Play when it’s cold; and when it’s cold, we’ll play.

“Pretty soon, you’ll cut down to the bone.  Lose your strength, and gain even more.

yeah Pretty soon, you’ll file down to the bone..

where you’ll see the rotten, empty,

     core.

And there’s nothing left,- you’re finally alone.

You’re where it allllll makes sense, and you finally know –

that no one can hurt you, because you are your own. …

It’s not like I’m finding anything.

It’s not like I’m finding anything.

It’s not like I’m finding anything,

anything.”

(AunAqui)

Sitting in my dorm room, it’s Wednesday night.. *sings in familiar tune*

 “listening to the kind of music that – I – like..”

Where did the first half of this week go?

Tears in my eyes.. a pair of shoes.

From Sister Melody:

“Hi Amber, my intent was to buy you the pair of shoes – however, Ruth misunderstood and did not pay. I’m returning you the amount that you paid.”

I’ve never had someone do something like this for me.

Pay me back for a pair of shoes I bought..

church shoes.

I’m very touched; don’t really know what to say.

Lord Jesus, your people are very beautiful. 🙂 I want to be like them, who are, like you.

**Went on a mountain hike/ jog today. It was incredible. Breathtaking, really, actually.

The sun was beginning to set, just, gilding the trees.. leaves looked to be shining, appearing as though they were made of gold. Brilliant, yellow reflections. A quiet, vibrant, forest. The light bounced off of the creek water and rested herself on rocks, boulders and stones. I didn’t follow a path, I merely made my own.. preferring that which was difficult but not very dangerous, to the simple, leveled “sideways of the valley.” It appeared much more profound, to get my feet just alittle wet, jump across rocks and grasp onto overhanging tree limbs. The very act of traveling somewhere is the greatest,.. oft times, far outweighing the satisfaction and joy received in arriving at your destination.

Maybe traveling, wandering, IS my destination.

One of my only concerns (greater than that of a bear appearing; dreamt I saw one last night! Was very excited and exceedingly thankful.. if only it would really happen) is twisting my ankle. Wouldn’t be able to walk much; which means, I’d have trouble clearing my head and releasing all of the stress and frustration that comes just as naturally in life as thirst, hunger, fatigue and smiles do.

I sang to myself; the audience is always so kind. They listen; they aren’t above or below me – they are friends ,supporters.. fascinated, INTERESTED.. it’s all real, and not at all pretend. It allows me to be,

nothing beyond or short of what I actually, am.

They don’t have to like it, they’ve never hated it, and I don’t have to try to be better, or be intimidated into sounding worse. It’s the concert I’ll always give, and the fans who will always be there.

I remember thinking, as Chris Martin poured his heart out into both of my ears,

how glorious it is, to just breathe. Only to breathe.

In, and out.. the power, and potential – the constancy, the security..

not much has the ability to take our breath away.

Air is free, our body takes it in as naturally, and thoughtlessly, as possible.

It’s beautiful,

delightful.

Jan and I made muffins today! I enjoy experimenting, and so, while the original intention was to make banana nut (oh crap! we forgot the walnuts! “in this moment, hours later” realization. sniiiickerdoodles, ohhh well) muffins – Jan mentioned adding blueberries in. I consented, and as I opened the fridge to withdraw the said fruit of miniature size, I saw 3 cartons of strawberries. So I removed exactly three strawberries from one of the aforementioned cartons, washed them, and cut them into “itty bitty” pieces, adding them to the mixture and greasing the pan that lay alongside the large, green bowl. The muffins turned out very well; non-DLI students are always finding their way over to the cafeteria to “inspect,” strolling there way over to say “hello,” when word has been received that muffins have been baked.

Funny, food-driven and sugar-loving peoople.

🙂

Jonathan and Ruth showed up on campus yesterday (and today!). It was a lovely surprise.. a knock at my door, as I’m sitting upon the bed, journaling, and BOO! It’s “them two.” We walked down the hall to Jan’s room and woke her up ‘earthquake style’ (so Ruth’s fault, idea – whatever). They joined us regulars for evening worship and then the four of us went out for the night: shoe shopping, dinner, and dessert. Our first stop was PAYLESS, due to the fact that I had mentioned days previous that I needed church shoes. I’ve used my mom’s for years– shoes that have never perfectly fit me– and, accidentally, left in Atlanta, Georgia the pair she had lent to me. Ruth had then contacted me earlier on this week to mention that she wouldn’t mind going shoe shopping with me, and so, here we are. I knew I didn’t want heels, anything open toed or without a backing. Nothing frilly, ultra-girly, showy or silly. Nothing green or red.. something pink, white, or black.

I finally decided on brown, dressy flats. The three musketeers insisted that BLACK would be more practical, but I just surrendered myself to the absolute truth that I, as an individual and oddity of a human being, couldn’t see the necessity of having shoes that would match any, every outfit. I argued that brown matched my eyes and hair. When I had once made my way to the register, I asked the shop attendent for her honest opinion.

“Do you like these shoes,” I motioned to the box lying on the counter, “Or do you think black is better?”

“It depends on what you’re wearing with it,” she replied.

“This hair-” I pointed (towards my head).

“Brown,” she smiled.

I grinned at the others and felt very confident that I had made the right decision. It wasn’t a “settlement;” It was success. And I found it in an Aeropostle box. (Bet you didn’t know they makeee shoessss. Or, you probably did. I’m just not up on ‘THAT’ sort of thing.)

