Wednesday, April 24, 2013

our wall art is a fallout shelter

I no longer call you little dishrags, because a dishrag does not know the dishwasher's business. 
Instead, I have called you friends.

Sometimes, in our flat, ridiculous things happen.
I'm not just talking about the times my roommates performed their own rendition of this little ditty, with the empty Tesco Everyday Value butter tubs in our flat.

Nor am I talking about the many, many times my roommate's magic hugs have soothed tears and sparked smiles laughter.
Nor am I talking about the time my roommates arrived home from Easter in Rome, and literally the first thing they did was fall onto the floor of the common room laughing from exhaustion and relief.
Travel-giggles are a real thing.

The particular incident I am referring to is that one time our flat flooded.
And I use the term "flooding" loosely.
In this particular deluge (which I fondly call 'Deluge 2013'), I arrived home from a wonderful day out with friends visiting for the weekend, and as I stopped by my friend's room to collect the chairs we'd lent her for a dinner party the night before, she looked at my happy, calm, non-panicked face, and said:
"Oh, you haven't been back to your room yet, have you? It's flooded."
I turned on my heel and ran down the stairs, past our rector, and as I passed, I asked:
"Hey, Jamie, is our room flooded?"
"Eerrrr, yes," he said, sounding particularly distressed, but not distraught.
Shaken, yet not stirred.

Our room looked like a post-apocalyptic landscape, if post-apocalyptic landscapes had towels and stainless pots and pans scattered all over parquet floors to catch dripping sewage water, and all the lights had gone off.
In the midst of the smelly, damp chaos, our wall mural, featuring the beautiful Tate Modern Café, stood solid, strong and proud:
a beacon of Ikea-esque beauty amidst the ugly wreckage of failed plumbing.

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.
-G.K. Chesterton
(quote it ad naseum, but that's cause it's true and worth remembering)
It was my friend Mara, who first introduced me to Chesterton's quote above.
And I quote it all the time, because if I didn't, I think every single inconvenience I ran into: whether it be an overly hot, muggy summer day, insatiable appetites, annoying questions, or sewage water raining in my room,  would paralyze me instead of becoming part of the grand adventure.

Words like that can become friends that remind us how to respond to life when our minds and hearts short-circuit, and we lack the ability to remember on our own.

The main inconvenience adventure was that this flood happened on the night of our river cruise.
Imagine eight girls trying to prep for prom in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Yesterday, as I wandered through Hyde Park, I thought about an exercise we did a very long time ago in a sunny dance studio in a theatre in Minnesota.
I wrote on a crisp sheet of notebook paper a list of "I am froms"
Where you're from, you find, isn't always related to where you live.

Nomads are those people who don't have a bit of turf to call their own.
They have their tents and their family, and that's where home is.
Home is wherever they pitch their tent, and wherever there are people they love with whom to share it.
I've always thought that nomads live a much more honest life than I.
Home can so quickly become a small dorm room, or a large apartment shared with nine other girls, or a house on a wooded cul-de-sac in Minnesota.
It's all about who you come home to.

Eating the snacks and tea and burritos that our beautiful rectors plied upon us, we spent a hectic-but-joyful hour or two curling one another's hair, complimenting each girl on how beautiful she looked, and comforting each other with a thousand and one jokes.

Inconveniences are easily turned into adventures when your traveling companions are unshakeable, unflappable and have hearts of gold to match.

"Don't you test these besties." Deluge 2013 Survivors

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