Sunday, March 6, 2011

"Your House Shall Be Not an Anchor, But a Mast"

When I graduated from High School my father slipped me a thin, aged-looking book and said "read this... I think you'll like it".  Naturally and naively, I threw it in amongst the rest of my books and didn't look back or even pause to consider cracking it open.

Years later, in the midst of moving into my first college apartment, I found the book and began to read it- and I haven't parted with it since.

"The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran has become a little piece of my heart and soul.  Looking at it now it is ripped and torn from being tumbled around in too many oversized purses, and it's pages are dog-eared and coffee-stained-  my best friend for so many afternoons spent in coffee shops learning how to be alone without being lonely.

My favorite thing to do is to give a copy to the people in my life.  It's more than just a gesture of sharing something I love, it is also an invitation of sorts... a welcoming into a deeper part of knowing me and what sparks me at my core.

Looking at it now, I see how it holds a million lives in it's pages.  Memories of a summer evening in a lake house in Illinois, cuddled up in a bed with old friends and reading aloud the words that I loved so much.  Thinking of that night reminds me of the days spent leaping in and out of the lake, no makeup, sun-kissed and free.  Evenings spent around a fire with a little music and a lot of laughter.

I gave a copy once to a boy I liked and told him to put it away somewhere and forget about it... let himself find it by mistake one day far from then.  To let the serendipity of it fully breathe.

I've given copies to people who are still very much a part of my life, and to many who are very much gone from my life.  And I think there is something special in knowing that people and places that are no longer with me, are linked to me still.

Home is a human condition.  Its the vastness of your entire experience wrapped up in a sack, tied to a stick, thrown over your shoulder.  Lately my greatest sense of "home" has been the contrast of all the different places I've been and people I've known.  It's sitting at a table with a dozen of my closest friends, knowing that a mere year ago I was far from being as happy as I am now.  Its seeing that no matter how far- both physically and emotionally- I journey, somehow life always brings me back to where I am meant to be.

It makes me think a lot about roots, and planting, and what that truly means.  In New York, I couldn't even bring myself to replace my air mattress with a real bed... because somewhere inside myself I must have known that I wouldn't stay long.  But I planted there, in ways more profound than furniture.  I rooted to people, because the people were all I had.  And when the time came to leave I was sent away with all of the love and encouragement of those people, knowing that I would carry them with me forever... they were rooted deeply in me.

I wander from home to home, finding new forms of family wherever I go.  I wander not aimlessly, but with the challenge of staying free and yet committed.  Committed to the truth of what I've come from, and free to reach the fullness that is yet to be realized in my experience.

"How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold." = William Wordsworth


  1. First off: I'm a huge fan.
    Secondly: You are a huge inspiration. In one of your other blogs, you said, "I also have the confidence of hitting a rock-bottom of sorts- the lowest point that a naturally optimistic person like my self can hit-" when I first read that, I knew exactly what you were talking about. I am in that rock-bottom of sorts, and your writing is helping me more and more every day. I only hope to be as articulate and well-spoken as you. I can only hope to have my writing be as good as yours.
    Anyways, thanks.
    You're a huge inspiration, and this blog was another step to help me climb out of rock-bottom.
    A huge fan. (Well... that's a tad bit redundant.)

  2. "...learning how to be alone without being lonely", sounds exactly like what I need right now. I'll see if my library has a copy of it.

    i also wanted to say thank you for sharing bits of yourself with other people. i can relate to a lot of what you are saying, and as a college senior graduating in may, it is so helpful to know that i don't have to have everything figured out right this second. thank you thank you thank you.

  3. I do hope that you keep updating this frequently because I really like your writing.

  4. As previously stated by your other fans, you are a HUGE inspiration! I read your thoughts and it's like you're my closest friend giving me advice on how to be a better person. I was having a bad day yesterday missing my friends and family back home, and I just happened accross your tumblr, and it's like you were speaking directly at me. Now, reading this blog, I'm awe struck by your inspirational words. I look to your words of wisdom when I'm in search of a little perspective. Thank you!