I wrote this on an airplane 

Today, somewhere high above the Idaho/Washington border I jotted this down…

I’m excited to be Alive today. Amazed by the topography I see as I fly over Idaho and Washington, my home. Excited to see my sister when I land. Happy to be chatting with this woman next to me about skiing. Blessed to talk to the cab driver who’s Dallas drawl reminded me of my dearly cherished and constantly missed Gramma Jo. Encouraged by this cabbie’s kindness as he thanked me for the work I do. It’s easy to get bogged down by the stress, but life is beautiful even when its edges feel extra sharp; even when it hurts. 

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About the children

“For the hundredth time I repeat, there are many questions that could be asked, but I ask you only one- about the children- because I believe it conveys fully and clearly what I am trying to tell you. Listen, even if we assume that every person must suffer because his suffering is necessary to pay for eternal harmony, still do tell me, for God’s sake, where the children come in. I can understand the concept of solidarity in sin and also solidarity in retribution. But how can there be solidarity in sin with small children? And if it is true that children share the responsibility for the sins committed by their fathers, then that concept must be true in some different world from the world I know, and it is quite beyond my grasp.”
-Ivan Karamazov, from Brothers Karamazov, Book 5, Chapter 4

Loving Someone

“Loving someone is a process. Whether that’s God, or that’s another sticky human, it’s a process. The movies will say it’s something different but— no matter how instant that first draw to someone is— love is a building process. It’s doors unlocking. It’s windows breaking. It’s the discovery of new rooms inside of yourself. It’s the dark. And it’s the light. And it’s dark and light all scrambled into one. At the root of it, it’s a slow, trusting, building process that starts with letting someone in.”

-Hannah Brencher http://hannahbrencher.com/2014/06/12/little-thing/

Sun Sign Libra and Aquarius Rising

I received a personalized horoscope reading…I’m amazed by the accuracy!

The combination of sun sign Libra and Aquarius Rising makes you a bit rebellious and stubborn. Because you listen to your intuition, you make choices easier than most Librans. You are noticeably calm and levelheaded. You think fast on your feet and formulate ideas well. You are focused on others and enjoy running with a crowd. A lover of peace, you’ll never losesight of the common good.

Crystal, you are usually friendly and open, but if someone does something to anger you, you can respond fiercely. You stand up for yourself and your opinion, and in doing so are not afraid of the consequences. Your bright mind is perhaps your most noticeable feature. You are open to new and original ideas, preferring to go your own way than to stay on the path more traveled. You are continually in search of new and better rationales and ways of doing things. Although you are interested in new things, you are not easily convinced of a new philosophy. You form your own opinion about everything and your approach is always intellectual. Once you’ve become convinced of something, you try to persuade others of it as well. The reason is that you don’t like people to have another opinion, different from your own. Usually you are calm, able to keep your feelings under control. Emotions can confuse you. You tend to try to avoid or ignore them. It’s difficult for you to understand emotional people who allow themselves to be ruled by their feelings. You have an eye for the exceptional, the unusual, and the willfulness of others, and you yourself are noticed for your originality. You are conscious of your own individuality as well, and will search out others who have clear-cut personal opinions. With them you enjoy discussing your thoughts and ideals. You may be a bit shy in new surroundings, but as soon as you feel comfortable somewhere you are superb company. You love to meet new people, especially those with offbeat personalities. You don’t judge people by the way they look. Your attitude towards everyone is friendly, perhaps a bit businesslike, but always with a great sense of humor. You don’t try to dominate. If you don’t feel at ease you may seem arrogant, as if you think you are better than the rest.

You love to be in a group and enjoy games and hot debates. What you don’t like are people who want to exercise some power over you, which is why you may have trouble with authority. Your fondest wish is for a world where everyone lives as equals.

Also, my Moon is in Gemini, which means: Crystal, you feel most at home in a lively atmosphere where something new is always going on. That way, there is lots for you to see and to learn. Everywhere you go there is something that catches your imagination, hence you don’t care to isit the same place twice. Only a library can provide you with enjoyment over and over again. You take pleasure in stocking your own bookshelf, too.

