Monday, January 16, 2012

A Letter to Martin Luther King Jr

Dear Dr. King,

When I see an image of you, I get a strange feeling; A feeling that is most peculiar and unfamiliar. There is a trembling inside of me, a surge of nervous energy passes through me. I can't quite describe the feeling. It is respect mixed with reverence. I also feel mourning over the fact that you are long gone and there is no one to stand against the generation of oppressors that I am now living in. I wish there were more men and women like you in this world.

Simply looking upon your face evokes a feeling of empowerment. I'm not speaking of the type of empowerment that lifts a man above God and other men in his own mind. I'm talking about the kind of empowerment that one feels when he is in the center of God's will and in unity with God's other creatures. You, sir, were a diamond in the ruff of society. Every man should look to your example if he's interested in learning what it is that God expects of men, just as you looked at Christ to learn from His example.

Like your namesake, Martin Luther, who nailed his grievances to the door of society's powerhouse of his day, taking a stand and leading men on a mission to find truth, you nailed your grievances to the front door of the facade of a free society and led this nation out of the dark and barren land of hatred and injustice, toward the promised land of social justice and equality for all.

Sometimes, I think of how great it would have been if YOU had been our nation's first African American president, but, you, my hero, were not a politician. You were too real. The presidency would have never withstood such a man, with an absence of malice in his soul.

I often read your words and am amazed. I often long to here your voice when I'm feeling defeated. I find sound clips on the internet of your "I Have a Dream" speech or "Letter From the Birmingham Jail" and I close my eyes and listen to your voice, so powerful, filled with love and conviction. I try to imagine what it would have been like to know you, to have been your friend. Sometimes, I pretend that you are my father, after all, you were like a father to the oppressed. You adopted us all, took us under your wing. You cleaned the dirt from our faces and taught us how to stand straight and tall in the midst of adversity, how to walk in peace with the whole world is hungry for our suffering, how to march for what is right in a blind and hedonistic society. You gently wiped away the scars of victimization and placed over us a banner, proclaiming 'We Will Overcome!' Your powerful voice drowned out the other voices in our heads that told us that we would never be free.

All the things that you fought against have not been completely eradicated from our society. They still linger in the shadows around certain people groups that are a part of American society---undocumented immigrants and the poor come to my mind.

Thank you for opening our nations eyes, giving hope to the oppressed, and ultimately dying in order to do so. I pray that all oppressed people learn to be courageous as you were and that, one day, we will have a nation that fully realizes and lives in the reality of your dream! May you words continue to be the arrows that pierce the hearts of the apathetic!

A Modern Day Sister for Justice and Equality,


Some of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes:

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” 

“Love is the only force capable of transforming
an enemy into a friend.”

All men are interdependent. Every nation is an heir of a vast treasure of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead of all nations have contributed.... We are everlasting debtors to known and unknown men and women....

If an American is concerned only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the peoples of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence? Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder of citizens of another nation in war is an act of heroic virtue?

One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly ... and with a willingness to accept the penalty.

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.

"As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people in this world cannot expect to live more than twenty-eight or thirty years, I can never be totally healthy, even if I just got a good checkup at the Mayo Clinic. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are all interdependent." - Martin Luther King

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.” 

"Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody.
Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideals hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different." 

“At times we may feel that we do not need God, but on the day when the storms of disappointment rage, the winds of disaster blow and the tidal waves of grief beat against our lives, if we do not have a deep and patient faith our emotional lives will be ripped to shreds.  There is so much frustration in the world because we have relied on gods rather than God.”

“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Boys Are SNOW Cute!

The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the imagination.  ~Terri Guillemets

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

"Hear! hear!" screamed the jay from a neighboring tree, where I had heard a tittering for some time, "winter has a concentrated and nutty kernel, if you know where to look for it."  ~Henry David Thoreau, 28 November 1858 journal entry

The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer.  I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood.  ~John Burroughs

Black-Haired Blue-Eyed Lover (Revised)

I once had a Lover
Full of theories
On life and love
In the darkness
He said to me
“If a woman is satisfied,
After the fact,
She never reaches
For a cigarette pack.”
I laid by the side of
This man, who had died
From ecstasy
Listening to him speak of
Dreams, music, memories
The high price of cheese.
Then, I levitated
Off the bed,
Unaware of my nudity,
And softly played the bongo
To the rhythm of
His speech.

Clothed in his
Paisley print shirt,
Bending wire hangers
Into the shape of Cadillacs
Admiring all of the
Musical attributes of Ledbelly
His southern, black, old-timey
Voice wafting from speakers,
Injecting our ear drums,
Coursing through
Our thoughts, feelings, emotions
Each note possessing
An eternal soul

While standing on the bridge,
Gazing down on black water,
I saw Mozart’s Ghost hovering,
All the Caddy doors burst open wide,
Inviting him inside,
His symphonic reverberating apparition
Rode shotgun.

Snowflakes melting
On burning skin
Heat radiating from within
I felt no cold
That blustery night
Holding your naked, warm body
Ever so tightly
Against the icy
Bitter breeze of maturity.

Playing your guitar
Sweetly singing to
Your audience;
The moon and the stars,
I, an honored guest of
Celestial beings and
Ancient, flaming rocks
Reflecting the sun’s glory on
Your dreamer’s face
Making you shine and illuminate
At mid-night
A dark and lonely place
In that moment,
I was unafraid to
Stand in the desolation of
The human race.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Perfect song for this day!!!!

