Wednesday, May 30, 2012


1st Year at USNA

Conservatory at Longwood

This time of year, we sail though our days, time flies, we meet, we laugh, we are merry. We create, we observe, we're delighted.  But suddenly time feels like it is gaining on me. I stop short. Very soon I will leave DC to become a fellow at the University of Delaware's Longwood Graduate Program.  I will face a new beginning, and a big change, the salty and the sweet.

Porter Street Cook Out

Shannon's Bike
As expected, I am confronted with memories of past beginnings and endings.  How did I feel when I packed the last time?  Did I pack these same things?  What have I kept since then? What have I left behind? There seems to be a rhythm to the collecting and shedding rituals of life--think of the snake's skin, the bird's feathers, the sunset and the sunrise.  There is a song to our journeys, a time to be still and a time to move.

When I falter in my confidence about moving, I think of my insightful friend Micah who shared this quote with me, "Life is a series of coming togethers and of partings..."

The sweetness of the meeting is never fully diminished by the ache of the parting. Once things are, they always will be.  Some words--once whispered into the universe--echo forever.  Some truths--once revealed--can never be unseen.  We are shaped by these moments. And we can take heart that they are milestones and benchmarks to remember and to push us along.

Dupont Metro
This feeling that makes you glow, that makes you sad to end but happy to begin ---I think it's a kind of love.  It originates inside each one of us. When we feel it--it's because we shared it with someone else and now they are reflecting it back to us.

Thanks DC for the tough love in the beginning and the overflow of fun at the ending...
Level 3 Red with Miss Laurie and 'Happy Man'

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. -The Beatles

Friday, May 25, 2012



The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long-run.  -Henry David Thoreau

 I came across this quote from Thoreau and I felt a kindred spirit.  If I woke up 100 years in the past and Thoreau was my friend I know I wouldn't have to explain my values to him.  I like that he knows that 'life' is currency.  So, in addition to his insight, I'd like to pose this important question:

How much life is this thing going to add to you compared with what you exchange for it? 

What if 'quality of being' was our currency?  What if the 'value of yourself at your best' was worth as much as gold. What if we were constantly looking for ways to 'build our best selves' instead of ways to build our portfolio?

What is your time worth?  What are your thoughts worth?  How much more effective are you after a good night's sleep? How much more do you have to offer when you are a happy, nourished person, compared with a crabby, hungry person?  How much more loving are we when we are loved.  How much more insight would we have if we were world travelers, if we were observers? How much more would we understand if we engaged with people instead of running away?  If we said 'yes' more often?  What if our individual stock plummets when we are spent and rise when we are filled...? Because it does, you know...

When we waste our time, to save our money, that has a cost. When we do a job we hate because the money is good, we are paying with our lives. When we eat things with no taste because they are affordable, we are missing out on living. It's ok to do these things for a while but not for a lifetime.

As a species we struggle with balance.  Other species don't operate this way.  They balance or they don't survive.   By instinct, they spend their energy and their resources wisely. They find balance because nature abhors a vacuum. Plants love to thrive, to basque in the sunlight, to soak up the water, growing green and lush.  Their goal is to be the best version of themselves. They spend and save as needed by instinct and so it's no surprise that we could take a lesson from them.

We exchange a lot of currency in this world that has nothing to do with money. 

Time is how you spend your love- Zadie Smith