October 7 at 8:47 AM · 

I cannot begin to say anything new or smarter on the Kavanaugh situation. Besides, the things that feel important to me right now, may seem unrelated in some ways. But I feel two things very strongly:

1) Time passing shouldn't be an argument for certain things being remembered accurately or not, but it seems to be. And even though Dr. Ford's case sounded like she was being overpowered and wouldn't have the option of what I'm about to describe, this is a hope I have and pray for:
I hope all humans begin to get so aware of their own bodies and selves, that if anyone touches us in any manner that gives us the slightest gut cringe, I hope we become able to say STOP THAT SHIT. I've almost gotten to where I can say it after the fact, but I still don't in many situations. And in the moment is even harder if you're caught off guard. In more extreme cases, I know some of us have gone years or forever being quiet. But young women, young men, start now. You even get grazed against in a way that makes you uncomfortable, turn around that second and don't worry about politeness. Your body is your one skin and boundary between you and the rest of us. Own it, inhabit it and don't worry if you sound crazy or picky or rude. You may need even more space than it seems others need. That's okay. You get to choose. That goes for me too - when I'm walking around, patting babies' heads, slapping people on the back - if you don't like it, tell me to stop. The decent people want to know how you feel.
*Again, I don't think Dr.Ford had that option; this is just on my mind.

2) Second: The Kavanaugh situation has a lot of pieces and parts, and I know there are friends who honestly believe there wasn't good evidence. I also know though, that there are people who will let their big picture ideals cloud the here and now. I just hope that the people dying for a Pro-Life Court don't overlook the Present Life Humans right in front of them. Maybe I'm wrong, and that hasn't happened here, but humans, you alive today, right in front of us, Dr. Ford, others, male or female, YOU MATTER more to me than any goal or ideal.

Watch out for the ones that steal your foxiness

"If I had grasped that whatever comes with
    a fox
Is what tests marriage and proves it a
I would not have failed the test."
                         Ted Hughes

fox in bell jar

Am I saying I blame Hughes?
Of course not.  I am saying only that it's really hard for me to love him.

A few years ago, The Atlantic had an interesting article about Hughes' poetry before, during and after his marriage to Plath which, bless his heart, is pretty much how we define him.
Sorry bastard.

I'm no expert, but when I read about the two of them, rightly or wrongly, I think of people who marry or befriend someone because they love certain talents and aspects of the person's personality, then proceed to slowly crush those same traits out of them.

My mother says, "Insecurity can be a scary thing.  An insecure person an be a dangerous person."  Don't marry or pair yourself with someone who thinks they don't deserve you.
They may work up to you, but often, they will wear you down until you deserve them...or maybe until you forget where you end and they begin.

Or maybe they'll just fucking tire you out until you don't give a shit.

If you find yourself in a draining and de-selfing relationship, my strictly unprofessional and unmedical opinion is to drink as much caffeine and take as many meds and see as many therapists as you need to get out of that jar and away from the ones who try to grind you into dust.

You think you're too tired, but guess what happens:  once you are out of their orbit, you will stand up straight, breathe deeply and find energy you never even knew you had.  Energy that's been wasted just making it through the day near those energy stealers.

Stay foxy.

pippin sighting

Last night I saw Pippin, clicking along on his chiclet feet, nose in the air as if we'd never met.  It's like starting from square one everyday with that dog.

His human was as friendly as ever.  He walked towards me to chat, stuck his hand out in greeting.  This was a new move.  I gave Pippin the side eye, and received an almost imperceptible nod - was that a nod of allowance?  Tentatively I reached out to shake the human's hand.  He shook my hand, smiled and turned continuing his walk.

I swear I heard a double chirp, helium-like bark as they walked away, the cadence and notes sounded almost like, "Good boy."
but maybe?

pippin: be ye amazed

Pippin is a dog, but he's not my dog.  Neither is he yours.
Pippin belongs to no one but himself.

He is a fiery red Pomeranian, with the floof of a thousand teasings, and feet like tiny Chiclets.
Pippin walks his man; his man does not walk him.
His man knows this which is why the relationship works.
They are roommates and peers, there is no ownership, and they are on life's journey together.

Sometimes I wonder how these two found each other.  Obviously one is a poli-sci major at the local college, but the man looks like he might be in college also.

The man is friendly and greets neighbors warmly, as if encouraging us to engage.  Pippin runs up as if he enjoys chatting also.
However, if you dare to touch him or even look him in the eye, he unleashes barking as savage as a pit bull who just swallowed a thousand helium balloons.  I mean, it's quiet and hard to hear, but if you lean in, you can really feel the rage.

My daughter and I have spent many a morning discussing what would happen to Pippin if he landed in water...not that we would throw him, mind you, he just has the look that sinking is an impossibility.  His fluffiness is astounding, and she's sure if you shaved him, he'd be nothing more than a bean with a nose and feet.

I am obsessed with Pippin.
I won't stop evangelizing until you are too.

neil diamond's think tank

sometimes you make up writing games for yourself bc you notice your coaster is the Catch Phrase wheel.  i took four words touching, and wrote a bit quickly and off the top of my weird head.
anyone want to play?  choose any four consecutive words on the wheel and a writing prompt.
mine were:

neil diamond
groundhog day
think tank
left field

to some, neil diamond's invitation to participate in the think tank came out of left field.

if you ask caroline fisherbergen of ohio, she's skeptical.  "I mean, a focus group maybe...perhaps a little feed back on a new detergent or some turkey bacon, okay, I can see it, but an ongoing, five-year-commitment to NASA's grant to reassess the alignment of the planets and their consistency with the Mayan calendar?  c'mon people, that's a bit much even for mr.shiny shirts.

she continued, "are you SURE they meant neil?  there wasn't some sort of mail mixup?"  she shook her head in disbelief.  "i just don't get it.  I mean, he's got opinions and feedback aplenty, but he's always seemed a bit lost in time and space, if you ask me.  I date the guy for 4 weeks--okay, maybe, maybe five, and for years after, he's all the time rehashing it, 'when did we meet, honey?  was it spring?  was it summer?  the days were short, no they were long, yes long!  but it was good, I remember it being good.  yeah?'  

"after awhile, it felt like that movie Groundhog Day.  i'm just like, "dude, it was a month.  let it goooo.  I don't remember, you don't remember, mostly we were drunk and on mushrooms.  we were 20 and it was the 60s.  who cares?"  

finally, she throws up her hands, "i'm just not sure they've chosen the right guy is all."


empty bookless hands

the problem is I don't know who to worship anymore.
I liked the narrative.
I liked the order and answers.
I feed on words.
I knew what to get up and read and study every morning.
I can't worship nature even though I love it.
I can't worship or believe it's all inside in me.  I feel finite.
mostly...I just get up and don't know what to read.
who ever thought not knowing what book to read each morning would make a person cry so hard?

but I know too much to go back to the way it was.
I won't pick up the bible just to have an answer to which book.
maybe someday I will, maybe never.
I lived in there so long.
I was so good at it.
it was good mostly, but there's just...other.
other things to learn for now, and
when I grab that book,
I feel comfortable but closed to other.

people will worry and think that's where i'd find comfort and answers and it'd be like going home.
but they don't know where I am.  they don't know that for me,
right now,
it's the worst choice.
ironically, god is the only one who understands why it's important I don't.

it's too hard to explain to everyone.

[you don't have to, honey.  you don't.  the voice in the brackets who answers, who has always answered, already knows.  just come rest.  you know me.  don't name me now...or ever...just rest.  you're allowed].

please brackets-voice, please be a woman...or a very high percentage.
at least that would be new.

Boy Cooties: They're Treatable

Growing up, I lived on a street full of boys.  I spent a lot of time playing football and Monkey in the Middle.  Sometimes there'd be fights; sometimes a stray yard dart would land in your leg.  What am I saying - if you know any tween boys, you've been there.

The year everyone asked for mopeds for Christmas, I asked too.  Then we became a small bike gang of sixth graders.  It was a good childhood.

