The Fertile Fields of Our Soul

I’m working today (horror of all horrors) but thought that I would post a new entry while I was here, slaving away at my mother’s desk while the students complete pages of paperwork. Muahahahaha. I love substituting for my mom, since I know exactly what she expects, and she always leaves the students plenty to do (the less I have to hear them speak, the less I have to be discouraged by the current state of our students and society in general).

I spoke of change in my last few blogs, and how I’ve been patiently waiting for Synchronicity. Of course, it’s too early to determine anything, but I feel it finally happening. The wind is shifting, and the light is bursting through the cracks of the doors in my life. I’m blinded by the occasional glimpse of Beauty awaiting me. I’m hopeful, and I’m smiling in the inside… all the time. I can’t sleep at night, because I’m bombarded with Hope and anticipation. When I do sleep, my dreams reflect my hopes, and I wake with the blurriness of pseudo-reality becoming Real.

I’m happy to be alive again.

My last post was a poem – “Meanwhile, You and I.” I still haven’t recovered from this piece; it was formed straight from the fibers of my soul, and I am honored that I was allowed to create art with my words. It had been a while since I had written something new, and I was glad to have the dam finally burst again, upon the page. I never cease to garner great happiness from writing… nothing in the world makes me feel more alive, or to believe I have any truer purpose.

One of my dear friends has been hurting lately, overwhelmed by this life and the realities it offers us. Financial and emotional entanglements are strangling her, holding her back from her purpose. She is beautiful, and filled with such promise and light. I want her to break through the walls that hold her back, and press herself upon the world in a powerful way. She has the power to redefine her reality, and I think she is becoming aware of this. I want to be by her side as she comes alive. I am so proud of all that she is, and I hurt when she hurts.

If only I could ease everyone’s pain, just a little. Perhaps then we could all breathe for a moment, and with that breath offer the world a bit of Peace.

Someone new has come into my life and validated my soul. I wanted to share this, for it has added new wonderment and joy to my life. I feel as though my soul is reflected in another, and this offers me hope for the future, and the knowledge that I am not alone.

When we find this reflection in another, it is a glimpse into the earthen depths of our lives, into the grace that is God, and the gift that is our souls.

I am quite obviously slipping into my “purple prose” for this entry, something I have been critiqued for by every English teacher I have ever had (save one or two). I can only hope that I am slowly stripping myself of cliche, and other such saccharine sweetness, and rather delving in the deliciousness of the soil – the vibrating richness of the world.

For we all need a little poetry in our lives. 

We all need a little randomn love and beauty.

  

The Grand Ole Opry

It’s really something interesting to drive (and walk) around the country by yourself. Every step is new, each rock is completely yours to touch, every bird yours to notice, and the sound of the water is yours alone to hear. I can stop when I want, take pictures of what I want, eat when I want, and find myself hilarious whenever I want.

I’m really a fantastic traveling companion. Haha. 🙂

Panda might tell you otherwise. But don’t listen to her. I mean really, she’s a panda.

Went to the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night. Couldn’t believe I was actually there. While I was outside in the park, listening to the outdoor band and sitting on a bench, I realized how strange it can be to be alone in moments like that. Literally everyone has people they are talking to and laughing with and discussing things with. Occasionally, conversations can happen with strangers, but they’re often over-rated and sometimes even annoying. And I wasn’t feeling lonely or left out, it was simply an awareness of being by myself whereas everyone else was together.

Walking into the Opry House was beyond thrilling. You could feel the history and the music in the air. It’s a gorgeous building; I wish it was still located in The Ryman, but you can’t have everything.

Dwight Yoakam was the main performer, and I was beyond excited to finally see him in person. It was his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry in over 16 years! Furthermore, his latest album is “Dwight Sings Buck Owens” – Buck being my favorite all-time singer, so I was basically in heaven. Dwight, dancing around with his skin-tight pants and ridiculous moves, twangy voice and tan cowboy hat. He was excellent, as was the entire evening. I admit it – I teared up at one point, overwhelmed by the fact that I was where I was, when I was, feeling how I was… just everything was perfect.

I also want to mention that on my way to the Opry House, my Magellan GPS system was telling me what to do, like the bitch that she is, and I had to laugh out loud when she said “Turn right onto Grand Olee Road” – stressing the long ‘e’- almost making an olé out of it. Hehehe.

See, these are the things that entertain me when I’m by myself.



