Friday, December 29, 2017

Trigger warning


Trigger warning this is a poem dealing with rape
If you have a problem with trigger warnings
but
Are ok with with “spoiler alerts”
because, come on, that can really ruin someone's favorite show
Then you need to realize that
you are getting upset that
someone else gets truly, really upset about
Something actually terrible.

And you can tell me again about how inconvenienced you are... but I don’t give a shit.

Your irritation about a culture of coddling may be relevant
but that is actually a separate conversation about
Resiliency and anxiety and
parenting in a sick culture.
Back to the truth
that
So
Many
Women.
All kinds of women. Every kind of woman.
Around the world women, in every town and square mile, women
Have been sexually abused, violated, assaulted, and murdered by a man.
Most likely by someone they know. Trusted.
Stop for a minute and consider:  How many violated women do you know?
Count on your fingers.
I have enough I end up with two fists, as I pass 10 and put them down to track.
If you only know a few or none, trust me you do. They just haven't told you.
There was that one time that the missing and then found dead woman
Was a girl you used to sneak out with
when you were just young enough for it to be mostly innocent.
She had perfect bow lips and a mole right next to them.
A perfect foil for the profanity and vulgarity coming out of her mouth.
And make you laugh till it hurt and you couldn’t breath.
But he came for her after years of perfecting his violence
on so many other women.
He smashed her and dug a hole
and laid her in it
because he could.
Because no one had been able to stop him for decades of abuse.
And not one person was surprised he had finally killed a woman.
Indeed, he had help of two other men digging her hole and pawning her vacuum cleaner afterward.
So let’s get back to the truth that
Instead of judging people with “triggers”.
How about we focus on things like how we are going to stop
the assaulting and murdering of women
For leaving
For staying
For being there
For being vulnerable
For being a child
For being trusting
For fighting back
For  “asking for it”
For not conforming
For concealing.
For telling the truth.
For refusing
For money
For his honor
for entertainment…
Really any reason will do
You KNOW this is not an exaggeration.
American culture is one in which raping and murdering women
sustains several spin off shows
That have been running for years
that are solely dedicated
to portraying the rape and murder of women.
If you roll your eyes at “rape culture” talk, ask yourself   
If you were flipping through channels on a Saturday night
how long would it be before you saw the naked, dead body of a woman?
I am not overly sensitive. You are blind
You want to worry about  pampered millennials
We need to be deeply engaged in seeing and transforming our violent, earth killing society.
So, please consider to start that
that your incredulousness is
A confused response to
someone else making the rules
about what we will take offense to and
what we will allow and
what we will protect
and what we will defend.
It is true. You are being threatened.
Your space is getting smaller.
For every seat filled by an Other,
is one less seat for People Like You.
Less airtime,
Less elbow room,
Fewer  boardroom seats and corner offices.
All the places, all the branches,
ALL the examples of leadership and power
Will be filled with people of diverse backgrounds, and genders, and religions, and ethnicities and identities.
That includes white folks and men, but definitely fewer of them.
You are going to have to DEAL. WITH. IT.
You might feel like you are under attack.
But it's not “you”, its not so literal!
Don’t be so sensitive! Truth and facts are fake news.
And don’t worry, you will not need to bargain or negotiate.
We are not playing for your “tolerance”
We are not waiting for your terms.
we “can't we all just get along” when what
You really mean is
“don't talk about what you need and what you want to change
because that makes it tense for me”
When silence is death
We are not waiting for your permission to talk.
Or approval of how we protest.
Or what we wear
Or who we fuck
Or who we love
Or what we resist.
If you don't like all this political correctness
and claim a lack of grace and forgiveness
“he meant well” or
“well I didn't mean it like that!”
Ask yourself, don’t you really just want that to be the end of the conversation
and the beginning of absolution?
But what you need to recognize is that
no one owes you those things,
and, in fact,
people are precisely done
worrying about your feelings and comfort
over their own liberation and dignity.
Yes, we are done pretending you are the most important person in the room.
And that feels hard, I get it, I really do.

Consider yourself warned.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Just doing what I'm told

This is their words, not mine.
100% true story.

The wise ones tell me to
Write. To use my voice.
The morning angels waken me with
"A buyer is coming!" (We are selling our house)
And
"Destroy the patriarchy!"
The coven says
"Predators hide in plain sight" but
"His eye is on the sparrow"
And "we're the right people for this time."
"Good will overcome darkness"
if we all shine.
(That last line was mine :)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Life is Pain


If you don't understand why a person would be so upset about losing an election, please consider this one example. For many people I have talked to, Trump is a visceral reminder of their abuser, bully, unstable parent, or tyrant boss. That your fellow Americans seemed to either love or be indifferent to Trump's abusive and hateful words against any "loser" group feels like a personal attack.

