Our Lost Soul

OpEdHave you ever been struck through the heart by an image, something that simply stops you in your tracks or takes your breath away. An image of terrible beauty or terrible tragedy, something heart stopping. Humans are mostly visual by nature, they say men are more so than women, I think we all are though. Things aren’t real too us unless that thing of beauty or horror is directly before our eyes, even then there are times we can look away if we are able to say, “Not mine, not like me, not my neighborhood, not my country; or some other ignorant bullshit that allows us to disengage.”

Lately, I have been following the story of the Nigerian kidnapped girls, I know many of you have as well now that mainstream media has finally picked it up. There are people throughout the blogosphere who have done a far better job than I at compiling, tracking and presenting information, the links to their blogs are below. I am grateful for their diligence and their care. What they have done as part of a global effort, is I think miraculous; it is also heartbreaking. Heartbreaking to know the world stood by as nearly 300 young women at the beginning of their lives were whisked away from their schools and families and we not only didn’t know but in truth didn’t care until we were forced to pay attention.

I said to a friend I hold dear to my heart, “I remain helplessly hopeful”. I even sign my emails to him this way, as a reminder perhaps, he does not share my sentiments. The truth is, I know the world is terrible. I know through my own life and experience the world can be an abysmal and dark place inhabited by monsters. I do not remain helplessly hopeful out of naivety, I long since lost my innocence sacrificed on the altars of other men’s gods and desires. Yet, I believe in hope and redemption, individually and for humanity if we would only stop our selfish and purely personal pursuit of ‘me before you’, turning away from anything that makes us uncomfortable or doesn’t fit our worldview, like this.

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The Untouchables

Uncomfortable aren’t they? The first time I saw them I was frankly horrified, then I looked more closely. I understood them, instinctively I felt the message rather than saw the offensiveness of the image. Eric Ravelo, a Cuban born artist works in several different mediums; he is a sculptor, painter and multi-media artist. The images above are from his latest work titled The Untouchables for the UnHate Foundation.

Each image sends a different message, each crucifies a child on the back of a ‘known’ and unrepentant oppressor. Known to us, known to society at large and yet we uncomfortably turn away from the image, ‘not like us, not our problem, nothing we can do, not in my neighborhood, not my country’, or worse still, ‘not my religion’.

The first child sacrificed on the back of a Catholic priest, a pedophile the Vatican has covered for, for far too long.

The second child, victim of the sex tourism trade, sexual slavery primarily in Thailand but prevalent in also in Brazil, Vietnam, India and right here in the good old US of A.

The third child a victim of the terrible war in Syria, faceless and horrifying as they starve and choke on chemicals, as they are murdered in their homes. Children as refugees from war, they could be anywhere not just Syria.

The fourth child, perhaps the most frightening image is a child sacrificed for his internal organs on the black market, where most children come from poor countries and most purchases are the wealthiest nations and the wealthiest within those nations.

The fifth child, specific to our nation, the USA and its propensity for guns and their death dealing, particularly the killing of our children.

The final image, also pointed mostly at our nation is a condemnation of the terrible food industry that poisons our children, while pointing mostly to obesity and its relationship to the fast food industry I think we should see beyond this to the entire food industry including big agriculture, sugar and GMO / chemical poisons.

How does all this relate to the kidnapped girls of Nigeria? We turn away from them in the same way we turn away from the children these images represent. How does all this relate to the kidnapped girls of Nigeria? We turn away from them in the same way we turn away from the children these images represent. We ignore the approximately 20.9M adults trafficked every year into servitude, including the 2M children exploited in the worldwide sex trade.

We ignore children exploited everywhere, working in unsafe conditions, in garment factories in China, Mica mines in India; we don’t give a damn. We ignore children starving in our own streets. We turn a blind eye to children sold into sexual servitude everywhere in the world, unless they are blue-eyed and blond, look like us. We ignore nearly 300 young girls in Nigeria, until it is likely too late.

I try, I do try to maintain a hopeful heart. To not weep for our seemingly lost humanity. Sometimes though, it is hard. I find myself on my knees and my tears simply won’t seem to be stopped by my will alone, I weep for the loss of compassion and empathy, the loss of our shared humanity, our inability to reach out and offer simple kindness across borders because it is the right thing to do.

