Donald Trump is President so who rules the world?

Hi!

It has been awhile since I have written on here. This is why:dsc_0485

I grew a person in my body and she is now 7 months old.  She smiles readily and has long dark hair. She is a most welcome presence in our lives, stunning to behold.

Eagerly, I return to writing. Let’s start with today, shall we?

 

If you look into her eyes they are pools ocean blue and watery, and if you ask of her late husband they are just watery. Her hands are crooked with years of hard labor, flattened like dough under a rolling pin.  At 97 years old, she is using a walker but moves still–slowing little after the hip was replaced. She is one of the last of her generation, doubtlessly more isolated as time passes. She knows how to pass it well, and spends a lot of time staring and asking, observing and waiting. She still insists you eat every time you are in her company, whether you are hungry or not, and manages to unfold entire meals in just moments. She doesn’t expect much, only yearning for the occasional visit.

I recall watching her and my grandma as they slung food and Polish words around the kitchen in equal parts. They fed the herds of farm men food as the men fed the herds of cows hay bales and grain. They chatted as they made meals, kissed owies, criticized the new priest, assigned chores to us kids, planned the next get-together and doled out playful but relentless sister-like banter. If one were to add up all those heaps and piles of meals put out by dirt-worn hands, it would be more than enough to last the entire county a lifetime. It would be enough to feed the living poor in an urban area. It would certainly amount to more than all of Donald Trump’s properties.

Our president-elect takes office today. The myriad of people that compose the identity of our country has likewise a spectrum of emotions and questions in the remarkable time we are entering. We are all trying to cope with each other’s beliefs and biases, hopes, and opinions. In the process of trying to cope we are as divided as we have ever been, polarizing our national identity and nullifying authentic democracy. As we go forward we are in wonder and uncertainty and waffling hope. Some have more hope than before and some have less. Some feel proud of our system of governing and some have utter despair. Dr.Martin Luther King said it best when he said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now.”

In that boat is my Great Aunt, too, absorbing this day into her old, brittle bones. I think about her, sitting on her farm in this cold winter weather, likely listening to the Inauguration through the radio instead of TV. I think of all her lifetime has seen, and all the life she has sustained in that lifetime. I think about her son, who lost his legs in the Vietnam War and then went on to be a successful farmer.  He died only recently of a heart attack. There is an enormous gap between the life my aunt has lead and the life Donald Trump has lead. She has kept animals and people and vegetables and herself alive longer than most of us can imagine living. She has seen hardships and laughed in deeper places than most of us will go to. I cannot help but think that it is her, and all those like her, who truly run the world.

Because unlike here, our president-elect will never have to manage life in the ways that she has:

Donald Trump will never pull a vegetable out of the ground.

Donald Trump will never have to figure out how to make two potatoes feed eight people.

Donald Trump will never have to chase cattle that got loosed back into the pen.

Donald Trump will never butcher chickens to have enough to eat.

Donald Trump will never attend a meeting standing up for his rights as a farmer.

Donald Trump will never have to breastfeed children or worry if they are safe in the field.

Donald Trump will never organize the meals for a funeral or a birth, or the church fundraiser.

Donald Trump will never have to wonder if his kids are safe in school.

Donald Trump will never have to fix a piece of machinery, even if it takes all night.

Donald Trump will never have to do the laundry of an entire family and hope that the stains got out.

Donald Trump will never send his son to war and have his son returned to him without legs.

 

Donald Trump may take office as the President of the United States, but for now, these states aren’t united and the position of office dims in light of those who sustain life. Every day people are nurturing, laboring, growing, sweating, and praying their way into sustaining life. Women are working hard in the fields, their jobs, their homes, their studios, their businesses to sustain what has been given them.  It is us, the people, those of whom don’t live in any sort of tower, who keep this cog in motion. We are the ones who are the life force behind sustaining those who come to power. We are the ones who keep no hours, but labor for the good of all.  No leader of any political party can squelch that.

 

Donald Trump is President, so who runs the world?

 

My Great Aunt, that’s who.

Me.

