Monday, October 20, 2003


congratulations to helen and tobias!! (they got married this weekend in memphis). it was the first wedding i've been to that wasn't bohra, and it was a really fun experience. it helped that i met some of the nicest people ever- everyone was ultra-hospitable and i felt really comfortable the entire time, even though the only person i went in there knowing was helen...

so thanks, everyone...

i hadn't met tobias before this weekend, but he is the kind of warm, engaging person who you can't help but adore on first meeting. stress levels were a bit high the day before the wedding, but i've never seen anyone handle it the way he did- his reaction to being snapped at was no different than his reaction to a smile; he always smiles back. he seems to have an endless store of patience. how is he able to grin in any situation? it amazes me. i watched him this weekend, trying to learn the secret, trying to memorize something of his attitude- next time i find myself complicating a simple situation, perhaps i can call upon that.

i know it's obvious that we learn something from everyone we meet, but rarely is it such a fundamental lesson. it was nice to be reminded in such an agreeable way that i have a lot to learn.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

plane read

just finished 'life of pi' on the plane- funny, i was flipping through the chicago humanities festival catalogue, and there is a lecture on it! i might go.

anyway, a couple of quotes i liked:

"words of divine consciousness: moral exultation, lasting feelings of elevation, elation, joy; a quickening of the moral sense, which strikes one as more important than an intellectual understanding of things; an alignment of the universe along moral lines, not intellectual ones; a realization that the founding principle of existence is what we call love, which works itself out sometimes not clearly, not cleanly, not immediately, nonetheless ineluctably... An intellect confounded yet a trusting sense of presence and of ultimate purpose."

and my favorite:

"at moments of wonder, it is easy to avoid small thinking, to entertain thoughts that span the universe."

yes! i love that. i can totally identify with that- when i'm inspired, i feel this overwhelming sense of the bigger picture....

mpc just called me to ask me if i'd be interested in doing a marathon with her and a couple of the girls- the proceeds go to cancer research. it makes all of us feel less helpless in the face of losing someone to cancer, but on a grander scale, i can only imagine what good it is doing. something touches one person, who forever after is more conscious- that kind of thing can change the world. more than 1,500 people die every day from cancer- it's something i can't accept- i can't grasp. that every day, friends and family of 1,500 people are made to feel the way i feel about losing my cousin. that's a hell of a lot of people. can i do something? i know i'm not a runner- 2 miles on the treadmill kills me- but even if i don't rock out this marathon, i'm always going to be more conscious about this disease. more compassionate.

that is what i mean when i feel inspired. i think of all of us working really hard to train for a marathon- a half marathon- none of us being runners in the least- and suddenly i feel like i have some sense of a bigger picture...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

we can go somewhere new. we can even go back.

"a hundred years ago, the main reason bridges collapsed was because armies marched over them. you can't march over a bridge. you can't go to war on a bridge...."

i'm in. let's collect them.

Monday, October 13, 2003

it's not summer anymore

back from pakistan! oh my goodness, i've only been gone two and a half weeks and yet it feels like months. usually i go away, do different things, get used to foreign-ness, and upon coming back, snap right back into chicago-mode. it takes no time at all. this time, however, everything seems familiar, but oddly new. i've lived in my house all my life and yet i'm walking around thinking how nice this is or how interesting that is. brushing my teeth yesterday morning, i spent the longest time marveling at how nice my bathroom is. i feel like i've been gone for ages!

the strangest thing is this- for the past two weeks, i've known that fall would be here when i got back to chicago, and i've been looking forward to a long respite from the disabling heat. yet when i woke up yesterday morning in my own bed, and it was chilly outside, i was shocked. i felt COLD. and all of these orange leaves and red leaves and yellow leaves... woah! what's going on! it's maybe 70 degrees out today and i'm wearing three layers.

it's good to be back, even if i do need gloves.