ICYMI: That Time I Was a Goat Herder

What a month, eh? So much padded wall-level induced activity all around, I know I feel like a bumper car in a maddening institution. Except every bounce-back is a welcome push to a new direction, destination be damned. Speaking of new directions, last year I thought I’d give that a whirl – at least in theory. I decided I would change my outlook and profession toward something more collective, so to speak. That’s right – goat herding.

So, OK, I wasn’t really a goat herder. At least not in the literal sense. It was just a little fun I had with Linkedin.  If you don’t know what Linkedin is, well apparently, neither do a lot of the people who actually use it.

How do I know that? Well, because once in a while I like to test the efficacy of certain operating procedures in my world. This time I wondered about the notifications effectiveness on Linkedin, so I made a couple of changes to my profile.  I changed my name to Shelley Miller and I ramped up my rather average marketing title to ‘Goat Herder’.  I also changed my location to Montana for good measure and then I kept that profile up for two weeks.

Goater herder MONTANA

Do you know what kind of response I got to all these changes in my life? Nothing. Nada. Not even a blip on any social media radar. Is it me? Apparently I have to really, really up my game in business social media

Why not? Apparently I can be anything I want on Linkedin anyway. I’m seriously considering ‘Fire Hula Hooping Rocket Scientist’, tagline: “We light the fire under your landing pads”!

Maybe it’s better to leave plain marketing as is and turn to Memey Vice. Let’s face it, this post has gone to the dogs anyway and what the hell, let’s stick some goats in while we’re at it.

Reason has its moments… Guess which one works for Linkedin?

Well played sharon don't underestimate a woman dogDon’t ever underestimate a sheep or goat-herding woman, dog… Just sayin’.

Hold your horses, the goats are coming…

Image result for goat meme

OK… never mind…

… and I’ll just be on my way…

Even nature becomes one with nature.  It’s a thing.

OK, OK, I’m going, I’m going..

Who knew goats could be so baa-ad ass?

Oh man, that’s cold.  … Well, excuse me… at least I goat the last word…

Have an awesome weekend, all.  See ya when I see ya.

RL

 

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Posted in Humor, Life, Lighter Side, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Killer Words 2

Mighty Pen2

The best weaponry
To slay thy enemies well
Ubiquitous BICs

RL

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/paragon/
#Haiku, #Micropoetry #powerofthewrittenword
Image craft by RL
Posted in Haiku, Life, Lighter Side, Micro Poetry, micropoetry, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing Challenges | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MMIW/G… Tears of Sorrow, Frustration & Sometimes Hope

The ongoing frustrations regarding the $53 million MMIW/G national inquiry often result in the  impulse to throw up our hands in defeat. We won’t though, not ever, because we will never forget our lost; all literally coursing in our DNA. That’s the source of the strength that lifts our hands even higher for justice and equities. We also from time to time, get a glimpse that the painful work has opened another sliver of recognition that says, maybe this mountain has moved another millimeter. It doesn’t matter, where these slivers come from, this is enough to offer another breath of hope too.

The Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women/Girls (#MMIW/G) inquiry has been a dismal effort from the start. From the incredible decision to omit any police involvement, therefore no questioning of culpability already demonstrated by their history of ignoring or dismissing the concerns of family of the missing or murdered, to ignoring the several reports of direct police misconduct toward Indigenous women. Then onto the bad news of the inexplicable lack of coordination for how the inquiry would run to nearly non-existent communication with the families of the MMIW/G.

There are too many Indigenous families touched by this issue; mine included.  We have lost a cousin, 19 yr old Roberta Ferguson, missing for 28 years now without a hint of what happened to her. My mother has also inexplicably lost two good friends, also never found.

The work to get to this point has taken over 20 years. Twenty years of women bravely standing, shouting, and marching to every government service door possible to be heard. They, we, all deserve better than this. So, we raise our voices in media and in front of commissioners and to the inquiry heads, hoping that now is the time, we will matter. That now is the time we will matter enough to have systems genuinely and permanently altered to stop at least most of the behaviors and policies that leave us adrift, and for some of us, lost forever.

People ask, what can we do? Well, there are so many issues that need help, but at the least, for every issue, we can sign those petitions, we can write/email/tweet a simple note to PMs, MPs, legislators, and even the National Inquiry directly to say, we care about this and we want to see the work done. Donate to groups like Families of Sisters in Spirit, to assist in the battle for legal and media representation.

Don’t be shy, have a crack at the racist comments in every news story about the MMIW or Indigenous in general. Speak back, not to them necessarily, but to the publishers and editors who cater to whomever speaks loudest in their comments. Arm other readers with solid knowledge. Or find another way to demonstrate solidarity that helps all our hearts feel a little less isolated and unheard.

Like this group who did just that recently. A dance company called, Generation Dance Studio in Ft. MacMurray, AB. They brought their message to the public in a very moving way. They created a dance tribute to the MMIW/G. It’s very touching to see their effort to show they see us and they care.

I invite you to watch their performance added to their Facebook page linked here. Within these discouraging days, these hearts sought out ours, and it added to all the difference for another day…  Given the same ol’ recent events of the inquiry, we could use every lift we can get.

Hiy hiy,

RL

https://www.facebook.com/generationdance/videos/760718694087565/

For those unaware, a red dress represents a missing or murdered Indigenous woman.

 

Posted in First Nations, Indigenous, Indigenous Peoples, Life, Missing & Murdered Women, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Troubles and a Fence – Reprised

Getting bullied feels like you’re alone in the middle of a cavernous field surrounded by an electric fence charged by your fear, the callousness of bullies and the apathy of bystanders. I remember this from when I was nine years old. I’ll always remember because no one forgets their encounters with bullies, ever.

playground 1For whatever reason, in grade four I caught the eye of our school bully. His name was Shane and although we were in the same grade, he was almost a head taller than me. I suppose it’s not surprising that a bully might have sought me out; I was one of the smallest in our class. I’m sure he felt confident of my vulnerability.

Shane would look for opportunities to push me around and because he was so much bigger than me, it didn’t take much of a push from him to knock me down. He would generally follow that up with slapping me and threatening worse after school. There weren’t many options for me after school, it was either run like hell for home, try to hide behind people as they were walking, or just take the beating while trying to fend off too much damage. Teachers weren’t much involved outside of class in those days and my parents were otherwise occupied with the drama of their own lives.

One Saturday I was heading over to a friend’s a few blocks from home. I had a temporary shortcut because a house between my street and hers had been torn down and I could cut through the now open yard. The only impediment was a fence in the back that I could climb over at the alley.

I started to walk across the yard, but suddenly a shadow caught my eye. Shane stepped out from behind some building debris that I’d just walked by. His face was sheer glee at having me cornered and alone. My mind took in the entire scenario in about eleven seconds. I knew exactly what was in store.

My heart dropped as I watched him slowly stepping toward me with the promise of pure menace. Within those eleven seconds, I figured my only options to get away were to run back past him or run for the fence. As my panic escalated with his every step toward me, it felt like I couldn’t move my feet anyway. I knew I’d reached the point of no return.

He got closer and as he raised his hand, instinct took over. I closed my eyes and I ran toward him. Hard. His head being higher than mine was providence; it turned out it was the perfect height for my hands to reach his face, which I blindly pummeled with my fists. Hard and fast.

I heard a cry. I opened my eyes and saw that Shane had stepped back from me. He was holding his nose and just staring at me. Then he took his hands down and looked at them. They were covered in blood. He couldn’t see it, but so was his face as the bleeding from his nose dripped steadily down his chin. We stared at each other equally stunned.

Then he brought his hands back up to his nose and started crying. I took this as my cue to head for the fence. At the same time I started to move, so did he, but the opposite way.

My body was unbeaten that day, but the adrenaline continued to beat in my heart.  I didn’t bother running to the fence, but I’m pretty sure I scaled it like a parkour athlete.  I was safe and I would remain safe.  Shane never bothered to come near me again.

I didn’t know it at the time, but that was a life changing event.  It wasn’t just that I was able to defend myself, no matter the miracle was unplanned. It was because it was the first time I was consciously aware that I did something I had no idea I could.

Unfortunately it wasn’t the last time I would encounter bullies in my life, but sometimes, when I do come up on the short end of the stick in those meetings, I remember that sweet, sweet time I kicked ass. Like a boss.

RL

Posted in Bullying, Confidence, Life, Storytelling, Surviving Life, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Friday Funnies – ‘Cause, I Had to Put ‘Something’ Together

I didn’t get a ha-ha in for March or April? Wow, time flies in these box loads of crazy that’s passing for life lately. Kinda makes a girl feel like throwing in the towel on societal issues, humanity issues and all ‘Home & Garden’ issues really. I know I’m not the only one dealing with the feeling of falling behind or down and dammit, with nary a drop of liquor involved.

So the very least we could do (literally) is, sit back on someone else’s funny bone and catch a breather. (Don’t go there, Randall).  Therefore, in deference to our victory over low bars; in indulging the least we can do, let’s look and learn from some commiseration of our uh, win.

Not even kidding. Every Jehovah’s Witness or girl scout offers to call the police every time they come to my door

Clearly, Frank is on top of the yard work. Suck it, Bob.

Need more glue on the yellow line…

That’s some top notch ‘screw it’, right there…

I’m not sure I’d even count the bracelet as one of the three… just sayin’

Some things are best left unsaid… (by me, I’d love to hear what you’d say!)

Yeah,  maybe it’s time to turn it all over to the animals. We can always count on them to add the sweetness factor…

It might take a minute

And for a stand alone project:

That’s it for this week or until the whirlwinds of ‘are you kidding me’ politics, personal duties, and community expectations settle down – hahahaha… Just kidding, that never happens – and y’all know it. We’re in this sin wagon together…

Here’s to an easy weekend and if not, at least settle for yard work at Frank’s level.

RL

Posted in Humor, Life, Lighter Side, Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments

Amusements

toying with kittens

Toying with kittens
Child’s play, like taking candy
Fear not wee scratches

Little ones playing at big
Amusements of life growing

RL

Haiku / Tanka
Writing challenge: Chuckle
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/chuckle/
Photo: Zawadi Mungu, lion dad at Oregon Zoo, Portland
Posted in Haiku, Micro Poetry, Poetry, Tanka, Writing Challenges | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

I Used My Intuition, Your Honour

Instinct photo

There is no way in hell anyone is going to worship you forever like you’re the only flawless, amazing, insightful and intelligent being ever. Forget all those Hollywood, Disneyland, comic book love stories, and all those earnest love songs too. Ain’t gonna happen. Not for long, not even sustainable as a nefarious ploy, and definitely not if you’re a member of the regular ol’ human race.

It took learning that with a shocked home-group coalition plus some world-wide reach out and touch me, to grow to that new level of human reality honesty.

There were two parts to my blindsided experience for review. Why didn’t I act when I sensed things were off? The clues were there, but there was also the very real intoxication of being treated like I was that amazing.

I’m not sure that’s the whole case, but I do know that when I did feel something was amiss, I decidedly dishonoured myself in favour of enjoying the worship and in honouring the effort to see the best in someone. We can’t go around being – too judgmental. God forbid, right? Wrong. I got that part wrong too.

Look, if any hint of overt darkness advances, I’m all set to say, cheers and goodbye. I don’t even need to feel the slightest brush of a demon feather across my aura to sense that. However, what if the dark approaches in the form of the absolutely, nicest person you’ve ever met, whose been treated unjustly, and needs a little support? Did your spidey senses just light up? Mine didn’t.

They did spark up from time to time a little further into the relatively short journey until, one day, for reasons I still don’t know, something deep within me rose to the surface and offered the friendship test of a lifetime. When that last red flag raised, I didn’t allow myself to ignore it and I blew out a full blast of WTH(?) dynamite.

That’s all it took. The façade of perfection was instantly erased; a whole new personality emerged from my understanding-beyond-human-capacity-adoring buddy. In the next 3 exchanges, I was slammed for ‘breaking his heart’ and dazed and demoted to lowest wretch at, “Sarah Palin on crack” level! Um, wow-for real? Which was immediately followed with all kinds of insane demands to maintain the friendship. I was honed enough by then to say, buh bye, but not enough to understand what the hell had happened during a literal overnight event.

After desperate work of trying to understand and reach peace, I’d reached out to some other friends who said, yeah, you’re not the first and you should talk with people who’ve already had direct experience with the same. That’s where the other countries came in; 2 Aussies, the American and the other Canadian. Amazing how far these weasels can reach. In short order they helped me see where I’d slipped, what I’d really been dealing with & how to get on in a solid upward positive march.  I’d been soundly introduced to the topic of a Cluster B personality who adores triangulation. This issue is so valuably covered in great and helpful detail with an internet search so I won’t go into all of that now. I will pray you avoid that hot mess.

I really want to emphasize my own slip here. I did have those red flags and I acknowledged them enough to have made my friend work even harder to talk me into some things. The thing is, I never did get entirely comfortable regardless. The point is, it doesn’t matter how it comes at you – if your soul, spirit, or gut, is saying this doesn’t feel right – then it’s not right. End of discussion. Real care or love may be a little messy and even a lot frustrating, but it doesn’t make you unsafe or feel unease or revulsion. Coercion is coercion in its belittling or heady adoration or needling begging form. Rejecting that is not being judgy.

Our instinct tells us many things, take a chance or step back, but what it never does is lie. Any situation where raised red flags need to be talked away, especially regularly, is a lousy one. In the face of fear or temptation, our instinct may be our only sound and safe judgment. Trust it.

RL

For the interested, here’s a quick review of the process these personalities engage in: Why Narcissists Disappear (Hint: It’s not just the silent treatment)

Posted in #MondayBlogs, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

First Thought

morning bliss I am the first thought
On his mind as daybreak blinks
Sunday morning bliss…

 Gently smudging pain’s traces
Sweetly replacing wishes

RL

Haiku / Tanka
Inspired by the artwork of: aaronpaquette.net and prompted by: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/heal/
Posted in Haiku, love, Micro Poetry, Micro-Poetry, Poetry, Relationships, Tanka, three line poetry, Uncategorized, Writing Challenges | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Shut Up; Inspiration’s Tapping

Road blocks, creativity blocks, block heads…It’s a mindbender how often we stumble into the crevices of mental-logjam hell. Where you can’t get past step: what the hell is wrong with me? We’ve all encountered it and I have a theory about why. I think it’s a kind of, forgot who we are blockage.

