Monday, April 12, 2010


“How can I tell you everything that is in my heart. Impossible to begin. Enough. No. Begin” (Kalman, 3). I want to tell you everything that is in my heart. I want my life to tell everything that is in my heart. I mean, why wouldn’t I? There is a lot of stuff in there! Sometimes I just put a pencil to paper and write. I write everything that comes into my brain without judgment and what I find is always exciting! For example, I would like to be barefoot for the vast majority of my life. And I would like to sing much more often than I do. Oddly, in reading Maria Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty, I was able to explore what is in my own heart. I think this is true for a number of reasons—first, I think that Kalman, in being so liberated, so authentic, so genuine and so random, frees my mind to think about whatever it wants. Second, I think that images often times cause us to recall memories. My mind was pretty dang free while I was reading this book, and here is what I thought about:

“If you are ever bored or blue, stand on the street corner for half an hour. I have a specialty of love—old people who have difficulty walking. I walk behind them and quietly imitate their step. My heart goes out to them. Shall I follow for the rest of the day? Shall I offer help? Sit and read with them? Clean their houses and make them lunch?” (Kalman, 37-40)

True. I do enjoy watching people. I love people. I, too, love “old people.” My favorite, though, is older couples probably because they usually give me an opportunity to see my favorite thing in the world: eyes that are looking upon something or someone they love. Have you ever looked at the eyes of a mother looking at her child? Or a husband looking at his wife? I like watching my sister look at art. That’s life to me. “Knowing that, how could anyone want plastic surgery. But I am being naïve. And the unknown is so unknowable. And who is to judge? Really” (Kalman, 222). Exactly. Lately, I have been wondering: why would I want to look like, sound like, feel like anyone BUT myself? There is absolutely no reason for fear of authenticity; in fact, the only thing to fear is the paralyzing fear that might stop us from being authentic.

“Angels walking on the earth” (Kalman, 43). One of my favorite songs goes like this:

I have this theory that if we’re told we’re bad

Then that’s the only idea we’ll ever have

But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty

One day we will become what we see

Anyone can start a conflict

It’s harder yet to disregard it

I’d rather see the world from another angle

We are everyday angels

Be careful with me cause I’d like to stay that way

This has been my favorite song since I was thirteen. Jewel is my spiritual director, she just doesn’t know it. “We don’t start revolutions. But maybe we should” (Kalman, 262). I want to start a revolution. I think it should begin with a love march. Everyone can wear flowers in their hair and we can march up to D.C. singing as we go. I wouldn’t have anything brilliant to say when we got there, I would just sing and dance and love everyone I met. It would be like a party! A party to celebrate the power of love because I believe if we all learn to love each other justice will be served. I believe that justice is the practical expression of love, but specifically of agape love. Agape is the sort of love that I believe is a choice; it is the choice to see in every human being the deservingness of love, the divine, the light. I want to love every human being (whether or not I like them. I definitely don’t like everyone).

“Dancing!” (Kalman, 83)… is one of my favorite activities. You should see my roommate… and my friend, Joelle. They are out of control. I think we are free when we are together and that is why we can dance. We know we love each other, there is no question, we just dance.

“’I have enough.’ And that is utterly true. I happen to be alive. End of discussion. But I will go out and buy a hat” (Kalman, 197). What a fantastic idea. I do have enough. I mean, what do I really need? I have food and clothes and the necessities. And honestly, “We see trees. What more do we need?” (Kalman, 225) I need love, I need liberty, I need art, music and books. Lots of books. I am alive and I have enough to sustain me so that I may continue living, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually too. Most of all, I need my mind, my spirit and my heart and not only do I have all those things, they can never be taken. How fantastic is that?

I suppose what I am trying to say—or rather not say, but illustrate by means of words—is that I was able to digest Kalman’s work. It’s like how Bryson said that Thanksgiving “was the one time of year we ate in our house. All the other days of the year we just kind of put food in our mouths” (Bryson, 142). I’m not saying I just read without thinking or digesting, but sometimes there is so much to think about, so much to reflect on that I could read books twenty times and still have more to think about. I could think about a sentence at a time and have a million things to say because each word holds so much power that I don’t have a chance to allow everything to ignite within me all that it has the potential to ignite. Kalman, though, was different. I had the time to let the words not only digest but literally nourish me and be integrated into my own thoughts and actions in a way I hadn’t experienced in a long time. Kalman proves this: “As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” I am, at the moment at least, liberated.

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