Soul Sparks

 

Joy

 

This month. Hmm.

 

I was going to start this post with dark thoughts. Thoughts about all but giving up on my country. Thoughts about being ashamed of people who’ve chosen to forfeit their moral compasses. Thoughts about the fear of where America is headed. But then I switched gears and read some things on the interwebz, watched a few videos and chose a different mood for myself.

 

Erica Buist had this to say on her insta-account: “Why not just ban guns and when people are upset about it, just send them thoughts and prayers? If ‘thoughts and prayers’ are good enough for people who’ve lost their families then it’s good enough for people who’ve lost their guns.” Ms. Buist has spoken truth to power here. She is also a bad-ass.

 

Scott-Dani Pappalardo posted a video of himself destroying an AR-15 rifle. Not only is Mr. Pappalardo a registered gun owner and proponent of the 2nd amendment, he is also someone possessing decency and common sense.

 

And then there are the kids. God bless the kids! Too many children in this country have been lost to gun violence. Too many survivors have witnessed it up-close. Thank all the gods, the kids are now making their voices heard. On March 24th, there will be an organized show of common-sense, can’t-wait-another-moment support for gun control. The “March For Our Lives” is planned to take place in Washington DC and in cities across the country. (I’ve even read about marches around the globe. Fingers crossed and thanks to those who haven’t given up on us here in the US! We need your support!) As many have pointed out, these young people may be mere teenagers now, but a lot of them will be old enough to vote in 2020. (I’m counting on these kids to register to vote and then to actually do it!) Every single politician who has accepted dirty NRA contributions should be scared as hell. If you look at this single issue, it’s incredibly easy to discern which elected officials are with us and which are against us. At the rate we’re being murdered in this country, there is no time to be wasted when it comes to gun control. And any politician who tries to talk his way out of this one doesn’t deserve another chance.

 

So. This month. I’m hanging in there. I’m trying to grab on to hope, where I can, when I can. It ain’t easy. And I don’t always win my personal battles. Some days I feel nearly broken and struggle to find even a shred of joy. But I still believe there are more decent folks than not. And the spark in my soul is still glimmering. Every little bit of positive momentum helps. Every time someone chooses to be an honorable human, I find myself exhaling into love.

 

We’ve lost a lot here in the States. There may be more pain ahead. More struggle. But I’m not giving up. Nor should you. Those of us who’ve held on to our decency will continue to show up for one another. Personally, I’m looking forward to celebrating my birthday with the “March For Our Lives.” Supporting others whose soul sparks continue to glimmer is going to be an honor. Hope I see you out there.

Breaking

To Whom It May Concern:

 

I am an ordinary person. My ego is average (or at least I like to think so). My intelligence is average as well. I am terribly creative, and I own that. Even though I operate this sporadic blog, I do not over-seek fame or recognition, which I also have to own, as that has often led to the stagnation of my career and ambitions. I share all of this so that it is understood where I’m coming from. I’m just a girl.

 

My country is breaking. It is being destroyed from without and from within, by ugly ignorance and by ugly individuals. All the perpetrators of injury to America are wrong, but our elected officials who choose to damage our country are the worst. There is no excuse for their continued behavior and they should absolutely be held accountable and in certain cases, prosecuted.

 

In 1968, president-elect Nixon committed treason, but his actions were hidden and he was never charged for that crime. (Look it up – dag.) Now, 50 years later, we find ourselves with another treasonous president at the helm. Too many of our elected officials have jettisoned morals, values and reason in exchange for god knows what from this president. Looking at the downward spiral of my country, it would seem we are incapable of learning from our past. I fear we are doomed to make the same if not worse mistakes. I am more than sad and I am also terrified.

 

I am inspired by the Womens March and its efforts. I am inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe in peaceful protest and efforts toward decency. In short, I believe in decency. I actually believe there are more decent people in America than not. But if they’re anything like me, they don’t know what to do right now. They don’t have a clue how to help move the United States away from hate and ignorance, and toward love and kindness. Those words are incredibly simple, I know. But they’re good words. They matter. Or at least they should.

 

On inauguration day in January of 2017, I began wearing a black armband. I did this because I was in mourning for my country. With only a handful of exceptions, I wore it all year. During the last few weeks of 2017, I put the armband aside. I had begun to feel that the act of wearing it was casting a shadow over me. That my mourning was adding to the depression I had felt since the previous presidential election. Depression is hard to carry. It’s dark and it’s unhealthy. If taking off my armband might ease my depression, I was willing to take it off.

