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Divide and Conquer – Let me paint you a picture

Divide and Conquer – Let me paint you a picture

I wanted to paint a picture today. I bought a canvas the other day. A big one. The first of this size for me and I’ve been pretty excited to see what happens with it. I really thought, I definitely planned on painting with real paint on a real canvas, but apparently, this morning I will be painting with words again.

Last year, I was walking through the mall next to the school I worked at in Tirana, Albania with a friend of mine who had also been raised in the USA. As we walked towards the escalator, we saw 2 women with a few children walking towards the escalator from the opposite direction. The two women were covered head to toe, with nothing showing but their eyes, the black cloth flowing entirely over them. 

Picture taken from pintrist JILBAB STYLE https://www.pinterest.com/pin/160370436710598011/

My friend said to me, “Crazy how the first feeling is fear, how we were taught to be afraid”.  And it’s true. The first feeling I felt as I noticed the group was a little jump in my tummy, a little moment of fear, a quick flash of the mall getting blown up. See, I’ve been taught burka’s represent a group of people who are “out to get me”, people I should be afraid of.  I’ve been spoon-fed the belief that all Muslim people are terrorists.  

Truth is though, these were just two women with their children shopping at the mall, just like we were. They were merely women who had a different religion than me, dressed differently than me. It was me that was wrong and I almost immediately censored myself and redirected to what I know is true.  I have lived in 3 Muslim countries, as an American, as a non Muslim, and not had anyone ever try to blow me up, yet my stomach still jumped in that first second. I still had that initial flash.  20 years of propaganda worked. 

How do you automatically feel when you see someone with obvious signs of being a Muslim?

I’ve seen all kinds of Americans react the same way, thinking that all Muslims are crazy, jihadist, extremists who will happily blow themselves up to blow us up. Divide and Conquer. In America, everyone is afraid of Muslims now, because we have had almost 20 years of propaganda to ensure that reaction. 20 years of adding Muslims to the list of divide-ees worked its way into my subconscious psyche.  I live a life that proves that propaganda is not true, but I still had that initial reaction. 

So who are these, the divided, the “them” that Muslims now are among?  Well, there’s women, LGBTQ, People of Color, immigrants, apparently the Chinese have their own ‘them’ group now aside from ‘Asians’. And we’re really pushing the Democrat vs Republican us and them groups hard. No longer are those terms for parties or ideals, but rather they are very much like Sneetches, with Sylvester McMonkey McBean at the wheel of that machine.  Division.  It’s how you win over countries, start world wars, eradicate groups of people, and apparently it is how you run America.

In this crazy thought blizzard that would not let me paint this morning until I wrote, I saw a bunch of pictures. So I ask you, What are your initial responses/thoughts/gut feelings when you see each photo? What do you automatically think about before you start to censor yourself?

all above photos from stock photos at canstockphoto.com

And now to the main idea that wouldn’t leave me alone. The reason I had to write this instead of break ground on my new canvas.

Did you think of the one individual in each photo or did you think generalizations about whole groups of people? Did you name the group? Were they positive or negative thoughts?

So, what about the photos below?

all above photos taken from Google search results

Did you think of whole generalizations, or do you think of that one person in the photo? 

Did you you name the group “white men….”? Or “American men….”?

We have been taught to think of American white men as powerful, just, smart, capable, lawful, inventive, breadwinners, heroes. 

One guy messing up doesn’t mean all of them are like that. We don’t think of them as a group in the negative. We single out negative ones, group together the positives.

Yet, the generalized narratives for any other group are almost entirely negative. All powerful women are ……..    All Muslims are ……….  All young black men are ………… All Asian girls are ……….. All gay men are ……..   All blondes are ……    And the positive ones are singled out.

That conversation from last year kept coming to mind today, a flood of pictures and generalizations. All the thoughts I have been told to think about people.

And I cannot figure out why it is so easy to dismiss the wrongs of individual white men. 

Why it is so easy to group other people together and give them all the identity of the worst examples in their group and why we don’t ever do that for white, Christian, American men.

Why can white men actually shoot up places, kill many people, be a mass murderer in action and be unharmed as they are arrested? Yet a black boy playing cops and robbers can get fatally shot by an actual cop. An autistic man can get a fatal injection of ketamine as he is apologizing for walking home with a mask on. 

