Thanks Mom <3

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Why Blogging is an Act of Courage (at least for me)

writing+02The biggest challenge of writing is not necessarily the exercise of crafting words and paragraphs and a flow that is pleasing and engaging. The hard part is the ideas. Because to write something, there is a sense of permanence that does not exist with spoken words. When you write something there is a feeling of finality, that you have made up your mind, at least enough to mark it in a way where others will read it and know your thoughts, at least the ones you’ve chosen to share.

That appeals to me because, as someone who has struggled with feelings of loneliness throughout my life, sharing my thoughts, even with a stranger, is an act that brings me closer to other human beings in this world, and makes me feel less alone.

This also terrifies me, because I am the type of person who thinks deeply about topics and likes to look at topics from different perspectives and angles. Even on topics that I am fairly certain I understand well enough to write about, there is always a small voice in my head that tells me, I could be completely wrong. Continue reading

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks

On the Intersectionality of Street Harassment

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A clip from a famous video of street harassment in New York (https://youtu.be/b1XGPvbWn0A)

A guy came up to my car while I was on my way to work. I saw him start to cross the street, but thought he was only crossing, so he startled me when he appeared at my window, asking if I had anything to eat. I could have said no. I could have said, “I don’t want to encourage panhandlers.” But while the voice of White Womanhood in me says “be afraid, be very afraid”, I also remember the voices of black men in my church and community, sharing their pain, how they are painted as more violent and more dangerous than they really are. My iPhone was in my hand, a clear signifier of at least moderate wealth, and while I didn’t have any food in my car, I had cash removed from the ATM the day before, and I could just as easily blow a $20 on beer without a second thought.

I gave him the $20 and said God Bless. I did my best to make eye contact and to SEE him when I did it. This does not make me a good person. This does not make me a model or an example for others. I look past people’s humanity every day. And even as I am telling this story, I am still selfishly thinking more about myself than about him.

Continue reading