Tag Archives: community

Heavy in His arms

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Heavy in His arms

Surrounded by the ever present Spectre of death…

Mortality itself has haunted since the 11th year-

Family & friends dying like the Hemingways and Fondas having a competition…

Addictions and violence permeate a life… a society… a culture.

Supporting those you love,

Facing my own fears;

Tasked with aiding those in grief…

A lifetime of training?

They don’t tell you the right things to say…

Or even the wrong things to say.

“It will always come in waves… they just get further between…”

Weak tea for the knock kneed.

God

Life

Energy

Grief

Stages

Birth to death and all between;

Beautiful acceptance to righteous anger-

Fuck this mortal coil.

I feel you.

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I feel you.

You fan my soul fire:
Unknowingly, take hearthold
Releasing their grip.

2018 year in review:

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2018 year in review:

Haven’t done one of these in a couple years. Seems fitting as I am in my 38th year… which is the year I’ve been thinking about since I was 19 years old.

It’s been a wild ride.

And a long life.

Hopefully, I get 38 more years.

1. Codependent is not the same as interdependent… no matter how you package it, some people will never understand the difference.

2. Never take friendships for granted; even after 28 years, they can end without proper maintenance. Even with proper maintenance, people grow apart. That’s ok.

3. There are social contracts that we all must abide by, to some extent. However, any social contract that requires you to be anything but your authentic self (save for concrete moral deviance) can go fuck themselves. This is your life. You probably only get one. Love it. Live it. Choose it. You’re the driver.

4. “Stairway to heaven” really is truth. 🎵“Yes, there are two paths you can go by… But in the long run…There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”🎵 Two paths. Fear or love.

5. If you’re all the way right or all the way left, you can’t see the whole picture. Take a couple steps back and listen.

6. Echo chambers are bad.

7. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is stop parenting.

8. You can lose/leave most of your things and be happy.

9. Dogs really are better than cats. By a small margin. But still better.

10. Money definitely doesn’t buy happiness. Always choose the job that feeds your soul. If you’re doing things right, someone will feed your belly.

11. When you have enough to feed your belly, feed someone else’s. When you have enough to feed your soul, feed someone else’s.

12. Energy is cyclic. I knew that years ago but I was definitely reminded repeatedly this year. Be mindful of the energy you put out. It’s easy to become comfortable, complacent, and forget.

13. Choose love. Even if it ends badly, you will end up better for it. You can leave with love. You can lead with love. You can heal with love. Always love yourself first. Insert some cliche about airplane oxygen masks.

14. Experiences are better than things. But… sweet gestures are still sweet.

15. Excitement and exuberance count. More than you realize.

16. Gratitude begets gratitude.

17. Douglas Adams really is a genius.

18. You can be aware and understand without co-opting and/or being offended. It really isn’t about you.

19. Except when it is… if you have a boundary, don’t let yourself or anyone else violate it.

20. There is healthy shame and unhealthy shame… learn the difference.

21. People tell you who they are and what they want through actions. You have to listen and watch. They often contradict each other.

22. Timing is everything. Sometimes things circle back around when you’re ready, sometimes they don’t because they were only there for the lesson.

23. The world, and humans, haven’t really changed. Comparisons are moot.

24. You can’t save anyone but yourself.

25. And Hobo Johnson/Frank is a lyrical genius.

Huzzah. Xoxo

Help a stranger, help a friend.

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Help a stranger, help a friend.

Alzheimer’s has touched my family, and now my friends’. I have over 120 some followers, if you all donated a dollar, even that could help. This is a family that in one way or another has influenced my life for over 25 years.

Please see the attached gofundme. https://www.gofundme.com/63k9y-save-my-parent039s-home

“My father is 78 years old and has Alzheimer’s.  The disease is advancing.  My mother and I are his primary caregivers and are doing our best to keep him home with family as it progresses.  Mom is on a fixed income.  I work full time and am also a full time college student, set to graduate this Spring, 2019.  I’ve left school many times over the years in order to help family, I am really pushing to finish now.  We have a hard time making the mortgage payment.  We’re literally at risk of losing the house, at which point I have no idea what we would do.

My dream here is to raise enough money to pay off the house for them and help cover the costs of his very expensive medications and other living needs. I would never dream of asking for money like this, but then I thought “we live in a world where a multi-millionaire can raise millions just so she can be a billionaire.  People set up, and succeed, in GoFundMe campaigns for boob jobs, dream cars, festival tickets, vacations etc.

