After Death

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Where is it that they go–when they are gone?

Where is it that we go?

Is it someplace within our reach?

Or some place beyond what we can fathom?

Can they feel us where they go–

Like we seem to think we feel them?

Is anyone–any life–

Ever truly gone?

Can anyone truly answer–

the question…

…Of what comes after death?

Are the answers to these questions something

We are meant to understand?

Blogging as “Community”

A few days ago, I read a blog post that really left me thinking. It left me wondering what blogging really does mean to me.

Despite the fact that the post did resonate with me, I didn’t immediately respond to it. Instead, I have been letting the ideas soak in and I have been exploring my thoughts about them as they come… As I trek the college campus… As I am driving in my car…

Lately, I have been writing just so I can practice developing a thought; and as I’ve said before, “for the clarity of my own understanding.”

However, there was this one point on that post–about “community” in blogging. This point reminded me that community is something that is important to me, and it also made me reflect on what community means to me exactly.

Is blogging just about random likes and visitors? Or is it about starting and maintaining conversation and connection?

Perhaps, because of where I am as a blogger at the moment, the blogging community sometimes doesn’t feel “real” to me. Maybe I am thinking of “likes” on WordPress too much like “likes” on Facebook and Instagram—2 social media outlets where often times, despite the “likes” and comments you still feel disconnected to your followers. However, I guess some online communities aren’t built to be the same.

For instance–online forums… I have definitely used them to communicate on a more serious level—like providing travel tips or obtaining them for my own use.

And when I was a teenager, it was even more serious. I was part of a forum where the members maintained a conversation with each other everyday. And although we didn’t all know each other personally, each member had an online identity and reputation that was real to everyone who was a part of that forum. We could even quickly identify a stranger coming into our conversations. And sometimes, we even called each other on the phone when things got really real. But, I never wanted to admit to anyone that I had friends “online;” even if this was around the time of MySpace.

I especially didn’t want to do admit so as I got older. The fact that I had online friends at some point then became kind of a secret about my past, and it hasn’t been until recently that I have been able to openly talk about that in regular conversation.

And then—as far as less serious forums, like the travel forums… With all this stuff about keeping your identity safe over the internet-my involvement in such outlets has been diminished. However, looking back does help me to remember that I have been part of online communities in the past. So they do mean something.

There is another thing that caught my attention, though.

This week, there were a few moments when I spoke up in class for whatever reason. And I have begun to notice that—when I do raise a hand to speak in class—my heart just starts beating so intensely and I almost dread the idea of talking. And it was the same this week. I spoke up, and afterwards, I would try to type something into my computer but my hands would just shake from being so stressed and from all the adrenaline.

So then, I would just hide my hands because it would be embarrassing for someone to see that speaking up makes me so nervous. But also at that time, I had already been reflecting about the blogging, so I ended up making a connection…

I don’t shake in class every time I speak because I’m shy or anything. I just don’t reveal too much of my personal thoughts very often, so it’s uncomfortable. So then I thought–maybe that’s why I’m attracted to blogging. It’s how I can express myself—since I’m not very expressive when I’m in the presence of other people.

I know—it probably doesn’t sound so revolutionary; but when you do things the way you always do, they just seem normal and you may not pick up on things.

But I do know that I am a passionate person. I’m soulful. I’m reaaally connected to my emotions, and I’m easily affected by the energy around me. So I need expression. And I am blogging as a way to clarify thoughts that I don’t otherwise express. I also need connection. I want to feel that I am relatable, and I also want to find people with whom I can relate. And so that’s why blogging as community truly sounds meaningful to me.

So, if by chance you read this post (or any other one of my posts) and it resonates with you, please let me know. Let’s start some meaningful conversation.

Xx

So Let Me Tell Ya What’s Cookin’

Veggie Soup

I am cooking! That’s what!

I am really excited to report this–as I feel this is the first time I am actually reporting on some progress.

It’s funny to think that the last time I posted I was lamenting that I had lost my relationship with food and cooking. But the “almost married” life can do something to a person aha. At this point I vaguely remember that feeling I had. Yet, I know it was pretty strong.

