Friday, May 25, 2012

Adios, slanted house....

Not Too Late - Norah Jones 
(Norah Jones will always remind me of Anna, in the office at Sterling Quest....)

There is a story is late at night, in steamy early summer in Philadelphia. A girl sits at her computer, in a stuffy room that she has lived in and out of for many months. The walls are tan, and are crooked. The whole house slants. 

She filled it with a second hand leather couch, an old trunk of a friend's, two bookcases she bought with her first paycheck after college, a comfortable bed, an old sewing machine. She hung art on the walls, the slanted walls, put curtains in the windows. She taped ephemera to the walls, and wrote poems inside blank cards and pinned them up all over the house. She went to work. She planted plastic tubs in the front with flowers. She cooked meals in the kitchen, and wrapped the drab island in red oilcloth, and hung Mexican flags around on the windows and on the voodoo doll she got three years ago. She lived here with one of her best friends, and then she lived here more alone than before.

She wrote journal entries, and played Scrabble in earnest. She loved science and tried to communicate that to students who struggled. She baked sugar cookies, and drank cocktails, and learned to get to know new people and a new city. She took long, long walks and ended up with blisters on her heels. She discovered the beautiful parts of the city that maybe, she would have missed. She listened to music on her headphones, and learned to walk quickly but still appreciate the murals and the mosaics. She spent lots of time alone, and realized that although she didn't want to be alone for a long time, that being alone was just fine for the time being.

She lost a lot, but gained priceless things. She ate pancakes on Sunday morning with a little whiskey in her coffee. She read National Geographics, and books by Larry McMurtry, and pined for Texas even though she didn't want to go back. She went to the Melrose Diner when she had no coffee in the kitchen. She bought a ticket to Mexico when someone at work pointed out it had been too long (four years). She quit her job. She went to Mexico and had six amazing days that led to something truly wonderful. She came back to Philadelphia, sold everything she owned but the things she really loved.

 It is true, you have to be house proud. I will miss this house. Saying goodbye to the Rosewood house tonight.....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Simple Truth

"For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love."
- Carl Sagan

Tonight, I packed my last box. I have whittled an entire houseful of stuff down into twelve boxes and what will fit in the backseat and trunk of my car. I feel very excited: like I am floating. It is an amazing feeling to get rid of so much junk....slash and burn indeed!

Whilst packing that last box, I found something that I hadn't looked at in many years. It is a long poem, written in red ink on yellow legal pad paper. It was left on my doorstep by a high school friend many years ago, when I lived in the house in which I spent most of my college time: 1414 East 37th Street in Austin. I love that house: still do, even though it is renovated and looks very different today than it did in 2003 when I moved out. 

Here is the poem, although sadly, it loses something not being written in red ink on yellow legal pad paper.

"The Simple Truth" by Philip Levine

I bought a dollar and a half's worth of small red potatoes, took them home, boiled them in their jackets and ate them for dinner with a little butter and salt. Then I walked through the dried fields on the edge of town. In middle June, the light hung on in the dark furrows at my feet, and in the mountain oaks overhead, the birds were gathering for the night, the jays and mockers squawking back and forth, the finches still darting into the dusty light. The woman who sold me the potatoes was from Poland; she was someone out of my childhood in a pink spangled sweater and sunglasses praising the perfection of all her fruits and vegetables at the road-side stand and urging me to taste even the pale, raw sweet corn trucked all the way, she swore, from New Jersey. "Eat, eat," she said, "Even if you don't, I'll say you did."

Some things you know all your life. They are so simple and true they must be said without elegance, meter and rhyme, they must be laid on the table beside the salt shaker, the glass of water, the absence of light gathering in the shadows of picture frames, they must be naked and alone, they must stand for themselves.

My friend Henri and I arrived at this together in 1965 before I went away, before he began to kill himself, and the two of us to betray our love. Can you taste what I'm saying? It is onions or potatoes, a pinch of simple salt, the wealth of melting butter, it is obvious, it stays in the back of your throat like a truth you never uttered because the time was always wrong, it stays there for the rest of your life, unspoken, made of that dirt we call earth, the metal we call salt, in a form we have no words for, and you live on it.

