His Stillness – Sharon Olds

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His Stillness

The doctor said to my father, “You asked me
to tell you when nothing more could be done.
That’s what I’m telling you now.” My father
sat quite still, as he always did,
especially not moving his eyes. I had thought
he would rave if he understood he would die,
wave his arms and cry out. He sat up,
thin, and clean, in his clean gown,
like a holy man. The doctor said,
“There are things we can do which might give you time,
but we cannot cure you.” My father said,
“Thank you.” And he sat, motionless, alone,
with the dignity of a foreign leader.
I sat beside him. This was my father.
He had known he was mortal. I had feared they would have to
tie him down. I had not remembered
he had always held still and kept quiet to bear things,
the liquor a way to keep still. I had not
known him. My father had dignity. At the
end of his life his life began
to wake in me.
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Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the garbage out – Shel Silverstein

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SARAH CYNTHIA SYLVIA STOUT
by Shel SilversteinSarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout
Would not take the garbage out.
She’d wash the dishes and scrub the pans
Cook the yams and spice the hams,
And though her parents would scream and shout,
She simply would not take the garbage out.
And so it piled up to the ceiling:
Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas and rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the windows and blocked the door,
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peels,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans, and tangerines,
Crusts of black-burned buttered toast,
Grisly bits of beefy roast.
The garbage rolled on down the halls,
It raised the roof, it broke the walls,
I mean, greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Blobs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from old bologna,
Rubbery, blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk, and crusts of pie,
Rotting melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold French fries and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.
At last the garbage reached so high
That finally it touched the sky,
And none of her friends would come to play,
And all of her neighbors moved away;
And finally, Sarah Cynthia Stout
Said, “Okay, I’ll take the garbage out!”
But then, of course it was too late,
The garbage reached across the state,
From New York to the Golden Gate;
And there in the garbage she did hate
Poor Sarah met an awful fate
That I cannot right now relate
Because the hour is much too late
But children, remember Sarah Stout,
And always take the garbage out.
 

Bright Star Rock Ridge High School Production

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Imagine seeing one of the best High School Musical Theatre productions ever. Imagine is was a production of Bright Star by Rock Ridge High School in Auburn, VA. Also, imagine that the lead female performance was so remarkable you are still thinking about it more than a week later.

Well, all this happened at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, NE.

And like life, theatre is fleeting. Just glad I had the chance to see this.

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https://www.rockridgeperformingarts.org/

http://www.playbill.com/article/high-school-productions-of-bright-star-xanadu-she-kills-monsters-join-2019-international-thespian-festival-main-stage-performance-roster

Landslide – Fleetwood Mac

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Landslide by Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite songs.

The lyrics are simple with complex emotions attached.

The song asks, “Can I handle the seasons of my life? Mmm, I don’t know.”

It’s a question I continue to ask as love and loss continue to be a part of the experience.

Landslide
I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm
Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too
Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too
I’m gettin’ older, too
Ah, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down
Songwriters: Stevie Nicks
Landslide lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies

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Meryl Streep’s performance as Mary Louise Wright on the second season of HBO’s series Big Little Lies is going to win her an Emmy.

It is the kind of performance that is so compelling and memorable you have to watch it again. What she accomplishes in her scenes is truly remarkable. Only one of the (if not the) finest actors on the planet can pull off.

There are already memes created based on her character and social media is predicting her emmy win.

And this is only after 2 episodes.

Be sure to check it out.

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https://mashable.com/article/meryl-streep-big-little-lies-scream-meme/

Rachel Held Evans

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Credit to the New York Times for bringing my attention to Rachel Held Evans. Her story is an inspiring and tragic one.

The NYTimes Daily podcast had a featured episode on June 3rd, 2019.

To listen to it is inspiring, thought-provoking, and quite moving. It compelled me enough to want to write a blog post about her.

From Wikipedia:

Rachel Held Evans (née Rachel Grace Held; June 8, 1981 – May 4, 2019) was an American Christian columnist, blogger and author. Her book A Year of Biblical Womanhoodwas on The New York Times e-book non-fiction best-seller list[1] and Searching for Sunday made The New York Timespaperback nonfiction best-seller list.[2]

Evans was placed in a medically-induced coma in April 2019 following an allergic reaction to medication for an infection.[14][15] By May 2, “severe swelling of the brain” worsened her condition, and she died on May 4.[16][17]

Here is the link to the podcast from the NYTimes:

In a brief but prolific career, a young writer asked whether evangelical Christianity could change. In doing so, she changed it.

Here is An Evening with Rachel Held Evans

She made the most of her life. She questioned. She has left a legacy.

https://rachelheldevans.com/