21 December 2010

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." (Albert Einstein)

Just found this and don't feel like pulling out my commonbook to write it down. Tomorrow, tomorrow--and possibly an update on things somewhat new.

24 November 2010

I appreciate home and train

Life is a whirlwind that incessantly howls, oh so lowly, in my ear. I exist during the quiet hours, sprawled in my bed (yes, I'm sleeping on a bed again). I trace the rolling quiet during cigarette breaks--now coloring breaks complete with crayons and underwater critters. But it's much too cold in Wisconsin to slip outside for a concentration on color. My bed is five hundred miles away, and no bed--or space reserved for sleeping--gives me peace like the one I am accustomed to. I get claustrophobic with too many people (or even just one) focused on me, and I need that rescue of clarity and solitude.

It's been a long time--well, since spring--since I've really blogged, and naturally a lot has happened since then. I wouldn't know where to start, and frankly don't have a mind to.  I've been so homesick since early summer. I fell in love with Leise--we were going to have babies together one day, we said--and the homesickness was dulled. But it did not fully disappear, and, when things ended between us, it snuck back around to nudge me at the most unexpected moments. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and, though nothing about its foundation makes me thankful, and so thankful to be sitting where I am.

A fire softly flickers to my left. My parents expanded their (new) house with a dining room made of cedar walls and ceiling, skylights bringing in the outdoors during sun-filled hours. The pool room has been finished, with a cement floor that heats the pool. My favorite part is the hot tub, looking out the many windows into the (near)neighborless expanse. That room has cedar walls and ceiling too. It looks like something out of a dream or magazine. And the kitchen with fridge full of food makes me itching to play.

It's not just the place though. The safety of the country--and with parents sleeping nearby--is folded over me like the warmest, lightest blanket. When I go to sleep, I don't worry if someone will try to break in. Not that those worries normally take up all my time, but when Terra isn't home when I climb in to bed--well, I pay attention to the noises outside our door till I remember how to fall asleep. Sometimes, I forget.

It's 11:11. Did you make a wish? I'm making wishes. Home is lovely, but I can't come live in this tiny town. Work beckons me back, and so do my last semseter of classes (for now. more about that later). It's tempting though, to shake it all and stay where the fridge is always bursting with organic fruit and vegetables. Where I am sought out. Where I have a history. A family. Close connections.

I have many random friends--lovely friends with lovely dreams--in Lincoln, but not many core connections. No real best friends. And I thrive with best friends. Or at least I feel like I'll thrive with the ability to meet new ones--new faces, stories, and ways of interacting. Lincoln feels more tiny and hollow as I get to know it, but I don't know understand how that can happen simultaneously. What I'm looking for--the community of people I'm looking for--I think will be found in other places. Or I need to go to other places to find more pieces of myself, really. Then maybe I'll discover those people have been, and always will be, all around me--in the every day life.

 I'm thinking of Madison after my lease ends in October. Or maybe finding a farm over the winter that I can wwoof on that provides a stipend (pesky student loans), then Madison in the spring when more places will be hiring and apartments opening up. I'd certainly like to live with roommates, but don't really know anyone in Madison anymore. Plus, we've all changed so much that even if they still lived there we'd be play the part of strangers. I actually love strangers--like the boy on the bus who studies art in Chicago and is leaving for Indonesia soon to help with a friend’s art school--but right now I'm yearning for the kind of strangers that see the world similarly to how I do. Or at least hold similar desires in how to interact with it. Symphony of Science's We Are All Connected and Matisayhu's One Day pretty much sums it up. And many Rebelution songs.

You know, all the corny "all you need is love" crap. Except it's not crap. It's legit, and seriously missing from society today. What ever happened to community? It's pretty much my new quest--to find, to build, understand, to reclaim.

So I'm starting with stolen moments to get my thoughts in order. It's only in the quiet that I can think, that I fully exist. And I want to learn to make my everyday filled with the peace and clarity of these moments. I want to be Present in my life, and not just get swept in the whirlwind (oh society, and all the evils that we have made you). I want to Live. And really, deep down, who isn't earning for the same?

15 November 2010

26 October 2010

You will NEVER be merely pretty.

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother
“What will I be? Will I be pretty? ”
Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?
What comes next? Oh right, will I be rich
which is almost pretty depending on where you shop.

And the pretty question infects from conception passing blood and breath into cells. The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill of fluorescent floodlight of worry.
“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty?"
But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dryad:
teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose,
face donkey-long, and pox-marked where the hormones
went finger-painting my poor mother.
“How could this happen? You’ll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist.” “You sucked your thumb. That’s why your teeth look like that! ” “You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were six, otherwise your nose would have been fine! ”

Don’t worry; we will get it all fixed she would say,
grasping my face, twisting it this way and that as if it were a cabbage
she might buy.
But, this is not about her.
Not her fault she, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset
she could bestow upon her awkward little girl
was a marketable appearance.
By sixteen I was pickled by ointments, medications, peroxides.
Teeth corralled into steel prongs, laying in a hospital bed.
Face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.
Belly gorged on two pints of my own blood I had swallowed under anesthesia,
and every convulsive twist,
like my body screaming at me from the inside out
“What did you let them do to you? ”
All the while, this never ending chorus groaning on and on
like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood.
“Will I be pretty?”

Will I be pretty like my mother,
unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal
the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her?
Pretty? Pretty.

And now I have not seen my own face in ten years.
I have not seen my own face in ten years, but this is not about me!
This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in.
About women who will prowl thirty stores in six malls
to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue
where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy,
wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, b
eneath those two pretty syllables.

This, this is about my own some-day daughter.
When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity,
begging, “Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?,”
I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer no.

The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be,
and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.
You will be pretty intelligent,
pretty creative,
pretty amazing,
but you will never be merely “pretty.”

Scratch and Dent Dreams

Come on in, I’ve got a sale
on scratch and dent dreams,
whole cases of imperfect ambitions
stuff the idealists couldn't sell.
Yeah, I know none of its got price tags,
you decide how much its worth.
And none of its got glossy colored packaging
but it all works just fine.
I’ve got rainy day swing sets
good night kisses and stationary stars
still flying at the speed of light.
And over there out back
if you dig down through those
alabaster stoplights and those old 45’s
you’ll find a whole crate of second hand hope.
Yeah right there, that’s no chrome,
you just gotta work, polish it up a little bit.
Most folks give up too easy,
trade it in for some injection mold
and here and now.

And over there across the freeway,
you see that purple awning flappin’ in the breeze?
Well that’s Momma Genuine’s shop.
She’s older than all of us put together
but she still laughs like a house.
Now, she only sells tools but not like ya know,
she’s got saws that put back together,
drills that make whole. Mommas a cool legend to know,
and she sells duct tape too.

And down there at the end of the block
are two kids, crew cut and pig tailed
sittin’ behind abindle top table
selling peanut-butter ice-cream out of a galvanized pale,
and there’s no metaphor there its just good ice-cream.
So here’s what ya do, take a look around
pick out what reminds you of places you wanted to be
but gave up on going and jam it all in this big box called “now”.
Then go across the street to Momma Genuine’s,
ask her how she’s been , show her what I gave ya,
she’ll know exactly what you need
and then go back in the center of that freeway
and get to work making it all fit.
You wont have any directions or factory number tabs but don’t panic,
there’s a hundred ways to do it right
and none to do it wrong cause your startin’ out
with what’s already been given up upon,
you cant do any worse.
Use the tools momma gave ya,
hum a little while ya work.
Then you find yourself sproutin’ extra thumbs

Take a break.

Go around the block,
get yourself an ice cream.
Smile when they hand it to you,
tip em if you can
and when you get back it’s all gonna make sense.
You’ll see where it’s gonna fit perfect
and where the duct tape has to go.
And when you get finished,
take whatever spare parts you got at the bottom of “now”
and make yourself a little sign that says “tomorrow”,
and hang it on your masterpiece.
Then you go back down the block
to where those two kids are packing up
their peanut butter enterprise
cause somebody told them they’d fail
and I want you to hand them tomorrow.
Make sure they know how important it is.
After they’ve run off with it all elbows and smiles
y’all can come back here, we’ll do it all over again.

Now im not telling you this to make a profit,
that’s how so many good ideas go wrong.
I’m just tired of seeing every day people
screaming through these doors convinced
they’re gonna hock even their littlest hopes and dreams to fund their 401Ks.
I’m tired of seeing this whole world bet on going big
or giving up. Only handing out glory to newspaper headlines
and story book endings, ‘cause the truth is
I think we need those swing sets most on the rainy days.
I’m happy going to sleep after just a goodnight kiss,
and I believe that beauty can be as simple as two kids,
crew cut and pig tales, handing me a scoop of peanut butter ice cream
that’s so good, you’d think it was a dream.

17 September 2010

I've fallen in love, happy as houses.

Home is Where the Heart Is
The Sounds

There was a place in my hometown where I use to wander
Above the trees I saw a big black cloud of thunder
Summer rain in my face like snowflakes falling from space
It was so beautiful, and then I passed the mountains
I went coast to coast, and from star to star
That's how you learn, just who you are

Home is where your heart is
Find where you belong, start to take control, show a little soul
Then you feel who you are
Home is where your heart is
Find where you belong, start to take control, show a little soul
Then you feel who you are

There was a time I couldn't see myself growing older
But then I went for a walk when I came back I was so much taller
Maybe try to find something that I could be part of
But I decided to leave, and then I crossed the river
I went coast to coast, and from star to star
But that's how you learn, who you really are

But I leave you with a kiss, there's so much more than this
When you know who you are

Oh, what you know, stop to think
Start to feel, and then you'll heal
You got to rise to the occasion, you got to read between the lines
Then maybe you'll find, who you are inside
When I look into your eyes, I feel what you feel
Come take my hand, let's go for a swim

But I leave you with a kiss, there's so much more than this
When you know who you are

30 May 2010

26 May 2010

give me your words, Saul Williams. give me your words for a new world.

I read the most amazing poembook of my life: , said the shotgun to the head by Saul Williams. I wish the world would read it. Here are my favorite quotes from it:

where is your allegiance?
why do you pledge
with a covered heart
when it needs to be opened?"
-p. 171

"intelligence is intuitive
you needn't learn to love
unless you've been taught
to fear and hate."
-p. 121

"only through my words
might new worlds
be called
into order."
-p. 96

"from now on
will be built
on one side
of the street
so that soothsayers
will have wilderness to wander
and lovers
space enough
to contemplate
a kiss."
-p. 30

"she kissed
as if she, alone,
could forge
the signature
of the sun."
-p. 31

like oceans
like answers
in cloud forms
in stanzas."
-p. 42

19 May 2010

what happens when you get a hammock, hold the ham?

Sew What Hammock!

"Wilderness" chair.

Pallet chair.

Now if only someone would want to adventuremake these with me.

Way down deep inside we all just stay the same

This is super rad. Thanks to Mariela for finding it :-)

16 May 2010

Lucy in the sky with feelings

From CNN:

When she was only two days old, Lucy, a chimpanzee, was purchased by the University of Oklahoma and sent to live with Dr. Maurice Temerlin, a noted psychologist, who, along with his wife, raised the little chimp as if she were their own human child.

Lucy was taught how to eat normal meals at the table using silverware. She could dress herself, often choosing to wear skirts just like her "mother" did. She could even make tea for her "parents" and the team of researchers who trained and cared for her.

Dr. Robert Fouts, one of the groundbreaking psychologists who taught American Sign Language (ASL) to Washoe the chimp in 1967, helped Lucy learn to communicate using around 250 ASL signs. Lucy could not only give the signs for objects like airplane, ball, and food, but she could also express her emotions with her hands, often "saying" when she was hungry, happy, or sad.

Lucy had become so close to human in most every way that she only found human men, not male chimpanzees, sexually attractive. It was pretty clear that, in her mind anyway, she was the same as her parents.

It's a sad fact that once a captive chimp has reached about four or five years old, their immense strength can become a danger to their human caretakers. Often they need to be placed in a zoo, a lab, or some other facility better equipped to handle primates. In this case, the Temerlins raised Lucy as their daughter until 1977, when she was almost 12 years old, before they finally felt like they had to find her a new home.

