whirlwind trappings

Yes, I am still in a whirlwind, but I am embracing the crazy ride I’m on. I can already tell you that my 2011 is a wild, wild wave.  I am currently doing a lot of looking in, doing a lot of personal writing. I can’t say how long the void of posts will last; I can tell you that this introspective writing is so good for me right now.

As I tend to do in blog-lulls, I offer some other more interesting places to check out on the web for now.  This round-up includes so many things that are feeding my soul.

1. Thao & Mirah- Went to their concert. Fell in love.  I love women voices.  I love people who sing head-to-toe. I love people who throw themselves away and jump straight into passion if only for a set.  While their concert was more aggressive and raw, this Benetar cover is an example of why they are unbelievable.  Please listen.

2. Sleeping at Last- Their song ‘Side by Side’ is so large in scope and so full of awe I am floored every time.  This is exactly the song and more so exactly the album I need right now.  I just happened to click on their link, downloaded their album, and now I swim in it. And thanks to Derek Webb’s Noise Trade, you can download the album for free and make a donation to the band. Find Sleeping at Last here and sink in.

3. Here’s two similar things I saw first on Best Little Bookshelf in Texas. I love books, the physicality of having a story passed right to me.  And I love these two projects that speak the corporal and visual love of a printed work. See a Lithuanian bookstore’s ad campaign here and enjoy a longer exploration at Corpus Librus. And thanks, BLBIT.

4. I will admit that I don’t read as much as I love books. This I blame on my love for the screen, the need for movies and tv to soothe, to inspire, to cut deep.
For cutting deep, I’ve turned to the primetime soap Grey’s Anatomy. The first few seasons which showed an ideal group friendship got me through some very cold, pretty lonely first nights in Armenia when what I was missing my own group of comrades. And yesterday I finally got to see the sixth season through the end. Yeah, I wept through those last two episodes.  But hitting more personally, a single-episode patient said very tenderly that “Loving someone is a choice you make everyday”. Common, I know, but a reminder that love’s most important decisions are made, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today.

Ongina, from Season One, who's status as HIV+ is a stepping stone to a performance that challenges us to love all of ourselves.

For inspiration, I have latched onto, stay with me, RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Reality TV. Drag Queens. Ru. A perfect storm, really. But, unlike most reality tv, this is a show that represents the pinnacle of its subject. Drag will not become more mainstream than this.  And as such, the ladies are giving it all on the stage.  There is no contract coming; there is no bigger stage.  And these girls are bringing it.  And as for inspiration, I watched the reunion show after Season 2.  I saw human beings who have dared to explore parts of themselves, their silliness, their anger, their feminine power, parts that much of the world would tell them to box up and bury.  I saw these people who dare to embrace all of themselves, letting all of their parts, even those they might fear, speak out in their lives.  These are people looking to love themselves and share that.
And let’s be real, I like the bitchy drama. (Thanks to ExtraHotGreat for turning me onto this show. Watch it all online here.)

And to soothe, I turn on Parks & Recreation. Before the new episodes aired in January, NPR’s Linda Holmes pleaded that people watch this show, that the writing was the best she’d ever seen, so tightly written for each character. Critically, it’s a easy win. Basically, I guffaw.  And guffawing feels really good.

5. Finally, I stay afloat when I write. I recently bought Alice LaPlante’s printed short-course The Making of a Story.  It’s challenging and caring.  I’m a couple chapters in and I know it’s a project I’m riding through the summer.

That’s quite enough for now. I promise to come back soon. But until then, keep up a good cultural diet with me. I’ll see you soon.

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