she knows the ceilidh

for a dear friend

our breath of dragons
puffs and disappears in the freezing
cold air bustling down
old cobblestone buildings
and bright grey skies
all laughs and smiling

old life somehow snuck into the new
but i still like you
confident through
twists and turns in rain
as the crowd dances
say you’ll call
trying not to fall
in puddles trembling fiddles

of cognitive models
born to think and save
bad decisions
broken shoes
brazen creature unwearied by time
let’s not lose each other


good samaritans

On my way home from a language exchange and drinks with my friends, I happened to see a group of tourists from the United States struggling to use the metro. I offered to help them, and in return they took me out to dinner at a very nice restaurant in Madrid. It just so happened that that next day I got pick-pocketed on the metro and lost a significant amount of cash, as well as important cards. My dear friend who I was actually supposed to meet that day, came to the police station and stayed with me while I called my bank and filed the report. She gave me some leftover pie and encouraged me, even though the process took much longer than expected. As days go, that one was not great. I think I cried more than I have in my entire time in Spain.

However, that night these generous tourists offered to take me out to dinner again. We had wonderful conversation, and it was a lovely end to one of my worst days in Spain. I was reminded all over again of the grace of God. I struggle to believe in miracles, but this felt like one. People I had known for not even two days were being so kind, and my friend took time out of her day to help and comfort me. I wasn’t beaten up like in the original story and left for dead, but I was taken in both by people I knew and people I had never met before, who didn’t have any reason to be kind to me. I will leave you with the story of the Good Samaritan. Everything about it speaks to the love of God that we can show in our daily lives.

25And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” 29 But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

The Good Samaritan

30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, 34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36 Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

This story comes from Luke 10: 25-37 in the NASB translation of the Bible.

on not having a niche

As I prep to come back to the United States for a month I have been thinking about starting something new on the blithe seaside, doing some style and travel posts. I love lifestlye blogs and I thought it would be neat to show you the capsule wardrobe that I packed for Spain, some holiday looks and what I wore as I jet around for my visa, visting family and a wedding. Often bloggers are encouraged to have some sort of niche, but who has a niche in real life? We are all made up of different interests and I think it’s beneficial to share those. In the future you can look forward to some monthly favorites posts, outfit ideas and maybe even some travel guides.

put your records on: study music

Some people like to listen to music while they work, some people don’t. Funnily enough both groups have scientific research to back them up; there is the famous Mozart effect, but other studies have shown that listening to music impedes the ability to remember and recall information.

Personally, I like to listen to music when I am writing, or doing problem sets, but not as much if I am trying to memorize something or am doing a practice test. Maybe it does slow down my work, but at least my work is more enjoyable.

There are tons of study playlists out there on Spotify, and you probably have some of your own, but I recently divided up my gargantuan study playlist into different study aesthetics and moods. No song on any of these playlists has any words so hopefully they will help you to stay relaxed and focused.

study ep. 1

For the longest time Keaton Henson’s intrumental album Romantic Works and Andrew Bird’s Echolocations was the only study music I listened to. Now I have branched out to artists and composers like Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds, Bersarin Quartet and Dustin O’Halloran. One of my favorite songs right now is Soft Collared Neck by Helios and when I realized there was an instrumental version I knew I had to add it.

study ep. 2 and ep. 3

These playlists are by far the longest, at over 15 hours long combined, you won’t ever run out of music. I am a fan of Chopin’s Nocturnes for studying, as well as Debussy’s Preludes. If you like Chopin I would highly recommend Franz Liszt and Charles-Valentin Alkan who also feauture on these playlists and if you like Debussy, Gabril Pierné, Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel are all wonderful. I am still in the process of seperating all the classical music by relative time period, so please be patient with me.

study ep. 4

This is what I am currently listening to and it is such a blast. I chose some of my favorite classic jazz albums, and yes I do think that the music composed by Vince Guaraldi Trio for Charlie Brown is a classic! Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, a couple of works from Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson Trio’s Night Train are just a few that I have added. I always listen to jazz, but every year in the fall and winter I play a lot more than I normally do. Maybe it’s that I grew up with jazz around Christmastime, but I just love it a little more this time of year. I obviously biased but I think that this playlist would also work really well as background music for dinner.

I hope you enjoy these playlists and are having a wonderful autumn!

this is autumn in the park

wind flips maple and birch leaves
new pancakes cooked by the sun and creeping free
saxophone and birds call and plead
for the warmth to stay just a little longer
shivers and cigaretes lit by the cold hands of lovers
lamposts, tree trunks divide up the sky
while the people in twos and threes are moving lines
of color and shape against this pale bright
chartreuse and gold, burnt orange flight

suddenly a group of young men rush by
carrying packs on their backs- christmas come early
running who knows where to sell their wares
upon the tourist passing
this autumn in the park
branches lose their trappings
this autumn in the park
children’s fingers grasping
this autumn in the park
mother nature’s jewels all laughing

i can’t write: excercise #3

In which, I complete writing exercises for ‘fun’…

Write a poem incorporating words from a list of things in a certain familiar area, but change the symbolism. I chose the living room.

how is that not — turning out a
lamp flickering in a not quite warm enough room
media blitz on gunfire shouts
treated him like a king
given a tv remote to detonate
but killed him
can’t breathe under the white blankets and cushions of the couch
elephantine enveloping enormity of flashing lights
commentators argue over
use and force
forced to use the death
to see the death as system

there is sun streaming through the windows
morning after
cyclical rebirth
the power chords unable to charge the phone

sitting reading an old john grisham book
justice never coming—
 a moral issue?

how is that not a moral issue?


passing time

old relics of the past
otro tiempo, otro país
architechtural marvel tourists pass
i am one of them
sitting under the bird calls and leafy palms
all the idioms and tongues gathered
praising the human ability
que egypto está en madrid
bikes pedal by the fountain
fleeting as all things are
fleeing as all things are
from time


This particular poem is in reference to the Temple of Debod, an Egyptian temple in Madrid. You can learn more here.