Why Is It So Hard?

These things we are called to in life, these difficulties thrust before us, why does it have to be so hard?

It’s just life. It is what it is. One of those four great truths Buddha identified: “Life is difficult.”

In Matthew 10:16, Jesus makes a similar observation as he spells out how his friends should act: as a sheep among wolves, shrewd yet simple. And all will speak against you, and worry not about what to say, the Spirit will guide you.

But that doesn’t make it easier, I don’t think; it makes it more manageable, gives us a path forward, but not easier.

I’ve failed plenty of times to take this proper attitude, I’ve given in to the darkness, been overwhelmed, crushed.

And then? Then I try again. That’s it. Just try again.

It’s hard. That’s just how it is. Life is hard. And that’s ok. And you’re ok. Onward.

Land’s End, 8 Mile Road

All the way out we drove, to the end, 8 Mile Road, West, Stockton. Me and the kids, Mama was having lunch in town with friend.

We snacked in the park first. Watched a couple woodpeckers do their thing. Saw a few blue birds too, these creatures flitting here and there in the midday summer heat. No breeze. A few guys playing frisbee golf around us.

Then down the road, to the end. The kids seemed to enjoy it; so did I. Hadn’t been down that road in 35 years. Here’s what we found.

Bedtime at Fernwood

Quite a ruckus most nights getting ALL to bed. There are the usual night-time chores — putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, getting water bottles filled with ice and water, arranging stuffed animals and blankets — it can sometimes take quite a while.

But when we’re done, and the lights go off, relaxation falls over everyone like a blanket. Then, it’s time for a nighttime song… in the darkness, in the quiet, as the bustle ends, in a darkened room lit only by the soft white glow of the nightlight near the floor, “Mother mother ocean…“

And soon there after, there is quiet and harmony and peace, and slumber comes. Amen, soon there after, slumber comes. Amen.

Say Their Names, Honor Their Fight For Equal Rights

In this great American experiment, we must rely on the fundamental ideals the founders laid out in the beginning.  After that initial revolution that birthed the United States of America, some eighty years later, we fought a civil war to solidify the course of our country.   

We are at a similar, if not as outwardly violent, cross-roads once again.  All  colors.  All religions, all creeds.  LGBTQ or straight, ALL who strive and desire to live in peace with one another.  

EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL.  *ALL* people deserve, ney, HAVE these inalienable rights.  

Let us not rest until this ideal is in fact, reality.  Let us make it a reality.  Let us say their names over and over until all peoples have justice and equal treatment across these fair and wide lands.

Take a listen to this profile of one woman’s life, striving to find her way, her own way, in this America. 

Storme DeLarverie ~

one.npr.org/i/884080764:884168701

Hamilton: Two Songs, Different Perspectives, One Truth

[Reposted from last week, these two songs in the context of the whole Hamilton sequence, and because they are so pivotal to his story.]

Hamilton’s intellect and courage and vision and words, all were not enough to save his marriage after his adultery.

Though still married in title, only a shell remained. The trust and confidence and certainty of love had disappeared. In the wake of the hurricane, only ruin. And then the ruin, it was burned.

“Hurricane”

[Hamilton:]

In the eye of a hurricane

There is quiet

For just a moment

A yellow sky

When I was seventeen a hurricane

Destroyed my town

I didn’t drown

I couldn’t seem to die

I wrote my way out

Wrote everything down far as I could see

I wrote my way out

I looked up and the town had its eyes on me

They passed a plate around

Total strangers

Moved to kindness by my story

Raised enough for me to book passage on a

Ship that was New York bound…

I wrote my way out of hell

I wrote my way to revolution

I was louder than the crack in the bell

I wrote Eliza love letters until she fell

I wrote about The Constitution and defended it well

And in the face of ignorance and resistance

I wrote financial systems into existence

And when my prayers to God were met with indifference

I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance

In the eye of a hurricane

There is quiet

For just a moment

A yellow sky

I was twelve when my mother died

She was holding me

We were sick and she was holding me

I couldn’t seem to die

[Burr:]

Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…

[Hamilton:]

I’ll write my way out…

[Burr and Ensemble:]

Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it…

[Hamilton:]

Write ev’rything down, far as I can see…

[Burr and Ensemble (Washington/Eliza/Angelica/Maria):]

Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, wait… (History has its eyes on you)

[Hamilton:]

I’ll write my way out…

Overwhelm them with honesty

This is the eye of the hurricane, this is the only

Way I can protect my legacy…

[Company (Except Hamilton):]

Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it, wait…

[Hamilton:]

The Reynolds Pamphlet

“Burn”

[Eliza:]

I saved every letter you wrote me

From the moment I read them

I knew you were mine

You said you were mine

I thought you were mine

Do you know what Angelica said

When we saw your first letter arrive?

