Community and Belonging: My Antigüeños

I Belong. That’s something people strive for anywhere they go: Community, Acceptance, a sense of belonging.

I consider myself to be one of the most fortunate people, since I have that sense and that community here in Antigua, Guatemala. Let’s see, I’ve been here a little over a week, and already have had requests to play my ukulele at the cafe and the bar, been to a housewarming party of a couple I had known for two minutes before they invited me, and feel completely adopted into this family of amazing friends: my Antigüeños. It really does feel like a homecoming.

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The fact that I get to do this for my JOB is still incredible to me — I have the most amazing group of students, and I am so glad that I get to be a resource. Suddenly my limited knowledge about Guatemala and Antigua is valuable and coming in useful!

I am playing a set tonight at Café No Sé, despite my sore throat, because I just don’t want to say no to these people. I know already that so many people will come out to see me play, request songs, and just support me in everything. What more could I ask for from a group of friends? And especially one that I haven’t seen in about a year, and half of them I am just meeting this week. I am awe struck. And so very grateful.

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Can’t wait for the adventures, fun times, bonding, and craziness to come in the next few months with this amazing conglomerate of people.

How bitter sweet, this, would, taste

I want this to be a closing of a chapter. Please, please let me move to the other side of this. It sure feels like it. Bittersweet, tears and hope.

I wrote a letter. I needed to be honest with myself; not trying to justify my feelings to others to mold them to how they “should” be. So I wrote out that ball of hurt anxiety in me and it felt good to pour it out through a pen and stain my fingers with it.

I came home from work and felt like it had to be now or never. There is such a finality about marriage that conjured up this anxious feeling in me. So I called. It rang. I finally spoke to him. And after all these months it was ok. I said my piece and even wished him the best. There was no anger in our conversation. There was feeling.

So now I let him go. I have been trying so hard to, for so long. Now that this chapter is closed, he is getting married and I was able to hear closure, I can really heal for good. I know I will find who I am supposed to find, and they will be perfect for me. And so stems hope from this too. Bittersweet.

Adele will tell you the rest–

Peace and Blessings on you all,

Namaste — Kira

Feel Good Tunes

“Usually, we listen to music to validate how we feel. That’s why we play sad songs after a break-up. But to use music therapeutically, you need to listen to songs that make you feel the way you want to feel.”

I can’t not bop my head to: ___”Shut Up and Let Me Go!” by the Ting Tings___

I dance naked in my bedroom to: “Electric Feel” by MGMT

The tune I belt out at the top of my lungs on a road trip: “Uncharted” by Sara Bareilles

My no-fail seduction song: “Strip Tease” by Hawksly Workman

I’m not at all embarrassed to tell you I know every word to: “Tic Tok” By Ke$ha

Favorite morning shower song: “All the Trees in the Field Will Clap Their Hands” by Sufjan Stevens

Best girly, sunny day song: “Perfect Day” by Hoku

Awesome rockin’ movin’ tune: “Hayloft” by Mother Mother

Song that puts me to sleep (in a good way): “Comtine D’un Autre Ete: L’apres midi” by Yann Tiersen

 

So that’s my music therapy! I encourage everyone reading this to make a list like this for yourself and listen to these songs that make you feel awesome, when you are feeling far from it. It’s amazing what a little bit of endorphines can do to your attitude! Sure, there are times to wallow and cry along to the songs that are apparently made just to match what your heart feels, but you can’t be stuck in that rut forever. Make the sun shine for you!

Here are a few other tunes I’ve been grooving a long to that I found on the ever-impressive Hype Machine (http://hypem.com):

“Alice” by Pogo (music made from the sounds and words from the Disney cartoon of Alice in Wonderland)

“Let It Go” by Ok Go as remixed by Passion Pit (to get life into the right mindset)

and finally, “Sweet Disposition” cover as done by Ellie Goulding (really gorgeous vocals)

Have yourselves a beautifully musical day, enjoy the sunshine, and come through winter just fine, fine, fine.

