Tuesday, November 30

Undulate --- a couple more things from last week: Brent, Orion and I joined Peter at his father's house for a delicious pre-thanksgiving dinner. Farmville was dark, so we didn't really get a sense for it, but we were definitely there! On Thanksgiving, my parents and I joined my grandma at my uncle Mark's family home. What a fine, splendid time we had! I was immediately called upon to play something of an uncle's part to my cousins (they're between about 4 and 10!). We ran around the yard for quite a while, and I heard them talk about all kinds of things! Plus they did a puppet show for us! Then they asked me to do a puppet show - an invitation I gladly accepted! We also had desert at the Falconer home - though I didn't have much room for it. We played a large-group game of Tabou, plus socializing, and I also danced for my friends (this may become a more common practice, considering the success that ensued!)

Sunday, November 28

Eleventy --- I just got back from a 3-day Baha'i Youth Congress in Wachington DC, the 21st of its kind, and vastly improved over the already vitalizing gatherings of the past. I am full of ideas, energy (though exhausted nonetheless), goals, inspiration, new understanding, new rhythms (the musical performances were utterly hip, delectable, and memorable) and social & spiritual satisfaction. It will serve me very much in making progress in my service to this Cause and the world of humanity. I am already suffering from a little conference-withdrawal, but my life in Richmond is busy enough that I won't be allowed the time to dwell on that morose feeling. Tomorrow night I perform a poem and I have auditions! wish me luck!

Sunday, November 21

Me and a Gun --- there's a haunting Tori Amos song by this title, which is a song about rape. It's soft and heart-wrentching, and it says how funny some of the things you think about are in these situations, like "I haven't seen Barbados, so I must get out of here."

I usually do pretty well with being fine when I can't get something from someone else (like attention, etc.) but when I'm told by this party to expect something (like an e-mail, call, etc.) - that's a bit harder to let go when it doesn't happen... Oh well.

Brent's been here for several days, and I've gotten to spend lots of time with him and "the guys." Freestyling, discussing, video games, gettin' out, etc. I have a great group of friends here in town. Oh! and Taboo - it's such a terrific game. The perfect game for our group, really (I hope they have expansions, with more words!)

I outlined my new paper. It's looking pretty good! Tomorrow we have a meeting with a whole bunch (as in 2-5) VCU students to talk about possibly starting a Baha'i Association on campus!

DC Baha'i Congress this coming weekend!!! I'm so very very excited! It'll be great spiritual food, and amazing social opportunities - I'll be seeing a bunch of friends from different areas all at the same time! Plus rooming with a bunch of guys in a hotel! I'll even get to see my "brother" Marten again. He spent a day here, and played some music at a devotional gathering we had. He's a terrific musician and a splendid volcalist, with lots of energy and remarkable charisma, that will grab a whole crowd's attention! He's also great at Taboo.

I called the University of Sydney, Australia, and it was SO EXCITING! I really want to go there. If I get accepted to even just two of the three programs I'm applying to, it will be a very difficult decision...

Sometimes, I tie my shoelaces, sometimes I put on my socks, sometimes I eat sushi... Just now I had a glass of apple juice. It used to be my favorite juice. Still one of them. I like the juice more than the apple, but I prefer the idea of eating the apple - I guess 'cause it's closer to "the real thing." I sometimes miss the cold of Alaska. It's just so very exhilirating. I think it actually boosts my energy level. So many things... so very many things in this world... I can't begin to imagine the afterlife. With so many things here, I still manage to feel like it's just a palm-full of sand, when I get spiritually in tune with the "Universe." So in the next life, it probably seems even smaller. Actually, it's not that everything is small. It's that what I'm _able_ to see in things is small, so when I close my eyes and look out to spiritual truths (I might even call them philosophical) - then I can somehow see more. Anyway, I figure that all of this that I'm saying and that I've ever said will bear on everything, but will appear infinitessimal, and there will be worlds of existence that will baffle and exhilirate me - maybe a little like the cold of beautiful Alaska...

Sunday, November 14

Sifting --- Highlights this last week: lots of progress on my research paper, provisionally named:

What Truth?

Diagnosing the Need for Performance in Diverse Societies

-Choir sang a couple of songs at a beautiful celebration of the Birth of Baha'u'llah.

-We had a great meeting with Baha'i artists around the idea of creating Baha'i-inspired enterprises - a meeting I had planned on having exactly the way this one went a whole year ago.

-Had a very very long conversation with the beautiful, always-inspiring Joleen! I love her and miss her dearly.

-Worked with Shawn and Helen on a new short film project - called:

The Mysterious Life of Ordinary People.

Went out for icecream with Tanya!

We got a whole new workplan at work, presented by a new supervisor. It's overly ambitious and rather unrealistic, but it's a welcome new energy to our efforts!

I subsitute-taught the youth class at Baha'i School - a bit of a challenge.

Met a new Baha'i youth in the area, and re-met another! More energy for our Richmond spiritual endeavors!

Sunday, November 7

Albeit --- I've had it easy. It's quite clear to me now. I've had it easy this year. I've had a great job, straighforward community opportunities, and too much to do to have to think too much about much else. Well, that last clause is definitely not true in most ways. I've thought about almost everything, it feels like. The process of relating most things back to the Seven Valleys that the spiritual traveler traverses has almost become second nature. There are a number of such good habits that are becoming more natural. Anyway, the reason I feel like I've had it easy is that, dedicating all day yesterday to Performance Studies research, and half of today to college applications, I feel like this is where the hard work begins. Maybe it's just that everything else that I'm involved in now was just as challenging in the beginning, but it flows of its own now.

Anyway, I've got four schools to which I'm applying, and I'm considering various travel possibilities as alternative routes to grad school. Once I receive results from my applications, I'll consider what will best serve my goals and vision.

I did perform that poem mentioned in my previous post. It was an immense hit - very welcomed by both the audience and the poets who were putting on the show. It was so perfect that I got to practice the piece with my acting class, and right after I was given the opportunity to present. Orion and I will be working on a joint piece to perform at the next slam - plus I should be performing at every slam at the Firehouse theatre on the last Monday of the month.

Robbie and I had another opportunity to eat out with our new best friends Christian and Mishkin. We ate at the news Cheesecake factory. Great times.

Volleyball team one another game! Had a blast today at open gym. I got a call back from Joshua, the guy who's part of a Capoeira group. I got the call the next day after I decided to give up on it. I'll check on them again in Jan, after all this grad school madness.

Got me some nice Outkast playing on my earphones.

Have I mentioned these are probably the best days of my life? I am so fortunate. Had an AWESOME chat with Eric (in Chicago area) yesterday - very deep conversation. He's off to do some really good stuff for our little Earth.

Robbie and I (re)started our Ruhi Book 4 study circle. We have an amazing group! Plus we've scheduled our next several meetings almost through January! A rare thing among nearly a dozen busy Baha'is! Plus, Robbie and I have been exploring the amazing worlds of joined prayer. We spend long long moments reciting, singing, chanting, supplicating our Magnanimous Lord, searching to liberate ourselves from the fetters of this lowly world! He's a most precious blessing in my life.