hours.  I love the time that I have to my thoughts alone, to ponder, to wonder, to dream.

It is in those hours that I have been broken, yet it is in those hours that I have again been made whole. 

Let the world sleep.  It is my time.

Monday, May 14, 2012

On Stargirl and Hope.

I've been home from university for one week.  Yet still, my floor is a maze of loose books and papers that I have yet to go through.  My clothing is put away in my closet, but that's the extent of it.  I should probably finish,  but lately I've been focused on other things.  I'm rediscovering the friends I have here, those friends who I barely talk to when we're all away at school but who fall back into old routines when we all get together again in the summer.  And I'm rereading my favorite book of all time.  The fact that I even have a favorite book is quite a feat, considering I was raised by a teacher and a librarian.  But I do.


I don't know if any of you have read Stargirl or its sequel, Love, Stargirl.  They are written by Jerry Spinelli for a middle and high school audience.  Each is an incredibly easy read, but a very moving one.  Stargirl is a selfless soul, a homeschooler experiencing the cruelty of public school for the first time.  Her kindness is unwelcome to the other students, who attack her for her difference.  Despite everything, though, she learns to cry for herself for the first time when she falls in love with a boy who can't handle her intensity.

Stargirl is a story that makes you think, makes you wonder.  How is it that students can be so mean?  How can they look at someone so kind, so incredibly enigmatic, and hate her for it?  What does it say about humankind, that even the strongest people can be broken by love?  That even as they live their own life, they can never really forget that complete happiness, can never stop wishing it hadn't ended?  That the most beautiful people can be the most broken?

And yet, what I take away most from Stargirl is her hope.  No matter how few pebbles she has left in her happy wagon, she can always remember a time when it was full, and knows that one day it could be again.  Hope, I think, is the most important of all emotions.  It is, after all, the only positive thing to have escaped from Pandora's box.  No matter how bad life gets, no matter how we are treated by people we considered friends, no matter how depressed we may be, hope is always there.  As long as we can remember a time of happiness, we know it can happen again.  What was possible will remain possible.  So I try to live by Stargirl's hope, to remember but not to dwell, and to look towards a future that is to be discovered.

"Let’s just be fabulously where we are and who we are. You be you and I’ll be me, today and today and today, and let’s trust the future to tomorrow. Let the stars keep track of us. Let us ride our own orbits and trust that they will meet. May our reunion be not a finding but a sweet collision of destinies!"

Live as it comes, right?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Re-Introduction.


I almost don't know where to start.  It's been such a long time since I wrote this blog, originally meant only to document my one year adventure as an exchange student in Belgium and Luxembourg.  Maybe I'll start there, then, with an explanation.

This blog was originally intended to be temporary, a window into my life for the year that I was away from my home country.  It served to give friends and family at home an idea of what I got up to while across the Atlantic, and then,briefly, to be a way for me to express the challenges of coming back to the States.  The thing is, since I came back, there seemed to be no point in writing about my life for the people at home.  I was home.

Or, at least, I was back where I started.

But that's not quite the same thing.  For many who go abroad, there is a culture shock upon returning.  But most students eventually get used to being home, because they've always considered where they are home and continue to.  For some, though, the culture shock never really ends.  We get used to living somewhere, but we no longer quite feel like we fit.  It no longer feels like home, as it did before.  As for me, it's taken two semesters of emotions ranging from wild happiness and satisfaction to intense depression and hurt, two semesters of confusion and wondering, two semesters to realize that I simply don't know where home is anymore.

And so, this blog will change with my ideas.  Rather than just being a place to stay in touch with people "back home," as it was before, it becomes a place to document exploration, adventure, rants, emotions.  The idea is no longer to document outings, though there will be documentations of outings.  It is no longer temporary, though certainly not everything will be permanent.  It is not a place where I mean to be followed, though some following may happen.

No, as I come to the close of my first year at university and throw myself yet again into the arms of the unknown, this blog is given new purpose.

It becomes a place to document my search for home.