11 December 2006

israel. it has been a dream of mine to go there. to walk the streets of Christ. to walk the streets of David. to breathe the holy air. and i finally got my opportunity. 2 of my favorite people are both living there right now, one in school, one working. and they met me, together, on the corner of king george and hillel st. as i got dropped off by the sherut (a taxi/ van). Libby asked me if i wanted to go to the western wall and i of course jumped at the chance. driving into the old city was pretty surreal bc that is more how it looked back in the day and more how i pictured all of jerusalem to be like. the streets were slightly crowded w many headed to the wall along w us. i tended to notice the hasidic jews. they wear all black suits w big black fedora hats or shtreimels (a huge round fur hat) and then the kippah (what we call yamaka) underneath, which is a custom of recognition that God is 'above' humankind. so we go towards the wall , men on one side, women on the other, and there are beggers offering red strings. i joked on kabbalah but libby said, no you wear them on your right wrist to remind you to pray. she gave the lady a few shekels so that me, her, and chris could each have one. the closer we get to the wall the more surreal it is to be there, we have to dodge women walking backwards, bc you aren't supposed to turn your back on the wall, and we get a torah and just stand there. surrounded by intense religion. women crying, women w their face pressed into the torah praying and turning side to side or back and forth, all i can do is stare. stare at the wall that used to complete Solomon's temple. stare at how small i am against it. finally we pushed our way through so that i could actually touch it. i just leaned my forehead against it and shut my eyes. every crack in the wall is full of tiny pieces of paper w written prayers.

obviously there are so many stories to tell but nothing can describe actually being there. the ride to and from the airport to jerusalem looked like I-95 and the new city of jerusalem is real modern with high rises and parks. obviously not what i expected. but there are a lot of giant stone sidewalks that i tended to get my heels caught in. i love stone sidewalks. i did as tamice told me walked dragging my hand along the stone buildings as much as possible. i ate falafel and schawarma, corn pizza, and anything else typical of israeli food that i could. we went to the biblical zoo, the time machine ride -that is a simulation ride that takes you back in history, saw the mt. of olives, garden of gethsemane, the prison where Jesus was kept overnight, mary's tomb,

one day we went to the arab markets, also in the old city. entering through damascus gate, floods of ppl and open air weapons every where. guards were the only sign of war to me there really. there were endless alley ways of little shops hidden in the walls. we had lots of short conversations w men as we walked through. we also had long conversations. many invited us in for tea and hookah. one guy yelled, "its my birthday, everything is for free!" so we went in and drank tea, smoked cigs and he made us jewelry- complimentary to what wasn't actually his birthday. we continued to wander and ran into this little man with a photography shop. libby had bought things from him before. he invited us in- got us mango juice and we flipped through his pictures that either him or his father had taken, some dated back to the late 1800s. after we made our purchase and were about to leave he said, 'wait i want to photograph you three!' so we went in his studio and smiled infront of a wall of poppy flowers and Jesus murals. continuing on i realized that we were on part of the via dolorosa- Traditionally, it is held to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. It is marked by nine of the fourteen Stations of the Cross. The last five stations are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church of the holy sepulchre is one of the two places they believe Jesus' tomb was. it is very gaudy and it was quite hard to take seriously. supposedly it is a pilgrimage destination since the 4th century and that is quite evident. we waited in line to get into the actual tomb. it is a big box built around it in the center of the church. every one is taking pictures outside of it so depressed looking i just wanted to shake them and say- did you forget that Jesus rose from the dead!? inside they all rub their Jesus trading cards on the stone in lamentation. yea glad i went there but i don't necessarily think God approves of that place.

another day when i was left to myself for a few hours i was just walking around the city and ended up in two back to back parks. everywhere you go there are stands that sell lottery tickets and outside one of them there were two old men playing shesh besh, backgammon, yelling in hebrew back and forth, rolling dice and drinking tea. i stood and watched and one of the guys offered me his tea so i sat and joined them. they couldn't speak english past the simple questions of 'where are you from?' and 'what is your name?' and i definitely couldn't speak hebrew so i just observed- determined to learn how to play. didn't happen. so i went inside the little stand and there was a filipino girl in there that spoke english real well and we talked about the philippines and she translated for me to the owner of the shop. he was a precious man, upper body of a over weight 50 y/o w the legs of a 10 y/o boy. he had on a correction shoes and a dog was tied up to bottom of his chair . he was yelling back and forth w his friend outside playing shesh besh and talking to me at the same time. he kept asking me if i was hungry and finally i gave in and he made me a hot dog. (just like in france when they take the baguette and toast it by shoving it onto a metal rod the size of the hot dog and then when its done sliding the hot dog inside)

these are the kinds of situations that made me enjoy the trip. there were so many places i had planned to go to that i didn't get to like the dead sea, hezekiah's tunnel, galilee, bethlehem, hebron, see the dead sea scrolls. but its ok bc those are simply things to check off a list. i decided that i would much rather experience culture. those interactions w the ppl were what made me happy. and being w libby and chris was enough fun in itself. no matter where in the world we are it would be fun w them.

we did finally learn how to play shesh besh one night when me and libby were walking back to her apartment and walked through some street vendors. the guys were playing it bc that is what all the vendors do to pass their time and we told them we wanted to learn. so they lit us a hookah and explained to us the rules of the game. since we were so slow to make decisions on our next move it wasn't until a group of ppl came over they had to sell things to that we actually got to play for ourselves. later we went home and made a shesh besh board out of paper bags (i even rigged some dice) so that we could continue to play.

me and my favorite teacher from high school, had been talking for awhile about places we wanted to travel to next. (she is one of my travel inspirations and i took a trip w her to italy 5 years ago) i was telling her i really wanted to go to egypt and she was saying she really wanted to go to petra- in jordan. and being that israel is bordering jordan (it borders egypt too but thats a trip in itself) so i decided i wanted to go to petra. so we did it. we took a bus down to eilat. its a beach town which we heard was amazing (who ever said that has obviously never actually been there). we left at 7am so we could get there in time to lay out but that didn't happen -so long story short- we ended up at a bar with a $150 dollar check between the 3 of us and soaking wet from impulsively dunking ourselves (well i dunked me and libby) into the red sea. i mean moses parted that shit! we had to get in. then we went to bed at 4p and woke up the next morning real early to catch a cab to jordan. it was only a 7 minute ride to the border. as we were going through passport control a older man came up to us and asked if we needed a ride to petra- we trusted him and said yes. but we didn't get that far. after we payed entrance tax and all we got in the car- ends up they were like 15 45 y/o greek orthodox men from nazareth that were going camping in the desert. at the next passport check spot we ended up just hanging out w them for like an hour. they gave us drinks and we just talked and smoked. they were the nicest guys. we wanted to go camping w them but we only had one day in jordan bc chris stayed in eilat so they hooked us up w a cab and ended up paying 20 bucks of the ride for us. the cab driver was amazing too . he stopped and bought us drinks and muffins and stopped to show us overlooks in the desert and once we got to petra we gave him money and he got our tickets for us and then told us he would be waiting in the parking lot for us when we were done and would get us back to the border before it closed at 8.
so we went in and bought scarves, bc it was colder then we thought and the guys at the shop talked us into riding horses. they walked us horse back to the entrance and then we walked for a bit w stone walls towering above us until we saw the palace facade from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. and what seemed to be for our amusement were two camels laying there waiting for us to ride them. (i rode elephants in thailand and my next animal to ride was a camel). so we found out how much and choked out the money. as we were riding we noticed that we are gonna be on so many peoples video cameras and in so many pictures. and the bedouins kept riding up next to us on their mules talking to us and offering to take us to more interesting off the beaten path places. so of course we did. we got off the camels and hopped onto the mules. just me and libby and 2 bedouin guys set off to the creek in the mountain. probably wasn't the wisest thing to do but we decided to trust and we learned so much about petra and their culture bc of it. they wanted us to stay and camp w them but we couldn't leave chris for another day. we both got proposed to 5 times each w offerings of 10 camels and 10 horses. pretty tempting to be living in a cave by candle light- to have paid our way into petra and never left. but unfortunately we did leave- the cab ride home made for probably the best conversation i've ever had w libby (ha!) and the cab driver bought us falafel.

the day i left, my flight wasn't leaving until 1130 at night so i had all day to wander. i woke up early and w chris' map i walked all the way back to the old city (jerusalem is pretty small). i ran back into the old photographer man and had mango juice. he advised me not to go to the mt. of olives bc its dangerous for women to go alone. and he told me i couldn't go to temple mount bc during that time of day it was muslims only. so i found my way back to the arab markets. a random guy gave me a chocolate puff, which i gladly accepted. (we had been eating chocolate all week- there is pop rocks chocolate there. its brilliant. milk chocolate w crunch, and the crunch is pop rocks. don't let me forget to mention the chocolate milk in a bag. tiny little plastic bags you bite off the corner and suck the milk out. so freaking good.) i walked out and around the outer walls of the old city and made my way back to the western wall so that i could see it during the day. i got another prayer bracelet and went and just sat infront of the wall for awhile. i wrote for a bit and just watched people. lastly i wrote my prayer on a piece of paper to leave in the wall. (not that God honors prayer more there but it was something i just had to do.) i noticed that i had lost chris' map and so i ended up walking way out of my way asking everyone how to get back to jaffa st. once i reached the gate a man stopped me. he asked me where i got my earrings (target) and told me he was a jewelry maker. he asked me how long i was gonna be in israel and i told him i was leaving today. he said- 'really? let me give you something'. so we went to his shop and drank tea and he let me pick a stone- Israel's eilat stone and made me a necklace. the interesting part this time was he began to read me. he said when i walked by he noticed something in my eyes. he felt like i wasn't satisfied and that i was looking for something. that there is a depth to me and that ppl that know me the most don't actually know me. he wanted to help me and i didn't know how to open up. he definitely broke down a wall in me though.