After much deliberation, they decided upon a nature preserve in Gambia on the west coast of Africa. They, along with research assistant Janis Carter, flew with Lucy to her new home to help ease the chimp into the wild. However, it was not going to be as simple as they'd hoped.

At the preserve, Lucy was put in a cage at night to protect her from predators. She had only ever slept in a bed inside a nice, quiet, suburban home, so the jungle was a completely new and frightening environment for her.

She was also scared of the other chimps, strange creatures she had only encountered a few times before in her life, preferring to stay close to her parents and Janis whenever she could.

She wasn't eating because her food had always been delivered to her on a plate; she didn't even understand the concept of foraging.

When her parents suddenly became distant and weren't providing her with the life she had always known, Lucy became confused and sad. She would often use the sign for "hurt." And she lost much of her hair due to the stress of her new situation.

Realizing that Lucy would never move on if they stayed, her parents left her behind after three weeks. Janis agreed to stay for a few weeks longer, but it was soon clear that Lucy couldn't change who she was. And so, Janis never left.

Janis helped found a chimpanzee sanctuary on an abandoned island in the middle of the Gambia River. She took Lucy and other chimps that had been raised in captivity and lived with them on the island, teaching them skills they would need in the wild, like finding food and climbing trees.

For most, the new lifestyle quickly became second nature. But for nearly eight years, Lucy refused to give up her human ways. She wanted human food, human interaction, and to be loved by, what she considered, one of her own kind. It wasn't until Janis stopped living on the island that Lucy was finally able to accept her new life and joined a troupe of chimps.

Whenever Janis visited the island, Lucy was still affectionate, still used sign language, but thankfully, she always went back with the chimps into the forest.

Sadly, Lucy's decomposed body was discovered in 1987. Her exact cause of death is unknown, though some believe she was killed by poachers. Others say it was probably something less spectacular, like an attack by a dominant male or an illness.

There's one thing that no one who knew her wonders about, though, and that's the fact that Lucy never really believed she was anything less than human.

And people wonder why I choose a diet that doesn't require animals to be murdered or exploited simply to please my taste buds. 

09 May 2010


Epic. Especially with the addition of a record player also run by peddling. Adventures!

05 May 2010

ta>"Life ain't what  it's meant to be.
We were meant to see
A new horizon 
every day.     - Steven Hutchison

04 May 2010

Why did the farmer bury all his money? -- to make his soil rich

My day has just been made. Check out these awesome awful jokes. You know you want to. 

28 April 2010

A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he
participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. -- Leo Tolstoy.

Whenever we cause suffering or death to any other being, we cause suffering to the Great Life Force. -- Shik Po Chih. 

"I would not eat if no one kills the animal," said the meat eater. "I would not kill if no one eats the animal," said the butcher. ["I would not breed these animals for consumption if no one orders them," said the big business executive.]


26 April 2010

In two and a half hours I'll be 21. That sort of weirds me out.

Someone wished me ftxozäri aylrrtok ngaru. Can I just say this is the coolest birthday greeting ever? Better even than Klingon. Yeah, I just said it. Na'vi, I love you! It means "smiles to you on you celebration" (happy holidays, happy birthday, etc.)

Wanted: Graffiti artist to transfer their mad powers into my mind

Broken Fingaz -Graffiti Stop Motion from Broken Fingaz on Vimeo.

I will have a child like this some day:

Well, maybe not. But if I don't get around to it, it's good to see someone else did. That kid rocks!

25 April 2010

Staceyann Chin is my new Andrea Gibson

Her words:
Am I a feminist or a womanist? The student needs to know if I do men occasionally and primarily, am I a lesbian? Tongue tied up in my cheek, I attempt to respond with some honesty. Well, this business of Dykes and Dykery, I tell her, it’s often messy.  With social tensions as they are, you never quite know what you’re getting.

Girls who are only straight at night, hardcore butches be sporting dresses between 9 & 6 every day.  Sometimes she is a he, trapped by the limitations of our imaginations. Primarily, I tell her, I am concerned about young women who are raped on college campuses, in bars, after poetry readings like this one, in bars. Bruised lip and broken heart, you will forgive her if she does not come forward with the truth immediately, for when she does, it is she who will stand trial as damaged goods. Everyone will say she asked for it, dressed as she was, she must have wanted it. The words will knock about in her head: ” Harlot, slut, tease, loose woman” – some people can not handle a woman on the loose. You know those women in pinstriped shirts and silk ties, You know those women in blood-red stiletto heels and short skirts. These women make New York City the most interesting place. And while we’re on the subject of diversity, Asia is not one big race, and there’s not one big country called ‘The Islands’, and no, I am not from there.

There are a hundred ways to slip between the cracks of our not so credible cultural assumptions about race and religion. Most people are suprised that my father is Chinese. Like there’s some kind of preconditioned look for the half-Chinese, lesbian poet who used to be Catholic, but now believes in dreams.
Let’s get real sister-boy in the double-x hooded sweatshirt. That blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus in the Vatican ain’t right. That motherfucker was Jewish, not white. Christ was a middle-eastern rasta man who ate grapes in the company of prostitutes and he drank wine more than he drank water. Born of the spirit, the disciples loved him in the flesh.

But the discourse is not on those of us who identify as gay or lesbian or even straight. The state needs us to be either a clear left or right. Those in the middle get caught in the cross – fire away at the other side. If you are not for us, then you must be against us. If you are not for us, then you must be against us. People get scared enough, they pick a team. Be it for Buddha or Krishna or Christ, I believe God is that place between belief and what you name it. I believe holy is what you do when there is nothing between your actions and the truth.

The truth is I’m afraid to draw your black lines around me, I’m not always pale in the middle, I come in too many flavors for one fucking spoon. I am never one thing or the other.  At night I am everything I fear, tears and sorrows, black windows and muffled screams. In the morning, I am all I ever want to be: rain and laughter, bare footprints and invisible seams, always without breath or definition. I claim every single dawn, for yesterday is simply what I was, and tomorrow even that will be gone.

