Take-Backs

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(or listen here)

As predicted by the path of past experiences, it is the ol’ familiar take-backs time for my brain in a no take-backs reality.

After 9-11 I remember sitting on the commuter bus going to work downtown and looking at the bright blue sky dotted with puffy fluffs of white clouds. In a big city there are always airplanes making their way here and there across the big sky. On this day, there weren’t any airplanes. The sky was so empty of airplanes that is was starkly noticeable by everyone that something on this day was dramatically different. It was in that moment that the shock ripped through my body of how everyone on that commuter bus knew the tragedy and death of 9-11. Everyone knew it. That knowledge of pain and horror was just sitting there like a solid lead apron on all of us. All of us knowing people burned, people were crushed, people knew they were going to die, some had to hold little children while they died, some had to fall hundreds of feet in terror, some people had to choke to death, some people did not know they were going to die. All of us on this bus had this knowing of horror. I wanted to grab all of the knowledge and take the pain away from everyone. I wanted to scream with that knowledge and run it far away from anyone so that they would not feel this unbearable pain. There weren’t any take-backs.

In April 2014 I sat hunched over, clutching my sweater as close to my body as I could just in case it could swallow me up out of the freezing nightmare, in an oversized winged-backed chair, in a fancy office, across a large desk from a seriously hard-core put together not a hair out of place attorney. I could see her looking at me very intensely. I could hear she was talking to me, but I could not unscramble the words she was saying so that I could understand them. Then I heard something. She said, “You are here to hire me to get you divorced. Correct? You want a divorce. Correct?” My response, “Is that what I am supposed to do now?” In that moment I knew that she knew what was going on. Which meant that other people I had spoken to knew as well. The police knew. My family knew. A few friends knew. This knowing of others knowing cut through me like the hottest coldest quickest jaggedy edge blade. There weren’t any take-backs.

Similar experiences with my first malignant cancer diagnosis (I’m a-okay!), Frump as a ballot candidate, onset of COVID, and every single freaking damned school shooting. And each time the worst part is that there are NO TAKE-BACKS.

Those kids, those children, those teachers, those lives are gone. The lives of their families, friends, communities are forever marked by these events. There are no take-backs. There are no amends to be made. No mea culpa. As a nation we have venerated and voted for radicalized fascism under the guise of pseudo-christianesqueness for at least the past 40 years.

COVID has forced us to somewhat face what and who we are as a nation. I am so relieved, honestly, to see many of us rising to speak openly and take actions from a place of love for humanity rather than sinking into the fear and zero-sum-game tropes. The information is out about us and cannot be pushed back into irrelevancy because there are also no take-backs for verified accurate information dissemination. There are also no take-backs for the march of time. Rising generations of activists and voters are now outnumbering the groups of culturally indoctrinated zero-summers. Those interested in promoting inhumane policies, laws, and governance, will always exist, of course. But they will become more and more outnumbered by the rest of us who know that unregulated civilian access to rapid fire automatic or whatever weapons of those ilk, are not humane. They will become more outnumbered by the rest of us who know that equitable access to healthcare (including mental, dental too!), education/training, food sources, affordable housing, and community are critical for a productive functioning healthy nation.

Those children that we are all okay with exposing to COVID will be voting in 13-18 years. 

In 13-18 years, almost 22% of our population will be between 71-95 years old. 

I wonder how those full of teen angsty- idealism voters are going to feel about a large portion of those 71-95 year olds, plus pockets of following generations, having decided their health and lives were worth risking over their abject refusal to wear a small covering over their noses and mouths while inside, and take free vaccines. 

I wonder how they're going to feel knowing that those 71-95 year olds consistently voted against taking care of our planet while voting for more destruction of our planet. 

I wonder how they're going to feel about those 71-95 year olds denying their country equitable access to health care, despite having proven data through their entire adult lives that it was cheaper and more beneficial for everyone to have equitable access to health care. 

I wonder how they are going to feel about how it was more important to us that they may be murdered at school than we demand better gun safety regulations and school staff/community support. AND that we specifically voted for elected officials who would accept monies from those profiting off of children being murdered in schools and develop legislation in favor of more guns being more available to more people without any oversight or acknowledgement of responsibility to the communities (much less humanity) they were elected to represent and serve (communities include ALL humans - even birth-five year olds). 

I wonder how they are going to feel about continued veneration of systemic racism and inhumane discriminatory policies. 

There are no take-backs for many of these things. Only moving forward by addressing them head-on with humane, thoughtful, truth-centered, meaningful conversations followed by humane, thoughtful, truth-centered, meaningful actions. I mean in the best ways we can as individuals. I am not the door-to-door knocking, yelling demonstrator, or logo-ed t-shirt person. I am quite bad at all of those things. Writing a letter, speaking to groups, putting things in bags to send out – those things I can do.

I wish there were take-backs. I want to take all of the most horrific of the horrors away and wipe the deepest awful pains clean. We are flawed. Lives are hard. We can only control our reactions.