I have to ask, what happened to us as a people. What in the hell is wrong with all of us, have we simply given up hope and stopped believing in the usefulness of our own humanity?

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Links to better bloggers than I for #BringBackOurGirls

http://theobamacrat.com/2014/05/13/nigeria-refuses-to-swap-militant-prisoners-for-kidnapped-girls-new-video-bringbackourgirls/

http://hrexach.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/at-the-end-of-the-day-peace/

Other Links:

http://www.equalitynow.org/node/1010

Mother’s Blessings

With the babies all growed up

With the babies all growed up

Mother’s Day is a strange one for me, tangled relationships up and down generational lines. I always approach this day with trepidation, always have even as a child.

I have three mothers, two of them have passed away.

I have two sons, yet no children of my own body, I am forever grateful to their mother, my wife-in-law for the generosity of her heart in sharing them with me. They hold me firmly anchored in the future.

I have, somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-four siblings and some of them are my cousins. Many of these relationships are troubled by the tangle of maternal relationships.

Reading those words, I suspect people wonder how all this came to pass and why I am not more psychotic then I am. I have written about my relationships with my three mothers before, all of the history is available under various series in this blog if your interested I am happy to provide links for you to explore in the comments section, just ask. For Mother’s Day though I want to take a different tact, a more positive one with regard to each of my mother’s and their contribution to who I am.


 

The Mom's & I

The mother who raised me, who I have always referred to as Mom or my Second Mother; who adopted me, perhaps unwillingly after suffering multiple miscarriages. We had a troubled, even sometimes violent relationship during my childhood and through my early teens. Our personalities were like sandpaper rubbing together, despite living in the same house from the time I was three days old we never found common ground, not even in our memories.

Mom and I, San Marco Square, Venice Italy 1965

Mom and I, San Marco Square, Venice Italy 1965

Truthfully we shared only two great loves, my father and my younger brother and these would act as wedges between us rather than bringing us together. It was a difficult relationship, for both of us to navigate even as we steered into our very separate adult lives. Ultimately I chose to limit my interactions with her and she seemed to be happy with this choice, as she made no attempts to mend what was shattered between us. My mom passed away this year at nearly 94 years of age. She suffered from acute Dementia and her body finally failed her, I was there in the end. Her passing has driven a wedge between my beloved younger brother and I, someday perhaps we will heal it. What my First Mother gave to me even through our troubled relationship was this:

  • A progressive and independent view of the world, one that she was outspoken about and frequently argued with my father about who shared many of her views but not all.
  • A love of books and reading, she gave me my first book and taught me to escape into the worlds of the written word. I have never lost my ability to lose myself in the pages of a book my first true love.
  • The love of travel and the appreciation of the antiquities of history. As a child we trekked Europe and its castles and museums. She bought every guidebook, every memento offered and saved them all for years.
  • Manners, I learned manners in her home. It wasn’t all from her, my Southern bred paternal Grandmother certainly influenced some of this, but much of what I learned were European manners and I learned them from her.

My First Mother, who gave birth to me and without ever seeing my face gave me up for adoption I owe much too, certainly my life. But, more than my life, there is much she has given me since I met her when I was twenty-five. My biological (First) mother and father married after I was born and went on to have five more children, thanks to this I have true siblings, people who I share DNA with, who look KrisLogar Weddinglike me and who in many ways I share common traits with. I grew up thinking I was alone in the world, there was no one like me, no one who would completely understand me. Certainly I did not look like my ‘family’, I did not think like my ‘family’ in many important ways. Suddenly at the age of twenty-five I faced not only a mother and father but siblings as well, all of whom I shared common DNA with, all of whom looked like me and in strange ways, acted like me despite sharing no common history. I don’t want to paint this reunion story as if it was hearts and flowers, as if it was easy. Certainly all of us had challenges to overcome as we tried to come together, to understand each other. Truthfully we were estranged for nearly ten years, only now in the past three beginning to re-discover balance and a loving acceptance of our mutual flaws. What my First Mother has given me that I am so grateful for:

  • First and forever, an understanding of where I come from at a very deep level. Having felt so isolated my entire life, never knowing what or who I was this was such a gift. Now, when I look in the mirror, I understand what contributes to what I see.
  • My resilience, my strength. After meeting my mother, listening to her life stories I believe we share a common spirit, something she passed to me to insure my survival even as she released me to a world she couldn’t protect me from through my life.
  • My siblings, all of them. Though I don’t have close relationships with all of them I am nonetheless grateful they are in the world. Perhaps someday we will see past egos and angst and make our way closer.

