Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A digging up of old treasures.

Too much information?

Because it is spring time again, and to be honest, I am looking to apply to things, and I forgot or I never learned how to sell myself, I went looking for my old applications. The rusty old things that reveal what we find most important about ourselves. It is a bit interesting. I think I have written things in my applications I would never write to a professor or a friend or a family member. Its anyonmous, for gosh sake, and even if I wanted to know what people thought about it I sure as hell will never find out.

I was listending to NPR morning edition yesterday and there was a blip on what happens in college acceptance debates, what people are looking for when they read that icky 2d repersentation of your heart and soul, or at least what you'd think they'd want to see as your heart soul. Can't I just say, listen, people count on me. I follow through. I think, for the most part, I am fun and easy to work with? Its hard that I know my best writing is when I believe in myself, but what if I am struggling to find that? How can I cover it up in fancey words and curious syntax?

so, a teaser for the treasure trunk: what I wrote to get into college. To be perfectly clear, I read this now and I am AMAZED I got accepted. Here's to taking risks.

Sometimes in the early spring, when the sun still sets too soon and the air is cold enough to see your breath in, you will find a pocket of people in this city’s park. It will be at dusk, right as the trees tuck the sun to bed, that you will find us huddled together in the dip of the park, the tummy of these hills, the bowl the earth created that keeps our secrets from spilling. From over there they do look awfully like a lump, clump, lump, no definite head protruding, no lanky arms extended, but one bubbling cell breathing chilled northern air. And here, hidden in that cell, that singular life form, is my family sharing our meals together, that substance that keeps us moving, the nuts and bolts of our life.
This family is not my mother, nor my father, nor my twenty-two year old, very insightful, politically prodding, dearly loved brother. No, this is a family of another kind, one we have put together ourselves, built from the foundation of late night conversations, “The question was, would a conditional or an unconditional god better serve a capitalistic world?” They’ve been batting this question around for four hours now, and I giggle sometimes when they try to define what they are saying in words they used to use lightly and now are trying to toss impolitely on to my dinner plate. Sometimes when the air demands to hear our voices that will be the turn family dinners take, diving us into conversations that clearly have no end and all of us barking in with ideas we’ve only had half the time to think about; pretending that if we just sat here long enough we might come to some conclusion about the world, a world that is so big I could never wrap my head around it on my own.
Other nights, like the night we huddled in the park, when we congealed into one being, we do not sit and chatter, but we fit ourselves, our still growing bodies, close together and make cheese sandwiches on grainy bread, whispering telephone messages that consist of “pass the butter knife” or perhaps “androids prefer French fried potatoes to fries” We’ll reminisce about the last picnic, in the late afternoon, when we met Brother Anthony. This is typical, I’d say, typical that I’d offer our food to a stranger. (How else are you supposed to meet the millions of people that each of us pass, over, by, under, face to face everyday?) Innocently I offered some ninja-fat filled, Elf cookies to this mostly monk-ish appearing man and ended up spending over an hour discussing the church and their stance on homosexuality. My family sat near, under the dripping pine needles, straining themselves from just skipping away, but here was an opportunity! No constraining classroom walls! No polishing of our words for parents! Just our voices and his quietly challenging the things we held as true.  I do not think my patience has ever fought a better battle, but in the end, I walked away unscathed and with a tiny little bit more perspective on the people that fill our world, those people who deserve to be heard no matter how much every inch of me is tingling with disagreement. Therefore, I will continue to offer food to the interesting and the average, as long as there is a solid, old, trust worthy baseball bat lying around and a few good friends who know how to swing in case this monk was really no monk at all.
            These friends, this family, though, will keep on digging into the soil here and eating together our organic foods and sharing them with our neighbors. This food that comes from nearby earth, that has been born from the world we are walking on. It does not always matter what we talked about, or what board games we played, who won at Scrabble, or even what strangers we have meet that particular night, but rather, it is the idea that we shared something between us. We shared substance, not only for our bodies but for our minds. We shared that singular moment, the moment we realized that this park was our kitchen table, that the grass will always be there beneath our feet and that the ground is running below our city and beyond into the million colored seas.


arm said...

I really like this one, Levitt. Not at all surprised you got in.

mike said...

nor I