{more information on Philip Levine can be found here}

19, 18, 17 Days

This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) - The Talking Heads

So...somehow I have gotten mixed up on my countdown here versus my countdown on my calendar. I think Memorial Day messed me up, or something. Anyway, after today there will be 16 days left....and out of those days, 7 are half days. My school is a strong believer in half days: it is one of our fundamental sources of contention, as I do not believe in half days, even though they are easier for me. 

Every Wednesday, we have a half day to build in professional development time for teachers, but, at least for us in middle school, this turns into a mostly wasted day of "electives" and advisory. I often wonder how much more they would learn if they were in school 5 days a week instead of 4. But, I digress....

1. Yesterday, I subbed for the art teacher at my school and taught 6th grade art for 45 minutes. They are learning how to weave: an activity that I really love. I turned on Allison Krauss & Union Station, and we listened to bluegrass and wove tapestries. They didn't complain about the music! They all worked on their tapestries! Outside it was rainy and cool.
2. Another day of making space stations really shows how each student is an individual, that creativity is universal and yet unpredictable, and that if you give any child the ability to create something out of a pile of seemingly random objects, it will fundamentally change they way they think about how things are made.
3. Skype - I am very thankful for Skype right now. 
4. The slow emptying of the Rosewood house: sharing my objects with others who are happy to receive them.
5. Still being able to break up fights with remarkable ease....turns out, it's like riding a bike!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

20 Days - Have Patience, Patience

That Wasn't Me - Brandi Carlisle

It's the weekend, again. The second to last weekend in the Rosewood house!!!

Taking risks is a part of life, and most of the time, risky behavior is too scary to do. Sometimes, the fear associated with risk comes with good reason: I think the issue at hand is to understand when risk may result in happiness, or when it may result in more scary or stressful situations.

“But who can say what's best? That's why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”
Haruki Murakami
1. Watching a classroom of students make space stations out of manila folders, tape and many random objects that were piled on a long table. I could see the imagination coming out of them, I could see them connecting ideas about design and engineering, I could see their creativity and their youth. 
2. Only three Fridays left!
3. Lunch with kindergartners. They are not allowed to talk for ten minutes so that they actually eat. After ten minutes, a timer goes off and the whole class erupts in a 5 year old "yayyyyyy!!!" It is hilarious, every single time.
4.  A beautiful spring-summer evening at the Phillies-Red Sox game with friends and coworkers, and a short but sweet intercontinental phone call on the sidelines.
5. Roof decks in South Philly on quiet, cool nights. Sometimes this city can be so beautiful.

Friday, May 18, 2012

21 Days

Ask - The Smiths

1. Unique, creative and weird students who fix ripped posters of other students with delicate, zig-zagged hot glue patterns.
2. That same unique, creative and weird student making nunchucks out of pencils and string, donning a mask he found somewhere, and dancing in front of the class. This would have been an instance of Lewis time.
3. Hugs from students throughout the day.
4. Great conversations with a student with a supremely huge deck stacked against him...and feeling, in that moment, that he knows I really care about him. I hope that is good enough and gives him more of a chance.
5. After school, hanging out in the hallways with kids, being silly and stupid and funny. 

I am going to miss them! (Even though they drive me crazy sometimes....a lot of times...)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

22 Days --- Space Stations, Rainy Days and a Lunch Bunch

Orleans Parish Prison - Johnny Cash

We are getting down to the close, and yet.....

Spiral Galaxy M74

This morning, the day started off rough. Lots of my students suffer from anger management problems, and I suffer from a lot of stress and a lack of ability to separate my emotions from their actions. This leads to me having my feelings hurt by a sense of failure, inadequacy or just plainly feeling attacked. Sometimes, the pain I feel very early in the morning means that I am more on edge, and therefore, the situation just gets worse. Other times, I am able to not take it personally and laugh about all the horribly mean things that are said to me, overtly or under breath.

Out of This Whirl: the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy

This morning it was rainy and grey and humid and the sounds of the train and cars and the smell of concrete was so pervasive I had a hard time stepping out of the moment. So, at one point, when I was upset and overwhelmed, I took a moment and stared out the old windows of my classroom, through the foggy panes, out into the scraggly trees that grow out of the community garden plot across the street. The garden is fenced in and locked: no one really gardens there. It is overgrown, weedy, and populated with old, plastic playground furniture. There is a vigilant stand of Swiss Chard that grows in a neat row along the front of the fence. The windows are covered with steel grates, the panes are thin and the casements are cracking and worn from age. I wonder what colour they used to be? Now they look like the surface of the Moon.