First Day of Spring Semester 2012

First of all, I want to thank all of you for following my blog! Today, I'm going to share an excerpt from my personal journal. This entry was made this morning:

Monday, January 9, 2012
8:10 am

     After three hours of sleep, eating a half of a bag of Frito's corn chips (I would have eaten the whole bag, but there was only half left.), drinking thirty-two ounces of Cherry Coke (Or was it Dr. Pepper? I'm not sure since my husband picked it up for me at SkyMart after depositing the kids at their bus stop, God bless him. They taste pretty much the same, especially when your senses are dulled by a lack of sleep.), and smoking four whole cigarettes (one after another), I think I am ready for my first day of classes. Let Spring Semester 2012 begin!
     Today is going to be a ridiculously long day. I will be leaving in a little more than an hour and I won't be home until approximately 9:30 pm. That's ten and a half hours! I may as well get used to it. This is how my Mondays are going to be from now until sometime in May.
     The thing that keeps going through my mind is; I'm not going to get to see the kids all day! :( I didn't even wake up in time to see the older three before Pete ushered them off to the bus stop. He woke me up as he was walking out the door with them, so that I could sit with Manny and wait for his pre-school bus (It comes to our front door. I like pre-school so much more than elementary school! It's much more personal and uncomplicated.) Anyway, now I'm kicking myself for not getting up before the older three children were already on their way out the door. It bothers me to think they will not hear their mother's voice saying, "I love you" at all today. No child, if their mother is living, should ever have to go all day without feeling their mother's embrace or hearing the words, "I love you". That's just my honest opinion.
     I could not sleep last night as hard as I tried. My mind would not turn off. The last time I remember looking at the clock, it was all aglow with red numbers that told me that it was 4:37 in the a.m. So, when Pete woke me up at around 7, I had an incredibly hard time convincing myself that sleep time was over. As a matter of fact, I probablly would've just rolled over and re-visited dreamland if it hadn't been for my sweet, sweet Manny, standing there with those big brown eyes, in his Spiderman snow boots up to his knees, and an armful of books at my bedside. When I saw his face through fuzzy, Chinese eyes and heard his excited, small voice telling me all about his new books and how much he loves them, I couldn't help, but covet his energy and cheerfulness. I also felt the heaviness and sorrow of a missed opportunity. I am referring to the fact that I didn't get to see the other kids before they left. But, Manny, he was still here and depending on me to make sure that he was all bundled up against the chilly morning air, his cheeks were covered with enough kisses to get him through the day, and that he made it safely onto his little yellow bus when it arrived.
     I forced myself through the fogginess that seemed to be plastering me to the bed and threw off the security of my thick, warm blanket, unwilling to lose this; My last opportunity to be mommy for the day. I would be in the role of college student for most of the day, but I had this small window of time to be mommy and I was thankful for it. As I got him ready, I let him do most of the talking (as He told me all about his books and I even got to read him half of one of them before the bus arrived. I bundled him up, covered him with kisses, told him how much I love him, and walked him out, hand-in-hand to his waiting school bus. As I watched the bus disappear around a corner, I took in a deep breath of fresh air, and I felt somewhat redeemed, though not completely, for missing the same opportunity to do the same with the older kids, but there's not much I can do about that, is there? Except hope and pray that they didn't notice or weren't effected by the lack of my prescence, although, I'm sure they were. Pete takes good care of them, but he's not a very affectionate man, especially after being woke up several times through the night by his insane and insomniac wife's reading, writing, and rustlings about.
     After standing on the sidewalk, lost in my thoughts for quite sometime, I went back inside and took a look around. My house is a complete and utter wreck! I cursed myself for pissing away my weekend. Now I won't be able to clean until tomorrow afternoon. I imagine I will be exhausted when I get home tonight. I have to leave for class at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and I won't get home until around noon. I guess the house will just have to be a thorn in my side until then.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I've been thinking a lot about life lately. Sometimes we think of life as an unexhaustable well. Then something happens to remind us that this is not true. Today I'm remembering very vividly my first bitter taste of death. It was seven years ago when my grandfather left this world. I know it sounds silly, but I thought my grandpa would live forever. I thought he was too tough to die. When I think of him a quote that I once heard in a movie comes to mind. "There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." My grandpa was definately one of a kind. This made a lot of people dislike him, but it's what I loved the most about him. He never seemed to exist in the present. He was always lumbering somewhere between the past and the future. He was a rebel at any cost. Sometimes it cost him a lot to be who he was. I always admired him for who he was. He was beautiful. To me, he was a snow-white haired enigma with sparkling blue eyes, who used to bounce me on his knee and pay me a quarter to style his hair. He had a deep belly laugh. When he laughed his whole body shook. He used to stand by the window and watch the world outside. He was content just watching the world. He would hold baby Cris with one arm and point to whatever caught his eye outside, whether it be a bird's nest full of newborn robins or big fluffy white clouds or Christmas lights. He told stories that enthralled me, but always ended sadly. He picked wild flowers and gave them to me. He had a sense of humor like no other and, boy, did that man love to eat! I used to dance around his chair, spining and spining and he would grin. When he died, a part of me died too. The day a lost him, a hole began to form in my soul. The expirience opened a Pandora's box of emotion and fear within me. Many things have entered in through that darkness. I miss him every day.

I Don't Feel Much Like Writing....

Since I don't feel much like writing, I'll share some pictures and favorite quotes with you all. This is my family.

I missed you even when I was with you. That’s been my problem. I miss what I already have, and I surround myself with things that are missing. -Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

If I could stay in one moment forever it would be driving down a country road on a summer night, Pete holding my hand and whistling a lullaby. The kids hugged up in the back seat falling asleep, each ones head on anothers shoulder. -Me

God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless. ~Chester W. Nimitz

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!” Jack Kerouac

"Crossing an international border to support your family and pursue dreams of a better life is not an inherently criminal act like rape or robbery. If it were, then most of us descend from criminals. As the people of Texas know well, the large majority of illegal immigrants are not bad people. They are people who value family, faith and hard work trying to live within a bad system." The Libertarian Party Website

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Craik