A Loving Kick in the Pants for When You Don’t Have a Choice

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been battling hopelessness and paralysis lately. I am grateful for the internet mechanisms that have the potential to make us the most informed populace in the history of our civilization, but unfortunately, I haven’t personally acquired the level of spiritual evolution to know how to deal with all of the information I receive everyday. Continue reading

Advertisements

How to Tell When You Get What You’re Asking For

Afternoon, October 14, 2016: My partner and I are rounding the bend on week 3 of a grueling apartment hunt in Madrid. We’ve been living out of suitcases for months already; we’ve been sick, food poisoned, and adjusting to new jobs; we’ve raced through the streets of this unfamiliar city every day this week to beat our steep competition to available apartments. On this day, we’ve seen 2 lackluster options, which we agreed to take if they’ll have us. Continue reading

Learning the Language

Halfway between the kitchen and hallway of Spanish AirBnB #2/#4 (we had to make a hasty getaway from smelly AirBnB #3), Zoriah, my Spanish mother, has set up an ironing board so I can smooth this week’s work outfits after their long stay in my suitcase. She fixes dinner while I iron and we talk about the ironing board—where she got it, how long she’s had it, etc. I spend a full 10 minutes ironing my first blouse because the conversation takes up so much of my brainpower. Continue reading

On the Run

On day 35 of living out of a suitcase, I laid in the dark between the wall of Madrid AirBnB #1 and my napping partner. He could tell that day he was coming down with the fever he has now, so we pulled the metal shade over the window and tried to rest on the mattress where our feet hung off the end. I couldn’t sleep. I spent 3 hours trying not to jostle him while obsessively checking my phone to see if any new apartment listings had been posted.

He woke up feeling a little better and said he’d like to go out, find some food in the area and then take it easy; what did I want to do? I said something, something, maybe I’d go out on my own because I didn’t want to squat in a dark apartment all day and not feel like I was enjoying this city. Then we had a nice little argument (in hushed voices so our AirBnB flatmates wouldn’t hear) about what exactly I meant by that.

I’ll pause here to say that part of me feels like, in this first post since I departed on my Adventure…

Continue reading

Just Before the Leap

What you can plan is too small for you to live.” –David Whyte

I dreamed last night of being perched on top of a big hill in some sort of dubious wheeled contraption reminiscent of a soapbox derby car. I spent the entire dream positioning and repositioning myself on the cart to be better situated for the sound of the gun, the start of the race, and the push down the hill.

In this last week before departing for countries unknown, we’re paring down to the barest essentials and final details. My car and major appliances are all sold, my cats are re-homed, my stuff is stored, and I’m living out of a suitcase in my parents’ guest room. Time is doing that thing where it somehow slows down and speeds up simultaneously. Continue reading

Undoing

It’s starting to sink in that I’m not going home. I can’t—my home is now completely undone.

“But Sarah, your home should be in yourself,” you say. “You can always go home to yourself.”

Yes, but for right now at least, that home is rather undone, too. And that’s okay. More than okay, it’s important, really; my inner home is…under renovation. Continue reading

The Spirit of a Place

We speak of genius when we speak of leadership, hoping for some of that elusive genius in ourselves, but the word genius in its Latin originality means simply, the spirit of a place…the genius of an individual lies in the inhabitation of their peculiar and particular spirit in conversation with the world. Genius is something that is itself and no other thing.”

–David Whyte, Crossing the Unknown Sea

I’m writing today, as I often do, from one of my favorite places in the world—a little café tucked off the main thoroughfare of this college town and nestled on a hilltop in the woods. And I’m wondering, how does one say goodbye to a place?

I first came to this little café in the woods when I was still in high school a few towns over. Some friends of mine were playing bluegrass on the little wooden deck, which turns into a stage in the summer evenings. I twirled under the twinkle lights on the lower patio overlooking wooded trails below and felt so much hope for the world that a place like this existed. When I went to college here in Chapel Hill, I spent many afternoons, which would have otherwise been very lonely, crouched over the small metal tables that were just big enough for my poetry homework and a coffee cup and saucer. But it was after I left this town for New York and came back that the café really took up a place of Home in my heart. Maybe in those earlier years it was this future that called me to it.

I joke that I moved back to Chapel Hill because of this café, but it’s not really a joke.

Continue reading

Dragon Eggs and a Feminine Revolution

(Beware: this post contains Game of Thrones spoilers.)

This feels a bit risky, but I’m just going to say it: watching Hillary Clinton get the nomination this week felt a little bit like watching Cersei Lannister finally settle herself into the iron throne. There is definitely some satisfaction to it, though it’s not without it’s “oooh shit” element.

Now hear me out—this is going somewhere, and it’s not just another condemnation of a political figure.

Continue reading

Healing and Different Medicines

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.

-Lilla Watson and Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s

I cruised through adolescence without skin problems, but in my late 20s, a persistent mottled pink and red color palette crept into my face with varying levels of chaotic topography on my cheeks. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition, the Internet tells me. It’s treatable, but dermatologists say there’s no cure for it. Continue reading