wednesday wisdom. the words of cornel west.

photo from pinterest.

photo from pinterest.

“The country is in deep trouble. We’ve forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that’s the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.” ~ Cornel West

cornel west is a political activist, philosopher, theologian, author, and all-around amazing person, in my opinion. his words will leave you shaking and squirming in your seat – challenging you to truly live a life of love and justice and integrity. calling you to question everything, to look at this world with a critical eye, to get yourself all mixed up with the messiness of life – like a great blues & jazz musician, to stand up straight, to raise your voice, and to never, ever lose hope.

in the end, after listening to cornel west last night at the university of north carolina at asheville (UNCA – my love’s uni), i was left with one burning question:

what kind of person am i gonna be?

peace, justice, and love.

six senses sunday.

it’s sunday night and before i tuck myself in, i thought i’d reflect on the past week with a little six senses sunday. it’s where i take some photos from the week and share how those moments awakened my senses. i suppose it’s a way for me to try to appreciate the present moment and a creative way to do an “i’m grateful for…” list. there is a lot for which i am thankful. and every day presents at least one moment that touches me.

when i think about it, there is actually a lot of stuff going on in my life right now. both good and not so good, or rather, challenging. and when i stop and think back on the past, oh i don’t know, 5 months, i realize that much of it’s not been easy. and the past 2 months have been really weird and tough in some ways. and yet, i have so much hope. i am still so thankful for where i/we am right now, for the life that i have. i realize and accept that everything that is swirling about me is all part of the process. it’s all part of my life. because it is life. and it is beautiful. and light comes from the darkness. i know that even as i walk through the dark times, hands in front of me, groping for anything that will help guide me. there is always a little sliver of light off in the distance. and that makes all the difference.

there are some amazing things going on too, right now. for one, i keep falling in love with my wife over and over again. every day. that woman is amazing. she is my inspiration. a fighter, a lover, and a chaser of life. i cannot even begin to express the respect and admiration i have for her. she is my world. and even though we’re not together all the time right now, the moments and times that we have, i cherish.

and also this: back in january, when we were visiting my family and asheville, we visited an apartment complex and took a tour of an apartment. we loved it. like, totally, man. so, i emailed them as soon as we were back in sweden to tell them we were interested. weeeellll, last week we got a phone call from them that one of the apartments we are interested in will be available in july (and we’re moving in july!). did we want it?! oh yeah. so, we began the process of emailing, scanning papers, printing out papers, filling in applications, copying financial info, etc. it has been crazy trying to complete everything, but we qualify for the apartment & are now waiting for the screening process to be done (background checks, etc.). hopefully we will hear something this coming week and the apartment will be officially ours!! soooo exciting! needless to say, we are now obessed with gathering inspiration and such on pinterest. please wish us luck!

anyway, on with my six senses sunday!

industrial landscape fair trade bling trees mocha frappe daydreaming blueberry french toast pink tree zola reading river wine!taste: blueberry french toast on saturday morning. a most delicious mocha frappe i grabbed on my way home from work one afternoon.

touch: the warm sun on my face. the bare pavement as i go shoeless! the freezing cold frappe in my hands.

feel: peace & relaxation as i read the wisdom lao tzu. happiness during a glass of afternoon wine while i prepare dinner.

see: my part of the world bursting with my favorite shade of green everywhere. the threes, the sun, the river, the sky. norrköping is lovely right now.

hear: the sweet meows and conversation with our adorable kitty, zola. the hustle and bustle of people coming out of hibernation & sitting in cafes & parks.

smell: the blooms on the pink tree. so fragrant and fresh.

so, my friends, what has perked up your sense lately? anything? do tell!

peace & love.

the fight.

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my love is going back to the hospital today. it’s necessary and totally the right thing. that doesn’t make it any easier though. still, she is amazing. strong. and fearless even though she’s scared. but, she’ll make it. we’ll make it. and we’re blessed to have an amazing friend (who hopped on a plane from ireland yesterday) with us today, who will be staying with me until monday.

inside i’m shaking and my head is spinning as i prepare to leave my love at the hospital again.

love, prayers, good vibes, and positive energy for my love and for me are welcomed.

hug the ones you love. tight. peace.

celebrating renewal!

easter sunrise 2009. cocoa beach, florida. road trip with my love to the florida keys for spring break.

easter sunrise 2009. cocoa beach, florida. road trip with my love to the florida keys for spring break.