Last Evening in Ellijay

It’s two in the morning, and I’m far too tired for this (after two hours on the phone with Jason!), but I’m annoyed at myself that I haven’t blogged more lately. I’ve certainly had the time – sitting here, relaxing in the beautiful mountains. However, I have been lame and puttered away my evening hours rather than writing marvelous works of literary nonfiction.

The last few days have been delightful. Needless to say, my entire stay here in Ellijay has been heaven. Lisa and Doug are ridiculously wonderful people, and I couldn’t be happier here with them. I am completely at peace, and have spent more time talking about things that matter, and laughing, than I have in years.

This evening I looked in the mirror, and saw myself. It only lasted about 10 seconds or so, but there I was. I haven’t had that experience much in the past year – usually I see a stranger, and it saddens (often frightens) me, but today I glanced up, and there I was. And I smiled in a way I haven’t smiled in months, and I wanted to run outside and hug a tree.

Much like the way LISA hugged a tree yesterday at Amicalola Falls (okay fine I hugged the tree, too, I was just trying to implicate her). It was a gorgeous park, and we hiked up the 164 steps, and took lovely pictures, and all we needed was a picnic and a puppy and the world would have been perfect. 🙂

Afterwards, we headed over to Dahlonega, which was the location of the first gold rush here in Georgia. It was a quaint little place, and we went into the stores and looked at all the knickknacks, and Doug was our knave and carried our water bottles, and life was basically beautiful for the entire day. AND I bought myself a cowboy hat! And, yes, I am as happy about that as that exclamation point implies. 🙂

So tomorrow I’m hitting the road again – this time will be the hardest it’s been for me to leave a place. I could honestly stay here for the rest of my life, and be happy, but I know there is a whole entire world out there for me to see, and I’m looking forward to continuing this beautiful journey. I’ll have to make sure to keep in touch with Lisa, because her words remind me of all the peaceful, soulful things inside me, and our beliefs and dreams line up so well. I’ve never been more inspired to continue being myself, and to pursue all the things that my soul whispers for me to do.

Tomorrow is Tennessee. People have really rallied to my aid, and I have two people in Knoxville willing to take me in, and a writer in Nashville waiting for me on Thursday. I’m looking forward, now that I am well rested and rejuvenated, to meeting new people and feeling that feeling of randomness again. As much as I love security and comfort, it’s a great experience to push myself further, stretch myself into new realms. Much like the yin and the yang that I was talking with Lisa about the other day – that delicate balance between pleasure and pain. That point where one is stretching past the point of comfort, but at the same time feeling a beautiful balance and one-ness with the body, and the earth.

Oh goodness, I almost forgot to mention. This morning (which for me was the middle of the night) at 6 AM, the fire alarm went off, and I was shocked out of sleep. Simultaneously, strangely enough, a huge thunder and lightning storm was happening outside, so it seemed as thought my entire world was in chaos. I was completely confused, but after checking in with Lisa that everything was all right, I returned to my bedroom and proceeded to pull up all the shades and let the outside into the inside. There are six large windows in the room, so it felt like I was in the middle of the storm, and it was amazing to sit there with the lightning flashing and the thunder booming. I tried to pinpoint the place on my body where I felt the thunder (yes these are the types of things I’ve been doing) and I discovered that the thunder resonated deeply within my ribcage, spanning across my abdomen. It was powerful and wonderful, and completely thrilling. I stayed awake with Panda for as long as my eyes could manage, until I fell back asleep, the sound of deep rumbling in my ears.

‘Tis enough for now, I must rest. Tomorrow is a big day, and I need to be prepared for driving through the Smokey Mountain National Park and checking out the ridiculousness that is Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. 🙂


Interconnectedness, Day 8

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

– John Muir

Am I supposed to understand the intricacies of the human heart? No, I am not. However, I am willing to keep learning and growing, and each day understanding the world and human relationships a bit more. Or perhaps never understanding, and learning to accept that, as well. Regardless, I find it fascinating how one twist in the strands can tint a moment different shades, and leave you unable to sleep for hours.

But enough of that. I am vacating North Carolina today, and traipsing down to Hilton Head, South Carolina
to see my friend, Sarah, and spend some time with her there. She recently moved, and she seems excited to (a) have a visitor and (b) have that visitor be me. Sarah is someone whom I have known my whole life, but the social networks involved in growing up always kept us a few steps apart. However, when I do spend time with her, I see many more layers to her than meets the eye, and I feel that we have grown to respect and care for each other a good deal, even if it’s often from afar. So it will be nice to get to know each other a little better, and have a little fun. Sarah likes to have fun, and I’m not really accustomed to that, so it will be interesting to do something different, haha.

