Monday, February 25, 2013

 Trey's Days No. 24

     "You sell your expertise, it's a limited repertoire; you sell your ignorance it's an unlimited repertoire. He was selling his ignorance and his desire to know about a subject and his journey from not knowing to knowing was his work."  This is Richard Saul Wurman talking about Charles Eames, . There's something inspiring about that.  
 Henri Nouwen says, "It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without public affirmation. We must have strong self-confidence combined with deep humility."  Pursuing the desire to know the truth about the world takes courage.  And yes, it takes humility.  The combination of strong self-confidence and humility is the armor that can withstand the nay saying of the world.  When no one else believes that an endeavor is worthwhile, one has to continue to believe in the project of one's quest anyway.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Trey's Days No. 23

Connection is why we're here, why I'm here.  And connection requires vulnerability.  And vulnerability requires courage.  Brene Brown has something to teach me, maybe all of us, about this whole connection, vulnerability courage thing.

It was news to me that the word "courage" comes from the Latin word for heart.  When "courage" first came into the English language, it meant "to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart."  Do I do that?  No.

Connection is my problem.  All my life I have felt like I was outside looking in, that everyone else knew something I didn't know, that they all knew each other and I was the new kid, the outsider.  Somehow when I was growing up, I got the message from my parents and grandparents that who I really was, maybe because I'm gay, I don't know, was something that I had to hide.  I had to pretend to be what you wanted me to be, and somehow you always knew that wasn't who I really was.  Hence, a disconnect.

Dr. Brown in her "TED Talk" on vulnerability tells us that connection is why we're here, that connection requires vulnerability, and vulnerability is all about being who we really are, no matter what.  I know I need connection, I know I crave it.  There's a clue here on how to get it.  How do we feel truly connected, how do we allow ourselves to be nurtured by those connections?  It starts with having the courage to tell the story of who we are with our whole hearts.  Can I do that?  I think I'm going to try!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Trey's Days No. 22
Southern Progressive Takes on the Old South- A True Story.

Mississippi Southern Belle: I'm sorry, but I don't feel that this [the Obama] administration has done all that much for the middle class at all. Speaking from experience as middle class single Mom working two jobs.......

    • Belle 2: I know how you feel, Belle.

    • Southern Progressive: When Obama took office we were losing 800K jobs a month; how quickly we forget how bad it was in January of 2009, and the Rep. controlled House has refused to pass the President's job bill and the veteran's jobs bill, and then they have the audacity to complain about the recovery not being fast enough. Seriously!

    • Beau: [rides to the rescue] Another misguided soul you are, Progressive!!

    • Belle 2: When we work two jobs, all the current admin thinks about is how they can get their hands on the income we make at our second job!

    • Progressive: Isn't it ironic that the very states that benefit the most per capita from federal spending on things like roads, Pell grants, verteran's benefits, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, etc. are most likely to vote for candidates who TALK about cutting the federal budget? On the flip side, states with the highest per capita personal income and education levels are more likely to vote to use federal tax dollars to help those poor states. Meanwhile, the reality is Republican presidents throughout the 20th century have presided over the biggest deficits, BOTH stock market crashes, 1929 and 2008, and only TALK about reducing the size of government. The only balanced federal budgets in our lifetimes were under President Clinton! Rural voters in America have been duped by the GOP. Fortunately, they are a minority!

    • Belle 1: Considering the largest deficit in the history of the US is being overseen by a democrat president I will have to disagree

    • Progressive: When Pres. Obama took office, the economy was in free fall. It was scarey. Remember? The policies of President Obama are putting us back on a track that we were on in 2000, when we had budget surpluses and were paying down the debt. Remember? Bush II decided to put both wars and tax cuts on the credit card, adding hugely to the debt and crashing the economy. This isn't THAT difficult. Our problem is not Democratic policies. It's wars that were not paid for. Never in our history until Bush II did we simultaneously wage two wars and cut taxes. Arithmetic. It can't be sustained. What do Mississippi Republicans think caused the crash of 2008? It was eight years of Republican policies. For six years the Republicans controlled the White House and both Houses of Congress. To us outside it looks so obvious. It's hard to imagine how the GOP continues to convince a certain type of voter that somehow all that mess didn't happen. And don't even get me started on the war in Iraq. What a huge mistake!! The main beneficiary of that war is Iran!

    • Belle 2:...that's the mentality I was talking about last night....if these rich liberal states actually took a look at their "poor" they'd be voting GOP, too! As it stands, they prefer to let someone else do the dirty work....shameless!

    • Progressive: It's telling that you would put the word poor in quotation marks. And yes, Miss Beau, there are roles for the private sector, the cities and counties and the states, in fighting poverty. But that does not answer the fact that states like New Mexico, North Dakota, Maine, Arkansas and others where the per capita income is well below the national average benefit the most from federal spending, and it is ignorant at best and perhaps cruel to suggest that the federal government should ignore the abject poverty and disease that is rife in these poor states.

    • Belle 1: I'm "poor" by what the gov defines as living below the poverty level but I don't qualify for any gov assistance. These very "poor" drive better cars, get their hair and nails done every week, have nicer clothes and cell phone plans...

