I had terrible cramps through the night and into some of the morning for my last night. Now, I've had five completely-out hip operations, one in which my bone tissue was moved around, one in which my bones themselves were moved around, and one in which my bone was replaced. I know pain. I'll say this about that night: OUCH!
So that put a damper on getting things done in a Super Productive Way. I snuggled with my heating pad. Eventually I got moving, got things tidied up, emptied out my trunk, got it in the car, got my little white 'hair jewellery what the hell is in this thing?' thing into the car, packed away half my closet in two big suitcases (and got those into the car), and packed away some other misc. stuff.
I forgot to mention that Minister Carol asked me to do the Message for All Ages (the Children's Story, really) for the Sunday Service. She described a story about words being like toothpaste and how easy it is to get the toothpaste out but certainly not back in (so apologise, blah blah, but also at the end don't forget to get that last hard-to-get-at-toothpaste out because those are often important words like "I love you" and "Thank you, I'm grateful" and "How can I help you, really?" and sometimes "I'm sorry, so sorry"). I was a bit freaked to have to write and create something in two days, but I called Prior Minister Ann about the toothpaste story she had used (in 1998--when I was 8! I remember!) and she helped me out by sending along her story. I also called Minister Carol to clear a few things up--some differences to Ann's story (actually having the kids try to get the toothpaste back in with tools). I felt much more comfortable. Anyway, after I packed my stuff away I managed to get to CVS to buy some shampoo (for myself), some toothpaste (for myself), some more toothpaste (for the story), and some baby wipes (I like to be prepared in the event of Toothpaste Everywhere).
Got to Providence. Everyone was preparing for the Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow-cast; Platonic Life Partner begged me to come along because she was playing Doctor Franknfurter, which is a huge role and is the Most Serious Role In The Cast (in being the most ridiculous); the RKO Army shadow-cast has some amazing Franks and three of them were there during the show, so it was pretty amazing that PLP was cast. I agreed to go for her even though I knew I was dooming myself to some pretty serious exhaustion, haha. The things I do for love! :P
It meant I had less time--and certainly less leisurely time--than I had planned for unpacking. (How shocked was I? Minimally. The Providence household is like that.) I had time to get up my white misc. container, two closet suitcases, and other misc. stuff up to my room; it is now dumped up on my bed or stuffed in the closet, whereas I wanted to get everything unpacked and organised so I could bring back the suitcases. Oh well. More trips. My rainbow trunk did not make it up, which makes me laugh. So since my rainbow trunk is my symbolic home, my 'home' last night was my car, which is metaphorically pretty accurate given my home is in a state of flux and transition right now! It was supposed to get to Providence today but...
I was then off to Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight shadow-cast performance, with my Platonic Life Partner in the main and most exciting role!
I found out as I was walking off to the car that the show was an hour away, in Massachusetts, up towards Boston. (Meaning I'd have to get driven the hour back to Providence, and then drive myself the half hour back up to my family house--a little frustrating.) I knew I was doomed to even less sleep, so I tucked myself into my headphones and captured some sleep.
I opened my eyes to see the Brandeis University sign and was jolted awake. That's the university my former friend attends for zir postgraduate. I don't think ze stays on campus, although it wouldn't be inconceivable for zir to want to attend such an event. I tried to steel myself for the possibility while remaining a happy, supportive Kiwi for my PLP. I also continued video-taping random clips of things, as I'd been doing throughout my moving process; I hope to use it at some point.
The audience was full. I'm not sure I've ever seen a lecture hall that packed during the day. The show started late, there were a number of pre-shows, and then there were a ridiculous number of Rocky virgins. Keither was on Virgin Duty and he made a long process of it, but it turned out great so it was worth the time. There were so many virgins that to get the numbers down there was first a dancing contest to weed out some people and then the Cartoon Orgasms: 1) pick a cartoon character; 2) blast off. The boy who did Ash Ketchum (Pokemon) won, so he got to be the groom for the random wedding couple at the beginning. (It was also hilarious seeing so many freshers at a Judaism-based university getting involved: there were a number of young men with yamakas and young women in groups looking wide-eyed. They knew what they were getting into from the beginning, though, so I wasn't too worried--they seemed to be loving the opportunity to let loose and have some naughty fun. Although my friends kept making comments about these "poor innocent Jewish kids seeing all this for the first time!" and I couldn't help saying, "I would think most of them did grow up in America, and additionally not under rocks." Although Rocky definitely takes it to an extreme. I guess part of me is amused because the background for many of the people in the cast seems to be a lot more...conservative than that of mine and a number of the Jewish friends I've had and have.)