Just can’t conform, be mainstream, conventional, or normal.

It’s unfathomable.

We purchased bagels from the Panera foodstore next door and, with our big bag of bagels (and creamy-substance topping) in hand, proceeded to make our way over to the Starbucks located in the self-same parking lot (it was all just so convenient). We sat at a boxy table and conversed.. conversed about things such as guitar-playing hippies on tropical islands, the availability of coconuts, the pros and cons of sanity/ craziness and which is preferrable, dangerous pirates and gun-firing nutcases (and which one’s presence you would feel safest in).. as we drank our respective sugar-dairy drinks. I got a double chocolatey chip soy (cream base, no coffee) grande frap, Jan got a tall carmel apple spice frap (ewwww), and Jonathan and Ruth both got hot chocolates. Not a fan, but they were pretty thrilled about it.. dumping in excessive amounts of packaged sugars. It was the picture of young adulthood. It was a great night. We fled the Starbucks and stormed into Bed, Bath and Beyond, where Ruth spent a good amount of time looking for college dorm-room amenities. J, J and I amused ourselves by goofing off; I became emotionally distraught while watching an infomercial on air-compressible space bags.. Jonathan complicated the lyrics of “Complicated” (Lavigne), which song was playing on the radio (and to which song we all aisle-danced and lip-screamed).. and Jan examined various items. I grew weary and layed down on a well-dressed bed. I could have fallen asleep, if given the space of about 10 minutes. Was very tired; the sugar high was shortlived and strange, like a missle that soars vertically into the air, wavers, and then

dies.

The crash came quickly.

And then, we left..

and then, it kicked “back” in – and revived.

Jonathan and I laughed our two dear friends to the point of greatly disturbing them. We sang, we giggled, we tried our best to annunciate and express the sentences and words we desired to communicate but had difficulty doing so, with insane bouts of laughter inhibiting the use of the “speech gift.” I had a slight awareness of how ridiculous we must have been presenting ourselves to be, and how retardedly we must have carried on and on, and so I recall announcing that Jonathan and I were by no means to be judged based on that night’s shenanigan behavior. We began to wind down as the monotonous rythm of driving on the innerstate continued.. as the darkness seemed to grow darker and Ruth seemed to drive faster.. as noises seemed to dull and all of our emotions just lightened.

We arrived home 5 minutes after curfew, which, could quite possibly incur a fine on the part of both Jan and I.

Oh well; it was worth it.

Today, this morning, we began our study of Revelation 12. The outline is pretty sensible, easy to follow. It’s a lengthy study, requiring a lot of explanation and stretching our mental powers to remember many and numberous references, and it’s great. Brother Jay Jay substituted as our teacher in Stanford’s absense (who was out with the fiance, making last-minute wedding preparations).

Oh yeah! They’re getting “hitched” on Sunday, and I’m the wedding singer.

..Okay, so I’m only performing one song; so I’m a wedding singer.. (someone who has been asked to sing at a wedding).. however, I have no knowledge of ANYONE ELSE being asked to do so, so,

as far as I’m concerned,

I am THE wedding singer. 🙂

Was abit difficult to function today; Chris and I were up til about 3 last night, talking (then, getting up at 620.. it hurt so bad, haha – but I wouldn’t trade our smiles, peace, and closeness for even 24 hours of perfect, uninterrupted rest). I’m learning so much, so much more about him.. it’s very beautiful; taking all the little scaps of paper God has scattered for us to gather, and bringing together all the puzzle pieces we’ve located so far, .. considering, comprehending all of it and mapping out, – intelligently, in sincerity, and by the fear of the Lord – our future of together, together. And just knowing, he’s just as happy as I am.. just knowing — his heart is in it, and he’s happy.. with me! – dare I think, because of me?

**

And I shall close with this thought:

tis good to pragmatic,

but don’t be afraid to not calculate,

not anticipate,

and not evaluate.

some of our best choices, are made in an instant,

and in spontaneity, some of the craziest moments, are lived.

that’s right; you’ll always get original, truthful words of wisssdom from THIS girl.

-Aun Aqui

PS, I’m not uploading photos anymore because I’m not taking pictures anymore.  Camera; helplessly, unidentifiably, damaged.. it somehow, devastatingly, BROKE. 

I’m the photographer without a camera.  Accepting prayers.. and donations. 🙂

And just putting this out there:

I do not fear poverty, misapprehension, criticism, disinterest, hate being directed towards me or love being withdrawn from me..

all I fear, is betraying myself, torturing myself, and allowing myself to become so morbid, so outside of reality,

but that I push, scare, and drive everyone who would and should be there, “here,” away.

That’s what makes me afraid.

Let’s trade: two scoops of ice cream for a green guitar pick. (The chronicle of the Jews and my incredible fascination.)

The editor (who is also the writer/ author)’s.. note.  Afternote, stated, given, beforeee the reading; warning? Explanation.  This entry, is confused, and confusing.  It’s just random stuff that happened, today, written at different times in different tenses, and it’s pretty much all about the Jews.  Because I love them.
“Strictly the facts.”
(Overview, introduction, place-setting)

Sitting outside of a Jewish eatery (familiar, same faces that I saw at other Kosher pizza place). It’s called Sprinkles: Kosher pizza and ice cream.  They (the workers) were very friendly (today)! So surprised. Weekend was nice; went to church with Jonathan and Ruth.. stayed over at their place – eating, studying, walking, watching Kung Fu Panda movie (after Sabbath) – til about 10, at which time Sister Melody drove me home. Today, the council makes the decision: whether or not Chris can come. He’s been studying SR seriously, truly, sincerely, openmindedly – for the past week.. and wants to join me, here at Mtndale, to continue studying , and to have his questions answered.

