As the oldest of three sisters, I have gone through many stages of siblinghood: irritation and pride, jealously and seemingly limitless love. I’ve felt close to my sisters at times; other times, distant and unattached. They’ve seen me at the highest points of childhood, the peak of my triumphs and (outward) successes; they’ve also seen me at my meanest, snarkiest, grumpiest, and sickest. In recent years, I’ve come to the startling realization that, even though we haven’t “chosen” each other in the same conscious way as many that I cherish in my life, if given the opportunity I WOULD – and do! – continue to choose them as friends and confidants and partners in life. Today I’m honored to shine a light on one of them: the inimitable Clara.
Clara is a passionate, intelligent, thoughtful, strong woman, with a fierce sense of loyalty to those she loves, and a remarkable ability to listen and mediate. She spends her days teaching Spanish to high school students, and her fluency in two spoken languages strikes me as an apt metaphor for her fluency too in the metaphorical languages of body and intuition. She’s deeply attuned to the world around her; able to pick up on energetic cues and name them, to illuminate truths and to support others in their journeys of learning and growth. She’s also deeply committed to her work as a teacher, and uncompromising in the quality of content she produces; she spends far more time than is “necessary” furthering her own education, in an attempt to arm herself with all the tools that will help her in turn help her students, and equip them with the skills to learn not only Spanish, but also to navigate life.
Her care, compassion, and curiosity are some of the traits I find most admirable — I will sometimes giggle at her streams of clarifying (or perhaps “CLARAfying” is more apt here… #soooopunny) questions, but they come from a genuine desire to understand, learn, and see clearly situations that she might not initially understand. She’s also not afraid to speak up when she has strong opinions; in the times she does, when she’s sharing passionately and energetically, I feel her essence shining so brightly.
Devoted: that’s a word that keeps coming up. To the world and social justice; to her friends and family; to her career and craft; to making herself, and the lives of those around her, and the world, a better place.
And ‘lest this all dwells on the serious stuff: she has a fantastic sense of humor! There is an actress inside of her (who, admittedly, has some practice from her starring roles in middle and high school) who comes out in the most delightful and hilarious of ways. Sometimes it’s amazingly accurate imitations, sometimes it’s goofy renditions of songs, sometimes it’s the retelling of stories that leave a room laughing incredulously.
Clara, thanks for being you. Your sensitive, sweet, fiery, nurturing you. It is such a joy to have you as sister by birth AND by choice. Please choose a charity or cause you are feeling excited about; it is my honor to donate to them on your behalf.