A String of

I stood there for a second, tears in my eyes, wondering if I could really do this, even for 22 more days. And I realized that I can do anything for 22 days, especially if I have already done it for about 180 days. But there are moments when it is really hard, and I want to walk out, or better yet, have them see me, and change. But in that place, in my heart, lies arrogance. They should not do anything that I want them to, the only hope is if they want to, in themselves.

Happy Sweet Sixteen, Hubble Telescope! - Starburst Galaxy M82

One of my favorite students was suspended today. She and I battled tooth and nail at the beginning of the school year: I probably wrote about her many months ago. She told me she didn't like me and didn't have to respect me or listen to me because I was new. Now, we get along really well and she helps me every day in class. She was suspended for being rude to a teacher several times. Downstairs, near the front door, at the top of the basement stairs, she stood with her back against the wall, sobbing her eyes out at being suspended. I talked to her for a bit, told her that she was a good person, and that this was all learning and that when she learns this, she won't have to repeat it, she won't be suspended again. I made her look me in the eyes so that I could tell her that it will get better. I held her hand and told her I would see her on Thursday.

Earlier today, a group of boys in one of the classes asked if they could come to my room at lunch. I told them no at least three times, but eventually, I was convinced. Only two or three asked me, I am sure, but when I looked up as they came in, I realized that all the boys from that class had come up. There were about ten of them, and they all sat down and ate lunch and we talked and they made jokes and we had a really good time. One sat and read his book, another asked me about space, another told me stories about going to parties, and the majority of them just talked to each other. At the end of lunch, they moved the tables around to create some space so that they could play a ballgame, and spent about fifteen minutes tossing a tiny basketball back and forth to each other while hopping as far as they could in the air.

Interacting Galaxies Arp 147

1. Design projects that challenge children to use their imaginations. Most of these students do not trust their imaginations and it is a beautiful thing to watch that trust in themselves begin to build by designing space stations.
2. Rainy days with all the windows open.
3. Lunch with students --- seeing them in a different light is a good thing.
4. Remembering, in many instances throughout the day, why I really love working with students.
5. Teaching about the Milky Way Galaxy and having every class answer, "YES!" when I asked if they wanted to watch the BrainPOP! about "Black Holes". That, and playing around on Galaxy Zoo, and classifying galaxies with them.

Monday, May 14, 2012

23 Days

Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads

Over the weekend, I posted most of my worldly goods on Craigslist. I am hoping to break even on my moving costs by selling off my possessions, and maybe buy a new dress! (Oh will I ever tire of buying amazing vintage dresses? Methinks not...)

Today, I received a barrage of emails over the course of a few hours. My students were working on designing space stations, and I was receiving email after email from people offering to buy my things. Tonight, the first one went: my turn of the century pine hutch is now home sweet home in Upper Darby, with a couple from Ohio. In the rain, we loaded that beloved piece of furniture into and onto their car, and off it went.

Here was the hutch, in its full glory, in my old room in Austin....I love orange walls!!!

Words can't really describe how much I loved that room!

The walls were Lifejacket Orange, if I am remembering rightly. The ceiling was bright blue and the trim was metallic silver....

Old Craft Table....I built this table with 6 legs. Only 2 of them actually touched the ground at first! 

So.....time passes, and things come and go. Right now it is raining and very humid. My neighbors just came home and are parking their rickety, clacking car across from my house. They yell, at each other and at their kids, almost constantly. The rain falls, the air is still. Tomorrow is Tuesday....more space stations are on the horizon!

1. Students telling me that they were hanging out over the weekend (a group of 5 6th grade boys) and were staring up at the stars and they found Betelgeuse and Jupiter...and were so excited that they chose to tell me about it!
2. A 7th grader with a clothespin in his bangs, swinging his head back and forth and singing "I whip my head back and forth" in time.
3. Researching The Book
4.  Realizing that I am moving out of Philly in a month!
5. Time at night to listen to the sounds of this crazy city, and rain, and music.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Quarter Century Number of Days......

Good Morning - The Dandy Warhols

or....good evening.

I am gazing around my living room and kitchen and mulling over the facts: I am moving away from this house in about two weeks AND I did this, very similarly, a year ago. Now, a year ago, I took everything with me. This year, I am taking very little with me. This year, I am happier to shed extras and focus on only the things that I really love, versus bringing everything I own across state lines un otra vez.

Having just posted several items on Craigslist, I am still sitting, a bit paralyzed, on my brown leather couch. My couch is very comfortable to sit and sleep on. I bought it several years ago after selling my house, when I moved into my tiny house in Hyde Park, in Austin. When I bought this couch, my cat, Fawkes, escaped through the front door as my friends moved the couch inside. He disappeared into an autumn evening, and later, via microchip, he came back, only to disappear, finally, one more time. Fawkes was a wonderful Russian Blue cat: he was great, but not meant to be mine in the tiny house.

Next to my couch are two pinyon pine bookcases that I designed, had built, and bought with my first paycheck from IBM. In 2005, I worked as an event planner for IBM. I hated my job with a deeply burning passion. I traveled extensively: more than three weeks per month, on average, I was out of town. As I traveled, I began to forget where I was because I had been in so many airports: sometimes three or four in a week. I began to resent the various hotel rooms and became used to having dinner alone in strange, alienating hotel restaurants. I cultivated a favorite glass of wine that I could find at most places that I landed in on random Thursday or Friday afternoons. All hotels frequented by business travelers such as I smelled the same: like bleach, and chemicalized cleaning products, and over-starched sheets, and stale cigarette smoke that seemed to be a leftover from fifteen years ago, when smoking was still allowed inside. These hotels also smelled like chlorine and fertilizer, like the hard water used to water the banal tropical plants that decorate all of the atriums.

The last piece on the Reflection on My Objects Tour (for the moment, anyway) is my twig mirror frame from Anthropologie. This mirror frame is made of organically shaped pieces of pine that are fastened together in a beautiful and soothing way. I hung my grandparents' mirror on to the mirror frame, because this mirror frame never actually received glass. It has been in my homes for years, first The Haney House, then The Casita, now the Rosewood or Leaning House, sitting, waiting for mirror glass, waiting in vain. I love its sculptural qualities, but it, also, just contains stories and is, ultimately, unimportant.

Rivers and Tides - Andy Goldsworthy

These pieces of furniture are all, soon, being sold off: changing owners. Hopefully whoever takes these pieces will love them as much as I did.

It is funny how the process of getting rid of massive quantities of the furniture and clothes and books and etcetera that has followed you for years makes you feel light, airy, and, as if these decisions are the right ones. After a year of realizations, epiphanies, discoveries, hardships, life in a crazy city, dealing with the noise of people through walls, break-ins, challenging students, collapsing ceilings, hurricanes, earthquakes, trusting new friends, moving away from old friends, and having friends move away from me, for the first time in my life, I know that no matter what happens, I will always be okay. I trust in me. I trust in people, and I trust and know that love really is everything.

There was a time in December where I realized that all I had in life was the love I had for others and from others. And that has informed how I have lived since then. I have made some selfish decisions, decisions that I felt like I had to make to keep marching on, but my focus has been to let everyone in my life know how much I care for them. If I was to say what is the most important aspect of my life at this moment it is to spend more time with people, and to be open to the possibilities despite past experiences or disappointments.

So....let it be known, to myself and others who I love....I promise from now on to focus on people, on friends and loved ones, and to hold true to my realizations, to follow my heart.

Tonight is Friday night....instead of going out, I am staying in, looking around, making lists, and becoming lighter.

Busby Berkeley - Dance Until The Dawn 1931

1. Having lunch with students and talking about their thoughts.
2. Watching students' eyes light up when they see wonderful websites like that World Sunlight Map.
3. Having a calm end to the day with the crazy boys in my last period class.
4. A student who had a very rough morning and was very angry coming up to me at the end of the day, apologizing, and giving me a hug.
5. Teacher Appreciation Day notes that told me how the students like that I laugh instead of get mad, that I am trustworthy and honest, that I am "corny", that I make jokes, and that I keep trying no matter what happens...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

26 Days...or, a Pile of Books

MIA - Galang

Sometimes, days with the students are extra special and crazy. This morning, one of my favorite students magically became in possession of a meter stick. Said meter stick began to be beaten on the tables, until it was taken away. Then, he magically became in possession of two metal poles (still don't know where he found these), which proceeded to be banged on the surface of the tables and on the tables' legs. Those were eventually forfeit, as well. Soon after, whilst rolling over the surface of one table, he said,  "But Miss Blythe! I can't sit still!!!!!"

