Thanks to be Home | Saturday Adventures

Hello everyone!
I apologize for lack of Quick Pieces, but now that I’m on break, I’ll be able to write a story for your enjoyment. Anyways, here’s what I did yesterday.

In the middle of the night, my roommate and I decided to have a little party of our own since we were finally done with our work needed to be done. We had been toying with the idea of dancing because my roommate enjoys dancing. I finally agreed and after spending quite a while picking songs to dance to, we just decided to look up YouTube videos of Just Dance tutorials and jammed out in the middle of our living room. It was so much fun because I consider myself a little incompetent with dancing. With Just Dance, I feel like I have more liberty because it’s aimed for those who aren’t excellent dancers. Plus, it was just my roommate and I. We didn’t care that we looked ridiculous. We just wanted to have fun. There were some dances that had hilarious dance moves such that one move looked like we were aggressively elbowing someone in the face. There were complicated footwork and arm flailing, but I felt like I knew how to dance. (who am I kidding) After we got tired of dancing, we just pulled up lyric videos and sang along. We had our fun until three in the morning. I would say that that was the epitome of college.

I woke up at 10 and started to pack to leave for Thanksgiving break. I wasn’t too concerned about forgetting anything because I simply brought home my entire load of laundry. The entire day was filled with travel, but once I stepped foot inside of home; I felt at peace. Stressors were behind me and all I had to do was clear my head. This is the time of gratitude and thankfulness. It is also the time for rest. I can finally take the time to inhale and exhale without fear that my breath will be taken away from me. I’ll surely be taking my time to relax and catch up with family.

Have a great and lovely week!

Alice

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The Hurting World | November 15, 2015

Paris, France

Beirut, Lebannon

Baja California, Mexico

Kyushu, Japan

Bagdad, Iran

When I heard about all these tragedies around the world, my heart immediately started to ache and I started to think about everyone who was involved. We are all involved. At the time, I was at a retreat, far from the university, far from the world. It’s so easy to just forget about the issues going on around the world. It’s so easy to turn off your phone and turn your head. Turn on your phone and look directly at what has happened. This isn’t something we should ever forget about. It will take time, but learn to forgive the terrorists. Don’t forget about the victims and their families.

Our first instinct would be to throw questions around. Why is this happening? What did we do to deserve this? How can we help? What is going on? WHY? At the moment, there are no answers to these millions of questions, but there will be. It’s painful to be patient, but the answers will come. Have hope.

We’re all physically broken and hope seems so far off. Words and prayers feel empty, but have no fear. The world is aware of the situations and doing their best to help. Prayers are so full of power because we’re crying out to God, pleading for mercy and for a glimpse of hope. He hears us and He has a definite plan that we cannot comprehend. It takes a lot of trust to depend on something you cannot see, but just know that He is here.

“But the lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.” Psalms 94:22 (NLT)

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20 (NIV)

“The lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.” Psalms 145:18-19 (NLT)

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.” Psalsm 46:1-2 (NLT)

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  ” Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)

Other things you can do to help:

  • Prayer
  • Donate blood or to Red Cross
  • Show solidarity ie. Facebook
  • Donate to local French charities [x][x]
  • Bring awareness
  • Opening yourselves up

There’s so much fear about our safety and about what to come, so we must be open to whatever will happen. I can’t exactly say that “everything will be okay” because right now, things are chaotic. I have no idea how affected countries feel, but I can only imagine. I still have a deep hurt and yearning to do something. Don’t underestimate yourself because everyone has the capabilities to help one another. To not be afraid is definitely easier said than done, but as people, we can minimize the fear by joining together in love and care and forgetting our differences that seem to make us far apart from one another.

To everyone who is hurting: Stay strong; we’re here with you.

Alice

Voice | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve been well! I can’t believe that it’s already November. At my university, it’s very beautiful when it’s fall because most of the buildings are made of stone and with the bright leaves, it gives it a nice aesthetic. Sooner than later, snow will drape over the university, something I definitely look forward to in the winter months. For now, I’ll enjoy the crisp weather.

“Voice”

Your voice – so present
draws me close
and I am no longer enveloped in
constant worry
perpetual panic
everlasting nervousness.
I’ve become
okay.
I’ve become
better.
I’ve become
calmer.
Simply present
and never leaving
Simply appreciating
and never dreading
If you leave,
I will totter
I will sway
I will collapse.

What is happening? Can you tell me?
If I fall, every step up will become a mission.
With my left foot, my right will drag.
With my right foot, my left will drag. It’s a work in progress until I can stand again.
After being knocked over, I’ve become deaf.
After being knocked over, I’ve become numb.
After being knocked over, I say “fuck it all”.
But I still care.

My voice echoes down the grey corridors
and I just want someone to catch it.
What do I sound like?
Am I gently perusing like the fog
my fingers grazing through the invisible threads?
Am I causing you to lean in like Daisy Buchanan
with her breathy voice, drawing you near?
Am I like a thin curtain caught on a summer breeze,
Rising and falling, billowing to tickle the walls?

You give my voice definition
for I am able to stand up straight
without the fear of falling.
You restore my voice
when it becomes sharp and on the edge.
You caress my hand and say
“Keep at it.”
Your voice brings me comfort
and I am no longer afraid.

This poem was written and changed many times because I entered it into my school’s art and literary magazine along with another creative non-fiction piece. I wrote about something that was pretty close to me so that it would be as authentic as possible. I really hope they take my piece!

