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Poetical

I keep meaning to sit down and write. I have ideas. I swear! It’s just been kind of a crazy time. We get kids in a few weeks, and I’m excited to hunker down and get to work.

In the meantime, I’ve been admittedly writing poetry and fiction. Here’s a short excerpt from two poems, just to remind myself when I look back that, in these months, I was still writing.

The politics of sharing a bed is not simply about defining the boundaries of blankets.
It is the place where the intimate meets the intellectual.
Continually choosing to share space with someone,
instead of the temporary VIP invite is a difficult task.
It means seeing the other person’s body and heading not just for the destination,
but wondering at reasons why the mapmaker took this route.
It is reading the text of a mind and taking interest,
not just in the words but in the hands that wrote them.
It is knowing that beliefs come with baggage;
it is knowing the story behind the idea and caring about both.

The Politics of Sharing a Bed, 2016

Here’s the truth: I’m a storyteller.

I tell stories so I can try and make sense of myself and the world.
I teach them so that my kids can tell them, so I can better tell them myself.

And I’m terrified you’re going to ask to read some of my stories,
because I’ve written myself into some pretty dicey situations in the past.
I’ve been a storm-tossed maiden at the bow of a ship or a starry-eyed moon-catcher.
I’ve called myself warrior and flower; I’ve been betrayer and betrayed.
I’ve been beloved and beguiled and broken hearted.
In fact I had been all of things just in the five months before we met.

Storytelling, 2016

Hitting the Wall and Moving Forward

Many thanks to Doug Robertson and CUE for letting write a little about how running a marathon is a little like teaching.

We all know the moment: you are moving your way along a trail— real or proverbial— and all of a sudden, the thought pops into your head:

“I don’t want to do this anymore. I would like to stop now, please.”

And with that, your body hits what runners know as “The Wall”: your legs get heavy, your shoulders hunch down, your chest feels like it’s weighed down with a bag of lead. Your entire being is telling you to give up, to stop whatever you’re doing, and surrender to failure.

Teaching has Walls too. I hit one in my first year of teaching- in October of 2012. The Wall was called DEVOLSON, otherwise known as “The Disillusionment Stage.” To be fair, I didn’t set myself up for success: instead of starting the year off with a plan, I assumed I’d be able to coast by on charisma and good execution.

Boy, was I wrong.

Read more here.

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‘Float On’: Meditations on “Home,” Day 2

I ran my mouth off a bit too much, oh what did I say?
Well you just laughed it off it was all OK.
And we’ll all float on OK.
And we’ll all float on any way.
– Float On, Ben Lee

I’ve been sitting here for an hour trying to figure out when I felt like O‘ahu became home. I was tempted to write about my students, who certainly feel like home, but I’ve done that before, multiple times

And it’s true– my school is the place that has felt most like home the past few years. 

Still, I had a life before teaching, and I have a life outside of it. I’m different than the girl I was when I moved here (which, consequently, I’ve written about as well). I have well-worn places on island that I love, and when I am away I crave seeing the green that I think only exists in Hawai‘i. There are restaurants, beaches, and parks that I’ve experienced on my own and with people. When those people have left my life, I’ve had to learn to reclaim them for myself.

And I thought about writing about that: what it means to re-learn a place after you’ve separated from the person who brought you there.

Then, I realized that those experiences were not “home” at all. Those people were not home either. I’ve known what home was all along, and that made me realize what I had done to find that on O‘ahu.


I wonder what happens if I turn left… here. I thought to myself as my feet pounded the trail. It was a sunny January morning, and I was enjoying a Monday off from school. On a whim, I decided to run to Mānoa falls, a common tourist hike due to its easy trail and pay off of a lovely waterfall at the end.

I’ve done the hike multiple times, and now occasionally run it when I’m looking to change up my training. After passing tourists (upon tourists upon tourists), I reached the falls and taken a long deep breath. I was about to turn around and head back when I saw a trailhead to the left of the falls that I’d never noticed before.

I was about to shrug it off and keep moving, but my heart tugged in the direction of the trail. I had no plans that day– nowhere to be and no obligations– and I figured I might as well spend the time moving.

I turned up onto the trail, and was immediately surprised at how much more calm and serene it was compared to the bustling falls below. A few feet more revealed a bamboo forest.

After snapping a quick shot, I began moving. The trail was nearly empty and it was silent as I walked.

