Thursday, February 16, 2017

Activist Fatigue

Lawd, I don't know about y'all but I'm feeling the burn of working my activist muscles.  It feels like we're being bombarded from all sides with horribly hateful bills at a state level and just pure incompetence at the national level.  The question I get over and over is, "What can I do to help? I just feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start."

I hear ya.  Sometimes it's good to stand still for a minute and let your mind calm.  Take a moment to evaluate where you are, the information you have and determine what you believe will have the most effect on your life and/or what you can affect the most in your life.  I liken this political season to walking through a carnival.  You are hammered by every carnival barker begging for your attention and the sound gets overwhelming.  Before long, you hear nothing except the ringing in your ears.  That's when you find someplace quiet.

Think.  We have a totally incompetent ass in the White House and he's surrounded by cockroaches on every side.  Maybe I should liken them to flies because flies eat shit and that's what these people are doing...feeding on Trump's shit.  I digress.  You have people in the state legislature who are taking this moment of seemingly triumph on their part to propose and pass bills that will hurt a lot of people in this state.  Unnecessary bills.  Discriminatory bills.  Awful people doing awful things.  Sometimes I think that if Mae Beavers had just one really good orgasm she'd turn into a different person.  But who on earth would want to poke.........ugh.  Sorry.  I digressed.

We have people on our city council who (while not bad people) act out of ignorance and fear.  We have people on the county commission (while not bad people....except for one bloviating, spittle--spewing, hate-filled, unhappy human who also desperately needs to have a orgasm--heyyy....maybe we could hook....dammit--I digressed AGAIN) who also act out of fear and ignorance.  For them, we must make this personal.  We must put a face to their actions and show who would suffer the consequences of their decisions.  We must be out and active.

Yep, we're tired and I believe our legislators use that to their advantage.  I heard a state legislator say that a strategy is to keep rolling bills because eventually the people will stop showing up.  We can't let that happen but we also can't work ourselves to the point of activism fatigue.  The is a marathon, not a sprint and we must treat it as such.  We MUST keep showing up.  We MUST continue to support the work of the people and organizations that are out there everyday putting a face to the consequences.  We MUST help those who are shutting the press conferences down or challenging the lawmakers to answer our questions and we must persist until they do give those answers.

The fat lady hasn't sung.  We are not finished.  We will rise up everyday and tilt with each and every windmill that pops up in our path.  We are smart, kind, caring, thinking, pissed off humans who have right on our side and right will carry this day but we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and pick our battles carefully and strategically.

Hang in there.  We got this.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

"God's" Will

Say that fast enough and long enough and it begins to sound like godswill.  Godswill.  And that's exactly what I think all this nonsense about the election outcome being "God's will" is all about.

As painful as this may be, this little soapbox dissertation is going to require that we talk about our--well, mine, anyway--idea of God.  This vengeful, meddling being that many preachers and people talk about, I don't believe exists.  That's a made-up human construct created to frighten people into submission so that weak, pathetic false "leaders" can control them.  We use "God" in the same way we use Santa Claus.  "If you don't do right, you won't get....." whatever that may be.  "If you don't do what I say and what I say are "God's" words, then you won't...."  what?  Go to heaven?  Be blessed?

Da fuck?

The "God" I believe in has one rule.  Love your fellow human with the understanding that loving them means you take care of, honor, protect, communion with all of them regardless of their race, gender, orientation, hair style, height of the heels, cost of their clothing, value of their car, square footage of their house, their paycheck, savings account, taste in food and wine (though I might have some thoughts on that), hair color or how many children they have.  In "God's" eyes, we are the human race.

Say it...human....again....HUUUUman.  "God", my god, has no concept of race or geography or ritual.  "God" only conceives of humans.  And so should we.

Those people out there who are saying, "It's God's will" about whatever they saying it about are only trying to absolve themselves of the conscious choices they have made.  Remember in the bible where it says that man was granted free will after that little episode in the garden of eden?  Right, people, "God" said, "Fine, make your own damn decisions."  But "God" didn't say there would be no consequences.