So I figured I would take a shot in the dark here and see if there is anything I can do to help save my father’s home.  He is a Vietnam-Era veteran who worked his entire life.  He graduated Harvard Law.  Watching him fade away in front of us is so hard.  Thinking of having to put him in a residential home and losing his house is just too much.  I want him to be around family, who love him, until the end.  So I’m making this campaign, and putting it out there and will see what happens.

Blessings to all.”

Mercury Retrograde BE DAMNED I feel amazing.

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Mercury Retrograde BE DAMNED I feel amazing.

I have had quite the empowering and cathartic last couple of weeks chock full of epiphanies and cosmic 2x4s.

One, I shall not write into narrative for you voyeuristic vampires whom I love. It involves self growth and reflecting on past relationships.

But when it dawned on me, it went something like this:

Then, I read this on my FaceCrack wall:

A Wild Woman doesn’t want to be your Girly friend

Can you love me in the deep? In the dark? In the thick of it?

Can you love me when I drink from the wrong bottle and slip through the crack in the floorboard?

Can you love me when I’m bigger than you, when my presence blazes like the sun does, when it hurts to look directly at me?

Can you love me then too?

Can you love me under the starry sky, shaved and smooth, my skin like liquid moonlight?

Can you love me when I am howling and furry, standing on my haunches, my lower lip stained with the blood of my last kill?

When I call down the lightning, when the sidewalks are singed by the soles of my feet, can you still love me then?

What happens when I freeze the land, and cause the dirt to harden over all the pomegranate seeds we’ve planted?

Will you trust that Spring will return?

Will you still believe me when I tell you I will become a raging river, and spill myself upon your dreams and call them to the surface of your life?

Can you trust me, even though you cannot tame me?

Can you love me, even though I am all that you fear and admire?

Will you fear my shifting shape?

Does it frighten you, when my eyes flash like your camera does?

Do you fear they will capture your soul?

Are you afraid to step into me?

The meat-eating plants and flowers armed with poisonous darts are not in my jungle to stop you from coming. Not you.

So do not worry. They belong to me, and I have invited you here.

Stay to the path revealed in the moonlight and arrive safely to the hut of Baba Yaga: the wild old wise one… she will not lead you astray if you are pure of heart.

You cannot be with the wild one if you fear the rumbling of the ground, the roar of a cascading river, the startling clap of thunder in the sky.

If you want to be safe, go back to your tiny room — the night sky is not for you.

If you want to be torn apart, come in. Be broken open and devoured. Be set ablaze in my fire.

I will not leave you as you have come: well dressed, in finely-threaded sweaters that keep out the cold.

I will leave you naked and biting. Leave you clawing at the sheets. Leave you surrounded by owls and hawks and flowers that only bloom when no one is watching.

So, come to me, and be healed in the unbearable lightness and darkness of all that you are.

There is nothing in you that can scare me. Nothing in you I will not use to make you great.

A wild woman is not a girlfriend. She is a relationship with nature. She is the source of all your primal desires, and she is the wild whipping wind that uproots the poisonous corn stalks on your neatly tilled farm.

She will plant pear trees in the wake of your disaster.

She will see to it that you shall rise again.

She is the lover who restores you to your own wild nature.

(c) Alison Nappi 2015

The I saw this and wanted to go run. Dafuq, right?

This is all on top of a windfall at work, in my bank account, with my kids, with my love, with my friends, EVERYTHING. On top of the world and it is strange.

The American Public Education Factory: what is it producing?….Volume 1

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The American Public Education Factory: what is it producing?….Volume 1

I have been really trying to get some sort of an outline in my head about this topic for a while; I have decided to just start blogging it as it comes because every time I think I have it concretely fleshed out in my head, some new thought comes in about the social injustices associated with public school systems. From epistemology to NCLB, to “common core” to booster clubs, regurgitation vs. creative thought AKA actually thinking, ingenuity to different types of intelligence, to the perpetuation of rape culture and #Iammorethanadistraction, ugh the list can go on.

I am going to start with socioeconomic inequality in schools. Studies have shown that the more engaged in school a child is, the better they do. It isn’t rocket surgery. If a child is involved in sports, music, drama, whatever their choice of extracurricular activities are, the busier they are (no time for other naughtiness), the more invested they are in better grades, the more involved their parents might be in their world, “the more” everything. Things like teamwork, hard work, friendship, conflict negotiation, community, working for success AFTER failure, etc. are learned without the child knowing that they are learning it. But when these things are made to be so expensive that only the middle class and up can participate, well then, now we have yet another layer of oppression adding to the intersectionality of what it is to be a middle or high school student.