My Heart Mother (aka Step Mother, Aunt), the love of my Second Fathers’ life (aka Daddy) was perhaps one of the greatest blessings of my adult life. Certainly she was the greatest blessing of my Daddy’s life and I will forever and always be grateful to her. I have written about their marriage, the strange relationship and her end elsewhere, I won’t repeat it here, suffice to say she was a fabulous woman I still miss her. What she gave me in the years she was married to my father:

How I always see them Just Loving Perfectly

How I always see them
Just Loving Perfectly

  • She returned my Father to me, she reached across wide chasms of misunderstanding and hurt and taught us to talk to each other and listen. There could be no greater gift in the world.
  • She taught me hope, even when everything was horrible when I was willing to give up and just stop, when I hurt everywhere she sat with me and talked about how much I was loved, how much she loved me and she gave me hope, she was helplessly hopeful that I would walk, that I would go dancing, that I would live, that I would have the life I wanted, that I would love. She never gave up hope.
  • She taught me about beauty, when I felt fat and ugly and terrible about myself as I learned I might never do things I loved again, she told me the story of myself as a child when I thought I was an ugly duckling in a family of tall blonds. With her thick Texas drawl she stared me deep in the eyes and told my how all my cousins hated when I came to visit, how I was so ‘exotic’ and ‘beautiful’ I put them all to shame with their beanpole common looks, then she laughed and told me now I looked the way I was supposed to look, like a woman.
  • She taught me about unconditional love, as my father descended through Alzheimer’s, as his once brilliant mind disappeared she cared for him without wavering. She protected him and loved him with constant attention, even as her own health was failing. When an accident took her life, my father followed her a short eleven months later.

Each of my mother’s hold me tethered to a strange history but have also cut strings and released me to find my way. I am finally grateful for their sometimes-unwitting guidance and certainly grateful for their loving direction.


 

To all the Mothers out there today, Happy Mother’s Day. So we don’t forget until they are returned;

http://theobamacrat.com/2014/05/11/a-special-mothers-day-blessing-for-the-nigerian-mothers/

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Unicorn Kisses

1960 LindaSome of you might know I am a collector of Art; specifically I am a collector of body art or more commonly known as a Tattoo. I received my first tattoo when I was just 17, yes, I was underage but people weren’t quite as careful way back then. I don’t remember the shop but I still remember the why and the where.  Tattooing was different those many years ago and Crazy Charlie, though he did a great job and I had that tat for many a year, I long since covered it up.

Over the years, I have covered a few of my originals; sometimes I cover them simply because I want something new and sometimes because the meaning is no longer meaningful. I have never, not once walked into a shop where I didn’t know what I wanted, never looked at Tattoo flash and pointed at something and said, ‘put that on my body’. Everything inked onto my skin has meaning, most is custom designed from art I take into the shop with me, but sometimes it is concept art I have worked with an artist to design for me. All of my art is specific and personal.

I get there are people out there in the world who take great exception to my decoration. Some who even feel the need to express their opinions to me regarding my personal choice to tattoo my body. I find their need pathetic frankly, this being especially true given their contribution to my life otherwise. Some of my favorites from the otherwise non-contributing members of my life:

  • What will they look like when you are 80?

o   Who cares? You will not be here and it is likely those who love me will continue to love me whether my skin is inked and sagging or not.DSC_0262

  • You will go straight to hell (Leviticus 19:28).

o   According to the standard you are using for my eventual afterlife residence, so will you; see you there save a room for me, preferably not next door you judgmental twit.

  • No one will hire you with all those tattoos, you look like a cheap slut.

o   Really? How would you quantify whether I am cheap or not? Someone has to pay for my rather costly artwork.

During the course of my marriage, my desire for new art was a point of contention. In fact the words, ‘If you get a new tattoo, I will leave your ass’, were often said. I wonder, why the hell did he ever marry someone with ink if he felt that way? During our first separation, I got new ink. Within a month of his most recent departure, I got new ink again; in fact, I have been adding the ink I have been thinking about for a decade.

Now to my favorite part of being part of the approximately 21% of all adults who are Tattooed in the US today:

Does it hurt?

Why of course not it feels like Unicorn Kisses!

Who does my work? James Yokum of Saints and Sinners, I love them all, but he has finished two of the three pieces I have added since December. We are in the process of adding my largest piece ever, four sessions, with two down and the third starting tonight. Does it hurt? My friend and favorite photographer Christ Hanna (he continues to be my hero and did a fabulous job under less than ideal circumstances) of Posture Studios agreed to something slightly different in terms of a photo session, here are the results:

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The meaning of this piece, why she is important to me:

  • Gerber Daisy = Innocence
  • Peony = Healing, Compassion, also the Greek God of Healing (Paeon)
  • Peacock Feathers = Compassion, Wisdom, Knowledge; also, in ancient times used for writing of importance.
  • Sugar Skull = often used to celebrate lost loved one, in this case I have placed it where I have lost an entire part of my body feeling due to my injuries. I am celebrating I am still standing, living and whole despite it all. In effect, she is I.

Victorious, yes I am that though I might feel slighty overcome at this moment in time. This piece in particular reminds me I have overcome obstacles including being told I would never walk again, let alone dance in high-heels. I am learning though life can be hard I am Victorious it is simply a matter of slipping on my stilettoes sometimes and dancing.

Right Shoulder

The Wheel of Fortune (beautiful isn’t she) reminds me I cannot control everything, despite being a bit of control freak by nature. Outside influences may direct my life and I must learn to let go of both my expectations and my demands even while not becoming complacent.

Left Shouder

The last one, it is a bit more complicated. Suffice to say it is another victory symbol that allows me too remember I remain in charge of my destiny. I rise above the ashes of failure and I am my own knight in shining armor.

Left back shoulder

Does it hurt? Yes, it hurts. It is no worse than many other things that hurt. Some people say you will never meet a person with two tattoos. Either the pain is too much and you stop at one, or you fall in love (grow addicted) to the sensation. Some of us who collect ink, we also know there is a correlation between this level of pain, chocolate and one other thing all of which sends the same hormone to our brains, which might account for the rising number of women who are inked.

Other pieces I have added over the years:

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Ours don’t come as easily, you have to work for it. Do you know what I am talking about? Feel free to leave your guesses in the comments section.

Some History you might find interesting.

Smithsonian History of Tattoo

PBS: Skin Stories

A Brief History of Tattoos

Tattoo Statistics, Pew Research

Tattoo Statistics, Harris Research more comprehensive

Morning Dances

Warning – Erotica Adult over 18 Only


 

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Your skin reminds me of cinnamon and ginger, that tang of spices fresh and burning on the tongue

Early in the morning I want to inhale you, you sleep cold

You say I am a furnace keeping you warm as you wrap yourself around me

You say I am your anchor; we fall asleep tangled together at night

Every morning you are wrapped around me sharing my heat

My breasts settled heavily in your hand and you nestled between my legs

The sheets are damp, from your sleep and our lovemaking of the night before

Your skin is covered in a sheen of sweat and your spice scent

I sleep too hot in your arms yet am reluctant to leave for cooler climes

Moving will wake you; the scent of your skin sends small shivers down my spine

I push back at you, your arm tightens around me instinctively capturing and slowing movement

You tighten yourself against my back pulling me closer, making us one

Your breath lifts my hair as you nestle closer still, holding tightly

Your breath settles back to the rhythm of slumber even while your body wakes

Slowly we begin to move together with recognized rhythms of morning

We barely move yet the universe spins us outward stars brighten then explode

The flavor of your spice heightened by our morning dance on sunbeams is on my tongue

