So thoroughly more true than
80 Mile Beach, Western Australia
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/blur/ & in reply to Dark Wanderings
So thoroughly more true than
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/blur/ & in reply to Dark Wanderings
A message, a song, prose of awareness to carry to your fair-weather friend
That really great one who utterly love-bombs you, repeatedly – if not ceaselessly
Bombards you hard enough to make you forget your own fugging mind
The mind that used to have instincts that automatically waved red flags
Those inner stirrings of wariness that led you right from wrong
When you weren’t the puppet you became in order to earn more ear candy
Those sweets that plump your heart and keenly sink into your under-nourished psyche
Enough sugar to make you think you are the brightest, funniest, loveliest star ever found
And he will always assert with that add-on: …“and I have known many a lovely star”
And so he enlists you to spy, cajole, and/or keep an eye out for reporting purposes
Ah, when we learn a puppeteer’s affinity for clowns runs far more extensively than skin…
He uses you to mark his territory, share his dirty deeds; you’re his unique ‘love in crime’
& if reports are interesting enough, he will even step out from behind his shield of breasts
To poke his nose out gingerly, which counts as brave for this completely scar-less ‘warrior’
You do it because, sigh, someone has finally or fully seen how really special you are
And, no real harm, just a bit of fun, just messing a little with idiots & low-lifes after all
‘Cause beneath it all, he’s a nice guy, so alone & a little scared, mostly misunderstood
Your maternal instinct will fill in all the excuses he hints at to make you both feel better
In gratitude, he’ll toss you more necklaces hand-beaded with extra-honeyed accolades
He’ll gift you amusing anecdotes and witticisms du jour and you’ll both laugh and laugh
Or he’ll wax on spiritual depth, prophet-like and it’ll be like you’ve bathed in enlightenment
So many days in a year, so many lines, so many toys available for play
Oh, to be free of those strings, to dance around and around a stage, firm and stable
Where the feelings and thoughts and words fed to your soul are unfeigned
Oh, to live, only where love is real and the only strings attached are honestly heart to heart
So, so many memes, so, so little time…
Hey look, we survived the overwhelming jolly, holly season, the January blues, the February blahs and election seasons that never seem to end even when they’re like, finished – officially and everything… So sometimes we get to kick back and revel in a little super lazy; it’s like normal lazy, but we’re wearing a cape. Just another super power to revel in. OK then, let’s go! What’s in the wind this week? Saddle up!
That’s it for this week and in all honesty I’m not sure what’s in store next. I have no idea whether I’ll be back to railing at politics, detailing social issues, or releasing steam through haikus. So, like the tagline implies, come back for what you think you’re gonna get, stay for the surprise!
Have an awesome weekend!
No, I don’t really know what you did last summer nor the summer before. Not even the summer I originally wrote this, but although circumstances changed for some of us, I know it still speaks to what someone is enduring today. We all cope with painful events, but is it also necessary for them to be hidden, secreted away for whatever sake?
I live in an average nice community of nice families. We’re privileged to send our children to wonderful schools and numerous extracurricular activities. We live in a flurry of motion around those needs, our work, and the occasional indulgences for grown-ups. We live a life of wonderful. At least, from all appearances that’s what it seems like.
The truth behind this peaceful picture is that life is really not unlike the quiet drama worthy of Wisteria Lane, the street belonging to the now defunct TV show Desperate Housewives.
Of our group of housewives, two have just got diagnoses for severe diseases. One is being supported ideally, the other enduring the painful lesson of learning who her real friends are and terribly embarrassed about it. One of us is managing stage 4 cancer. That’s dismal enough, but what’s not so well-known is that she is also enduring painful loneliness caused by friends too afraid to visit anymore. One of us left a husband who drank too much and another got away from her abusive husband. Of course, nobody would ever have guessed that about either of those husbands.
Still more, there are a few of us living in quiet desperation while trying to find ways to re-kindle the strength of our relationships, and there are at least five of us in serious financial jeopardy. Another, utterly crushed by the tragic news that her father, who was out on a stroll, was killed by a stranger for no apparent reason. Another average year in the neighbourhood except that, unless you’re one of us directly involved, you wouldn’t know it.