If you read this blog often enough, you know that I’m a distance runner in normal practice. I often spend large swaths of time on my own, running, often silently. I have written that I find this meditative, that it is often a practice that helps return me to myself.

This exploration, though, is a different kind of meditation. Yes, when I run alone I can work through problems. I can walk and go within myself, trying to move towards a greater understanding of something.

On a hike, especially a hike I’ve never done before, it is difficult to zone out in that way. For one thing, it’s not safe. It’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and footsteps, lest you fall down a mountain or something equally dangerous.

You would also, however, miss out on some truly beautiful things.

How is it I live here?! #luckywelivehawaii #hiking #hawaii #hawaiinei #trail #nofilter #seriously

A photo posted by Christina Torres (@biblio_phile) on

There is a different sort of meditative nature that takes over when I hike. I think of it as a form of “hyperawareness.” It’s something hunters and foragers talk about when they are “in the zone.” When I enter a new space, particularly in nature, I notice the colors more deeply or am more attentive to the sounds around me– partially out of safety, and partially because I am eager to appreciate the new surroundings.

#MondayMotivation courtesy of "Wild." #running #luckywelivehi #motivationmonday

A photo posted by Christina Torres (@biblio_phile) on

When I first moved to the island, I was terrified to go hiking on my own. After literally falling off a cliff about one month into living here, I was certain that death awaited me on O‘ahu’s trails.

It took a few months, but eventually my desire to run and explore won out. I found myself waking up early mornings to race up the steps of Koko Head or enjoy Kuliouou on my own. I’d go on Yelp and search “running trail” and choose a new place to go and explore.

#luckywelivehawaii #luckywelivehi #trails #hiking #running #hawaii #nofilter

A photo posted by Christina Torres (@biblio_phile) on

Chasing the Sun Up Koko Head #becauseIcan #blessed #hilife

A photo posted by Christina Torres (@biblio_phile) on

I see now that, beyond being new ways to check out the island, it was these solo ventures that made me come to see the island as a place where I felt safe enough to explore it on my own. Frankly, a number of my experiences of O‘ahu — restaurants and concert venues– been colored by the people who brought me there. They were, at the time, a gift shared, an experience to enjoy with someone else.

Of course, I can reclaim a place if that person has left my life, or enjoy it again with the friends that haven’t. I normally do, but while these experiences have provided me with knowledge, they don’t always allow me agency.

When I am hiking or trail running on my own, I don’t need someone to guide me or hold my hand. I didn’t need to be shown somewhere. The only permission I need is the openness of my own heart. The only guide to follow is my instinct and the trail marker. If I feel like I’ve made a wrong turn, I just stop, take a breath, look for the next sign or simply turn around.

There is something ultimately encouraging about that: Yes, the trail is often muddy. Sometimes the path is unclear, but attempting to navigate them on my own has taught me an invaluable lesson: maybe you just need to push forward. You simply have to keep floating on and hoping that the most lovely vistas lay ahead of you, if you only keep moving.

Spontaneous hike today led to amazing valley view. So #luckywelivehawaii. #hawaii #hiking

A photo posted by Christina Torres (@biblio_phile) on

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Escape: Meditations on “Home,” Day 1

“Last time it snowed, you were one person. Now, you’re another.”

– The Paris Letter, Jon Robin Baitz

The last time I was in this house, it was nearly two months ago to the day.

I’d try and recount the weekend in detail to you, but I’d be lying if I said I could. Here is what I remember about booking the trip, and the first twenty-four hours.

1.

I booked the flight to leave O‘ahu for the weekend with one word on mind: escape. I had stopped and taken a good, long look at the life I created for myself. I spread it out on the table, nodding slowly while surveying the contents. It was lies and taboo laughter. It was reckless leaps and bad choices. It was too much red wine, gulped down alone in my apartment while waiting.

I looked at that life and said, “NOPE.”

So, I shamelessly decided to run.

I needed to be “away” in every sense possible. Not turn-off-my-phone away. Not go-on-a-solo-run away. But hop-on-a-plane-and-have-an-ocean-in-between-me-and-my-life kind of away. So, on April 30th I booked a flight to spend a few days in Kona two weeks later. Alone, in what I saw as “my parent’s house,” as I had never grown up there, I wanted silence. I wanted a blank canvas. I wanted to live a life that wasn’t mine.

2.

I got on the plane to Kona feeling jumpy and distracted. I had created a web of emotional turmoil that I had no clue how to see myself out of.  Somehow in the thirteen days since booking the damn flight, my life was more complicated.

