Thursday, July 27, 2006

Khalid Hosseini – The Kite Runner

I have never been to Afghanistan; most Americans can say that. Few of us knew much about it before the U.S. military strikes on the Taliban following September 11. Even now, what we know is based on the news reports we see on television.

Still, what do we really know? It is in this lack of familiarity with Afghanistan that Khaled Hosseini brings us his superbly written bestseller, “The Kite Runner.” The storyteller in Hosseini’s tale is Amir, who as a young and privileged Pashtun in Kabul in the early 1970’s, lives a sheltered life, unaware of the struggles surrounding him, nor of the turbulence about to overtake Afghanistan. Through is uneasy relationship with his father and a conflicted friendship with a Hazara servant’s son, Hassan, the story unfolds as a series of choices that shape the lives of the main characters of the book.

As Amir and his father eventually escape their crumbling country, first for Pakistan and later America, we get tastes of the chaos that gripped Afghanistan in the 80’s and 90’s. The shadow of the Taliban’s oppressive rule takes form, but it is a distant one to the Americanized and contented Amir; contented, except for the secret he left behind with his Afghani childhood. Confronted with the past, Amir returns to Afghanistan, and only now do we get to see the true and agonizing pictures of Afghanistan under the twisted and sickening Taliban rule. Also revealed is Amir's opportunity to atone for the past that had seemingly slipped away from him.

“The Kite Runner” should be required reading for Americans who too often assume knowledge of that which they do not know. It is eye-opening in its poignancy and rawness. Hosseini provides us with the horrors of life we cannot comprehend, but he also shows us the genuine humanness of a people through many touching and genuine moments.

“The Kite Runner” is both a tragedy and a story of redemptive love, and it is told in a style that holds the reader firmly in its grip. It is a book that will matter long after it slips from the bestseller lists, remaining a worthy read for years to come. However, the time to read it is now.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Red Molly: "Never Been to Vegas"

Finally, all is right in the world (ok, not really, but allow me my hyperbole)! Red Molly has released a full length, mostly live CD. The Appalachia-based sound the trio brings to bare is no longer limited to a 4-song EP, as we now have fourteen gems to soothe us on their newly released “Never Been to Vegas.”

Reviewing individual songs or dissecting “Vegas” is not my goal. All that must be said now is that Red Molly provides a vibrancy and life to songs that has never been more clear than on this CD. Their harmonies are divinely imparted and the musical accompaniments serve as vital enhancements to each song. You even get a bit of the girl’s friendly banter.

Buy “Never Been to Vegas” now on CDBaby. Until you do so, your music collection is incomplete.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Dance of the Spirit

The dance was beauty, pure and simple. It took the resistance within me and spoke to it; telling the inner struggle it was time for silence and a place of safety and warmth.

And so the sweetness of the dance took hold of my spirit.

Meeting head to head or as a triumvirate of twisting and flying masses or in the gentle trust of passivity, the waves of cleansing love touched me.

A sprinkling of the waters was felt in earnest and lingered long after. Then, again, in a circle, more healing water was brought forth. And I was offered it to bathe in to soothe my skin.

It was God who spoke to me and said, "My child, you are blessed and good and will be given the best that life can provide. Be patient and know Me as your protecting voice for I truly love you."

I am here. I am in truth and openness. I am strong enough to dance and sing and find stillness. Through the pain, that will not be forgotten.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Poem: Dreams


Long last found, her gentle touch
A body warm to hold
Kisses melting upon my lips
Her beauty I behold.

That soothing voice that fills my ears
A laughter tender so
Every moment within her midst
Is all I need to know.

She lies beside me and speaks my name
I love her quiet sigh
Her passion rises in basking glow
My love I can’t deny.

With morning comes new realizations
Another evening’s past it seems
This loving time I held to firmly
Was just another of my dreams.

Now each night I cling with need
My lover I hope I find
As eyes grow heavy and thoughts grow dim
I seek her in my mind.

Copyright SGW 1999