You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for further comfort this day, check out my marvelous writer and friend Tyler’s poetry for a word-salve-to-your-soul:

http://tyler-steven.squarespace.com/blog/2017/1/19/your-heart-is-the-house

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Urban vs. Rural: Animals: Farm Animal Deposit

Things have been quiet around here.  My body is getting ready to give birth and my soul prepares to embrace a new human into the fold. I plan to keep this space active, but it will certainly be less frequent. Also, there will be a few exciting guest posts. So, please, stay tuned!  Today’s story is one of the animal nature…

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As a child, growing up on the farm, it was a common occurrence to suddenly have animals appear that previously did not reside with us. The new arrival was as mundane as a tomcat, come to see if there were breeding options. An approaching tenant could also be as rare as a herd of sheep that came to live over the summer while a neighboring farmer rearranged his stock. On some occasions, however, there was an animal deposit made on the farm when the animal was deemed “unsuitable” for the city life. In other words, the owners had given up but didn’t want to just abandon the animal and reasoned that it would have “a better life” on the farm.

There was one particular animal in my childhood that stood out to me. He lived on my grandma’s farm (a mere mile away from ours–easily bikeable for a kid) and I recall this creature being a very odd addition to our array of proper farm animals. He didn’t  look like anything I had ever seen before and had the appearance of a fox condensed down into a puffball. His name was “Lance” and he was a pomeranian dog that just didn’t fit into the picture of the other animal-herding shepherds. He was small, a bit yippy, and teetered around on toothpick legs dusted with the spokes of his poofy auburn hair. Unlike his counterpart, Shepie–a thick, tall, dark shepherd mix with fawn colored legs and sincere eyes–he seemed to have more feist and energy.

pomeranian

Albeit the shepherd was older and stronger, the small stinky cotton ball seemed to be the dominating force. They became an inseparable, awkward pair and the image of their contrasting sizes holds fast in my memory. They could be seen during the day, each doing his own thing, each disappearing to his own fate. In the evening, and at night, the could be seen sharing the aged and dilapidated dog house. It pleased me that Shepie was willing to share his territory, and I remember hoping that he wasn’t bullied into it.

I wondered how long Lance would last on the farm. I also wondered if the dogs could remain compatible and amicable or if the battle to dominate territory would override any companionship that existed.

As aforementioned, there were animals that came and went both on their own accord as well as  the will of their owners. We had a couple of dogs at our house, Pekingese ones–equally out of place as Lance–named Poofy and Boogers. There was an occasion where my parents were gone for a few days and both we children and our dogs stayed at Grammy’s house. I remember coming home from school that day and going to greet the assortment of pups–as varied as a box of chocolates. I didn’t see Poofy anywhere. I called for Boogers and he slowly waddled his way over to me. When he looked up, his left eye was shut and his eyeball was suspended from the socket. My grandma came out to greet me and told me not to worry about Boogers. She told me she wasn’t sure what happened, but suspected the dogs had gotten into a fight and that Lance had done the damage. Surprise and bafflement settled into my system and I had a momentary impulse to shove his eye back into the socket. It was too hard to look at. I was told the adults would see if we could fix it.

I don’t know what happened to Lance or to Boogers. I just know that we were down to Shepie at Grandma’s and Poofy at our house. I don’t know if Boogers was properly put down, or if my dad “took care of it”.  It entered my awareness that my Grammy never did care for Lance, and I am unsure if he was passed on to the next farmer or if someone in the family “took care of it”. Poofy was eventually run over, though she took Boogers’ absence surprisingly well. The hardest of all was when Shepie passed. There was a deep sadness that came over my Grammy. That dog had been around since my grandpa had passed due to lung cancer, and he was her companion. She was old enough to not seek a replacement for Shepie, and she seemed to escalate to a new level of lonely.

I hoped and waited for another farm animal deposit.

 

Rural Vs. Urban: A letter to the City

Dear City,

You have welcomed me now for over a decade. Exhilarating as I make my nest here, you are greeting me with a perpetual anonymous welcome. I can blend in here, but am welcome to stick out too–that I like. You don’t condemn me for how I am different, as you are too busy encapsulating differences.  

Wayne Moran Photography
Wayne Moran Photography

    Facilitator of new experiences you are, and I adore you for that. Every day there could be something new-to-me. I lavish your diversity, the way cultures surface and collide, the festivities, carnivals, the always-something-to-do! Thank you for your beauty, the way you allow me inhale differences and exhale excitement. I love that you do have more legal restrictions than the country and yet teem with the fantasies of breaking them. Your parks and meticulously crafted buildings harmonize to create space for dwellers to relish. Restaurants galore, art galleries, centers for music and dance and sports and travel–you facilitate it all! You, with your bright lights and tallest buildings and mazes of streets.

As much as I adore you, I have to break the contract. Sorry. I came to you a starry-eyed, naive, optimistic, hopeful sprite that couldn’t fully fathom what you were all about. You are teeming with people: good and bad ones, helpful and hurtful ones, radiant and dark ones. You bustle, move, and groan all the time both belabored and progressing. You, great  City, are full of misconceptions concerning purpose and you tickle all my doubts. You both do and do not give me room to navigate those doubts, that second-guessing. You give to my soul and yet you clutter my brain with all that stimuli. You are especially good at making me wonder how to live, paralyzing my decision making. Your new-to-me experiences are not always positive and have fostered new fears for me. I don’t want to live in fear and though I try to own that fear is a choice, in truth, I am more vulnerable here.

 

City, you have given me a gift of home but too left me raw and uncertain.

Eagerly, I peer into your grinning skyscrapers all alight knowing I can risk living alongside them.

Determinedly, I breathe in heaving my chest to the sky with a deep sigh of wonder.

 

Slowly, I allow the places where you ruin me to inform my questions and guide my leaving.

 

           Adoringly, I promise to always feel in awe of you and your offerings.

            Peacefully, I lean into the freedoms that allow me to escape how you make me weary.

 

Dreamily, I wonder how we can reconcile our differences and make this work.

 

Dearest City, you have given me a landing pad, a nest with which to call home,  but is what we have sustainable?

Rural vs. Urban: Letter to the Country

As I explore where it is I desire to take up space in this world, I am compelled to do so by writing letters to those spaces. The next couple of entries will be just that. Enjoy! 

Dear Country,

You, for a greater portion of my life, are all I have known. You, with your vast open spaces and manure-stained or sweet grass-stained air. You, with your soil and plants and groaning animals and buildings popping up interrupting the terrain. You, with your ways you give back to us: plant and animal nourishment, pure air, trickling streams, grasslands spotted with woodlands, rocks with which to rest upon, and  truly simple space. Your lush areas and quiet, quiet spaces provide respite. Nothing is rushed with you, you go at your own pace–living on God’s unmeasured time and not man’s rhythms. You cultivate presence with your presence and your vast, people-less expanses provide safety. You, Country, are really quite lovely and I am inspired by your ways.

farmland

You are also laden with ways that make life harder. Your distance from populated areas is both life-giving and isolating. Working with the land is slow, and animals don’t always cooperate with our agenda for them either. Your harvests are not dependable, ye, nor your soil. The sun and wind can abuse my skin and the cold can sting my very bones. The time is slow, sometimes so slow it seems endless and the provocateur of boredom. Somehow you manage to provide both shelter and complete exposure to the elements, to all created things. There is a harshness and severity to you while simultaneously you keep us close to your bosom. We depend on you, we need you, and we are crippled in knowing how to live without you.

Honestly, live without you I must.

I am writing you because I have to be truthful about that. Somehow, in both your goodness and your flaws, I have reached a dead end inhabiting you. My young adult life is overwhelmed with curiosity about the world and its people. Having an insatiable appetite for discovery, I am afraid I have to tread elsewhere for awhile. Exposure to other environments, both good and bad, are necessary for my sense of personhood. It is no sort of divorce, but I am admittedly unsure if I will return.Your opportunities outside of beautiful land and animals are limited and I just sense that I am made for discovery. I can begin to fathom life outside of you, but I have no sense of what it could be. I need  to know, to quest, to at least tickle the margins of what could be.

You have crafted my sense of home, but too left me exposed to wonder.

 

Hopefully, I gaze into your horizons, knowing I can risk going to meet them.

Stubbornly, I dart my chin to the sky with a determination not to miss out.

Cautiously, I let my ill-fitting places in our relationship give me a reason to bow out.

Lovingly, I promise I will return, but cannot determine if I will stay.

Contently, I accept deliverance from the ways you make me weary.

Courageously, I maneuver away from your nest and find freedom in the forthcoming places.

 

Dearest Country, you have crafted my sense of home, but what else might home be?

Rural vs. Urban: Being Born

If we are going to talk about rural vs urban, I have to tell my story.

 

I was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was not where my parents lived. When I was born I was 2 lbs 14 ozs. They had to take me from the womb because I wasn’t getting fed. They removed me from my mom’s body a month before the due date, certainly before it was expected. This isn’t about my body and my mom’s sacrifices, however. This is about where I was born. I was supposed to be born in a tiny town hospital 12 miles from our family farm. Instead, I was revoked from my mom’s body in the “big city” of Sioux Falls–the closest thing to urban we had. And I was born in the city, several hours from my family farm where they could provide the care we needed and sustain my premature life outside the womb. The city gave me life, ushered me into the world.