It is up to you, Lord.

Went to walmart; got 5 bandanas (that will serve as head-coverings) and all natural laundary detergent. Also bottled water at the Spring down the road.

“Deeper Still”

(Here, it gets more interesting.  And, lengthy.)

This morning I awoke to the ring of a sounding bell. As my ears grew  more alert, I lay there, listening to Mt. Carmel Center’s Jewish neighbors welcoming the day. I heard babies crying, and voices chanting. Little children crying, and mothers singing. (Later on) I asked a group of Jewish gentlemen for directions, while out driving; they obliged. I was flattered. Their voices would speak for me, their words were directed towards me, and their eyes looked into mine –

‘the unworthy.’

In walmart I saw (Jewish) women. They seemed to be seeking to find the lowest (and best) prices on whatever items they needed to buy. I saw a little, baby girl being pushed in a cart.  Her eyes were wide open with wonder; how much of everything around her does she take in and remember? How much does and will she forget? There is no prejudice or worry.. planning or regretting.. she is so care free, so ready to embrace and to live, life.  And what is she living for? Soon, she’ll find out.

To have kids.

To submit herself to the man who she will someday call “husband.”

Her existence, is pretty much doomed.  (Sorry; I respect all religious faiths, but..)

Unless she breaks free,

there will BE no freedom,

there will be limits, bounds, chains, caps,

no dreams, no dreams.

The men seemed manly, indifferent, cold, staunch, dignified, superior. In line, a man wearing a large hat and dressed in a black and white suit, stood in front of me. His appearance cried that of a Jew’s. I smiled, said hello.. I was testing the waters. He replied something customary and polite to me, which I took as a sign that he would condescend to talk with me. I quieried, “Are you Jewish?” To which he responded, raising his eyebrows slightly, perhaps puzzled, thinking it was obvious, “Yes.”

“I have a question,” I continued.. “do you mind?”

“Not at all,” he reassured me. And so, I asked him why “they” (all men) wore hats. Also why some women did, and others didn’t.. why men and women alike dressed themselves in dark colors..

and oh, I would have asked so much more, I could have spent the entire day conversing, questioning, learning, seeking to understand, appreciating, enjoying his company –

but for once, the Walmart line seemed to proceed rather quickly. The customers ahead of us seemd to appear at the register and then just, leave. His turn for payment came, and he turned his back to me. An obvious friend of his walked over, greeted him, and began chatting. My turn came after his, and he was so gracious, so lovely..

he turned back around, met my eyes, bowed slightly and either waved or mouthed a goodbye — I honestly can’t remember (which). “God bless you,” I smiled warmly. We have atleast one thing in common.

There IS a God.

** (present)

A little boy just smiled over at me.. a cheesy, pizza-sauce-red-around-the-corners, smile. A little Jewish boy.

He’s wearing black shoes, tan pants, a friendly blue shirt and a black, velvety cap that almost entirely covers his head. Two great, long locks of hair dangle at his sides, just in front of his ears.. they are curled and brown. He smiled.. at me. He looked, at me. Unashamed.

He just hasn’t learned yet,

just hasn’t figured it out yet.

I’m not Jewish; I’m wearing Vans.

I’m not Jewish.. I have tattoos.

I’m not Jewish, I believe, in Jesus.

and so, because I’m not Jewish,

I’m not allowed to be friends with you.

** (sitting there, rewinding)

I also conversed with a woman inside of the pizza shop afew minutes ago. I discovered that her name was Bina, and she works for a shipping company. She lives in Brooklyn and visits her parents, who live up-state, in the summer. Brooklyn; that’s where she ‘got’ her hat. It was lovely, and I inquired where she had found it. She smiled at me, curiously, in a friendly way. Asked if I lived here, where I was visiting from, and if I was going to school.

I don’t know.

I don’t know, if she knew

I wasn’t ‘one of her.’ I dont know,

if she didnt know,

I wasn’t Jewish.

I’m wearing a skirt, I’m confident, I act as if I belong, and, I’m white.. does that tell either way? Maybe she thought I was (Jewish)..

but if she knew that I wasnt,

would she still have spoken with me?

Did she know I wasn’t, and still, speak with me?

I guess after a number of incidents like these occur, I can have reason enough to conclude that while some orthodox Jews are anti-Gentile contact, some really, don’t care whether or not you’re Jewish. Some Jews really dont hate, wont despise, you.

I enjoyed the time spent with the McCoys yesterday. The only thing that disappointed me..

All during and throughout the day (can’t decide which phrase I’d rather use), the mother (unnamed, privacy – a good friend of mine) was very kind and loving towards me. I was wearing a t-shirt and assumed that she, along with everyone else, could and did see my tattoos.. and accepted me still. It was so beautiful and encouraging, – it said so much to me of the caring grace of the human spirit.. that she hadn’t brought it up, pointed it out, or mentioned it. And then, right as the sun was setting, she quieried, “So why do you write on your arms?”

I paused and looked at her. Didn’t really know what to say, I was abit surprised. “Well, these are actually tattoos,” I corrected her. She listened, now her turn to be surprised, wearing a look of amazed disappointment, as I explained the time, reason, circumstances, meaning and what a “mistake it was” and how much and how “deeply I regretted it.”

I felt bad. I said the right stuff, but wished I meant it. I said I was sorry and wished they weren’t permanent, weren’t there, really were just pen and ink, as she had supposed –

and I felt like such a liar.

**

Back at the dorm. 30 more minutes, Brother Jay Jay says, and the meeting shall be concluded.

I had just walked over to the office from the laundary room, carrying a plastic bag (containing laundary detergent) in one hand and my pair of Vans in the other, preferring to walk shoeless over the grass, desiring to feel the bare earth beneath me.

It sounds beautiful, and it’s so much more magnificent and profound than it sounds, than I make it sound.

I sat down on the grass.. Bowed me (yes, me) head and prayed aloud, “Oh, Lord. Your will be done.” It was short, simple, and full of meaning. It was all I needed to say; what could have been a mess of words, a flood of ideas and requests and praises, was instead shortened and expressed in one sentence: Your will be done. At this..

It had been dark; the darkness was my blanket, and the thunder, my lullaby. The carpet was the bed I lay on, and the lightning, my “night light.”

But now, as I breathed the last heaven-sent and heaven-ward word (both), I felt the sun light on my back. I opened my eyes:

brightness;

I opened my eyes,

delighted,

had never sen such beauty

apart from the tomb.

had never realized how gorgeous the flowers are

when they bloom.

And to close.  I failed to share this, and, it was significant to me.

It was special.

So, I’ll end, presently, with an account of the past.

I saw the same gentleman in the Jewish eatery today that I had seen weeks ago when Jan and I had gone, for the first time, to a DIFFERENT kosher place for pizza.  He smiled at me and seemed to recognize me also, as did the other male-employees (they were all guys).  I was directed by a man at the counter over to this same gentleman for ice cream, and as I asked him whether or not he enjoyed the job (something I ask about 8/10 people I encounter while they are working), I suddenly remembered something amazing:

I had a guitar pick out in my car, IN my pocketbook!

“Could you please hold on to this for me for just a moment?” I asked, referring to the ice cream, cutting him short, practically mid-sentence, as he was trying to answer a question I had posed.  “Sure,” he assented.

I walked outside, unlocked the car, fumbled to open my pocketbook, secured the little, green, “Rock Steady” guitar pick and returned to the eatery.  Walking inside, I found that a line had deveoped and yet he had kept his eyes open for me.  “Here you are.” He handed the ice cream to me, and so, we performed a trade.  I took the ice cream and handed him the guitar pick.. to which he smiled, saying in low voice, and with great amusement, “Thank you..”

I believe he understood.

With that, I smiled, paid, and left.

Did that make any sense?

Well, it can’t, because I didn’t give you all of the background information.

It isn’t your fault.

Let me, “help” this situation..

The first time I saw him, he stood out to me: young, long haired, troubled appearance, angsty look, misunderstood, forgotten, confident, strong, and full of potential.  He was playing a guitar, and, I heard him say from the other side of the counter that he didn’t have a pick.  I had spoken up, offering that I had one with me, and he had continued playing with and for the other employees as I searched my messenger bag.  I had no pick with me that day, and, for some reason it really bothered me.

So.  Now, he got the pick promised him.

And now I, can move on.  (As a side-and-after note, the two scoops.. one was chocolate, and the other – cookies and cream).

-Aun Aqui

And your eyes take the pictures. And your eyes just blink away the censure.

“Home;” New York.

We returned, some time earlier on this week.. was it Sunday? Technically, no.. it was Monday morning.

We left Atlanta Sunday, at 1230 pm.. and arrived in Mountaindale on “Monday,” at 4am —

   about 16 hours later.

It was, a great trip.. a wonderful experience.  Undeniably, a necessary one; it put things into perspective.. “who is a christian; what is SDAism all about; are God’s people consecrated to Him; are we surrendering all? we love to sing it, but is it true?”

I met with disappointment, and reality.

I met with opposition and.. hostility.

I met with WARMNESS, love and sincerity..

and from the surface, which is all that I can judge by,

I met with people

from different places

with different hurts,

fears,

and faces.

Laboring under the sun, for a week.. was a pleasure, and, I really didn’t consider it a “sacrifice.”  It was just something I wanted to do; I believed in what I was passing out — that it was timely and inspired, full of integrity and the Lord’s counsel — and so, it just seemed necessary.. natural.. to want to, to do so.

The sun. 

She has seen so much; she, hasn’t changed.. never died to ‘come back’ again.. hasn’t passed away, and left offspring

to reign.  She is always there, has always been, since the “beginning.”  I wonder if she thinks, or feels..

smiles, or knows..

cries or

laments, regrets anything?

Christopher did come and visit me.

He arrived Friday afternoon, and left the same on Sunday.

It was, amazing.

Words,- elaborate descriptions, pretty imagery, deeply thought out and well paved analogies just,

couldn’t do any justice.

So I’m  just going to say that..

I love him.

I trust him.

I miss him..

I believe in us.

And he kissed me.

** Jan and I drove to Walmart yesterday.

And, a thought just occured to me.

Perhaps I need to.. state? make it clear?

That although I’m aware of the fact that acquaintances, friends, and family members read this (these, posts)..

I write with such openness, candor and simplicity because..

in my mind, I picture that, readers, are people who don’t know me.