We talk easily about certain subjects, other people who are fighting illnesses, etc., but there are other aspects even within that topic that aren’t talked about. These are the subjects that are too awful or too personal. But what does too personal really mean? Is ‘too personal’ a masked phrase for ‘must be kept quiet in order to preserve a comfortable, but false, image’? What is the image? What is the reward for preserving it?
Over the years, life has progressively got just a little more real for many of us. We all know that happens on an intellectual level, but when it happens to us, we aren’t comfortable talking about it. We may very selectively choose whomever to unburden ourselves to a point. The trials of something breaking down are uncomfortable, often thought to be some kind of failing.
We don’t talk about these ‘failings’ beyond a certain level because? You fill in the blank, but I’d bet all the answers will boil down to the fear of being judged. If it’s about inability to cope with discussion, that’s another story, but maybe that’s a walk down the same road too anyway.
All of the events I noted are supposedly out of the ordinary, but I’ve been reconsidering this idea because they are all circumstances that happen every day somewhere near and far. What isn’t obvious, because of pretenses, is that there is virtually no household that hasn’t, or isn’t dealing with something they don’t want the neighbours to know about.
That’s a whole lot of judgment to put to bed. That’s a whole lot of excellent support potential, and think of the amazing advice waiting to be shared. That’s a lot of unrealized hope.
I’m open about my own issues because I’ve been shown that my stories are not unique. My problems are not special, not even the very worst of them. My friends have heard loads about the divorce that never ends, and myriad woes before & since. Whatever feelings I may have had in fear of judgment were, and are, wasted heartache. Secrets degrade every level of our being. The shame and fear I once had, claimed far too much of the precious time I could have had learning and moving on.
I’m not the circumstances that I’m in at the moment. I am an entire lifetime of experiences that contain many highs in the light with the lows in the dark and murky. Which ones do you think I’ve learned the most from?
Maybe we need to take it to heart that, when life is getting real with us, we need to start getting real with it. Let’s stop pretending that we are only as good as our image. It’s a terribly weak foundation to learn from, or teach how to overcome struggles. We really are all in the same boat, and once in a while we have to share the rowing.
When we share our perceived weaknesses, we learn so much more than we can ever imagine in fear. As we become genuine, we end up twice as strong, and eventually life does become genuinely lighter for us, and in all the places that secrets diminish.
We shall overcome. Together.
Incidentally, if I ever look like I’m in need of a soothing hot beverage, would you make it the kind over ice, with a twist? Then, let’s talk.
Awakened white seas
Clocks ring loudly, finally
The brown been waiting
Dipping polished toes
Safety check for measured calm
Mustn’t stir too much
Awareness; fear roused
Voted for chains for years
Must rally a spine
Is it safe enough
White seas mostly safe
Standing Rock, Africa; not
Still crushed in between
Witnessed lunch ladies
Sounding bells to wake; small fights
Hopes to be movements.
Fear shakes up the bobs
Their voices speak out, lightly
A real enough shift?
I’d witnessed a couple of semi-‘ladies who golf and lunch’ having a discussion surrounding Trump’s upcoming policy changes. They were Republicans, one of which presumably, after some consideration and perhaps listening to news sources outside of Fox News, did not vote for Trump.
It was she who brought up the legitimacy of his changes. The other challenged her with a certain level of strength (not in policy knowledge, but in force of voice). This caused the non-alpha to step her point back and re-frame it as a statement akin to, “I was just sayin'”…
Yep, I thought, some of them have started to see the threats aren’t just about the formerly conveniently distant folk, but neither the threat, nor these ladies, were anywhere near the levels of marching for change just yet.
Although, perhaps we can give points for non-alpha later deleting that conversation and replacing it with several feverishly forwarded messages of those who dare to speak first, followed a week later with some test-i-fyin’! Howah, look at girl go now!
I determined I’d open 2017 with a gratitude post, but to be honest, and this is no complaint, there were so many avenues I could go, I wasn’t sure where to start. I’m privileged enough to have most of my needs met and most importantly, I have pretty amazing family and supportive community. It was in this, that I felt inspired to say how writing has played a role in winning me some of that love and support.