This poem is about questioning dependency on someone you’re dear to. We’ve all had gone through difficult times and there are always people who are there to help you. Yet, there are times when you feel bad that you’re possibly disrupting their time. Just know that in those instances, all they want to do is help you. There are three stages of this poem and follows the stanzas.

In the first stanza, it talks about how that person makes you feel. You feel so secure and comforted being around them. I use specifically voice because when someone’s comforting you, personally, the words mean more. Their voice is what pertains to them. No one else can have their voice  whether it be personality or the sound of their voice. And each person has their own way in comforting another person. There’s a general fear of that person not being able to be there for you because what if you go onto a difficult time again? What will you do? Well, you  just have to learn to fend for yourself.

In the second stanza, it talks about what does happen when that person isn’t there. It’s really difficult to get yourself going again. It’s possible, but it’s a work in progress as each day goes on. When I was writing this stanza with the parallels of “After being knocked over…”, I was talking about my own depressive states. It’s difficult to go through depression time and time again. After a while, you cease to feel, but deep inside of you there is still a little hope left. A slight side note, but if you know me as a person, then you would know that I don’t usually curse unless I stub my foot – usually meaningless or if I’m really angry. As I’ve gotten older, I know how to write with curses. The way I use them is to express anger and frustration rather than tone because it wouldn’t be authentic because I’m not one to curse. I just use them sparingly and if it’s necessary.

In the third stanza, it talks about recovery and seeking for my own strength/voice. It’s about questioning your own identity until you find something you’re comfortable with. All these questions are about voice are filled with imagery, but they all generally talk about how you could belong with various methods of using your voice. Personally, this stanza was the most enjoyable to write because I got to play around with words and what fit into a voice. There is kind of a theme with the questions and The Great Gatsby.

In the final stanza, it talks about the final definition of a voice. It wraps everything together from start to finish about voice, bravery and dependency. For my own interpretation of my poem, I would say that dependency is okay as long as it doesn’t turn into obsession because it helps motivate and drive someone. We are people who need others. We thrive on other people’s presence even if you are an introvert. It’s nice to watch or talk to people. You just need to appreciate the beauty that everyone carries in their own way and how we’re not all that different.

Be brave and have a great day!

Alice

Pancakes and More | Saturday Adventures

Hello everyone,

A week ago, I started NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month) and I’m at 11,896 words! I’m writing about how an ordinary man becomes a murderer. This story is told from his perspective and it’s coming along well so far! I find that I write more in the evening than in the morning probably because I do most of my school work and go to classes in the morning. With two hours, I can spit out the daily goal. Besides that, yesterday was packed with hanging out with friends. I started the day off with a prayer meeting and it was really nice to pray with fellow Christians and hearing our voices mingle together. Shortly afterwards, I went to someone’s house for brunch  with some friends. Someone made this amazing cinnamon mixture and when the pancakes were cooking, she swirled them on. When those pancakes were flipped over, the cinnamon glazed and caramelized. It was delicious. Then, we just sat around, eating our brunch and reading Facebook statuses from a couple years ago. The moral of that story was that we’ve all had our moments of awkwardness, sass and just boredom. Directly from the brunch, I went to practice. Only two beginners showed up so I lead practice again with similar format as the other two weeks I lead practice. Since I’m not nearly as skilled or experienced as other members, I try to coach so that the beginners and possibly the advanced members build up a greater kiai and spirit. I noticed that last year, it wasn’t explicitly taught, but it was only strongly encouraged. In kendo, having a big fighting spirit as well as the focus plays a big role during matches. I guess that’s my contribution to the team besides all the administrative work. I came home from practice and a little while later, my friend came over. We basically talked a lot, like family and we spontaneously decided to go see a movie at midnight which proved to be difficult since we were already pretty tired. I came home and slept until 10am this morning. As I’ve gotten older, I noticed that sleep is my most treasured thing. Anyways, I hope you have a great Sunday!

Thank you for coming along!

Alice

Banana | Saturday Adventures

Hello everyone and happy Halloween!

Even though this is published today, on Sunday, it was because I had a pretty great Saturday.

For kendo club, I got the ability to coach the beginners again and since it was Halloween, I made it Halloween themed. I had them compete against each other and named each group “black cat”, “goblins”, “candy corn”. They seemed to appreciate my spontaneous creativity. I also had them do a “kiai contest” which consisted of them just practicing their shouts with fun and competitive means. I was telling some members that I have a different coaching style because I focus more on the smaller details for each individual as I work with a smaller group than just going through various exercises. Plus, I didn’t want them to be bored.

In the evening, I attended a Halloween party with Cru. On Thursday night, one of my friends asked some of us if we wanted to be bananas, so at the party, there were 5 bananas milling around. It was a hilarious sight and someone in a monkey costume added the hilarity. There was a point when all the bananas were dancing in a circle, bouncing up and down and wiggling our stems. We also did a photo shoot with all five bananas and the monkey. It’s like a strange album cover: The Ape and The Five Bananas. For the rest of the night, I just danced around. I feel like it’s easier to dance in a closer group than by yourself. I really liked being a banana! It was a dream come true – more than oh-K. (Comment below if you got that pun :))

Thus, that concluded Halloween night and National November Writing Month begins!

Thanks for coming along with me!

Alice