Category Archives: pop culture

one can only hope


I often wonder why certain world events stand out to me, why some strike me deeper than others. Benazir Bhutto’s assassination yesterday is one of those events. On the surface my interest has piqued alongside the recent pop culture focus on the region including Khaled Hosseini’s heart wrenching book A Thousand Splendid Suns and the surprisingly comedic yet ultimately tragic storyline of the film Charlie Wilson’s War. Though both focus on Afghanistan’s tumultuous past, that country’s link to Pakistan then and now is undeniable.

But Bhutto’s assassination takes me back more than twenty years when she was the first democratically elected woman of an Islamic country. For a young politically active woman I was enchanted by her poise, her courage, and her place in history. Watching her fall from grace through years of political corruption and exile mirrored my own disenchantment with American politics and election fraud, most notably following the 2000 election. Although I know Bhutto’s return to Pakistan was not hailed by all of its citizens, she still represents what democracy could mean in a country now ruled by a general who took power by military coup. Her return mirrored my own hope, paired with the upcoming election for a new American president, that either a woman or a minority could legitimately be elected to lead our country.

One can only hope. I can only hope.

(photo – New York Times)

the sounds of home

The first morning after I landed in Portland I found myself unable to sleep past 5:30 being that I was still on east coast time. So I put on my running shoes and drove up to the Fairmount loop. The sun was still underneath the horizon and trying to inch higher and higher with each passing moment. Time stands still on that hill just like it always did.

When I lived here ten years ago I used to jog that same loop in the early morning hours. And in many trips back Lee and I would walk around Fairmount and talk about as much as we could fit into 3 1/2 miles. So on this first morning back it seemed like a perfect way to say hello to Portland. Each curve of the road was different, some were newly sunlit and others were holding on to the damp doug fir forest smell… but my favorites were the ones that reverberated with the sounds of creeks flowing down the steep hillsides. In between I listened to music about home and thought about all the paths I’ve taken that lead me here….

Who Says You Can’t Go Home
I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face, there isn’t one of these lines that I would erase. I left a million miles of memories on that road, and every step I take I know that I’m not alone. You take the home from the girl, but not the girl from her home. These are my streets, the only life I’ve ever known, who says you can’t go home. There’s only one place that call me one of their own. Just a hometown girl, born a rolling-stone, who says you can’t go home. Who says you can’t go back, been all around the world and that’s a matter of fact. There’s only one place left I want to go, who says you can’t go home.

Home
Another summer day has come and gone away in Paris and Rome, but I wanna go home. Let me go home. Another aeroplane, another sunny place. I’m lucky I know, but I wanna go home. I’ve got to go home.

Home
I’m going home, back to the place where I belong, and where your love has always been enough for me. I’m not running from. No, I think you got me all wrong. I don’t regret this life I chose for me. But these places and these faces are getting old so I’m going home.

Home
Traveling at night, the headlights were bright, and we’d been up many an hour. And all through my brain came the refrain of home and its warming fire. Home sings me of sweet things. My life there has its own wings. Fly over the mountain though I’m standing still.

Celebrate Me Home
Please, celebrate me home. Play me one more song, that I’ll always remember. Whenever I find myself too all alone, I can make believe I’ve never gone. I never know where I belong. Sing me home.