Tag Archives: Living

Missing Ireland.

7 Nov

Ireland-Summer 2012

I’ve been missing Ireland recently, and with that strong sense of missing I am filled with a sense of hope….hope that I found another place I love and hope that one day I will return to a place that showed me what it is to feel truly alive. My 5 weeks studying abroad in Ireland this past summer were the hardest and best 5 weeks I’ve ever had. Heck, I made the decision to spend 5 full weeks in a foreign country where I didn’t know a single person beforehand. Thankfully, I could speak the language, though at times the accents took some getting used to (no matter how much I loved them). I experienced things I never dreamed: I climbed to the top of an Irish castle, I sat in numerous pubs and enjoyed traditional Irish music, which the locals called “trad,” I experienced the horror and excitement of having to remember which direction traffic was coming from, I enjoyed Bulmer’s Hard Cider to my heart’s content, and I made some of the most incredible friends. For the first time, I really did take a bite out of life. Actually, I ate the whole dang cake!

A quote from Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy sums up my experience perfectly:

“Sometimes the briefest moments capture us, force us to take them in, and demand that we live the rest of our lives in reference to them.”

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It’s never too late.

17 Oct

Max Patch Summit

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Tuesday’s Tunes: Lily Kershaw, A Singer/Songwriter.

5 Jun

There are no words to describe the beauty of this song, so it’s all I’m posting today. Listen, listen again, and let the words fill your heart as I have done. Sometimes the heartbreaking, yet beautiful songs must simply be felt, fully and without hesitation.

Barbara Kingsolver Quotes.

12 May

Since I’ve been on a recently discovered Barbara Kingsolver kick lately (I just finished The Bean Trees and am now reading Pigs In Heaven), I thought I’d share some Barbara Kingsolver quotes since I haven’t done a quotes post in a while (Quotes obtained from goodreads.com).

  1. “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
  2. “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”
  3. “It’s what you do that makes your soul.”
  4. “What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and you ask yourself, ‘What life can I live that will let me breathe in & out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods?”
  5. “If we can’t, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.”
  6. “In a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is make things as right as we can.”
  7. “Morning always comes.”
  8. “Every one of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job…And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another–that is surely the basic instinct…Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.”
  9. “Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till early dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who, you know perfectly well, are made up.”
  10. “It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ”
  11. “To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.”
  12. “She kept swimming out into life because she hadn’t yet found a rock to stand on.”
  13. “In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again
  14. “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.”
  15. “That was when we smelled the rain. It was so strong it seemed like more than just a smell. When we stretched out our hands we could practically feel it rising up from the ground. I don’t know how a person could ever describe that scent.”
  16. “If you ask me, when something extraordinary shows up in your life in the middle of the night, you give it a name and make it the best home you can.”
  17. “It’s one thing to carry your life wherever you go. Another thing to always go looking for it somewhere else.”
  18. “Anybody can get worked up, if they have the intention. It’s peacefulness that is hard to come by on purpose.”
  19. “People read books to escape the uncertainties of life.”
  20. “Don’t wait for the muse. She has a lousy work ethic. Writers just write.”

Happy Saturday everyone! Is there a particular author that has some of your favorite quotes? What are they?

Writing Quotes.

9 Apr

Over the past few days, I’ve been looking for quotes that explain what I’ve been feeling as I’ve been writing my book. Through the quotes I’ve come across, I’ve realized that all writers struggle with loneliness, dark days, insecurity and days when it feels as if those that aren’t also writers can’t understand what they are feeling. I’ve compiled a list of quotes that either resonated with me or helped encourage me to keep on digging up memories of my past to ultimately share my story with the world.

  • “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov
  • “Tears are words that need to be written.” -Paulo Coelho
  • “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” -Natalie Goldberg
  • “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” -Stephen King
  • “With writing, we have second chances.” -Johnathon Safran Foer
  • “When you’re missing a piece of yourself, aching, gut wrenching emptiness begins to take over. Until you find the link that completes your very soul, the feeling will never go away. Most people find a way to fill this void, material possessions, a string of relationships, affairs, food…I bear my soul, with words, for all to see.” -Jennifer Salaiz
  • “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” -Stephen King
  • “I am simply of the opinion that you cannot be taught to write. You have to spend a lifetime in love with words.” -Craig Claiborne
  • “If a story is in you, it has to come out.” -William Faulkner
  • “A story isn’t a charcoal sketch, where every stroke lies on the surface to be seen. It’s an oil painting, filled with layers that the author must uncover so carefully to show its beauty.” -Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.” -Truman Capote
  • “Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you’re conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of.” -Anne Lamott
  • “Sometimes a book isn’t a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Sometimes it’s the only story you knew how to tell.” -Tahereh Mafi
  • “When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that.” -Maya Angelou
  • “You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away.” -Anne Lamott

Finding Home.

10 Mar

Yesterday, I spent some time driving through my hometown with my mind full of memories. It’s the next to last day of Spring Break, and the end of Spring Break means getting back to the hum-drum of college and academics. That’s not why my mind is full of memories though. A while back, I wrote a few posts concerning the fact that my parents are moving from St. Matthews, SC to Saluda, NC. Though I’m looking forward to them being closer to me since I’m in Asheville at college, I guess I never let it all sink in.

The “For Sale” sign in front of our house is hard to see. There will be someone else living in our house, someone else playing in the backyard, someone else making memories in the place that I called home for so long. It’s weird. I think we all hope that we’ll leave our hometown behind, and yet still be able to come back once we’ve grown and moved on to find that nothing has changed. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case. And it isn’t…in the face of life. Things change whether we want them to or not. We can either flow with the change or have it leave us behind, looking for light in a place that’s been pitch black dark for quite some time.

I drive down my street and am flooded with memories. Memories that marked how I’ve grown up. Driving my Barbie Jeep up and down the street…which later turned to driving our gocart up and down the street…which lead to me having my first car (a Jeep Cherokee) that I drove around town….and now, I’m not in a Jeep Cherokee but a Ford Escape. And instead of driving around town….I drive an entire state away to a place that’s already starting to feel like home even though I’ve only been there since August. I never thought that it was possible to “find home” in numerous places. However, I’ve grown to realize that we CAN find home in numerous places…we can be part of a lot of different places depending on where our heart lies and what we find comfort in. Until I was 16, home was our house in St. Matthews, SC which included my brother, my parents, my dogs, and all the laughter, tears and hugs that were held inside these walls. For the next 2 years, home was my boarding school in Winston-Salem, NC (It wasn’t quite home my junior year, but by my senior year I didn’t want to leave to go beyond the walls that had provided with so much love, support and room to grow). When I was at Wofford College for my freshman year last year, I didn’t find home. It didn’t fit quite right. However, I had to go there in order to know that it wasn’t the right fit for me. Plus, I met one of my best friends there, and so for that, I’ll be eternally grateful. Since August, I’ve found home in Asheville. In the land of the Blue Ridges. Amid a landscape that still causes me to stop in amazement sometimes.

So maybe it’ll be a little sad to leave the place that I called home for the majority of my childhood. But by relinquishing the hold I’ve kept on this house, my heart is free to “find home” in many more locations. I have no doubt that as the years go by I’ll have many more places that will hold a piece of my heart. But even leaving won’t change much. My hometown will still be here, in all its small town glory. And all I’ll need to do to experience it again is close my eyes…and open my heart to all the memories that can come flushing back. Because maybe, just maybe, all our homes that we find along the way are contained, memories and all, inside the chambers of our hearts.

Tuesday’s Tunes: Ben Harper.

6 Mar

Even in the face of all that I’ve overcome, there have only been small moments where I’ve viewed myself in a positive light. However, when I look at Grace (a young girl I know who also has CP), she has so much joy and love she’s portraying. She fights so hard, even when things get really tough. She runs head first into life, instead of giving in to the fear or pain. She’s fearless.

This past Thanksgiving, I was introduced to “Fly One Time” by Ben Harper. Here are the lyrics:

Inevitability
It’s pounding at my door
screaming for more
In a world that owes you nothing
you give everything, everything

And now I’m caught in between
What I can’t leave behind
and what I may never find
So fly one time
Fly one time

Standing at the edge of your life
at the edge of our lives
Don’t hold on
There’s no fighting back the years
So hard to unlearn fears

Now you’re caught in between
what you can’t leave behind
and all that you may never find
So fly
Just fly, just fly one time

I see you so clearly, so clearly,
up so high
I see you up so clearly, up so clearly
up so high, so high

Now you’re caught
Now you’re caught in between
what you can’t leave behind
and what you may, what we may never find

So fly, so fly, one time
So clearly, so clearly, so high
Fly one time
Just fly one time
If you fly one, one time

For me, this song is a reminder to go after your dreams, or simply live, as much as you can. The desire to “fly” is within every one of us, but some of us keep our wings tucked while others attempt to soar, even if they know they’ll fall eventually. Though I never know how to react when people say I’m courageous or strong, I see where that assumption comes from. They hear about all I’ve been through, and they’re amazed that I’m as happy or bubbly as I seem to be. But you know what? I’ve met some kids with Down Syndrome, which is a genetic condition that causes delays in mental and physical development, and they are some of the happiest kids I’ve ever met. It amazes me, but at the same time, I understand. It’s so much easier to be happy than to give in to the pain, fear, and hard memories that can lead to unhappiness. So, maybe I am fearless. But if given the chance, wouldn’t you rather fly and fall instead of keeping your wings tucked away and simply never knowing?