Saturday, September 29, 2012


Today, I told a group of boys that I was from Delaware,

and they cheered.

Best moment of my life?

I can do hard things.

Today, I ran under a waterfall.

I didn't want to, because I didn't want to get wet.

But really,
I wanted to.

I have two friends named Angela & Amy.

They did it, and they told me how much fun it was.

I said no,
and I said no,
until I remembered

that running under waterfalls is how you learn to do hard things.

I have hard things to do in life.

And little victories,
like running under a waterfall,
are warm-ups for the big moments.

Sometimes all it takes is twenty seconds of insane courage.

"Life is either a daring adventure
or nothing."
Helen Keller

Friday, September 21, 2012

Studia Humanitas.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
Stephen Crane

I think the thing that bothers me most about my life
is that I'm mortal.

Casper David Friedrich

No really.

It's something that I can't accept,
because it feels so limiting.

I feel like I'm made of greater stuff than that.

I should be able to pick up French again,
perfect Greek,
start German,
and dabble in Latin.

I should be able to get another degree in history teaching
and another in humanities
and another in American studies
and then go to law school.

Why don't I know the history of labor unions?

Why can't I be an expert on 
every case that went to the Supreme Court
and why haven't I read 
the hundred most influential books of all time?

When will I know the story of the Irish Republican Brotherhood
and when will I celebrate the national day 
of each country in the world?

I should know how to play the harmonica.
I should see Casablanca.
I should memorize etymologies.

I want to know everything.

Everything about mankind and the human condition.
About what they did and what they thought and what they made.

There is something so godly about being a human being.

I want to know everything,
because down to my living, breathing guts
I am a human.

Which also happens to make me feel so frustratingly limited.

I look forward to the day when I will burst my limitations
and learn everything
and become like God.

Being mortal is like tasting a bit of being godly

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Born this way.

Sometimes something makes me remember
how different my interests are.
Usually I forget.
But let me tell you a story about my life.
When I was little, and lying in my little bed,
sometimes my dad would lay down on the floor next to me.
I would hang my little arm over the side
and he would hold my little hand.
And he would sing me songs.
Not primary songs.
No Rock-a-bye Baby.
My dad sang me folk songs.
They were about war
and politics
and being so far from home you could never go back.
He sang me those great songs sung by
Peter, Paul & Mary
Pete Seeger
Bob Dylan
The Kingston Trio.
He sang me a song that went like this:
"Go ahead and hate your neighbor.
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven:
You can justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowin'
come the Judgment Day.
On the bloody mornin' after,
one tin soldier rides away."
Can you even imagine?
What a cool little girl I must have been,
with those thirty-year old songs all in my head
and weaving themselves into my dreams.
They've woven themselves into my life.
I love folk music that I'm now 50 years too young to like.
But how can't I?
It's telling the story of America,
the story of your life,
with just a banjo
and a couple of voices.
Stories that can be sung by bedsides
and walking down roads
leaving on jetplanes
thinking about your old man
or mankind in general
until the end of time.
It makes you think about all those
humble, beaten-down men and women who came before
and learned their lessons
and sang about it.
So here I am today.
And they don't do it like that no more.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mountains to Climb.

In the Book of Mormon,

in Helaman,

in the fifth chapter,

in the forty-third verse,

I learned something.

"And it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about,
and saw that the cloud of darkness was dispersed 
from overshadowing them,
they saw that they were encircled about,
yea every soul,
by a pillar of fire."

Sometimes it seems like I'm overshadowed by darkness,

but when I look around,

I realize that I'm encircled in light.

It's funny,

like when I feel sadder than sad,

and it's harder than hard,

but suddenly through the smog comes the thought,

"I'm so glad that I have mountains to climb."

Monday, September 3, 2012

I'm sorry. I'm thinking about cats again.

Things I have now done:

-ice blocking.

Things I still can't do:

-hug every cat.