18 April 2010

Patterns of a Diamond Ceiling by Marnie Stern

I am not looking to find a pot of gold
I will paint you a picture that's inside my head
First I must carve out a place
Picture yourself carving out a place in a room
Now look up there's the diamond ceiling
Look up now, this is what it sounds like

Around you is a solitude trilogy
And glass slippers are on your feet
When I say go
You'll here the solitude trilogy come in clearly
Now look down the glass slippers are on your feet
This is what they sound like as they meet
Now walk in the self-eaters
Their sound is much clearer
So you sit down and start to think of ideas of the north
But in walk the latecomers
They back shuffle forwards
Their sound is weird

I am not looking to find a pot of gold
The picture in my head is my reward

Around you is a solitude trilogy
And glass slippers are on your feet
When I say go
You'll here the solitude trilogy come in clearly
Now look down the glass slippers are on your feet
This is what they sound like as they meet
Now walk in the self-eaters
Their sound is much clearer
So you sit down and start to think of ideas of the north
But in walk the latecomers
They back shuffle forwards
Their sound is weird

See how easy to dream a scheme of sounds in your head
We must dream on. We must dream on
You see the pieces fall away from the outer shell
We must dream on. We must dream on

So you see, I am not looking to find a pot of gold
The picture in my head is my reward
The picture in my head is my reward

17 April 2010

all things lovely

I want to try making my own fingerpaint sometime.

And huaraches.

Coffee air freshener?

This is pretty.

floatfloatfloat three times out of my mind

You're so ironic that it's ironic, and I can't tell whether or not that should be the opposite of a complement. I wish dada-surrealism existed outside of literature books, I wish passion existed outside of dreams. But it's all so rather cliche, and typing those words--about lack of creativity, passion, vision, adventure (I'm sure someone would whisper metametameta)--seals the deal. Yeah Yeah Yeah's have one up from Yia Yia's, and everyone thinks they're so cool--whoever they are. And who doesn't want to be cool? Outside is so hothothot with nobody able to match the sunshine's rayrayray radiance--so we all develop body shame with fears yelling I object. object. object. objectify. Let's not care that bodies are simply soulhouses and exploit the fact that souls are simply housing insecurities. I need some insurance, but the companies have already invested in my demise. And people say that I have such pretty eyes, like it's a great accomplishment. Like it matters. Because it does. not to you. never to you. always to me, this self-self-self (and) patternpanicked brain. And I'll never make sense, because this currency is so overated-outdated. I will not bind my feet bindmymind, and by my freedom am I bound? I read and read and read about it, let's all just talk about. Let's all just do something about it. And anti-consumerism is just way too cool, and being kind to the earth is just so in--so let's not do it anymore. Counter counterculture-ism, the new fantastic. And letting it be is a great escape from hollywood...i mean, it's just too hollywood. everything is too this and too that, and I don't understand the math--what's it four? Peace is War. Nonconformity is conformity. One of these is true. One of these is fuckingimportant (to fight with education against). And who cares whatwhatwhat anybody likes and does and is high shallow or hal(low)? Youcaretheycareicare but of course we're not the same. We are never the same. Theythem us. It's not like we spin on the same blue dot or anything--it's not like we're feeling the same blue emotions or anything. clichehowironiclet'slaughatthembeingironiclet'sseehowcoolwearefornotbeingcoolandstayingmainstreamornotstayingmainstream or just another stream of thoughts that no body is thinking (it's all about the brain).

I'm sick of the world (but never, never the universe) doing to do, not doing to not do -- forgetshit. let's just see whats helpful or hurtful. trend. no trend. that's what she said took over from your mom in being the trend. let's all become sociologists let's all care about society let's all care about human beings let's all be an all.

Edit: It all just clicked. (Restorative) justice compass > everything else.

16 April 2010

Jennifer Knapp, Christian music artist, just came out as gay

In an interview with Christianity today, Knapp was asked if she was "struggling with same-sex attraction when writing [her] first three albums."

Part of her reply, which I pasted below, is beautiful. I think it really follows the experiences of a  lot of people who are gay and Christian. While a lot do struggle with traditional interpretations of text, for many others--some who've read the works by biblical scholars and theologians who've discovered a biblical affirmation for same-sex relations--it's much less about a struggle within or with their own beliefs. Instead, it's as Knapp says:

"It never occurred to me that I was in something that should be labeled as a "struggle." The struggle I've had has been with the church, acknowledging me as a human being, trying to live the spiritual life that I've been called to, in whatever ramshackled, broken, frustrated way that I've always approached my faith. I still consider my hope to be a whole human being, to be a person of love and grace. So it's difficult for me to say that I've struggled within myself, because I haven't. I've struggled with other people. I've struggled with what that means in my own faith. I have struggled with how that perception of me will affect the way I feel about myself."

Haha, I also like her answer to about what the bible says about the orientation:

"The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place—between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the "clobber verses" to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they're eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about. I'm not capable of getting into the theological argument as to whether or not we should or shouldn't allow homosexuals within our church. There's a spirit that overrides that for me, and what I've been gravitating to in Christ and why I became a Christian in the first place."

Full article here.

14 April 2010

Steven Hutchison's poem

Steven Hutchison is pretty much (a) genius. I originally met him through his girlfriend (the one and only awesomesauce Kelly!), but am taking World Lit from Fitts with him this semester. Now we sit by each other every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and talk about words and ideas. It's fun.

He was also the only other person on campus I discovered does spoken word. And damn does he do it. He made the No Coast Slam Team with me, and I'm uber glad he did. He's mother-freaking awesome. He's legit, deep, interesting, non-judgmental (at least not verbally that I've seen :-) and creates beautiful works of word art.

Hmmm, not to be confused with wordart for Microsoft Word. Because that would just be gross--I think there should be a legal ban against wordart. But his words are truly artwork, and I can't wait to see what sort of fantastic things we'll come up with working together over the summer.

Oh! And Fitts wants to get us into the prison with him (he does prison ministry) to perform the "Peaceable Kin-dom" poem. We performed it for Peace Week, and Fitts really liked it. I really hope it works out, cuz I think the piece is amazingly powerful. And it would just be an incredible experience all on its own. There are so many awesome things happening in my life right now involving poetry, from the slam team to Tiny Hands, that I just don't even know what to expect next.

The latest poem by Steven Hutchison:

I wish poetry were like a dandelion.
After it’s blossomed and the pedals have all fallen out,
I wish I could blow a little breath over it
And watch as the seeds spread out like migratory birds.
Knowing that these seeds, these words, will bring change
And understanding that the source of the transformation
Is not found in me, but in that same spirit,
Ever-fleeting, creativity.

I wish poetry were an axe.
I would wield my weapon wisely
And take aim for that one in particular,
That overgrown tree of hatred.
I would swing, and I would swing, and I would swing again
Until that cursed tree, to my relief, would bear its ugly fruit no more.
And gazing upon its stump on the forest floor,
Should my hands begin to grow calloused and sore,
I would stand and hold the hand of my fellow lumberjacks.

I wish poetry were graffiti,
So that I could tag the ceilings of each greeting
With my love and feelings of joy.
I would buy cans of paint the color of my soul
And I would blot out the systems of fear and control.
I would paint over the mirrors that told you you were fat.
I would paint…
I would paint sounds of pianos and scat.

Sometimes I wish poetry were a knife
So that I could sever the ties that bind me to this world,
That I could fly.
And see from the nest of some falcon afar
The world in perspective.
Then I might see you for who you are.

But alas, poetry is but mere words.

Well damn it, I disagree and so does this here bird.
For I have painted the skies of the eyes of too many,
And I have seen seeds blossom into gold and green,
And you can bet your ass I’ve taken a few swings
At the trunk of that God-forsaken cherry tree.
So fly, cut, paint, blow, fall that tree, and for heaven’s sake,
Partake of the mystery of Poetry.

Bowing to Buddha?! What is this business?

  This piece, written by James, is taken from The Buddhist Blog. I hope someday we all wake up.


Gaze Upon the Buddha Statue and See Your True Self.

A common misconception that people have about Buddhists is that we worship the Buddha because we bow before his statue. Buddha wasn't a god but a human being just like the rest of us who found a way to transcend the suffering of this world. Initially he resisted sharing his path to others because he didn't think anyone would want to face their inner suffering as he had. However, having developed into an infinitely compassionate being he shared it with those who came to him and 2,500 years later we people are still coming to him. We are his heirs.

To be an heir of the Buddha simply means that we have seen the futility of the greed, hatred and delusion of the world and seek to awaken ourselves from the cycle of suffering as he has. So, in this regard when we bow to a Buddha statue or one another we are acknowledging the Buddha nature of ourselves and others. Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen teacher Lama Surya Das explains it this way:
As a longtime meditator and student of Buddhism, when I myself see a Buddha statue, I intuitively sense that I'm looking in a mirror at my highest, deepest, truest, and most authentic best self. It is not merely something to imitate -- in dress, shape, or hairstyle -- but something to emulate in terms of seeking what the Buddha himself sought and found, in order to find it in myself along with recognizing that in others, and then acting accordingly. The Buddha is actually an archetype representing enlightenment, an icon symbolizing inner wisdom, a pointer towards the possibility of a level of spiritual awakening embodying the fullest actualized potential of human beings.
So, we are bowing to the Buddha within us, which emphasizes that yes, we too can awaken to the same freedom that Buddha experienced. It is a act of hope that strengthens intention--intention to free ourselves once and for all from the thrashings of the mind. It reminds us of who we really are and after some time, just gazing upon his image has helped me remember that this identity I cling to isn't my true nature. So, when I'm feeling depressed and self-hatred arises I gaze upon him and contemplate that, "If I have the same potential of Buddha then I must be a good person." It doesn't always help but sometimes it's a nice swift kick to the head that jars loose the grip of my mind.

We also bow to show respect for the path he laid out for us to follow. Buddha's path is like bread crumbs left in a deep, dark, frightening forest to help find our way out and into an open field of awareness that shows us where the stumbling blocks lie. In the dark fog of delusion our mind makes up all sorts of things and we can't see where we are going and before we know it we're deep down in a hole of immense and crippling suffering. Haven't you suffered enough? Wake up and embrace your Buddha nature.

13 April 2010

Alex knows what's up

The line that divides the world does not run between communism and capitalism, or along the boundaries between nations, races, social classes, or genders. The line that splits the world apart runs straight through the middle of each human heart.
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

11 April 2010

Summer plans, apartment adventures

This past Thursday night I competed in a poetry slam that was a little more special than the usual sha-bang. In the words of Sam (and her facebook event invite) it was a "poetic showdown to decide who will represent Lincoln, NE this year at the National Poetry Slam in Minnesota!"

A team of four plus one alternate was formed from the slam winners (with the over all winner becoming the Slam Master) to become this year's No Coast Slam Team. And I'm on it (and so is my friend Steven)! I'm so stoked :-) The first week of August I get to travel with the team to compete against (and hang out with) poets from all over the country. It's going to be incredibly rad.

However, making the team put a bit of a dent in my summer plans. More like detour than dent I suppose. I had been planning on WWOOFing (volunteering on an organic farm) the first half the summer, then returning to Lincoln for the second half. I guess hardcore/scheduled practices will fill up the summer, and I can't really be gone and stay on the team.

While I could be disappointed, I'm not. I can WWOOF any other summer (especially as I'll be in school longer since I'm transferring to UNL and changing my major to Sociology with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies). When is the next time I'll qualify/make the team to attend nationals? I CAN'T WAIT! The part I'm most excited about is just meeting all of the other poets. I bet rad people there will be plenty.

Since my plans have changed and I'll be here for the entire summer, I needed to find housing ASAP. Although I'd already been looking up some places, I kinda got into "auuugh" mode and started looking a lot harder. I didn't want to end up without a place lined up when finals week rolled around. I realize that's like three weeks away--but that's only three weeks!

I found a couple of places that looked promising, then found a lovely advertisement with pictures of a colorful studio with a tiny loft. I went and check it out, and BA BAM! I signed my 12-month lease this morning and will get the keys May 1.

