Florence | WPC:Graceful

img_5954Photo Challenge: Graceful

I build homes in humans and find love in buildings and architecture. Last summer I uncovered Florence, and Florence built a forever home in my heart.

Florence was architectural elegance at its finest. Cobbled streets and aged buildings– never ending walls of brick. It left me in awe and constant shock. I was in sensory overload (the smells and the sounds and the sites and the textures…).

But as I climbed the steps of Giotto’s Campanile, somewhere along my 414 step ascent into the clouds, I stopped. It wasn’t a moment of realization or clarity or a yearning desire to capture beauty… it was embarrassingly, a moment of fatigue. I, a young, sprightly, twenty one year old had run out of energy and was facing a mild run in with claustrophobia. So in a moment of despair (and sheer genius, now looking back), I shoved my camera into the space created by a missing brick in the wall, collapsed onto my legs and adjusted my auto- focus lens so as to simply avoid tumbling back against those behind me.

I, by no means displayed grace in that moment. The product of my collapse, however, never fails to remind me of the grace and beauty Florence’s buildings and landscape carry.

xo

T

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Specifically Vague (Daily Prompt: Specific)

via Daily Prompt: Specific

I sat outside and the let chill seep into my bones. Beneath the delicate layers of my skin, between my meticulously curated set of cells, deeply entrenched among the fury of activity within, I let the cool air invade and settle. And as the howls of the wind fell into silence, all I could hear was the steady sound of my ragged breathing.

I have been struggling to string together sentences these days. I have been at a loss with my words. So much has happened, so much has changed, so much has remained the same, and yet, no words have come close to describing how I feel.

Things are good. Until they aren’t. Until they inevitably become good again. How strange it is to exist in such precarious states.

And so I run. In the cold. And I let the jagged air race through me and my thoughts freely slip into nothingness as I patiently wait for the day they remain.

Happy 2017.

x

WPC: Relax.

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This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Relax.

Ninety minutes, once a week.
Twenty six postures, twice each.
Breath, sweat, and heat.
Belief in oneself, belief in unity.
Belief in individual moments, and belief in a collective future.
Yoga is as much about solitude, as it is about togetherness.
Yoga is as much about meditation, as it is strength, sensitivity, and relaxation.

x

WPC: It’s Not That Time of Year Without…

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This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme is It’s Not This Time of Year Without… 
Now I don’t have a particular image that encapsulates this particular theme, but I definitely have a response, and I feel it will help clarify why I’ve been so absent on here.
It’s not this time of year without at least three monumental crises and breakdowns.
Someday I’ll look back and laugh at myself for caring so much about such simple things, but right now, in the thick of it, I just can’t seem to find the energy to keep reminding myself that. There are moments of clarity where I realize that my life is actually going relatively well, but then those are quickly replaced by moments of self-destruction.
This is my final semester of undergrad (class wise). Now presumably I will be attending graduate school at some point in the foreseeable future, meaning my days of education related stress and worry are far from over, but this is in a way, an ending.
For the last four years, I’ve watched myself experience the same phenomenon. I begin so well; with such vigor, and excitement, and dedication. And then I fizzle. I fizzle faster than the firecrackers that light the sky on the fourth of July. I spin out of control and eviscerate, gone as quickly and quietly as I had come. The beauty of what had once been held, forgotten, and replaced by worn out embers.

That is how I feel right now. I feel worn out, and part of me can’t see myself mustering up the courage or the ability to finish strong and well, like I know I can.

I have a completely empty Friday this week. I think I’m going to take myself on a hike and find some clarity.

All the x’s and o’s

T

Tiny Gestures (one on human kindness)

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via Daily Prompt: Tiny

I’ve been neglecting this blog. It hasn’t been on purpose, it’s been the unintended consequence of overscheduling myself.

Here’s one on tiny gestures creating sustainable, meaningful impact.

For the last three or so years, I’ve worked as a barista for a fairly well-known coffee co. Now in those three years, I’ve encountered a range of humans: the majority have been kind, a handful have destroyed my spirit, a few have been blatant shmucks, some have become friends and a select few have genuinely bestowed onto me greater kindness and knowledge than I would’ve ever thought strangers could.

I’m choosing to write about one of those latter folks today.

I had a tiny customer make a tiny gesture of kindness that resulted in a great surge of much-needed encouragement the other day.

A regular I’ve helped for years recently came in and handed me the coin pictured above. In passing, I’d mentioned to him bits and pieces about my summer travels. In passing, I’d revealed my life to him. I had mentioned how much I missed Greece; how much I missed travel and excitement and culture and pure mindset.

A few nights following a particularly in-depth conversation on missing mindset over everything, he came in and handed me this. He hadn’t even come in for coffee, he had come in because he’d seen me inside.

He had picked up this coin in Athens years ago and carried it around every day since. As he explained it, this coin had become his reminder of Greece and his mark of good luck.
He then told me to keep it and said that it was my turn to remember.

He and I have shared such tiny moments together– two to three minute conversations a few times a week, at times going months without seeing each other. But we’ve always had a knack for picking right back up from when we’d last seen each other.
He and I have shared such tiny blips of insight into each other’s lives.
He and I have such tiny understandings of who the other is.
He and I have such a tiny relationship, and yet, his tiny gesture moved me so greatly.

So here’s to tiny being just enough.

x

Pumpkins and pumpkin pie.
Orchards without apples.
Warm wine and mulled spice.
Corn mazes and colored fingers.
Cool air and a sense of freedom.
Darkness and quiet voices.
Secrets and shared moments.

Autumn is the season of searching.

Prayer.

By seven months I had been baptized.
By seven years I had attended more church services in a month than birthday parties in a year.
By seventeen I had separated myself from every religious tie that I had been forced into.
But here, at twenty one, I have found myself wishing I that I had succumbed to believing.

I made a move towards claiming spirituality today, though. I found myself praying for someone else. 

I’ve fought countless battles within myself, arguing for and against religion over the years. I was born to a split household, a pious Catholic and a devout Buddhist had agreed to maintain their respective ideologies. They believed in their distinct beliefs; they believed in each other. They believed that religion grounded individuals and that Catholicism could ground their wild child, free spirited daughter.

It didn’t. It couldn’t.

And so for years I set God aside, only reaching out in times of need. How often did I find myself at my lowest, crying in the bathroom, sobbing in my tub, asking for forgiveness? For the love of God, God, throw me a bone.

He never did. Or perhaps he did, but by then I had shifted my belief into myself. Is impatience a virtue? Perhaps a sin.

I found myself saying to another human that I was praying for them today. I don’t know why I did. Or well, I know why I did. Because they believed in God. And if they believed in God, then I too could believe for them. And so I did. And I have never found myself more selflessly devoted.

x