Wednesday, May 24, 2006

All things

All things are used by God for good.
All things.
We Say it. We Preach it. Sing it. Proclaim it. Know it. Exclaim it.

Mean it.
Do we mean it? Can we?
Can you feel your soul recoil it the profundity of what that means?

What IS the meaning?

All things.
All things?!

It is easy to see how many things are used for good.
Dance. Joy. Music. Love. Giving. Accepting.
How does God use hatred for good? How is the denial of a human's essential humanity used for good?

When a human is. made. nothing.

Her hair shorn. Her children taken. Every token of her life. Her shoes. Her clothes. Her family.

Her. Him. Him. Him. Her. Her. Him. Her. Him. Him. Her. Her. Unending.

When we move to talk about it. To say, "Of course. It is used for good." My hair stands on end and screams to stop.
But can we. Mustn't we talk about it? Mustn't we consider... And feel... And question... And cry...And act.

We stay silently content to refuse to remember.
Content to wrap the memories in pain.
Someone else's pain.
Behind doors locked tightly too scary to go behind.

If we don't go there.
If we stop.
If we're still.
In our muted voices, our fists clenched, we think.
Someone else will go.
Someone else will reach.
Someone else will remember.

Our eyes and ears tightly sealed as a child singing "lalalalalalalala" so he cannot hear.

Isn't it destined to happen again? Isn't it happening again? It has happened again.
It is happening again.

What could the meaning possibly be?
Maybe the sight of the shoes collected at Auschwitz can shed light.

Piles. Mountains.
Millions of shoes.
Work Boots.
Ripped and worn.
Bought for holiday.
Worn for years.
The fabric of them still holding the stories of those who's footsteps they shared.

Shoes worn by Jews. And Gays. And Political Prisoners.
By humans. By you. By me.

The Holocaust showed no favor. Hatred shows no favor. If you were a Jew, you were denied yourself. You were eliminated. It mattered not if a person was rich. or talented. or poor. or brilliant. or slow. or immoral. or holy.
It did not matter. It did not matter.

What good. What good. What good. What good.

That we are one. We are human.
The talented. the brilliant. the slow. the immoral. the holy. We are one.

Remember this. Live this. Claim this. Preach this. Know this.

And maybe.
Just maybe
That is Good.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


A very good friend of mine has a little girl that she adopted out of the foster care system. Ellie was 2 weeks old when she came to live with Danielle. She was born into situation as different as humanly possible from the one she was about to move in to.

When Ellie was 3, she awoke crying hysterically one night. Wails of discontent echoed through the midnight stillness. Dani ran to comfort her and found Ellie crying, "zschoooos" "Zschooooooooooos!!", amidst unconsolable sobs.

Juice? Juice?
Ellie? Do you want juice?
Nooooooo Mommyyyyyyy!
Then what honey? What do you need?



If this isn't evidence for nurture over nature, I don't know what is. You may have to know my friend Danielle to know this for sure, but trust me. It is. As I am about to discuss, all women love shoes. But for Danielle, it is a love that transcends. A Holy love.

Honestly though.
What is it about shoes?
It seems to be this mysterious vortex that most certainly punctures through all levels of Time and Space, let alone culture and country. A place where a woman's deepest needs can be surely sated, if not completely met.

Shoes. Even the sound of the word soothes my weary mind.

I went to DSW Shoe Warehouse today. It was a lazy, uncommitted Saturday afternoon. Much of the day had slipped away and I wanted to get out.

But where?

Then I felt the pull. Ladies, you KNOW what I mean.
The pull. The pulllllll.
And like Pavlov's Dog, it began. The mental salivation. The wonder of, "What will I find in the cornacopea of footware....?"

It's sandal season.

Beaded flats?
Thongs that fit just perfectly and will make my overworked hoofers squeel with delight?
The oh-so-cool heeled sandals made from the softest leather.... and 40%off?


I was wandering down the first aisle as I found the first pair. Brown Born Sandals. I slipped them on my tired feet. Oh. Oh. Ohhhhhhh.
My first hit.

I realized that I was actually experiencing a high. My heart racing. My mind delighted and eagerly seeking the next find. Is this what a drug addict feels like? I make a further mental note never to try drugs, considering.

The store teamed with women. Really. It was probably about 100:5 as far as the female:male ratio went. Our eyes would meet with recognition, a wry smile of understanding. She has 3 pair, her.... 4. A nod of the head. We understood eachother.

I collected my own 4 pair of delicious, perfect, brown and black sandals and sauntered slowly to the counter. I sighed and metaphorically licked my lips and rubbed my sated shoe belly. All was perfect in the world.

So, my sisters. Here's to the mystery. The secret place, only we (and Carson Kressley and his brothers) can go.

I can't solve all of the worlds ails, and confusion wreaks havoc on our daily lives. I don't know how to meet the needs of everyone, all the time.

But. There is one thing I do know.



Thursday, May 18, 2006

dive in

every day i swim
inside this pool
its walls the edges of my skin

it's water
the joys
ah ha's

swimming here is sometimes lonely.
not always.

in fact, the waters nice.

come on in.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sign This.

i'm teaching sign language to 8th graders.
perhaps this was my first mistake.
no, i'm not fluent and i'm learning a step ahead of them.
we've learned a bunch of words, and their assignment today was to put together a sentence and say it in sign in front of the class.
Other than the general mayhem, all is going smoothly.
They even enjoy it.
Then, there's this kid.
A bit on the morose, may just go postal at some point, side.
He hadn't gone so i call him up.
He pays attention for about 20 seconds a class period, but he manages to pull this out of his trick bag.

You. Are. Fat.

Lovely. One of those moments as a teacher where you want to screw the possibility of news crews at your door later that night.
The kind of moment when your aspirations toward spiritual maturity just vaporize.But, instead... I said,

Yeah, I know. Great Sentence. (and silently muttered "asshat")

Anyone want to beat up an 8th grader??

Saturday, May 06, 2006

too cool

you know,
i've (perhaps erroneously) always thought i was rather on the hip side of life. you know, the right clothes, the right attitude, the right look.
not perfect by any stretch, but cute, and definitely in the realm of cool.
then last night i went to the beauty bar in vegas. off strip, seedy part of town, working girls and meth users wandering the street outside.
trendy in an, 'i'm so cool i've actually surpassed thinking actual beauty is beautiful' kind of way. inside, a dj spinning actual LPs. the base and the smoke thick and oppressive.

then...the people.

the kids.

goth rock hair, the 80's decade back in vogue like leg warmers and ripped fish nets have never graced our ill fated fashion sense before.
pat benetar reincarnated in 22 year old girls -- and boys.
crop circles opening up in gyrating crowds to expose break dancing dance-offs.

break dancing back? oh my god.

even mena suvari was there with her 20something, dreads in a knit cap, grungy oversized jeans, bustin a move boyfriend.

i have accepted the truth.

i am not on the hip side of life.

you'd think my walmart koolots would have tipped me off.