I realize now that living without fear is a privilege and choice. As a white, heterosexual, educated, mother with a stable income; I am not at particular risk.  What keeps me up at night is the fear and pain of people specifically, directly attacked or threatened by President Elect Trump (and now his Cabinet). Worse, is the fired up, vocal and aggressive groups and individuals who are actual physical threats to minority groups.  If you think I am making up or exaggerating any of the above, I will send you direct quotes from Trump, his appointees, and his supporters for you to review. Ask yourself, "if someone said this about my mom or child, would I be OK with it?"

I had this going through my head a few days ago after viewing social media posts with the basic  "Libtard Crybaby Entitled Bitches" theme. YOU MOCK MY PAIN!



Then I had to find the full scene because clearly 2 seconds of Princess Bride will never do, and it was a revelation. The next line from the Dread Pirate Roberts is classic and timely. Liberals, LIFE IS PAIN!  

We did not hear the pain of people so desperate and angry that they would elect Trump. We mocked them. We white people did not hear the pain of people of color who have been telling us for years that in America not all lives matter, and the elites who benefit include Democrats. We dismissed them as "not me".


"I died that day!" insists Princess Buttercup. Please Trump voters, please understand that for many of us, who we thought America was did die that day.

To everyone trying to make it through holidays with relatives on the "other side", remember that anger is often fear is often pain. Ask questions and then listen. I am not asking you to change your mind. Just don't mock, just don't dismiss. Try to listen to understand. Not just to reply. Breathe and stuff your face with food (or whatever other coping mechanisms you have).

Monday, November 7, 2016

Whatever happens

Whatever tomorrow holds I will not live in fear.
I will continue to love my family and strangers who love a man I consider to be a master class teacher in privilege, bold face lying and denying, bragging, inflammatory language, degrading and undisciplined behavior, and showmanship over actual ideas. His supporters think I am voting for a cold hearted bitch that should be locked up, and that she has my vote because she is a woman. But I am voting for her because I generally agree with her policy positions. Also, I am a woman who will not tolerate a man who feels entitled to grab women's pussies because of his celebrity. At all. Call me old fashioned. What would he feel entitled to as president for heaven sake?!
Clearly, we see the world in completely different terms.
I will not be afraid of our difference or I am a hypocrite.

Whatever tomorrow holds I will not live in fear, but I no doubt feel it.
The weight of so much unleashed racism, misogyny, and erosion of our democracy is no joke. I refuse to let it ruin my joy or steal my optimism, because Fuck you, that's why. But seriously, I will not sit in angry or hateful or callous judgment of anyone.  That is a surrender I will not suffer.

No matter what happens tomorrow,  we need all the People for the planet to act as if we want to avoid the true and inescapable disaster of climate change.
I will not be afraid. To speak my mind and call out injustice or to be called out on my own ignorance and bullshit.
Bring it on! We got work to do.
I will never be afraid to be seen as a nasty woman. I will never be afraid to be free.
Fear got us to this place and only love and listening will get us out.
Tomorrow belongs to my children and I will not let fear shape their hearts.




Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mother

Children will wreck your life.
You will know instant karma.
And what do we know about karma?
It's going to get you.
By the short hairs.
Cornered.

Chest and ego pounding to
maintain dominance over
a situation under your responsibility but not
entirely (or at all) under your control.

An innocent child now mirroring
your bad habit
or attitude
or language.
or all three.
DAMMIT!

Children's hearts,
little baby hearts,
are complete and whole
in miniature perfection.
The development of the heart is not measured in size
but in openness and generosity.
Your child will have you beat in this.
Hands down winners.
You will be cracked open by the trust of this little person.

A brain, however,
is quite literally a work in progress until we die.
And we got time on our side,
which equals experience
which means
we don't utterly loose our minds over NOT THE GREEN PLATE!!!!!!!
and know the difference between Santa and the guy in the red suit and bell asking for money.
But you still don't win because children
literally don't know what you are talking about.
You will be humbled by the uselessness of your reasons and
how too little sleep and too much noise make you REALLY FREAK OUT!!!!!
and it might feel a bit like loosing your mind.

Children will wreck your life where you believed
you were a peaceful person by nature
(turns out you were rested and not provoked )
The life where your heart was yours to give away and take back

Now your heart has a beat in another
big heart, little brain person
surrounded by sharp objects
careless people and actual evil.

