17 8 / 2012

Picking up the threads…
                
For the past week I’ve been trying to figure out how to pack up the experience of being a Student Missionary for almost two years and pick up the threads of my former life. The problem is that everything’s changed. 
                
J.R.R. Tolkien once asked the same question “How do you pick up the threads of an old life?” The honest truth is I don’t know. And I’m beginning to believe that you can’t pick up the threads of your old life. The uncomfortable reality is that you never left your old life to begin with. Yes we move on to new places. We change because our experiences and we make many mistakes but through it all we are only ourselves and life that we live is always our own, old threads or not. 
                
So here’s to a new place, where the sky’s a different colour and people talk with an accent. Here’s to letting go and holding on, to making mistakes and learning from them and to living every moment of this adventure called life.  
                
"No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. That’s all." Haruki Murakami
                
*This will be my last post on Tumbler. I want to thank you all for following me, my thoughts and photography (mostly mine) during my time in Denmark, it was really appreciated. I hope that you will continue to follow me as I begin my life in Australia. All the best RR

Picking up the threads…

               

For the past week I’ve been trying to figure out how to pack up the experience of being a Student Missionary for almost two years and pick up the threads of my former life. The problem is that everything’s changed.

               

J.R.R. Tolkien once asked the same question “How do you pick up the threads of an old life?” The honest truth is I don’t know. And I’m beginning to believe that you can’t pick up the threads of your old life. The uncomfortable reality is that you never left your old life to begin with. Yes we move on to new places. We change because our experiences and we make many mistakes but through it all we are only ourselves and life that we live is always our own, old threads or not.

               

So here’s to a new place, where the sky’s a different colour and people talk with an accent. Here’s to letting go and holding on, to making mistakes and learning from them and to living every moment of this adventure called life. 

               

"No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves. That’s all." Haruki Murakami

               

*This will be my last post on Tumbler. I want to thank you all for following me, my thoughts and photography (mostly mine) during my time in Denmark, it was really appreciated. I hope that you will continue to follow me as I begin my life in Australia. All the best RR

16 7 / 2012

16 July 2012 

15 Vejlefjordskolen

Daugaard, 8721

Danmark

                

Dear Vejlefjord,

                

I remember the day we first met; it was January the 1st, 2011. That was a miserable day, cold, snowing and just grey. I remember how scared I was as I looked around. What I saw daunted me, the size and strangeness of it all made me miss home. When Daniel and Ina left I curled up in my new basement home and cried myself to sleep. For the first few months I couldn’t understand a thing, I felt frustrated, useless and oh so alone. It took some time but as you thawed out you began to grow on me.

                                

Over time I found you to be an amazing safe place. Somewhere I was useful, appreciated and accepted. Recently, as of 6 months ago I truly came to call you home. Now 18 months have gone and I’m leaving tomorrow morning and I honestly don’t know when we’ll meet again. It’s frustrating because I don’t want to say goodbye but I know that my time is up and I need to move on with my life.    

                

Before I go I want to thank you. Thank you for challenging me, giving me the opportunity, time and space to grow. Thank you for introducing me to amazing people that have loved and accepted me, no questions asked. Thank you for showing me what true friendship means and what it takes to really love people.  Thank you for all the laughter, opportunities to travel and memories. Thank you for teaching me what it means to live and for giving me the ability to dream again.

                

Finally thank you for showing me how to believe in God, people and myself again. I know I am not the same girl you met that grey January afternoon 18 months ago. I have changed more than I ever thought possible and I’m a better person having met you.

                

As you read this I don’t know where in the world I am. Croatia? Hamburg? Sitting in an airport somewhere? Possibly above the clouds on a plane over an ocean or maybe just maybe I’m home with my family in Australia. I don’t know; but wherever I am it is the beginning of the next chapter in my life. But before I move on I want you to know Vejlefjord that wherever I am in this world and whatever I go on to do, you will always be a huge part of me. You will always be a part of my explanation; the crazy, unique and unorthodox story that makes up me. I hope that someday we will meet again, but until then know that I will never forget you and what you have done. I have to go finish packing and turn in my keys.

                

                

So thank you Vejlefjord. Tusin tusin tak, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything.

                

I’ll miss you more than I can put into words

My love always

Rebekah M. Rankin

                

Dan-glish disclaimer: I apologize for any Dan-glish contained in the above correspondence. Living/working in Denmark has inhibited my ability to communicate eloquently in the English lauguege. Please know that any Dan-glish mistakes were unintentional and I apologize for any discomfort or confusion they may cause.

