Write. Almost Never Wrong.

Writing is fundamental; indeed, it’s a life skill we need in human society to strive and thrive and flourish. Writing is almost never wrong.

Trying to unravel thoughts? Write them down.

Have ideas to share? Write them up, get them out in the world.

True, writing pamphlets of hate, not so good. Spreading lies, promoting violence, evil dissent through the written word, no thank you. But that too tells you the power of writing.

The power of writing is what it does for yourself and for others too. Pour out the ideas, pour out the experiences, share the words, share the love.

GOOD.

Lyrics Post: “Back to the Bay” by Daveed Diggs

Pretty well can’t say enough good things about this dude, Daveed Diggs. Beyond his beats, his words, his Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson…I just pretty well love everything I’ve learned about him.

He inspires, plain and simple.

And he’s a WARRIORS fan from Oakland, California. All the better, dig it, dig Diggs, Back to the Bay…

[Intro]
Nestled in an enclave in Cali
Where demonstrations and rallies
Have a long history of making waves and tastes
Shaping language and style substantially
Standing for the best in the wake of the worst tides
We’ve seen in a long time

From a long line of lyricists, linguists, and yes, panthers
Not to mention regular people so inundated with game
That the slang rivaling Shakespeare seems common
As it should
Here where Gertrude Stein claimed there was no there
Has grown a scene which has newcomers clamoring to understand
And get a piece

And they holler at fever pitch
And confidently riding the crest of this epic sound wave is a team that in true Bay fashion redefined the rules of the game
And then made the new ruler undeniable
And as a new season begins we prepare to bring it back
Bring it back, back, back, back

[Chorus]
Back to the Bay
Finna bring another one back to the Bay
Show the whole game how to act in the Bay
Squad stacked in the Bay
You can hate but you can’t ignore the facts in the Bay

[Verse]
Look the earth we stand on is Klay
And the turf we claim is carefully placed
On a strong foundation, a nation
And watch us paving away in amazement
And the sweat breaks out with a smile and a head shake

You can taste the spice
Chef Curry, cooking up look at em shook as they know their ankles may break
And they could rant all day
Got Durant comin’ over to play
But real talk? Who wouldn’t want to live in the Bay

Best place in the Golden State
Face the music, hyphie
But never lost the blues and the polka
The gospel of Matt Barnes
Yeah, we still believin’
Stand tall, stay centered
That JaVale McGee

But they key thing, no matter what their eyes seen
They can’t see us, we dream in Draymond Green
Cooler than Pachulia’s stare, we gets busy
But stay calm and drop bombs like Iggy
We way too Jiggy, we way too focused

You know this, from the O to the So’ to the Valley Jo’ to San Jo’, this
Isn’t metaphorical around here the town and the crowd gets
Call it Roaracle how loud is the town business
Loud enough to shut ’em down
Loud enough you feel it every time we come around
Loud enough to shake the ground and still keep ’em flocking to Oakland
Keep talkin’ while we win another trophy

[Chorus]
Back to the Bay
Finna bring another one back to the Bay
Show the whole game how to act in the Bay
Squad stacked in the Bay
You can hate but you can’t ignore the facts in the Bay

And if you want to hear it? HERE.

Just Live

Sometimes so hard, just live, just live.

Chores and tasks and obligations and duties and demands,

All demand your time, your attention, your Right Now!, moments, hours, days,

It feels so anyway, feels anyway, all the more to me,

To my mind, mixed up in it all, mixed up by it all, all mixed up in a big pile of now creates,

Anxiety, sometimes inertia, sure you should be ready and able to cope, maybe you are, maybe you do,

But to you maybe it feels like you don’t so well sometimes.

And so taking the time ever so often, take the time ever so often to just live, for you, for the kids, with the kids,

For honey, with your honey, honey or kids or not, take the time, make the time to,

Just Live.

Let the pressure and demands and the obligations and the pulls on your time pause, take pause to just live, so important, life and death important,

Just Live.

Lyrics Post: “Freedom ‘90’”

Wow. Or is it “Wham!”

So SO good. On several levels. Take a read. Take a listen. Decide for yourself. My toe was tapping pretty quick. And my hips were rocking. SHAKE IT.

