I seemed to have hit a wall. This, and painting, are my attempts to break through it.

I spend most of my time sitting, now. In the library, in church, in my room, at one of the various campus pubs. My computer only lasts for about forty minutes to an hour before the hard drive fails and I have to let it rest, and restart it. I don’t have much money, so going in to town is hardly an option anymore. I haven’t met with the Creative Writing Society in a few weeks – no new material, always needing sleep, never remembering these things.

Last weekend, though, I went to Oxford, and it was lovely. I did a lot of walking, taking pictures, sitting on steps and writing, inspired by the way the ancient architecture reigned up there with the sky, in the clouds, the pillars and gargoyles both dancing and standing firm in the places they’ve stood for hundreds of years. Hundreds of years. Sunday night, I chatted a bit with a bartender and he brought marshmallows and sticks out to a fire on the terrace for me, Rachel, John, and a few Spanish Oxford students, to roast marshmallows. An old Japanese man, who had been visiting his son, also an Oxford student, inquired with his eyes – he didn’t speak much English. The boy was timid, and I had had a black coffee and a few shots of Baileys, so I showed him the ropes. He was delighted. He must have been around sixty years old, and laughed so loud. We walked back to our terrible little guest house on the edge of campus and slept well that night.

I haven’t been writing, so I needed to find inspiration, movement, color, somewhere else. I took to my paints and painted the world map that I hung above my bed with sticky tack. It felt good to paint, honestly. I’m excited to be back in my part of that world.

Kaleigh arrived back in Oregon from Haiti, tonight. Today, for her, I guess. Her pictures brought that ache in my heart back, again. It too felt good – I was reminded of something big. Something that is still a part of who I am, although I feel so far removed, here.

I’ll be really starting my drafts of my final essays, tomorrow between and after seminar and lectures. We’re reading Dickinson in American Lit, and I have no idea what I’m doing reading Dickinson. I don’t have to have my reading for 19th Century done until Thursday, which is nice. I’m still struggling finding inspiration there. Maybe it’s just not my niche?

Thanksgiving was spent with lots of fellow Seattleites and one Dutch friend. It was all sorts of good times. I really did miss home, and I can’t wait to be back. I’ll miss my fellows here, though. I hope to stay in touch – I dream of being linked to people and stories all around the world. That’s the true definition of “well-rounded,” if you ask me.

So there are some of my words. Not my best, although I’m not sure if I’m right in saying I have any best, yet. I will emulate and imitate and be patient with a drive and style of my own. I’m so grateful for my experience here, and ready to find the wisdom in every moment.



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