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Ramblings…

So I have a new non-fiction book (well, fiction if you consider that the topic is about fake news and smear campaigns) that I seem to not shut up about. I love reading stuff that is a bit off the wall but grounded in analysis – maybe that’s the Sherlock Holmes wanna be in me that gets stoked. At any rate, The Smear, by Sharyl Attkinsson (sp?) is my latest reading binge. It’s taking me away from Turn: George Washington’s spys on Netflix.

I’m ranking it up there with Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches by Marvin Harris. Mainly because I love perspectives that make me rethink how I look at things, as well as possibly gain an insight that I tend to miss being an anti-social hermit.

The main reason I’m devouring it has more to do with what I’ve been seeing on my FB feed and the various stories propigated by friends and acquainences. It also lends an interesting perspective to the fallout I’m seeing from the recent Gillette commercial addressing “toxic” masculinity and the debate that has been sparked. I followed the rabbit hole and read through the comments on the YouTube post, and if you can’t tell the majority of the comments are the same, or just slight modifications of the same post.

It half makes me wonder what would happen if all of us ceased posting, what would the bots and the humans paid to write the reviews come up with, if all of us just didn’t pay attention to it. It really reads like those article transcripts of people who set up a couple of AIs and let them talk to each other. The only difference is that AIs will debate, argue, and discuss their subjects. These things just regugitate a single talking point.

It half reads like a modernized theatrical production based off Huxley’s Brave New World with some Fahrenheit 451. The only difference is that we’re living it, instead of reading and discussing it in our Senior year lit class in HS.

On being a slacker…

Hallo dear readers,

I’ve been a slacker. Well, not really, but in regards to writing I have been. I’ve made putting out fires my priority over tending to my own monkeys. For that I apologize. I’m putting this out there as a way to give myself some accountability. Every Wednesday or Thursday I’m going to write out a brain dump that hopefully will turn into something a little more intentional and planned out.

I’m starting with my personal blog and hopefully that will morph over to my business blog (nope, not gonna connect it. If you’re that interested consider this a game of hide ‘n seek of the over-worked adult variety). I have no clue what will come out of my head but if you read through my former LJ, you’ll see that it ran the gamut. From overly deep and TMI introspection (my former partner and I had many an argument over my method of sharing) to rain glazed highway shallowness.

But I am at an age where a lot of what you’ll see there has somewhat been mastered in a way that it’s not a written process anymore. Sure, there are still interpersonal relationship issues that I deal with and will probably process here, but most of those deal with the fact that I am anti-social and highly introverted to the point where I should have a psychologist to talk to instead of blog. But hey, here we are and it’s functional. On top of that, I don’t have to worry about my usual issue of not being heard because I don’t look at my analytics. 😀

So, at any rate…welcome to my attic – where all the skeletons are hidden.

New year, new….?

So I’ve closed out this last secular year. I look back and find that I have failed at my desire to begin writing more. That was the whole point of opening my journal back up and creating this space, separate from my past. So I’m making a point to recommit to it by setting aside time each week, even if it’s just a brain dump.

The last remaining threads of a past chapter disintegrated in the past year. Last Christmas eve, I spent the day holding onto the first furbaby that I chose, in absence of the failed partnership that brought me her sister and brother, as she slipped across the veil. She was preceded 2 years before by her older sister, and this Samhuinn her slightly younger brother joined her. 23/24 years of my life between the 3 of them. The pain was so great that I just kept quiet, preferring to grieve in my own time in my own silence. Only one person, out of all of my close friends, reached out to me to express her condolences. The rest chose to extend them to my partner on his FB page.

I tell this tale because it was an eye opener for me. In fact, most of this year has been one. I’ve always been the “outsider”, the person that kinda wafts between groups, cliques, friends. Rarely having that bond that some claim is a “BFF”, though, oddly enough the few people I can look to and see that bond share a birthday with me. It’s sparked a conversation between me and my parents, especially a few months ago when I was at the deepest point, traversing the staircase that takes me to my psychological basement. A connection that I’ve never had with either of them and a connection that has led my mom and I closer, as we’ve finally found that thread that connects us past our DNA.

