April 2011 Archives
I was recently in New York to give a poetry reading, thanks to a big fat writing prize I won. It was a pleasure and an honor, and I met some very wonderful people, but I admit one highlight of the trip was that I got to see The Book of Mormon (musical), and boy oh boy do I have a testimony!
I'm not going to post a review of it here, both because I might have lined up a gig that will pay me to do that (fingers crossed, at least--I'm trying to make that happen more and more, because as Chris Clarke points out, exposure kills writers), and because I think you should read Troy Williams's brilliant review.
For so many reasons, this was my best trip to NY ever. One of the main reasons I travel is to see people, and of course I like meeting up with my friends. But not everyone likes the same sort of touristy activities. I've also done a lot of traveling by myself and I admit to being someone who frankly enjoys it, even if many people don't. I can read a map pretty well, and I know how to amuse myself.
This trip was the perfect blend between doing stuff alone without worrying that it was boring someone else, and hanging out with people. Thanks to the magic that is Facebook, as soon as I posted "Holly is in Manhattan" as my status, I got notes and messages from people wanting to meet up. It was wonderful to hang out with friends I hadn't seen in years.
One thing I did that not everyone would want to do is walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. About a year ago I started researching a project that involves bridges, and now I love them. Growing up in Arizona, I figured I knew how bridges were built: you waited until the water dried up in the summer, and then you built whatever you wanted. But when I went to Europe at age 20 and saw bridges centuries old over rivers that never dried up, it really freaked me out. How did they do that without everyone drowning, I wondered? But I was too busy to bother to find out.
Watch this, watch this, watch this. It's by my friend Troy, and it gave me hope at a time when I find it frankly hard to come by. On top of which I laughed; I cried; it was better than Cats.
As Troy says:
Why is this worthwhile, for activists to engage faith communities? Imagine if other progressive groups in Utah were as effective in engaging the Church as the gays? What if Mormons were having Sunday school lessons on environmental stewardship? What if Mormon magazines shared stories about the economic reasons why Latinos migrate to our country illegally? What is the Church used their influence to speak out against war and imperialism with the same passion that they spoke out against gay marriage? Utah would be a very different state. Idaho and Arizona, which also have large Mormon populations, would also become very different states.
It may seem like an impossible goal, but why not empower and embolden those sympathetic voices within the Church to stand for justice as part of their religious convictions?
I have been suffering pretty severe anxiety all week, and it's the government's fault.
This morning I got up and did my standard morning routine of checking out the news. All week I've been hooked on Rachel Maddow's analysis of the seemingly inevitable government shutdown. This clip from last night's show had me trembling and nauseated before it was even over:
Then I read this op-ed by Paul Krugman. (I'm going to make sure I save enough of my free visits to the NYTimes now that they've created a paywall that I can still read everything Krugman writes.) And by the end of it I thought I would lose my breakfast.
I posted a link to Krugman's piece on FB, then posted this as my status:
Holly wonders how much worse it can get and fears the answer is "A LOT."
Yeah. I think things can get Very Bad Indeed.
And then I added a couple of comments:
I don't think there's actually such a thing as "rock bottom," at least not in any meaningful way. Unless you're being tortured by someone whose end goal is to kill you, things can always be more unendurably horrible than they already are.
that's the kind of happy person I've always been. FYI.
Anyone have anything good happen this week?
eta: OK, here's one good thing in my life: I just got a new shower head. It's shiny and free of calcium and supported by a nice high neck so my tall house guests can shower without ducking.
That's one good thing about me: at the same time I excel at envisioning worst-case scenarios, I'm also super good at milking very small pleasures for all they're worth.
And now I'm going to go drink some warm milk, which is about the only thing I'm able to consume right now.