jolly jo is a harsh mistress

jolly jo's child care is down the street from my house. it lists over on a hill in midtown, servicing the low end of the income scale, people who need to leave their kids somewhere while they shuffle carts at publix. there is a pair of plastic "f-14 tomcat" bouncy seats in the yard, allowing the children to indulge in fantasies of shooting down early 90's iranian jets during the gulf war. there is also a punching bag. i have never seen any children there, but i imagine there are a number of very tough pre-schoolers that spend their days 'going to the mattresses' and sitting in the plastic jets making explosion sounds with their mouths as they fight to maintain america's interests in the middle east.

before the sun faded the paint on the playground equipment, before we all grew up, children played there while i made my own playdough at a church that saw 8,000 people on most sundays. this church has indoor playground equipment and an arsenal of slip-n-slides that were rolled out once a month to allow the middle class baptist kids of florida to enjoy themselves amidst the cacophony of bruised knees and hose water.

i think the kids is midtown needed the punching bags more than they needed air conditioning and regularly maintained play equipment. while i was listening to threats of "we can call your father" these kids were getting a head start education in the heartache of being alive. they took out their frustration on a punching bag, i ate my own playdough. and while no one ever hit me and i saw my father on a regular basis, they knew far more about life than i did. at that point i probably could not have handled the knowledge they were acquiring, but it makes me wonder exactly how much you can shelter a child before you start to harm him.

Posted at at 6:24 PM on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 by Posted by hunter | 0 comments   | Filed under:

always maybe

said that girl is gonna ruin you
and i only hoped you would
now i guess i'm spoiled
looking for a colorful girl
in a black and white world
what about that other girl
she's pretty when she's wasted
and tonight she's pretty wasted
but she's back in the hallway
making out with strangers

maybe everything said was a lie
or maybe only when i said goodbye
so baby jump the gun
baby jump the gun
and sitting in your shadow
was warmer than the sunrise
but when you couldn't take me anymore
my heart set on the water
and it hasn't come back up
maybe everything you was a lie
or maybe only when i said goodbye
so baby jump the gun
baby jump the gun

Posted at at 4:27 PM on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by Posted by hunter | 0 comments   | Filed under: , ,

The Peace of Wild Things

dock HDR, originally uploaded by mrpittman.
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
--Wendell Berry

Posted at at 10:33 AM on Friday, January 11, 2008 by Posted by hunter | 2 comments   | Filed under: ,