Still, a part of me had been tempted to call off my trip. Was I running from my problems? Was I just shirking off responsibility? Should I stay? I had a million questions running through my head and coming from all sides.

“How did you get here?”
“What comes next?”
“Do you know what you want?”
“What are you going to do?”

The small, quiet voice lingered: escape.

I took a breath, turned away from my ride, and walked into the airport.

3.

My arrival in Kona is… disorienting, to say the least. Normally, Kona’s airport is a precursor for the kind of weather I will face: sun. Always gorgeous, occasionally brutal and unrelenting, the landscape is usually black rock and bright light, with little-to-no shade to protect you from it.

This time, the plane landed just as the sun was setting, and Kona is all dark blue sea and black jagged edges. Stormy palette, I think to myself, the sixteen-year-old-girl in me amused at the clichéd connection between the colors outside and ~my heart~.

I have visited the island multiple times, but rarely on my own. I normally arrived for work events that I needed to get to immediately, or with another person, or to run into the eager arms of my family.

“What time will you get here?”
“Did you land yet?”
“Do you need anything?”
“Where are you?”

As the sun sets to dusk on a mid-May evening, I got off the plane and onto the street. I looked around and realized that, for the first time in a while, I was truly obligated to no one but myself.

In an amusing twist of fate, I ended up in a silver, souped-up Mustang. It has an engine I will be unable to use to full capacity and a sound system that I don’t know what to do with.

It was absolutely perfect.

4.

I bought wine. And beer. And Goldfish and ice cream and junky dinners and girly magazines and I think nail polish?

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Oh, cereal. It seems I also bought cereal.

I took the above photo and sent it as a signal to some folks that I was a) alive and b) clearly on a path to try and find Jesus or myself at the bottom of a tub of Rocky Road or swirling somewhere in the Apothic Dark. After sending the picture, I looked at it and shook my head.

“Is this going to help?”
“Will this make you feel better?”
“What do you need?”
“What do you want?”

I uncorked the wine.

5. 

Text messages. There were lots of text messages. There was more wine.

6.

I took the hammock my mother bought and keeps, strangely, indoors, and turned it facing the TV. I painted my toenails alternating colors, like when I was thirteen.

I started swinging myself back and forth, trying to find a rhythm while trashy TV plays in the background. Oddly, a line from Hamilton: The Musical wormed its way into my head.

“Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now…”

I laughed long and hard as I sang it to myself. My phone pinged with a new message, and I was equal parts terrified and eager to see it. That night, my phone had hosted fireworks and firestorms, and I wasn’t sure which I would get when the screen lit up.

“When are you coming back?”
“What does this mean?”
“What do you want?”
“Where do you go from here?”

I closed my eyes and took a breath.

“Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now…”

7. 

An hour later, I went into my room to get something (A magazine? A blanket? I cannot remember), and end up sobbing on the cold tile at the foot of my bed. My head is buried in the covers.

How did I get here?
What was I going to do?
What comes next?
How could this happen? 

The ticker-tape ran behind my eyes as I tried to wash the questions away.

8.

I woke up the next morning, head throbbing, face puffy, sprawled on my parent’s bed.

The sun shone through the large, sliding door that leads to our backyard. The image was almost too-perfect: the sky bright blue, the grass so green it was Crayola-esque; it’s as though the saturation of this moment has been doubled.

“Look around, look around…”

I picked my head up off the pillow and look around.

“What are you doing?”
“What should I say?”
“Should I say anything at all?”

I dragged myself off the bed and into the living room.

9.

The hammock was at an odd, 45-degree angle to the couch. My towel is on the floor beneath it. There was a half-empty bottle of wine, uncorked, on the counter. There was an open box of cereal next to it.

“What happened here?”

I closed my eyes.

10.

When I opened them, I started laughing. Hard.

This wasn’t the bitter cackle of the night before, though. It was cleansing. It was open and cathartic. It was the laughter of someone who had fallen down the cliff, tumbled over the waterfall, crashed their car and rolled it, and still managed to get up, look down at their body, and say, “Holy shit, am I alive?! I am alive!”

I laughed more and shook my head for a moment, then I looked around the living room. This wasn’t the sterile, cold, silent retreat of “my parent’s house,” where I could pretend like my mess wasn’t real or my own. This wasn’t a question I needed to escape either. This was the home I needed to clean.

“Well, I guess it’s time to get to work.”