Why can a white man go to trial for actually raping a girl and have the spotlight be for what an athlete he is? Yet a black boy can be hung for daring to look at a white girl?

Why can white men take over a government building fully armed and have no consequences? Yet peaceful black marchers can get tear-gassed and beaten with batons for marching against brutality.

Why can white men steal millions of dollars, billions of dollars through corporate crime and bailouts, yet every day black people were denied the ability to get a loan or buy a home, or even rent in some areas.

I do not understand why white men can DO the things people conjecture a black man could do, and have no bodily harm done to them.  Yet black men can be killed, black children can be killed, black women can be killed in their sleep having not actually committed any crime at all.  

I do not understand why white men get a trial, where they are seen as innocent until proven guilty, but black people seem to have the proof of their guilt automatically built into their skin, so cop’s think they can just kill without a trial. 

I see people posting, being so dismissive saying, “The government is trying to control you by telling you to wear a mask”! “The governor’s are infringing on your rights by putting the state in lock-down!”. “Don’t let the government tell you what to do! Vote them out!”

But the US government is openly, systematically, removing your rights, the checks and balances that hold our democracy together. Even as the parts they are doing behind closed doors get brought out into the open, it is ignored.

The government has been dividing us and telling us how to think about each group for centuries to keep themselves in power. You want to talk about control. Read up on the United Daughters of the Confederacy and their little side project the Children of the Confederacy. Or read more about the American Housing Project its purposeful prohibition of African-Americans from buying homes. Read up on why it was so sadistically meaningful to have a rally in Tulsa. It is not the mask that is controlling us, it these divisions being pushed on us through text books, commercials, training programs, signs on walls, in courtrooms, on newspapers.

I wanted to paint this morning, but I had to write this. I had to say this. I had to raise my voice to the injustice of propaganda. I had to raise my voice to state that saying Black Lives Matter IS saying all lives matter and saying all lives matter is removing the call to create justice for lives that do not currently enjoy the privilege of justice. 

And saying Black Lives Matter lays the foundation for equalizing all the Them groups, but saying all lives matter is an Us distraction that actually perpetuates the divisions. Once there is equality, then it will be okay to say all lives matter, it will be the most appropriate thing to say then. But until there is equality, we have to raise the voices of those unequal. 

We have to challenge ourselves to see individuals and stop believing the US and THEM talking points. Notice initial reactions and thoughts and challenge their validity.

Most Muslims aren’t out to blow you up.

Most black men are not out to harm you.

Most Asian …..   aren’t…….. 

Most …… aren’t ………

……..

I want to keep erasing that record, or CD, or whatever you want to call the loop that is playing in my background. It is okay to stop right here and realize it is time to change.  No one needs you or me or anyone to have a breakdown over the past, but we need to stop letting ourselves be divided, stop thinking in divisive terms. We should not be in a competition for our lives to matter. There is no harm in bringing others up. It does not diminish our star to have other stars around us. We are stronger together.

And we have to start SEEING the crime and terrible, awful things that white, American men are actually doing. Call it out, name it, and make an example of their crimes being punished. They cannot keep hiding behind the whiteness, especially as people are getting killed having done nothing wrong.

I will keep standing.

Love and Light everyone. Now I am going to go paint something on my canvas.

 

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An open letter to my biracial son from a white mother who did not see color.

An open letter to my biracial son from a white mother who did not see color.

Dear Son,

I did not know then, but as Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” I want to accept my shortcomings and failings, my ignorance, and even those things I chose not to see even though they were visible. You know I try so hard to be a voice against racism and have since either of us can remember. This year I have spent many hours trying to learn more, listen more, and think more about my path and how I can be the best advocate/ally I can be. I know that it is in continuous work that we unpack the nontruths we are raised with. In all of this, one day about a month ago, I was given another moment of enlightenment, of realness I had not known with this kind of clarity before that moment. I was given a glimpse into your current world and it has taken me this month since that moment, to open that vision more and look around inside it before I could write this letter to you.

This ‘vision’ gave me a fuller understanding of the difference between racism and white privilege and why white privilege is what holds racism together. I thought they were the same thing, even as I understood more and more about white privilege; even as I knew and you knew and everyone that knows me knew that I am not racist, what I didn’t know is how pervasive white privilege is in that even if you are not racist, racist crap is done in the ignorance of white privilege. I chose to walk around inside that moment and realized, understood some of my part in your pain. It helped me separate racism and white privilege so that I can examine them independently. And it is from this new understanding that I offer my apologies.

I am sorry that I raised you with the “I don’t see color” brand of racism.  It was not fair. I did not even realize it was racism. I thought it expressly wasn’t. But because I chose not to see your color, I did not prepare you for being a black man. I did not understand that you would not be seen in the world as my loved son, but you would be seen by all the world, except me, as a black man. I did not see color, I saw my son, and as beautiful as it is to have you as my son, I should have seen your skin. I raised you with white privilege, not just my own but I unknowingly bathed you in it as well. Your ability to see the world with open eyes was blanketed by my white privilege.  I did not learn the difference between non-racist and anti-racist when you were young. I fought for nonracism. I thought by not seeing color I was doing the right thing. I am sorry.

Your “knowledge” of what white and black “are” was dipped in that invisible white privilege tub. I was not ‘there for you’ the moment you realized you were black, because I did not get it. I understand now, but that moment is gone. It is part of the past that makes you who you are today, and it happened without my love for you as even capable of being part of it; because I did not see color when I should have. My lack of color-vision, my lack of intentional choice for you to see good black role models, my ignorance and the pervasiveness of racism told you that your being black made you all the negative connotations white privilege puts on black people.

I did not raise you white or black or brown. I raised you as my son. I thought that was right. I loved you from second one. I raised you in love, you know that. I supported you every way I knew how. But there was one especially important way I did not give you what you needed; I did not give you the knowledge of how to maneuver in the world as a black man, how to be proud of yourself as a black man. And now I can see how incredibly difficult it must have been for you to identify, articulate, or even really understand what and where that lacking was and came from.

You could not have said to me, no one could for that matter, that I was racist or that I did not love you, or that I wasn’t trying my best to overcome racism all around me. So how could you explain to me the deep injustice you felt, the injustice I did? The injustice I served out as love. I still do not fully understand and honestly never can. But I can apologize and hope that we can come to a mutual understanding of where to go from here.

I apologize for not being a strong enough advocate for you against the racism that permeates the family of the man I was married to. I chose not to see it because I thought I could love you enough for all of us. That was not fair to you. You had to grow up not aware of why you were seen as so different, treated so differently. To be honest, though my ‘not seeing’ was partially in ignorance, and thinking that mistreatment was due to how you were conceived, not that you were black, it was also partially from wanting to not have to see it.

I was 16, married almost a year when I was raped. Then as a stupid 16-year-old with no support system, I went on the only kind of spiral I knew. The kind of spiral that screams Help Me but is only ever seen as “what a stupid girl”. But when I discovered I was having you, that spiral came to a screaming halt. Nothing in the world could stop me from giving you the best mother I could be, in every circumstance life threw at me. So, when I say I raised you to be my son, it was with all the love I had. I tell you on your birthdays, “You’re the first …. year-old I’ve ever had. You’re my guinea pig, I’m probably going to screw it up, but I’ll try my best and we’ll love each other through it.”  I never saw you as black, or white, only ever as my son. I was trying my best. But not seeing, not identifying, not allowing you to own your skin was not fair, and it was not enough. I see that now. It was all I had and all I understood. I do not berate myself for this. I cannot feel guilty about it either. I did not know any better then. But I do now, and I can apologize for what I did in my ignorance, and for what I did not do. I can apologize from now and where I am now and what I know now.

I am sorry for thinking that trying to explain away your blackness, because that was “on me” and my circumstance, rather than try to help you accept who you were no matter what, was enough. It is not that I did not accept your being black, I just did not understand that accepting your blackness, seeing your skin, went beyond the shame I felt for my circumstance. I spent decades trying to understand how to release my shame. Part of my healing is to speak out and not hide, and that remains true, but I did not see that I projected that shame on to you whenever I talked about it. I did not understand that not only was I not protecting you from that shame, I was creating it for you. I did not see how the rest of the family’s underlying racism deepened that shame and that my not speaking out for you hurt you.

