July 8, 2009

So, it’s been tradition that after every ASP trip I go on, I come home and some time after the trip and some time after I’ve been able to situate myself back into my normal way of living, I write about my experiences from the week.
This year, we were located in Chavies County, Kentucky, which is obviously a tiny town in the Appalachian Mountains.  Everything about this town was beautiful and lively and it hurt me so much to have to leave it.  The family whose house we did repairs on was a small family consisting of the mom, dad, and daughter named Elizabeth who was 9 years old, and last but not least, their adorable puppy Spot who I fell in love with.   I wasn’t able to bond with the family nearly as much as I did with the last family we worked with, but there was still an innocence to this family that I will never forget and that I found to be so absolutely refreshing.  They didn’t have much, but they had more love than I’ve ever witnessed in a family.
Every ASP trip I’ve been on, I’ve gone into it with different attitudes.  My first ASP, I had no expectations and knew nothing except that it was my duty to help repair this family’s home because they weren’t financially able to.  My second one, I went in with the same attitude knowing that I needed to do all I could to get the right amount of work done in a weeks time, but I also decided that I would try to get to know the family, which I succeeded at.  This ASP I went in knowing what it was I had to do, but I opened myself up to not only give of myself to this family, but to let this family give to me.  I allowed myself to learn from this family and to accept their love and to return the love with my service towards them.



July 8, 2009

I recently began Richard Bach’s novel One and here are some quotes that I found particularly noteworthy.

“Yet for all you knew, I was a solitary soul with a mind full of headings and altitudes hidden behind a screen of words.  And you were right.”

“You think you don’t belong in this world with its wars and destruction, its hatred and violence?  Why do you live here? …But ghost minds never sleep, and I heard pages turning in my dreams.  I’m awake now, and the questions remain.  Do our choices really change our worlds?  What if science turns out to be true?”

“How swiftly we adjust to incredible situations!  Slip on a dockside, and at once we know we’re over our heads in water:  we move differently, breathe differently, in a half-second we’re adapted, though we may not like the wet.  So with this.  We were over our heads in our own past, startled we had fallen in, doing the best we knew in the strange place.”

“Together there is nothing that can stop you!  Can stop us from what?  From living your highest love…reaching a life together so wonderful you can’t imagine it apart!”

“Arguments won’t, facts won’t, debates won’t change your mind.  Your problems are easy for us to solve; every problem is easy after you’ve already found the answer.  But even your own future self, materialized out of empty air in front of you, telling you word for word what you’ll find in the next thirty-five years, is not going to change your mind.  The only thing that will ever change it is your own personal, individual insight!”

“Something in me knows we’re not ground creatures, says we don’t have limits, and the closest I can come to living what I know is true is flying one of these.”

“I’d never put it in words, never put it in thoughts.  Just felt it.”

“We can only transform our lives in the split-second eternity that is our now.  If we move one moment from that now, it’s somebody else’s choice.

“But ideas are life to us–growth and joy, stress and release.  From nowhere came tantalizing questions, exciting answers dancing ahead, urging us to puzzle this out, express that somehow, go here, do this, help there.  Neither one of us can resist ideas.”

“The answer to any question you can ask is in the pattern.”

“It’s about….how hard it is to make the right choices, and how important it is to stick to the best we know…and that we really do know what the best is!”

“A tiny change today brings us to a dramatically different tomorrow.  There are grand rewards for those who pick the high hard roads, but those rewards are hidden by years.  Every choice is made in the uncaring blind, no guarantees from the world around us.

“Character comes from following our highest sense of right, from trusting ideals without being sure they’ll work.  One challenge of our adventure on earth is to rise above dead systems–wars, religions, nations, destructions–to refuse to be a part of them, and express instead the highest selves we know how to be.”

“No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it.”

“A person trusts her life to what she believes.  Her ideas have to support her, they have to take the weight of her own questions and the weight of a hundred or a thousand or ten thousand critics and cynics and destroyers.  Her ideas have to stand the stress of every consequence they bring!”

It’s bad enough to fail when we let go of what we believe…but it’s worse when the ideas we’ve been living by turn out to be wrong.”

“Commerce is idea and choice expressed.  Look about you this moment:  Everything you see and touch was once an invisible idea until someone chose to bring it into being.”

“This one is a challenge.  It’s a core idea–it’s called Choices–and if a core idea has flaws, you’ve got to stop everything in your life till you get it sorted out.  Our job is not to stop you, it’s to help you move along.”