Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Presence is important to me. As we become more and more connected on all these various social networking sites and via cell phone, email, etc. it seems that we are everywhere else but right here. I have always been a big fan of people who are able to be present in the moment, keeping with me in place and conversation rather than away in thought or texting land. I feel it’s important to give people the attention they deserve. It’s looking people in the eye. It’s listening. It’s following. It’s interest. I feel like royalty in those moments when someone listens intently, genuinely interested in what I am saying or whatever is happening and all it takes is presence.

It brings me back to a motto our team had in Malawi, “Love the person in front of you”. That’s exactly what presence is. Whoever it is, giving that person your time and attention is an act of love. I think of great leaders I’ve met and spent time with. They were very busy and important people but I wouldn’t have known it from our interactions because they gave me their full attention and their time. It wasn’t a lot of time, but it was valuable because they were present with me.

You never know what difference that might make in someone’s day. For a checker at the grocery store, your presence may brighten their day. For a family member or friend, your presence may reaffirm that you care, that they are worth it. For a homeless person, your presence may bring dignity and respect. For the people in front of you, your presence is infinitely precious.

Be present.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Swell Season

This post is for Derek, who was not pleased with my last music choice, who left a comment and called to tell me so. I feel like I should post some music I think he'll like to keep him as one my five blog readers.

I made Derek watch Once a while back and to my surprise, he actually liked it. When I am a huge fan of something and make an effort to say so, it seems to be a rare case that he will actually like said something. So I'm going to roll with that one and post a couple videos of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the Swell Season.

The first one is pretty and angsty at the same time and one of the best songs I've ever seen performed live. My guess is you'll like it. And the second one is kind of sad but beautiful..

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where The Road Meets the Sun

i am loving these two right now.

I wish I had Katie Herzig's voice.

I also wish I had known that it was Matthew Perryman Jones that came into the dragonfly before I told him he couldn't come in because we were closed. If I had known, I would have invited him in, made him coffee and asked him to sit and chat with me by the Christmas tree.

And lastly, I wish that there was a button or some sort of capitalization button that would go through everything I write and capitalize for me. Most of the time I write everything in lowercase letters but sometimes I think, 'hey maybe I'll write like a normal person and capitalize'. It would be much easier to just hit a button rather than going back and deleting and capitalizing...Gosh, it takes so much effort to do things like everyone else..

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I am my Father's daughter

I’m sitting in my bed feeling the warmth and heaviness of blankets and down. It’s absolutely winter outside and I can hear the icy wind blowing outside my window mixed with the sweet melodies playing from my computer. It’s a mellow evening at home, a night where there are things I could do but I shamelessly choose to do none of them and just sit in the warmth of my thoughts and music. It’s from my bed that I catch my reflection in the mirror and see a face that is like my mother’s in so many ways and still there are a couple features remind me that I am my Father’s daughter, like that widow’s peak of a hair line or the pug face wrinkles that appear on my forehead when I make various expressions.

I found out this week that my Dad’s cancer is gone. The surgery was a success and he is cancer free (!!). Oh what a sweet phone call to receive. To hear my Dad on the other line telling me that he’s in the clear and that we don’t have to worry any longer was the biggest relief. I could finally breathe again.

I’ve spent a lot of time lost in my own thoughts since my Dad found out he had cancer. I traveled down the countless paths that could have been with each diagnosis or treatment and what each would look like in our family and in our relationship. I held my breath as I thought about losing my father without ever really knowing him. There are customers at the Dragonfly that I know better than my own dad. That fact alone makes my heart sink. I want more than that.

That’s enough of a start for me. The fear of losing my dad is enough for me to get my act together and have the sort of relationship with my dad that we never had, the kind where I can call him without any reason but to say hello, to watch football together and actually understand the terms he throws around as easily as I do laughter, to go out for breakfast and feel at ease in conversation and the generous amounts of syrup we pour over everything (Hannon’s have a wicked sweet tooth), and mostly to feel that I haven’t missed out what could be an amazing relationship that has been so close yet so far away all these years.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Sacrament of Letting Go

I was swinging in the park yesterday during my run yesterday. It's true, I went running. And it probably won't happen again for at least a week or two as my quads hurt super bad. That's what I get for working out once every couple months... Anyway, I was looking at this huge mama tree as I was swinging and singing with my ipod and watched a leaf fall to the ground. At first, I just watched it sway back and forth with the wind and the pretty spiral of orange that was the leaf's journey. Then I looked back up at the tree to see the other leaves and they were all gone. I watched this last leaf fall. It was a cool moment to reflect on the loss of that last leaf and the end of a season. Winter is here.

This poem is amazing, by the way...

The Sacrament of Letting Go
by Macrina Wiedekehr

Slowly she celebrated the sacrament of letting go.
First she surrendered her green,
Then the orange, yellow, and red.
Finally she let go of her own brown,
Shedding her last leaf-

She stood empty and silent, stripped bare.
Leaning against the winter sky,
She began her vigil of trust.
Shedding her last leaf,
she watched it journey to the ground.

She stood in silence wearing the colors of emptiness,
her branches wondering, "How do you give shade with so much gone?"

And then the sacrament of waiting began.
The sunrise and the sunset watched with tenderness,
Clothing her with silhouettes that kept her hope alive.
They helped her to understand that her vulnerability,
Her dependence and need,
Her emptiness, her readiness to receive,
Were giving her a new kind of Beauty.

Every morning and every evening,
They stood in silence,
And celebrated together the sacrament of Waiting.