December 17, 2016 As I was driving to a pet sit this morning–in the frigid air–I passed a bus stop on 5th East and saw a woman of smaller stature all bundled up with backpack holding a plastic doll the size of a real baby. While waiting for my light, I stared at her–at first, just trying to figure out if it was a real baby, then after realizing it wasn’t, wanting to join her experience for a moment, to see if she was okay; if she was hopeful or despairing; what the story was; just to be with her for a minute before I had to drive off–and as I did, I saw her look at the baby adoringly, and snuggle it to her, then watched as she gave it quick little playful kisses under its purple, fleece, hooded onesie, as if she was trying to distract it from how cold and boring it was to be waiting out
Saturday 11/25, 9:53 a.m., Salt Lake City. It’s hard to know what to do with the grief of this world. I look at this man and his dog and feel the pressure of disappointment on both his heart and my own; I can feel the loss of the dream he had for his own life and experience that loss with him. For I don’t move about my world so as to push it away from me; I welcome it to settle within me and become part of my experience; I let it teach me and humble me so that I can grow more each day in understanding and perhaps one day maybe we humans can be a collective, empathic, love-filled whole again.
[FB post from yesterday, 8/27] This morning at 5:04 AM I got an email via my yelp account from a recently-homeless woman who wanted to get a quote on how much it would be for me to board her two “beautiful” adult cats in my home. It was already a weird morning because my friend Graham sent me a link to my old Garfield house which is now for sale again and seeing the interior sterility and the back yard–which the summer after James moved in 2007 was the site of a “healing through manual labor and sunburn”–with its huge tree gone and most everything I planted looking dead really put the punctuation on the end of that chapter in my life. It was the punctuation you typically see after “you stupid fucking idiots; what the actual fuck.” And so it was that I started my day. Sunday. An easy work day before the madness starts up tomorrow and moves
[703 words; 2 min 34 sec]
I’ve never cried so hard as that day in 2007 when James drove his moving truck down the street.
He was moving from Salt Lake to live with his office assistant/girlfriend and her son 2000 miles away, just weeks after we told the girls we were divorcing, a divorce which blindsided me, James and Sarah probably beginning their relationship that summer we
[521 words, 2 min 36 sec; 9/11]
Fifteen years ago to the day, my ex and I were in Reno. We’d driven the 8 hours with our then-2 year and 10 month old daughters, Julia and Livy, to combine James’ business trip with a visit with my mom, who’d driven from California to meet us. Courtesy of my
Bernie Sanders is a great man who fought for justice in our nation for 30 years (only to then be cheated out of it with regards to justice for himself), and — even after the now-admitted corruption by the DNC — some Dems in the resulting anti-Trump panic are referring to his angry, protesting supporters as “inappropriate”, “classless”, and “overly emotional,” (not to mention the classic “ridiculous”) and condescending to our grief as if they alone can tend to the faint and flickering pulse of our nation, so I jotted down a few things in case it could help clarify the mindset of Sanders’ supporters through all of the armchair psychology and utterly-useless “calm down”’s I keep seeing:
In the course of human history, significant changes in the flow of society haven’t occurred when its individual participants have “calmed down” or conformed to the societal demands of etiquette; societal change has happened because large groups of individuals have somehow collectively come to similar realizations simultaneously, and while this can be an uncomfortable sight for those not also experiencing those realizations, I feel certain that it doesn’t benefit a society to allow conformity to dictate the broader direction it moves in, for I’m sure there were many who thought the participants of the civil rights movement and Vietnam war protests were overly emotional, and that the impolite tactics often instituted during major reforms deemed distasteful and inappropriate; a godforsaken slope that led to such things as slaves being beaten in the barn out of sight of the houseguests it might upset. For even this recent American history tells us that sometimes “passion” looks like “emotionality” to those on the outside of a movement looking in, and some could even make the argument that it is the lack of emotionality in the form of malaise that more quickly leads to the moral and ethical downfall of a civilization.
