its a beautiful day out

my apartment is too quiet

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i think

I think laughter is one of the most honest emotions you can share.  Real laughter.  Not that awkward, fill the silence type of laughter.  Not that overdone, laugh so loud the rest of the world wonders what the joke is laughter, but that honest, surprise laugh.  That moment when something happens, or someone says something, or maybe nothing happens at all, but you look at that person you’re with, your eyes meet, and you laugh.  It can’t be forced and it can’t be faked.  There are lots of good laughs, of course.  There’s laughing so hard your stomach hurts.  Laughing out loud at inappropriate times (I categorize this as good.  Use your own judgment).  Laughter that comes when you’re on the edge of tears.  Laughter that goes on for hours and laughter that only lasts a moment.  But its always shared with people.  At least for me, I rarely actually laugh out loud when I am by myself.  Occasionally I will, but it always feels out of place, like my laugh is left hanging in the air just waiting for someone else.  Laughter is meant to be shared.

Its meant to be that sunny day in July type laugh with the green grass and still, hot air while you practice throwing a baseball again after years.  Its meant for those times you’re sitting together and hear something so unexpected and surprising and its meant for the times when you hear something so familiar. Its meant for the moments when you’re cuddling under the blankets to escape the cold rain outside and you have to turn around to look in his eyes as you start to laugh.

Laughter.   Honesty.  Reality.

the lou

i visited st. louis this week.  MJ is getting so big.  After seeing Nathan’s nephew, i remembered that she wasn’t always this size (lucky for kelsey) and realized how much she’s grown.  she’ll be a year old on Friday.  i can’t believe it.  she’s walking now (though she still prefers all four limbs touching something.  arms free is pretty scary).  she’s talking (whats that?  who’s that?  da da da da da da da da. and ooh ooh ooh make up her vocabulary). and she’s well aware that everyone thinks she’s adorable and probably the greatest thing ever.  and she is.

i realized as i was driving home yesterday how much i hate not being able to see what way the road is going.  in the dark when i could only see as far as my headlights illuminated, i was always worried the road was going to turn  and i wouldn’t be ready for it.  even though i knew my headlights would show the course of the road in plenty of time for me to safely drive it.  bends in the road, exits to new roads, and stops along the way would show up in  plenty of time for me to turn, adjust, speed up, slow down, or stop altogether.  but i still always worried.  especially when in the midst of the curves in the road.  my impulse is always to hit my brakes.  life lesson as i’m looking at a pretty open future.  i still don’t know what i’ll do after graduation, where i’ll go, who’ll be there.  i can see where i am right now, maybe a few feet down the road, but thats about it.  but from where i am, its still lookin pretty good. no need to brake.

Bo Town

I am missing Sierra Leone.  I just looked through some pictures from JCC.  I miss Sallay.  I miss her so much.  I miss the smell of Africa.  Even stupid things like Tigo and weaves.  I miss a cool Honda ride during the heat of the day.  I miss the way Pastor Ibrahim laughed when talking to Elle and I.  I miss Satu’s crazy laugh anytime someone looked at her. I miss clapping games (My My My Grandmother has a short skirt.  She don’t know what she can do.)

There are lots of things I don’t miss.  I don’t miss the frustration of life at JCC.  I don’t miss Freetown traffic. I don’t miss constantly struggling with the staff, with bedtimes, with trying to understand Rugi’s Krio.  I don’t miss being slapped in the face daily with thousands helpless situations I can’t fix.  But just because I’m not seeing them, doesn’t mean they don’t still exist.

It was harder than hell to be over there.  But I’d give anything to be back.  Life contains beauty wherever you are.  We live in one world.  Its not “here” and “there”.   I know I’m here and there is so much joy and purpose in my life right now, but I’m missing African beauty.