Who have never seen my face,

spoken with me,

who don’t know who I am, where I’ve been, or where I want to go.

They’re just passing by; we’re strangers, I’m going this way,

and you’re going that way.  Maybe we’ll walk together for awhile, after stumbling

across eachother’s paths, and THEN part..

or, maybe you’ll find me interesting enough to change directions

and we can travel side by side.

Regardless, I’m writing for the people..

the people I don’t know..

and really,

I’m writing – mostly –

for me. 

So yeah, Jan and I went to walmart.  We’re, so awful.  Got junk food with our stipend money (I mean, besides toothpaste and facewash).. Chips A’hoy chocolate chunkkkk cookies, Little Debbie cosmic brownies, and Lays potato chips (not a huge fan of greasy, salty “stuff;” the latter was Jan’s indulgence).  We’re so bad, we got pints of our personal, all-time-favorite ice creams (mine; B&J chocolate fudge brownie.  Jan; Hagan Daz,.. something chocolate).  But yeah.  Tonight’s “dorm dinner” was cookies and chips.  I, felt pretty bad about it.  But, Chris wants me to gain weight, so, might as well have fun doing it.  🙂  (Wow! Doesn’t that sound ignorant! Jan said earlier, when I asked her to help me eat the cookies moderately, “do what makes you happy and follow God afterwards.”)

Haha, yes.  He wants me to gain weight.

And tonight I just realized.. I don’t know if I can.

It’s always been such a huge deal to me..  a way of avoiding feeling inferior;

being small, has always been a way of being in control,

staying in control..

protecting myself, my image.

I feel invulnerable, immune, confident, untouchable, almost invisible..

just because, I can, hide. 

And none of that makes sense.. but, it’s just always been a “security” thing.

I love Chris and want to make him happy,

but,

I just don’t know if I can walk in those shoes.**

The LORD, is good.

Someone very close to me (and, I wont give the name, just because, I don’t know if they’d really want to have their very personal business published), has decided to give the Shepherds Rod message a candid hearing.  How refreshing; there is so much blind PREJUDICE out there, — unwarranted, ignorant fear!.. as s/he has been reading, they have seen nothing but truth, hope and beauty.  It appears that it has given them nothing but joy.  It’s all Scriptural, sensible, timely. 

It’s almost like, in their newfound happiness,

I am falling in love with the truth, myself, all over again.

I have received encouragement (through observing this individual’s experience) to study, new motivation to be more dedicated, disciplined, committed,

informed.  I have resolved to be more intelligent, and perfectly, thoroughly acquainted with all the ‘details’ of my faith.

So yeah!  Back in NY, gave a presentation on Revelation 7 today.  God is good, I’m still learning,

about a lot of different things.  I see The Mountaindale Experience as.. a very huge time period in my life.

A lot has happened here, is happening, and WILL transpire.

I’m changing, growing.. being molded, being resistant..

taking in, and letting go –

shedding layers,

getting old,

FEELING, old.

I feel so old.

And I’ve felt this way for a long time.

But never in such a realistic, deep and heartfelt

way.

So on the way home from Walmart the other day..

there was a Jewish man on the side of the road;

he wanted, needed a ride.

I became so excited, BEGGED Jan (who accompanied me in the car; my foot had already started to brake and my hand was ready to put on the left-turn signal) to let me pull over and let him in.  She.. refused (I felt obliged to get her permission, as I would not be endangering my own life onlyyy – which wouldn’t have been enough to deter me – but I WOULD, in truth, be removing her from a position of almost absolute safety) and.. although I tried to persuade her to reconsider for afew minutes after passing, we continued to drive campus-ward, — it was to no avail.

All things happen for a reason, maybe it was best that way..

but, I just thought it would have been neat.

An honor, and neat:

to actually, have a Jew – a real, hardcore, “no-joke” Jew – get into a Gentile-girl’s car..

and to, perhaps, hold conversation with such a fascinating creature.

Jews are so different, they are so intriguing.

It’s a one sided relationship,

but,

I see every Jew as being one of my best, coolest friends.

-Aun Aqui

Relax, Max. Your nerves are like jumping jacks.

“What would you like to do today, Edward?”
“I’m not sure.. but I’d like to have made up a song,
about being
together.”

“Alright, friend.. we will sing of being
together.”

“Ok Jose–

rock on.”

**

Written (me, always, unless otherwise specifieeed) June 30th 2010. Happy birthday,

“I disappeared.”

There are words that blur on these pages
There are fears that begin, and burn in your mind.
Tears that burst during
rages..
cries that escape from
inside.

Hours wasted, staring out the car window
Music streaming into your head

Eyes open, glossy and glazed overr
Body stiff and limp, then
dead.

These conclusions that you come to
so profound, and, maybe,
true..

are your dream, your idol, and ambition

they consume and empower ;you.

So as they eat you alive –
shred, and chew you into pieces
record every detail..

for as long as your mind can reason.

Take pictures on this journey
and before all doors and windows have closed –
throw up this dream catcher,
let them have it,
let it go.
Aun Aqui

[ I’m dying for this,
I’m dying, essentially, for you
but I love this..

so I’m dying, really,
for me. ]

The day before, (yesterday) – 2 days ago, 2 days have passed.

Recorded in the “real thing” **

In a hot parking lot. Waiting for Stanford, Cara and Jan to show up.. it’s 5:30 and we were supposed to meet here for our “ministry supplies.” I just find it funny; how adults stress the importance of punctuality, and.. well, yes.

