Monday, April 25, 2016

There's a "Yewt" Trapped Inside Me

"In reality, people are people. Age does a weird thing to your body on the outside. It makes your face fall and weird things happen all over. But inside, you're the same person you always were, you're still 25." ~Actress Sally Field
You who are my age or around my age (give or take +/- 5 years), you know what this quote means. You get to a point where you may feel like you can hang out with/relate to people half your age, thinking that you're still that age, too. Your brain hasn't changed. You sort of look like that person from 20+ years ago, and sometimes, you look better (awkward school photos, anyone?). 
But I swear that time passes so fast, that it's hard to come to grips that we actually have aged. That we have mortgages. That we have jobs. That we file taxes. That we may have health issues, sometimes, very serious health issues. That some of us are no longer here. 
But inside, I still feel like I'm 25. And that is hard to come to grips with, hard to wrap my head around when on the outside, when I dare look in the mirror, I think, "Wait...what happened here?"
Time. That's what happened here. 
And so, I leave you with this...a small, but SIGNIFICANT part of our past, one of my favorite artists, and one kick-ass song.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


On Everything Happening for a Reason, Details magazine, 1991: "There are no accidents. And if there are, it's up to us to look at them as something else. And that bravery is what creates new flowers."

Prince died today. One of my most beloved icons and one who profoundly influenced my taste in music is no longer of the earth.

I remember hearing about his concerts when I was in junior high/high school, how he performed...hmmm...self-gratifying sexual acts on stage. Needless to say, I wasn't allowed to see him in concert, but I sure could listen to his music, and it was fantastic.

His death affects me like Michael Jackson's, Alan Rickman's, David Bowie's, and Robin Williams'.

Prince was a beautiful man. No matter what your perceptions are of him or his music, he was a beautiful-looking man: sexy eyes, great smile, and mile-high cheekbones. 

There's not a lot to know about him because he was ultimately very private, and understandably so. Growing up, and even now, hearing his music made me feel alive and electric, happy, and free. And even his ballads, even what he wrote about with his lyrics, it was all beautifully sad and insightful. 

Then there was that aura he carried with him. He was untouchable, really. A true legend. And I am so glad that he came onto the scene when I was growing up. What a fantastic time to be the age I was when his music hit the charts.

I'm sad today. Maybe this is what starts happening as we get older. People die. And not just celebrities, musicians, and artists who have helped define some fucking great moments in our lives, but people in our family, friends, even acquaintances die.

I'll take denial. If it keeps me from feeling this sad, I'll take it. Aging sucks. The alternative isn't great, but aging still sucks. And today...Prince died.

Prince...truly singing (not lip synching) at Super Bowl XLI...fantastic performance, even with his Purple Rain (phalic) of the best halftime performances ever. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Divorce = Damaged Goods?

I don't think divorce is ever the answer. Ever. Short of being so domestically and/or verbally abusive, especially with children, where lives are at stake, and after seeking all viable help with no change in the living situation, sometimes, maybe divorce is the answer.

Lonnie and I are both so completely fortunate in that neither of us comes from divorce. His parents were blessed to have been married 50+ years, mine have been blessed to be closing in on their 50th in a couple of years.

But recently, a younger friend of mine mentioned that if someone in their 20s is already divorced, that there are already a ton of issues there, that that's usually an indication of abuse, infidelity, lack of maturity, or other trust issues. The friend mentioned that it's a sign of problems that someone who has been divorced will bring into their next relationship.

That bothered me. 

A long time ago, while in college, a friend of mine, someone I adored and admired and respected, insisted that I needed to tell a gay family member, whom I'll call Pat that Pat's "ways" were wrong, that it was my responsibility as a Christian to change Pat, to ensure that Pat would make it back to "straight-hood". At the time, it was the second family member I knew to be gay.

I'll never forget that phone call. I was at the station, my first ever gig in radio, and she and I were talking about Pat. I casually mentioned it because of something she'd said, and that's how it all started. And it ended with me in tears, hanging up the phone, and ending my friendship with her.

I've been conflicted about organized religion for forever, since I can remember going to Sunday school. I hate its rigidity and how closed off it is. I do wonder, for example, why God only consulted men in writing the Bible. When I think of Jesus, the Earthly man, I think of a kind, loving, all-accepting prophet. He opened his heart to everyone. EVERYONE. He opened his heart to people who didn't believe him and/or didn't believe IN him.

While I don't worship the pope as many do (he's just a fellow human being, after all), he recently took in six more Syrian refugee families who were in Greece. He brought them back with him to the Vatican where their expenses and care will be provided. They are Muslim. I respect him so much more for those kinds of acts.

So what in the heck does this have to do with the divorce at the beginning of this post, you ask? Well, it goes to that black-and-white thinking. Yes, we all have convictions, religious and otherwise, and some of us waver while others remain steadfast and still others as immobile as the statues on Easter Island. 

