Fellowship

I wrote about my application for a NOLS Fellowship awhile back. Here’s an update.

A few months ago I received a phone call letting me know that the enrollment was low and the branch wasn’t sure it would be open, let alone in need of a Fellow. Then, while making my way to Seattle for this work trip I received a phone call.  Turns out that enrollment had surged and they were in need of a fellow after all.  The caller asked about my schedule and I shared it.  Turns out my availability matched their need. I asked for a day to think about it because I’ve learned I shouldn’t make large decisions without pondering consequences. 

The next day I called back and accepted.  I’ll spend 3 months on their campus working my ass off and living in a yurt.  If you know me, you know that living in a yurt is one of my dreams. Seriously. For the past 5 years it’s been on my “Do Before I Die.”

My life has a habit of falling into my lap. Plan as I may, those plans often go asunder and I’m left giggling at my absurd desire to plan in the first place.  I have a few major concerns about my life and bills, but I’m trying to ignore them for the time being. It will all workout anyway. 

My time in Seattle feels great and is packed full of love from friends who’ve become family.  I came to take a break from my grandfather and heal.  Being in Georgia has left me raw in scarred places.  I’ve picked open infected scabs and the pus of my past still oozes from gashes in gobs.  At this moment in 30 years of moments, my favorite quote from my favorite book resonates.

Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.” – Their Eyes Were Watching God

Peace isn’t the absence of trauma. Peace is quiet in the midst of it. The last year has stumbled upon me being very quiet in the midst of the very traumatic.

While in Seattle, I’ve had several sensational meetings/interviews/catch-up sessions with men I’ve come to love, respect, and adore.  Their thoughts have given me quite a bit to think about and I’ve enjoyed digesting our conversations.  Material from their interviews will be featured in my one-woman show “Sala Kakuhle, Mama which goes up in Chicago May 2, 2014 at 11pm.  I’m writing as well as performing and it will be directed by Janice Stewart my mentor, friend, mother, and director for the past 16 years.   It’s a story about descendants of the Afrikan Diaspora and their relationship with the Wilderness.  My Seattle advisors and Board of Directors are helping me write grants for a spinoff dedicated to identity development in youth. That’s for another post however. 

This Fellowship with NOLS is exciting and scary. So much of my life is exciting and scary.  I enjoying taking one breath at a time and living in the moment. I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on the experience here.  What an experience it will be.

Be well, friends!

WMB

 

Related Posts

NOLS Fellowship

A letter to my brother

My relationship with my family was complicated in its existence. It is currently complicated in its absence.

I won’t get into it here because it’s too long, and honestly, you wouldn’t understand.  I am posting this letter because I found it on my computer today and would like to share it.  A little background. My brother and I didn’t grow up in the same house after I was 11 and he was 13 (14?).  We hadn’t spoken often due to his hurtful and irresponsible actions. After a significant silence — which I broke to inform him of our grandmother’s illness and eventual passing– he asked to be apart of my life. After considerable coercion I said, “Yes, but this is your last chance.”  Two months later he failed to communicate appropriately after telling me our other grandmother had health issues.  I found out from someone else that in the two-week time period that he wasn’t returning my phone calls or texts she had died of a brain tumor.

It hurts to know him.

I sent him this, via text message, because he wouldn’t answer the phone and I didn’t have his email address.  In spite of the message the letter conveys, he still followed me, creepily, on Instagram. Here is the letter grammatical errors and all:

Our dilemma: I’m bored by you and the cyclical fashion of your behavior.  I’m bored by my naivete and willingess to allow this to happen again, and again, and again.

 If our relationship were a sitcom we would’ve been canceled long ago due to recycled plots, stagnant characters, and uninteresting conflicts.  I am a little sister of two and so society says I am to embrace my nature and manifest certain behaviors in order to get attention read: pick and pick and nag and nag yearning for an emotional response. 

Fortunately, due to experience and maturity, I out grew that phase.  I don’t beg.  It’s beneath me.  If someone wants to be in my life they are welcome…until they aren’t. You are not.  I once sent an email like this ma/joyce/your mother/all of it feels false but you know who I’m talking about. 

She was so upset by the tone of the message that she didn’t understand the cause behind it.  Each time you both hurt me  I end up in a place that is so unhealthy it’s ridiculous.  I set boundaries and still you hurt.  I walk away and you beg me for permission to reenter my life. 

I allow it and yet the behavior never changes.  It’s like I’m related to robots. I would rather endure the pain of never hearing from, speaking to, or having to smell the putrid odor that accompanies your disappointing soul than to let you or anyone else that is related to you hurt me in that way again. 

Please read this next part carefully: I never want to hear from you again. I don’t care if you are on your deathbed, if your sons need a transplant and I am the only match, if your mother’s kidney fails and her dying wish is to spit in my face: I don’t care. 

I want nothing to do with you and anything or anyone that associates with you. 

*insert my brother’s name here*, know this.  I am serious.  Don’t call me, or text me, or ask anyone else to do the same. I will change my phone number.  I will get a restraining order. I swear to God I will take whatever legal action is necessary to get my point across. Don’t fuck with me.  To dear Isaac and Eli.  I feel badly for them because their lives lack the presence of an aunt who loves them dearly but has no access point.  Their father, an untethered foundation, thinks that relationships are built and sustained by pixels and such submitted through the internet and over the phone. He thinks that is enough.  He hopes that is enough.  He believes that is enough.  I know it is not enough and that knowledge grieves me.  Oh the promise our relationships could manifest and yet they are left with naught. 

This time I am hurt by me but not gravely as was common in my youth.  It’s like an old relationship the drags me in.  An ex I cannot shake.  A pool of putrid piss in which I linger long after toddlers have gone to nap.  I am silent in my hurt because I welcomed it near my being yet again knowing full well of the end.  An ending which is always the same. 

And so I write this to ask the following: for you to give me peace. Leave me be.  Bother not myself, my spouse, or off-spring to which I may rear as my own.  Should ailments reach you or yourn protect yourself from feigned response. I will care not and ask that you let that be.  Allow this to that which greets every desire to contact me bring back to this note. This interesting diatribe.  Should death befall, leave me alone. Should you hear of my misfortune, leave me alone. Should you hear of my bliss, leave me alone.  Take your kin and return to your hovel.  I care not for passage nor grace.  I ask not for forgiveness. I ask for you to leave me be.

This post is not about death

I believe that there are instances of our life that happen like pictures.  With or without a camera those incidents are daguerrotyped into our brains and we’ll never completely get them out.  One of those pictures is of my first kiss. Another is the scene in my 3rd grade classroom when a girl got a hold of my journal and read the entries aloud. One that just happened is the face my grandfather made as he collapsed to the floor.

He’s been falling a lot lately and I don’t have anything in my toolbox that can help. I’m not a doctor. I can’t research his symptoms and prescribe adjustments that will result in him living longer.  If I could. I don’t know that I would.  He’s been ready to die since his wife died two years ago.  He wants it to be over and yet his life continues.  Well, some version of his life is in the works, but it’s not the whole one. Unfortunately, it’s not even sliced into neat pieces that are conducive to an orderly existence.  His mind is split into pieces that leave him calling me by my cousin’s name, calling his daughter by his mother’s name, and calling his sons by names I don’t recognize.  Sometimes when his computer tries to reboot itself he is left standing blank in a doorway or just in front of the sink.  If my aunt or I recognize the symptoms soon enough we can prevent fall. It’s not always possible.

A few days ago friends of the family, whom I’d never met, were visiting and asked me to describe him in one word. I chose ornery. It was, apparently, a harsh descriptor because everyone looked around the room and silence ensued.  But he is ornery. He is stubborn. He is mean. He is sweet. He is loving. He is my grandfather and I am here for him. I quit my job for him. I am living in the basement of this house for him. And me. I couldn’t remain 3,000 miles away, hear about his deterioration, and be okay.  I couldn’t be forced to deal with his death from a distance as I was my grandmothers’ and a former student’s. I needed to grieve up close for him and that’s what is happening.

I grieve for him slowly as I walk behind him bracing myself for his fall.  I grieve for him in pieces when I have flashbacks to the vibrant grey-haired man of my youth.  The one who would scrub my skin so hard in a Jamaican bathtub that I felt as if my whole self would peel off.  The man who loved me in my youth but allowed me to be abandoned by his son. The man who always had a drink in his hand, but never seemed to be drunk.  The man who loved my grandmother but cheated on her anyway.  The man who never said I love you. The man who loved me.  I grieve for him in whole pieces when I am away and hear his voice on the phone.  When I hear a great crashing sound as I go to bed and run back upstairs to care for him after he has fallen, if he has fallen. The man who I help get in and out of the shower. For whom I sometimes hold my breath as I walk into the bathroom to flush the toilet.  The man for whom I adjust old sweatpants that are too big and need to be tied extra tight to satisfy him.  The man I sit next to as he stares blankly through windows and relives his hauntings.  I grieve for this man constantly these days.  I am living in a state of grief.  It’s not always as hard as it was today.  But I saw his face as he fell and he was so afraid. I was too far to catch him and didn’t see it coming.  I will never get the sight of his fear out of my mind.

This post isn’t about death it’s about grief.  I want the grieving to be over.

IMG_3464

Still wheat free…kind of.

Last night I sneezed like I’d put my bed in a field of pollen and licked a cat hair lollipop.

Earlier in the day I made lentil walnut burgers that came out with too much liquid.  What does one do to absorb liquid? You add breadcrumbs.  In my case, I should’ve added gluten-free breadcrumbs, but I didn’t. I didn’t have any in the house. Plus I’m on a budget and didn’t want to and couldn’t walk to the store in time to get them and get back to watch my grandad. So I just tossed them in there thinking, “No big deal.”

It was a big deal.  Shortly thereafter, I started to sneeze. A lot.  I’ve had these fits often in the past.  I always thought they were just random allergy attacks even though I was on allergy medicine.  I’ve had them twice since on this gluten-free elimination test that Rebecca Wood suggests.  Both times align with accidental (sorta) ingestion of wheat.  So I’m going to continue to eat wheat/gluten-free to see if that’s really the case.  I also haven’t consumed any dairy since this test began.  I feel great, for the most part. The Cheetos cravings are getting crazy, but so has my life.  It’s hard to walk away, but I do.  They wouldn’t even be here except there’s a teenage boy in the house and I have no control over what he eats. So, they’re here. To tempt me.

I’m in the process of cooking some staple foods to make sure that I have pieces of recipes ready when meal times arrive.  It’s easier to toss some vegetables and seasonings in a pan when most of the work is done.  Overall this is difficult. It’s been a stressful week, but I’m thriving in spite of its events.  That’s nice. At least one thing that’s going well is how my body feels. I like that. I can’t control the events that occur outside of myself. I can, however control what I put into my body to fuel it.

** Side note, as I was tagging this post my grandad — who is having one of his bad days– came into the kitchen.  He wanted to know where I’d been since I left with that man last night.  I told him that I’d never left and that after I said goodnight to him I went downstairs and went to sleep.  He said, “Ok. You know that you shouldn’t be with a man who will beat you up.”  The rambling continued and I got increasingly sad.  He’s not the person I knew. He’s fading and it’s sad.  Being here with my grandfather makes me very sad.

Emotional Eating

Kale salad

I have this thing with food. I’ve talked about it at length in other blog posts like here and here.  It’s a process.  I’m back in Georgia and I’m stressed.  As I’m typing this my grandfather is taking a shower and I’m sitting outside the bathroom door as a precaution.  He’s already had 2 or 3 near falls this morning. Luckily I was there to catch him.  What do I mean by near falls?  His breathing becomes labored. His eyes roll to the back of his head. His body becomes rigid. His spirit goes away. When these “spells” occur, he has no control and will often fall or clutch the nearest object with the death grip to win all death grips.  Two or three times I was there. Once I wasn’t.

I heard something that sounded like marbles against a wall from the other room. I walked into his bedroom found him in the closet in an awkward diagonal with his head against the wall, stomach on boxes, and feet on the floor. I put him in the rescue position on the floor of the closet and put his head on a pillow.  He resisted told me he wanted to “bade” (take a bath).  I responded that I wanted him to stay there for a few minutes because he’d just hit his head.  He argued that he hadn’t and that he was fine.

He wasn’t fine.

It’s always difficult when I find my grandad after he has fallen.  The last big fall he had left him bloody and covered in his own urine.  Afterwards, I craved Cheetos. It was immediate. Once the adrenaline settled the craving took its place.  That time, I ate them. This time, I did not.

I’m on day 6 of a 21-day gluten-free elimination test.  I craved Cheetos last night and refrained from eating them. After his fall this morning, the craving returned and I refrained from eating them again.

I continue to be amazed at how connected I am — at a chemical level– to food. The events of this morning have renewed my sadness and reminded me that he is going to die.  I will have no grandparents left. I will no longer be tethered to this family that hurts. At least not tethered through obligation merely bloodline.  As I continue to explore my odd position in this family and the oddities of this family I can’t help but wonder what will happen to me when his life goes away.

My grandfather the soothsayer

The soothsayer himself

The soothsayer himself

I moved into the unfinished basement in my uncle’s house in December of 2012.  My grandfather’s health was declining and it hurt to be almost 3,000 miles away from him. This decision continues to challenge me in ways I could not have handled five years ago.  That’s not why I’m writing today.  I’m writing because my conversation with my grandad just freaked me the hell out.  It is already VERY difficult for me to live in a basement.  It’s dark and scary and it always feels like someone is going to break in and murder me.  I have my escape plan all mapped out.  Keeping that to mahself.  Not trying to have any impending murderers read this and foil my plans.

Two of the several rooms look like this:Fridge area

I mentioned the “several” not to be bougie, but to illustrate that this is a shit ton of room for one person to occupy. I usually sit on my bed with my back against the wall and my face like this:

Mi hear duppy.

Mi hear duppy.

It’s a scary situation of bounty. I digress. Today while eating my banging gluten-free breakfast of champyans in the upstairs kitchen.

My grandfather says, from behind me, “I have a kwestion, but mi nuh no di ansah. Mi nuh no whuh kwestion fi ask, buh mi wan’ tan an ansah.”

Translation: “I have a question. I’m not quite sure how to phrase it, but I’d like an answer.”

First of all. When talking to a fully coherent individual of any age I’d be like, “Well, work that sh*t out and get back to me when you have something a little more concrete.” Because honestly, what can anyone do with that?  He goes on to say,

“Sumting feel wrong wit the house. The house don feel right. Only chree of us here?”

Translation: “Something feels wrong with the house. Is there anyone else in here besides us?”

Umm the hell you say?  So his home nurse tries to assure him that we’re the only people here and I’m sitting there like this:

Mi feel him pon mi skin

Mi feel him pon mi skin

My grandfather is an 88 year old Jamaican man who has developed seizures, has a mysterious pain in his abdomen, and pisses himself on occasion. Ain’t nothing wrong with any of that though. After that long your body would probably start rebelling too.

I believe in the wisdom of elders. I believe in the power of people who are close to birth and death.  I have no doubt that at the cusps of our lives we are connected to things we eventually outgrow and return to, like spirits. Sooooo to hear this man talk about something being wrong in the house was freaky.  He kept saying that the position of the house has changed and that something is wrong.  I just listen because we’re both getting frustrated.  He wants me to tell him what’s wrong. I don’t know what’s wrong and he keeps telling me that “I don’t know grandad,” is an “unacceptable ansah.”

*The house phone rings*

I usually don’t pick it up unless I recognize the number.  This time I  picked up without recognizing the number.  The conversation went a little something like this, “Hello. The FBI reports that there are 10 million home break-ins each year…

I’m sorry, what?  If someone breaks into my house I swear fo’ God I will shit myself without shame.  I had my scared of duppy face on went I came back to the table where my grandfather was sitting.  Even though I was spooked I tried to let my grandfather know that we heard him.  His feelings were valid, but I just had no idea what was “wrong with the house.”  He then started to ramble and talk about how it was a holiday and everyone should be home.  I took that as my cue to exit the conversation.

The combination of my grandad’s words and that telemarketer phone call leaves me feeling off. That man and his soothsaying abilities have gotten under my skin.  I’m going to try and spend the rest of my day doing something other than looking for ghosts around the next corner.

The reluctant gluten-free vegetarian

Alright y’all, I’m LOSING it.  Its 5am I haven’t been to sleep all night because I was up watching, “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix (bomb), painting, and “cleaning.”  My stomach is rumbling and my head hurts. My hips and ankles are sore and I keep clenching my teeth even though I basically shattered a molar two months ago.  Being in Morocco was an exercise in controlled starvation.  Let’s just say there were a lot of potatoes and white bread involved.  I will not deny the presence of Pringles as well.  When I returned to the States I craved vegetables.  That’s all I wanted to eat. Veggies. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I regained some of the weight I’d lost, but I felt better.

I’ve never wanted to be vegan. If that were a choice I had to make it would be for health reasons and not ethical ones. I’m lactose intolerant. I rarely eat meat.  When I do, it’s seafood. Now I think I may have a problem with gluten.  Seriously?! This is getting ridiculous. There has to be something behind my joint pain, stomach cramps, weird cravings, head aches, and SERIOUS allergies.  That’s why I’m eliminating gluten, dairy, and meat. I will still e eating eggs. They’re not actually dairy, just an animal byproduct.

I’ve been thinking about going gluten-free since 2009.  A co-worker of mine and his family were gluten-free and pretty much had me convinced to do it then. I didn’t.  So when I came back from Morocco, I figured this was as good a time as any.  My stomach was basically empty anyway.  I’m also planning to do a juice fast a la “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead,” but first things first.  It doesn’t feel right starve my body of basic nutrients by being in a veggie dessert for a month to then fast on only fresh squeezed juice for 60 days.  So I’d like to balance my system by going on a 21-day gluten-free elimination diet. If that goes well and answers some questions then I probably won’t fast for 2 months. I’ll still fast though.  Fasting clears my head and centers my spirit.  Plus, I think it will help me address some of the questions I have about food related allergies.  It will also allow me to get a better result from introducing and eliminating problematic foods. I just want to feel better.

While visiting a friend in Oregon I went shopping for the basic grains and goodies at Trillium Natural Grocer in Lincoln City, Oregon.  There aren’t any food co ops near my home in Georgia so my friend suggested I mail things home.  I did.  That shopping trip cost me $200+. Mailing the package cost another $69.  I know. I know! I got excited. Bulk food shopping is a spiritual experience for me.  I bought enough short grain brown rice (it’s the business, y’all!) to last me for like 6 months.  I bought a bunch of quinoa as well.  Copious amounts. In the end I felt good about my purchases.  Quinoa here in the suburbs of Atlanta is about $6.79 a pound and I think I paid $3 -$4 at Trillium.  In Seattle, I’ve paid as little as $1.79 for a pound so nothing beats those prices.  As I type that I feel IMMENSELY guilty about how the surge of interest in foods like quinoa in the United States is making it nearly impossible for residents of small towns where the quinoa is sourced to afford this common food. And still I buy it.

Overall, I’ve set myself up for a successful gluten-free journey.  In my package I included gluten-free flours, mixes, and oats as well as other grains.  I had to grab some groceries when I got here so I’d have something to eat while waiting for my food bundle of joy to arrive from Oregon. I wanted to try new grains and I’ve never eaten barley so I got excited and bought some. Weeellllll, for those of you that know anything about gluten, barley is NOT gluten-free. It’s like the epitome of gluten.  Soooo, I’ve been super gassy and my stomach has been bloated and crampy for the past 48 hours.  Whoops. Experience is the name we give our mistakes, right?

My package should get here on Tuesday and in the meantime I’ll be eating gluten-free by cooking with veggies, nuts, fruit and whatever else I can find.  If you have any suggestions or similar experiences I’d love to hear them. I need some serious help, family!

Panera Cares; dead up.

Taking a quick reprieve from my Morocco journal to reflect on an experience that’s still happening.

I’m leaving Portland in a few hours to go back to Atlanta.  I’m returning to my grandfather after a long time away.  I slept on the couch of my friend’s cousin.  We called at 1pm and asked if I could spend that evening on his couch or whatever.  He called back at 4pm to say, “Sure!”  That’s the Miesle clan for ya. Always an open door for a stranger.  This is not the first time I’ve used my friendship with them to stay in a complete stranger’s home.   I feel like that’s what strangers are supposed to be; really awesome in moments of need.  In Morocco they have a saying pronounced, “DayfAllah.”  You can show up at someone’s house, knock on the door, say, “DayfAllah” and they basically have to let you stay there for at least the night. They’ll offer you shelter and food and tea.  You offer your best houseguest skills and take solace in having a nifty place to stay for the night. 

Even though I’m the kind of stranger you want to be around if something happens to you.  The sporadic kindness of strangers still surprises me.  I will stop, help, and make sure you’re cool for the foreseeable future.  It doesn’t often happen that someone returns the favor.  Apparently, Panera Bread Company is also a similar quality of stranger.  Let me introduce you to Panera Cares.

Panera Cares is a new kind of cafe – one that exemplifies an entirely different way of giving back. It is a community cafe of shared responsibility. One of the goals of this charitable program is to ensure that everyone who needs a meal gets one. People are encouraged to take what they need and donate their fair share. There are no prices or cash registers, only suggested donation levels and donation bins.” – Panera Bread Company

As soon as I walked in the door a woman with a “Georgia” name tag greeted me in a way that was, initially, unnerving.  She seemed like an overeager sales associate and I immediately searched my brain for ways to avoid her. I didn’t find any.  She asked me if I’d ever been into this location before and I told her I hadn’t. She explained that this branch was a little different and that they were one store out of five in the Nation.  The “prices” on the menu were suggestions, not prices. She went on to explain that if I could afford my meal then I could could pay. If not, then that was alright.  She also told me that large backpacks were not permitted in the cafe and I’d have to leave it at the side.  I was carrying one large multi-day pack, my smaller day pack and my leather bag. She also said that she would watch it for me to ensure that nothing happened to it. (She didn’t, but hey). I went to the register ordered a large soup and handed the clerk a ten dollar bill. She handed me a five and five ones and it didn’t register.  I could have said, “Thanks!” picked up my soup and bounced.  Instead I dropped the five in the donation bin and stepped to the side.  Could I have used a free meal? Absofreakinlutely.  I paid because I felt this heavy societal pressure to do my due diligence. It was also super important to me to not be lumped into the bundle that was homelessness.  I feel guilty writing this, but I didn’t want any of those people thinking I was homeless.  Man, I wish that weren’t a stigma.

I’ve read quite a few articles on how successful this program has been.  Here are some of the links:

  1. Problems at Panera Cares – Eater PDX

  2. Panera Cares Community Cafe – Panera Bread

  3. Panera Cares pay-what-you-can cafe learns about entitlement

  4. Panera Cares

I’m super happy that this is happening and I hope it lasts — and spreads like herpes.  Panera Bread is a huge corporate entity and I’m glad they’re figuring out a way to make the business model work.  I’m not up on my food security game and there are probably hundreds of community based organizations that have been doing this for years.  This is the first time I’ve heard of it. 

People love their Panera Bread. When our local Burger King was replaced by a Panera my hometown neighbors collectively and gleefully lost their shit.  Almost a decade later it is still packed to the hilt with elderly White people every Sunday. 

Yes Panera Cares has had it’s issues.  I appreciate the tactics they’ve adopted to address those issues.  I can think of several corporations that would benefit from it’s tutelage.

*I’d like to note, someone is walking around giving away free Panera Bread baguettes as I type. A blog entry to follow will examine why being here makes me so damn uncomfortable.*

 

Am I really in Morocco right now?

More from the journal I kept while in Morocco

June 27, 2013

First, I’m having a bizarre experience.  I am actually in Morocco!  What? What?!? We’re leaving Rabat tomorrow.  that makes me sad.  I’m learning so much.  The tv is currently on in the background and set to a channel speaking Darija and I’m able to understand words here and there.  More importantly, I’m able to hear Arabic as more than just one long word.  There is such beauty in this language.  I love Darija.  I would love to be fluent.  Not literate, but fluent.  Learning to write Arabic may be too much.  I think it’s a valuable language and I would benefit from learning it.  If Jamaica isn’t possible for me to visit consistently, may be Rabat should be my adopted country.

 

In this post I’ve used “Arabic” and “Darija” interchangeably. They are not. They are two separate languages.

Visit to the doctor’s office

More from the journal I kept during my visit to Morocco. In a doctor’s office in Rabat waiting to get my ear looked at.  I’d had water in it for about 4-5 days at this point.

*       *

There’s something that stings when someone tells you to lose weight.  My grandfather said it before I left.  My family said it at [the only] Christmas [we had together] when I was in high school.  When I look back at pictures I think I looked great and struggle with how I look currently.  The doctor just weighed me and told me to lose weight in Morocco. There’s a theme here.

We live in such a negatively affected society.  People are happy to mention what you should do to make yourself better.  Yet they often neglect to tell you something you do well.

*       *

The doctor came in so I had to go.

Apparently I’m good at learning Darija.  Moroccan Arabic is my shit.  I know I haven’t even been here a week and so it’s presumptuous to be talking about next year, but I’d love to comeback.  I’d love to become fluent in Arabic and learn basic french just so I can be better at Darija.  It’d be cool ot work with 19more in the nice months in Seattle, and Rabat in the rainy winter months.  I wonder what that would cost.  Home stay for 3 months each year?  Sell belongings in Seattle.  Leave boxes in someone’s basement?  I don’t know I could find roommates in Seattle where I could afford the rent — hella cheap.  They would be willing to walk Garvey or rather take care of Garvey for a small fee while I’m out of the country.  I dunno.  It would be nice.

sign

The face of God

More from the journal I kept on my way to Morocco

6-25? 6-24?

It is early even for me.  Roosters have been testing their lungs for several hours.  I awoke before the 1st call to prayer and I wanted desperately to go and see.  More feel than see though.  I miss the power of a holy place and haven’t found myself in a church sans my cynicism for quite sometimes.  The religion of my up bringing  feels foreign and has for many years.  This is not to say that my God is gone because He is not.  He created me, raised me, guided me and continues to pave my way.  The spirit inside of me has never left or been replaced.  My unique understanding of my Creator has though.  I embrace Him as Lord, Father, maleness unique to me because that is what I I need to feel as though, be balanced.  More than balance, I crave a Father.  More than a father I crave my God.  More so still I seek His name because previous utterances of my tongue and calls from my heart no longer fit. They feel tingly and numb and then fall right off.  I seek His name as away to ease myself.  To, perhaps, right what I’ve done wrong to seek out favor.  I ask that God be revealed to me on this journey and that I reveal myself to God.  Also important to note, must tell Kim and Eliott that Rabat looks just like Assassin’s Creed. Weird.

Je suis fatigue

More from the journal I kept on my way to Morocco

June 23, 2013 

I want to travel forever.  On the flight to Paris with my students and co instructors.  Just looked out the window and was, in fact still am –able to see this confusing and beautiful body of water.  It appears to be water land painted with sewage thirsting for water.  The sun is setting and so there is a brush stroke of faded orange to my left.  I have the window seat and the leisure of controlling 2 windows.  My fortune abounds and gratitude follows.  I am being paid to be at this place.  Where I can see the private moment where water clasps hands with sky.  Their palms linger and they are intimate.  I crave that intimacy with people and with the earth.  Living in an open place with people and love.  The sigh that follows hold my continued journey toward peace.  I am fortunate to be on this journey.  I am fortunate to known that this journey exists.  peace, like happiness is a journey not a destinations.  So happy to be on this journey.

*             *

We’ve been traveling for almost 24hours and some rando woman just scowled at me for brushing my teeth in the sink.  I wanted to yell, “hey lady! you want to be next to me in an hour or two?! My breath will be as funky as this bathroom and armpits 10x’s worse!” I feel like a terrible person but I just caught a cat nap on the floor of an airport in Paris.  I’m greasy, bloated, and I just want to be done moving.  The group of kids have been great.  Too great.  I wonder what’s going to go wrong and when.  Something smells funny.  It could have something to do with not having showering and the leftover smoked salmon wrapper in the garbage.

*             *

On the plane form Paris to Rabat.  Je suis fatigue. Je suis fatigue. Je suis fatigue. Tengo sueno. Deseo different… I want something different. I want to stop moving. I want the *water in my ear to drain.  I want the pain from it being there to stope.  Je suis fatigue. I am tired of doing this alone.  I want to experience life with my person. Where are you. I need you. Je suis fatigue.

*             *

In the Hotel Darna for the evening.  Thus concludes the journey from Seattle to Rabat via Paris.  I still have water in my ear.  It’s ringing now.  Will purchase alcohol –isopropyl tomorrow to try and dehydrate or rather evaporate the water from my ear canal.  Not tired at all but I should get some sleep.   Excited to hear morning prayers.

moroccan countryside