Joel Tucker and the Language of Jazz

Photo by Naama Levy

Photo by Naama Levy

Race flags and Christmas lights drape the walls of a hidden slice of Massachusetts Avenue. An old jukebox sits in the back, unattended as the 20-person crowd inside the Chatterbox Jazz Club listens attentively to the improvisations of a young trio–a bass player, a pianist, and an electric guitar player–squashed together on a small stage at the front of the room.

The guitar player, a young white guy with a mop of curly brown hair, bends intently over his chords. His eyes register that he’s somewhere else, perhaps absorbed in a secret story.

When Joel Tucker speaks, however, he is fully present, cheerful, polite.

Continue reading at Sky Blue Window . . . 

Frayed Flip Flops

It’s July 3rd, and still no news on the Gabriel front. We’re trying to wait patiently, knowing that there are many circumstances outside of our control. If you’re praying for us, would you please pray that we’d have news soon that we’ve passed the court, so we can move on to the next step in the process of becoming Gabriel’s parents? In the meantime, I wrote this little poem after seeing the most recent photos of our little guy.


Baggy blue overalls,
A physical cord that vanishes the miles,
Chosen by us, worn by him.

A toy yellow motorcycle,
Clutched in one-year-old paws,
A secret delight to the mind of a miniature adventurer.

Flip flops,
Frayed in the Congolese dirt,
Early steps of a future world traveler.

Eyes that smile,
Once worn in tears,
And a hundred sadnesses only he may ever know.

Arms outstretched,
Beckoning us,
A preview of a thousand embraces yet to be ours.