The twinkle of christmas lights thumbtacked into the faded peeling green paint of my room cast small pockets of splayed light onto the walls. The world outside my windows is dark, night has come at last. The spring evenings last longer now, but the weather is not much warmer. We started a fire tonight to take the chill out of the house. That’s how I know the warmth isn’t here to stay yet. That will come.
On the bed next to me my black lab snoozes, board that I spent much of my day preoccupied with anything but her. Not counting of course the game of tug a war, the continual Frisbee toss and fruitless demanding that she return it. The slight of hand bread snack from the counter and the special car trip to the post office. Those don’t count. At least she has found solace in the coziness of my quilt.
It’s quite peaceful, though I must admit I am more tired then I like. I have nearly been up for just thirteen hours and already my brain has decided its time to sleep myself. It’s only something I do to myself. I work hard long hours when I do, then become a hermit never changing from pajamas when I’m not. By the time I adjust to having time for writing and art, I take another job and the vicious cycle begins again. Somewhere there is a balance. People create when busy and tired.
I haven’t been entirely unproductive. I have written, addressed and sent of letters of fund raising for my upcoming mission trip to South Korea. That, I find takes a lot of patience and focus from me. Menial tasks such as folding not being the strongest of suits for me. My dog Luan was thrilled by that activity as it meant she could convince me to take Frisbee breaks. I also have a hard time asking people for things of any kind. I could never make a goods salesperson. As it is, I am doing things that are a challenge and that in its self is a good thing.
is this peace?
“This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
Once upon there was a woman who lived next to a mountain deep in the woods. She had traveled all over the world, met many a wise and noble soul and surely had her share of adventuring and could rest; but that was not to be.
It is hard to ignore the call to anything when it comes knocking at your door and presents itself so politely. It would be like turning away a sweet passerby for afternoon tea when secretly you requested their attendance in your heart. You see, I had quite made up my mind about how I was going to preceded in life, and it didn’t include adventure and service to the far east….
Well tell that to the call to Service in the Presbyterian church. It didn’t listen well. To have a calling is a peculiar feeling. Like someone keeps ringing you on the phone, leaves half a message then hangs up. One can only ignore it so long before calling back and demanding to know why. That’s in the extreme case of course. For me, the idea of service through faith had been presented to me by my grandmother who thought the Young Adult Volunteer Program might be of interest to me. Noticing that the deadline had passed, I proceeded to forget about the whole affair, assuming that I had enough on my plate trying to break into the film and television world. As a persistent guest, the notion continued to live with me, encouraging me to explore the idea of service further until, six months later I found myself accepting a position in Daejeon Korea for a year of service through the presbyterian church.
Although its a place I never predicted myself in, I cannot deny that I am excited and thrilled about what challenges the coming year has to offer. Stepping out of the boundaries of comfort will only continue to help me grow and give back to a world which has been so kind to me. I am a storyteller at heart and to me life is but a tapestry of individual stories woven together to create a beautiful narrative of life. I seek stories from people who surround me. One doesn’t have to look far to find them, they are all around. The majority of my stories come from history, the endless tome of adventure, songs and tales. Much of my life thus far has been dedicated to learning about the past stories so to better understand the ones of today. I look forward to stepping into a culture foreign to me, but rich with myth, history and story.
So I find myself going to Korea. Some of you already know this and to some this may come as a surprise, as this will be the first public announcement of my journey. I am privileged that I get a chance to serve my world, its people and faith. I will be traveling in August and from there I can only guess at what will happen. Some have said that I am making a mistake, that I am putting my career on hold. I argue that film is only a small aspect of storytelling and storytelling is nothing without life. Therefore I am giving my life to the greater world and allowing myself to be a vassal to a faith that has guided me thus.
Please join me as the journey continues…
I think that certain people come into your life at certain times for specific reasons. I mean, think about the sheer volume of people we come into contact with on any given day. Hundreds of thousands of soul cross paths with us, let alone the billions that inhabit this world. Yet, we only manage to connect with some of those, become friends with less and even fewer become family.
I bring this up, because I made the time this past week, with my crazy life a schedule to visit some of my old college friends in Ohio. I was in popular demand. That’s what happens when you attend an out of state school and come back for a visit. Everyone wants a piece of you. I decided the easiest way to handle it was have an impromptu dinner party. I wasn’t working normal people hours so I could host a dinner for ten.
Cooking for others to share is a magic thing. I had the joy of getting to spend the afternoon with my two close friends, sisters if you will, chopping and sauté all afternoon. We even decided to dress up, dawn aprons and jam out to the Musical Hamilton. There isn’t anything like slicing potatoes while singing “My Name is Alexander Hamilton” at the top of you lungs.
Dinner itself was wonderful. A group of people who share a moment in their crazy lives to partake together in a meal is one of the closest and the most primitive ways to connect with another person, surpassed by only a few other ways.
As I looked around the table, I saw the faces of people who had come to be important presences in my life. People who shared memories, laughter and tears with me. The world is a large chaotic place, filled with fright and unnameable terrors. To find people throughout the journey who sprinkle in light makes it that much less large scary. They create a world that is worth waking up to everyday, a world in which dreams are made and adventures are shared.
I am thankful for them everyday.