As our rhythm moves from Tango to Salsa, your hands glide from breast downward

The sun warms you, as I have through the night your slumber undisturbed even as I say good morning

Each of us smile as we settle into our day anchored by the other, your spice fills the room

You have rolled over to the spot I have left and grabbed my pillow, do I leave a scent too

Valentine, 1-May-2014

Bring them Back and More

OpEd#BringBackOurGirls

Have you seen that one floating around? Do you know what it means? If not, you aren’t the only one, but it is pitiful and horrifying you don’t know. For the past two days, I have searched for a source to tell me how many times any one media outlet mentioned the kidnappings in Nigeria, I couldn’t find one. Finally, today I gave up, this is too important it lays heavy on my heart and needs saying.

What has been trending since 15 April:

  • Benghazi (FAUX) – Repeatedly this one rises to the top of the heap of the GOP manure pile of scandals. Never mind it has been debunked; never mind it is a waste of TAXPAYER MONEY. Never mind, it is pure and unadulterated BULLSHIT. Yes, I said it and I apologize if I offended you; this tripe remains front and center in the hearts and minds of FAUX, the GOP and their funding partners for one reason only, to discredit this President and future Democratic contenders. Nothing more or less. The willingness of their mindless followers to believe anything assure them zombie like adherence to whatever drivel they offer up as proof of malfeasance.
  • Malaysia Flight 370 (CNN) – I am not saying this wasn’t a tragedy, certainly it was. However, CNN led with this story for six (6) weeks. During this same period, other things happened in the world, other tragedies of equal if not greater import.

o   Crimea, Ukraine and Putin

o   SCOTUS and the new rules of uncapping contribution rules make it even easier to buy a politician, a party or for that matter a seated Supreme Court Justice

o   Tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, four (4) dead including the gunman, sixteen (16) wounded.

o   School stabbing in Pittsburgh, when a student wanders through the halls with a kitchen knife stabbing his classmates. Twenty wounded, no deaths.

o   Mudslide in Oso, Washington left behind forty-one (41) confirmed dead, two (2) still missing and millions in damages.

o   The capsize of MV Sewol with 476 passengers on April 16, resulting in the loss of 240 lives, most of them students.

  • Cliven Bundy – enough said really. Hero till he turned zero. Criminal, bigot and fool.
  • IRS Scandal – really, yes. It’s this one is still out there and still being talked about both by the GOP and by FAUX. They cannot let this go. Not if there is a shred of possibility, an iota of opportunity, a dribble of slobber to catch in the drool cup that is the GOP witch-hunt. Today alone, there is no less than four different Right-Wing blathers plus the latest in Congressional attempts to push the envelope, specifically the House Rules Committee considering holding Lois Lerner, former IRS official in contempt.
  • Climate Change Denial – this one, it goes along with the entire issue of deregulate the world and we might consider bringing jobs back to America. You might include the other fun ideological standard, thought but never said aloud, “your water is burning, your children are sick and your rivers are sludge…don’t worry that is actually the way it is supposed to be, don’t you remember before all these job killing regulations were there and you had jobs”.
  • ACA Failure – yes, they are still harping on this one, over and over and over again. If it isn’t one thing it is another. The worst part of the problem though, they don’t just whine they lie. I wouldn’t mind a difference of opinion on policy, but the outright lies, the putting real humans at risk this truly does bother me.

Now back to where I started.

#BringBackOurGirls

bringbackthenames

The names of the lost girls, this is what it looks like. Stark and real.

On April 15th, 230 School girls were kidnapped from the Chibok Government Secondary. Notice the date? Right, it is during the same six (6) weeks I was documenting CNN’s enthrallment with the lost flight 370. Not once that I could find did they ever mention this tragedy, not once. I could be wrong, but I couldn’t find it. Certainly FAUX didn’t mention it and I couldn’t find it elsewhere either.