But there is so.much.grey in the world. 

Why must someone be "damaged goods" if they have been divorced, young or not? And why assume that someone who has been divorced will carry those issues into their next relationship? That person, along with anyone else, has the right to change. It doesn't mean they will, but they can. And they might.

My point is this: if Jesus could accept others as they were, accept and love them, forgive them, and not in a patronizing, condescending way, but sincere and genuine forgiveness of their past, why can't Christians do the same?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Religious Murder

Although I truly didn't have time to write tonight (had to bring work home with me...woohoo), I read an article on my phone right before I was set to unpack my work laptop and could not pass up writing about this, even though it's not going to be my best writing ever.

Apparently, the Bible has made the American Library's annual list of Top 10 "challenged" books. It's part of some bigger, overall report on Libraries. In the article, it states that even though there are challenges made about the Quran being in public libraries, there are far more challenges made about the Bible sitting on the shelves.

There's something wrong with this country and this world. While I'm not always in agreement with everything the Bible says (that's for another blog some other day--I'll digress a second--if Jesus spoke directly to those who wrote the Bible, isn't it a bit odd that He didn't speak to any women? I'm just sayin'...), I wholeheartedly believe in our first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Of course, many have interpreted those words over the years and will continue to, but with the exception of one thing in the Constitution, I fully support its content, and that includes the right to exercise my religion of choice.

Back to the Bible being on the top 10 list...I've been thinking about how I keep reading about all of these Christians who are being murdered. Yes, murdered. Not persecuted. That sounds "prettier" than murdered. Maybe it's just because I love language, but persecution just has a prettier sound to it than murder. So, yes, the word "murder" fits quite nicely. 

What is happening in the world that Christians everywhere are being murdered for their religion? And why isn't it being reported on more? After a quick search on the Internet just now, I found two articles of not very many from what I consider less subjective sources. "The Guardian" has an article from last year about the pope warning that this has become a form of genocide. "The World Tribune" published a story toward the end of 2015 about the millions of Christians being murdered worldwide.

Here's the thing: no one wants to call Muslims terrorist or the religion anything beyond peaceful, but quite frankly, other than a couple of homegrown nutballs (Unabomber, Timothy McVeigh) here in our country, we don't have terrorists. That we, the general public, know of. Yet.

What terrorists do you know of that haven't been from Middle Eastern descent? Why are most, if not all, terrorist groups acting in the name of the Islamic religion? Where does it stop? Why won't Muslims, of any part of the world, denounce the acts of these terrorists? It sickens me, scares me, and unfortunately, shapes my thoughts about others. It also helps me understand why people sacrifice their lives for their beliefs. But those who sacrifice themselves for their religious beliefs (martyrs, for example) are different from those who kill others because of their religious "beliefs". 

That's a huge difference, especially for such a "peaceful" religion.

I think the public libraries could use a LOT more Bibles

Friday, April 8, 2016

Weight of the World

Every time Lonnie and I get frustrated with living here...with all these people (not YOU, of course)...with all this traffic...or with work, or anything or anyone of us will say to the other, "House in the mountains. House in the mountains." It's become a mantra of ours ever since we visited a cabin in the mountains not far outside Steamboat Springs, CO. Some friends of my parents own the cabin, and it's so quaint and majestic, that ever since, "house in the mountains" has had a calming, and a bit of a whimsical effect on us. Don't get me wrong about this cabin: it's not glamorous by any stretch. It's a cabin. It does have a tiny kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. But it is not glamorous. It's maybe one step up from camping.

I think it has two bedrooms with a river running below it. And when I say below it, I mean, literally, the river is in it's backyard, that's how close it is to the river. Luckily, we visited in the spring/summertime, and so it was awesome to hear the water rushing over the boulders and washing by. That sound is so soothing, much like waves at the beach are.

What I also love about it is one of the stories behind it. Over time, the man who built it picked up these different river rocks (I can't remember exactly how the story goes) to build the fireplace and chimney by hand. You see the river rocks on the outside and inside of the house. And it is definitely the best feature about the house itself. It's a two-story cabin, and when you reach the second floor, you automatically feel taller because the ceilings are so low, so you also feel cozy and warm and welcome. If I lived there long-term, though, I'd do something about the ceiling because it can probably start to feel as if it's closing in on you after a while.

It's a good-sized cabin, too, but I now know why people choose to live in "tiny houses". It's the outdoors, being one with nature, that is so peaceful and relaxing. The cabin is merely there for shelter. There were a couple of other cabins there, too, and I'm sure the reason people go there is to escape the pressures and daily monotony, to relax, renew, and refresh. At least that's why I would go there.

I envision leaving the windows open in the summertime, falling asleep to the sound of the river and trees' leaves rustling on their branches or swishing with a slight breeze.

On days like today, when it seems like all these pressures are so important, the thought of that cabin in Colorado is a great mental escape if I can't be there in person.

House in the mountains.

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