I have had bright spots. The brightest being the connections I’ve made professionally and somewhat in the activist world. My professional connections are what is going to make this next year interesting. A new direction in my career, which I hope see blossom in the coming months. Goals have been set, plans are being put onto paper and courses set.

Activist-wise, I’ve always leaned towards the greatest freedom. I grew up in rural areas, surrounded by remnants and spirit of the original caretakers of this land. I’ve always felt connected to them in some way, even though my beliefs are a follow up to those of my pre-Christian European ancestors. The land, the sea, and the sky are the threads that connect those ancestors to the ancestors of the land I live upon. The last few years I’ve had a wrenching in my heart about something that has been long in coming. This year, that knot has slowly been unravelling as I watched the nations that inhabit North Dakota and the surrounding areas stand up to a gov’t that has long reneged on its treaties and promises. I watched as more and more indigenous voices rose and claimed a right that has long been theirs, but has been shouted down because the wounds of others are more recent and viewed as more raw. I’ve watched as they, and those with more recent wounds have been heard. I view myself as privileged to have made acquaintance with these voices and been witness to their strength in rising. And privileged in being able to support these people with such inherent greatness.

While this last year has obviously had some overwhelming dark spots. My ability to be “a watcher” has helped me take a different tack from most of what I see in the news. Yes, my country stands teetering on the precipice that many nations have faced in modern times. And which direction we will ultimately fall on remains to be seen. But if we are truly in an era of a great unraveling, then what better way to unravel than through the actions of the jester, the machinations puppet of a trickster god? In most tales, and philosophies for that matter, one cannot truly move forward until one unloads the baggage of the past. And if this is how we dump that suitcase and deal with all the horrors that we’ve created for ourselves and leech the wounds that have been inflicted, so that they can really heal, then I can be okay with that. But it requires us to work toward healing – which, unfortunately, it’s obvious that for some healing is a continuance of the illness that got us here in the first place. But I have hope.

Ghost in the shell…

Not the wonderful anime, unfortunately.

When people talk about depression, which is good, they often just talk. Least, that’s how I see it when dealing with my own. It’s why I don’t talk about it much. But I’m going to here…

The title is how I feel walking around most days. I’m invisible when I’m in low tide. Unfortunately, it gives me the opportunity to wallow in what I view of my failures and overwhelming short-comings. I know, in my rational mind, that it’s a perception and it’s not really true. There’s a portion where I manifest my own destiny through that unconscious thought patterns, but as far as Brene Brown’s definitions I honestly don’t feel like I belong anywhere.

The interesting thing, is that I actually opened up to my parents today. Turns out, my mom has felt the same way most of her life. Lots of people can point to us and say that they know us, but honestly, I can’t say that I’ve had a best friend since college. I have close friends and my husband is the only person I can point to and say I have a best friend. But outside of that, I don’t have people I shop with, go hiking with, explore stuff like this with – except strangers. It’s easier to open up to an anonymous group of strangers than it is to people I consider friends.

I’ve gotten away from it. Why? Well, because according to one person in my past – who also filled the position of “best friend” – I wore my heart on my sleeve and he took it upon himself to “fix” me. Which goes back to Brown’s idea of belonging. I appreciated the definition that she was able to stumble upon in her interviews that describe it as being accepted into a group without having to change a single thing about yourself. I guess that’s what the more fluffy side of the yoga community describes as “finding your tribe”.

But I can definitely describe myself as being lonely. The only time I truly don’t feel that way is when I’m out in the woods – alone. I think that’s why Hesse’s poetry always resonated with me.

Seltzam im Nebel zu wandern
Einsam ist allein.
Aber einsam ist nicht allein.

My dad says it’s not a bad thing, as long as I’m not purposely isolating myself – with my squirrels. But honestly, my squirrels and my cats seem to understand me better.

Art imitates life, which imitates art…

On a plane to Paris, and I manage to pull up 12 Years a Slave. Thanks to my parents, I’ve always been one to seek out the art that pulls some type of emotion out of me. Stirs my thoughts in ways that my environment might otherwise not let me explore.

There was a point, where Fassbender’s character has a conversation with Pitt’s character, about how there will come a day where there will be a reckoning. It echo’s me back to Lee’s White Man’s Burden, where the societal rolls are flipped in order to explore the human experience.

That brings me to our current events, in the States, where I do believe we are on the precipice of a reckoning. First Nations are no longer relegated to the “out of mind” position that the reservation system sought to contain. Voices are now being heard, that should be heard. They’ve been drowned out by the arrogance of those who think they know best. And now, those who have consistently been trampled upon and shouted down have the opportunity to rise.

But…and there’s a big one…we run the risk of just letting the pendulum swing back the other way instead of stopping it in its tracks. So the choice is ours, all of ours. Will we return the favour and punish all for the sins our predecessors committed, or will we – as T’Challa found – find a better way forward for all by recognizing the failures of those who came before us and recognizing that we are not them. We are better. We can be better. We can listen to each other, learn from each other, and grow into a better society.

The phoenix must be consumed by its fires before it can be reborn, renewed. All of our myths talk of this. And now, we must be part of it, without letting the chaos consume us and burn us with its hatred.

Grab your humanity!!!!

So I’ve been watching, because I do that kind of thing, and the one thing that I’m noticing about a good chunk of the discussion is the lack of humanity. This primarily came up because there’s a bullet that likes to remind me that I dodged it. Every time I listen to this person open their “mouth” I find the absolute loss of empathy and humanity coming out of it. There’s an extent to which it saddens me, but that’s not my responsibility nor did I dig the hole that keeps getting deeper.

Then I reflect to the grander picture. Our society is a very, very fine balance; as any society is. Law attempts to be humane but there comes a point where Lady Justice has to put her blindfold on and decide based on what we’ve decided, as a society, is guilt or innocence. Being on either end of that spectrum doesn’t determine the presence or absence of humanity, but how we dole out the consequences does.

In our current climate we’ve subsisted on soundbites and half stories for decades, which for the folks my age was the whole premise behind Reality Bites. We love the tidbits, we love filling in the gaps and making new stories out of them, but we really hate having to own up to the fact that we jumped the gun. This leads us to the whole false narrative issues we’re starting to see play out in our media. Our need for “right now” not “wait and see”.

This is where I’m going to tell you – grab your fucking humanity. Put yourself in a mental situation that doesn’t include whatever bubble you were cushioned by growing up. Consider it a thought project safe space, if you need those. Imagine being in a situation that many people these days are finding themselves in – in our multi-ethnic society – that seeks a specific individuality that is based on a specific group ideal. How and what would you do in that situation? Do you have all the facts? Could you truly make a decision based on what you do know?

Our human experiences are all different. We may not be able to know exactly how someone else feels based on our individual environments, but we can relate and we can imagine to try and find that point. It really isn’t that difficult. It’s just easier to default to hate because it doesn’t require any real rational thought or discussion. When we do that, and when we approach from that direction – that is where we find the points we can make a change for the better. And I would really like to see us do better.

Evolution…

Things have been getting pretty hectic here since the beginning of the year. But in a good way. It’s been giving me time to reconnect with my roots, clear out the old junk that has been holding me back from jumping off the cliff, and make room for all the really awesome stuff that has been percolating in the background.

It’s been a good clearing, as I’m finding the ideas that I’ve been waiting for are finally starting to bubble to the surface. How I want the back yard to look, what I want the house to look like, what my office should be and finally….what my job will be! That part is the most exciting, because it finally allows me to bring every thing I do in life together into this one little bundle.

I’ve always known that I’m that person who will always be a step behind, but it’s never really bothered me that much because I’ve found that I always arrive when I need to do so. Guess that makes me a little wizard in the Tolkien vein. 😀

As things progress, I might talk about it more here, even though I do want to keep things a bit separate. Maybe I’ll hit a stride where I finally don’t care again and can fully open up. But it’s hard to explain how awesome it is, when that part that you thought was dead inside – buried in thick concrete and hidden for all time – to crackle back to life. To hear the muse that you had pushed aside, to become something that someone else wanted you to be, to forgive you enough and trust enough that she’d begin talking to you. And to finally hear the gods of old start to sing their songs with you. The awakening that we all search for, cry out for, and seek every single day.

But then begin to realize that it’s a process of a lot of small circumstances and details that add up.