Monday, November 24, 2008


Sometimes people tattoo things on their skin so they have constant reminders. I don't think I will be getting a tattoo any time soon and if there were words, I'd never want this many, but if those two things didn't matter, I would want this tattooed on me:

I am enough
I have enough
I love enough
I risk enough
I fill enough
I get enough
I handle enough
I am loved enough
I am healed enough
I am ready enough
I am enough


because sometimes I forget, but it's true


Or at least-- I want it to be.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My director went for coffee. I'm rehearsing on my own..

So I ask friends weird questions to try and figure out what I need to change. People tell you "you don't need to change a thing" and that often bothers me. I guess, in their terms, what I'm really asking is "what do I need to do to best grow into the best person I can be". If I "just be me," isn't that settling? I want to strive for something great.
Currently, within me, the person who acts is not the same person who thinks. And sometimes the thinker has control or is given input, but in the end it's up to the actions. I live my life like a typical young director staring at her play thinking, "well, I don't know what I want, but this isn't it. I don't know what to do to make it what I want since I don't know what I want, so let's just run it again and see if anything changes.... oh, yup, that was nice, you took one extra step forward, let's start back at that other line and we'll try and do that again, but this time pick up your purse..." Small changes often result in nothing. Small changes occasionally change everything. The question is, what if this figurative show still sucks on closing night*.

*note: This has nothing to do with my Directing show. They're doing great... it's me that I'm trying to figure out. I'm glad the show isn't nearly as messy.

My Own Demise

In second grade we learned about dodo birds. "Dodo bird" is a term people often use to describe someone who is not intelligent; Or at least, that is the meaning it has adapted in time. I learned that this comes from the birds causing their own extinction. Portuguese sailors stumbled upon the island, Mauritius (the only place dodo birds were seen) and since the dodo birds had never met humans before, these flightless birds didn't know to run away.

"The sailors mistook the gentle spirit of the dodo, and its lack of fear of the new predators, as stupidity. They dubbed the bird "dodo" (meaning something similar to a simpleton in the Portuguese tongue). Many dodo were killed by the human visitors, and those that survived man had to face the introduced animals. Dogs and pigs soon became feral when introduced to the Mauritian eco-system. By the year 1681, the last dodo had died..." (source- I couldn't remember the years)

Ever since the age of 7 I have kept the dodo in the back of my mind. I am not sure why it's stuck with me so strongly, but sometimes the term is brought up and I inform the surrounding people of the dodo's tragic story. Some people already know it, but many do not.

This morning Aaron and I were on the telephone and we were discussing how his acting class had all been telling each other the colors, flowers, animals, ect. they associated with each other as a class exercise. There was little consistency to the responses he received. In a way I feel this makes a lot of sense. Aaron different major strengths that can easily overshadow each other depending what context you know him. Many people have this, but often we know a certain portion of them so well, that we forget. And as we grow our identity becomes more and more refined because we stop testing the limits of our "selves" that have been built for us...
So I asked Aaron what color, scent, mode of transportation and animal I would be. He said bright yellow (which I thought was odd for a variety of reasons- he said he just tries to think of the happy, bubbly me), some sort of wildflower, MG and the dodo bird. I told him that was mean (the dodo bird). What was that supposed to mean? He was leaving to go sleep or eat or something at this point so I didn't pester for much of an explanation, but if I'm honest with myself, I suppose, when relating to him, I know how I am the dodo bird. This is not because I'm dumb, but rather I chose to trust. I have seen what you have done. I acknowledge what you have done. Now I look past it and give you a chance to be loved again.

The question is, am I destined to meet the same ending as these gentle birds? Why must the sailor(s) be so cruel? Just because they were "...easy prey to the Portuguese invaders who would club the bird to death as it approached them seeking friendship..." (source) doesn't mean they should have done so. And who are the sailors? And if they know I am this way, why must they still prey?

And when does it become too great of a risk for me to trust. After all, it is terribly tiring to remain closed off all the time. I find no reason to hide on the other side of a wall. I was not placed here to hide away. I am here to be, to be here. I want to love and to care and to trust. I am willing to forgive.