Anyways. Today has been nice. I want to get my haircut before Chris arrives (Friday): layered, trimmed and thinned. Found the right hairstyle.. just need to locate a WHITE hair salon and find out how I’m going to get there.

I was walking around in Building C for the past 45 minutes. Exploring. Getting lost in the crowd.. smiling with those who smiled, noticing the sad, lonely and careworn. How my heart longed to hold and cry with each and every soul.. to bring them, emotionally, mentally, to the point of

realizing their humanity..
their “higher calling”..
it’s so much more than it sounds.

My heart just breaks for this world, and everything in it; not just everyone. I’m realizing..
I’m carrying the burden of sin —
the burden Christ bore.
Oh, although it be weighty, how light it truly is: your biggest concern resting upon something, someone, anything other than yourself.
I again walked over to the 3ABN corner. Shelley Quinn wasn’t filming; she was signing books. I caught her eyes two or three times.. and she smiled, warmly, deeply, at me. I felt like a common person, pressing with the crowds towards Christ. It wasn’t my turn..
and there just wasn’t much time. I reached my hand out far enough to secure a little slip of paper, with her name, picture, and title of her new book on it. The last time I looked over at her, she was still smiling at me.. understandingly.. and tears began to well up in my eyes. I wasn’t sure why.

It’s not like I have any personal, meaningful relationship with this woman.. have I subconsciously – recently or long ago – placed some sort of emotional significance upon her? I’ve hardly read two of her books, and although I perceive that she’s an amazing writer and educated individual, I’ve never been a big fan. I’ve met her two or three times.. but,..

I turned and walked away, again bccoming lost in the sea of faces, but this time, my gaze was inward.

“Why do I feel this way, see this way, think this way? Why must I take everything so seriously.. carry everyone’s burden as faithfully as I would my own?” A man was wheeling himself along beside me. I glanced over and he said, “I’m just walking next to you.”

He was old and in a wheelchair and.. made me smile. “Cool,” I said. “And how are you today?” 

“Oh, hanging in there,” he said, smiling with both his lips and voice. We parted ways as I headed towards the escalator with “the rest” of the crowd. I wondered, where do people like HIM.. people with his condition, or in his circumstances, go? The elevator? I never think about those things. And it isn’t an “alternative” lifestyle; no, that would be silly, to judge all else by my unique experience. No, I’m not living what is called THE “normal” life.. I’m just living my life, he is living his,
and they are living theirs.

As I moved along, a man was singing on the right side of the walkway. His name is Michael Harris. He stood there, in the middle of an empty circle, which the crowd had shaped itself around, holding a mic and wearing a grey suit.  He sang.. passionately, dramatically, in deep voice.. bending this way and that, stretching his hands forward, pulling them back, lifting his head, (as if looking heavenward), and staring at the ground. The mic was near his lips and then slowly drawn away, only to return, quickly. The crowd was captivated, viewing him from either the human lens or the man-made. I don’t know which fascinated them more: hearing him perform — listening to the words and feeling “moved” by the Lord — or the fact that they were filming. The zooming in and out of the camera, it’s flashing lights, buzzy sound, and the distinguished look of black and silver machinery.

Why do cameras always exaggerate the importance of people, places and things? Dont they?
Or is it the people, places and things that make beautiful and important the cameras?

I believe it’s both. They feed off of eachother, like.. celebrities and the paparazzi. One can’t exist without the other, really.

I, personally, admit that I love cameras. Not for their shape, color or warranty.. for their capability. And that is why God loves us.

Not because we’re beautiful, talented, educated, sinful or holy..
but because we were made to LOVE and to be loved. He sees the potential in us as companions.

Anyways.. I’m still sitting here. It’s now 5:55 pm.

(Close)

So today is July 1st. WOW! I justttt realized that. Happy July! Haha.. yesterday was Melissa’s birthday (ex-best friend. yes, ex, not former.. exxxx. it ended terribly). I.. did send her a “happy birthday, I’m thinking of you, praying for you, yes, I really haven’t forgotten about you” email, after a long month of silence.. and, it wasn’t responded to. That wasn’t really a surprise, I figured it would catch her off guard, make her MAD, happy, sad, then angry, whatever.. but what DID.. I don’t know, catch ME off guard alittle was that she blocked me.

Well, darling, if that’s the way you want things, I am not going to fight it. I’m perfectly content in my small world; it’s all about what you want and need. That’s why I’m alive:

to make you happy.
To make you, you, and YOU happy – as far as possible.

I got my hair cut today.. was lucky; Atlanta is just FILLED to the brim with black hair salons and the people I’m staying with (South American/ Jamaican/ African American/ French/ Filipino people) doubted I’d be able to find a person who knew how to deal with ‘white hair.’  This place, two minutes down the road, had a lady. She layered the front, gave me some side bangs, and trimmed my splitted ends. 🙂 Yes, splitted. I like the way it just stands on it’s own, that word. Very full of force, very clear, plain, strong.

I’m not crazy about the outcome, but. Change is change, it’s different, it should be appreciated and valued, albeit minimally and in a not-so-ecstatic, way.

We’re going to hike a mountain later.. which I just find delicious. I have, stomach painn, today. Of all days, of all days. 🙂 Might just “skip out,” as much as I would usually LOVE being a part of such an outting.

