yesterday while my 3 year old host sister was running around a house that wasn't ours & while we drank juice and ate patisseries that were cradled in our neighbor's nicest plates and glasses, i looked at her and thought, she is who has inspired me the most since i've been here. zainab always figures out what she wants & she does it. she isn't afraid to change her mind, to sleep at the dinner table or while standing up, to tell you directly what she needs or dance in your lap. she is always painting. she loves to create new things, embellish old things and the wind makes her laugh. she is wildly generous. she once had a single piece of an orange-flavored hard candy and she tried breaking it in two with her baby teeth and puckered smile, just so she could offer me some. it broke into a 1/8 & 7/8 sort of division and she offered me the big one. pink jordanian almonds kill her, really she just loves them, but that's just her. & us? we have all of the books we've read & conversations we've had to shape this intellect and this filter and this process... all of which we put between ourselves and what we want to be and what we want to do and only the intellect is relevant in that system. intellect helps refine and challenge what you want, what you think you want, who you are, who you think you are, etc. but the filter and the process, they're just middle men. of course, i continue to be inspired by wisdom & intellect-- really just downright attracted to them, but zainab's lack of filter and lack of process has been something i've been craving but didn't even know it until she danced in my lap.