It's a beautiful place with TONS of charm and character. I wish the pictures (below) would do it better justice. It's part of a big, old house that was renovated into separate apartments. I'm on the second floor. There are three other tenants, two on the second floor and one on the first. The first floor tenant is a (great)grandma who looks super sweet. I'd love to make friends with her and bake cookies or something.

There is a wrap around porch out front, and the property manager said I could plant flowers around it. He also said I could plant a small vegetable garden if I could find the room, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to. The front lawn is teeny tiny.

The current owners just bought the house last month and are in the middle of some renovations and maintenance. When I saw my unit it hadn't been thoroughly cleaned yet and they were in the middle of fixing some cupboard doors and stuff. It will all be ship-shape by May 1st though.

I love the giant windows and beautifully fun-colored walls. I also love how much bigger it is than the pictures indicate (not that it's huge, but I wasn't expecting much from something advertised as a studio). The bathroom is huge long! My friend Scheffler came with me so I wouldn't be alone, but he also asked a bunch of questions that were probably good to ask. I kind of forget the important stuff sometimes. And he brought his camera so we took lots of pictures! He reminds me a lot of my friend Tyler in the way they see the world and treat people. I wish they'd gotten to know each other before Tyler left for Washington. I also wish Tyler was still here :-( But anyways--happy thoughts! Like these pictures :-D The last one of the kitchen area is dark and makes the area look dingy. It's actually pretty happy colorful, that was just a bad picture and lighting. The property manager said that because these units are all colorful and artsy, I'm allowed to make tenant modifications. YAY :-) Maybe painting adventures are in the future? Who knows.

10 April 2010


08 April 2010

07 April 2010

03 April 2010

I can't get enough of this.

Sometimes I lay under the moon
And I thank God I'm breathin'
Then I pray don't take me soon
'Cause I am here for a reason

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know someday it'll all turn around because

All my life I been waitin' for
I been prayin' for, for the people to say
That we don't want to fight no more
They'll be no more wars
And our children will play, one day

It's not about win or lose 'cause we all lose
When they feed on the souls of the innocent blood
Drenched pavement keep on movin'
Though the waters stay ragin'

And in this life you may lose your way
It might drive you crazy
But don't let it phase you, no way

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know someday it'll all turn around because

All my life I been waitin' for
I been prayin' for, for the people to say
That we don't want to fight no more
They'll be no more wars
And our children will play, one day

One day this all will change
Treat people the same
Stop with the violence down with the hate
One day we'll all be free and proud
To be under the same sun
Singing songs of freedom like

31 March 2010

Goodbye dorm room

My friend Tyler and I have similar tastes in decorations (and ways of viewing existence) and the only time he ever saw my room (bringing in a chair for me) was when it was a giant mess. While I'm often very messy, I'm also often very neat. It comes and goes in waves and cycles. This past semester/few months I've been uber duber neat. I thought I would document my last dorm-living experience (I don't plan on ever moving back into dormitories after May), and also show Tyler what I did with his stuff*. This is random and odd, but so is my life--so I suppose it works.

30 March 2010

Where do you keep your dreams?

My Flask by Maria Solomilla Mealla

I keep a flask of dreams strapped tightly to my thigh.
It's cold at first, but speeds to the warmth of my blood.
I take it with me where I can't afford the price of dreams,
Where dreaming is socially unacceptable,
Or where they only sell a certain type of dream.

I share it with the hopeful.
I know that look when they walk through open doors,
End up at the wrong place, or at the right place,
And then realize it's not what they wanted.

I slip it in their hands as we lock eyes with complicity
No explanations, no questions asked
I watch them drink, watch dreaming take effect.
I watch their eyes sparkle and skin flush
The warmth runs through their veins,
their hearts beat hard.

I watch that moment, wait for it.
That one specific beat in time in which they clearly know
What they want, what it takes, what they have to do
My heart pounds for their dreams to happen

"Lets share dreams!" my eyes scream
"I'll walk the journey with you
We'll hold hands, I'll dream them too."
My flask is handed back to me
We hold it together, don't look away, don't let go.

And suddenly it doesn't matter where we are.

27 March 2010

Find Yourself

My friend Kelly is amazing. She compiled some already-created images with some newly-created (or tweaked) ones and produced this:


I want a dyke for president.

While I don't have a problem with the current president, I really like the point this piece makes:

26 March 2010

Ever question why YOU need to recycle? Here's a good reason.

I want to see clearly

These last two days have been so incredibly soul enriching. The conversations I've had have been stimulating, comforting, and rejuvenating. It's just been a very happy two days, despite being incredibly tired yesterday. I've had pretty bad insomnia, then Tuesday night I got 2.5 hours of sleep. Adding that previous nights of insufficient sleep made Wednesday seem hazy and potentially terrible. The beautiful conversations, both yesterday and today, completely made up for it.

And tonight when I got back from dumpster diving (no, we didn't find anything) I talked with a near-stranger and learned about social work for an extensive amount of time. Then Kelly, TD and I went back to my room and fingerpainted to a jazz record. It was lovely and silly--my two favorites. We wanted to take pictures, but all of our hands were ridiculously wet with paint. Kelly and I used our combined mad skill and arms to twist the doorknob open without using our fingers, and we all traipsed out into the hall in hopes of finding someone to take our picture. Luckily someone was walking out in the hall, and we asked them to pretty please take our picture. We took lots of goofy ones before washing the colors down the sink (well our Good Samaritan dorm-mate took the pictures).

They didn't save. My memory card had been stuck in the side of my computer the entire time. Normally I would say FAIL without thinking, but what's so fail about it? We had an amazing time that we can still remember, even if pictures would have enhanced that process. But lack of enhancement is not the same as negation.

Mr. Blake, relaying a story he heard once, grabbed a blank piece of paper and put a dot in the very center with a pen. He held it up for the rest of our Conflict and Peacemaking class to see. "What do you see?" he asked. Most people will look, zero in on the center of the paper and say "a dot." Yet the dot is only 2% of the page--the remaining 98% of the page is blank space. Similarly, it seems we're so prone to negate the positive with tunnel vision and concentration on the negative. And that seems like a silly, not-so-good-for-the-soul-or-society way to go about life. I want to stop living like that. Not just feel happy or positive, but intentionally see the happy and positive. That doesn't mean ignoring the fact that bad things exist, but seeing it as a part rather than the whole. Also deciding which (the good or the bad) is more important to spend time on and with.

