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Hearing Bill

A couple of nights ago, my husband linked me something he said had made him cry. I listened to the tear-prompting audio and understood why he’d cried.

“Pst. Love you!” I texted the speaker captured in the audio.

“I’m guessing you listened?” he replied.

“Yes indeed.”

The audio reminded me of an early conversation I’d had with my now-husband. When he asked me to describe a person, I debated mentioning the color of the person’s skin. If I mentioned it, would the earth open up and swallow Anthony’s car whole? Would he kick me out of his car? I decided these outcomes weren’t too likely, and so awkwardly included a reference to skin color.

“Thank you!!!” he said, emphatically, before expressing how weird it is that people so often omit a piece of information that’s useful helping someone else distinguish between two people.

(Without knowing it then, I’d begun building my racial stamina then and there.)

In the audio here, I heard a friend describe a similar situation. And I felt a surge of gratitude for that friend, Bill, who sees some of the hardships my sons will face and is on fire with the knowledge.

The world is better with Bill in it, y’all.

I hope you’ll hear his words (and love), instead of taking my word for it.

Thanks. ❤️

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believing in you

My three-year-old awakened me with howls for water. He’s got a flu, and told me after he’d sipped water that his “room is tipping over.” I explained that the room isn’t actually moving; he’s something we call “dizzy.”

He’s asleep again, but it’s hard for me to fall asleep again after being startled awake by howling. I ended up reading my last post, about Paul Farmer’s Pathologies of Power. And, oh, boy, did I get its tone wrong! Read more…

feeling life

It’s been a while since I visited my mom’s grave, so I wanted to visit it while in town last weekend.

As my hours left in town shrank into minutes on Saturday, I found I didn’t really want to visit Mom’s grave. I’d already felt my mom in a dozen sweet moments of life outside the cemetery in my family’s three days in town. Trying to find her in the cemetery, which she only ever visited in death, felt like holding on to the wrong thing.

My husband, sons, and I left town without visiting her grave.

I feared I’d get back to SoCal and kick myself, but no: I’d felt her life wherever I went in town, and that sweetness didn’t leave me just because I left town.

Categories: Death, Family, Love Tags: , , ,

cousins laughing

When I left my hometown, I was virtually certain I’d never return for more than a few days at a time.

When I left my hometown, I wasn’t a parent.

Now, I have two little ones.

Now, I watch them

play with their cousins

(some are cousins

by love and blood;

all are cousins by love

between once-famil-ies

now famil-y)

and hear their

peals of laughter

as they disappear

this way and that

and feel the joy

flowing out of them,

to be here with family,

and I wish

we did not

have to

leave.

This time, we’ll make the long drive back to Los Angeles.

But it may well be that there’ll be no drive back the next time we arrive, or the time after next.

That someday I’ll miss the SoCal sunshine … but that such missing will be a small trade to make to not-miss my siblings, or their kids, or the sounds of cousins laughing.

in the fold

These days, I understand so many things without (hope of) words.

When I do finally find the words to express something I’ve recently understood, I learn even more. My understanding changes, so that my newfound words are rendered useless before even uttered.

This might sound maddening, or at least frustrating, but it’s far from that.

It’s cause for celebration.

‘Cause, among the vocabulary I’ve learned the last year, I learned one especially important phrase: “the Platonic fold.” This is the vast gap between what humans know (precious little) and what we think we know. Many people seem unaware such a gap exists, so that even finding the words brought me such joy: This is something other people have noticed!

In the fold, there’s the prospect of all kinds of wondrous discoveries ahead. Adventures I can’t yet fathom. New understandings yet to dawn.

It’s so thrilling, I can’t hope to express it.

So, instead, I will tell you this: for all I don’t (and may never) know, there are a couple of things I do. Foremost among these is that friends and family make the journey.

I don’t know what’s ahead, or even now, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the company.

How could I not?

Halloween 2017

Birthday brunch. Please read Ra’s newest post here: https://rarasaur.com/2017/10/31/the-sacrificial-post/

Buddy & BIL

Silver Star & Dark Moon 4EVA

Save Now, Pay Later! — No, thanks.

Did you know Exxon knew about climate change 40 years ago?

That it then poured money into promoting misinformation about climate change?

If you hadn’t yet heard about this, that’s because a small group of heavily resourced people have worked long and hard to keep you misinformed. Indeed, searching for “scientific american climate change” (for this article) yields first and foremost a corporate.exxonmobile.com ad titled, “Don’t Be Misled – Get the Facts.”

‘Cause, see, folks: You should mistrust scientists, not those with enormous financial incentives to promote divergent outcomes!*

One of my favorite authors, Gavin de Becker, aptly calls denial a “save now, pay later” scheme. As a parent, I have sub-zero interest in pay-later schemes my children and their peers will be forced to endure for the rest of their days. I would rather face terrible probabilities now, plan now, and act now as I am able, knowing my kids and their companions will someday understand I did the very best I could to ease their lot.**

When adults dismiss climate change or think “some brilliant someone else will fix it, so I don’t have to think about it,” that denial isn’t cost-free. It’s a cost deferred–to those, I’d wager, most of us least want to suffer the consequences of adults’ studied refusal to see.

* “Cui bono?” is one of the most illuminating questions you can ask yourself: “As always, the answer is in the question, ‘Cui bono?’ Who benefited from this, and is therefor likely responsible?”

** I’m not only concerned with the younger generations, to be clear. Already, there are countless evident climate migrants (aka “climate refugees”) displaced by climate change, with more lined up, figuratively, for hundreds to thousands of miles behind them.

 

 

 

Reindeers & aliens

In first grade, my class dressed up as reindeers and did aerobics for the school’s Christmas show. Dressing up was bad enough for me; I did the bare minimum workout, and totally sat out the neck rolls, despite glares from the adults in my life. 

I’d decided that getting in trouble was better than doing all that ridiculousness.

Last night, at a weekend Cub Scout event, my eight-year-old was expected to don a costume with the other members of his pack. He wailed and railed against it. He said he’d rather not have candy than gain it by wearing “the stupid costume hat.”

Even when he did finally put it on, he sulked in our tent for a full ten minutes. After he emerged from the tent, he continued to sulk–mightily–straight through photos and the beginning of trick-or-treating. 

He eventually decided that candy was worth wearing the hat, but I’m kinda glad it took him a little while to get there. His obstinacy tickled me, bringing me to imagine my mom was right there with us. 

I envisioned her laughing with my husband and saying, “I didn’t hold it against her. I told her she’d get her own taste of it someday, and here she is! Here she is.”

Thus were Christmas then and Halloween now woven together … and my mom, gone in body for more than seven years now, no less powerful a presence in her reluctant reindeer’s heart.

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