On Praise

The persistance of what is proper...

Somewhere in the whirl of my 20's and the clangor of work or whatever, that very quiet but very dainty voice of praise had slipped out of habit. The voice I learned to pray in, the world that understood the world as my introverted eyes saw it.

This happy sense or secret that what God made was enough. And would always be. 

That came through to me this evening, fixing dinner in the quiet silence of our house: our lifestyles should be built on praise. Our moments, quiet thank-yous. The very architecture of our concerns - symmetry. Besides, there's actual chemical benefits to the psychology of gratitude. So that's peace. And praise.

On Sandy, and Other People

In the six years since I moved out to the East Coast from California, I had never experienced a storm like Sandy.

Well, experienced the build-up to a storm like Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy didn't hit Washington, DC as hard as it hit New York and other parts of the East Coast and the Caribbean, but it did do something extraordinary: it brought people together.  In personifying Hurricane Sandy, preparations were made to protect real people.

The DC Mayor's office issued a preemptive emergency warning which would provide the District with additional, federal assistance should it need it. The Mayor's Office also outlined which churches and community centers were serving as emergency shelters, and even specified which ones would accept your cat or dog! President Obama's federal response was also fantastic.

That sort of public administration - as Olivia would say, is "... the one that I want - ooh, ooh, ooh!"

This American Us

The founding of America was, in essence, an emotional project = folks cut a clear of land uniquely dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In that sense, the point of the U.S. (to an extent) is emotional freedom.

The Great Recession has cut into that a bit. As MSNBC's Joe Scarborough says, America needs a pep talk. This July 4th, Independence Day should feel independent. Baller America - I want you back!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebPsiEBXsHs]


2012 has gotten off to an auspicious start. Folks are saying either the world will end, or Obama will get re-elected. And let's face it: whether he does or doesn't win is, to most people, the equivalent of the entire world either stopping or starting all over again.

But what if the world doesn't end in 2012? What if it's Y2K, all over again? What if all that “happens” isn’t big enough to make headlines but is just a silent, tectonic shift in the world's disposition? (Which is what the Mayan prediction for 2012 actually is.)

That would be a big deal indeed. Maybe 2012 can be the year in which we stop worrying about the larger political picture, and just celebrate ourselves (to the tune of Common’s new song). Maybe we can liberate, and let love. Stop waiting on a social revolution, and raise our interior standard of living. It's the ultimate sense of freedom - loving just because you want to.

GOOD magazine has a great new video series up called "What Do You Love." , which profiles people doing careers and hobbies that they love. My favorite video about this, however, is Roberson Oliveira's video ‘Naldo’. It’s a series of video portraits of his family in São Paolo, Brazil.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE338XiCDsQ]

Some of my favorite pictures are the ones at the end, with the Rayban sunglasses – hey, if the world is ending (or beginning again), we might as well be wearing Raybans!