I don’t mean traumatic amnesia or movement away from some great metaphysical understanding, not that those couldn’t be the issue. I mean by forgetting the simplest of our own self-connection, barring an osis attached to our psyches. I’m sure this isn’t new thought, but I landed on it while catching a breather.

I’ve had a few years of weaving around so many traumas that at times, I wasn’t sure I was still in the realm of general reality. It was hard work to get through that and one of my key coping tools was writing. I wrote out everything. I put it into journals, onto my blog, worked it into comments for online stories, into letters to friends. I wrote as though I was being chased by some spade-tailed catastrophic, disaster-delivering satan ready to fork me the minute I put my pen down.

Clearly, I wasn’t suffering from any blockage throughout all that. But – it was within this flurry of activity that I realized something. So much of what I was writing really didn’t have to do with the actual events that had occurred as much as what they activated in the storage room of my life.

One single lived moment can trigger a cascading torrent of imagination. A few incredible moments that shake us up to levels unknown can offer years of material. They needn’t have been traumatic, just the kind that opens up something, a doorway to that kaleidoscopic onion of infinite colors that is our subconscious.

We’ve all had them, these events, but we can’t really know how they will affect us when they occur. Sometimes, despite even our best efforts to forget them, memory will continue to haunt as though a living character in some perverse corner of the universe stuck on auto-replay. Relentless input, a consciousness stalker and its flying monkeys.

As a writer, any of these flashy inspirations can initiate a series of songs, poems, stories, or a simple chronicle of the event detailing what, why and how we were affected. They can induce flow for anyone – a photographer hits on a fantastic series of scenes to shoot. A politician may find that ideal answer to policy, the cure for cancer will attach to a researcher, the anybody who may unlock a talent long ignored, maybe bogged in banal duty or years of focused yakking about exes or bad bosses.

Conversely, there is another inspiration reality that’s just as effective, but seems to be less courted. Remember Newton, relativity, equal action/reaction? As much as huge events of any type can inspire, so can a simple minute of letting go and shutting up.

I suppose I’ve been learning that we really don’t have to search for inspiration; not when there are literally thousands of moments already in storage ready for excavating. Every one of our memories are multi-faceted jewels and each face has absorbed a song, a smell, a sound, a texture. Each is available and waiting. The only key to their door is closing the gate to absolutely everything else for a matter of mere minutes.

It’s a bit of practice initially, just letting thoughts float around, then up, then away… and wait. There will be no sudden heraldic choir announcement that it’s time to get your ass to the grindstone & forge the greatest creation ever. At least not typically, but if we wait a few minutes, the creation is there, ready. It will seep out timidly or flood our receptors, but either way, we’ll have achieved a nice BM, as in blockage movement. Yes, just as satisfying as any other.

Bottom line: rest is a requirement of the creative process, not a death sentence. So, shut up and let your muses get through to you. Or so they tell me… Mine mince no words. Ever.

RL

Posted in Blogging, Inspiration, Life, Writer's Block, Writing, Writing Challenges | 6 Comments

The Wins of Futility

[Short story – theme: conquer]

He enjoyed the idea that he was tormenting her while he dangled his presence around her, but the facades of his intent were very poor disguise, rather sophomoric and predictable. The fitting of his mask rendered him completely unaware that it was she, who was leading him by the nose.

So, there was little intrigue to hold her gaze. The offering was thin, weak even… the fact that she’d seen it for what it was and rejected it, in the end, was genuinely puzzling to him.

It drove him to play cat, but without the appearance of pawing at the mouse. He left that to the kittens he’d made believe were his fighting defense of immense ability.

The worst of it… that part that whirled his twisted out vision was that it didn’t look like she’d made any changes in her life that completely sealed out room for him, and that – that was the most incomprehensible.

So, he continues to prowl around corners and spy, hoping to provoke a second look, but it never comes. Not the way he craves. It will never be returned, and he will labor in that Sisyphus sort of way for as long as that emptiness and his meowing backup guide him.

She remains true to her purpose, employing her memories and inspirations without ever having to touch the reins he casts toward her. She shoos away the gnat-like fly-bys, exercising her right to indifference. This is her freedom, and his own imprisonment.

RL

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/conquer/

Posted in Fiction, Life, short story, Storytelling, Writing Challenges | Tagged | Leave a comment