Monthly Archives: August 2017

Eclipse


I tripped a breaker, the one that powers my refrigerator, last Thursday.  I couldn’t get it reset.  My internet connection has been out, or at the very best intermittent, all weekend.  I’m not even sure this blog will go out!

I know I will be “off the grid” for much of the week, and definitely over the coming weekend.  I know I won’t post a blog next Monday.  It seems like I’m getting “messages” to unplug.

Historically, events like today’s eclipse were seen as signs and portents.  Even in cultures (and there were more of them than you might think) that could predict these events they carried weight and meaning.  Our country is braced for today’s eclipse.  Fed Ex has a note on their site anticipating delivery delays due to this astronomical event.

When the calendar shifted into the new century, we were braced for a huge computer crash.  There were “signs” everywhere.  Nothing seemed to happen.  Still, the world changed even as it went on.  People stopped believing in the “dramatic predictions” of the science community.

Again we sit in anticipation.  It may seem as though nothing happens.  The world will go on, and the world will change in ways even the best prophets could not predict.  There is some division if this “portent” is of collapse or renewal.  I suspect that ultimately that’s up to us.

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Wake Up

Facebook has exploded with photos, meme’s, commentary, and disgust at what happened this weekend in Charlottesville.  I’ve got friends, People of Color, who are triggered.   I would be too.  Free speech is one thing, but Hate Speech is not protected under the 1st amendment and this entire rally was about Hate specifically directed at People of Color.  They should never have gotten a permit under that premise.  Even allowing the ACLU supporting their right to march, they should have been shut down as soon as they showed up with torches and weapons.

The meme’s that truly twist my gut are the one’s that compare the police responses.  Charlottesville vs Ferguson (actually, according to some eye-witness responses I’ve read the most aggressive police actions in Charlottesville were against the unarmed counter-protestors.)  Charlottesville vs Standing Rock (When the Nazi’s showed up armed where were the high pressure water hoses (in freezing temperatures) and the rubber bullets?).  Most terrorist acts in this country have been committed by alt-right, white, males.  Why aren’t we more afraid?

Well, some of us are.  The problem is that most of the “authority” in this country is also white and male.  I guess it’s harder to be afraid of someone who looks like you.  People of Color know.  None of them are surprised by the way things went down in Charlottesville.  Women know too, but we’ve been taught to stay silent, to accept that ‘boys will be boys’.

Being Politically Correct takes a bad rap.  But let’s talk about being socially correct.  Let’s talk about being kind, civil, caring, thoughtful and considerate.  Can we say, “That is NOT acceptable behavior.” when someone is actively trying to hurt someone else?  Can we say, “That is a hurtful statement.” when someone says something that may not be intentional but is still not appropriate?  Can we say, “Your feelings do not entitle you to hurt someone else.” when someone uses Free Speech as an excuse for Hate?

How often in my life have I remained silent when someone has spouted aggressive, hateful language?  How often have I neglected to come to the defense of people I love, who society has marginalized?  I have heard comments about People of Color, Gay people, Trans people, Disabled people, People of Faith and I have not always spoken up.

Small excuses lead to big actions.  When someone is not called out, it gives them permission to continue.  When no line is drawn there is implicit permission to escalate.  What happened in Charlottesville is not acceptable behavior.  Anyone who can’t see that needs to take a good look at why they support rude, hateful, hurtful, and inconsiderate behavior and recognize that it is supporting that kind of behavior that is truly evil.

Author

At my table at the MN Authors Book Fair

I do love to read and although I’m not keeping up in the reviewing department I have been catching up on the stack of books sitting beside my chair.  As an author I have a great appreciation for readers.  I am delighted when people are interested in my books.  As a reader I am not a good friend to authors.

Perhaps it’s the introvert in me that makes me resistant to reaching out to the authors I admire.  I am well over the shyness I had as a child.  I’ve worked with the public.  I can talk to anyone if I have to.  I’m just not inclined to reach out first, even with my good friends.

I had the opportunity this weekend to be an author in public.  My writer’s group hosted a book fair.  I went and had a good time.  One of the other women in the group offered to share a table with me.  That made stepping away for a little break a lot easier.  It also encouraged me to have some conversation.  In that context, talking to other authors is interesting and easy.

I did a reading which was well attended.  I got a lot of questions both curious and contentious.  I find it amusing when people think I’m against them and try to challenge me.  I’ve come to a place in my life where I can stand pretty comfortably in my truth and not get defensive.  I have a calling.  I write from a point of view.  If you need me to have further credentials then I’m not your gal.

Some of the most delightful people I talked to were clearly extraverts.  I love getting caught up in that kind of energy and carried along for a short bit.  One of the women I spoke with writes about and advocates for women recovering from the sex trafficking industry.  I have no exposure or experience outside of the news so I was truly interested in hearing her story.

At the table next to us was an author who writes mysteries.  That’s not a genre I’m particularly attracted to as a reader.  It was fun to eavesdrop on her conversations as she sold her books and to talk to her as well.  I am intrigued and might have to check out her series.

There was a great variety of styles, genre’s, topics represented at the fair.  I managed to leave without buying a book, but it was really hard.  I have a few on my list for later, once I get to the bottom of my reading pile.

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