May 1, 2011 § 5 Comments

Happy International Workers’ Day! And happy Beltane. Today I went to the UU service with my mom and Margaret to see the new minister give his first sermon, and it was about movement building in Tunisia and Egypt and Palestine! I have hardly ever been to church in my life, but I could kind of see what could be so amazing about it. There was this one part that they do every week, where anyone who wants to can share the joyful things and the sad things that are happening in their life, and then there’s a moment of silence and later there’s a potluck and everyone gives them support/congratulations/whatever. Do all churches do things like that? It was so moving what people shared.

And I went on this amazing hike! Up a mountain by Megunticook Lake, and then I sat in the woods leaning against a boulder and read a book. At one point this group of young people came by and started trying to fling themselves on top of the boulder by backing way up and then running hilariously up the side of it. They were very nice. It was so incredibly pleasant to sit in the woods on this perfectly warm day and not have anywhere else to be. It smelled all earthy early-spring forest floor-y and the sunlight was dappled in this perfect way and my book was really good and I still kind of can’t believe how beautiful it is here. I love finding all the amazing nature places, so that I can go there all the time and take people there when they visit. Maybe you?

I went with some friends last week to see Annie Sprinkle perform at a theater in Ellsworth. I haven’t thought about Annie Sprinkle in a while but I have to say that she really changed my life when I was a young burgeoning queer kinky eighteen-year-old dealing with the sex industry, and I love that she is still performing and doing art. She and her partner have been making work about being ecosexual and having sex with the earth, which I thought was really cheesy/hot/beautiful, and which also involves things like protesting mountaintop removal in the place where her partner is from. And they did this project years ago when Annie had breast cancer where they made a lot of art about her surgery and chemo that was really brave and fun and life-affirming.

In other news, I had a ukulele lesson! My very first. Really my first time trying to learn any instrument since I was ten years old and in piano lessons, except for one time at Passover five years or so ago when I learned how to play “Stand By Me” on the clarinet and almost started a clarinet band that never really matched the triumphant drama of that first night on the porch of my friend’s house after Seder. The clarinet is one of those instruments that you have to put a lot of effort into just to make a sound that isn’t horrible come out of it. The ukulele, on the other hand, is tiny and precious and only has four strings which sound very good when you strum them and unlike the clarinet is not at all dependent on holding your mouth in a strange and mysterious shape. Your mouth is free to sing pop songs! Although I haven’t quite gotten the hang of singing and strumming at the same time, which is surprisingly hard. I came home and practiced for SIX hours after my first lesson, and woke up the next morning with these monstrous blisters on my fingers which I was worried would prevent me from practicing, but I just put scotch tape on them like someone completely hard core and kept going. Now they have transformed into these satisfying calluses that leave my fingertips completely numb – it sort of feels like when you dip your fingers in melted wax, and then it hardens into a shell, except the shell is my actual skin. I think this is what’s supposed to happen?

I like watching my fingers get better at what they’re doing, figuring out new patterns and putting them into my muscle memory. I told my brother, who also can’t really play any instrument except a little bit of guitar, that we should start a band, so we’ve both been practicing. So far we can kind of play “Ring of Fire”, and I think we are well on our way to being able to at least hum along. Keep an eye out for when we get really good and our adorable family resemblance makes our band a smash hit youtube sensation.

§ 5 Responses to Roots

  • simon says:


    1) i read your blog.
    2) take me to that mountain hike in main.
    3) please tell me that the uke you are playing is the red one in that beat up old case that i loved for so many years. if not, um… do you know where that went? 🙂
    4) i love you in maine like this.

  • tyrone says:

    simonius, i love that you read my blog! i can’t wait for you to come visit me here – you can teach me ukulele chords and i can take you up a mountain – and you can see my mama, it’s been so long! i’m afraid that little old uke is long gone, to a good home with a friend before i moved to philly. it didn’t make the fit-in-the-hatchback cut…

  • bruin says:

    oh yes yes yes. in so many effing ways.

    i’ve been practicing my banjo recently–perhaps i will come play with you soon 🙂


    • tyrone says:

      perhaps you will come play with me when i’m in the bay area in a couple weeks! i think i will have to bring my uke so i don’t get rusty. and i can’t wait to see you. ❤

  • lydia says:

    i am late on this but most uu churches do joys and concerns–its really a practice taken from youth worship which is the best (circles and fire and chanting late at night). we don’t do it nearly enough in my congregation ❤

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