Years ago I reported for newspapers, later side-lined for an opportunity to make a bigger splash by managing the start-up of a non-profit foundation. After that, a similar turn in the private sector, and then onto the biggest job ever, motherhood.
Throughout those years, I continued to write – scads of your basic business letters and mountains of personal journals. Then Facebook came along. Once in awhile I’d wax on, and on…. and on and fill my status box with a full-page of opinion. I’d get pretty good feedback, but more likely, I’d hear from Lois.
We’d met at a performing arts studio where our kids attended. Lois was smart, an English major and she was a writer. A real one; which she practiced with a business blog. I enjoyed her replies to my status comments – witty and smart. Sometimes, she intimidated me. Not in a bad way, she made me want to try harder. Then she brought up the idea of starting a blog. She’d simply suggest it now and then, until one day after yet another of my Facebook essays, her inner- warrior firmly tapped out the order, “Blog, woman”!!!
And thus a new blog was born.
Lois continued the encouragement through my spotty and rough start. I do know I’m not above some clunky writing here and there. Anyway, she was always very kind about it all and this was just an extension of her amazing generosity and wonderful, thoughtful presence. Our shared connections always gave her the highest marks for decency.
Yes, it’s a cliche’ when I say it feels like only yesterday, when I got that Lois smack-down to work up to something. it’s especially so now, because we lost Lois last October. A brain tumour discovered a couple of years ago overcame her. I was out of town when she passed and I wasn’t able to attend her service. Not unusually, I struggled about what to say to her family, especially from a distance.
I wrote her daughter, Kathryn, a friend also and within that note, I ended up explaining how her mother’s influence affected my life in ways that I’d never told Lois. I asked for permission to print parts of that note here. I thought my 2017 gratitude for writing couldn’t begin without my 2013 re-start from Lois. What writing has done for me over the last nearly four years is inextricably tied to her…
Kathryn… I’ve tried so many times to write something to you about your mother. It’s hard to admit a loss for words, but it’s especially frustrating when you want to tell someone how sorry you are for their losses of such significance…
I want to tell you what a wonderful person your mother was… is. But you know that – and I am so glad about that for you and your family.
I want to tell you how much your mother influenced my life. I want you to know how she actually changed it. I want you to know that her insistence, with that boot to the butt, that I write for real, introduced me to a world I had no idea existed and yet there it was, waiting for me to meet dozens of amazing people who would then move me along into opportunities I never could have dreamed were waiting for me.
Even love was there in that new world. I found all sort of love and that too changed me and grew me up some more.
I would never have found new work that challenged me to use every creative thought I could muster. I would never have found friends that stand like sentries whenever I need. My whole world would not have been so beautifully enforced.
Initially, I think I found it hard to believe that a writer really thought I was a ‘writer’. I was once a reporter, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost the idea that what I’d write in my journals could possibly be readable, or understandable, or maybe even helpful to someone else.
Your mother gave that gift back to me. She made me take a chance by offering a glimmer of confidence that I could claim for myself.
So, I want to say, I am so glad and I am so enriched in so many ways to have met Lois Wasstrom.
I thank God for, Lois.
I’d also mentioned to Kathryn I was certain her mother would always be a guiding force for her family. I can only hope that maybe now and then, she’ll continue to lend a hand to this very grateful writer.
Last month I was sent a note reminding me about the kindness or kick-in-the-ass power of Karma. Interestingly, it was a topic I ended with last year. I guess I was meant to review it again. However you want to define Karma, mostly it’s believed to be the energy of all-knowingness and balance, equalizing all wrongs with a right, etc.
2016 made me witness that, regardless of how intense the attempts to rationalize the most self-serving of behaviors, the real underlying motives are already and always, known. In other words, we can run, but we can’t hide – not even from our own very best designs of delusion.
Regardless of how open and honestly we enter a situation, we may not be received in the same vein. Trying to find or understand how anyone can talk themselves into believing their own good motives, while they take advantage of someone, is futile. It’s an infinite circling of crazy.
The sort who act in these ways may never capitulate. Contrition is a game of supply and demand. They demand you supply it, even when they’re blatantly exposed. Twisting falsehoods into acceptable fact for themselves and anyone willing to believe them, is fair play (flattery is their best friend). …Pffft, no matter for the all-knowing Karmic eye.
