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.

Los Angeles Women’s March 2018

 

Womens March 2018 - Still Protesting

 

The day after our ridiculously inept, single-party-led government failed to keep the lights on (way to go, fuck-sticks), I and 600,000 of my tribe got together in downtown Los Angeles for a march. We numbered about 150,000 fewer than last year’s march, but we still felt mighty. And so we were.

 

Womens March 2018 - 5 Girls on the Subway

 

Mister and I again took the subway down for this year’s march. But unlike last year, we started early. We did this because it was a flippin’ nightmare boarding a too-crowded train last year, and we wanted to maybe not be all up in someone’s breathing space during the hella-rough flu season we’re having. And, we wanted to relax. The early departure worked. We were comfortable and even met these 5 lovely teens, with their awesome signs. A couple of them are on the verge of voting status. I’m counting on them to show up at the polls in November.

 

Womens March 2018 - Breakfast of Champions

 

Since we arrived downtown with time to spare, Mister and I headed over to Grand Central Market for some breakfast. And some beer. Because, you know, we’re grown. Then we moseyed toward the designated gathering area.

 

Womens March 2018 - DTLA

 

Without meaning to, we found ourselves immobile in just about the same spot as last year, near the march’s starting place in Pershing Square. I had a brief moment when the immense crowd began to overwhelm me, but I looked up at the sky and tried to dig deep. I pulled myself together, toughed it out and stayed strong. A dude nearby wasn’t so lucky. He had an anxiety attack and hit the bricks. Nearby folks did all they could for him, and he seemed to be coming around after a while. Once the crowd started moving toward City Hall, the guy looked much better.

 

Womens March 2018 - Wild Feminist

 

Like last year, the mood was peaceful. Some signs were funny. Some were terribly sad in their honesty. The crowd was mostly female, but all comers were welcomed and plenty of males attended. I was happy to see so many fathers there with their young daughters.

 

Womens March 2018 - A Patriotic Pink Panther

 

After morning turned to afternoon, Mister and I did something we did not manage last year: we met up with friends. And it was lovely. Then we all made our way to our respective homes and collapsed. Well – that’s what Mister and I did anyway.

 

Women March 2018 - Vaginas Will Vote You Out

 

Only after we got home did we hear our numbers. Only then did we hear that, like last year, no arrests were reported. It had been peaceful. It had been powerful. It had been inspirational. I and my tribe will be focusing on getting out the vote during the coming year. We’re so completely over the racists and the sexists and the bullies and the liars and the cheaters and the predators and every other ugly asshole out there. I heard Samantha Bee say something about how women are like elephants in that we never forget. She’s right. We don’t. We won’t. And we are absolutely pissed off. We’re also more hopeful than ever before, and more committed to bringing about change than the assholes can even imagine. I would say to the incompetent prigs running for re-election “you’ve been warned,” but they’re too superior to listen.

 

Womens March 2018 - Womb Tang Clan

 

Those November mid-terms… Can’t hardly wait.

 

Womens March 2018 - Dog in a Pussy Hat

Election Day!

 

 

Okay, America. Time for us to exercise our voting privileges.

 

I studied my voter guide (and other resources) this weekend and will be making my way to my designated polling place. If you are a registered voter (and if you’re 18 or older, please tell me you are), I hope you’ll be getting your butt to your polling place as well.

 

The world is crazy, y’all. I avoid the news and I’m still painfully aware of this fact. And in a whole lot of the crazy places, people aren’t allowed to express choice. Here in the U-S-of-A, we are free to friggin’ vote. Please do so. If only for all those who can’t.

 

End of sermon.

Civics (And I Ain’t Talking Cars…)

 

 

When I was in 8th grade, I was required (along with all the other people in my grade) to take a civics class. Other than learning the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution (which I’d already memorized from Saturday mornings on “School House Rock”), I don’t recall a damned thing from that class.

 

Well, that’s almost true. I remember the old coot who taught us was an out and out racist. How do I know this? On the first day of class, he proceeded to give us seating assignments. That shouldn’t have been a big deal, as a lot of teachers assigned seats. But as the old man moved us about the room, we kids started looking around in an attempt to understand his methodology. Once he had finished his task, we all took one final gander and saw quite clearly that our jack-ass of a teacher had segregated our civics class. Both sides of the room knew, and we all just looked at each other incredulously. I mean, really.

 

 

I don’t know why I’m remembering that now, but I do know that here in America, it’s election day. And I’ve learned far more about civics and government as an adult than I ever learned as a kid. Things like how when our country was founded, only white men who owned land (or possessed taxable wealth) were allowed to vote. Or how non-white men were finally allowed to vote in 1870 (though women and Native Americans were still screwed until 1920 and 1924 respectively). And how in 1971, the age of voting eligibility was federally set at 18 years. This was done in response to soldiers being sent to Vietnam at such a tender age. They were old enough to fight, but not to vote.

 

Maybe old Cootie Cooterson did cover some of this in that 8th grade civics class. I can’t say for sure. I only know I’m grateful my classmates and I were open-minded enough to look around that room and know that the one adult in attendance was wrong. In fact, he was the most ignorant, childish one there.

 

 

If you live in America and are registered, please vote today. It’s an amazing privilege, and we are truly blessed to know such an honor.

 

Class dismissed.

“Where You Been, Mister?”

 

This month’s free download is “Where You Been, Mister?” (Share it wiff yo friends!)

 

 

Here’s the deal: this is a song I wrote with the amazing Mr. Brad Swanson. He’s a musical dynamo and I’m beyond proud to call him my friend. I wish I could tell you more about it, but the truth is, it was just something we were trying to accomplish. In the end, we succeeded. I like the song, but really, how boring is that story?

 

Otherwise, it’s November. On the surface, that may seem insignificant. But dig a little and it’s super-exciting. Here in America, there’s voting and Thanksgiving. On the one hand, I get to practice being a citizen of democracy. On the other hand, I get to pass out from over-turkey-ing. What’s not to love about this month?

 

(On another hand – for those of us with 3 hands – there’s the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I won’t pretend to know what any of that must feel like, for I truly cannot imagine. I can only send prayers to those in need. And be grateful my friend Winfield is safe as she rides out the recovery. I hope her power is restored soon!)

 

Anyhoo… Seriously, I love November. I may be failing to express my devotion, but this month is tops for me. And I encourage you to dig in to this month of civics, gratitude and autumn. And really, if we’re alive and at all well, aren’t we blessed – in one way or another? Yes. Yes, we are.