If everything we did was "God's" will then we could go around doing whatever we wanted without fear of retribution or adverse reactions.  "OH, yeah, I shot that dude but it was "God's" will."  Bless you son, carry on because "God" knows all.  And that thunderclap you just heard is "God" smacking its forehead.  By the way, while we're in the paragraph, "God" isn't male or female or "God" can be either, depending on your personal belief system which makes "God" transgender.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Which leads me to this election.  "God" had nothing to do with Trump getting elected.  Bigoted, hate-filled, frightened humans had everything to do with it.  Own it but don't you dare try to absolve your choices on the back of "God" and "God's" will.  God is as heartbroken over what we are choosing to do to each other as any of the rest of us.  Every time we say, "Send them back", "Ship them home", "Don't let them marry", "Hang the nigger", "Kill the bitch/witch", "No choice over their own bodies", we are talking about "God's" children.  "God's" humans.

As a reminder to you creationists, those are "God's" children.  Your "Father's" children which makes them your siblings, your family member.  Unless, of course, you think that "God" is out there having unprotected sex outside of marriage then, I suppose, those children are illegitimate.  But that would mean "God" made a mistake...but....wait, "God" never makes a mistake right?  You said so.  You say it every time you say say, "It's "God's" will."

Fuckers.  Don't you dare try and wash away your guilt/sin/choice by calling "God's" will.

Fuck...my head hurts.  I guess that's "God's" will.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My People

I lost two of my people very suddenly and very unexpectedly about 24 hours ago.  When something like that happens, I always say, "Love your people."  And you should.  We all should because what happened just reinforces that you never know.  Sometimes ends come quickly.  Sometimes the end comes agonizingly slowly.  I've had both.

I reached out to a couple of folks to let them know that they're my people and I said, "Love your people."  I was asked, "Who are my people?"  I had to stop and think about that for a moment.  How do you not know who your people are?  And I'm not talking about your person.  Everyone should know who their person is.  Mine does.  And I know exactly who mine is.  But, to not know who your people are?  That kinda took me aback.

Your people are your friends, your family, whoever your people are, I said.  Only you can decide that, I said.  OK, she said.  Huh.

So, I started thinking about my people.  You know, membership in that group changes from time to time.  Sometimes they enter into that group for one specific purpose or "lesson" and when it's learned, they move on.  Or are forced on, whatever the case may be.  Many times, once you become a member of my people group, you're in for life whether you like it or not.  And there are times when you won't.  I'm not always an easy person to be a person for.  I'm stubborn.  I'm opinionated.  I'm grumpy.  I don't deal well with foolishness and nonsense and when that is dealt out to my people from others...well, I don't deal well with that either.  Don't attack my people.  But, I'm also fiercely loyal and demand that from my people.  I am sometimes honest to a fault and expect that from others.  Do whatever else you want to me but don't lie to me.  We can debate lies by omission later.

Why are my people my people?  Some make me laugh.  Some make me think.  Some I may only have contact with once every couple of years and some I have contact with everyday.  My people are those whom I choose to listen to, not always talk to.  Some find me pallets and gnomes and send me post cards and give me gifts even after I tell them not to.  But they all like or love me no matter what.  They don't always agree with me but how boring would life be if you only surrounded yourself with "yes" people.  I like "no" people and "whatthefuckever" people and "fuck yeah" people.  I like crazy and passionate and fun and committed people.

My circle of people--my large circle and my inner circle--complete me in some form or fashion.  Some are the edge pieces and some are the ridiculously complicated inner pieces.  They all fit around me.  They make up the three dimensional complicated puzzle that is me.

I believe my people know who they are.  I belive my people know I love them either through my words or actions and if you have a doubt, ask me.

Love your people, people because you never, ever know.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A repost that I thought was appropriate.

The original post was put up in 2012.  Given the incidents of recent weeks, I felt it was somehow appropriate to reprint it.  We need to take a moment everyday and really think about what goes on in other people's lives, become aware of their experiences and try to understand choices they make.  The human experience is universal regardless of nationality, color, race, gender, age, orientation or ability.  Compassion is human and divine and as soon as we all realize and believe that, things will change.  I am learning patience with my children.  I am learning patience with my fellow humans.

Reprinted unedited.