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Head Above Water: On Self-Care

Side note: I wrote a piece about meeting with my students re: recent events over at EdWeek that, for me, is a companion to this.


“They identified the shooter in Dallas last night,” I am on my phone, wrapped in bedsheets, reading the news to my boyfriend, Chase, as he gets ready for work. My thumb brushes page after page upwards, the blue glow wrapping around my face in the early morning light. I scroll quickly, almost compulsively, through information.

“Oh, yeah? Did they catch him?”

“No,” I reply quickly, eyes still glued to the screen. “They killed him in a standoff.”

We talk a little more about the shootings. All the news this week– the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and now the execution of Dallas cops who were doing their job with care— leaves me with a pit in my stomach. My heart races as I read accounts, hear gunshots in videos, see images that stay behind my eyes longer than I’d like. The weight of it all can envelop me, wrapping me in gray and following me for the day.

Chase leans over me on the bed, takes his hand to the side of my face, and strokes my hair. The act makes me tear my eyes away from the screen and look up at him, handsome in his Navy uniform though he hates when I say it. I catch my breath. I have not yet told him, but feeling his hand there– fingers intertwined in my hair, palm heavy on my temple– is one of my favorite things.

He searches my eyes for a moment, before kissing me lightly. “Don’t read the news today,” he entreats softly. He kisses me again, nips my bottom lip. He is clean and Listerine-mint to my sour morning breath and tousled hair. “It makes you sad.”

My gut instinct, the twenty-one-year-old wanna-be activista, balks. Ignorance and silence are compliance, a voice in the base of my brain quickly beats back.

I know he is advocating for neither, though. He simply doesn’t want to come home and find me there still, wrapped in bedsheets and paralyzed by my own personal melancholy. I look up and give a slight nod. “Okay.”


I thought about that this morning when my department chair, Marybeth, sent me an email asking for resources not just for our students, but for herself. She noted that engaging with the news is frankly overwhelming when she is also taking care of two young children at home and, you know, being an excellent teacher and mentor.

Once you “go down the rabbit hole,” she explained, it can feel impossible to get out. “I can’t let that happen since I need to be able to care for my kids. But I decided… I need to allow my students to think and converse about this since, otherwise, I am still part of the problem.”

The email hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew exactly what it was to go down the rabbit hole. I knew what it was like to get lost in its darkness, like there was no bottom,  like there is just falling into greater depths of our own helplessness. I knew the hours I had spent reading, listening, wondering, feeling helpless.

Of course, we’d be mistaken to not see our own privilege: I am not Black. I don’t live in a highly segregated city (arguably I experience as close to the opposite as exists in the U.S.). While I have certainly experienced racism, my experience can’t compare to what other people have seen last night and for generations.

I write a lot about being up front with students. After Orlando, after Mizzou, when the system failed to indict. Even just this morning, I wrote that we must talk about it.

I still stand by this, but I want to make it clear that none of us, myself included, are built to handle seeing trauma 24/7/365. Processing trauma is not an Olympic sport. There is no correct form for it. Simply because I know that many people have it worse doesn’t mean I beat up anyone who decides to take a break to care for themselves. I am getting better at trying to include myself in that.


It’s a weird thing, sometimes, sharing piecemeal on this site, in my other writing, on various social media platforms. Like anyone else, I suppose, I only share the parts of myself that I’m willing to– because they make me happy, or they feel important (and safe) to share. As a writer (who even sometimes gets paid to write), I also admittedly think about my audience, what will be interesting, or what people will actually care about.

Yes, I am the girl at the top of the story with the handsome boyfriend who reminded me to take care of myself. It’s a sweet story with a nice ending.  I also watched him close the door, and had a lightening-flash of worry. What if something happens to him at work?

Then, I buried my face in my hands for five minutes and cried, still wrapped in bedsheets. I cried because I was sad that I had thought that. I cried because I was still terrified that it could happen. I cried because there are people who fear much worse every day.

I’m a huge advocate for being vulnerable and upfront as often as possible. Still, please  don’t think for a second that I don’t have parts of myself that are hidden and scared. I hope I never paint a picture that I am not terrified at times, that I have no idea how I will discuss this with students or, one day, my own children. There are days where I worry that I simply will be unable to.

There are days when I can’t stop crying, and there are days where I close my computer and decide, “that’s enough.” It is a privilege to be able to shut it down, I know.

I also know, though, that if I don’t, my ability to also be the girl who sits in the diner and hears her students talk about these topics, or encourages them to write about it, or tries to elevate their voices when they raise them, can get washed away in tears.

Those are the days that I don’t always write about, but those moments of quiet self-care, of seeking out light in the darkness, that are just as essential.

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Where Are Your People? A Summer Letter to My Students

Mis corazoncitos,

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down and have smoothies and conversation with one of you.

Funny and sweet, the conversation ranged a number of topics: fitting in, what comes next, finding friends and your people. “Who are your inspirations?” he asked me.

I pondered his question for a moment. “You mean, like, who is my tribe?”

Here’s the thing, amores. I’ve been immensely blessed to have either been bound by blood or stumbled into people in my life who were far more wonderful than I deserved. Many of them have seen me at my worst, and still meet me with boundless love anyway. They have made me laugh. Hard. Like, stomach-aching-belly-crunching-laughs. They have prayed on the phone with me; they have sat there while I cried. We have laughed and snacked together. They have held my hand and we’ve cried when we have celebrated joyfully in the joy of our other friends. I have been blessed to have loved and been loved multiple times over. I absolutely think of these folks as “my people” or “my tribe.”

Still, I would be lying if I said that it was enough.

There’s a quote about love from Romeo and Juliet (ha, see, you thought you’d get away from English class just because it was summer?), that I love. Juliet uses it in is, of course, as different context than I am (and, as we’ve likely discussed, don’t even get me started on those two and their ideas of “love”) but the idea remains true:

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
R+J 2:2
The thing is, love isn’t bound in by quotas. You don’t run out of it. The more I have been lucky enough to receive, the more it encourages me to give it. The more I open myself up to loving others, the more love I have been blessed to receive in return.
All of this to say: you are my tribe. All of you. You are the ones who center me, who help me come back to myself when I lose sight of who I am. When we sit in class each day, when we write together, when we challenge each other and we laugh so hard in class our stomachs hurt– these are the memories that shape a family.

 

Temporary, perhaps, but the beauty of our tribe remains untouched by its short temporal existence. The fact remains that all of you that have walked into my room, whether my students formally or not, have inspired and given me some small part of yourself. I am so grateful for it. I only hope I can return the favor.

 

Anyway, as we take the summer away from each other, I hope you are building your own tribes. I hope you are doing crazy (but safe, dear God, be safe!), funny, silly, wonderful things with your friends. I hope you’re sitting quietly with yourselves and rediscovering the sound of your own heartbeat. I hope you are eating good food and taking naps and maybe even reading or writing a smidge.

 

Just know this: there is always a space we can try and create where you know that you are with your people. There is always a room that I hope you can call home.

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Where Have You Been; Where Are You Going

Without warning, I gulp in a sharp breath, as though I’ve just emerged from hours underwater. My hands immediately go to my eyes, shielding me from… something. A known-yet-unnamed darkness that has haunted me for years. There are some nights when it drowns me and I wake up gasping for air.

My boyfriend stirs and begins to slip his arm around me. Instinctively, the touch makes my body jump. “Hey,” he whispers, “it’s okay.”

I blink my eyes open to early morning sun. My hair– long and barely manageable this summer– curtains over my eyes, the black streaks making a strange, abstract patchwork of the white ceiling.

My monster sits, waiting to see what I’ll do next. The adrenaline that flooded me during the dream and when I woke up begins to dissipate, leaving me feeling tingly, raw, and unbearably sad. Hot tears spring to my eyes and I almost lie down at its feet, ready to surrender momentarily to the darkness.

Then, I begin to breathe. I hear my own voice, steady and sure, in my mind. “Walk back towards yourself.”

I slowly inhale another breath. I count the seconds I can take to bring in air, filling my  once gasping lungs. I count the same number of seconds to let it go. I remind my body I am not drowning now. My feet are on solid ground. I’m ok.

“Walk towards yourself. You need to walk back to yourself now.”

I let my muscles melt back into the bed. I let myself be held.

“Walk back to yourself.”


I guess I’ve been pretty quiet for a while.

I shared with EdWeek that, to be frank, I sort of got kicked in the teeth this semester. Not by my students– who are wonderful, magic unicorns of joy in a ridiculous world– but just by the nature of being a 28-year-old who is trying to adult and often failing miserably.

Between my own personal shenanigans (there is no better word. I’ve checked.), deciding to act in three shows back-to-back, attempting to ensure I still meet writing deadlines and trying to restabilize myself, I guess something had to drop. So, I’ve been a little quiet– at least in the digital space. Trying to keep up with the world at home made it hard to stay informed of the world abroad.

