1. The Head and the Heart
Naturally I fell in love with this band during the tumultuous months where the struggle between my head and my heart became a full on war. I am ruled by my heart, but his logical and easy self is governed by his head, and it was at THATH’s concert this past June in Baltimore City when I peaked up at his smile and fell in love for the thousandth time with the creases and corners of his beautiful face.
2. Reading Classic Literature
Michelangelo said “I am still learning.” Immediately after I graduated from college, I swore to myself that I would continue my education through reading great works of literature. Sigrid Undset, Mark Twain, J.R.R Tolkien, J.D Salinger, Charlotte Bronte…I find solace in these words that have reached across the centuries, and there’s nothing more that I love than to curl up on my window seat and look down at the valley below, absorbing beautiful truths found within fictional lives: “A change once seemed near,” Jane Eyre mused, “and I desired and waited it in silence.”
It’s something about leaving poorly wrapped whale cookies on his doorstep in brown paper with a too-sappy-for-him note tied with twine around a flower. We as women feel our most hellish when we are not able to give. I may not be able to fully give him my heart yet, but I still love leaving baked goods at his door for when he comes home from a rough day at work. Surprise letters to girlfriends in the mail, unexpected chai lattes for my mother…gifting our suffering as an offering makes pain more bearable…and beautiful.
4. Diner Coffee
Perhaps the greatest thing in small towns around America is the comfort and warmth provided by a white porcelain cup late at night in a diner. Lukewarm, black, mediocre…and with a friend sitting across the booth from you, simplicity cannot be perfected in a more pure way.
5. Worship Music on the Guitar
Whenever my heart feels bruised or wanting, I pull out the six strings, and like a little drummer girl, I pluck away. My voice reaches tones that shouldn’t exist, and my fingers fumble after years of self-teaching and practice, but not only do I praise God when I’m at a low, but afterwards, I feel blessed with a peace by the prayer found in music.
Carolyn Shields ate a live scorpion in an alley in Beijing. She loves roadtripping with friends, spending afternoons in cafes, and writing in her journal late at night in an empty chapel. She is the founger of theYoungCatholicWoman.com.