the main thing i learned from this trip was how amazing it is to trust people. the last two guys in the jewelry shop i talked with mentioned that the nicer they are to ppl the more skeptical the ppl become. it is really sad but bc of the news and bc of how we are raised not to trust ppl, not to talk to strangers, not to take things from strangers, we have a guarded mindset that we don't even necessarily realize. i loved the warmth of the ppl and i hate how they are perceived. every situation i would have been guarded or stood strong in but ended up trusting resulted in some of the most beautiful experiences i've ever had. i feel that life should be about trust and sharing culture w each other. we all help each other out and teach life. share stories. one is deceived if they think that they can not learn from each person they meet- even if its just one thing. we've all seen something different and taken different paths. every place i go and will go has changed me in some way and i want to become more and more open each time.

now I'm home w beautiful israel and jordan stamps in my passport and its time to start saving up for my next trip. might be china to hike the great wall, might be turkey to see the whirling dervishes, might be hungary for a spiritual journey. time only tells and thank God i am graduating in may.

here are my pictures

22 October 2006

along the blueridge

graveyard feilds
by lauren d'auria and laney sullivan

soggy muddy path
blue veins on the yellow floor
weaving around rocks

sunlight pulling long shadows
silent creek seeking the flood

sobbing waterfall
the ferns perfectly they stand
half dark ying yang mount

limbs leaning towards the river
natural spiral stone stairways

subtle streams tremble
trickle trickle trickle drip
leaves print the surface

smiles gashed within your side
hallow ocean of branches

clouds come in with fall
overcast shallow footprints
leaves smashed within them

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

30 July 2006

Don't let your mind get weary and confused
Your will be still, don't try
Don't let your heart get heavy child
Inside you there's a strength that lies

Don't let your soul get lonely child
It's only time, it will go by
Don't look for love in faces, places
It's in you, that's where you'll find kindness

Be here now, here now
Be here now, here now

Don't lose your faith in me
And I will try not to lose faith in you
Don't put your trust in walls
'Cause walls will only crush you when they fall

Be here now, here now
Be here now, here now

-ray lamontagne

01 July 2006

best of: mix ohfive

Clap Your Hands! -Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
wig 12 -odd nosdam
Waterfalls -Why?
boogie woogie man in a black dress -Gabby la la
luminious luminesence -Anathallo
hey now now -Cloud room
I Turn My Camera On -Spoon
galang -M.I.A. (XL)
fit but you know it -The Streets
The Zookeeper's Boy -Mew
Everyone's A V.I.P. To Someone -The Go! Team
Carbon Monoxide -Regina Spektor
Chinese Children -Devendra Banhart
The Moment I Said It -Imogen Heap
The Mariner's Revenge Song -The Decemberists
John Wayne Gacy, Jr. -Sufjan Stevens

alibi -David Gray
calender girl -Stars
fake palindromes -andrew bird
Fisherman's Woman -Emiliana torrini
Grass -Animal Collective
How You See the World No. 2 -Coldplay
It's 5! -Architecture In Helsinki
Little Flowers -Denison Witmer
major label debut -Broken Social Scene
missing -Beck
mushaboom -Feist
My Style -Black Eyed Peas
noah's ark -cocorosie
saeglopur -Sigur Rós
since youve been gone/maps -Ted Leo

26 June 2006

i finally put up my pictures from the philippines!


18 June 2006

bonnaroo-all access

so this weekend was pretty much amazing.

thanks to joe and mutemath- i got in bonnaroo free and with an all access pass! that equaled

1. guest parking and camping behind the 'which' stage in centeroo- which means i could get into centeroo whenever i want and not have to wait an hour in line to get through security at noon at the main arch entrance each day. and i could go back to my tent whenever during the day bc it took about one second to get there.

2. free meals all 4 days (including multi vitamins and vitamin C chewables) and amazing smoothies for breakfast.

3. VIP access to the bleachers and backstage at every stage. it was one of greatest joys to push through the crowd on stage right "excuse me! excuse me!" and walk behind the gates as i flashed my pass.

