Sunday, July 29, 2007

Some days are the best days

Sometimes things work out so perfectly that you don't have a say in it and don't even want one. Yesterday I got a birthday package from Aunt Gail and inside was the summer issue of Poetry. Just last week I had been wishing I had some poetry to read, the books I thought packed underneath socks I still haven't worn must instead remain propped forgotten between those I didn't intend to take. So, for the most part lacking poetry or anything else good to read, I opened the book to the first poem, titled Barton Springs. I am in West Africa, reading a national poetry publication sent to me by an Aunt that knows I love poetry, and the first poem (placed, I should add, in front of poems by some of my favorite writers such as Updike, Billy Collins, and Richard Wilbur) just happens to center on Barton Springs, the center of my favorite town in the world. Then I flipped open the issue of Texas Monthly Aunt Gail sent me, directly to an article written by a former professor of mine - talk about the right place at the right time. And this morning I had the most American morning I've had since, well, America. I woke up an hour and a half later than usual, 7:15, made fresh coffee, read an article about canoeing down the Mississippi, lost track of time for a while, ate some biscuits Alexia sent me from Paris around 8 or so, and then read about Iron Man's fallout with Captain America in The New Avengers, sent all the way from Chicago by Jennifer. What a great, lazy Sunday morning. Oh and that picture above is what I see out of my back window in Kampti, right next to some little corn fields. If you take the path behind those trees you'll end up at the creek, easily crossed, and then you'll find yourself nearing the market, where you can buy most anything you need for only a few hundred francs. Life is good and I think it'll only get better. And another realization before I head over to the hotel to watch the last leg of the Tour with some people that actually like cycling -- I admittedly do not. Even though they make non-left turns, which Nascar does not, they still lack engines and everything else I like about racing -- there are no coffee shops here in this part of Burkina. Yesterday, wanting to read some of my new presents with coffee, I searched for a Quack's or JP's look alike, or maybe even a Starbucks offshoot, but to no success. Thinking about this, I realized what missing something is worth. Before I would have said that, when missing something, forget about the pain that comes along with it and focus on the good things you have in front of you. But that's ridiculous to me now. The pain isn't negative, just misunderstood. It's a marker telling you that what you're thinking about is important, and worth thinking about, and in that way is more valuable than anything else, save the person or thing you are missing. Basically, it's worth it. That is something I would have never learned without being here. Alright, I'm going to head to the hotel and try to see if they have french fries today, yum. See you soon. Oh and this last picture is my birthday present from Jennifer. All the kids thought it was pretty, and I got to give them a little cross-culture lesson on the importance of wrapping presents and such in the United States. Not that I follow that rule, but it's good for them to know in case they ever head to the Occident.


katie said...


I love your new entry. Thats really nice of everyone to be sending your stuff. Your birthday is tomorrow, yayy!! You will laugh when you get my card. Trust me. I will send you a real present after I get paid. I love you!


keith blogs about bogs said...

Happy Birthday Clay! I am making your blog my home page. That's right. And yeah, I DO Mean on both browsers that I use. Anyways, I hope it's your best b-day yet bud


wisdom said...

Happy Birthday Clay. I just want to set the record straight. NASCAR makes non-left turns twice a year at the two road courses. Anyways, have a good one.

Grant said...

Happy Birthday from me n Britt!

jhumple said...

mom called to congradulate me on making it into the blog. thanks=)
miss you

Rachel said...

What is an "Occident"?