Block 139: July 6, 2013

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I’ve been up since 3am. Today, I’ve already sewn two pleated cotton skirts. I have to finish making a kimono in the next three hours. 

I really want today to end already.

Date: July 6, 2013

Crane: 139

Days Spent on Project: 139

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Andre B.

In my second year at Kenyon, I was one of four RA’s in charge of Norton Hall. Andre was the other guy, taking the second floor men’s hall. 

I’m not sure Andre and I would have ever been friends had it not been the RA connection, but I’m glad we did get the chance to get to know each other.

I’m not sure he knew what to do with me. Although an English major, he was obviously much more comfortable keeping the peace on his hall and his guys respected him.

I always thought of him as my weirdly older college brother. I think he thought I was his younger, slightly funny, brother. When Courtney B. (another RA in Norton) and I were in The Playboy of the Western World- the Fall Drama Department production- he bought a ticket and stayed to congratulate us in the green room after the show. He was there for people.

But he was cool and, from what I can tell from Facebook, he’s enjoying life and being a father.

Music I listed to while sewing: Today, thanks to Spotify, I’m listening to a “Summer Playlist.” It’s okay…

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Today, I’ll leave you with something from a friend. He said that within the past year he’s used it frequently to get him through the rough and the good times.

“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and really being serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever.  The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness- life’s painful aspect- softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose- you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”   -Pema Chodron

I certainly know this year has been especially difficult for me, personally and professionally. Last year was the exact opposite; in hindsight, it was mostly a year of smoother sailing and highs. I can say that I was actually arrogant at times because of it. 

So maybe I needed this year. Yes, sometimes I do feel as if I’m trouble and barely managing to float, but it is a reminder to take the better times as they come and understand that they are transient. The good times can’t last forever. They shouldn’t.

And conversely, this means the bad times can be permanent. 

I really hope. Hope is a big part of my life these days.

Okay, I have to get back to my kimono. Time is ticking by and my dog also needs a walk.

Cheers.

 

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