Yesterday was interesting. Spent the morning and afternoon with the brethren over at the house they’re renting. We had a late lunch and Bible discussion regarding Joel 2. Passed out literature afterwards and upon walking the streets, I was drawn by the sound to a music festival, concert, in a park-like area. It was jazzy, soulful, and there were hundreds of people, laying on towels, sitting in fold-out chairs.. out of their seats, dancing, laughing, carrying on. It was interesting; I smiled. Jan stood behind me, observing.  I found a place to stand very near the stage.. and, didn’t take any pictures. I figured, something like this is just..

something I’ll have to remember,
all by myself.

The drummer was so intense, so exhausted, pushing himself WAY too hard. It was precious.. impressive.  The man with the trumpet, or whatever it was (quite certain it was the named instrument), was obviously the leader.  The main man.  He was good.. I imagined that if he had been white, his face would have been beet red.  You’ve got some strong lungs, partner.

“Nobody said it was easy.. it’s such a shame for us to part.
Nobody said it was easy.. no one ever said it would be this hard.” -Coldplay.

And this, goes along nicely with that.  It’s a quote on my friend, Andaid’s, FB page:

“I know they say the first love is the sweetest, but that first cut is the deepest”
Statements like these make sense, the longer you live, the more you go through and “experience.”

 

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
– Leo Buscaglia

**

Today, is Friday.  I’m totally finishing this ridiculously long and insignificant blog entry; ready to move past it. 
Christopher is going to be here..
in 2 hours.

I am so happy,
excited,
nervous
and nauseated.
My nerves always get the best of me..
in pleasant situations and terrifying ones. 🙂

This alwaysss used to happen on the first day of school:
I couldn’t sleep the night before, would have strangeee, weird dreams when I WAS able to, and woke with a sense of sickness and dread.. although I loved school. It was just, somehow, stressful?

Anyways.

I’ve had worship with the group, taken my shower, and eaten a small piece of cantaloupe. Didn’t want to eat anything at all, but, everyone seemed concerned. I didn’t really have dinner last night.

Last night;.. yesterday.

Well, it was an interesting day. I got my hair cut in the morning, that’s already been established.. in the EVENING, when a bunch of people were here (20+) visiting, a group of us (all teens) sat in a circle and sang songs. I played on Charlie.. looked up the chords for whatever song selection they had that I wasn’t familiar with.. and we had a good time.


It was great.

We went to a “mansion” later on, for a big “get-together” hosted by Stanford’s sister, Pam. The house was gorgeous.. a “vacation home,” occupied a couple weeks out of the year.  There was food, laughing, music, singing, talking, chatting, sitting, standing.. the usual “party” stuff. Tresur (pronounced Trea-sure) and I serenaded a group of ladies, who were sitting at a round table.  The sofa gang and standing crew also listened and enjoyed it; afew sang along.. but we were mostly just the ‘quiet buzz in the background.’
A little boy named.. well, I won’t disclose the name.
Hang on, let me rewind.

On the drive there, I was sitting in the backseat with a 5 year old.. a youngster. He was playing his video game, sharing with me the report of his successes and failures. His resilience and determination to win was impressive; he completely epitomized the statement “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again – until you do.” I find it interesting, that, when “we” are young, we’re so.. full of ambition and hope and.. strong desire. Then, when we get older, if it doesn’t come naturally..
I dont know, you tell me. Do we pursue it as strongly? Or do we lose that DRIVE?

Anyways. I asked him if I could have a turn.. not so much because I wanted to play, as for the reason that – I was curious to see if he had it in him to share.  🙂  He did. I asked and he said I could try “in a minute..” I waited patiently and didn’t say another thing about it.  He, faithful to his word, handed it to me, but a moment later, and I smiled, praising his generosity.

Afew minutes later, he was hungry, and kept telling his mom that he was (she was sitting in the 2nd row of seats). She repeatedly told him “No, wait..” and eventually, I don’t know what exactly had preceded this, I looked over and he was crying. He wasn’t whimpering or whining, just, crying quietly.. breathing convulsively.. the saddest look on his face. I just stared, surprised, and then I watched in absolute shock and silence as she, the mother, turned herself around to face him, reached her hand out and

slapped him across the face, demanding “now you STOP that!”

and then she turned back around and carried on with the adults.

I was devastated.
I was mortified, horrified, angry, full of pity and broken-hearted.

This was the little boy who had been following me around all day,- watching me play the guitar, listening to me sing.. holding, clutching a green, Rock Steady guitar pick in his hands because it made him feel special and trusted. This was the little boy who traced my veins and pulled my arm hairs. This was the little boy who had handed me a leaf, which I put into my pocket; who turned and overturned one like it in his hand, remarking how soft it was, how fuzzy, how spirally. He was observant and sweet. He would smile at me, when our eyes met. We were walking the day before and he had just reached up and softly put his hand into mine. He was so trusting, so innocent,
so worthy of love.

I tried not to, I tried so hard, but I simply couldn’t withhold my tears. I began crying, with him, and tried to do so softly. This poor little boy just sat there, stunned, completely still, tears continuing to pour out of his soft, brown eyes. I reached my hand over and rubbed his shoulder.. wiped the tears from his cheek.. held his hand. I talked softly to him, cooing “it’s okay, shhhh,” over and over. I drew his hand close to my lips and kissed it. I thought, if this was MY little boy, I would take him in my arms and tell him “I will NEVER let ANY one do this to you again.”