She said, “Be careful with that one, love.

He will do what it takes to survive.”

You and your words flooded my senses

Your sentences left me defenseless

You built me palaces out of paragraphs

You built cathedrals

I’m re-reading the letters you wrote me

I’m searching and scanning for answers

In every line

For some kind of sign

And when you were mine

The world seemed to burn, burn

You published the letters she wrote you

You told the whole world how you brought

This girl into our bed

In clearing your name, you have ruined our lives

Do you know what Angelica said

When she read what you’d done?

She said, “You’ve married an Icarus.

He has flown too close to the sun.”

You and your words, obsessed with your legacy…

Your sentences border on senseless

And you are paranoid in every paragraph

How they perceive you

You, you, you…

I’m erasing myself from the narrative

Let future historians wonder

How Eliza reacted when you broke her heart

You have torn it all apart

I’m watching it burn

Watching it burn

The world has no right to my heart

The world has no place in our bed

They don’t get to know what I said

I’m burning the memories

Burning the letters that might have redeemed you

You forfeit all rights to my heart

You forfeit the place in our bed

You sleep in your office instead

With only the memories

Of when you were mine

I hope that you burn

Hamilton: Rise to The History to Which You Are Called

[WASHINGTON]
I was younger than you are now
When I was given my first command
I led my men straight into a massacre
I witnessed their deaths firsthand
I made every mistake
I felt the shame rise in me
And even now I lie awake
[WASHINGTON]
Knowing history has its eyes on me

[HAMILTON/WASHINGTON]
History has its eyes on me. [LAURENS/MULLIGAN]
Whoa…
Whoa…
Whoa…
Yeah

[COMPANY]
Whoa…
Whoa…
Whoa…
Yeah

[WASHINGTON]
Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory:
You have no control:

[WASHINGTON AND COMPANY]
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story

[WASHINGTON]
I know that we can win
I know that greatness lies in you
But remember from here on in
[WASHINGTON/HAMILTON AND MEN]
History has its
Eyes on you.


[ENSEMBLE]
Whoa…
Whoa…
Whoa…

[FULL COMPANY]
History has its eyes on you

Top▲


Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)

(Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton Cast)

[COMPANY]
The battle of Yorktown. 1781

[LAFAYETTE]
Monsieur Hamilton

[HAMILTON]
Monsieur Lafayette

[LAFAYETTE]
In command where you belong

[HAMILTON]
How you say, no sweat
We’re finally on the field. We’ve had quite a run

[LAFAYETTE]
Immigrants:

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE]
We get the job done

[HAMILTON]
So what happens if we win?

[LAFAYETTE]
I go back to France
I bring freedom to my people if I’m given the chance

[HAMILTON]
We’ll be with you when you do

[LAFAYETTE]
Go lead your men

[HAMILTON]
See you on the other side

[LAFAYETTE]
‘Til we meet again, let’s go!

[ENSEMBLE]
I am not throwin’ away my shot!
I am not throwin’ away my shot!
Hey yo, I’m just like my country, I’m young
Scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwin’ away my shot!
I am not throwin’ away my shot!

[HAMILTON]
‘Til the world turns upside down…

[ENSEMBLE]
‘Til the world turns upside down!

[HAMILTON]
I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory
This is where it gets me: on my feet
The enemy ahead of me
If this is the end of me, at least I have a friend with me
Weapon in my hand, a command, and my men with me
Then I remember my Eliza’s expecting me…
Not only that, my Eliza’s expecting
We gotta go, gotta get the job done
Gotta start a new nation, gotta meet my son!
Take the bullets out your gun!

[ENSEMBLE]
What?

[HAMILTON]
The bullets out your gun!

[ENSEMBLE]
What?

[HAMILTON]
We move under cover and we move as one
Through the night, we have one shot to live another day
We cannot let a stray gunshot give us away
We will fight up close, seize the moment and stay in it
It’s either that or meet the business end of a bayonet
The code word is ‘Rochambeau,’ dig me?

[ENSEMBLE]
Rochambeau!