Last night I had an interview with a company from Beijing, China. A couple weeks ago I sent out an application, interested in teaching English abroad. Corey thinks the idea is stupid, and I can’t help but understand where he’s coming from. 😛 I was thinking – no matter where I spent my coming year, if it was outside Massachusetts, it would be an entire new world for me. So it is not really necessary to displace myself so extremely as to go to China. However, I will give the idea consideration. They were impressed with my resume, and such an experience would only develop me more profoundly.

Yesterday was an invigorating day. I went for another walk (this time for almost 2 hours) behind Corey & Laura’s condo complex. Each day, I find new paths and new pictures… and it’s just amazing how every hour, each minute, holds something new and beautiful. Nature can teach us so many priceless lessons, if we are only willing to pay attention. And judging by my photography, I have definitely been a star student. I can not stop taking pictures, and doing so has made me ridiculously happy. Each time I capture beauty behind the lens, I feel ready to jump out of my skin with happiness. It’s comforting to know that writing isn’t the only medium through which I can paint. 🙂

After my walk, I decided to shower and go see something new in the town of Raleigh, NC. So I put on one of my new dresses (yay, dresses!) and pressed a bunch of numbers on my GPS, and found my way to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It was there that I… learned stuff. Haha. It was nice to take my time and look at the exhibits, and realize that I was far from home, learning stuff. 😛

Following the museum, I made my way to the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University. At first I was unimpressed with the gardens, but then as I wandered further into them, a whole universe of colors and light and smells was opened to me. I took about 600 pictures in two hours (ridiculous, I know). I played with light and colors and my new macro lens, and was basically in heaven. My favorite part was taking off my sandals and feeling the grass and dirt beneath my feet, and finding the hidden secrets of the flowers.

I’m getting stronger every day. Stronger, and happier, and more confident. I even felt pretty yesterday (shock of all shocks!), so we know that this trip has already helped me in many ways. When I left Massachusetts, I couldn’t have been much weaker, in spirit and in song. Already, the layers of my happiness and my hope have begun to warm themselves in the sun. I could not be more grateful for this opportunity to feel alive again.

Blackwolf Run Lane, NC

I woke up this morning (okay… early afternoon) and took a walk through the paths behinds Corey and Laura’s condominium. I’m so glad I did… it was just delightful. Yes, delightful.

It took me about 30 minutes to walk the first half mile, since approximately every ten feet I felt the need to traipse through the grass and practically fall into the swamp trying to get pictures of every little chirp and breeze. My efforts, however, paid off, since I’m in love with some of the pictures I was able to capture.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way a day can be made complete with the capturing of at least one transcendent picture 🙂

My most ridiculous moment of the day definitely goes to midway through my walk, when I was snapping photos, and heard a rustling in the woods. I stopped, listened, and there it was: a loud rustling, definitely a large creature of some sort. I became slightly concerned for my safety, and considered hurrying along. At the same time, I was intrigued, and readied my camera. The rustling got louder and louder, and the anticipation was almost too much. I prepared for either a great picture or my imminent death. This is what I got:

Yes, it was a turtle.

Yes, I felt the fool.

But I swear, that little sucker sounded like a bear.

Anyway, I followed random paths through the woods, and was rewarded with beautiful gifts. 🙂


The rest of the day consisted of P.F. Chang’s with the neighbors, who are the kindest people, and a bit of shopping (where I discovered I have not outgrown my dress addiction). Later on, Corey and I went grocery/gift shopping at Walmart, where I attempted to drive him crazy with my annoying quirks… but he was undeterred. He definitely has me outdone on the annoying quirks front! 🙂

Gosh, am I happy to have met him. He is an angel in my life. And you would think that after years of annoying each other, the beauty would have worn off… but it certainly has not. It is merely validated to me each time I speak with him that he is one of the truly good men in the world. And we can add to his attributes that he is an amazing father. Gabby just drools all over him. Literally.

But Gabby drools all over everything, so perhaps that’s not a good judge of character.


I’m very happy. Happier than I’ve been in God knows how long. I have HOPE for the future, which is something I haven’t experienced in so long I stopped remembering how it felt.

It feels like sunshine and lollipops.

And I was thinking… I have enough money, and resources, and friends, and an uncanny ability to get random jobs… that I could probably extend this trip for… at least a couple years.

😛