I replied, while looking desperately around the room for something to soothe the ADD-raddled savage beast, "You! Bookcase! Organize it!" He said....."ok" and proceeded to sit on the floor and pull every book out of a triple-decker bookcase. He made a huge pile of books on the floor and began to sing hip-hop and R&B songs while making beautiful and precisely organized shelves of books.

So there you go. 

Ani DiFranco - Anticipate

1. Being open and flexible to understanding the weird alternatives that middle school kids sometimes need to do to stop from bugging out.
2. Seeing the connections that students make about space and science and watching the trust in themselves and their intelligence develop in the form of questions and answers during discussions.
3. Dinner parties in beautifully decorated, tiny, old houses in South Philly.
4. Ant----ic----i----pation
5. Asking questions

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

27 Days

***Please forgive my using Dave Matthews Band - Two Step....but it is a really great song!!!

Let's just say the transition back into Philadelphia is a bit rough when you have been in a tropical paradise with someone you don't want to leave. The grey stone, the grey cement, the blockish nature of the city and then the general filth and drudgery is just hard to take after so many days of palm trees, sunshine, fresh fruit, friendliness, and new friends offering to fake themselves as doctors so that you can stay.

That being said, hugs from seventh and sixth graders early this morning were a very nice reminder that not all is bad, and in fact, much is good. Mostly what is good is the hilarious nature of middle they do things that make no sense and render me with an expression akin to total bewilderment. Imagine one boy hiding in a closet, another one throwing a chair because I called his mother after he ran around like a lunatic in the halls and on the stairs, another girl blatantly yelling at a guest teacher of a special group just because she doesn't know her, and yet another one telling me to "Shut Up!". 

My main strategy, especially at this point, is to just not worry and to relax and laugh as much as possible.

1. Hugs from many students this morning and thinly-veiled warnings of violence if I ever leave them again before the summer.
2. Sitting at a conference table with a small group of seventh graders and realizing that I have no control over them and just sitting there, laughing to myself and wondering whether they have any clue as to what they are doing.
3. Waking up to rain tapping and wind rattling the windows in my bedroom.
4. Surprise photos.
5. Daydreams.....planning, and getting ready....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Twists and Turns

"Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road."

- Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

Dog Days are Over - Florence and the Machine

Last Thursday, I flew to Cancun, and spent six days with dear friends near the beach in Tulum. Tulum is a tiny coastal town that reminds me a lot of my tiny home-coastal town, despite its obvious differences. The water in Tulum is so many shades of turquoise and royal...when you look out at the water, it's like someone has taken a watercolor brush and dipped it in every shade of blue that you could imagine and just wiped it in horizontal stripes across the horizon. The sand is white and tan, there are tiny rocks and coral and sea urchins, and palm trees. The wind whips around every surface through each moment of each day: all things are coated in sand and salt water. Everything is hot and the sun is bright and beats down in the most lovely of ways.

You You You You You - The 6ths

Better than the beach, or at least equal to the beach in beauty and sheer amazingness, are the cenotes. Cenotes are natural limestone pools that are partially or entirely underground. They were made by underground rivers and dot the Yucatan peninsula from the ocean westward. We went to many cenotes, each unique and each cenote trip had its own story.
Muscle - MIA

The first was Grand Cenote, a cenote just minutes outside of Tulum. Grand Cenote is half-open and is wonderfully accessible to people. At Grand Cenote, there is a huge cliff wall that faces you as you stand on the small deck preparing yourself for jumping in. Once you jump, the water is cobalt blue and clear. There are small fish that swim around and nibble on your feet; there are water plants that have green-brown top sides to their leaves and purple bottoms. There are mot mot birds that warble their strange song from trees above; they are especially vociferous at sunset. There are swallows that make their nests in the cracks and crannies of the cave walls, and swoop and fly about your head as you swim back into the cave. There are bats that perch, upside down, waiting for the dimming of the light to start flying with their swallow neighbors. There are two hidden caves that you have to trust are there: aiming for a friend's feet you can find the air pockets as you duck under stalagtites that plunge deep down into the water. Once in the first air pocket, you can hold on to the craggy rocks and push yourself through the crevices to another, larger, private pool inside the cave wall. In the pool you can sit along the walls and look down at perfectly white slabs of limestone that have settled on the pool's floor, or you can just sit and wait for the water to settle and become perfectly quiet.

