30 November 2008

The High Song

The high song is over. Silent is the lute now.
They are crowned for ever and discrowned now.
Whether they triumphed or suffered they are mute now,
or at the most they are only a sound now.

The high song is over. There is none to complain now.
No heart for healing, and none to break now:
they have gone, and they will not come again now.
They are sleeping at last, and they will not wake now.

The high song is over. And we shall not mourn now.
There was a thing to say, and it is said now.
It is as though all these had been unborn now,
it is as through the world itself were dead now.

The high song is over. Even the echoes fail now;
winners and losers--they are only a theme now,
their victory and defeat a half-forgotten tale now;
and even the angels are only a dream now.

There is no need for blame, no cause for praise now.
Nothing to hide, to change or to discover.
They were men and women. They have gone their ways now,
as men and women must. The high song is over.

--Humbert Wolfe, in Requiem, 1927.
this book has a story. but doesn't everything.

The Teacher, II

They murmur, the children, like bees in summer
in a hot garden, like bees in a cup,
and, like light through branches, now gay, now dimmer,
thought touches a face that is lifted up.
My bees, with the pollen under your feet,
when the thought we shared is no longer alive,
will aught that we dreamed of together be sweet,
will there be honey of ours in the hive?
It is dark in the hive. There is fear, there is shame,
there are tears, and ugliness unto death.
Sweet thieves of the sun, must it still be the same,
or will not the flowers you rifled bequeath
a glimpse of the vision you saw at my knees,
when the teacher was taught by the Keeper of Bees?

--Humbert Wolfe, in Requiem, 1927.
this book has a story. but doesn't everything.

29 November 2008

(legitimized?) procrastination

i don't have anything intelligent to say right now, but i'm waiting for my laundry to dry and apparently not doing homework, which is what i really should be doing, because i've barely done any work all semester and now it's the last week of classes, which means i'm about to get kicked pretty hard in the proverbial balls. and it's been well over a week since i've updated, and november is almost over, so i'm sure i could come up with something to rant about....right?

that doesn't mean it belongs to the internets.

it's been quite the month. and of course, better than half the things i meant to have accomplished by now, i don't....it'll make the next two weeks, and winter break, all the more interesting. i'd love to blame senioritis, but i don't think that covers the better part of it. i decided some time ago (freshman year?) that people are more important than homework, which only works because i know when i have to really focus and get stuff done, but which has worked pretty well for me. there's always going to be homework. there's always going to be stuff i ought to be doing. but there are not always going to be these opportunities to make connections with people, to spend time with them, to talk about important things--and not so important things. school will happen whether i want it to or not; people go away.

that interpersonal connection thing has been kind of a theme this past month, i suppose. with several manifestations, and no lack of confusion.

the football game yesterday was amazing. i don't usually geek out about sports, and i won't here, but it was an incredible experience to be in that stadium. i went up on the winning run (my favorite thing to do at a football game). and my parents said they didn't see me on TV (probably all the better!).

time to go check on the laundry...

18 November 2008

watch this

i've been notably absent from the internet lately, except for facebook. it's one of those periods when i feel like i should write something, but there isn't really anything i feel like putting out there.

except for this:

i know this has been all over the internet for a couple weeks already, but i couldn't resist the opportunity to put it in one more place, so that maybe one more person will see it.

this a tremendous act of allyship. i have difficulty describing the respect and the gratitude i have for Keith Olbermann, and the hope it gives me that a straight, middle-aged, white American male can discuss this issue with such passion in such a public way. maybe things are finally changing.

11 November 2008

mix tape vi

songs i've been listening to a lot lately (in no particular order, and not counting the songs that are perpetually on every playlist):

"Brighter than Sunshine" - Aqualung
"I Will Possess Your Heart" - Death Cab for Cutie
"If She Wants Me" - Belle & Sebastian
"One Thing" - Finger Eleven
"Everlong" - Foo Fighters
"Soul Meets Body" - Death Cab for Cutie
"Night Drive" - Jimmy Eat World
"In My Head" - Anna Nalick
"There's a Girl" - the Ditty Bops
"Times Like These" - Foo Fighters (the acoustic version, for some reason)

06 November 2008

post-Election Day 2008

the whole country felt different on wednesday morning.

i live and work on a college campus in a district that voted for Barack Obama, and i knew it was over at 11:00 tuesday night when i heard screaming and cheering outside. i am privileged to have had the opportunity to join a crowd of thousands in the streets, where i was overwhelmed by the magnitude of sheer joy around me. this was not a riot--this was a celebration. we celebrated victory, we celebrated freedom, we celebrated change. we celebrated progress: who would have guessed, even 5 years ago, that we would be witnessing what we did on tuesday night?

but most of all, we celebrated hope. i didn't understand what Obama and his supporters meant by that word they'd been using so much until monday morning, when i woke up and realized that i honestly did not know what i would do if John McCain were elected, if the conservative regime were to be allowed to continue its oppression of the American people. this is strong language, and i mean every word. i honestly believe that Obama's election brings to America the potential for deep change, and i am excited and anxious to see whether he successfully stands up to the challenge. this is just one step: we have a lot of work to do.

i am alive and young in an amazing age. as i wrote in my journal when i finally got to bed around 5:00 wednesday morning, "i want to remember this day forever." i have never been prouder or happier to be an American.
i owe deep thanks to all those who shared their joy, their passion, and their energy with me, and i look forward to the challenges we face in changing this country for the better, together.

04 November 2008

Election Day 2008

i am so nervous right now.

but i feel a change coming, and i feel good about it.
(so this is that "hope" they've been talking about....)

i am praying the only way i know how. (i.e., sending my thoughts--my pleas--out into the universe, and hoping they are heard.)

i was listening to "handlebars" on my way to class this morning--twice--and it got me even more excited and antsy. [that song always makes me think of marc, as does any impending political change. (let's just say there are people in my life i'd rather not see die in pointless wars.)] "i can guide a missile by satellite....and i can end the planet in a holocaust." there are people i do not want to be sitting in front of that button....

i am terrified for california. in 2004, every state that had a marriage referendum on the ballot went republican. and california is huge in this outdated electoral college system. and i'd love to say "oh, it's california, they'll be liberal," but everything i know tells me that this is naive. i can hardly begin to imagine what the ramifications will be, whether Proposition 8 passes or fails.

no matter who gets elected, i think i will be happy if the overall voter turnout in the country is greater than 66%, and thrilled if it is greater than 75%. i can be happy with the process, if not with the results.

i am prepared to stand in line for hours tonight. i can't vote until after 5:30, by which time much of my neighborhood will probably (hopefully) be doing the same. i just found out that there's a polling place across the street from my house, but i'm zoned for one several blocks away. i don't understand how this works.

i'm scared of the electronic voting machines, too. i have no way of knowing that it will record my vote correctly, i don't trust it, and if something should go wrong, there will be nothing i can do.

i didn't support Obama in the primary, although i am registered no affiliation and don't vote in primaries so it doesn't really matter. but i have come to believe that his election is the only way this country can move in a positive direction. i would love to say i'll expatriate myself if we elect another Republican administration, but i know that i won't. everything i know is here. this is my home and my culture and my country, and what would it say about me if i abandon it in disappointment instead of working to make it better? i don't think i could continue to call myself an activist, in any sense of the word.

so i know it's a little late to be making this post, especially with my readership being, oh, y'know, non-existent and largely politically active anyway, but please. vote. vote for the positive change we all know this country, and the world as a result, needs.