6 August 2013
I’ve gotten to spend time with my Grandpa (a personal hero) the past week. It’s great. Lots of throwing the ball for Joe his puppy and sitting and listening. Sometimes–mostly–just being. Being together. He will also regularly throw in some wise words from almost 89 years of life fully lived. Saturday in passing, over a beer with Joe impatiently waiting for someone to throw a ball, he offers me “you can do a lot of things with life.”
Yes, Grandpa, you can. You have. Moving from small town to Michigan grad, POW, worked with Bucky Fuller, and building his own architecture firm. Not to mention more than 60 years of marriage and raising 3 kids and keeping the next gen in line when we all came along.
I’m now a Michigan grad. Third generation and third of my siblings. Very few people in the world can say that and I don’t mean that in a itmakesmebetterthanyou way. It’s a fact that I stand in awe of near daily.
I’m positioned well in this society so that if-as I have- I work hard I’m one of the lucky ones that could ‘make it.’
You can do a lot of things with life. I can do a lot of things with my life because of who I am, where I’m from, who my parents are, and the school I graduated from.
A lot of things….a lot of things the people I met in workshop weren’t allowed to dream of. Denied access to because of who they are and where they’re from.
I’ve got some plans for what I’ll do. I also had a plan in a prior life that got run off the road. So now I take planning with a grain of salt.
One step at a time. Like walking down the Transpantaneira. They add up. Some straight down a path, some sideways or down a detour.
I can do a lot of things with my life and I’m stepping out of the world I know in Metro-Detroit and Ann Arbor and moving to Harlem. Tomorrow orientation starts.
A week ago I was settling into my last night at Nazaré, writing notes and drawing pictures. A week ago I walked out under the brilliantly lit Brazilian night sky, stared up for the last time in awe of the stars above me and the ground I stood on, the dirt I dug my feet into on the grounds of Colegio de Nazaré. I took it in. Breathed deep. Walked back inside.
Tomorrow is my last day in Troy. I leave for orientation for JVC Thursday.
‘You can do a lot of things with life’ and I’m about to embark on something entirely new.