Barefoot dreams

Just some words:

And I have these dreams when we're walking. We walk so softly, so as not to put too much pressure on the grass. With gravity pushing on it all day long, one must to be kind to thank it for comforting our bare feet. For they are young and soft, like our hearts, like our hands, like our souls. We have so far to go, but are so near to home.

When I wake up, the world is new and you are old. You are old and somewhere I do not know. You are now someone I have yet to meet. The one you once were bid me farewell and I have never woken to his kiss again.

Every morning I yearn for the night again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A few things to know

When I was younger I received the book The Polar Express along with a silver bell. My parents convinced me they couldn't hear it ring. I can still hear it ring. I may not believe in Santa Claus, but I believe in something.

I think that's important.

I used to say I lacked a filter; it used to be true.
I don't know if I have a filter, but I have a censor now.
When did I acquire it?
How do I give it back?
It's slightly dull.


In the world of facebook, blogs and text messages, we've been reduced to words... it's important to remember there are many ways to say "I love you"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Public Transportation: Adventures and Conversations

One of my sister's friends at grad school at the art institute has a blog for one of her classes. Here is a portion of the description:

"I decided to create this blog where people can share their experiences on the CTA, or/and at the bus/train stops. I hope to share few tips that I discovered to make the trips more bearable or even enjoyable, sometimes."

There are two things that I wanted to include in the entry I wrote below, but that didn't get mention.
One is that, as a theatre major, I will probably move to a city post-graduation. I consistently worry that the adventure and story-telling side of the transportation system will fade for me... as it is difficult to remain open and excited for adventure every day.

The other thing is something that Ryan, the pumpkin-carrying boy said to me on the train
Ryan: "You know, people can tell that you're not from around here as soon as you open your mouth. Do you know why that is?"
Me (wondering if my Northern Ohio accent is that strong): "Umm..."
Ryan: "No one else around here talks"


I don't actually live in Chicago, but my sister does so when I travel from my tiny Michigan town to "Chi-town," public transportation is part of the adventure, rather than a necessity of getting somewhere. In addition to this, I love making strangers not so estranged. These two things combined result in meeting some of the greatest people.

Here are four of my favorite ways I have met people:

1. Saying Hi:

My sister moved to Chicago (and closer to me) this August. I, along with numerous other family members, visited for her birthday. My sister, her boyfriend and I took the train across town to the hotel where the rest of my family was staying. There were just enough seats open on the train to make it silly for us not to sit down, but for the three of us to have to separate when we sat. My sister and her boyfriend moved to the back and I sat down next to a guy staring off into the distance who appeared relatively friendly. I sat for awhile, drumming silently on my lap when I finally said hello. He wasn't listening to music or doing anything that signaled 'don't talk to me' so I figured it was okay. Plus sometimes you just need to at least acknowledge each other (hello may be substituted for even the head-nod to get the ball rolling). He returned the greeting and before 2 stops had passed I learned he had raced at a cross country meet I had watched that morning. He was from Midland, MI and was the summer training partner of one of the freshman on my cross country team at college. It's a small, small world. My new friend and I spent the next six or so stops talking about cross country training and recovery methods while my sister and her boyfriend sat next to silent strangers.

2. Offering Candy:

I wouldn't recommend doing this to everyone you meet, but you can tell the candy eaters. Many people will not accept your offer, but immediately afterwards you can make the joke "Oh… is it because I'm a stranger? Hi, I'm (insert your name here)". It's not the best joke, but it is one of my favorites. And now your seat partner knows your name and the door is open for small talk—if he/she so desires.

When my grandma passed away a fall ago I did not have my car at school and had to take a bus from Michigan to Chicago and then all the way to Ohio (Cleveland area). Including the waiting, the trip ended up totaling around 12 hours. I met many people on this trip which helped it go much quicker. While waiting in the bus station in Chicago I met two nice middle-aged men as well as an older, free-spirited gentleman through this method. I had a long philosophical talk about whether or not time existed with the free-spirit heading to San Francisco and discussed making the right decisions while you're young with the two middle aged men, one returning to Houston after not finding a job in Chicago. Maybe not everyone cares about these topics, but I do and they are a great way to give meaning to time.