“Freedom ’90”

I won’t let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sound
It’s the one good thing that I’ve got
I won’t let you down
So please don’t give me up
‘Cause I would really, really love to stick around, oh yeah

Heaven knows I was just a young boy
Didn’t know what I wanted to be
I was every little hungry schoolgirl’s pride and joy
And I guess it was enough for me
To win the race? A prettier face!
Brand new clothes and a big fat place
On your rock and roll TV
But today the way I play the game is not the same
No way
Think I’m gonna get myself happy

I think there’s something you should know
I think it’s time I told you so
There’s something deep inside of me
There’s someone else I’ve got to be
Take back your picture in a frame
Take back your singing in the rain
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

All we have to do now
Is take these lies and make them true somehow
All we have to see
Is that I don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take

Heaven knows we sure had some fun boy
What a kick just a buddy and me
We had every big shot good-time band on the run boy
We were living in a fantasy
We won the race
Got out of the place
I went back home got a brand new face
For the boys on MTV
But today the way I play the game has got to change
Oh yeah
Now I’m gonna get myself happy

I think there’s something you should know
I think it’s time I stopped the show
There’s something deep inside of me
There’s someone I forgot to be
Take back your picture in a frame
Don’t think that I’ll be back again
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes do not make the man

All we have to do now
Is take these lies and make them true somehow
All we have to see
Is that I don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me, yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve gotta give for what you take

Well it looks like the road to heaven
But it feels like the road to hell
When I knew which side my bread was buttered
I took the knife as well
Posing for another picture
Everybody’s got to sell
But when you shake your ass
They notice fast
And some mistakes were built to last

That’s what you get
That’s what you get
That’s what you get
I say that’s what you get
That’s what you get for changing your mind
That’s what you get for changing your mind

That’s what you get
That’s what you get
And after all this time
I just hope you understand
Sometimes the clothes
Do not make the man

All we have to do now is take these lies
And make them true somehow
All we have to see is that i don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me yea yea
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve got to give for what you take
Freedom
Freedom
Freedom
You’ve got to give for what you take
Yea you’ve got to give for what you, give for what you give

May not be what you want from me
Just the way it’s got to be
Lose the face now
I’ve got to live I’ve got to live

Lyrics Post: “Guns and Ships“

“Guns And Ships”, another from the musical, Hamilton. Reading the words, I can hear the song in my head, some of the lyric so swiftly delivered, even with the words in front of me I can’t keep up the pace. So GOOD.

[Burr:]
How does a ragtag volunteer army in need of a shower
Somehow defeat a global superpower?
How do we emerge victorious from the quagmire?
Leave the battlefield waving Betsy Ross’ flag higher?

Yo. Turns out we have a secret weapon!
An immigrant you know and love who’s unafraid to step in!
He’s constantly confusin’, confoundin’ the British henchmen
Everyone give it up for America’s favourite fighting Frenchman!

[Company:]
Lafayette!

[Lafayette:]
I’m taking this horse by the reins makin’ redcoats redder with bloodstains

[Company:]
Lafayette!

[Lafayette:]
And I’m never gonna stop
Until I make ’em drop
And burn ’em up and scatter their remains,
I’m

[Company:]
Lafayette!

[Lafayette:]
Watch me engagin’ ’em,
Escapin’ ’em!
Enragin’ ’em.
I’m

[Company:]
Lafayette!

[Lafayette:]
I go to France for more funds

[Company:]
Lafayette!

[Lafayette:]
I come back with more

[Lafayette and Ensemble:]
Guns
And ships
And so the balance shifts

[Washington:]
We rendezvous
With Rochambeau,
Consolidate their gifts

[Lafayette:]
We can end this war in Yorktown, cut them off at sea,
But for this to succeed,
There is someone else we need:

[Washington:]
I know

[Washington and Company:]
Hamilton!

[Lafayette:]
Sir, he knows what to do in a trench
Ingenuitive and fluent in French, I mean

[Washington and Company:]
Hamilton!

[Lafayette:]
Sir, you’re gonna have to use him eventually
What’s he gonna do on the bench? I mean

[Washington and Company:]
Hamilton!

[Lafayette:]
No one has more resilience
Or matches my practical tactical brilliance

[Washington and Company:]
Hamilton!

[Lafayette:]
You wanna fight for your land back?

[Company:]
Hamilton!

[Washington:]
I need my right-hand man back!

[Women:]
Hamilton!

