on vulnerability & injustice

The other night, my car broke down. I was driving home from John’s house. It's a trip that takes somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, though I’ve never timed it. I was two minutes in when my car just—stalled. No sputtering, no flashing lights, no smoke. The RPMs dropped to zero, and suddenly I was… Continue reading on vulnerability & injustice

coronavirus, quarantine, and a new outlook

Quarantine is a strange experience. The days blur together, time moves slowly, and there's plenty of opportunity for reflection. And here's the thing: I've had a lot of time to be sorry for myself. I've wept and mourned the loss of Rome. I've reminisced and railed against the unfairness of it all. And now? I'm moving on.

a walking tour of roma / rome pt. 3

On my first full day in Rome, my study abroad program took our group on a walking tour of the city. Because our school sits atop Colle di Gianicolo (Janiculum Hill), the first part of our walk was downhill. We experienced the dazzling panoramic view of the city from Terrazza del Gianicolo (Janiculum Terrace) which no photos can do justice to. On the terrazza sat Il Fontanone dell'Acqua Paola, an enormous stone fountain built in the 1600s and fed by the same aqueduct we'd drank from earlier that day. From there we descended further, crossing the River Tiber into the city center.

the end of the (tram) line / rome pt. 2

Tram 3 runs an impressive forty-six stop line, passing through my neighborhood of Trastevere. I hop on at Pascarella and ride just three stops to the Ministero dell’Istruzione. The Ministero is a grand, imposing building, all white stone and stoic columns. It’s the kind of building that can’t be ignored on one’s first, second, even third glances, and yet it eventually and inevitably fades into the scenery of all the other grand Roman sites.

sampietrini / rome pt. 1

The Via della Madonna dell’Orto (via is the Italian word for street) is paved with sampietrini. Chiseled from basalt found in the hills outside the city, they’re small, squarish stones, graphite-colored, and they fill the roads in uneven rows. If we weren’t in Rome, they’d be called cobblestones, but instead, they are sampietrini: “little Saint Peters.” There are supposedly as many stones in the streets of the city as there are souls saved by Saint Peter.

BANG!

We’re being taught BANG!, a tabletop game set in the mostly-mythical Wild West world of duels and sheriffs and gold. Half of us have never played, so even starting the game has turned out to be a chaotic process, but it’s been fun so far. At the start of the game, I drew the card of the “Renegade,” so my character’s goal is to be the last woman standing—an unexpectedly strategic role for a game that comes in a bullet-shaped canister.

gray skies

It’s been a gray week. In the weather, sure, but also in my head. Getting out of bed in the morning has become a monumental effort. Work, classes, and other responsibilities are low-priority background noises. I’m distractible, irritable, not fully present wherever my body is. It’s strange. I’m not quite myself. And it’s even stranger… Continue reading gray skies

all saints

Today is All Saints Day. To many with evangelical or non-denominational faith upbringings like me, this might not mean much. Or, perhaps, it does mean something—something negative. The saints are a touchy subject in the contemporary American church. But I think, if we allow ourselves to shed the theological baggage for just a moment, we might find something beautiful.