Trying to Fly

I asked a bird to teach me to fly,
He chirped and twittered and promised to try,
But when a feat requires wings,
Arms become quite useless things.

I asked a fish how to breathe in the murky blue,
He said that it is just something you do,
But if you have lungs instead of gills,
Breathing underwater usually kills.

I asked a dog to teach me to sniff,
He barked, “Open your nostrils and take a whiff,”
But it seems I lack sense in my olfactory;
I cannot decipher messages on a pole or tree.

There are “impossible” things a person should try,
But we were not made to slither or fly.
And, in trying to be all that we can,
We tend to forget the limits of man.

Advertisements

Freedom and Sausage

Breakfast.jpgMy first taste of freedom came at breakfast.

(Apologies for the pun.)

I have been away from home for several occasions – camp, conferences, sundry trips – but on all of those occasions, I had a rigid schedule with strict set of rules, the most prevalent being, “YOU MUST EAT EVERY MEAL.”

Being the rule-follower that I am, that was my mentality when I left for a college weekend – by myself. It didn’t even occur to me that we were not required to have breakfast until two girls I was rooming with decided to skip. I opened my mouth to warn them that they had to before I realized: we didn’t. There was no counselor or chaperone to “counsel” us to eat breakfast. That simple realization opened a new world.

I hesitate to use the word “freedom” because living off of weekly (okay, daily) petitions to my parents for money is hardly “freedom.” But working hard, planning for my future, and making my own decisions (yes, even dumb things like eating breakfast or not) is a beautiful kind of freedom.

I’m here because I want to be. And I ate breakfast, and still do, because I want to. Even though it seems to be an unwritten rule of college not to.

Every morning, I wake up, throw on some clothes, add a swipe of mascara, and slip off to the cafeteria for breakfast, leaving my roommate, and the rest of campus, slumbering.

Every morning, I eat alone.

The only other people I ever see in the cafeteria are the athletes; some girls wearing colorful Nike shorts, others wearing basketball shorts, and guys in t-shirt and workout shorts.

One dreary, rainy morning, the athletes were allowed to sleep-in and I discovered a chatty chemistry major who was eager to dump her woeful tale of an 8 o’clock Physics II class on a sympathetic ear. So eager, it didn’t matter that that ear was precariously balancing a thick book, colorful array of G-2 pens, open notebook, and plate of breakfast. From my table, holding my honors reading in one hand and a fork in another, I nodded at her miseries. After a slight lull, she interrupted my studying again to ask what class I had.

“Oh, I have Public Communication at 12:15 and Physics lab after that.”

Her eyes bulged. Her jaw dropped.

“What are you doing up?” she asked in an incredulous tone that implied that I suffer from a mental disorder of the highest degree: early bird syndrome.

I gave the poor girl a small smile and shrugged.

Just enjoying my freedom. And sausage.

Want something to make your mornings better? Put your email in the box in the right sidebar, or, if you’re a WordPress user, click “Follow”!

People Jam

There’s a traffic jam of people,
Filling up the street.
No car can detour past,
That sea of rushing feet.

The traffic light told them to stop,
The red hand tried to hold them back,
But the people kept pushing past,
In stampeding, unstoppable pack.

The police came out,
Sirens wail, whistles scream,
Irate drivers are honking horns,
But the people rush on full steam.

Finally, the cars were crowded out,
The police grew tired of being mocked,
The traffic lights fell asleep,
And still – the people walked.

Inspired by my trip to New York City.

Bad Manors

I am the Lord of Bad Manors,
Beside the Immaturi Sea,
A splendid place without silly rules,
Where everyone is free,
To do whatever they want,
And never give an apology.

We never cover our mouths when we sneeze,
Say “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” or “please”.
We lick our fingers and have a food fight,
At precisely 6 o’clock every weekday night,
We burp and brag and hit and holler,
Never wash our shirts or tuck our collar,
We scratch and sniff and slap and scream,
And get away with anything.

There are no rules at Bad Manors,
Everyone is as rude as they want to be,
Without being bossed by a parent or teacher.
It’s wonderful! But strangely,
Everyone who is here lives here;
No one ever visits me.

Driving Me Crazy

sis

Siblings are the personification of every exasperating paradox. Best friends, bitter foes. As children, we played make-believe, creating genuine bonds that connect us for the rest of our lives. As the older sibling, I didn’t want my little sister tagging along after me all the time. Now, I wish that we could spend more time together. When my sister was a little diva, whose head reached my shoulder, she used to boss me around. Now, she’s three inches taller than me and…well, not everything changes.

About two weeks ago, she took her driver’s test. She failed. To be fair, her proctor was unusually bad-tempered and harsh, faulting her for waiting too long at a four-way stop.

Heart-wrenching, blah, blah, blah.

I originally wrote that last sentence to mark where I was going to build an exaggerated story of our house being covered by dark rain clouds and such, but I think I’ll just keep it as it is. Mackenzie was devastated. Life went on. Heart-wrenching, blah, blah, blah.

A couple weeks later, she took it again. It was also my first day of college classes. As I was getting ready, Mom sent me second-to-second play-by-plays via agonized text messages.

Her ominous opening: “We r at the DMV now.”

Call me Ishmael. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. We r at the DMV now.

Building up the suspense: “Since I won’t remember to tell u later, Miss Bonnie said Phillip had the same proctor as Mackenzie. He failed too! He said the same thing she did. Very mean and rude!”

The challenges that plague any hero of noble heart: “This is the longest we’ve ever had to sit.”

The moment when all of our hopes and dreams of the past 16 years seemed to speed away faster than my sister in a 40-zone: “Oh no! The mean lady is here now and Kenzie is next!!!!!!”

Five suspense-filled minutes later: “Oh no! She got another mean one!”

(Are you feeling the desperation? My first day of college certainly paled in comparison.)

And, finally, the moment of glory. Jubilant with the victory over all of the mean, clipboard-wielding ladies that the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles could find to challenge my stalwart sister, Mom proclaimed (surprisingly, with only one exclamation mark): “SHE PASSED!”

When someone gets their license, people usually joke about staying clear of the roads. But I won’t do that. Because I trust my little sister.

And I don’t have a car.

And I live about 15 hours away.

So, really, I’m not joking.

I love you, Little Sister!