Listen, ladies.
I’m pretty ticked.

I FULLY realize, it’s your RESPONSIBILTY, as a mother, to DISCIPLINE your children.

However, WHAT THE HECK do you think you’re DOING, slapping them across the FACE?
Are you INSANE?

That’s totally wrong. I know I sound irrational and full-of-attitude, but guess what,
I’m very upset.

There are ways of disciplining in a correct, proper, effective sort of way..
but NONE of those ways include smacking an individual, especially an INFANT, across the face. That is entirely inappropriate, it’s damaging, it’s almost abusive.

And when you discipline, TELL me: are you angry? Because if so, your child can SENSE it and they will not respect that, they will not learn from it, they will not change their ways, they will not love you or trust you more: they will only FEAR you and grow to believe that, the solution to problems, the satisfaction of anger,

is in violence.

Just, calm down.
Read a book, a good one.

Say a prayer before you go correcting your child; do it in the right spirit, and in the RIGHT way.

Thank you.

 

So we arrived at the place, my face was all red, I tried to act “normal..” watched little (unnamed) step down out of the car and begin walking towards the house.
He was still crying.

She spoke coldly, sharply at him. I thought to myself..
I realize, he’s whiny; he’s a 5 year old who didn’t get his way.  Yeah, he’s being a little bratty.
But can you atleast reassure him that you LOVE him? Maybe that,
is what is troubling and DISTRESSING him at this point.

So, back to where we were..
the party..
the little boy walked over to me, maybe 20 minutes after arriving,
CRYING, still.
I put my arms around him and spoke softly to him, encouraging him to tell me all that was bothering him, making him sad or scared. He cried just the way I used to:
he cried until he couldn’t breathe, and took quick, deep gasps of air. I tried to soothe him, told him to calm down, that everything was okay; if he was hungry, there were things here that he could eat.. and eventually he told me that he was tired. So, I led him over to the couch and asked a gentleman to move over slightly, that the young one might rest. Later on he got up and lost his spot, so, I took him over to a quieter part of the livingroom and instructed him how to lay down on the carpet floor, placing a pillow before him for him to lay his head on.

I came and sat back down with my teenager girlfriends.  One of them, Rizel, commented on how “nice” and “friendly” I was.

“Praise the Lord,” I returned and smiled.

I enjoyed talking with everyone that evening.. the young people, the older faces of humanity..
it was interesting..
but, I didn’t feel completely at rest.

It just wasn’t a very christian-like atmosphere, atlhough it was “supposedly” a christian gathering. The people laughed, and jested.. and I do believe my young friends and I talked more of religion and Christ than the other 20 attendees.

We then drove, around 10:30 PM, to a local SDA church that was holding a “Carribean Feast” until midnight. I didn’t feel extremely “up to it,” but, knew that with Chris arriving today, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at home until I was fully exhausted, so, I put on a smile and rode with them. I didn’t really have a choice; we were 20 minutes from Pam’s and I didn’t have control of the car.

The “Carribean Feast” was a cute name for a GC fundraiser. There were boothes, selling random “souvenirs” and knick knacks, unhealthy snacks and fruit smoothies, cookies, cake and the like. It wasn’t very Adventist. I don’t know, maybe I’m just silly and legalistic. 🙂 It just seemed very worldly, and peculiar.. music blaring from loudspeakers, visitors dressed in immodest apparel, the dark sky,.. just strange.

I stole away by myself, to the actual church. Most of the lights were out, and two doors were locked. I went to the back and found an entrance was open. I tiptoed inside and opened the door to the sanctuary. A man was standing in the back, by the audio system. I greeted him and asked if it would be permissible for me to play the piano. He didn’t object, and really didn’t seem to mind or care at all, so I helped myself.

It was lovely. The best part of the night, aside from holding my little friend’s hand in his time of despair.

I came back outside and found that ‘everyone was looking for me.’ I hadn’t realized they intended leaving before 12 am. It was 11:33.

We sat on the curb for awhile, waiting for the “Hardee Girls” to finish their lollygagging. Pam, who sat next to me, said something very profound. It made me smile and.. although her intention was but for silliness, I found a lot of meaning in her words. I’ll close with them, for they were these:

At midnight, you’re drawing circles around ants (with a stick), telling yourself,
‘this is life. I’m enjoying this.’

-Aun Aqui

[7:14:33 AM] Aimee Strange: it’s normal
[7:14:51 AM] Aimee Strange: there’s nothing wrong with you:)
[7:15:23 AM] Aimee Strange: except that you like muscle milk
[7:15:25 AM] Aimee Strange: 😛
[7:15:46 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: hahaha.
[7:15:47 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: ha.
[7:15:48 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: nottt funny.
[7:15:49 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: 😛
[7:15:50 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: jp
[7:15:52 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: i dont like it, amy.
[7:15:54 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: I LOOOOOVEEEE it.
[7:17:11 AM] Aimee Strange: JP?
[7:17:19 AM] Aimee Strange: Jumping Pirates?
[7:17:30 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: mhm.
[7:17:31 AM] Aimee Strange: Where?
[7:17:32 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: duh.
[7:17:34 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: uhh..
[7:17:35 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: here?
[7:17:43 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: if you were HERE maybe you’d be able to enjoy them like i am.
[7:17:48 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: sometimes they laugh when they dance.
[7:17:50 AM] Amber Rose Roderick: prettyyyy interesting.