my socks

have apparently begun to organize some sort of social revolution against me. I started getting suspicious after my favorite pair, these white and green gems with snowflakes (that I wear even if it is summer), mysteriously vanished from my drawer. Next, I discovered a huge hole on one of my fuzzy-slide-around-on-the-hardwood-floor socks. That was a bummer. Then, I did laundry a few days ago and had 6 rando socks left over without matches. Where are you going, socks? I'm sorry that I never do laundry and only wash you when I am in desperate need of you, but I will do better in the future. I promise. Maybe. Please come home.

In other irrelevant news,

- I have discovered that one of the most satisfying things ever is taking advantage of the moments when I have the house to myself, and during that time blasting Lady Gaga in the kitchen and throwing a me-only dance party.
-Today I was hanging up a rain jacket that had fallen on the floor of my closet and inside one of the pockets I found a seashell and some lemon tea! It was such a lovely surprise.
-Poptarts are officially better when put in the microwave, not toasted.
-Ellen & I tried to crash a reception at Charles Wright's reading on Monday and failed
-As of yesterday, I am a declared English major, although all it really feels like is that I've made it official on my transcript "Hey world, I have no future plans or career ambitions. Upon graduation, can somebody please pay me to sit in a coffee shop and read? I'm really good at that."
-My shampoo smells so good. I've gotten into the habit of showering right before bed so that I can fall asleep with my hair smelling so wonderful as it sprawls out on my pillow. I feel bad for boys because most of them have short hair which means that they can't smell how good it smells right after you wash your hair. This was maybe a weird thought. Am I a freak?

"bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes"

April 26-30. If I haven't already shared the details with you, you should ask me about it. It's going to be incredible.
We're raising money for Colegio Cristiano La Esperanza (a school located in La Chureca, the city dump of Managua, Nicaragua). We're hoping to raise enough for them to buy new textbooks and notebooks. We're hoping to love kids well. We're hoping to give them crowns of beauty instead of ashes. And those are all things to get pretty excited about. :)

School of Hope from Love Light & Melody on Vimeo.

as many times as I blink I'll think of you

I think this music video is gorgeous.
watch it.

p.s. I lied earlier...this is actually my 100th post. That is why I am not a math major. so, although this is rather anticlimactic, HAPPY 100, dear blog!!

100 reasons not to be discouraged

I am an optimist. I don't believe in being negative about things for any length of time. School has been giving me a lot of reasons to be pessimistic lately (for example, a few minutes ago, I got back my second paper in a week that I did miserably on, which is a blow for me because papers are what I always count on being good at. My TA literally didn't say a single nice thing. It was like "Yourpapersucksyourpapersucksyourpapersucks, BEST WISHES!") but I am doing my best to combat this desire to wallow in negative feelings.


So, in order to cheer myself up, I thought I would make a quick list (in no particular order of importance) of 100 things that are awesome. Because life is awesome even though my grades are not.

1) purple
2) those hills that my grandmother would call "belly-bumps" that you speed up & drive over & then feel kind of weightless
3) kittens! puppies! babies!
4) spending the afternoon collaging
5) sleeping in
6) Arches pies
7) friendship bracelets
8) re-reading Whitman
9) new journals
10) old journals
11) Nicaragua
12) blogging
13) the sound the coffee pot makes. and the coffee the coffee pot makes.
14) sweatpants
15) people running with bookbags
16) JESUS!
17) this playlist I just made & like to listen to in the shower that is all really bad pop songs
18) gchatting
19) road trips
20) going on hikes
21) snuggling
22) snuggies
23) Warrenton
24) mom & dad & brother
25) learning to play new instruments
26) sitting on the front porch
27) not ever having to take a science class ever again
28) looking through old pictures
29) calling Anna Straight
30) going on walks
31) remembering your dreams
32) the English language
33) the sound of it raining outside
34) ghost stories
35) roller coasters
36) that time of day that is pre-dusk when the sun is really heavy
37) going to Maura's farm house
38) those free tortilla chips you get at Mexican restaurants
39) finding something important you thought you lost
40) laughing at yourself
41) eating rainbow chip icing & leftover chipotle for lunch
42) jumping on a trampoline
43) those milkshakes you can get at Sheetz
44) old houses
45) writing letters
46) how it feels nice when strangers smile at you
47) funny-face pictures
48) the sound of the crowd singing at concerts
49) thick wool socks
50) sliding around on hardwood floors in thick wool socks
51) hanging out by a bonfire
52) burning marshmallows
53) finding chapstick when you need it
54) running to answer the door when your parents get home from work
55) surprise parties
56) swimming outside
57) when you come home and your housemate has cooked you dinner
58) when people write you encouraging notes
59) loving
60) racquetball
61) Youtube
62) wearing bright colors
63) breakfast for dinner
64) going to museums for free in DC
65) Greene County!
66) free refills at Wendys
67) cardigans
68) cheesy romance movies
69) getting a little sunburn
70) getting an ab workout from laughing too hard
71) discovering how cool the study center is
72) Mom's delicious mac&cheese
73) when you are somewhere really dark and look up and suddenly realize that you can see the stars
74) when you make a grilled cheese just right
75) abbrevs
76) telling a good story
77) things that are scary but don't end up actually being scary
78) this dorky journalism t-shirt I have that says "Oh, Crop!"
79) joyful kids
80) when your middle school locker combo randomly pops into mind
81) how it feels strange but cool after you get a haircut
82) when you go into a house that has a good house-smell
83) living out of suitcases instead of unpacking
84) laughing at how bad your student ID/drivers licence picture is
85) when you are walking with your iPod in and a sweet song comes on and then you pretend that you are in the middle of a real-life music video
86) Ronald Weasley
87) covering a wall with sticky-notes of good poetry
88) Thanksgiving leftovers
89) bubblegum
90) people who are passionate
91) defending good literature
92) hugs that last a long time
93) driving with the sunroof open
94) beating Taylor on Mario Kart
95) how good your own bed feels after you've been away
96) walking on grass with bare feet
97) pinatas
98) having a signature dance move
99) that vanilla-mint toothpaste, even though everyone but me hates it
100) YOU!

something adorable

I am afraid of birds

need proof?
see the video below.

some book-shelf inspiration

A few months ago, I started writing a teeny tiny collection of poems, all loosely based around a specific shelf of Icelandic children stories that I found in Alderman stacks. I like book shelves. I like the thought of a lot of different stories and ideas being forced into the same neighborhood. I like the way books must be physically supported, held.

Whenever I go to Alderman, I always end up studying in the stacks by these Icelandic stories. They intrigue me. They have these fun, colorful covers and interesting titles. The subject matter (of the ones I can skim through in English) is whimsical and typically about fish or witches or cats or princesses.

So one day I just wrote a poem about the shelf. And then a few days later, I wrote another one about one of the book covers. And then I thought "let's make this a project". And so I did, but then kind of forgot about it after writing a few more. Today I got a random burst of excitement to dig back into it again. I wrote the following. And p.s. This was also inspired by some pictures my friend took of street art she saw when she visited Iceland, and by this flickr page I browsed and LOVE.
Happy gorgeous saturday :)

Street-art graffiti in Reykjavík at 5 p.m.
where I am holding your hand.
A tall green man is standing on the flaking side of a furniture shop.
His painted shadow reaches around the corner, back
into the alley by the trash
where it fades, tumultuous blues, and stops in sleep.
I wonder what he’s dreaming.
Your thumb feels nice on my skin.

Over our heads, a fish is flying
with his fish friends on a day-trip from the sea.
You pull out your camera and his scales
leave flashes of light like sunspots on the photos.

You try to take a picture of me, and I say
No, don’t. I am a flying fish.
(Fullness in me when I watch you laugh)

I say, What color are my scales?
You say, purple and that color of the peach you ate yesterday.
I say, Will you count them up?
You say, I will touch each of them with my thumb.
I say, Are you a flying fish?
(Fullness in me when I watch you smile)

Above us is a family of them now,
swooning together in the liquid sunlight.
We watch them leap over a line where
bicycles are hanging from their wheel axles.
They are melting their glittering colors into the day.

I think of how we could talk forever
about fish scales and art
and I’d never want sleep again.

I think of the dimples
on the left side of your face
where I could take a swim.

what five-year-olds can give you

I’ve been trying to concentrate on midterm studying for awhile now, and I just can’t. I should in no way be blogging anything at 1:51 AM on the morning of a huge test– I should either be sleeping or reading Macbeth. I’m also breaking my vow to cut out distractions (such as this blog) this week, but today has been hard and I feel a need to breathe it out onto paper.

Today has been hard because I can’t stop thinking about her.

Her name is Manessa and she is five-years-old. I met her last week at La Chureca, which is a dump and a community on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua. That place is hell and dust and misery, but she is beautiful.

