Insert Witty Title *Here*

"After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
Questions.

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via awelltraveledwoman)

nprfreshair:

via Today:

“Parks & Recreation” funny woman Amy Poehler has been making short videos for her Smart Girls Channel since last July, and has been answering questions from young people about everything from makeup to anxiety to friendship. But in her latest video, which went online Thursday, she seems to be not just answering a question from a 16-year-old … but looking at a larger, very immediate issue: The recent Boston Marathon bombings.

I could watch this for a very long time.

I could watch this for a very long time.

thekidshouldseethis:

A clip of Gene Kelly from Singin’ in the Rain. Classics 101.

mattlowe:

So proud.  So many questions.
Jessica couldn’t sleep last night, so crept out of bed, grabbed paper and a pencil from my study, and went back to write.  She presented this poem - hidden under her bed - as we were getting ready for bedtime tonight.  
Uncorrected Transcript (published with permission):

A tounge-twister poem
Superheroes, pooperheros
by Jessica Andra Lowe
Superheros, pooperheroes. What can we do?
Superheros save and pooperheros poo!
Sally the Superhero once saved a girl,
Penny the pooperhero once pooed a perl!
Smack them hard and send them to bed,
or hit them in the elbow and punch them in the head!
the End

mattlowe:

So proud.  So many questions.

Jessica couldn’t sleep last night, so crept out of bed, grabbed paper and a pencil from my study, and went back to write.  She presented this poem - hidden under her bed - as we were getting ready for bedtime tonight.  

Uncorrected Transcript (published with permission):

A tounge-twister poem

Superheroes, pooperheros

by Jessica Andra Lowe

Superheros, pooperheroes. What can we do?

Superheros save and pooperheros poo!

Sally the Superhero once saved a girl,

Penny the pooperhero once pooed a perl!

Smack them hard and send them to bed,

or hit them in the elbow and punch them in the head!

the End

mattlowe:

steelopus:

smithsonianmag:

Stunning Star Trail Photographs from International Space Station

NASA astronaut Don Pettit recently uploaded a gallery of photos to the Johnson Space Center’s Flickr page. Pettit on how he captured these amazing images:

“My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, the ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”

Ed note: Here are the Hubble Space Telescope’s finest photos.

h/t Twisted Sifter

I must have this on my blog.

Oh my.

danmeth:

POOH CORNER MEDICATIONS#17 In a Series of Pop-Cultural Charts I’m not actually a certified psychiatrist, but then again, these characters aren’t actually real. (Oh, and look at this other Winnie-The-Pooh thing I once did.) 

danmeth:

POOH CORNER MEDICATIONS
#17 In a Series of Pop-Cultural Charts 

I’m not actually a certified psychiatrist, but then again, these characters aren’t actually real.
 

(Oh, and look at this other Winnie-The-Pooh thing I once did.) 

Wow. No other words are available to me at this point.