I Felt His Anguish

We were at dinner with friends for another friend's birthday.  I saw them walk in, a mother, older, a son, maybe in his early 20's and a father.  All seemed relatively normal so I didn't pay much attention.  When we all walked in, the family was sitting at a table behind us and I heard the son say something along the lines of, "Girls!"  I was then aware that his mental age was maybe 5, maybe 6.
What happened next had a startling affect on me.  He began to act out a little.  Like any child, he was hungry and when children get hungry they get aggitated.  Those of us who have children have all experienced this.  All you want is a cracker to shove in their mouths.  A kingdom for a cracker.
He was hungry.  He was a 5 year old in a 20 year old body that weighed 300lbs and he wanted a fucking cracker.  He started his tantrum.  It was a 5 year old's tantrum in a 20 year old's body.  He began to cry and beg his parents not to make him leave because he was hungry and he would be good.  All of this while pushing himself in his chair across the restaurant towards the back and all the while, his mother telling the people around them that they were trying to get him out.
A 5 year old, you can pick up and sling over your shoulder or your hip.  Not a 20 year old, 300lb human with the mind of a 5 year old.
I felt his anguish.  I felt how badly he wanted a cracker or his dinner.  I felt his parents' anguish at having a son who isn't like other sons.  Parents who tried to deal with him with calm and patience.  Parents who have probably seen this behavior numerous times and who probably hope that this would be the last time but who probably know it won't.  Parents who are trying to have a normal life and give their son a normal life but who know it's anything but normal.  Parents who live with the stress everyday of not knowing how their son will behave next.  Parents just trying to raise a child and give him a cracker.
I felt that to my soul and it hurt.  I also heard and saw the reactions of the people around them.  The staring.  The whispering behind their hands.  They were afraid and they were judging and THAT pissed me off.  It made me angry and hurt for that family.  A family who has a soul that chose them and chose to manifest as a child in an adult's body.  A soul that mixed with many souls who were in that moment and all together for a reason.  There was something to learn.
Sad thing is, most of those people staring and whispering have missed the lesson.  Most didn't feel what I felt or those parents felt or that child felt.  They were too wrapped up in having their dining experience messed up by a child who just wanted something to eat.
Most were probably thinking, "There but for the grace of God," and I'm thinking, "There by the grace of God."  I realized that though there are times when we struggle with our children, our problems are not nearly as profound or hard as theirs.  And while our boys are young with still developing male brains, they are not 5 year olds who only know that in that moment they wanted a fucking cracker.  And we are parents who can still handle our boys.  And for the most part, we can be confident that when we go out in public, we won't have an incident or episode that disrupts our evening and causes other ignorant people to talk behind their hands and whisper hurtful or judemental things about us.  At least not for that reason.
I also realized that the love those parents have for their child is truly unconditional and I felt humbled because I haven't always been able to say that about my children.  It had to be unconditional otherwise, why continue to put yourself in that situation?  They just want a normal child.  They don't have it.  I'm sure they are doing the best they can and it's put me to shame.  And it should have shamed everyone in that restaurant who has children or who was thinking of having children and who said, "There but for the grace of God," but should be saying, "There BY the grace of God."
I will find and carry that fucking cracker for my children and will remember that incident forever and will remember this lesson everytime I lose my patience with my children.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hmm

I looked at the date of my last post and just said huh.  It's not that I haven't had anything else to say in all that time because I have.  It's just that there are easier outlets.  Facebook.  Twitter.  Other blogs.  And quite honestly, I just sometimes forget that I have this forum.

Writing is hard.  It opens you up and makes you vulnerable.  We all love the positive reinforcement but the negative...well, that's a kick in the pants.  Sometimes.  And sometimes it's good.  It get the creativity going.  It motivates.

So, maybe I need to set a goal of updating once a week and give myself freedom to write about anything.  Doesn't have to pulitzer prize material all the time.

A constant source of entertainment is my job but I have to be very careful about what I write about there.  Can't break any confidentialities.

So, not much happening here this morning.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Castoffs

A few days ago, I noticed that there was a box of old toys sitting at the end of a driveway in our neighborhood.  I'd passed several times and never really thought about what was in it until one day I had the realization that someone had made a conscious effort to go through a child's belongings and decide what should be discarded and what should be kept.