3. Giving compliments:

In general people enjoy compliments. I have found the best kinds to give are ones directed at something controlled by the individual. Does the scarf appear hand-knit? Remark on it. Do the buttons on their coat appear hand-sewn? Notice it verbally. People are flattered when someone likes something they have created. This includes commenting on how the whole ensemble "just fits together". Sometimes you receive a polite thank you. Occasionally you receive a whole story and a beaming compliment-receiver.

On the same trip I listed above I saw a boy with these amazing pants all made of patches. He was sitting three seats ahead of me, but once when he glanced back I stepped out on a limb and yelled up that his pants were awesome. The trip was a longer one, so a few stops later when the woman (rereading her favorite book, which she recommends (yes, it's okay to ask), on the way to visit her granddaughter) left, he moved back to tell me about them. My new friend told me how he'd spent the last few months traveling from music festival to music festival with his girlfriend who was now in South Carolina. She would make pants and sell them or trade them for food. He was wearing a pair she had made for him. All he owned were those pants, the rest of the clothes he was wearing, a change of underwear, a bookbag, a sleeping bag and a notebook. I had brought crayons and asked if he wanted to color as we waited for our stops. He did. When I left I gave him the bag of bagels I had brought with me. I hope Todd's doing well…

4. Bringing a pumpkin:

I have only done this once, but it brought much laughter, conversation and bulkiness while traveling.

I drove to Ogden Dunes and took the South Shore line into Chicago. On the way, the girl who I was sitting next to me remarked that a pumpkin (along with my two bags) made for an interesting seat partner. I laughed and told her I was taking it to carve it with my sister. She was on her way to take her engagement photos with her fiancée who attends Moody. We alternated between conversing and studying and it made for a wonderful start of my trip. We are now facebook friends. And in case you were wondering, yes her pictures turned out beautifully.

Upon arriving downtown I stood looking at a map to find the nearest brown line to take to my sister's house. A guy around my age stopped and asked me what I was trying to find. I told him and he was also taking the brown line so I followed him. As we shuffled down the busy streets, me dropping my bags and almost my pumpkin, he offered to carry my pumpkin. Usually I would have said I was fine, but I was slowing us down so I took him up on his offer. He carried my pumpkin and helped me as we got onto the train. We talked and shared stories of our past. Another man joined in our conversation and switched the topic to different sorts of pumpkin or squash pies. I didn't have much to say about them, but it was interesting to hear someone so passionate about them.
While making conversation I consistently attempted to not block people from exiting. At one point the train started to move again while I was moving out of a person's way and I nearly wiped out with my pumpkin in my arms. Then ten or so people behind me laughed with me as we imagined what might have happened had I not, at the last possible second, caught myself on one of those silver poles in the center. With the help of Ryan, the boy who originally carried my pumpkin, I got off the train at the right stop and was on my way. According to Ryan he's usually shy. I refuted this by stating that he had offered to help me. He laughed and replied saying that he couldn't help but stop to help "this poor girl with a pumpkin in her arms".

Of course, this does not help in defining privacy and some days everyone you see on the train wants to bury themselves in their books or i-pods, but on those days when there's a person or two "open," take advantage of them. Acknowledge that they exist and invite them to acknowledge you. You will often leave the train or bus feeling oddly renewed. After all, someone took the time to talk and to listen. These sorts of things are important.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kind of like a Sad Solidified Puddle.

Telling people how they should feel is crazy.
It doesn't work that way.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crazy? I was crazy once...

Want to know a secret?

... I don't actually believe I'm crazy.

People tell me it all the time and I admit it to a lot of people. I claim it as part of my identity. Yet, in reality, I only admit that people say it because it makes me someone unique, someone worth noticing. People say it to my face and behind my back. And it's not that I don't "get it". I acknowledge what they observe. Okay. But that, my dear friends, does not make me crazy.

It just makes me not you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I was taught the ABC's, but either song works...

The following message was just sent to all of Hope's campus...
I can't help but wonder if our deputy status is limited to Hope's campus or if our jurisdiction includes the rest of the county or state... or world...

Probably not world, but you get the idea...

Hand Washing Police

Your browser may not support display of this image.

All Hope Students, Staff and Faculty are from this day forward deputized as hand washing police officers!

Hand washing – PROPER Hand washing – is the Number 1 way to

prevent another episode of this viral illness!

Proper Hand washing means:

  • Using Soap & Water
  • Work up a lather and cover all surfaces of your hands, fingers, finger webs, under the nails and even up to your wrists.
  • Continue to lather-up for 30 seconds – which is about how long it takes you to sing the Happy Birthday song. Sing so everyone knows you are doing your duty to protect our community!
  • Rinse under running water.
  • Turn off the faucet with a paper towel or use your elbow if a paper towel is not available.

Be ASSERTIVE! If you are in a public restroom and see that someone is trying to sneak away without washing their hands – or doing a quick “zip-zip” under the water….politely ask them to return and wash their hands properly.

Roommates – listen for the singing! If you don’t hear singing before someone comes out of the restroom – ask them to go back and do it right!

This Noro-like virus could return if we are not ALL diligent with our hand washing!

* Remember…those of you who had this are not immune to a second, third, fourth….. illness/infection.

More and Less

There's a counting crows song that asks "what would you change if you could"? And I've always heard it as, what would you change in your past if you could go back, but today I am hearing it in reference to my current state (of being and of living situation). And the answer...
  • More sleep, less smoke
  • More peace, less noise
  • More time, less to-do

I went home this weekend.
I'm ready to go back.
Although, while I was on the road or stuck at Eastern, I just wanted to be back here so I could have things in order. Perhaps I just want things in order, and then to pause and go enjoy some serenity.
Serenity, that's hard to come by...

Either way, it was a great adventure this weekend. Between seeing MSU, spending some time in Ann Arbor (for the first time ever), visiting with Jess, Beth and their mom, being home with my parents, getting abroad stuff somewhat in order, stopping by Eastern, spending time with Jackie and Kyle, and- well, the Lincoln Street Garage (222 Lincoln St., Ypsilanti, MI-- I recommend them) it was an interesting trip indeed...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

12 bph

If I'd known it was going to be a 3-day weekend I might've gone to South Carolina...

After all, we won't work on this lighting project in the morning.

12 bph. Oh goodness.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pouring through a pin hole

No one would notice if you'd never been here.
They don't miss you at that college you didn't go to.
Do you expect them to?
We wouldn't know if you'd never been born.
If you are truly here, we will notice when you leave.

Neitzche was right... potential doesn't matter.
All that matters is what is.

And on occasion I miss what was.
But if I don't know what that is, do I still miss it?

And if not, what is it that I'm missing?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

That's how I feel about you

One of the most interesting things about being a living bean (or being, if you will) is that you're alive. Maybe I am alone in this, but sometimes I forget that I am alive. It isn't just not living in the present, it's just forgetting that there's no need to wait. You're living now, so go! Go accomplish something miraculous.
So often I am planning the future or reflecting on the past that while I am getting things done or ready, I am not living actively. The other day I was talking with a close friend and we were discussing someone in her life who was hesitant about being at a certain level now. The question is not just if not now, then when? But rather, why not now? Or maybe it's not a question, but rather a reality. Life is happening right now., um, what am I supposed to be doing?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sometimes I find myself wishing I could go back to high school thinking I'd do better there now that I know what I know and having the skills I've developed, but facebook* does a good job of reminding me to just appreciate where I am now... because the days that you were not happy happened for a reason that would still exist if you went back.

Maybe that didn't make sense, but the moral of the story is that I couldn't be who I am now with the people from then because they aren't the people I know now... they may be similar, but they are still high schoolers and perhaps didn't watch quite enough Mister Rogers as children <3

*specifically throw-back albums.

