Friday, November 5, 2010

ambiguous:  of doubtful or uncertain nature; difficult to comprehend, distinguish.

i noticed that the word ambiguous has been seasoning my conversations quite often as of late. perhaps this stems from my desire to greatly expand my vocabulary upon hearing how our vocabularies have become increasingly smaller over the years. (i know, i know, ambiguous is not a crazy awesome word that people never use, in fact it's probably quite common, but for me- it's a step. baby steps people, baby steps. afterall, you're listening to the girl who says "like" between every other word.)

today as i again used the word to describe a certain scenario i thought about how relevant the word ambiguous is to my thoughts these days. ambiguous seems to be the best word to explain my mind's wanderings over the past week, my thoughts are on overload and my brain feels like it's about to burst. (i'm learning how to be thankful for this, rather than letting the overwhelming weight of learning about this huge world press heavily on my shoulders.)

so much information, so much data, so many new ideas, so much suffering (in the world), so much to learn, so much to question, so many stories to hear and learn from . . . it's difficult to comprehend.

the things i am hearing and taking notes on, the videos i am watching, the statistics i am reading about, the lectures i am sitting through --- they are all a mysterious swirl of color in my mind and i'm trying to sort them out and focus on the beauty that learning is...the individual colors rather than the ominous cloud of black they make when they all mix together.

how does one begin to process a personal story shared by a holocaust survivor? it's hard enough to believe that those atrocious acts took place...but even worse than that is hearing that a second holocaust is brewing? (seriously, why am i so unaware?) what is going on in israel? how do i make connections between what i am learning about israel now and what i learned about israel in philly this summer? what does it mean to learn something? does it mean to know? to believe? does learning something change the way you live? does it change you at all? ... what is the tea party movement? populism? what was the significance of the midterm elections that just took place in massachusetts? why am i so ignorant? what is truth? is truth only truth if it's universal? how do we distinguish between truth that is only culturally true and truth that is universally true? how does one live completely and totally in the moment ("Be Here Now"), invest themselves in their current community, know and tend to the needs in this place, ... as well as be aware of the rest of the world that is hurting? how do we balance being completely present and being completely aware of what our brothers and sisters around the world are going through? it seems like an unfair balance to approach. it seems sticky and hard. why does everything get more complicated as you grow up? i thought the goal was simplicity... "my job is to complicate the simple, to show you that the world's problems are big and complex and simple answers aren't going to cut it anymore." (professor) how am i to react to the staggering statistics about our country? that our minimum wage is really just a poverty wage? that the school systems are unfair? that a woman gets paid 77 cents to every dollar a man receives? that racism still exists? (and this i am even sensing on my floor.. these issues are getting closer and closer to home.) what do i do when i hear that the amount of water it takes to produce 10 pounds of steak could provide enough clean water for a family for a YEAR? ... i'm trying to learn and understand, but i feel rather inferior. i feel silly and stupid a lot of times. i feel inadequate. tuesday night as i sat on the floor of a lecture hall listening to the deep voice of Mr. Irving i felt this heavy weight that the responsibility of learning is. "THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN" is the thought that tumbled in my mind over and over again. i think the Hebrews were right when they said: 

"Life is for learning and learning is for life." 

and still,
God is good.
 i am trying to strain my eyes and see that this learning, the ability to know and grow and change is a gift. i must not get frustrated with all there is to know and learn; i must be thankful. how wonderful it is to think and ask questions and discover! is this not what i craved for? this desire to ask questions, hard questions...this desire to iron out what i think about things, this desire for wisdom and knowledge.
(now if only i can not stop at the questions, but relentlessly seek the answers.)
to live well and full and as alive as possible, . . .
to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God,
that is what i'm after.

in other news: 

1. november has begun! can you even believe it? time is flying. i don't know how i feel about that. i feel like i'm getting old when someone asks me how my semester is going and all i can say is, 'it's FLYING! where does time go?!" (but, i am SO excited for thanksgiving and christmas, eeeeeeeeeee ! )

2. november means the dress project has ended. how full of clothes my closet is! i was rather overwhelmed standing before all of those options on november 1st. . . (it was a good experiment.) 

3. i am trying to grow an avocado tree. (mom, i opted for a tree rather than a necklace, haha! laugh at me and shake your head as you will.) i hear they're good for climbing. :) i figure it will be a great graduation present to myself someday (because that's how long it will take...bahaha) yes family, that means the basil never grew even after all of my tender love and care. (although i can't bear to throw it out, it still sits on my window sill...even shriveled i can't imagine getting rid of it. we've been together for at least 6 months now!) :) maybe a future in gardening is not my call . . . 

4. did you know that it only takes a letter FIVE DAYS to get from Israel to Wenham, MA? (and it takes TWO days for one to get to philly? the mail system is strange.) did you also know that getting a letter from Israel is the best thing that happened to me today?!? i nearly cried from excitement.  

5. i am learning how to ballroom dance.

since fall is quickly coming to a close,
some photos to commemorate: 
(i apologize for the poor quality of them.)

what is october without a pumpkin to carve?

elisabeth and her beautiful artwork,
it's a whale! (with jonah on the inside of course)

mmmmmmm : )

not only do i love tea and pumpkins and fall,
but i also love my brother who gave me this mug
more than all of the other things mentioned.

let's just say that carving pumpkins is not my forté by any stretch
of the imagination. :)

brian on the other hand, is a pro.

a blurry/awkward photo of happiness.

: ) 

a dying basil plant :( 

an avocado ! (hopefully thriving. . . only time will tell.) 
p.s. don't fret, i researched avocados - i promise it's supposed to have those 
things stuck in it. haha 

one last thing.
if you want to read some frightening statistics,
and perhaps think hard about our role as citizens of this country,
and maybe if you're willing,
 make some changes as a result-
read this:
(just be careful, it might frustrate you greatly. remember, learning is a gift.
there's always something you can do, no matter how small.)  

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