Category Archives: Something really neat

Kindness is brave.

I have an idea.

Kindness is brave. Honesty is brave.

Today I texted someone:

“Thank you for accepting me for me. And for being okay with me speaking my mind and sharing my feelings. It is so frustrating that people today still get annoyed or afraid or angry when a lady is brave or ballsy or has good ideas or accomplishes something. That frustrates me to no end…”

I should NEVER have to apologize for being kind or being honest. I shouldn’t have to be afraid of what people will think.

Yesterday I gave the man I’m dating a present for his birthday. It was a tea kettle. With a box of his favorite tea. And a small frame with his two New Year’s Resolutions framed inside it, resolutions he had shared with me and written through emails earlier in the New Year.

His response to my birthday gift was: “You’re too kind.”

Well, I say that’s bullshit. I say the world doesn’t have high enough standards for kindness. I say the world needs to be more kind. Because being kind, especially as a woman and especially these days, is socially perceived as weak, inferior, or embarrassing.

But what we if we flipped that judgement on it’s head. What if to be kind was to be brave. What if to be honest, to share your feelings, to tell the people you care about the truth, what if that was to be brave.

I have an idea to start something. It’ll start small (but what if it grows?!).

I could start by taking some of the following actions:
-Creating a website that will have resources, inspiration, and art that showcase the bravery of kindness;
-Creating an instagram account that will visually share these resources, art an photos, reminding people in their every day lives that kindness is brave;
-Designing small poster prints to give out/sell;
-Enlisting artists and friends to make public, urban art;
-Hosting small events such as discussions, speakers, story sharing, and nights of inspiration;
-Printing stickers to give out to spread the word;
-And designing and screen printing t-shirts and sweatshirts for friends/to sell.

I see this as being a hobby, a way to fulfill my #yearofkindness that 2017 is becoming, realizing that I mean both kindness to myself and kindness to others.

I want this whole city to think about what it means to be kind, why it’s so challenging, why so many people aren’t, and why so many people are afraid of it. I want to challenge this city to be kind, because kindness is brave.

What if all bad things that ever were and ever are and ever will be is simply just a lack of kindness…

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Shattered and Hollow

I don’t often post things that aren’t my writing, poems, or rambles about Jack Kerouac. But this song is pretty darn close to how I’m feeling right about now, and this band, First Aid Kit, is tremendously beautiful in their musical lullabies, their poetic lyrics, and their lovely voices. 

I’d rather be broken than empty. I’d rather be shattered than hollow…I’d rather be striving than settled, I’d rather be moving than static”

The words of this song ring true now, in a few different ways. And the way there’s this juxtaposition between love and heartbreak, want and moving on, leaving and staying, I find that very compelling as well. “I’d rather be by your side,” is true, but so is the fact that I’ve got to allow myself to grow and be better. 

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Fearlessness

Be fearless.

That’s a good mantra. It’s inspiring. It makes you want to be a better person. And when it comes down to it, I feel like it’s fairly easy to be fearless about many things: exploring new cities, jumping off cliffs, running through the woods with wild abandon. For some people it’s abusing drugs and getting lost on a trip. Moving across the country by yourself and starting over. Fearlessness comes in different forms for different people. 

I’d like to think I’m fearless in the adventures I take, the way I educate myself through diving into and getting lost in literature that others don’t even know about, and even the way I so innocently and greatly dream. 

Why can’t I be fearless with love? Why is it so hard for me to love fearlessly?

That’s a question I can’t answer, or at least I’m not prepared to answer admitting it to myself, Kerouac, and everyone else. Maybe that’s a post for another day. It’s easy to love your family, love your friends, love God, love the beauty of Nature, cities, food, books, film, music, poetry. But it’s terrifying to fearlessly love someone and to give them your heart.

What made me thing of FEARLESSNESS was Chris McCandless. I’m watching Into the Wild and flipping back through the book by Jon Krakauer in remembrance of Chris McCandless, who’s body was found in the Alaskan wilderness twenty-two years ago today.

For some reason, many people don’t seem to understand why he did what he did- leaving society like that. Many people call him selfless, stupid, reckless, crazy… But I think he was brave, smarter than most people, and lived his life with fearlessness, and that’s admirable.

He wrote in his journal:

I have always been unsatisfied with life as most people live it. Always I want to live more intensely and richly.

I very much admire Chris’s fearlessness towards life. But he was young when he fled society to live off the land. He had just graduate from college. I don’t think he really ever experienced fearless love, at least his actions and his journals don’t reflect any love of another person. But Chris did fearlessly love life, his existence, nature, and exploration. 

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Rocks and Stardust

Mozart played the piano not only because he was good at it, but because he could lose himself in the keys and the symphonies. Floating away as if there was nothing else in the world, nothing as of importance more important than what you’re currently engulfed in.

People do what they love, do what they’re passionate about,
do what makes their hearts expand and fill up and pour over on top of themselves,
because it makes us feel alive. It moves the dust. 

When people have someone to share their passions with (or passion itself.. or the idea of passion), people lose themselves in each other, tossing and turning and yearning for something that they feel they don’t have and need to find it in another human being.

Is it in their body or their soul? It should be in both. Together. At the same time. It’s the dust that makes us up.

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, is what people say when one’s buried, when one has died. We are made of dust (some say we’re made of stardust) and when we die we’ll again become dust.

But while people are still here, if they don’t have anyone to share their passions with, some people lose themselves in themselves. Tossing and turning and yearning for something that they think they can create for themselves eyes closed breath held usually letting themselves down in some way or another.

That almost painful heartfelt feeling bursting at the seems like you’re a shirt that’s too small for your arm muscles, like you pour a glass of cold milk to the brim and a little bit flows over the side. It’s weird that it’s painful, that happiness (or is it emptiness…?) can make you feel that way. And maybe it’s just me, feeling like my heart breaks all over again.

I think of T.S. Eliot and where my life is that I’ve lost in living… Or is it Life. A capital L makes all the difference doesn’t it? It creates the perspective (… or allusion) of a Life holier, mightier, more powerful and mysterious than mine own.

“O perpetual revolution of configured stars…
…All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death”!
 

I’d pray for wisdom and knowledge, understanding of why hearts hurt, why hearts break, how can an internal organ that sustains our existence feel like it can contain so much physical pain? I’d pray for these things, but I don’t honestly thing they’ll ever come.

“The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and neared to the Dust.”

What is My Rock?

To find something that holds you in place, say, that grounds you, that prevents you from flying off into the universe (oh, but may we ever impact the Universe?) and swirling around into sparkles and dust, to find something like that is so rare, so unique, it’s never spoken of. For some people it’s vices like drugs and alcohol, and I guess for others it’s love, or marriage, or occasionally both. For many it’s their career, their family, their education. Still, I think these are all temporary, nonconcrete rocks.

“The Rock. The Watcher. The Stranger”

Maybe it’s not a thing (or things) we should be searching for, but rather a someone, a who. Maybe it is God. Maybe it is the Universe. MAYBE IT’S OURSELVES. Perhaps we’re not meant to be grounded but we are meant to be dust (the good kind, the holy and innocent kind), poured out from our burnt and charred insides to be picked up again by the winds of the worlds and thrown and strewn about, sometimes rapidly, sometimes gently, sprinkling stars (LIGHT) among the universe. 

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Big Heart of Yours by the David Wax Museum

Occasionally I will share with you all things that touch me, that move me, that make me want to push to be a better person. This is one of those things. A few years back in the dark dusty concert hall of DC called the 9:30 Club, where light streams through confusing places, chocolate cupcakes get passed around, and they have (and I say this with no sarcasm, really…) refreshingly cool Rolling Rock on draft that tastes like a grassy summer afternoon, that show was the David Wax Museum and during David Wax’s encore he sang a rugged and ragged slow motion guitar gentle to the touch tune and the line “Undress me with those dark eyes of yours” stuck with me. I tried to figure out what song it was, and couldn’t. It didn’t seem to exist, but in those graceful lyrics. Then, this song came out. And this seems to be a recently recorded intimate jam session with the song. Listen and enjoy. And check out more of the David Wax Museum: they rock. Check out their site here: http://www.davidwaxmuseum.com

 

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