September 25, 2007

stairwell accompaniment:Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

It is currently 90 degrees inside our apartment but I hold firm to hope that fall is, in fact, intending to arrive. I’ve seen small glimpses of it in passing days. A crisp morning here, a floating leaf there. Earlier sunsets and cooler sheets at night. Blue sky and warm drinks in the morning. These things push hope forward.

My husband is across the sea. I typically miss him when he is away. It is not new. But this time seems particularly stark in its separation. Before marriage I took pride in my independence. Living alone, traveling alone, searching and finding alone. Marriage has this way of breaking pride. I still desperately need my time without Josh. Marriage has not changed that. The change is in the way I need my time with him more. The way I enjoy him is continually refreshing.

School is reaching the much-desired crescendo. Building in intensity, responsibility, time demands. And in nearness to its end. Wait, I need to hear that one again. *shh, listen closely* And in nearness to its end.
Currently I am learning in the ICU. The place of crossing lines between life and death. People who need the most intense medical interventions humans can offer. And then a prayer. Often there is sadness and suffering and waiting. Look close and I find hope, rejoicing and triumph. On good days. It demands the most that a nurse can offer and I am continually in awe of the nurses who choose to be here. They excel at what they do. I am encouraged by their courage, intelligence and stamina. I, however, am not that nurse. I could be that nurse. But in truth, I am not.

I am thankful these trials are slowly teaching me who I am not. From there I can pick up the pieces to move on with who I am. These steps are fundamental. And necessary. Humbling and comforting.

If nothing else, I hold more firmly now to the principle of these failing human bodies. They all quit. Mine. Yours.

Someday I may be that person who can comfort the dying, provide second chances at life, see the traumas that have no reasonable explanations. Life is frail. And to be rejoiced.

For now, give me birth and babies. Beginnings. The occasional terrifying death that will push me further into appreciating life. Welcoming new life. My home is in maternity nursing.

I spent that last half of summer running. Historically I do not have the most arresting track record(no pun)(oh, why not…pun). Many failed attempts to stick with it. A half marathon that cost me two toe nails. Laziness. Boredom. Ohio weather. But I am stubborn and halfway down my life’s list you’ll still read “be a good runner”. Not so for Josh. He is naturally an excellent runner (blast him) but finds no enjoyment in it. Unless, of course, something massive and large-toothed is chasing him. And even then I wouldn’t call it enjoyment. More triumphant survival.
So this summer I trained for the Air Force 5k. I set a time goal. I ran 4 times a week for 3 months. On humid days, the treadmill and on cool days, the woods. I’ve learned many things from this venture, not the least of which is gym machine etiquette, which deodorants clearly do not live up to the hype and that my music library is much too mellow for running.
In the end, Josh decided that paying to run a race is the most ridiculous undertaking I’ve suggested (I almost agree) and disliked the idea of giving money to the military (I agree, though reluctant to give up my race). And although I was quick to see through this guise to getting him out of running the 5k with me, I took pity and pressed on. I ran a 5k on my own, mapped it, timed it, finished it. I am happy to report that I beat my goal time by 5 minutes.

There is much reward to be found in pushing limits. Testing your resolve and winning. I’ve found solace in starting the day with running. It has been a gift.

Now I look forward to running through autumn. To spend that time collecting moments under colorful trees, breathing crisp air, crunching my way through leaf-covered trails. Collecting these because they do not last long. Not long enough.

Some recent pictures taken for Amy and Chris on a fall-like day:

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September 12, 2007

back in school

September 3, 2007

stairwell accompaniment:James Taylor
camping/hiking/rappelling on Ham and Carli’s property in Kentucky. Josh never ceases to amaze me in his knowledge of outdoorsness. Although it looks as if Ham was teaching/helping us to rappel, it is not so. All know-how comes from my husbands vast knowledge and my meager experience (by comparison). Ham was simply trying to reassure himself that we were not killing ourselves. At least not on his property. It was a beautiful day to be in creation. And explore their 100 acres of woods and rockface yet to be discovered. Until now.