I’m the one in the corner, the one with the pointy hat

What have I learned in the last 10 days? Drawing is really hard. It’s even harder in a class full of people who have taken lessons before. Luckily there are a few of us who actually are beginners taking BEGINNING DRAWING. Since we are in the minority though, I can understand why the teacher prefers to pitch the class slightly towards those who are more proficient. It just makes me feel like such a useless bag of cement. I spend at least half of the 3 hour class cajoling myself into sticking with it. A rather dismayingly large part of me wants to quit because I am not immediately proficient. Tsk, tsk. That will never do.

I have also learned that Feminist Philosophy is going to piss me off, without fail, no matter how hard I try to keep it in the realm of the mind. Why does it bother me so much? Not for the obvious reasons. Not because it reminds me of Sexism or Injustice in general. Not because it makes me angry about the oppression of women. (Though really, those things are enough) It’s because at our core we are all the same element, our souls are made up of the same ephemeral stuff. It’s only in this hard and fast physical moment that we are translated into Male and Female. Part of me absolutely delights in the differences that this translation brings. What I abhor is the value that our (American/Western) society places on these differences. Why is analytical skill or aggression more highly valued than nurturing or communication? It may be politically correct to say that it isn’t, but if you look at the bottom dollar it absolutely is. Might=Right. It just aggravates the heck out of me. Maybe it’s hard wired into our DNA.

I’ve learned that I still love fencing, and want to be better at it, passionately. I am setting aside some of my $ to get a bit of decent equipment. That’s IT.

I’ve learned that I am in a class of poets, all of whom have different voices. A few of them awe me and I find them delightful reading. I look forward to reading more. I think I would feel a lot worse about my own poetry if I wrote it for anything other than catharsis and self-revelation. Luckily I am a hack and I can live with that.

I’ve learned that you can overcome your fear of speaking French badly in public. Especially in a room full of other people speaking French badly in public. 🙂 I just read that there is a J-term trip to France to study French. Beginners encouraged. Sigh. I would love to indulge myself in that. But I am pretty sure such a thing is impossible for someone like me. The cost will likely be prohibitive. I would be blessed to get the paid internship in DC. The idea of going to France for a month to study a language is a fantasy land kind of thing.

I’ve been looking for a place to live while searching for a used car since my mom will probably be moving to Richmond at the end of the month. It’s kind of scary and kind of exciting at the same time. I got to work at a wedding last weekend on Saturday night. They married in the courtyard and then came upstairs for the reception. It was very romantic. They danced to the theme from Ice Castles.

The night before was a huge party called First Friday’s. The club featured a live band called The Kings. It was fun to work the event and listen to the music. It was largely a matter of dancing around the guests to the songs, getting drinks and singing softly under your breath. Kind of fun. The guests were truly champion imbibers however. I was a little shocked/impressed? I would be in the ER with alcohol poisoning if I attempted to match them.

I’ve come to the startling conclusion that something curious is happening in the middle of my chest. To that organ of fire and mystery, that unruleable, immutable, explosion of heat and light where love resides. How dim its light had grown, banked to embers, soothed to silence and serenity. Lately though, there’s been a breath of air, a stirring, a flicker, a flame. Where before I could ignore it, content that no danger of combustion threatened, now I sense unruly desire. Its a matter of moments for my ear to hear a sound, a voice, linger on cheek or lip and suddenly it is a nova, an inferno, consuming me. As if it had not rested idly, softly, innocently, but instead husbanded all its strength, gathered itself to burst forth intoxicated by the object of devotion. I am left perplexed, amazed and quite at the mercy of this wayward heart. There is no choice of course but to risk all, come what may. That is my nature. I can no more change it than I can stop breathing or blinking. I know pain, I know loss, and I know I can survive it. Even the smallest joy is worth great loss. If you have the courage to take it.

Luckily that isn’t something I lack. Tact-yes, courage- no. Hee Hee.

One more quick note for my own monitoring purposes, I have already lost 5lbs since the start of school. (Including the week before the official start date) If things continue as per usual that means without continued real attentiveness I have exactly 5 weeks before I cross the NO GO line. (100lbs) It is my sincere hope that the intense workouts with fencing and PE will build enough new muscle to compensate for any loss so that I don’t drop below 100lbs.

This Sunday is Welcome Back Sunday and we get to wear special T-shirts to church and sign up for new stuff. I am reading the Prayers of the People and serving Chalice at the 10:00 a.m. so that will be fun. Then next weekend is the first week of new Sunday school, and new service times, we will now have an 11:00 a.m. service! It’s also the first Fall gathering with Dinner and we (The Canterbury Society) will be bringing in Dick Schmidt (Editor of Forward Day by Day) for an event at Hollins the following day so he will preach at that service.

