Hello my friends,
Long time no chat. I could say something about how busy it’s been but I will forego that whole process and trust that we are such good friends by this point that our meetings seamlessly pick up where we left off, unmarred by trivial things like time or season’s changing. These kinds of friendships are particularly special, aren’t they? They never make you apologize for not calling ’cause you both totally meant to – “You’re busy, I’m busy, but we still love each other like crazy and would pause our lives at the drop of a hat if the other one really needed us to.” They know all your favorite things and the names (and stories) of your biggest life romances so, the fact that you haven’t talked to them in a month is a non-issue. I’m writing to you all from the living room of one of those kinds of friends right now!
I’m hanging out and eating her food while my friend’s little one sleeps and she and her husband share a date. I actually love these evenings because 1. I would never go to Queens otherwise and I feel accomplished for getting out of Brooklyn each time. Even though I only ever see her block…… 2. I can see the Empire State Building along with the rest of the New York City skyline from her couch and no matter how many times I’ve come over, it’s still cool. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that getting out of Brooklyn was the inspiration I needed to get writing again. That, and the lyrical prose of Barbara Kingsolver. I visited my grandma in LA earlier this week and she, being the avid reader she is, threw a few book suggestions my way. She also suggested I stop drinking soda and eating sugar. And that I visit my gynecologist regularly.
She’s so sensible.
While we were in Los Angeles, my dear friend Lindsey and I also attended the Justice Conference – a conference exploring the many intersections between Christian faith and social justice. It was inspiring to hear the men and women leading creative reformative policies around social injustices, both near and abroad. I had to come face to face with the realization that I’m a part of a generation so jaded towards politics that I default towards not engaging with policy reform at all.
It was really easy as a teenager to engage with these issues and (in hopeful naivety, perhaps) believe that my dollar, my voting power, or vocal platform made a difference in the matter. I still have a proclivity towards equal-trade businesses and human rights causes but if I’m entirely honest, I often experience this numbing sense of defeat towards the nuances and complications of social justice issues. Ultimately, I’m tempted to conclude (along with many others, I suspect) that my energy investment won’t make a difference at all so “what’s the point?” (I feel a pang of shame as I write that, I suppose it’s been a subconscious thought until it materialized before me on this screen). At the end of the day however, there are still 27 million men, women, and children caught in slave labor with no rights available to them. There are still 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US, without rights, healthcare, or pathway to a viable existence in this country. Sex trafficking, child soldiers – I mean, this conference covered the gamut of injustices occurring in our modern day world. Whether I feel any which way about these issues, people – human beings – will continue living their horrific realities. And that’s just not acceptable.
What was remarkable still is that during this conference, I was surrounded by men and women that knew these issues inside and out, experts on the nuances of their work field… Yet still imaginative, hopeful individuals that believed in a different kind of future than the one presented to them. People giving their income, their energy, their family’s very safety to usher in a world in which social injustices are few. I’m not romanticizing how difficult that must be – I’m certain that they pay a price for their work that I am nowhere near being willing to pay myself. But I want to be someday.
In which case, thoughtful action in hand with outrageous hope must begin today.
Continuing Part 2 of this post this week.
FINALLY FRIDAY: A segment highlighting the full spectrum of the human experience in the way that only GIFs can.
my reaction when I got a phone call yesterday morning telling me not to come into work because of the storm:
when my my friends in Florida post on Facebook about how cold their weather’s been lately:
how I imagine Mayor Bill de Blasio responding to all the criticism over NYC not closing public schools yesterday despite the 8-12 inches of snow:
(hahah, get it? get it? because he’s Mr. Freeze! the super villain in the overall disappointing Batman movie from the 90′s… who wanted everyone to freeze………. snort.)
when I get invited to something social but don’t feel like going (’cause of the snow… pajamas… Netflix):
how I felt when someone told me they hated the show FRIENDS but had never seen a single episode:
Ah, you see. I was not kidding when I said I’d catch up on posts. Sorry not sorry.
I’ll keep things short and sweet and just hope y’all have a WONDERFUL President’s Day weekend. Have fun. Get some quality time in during your day off on Monday. Go do presidential things. Think about Obama, Washington, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Lincoln and all the lesser known ones too.
God bless America.
/Insert patriotic eagle screech sound here.
In case you haven’t found a sweet note to share with your loved one(s) yet, here are a few. The first three were curated as a special project by Pinterest. The cards under the cut are silly ones that were created by the odd internet community that I love over on Tumblr. Weirdos… Totally not one of them…………
Designed by Jessica Hische
Designed by Laura Brunow Miner and Evany Thomas
Designed by Michael O’Neal and Laura Brunow Miner
Oh, Valentine’s Day.
A day dreaded by many, celebrated by most, and founded upon the long-standing tradition of proving one’s love by participating in strategic commercialism.
Despite the fact that it operates largely on a platform of thinly veiled consumerism, I don’t particularly mind this day at all. Granted, I’ve inexplicably loved candy hearts for as long as I can remember (mmmmm, pastel chalk) but designating an occasion to remind those we love just how we care about them is, at it’s core, not a bad idea. After all, we are too likely to forget during our busy lives where we take the people we adore for granted far more often than we reaffirm our love for them as our family, our friend… our person.
In the last few days, a few girlfriends have complained to me that Single Awareness Day is fast approaching and I haven’t had a moment to sort out my thoughts towards their concern until this evening. Honestly (and I shall be honest with you ’cause we’re friends, too), I think that this nickname for Valentine’s Day sucks and the disappointment it suggests by those who use it reveals a limited perspective on the whole matter. Regardless of whether they, or you, or I are or aren’t with somebody, whether “it’s complicated” or not really, the truth, this truth, stands now and always: We’re not defined by our relationship status.
And neither is this day.
Babies are born, people pass away, jobs go on. Whenever that jewelry commercial tries to tell you otherwise, you can tell it to go to Hell and buy the diamond yourself, you know what I mean?
I’m not minimizing the desire for a romantic relationship, which is a very natural and ultimately appropriate desire, at all. I’m just over allowing the social perpetuation of the idea that there is any lack within a person for not being in a committed relationship. I don’t particularly have answers for the nuanced circumstances my girlfriends are facing in regards to finding that person they deserve to celebrate today and every other day of their lives with. (I certainly don’t have answers for my own hopes either.) But I know that they’re some of the strongest, loveliest, most dynamic and hilarious women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And I know that the men worthy of them would be absolutely dumbfounded to imagine they ever doubted so for a second, nonetheless for the remainder of this holiday or weekend.
I’ll end with one of my favorite poems from Veronica A. Shoffstall. I am off to buy some flowers.