Haha. Was feeling glum and decided to take the time and listen to Jay-Z’s new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. I know what you’re thinking, but hey! lots of things about me might surprise you. One listen is enough. Just needed to shake things off.

Finished listening to my first audiobook, Farm City by Novella Carpenter. I love that chickens are the urban farming gateway-animal, one can beekeep wearing nothing but a tee and shorts, and she successfully bartered a pig’s parts for salumi-making lessons. I especially related to her description of all the enemies and pests she had to ward off as a farmer; while growing garlic two seasons ago, I faced aphids, slugs, fungus gnats, whiteflies, and mother nature’s overabundant rain and wind. She nailed the feeling of mothering that’s apparent whether you’re raising plants or birds (poultry).

Now it’s onto BSB’s In A World Like This. An old favorite band with a new spin. I love this first listen: honest, earnest, & smooth. My love for Backstreet Boys started before my junior high years. It was the quintessential dividing question then, ‘N Sync or BSB? One of my friends would always say BSB, and I, along with her. She lives in Oakland now, the same city where Novella’s urban farm existed among a backdrop of shootouts, drugs, wandering kids looking for something to do, and an eclectic mix of neighbors. I haven’t seen her in almost three years. I’d like to think if we hung out now we’d still choose the same.

The mail just came, and I am thankful. A letter is a gift from one heart to another. (And wow! I am no music critic, but this new offering gets only better — reminiscent of Fitz and the Tantrums, Plain White T’s, Marie Digby, and Melissa Polinar and all tied together with a neat boy band bow.) Sometimes we want our scars seen, that in the process we might be healed somehow. This letter from a friend in Michigan brings light to my soul. Sometimes friendships are as easy as “we just clicked,” and sometimes friendship takes building over time. Letter-writing and emailing are good building tools.

Ever play a game of holding your breath underwater, finally surfacing, then wondering if you could have gone on longer? I wanted to grab a break from life so badly this past week, that when I did, I wondered if I hadn’t just stopped short of something better. What if having balked at the prospect of more refining, I would never know the person God was trying to mold me into? Still, there is gratitude. Though old wounds find new ways to burn, always ever, there is gratitude.

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