Our group drove through the dump and went to a school located in the center. As soon as we walked into the courtyard, I saw her. She was sitting by herself on the steps. I walked over, leaned down and said "Hola". That was all it took. She gave me this radiant smile that I won't ever forget and stretched her arms out to me. I picked her up and held her. I asked her about her favorite animals and then we imitated them. I spun her around in fast circles. I loved how she leaned her cheek against my collarbone as I read her Spanish words that I could barely understand.
In about two hours, she changed me. She is changing me still.

Late that night back at Casa, I sat alone at a picnic table and felt this moment of alteration that reminded me of high school english class. You know, when your teacher would ask you to cite a page number and paragraph where you can notice the main character experiencing a dramatic shift, an identifiable event that begs a response from the rest of the story. This was my page number - this little five-year-old chica with the same color eyes as mine and a big smile. I sat there and suddenly thought things that hadn't occurred to me before. Where was Manessa now? Did she eat dinner tonight? Did anyone tuck Manessa in as she went to sleep? Did someone wish her sweet dreams and whisper in her ear that she was beautiful? Or smart? Or loved?

I didn't sleep well.
Those questions kept me awake, aching.

Inside that dark, hellish dump, Manessa gorgeously illuminated for me what it means to love: to have your arms wide open, to give it away without pause, to allow yourself to receive it fully. And I think of what a gift that little girl has been to me and then I think of what she lives in everyday and I think of how unfair it is and how it doesn't make sense, and I keep trying to process it and make it right in my head. But nothing lines up when I do that. It still hurts.

Today and all the other days since the visit to Chureca have been hard because I can't stop thinking of what is enough. Is it enough for me to pray for her every day? Is it enough for me to dream for her, to imagine what she'll become? Is it enough for me to dream even for her children, that they might have a mother who holds them and spins them in fast circles and tucks them in at night?

I am haunted as I try to think of how to make Manessa more than just a moment, bigger than just a beautiful smile and two tiny hands that I held once. I am haunted, also, when I think of how I must have looked in her eyes, when I had to leave the school and set her down in her classroom. I think of how I hugged her and waved as if I would see her tomorrow, and then I walked away. I hated myself then.

Now I am in the moment of the "what now?" I am smothered by a frenzy of questions, but I am also learning, learning to believe in what mattered: that I held her. That I instantly fell in love with her. That she loved me so well. Those things count, but how do I respond to them? Where begins my dramatic character shift that some 9th grader somewhere could look at my life and pick out, years from now? I feel like, somehow, I am transforming. A grinning five-year-old with a dirty school uniform is in the process of giving me new eyes.

Dear people who read my blog,

Hi. I like you a lot. Thanks for reading all my weird thoughts and for putting up with all my strange videos of people dancing or silly songs. You're the greatest.
As much as I love blogging, I'm gonna have to take a little break. Hopefully for just like a week or so, because life will be a little cray-cray (yep, I just said that) for the next few days. But don't be sad. I'll be back with more random sentiments & ramblings before you know it.
For now, I just wanted to say thanks. I don't know why you all read what I write on here sometimes, but you do, and that's fun. Also, so that you won't be too devastated, I will leave you with some pictures of joyful Nica kids, and that will cheer you right up as you gaze on them in my absence.

with hearts&hugs&kittens,


I'm back

and my feet feel too clean.

I would tell you all about Nicaragua, but I can't. As in, I literally cannot compose the sentences to describe my week there. I always have words to say, so this sensation of feeling like they were all taken away is crazy. It's painful. It's dizzying.

There will be pictures later. And as I slowly gather them up and sift through them, there will be words later, too. But for now:

I'm home. It feels different. Nicaragua is beautiful.

peace out, america

I will be here in a little over 24 hours:

sometimes it's fun to be one of two Emily Morgan Thompson's at UVA

because then people think they are e-mailing the other Emily and they actually e-mail you.
In my inbox this morning:

subject line: tay tay's alc

hey emily!I put $40 in your box for alcool for tyalor, do you think thats enough?? I can give you more, i just had no idea how much to give you.I was thinking like a bottle of aristocrat vodka maybe a bunch of minis and either two bottle of andre or a 5th of whiskey. Let me know what you think! I can come pick it up sometime this week!

I wrote back:

OMG! $40 def isn't enough! You're gonna have to give me at least double that. I mean, do we want Taylor to get DRUNK or don't we?! and I'm not gonna be able to check my box, so you're gonna have to drop off that original $40 plus maybe $50 more at my friends house...she lives on Price. Her name is also Emily. Don't worry about it. Sweet! Thanks girlfriend!!!

....only joking. but I do wish that's what I sent back.