4. access to the artist tent and area where i could get free alcohol, cigs, smartwater, sunscreen, chapstick, matches, and basically anything i could ever want. (i even got a free timberland shirt and could have gotten boots but they didnt have my size)

5. short cuts and back entrances between stages

6. i was one of 50 (out of 80,000) to sit backstage balcony for the beck show on the main stage.

other amazing things were that stevie nicks guest appeared with tom petty! and gillian welch guest appeared with bright eyes! and in 4 days i saw- the cat empire, devotchka, andrew bird, seu jorge, ben folds, death cab, devendra banhart, bright eyes, cat power, clap your hands say yeah, tom petty, damian marley, beck, radiohead (they played a 2 1/2 hour set!!!), be your own pet, bela fleck, the streets, and matisyahu!

also i stood about 5 feet from aaron neville and matisyahu and rode in a van with rusted root. we rode the ferris wheel and danced in the silent disco (which basically the most amazing this ive ever seen. everyone goes in wearing wireless headphones, including the DJ, and everyone dances to the same song, but if you walk by or if you take off your headphones then it is silent and everyone looks like crazy people dancing to an unheard beat.)

the weekend was perfect. our neighbors were awesome, camping was fun, and it was the first year that it didnt rain!

so now im ruined and will never want to go to bonnaroo again if im not going to be a VIP

01 June 2006

hi ma'am

the summer has begun

and i am doing what i love- being with my favorite people and traveling the world.

i am in the airport in seoul korea and i am flying solo surrounded by many (strange)rs. i have a 2 hour layover on my way back to the states from manila philippines.

we stayed in three different hotels. they were cheap compared to what they would cost in the states but high rolling for the philippines. my favorite was the 'treehouse/log cabin' bc we had a balcony.

money went really far (50 pesos= 1 dollar)

what would be a 20 dollar cab ride in NY is 100 pesos=2 bucks.

i got ear candling and a hour long massage for 14 bucks. i got a 2 hour japanese hot stone massage for 25 bucks.

private parties

greenhills= black market/fake designer bags

we bought 9 packs of half pack cigs and a lighter for 4 bucks.

free buffets

the mall and spa were attached to our first hotel.

eyebrow threading

mall of asia (the biggest mall in asia)

our 2nd hotel had an amazing pool that reminded us of maui with small waterfalls and bridges and palm trees.

4 malls were attached to our 3rd hotel

we made ourselves and left an image at each hotel. to some- we are in a band. to some- we are actresses doing a movie about native americans called suskachawan bay (they didnt question why it was being filmed in the philippines). and to some we are doing an oprah special on revealing the prostitution of young filipino women to old american men.

we definately were living first world in that third world country.

all of these things were quite amazing and i definately caught myself walking tall and feeling famous as people complimented my hair and stared us down everywhere we went (one guy even looked up libby's skirt with a mirror- lou yelled 'NO!').

but these were the highlights for me.

there are these buses called jeepneys- they are the remnants of the world war 2 vehicles that filipinos use as local transportation. they decorate them beautifully and eleborately. we rode in them twice and both times, even though the cost to ride was 7 pesos- we gave them 100 pesos.

(its easy to bless people here. even though 100 pesos is such a small sacrifice for me of 2 dollars, to them in is a huge deal.)

quiapo church= chants on microphones sound the backdrop of hundreds of vendors all selling the same thing- their faith in the form of rosaries and catholic icons. i bought into it and dipped the rosary into the churches holy water bc an old man told me i should bless it before wearing it. kids ran loose eveywhere and would follow us for blocks until finally i gave one a mini banana i remembered i had brought along.

flowing flowers draped above the plaza

men blowing bubbles

i couldnt make myself complain about the heat or the smell bc i was happy to make ppl smile with the touch of my dreads or a wave or a kiss i would blow their way. they are satisfied, it seems, on 5 dollars a day and we couldnt last an hour.

the kids are precious

we saw one girl chasing her puppy in a circle on a main rode in a median. kids walk right up to your car window and hold up their hand to pear inside to sell necklaces of the countries flower. they stare until the light turns and you continue on w your life as they soon have to report back with how much they have sold- being rewarded maybe a pat on the back and the flip of 10 cents.

the skys are smog

and the oceans oil

but they pose for pictures here.


they built this walled city right in the center of manila when the spanish colonized there in 1571. it was quite intrigueing to walk along the walls that once held boundaries and to see the ppl now flowing through. we found handicrafts and walked down alleys of small vendors. we sang karaoke w some highschool girls in some empty restaurant. (10 cents a song)

we caught a rickshaw, and we rode in the side car of a dude who we found out makes maybe 40 dollars a month. what he takes quite serious gave us an experience and a sweet video clip. (sada saaa)

one of my favorite parts of the trip was coming around the corner to a bunch of guys playing basketball and some kids playing wallball. we went over to the kids and let them pose for pictures and videos and then we showed them their faces. i wanted to move there right then.


