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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

our own legacies of love

I met my now-husband, Anthony, shortly before I graduated law school and moved to Japan in 2004. We hit it off, and kept in touch for the four years I didn’t live in Los Angeles County.

sai nose

Sai

When I decided to move back to Los Angeles County in 2008, I ended up in Long Beach. This wasn’t because I was especially drawn to Long Beach. I landed here because there were more apartments friendly to larger dogs, like my buddy Sai.

Anthony was thrilled to discover I’d moved to Long Beach. He’d gone to high school here and offered to show me around. He did just that, taking me on a night tour of downtown Long Beach and the shoreline.

I remember standing on a bluff with him that night. Together, we looked out at the twinkling lights of manmade drilling islands. I thought that the twinkling lights were beautiful, and felt so glad I’d made Long Beach my home.

Almost a decade later, I remain glad I made Long Beach my home. That early 2008 evening with Anthony happened because of his familiarity with this town. We now have a lovely family, and–no matter where we may someday move–Long Beach will always be the place where we began.

Those manmade islands, on the other hand, are no longer beautiful to me.

In a 2015 article entitled “What the Frack is Happening Under Long Beach?“, OC Weekly describes the genesis of those twinkling islands: Read more…

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less a nightmare, more a dream

Yesterday, I had a short but inspiring conversation with my colleague and good friend, C. At the end of our call, I told him that (1) I no longer consider “perspective” a noun, but a verb, (2) I so appreciate his skill at perspectiving, and (3) my life and perspectiving skills are both greatly improved because of how he models perspectiving.

I have the feeling our conversation shaped a dream I had last night.

In my dream, I awakened. I was in a world much like this one, but I couldn’t find my husband or sons. This world is so much like mine, there have to be versions of them here, too! I thought. I frantically searched for them, eventually falling into a weary sleep. Read more…

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

We Know the Way

Three months ago, I wrote in “wild” how much I love Disney’s Moana.

You might imagine my love’s decreased since then. That I’ve stopped having Moana dance parties with my three-year-old, or started mentally groaning in protest when he turns me into a Moana album DJ while we’re driving: “Little Moana, please. No, other little Moana!” “Now ‘Thank You.'” “Crab song!” “The big boat song, again and again! A wot!”

Alas, this thirty-eight-year old yours-truly continues to blast Moana in the car. Somehow, “the big boat song” (track #5) and “We Know the Way” turn my commute into an adventure. They bring me into right now, and the sense that the road ahead might yet surprise me.

Today, I rolled down my driver-side window and belted along with Moana tracks 10-12. I did this three or four times, stopping only when I pulled into my driveway. I was a little sad to turn off my car, but, hey.

The CD’s there and ready to play the next time I drive.

I’ve written a lot about what saddens and frustrates me the last year. It’s time now to start writing (a wot!) about the opposite: what invigorates me and makes me glad simply to be … even if, sometimes, that’s about something as seemingly silly as an animated movie targeted at children. 

What’s bringing you hope today?

Lessons in injustice, lessons in love

My mom and I share(d) a birthday.

This year, for the first time in many years, I didn’t write about it on my blog.

“It feels weird,” I told my husband at the end of the day. “But it’s not about how much I love and miss my mom. It’s about my changing relationship with my blog.”

Anthony ruffled my hair and said he understood.

This morning, as I sit cross-legged in the dark and listen to my boys snore, I am inexpressibly grateful for my mom.

From the time I was very young, my mom taught me about injustice. She pointed it out to me when it appeared in my life, and she explained it to me when I discovered signs of it in the great big world outside.

She showed me how injustice is systemic without ever using the word “systemic.”

She spoke occasionally with despair, but more often with hope: Nothing I saw was forever. Nothing I experienced could not be changed.

When my older son asks me about death, and homelessness, and Ferguson, I answer. I try to answer in ways that won’t overwhelm him or make terrible obstacles seem insurmountable.

As my mom once did for me, I want him to see injustice … and to know it is not inevitable. That his actions can chip away at it in small but meaningful ways.

Some of those I love think I am wounding him by sharing hard truths, but I know better.

By sharing them with love and hope, I also share with Li’l D my mom.

young mom

Mom at Li’l D’s age

Mom’s body died when Li’l D was only five months old, but her spirit lives on in me and my siblings.

It also lives on in our kids, who know–thanks to her–not only that injustice exists, but that it can be diminished by our fierce and loving acts.

This 11/5/16 post transferred from L2SP 9/15/17.

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

starfish

This August has been beautiful. I may well be happier than I have ever been.


Me of last August could not have conceived of this. In a world so full of so much suffering that need never have been, how could joy be permitted? How could hope be reasonable?

Last September, I created a separate blog to learn to speak Politics. I (usually) didn’t want to bore or inflame people here, and beside that, life and politics were two mostly unrelated, easily separable things.

Simply put, I understood the world far, far too narrowly.

By documenting so much of my journey there, much of it was lost here. I helped sustain the illusion that life and politics are separate, and that they can be treated as such without consequence.

What does this have to do with happiness, anyway?

Quite a lot, actually. And explaining this has a lot to do with … starfish.

There’s an inspirational story where a person comes upon someone throwing starfish washed up onto shore back into the ocean. 

“Why throw a few starfish into the ocean when there are so many you can’t reach? What does it even matter?” asks the passerby.

“It matters a whole lot to the ones I throw back.”

There’s good in that story, of course, but it’s only part of the story.

How did all the starfish get there? Was it by natural forces absent humans, or did humans have a role? If humans had/have a role, what role? How do we change the outcome of multitudes of starfish left to dry out and die on the sand? If we treat only the outcome, and only for a few starfish, have we really done much worth praising, or simply forestalled death–for a few–for a few days?

A year ago, I didn’t know to ask such questions. Six months ago, I was pretty certain all was futile, but I kept asking questions in case I could reach a less grim conclusion.

Now, the questions flow easy, and I have a solid understanding of the gargantuan starfish-expulsion machine that lands so many starfish on the shore. It makes the sea pristine and spacious by extracting all unwanted–to it–life from areas it perceives as its domain.

I see the machine and I think, yeah, we’ve gotta throw back as many starfish as we can. Because even if we’re just buying those cast back into the ocean a few days, those could be the days that matter. Those could be the days it takes to break the machine and restore a more natural, kinder order to more living creatures.

Though I’ll slowly move many of my L2SP posts over, it’s not because I still believe all is eternally, hopelessly grim. It’s not because I want you to agree with me, or because I care if you do. 

It’s because a lot of work went from crashing into despair to rising back into hope.

This is where I have chosen to tell my story as it unfolds, so this story–about starfish and salvation–belongs here.

Categories: history, politics Tags: , ,

we will

On Thursday, I had an experience that kinda changed everything for me. I’m not able to write about it in detail, but the core of it was me asking:

Can you change any of what happened yesterday? No? Then what do we do about making tomorrow better?!

Yes, I wrote a sad post yesterday. Yes, it was about how much yesterday influences today, especially for people who grew up in chaos.

But, you know what? That was already the remnants of something that had to be let go, for me to move on.

Because in that moment of arguing for tomorrow (and someone going, the next morning, “DEB FOR PRESIDENT!!!”), I saw: 

This is what it means, to show care for what happens next, for everyone’s children.

My own littlest is snuggled next to me as I type this and think,

Fuck, yeah. The future’s gonna be okay.

We can–and will!–make it that way!

Categories: Reflections Tags: , , ,
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