16 July 2012 

15 Vejlefjordskolen

Daugaard, 8721

Danmark

               

Dear Vejlefjord,

               

I remember the day we first met; it was January the 1st, 2011. That was a miserable day, cold, snowing and just grey. I remember how scared I was as I looked around. What I saw daunted me, the size and strangeness of it all made me miss home. When Daniel and Ina left I curled up in my new basement home and cried myself to sleep. For the first few months I couldn’t understand a thing, I felt frustrated, useless and oh so alone. It took some time but as you thawed out you began to grow on me.

                               

Over time I found you to be an amazing safe place. Somewhere I was useful, appreciated and accepted. Recently, as of 6 months ago I truly came to call you home. Now 18 months have gone and I’m leaving tomorrow morning and I honestly don’t know when we’ll meet again. It’s frustrating because I don’t want to say goodbye but I know that my time is up and I need to move on with my life.    

               

Before I go I want to thank you. Thank you for challenging me, giving me the opportunity, time and space to grow. Thank you for introducing me to amazing people that have loved and accepted me, no questions asked. Thank you for showing me what true friendship means and what it takes to really love people.  Thank you for all the laughter, opportunities to travel and memories. Thank you for teaching me what it means to live and for giving me the ability to dream again.

               

Finally thank you for showing me how to believe in God, people and myself again. I know I am not the same girl you met that grey January afternoon 18 months ago. I have changed more than I ever thought possible and I’m a better person having met you.

               

As you read this I don’t know where in the world I am. Croatia? Hamburg? Sitting in an airport somewhere? Possibly above the clouds on a plane over an ocean or maybe just maybe I’m home with my family in Australia. I don’t know; but wherever I am it is the beginning of the next chapter in my life. But before I move on I want you to know Vejlefjord that wherever I am in this world and whatever I go on to do, you will always be a huge part of me. You will always be a part of my explanation; the crazy, unique and unorthodox story that makes up me. I hope that someday we will meet again, but until then know that I will never forget you and what you have done. I have to go finish packing and turn in my keys.

               

               

So thank you Vejlefjord. Tusin tusin tak, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything.

               

I’ll miss you more than I can put into words

My love always

Rebekah M. Rankin

               

Dan-glish disclaimer: I apologize for any Dan-glish contained in the above correspondence. Living/working in Denmark has inhibited my ability to communicate eloquently in the English lauguege. Please know that any Dan-glish mistakes were unintentional and I apologize for any discomfort or confusion they may cause.

12 7 / 2012

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Mahatma Gandi

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Mahatma Gandi

09 7 / 2012

It’s just a word…

                

The reality is that we are all fighting our own battles. Be it addiction, depression, rejection, the fear of losing a loved one or simply trying to keep a meal down. Some day’s when the battle is raging and it feels like we are sinking all we need is a smile, a word, a hug someone to simply reach out and touch us on the shoulder. Nothing grandiose, time consuming or expensive; all it has to be is something simple that conveys the message “I don’t know what you are going through, I don’t understand or need to know but I’m here. I love you and if you need me I’m always here.”

                

We are all fighting battles… Every battle and scar is immeasurable, unique and personal; there are no two battles alike. Each battle we face is our own, no one can fight our battles for us and we can’t fight anyone else’s.  While we are fighting, winning and losing our everyday battles alone the bigger reality is this “while today, tomorrow, this week and this year may be a battle but war has already been won and we are never, never ever alone.

                

"Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart…and you don’t feel quite so alone in this big crazy messed up world." My So-Called Life

It’s just a word…

               

The reality is that we are all fighting our own battles. Be it addiction, depression, rejection, the fear of losing a loved one or simply trying to keep a meal down. Some day’s when the battle is raging and it feels like we are sinking all we need is a smile, a word, a hug someone to simply reach out and touch us on the shoulder. Nothing grandiose, time consuming or expensive; all it has to be is something simple that conveys the message “I don’t know what you are going through, I don’t understand or need to know but I’m here. I love you and if you need me I’m always here.”

               

We are all fighting battles… Every battle and scar is immeasurable, unique and personal; there are no two battles alike. Each battle we face is our own, no one can fight our battles for us and we can’t fight anyone else’s.  While we are fighting, winning and losing our everyday battles alone the bigger reality is this “while today, tomorrow, this week and this year may be a battle but war has already been won and we are never, never ever alone.

               

"Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart…and you don’t feel quite so alone in this big crazy messed up world." My So-Called Life

03 7 / 2012

Closing doors…             

                                       

I locked the door to the room I’ve called my home for the past ten months for the last time on Sunday. It was a dormitory room with all the usual attributes four white walls, white ceiling, ugly lamp shade, window etc. I can’t begin to count the number of times I have locked and unlocked that door over the past ten months. But as I sat in the doorway on Sunday for the last time just staring something was different. Memories came to life, kid’s faces, conversations, the tears and the laughter came alive in the sunlit dust particles. 

