norway, part seven: the final chapter

Thursday, December 18, 2014

ice skating on a real lake (!!!!) 

one final look goodbye to the barnehage

marzipan animal workshop

so much snow.

if you are ever in trondheim, go to this restaurant! some of the best best best food I've gotten in norway.

summed up, what I have learned is to:

"Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child."
-Soyen Shaku

norway, part six: parents week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

(or as this blog post should probably be called: photos that my mom took that I borrowed from her nice camera)

recharged. refueled. feeling so much love.
You have within you more love than you could ever understand.” - Rumi

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"The art of life is to stay wide open and be vulnerable, yet at the same time to sit with the mystery and the awe and with the unbearable pain — to just be with it all. I’ve been growing into that wonderful catchphrase, “be here now,” for the last forty years. Here and now has within it a great richness that is just enough." - Ram Dass

excerpts of now

Monday, November 3, 2014

twenty. almost twenty-one, but not quite.

this is life now.

lots of autumn walks to coffe-shops. alone. down the hill two miles, up the hill two miles. latte in hand on the way back up.

insulated boots that she wears every day slipping through leaves and past homes painted blue and red and orange -- their doors adorned with twig wreaths.

outside in the dark, she makes kindling for a morning fire. chops a log into fine bits, takes the knife and peels back thin slices. nature's fire-starting-newspaper.

they will drink tea and coffee around this fire. started with one match. she feels accomplished.

sometimes the children's hands are warm, but sometimes they are cold. either way, they are so small, and they fit into her hand as they go on chilly hikes.

she knows what they mean when point and say, "go."
but she also knows what they mean when they run up and hug her in the morning, in their down, puffy jackets.
or when she tells one of them goodbye for the day, and the little girl pauses for a moment… will she get off her bike and give her a hug goodbye?
no, today is an air high-five. "give me five!"
that's the language they know.

"I washed my home this weekend," the teacher says, and it reminds her of her father pressure-washing the house before he scratched away the paint.

she feels like washing everything here. sometimes she washes her hair twice a day. her face three times a day.
her towels a little less often.

she tries to read at night.
the book in her hand is from her mom, shipped from amazon, but reminds her of Barnes & Noble pretzel and hot cocoa dates.

it reminds her of thursday nights, picked up from school, a trip to the bookstore. organic, non-genenitcally modified pizza for dinner. and then for lunch the next day.

it reminds her of falling asleep on the couch, the sound of her mother's snores waking her up, the sound of her father entering the home after band practice, guitar in tote.

it reminds her of home.

the present

Saturday, September 27, 2014

it feels so good to sit in this chair and eat this peanut buttered bagel.

it feels so good to have this (tiny) mug of tea sitting on my desk.

it feels so good to have the rain today, and yesterday, and quite honestly most days.

my parents asked me how I am doing: am I missing home? am I losing my mind? how is the town and the preschool and the apartment? 

"you know, I actually feel really good," was something I was so happy to be able to say.

I don't know how to sum up this feeling of peace - but I feel very at peace.

yes I do miss home; I miss my family and fall quarter in seattle and pumpkin patches and the organic section of the grocery store. I really do.

but it's okay to miss things,
and missing things is not the same as holding on to them…
holding on to them so tightly that you can't enjoy the present moment you are in.

that's how I had it the first month.
I was holding on to everything.
So tightly,
that each breath was breathed in for the past and out for the future
and not ever in the moment.

but here I've got a peanut butter bagel and that's all I need right now.

so simple. but for some reason, so sweetly satisfying.

things I am grateful for, part I

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1. taking the time to make good food -- healthy food, all things nourishing & natural, full of life. good.

2. the feeling of having long hair -- when I stand up and stretch my neck back, and the strands of hair from my ponytail reach down my back.

3. graveyards in autumn. with the leaves that have fallen on the gravel paths that weave between gravestones. there's something special about quiet graveyards in the fall.

4. children that want to sit on your lap or play soccer with you or have your help searching for acorns.

5. prayer and hope and calm energy that I've never quite managed to establish until now. here's to continuing this path, so that it stays with me.

and on into autumn, may it be beautiful.

norway, part five (photos photos photos)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

" The sun is perfect and you woke this morning. You have enough language in your mouth to be understood. You have a name, and someone wants to call it. Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it. If we just start there, every beautiful thing that has and will ever exist is possible. If we start there, everything, for a moment, is right in the world. "

-Warsan Shire

about comparison

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

this post will be an unfinished thought process post.
a post that almost captures what I'm thinking, but seeing as my mind is not fully wrapped around a conclusion -- my words will end, still lingering in the air.

so here we go.

we will start with a quote, that I've played back in my head for years.

"comparison is the thief of joy," said (apparently) theodore roosevelt.

here, abroad, I compare. I can't help but compare.
I compare the food (more expensive but less preservatives),
I compare the children (they get more play time),
I compare the people on the street (why aren't they smiling back at me),

I compare how I am here to how I am at home.

and I think that is the fundamental thief of my happiness.

because I allow myself to compare,
to let my thoughts stop being present,
to compare to my past & to my imaginary future.

I do it in a simple form,
"this healthy dinner does not taste as good as that ten dollar ben&jerry's looked.."
but also in more demeaning ways,

ways that snatch hold of my positivity and warp it into energy that comes out in gasps.

gasps, because the positive energy in my mind is begging me to let go of the comparisons,
gasps, because the little bits of positivity that pop out are let out in rapid forms of expressions -- not the calm, happy energy that I wish to hold in my heart,
gasps, because all good things in my mind and heart are telling me to let it go
let the negativity go.

and yet, it can be so easy to ignore these gasps.
and to let the gasps turn into my own breathing patterns -
not calm. not smooth.

but quick. quick from anxiety that something in my present is not as good
as it was in the past or the future
or as it is for someone else.

I notice this here when I think,

classes are longer and days stretch on, and I feel the need to comment on this, every day, as I sit down for lunch and I've still got three hours left until I can miss the bus and wait another 20 minutes. 

but what if I said:
classes are long. not longer. then I could say, "classes are long, but that's okay, because by the end of the day I can say I put good energy towards learning new things, towards having a new experience."

where is this negativity coming from?

I feel it in comparison.

comparison is the thief of joy, because in all my comparisons, I am taken away from my present thoughts.

and ever-present thoughts -- that is what I am aiming for.

norway, part four

Sunday, September 7, 2014

you are exactly where you need to be.

no visual inspiration board, september 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

it's september.

I write this at six or so in the morning, wet braided hair from my shower last night, cold toes from pulling my socks off towards the time of sleep.

I took some time last week to search for inspirational pictures and print them out. all to realize -whoops - I haven't got a printer in norway.

and so I'll describe them, to you now, best that I can.

beginning with,
shades of white.
off-white. side-of-a-cabin-covered-in-dirt white. soft white sheets and kind-of-soft white towels. white pillows that my head sinks into.
but especially that fuzzy, off-white wall that appears in photos, as a backdrop to a story.

and onto a black and white photo.
defining contrasts in one frame. simple.

to, a wildflower tattoo on my shoulder.
perhaps a sprig of lavender to begin with, on my upper arm.
then to add, mountains I've climbed,
trees I've stood under,
natural moments that have made me pause.
back in january, I'll start.

and forward to night-time skies.
beginning with a photo of a constellation tattoo on a back
and finishing with descriptions of the northern lights.

finally, to finish up with a quote,
"suffering occurs when we want people to love us in the way we imagine we want to be loved, and not in the way that love should manifest itself- free and untrammeled, guiding us with its force and driving us on."

I read that in the graveyard, and willed myself to cry softly.
this is what I felt, a small suffering for all the people I missed at home, imagining all the ways that they would love me, instead of having love be felt naturally.

and with that small exercise
I move into september
we move into september
overcoming the weak

norway, party three: røros

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"follow them,
as the moon follows the path of the stars."

- from the dhammapada, translated by thomas byron