I thought my love for you automatically removed the shame for you. But it did not. I thought every time I told you how much I loved you I was creating a safe harbor. Instead I gave my shame to you as an undercurrent, something you could not speak of, or see, or name because my words forbade it with every proclamation of how much I loved you. I am sorry. I didn’t know.

YOU have nothing, NOTHING to be ashamed of.  I am sorry that I created that in you. I have nothing to be ashamed of, but my lesson, my healing should not have caused you pain. I am sorry. The part of my life that was before you, was erased because of you. You brought me life; your life brought me to life. You taught me how to love. Do not ever feel ashamed of that.

You are allowed to feel all the feelings associated with the complicated mess of being black in America, of the only father you’ve known being racist and having a mother that did not understand how to navigate raising a mixed child in that environment. I wish that shame was not part of it, but I understand now that it is, I put it there. I am sorry, I did not mean to.

Son, be a proud black man. Be the strong black man that you are. You have love, strength, compassion, empathy, tenderness, and intelligence. You are talented, brave, and work hard. I am sorry I did not tell you before this that you are all those things as a black man. That you are worthy as a black man. YOU ARE WORTHY just because you exist, regardless of any misdoings, and in spite of anyone’s words or actions that say otherwise. You are worthy of the love you were denied because of your skin color. You are worthy, you are enough.

I am sorry I did not prepare you for things like shaving the right way, putting your hands on the dash, having people follow you around a store, or the understanding that you were given the worst ‘end of the stick’ in so many situations because people thought the black in you made you naturally ‘bad’.  That is not true. You are only inherently awesome. Nothing about your skin color determines the kind of person you are. I should have advocated that more for you.

I am sorry that your white privileged upbringing set you up for the belief that ‘black’ means violent, untrustworthy, and prone to criminal behavior. It does not. That is a white privilege talking point, a way for uninformed white people to categorize and maintain a level of ‘fear’ and therefore keep power. It is an unspoken belief that underlies the family you know. The truth is, for you, the violence you know came from watching and being part of abuse at home. That abuse came from a white man, so do not chalk that up to some inherent blackness. But also, do not allow it to be part of your life. You are better than that.

I am sorry I did not see color when you were young. I am grateful I do now. I have always been grateful you were given to me. From your first flutter, you have taught me how to more fully love everyone. Being your mother taught me to SEE COLOR in that moment when I learned what I should have taught you about shaving. That was my first understanding that you are black; and you were 19 or 20. That sucks.

I am grateful that you are my son and for the many ways you have helped me see the very different experiences people have in life, simply because of their skin color. I have understood through 30 years of being your mom, I need to remove the white privilege blanket that covers everything. To step out of that bath. I keep growing, being your mom helps me know that seeing color is the only way to create change, to see the disparity, the real world as it is. I am grateful that because you are my son, I had that moment of clarity a month ago to help me better understand the pain you are in now because of your childhood.

Without you, maybe I would have kept on in my invisible privileged life, but I am not because I have you. It’s a long process, but with each new layer I can uncover, each new thing I can pull out, I learn how to love better, how to be a better human. You are the reason I choose to keep looking for those layers. I am grateful that maybe I can help others see too. I am, have always been, and will always be proud to be your mother. I love your skin.

White privilege is a crap sandwich. It is known as invisible because, it’s like the people who have never been fired unjustly and cannot see why that person is so upset. Or like people who do not have children yet, make all kinds of judgments on parents who do things differently than they think they would. White privilege lives in the ignorance of not having been through a thing. It’s subtitle should be white ignorance, but that would probably go over less well than white privilege….

Just like people who haven’t been catcalled, whistled at, hollered at through a passing window, followed, and know to hold their keys a certain way, don’t understand why other people do that; white people do not see the complexity of being not-white. I did not see the complexity of your not being white.

 Just like people who have been raped, see the world more clearly and try to survive in it anyway, black people, people of color do see. They live and survive in the world they can see better, more clearly. They see it and I did not give you that sight when I should have. There is this world in which you live that I did not prepare you for but put you out in it thinking I had.