In my house last night SonHerisme shared with MotherHerisme that one of his favorite teachers was leaving for a long vacation with his family. They are going to stay near where SonHerisme’s father, MrexH, lives. MotherHerisme responded to SonHerisme, “Is he going to see your father while he’s there?” SonHerisme responded, “Why would he do that? You don’t make any sense, Granny.” Afterward, SonHerisme’s demeanor changed rapidly, as it does when his trauma surrounding his father is triggered. It is almost as if mentally and physically his insides are on fire. We left the house for evening tennis and SonHerisme was very quiet for the entire car ride. On the return home, I opened up the conversation to help SonHerisme work through his anger and to have a plan of how to further move with and understand his emotions. At one point SonHerisme looked over at me, saying, “You know what momma? Next time Granny goes to the hospital, I’m going to tell her that I really hope she sees her dad there!” Because he is dead – but you already have guessed that, I imagine.

Entering the angers. Acknowledging the angers. Sitting with the angers. Moving with the angers. Holding space for the angers.

I spoke to MotherHerisme today while SonHerisme was at school. Her response, predictably, was to break down into a puddle of toddler-worthy dramatic tears. “I didn’t mean anything. I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings!” She does not know what she does not want to know. She only knows what has been drilled into her which is that if you are doing well as judged by the judging people, and a white lady, then you are morality personified and should always demonstrate that by being happy, insisting those around you must be happy, and it is your duty to shame and punish those who are not happy or doing well, as those are indicators that they are morally inept or unworthy. When flaws are pointed out = epic meltdowns. She thrives on the idea of her divine right to take-backs no matter what. This is her cornerstone of her trauma-response sanity.

I will continue to walk this path in different supportive ways with SonHerisme as he changes and grows through his life path. He is my most and best and favorite. No take backs ever.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Metal Rings

(Photo by Tatiana on Pexels.com)

This was written and recorded prior to hearing the news about Robb Elementary school. My heart is in deep pain and I am choosing actions of activism in regards to gun safety. I’m not sure that I have the right to feel this pain. The following is sent out into the world with the deep soul knowing of my own privilege at having my sweet SonHerisme with me, as well as both of my parents, siblings, and friends as I tumble through this messy messy life.

(prologue added post recording)
(or listen here)

SonHerisme recently joined a rock band as their drummer. He is very enthusiastic about the entire experience. After playing violin for six years, he took a break and tinkered on the piano for a bit, bought himself an acoustic guitar, and finally got his mother to sign him up for drum lessons. He has been playing some kind of rhythm instrument since he could crawl and bang. It has been his calling but I have tempered it (mean mommy) with pushing him learning to read music and unlocking the most difficult instrument family to understand – the strings – first. He asked his father, MrexH, for a drum set last Christmas. SonHerisme now has his eyes set on enclosing a part of the garage to accommodate a sound proof area for his drumming and other instrumental explorations. Later this week he has an interview to be accepted into our local Fine Arts Academy for High School *fingers crossed.* So, yes, he is hooked.

This well intentioned momma is handing over the reigns to follow the bold screaming adolescent calls of the soul interests of the boy-teen-man. I can do this. Right? I mean, we can do these hard things, right? Is Glennon right? Can we?

He wants to try High School football too. All I see are brain damage and permanent paralysis looming along with peer pressure for sex, hazing, alcohol and drugs. I hope that the summer tennis coach can charm him into focusing on tennis. Maybe I can do the soccering consent? His cousin (boy crazed Rugby fan) is pressuring him to do rugby – hard pass on that too, please and thank you. SonHerisme says/yells in a giant man voice, “Momma, look at my body! Look at it! I am MADE for contact sports! *flexes* No one can hurt me! Look at how big and strong I am!” Ohmyholywildturkeynesses How have mommas been doing this?!!? Why won’t he do swimming? Golf? Horse Riding? I mean, c’mon universe. Can we, can I, really do this final sprint to my tiny newborn giant tiny baby bear’s adulthood? You guys. I have my doubts, but also cannot comprehend an alternative. More tea STAT STAT STAT

SonHerisme’s band is practicing to participate in a Rock v Grunge outdoor weekend lineup. SonHerisme says he and the band are working on mental health. How cool is that? His band is practicing mental health exercises to prepare for performing in front of a large audience! Blogisphere friends – it took me a few days to figure out he meant that his band is playing a cover of Quiet Riot’s METAL HEALTH. When I pointed this out to SonHerisme, he said the song is by Quiet Riot but it is mental health. Oh my sweet baby tiny puffin boy, yes, yes, yes, alliteration, yes. He did not believe me until I showed him a YouTube. Then I felt super sad and old that as a part of popular culture, I am old enough to know of Metal Health despite my calling leaning towards Hootie and the Blowfish, The Sundays and such. Then I felt super love and protection for my precious baby bear who is not quite grown, but so full of all of the teen hubris earnestnesses. Squeezy delicious babes working on their Me(n)tal Health indeed.

Side Note: Charlotte (shar-LOT, a former co-worker insisted I read boy centric interest books and not just 398’s and 811’s, to become a great children’s librarian – she was *sigh* correct) is, “I told you so,” -ing from the great beyond.

I suspect FatherHerisme’s parents are doing the same from the great beyond. I never met FatherHerisme’s parents. They passed when FatherHerisme was 4 (his father died) and 12 (his mother died). When FatherHerisme’s dad passed away, his mother remarried an extremely abusive criminal, and had two more girls. She had a total of five children: 2 girls and a boy (FatherHerisme) with her first husband, and 2 girls with her second husband. ZoeLorriane and Bertie – what a pair they must have been. Perhaps they crossed paths at some point with David Lee and Emily B.

