Marcel the Shell

Favorite Things – September

I only care one day a year.

You know! Caring about which team to root for.

Growing up in Northern Colorado I really ought to be a CSU fan. Then I went to the University of Colorado and my ‘house of origin’ became a house divided.  You’ve seen the stickers. You know what I’m talking about.

Then I married a Buffalo and my new ‘house’ was united under waves of black and gold. We even brought Dad over to the dark side. He would proudly wear his CU Hat – sweat stains and all. I wish he was here to come over and watch the big Rocky Mountain Showdown  rivalry from the comfort of our living room.

My  favorite things this month?

  1. CU Gear – May I suggest these fine options?

University of Colorado CU Buffaloes Alumni Nation Stripes Flag

NCAA University of Colorado Buffaloes Custom Athletic Crew Socks

Sing the fight song loudly! I’ll be cheering on my Colorado Buffaloes. Who wants to place a bet on the game?

2. Stumptown Coffee

Yes. Again. Coffee. We went on a lovely trip to Portland and I dragged my family around to local coffee shops. I wanted to include these guys on my best vanilla latte in the world contest I’ve got running in my head. Stumptown was delicious, approachable and trendy. They didn’t cringe when I asked for syrup. Very important. I am thrilled to have added this roaster to my list. While they can’t ship me a vanilla latte, I can get some beans. The internet is a magical thing.

3. This Osprey Daypack

My father-in-law took us on an eight mile hike to an old mining town that didn’t really exist. Well I’m sure it did at some point, but when we got there, the only remnants were a post with a sign, and a nice river bed. Try to find the photo on my Instagram.  I was thankful to have this great daypack for hiking. Well, grateful my husband was carrying this great daypack for hiking. Dylan carried the water – I sipped out of the long straw much like a baby cow follows its mother for milk.

4. Lauren Graham’s Book

If you were (still are…?) obsessed with Gilmore Girls in the early 2000’s I highly recommend this book. Think half memoir, half story of the show, this book made me laugh, cry, and feel nostalgic. Amazing to think how much t.v. shows weave their narratives into our lives. Gosh I love Lorelei. Lauren’s perspective is pretty great too.

5. This video.

 

I think this is the kind of thing Olive thinks about all day. Perhaps she even confesses to Cerdito. This video and that puppy may be my new obsession. Much like my Marcel the Shell phase. Who am I kidding? I still love Marcel.

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She’s Back!

I cried a little tonight. We are working on joining accounts and it made me emotional to know a part of that independence in my life has ended. Or something like that. This joining does not bother my spouse at all. Bother, perhaps, is a strong word. It doesn’t particularly bother me, it just makes me emotional. What bothers me is the big VOID in my old id that seems to be sending a more patriarchal message that my original identity and maiden name are gone, only to be consumed by marriage. I know this is not how my spouse and I approach marriage, and that those four letters do not reflect our attitudes towards life partnership. That VOID stamp, though, that bothers me.

I had lunch with a friend this week and she was joking around saying that after her wedding next summer she is going to joke, “Oh, I can vote now. I’m married.” You have to understand her and you have to understand me and be able to look back at the absurdity of institutions and how we exist inside of them, and how we can laugh within them. It is a balance isn’t it? Or maybe I’m just sensitive.

This week was full of unanticipated delights. I love delightful things. Sunday evening we headed to Denver in the pm for a concert. The weekend was restful, the Broncos were playing (they won by the way), I would have been content being an introvert and staying home. I’m glad I was coaxed out of my comfort zone and we got to listen to a wonderful musician, Noah Gundersen. I do not feel I can adequately explain or critique him in words. This man and his band communicate with such passion and in a way that is unassuming and challenging all at the same time. I want to have coffee with him, to pick his brain about religion, family, and his outlook on the world. I’ve never left a concert feeling calm and content the way I did on Sunday evening. He has a gift and he chooses to share it, and I wish him the best of luck in doing so. Here is a video of my favorite of his songs.

Music has an ability to evoke such an intense spectrum of emotion. In two hours, Noah seemed to capture them all. Check him out, buy a cd, drink some red wine. Combine the three for a fabulous few hours. He has so much beauty to offer.

Remember my post Heart Balm from a few months ago? I mentioned Marcel the Shell and my ridiculous obsession with a cartoon shell that warms my heart over and over. Well, guess what? She is back! Marcel the Shell has her third installment and does not disappoint. Take a moment, get in touch with your inner child, and giggle at this delightful success story of mistake turned wonderful. Thank you Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp for bringing such an enchanting character.

What was enchanting to you this week? What can music do for you?

Heart Balm

Have you read the book “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd? You should. They recently made it into a movie, maybe a few years ago, but as always, the book is better.

The_Secret_Life_of_BeesIn the book there is a character that is so compassionate she is haunted by the suffering of others. Her sisters have found a solution, and built her her own version of the biblical “wailing wall” in which this character writes down things she is distraught over. She spends a large amount of time processing and tucks the slips of papers into the little cracks to give them up to God, to the universe, to release herself from the incomprehensible amounts of pain that are in this world. Read the book to learn more about how her character copes with those questions we all brush over on a daily basis.

Sometimes, I can relate to that character. I’ve always had an emotional heart – a compassionate one that tugs and pulls and is pierced by things that don’t seem to bother others. I get frustrated at inequality, mad at injustice, and throw up huge, fist wailing questions to God and grapple with why such suffering is permissible. This questioning suffering, expansive compassion, and intuitiveness brings me closer to my creator – especially at times that don’t make sense. It’s led me to where I am in work, in relationship, and in life.

My heart, my friends, is an immense blessing, and an at times a curse as well. I am growing to nurture it, this hurting heart, to learn to apply metaphorical healing ointment, and expand my awareness to send light and love to those who are in pain at the moment. But today, I feel just like that character in the book. I found out someone I know – an acquaintance of someone I work with – lost their daughter this weekend, as she took her own life. Too, our neighbor lost his wife in one week, when a returning cervical cancer ravaged her body and took her home to heaven in seven days. It was a sad morning, and my heart hurts, and I don’t even know these people.

We think we are invincible, and at times we may be protected by shells of our own happiness, or carry a shield of “thank goodness that’s not my life.” But what happens when it does become you – when the phone rings, and you are the one scared, and you hurt, a little bit more than you imagine? I hope you turn to God, and start applying that heart salve.

Here are some things that I apply when my heart is hurting. Beauty among the mist, protection and soothing in confusion.

  • Coffee and biscotti – it fixes a lot of things – who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee. This, I think, goes back to my days of living in Tacoma, WA when the rain and the distance from home led me into a bit of a depression. But I lived for Biscotti day at the college cafe. It got me through. photo
  • Laughter – sometimes it feels unimaginable to turn that frown upside down, like it just isn’t possible. But turn on Jimmy Fallon, or watch Marcel the Shell, or find things that tickle your heart into a smile. Marcel always works for me.

  • Baby animals – humans included. The world seems pretty frustrating a lot of times,  but there is something about a fresh start that just is refreshing. All of that unblemished potential. Don’t let pain make you hard, let it soften your heart to the potential in others, the potential in healing. My brother got a puppy this week. Seriously some heart salve in puppies. Just don’t let them bite your fingers.

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They say there are lessons to be taught in suffering, and I believe in that truth. I’m working on releasing others to let them live their journey, live the lessons that God intended for them, and to come to a place that makes sense for them. I don’t like it, and it isn’t fair, and I’m going to spend my life doing what I can to alleviate that pain in tiny ways for my friends, my family, humanity, in itty bitty ways that I can. That’s what today is for me, and heck, that’s what this blog is about.

How do you soothe your heart?