(A series…)

How to tie a scarf in several different ways.

How to be still.

How to love people you didn’t birth.

How to cook soft shelled (or is is “shell”?) crabs becuase I wanted them.

How to never give up on dreams.

How to go with the flow when all you want to do is drown the sorrow.

How to be brave.

How to not get lost in your own reflection.

…We all need this type of love.

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How to avoid getting molly-whopped or Spencered (richard, lowercase kkk): 

  • Don’t try to convince POC you’re on their side. If you are, they’ll know.
  • Don’t remind or inform POC that you marched for them,  or are fighting for them. Do it for you, for equality, for freedom, etc.
  • Throwback advice: Don’t touch anyone’s hair. Oldie but truthie that’ll still get you knocked tf out, so consider this my PSA to you, dearhearts.
  • Don’t assume jokes and comments specifically about drumpf are okay, especially in mixed company, or at work. They may be triggers for some…
  • Don’t tell anyone to “move on”, “get over it”, or specifically, what they should do. It’s not only too soon, but is guaranteed to get you at least heavily side-eyed or knocked the fuck out and well, no one wants that.

Article: Richard Spencer getting punched in the face. Yeah, I’m sharing it. It was a highlight of mine on that dreary, rainy, Friday.

Image  —  Posted: January 17, 2017 in Awake, Tell it Tuesday
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https://www.google.com/doodles/martin-luther-king-jr-day-2017

” All life is interrelated “

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

The quotes above resonate with me. They are in no way, a complete list of quotes by Dr. King. While I don’t share all of his beliefs, I firmly believe that his civil rights fights, and approaches to life and horrific situations were warranted, remarkable, and very much, needed. Sadly, they are warranted and needed today, in 2017. 

The societal pendulum swings from good to bad to horrific, etc. This is often based on the lines we draw between ourselves and others – from politicial party lines to religious beliefs – and somewhere along the way, we become closed off to being our true selves, and criticize others for being any version of self other than the one we deem acceptable, right, proper, etc.

Today may not be a holiday or day of reflection for you, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking a few minutes to reflect on where we are as a country, if you’re in the U.S., and if you are outside of the U.S., think of ways to make your world better. Meanwhile, the common denominator should be in trying to find ways to live our truest lives. After all, it’s the only one we have, right? Oh, and even if you believe in reincarnation, no guarantee you’ll be back as a human, so make this round count!

…be sure you are not in fact, surrounded by assholes or people who don’t “get you”. 

This reminder has lived with me for some time, but surfaced and stuck as my internal mantra when my self-doubt and angst as a writer was at its peak, and even now when these feelings come up again as they often do, and mostly because the voices in my head wouldn’t shut the hell up. I guess the years of procrastination had caught up with me. 

In the earlier days, I would cautiously share my poetry with a few friends and loved ones, hoping they’d provide constructive criticism to encourage and help me grow as a poet. I envisioned feedback that would me to at least feel comfortable performing at an open mic poetry event, or growth that would help me become a better writer who could begin  submitting to magazines, papers, and journals. I trusted these people with the dungeons and dagons that tormented me and kept me awake at night; with the demons that danced in my head during my working daylight hours, and boy, was that was a huge mistake! 

To be fair, these weren’t mean people. They were friends and loved ones with their own fears, self-doubt, and in several cases, saw themselves through my writing but didn’t like the reflections. 

As much as I promised and swore myself to secrecy on particulars, or behaviors, apparently I had opened some Pandora type box on thoughts that go bump in the night. But honestly, I wasn’t going to stop observing life around me so I was at an impasse. I felt confident that no one’s life was being ripped off, mimicked, or exploited so I had to trust my gut and my writing. The result? Loss of friendship and loss of trust in sharing my early drafts with others. But I decided that what I had to say had to come out in some form or fashion and this was the only form that I felt was right for me. I hope my friends would understand.

Today, it’s still gut wrenching and sometimes physically painful to send a draft for feedback. In some instances, I preferred paying a stranger to edit and provide feedback but since editing funds weren’t as easily available in my earlier years, I was limited. Now, I definitely recommend it. 

So what’s the outcome of all of this? Well, as some may know, my poetry’s been published a few times and I’m still slugging away, submitting to journals and papers and magazines…and dealing with the rejections and celebrating the small, occasional wins. So hang in there, writers! (This sentence is just as much for me as anyone else!)

Oh, and I’m much more selective when sharing my deepest, darkest thoughts. Constructive criticism still feels icky and uncomfortable but it helps. By making better choices about who I ask for feedback, I’m at least sure the comments are about my writing and not other people’s issues. I had to be sure that I’m not surrounded by assholes or by people who couldn’t see past themselves, their life experiences.

Somewhere along the way, I’m getting better at learning  to love myself a little more, learning to just write more and more freely, and, I’d dare say, to have faith that the stories in my head will touch or reach the right person.

If you need some quick inspiration:

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Please vote. If you’re in the U.S. and are legally able to, please vote. You are not only voting for POTUS, you are voting for people to represent your interests on many levels, from police chiefs, commissioners, and sheriffs, to judges and members of Senate.
Get charged with a crime and have to stand before a judge? Depending on the severity of the allegatiin, you may be standing in front of an elected official who may hve been an incumbent you chose to retain in that spot. Same goes for a Sheriff. Elected official. What about those hateful cowards who chose a career that allows them to carry guns and shoot unarmed civilians? Their boss, the Police Chief, is usually appointed by a government entity such as a Mayor, etc. 

Who’d you select for Senate? If you thought Justice Scalia’s death ushered in the chance for some fresh, actually logical, and non-racist fresh blood to take his place, but your party doesn’t have a stronghold on the Senate, then guess what? You may get another Scalia or God forbid, a Clarence Thomas. Why? The next President will appoint someone and in case you don’t remember Obama nominating Merrick Garland for the job and how Republicans delayed and shot down all options for fair discussion on the subject, I’m here to remind you that you’re newly elected President and Senate will make the choice. 
Disappointed in the Mayor changing rules or policies from some as simple as the number of trash pickup days, or more egregious, supporting a police commissioner who allowed drones to film and record citizens without their knowledge or consent, or who as Mayor, had no clue how to stop citizens from “rioting” due to poor policing in a city? Vote for someone you believe will do a better job.

I’m  not telling you who to vote for, that’s your personal choice. Also, there are so many other reasons for  voting,  but right now I  don’t want you to continue reading. I want you to go  out and VOTE!