When FatherHerisme’s mother died, the two older girls married their boyfriends right away so they would not have to live with their abusive stepfather. FatherHerisme was sent to live with a childless, very religious, aunt and uncle. Within a year, the abusive stepfather, known as, “Whitey,” *charming* was in federal prison, and FatherHersime returned to Indiana to live with his oldest sister while he finished High School and went to college. The two younger sisters split their time between family members’ homes, including with FatherHerisme at the oldest sister’s home. Her husband was also abusive. He passed away many years ago, but she is alive and well, in her 90’s and thriving in the same house where she raised her son. The second oldest sister married an abusive man who moved her to the hills of Kentucky. She rapidly mentally deteriorated in severe poverty and isolation from everything, and eventually died. The two younger sisters married challenging people, had children, and are alive and well surrounded by grandchildren and great grandchildren. Some are doing well. Most have struggled with mental health, addiction and abuse. Generational trauma for reals y’all.

FatherHerisme continues to struggle making very slow progress at a skilled nursing home rehabilitation facility. 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back, 2 steps forward, 2 steps back etc. He receives dialysis three times each week and physical therapy five times each week. When his blood pressure drops too low(frequently), they stop physical therapy, or dialysis, and he rests for the remainder of the day. SisterHerisme sees FatherHerisme everyday and brings him something tasty to keep his calories up and continue to help his kidneys work. I never know if I am making the best decisions for his health care – but I am trying my best to do what he has expressed to me in the past that he expects or wants.

At our most recent conversation, where he was very lucid, he clearly communicated that staying where he is in order to seamlessly get his next surgeries, is what he would like to do. His other option is to be transported via interstate ambulatory stretcher service to a hospital local to me (about 450 miles or 725 km from where he currently is) and begin the process of diagnosis/procedures with new physicians. While he would be closer for my brother, my mother, and me to be more supportive of his recovery and progress, he does not want to delay any procedures further than they have already been delayed at this time. BrotherHerisme is very frustrated that I am not forcing FatherHerisme to relocate (I’m POA). I am trying to be respectful. This is another exercise in letting go.

FatherHerisme has cycled in and out of lucidity these past few months. He was at a point where he “forgot” how to swallow, he could not feed himself because he could not control his arm well enough to find his head or his mouth, and he could not control or reliably track anyone with his eyes. Today he can hold a conversation, transfer from chair to chair (with assistance), and, with special utensils, feed himself and drink from a straw or cup. Miracles!

FatherHerisme FaceTimed me yesterday while BILHerisme was visiting with him. FatherHerisme was concerned he had mixed up his Dr appointments (he had not), and wanted to tell me that something was wrong with his fingers and his eye. He was feeling small metal rings getting caught underneath his skin in his fingers. The metal rings were like small washers or the backs to snaps on clothing.

FatherHerisme was worried that the metal rings were coming off of his hospital gown and getting stuck underneath his skin in his fingers. 
He was able to push on some and get them worked out to the tops of his fingers, carefully push them through his skin and flick them onto the floor.
He was worried that he was making a mess on the floor and that someone would get hurt on the metal rings he was leaving there.
He was worried that if I didn't tell the janitors, they would not be able to see the metal rings and get them all swept up, or they would be upset with him that he flicked them onto the floor.
He was worried that one metal ring accidentally got caught in his eye and he hadn't been able to get it out on his own.
He was worried about how many more metal rings would get caught underneath his skin and how he could get them out more efficiently.
He already phoned SisterHerisme asking her to bring precision tweezers and a magnifying glass for him to use to pull out the metal rings.
I listened to all of his words as he stumbled through trying to say everything he needed to say about the metal rings so that I would understand how concerned he was. 
I listened with what I hope was respect and honorable space holding for his worries and problem solving processes. 
I asked him if he shared his concerns with one of the health aids or nurses. He had not.
I asked him to hold his fingers up to the camera so that I could take a look.
I asked him to put the camera close to the eye he is worried about so that I could take a look.

Bloggees, I had to then gently walk my father through how all evidence points to his brain playing tricks on him. His fingers and eye do not show signs of trauma, which would be expected if metal rings were being poked through them. I had to walk my father through possible explanations for these sensations – nerve pinch, nerve damage, neuropathy, medication side effects, or growing toxicity in his body from kidney failure/blockage or another developing UTI. FatherHerisme then asked for tweezers just in case. I had to walk my father through on why tweezers are not the best first intervention for these metal rings. My suggestion was that BILHerisme go find a small bag for FatherHerisme so that he could catch the metal rings in there and not on the floor, alleviating his worries about safety and cleanliness. Secondly, I sent a large magnifying glass to FatherHerisme so that he could get a better look at his fingers as he is feeling the metal rings push through them. Lastly, I told FatherHerisme I would let the nurse know what was going on so that they can help him determine what is happening with his fingers too, since he might need support in retraining his brain signals if there are not metal rings getting caught beneath his skin and needing extraction. I explained to FatherHerisme that if tweezers are needed, the nurse will bring them for him, or we can discuss that after he has some rings in his bag to confirm what his brain is telling him.

