Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Region!

Hello All!

I just wanted to send a quick update on what is happening with Invisible Children, and the days before moving to San Diego. I got an email over Christmas Break, and I found out I will be in a van with two American women, and one Ugandan male, and we will be traveling through the Mid-Atlantic region of the US. This includes DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. I was really hoping to get the deep south, BUT I'm pretty content with these states :) If you are in any of these states and know of any place that wants to host a screening, let me know. Also, if you are in one of these states, and want to hang out, let me know as well! I'll post our tour dates up when I know them.

As far as fundraising goes, I am 1/3 of the way there. I am honestly super blown away by everybody's generosity. Some people have been WAY WAY to nice, and I am very grateful for all the donations. If you are still interested in donating, here is the link!

Along with my placement, I also got an email about pre-arrival work. I'm actually really excited about what we need to do, because I think what we will learn will make a huge affect on our ability to speak on the LRA's involvement in Uganda, Sudan, and the DRC . IC wants us to do a small history lesson in the conflict, as well as IC's involvement, and to read the book King Leopold's Ghost. This is a book about Belgium's negative history in the Congo, and the problems that still persist today. I've read excerpts in school, and it is truly eye-opening. Very sad, but I think knowing the history of King Leopold will give a lot of incite into modern day Congo.

Along with the reading, we also have to do blogposts, write a bio, and answer fun questions about ourselves, which I'm assuming will all be posted somewhere. So to sign off, I'll leave you with the song I said represents my life best. The song is called Road Song by Steel Train. Pardon the bootleggyness, but hope you enjoy!

hugs and kisses!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm going to be a Roadie for Invisible Children!

Hello Friends,

This post has two main functions. First, I would like to give everyone an update on life, and second, ask for your support. I would like to let you all know that from January 10th until May 13th, I am going to be volunteering as a Roadie for the NGO Invisible Children. What this means for me is that I will move to San Diego for 5 weeks, take a crash course in Roadieism, then spend three months living in a van showing a new Invisible Children documentary twice a day at high schools, colleges, and places of worship. I don't know which region I will be traveling in, but either way I'm very excited!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Invisible Children, what it is, is an American NGO that works with people in the Acholi region of Uganda, as well as Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the last 20 + years, a rebel group known as the the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has been terrorizing Northern Uganda, and more recently Sudan and the DRC. The group says it has a spiritual backing and its purpose is to overthrow the current government in Uganda, but is notorious for ethnic cleansing of the Acholi people, as well as abducting children and using them as child soldiers and sex slaves. Here is a small profile about the group and the conflict.

Invisible Children is an NGO created by 3 southern California kids, which works to educate the US on what is occurring in Uganda, Sudan, and DRC. IC also builds schools in Northern Uganda, creates rehabilitation centers for formerly abducted children, and fosters a sustainable market for those affected by the war by selling jewelry and clothes made by Ugandans. The original documentary was first screened in 2003. Here is the link for the IC website

As a roadie, I will be volunteering from January 10th to May 13th! IC hooks us up with housing, but the rest, including transportation and food, is on me. So with that being said, IC has given all roadies a goal to fundraise $1,500.00 to pay for food for the next 4 months. I think this goal is very attainable, and I'm hoping that my friends and family will help me reach my fundraising goal. Granted I have over 1,000 facebook friends (all very close friends lol), if each of them gave one dollar, I would be well on my way to my to raising 1,500 big ones. This probably won't happen, but what I am getting at is every little bit counts. I mean that. If you have a dollar you can give, please do. This can be your holiday charity donation, your tithe, your zakat, anything! It will all be greatly appreciated! Here is the link to my fundraising page.

To give some context to what this position means to me, it was a group of roadies who came to CU in 2006 that introduced me to IC, social justice, and a world outside me own. Ever since I saw the documentary in October that year (I even remember the room, and am still very very close with the people showing it) my life has been radically changed, and much more driven. I know this roadie position is something that can be life changing, and can effect a plethora of people, both Ugandans and American youth alike. Becoming a roadie for IC has been a goal of mine since I saw the documentary, and having the opportunity to do so now is something I am so grateful for. Everything just fell into place, and I know I am supposed to do this. The donated money won't go directly to Ugandans, but will be used to make sure that the voices and stories of affected children will be heard. We have already spoken loud enough for the US congress to pass a bill! So please if you are interested, or know someone who may be interested in donating, click on my link, or send my link to those who are. Thank you so much for your support, and I promise to keep updating as much as possible to the blog!

If you have any questions, want to know more, want to get involved, or just catch up, email me at mulvanyc@gmail.com. if you want to talk on the phone, email me your number (if I don't have it) and we can chat!

