Dear Big Sean -
I cannot claim to be your number one fan. I do not know all your lyrics by heart, and sometimes when there are multiple lyricists on a track, I’m not even sure which one is you. (Except for the content clue… I can usually distinguish you by what you choose to say.) This is all to say: I’m a novice in the land of BIG SEAN. In fact, I must admit I hadn’t heard your music before I heard “Deep Reverence.” Correction: of course I’d heard your music. Nobody hadn’t heard it. But I had never reverberated with your lyrics… and if someone had asked me “who sings… [one of your hits]” I would have had to google it.
For context, it’s not personal: I’m terrible at knowing who sings what. But I’m working to improve on this, which is why when a song comes up on a playlist that I particularly identify with, I’ll take a homescreen screenshot of the song title and artist so I can go back later and actually learn something about myself and my tastes. I took three such screenshots over a week or so recently: two out of three, chosen by no conscious mechanism of mine, were “Deep Reverence.” The universe funneled you directly to me, and I wasn’t going to ignore the signs.
So I’ve been doing my homework and listening to your music. And it’s glorious, glory us, GLORIOUS. It doesn’t surprise me that the books you recommend are mostly spiritual in nature. When I put on the playlist that you curated and heard your earlier stuff, I thought ‘you’ve come a long way, baby!’ When I heard “Light,” I started crying. Then I watched the video and I was slayed. PREACH, Big Sean, preach! It’s clear you’re jesusing pretty hard, my friend, and I say that from a non-denominational standpoint. Because my light = your light = Nippsey’s light (may he rest in power) = Jesus’ light = (sigh) 45’s light = all light. When one of us suffers at the hands of another, we all suffer: the victim, the perpetrator, and all the rest of us connected, indivisible, all-one. And yet… even deeper than that… deeper than all the unnecessary suffering… there is that un-dimmable light. You’re exactly right, Big Sean, the boy’s that bright.
As I put the final touches on my first book (an explosive debut memoir about death, divorce-without-the-douchery, spiritual trust falls, unconditional love, and, oh yeah, a sex club or two) I am feeling expansive. I feel like I just jumped out of a plane and the space that would have taken ages to traverse bipedally simply flashes past me in the blink of an eye. I don’t have a parachute, but I’m not scared, because I KNOW I can fly. When my friends ask me how I’m doing and I tell them this story of spiritual expansion, they mostly shake their heads and tell me they love me, weirdo that I am. But you know what I mean. Of course, it’s hard to explain limitlessness to a person who lives with limits, especially in these moments before I’ve busted through the ceiling. But I’ve seen the future, and bust through the ceiling I will/ I have/ I am. This is why it was particularly refreshing for me to hear your music at this juncture in my own journey. (For the record, I’m grateful I didn’t discover you earlier. If I had heard your songs before writing my book, I probably would have given up before I even started. Parallel-universe me: “Nope, everything I have to say has already been said by Big Sean. And he said it BETTER.”)
This letter is me ringing a bell in time: here, now, before we’ve ever met, I’m saying thank you for taking the time and spending the energy to see truth, know truth, and sing/ rap truth. You dropped into my life right when I needed you, right on cue (big up, universe!), and your words have been the spiritual and creative lifeline I was particularly thirsty for.
In closing: I have no intention of meeting you non-consensually, so I want this next part to be heard in the right tone. I am grateful for your friendship, whether it remains as a fan through your music or as a friend face to face. And I suspect we will meet someday; I have seen it in my mind’s eye. You say your purpose in life is to inspire by doing what you were born to do; I say your purpose just overlapped my purpose, in that it inspired me to keep on keepin’ on with what EYE was born to do (emphasis mine), which in turn is also to inspire.
In peace and gratitude,
Have you ever heard someone say, or maybe even thought yourself, "I'd rather die than go blind"? I have. Heard someone say it, I mean. And if the person who said it hadn't been a hospice client diagnosed with dementia, I would have said:
"Do you know any blind people?" or
"Maybe you can make that decision if the decision ever presents itself," or
"I have a blind friend, and she wouldn't agree with you."