            

Truth is, in the last ten months the walls of that room have seen me at my highest points and hidden me from the world as I’ve cried myself to sleep. That room has hosted my best friends along with my biggest personal battles and insecurities. 

            

I’ve closed a lot of doors in my life so far, I’ve packed up, moved and started over more times than I care to admit. But the truth is the door I closed Sunday was the hardest one yet. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or because the last ten months have been the most challenging yet rewarding months of my life. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the place. To be honest I don’t know. All I know is that it will be a while, perhaps even a long time before I will be able to call another place home and really truly mean it.

            

“They say you must close one door before you can let go of the handle to open up another. What the forget to tell you is that closing the door is hard and letting go often hurts like hell…” Unknown

Closing doors…            

                                      

I locked the door to the room I’ve called my home for the past ten months for the last time on Sunday. It was a dormitory room with all the usual attributes four white walls, white ceiling, ugly lamp shade, window etc. I can’t begin to count the number of times I have locked and unlocked that door over the past ten months. But as I sat in the doorway on Sunday for the last time just staring something was different. Memories came to life, kid’s faces, conversations, the tears and the laughter came alive in the sunlit dust particles.

           

Truth is, in the last ten months the walls of that room have seen me at my highest points and hidden me from the world as I’ve cried myself to sleep. That room has hosted my best friends along with my biggest personal battles and insecurities.

           

I’ve closed a lot of doors in my life so far, I’ve packed up, moved and started over more times than I care to admit. But the truth is the door I closed Sunday was the hardest one yet. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or because the last ten months have been the most challenging yet rewarding months of my life. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the place. To be honest I don’t know. All I know is that it will be a while, perhaps even a long time before I will be able to call another place home and really truly mean it.

           

“They say you must close one door before you can let go of the handle to open up another. What the forget to tell you is that closing the door is hard and letting go often hurts like hell…” Unknown

23 6 / 2012

Boxes…
            
It’s that time in my life again. The time when pictures come down off the walls and the boxes come out. The time when you realise that this is your last, last andagt, last weekend, last pligt list, your last this or last that. For some reason the memories become more vivid, more precious and the people more familiar. The irritating habits of some become their endearing signature and you wish that you had more time. 
            
But there is isn’t and there won’t be. Because time as it always does holds to its steady pulsing tempo, stubbornly as an old man with his pipe, refusing to change. But there’s a strange peace in the mist of boxes. A calm in the finality of it all as the end feels just like the beginning did, because it is, not the same but new. 
            
“Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.” Pope John Paul II

Boxes…

           

It’s that time in my life again. The time when pictures come down off the walls and the boxes come out. The time when you realise that this is your last, last andagt, last weekend, last pligt list, your last this or last that. For some reason the memories become more vivid, more precious and the people more familiar. The irritating habits of some become their endearing signature and you wish that you had more time.

           

But there is isn’t and there won’t be. Because time as it always does holds to its steady pulsing tempo, stubbornly as an old man with his pipe, refusing to change. But there’s a strange peace in the mist of boxes. A calm in the finality of it all as the end feels just like the beginning did, because it is, not the same but new.

           

“Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.” Pope John Paul II

17 6 / 2012

“I’m just trying to find out Who I am on my own…  when the room clears I’m still here Who am I when I’m alone?”
Nevertheless, When I’m alone (click here to listen)

“I’m just trying to find out
Who I am on my own…
when the room clears I’m still here
Who am I when I’m alone?”

Nevertheless, When I’m alone (click here to listen)

12 6 / 2012

Bluebird…

                

I recently stumbled across a number of Charles Bukowski’s writings. Meaning, I basically read a pile of his poems, short stories and ramblings after a quick Google search. One his most famous poems ‘bluebird’  I think almost perfectly articulates the lifelong struggle of many people today.

                

I’ve come to the conclusion that people today tend to develop a hard shell’s, a strong facade that hides their vulnerability. It’s self-preservation that’s natural in this cut-throat world, where vulnerability is considered a weakness and loving leaves us naked to hurt. I think Sylvia Plath was right when she said “So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quote wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.” 

                

A lot of people may call me idealistic but I really believe that everybody is born with a bluebird inside of them. A kind soul or a loving heart. Something good. Something worth finding, encouraging. Something worth believing in. Many people of people put on put on a tough front. 

But I honestly believe that if we had the guts to be really, genuinely, truly be interested in people we would discover that there’s a bluebird inside everyone. It’s simply hiding, caged behind a well developed facade until we are interested enough to uncover it and then let it unfold. 

                

Bluebird

                

there’s a bluebird in my heart thatwants to get outbut I’m too tough for him,I say, stay in there, I’m not goingto let anybody seeyou.

