Sunday, December 28, 2008


jay-z and beyonce had a kid, it would be named: Marcy Fierce Carter.

aaaaaahahahaha. i don't care what you say, that's some funny ish!

and if you don't get it, that's ok. i generally don't ;-)


Thursday, December 11, 2008

all the time...

i love coming back to the simplicity of my spirit self. knowing that there is a higher order. something bigger and greater than us all. all of our religion(s). all of our right(s) and wrong(s)...

grace is getting what we don't deserve.
mercy, is not getting what we do deserve.

let that sit with you for a minute. don't think too much on it. we spend to much time in our head space and not in our spirit and heart space...

think about your life. the blessing you have received when you least deserved or expected them. (thank you for your grace.)

the times when you should have been the worse off and yet, you were not. (thank you for your mercy.)

God is good, all the time. all the time, God is good.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

on this day of thanks...

this day, and every day, i am ever thankful for the people in my life. and yes, that includes you! i am truly blessed to have the most outstanding and phenomenal family and friends. people that love, and put up with, me on a daily basis. people that not only stand by me in my light, but also in my dark. people who accept me for who i am with all my beauties as well as all my flaws.

thank you.

i pray that you continue to see the many blessings in your life. even those that don't seem like blessings at first glance. they are all around you. in your home, in your work, while you're driving in your car, while your walking your dog, when you wake up in the morning, when you fall asleep at night...

all you have to do is open yourself, and look.

much peace and all my love,

live with intention.

walk to the edge.

listen hard.

practice wellness.

play with abandon.


choose with no regret.

appreciate your friends.

continue to learn.

do what you love.

live as if this is all there is.

-mary anne radmacher

Sunday, August 24, 2008

my "i love the 80's" summer throwbacks...

ok, so since i don't have cable, i've been digging WAY back into my VHS box (for realz, i love VHS) and re-discovering my 80's collection of good shit. so here's my ongoing list of this summer's flicks! you should definitely check some, if not all of them:

the breakfast club (1985) - "don't mess with the bull, young man. you'll get the horns."

coming to america (1988) - "hey, baby, i'm almost single. my husband's on death row."

dirty dancing (1987) - "nobody puts baby in a corner.

ferris beuller's day off (1986) - "pardon my french, but you're an asshole! asshole!"

mannequin (1987) - um...old school kim catrell. nuff said.

ghostbusters (1984) - "i am the gate keeper."

the goonies (1985) - "THATS WHAT I SAID! BOOBY TRAPS! god. these guys!"

the last dragon (1985) - "shonuff!"

the neverending story (1984) - a flying dog, horses with lazer eyes and a dark nothingness that threatens to destroy society? yes please ;-)

the princess bride (1987) - "my name is inigo montoya. you killed my father, prepare to die."

purple rain (1984) - dudes, it's prince. it's appolonia. quit trippin'.

say anything (1989) - love, love, LOVE john cusak. AND joan cusak is in it too? they're like an older jake and maggie gyllenhaal to me. both great actors.

"i don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. i don't want to sell anything bought or processed...or buy anything sold or processed...or process anything sold, bought or processed...or repair anything sold, bought or processed. you know, as a career, i don't want to do that."

stand by me (1986) - "gordie just screwed the pooch!"

top gun (1986) - "i feel the need...the need for speed!"

wierd science (1985) - "by the way, why are we wearing bras on our heads?"

to be continued...

one love.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


soooooo, yesterday i recorded a christmas jingle for the radio airwaves with brian mcknight. (brian mcknight? i know, it's been a while. think: " do i ever cross your mind, anytime..."). was pretty damn cool and crazily random.

you know, it was kinda like singing with miss lauryn hill all over again...but not, at the same time.

anyhoo, was just a random piece of goodness that i thought i'd share. have a fabulous day!

peace and luv.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

neither here nor there...

this hit a bit close to home for me:

have you ever been somewhere you didn't want to be? maybe it was a job, a town, or a relationship. maybe it was a stage in life, like singlehood, or a state in life, like a disability.

it's very possible that as you read this, you're wishing you were somewhere else – anywhere else – living a different life...

be mindful of being physically present but mentally somewhere else, thinking of the future or the past, thinking of someplace else. our journey with life requires we be fully present in the present.

you may feel like you're in exile, but the universe is still working in your life; the message to you is: dig in and fully embrace the life around you.

peace and blessings / love and light

Sunday, July 13, 2008

do it anyway.

yes, yes. i'm a sucker for a quote that moves something in me ;-)

people are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
forgive them anyway.

if you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
be kind anyway.

if you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
succeed anyway.

if you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
be honest and frank anyway.

what you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
build anyway.

if you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
be happy anyway.

the good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
do good anyway.

give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
give the world the best you've got anyway.

you see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
it was never between you and them anyway.