At the time I was writing–I hadn’t cooked in… well… in forever. I think I had just put too much pressure on myself and then a couple of traumatizing experiences involving food got in the mix. It’s really easy to stress yourself out about healthy eating–especially when you don’t really understand what you are doing. On top of that, I had an autoimmune disorder I was hoping to fix and thought going “Paleo” was the magic cure. It wasn’t. And although I didn’t hate it–I wouldn’t do it again. In hindsight, and now that I understand nutrition a little better, I realize that eating Paleo cut too many calories out of my diet. I was too active at the time to be doing that. My body needed nutriment, and so I lost too much weight at a rate that probably wasn’t healthy. I also obviously didn’t understand the connection between eating carbohydrates and optimal muscle/brain performance. And then, you know, there are the not so fun stories I could tell of being cheated on amidst trying to put Thanksgiving dinner on the table and stressing over anatomy and physiology exams. Needless to say, those types of stressors are just enough to make a gal want to drop the spatula (or whatever) for a good year or so.

And it was hard to pick that spatula back up again…

But it was helpful that I found my soulmate who also cares about nourishing his body with healthy foods. I didn’t realize what a difference it could make to be with someone who is on the same wavelength as me when it comes to eating and nutrition, but it certainly helps keep the right things in perspective.

He did intimidate me at first, though. His swiss upbringing made him a lot more competent and confident in the kitchen than my American upbringing had made me. Not that I mean to bag on my American upbringing, but as far as I’ve learned in school, witnessed around me, and experienced personally–few of us Americans have a similar relationship with food. Mealtimes are associated less with family bonding time, and lunch time is often an opportunity to eat out, not to go home and cook. And thus, it seems that few us are truly competent in the kitchen these days. Anyways…

So–for a while, my fiancé was dating a health peanut (nut sounds negative and I don’t mean to be negative) who didn’t cook. That was–until he got sick, and to my horror, unable to cook! It was a frightening realization to see that not only did I suddenly have to step up to the challenge and cook for my family, but that also my fiancé’s health depended on it! I was mortified. Now, in the past I’d have just served some canned chicken soup as my family had done for me and call it a day, but I knew that wasn’t happening this time. Canned chicken soup is all salt and really just awful in my opinion. It wasn’t real food to me, and I was sure my fiancé would only feel the same. So, I got to work. I found a healthy chicken soup recipe, and I went to the grocery store without my man for the first time since we’d been together, and I did some cooking without him to lead or hold my hand.

It. was. marvelous.

Although I was still quite uneasy about being in the kitchen, it felt so liberating to play with my old skills that I kept under wraps. It’s kind of like blogging, I guess–when you just have something in you you need to express. But there is also a feeling you get sometimes from cooking… from touching the raw ingredients. It’s like connection and creativity come together creating fireworks in your brain, and it’s extremely delightful.

So, ya. As much as I felt unprepared–I still got thrown into the lion’s den. Like Daniel, I survived. And–slowly but surely, I began cooking more and more. I haven’t really gotten into documenting any of my activity–like taking photos, etc. … Just to keep the integrity of meal times and meal prep (they are sacred bonding times here at our house). However, I think it may be a good idea to write more about my relationship with food. So–I do think that more of such posts are forthcoming.

Until then… Ciao ciao and happy cooking! Xx

A Word Through Song

Hage

 All the storms and oceans
All the sheltering sky
All this earth and she and I

Wait, until it happens
Wait, the moment will come
Wait, but all those are already one

And she asks me, how many sunrises
Will we watch from start to finish
How many will we witness?

And my answers are only ever surmises
Maybe a handful of times
Before the next life, before the next life

Here, we stop beneath the leaves
Here, a moment to stay
Here, a gift of pale green color, here above her

And she asks me, how many sunrises
Will we watch from start to finish
How many will we witness?

And my answers are only ever surmises
Maybe a handful of times
Before the next life

A kiss, a prayer, a laugh, a song
She won’t try to tell me, what’s right from wrong
A song, a laugh, a prayer, a kiss
She won’t try to tell me, I need more than this

All my answers, all my surmises
Will never do it justice
She’ll just have to trust it

Wait here, ’til the sun rises
Watch from start to finish
No one as our witness
With no one as our witness

-“Hymn”