bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

women of ISIS

November 22nd, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

We should all read this article in today’s NYT about the women who are involved with ISIS. I have been fascinated by the young, educated, world in front of them british teens who packed up and shipped off to Syria to be brides to suicide bombers — I’ve been wanting to write a play about them, and while I believe that a writer should writer whatever they’re pulled to — I feel like this story is far more complex than I could ever fathom, and I could never truly do their head spaces justice. For one, I was sort of projecting onto these young women a loneliness, a longing to Matter.  But this article provides a slightly different glimpse: women who were born / raised in Raqqa, who, not even two years ago, were studying English Lit, swimming in bikinis with their friends. When ISIS took over the city, a lot of them felt like they had no choice but to join the ‘morality police’ and marry fighters, for their own safety and that of their families. A lot them actually fell in love with their husbands. A lot of them wept when their husbands subsequently blew themselves up. A lot were forced to marry yet another soon to be suicide bomber just one month later. Some  fled. Some are still trapped in Syria. I like maybe all of America am on a quest to understand ISIS, not just the stereotypes and the assumptions, but what is actually going on in the heads of it’s members. Comprehending how women function in ISIS is PARAMOUNT. Without the women, where are the men? Is the part of them that’s still human and empathetic protected somehow in their women?

Posted in a lot, faith, i am lucky, i am scared, the whole world, women | No Comments »

Pests.

November 15th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m sure I’m not the first person to make this link, but ISIS and its members are like bed bugs, primal and blood thirsty and unpredictable and Everywhere.  I had them forever ago in Brooklyn. They took a year and three stupidly expensive cleaning sessions to kill. I threw away my bed. I lost sleep. I stayed awake and afraid. If I nodded off I jerked up when my own hand touched my leg. I took everything soft I had and ran it through blistering heat. I shook out each of my books and suffocated them in bags. A man in full body plastic came and sprayed every corner of my room. And still, they lived. The  bugs hid in the tiniest of cracks, wanting only blood.   If ISIS members are so willing to die, because for them,  life AFTER this is so much more glorious — how are we ever to stop them? If there are even a few left, they live. The idea survives. How do we stop them? Do we have to trick them or convince them into subsisting off of something else? Would it ever be possible to change their minds? What’s stronger, their humanity or their faith?

Posted in a lot, faith, generally, hmmmmm, i am scared, oh nooo | No Comments »

Affirmations.

November 11th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I don’t know if I believe* in signs from the universe, but I just sliced into what appears to be a flawless avocado, like so perfect it’s a cartoon of itself, so today will proceed perfectly, symmetrically, flawlessly, yes? YES? RIGHT, AVOCADO? RIGHT?!

*DEFINITELY BELIEVE.

Posted in faith, generally, ha, hmmmmm, optimism | No Comments »

THAT WHICH CONQUERS ALL.

October 13th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I love this panel from The Sandman.

HOPE WINS ALL THE GAMES.

Posted in awesome, boys, faith, how interesting, working | No Comments »

PREACH ODIN PREACH

September 23rd, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’ve been reading some Old Norse poems from the Elder Edda,  YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU DO. My favorite so far are from Sayings of the High One, which is basically an advice column penned by Odin the God of War and also star of American Gods him very self. He’s gruff, practical, amicable,  and definitely thinks you should eat before you hang out with friends so that you’re not starving.

Some personal favorites:

A stupid man stays awake all night pondering his problems; he’s worn out when morning comes and whatever was, still is.

Moderately wise a man should be — don’t wish for too much wisdom; a man’s heart is seldom happy if he is truly wise.

A man does well to eat a hearty meal before he visits friends, or he sits around glumly acting starved and finds words for very few.

Get up early if you are after another man’s life or money; a sleeping wolf will seldom make a kill nor a warrior win lying down.
Drink ale by the fireside, skate on the ice, buy lean steeds and bloodstained swords, fatten horses in the stable, a dog in your home. Never trust what a maiden tells you nor count any woman constant; their hearts are turned on a potter’s wheel.

I TOTALLY AGREE ODIN, YOU KNOW EVERYTHING.

….NO WAIT ACTUALLY I JUST CHANGED MY MIND.

Posted in awesome, books, boys, factual smarts, faith, history, hmmmmm, how interesting | No Comments »

space of grace

September 21st, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

Hi, it’s me, grown up girl woman still defining her faith! I love when I meet or read about or Terry Gross tells me about people who believe in God in a true yet unconventional way.  Most recently: I caught an interview with this incredible woman, Nadia Bolz-Weber, an addict turned Lutheran preacher.  She’s redefining what it is to have faith, and re-invigorating a group of people who have felt pushed out the organization surrounding faith. That’s what church is, at its heart: faith. So many factors complicate that simple core.  Christians are pressured to present that they’re perfect, forcing all human flaws into the closet until said closet door bursts and out pours buckets of sins.  But she admits that it’s meant to be messy:

That’s what is challenging to me about Christianity is that exact thing — being forced to look at your own stuff and being pushed into a space of grace that’s really, really uncomfortable.