Namaste–

Kira

Autumn in the Rainy City

Seattle is doing what it does best right now, and the feeling of Fall is seeping deeper into my skin. I love this season for so many reasons, and as I look out the window at the rain while I drink my hot cocoa and try to focus on homework, I am reminded of newness in this season of fading.

The newness of having my own home, starting another year of studying what I love, and even feeling out new mindsets for myself. One of the classes I am enrolled in is making me probe my beliefs about faith as I would a loose tooth with my tongue; gently, a bit scared, but knowing the outcome will be better in the end.

I love this city and I am so happy it feels like home. Making my house feel like a home was hard work too, but I think I am there along with my girls.

I am hoping I motivate myself to write more songs, since I have gained from their therapeutic creation now twice before. I want to explore with lyrics, to put voice to the uneasiness of my mind. I also hope to continue down the path of ridding myself from a poison that has been slowly leaving for too long. It’s source is gone, but the pain that lingers comes up every once in a while. I am just thankful for the Love I have in my life now…for the people who hold me, walk with me, sing with me, smile with me.

And just for the fact of love alone, I know that God will always be faithful to me. Here is to the decaying newness that Autumn is so fond of, and in turn, so am I.

The Summer Season

Summer is in full force now, as I feel the sun hot on my back. This morning I woke up in a tent, drank hot cocoa, and finished a good book by a sparkling river. I’d say that is a pretty good picture of this sunny season.

I spent the first part of this summer in India, where in fact I was fast forwarded into their monsoon season: wet and very autumn-like. But still the heat was my constant companion as I worked in the Dalit Education Centers, teaching English, playing with the outcasts, and seeing so much beauty and joy amongst so much hardship. I was the one being blessed by the kids I met there and the ministry being done. I drank chai, got mehindi, learned some Telugu, wore a sari, and saw a culture from the inside. It is said that India changes you, and I believe that is a true statement while I still hope to see more of that change seep into my life in America.

My life back in America so far has been such a contrast, even within itself. I was tumbled back into a hectic pace, a nomadic life, a confused heart, and noisy brain, unable to process. But after heartache, my best friend’s wedding, living out of suitcases in my car with the lingering scent of incense, I was ready for peace. For home. For family. For a connection with the change I had tasted. So I headed to my current location: Dayton, WA, tucked in the wheat-covered Palouse hills, and far away from the battering confusion my heart was losing against. And this is where I find solace in my best friend (my mother) and the peace of nature.

I have focused my attention to my inner musings and have watched them come out in songs I write. With my tenor ukulele in hand, I sat on the kitchen floor and wrote my first song in attempt to move in the direction  of healing. I smile now, when I catch myself humming the tune that’s in head and realize it’s my own. So I hope to write more, think more, pray more, and just be me for a while, as I soak in this season of my life: Summer.

Away We Go

I don’t think any movie has made me cry like this ever…

Away We Go is SO GOOD! I know, that is bad review language…But I don’t feel like this is a review so much as it is my soul responding to seeing such beauty and longing.

I have always had such an admiration for pregnancy. I think pregnant ladies are the most beautiful people on earth, and the miracle of birth brings me to tears and fills me with such hope. I long to be pregnant and cannot wait to be a mother and bring a new life into this world. Because of these deep set hopes and longings in me, watching a movie about a pregnant woman and her man who loves her so well, stirs a deep well in me. Yes, at parts it is a sad movie, but mostly it is funny and searching. It asks big questions of how to love someone selflessly, what raising a child looks like, and where home is truly is. All of this has been weighing on my recently and it broke over me in waves when I watched this movie.

As I type, I am also buying the soundtrack for Away We Go, cause the music is fantastic. It is soothing and acoustic and touches the places in your heart you reserve for the type of love that will last through all of life’s journeys.

Here is one of the hopeful songs that paints the movie: All of my days by Alexi Murdoch

I can just pray that God will bring a love into my life that will take care of me through all of our decisions, that will want to be a father as much as I want to be a mother, who will adore every quirk about me, and maybe will cry at beautiful movies with me…

Here is to trusting the most trustworthy being. I will wait upon the Lord my God.