Your whole life exploded
by your love
by your failures
by your surrender
by your gratitude for this tiny human
that perfectly wrecked your life.
By making you
Mama
by making you
Mother.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Why I am decidedly agnostic

Yesterday, I found this picture in a letter addressed to my grandparents among some photos from their house. It was from the pastor's wife, Mrs. Rev. Garrison, who had found it cleaning out a drawer years later and sent it to my grandparents.

I must have drawn it sitting in the pews, as it is on the back of a hymn printout. I was 10, but if I had to draw it again today- I think it would look the same except for the bubble dots over the "i"'s.

The good reverend's sermon was likely titled "what kind of man is this?.   I had already developed a deep ambivalence towards religion, so it doesn't surprise me this captured my attention.

I shopped around at that age, eagerly going to my friends' churches. Realizing that they all equally believed themselves to be getting it "right". None of them addressing a deep need I still have for genuine, meaningful gatherings and communion. It was all sit and listen, stand and kneel. Facing forward never looking at each other until handshakes and hugging at the appointed times. Only the men talked, unless it was announcements or Sunday school. Ladies got to make announcements. This neatly explains why I will never go to Church.

Last week, my dad told me that when I was about 5 and sick with a cold, I asked him if God wanted me to be sick. He told me, "I don't think so, honey". I left him, only to return a little while later to ask "Then why am I sick?".  I feel like this sums up why I can't get my head around a God as omniscient and omnipotent and omnipresent, but only pure good.

I have been following the pain and confusion over the new LDS Church policy of excluding children of parents in same sex relationships from church rituals, blessings, and privileges. I can think of no better time to ask "What kind of man is this" that creates policies about children's relationship to God and their family? This appears to me to be a matter of social control masked as divine inspiration. This is so prevalent in religions that I don't teach my kids that any one religion is correct.

The fact that it was in a "policy handbook" is all the more repellent to me. The devil is most definitely in the details of implementation. I have never trusted the Christian religion, because it really isn't just "believe in the Lord and thou shall be saved". It is do that and then accept a hundred other rules, fables, myths, and guidelines for living a biblical life.

As I type, the horror of the attacks in Paris are unfolding. The reports say the murderers were yelling "God is great!" Clearly, these are men using religion to justify their terror and righteousness, a scenario as old as religion itself.

I do not believe in Lennon's call to "imagine there is no religion".  Religion is a fundamental freedom. What we should be able to expect is religion without violence. This is the one of the few things that keeps me thinking about finding a faith community, because only a believer in religion could make this truly happen.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Woman with Options

A woman with options

Is not about some Rosy 
Yes We Can pep talk
Because she will, she must
She will manifesto presto
Out of her own thin air.
She is not on anyone's B String.

She seeks to know the contours and shape of her power.
Did you know the so called Venus figurines
were carved by a woman looking down upon her breasts and round belly and cut off feet
not a distorted ornament or object, but a self-portrait.

A woman with options is not a greeting card "Goddess"
She is skilled in the somewhat darker arts of
the delicate application of brutal logic, willful disregard for and the calling out of bullshit, 
and the weeding of potentially fertile ground for her preferred outcome. 
She is not on a pedestal doing this work, she is ready to look you right in the eye . 

A woman with options is dead fucking serious
and entertains all manner of ridiculousness
Until she doesn't.

She knows that a virtuous life 
is not a golden ticket or
karmic ride
lined with good fortune
but rather
a weaving of soft places to land. 
So she tries to be kind.

The nightmares she will tell you about are of
passports lost
timing all off
missing pieces of clothing needed for the celebration
Time runs out while she looks for the right dress or a lost shoe.

Yes she CAN for sure, as a general rule she is known for this
But she knows the devil is in the details
The dominoes fall or don't fall into eternity in all directions.
Options. 

She is never alone
She gives birth to ideas with the midwives of 
ambition and doubt.  
She weighs each one
like jewels in hand but sometimes
hooks in tender flesh

A woman with options knows that finding meaning
could be like deciding what clothes to wear for the day.
What ever suits you.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chains


In response to "The Way It Is" by William Stafford and 3 days alone in Seattle.

The chain is broken

a door is left open
in the quiet
flow
I can choose.
I can
pause
and
I listen.

Alone
I can hear

Together
Its a series of reactions
and counter-reactions
jibber- jabber
fight-flight
you this, me that.