taal volcano=the smallest active volcano in the world.

we followed the dude in the yellow motorcycle with a sidecar down a windy road about 20 minutes to sea level, parked the car and boarded what looked like a brightly painted motored gondola. once we got there we decided not to hike the volcano or take their offer of a donkey ride up so we made a quick u-turn.

on the way back we took a slight detour down the coast and then headed on. i made sure to take a closer look at the water houses. i cant explain them any other way then that they look like scrap houses on thin individual rows of logs and plywood.

on the way out of town we bought a whole stalk of mini bananas, ate three and blessed the bellman at the hotel.

a day later we caught our flights back and i miss it there.

luckily i had a tv screen on the back of the chair in front of me on the plane.

09 May 2006

life scares me and all i want is to be free from thought
i dont know how to allow myself to love or be loved
i dont know how to react to things with out analyzing it
i hate this shit. i just want to be carefree
but i have come to notice that what i hate more and more is that i am so different then everyone else and that my frustrations are my own convictions

21 April 2006

today's one of those days. the green that is accented on a rainy day always seems to subside in its dull surroundings. i curl up on my porch drawing my legs close to my body in fickle positions to bring warmth but my nose always, with out doubt, will turn a shade of pink (as if it already doesnt stick out). i turn the final pages of my long winded book with a menthol smoked down to the filter, lit by a match and put out by the wind as it falls into a small puddle on the window sill.
"thats how children deal with terror- they fall asleep"
maybe thats all i am- a child running from the thoughts and fears of being orphaned. physical sleep is the last thing im worried about. but spiritual sleep seems to come too easy. i sit comfortable leaning now, one leg crossing, bench subtle(y) creeking. i wipe my nose with a smokey hand and ponder 'a reminder of a dream that is wilting even as it was budding'. where the hell do i go with my thoughts that lie trapped in this steeping tea bag. ive dropped the cup far too many times and done tragic mischeif between the door and the tree. my lack of words has caused the dust from his feet to blow far from my eyes. but "if America taught me anything, it's that quitting is right up there with pissing in the girlscouts lemonade jar"
please sir, i'd like a one way ticket
yes sir, i know i won't be coming back
no sir, to leave the familiar white fence and picket

a ship you say, sir?
how long...
well maybe until my heart ceases to stir.

no sir, freedom has always felt a flight away.
and to be the death of me-
sir, would be for me to stay.

07 April 2006

i just saw 'the constant gardener' again last night and i think ive decided to do the peace corps in africa

23 March 2006

today was an amazing day at the thrift store!
i spent a total of 6 bucks and got all of these books:

the prophet
the old man and the sea
the catcher in the rye
oliver twist
the adventures of tom sawyer
the scarlet letter
to kill a mockingbird
great expectations
canterbury tales
the bell jar
crooked little heart
selections of ralph waldo emerson
animal farm

19 March 2006

what will be left when i've drawn my last breath,
besides the folks i've met and the folks who know me,
will i discover a soul cleansing love,
or just the dirt above and below me,
i'm a doubting thomas,
i took a promise,
but i don't know what's safe,
oh me of little faith,
sometimes i pray for a slap in the face,
then i beg to be spared 'cause i'm a coward,
if there's a master of death i'll bet he's holding his breath,
as i show the blind and tell the deaf about his power,
i'm a doubting thomas,
i can't keep my promises,
'cause i don't know what's safe,
oh me of little faith

i'm a doubting thomas,
i can't keep my promises,
'cause i don't know what's safe,
oh me of little faith,

can i be used to help others find truth,
when i'm scared i'll find proof that its a lie,
can i be lead down a trail dropping bread crumbs,
that prove i'm not ready to die,

please give me time to decipher the signs,
please forgive me for time that i've wasted,

i'm a doubting thomas,
i'll take your promise,
though i know nothin's safe,
oh me of little faith

-nickel creek

24 February 2006

henri encouraged him to do what the desert fathers had done,
"to keep preaching that i might be converted by my own word."
the fact that henri could not live every moment of life in the spirit of his preaching did not take away from the fundamental truth of his message. and in the end, his own humanity was part of what made his spirituality so accessible and real.

this encouraged me a lot. the validity of the truth i preach is not based on my ability to live it, but it is based on God himself backing it up.

