[So, by way of prologue, this post is maybe a little different than my norm -- maybe a little more personal, maybe a little more in-depth, and maybe not something I would bother posting on my blog if life was different and more friends could have already observed for themselves the underlying themes of what I'm about to say. One of the tricky parts of a long distance relationship is figuring out how to honor the relationship and let it be a reality even when most people can't see what's going on in it.]
It's a confounding thing to me when I simply can't find the words to even begin to express what's in my heart. Yet that's where I've been for months, my mind full of different ways to begin but with no idea what to say in the middle or at the end, because it feels to me that there aren't enough words in the world for this story.
Let me begin here: When I was a child, I loved Little Pilgrim's Progress with a vast and fierce love. My parents bou…
For the first time in a (very) long time, my heart suddenly feels quiet.
I'm not sure of why exactly.
Maybe having finally finished the last requirement for Wheaton and, for the first time in almost three years, not having a nagging (or screaming!) feeling in the back of my mind reminding me that I should be doing some reading or writing a response or researching something or preparing for a class.
Maybe, having lived in Sichuan for two and a half years, the incredibly (and I do mean that in the most literal possible sense) slow pace of walking has finally sunk into my body. Although I still find myself setting out from my apartment at a briskly purposeful American stride, more and more often I find that it slows to a stroll by the time I'm halfway across campus, even if I'm not hanging out with students. And I notice the irises growing everywhere, the strange patterns of ripples on the surface of the small lake on campus as ducks chase each other across the water.
I've never had much patience for Buttercup of The Princess Bride. She names her horse "Horse," fails to recognize her True Love when he is (barely) wearing a mask (maybe it was the mustache?) and generally comes across as incompetent and shallow.
So I've always sort of ended up snorting at the line, "It was a very emotional time for Buttercup." Seriously, your True Love is kidnapped by pirates and killed and it was a very emotional time? C'mon girl, grow some depth.
However, this year I find myself saying a lot, "It is a very emotional time for Hannah," and that's about as well as I can generally describe it. I am strongly wired for anticipation, which can be very enjoyable (I get a gleeful feeling looking at wrapped birthday gifts long before it's time to open them) and also awful when what I'm anticipating is of the leaving-a-place-and-people-and-job-I-love-and-moving-around-the-world-again variety. The past semester was ful…