How do I slow it
all down
to discern if this is a
chain that binds
or a thread
that might hold
it all together.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Space

NOVA's Fabric of the Cosmos on PBS: What is Space?
WATCH THIS!
But here are cliff notes;

Space is everywhere
Everywhere there is space
it gives relation to, respect to the something that is not space
And we know very little about it.
"Fish are not conscious of water either, they are in it all the time" - S. James Gates, Jr.
Einstein found that space and time work together to adjust, so that the speed of light is always the same.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I am Faithful and not just Agnostic

This is a video of my grandpa. He was the finest Christian I have ever known, and a really super grandpa.


He memorized the book of Ephesians and portions of Acts and Timothy to create a reenactment of Apostle Paul writing letters from jail. The video is from 1985, and begins with him singing two gospel songs. 

Clarence died September 21, 2011 at the age of 83. He told me shortly before he died that he would love to perform this play one last time. I found this recording and put it on youtube to grant my grandpa his wish. 

My grandpa was known by everyone as a man of God, who loved the Lord. His memorization of the Word of God inspired many people. All of this is so clear to see in this video. Please share this with others!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Random Bullshit I tell myself...

I absolutely REFUSE to give in to my child's obstinate demands.

Behind her back, when she is not around, I have her all figured out.

If you don't meet people where they are, how the hell are you going to get them where you think they should go?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Queen Dream

I am running and playing some sort of game.....like paintball...but in a carnival setting. I am running and then scheming and then directing the victory.

It gets serious.

I know I must enter the stadium and it is filled with my enemies. Somehow this is both a fun game and deadly serious...plans are made and I enter the stadium down an aisle created by my soldiers. They have created a path for me through the crowd. I go up onto a high stage and have won the game.

I am now magic and when I blow air through my lips, the crowd bends and sways like grass in a windstorm. I know I have shown all of my power. I turn to someone next to me and say "someone will want to kill me now". 

It now gets silly.
I decide I need to lighten the mood and start dancing. A fools dance. I think I am trying to get a party started and the doors of the stadium are opened. Some stay but most leave.

I realize I have lost their respect. I try the blowing trick, but people are still leaving.

I woke up at this point and then tried to go back to sleep. I wanted to return to the point I decided to dance. I couldn't.... instead I ended up in a dream that Shania Twain had arrived to stay at my (tiny and messy) house. Talk about a demotion!

If I ever get the chance to repeat the dream, I would still dance. Not a fools dance, but one of intensity, power, and freedom.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My boys shine

Oliver is a talker. He collects new words and likes to show them off. Here are a few of his latest additions:
mimic
exceptional
impressed
extraordinary

Writing this list, I realize it describes Oliver. My boy shines! Here is just one example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKculA3wvuQ

Jack is like your cool, drunk uncle. Kinda distant and then busts out hilarious observations or fantasies.
He prefers sweatpants for daily attire, which he calls "easy pants".

And he has infuriating accidents. Tonight, he managed to get to the toilet, take off his pants and underwear, but pooped right next to the toilet. The sequence of events that occurred to lead to this outcome is a mystery to me. My best guess is that he became absorbed in some tactile or visual entertainment, and actually forgot to get on the toilet.

I managed to stay calm, and was cleaning up the mess. Jack says to me "when you are a baby and you poop in pants, I'd buy you diapers, and toys that look dumb, and junk cereal". This is verbatim quote- I wrote it down right after I realized this was a compliment...sort of?These are all things he wants but doesn't get.

A slice of Jack's fantastical worlds:
Saturday at the park, "I am a bounty hunter!My name is Zelda and I hunt with my boomerang (a twig). I hunt for meat! Deer meet!" . Tuesday he was a cat, purring and meowing all over the house. Thursday I come home to a unicorn.

My boys make me laugh every day. Here is a taste: Jack is playing a zither with a ping pong ball and Oliver is setting up a "scene" for his movie.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Edge

On the soles
hard earth presses.
Rocks sharp corners push
in tenderfoot.
We take our toes
over the edge.
Tongues wagging
with destruction.
We breathe heavy.
We breathe hard.
Towers fall.
Cities drown.
Earth gobbles earth.
And we gasp.
Suck in air through our teeth.
Empty still.
Rivers rage.
Sky splinters and takes
it all a part.
Our hearts bleed.
our hearts break.
Empty still of
any intention of returning
foot to earth.
Dreaming of flight
we trade substance for air.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This is NOT a bucket list

Action Items: 
Clean closet, which has become a multilayer universe of utter neglect, general ignoring, and crazed trashing.

