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Peopling a little better!

dino bracelet pinWhen Ra and I had coffee a couple weeks ago, she mentioned that Green Embers would be helping her produce a spiffy new vlog. (I’m pretty sure she didn’t actually use the word “spiffy,” but that was the gist of it!)

As expected, Ra did marvelous work breaking down some difficult, charged subjects in friendly, easy to understand*, totally non-threatening ways. That’s a virtual miracle with topics like shame, discrimination, prejudice, and privilege, where it’s often hard not to instantly feel wary and exhausted just hearing the words.

Those words + Ra + spoons = totally approachable = yay.

Ra introduces the vlog as being about “kindness and people and how to people a little better.” I’d say that’s spot on.

* The fact that Littler J’s entire review was, “Could I get a green spoon?” is a better reflection of the fact he’s two than of the video.🙂

Categories: Communication, Friends Tags: , ,

for the better

fifty years ago,
a young man
and woman
got married

forty-ish years ago,
they had a daughter

a decade and a half ago,
i met that daughter;
she loved me, and
i loved her

then, i met her parents.

no other parents
(not my mom,
or my godparents)
had ever loved me
unequivocally,
but they said,
“she loves you,
and so do we”

and then
these parents
met my younger sister
and said, “we also love you”

and then
they met my brother
and said, “we love you, too”

so tonight
i smiled at the thought
of Fifty Years,
and hoped
someday
some young woman
or man might
someday write
about me and my husband:

“Fifty years ago,
I met these parents,
and their love–
though peripheral–
changed everything
for me …
for the better”

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

expletive, expletive, expletive

Hi!

When you leave comments on my posts attacking my friends, I’ll move your comments to my trash can and block you!

I testified in front of a wealthy pedophile when I was barely old enough to tie my shoes. If you tell me the U.S. justice system is just or that people punished by it must have deserved punishment (while those wealthy who walk free must be innocent), I will laugh … and I will trash your comments in accord with my post, “Your comment, meet my trash can.”

If you have any concerns with this, please go ahead and reflect upon this music video.

And then go eff yourself.

Categories: Friends, Love Tags:

Dinosaurs, bomb bracelets, and safety pins

Categories: Friends, Love, Safety Tags: , , ,

the love memo

Mom and Li'l D“take care of my family,”
said my then-future husband
as he hugged
my ex-boyfriend

thus began
a 900-mile drive
northward
with my ex
to introduce
my son
to my
dying
mom

i know
from experience
this is the part
where you interrupt
in horror:

WHAT.

men and women can’t be friends!
exes can’t be friends!
it is against
the natural laws
of … uh, well,
nature!

is that so?

i’m glad
i missed
the memo

there is far
too much unlove
in the world
to willingly observe
those rules
that limit
love

this post
inspired by
a monday chat
with ra

ra-d wrestle

making new comfort zones

ten months ago,
i took my older son
to meet his new teacher
at a new school

he was nervous.
i told him i get
nervous, too

impossible thingstoday,
i took him
to a birthday party
at a park, where he
drank lemonade
from teacups,
breathed sugar,
and ran circles
around his
classmates–
his friends

i breathed thanks
that, though he’s known
some hard times, he
still doesn’t know
what it’s like to be
one of the odd ones

to him,
“safety” is
(blessedly)
the norm

i have grown
with my son
this year Read more…

The grace and joy of “for”

I’ve had such a monumental heart-shift recently, it may well take me weeks or months to articulate it.

It will almost certainly take thousands of words. At its core is for: the difference between being for and against, but it runs much deeper than that handful of words conveys.

What a felon looks like. Also, love.

What a felon looks like. Also, love.

A piece of this shift showed up in conversation I had with my friend Ra a couple of weeks ago. I told her how I’d written a post called “I believe you” while she was in prison. I mused aloud about how one piece of that post was difficult for some to grok: the piece where I suggested I was for her, not against him, in sex assault cases. As I wrote then,

It’s not my job to adjudicate. In any case, I’m not interested in weighing his guilt, threatening or cursing him. That doesn’t change anything–not for the better, anyway.

In fact, I believe focusing so keenly on all the details of any one him, speculating about him or castigating him hurts not only you but all of us. We blind ourselves to the whole picture because it’s easier to speculate on one lurid detail: one him. We’re so busy ogling the accident on the roadside, we don’t see the crumbling bridge ahead of us. Nothing gets changed that way because we can’t change something that’s already happened.

I’d like us to stop talking about any one him and start talking instead about how to help you. How to lift you up in healing. How to let you know we are here for you, listening to you, believing you.

I’d rather focus on building than destroying.

I now believe those words a million times more intensely than when I wrote them last January. A trillion times more, even, or to the infinity-eth power.

I also understand that there are a billion more ways to destroy than I then understood, and that I perpetrate some of them daily.

Listening to Ra speak of prison and parole, I am overwhelmed by the tragedy of all the lives destroyed by the United States prison system. Less and less do I believe we send people to prison for reform, or allow those freed from the physical walls of prison to ever be free.

Mackorah Debenzie 2011

Mackorah Debenzie 2011

Somewhere in my heart of hearts, some part of me used to believe people who went to prison deserved whatever they got, for however long they got it. Then, on a long car trip with my beloved Mackenzie some years ago, she waxed eloquent about how dehumanizing that was. I still dehumanized others after that conversation, but Mackenzie’s insights started me down the path of questioning some of my basest assumptions. (Thanks, Mackenzie. ILU.)

With Ra and Mackenzie’s words in my heart, a quote by Ellen Degeneres then made my heart sink as I thought, “That was me.”

So when I read Ra’s most recent post this morning, I cried. Of course I did. It’s the epitome of what I’m struggling to articulate; it’s for, through and through.

Ra is not against Ellen, but for love. For hope. For books, and literacy. For seeing the inhumanity with which we treat prisoners, whether they are within or outside of prison, and for accepting the humanity of individual prisoners, seeing each as herself instead of one indistinguishable piece of an identical whole. For compassion. For love. For for.

I am for all of these things, and for Ra, and for you. I am for you reading Ra’s post and spending some time today contemplating and then basking in the sweetness of sitting with all the many things you’re for.

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