Rome

Being in Rome is like being in another country surrounded by another language, but with one significant twist: In Rome, I was immersed in an entirely new world of Catholicism.

It was like this in Costa Rica, too: At first the newness simply clings to the edges of your clothes, occasionally brushing up against your cheek, making itself known to you but not drowning you in its unfamiliarity. After a week or three, your body has adjusted to the altered air, and when you breathe it in, it inflates your entire self, steaming out of your lungs and pervading your entire body. Soon that too becomes electric, your awareness of it at its best; it tingles out of your fingers, nose, toes, and lips, and alters everything you touch or perceive.

It is so magnificent to be changed by something that has radically altered the history of Western Civilization, global politics, art and architecture, and human mentality for almost 2,000 years. And that’s just Christianity and Catholicism. The Roman Empire has been around for thousands of years longer than that.

It doesn’t leave, either. The electricity may lessen, but I am permanently affected by my time in Rome. I spent the entire semester studying the history and culture of Western Civilization while being completely surrounded by it,  but I came back with the knowledge that there is so much I will never know. What a beautifully painful thing to come to realize.

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We did it.

There were times I thought I would never make it to Rome, and while there, there were times I feared I would never make it back. But I went, I did it, and now I’m sitting at a table in my favorite coffee shop in the small town of Midwest City, Oklahoma and writing about it. I never thought I could travel all over Europe, but I did it. It makes me think, what else have I always wanted to do but shoved aside, thinking I never could? I’m going to dig those up, and I’ll make a toast to the next adventure.

Until next time,

it’s good to be home.

Peace.

Kelsie

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Where are the Words

I read somewhere about a month ago that the best way to be a good author is not to see your life in a series of words. Sounds ironic, right? The author wrote that the best thing you can do for your writing is to just live. Don’t narrate your life, don’t look or feel or be something and understand that only in words. Don’t do that.

Feel. Love. Breathe. Be. These things can’t be explained even in the most beautiful and elegant piles of letters one can put together. They just can’t. Human life transcends that, you know?

So that’s what I’ve been doing: I’ve allowed myself to be. Will this make me a better writer? I don’t know. But do I regret it? Not a bit.

 

Until next time,

Peace.

Kelsie

When in Rome

Friends,

I am here. I have made it to the eternal city , the heart of the Church, the beautiful city of Rome. And, let me tell you, writing about it is really, really hard. I’ve been scrambling for words for a couple of days now but like beads on a tile floor they roll and bounce and lodge themselves in the dusty underbellies of the furniture: out of sight, out of reach. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no possible way to convey the awe of my experiences to you, and even if I could eloquently translate experiences into words on a page, it would be far less personal than if I were to share stories with you face-to-face where we can both chat away about some of our greatest adventures in life. My goal on this blog is to tell the most simple stories to you, the highlights of what I see or do. My goal here in Rome is to learn: learn about history, culture, philosophy, and, above all, humanity. How incredible that throughout nearly 200,000 years of human existence, there is something vaguely similar about it all.

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The sunrise begins to light up St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Perhaps that is the difference about being in a city so old. Being here is not only experiencing the unique beauty of a culture separate from my own, but one rich with history spanning thousands of years. The city of Rome, in many ways, contains a wealth of pieces that begin to tell the tale of human existence.

I am beyond excited to get to be a part of it for the millisecond I am graced to be here.

Until next time,

Kelsie

A Messy Post: Why I Blog

I’m going to go on a more-than-norm personal spiel here.

Writing is the one thing I can do no matter what state I am in. Exhausted? Still have the energy to write. Stressed? Write about it. Ideas? Write them down. So on.

I don’t need a blog as an excuse to write. No one really does. I journal almost every day in the form of letters.

So why do I blog, then? There are a few reasons. The first is that because I do love writing so much, I want to be better at it. It’s one thing to keep a journal that only I read; it’s something entirely different to write something you know will be read by others. I’ve always been a creative person and crave the creative outlet.  I go to a liberal arts university, so essays are our primary form of submitted work, but a lot of times those are so intellectually based that there is little room for creativity. The elaborate beauty of words cannot be woven in and out through the density of the material. I cannot breathe into life the matter; it is already pulsing there and the mere task that is granted is to build, not to create. In an essay I am asked to gather the sturdy rocks and lay them back into their foundation, organizing them in such a way that is new to the outsider’s eye but is doubtfully something that has not been done before.

See what I did there? C.S. Lewis is great at that. Words, words. Words are so beautiful. I know the content of my blog is neither particularly rich nor fulfilling, but anyhow, that’s not my goal. Do you remember analyzing books, poems, and other various texts in school? Remember how you are asked to analyze and analyze, find hidden meaning in all corners of the writing, dig up the bones of the material, and subject yourself to the mentality, the concealed inspiration of the author? Yes. It is mysterious, mystical, and magnificent.

Maybe I can be noticed for writing one day. This is a subtle and currently weak goal of mine, but it a goal, none the less.

Blogging forces me to organize certain ideas and thought bubbles that I may want to implement into my job one day. It forces me to focus; it wakes up my mind to the critical dedication our humanity has labored over, sweating as the arms aside their backs draw the tool up off the ground and propel it in front of them in an endless circular motion, shaping the way we all think, believe, behave, and communicate. Writing forces focus, strain, and dedication. It is innovative and creative. It can both give life and draw it out of something. It is unique, objective, subjective, and everything that makes up wonder, simplicity and complexity all in a single act.

Will Write. To Write. Writing. Written.

Peace.

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