Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's up to us

Yesterday, the Honorable Cruz Reynoso spoke on campus in honor of the Ethnic Studies Department's 40th anniversary. Mr Reynoso has been a leader in civil rights law and has seen a lot of history during his lifespan. His comments were especially important in light of the latest immigration law in Arizona.

Mr. Reynoso spoke in part about the importance of acting against injustice. He said, "when you act on an issue, you can make changes." He spoke about what he refers to as his "justice bone," that part of him that feels the pain of injustice and spurs him to speak up and speak out. He spoke of his life experiences with civil rights, and how he's observed that denial of rights is often caused by fear - fear of "other," fears based on sterotype or pre-judging people, fear of what might happen.

Which is what made me think of Arizona. Here is a place where fear has nudged rational thought out of the spotlight. Immigration is a complex issue, indeed, and I don't pretend to have all the answers. However, I believe the new legislation is creating an environment where people make decisions based on fear - fear of "those people" - fear of what will happen to you if you're brown (whether you are legal or not) - fear of reporting crimes against us, if we are illegal, because we will then be deported - fear of getting help. It is a step in the wrong direction. And we need to speak up and speak out about it, because change is up to us.

My favorite editorialist, Mr. Leonard Pitts, Jr., also has a few things to say about how change happens. People too often feel that "time heals all wounds" and that time will fix social problems. But Mr. Pitts, like Mr. Reynoso, knows that it is people who bring change, people who make choices that lead to social justice.

Justice does not come with tomorrow. It's up to us to bring it forth, with our choices, our words, our lives.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm just sayin'.

Can somebody please explain to me why I need to know about the lives of the Kardashian people? I don't get it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love your Mother

Happy Earth Day!
This is the only one we've got, so do your part to keep her whole.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Less is the new more

TH and I have been doing fairly well lately, despite the economy being so kooky. Our success is equal parts good luck, hard work, and well-thought-out choices. We are in solid professions and (mostly) live within our means. So we're hoping that we aren't crazy for deciding to reduce TH's hours (thereby reducing his income).

The way I figure it, giving him an extra day off a week will be a win-win-win. He wins by relaxing a little bit, shaking off the work stress, decompressing, and being healthier as a result. I win because he will be more fun to be around, I'll feel better knowing he is less stressed, and he will be at home on a weekday (so we can schedule home business for that day and I won't have to take time away from my job). Our life wins because we are both re-examining our budget, finding ways to tighten the belt, doing more with less, and being smarter about what we spend.

So, I may be less willing to pick up the tab while eating out with the BFFs. I may spend less time buying clothes and shoes. I may be visiting the library or seeking out used bookstores instead of Barnes and Noble. We may eat out less.

But I have no doubt that we will still be just as happy. And that's what really matters.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm just thinkin'.

"We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it." - Gandhi

How do I let violence slip into my daily life? What would it mean to be non-violent in thought and word as well as deed?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Song of the Day

Through the corridors of sleep
Past the shadows dark and deep
My mind dances and leaps in confusion.
I don't know what is real,
I can't touch what I feel
And I hide behind the shield of my illusion.

So I'll continue to continue
to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.

The mirror on my wall
Casts an image dark and small
But I'm not sure at all it's my reflection.
I am blinded by the light
Of God and truth and right
And I wander in the night without direction.

So I'll continue to continue
to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.

It's no matter if you're born
To play the King or pawn
For the line is thinly drawn
'tween joy and sorrow,
So my fantasy
Becomes reality,
And I must be what I must be
and face tomorrow.

So I'll continue to continue
to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.

(Flowers never Bend with the Rainfall, Paul Simon)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lenten sacrifice report

Since Easter has passed, all self-imposed Lenten restrictions are off. In other words - I CAN BUY BOOKS AGAIN!!!!! I can't tell you how many of my friends assumed that I ran straight to a bookstore after church on Sunday to binge. But I didn't feel like it. And I haven't felt the urge to buy an armful of books. But I did need to get a copy of my book club's next selection. So I went to the bookstore today, found the book I needed, and did a little browsing. And only bought one book.

Yes. One.

I realized that one was enough. And that there is a used book sale coming up that I want to go to. And that while many of the books looked good, none looked like ones I really wanted to read. And so while my hands felt strangely light leaving with only one book, my spirit felt lighter still.

Monday, April 5, 2010

All this beauty

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.
For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.
For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.
For each perfect gift of thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.
For thyself, best Gift Divine,
to the world so freely given,
for that great, great love of thine,
peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

(Traditional Christian hymn. Text: Folliot S. Pierpoint)

Happy Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010


(Latin for shadows, darkness)

Today is Good Friday. In many Christian churches, this day brings a tenebrae service to commemorate the crucifixion of Christ and the day of darkness following his death.

It's also a reminder to me of how things don't stay static: grief precedes enlightenment, death precedes life, winter precedes spring, and life itself is cyclical in nature.

See you on the other side.