If you must leave

no other photo

This might just be my favorite photo of all time. It was taken at Shakori right after a long hula hoop and handstand session and right before the sun went down over the trees.

I packed the car and drove home this morning.

In the middle of exams this week, but needed to pause. halt. stop.

Currently just trying to make sense of anything.

. . . And if you must leave
Leave as though fire burns under your feet
And if you must speak
Speak every word word as if it were unique
And if you die, sweetheart
Die knowing your life was my life’s best part
And if you must die
Remember your life
You are, you are, all you love
You are, all
If you must fight
Fight with yourself with yours thoughts in the night
And if you must work
Work to leave some parts of you on this earth
And if you must live, darling, oh
Just live . . .

– Keaton Henson, “You

That’s all.

Just trying to stay afloat for now. . .

[Photo: What love looks like at Shakori//Grace Farson]


I found this list today from a little over a year ago:

1.) CALM down

2.) find a new job

3.) write letters and mail them

4.) change voice mailbox message

5.) apply for grants to Indonesia

6.) run

7.) climb

8.) finish videos for TedX conference

9.) visit Abbey Court

10.) taxes?

I love finding pieces of what life looked like last year and the years before. And the thing I love the most is knowing that i accomplished all of those pieces in time. I went on to get not one, but two new jobs, I went to Indonesia on a grant, ran a few miles, climbed with friends, went to Abbey Court, did videos for TedX, etc. and at the time, this little list of ten things was a challenge.

My list these days is sadly quite similar. I’m still trying to find grants to travel, I’m trying to keep the job I do have when I get back in the fall, I’m running, I’m wishing I was spending more time climbing, taxes still stress me out, and there is always a stack of letters by my bed waiting to be mailed. . .

This semester is getting so close to the END and I’m both excited and sad. The past few weeks have been great overall. So good in fact, I never want it to end.

Take for example this weekend. . .












This weekend was epic. It all left my body feeling incredibly broken, sore, and used. My feet don’t really work, they’re cracked and still caked with mud.

That said, I also didn’t know it was possible to laugh as much as I did.

Sam came in town Friday with a basket of black lights and a massive speaker//sound system. The Tiger House hosted a fantastic Universe party! (Goal check) Glitter, good music, Ziggy Stardust-inspired face paint and even roller-blades! All I could ever ask for really.

On Saturday, I woke up at 5:45 and decided it was a good day to run the Chapel Hill ten-miler with Ora (*Almost exactly a year ago since the last big ten). Our last-minute decision was incredibly rewarding and actually quite fun (esp. the thrill of benefiting from a race without paying for it. Sorry world, I just wanted to see if it was possible). By that afternoon, I was volunteering in a tent painting little kiddo’s faces at Shakori grassroots festival and dancing around a fire to drums with Ora, Will, Jordan, Sarah and Cassie.

We danced, hula hooped, and then danced some more until the late hours. Everywhere we went we danced, we didn’t use our feet to walk, we just danced and floated through life.

It all left my whole being so incredibly happy.

A nice nap (*another goal) on Sunday was followed by a lovely dinner with Ma-Maw and Da-Dan and a lot of solo car time to think too. . .

I could have asked for nothing more this weekend.

It filled me.

[Photos: Shakori last time around. Fall festival days 2012. *Only brought my AE-1 this time around//Grace Farson]

What my weekend looked like

We danced until our bodies ached and listened to drums until sunrise.

We hung out in hammocks and crept through the woods.

We said we would never really leave this place behind . . . and we never really will. . .

Our hearts are full now.

“You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

[Photos: A magical weekend at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival//Grace Farson]