I Stand All Amazed

This may not make sense. It's jumbled. But sometimes you just need to write. Or blog. And so you do.

I love when stories just flow out of me. When I don't have to wrack my brain and consider this and that, and wonder about the other, and then go back and make sure that everything is plausible, or realistic, or coming across the way that I want. When I just sit down, and the words just pour forth, like a cup running over.

That's been happening to me recently on some pieces I'm working on and I'm quite pleased. Interestingly, and maybe not by chance, these pieces are ones I've been doing by hand. I wrote 1600 words, and then another 1200, and then a third set I've yet to transcribe into type. But it's the old writing - the way writing used to be for me. The joy is there, and that's so, so important to me. I can't boil it down into a sure-fire recipe, but I know enough to know when I can put my thumb on it; and this is working. I hate how sloppy and unreadable my handwriting is, and I can type so much faster than I can scrawl. As well, whenever I want to go back and fix something, or add and change, it ends up being scribbles and arrows and asterisks all over the page, and it's a mess. Typing is neater, tidier, there's less residue. But it also effaces some of the process of creation, and maybe that's what I've been needing to get back to. And I am now.

Last night as I lay in the bed I'm borrowing listening to S read the story of a magical bunny to her two young daughters, I stared at the World Map that takes up the entire wall of this bedroom. And I marveled. At the tiny white dot the size of a pinhead that says "Cork" next to it, on an island the size of fingernail, called Ireland. And how TINY that island is. Look at the UK, or Europe, or North America... or the world in its entirety... and I just balk. It's just soooo big. How could I not help but feel small? Is there any other way to even consider myself?

I remember when the plane landed at Cork Airport and was pulling up to the gate. A wave of excitement hit me, that felt exactly the same as what I was taught as a child to understand the Spirit to be. I may not be a particularly Orthodox-Mormon anymore, but I know spirituality and the importance of its remembrance and cultivation. And I think that's what travel is for me.

This, out here, the world, seeing one tiny speck of it - take Zanzibar, for instance. I spent five days there and it's smaller on the map than the speck that marks Cork. And I marvel. I am so small. Wanderlust, which I joked of having, is now a understanding with myself. I feel pulled to go and see all the places I have not, but how could I possibly? How will there ever be enough time? Enough money? I want to see everything. How?

Exploring Cork today, I felt the same way: small. Especially when I climbed up St. Anne's church and stood next to the bells at the top, and then ducked around them to go into the stairwell carved barely wide enough for me to fit and went out onto the roof. All of Cork lay before me, and I just stood there and marveled.

This world is absolutely amazing, it's almost beyond comprehension. And being here with this family who don't know me form Adam, who love and care for their daughters, who are just doing their best to survive... I feel the connection. That invisible, all-important thread that binds us together in this common struggle; we're all just doing the best we can to get by. One day to the next. I want to find a way to tap into that energy, to build our creativity, to unite us with one purpose... one without, division, prejudice, or malice. Just people.

Where I'm staying, once a year, they have a "Spring Clean" where everyone turns out from their houses to help clean up the neighborhood. They start in their own yards, and then go door-to-door helping for those who are away or still at work until it reaches a critical mass. Of people. Working together. To own, and appreciate, and honor their space. This sense of community was incredible, and unlike anything I'd ever experienced as a child in America.

Bedtime stories, world maps, small airports, city centres seen from towers, and people working together: these are my religion. They are my heart and soul and I find peace in them.

Psalm 46 - God is our refuge and our strength - He dwells in his city, does marvelous things, and says, Be still and know that I am God.

In all this, I am still.
I see, I hear, I feel.
These words have flowed out of me, without planning, thought, or worry like the best of stories that come to me.
More than anything, in being still, I give thanks.
For these moments, these experiences, these people, this marveling, everything.



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