Learning to Speak Politics

June 23, 1995 Comments off

I’ve really enjoyed learning and growing here over the course of five years, but my time here is winding down.

Please feel free join me at my new blog, Learning to Speak Politics.

Categories: FYI, politics Tags: , ,

Love hard, y’all

I’m writing a post for my other blog, but it involves addressing a lot of complicated, dark history. Completing it will take a lot of time and energy I don’t have now.

I do have to say something now.

Y’all, love yourself. Love your neighbor. Don’t withhold that love–not for how someone is voting, for the color of their skin, for their unkind acts, for where they live in the world.

Just love each other. Hard.

This is a political message. It absolutely is. Because, see, our collective fear is being exploited. Right now, this very moment, the United States is preparing to take acts of war against Russia, all on pretense. 

This is not an ahistorical act. This is a profoundly historical act that has to do with power, a power that adheres to neither me nor you.

(If you’d like to understand more about where I’m coming from before I finish writing my next post, please, please begin reading The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and understand that we’re witnessing the next shock being generated right now. Look into the TPP, TiSA, and TTiP to understand who benefits when we citizens consumers lose.)

Love is a revolutionary act. Truly. So please, for the love of god, listen. Love. Reach out, especially to those whom it’s hard for you to hear.

Don’t allow your fear to be exploited for destruction.

Please love each other. Hard. Unequivocally.


a hand hearts

Categories: history, Love, politics, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

We’ve lost Paul Curran, our master guest columnist and prolific comment-leaver

I loved Paul’s comments.

Though we never met face to face, I will miss him greatly.

In his last email to me, he wrote, “Sometimes we are only offered bad choices Deborah, but to refuse to choose is to loose the right to choose.”

Today I’ll make some loving choices in memory–and honor–of Paul.

Mark Bialczak

Those of us who’ve grown to love the lively words that bounced from the head and fingers of Paul Curran will never be the same.

The writer from Canada has died, according to his neighbor Steve Watson.

I received this email on the contact tab from my blog:

With great sadness I have to tell you that Paul Curran has passed away. Paul passed last week.

Our guest blogger, Paul Curran. Our guest blogger, Paul Curran.

Your Barrista -- Paul Curran Your Barrista — Paul Curran

Now Your Barrista – Paul Curran Now Your Barrista – Paul

A series of the column head shots Paul sent me since 2013 to just a month ago.

I found the email this morning. I arrived yesterday. Steve Watson was listed as the photographer in the If We Were Having Coffee Sunday column Paul had me post here on Sept. 11 after his emergency operation.

I could not find an obituary through search engines.

Paul lived in Ottawa, Ontario…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Prescribing Joy: Wild Is The Wind (2)

Anthony (And now and then an elephant all in white.) is my husband. He’s infuriating and delightful. I love him, else I wouldn’t have married him … even though he was on Survivor (gag!) and marrying him involved marriage (gag!, or so I thought, until I married him).

prescribing joy

Wild Is The Wind (2)

We all spend so much time
trying to find happiness in the world
that we are blinded to it
sitting there
like so much dross on a dusty shelf,
when there is gold to be found
in the everyday,
in the mundane,
in life:

The smell of fresh cut grass on a summer day
The smell of the dust, just as it starts to rain;
The laughter brought on a truly terrible,
ill timed fart;

The satisfaction of rescuing
that one piece of meat that’s
been stuck between two back molars
for the better part of the day,
after Sunday Brunch,
having only used the dexterity of your tongue,
and creative suction;

Home improvement shows;

Finishing the final brush stroke,
on a set of miniature fantasy soldiers
just as the movie you had playing in the background
resolves its audible crisis, rolls credits,
and plays music to exit a theater by;

Your dog coming over to you,
on your lowest day,
and putting his head on your knee;

A kiss on your cheek in the middle of the night
from your love,
followed by a half murmured comment to
someone in a dream,
followed by stolen covers and soft snores;

A half naked child waking you up at 3:41 am
on a Tuesday morning,
to find solace in the warmth
that is buried somewhere
deep within the cavity of your nose–
so deep that only a child’s foot can free it;

Twenty-Five undisturbed minutes in the bathroom;

Handwritten correspondence in the mail,
your name scrawled across the front;
Clearing off a long littered desk;
A good cup of coffee;

Driving home in loud silence
after an overwhelmingly
Not Quiet day;

An Ice cold glass of water on a fall morning;

The moment of removing
sock, then shoe,
sock, then shoe,
and then flexing your feet;

Putting on a clean pair of jeans
that you’ve not worn for weeks,
putting your hand in the pocket
and finding a five dollar bill;

Hugs, and smiles, and laughs,
and memories of baby teeth;
tiny toes on children;

Music, played too loud,
from car speakers,
with the windows rolled up,
so no one hears your singing along badly to
Counting Crows,
Tony! Toni! Tone!
The Clash
L.L. Cool J
La Traviata;

Going to bed tired,
laying your head down on a cool pillow
and letting sleep devour you,
one molecule at a time,
only to have that one moment,
that singularity
of knowing the answer is–

Crying, sometimes;

Sitting on the porch,
on any given afternoon,
watching people going about their day,
their ordinary day.

Eyes looking at you with love;
and watching them close,
and flutter to sleep;

So many little things,
lying around our world
like so many wild horses
waiting to carry us off,
(holding on for dear life,)
cackling like school children
overflowing with tiny

last : Reading Dreams | Casting On : next

By our acts of love — Learning to Speak Politics

Two months ago, a friend gave me a bracelet made from bomb fragments. She gave it to me, I wrote, because “she knows I appreciate beautiful things that are made from horrible ones.” My country, the U.S., bombed Laos half a century ago. We did this long after we had any defensible reason, for “we […]

via By our acts of love — Learning to Speak Politics

Categories: Uncategorized

Saturday Soliloquy: Seeking Sister Peace

Today’s soliloquy isn’t really a soliloquy, and I’m not even posting it on Saturday. Still, I did want to say something.

A couple of years ago, I wrote that “all injustice is bound together, perpetrated by like callousness and lack of compassion.” This is so much truer than I came close to understanding then.

But then, I don’t write these things simply to distress and dismay. I write these things to encourage you to seek truth beyond your comfort zone, the better to begin broadening vulnerable people’s comfort zones.

Right now, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.–among others–bomb parts of Syria under the guise of bringing peace to the country. The Syrian government and its most prominent ally, Russia, fight different contingencies within the country, leading Saudi and Syrian coalitions ever closer to outright warfare with each other.

Many in the U.S. have called for a no-fly zone over Syria. This may sound like a peaceful thing. I would like you to know, via analogy inspired by my two young sons, that it is anything but.

And when the U.S. government tells you it’s in Syria out of humanitarian goodness, I hope you’ll ask yourself, “Really? Why then, are we partnering with Saudi Arabia, which represses women and beheads more people than ISIS? Whose textbooks teach ‘hatred toward people, including Muslims, who do not subscribe to the Wahhabi sect of Islam’?

“Why do we sell Saudi Arabia billions of dollars of weaponsincluding cluster bombs–it uses to target civilians in Yemen, to which the Red Cross must now donate morgues? Why do we devastate ordinary Syrians by our sanctions?”

“Why does our president use fifteen-year-old authorizations for use of military force to bomb seven countries, excluding the one with–arguably–the clearest ties to the 9/11 attacks inspiring the AUMFs?”

After you have spent some time with these questions, I hope you will then contact your senators and representatives and ask them to seek not war but his much less profitable sister, peace.

You don’t have to say a lot. Each of “Stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia,” “Get out of Syria,” and “Use diplomacy, not weapons, for change,” for example, say plenty.

