Still on my mind:

These fragments:

I don’t write songs for free, I write songs for freedom

They want a 4 minute song? You need a 4 hour praise dance

I’m at war with my wants

from “Blessings” by Chance the Rapper.

I want to hug all of the babies and I have no profound thing to say about them/to them.

There are some pretty ugly pictures of cats out there.

I can feel my muscle mass disintegrating.

Kinda worried about the deluge of things I need to do, everyone I need to get back to.

Please have mercy, send Hayley with peanut butter bars.

I am excited to see Rachel.

I am excited to see cousins.

My Lyft driver Rui was from Portugal and has been my favorite yet. Out of a few over 27. He said something funny that almost flew over my head. He used to drive school buses in Portugal, Spain and Italy, and met his wife on a tour. She works in journalism and he’s very proud of her. Rui been here 10 months and says, “I don’t feel like immigrant. I feel like I am at home.” He will receive his citizenship in 3 years. I would have asked him to teach me some Portuguese if the ride was longer than 10 minutes. A true pleasure to have someone like that want to tell you their story.

I didn’t realize much of this year’s music had jazz and Gospel influences. I thought it was just Chance the Rapper but I don’t know much. I wonder Jake was the one to plant a seed of curiosity for me…to keep my mind’s eye squinting at the often vulgar nature of, well, human beings. Everything violent and gory and terrifying to cheesy, awkward, resiliently hopeful — scratching at something. That’s what Mac Miller’s new album The Divine Feminine seems to be from this one article I read. It was on Snapchat, I know.

There’s definitely more I want to go into. This scratching at hope makes me hopeful. I really think searching for truth, honesty in love, pleading for justice, and believing in mercy and beauty and joy and freedom are like panning for gold. So slow, so demanding of every muscle, every cell, a choice to wait, a choice to keep going.

I’m gonna praise Him, praise Him til I’m gone.

When the praises go UP, the blessings come down…

I think about sitting in Hayley’s Saturn talking about Coloring Book, the way the assured jazzy tones nodded to Chance’s streaming voice. I know nothing about music; I imagine his voice as bronze-y gold glittering over dark, iridescent space, eyes closed letting truth reveal itself*, a first step giving instant ease to releasing that which should be let go of.

How do we discern that?

That’s still on my mind.

*this thought is partially inspired by Kyle in awe of Kathy Bates’ advice to “let things reveal themselves.” I can’t stress more how much I agree with that in the time I have grown or aged in just a few months doing something new.

It still boggles my mind how wrong we can be about ourselves. A friend may see something in us and tell us the exact opposite of what we believe. We think, Oh, it’s an outlier and you’re my friend so, well, also you’re really kind so.

So.

Are you being kind? To yourself? Not cushy. Kind. Can you say that? Or, are you cutting off many beautiful avenues to allow it to flow through, just because you’re too distracted with yourself?

Missing so much constantly available friendship, knowing and being known, has made a whole different daily, weekly, monthly routine difficult to adjust to.

It’s also put me gravely out of practice with unexpected, deeply genuine encouragement. It felt like a lie between my teeth to respond to a (hyperbolic) compliment with, “Ohhhhhhhh, I don’t think that’s true…” The lie was and is in how much I hope it’s true. And if you’re like me in that moment, maybe let’s just forget ourselves and our words for a moment and listen with more silence than ready reply.

Let things reveal themselves right? Let others share with you. What grace you will find yourself piled-on, surrounded with.

I’m doing my best. There’s more I can do.

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