Saturday, August 25, 2007

Music Appreciation

Muse Music...interesting place. I went to a concert there last night with my friend Adam. It's one of those venues I'm not sure I could adequately describe--you really just have to experience it. It's basically a dark little hole in the wall on University Ave. with a small stage, some chairs, a couple of big very used couches, and an orange neon sign that says "PEOPLE" mounted to the bare, unfinished old brick walls. I get the impression that it's the sort of establishment where the same groups of punk/goth/emo people meet up on the weekend, just to kill time and check out bands.
The band we went to see was a two man show: Nate (Adam's friend) on the drums, and Matt on the electric guitar (I can't remember their band name). Adam warned me before hand that the show might be little weird, and I'll be honest, it wasn't really my favorite genre of music...; nevertheless, I can still appreciate talent and passion when I see it. And Nate and Matt were very passionate in the expression of their talents. They played with a lot of engergy and a lot of volume! And I say, why not?! Maybe more of us ought to be more confident about expressing our talents more boldly and creatively. Of course every talent is different, but it's talent none the less.
I remember a poem written at the beginning of Chaim Potok's book Davita's Harp. It went something like this: "They say, 'you have a blue guitar. You do not play things as they are.' And I said, 'ah, but things as they are, are different on the blue guitar.'"
Don't be afraid to be different, and don't be afraid to embrace diversity...within reason, of course:)
Definintely a fun memory!
p.S. I'll let you know when I can start hearing out of my right ear again:)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Typhoid and Mother Theresa

I went to the Utah County Health Clinic yesterday to get a prescription for malaria medicine...whoa, let me clarify: I do not have malaria:) it's a prescription to prevent me from getting malaria while i'm in India and Thailand. Anyway, while I was there, I decided to get a new typhoid vaccination as well. I don't know what having typhoid really feels like, but for about four hours after getting the shot, I thought maybe they'd given it to me...actually, didn't that Jenner guy discover that you had to give someone a tiny dose of smallpox in order to make them immune to smallpox? My arm still aches a little, but the other unpleasantness is gone. I guess four hours of discomfort is a lot better than the real thing would be.
On the up-side, while I was laying in bed feeling yucky, I got to watch the Catholic TV channel. You're right, I'm not Catholic, but I stopped because they were telling the story of Mother Theresa. What an amazing Woman with an inspiring story! Her parents instilled in her, at a very young age, the importance of making change for good in the world. Her father was involved in the fight for freedom in Albania, and after his death, even though the family was nearly destitute, they opened their home to the hungry and homeless . Theresa's (then named Agnes) mother taught her children always to see the face of Jesus in everyone.
She loved her family in Albania, but felt deeply in her heart that it was her mission to go to India to serve the people there. And she did. She started out in Calcutta, teaching at a a very comfortable Catholic school for upper-class girls. She enjoyed the work there, but knew that her true purpose for being in India was to serve those who could not help themselves. So she left the school/convent, made a vow of poverty, and went to live amongst the people.
She wasn't quite sure where to start because there were so many people to help, so she began teaching two small homeless children how to read in the street. Soon, the numbers increased to 40. People heard about what she was doing and donated supplies and desks. She wanted to help the sick, so she went to hospitals to gain hands on training about how to treat wounds, clean sores, administer medicine, etc. She was not afraid to go amongst the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick, and the most rejected in society. On one occasion, she found a dying woman in the street and carried her to a hospital for treatment. The doctors refused to help her, but Mother Theresa stood her ground and refused to leave until the woman was treated.
She begged for help from local churches, hospitals, and the government, and she received it. In 1950 she formally established the Missionaries of Charity, whose purpose was to administer to the poorest of the poor. The MC has since branched into over 133 countries.She opened schools, clinics, and places for the dying to pass away peacfully and comfortably. In 1979 she deservingly won the Nobel Peace Prize. And fianlly passed away in 1997.
What an amazing Christ-like woman!
Don't worry, I'm not about to become a nun:) I do however feel more confident about my own abilities to create change for good in the world.
Sometimes we may feel that there is so much to be done, that what we do really won't make much of a difference. We may not act at all, simply because we think that what we do won't really have an impact. Mother Theresa knew that there were millions of people in India who were starving, homeless, sick, and dying. But she didn't think about the millions all at once, just the ONE she was helping at the moment.
We all have the ability to change the world, ONE person at a time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

4am Anxiety

It's 4am. I should be asleep, but my mind is racing. I'm leaving in six days and have so much left to prepare! I'm excited, but more overwhelmed! My dad gave me a blessing a couple of days ago that helped put my mind at ease a little bit, but I'm still feeling some anxiety. I know it will all work out (like my mom always says), it's just the working it out part that's sometimes the hardest:).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Guns and Country Music

I think if you're going to go shooting, and if you're going to listen to music in the car on the way there and back, it really has to be country music. It just makes sense. Nora Jones and guns just don't mix; Tim McGraw and guns just do.
My friend Adam took me shooting yesterday for the first time in probably 10 years. Minus the bruises in my left shoulder from the jolting shotguns, and the mysterious cut on my thumb, it was a lot of fun! You'd be proud to know that with a little help from the pro, I even hit some stuff...actual targets...not just random stuff:)
And yes, we did listen to Tim McGraw in the car.
Thanks Adam!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Kawarau Bridge

I was in Queenstown, New Zealand--The adventure capital of the world! The place where bungy jumping was invented! I had to do it!
I took off my hat, rolled up my pants, and crawled onto a little platform mounted to the side of the bridge. Rock music (I think maybe Bon Jovi) played on a portable radio as I sat watching the bungy guy strap the cords to my ankles.
He helped me up and held onto my hand as I hopped to the edge of the platform.
I could feel the butterflies in my stomach as I looked over my toes to the water below--43 meters is a long way down.
My family and other spectators watched from a viewing area at the edge of the ravine probably thinking I was out of my mind--maybe I was:)
"1-2-3....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....bounce, whooooooa, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...bounce, whooooooooooa, aaaaaaaaaaaaaa.......!"
AJ Hackett, eat your heart out!

India or Bust!

Sometimes when I think about it, I start to hyperventilate. A mixture of excitement, nervousness, and overwhelmtion swirl around inside my head and my stomach.
In 18 days the fulfillment of a dream begins!