FatherHerisme asked me how he will know if there are other incidents where his brain might be playing tricks on him but he truly believes what is happening is real. I requested that he pick two people he trusts who are physically with him, ask them for confirmation, and then no matter what he sees or feels, he will need to trust them until he cannot. Once he cannot trust his two trusted people physically with him, he needs to call me and I will fly there to help him.

My brilliant, funny, difficult father is struggling and it is painful to witness. My heart hurts and it is so painful that my already giant eyes feel like they are going to pop out of my head from the pressure of not being able to cry. I can hear my heartbeat all of the time now.

When I was a little girl, FatherHerisme wanted me to write a book when I got older and title it, “My Pop was Carbonated.” He was trying to connect with me in his own ways, but I too was hiding in my protective bubble from the time I was born. We have the same eyes, but his are more blue than green now. While I have the odd old lady hairs popping up hither and thither, he can still grow one impressive Santa competitive beard!

FatherHerisme told me this year that his mother died on March 24th 1952. He has never spoken of her, other than she died when he was young. ZoeLorraine and her sweet baby puffin bear boy (and girls). I hope I am doing the right things. Or at least in these instances, leaning right things.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. apologies for all of the things I am not measuring up on atm irl people and friends and family. I am pushing love out to you in absence of my follow-up on whatever I have missed. Or maybe I am too distracted by showing SonHerisme Between Two Ferns clips lol

Guns Out

(Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Grief – Anger – Activism

This is the way.

The following letter is long, I know. It is what it is with my angers/emotions. I have sent it to my representatives. Feel free to copy, paste, modify and send your letters as well. MomsDemandAction.org and any government representatives who are fiercely advocating for equitable humane federal responses to gun violence, are great places to start to donate your time or a few dollars of support. And please, for the preservation of humanity and democracy, VOTE. Always use your privilege to vote.

Ms. Herisme
Average Humane Citizen
Everytown, USA
May 25, 2022

Dear (Public Representative),

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading basic federal legislation to protect us from gun violence.

I am angry and frustrated with how hard we have all worked to vote in representatives to turn the tide of our fall from democracy into autocratic fascism, only to end up with inadequate action based on the pretense of trying to bring two viewpoints into some compromise. While I agree that we can have opposing viewpoints working towards compromise, that is clearly NOT the case we are facing when one entire political party has clearly aligned itself with gaslighting abusive misogynistic authoritarian fascism. I implore you and your colleagues to cease behaving as if there is any way to compromise with abusive inhumane legislators and behaviors. 

The issue I am concerned with today which we need immediate humane action on to maintain our democracy, is gun control.

We need YOUR IMMEDIATE LEADERSHIP ON:
•	Banning high-capacity ammunitions magazines and automatic rapid fire assault weapons for any non-military environment.
•	Requiring criminal background checks, including domestic violence, for every gun publicly or privately sold, traded, or transported in/out of the country.
•	Requiring all firearms and ammunitions sold, bought, traded, etc to have a unique registered tracing stamp, like a car VIN.
•	Banning any ability for gun ownership, ability to trade/sell/transport guns or ammunition for violators of these regulations.
•	Funding the ATF to oversee and enforce these laws.
•	Funding mental health and social services with equitable access for all, and acknowledgement of racial/socioeconomic disparity, at the community level to prevent and respond to crisis.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that the only way to prevent gun assaults in schools, churches, supermarkets, etc is for more of us to have more guns. This is a disgusting lie we have been sold in order for the NRA to boost dangerous military-style cosplay by frightened, entitled, disenfranchised, abuse-prone, sometimes mentally unstable men. The NRA backed businesses make more money to rally more and sell more military style equipment, and the cycle continues.

Men are going into spaces and killing people because they all have one thing in common – access to guns, especially those which will do the most damage, along with perpetuated cultural delusion of military style guns=power and control grandeur. These men have been sold to want that more than anything else, including any respect or reverence for their own lives, much less anyone else’s, including our children in schools.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that any gun control laws violate our “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” which is blatantly false. We can continue to own guns with some regulations on protection and prevention of further public crisis. I am a responsible gun owner. My son, 13, is currently taking gun safety classes with the intention of becoming a responsible gun owner when he is an adult. I agree and support our right to bear arms. I do NOT agree with the NRA bastardizing our rights as unfettered access and entitlement to military grade automatic, rapid fire weapons. 

As a nation we hold not just accountability for our ability to maintain our rights as we collectively define and redefine them while we develop, change and grow, but also an obligation to ourselves, our nation, our global neighbors, and our future, to be held accountable for how we are maintaining these rights. It is impossible to argue for unfettered access to any fire arms without adequate equitable support or regulations with this access, and maintain that as a nation we feel any obligation to public health, keeping children alive in schools, or humanity at all.

The following are a few of your coworkers who cannot be considered or reasoned with because they have received money from the NRA and are fighting to develop and maintain anti-humane legislation regarding weapons in this country:

Senator Romney $13,647,676 received from the NRA 
Senator Burr $6,987,380 received from the NRA
Senator Blunt $4,555,722 received from the NRA
Senator Tillis $4,421,333 received from the NRA
Senator Gardner $3,939,199 received from the NRA
Senator Rubio $3,303,355 received from the NRA

For comparison, the average Social Worker earns $58K a year. Senator Romney could fund 235 full time Social Workers to support public health crisis with his NRA money - he does not.