Thank you all sooo sooo much! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christianity, Homosexuality, and living in harmony

So recently, the topics of Christianity and homosexuality have both been on my plate. Between the mumbo jumbo about Don't ask Don't tell, explaining my tattoo to all my new work friends, and just the constant debates in our country, I feel like it is never ending. I'm a person of faith, and recently, having quit TFA, started exercising, writing, reading, and hanging out with people I love again, I feel closer to a higher being than ever before. With that being said, I've also been blessed to have great spiritual influences surrounding me. Ranging from recent ex-lovers, to my parents, my sister, and my parents' pastor, I'm surrounded by people whom I respect in so many regards. The reason I bring these things up is because I just finished listening to a three part sermon on sexuality and homosexuality in the bible. These three stuck out to me so much because it not only exposed me to my own ignorance of the meaning behind certain biblical references, but it also exudes the possibility for liberal thought and choice in Christianity. Because of problematic rhetoric in Christianity, I chose to shed my label as a Christian, but I still find myself defending its good aspects. I know faith can do great things for people, and lots of time religion is that medium, even if it leads to more confusion down the road. But this sermon series, this man, these ideas, these are why I still think that Christianity can be a good thing in peoples' lives. It may not be my personal religion, but I think there is a lot of good in certain churches. This sermon also touches on the fact that our government is unfortunately a theocracy, and the separation between church and state doesn't exist... which appeals to my radical side : )

I'm only attaching the final sermon, but I encourage you all to visit Columbine United Church's podcast page on itunes. It's free and it's very moving! If you are confused, interested, just looking for a spiritual medium, or want to learn about a different religion than your own, I feel like this is a good place to start.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Piece of Writing

So I wrote this piece for a class called "Travel Writing." It is totally fictional, and based on a pseudo-out of body experience I had while in Morocco, and a friends description to me about the time he tried mushrooms. I showed it to my Dad for proofreading, and it made him blush a little bit. It definitely has a sexual side, and uses language that I don't think is to graphic, but who knows. It is up for each person's interpretation. For me it was about faith and understanding, but I won't deny the sexual undertone. So fair warning! Hope you enjoy!

The glittering reflection of the night sky on moving water is a dreamer’s paradise. I gaze at the running abyss, as the cool night air kisses my cheek forcefully. “Something is so surreal about water at night,” I think to myself. Though the creek’s depth only measures up to my ankle, watching the shimmering black glide by makes me feel so small, so humbled. Yet, its murky appearance also leaves me with a sense of hope, reinforcing heavily my belief that life exists far beyond what appears on the surface. What resides beneath that glimmering outer shell? What…
My thoughts are stopped by the feeling of human touch. Her fingers mesh themselves into mine, and I’m awoken from my existential daze. I almost forgot I wasn’t alone on this walk. Perhaps it’s the mix of the intoxicants with the morning’s looming departure, but the added scenery felt as if it was the last ingredient needed in a recipe for an out of body experience. I guess at some point I need to interject to remind her I’m listening.
“ I could just be drunk, but this path, with the trees hanging over the sidewalk, and the creek to our side like guide. Its kind of nice at night,” she said
I guess great minds do think alike, or maybe I truly had met a perfect counterpart. She was always so talented with matching her words to the mood of the moment. Those words, mmm! Those words always meant so much to me.
“That’s funny, I was just having a similar thought,” I said, belittling the semi-spiritual moment the path had rendered me.
She turned and kissed me, like so many times before, but this kiss, unexpectedly, was different. I guess it could be the result of our late night walk, or maybe the alcohol, or even more likely the uncharted venture which the morning will bring, but tears began to fill her eyes. I squeezed her hand a little tighter, kissed her forehead, and continued to bask in the path’s divine trance. This made it easier to neglect the destined encounter with feelings a far.
“You know, this... This is a big deal.” She said, searching for the words to paint her point. “This place is your home. Your family is here. Your friends are here. I…I’m here,” she paused, quickly rekindling her composure. “ Wherever you go, don’t forget that. You’ll always be someone’s brother, son, friend or lover. It all ties back to here.”
I replied with an embrace, since her words had occupied my thoughts. “Home. Ha! That’s a funny concept,” I thought to myself. Maybe this place holds memories and destinations which spark a nostalgic flame, but family? Friends? Love? These things aren’t set in one place, they transcend physical boarders.
Surrounded by a mystic air I responded, “ Maybe these things, this home, you, all my loved ones. Maybe these all are bigger than physical area. Maybe it’s all interconnected. Do you really see this place, these streets, this path, as your home? Or is it that your home is just a sense of belonging, regardless of physical area. You know what they say, home is where the heart is,” I say with a cheesy smile and a nudge to the chest.
She hits me on the arm, but having dealt with my sarcasm for the last year, she’s good at extracting the meaning from what I fail to say. Her eyes find mine, and I continue to rant.
“My tie to this place has never come from the physical area, it comes from the people, or the emotion,” I say with a serious tone. “It comes from things which are only tied to this place because of proximity. Maybe all these things are just reflections of something bigger, like a glimpse of the after life that awaits us. Maybe we are just exiles here on earth, and our real home, well we’ll be reunited with it having left this earth.”
She pushes me against the guardrail, and kisses me with authority. My hand finds the back of her head, and as my fingers slowly inch through her hair, I pull her in closer with my other arm. Our lips stay united as we continue down the path, embracing, tripping over one another, guided by the rail separating us from the black abyss of the creek.
Like clockwork, our unconscious steps turn left at 23rd, forgoing our watery guide, and docking at my house in the middle of the alley. Still engulfed in one another, I feel for my keys, and unlock the door. We make our way up the stairs and into the room on the right, where only a single mattress lay unpacked in a stripped room. She softly kisses my neck, and I feel her delicate fingers make their way up my back and tug my shirt over my head. I spin her so we’re no longer facing and pull her close. As I begin to kiss her neck, my hands follow the lead of her’s, and slowly pull her shirt over her head.
Without reason or warning, my bare room takes on a new form. My already blurred vision begins to resemble the frames of an old black and white movie, and it seems as if all the feeling in the room constricts and embodies only me. I embrace the sensation, yet keep moving in true course.
As we continue down the path of two lovers behind closed doors, my actions begin to take form on their own. I see my arms wrap themselves around her, and our bodies tumble onto the bed, but I’m no longer in control. As if it was a suit of armor, my thoughts, my being, feel as if they are no longer a part of my body at all, but enclosed within. Encompassed in a blanket of warmth, our bodies continue to go through the motions of making love. I can no longer feel my extremities, but they continue to act in the same manor in which I had instructed them. My being slowly constricts into a pulsating ball within my chest, and through clouded vision, I no longer look down at her beneath me, but at both our bodies swaying in beat with one another.
I’m floating, yet fully stable. The awareness I normally possess of my surroundings is blocked by my own essence of being. It engulfs the intangible soul soaring above the two bodies on the bed. I’m hit with a warmth unlike any I’ve ever experienced. It is similar only to that of warm water on skin, yet I have nothing which can be touched, and I feel no wetness. I still watch as my light arms wrap around her dark skin. It seems as if my tangible body has almost become one with her’s. Our bodies continue to sway in one motion, connected and unified.
Without choice or intention, the intangible essence of my being floats higher and higher, leaving the room where our bodies continue to sway. I see my neighborhood appear below me. The world continues to function, and I watch it do so, knowing full well this experience exists far beyond time and space. The rays of light fleeting from cars continue to break through the hold of darkness on the earth, and the drunks continue to stumble down the street.
Like a balloon slipped through the hands of a child, I continue to drift towards the night sky. Though I exist in this tangible universe, my essence is impenetrable to the elements. As I pass into the stars, the warmth continues to surround me. Space seems endless, yet I keep drifting higher and higher, starring with vision blurred by ecstasy; not out of focus, yet lacking clarity.
Though it is indiscernible, it seems like hours have passed since my body lay under me. I continue to float. My soul becomes one with the stars. I no longer feel an extension of myself beyond where I’m floating, yet I know I still exist. At this moment, the stars of the night sky vanish; I’m struck with the sensation of all emotions occurring at once in equilibrium. It’s like feeling nothing. No love. No hate. No fear. But even so, I feel completely satisfied. Want does not exist.
Vision has become obsolete now, with my surroundings matching that of a blank white page, like I’ve run off the director’s reel, but my existence continues. It’s become clear that the sensation of warmth that surrounds me, and the loss of my tangible extension, is the result of becoming one with the maker. Nothing outside of me exists because I’ve become what is outside. I’m part of the earth, of the stars, and the people within. I am the energy which fashions their tangible being. I am He who calls himself I am.
In this state, nothing is known nor unknown. The mysteries of earth don’t concern this existence, because it is here where they are created. As I bask, the forgotten concept of time passes, and with each moment, the intensity of feeling ultimate balance grows stronger, ever stronger...

With the speed of lighting ripping through dark clouds, individual emotions return to me. Immediately, I feel myself wanting. “I never want to stop feeling this. Ever.” I think to myself. And with that thought, descent begins.
Vision once again becomes apparent, and I see the night sky begin to re-form. I sink faster and faster, and the stars become brighter exponentially. The tiny lights of buildings grow larger, and I can see my alley take shape. Cars continue to pass, and the drunks on the street still walk towards their night’s destinations.
As I transcend my roof, the inexplicable warmth begins to fade. I see the two lovers reaching climax; their bodies still in synchronization with one another. I sink lower and lower, and before I can react, I see only one face in front of mine, wearing a look which could resemble either pleasure or pain. As I hurtle into my body, and regain control of my extremities, I feel the sensation of skin on skin, as she lays her hand on my bare chest. Panting and vulnerable, we lay embracing, trying to recover from the experience which has just passed.
Her outstretched arm over my torso grazes my bicep lightly. For a split second, I feel remnants of the unparalleled warmth, and begin to understand the dichotomy of human existence; our souls and our bodies.
As the sensation finally passes, I regain full control of my tangible extension, and like salvaging feeling after extreme cold, my fingers actions are once again are the product of my will. I lay baffled by what I had just felt, until the warmth of her cheek pressed against my chest ties together the meta-physical with the present. Our existence is not a mistake. We are extensions of the energy which created us, and will return to it once our stint on earth has passed. For the will of the creator was to make man, therefore the will of man is the extension of the creator. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Her body begins to tremble, and I pull the comforter over our tangled masses. She continues to shake, but to a lesser extent, and the warmth from her cheek is laced with drops of wetness. I press my lips to the top of her head, then do the same to her ear. Before drifting off to sleep, I whisper, “ I love you,” and, “home will always be here.”

Friday, December 3, 2010


Here are some pictures from my Dad and I's trip to Brazil. We spent six days on the Amazon with a medical crew, and 6 days surfing in Salvador de Bahia. It was a great introduction to South America!

Some boats we saw in an inlet off of the amazon

Us walking our supplies down to the boat, which was our home for six days

What 3,000 condoms look like in a duffle bag!

Looking tough

A picture inside one of our clinics

Dam Dog and our awesome translator Bruno

One of the houses we saw in the village

A massive suspension bridge linking two villages

A picture of a village from the boat

A man from the village showing me he knows how to use condoms lol

Another translator named Raquel and I

The largest rodent in the world! (check out the webbed feet!)

The docs heading back after a long day

The view from the shower

Dam Dog showing off his roots

The walk down to the baby beach

Graffiti in the city in Salvador

graffiti number 2

Dam Dog and I outside of an opera house

What a typical Thursday night in Salvador looks like

I apparently own a hotel in Brazil

I didn't get to eat here, bit I wish I would have!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My faith and spirituality/How I get down!

So if you know me, or if you've read this blog before, it's obvious I can find belief, faith, and God in just about anything. It can range from philosophical books to trashy movies to deep conversation. But regardless, I have a pretty uncanny ability to find deeper meaning in media, even if it is about as deep as the baby pool. So last night, when I finally got to see Inception for the first time, it was a pretty safe bet to think I would find something in a movie with that much philosophy. But what made it so fun for me was its premise was the exact opposite philosophy of what I have been discovering (re-discovering) since the idea to leave TFA first came into my head. Inception was all about multiple layers of reality, and determining whether or not what you are physically doing at the moment is real or jut a dream. Very matrix-esque and definitely a fun debate, but for me, I've been honing in on the idea that this is my life. My actions are not pre-determined, and though I believe in a path and purpose, the sheer power of making your own decisions, and guiding your own path has been, like crack to me. I remember driving home from STL, and switching lanes, and deciding to stop at random "points of interest," and just realizing that my life shouldn't be dependent on others' ideas, thoughts, and notions. So having been focused on that, Inception just blew my mind.

But with that being said, the last few days I've found a lot of great mediums that explain what I believe. Here are a few selections of what has been guiding my spirituality:

First is a sermon from Columbine United Church. It talks about reverence, unity, and love. In the past couple years I've decided to leave the Christian church, but I think the pastor at my parents church is an amazing man. He has so much knowledge and love, and realizes that Christianity is more of a bridge to faith than a means for and end. (kinda long, but most people can find 18 minutes in their day)


Next, a slam poet named Tre G, and his piece is called reflection. The file is like 8 minutes long, but the poem is only about 2 1/2 or 3 minutes. It gives a really good description of humanity, and our struggle with the idea of a God


and finally, not about faith, but the intro to this poem has a beautiful description of "winning" at life, and the poem makes me :) Once again, long file, but the Poem is at the beginning and you don't need to listen to the rest if you don't want!


Hope you enjoy!

(sorry for the pasted links, I'm not sure A.) how to do the thing where you have a button that looks better then a link, and B.) add a music file. Mine is only letting me do video. So if you know how ot fix this, please let me know)