it’s halftime, america.

i am not sure if you are watching the super bowl tonight, but i am…or i should say i am watching the commercials and forwarding through the game. after halftime, however, we were caught up with realtime and ready for the second half. but i am not sure i was altogether ready for the next commercial i saw.
one that wasn’t super entertaining, funny, flashy.
but one that contained a message for all to hear.
one that spoke louder than anything i have heard in awhile.
one that spoke to quite a wide audience, using football lingo, and rallied the team for the next half.

are you ready for the second half, america?
are you ready to make a comeback?
are you ready to focus on the future, what will come?

all that matters now is what’s ahead, how do we come from behind, how do we come together, and how do we win…


a trio of sorts…

It has been my practice in the past few years to watch all/most of the nominees for best picture in the time between the golden globes and the oscars (or those I have yet to see already in the theaters).
I have seen a trio of movies as of late…all which I have enjoyed, all which have left an impression on me.

We saw moneyball in theaters when it came out last year.
A story of saving one’s career/one’s life,
thinking outside the box,
trying something new…and placing high stakes on this new way,
realizing that winning isn’t everything…or is worth fighting for in some places, not all,
and it is worth the fight.
I guess you just have to be sure what you’re fighting for is worth it for you…in the end, even if you don’t succeed.

We saw the ides of march last month after it was released on dvd. A film which began really slow, but you knew it would catch up fast. A particularly poignant film released during an election year, preceding primary upon primary.
A film about real life…a career politician’s real life,
one’s career, one’s friendships, one’s working relationships,
trust…with the question of can you wholeheartedly trust someone,
the demands of the job…and the sacrifices,
what would you do if you had a chance to do the right thing (what is even the right thing in a world so twisted and tangled?)?,
and will you find your way out…or keep this life alive?

Just last night we saw the descendants on demand, a film highly touted in the awards shows, but not given much press in theaters. I would have to say that it is my favorite, thus far…although I have liked all of the films nominated. And it was the hardest to watch.
A film about life,
family and those dynamics,
what we choose to see versus reality,
how we can change that reality,
little girl(s) lost…with the hope of being found,
decisions…hard decisions, life decisions, personal decisions, business decisions, how individual decisions affect the whole,
downfall of a relationship…with the hope of working to make it better coming too late,
new life,
raw emotions of anger, hurt, and ultimately forgiveness,
starting over…yet not completely.

the law.

i have kept quiet on alabama’s immigration law. until now.
i have tried not to speak out against it since i don’t have an alternative solution.
in fact, i have no idea what an appropriate solution should be. i really don’t.
but i don’t think it is alabama’s immigration law, touted as the strictest in the country.

the more i hear about it’s impact on just one ethnic group here in alabama, it becomes even more clear that we are going about this all wrong.
i am not even sure of the motivation.
fear. anger. intimidation. security. the unknown. people we don’t know. languages with which we’re unfamiliar. cultures/religions of which we are ignorant.
but assumptions are made. laws are drawn up. and the people are left to deal with such.

as i think about all of this, i cannot help but think more about those really affected by the law. what about them?
and at some time were we not all them? i sure wasn’t indigenous to the place i now call home. few of us were.
and we all came to america for a better life, a better way of living, to enjoy freedom we couldn’t get in our native physical location. and i do believe that is why so many still come today.

but what about how we treat the other?
the assumptions…the bullying…the ostracizing…the causing of fear…the questioning…the stares.
and what about the results?
parents taking their kids out of school, running in fear, no longer getting healthcare, mysteriously leaving their job. all in an effort to protect themselves and those they love…because of our fear.

aren’t we “called” to love our neighbor…as ourself?
aren’t we “called” to be our brother’s keeper?
aren’t we “called” to look after the fatherless, the widows, the orphans…those in need?
aren’t we “called” to be different?
aren’t we “called”…


i was having a conversation with one of my cousins over dinner recently and somehow we started talking about being settled [in a particular physical location, or with your present state in general]. i seem to recall her sharing about how long it took her moving back to alabama [from california], back to where she grew up, back to her roots before she felt settled. and i seem to recall the last time i talked to her this same topic came up.

these thoughts began to circulate in my brain about the notion of being settled. and i definitely don’t think i’m there.
but why not?
it seems like i should be settled, settled in this place i have returned to now 365+ days ago, settled in such familiar surroundings, settled in my roots.
but i am not…and i guess it just takes time.

it takes time to make home here.
it takes time to make adjustments–huge ones–to the life and surroundings you have known for the past 5 years.
it takes time to settle your physical being, your emotions, your mental state, and your spirit.

being settled isn’t necessarily about a physical location, although that obviously weighs in…but it’s more about the condition of the person who is in process of settling.
and i am not sure why it is so hard…
or why it has been so difficult for me here…
or even how long it should take someone to adjust and to settle.

i know there have been changes…and pretty big ones. and maybe that is why.
but i am ready to feel a little more like home,
a little more at home,
a little more comfortable with my present circumstances.
yet with these said big changes, i have failed to do what is necessary to settle. i have often felt tossed about, just hanging on. and it seems so different–so vastly different–from making california my home six years ago…but then i had no choice, nothing was familiar.
and maybe i just don’t remember what it was like that first year…
maybe i am just not giving myself enough time and patience to settle.

why is it…

why is it that the negative seems to outweighs the positive?
why is it that the one critical comment [albeit however constructive] tends to overshadow the multiple encouraging ones?
why is it that we [i] focus on what is wrong, rather than spend time praising what is right?
why is it that we [i] get so caught up in one [my]self that we [i] fail to see the others around us [me]?

these are the kinds of questions i have been asking myself lately. rhetorical…not ones i really expect to answer [but secretly wish i could].
ones that have shifted my perspective somewhat.
ones that cause me to focus on what is most important,
to strive to control what only i can,
to let go of what i cannot,
to not hash out and re-hash the details,
to see the trees in the midst of the forest,
to focus on the positive,
to believe in myself,
to display this [new]found confidence,
and to be present in the moment.

i’m still trying…
trying not to ask the why’s as much,
or maybe to refrain from bombarding myself with so many.