If you, dear reader, have wondered how it might feel to be alive as a blind person, or if you think you'd rather die than go blind, I HIGHLY recommend reading Outside Myself, by Kristen Witucki. Of course, the book isn't a one-trick pony. If you were ever bullied or witnessed bullying in grade school, I recommend Outside Myself by Kristen Witucki. (If the scene with Erin doesn't make you cry, I don't know what will.) Come to think of it, if you were raised by divorced parents or are raising children as a co-parent, I recommend Outside Myself by Kristen Witucki. If this book were ever optioned as a movie, the family scenes alone would win the Oscar for best screenplay.
This book! This book is for people who want a palpable tour through a seven-movement arrangement of music you may or may not have heard before.This book is for people who have questioned whose, if anyone's, religious rules you should live by. This book is for people who have become best friends with the person you couldn't stand at first.
For blindness awareness month, AND for the good of anyone reading this, please run out and get a copy of Outside Myself. Do it! (If you want to.)
Say you get what you want. Say if I get pregnant again, I MUST, legally have the baby and I am a law-breaking criminal if I want an abortion. Let's imagine that world, shall we?
Today I'm sending unconditional love to YOU, fifty-year Rotarian. Who encouraged me, with anger, to look at my own self and ask if maybe Rotary wasn't for me. And I like that you said that out loud. I appreciate that. Because you showed me your hurting heart. And I can see you squirm in the discomfort of your own reflection. I can see that you are made so uncomfortable that you don't even recognize it's your reflection. (Laughs.) "No way! That's not ME!" In any case, I'm sending you love, even through your anger, because I see through you! Because I know you. Because I am you.
🌟Rotary's Four Way Test🌟
1) Is it the truth?
2) Is it fair to all concerned?
3) Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Before my most recent Rotary meeting, the president approached me privately and asked if I'd like to say a few words. (I'd been making a respectful but vocal stink about Rotary's response/ lack of response to George Floyd's murder and the Black Lives Matter movement. You can read some of that exchange here.) So I did say a few words, and let's just say that feathers were RANKLED. I was interrupted many times, often to be told by the speaker that "I won't sit here and be preached to." And yet. I held my ground. I anchored to my palace of peace. I took deep, meditative breaths and would not sit down and shut up as they so clearly hoped I would do.
After the meeting, I had a group of anti-groupies waiting to speak with me.
One white man who had almost abandoned the meeting earlier from being so piping mad at me, said: “I’ve been in Rotary for fifty years, and it’s not for everyone. You should take a good look at yourself and ask if Rotary isn’t a good fit.” I asked if I could quote him on that and he agreed. The thing is: I ask myself who I want to be with every breath I take. With every sentence I utter. I made that promise to myself when Marshall died. I sure know who I am and I thought I knew what Rotary was about... but maybe there's an unwritten code? Maybe Rotary just says they are all about making the world a better place, but what they really mean is 'as long as you don't rock the boat'?
The next man, who also gave me permission to quote him, said he had some advice for me. This seemed odd, as I hadn’t requested his counsel, and yet, I listened. “If you want people to listen to you,” he said, “you can’t be so accusatory.” I asked him in what way I had been accusatory. He said “when you say ‘white privilege’ THAT is accusatory.”
Our district governor, who I’ve reached out to on multiple occasions, and who has only responded once, is slated to be our guest speaker at Rotary this upcoming week. The president of the club has explained to me that she’s not going to really “get into” the racial injustice stuff.
I’ve seen multiple futures in my crystal ball, but I would LOVE to know what YOU think of all this. Honestly, dear reader: what would YOU do? Comments are welcome, dissent is encouraged, meanness is NOT tolerated. In peace,
Rotary district 5100, Jo Crenshaw ,institutional racism, racism in rotary, is rotary racist, speaking truth to power, standing up for what is right, stand for something even if it means losing everything, antiracist, anti-racist, example of white privilege
Dear Mr. Jim Carrey,
That check you wrote yourself: I get that. I see that. I did that. But enough about manifestation!
