Journeys & Writings of Paul

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stream of consciousness

It’s that time between dusk and dark; too dark to be dusk, too light to be dark. I like to run, ride my bike or go on a walk to clear my head. This is a beautiful night for it, except for the bugs, but if you want the good, you must take the good with the not so good also. If I were an inventor, I would create a bug catcher that in some way simulated hair, because as the wind whipped my hair while I peddled on, the bugs were held fast as prisoners in its clutches. I’m timing my breathing as I maneuver through clouds of gnats. I hate gnats. Are they gnats? Close enough. Small, and terrible when inhaled. When I clear my head I often just let thoughts fly, think about whatever comes to mind, from important things, to irrelevant things, to things on my heart and mind, philosophical questions, scientific quandaries, whatever.

In the midst of this mental free-write, I like to pray. Tonight I am so thankful that God does not tire of my conversation, so often one-sided. My thoughts fly so quickly that there is no room for a word from another to come in edgewise. I am so thankful that God doesn’t have better things to do, isn’t too tired to listen, is genuinely interested, deeply loves me, and is attentive to the things that concern me, no matter how infinitesimal they may be. Wow. This blows my mind every time I ponder it.

Smells have the ability to instantly transport me back in time.

As I bike past a wooden fence along the Winona Trail, wet with the evening dew an releasing its earthy redolence, I am instantly an eight-year old girl again at Day Camp with my girl scout troop, shy and insecure. We're on the mulch trail through the woods on a way to our next activity. My best friend Kayla is there at my side.

Recently on a Wednesday evening as I was in the middle of an interval run with my faithful and motivational interval partner Kristin Martin, the heavy scent of the towels being washed and dried in the Rec Fit Center zapped me back to the Philippines. It’s 115 degrees Fahrenheit, Jess and I have hailed a tricycle heading to Island City Mall in Tagbilaran City, Bohol to pick up our laundry. We walk into the tiny nook of a laundromat and instantly get even sweatier. How is that even possible? It is at least twenty, maybe even thirty degrees hotter in here. The air is thick with detergent and fabric softener smell. I taste it with each sticky breath. How do these women sit here each day washing, drying, ironing, and folding clothes in this environment? It’s a living I suppose.

Trikes in Tagbilaran City, Bohol

Laundromat ladies who we visited pretty much weekly