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the gradient from a sunset
above the bushes
between the trees
fading
to grey
to black.
crying
in
my mom's arms.

Posted by : Coby Gerstner
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The end of Euro 2016

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It ended today, in agony for France, jubilation for Portugal. Here's a story from an article at the beginning of Euro 2016, it's about Ireland and Euro 2012:

"In the 75th minute it was 3-0, game over. Then the Republic of Ireland supporters, all 30,000 of them in a stadium that held 40,000 started singing. They sang "The Fields of Athenry," their traditional song of defiance and commemoration of the great Irish famine. They sang it over and over again. They made the stadium shake and vibrate for the longest time. They owned it. The sound made the hair stand up on the back of your head.

If you saw the match on TV, and tens of millions did–it was Spain after all, reigning World Cup and Euro champions–you saw the dreary end to a lopsided game. Spain kept possession, scored again, and got themselves out of the cold drizzle, into a bus, and away to the warmth of their hotel. The Ireland team, essentially eliminated after two games, must have left in a daze of disappointment, the prospect of a pointless match against Italy on the horizon and then home.

The Republic of Ireland supporters stuck around. They ignored the final whistle and kept singing that song. I filed my report, left the stadium, and heard them again, immediately. Every bar and restaurant was brimming with them. Loud and raucous with them. They were mad with it, the strange spirit and ecstasy of just being there. Nobody saw that on TV. No sponsor benefited from it... But it was my favorite night in a month of matches, a bliss-kissed few hours."

- John Doyle from The Last Great Tournament

Who knows what it all means in an eternal scheme of things, but in an "enjoy the journey" scheme of things, this kind of story is really touching.

Posted by : Coby Gerstner
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The planet we live on.

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When something speaks to your soul, share it. Natalie and I went to the symphony and heard Gustav Holst's The Planets. Written almost 100 years ago, and having no prior knowledge to what the music would be like, we went with open minds. I sat in my seat, and at 2:59 of this song, I felt my mouth open. It didn't close for 3 minutes. I was in awe. The true meaning of it, "a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder." And I was grateful to live in a world with things this beautiful.

Posted by : Coby Gerstner
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Kansas City

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Feeling very humbled to have met such good people here.







Posted by : Coby Gerstner
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This week in songs that make you feel nostalgic for a specific place and time in your life.

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Spanish class, sophomore year, on the southeast side of the school, with the lyrics projected onto the wall. We'd sing a song every day, picked from a notebook of lyrics on clear plastic sheets and played on a boombox cd-player, furthering my intense love of all things latin culture. On the opposite side of the classroom were books in Spanish full of pictures and places I yearned to go. This is a key moment in my life: learning Spanish opened up so many doors to experiences that deepened my understanding of what it's like to be human, and to be a good person, and so when I hear this song, I'm taken back to that classroom, with the lights apagado (turned off), singing a song that I liked innately without even really understanding what it meant. I was 15 and Provo was my world. Inside that classroom, it was a lot bigger.

Posted by : Coby Gerstner
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