So, dear happy events--I love you. How beautiful these last few days have been.

23 March 2010

What do you live for?

A friend and classmate of mine makes beautiful collages. Below is one of my favorites:

Peek A Boo

I would type things about these pictures, but I'm too tired. I lugged my camera around with me today (thanks to the camera case my mom got me) and pulled it out during lunch.

I bought this water bottle because it was BPA free. Unfortunately it's not totally leak free around the cap. Yes, I totally covered up the Union logo with a TOMS shoes stickers. I don't hate Union, but I do love TOMS.

If everyone gave hugs as lovely and exuberantly as Owen, the world would be a much happier place. Or at least a lot huggier. Can we make that a word?

21 March 2010


I don't remember the following photo being taken, but I do remember that evening. It was last semester during the Peanut Gallery release party, and the student center was full of warm Union bodies. One of particular interest was my freaking awesome friend Tyler (sitting right next to me in the picture). He graduated this past December and moved back to the upper northwest. I miss him a lot :-( So heres to him. I hope sunshine floods his soul and the ground around him, warming it enough to sink naked toes into fresh grass. Seriously, what's better than that?

I wanna grow into something none of us have ever seen before

When I was a kid I would sometimes
Secretly call myself Andrew
Would tug at the crotch of my pants the way
Only pubescent boys do
Ran around pounding on my bare chest like tarzan
It’s not that I thought I’d grow up to be a man
I just never thought I’d grow up to be a woman either
From what I could tell neither of those categories
Seemed to fit me
But believe me, I knew from a very young age never to say
Hey dad, this adam and eve thing isn’t really working for me
I mean, what about all the people in between?
In the third grade lynette lyons aksed me
Where all of my barbies were
I lied and told her I got in trouble
So my mom took them away
I didn’t dare say: barbie sucks, lynette!
And for that matter tommy, so does gi joe
I wanna grow into something none of us have ever seen before
And gender is just one of the ways
We’re boxed in and labeled before we’re ever able
To speak who we believe we are
Or who we dream we’ll become
Like drumbeats forever changing their rhythm
I am living today as someone I had not yet become yesterday
And tonight I will borrow only pieces of who I am today
To carry with me to tomorrow
No I’m not gay
No I’m not straight
And I’m sure as hell not bisexual damnit
I am whoever I am when I am it.
Loving whoever you are when the stars shine
And whoever you’ll be when the sun rises
Yes, I like girls
Yes, I like boys
Yes, I like boys who like boys
I like girls who wear toys and girls who don’t
Girls who don’t call themselves girls
Crew cuts or curls or that really bad hair phase in between
I like steam rising from the body of a one-night stand
I like holding hands for three months before kissing
I like wishing your body was Saturn
My body a thousand rings wrapped around you
You wanted to be a Buddhist nun once
Last night you held my cervix between your fingers
I thanked gods I don’t believe in for your changing
Tell me we’ll be naming our children beautiful and nothing else
Tell Barbie she can go now
Tell gi joe to put his gun down and find a boyfriend
Or a girlfriend
Or a girl/boyfriend
Fuck it, gi joe just needs a friend, y’all
I mean, he’s plastic
And not even the kind of plastic that bends
I want to bend in a thousand directions
Like the sun does
Like love does
Like time stopped
So the hands of the clock could hold each other
And we held each other like I held these words
For too many years on the tip of my tongue
I am my mother’s daughter
I am midnight’s sun
You can find me on the moon
Waxing and waning
My heart full of petals
Every single one begging
Love me, love me, love me
Whoever I am
Whoever I become

If this is your definition of hope, this is for you

13 March 2010

All I Really Want by Alanis Morissette

Do I stress you out
My sweater is on backwards and inside out
And you say how appropriate
I don't want to dissect everything today
I don't mean to pick you apart you see
But I can't help it
There I go jumping before the gunshot has gone off
Slap me with a splintered ruler
And it would knock me to the floor if I wasn't there already
If only I could hunt the hunter

I found this on Post Secret

12 March 2010

You are beautiful

Unfortunately I couldn't find a way to embed the following video. Check out Incisors by Jim Huscher. FUCKING AMAZING. I hope there's a way to access the whole piece once the voting is finished. This has become one of my absolute favorite poems <3

Edit: I just watched Red Light by William Evans. That one is amazing too.

Edit.2: I just learned how to embed from Podslam:

08 March 2010


Today was very, very grey. Overcast skies and drooping spirits at work resulted in a Sad Little Hannah after dinner. Then Kaity came to visit. I'm sure she didn't come specifically to cheer me up, but that's what she ended up doing. It's been a while since we've talked or really hung out, so her stopping by was lovely :-)


(Thanks to Taleah for letting me steal this image of her blog. Speaking of Taleah, this would be great for the Rees Hall blog)

07 March 2010


I took a silly facebook quiz titled What is Your Inner Self? It told me I was the Universal Person:

You are a perfect balance of everything. You've gone through a fair share of things and you are able to put yourself in other peoples shoes. You are caring and understanding. You are fun and warm to be around. You tend to help people. You know what it is like to be at an all time low and you know how to deal with things. You consider all of your friends to be good friends. You are kinda like the Goldilocks of personalities. The things you do are practical, but sensitive to whom it would affect. You are at ease with yourself, and have spent a good deal of time finding yourself, and now that you have, you've finally bloomed into something beautiful. Thanks for taking this quiz, I hope you enjoyed it.

I'm certainly not the balance of everything, but thanks for saying so Quiz Creator. Most of the result was generalities, and probably too nice, but the part I bolded made me very happy. The first two parts are very true, and I hope I'm blooming into something beautiful. I hope I always continue blooming and becoming, even on the day my body breaks down and returns to the earth.

06 March 2010

Photo Day 2: Dear Alice

Yesterday I went to see Alice in Wonderland. I loved it. 3D is so much freaking fun!

