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Words for 2.20.13

They were nothing more than people, by themselves. Even paired, any pairing, they would have been nothing more than people by themselves. But all together, they have become the heart and muscles and mind of something perilous and new, something strange and growing and great. Together, all together, they are the instruments of change.

[Keri Hulme in her novel, The Bone People]

These words are taken entirely out of context. But when I read them, my heart caught in my throat and the faces of so many men and women I have the great honor of working with each day flooded my thoughts. Indeed, we are nothing more than people, by ourselves – so thank goodness we are not alone.

Words for September 4

But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are the oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity. Hence the poverty of the poor is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.

[Gustavo Gutierrez, Peruvian theologian, priest, and social activist]

With these words, Padre Gutierrez challenged an oppressive social order, calling for a liberation theology and preferential option for the poor, but it appears social inequalities are only rising in Latin America – the region Gutierrez is from and where I work. These days, these words ring in my ears.

We have a lot of work to do.

On the bitter and the sweet.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not;

For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence,

as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

-Kahlil Gibran

Words can’t express how bittersweet this weekend has been – simultaneous feelings of leaving and of coming home as I reunite with my husband for our next adventure, and as we prepare to leave this last, beautiful chapter of our life in North Carolina behind. With the help of friends who have become family, we spent the weekend watching baseball, catching fireflies, swinging in the hammock, camping in the backyard, dancing in the living room, and oh yes – packing…so that tomorrow we can tearfully and hopefully leave our home of three years.

It is bitter, but it is sweet. There are a lot of unknowns but our hearts are full. We are lucky and we are loved.

Words for February 21

Neither do people light a lamp
and put it under a bowl. Instead
they put it on its stand, and it
gives light to everyone in the house.

-Matthew 5:15

Somehow, I am reminded of these words whenever I need it most. This quote was read at my wedding, and it was the contents of a love letter I received today.

giving light.

I hope you surround yourself with people who encourage you to shine.

Words for February 16

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.

-St Francis de Sales

These are some words I carry with me. There can be calm amidst the chaos.

Words for February 14

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
-ee cummings.
These are the words in my heart on a drizzly Valentine’s Day, boarding a plane to leave my love. May the love you carry in your hearts today lighten your loads and make you feel less alone. El amor es todo, after all.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Words for November 15

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

-Mother Theresa (via Alexa Farmer – thanks for the reminder, sis)

Words for October 6

The next passage in my journey is a love affair. I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, with with Montana it is love, and it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it…It seems to me that Montana is a great splash of grandeur. The scale is huge but not overpowering. The land is rich with grass and color, and the mountains are the kind I would create if mountains were ever put on my agenda….But I see that as usual, love is inarticulate. Montana has a spell on me. It is grandeur and warmth. Of all the states it is my favorite and my love.

[John Steinbeck in Travels with Charley]

Words for September 26

The ache for home lives in all of us – the safe place we can go as we are and not be questioned.

[Maya Angelou]