AND THIS!

You enjoy debates and get involved in everything. Still, you don’t like to be around people who talk incessantly about their problems, or people who lean on you too heavily. In such cases you’d rather pick up an exciting novel. Because of this habit, you might seem to have little patience with others. Although you are always willing to help people with practical problems, you don’t cope well with emotional difficulties. You have a logical manner of thinking, and therefore have trouble imagining how others get themselves into emotionally charged situations. You are not the jealous, possessive type, partly because you can’t stand that type of person. To a large degree, you are in favor of freedom in a relationship, whereby both you and your partner can develop your talents completely.

Books!

This is my ode to Books – my longest love affair. As long as I can remember, I’ve carried a book with me. I am easily drained by people and books have been my way of taking a break from the outside world. Books have provided me comfort more times than I can count. It’s true that I’d rather be reading a book than doing just about anything else. I will even admit to absentmindedly bringing a book with me to a date, it’s become muscle-memory at this point. I’ve entered a career in which I’m surrounded by books, and by people who love to read and who will talk to me about stories. I work in libraries for other reasons, such as my belief that every citizen has a right to access information, and the public library is the place where those doors can be opened. As Elliot Shelkrot said, “Democracy depends on an informed population. And where can people get all the information they need? —At the Library.” But I digress, I’m not advocating for public libraries in this post, I’m singing the praises of books. I found a few quotes that sum it up well:

“It does not matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.” – Jo Walton, Among Others

 “Books don’t offer real escape, but they can stop a mind scratching itself raw.” – David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

 “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

 (And from “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” a book that had a profound influence on a young Crystal:)

 “From that moment on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again.” – Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

For Women Who Are ‘Difficult’ to Love

This Poem. Is Everything.

For Women Who Are ‘Difficult’ to Love

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

~Warsan Shire

All I wanna do…

A post in which I bitch:

I graduate from Grad School next month. It’s been a long, exhausting, exciting 2.5 years. The good outweighs the bad, so I’m chalking it up to a success. But I’m tired. So, so tired. Tired of juggling a full time job and grad school, tired of fighting the MBTA to get to work/classes on time while trying to retain my sanity. Tired of living with three guys – one of whom is an eccentric unemployed drunk.

I’ve been away from nature for too long. I didn’t realize what an abundance of beautiful outside space I had access to back home. Things I took for granted I now appreciate to the fullest. I know I should be adding another thing to my plate – finding a professional level job with this shiny new degree I’m about to receive, but all I wanna do is this: http://brookeweeberillustration.tumblr.com/post/81693214679/me-this-summer  I want to take a month off and sleep in a tent, kayak down the Little Spokane River, cruise around Loon Lake, hike up Schweitzer Mtn. and eat some huckleberries. I’m hoping that the timing of my job search gives me some downtime. I’ve kept busy my whole life – I worked all the way through undergrad, but this is a new level of burnout.

She made herself promise

“That was the day she made herself promise to live more from intention and less from habit.”

A wonderful friend gave me some real-talk this week. I needed it. For the last two years I’ve let my personal life slide. My habits have become something that conflict with my values. I’ve put all of my energy into work and school and have been coasting in the personal relationships of my life. I am someone who has strong ethics and morals and live by them professionally and academically. Personally, I’ve become apathetic. After the talk with my friend, I realized just how far my actions in my personal life had strayed. All you can do is move forward with more intention. I plan on living my life (in all areas) aligned more closely with my values. You get what you give, and if I hope to ever be in a meaningful relationship again, I have to start caring about my actions and the quality of relationships I am pursuing. It’s easy to go on auto-pilot, but that can lead to hurting people. I want to live an authentic, honest, and fulfilling  life. I’m going to start pursuing relationships not with a short-term mindset, but start pursuing them based on my long-term goals.