Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

A walk in the park, continued. September 15, 2013

Even when you are walking in the park, life is not always a walk in the park.
My sister and I had just finished listening to “Amazing Grace” and we sat
in a little protected stone nook overlooking the fountain.
We were talking about my recent break up,
about our hair,
and about God and his amazing ability to interject little points of beauty and hope
into our lives.

He walked past again, but this time,
I noticed his limp. He foot was in a walking cast.
He looked in a hurry. I called out a greeting
as he passed us, and asked how the fundraising
was going. He looked tired.
“I’m in a hurry,” he explained.
“I have to finish this so I can go somewhere
important.”
“I hope you finish in time,” either my sister or I said.
I don’t remember how it happened, but somehow,
he told us that he had to go to a funeral.
He spoke of how he didn’t want to go.
My heart began to crack at his story.
Whose funeral? we wondered aloud.
His mother’s.
His mother’s funeral.
He didn’t want to go.
His sister hated him for his lifestyle,
and he didn’t have much time left,
and he only found out that his mom passed
two days before
because his bitter sister refused to tell him.
His eyes were so tired.

What do you ask when this happens?
What do you say when a stranger speaks
their heart?
How do you comfort such brokenness?
All I thought was to ask a question.
“What was your mother’s name?”
I didn’t even know his name,
but it felt important to know this little
detail. “Rebekah,” was his reply.
My sister and I looked at each other.
My sister’s name is Rebekah.
I can’t even describe his face.
It wasn’t that he almost cried,
or that we had done anything special to give him comfort.
He looked noticed.

Like he realized what we had just been singing,
“Amazing Grace.”

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The New York Edition August 19, 2013

To go back in time for a bit and not recount my summer, I shall now tell the tale of when I went to New York City with my big sister over Memorial Day Weekend. This will give you all a break from my Alaska rants. I shall tell it in a slightly experimental form, but I shall endeavor to do the trip justice.

 

Part One: The airplane
She was not a morning person. She was not an extrovert. Therefore, waking up at four in the morning to sit on an airplane full of people, well, it wasn’t her favorite thing. But early morning flights are cheaper, and if it meant getting to New York to see Once on Broadway for as cheap as possible, then she would just have to suck it up. Of course, when she and her older sister boarded the plane, she WOULD have the middle seat. Ugh. When they sat down, they were quiet for a quite a while. She didn’t remember what started the conversation, but somehow the lady next to her started talking with her. She mentioned something about how she had to pack at the last minute and she almost missed her flight. People like to talk on airplanes. But she wasn’t an extrovert. Luckily for her though, her sister is. I spite of the hour and the lack of personality, they managed to talk with this lady for the whole flight, and it was a good thing she did. You see, she was just about to finish a challenging year of teaching at a school with almost no resources for her Spanish speaking students. And this woman on the airplane just happened to be the principal of on the first elementary schools in Detroit that had a functioning bilingual learning program. A strange coincidence, perhaps? The girl didn’t think so, and it turns out that the entire weekend would be full of these encouraging and enlightening  “coincidences”. She learned so much from this woman on the airplane about what it was like to be part of two cultures and how to balance them. She learned about compassion for students and not despairing at the lack of resources, but suing what you have and being creative. She also started to get the feeling that maybe this weekend would be about more than seeing a show on Broadway.

*tune in tomorrow for the next episode: Part Two: A walk in the park

 

Just some feeeeeeeelings August 18, 2013

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 8:55 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I know, ewwwwww, right? But as I discussed with my friend Anni while I was in Alaska, the feelings will come later. And it’s later, folks, so here they come!

I mean, I got a little emotional right before we got to my parents house on our drive home. That was mostly because I really did miss my family and friends and I was excited to see them, but I really was missing Alaska too. Normal stuff.

Here’s a story of what I did today.

I went to church, which was lovely. It was a bit strange being back in a bigger church where I don’t know everyone, and honestly, I didn’t really want to go this morning, but I asked God to help me have the right attitude and it was great. Very small town Ohio, very not Kake, but still really encouraging. After church I chatted with some people and was about to walk out the door when an older lady stopped me. She said she always loved seeing me when I sang on the platform (even though I didn’t sing this week), and that she loved how I dressed up. then she told me a little bit about herself. It was probably a three minute conversation, but I had never talked with this lady before, even though she obviously had noticed me for awhile. It was so nice and encouraging and uplifting. I thanked her, then walked to my car.

When I got to my car, I wanted to cry. That one woman coming up to me and sharing a small bit of her life with me just reminded me of Alaska so much. I can’t really say why, but her kindness was overwhelming and just brought everything up to the surface. For the rest of the afternoon I was just, well, sad. Not depressed though, just missing all my friends and family in Kake.

So I made some fancy pizzas. And then I baked an apple pie. And now I’m writing a sad blog post while texting my friend Kassandra. Those things are helping a little.  But the thing is, that I start work again tomorrow, and I know that my mind will be so occupied with crazy work stuff that I might start missing it less. And that kind of makes me sad too. Basically, I still don’t know how to process or express emotions. Hence, the overly emotional blog posts. Writing seems to help a little though, so just bear with me readers. I promise that soon, I will start writing more informative and uplifting stories, but for now, your’e gonna be stuck with the sad apple pie stories.

 

I am from… August 14, 2013

At the end of my trip to Alaska, one of our leaders had us all write a poem called I am from. We wrote it to help us think through who we are not according to the things we do, but according to our relationships and the places and people we come from. Here is mine.

I am from a small house.
I am from the neighborhood of close-parked cars and riding bikes on the sidewalk.
I am from summer nights sitting on the porch singing songs with friends.

I am from the lake.
I am from the green water and muck fights and algae in my hair.
I am from waffle lunch at Grandma’s house on Sunday afternoons.
I am from walking in a line of cousins out to the furthest point of the peninsula.
I am from fishing in the dog’s water bowl and playing pirates in the loft.

I am from stories.
I am from my great grandmother who stood against doctors and rules and trusted her culture.
I am from my great grandfather who ran away and found home.
I am from my grandmother who held her family together with strength and courage and a needle.
I am from my grandfather who fought fire and alcohol and himself and finally conquered them all.
I am from my mother who cares for all–from the greatest to the least.
I am from my father, a warrior for his mind, his heart, and his family.
I am from the green hills and mossy mountain and music that breaks your heart.
I am from trees that spread their arms in welcome and protect with their leafy shade.
I am from the history of words and written life, from years of conflict and beauty boiled down to hopeful art.

I am from questions and yearning curiosity.
I am from stars and atoms and unstoppable force/
I am from the mysteries of thought and consciousness.
I am from the need to discover.

I am from love.
I am form the One who created the infinite, vast spaces and the microscopic worlds.
I am from grace that gives all i need without asking.
I am from the favor of the Most High God, who shelters me under his wings.
I am from the original musician, who sings over me with incomprehensible love.

 

stuff and stuff. April 28, 2013

Yeah, so I’ve fallen off the bandwagon of regular updates.

It’s the last month of school (teaching) which means lots of stress. Plus other stuff going on in my life adds some more stress. Like the title says, stuff and stuff. Needless to say, I’ve not really had the motivation or the desire to share poetry or photos or even write my book. Mostly I’ve just had the desire to lay in bed all day and sleep. And maybe eat something occasionally, then sleep some more.

Buuuuuuuuuuut, I’m hoping to break out of this rut soon. Things are getting a bit better. I wrote a fairly decent poem the other night, and I talked to my best friend about a lot of stuff, and that alone is encouraging. I’m still really really really REALLY tired, but I have some awesome things to look forward to, and I’m growing a lot.

Some of the aforementioned things to look forward to:

-ALASKA!!!!!!! for practically the whole summer. I get to see some of my old friends and make new ones and be in Alaska!!!!!! it is going to be amazing and challenging and wonderful.

-NEW YORK CITY!!!!!!!!!!! my sister and I decided about four days ago that we were going to see Once on Broadway because Arthur Darvill is playing the main character, and anything that combines the awesomeness of Once with the amazing acting skills of the guy who played Rory in Doctor Who is a must-see. So we bought our plane/train/show tickets and are going! I cannot freakin wait! plus, I really miss hanging out with my sister and I have never actually traveled with just her before so it should be amazing and epic. and as an added bonus, I get to see my good friend from college who now lives in New York  because he is an awesome singer and has been auditioning for shows. super funsies!

-And duh! getting a two and a half month vacation when the school year ends!

 

P.S.- I may share the good poem I wrote on here. But I’m still thinking about it. Poems are strange creatures. Just when I think I’m finished with one, it jumps back out at me as being unfinished….

 

well… March 10, 2013

Filed under: General Blog-tastic Writings — Dorothy Lynn @ 12:26 am
Tags: , , , ,

…events of this week kind of demotivated me to finish my first draft. It’s about halfway done though, and way more organized than I ever anticipated I could get it.

