more important

[this blog post is best paired with

sometimes i don’t always focus on my class work like i’m supposed to.

sometimes i’m not the best student.

but when i’m not being as efficient as i should be, i think i’m doing something even more important here–building strong foundations for lasting relationships and becoming part of a team. relationships won’t happen very easily with my nose stuck in a book. whenever i feel badly about procrastinating my homework, i know that i am making memories and investing in people in a way that will hopefully be more meaningful than response questions to readings.

hopefully when i’m done with my internship, people will remember me for the way i loved them, the conversations and happiness shared, and not for my current events assignments.

and sometimes i’m just pretending to be a taco. it happens.

(and i know–i still need to do my homework. i will–homework is still important.)


girls, girls, girls

[this blog post is best paired with cyndi lauper’s “girls just wanna have fun”]

tonight, i went to a girls’ night.

here’s a list of things girls love:

  • croissants
  • salted popcorn
  • mud masks
  • mini things
  • brick walls
  • pillow fights
  • scented candles
  • knitted socks
  • soft things (dead or alive)
  • cheese
  • house plants (not to be confused with plants)
  • soft low lighting
  • basic human rights


[this blog post is best paired with justin bieber’s “baby”]

today, i held a tiny person.

there were tears involved–and they did not belong to him.

when the gourds go rotting…

[this blog is best paired with alanis morissette’s “ironic”]

sometimes things don’t work out the way you expect.

that’s been the theme of many of my art projects over the years. lately, i’ve been making prints out of things that shouldn’t be. during november and december i spent a lot of time making prints from the cross sections of gourds. today, i started carving bars of soap.

many of the details carved in the soap were lost to the acrylic paint i was using, and eventually glued the soap back together. this is a stamp that will require a lot of maintenance.

in the end the print did not hold as much detail as i thought it might, but i discovered a new way of printmaking and was inspired for a new series (more to come on that later).

my prints rarely work out the way i see them in my mind when i set out to make them, but i have found more joy in the process of making than in the final product.

nice found words

[this blog is best paired with andrea marie’s “inside this dream”]

david considers his music

there is nothing too wonderful about it.

i pick it up, i play.

is that not the life of a harp?

i cannot tell why people change

with these notes. widows lift their tambourines,

children drip their rocks and stare.

even the sheep look up from the field

as if they know more than they should.

i think i could turn over a rock

and watch the lichen pulse with each arpeggio.

it is ordinary to be amazing.

i don’t try to do anything else.

at times i see the music play before me.

deep chords become these violet mountains,

heaving from the ground like muscles.

a slow crescendo, the green power of a wave

washing over me, the elation of being small, being lost.

i like to play because i lose my place.

i play yet don’t make anything happen.

i lift the harp as easily as grass sprouts around my ankles,

as olive leaves tumble down my back.

i believe i can carry a violet mountain

on my back. this is not amazing.

you see, i can only laugh when children stare

with wonder. i can’t help the fingertips

that weave my soul around the strings.

there is something that keeps me awake

at the most beautiful hour, the black sky with light

pressing behind it. i cannot stop leaning over v

the verge of possibility.

i think my song will fall through the decades

–tania runyan

juxtaposition: hot chocolate in a teacup

[this blog post is best paired with relient k’s “i hate christmas parties”]

this week i was reminded of the best christmas party i’ve ever been to.

it was the friday before christmas break….

i had agreed to go to a party with rachel and lindsay, and it was not the party that i thought i was going to.

i was under the impression that i was going to an international student party—i experienced a different kind of culture shock.

luckily, rachel explained what kind of party we were going to, so lindsay and i weren’t going in blind.

rachel had met a local richmonder at a thanksgiving dinner for international students hosted by vcu. the girl invited rachel and a handful of international students to a christmas party she was hosting at her parents’ home.

unfortunately, most of the students cancelled, except for one girl. we picked her up on our way to the party, and drove for thirty minutes, arriving in richmond suburbia.

as we opened the door to the party, we were greeted by ten girls standing in the living room dressed in subtle christmas themed outfits. one girl soon makes herself known to us as the host—the hostess with the mostess, as i like to call her.

the hostess with the mostess was wearing christmas themed fuzzy socks, black tights, a red pencil skirt, a chevron teacher tanktop, completed with a string of pearls around her neck—as any good hostess should.

the hostess with the mostess was our conductor for the evening and quickly ushered us into the living room with the rest of the party. now that we had arrived and completed the rsvp list, the party was allowed to begin.

the hostess with the mostess showed us into the kitchen, and invited us to fill a plate with food, get a drink, and sit at the table. after i placed my plate on the table, i went to get a mug of hot chocolate. the hostess with the mostess clearly explained that in one corner of the kitchen one could find teacups and saucers for tea, and mugs for hot chocolate in the other. i usurped her beverage stations by choosing a teacup to drink my hot chocolate, and i could tell i threw a wrench in the whole operation. the hostess watched as i picked up a teacup and walked toward the hot chocolate station, and couldn’t help but say, “well, actually, the tea station is right next to the teacups,” pointing to a basket of teabags. i replied, “yes, i know, i just want to drink hot chocolate out of this—it’s prettier than the mugs.” she replied, “oh, okay. that’s fine.” it was not fine.

with all of us gathered around the dining room table, we began with simple conversation while eating our dinner. after the ice had been thoroughly broken by normal human interaction, the hostess with the mostess pulled out a cup of christmas themed icebreakers. we circled the table sharing about our favorite christmas decorations—so now i understand each girl on a much deeper level.

promptly after we completed one revolution of the table, we were led into the living room for games where it became clear that the hostess with the mostess was only there to guide us through the evening, not to participate. She led us through two activities and group photos, before finishing with christmas caroling in the living room. we stayed for three carols before dismissing ourselves.

we grabbed our party favors and left quickly, and let the night sink in. we were the perfect storm that the hostess with the mostess was not expecting.

i still think about that party everyday.

welcome back

[this blog is best paired with ac/dc’s “back in black”]

back in richmond means back to blogging.

i spent my day sick in bed with a cold–here is a list of things i thought about:

  • gourds
  • campbell’s soup
  • what happened to chicken noodle soup for the soul books?
  • naps
  • dreams
  • salvador dali
  • wondered if i should take up weaving
  • pink salt rocks
  • wondered if i could put my foot behind my head
  • wondered if i should try
  • i did
  • i can
  • modern medicine
  • the mcgriddle–marveling at syrup inside a pancake
  • the future is now
  • and now the future is in the past
  • considered time
  • naps again