“Double amputee Oscar Pistorious bows out of Olympic 400, but sets sights on Rio in 2016″. That was the headline I read in the Washington Post this afternoon.
You know there are a host of excuses that we make every day. Many of them, while legitimate (I mean everyone gets a headache now and then) are the kind of excuses that allow us to fall short of being our best selves. Think about it, how often do you really push yourself? How often do you defy the limits that, once put on you, never find themselves removed or proven false. Such is not the case for South African sprinter Oscar Pistorious, a double amputee competing, not in the world’s Paralympics set to open in just 22 days, but in the Olympic Games where most, if not all, of his peers are two steps ahead of him. Excuse me, two feet, ankles and calves ahead of him.
For many of us, walking without feet would be a feat. (#punswild) For most of us, being the first double amputee to compete in the Olympic Games would have been enough. For the rest of us, finishing the semi finals heat on our own power with the help of carbon fiber blades in place of ankles and feet would have been enough, but not 29 year old Oscar who says, “In 2016, I’ll probably be at my peak in Rio. I’m looking forward to that more than anything.”
There is nothing more challenging and rewarding, motivating and compelling than to see the triumph of the human spirit. That is what this Olympics Games has been for us at Wondaland; a reminder of just how wonderfully each of our spirits has been crafted. It’s been a reminder that spirits don’t need feet to run freely.
Obviously that title is to be sung to the tune of PYT, right? Left. Here is what the Slottsfjell Festival had going on for us backstage. Grilled food, free massages, Bourbon and heaps of great people. It's important that as we travel through Europe on planes, in vans and horseback that we have these moments of respite. A good meal and a massage can make a huge difference in the day!
There is something about the pre show prayer that tends to lift me up. It tends to prophesy and predict the performance. I had been out to the front of house and had noted that the crowd was not as large as in years prior, maybe it was the rain.
We played the Zeit Musical Festival last year, but this last run has been different. I've been seeing Monae giving that look over to stage right similar to the one that Jordan gave Marv Albert when he was dropping all those threes against Portland in the playoffs.
I told Joey [percussion] that something amazing was going to happen. I didn't know when, but I knew that it would. It did. Somewhere between painting and breaking down to a pulse of Mushrooms and Roses, JM inspired a call that the crowd responded to like willing background vocalists. I would tell you more about it, but there are some notes that sound better when they are sung.
Thank you Freiburg, we will be back for y'all spicy behinds! Next stop Paris!!
In front of 15,000 Janelle Monae proctored a class as only a festival veteran can, with ease and excellence. Somehow keeping those who knew of her and those who were discovering her held in the very same balance as she shook the hands of time on her soul clock like an incumbent on a familiar campaign trail.
It was beautiful to witness. It was humbling to be apart of and it will forever be special to remember.
From Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow":
"Today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African-Americans. Once you're labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination--employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from Jury service--are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a Black Man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it."
A good read if you need.
This works well at the top of your playlist.
This works well in Monday morning rush hour traffic jams.
This works well in a coffee shop over a Tall Vanilla Latte.
This works well at a barbecue.
This works well at a “Does this remind you of ‘The Way You Do the Things You Do’? party.”
Best served with Video.
Be my (Electric) Guest,