Monday, December 31, 2012

Lightening the Load in 2013

A Heavy Load

Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn’t step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn’t help her across the puddle. 

The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn’t thank the older monk, she just shoved him out of the way and departed.

As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. “That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn’t even thank you!”

“I set the woman down hours ago,” the older monk replied. 

“Why are you still carrying her?”

-Jon J. Muth, Zen Shorts

The task of not carrying things with me along my journey is one with which I am challenged on a regular basis - especially at the end of 2012. Here's to 2013 being a year of letting go, opening wide, and embracing life. 

to opening
and to 
and up 
with you 
and up 
with and
up with

ee cummings

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Haiku

Fifty-eight degrees
(inside) Out? Forty-seven.
Hot tea in my hands.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember

I slept in that day, because I had forgotten to set my alarm. Had I set it, I would have woken up to NPR coverage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center (I was living in CO at the time, and was 2 hours behind the east coast). But instead I woke up, rolled over to see the time, panicked, and raced into the shower. When I got out of the shower and was walking back to my room to get dressed, I checked my cell phone and saw that I had missed multiple phone calls from my co-worker. I called her back as I picked out my outfit.

"What's up?" I asked casually.

"Have you turned on your TV today?"

"No - I forgot to set my alarm, and now I'm racing around trying to..."

"We're under attack."

"What? What do you mean?"

"The World Trade Center got hit by a plane... and then another plane... turn on your TV."


"Oh my God."

"I talked with [Executive Director] and we agreed that we will all still work today. We have to decide if we still want to go through with our event on Friday."

"Wow... yes... of course."

"So come in when you can. There's a TV in the office downstairs so we can keep tabs on what's going on."

Standing there, watching in disbelief, I saw the South Tower fall. And just before I left for work, I saw the North Tower fall as well.

Ten years later as I see the video footage of that day, I am brought back to my basement apartment in Colorado. Standing in my towel, wet hair dripping on the carpet, watching an unfathomably horrible tragedy play out on my television screen.

Today I pray for peace for the victims and their families - on this anniversary and every day. I pray for the people of the United States of America, that this anniversary might remind us all of our interconnectedness - that we might all be encouraged to reach out to our fellow human beings, just as we did in the days following the attacks, rather than focusing on our differences.

I came across this today. It is a letter written by Ian Adelman to his friends and family the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

"On one hand, it is amazing to see people looking out for one another as everything appears to fall apart around them, but it is deeply saddening to think that it takes this kind of catastrophe to get people to overlook petty concerns and just be kind to those around them. The saddest thing is that while we'll all remember the physical event-- most of us won't be able to remember the way we felt. If only people could hang on to that feeling of common ground with nearby strangers that such a disaster instills. If we could somehow keep that in our emotional memory, we'd be better equipped to move forward--whether in the context of a local community, a nation, or a planet."

And because I am never one to miss an opportunity to reference The West Wing, here are some incredibly poignant words spoken by President Bartlet, regarding an attack on a college campus:

"We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive. 44 people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kennison State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition. When, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran *in* to the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory, God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you."

God bless the memory of all those lost on 9/11. And God bless the United States of America.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cream of the Crop

Recent email received through online dating site:

You sound like a fun interesting girl , if your up for it lets chat sometime.. Notice i spelled you not u haha


I explicitly state in my profile that I prefer people to spell out "you" rather than typing "u".

Must I also explicitly state in my profile that potential suitors be able to correctly differentiate between your/you're and be able to use proper punctuation???

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Dating Post-Script

Yesterday, I got an email from a guy on one of the online dating sites I'm on (yes, I'm back on multiple sites - it's a desperate situation, people!):

Hi there!

I really liked the tone of your profile. You seem really upbeat and fun.

Care to exchange a few emails? I'd love to hear more about your work. Social work is often so overlooked and yet so critical.


Seemed like a nice enough guy, so I checked out his profile. But as I looked at his photos, I couldn't shake the feeling that I knew him from somewhere. I finally realized that he looked a lot like a guy I had been on a date with a while ago. But the photos weren't the same as the ones he had back then, so I couldn't be sure.

I responded:

Hey N -

You look familiar to me... is it possible we went on a date a few years ago?


To which he responded:

Hey Fibby,

Hmm, I must admit, I don't remember having met you before. At least not from what I've read in your profile... Remember anything else that might give me a clue?


At this point, I was fairly certain that this was none other than the Mer-girl Painting Guy. My loyal, long-term readers may remember this gem of a bad date story. It involved a date with a man who was in love with a painting of a mer-girl.

It took place in the spring of 2007 - four years ago now. But that kind of experience leaves an impression.

That said, I was raised to be polite. I didn't think it was appropriate to ask him if he was the guy who was in love with the mer-girl painting, as it would probably not feel good to be remembered that way. I racked my brain for something else unique about him that would confirm he was the same man:

It was so long ago, and so I'm not sure if I'm linking details and people correctly (and of course, if we never went out, then I wouldn't be linking anything correctly!). Did you ever cook Timpano a la Big Night?

He replied:

That's a pretty good memory! I did make the timpano long ago... I think I may be having a flashback to what might have happened. I think we met and had just one date.

Hmmm... is any of this coming back to you?

Not sure if you want to revisit this, but I'm game if you are!


Yes, it's true. Apparently I've dated everyone in Boston and my only option is to date them all again.

Except that's not an option here. I have to draw the line somewhere. And I think in this case, it's drawn at a second date with the man who loves mer-girl paintings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First Quarter Updates

1. The landlord for the new apartment called today and told me that the apartment is mine if I want it. This is AWESOME on so many levels I can't even stand it. I will sign the lease in a week.

2. Thanks to my 2011 savings plan, this is the first time I've signed a lease and not had to borrow money from my parents for the deposit. I feel so grown up!

3. I already bought a couch. It looks like this and it pulls out into a really comfy bed. This means that guests can stay in a room that isn't mine when they come to visit. Yay!

4. Work is still crazy.

5. I get to see my parents again next weekend! Two weekends in one month - and both sightings in Boston. How lucky am I?

6. The Decemberists "This is Why We Fight" video hits the internet tomorrow. This makes me happy.

7. In the meantime, I've been obsessed with this song, ever since Seth and Emi sang it for me a few weeks ago. Of course, I prefer their father/daughter acoustic version, but until they record it as a single, the original will do.

8. I re-read this post, and am pleased to report to you that I have checked off all of my "other goals" - I got my LICSW, took a swing dance class, and miraculously overcame the sickness from hell that lasted for nearly the entire first quarter of 2011.

So there we are, mid-April in 2011.

Friday, April 08, 2011

2011: Making Things Happen

In the past 24 hours, I've browsed wistfully on craigslist wishing I could afford to live on my own, found an apartment listing for a 1br apartment that sounded promising (and affordable), emailed to set up an appointment to see the apartment, gone to see the apartment, fallen in love with the apartment, told the one roommate I like that I was moving, told my landlord I was moving, and completed and sent the application for the apartment.

All signs point to this move actually happening.

I will have MY OWN PLACE. With A WHOLE REFRIGERATOR TO MYSELF. Also? It's about 4 blocks from where I live now.

Also, it has a deck.

Some other day, I'll write about the collection of quirky 1br apartments I've lived in over the years. I am pleased to say this one continues the trend. It's not big, but it's got lots of character and it will be all mine.

What started out as a crummy week has turned into a rather good one.

And tomorrow, I'm going to the outlets to buy myself an overpriced purse.