We don’t always get to see this, but this year I did; regardless of how things seem on the surface or in public, the course correction energies are always at play. Where I was devastated that I’d lost something amazing, I found I’d been absolutely rescued from the lowest of possible futures. Yes, it hurt, all the way to that final understanding, but when the smoke cleared, it was obvious that a few months of pain could have easily been an engagement in years of agonizing misery. Well, what can I say? Things are looking up.
I hope for the same for any others who have struggled to keep heads and hearts above water. Fight for what you have to, but be bold; bravely look at its truths too, then hold the faith that you’ve got what you need.
Thank you, so very much, to those who saw me, heard me, and stood by me. Thank you for your strengths that allowed you to gently hold my heart even through my (most definitely miserably) worst. Thank you, for teaching me and healing me, and most of all, for the love in 2016.
Wishing the very best for all souls in 2017… Cheers!
“Why are you speaking out so much? You’re going to get hurt”.
Going to get hurt? I’ve been hurt my whole life, what don’t I already know about hurt? I’ve been hurt deeply enough to have died. Literally. (Life skillz pro tip: I highly recommend dying near a handy defibrillator; CPR hurts like a bitch – for days).
As a matter of record, this year has been one of the most painfully tumultuous for me and yet, I’m still here and I’m still talkin’ – unflinchingly.
I wish to continue asking people to step out of what they’ve learned is ‘success’ and question if it truly makes their heart sing, keeps them at peace and benefits anyone/anything else outside of constant, immediate personal gratification.
Well known, feminist activist, Gloria Steinem said, women become more activist conscious and engaged as they grow older because they lose power. I agree with her, re: our current paradigm. We are prized for our beauty, our ‘niceness’; especially our willingness to ‘pleasantly get along’ regardless of any inequity levels in front of us.
She also said, men gain power as they age; that many tend to become more conservative – because they become more fearful about losing that advantageous power and so will use whatever manner to constrict others to protect that cushion.
I believe her words. I’ve lived them, but I refuse to accept them for me and my son.
This year especially highlighted my weaknesses, particularly from a genetic disease that doesn’t allow me to march or dance in all the ways I love, and from profound losses that reshaped my life, but I found ways to help change old paradigms anyway.
I’ve been gifted words and words are a superpower.
My words burst or seep in all kinds of form. I’ll write statement after statement about injustices that ignite my passion or calls to fierceness. I often confess my words can be a stream of the most colorful profanity, that I could be speaking 6 other languages I don’t even know. Sometimes my words just want to be heard in the softest tones of poetry. Sometimes my words are filled with laughter, and sometimes my words can embarrass the hell out of me.
What my words mostly are though, are a life source; a critical part of my purpose. It’s been said so since I first spoke (a string of 3 expletives). Since then my family gleefully and variously confirmed it further by calling me, Hank after my most argumentative uncle, Henry. When I was mercilessly teased as mouthy by the mouthiest, damned funny uncle, Philip. When my mother declared, after Pipisiw, my name was really Sargeant General(ly) Loud.
So, in answer to my concerned friend that I may get hurt by my expanding work to speak up – yes, I may, but since when is stretching not painful? On a personal level, I now refuse to spend any time with anyone over 30 who refuses to relate in a straightforward grown-ass manner. As Betty White would say, “Vagina up, man”. Seriously, she said that and she’s right, because as she explained, why would we tell anyone to ‘grow a pair’, when testicles are really quite fragile, especially in comparison to actual birth canals? Man, I love that woman! Anyway, maybe this’ll net me fewer conversations, but it gives back precious time and likely more real connection with people who genuinely possess virtue.
However – that’s not entirely the pain my friend is concerned with. But – I can speak with some fair firsthand authority now, to assure that the most painful hurt, is not harsh words or bruises, broken bones, CPR or even dying. Outside of losing loved ones, what hurts most, is indifference.
So, I’ll continue to ask, which of our success representations are truly so valuable that we couldn’t live without them? We don’t have to die to learn most of what we fear losing is really, not so much after all, but many do die because we refuse to look at the question.