Why did I want it separate? It is simple really; this is a real tragedy, happening to real people. These are young girls with their lives before them, kidnapped and potentially sold into slavery, married off or worse for what any of us might spend on a large coffee and a donut. This horror wasn’t reported, not by FAUX certainly and since they set the standard for the circus, not by any other station. This is a truth, where FAUX goes the rest follow. If FAUX screams Benghazi, no matter how played out this story, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of them follow tails tucked firmly between their legs and tongues hanging hoping for a bone. The rest of the media ignores everything and anything that might be of real value, have real truth-telling for those who don’t give two tinkers damn what the GOP, the Kochs or the morally bankrupt talking heads of FAUX think.

How did we fall so far? It is simple; we turned our backs and allowed apathy to win. We tuned in and tuned out. We allowed ourselves to be lulled by the soothing voice, the pretty face until it all seemed ‘smart’ and it was too late. We failed to verify, failed to demand truth, fairness and above all ethical reporting. Now what we have is entertainment with zero value.

Now what we have is 300 young girls in a nation FAUX doesn’t deem important enough to report on, 300 young girls of a complexion FAUX doesn’t deem ‘beautiful’ enough to care about, 300 young girls of a religion FAUX doesn’t deem ‘right’; 300 young girls who might never be reunited with their families because it took to long for their story to hit the mainstream.

What it took for the story of these young girls and their tragedy to hit the mainstream is the voices of their families to reach non-traditional media outlets, twitter, bloggers and Facebook.

 

Do I seem bitter? Yes, I am bitter, I am bitter because this isn’t just these girls, though their story is the most tragic and the most important. I am bitter because as we fight to change the course of the nation and the world, we are fighting what seems a losing battle against a monolithic media force that seems to own the minds of a zombie horde. The good being done by our President, by our Vice President, by our First Lady, by others in the administration are lost in the FAUX news blathering and it is only through the concerted efforts of a few voices we hear.

Yes, I am bitter. I was told recently well placed hate can be a force for good, I believe I am learning this might be true.

For now, get informed and get involved:

Read related posts with information about this tragedy here:

Petitioning World Leaders, The ObamaCrat

#Bring Back Our Girls, The ObamaCrat

Bring Back Our Girls

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Offers Law Enforcement Help For Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Lost Girls

Nigeria Abducted School Girls

#BringBackOurGirls: Extremist Islam Is Scared Of Little Girls

Get Involved:

Facebook: Bring Back Our Girls

Twitter: @Rescueourgirls

Change Org Petition Bring Back Our Girls

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Memories in a Box

Sleeping BeautyYesterday I started boxing up memories. This means preserving them, but putting them away so they don’t hurt my heart anymore when I stumbled across them. I have seventeen years of memories; they twine through multiple homes, various milestones, holidays on different continents and of course the lives of my children. It is difficult to box memories, impossible to pretend there aren’t happy, even joyful times preserved in those pictures, impossible to pretend they did not happen. Yes, they happened and I was there, that smile was real and those times were not false, they simply didn’t lead to the ending any of us wanted.

It is difficult to forgive yourself; your failures sit on your heart. Eventually though, they open the door to what isn’t yours, what you don’t own and how you didn’t fail. As I began to sort through hundreds of pictures, some in albums and some loose I realized there were two of us, not just me. Two of us who journeyed, two of us standing before the minister making promises, two of us living under the roof of our various homes and yes two of us fighting the battles. The problem was there was only one of us leaving, twice. Only one of us ultimately unwilling to fight for our marriage. Only one of us so angry they were willing to throw everything away. I realized looking at those pictures, both of us were wrong, both of us did wrong, both of us failed; not just one and finally I forgave myself and refused the entire blame.

Like many of you, I choose love. Always, I choose love when I can, when it is offered and I am not petrified, I admit I am often petrified. I also often choose to love the unattainable, the unlovable, the out-of-reach, those who do not wish love or stand beyond love. I think I know why I do this; it is honestly safer isn’t it? Because as I said, I am petrified, of love of being loved, or maybe of not being enough to keep love and being rejected, shoved aside and turned away from.

I have a friend, someone who has known me for more than thirty years she says on the face of it I am a romantic; I like the idea of being loved and in love. The other thing she says is I choose men who are ultimately not worthy of my love, men who will walk away or who I will walk away from. She says I will always love men who will remain out of reach, either emotionally or literally unattainable and in this way, I keep myself shielded from any real hurt or invasion of my personal space.

