The Louder the Better

I like my music extremely loud.  My friends and family occasionally make comments about it.  They don’t understand the appeal.

I want to feel the music vibrating around me.  I want my heart to beat in rhythm with the bass.  I want to feel like I am a part of the sound.

When the music is loud, my mind goes into a whole new state of thought.  I feel like my body and soul are melding with the music.

I like my music extremely loud, because I want to do more than hear the music.  I want to experience the music.

 

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Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

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John Howard Griffin was a reporter in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  He heard about discrimination and segregation in the southern states.  He was aware of the civil rights movement that was just starting to take hold in Montgomery, Alabama.

Griffen knew as a white man, he would never truly understand what life was like for the black people.  Griffin wanted to know, “What is it like to experience discrimination based on skin color, something over which one has no control?”

Griffin found a dermatologist that was willing to prescribe medication that can cause a person’s skin to get darker.  The medicine was normally used for people suffering with a skin disease that caused white blotches to appear on their skin.  However, Griffin would need to take way more than the recommended dose.  The doctor required blood test during the first few weeks to ensure there were no adverse effects.

Griffin also used sun lamps and a stain to help his skin get as dark as possible.  Then he shaved his head and boarded a bus to New Orleans.  He spent several weeks in New Orleans, before traveling to Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

Griffin gives a detailed account of his experiences in his book,  “Black Like Me.”  He was surprised to see how helpful the black people were to a stranger.  He was able to stay with various families and get to know what their life was really like.

At several points, he had to find a place to be alone.  He would start crying at the injustice he was seeing, especially when children were involved.  He was appalled by how some of the white people treated black children.

Griffin also described his interactions with white people.  He was taken aback by how hateful some people behaved.  He was amazed by the cruelty he experienced.  He would listen to white people talk about their moral and intellectual superiority; however, their behavior was a far cry from what they claimed to be.

He also talked about the people involved in the civil rights movement.  He encountered a group of white people actively working with the black community to improve conditions.  They were being targeted by their own race and viewed as race traitors.  However, they believed everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.  They continued fighting for equality in spite of the persecution.

The book is moving and well written.  You can easily picture the surroundings, the people, and the situations.  You can feel what the author was feeling.  This truly is a book worth reading.

 

Blogger Beware

As a blogger, I have managed to get myself into some interesting predicaments.  Some of these were done on purpose and some happened by accident.  The end result, I survived and I had interesting topics to write about.

The strangest things that happened to me in order to get a blog post:

  • Fell out of a moving vehicle
  • Covered in poison ivy
  • Swarmed by mosquitos (I do mean swarmed.  They looked like a thick black cloud surrounding me, my dog Blue, and Gwen.)
  • Cracked a couple of ribs
  • Ate fried frog legs (That may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I really struggled with it.)
  • Had a close encounter with a copperhead snake
  • Had a close encounter with an alligator
  • Touched a live shark
  • Accidentally trespassed into someone’s house (It was truly an accident and it was very embarrassing.)
  • Admitted my personal failures
  • Told embarrassing stories about myself
  • Ripped a hole in one of my tires and ended up stranded for an hour
  • My Jeep sank (like the titanic) into a mud hole, until the mud was even with the running boards
  • Ran into freezing water on the first day of the year (Poler Bear Plunge, it was a blast)

If you managed to get into weird predicaments as a blogger, share your experiences in the comment section.

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This Ain’t Nothing

This song has great meaning to me and I find it inspirational.  First, it reminds me to remember what’s important in my life.  Second, it makes me think about all the hardships, obstacles, and even the horrible experiences that almost destroyed me in the past.

I am still here.  I am an overcomer, so I know I can handle whatever life throws my way.  I look at the newest obstacles in my life, think about what I already conquered, and say to myself, “This ain’t nothing.”

 

  • As a side note, I apologize to all the grammar police out there.  You can send your completes to Craig Morgan, if it makes you feel better.

Pity Pot to Positivity

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Life hasn’t always been easy for me.  I have faced various traumatic events, dealt with grief, struggled with disabilities, and endured hardships.  However, I will not allow those things to control me or destroy me.  I am an overcomer.

I want to move forward to remain strong.  I want to use my negative experiences to make me resilient.  If I can overcome my past experiences then I can conquer whatever the future holds for me.

Have I ever found myself dwelling on my pity pot, crying about my struggles, and winning about why these things happened to me?  The answer is yes.  I admit I find it cathartic to do so at times.

There is no shame in feeling defeated or feeling sorry for yourself.  Those are natural human emotions.

The important thing is to get off the pity pot and continue moving forward.  Don’t let your past destroy your future.

 

Visiting a Snake Handling Church

Last Friday, I visited a snake handling church.  It took several months to find it, because the practice is extremely rare.  The church is located in Section, Alabama, which is a little less than 2 hours from where I live.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to share.  I wanted to take pictures; however, it seemed disrespectful.  I also felt like I would be violating their privacy.

I was concerned about how the church members would react to me.  There is no way I could just blend in with the regulars.  I have very short hair, I am covered in tattoos, and I was wearing pants.  However, they were nice and welcomed me to the church.  Several of the ladies took time to talk with me and the preacher even invited me to have dinner at his house with him and his family.

The first part of the service involves worshipping God by singing and offering praises.  They used various instruments and it was rather loud.  People raised their hands and their bodies would shake as they were worshiping.  Others walked around the building and prayed in tongues.

During the singing portion, the preacher picked up a copperhead snake and raised it into the air.  A second man also tried to pick up the snake, but the snake attempted to bite the man.  The preacher came over and prayed for the man, so he could try again.  His next attempt was successful and he also held the snake over his head.

Several other men held a small flaming torch and they started putting their hands on top of the flames.  They also held the torch close to their chest and directly under their chins.  After a few seconds, they praised God for not allowing them to get hurt by the flames and passed the torch to another man.

I was disturbed by the small children playing in the aisle ways of the church.  A two year old girl was allowed to room free as they were worshiping.  What if someone drops the poisonous snake and the child happens to be near them?

The worship lasted an hour and was followed by an hour of preaching.  The best way to describe the preacher’s sermon, it was convoluted.  The preacher jumped from one topic to another and then back to a previous topic.

The main points of his sermon:  it’s a sin for men to have long hair, it’s a sin for women to have short hair, it’s a sin for women to use makeup, it’s a sin for women to wear pants, it’s a sin for women to be in a leadership position over a man, if you are filled with the Holy Spirit you will speak in tongues, you must be baptized in Jesus name to be saved, you must be filled with the spirit and speak in tongues to be saved, other denominations are sending everyone to hell by teaching false doctrine, you should only marry a holiness person, and failure to keep any of the commandments will result in physical illnesses as well as an eternity in hell.

At the end of his sermon, the preacher looked at me and said God will accept you as you are and if your hair is short you can still come unto God and be saved.  Even though it’s awkward when the preacher speaks directly to you and everyone in the congregation knows what he is talking about, I felt like he was trying to reach out and teach the gospel.  He did not condemn at any time, so that’s a plus.

All in all, I am glad I went to the service.  It was an interesting experience and I learned a few things about a fringe religious group that I didn’t know.