28 April 2010

look no further

"We are not merely imperfect creatures who must be improved: we are rebels who must lay down our arms."

Understanding that I am the problem changes everything about the way that I look at social ills, suffering, compassion, and my place in the world. I'm a pretty socially aware person. I volunteer, support movements, buy tshirts, email my representatives, go barefoot, give money, talk to people in different social strata. And so most of the time I think I'm pretty cool. I look for the problems on the outside: what other people have done, what our governments have done, what society has done, what natural disasters have done.

But really, the problem is on the inside. I am the problem. You can't see the deepest recesses of my heart, but I, sometimes, can, and I can tell you that there is darkness and nasty goop. When I'm honest, I can see quite clearly where all of these ills arise.

Torture comes out of my anger.
War comes out of my greed.
Poverty comes out of my self-absorption.
Oppression comes out of my lust.
The most twisted crimes come out of my indulgence.

That's fundamental. Because if the problem is inside me, the solution sure isn't. I need something on the outside to change me and heal me and make me capable of healing the world.

26 April 2010

evocation

Spring has just established itself in England, but I smelled summer cycling home tonight. It smelled like cut grass and dusk and fireflies.

24 April 2010

guest column!!!

My grandmother thinks that I don't put enough details in my blog. So... here is her very own guest column where she can put anything and everything!
;)

From Mary Jo:

This part of Megan's blog is for family and us old people. I doubt her friends would be interested in this. I told Megan we need to hear more about her life here and she said everyone wouldn't be interested in that, but those in her family are, I told her. So here is my boring blog:

We have all wondered what the restaurant was like where Megan works. So here is a picture or two of Morton's. You will see Megan behind the counter waiting on customers.


This is the London Eye that Megan and Tuila rode on, the second largest observation wheel in the world. Wonder why Allen didn't go :-). I had an excuse. Lloyd was exhausted and we stayed behind a bit and of course I had to stay with him.


I cannot believe I am still alive and living. I have never walked so far and so long, never walked up and down so many steps in my life. It seems you have to go up stairs to go down stairs and down stairs to go up stairs. This going up and down was in the train, bus and underground, tube, or whatever it is called. It seemed everyone in London was busy walking to wherever they were going, too fast for me. Few people drive cars, they walk, and walk, and walk and go up and down stairs.
Megan walks and walks and walks almost everywhere she goes. I understand she does ride her bike quite a bit and it is a wonder she is still alive the way the traffic is. I am amazed though that I haven't seen any dented fenders or any dead bodies lying in the street. We were at City Centre today and Lloyd took a picture of some of the many many bikes parked there.


The girls living in Megan's apt are very thrifty. I won't get into all what I feel are necessities that they live without. I guess when you are a poor student you learn to live without.

We brought wonderful weather with us from the states. Everyone told us to bring raincoats and umbrellas. We only saw a very light mist for a few minutes. It was colder in Scotland and Ireland that I had anticipated and we had to buy additional jackets. As warm as it was in the U.S. when we left I just couldn't believe it could be cold here and we did not heed their advise to take warm clothes. It was beautiful here today in Oxford, probably in the upper 60's.

The scenery is beautiful, georgeous old buildings and castles. But I still like Topeka best.

Don't know what we would have done without Megan guiding us around the train and bus stations. We couldn't understand what was being said when they were making announcements even though they were supposedly speaking English. All the time Megan was so cool and collected and didn't once make a mistake. There are many languages spoken here in the UK and we didn't hear English very often.

There is some delicious looking food in the grocery stores. I wish I could take some of it home with me but don't have room. Megan cooked us a couple delicious meals. She says she really enjoys cooking.

It has been great being here and traveling and especially being with Megan. But we are ready to come home and will see you all soon. Brittany - let Lucky out of the closet!!!!

22 April 2010

edinburgh epistle

I've got some work to do on my pictures before I put up my faves from Edinburgh, but I promised someone I'd keep my blog updated while my family is here... (:

After three days in London we spent an entire day traveling to Edinburgh.


This is the first stop in Scotland.


The country is freaking cold, but gorgeous.

I was not prepared for the austere stone magnificence of Edinburgh architecture. Yet although the city has a cold, aloof appearance, the people are warm and vibrant. Check out this sweet city.




Seth was our fantastic and hysterically quirky tour guide in Edinburgh and he was the one who brought the cold city to life.


Tuila and Allen and I took a few hours and climbed an extinct volcano on the edge of Edinburgh called Arthur's Seat. We scorned the beaten trail and got into some sketchy rock climbing! It was hard to get a photo that captured how epic this little adventure was, but check this out,


and then calculate that we didn't climb the crag in the foreground where you see the people standing, but instead the one in the left background that was maybe twice as tall. Here's another angle.


All in all, I think Edinburgh was everyone's favorite. That's just because they haven't experienced Oxford yet... ;)

17 April 2010

london city

Day one of fantastic family fun...

bus tour:


Thames cruise:


London Eye:




ice cream:


Day two...

Harrod's department store:


Hyde Park:





horseback riding:


evensong at Westminster Abbey:


ice cream... oh yeah, it's a wonderful life.

16 April 2010

old world meets new world

In London with my precious grandparents and aunt and uncle. They are so cute, and it's so fun to have them here.

13 April 2010

the edge

Listened to the engaging and inspiring debate between Student Senate cabinet candidates last night on Jewell's online radio station. Ah, Jewell radio... it exemplifies so much of the quirkiness we love and miss about Jewell. I feel like such a well-informed voter now. Now I just need to catch up on my Polka Power Hour!

11 April 2010

this is haarlem

I am in love with Haarlem.

Haarlem is a charming town twenty minutes from vibrant Amsterdam, and ever since I got back I've been scheming ways I could go live there for a year or two. University? Tour guide? Church plant? You only think I'm joking...

I hope this video shows you just a bit of the incredible beauty of this city, this country, and the Dutch people. They were my favorite.

video