Before any of them address anything to do with discussions on adequate and appropriate gun control, or any public official (Cruz, Abbott and their disgusting sycophants) who is not vocally, publicly, well-intentioned, actively disengaged from the NRA in all ways, they should be made to listen to the following list of schools as they are, through their NRA and lack of gun/healthcare support, actively advocating for students, my child, your child, to die by gunshots in schools, courtesy of their inability to see beyond their own greed. The following schools have been targeted with gun violence just since Columbine. I challenge you to READ THESE ALOUD to the person closest to you right now. I promise it will make a painful truth come alive to honor them this way by refusing to look away from this horrific public health crisis we are allowing in our schools (and communities) by having elected officials who are not addressing gun control. These schools, students, teachers, staff, children have been sacrificed by us in the name of our warped interpretation of our right to bear arms. We are abysmally shamefully inhumane.

Columbine High School
Heritage High School
Deming Middle School
Fort Gibson Middle School
Buell Elementary School
Lake Worth Middle School
University of Arkansas
Junipero Serra High School
Santana High School
Bishop Neumann High School
Pacific Lutheran University
Granite Hills High School
Lew Wallace High School
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School
Appalachian School of Law
Washington High School
Conception Abbey
Benjamin Tasker Middle School
University of Arizona
Lincoln High School
John McDonogh High School
Red Lion Area Junior High School
Case Western Reserve University
Rocori High School. 
Ballou High School. 
Randallstown High School. 
Bowen High School. 
Red Lake Senior High School. 
Harlan Community Academy High School. 
Campbell County High School. 
Milwee Middle School. 
Roseburg High School. 
Pine Middle School. 
Essex Elementary School. 
Duquesne University. 
Platte Canyon High School. 
Weston High School. 
West Nickel Mines School. 
Joplin Memorial Middle School. 
Henry Foss High School. 
Compton Centennial High School. 
Virginia Tech. 
Success Tech Academy. 
Miami Carol City Senior High School. 
Hamilton High School. 
Louisiana Technical College. 
Mitchell High School. 
E.O. Green Junior High School. 
Northern Illinois University. 
Lakota Middle School. 
Knoxville Central High School. 
Willoughby South High School. 
Henry Ford High School. 
University of Central Arkansas. 
Dillard High School. 
Dunbar High School. 
Hampton University. 
Harvard College. 
Larose-Cut Off Middle School. 
International Studies Academy. 
Skyline College. 
Discovery Middle School. 
University of Alabama. 
DeKalb School. 
Deer Creek Middle School. 
Ohio State University. 
Mumford High School. 
University of Texas. 
Kelly Elementary School. 
Marinette High School. 
Aurora Central High School. 
Millard South High School. 
Martinsville West Middle School. 
Worthing High School. 
Millard South High School.
Highlands Intermediate School. 
Cape Fear High School. 
Chardon High School. 
Episcopal School of Jacksonville. 
Oikos University. 
Hamilton High School. 
Perry Hall School. 
Normal Community High School. 
University of South Alabama. 
Banner Academy South. 
University of Southern California. 
Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
Apostolic Revival Center Christian School. 
Taft Union High School. 
Osborn High School. 
Stevens Institute of Business and Arts. 
Hazard Community and Technical College. 
Chicago State University. 
Lone Star College-North. 
Cesar Chavez High School. 
Price Middle School. 
University of Central Florida. 
New River Community College. 
Grambling State University. 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School. 
Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy. 
North Panola High School. 
Carver High School. 
Agape Christian Academy. 
Sparks Middle School. 
North Carolina A&T State University. 
Stephenson High School. 
Brashear High School. 
West Orange High School. 
Arapahoe High School. 
Edison High School. 
Liberty Technology Magnet High School. 
Hillhouse High School. 
Berrendo Middle School. 
Purdue University. 
South Carolina State University. 
Los Angeles Valley College. 
Charles F. Brush High School. 
University of Southern California. 
Georgia Regents University. 
Academy of Knowledge Preschool. 
Benjamin Banneker High School. 
D. H. Conley High School. 
East English Village Preparatory Academy. 
Paine College. 
Georgia Gwinnett College. 
John F. Kennedy High School. 
Seattle Pacific University. 
Reynolds High School. 
Indiana State University. 
Albemarle High School. 
Fern Creek Traditional High School. 
Langston Hughes High School. 
Marysville Pilchuck High School. 
Florida State University. 
Miami Carol City High School. 
Rogers State University. 
Rosemary Anderson High School. 
Wisconsin Lutheran High School. 
Frederick High School. 
Tenaya Middle School. 
Bethune-Cookman University. 
Pershing Elementary School. 
Wayne Community College. 
J.B. Martin Middle School. 
Southwestern Classical Academy. 
Savannah State University. 
Harrisburg High School. 
Umpqua Community College. 
Northern Arizona University. 
Texas Southern University. 
Tennessee State University. 
Winston-Salem State University. 
Mojave High School. 
Lawrence Central High School. 
Franklin High School. 
Muskegon Heights High School. 
Independence High School. 
Madison High School. 
Antigo High School. 
University of California-Los Angeles. 
Jeremiah Burke High School. 
Alpine High School. 
Townville Elementary School. 
Vigor High School. 
Linden McKinley STEM Academy. 
June Jordan High School for Equity. 
Union Middle School. 
Mueller Park Junior High School. 
West Liberty-Salem High School. 
University of Washington. 
King City High School. 
North Park Elementary School. 
North Lake College. 
Freeman High School. 
Mattoon High School. 
Rancho Tehama Elementary School. 
Aztec High School. 
Wake Forest University. 
Italy High School. 
NET Charter High School. 
Marshall County High School. 
Sal Castro Middle School. 
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Great Mills High School
Central Michigan University
Huffman High School
Frederick Douglass High School
Forest High School
Highland High School
Dixon High School
Santa Fe High School
Noblesville West Middle School
University of North Carolina Charlotte
STEM School Highlands Ranch
Edgewood High School
Palm Beach Central High School
Providence Career & Technical Academy
Fairley High School (school bus)
Canyon Springs High School
Dennis Intermediate School
Florida International University 
Central Elementary School
Cascade Middle School
Davidson High School
Prairie View A & M University 
Altascocita High School
Central Academy of Excellence
Cleveland High School
Robert E. Lee High School
Cheyenne South High School
Grambling State University
Blountsville Elementary School
Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus)
Prescott High School
College of the Mainland
Wynbrooke Elementary School
UNC Charlotte
Riverview Florida (school bus)
Second Chance High School
Carman-Ainsworth High School
Williwaw Elementary School
Monroe Clark Middle School
Central Catholic High School
Jeanette High School
Eastern Hills High School
DeAnza High School
Ridgway High School
Reginald F. Lewis High School
Saugus High School
Pleasantville High School
Waukesha South High School
Oshkosh High School
Catholic Academy of New Haven
Bellaire High School
North Crowley High School
McAuliffe Elementary School 
South Oak Cliff High School
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sonora High School
Western Illinois University
Oxford High School
Robb Elementary School

These are just the schools. 

SHAME on all of us for allowing this to happen. SHAME on all of us for electing officials who fail us time and time again by pushing either personal interests in grabbing money from the NRA and affiliates, or pushing authoritarian fascism, believing their piece of greedy power and control will leave them in a protected sweet spot where laws and rules won’t apply to them at all.

I am angry. My community is angry. This country is fed up with the lack of boldly humane leadership, specifically in regards to gun control, mental health, racial/socioeconomic disparity, and safety for all. 

Please step up and do the job we the people want and need you to do. 

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading federal legislation to protect all of us from gun violence. 

If this is something you are unable to do, rest assured I will do everything I can to see someone else elected to represent us and get this done. These past few years have made me a single issue voter – either you are working to support equitable humane policies, or you are not.

If this is something you will do, I will write letters and contact anyone you need me to in order to support your efforts for necessary humane gun safety on our behalf.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Ms. Herisme 

What more can we do? After activism, maybe more thoughts and prayers… G-D Damn y’all g-d freaking damn. Keep safe and check on your neighbors.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Post Phalone

(Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Run Away, but we’re running in circles. Run Away, Run Away

Last Thursday I was alone in my house all morning and spoke OUT LOUD on the phone for an hour… what the weirdnesses. Alone. On speakerphone while sorting puzzle pieces (it is a problem, much like the spinach, but I’m on it, bluebonnet) and tidying around my house on my very completely own. Saying whatever I wanted to say whenever I wanted to say it! MotherHerisme was having a bit of surgery and SonHerisme was at school… and I, I left doors open, walking around and around in complete silence cirlces (post phalone). It was odd.

Do any of us not know someone who has COVID right now? Do any of us not know someone who has lost a loved one, or lost a loved one ourselves to COVID? Anyone? Anywhere?

The messaging being what it is here, in the myopic selfish-to-the-point-of-self-destruction USA, hardly anyone is wearing a mask anywhere at anytime for any reason whatsoever. This is INSANE. SonHerisme’e tiny 350 student preK3-8th grade school, has multiple teachers and students out with COVID. Most staff and kids are not wearing masks and are unable to distance. PreK3-Kindergarten, almost 20% of the students, are not eligible for vaccines at all. Nevermind all of the tiniest siblings, pregnant mommies, grandparents and other compromised people at their homes. We went to a High School musical production last weekend where maybe 1-2% of attendees had a mask on in the packed and crowded standing-room-only auditorium with lots of deep air passing around singing and dancing.

This morning SonHerisme was afraid to go to school because his classroom is next to the primary classrooms of PreK3-Kindergarten who cannot be vaccinated, and he has been directly exposed to COVID through classmates and teachers. He desperately wanted to stay home. Unfortunately he has missed over 20 days of school this year, due to illness (not COVID, but with COVID symptoms and therefore unable to go to school), and is at risk of not being able to move up to the next grade if he misses more school. I showed him the school system’s COVID protocols where even if he has been exposed directly to someone with COVID, because he is vaccinated, he is still required to be in school as long as he is symptom free.

SonHerisme, 13, knows this is bullshit and he could possibly be spreading COVID to vulnerable unvaccinated children. SonHerisme knows that choosing to not wear a mask indoors is bullshit superspreading nonsense. Yet, he is required to go if he wants to complete these last weeks of school and complete this school year to move up to the next class. In 5 years SonHerisme will be eligible to vote with retrospective views on how we have treated each other, treated children, treated the most vulnerable, treated the most essential workers, in this culture. At 13 years old he knows how to wear a mask in order to minimize the spread of airborne diseases. He plays sports, plays instruments, hangs out with buddies and wears a damn mask inside because he knows it is a small inconvenience to prevent spread of viruses whose long term effects we do not know about, small children are not protected against, and has killed millions of people in two short years. *sigh*

I know that our hospitalizations are not as alarming as they were in January. However, the burn-out and repercussions from COVID in our health care professionals and our health care systems, continues to be alarming. Folks are tired. Folks have quit. Folks are not able to receive the health care they need because health care employees, health care equipment support employees, manufacturing employees have dwindled away. In this country, it is too financially expensive for people to go to school and be trained to take their place. Maybe it is too mentally expensive to be treated as poorly as we have treated our health care professionals over these past two years (and continue to do so). As a former public librarian, I can attest that over the years, our treatment of people in public service has generally declined pre-COVID anyway. We stopped feeling anything other than righteously emanating our silos of entitlement with these workers, as our nationalism and distrust grew. There is some reasonable distrust of course (remember when we thought smoking wasn’t a problem even though it clearly was/is or that filling our basic food sources with known carcinogens was okay because authorities told us so? Seatbelts were optional until sometime in the 70’s!), but lawdy loo, we are entitled little bitches and mean as snakes to people in public service.

Despite that, if I could, I would go to medical school and work for the next 20 years as a physician. I would get a converted medical RV and drive around neighborhoods to give annual physicals and check-ups. Like the bookmobile, but on-the-spot basic healthcare. I’d check on the ill visits in the morning, and well visits in the afternoon/evening. After SonHerisme graduates from High School in five years, what the heck else am I going to do? Plus everyday I’d wear an awesome lab coat with my name stitched into it!

*dreams a magical unreality*

Anywho, to recenter please listen to my friend’s original composition written for her father on her new beautiful harp with carved dragonflies! This will temporarily unburden and soothe your soul. She is as beautiful and enchanting in real life as her music and presence are shown on YouTube 🙂

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

#carryonhealthwarrior #carryonpeacewarrior

ps I tried phone (FaceTime) therapy and it was not…it was just not for me. When the conversation ended with, “I encourage you to *** because you deserve it,” my mind post phaloned away.

Hale No

(or listen here)

Sir Matthew Hale is where are in this country.

If we’re doing that, I should have remained married to my abusive MrexH, who would have then murdered us blah blah blah. Huzzah for 17th century misogynistic witch hunters! Totes relevant for current debates and laws, bruh.

Congratulations and good news! You were never raped because it was your husband, and husbands cannot rape wives who have obviously consented to a life of husband organ access to wife orifice access at anytime no matter the circumstances! Congratulations on no longer having to worry about if you should or shouldn’t be pregnant- the eminent white men will now decide that for you! Congratulations on letting go of body autonomy for anyone other than eminent white men!

Your worries on how to self identify, raise your children with autonomy to self identify, receive adequate health care, be protected from gender/race/religious discrimination, or of any autonomy for your own body and life as it will now be under the control of eminent white men in your community. Congratulations. You now have NO WORRIES because the eminent white men and their mouthpiece hairsprayed femme-glam-wannabe ladies, will be taking control of all of it. Including the laws to condemn those who fall out of line.

Congratulations on your face, btw, if you’re white, young, lacquered, and attach yourself as said mouthpiece, you MIGHT MAYBE have a chance of gaming the system so that you are not feeling any of the icky yuck yuck boo hoo-neeses of witnessing or being affected by the 99.9% of the rest of the world suffering the vanity of snowflaked eminent white man egos.

It is the angers people.

At SonHerisme’s middle school, the talk of the town is the Depp/Heard situation. Mostly because friends are all old enough to be delving into the Pirates of the Caribbean series and know of Johnny Depp. Both actors, paid to sell characters and manipulate audiences in order to maximize those sales. Given how popular their court appearance TikToks are, I say “brava!” as they are indeed skilled at enticing us to buy whatever it is that they’re selling (in this country at least where G-D fucking forbid we tune into actual life altering issues – but, but, but, Jack Sparrow! Pretty white lady Model! But, but, but, Kim K wore a tight dress but, but, but… *vomits*).

Side Note: if you’re close to my age or even a bit older, do not even pretend to not know the origin of Machine Gun Kelly

I walked SonHerisme through what actual courtroom procedures consist of – lawyers interpreting and using the laws in their area of the country as best as they can to present their clients’ interests to a certain judge who will then ultimately interpret the law in a judge way in order to make a ruling on how those laws impact the lawyers’ clients. No lawyer is doing the “right” thing morally or ethically necessarily. This is not their motivation. If it is, you will find them broke in a public defender’s office. This is not to suggest that lawyers do not have morals or ethics. They do, of course they are human too. However, their job is to represent their client’s interests. Most lawyers are doing as much of the “right” thing their client wants them to do, based on laws to which they are subject, which may or may not be morally or ethically sound. There is no Hollywood glamour gotcha moment for the rightness of it all. It is a game of chess and whichever attorney plays their super law knowledge best with the right client and the right judge on the right day at the right time, wins! Yup, I am THAT mom, especially with hyped up dumb triggers (note to self: please get thee into the therapies asapsies).

