Some Christmas Thoughts

I’m supposed to be working on a talk for Sunday. I’m also supposed to be writing a toast for a friend’s wedding reception. But I just keep thinking about the past couple of days I spent with friends and family. Then I consider the past ten weeks I’ve been able to spend with these loved ones. I play a scene over and over in my head that hasn’t even happened yet, but will happen early Monday morning. It involves my mom and brother and the airport and, inevitably, tears. Gentle sobs catch in my throat now as I think of it.

Change is constant. Christ is constant, because he has endured all change, for all mankind. His birth and life and resurrection carved an example, forged a path for us to follow. A steady, strong, strenthening path. A clear, comforting, consistent path. It instills hope and fosters peace; it carries love. This love is unfailing; it inspires and uplifts and extends beyond mortal might. I’ve felt it especially here in Florida and from miles away. We are children of God. Stretched out still, Christ’s arm reaches down from the firmament and relieves my soul, teaching me all that I must do, so that I can grow from the change that awaits me, so I can continue to be grateful for friends and family who so ably and amply … love.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

The List, Part 2

Toss a ball
Fly a kite
Paddle a canoe (kayak)
Drive to Palmyra AND Niagara Falls – Canada!
Ride a bike (need to do again)
Explore a Governor’s Island (need to explore more)
Chillax on a beach
Enjoy Shakespeare in the Park
Enjoy more live music (ongoing)
Experience all the kinds of NYC hot dogs
Attend the circus and boardwalk at Coney Island
Camp in the woods
Hike on a trail
Sit and read in a park (could be ongoing)
Don’t get mad whenever my roommate’s half of the room explodes onto my half
Et cetera – what else should I do?

Summer is almost over.

Three Things About the Trip

1. Take what you can get
People give what they can
It’s not all about you
It’s not personal, except when it is
Recognize when it is
Isn’t that right, Canadian border patrol lady?

2. Give all you can
Moments matter
Because the people you love matter
And you never want to regret holding back
Especially when you’re one of the two people
Awake in the car
And the other person is driving

3. All time is quality time

I learned about geotagging on the iPhone. I learned a lot about other people and myself. I learned stuff that I’ll wait to write about, just because I need to think about it a while. Although this writing is vague, my heart is full, and my perspective is clear.

Also, if you ever get the chance to ride/drive a Nissan Cube, take it. You’ll get more attention than you could ever imagine.

Pictures to come. Maybe even video.

Thanks for a wonderful time.

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars

Officially, this is my first Independence Day as an American citizen. A draft of something lengthy and involved and emotional and largely unfinished sits on my laptop. I hope it emerges eventually.

I love this country. I love my freedoms here. I love the servicemen who devote their lives to keep this country safe and relatively secure. I love this country’s founding fathers and their vision. I want their vision, especially when we get things wrong.

I love my family and their sacrifice and unending support. I love my friends.

I love seeing new and different people every day, making eye contact that means we know we’re in the greatest country in history.

These thoughts are no different from previous years. But a friend reminded me yesterday of my citizenship, and I got excited, and I started clapping, and now there’s all this … power.

I’ve lived and worked and thought like an American for all of my life. People have assumed I was American for just as long.

And now I am. I wish I could describe it. There’s nothing like it.

Happy Independence Day. Happy July 4th. Share the excitement about being American.

I’m off to a picnic and maybe attempt to watch the fireworks. We’ll see.

Summer To-Do List

Toss a ball
Fly a kite
Paddle a canoe
Drive to Palmyra
Ride a bike
Explore a Governor’s Island
Chillax on a beach
Enjoy Shakespeare in the Park
Enjoy more live music
Experience all the kinds of NYC hot dogs
Attend the circus and boardwalk at Coney Island
Camp in the woods
Hike on a trail
Sit and read in a park
Don’t get mad whenever my roommate’s half of the room explodes onto my half
Et cetera

I love what’s crossed out. It happened this evening. All day, actually. Seriously, Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theater is amazing. This production was excellent, and it’s probably the best way to experience Shakespeare. Of course it deserves its own blog post. And I’d love to do it again, but maybe without all the waiting for 8 hours. I wonder how that would work.

My friends and I are working on what’s not crossed out yet. I’m working on one item in particular. Struggling with it, actually.

The Past 24 Hours

Let me start with 1,000 words:

Where else would I be looking? IN THE MIRRORS. What, you say? The mirrors are behind me? Guess what. They’re also where I’m looking in the photo. The mirrors facing each other showed infinite reflections. It’s a neat effect. I’m not deliberately ignoring the boy, if that’s what you’re thinking.

I’ll post more pictures later. It was a fun party. If you weren’t there, I wish you could have been.

Today, Becky and I:

-picked up a Zipcar at noon
-went to IKEA in Elizabeth, NJ (whenever I hear the name of that town, I think of my high school friend, Becky Fraser)
-shopped until 4:30, where we picked up 7′ bookcases and transported them ourselves
-shopped for other fun things for Becky’s new apartment, like a giant frosted vase that looks like a narrow flask
-dropped the IKEA things off at Becky’s new apartment around 5:00
-gathered some belongings I left behind and drove up to Inwood around 5:50
-returned the Zipcar around 7:00
-ate dinner
-moved the remaining things from the old apartment to Becky’s new apartment
-had one last sweep of the apartment
-walked toward the light switch by the door
-said goodbye to Kool-Aid man

I threw away Kool-Aid man
Then, Becky said something and put her hand on the light switch.
I put my hand on the light switch.
We turned off the light to that apartment together.
My eyes blinked away tears.
We closed the door behind us.
We turned in the keys.
We watched Flight of the Conchords on YouTube on Becky’s computer.
I came home.

Day one of 2009 was productive and tiring, but gratifying.

Too bad I have to work on day two.

Two Thousand Zero Zero … Nine

A string of white lights hang in an apartment. The apartment has four walls that are mirrors from floor to ceiling. The apartment has a closet whose doors have mirrored panels. This apartment is nearly empty, save for a table and chairs and a television and a Wii and some speakers and a Cuddlebag and a rug. Some party food sits along the ledge of the northwest window. Some soda sits in the refrigerator.

The apartment waits. It’s ready for a big party to happen.

New Year’s Eve.

We will party. We will nosh. We will fizzy-drink. We will Wii. We will dance.

2009, here we come.

2009. Oh, my gosh.

Am I even ready?