 

         So you see, I came into this world in the city, but I became myself in the country.

 

I love both.

 

My world consists of matured biases concerning both the city and the country. As I slowly traverse into navigating adulthood, this creates a most persistent tension for me. I know what I value, and it translates to somewhere in between the bustle of the city and the quiet of the country.  For me, that does NOT translate as the suburbs. It does translate some other ways, however, ways that take craftsmanship and imagination and intentionality. Ways that might mean sacrifice on one side or the other. Ways that both liberate and sting. Ways that promote both disgust and delight. Ways that both take and give life. Ways that require regular, disciplined compromise. Ways that require examination. Ways that are unsettling, and yet define what feels like home.

 

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   I lived the first month of my life in an incubator. My elated and nervous dad could fit his wedding ring all the way up my arm. My mom tried to heal from the surprise C-section and couldn’t stop smiling. They bottle fed me frequently and transported me in a cushy shoebox. My parents and family wondered, waited, and prayed, all the while I began to thrive. I started to look less like a malnourished monkey and more like my parents. After a month at the hospital, I was released to go home.  That is how my being began.

My parents enthusiastically transported me home, to the farm, and began the efforts of guiding a person into this world. The process of saving for a college fund commenced, alongside tactics of tolerating a writhing creature with colic. My first pair of cowboy boots was awarded me by the time I learned to walk, and despite being terrified of Santa Claus, I took to animals nicely. Identifying ticks, picking the correct plants from Grammy’s garden, and building outdoor forts became some of my specialties. Dozing off in the cab of a tractor midday in July, forgetting to feed my rabbits, and crafting toilet paper accessories for my dolls became the foray into my personhood. I watched line dancing on TV, determined to become good at it, and developed a particular affinity for the country singer Garth Brooks. Devoting each new cassette he released to my memory, I will never forget the Christmas I got a cowboy hat like his. Now I was a true farm person, with a belt buckle to match. Officially outfitted, I could claim the land and all its gifts as my home.

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How, now, do I live? How do I provide both opportunity and room to breathe for my children? How do I sit at the threshold of where I can function and what I need to function? How do I claim what I value from both urban and rural spaces? What does location have to do with living well?

As I take a deep, stained-particle breath of city air, I begin to accept these as possible permanent questions. I grin at my neighbor who is a different race than me, gladness overwhelms me. I am learning to accept what home looks like. It is a molasses-like discipline, learning that home is wherever I craft it to be and that the comforts of home are always being redefined.

Wherever I go, where ever I trod, wherever I end up, I know this: the story of my youth is mine, and like the land, it is home.

The Mad Farmer

I grew up on a farm. Rolling prairies, scant hills, rocky soil, dusty farm trucks and the long quiet stung only by animal sounds was my habitat. If you have read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books you can get the full picture, albeit I lived in the same territory as her in the eighties and early nineties–quite a few years after her stories take place–but a connection remains. (One of my distant relatives is mentioned in her book and my great great aunt lived next to her; read:claim to fame!) There have been times when I thought the place of my upbringing to be unexciting, something to be forgotten and escaped. Now, however, I relish it. I love being a mediator between the country and city people. I love shocking my urban friends with the truth that I own a belt buckle with my name on it because I used to show cattle. I am grateful that farming is becoming trendy again and I can teach people things about growing peas and the mating habits of rabits and the different types of cows. I value my roots and every day craft the discipline of expressing them through some of the mundane domestic tasks.

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If I am going to continue this series, I cannot do so without the laud and help of Wendell Berry. A poet, activist and farmer living in Kentucky, he really says it best. He writes of where I have trod, and who I hope to become…
  

https://bookpeopleblog.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/poem-of-the-day-manifesto-the-mad-farmer-liberation-front/

Rural vs. Urban

I have to make a public confession: I spend time every day deliberating whether or not I should live in the city or the country.

        I have lived in both, you see, and it creates for me this daily tension of wondering, pondering, asking, “which is better?” Sometimes I brush it aside, scolding myself for indulging the perpetual grass-is-greener syndrome. At other times, I imagine what my life would be like if I had made different choices, or what it will be like if I move. At yet still other times, I write about it in order to make sense of it all, to evaporate the tension it causes little by little.

