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Hey,

The first thing that comes to mind is “I want to get High” by Cypress Hill.  That is where I am at as of now with my soundtrack of my life.  Then I sit and think about it and the more I concentrate on my soundtrack the more I begin to realize that there is so much more to my life soundtrack.

I can’t remember the names of the group that sings these songs but I can remember that I used to listen to these songs on the front seat of my Bampi’s truck coming back from blueberry raking.  One of the songs is “White Lightning.”  I used to sing this song every time it would play on the old 8-track.  I remember that we used to sing the song as

“Teaming, teaming, alligator soup, looking for the place where he made his brew, they were looking just a looking but my pappy kept a cooking – phew – white lightning.”

Apparently that is not the right lyrics to that song as I found out when I got older.  I asked my Bampi why he didn’t tell me that I was singing it wrong.  He simply told me that he was just happy that I was singing and that he thought that I was cute singing.  This made me feel loved.

Arline.

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Mama Love would cll out to me as soon as I stepped through the door.  I never realized how much this acknowledgement meant until she died and nobody called out to me when I entered the house that used to be my  home.  I loved being noticed and welcomed when I came home.  I know now it was just another way of her telling me, “I love you, I see you, and I notice you are home.  Your presence matters to me.”  I would take my shoes off and make my way down the hallway (a.k.a. the “hall of fame,” named this because fromt he tops of the shoe racks to the ceiling on botrhe sides the walls were covered with pictures and accomplishments.  School pictures, family pictures, action pictures and any plaques that we had won were proudly displayed for any who cam into our house to see.

As I walked into the kitchen it was my habi to immediately go to Mama Love and give her a hug and kiss.  Mama Love was a big woman.  Her size was comforingly soldid.  You felt her when you hugged her or she hugged you.  Her love surrounded you.  She was warm, alive.  She would then pull back and looking into my eyes ask, “How are you?”  If I said I was good she would not respond, just continure to look into my eyes.  Then, if she was satisfied I was telling the truth, she would turn back to her cooking.

In my house, meals were made with love.  We were not rich, and with four or more boys at any given time eating, simple, less expensive meals were the norm.  Yet, in the years since her passing whenever I have eaten the same hamburger helper meals, they have never been able o compare.  The only thing I can attribure this to is the absense of Mama Love.  I think it was becauise of how much she loved us.  Her cooking was an expression of this love and wanting us to be happy and healthy.

The people that suffered the most from my learning how to cook were my brothers.  We didn’t waste a lot of food in our house so even if I messed up on the measuring of ingredients the meal was served, and in the beginning I messed up a lot.  Mama Love was not one for measurement utensils.  She was from the school of eyeballing it.  What she neglected to mention was that her skill at eyeballing was acquired through years of practice.  Needless to say, in the beginning as loath as she was to throwing food away, sometimes we had McDonald’s, or cereal, or take-out.  Like the first time I made one of my favorite meals, tacos (with soft taco shells of course, because who really likes hard taco shells which crumble or break, and generally are more frustrating than enjoyable) and I “eyeballed” the amount of seasoning, which resulted in taco meat that was inedible and identifiable as taco meat only to me, because I was the one who cooked it.

The next step after the measurements was the amount of time that the food cooked for.  Just as she was not a believer in actually measuring ingredients, she also did not believe in timers.  This was evidenced in her multi-taking abilities.  She would put the food on the stove or even the oven, then give baths, correct homework, coordinate rides to or from practices, dispense discipline and whatever else needed to be done.  No matter what she was doing she knew when the food needed to be stirred, when more or less heat was needed, and even when it was done.  I can’t tell you how many times she would be in other parts of the house and would call out: “Mark/Dan.Leo – stir the food, take it out of the over, turn the stove off.”  It took more time to learn this skill than it did to  measure-to-eyeball ingredients.  I would put food on, then get distracted by my phone or the t.v. or a book.  I would remember what I was supposed to be doing when I smelled the food burning.

This lead to a rule: “If you’re cooking, you’re cooking; everything else can wait.”  The implementation of this rule lead to a dramatic and immediate improvement in the meals I prepared, and my brothers were very appreciative of this.  As my skill increased I began to understand why my Mama Love liked cooking so much.  It felt good to feed my family, to know that they relied on me to provide for them and to make sure that not only it was filling but that it tasted good as well.  On nights that I had successfully made and served dinner I would sit and eat with a deep sense of satisfaction that I had never felt before.  I had accepted responsibility and was helping my family.