One Fine Day - David Byrne and Brian Eno

The next day's cenote was called Tancash Ka (and I am sure I am mis-spelling its name), an egg-shaped, totally underground cenote with diving boards and a roof of camel-colored stalagtites that bend down and look as if they might fall on you as you glide underneath them, floating on your back in the blue water. There are formations that look like distinct shapes: there are fans of limestone, chandeliers, ribbons and some that look like gills sticking out from the walls. Diving down, you can see formations that are shaped like a million pearls all laying on top of each other. These walls surround the pool. You can look up and see your friends jump off the diving tower and splashing loudly and perfectly in the clear water. You can float and stare upwards, you can dive down and look at the rocks on the pool's floor. You can crawl up what seems like hundreds of stairs when the lack of fresh air becomes a bit much and sit outside in the fierce sunshine and drink beer and look at the trees and the bushes and the sky and the clouds and realize how gorgeous it all really is.

Take This Waltz - Leonard Cohen

If you are really lucky, and I most certainly am, you will have friends who will take you to the town of Cuzama, to Los Tres Cenotes. The names of the cenotes - ChelentĂșn, Chansinic'che, and Bolonchoojol - are interesting enough in themselves, but this is the cenote visit when you get to travel back in time by climbing into a horse-drawn carriage that takes you over 9 kilometers into the campo in search of three cenotes. 

Silver - Bonobo

Imagine traveling back in time and place. Pass through several towns, some small and some large, and when you come to Cuzama, imagine passing a pink Colonial cathedral, a grey Colonial cathedral, and then an orange and white Colonial cathedral. Imagine a central jardin that is painted in Easter egg colours: yellow and purple. Drive through town, through neighborhoods and past people sitting in the front gardens. Park on the right where you see a series of palapas and a pasture of scrawny, tiny horses. When you park, you are informed that $250 pesos gets you a horse, a buggy, two guides and an hour and a half in the cenotes. You hop on the buggy that is set to coast on an ancient, tiny train track, fasten your cooler and bags to the platform at the back, and take off at a fine clip through the campo. Staring at the henneken plants, the cacti, the scrubby trees, I was reminded of all of my years in Austin out in the country looking for swimming holes. Being on the buggy feels a bit like a rollercoaster, a bit like a carnival ride, and really gives meaning to the understanding that things in Mexico sometimes are just so magical and different you just have to go with them. The guides release the horses at each stop and off they run in circles to the right or left of the track. Down you go, down steps or ladders into cenotes that are much more popular with local people than the tourists you find at the cenotes nearer Tulum. The first one is covered with graffiti from the thirties through the present day....the second is entered by a perfectly straight and perfectly terrifying ladder and has pockets of light that peak through from the surface and cascade pure sunlight down into the water. In the center hang huge tree roots and a pile of limestone rocks. To one side is a large tree that grows into the rocks and the water. If one of your group is a cliff jumper, he can climb back to the top and find a spot all the way up, about 20-30 feet, find a landing spot with the help of another friend, and leap fast through the air, and plunge into the water. The third and final cenote, accessed by a slippery and short stairway, is expansive with little cliffs, hanging tree roots that you can do pull-ups on, clear blue water that you can dive down and see for such a distance it is incredible. If you hang on the tree roots and look up, you can see a hole in the ground above. Framed in that natural opening, you see tree branches, tree roots, leaves, and light. It is a beautiful sight: a perfect picture of how this place is magic, and that magic is everywhere.

Take Care - Beach House

There were other days, and other adventures on this trip. There were great discoveries, and Mayan ruins. There were walks, and beautiful dinners under dim lights. There were wonderful conversations and tamales off street carts. There was sleep in hot, dark rooms and time in vivid sunshine. There were realizations of how no matter what you may think, life happens and gifts are given and it is up to you to recognize them for what they are. 

Tonight, it is getting late. In Philadelphia, it is relatively quiet: possibly because it is rainy and grey outside. I know that 3,271 miles away, there is a place that I intend to get back to. That place whose skyline I looked upon the other day from the roof as I was hanging up laundry is small and dusty, with beautiful people and beautiful water, everywhere.

There is more to write, but not yet. Suffice it to say, I wish I was at a movie theatre in Playa del Carmen, or a small house in Tulum...but until then, I am here, wrapping up the loose ends and packing the boxes. Oooooo life!!!!

"Harold and Maude" - Hal Ashby, 1971