ceitfianna: (Dean time rambles on)
From [personal profile] k_a_webb a meme that gives me an excuse to update. She gave me 27.

If you comment here with the words "I wanna play" I will assign you a number from 15-30 of facts about yourself to post about yourself in your journal.

1-I'm allergic to pretty much the entire bee and wasp family-the vespids.
2-I lived in New Zealand for three years.
3-I speak French and can read and write Latin and Ancient Greek.
4-I always have a book in my purse-current one Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older.
5-Country music is my comfort music.
6-The best way for me to finishing writing a fic is if I'm writing it as a gift for someone or as part of a fic exchange.
7-I didn't get my driver's license until I moved back from New Zealand in 2008.
8-My dream job would be as a youth librarian at a small public library or a middle school librarian.
9-I hate the texture of raw coconut.
10-My two favorite kinds of tea are English Breakfast and Earl Grey.
11-At the moment I live in a seaside town with a lot of retirees.
12-For every new book I'm reading, I'm always rereading an old favorite at the same time.
13-I love working as a fact-checker, its intense and interesting and has helped me feel far more confident in my research abilities.
14-Every day I wear my watch, two bracelets and always put on earrings and a necklace.
15-I discovered my first grey hair was I was in my sophomore year of high school and have a grey/silver streak hidden in my hair.
16-I'm part of a blended family, the youngest and the glue with two older brothers and an older sister.
17-I studied abroad in Athens in 2002 and whenever I read about Greece's troubles, I remember how beautiful the country is and how kind the people were.
18-I've been wearing glasses since fourth grade and contacts since my senior year of college.
19-I miss having a cat.
20-If I won the lottery, I would pay off friends' debts then travel to see everyone especially my new nephew.
21-I was raised as a Quaker and consider myself one.
22-I don't like the taste of coffee.
23-My favorite color is dark blue.
24-I know how to do stage makeup.
25-I get my best ideas when walking or driving.
26-My great-grandfather was a Congressman, a member of the House of Representatives.

Silence

Apr. 15th, 2013 09:43 pm
ceitfianna: (gaze to tomorrow)
I went looking for Quaker poetry and found this, it felt right to share.

SILENCE

Like Russian layered dolls
That many figures store,
but in this doll each layer calls
with a different metaphor.

Can we see all layers together
and read a single light,
like the pinions on a feather
joined in an angel's flight?

Or do the layers mirror
or do they contradict?
Do all colors in white shimmer
or does the complex prism reflect?

The reflection in the light
lights each different person's toy,
seeing with our ears, hearing with our sight
to touch, live in the light, and hear joy.

by Jody Hopkins
ceitfianna: (dream of a fantail)
Tomorrow afternoon, evening and part of Wednesday, I'm going to be spending at [personal profile] dodger_sister's. The plan is watching movies, talking mainly about writing, dinner and taking full advantage of the delicious AC in her place. I was feeling better today but my rather nice dinner ended up not staying where it should, I'm not happy. My sleep schedule's off again, last night I didn't get to sleep until six and the night before my coughing woke me up at six. Tonight I hope for a fairly solid night's sleep, though the fact the weather's gotten hotter again probably will make it trickier.

Good things have been happening, I figured out what I need to do for canceling various services before moving, I had a fantastic conversation with my family. My parents are babysitting my nieces and my sister is down there as well, that meant the phone conversation was full of everything. The nieces talked about Wonderstruck, my sister raved about her Mac, she's finally getting actually digitally connected, books with my father and just general health and planning with both parents. It's weird to think that they'll be here in about a week and by August I'll be out of Michigan. For context, my sister is in her older 40s and she's had email and access to computers but it never really stuck for her. This has worried me and my family as she's wanted to change jobs and it seemed like things were passing her by, but she sounded excited and asked for my help. I look forward to what I can do for her. A lot of things in her life have been moving forward and it makes me so happy to see it. Oh and I've been acquiring some good music of late, a Wallflowers' cd, Tori Amos' To Venus and Back, The Dark Knight soundtrack, that one's fully [personal profile] adiva_calandia and [personal profile] lienne's fault <33s and then one called Songs of the Civil War with a lot of good artists I know. I'm going to be enjoying a few of these on my drive tomorrow and at other points.

This coming week is going to be quite chaotic with Art Fair and many shifts, which is why I'm going for a break. I'll have my laptop and phone, so will definitely be doing some tagging, I just won't be on as much as I normally am.

If you'd like five topics just comment with five or something like that for me.

Now for the last round of five topics, this time from [personal profile] innerbrat:

1. Children's literature.
I love children's literature from picture books to young adult stuff. It's amazing how much the concept of children's literature has changed since I was a girl in the 80s, 90s to now in terms of adding depth and quality. There are fantastic authors who are reaching out to connect with their readers, publishers doing the same and kids going YES back at them. I love seeing how my nieces have reading as a part of their life and I hope in my professional life to become someone kids know they can trust about books they like and want to read. When I was young, I read children's books and grown up books, everything I could find and I had librarians who helped me figure out my way. That's why I want to be a librarian, I also love getting to explore books as part of my life and the constantly growing world of children's literature.

2. Friendship
I consider myself a loyal friend and feel blessed for all my friends from those I've met to those I haven't. To me being a friend means doing what I can to support someone however I can, sometimes that means not doing anything. My oldest friend is someone who our mother's met while pregnant and our birthdays are both in June. Mine at the start, hers at the end and we've been close since elementary school. When we were younger, we always seemed like almost mirror images to me. She was the oldest in her family with two younger brothers and the house full of all the toys, cable and sweet snacks, I was the youngest with two older brothers and an older sister and parents who watched my television watching and had healthy food. Though I did get sneaky with the TV and they finally gave up trying to cut me off after I learned how to plug it in and they realized I read as much as I watched.

Now this friend and I have stayed in touch all over the world, she moved when we were both in high school but we're constantly visiting each other and calling and texting. I know that no matter what she's there. Then there's all the Milliways' friends and friends of friends who form my other network that I love and hope to get to see when I'm back on the East Coast. Life is short and friends make it sweet and rich.

3. Textures
Textures aren't something I'm constantly thinking about, but I'm always aware of. I play with my jewelery, touching my earrings, twisting my ring and bracelets, thinking about what's there. At the moment, I'm wearing a long silk skirt that feels light and cool and sandals that I can feel supporting my tired feet. My lips are cracked as I fiddle with them and my hair is feeling light and not heavy as I washed it yesterday.

4. Changeling
I don't recall which came first reading Charles de Lint or playing Changeling: the Dreaming, but both of them hold my idea of magic in the world. Magic where it's just out of the corner of your eyes, complicated and itself, you will be changed by it and it by you. The roleplaying games I've been proudest of running were Changeling ones. The LARP and tabletop that I ran at college, my players had their dramas but we had some great adventures. That was where I learned the great lesson of don't plan too much and trust the creativity of those around you, it's served me quite well so far.

Tiwa, [personal profile] piwakawaka my glorious fantail pooka is one of my favorite characters to play as she's a part of me. She's my creativity, my love of New Zealand and the teacher part of me all out there in the world and going, I want to know and explore and fly. The kind of stories I want to tell and write are those of magic just at the corner of your eye that gives you wings and shows you your possibility.

5. Faith
My faith is fairly simple. I was raised in the Swarthmore Monthly Meeting, which meets every Sunday in a lovely building with odd green cushions and paint on the edge of the Swarthmore campus. I spent my childhood going to First Day School, Quaker Sunday School, got marigolds on Easter, played in the pageant and after every meeting, spent time with wonderful people. One of the traditions of this meeting is after the Sunday meeting, there's brunch and everyone talks and laughs and you feel the community. That's the root of my faith, the joy of being with people, walking through lilacs and knowing that God is everywhere. I've addressed God with many names in my travels and felt his touch from Pennsylvania to jewel box churches in Greece to by the water in Wellington or with family. Faith to me means that we're all connected and have something rather strange inside us that says, yes, there is more.

