Monday, September 28, 2009
Just because someone is famous or brilliantly talented, they don't get a free pass on child abuse in my book. I know Roman Polanski survived the Holocaust and the brutal murder of his pregnant wife by a group of wackos led by a madman...but none of that excuses his raping a teenaged girl. He knew it was wrong and he fled because he knew he was headed for jail. Child abusers don't fare well in prisons, even criminals know they're the bottom of the barrel.
I'm curious why everyone seems so quick to disbelieve Mackenzie Phillips? I find it fascinating. We simply do not want famous people to be guilty. We simply can't fathom a 'star' committing such atrocities. We simply don't want to ever imagine anyone sexually molesting a child, especially someone famous. If your father raped you and then convinced you that having an ongoing sexual relationship with him was a good thing so that you consented to continue, it's quite likely you might have been so haunted by fear, guilt and sadness that you'd turn to drugs to escape your reality.
So because she turned to drugs...well she must be lying. Yes, of course, it's so logical.
I don't actually know if she's lying or not. We may never know. There's not going to be a trial, because the abuser is dead. I can't imagine what she has to gain by sharing this information publicly, except perhaps a sense of release. We can't release things until we're willing to take them out of the dark and put them into the light. We'll never know her motives or the truth, because abuse is often so carefully hidden, we're shocked to find it that it happened. By the time the abused find the strength to tell their stories, it's often too late. Of course, that's part of the plan.
Abuse is all about guilt, fear and denial. Abusers are often incredibly charming people. It makes it easier for them to get away with what they do if they can convince everyone around them that they're wonderful. They're almost always extremely smart and disturbingly manipulative.
Because abusers can be so charming, we don't want to believe them capable of abuse. Not wanting these things to be true makes us work harder at denying them. Dysfunctional families never want their family members to break the code of silence. They build lives around myths because they're ashamed of the truth. If someone in the family speaks out, they are often attacked. Don't tell. Don't share. Don't break the spell.
I'd like to believe in the wheels of karma, but I think it's more complicated than that. The thing about abuse is that it's already a circle. The abused becomes the abuser. Round and round and round we go...and where she stops...nobody knows.
This is why we have to stop the circle. The only way to do that is to stop denying that these things happen, that anyone is capable of these things regardless of their fame or fortune and to bring those who perpetrate these acts to justice. The only way to do that is to stop attacking the victim and celebrating the abuser. We have to suspend our disbelief long enough to find the truth. We can't allow abusers a get out of jail free card because they're charming.
There is no excuse for abusing a child. Ever.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Something about the transition of summer into fall completely saps my energy. Perhaps that's natural. It's a time of folding inward. It's a time of decay. The light is waning. The warmth is leaving. I find this time of year incredibly bittersweet.
I've got big dreams planted and no indication of whether or not any of them will bloom. There is a time for sowing and a time for reaping. I can't control the outcome, but I have hope.
"Hope is the dream of the waking man." Aristotle
Even in times of darkness and decay, there is light. There is hope. The hope of rebirth and renewal.
As long as we breathe, we hope.
I am experiencing my annual tendency toward brooding Irish Melancholia. As I often do this time of year, I am allowing myself to dive into that. There is something of great value there. I intend to explore it. I think women try too often to smooth the wrinkles, but sometimes the wrinkles have gifts for us. It's okay to feel all of the glorious spectrum of emotions. I'm a passionate woman, it's my nature to feel everything deeply.
Will my big dreams unfold or will they wither and die? I can not say. I can say that no matter, there are always new dreams...and that I am ever and eternally filled with hope.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
So I'm blogging.
Take that dinner.
Dinner has become complicated by my husband's restrictive diet and my daughter's relentless specificity. They have needs and desires that are diametrically opposed. It's becoming a make two meals event every dinner hour and quite frankly, I'm finding it exhausting. I've run out of things we can all eat together and the challenge of figuring out which side to choose so I don't have to make three meals has become daunting.
