This Eddie Vedder soundtrack from Into the Wild just keeps growing on me (also have been listening to Juno constantly). I particularly like the songs Rise and Guaranteed. Lyrics to Guaranteed:

On bended knee is no way to be free
Lifting up an empty cup, I ask silently
All my destinations will accept the one that’s me
So I can breathe…

Circles they grow and they swallow people whole
Half their lives they say goodnight to wives they’ll never know
A mind full of questions, and a teacher in my soul
And so it goes…

Don’t come closer or I’ll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you…

Everyone I come across, in cages they bought
They think of me and my wandering, but I’m never what they thought
I’ve got my indignation, but I’m pure in all my thoughts
I’m alive…

Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere
Underneath my being is a road that disappeared
Late at night I hear the trees, they’re singing with the dead

Leave it to me as I find a way to be
Consider me a satellite, forever orbiting
I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me

Running for those fabulous countries

“George Orwell once said something about how childhood necessarily creates a false map of the world but it’s the only map we’ve got … and no matter how old we are, at the first sign of trouble, we take off running for those fabulous countries. It’s like that for me.”

Preface to The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan

Mountains beyond mountains

“The idea that some lives matter less than others is the root of all that’s wrong with the world.”
A closing quote in Mountains Beyond Mountains, which I finished this morning. The sentiment encapsulates Paul Farmer’s guiding philosophy (in my view). Tracy Kidder does a marvelous job portraying Farmer as a real man, full of contradictions and complexities. It would be easy to deify him, but Kidder resists that. Nevertheless, the book is inspiring and worth the read. I also love the Haitian adage from which the title is taken:
Beyond mountains there are mountains.

Our turn to dance

“I am breathless and frightened by the frailty of miracles, and full of the fact of our lives.” – Pam Houston.

That has always been one of my favorite quotations, and I thought about it a lot this past weekend. Gracie and I drove to Jamaica Plain to see Tyler and Lyle Crumley, and some other TPT friends, and we were listening to the (fabulous) CD our nursery school made. As Livingston Taylor segued from Twinkle Twinkle into “Our Turn to Dance” I felt the familiar ache in my heart, the sensation of how I need to be here RIGHT NOW, and how woefully BAD I am at that. The song talks about how it’s “our turn to dance,” and I blink back tears thinking about it is Grace’s turn to dance, right now … that’s all she is supposed to be doing: dancing, laughing, learning, being a child. How quickly these lighthearted years slip by. Already school feels more “real,” more serious, more structured. How fast fly the days. I was thinking about how this is LIFE, this moment, this day right here right now, with all of its joys and sorrows, its choices both complex and simple.
I must have been channeling Catherine Newman, AGAIN, because she remarks on a similar sentiment in her blog this week:

“And I’m remembering an email my friend Brian wrote me a couple of years ago, about his sons: “There WILL be a day when they don’t want to be carried up the stairs … But the idea that the last time will go unmarked and slip away without being cherished just made me so sad.”
I’m trying to hold this in mind when Ben wants me to put his socks on or carry him in from the car when he’s actually still awake or stay with him and Birdy while they fall asleep at night. I feel the familiar ripping-away impulse — the same impulse you might have if, say, a baby had been stapled to your bosom — and sometimes I act on it, whispering, “I’ll check on you guys in a few minutes,” and unwinding the arms that are boa-constrictored around my neck, loosening the very claws of love from the hem of my shirt, trotting out before the poor lonely bed-goers can make their emphatic case for my company. But sometimes I just lie there. Let there not be a last time, I think — a last time that slips away without being cherished.”