Archive for the ‘commentary’ Category

I made this video today, based on actual conversations over the years.


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There are certain aspects of Quakerism that I work on interpreting and embracing. One is the low- or no-key way holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the like are handled. No one day is more important, special, or holy than another. God should be honored all the time. You love your spouse even on days you did not marry your spouse. Things like that.

So today, I am not observing the loss of life years ago, any more than I do any other day. The people that died that day were loved every day. They are missed each day too. Saving up for a loss, on just special days, doesn’t acknowledge those holes that happen during the rest of the year. When you miss breakfast on Sundays. Skiing in the winter. The way they said goodnight. The loss was a tragic loss no matter when they died. Loss hurts, missing someone hurts. It is a wound on any day afterwards, and on any day you suffered the loss of a loved one.

People who died on the tenth, or the twelfth, from whatever cause are missed. Sudden ones are jarring, especially the young for so many. But as time goes on, it’s simply a void in your heart and your life. Way of death doesn’t change that. The lack of closure would be especially hard, but I think it is important for those who did not get closure (from any loss) to seek it out. Honor the memory and not the loss. Have their memories fill that void, ease that pain, soothe that heartache.

I also do not mourn the loss of buildings, ‘way of life’ as a whole (although of course my beliefs do feel strongly about how things are and should be), planes. They’re symbols for a tragic event. And it isn’t as if there is no sacred ground; rather, all ground is sacred. All ground is reverent. To me, if I were to think of sacred spaces to remind me of loved ones, places like the beach, the ocean, certain parks and the like would come to mind. Now, I understand the loss, in that I did feel like so many memories (I worked there for some time) just went away. I remember how hard it was to look in that direction for the longest time. I do understand it, but actively work to remember they were buildings. Buildings filled with people, and that’s what matters the most. What is or isn’t built there does not matter. The subways those people rode, the homes they lived in, the places they hung out were all parts of their lives and important. There is more to them than their deaths.

And it’s been reduced to that, hasn’t it? Some do miss people, but mostly it’s been an exercise in how many times you can say “never forget” (co-opted from Holocaust survivors), cover yourself in a flag, and beat your breast? And just once a year? When will it become a day of sales at department stores, and a day off from school? Will people have cookouts and decorate their homes? Will there be parades? Maybe a “very special episode” of your favorite TV show?

It’s losing meaning without effort, but not in the way I am trying. I am trying to put the day aside by making the days around it matter, by making every day important and holy. The other way of doing it is by making the day meaningless and mundane by focusing on the decorations, the buildings, the grounds, the politics, the religion, the spin. If you do observe it, which I respect and understand and may again one day, then it should be for the people lost in such a heartbreakingly tragic way. Including those first responders and rescuers and workers who are dying NOW because of it.

I have my own personal heartaches because of this day, and I found for me that setting it aside and going ahead is the only way to have light come of it. It was a dark and bleak and evil day. Bringing light to it is healing, to me. Making it positive, and doing positive works and thoughts will fight that darkness.

I do hold everyone hurting today in the light. I do that every day I can. It’s my part to eliminate all that is bad, wicked, evil, painful in the world. Bringing about good to get rid of the bad. The healthiest way to heal us all.

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I posted this on Facebook after watching my wall explode with opinions all over the place, very heated. Just wanted my opinion out there. This just happens to be a day that my husband is working on the Memorial downtown. I want to say that when we took my kids down there once when he was working on another site down there, fixing it, rebuilding one of the damaged buildings not too long after 9/11. My son was a bit concerned, because what was happening, what was that big hole in the ground? I told him what happened that people like his dad were rebuilding it, and making things better. I pointed to the workers on the building, fixing it, making it whole again.

So here’s what I had to say on FB:

I am somewhat bemused that as Facebook is exploding with Muslim Mosque hysteria, my husband is at this moment building the memorial to the victims of 9/11. Put your money where your mouth is, and help REBUILD our nation, instead of tearing each other down. I think his actually being in the dirt and heat and sweating does more honor to the victims and our nation than whining about a building expanding blocks away. Ask why the site is STILL not finished. Where is the glory? The honor? Instead, there are squabbles like filthy animals in the muck. Is THAT the America you want to be?

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Feminism and Shame

Today, some people were discussing a feminist version of Cinderella. Pretty cool! There was talk about Cinderella saving the Prince instead of the other way around, which was just great. And then the old refrain cried out about why does she even NEED a prince?

Why does anyone need anyone? And why is it so important for some feminists to hide so many feminine things? All women are different, but it seems that to be a feminist, you need to not be feminine. Why should we cheer on the female soldier, but scorn the stay at home mother?

Why are we ashamed of feminine traits? If we put that out there as the feminist message, then aren’t we saying that those traits are weak, shameful, undesirable? Why is loving someone, nurturing, cooking, looking ‘pretty’, liking the arts, negative? For starters, they are not female only traits, but to say they are negative is just another way to devalue not just women, but women’s work.

Sure, I want equal pay for equal work. It’s a matter of human rights, a moral issue. But I also think that we need to place a greater value on “women’s work”, such as teaching, nursing, administrative work. We need to respect the work that those who do not have a paying job spend their time on every day. We’re volunteering at the schools your children go to. We’re raising money for the organizations you support. We’re running households, our own small businesses in many respects. How is that not as feminist as working as a lawyer or doctor? (Let’s hear them say “truck driver” — no, females should only aspire for men’s white collar jobs, not blue collar ones, another issue entirely.)

If we start by devaluing some traits that many women share, scorning them, rejecting them, then we are rejecting not just our sisters, but ourselves. We’re saying women are not as valuable as men. We’re saying women should be men to be equal. I say we should elevate women, not try to suppress the ones that don’t hold up to some sort of male standard of behavior. I am not ashamed of being a woman, and still believe in equal rights for women, which is what feminism is. You can be different and equal. You can be yourself AND still be important, equal, valued. That’s how it should be.

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World View

So, people complain if you see something from a feminist viewpoint. Or a Pagan one. Or a homosexual one. Or an Asian one. Or a disabled one. That oh, you see things filtered through your ‘issue’, as it were.

That’s because people don’t realize that the default view is usually white male, and probably Christian. So why can’t we say that? Why can’t we say that oh, you filter everything through a white male point of view? Why is that one the ok, the gold standard, the one all other points of view should be held up against? Why is that POV the valid one and all the others suspect?

Do I even have to answer those questions?

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Don’t confuse being busy with being stressed.

Being busy is just another way to acknowledge you’re alive, valuable, needed, part of the greater world around you.

Sometimes you can be very stressed, and not busy at all. The silence, the lack of motion, when not reflective, can be a time that leads you to worry and fret about what you’re not doing, what you’re unable to do, and your separation from your community and life.

So the next time you’re running around without a minute to spare, remember the goals of it all, and your purpose, your place in those tasks. You’re busy because someone needs you, you need something, something needs doing.

And if none of those (or similar thoughts) are true? Then maybe you CAN be a little less busy, and step away from those tasks that are weighing on you.

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Where would poor little girlies like me be without strong white males to rescue me! Even without the armor and the white horses, they still manage to come and show me the light, since I can’t think for myself.

How do I even manage to figure out how to post in this thing? Silly girlie.

I wonder what the motives are behind these white knighters…I hope it is nothing more than attention, but I’m not so sure I’m right.

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