John B. Macklemore 

I have listened to podcast S-Town a total of 3 times completely through [spoliers ahead] and the ultimate struggle for John was living. He was in a constant battle for survival from himself and in the end of it all he, in a brief moment of time, lost that battle. However, I know that the war wages on and because of his sacrifice, some will win their own battles. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you must be thinking that I’m a nutcase. A man who seemingly hated everything and had a poor disposition and ultimately couldn’t take the toll of living any more and “opted out”. How is that helping anyone? Well, it’s helped because he helped me. His disdain for life was not consistent throughout his time here. It came from a broken place. It came from a sickness (potentially a cause for his depression and suicidal thoughts through mercury poisoning from his many years of fire guilding, which I just find so fascinating) The man was intelligent, causious, reckless, a black sheep, no nonsense, and seemingly just another “every town has one” kind of guy, yet the timeline of his life is similar to many people who don’t leave their small towns. While his eccentric nature made for a great plot line, he was just another person with ambition, but too afraid to leave what he knows. If anything, I learned about time and it’s lack of change, but it’s ever consistent ticking is full of life and eloquently shows how many ticks we take advantage of. It also gave me the courage to leave. I love my life, but it’s also complacent and not allowing me to reach my full potential. Also, in John’s negativity, it allowed me to see the positive. Each day is a new chance for adventures and that sounds cliche, but things are cliche because they are the ultimate truths. Live and love and understand that there will be hang ups and hardships, but there is so much good. Thank you John for your legacy. 

Always, 

Hannah 

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Poetry Reading

In my tiny town, you don’t have to look far to find the differences in people. It’s also not difficult to see the similarities, but I have been conditioned to see what makes someone unique first. As I sat at the Market Place surrounded by a mixture of races, ages, students, and town folks. I could tell by the facial expressions which ones wanted to be there and which ones were getting extra credit. I also noticed the lesbian sitting beside me and how we both had on stereotypical garb and tiny black journals. It’s what I like to call “Tools in your Lesbian starter pack”

The poet covered all the bases from his childhood to Syrian refugees. He covered racial issues and he said something that I’m glad of. He said I am going to try to read this poem and explain my point of view coming from a place of white privilege. That’s a hard thing to admit, but for me it felt like it gave me permission to talk openly about race without the feeling of “how would she know” I may not know, but I do sympathize and I see what is happening in the world and I don’t agree and I may come from a ankle deep pool of diversity, but Appalachians are categorized in terms of status. I see it all the time and I live that life daily. I thank him for being vulnerable and reminding me that it’s okay. I had forgotten what it meant to be transparent and open about things that bring me true joy and things that make me angry. I don’t know where along the lines I made the subconscious choice to be a 1950’s housewife with no regard for my own feelings. I also want to thank the little baby who sat in front of me that made me laugh at her giggles. This is a continuing my journey of firsts.

Here’s to the rest of the firsts throughout my lifetime.

 

Always,

Hannah