-mother teresa

much love.

Monday, July 7, 2008

eat, pray, love...

"your treasure -your perfection- is within you already. but to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart."

" is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection." (from the bhagavad gita)

"meditate on whatever causes a revolution in your mind."

much peace and love yo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WARNING: the following video is for Grown Folks only...

one of the banned episodes of aaron mcgruder's comic strip and television show, the boondocks:

gotta love him. just gotta.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

a state of consciousness in union...

ok, this is a ramble that is intermixing two very strong feelings in my heart that are closely intertwined. sorry if it takes some sifting through. feel free to ask me or call me out on anything. it's not going to be for everyone. it may not be for you, and that's ok. if it's not, just take what you need (if anything) from it, and blow off the rest.

i'm currently reading the book "a new earth" by eckhart tolle, and as audre lorde says, "there are no new ideas. there are only new ways of making them felt."

though there is some hocus-ey pocus-ey things that i just have to brush off, overall it's saying things to me that i've already felt, but it's putting them into words that make WAY more sense than the gibber jabber i come up with when trying to explain myself. which inevitable ends in that, "huh?" face. ;-)

a year, or two, ago after i read "conversations with god" by neale walsh, i wrote the following:

"You have this idea that God shows up in only one way in life. That is a dangerous idea. It stops you from seeing God all over. If you think God looks only one ways or sounds only one way or is only one way, you're going to look right past Me night and day. You'll spend your whole life looking for God and not finding Her. Because you're looking for a Him." N. Walsch

my thoughts: dont become so blinded by why you perceive others to be wrong that you don't see their peace. ..and dont be so content in your right way that you miss out on what the universe is trying to reveal.

and here i sit in yet another phase of my life that has brought me to yet an even deeper understanding of our (yes OUR) higher power. i find myself refreshing the inner knowledge of who i am as a spiritual being.

you have so harshly and often cruelly over-complicated the beautiful simplicity of life, and in turn, spirituality. you have done things in the name of *basically insert any here* and have spiritually robbed people of their right to...believe.

the use of the word "you" makes you nervous doesn't it. don't worry, i'm not pointing the finger. i'm talking very loudly to myself as well.

we have GOT to allow ourselves (an in turn others) to just be. you really do know more than you think you do. but we've forgotten how to simply be. we spend so much time working on being "good" and "right" according to this and that and really, its right there within us all. it's been there long before we were even here. think about a baby. does it have any concept of right or wrong, good or bad, love or hatred? no. but as that child grows and learns and experiences, it will inevitably learn all of these things. and it/we inevitable forget that innate being/self/spirit that is within us. that which is our essence. and then we spend the rest of our lives trying be, what we already naturally are. and in doing so, we are sadly missing out on the abundance of freedom and goodness that is our birth right.

we have over-structuralized and materialized the spirit as to make life comfortable for us. to explain things we don't understand. to give reason to things we cannot fathom. we have essentially put God in a box and given labels of this and that, left and right, up and down.


there is a oneness that moves throughout everything. every person, every flower, every butterfly...every thing. you call it God. i call it the Universe. she calls it Allah. he calls it Brahman, they see it in the Buddha. whatever you choose call it by name, however you choose to see it, spirituality is state of consciousness. a consciousness which is beyond all of us and our religions with our idols and our worships. it is a consciousness of the oneness that connects us ALL.

look, there's no way that your religion is right and so and so's is wrong. and i'm also not saying you're wrong for believing that. haha, confused yet? good. sorry about it. so let's stop thinking so damn much, get over that and be free and open to some truth.

as spiritual beings we're all headed towards the same goal, but that process looks different to everyone. just as we don't all learn the same. i have to see and then do to finally get something whereas others need to just hear it and others can just see it. spirituality is very much like that. based on our differences, we relate to the spirit differently.

religion at it's core is a basic belief in something higher than yourself. we are so busy fighting about whos is right and whos is wrong and let me save you and you've got it all backwards...that we're missing the point. all religions, as all things, come back to one. it is the consciousness of the unifying oneness in ALL, that will ultimately free your spirit self, "and the peace...which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds." (phillipians 4:7). it is something greater than our mere religion...

i am in no way negating nor am i poking at any religious beliefs/spiritual paths. as i said, we all need our own way to connect upwardly in a way that we can understand and comprehend.

but in that comprehension, we tend to have tunnel vision. and very much as we see cultures that are not "democratically free" like our own, as wrong (look at iraq). we also see spiritual paths that are not like our own as wrong as well.

and, we miss out on beautifulness of being. simply being. just being. being one with ourselves. being one with each other. being one with the spirit. we miss out on communing. we miss out on loving...