[HAMILTON]
You have your orders now, go, man, go!
And so the American experiment begins
With my friends all scattered to the winds
Laurens is in South Carolina, redefining brav’ry

[HAMILTON/LAURENS]
We’ll never be free until we end slavery!

[HAMILTON]
When we finally drive the British away
Lafayette is there waiting-

[HAMILTON/LAFAYETTE]
In Chesapeake Bay!

[HAMILTON]
How did we know that this plan would work?
We had a spy on the inside. That’s right

[HAMILTON/COMPANY]
Hercules Mulligan!

[MULLIGAN]
A tailor spyin’ on the British government!
I take their measurements, information and then I smuggle it

[COMPANY]
Up

[MULLIGAN]
To my brother’s revolutionary covenant
I’m runnin’ with the Sons of Liberty and I am lovin’ it!
See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians
We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it!
Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction
When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!

[COMPANY]
Left! Right! Hold!
Go!
What! What! What!

[HAMILTON]
After a week of fighting, a young man in a red coat stands on a parapet

[LAFAYETTE]
We lower our guns as he frantically waves a white handkerchief

[MULLIGAN]
And just like that, it’s over. We tend to our wounded, we count our dead

[LAURENS]
Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom

[WASHINGTON]
Not. Yet

[HAMILTON]
We negotiate the terms of surrender
I see George Washington smile
We escort their men out of Yorktown
They stagger home single file
Tens of thousands of people flood the streets
There are screams and church bells ringing
And as our fallen foes retreat
I hear the drinking song they’re singing…

[ALL MEN]
The world turned upside down

[FULL COMPANY]
The world turned upside down
The world turned upside down
The world turned upside down
Down
Down, down, down

[LAFAYETTE]
Freedom for America, freedom for France!

[COMPANY]
Down, down, down

[HAMILTON]
Gotta start a new nation
Gotta meet my son

[COMPANY]
Down, down, down

[MULLIGAN]
We won!

[LAFAYETTE]
We won!

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS]
We won!

[MULLIGAN/LAFAYETTE/LAURENS/HAMILTON/WASHINGTON]
We won!

[COMPANY]
The world turned upside down!

BONUS! The performance from the 70th Tony Awards:

Lyrics Post: “Satisfied”

So SO many songs in Hamilton, 46 in all, I think it is. And so which ones to highlight in this lead-up to the TV debut of the staged musical from 2016 and the original cast…

This song comes to mind as one of my favorites, but also reflective of one of the fundamental themes of the production: striving, pushing, yearning to be better, to do more, to be happier…to be, satisfied.

Don’t we all strive to that, in the end?

[Laurens:]
Alright, alright. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!


Now everyone give it up for the maid of honor
Angelica Schuyler!

[Angelica (all men) {all women}:]
A toast to the groom!
(To the groom!)
(To the groom!)
{(To the groom!)}
To the bride!
{To the bride!}
(To the bride!)
{To the bride!}
From your sister
(Angelica!)
(Angelica!)
{(Angelica!)}
Who is always by your side
(By your side)
{By your side}
To your union
{(To the union!)}
{(To the revolution!)}
And the hope that you provide
(You provide!)
{(You provide!)}
May you always…
{(Always)}
Be satisfied
{(Rewind)}

[Recorded Samples:]
Rewind, rewind
Helpless,
Schuyler, Schuyler
Helpless
Drownin’ in ’em
Drownin’, rewind

I remember that night, I just might (rewind)
I remember that night, I just might (rewind)
I remember that night, I remember that

[Angelica:]
I remember that night, I just might
Regret that night for the rest of my days
I remember those soldier boys
Tripping over themselves to win our praise
I remember that dreamlike candlelight
Like a dream that you can’t quite place
But Alexander, I’ll never forget the first time I saw your face

I have never been the same
Intelligent eyes in a hunger-pang frame
And when you said, “Hi,” I forgot my dang name
Set my heart aflame, every part aflame
[Full Company:]
This is not a game…

[Hamilton:]
You strike me as a woman who has never been satisfied
[Angelica:]
I’m sure I don’t know what you mean
You forget yourself
[Hamilton:]
You’re like me
I’m never satisfied
[Angelica:]
Is that right?
[Hamilton:]
I’ve never been satisfied
[Angelica:]
My name is Angelica Schuyler
[Hamilton:]
Alexander Hamilton
[Angelica:]
Where’s your family from?
[Hamilton:]
Unimportant
There’s a million things I haven’t done
but just you wait, just you wait…

[Angelica:]
So so so… so this is what it feels like to match wits
With someone at your level! What the hell is the catch?
It’s the feeling of freedom, of seein’ the light
It’s Ben Franklin with a key and a kite!
You see it, right?

The conversation lasted two minutes, maybe three minutes
Everything we said in total agreement, it’s
A dream and it’s a bit of a dance
A bit of a posture, it’s a bit of a stance

He’s a bit of a flirt, but I’m ‘a give it a chance
I asked about his family. Did you see his answer?
His hands started fidgeting, he looked askance?
He’s penniless, he’s flying by the seat of his pants

Handsome. Boy, does he know it?
Peach fuzz, and he can’t even grow it!
I wanna take him far away from this place
Then I turn and see my sister’s face
And she is…

[Eliza:]
Helpless…
[Angelica:]
And I know she is…
[Eliza:]
Helpless…
[Angelica:]
And her eyes are just…
[Eliza:]
Helpless…
[Angelica:]
And I realize
[Angelica and Company:]
Three fundamental truths at the exact same time…

[Hamilton:]
Where are you taking me?
[Angelica:]
I’m about to change your life
[Hamilton:]
Then by all means, lead the way

[Company (except Angelica):]
Number one!
[Angelica:]
I’m a girl in a world in which
My only job is to marry rich
My father has no sons so I’m the one
Who has to social climb for one
So I’m the oldest and the wittiest and the gossip in
New York City is insidious
And Alexander is penniless
Ha! That doesn’t mean I want him any less

[Eliza:]
Elizabeth Schuyler. It’s a pleasure to meet you
[Hamilton:]
Schuyler?
[Angelica:]
My sister

[Company:]
Number two!
[Angelica:]
He’s after me ’cause I’m a Schuyler sister
That elevates his status, I’d
Have to be naïve to set that aside
Maybe that is why
I introduce him to Eliza
Now that’s his bride
Nice going, Angelica, he was right
You will never be satisfied

[Eliza:]
Thank you for all your service
[Hamilton:]
If it takes fighting a war for us to meet, it will have been worth it
[Angelica:]
I’ll leave you to it

[Company:]
Number three!
[Angelica:]
I know my sister like I know my own mind
You will never find
Anyone as trusting or as kind
If I tell her that I love him she’d be silently resigned
He’d be mine
She would say, “I’m fine.”
[Angelica and Company:]
She’d be lying

[Angelica:]
But when I fantasize at night
It’s Alexander’s eyes
As I romanticize what might
Have been if I hadn’t sized
Him up so quickly
At least my dear Eliza’s his wife;
At least I keep his eyes in my life…

[Angelica (all men) {all women}:]
To the groom!
(To the groom!)
(To the groom!)
{(To the groom!)}
To the bride!
{To the bride!}
(To the bride!)
{To the bride!}
From your sister
(Angelica!)
(Angelica!)
{(Angelica!)}
Who is always by your side
(By your side)
{By your side}
To your union
{(To the union!)}
{(To the revolution!)}
And the hope that you provide
(You provide!)
{(You provide!)}
May you always…
{(Always)}
Be satisfied
(Be satisfied)
{Be satisfied}
(Be satisfied)
And I know
{(Be satisfied)}
(Be satisfied)
(Be satisfied)
(Be satisfied)
She’ll be happy as
(Be satisfied)
(Be satisfied)
His bride
{(Be satisfied)}
And I know
(Be satisfied)
(Be satisfied)
(Be satisfied)
{Be satisfied}
He will never be satisfied
I will never be satisfied


Writer(s): Lin-manuel Miranda

“I am Not Worthy to Have You Under my Roof”

These words from the centurion in Capernaum speaking to Jesus give some pause. “I am Not Worthy to Have You Under my Roof.” Should we think we are not worthy?

In the account from the Book of Matthew it seems to say that the soldier leader was more being humble and deferring before Jesus. The centurion’s servant was deathly sick; and so he asked that Jesus heal him. The centurion believe Jesus could help.

And this faith the centurion displayed, even though he wasn’t a traditional believer, even though he had great earthly power, Jesus praised that faith.

I think this is the core message Matthew is conveying: be humble; have faith; believe honestly, in whatever manner you are able. I think this is what we are called to each day.

Let it be so for each of us, each day. We are in fact worthy; in fact, by being humble, we model the very attitude Jesus praised. Have faith, believe, and you are, worthy.

Amen AMEN.

Ref: Matthew 8:5