Healing requires us to speak about the wrongs done, put it in the light and examine it. My recognizing each piece of white privilege as I see it does not induce disgrace, but spurs the choice to move ahead doing better because I know better. White privilege is a not-knowing. And where racism can be examined, seen, explained, and criticized, white privilege is unseen, unfelt, misunderstood, and hidden. It is all the ways we do not know we cannot see.

So, I apologize for what I did not know, what I did not see, what I did not do. I apologize for what I did in my ignorance. I apologize for those things I pushed to the side, so I did not have to confront them. I apologize for not standing up within my home the way I stood up outside of it. I apologize for not giving you what you needed to be a proud black man. You know I love you. You know I have always given you everything I could. But I can see that everything I could was not always enough, and I am sorry.  

Sincerely,

Your ‘thought she was woke but realized she’s still waking up’ mother

Is “White Privilege” a useful concept in the current UK context ...
Trying to pull out what I can every time I see something in there.

#inspiration #motherhoodrising #honestlymothering #doingthebestican #onceyouknowbetterdobetter #blacklivesmatter #iamnotcolorblind #seecolor #unpackingwhiteprivilege

 

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Today

Today is my brothers birthday. A day I can never forget.
I remember taking him to school for show and tell as a new born. He was my doll, my precious baby doll. I loved him so much. I was so happy to be his oldest sister. He was my dance partner as I, literally, flung him around.
I read to him. He was the only one I let in my private closet bedroom, the only time I ever had my own “room”.
I’ll never forget the day my mother called me at three in the morning.
Screaming that I had finally got what I had always wanted. Screaming at me that I was evil. Screaming at me that she wished it was me.
For five minutes I listened to her screaming and ranting, having no idea what she was so upset about.
When I finally got a chance for her to hear me, I asked what was wrong.

That is how I found out my brother had died. On his birthday.

I cherished him when we were little, but once I was married, when he was 8, I didn’t see him again. I had very little contact with my family after I married and moved away.
I still don’t.
We spoke a couple times, but that was it. I didn’t know how to stay in touch with some but not the others. So I stayed away from all.

I truly hardly knew who he had become as a new adult, with his own daughter. The Little Man I remember is still 8. I miss him with feelings that escape words. The dance parties, the silliness. The beautiful little boy.

I also mourn the Daniel I saw in a casket in Anchorage, Alaska, 14 years ago. The young man. The troubled and desperate young man that had his life ended so fast, so violently.

The last time I spoke to him was two weeks earlier. He begged me to let him stay with me, to help him like I had helped our sister.

For many reasons, that were appropriate at the time, I said I couldn’t. That tears at me all the time. All the unanswered what if’s. All the reasons. I know it was the right choice at the time, but that doesn’t really change the what if’s.

His spirit walks with me, and he is ageless. Not young, not old. He helps me let go of the pain. I’m grateful to be able to recognize when he is around.

It’s been a tough day. It doesn’t get easier.

I don’t really know what happens after we die, but I know that some how he lets me know he’s ok. Somehow he tries to help me heal.

It never feels less fresh. But I know HE doesn’t hold my answer against me, I do.

Daniel, thank you. I love you. I miss you.

.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 25/04/2016 in living

 

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The endeavor to walk in the world: Overcoming

The endeavor to walk in the world: Overcoming

HEALING

Through a variety of ways, I have healed internally much faster than anticipated.  Mostly, through determination to not stay stuck in a place of fear.  However, there have been some other wonderful helps along the way. That is not to say I am through with the process.  Hell no.   But I’m farther along than I thought I would be right now.  Much farther.

My journey through becoming a shaman is slower than I expected, but far more powerfully healing than I anticipated.  It packs a punch and then I need time to process it all.   But, I am.  AND THAT IS AWESOME.  I am reaching and stretching and seeing life in bigger and better ways.  I am definitely more confident in my own abilities to trust my journey and its processes.  I am more confident in my spiritual strength and ability to follow my own path no matter who says what about it.

I have had to stare down my childhood and many of the ways that my parents, but specifically my father at this point, primed me for abuse in my future, albeit mostly unknowingly.  And I have had to work through the fear, very real and serious fear of confronting him about it.  But I’ve done it.  And he’s listened.  And though it was incredibly scary, it has been equally freeing since.