Was it an effort to make room for the new things that would be coming wrapped gayly in shiny christmas themed paper sitting under an equally gayly decorated tree?

Was it because said child needed more space in their room or was it because that same child had lost interest in these "old" toys and no longer loved or played with them?  Was it just because?

A few days later I noticed that several of the toys had been taken from the box.  No doubt, the sidewalk gods had visited and pleased with the offereings, took them to a new home to a new child.  New toys to play with.  Quite probably a gift that would be wrapped gayly in shiny christmas themed paper sitting under an equally gayly decorated tree and opened by a child filling the room with squeals of delight and love for their new toy.

They would hug it and love it and pet it and name it...

Then I thought what life must be like for that child and those parents.  To be in a place in life in which you must pull items from a trash pile, clean them up the best you can and offer them to your child for christmas must be disheartening.  And for the child to know that this is not a new toy because there's no box or tag must pierce a heart just enough to bring a drop of blood.

To borrow a line from a song, "Love is the rock we throw ourselves against."  Well, this is that parent's and that child's rock.  Love picked that toy up.  Love cleaned it up.  Love will wrap it up and put it under that tree and love will light that child's face up and heal that pierced heart.

I'm not sad for them.  It took greater fortitude to stop their vehicle, get out and rummage through that box risking derision and pity from those of us who might have seen them.  It took courage.  More courage than I have.  That parent isn't driven by the latest and greatest item that Target or Toys R Us tells us we must have. They aren't spending the night in a line outside a store to purchase whatever the current craze might be.  They are too busy dealing with life.

I believe that child will be just as happy with a used, castoff toy that their parent took the time to rescue and clean up for them.  I believe that child will grow up understanding what giving is supposed to be about.

I wonder if the rest of us do.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Milestones

My youngest graduates High School today.  This is one of the major milestones in one's life and what a wild, twisting, winding, bumpy, pot-hole-filled road it's been.  I will never EVER say that's it's been easy or without anguish, tears, angry words and total frustration because it has been.  Getting a piece of coal to a diamond takes lots of heat and pressure and time.  Good lord, I thought child-birth was hard.

As a parent, it is now our job to push him out of the next and you'd think that having already done so with our oldest, this would be a cakewalk.  It's anything but.  It scares the hell outta me.  The oldest is in college and safely (mostly) ensconsed in the protective (mostly) confines of a dorm on campus.  He's not out there having to face the cold, cruel world just yet.  It's coming.  But, the youngest is heading out to another state to work, to get paid, to manage money, to follow rules set by someone other than his parents.  To survive and my mind spins in vicious circles asking and arguing with myself over whether we've fully prepared him for what's coming.

And I just don't know.  I guess we won't know for years to come.  I believe that we've done our best, that we've taken from our own experiences as young adults and tried to teach him or at least explain to him the possibilities-both good and bad-that are out there.  Whether any of that has penetrated his still developing brain is anybody's guess.

I worry because when demon-spawn isn't standing in my kitchen, he's the kindest, most generous, most loving and trusting child I have and it scares me because that opens him to all sorts of people who will take advantage of him.  I've already seen it in some of the people he calls friends.  Friends of convienence.  Friends who need a ride.  Friends who need a coke.  Friends who need a sandwich.  Friends who need and rarely give back.  It breaks my heart.

My oldest's soul is like memphis bbq.  His flame burns low and slow.  My youngest is a Thai wok.  His flame burns hot, bright and fast and it consumes a lot of energy and resources.  He has a mind that is on super sonic speed all the time and it's exhausting just trying to keep with, much less stay ahead of him all the time.

Both boys' souls were brought to us for a reason.  Their souls have been surrounded by this group of souls for a reason.  Some souls have moved in and out of the group and those that have come back, have come back for a reason.  I know that ALL of the souls in this circle have lessons to be learned from this group.  Our job is to figure out what they are and evolve from them.

I have found strength in many of the people traveling in this circle of souls.  Sometimes in the most unlikliest of people and I've also found judgement.  None, though, have judged me more harshly than I have myself.  I suppose all parents go through this and I suppose I'm not different than any other parent, it's just that in this moment, I feel like I'm the only parent out there with a child about to walk out into the cold, cruel world.

Balderdash