Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Brother Had a Daughter

Dear friends, there is a good feeling in here for you somewhere.

When my purchase of Sufjan Stevens' new record arrived in the mail I was delighted to find a download code to go along with it.  I know record purists consider included Mp3s to be in poor taste, but I am not one to want to purchase the same music twice.  I punched in the code and soon enough I would have my very own legally burned copy of Carrie and Lowell to listen to in the Matrix whenever I pleased.

Now, first of all, that album is a heart breaker.  When I had heard the first track a few weeks earlier online, I teared up in the office.  It hit me slowly.  Like a crush more than a hit.  This is an album I would recommend to you if I were writing about it, and I am, so I am.

In my car, I was introduced to the second song.  It's called I should have known better, and I honestly, should have.

The heartache struck again.  I heard a line that made me think of my beautiful niece Katie:

My brother had a daughter 
The beauty that she brings, illumination.

I often think about lyrics that transcend specific meaning and intent.  Though I am not quite sure what this song is all about, with this seemingly obscure line, Sufjan seemed to have been thinking of me.  Maybe it's the mystery of the lyrics that surround it.

I think of her every time I hear it.

And here's where things really light up.

After this realization, and as I was really starting to enjoy the whole album, particularly my line, my other brother had a baby.  A beautiful 4 pounds and 6 ounces of a baby girl!

So, a few weeks after meeting her, I was listening to the song again and the line hit me in a whole new way.  More life breathed into an already vibrant meaning and feeling!

I pulled the car over.

What is this joy that I should have 2 beautiful nieces to think about from this song?  Who am I?  This line, tucked away in the 2nd song of Carrie and Lowell.

It's for me.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Nepal

Kathmandu you know what I feel for you. The scar you've left on my heart.

Give me your wishes and ill swaddle them deep and warm inside my insecurities.

Breath through the craters that plague your ruined mind; scrape against your lungs.

I broke down somewhere between Tamil and Jawalakhel's traffic circle.  The blind cafe gave me relief.

I turned aside tiger balm, couldn't get rid of slick shoes slinging songs.  The mountains climbed higher as the days wore on.

That hill.  Teaching English.  Carrying a television on the back of a motorbike, past a corner and into the sunrise of Fish Tail.  I couldn't believe the things you were showing me, the people you held inside.

Kathmandu you remember me.  I was only there for a short time.  You gave me a name, Barroon it was.  You startled me in the night as I walked up the path to our home.

You welcomed me with a bowl of lentils and a folded hat.  You showed me who you are, the kind of endless in your will makes me feel small.

Makes me feel.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Continuing

Hey,

I just passed 72 miles of jogging this year so far.  That is officially double what I did all of last year.

I'm feeling good.

I've also been limiting my diet in a few ways.  I've cut out pasta, which is a complex maze of confusion for my digestion system.  I've limited bread, which would weigh me down and drain me of energy.  I've given my stomach a bit of a break.

I've limited my meat intake significantly.  I haven't had beef since last month.

I've cut out a bunch of sugar.  Even though I'm still drinking 2 cups of coffee a day, my headaches are few and far between.  Maybe I can get that down to one cup.  Maybe no cups?  I don't know.

I feel light after meals.  I feel full quicker, almost shockingly quicker.  I couldn't finish a 9 inch Quiznos sub the other day.

What have I been eating?  Lots of veggies.  I eat them raw, I blend them with fruit.  I've been eating spinach and kale, peppers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers.  I've been throwing some of the amazingly magical chia seeds into the blender along with everything else.  Super good stuff.

Barbara made strawberry jam with just strawberries and chia seeds.  Amazing.

I've been eating almonds, and beans, and chickpeas.  Barbara made humus the other day and it was tasty, filling and energizing.

I feel good.  My jogging has been easier to tackle each time.  I've been pushing myself more, not in speed, but in endurance.  The other day I jogged for well over an hour.  That's a big deal for me.

I am usually not the most energetic person.  These changes have helped me big time.  I even have more patience with my kids.  It's been a nice thing.  I want to continue to feel good and I want to continue to run and play with my boys.

I will continue to write here so that I am challenged to continue on with this thing.

Until next time!