Note: There were lots of wonderful times in high school and I wouldn't mind spending more time with my friends-- because they're pretty wonderful- especially those I've kept some sort of contact with...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Deep breaths and quiet porchs.

At the end of every season Hope College has athletes fill out coaching evaluations. The survey questions mostly asks the Coach's coaching technique and your interaction with him or her. I can recall my freshman year when I filled in mostly 4's [on a scale of 1-5] because I wasn't exactly thrilled with how my arrival on the team was handled, but didn't have any constructive criticism. My sophomore year I had figured out more of what training and supportive needs were not met and responded to the questions accordingly. This year it is a whole new response. I have felt more supported by my head cross country course now than ever. I thought of many reasons why it could be- excuses for good behavior- if you will, but none of them really fit. I do not know if he took some women-communication class, but it's been a great season for that part of things. Today was the day to fill out the evaluations and I was at a meeting, but I will try to make an effort to fill out the survey anyway.

If the survey gave lots of room for examples, Saturday would have been a paragraph in itself. Let's be honest: I did not have the best last race of the season. My season goal had been to finish high enough on the team to at least travel with the team to Regionals. Ideally I would have ran at regionals, but I wanted to at least travel down to Otterbein on November 15th for the D3 Cross Country Regionals. Alas, I was 11th. While this year was different, the expected number to travel was 10 girls. So in my mind, I was one away... the story of my life*.
Even if I had finished in the top 9, today was still somewhat discouraging. I finished much further behind the St. Mary's girls than I did at the Jamboree (when I finished 6th on the team). At the Jamboree I outkicked their number one. Today I'm not positive, but I think their top 4 (maybe 5) beat me. sigh. Of course, I can blame this race on the "metal spike" being rammed through my hamstrings and into my connectors with my pelvis. Or I could blame it on this bronchial mess I've been having. The suppressant syrup, pills and inhaler are apparently-- not working. But, no one will put a little star* next to my name reminding everyone that "Sara wasn't feeling well". You race with everything you have and at the end of the day, if that's not as much as the next person, she beats you. That's how the sport works.
So I finished the race and sat down and tried to not cough up half of my lung. I then walked over to the camp and sat for a little bit attempting to motivate myself to put on my shoes for the cool down (it didn't work that well). Coach came over to me and talked for a bit and said exactly what I needed to be reminded of... most of all, that I have a lot to be grateful for. Often people say that suggesting that you should stop complaining or whining about whatever is making you unhappy, but it was not that sort of grateful at all. Rather, it was a reminder that the season has been in a success in many other ways. I didn't run the 5k time I wanted, but the 6k time at Manchester was okay (and I was in pain then too). I can't remember my 6k times from any other years so I'm assuming 24:50 is my best and it doesn't sound too, too shabby. That's 4:08 ks. That's the same pace as my 5k for the season-- still not sub20 5k pace, but still nearly solid-- maybe like glass... a cooled liquid? haha. The reality of the situation is that while I don't want to settle, but I have to accept what I've done. I ran what I ran. I know I should have done a few more core exercises (it is terribly weak) or maybe I should have had a few less adventures that deprived me of sleep (but there weren't that many of those). But I made my choices and can be proud of my girls who ran solid races to qualify for Regionals. They put in the effort and did well.

Now I just need to work on getting rid of this cough that makes it so difficult to breathe. The other day I started dying just walking up to the cats in the theatre-- and I wasn't even going that quickly. Today I had to run to Tuffy's (2 miles away) to pick up my car which was having work done on it because I could not find anyone to drive me out there. I got there alright, but as soon as I stopped moderating my breath the coughing too over. I am quite glad to have my car back and not making scary noises though. I love my car.

I also love being on my porch. It was beautiful outside today and so even though it's a little chilly this evening, I can still sit outside. Even sickly days are good days when you can walk outside in a knee-length skirt and a t-shirt. Yay!

*Last race I was technically one way from top 25. However I was top 25 of attached runners so I still received a t-shirt.