year in review: 2017

january: resist everything that would destroy you: apathy, entropy, tyranny

february: your pain always has meaning; go to the fucking doctor

march: you do not need the right words or any words at all to be worthwhile; they will love you anyway

april: love and fury are indivisible

may: death isn’t interested in you nor, for the first time in your life, are you interested in her

june: this is how you breathe

july: yes, it is worth the extra work, time, and money to own AC

august: you will spend weeks longing for currents and snowmelt and the summer will pass before you can get a breath in edgewise

september: high collars and independence become you

october: you were not meant to live alone

november: that urge to diminish, to be less, is the antithesis of strength

december: nothing lasts forever and that fact will always be a blessing

 

what i have learned this year

rlb

12.15.17

Advertisements

Quarters

Paying in quarters makes it less painful. A step closer to actual bills than nickels and dimes. Heavier in the hand to remind me of what I’m giving up. The price of bread, milk, tea, dinner for three off the dollar menu at McDonald’s. It’s harder to spend quarters frivolously and easier to keep them clenched in my palm until the hash-marked edges leave dents along my lifeline that won’t fade for hours. I think I can still feel them days later. The ghost of change where it would be a gift to be able to think of anything except how it might be to afford to leave town and never come back.

I know a rich boy. This rich boy is older than me but he acts four years younger because his parents are a doctor and a hedge fund manager and when his hours are short at work he’s gleeful. He’s never counted quarters to figure whether he could afford to spend time outside with his friends in an overpriced coffee shop at the expense of bread.

His life’s goal is to make a million dollars. Mine is to pay my bills on time, own a greyhound named Tilda, and have a savings account with more than $5 in it.

Funnily enough I’m closer to achieving mine than he is. Guess which one of us is happier.

rlb 7.12.17

Evolution

Evolution is not an inevitable march forward into perfection; it is an unending, unyielding, messy red. Like death, he visits us all. Like death, he is not cruel.

The current iteration of our world, our bodies, ourselves is the best it will ever be! The great bias of history.

We forget we are the next in the line of progression to be bumped off eventually and maybe we are the failed branch in the family tree. It is not for us to know. It will be those digging up the impressions of our bones on rock our names and dreams forgotten who decide.

rlb 5.20.17

entitlement

The most brilliant woman to walk through the halls of my podunk women’s college was A– , a member of the Laguna Pueblo and Blackfeet tribes, if my memory serves. From the start she would proclaim this with the pride it deserved and from the start no fewer than half of us who heard it would look down on her as if she had taken from us something we should have had. The entitlement is strong among southern white girlchildren.

She was courage incarnate. Unafraid to attempt to expel nearly a dozen girls in one fell swoop for their racist parody script in Theater– they didn’t walk at graduation and their absence was marked by even the filthy rich donors, their sins made known through the almighty internet grapevine– while stubbornly double-majoring in English and Psychology and to top things off she had a baby her junior year, finished her degrees with a newborn on her hip.

“Grace” is too fragile a descriptor for this woman, let me tell you what.

Her family came together to bouey her. At least that’s how it appeared from the outside, from a distance, from my limited perspective hardly knowing her. They were on campus with hot food, with gifts, with affections. As guest speakers working to educate our sorry asses and as friends to those who were kind to their daughter. Even her boyfriend stayed at her side– I think in the end he married her. Oh how we lonely, unloved Others burned with envy, with jealousy, for what we thought we should have had. As if our wanting somehow warranted another’s deprivation. As if there should be a limit placed on the love in the world.

Last time I checked Facebook she was leaving Standing Rock– likely with her small human and family in tow. And to my classmates who sniffed in irritation every time we heard this woman proclaim her ancestry I have to ask, “What have we done since graduation?”

Anti-Intellectualism & Education Theory, pt. 2

Instead of staying up in the airy space of theoretical perspectives and academia while pondering the problem of U.S. students being failed by our Education system I’ve been trying to spend the last few years getting to the root of the problem instead. (Yes, I’ve been thinking about a problem longer than I’ve kept this blog. Shocking, I know.)

The question I’ve come up with to address that root is this: Why is the United States so rabidly anti-intellectual?

Yeah, because that’s going to be a simple question to answer.

Continue reading “Anti-Intellectualism & Education Theory, pt. 2”

The Evening After Politicians Make Terrible Decisions

Yes, I know, you are scared. Yes, I know, you are grieving. Yes, I know, you are weary, you are sick, you are dying, you are rage. You are. And so you will continue to be. But will you let them feast on the soft sweet meat of your belly while you lie prone helpless or shoot you in the back for sport while you run blind screaming impotent? Turn your eye toward your fear your anger your despair– from where has it come? Where is it going? Harness it. Ride it. Generations before you have faced down ranks on the back of the same beast. This is your inheritance.

5.4.17 rlb