Sunday, May 30, 2010

the goal of living is to grow

"in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how"
-e.e. cummings

and grown we have.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

feels like home to me

It's as if every possible feeling is sitting around in my mind wondering what it's supposed to do when all the other feelings are around.

I found out a few days ago that I'm headed home a week early. Leaving on June 12th would've meant that I had less than 24 hours at home with my family before heading to Hope and it wasn't enough for any of us. Saying goodbye to Scotland a bit earlier than expected is bittersweet. I really dislike that word to describe my time here because it feels like such a cop-out. Maybe I'll elaborate. I look at my calendar and see 11 days left and I immediately create a mental list of every person, every place, every thinking spot that I won't see anymore. I know 11 days won't be enough time to say all those goodbyes, but I know that a week more wouldn't be enough time either. On the other hand, I look at my calendar and see 11 days left and I think about how that's the closest I've been in 4 1/2 months to the people I love. So ya see, I don't like the word bittersweet because there's nothing truly bitter about my time here, and the word sweet sure doesn't do it justice either. So here I am, stuck with no word to describe my last 11 days here. Well, wait a minute...

Sometimes Mary and I play a game. It's called iTunes Shuffle Your Terrible Library. (It's not. I made that up just a second ago.) Anyway, we say something like, "This is the song that represents my feelings about haggis." Or, "The clouds would say this if they could speak." We normally don't listen to all the words and just look at the title of the track. It usually ends with too much laughing, but the day before we left Hope College in January, it ended differently. We played this silly game at our friend Jess's cottage and I was sitting in a big chair and Mary was sitting on the arm and I said, "This song will describe our time in Scotland." I clicked shuffle and we both looked at the song and looked at each other. I hoped it would be true. And guess what?

The only words to describe my time here seem to have appeared on my computer screen on January 23rd on iTunes Shuffle Your Terrible Library.

11 days to go. And I look out my window and know that my best friend is sitting in her room too wondering how that can be. But I know she's there. And somehow, I'm here too. I'm in Scotland and part of me isn't ready for June 5th. Feels like home to me.

(Ermmm, did I mention that I have two beastly exams coming up? Trying to avoid James Watt and other Enlightenment thinkers, epistemology, and the mind-body problem? Write a blog. Woops.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

guru deva om
-The Beatles

The most frustrating part about life is not knowing.
The most magic
al part about life is not knowing.

A few nights ago I swam at midnight in t
he North Sea. With nothing but a mini flashlight positioned as a marker near my clothes, I ran into the cold salt water and jumped over waves in the pitch black hole of I-can't-see-squat! But around me, farther away, I saw it all. The city lights were lines of stars, and the stars were something even greater. Everything about it was pure and raw and beautiful, and while getting lost in it all made me smile, I thought to myself... I have 25 days left. When will I be standing here again? Will I ever be? The most frustrating part of life is not knowing.

A few days ago I laid under a beautiful blossoming tree in Seaton Park on my way back home from class. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon, the sun was the perfect I'll-warm-your-back temp. There were little bugs crawling on my arm (cute ones, I assure you) and purple flowers all over the grass. I could finally taste the thought of days at the beach, ice cream cones, running around in the Pine Grove, chasing squirrels, climbing trees, and hugs. Yes, hugs! The reality of home and the anticipation of a wonderful summer seemed to slap me in the face. In 25 days I'll be sitting under a tree 3,613 miles away from where I am now. Will I be wanting to come back? Will I be scared as four-year plans and research work clunk around at the front of my mind? What will I feel and how will I look back on my time here? How has it changed me? After Scotland, what's next? The most magical part about life is not knowing.

A few things I DO know:
- Ash clouds that keep me from seeing my good friends in Ireland are absurd and obnoxious.

- Studying for my Philosophy of Knowledge exam is less than satisfying.
- 60 minute history lessons with Jeffery Hawkins on Skype are more than amusing.

- University of Aberdeen has a pine grove. And people are finally in it. Juggling!
- If Mary fails her exam, it is my fault because I ask way too many questions.
- If I fail my exam, it is my fault because I ask Mary way too many questions.
-Mary and I are going to an Ingrid Michaelson concert in Glasgow. Holy YES.
- I love it here.
-"Pools of sorrow waves of joy are drifting thorough my open mind, possessing and caressing me.
-The hugs. I can't wait for the hugs.
- "Jai guru deva om." I give thanks to God...Om.

Love to you.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Backstreet's Back... Alright?

Five weeks left. Wait, hwhat!? My reactions can be summed up in an absolutely awful, 'I-have-no-words-for-this'-inspired song parody with the assistance of five glorious, oh-so-studly teenybopper icons. Wave your lighters to and fro and feel free to snap along.
Scotland... Ooh...
Even in my heart, I see

Your country is changin' me.
Deep within my soul, I feel
A love for bagpipes, castles, accents, and sheep.
Sometimes I wish I could fast-forward time
To see my friends and family
But right now, I... don't
No way, babyyy.
*drum solo*
'Cause Scotland has a piece of my heart...
Yes, I do realize that is a cop-out for putting my feelings into words, but to be honest, it's a difficult task to explain my time here sin los NiƱos de Backstreet.

Having only five weeks left in this place is quite terrifying:
1) I have two essay exams worth 50% (Philosophy of Knowledge and the Mind) and 60% (History and Philosophy of Science) of my marks. This only means that the preceding week will consist of me + coffee + forced revision and absorption of course material.
2) A goodbye to a beautiful land that isn't, most likely, a "see you soon."

BUT, on the other hand...
1) I'm headed to Ireland for a week.
2) I have a week and a half after my exams to climb Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the British Isles.
3) Goodbyes make room for long-anticipated hellos! (Especially with these goons below.)

Time to tackle my last week of classes and a beastly essay. Cheers, loves.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Don't study abroad with your best friend? False.

Over and over again, people say, "Don't study abroad with your best friend." The thing is, though, those people must've gotten the wrong memo because I wouldn't have done it any other way. This experience wouldn't be the same if Mary wasn't here, and although I like to think I could have done it on my own, it'd wouldn't have been half as hilarious, half as comforting, and half as awesome. On the outside, it may look as though we live in our own little world. You know what? Maybe we do. I don't feel the need to defend this world, and heck! I could care less about the study abroad people and their memo. Today, while I'm waiting to have our sandwich-and-tomato-soup lunch, I'm feeling grateful. I miss my special people at home so much, but a little part of my home is here (we're talking about 4'11"). Life is great. Spring is great. Essays aren't, but hey, they're good when they're done. Speaking of essays.... welp, see ya later!