31 July 2010

A Discussion Between Children

I've been pretty wrapped up in work stuff and writing biology papers I was oddly unaware of something upsetting that happened in my community.

Yesterday, after work, I headed over to the house of some friends (who I more quickly would label as family) to have our family night (like I said).  We have family night every Tuesday.  But with Annette and McKenna in Elkhart Civic Theatre's upcoming production of Meet Me in St. Louis, we hung out on Friday this week instead of Tuesday, due to their rehearsal schedule.  And of course...what does one do on the Friday of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair?  Well, one goes to the rodeo!  What else?  So we went to the rodeo!

I always love a rodeo (which may seem funny to the people in Indianapolis, but I was a farm girl before I was an actress) and I always love being with them, so it was a win win situation.  It was a great time.  Aside from me getting a massive headache, everything was pert near fantastic, if you will.

My headache got to be a little too much to handle, and it was getting late anyway, so in between the barrel racing and the calf roping, we left to go home...or we tried.  We had the hardest time finding the van in the parking lots.  We finally did and got in to go home.

Somewhere in the conversation in the car, a word like "terrible" or something like that came up.  I don't know what it was for sure.  But Annette said, "Speaking of [terrible], Aidan I was so sorry to hear about the tower at Ox Bow."  (It wasn't one of her smoothest segues, but it was a lovely segue, nonetheless.)  Until that point I'd not heard what had happened.  But the observation tower at Ox Bow park was just burned to the ground by vandals.  It's a big deal here.  Everybody knows about the tower.  Everybody's seen the tower.  Everybody's at least climbed the four story tower at least one time in their life.  And now it's gone.

Elkhart Truth Article

After we were all silent for a while, no doubt remembering our times at the tower (at least I was), Aidan and McKenna started talking.

Kenna:  I just don't get it.  Why would anybody do that?  It's not like they're getting any money out of it...and that's what people are so crazy for sometimes right?
Aidan:  Sometimes...people just do things to hurt other people.
Kenna:  Well, I don't get it.

The car was silent.  I could sense that McKenna was waiting for an answer.  Aidan was quiet, not having an answer in his arsenal of knowledge (this boy knows so much about so's so lovely).   But he didn't have an answer to this one.  So maybe it was an adult question/answer.

Neither Annette, nor Jeff, nor myself had an answer though.  At least I know that I didn't, and nobody else offered one up.

The only response was a shared sense of non-comprehension.

Why do people do things just to hurt other people?

I don't have an answer to that.  I don't understand the whole concept.  And even if I had the chance to understand it...I don't think that I'd want to.

Click here to join a group on Facebook to show your support for the rebuilding of the tower.

28 July 2010

"Balance" or "The Chilling Has Passed"

It was a nice idea while it lasted.  And I do believe it did me good.  But today, I got on to Google Reader and found a new post from one of my CMS blog friends...and that reminded me of the goodness that can be found in this sort of arena.  It's just nice to be connected to people who get what's going on.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say.  Who's for doing some make-up work to finish last semester's incompletes?  Nobody?

Ok.  Guess I'll do it myself.

Don't forget to smile!

26 July 2010


I encourage anyone reading this to just chill.  Get off of Facebook.  Get off of Twitter.  Stop reading blogs. Not forever.  But just for a bit.  Just chill.

Take some time to be with yourself.

I'm not saying that everyone HAS to do this.  I'm simply informing everyone that I'm going to at the end of this post.  We spend so much time away from ourselves.  Reading about other peoples' thoughts.  Looking at pictures of other peoples' experiences.  Wondering what those thoughts and experiences mean.  Or at least I catch myself doing these things.  Caught myself doing it tonight.  If I'm alone here, please let me know.

Anyway.  I don't think that we do this on accident.  This removal from ourselves.  It may be subliminal but I don't think that it's inadvertent.  If we remove ourselves from the chaotic overload of everyone else's lives and our lives in relationship to theirs...what are we left with?

Our own minds.

Seems to me that whenever I just chill and take a trip through my mind there are some cobwebs, some things I meant to move around or donate, and some thoughts that worry me enough that I don't want to stay there.  So I leave and vow to deal with stuff [maybe] the next time that I come back.

Maybe...just maybe...if when I find some cobwebs in my mind...I get a broom tall enough to reach them and knock them down, then my mind will be a more pleasant place to visit in the future.  Furthermore, if I'm successful in this way, and am more aware of my own mind, thoughts, and feelings, then I will be better prepared to relate with others.

I'm not saying it's a guaranteed fix for feeling paralyzed in social situations...but I'm going to give it a shot.

So for tonight...I'm out.

Ask yourself who you are.  Ask yourself what do you want to be.  Ask yourself what do you believe.

Don't ask others.  They don't know the answers.  Only you do.  And if you find yourself unable to retrieve the answers...maybe it's time to sit down and commit to some.

01 July 2010

The Ties That Bind

There are so many questions in a life.  There is so little time to ask them.  There is even less time to wait for the answers.  But forcing answers may bring insincerity to a life.  To all of the lives connected to that life.

And what of that life and those connected lives?  How are they connected?  And just what are the ties that bind them or that have bound them together in the past?

Just as the human body instinctively heals itself, are our souls not inclined to do the same?  It seems to me that they are, but that there is a distinct and notable difference between the healing of the body and the healing of the soul.  The process is essentially the same.  Aesthetically, the outcome is the same as well.

When a knee is scraped, the body immediately goes to work, producing a scab, covering up the wound, and keeping any possible forthcoming dangers at bay.  In time, if the scrape is small enough, the evidence disappears without a trace.  A deeper cut or more serious injury may end up leaving a scar.  That scar serves as a reminder to the knee's owner that they'd better be careful the next time they go climbing the tree in the back yard.  This reminder simultaneously acts as a news bulletin to all who lay eyes on the knee: This knee has been hurt.

The souls of people are woven together in a complex tapestry that when glanced at from afar looks much more smooth than it actually is.  Each moment in time, even when we are not aware of it, we are each weaving our way through our life stories, and through the life stories of those around us.  It seems that we are intertwined in such a way that we do not realize the extent of our souls' connections until something happens, whether that something is good or bad (or in the gray area where most of the world exists).  So when something happens...when threads become frayed or severed, it is felt by the closely surrounding areas of the tapestry.  When threads are snipped there are a few things that can be done.  The one remedy with the least effort but maybe also the most possible destruction is to just leave it.  If you leave a loose thread, and don't ever touch it or mess with it, there's a possibility that it may make it through.  But that leaves two threads, raw and bare, with no support or protection.  A loose thread can also weave itself in an out of other surrounding threads, finding support and community.  Or, if the protection of one's heart is the main concern, a loose thread can simply follow the example of the human body and cover itself up, closing out anything and everything else that may come along.  But when we essentially cover ourselves like aglets on shoelaces, we cut ourselves off from life itself.

So what happens when severed threads wish to try knotting themselves together once more?  What happens when you've got a handful of aglets, bumping against each other, longing for the way things used to be?  I'd hazard a guess that things will never be the way that they used to be...but that's not to say that they could not be better than they are now.

How does one begin tying that knot?  Does the knot begin with apologies or forgiveness?  Which thread initiates it?  When, if ever, to the aglets come off?  And maybe most importantly, if the threads were to successfully weave themselves together...would they ever be able to live with the fact that there are some obvious knots where it once seemed that they were fused together without a hitch?