"so God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him..." (genesis 1:27)

yet i can't help but think:

maybe man has made "God" in his own image. took the eternal, the infinite, the UNnameable creator, and turned that into a mental idol so that we can all sleep better at night, knowing that we got it "right"...

i wonder how he/she feels about that?

to be continued...maybe.

peace and blessings / love and light

Saturday, April 12, 2008

z’s weekend double feature...

here are two of my favorite classics gone OH SO fabulously and sequelly wrong...and right. if you're lookin' for something to watch that's a little sick and twisted, but in that good, good way...check 'em at your local rental:

1) "return to oz" (sequel to the wizard of oz)

synopsis: Dorothy (a 10-year-old Fairuza Balk in her debut) is back in Kansas, where Aunt Em is at the end of her rope: her niece is not sleeping and going on about a place called Oz. Therapy may be the answer, but luckily the scary clinic goes dark before Dorothy can be, er, cured (but the lead-up will scare the munchkins out of most kids). She wakes up in the land of Oz, now in tatters, and searches for its king, the Scarecrow. A new set of friends, including a tin soldier, a talking chicken, and a pumpkin man, help her against new villains, including Princess Mombi--complete with a set of detachable heads--and the evil Nome King. The sole directorial effort of Oscar-winning editor Walter Murch is stuffed with marvelous effects that foreshadow later works by Tim Burton and the Henson non-Muppet films.

2) "through the looking glass, and what alice found there" (sequel to alice in wonderland)

synopsis: When Alice steps through the looking-glass, she enters a world of chess pieces and nursery rhyme characters who behave very strangely. Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the dotty White Knight and the sharp-tempered Red Queen - none of them are what they seem. In fact, through the looking-glass, everything is distorted.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

asante sana...

this is the latest statement from assata shakur. a fierce warrior woman fighting in this struggle that we are ALL a part of. a sister to the revolution. a mother to the movement. exiled in cuba with a bounty that was recently raised in her head by the present government, yet still fighting the good fight...

educate yourself:

free em’ all!

Asante Sana from Assata Shakur:

First of all, let me say thank you, to the many people who have helped me to celebrate my 60th birthday. Thank you for your beautiful birthday cards and for your warm and eloquent messages. Thank you for your activism, your radiant energy and most of all for your love. I am sincerely grateful for your support and for your commitment to social justice, truth and freedom.

It is somehow surprising for me to realize that I have lived on this planet for 60 years. I never imagined that I would live this long. Some of those years were very hard years, other years were happier, but I have never forgotten who I am or where I came from. For as long as I can remember, I was acutely aware of my oppression and of the oppression of my people.

In some ways it was easier for my generation. Racism was blatant and obvious. The "Whites Only" signs let us know clearly, what we were up against. Not much has changed, but the system of lies and tricknology is much more sophisticated. Today young people have to be highly informed and acutely analytical, or they will be swept up into a whirlpool of lies and deception.

Freedom, justice and liberty are words that are thrown around a lot in the United States, but for most of us, it is empty rhetoric. With each and every passing day the country becomes more repressive, the police more viciously aggressive and the so-called constitutional guarantees obliterated by scare tactics. The so-called ’Conservatives’ are only interested in conserving their privileges and power and helping their rich friends to become richer. Black ’Conservatives’ serve their "masters" and are basically interested in grinning, shuffling and ’Uncle Tomming’ all the way to the bank. This is the most corrupt administration that has ever existed. They have blatantly stolen not millions, but billions of dollars. They are actively seeking to preserve the old colonial order with a new face, where the oppressed people of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are expected to suffer happily, and sing praises to imperialism to the tune of the star spangled banner.

It is extreme arrogance to attack and occupy a country and expect its people to rejoice and lick your feet. Not even Roman Emperors were involved in such misguided conceit. The U.S. government has no right whatsoever, to force its undemocratic "democracy" on the rest of the world. I am 60 years old and I cannot remember a time when my people ever experienced true democracy. It is still the active policy of the U.S. government to use a wide variety of tactics to prevent poor people and people of color from voting. And when we do get to vote, our votes usually do not count. For the most part, there are no decent candidates to vote for, because the U.S, government is a "dollarocracy" where candidates have to beg and pander to the corporate rich in order to be elected.

I am 60 years old, and I have never in my life seen such widespread violence and cruelty. The U.S. government has more people in prison than any other country in the world, and it is now actively involved in creating prisons all over the world. Abu Gharib is only the tip of the iceberg. People all over the world are being imprisoned in secret prisons, with no formal charges being made against them. They are imprisoned under the most inhumane conditions, and detained for indeterminate periods of time, with no rights, no trials, and no justice whatsoever. In short, the leaders of this country are war criminals. All the U.S. government has to do is call them terrorists or extremists, enemy combatants or whatever and they can do anything they want to these people. I live in Cuba, and the Cuban people watch horrified, as the U.S. Army illegally occupies their land in Guantanamo and commits unspeakable acts of torture on their soil, in the name of "freedom." The U.S. government not only destroys the lives of people around the world, many mothers have cried because many of our young people have had their lives destroyed as well. I believe that this earth was meant for tenderness and not terror. The imperialist countries not only implement terrorist policies in the Third World, their actions also provoke terrorist activities and internal disputes between people. I believe that when Western governments learn to respect the sovereignty of Third world governments, and to offer solidarity and support rather that imperialist policies and exploitation, most of the world’s problems will be close to being solved.

Inside the belly of the beast, conditions are also disastrous. Most of the victims of Katrina are still waiting for decent housing and public services. Schools and hospitals around the country are either deteriorating or closing down. Around the country social programs to help poor and working people are mostly a thing of the past. Our young people are being marginalized, criminalized and brutalized. It is often an act of courage to go to school, or simply drive down the street. The U.S. government’s occupation of Afghanistan has produced a record increase of heroin production, and the "war on drugs" continues to be a war on poor people and people of color. The police brutality in our communities is not a simple matter of randomly "bad" cops. This government is more repressive than ever and more and more of a police state. When you have a trigger happy president, a trigger happy vice-president, a trigger happy office of homeland security, you are bound to have an increase of trigger happy police and many of our young people are bound to end up dead or imprisoned. The social policies of the United States have deteriorated from so-called benign neglect to malignant hostility or indifference.

The role the press and the media have played in all this has been increasingly malignant. There is no such thing as a free press in the United States. Journalists receive big salaries for telling "official" lies. The media both knowingly and naively became the vehicle for misinforming the people of the United States and convincing the people that it was "necessary" to go to war. Their "reporting" was based on outright lies. Now they "embedded" in the military, continuing to misinform the people, and distort the truth.

I am 60 years old and I am proud to be one of those people who stood up against the ruthless, evil, imperialist policies of the U.S. government. In my lifetime I have opposed the war against the Vietnamese people, the illegal contras – war in Nicaragua, the illegal coup in Chile, the invasion of Haiti and of Grenada, and every other illegal, immoral and genocidal war the U.S. government has ever waged. I have never been a criminal and I never will be one. I am 60 years old and in spite of government repression, in spite of the media’s lies and distortions, in spite of the U.S, government’s COINTELPRO Program to criminalize and demonize political opponents, I feel proud to count myself as someone who believes in peace and believes in freedom. I am proud to have been a member of the Black Panther Party although the U.S. government continues try to distort history and continues to persecute ex-members of the Black Panther Party. Just recently, the U.S. government has indicted and arrested 8 ex-Black Panthers in a case that was dismissed 30 years ago. The case was dismissed some 30 years ago when it became obvious that the most vicious forms of extreme torture were used to extract false confessions from some of the so-called defendants.

