November 20, 2012

Writing - A Retrospective

Written in the Oregon Museum of Art on March 31, 2007

It's an interesting reflection on how I felt about writing, and about sharing my writing, before I began my journey of self discovery in earnest.  This was written after my first divorce, but before I had kids, and therefore before my most severe depression (post partum depression).  It was before the revelations that Psychoanalysis has opened up to me, that helped me realize how much of a writer I really am, and want to be.

I've found my way into yet another museum.  I'm not quite sure what it is about art that I so thoroughly enjoy, but I manage to hit a gallery in every city I visit.  I think a part of me is drawn to the sense of creativity here.  All these artists who must have been driven, to some extent, to create.  That compulsion to invent some perspective not yet seen.

What undefinable value their creations give to the world.

I wonder what it's like.  Beyond the need to give life to their imagination, what does it feel like to be compelled to share that vision?  I've had my moments of creativity.  I enjoy my words, and the formation of my thoughts.  More often than not, the fruits of my labors end up feeling fiercely private.  There are very few with whom I choose to share my little bits & snippets.  I can't imagine exposing my brain babies to the scrutiny & criticisms of the general public.  I envy that in real artists, while I somehow judge it at the same time. 
   Such immodesty.  Such hubris.  Such arrogance.
All because somewhere along the line, I was taught, or I decided, that my creations didn't deserve the same public acclaim of others.  There's always something missing that makes it not quite good enough.  Not that I honestly feel that most of what I've done really is all that fantastic, the general dismissal of it's worth saddens me, even though it's purely coming from within.  I think that's why I've decided to plunge more fully into my journaling.  Even though my moments of truth and revelation aren't all that frequent, I still love my words.  I don't have to write something Pulitzer worthy to make writing worthwhile.  

I'll create with that mindless, selfless passion of the artist.  For the love and joy it brings to just me.

Interestingly, as this draft was sitting, waiting to be edited for spelling and typos, I stumbled on an interesting YouTube video that echoed this sentiment very closely.  I absolutely love his approach to nullifying the fear.

November 16, 2012

"Respect for Human Life" My Ass

*Note:  This was originally composed during the RNC.  But I had some issues verifying the entire story about the young girl in the Dominican Republic.  You can replace that entire paragraph with the same rage directed at Savita Halappanavar's situation.  
Rage.  Feminist rage.  You want to know why I'm an angry feminist?  It's because I'm terrified.  I'm terrified of what I hear on the news.  There are days I cannot listen to the news, because it literally is too depressing and frightening what is actually going on.

Today's panic attack is brought to you by the official Republican platform plank that confers all the rights of a human life on an unborn child. Personhood starts at conception.  I understand on it's face, it's a noble intent to value all human life.  But it isn't valuing all human life - it's valuing pre-born life over female life.  A woman is in the picture, too, you know. If you define life as starting at conception, when a pregnant woman has cancer, her treatments become murder.

This law will determine that the human in the uterus is worth more than the human with the uterus.  Tell me how that isn't a war on women???  Humans with uterii are worth less than fetuses who will not survive if the treatment is withheld and the mother dies anyway.  This is not a hypothetical situation, people.

A teenage girl in the Dominican Republic recently DIED of cancer because of this.  I am not drawing extreme, ridiculous slippery slope conclusions here.  A young woman is DEAD because the laws in her country said that a fetus couldn't be threatened, even to treat it's mother's deadly condition.  Well guess what... Both child and mother are dead now.  Good thing she didn't get her chemo and risk that baby which is now... oh right, still also dead!!  Is that what we want for our sisters and daughters in this country? (Edit:  Apparently.)

Call a spade a fucking spade.  These assholes are NOT pro-life.  How is legislation that will result in nothing but the DEATH OF WOMEN (plus those fetuses the legislation is supposedly trying to save) pro-life?  Criminalizing abortion does not save lives.

Criminalizing abortion kills women.  Not "just" babies.  Not just people (generic).  Women.  People in possession of vaginas.  Disproportionately, specifically, kills women whose only crime has been having a medical crisis while pregnant.

Then there's the other side of how illegal abortion kills women. Abortion is definitely a demand-side market. Women will have a need to control their fertility, whether the law makes that easy on them or not. 

We're already seeing the impacts of overly regulated abortion in Texas.  Women who have a constitutional right to medical care, including abortion, are facing major obstacles to that care, such as 24 hour waiting periods.  In desperation, they're going to unregulated, under informed pharmacies in Mexico to get prescription drugs for off-label use.  The back-alley coat-hanger abortion of the new era is the "black market" pharmaceutical abortion. These don't cause tummy aches, folks. 

One of the drugs women can get is Cytotec.  Moms out there recognize that one?  Yeah, I got it when they were inducing my labor for my first delivery.  In Mexico, it's prescribed for ulcers, and it is used for perfectly legal, early term abortions in the US.  However, since the women aren't getting the meds from a doctor, they aren't getting proper counseling on how much to take, what to do if they experience complications.  It appears that for some of our Texan women are so limited by the laws in their state, their only option is to run for the border.

This is the war on women.  Now ask me again why I'm an angry feminist.

November 14, 2012

Profound Acceptance

Today I finally recognized, accepted and embraced my "thing."  I don't know if everyone has a "thing", but I've always been jealous of people who do.  My dad?  His thing is teaching.  It's in his soul.  Down to his bone marrow, he IS a teacher.  If he never steps foot in a classroom again, he will still be a teacher every day of his life.

*Not Dad's actual classroom
*Not Dad's actual classroom

Me?  I am a writer.

I may never earn a dime with my words.  I may never again make them public.  I may never again put pen to paper and let the word flow forth.  But in my soul, I will still be a writer.  It's something I always have been, and it's something I always will be.  I just never really realized it until now. 

*My actual journal. The pen is a bitch to use though.

It fits as comfortably as thinking of myself as "woman" or "mental health advocate."  The realization feels kinda like getting that last long piece in Tetris that you really really need before you lose the game, and it's just enough to get you to the next level.  Ka-chunk.... perfect fit into the foundation.  (No part of me went blinky blinky and disappeared though... it's an imperfect analogy).
*Not an actual Tetris game

November 6, 2012

In Brief - Election Day Rant

I am friends with people from a wide range of political views.  Some are close, some... less so.  One in particular is a staunch conservative from DC.  She posted a joke this morning saying "Happy Republican Voting Day!  Democrats vote tomorrow!"

I guess it'd be funny.... if it weren't true.  I mean, if the sentiment weren't true.  If there were not actually Republicans out there trying to keep Democrats from voting, I'd find that kind of joke humorous.  Instead, I find it callous, rude, and a sign of what's wrong with that party.  Yes, I can take a joke, and 10 years ago I found the joke funny.  But not when there have been so many attempts to change the laws to make it harder for people who traditionally vote Democratic to get to the polls.