Today is a good day. I think it is because of the sunshine. The last week has been some of the bleakest (read: normal for Wellington) weather in quite some time. The sun has been absent, and the skies have been gray. That has been reflected in most people’s attitudes. But today, the sun is shining, and with that comes a flood of joy. I am tempted to sing “High of 75” as it seems ultra appropriate today: “We were talking together, I said, “what’s up with this weather?” Dont know whether or not how sad I just got was of my own volition, or if I’m just missing the sun.” But the song ends well with, “And its funny how you find you enjoy your life, when you’re happy to be alive.” I am happy to be alive.
I cannot pinpoint it to any one event, but the culmination of the last week has been immensely satisfying. I was invited to speak at the Student Life (the Christian group on campus I’ve become involved with) weekly meeting last week, and it was a great experience. Quite low key, and I was working with two other students to run the show for the week, an honor to be involved with. One of the Student Life girls was playing a show that night at a bar called Happy (what a nice name) and she is quite talented! And she would fit in with about one percent effort with the crowd back in Columbus. Think Regina Spektor meets St. Vincent meets She and Him meets Colin Meloy’s folky storytelling style. Check her out America: Zoe Cook.
I finished a book that one of my roommates gave me for Christmas entitled Naked in Dangerous Places, a travel narrative that chronicled the real life journey of Cash Peters and his year making a travel TV show that left him in remote places with no money and food. So was the premise, which he quickly realized would be blown if the viewers gave any intelligent thought to what was actually going on. His writing is hilarious, and the situations that he found himself in “naturally” were quite absurd. He even made it to New Zealand for an episode where he bailed on jumping off the Nevis Bungy which I did over my break. Boo ya! Besides the entertaining stories recalled from places such as Lesbos, Alaska, Vanuatu, and Kenya (where he slept in a hut made of cow dung), he had greater perspectives on the whole idea of travelling and its sometimes futile and impossible attempts to truly know a place. I have been in New Zealand for 111 days and while I feel that I know the city pretty well, and I’ve been to many places around the country’s north and south islands, I don’t really know in the deep down understanding kind of way that could take lifetimes. It throws life into a huge perspective that our time here really is limited, and that today is as good a day as any to be the one to change your life. And in that vein of optimism, I live today.
Friday night was the night where me and the Rage crew went and redeemed our bar tab at the ultra chic, super classy, we wouldn’t be there in any other circumstances bar, Ancestral. It was a night of the best and fanciest drinks that any of us had ever had. Good times. I really do wonder if we will ever be able to see the movie in its finished state. Best case scenario, we stay in contact with the lady from the shoot, we each get a copy of the movie and then host premieres all across the country in a night of movie stardom. “Columbus! Boston! Vermont! Knoxville! Minneapolis! See the international sensation that is Rage! Meet the talented and incredibly handsome men that starred in the full length feature film!” Yeah, that sounds good.
I went out for a late night (okay, it was 6:30, but had been dark for an hour and a half, so it might as well have been midnight) run and became the unexpected third wheel on what looked like a lovely evening. I was running by the waterfront, as I do, and just in front of me, enough ahead of me to not be noticed, but close enough to see and hear exactly what was happening, was a couple having a date on the go. They had rented roller blades and were careening dangerously down the sidewalks, attempting to hold hands, but missing the connection, making turns that took tens of seconds to complete, and laughing hysterically the whole time. They were dressed as if they had just walked off the set of filming the music video for Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” he in a flannel and long curtains of hair, and she in a cheerleading outfit with the red “A” for anarchy on her top. Nah, she wasn’t, but straight 90s for sure. When I finally did pass them it was when they had finally managed to navigate towards each other, and whether or not their following embrace was one of love and connection or of the need for balance and structural stability, it is hard to say, but either way it was a special moment.
And this morning, the combination of mulling over a hot cup of coffe the promise in Isaiah 32:1-2, the sounds of “Where is My Mind” by the Pixies, and reading an unexpected message from a friend kickstarted a day that has been a blessing. Today I am happy, encouraged, and reflecting over the culminating factors that have made today possible, and it is good. Go do.