Monday, July 19, 2010


Writing is like enjoying a decadent piece of chocolate cake in my soul. Except... better. When I finish, I feel strong, like I've just run five excellent miles on a crisp day. I love playing with the words and letting them flow onto the paper or through the keys on the keyboard. I like putting my writing online sometimes because I like to share it. I have a friend who says she writes for others, because others like her writing. Not me. I write because it's something that gives me pleasure, perspective, and it reminds me what my own voice sounds like.

Writing is like diving into a cold pool (which are getting really hard to find in Kansas City) on a hot summer day. I feel like I glide along weightlessly, wriggling with sheer joy in my proficient English.

hello writing. i love you. let's be BFF.

song of the summer

'tis a worshipful experience
to walk barefoot on the hot earth,
my voice joining cicada and frogs
singing under a million stars and
noticing how my body adapts to
cushion the blow of the cement,
then my stride softens with the grass.

Friday, July 16, 2010

distracted... a confession

I have noticed that I often don't know what to do with myself in the morning. (I know, I know. At this point, you are all thinking "Gee, Ellen, maybe you should get a job..." I'm working on it! But for now I'm enjoying paying attention to the way I experience emotions in many of the same cycles every day.) So. I have noticed that I like to start my days off pretty relaxed. I think my ideal day would begin by waking up around 7:30am (assuming I had gotten enough sleep). I'd then do some centering prayer, have a light breakfast while reading or talking to someone, then read a book or the newspaper. About an hour after eating, I'd walk around to make sure laundry and dishes were all taken care of, then I'd do some yoga or go for a bike ride or swim. Then I would start in on some meaningful task... writing letters, running errands, preparing the house for company, applying for jobs, researching schools, talking to friends, or something.

Doesn't that sound nice? Now, I ask myself, why - if I have no schedule and no real committments - do I not do that in the mornings? I generally wake up and don't feel like praying. So I skip that. Then I carry my book downstairs and proceed not to read it, but instead focus entirely too much on my bowl of cereal, which is followed by tooling around the internet for a while until I have completely lost any sense of direction for the day I might have retained from the night before. Then I think that maybe I should have a snack and start over, nevermind that I am actually not yet hungry.
Today has shaped up a bit like this, though I did do yoga this morning. However, the day is young, it's only 12:14 pm... I think I will try to make the most of the afternoon.

I'm going to start by copying, by hand, a passage on a blog I really enjoy that articulates that sometimes pain is only the gateway to something more beautiful. I like copying passages of things by hand, I think it's a bit of a lost art.
I also like blogging. It gives me a bit of perspective on my life, it reminds me that I have thoughts other than "Cheerios or Grape Nuts?" Oh. I haven't had Grape Nuts in a long time... hmm.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

a bit about myself

I went to a small, Christian, liberal arts college. We were required to attend chapel an average of three times a week. During my four years there, I heard my fair share of speakers - pastors, students, faculty, alumni, parents, etc. There are a few "chapel speeches" that stand out to me. There was the time Moriarty asked us to take of our shoes and leave them there to donate them to the poor. Why? To practice letting go of something with no notice in case we ever met a person with no shoes. There was the alum who told us about when she and her classmates parachuted mice in from the ceiling. It was so vivid I actually imagined experiencing it myself.
There was also a student named Emily who shared with us her penchant for making lists of things she liked or ways she defined herself. I liked that one a lot. So, partially in order to remember who I am, partially to capture that person online at this particular moment in time and space, and partially to give you an idea who is writing this, let me hook you up:

I am currently sorting out a lot of experiences. College, study abroad, a random assortment of jobs ranging from washing the football team's laundry to filling out citizenship apps for permanent residents, to teaching English in Spain for a year. Oh yeah - I just lived in a foreign country for a year. Well, technically nine months. Da igual. Spanish often comes out when I mean to be speaking English. More things: I recently updated my resumé and while looking over it I thought, "Dang. I forgot I did this stuff."
I don't swear in English. Ever. But I do sometimes in Spanish.
I generally enjoy working in the kitchen in the morning. I don't know why.
I am a vegetarian. And I like it.

That is all for now. You know why? Bed time!

Bubble writing?

Why the name?
Why the blog?

It turns out I like keeping a blog. I like paying attention to things and then writing about them descriptively. I think it's relaxing and life-enriching. I also think that while my life coming back stateside may not make for good travel magazine material, it's worth writing about.

bubble writing:
possible definishions (oh my. that's atrocious):
1. like a speech bubble coming out of my mouth
2. a metaphor - capturing moments in writing sometimes is like attempting to write on a piece of bubble gum that is inflated into a bubble.
3. This is probably where it came from - I like bubbles. I like writing. I recently spent some time at a monastery in Atchison, KS. One of the previous guests had left a giant tube of bubbles there. I spent a good amount of time swinging on the porch swing and blowing bubbles with a rod that was approximately twelve inches long.

That experience reminds me that sometimes, for all my striving, I really just need to sit and blow bubbles. Or blog. Or do some other thing that is valuable only because it brings me joy.

Welcome to my journey. A twenty-three year old with internal encyclopedias of knowledge, experience, people, and places... looking forward expectantly at life...