                

there’s a bluebird in my heart thatwants to get outbut I pour whiskey on him and inhalecigarette smokeand the whores and the bartendersand the grocery clerksnever know thathe’sin there.there’s a bluebird in my heart thatwants to get outbut I’m too tough for him,I say,stay down, do you want to messme up?you want to screw up theworks?you want to blow my book sales inEurope?

                

there’s a bluebird in my heart thatwants to get outbut I’m too clever, I only let him outat night sometimeswhen everybody’s asleep.I say, I know that you’re there,so don’t besad.then I put him back,but he’s singing a littlein there, I haven’t quite let himdieand we sleep together likethatwith oursecret pactand it’s nice enough tomake a manweep, but I don’tweep, doyou?

Bluebird…

               

I recently stumbled across a number of Charles Bukowski’s writings. Meaning, I basically read a pile of his poems, short stories and ramblings after a quick Google search. One his most famous poems ‘bluebird’  I think almost perfectly articulates the lifelong struggle of many people today.

               

I’ve come to the conclusion that people today tend to develop a hard shell’s, a strong facade that hides their vulnerability. It’s self-preservation that’s natural in this cut-throat world, where vulnerability is considered a weakness and loving leaves us naked to hurt. I think Sylvia Plath was right when she said “So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quote wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.”

               

A lot of people may call me idealistic but I really believe that everybody is born with a bluebird inside of them. A kind soul or a loving heart. Something good. Something worth finding, encouraging. Something worth believing in. Many people of people put on put on a tough front.

But I honestly believe that if we had the guts to be really, genuinely, truly be interested in people we would discover that there’s a bluebird inside everyone. It’s simply hiding, caged behind a well developed facade until we are interested enough to uncover it and then let it unfold.

               

Bluebird

               

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

               

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

               

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

08 6 / 2012

How to say goodbye?

                

It hit me today that there are only 20 days until the school year is over. I have to be honest and say I don’t know how I am going to do it. Say goodbye that is. Coming into all this I didn’t want to get attached… my aim was to care, do my job and not get my heart involved.

                

Well I failed. Over the last 18 months I have let my heart get involved, I have met and worked with a group of people who have challenged me, changed me, accepted and loved me mostly for who I am. For the first time in my life I found a place where I felt I could contribute and belong. I discovered a place called home with a group of insanely amazing people, doing a crazy job in a little country called Denmark, near a small town named Daugard, at a school on the beautiful Vejle fjord.

                

 To be honest I don’t know how I’m going to let them go. The reality is that I may never see them again once we leave. We will all pack up our few bags and move on with our lives. Everyone will move on to do amazing things in their lives. 10 years from now if any of us are ever by chance in the same city we’ll be able to catch up over coffee and pick up where we left off and reminisce for a few hours but it will never be the same. Right now I don’t know how I am going to do it… Say goodbye that is.

                

“… But it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.” American Beauty

How to say goodbye?

               

It hit me today that there are only 20 days until the school year is over. I have to be honest and say I don’t know how I am going to do it. Say goodbye that is. Coming into all this I didn’t want to get attached… my aim was to care, do my job and not get my heart involved.

               

Well I failed. Over the last 18 months I have let my heart get involved, I have met and worked with a group of people who have challenged me, changed me, accepted and loved me mostly for who I am. For the first time in my life I found a place where I felt I could contribute and belong. I discovered a place called home with a group of insanely amazing people, doing a crazy job in a little country called Denmark, near a small town named Daugard, at a school on the beautiful Vejle fjord.

               

 To be honest I don’t know how I’m going to let them go. The reality is that I may never see them again once we leave. We will all pack up our few bags and move on with our lives. Everyone will move on to do amazing things in their lives. 10 years from now if any of us are ever by chance in the same city we’ll be able to catch up over coffee and pick up where we left off and reminisce for a few hours but it will never be the same. Right now I don’t know how I am going to do it… Say goodbye that is.

               

“… But it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.” American Beauty

06 6 / 2012

The Dream I’m working on…

                

I may still not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that someday I want to live in a house filled with my books and travel souvenirs. And the walls that aren’t covered in bookshelves will be covered with photos of my family and friends. When I leave the house I will be going to a job I love, and I’ll return to a person I love. So, that’s the dream I’m working on.

                

"Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh."

 Sylvia Plath

The Dream I’m working on…

               

I may still not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know that someday I want to live in a house filled with my books and travel souvenirs. And the walls that aren’t covered in bookshelves will be covered with photos of my family and friends. When I leave the house I will be going to a job I love, and I’ll return to a person I love. So, that’s the dream I’m working on.

               

"Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh."

 Sylvia Plath