Tag Archives: hope

In Which We Hope

Hope is a funny thing, to which any baseball fan (or sports fan in general) can attest. I have been a life long fan of the Atlanta Braves, and was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 1990’s when the Braves began a 14 year span where they won the National League Eastern Division title every year. We (because as a fan, yes I am part of the team) only won one World Series, and in the years we didn’t win the World Series we always hoped we would win the next year. You see, we knew we would be back in the Series next year. Every year.

But that wasn’t hope, not really. You see, hope is a matter of degree – it is one thing to hope to win the World Series, and quite another to hope your team will even make to the Series to begin with.

And it’s yet another level of hope that your team will make the playoffs, have a winning season, or even manage not to end in last place.

Hope is about degrees. What I hope for is not what you hope for. As I sit here watching one of the worst seasons the Braves have had during my lifetime, you most likely hope for something else. Perhaps you hope for tickets to a Broadway show. I hope that in a year or two we’ll be back on top. Such is our lot – to hope for happiness.

But hope is about degrees.  As I type this, I’m sitting on my couch and watching as the Braves play a game against one of the best teams in the league; it’s Memorial Day.

Think about that for a moment: today is Memorial Day, and I am hoping my Braves can pull off a win against the Giants.

On Memorial Day.

Hope is about degrees, and while I sit here hoping that the Braves will win, I can’t help but be reminded that men and women have given their lives to protect our country. To protect other countries. To protect life. These men and women fought. And what did they hope for? I cannot say for certain, but I would guess that as the shells fell and as the bullets flew these men and women who fought, these men and women who died, most likely just hoped to see a loved one again. They hoped that their fellow soldiers survived long enough for a medic to arrive. They hoped not only to survive but to win a desperate fight.

They hoped their sacrifices would not be forgotten.

I hope the Braves win today, and that’s okay. It’s okay because those men and women fought to be sure I could be free. They fought so you could free.

They fought for people from other counties that spoke other languages.

They fought so we could hope and enjoy the little things.

So yes, I hope that the Braves win, and I remember that my ability to hope for such a minor thing as a baseball game victory is owed to the brave men and women who came before. Thank you for your sacrifices that I might live a live free of tyranny and oppression.

 

 

Image courtesy Wikipedia

In Which Pageants Destroy Our Souls

keep-calm-and-end-sexism
Say it proudly

“Here she comes, Miss America!”

And the great news – she got a really great scholarship from the leading scholarship provider for women in the country! How awesome is that?!

I mean, it’s fantastic that there is an organization that provides $42,000,000 in educational scholarships to women every year! As John Oliver says, “it’s unbelievable!”

I wish I were a little more like John Oliver – because it was so unbelievable that he didn’t believe a word of it, and you shouldn’t either. I didn’t know about the Miss America scholarships before I watched this video, and I cannot recommend strongly enough that you watch it too. You will laugh from the humor and the absurdity that he uncovers in this extremely insightful video. 

I have known some amazing and strong women in life. I have known some incredibly intelligent women as well.

Women are not the enemy; women are not inferior to men; women are not sex objects. In keeping with the “scary” theme of October, the mentality that women are are these things should really give you a fright. This is an entirely and completely asinine mentality.

Women are the equal of men. They deserve to be treated by society in a manner fitting to who they are. I’m not saying anything earth-shattering: we all know this to be true. The United States is can be a great place to live, but we often are blinded by this. We often think that we are perfect because our society has been successful, and that there is no way we could possibly improve. This is a frightening misconception; it’s a nightmare from which we need to awaken. The United States is not a utopia.

We won’t erase sexism overnight, just as we won’t erase racism, or religious persecution overnight. What we can do, however, is to commit to improving ourselves, and by extension we can improve our culture. This can be done. As long as you keep placing one foot in front of the other, and as long as you continue the walk down this path. We should hope (and expect) to leave our children and grandchildren a more beautiful culture. 

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear your experiences, both positive and negative. Let’s talk about the issues we face, for by facing them we can overcome them.

 

 

In Which a Shadow is the Future

IMGP0174As summer draws to a close, and autumn hides just below the horizon, I am reflective. This has been an interesting summer.

  • I’ve reconnected with a long lost friend, though she lives hours and hours away;
  • I’ve lost 12 pounds and my issues sleeping are mostly behind me as a result;
  • Riley has played, like she does;
  • I’ve taken my first real vacation in over 2 years – two weeks in Las Vegas and San Diego;
  • I’ve watched as the Braves gave up the season to the Nationals;
  • I’ve enjoyed the company of good friends;
  • I’ve re-read through my writing, and find myself wanting to write more;
  • And I’ve avoided the heat like the plague, which is a way of life in the heart of Texas.

We continue to live with the idea that the ending of the summer is the beginning of of the end, with rebirth in the spring waiting as the next great adventure. I disagree.

The summer is a time of life, that is true, but it is also a time of heat. It is a time of being a recluse, at least for me. This happens every year for me – once the heat becomes unbearable, I draw the curtains, curl up on the couch, read, and withdraw into myself. This is as true this year as any – it’s as true as the changing of the seasons as they are one and the same for me.

My Mustang is named Summer’s Shadow. She told me this name in confidence but I feel it is acceptable to share with you as well. She chose this name for herself, as a way to remind herself, and me by extension, that there is always something great to come. A shadow is not just a shadow – it can be the future. The shadow can be relief- when we can emerge from our caves after the heat has passed. The shadow can be the future – when we awaken and watch the leaves change colors.

The shadow is the future, welcoming.

Riley’s Innocence (And Our Own)

Me: Excuse me Riley, I need to get something from the cabinet
Riley: ?
<Riley moves, I open cabinet door, Riley looks in>
Riley: …it … opens…
Me: Cabinets do that.
Riley: <in her best George Takei impersonantion> oh my!

In many ways, Riley’s innocence is something we all share, and all too often it is lost too early. 

Spring 2000. Y2K had come and gone with a whimper (where was the chaos I was promised?).  My father had passed away the previous fall (miss you Dad!). And I had just returned to college after a nearly 4 year hiatus.

Continue reading Riley’s Innocence (And Our Own)