 

Now it’s February 2018. The depression hasn’t lifted and I’m quite certain the source is the horribly ugly person occupying the White House, along with the shameful people who choose to do his bidding. The willful ignorance expressed by the most vocal among us is incomprehensible. What’s more, it is un-American to my thinking. So-called party loyalty that outweighs all else deserves no respect. Having lost respect for many people has also added to my depression. Some of those individuals show no signs of willingness to reclaim their decency. That’s heartbreaking.

 

All of this leads me here, to writing you. I don’t know your name. I have likely never met you. But I am asking you to dig deep and lead us. Us – the good, decent people of America. We need guidance, we need a plan. We need someone to show us how to peacefully move our country out of ignorance. We need someone to provide us with practical ideas for action. A yearly march is wonderful. Kneeling during anthems that don’t represent all of us is brave and patriotic. I’m all for these things. But what about every day? How can I show my disdain for this administration while supporting my country’s potential for decency? How do I function in my day-to-day life while making it clear that my moral compass is functioning fully?

 

The armband counts, but I know exactly two people with those, and one of them is me. My mind goes back to the suffragists and their wearing white. I know I could make this choice, but I’d also have to spend money to update my wardrobe. That isn’t exactly practical. I’m asking you to come up with something – anything – that I and others can do to show who we are, to each other and to the world.

 

I know I’m not making a lot of sense here. I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never been an adult during a leadership crisis of this magnitude. I’ve never witnessed such heinous people tearing apart my country. I am at a loss. I can do my part, but I’m not the gal to lead us through and out of this, before it’s too late. I’m hoping, praying, for the right person (or persons) to step forward and guide us. Through love. Through peace. Through integrity.

 

For now, the black armband is coming back. It is still a representation of mourning. But now, for me, it is more. It is a show of my defiance of the chosen hatred of the few. It is a sign of love and respect for the good America can be, even if we’re wandering in the dark right now. I’m going to wear it, even if some don’t like it.

 

So – dear person – I’m waiting for you. I’m hoping for you. I need you. America needs you. The world needs you.

 

Thank you.

 

Mikki

Just a Girl

Hell in a Red, White and Blue Handbasket

 

 

Every day I try to avoid the news. Every day I fail.

 

As all decent, reasonably intelligent folks know, my country is going to hell in a handbasket. The fucktard in chief continues his destructive path, and for the life of me, I don’t know why. I mean, I know his ego is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered. I know he’s nuts. I know he’s probably the stupidest person to ever hold the highest office in the land. And yet I can’t figure out anything resembling motive.

 

Often, when someone tells me about their attempts to engage in a rational exchange with a crazy person, I remind them that you cannot expect rational behavior from an irrational person. And maybe that’s it. I’m looking for rational thought or motivation in someone who is incapable of such action. So I think I’ll stop trying to figure out any of it and simply marvel (sadly) at the state of the nation.

 

As for all this pathetic bullshit and those who have wrought it, you deserve every bit of ridicule and blame heaped upon you. Enjoy hell, bitches. It’s a shame you’re taking good, decent folks down with you.

My Tribe

 

 

So.

 

I haven’t so much as looked at this blog since the morning after the U.S. election. Which sucked, by the way, as my country decided to pursue hate, fear and ignorance. Officially. (Couldn’t you have kept that shit tamped down in your own home, for cry-eye? Did you have to display it right out in the open?) Since that awful election, I’ve been hiding. But I can’t hide from me, or my life. And though I am still mostly refraining from hanging around people, as the depression I carry will likely be with me a while, I do need to be around me. And my tribe.

 

My tribe is comprised of legitimately hopeful souls. They don’t live their lives in fear and they absolutely do not judge anyone for bullshit reasons (think religion, sexuality, skin color). My tribe definitely consists of educated people. But not all of us hold advanced degrees. For example, one outstanding member of my tribe only made it through sixth grade, and I defy anyone who would call her “elite.” My tribe of like-hearted souls do things for others on a regular basis, but you’d never know it, as they aren’t seeking a tax write-off or a plaque for their walls. No – these folks are just decent for the sake of decency. I thank God for them and I love them.

 

The rest of the mo-fos, on the other hand, are most certainly not in my tribe. They are terrified of the world and for some incomprehensible reason, falsehoods are their bread and butter. If it isn’t spewed on Fox news, they don’t believe it. (And when it is spewed by disreputable sources, they believe the bullshit blindly.) They claim to be disciples of Christ, even as their actions surely lead God to weep. They wear hypocrisy like a comfortable, old sweater. And I’ve gotta tell you – that style isn’t doing anybody any favors. Their snide, racist comments are unwelcome and ugly. Their holier-than-thou judgment of anyone different is just plain ignorant. And frankly, to put all this in terms they can understand, ugly is as ugly does. Their ugly behavior is aging them, and not in an attractive way.

 

Because I haven’t been able to snap out of the dark abyss I’ve fallen into (since the election), I’ve been turning to trusted writers and sages, trying to glean some wisdom or a bit of guidance. A few have mentioned drinking more (which I’m doing, thank-you-very-much) and some have mentioned the wisdom of those who’ve gone before. Which brings me to back to Jesus. I don’t give a rat’s ass about political party affiliations, but I’m pretty damned sure that if Jesus hitched a ride to America, he would not be hanging with conservatives. Because let’s be honest, there isn’t a damned Republican who’d invite him in, as he would probably look like an umkempt hippy. Let’s also not forget that Jesus was a Jew, and probably had olive skin and dark eyes, you judgmental crackers. And if Jesus had the audacity to speak of helping others and giving for Christ-sake, he’d be beaten up by a Drumpf supporter before he could show his ID. I bet that if Jesus had the gift of hind-sight, he’d ask for a holy do-over. I mean it. I can see it – Jesus saying, “I know I said all that stuff about turning the other cheek and loving thy neighbor as thyself, blah-blah-blah, but I’m pretty sure that if I don’t keep an eye on you, you motherfuckers are gonna crucify me. So I’m gonna head on out with my posse, turn some water into sweet-ass wine and call it a day. Take it sleazy. Christ out.” I am, as you might imagine, not an authority on all things Jesus. But he was supposed to be a pretty cool dude, so I stand by this idea. And even though I’m not on team Christian, I’m also pretty sure Jesus is down with my views on this. Or at the very least, entertained.

 

I don’t know what to tell ya. As grateful as I am for my tribe, I still have to live with the rest of the country. Hell – I’m related to a lot of the rest. And the truth is – I just don’t have a lot in common with the rest. I don’t believe in rounding up immigrants. I know who harvests and processes my food, and as I like to eat, I appreciate the immigrants who do the shit jobs in America. The ones who wash dishes. The ones working in awful conditions at the meat-packing plants. I don’t believe in some bullshit about certain rights being reserved for only some. I have gay relatives and friends. Of course they should be able to marry, or rent an apartment, or get a damned job. I don’t believe racism is an option. I have relatives and friends of every skin color. Judging people based on ethnicity doesn’t make them any less human. But it does make the ones doing the judging look like ignorant assholes. Because they are. And don’t even get me started on sexual assault and women’s rights, because I am seriously on the verge of breaking my foot off up in someone’s ass the next time some old white dude tries to tell me anything about my body. You motherfuckers.

 

Which brings me to this: it may be time for us to part ways. You may be terribly offended by some or all of what I’ve written here. That is your right and I respect that. (It’s America, remember? You get to choose.) So please – unsubscribe. Forget you ever knew me. We simply may not be members of the same tribe. Go hang with cohorts who share your views. Live your life. Over there.

 

I’ll be over here, with my tribe. We’re a busy group. We’ve got homeless to feed and shelter. We’re taking care of women who’ve escaped abusive relationships. We’re trying to make sure poor children get basic medical care. We’re teaching English to eager newcomers. We’re building houses for folks whose best hasn’t quite afforded them the opportunity of their own homes. We’re trying to stop bullying in schools, even though it has been stationed in the highest office of the land. My tribe is a good group. Just thinking about them brings me calmness and strength. And gratitude, as they are truly the best this country has to offer.

 

So yes – please unsubscribe if you’d like. Please. Tell yourself you’re not a racist, even as you forward ugly, obnoxious memes. Tell yourself you’re a good, loving parent, even as you stand up for a sexual predator. Tell yourself you’re a good person who supports folks with disabilities, even as you stand up for a bully who openly mocks the disabled. Tell yourself you’re a worthy, humane being, even as you shelve your basic morals and ethics to stand up for and support a terribly indecent person. Tell yourself whatever you need to so that you can sleep at night. And unsubscribe.

 

For the rest of you choosing to stay? My tribe? I’m back, y’all. And the gloves are off.

A Sad Day

 

 

I am devastated. Truly.

 

My country may recover, some day, but for now, it is more broken than ever. My fellow citizens have aligned their values with lying, sexism, bullying, racism and a host of other less-than-decent behaviors. Our presidential election is not only embarrassing, it is also shameful. And make no mistake – if you voted for Trump, your actions have absolutely aligned your values with his behavior. You’re kidding yourself if you believe otherwise.

 

I have blogged every day for a few years. Through illness and injury, through depression and struggles. But I’m gonna step away for a while. I’ve lost my footing. And my faith. I don’t know when I’ll be steady again. Or how to get there. I really don’t. Trying to find the art in life seems futile now. And I don’t have it in me to pretend, to act and write as if all is well. Because this particular darkness is unknown territory, I also don’t know when I’ll be ready to come back to these missives. I need time. Maybe a lot of it.

 

Yes – America may recover, some day, but for now, she is more broken than ever.

 

I am devastated. Truly.

Sink or Swim

 

 

It’s election day in America. Pray for us.

One More Day

 

 

I wish I was more positive about where my country has found itself. I wish I had more faith. But I’m not positive and faith is hard to come by. People I love have decided it’s okay to be openly racist or sexist. Some have decided ignorance is a worthy choice. After a ridiculous amount of time dedicated to tomorrow’s election, I’m heartbroken and tired.

 

I’m not nearly eloquent or well-spoken enough to verbalize a lot of my frustration and distress. So I’m going to let someone else do it for me. This Huffington Post piece, while completely outside my personal experience, is right on. The end of the piece is brilliant. Friends and loved ones will never ever follow through with the author’s wishes, but it’s brilliant just the same.

 

One more day.

 

 

Tears in My Beer

 

 

Here in America, we have this little election thing going on. Monday night found us witnessing something called a presidential debate. As someone with a teensy-eensy bit of organized, scored debate experience, I use the word “debate” loosely, because the rules to which I was trained to adhere were clearly ignored, if not altogether missing.

 

Like a lot of voters, we watched the program in its entirety. We had a friend over, thinking there might be greater positivity in unity. I’m not sure I felt the benefits of that idea, but it did help to have another person in the room. I reined in my swearing – if only a smidge – and I didn’t get up to pace the floor, not even once. I was mighty stressed out, I won’t lie. This shit matters, y’all. It does. Honestly, I don’t expect my stress to abate until we get through the election. And then? But I digress…

 

Now I could go into how heartbroken I am by this entire scene, and how embarrassing this predicament is for my country, but I’m going to let those tears sink in my beer. Instead, I want to share a text exchange betwixt Mister and a buddy that happened immediately following the debate. That friend really captured the essence of The Human Cheeto’s non-substantive words:

 

Friend: How are you feeling now?…

Mister: Pretty damn good… I just allowed myself to have a celebratory cookie…

Friend: Was it a cookie from Chicago? Because I have some properties there, I love Chicago. But Chicago is ~ it’s like this: Hillary started the cookie birther argument. I forced the cookie to produce its birth certificate, of which I’m very proud, by the way, and now, like in North Carolina, where I own some businesses by the way, businesses which are probably almost completely legitimate tax free endeavors because I was merely using the laws of this country, and we have got to get cookies out of the hands of cyber!

 

Yep. That pretty much sums it up. It’s good to laugh about it. It is. But it’s still heartbreaking.

 

I don’t think I can possibly drink enough beer to drown my tears.

 

Grave New World

 

 

So this is our life now. This is what we’ll see before going to bed at night and what we’ll read first thing in the morning.

 

The past week’s various shootings across America have left me feeling like a 4-year old. I don’t understand much of anything. My safety is in the hands of others (who may or may not be able to provide it). Any knowledge I’ve gleaned from my short time on this planet is mostly useless. At the same time, I feel ancient. My body and mind are too tired to keep going in a world that refuses to learn. The ignorance and fear of my countrymen is heartbreaking. I’ve seen this all before and cannot understand why we’ve not yet chosen change.

 

And yet we continue down our road of ignorance and hate. We indoctrinate our children by openly discussing our fear-rooted racism at the dinner table. We use slurs in the presence of impressionable teens. We buy more and more weapons and espouse our rights in doing so. We think it’s okay to walk onto a college campus with a gun thrown over our shoulder. In short, we are fools.

 

So this is our life now. I daresay our situation is dire, our world grave. If we choose to watch the evening news before going to bed, we will likely see reports of yet another senseless killing. If we elect to read the papers after we wake, we’ll read much of the same. It is pitiful and pathetic. And I will never understand it.

240

 

 

Today is America’s birthday. She’s 240 years old. But I swear, she doesn’t look a day over 200.

 

Mister and I may catch some fireworks. We may fire up the grill. No big plans, just big fun. Not sure if that would fall in line with the intentions of the founding fathers, but those dudes were crazy. So who knows?

 

Hope your day is big fun, too.