I am sifting through the book of my life and placing bookmarks between the pages I need to work on.  I am unfolding the page corners that I had dog-eared for quick reference; the stories I keep thinking back on, that keep me from growing.  I am going back and making new notes on the memories to remind little me that we figured out that problem.  And I am holding my book with newfound love, wrapped in my arms, against my chest; whereas before I held it at arms length, always afraid it would open to the wrong page when I wasn’t looking.

I am ready to travel and teach again.  I am ready to meet new people and find more joy.  I’m ready to start being me again.  And it feels pretty damn good.

RESEARCH

My research and discovery process is and has been enlightening to both the awareness that is already out there and to the still greater amount of awareness and education that is needed.  I have discovered terms I had never heard of, yet know the details of intimately, like Gaslighting.

Unless you know the term, you can’t find it as a form of abuse.  There’s no Google lookup for the individual terms within the forms of abuse, that I’ve found anyway.  It takes looking through hundreds of other avenues to find the term, then start looking that up. I’m working on changing that.  I’m collecting terms.  In fact, if you know of any, please comment, I need the help.

Boy have I had my fair share of gaslighting!  Look it up, you’ll be amazed, enlightened, and hopefully strengthened in your understanding of abuse, how to spot it and stop it.  And I’m starting my own new term, Halfening, the victim-blaming coddling of an abuser for fear of repercussion, after those that did it to me.

FEAR

I don’t like to think that I’m afraid of the unknown.  I actually like heading off into some new adventure, not sure what to expect or how things will turn out, who I will meet along the way, but ready to find out.

However, the unknown of where and when my next adventure begins…….   I am not liking this unknown at all.  I actually pretty much hate the interim.  It causes me panic and to make decisions too fast in order to at least be headed in a certain direction.

BUT HEY, I am in learning mode.  So, even though I’ve had a couple different opportunities to just head into the crazy wild blue, I haven’t taken them.  I’ve given more thought, I’ve taken more time.  I am learning.

LEARNING

I’m still working through the fear of trusting myself.  It is frustrating because I know that I made a fast decision to head off to Mozambique, but I also know that I was guided there.  I trusted my guide and I am actually coming out of this far stronger than even I would have guessed.  But, I am keenly aware that I was guided there to find out that I don’t know how to see the signs of abusers.

I asked for understanding of what happened with Sven.  I thought I had figured out my confidence, my refusal to put up with abuse, my love of self.  And then bam, confidence shaken.  And on the heels of that, Willem Johannes Goosen, aka John Goosen, of South Africa, happened.

This lack of confidence is a layer of the thick blanket of victim blaming that we hold onto.  It is both safe and suffocating.  I need to trust my gut and the results of following my gut.  Sven went against what my gut told me, but he worked until he convinced me.  Mozambique was completely following my gut.  Bad things happen no matter what.  Great things happen no matter what.

During the time I thought Sven and I were moving forward, I was so happy. I was so in love.  I had a great time, and I don’t regret one minute of it.  People ask me if I ever think of revenge; plot for someone to beat him up or something.  I don’t.  Truthfully, the best revenge is that he lost me.  I’m pretty awesome.  Don’t abuse me, and I’m top freaking notch.  That’s his loss not mine.

Mozambicans are wonderful people.  The local people amazed me in so many ways.  The scenery was wonderful and I am so grateful to have been to Africa.  And because of what happened in Mozambique, I have learned what happened with Sven, and what happened with the ex-husband and the few other ex relationships along the way.

I need to trust my gut and press forward with the decisions I make based on my instinct, without fear.  That blanket makes it safe to say, “if only”, “why didn’t I”, “I can’t”, “I shouldn’t”.  Those things feel safe, like they will keep me safe, but bad things happen no matter what.  Hiding from my path doesn’t keep me safe.  Running into or away from, doesn’t guarantee safety.

Just like I keep telling my little step-neice, it’s ok to make mistakes, that’s how we learn.

and

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN NO MATTER WHAT

ANOTHER DREAM

I need to stop worrying about safe and put my focus on non-abusive.  I had a dream last night.  I was swimming deep in the ocean with a group of whales.  They kept coming over to me and then going up to get air.  Somehow I was not needing to go get air, yet they kept insisting I should.  After I did, they showed me where land was and so I went up.