21 February 2006

1,2,3...bless you

go! go! leave virginia
if not us then who?
we've things to do

15 February 2006

we modern westerners are so busy with ourselves, so preoccupied with the questions of whether we do just to our own selves, that the experience of the 'transcendent' becomes practically impossible. in the way of thinking which involves talking, discussing, analyzing, and criticizing, in which one opinion asks  the other for attention, in which belief is replaced more and more by an endless list of conceptions, opinions, visions, and ideas which whirl around as paper boats on the sea- in this way of thinking there is scarcely room for the spirit who speaks whenever we are silent and who comes in wherever we have emptied ourselves. instead of making ourselves susceptible to the experience of the transcendent God, we, bust about many things, begin to seek after the small, flighty sensation brought about by artificial stimulation of the senses.

thomas merton: a contemplative critic

13 February 2006

what does it mean to pray?

praying is no easy matter. it demands a relationship in which you allow the other to enter into the very center of your person, to speak there, to touch the sensitive core of your being, and allow the other to see so much that you would rather leave in darkness. and when do you really want to do that? perhaps you would let the other come across the threshold to say something, to touch something, but to allow the other into that place where you life gets its form, that is dangerous and calls for defense.
    the resistance to praying is like the resistance of tightly clenched fists. the image shows the tension, the desire to cling tightly to yourself, a greediness which betrays fear. the story about an old woman brought to a psychiatric center exemplifies an attitude. she was wild, swinging at everything in sight and scaring everyone so much that the doctors had to take everything away from her. but there was one small coin which she gripped in her fist and would not give up. in fact, it took two men to pry open that squeezed hand. it was as though she would lose her very self along with that coin. if they deprived her of that last possession, she would have nothing more, and be nothing more. that was her fear.
    when we are invited to pray we are asked to open our tightly clenched fists and to give up our last coin. but who wants to do that? a first prayer, therefore, is often a painful prayer, because you discover you dont want to let go. you hold fast to what is familiar even if you aren't proud of it. you find yourself saying, 'thats just how it is with me. i would like it to be different, but it cant be now. thats just the way it is, and thats the way ill have to leave it.' once you talk like that youve already given up the belif that your life might be otherwise, youve already let the hope for a new life float by. since you wouldnt dare to put a question mark behind a bit of your own experience with all its attachments, you have wrapped yourself up in the destiny of facts.
    you feel it is safer to cling to a sorry past than to trust in a new future. so you fill your hands with small, clammy coins which you dont want to surrender...
detachment is often understood as letting loose of what is attractive. but it cant also mean being attached to what is repulsive. you can become attached to your own hate. as long as you look for retaliation, you are riveted to your own past. sometimes it appears as though you would lose your self along with your revenge and hate- so you stand there with balled up fists, closed to the other who wants to heal...
    when you dare to let go and surrender one of those many fears, your hand relaxes and your palms spread out in a gesture of receiving, you must have patience, of course, before your hands are completely open and their muscles relaxed..
you can never fully achieve such an attitude, for behind each fist another one is hiding, and sometimes the process seems endless. much has happened in your life to make all these fists... at any house of the day or night you might clench again for fear.
    someone will tell you, 'you have to be able to forgive yourself.'  but that isn't possible. what is possible is to open your hands with out fear so that other can  blow your sins away. for perhaps it isnt clammy coins, but just a light dust which a soft breeze will whirl away, leaving only a grin or a chuckle behind. then you feel a bit of new freedom, and praying becomes a joy, a spontaneous reaction to the world and the people around. praying comes effortless, inspired, and lively or peaceful and quiet. then you recognize the festive and the modest as moments of prayer. you begin to suspect that to pray is to live.

with open hands, henri nouwen
'a mature religion is integral in nature
if religion does not follow the same road with and open and critical eye, the grown adult who flies the ocean in super jets might be religiously still content with a tricycle. there should be a constant willingness to shift gears'

i agree that religion needs to be relevant to culture but when does relevancy become irrevalent? it seems like so much of our culture is coming to see religion in such a pluralist light. that we can tweak our Gods, in order to please our needs and desires. but who really wants to follow a religion or a God that is changeable by our temporary hands? i want to rest upon a rock that cannot be shaken- and that calls me to be the one who changes.

09 February 2006

detach yourself

the human problem- if we have a claim on something can we appreciate it?

thomas merton (a trappist monk) said that, 'renounciation isnt- i will never have anything to do with it, but it is simply not claiming it anymore as a given. therefore you will become grateful for what 'you didnt know you had until it was gone.'

Buddhists say -instead of running away from something, just dont let yourself become attached to it

2 monks are in a desert and saw a woman that needed to cross a creek. one monk went and picked up the girl, carried her across the creek, put her down, and then the 2 monks left. later, the 2nd monk said, 'why did you pick up that women? we arent supposed to touch them.' and the first monk said, 'when i put her down, i put her down. you are the one who still has her in your mind.'

even though the monk had touched the woman, he had already renounced claim to the desire of women- so it didnt effect him. and though the other monk had never touched the woman- he had not renounced his claim on desire for women, therefore was attached to his desire without even commiting an act.

when merton had parties or went out to see jazz or drink beer- he would enjoy it. but the next day it would be over and he wouldnt even think about it for maybe 3 more years before his next outing.

-being in the world, but not of it-

(this rocks bc its totally the nonreligious mindset we have to take on to beable to live in the world without falling to its vices and without becoming legalistic)

07 February 2006

"one way to express the spiritual crisis of our time is to say that most of us have an address but cannot be found there"

i always think about the difference between aloneness and lonliness. how when i am alone i am not always lonely and when i am lonely i am not always alone. seems like most of our generation stands lonely amongst the crowds. but why? what keeps ourselves from screaming outloud? we think everyone around us is happy- when they themselves are in a cage and thinking the same of you. we dont think ppl want to hear our complaining (and they dont) so again we pile it up. who will be willing to listen? we need to realize that usually we have to take the first step toward communion. i need to listen before i can expect to be heard. i need to help before i can expect to be given a hand.

selfless initiative

06 February 2006

i used to be a strong advocate of words. trying to better myself in the world of them. and though i am still inamored when someone has seemed to master the art of speech- i often doubt their(words) importance directly. in the movie -waking life- they talk of words being inert and dead. there simply are not the words available to express our inner most battle to communicate. and the more ppl feel like they are communication failures- the more they give up trying to. hence the collapse of the word's main function.

"words are meant to disclose the mystery of the silence from which they come"
"i would like to talk to the man who has forgotten words" -chuang tzu
"the word is the instrument of the present world and silence is the mystery of the future world"
"if a word is the bear fruit, it must be spoken from the future world into the present world"

"the word of God does not break the silence of God, but rather unfolds the immeasureable richness of that silence"

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
ecclesiaste 5:2

05 February 2006

silence is definately and ADD persons worst nightmare- and ADDism is seemingly becoming our generations biggest excuse. in 2 of my classes last spring- the teacher had 1-3 minutes of silence before the start of every class. some loved it- many thought it was a waste of time. that showed me the lack of priority of the latter. me and my friend were talking about how life is amazing...until the end of the day- when we are left to the silence and are forced to face ourselves and the wolves of our thoughts trying to devour us. its when i realized where i am on the scale of emptiness and fufilled. ususally the arrow points to the lesser. and that being the greatest common denominator- i feel that ppl will do anything to stay away from it.

04 February 2006

"there seems to be a mountain of obstacles preventing people from being where their hearts want to be. the astonishing thing is that the battle for survival has become so 'normal' that few people really believe that it can be different. oh how important, discipline, community, prayer, silence, caring presence, simple listening, adoration, and deep, lasting faithful friendship. we all want it so much, and still the powers suggesting that all of that is fantasy are enormous. but we have to replace the battle for power with the battle to create space for the spirit" -henri nouwen

i tired of the battle for survival. i will not accept it, in fact it is becoming the norm.
hope arises from the ashes and things will be different!

one of my hearts desire is to know and be known. to be on another level of friendship in the spirit with my friends closest to me. to seek to encourage and hold accountable the ones i love as they do the same for me. to be pressed by the things of life for learning sake.
friendship is risk and a continual death to selfishness. i accept

[this class i am taking on henri nouwen has turned from an interest in a class subject to pure joy. his words lure me deeper into the heart of God and his careful honest articultaion of the ambiguities , uncertainties, and painful conditions of life gives me hope. his openness to vulnerability draws me out of myself and stirs my heart closer to believing that i am the beloved]



Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Phil Lesh & Friends


Elvis Costello & the Imposters

Bonnie Raitt

Death Cab for Cutie


Bright Eyes

The Neville Brothers

Bela Fleck & the Flecktones

Buddy Guy

Damian Marley

Ben Folds

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Dr. John


G. Love & Special Sauce

My Morning Jacket

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder

Steel Pulse

Mike Gordon and Ramble Dove

Cat Power

Medeski Martin & Wood

Nickel Creek



Steve Earle

Blues Traveler

Amadou & Mariam

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Dresden Dolls

Son Volt

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Jerry Douglas


Rusted Root

Devendra Banhart Band

Donavon Frankenreiter

Mike Doughty


Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

The Magic Numbers

Bill Frisell

Seu Jorge

Bettye LaVette


Shooter Jennings

Rebirth Brass Band


Andrew Bird

Steel Train

Jackie Greene


The Wood Brothers

dios (malos)

Toubab Krewe

The Motet



Balkan Beat Box

The Cat Empire

Tickets for the 2006 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will go on sale Saturday, February 11, at 10:00 AM Eastern Time through Bonnaroo.com . For more information, go to Bonnaroo.com .

