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This quote from Sean Michael Morris is resonating with me today: 

But maybe instead we should tip large. And give A’s. Believe reasons for missing a deadline. Refuse to get to know students through the window of a rubric. We are not dealing with students, but people with dreams, people who will fail and people who will succeed, people who may end up alone and people whose high point of the day may be a conversation with us. Being kind may seem counterintuitive to the academic ethos—especially when being kind can sometimes mean being wrong—but we owe it to ourselves to think outside our setting, to see past the artificial boundaries of generation, expertise, and authority. And while we’re at it: race, gender, sexuality, religion.

This guy – Jeffrey Foucault – has been a solid favorite of mine for years. He just released a new recording and one that I have on repeat at the moment. Powerful words wrapped in simple chords and gritty vocals. Americana. Enjoy.

Do the dishes
With the windows open
Soak the dirt
From under your nails
Pour a double
Put a record on the table
The light’s always perfect
Just before it fails

Bow your head down
When you break bread together
Close your eyes
Make a circle of hands
There is nothing
That cannot be taken from you
In this life
You just hold on
To the love that we have

Swing the ax
In the hours before daylight
Note the sparks
That attend to the blade
A thing made free
Of itself leaps apart
And the heart divided
Would do just the same

Take the backroads
With nobody on them
Find a river
And make yourself clean
Go down to water
If you would be delivered
Of sinner and sin
Seen and unseen

Step outside
Let the stars reel around you
Cup your hands
Around a bright flame
In that darkness
Let the heavens confound you
It’s all just a story
Even the sound of your name

Two Gifts

In this universe we are given two gifts: the ability to love and the ability to ask questions. Which are, at the same time, the fires that warm us and the fires that scorch us.

~ Mary Oliver, “The Bright Eyes of Eleanora: Poe’s Dream of Recapturing the Impossible,” from Upstream

Q: Do you have a song that you are particularly proud of?

A: I don’t. I like some of them better than others. Every record has a few that prove themselves deeply reliable on the road, and over time those become the heart of your work, but you have to write them all to write the good ones. As a rule the simpler ones are better. (Emphasis mine).

~ Jeffrey Foucault, singer/songwriter 

Via: http://www.midwesterngentleman.com/stories/jeffrey-foucault-interview/

“Well, when you’re running, there’s an edge… Between… What is and isn’t too fast . . .But, um, it’s not a sharp edge. It’s stretchy. And if you’re brave, you push on it.” – TrackTown, the movie.