I am 60 years and it is doubtful that I will ever live to see my people free of oppression and repression. But I am totally convinced that our collective dream of freedom will some day be realized. I sincerely implore young people to develop their minds, to develop their skills, to expand their states of consciousness, and sharpen their abilities to analyze reality. Those Africans who conspired with the European slave trade to sell us into slavery were seduced by trinkets. I hope and pray that our young people will not continue to fall into the same traps. I have always loved my people and always loved our culture. The culture of my people has always been rich and always been filled with the seeds of resistance. I hope that young people hold fast to that tradition. I sincerely hope that all young people will have the courage and the wisdom to hold on tight to their humanity and their historical mission. Most people in the Americas, were either indigenous people whose ancestors were victims of genocide, or brought to this hemisphere as slaves, or came to this continent seeking freedom. I believe that it is our collective duty to make freedom a reality. I truly believe that it is possible to end oppression and repression on this planet. If we all see ourselves as citizens of this planet, and citizens of the world, it will be easier for us to save this planet and recognize the human rights of human beings around the world.

Much love, Much Solidarity,
May we all make freedom a reality,
Assata Shakur

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the funny haha...

leave it to the classy and sassy geniusness that is my girl allison to find the good shit:

peace yo.

the problem with complacency...

i read this on another blog and found it very interesting. it moved something in me. created stir. since i’ve had my myspace page, i’ve had the pastor martin niemoller quote on it and it remains one of my favorite. this reminded me of it a bit. made me think. about you. about us. about me...

from the blog of suheilah waeli:

A German’s Point of View on Islam

I thought you’d find this interesting.
I know I was impressed. It could be
likened to Martin Niemoller words
of the 1940s

A man whose family was German
aristocracy prior to World War II
owned a number of large industries
and estates. When asked how
many German people were true
Nazis, the answer he gave can guide
our attitude toward fanaticism.

’Very few people were true Nazis ’
he said,’ but many enjoyed the return
of German pride, and many more
were too busy to care. I was one of
those who just thought the Nazis
were a bunch of fools. So, the
majority just sat back and let it all
happen. Then, before we knew
it, they owned us, and we had lost
control, and the end of the world had
come. My family lost everything. I
ended up in a concentration camp
and the Allies destroyed my factories.’

We are told again and again by ’
experts’ and ’talking heads’ that Islam
is the religion of peace, and that the
vast majority of Muslims just want to
live in peace. Although this unqualified
assertion may be true, it is entirely
irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff,
meant to make us feel better, and
meant to somehow diminish the
spectra of fanatics rampaging across
the globe in the name of Islam. The
fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at
this moment in history.

It is the fanatics who march. It is the
fanatics who wage any one of 50
shooting wars worldwide. It is the
fanatics who systematically slaughter
Christian or tribal groups throughout
Africa and are gradually taking over
the entire continent in an Islamic
wave. It is the fanatics who bomb,
behead, murder, or honor kill. It is
the fanatics who take over mosque
after mosque. It is the fanatics who
zealously spread the stoning and
hanging of rape victims and
homosexuals. The hard quantifiable
fact is that the ’peaceful majority’ ,
the ’silent majority’, is cowed and

Communist Russia was comprised of
Russians who just wanted to live in
peace, yet the Russian Communists
were responsible for the murder of
about 20 million people.
The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
China’s huge population was peaceful
as well, but Chinese Communists
managed to kill a staggering 70
million people.

The average Japanese individual prior
to World War II was not a
warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan
murdered and slaughtered its way
across South East Asia in an orgy of
killing that included the systematic
murder of 12 million Chinese civilians;
most killed by sword, shovel, and

And, who can forget Rwanda, which
collapsed into butchery. Could it not
be said that the majority of Rwandans
were ’peace loving’?

History lessons are often incredibly
simple and blunt, yet for all our powers
of reason we often miss the most basic
and uncomplicated of points:

Peace-loving Muslims have been made
irrelevant by their silence.

Peace-loving Muslims will become
our enemy if they don’t speak up,
because like my friend from
Germany, they will awaken one day
and find that the fanatics own them,
and the end of their world will have

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese,
Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs,
Afghanis, Iraqis, Palestinians,
Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and
many others have died because the
peaceful majority did not speak up
until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we
must pay attention to the only group
that counts; the fanatics who
threaten our way of life.

peace and blessings / love and light

Thursday, March 20, 2008

a more perfect union?

in case you missed his speech. you should really listen to it.

regardless of whether i agree or disagree, if i’m voting for him or not...

i respect that he spoke his truth.

in a time where our fears have been used against us to breed more fear, and the truths, hidden behind politically correct falsities.

we are so very afraid.

we fear what we can’t understand. what is different. what is uncomfortable. what is not like/of us. shit, we fear our fear. and when we can’t ignore or hide from that, we either try to push it under a rug so that we just don’t have to look at it, and/or we try to destroy/erase it all together.

it’s more comfortable. it’s more convenient. it’s less complex.

unfortunately, we have grossly OVER complicated the simplicity of humanity. and the shit is starting to seep out from under our rug...

i respect that he speaks his truth.

