Description love: "The glasses on his nose looked like/ a little bike left leaning against a tree" - from the poem "A Myopic Child" by Yannis Ritsos
WriteOnCon: is a very swankified FREE writer's conference online. I'm a major fan. There are so many awesome sessions on there this year!
|This post isn't about Biscuit.|
But, my word, how cute is her face?!
I walk to the corner-edge of my rug, take a deep breath and fix my eyes diagonally ahead ... to the far, far away
Bolstered by my dog's confidence in me, I take another deep breath and mumble something like, "Natalie's opening move in the floor routine is her most difficult combination yet: the double-latte, triple half-back ... doubloon."
And then I scamper across the floor and pretend I'm doing crazy backflips, even though I'm really just moving my arms in a wavy-wave motion and making noises like: "Whoosh! Whoosh!"
Once I get to the other corner, I make imaginary cheering noises. And I wave to the imaginary crowd. And I smile. Because I won the gold medal, obviously.
Or sometimes, in the morning, while I'm waiting for my toast to get appropriately toasty, I pretend the beams on the hardwood floor of the kitchen are my balance beam. "This is a risky dismount! She didn't land it in practice. Will she pull through this time?! ... Yes! Yes! She's GOLDEN!"
Or when I'm feeling particularly inspired, I step back a few feet from my mom's gorgeous flowery couch and mumble, "At last ... Natalie will attempt the double-decker-flipper-skipper dismount on the vault..."
And my mom will yell from the kitchen, "Do not vault over my couch again!"
Bolstered by her confidence in me, I carry on: "The critics are fierce, Bob. But Natalie is not deterred. You might recall that the vault has never been her strongest event. In the last Olympic games, she nearly broke her nose on the dismount. Also, she almost broke the coffee mug that she forgot she was holding."
*waves to the right* *waves to the left*
*runs and LEAPS!!!(
* ... lands on coffee table with resounding CRASH*
I think lots of girls, myself included, place the women's gymnastics team in the same category as Disney Princesses. Or maybe I should more accurately compare the women's gymnastics team to superheros, with their sparkly outfits and crazy backflips. It's like they can fly! I've been cheering for them since I was little. Back in ye olden days, in the raging 80's, I used to put on my swimsuit and scamper around my house pretending I was Mary Lou Retton. I no longer do that
I love their camaraderie - the way they huddle together and cheer each other on.
I love the way their routines are pieced together. I've always been in awe, maybe even a little bit jealous, of gymnasts and dancers and you talented people who create art through movement. That's so wild. And so gorgeous.
And despite my joking earlier, I think what really inspires me about gymnasts, and pretty much every Olympic athlete, is their perseverance.
Maybe once they're walking the stadium lap at the opening ceremonies, Olympic athletes don't feel like they've given up anything that matches what they've gained. But at some point, I'm guessing they had to be very intentional about what they made time for and what they had to let go of. I'm guessing they know how to cling to their priorities.
And I can't help but wonder how many of them wanted to quit.
As you know, I am not an athlete. (That sentence is, in fact, the understatement of the decade.)
Occasionally, I watch a little bit of a football game. Like, occasionally = barely enough to qualify me as cool. In Tennessee, football is A Big Thing. Most of my friends around here (guys and girls) are serious fans. I am not this way. I do enjoy going to a game (occasionally) - they're fun and I feed off the energy of the crowd and have a great time. But I'll be the first to admit I don't know very much about sports. Aside from the very occasional football game, the only sport I really get into is Quidditch. *waves nerd flag* And I also love to watch ice skating! Where was I going with this?
None of my goals are sports related. But I do have big goals and hopes. In my mind, some of them have seemed, and still seem, as big and gnarly and impossible as the playoff/Olympic-esc stuff.
I think every person has a golden moment they're hoping for - career goals and personal goals and all manner of sparkly, shiny dreams we keep tucked away in our heart's hoping place.
Truly, and I'm not trying to be cutesy or pious or hoity-toity - my big dream for my life is to love and glorify God and love people. That's a huge responsibility. And yet, when I actually get over myself and make that my focus, I feel a whole load of weight lift off my shoulders. I'm so darn grateful that my life isn't measured by accolades or accomplishments. In the end, I believe love matters more and most and best-of-all.
I'm an endless dreamer too, though. I'm enough of a hopeless romantic to be a forever-fan of people who set their hearts on a dream, especially if other people tell them it's impossible. I don't just mean Olympic aspirations either, I'm more inspired by people who challenge the day-to-day impossibilities. Because it's only impossible until it's done, savvy?
A couple of years ago when I was adrift in a slimy (... yet familiar) sea of rejection, my mom gave me a slip of paper with this quote on it: "Don't give up what you want most for what you want in the moment."
In other words:
Get a grip on your priorities.
Keep on swimming.
I wonder how often athletes as awesome as the Olympics-superhero-gymnasts wanted to give up what they wanted most for what they wanted in the moment? I heard one reporter say that Gabby Douglas wanted to give up her Olympic aspirations very, very recently. It's crazy to see Gabby in her golden moment, looking so confident and flawless, and believe that she ever had a moment of doubt. But she totally did. I think everybody who goes after a gigantic dream does.
Crazier still: what if Gabby had given up just a few months ago? She was exactly on the brink of what she'd set her heart toward ... and she nearly gave up. I'm so happy she pressed on. I bet her golden moment made all the dark days pale in comparison.
As you fling yourself back into the school year (or the year in general) (is it because we all spend so long in school that August kind of feels like a "New Year" even when school is no more? :), I wanted to issue this reminder: you've got lots of golden moments ahead of you. Rejections suck and plans change and majors change and maybe, in your very dystopian school, people are cruel and mean and make you feel every bit as valued as belly-button lint.
Never, never, never give up. You've got so many golden days ahead. It takes some serious bravery to push past all the dark and keep moving. My amazing writer-friend Jenny B. Jones sent me this quote on one of my Piglet days: Choose courage over comfort. I'm trying to live that way. If you're trying to live that way too, I'm cheering for you.
Read for the lead.
Try out for the recital.
Study until the words go blurry. (Because someday, you really will get to teach what you're learning.)
Write the next chapter.
Run a little bit further.
Dream a little bit harder.
Speak up for the person nobody else cares about.
Look people in the eye and smile.
Believe you're worthy of love and respect. Because no matter what you believe, what you're into, where you've been, where you're from, or what makes your heart spin ... you are absolutely worthy of love and respect.
You're golden. For serious.
I know this is a loaded question (or maybe you just don't want to share this kind of thing on a blog - which is quite okay!) but do you have a big dream you're working toward/praying for/hoping for? Maybe something you're hoping for this year or even a big dream for the future? I'd love to hear about it!
I'd also love to hear about your favorite part of the Olympics. Besides gymnastics and a bit of swimming, I pretty much only watched the opening ceremonies. Which was ... interesting.