Thursday, March 30, 2006

Imagine Me

This morning I went to meet with a friend of mine at church. He is one of the ministers and I guess he is supposed to be helping me get a grip on my life. While we were talking, I mentioned to him a song I ran into recently by Kirk Franklin called "Imagine Me." I was trying to tell him what it was all about when he jumped on his computer and pulled up the lyrics on the internet. "Do you mean this one?" he asked as he started reading:

Thank you for allowing me to see myself the way you see me . . .

Imagine me
loving what I see when the
mirror looks at me cuz I
I imagine me

"Yes, that's the one," I answered. As he continued reading, I began to cry.

In a place
of no insecurities And
I'm finally happy cuz
I imagine me

Letting go
of all of the ones who hurt me

cuz they never did deserve me
can you imagine me ?
Saying no to thoughts that try to control me
Remembering all you told me,

Lord can you imagine me ?

Being a man of action, my friend promptly downloaded the song (legally!) and it started to boom out of the speakers in his office, filling the room:

over what ma mamma said
And healed from what my daddy did And
I wanna live and not read that page again

Imagine me, being free, trusting you totally
finally I can...

Imagine me
I admit it was hard to see
You being in love with someone like me
but finally I can...

Imagine me

I closed my eyes and let the music wash over me like a gentle waterfall, splashing over my hair, falling down my shoulders, filling the room.

Being strong
And not letting people break me down
you won't get that joy this time around
can you imagine me?

In a world where nobody has to live afraid
Because of your love fear's gone away
Can you imagine me?

I think of heaven. No fear. No pain. No crying. No sickness. No hurt. NO PAST!

Letting go of my past
And glad I have another chance And
my heart will dance

Cause I don't have to read that page again

Imagine me, being free, trusting you totally

finally I can...
Imagine me

I admit it was hard to see

You being in love with someone like me but

finally I can...
Imagine me

I imagine me being free. Ill be honest with you, it was hard.


This song is dedicated to people like me -- always they struggle with insecurities, acceptance and even self esteem. You never felt good enough, you never felt pretty enough. But imagine God whispering in your ear letting you know that everything that has happened is now gone. It's all gone. Every sin, every mistake, every failure, it's all gone. Depression, it's al gone. By faith, it's gone. Low self esteem, allelujia it's gone, all gone. All my scars, all my pain, it's in the past. It's yesterday it's all gone. God, No! What your mother did, what your faither did. Hallelujia. It's gone.

Gone, gone, it's gone, all gone

My friend and I talked about a lot of other stuff today, but what will stay in my mind forever is that moment, that song playing, knowing that he feels so many of the same things I do and knowing that the music was washing over him as it was washing over me. The tears rolling down my face as I listened to something I know is only a fingertip away from me -- the place where it is all gone. The ability not to read that page again. To tear it out, crumple it up and fling it into the fire. God sees us there already and when I hear that song, for a moment, I see myself there, too. It HAS to be possible. It's the only thing I have left to hope for.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Et tu, Brute?

If you're not into Shakespeare, you might not want to read this one. My 8th grade English students are currently reading Caesar and one way I'm getting them to understand it is by having them rewrite it in their own slang. Some of what they write just cracks me up! I had to share it. This is why I LOVE teaching. When I first met these jokers in August, I never expected something this clever out of them. Working on this Caesar project is EXACTLY why I love teaching.

Here's a small excerpt from Act 1, Scene 2. Cassius (the guy who came up with the idea to assassinate Caesar because he is becoming too power hungry) approaches Brutus (Caesar's best friend) to get a sense of whether or not he might convince Brutus to join his side. In the distance, the people are shouting as Caesasr is offered the crown and turns it down.

Cassius: What’s up dude? You’re like, not here.
Brutus: I’m sick. Just ignore me.
Cassius: I feel your pain dude. Don’t fret it. You’re cool.

Sound of shouting

Brutus: Why the shouting? Did the peeps choose Caesar as king? (note: "peeps" means "people"
Cassius: (in a mocking tone)Why, are you scared?
Brutus: No, should I be?
Cassius: Darn straight. Caesar’s not my daddy. I had his back in a shootout once and he got capped. But I saved him and now he thinks I’m dirt.

Sound of shouting

Brutus: Those fools are shouting again? Can’t they get enough?
Cassius: He’s not our president. Let’s pull a JFK. That stupid fly. We should pull up to that bumper and smack that monkey.
Brutus: If you don’t pay me no respect, I don’t care, fool. I’d rather be back on the west side than thrust into this political stuff.
Cassius: You feelin’ me, dog, but I know you want some of this.
Brutus: The games are through.
Cassius: Yo, when they come this way, dawg, grab my G, Cinna, he’ll tell us what the big brother been doing. Note: "G" means "friend"

Caesar and Antony enter and stay on the other side of the stage.

Brutus: (whispers to Cassius) I feel ya. What’s wrong with my friend Caesar? He looks a cracka. "cracka" is "white cracker" and it means "pale"
Cassius: See what the matta be.

Caesar to Antonia: Antonia. Note:Antony is being played by a girl in our production

Antony: Sir?
Caesar: Can we trust Cassius? He looks hungry for power.
Antony: He won’t betray us.
Caesar: We aren’t the best of mates. He might, oh, how do the commoners say it – “cramp my style”. What do you think?
Antony: “He ain’t trippin,” as the commoners say.

And here's the scene where the conspirators come to Brutus' house in the middle of the night:

Cassius: Why you trippin’ Brutus?
Brutus: I’ve been awake all night. Who’re these fools?
Cassius: These fools wanna put caps in Caesar. You know our brutha, Casca.
Brutus: Wazzup?
Cassius: And our brutha from another mutha, Cinna.
Brutus: Come in. What’s happening?
Cinna: Group hug!
Casssius: Westside!

Quote of the Moment

I'd like to commit to doing these every day or even every week, but I know my limits. Just wanted to share this quote:

"You cannot add to the peace and good will of the world if
you fail to create an atmosphere of harmony and love right
where you live."

*Thomas Dreier

I have a passion for peace and good will in the world, but I'm not so good at creating harmony right where I live. So many things are like this. We can love our "neighbors" globally, but it's much harder to love the guy right down the street. Why is that? I think for me it's because I like the notion of peace and good will and when viewed globally it's abstract and something that would be nice to do -- some day. But when viewed as the guy next door or even the person who lives in my home with me, that's much harder. I have to sacrifice something to create harmony and love right here.

The hypocrisy of this torments me. I want to be Mother Teresa loving the unloveable -- touching the untouchables. I find myself in a deadly serious life struggle as I watch the round pegs all around me loving the world abstractly. But that blasted square peg won't let me drift in the sea of round pegs. That squared off top keeps scratching and cutting the smooth roundness all around me. I want to run off and love the lepers, save the orphans, singlehandedly turn around the foster child system in the U.S.

But I'm also a very sensitive square peg. Do you remember the movie Edward Scissorhands? His hands were made of sharp scissors. He was so odd and even scary. He wanted to give you a hug, but he would accidentally stab you instead. A few people embraced him; they saw beyond the huge scissor waving in their faces. They saw that Edward had scars on his own face, from cutting himself. They rescued him. For the life of me, I can't remember how that movie ended. Did the townspeople crucify him? Did they accept him? Did he destroy himself? I don't know. And my life is the same way. Will anyone accept me? Will I destroy everyone around me? Will I destroy myself?

Or will I save the world?

Or neither?

I want to be the one who saves the world. But I am sure I will never do it. This is my struggle. Since I am a serious, "real" (whatever term you care to use) Christian, I have been taught that the answer to this struggle has something to do with God. But I can't figure it out. I guess I am going through a spiritual crisis.

I hope I survive it.


Square Pegs

Recently I had a friend suggest to me the reason why I have struggled in a job search is because I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. The fact that I wasn't offended by this comment proves just what a square peg I really am. Life is hard for us square pegs. We see round pegs all around us and we long to be like them. But we just aren't. It can't be helped. When my friend, Nancy, made her square peg comment, it was liberating. I realized that, in the past, whenever I embraced my "squareness", I was a lot "happier" (and happiness is a relative term, especially for me). We can only be what we are. So for all the square pegs out there and for those who love them, welcome to Kaycee's World. Since I live for feedback and approval, please comment liberally, but only if you can be nice. :)