"Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image."

Sunday, November 28

Serenity, Balance, and life in between

I'd like to note that I'm currently writing to the sweet sounds of Clory Martin (a Rice teammates' voice)...and you should check her out. :)

The words and thoughts have been swimming wildly through my mind and show no sign of stopping. I usually wait until things come to some sort of order in my head before I put it to paper. But I'm beginning to give up hope that any sort of order will arise this time. So, here goes.

My last blog had a lot to do with life outside the box, pushing boundaries and limits and seeing things in this world that you can't learn in text books. About challenging ignorance and slipping outside of the mold of society. I am so thankful that the last few years have really given me the opportunity to do that but, for the first time ever, and with the aid of being "home" for the first time in a long time, I was exposed to the painful side of living this way. Until I made sense of what I was feeling, me and 'home' seemed to collide head on. The excess, the greed, the blindness was all around me---it was in the huge houses, the million dollar yachts, the wastefulness, the seemingly care-less (if not completely ignorant) conversations and mutterings all around me. I felt a cloud shadowing over me...frustration, anger, sadness... and it was hard to shake. My serenity seemed to be drowning in a sea of emotions that I couldn't quite make sense of. But with the help and love of my family and friends (probably little to their knowledge), I regained that serenity, re-found that place of peace, and was once again feeling balanced. I embraced the realization that, although I have opened my eyes and heart to the suffering around the world (not to mention the shocking way we treat the earth), it doesn't, in effect, mean I have to close my heart to other aspects of life. It doesn't have to overpower all else, doesn't have to deem the 'simple pleasures in life' trivial, unworthy, or unjustified. In fact, on the contrary, it's these simple pleasures that make the fight worth fighting, and, as I'm learning, losing sight of them is losing sight of everything. Being in the presence of things that are truly beautiful in their own ways---no matter how simplistic or how (seemingly) extravagant, was much needed. Being reunited with my 18 year old cat, enjoying drinks and easy laughs with friends and family, cooking (and EATING), scuba diving, witnessing an exchange of vows (http://www.ourlaboroflove.com/showit/molly_and_amber/), bike riding, enjoying the fall season, walking the Freedom Trail...
For a bit, I allowed myself to slip passed serenity--- how can I possibly enjoy "this" when "that" is happening?! How can I possibly be having "this" conversation when "that" needs discussing?! How can I possibly be eating like "this" when others are eating (or not) like "that"?! How can I possibly be doing "this" when it's contributing to "that"?! All these questions and concerns will remain within me---but, as I'm learning, they don't have to consume me. A balance can actually exist and, once I realized that, I again started seeing the beauty...the beauty without the shadow, or perhaps, despite the shadow. I will continue to strive for this balance---I will continue to push myself (and hopefully those around me) to be better---better consumers with a better awareness of ourselves and others---and I will hopefully always continue to push some kind of comfort zone, question and challenge ignorant-driven fears---but at the same time, I can't allow the resulting feelings, experiences or opinions completely overshadow all else---especially when it hinders my ability to enjoy those simple pleasures that, frankly, are worth enjoying...

I used to to believe that I was "stuck" somewhere between wanting to (settle down and) start a garden and wanting to travel the world. But, I've realize that I don't actually have to be "stuck" between---a balance can actually exist, and, as it turns out, both can happen simultaneously...

Happy holidays to everyone! I will be in Kathmandu, Nepal for Christmas and ringing in 2011 from top the Himalayas! Stand by for pics! Also, I have FINALLY got a good internet connection. I am once again connected into shutterfly (www.janellecrowley.shutterfly.com) and will once again be keeping my pics up to date there for those of you that are not a part of the facebook world (Grandma, GG!). Love to all.