Is she right? I truly do not know the answer to this, on the surface it seems she might be. If this is the truth, it would seem I have another thing to forgive myself for.

My divorce, yes I finally said it, draws to a conclusion, the final decree being signed by both of us and presented to a judge sometime in the next week. I look down a future of alone and realize I am building around myself a640px-Aurora_and_the_forest_of_thorns protective tower, like Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty, no way in or out. No one is doing this but me, for now I think this is the safe choice. I might wish otherwise, maybe a knight willing to brave the wicked witch that is my alter ego or the protective thorn forest that is my history; yet, I have to wonder does that man actually exist? Is this simply my romanticism attempting to convince me to at least leave a light on, a way in.

For now, I think I will keep the lights off, romanticism held closely at bay no matter my instinct to reach out, choose love. Memories to box both tangible and in my head, fortunately I have the practice to be successful at both. The ability to express love, desire, fear and all the other emotions of our humanity will find outlets in other forms; thankfully, I have given myself permission to open new doors both those which I have always followed but kept secret and some new.

So for now, I wait to see what is next. Tomorrow is a new day; I find I am not as afraid as I was last month. Sure, there are still things that make me catch my breath and want to scream, not as often though. Certainly, there are things that make me want to fling myself to the floor and have a tantrum like a two-year-old, not as frequently as last month though.

For now, I will simply try to find small pleasures; perhaps they will grow and untangle and maybe someday I will put the light on.

Really, Post Racial

OpEdWe are living in a ‘Post Racial Society’, isn’t that what those in the know want us to believe? Do you believe we are living in the fantasyland the pundits gleefully spew forth? Yeah, well neither do I but you have to give them credit for trying. It would be interesting, if a bit filthy, to open up their minds and see if they actually believe it themselves.

In the last few weeks, we were treated to some real cretins, lacking in any form of social grace or guile they have spewed the vile bigotry into our homes through the airwaves. Granted, at least one of them didn’t intend his remarks to reach our ears, they did though and we hung on every disastrous word. Interestingly, these two cases have nothing in common and their outcomes cannot be compared, except for one very specific point; they prove beyond a doubt we do not live in a Post Racial Society when it comes Power, Politics and Legislation, but we might be making baby steps as a society.

I am more than certain you know who I am talking about, but just in case you have been under a rock or meditating your navel in a cave;

Cliven Bundy, the man Fox, et al tried hard to turn into a folk hero until he suggested the ‘Negro’ were better off in slavery. Shock and awe, his words sent all his hero worshippers scurrying for cover, he said what they thought, ‘damn why’d he have to go and do that?’ The truth is, all those folks from Congress to the talking heads at Fox, they didn’t just latch on to ole’ Cliven because he made good sense espousing the Federal Government didn’t exist and his theory of Eminent Domain, there was another reason. I will get there, give me a minute.

Cliven_Donald

Then we had that wonder of the 1%, yes, you know whom I am talking about, Donald Sterling had his dirty laundry aired and it did not go over well. Players took to Tweeter, along with many others who had something to say about his low and ugly comments regarding his ‘ownership’ of those he contracted to play ball for him. Of course, some came to his defense with cries of, ‘he was set up!’ and, ‘he shouldn’t be penalized for what was a private conversation!’ Power is a funny thing though; ultimately, money talks and he didn’t have enough to override the entire NBA and public opinion.

So back to my comparison, these two loud and proud members of the old school and what they pronounced,  what so many think but don’t say aloud where others can hear. What was it these two wonders had in common?

  • Wealth (Somewhat to Obscene)
  • Race (Caucasian)
  • Age (Old)
  • Ignorance (Absolute)

What did I just say there?

They were both Rich, Old, Ignorant, White Men.

Simple as that. It is my personal opinion if we are ever going to achieve that ‘Post Racial’ society it is up to those of us who enjoy the privilege of walking down streets, through stores and through life without worry for our lives or our freedom to undo Racism. The simple truth is only White people can teach the next generation about racism, bigotry and prejudice; thus only White people can undo the harm it does both socially and institutionally.