I feel called to write this letter, and have felt called, I suspect, for a while now. It’s fun to imagine you reading this. Because we can do anything in our imaginations! ANY. Thing. Anything.
The first time I heard you was when you asked about impersonating Jesus. Because you’re right: where is the boundary of where we stop and where others start? (I feel confident Jesus thought so, too.)
Then I kept hearing you. How you ponder the nature of identity. How you wish everyone had the chance to get what they thought they wanted if only to see that that wasn’t really what they wanted. That’s exactly right. You are exactly right.
Freedom from concern is the whole point. Jerry Seinfeld calls it killing time, and he’s not wrong… But freedom from concern is bigger than that.
I have some feedback for you about free will. I have some questions for you about the "prison" of becoming.
I have written a book that you *may* have been waiting for? Someone is waiting for it, I know that much. If it’s you, it will find its way to your heart. If it’s not you, it will find its way into their heart.
Sending you so much gratitude and, I’m just going to say it, unconditional love.
Hi, guys! Oh... that might be my baby. [Listens] I just put him down for a nap. I had a baby! Four months ago, almost exactly. And it's amazing, right? Bodies are amazing! They're miracles! Look what we can do!
And now my body is a little bigger than it was before. And so I want to re-demonstrate the truth that who we really are is not our bodies. I mean it's part... It's one part of the three-part harmony. Right? It is the packaging. And it's SO miraculous and wonderful to have the packaging, but if you think that how much you weigh is an indicator of how valuable or important you are as a person, it's not. You are a valuable, important, beautiful human being WHATEVER YOU LOOK LIKE. If you want to treat this machine with more reverence, then by all means! Be my guest! Hallelujah! Blessed be! But don't wait until you lose that weight to think that you are good enough or just right. Because that's backwards.
And I am going to weigh myself on camera because I want to show you that I'm not afraid of making myself vulnerable. You ready? Okay here we go. Oof. It's gonna be a lot.
There you have it! I hope this helps you on your journey. Evy Wallace, signing out!
What's worth a million dollars? A parcel of land? A piece of art? Your body? What would you give in order to have a million dollars? How do you establish the value of a thing?
And what if you already had something WAAAAAY more valuable than a million dollars? And what if that thing got BIGGER wehenver you GAVE IT AWAY???!!! Does that sound impossible, mathematically?
Well it's not. Because love is not a zero sum game. Love is something if you give it away, you DO end up having MORE! Thanks, Malvina Reynolds, for singing truth! TRUTH IS TRUTH IS TRUTH!!!
Transcript (Video Link Below)
Hey! Do you know what this means? [Indicates sign that reads “Free Unconditional Love”] Do you know what it means? Free unconditional love?I’ll tell ya! It means that even you, angry, angry one, who is probably not watching this video, even you. I love like I love my child. [Indicates baby in carrier.] I love even you. And it’s a lot of work. [Chuckles.] But it’s worth-it work! It’s necessary work.
I love you as I love my child. And I want you so badly to stop hurting, on the inside. I want your heart to stop hurting. Because a heart… a heart that’s not hurting doesn’t behave the way you are behaving. And it doesn’t matter if you know that, or agree with it. Seven equals seven. Truth is truth. You don’t have to care, or know it, or believe it.
Unconditional love means: no matter what you’ve done, no matter who you are… because I KNOW who you are! I know who you are. You are my beloved. My child. My family. MySELF. I KNOW YOU!
And boy, am I grateful for free will. I dig it. Wouldn’t change that for the world! But you are exercising your free will in a way that is chopping the little golden threads between us! Or ATTEMPTING to chop, because really, it’s impossible. You can’t divide one. [Correction:] You can’t divide ALL.
I love you unconditionally. But I wish you would stop… I want… I wish… I wish for you to take a moment to sit with your own heart (You don’t… You’ll do it if you want to. You won’t if you won’t…) And find where it hurts! Find out why! And figure out how to make it better! That’s what I would do FOR you if I could. That’s what I would MAKE you do if I could. But I can’t. And I’m glad I can’t. What I was saying about free will.
I love you unconditionally. That’s what that means.