Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hugh Grant Meets Queso

It’s amazing what five days of icy roads and slippery snow can do to your schedule.

Spoiler alert: It kills it.

I had planned a busy week as usual. A meeting about my future radio podcast (!), webinars at work about community organizing and activism, an Ash Wednesday service to attend at the A-frame Chapel at Vanderbilt, a networking event for young professionals in the nonprofit sector, and then topping it all off with a weekend visit from my mom.

None of these things happened.
Most of them are rescheduled.

But life goes on without our plans. I was reminded this week that I am not in control. No matter how hard I try, I cannot control the weather… or really anything.

But this week was a true gift.
Here are some highlights of what happened instead.

I had a conversation with my old roommate and sweet, smiley friend in California… I mean like really smiley… as in she is probably the most joyful person on the planet. (Picture Mrs. Clause as a 20-something). Even the sound of her voice is like listening to a song- upbeat and melodic. We talked about her megabus adventure coming up this spring including her visit to Nashville when we will do lots of hiking, camping, and tree-climbing. This friend belongs outside, and when I am with her, I remember that I am too.

I watched the Saturday Night Live 40th year anniversary show with friends. We ate chex-mix and brownies and drank Blue Moon. I can’t tell you the last time I watched SNL. I also can’t tell you the last time I laughed that hard.

I watched Two Weeks Notice with my roommate. And let me tell you, Hugh Grant’s accent is still adorable after all these years.

I played on Garage Band for hours on end. I’ll just sum it up this way: piano, harmonies, beat boxing. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, losing track of time and overly excited about the beauty of raw sound.

I discovered a beautiful new movie called Life of a King. Reminded me that life is not about our past. It’s about giving and laughing and forgiving yourself and your neighbors.

Slowed down a LOT (by this point I am feeling the weight of the snow against my chest and the ice under my boots) and sipped on some ginger tea while reading The Way of Tea and Justice by Becca Stevens, AKA the most hilarious, humble hero ever. It’s funny, I can hear her thick Southern accent so clearly when I read her writing. I feel like she is sitting beside me, laughing and crying at her own words, her feet kicked up and her Justice Tea glued to her fingers. Thoughts around self-care, mini-retreats, beams of mysterious and heavenly light, grieving and celebrating, and learning how to rest floated off the pages for me, like writing in the water, flowing gracefully and staring back at me with wonder.

I took a friend to yoga… or she took me because I was still too scared to drive and she’s from New Hampshire and laughs in the face of Nashville “snow” days.

I watched some episodes of Lost with the sweetest boy I know. And then we had breakfast for dinner with friends and I had one too many cinnamon rolls.

I went to a beautiful restorative flow yoga class. There was lots of deep stretching and headstand mastering involved. The teacher was patient, playful, and kind. It was sort of like a therapy session for the body and mind. I swallowed each word like tea and let it soothe my inner sanity in this toasty, toasty room.

I had chips and queso in the middle of the afternoon with an old friend for no reason other than we love the queso at Rosepepper. We changed topics every 5 seconds, like squirrels chasing an acorn. That’s how our friendship works and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

More yoga with more twists and chaturangas. The teacher came over and adjusted my hips at one point. It made all the difference in the world.

I finished the book The Way of Tea and Justice and tears fell, one after the other, as I read the last chapter describing the opening day of Thistle Stop Café over a year ago now. I imagined the smiles of the women who had been picked up off the streets- some of them, literally the day before this event. I could feel the love in that room like a hand-knit sweater over my shoulders as I felt the warmth of each hug and embrace across the room.

I had dinner at my neighbors’ house as we discussed movies and the disturbingly biased criminal justice system in the States over seafood stew, salad and bread. I felt centered, happy to be alive, happy to be breathing, tasting, talking.


This is life uninterrupted. This is spontaneity in the midst of rejection- rejection of schedules, rejection of normality, smooth roads and transitions. This is life untouched- untouched by expectation, routine or deadlines.

This is my life in a snow week, where icy roads separate me from a Brentwood office temporarily transformed into an ice skating rink.

Yes, I watched a lot of movies and episodes of Lost
And no, I am not ashamed. 

Because here’s the thing- I also slowed down and got a lot of sleep. I had time for longer conversations, deeper breathing, less driving.

I had time.

How do I let that slip away from me so easily?
We all do.

Time is precious.
Friendships are golden.
Hold on tight.

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