Love wins

Today was amazing. I didn’t actually think the cards would fall this way, at least not now, not yet.

But here we are.

I cried at my desk today, multiple times. That’s not something a news-biz person is supposed to do but I won’t apologize for it. They were tears of amazement and relief and genuine joy for those people I know and love who want to get married and finally can.

This is not about politics or religion. It’s about civil rights. Which is why I am unapologetic about my views on this issue.

Every new story, every new photo, every silly new map showing the unified colors of a country now uniformly expected to hold up the standards of equal protection brought on the waterworks today. I wasn’t the only one. Not by a long shot. Feeling a cultural paradigm shift happen — a positive and historic one — is so rare and I am so grateful I lived to see this one because I’ve been rooting for it for a while, despite several years as a sullen teenager and young adult basking in ignorance and hatefulness, driven by some perverted concept of true faith I thought I had. I live with a lot of guilt over my views in those dark days. I hurt people with my hateful words. I can never take that back.

But.

Progress.

I am so grateful my son is going to get to grow up in a country where we are all a little more equal in the eyes of the law than we were when I was a kid. That’s big. That’s the whole beautiful, messy point.

Thank you to everyone who fought for this victory. On to the next one now.

Climbing up the Minister’s Treehouse

Minister's Treehouse

About two hours east of Nashville, in Crossville, there’s a giant treehouse built by a minister who says God told him as long as he kept adding to the structure, he’d never run out of material. A few years ago the Fire Marshall ordered the structure to be closed to the public, as it did not meet fire codes. So now it sits abandoned.

I’m a sucker for rural places with bizarre backstories (like the Mindfield, for example), so when I saw this thing pop up in my Instagram feed as someone I follow visited it, I knew I had to go see for myself.

Minister's Treehouse

Minister's Treehouse Minister's Treehouse

I went solo, which made for an interesting experience as I had no one there to crack jokes with to make me feel less creeped out. A family was leaving as I pulled up and I presumably had the place all to myself. There were times I doubted that, though, as the building swayed and creaked and made strange noises all around. Shuffling, knocking, scraping, sliding. I assume there are plenty of animals that call the treehouse home, and it occurred to me that if one of them was a crazed raccoon, I’d be in for a fight.

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_MG_2938 Minister's Treehouse

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One of the stranger experiences of climbing in the treehouse was looking down and seeing the floor below through the widely spaced floor boards. Several times I felt my stomach jump up to my throat as I thought about how I was three, four, five floors up on wooden boards that were constructed by a man with no blueprints and just a calling from God to build, build, build.

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Minister's Treehouse

The chapel is the most impressive room in the place. It’s got an interesting mix of solemnity and whimsy (there’s a basketball goal on the wall, opposite the pulpit) and it’s built in amphitheater style, with slats of pews rising on all sides, several floors high around where the preacher would stand at the hand-carved altar. There were photos, paintings and carvings still in place. There’s a makeshift skylight formed by light corrugated fiberglass. Visitors from over the years had carved and painted what I thought was remarkably stupid graffiti on every surface.

There’s a room on one of the upper floors full of carved figures that look like Native Americans and Jesus. They’re all sort of hanging out around the perimeter of the room, and the afternoon sun streams in through gaps in the wooden walls to illuminate their faces.

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I climbed up the bell tower as far as the stairs would let me but stopped short of climbing up the ladder into the bell tower itself. I could see through the floorboards above some giant metal canisters that the internet tells me used to be strung up to clang like bells. There’s a bench in the bell tower and windows all around. The view is beautiful and serene, even though you can hear the hum of I-40 nearby.

Untitled from Lindsey Turner on Vimeo.

Minister's Treehouse

I stepped so gingerly and deliberately through the whole house that the next day I was sore. I kept thinking I’d find a loose board and crash through the tree, but the place did feel sturdy, I have to say. I can’t imagine a whole gaggle of kids galloping around, playing basketball in the chapel up in the tree and their parents not having cardiac events, but the minister had faith that his treehouse could sustain his flock so who am I to argue?

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Once upon a time, Flickr would let you embed slideshows, but it looks like the new Flickr (which, OK, is a few years old now) doesn’t allow it. So if you want to see more, and I hope you do, click here to view the album and click the slideshow icon in the top right corner.

Or better yet, just go see it for yourself. It’s a fantastic bit of folk art and truly an architectural masterpiece.

These are the people I work with

Please look at the work my colleagues are doing. It’s crazymaking some days, making so many newspapers, but I am so privileged to get to be the chief ambassador for these badasses and I hope they all know how proud I am of them.

‘I’m gonna be free and I’m gonna be fine’

Bad memory

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My sister once convinced me to eat a crabapple from this tree in my grandmother’s yard. She told me it would taste good and I believed everything my big sister said.

It did not taste good. It was remarkably terrible, actually.

That’s not the bad memory I’m referring to, though. That’s one of many stories of her pranking me throughout my youth. The crabapple, the red onion she told me was red cabbage, the hot sauce on my peanut butter sandwich. Those stories gets retold at least twice a year at family gatherings and we all laugh at how mean she was to her little sis.

No, the bad memory I am referring to is whether this is the actual crabapple tree at all. I can’t tell by looking at it and I distinctly remember it being located closer to the road. I don’t even know if this is a crabapple tree at all.

The bad memory is mine.

(Here’s the tree in color if that helps make it easier to identify.)

Status update

It is weird to be watched. To have someone waiting for you display how human you are so he can come after you and exploit your weaknesses. To be the target of an emotional sniper.

I wonder if he knows the damage he’s doing. Not to me, though. I’ve been working on being immune to that garbage for a long time and it’s finally taking hold.

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I’ve taken the week off from work. Naturally, it’s been raining the entire time. You’re welcome, farmers.

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I saw “Mad Max: Fury Road” the other day and it was intense in the best way. Just balls-to-the-wall insanity on an arc that most storytellers don’t often commit to. The rolling tribal metal concert was obviously the best part. I just kept thinking about the board meetings the Citadel council had to have where someone was like, “Gentlemen, times are lean and we need to think about reducing resources that are unnecessary to our most critical warmongering efforts” and then everyone looks over to the crazy suspended guitarist who’s just in the corner foaming at the mouth and stroking the frets and someone jumps up and says, “Now just a minute, Warrior Clank! One could argue that Coma-Doof Warrior’s contributions to the war effort are as critical as any of you silver-gummed, pockmarked shitstains!” and then the whole scene devolves into flammable chaos as Doof shreds his ax in the background.

That exact council meeting probably happened multiple times because, you know, political gridlock.

Such takeaway delight is not present in many films and for that I am grateful.

Also, holy fucking Furiosa, dudes. Don’t be surprised if I have a bad day and show up to the office some time soon with grease smeared on my forehead. On that day, either say yes ma’am to whatever I ask or run away from me.

Far away.

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“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.” — Donna Haraway

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The new place is coming along. I’ve got furniture on the floor and things hung on the wall. I didn’t announce a move or anything because I don’t feel terribly comfortable announcing personal details here anymore. (See the beginning of this post.)

I love living in East Nashville. It reminds me of Midtown in so many ways and it’s great to be so close to friends. I want to explore more and today intended to do just that and got caught out in a serious deluge. I came in to Mad Donna’s and that is where I sit at this moment, gut full of burger and margaritas. Happy vacation to me.

‘On our way, so it seems’

I remember when this song was new in the world and so was I, in a way.

Memphis. Windows down, sun setting, so bored and lost that I felt annoyed by all the goddamned freedom.

The past several months (years) have worn me down in ways I could not have predicted but that seem necessary for me to evolve. I’ve made some very difficult decisions but I am buoyed by the thought of better days to come. My story isn’t done. It’s just getting started. I’ve got a little partner in crime now and we have the silliest adventures and I am watching the road laid out in front of us, arcing toward something great. I could not have predicted that part of the story if you’d asked me a year ago.