Saturday, March 21, 2009

feeding my soul this weekend

I let myself sleep in this morning, guilt-free.

Work and school combined have left me feeling run-down. My coworker commented, "You have to remember, you're not a young college student anymore." I had to laugh at that.

Sometimes the "shoulds" of life make me feel so consumed. There's a lot of giving involved in a service-oriented job. I really do love my job, but sometimes I have to remember that there is a balance, and that I don't have to be everything to everybody... or else I will feel so consumed that there would be no energy left. And so I remind myself to find ways to "refill my cup". So that when Monday rolls around, I have more to give.

So, in an effort to refill my cup, I celebrated the end of the work-week, the end of the quarter, and the end of finals with art last night. Lots of it. A photo exhibit here, followed by a poetry reading, followed by live music, and then a cupcake from this place to top it all off.

For some reason I was expecting the live music to be jazz, but it wasn't. My mind must've made that up. But back to the arts.

I LOVE the arts in Cincinnati. I never understood why Cincinnati has been nicknamed "Nasty 'Nati". I think this city has a lot of things to offer, a lot of best-kept secrets. It's not all "in your face" the way New York City attractions or other big-city attractions are. You have to let Cincinnati's charm unfold, but you also have to make the effort to discover little pockets of interesting places, beyond Kings Island and waterparks (which I haven't been to and have no real desire to go). Case in point - who would have thought I would find an event with Tibetan monks making sand mandalas in a part of town many people still avoid?

And really, Cincinnati's best-kept secrets are not that hard to find. I came to Cincinnati 6 years ago, and over time Cincinnati grew on me. Being an outsider to this country, I have come to call Cincinnati my home (well, at least for now and until my work visa expires. But that's a whole other story and I won't talk about that here.).

At the exhibit last night I found it comforting to see some familiar faces, some were people I've met, some were people I haven't met but have seen out and about in the community, whether it's in other art galleries or art events, or even at the neighborhood coffee shop. One person even recognized me from a small art show that I did almost a year ago. I like that. I like how art brings people together. But more than that, seeing the same people gives me a sense that I am no longer such an outsider. It gives me a sense of being...home.

This weekend I'm going to another art exhibit here, then to a play at this theater. And then I'm contemplating going to another show tomorrow night. It almost makes me dizzy, but in a good way.

I love that even with the dire economy, the arts is thriving here. I think we all need it. Art is a breath of fresh air. We need reminders that there are a lot of good things to appreciate. We need reminders to live a beautiful life.

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike

The laundry can wait.

photos taken in Over-The-Rhine, October 2008

Pin It!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

How interestingly perfect and fitting it is that the traditional Persian new year marks the first day of the vernal equinox, or the beginning of spring...

Spring has arrived, O Souls!
Young branches on the tree, dance!

You've lost your head and feet,
without your head and feet, dance!

You who is drunk with existence,

the dissolution of self is your destiny.
The time for losing the self is here.

Prepare yourself for the journey,

The end of war is here,

the music of the harp begins to stir

Clothing has no importance,

you with a beautiful frame, dance!

The peacock will appear, his colors will
he'll call out

To the bird of the soul,

"You without wings, dance!"

- Rumi, Sufi mystic poet
(translated by Haale)

I crave the promise of spring on my skin...

Pin It!

Monday, March 16, 2009

my million-dollar question of the moment

Ok, so maybe it's not really a million-dollar question. But it's my current burning question:

How does one balance...

- a full-time job
- a part-time doctoral program
- exercise... I miss my long walks, which seem to be limited to a weekend-only event now
- yoga and meditation, and all things related to self-care
- shopping for real food (this IS important to me, you know)
- cooking real food from scratch
- keeping the apartment fairly clean and organized
- staying abreast with current events -- beyond listening to NPR for 10 minutes in the morning during my drive to work
- time with friends...especially those I haven't seen in MONTHS like this gal, and this one too.
- time to nurture my spirituality
- reading for pleasure (ok, so maybe that's pushing it)

... and at the same time, get at least 7 hours of sleep and stay somewhat sane? And do the things that feed my soul, like photography and art/culture events and baking one cake a week?

Any ideas?

Or do I really have too many irons in the fire?

Pin It!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

a deliciously slow morning

I woke up this morning at 7:20 am, without an alarm clock. And it's Sunday. For me, that's EARLY.

But as early as it was, I felt rested, even after 6 or so hours of sleep. Coming from someone who needs 7-8 hours, that's unusual. It must be the morning sunshine, the warmth pouring into my bedroom and onto my skin. This is what waking up should be.

I checked the time and couldn't believe that it was only 7 in the morning. I thought maybe the power went off sometime during the night and my clock was wrong. I checked the time on my cell phone. Yes, it was 7:20.

Today, the first of March, holds the promise of spring, the coming warmth, longer days, and baby leaves.

I get up and look for my camera.

Two hours later...

It is a quiet morning, save for the sound of the camera clicking. It is a morning meant for taking pause. Forgotten tea.

*Thank you, EyesOpenWide, for the really great mug!*

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...