Chapel October 4, 2006


(Setup Ė easel with large foam core signs, symbol playing monkeys, big hat, dinocoat.)


Good morning.Over the summer some feet to feet students and I went to a conference and we did energizers, and I thought they were a pain, but I made one up and now I want inflict it on you. It goes like this:


I am an anemone

sensing my surroundings (wave hands and fingers way above head and sway)

when I'm finding nourishment

my heart is open wide (hold arms outstretched)


I am an anemone

sensing my surroundings (wave hands and fingers way above head and sway)

when I am offended I

turn myself inside. (tuck arms into belly and bend forward)


Ok.Now everybody stand up, come on, and letís do it together:


I am an anemone

sensing my surroundings

when Iím finding nourishment

my heart is open wide


I am an anemone

sensing my surroundings

when I am offended I

turn myself inside.


See?Isnít that painful?Ok sit down and relax.No more energizers.


Chapel Talk


I like chapel because sometimes I can stand up here do goofy stuff in front of people.I donít know why but I have always liked to do that.The best thing is that YOU can do a chapel too.If you are interested, see Mrs. Mitchell or let me or any other teacher know so we can help you schedule it.Now, I am inspired by you, and want to hear what you have to say, but you have my permission not to listen to me. Just act like you are because civility says so.But I believe in what Iím saying, even though it doesnít really make much sense.


This year there is not as much time for chapels so Iíd like to do 4 chapels at once since most of you know how to multitask.But I shouldnít use the word ďchapelĒ because Iím not that religious so Iíll just call them Hollerings.††



Hollering 1 Ė God Stuff


I did a thing called Open Mind that is sort of about god stuff, and Iím still pretty open.Probably because Iím cracked and even though god stuff keeps pouring in it just leaks out of the holes in my brain.Even though Iíve been literally beaten by the Bible Belt all of my life, I donít know much about God stuff.As I get older, Bible stories sound more and more like Greek mythology.It is full of fantastic super hero situations and violence and mayhem and rules.But like the other myths, it is trying to express complicated knowledge about how we ought to live.I just take the all of the fairy tale stuff with a big chunk of Lotís wife, (that means salt), and listen to the parts that make sense.Thatís why I like to listen to Mr. Smithís readings, because, aside from a few sheep and goat lessons, he reads parts from the Bible most of us can relate to regardless of our religion, or lack of it. But if there really is a God, I wish it would take some lessons in communication from the sun.Pretty much everybody agrees about the sun.Look.Thereís the sun.Donít you agree?Yep.No doubt about it. Thatís the sun alright.Seems like a god could at least get everybody to agree as well as the sun does.But whatever the god is, or isnít, still is or isnít, regardless of my belief.I think you can do just fine with or without faith in a god, but do I think you have to believe in something, whether itís yourself, or others, an idea, or the sun.I do think there is some kind of mystery that is best expressed through our love of each other, and that it doesnít really matter or care what we call it.Iíd like to believe that Love is the answer to everything, as I have seen it bring great happiness, but I have also felt its heartache, and Iíve seen folks, including myself, get in a heck of a lot of trouble because of it.But hey, god stuff is like that too!But, all in all, Iíd like to err on the side of Love.I like the New Testamentís emphasis on Love, and on forgiveness.Not the Garden of Eden, Tree of Knowledge, Fall of Man, Resurrection, Eternity in Heaven and Hell stuff, but the symbol of the cross as ultimate Love and Sacrifice and Forgiveness and Grace.The thing is that we all screw up.We do things that hurt others and our selves, whether intentionally or not.We may feel so badly about it, or do things to try to hide it, that we make our lives even more complicated and worse.It may be hard to move on until we can decide to let it go, to let it be, and to try and be better human beings.To allow ourselves to be better human beings.To never give up on this, and on each other.To forgive ourselves.To forgive others.The grace of forgiveness is about the most divine thing Iíve come across.I reckon itís because it seems to be impossible to do sometimes without something greater than ourselves.I think the greater thing is a special kind of love, wherever it comes from.Forgive with Love.Just Love each other.Man.Thatís the biggy.Itís too heavy.I have a hard enough time trying to learn your names.To actually LOVE you?What if I really DID?What if we ALL really did?How weird would THAT be?Thatís about all I know about god stuff.



Hollering 2 Ė Care Team


I gave a long speech a few years ago about my younger days and why Iím involved with the Care Team.I thought it might make a difference, but nope.It just made me feel better.We still know students and adults who get stoned and/or drunk, privately and at parties.Maybe not as many, but it still goes on.And no wonder.We tell you how bad it is while we show you how fun it is, and tell you how you have to wait until youíre 21 to be socially responsible drinkers and have fun like us.Why do we do this to ourselves?This whole thing is a mooshey and emotional and physiological and social mess. But if youíre interested you can go to this website:,

and click on the weird flashing picture at the bottom of the page.Iíd be happy to talk with you about it.Feel free to e-mail me if you canít find the time, especially this semester.



Hollering 3 Ė Stump Song


Over the summer I wrote a song and I want to sing it, but I canít sing, so Iím just going to holler it at you:


Just a Stump Song
(click to listen)


Sit and kindly listen to my story of a Tree

and a boy and a girl and a vision and me.

About a hundred years ago, maybe a little more,

a squirrel picked up an acorn and he made a little bore

and he packed it in his pocket of the loving Mother Earth

and he ran away and left it for the miracle of birth.

Oh, heís got vision.


Then the pocket puckers open and the Tree begins to sprout

and it grows into the sunshine and her limbs are branching out,

and the laughter and the learning that collect within her shade

are included in the rings within the heartwood she has made.

Oh, sheís got vision.


Then she grows into the heavens and she grows into the Earth

and she grows into the memories recorded in her girth,

and the people gather Ďround her and admire her, Ďtill her age

causes lofty limbs to wither to a precarious stage,

and a man looks up and sees a limb that one day will fall down,

and for the sake of safety has our Tree cut to the ground.

Oh, heís got vision.


And the people saw a shadow instead of the mighty Tree

and they asked themselves and others if this was necessary,

and instead of talking ugly and continuing to grump

they formed a group to renovate the Treeís remaining Stump.

Oh, theyíve got vision.


And instead of using chainsaws and instead of going fast,

they chipped away with hand tools that would make the process last

so that everyone that wanted to contribute to the Tree

would have time to take advantage of the opportunity,

because things donít have to be completed right away, my friend,

when the process is considered to be greater than the end.

Oh, tunnel vision.


And they worked between their duties to their teachers and their peers

and they found that their commitment may take a couple of years,

and they left it for the summer to return to work that fall,

but they hadnít met a deadline they knew nothing of at all

so the stump was ground to bits and then the ground was smooth and clean

and the Tree to be remembered is now lost within the Green.

Oh, whereís the Vision?


Now it really, really bothers me and now I wonder why

people look right through each other when they donít see eye to eye.

And I wonder why Iím singing this peculiar little song

because Iím not really saying if Iím right or if Iím wrong.

Iím just letting out some sounds because Iím wanting to be heard

Ďcause itís not about the Tree as much as itís about our Word,


for all Living Things must die, this means the Humans and the Trees,

but our Word lives on forever, longer than our memories,

and our Word is our beginning and our Word will be our end,

and our Word is only Good if we can keep it True, my Friend.


So to those of you I promised would have opportunity

to return to work and finish the Memorial to Our Tree,

I ask for your forgiveness, and my throat contains a lump

as my Word disintegrated with the grinding of the Stump.

Oh, I need Vision.


If any of you folks want to help make some cutting boards for the Parents Association Auction then let me know sometime real soon.



Hollering 4 Ė Middle Aged Crazy and the Minds of Mayhem (put on P.T. Pickens hat and dinosaur coat uncover 9 crazy looking jolly chimp mechanical monkeys)


Hello.Iím Middle Aged Crazy, and this is my band, the Minds of Mayhem.You know, we live in a strange and wonderful world, and sometimes bad things happen, and some time good things happen, and sometimes weird things happen.This may be all three depending on your perspective, but weíd like to do a little song for you that was written by us, and other folks:


Sometimes it's OK to have fun. (tune here, sort of)
Sometimes it's OK to have fun.
Sometimes it's OK not to worry 'bout the day,
Sometimes it's OK to have fun.

I don't want to hear about war.
I don't even know what it's for.
We would never kill were we wise enough to deal,
I don't want to hear about war.

I don't need to purchase your stuff.
I believe I have quite enough.
Working just for pay is a waste of a good day,
I don't need to purchase your stuff.

Sometimes I grow tired of school,
I don't want to follow the rule
Keeping me in line with your conservative whine,
Sometimes I grow tired of school.

In spite of the darkness and fear
Our hearts and our visions are clear
We will get along with each other and with song
In spite of the darkness and fear.

Now why can't we all just be nice
without always naming a price?
Just do something good because you know that you should
Now why can't we all just be nice


We should all just do a good deed.
every living day of the week.
One in which we give from ourselves in how we live.
something that somebody else needs.


I am glad for family and friends
They are where the emptiness ends
They will fill our night with their love and warmth and light,
I am glad for family and friends.

Sometimes it's OK to have fun.
Sometimes it's OK to have fun.
Sometimes it's OK not to worry 'bout the day,
Sometimes it's OK to have fun.


p. michael quinn

4 october, 2006