I’d be lying if I said I regretted any of it, though. As much as I’ve missed engaging in intense educational discussion, I feel like I’m finally starting to get back into my own skin. Or maybe I’m running away from the images of what I was. Anyway, I have more in-person connections with people I care about. I am writing and reading more. I am trying new things physically (namely CrossFit). I am quiet with myself more often.

So, what’s next?

For the first summer in years, I don’t have a job. With the exception of shows and rehearsals, I am sort of a dirtbag who has been going to the gym and reading books and writing.

Slowly, though, I think I am finally beginning to creep, to crawl, to walk back towards myself. It’s a strange feeling. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there. But I’m happy that I finally get to try.

 

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Some favorite photos of me– no make up, frizzy hair, taken without preparation– from the yearbook students this year.

 

 

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Love, Boundless and Unflinching: On Father’s Day

We are walking toward the crater. The wind is whipping and it’s cold— still a surprise in Hawai’i, even though I understand the science behind it.It is Christmas and, without thinking, I instinctively reach forward and grab my father’s hand.

The memory isn’t an unusual one for me, though later when I think bout it I suppose it could be. It isn’t some distant wisp of a moment from my childhood. It’s from this past Christmas. At 28, I still occasionally reach out and grab my father’s hand.

When I think about the myriad of reasons my father is special, this is one. Yes, all people show affection differently, but it less so the actual physical affection my father gives and more the unflinching openness with which he gives it. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew that I could grab my father’s hand, rest my head on his shoulder, or go in for a hug and that my action—and, I suppose, my love— would be reciprocated without question.

I once had a coworker ask me what made my relationship with my parents special, or what I thought they had done right. I don’t know that I saw it as a kid, but it strikes me clear as day now: my parents loved us without question. It was not only unconditional, which I think most parents feel, but it was obvious in its completeness.

My father, especially with all the tropes that exist about Latino fathers having rule after rule for their daughters, never once gave me a reason to think I was anything but loved. There was never a doubt that the hand would hold mine, the shoulder would carry my head, or the arms would wrap around me when I asked for them.

This is the kind of love that breeds very brave souls, I think. It is the kind of love that sends me into the world, perhaps to my father’s vexation, with a big-hearted sense of vulnerability.  It gives me the strength to always reach out to others, instinctively take their hand, and love without bounds. Not only did it model what limitless love looked like, but it also taught us that we could love others and, regardless of their reaction, know that we would be unquestioningly loved by someone anyway. So many of us go out into the world seeking to be loved or cared for. There is a great sense of freedom that comes with the knowledge that no matter what happens to me, I am still a child beloved by their father.

Recently, I was reading the Prayer of St. Francis, and was struck by the following line: “O Master grant that I may never seek… to be loved as to love with all my soul.” This is the type of love my dad (aptly named “Francisco”) lives: a love without need for reciprocation or repayment, a love that exists as the air does— on principal alone.

So, thanks, Dad, for living a boundless and unflinching love each day. Happy Father’s Day. I know I can say always without question: I love you.

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How Do We Move Towards Love?: Questions After Orlando

There aren’t any words for what happened today in Orlando or what could have happened in LA.

And yet, we must find words, because our silence would be our compliance.

As with most things, I am seeing nun of this through the lens of a teacher. Still, all I have now are questions:

  • How can we be better teachers?
  • How do we break down the systems of a fragile masculinity we ingrain in ourselves and, consequently, our systems?
  • How do we give kids the skills to cope with these events and tragedies?
  • What do we need for big, systemic change? What’s the catalyst? Why haven’t we hit the bottom yet?
  •  How do we instill a sense of hope and the fire to seek change instead of falling towards cynicism?
  • How do we walk towards love, even when it feels impossible?

I’m angry and sad and I don’t have answers. All I can do is sit with these questions and hope things look better in the morning.

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Running Back to Myself, for #GlobalRunningDay

It’s Global running day!

Last year, I was interviewed by On Being about my relationship with running, and how it’s affected my sense of self. Thanks to the amazing Lily Percy for  being a great interviewer, having a lit soundtrack, and pulling out this bit:

I would get out on the road and all of a sudden, step by step, it was like running myself back to myself in a lot of ways. So it’s nice to know that there’s always going to be this place I can go where it’s just me and the road. And there’s something really beautiful about that.

Listen to the interview below: