Archive for the ‘people’ Category

this week has been a week. 

lots of things going on, most to the backdrop of rain. spitting, drizzling, torrential, misty, gushes… all kinds of rain. 

which, i think is appropriate. 

in three years of being here, today was the first time i was ever on a military base. today was the first time i saw one of my kids come close to really giving up on himself and believing the shit that this city tries to tell him. 

i have a kid that i’ve been working with for most of the three years i’ve been here. i spent a year picking him up (along with my director) and taking him to school.mornings would be the worst, some days i’d literally drag him out of bed, fighting every step of the way to get him to go to school. eventually he gave up completely, couldn’t get himself motivated. he was recommended to a program run by the national guard, which would help him get his high school diploma, and teach him as many life skills as they could, teach him some discipline, teach him to value what he has. 

yesterday, he stole a bike and went AWOL. he got 4 1/2 hours away from base before they picked him back up. today we got a call that he was going to be discharged. so i drove an hour up and back to get him. 

on the way home, after i asked him what he wanted, and he told me that he wanted to get his GED, get a job and go to the art school in philadelphia to learn to be a musician, and after i told him that he needs to learn not to quit everything as it gets hard, he asked if i was happy. 

there’s no way i was happy today. he knows how much i care, and that i give him a hard time because i care, but there is no way in hell that that makes me happy- having another chance to upbraid him about something? no. i would have been overjoyed, come july 4th leave, to bring him home for a visit, to drive up and down again. i would have been delighted. but this- no. please, give me anything but this. 

i dream, and i pray, for a time when the school system in camden doesn’t let its students fail. 

i dream of a day when i see this kid graduate from high school. when i see him begin to run his own life. 

i’m scared of what comes next. of where he might end up. i want so much good for him. 


the rain was a good backdrop to all of that. plus the fact that a dear friend didn’t get the job he was hoping for (and i was hoping for him). 

the mountain goats were a perfect  band for all of this. Autoclave is my current go to song. 



this will get better. 


i will begin again

Posted: January 14, 2012 in life, people
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…and it’s 2012.

i’m not sure how that crept up on me so fast, yet it did, and if it continues as it began, i’m going to be very busy.

i started out this year with a bus driving test, which i passed, and so i’m now, officially, a bus driver. whaaat?!

i’ve already worked a couple late nights, and the year has barely begun. what does that say about how this job is going to go this year? no less busy.

i did get a new office, and the chance to actually sit with whats going on at my program and make it good. i got the chance to start he year with a clean building, with the remnants of the past few years cleared out. which is so lovely. and means i can really kick butt with my interns. haha.

but the thing that i love most about the way this new year started? that i could be surrounded by friends and family. that even though many of my favouritest people are so far away, i can still be thinking of them, looking at pictures of their faces on my office walls, reading words that they’ve written, listening to music that reminds me of them, and even talking to them on the phone. (resolutions for this year? rest with people more often. take time to call or write or sit quietly with people more often. worry less about things not getting done. take more pictures. love myself well. love others well. be well.)

i’m looking forward to this year. i think it will all be spent in the US of A. i’m excited to see where i’ll go, who i’ll go with this year.

i think you’ll see more of me here.

i hope so, anyway.


Posted: June 4, 2011 in life, love, people

so my friends asked me to take some pictures of them for their wedding stationary.. eeeehk. here are a few of the results…


so, after all the adventures of being on the road for a week, i got back to camden, met all the new interns, had a week to get settled back into life, get some more training, and then, i left again. this time, for 8 days to Scotland…

i was home so that i could be at the wedding of two of my friends from university. Debbie was one of my flatmates the four years i lived in Glasgow, and Paul became a friend in the last year of uni.

when Debbie told me the date of the wedding, way back in february or march, i knew that whatever else was going on in my life, i wold be in Linlithgow on the 24th of September to see my friends celebrate their love for each other. and so, they were the only focused point in my life, the only definite, in a world full of uncertainties… would i get a visa? would i be in the states come september, or would i be back in scotland? whatever else my life looked like, i was coming home for them.

and here we are. i’m still living in New Jersey, trying to make some kind of life, whether for the short or longer term, and so i had to make the transatlantic trip to see this pair tie the knot.

the week before i left, i was content, happy to consider making new jersey my home for the forseeable future, maybe not forever, but for a little while… and then i set foot in scottish soil, and now… well, now i want live in two places at once. you see, i have ties in the Uk, and those ties are longer and deeper and stronger than the ties i currently have in NJ. not to say that either lace is particularly better, or that i love one more than the other, nor am i saying that i am unhappy here, on the contrary, i love my life in NJ, but just that this is hard. that being in one place, but being in love with two, and watching my friends go on without me is tough. all this to say that i’m in a little bit of a muddle, but it’s a good thing. i get to be intentional with who and how i maintain relationships (letter writing will definitely be a BIG part of my life from now on, more so than before, i hope. i love letter writing.) and i get to mourn those that will, inevitably not get quite so much love or attention and suffer a little. but i am hopeful that this will only be an enriching experience and that my relationships on both sides of the pond will continue to shape, mould and grow me into the best version of me.

anyway, this is already the most wordy post i’ve written in a while, which, i have to say, feels good. but i do love pictures and i do have a few good ones from my trip. (thanks dad for letting me borrow your camera… and megs for taking some of these!)

(debbie and paul, if James hasn’t passed on your wedding gift from me yet, then consider this your sneak peek… i love you both and hope you enjoy this… )

there are better picures,but i liked this one.

and, i think, that concludes the pictures i took whilst home.

it’s been good. so good.

please, if you’d like to be one of the people that i write to on a semi-regular basis…. send me your address! (there’s a few of you that can’t escape that… ha.)


Posted: August 28, 2010 in people
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so, my hair is slowly but surely growing out… right now, this very second, even as i type this (one handed! 37 words per minute! 100% accuracy! i took an online test the other day…. sad or what?!) i am siiting in the starbucks that my dear friend Charlotte works at in Horseshoe Bay…

i arrived late last night, after a day of tidying up and packing and flights across the country and i will be here til thursday, when i fly down to LA to meet up with Heather who i am then driving all the way across the US with… good times, right?

today, after a lesiurely start (well, i woke at 7am- 10am east coast time, and then forced myself to sleep again for another two hours) char had to go to work and i got the chance to hang out with her family- we took a tour up Cypress, (a mountain) and then around the market-y area (i don’t remember what it was called), back for lunch and then over to Horseshoe Bay to see Char… :)

gonna hopefully have some good adventures while i’m out, and i’m sure i’ll update fairly regularly…

…i’ll come back…

Posted: December 1, 2009 in life, people
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i’ve realised, this is a promise i’ve made to people in two different countries at the moment.

right now, i’m fulfilling that promise to the Scottish side, in that i leave Camden tomorrow night, which is where the second promise comes in- to my kids and the other interns… i keep promising that i will be back.

i will, i will, i will!

it feels like, if only i could will it hard enough, there’ll be no problems… i’m not sure it works quite like that, but maybe, i pray, i pray, i pray i’ll be back.

for myself, for my new friendships, and mostly, for my kids…

road trip!!!

Posted: November 20, 2009 in life, people
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so, that’s where i’m going tomorrow night/sunday morning… we’re planning to leave around midnight, hopefully swing by through ohio (Cincinnati, though i didn’t add that in) to see an old friend of Jordans, before heading on through to the St Louis area… i’m really excited for the trip, for time to talk and see more of America, listen to some good music, see some of St Louis… all those good things… and we’ll be back in time for Thanksgiving….

a picture is worth a 1000 words…

Posted: November 4, 2009 in people
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so much to say

Posted: October 26, 2009 in life, people
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and yet i still haven’t charged my camera batteries.


wednesday and thursday we had the banquet days, we were rehearsing and setting up and doing an evening for the parents wednesday, which was AMAZING! and then on thursday there was the actual banquet…

so my week was pretty packed, between rehearsing kids for their speaking parts, dressing the set, running around trying to remember how to ‘stage manage’, just generally enjoying being back in the theatre again…

the show they created was full of songs and stories from the kids about what all they had learnt and how they’d grown through being part of urban.. they sang songs of God, of love, of strength and of their freedom… they spoke about their hopes and dreams… it was brilliant.

some of my favourite bits were seeing the kis who just weren’t sure at all during rehearsals really come into their own… it was awesome! this one kid, and his Mum, were up on stage talking about how he’d built a boat with urban, and they’d both been on it. They killed out there- the audience loved it- especially the first night when he forgot his line and his mum prompted him… just a really true evening. (most of the photos on the front page, here, are banquet photos)

so there was that, and now, i gotta go to camp… i will finish the rest of the fun of camden later… :)


Posted: September 25, 2009 in life, people
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my new friend/housemate Jordan has this thing for wonder.

he just marvels at the world, like a typical conversation will go

‘dude, like, think about the trees.’

‘uh huh’

‘i mean, like, it just so happens that we are these creaturesthat need oxygen to survive, and we breathe out this poisionous carbon monoxide stuff, and then it just so happens that there are these crazy things called trees that suck in carbon monoxide. and then freakin give out oxygen. huh. must be random chance. there’s no way that’s design. ha. man, i freakin’ LOVE trees….

and water!….’

and so the conversations continue… (you have to imagine a saint louis/missouri accent to get the full benefit… )

i love it, he just inspires me to think about the world in this new way.. i’m getting a new appreciation for Gods creation…

and so, week one of camp is over… :)