They Are

Inspired by Peter Witte’s short story, “They Were,” The Sun Magazine, JULY 2016 ISSUE 487

 

He was. She was. They met at a fountain the day before semester classes began, awkward- him, lusting- her and together they: talked about his new puppy Nagi and his sick grandmother and her travels to Germany, talked a little more until the night she turned 21, sat together at Rileys and drank cheap beer, went to his place and hers and back to his, drove across the country and decided they were in this, moved in together, found a Native American community and found themselves dancing at powwows as head-man and head-woman and building teepees and in ceremony, graduated from college a year apart, found jobs nearby, rented a little white house on 3rd Street, got married at Hungry Mother State park by a man named Humble Bear, wore buckskin and beads, watched as he built a life around community and work while she dreaded her days and wished for more, went into debt so she could go back to school and become the teacher she’d been too scared to be, spent four more years in the little Appalachian mountain town while he built an Indian Village and she taught high school English, lost Nagi too early, had a perfect baby with a tiny hole in his heart that would close three years later, watched coverage of their town on TV after both shootings- Tamara’s husband on the Huckleberry Trail and a few months later the many at Virginia Tech, locked classroom doors and stood on football fields when threats in bathroom stalls were found, struggled to figure out how to manage with three, fought a lot, found out the job he loved would end soon, applied to grad school and moved to Indiana with a one year old and two cats and a turtle, found a teaching job for her with students she immediately loved, breathed out relief when he passed his quals, had a daughter, put supports in place to keep each other okay, slept more this time, spent summers apart while he did research, tried to move, stayed put, grew frustrated being asked repeatedly at work to give more and receive less and look the other way, found a writing community for her, supported her need to be there often, found distraction from dissertation writing for him, supported his need to be there often, made her decision to “retire” from a career she could no longer stomach a reality, became more connected to the conscious community that gave her the courage to choose a better way to spend her days, started homeschooling, spent time building community in their family of four, realized they could do things differently and always had, finished a dissertation, adopted Annie the crazy mutt to celebrate, accepted a semester- turned year- turned two year teaching position at small university nearby, loved their work- their days- again, continued to sit in the impatient waiting that a new career brings and in the knowing it will be good and hard whether they are here or wherever there is. He is. She is. They are.

~ Kelly Sage

www.sagetribe02.com

I Don’t Know, and I Like it.

Pisces WindowWhen someone is triggered by astrological insights, and enthusiasms, I wonder if there is something in their chart indicating this?  (I scroll through the menu of my mind: what aspect indicates a skeptic (Mercury in an earth sign in the house everyday affairs?) I’ve been thinking a lot lately, in a global sense, a transpersonal sense about who I am in relationship to the larger magnetic, interplanetary influence (my Mercury is in Pisces).  Well, ever since I was gifted a smartly designed 2017 astrological outlook course.  I absorbed it in the way that I do when I like something…by engulfing and osmosis.  Engulfing daily information and dreaming later to sort out the knooks and crannies.  I like astrology because it reminds me of a camera, and I like cameras because they remind me of perspective.  The astrological lens yields something big enough to remind me that a large part of us is ‘under influence.’

This is about astrology and its’ not, because I know that it’s not just astrology that lends a hand to faith.  But faith been dealt a bad rap.  Too many connotations, to many associations this word: faith.  I know there are many ways to remember that we are part of something that we do not always control.  Astrology is just one that I really like….and reading Carl Jung.

This week, in conversation with friend, he says, “I don’t like fate….that’s for people who lived a long time ago…we all know about free will now.”  And if the mind believes it knows….we all are saved?  That turns me off: overreliance on our mind/thinking to dictate our lives.   The compulsion, obsession to know! That turns me off more than simple displeasure, it dehydrates my soul.

When did we become so damn human mind-centered?   When did we fixate so heavily on the myth that we are in control and we know how to steer our ship at all times without any help from some guidance larger than ourselves.   When did we lose faith in the mystery?  Someone get my soul a glass of water.

