Sunday, October 10, 2010


They say that siblings' voices naturally harmonize more pleasantly with each other than voices unrelated. Several examples support this theory:

I want YOU back, Jackson 5

C'mon, get happy!

so cute

so hilarious

so .... questionable?

That was just a warm-up for the following news...

There is a new sibling band on the block, and their name is First Aid Kit, and they are the cutest and most delightful thing to come from that country since they gave us fish ! 

Thank you, Sweden, for keeping it neutral, and producing magical things. And thank you First Aid Kit, for covering a song by one of my favorite bands. And thank you, awesome roommate for telling me about them. And thank you, Austin, for having an incredible music festival that brings people here so we can enjoy life a bit more. And thank you, reader, for being here. 

(This post is dedicated to my darling sister, with whom I can not harmonize)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Give it Whatchyu Got

Continued thoughts on the act and practice of giving...
Do you ever feel like throwing up a white flag and letting the world know you have nothing left to give?

(That old theme from Pancho’s (Raise the Flag! Raise the Flag!) is playing in my head.)
Lately more than ever I’ve been feeling quite, well, depleted. Okay, imagine if I were one of those bright orange cylindrical coolers that typically hold water or gatorade at sporting events. If the liquid symbolized my self-perceived resources, I would suggest you tip me over on my side just to pool together the last little bit and send them merrily out of the spigot. That imagery is a stretch but what I am attempting to convey is there are moments when I don’t know if I have any juice left. You wouldn’t want to pour me on a coach. It would be anti-climatic. 
But hold up, wait a minute, let me cancel the invitation to my pity party and think about this. How can I say I’m almost empty? That’s pretty absurd, right? What about all the blessings that fill me up and push me forward every day? What about being grateful for the ample opportunities I am afforded? What about being grateful that I have things to share in the first place? 
By now you’ve probably ascertained I am not referring to monetary gifts, for the most part. However, I am sure each one of your delightful readers can relate to that feeling of fatigue, be it physical, emotional, psychological, etc. I’m sure you all want, like me, to have a positive impact on the world, and its people, but, like me, can sometimes almost taste your limits, they’re so close. 
If there is one word I hate, it is “overwhelmed.” I hate it, and I use it too often. Such a paralyzing mindset. 
So, there is a lime green book I’ve been reflecting on. I know your eyes might be rolling out of their sockets right now. C’mon, “The Giving Tree?!?” Be for real, that is so cliche. 
I know. But it is so good. So beautifully good. 
This is what I was thinking about today- that darling tree gave of himself until he was nothing but a stump. But he was still okay. Why? Because even a stump has its roots. He is still, in his short, ugly state, connected to his life-force. 
Two questions I ask myself today:

What are my roots? Do they run deep? Do I trust them?   Do I rely on fleeting things to get by or am I grounded (get it?) in something more substantial? For, if I am not firmly planted, even a gust of wind, empty air, could proverbially knock me over. 

How much am I willing to give?  Would I go down to my stump for another? Or do I get bent out of shape if even a leaf is forfeited? Because God forbid I appear less attractive for someone else’s sake. Hmmm.
We live in a time and culture in which we are encouraged to look out for ‘number one.’ Personally, I am disturbed by the subtle presence of selfishness in my thoughts, words, and actions. It is easy to dress it up, to excuse it, even to make it appear noble. While I would not advocate the neglect of health and self-care, I wonder if we should always, or even usually, or even often put ourselves before others? Is it really for the best?

A few blogs ago, I mentioned that to give is to receive. Yes. I still attest to that. It just depends on what we aim to attain. At the end of the day, I’d rather be a stump with a friend and a heart carved into my side than a beautiful tree with  no one around to share breaths of life (or photosynthesis, in this case) with.

Perhaps today we could all take a moment to intentionally serve someone else. Warning: this is the usually the least natural, most inconvenient way to spend your time. But try it out. It could be good. And you know what, I bet you’ll be taken care of too.

P.S. I sincerely aplogize for using a tree as my metaphor. It has admittedly been done a thousand times. But I find inspiration in the simple sometimes, and write this in hopes that you do too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


it is this kind of weather

please enjoy it
so much love

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Less is More

Mmmm, how I love a good fortune cookie !

I'm one of those silly girls that sometimes saves the quaint typed messages I find particularly profound in my purse, so I may find them later, in a grimier state. The little paper probably doesn't appreciate this. He probably thinks "Oh, good grief, white girl. Put me out of my misery. I have already been stuffed into a hot bland "cookie," suffocated by a plastic wrapper, sat in the back of a restaurant for twelve years (only 1/3 of my shelf life), and had my home smashed and devoured. Now you're going to make yourself feel poetic by keeping me in the bottom of your nasty wallet, where I will just collect that mysterious dirt that plagues handbags worldwide, get entangled with a receipt, and end up in the trash anyways. Just do it now, lady. Throw me away. I'm ready." 


Well, long ago, one of my after-dinner asian delights held the message "The more you give, the more you receive."

I like that. More than "it is better to give," I interpret this as a notion that when you give you also receive.

Certainly, I don't always act like I believe this. However, the biggest blessings in my life have always come from some form of sacrifice. I'm still getting the hang of trusting in this, but I witnessed a young girl the other day that put my attempts at generosity to shame.

I was strolling casually down south congress on a Sunday afternoon, just whistling and window-shopping, and thinking naught of anything significant when the sound of a mandolin crept into my ears. Ahead of me, on the sidewalk, was a man playing his instrument for tips. There's no way to know for sure, but context clues indicated he might be without a place to live. He was talented, and his song was cheerful, but his posture and demeanor seemed sad. As I drew closer, I saw a little girl, probably about nine years old, and of course, wearing all sorts of bubble-gum pink apparel, shyly approach his open case and, in the cutest way possible, drop a dollar bill inside. She smiled at him, took a few steps back, hesitated, then re-approached, and added a piece of paper to the pile. She made eye contact with him and said "I drew you a picture." 

He stopped playing, broke out into a huge grin, and said "What is it of?" She returned his smile, and with less timidity than she had before answered, "It's an owl." 

At this point I was just walking past, and as I continued down the street I was filled with joy. I practically started skipping. How sweet that little darling was, and how apparent the appreciation of the mandolin man! 

Perhaps most touching was the lack of agenda in that bubblegum girl's heart. I mean, maybe she was trying to earn a badge for her girl scout sash, but I doubt it. For one thing, the forest green uniform that would require would like so totally clash with her earrings. I think she just saw the man for what he is- a human. He is not sub-par in any way and he doesn't deserve any less than the next guy. He might, however, have needed a bit of love and encouragement that day. Babygirl knew this, and she gave that to him with the only resources she really had. From that simple and pure gift, the man, the girl, myself, and any others that were lucky enough to observe, were recipients of a blessing. And a convicting lesson.

"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."
-Maya Angelou

Be liberated.

so much love.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Got a Moment?

Father Time. Unlike the rest of us, he gets faster with age.
He pays no mind to the moments we wish would linger.
He doesn't care if we aren't quite ready to pay that bill.
He tirelessly rushes on, leaving his mark on our faces and in our perspectives.

Yet, are we truly the victims in this relationship ("oh, where does the time go?")?
Or do we have a vital part in the high-speed dance?
After all, we are always thinking about the future. We watch the hands on the wall, wishing it were time to clock out. As soon as we reach a goal, receive a gift, or pass a milestone we barely blink before we are planning our next move, craving a newer version of the unwrapped present in our hand, or counting down until the next momentous occasion.

"Humans are amphibians- half spirit and half animal. As spirits, they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time." C.S. Lewis

In a culture obsessed with productivity and materialism, how can we choose to live with gratitude in the moment?

One tool I've found that helps me is the practice of yoga. I know how this sounds. But seriously. It's not because my body is painfully twisted into ungodly positions. It's not the crazy names for said positions. It's not even the really awesome transient music filling the aura-licious room. The real magic is found in the goal of focusing on the moment. Listening to my breath, my body, my mind, and even to the whispered curse words as the instructor cheerfully commands another outrageous pose.

It is so challenging to be still. It seems absurd to take the long way nowadays. Efficiency is the constant goal. But what's the rush? These...are the days....of our lives, all my children, so don't be so young and restless or you might end up in the E.R. Eh?

Whatever our avenues, perhaps we could all take time to breathe today. We could attempt to slow down, even if just for five minutes, to reflect on the present and the past, to dwell in gratitude, to contemplate self-purpose, to just be ourselves. It is a small discipline that, to me at least, can make a huge difference. Let me know what you think.

so much love

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

For Real

Austin, Texas

Land that I love.

Three years ago in May I was planning my rapid escape from College Station. 
"Hey, I should move to Austin, why not?," thought I.

Good decision. By God's grace.

This city and I, we've seen some things. It has taught me a lot. Holy cow, a guy just walked by with a cat on his shoulder. You see, this stuff happens all the time here. Keep Austin so weird. Please. Forever. 

I never thought I would be here more than one year. I planned on this being a transition, a phase, a stepping stone. And really, it is. Really, everything is. But this stone is much bigger than I imagined. And I couldn't be more grateful for that.

I have spent a good deal of time exploring. Losing myself, finding myself. There have been dark days of doubt and wonderful days of reliance. 
There is community here. Diverse, challenging, encouraging, and genuine. 
There are hipsters.
There are cats.

There are a lot of blogs.
I even have one now.

I've had it for a while. The space, at least. But, inspired from the amazing web logs my friends are kind and creative enough to keep up with, I began to contemplate picking mine back up. 

I don't think I am fascinating enough to warrant daily accounts of my life (but I will quickly say other people most definitely are). But! But, but but. What I do find fascinating is people. The way humanity ebbs and flows leaves me in wonderment. I suppose living in such a diverse city gives one a lot to look at and think about. 

I see the rich and famous. I see the homeless. I see the young acting old and the old acting young. I see selfishness and pretentious behavior. I see humility and generosity. I see giving and taking (kinda like when Seth and McKenzie babygirl gave me a bike, but then scavengers stole it). I see the religious and the apathetic. I see a lot of these things in myself too.  I see hope. Always.

All this nonsense to say, my blog has a goal. I want to acknowledge some of the good that goes on amidst all the wackiness. So many people are fighting for justice and peace. I want to know more about that. So, friends, I am going to do my best to research and broadcast a piece of this. We will see how this goes, what it looks like, who digs it, etc. 

Cheers. I'll end this with some of my favorite, if simple, lyrics from the Youngbloods:

Love is but the song we sing, 
And fear's the way we die 
You can make the mountains ring 
Or make the angels cry 
Know the dove is on the wing 
And you need not know why 
C'mon people now, 
Smile on your brother 
Ev'rybody get together 
Try and love one another right now 
Some will come and some will go 
We shall surely pass 
When the one that left us here 
Returns for us at last 
We are but a moments sunlight 
Fading in the grass 
C'mon people now, 
Smile on your brother 
Ev'rybody get together 
Try and love one another right now 
If you hear the song I sing, 
You must understand 
You hold the key to love and fear 
All in your trembling hand 
Just one key unlocks them both 
It's there at your command 
C'mon people now, 
Smile on your brother 
Ev'rybody get together 
Try and love one another right now 
Right now 
Right now!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Another New Year, Another Attempt

Remember when I thought I was starting a blog but didn't mean it?

Now, I do.

I have some plans for this little guy, possibly even including pictures and other attractive media. Whoop, pique your interest!