Wednesday, January 27, 2016

When I Loose My Speech

When I loose my speech,
Please often call my name.
And tell me that everything is okay.
And that you understand me.

When I loose my speech,
Please hold my hand.
And please say I am still brilliant.
And that you love for me to me sing.

When I loose my speech,
Please tell me I am beautiful.
And please play with my hair.
And bless my mind in teasing.

When I loose my speech,
Please scratch my itchy back.
And look at me in the eye.
And fix my bed-worn hair.
And pull my sheets up tight.

When I loose my speech,
Please smile inside at my joy.
And laugh inside at my trust.
And joke around at my babble.
And be nervous about my fall.

When I loose my speech,
Please do not just forget.
Do not forget that this piece of flesh still craves you.
That my mind still wants you.
And this heart still beats for you.

When I loose my speech,
Please look at me in wonder.
And think of me in song.
And live with me in laughter.
And stand by me in love.



Saturday, September 5, 2015

So, I Think I Forgot: "such and such" and the idea of things

I think I forgot something....Oh the rest of my travels. 

I fill up with anxiety at the thought of procrasitnaion, yet procrastination has a delicious way of defining my life.


After Spain we flew to Moldova.

Dano day one. Small village in Moldova 
I have one story to sum up the whole experience: There was a small boy named Dano.

 Dano was five years old but he looked like he was three.
 His skin was taught around his bones and his snap-up pants were fit for a diapered two year old. But in his blue eyes and through his pale skin I could see his hunger to be loved. 
It was like every hair on his small head was saying, "love me." 
It was all I could do not to just reach out and pick him up and squeeze his little bones.

But I just watched. 

He was quiet and would not talk. 
The message was about faith and having faith as small as a mustard seed.

 I asked him, "Dano, what do you want to have faith for?" The translator translated. 

No answer. Pause. 

"Dano, what do you want to pray for?" 

No answer, a face bent down. 

"Dano, tell me," I said in the smallest voice possible. 

The translator translated. 

Silence. 

He looked up, and with a small mouth said, "A toy. I want to have faith for a toy."

Materialism is not materialism when the idea of things makes you feel human.

Dano was the first one to receive a toy. The silent boy smiled. He smiled, he played, and he hugged me with beaming eyes. There are lots of Danos.

There are lots of Danos.
After Moldova Italy.

(Italy with my family.)

It was spectacular. And amidst the 12 mile-a-day walks that almost killed my dad, or the stomach bug we were all weirdly infected with, we did Rome. The Colosseum was by far my favorite. The colossal scale was...colossal. Oh and the pasta was perfectly Al dente. Cacio e Pepe was my very very very favorite.  I could eat it all day. Also Savannah (my brother's girlfriend and my future sister/current soul sister) directed us to the best GELATO ever. 


We also drank water out of ancient statues, dodged the pee-stained streets, and bought the most fun touristy hats. #wheninrome.

$5 suckers. But it was fun.
"I just want to touch the Colosseum."
Italy to France.
France is special. It holds a dear place in my heart because of its ease, its comfort, its personality. Daily in Plaza Republique there is a free community hip-hop class. Old men jump in, young babies attempt, and teens alike. 

A prayer from both of us of where to go next. And a peace that the knowledge will come.
In France, you live a busy life of leisure. You take your lunch and grab a drink or coffee. You end all meals with a digestif. You slurp your escargot with pleasure and grab your baguette to begin your day. You walk around in style, you work with grace, and you dine seriously. Brian and I appreciated the delicate attention to all things good in France. Your table manners, your drinking manners, the proper knife and fork, and the *popless* sound de-corking the bottle of wine.

 In France, I was taught how to start my life over with ease as a mental state. To stop running and start striding. To take it easy (something I have never done in my entire life) and not feel guilty. To let the Lord just lead where I do indeed place my feet. To do one thing and do it well, to enjoy time with special people. To live on my own Left Bank, and to enjoy.

A prayer of healing for two in the Cathédral of Nortre Dame.
My Auntie used to say to me upon pulling onto Summerly Drive,
 "home again, home again, jiggety jig." 

Blogging will commence soon about the trials and tribulation of teaching. 
I will be sure to let you know. Thank you for reveling in my antics and happenings. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Day We Found the Bunny's Head

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
There’s always a character. Wherever you go-on a bus, in a taxi, waiting in line, or in the bathroom; someone is making a scene no matter how big or how small. So start to notice the nuances in people around you. For example, the woman in the bus who walked briskly past me, bumped into the seat with her arm and exclaimed, “Oiii I broke my watch!” Or the woman in her mid 70s with a stare that could compete with anything. 

This is the main reason I love to blog whilst traveling-so that I can share these characters and happenings, because I want us all to start noticing the little silly things, or the little sad things, or the little mundane things. 

View from the Bus on the way to Basque Country! Wind and Solar Power EVERYWHERE!
So, we have traveled to Bilbao- a wonderful city with incredible architecture. 
The Guggenheim Museum is there among other beautifully constructed buildings, foot bridges, and street art. The fresh breeze walking into the city was so refreshing after suffering from the 100+ degree heat of Madrid. It was like we could breathe, and we both shouted, “I LOVE BILBAO!” It is on the north coast of Spain in Basque Country, Pais Vasco. We stayed in a hostel and met a friend who we ended up running into again in the streets of San Sebastián, how wonderful.

Cathedral in Bilbao, very close to the Guggenheim 
From Bilbao we journeyed to Mundaka, it is a very famous little town about an hour away from Bilbao. This is a spot with “world class waves, but only in the  fall and winter time.” 
A lot of you surfing geeks will know what I am talking about. Apparently, I learned, and re-learned, and learned again, that there the wave there breaks so perfectly because of the sandbar and the "river mouth."

Beside the FAMOUS wave breaks, Mundaka. 
In Mundaka we stayed with a lovely fellow named Jon (a British ex-pat from London trying to make a little money on the side housing surfers and friends alike in his very central apartment). Jon's place was about 0.45 seconds from the beach and about 10 minutes to the main area of town where we ate the BEST and the BIGGEST bocadillos (sandwiches). 

It is here where I discovered the most delicious wine in the whole of Spain, Txakoli, pronounced cha-ko-lee. 
(It is possible to buy a GOOD glass of wine for 1.10 Euro, holy cannoli). 
Also something random to note, Gin and Tonic is one of the most popular drinks in the places we have visited thus far in Spain. 
So, if that be your drink of choice, come on down! 

Crumbs in Mundaka.
Mundaka seemed to be the spot for Spaniards to come vacation.
 It reminded me of a really cool and ancient resort town. 
Kids were running around everywhere and parents were sitting at the bars and restaurants whistling for there children to “come on, we need to go home.” 
It seems that every year the same families come to vacation and the children are so excited to romp around everywhere climbing up ancient churches, jumping off 11 foot tall concrete ramps into the harbor, taking their Euros to the stands and buying individual gummy candies, ice creams, and playing hand ball ("pelota") on an ancient church’s wall. 

Mundaka also has some wonderful hiking spots. 
We chose to go on one that was a nice circle about 8K long with great views.
 Jon gave us a map and a warning, “you will here some dogs barking, but its okay there chained to their houses.” 
Having recently been bitten by a dog I summoned my courage and we began our journey into the dog territory. Along the way we ran into not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, but TEN ferocious dog barks and scary signs that said, “STAY AWAY!!!” in Basque (yes, in the Basque country they have their own language which is nothing similar to Spanish-it is very interesting to read about, so I will leave that research up to you).
 Brian and I found a wonderful Basque family hiking together, decided there was strength in numbers, and hiked with them. Then we found a bunny's head (only the head?).

Just a little hiking.

...hiking maybe got the best of us.

Also in Basque Country is San Sebastián, where we stayed right in the middle of the Pintxo capital of the world. Probably one of the most frequented streets in all of San Sebastián. It was incredible. Every morning at 4 am the people were going home from the bars and then shortly after at 5:30 am the clinking of glass bottles was being tossed out and at approximately 6:30 am the street was hosed off and swept with a huge sweeper machine. 
Really, I don't say this in a way of “oh I didn't sleep” but in a WOW it was so COOL that there are literally so many moving parts.

People Picking Pintxos. (Say that 5 times fast!!!)
Pintxo’s you ask? A Pintxo (pronounced “Peen-cho), is a little appetizer served on a skewer or a baguette slice. There are so many varieties: you have your marinated sardines (LOTS of them!) with peppers on a toothpick, and your Spanish tortilla on a slice of a baguette, a slice of ham with cheese or anchovy or pepper on top of baguette, or my personal favorite, two or three button mushrooms sandwiched in between fresh cheese, coated in butter and lemon on top of a baguette slice. Something to note: if you want a good Spanish experience, don't really be afraid of a little bread and a little ham.

Brian sprays a boogie boarder in his way amongst the people. San Sebastián.

Madrid to Bilbao to Mundaka and “Life with Jon” to San Sebastián and now we are on a bus to Barcelona. 
The scenery has changed from Madrid and the outskirts looking very similar the the West of the US, very dry, and expansive, to moving up to the North Coast and things looking very luscious and green and mountainous (the mountains in a bus get a little bit scary). 
Now going back down and to the Meditarenanen area is reminding me again of the dry desert, though I am not near the coast yet, so we shall see. 
But the person in front of me just lowered their bus seat and I look like a sardine (yes, pun intended), so I think I am going to end this post now. I like to keep you hanging, so keep waiting on my next post. I do not know when that will be!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"Fenomenas"

We have officially left the beautiful country of Iceland with a, "we WILL see you again." 
The last day of Islandia was very interesting. One of those joys of flying and getting cheap fights, we had a red eye from Reykjavik to Madrid at 1:40 in the morning. Of course we did not get a hotel room and decided to romp around the city one last day exploring and kinda killing time. I don't think we have ever eaten so much in our lives, enjoying the last taste of Icelandic doughnuts, Icelandic beer, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. Attempting to make ourselves exhausted so we could sleep on the over night 4 hour flight.

Most famous (lamb) hot-dogs in Iceland. Everyone goes to this little stand to get them. Yes, please, I'll take 5. 
And then, five days ago at 12:30pm, we entered the country of España.



My mom texted me yesterday and said, "Wiggly Feet must be doing a lot of wiggling and walking cause Wiggly Feet's pen is sure silent." Well thank you mom for calling me out and making me remember that YES I have done a lot of wiggling and YES that is such a beautiful thing. 

Brian and I are staying with my mom's cousins, Pam and Paco in Spain. Such wonderful family! And we have all literally been waking up every morning at 7:50 (after going to bed around 2:30) for the running with the bulls to watch it on the television just waiting for someone to get gored!!! It is quite thrilling, actually. Learning people's little traditions and just ways of life is so beautiful to me. After the bulls, we drink our juice, eat a cookie, then have been going back to sleep for about an hour (well, Brian and I do...and sometimes Paco copies our "smartness"). When we wake, again, Pam makes us coffee, Paco tells us some funny antic or, to look out for this and that in the city, and we head out for the day.

Just a light lunch.
We can officially say we have done Madrid right. It has been a crazy whirlwind eating (best ham in the world, and cheese), tasting delicious wine and beer, walking, walking, walking, and having to boost our blood sugar from all of our sweat drainage, eating little pastries, and walking some more.


Floopy zebra doughnuts. It's okay, say it out loud and smile a little.
Paco may single handedly be the funniest person I have ever met in my life. He has so many stories, silly patronizing antics, and quirky rules he has set for his life. 
For example, "it is against my religion to drink beer after dinner." 
The exception for this rule: when there is no whisky.

He is the inspiration for this blog title, "Fenomenas."

Paco and Pam have reminded Brian and me how comforting family can be. For me, it has been from family I have never met until now. How special it is to meet two people who knew my grandfather (whom I was never blessed to meet), my mother, aunt, uncle, grandmother, and great grandmother. Such wonderful stories, and family history I didn't know. 

Parque de Madrid: There are so many statues and sculptures in Madrid. This is in the Central Park-esque park in Madrid, overlooking the picture below:

I could comment all day long on the stories, like when a little doggy jumped out of a stroller and almost walked into the grocery store, or when we got kicked out of the Prado Art museum because it was closing time and we only had time to look in one room of art, or when we went to the same market three times in one day because we loved it that much, or the little moments of tears, the tapas, the pulpo, the big moments of happiness and skipping through the streets, moments of extreme dehydration, etc., but I will just share these pictures and hope you can create stories from them. 

Mercado de San Miguel
Stretching legs in the Real Jardín Botánico

National Library...The only way you are allowed to enter is if you are doing research for a University.
Royal Palace
Until next time.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Yoko Ono Stories and the Faerie Who Stole My Earring

Geyser
"When I was in France with my girlfriend, I heard a few school boys say, ‘John Lennon is alive,' and I was so flattered to be a look-a-like of my favorite rock star,” said our bus driver for a tour about the beautiful country of Iceland. 

Shortly after he told a story of why Yoko Ono visits Iceland every year on John Lennon's birthday: to witness the lighting of the “Peace light house” for all to see, summoning world peace with light and good Yoko Ono feelings. (I’m really not that cynical, it is a beautiful thing. Children have letters stuffed inside of the lighthouse asking for world peace, no violence, etc.) The lighthouse stays lit from John Lennon’s birth day to his death day. 
An Icelandic man told me, “I never let truth destroy a good story, that is the Icelandic way.” 

A wonderful thing to note: the people of Iceland have circles in their stories, they seem like they are venturing on a horribly wonderful and seemingly lost path, but they bring the stories back to the point eventually in a hilariously satisfying way.

 Through oral storytelling of sagas, you can see the connection Icelanders have to their land, their history, and the pride they have in their country. It is very similar to the Native American story telling and connection to landscape (hint-hint-read my New Mexico blog postings from two years ago!). I’ll stop, but I could write an essay about this connection. Perhaps I will soon.  
Glacier Man


Black Pebble Beach


Cliff Formations (Basalt Columns) 
Architect of this Church was inspired by the above Basalt Columns
The best moment we had yesterday was riding around on a bus for 9 hours stopping at (what was supposed to only be three different places) NINE different natural and living phenomenons: a glacier, two hugemongous waterfalls (both of which Brian ran up to like a little boy up to and got splashed by the powerful water and oh, I drank the water from Skogafoss!!), saw flippy-flappy puffins, petted the pure bred Icelandic horses (I fed one!), rock formations, a black pebbled beach, the continental divide between the North America and Eurasia tectonic plates, and a cave. 

