Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I was sitting on my bed the other day, as I do often in my apartment, because it’s the warmest and coziest spot in the place. I was sitting and looking out the window at the cherry tree that has stood bare for the past four months. When I looked closer at its branches, I noticed that they each had a little bud at the end, beginning to open. New life is slowly and quietly unveiling itself. I hadn’t really noticed this tree until I saw these little flower buds. Now, I find myself checking up on them every time I pass the window. I like watching them to see how they are growing and changing. It’s a bit nerdy, but I’m excited for these buds to bloom into their beauty.
I feel as though something is growing and budding in me. Not like a baby, people, please. I haven’t been that busy in Portland. I feel as though parts of me have vanished and fallen away, parts of me that I love. The loss of those pieces has left me feeling empty and numb this past season. I haven’t felt like myself really, at all since I’ve been here. I miss the real me. I like the real me. I’ve spent close to a quarter century (oh wow, yes that quarter century birthday is on the horizion...) with me and I’m nostalgic for the real me. I feel that piece of me returning little by little each day. Appearing slowly and quietly like a budding flower. I know it will take some time, but I’m excited for the day when I can feel like me again. In the meantime, I’ll keep checking on the flowers in the window.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I kept on walking through the parking lot to my car and sat in my car for moment, relishing this reunion and greeting the sun after such a long absence. It’s been a rough winter all around, weather-wise, emotionally and spiritually. One can only take the storm for so long. That ray of warmth and light found me at just the right time.
You know how the sun can hit the trees at an angle that’s just right and it’s impossible not to see beauty? Sometimes, I think the light can shine on us at an angle that’s just right and it’s impossible not to see hope.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Some highlights of my jaunt up to Seattle for a quick day and a half…
-It was a BEAUTIFUL drive up on Thursday afternoon. I swear, that sunshine, she gets me every time with her afternoon golden goodness. Mmm, mmm, mmm…
-My cat left a couple presents on the porch before I left for the conference. A tail and a liver or some other body part of a mouse, I think. That Jasmine, or Jazz the Spaz, as I call her. She’s an outdoor cat, a hunter. She patrols the mouse/mole population, keeping it down, doing her civic kitty duty. She wants us to know that she is doing her duty by leaving remnants or “trophies”, if you will on our front porch.
-How amazing was it to see some Malawian friends in Seattle? AMAZING. So good for my soul. However, I only want to jump on a plane back to Malawi, like yesterday.
-Bavarian Hefeweizen @ Silver City Brewery with good company.
-Watching Dr. Phil with the parents, yes, I am a little ashamed to admit that.
-How ugly/pretty was my drive back to Portland this morning? Very pretty and ugly. For one, it was sunshiny when I left the island and a half hour into my drive, it was snowing. Beautiful giant snowflakes. A bonified winter wonderland. It felt like Christmas, and how better to celebrate the moment than to bust out my “cozy Christmas” itunes playlist? After this prettiness that lasted about 15 minutes was washed away by a complete blizzard for the next hour at least. I clutched my steering wheel for dear life, trying not to crash and sweating up a storm-that was the ugly part.
But now I am home, in my wonderfully cozy bed :)
What a day, holy Toledo.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I had a long day yesterday, long week actually and I decided to go see this guy play (Jay Nash) along with Joey Ryan and Garrison Starr. They played an amazing show and sounded incredible together. They played at Imbibe on Hawthorne; it was so intimate and perfect.
I'm getting goosebumps just remembering it :)
I sat in the back by myself, with my beer and a perfect view and just took it all in. To sum it up in a word, HEAVENLY!
Monday, April 14, 2008
It's more personal. It's more relational. It's something to work for and to work on.
One of the questions from the Myers-Brigss test asks a question, "The more people with whom you speak, the better you feel" yes or no. Even though I'm an introvert, I definitely answer, 'yes' to this question. If I were to go about my day, running errands and such, all over town without talking with a single person, I wouldn't really feel as though I actually had a day. I need people and conversation in my day to make it real and worthy of counting as a day.
It's funny, too, I remember telling a co-worker at the coffee shop I worked at up in Seattle,(Richmond Beach Coffee Company) my personality type and how I was an introvert, obviously. She immediately scoffed and said, "never in a million years would I dub you as an introvert." I was shocked; of all my letters, the "I" was the letter I was most positive was spot on. However, in thinking about it, in that environment, I knew everyone; their drink, their name, their car, their family, their morning hair and tired eyes...and they knew me. They brightened my day. They brought me birthday balloons, cards, dishes, money for my Malawi trip. They knew my name. I felt alive in that place. Just as I feel alive in Alaska, at camp and in Malawi with the kids.