02 February 2006

Most people would rather be certain they're miserable than risk being happy.
-Robert Anthony

01 February 2006

"we are more inclined to think about Jesus inviting us to his house but Jesus wants to be invited...Jesus never forces himself on us. unless we invite him, he will always remain a stranger."
"even after he has taken much of our sadness away and shown us that our lives are not as petty and small as we had assumed, he can still remain the one we met on the road"

[Jesus has always been such a gentleman with me and he often has great impact in my life on the road- when i decide to take a walk with him but i don't think i have ever really invited him into the hospitality of my home. he has been over before but i am a terrible host and i don't think he has ever felt welcome]

"we have to be able to say more than 'this is interesting' we have to dare to say, 'i trust you; i entrust all my being, body, mind, and soul to you. i don't want to keep any secrets from you. you can see everything i do and hear everything i say. i don't want you to be a stranger any longer. i want you to become my most intimate friend. i want you to know me, not only as i walk on the raod and talk to my fellow travelers, but also as i find myself alone with my innermost feelings and thoughts. and most of all, i want to come to know you, not just as my companion on the journey, but as the companion of my soul"

"our fear of being completely open and vulnerable is equal to our desire to know and to be known"
"my deepest desire is to love and to be loved, and that is possible only if i am willing to know and be known"

-henri nouwen (with burning hearts)

27 January 2006

23 January 2006

i love my sister chubbis wubbis bone
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

22 January 2006

when the totality of our daily lives it lived 'from above' that is, as the beloved sent into the world, then everyone we meet and everything that happens to us becomes a unique opportunity to choose for the life that cannot be conquered by death. thus, both joy and suffering become part of the way to our spiritual fulfillment. i found this vision movingly expressed by the novelist julien green in a letter to his friend, the french philosopher jacques maritain. he writes, 'when you think of the mystical experience of many saints, you may ask yourself whether joy and suffering arent aspects of the same phenomenon on a very high level. an analogy, crazy for sure, comes to my mind: extreme cold burns. it seems nearly certain, no, it is certain that we can only go to God through suffering and that this suffering becomes joy because it finally is the same thing'

'when joy and pain are both opportunities to say 'yes' to our divine childhood then they are more alike than they are different. when the experience of being awarded a prize and the experience of being found lacking in excellence both offer us a chance to claim our true identity as the 'beloved' of God, these experiences are more similar then they are different. when feeling lonely and feeling at home both hold a call to discover more fully who the God is whose children we are, these feelings are more united than they are distinct. when, finally, both living and dying bring us closer to the full realization of our spiritual selfhood, they are not the great opposites the world would have us believe; they are, instead, two sides of the same mystery of God's love'

-henri nouwen

21 January 2006

Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.
- George Jackson

02 January 2006

my top 50 songs of 2005 (not in order)

1 cheese on bread- how long have you...
2 embrace- gravity
3 supergrass- alright
4 sufjan stevens- john wayne gacy, jr.
5 coldplay- till kingdom come
6 feist- mushaboom
7 emiliana torrini- today has been o.k.
8 ben jelen- setting of the sun
9 anna nalick- breathe (2 am)
10 patty griffin- mary
11 cloud room- hey now now
12 blone redhead- in particular
13 bloc party- banquet
14 gabby la la- boogie woogie man in a black dress
15 the moldy peaches- anyone else but you
16 david mead- nashville
17 kraftwerk- pocket calculator
18 travis- turn
19 homemade knives- virginia
20 andrew bird- fake palindromes
21 mirah- cold cold water
22 a sides- sidewalk chalk
23 ben folds- adelaide
24 blood sugars- first come takers
25 devotchka- we're leaving
26 we are scientists- this scene is dead
27 le tigre- get off the internet
28 tracy chapman- baby can i hold you
29 why?- waterfalls
30 the delgados- keep on breathing
31 the fray- over my head
32 patty griffin- kite song
33 broken social scene- major label debut
34 architecture of helsinki- the owls go
35 imogen heap- the moment i said it
36 johnny cash- ring of fire
37 spoon- small stakes
38 the black eyed peas- my style
39 the decemberists/gabby la la- the chimbley sweep
40 mew- the zookeeper's boy
41 regina spektor- carbon monoxide
42 sigur ros- saeglopur
43 beck- missing
44 patrick wolf- gypsy king
45 hillsong united- all i need is you
46 christa black- let you down
47 mat kearney- nothing left to lose
48 weasley- lorenzo
49 M.I.A- galang
50 the subways- rock and roll queen

01 January 2006

"when someone seeks then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. seeking means: having a goal. but finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. one, may truly be a seeker, for , in striving toward your goal, you fail to see certain things that are right under your nose."