From my post on Tuesday, one could probably infer that some bad crap happened. And it did. But the upside is that I have really REALLY awesome friends and family, and just community in general, and that even though I still feel kind of crappy, I smiled a LOT today. I got to see tons of my friends at my birthday party tonight, and everyone was just super nice and fantastic to me. It’s kind of silly that it took getting my heart broken in a horrible way to remind me how amazing of a support group I have.

So today, I am really thankful for everything that God has given me, even though I didn’t finish my writing goal yet, and even though the guy I loved turned out to be a completely different person than I thought, and even though my life is currently filled with all kinds of silly drama. God has given me TONS to be thankful for. And I am very grateful.

yup. that’s all.

 

On blindness, and getting talents from somewhere. February 21, 2013

Often we don’t think about other people’s perspectives or talents, we just marvel at our own. I think that we especially don’t spend a lot of time ruminating over our abilities that came from our parents. I think we should; I think I should. Anyway, my dad is going blind. He has macular degeneration and has had it for quite a long time now. It is strange, because when people mention blindness or disability, I don’t ever think about my dad having it. He can still function really well, and maybe it is just because I am used to it, but when I am around him,  I rarely ever notice that he can’t see things the way most everyone else does. But sometimes I do have to explain to new friends that the reason my dad doesn’t recognize them right away is because he can’t really see their face, and in high school I would read out loud to him because reading is very taxing. Anyway, back to the talent thing, as my readers already know, both I and my brother are writing books currently. I never really thought about where our writing talent came from, but a couple of nights ago, my dad was telling me that he was writing something about his experience of being blind, and that he was going to share it. Then tonight, my mom posted what he wrote on her facebook. And now I know why I love writing so much (and why my brother and I both have such an affinity for large words). Here is what my Dad wrote:

The Art of becoming blind

To start off I must confess, sometimes I have daydreams, or fantasies, or possibly more precise delusions of grandeur. I imagine that something I do or think or say will have some lasting effect on others or perhaps move them from point A to point B. Maybe I will make someone understand something they didn’t before or cause some epiphany, some “AH HA” moment that gives direction to their life. When things get really out of hand, I might end up as a popular public speaker that starts a national movement…. I did say delusions of grandeur. 
Maybe I do this because of pride, maybe it’s some need for significance, possibly some of both. Whatever the reason, I find the exercise somewhat cathartic. A chance to collect thoughts in an effort to explain to myself the things going on in my life, and in the process maybe it will benefit others.
So… the art of going blind, a strange title that may need some ‘splainin’. When I think of art, painting, sculpture, and music, etc. I think of it as an expression of someone’s perspective. It was the word “perspective” that got me started on these musings. It came from a conversation with a friend whereby I was explaining how I have been able to notice things I haven’t before I started losing my vision. We pay so much attention to our central vision that things in the periphery are overlooked. I have noticed different bands or layers of color and shapes in a forest, the stark contrast of trees against the night sky and against each other. I can appreciate the overall shape of things and the textures they create as the details tend to escape me. These changes in perspective are both literal and metaphoric. The former in that ongoing physical changes force upon me physical perspective adjustments. For example, having to look away to see someone’s face, or hold something really close to make out what it says or what it is. The latter in that my attitudes and frame of reference is changing “perspective” as well. How do I see my future? Will I become bitter as convenience is removed? Will I overcompensate in some character quality or some other behavior, imperceptibility and subtle at first, so I won’t be dismissed or overlooked?
And so we come to the balance, the art of going blind. To be weighed down with some fear, anger, bitterness, sadness or to rejoice in what I still can see and do. To mourn what I have lost or to appreciate what I have. To know that you have to ask for help and at the same time desire to be independent, even as freedoms are slowly eroding.
Where is God in all of this? I would hold that He is smack dab in the middle of it. If nothing else, He is in the business of redemption. He takes things that are broken and fixes them. He takes things that are corrupt and dirty and worthless and transforms them into something worthwhile, clean and holy. I am reminded of what Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 4 starting at verse 16; “Therefore we do not lose heart, for though the outer man is decaying yet the inner man is being renewed day by day, for momentary light afflictions are producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. For we look not at what is seen but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporal and what is unseen is eternal.”
So the art of becoming blind is a balancing act, a tightrope walk of sorts, as I learn to accept transformation and change of perspective or become a slave to “a cage, to stay behind bars till use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.” (From the Lord of the Rings)
My hope is that as I learn how to express the perspective I have that it will become something artful. With God’s help at least metaphorically, the blind is receiving sight. Here’s to the day when the not yet becomes the already.