Squeezebox is a place for our Song Leaders, as well as congregants, to learn the songs we sing at St. Lydia’s.
by Sarah Kay
If I should have a daughter…instead of “Mom,” she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”
She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.
And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.”
But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.
I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.
You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.
And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.
“Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.
Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.
Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.”
-Read at St. Lydia’s on November 10, 2013
Still will I harvest beauty where it grows:
In colored fungus and the spotted fog
Surprised on foods forgotten; in ditch and bog
Filmed brilliant with irregular rainbows
Of rust and oil, where half a city throws
Its empty tins; and in some spongy log
Whence headlong leaps the oozy emerald frog.
And a black pupil in the green scum shows.
Her the inhabiter of divers places
Surmising at all doors, I push them all.
Oh, you that fearful of a creaking hinge
Turn back forevermore with craven faces,
I tell you Beauty bears an ultrafringe
Unguessed of you upon her gossamer shawl!
-Read at St. Lydia’s on November 11. 2013
by Audre Lourde
However the image enters
its force remains within
rockstrewn caves where dragonfish evolve
wild for life, relentless and acquisitive
learning to survive
where there is no food
my eyes are always hungry
however the image enters
its force remains.
A white woman stands bereft and empty
a black boy hacked into a murderous lesson
recalled in me forever
like a lurch of earth on the edge of sleep
etched into my visions
food for dragonfish that learn
to live upon whatever they must eat
fused images beneath my pain.
by Alice Walker
When they torture your mother
plant a tree
When they torture your father
plant a tree
When they torture your brother
and your sister
plant a tree
When they assassinate
plant a tree
Whey they torture you
plant a tree.
When they begin to torture
and cut down the forest
they have made
-Read at St. Lydia’s on October 27, 2013
by Czesław Miłosz
Only this table is certain. Heavy. Of massive wood.
At which we are feasting as others have before us,
Sensing under the varnish the touch of other fingers.
Everything else is doubtful. We too, appearing
For a moment in the guise of men or women
(Why either-or?), in preordained dress.
I stare at her, as if for the first time.
And at him. And at her. So that I can recall them
In what unearthly latitude or kingdom?
Preparing myself for what moment?
For what departure from among the ashes?
If I am here, entire, if I am cutting meat
In this tavern by the wobbly splendor of the sea.
In a tavern by the wobbly splendor of the sea,
I move as in an aquarium, aware of disappearing,
For we are all so mortal that we hardly live.
I am pleased by this union, even if funereal,
Of sights, gestures, touches, now and in ages past.
I believed my entreaties would bring time to a standstill.
I learned compliance, as others did before me.
And I only examine what endures here:
The knives with horn handles, the tin basins,
Blue porcelain, strong though brittle,
And, like a rock embattled in the flow
And polished to a gloss, this table of heavy wood.
-Read at St. Lydia’s on November 4, 2013
by Alice Walker
Word reaches us
that you are sleeping, sleeping.
we have turned to the sea.
We encounter among others
a sense of what we have lost:
the broad expanse of humanity’s
sensitivity to the oneness of itself.
while you sleep, resting your nimble
brain, we think of walking with you
in the valley
of the shadow of death; holding
We hope you can feel our grief;
our sorrow vast
like the ocean that draws us.
We know in this moment you teach us many things:
how all across the world
there is no one who deserves this fate.
We know we must bleach and sterilize our
brighten with understanding
all our dark thoughts.
Sister, whom I never met
except in this pain that has so
thank you for reminding us
through your suffering
and your suspenseful sleep
that we must change.
-Read at St. Lydia’s on November 3, 2013