Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thoughts to Begin the Week

If you cannot do unto others
What you would that they should do to you,
At least do not unto them
What you would not that they should do unto you.
If you would not be made to work ten hours at a stretch in factories or in mines,
If you would not have your children hungry, cold and ignorant,
If you would not be robbed of the land that feeds you,
If you would not be shut up in prisons or sent to the gallows or hanged for committing an unlawful deed through passion or ignorance,
If you would not suffer wounds, nor be killed in war--
Do not do this unto others.

All this is so simple and straightforward,
And admits of so little doubt,
That it is impossible for the simplest child not to understand,
Nor the cleverest [person] to refute it.
It is impossible to refute this law,
Especially because this law is given to us,
Not only by all the wisest [people] of the world,
Not only by the Man who is considered to be God by the majority of Christians,
But because it is written in our minds and hearts.

-Leo Tolstoy

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spirituality Night: I Am poems

Tonight I led spirituality night focusing on spirituality from within. Our spirituality is intimately part of our beings, so what makes us who we are? The bible tells us: "love your neighbor as yourself"--and we must remember to also love ourselves. After introducing the activity, we had a fifteen minute period to write our poems, and then we shared. Here is mine:

I walk along the empty streets, the busy streets
I see faces staring back at me
My tendency is to hide
But I want to live my life with my arms open wide
Courage and strength
From the years and years of women gone before me
Shedding the darkness

I am Naomi
I am on a journey
Calloused feet of a dancer
Dreamer and cynic wrapped into one
Eyes looking skyward
Following the monarch butterflies
Simultaneously fearing and embracing
The change they bring
A Southern girl by birth
But home is where the heart is
And my heart is with the ones I love
I live
I love
I choose to live.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Emily, the Graduate

Emily in China for a summer program in 2010

My darling younger cousin Emily is graduating from Austin High School today. I've loved her from the start of course, but it was when I moved to Austin to go to St. Edward's that we became so close. She was in eighth grade at Fullmore, right down the street from St. Ed's. My first semester, I spent almost every weekend at my aunt & uncle's house, so I spent more time than I ever had with Emily. We bonded over movie and TV marathons, late night baking and awkwardness. The last few years I lived in Austin, I have truly treasured my time with Emily and how close we have become. I couldn't imagine missing her graduation, so here I am in Austin this weekend, to see my darling valedictorian baby cousin walk across that stage this afternoon. I am so, so proud of her, and I can't wait to celebrate her accomplishments! Em will be at University of Texas this fall, which is great for me, since I'll be back in Austin, so we will be able to see each other often :)

Cousins/BFF after her graduation tea yesterday afternoon :)