Considering

Considering the heat of the day lately, I’m pretty comfortable working in the garage. Glad there’s a fan blowing.

Considering how long we’ve had our refrigerator, pretty stoked the ice maker started working again.

Considering these old boots, they still come on handy when I’m working around the yard. Not the best traction, but they protect my feet really well. And with new laces? Snazzy.

And with new laces? SNAZZY. You know, for old boots.

Considering it all? I like old things.

Summer Solstice, Downhill

From here on out in the year, the days get shorter. It’s downhill to year-end, good momentum now.

Let this fact be a spark for you, for me, that we will see, make the most of each hour, each day.

Listen to the birds sing a little more. Worry a little less.

Let gravity do its thing, pulling you along, give in to the good around you.

Sit in the yard, on the curb, a little more with your friend, your kids, think about productivity a little less.

Don’t let the ruckus, the chaos, all those things you can’t control, overwhelm.

Roll down the hill head over tea kettle, laughing and feeling you insides spin. It’s ok.

Let it all fall aside, let your breathing slow more often, enjoy more often, just be, a little more often.

In Honor of Juneteenth, A Reading

So this particular day, the 19 of June, is Juneteenth; and thus, a reading the words of the Emancipation Proclamation.

MICHEL MARTIN: By the president of the United States of America, a proclamation, whereas on the 22 day of September in the Year of Our Lord 1862,
a proclamation was issued by the president of the United States, containing, among other things, the following – to wit…

NOEL KING: That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state, the people
whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thence forward and forever free.

SAM SANDERS: And the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons or any of them and any efforts they make for their actual freedom.

RODNEY CARMICHAEL: That the executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation designate the states and parts of states,
if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States.

JUANA SUMMERS: And the fact that any state or the people thereof shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States
by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such state shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong
countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such state and the people thereof are not, then, in rebellion against the United States.

DWANE BROWN: Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States, by virtue of the power vested as commander in chief, of the Army and
Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States and as a fit and necessary war measure for
suppressing said rebellion…

AUDIE CORNISH: …Due on this first day of January in the year of our Lord 1863 and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the
full period of 100 days from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the states and parts of states wherein the people thereof respectively are this
day in rebellion against the United States the following, to wit…

TONYA MOSLEY: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana – except for the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension,
Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans – Mississippi, Alabama…

BRAKKTON BOOKER: …Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia – except the 48 counties designated as West Virginia and also the
counties of Berkley, Accomack, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth – and which excepted
parts are, for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

KORVA COLEMAN: And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated
states and parts of states are and henceforward shall be free.

GENE DEMBY: And that the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of said persons.

CHERYL CORLEY: And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense, and I recommend
to them that in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

ERIC DEGGANS: And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to
garrison forts, positions, stations and other places and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

AYESHA RASCOE: And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

WALTER RAY WATSON: In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be fixed. Done at the city of Washington,
this first day of January in the year of our Lord 1863 and of the independence of the United States of America the 87th.

By the president, Abraham Lincoln.

The reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to commemorate Juneteenth today, also known as Emancipation Day or Black Independence Day.

“FREE AT LAST”, Oh, I’m free at last, free at last.

To listen to the reading — well worth it — check it out via the following link.

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/19/880754393/celebrating-juneteenth-a-reading-of-the-emancipation-proclamation

Lyrics Post: “The Enemy Within” by RUSH

Lots of RUSH, lately. It’s been good for my soul. Much needed. Maybe odd, but what can I say, RUSH, it goes deep.

“Things crawl in the darkness

That imagination spins

Needles at your nerve ends

Crawl like spiders on your skin

Pounding in your temples

And a surge of adrenaline

Every muscle tense to fence the enemy within

[Chorus:]

I’m not giving in to security under pressure

I’m not missing out on the promise of adventure

I’m not giving up on implausible dreams

Experience to extremes

Experience to extremes…

Suspicious looking stranger

Flashes you a dangerous grin

Shadows across your window…

Was it only trees in the wind?

Every breath a static charge,

A tongue that tastes like tin

Steely-eyed outside to hide the enemy within

To you, is it movement or is it action?

Is it contact or just reaction?

And you…revolution or just resistance?

Is it living, or just existence?

Yeah, you! It takes a little more persistence

To get up and go the distance”

Guest Post: “I Get It.”

Sharing some thoughts from an old high school classmate. His name is Eric Curtis.

Another classmate pointed me to a few recent posts Eric made on social media in response to the recent protests over police murders of unarmed African-Americans, and against underlying racism that still persists in the United States. When I read Eric’s words, I thought two things immediately:

1/ I agree with him.

