Sunday, July 30, 2017

Peace



This meditative piece on the value of sleep and silence struck a spiritual chord for me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Obituaries For The Ladies



I laughed out loud at these imagined obituaries for a daughter living on the Left Coast and teenaged girls in general.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Guidelines


In approaching parenting, Evan and I are trying for a light touch: aiming to honor the maxim "rules are for fools" while developing some reference points for ourselves as we navigate this new terrain. 

Here is what we've come up with so far...

no fetal alcohol syndrome

The idea is to listen to my body and side step our culture's should/should not stress around pregnancy while using common sense to avoid big consequences. Eat healthy more often than not. Exercise more often than not. Those two seem reasonable. The hardest part for me thus far has been staying hydrated.

no parent left behind

Neither of us want to make a go of this adventure alone. So I will try not to die in childbirth and pay more attention behind the wheel while Evan applies newly conservative risk management in the wilds, walking rapids he might otherwise have run. 

parent like it's 40,000 BC

What were the basics back then? Raise kids outside and in community. Be active and rest. Give children a functional role in the tribe. Over the span of human history, most parents got by without Baby Bjorn and Sophie the Giraffe so we probably can too.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Pick Me Ups


Thank you, Lander, for pulling me out of my self-absorbed, stressed-out funk and reminding me of the magic afoot in this world...


This photo, taken by a friend, captures the beauty of the 4th here. So much to be grateful for. 

The Indian relay at the rodeo was a neck-and-neck race with no injuries. Pink tassels flew as my favorite rider vaulted off his horse. Manes and tails streamed down the straight aways. 

Biking through the acrid haze of explosives into the Deep North. Arriving to a giddy recital of the evening's highlight reel: a bottle rocket-powered skateboard ride, hitting a cop car with a screamer by accident. A nimbus of spent firecracker debris around the wooden stump serving as launch pad.

Teresa decked out in red, as she always is, selling raffle tickets. Others in jorts and face paint. Water arching high overhead on Main Street.   


The youth panel at the fourth annual Pride Picnic awed me with their courage, eloquence, and candor. The unprompted shout-outs to our local librarians for creating safe space? These beautiful leaders make my heart glad.


I have never been able to capture Lander's Yard Sale Tree properly in a photo. Throughout the dog days of summer these cardboard boxes guide dedicated trawlers on their rounds. A simple and effective system whereby nothing lasts long on the curb. The robust network of hand-me-downs for kiddos and resources for parents is a marvel as well. Reuse at its finest, giving and supporting new life.


It's all about the universal power of creative endeavor and connection to lift the human spirit. Outlander episodes in the Rumpus Room.  

How lucky are we? 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Respecting Boundaries



I really appreciate these thoughts on how to teach a child about consent.

The recent #MeToo movement is a response to allegations of sexual predation leveled at men in positions of power across America.

Two of my loved ones have inspired me with their leadership in this conversation:

#MeToo
I'm slow to jump on this train - it's taken me a week to formulate what I want to say. I fear repercussion.
I was raped, sexually harassed, felt up and unwantedly kissed by a number of young men before I turned 18. The boys who did this to me are men in their 40's now. As Facebook floods with stories of sexual assault survivors, I'm thinking about you, the men who harmed me when you were teenagers. How do you feel seeing the #MeToo posts explode on social media?
I imagine some of you might have kids now. Maybe you have daughters you desperately want to protect. Who of you is brave enough to say, “I raped before I knew what consent was”? Who will create the hashtag #isexuallyassaultedandi'msorry?
Similar to the global discussion sparked a couple years ago when two Canadian journalists created the hashtag #beenrapedneverreported, the #MeToo phenomenon means women have to go back into our archives. We are reliving shame and pain and being brave on social media.
But sexual assault and rape can not change without you men. Your conversation about the shameful things you did when you were boys (or yesterday or last year) is what changes things. I will never report you, I don't even remember most of your names. But I want you to talk to each other about what you did.
Instead of women digging into the layers of shame to expose ourselves, what if you men got brave? Could you come forward and say “I stuck my fingers in a girl’s crotch when I was thirteen; She was asleep and I am ashamed”? I somehow can't believe that of the men who hurt me, no one is capable of this.
It has taken generations for white folks to risk saying "I hold racist beliefs" or "I have caused harm to people of color through my words and actions." White culture is slowly grappling with our responsibility for racist systems and our racist conditioning. We are nowhere close to done in this work. The times I have opened myself to the shame of my racist actions towards people of color and named it, however queasy it makes me feel, moves me forward. As white folk we can't afford not to do this.
As far as I can tell, for men, the dialogue is clear. Good men don’t rape, and they speak out against the men that do. The men who harmed can’t talk about what they might have done. My story is common. There are just as many men with shameful stories as women sharing #MeToo. Until men recognize their own subtle, shameful acts, and remove the silence of their shame, rape culture will not go away.
This is not an attack on you men who were once curious boys experimenting with sex and causing harm. No one taught you how to be a man who does not hurt women, sexually assault or rape. You have a chance to be that teacher now. Tell your sons “I raped, and I didn’t know what I was doing was rape.” Talk to other men about your memories of sticking your hands down the pants of a drunk girl passed out at a party. The damage you did to me also harmed you. Don’t wait for me, or another woman to name you. Come forward now. Share your shame with us. Lead the movement to teach your sons and brothers about sexual violence. I don’t hold a grudge against you, but I do ask you for this one thing. I recognize it's not easy what I ask.
I'm raising a son. He's a baby now but as he grows I want him to hear from you. I want men to tell him about how men can harm women (and other men and boys). I want men to show him how men heal from their harm.
Which brave man will start this conversation? Who of you can say #i’m sorry?