    • Belle 2: Then people say well they can't afford to go to school and get an education. So they can find a good paying job. They cut the pell grants. I have an idea, get a student loan like I did and get a job and pay for your education so you don't have to be in the governments hand out list.

    • Belle 1: Bush didn't leave us with a 16 trillion dollar deficit. Obama has done that. Yea unemployment is down to 8 percent. Why, because people have exhausted their benefits and are no longer on the "unemployed" list. They still don't have jobs so they are still unemployed!!! Lets see what the numbers are after the harvest season is over and those jobs are gone.

    • Belle 2: They only talk about cutting Medicare and all the fraud that goes on there. Have you ever spent any time at a hospital and seen the fraud that is committed by people with Medicaid? Not everybody is guilty and some people really do deserve that service You would not believe what people in the medical field see every single day. It will literally make you sick. And yes, I have every right to complain because I am a tax paying citizen.

    • Belle 1: [striking a conciliatory note] For the record I am a Republican, but not conservative on all issues. I am pro choice, have many gay friends that I love dearly and respect them for who they are as people and really don't care who they love. I'm a Christian, but have many friends from all religious beliefs and don't think they are going to hell because they don't believe as I do. I'm a grandaughter of veterans, one of which died in WWII defending our very freedoms we fight about. I'm proud to be an American. I think prayer and corporal punishment should be put back in schools. And leave my guns alone!

    • Belle 2: Heck yeah!!

    • Belle 2: And you know...Medicaid is the gateway welfare...get on it and almost automatically are guaranteed all other benefits! And I'm poor, too, but I'm brazen enough to work for something!

    • Belle 2: need to look at Mississippi closer....we have balanced our budgets every year we've had GOP governors ....but the 4 years we mistakenly voted in Muscgrove...he nearly killed us!

    • Progressive: Ah Mississippi, beautiful Mississippi. I remember riding down from Memphis to Hattiesburg regularly as a child, being waited on hand and foot by my grandmother's maid, who spent twelve hours a day, six days a week, keeping my grandmother's house while she raised three children of her own. I remember in Memphis when the sanitation workers went on strike and MLK came to negotiate with the city for higher wages and better working conditions, and my father told me on the night MLK was assassinated , he's was a trouble maker, and now there's gonna be a lot 'a trouble. I remember. The legacy lives in me. But fortunately for me, God made me a member of one of those minority groups you have heard about, and got me out into the world so I could learn how it is that the legacy that is the history of Mississippi slowly gets corrected. You know there's a secession movement in the country that was started somewhere in Yankee land. They're for the secession of the deep south and their slogan is "Better Off Without Them." I don't feel that way, and still treasure my Southern Heritage, but have learned to see it a little differently.

    • Belle 1: [being diplomatic] The last time I checked Arkansas is also in the south. Thank goodness we live in a free country where we are allowed to have different opinions.

    • Belle2 : The north is more than welcome to seceed, then we can punish them they way they've punished MS since 1865 because we seceeded first. It's the biggest part of our problem...we're STILL being punished...and when they do...I hope they take the lazy bums they created, because they're killing the rest of us who work for a living!!! BTW...there's also a movement to make work at will states illegal because the mindless unions can't compete with us...true story! As for the maid...that was her choice to work for your mother. CHOICE! Liberals like to confuse that with the word "mandatory" when it suits them.

    • Progressive: I beg all 'a y'all's pardons for expressing views you may not be accustomed to hearing. Living as I do in Arkansas, I'm used to being surrounded by southern progressives whose views differ dramatically from those which are dominant in Mississippi. I heard a story on NPR (that's National Public Radio) about a Democratic organizer in Meridian and bless his little heart, he said he didn't talk politics much with his friends! True story! I suspect that from here any further political discussion gets personal for y'all, maybe a little energized, so, again with my apologies for rufflin' y'all's bob white feathers, I wish you all the best.

    • Belle 1: [calls for a truce] To me it's called a difference of opinion. Which we are all allowed to have. Peace man!

    • Belle 2: [fighting to the bitter end] Its not your opinions that ruffle my feathers, its your attitude that says you're right and we're wrong. The liberal smugness that says you're smarter than us....tell me Mississippi "progressives " throw almost TWICE as much money per student in Oktibbeha County as they do Webster County schools, yet Webster county schools are high performing and Oktibbeha has been taken over by the state....oh yeah, 99% of students are free lunch...."poor". That's what ruffles my feathers.

    • Progressive: [exhausted] Peace!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trey's Days No. 21


    Remembering the page numbers as an exercise, no book mark
37, 57, 78,
    The "Memory of Old Jack" flashing back and forth, 1888, today, 1892, today, the tobacco field
the barber shop, the old house with the new bride, standing on the porch then, standing on the porch now
     "He was like on old silver back ape, transferring his anxiety onto the women he dominated, enjoyed, sired"
Insulted, knowing it's true, made a stink about it, realized it was true, remembered how true it was.
     Told old Ed about it, who didn't know what a silver back ape was, and told him about "The Memory of Old Jack" and about the work thing, and about the times that excellence had given way to indolence, and he told a story about teaching and anxiety and change and finding a place; much good crying is done there.
     This is a time for late pregnancy, for fecundity, for the moment before Isaac's rain, a time before, a time between, after the silver back has gone his miserable way, a time after baking, a time after the Handel and the Bach, a time before something unknown; Lord knows, always, the Lord knows, but he ain't tellin'.
     The little red stuffed dinosaur reminds, the feed sack cookie jar reminds, Old Jack reminds, Wendell Berry reminds, old Ed reminds, that remembering, it is not too late.
      In their unqualified love, in their obedience, in their rapt attention, in the sweet smell of tender memory, Hope makes her silent presence known, and she hovers like an angel, like a mother over a crib, like a cloud of expectant energy, like a hurricane a day and a half away, coming but yet a clear sky, patient, imminent, yet unknown, expected.  Believe my child.  Soon enough you will know.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trey's Days No. 20

Eleanor, Ella, Moses, Momma, Daddy, Silence

Faithful, strong, fearful, loving
In her eyes love and fear
Black and tan, perfect marks
"That's a beautiful dog" she held her head as if she knew
Ten years on she died quickly, panicked, not wanting to go


Quick, strong, itchy, striving
In her eyes love and patience
perfect black, shiny, mixed marks
"What kind of dog is that?" she holds her head high, knows it doesn't matter
Going strong, surviving what she has to survive, takes her medicine with peanut butter


Heaven sent, came at Christmas time
In his eyes pure love, ever pleasing, dumb faith, the sweetie
Chocolate and cinnamon, perfect marks, otter tail
"That's a beautiful dog" he dances with glee, knowing it is true and he is too
The breath of life, sent as he was by angels to cheer a lonely man


Faithful, strong, fearful, tired, loving to the last
In her eyes love and sadness, joy and silliness, cheering against all odds
"She was a beauty" she never knew it, settled too early, she was a true beauty in the old way
Sixty two years, died hard, twenty-three days struggling against the angel of death, went in a bath of blood
Love softly singing, sweet smelling, gently guiding toward home


Fierce, fearful, intense, self absorbed
In his eyes the exactitude of one who punishes details
Short but ponderous, loving but broken
"That son-of-a-bitch" he came to be known to the one he left holding the bag
Went out with a bang
Wake of confusion, cacophony of pain, mystery legacy


Faithful, eternal, pure love, intense passion, giving, peaceful
In the space, strength, sadness, joy, silliness, cheering against all odds
Perfect, beautiful, knowing, true, it holds itself in stillness, imperturbable
Softly singing, sweet smelling, gently guiding, home

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trey's Days No. 19


There is a place unknown I have no doubt made for us with love sown all about
They go there those who leave us to wait on sofas woven grievous
Whether by sudden bang or quiet whimper their exit all the same love erects it
Makes it perfect through solace and forgiveness with salving balm to erase the mess
And guided there by smell and memory we go through hell until eternity
Catches up with us and leads us in as shepherds crooks o'er darkness win
We find them then as they were before no wound without nor pain within
Shining babies glowing mothers tenders fathers all the others
Who went before and left us we thought through a door with darkness fraught
Only to discover they were right beside us still like tender lovers just across the sill
Through that window we called death a soft warm bed of happy rest
And there we stay with them forever and know that then nothing can sever
Us from those we love

Friday, March 23, 2012

Trey's Days No. 18

"Little Ashes" is a tale of two men of Spain, Frederico Garcia Lorca and Salvidor Dali, once lovers. Dali goes to Paris to join Picasso, to marry a woman, to become famous and to love money and America. Lorca stays in Madrid and joins the Revolution, plays the piano, drinks with men and women, dances the new dances and smokes, writes revolutionary treatises and gets shot in the head by fascist thugs. Lying in a field, his chin quivering, a little white blossom wobbles in the wind as the blood of genius soaks the earth. Fascism is like that.

Swimming in the moonlight, drops of water dripping off their fingers glow like stars; they kiss. Lovers in a land where love between men is forbidden, they dare, beg forgiveness, fight themselves, love again, run away. Forbidden love is like that. Lying on pillows, reciting poetry, wearing turbans, their forbidden love makes the dormitory gay. My heart hurts.

Stalking Lorca, Dali finds himself. Loving Dali, Lorca scares Dali and he runs off to Paris. Lorca is left to fight Franco all by himself. Loving Lorca, his girlfriend knows. All Spain knows. The bloody thuggish regime knows. The bulls in the ring know. The blood of babies in the streets knows. Love will not be silenced, not by guns, not by smothering thugs. Neither time nor death can kill it. Love is like that.

Lorca and Dali live, their love lives, their art, their poetry live. Their story is told and retold. Hear it? Tell it. Love is like that. My heart hurts. Arise and tell the story, oh you of blood, of poetry, of art and music, of drops of stars in the moonlight, swimming, dancing, glowing. Live on sweet Lorca, strange Dali, your men, your women, your guns, your blood, your swimming dancing glowing moonlight. Death cannot kill it; love is like that.