I hope these answers make sense, I ended up being rather philosophical.
ceitfianna: (koru)
One thing I always enjoy about Easter is learning about everyone's various traditions and rituals because as a Quaker growing up we didn't have too many. The main Quaker rituals of my childhood for holidays were getting a marigold on Easter and the holiday pageant.

As I'm applying for private school jobs and finding ones connected to Quaker schools, I keep thinking of how even though I'm not currently a member of a meeting, I consider myself a Quaker. Another more formal name that gets used by the larger Quaker organizations is the Society of Friends, but Quaker is the better known one especially the farther you get from Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. I've found it interesting how one reason I define myself as a Quaker is how often I've spoken about it to people who don't know much of Quakerism as in Pennsylvania, it's quite well known and a major part of the state's history. Both my parents converted to Quakerism when they were adults while for me, Quakerism is something that's a part of my identity that I grew up with and I hope to join a meeting when I next move.

Today feels like the right day to try and write about how I see myself as a Quaker and what role it takes in my life. The basic principles of being Quaker and the ones that I hold dear are that there is the light of God in everyone, that there is no need for an intermediary between you and God and that each soul is precious which makes war something that we need to stop doing. There are other ones but these are the ones that I come back to in my daily thoughts as a Quaker.

In terms of practice, what these mean are the Quakers are active in peace making throughout the world and though some Quakers have fought, many of them are pacifists and conscientious objectors. Silent worship, which is what I grew up practicing at the Swarthmore Meeting is fairly simple, a Quaker meeting begins with clerks going through the daily business, sometimes there's a singing and then silence into which people choose to speak. When I was younger, I attended First Day school as opposed to Sunday school, it's the same general idea but the naming comes from something called the plain calendar. This is something I actually just found out the reason for because growing up all I knew was I went to First Day school not Sunday school. Before I was about thirteen which was when I became a full member of the meeting, I would to First Day school for the first half of meeting and then sit with my parents for the last fifteen minutes. Then after meeting, there would be a friendly gathering in another room of the meeting house. These various gatherings and the lack of ritual define my own ideas about my own spirituality, that its about community, I can connect to God anywhere and to the inner light of others.

I hope this all makes sense as I feel that my thoughts are a little scattered. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment and I'll try to answer them. Some good resources for more detailed questions can be found here on the Friends General Council site where they answer some frequently asked questions. To end I'm going to leave you with a beautiful quote I found that captures a lot of what I love about being a Quaker.

It would go a great way to caution and direct people in the use of the world, that they were better studied and known in the Creation of it. For how could Man find the Confidence to abuse it, while they shoud see the Great Creator stare them in the face, in all and every part thereof?

- William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude, 1692
ceitfianna: (koru)
Today I spent two hours in the University of Michigan Museum of Art to help some fellow SI folks with a project but it ended up being just what I needed. Yesterday I sent off another job application and this morning woke to feeling afraid that perhaps I'm setting my goals too high. I decided when I went to the museum that I would keep myself open and hopeful as I've been falling too easily into spirals of doubting myself. I'm so glad I did go, because as with every museum, I found pieces I'd forgotten, saw new ones and remembered the power of beauty.

There's a quote I want to use for this entry from Rosanne Cash's Composed that I recently finished about how we need music and art, but I can't seem to find it. That's how I feel today, I feel like I stepped back to when I sat quietly in meeting and found a measure of peace. Today I walked through a museum and I opened myself to beauty and hope.

One painting that I kept coming back to was of Abraham Lincoln as a young boy reading by a fire, it reminded me of what I wish to do. I want to find those children who aren't sure about reading and get them excited, I want to open doors to other worlds.

Below the cut I'm going to put an image of the painting as it connected with me and I want to share it.

