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Garreth "Karate Explosion" Blackwell

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February 06, 2014

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my freaking awesome magazine (get on board as an investor now), painting, Red Sox Baseball, Cooking, Socio-political Ranting, foreign films, dogs, traveling, chinese food, changing the world, downing the Man, entreprenurial enterprises, sitting and thinking, a thing in a bag


Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes, Coldplay, The Beatles, Howie Day, Bob Marley, N.E.R.D., The Postal Service, Bloc Party, Radiohead, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, John Lennon,


Amelie, City of God, Hotel Rwanda, A Very Long Engagement, Motorcycle Diaries, Shaun of the Dead, Dodgeball, Austin Powers, Triplettes of Belleville


Mere Christianity, Walking on Water, Ragamuffin Gospel, Blue Like Jazz, Celebration of Disciplines, Roald Dahl stuff, Catcher in the Rye

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New Nephew

Yesterday my first nephew came into the world. After a nearly 24 year drought, the Blackwell family has finally produced another male. My sister Bronwyn and brother-in-law Jason had Joshua Michael Swartz around 1:30 (pst) yesterday afternoon. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 1 oz. and was a nice 21 inches long. All 21 digits are in tact.
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It's amazing how a good day can be made even better just by having a conversation with a 3-year-old.
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Tainted Love

Found this today on and thought everyone should take a few minutes to read it. Hope it pushes you toward more...

My lips breathe the words I read,
and speak so true to the life I lead,
Day by day, night by night, caught in the moment, everything seems right,
I continue on this way, wondering, searching
with my body, my soul, my heart, my Beauty,
There's so much in me that wants to offer my femininity
I wanna use my Beauty to delight him, captivate him and show him how You
made me,
I yearn to feel the Beauty.
I yearn so much that I give too much, too many, too soon, too fast,
I've toyed and manipulated situations in the past,
to feel that intimacy that only You can offer me
But I admit, I gave too much, too soon, too fast,
that I cannot even grasp the past of hurt, confusion, disillusion, I'm
losing ...

And then I awaken, I arise, I won't buy into the lies
I stop in the pain I've been faking
I've betrayed You, disobeyed You, played You,
used the gifts I've been given
to taint the man I love
I've twisted and bended my Beauty
to obtain that false love that I believe will sustain ... the pain
But pain is what I gain in the forbidden game.

And as I spill forth burning tears of sin,
pain lingers within
pain of pleasure, pain of fun,
my desperate soul cries out ...

GOD what have I done?

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Friends and Funerals...

"Farewell old friends
And we won't forget
The times we've spent."

     Chris's funeral was today, so here I am at my parents' house on the Coast. I spent a good part of the night driving so I could get here today in time to say goodbye to someone who never should have left so soon. The weather is warming up and there are signs of spring everywhere. The trees are starting to get their leaves back and the blue, cloudless sky is blowing a slight, cool breeze from the north. As I drove to Gautier for the funeral today I crossed the high rise bridge and saw the river where I spent most of my weekends in high school laughing, getting sunburned and trying to catch a few flounder. It's the same river that took away my friend Johnny in tenth grade. The water was murky from the hard rain yesterday and had white caps from the wind blowing across it. As I got into Gautier I passed the street where I would have turned to go to Kyle's house if he hadn't been killed right before Christmas of our freshman year of college. The church was on the left and the parking lot was full, forcing me to park in a small patch of grass behind the building.
     The line of mourners wrapped through the foyer and stretched beyond the doors of the church. Standing there waiting to go in, I saw faces and heard voices that I hadn't seen or heard for almost five years. A few people said hello and asked how I was but for the most part people talked amongst those they came with. The sanctuary of Chris's church was filled to capacity and a few individuals were resigned to stand around the edges of the room. I was lucky enough to snag a folding chair in the back left corner.

     The service was good; as good as a funeral for a 23-year-old can be. Some people talked, some people sang, some people prayed. But I didn't hear much of it. There was no casket because Chris had so badly maimed himself that the state required an autopsy before they would issue a death certificate. What remained of Chris was sitting on a metal table in Jackson. I heard this morning that he bought a gun that would ensure he didn't just hurt himself. For a few days, Chris knew that he would sit in his bed and fire a gun into his brain. There was just a picture of Chris and some flowers at the front of the church. His picture was like I remember Chris: smiling, cheerful and happy. It didn't seem possible to be sitting at his funeral; a funeral Chris planned on having.

     There were wonderful things said about Chris by friends of his that had come from all over the country. Everyone in the room was there for Chris, but somehow Chris had not felt like anyone had been there for him just a few days earlier.

     I don't like funerals, I don't like to cry; but for some reason, I couldn't keep the tears from my eyes. I've been trying to figure out why this has affected me the way it has, and I can't figure it out. Maybe it's all that has happened here over the last six months. Maybe it's just a realization that life is so much shorter than we realize. Maybe it's knowing that I am not living a life worthy of good funeral. Or maybe I just realize that this could have been me.

     Sophomore year I wanted to die. I wanted nothing more to do with struggle and loss and hurt. It could have been me someone found in a bed holding a just-used gun. The only reason I didn't is because I had people who cared enough about me to never give up on someone that they knew had more to give than simple sadness.
     If you are one of those people, thank you. It is appreciated by more people than you realize, but especially by me. With the hurricane and now with the loss of Chris, I realize that life is so important and that the people in my life are even more important than I already knew. We ask for blessings from God and we pray for things like material possessions or money or someone to date, but God has already blessed us with so much in the friends He allows us to have.

     I'm going to be at home for a little while because there are people here I have not seen in a while and people here that I haven't been able to enjoy time with. I thank God for all of you. You are more precious to me than the air I breathe. I love you all and would not be who I am without each and every one of you.

     I pray for you diligently.

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