Things Grandmas say.

I wrote down a few things my Grandma told me over the weekend when I went to visit her and Grandpa. Best weekend stay of my life. We just stayed home and chatted, I played guitar and sang a bit for them, but other than that- just talking. My Grandma shared her whole life with me. She told me whatever she could and answered every question.

She showed me things- like, the button from her brother's naval jacket. He never returned from that submarine.

She gave me two necklaces. One had belonged to her mother, the other belonged to her grandmother. She showed me pictures of them and told me about them. She told me about the Faulks and... mmn I can't remember the other family name I'll have to call her about it, but she told me about their journey from Ireland to America. I need to see Ireland someday.

She gave me general wisdom about men and life. It's funny how simple things are, isn't it? I thought a lot about my time spent with her and I know I will continue to recycle what she said through my brain until every bit of it gets stored and categorized and committed to permanent memory. I can't wait to tell my Grandchildren about her. I hope they listen. I told my Grandma I often think that I will love to be a Grandma someday. :)

She cried quite a few times. About her loss of health, her friends lost to whatever's on the other side. She looked at me plainly and surely and said "I'm not afraid of death. I know where I'm going." then smiled.
Oh man thinking about it is spooky, you know why?
Because she's right. She's going to heaven, I hope to see her when I go eventually- not soon, but eventually. She told me things.... oh my gosh it's so spooky! Her eyes- so intensly telling me these things, she has so much to say to me and I'm only now able to really internalize what she's trying to impart. You know, she never had a daughter??
Grandma Simpson.
hmm. I'll be thinking.

Purple Planner

On July 27th, my life moves on to the purple planner. I've been preparing it for entry for the past 2 months. I've indexed all the months. I've filled in all the birthdays. I'm on the last page of my free CSN planner that helped me through so many crazy days, and moving on is bitter-sweet.

I keep such a detailed planner that it is my most accurate diary. I can tell by my writing whether it was a good or bad day. Most doodles are secret code. Notes in the corner say things like "<3 Can we please get focused, amiga? <3" And together with short poems here and there inspiried by something someone said, or a look I got... how can I throw this away?

At the same time I know what it means to move on to August 2009. Do you realize this blog is about moving on to August 2009? It's huge for me. And this purple planner is the physical representation of that.

The Beauty & Power of Dance / What is your escape?

What is your escape?

Lately I’ve been dancing. I put all my heart and soul and body into it, every night, every morning. Because everything on the surface of my life is practically perfect. But on a personal, private level there is major upheaval.

This is some kind of irony. No one reaches out to someone who seemingly has it all together. Why would they?

I’ve been given a new way to express myself. This job working for Fred Astaire Dance Co. couldn’t have come at a better time. Guitar, singing, painting, prayer… these things alone just weren’t cutting it anymore. Over the past two or three weeks, I noticed myself falling back into behaviors that strongly resembled those anxiety issues from my past… issues that I thought were gone for good. But this time I'm not going under. This time I'm going to dance straight through it.

When I dance, I take everything inside that is wrong-wrong-wrong, and force it up to the surface in the most beautiful, expressive way that I possibly can. Thank God for music. Thank God for our incredible bodies that were made for so much more than sitting and hunching, walking, talking, ingesting and digesting.

Now, instead of locking myself away from the world and becoming introverted and afraid, I am adding yet another way to be even more of a participant in the amazing world, and taking all my frustration, anxiety, strain, sadness, guilt, lonliness, fear, all of it- firing it down and hammering it into a gem and snapping it onto the charm bracelet of life!! :)

Life is hard. But we were built for this. We can handle it.

Now you know my escape. What’s yours? Because everyone needs one.

Self Reliance

This quote was included in Emerson's famous essay, Self Reliance. I was reading it last Friday as I was preparing a mailing for work. Lots of folding. I love that I can read while doing this.

Does this sound familiar to you??? :

"Thy lot or portion of life is seeking after thee; therefore be at rest from seeking after it." -Caliph Ali

Wow. That is what this blog is ALL ABOUT.

Hello, World! A short entry about my dog!

Would you believe it if I told you I've been praying for my dog? Yes, it's true. His behavior has been upsetting me so much that I don't think I could help but include Scooter the dog in my nightly prayer. I have faith in a loving God who wants me to bring all of my concerns to Him first.

First- the good.
Scooter's a great dog. When I bring him out to festivals, places with lots of people and dogs to boot, he is extremely well behaved. He lets anyone with hands rub his head, lets little kids squeeze and kiss his face, pick up his paws, all with no problem.
He even models love, patience, and kindness to me on a daily basis.

When I take Scooter for a walk, I often reflect on my relationship with him. This dog of mine is attached to a leash, but he doesn't live like that. He doesn't live life on the end of the leash. He greets me, he walks close by my side and rubs his head against my hand while we walk, he watches for me... By his own free will he has decided to accept his place and embrace it, despite his many frustrations.

Now, The bad-
Dogs can't articulate what it is they want and need and it's our duty to sit with them and figure it out. I realized this week, as I witnessed him angrily barking at one of my roommates, that I didn't understand this dog. I like him, I'd even go as far to say as love him, but at the time I didn't understand him.

So I've been praying that God helps me to understand my dog's needs so that he's not so deeply upset all the time.

I mean, this guy is an inspiration to me. Now I'm seeing this irritable, unhappy dog tugging at the other end of the leash, and barking full force and bearing his teeth right in the face of a girl on bended knee saying hello to him.

Well the good news is that today there was a breakthrough. I knew I'd have to pay a little more attention to him, and probably be a little more patient, courteous, and gentle.

I brought him in the bathroom because I thought he could use a bath. But I didn't want to force him into one. I patted the side of my tub and asked him if he wanted a bath. He stood there a little, then hopped in and licked my hand. He enjoyed the shower. Instead of having to hold him under the shower, he stood there on his own and even made sure his body got completely wet. He bent back his head and took a few drinks. It was wonderful to watch! He let me scrub him down, he turned to help me get to the places I hadn't reached yet.

I don't need to force my dog into things that he wants for himself anyway. He wants to be walked, he wants to be bathed, he wants to be taken care of and to get attention. But he doesn't want to be treated like just another responsibility. He is a companion, not a liability. And after all of this, I can say... I've learned yet another lesson from this amazing animal, and I have God to thank. :)

I am Woman

I look in my life for signs that I've officially turned from a girl or a teenager into a woman. It's an incredible difference, because there are so many aspects of who I am that have changed so subtlely and gradually, in combination they form one almost entirely different person. The recognition of this fact is sudden, and almost disturbing, because I didn't notice it happening, and the mirror holds nothing in the way of evidence to help explain or solve this particular mystery.

I don't do everything right, nobody does- but most things are in really good order. My room, for example. It stays clean, and I'm not sure how that seems to be happening, I must sleep clean... or maybe it's just that I always put things back in their proper place now??!!? Holy cow, what a concept. Also, I know how to do my makeup correctly. I pay my bills. I am taking care of 3 pets right now and juggle that with my 7hr/day job, remaining sociable, calm, and collected. When I stress, I recognize that stress for what it is, and allieviate its symptoms through dance, guitar, prayer, and meditiation. I also have a very tight budget, which I'm adhering to with more discipline than I thought I had to work with in the first place. Ladies and Gentleman, I have spontaenously generated disicipline from thin air! I only wish I knew my secret.

In retrospect, there was another major change in the past year or so. But you couldn't see most of it on the outside. There were major improvements in my level of independence, my handle of personal finances, attitude, self-image, and all those good things.

I know I don't really have much on my plate when compared to some other people my age, and I'm glad for that. I think I'm in a really good place right now, emotionally, spiritually, hey- even physically.

I'm actually quite happy with things as they are. I don't really want any more major changes anytime soon, I'd like to rest in how it is now! That's funny isn't it? I've always been a real Pocahontas, singing "Just around the river bend" at the top of my lungs, recklessly venturing far far away from home and pushing and riding on the edge of my destiny, well now I feel like I've arrived somewhere. Like a lake or something. Yes!! My life is a LAKE. A calm, still, reflective lake.

hahaha, not!

This is definitely still a river, an exciting one! With rapids, and river otters jumping all over the place, leaping out of the water and over my head splashing water crazily and squealing like they do... oookay I think you at last have enough comic imagery to understand what I'm saying. One thing I know for sure: I've got to stay on my toes or this little boat will flip right the heck over!!!

I've entitled my blog "August Rush" and think I ought to make one important distinction: I used to chase my destiny but not anymore. I no longer feel that I'm chasing anything. Why would I chase something which inevitably bounds towards me? For a long time I've been under the illusion that destiny is something to be pursued. Actually, I'm meeting with it, because it's not just waiting, it's excited for me, it's headed towards me too. This "something" is the difference between my dreams and my capabilites, an equasion whose final answer leaves me with a reality that is somewhat supernaturally awesome. My extraordinary change of perspective has CHANGED EVERTHING. I'm riding the wave, my future has the same thing in mind, to be in and of itself, mind-blowing. I smile impulsively whenever I think about tomorrow. My future wants me too, and if you'll please allow, we've decided to conssumate some dreams of mine.

Content by Laura Gabriele