Later on, when Mama Love became sick, cooking turned from something I did because I wanted , to something I did because it was needed.  These were some of my first lessons in being a man.  I learned that responsibility meant doing the things that you needed to do instead of only doing things that you wanted to do.  Since Mama Love died, I cannot cook without thinking about her.  The times that we spent in the kitchen are some of the best memories of my life.l  In fact, I don’t like cooking if it is only for myself; for me, cooking is intertwined with family and love.

As I am,

Prince

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Hi everyone.

I love the sound of doves cooing, and their… I guess you would say their growling noises at each other.  Specially when they are fighting over a cheese puff.  See, my doves loved cheese.  I also love the sound of a loon’s cry and the crow’s caw, the owl’s “who” and the hummingbird’s flutter of their tiny wings as they collect nectar from the flowers.  The talking of my friend’s African Grey.  She whistles, counts and screams at you when you come into the house, unless you give her a Ritz.

I love the sound of a tattoo machine, cuz it means that when that tat is all done and finished there will be a beautiful design.  I love the sound of the bubbler fish tank.  In fact, that is what I used to listen to, to fall asleep.  Now, I listen to my fan.  Te sound of water running down a waterfall.  The ocean crashing into shore as I run across the sand with my son.  The thunder as it rumbles the Earth, and the rain down pouring on the ground.  Each has a different sound whether it is concrete, grass, tar or dirt; I love the sound of it all.

Lastly, I love the sound of All that Remains’ “the waiting one.”  Cross fades: “Cold.  Avenged Sevenfold: “Nightmare.”  Any and all music by Trapt, Nirvana, Cradle of Filth, Five Finger Death Punch, Chimera, Type O’ Negative, System of the Down.  Most music in general, especially music in musicals like “Repo, the genetic Opera,” and “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

Finally, I love the sound and the laughter of my son.

Arline “Mourning Dove” Lawless

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Hey everybody out there,

I just got done facilitating a class.  I have another class at 9:30 to 11:30.  Then the rain closet.

I just want to talk about some stuff to try to sell on the internet so I can get some money.  I need money in the worst way, too.  My boss is on  leav4e for a while and I am trying to save the stamps and phone time untill next month.  She didn’t put in 9our hours or anything so I don’t even know if we are going to be getting paid the whopping twentyfive hours I got in July.  Fucking sucks.  Got a raise to 80 cents and hour,  but, 35% comes off the top before I even see any of it.

Sorry.  I am bitching again.  Just stressing about stuff, you know.  As far as selling stuff I have: a paintings on canvas: “tulips,”  “space,”  “chickadees,”  “a spooky tree with an evil moon in back,”  “a big eyeball with yin-hang for the pupil,”  “a city scape at night reflecting on the water,” and, last one: “a shack on ocean front with clouds.”

I can also crochet stuff.  Like, to order.  I can bang out hats in two hours with stuff grafted onto them.  Actually, everyone wants hats with their MDOC# on them.  Also with their children’s names on them.

We get two free mailing a week here, but that’s about it.

Hope to hear from someone soon.

Love: Arline

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Hey, ,readers.

This is all I got left to say about what one needs in order to be a philosopher.

E = Exploration.  So, what happens when we run into questions that we cannot answer, or if we are in a situation where it looks or feels hopeless?

For me, this is why Allah and hope are the most important things in my life.  Both my life and the history of the world are littered with mistakes and no-win situations, but this is only possible because we refuse to stay beaten and accept things the way they are.  Philosophy has taught me that I must continue to search for answers, yet understand that some questions cannot be answered, and a lot of situations are beyond my control.

That doesn’t mean that I must curl up and give up.  With hope and faith, I can and will not be broken by any circumstances that I face.  I have the tools to make any situation better, and to endure.  There is a reason why miracles are so special, it is because they are beyond human purview.  They are not meant to be understood or explained.  Yet are miracles possible without faith and hope?

In moments like this I think of the Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

The study of philosophy has reinforced my faith and hope by making me realize how much I don’t know, and by extension how much humanity doesn’t know.

It is because of how small my world and life is; I have to be reminded just how strong and powerful hope and faith can be.

As I am,

Prince

danny.2014

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Political Prisoners

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