“the secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possible can.” ~ mike dooley

“i have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” ~ j.b. priestly

“easter is the demonstration of god that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.” ~charles m. crowe

“there is a fragrance in the air, a certain passage of a song, an old photograph falling out from the pages of a book, the sound of somebody’s voice in the hall that makes your heart leap and fills your eyes with tears. who can say when or how it will be that something easters up out of the dimness to remind us of a time before we were born and after we will die?” ~ frederick beuchner

“things are always better in the morning.” ~ harper lee

“i couldn’t imagine living in a state that didn’t reach the ocean. it was a giant reset button. you could go to the edge of the land and see infinity and feel renewed.”
~ Avery Sawyer.

“reshaping life! people who can say that have never understood a thing about life—they have never felt its breath, its heartbeat—however much they have seen or done. they look on it as a lump of raw material that needs to be processed by them, to be ennobled by their touch. But life is never a material, a substance to be molded. if you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself, it is infinitely beyond your or my obtuse theories about it.”
― boris pasternak

“i believe that when you stop renewing and are no longer open to change and the possibilities that continually unfold, you stop being alive and are just getting through the years. transformation doesn’t happen unless you’re willing: it’s your choice.” ~ oprah winfrey

“perhaps the earth can teach us. as when everything seems dead, and later proves to be alive.” ~ pablo neruda

come out of the darkness. celebrate the light. a new day is upon us! with the morning, life is renewed once again. we have a new beginning.  a new chance to follow our dreams, to live life, to be who exactly who we are. the question is… what are our dreams? who are we? and what are we going to do with our life today?! one thing is for sure, we have one more opportunity to celebrate life!

happy easter, everyone! peace, light, & love.

emptiness.

this morning my love & i sipped coffee and talked about emptiness. about feeling empty inside. lost. unrest.

we talked about what makes a person good.

we talked about learning to love ourselves and others.

and we talked about the places & people that fill up the emptiness that is inside. we realized that there is no one magical thing that fills up the emptiness within, but, instead it’s a bunch of little things that fill our soul bit by bit. and perhaps the goal of life is to fill our souls constantly…perhaps to live life to the fullest means to do just that. we seek to know who we are, what touches us, and what fills us. and when we allow ourselves to seek those people and things, then we are living from our soul. and the emptiness is not so overwhelming.

of course, perhaps we are never completely filled with everlasting fullness and peace. life is more of a balancing act. there are days that we wake up and feel empty and we don’t know why. then there are other days that we feel so full that we are overflowing. and there are days that we feel everything in between. but, to achieve that sense of inner peace, and to fill up those empty holes of hopelessness as much as possible, is an ongoing journey. it is the journey of life.

we are meant to be full, to live life to the fullest, to feel peace that comes from deep within, to laugh, love, dance, enjoy. getting to know ourselves, finding those things that fill and touch our souls, and living life surrounded by those people, places, things, and activities that fill our soul… these all give us a sense of being. a sense of peace & love. and a life that is worth living.

in the christian world, today is a dark, empty, hopeless day. jesus is dead and in the tomb. his followers are crushed. confused. disappointed. and completely without hope. i am reminded of all of the others in my life who have already died and been laid to rest. and i feel how much i miss them all. i am also thinking of all of the others in the world who live life every day feeling crushed. confused. disappointed. and hopeless. i am aware of how we all just want to run and hide because of all of the emptiness we feel. how we all just want to feel that life is worth living.

the journey is almost over, though. the journey through the darkness. it’s time to remember that even though we feel empty and hopeless, there is always light and hope. there is new life, a new chance, new opportunities, and new inspiration just around the corner. the darkness and emptiness does not last. death will be defeated. pain and suffering will end. and, in the end, love will win. we just have to keep holding on… keep filling our souls with the things that give us life.

so, today, if you feel empty somewhere inside, be aware of it. feel the emptiness & hopelessness. and then, seek out something or someone that fills your soul. let it fill you with peace and hope. and then fall madly in love with your life again.

i’m gonna do just that. i’m spending the day with my love & her family. the sun is shining. i’m anticipating much laughter and craziness. and then, tonight, i’m gonna tuck myself into my cozy bed, with my love by my side, and take a deep breath and remind myself…

life is good. i am blessed. and love is the purpose of it all.

hope

And if your strife strikes at your sleep
Remember spring swaps snow for leaves
You’ll be happy and wholesome again
When the city clears and sun ascends

~mumford and sons

hoping that your saturday fills your soul with peace.