Again I sit in the quiet darkness of my room, drinking caffeinated liquids. I am agitated under the fluorescent glow of my desk lamp and the humming of my computer's fan is not making me feel any better. I have a lot to do this week. Three papers (one of them late already), a quiz, a presentation, and an exam. I am currently multi-tasking and writing my late paper as well as discussing with my Ed Psych partner what we should do for our presentation. Oh, and I have to lead some class devotionals. Not gonna prepare for that quite yet.
As I sit, my ears are burning with a new auditory drug. It's called 'Opal (Error Love opalowski rmx)' by sayCet. A friend of a friend had me listen to it. I couldn't buy it anywhere. It's only available in Podcast form on iTunes. (for free...) I seriously recommend it.
I was in Lafayette, Indiana when I heard said song. I recently traveled to Indiana with my roomie/best friend for spring break. As it was, to date, the farthest I have ever been from my home I have concluded that such a trip requires reflection.
Reflection #1. I love places. I love places the same way that I love movies. I am eclectic and unpredictable and don't fit in with my peers, as far as taste goes. This comparison would make complete sense, except that I've seen a lot of good movies, I have not been to a good deal of places. (I've been to Canada. I hated Canada. Probably because I spent the entire week their with a broken ankle on a house boat.) But the places I have been, I love. Even if I am not in love with the people or the situation, like a sprained ankle in Canada or a family crisis in Oregon, I can find beauty in every place. And, strange as it might sound, some of my favorite and most beautiful places are not usually considered "beautiful" or even "decent." For instance, I love South Dakota. Not the famous parts, either. I've never been to Mount Rushmore.
So I was in Indiana for about 8 days and everywhere I went, I looked. And everywhere I looked, I loved. Indiana is unlike every other place I have been. Most places are. It is a strange combination of flat, rolling hills, much like South Dakota. And it is lush with trees, like my home state Washington. It gets really hot and really cold, like Illinois. But it was different. And it was beautiful.
Reflection #2. There is only one cat in the whole world that I don't hate, and it lives in Frankfort, IN.
Reflection #3. This is the sunset I saw immediately entering IN.
That was my spring break. A beautiful landscape, a beautiful friend. There were several trips to Goodwill and mountains of movies and lots of morning coffee.
Then I came back to school. I returned to Illinois on Saturday afternoon, had the night to myself, spent the majority of yesterday in more sweet solitude, and then classes started up again today. I went to all of them. I did my homework. (except for that paper looming over my head...) And tonight I had play practice.
I was walking over to the chapel with a friend, and somehow we got on the topic of being mysterious. I was trying to convince her that she was more of an enigma than she thought.
"Not nearly as much as you!" she said.
"What?" I asked.
"I'm not nearly as mysterious as you. You're like an iceberg."
"An iceberg?" By this time, I was close to feeling insulted.
"There's more of you under the surface than you're willing to admit. You've got a poetic soul. You're more of an enigma than me." She said all this with a sly smile.
This conversation also deserves some reflection. It's been a few years since anyone said I was enigmatic or mysterious. I've certainly never been called an iceberg before. A little strange, unexpected, but perhaps just the necessary conversation to pull together my disaster of a week.
Reflection #1. I don't think I am mysterious. Or an enigma. I am a highly expressive person. I have learned how to express myself with words or music, with paint on my clothes and charcoal on my palms, clay under my nails, or pinpricks on my fingertips.
Reflection #2. Despite Reflection #1, I am still, apparently, mysterious. I admit that I have secrets. They are not necessarily bad secrets, but I don't write them on my clothes for strangers to see. My secrets are pulled delicately out of taped up boxes and shown to those who have similar containers of similar stories. I express myself. I tell my story. I do, I do!
Reflection #3. If I express myself but I am still an enigma, perhaps I do not express myself enough. Perhaps my story is wound too tightly in an intangible poem or an obscure pastel drawing.
Reflection #4. Most of my expressions are retellings of past experiences.
Reflection #5. Maybe the mystery I struggle with is not that I do not express myself. Maybe I express too much of the person I was, and not enough of the person I have become. That's who people want to know, right? People want to know who I am. The person I was is connect to the present, of course. The person I was is an important part of the story. But I don't usually finish the story. I don't usually say, "This is where I'm at now."
So I'm an iceberg. I don't say as much as I think I do. I guess that much is obvious. But I'm going to need a reason to reveal all that stuff under the water. Anyone up for a swim?