I'm hiding up here in the studio in the hope that the food will arrange itself into three pleasing plates that make everyone around here happy.
I'm envisioning it as I type. It's like a scene from Fantasia, except without Mickey Mouse. Oh what fun! I can't wait to see what awaits for me on the table!
...I hear my husband lurking at the bottom of the stairs...apparently my creative visualization isn't working and he's wondering where dinner is.
Damn it all to hell.
Twilight time has passed and I must go rattle some pans.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I often ponder why it is that we treat sick animals with more compassion than sick humans. If an animal is suffering and dying, we put them to sleep. We don't even think about the alternative, because we know it is the right thing to do. We 'put them out of their misery' and allow them to die peacefully and with grace.
If a person is suffering and dying, we expect them to spend unearthly amounts of money on expensive tests, hospital stays, medicines, pain killers and a host of indignities, we expect them to suffer and to hang on and hang in until they've exhausted their bodies, their spirits and their bank accounts. Even if they don't wish to live, we force them to until they've lost every grip on what it is to be in control of their destiny. Even if they have lived full lives and are ready to move on, they have absolutely no right to do so. They must keep on pumping money and resources into their sinking ship until the bitter, miserable end. Anyone who dares to help someone who has decided that they'd like to spare themselves and their families the expense and the suffering that comes from a protracted and painful death is considered a 'murderer.' We live in a culture that is terrified of death, so much so that we pretend it never has to happen. I think that's dangerous.
Why is compassion murder?
Why is allowing and assisting someone to choose the manner and the time of their death and to execute it as they see fit a crime?
If a chaotic event happens and I lose my faculties and I'm nothing more than an assisted heartbeat without an inkling of my former self, I want the Kool-Aid. Whether I've left the building or not, if it's burning indefinitely I'd like out, thank you. If I am diagnosed with an incurable disease and it has become evident that efforts to thwart it are in vain, I fully intend to choose the moment of my death.
I've got far too much to do to die right now, but when I am ready to shake this mortal coil, if it isn't a blissful transition, I will do what I can to make it so. I think we should all have that right. I don't understand why people feel they have the right to tell other people not only how to live but how to die. Why can't we all mind our own ever lovin' business? Why can't we find the same compassion we have for Fluffy and apply it to our neighbor?
Yes, one does.
I realize this is complicated by emotion and romance and the wishes of those around someone who is dying or on life support. Sometimes it's hard for other people to let go and I think that's tough to navigate. I remember the way the Terry Schiavo case was handled and politicized. So let me make this clear...pull the plug, give me the Kool-Aid and do what it takes to free me. I can't imagine anything worse than being stuck inside a body that is no longer serving me.
We all should have the right to decide. Compassion isn't always easy. Sometimes it means letting go. Sometimes it means loving someone enough to let them go.
Tricky stuff indeed.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Last week I jumped into the middle of a situation when I should have stayed out. Because of that people whom I love and respect were deeply hurt. I got caught up in some drama and I acted like a Drama Queen. I'd like to think I'm old and wise enough to know better, but apparently not. We live, we learn.
I am trying to fix the mess I helped create and to reach out to the people whom I hurt. They may not ever be able to forgive me and I understand. We can expect forgiveness, we can only ask for it.
We live in an age where people make excuses for everything and everyone. Oh they had a bad childhood. Oh they had a bad day. Oh they meant well. Oh I have a disorder. Blah...blah...blah.
I have no one and nothing to blame but myself. There are no excuses for bad behavior. I am sorry. I acted like a jackass.
I am making my way through my life as best as I can and sometimes I get it wrong. It is important to me, as a parent, that I show my daughter how a grown up acts when they get it wrong.
I threw on my big girl panties and I stepped up to the plate and took the blame for my bad actions. Next time, I hope to have the foresight to avoid becoming involved in this kind of situation. Next time, I hope to check my ego at the front door and bring my compassion inside. Next time, I hope to remember to be careful what you believe, be careful what you speak to others, don't speak until you know what the hell you are speaking about, don't get caught up in the drama and be careful what you put in writing.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
That's the point.
That's why we're here.
I am trying every day to be the kind of person my daughter can be proud to call Mom. Last week I failed.
This week I hope to do better.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Every moment, every second of this life is a gift. In fact, every moment is literally all there is. As soon as the moments have passed they are forever altered by the lens through which we view them. We choose the manner in which we react to the things that happen as a direct result of the choices we made that led us to those things. It's an endlessly fascinating cirle of cause and effect and cause...
The joy and the sorrow
The success and the failure
The pleasure and the pain...
...in the Tao it is all the same.
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach
It doesn't matter what you choose, ultimately, because we're here for one purpose. Every choice offers you an opportunity to explore that purpose. We are here to learn how to love ourselves and each other unconditionally. We are here to experience love in action.
I prefer laughter to tears. I prefer success to failure. I prefer pleasure to pain. I prefer to choose joy. In the great cosmic whirlpool my preferences and choices are inconsequential.
Everything in life is perspective. The past only affects us as long as we cling to it. We can release it at any moment.
What do you choose today?
Friday, September 11, 2009
I realize there aren't a lot of you who read this little blog here anymore, and that is by my own design. I took several years of posts down and have been mining them for book ideas and new directions and I have to say you're going to be excited to see what I'm doing with it all. It's a tough thing for me to navigate because I work in a very conservative industry and I'm a decidedly unconservative personality. I'm technicolor and it's hard for me to water that down to pastel, though I effort. I'm working towards creating a way for me to be my technicolor self without apology! Yipee!
This blog has always been my guilty pleasure. Lately I've found myself with something to say that isn't related to beads or glitter or crafting and I can't seem to stop myself from saying it. It's the sort of something I did in this blog on a daily basis for a year and regularly for two more before I got busy building a niche focused blog next door. The blog next door is doing well and building steam and I don't feel I have to obsess over it as much now.
As it happens, I happen to love writing. So here I am, writing in this blog again. We'll see where it leads us. I have no idea how often I'll be stopping in, but it will definitely be more often than not.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I'm happy to have deep political discussions with people who have divergent thoughts if they are willing to comport themselves like grown-ups and not toddlers that need a nap and a binky. If you can not have a civilized discourse, there is something wrong with you that most likely requires therapy. If you truly believe that you are right, then someone with a divergent opinion shouldn't make you angry. What does it matter what they think when it's glaringly evident that you are vastly superior and they are incredibly stupid? Right?
They should all just shut the hell up because you're the only one with something to say that's worth hearing.
So there. Nya, nya, nya.
I wonder though...why must we all think the exactly same thoughts?
Why must we all pray the same, love the same, laugh the same, live the same, talk the same, think the same, dress the same?
What kind of a world would it be if we actually were all the same?
I'll tell you what kind of a world it would be...a really fucking boring world.
Maybe the folks who are all so angry about how the rest of us are all trying to steal their pie and turn them into commies and tax them into submission and think it's their job to shout their opinions so loudly they drown out everyone else...should consider gathering up their constantly threatened resources and purchasing a large parcel of land. Then they could all live together in Boringia, where the boring, sanctimonious, self serving, unyeilding and abrasive folks live together in a constant state of self righteous indignation. Then they could all freely judge everyone in the rest of the world from a safe vantage point and they could freely screw each other over in the endless pursuit of more wealth and power. They could read boring books and watch propaganda that passes for news and remove all traces of the arts from the schools so that eventually they stop having new books, new music, new art, new magazines, new crap they can buy to wear and decorate their McMansions and all of the other things that those pesky artists create to keep life interesting. Who wants interesting when you can be boring? They could have national prayer meetings each morning where they openly judge and freely hate anyone who doesn't pray to their God or live their lives exactly as they did.
I can't believe that an elected Senator shouted "You lie!" at our president last night. Seriously. Grow up. Firstly, our President wasn't lying. There is no provision for health care for illegal immigrants, but I personally think there should be one that forces the people who hire them to pay their medical bills and the rest of the bills they incur while living here illegally because many of the same people who rant endlessly about illegal immigrants have no problem hiring them to mow their lawns or watch their kids or clean their houses. Ahem. But I digress, you don't have to agree with the President, but you do have to comport yourself with the dignity that is expected of an elected official.
What a dink.
I'm not actually sold on this current health care initiative, mostly because I think we'd be better off with socialized medicine. Yup, I said the "s" word. I'd frankly rather see my tax dollars go to helping sick people get better than to billions of dollars in blank checks handed out by the former administration to bloated financial institutions who filled out a two page form with a few questions and then took OUR money and ran after devastating our economy. Where was my form to fill out so that I could continue being the entrepreneur and small business owner trying to pay the mortgage in this mess that they left behind? I'd also like to stop paying for a war based on a real lie told by our former President who definitely lied...over and over and over again.
I have had extended discussions with people from countries with socialized medicine and guess what...they love it. They all say it's amazing to go see a doctor when you're sick and get the medicine and quality treatment that you need without having to jump through endless hoops to get approval and referrals. Wow, that sounds really horrid, doesn't it?
I've also known what it is to have to decide between buying food or a visit to the doctor or a medicine that I need. I've known what it is like to not be insured and to pray every day that I stayed healthy. I have a chronic medical condition and I am lucky to have insurance, because if we didn't I would not be able to afford my medicines and my treatment. I think most of the people screaming like banshees in these Town Hall Meetings are one catastrophic event or one funky mole away from total financial ruin. Only until it happens to them or a family member or a friend, they won't know what it's like to lose everything merely because you had the audacity to get sick or injured or what it's like to watch someone you love die because their insurance company dropped them or refused to pay for treatment.
We need to all lighten up, breathe deeply, stop drinking the Fox News Kool-Aid and educate ourselves. We need to learn the fine art of diplomacy and compromise. We don't have to agree, but we need to disagree graciously. We need to accept that a democracy requires us to discuss, debate and determine the best course of action for the majority. It's not simple and it's not always fun, but it's part of the deal.
I love these quotes from this NYT Op-Ed article my friend Homer shared with me from a letter written by Eisenhower to a concerned citizen. I think it's a very, very smart letter:
“I doubt that citizens like yourself could ever, under our democratic system, be provided with the universal degree of certainty, the confidence in their understanding of our problems, and the clear guidance from higher authority that you believe needed. Such unity is not only logical but indeed indispensable in a successful military organization, but in a democracy debate is the breath of life.”
Referring to a favorite book written by Eric Hoffer Ike said that Hoffer:
“points out that dictatorial systems make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems — freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.”
Educating yourself is not only your right...it's your duty. We will never all think the same thoughts, but I do believe we all want the same things. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore we all need to become more a lot more informed and constructively involved and a lot less angry or at the very least know what the hell we are screaming about.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I just found out that TVSD opted out of airing our president's address to our children today. I'm greatly dismayed and disappointed. The transcript for this speech was released prior to today, therefore you had sufficient time to review it and determine if it was appropriate. I can't understand how people in this country who use falsehoods and innuendo to promote their agendas have such a profound effect on our schools. It's ludicrous and disturbing. This is a message from our president who was elected into office by a very large margin. It isn't a political message, it is a straight forward plea to children to stay in school and work hard.
President Obama is a shining example of the American Dream in action. As an adult who was also raised by a single mother, I understand implicitly the struggles he endured. He went to an Ivy League college because of his hard work and determination. He became president because of that same spirit of self belief. His story is a wonderful inspiration for young people who doubt their ability to achieve success. Our young people need all of the positivity and inspiration they can get these days.