In the big scheme of things when you look at these people who you’re describing as overly emotional, it doesn’t actually matter if you understand why they act that way, why they’re emotional; it doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with their feelings; the fact of the matter is is that this is the way they feel. Period. Whether you personally feel the same or understand it at all is not the point. Because the bigger picture is why any of this is happening at all, and the questions that should be asked when 13 million of your fellow citizens fuel a presidential campaign with their own time and money, is this: Are they all just fucking nuts, or is there something legitimately upsetting going on that is making them fight so hard for a common cause?, and if at any point you find yourself trying to answer the former, then welcome to “Societal Anesthetization.” For sitting in your chair acting like Dr. Spock talking to Captain Kirk doesn’t help, and the reality right now — whether you like it or not — is that the Dems are going to need a huge portion of Bernie’s demographics in order to beat back the almost-certainly certifiable Republican candidate so please go-ahead and take your dose of “shut the fuck up” right now. Because you’re going to need it to get through the next 99 days.
Because Bernie Sanders has taught us that you can be strong in the face of a society which isn’t quite “there” yet if only you hold to the broader goal of reducing the suffering you see in the world, and, in the end, your derision and condescension mean little except as an admission of your own sedation, and take it from us Berners: if you can’t allow yourself anger in the face of admitted corruption and injustice, then you are basically allowing yourself to cower in the corner and die the enormous soul-death that comes when you give up striving for what’s right. So forgive me the fuck ever if I take a pass on that, and stand up and fight and embarrass your “polite society” by being what is — in your opinion — an overly emotional asshole.
[Postscript, for complete clarity:
I’m not crazy and would vote for Clinton if I wasn’t in a deep red state which will most likely go to Johnson (it could be a toss-up though actually–the Mormons hate Trump–so I have to revisit this topic periodically; don’t want to inadvertently give my vote to Trump).
This isn’t about Hillary personally (for me, at least): it’s about the insulation that the elite/the system have been afforded for too long at the expense of broader society, including extremely vulnerable populations which literally grow by double digit percentages every year. This year, for example, the Salt Lake City homeless shelter served as many people by May 26, 2016 as it did for the entire year of 2015. Students are coming to school hungry and traumatized because our lifestyles are on the razors edge, and I’ve personally seen parents repeatedly pick up their kids up totally high and in clear sight and awareness of school admin and nothing is done because there is no one to call to help these addicted parents and no beds anywhere for getting them mental health assistance. And people aren’t recognizing it or are blaming the vulnerable for character defects that usually aren’t there or blame Republicans for their inability to be reasonable when really this is a problem with the system wherein money is being hoarded and populations held at bay with excuses and justifications. And society can’t go on like this.
There will be a tipping point; I already see that we are getting close to it. And it is scary. When people have nothing to lose and when inequality becomes normalized, they take their frustrations out in ways which harm the stability of our society as well as our own mental health (insidiously, so as we don’t even realize) and there has to be a better way than what we’re doing now. Because mowing people down with firearms has now become de rigueur, and when a Donald Trump is the figurehead for millions of angry citizens, we have to acknowledge that we are clearly living within a failed system.
Anyways, don’t worry: Hill will get my vote should it come to that. You aren’t privy to my Facebook posts which outline my views on this situation but I go into the fact that Trump is clearly dangerous, and a third party vote pointless so, in spite of my rage at the lawlessness that our democracy has become, I know where my truth lies.]
[512 words; 2 min.33 sec. America, nostalgia, current events]
I’ve been listening to this song all day and thinking about America.
I remember sitting in a car with my mother circa 1993, and being called on to defend my ex-husbands adopted Korean sisters because to mom all Asians were forever tainted by Pearl Harbor,
[414 words; 2 minutes; American pride, nostalgia, what being American means]
Worked (all felines: Izzy, Jack, Piper, Clark, Lucy, Darko, Todd, Burt, Mica—love them all); Graham and Lauren, Ellen and Julia, Ellen’s friend ending his Ramadan today; kittens; hard lemonade, shitty Malbec, salsa, chips, guacamole, ohdeargodwhydidIeatsomuch;