I think certain places and people can bring out our best, bring glory out of our depths, calling us to more, to truly live. These are the places and people with which we belong.
I've been craving that sense of community lately, that sense of being known and being alive. It's been a little lonely in this city of bridges. I went to an event for a school project the other night. There were roughly 400 people or so...I'm really bad at guestimating, but it was something like that. I went by myself and felt so anonymous and nameless and alone; it was awful. Later in the night, I ran into another Social Work student, which was a life saver and made me feel a little less stranded, but the feeling stayed with me all night.
It's so easy to feel small in this big world, and I find myself grasping for anything that will make the world feel a little smaller, even if it's just asking someone their name.
p.s. I met another "Hannon" this weekend. This was monumental seeing as how I have never met another Hannon that I wasn't related to! And he's a talented singer-songwriter and one of the nicest guys, check him out, Dave Hannon.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
INFPs focus deeply on their values, and they devote their lives to pursuing the ideal. They are creative, and they seek new ideas and possibilities. They quietly push for what is important to them, and they rarely give up. While they have a gentleness about them and a delightful sense of humor, they may be somewhat difficult to get to know and may be overlooked by others.
INFP children often create their own fantasy world and live very much within it. They may daydream about what is important to them, and sometimes others wonder if they are in touch with reality. They often get lost in their thoughts and books, and may develop a special ability in communicating, such as writing. They are somewhat reserved, especially in new situations.
INFPs need a purpose beyond the paycheck. They become burned out easily if their job does not fit their value system; they may not feel good enough about what they have achieved and, as a result, may undervalue themselves and their contributions.
INFPs prefer occupations in which they can be involved in making the world better. Having their heart in their work is important to them. These occupations also allow for an element of creativity and flexibility. INFPs are particularly interested to be counselor, editor, education consultant, English teacher, fine arts teacher, journalist, psychologist, religious educator, social scientist, social worker, teacher, writer, and other occupations that engage their values.
Many of the INFPs' leisure activities are done alone --- reading, listening to music, and gardening are some activities likely to appeal to them. Reflection time and the opportunity to make sure things are right are important. INFPs often enjoy leisure pursuits with loved ones as well. When they want to be sociable, they can be exceedingly charming and outgoing. Their flexibility, gentleness, and sense of humour can make them quite popular in social situations.\
The INFP leadership style is subtle, gentle, indirect, and inclusive of others. INFPs do not confront people head-on, but rather work with them and through them to get the job done. Their style is not an aggressive one but is highly persistent; only reluctantly do INFPs assume leadership roles.
INFPs seldom confront situations directly, in part because they do not like conflict. Whenever possible, they would rather wait for a situation to work itself out, since they trust that people will work things through. They do not like following all the rules and regulations, but they are not overtly rebellious. They seek to get things done in their own style.
INFPs present a calm, pleasant face to the world. They appear to be tranquil and peaceful to others, with simple desires. In fact, the INFP internally feels his or her life intensely. In the relationship arena, this causes them to have a very deep capacity for love and caring which is not frequently found with such intensity in the other types. The INFP does not devote their intense feelings towards just anyone, and are relatively reserved about expressing their inner-most feelings. They reserve their deepest love and caring for a select few who are closest to them. With their high ideals, they are likely to be drawn to other iNtuitive Feelers for their closer friendships.
INFPs are generally laid-back, supportive and nurturing in their close relationships. With Introverted Feeling dominating their personality, they're very sensitive and in-tune with people's feelings, and feel genuine concern and caring for others. Slow to trust others and cautious in the beginning of a relationship, an INFP will be fiercely loyal once they are committed. With their strong inner core of values, they are intense individuals who value depth and authenticity in their relationships
INFPs will be valued by their confidantes as genuine, altruistic, deep, caring, original individuals.
Enough about me, how about you??
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Anyhoo, after watching the movie, I am SO ready for adventure. I want to go “into the wild”, maybe not to the extent as the guy from the movie so as to be shooting and butchering a moose to live on and living by myself in an abandoned bus in rural Alaska in the dead of winter, but a milder version of this would be incredible, to get out of myself and experience the world and everything in it.
I think I’ll be marinating on that entire movie for a while, but the feelings it left me with have been nipping at my heels all day. The song society, by Eddie Vedder is so telling of the world we live in. Society. I feel so boxed in by society, boxed in and cattle-herded toward the American Dream. My life can’t be fulfilling unless I have a six-figure income, a fancy car and vacation homes. I can’t be happy unless I have a model’s body, a designer wardrobe and a great tan. I need to make more money to buy a bigger house and more things to fill my bigger house. I need to work more so I can take luxury vacations but with all the hours I put in to earn my six-figure paycheck, I have no time to take luxury vacations or see my family. How can this be the American dream? (I've written a little about this in my old blog, too)
I really identify with his character. He wants to live without society’s constraints and expectations. There is a scene in the movie after his college graduation when his parents announce their graduation gift to him, a new car. He quickly tells them he doesn’t need a new car. He has one that works just fine. He doesn’t want any more things, any more stuff; his life is so countercultural in that way. I constantly struggle with that. I don’t want any more stuff either. Well, let me rephrase that, I don’t need anymore stuff, yet I find myself throwing it in the shopping cart or ravaging through the new anthropologie catalogue like it had the cure for cancer in its pages. It’s no easy task to ditch the American dream.
I find so much joy from being out in the world and experiencing new things. Part of me is so inspired by his story, almost enough so to pick up and go, but the other part of me takes so much joy in a small town life, comfortable and familiar. What does one do with that? How do you satisfy the desire for adventure and experience and the desire for comfort and safety?
I apologize for the random collage of thoughts; I’m too lazy to string them all together at the moment.
I do recommend to you all…
-watch Into the Wild if you haven’t seen it yet
-go ahead and buy the soundtrack, it’s amazing
Friday, April 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
This is how the movie, Feast of Love begins. I ordered it from Netflix and when it came I couldn't even remember what the movie was about or why I ordered it. As I read through the description, I remembered why it appealed to me.
-set in a "small idyllic Oregon community"- ding!
-"features different lives intersecting at a coffee shop" -ding!
-"explore the depths of love and loss, joy and pain, and everything in between"- ding, ding, ding!!
These are all things I love.
I liked the movie overall. They showed all different kinds of love, from young love to old love, falling in love, falling out of love, adultery, heartbreak, loss of love, birth, death and how they all play out in the lives of the characters. It's pretty well done. Also, pretty depressing. I prefer movies that make my heart flutter and feel all warm and fuzzy, but this has more of a taste of reality. I will warn you though, there are excessive sex scenes and nudity throughout the movie. It makes you think that people meet-have sex and get married within a week of meeting each other because there isn't a real concept of time in the movie... Also, Morgan Freeman is in it and well he's pretty close to God.
I was thrilled when I recognized the coffee house where a lot of the movie takes place, this cute little place on Mississippi Ave in North Portland. I've been there! That was really exciting for me.
Anyhoo, back to the quote. I like it. There is so much depth and joy and pain involved in loving someone that it just makes sense that love requires laughter.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Since I moved to Portland, I am seeing umbrellas everywhere. I’m fascinated by pictures with umbrellas in them. I’m hearing songs about umbrellas. The song I want played at my wedding someday is called “umbrellas” even though it never even mentions umbrellas. What once seemed like a silly accessory has now become fascinating and comforting.
As overplayed as Rhianna’s song “umbrella” is, I still like it. I’m a little behind the times as well. I only heard it for the first time about a month ago. When I came back from Malawi, it seemed everyone was busting out with, “you can stand under my umbr-ella, ella ell-eh eh…ella ella…aye aye”. I had no idea what had gotten into everyone, was this some inside joke? Everyone was saying it, so it was just as strange that I didn’t actually hear the song until months later, and then I was struck with a big, OH…..I get it now, “ella ella eh eh..” I was all over it and jumped on that bandwagon.
In my ponderings lately, I’ve come to appreciate the symbolism of an umbrella. An umbrella protects and covers. Isn’t that we all want, someone or something to protect and cover us from the storms of life? I have this print I got from Ikea, it’s so sweet and I just love it. It’s a couple walking through the storm together and another of a man holding an umbrella for his dog. It’s just precious.
Storms are inevitable and it’s okay to bring in reinforcements. We’re not meant to be able to make it on our own. Sometimes we invite others to stand under our umbrella, and sometimes we are called under another’s umbrella. And no matter how bad it gets, it’s not so bad as long as you have someone right there with you under an “umbr-ella ella eh eh…”
“When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever