Settled in Tucson

I arrived last night and settled in fairly quickly.  A staff member picked me up from the airport and we laughed the entire way back to campus. Is that what it’s called, campus? I don’t know.  Here’s a picture of me in my yurt:

Yurt living!

Yurt living!

You may not know this, but living in a yurt is on my list of things to do before I die. YEEESS!

It’s day one and and I’m just entering the Honeymoon phase, but I’m in love. The heat. The creatures. The yurts. The people. Everything.

I fell asleep at 9:30 last evening and awoke at 6:00 this morning and went for a run.  If you’ve been reading my previous entries you’ll know I hate to run. Tucson’s elevation is at 2,643 above sea level, whereas Pennsylvania is at 446′. My lungs felt the difference. I probably jogged for 1.5 miles and was like “Alright, that’s enough for today, folks!” and went back home. Ate gluten-free oatmeal sweetened with molasses and some shared watermelon and now I’m here sitting on my bed in front of two fans.  It’s 79 degrees, but it feels like a gajillion.

I’m happy though.

The one thing missing is my dog. There are 4 dogs on campus and though the weather would torture Garvey, and his hair would quickly become home to sharp objects, he would love it.  I miss him.  My next move has to include him. Wherever that maybe, he’s got to be alongside me.

My favorite pic of us.

My favorite pic of us.

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

 

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