Friday, December 24, 2004

At a glance...

A lot can happen in one glance. I try to pay attension to the little moments of life, but sometimes they get ahead of me. I'm usually pretty dumb when it comes to the glances associated with attraction. However, I was alert enough to catch a passing smile and a glance from afar. A stranger, but nevertheless, it was a recognizable moment in time.

There are a lot of things I could have been doing today, but instead I chose one specific place to be, and this moment occured. It sounds very trivial, but I find myself asking the question, "what if?" In reality, I could have missed that moment altogether.

I heard some quote once that said something like, "Half of life is just showing up." How true is that! My guess is that the other half of life is your actions.

In this case I smiled back (in that shy sort of way) and I continued on. There are a lot of things I could have done instead, but anyone who knows me well, would know that the most I would ever do is maybe say "hello" along with that cute smile of mine. How hopeless I am! :)

Tonight I listen to the Garden State soundtrack, and I laugh at myself!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

How Surreal!

I was just reading an article that Kathy Kelly wrote for and I am reminded of my first exposure to here about two months ago. I didn’t even know who she was. “Some activist lady that is receiving an award,” they told me. I met her at a peace and social justice church. I shook her hand and we talked about my experience being a Jesuit Volunteer. She seemed shy, this woman in black tights and an outfit from the 1980’s to match. She gave the sermon that Sunday about her arrest and detainment at a prison. She spoke about the horrible realities of prison and she talked about the war in Iraq. Apparently she is an activist, because now I hear about her all the time. She was a speaker at the SOA rally, and one morning while sitting in my hotel in Georgia, sipping coffee, Kathy Kelly comes striding down the stairs. How unreal!

She begins to get breakfast just like everyone else. Sits down and mingles with people. She still has that certain shyness. I remember her, and think, “oh ya, she’s a normal person.” But is she? And then she starts passing out brownies; some special mint brownies that So and So made! How surreal!

They were good brownies too! And now I think of Kathy Kelly, the woman I met, the one who gets arrested for civil disobedience and also passes out brownies the morning before a huge protest. Amazing!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

My Future

As today comes to a close, I can’t help but wonder, “where does my heart lie?” In this intense day, I have intense thoughts with no particular direction for an immediate future. I reflect on where I’ve been, and ponder where I might end up. To serve another, is one question, but my question is what population. I often think of this, but tonight has posed the question in two different ways.

First I went to Gesu parish to learn about the four church women who were killed in El Salvador. Most of them were nuns, if I remember correctly. Nevertheless, these women were working side by side with the poor and speaking out for their rights. They were stopped at a road block one night, raped and shot point blank. They died on December 2, 1980.

I am affected greatly by what happened to them, due to the fact that I can see myself doing what they did. I can see myself working with the poor and speaking out for human rights. I know this is controversial in the sight of many governments, and I often wonder if my life may be lost in this fight.

I have a deep love for the people I have met, and a strong conviction that my life and heart are being used to make a difference. However, I do not know to what extent. I keep my options open, and try to listen to the callings in my life. I educate myself and go with the wind, hoping that I might be an instrument of peace.

In my travels lately, I have also had the experience of helping gay kids on campus find a safe place, and a group to converse within. It is my belief that such a group is an exercise of faith, and that advocating for equal rights for gay and lesbian people should be accepted. It is a personal issue of my life, and it is also controversial.

Later this evening, after learning about the church women, I decided to preview a documentary that was recommended to me. The film is called “Dangerous Living.” It’s about gay and lesbian people in the developing world, and their struggle with coming out, and being out of the closet. I felt such a connection with the people in the film because I recognized their lives as a symbol of hope within oppression. More importantly, their lives lacked the basic human rights that I want to fight for, and I wonder, “Is this where I am being led?”

What would it be like if I was a human rights activist with a focus on gay rights? What would my life be like then? I know so many gay people from all across the world, and I have heard their struggle, as I have also heard the struggle of the poor. There is no difference between the two. But I know people see a difference.

Even the question of my own life comes into play, and I wonder, “would I have a life?” In either circumstance, could I have a family? I know that I am not meant to be a religious person, and thus, I do not answer to any particular order. I go where I am led, and maybe that means without any support. Is this a healthy thing?

I ask these questions as more questions flood my mind after this evening. I do not have any answers. And like always, I realize that my heart and vision, may be larger than my life. What is a girl to do?


It’s Turkey Day 2004 and once again, I am without my family. Last year I missed this day because I was in Belize. I didn’t so much mind not participating in Thanksgiving then because I was doing something else that was meaningful in my life. I did miss my family that day, but I knew that I would see them within the next month. And I guess I also didn’t mind being without my family then, because Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Belize, and that means that there are not constant reminders all around me of what I am missing. However, this year is a bit different.

I decided not to accept my fathers offer to buy an expensive plane ticket to bring me home for the holiday. Instead I decided to stay in Detroit and maybe grow from the experience. I thought that by not getting the plane ticket, that I would be more mindful of simplicity in my life. I also thought, that if another community member also decided to stay in Detroit, that I might also be able to keep that person company. Maybe in some small way, if I stay in Detroit as well, we might be able to care for each other. Of course, these lofty ideas change.

At the very least, I am learning about the importance of family (the hard way). Today I think of all the people out there who are spending Thanksgiving alone. I think of the people who have no one to care for them. I know that people like this exist, and maybe I will gain a little more compassion for them in this experience. through empathy.

Now I do have people who care for me, and I never forget that. However, being away from them is a challenge.

Through the years, I’ve learned the importance of thanking the Lord for the blessings in my life. I know that things can change very quickly