Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let's Pick Back Up


I've learned with relationships that certain perspectives work best in long distance circumstances. One is to not assume that the absence automatically decreases the affection. Two is to do your best in keeping up, even with the simplest hellos, but not to stress when this doesn't happen as often as before; life needs to continue moving on for both people in their separate surroundings.

I'm not talking romantic relationships. I have little authority in such arenas but am picturing the faces of my family and friends spread across the United States, even the world.

The final thing I would encourage is an ease in simply picking up where things left off when a reunion finally happens. Granted, changes will have come, major and/or minor, but as long as an earnest (mutual) care for the relationship and its individuals still exists, a rhythm may be found again.

And so it may be with this blog at times. Periods of separation might continue, but the caring for its purpose and the people who read it never ceases. I care and I'm here, so let's pick up where we left off. Know that I'd like this even more if, instead of this virtual worldwide web, there were a small table between us and warm ceramic mugs for us each to cup.

My life has fallen into a rhythm of sorts in the past couple weeks, and since I can't remember the last time that existed, I'm quite loving it.


I moved into a new household with a family of four and a Jack Russell Terrier. Their welcome has been entirely warm, and through it I've learned a bit more about rugby, found a friend who shares my taste in films, gained access to peaceful beaches for walking and wondering, and been introduced to the hilarity of Top Gear.

Almost every weekday morning I am dropped off in Takapuna and spend an hour(ish) at a cafe, which tends to be Massimo. I can't wait for the weather to clear. When it does, I'll have my regular cappuccino in a take away cup down at the beach. For now the spring chill is still too heavy at 8am.

On Wednesdays I help with Toddler Rock and attend the church's Young Adults Group. Thursdays include Bible in Schools in the mornings and Walking School Bus in the afternoons. My only obligation on Fridays is Youth Group in the evenings. Brief explanations of these activities can be found here.

After a couple weeks of this schedule I recognized that I had too much downtime and restless was stirring with all the reading and lounging around the Marlars' home that was happening...a foreign experience after the last five years of university! So, I decided to sign up for some bikram yoga classes, which take up a hefty ninety minutes of my day (not including the mandatory shower afterward). And I've bought two large canvases and made a list of art projects to do around the church. All of this should keep me busy over the remainder of my internship, especially because I'm trying to be ever mindful of the girls/young women in the church that I want to get to know and schedule time with too. (One such outing is briefly featured on One Hungry Soul.)

It's been more difficult than I anticipated to build relationships with the girls in the church because of my lack of mobility. While I am provided with greatly appreciated chauffering services between church, the Marlars, and home - and necessary destinations in between - spontaneity and independence in my schedule are automatically restricted without my own vehicle and a convenient bus system...a bus system does exist, but I haven't received much encouragement to use it because of its slow pace across the sprawling area of Auckland.


That said, I'm trying to make the most of the times already built into my schedule, like Friday night youth group. Last week we joined with Glenfield Presbyterian for a "bench run." This meant we were dropped off in Centennial Park, approximately 6 km/3.7 miles from their church, and put into groups of four to carry a make-shift bench (four metal-legged/cushioned chairs zip-tied together and destined to break apart). Punishments were to be inflicted for not being seated on the bench when the cars of our leaders drove by and, yet, the incentive of being first to arrive back at the church and bearing the title of "bench run champions" for the coming year kept kids running across dark fields, through empty parking lots, and looking over their shoulders at every approaching car on the main roads, all with a chair slung over their shoulder or riding on top of their head. For the sake of camaraderie, and to encourage enthusiasm among skeptical girls, I joined in. Two and a half hours later our groups began to trickle in with steam on our breaths, aches in our arms, and plenty of good stories.

As this blog post has now been going for two days. It's high time I hit "publish," don't you think? I'll try to keep filling in the blanks of my life for you as it comes. I'd love to have a glimpse into yours from an ocean and a rock away* as well.


*I am far away from where you lay,
awake the day while you fall to sleep
an ocean and a rock away

I keep you in the pockets of my dresses
and the bristles of my brushes
spin you into my curls today

I spoon you into my coffee cup,
spin you through a delicate wash
I wear you all day

Thoughts of you warm my bones...

- An Ocean and a Rock, by Lisa Hannigan

[These photos were taken on the Marlars' back patio one day last week.]

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for helping me catch up on what I've been missing :)


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