Monday, August 11, 2008

Today I am Plagued by Babel.

(painting is by Los Angeles artist Alexandra Grant)

Sometimes I wonder if our lack of understanding of one another is the main cause of heartbreak in the world. If our inability to see one another as people with stories and loved ones, with tragedies and triumphs. This morning I was reading about the creation of the tower of Babel and how the people wanted to "make a name for themselves." In my understanding, so often we end up a mess when we try to make a name for ourselves because we forget to notice the people around us, and loneliness can feel like a mental plague. The Old Testament teaches that as a result of the arrogance of his people, that he confused their languages, so that they would have to depend on him to understand one another in their difficulty and suffering. I can see how this, ideally, would make sense.

But then to flash forward thousands of years and the confusion rooted so deeply in the human experience. When I saw the movie Babel last year, my heart broke because it was such a poignant portrait of modern day confusion. The inability to communicate with others (on every kind of level) snowballed from minor misunderstandings and complications into violence and deep disconnection among humanity.

I just wish that we would desire to see humanity in the world; to be aware of the brokenness that sits behind every face. I wish that we would look outside of the name we are trying to make for ourselves and into the eyes of people. Is there a chance that could happen? It is a beautiful thing to imagine. I'm convinced we must look outside of ourselves. How do we begin as a people?

Summer Storms.

My brain isn't feeling poetic per se this summer. If it were, I'd find a much better way to write about this (though, I am realizing that most of my writing stems directly from the weather and the seasons in the city...not sure how I feel about that) but I must take a minute to stop and share my love of being at home with nowhere to go when it is about to storm like mad. It is a gloriously cool 70 degrees outside and I opened all of my bay windows and put on a chunky, button up sweater. Our couch is currently situated between the windows and I have a pile of books, my moleskin and some Irish Breakfast tea sitting next to me. This fourth floor walk-up comes in handy in times like this when I can see all the tops of buildings and the sky is dark and big and ominous. Sigh.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Soundtrack of Life.

I spent a ridiculous time with one of my best friends from high school last weekend laughing about all of our favorite songs from the mid to late nineties. On the way back to our hotel from a wedding, I was in the car with great, great friends and all of us are singing all the words to the Counting Crows with the windows down. Sigh. It never ceases to amaze me how songs that remind me of a specific time and place can just break my heart (in the good way).

So, since this summer has equaled an abundance of time where I've felt like a waste of space, I decided to put my time to good use, rather than continuing my incessant reading or watching shows i don't even like on hulu. (Because clearly, being productive is too much to ask...I have read a lot, but all of those thoughts are still sitting in draft form because I can't bring myself to actually *think*. Sorry.)

Back to the point...I organized my ipod playlists! It is beautiful! I made an impulse purchase (smart? no. worth it? yes.) when my nano died. This opened a whole new world of not having to rotate out all of my music. With this newfound musical freedom, I embarked on making a plethora of playlists. So these are some of the highlights of songs I forgot about and what they remind me of...

CHS: Friday night football games. Listening to 101.5 on the way to school. Sitting on driveways til 5 minutes before curfew.
Back to the Earth-Rusted Root

Hook-Blues Traveler
You Learn-Alanis
Interstate Love Song-Stone Temple Pilots
Beauty of Gray-Live

CHS Country Version: cross country meets. Buying Wrangler jeans at the Silver Spur. Country Concert in Ft. Laramie.
Amy's Back in Austin-Little Texas
Goodbye Says it All-Blackhawk
The Beaches of Cheyenne-Garth Brooks
Don't Get Me Started-Rhett Atkins

Miami: Cayo Costa. the House of Mud porch. State route 73. Dancing with Springboro.
Don't You Want-Wheat
By My Side-Ben Harper
The General -Dispatch
Escape-Enrique. Ha.