Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Art of Crayons

After being in England for six days, I must say, this has got to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure or fortune of feasting my eyes upon. Every time I turn around there is something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined previously. Its truly incredible; its like places you read about or see in books but can’t actually imagine being a part of. My camera has really been getting quite the workout. If life is truly not measured by the moments in it, but by the moments that take your breath away, I’d say I’m doing pretty good.

Agreed, yes?

Additionally, I’m getting to spend lots of time with two of my most favorite little girls. I’ve gotta say, playing “Princess” is much more realistic when you’re in England surrounded by ancient castles, “enchanted gardens”, glorious "kingdoms", and enough variations of tea to supply tea parties for an entire lifetime. 

There is something therapeutic about spending hours a day revisiting the things you used to do when you were little. Playing tic-tac-toe, hangman, “go fish" and coloring the same things I did when I was five… using the exact same type of crayons, only with a few more years of experience under my belt has served as some much needed time of relaxation and reflection. Some of the few fond memories I have of my childhood are of being endlessly happy with a box of Crayola crayons and a notebook. I could sit there for hours and be perfectly content. I am happy to report that that is still true today.

Randy Pausch introduced an interesting concept to me about two years ago when I read his novel, The Last Lecture. (I highly recommend it… its very much worth the short amount of time it takes to read) He encouraged his students to pick up a crayon, rub it in between your fingers, feel the texture, draw with it a little, smell the smell, and see if it doesn’t put you back into being a child. It does… and to do so now, about 15 years after I quit using crayons religiously, makes me feel a little less robbed of my childhood.

On any given day, you can ask me for a crayon and I’ll likely be able to supply you with one. I often carry one with me post reading The Last Lecture and have yet to regret it. Because, on occasion, it’s comforting to know that there was a point in your life in which the most serious thing you were faced with on a daily basis, was what crayon to choose. 

You don’t have to stop coloring because you grow old… you grow old because you stop coloring.

Take that as you will.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

And So It Begins...

I cannot tell you with what intentions I began this blog, but thanks to iTunes shuffle I can tell you the directions in which it is going. A friend of mine shared an excellent quote with me while on the plane to England, which I cannot quote word for word, but this is the jest of it: “When we feel as though life is short, its often because we’re spending most of our time wasting it.”

This blog is going to serve two purposes.
1)    Keep me writing consistently. I have recently decided to pursue a minor in creative writing and wish to begin (again) writing on a regular basis. I completed an intro course in the spring that required me to write every day, which made me realize how much I missed doing so. I am currently unsure of whether or not that will happen, but I’d like to think that my desire to keep this going would be drive enough to write consistently.
2)    In an effort to avoid shortening my life by wasting the time I’ve been given, I’m hoping to take the moments that would be otherwise overlooked, and appreciate them. This is where the iTunes shuffle makes its comeback. While creating this blog, “Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons began playing... And the thought hit me: That’s exactly what this is going to be about.

If you are unfamiliar with the song, I invite you to have a listen, if you wish:

Please know that this is not some “Holier than thou” effort to force my opinions on anyone else, but rather, an effort to be shamelessly vulnerable to the world around me. Eyes wide open; I don’t want to miss a thing. I have spent/wasted way too many years of my nearly twenty-one years of living being silenced, being swayed, and sugarcoating my thoughts and feelings on any given topic/situation, to stay quiet about things that are important anymore.

“Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about the things that matter.”
                                                                                                            -MLK Jr.

Don’t get me wrong. This is in no way, shape or form an “all about cake, rainbows, and the joys of being alive” blog. But rather an opportunity to reflect on different events, circumstances, relationships, and experiences with the hopes of learning something deeper than what is merely on the surface. You are more than welcome to embark on this journey with me, if you so choose. You may agree, you may disagree. You may enjoy, you may not. You may learn from some of my experiences, I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes, but you may not. Either way, it’s okay… because I’m not doing this for you… I’m doing this for me.

The only things in life worth regretting are the risks you didn’t take, so here goes nothing…

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life…
Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see,
But your soul you must keep, totally free.
Awake my soul.”