The show was excellent. PLP was a fantastic and stunningly sexy Frank. I loved getting to watch the show next to my new housemate Melissa; we chuckled along to things. I loved when Ray did the call-out line, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya: you killed my father, prepare to die. Hello, my name is Darth Vader, I am your father, prepare to die. Hello, my name is Luke Skywalker: you are my father, prepare to die. Hello! My name is Harry Potter! You killed my mother, my father, my godfather, and my gay teacher! PREPARE TO DIE!" And I of course always love the call-out line, "Lesbian convention in the parking lot!" right before Magenta walks out.
After the show I flopped on the floor and was ridiculous in my level of exhaustion. Then my right leg gave out with some random nerve pain shooting around, so I was bent over and waiting for someone to come along. I expected to wait for Housemate Casey or someone, but Keither (whom I'm not so familiar with) came and joked with me until he realised I was actually in a spot of trouble. He asked how he helped and--shocking myself--I said he actually could, if he could just help me get over to my bag where I could sit and wait. He was about ready to carry me there or all the way to the car, but I assured him that I'd be fine if I could just get to my bag. He didn't believe me much but did at least listen. Got back to the car, trip to McDonald's with Housemates Casey and Ray and Friend Mia; ridiculously giggly and then quiet-sleepy ride home. Headed back to the family house as soon as I got back. Printed out what I needed, looked it over, and crashed.
Then it was time for The Message For All Ages! Well, really for the whole service. Woke up at 9.20, got ready, got my stuff set, and made it to the meeting-house for 9.40ish. Got everything prepared. Sat nervously through the beginning of service until it came time for the Children's Story. Went up with my see-through bowl, my toothpaste, my plastic spoon, my wooden chopstick, and my...turkey baster (which my Gay 'Uncle' laughed and laughed and laughed about when he saw it earlier).
I invited the kids ("kids" and not "children" I've found works better) up for a "story and an experiment". ("Does anyone know what this is?" "Toothpaste!" "You're right! Usually it goes on teeth...but not today!") I had three of them volunteer to push out some of the toothpaste into the bowl, explaining as they did that the toothpaste was actually word-paste and that everyone gets the toothpaste out differently. ("My mother and I argue about this. I always push from the bottom, but other people in the family push it from the middle! It's the same for talking: everyone does it differently. Some talk fast, some talk slow, some talk a lot, some not so much.") I asked for a volunteer to scoop the toothpaste back into the tube with the spoon; when he had attempted it, I asked him how it went ("not well!") and told him it wasn't his fault. Asked for a volunteer to poke the paste back in with the wooden chopstick; when she had finished I asked the same thing. Asked for a volunteer to squeeze the paste back in with the turkey baster (I should have picked the older chopstick!girl for this instead, but ah well, hindsight); asked the same question and everyone responded that it was hard. I gave a spiel about it being impossible to get all the paste back into the tube, so the important part after it got out was to clean it up: apologies, offers to help, sometimes hugs. I stressed those important words that got stuck in at the bottom and told them to be sure to get all that out when the time came for it, even though it was hard. I felt I could have done a much better job, but it was done, so they started heading back to their seats and I was able to usher them out with
"May we open our eyes to see what is beautiful;
May we open our mind to seek what is true;
May we open our hearts to love one another.
The children, youth, and their teachers may leave--we will sing you out!
(Minister Carol asked me before the service if I knew to include the parting words, since Minister Rebecca didn't the other week--it's something to learn. She asked me if I needed the words and I said that I didn't think so; I tried to recite it on the spot and succeeded, which surprised me as much as her, I think, though she didn't know that. She was impressed and told me even she had memorised it, though the words meant a lot to her. I felt honoured to hear her complimentary words.)
Off to Religious Education (although I read "Religious Exploration" the other day and think I prefer that for "RE") with the youth. We just hung around, did a candle pass (checking in, bit of chat), ate some snacks, loosely went over the covenant, shared strange stories. After the session I brought up getting the youth involved with the Halloween Evening Event planned as an intergenerational shindig (one of the RE coordinators asked me to
Which then brought me to The After Service, when I was cleaning up toothpaste and hanging around. Minister Carol told me that it had gone perfectly and that I had really connected with the kids while also keeping the adults interested (I threw in a few comments that the adults and kids would understand on different levels) so I was incredibly relieved. The mother of some of the kids I kidsit for occasionally came up to me and told me that I had a way with the kids, and wondered if I considered that for the future (teaching or something). I reminded that I am usually most at home with the teenagers--and there seem to be fewer people who feel that way than with younger children--but that it was a relief to know I had potential with other ages. The Mother said that she'd seldom seen even Prior Minister Ann engage with the kids so much. I have to wonder how much of that is my age, though--I'm a young-looking 22. I'm just glad my big boots and my pierced lip aren't off-putting! Though I have to think the big rainbow hoodie with a big happy moose on it probably helped...
I wasn't on the list to volunteer (I hardly ever put myself on lists), but I stayed after service to help get stuff into the service area for the yard-sale next Saturday. I worked it last year so I knew where much of the stuff went. I got some of the kids to help me set up tables for the clothing section (though not surprisingly I ended up lugging more :P) and then I stuck around after others left, in case people showed up with more stuff; I'm glad I did since that happened. I didn't want the congregation to be all locked up. When other volunteers arrived I pushed for us to set up the book section (this year out in the foyer rather than in the service area--better light for browsing! :D) so we organised the tables and got the book bags/boxes out there. I said I would organise them a bit, but when they left I realised how exhausted and hungry I was so instead I called my father to ask if he was hungry. Hopefully the yard-salers won't mind; I do intend to go back tomorrow with my key and work on it a bit.
(I do love volunteering and not thinking about the hours I'm donating or having to put it toward anything. I remember when I was applying for the National Honor Society at my high school I was fretting about if I'd done enough volunteering or had the right character to get in, because I didn't feel I had, and talking to those around who listed back to me the things I'd done through the years. It was an odd but wonderful experience to have that. Sometimes I end up so woven into what I'm doing at the time that I forget the things I've done before--one of the main reasons for these long posts, to capture a moment or day or feeling or accomplishment or all of them, like today.)
Da was indeed hungry or at least interested in shopping, so we went to Wholefoods together. I love trips to Wholefoods. He's a sweetheart and, with no Mum peeking over our shoulders, told me to put anything I needed for Providence into the cart. I told him how grateful I was because condiments can be a pain when one is starting over and needs to get all of them in one pop--but without them I find myself shopping and going, "Oh, no, no point in buying sandwich stuff if I have no condiments to put on a sandwich." Now I don't have to worry about it, I can just shop for the stuff that needs replacing more often. For my actual hunger I got some brie cheese (me! liking brie! I've never gone for cheese!) and rosemary bread to go with the soft spread and Stonewall Kitchen Blueberry Jam since I love the combination. (I'm never much of a foodie, so the fact that I get to include some food in my post for once makes me happy. (; )
In the end I got home from everything and was too exhausted to go out for my errands; picking up my bike lock, organising the yard-sale books, and more Providence trips will have to wait for tomorrow. Instead I ate a bit, came upstairs, and crashed for a pretty long nap until Mum made it back from Maine and peeked into my room ("I wondered if you were gone but Muggzzey looked to happy, sorry for waking you up!").
I set up some bottle candles around my room and my Kindle is playing the Dar Williams station on Pandora. I'm still tempted to write 'my room' because it still looks so much like mine, but this room feels so peaceful now with the candles and the faerie lights and the soft music. With the dark outside and the warmth inside, it feels as though it could be any season; to me it feels like winter. I feel most peaceful in winter--perhaps I'm deciduous after all, really a "serene oak" in winter (my email is serenity.oak and has been since I was 15).
I forget sometimes to stop and make peace for myself, create a peaceful environment around myself and just let it sink in until I feel at peace. It feels as though I spend so much time searching for peace that I forget I can be my own for serenity, and that when I am I tend to be doing the same thing for serendipity.
Ah. Another long entry, I see, when I had planned to write "a few words before bed again". Thankfully I'm feeling too peaceful to care. (: I feel good and capable and beautiful inside--outside, too. I'm just going to soak it in for a while. I hope you all can create some peace for yourselves as well! ♥ Sweet dreams.