Saturday, November 8, 2014

"My students are like sponges, I swear to god.  ....  Mostly, the women want to write about themselves, and it helps them, you know?  Gives them wings, so that they can rise above the confounding maze of their lives and, from that perspective, begin to see the patterns and the dead ends of their pasts, and a way out.  That's the funny thing about mazes: what's baffling on the ground begins to make sense when you can begin to rise above it, the better to understand your history and fix yourself".  

... "Still, I hope the book advances the notion that power must be used responsibly and mercifully, and that we are all responsible for one another.  These things I believe: 
~ That, as James Baldwin once put it, 'People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes back to them, poisoned.'
~ That wars, because of the terrible cost they exact, are never won.
~ That love is stronger than hatred."

from Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed

Monday, June 24, 2013

Photo: For your favorite fascist.

facebook post - 10/11/12

So you want to know what's on my mind, Facebook? I was just now thinking how sad the world can be for those that are lonely, bitter and/or angry. I was thinking that the sadness/loneliness/bitterness/anger impacts all of us, either directly or indirectly (ex: my impatience toward a client because of his rude behavior). It turned into compassion today when I heard a tiny piece of his story. This realization led me to wonder about larger examples when we affect each other so much ... families ... families ... communities ... wars. Don't these all start with a tiny seed of negative emotion, take root, and sometimes grow into humongous, nasty, toxic wars? WHAT IF EVERYONE HOLDING A WEAPON INVOLVED PUT IT DOWN AND PICKED UP A TOOL INSTEAD.?. Everyone, everywhere, would have houses and food ... and probably less sadness, loneliness, bitterness, anger ... and more friends. That's what is on my mind.
So I just had a moment of reconciliation with myself. If you care to read, this will take just a bit to explain.

Spence and I saw a man at a Taco Bell drive-through the other day ... just sitting, no sign, not bothering anyone, didn't even speak to anyone, just looking hungry. Because I was grumpy that day, because he made me uncomfortable, perhaps feeling a bit guilty that I didn't help buy him a taco, and because sometimes I get tired of people asking for handouts I told the staff. They made sure he was "removed".

It's been bothering me since. He wasn't hurting anyone. He was just hungry.

Today I saw a different man in front of SaveMart. As I did my shopping I purchased a few things for him, but when I left he was gone. Walking to my car, I literally cross paths with the man from Taco Bell. I was able to share some groceries with him and feel much better about myself and my earlier ill feelings.

He said, "lingu" (thank you). I said, "you're welcome" and went on with my day feeling a bit lighter and brighter.
Barry: "You're either a duck ... or you're not a duck"
Shelley: "Well, I'm not a duck"


Photo: :o)
Life is messy. When you can, clean it up. When clean-up is not possible immediately, stay close to friends who don't mind hanging around in your muck a while. Life, even in the midst of muck, is beautiful.