Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Life Narrows

When we hit the ground running as a child, and we look around our world, the world is wide open. Every vista stretches for miles and miles in every single direction. There is nothing (that we see) that keeps us from doing whatever it is we want with our lives.

We start to grow up, go to school, discover our aptitudes and what we like to do. We realize that the math we need for one path isn’t our thing, or the grammar we need for one path isn’t our thing, and we choose another path. By the time we get out of high school or into college, we may have changed our path a dozen times, still seeing the world as wide open to us.
We start studying and/or working. We marry and have kids. We make decisions based on both what we feel is good/right and where we want to be. Well, some of us work our lives out that way. Others of us tend to just bob along with the currents. 
Even as an adult while making the choices of what’s for dinner, what movie to watch, what TV shows to get involved with, whether or not to continue/go back to college, little choices we make throughout our lives, sending us down one path or another, towards….towards what? That college degree? That career or job we love? Toward raising the children we love? Toward all those things that make up life. And we still have a fairly clear playing field with many options.
However, there comes a time when you look at your life and suddenly it seems you have ended up on a very narrow and restrictive road for a multiplicity of reasons: Finances narrow your life (or rather the lack of finances). Moving narrows your life in that people who move all the time cannot build up seniority in the career of their choice. Age narrows your life as your body refuses to do the things  you have loved doing, from walking a mile or two a day to roller skating at your grandson’s birthday party. 
I looked up recently and discovered that my life has narrowed beyond what I am comfortable with. I don’t know exactly how I ended up in this narrow place, but I have decided I don’t like it here and I want to broaden my horizons again.

Granted, I am not 21…I don’t have college and career and travel in my future. (Mostly I wish for travel at this point in my life). But neither do I need to stay inside much of the time and read books and just not be outside, in the grass and trees and blue skies. I am shriveling up inside from lack of nature, and my ability to get about in said nature and take photos and listen to the river and hear the wind in the trees and the birds sing. 
My resolution for 2018 is to go outside more, once the weather lightens up a touch. Take my camera and stay in the outdoors as much as I can with my physical limitations. Take my shoes and socks off and walk around the soft grass in the park “grounding” myself. Up to Mount Saint Michaels to hear the wind sing in the trees. Up to Canada for a day once I get my license enhanced. Broadening my horizons in 2018. May we all broaden our horizons in 2018.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


I have a #Resist Trump bumper sticker on my car. I live on the red side of a blue state. I thought I would be honked at, keyed or rear ended by now, but that hasn't happened thankfully.

I saw my bumper sticker today and realized it doesn't just stand for #Resist Trump to me. It stands for resisting oppression and corruption, racism and misogyny in all forms, discrimination and aggression to control people. 

#Resist is the call that is pulling people from all walks of life together to stand against the corruption and inertia of government. A new movement is rising.

Be the force that changes the world!!! Read y our constitution. Learn your amendments. Study US Economics and Government...BUT...Go beyond this. Study Global Economics, different governmental systems than what we use. Different cultures and peoples and faiths. 

Dive into the wonders of the entire world. Open your heart and mind and see where people come from and how they become who they are. Realize that the human race is a wondrous place full of so much of what we consider the American Dream: A place to live, enough food to eat, safe schools and streets, education for our children, the right to worship without fear of reprisal. In opening ourselves to the wonders of others, we truly can become an American that understands what others feel and think and learn and live. And that, my friend, will make us all better people.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

American Politica Discourse

Yesterday I had a conversation (very brief) with a friend of a friend on Facebook because my friend posted something questioning Trump's strategies. After two attempts to talk to her, first to defend my friend, second to get her to converse, I had to block her. This crystallized something that I have come to see is particular to this election cycle and this president.

I started my voting life as a Republican at 18. I became a Republican because my father was military and I came to believe that to be military, one needed a Republican in office because Republicans were pro-military. Soon after this I became a Mormon, and I started my walk into right-wing-fundamentalism where it is almost required to be a Republican. I left the Mormon church and became a Southern Baptist. I marched against abortion. I was anti-rock music (music of Satan) and anti-a lot of toys that could allow "demons" into the lives/souls of my children. 

Somewhere in the middle of being a Southern Baptist, however, I began to be concerned with, call it "the big picture". I felt that my right-wing-fundamentalist focused on only one issue and to hades with all the other issues in the world. I also read a life changing book that made me question my beliefs as a fundamentalist and began my  walk out of that lifestyle and into a more centrist or moderate position. I began to clearly see that focusing on one issue for a political candidate IN SPITE OF anything else they are/do/say was morally wrong for me.

Then I met a Christian Southern Democrat who challenged me to go home one weekend and really study the Republican platform and see how it lined up with how I felt about God, the world, humanity and what can be done to help humanity. It was a humbling experience to be so challenged and I threw myself into what Republicans stood for and have come to stand for.  At the end of that weekend I realized I had never, in my core self, been a Republican.

During all of this I belonged to a Christian chat room on Yahoo. I started in Christian chat room 2 and then moved to room 3 where I stayed for about 20 years. I met many fabulous people here from all walks of Christianity with all kinds of views of God and Christ and politics. We talked about it all with passion and heat. Sometimes we fought. Sometimes we cried. But we always came back and slugged it through till we made ourselves heard and known, and we heard and knew the other person. Rarely did anyone leave our chat room in anger and never come back. Rarely did anyone "unfriend" another person over their views.

So back to this conversation with my friends friend, whom I do not know at all, and what it clarified for me. She began with a statement that was intended to shut down discourse. And as I look back at my conversations about this election cycle, I find this is happening WAY TOO OFTEN. And this, it seems to me, is what is making us not be able to come to any kind of common ground. 

She began with "You liberals need to pull up your big person pants and deal with this presidency". My first response was to defend my friend, who is NOT a liberal, but who is still concerned about this president. Her come back was another "All liberals are just upset about losing" kind of comment.

Anytime you lead with or come back with "All (insert demographic here) are/feel/think (fill in emotion/political stance/religious stance here) you shut down conversation. You slam the person against the wall with your forearm against their neck, eye to eye and you basically dare them to come back at you. I refuse to engage in that kind of conversation anymore. It is pointless and emotionally damaging.And it is what I have consistently seen in this election cycle. 

Mention you don't care for Trump and you are a libtard or a libertard and sore over losing and you need to pull up your big girl panties and get a grip. Hello!!! I have a grip. Which is why I am concerned. 

I have voted Democrat and Republican and Green and Libertarian over the years since I was 18. My guy has lost MANY TIMES. It NEVER drove me to despair for my country. Not until this time. This time is different. This time we have a man with Zero experience at anything other than bankrupting companies and using women as a president, and I believe this puts our country, even our very democracy in danger. I am sorry that you cannot see that, that you did not hear what I heard for the 2 years that Donald J Trump was campaigning, but that is your issue, not mine. I have the right to fear for my country. I have the right to march, to protest, to sign petitions, to make phone calls, to send post cards and to do whatever I feel is right within the law to protest a man I see as a danger. Just as you have the right to support him and cheer him on. This is America, for God's sake. This is what we do.

But please, if you want to have a political discourse, do not start your response to me, or your comment to me with: "All (insert demographic here) are/feel/think (fill in emotion/political stance/religious stance here). What this says to me is you don't really give a flying rat's arse what I think, you have your opinion and mine is irrelevant. Either just walk away without being disparaging, OR have a conversation. You might be surprised...we might have things in common after all.