I accept that I'm in the political minority as a liberal living in this very conservative area. That being said, based on the fact that Obama was elected our president, I'm not a political minority living in this country. If we allow the politics of fear to influence how we teach our children, we are heading down a slippery slope indeed.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
There are some women who just don’t get it. They are often the women who talk the loudest about how much they support other women. Usually they make a point of telling everyone who will listen how many nice things they’ve done for other women and then running down the list over...and over...and over again. Just in case you didn’t get how supportive and nice and selfless they are. Really though, the only things they’ve done for other women have been marginal efforts that make them look extremely good on paper. They’re in it for number one, sweetie, and if you don’t pony up the favors and the pay backs when they call them in, they’re going to let you know that you owe them and you’d best get on the good foot.
The women I am discussing make it a point to point out their ‘good deeds’ in the hopes that no one notices when they artfully stab other women in the back and stomp on them with the pointy heels of their open toed Jimmy Choos. They think if they smile pretty enough and look cute enough that no one will see through the façade. They’re usually quite skilled at looking just helpless enough that men (and other women) flock to support them, promote them and defend them while they bat their long eyelashes and give you the stink eye.
It’s all about them. Every moment, every action. They’re not only shameless, they’re shameful.
I’ve dealt with this kind of woman for years. Somehow, no matter how easy it is for me to get their number, I sometimes feel like no one else does. If you try to point them out, you’re often looked at suspiciously because much like a killer rabbit, it’s hard to believe something so cute could be so vicious. It’s tricky stuff. They’re quite skilled at twisting reality to support their cause. You’d better be damn good at dodging bullets, because if they’ve drawn a bead on you they’re going to do everything they can to bring you down.
That’s how they’ve managed to get where they are and how they can often get so very far. Only eventually, they’ll step on so many toes, they’ll screw so many other women over and they’ll push so hard that people will start to figure them out. Eventually they’ll whisper the wrong catty comment into the wrong ear at the wrong moment and the house of cards will start to crumble. Women like this are often so reliant on their appearances and the appearance of innocence, it’s only a matter of time before those looks fade or that storyline stops making sense and their complete lack of personality and depth and talent and compassion becomes painfully evident. It’s the karmic adjustment for getting ahead at the expense of other women.
I’ve been dealing with a woman like this recently. I wonder, is she reading this post? I bet she is. She’s been up in my cornflakes for months now. I bet she’s convinced that I must be talking about someone else. Either that or she’s wondering how she can cover her petite ass enough to save her from being discovered.
Well honey bunny, I’ve got your number and I'm not alone. I highly suggest you get out of the way because this train is leaving the station and you aren’t on it. I also suggest that you think long and hard about where your train is heading, because it’s a lonely destination.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
We may have to give it anti-depressants.
I’m thinking maybe I just need to cheer it up instead.
What about some flowers? Chocolates? A serenade?
I like my bladder. It’s always been good to me. It’s a good bladder as far as bladders go, but apparently it’s gone all red inside and it’s been so incredibly persistent lately. Maybe it feels like it’s not getting enough attention. Maybe it's just acting out.
I had a highly uncomfortable test today to see what might be going on with it.
It wasn’t fun.
In fact nothing about it was fun.
Is there anything fun about a straw sized tube in your urethra?
I just don’t like that word, is it just me or does it seem to fail to capture the spirit of the area it describes?
I’ll have to ponder that more deeply later but for the now I can answer the first question...having a straw sized tube in your urethra is HORRID. Avoid it if you can.
I may have to give up all of the foods I like to eat in order to make my bladder happy...but then what about the rest of me? Shouldn’t it be a matter of percentages? Most of me really, really enjoys those foods and beverages. Why can’t my bladder (pardon me in advance for this dreadful cliché I’m about to type) go with the flow?
I feel much better having discussed this openly. I may be sorry later that I did, but I’m laughing about it now and perhaps this laughter is helping in some small way to cheer up my sad, sad little bladder.
That seems like a worthy cause.
I tried, but I simply couldn't find the right picture for this post. Surprising, eh?