I never thought about the fact that I was friends with boys until later.  My girlfriends lived a few blocks away, and I spent time with them also.  Sometimes they'd bike over and wander into the testosterone fray, or ride on the back of my moped.  I had as many male friends as female friends, and I'm not sure I really noticed.  I didn't have brothers, and being around boys was good for me, but if I'm honest, I never noticed that either.  They were just humans.

In college and my 20s, working and hanging out with friends, life was the same.  There were guys I dated, and guys who were just friends.  But somewhere along the way, things got twisted.

I didn't grow up in a conservative church, but I dived whole-heartedly into one in my mid 20s.  That is where things started to get confusing.  As a single person in that church, the doctrine encouraged friendships between males and females.  In fact, dating too seriously as a young adult was frowned upon.  Friendship was the goal.  Yes, marriage was the end goal, but you weren't really supposed to get too serious or saucy with anyone leading up to that. 

If you ever heard the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" book or theory, you understand what I'm saying.
Ironically, as soon as you were married, you had to Kiss All Your Male Friends Goodbye.

Single and in my 20s, I had the experience of working with several of the people from the same church.  Therefore I was soaking up the doctrine around the clock.  They were lovely people, and I'm thankful for them, but I wish I hadn't bought into some of the ideology so hard.

As a professional, the men were not to have meetings with a woman alone with the door closed.  When people started complaining and acting shocked about our current U.S. Vice President instating that rule for himself, I didn't blink.  I've heard that for years.  I was also taught that a married person shouldn't sit in the car alone with someone of the opposite gender, send them an email or call them.  Maintaining a friendship with someone of the opposite sex would be impossible.  However, once you married, you weren't supposed to need to be friends with any male except your husband anyway.

After I was married, and attending women's bible studies, I read books and heard discussions from women, as well as men in church leadership, that doing things like complimenting a man's outfit or haircut could lead to trouble.  Patting a man on the arm or back was also a problem.  The fear was that if he received this kind of affirmation from someone besides his wife, he might feel drawn towards another woman.

I'd like to take this opportunity to ask if you've met my father or me.  If so, your back is still recovering.  We literally PAT THE LOVE INTO YOU.  And if I've never noticed your clothing, you must not wear any, because we are patting and complimenting our way through life. 
Therefore, God must have made us wrong.
After marriage, I'd need to be very different than the person I'd been for 29 years.  But I'm nothing, if not a learner and a pleaser,  I drank the hell out of that Kool Aid.

I'm not going to dwell on the last nearly two decades.  The short summary is that I lost my male friends.  People I'd grown up all my life lost parents, and I missed their funerals.  I skipped weddings.  I certainly didn't return emails or phone calls and eventually the friendships dissolved.  Some of this is natural.  You get older and busy and it's the natural order of things.  But in my case, it was just plain wrong theology and control.  I was not allowed to have old or new friendships with males.  I did not allow myself, because of the judgment and consequences it caused at home and the way I feared I'd be perceived by others.
And it is a crying shame.

One of the best things that has happened this year is that I've had several close dear friends who've basically kept me functional.  Beyond that though, I've laughed so hard with them, and learned so much from them.  And number-wise, they've been split down the middle between male and female.  I desperately needed both.  There are questions I've asked men that only men can answer.  There are other discussions I only feel comfortable having with women.

I have a son and a daughter.  There are questions I've had as a woman about raising a boy that have been answered by men because they've been teenaged boys.  And yes, you can ask a son's father, but guess what, your children are not your clones.  Not every mother understands her daughter well.  The two of can have very different personalities, and the same goes for fathers and sons.  You learn from other humans regardless of gender.  And i greatly greatly greatly (did I mention greatly?) regret what I've missed over the years.

I won't miss it anymore.  I'll be friends with the humans I love.  I won't give them up for anyone or any rule again.  And I plan to teach my son and daughter the same.  The time spent with only one half of the human race, in my opinion, leads to more division and misunderstanding.  And as far as I can tell, our country can use less of that these days.