If enough Americans speak, our elected officials will listen … to protect their own jobs, if for no other reason.

Quite simply, thanks

I visited my doctor today.

Like the other times I visited him, I left his clinic feeling much better than when I arrived.

I told him I followed a few doctor bloggers online and that their perspectives (especially Victo Dolore‘s) inspire me to say thank you when it’s deserved. Which I did, because it was. I very, very seldom feel as well heard as I do when he’s asking me questions and openly listening to my answers.

I drove home with a heart full of thanks. For starters, I was able to work from home today to accommodate my doctor appointment. What’s not to love about that?! Moreover, I am safe at work, whether working in the office or from home.

Another abundance of thanks goes to my son’s second grade teacher. I was apprehensive about her because her interactions with Li’l D last year were not very inspiring. My husband and I kept Li’l D at his current school to keep him with his friends, prepared to be wary of any signs his warmth and zest for life were being crushed.

His teacher told us right before classes began that she’s structured, not strict. The way she spoke reassured us. She wasn’t just saying words; she was showing who she was through her words.

Li’l D loves second grade so far. Sure, he grumbled once about getting “on orange” (or being not quite learning ready that day), but felt better about it when I said I’d been on orange myself just a couple days before. He was downright cheerful when I explained that even adults get “on orange” or “on red” (detention! parents called!) some days. He asked me to report what color I was on for a few days, and then got back to being his confident self.

He’s already been on pink–next to perfect–a couple of times, on purple (the top color) once, and in outer space another day. His progress report came back all Outstanding (an exciting reflection of how he feels about school, especially given how we’ve let him know we’re more concerned with his effort and joy than his grades), and his teacher was touched that he’d asked to keep his birthday no-homework pass because of the kind note she’d written on it. No other student has ever asked her this before.

When we brought cupcakes for Li’l D’s birthday, she thanked us for so supporting Li’l D. I tried telling her thanks in turn, but got too choked up to speak. I mumbled that I’d have to write her a note, instead.

I will write her a note, too. It’s just that, right now? Right now, it feels important to say that I am thankful. I’m thankful for these things and people. I’m thankful for my sisters–blood and spirit–and the presents they sent Li’l D for his birthday. I’m thankful for my husband and my boys, as well as for Li’l D’s best friends and their lovely parents. I’m thankful for my small, supportive community on Twitter, for Blackish season three (with Daveed Diggs!), biographer Ron Chernow, and Rent.

Right now, the political climate makes it all too easy to feel afraid. But beyond that fear, beyond my gritted teeth, I find deep, abiding faith that we mean to do well by each other, and to love each other as best as we can.

Deeper than anything else, I find, quite simply,

Categories: Family, Love, Parenting Tags: , , , ,

Li’l D’s new bike

My older son, Li’l D, only recently learned to ride his bike without training wheels.

He’d no sooner learned this skill than my husband, Anthony, and I saw his old bike was way too small for him. His knees knocked its handlebars with almost his every push forward.

Anthony and I decided to surprise him with a new bicycle–his choice!–for his seventh birthday. We took him to buy it yesterday, but misjudged its size relative to my car’s trunk.

At first, Anthony tried sitting up front with the bike. That seemed like it was going to work until I closed the door, at which point pain levels mandated that we explore alternatives.

The bike ended up in the passenger seat; Anthony, in the tiny space between our sons’ car seats. It took him three or four minutes to get buckled, but he finally managed it. (I still can’t quite fathom how. The dimensions just shouldn’t work!)

bike fit.png

Li’l D was only able to ride his new bike back to our shed yesterday. That being so, he was ready to ride it at 5 o’clock this morning.

(Parental approval: withheld.)

When he gets home from school in a few minutes, having only ridden his new bike for 30 seconds, I fully expect it to be with a rush of, “Can I ride it can I ride it can I ride it?!”

He’s stoked about his bike. And me?

I’m stoked about his joy.

Categories: Uncategorized
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