My jewelry box has become a graveyard of pieces I can't bear to get rid of,  yet lack the skills and materials to reconstruct. So, we will add learn jewelry making  to the list. 

Baby books completed for Jack and Oliver. I did start them, but that is about it. I believe I was depleted of interest in doing anything more for my precious, wonderful boys. They need me a little bit less in that raw physical way now, so there feels like more space for things like scrapbooks. 

Write poems.

Study myself with the same energy I used for writing a papers. The basic outline will be a slow build up, a lapse of attention, and then an intense few weekends of focus and devotion. I am as least as interesting as the application of the Three Streams framework to understand the creation of  AmeriCorps. Right?


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My boys are hilarious

Jack wants me to talk to the bee. Jack says we are in the bumblebee world and I need to talk to him to ask if we can pass. So, I try and say "what's buzzin?" but Jack is not satisfied. "no, mama, talk to him!". I try a few more times (all while sorting and putting away laundry), but fail to complete Jack's vision, which frustrates us both.
Then I stop and say, "Jack, the bee told me you needed to put these toys back in your room". "OK!" he immediately obliges. Hee, hee.

Oliver is going the bathroom and says "I wish I had a...what's it called, mom?..I have penis and you have...a china?
Vagina, I say.
Oliver says, "I wish I had penis and a china. And another butt. Then I could poop and pee in all directions at the same time."
This was only the beginning of this particular train of thought. I would have mostly ignored it, but each time he would say "china" instead of vagina and I could not stop laughing.

Better still, I now have a running joke of "your China" with friends. China is very powerful. China has population concerns. China is vast and mysterious. Her china is only brought out for special occasions...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Silk Shirts

Somewhere
Someone’s finger is
In it.
Somewhere she
Listens in.
She does not
Take a peak.
She peers.
She finds a
Sweet spot.
She leans
She bears.
Careens into
Your crazy town
Running down
Steep hills and
Stealing silk shirts.

Monday, May 31, 2010

How I plan to stop beating myself bloody

I do not live with bombshells or blowouts.
I do not have a violent home.I am not in immediate danger.
But I do see a gun at my head
with every misstep.
Because it could really matter.
Everything is connected and I am imperfect.
And I see you, too. More imperfection.

How can I stop being so goddamn disappointed?
And I am not hung up on "my socks need to all line up, matched in my drawer" perfection.
My house is a mess.
I am talking about defects in character, integrity, honesty. Failure.

The Christian says we are all fallen sinners from birth to resurrection.
The Buddhist says no perfection, no imperfection. You are at birth.

Compassion is the antidote for suffering.
The warmth and acceptance of what is
slides right over the disappointment
sometimes like water, sometimes like flame.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


As this life
pounds
pulses
first slow,
second fast
Dreams big
then cowers.
I contract
I expand
in moments of
meeting.
In night visions
brutal and free.
This life breaks.
This life
breathes
this life born.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A few thoughts on parenting after a rough week.

There is too much, it is never done. I am never enough.
It does not suit my personality to work hard at something, and not feel like an "A" student. I am not a bad parent, but I am not great.
I feel terribly alone and desperate for my self. My fantasy day right now is not getting out of bed, all day all night.
No parent is ever enough for their child. No parent ever gets is just right.
I feel myself being broken, just ever so slightly. Like at work when I hit my head with the same bureaucratic baloney brick. Eventually you will break, you will bend. The brick does not.
My eldest has an exceptional memory. This concerns me- does he have to remember my temper tantrum and hypocrisy?
I have very little room to criticize any parent. Moral high ground is rare real estate.
How they can want even more of me?!!!!! Why are they complaining, again?!! whhhiiiiiiiiiiinng sucks!
So loud. SO LOUD! SHHHHHHHHH!! I am screaming "shush", what the hell is wrong with me?
Please please please let this get easier.
Is it this hard for everyone? Am I being a big goddamn baby?
Sometimes feel as if I am walking uphill endlessly. Oh- I think I am whining. Damn, am I to blame for that to? Wanna understand karma? Have kids. Instant mirror of your worst behaviors. Awesome.
To the kids it must appear as if I just suddenly blow up or break down. To me it is a container bursting, a knife's pressure that finally breaks through skin. Too much of this, not enough of that until there is no more. No buffer, no patience, no bend. Just break.

I feel obligated here to reassure you that I love my children and I am not in need of an intervention. Although, I would be lying if I told you I hadn't considered medication.

PS- today has been a good day or wouldn't have even been able to complete this online whine.