Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This Machine Surrounds Hate & Forces It to Surrender.

Pete Seeger died on Monday of this week.
He was 94 years old.

He was one of the best.
One of my favorites.

He started out singing
about what it was like to be a worker.
He wanted the unions to be singing unions.

Then he served in WWII
and married his wife.
They were still married in 2013
when she died.

HUAC called him in
and he got blacklisted for being a commie.

But he still sang
for civil rights
and Vietnam
and clean water.

Every time he sang,
he invited the crowd to sing with him.
It wasn't nothing to him
if he was singing alone.

His banjo said
This machine surrounds hate
and forces it to surrender.

Ten days before he died,
he was still chopping his own wood.

I've thought more than once
I'm so glad that Pete Seeger is still alive
and that I'm alive.
He's the link to everything I love.
And I'm glad to share this earth with him.

If you're interested,
watch Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.

Monday, January 27, 2014

You can fight City Hall.

I already posted this picture of Ralph Nader
on facebook this week,

but I have to write words about him too.

I watched a documentary about him
called An Unreasonable Man.
(It's free on Amazon Instant Video with Prime!)

Did you know that he is the main reason
that we have seat belts
and airbags
and safe cars?

And he has worked tirelessly for years
as a consumer advocate,
so that our medicines have warning labels on them
and we have the right to know
when we're working around unsafe chemicals.

He has worked tirelessly for years
for the common man.

He ran for president a few times.
His aggressive 2000 election
may or may not
have cost Al Gore the election.

Lots of people think he is crazy.
His friends worry that his crazy political involvement
is detrimental to his other goals
and may tarnish his legacy.

In his own words:
"I don't care about my personal legacy.
I care about how much justice is advocated in America
and in our world
day after day,
and I'm willing to sacrifice whatever 'reputation'
in the cause of that effort."

Someone in the documentary said
that Ralph's life is proof
that you can fight City Hall.
Your vote counts.

Love him or hate him,
he believes in the virtue of the law
and in the American dream.
The American myth.

He believes in something,
and has every day of his life.

I admire him.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Patience is like
when you go to a show

and the band you're there for 
is playing third or last,

and every sound check lasts
a quarter of your life,

and there are groups of young girls
talking so loud right next to you

and you still have to find something
beautiful in the experience
while you wait.

Like the red lighting tinging the outline
of a singer's beard,

like the way the floor shakes under you
so you don't even have to dance,

like a strobe light
flashing in your eyes,

like watching someone create something
right in front of you,
and thinking about your own status
as a created thing.

And then,
as if a reward for your patient waiting,
the group you're there to see comes on,
and your heart swells wide as the open sky,
and the room fills up
from floor to ceiling
with love.

Chrisanne told me to take a picture,
and I realized I'm the worst photographer.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Today at work,
I realized that I felt uncomfortable
because my shirt didn't have a collar.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Partyin, Partyin, Yeah.

Tell me why

the fruit snacks I left for my roommates
on their second day of school,

the problems I've solved at work this week,

the will power I've had to make dinner
instead of going out to eat,

the good nights' sleeps I've had,

the effort I've made to see all my friends
even though I've moved,

everything I've learned
in the hours of documentaries I've watched,

the courage I had to walk out of a movie tonight
that made me a little uncomfortable
and I just plain didn't want to watch

don't seem to mean anything anymore
because now I'm
at home
on a Friday night.

Whether you have plans on Friday night
has nothing to do with how good of a person you are
or even how many friends you have.

I mean,
I think not.

Jury's still out.

I spent the evening with this,
and I think it was a pretty good use of time.

And now I'm crying
and asking myself,
Who would ever kill Abraham Lincoln?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I'm Drawing a Blank.

Do you see that girl
up there 
on beautiful Tenli's shoulders?

That's Tilly.

Today is her birthday!

Which led me to pondering--
Is there anyone more loving?

Is there anyone more beautiful?

Is there anyone better at giving hugs?

Is there anyone who's better at walking
in super tall high heels?

Is there anyone who loves zebra print
as much as she does?

Is there anyone who tries harder to be like Jesus?


I'm drawing a blank.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

If not for Christmas, by New Years night.

What being home for Christmas was like:

Still parking like a boss,
even though I hadn't driven a car in months.

Getting a yellow toothbrush at the dentist
without even having to ask.

Longhorn Steakhouse > Texas Roadhouse

Episodes of History Detectives with Mom.

Dancing the hula to '60s cowboy music with Dad.

The Avengers with Jeff.
I know I'm a hater,
but it wasn't so bad.

Reading dystopian teen fiction out loud with Katie.
In the world of Divergent, I'm totally Candor.

That smallest one was smaller than
my little fingernail.

I took this picture with Santa
when I thought Santa cared.

The taste of Delaware.
Delaware is delicious.

I always look through all my old notebooks
when I'm at home.
Gold from APUS.

Making a quilt
with high school t-shirts.
And check out our new floor!

Katie's bows from her Christmas presents
always end up on her head.
This year she was "trailing clouds of glory."

Great Aunt Myrna sent some family photos
in her Christmas card.
Grandpa, Grandma, Blacky, Uncle Robert, & Mom.

Katie made the literal best pie
in this world.


Keep Givin All the Love You Can.

I did a karaoke version
of Stand By Your Man?

Well, that was just for a few friends.

In December,
I did the same thing
in an Applebee's in Delaware.

In front of strangers.

There was this older man there
named Ralph.

Word on the street is
he's a karaoke regular there--
always sings Elvis.

As I walked past his table
on the way back from my performance,
he said,
"Good job, young lady."

It was such a success
I can barely think about it.

My next goal
is to karaoke
Heartless by Kanye.

Wish me luck.


I was glad to say see ya to 2013.
It kind of tapered off and died,
as evidenced by the dearth of blog posts
toward the end.

Naturally, I still spent some time
reviewing all my posts from last year.

And wouldn't you know?

I discovered so many beautiful parts.

For instance,
C.S. Lewis taught me the word inexorable in 2013
and it became my favorite word.
I've used it at least five times
in blog posts since.

I taught a group of high school kids in 2013.
Just me! Their teacher!

I learned to love swimming in 2013.

My body image really improved.
I realized that, no,
I didn't need to straighten my hair every day.
I started doing fun/crazy things with clothes.

I celebrated the change of seasons in 2013.

Winter Solstice.

I read so many books in 2013!
I read (part of) the Bible in Greek!

I went to so many good concerts
and saw my favorite bands
over and over.

I celebrated so many 
good historical anniversaries in 2013.

I made new friends and kept the old in 2013.
And I loved them all so much.

I made it through a summer with no air conditioning
by going to all sorts of festivals and carnivals.

I wrote in my journal in 2013
more than any year in the recent past.

And then of course,
all that boring adult stuff happened,
like graduating
and getting a job. 

Through it all
I learned a lot of hard lessons
about how to love people
and what happens to you when you don't.
(Spoiler: you die.)

Take any period of time,
no matter how hard,
and look at it closely,
and I think you'll find
that it was made up of atoms of goodness.

There is no life that isn't beautiful.