Those who are victims of social and institutional Racism can teach us the harm it does; they cannot undo the harm, as they are not in our homes teaching our children from an early age. Legislative remedies go only so far in correcting institutional harm, what we see across our nation is proof of this truth, Cliven and Donald are two examples and the outcomes of their bad behavior are two examples as well. Another example is the reaction 800px-Barack_Obama_family_portrait_2011to having the first Black President in the White House.

Asses have been up on shoulders since the day this President won the election. As much as there are those who say it is not about the half of Barack Obama that is Black, the simple truth is what other reason could it
possibly be? This nation sees this man as a Black man, with a Black wife and Black children move into the House that slaves built and frankly lost its collective mind. Never, not in all the history of this nation as any President battled Congress for even a step toward compromise. Never, not in all the history of this nation has any President faced a Congress that would rather see the nation fail than a President succeeds in even a single agenda item. Not Race? Please give us credit for having some sense.

Back to old Cliven and Donald now, what has happened to them?

Donald got some comeuppance, his money wasn’t enough in the face of what would be lost by the league if players wouldn’t play and sponsors wouldn’t pay. Banned for life from games and a paltry (in the face of his bank) fine. Now the other owners are looking to force him to sell his team, will they succeed? Who knows, the man is eighty years old and likes to fight court battles, of course with confirmation he is battling prostate cancer perhaps he will let this one go.

LAcLIPPERS

As to good ole’ boy Cliven, well all his friends at Fox and in Congress, they deserted him like rats from a sinking ship, quick to let all and sundry know they disagreed with his ‘Negro’ comments. Who didn’t disagree? Yeah, those great patriots with their guns, you know the ones the ‘Militia’, the ones who drew down on government officials trying to do their jobs, who put women out in front as targets; yeah those. Now they are camping out on the side of the roads, fighting each other and terrorizing the locals with their roadblocks. Good old Cliven, he still owes the Government $1M plus still stands in front of the American Flag (of the government he doesn’t believe in) and fails miserably to understand what he did was so wrong.

Nevada Militia

Cliven lost his sponsors, Fox News. Donald his sponsors, commercial. Cliven should go to jail, along with his little buddies the militia. Donald didn’t do anything (this time) illegal, simply immoral and unethical. They are the same yet not.

An interesting read I have borrowed from Frank of A Frank Angle fame, one that shows perhaps why some are so terribly fearful of their place in this ever changing world, http://www.pewresearch.org/next-america/#The-New-Us

Moral? Yes, there is a moral. We do not live in a post racial society, not by a very long shot. We are getting there though, slowly the next generation coming up is beginning to say, “no more”. Society is changing, our outlooks and views are changing. The younger generations are beginning to question the ignorance and intolerance of those who came before them. Is it fast enough to undo the harm that is being done today?

No, not in my opinion and according to current projections we still have a few years to go before there will be enough of us who feel the way I do to make a real difference. What can you do? Start teaching your children what is right, stop ignorance now.

Open

Warning – Adult Over 18


 

images

Whispers across my soul, you said you wanted to see me naked

                You asked me, how it feels to be this open

I couldn’t answer, my voice caught by breathlessness

                My lips swollen, bee stung and bitten

Silk rubs against my eyes, my wrists; naked I am exposed to you

                I feel the warmth of your gaze as it travels the length of me

Naked, you wanted me exposed; open to each intimate touch

                Unable to shrink away you hold me still, tracing my ribs

                                Up my thigh across my hip, flattening your palm against my stomach

Be still; stop moving you tell me as instinctively I try to twist away

                You ask again, how it feels to be this open

I have no answer but the soft moan that escapes as you touch the most sensitive parts of me

Your breath heats my skin as your hand smooth’s up my inner thigh

                I fall apart naked from the inside out, exposed to you

Without secrets, one final touch I shatter into thousands of pieces spinning wildly

Be still you say as your fingers spread across my most secret spaces

Silken cords loosen, my hands fall free and I reach for you first

          Be still you say, don’t you want to see as you remove the silk from my eyes

                                You ask again, how it feels to be this open

                I can only reach for you, to show you what you have shown me

Valentine, 29-March-2014

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