Funny thing, as paradox can be… I’ve got a drive to research this, look in with my mind to try to perceive, to label it….to channel thoughts like:  “we are in a dark time”  “we’ve forgot about the Mother”…”life manifests and thrives only through love and attention..so how can we be different?”  “We’re held too – by the universe, the harmonies, the planets…the presence.”

Astrology?  I’ll take it – and I’ll take a huge helping of the others mysteries too.  Perceptions between awake and asleep, the ‘hunches we just have’, divination, supernatural sighting, communication from the guides.  And I’ll carry a flag into the desert that says: I don’t know, and I like it.

Allison for the PGM

Honest Kindness

My quote from the Universe yesterday:

“To touch someone with kindness is to change someone forever.

Heavy, huh? That’s nothing.

Because for everyone you touch, you also reach everyone they will ever know. And everyone they will ever know. And everyone they will ever know. And so, for the rest of all time, your kindness will be felt, in waves that will spread, long after you move on.

Muchas gracias,
    The Universe”

 

Before I tell you about my act of kindness, I should tell you how I reacted to being assigned an act of kindness by my writing circle facilitator, knowing that I would then write about it and read it in front of other women.  I immediately decided to do a really great act of kindness (one that would really impress you) and write a kick ass recollection of it (one that would really impress you).  Yes, such are the ways of my shadow.  She seeks to be known by her goodness, her kindness, her competence in all things.  That’s how I have come to know her.  I can feel her presence as I feel the need to be good, sometimes even the need to be better-than.  I am wise enough now to take her hand in mine, make some room for her beside me, and let her be with me a while.

So, in deciding which single random act of kindness to commit this week I found myself replaying in my mind all the memories I have of myself acting out in the world this way before.  There was the time when, as just a teenager, riding with my mom, there was an elderly woman struggling to time her crossing at a stoplight downtown.  My mom and I exchanged a few panicked looks as we watched her teeter forward and stop a few times in a row as the cross traffic raced by, oblivious.  My mom’s command to “Help her, Darci!” coincided with my sliding out of the car.  I sidled up alongside the old lady, linked my arm in hers, smiled at her and said, “May I help you cross the street?” to which she replied, “Why yes, honey, thank you.”  I’m sure I saved a life that day.

There was the time, just about a year ago, when I saw a mom in the parking lot at Kroger accidentally slam her little girl’s finger in the car door as she was hurriedly trying to get everyone moving in the right direction.  The toddler wailed as loud a battered wail as I’ve ever heard, piercing every heart in every audible direction.  That mother was crushed.  She shrunk down next to her sobbing one and kissed and kissed and kissed that little smashed finger.  As I walked by I just paused for a brief moment, long enough to put my hand on that guilty mama’s shoulder and say, “don’t be so hard on yourself…we’ve all done it.  You’re a good mama.”

Then there was the time when I cleared my neighbor’s car off after a heavy snow so that when she came out the next morning with her arms full of her new baby, dragging the toddler behind, heading out to her new job (her second job since her boyfriend was now in jail for doing “something stupid”), she wouldn’t have to leave those babies in the cold while she dug out her vehicle.

So I remind myself of how kind I can be and I remember how good it feels to pass on the peace.  I also realize how much I really do those things for me, for myself.  When I am really true and honest about it, I do kind things because it is the most honest expression of who I am in certain moments.  If I do it for any other reason, it is not my authentic self acting, it is my shadow.

So, my act of kindness this week was a simple one, an authentic one.  I bought an extra roll of paper towels to take to my aunt.  She is raising a litter of Golden Retriever puppies – ten of them – and they are 5 weeks old now.  That’s a lot of puppy pee and puppy poop.  She loves them.  But she is working hard and they are more than a handful.  One of them is mine.  I already love her with all of my imperfect, broken heart and she’s peeing all over my aunt’s kitchen.  I took paper towels.

puppy-line-up

Darci Hawxhurst for

The Poplar Grove Muse

The Thread of Kindness: Post-Election 2016

I want my voice to catch the thread of kindness in everything I say, with everyone I talk to.  Even when I’m angry, when I need to be angry and voice my rage, I want to tie that thread of kindness securely around my finger to remind myself that I’m talking to another human being whether I like their actions or opinions or not.  I want kindness to cradle that anger, and to cradle me for being courageous and speaking my truth.

Looming in my mind now, post-election 2016, is my anger at the ignorance, arrogance, hatefulness (take your pick) of Trump and his Trumpeteers for playing to the fears and bigotry of way too many Americans, for playing their fascist drums of nationalism and provincialism and being rewarded for it.  That’s the real kicker, I think. That the bullies are being rewarded. They have taken “ugly American” to a new level. It’s not only the elite Americans who have garnered the scorn of people around the globe as they ate too much, talked too loud, held themselves above, apart from the mores and civil expectations of other cultures. (They called us “Norte Americanos” when I was in Nicaragua in the 80s to distinguish us from “Sudamericanos.”)  It’s not just the US military who has tromped with a cavalier sense of entitlement on the rights and lives of too many countries to even name.  Now “it,” this ugly American persona, this ugly Norte Americano persona, fills the screens of TVs and computers, here and abroad: President Elect Trump and his chosen ones—the leaders of the most powerful nation on earth!  I am embarrassed at how we must look to the rest of the world.  I am sad that so many people (some that I know and love) voted for Trump, or didn’t vote against him, either choice a vote for tyranny in my mind.

I read the Dalai Lama quote that I wrote with permanent marker on my fridge years ago: “Be kind whenever possible; it is always possible.”  Is it?  I’m not so sure these days.  I don’t feel kind toward the white supremacists, the rise of the KKK.  I don’t feel kind toward Donald Trump.  I try to see him as that little boy that his grandmother surely loved, but I can’t find that Trump.  I try to see him as someone who loves his family, but his narcissism takes up too much of the frame.  If he were in a secure facility, where he could do no harm, I think I would feel kindness toward him, or if he came to my door, hungry and cold, I know I would feed him soup and wrap a blanket around his shoulders, but how do I find that thread of kindness in my heart and mind for the reality of who he is and what he espouses, given the power that he now holds?

And I’m angry because I’m feeling discomfited.  I have been expending energy quite comfortably in my own pursuit of happiness, self-realization, meaningfulness. Now, with the climate change naysayers and the nuclear weapons proponents dismissing scientific facts and rattling their sabers, the state of the nation, the state of the world, the state of this good earth may need my voice, my boots on the ground—my energy—to resist this madness, this blatant mockery of truth and justice.  I want to be done with carrying signs and marching in the streets!  I want to be done with civil disobedience and the risk of jail!  I want my life of doing unto others as I would have them do unto me to be enough!  I want my love and compassion, the threads of my kindness, interwoven with the billions of other threads of kindness around the world, to be enough. To stitch together a safety net of common decency and civility; a safety net of enough. And I’m afraid that’s a pipe dream that I’ve held onto way too long.  Trump’s ascension has pulled that dream wrong side out and left the raw truth of fascism bleeding on my parade.

And while I’m writing this, I am bombarded with images in my mind of the Black Lives Matter movement that has grown out of recent police brutality toward blacks.  People have been aware that racism still thrives in the US despite the Civil Rights Act—anyone who knows the cold hard facts of our criminal justice system, and our incarceration, employment, and education disparity, knows that racism continues to eat at the soul of our nation.  But it took the killings of Brown, Rice, Garner, etc., etc., etc., to fuel the fight against racism with renewed vigor and momentum. That’s what I’m feeling with the election of Trump and his inner circle.  I’ve known that the US as superpower, warmonger, corporate-powered usurper of “of the people, for the people, and by the people,” has been the reality of our country for decades, but it took Trump’s rise to the throne (and Pence’s, for God’s sake! What a scary duo!) to shake the foundations of my complacency, my pipe dream, my belief that kindness  is enough.  It has peeled back the layers of red, white, and blue and left us with the tattered threads of our dirty underwear on full display.  Old Glory, indeed! The façade has been shattered.

Where do I fit in to all of this?  How do I catch and hold firmly to the thread of kindness in a world that seems to be so out of kilter, and skewed toward meanness, wrong-headedness, fear?  And will kindness make any difference in the big scheme of things?  I truly believe that it always makes a difference in interactions with people on a day-to-day basis, and in my own empowerment as a human being trying to do the right thing: to be kindness, to be love.  And I visualize waves of that kindness and love growing exponentially from my heart and soul to the very darkest core of madness that seems to be rampant right now. But how will it translate into sanity?  How will it translate into peace on earth goodwill to all?  Can I continue “walking peace” in these woods, and actually be a force for change in the world?  Can I sing my songs of peace and love and touch the wounded spirit of this earth?  Will my thread of kindness be strong enough, long enough, to make any damn difference at all?  I have more questions than answers.  I hold tightly to the Bible verse: “Perfect love casteth out fear.”  I wind the thread of kindness around and around my finger to remind myself of who I am.

 

Glenda Breeden for The Poplar Grove Muse

 

 

 

I Am From

the-wentz-family

I Am From

Solid men who told their daughters if they were feeling smart and strong they were on the right track.

I Am From

Broken women who broke each other with mistrust and sly smiles.

I Am From

Loving men who cooked, cleaned, wiped their babies’ butts, cuddled and soothed.

I Am From

Smart, funny women who could stretch a dollar, make ends meet, sew clothes out of feedsacks. Spent hot summers putting up enough food to last the winter. Went without and made do.

I Am From

Men who loved their mother and protected her from their father. Naively thought all women were like her and put them on pedestals they didn’t deserve.

I Am From

A mother who wasn’t mothered. Who was betrayed and left with a black hole inside her. A hole my dad, nor me, nor my brother could fill with light.

I Am From

Alcohol. Secrets. Spin doctors. Guessing. Shifting ground. Arbitrarily changed rules. Don’t ask.

I Am From

Great Aunts who were movie stars in waiting. Who scared me with their croaky voices and dark eyes magnified by thick lenses. Who loved wrestling and cowboys. Who listened in on party lines and called other people nosy.

I Am From

Women whose hands wrung the necks of chickens. Soothed a fevered brow. Made pie crust that melted in your mouth. Whose fingers flew around a tatting shuttle making lace as delicate as dandelion fuzz.

I Am From

Morel hunters. Fishermen. Craftsmen. Readers. Sports players and sports fans. Pipe smokers.

I Am From

Women who were told to snap out of it by their mothers. Who were told to take a pill by their male doctors. Who were told to buck, up, move on, get over it. Who were told by magazine articles to do it all and be happy about. Don’t let them see you sweat because that would be unfeminine.

I Am From

Men who were judged by their strength, not their tenderness. Men who were judged by how much money they made, not how much time was spent with their families.

I Am From

All of this and more. A brew that cooked up a complicated me.
mother-and-dad-2
 

Rebekah Spivey for the Poplar Grove Muse

 

 

 

An Old Woman’s Random Memories: A Free-verse Poem

cafe-and-gardens-067-2

I remember snow banks tunneled into forts against the Great Winter Enemy:the boy next door.

I remember being lifted up to be shown the empty crib, a quietness where the baby used to be.

I remember my grandmother’s aproned lap, soft home of fairy tales and stories read aloud.

I remember riding in the truck on the milk route with my uncle, the empty bottles rattling against each other and their wire cages, chattering about the homes they had just left, telling those stories to be held for their new adventures in the next homes where they would be delivered.

I remember taking sandwiches to white-helmeted men standing watch for the raging forest fires that were choking up our skies as we held our breath and crossed our fingers that they would pass us by.

I remember crouching under our desks at school, hands over our heads, practicing for the Evil Day when the Red Menace would Bomb us to Oblivion. We, even in our youth, couldn’t understand how those desks would protect us.

I remember getting the first polio shots, a newly made vaccine, lined up in the school corridor with others waiting nervously for our turn to be stuck and recalling stories of those we knew who had been struck and crippled, and yet we were still a bit afraid of that needle in our arms.

I remember when I learned that my 7th grade classmate had hung himself in his bedroom, I remember when I learned that my friend’s father had hung himself in the barn, and I remember when I learned that my mother-in-law had shot herself in her car, and I remember when my student shot himself with a rifle, and I remember when a dear friend jumped off the top of the Atwater Parking garage, and how I mourned them each and all in the agony of my distress and not-understanding.

I remember running naked from the car in the crisp air of the western desert night to plunge into the steaming hot spring and to float, body warm, face cold, looking at the bits of glistening stars in the black sky.

I remember making a story of high-power towers being aliens moving slowly across our North American continent, at a pace we could not see with our human eyes, but knowing that sometime, sometime, the Wire Aliens would be our Masters.

I remember falling down the dark opening at the inn in Dailekh after two long days of trekking, and wondering if I were dead.

I remember the young Polish musician on the train to Łodz urging me to run away with him and join his circus.

Too many more memories for my 74 years…the rest will have to wait for the next poem, and the poem after that, and the poems that follow those.

Bev Hartford

 

Turtle Day

turtleI ran over a turtle one day not long ago. There was a speed bump in the road and a little brown mound right behind it that I caught a glimpse of too late. The second I ran over it, knew it was a box turtle. I stopped, heart racing, and ran back to find it flipped over, splayed, limp and motionless. If it’d been a cartoon turtle, its eyes would have been X’s and its little tongue would’ve been sticking out, but no, it was more horrible than that. I stooped to pick it up, sick with remorse, and placed it gently on the grass nearby—on the side of the road in the direction I think it had been going. I was sure it would not be walking anywhere again but might instead be food for the neighborhood crows. Oh dear turtle, forgive my carelessness, and driving too fast. Please forgive me!

Soon after, as I sat down shakily to work at my desk, my belief in horoscopes was affirmed. A brief on-target sentence came up on my newsfeed and inspired me to capture this:

May I learn all the ways in which I do not really see what is in front of me. All the ways I rush through you, past you, over you. May I learn to pause in your presence. May I learn that witnessing you is witnessing myself. The more I do one, the more I can do another. –Chani Nicholas

I carried the sinking feeling of destructive power, failed witness- heavy in my heart and plodded on with the various tasks of the day: a string of soul sucking e-mails, a nice piece of chocolate, a letter of gratitude from an old friend in the mailbox, a worried call from my mother. Hours later, I walked with the dogs back to the bloody spot on the road. We traipsed over to the grassy area where I’d left the lifeless body of the turtle earlier and couldn’t find it. I looked all around the area, my dogs nosing too. No bloody trail, or indentation in the grass. Could the crows have made quick work of the little turtle? Could a child have picked it up and taken it home to see if it could be nursed back to life?

Maybe the universe was letting me off the hook. Maybe, as in the famous Lillian Hellmann story about the partially butchered snapper that left a determined bloody trail from the author’s kitchen butcher block back to the nearby pond, Box Turtles are similarly indestructible, with the survival mojo of millennia in their DNA. Maybe this witness of death and potential resurrection was an invitation to witness the many little deaths and revivals of a single day. Soul on deck, the buzzer is always ready to blare.  Life wants us to live, but it wants us to take our time too.

If my little near-dead boxie did indeed get plucked up into a tree to become food for the crows, then there is a prayer for that. Thank you for your life and making me pause, for taking me to a resting place between movement and stillness as I write these words, uncomfortable as they are…for helping me notice how I rush unawares, my killing powers, for reminding me that even tough shells can be broken…mine and yours. Forgive our bad timing (yours and mine), and stay safe in your home, wherever that might be now.

Beth Lodge-Rigal

Living With Pain

painbranchTwo and a half years ago, completely unexpectedly and seemingly overnight, triggered by who-know-what autoimmune response, arthritis descended upon, or emerged from within, my body. I no longer recognized myself, my lack of energy and ongoing experience of defeat and despair.  It took a full year to get an accurate diagnosis. Now, I live with pain, learning to lean into it, challenge it, refusing to let it take over my life. Some days, I want to lie down as soon as I get up, the worst response of all—no response, giving in, giving up, allowing this negative development to take over my life.  Experimenting with anti-inflammatory diet, apple cider vinegar and turmeric, foam roller and exercise bands and physical therapy, I am stretching, stretching, stretching—both my body and my mind. I am a work in progress.

The parallels to the 2016 election are striking to me. Some of us stayed awake watching the unexpected, overnight descent into what feels like madness, while some woke up to the pain of living in an America we feel we no longer recognize. From my position as a white, heterosexual, cisgendered woman with arguably too much education, a financially secure household, and health insurance, I have been privileged to be dismayed and depressed by the increasingly entitled expressions of racist, misogynist, homophobic, anti-other anger surging in my country, and by this seemingly sudden confirmation of the power of these diseased symptoms. This was not news to too many living among us, whose otherness is easily identified, worn on their bodies, experienced in an ongoing succession of daily, disheartening interactions.  Jon Stewart said it well when he pointed out post-election that America is not “a fundamentally different country than we were two weeks ago,” or when we elected Barack Obama, twice.

Our body politic is living in and with pain, experiencing migrating manifestations of pain in different limbs and locations at different times.  I was heartened when President Obama himself, who surely feels this pain acutely and personally as few of us can—as a gracious, intelligent, pragmatic man of integrity who has done his best to lead our country in a positive direction as our first African American President, against unprecedented obstructionism and rising racism—gave us permission in an interview to grieve through Thanksgiving. And we have been grieving.

But this wishfully symbolic national observance of thanksgiving and cultural cooperation is over, and we must stand up, lean into the pain, experiment with every plausible approach we can think of to treat disease, stretching our souls and our minds, exercising and extending our capabilities, and work to heal our afflictions. I am in awe of those who are already out on the streets, the social media groups that have formed, offering proactive, constructive, often-easily-implemented ideas for expressing our collective dismay and opposition to the intentions of the newly-elected leaders of our evolving future. We are still, with any luck and a lot of hard, thoughtful action, a work in Progress.

Mary Peckham for The Poplar Grove Muse

 

Light Bringers

The hardest part of our recent election came for me the morning after. Hungover from a long night of drinking in disbelief and fear, I woke up, listened for movement in my children’s rooms, lingered in the idea that I didn’t have to tell them. Maybe I could spare them the news, spare them the fear, the confusion, the truth that our country was clearly entering a darker time. I took pause in the absurd. I could ignore the situation. Election, what election?

I scrolled through headlines. Parody. Satire. I was looking at The Onion, right? Surely, NPR was playing a practical joke. My son entered the room. Almost as tall as I am, this ten year old is starting to resemble more teen than kid. “Who won?” he said frankly, hands deep in the pockets of the blue fleece bathrobe he loves.

Here it was. I wanted to first tell him he’d be safe, we’d be safe, the country would be fine, but I could tell he just wanted the one and only fact I could give, “Trump won.”

“Oh.”

What else could be said? When you’re ten you don’t add an expletive after Oh. That was the only thing to add. Well, that and maybe, We are ______.

A couple hours later, after we dropped his sister off at a class, he and I would go to breakfast, talk about what all this meant. One of the perks of homeschooling, he wasn’t about to get on the bus; we had time to talk. Right now though, all we could do is look at each other and listen to the unknown in our silence.

He turned, went back into his room. His audio book, Goblet of Fire, clicked on. I heard his door close lightly. The bigger of our two orange cats smacked my hand with his paw. Not caring how I felt, how little I felt like moving, he reminded me it was time to be fed. His sister joined him, meowed, and started a dialogue between them aimed at moving me. I heard the dog stir patiently in her crate. I had to get up, face this day.

I walked past her room. She stirred. Let out one of her big I’m awake yawns. I took a deep breath, wondered how I should tell my six year, already a worrier, a man who speaks hate, assaults women, stirs violence, who doesn’t care about so many in our country and world won. How do I explain the most important values their father and I, the community we surround ourselves with, try to teach and model: acceptance, kindness, tolerance- not need apply to the Commander in Chief of our country.

“Mama, who won?” Were the first words out of her mouth. This time I did say we were still safe, assured her we would be okay. She didn’t understand how he could win. Asked if this meant everyone would have lots of guns.

Now, almost two weeks later, I am still unsure how to answer their questions and my own without dipping deeply into darkness. The future feels bleak. I wonder if those who voted for him are listening, hear his revised plans, the truth that he will make a better life for himself and the wealthy, for big corporations, and the majority of us workers will pay, in many ways, for them to prosper. I wonder as our planet’s fate spins even more into the hands of climate change deniers and pipeline pushers, how to keep myself from falling into passive living. It feels too big, too hard; it would be so much easier to ignore, tune out, and pretend I’m watching reality TV.

It’s our immediate future I’d be tuning out. It’s too big to ignore, and my family, all of us, will be a part of it no matter how much I wish to pretend otherwise. I wonder how many times in the coming days, months, years my kids will hear and see hate. Will it continue to be painted on our bike trails, on buildings, continue to come out of our “leader’s” mouths? I realize my children have never experienced racism, bigotry, misogyny, hate. I remind myself how many people in this country, how many children, don’t have their same story.

I know we will be changed and we get to choose how.

I know I need to listen to my children and for what they might hear.

I know I need to watch for what they might see.

I know I need to tell my children and myself, we must, more than ever, be light bringers, and then make sure I’m being one.

I know we must stand on the side of love and seek out more ways to help, accept, and give. I know we can’t just talk about it.

I know if we are determined to meet hate with even more love, we can change this country. Stop the spinning backwards. Propel us forward again. The conversations we have, the words we choose, the places we spend our money, our actions, and our contributions, matter.

Last week they saw the new rainbow bridge leading into our town; told me they loved it each time we passed. From the backseat, they agreed with each other, we need more rainbow bridges in our world.

They see safety pins, the one their father adorned with a little silver feather; they have their own, know they stand for help and hope and we are in this together.

They seek little signs of hope, like I do, and reminders of what can be done. The last two weeks, when things felt too hard, and all I wanted to do was shove the cats off the bed, tell them to fend for themselves, pull the covers up over my head, tell the kids we’re all just fine, I needed these reminders. I will continue to need them.

I can’t lose sight. We can’t. I remind myself of the privilege, my privilege, of having so much choice and freedom, and the hard work needed to keep light from burning out in our country. I choose to get up, speak fierce love, be informed, open my eyes and heart, help grow light. I choose over and over to work for and believe love trumps hate, always. For me it doesn’t feel like a choice, but it is, and I have to choose it, we all do, over and over again.

~ Kelly Sage

 

 

If I could…..

cat-in-a-blanketIf I could, I’d give the world a weighted blanket; something like a quilt of leaves without the wetness.  If I could, I’d give the world a weighted blanket to drape over our wanting skin; to comfort us through storming times.  If I could, I’d wrap moments in this blanket, not to rid of struggle, but to inspire: there was a time we felt safe.  I think of fast beating hearts, nervous systems seizing at the sound of thunder-clap, beings in post trauma danger loops.  I think of pets who need thundervests just to survive a storm, people who need pets just to survive a storm.  We all need something to remind us of our bones…something keeping our weight here and involved.

If I could, I’d give the world a weighted blanket; something to contain us.

I walked the streets of New York this past weekend wrapped up in my “New York Coat” – grey, scractchy unpenetrable to grime.  A coat that contains me, like the NYPD contained the protest down Broadway.   In a single moment thousands of us move one way, thousands of us move another.  I’ve seen whole cultures of life, colonies of bacteria diverge under the introduction of a drop of something acidic.  Groups organized on each side of the petri dish seperated by the stimulus shock.  Trauma is like this: who goes back to the center for fear of the atomic drop?

If I could, I’d give the world a weighted blanket; something to assuage us.

Allison for the PGM