Isn’t that great? It’s not meant to be effortless or wonderful or dreamy or cloud-like. Faith is the discomfort of therapy, of looking at old pictures of your self, of reading old poems you wrote,  confronting head on the weird things you cling to, your own igornorance and fears  — then letting them all go, and looking Up.

Posted in faith, how interesting, i am a grown up, love | No Comments »

change

August 2nd, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

My parents have been going to the same church since I was 3, so I’ve gotten to see it morph  to keep up with the times and also possibly the Kardashians over the  years. There’s an armed cop in the lobby, the Pastor’s on twitter, you can tithe via text, pretty much everyone’s in jeans,  there are three services: traditional, less traditional, and you are practically not even at church at all, greetings are given to those ‘watching at home online,’ and MOST RECENTLY:

But the same spirit of love and generosity and genuine worship prevailed as we connected to wifi / took notes on our phones / snuck pictures of the sanctuary for our blog.  Numbers that coordinated to bad children flashed above the wireless password, and parents snuck out  to rescue them from some tormented sunday school teacher. That was me when I was wee, coloring in Abraham drawings, misbehaving, unaware of where I even was.

Posted in faith, family, life, love | No Comments »

tbt

July 16th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m fairly certain that this is the first time I’ve ever participated in the mass ritual that is Throwback Thursday. LAST ONE ON THE BOAT BRUNSTETTER STRIKES AGAINNNN!!!! Here is an old picture that I love, that I rescued from the depths of my closet at my parents house, where it was buried beneath old poems and Highlights magazines and boxes of handwritten notes from Julien passed between Biology and Ping Pong. I now display it in my own house.

I’m receiving my very first very own bible from Pastor Mark Corts, who to me, at this age, was some sort of Granddad / Santa / God hybrid: kind and eternal and giving. I felt SO SPECIAL and it was not even because my headband matched my sweater matched the subtle stripes in my skirt. Because I was old enough to be given my own book with my own name in it.

While my own faith fluctuates and changes moment to moment and is still being Found (does this ever stop?), this bible and picture stand for  a constant; a thing ingrained in me since I was young. Noise swirls and settles around it, but it never moves.

Posted in a lot, faith, family, life, memories | No Comments »

The Duggars

June 4th, 2015 by Bekah Brunstetter

In the spirit of keeping this space equal parts sandwich, dress and social commentary, let’s talk about the Duggars (The stars of 19 kids and counting, a TLC reality show about the Duggars….who have 19 kids…and counting. KEEP UP.) It was recently revealed that years ago, their oldest son molested their daughters.

I present three statements / opinions / statepinions / opements:

1.) What a nightmare. What a freaking nightmare, for any parent. HOW DO YOU EVEN?

2.) The Duggars are not bad people. They are not monsters.  I think that they know that what happened was terrible, but since they are Christians AND TV stars, they are bumbling through how to appropriately react. They are people trying to raise their children in a way that they feel is right, according to their  belief system. I’m seeing a fair amount of judginess happening on social media, attacking their reaction to their son’s mistakes, and how they are handling it now, publicly. But what would YOU do, in their shoes? Is there even a right way to handle this? WHAT WOULD YOU EVEN? Of course they are stumbling through this. And of course they stumbled through their interview, tripped over the things they were supposed to say, because HOW. DO. YOU. EVEN. I feel bad for them. I really do.

3.) …There is something broken. I’ve watched a few episodes of this show here and there, as TLC is the PERFECT companion to late night lunch meat and procrastination. I’ve mostly watched the courtship and weddings of a few of the daughters. Basically, Duggar daughters are not allowed to kiss their husbands before they marry them. They are not allowed to be alone with their fiancée until they are married. If they hug, their bodies can’t fully touch. Their first kiss happens in front of family and friends at the altar. There is something kind of sweet and pure about this, sure  — but also, something kind of crazy. It’s a fine, fine line. Have The Duggars taken their values so far  that they are restricting the natural impulses of their children,  in a way that is ultimately damaging? If you teach your kids to ignore and overcome their sexual impulses, do they then associate their impulses with shame, try and push them down, but then succumb to them in ways that aren’t healthy? Survey says yes.

Posted in a lot, faith, famous people stuff, hmmmmm, life, oh nooo | No Comments »

Today, on Here are my favorite Biblical action figures

March 19th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Posted in a lot, awesome, faith | No Comments »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »