Program Coordinator: Miracle Maynard
Journal Entry: 2.1
Project Goal: Free time!
Summary: All currently participating households have submitted initial reports. KB’s contains a few irregularities that we’ll request her to correct in her next filing. Participants seem to be settling in with jobs, school, and aspirations.
Next Steps: Take a break! Then, check back in with participants.
Personal Journal: This home feels so big sometimes. I hadn’t counted on that. We selected this home for the project headquarters–my headquarters–since it’s large enough to accommodate participants. The upstairs contains my bedroom, the office, a yoga/meditation room, and a workout room: everything I need.
And downstairs we have the large dining room, music room, parlor, and gathering areas. Perfect for the project! But a little empty for me during the day and evenings, when I’m home alone.
Fortunately, the river walk is right out back, and once I step out the door, all that sense of emptiness becomes filled with the joy and vibrancy of nature!
I found one of the project participants, Noelle Xian, enjoying a picnic with a neighbor.
“Do you realize that the basis of most comedies is some tragic part of human nature?” Noelle asked.
“What brings this up?” I inquired.
“Just look,” she said. “Look across the street. See that clown? What’s so funny? Nothing. It’s just part of the long tradition of commedia dell’arte, but when you think that the stock of humor has always been mortality and corruption, is it any wonder that more of us don’t have coulrophobia?”
Remembering from her mother’s report that Noelle has the gloomy trait, one which I share, I understood her perspective.
It’s not the worst thing to be able to look into the shadows and see the tragedies that provide the foundation for every comedy.
At the same time, I’ve learned that, for me, at least, it’s important to remember a balance. My melancholy points out the dark spots, but that doesn’t mean that brightness doesn’t exist, too. After all, what makes a shadow? Light. When there is no light, there’s no shadow.
I’ve decided to use this break in my duties as program coordinator to focus on a few things for myself. I’ve always wanted to get in shape and enjoy exercise. I’ve heard that running produces endorphins and yoga provides centering and balance, both of which seem useful to me.
I wasn’t expecting that the exercise would bring about a physical transformation, but after a while, I noticed that, as my mind and emotions began to feel lighter, more balanced, and more clear, my body had changed, too.
I like it! I have more energy, and this peacefulness and balance that yoga brings helps me to find even the beauty that exists in my periodic visits of melancholy.
During an evening walk, I met Alonso Bowden, whom I’d met on my first day here.
“Alonso! I loved your report,” I said. “I’m so glad to know that you, your mom, and your sister are settling in so well. I’ve got a confession. When I first met you, I thought you were a girl! My mistake! I should know better than to judge based on what you’re wearing and the length of your hair! I mean, look at me! I’m dressed in boys’ clothes and I wear my hair tucked up short!”
“It’s fine!” said Alonso. “I decided that it’s ok to make people go, ‘huh?’ I’m all about people be free.”
“Yes!” I replied. “Me, too! And if we always go along with every rule, like how we should look just because we’re a boy or a girl, then that limits our free expression!”
“You sound like my mom.”
Alonso looked up at the stars.
“It’s different up there,” he said. “It’s ok to be however up there. That’s what I’m trying to do. Be free here like we are up there.”
“Are you a little star boy, Alonso?” I asked.
“We’re all made of stars,” he said. “We just don’t know it.”
On the way back home, I ran into someone I’d met through work. We’ve struck up a friendship through a few conversations. I invited him to come in and join me for a late supper.
The table doesn’t feel nearly so big when I share it with someone else.
There are plenty of people who appreciate a good meal. Maybe I will make a point of always sharing mine with a hungry friend or stranger.