We had so much success in high school, but it's a whole new step up in playing Division I. Players are as good if not better than you. To adjust to that level of play was pretty tough. Defensively, I think I did it. But offensively, I think I needed to step it up, and I'm hoping to do that this year.
We know so many people and have extensive connections to families and friends in Louisiana and Mississippi, so this is the least we can do. People should also know that absolutely every penny that we raise at this event is going directly to the people and families that have been so greatly affected.
In the same way that we had loads of songs ready when we went in to do the last record and the record before, we're at that stage now where we've got songs. I think they will need a lot of work, we need to learn how to play them. We've learnt from mistakes on the last record in terms of the idea that it's most important for us to play the songs together and to have them as live as possible.
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians.When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer.Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
The notion that inspired play (even when audacious, offensive, or obscene) enhances rather than diminishes intellectual vigor and spiritual fulfillment, the notion that in the eyes of the gods the tight-lipped hero and the wet-cheeked victim are frequently inferior to the red-nosed clown, such notions are destined to be a hard sell to those who have E.M. Forster on their bedside table and a clump of dried narcissus up their ass.Not to worry. As long as words and ideas exist, there will be a few misfits who will cavort with them in a spirit of *approfondement*–if I may borrow that marvelous French word that translates roughly as ‘playing easily in the deep’–and in so doing they will occasionally bring to realization Kafka’s belief that ‘a novel should be an ax for the frozen seas around us’.
So...Now that we got that over with, let's get back to love at first sight, Evan said. Not infatuation at first sight...Love. With a capital L, he clarified.Love? Heeb asked, playfully pretending not to know the concept.Yeah. The real thing. The conviction that if you had this one woman, all other women would become irrelevant. You'd never again be unhappy And you'd give up anything to have her and keep her.You've experienced that?Only once. And I haven't stopped thinking about it ever since.Tell me more.Sometimes I think that I still chase women just to forget about her. Because I know I can never have her. But I can't seem to forget about her, no matter what girl I'm chasing...No one can possibly compare....Who is she?Delilah, Evan said wistfully.Delilah?, asked Heeb, intriguedDelilah Nakova, Evan replied, with a hint of awe and reverence in his voice.
After all, we were young. We were fourteen and fifteen, scornful of childhood, remote from the world of stern and ludicrous adults. We were bored, we were restless, we longed to be seized by any whim or passion and follow it to the farthest reaches of our natures. We wanted to live – to die – to burst into flame – to be transformed into angels or explosions. Only the mundane offended us, as if we secretly feared it was our destiny . By late afternoon our muscles ached, our eyelids grew heavy with obscure desires. And so we dreamed and did nothing, for what was there to do, played ping-pong and went to the beach, loafed in backyards, slept late into the morning – and always we craved adventures so extreme we could never imagine them. In the long dusks of summer we walked the suburban streets through scents of maple and cut grass, waiting for something to happen.
We have a duty tonight. Everybody, and guys this for you as well because I know you know women. You have a duty tonight. You only have to tell one other person what you heard. Just tell them what you heard, or ask them have you ever heard of this? If the answer is no, share what you learn tonight.That’s all. You don’t have to do anything else. You just have to tell somebody else. You have to take whatever stigma people think that is there. You have to take it. It’s not male or female. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with, here’s a disease you don’t know about and you need to know about it. It’s that simple. It’s not rocket science.[Whoopi Goldberg on endometriosis awareness from the 2009 Blossom Ball]
Now you see. We are all fugitives. We have always been fugitives from the void. Whatever comfort, whatever power we gain from outside of ourselves diminishes us -- because comfort and power, unless they are won from the void inside of us, are illusions that make us forget the emptyness that carries us. When we forget that, we believe we deserve comfort and power and so are capable of any evil. We deserve nothing but what we make of ourselves. We deserve nothing else. And when we understand that, then nothing is enough.