dear sixteen-year-old me

i subscribe to a wicked awesome website called letters of note.  and while i could discuss letter-writing in an entire series of blog posts – which i won’t do, don’t worry – there was a post recently that really sparked my imagination.

apparently, in 2009 a book was publish – only in england, i gather – called dear me: a letter to my sixteen-year-old self in which some individuals of note wrote a letter to their sixteen-year-old self.  letters of note posted a small handful of these letters in this post.

ever since reading the post, i have been a bit preoccupied with the advice i would give my sixteen-year-old self.

so… here goes:

dear younger b,

get used to the adjectives “strange,” “weird,” and “odd.”  these will be used at you and against you until you are cold in the grave.  don’t worry too much about it – who wants to be “plain” or “normal”?  i know the answer to this: you do.  embrace the fact that you are not plain or normal.  it’s one of the best things about you.

you will make a few really good friends.  cherish them and do all that you can to keep them.  these friends will shape who you are and teach you things no one but they can teach.

that boy you’re going to kiss in ireland next summer?  keep in touch with him.  he turns out to be a real hottie!

trust your intuition.  it is right 99.9% of the time.  and when it’s wrong?  trust it anyway.  your life will be more interesting for it.

dance big.  sing big.  love big.  write big.  live big.  and fear nothing.

– older b

p.s. get used to taking meds.  they will serve you well.

now… go write yourself a letter!  (and if you do, post a link.  i’d love to read it.)

me by mosaic

i stole this from jody.

here are the rules:

a. type your answer to each of the questions below into flickr search.
b. using only the first page of results, pick an image.
c. copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

the magic questions:

1. what is your first name?
2. what is your favorite food?
3. what high school did you go to?
4. what is your favorite color?
5. who is your celebrity crush?
6. favorite drink?
7. dream vacation?
8. favorite dessert?
9. what you want to be when you grow up?
10. what do you love most in life?
11. one word to describe you.
12. your flickr name.

feeling the holy spirit up in here

the older i get the more my inner southern baptist pops up at peculiar and unexpected moments.  the first time it happened was in the front row at sting’s sacred love tour performance at the rosemont in illinois on february 27, 2004.  joy rose, one of sting’s “back-up” singers, was going to town on “whenever i say your name.”  she embodied the song – literally.  the lyrics, the music, the melody, the harmony… she was the vessel for some otherworldy talent, some holy inspiration.

standing at the foot of the stage, not three feet from joy, i had no control over my religious instinct.  the left hand went up to the sky; a lightning rod for divinity.  the eyes closed; no stimulous other than the music.  the head hung down and started to shake as if to say ‘no’ but meaning, ‘holy father, yes!  you are here!  i recognize your presence.’

i was mortified.  i had no idea where this old-school, tent-revival, vacation-bible-school baptist came from.  but there she was.  jung would have a heyday analyzing my behavior in the context of the collective unconscious.

this same peculiar behavior accompanied my discovery of this on youtube – slide to 3.21 only if you absolutely must: