eight – an odd collection

I collect endings like others collect souvenirs. 

Take a list of my favorite books, and I will point you to passages within their pages that give them that status with me. Ask me what my favorite movies are, and I will share my favorite scenes. The same holds for plays, television shows, sometimes even music. The beginnings and the middles, the characters and plots and movements — all race through my head when given the chance. Endings, though — endings, I collect.

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seven – ohana

I come from a family full of stories.

Books, certainly, but also road trips, slips of tongue, song writing, witty comebacks, restaurant fiascos, prayer-sharing, secret recipes, inside jokes, legendary sunburns, concert attendances, safety-dad-teasing, loudly singing, church-going (and skipping and planning and planting and loving), tears flowing, laughter running stories.

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We like to laugh, my family and I.

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five – dreams like lupine

When I let myself wallow, I breathe long and deep and slow and sometimes, sometimes I stop breathing all together.

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Just for a minute. I lie down, stare at nothing in particular, and listen to my heart pound: each throb against my rib cage a shattering reminder that I am here for now and every breath you have is borrowed my dear, so please — make the most of it.  Continue reading

four – braids and burns

This is a story about my hair. I did not set out to write about my hair, but given the events of the last twenty-four hours, it would appear that my hair set out to make me write about it.

It all started with yesterday’s hairstyle. I am a tremendous fan of braids. Seriously. About a year and a half ago, I taught myself to French braid because I was bored with my history reading and feeling a bit antsy. It took a remarkably short amount of time (read: something like ten minutes), and after that I was hooked on everything from fish-tails (get it? hooked?) and waterfalls to pigtails and twists.

ImageIn any case, yesterday I braided the side of my hair around my head and into an updo. It’s one of the easiest, classiest looks I know, and I wanted to look at least somewhat put together for my first appearance on Carolina’s campus (for my own sake, since I know… no one here. … Yet!). I was quite proud of this look yesterday — I mean, come on. Look at that braid! Definitely one of my better attempts.

Of course, wandering around campus for hours on end means only one thing when you’ve got skin as pale as mine: sunburn.

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three – bugs and bibles

The funny part of this post came about after I ate some of my frozen watermelon for dessert last night.IMG_1317Better than popsicles, that stuff.

In any case, there I was: night arrived, lamp on, fan blowing, windows open to the cool breezes of the evening, Bible opened to Isaiah. Perfectly peaceful. As I lay there reading, something moved in the corner of my (limited due to glasses) peripheral vision. I looked up, only to find myself confronted with a small, green bug. Now, I’m not one to go all squeamish over bugs (except cockroaches. Don’t get me started on how nasty those things are. Not to mention terrifying — they can survive nuclear blasts, for Pete’s sake!), so I did what any self-respecting person would have done in my place: I swatted it to death with the closest thing to hand.

… which happened to be my Bible. Naturally.  Continue reading

two – culture shock

IMG_6535One thing I have learned during my short stay in these parts is that North Carolinians are very, very aware of their sidewalks. If two slabs are uneven, they mark them with bright paint to alert you of the problem. I discovered this example on my afternoon run through the neighborhood. Hailing from Philadelphia (the land of broken sidewalks and tree-root-jumps galore), this discovery came as quite a surprise.

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