Saturday, April 22, 2006



My Sister-In-Law's Encounter With Mary Travers in the Wal-Mart Women's Bathroom (Or How I Imagined It)

(Mary is over a sink, looking in the mirror. My sister-in-law is two sinks over. Mary speaks...)

Why can't I get that thing out of my eye? I don't even see it. What is it, an eyelash? Now my eye's all red. Lovely. I have to perform in two minutes and it will look like I just had a big cry. Or have pink-eye.

Let me just touch that up with a little eye-liner. Where did these bags come from? Good God. Honey, even legends get old. Maybe even older. It's not like God said, "You're a celebrity, so your eyes won't get puffy, they'll never get lined with crow's feet." I'm just like everyone else. Things go south, wrinkles come out of nowhere, hair turns gray. We're not twenty forever, babe.

Even a radical and a truth-teller has moments of vanity. Even a "face of the folk movement," a preacher of love and justice, sometimes looks in the mirror and stares for a second, and thinks, with some astonishment, "wow, I'm getting old." And then we get over it, and do what we gotta do. Right on, sister. See you out there.

(They high-five as she exits.)

Though it has been decades since Peter, Paul, and Mary were on the covers of major magazines or hailed as new folk heroes; though on that day they were no longer headlining music festivals but instead playing in a store infamous for selling mass-produced consumer goods, they sang their hearts out. In the middle of Wal-Mart, as parents shopped for school clothes and kids bought video games, they sang about universal truth and brotherly love and social justice. Shouting it out to whomever would listen. They started out as unknowns, playing in obscure after-hours coffee-houses; they'll end up where they began. Radicals.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006



Finally, after a month-long drought, we had a thunderous cloudburst last night. A friend of mine was complaining about the heavy downpour, so I had to remind her:

By March twenty-first,
Nature had quite a thirst.
Spring was slow-poking,
In need of a soaking.
The birds and the bees,
And the plants and the trees,
And worms in the ground,
And everything around,
And all the life you see,
Including you and me,
Need water to sustain -
Besides, I like the rain.
So now there's no reason
Not to start my favorite season.

Sunday, April 02, 2006



Maybe evolution is intelligently designed?

Saturday, April 01, 2006



There's a homeless guy on the median. I've seen him there before. He has a sign; I can't read it. His face is grizzled, but he has a lean, fit look. He has a full head of closely cropped brown hair. He looks 40. He could get a bit part in a movie as a Gulf War vet. He looks down, always, never up or sraight ahead. I give him a dollar and say "here you go, buddy." He says "God bless" almost but not quite looking at me.

Four blocks down is another homeless person. This is one of the richest counties in the nation, by the way. Her corner isn't as good. There are fewer cars that stop there, fewer opportunities for change. She is 60. She looks weather-beaten. Her hair is long and gray. I can't pull over in time. In the rear view mirror, she sits down. I wonder how long she's been there.

It's the end of the afternoon; the sun is low in the sky. I punch on the radio and Paul Simon sings: "Hello Darkness, my old friend..."



Voters -- or at least some Republicans - are concerned about illegal immigrants. Let's see. Our country was started by people who came in uninvited, spread disease to the natives, slaughtered them, enslaved them, wiped them off their land, killed off their wildlife, made a hundred treaties with them and violated nearly every one, and stuck them on reservations.

Meanwhile, Maria who takes out the trash in our building is a model citizen.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?