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31 January 2008

teach, teach me




the most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and less wasteful. (wendell berry)

i treasure such wisdom--esp in times such as these. wise souls like Berry, we would do well to listen wisely in their presense.

now, as for what wendell said to ME:
"How does one stay whole, or fully alive? That is your question, isn't it? It is not a silly question, though it is not readily or easily answerable. You seem to think I have answered it, and I certainly have tried, but I don't think I've answered it fully, and I haven't finished answering it. There is a considerable difference between your twenty-three years and my seventy-three, but I am still working to answer your question for myself, and I dare not stop." wendell berry, 12/7/07

i wish i could walk through fields with this man and learn everything he has to share.
i think i just might try.
do you think it would be ok, mr. wendell, just for a day?
i think he would love it.
i would watch him write responses to his mail. (he gets so much mail and personally writes a response to each sender, he knows i covet these letters)

i would help him feed the animals.
maybe drink some tea with him on a porch.
i think you'd teach me some things i would never forget.
and i hope you'd see some future in me,
something
something
maybe something you couldn't immediately identify
but something
hope
or youthfulness
or desire
for change
for growth
for learning
...

28 January 2008

the end of super, the beginning of something much more

su·per (sōō'pər)
n.

1. Informal An article or a product of superior size, quality, or grade.
2. Informal
1. A superintendent in an apartment or office building.
2. A supernumerary.
3. Printing A thin starched cotton mesh used to reinforce the spines and covers of books.


adj. Informal

1. Very large, great, or extreme: "yet another super Skyscraper" (Dylan Thomas).
2. Excellent; first-rate: a super party.


super, as many of you may be accustomed to hearing me say, will no longer be a word that i use frequently. i will, indeed, still use it from time to time in order to describe the extreme capacity of greatness that a single thing, person, or event holds.

why ? i'm being intentionally (not super intentional) about language, the distinction between what carries meaning and what creates meaning. i have tendency to admire genuine statements of affection, as well as confront boring situations with exotic & deep thoughts. not that i'm either exotic or deep, i am certainly quite plain, but i don't like having surface conversations, and using such belittling conversation pieces makes me feel like i'm avoiding a much deeper usage of language.






i've been bedridden for a few days now, and though i love my bed, i loathe not being in the presence of great company. i want to feel something close to average, so i can leave my house and make some contact with the wORLd! i have been in this miserable state of self-loathing: depressed my my own inability to give myself what i need, and further, ask for what i need from my incredible group of support. my first inclination when i am sick is to call my mother, who lives 600 miles away, who gave me this sickness when i was home last weekend! my sweet, sweet love said to me: i hate that you are not more demanding of my presence at this very moment. my brother lives .5 miles away and is honored to be of any assistance. these men are the epitome of sweet. i just need to be able to AsK for what I need...

Emile came over today, a dvd in each pocket of his coat as if they were weapons to defeat sickness, a delicious blue dog pug roll & whole foods chicken noodle soup, both day & night quil. a venti earl grey with the perfect amount of cream. super-powered emergen-c. you just gotta feel thankful for love in moments like this. you just have to. even in the places where you feel radical UNlove for yourself, you have to leT THAT love, that GREAT love, go to those places and heal you...

"it is in the shelter of each other that people live."
(irish proverb)

when i get better i feel like i should change the world.
or ask you what YOU need,
and maybe in some way, THAT small act will change you,
and you will change the world.

today may be the end of the over-usage of the word super,
but it is certainly the beginning of something much, much more.




¿todo bien?

22 January 2008

slightly poetic

i've been thinking about these words for days.

If by Rudyard Kipling.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run
,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

21 January 2008

lOOK


oh i just found this image.
unforgettable face.
look at those eyes.
that mouth.
his posture.
soul coming out of every pore.

or do we?




i have always loved this man, his courage, that extraordinary submission to the calling within. i remember when my brothers, sister, & I received our first cd-rom, the 1996 version of Encarta Encyclopedia. the opening tune was this beautiful melange of african lions roaring, airplanes taking off, children singing in global tounges, and most memorably: the unforgettable quiver and resounding call of dr. martin luther king jr: "I have a dream that ONE day..." that is a call i will never forget. a moment that rang the bells deep in my soul, in the substance of who i am, since i was 12, and probably much younger, words that are demanding of our every part have always had a certain power over me. it was a moment to remember, a thrill that i caught myself enjoying too much when i would just put in the cd-rom for THAT moment, rather than research or readily available answers to homework.

we do not forget such moments, such earth-shattering, mind-manipulating, heart-thrusting moments that shake us to our very cores.

or do we?

do we live out that call, that one that supposedly changed the way we treat one another? did we engage in service and desegregation today? did we stand up for the ONEness of all people, or did we continue on in our day, grinding it out to pay bills, make macaroni & cheese, watch american idol. i don't idolize anything american right now, but that's another story for another day.

i didn't do anything differently. i didn't even help anybody with anything today. i think the most generous thing i did all day was rub my grandmothers back for several minutes, and she loved every minute of that. the nicest thing i've done in the recent past is make a birthday card for muhammad ali. paul and i took on that project, and that felt incredibly generous. i hope that he thinks its the greatest. pun certainly intended.

but i wonder, what would life be like if we were letting those moments be our life sustanence? look at dr. king's face, people. he is in jail. he is certainly more aware of his conviction during that single moment then you and i will ever be, but don't let that keep you from pursuing that call within relentlessly. ignore it and it will gnaw at your core eternally. listen and you might find yourself where you never imagined.

but you might change someone's life, too.

or you could change the entire course of humanity, the oneness of our whole existence may be eternally changed if you listened to the call...

20 January 2008

territory never explored.

people say love changes. good things fade. i disagree.

i am more concerned with growth than i am change. everything changes.
that is inevitable. accept it. be so scared of it. but know it will haunt you anyway. i cannot imagine why most are fearful of that--well i can imagine why---

all i'm trying to say it that change isn't so bad.

does it rip out your insides and cause your recreation?

of course.

does it shred your existence as your formerly knew it?

certainly.

does it make you wail & worry & waste precious life because you are constantly distracted?

without fail.

but are you ready for the day that presents itself to you, with sun so intense and air so cold and blood so thin you feel alive even in your darkest parts?

yes. you most certainly are.

get out of bed.
put your feet on that cold ground.
and move.
"tomorrow we'll screw up our courage, and cross that border. And as you'll see, we will not fall off the edge of the world. We'll just find ourselves in new territory, in territory never explored." ishmael by daniel quinn

18 January 2008

ready!

that i could take this moment to sit down and refresh.
that i am everything i didn't used to be.
that i love life in a whole new way.
that you never know what is super little and utterly amazing.
that today is a new day.

some horns. some ukulele. some beirut. some things turn me inside out.
"let the seasons begin"

recently i've caught myself saying "i feel outside of myself" frequently.
i don't mean it in a bad way at all. i feel ready to change it up a bit.
do i want to keep pieces of me? of course, i love my self.
but am i ready for some new myths to reign over my existence? yes.
very much so.

i'm ready for some things i've never experienced before (at least not recently).
i'm ready to be:
a bit more spontaneous.
having a super little amount more fun!
responsibly more healthy.
conciously more educated.
significantly more sexual.
hopefully more mature.
definitely more daring.
crazily more selfish.
mutually more edifying.
intentionally more giving.
outlandishly more experimental.
dashingly more handsome.
(okay i just made that up because it sounds good)
awfully more emotional.
a lot more needy.
a bit more responsible.
a bit less responsible.
fully more affectionate.

and most of all: more loved in my horribly unloved parts.

02 January 2008

in praise of pw

"awe is the salve that will heal our eyes." -rumi

kate marks spent new years in barcelona with benoît. alex lee brought the new year in from berlin. victoria wall spent new years in new york city. erin watson celebrated the new year in chicago. lauren witt danced & celebrated in atlanta. ashley hepburn spent new years in the district of columbia. i spent new years in louisville, with paul weldy.

so i'm just thinking about how magnificent all those places are...and yet, i was able to be in the midst of what matters most to me. now, more than ever before in my twenty three years, i feel in need of being with great company. i love that moment in life when you look over your shoulder & see a face that is changing your life;i love the privilege of intentional presence, i am spoiled by sweet lips & constantly find myself on the receiving end of another's affections, even his hidden ones, like facial expressions & sQuinty eyes & the whisper of actions and inactions. all of these are hidden like jewels in stones, and here we are being shaped so beautifully, and still we are just human, which is the very best part of all.

i was thinking about new year's resolutions, how people RESOLVE to do "better" or "lighter" or "healthier" or "funnier" or "whateverEr" every time they see January 1st on the calendar. how un-organic can you be, you list-making-freaks? as your life evolves this year, how present will you be for all of that if all you're trying to achieve a series of bullett points written on a (probably) ugly piece of paper? how much will you let your natural self resolve to JUST bE your natural self? i am silly, sitting here spewing about all this, thinking these are popular opinions. they aren't. but guess what..

that's what i am going to practice this year. i'd been thinking about this for some time now, and i hang out with people who are continuously saying to me: FOLLOW YOUR HEART (they scream it at me), and i have decided (since i'm unemployed & homeless) that i am not going to PREDICT life anymore. i'm going to PARtICIpATE fuLLY in every moment, every day, every question you ask me i'm going to answer, honestly, in due time, and then i'm going to ask you a really good question. and then i'm going to ask you to elaborate on your answer.

Read my horoscope, by the ineluctably great Rob Brezsny
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Your main assignment in 2008 is to become
highly skilled at feeling good. Does that sound like something you might
want to do? If so, here's the beginning of a regimen you could follow: (1)
Be constantly taking notes about what experiences give you delight and
what situations make you feel at home in the world. (2) Always be
scheming to provide yourself with those experiences and situations. (3)
Take a vow that nothing will obstruct you from seeking out and creating
pleasure, peace, love, wonder, and an intimate connection with life.

now. of course i will make some resolutions, too:
-most importantly: i resolve to evolve. organically.
- i resolve to participate fully in moments, even this one.
- i resolve to pack lightly, no matter what, and to shed old skin, old stuff, old sadness, old staples that are no longer needed.
- i will explore music options that others present to me.
- i will keep my opinions to myself, unless somebody is just asking for it.

ok on second thought, there will be no list.
there is WAY too much pressure, already, and i'm only on #5 and i'd already decided on numbers one-three. (i decided #3 when I was getting in the car to come back to VA and my brother was carrying 4 jackets of mine. 4. who even owns 4 jackets? ok two of them were hoodies but i wear them like coats. not good, i know)
other people can keep their lists.
i think they are ugly anyway.