Everywhere I walked there were snakes. They were mostly out in the open, yet all of them had only their head and part body showing, the rest curled up in their hiding places.  A few were slinked back inside their hideout.  There was a child with me, and we were walking together.

I was not afraid of the snakes, but I knew I couldn’t give them any energy/ acknowledgement/ attention or they would bite.  I had to teach the child to see without giving acknowledgement, to not be afraid, not be curious or get too close.  The scenery was varied as we walked, rocky, grassy, outside, inside, and there were snakes in a snack booth and a book case.  They were talking to us, some trying to be helpful, give advice, offer to get things for us, but we had to remember they were still snakes.  If we gave them any acknowledgement, they would bite us.

There were many blue things as well, blue was a significant color.  There were people, men, women, children all around us, some talking to the snakes, some not.  Some were holding the snakes, some were collecting them, but many just ignored them.

Snakes and whales have interesting meanings in dreams and as power animals.  I’m curious to see what comes of this.  But I woke up feeling very good.

That’s all for now follks.  I’m doing really well.  I’m looking forward to my next adventure.  I’m singing, crying, laughing, and otherwise feeling the feels of life and loving it.   Go be awesome today, I plan to.

 

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Thank you Mama

Thank you Mama

I got to talk to my mama today!

Jean Dominguez you’re the best!  Thank you for teaching me so much.  Thank you for being such a great example.

You’ve shown me how to let go and move on.  You’ve shown me how to find the good in people.  You’ve shown me how to meet and be with people for the person they are with and to me, and not their past or mine.

You’ve shown me how strong I am.  You’ve shown me how to face life as it really is.  You’ve shown me how to go after my dreams.

Through your example, hopefully my children, my friends, and the people I meet along the way will also benefit from your shining example.

YOU are proof that the world needs people to shine and not shrink, embrace themselves for the people they are and not hide from their own greatness.

The saying “Everything happens for a reason” is great, and the reason is usually to learn.  I’m so grateful to be a learner!

Thank you MAMA

 

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Poetry – a look back through the pages of my journals

We are the same 

Soft quiet wind rushing through glimpses

Many faces seen through your eyes

Hazy, drenched

Reflections of you

Who you are today

You turn from me

Why turn? Thoughtless in me of you

We are the same

Sift through pebbles

Stones of recompense

Grant me serenity

A stone under a stone under a stone

We are the same

Face me

Touch me

Envelope our oneness

Thoughts of the wind, of treetops

Circling

They are still grounded by their love with gaia

We are the same

I Will       95

I will climb and conquer

I will misstep and misjudge

I will reach and achieve

I will stumble and fail

I will learn and grow

I will overcome and

I will love you the whole way through

Grateful for this time    04

Your kisses are meadows I long to lie down in

Soft grasses, flowing breezes

They are canyons reaching far below me

Into the depths of who I can be

The pleasures of nature

In the air

Whenever your breath enters mine

I seek after your embrace

which claims my soul in its tender hold

Caressing the being I am inside

gently coaxing like the pleasant water edges

which invite the weary wanderer to bathe

and be enveloped by its healing motions

When our essence entwines

I feel the earth below, the sky above, and everything in between

like the vines of the morning and the evening glory

along the same lattice

intermingling at noon as one unfolds

and the other gently lays to rest

I am so grateful to have this time with you

To love you and feel loved by you

Telluride  7/05

Telluride

Music floats around me

Mountains engulf my soul

Thousands of stars blinking, shooting

Shifting who I am

People, thousands of people simmer in the pot of humanity

So many different gifts together in one place

for peace

and the joy of music and mountains

Grasp the concept

Grasp the concept

Give back

Keep only what is given

Live life around the concept

Stand in the middle

Be only afraid that life is still turning

And you are standing still

Don’t be afraid

Throw in

Go out

Take the risk and live

You may think it’s not worth it

But really

It is

ARE THERE MOMENTS NOT SACRED ENOUGH TO REMEMBER?

We don’t all have

I saw a man today

Walking on the street

holding a sign of help needed

I gave him pistachios.

I went to school

In my car

From my home

As I left school today

I saw a woman

by the corner light

It was hot and she was sitting

I gave her my bread and butter

From my dinner

that I bought at a restaurant.

I drove home

wishing I had sunscreen to give the woman

Grateful for what I have

And saddened that

We don’t all have

Hollow Woman

Hollow woman

Your shell is intact but your eyes have gone

I can see through them as if they weren’t there

Come back

I will offer you what I have

Can you find what you left behind

With my help?

Are you ready to find it?

Is that where you are?

Oor have you run because it is trapped in your shell, So there you cannot be?

May you find peace in your journey

May you face what you fear

and triumph

May I have been one who helped you today

The dream gift  02/06

I dreamt today of a gift

Yet to be opened

I don’t know where it came from or from whom

A beautiful box wrapped simply

It spoke and said, “not yet”

A treasure I’m sure awaits inside for me

What can it be?

I am drawn in my waking moments

To find and open it

If I close my eyes I can reach for it

Yet still it says “the time has not come”

I can feel the tender craftsmanship of what awaits

The love put into the work of creating my gift

I can sense the excitement at being discovered

The building up until the moment arrives

My beautiful dream gift

I am willing to wait

But please not too long.

Lines

Arbitrary lines drawn through the boundaries

borders put up to keep out the rifraf

what if just because I’m “pretty” I can cross the line?

maybe I’m an arbitrary line?

maybe the arbitrary lines are just bridges helping change the way people see each other

does everything have to be in order all the time?

maybe order is chaotic and I am chaos and I have changed the order as a rifraf line of arbitration.

 

My Prayer to The Universe

May I never greet the day without gratitude for my breath

May I never greet the sunset without gratitude for my days work

And may I never gaze at the tapestry of the night sky without gratitude for my place in the world

May I always be known for my giving nature

May I always be seen as a gift to ones life

And may I always be looked upon as one who lived and enjoyed every moment

 

FLIGHT: WIND TAMED UNDER WILD WINGS

 

Because 6/06

Because I believe in me

I can believe in you

Because I can feel

I can feel for you

Because I am free

I cherish your freedom

Because I can learn

I want to learn from you

Because I can dream

My dreams can include you

 

Falling in love with a shoulder

When the heart is broken the head needs a shoulder

When you realize you love someone who was never there

You need a shoulder to help make it stop hurting

Love doesn’t hurt so much with the simpleness of a shoulder –given freely- to cry on

Why does love hurt so much?

Why are there old loves and new loves?

And why is it all so painful?

The one thing I want I cannot have

A shoulder to cry on.

If I ever fall in love again

It’s going to be with just a f@cking shoulder.

A shoulder attached to a strong arm and a helping hand.

But really without the unconditional caring understanding perfect shoulder to hold a weary head

What good is the rest of it?

 

My Look

Moments strung together on an empty line

They keep falling off the line

Won’t be tied

Grandiose pictures of love

That isn’t, wasn’t, and won’t be

Moving pictures that capture the still frames of passion without momentum

Half truth half light

Secret purposes

One more night

What do I do now?

I wanted to feel kept

I needed to feel loved

Instead I feel lonely again

While you went away

back to another’s arms as soon as you left mine

My forehead felt blessed

My heart felt comfort

My arms were filled

And now

I am hurting again

While you give my look

To someone else.

 

Tides turn

Tides turn coming in

Beach and ocean come together

Going out

Tides turn

Knowing they’ll meet again

Under the sun, the stars, the moon, the clouds

Giving to each other everyday

Gifts of love

Day in day out

They see each other change

They create the others change

Endless tides

Blessed unions.

Tides turn

The seas can be rough

Pounding the beach

Great stones can be heaved

Churning the sea

Then all is well again

‘A shell my lady’

Tides turn

In and out

Back and forth

Singing the notes of life

Together

Look Upon Them

Rising quarter moon stare

The darkness of your gown with slender light

Engulf the passion of the storm which rages

Bathe the waters

Call upon your sisters the stars

To guide the lovers to the secret beaches that only you can see

And while still high in the night sky

With your crescent smile

Look upon them

Be me  04/06

I will always be free

I will always be torn between wanting to unite

And needing to be me

Unless there is another

To whom I am the perfect compliment

For then I could unite as me

 
 

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