Saturday, January 28, 2017

Home.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well34
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.14
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land55
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home6
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here
-Warsan Shire
Peace and love and a safe place to call home, buttercups. xx

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My answer

Six days in, and my head is spinning. The schism amongst Americans grows wider, as each “side” digs their heels in deeper, oblivious to the fact that they are sinking into the pit. While we know the side that I tend to lean to, I think of it as less a side than a set of beliefs. I believe that a society is ultimately judged by how well she takes care of all of her citizens. I believe we are a nation of immigrants, and that should not be ignored-unless you are of 100% indigenous ancestry, your people were, at some point, part of the tired and huddled masses looking for a new life. I believe that facts are facts, proven in trials and peer-reviewed studies, not inflammatory videos that show no faces or references. I believe that our healthcare system is broken. It was broken ten years ago, and it is broken now- but we shouldn’t set fire to it and leave an ashy pile of debris with no other option in sight. I believe in equal rights- those rights were and are hard fought for. Any woman who thinks those rights just floated in on a cloud of fairy dust and faith needs to study on how women rising up and protesting actually brought about any rights at all. If not for suffragists willing to be jailed and tortured, women would still be considered chattel. Rights can be fought for, given, and taken, so complacency is not always an option for everyone.
Now, I have had spirited discussions, privately and publicly, with men who think that the marches were unnecessary and unpatriotic. I have been asked a lot of questions about why we marched and about Trump’s actions. Why do we think he is against women? Why do we think he is dangerous? What is wrong with his stance about the environment? Why do we think he is dangerous in regards to freedom of speech and freedom of religion?
I started to answer these questions. I compiled a list of his quotes, his tweets, and screenshots from his website- all verifiable facts that come from the man himself. And then, the epiphany. Why do I have to explain Trump’s policies, words, and actions to anyone? If you voted for him, you should know what all of those are. You should know that in 2012, he decried the Electoral College as a sham. You should know that he is systematically dismantling protections for the environment- it is all laid out in his speeches and on his websites. You should know all of this and more. You might agree with it, all of it, and that is your right. And if you do not know all of his actions, you should start paying attention. Again, you voted for him- if I have to answer these questions for you, you really do need to catch up on your reading of both our constitution and of our most recent executive orders.
So, no, I am not going to answer all of the questions. I can, but you should know the answers on your own. Look at the facts. Read the briefings, the legal wording of each presidential order- don’t trust the grainy video or the catchy meme. And remember that one of the highest acts of patriotism is to question. As Roosevelt said, “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
Pretty sure that Roosevelt did not reference blind allegiance to one man or to alternative facts. As for me, I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. So, I am going to keep paying attention, keep questioning, and keep living my life. I hope you do the same.

Peace, facts, and humanity, buttercups. xx

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Resolving

2016 has been a year, hasn’t it?
What kind of year, I am not certain, but it has been a year. One that I am happy to put in the books. If you have read my blog in the past, you know that I avoid resolutions like I avoid people in the grocery store. I loathe resolutions, because they are just taunting you, willing you to shatter them on the sidewalk.


But 2017 might be different. 2016 feels like the filthy black snow piled up on roadsides at the end of winter, and 2017 feels hopeful and shimmery, fresh-fallen snow glittering in the morning sun. I do believe I am going to mix it up and make some resolutions this time around. The other way, avoiding them, did not seem to work out so well, so I am going to try something new.


Now for the resolving. The resolutions.


I resolve to get off of Facebook. Not in a melodramatic “Message me if you don’t want me to unfriend you” way, but I am going to take it off of my phone and tuck it away on a regular basis.


I resolve to move my arse more often. This isn’t a resolution to lose twenty pounds or be bikini-ready. The last year was an awful one, physically, and I recognize what a gift being able to be physically active is. Whether I snowshoe or run, hike the Incline or walk my thyroid-challenged Pug, I am going to move as much as I can. Plus, more movement means more guilt-free tacos, and that is a wonderful thing, my friends.


I resolve to seek out joy. I intend to spend more time with the people I adore, to seek out like-minded people, and surround myself with sunshine. More rain on my face so I can glimpse the rainbows. More nights under the stars to remind me of miracles. More time with my kids, whether it is in a loud arcade or getting pedicures. More cream in my coffee, and more moments that fill my heart.


I resolve to let go of the things. You know, the things. Worrying about that which I have zero control over. Sucking my stomach in to fit in those ridiculous jeans from too long ago. The people who are not good for me. Anger over past transgressions, and sadness over losses. The stacks of paperback books that I might maybe possibly read again someday. The underwear that lost its elastic an embarrassingly long time ago. Money owed to me that will never be paid. I am realising that letting go is different than stuffing down or abandoning, and I am going to make it a priority so that I can get to more of the joy resolution above.


I resolve to be present. In our world of connectedness, I feel so disconnected from my people. Even though I knew what you ate for lunch or where you checked in for a movie, I have not picked up a phone and called you or invited you over for a glass of wine. This was a huge mistake in 2016, and I am going to be present moving forward. No checking my Twitter, looking at my email, tracking my steps, or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. I am going to spend that time connecting- so if I call you, pick up the phone. If we meet for coffee, or you come over for dinner, the phone is going to be put away so I can be present with you- because you are amazing and many times better than any Buzzfeed listicle.


There. Resolving. Making resolutions. I think I got this. January 1st, I am starting off with spiked hot chocolate topped with full-fat whipped cream, and following it up with a well-placed curse word and some carbs because life is too short and too precious for those silly sorts of resolutions.


Peace and love and extra whipped cream, buttercups. xx