To over-share with a little self disclosure, I make what I assume to be a pretty “comfortable” wage, although it is definitely not the magical salary I was led to believe a masters degree would grant me. I make a little more than 50% of the “average median income” in America this year. I believe this probably makes me considered “middle class” but just barely. We still qualify for free lunch, thank sweet ancient baby alien space monkey Jebus, but it is not easy. I am still living paycheck to paycheck. I have come to terms most days with living one paycheck away from homelessness, mostly because as a housing case manager, I know what resources are available in the area.

I digress.

Anyhow, my point was that my child is involved in the school sponsored dance team, the fine arts credit required orchestra, and the foreign language credit required Spanish. We receive a discounted “activity fee” for the “sport” but the uniforms ($135 to start, with additional costumes throughout the year), “required contribution to the booster club” of $100 (which my child/myself get to harass friends, co-workers, family, and social media with in order to raise by selling coupon books or car wash tickets, not to mention the $1,200 dollar “Spring Break trip to Disney World” that all the “rich kids” get to go to, but sadly, probably not my child. This causes lateral oppression within the team of the haves vs the have nots; because the kids KNOW who will be able to go and who will not from the beginning. It is not fair. And yes, I know, “Life isn’t fair, Princess.” One+ more kiddo(s) financed OUT.

But come on! What is the booster club for anyway? Isn’t it there to support the kids who WANT to participate and work their asses off to participate? The answer sadly is, “No.” It is there to make up the difference between public support/donations from the school’s budget for sports. That is a shame. But go ahead, buy some more computers. Make the teachers learn a different way to teach because they aren’t churning out productive enough regurgitaters at the rate the country wants. That is a much better use of funds……And tell me again why kids here are obese and live online?

Ah, speaking of obesity….the school lunch. It is not what it could be. I recently read about France’s model and how lovely it is. What a pipe dream for good ol’ Merikah. Instead we have corporate sponsors, such as Subway and energy drinks in the schools. Which always look better than god knows what is really in the instant processed mashed potatoes and goo.

Spanish class requires fees. For what? I have no freaking clue. Is there a lab associated with Spanish? One+ more kiddo(s) financed OUT.

Orchestra requires not only a $100 fee per year to “pay for music” but also a rental of an instrument if you cannot afford to buy one. The schools do not even loan instruments anymore. How many kids love music but cannot participate in band or orchestra because of the cost?  I was told that because the school was making photo copies of music for the students they were fined $4000. Isn’t there some sort of fair use for schools to use copyrighted music?

“Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”

Yeah, I thought so.

So tell me again why I have to pay for music for my child to continue playing in the school orchestra? And why must they also have “orchestral uniforms” which include for the gender binary, long black dresses for the females, penguin suits for the males. Could we not just wear black pants and shirts or skirts? We must buy these clothes for a high school class? Good grief. One+ more kiddo(s) financed OUT.

Did I mention all these fees are due either at registration or during the first MONTH of school (save the spring break trip, luckily “they understand what a hardship it might be for some families so they give them until late winter to confirm these amounts.” Cause between you and me, as a single FT working parent that gets minimal child support, registration, extras, school supplies, school fees, school clothes, and anything else needed at the end of summer/beginning of Fall, is freaking HARD to figure out.

These examples and many others show it is unaffordable for many if not most kids to participate in the activities that studies show teach resilience and community. It is unreasonably expensive for ALL kids to get the protective effects of participation in these activities. So they must find other outlets and no one seems to like those outcomes, and yet…..

I contacted the school to find out what options are available as a low income parent. You know, because despite being on whatever magical list they keep us free lunch families on, they do not send home any information on these sorts of options. There are some “scholarships” available the first week of October, I was told. But it doesn’t cover everything. It’s a first come, first serve sort of deal where a committee decides who gets it. Based on what? I don’t know. But you better believe it is not a blind decision. Someone is making judgments either internally or perhaps even out loud. I imagine fucked up words like “deserve” and “worth” and “investment” are tossed around in that conversation.

So back to the original point and not my own personal struggle…The socioeconomic injustices of a public school system…. You want a college scholarship? You want to take classes you might *GASP* be interested in? You want to do sports? Music? Drama? Prepare to pay my friend cause this is college. Public High School.

If your parents can’t afford it, screw you.

If your parents feel shame asking for help, screw you.

If your parents don’t speak English as a first language and aren’t sure how to advocate for you/your family, screw you.