"dare to struggle / dare to win" -dr. mutulu shakur

peace and blessings / love and light

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution - a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign - to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners - an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts - that out of many, we are truly one.

Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either "too black" or "not black enough." We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth - by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

"People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend’s voice up into the rafters....And in that single note - hope! - I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones. Those stories - of survival, and freedom, and hope - became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn’t need to feel shame about...memories that all people might study and cherish - and with which we could start to rebuild."

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions - the good and the bad - of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through - a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, "The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past." We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.

Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments - meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families - a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods - parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement - all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.

And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze - a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so na├»ve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy - particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

But I have asserted a firm conviction - a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people - that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances - for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives - by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

Ironically, this quintessentially American - and yes, conservative - notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country - a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen - is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope - the audacity to hope - for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation - the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

There is one story in particularly that I’d like to leave you with today - a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King’s birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.

There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother’s problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn’t. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they’re supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who’s been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he’s there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, "I am here because of Ashley."

"I’m here because of Ashley." By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

while you’re sitting there and i here...

two movies definitely worth renting/seeing:

1) the darjeeling limited:

directed by wes anderson (the royal tenebaums, the life aquatic with steve zissou) this seriocomedy stars owen wilson, adrien brody and jason schwartzman. the story is about the estranged whitman brothers — francis (wilson), peter (brody) and jack (schwartzman) — who take a long train trip across india together in an attempt at reconciliation. along the way, they have quirky adventures as they try to come to terms with their differences, and francis wants them to visit their mom (anjelica huston), a nun in a himalayan convent. ps: soundtrack is pretty on point as well.

a fav quote: "i wonder if the three of us would've been friends in real life. not as brothers, but as people."

2) juno:

when a teenage girl is faced with an unexpected pregnancy, she enlists the aid of her best friend in finding the unborn child a suitable home in this coming-of-age comedy drama from thank you for smoking (great flick too!)director jason reitman. juno (ellen page) may seem wise beyond her years, but after sleeping with classmate bleeker (michael cera), the pregnant teen quickly realizes how little she really knows about life. thankfully, juno has been blessed with parents (j.k. simmons and allison janney) who trust their daughter's judgment, and a best friend named leah (olivia thirlby), who's always willing to help out in a pinch. with a little help from leah, juno soon comes into contact with mark (jason bateman) and vanessa (jennifer garner) -- an affluent suburban couple who have been unable to conceive a child of their own. mark and vanessa seem like they would make great parents, and are eager to adopt juno's unborn child. now, as adolescent juno is faced with a series of very adult decisions, she will draw on the support of her family and friends in order to discover who she truly is, and discover that one bad choice can have a lifetime of consequences.

a fav quote: "look, in my opinion the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what-have-you. the right person is still going to think the sun shines out of your ass even when times are bad. that's the kind of person that's worth sticking with."

ps: i'm always down for good movie suggestions and since my days, right now, are spent in my living room with a glass of wine, my laptop, and TONS of applications which scream of life choices that are, not so secretly, freaking me out from moment to moment...suggest away.

what are you watching these days?


Thursday, February 28, 2008

an entourage marathon...

i love this show. love it. and i have a major crush on jeremy piven. don't hate...

soooooo, i was just going to post this link, as i am taking a quick break from the applications of jobs and schools, buuuuuuuut then i felt all chatty and ish.

first, check this link out. my girl allison sent it to me and it's just the best thing ever. and before you get your panties all bunched up at the title, let me say that if you know me, you already know.

in other news, i started a book club today! it has no name, but some ladies and i are each choosing a book and a month and for the next 6 months, we'll be reading each other's picks. at the end of the month we'll have a dinner and chit-chat about what we thought. i know, it probably sounds boring to you but i am SO excited.

(ps: i acutally stole the idea from watching the jane austen book club. good flick. check it:

and finally, while looking up grad schools with m.a.'s in counseling psychology (just a thought) i found this test, and having been a soc major, i luuuuuuuuuuv these. so if you have 10 min to blow off, check it out. i was a four. and it was pretty accurate. again, these are not the be all end all and some could be WAY off while others can be traits you haven't come into yet. either way, its always insightful if you allow it be...

at the end, make sure to write down what type you are. which ever type gets the highest number. you can read about it on the home page under "diagrams". then check out the next tab over "type desriptions".

ok, i gotta get back to it. hope you have a great day. it's 75 here...yessssssss!



Friday, February 15, 2008

bank fraud and break-in’s...

after spending most of this morning at work talking very sternly to the evil empire that is well fargo (insert vampire fang face), i FINALLY, got my bank fraud issue under some kind of control and pretty muh resolved. alas, while on the phone with the bank, i get a call from brinks home security asking me if i want to dispatch the police to my house because my alarm was going of.

wtf? shit. not again. oh geeze...

this is the 3rd time this has happened. while living in san fan, my house was empty and right after my uncle died last january, someone broke into the house first to scope out what they wanted to take and then a week later, came back ad broke back in, knowing no one was there, and cleaned up.

so after that we got an alarm system.

bleh. it's so…stripping. it can make you feel vulnerable and exposed to know that someone was in your home without your permission. and you don't know who. or if they'll try to come back. or if they're out there watching you and waiting.


our neighborhood is slowly being gentrified. its not that the quiet, old community of bear creek anymore. it's now a weird mesh of unfriendly and unspeaking characters mixed in with people like my grandparents that have lived here their whole lives. a community no more. where there was once woods, there is now a pop-up housing community. where the old barbershop used to be, there's a new fancy walking park. and as i look at the most ridiculously gaudy, pre-formed, monstrosity of a house where our old playground use to be, i see 70 year old mrs. oliver sitting on her front porch swinging outside a house that her father built some 100 years ago. even just 5 years ago, i could leave my keys in my car or even not lock my house doors at night without a care in the world...

but now it's security systems and window shatter alarms.

i really don't understand people sometimes and I am sadly beginning to question the goodness in humanity. don't worry, not all of humanity. but definitely some...

peace and blessings / love and light

"...that’s wonderful. now go out and love some more!"

that line is from one of the best freakin' movies eva: harold and maude. circa 1971. don't ask. just go rent it. another sweet piece of sass for the twisted lovers out there: pumpkin. again, don't ask. just go rent it.

anyhoo, today is valentines day! at first i thought that having joined the ranks of the broken-hearted (wait, i feel like i've joined a club...where's my complimentary 100 greatest country breakup songs cd dammit??), i should be all "woe is me...booo on valentines...", and for a minute, i pondered...but eh, no. i'm a lover. and one thing you should def know this about me...all i want to DO is spread the love!

look, we all know it can, and often does, suck to not have a "special someone" during the cash-cow, "dolla dolla bill yo!", season of chocolates and flowers (and chocolate covered flowers?), especially if you've had a pretty amazingly special someone there in the past, BUT, valentines is a day to celebrate ALL things LOVEly. so just because i won't be celebratin' cheesy romantic love goodness with anyone in particular, i WILL be celebratin' my ooey-gooey "come and give me a big hug right now" love sweetness for you! please and thank you.


i hope you have a day filled with all things beautiful! i am so thankful for all of the wonderful people that reside in my heart and i am extra thankful for being a part of your life in whatever form that relationship takes...

peace and blessings / love and light

ps: here are a few of my favorite poems about that little thing

i carry your heart by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart) i am never without it(anywhere i go, you go my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling

i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

song of the open road by walk whitman

...camerado, I give you my hand!

i give you my love more precious than money,

i give you myself before preaching or law;

will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?

shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

love sonnet XVII by pablo neruda

i love you with knowing how, or when, or from where

i love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride

so i love you because i know no other way

than this: where i does not exist, nor you

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand

so close that your eyes close as i fall asleep.

khalil gibran on love

when love beckons to you, follow him,
though his ways are hard and steep.
and when his wings enfold you yield to him,
though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
and when he speaks to you believe in him,
though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

for even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
he threshes you to make you naked.
he sifts you to free you from your husks.
he grinds you to whiteness.
he kneads you until you are pliant;
and then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

all these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of life's heart.

but if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
for love is sufficient unto love.

when you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "i am in the heart of God."
nd think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
but if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
to melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
to know the pain of too much tenderness.
to be wounded by your own understanding of love;
and to bleed willingly and joyfully.
to wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
to rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
to return home at eventide with gratitude;
and then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.