Thus, for the first time on this blog, I have decided to do a series. That’s right, a series! The next handful of writings will be all about:

  

    Rural vs. Urban

    City vs. Country

    Small vs. Large

    Here vs. There

    Solitary vs. Populated

    Loud vs. Quiet

    Town vs. Country

    Green Acres vs. Times Square

         

            I will share anecdotes, letters, stories, and imaginings from having lived both rural and urban with the hope that it somehow informs or humors your experience. I guess I have always seen myself as a mediator between the two, with an equal love for both lifestyles. So why not write about it?

 

Let’s begin with rural:

 

In rural areas, the radio plays the current cost of crops at 5pm, not the international news or the BBC report. Your character is judged by how well you pick rocks. You may be quick, but miss too many rocks. You may be slow and miss the little ones. Or you may just be lazy and you won’t get hired again… There is always food available, divine food, prepared by the swollen hands of overworked farm wives. People play more cards than they do watch TV, and amusements come from each other more than electronics. The roads are bigger and so are the yards. There are no parking issues. There is no rush. Often, in fact, there is nothing to do–how freeing! And yet–how boring! People eat more out of boredom. People cause trouble out of boredom. People get creative in wonderful and terrible ways out of boredom. Because there is little to do you may easily attend any fundraiser, sporting event, or barn raising activity as it is the only thing to occupy the calendar. You can run free, and travel long distances without seeing another person. There is room to breathe.

 

Let’s continue with urban:

 

In urban areas, there is so much to take in. The landscape is speckled with ethnic diversity like spices mixing in a pot to feast upon. There are choices to make, opportunities to be devoured–albeit sometimes too many. In urban life, you can meet someone new anytime, in any place. There are specialized stores to suit your specific fancy and there are like-minded people with which to share your hobbies and dreams. In my urban experience, there are a lot of green spaces with which to extend your cramped bones and enjoy the outdoors. There are golden pockets of communities that exist with similar culture and purpose.  The night skyline is magnetic with its geometric peppering of lights and seems to serve as both beauty to be admired and protector to be fearful of. There are smells and colors of innumerable types of food that celebrate what it is to be a melting pot.  There is access, access to all kinds of arts and foods and learning that is vastly different one from the other. Risk and danger live here too–both the good and the menacing kinds. The kinds that you want to leave you alone, the stranger who shouldn’t have taken your property. The kinds that you want to lure you in, the fun of being welcomed somewhere new. There are inexhaustible places to explore, indoors and out. There is room to be.

 

       I don’t yet know where I would be most content living. I don’t have the strength to forfeit the benefits of one place for the benefits of another:therein lies the tension. I do know, however, that I have stories to tell of both, to sing of what has been, what is, and what will yet be.
      Stay tuned.

The Discipline of Enough:Stuff

My quest has become simplicity. I love it and savor it. I try to model it in all my choices and make it explicit in my relationships. In the world we live in, my brain gets easily cluttered and my heart gets readily overwhelmed. There are all kinds of clutter, stimuli, environments, places, people, and dreams to be consumed. But when it comes down to it, I truly, deeply covet simplicity.

         Another modern word or movement for this thought process is minimalism. What does it look like to live minimally? To tread the world without damaging it? To grow and give and be content with less? To leave behind the ideas of “more” and “need” and “must” and move toward “less” and “slow” and “tranquil”? I have tried to find certain standards to follow in order to increase the quality of my life and craft my happiness. I know for me this means that I ultimately do not need more stuff. Rather, I need less stuff. I need less visual and especially internal clutter. I need to believe that the environments I enter propel me toward my ideals and not divorce me from them. This is especially evident in my home–the place where stuff accumulates and sanctuary is supposed to exist. I begin to wonder if this is just me, or if our ancestors had an advantage in not being “progressed” enough to have so much crap.

It turns out there have been several scientific studies done to examine the correlation between stuff and happiness. It turns out that after a certain annual salary, people are no more happy making twice as much. A plateau occurs. We can’t say that “more” makes us happy at a certain point. More stuff does not translate into more happiness and furthermore, it translates into more maintenance! The upkeep of stuff is time-consuming in a way that makes me ponder how that time could otherwise be spent…

I haven’t yet found my set of standards for maintaining simplicity. There are theories that exist and are gaining popularity in a world full of climate change and earthly abuse. The most popular one currently circulating is the “Konmari Method” (http://tidyingup.com/). It combines practical decluttering with principles of gratitude and discernment. Japanese professional organizer Marie Kondo developed the method as a way to meet her client’s needs. It has become insanely popular because of how effective it is. The main idea is that when you declutter–mentally or physically–you ask “Does this bring me joy? Is this useful?”. There are some rituals that border on the absurd such as saying thank you to your socks as you get rid of them. But the core idea remains: it is all about your inner intentions.

As I journey on my quest, I know that simplicity looks different for everyone. I know only I can find my own standards of being. Most of all, I begin to understand that less truly is more.

Reclaiming All My Pieces, Motherhood Included

This is utterly true of my experience.

Flingo

IMG_6236There was the time I tried to exit motherhood, so hell bent on finishing it up, distancing myself from who I’d become as the bearer of children. I was immersed in diapers and shit and dribble, inundated with milestones and firsts and the hot tears of frustration and exhaustion and a joy so intense it sliced through my fingers when I tried to hold on to it, leaving me bleeding and raw and open. Too open. I’m afraid of that, of openness, of vulnerability and the whole truth, nothing but the truth.

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The Discipline of Enough: Consuming Experiences

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I love life. It is to be lived, embraced. Thoughtfully, I am a purveyor of experiences–an engager of the human condition. Exploring outdoors and travel are as essential as food and air to me. Time, energy, and resources are spent trying to take in the next thing, explore the next place, or fulfill some deep wondering. I can’t seem to get enough–enough culture, enough diversity, enough serving others, enough curiosity about how others live, enough exploring, enough inhaling of new-to-me experiences. As I slowly meander the waters into adulthood, I am compelled to ask why and how I can sustain my perpetual curiosity about our world. It seemed to work well as a single young adult, but as I fulfill one dream of having a family some of the other dreams have had to be put on hold or even sacrificed. And I begin to wonder if my curiosity has gotten out of hand…if it is even meant to be sustained. I have always seen my lust for life as a strength, but then I had never thought about what it means to sustain enthusiasm and curiosity.

Until recently.

With this being one of the warmest winters to date (welcomed bittersweetly in my residing northern climate), I cannot help but begin to wonder what my need to consume experiences does to our planet. Despite my efforts to “leave no footprint” when I camp, hike, rock climb, or kayak, I wonder how my tread affects the local ecosystems. The planet is only one aspect of this. How does my need to consume new and bedazzling and enriching and beautiful and endorphin-inducing experiences affect my long-term finances? How does it affect my relationships? What sort of rub does it leave on my soul?

There are times when I sense myself trying to absorb a one-sided-what-can-I-gain-from-you experience with a person, instead of an authentic exchange. This was first exposed to me while traveling a museum in Spain in 2002. Joining a group that had a tour guide, I was exhilarated by the artwork and ancientness of the architecture we explored. Our tour guide was particularly passionate, and really lost his cool when someone in the group next to us tried to take a picture. He explained to us that the flash of a camera wears down the paint on these glorious paintings–if they are repeatedly exposed. He went on, yelling now, his right fist clenched to punctuate his vigor, “Where you are from–in America–you do not have things this old. You cannot appreciate the labor of this time period. There is NOTHING like this where you come from. NOTHING!” Gulp. I didn’t take the picture, but I could feel my face flush with embarrassment. That was the first time a scant conviction seemed to creep into my soul concerning my need to consume.

 

My need to consume: consume experiences.

 

Let me be clear, curiosity, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. Curiosity is the material that inventors, artists, and scientists are made of. Curiosity does change the world for the better. But the way we go about it, the ravenous consuming of our curiosity is what can lead to the soul’s choking.

I am trying to be aware of the spaces I just woof down for the sake of my pride. I am trying to slow down and be curious about minutia instead of just foreign and far off places. I am hoping to leave this world quietly without having made a buffet of our planet for my personal gain. I am trying to see people as not something I can sap life out of but something that can be an exchange. I am trying to remain curious without sacrificing being true to myself. I am trying to teach my child that we ought to be curious and enthusiastic about the world around us, but that it doesn’t mean we have to go somewhere every day. I am trying to honor the seasons of life–of which some seem mundane and deprived of anything new, and others are so full of newness my spirit is overwhelmed. I am trying not to use my faith and my curiosity about God to justify my need for new experiences.

I am just trying to walk in who I am: curious and consuming more mundane. And I can be at peace with that.