Nuance of Curious Choice Words

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There are words and phrases which are so delectably delicious that I want to say them over and over and over again, like the best wine (no headache after), or not-too-rich lighter than air smother than silk spoonful of chocolate mousse, or that steaming bowl of savory mushroom soup on a frigid day…  you know, taaaaaaaysteee tasty.

 

I want to be in a situation, in a conversation somewhere, maybe in a train station, or better yet on the bench in Gallery 56 West Building NGA-DC, and say to my bench neighbor, “That is just the nuance of curious choice words, isn’t it?”

Nuance of curious choice words

Wow

Now, THAT is a phrase worth repeating.

 

There are other words that leave a disgusting film of rotten bumpy gut taste in my mouth too.  Like, “Donald,” (apologies to Mr. -the-Duck), and, “Trump.”

There is nothing nuanced about him or people who support or are otherwise silent about him.

DT says what he means.  What he means is that he is entitled to grab women and kiss them or fondle their vaginal areas without their permission.  What he means is that he sees a 10-year-old girl as a future masturbatory object to penetrate.  What he means is that countries other than his racial ideal are shitholes.  What he means is that if he could get away with it, he would act on his sexual attraction to his own daughter (without her permission obvs).  What he means is that he wants to build a wall so that no one who isn’t up to his standards of existence has the opportunities he has had.  What he means is that anyone who is not a fat old white bigot racist misogynist hateful fear-filled man with substantial financial resources is not worthy of any consideration of humanity.

 

DT is not nuanced.

Disliking him has nothing to do with politics.

 

In democracy, politics are nuanced, disputable, debatable. 

 

Nothing about DT represents democracy.

He is not a nuanced debatable entity.  He is an inhumane disgusting oaf with too much connection.

He is not the first with power in this country to be this way (McCarthy much? Hello, $20 Jackson).  He is the first with so much instant connection and global influence.

 

We are in a disgusting and shameful moment in our history, again.

We will rise and overcome this, again.

 

An adult in my home began shaming 9-year-old SonHerisme for reciting all of the presidents (momma brag!) and ending with his comment that he wished Mr Obama was still president because he is afraid of DT.

 

The adult responded angrily that Mr. Obama and his wife walked and held hands with the devil because Mr. Obama had tugged on his pants inappropriately during the National Anthem once and bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.  And also because Bill Clinton couldn’t keep his pants zipped (bc completely relevant – NOT).  This adult eventually dissolved into tears as I repeatedly told them to stop shaming SonHerisme (who is 9), and to stop trying to place inhumane behavior in the same category as the nuances of politics.

For example:

Political Parties in a Democracy – politics

Apartheid – inhumane

There is no discussion to be had.  Inhumane views, bigoted views, racist views, misogynist views plainly spoken are NOT EVER nuanced politics.

Even a 9-year-old understands the nonsensical inhumanity of it.  Some of his friends are immigrant families.  Some of his friends have been directly affected by the emboldened racism promoted by DT.  Some of his friends have relatives who, until last year, have been able to visit their U.S. families each year, and are now no longer permitted.

A 9-year-old cannot comprehend why international deals fall through, why our education system is a blundering tumble of a mess, why our infrastructure is breaking, etc.  because these are all fallouts of nuanced politics.

A 9-year-old understands meanness to others just for being others.

 

This is real.  No embellishment.

If it is happening in my house, I know that it is happening in other people’s homes.  I’m calling it out here in a truthful and honest way.  We need to keep talking about this.  We need to keep ourselves from falling into the lull of the everyday so that we can rise and overcome this shameful moment.

 

Grasp onto a future of mutually respectful humanity cooperating and working within the messiness of us.

 

 

Should I have seen
Should I have heard
Maybe a nuance of curious choice words
There were no signs
At least none I could see
No warning from you
Then out of the blue a fait accompli ~ Benny Andersson

 

No one can resist a good Swedish Folk Song from this century.  NO ONE

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

Breakxit

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The exit from the break – Breakxit.

Well, it was a break.  I should count us grateful for that at least.  So, what was it this time?  A month?  Maybe less, as I did receive a bill from my attorney during that time.  YES, I continue to pay for current services, not catching up from past legal fees.

 

Current attorney services include the bi-weekly review of the weekly updates that I continue to provide to MrexH (week #122).  Occasionally her reviews include some contact with the court-ordered Parenting Coordinator.  While my attorney always records her time spent on my (closed but precarious) case, in almost every invoice, she marks up to half of that time as “NO CHARGE.”  She has an amazing amount of quiet compassion.  It was truly a life-saving blessing that I made it into her office in April 2014.

 

I was sitting in the secret parking lot of our local domestic violence shelter, shaking uncontrollably, completely at a loss for what my next step should be.  SonHerisme was safely in another location unknown to MrexH, and I phoned a friend who had previously worked at the shelter.  I needed to know where to go next, what to do, who was safe to speak to etc.  This friend patiently listened to me for a brief moment, then interrupted to instruct me to get out a piece of paper and pen.  She gave me the name of an attorney and her phone number.  She told me to hang up with her and before I did anything else or drove anywhere, to immediately phone this attorney and make an appointment.  Thankfully, I did.  Because this friend is typically an uber empathetic compassionate listener, I think that her abrupt interruption of my massive anxiety dump, shocked me into action and I made the call.

 

I am forever grateful to her.

 

I am forever grateful to all of my friends and bystanders who offered a listening ear, patience, and support as they were able to do so.

 

I am forever grateful to my attorney.  If I could pay her twice the amount I have, I would.  She deserves it and so much more.

 

I am forever grateful to our local Sheriff’s Department Victims Services Coordinator.

 

I am forever grateful to our court-ordered Parenting Coordinator.

 

I am forever grateful to Master, now Judge, S.

 

I am forever grateful to all of those people who work to support and guide victims of domestic violence.

 

This week, I received a letter MrexH sent to SonHerisme through the court-ordered Parenting Coordinator. This was a months ago discussed plan of action come to fruition.

 

SonHerisme and MrexH have not had contact since 2014.

 

Ironically at the beginning of all of our legal entanglements, letter writing was what I suggested.  The idea was dismissed as ridiculous and I was labled “overprotective and full of misplaced anxiety.” Yet here we are four years later…

 

MrexH’s letter is borderline illegible due to his illnesses.  The words seem appropriate enough to share with SonHerisme.  And I will do so, with the guidance and support of multiple therapists for both of us.

 

And so the spiral begins again.

 

The guilt over MrexH being so ill, the consequences of his illnesses that I did not extricate from earlier, and the part I played in bringing that into SonHerisme’s life.

 

Assuming the role of Destroyer of Fun, Destroyer of Sense of Security to SonHerisme.

 

Numbing, falling into the overall guilt hell-hole, followed by the trenches of depression, climbing up with resignation to the reality, slipping into guilt hell-hole a few more times until making it out for a while, and onward.

 

It is exhausting.

I am exhausted.

 

The break was an illusion, I realize that.  I feel SO much guilt and pain over any pain MrexH may be feeling, but recognize that I cannot afford to compromise our health/safety/lives over that, what must therefore be, misplaced guilt.

 

And so, I eat a small bowl of peppery vege-broth rice.

I take a moment to look at the Met Gala costumes and wonder about the details of construction, the feel of the fabrics and embellishments, the artistic minds of those creators and wearers.

I sit or walk outside for a few minutes and listen to things growing and being alive.

I take SonHerisme to and from school, to and from activities, to and from friends, to and from appointments.

I take my mother to and from appointments, change her bandages, help her with daily tasks.

I cook breakfast, lunch, dinner.

I clean the house (poorly), I launder the things needing laundered, I pay the bills needing payed.

I prepare food for my mother’s two little dogs and feed them twice a day, take them to and from appointments, give them outdoor time etc.

 

I continue to do all of the things that need doing.

 

I breathe.  I move.  I exist.

 

I try to keep going and I call it life.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

psst…  I’m outside trying to let the magic replace the guilt.  I hope it works!

Crowdsource Edit

A piece of unedited opening paragraph for what is shaping up to become

The Firefly Ballet

 

The obtrusively loud white noise-ish monotonous drone of the air conditioner comes close to drowning out all the glorious summertime evening sounds of this tiny plot hosted by the Eastern-most foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  The beloved cooling yet audibly despised garish air conditioner.  The house had to be kept cool for her ailing mother therefore the air conditioner was running much of the time, especially on these hot days.

Today had been a rare day of extraordinary high heat but low humidity making the evening outside comfortably cooler (82F) and breezy. Earlier in the evening, she made a quick run to the co-op for magnesium cream to help her mother’s cramping toes.  When she stepped out of the store, the air had such a magical quality of an exacting balance of heavy heat and low humidity with a slight breeze, a convection oven hug feeling, that she was struck with the instant memory of what was considered a cool winter night on the West coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Her parents lived there at one point in their active lives.  She visited them frequently during that expat phase.

Feeling the air earlier that evening with the split-second memory of Saudi Arabia was pleasant.  Right now, the air conditioner droned on unpleasantly.

When the house had reached its set temperature, the ac noise suddenly broke, revealing sweet bird “good night” songs, rustling lush greenery, scampering squirrels and the beginning tiny hoots of the most recent wildlife resident – an owl.  She hadn’t heard an owl from her backyard for at least five years now, and she welcomed the chance to absorb the hoot hoot hooting song. Soaking in all of the wild goodness’s until the air conditioner once again blocks out most of the surrounding nature noises.

One thing the air conditioner, or sweet memories of expat days, cannot block out is her spiraling mind.  The fear that what has happened should not have happened, or somehow, she should not have allowed it to happen, or perhaps she made missteps to make it happen, how could she have prevented it from happening.

The worst spiral of all of course, is what if it happens again with irreversible and worse consequences.  When that worst spiral happens, she begins her ritual of touching base again with reality.

The reality is that right now, she is safe.

Right now, her son is safe.

Right now, her mother is safe.

Right now, the house is secure and safe.

Right now, the threat is far away with no reasonable access to her home, her son, her mother or herself.

In this moment, in this time, in this house, in this space, with this breath, they are safe.

 

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

 

750 Days Ago

Hey Reader Person(s)

750 days ago, after two extremely tumultuous frightening years of legal entanglement, my divorce was finalized at the courthouse with then Master, now Judge, S.  Outside of the courtroom, Judge S wears bespoke suits from New Orleans with matching fedoras.  Inside of the courtroom, he flairs with exaggerated arm movements so that his robes take some flight when he approaches his bench.

Judge S doesn’t pull any punches and seems committed to squelching any potential tomfoolery nonsense from anyone in his courtroom (including attorneys).

In case you have not been to family court in your area,

let me assure you that there is a LOT of attempted tomfoolery happening.

It’s how many attorneys make an* s-ton of money.

 Judge S should have his own show or be my bestie.  I like that guy.  I liked the other guy too (retired Judge D), but he did not wear bespoke suits, or flair in the courtroom, and his face is too pleasant.  Also, he is my friend’s FIL and I am prone to thinking he is a kindly grandfather rather than a serious law interpreter. See you at the Pop Shop, Pops!

Y’all

746 days ago, I began this blog.  I wrote the opening piece a year or two earlier but did not have the wherewithal to begin a blog or continue any writing.  Since then the opening piece here has been published in a book!

 

Fingers Crossed that I will be selected to have a new piece, not yet posted anywhere, in a new book. Updates will be available soon.

 

In the meantime, I am once again revisiting my fiction works.

 

S L O W L Y   

S L O W L Y  

Little Callapitter**

 

And so the world keeps moving.  I am getting older, farther away from things I need distance from, closer to things I need drawn closer to.

 

Time is ticking – eventually that ol’ bell will toll for me.  In the meantime, I carry on each day with SonHerisme and myself doing the best I can do in these sweet/painful/joyous/difficult moments of life.  It is lonely over here.  Sometimes thankfully so.

 

How are you?

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

 

*Grammar police:  “an” is acceptable here in my opinion because saying ‘s’ sounds as if there is a vowel at the beginning.  So ha ha ha on you – no correction needed snarky pants!

 

**SonHerisme coined this one at 2!

Vacaville, Baby!

Sacramento, CA, West Coast-ish USA, called out to me, at one point in my life.  I interviewed for a position there and drove in to Sacramento from San Francisco (because, that’s how I do), passing Vacaville on the way.

Cow Town.

I TMBG’d all the way there and all the way back!

I did not get offered the position (boo on you, Sacramento!).  However, as the butterfly effect goes, recently I DID go into my local butcher shop at the crack of dawn one morning to pick up 4 cow eyes, 2 cow ears, and one sweet giant cow heart, for SonHerisme’s science time at his Montessori school.

Things I learned (re-learned, as lessons are prone to be):

I appreciate the local farm/butcher traditions and role in the community

I do not like to eat meat

I do not deserve to eat meat, because I could never ever ever ever do what these hardy humans do.

Yes, I moved a giant pile of very clean precision eviscerated innards from my yard (cougar much?), but it was with as much reverence as I could muster as they were FULL and required me to use 2 shovels.  I cried for the unidentified guts, placed them into the woods and gently covered them over with dead leaves.  I said a prayer that the animal had died swiftly, fed something well, and lived a lovely wild life prior to their drawn and quartering.

Guts

I believe that I am in a different place than I was when my gut hated me so much.  I am trying to s-l-o-w-l-y embrace my yuck (not other’s gut yuck). With so many struggles, I think that I can let the meat go again.  Or not.  Just not to guilt myself into a frenzy if I eat it or not.  Coffee was recently made redundant as well.  I am eyeballing sugar with some serious side-eye, but don’t want to get too carried away (s’mores season).

As my veils and shields that I have spent years wrapping myself in, fall away, my body continues to break down from the relief of unburdening and recognizing my own truths.  Melanoma, degenerative discs (current severe nerve pain), arthritis, over-fullness-of-body, tendonitis, etc

Sounds like my guts got lonely and invited other areas of my body to their protestations.

That’s right – I am a barrel of laughs!

Introduce me to all of your single man friends – what a catch!

 

SO:

I’m going down to Cowtown, ‘cause cow’s a friend of me

He lives beneath the ocean, that’s where I will be

Beneath the waves, the waves, oh that’s where I will be

‘cause I’m going to see the cow beneath the sea.

(not exact lyrics from the Brooklyn Ambassadors of Love, but this is how I singidty sing it)

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

Also, my melanoma margins were clear!  No further action at this point, other than vitamins and stay on my recheck schedule.  phew

Also, I am not heading your way anytime soon, Sacramento (sorrys).  However, I will possibly take a plastic cow to the pool, throw it to the bottom, and visit it there.  Singing!

 

 

Reign of Rain

May this day bring you peace, tranquility and harmony (from my dandelion detox tea to you).

 

Yesterday, among the various chores and caregiving, I sat outside in the rain.

 

I read a little bit of fiction. This is a new challenge for me as non-fiction is infinitely more comforting and solid.

 

I added to our shared drawing journal.  I keep a drawing journal with fancy pencils, that anyone is allowed to start a picture in, or add to another picture that’s already there.  If you are the one who finishes the picture, then you write “finished” at the bottom so that no one else feels compelled to add more, and we can all move on to the next picture or begin a new one.

 

Sitting in the rain, I wished there was such a thing as a Rain Reader who could sit next to me and instruct me on how to read messages from the rain.  I think that I could learn marvelous, comforting and solid things from the rain, if I could hear it properly.

 

Rain Reader might be a character for a new project.  I hope that it works out, or at the very least provides some productive amusement.

 

What are you working on?

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Joe Jackson and such

There’s something going wrong around here

 

Ahhh, 1979.  Many of you weren’t alive then.  I was.  I was living in Germany wild and free on my bicycle, sneaking onto the ferry, eating spaghetti ice and liquor filled chocolates (as one does in childhood).

 

I knew everything.  EVERYTHING.  Being all pre-pre-teeny. And I marveled at it all.  I was the kind of kid who unwaveringly knew that magic was spiritual and real.  I could feel it in my very essence and could see it everywhere. I could tune anything out in an instant in order to experience some magical sense.

 

Fast forward, fuh reahls, to today.

 

All of the wrongs swirling around me, in my brain, on my skin, in my house, with my family, in my town, in my country, in the world etc  are completely overwhelming.  I have had a few tantrums.  Most of mine are internal because they cannot be tolerated in my current personal circumstances, or in writing (not posted bc feeeeeeelings), or on almost daily brief #$%^@&#*$&^%^% phone convos with my endlessly patient life-long soul sister.

 

My life-long practice of flipping the switch and tuning out has a name: disassociation.  It’s so very difficult for me to embrace tuning in for any period of time to purposeful sheer sharp painful unpleasantness.  This is why I cannot tolerate the Zoo.  Also, it recently occurred to me that this is why I excel at creative diplomatic problem solving.  I am compelled to make the difficult things disappear, be worked through, resolved.  I am quick, concise and no nonsense about resolution.  Even if the resolution only happens internally for myself, it happens very quickly.  I do not linger in distress.  Not by will, but by instinctual life-long self-preservation practice which is now ingrained habit.

 

It’s like my “meet-er/great-er” disease that is joked about in various circles I have inhabited throughout my life.  When someone is approaching, or I drive past someone walking on the road etc, I can’t stop myself, I greet them.  I make eye contact.  I say, “hello!.”  I wave.  People receive this as me being super friendly.  I am not.  I am, by practice, anticipating and resolving any potential friction we may experience as two humans, by offering a greeting as a peaceful cleansing wash over our potential interactions.  Again, this is not pre-meditated or meant as a manipulation, it is an ingrained habit I have cultivated over my life as a means for survival.  It’s a tangible example of my switch flipping mechanism at work.

 

The other day in therapy (SURPRISE! I’m in therapy), my therapist was attempting to get me to connect with my own skin as I am currently waiting on results from my latest melanoma biopsy.  She attempts to bring me back to and connect with my physical self.  My brain is supremely resistant. (insert life story here)  It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  She says things like, “when you place your hand onto your arm, does that feel pleasant or unpleasant?”  I feel like an idiot because I do not know.  I can clearly feel that I am touching my arm (I do not have a neurological disorder), and that my hand is warm, my arm is cool.  I do feel things when I am pointedly asked to think about them.  It would not occur to me to wonder how my hand feels on my arm, to even be aware that I have placed my hand onto my arm, or that my hand was warm and my arm was cool, if I wasn’t asked about it.

However, what has me disturbed is that niggling notion that I am supposed to know if my hand on my arm feels pleasant or unpleasant.

I do not know.

Not in an obtuse or try-to-guess-what-I-am-feeling way. I truly do not know.  Then my hand and arm feel like nothing because I am trying to figure out what is pleasant or unpleasant, and worried that I cannot tell the difference that seems like it should be easy to describe.  Then – WHOOSH – I am gone off into thinking about trees and how do they feel?  My son, how does he feel?  How is his arm?  Does he still have the tick scar? How strong my son looks when he does chin-ups with his gangly boy arms. etc. I bet the universe has arms it is desperately trying to hug us with to quiet all of our earthly crazy fear-based interactions.  Why can’t I feel anything yet?  Is my hand even warm? Gah!  I can’t feel it!

 

So, anywho.

PTSD

Melanoma.  It’s on the skin that I am in.

I hope that therapy is not a pass/fail thing.

 

Which brings us back to Joe:

 

Tonight’s the night when I go to all the parties down my street

I wash my hair and kid myself I look all smooth

Look over there! (Where?!?)…

 

 

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

 

Hopefully not on the verge of a nervous breakdown

Hopefully still on my NewPath

The Art of the Coven (aka, I am probably a racist)

The Georgetown Coven convened once again to give us some insight into my mother’s lingering life altering health issue. We heeded their summons, received their powerful collective wisdom, and are proceeding thusly, tout suite! It must be so, as we met directly across from the French Embassy.  Être au taquet *fingers crossed*

The procedure in the Georgetown Wound Care Center include a nurse escorting you to an exam room, taking vitals, and preparing you for the Doctor’s consultation.  On this day, a young(ish) man in hospital scrubs escorted my mother to the exam room, introduced himself (L-loyd, shout out Lego Ninjago fans), accompanied by another young(ish) man in business attire.  The businessy man did not immediately introduce himself.

Once the door to my mother’ exam room was closed, I immediately felt a general sense of unease.  Two men.  One silent.  Door shut.  Once Lloyd removed my mother’s bandage and took her vitals, the business man introduced himself as the manager of the wound care unit, explaining that he was conducting employee observations.  He reached to shake my hand, and as I was shaking his hand I heard this bizarre-o giggle burble out of myself, and I said, “yeah, you weren’t creepy at all,” before I could stop myself.  Except he was creepy until that moment. We both smiled.  Then both men left while we waited for our trusted Dr Ladies to arrive.

In those quiet moments (my mother was engaged with solitaire on her phone, attempting to control her own anxiety about her medical experiences), I was having an internal discussion about what was it that was making me so uneasy with those two men.

Was is because one of them was super silent?

Georgetown is a teaching hospital, so we have many silent residents and medical students coming in and out of various appointments and treatments.  I do not recall being uneasy with their presence.

Oh, did I forget to mention that both men have darker skin than mine?  No?  Why does that matter anyway?  Am I some kind of racist or something?  The underbelly of racism is fear.  I felt an unwarranted fear in the closed presence of these men that I was not feeling in the closed presence of others (including men).  I am pretty sure that I had a moment of ingrained racism there.

I deeply apologize, gentlemen.

On the recommendation of a friend, I began following a hilFREAKINarious mommy poster @HonestToddler on Twitter (and @LozFelizDaycare!).  As our societal/political leadership climate changed in the good ol’ USofA, @HonestToddler changed her tweeting focus up to include societal issues broader than wacky child/family/mommy dynamics (still locally sourced, sustainably harvested and organic, though, like, seriously).  @HonestToddler introduced me to @rgay, who in turn introduced me to @IjemaOluo (and others in this 7 degrees of fascinating).

Don’t get too excited about my tweet game, I still follow @carrieffisher…  *sigh* and saddnesses. May the Force be with you and also with you. Lift up your hearts, we lift them up to the … anywho, you see what I mean.

Consequently, I have been immersed into a whole new lot of things that otherwise would not have hit my reading radar.

Which brings me right back ‘round, baby, right ‘round like a record, baby, right ‘round ‘round ‘round to our incident with the Georgetown Coven.  Obvs I’m a middle class light-skinned lady person of a certain age.

 

I am reading this:  So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

 

I want to know more and different things so that I can do more and different things.  One take-away so far is that I am not in a position of defining what is and what is not racist for someone experiencing racism.

 

How about you?

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. Liam Neeson left *sigh* and *heartbreak*

Bang Bang (Chicken)

Uh-oh.  Now she’s going to preach about: gun control, teachers need guns, mental health, universal health care, libtards, evil conservatives, sexual assault, feminism, sexism, patriotism, nationalism, racism…

 

TRIGGER WARNING

 

trigger, trigger, trigger!

 

BANG!

 

Honestyism

 

Those of us living in the United States of America, are living in a fear reactive based culture in general.  On top of that, we maintain this bizarre “code of silence” about truths and realities of our culture/town/neighbors/school/family/self which permits us to disengage and disconnect from responsibility to ourselves and to each other.  These things prevent us from having productive dialogue, discourse, and disagreements, which could lead to healthy compromise and solutions.

 

For example:  I am confident that there are next to zero parents who want to their child to feel unsafe at school, or to be shot at school.  This is the beginning of a dialogue.

Some of us might feel that schools need security/police/armed teachers or staff for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

Some of us might feel that we need better gun control/mental health support over all for our child to feel safe and not be shot at school.

(psst… these are not mutually exclusive ideas, just different ideas)

 

When the dialogue becomes about the extremes, which we are brilliant at, the discourse breaks down and stagnates until the side with the most power and control gets their way.  This leaves the rest of us scratching our heads, “what just happened?!!” Or loosing complete interest and tuning into some reality television show/youtuber/drink/exercise/food/work/sex/whatever to tune out our reality.

BANG!

The power and control duo do not equal good leadership.

BANG!

Having power and control is not a good indicator of good decision making.  (hello, world history and anyone who has been in an abusive relationship)

 

One of the things that makes our country so great, is that we emerged from a group of people who were unified in their belief that there was a better system for collective living. Rather than relying on those who wielded only power and control, they developed a system of collective input and feedback (not equitable, and with other issues, yes, yes, yes I am simplifying.  I said “ONE of the things,” anywho…).

BANG!

We have the laws we have because we voted for them.

BANG!

We have the people in office that we have because we voted for them.

 

Gun laws or lack of?  We vote for those.  BANG! BANG!

Education system?  We vote for that.  BANG! BANG!

 

I am not under any Pollyannaish spell where the magical world of magical peace will be attained through everyone believing in my truth.

 

I am suggesting that, as a collective, we do not accept our own culpability or responsibility in our collective missteps, disappointments, inactivity/activities. Shame and blame game, baby.  Power and control for the win!

 

WORTHINESS is critical.  Believing that one is worthy and others are worthy.

 

All it takes is for me to look inside my own home, inside of my own family, inside of my own community, to see this playing out.

 

My Home/Family:

There are so many scenarios to demonstrate in this dynamic.  The two men in my son’s life who are the closest to him struggle to maintain civility, courtesy and respect with SonHerisme.  It is awful.  I draw my boundaries as I am able to do so, and I am getting stronger and more able everyday.  In the meantime, I wonder what these men are doing to help SonHerisme feel worthy as a person.  Worthy enough that he can see worthiness in others.  Worthy enough that he does not get to the end of his rope as an at-risk teen and go into a high school or workplace or concert, and decide that not only is he unworthy, but so is everyone else.  What are they doing to show him how to be a functioning healthy adult man?

 

I could have this conversation with them.  It would not be received.

 

After the latest High School shooting, my father wondered what the differences could be between that shooter and himself.  My father tragically lost his father when he was very young.  His mother became ill and died when he was a teenager.  He was poor.  He was bullied.  My father is completely at a loss in understanding why this young man in Florida, and other white men, are shooting kids at schools, when he did not do that.

Unlike these kids, my father had a support system of people who believed he was worthy, and showed him that others had worth too.  He had a consistent sense of reciprocal responsibility in his community from the time he was born.

He did not have access to the kinds of firearms people do today.

 

Bang

 

My School/Community:

In our school community, parents are not included in the school-day community at all.  It is considered a sacred place for children only (and the staff).  Our after-school community consists of primarily female-centric activities run by parents (girl scouts, brownies, garden club, writing club, mother-daughter book club… yes, gardening and writing are not just for girls, but they are female centric and female run).  There is a co-ed robot club too, limited and selective, and an athletic club that meets seasonally at a local park (also run by women).

 

I have reached out multiple times to try and establish interest and leadership in more male-centric activities (scouts, maker-space, running club etc) with little to no response, and ultimately no action.  Inevitably someone comments, “where are the dads?,” “c’mon dads, grandfathers, uncles, step up!,” on my social media posts on the school page.  As if publicly shaming the men, we will make them want to be involved.

 

I offered my intention to walk near the school on the planned walk-out days, specifically noting that I would not disrupt the school day.  I was told, through an intermediary, that I was going to frighten kindergartners (oddly no mention of the preschoolers, so I guess they are a-okay with my goings on). After much circular dialogue, I finally received confirmation that the principal specifically wanted this person to tell me not to walk near the school.  We are so ridiculous in our silence and assumptions.  No one thought to have the courtesy to ask me what my vision and intentions were beyond my post. No one thought of how to promote supportive community (as in the entire school community, not just the carved out piece of children and staff) in this charged time.  By the way, I was going to walk and talk about peace and safety with my son, on the public sidewalk near the school.  Which, it being a public sidewalk and all, no one can prevent me from walking on.  Ironically, no one else indicated they were joining us.  It was most likely going to be the two of us on a bonding stroll, reinforcing to my son that I was, in some small way, a member of his school community and supportive of the community.

 

Where in our community are we offering support for our boys to feel that sense of worthiness?  That sense that others are worthy?  That sense of reciprocal responsibility?  We can’t even do it in our own school.  How can we expect it to happen in our broader community?

 

bang

 

I am struggling in my own home with this.

 

bang bang bang Bang BANG

 

I am so proud to be a citizen of this country, despite our gross flaws, because each of us can potentially make a difference by using our voice and vote to steer our collective community and nation.  I am finding it amazing that more and more people seem to be engaged and interested in our country’s direction.

 

I agree that there isn’t a single answer for this recurring gun violence in schools issue, and also that we need to start somewhere.

Changing gun laws seems to be a no-brainer beginning, but it does not address our serious endemic issues (which are often institutionally endorsed).

I believe that we have been teetering on a tipping point for some time in our country. I hope I’m contributing to us tipping in the direction of peace and humanity.  I am trying in my little corner, to support my SonHerisme to feel his own worthiness and the worthiness of others.

 

Maybe I should do more.  Maybe I should do differently.  For now:

 

Please let me stay healthy and alive until SonHerisme reaches well into adulthood, to give him the best footing to not become a tragic statistic.

Please let us pause and collect ourselves nationally to support school safety.

Please check on your neighbor.

Please help our fatherless boys (and those with harmful fathers).

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

 

Bang Bang (Chicken)

Mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, honey and hot sauce – mix ‘em up = bang bang sauce

Fry up some stuff, dip fried stuff into sauce

I hate mayonnaise.  Oh, wait.  I mean, I like to eat it occasionally when it is called for, but I hate it.  I hate the way it looks.  I hate reading the word.  I hate saying the word.  Blech

Do you know what I hate more than mayonnaise?  Hypocrisy, “code of silence,” lying, compromised health and safety, kids getting shot at school.  You know, the everyday.

b aaa nnnnn ggggggg