WOW.


And even though when I ran behind a waterfall a faerie stole my most precious and favorite earring from New Mexico, I was blessed more than I could imagine. You see, Brian wanted to do this tour and I wanted to do a different one. But, we decided that we would do this one first, and the one I wanted second. I trusted, I prayed for my attitude, and boom. Blown away with blessings. Our tour guide was fantastic. All this was possible because our bus ended up only having six people on it and our guide told us, “Because we are such a small gourd, we may do something extra!” 
I said, “YES!” 
And he said, “Oh, why do you say ‘YES’ with such enthusiasm?” 
And I said, “Because, we all like to feel special.” 
And he said, “Oh, my dear, you all were that before you stepped on this bus.” 

All this dialogue to say, he was a wonderful man and told us wonderful folk tale sagas.
 He told us stories of faeries and trolls and of German women being eaten by the Black Pebble Beach.  

Skogafoss

With a population of around 300,000 on the island of Iceland, we have experienced the most beautiful people, stories, and are continuing to learn more about each other as a couple. We discussed this morning how important it is to have this time together, trying to explore in different ways, having different desires, under the umbrella of sameness. It is sweet, it is messy, and it will be so fruitful. 
I cannot wait to see what is before us today.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greeted by Glacier Water and Caterpillars

View from the bus at KEF airport to Reykjavik, the Capitol of Iceland.

Unlikely meeting of three beautiful friends and I realized how important companionship is.
This meeting was post-interivew from local Icelander about wind turbines, how I would make them look better, and if I would by one. Lookout people-I'm about to be famous. Keep checking your local Icelandic stations for my debut.

Taking a delightful swig of my *free* "Iceland Glacier Water," a fuzzy crawly caterpillar decided to crawl by our legs on the airplane. I wonder if he slept more than we did. The 5 hour flight seemed like 15 long and drawn out hours of tossing and turning in and out of sleep. I think after the jet lagged delirium of yesterday, I purchased only one hour of restful slumber broken up in five-20 minute segments in between trash collection and the drink cart. 

Needless to say, we powered through the whole day running on one hour of sleep. (Side note: I think a 4 hour time difference is WAY worse than anything else. Just close enough to be almost right, but just far enough to be heinous to your mind and body.) And the first day in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik was incredible and shocking! Driving in, Brian said it looked like we were on the Moon. The terrain on the outskirts of the capital city is so rocky. There are rock formations everywhere so delicately placed standing tall on top of one another. Inside the city there is a ton of incredible street art, wool stores galore, and one disorganized, very functional book store. Who knew that you could find a James Fenimore Cooper book in a strictly Icelandic bookstore? Lucky ducky, I'd say. Especially when I left the only book I brought with me on the plane. Hmph.

What is neat, to me about the city of Reykjavik (besides the happy hour 1/2 price beer that is the most delicious think in the whole world and I could bathe in it) is that the Icelandic people co-habitate beautifully with the tourists. You will find a restaurant or coffee house with 60% Icelandic people, 40% tourists. Quite nice, actually. 

Today Brian and I are going to venture out and enjoy the nature. 


Haphazard Bookstore, they all should be this way. P.S. Thank you Dr. Noland for teaching me how to pronounce the "æ" letter. I can grapple at some words in Icelandic. 







Friday, January 31, 2014

And I Just Can't Stop

That is my whining blog face.  That is my boy.  To the right is my darling, dashing brother, and his dear girl. Yes, you can still have love and a life that says, "go."
Well,  I realized something: (In a whining voice) I just want to blog!  I think I got some sort of rise out of it this summer and it was incredible.  And since I have now been dubbed Student Global Citizen of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, I thought it would be a good way to celebrate: post to my blog.  Hoooray! (Even if it is a month late).

Other reasons for continuing a blog:

  1. Besides the fact that I have a great deal to say to the world, I think there are some interesting things I can post here.
  2. Why does a blog have to be about just one thing??!  For someone so excited about life, my brain (the organized chaos) flies every which way at all times.  Why can I not capitalize on it?  
  3. If I ever make it big, then maybe I can afford to have more than one site for more than one thing.
I also had the thought, one day maybe in 30 years if technology has not exploded, I will look back on this blog and think how immature, naive, and silly I was.  Oh well.  "Hello" to my future Abbey Self.  
I do hope you have not changed much.


I want to make today, National Go Read Your Favorite Children's Book Day.


I pray everyone is doing good things in their lives. 

More words will come.