what she said

Comes the Dawn
by Veronica Shorffstall

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,

And you begin to understand that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open,

With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads

On today because tomorrow’s ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have

A way of falling down in midflight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine

Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate

Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you can really endure,
That you really are strong

And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn … and you learn

With every goodbye you learn.

newest jam

[Verse 1]
There’s a bird making coffee in the kitchen
And there’s a rifle out back smoking cigarettes
He don’t ever really feel like talking
It don’t matter what she says

[Verse 2]
And the bird is always dreaming out the window
Looking at that big wide open sky
And the rifle, he used to be a dreamer
But he wasn’t meant to fly

[Chorus]
Something down on the ground
Won’t let her out, it holds her in
And he’s afraid if she flies
She’ll never come home again
Something about the bird
And her spreading those wings
Always brings the rifle out in him

[Verse 3]
But the rifle loves the bird when she’s singing
And he knows every word to every song
And the bird, she loves the rifle
Cause he’s dangerous, stubborn and strong

[Chorus]
Something down on the ground
Won’t let her out, it holds her in
And he’s afraid if she flies
She’ll never come home again
Something about the bird
And her spreading those wings
Always brings the rifle out in him

[Verse 4]
One night when the autumn wind was perfect
The rifle drank his whiskey and went to bed
And he never even heard the window open
And she ain’t come back in

what she said:

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

“I’ll warrant you’ll make plenty in it,” said Marilla. “I never saw your beat for making mistakes, Anne.”

“Yes, and well I know it,” admitted Anne mournfully. “But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla? I never make the same mistake twice.”

“I don’t know as that’s much benefit when you’re always making new ones.”

“Oh, don’t you see, Marilla? There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I’ll be through with them. That’s a very comforting thought.”

from Anne of Green Gables

by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Emma and I are reading this book together, and I’m so excited about showing her the old-school Megan Follows miniseries after we finish.  On the other hand, I’m also already filled with dread about having to read the chapter about Matthew.

my new favourite xmas song

Amber called her uncle
Said, “We’re up here for the holiday
Jane and I were having solstice
Now we need a place to stay”

And her Christ-loving uncle
Watched his wife hang Mary on a tree
He watched his son hang candy canes
All made with red dye number three

He told his niece, “It’s Christmas eve
I know our life is not your style”
She said, “Christmas is like solstice
And we miss you and it’s been awhile”

So the Christians and the pagans
Sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground
The best that they were able

And just before the meal was served
Hands were held and prayers were said
Sending hope for peace on earth
To all their Gods and Goddesses

The food was great, the tree plugged in
The meal had gone without a hitch
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said
“Is it true that you’re a witch?”

His mom jumped up and said
“The pies are burning,” and she hit the kitchen
And it was Jane who spoke, she said
“It’s true, because she’s not a Christian”

“But we love trees, we love the snow
The friends we have, the world we share
And you find magic from your God
And we find magic everywhere”

So the Christians and the pagans
Sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground
The best that they were able

And where does magic come from?
I think magic’s in the learning
‘Cause now when Christians sit with pagans
Only pumpkin pies are burning

When Amber tried to do the dishes
Her aunt said, “Really no, don’t bother”
Amber’s uncle saw how Amber looked like
Tim and like her father

He thought about his brother
How they hadn’t spoken in a year
He thought he’d call him up and say
“It’s Christmas and your daughter’s here”

He thought of fathers, sons and brothers
Saw his own son tug his sleeve, saying
“Can I be a pagan?” dad said
“We’ll discuss it when they leave”

So the Christians and the pagans
Sat together at the table
Finding faith and common ground
The best that they were able

Lighting trees in darkness
Learning new ways from the old
And making sense of history
And drawing warmth out of the cold

Read more:  Dar Williams – The Christians & The Pagans Lyrics | MetroLyrics

It’s perfect.

the practice of authenticity

Yesterday I was asked to speak on a panel at the Unitarian Centre on the topic of authenticity and community. It’s one of those topics that I love reading and thinking about, but it’s one that is daunting to be asked to speak to. It was only a 5-minute time slot I had to fill, and I decided to base my talk on a couple quotes that spoke to me about authenticity:

First, a couple quotes by ee cummings:

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everyone else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.”

I opened my talk by talking about the authenticity that little kids have — how brave and bold and outspoken they are, right up until they start understanding the weight of their words and the cultural expectations they’re under. I wanted everyone to think about the different kinds of expectations we all face in our lives — from our family, our culture, our religion, professions, relationships, etc.

Then I put up this picture:

rebekahfamily
working the hipster glasses before it was cool

And talked about all the expectations that “Becky” had, growing up.

Which brought me to a couple other quotes, these ones by Dr. Brené Brown:

“Authenticity: the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

“The universe is not short on wake-up calls. We’re just quick to hit the snooze button.”

I then talked a bit about Dr. Brown’s idea that authenticity isn’t a personal characteristic, but it’s a practice. A practice that is both daily, and mindful. Authenticity isn’t something that is permanently achieved — it’s a conscious commitment that requires you to value being true to yourself.

I didn’t go into too much detail about my story, mainly because I wanted more to give the audience something for them to think about in light of their own life. What’s really interesting is that the service leader had specifically asked me to speak to the fact that part of my authentic journey was to reject the faith that I grew up in. Guess what I forgot to mention as I was talking?

Afterwards when I talked to the service leader, she brought up the fact that I forgot to mention my atheism in my little talk. And it’s interesting, as much as I identify as someone who isn’t “religious” anymore, I don’t really feel like that aspect of my life is as interesting to talk about — at least not in that Unitarian setting. Being a nonbeliever is just one small part of who I am, authentically.