[Lafayette (men):]
Ah! Uh, get ya right-hand man back (Get your right-hand man back!)
You know you gotta get ya right hand man back (Your right-hand man back!)

[Lafayette (women/men):]
I mean you gotta put some thought into the letter (Hamilton!)
But the sooner the better (Hamilton! Hamilton!)
To get your right hand man back! (Ha ha)

[Washington:]
Alexander Hamilton
Troops are waiting in the field for you
If you join us right now, together we can turn the tide

Oh, Alexander Hamilton
I have soldiers that will yield for you
If we manage to get this right
They’ll surrender by early light
The world will never be the same, Alexander….”

By Lin-Manuel Miranda

Tribe

A few of the tribe come together, the warmth, the laughter, easy sharing, caring, catching up, so good, so good.

What does the tribe do? Some how through some magic, a sense of belonging, knowing, acceptance, concern. It fortifies, reassures, comforts.

My tribe? At least two. SCHS85, SCU89. When I’m with these people the thick thread rises up from the ground, pulls taught, a line from then until now. In this moment, I know this, I’m better with them, for them, the tribe, my people, stories, lives lived, it gives, power.

The tribe gives power, the tribe let’s love shine through, let’s love shine through.

Freestyle Love, G.M.D.

GMD, why do I think of him like that? My family, big on initials of names, for some reason.

GMD, my material grandfather, George M. Downing, not frowning, just thrownin’ words down,

For him on his birthday, 107, not here anymore, still deep within me, spirit living on, as it should be.

A doer, a leader, an educator, a learned man, number guy, Doctor of Ed. after his name, dedicated career, then shifted,

Rancher, cowboy, great grandpa, through and through, hunter, fixer, not much of music mixer, read a lot, deep in it, ready to win it, or so it seemed,

Did, a solid vocation, then on permanent vacation, not relaxing, always working, making, creating, tending, mending,

What would he say about me now? Some how, I think he’d give a nod, not the form or the norm, my path different, yet the same, in the game, not backing down, like him, not backing down,

Grinding, making, creating,

Bobbing, weaving, some grieving,

Still going, somehow ever knowing, on the right path,

Loving nature, outside, words, ideas, going forward, ever-knowing, trusting,

in Him.

Happy Birthday, GMD.

Lyrics Post: “Sloop John B”

How often have I heard the song? How often have I tried to play it? Clearly not enough…so here we go again.

“Sloop John B”

“We come on the sloop John B

My grandfather and me

Around Nassau town we did roam

Drinking all night

Got into a fight

Well I feel so broke up

I want to go home

So hoist up the John B’s sail

See how the mainsail sets

Call for the Captain ashore

Let me go home, let me go home

I wanna go home, yeah yeah

Well I feel so broke up

I wanna go home

The first mate he got drunk

And broke in the Cap’n’s trunk

The constable had to come and take him away

Sheriff John Stone

Why don’t you leave me alone, yeah yeah

Well I feel so broke up I wanna go home

So hoist up the John B’s sail

See how the mainsail sets

Call for the Captain ashore

Let me go home, let me go home

I wanna go home, let me go home

Why don’t you let me go home

(Hoist up the John B’s sail)

Hoist up the John B

I feel so broke up I wanna go home

Let me go home

The poor cook he caught the fits

And threw away all my grits

And then he took and he ate up all of my corn

Let me go home

Why don’t they let me go home

This is the worst trip I’ve ever been on

So hoist up the John B’s sail

See how the mainsail sets

Call for the Captain ashore

Let me go home, let me go home

I wanna go home, let me go home

Why don’t you let me go home”

By The Beach Boys

Shanty Town

It’s not near Cape Town or Karachi, not even Skid Row— nothing like that scale or density of population, but in this home town of mine, San Jose, California, homelessness has over the years become a societal problem on the rise.

The pandemic has only made it worse.

Vast disparities of income versus the cost of living is part of it. Mental health issues are part of it. And with the pandemic, pretty suddenly many whole could just make it, can’t anymore. And so they live in their car, maybe, or under an overpass, or in a shanty.

In this wealthiest of regions in this wealthiest of nations, how can this be so? And how can we fix it?

Can we agree that it should be fixed? That we are better than that, that we can do better than that. Let’s figure it out. Let’s make it better.

We can do this. We are called to do this. Love your neighbor as yourself. love your neighbor as yourself.