All in all, many new threads to weave into my life and contemplate. I feel a great desire to spend some time swimming. I wish I could run away to Douthat for an afternoon swim or even better the Gulf. How I crave the salt embrace of its waters. A part of me is always longing, reaching for it inside.

Time for me to head home and seek a meal of some kind, work on my French and Philosophy homework and write a little poetry.

Au’ Revoir

Euphoria or Exhaustion? They feel kinda the same…

My daughter called me from Clearwater, Florida yesterday morning to say that she was enjoying day one of married life, literally at the beach. 🙂 Mom, Aunt Anne and I went to Downtown Disney yesterday afternoon. I had a fantastic fresh caramel apple and then we went to see Tropic Thunder. OK, I habitually fall in love with Robert Downey Jr. every time I see him. Even though he plays a couple of different people in the film, his presence is so electrifying. Especially near the end when you see him with blond hair and Siberian Husky blue eyes. Not his normal look but wow, a good one. The movie was shocking, funny, action packed and worth a second viewing. I found myself laughing at parts of it hours later. After the movie we went to the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant, a place called Jiko or The Cooking Place. I had corn chowder with Meyer lemon creme fraiche, vanilla Rooibos tea and BBQ chicken flat bread. The chowder was light and flavorful with a garnish of slightly dehydrated corn that was a little chewy. It gave it a nice texture in contrast to the smooth base of the soup. It was nicely spiced with plenty of black pepper and a little fresh fennel. Vanilla Rooibos is my favorite non-caffeinated tea. Yummy!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a lesser known resort on Disney property, yet it’s one of the most magical. They have night vision safaris for the hotel guests and the property abuts the animal sanctuary of Animal Kingdom so your room can overlook the “Serengeti Plain” portion of the park. You can wake to see antelopes grazing. It’s built on a grand scale, similar to the Wilderness Lodge in its scope and the vaulting of the ceiling in the lobby area. Truly a destination even if you aren’t staying on property.

This morning we checked out, dropped off the rental car and then my Aunt Anne drove us to the Venezuelan restaurant called Q’Kenan I found online for lunch. It was heavenly. I had cachapas with Guyanesa cheese. This is a cheese that is native to Venezuela, in fact it is illegal to export. Luckily the owner of the restaurant knows how to make and its produced locally. I never thought I’d taste it again. I also had a little bit of an arepa with carne mechada, a kind of corn cake sliced open on the side with spiced shredded beef. We had yucca frita and cafe con leche, a strong Venezuelan coffee with steamed milk. I even had a little bit of Frescolita, a strawberry soda. I took home some Venezuelan chocolate for another day. It’s just been a fabulous time.

I look forward to church tomorrow. I’ve missed my ministers. I’ve also missed my little Tucker dog who I will see tonight.

Quick Note

Hello from Orlando. I am now a mother-in law of a wonderful son-in-law and of course still mother to my beautiful daughter. The ceremony was joyful and the party was about 6 hours long. She wore three different intricate, breathtaking dresses that were hand sewn in Morocco. I will post pictures of them soon. Mom, my Aunt Anne and I went to Downtown Disney after the party last night and had a stiff drink (Jameson’s for me) at the Irish pub to toast the happy couple. Of course, in the Muslim religion there is no drinking so they knew nothing about it. 🙂 The pub, called Raglan Road, had a live Irish band and step dancer. Tonight we are going to see Tropic Thunder, check out a restaurant at the Animal Kingdom resort and might go to the Adventurer’s Club one last time since they are closing it forever in September.

This morning I woke up and had a nice cup of Harney and Sons English Breakfast before going to meet my dear friend Aimee from Universal for lunch at Bubbaloos bar-b-que. One of our old faves. Unbelievably, our first boss at Universal who we had both lost touch with, just happened to sit next to us. Talk about serendipity. That was great. I loved catching up with both of them and hope to see Aimee and her family  more often now that Bonnie is married. I would like to try and visit a little more often.

My good friend Hugh let me know that Tucker attended the Community Living Club meeting, a social club for mentally challenged adults in our community that I volunteer at, that took place at church yesterday and livened up the party. I was so happy to hear that. He’s such a good dog. I am about to go to a gourmet dog bakery and get him a special treat.

I only have internet access at a local Panera and since I am always accompanied by my aunt and mom I am limited by my alloted time. I also forgot my cell phone charger so I am rationing my cell phone use. I picked up one of those battery operated quick chargers but it is sporadic and not entirely dependable.