Boyhood of Lincoln by Eastman Johnson )
ceitfianna: (koru)
Easter has always been for me a day about family and plants. When I was younger, I attended a Quaker meeting and that's how I still identify myself. One of my favorite traditions of this meeting was that every Easter, they would give each of us kids a marigold. I did my best to try and keep that plant alive and blooming. So it feels like a wonderful reminder that the walking iris which is grown from a huge plant my parents own keeps on blooming and is blooming today.

I just spoke on the phone to my parents who are visiting my brother in France and it was lovely. Later I might make the scone mix they sent me in a package but probably not just yet.

I was going to head out for a lovely lunch made by someone else as I realized that not a lot of places are actually going to be open today. Instead bacon and egg sandwiches for me and then putting my head down and finishing my paper. At this point what it needs is lots of additions in terms of sources, which can be a little boring but will connect it to larger conversations. My hope is to get it done with time to spare for editing to make it flow nicely and I'm also not fretting about length. At this point I'm pretty sure I'm more than halfway to the length I need and adding context will just help with that.

I hope everyone is enjoying this day and Spring appears.
ceitfianna: (paper butterfly)
This phrase has been going through my head all week, my mother first told me it and its an important Quaker idea. I find it powerful and seems to fit where I am at this moment in time. I've decided that I'm going to take a class during the summer and graduate in August, because my semester is busy already and is just going to get more so.

Since I've made this choice, I keep finding reminders that this will make my life work better. First off, I can look for a job during the summer when I'm only dealing with one class and fewer hours at my jobs, which should make it less stressful.

Then when I told my boss at my second job about this, her answer made me grin as she said, good we can find things for you to do. Its nice to know that I'm making a difference there and that they do want me.

Another nice benefit is that by the time my brother's wedding in Northern California rolls around at the end of August, it can be an extra celebration for my graduating.

I still have a few things to get in order like calling the registrar to let her know I won't be graduating in April. Friday kind of got away from me so I didn't do it then, but I've told my landlord and now just need to let my other boss know.

I can't believe that February's almost over and today is my Milliversary so after this is up, I'm going to put a post in the back room.

Today and yesterday have felt like I've finally made it to break, when I wake up, I'm a little more relaxed and its wonderful.

I have some books to write about and pictures to post but I think those will be in other posts. For now, Spring is in the air and I feel blessed.
ceitfianna: (Wyeth Robin Hood death)
Today Congresswoman Giffords was shot today along with a crowd of others with her. I'm still processing this, which is why I'm writing. Since this news appeared on my Twitter feed when I woke up, I've been numb and angry. How did the US get to this place, where the anger of the edges has moved to the mainstream until people die?

One of the things that keeps going through my mind is the foundation of Quakerism, seeing the light of God in everyone. This is what underlies the main Quaker belief in pacifism, because if there is a light in all of us, how can we take another life? This is something that is precious to me and though I'm not a member of a meeting do consider myself a Quaker.

It scares me how easily anger moves to violence and the horrible things that violence can do. Perhaps this day will make a few people reconsider that step to hurting another person, but I don't know.

Now I think I'm going to drink my tea and watch Slings and Arrows that I just picked up with some holiday money and keep hoping for the world and figure out what I can do to confront some of the violence in the world.
ceitfianna: (beach scene)
I think I have defeated whatever cold was trying to get me. I slept nice and late after waking up at 8 am as my body went, but I thought there was class. Now I feel pretty much healthy and so I'm going to do this meme that's floating around. Last seen over on [livejournal.com profile] mmexlibris.

27 Questions )
ceitfianna: (goddess with bird)
Apparently I'm not working this weekend due to the intersession break. I knew another one was coming up, but it completely caught me off guard. So I'm home and relaxing and thought I'd share some more of my many pictures. The weather is beautiful today, sunny and not too hot, really the only not good thing today is my ankle. Apparently its decided to start hurting again. This is actually a reminder to me that I need to do some doctors' appointments before the semester is too deep; new contacts, ankle checked out, birth control and general health.

In the meantime, I'm going to post more pictures, this is a mixed batch with beautiful things I've spotted and the wonderful Punch Brothers.

When I saw this concert with [livejournal.com profile] sardonicynic and [livejournal.com profile] moofoot, I was for some reason in a photography mood. Later I felt worried that my camera was too bright, but for now, pictures I took. The picture below shows the amazing energy of these guys that I was trying to capture.



The Moments a Camera Catches )
ceitfianna: (map and key)
I love this meme so much, because whenever it goes around, new things come up. Also I'm prompted to think about all sorts of parts of my life.

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

This round of questions comes from [livejournal.com profile] wanderlustlover.

1. Write your memoir in six words.

born, learn, travel, love, learn more

2. What would you change about your undergrad?

I think I would have pursued the theater more. I loved my experience and all the friends I made. Just now that I'm in graduate school, I'm more aware of how lucky I was in finding the people I did in undergrad. The connections and one of them was that, one of my roommates was in the theater program. So I helped out with director's workshops and just loved it. I wish I had that kind of entrance into the theater program here.

3. How do you view your own personal spirituality?

I was raised as a Quaker and even though I haven't been to meeting in far too long that's still how I think about myself. I've always believed that there's something or someone greater that connects us all. I try to always look for the best in people since the Quaker idea of a part of God in everyone really speaks to me. This is still something that I'm figuring out, because I don't feel like I know really who I am.

4. What is your favorite comfort food?

This is a hard one, because I have a lot of things. I think one of the top ones is toast, cinnamon toast and nutella toast in particular.

5. What is one thing that scares you, that you think you should do?

I think I should go on a blind date. There's a part of me that's always been shy and since I've been in Michigan, I've kind of been more. I need to push myself out there and see what happens.
ceitfianna: (lost in a library)
I've spent most of the past two days sitting in cafes and reading a fantastic book. It reminded me of when I was in college and I had to do my English reading, I'd go and find some place near the bustle of traffic and read. This once worked to my disadvantage when I was reading Moby Dick and a group of students from Liberty University tried to convert me. I explained to them quite patiently that actually I was a Quaker and already Christian, they gave me a little mini bible that I held onto for years. The book I've been read lately is White Cat by Holly Black and its wonderful. Its also a story that coincides in a fun way with my current roleplaying since the main character is a conman as is Moist von Lipwig, who is my loudest Milliways' voice.

Holly Black has created a slightly alternate world full of people called curse workers, who are basically mages with very particular affinities such as death, luck, emotions, memory, and physical. In this world, they're outlawed so in the US, the workers are all connected to mobs. The main character is from a worker family but isn't one, Cassel, who is a fantastic character. He's a teenager and he's trying to sort his way through the confusion of his life and Holly Black knows how to write teenagers. I was there with him through the entire journey and I was quite impressed with how she wrote his family and friends. Also she knows how to write the East Coast especially the tri-state of New York, New Jersey and Philly, she even referenced having to change for some Jersey trains in 30th Street. The plot was well paced and I can't wait to read the next one in the series. I think I might also go read some of her older books. Where should I start?

I've also just today started Rick Riordan's new book The Red Pyramid and its good and different from Percy Jackson. [livejournal.com profile] dynastessa, keep me posted on where you are in it so I can squee at you.
ceitfianna: (koru)
Way will open is a Quaker phrase that's connected to how sometimes if you just trust in the world, the right thing will find you. I just had that experience today. I've been looking for something to do for the summer and things keep popping up in my school email, one of them was asking for a volunteer to help with organizing a tutoring collection of books.

I was curious and responded and met with them today along with creating a plan. Basically I would start by doing a needs assessment with interviews, surveys and also researching the best online cataloguing system for them to use and then possibly writing a grant and starting to implement it. This feels so right, its amazing.

Yesterday, I found out about a possible Fall internship helping at a Depression Research Center but this one is so completely right.

Its to do with organizing childrens' books, activities and helping this center have the best access to their materials. I've contacted the SI career lady to see if there's a way to get credit for this and in the meantime I have plans and a connection and a place to go I can walk to. I'd say that life is pretty incredible, I'll do more updates as things happen.

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