If your parents are too busy because they work 8,327,498,374 hours a week and don’t have the time to contact the school, screw you.

If your parents have nothing but time because they are unemployed, depressed, worried, stressed, whatever, screw you.

Welcome to Public High School.

To be continued.

Survey says…..

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Survey says…..

CERVEZAS!

Just kidding.

But after about a month of heartburn, ulcers, sleepless nights and related irritable attitude combined with relationship woes, professional misfortune, scholastic pressure and being a parent; I have decided where I will live (for sure) after graduation.

I made a pros and cons list for Idaho and for Washington.

I meditated.

I surveyed Facebook friends and frenemies.

I did tarot cards.

I talked to classmates.

I talked to professionals.

I did guided meditations.

I talked to my counselor.

I talked to my mentor.

I talked to my soul mates.

I did about 34,834,530 different things as instructed by various decision making models and blogs.

I flipped coins. Over and over.

This morning I woke up and just knew:

I have to stay in Vancouver.

My heart said so. I can go where ever I want in 5 years. But for now, in fact for once in my life, I am thinking of my kids and my kids only. I am not rationalizing my needs or wants. I am not running home because I have a broken heart. I am planting roots.

Kudos to me.

Things I wish were real:

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Things I wish were real:

There are so many things that I wish were real and practical in this world. Here is a short list of things I wish were real and things that I (contrary to popular belief actually BELIEVE are real…)

  1. Unicorns. I grew up surrounded by them, Shel Silverstein songs about them and collecting my little ponies. (STFU) I suggest everyone carry this with them until they find one: Magic
  2. On the TV show Ally McBeal, her therapist suggested she get a theme song. It changed over the years but I loved that she had a continual soundtrack theme to her life. One of the best examples was her boss John Cage’s (who suggested her therapist to her): Barry
  3. How convenient to have as you would know which way not to turn because you would forewarned with sounds like this: the reveal
  4. And Sheldon Cooper would appreciate this one: NOOOOOOO
  5. And then the ultimate! Nevermind, I don’t like this one. I was just kidding. I call redo!!!!

In the next 10 years, I want to:

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In the next 10 years, I want to:

Do lots of things. Duh.

But specifically, the things I want to do and the places I want to go are as follows….Anyone wanna come with?

  1. Put a down payment on my land and buy atleast 5 of these tumbleweed houses to put in a circle.
  2. Build a labyrinth:                                                                                              
  3. Start my garden.                                                                                      
  4. Buy a couple of these:                                                                              
  5. And these:                                                                                                       
  6. And these:                                                                                                          
  7. And some of those:                                                                                          
  8. And these:                                                                                                          
  9. these:                                                                                                      
  10. these:                                                                                                      
  11. Oh yeah these:                                                                                        
  12. and those:                                                                                                            
  13. Start paying on these and get the rest forgiven magically:                            
  14. Swim here:                                                                                                    
  15. And here:                                                                                                              
  16. And here:                                                                                                              
  17. See this:                                                                                                  
  18. Do this:                                                                                                                
  19. Change this:                                                                                            
  20. Look like this (only different of course):                                                     
  21. Look like this (only different of course):                                                             
  22. Figure out what its like to be an adult without minor children.
  23. Go here:                                                                                                  
  24. Go here:                                                                                                  
  25. Go here:                                                                                                  
  26. Write a book.
  27. Have a gallery show.
  28. Advocate for this:                                                                                      
  29. Do this:                                                                                                            
  30. Possibly move here:                                                                                           
  31. Survive this:                                                                                                
  32. Get this:                                                                                                    

That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

Yeah. I think that is all for now….But I reserve the right to add more. Cheers, interweb friends.

To be fair, I will give you this as it still makes #Kony famous:

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To be fair, I will give you this as it still makes #Kony famous:

http://visiblechildren.tumblr.com.nyud.net/post/18890947431/we-got-trouble

This fellow believes we are doing the cause a disservice because of the amount of money that invisible children makes in relation to what they do. I know. I also know that NO effort is ever completely unselfish or without some sort of mutual benefit. I think the good outweighs the bad in this case and believe if nothing else, the fact that the web can be used to do such good and so quickly is inherent purpose enough. I mean this has gone BEYOND VIRAL.

And knowing this, I still bought schwag. It’s just as good a cause as any, plus it resonated with me on a level that few things do. That is all. Make your own choices.

I’m still going KONY2012.

As for the allegations he makes regarding not currently committing crimes in Uganda, perhaps. But that doesn’t mean crimes are not happening. Check it out:

http://www.lracrisistracker.com/