2/ I can’t put words together any better than he does on the subject of a white person’s evolving perspective on racism.

And so, here’s what he wrote:

“I get it.

I use to say that I wasn’t racist, because I did my best to not allow race to influence my thoughts about another person.

I became comfortable with the level of racism around me because it didn’t directly affect me or my family.

In my community, racism wasn’t particularly violent, although I was often aware that I was less likely to be harassed than people who look different than I do.
I had an unspoken agreement with racism – “If you don’t mess with me, I won’t mess with you.”

My sheltered life allowed me to pretend that racism was getting better throughout the country.

All it took was Trump’s campaign in 2016 to help the people who embrace racism to begin to feel more comfortable and their racism approved.
Somehow, these last 4 years, although agitated with renewed flourishing of racism throughout the country, I didn’t have the bandwidth
to turn toward a positive impact in relationship with racism.

The blatant public execution of an innocent man pushed me and apparently hundreds of thousands of others to the point of critical mass.
Although racism still has little direct affect on my life, I can no longer pretend to “not be racist”. I had to choose to be anti racist.

So I get it. Millions of people can say “I’m not racist.”, and be comfortable enough with that.

But to pretend that our country isn’t being overcome by racism, led by Trump’s empowerment lead active racists out of their dark holes,
is to choose to close one’s eyes to reality. That has always been an indirect support of racism.

I have been that passive racist.”

[jeff’s addition]:

Me too. My old high school friend Eric speaks humbly and powerfully from our shared, white perspective. This perspective is valuable to a degree, since we white people have the power.

I’ve heard people of color (and otherwise) say now, “If you’re not anti-racist, then you’re part of the problem.”

I agree with that.

I’ve also heard it said that we white people need to amplify the expert voices of people of color that have suffered so long under racism.

I agree with that too.

Thank you, Eric, for sharing your perspective. Much respect and gratitude to you, my friend.

And stay tuned for more posts / insights from people of color, the true experts on how we can dismantle racism in these United States.

If you want to check out more of Eric’s writing, see his blog:

https://compassionwholeness.wordpress.com/

Sitting on the Bed

Sitting on my son’s bed, listening to the sounds. In the dim light, thinking. 

He asked me to sit with him as he fell asleep. Quickly so. His sisters already softly snoring in slumber. 

Later than I’d like but then, a few moments to write, to capture the night. Grateful for that, for their slumber, for my family, my sometimes enemies in my darkest moments. And then I catch, I remember, this is my purpose, these are my people, I love them!

Yes. Yes I do. Sitting on the bed, in the dark, even in the dark, I love them. Let my actions speak those words. Every day.

 

Soft Launch: “New Dad Lessons”

There was a little surprise I shared yesterday. My first book published and available now via Amazon.

SUPER STOKED !!!

The title? As noted above “New Dad Lessons” —

After about a five-year process, it’s finally out, and I’m delighted, absolutely filled with JOY!, to share this news.

You can get it as an e-book (i.e. for a Kindle read), or paperback, take your pick. The hard copy is a bit pricey, but that’s how it goes when you self-publish. : – )

Have a look! Even better, pick-up a copy. And if you do, please write a review on Amazon (it helps the book get promoted). Thanks, peeps!

Lyrics Post: “You and Me and The Beat”

One of my dancing daughter’s current favorites. Watching a little kid shake it, a more hip child I just can’t imagine. But then I know, I’m biased!

So, Shake it!

“Hey, hey

No, you don’t need a reason
Just get up and dance
When you turn up the music
Let it blast

You know we got the whole world
In the palm of our hands
Don’t let it go [3x]

‘Cause now
You’re living life out loud
With your head up in the clouds
Yeah, it feels so right right now, now, now

Hey

[3x]
You and me and the beat
Go great together

You and me and the beat
Go great together now

[2x]
Ooh, ooh
You and me
Go great together

Anything can happen
Any time or place
From the floor to the rafters
To outer space

We can move any mountain
Just push the pace
Just let it flow [3x]

‘Cause now
Just live your life out loud
With your head up in the clouds
Yeah, it feels so right right now, now, now

Hey

[3x]
You and me and the beat
Go great together

You and me and the beat
Go great together now

[2x]
Ooh, ooh
You and me
Go great together

When we’re together
Somehow it works
And having real friends
Makes it worth it
And in the future
When we both look through that rear-view mirror
We’ll know we had good times

[3x]
You and me and the beat
Go great together

You and me and the beat
Go great together now

[2x]
Ooh, ooh”