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

Senses

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We ran up to the ocean as soon as we were off the boat.

I stand along the edge of Patras, Greece and watch the blueness of the waves push themselves onto the shore. They are rhythmically breathing: in and out, in and out. The crisp smell of the salt is as light and gentle as the blue water, and it playfully dances in the breeze that surrounds me. Mountains make themselves known in the distance. And then, as the water-polished rocks crunch under the weight of my steps, the sound of the breathing ocean begins to fade and I am soon surrounded with the sharp smell of greenness and the sound of a great buzzing of bees and positive singing of birds. The tall grass shimmers in the breeze! Bugs dart all around, full of energy and purpose! Sunlight pierces through my shirt and soaks into my skin! I look behind me: the mountains have descended into the atmosphere and the ocean now a single shade of royalty. I continue to make my way up, and soon it is all faded into the distance.

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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There’s a Place Underground…

Midwest City, Oklahoma

There is a part of me that believes that everyone has a sort of unacquainted love for coffee shops, and I’m not going to claim that I’m one of only a few who is so encompassed by the fresh, exotic coffee, easy music, local artwork, a wealth of books, and soft, old couches. Our human person can’t help but be at least a little drawn towards it.

I suppose I’m just one who takes that and runs with it.

Underground Coffee is maybe 2 minutes from my house, which makes it the perfect… place. The Underground has become my thinking place, my resting place, my homework, frantic-essay writing place, my catching-up-with-old-friends place and, ultimately, my place. With inexpensive coffee and an abundance of very exceptional house specials, there is always something new to try, though my go-to is simple: a regular 12-oz coffee with coconut (It’s a Tica thing).

Though there are countless numbers of coffee shops here in Dallas, there will always be days when my heart longs for the familiar feel of the Underground and it’s breathe-easy, everything-is-going-to-be-alright atmosphere. I am capable of giving Underground Coffee such an strong and gentle place in my heart because it is here that good conversations, honest thoughts, and real feelings have taken a hold of me and those whom I’m surrounded with. I’m sure you have those places for you too. Think about it. What does it look like? What does it smell like? Do you sit; do you stand? Who are you with? Do you write; do you pray; do you think; do you talk? What is it, exactly, about this place that makes it so unique, so special, so yours?

I’d love to meet you there.

Peace.

 

Java Me Up

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Irving, Texas

I picked up a little collection of writings on display as I waited for my Something With Cream at Java Me Up, the coffee shop I had searched so long for.  Grub Street Grackle, it read. The Grackle is Dead. Long Live the Grackle! There was a light coffee stain on the front of the paper cover on the small, handcrafted booklet. I opened it up and flipped to a page about miniature black holes- according to the entry, a patent was filed in Japan on a “Personal-Sized-Black-Hole-Powered Light Reduction Apparatus.” Drawn into the passage, I didn’t even hear the barista come up behind me and set my Something With Cream on the table beside the book.

“Are you ready for this?” She smiled as she took the paper wrapper off the tip of the green straw in my Something. “It’s pretty unique…”

“What is it?” I laughed and took a sip of the mystery drink. Ha! It was spectacular.

“It’s French Toast.”

This place knew how to please me, that’s for sure. “It actually tastes like french toast!”

“Yup,” the barista smiled, clearly proud of her creation, as she went to attend to other customers. “It sure does.”

So now there’s a week until finals and I’ve managed to find myself lounging on a worn, greenish-yellow chair surrounded by magazines, tea, and local artwork in the corner of a little coffee shop right next to the neighborhood library as I’m drinking the one-and-only French Toast Cappuccino. I’m an hour and 16 minutes (give or take) away from the school and $14 shorter (couldn’t leave the Grub Street Grackle behind). My essay remains unwritten, my math problems uncalculated, and my laundry unwashed. But sometimes you just gotta get out and explore, you know? Take chances, even if all that chance is is finding your way to that coffee shop you’ve been thinking about for days and leaving your drink in the hands of the barista who would love nothing more than to create something “interesting” and “new”. Sometimes a little spice to your day is all you really need to keep going.

I went out with no plan and took 3 hours on bike, bus, and train to end up at a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop to order a Something With Cream and be presented with a French Toast frappuccino and immerse myself in some of the most bizarre literary pieces I’ve ever read.

Welcome to the first of my coffee shop adventures. Brace yourself, this is gonna be good.

Until the next time,

Peace.

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My Thoughts, They Overwhelm Me

Welcome to my blog.

Those are pretty big words for someone who hasn’t even created so much as an Instagram and tries to stay off the black hole of the internet as much as possible. But, none the less, after years of relentless brainstorming, stomach knots of excitement, and probably a few too many cups of coffee, I find myself on the brink of publishing the 6th blog I’ve attempted with the unsettling feeling that maybe, just maybe, this will be the one that actually does…something.

But we’ve all been through something like this, right? All of us have undoubtedly felt that profound sense of inspiration, the energy surge through us as if we had the power to take on the world, only to run into the face of the wall that our thoughts, our emotions, are simply too much. It is times like these that we find ourselves stuffed between the cushions watching re-runs on Netflix, munching on whatever happens to look good in the pantry, addicted to the glow of a screen, finding  home within the oddities of Tumblr, hearing only the slow metronome of our hearts.

I don’t want to be overwhelmed to the point of paralysis anymore. We are thoughtful creatures, designed for invitation and critical thinking, problem solving, building and fostering relationships, creating, exploring, living. Anything less and we find ourselves unfilled at the most basic level and restless in the deepest parts of our bones. These posts are the excerpts of myself that are my most basic attempt to harness some of that energy and put it somewhere else other than the fog that is my brain. Some will be messy, incomplete, others will stem directly from prayer, some will be creative, and  others undoubtedly unsatisfying at times. Some will be exciting and others will seem to drag on. That doesn’t bother me, though. Those are all very real pieces of who I am in my small attempt to make a small difference in a small way.

Welcome, world, these ideas come directly from you.

Peace.