Monday, June 28, 2010

Touch the Earth

Lately, I've been focusing on just a few books.  For a few months, I was in the middle of several.  But I realized that I needed to slow down after I bought a new book (A Rainer Maria Rilke) and felt that I simply couldn't start reading something else.  Then another problem arose: I've neglected to read the final chapter of Pride and Prejudice.  Not for lack of time, I just don't want to say goodbye to the Bennett family and the complicated courtship of Lizzy Mr. Darcy that evolves from seemingly impossible to beautiful. This in direct contrast to a conversation I had with the writer Robin Black at a reading.  She said that people tell her that they aren't interested in short stories because they attached to the characters and the story ends too soon.  Her simple answer to this was, "Just read it again."  I agreed and now I lie in bed ever night and re-read the chapter before the very end of Pride and Prejudice
     As far as focusing, I've chosen a book my grandfather lended to me.  Touch the Earth is an incredibly informative look at the Native American lifestyle through quotes, photographs, and excerpts of memoirs.  My grandfather is half Hiawatha and found himself in tears viewing his ancestors culture at the Native American museum in Connecticut.  I will surely visit it myself someday.  But I digress.
     I've found much admiration for the Native American culture through reading this book.  They did not chop down trees for firewood, the instead looked for fallen, dead limbs to burn.  The believed that they environment could be hurt.  The seemingly simpleness of such a lifestyle seemed savage-like to settlers who didn't take the time to try to understand.  In ways, I believe that the Natives were quite wise.  Sometimes, I think people can become so smart about big things that they can no longer understand the enormity of the humble and simple.  The Native American's acknowledged that they didn't own the earth, they didn't make it or control it.  They were allowed to live in it from a power outside their own.  This perspective reminds me of a time when my mother expressed her fear and reverence for the ocean.  She said that it, "allows us to swim in it."  It can choose to take your life with a tide, swell, or tidal wave at any moment.
     I'll be sure to keep you all posted on the interesting things that I journal about from reading the book.  It's very old and a great read if you can find it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Say Something

Since I became enthralled with the Yeah Yeah Yeah's in middle school, I've been called a music snob.  I know I don't purposefully shun music that is popular.  I quite like Rihanna, and enjoy Fiona Apple as much as I love Iron Maiden.  To me, music doesn't rest high-tech gear, a million pedals, or even a nice guitar.  On the Classic Albums special about Nirvana's Nevermind, the sound technician talked about the cheap guitar that Kurt used to record the harrowing, barren "Something in the Way."  The guitar was cheap, and it sounded cheap, but the power of the song was in Kurt's story and his soul.

Here, one of my new favorites, John Mark McMillan, talks about this issue.  Sure, there are people who play guitar, and have nice voices, but make lifeless songs.  When I first listened to McMillan I wrote in my moleskine notebook, "John Mark McMillan is a real person."  There is a story behind his voice and his eyes that can't be overlooked, like the commonalities that we each miss every day.

"I read an interview with Bob Dylan a while back where he was asked about songwriting. Dylan's immediate response was "the world has enough songs". He said the world doesn't need any more songs "but a person who has something to say, that's a different story".

People often ask me how I write songs, but the question I would like to ask you first is: What do you really have to say?

Ultimately, I really don't care about your technique or your usage of metaphor. I don't care about your ability to communicate emotion with a melody. I, and the world, don't really care about your songs unless we, at least, feel like you have something to say."

-John Mark McMillan

Listen to his music here and check out his blog on my side bar.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

R e l e a s e


To let go does not mean to stop caring,

it means I can't do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off,

it's the realization I can't control another.

To let go is not to enable,

but allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means

the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another,

it's to make the most of myself.

To let go is not to care for,

but to care about.

To let go is not to fix,

but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,

but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,

but to allow others to affect their destinies.

To let go is not to be protective,

it's to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny,

but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,

but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,

but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody,

but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,

but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more

Remember: The time to love is short

- author unknown

(From LeLove)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A rose by any other name...

"Wild haired woman
with mood ring eyes
afraid to be human
yet stomaching lies
her collarbones sing
with ethereal dust
and though it is Spring
she is rotting with rust
too old to be smiling
 too young to decease
 her soul keeps on trying
to make due at least."

This is a poem by Katy Rose. I was a passionate listener of her music as a teen and found comfort in the poetry on her blog. In ninth grade I wrote each poem over and over again in class (instead of taking notes.) I wanted to remember them all. This is the only one I can recite in it's entirety. I often did years ago when I felt the need to be soothed. It is no doubt my favorite.  I'm sure that her journals are still somewhere on the web.  Somewhere...