We do everything we can for the safety and comfort of our loved ones, but will we extend that to include those who have suffered on any level for that comfort? If you don’t know who that is, please, please seek to learn; we need to look beyond our own small space in this great big world. Indifference is the poison that is instantly diluted by even the simplest act of compassion. Just do it. I know you want to.
This week I’m sharing part of a speech I gave in tribute to ultra-marathon runner, Brad Firth AKA Caribou Legs, who crossed Canada over 7 months to raise awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (#MMIW, #MMIWG).
Brad’s work was an epic adventure that also happened to occur not long before the long-awaited official inquiry into the issue by the Canadian government commenced.
This adventure was an eye-opener for many Canadians who, despite news coverage of varying degrees, didn’t know of the depth of the subject, nor why Indigenous groups were fervently calling for that inquiry. It was also a stark reminder for those of us who do know the background, that we must always remember, regardless of how well we know our issues and think we’ve publicized them, we’re not even close to having reached the populace in Canada or the U.S.
A shocking bit of revelation occurred when Brad spoke with RCMP officers – members of the largest policing body involved in the inquiry – in Ottawa, on the very grounds of the legislative buildings where the inquiry was taking place and they did not know what the letters MMIW stood for. How do we get the country to care if we haven’t even reached all the members critical to the process?
On the other hand, we also learned that there are an encouraging number of various policing members who care very much about the issue and want to help in genuinely meaningful ways. I believe this is a result of the real history of Indigenous realities coming to light more recently. While public support was positive in general, we all know there is far too much work still to be done.
First, we acknowledge every supporter across the country who upheld our efforts with their unbelievable kindness and generous donations of money, talents, their homes and their services to help spread the message. Hiy hiy to them. I can’t name all here, but we’re proud to have their pictures and words documented on Brad’s Facebook and website pages.
My role on Brad’s journey, was described as his Quarterback, Planner, Publicist, Manager and Bannock Slapper. I joined up with Brad early in his run, just before he entered Alberta, where things got really interesting for him.
Many know that’s when Brad was often being called into police as a drunk, or a mental case or a gunman and so he’d be pulled over on the road and thrown into a police car. That’s when we talked about it maybe being a good idea to put some detail into the big plan to run across a country.
Brad is known as a runner, but it’s become more clear that he’s really a message carrier, demonstrated by his running thousands of kilometers for various causes.
This year, Brad was given a big message to carry. Actually, he was given several. He was given the message of his sister, who passed on last year, of my cousin gone missing 28 years and never found. He carried the messages given to him by the families of the MMIWG and of all the groups and organizations that strive so hard to be heard and receive justice.
He carried the messages of every woman ever hurt, beaten and/or abandoned and pleaded to have those who would damage them – learn another way.
Brad carried the words of the Warriors Against Violence organization who work with the wounded who cause pain to show them those new roads, to help them toward self-respect and to live in honor for their families, and hopefully, return to the heart of our Indigenous teachings.
We gave Brad these messages and we sent him to towns, cities, and reserves where he stood in front of face after face speaking those words – for us all.
He made a big impact and it wasn’t only because of the startling war paint he wore, which actually, did freak out a few people.
Brad’s real impact came through his gifts of perseverance and confidence. Actually more like an unusual level of fearlessness because he applied the same level of determination no matter the circumstances – whether running alone on a pitch black highway, to speaking very easily and engagingly to crowds of any size – to not caring a bit about where he’d have to sleep for the night, which could have been a broken truck beside the road or a garbage bin shelter at a campsite.
OK, he might have cared about that last one a little, but hey, he stayed dry and he did get room service – some campers took pity on him and brought him hot food and tea, and not even through the chute either. We’ve laughed about that ever since.
He had lots of opportunity to flex his sense of humor, which came in handy to save his neck more than once. When he needs to, the man can spin a lot of words as fast as he can run.
And so he did, he carried and shared all those messages in memory of thousands – from the balmy winds of spring across the sweltering heat of summer to the biting threat of frost.
In short, he did his job. So now, we thank, Brad Firth, Gwich’in Message Carrier, for a job well done. Well done, Brad. We all wish you the best in your future endeavors.