Sep 12, 2012

Showing up

A tea shop.  A real live tea shop.  Teresa and I stumbled upon this gem yesterday...and it has nothing to do with anything I've written below, but is worth posting just for the name of the place.  Cupán Tae...get it?  (Hint: say it out loud.)
"Sometimes, community is just about showing up.  Showing up when we don’t know what to say.  Showing up when we don’t know what to do.  Showing up when all we’ve got to offer is Starbucks and a smile.  We try to make community more complicated than it needs to be.  But really all it means is being there.  Not hiding.  Not believing the lie that someone else could do it better.  Not even waiting for someone to reach out to us.  It’s just making ourselves available." - author Holley Gerth

Today was Socs Day (for those of you who are at Union, that’s Club Expo), and in the midst of the hullabaloo (see below), I was – of course – thinking about community.  Again.

There was enough going on (as you can see) that I didn't exactly think to whisk out my camera and take a photo for you I borrowed this one from Facebook.
I signed up for more clubs today than I’ll end up staying in.  (I still don’t know, for instance, how I got roped into joining the Chess Soc.  It all happened so fast...)  But it was a step, and a healthy one at that.  Joining clubs guarantees that you at least have a common interest with the other members, and I say that’s progress toward the kind of community I’ve been reaching for...the kind of community where you can "show up" for each other.

Now, I have a fairly good idea of what it looks like to "show up" - I do it gladly and often for my friends and family at home.  (And I'm interested to hear from you, if you'd like to share: what does "showing up" mean for you?)  But I’d like to find the courage to do that for someone here.  I'd love to learn how to meet someone new and be brave enough to make myself available and open and just there in a way that’s risky...but might just bear grace-full, satisfying fruit.

Friends, I should probably return to that essay I'm supposed to be writing (which I'll post if it ends up getting me a good grade).  I'm supposed to be defining Irish music based on my experiences of the past two weeks...which is a hoot, primarily because I've only been here for two weeks.  Let's see how this goes...

P.S. Last week, I dropped by a corner store on my way home and picked up one of those 99-cent beginner's crocheting kits, just to see if I could challenge myself to learn something new.  When I told my mum about it, she clearly flashed back to the day I met the ladies who knit, and smiled a wry smile that said, you just wait, girl.  Next week, you'll be out buying a cat.  Watch out, Mum...if I'm any good at it, perhaps I'll have found a new hobby, and you may eventually end up with the most adorable mittens you ever did see.

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