Since I didn't have a chance to take pictures yesterday (I need to figure out a good way to lug my camera around. A camera bag seems like the most obvious solution), I decided to still honor yesterday with a few photographs. As you can see, I kept my awesomepossom 3D glasses.

As I was looking at these glasses, I started wondering what other things we'll take for granted in the future. I'm guessing 3D won't be such a big deal anymore. I'm hoping other things, things with much more global impact, will be adopted as normative and routine as well.

Beautifully dreadful

I'm super excited.

So my hair has been driving me crazy lately. Tyler used to give me fun new haircuts pretty much each month during first semester, but he graduated. I haven't had a real haircut since November (I think). So naturally my hair is going all bonkers, which makes me go bonkers. I've been meaning to find a friend with clippers (I feel like going to a salon for such short hair is a waste). People have asked me if I'm going to grow it out, and I always respond that I would probably only grow it out to dread it.

04 March 2010

Photos of things (and people) that make me smile

Soon I'm going to start posting a picture a day of something that makes me smile in a separate picture blog. I came up with the idea yesterday, and promised Todd I would send him a picture of something that made me happy. He sent me a picture (which made me want to chant go KU! or something like that), but I didn't live up to my end of the bargain. I planned to send two pictures today to make up for it, but ended up taking more than that. I was coming back from lunch in the caf, and couldn't help but play outside. In an hour, I'm going down to the Haymarket for a field trip with my Conflict and Peacemaking class. I have a feeling more pictures will be taken :-)

This is Kelly. She's a beautiful soul, fantastic friend, talented co-worker and editor of Campus Conversations. I caught her as she was making the rounds around campus to distribute CC.

The sight of a someone lying, perfectly warm,
in a hammock three feet from melting snow
made me happy.
I felt like a creeper, but
decided to walk up
and ask if I could
take some pictures.

Luckily it turned out to be my friend Jordan, so it wasn't too weird.

Campus in spring, I hope this isn't just a tease. I want the rest of the snow to disappear so I can start taking naps on (non-muddy) flourishing grass.
This bicycle drowning in snow doesn't make me smile. Knowing spring will melt away its icy prison soon does :-) Plus, it looks like a rad old bike.

"That's What Makes Them Pirates!" advertising. My favorite is the pi and rate signs drawn on a different sidewalk.

Science and Buddhism/Meditation

 I found this excerpt about an article dealing with the interactions of the right and left side of the brain on The Buddhist Blog:

Enlightenment has been described in many ways, but what is common to most descriptions of enlightenment is a change in the sense of ‘self,’ and a sensation of a release from suffering. An enlightened person is said to no longer identify with herself as the individual she once was. She is also said to no longer experience negative thoughts.

Our feeling part of our Self is located in the limbic system, in this case the amygdala. In most people, the left side feels pleasure or positive emotions, and the right side experiences negative emotions. In each case, the right (positive) and left (negative) components are synaptically ‘wired’ to each other. Thoughts and emotions are communicated back and forth between both sides of the the brain along the synapses. Now here is where meditation impacts these processes. Most meditative practices involve techniques to de-emphasize, defuse or reduce negative thoughts. Over the long term, what this means in the brain is that the transmission of electrical impulses into both the right side (negative) of both the amygdala and hippocampus is reduced. Fewer negative feelings and thoughts, less activity along those pathways.

Published studies support the idea that long term meditation works by ‘starving’ the brain of negative emotions and expectations. So meditation not only trains us not to respond as intensely and frequently to negative thoughts and emotions, it also causes an ‘atrophying’ of our brain’s ability to process those thoughts and emotions. But the caveat here, is that it takes a lot of consistent practice over the long term.

02 March 2010

I want to live like this

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I 
may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Someday, she'll be there.

You'll Make for a Perfect Rainy Weekend

by Michael Steingas 

One morning I'll wake up and you'll be beside me:
snoring, hair a mess, sprawled on my side of the bed, hogging the covers.
I'll rub my eyes and glance at the clock...
then realize it's the weekend
and neither of us has anywhere to be.
Pulling back some blankets
I'll wrap my arm around your chest,
interlace my leg with yours,
and sleep for another hour.

Finally getting up, I'll look out the window
and watch raindrops slipping down the glass
as I turn on the coffeemaker
and pull two black mugs from the dishwasher.
More cream in yours, more sugar in mine
(though walking back to wake you
I'll forget which is which).

Selfishly I'll gently shake you out of sleep,
you'll squint your eyes at me
and curl up with your head in my lap.
The coffee will get cold
but we'll be plenty warm without it.

Rulers of the World by Michael Steingas

This sunrise must be why some people
sacrifice late-night fast food runs
and midnight sitcom reruns.
This refreshing feeling that makes you feel
like you can take on the world in a breath.
Knowing you're more responsible than mother nature
who is slowly rubbing her eyes and rolling her colors out of bed.

But I also know why some people
don't think about sleep until all the others are awakening.
It's their time to rule the world. No interruptions.
They'll call it "studying," "cramming," "term-paper bullshitting"
when really they're in a room with their best friend
laughing uncontrollably, stuffing themselves with caffeine and junk food,
taking pictures with a webcam.

So it doesn't matter if at 4 a.m.
you're waking up or going to sleep.
Either you were just infinitely powerful
or are about to be.

chasing beams of sunshine after the rain

I guess it's time for my yearly spring semester emotional break down. Maybe I haven't broken down like this in years past, but I remember how hard each spring semester is for me. This semester has been really difficult.

Breaking up with Chelsi, reordering my personal life, getting lonely and re-learning to appreciate solitude, trying to figure out my entire future by planning next school year, struggling in classes, struggling at work, fighting growing negative thoughts about my body and shape, living in a homophobic environment, wading through classes completely filled with assumptions and expectations that clash with my religious beliefs, quitting smoking, learning how humanity inflicts harsh cruelty on itself and others, hurting for those whose souls are ravished because they weren't born white, straight, male, upper class, able-bodied, whatever. There's more that makes me want to break down and cry (like I just finished doing). There's also a lot of beauty in the world. I just am having a hard time thinking of it right now.