It is the best system we have at the moment. But it is not a fair or equal system – especially when you see the humans behind many of the laws. The laws did not make themselves. Someone, a human person judge, with support from another human person approaching the judge, decided, for example, that when any human with female reproductive organs misses one period and discovers they are 6 weeks pregnant, they must carry that developing group of cells until they develop into a fetus to be birthed, no matter what the circumstances. If the human with female reproductive organs is unable or somehow otherwise does not allow those cells to develop, they face criminal charges from anyone and everyone who discovers those cells did not develop, regardless of the circumstances. No exceptions ever for any reason. These are humans legalizing dehumanization and bodily control of at least one half of the population.

Never any talk about any responsibility of the male reproductive organs causing the pregnancy… ever. Curious (no, I am not at all)

As long as we venerate patriarchal control, we are screwed.

I do not know very much of anything about Amber Heard or Johnny Depp as people other than the occasional substance abuse rumors that have followed Depp around for decades (as with countless other folks in his peer circles), and that Heard was maybe a model-turned-actress or something. Here is what I do know about what is happening court-wise: Mr. Depp is a massive ass. You cannot legislate assholery. As I understand it, he has brought a defamation lawsuit against Heard because of his sadnesses at having lost work as a result of their previous public and court involved disagreements where she painted him as the bad guy.

Dude – COME the frick ON. This lawsuit is textbook indicative that you are indeed a bad guy in this situation. You could have chosen to establish absolute boundaries with Heard. You are established and wealthy. You made an unfortunate partner choice (been there, done that). You will not win anything other than hurting an already struggling human you once claimed to love, and making lawyers rich. It is a zero sum game which cannot be won by anyone. That is what a narcissistic bully does. Do not be that. Be a human. Mea culpa the shit out of forcing this toxic relationship to continue and harness some grace. Bow out of any connection to Heard. Heal yourself and find other work that resonates with your soul. Right now you are only doing harm – to yourself, to Heard, your career, and to every DV victims’ abusers you are emboldening to continue constantly looking for any reason to drag their former spouse’s into court to reach their ultimate goal of utterly destroying them. Btw, your lawyers most likely believe you to be an idiot and are laughing all of the way to the bank as they siphon away your money.

Anywho, SonHerisme does not want to talk about Johnny Depp or Amber Heard anymore. Win-win for me!

Prickly feelings and emotions are everywhere. I feel we are seeing a number of systems hitting around our societal collective of refusing to face reality. I do not mean that we have not walked through hardship before. I mean that as a culture, we have venerated wealth, and the pursuit of it, as the only measures of success and happiness, culturally denying reality and the cost of how we were pursuing and achieving it. Gaslighting helped numb those of us unable (were never able) to achieve wealth/happiness. Gaslighting also helped us to culturally demonize those who could see the realities and question the pursuits. Our way of controlling to maintain our cultural comfort of the gaslit view? Fascism.

Control the bodies(deny women/children health care access), control the thought expression and dissemination(outlaw basic education and personal expression not based in specific narrow-viewed white patriarchal controlled ideology), separate and destroy all things, institutions, and peoples who oppose those controls(stack courts with ideologues, install local ideological militia, make control over people profitable for the few elite oligarchs through housing restrictions, eminent domain, and for profit jails/schools/water/wars supplies etc).

Under the boomer thumb we have culturally groomed generations of white men who are left without purpose, guidance, self respect, worthiness, empathy, compassion, or hope. The only path they see is to take absolute violent control when they can. We make it easy for them. One example: Open access to guns and bullets. Leniency by culturally emblazoned prejudices excluding angry white men from responsibility, or at least free from consequences we liberally bestow on non-white men. Another example: institutionalized re-victimization through the court system of anyone daring to establish boundaries with these white men (see just about every combative custody case between parents).

I am working every day to expose SonHerisme to healthy male perspectives, relationships, disagreements (as regular humans will always experience and need skill to compromise and resolve), self care and community care. Thank you to all of you male presences who are out there doing the things of role modeling this healthy male approach to life and humanity. In my heart and soul, I know there are more male humans who identify with a humane approach to life. I see you, I am eternally grateful for you, and I support your roles in our communities!

A thought: perhaps and MAYBE if we listened to research on how children develop healthy attachments and relationships, which lead to overall physical, emotional, mental, and intellectual health, we could support those things better for the future humans so that they can do better than we have done with how and what we venerate – align more with a humane approach to living.

maybe

*deep breaths* *refocuses on sending out love* *refocuses on SonHerisme and today’s priorities* *refocuses on the humanness of all of the humans plus forgiveness for the humanness of all of the humans doing the humaning*

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps these days have been a shitstorm with healthcare conundrums which I may explore once my brainiac calms the flip down enough to settle on resolution (even if it is a resolution to let it be and ride it out). Spoiler: real time societal collapse is not fun and also WTF with the federal deregulation pivot EXCEPT for more regulations on women?!!? gotfrickindamnitalltohells *breathe* * breathe* *breathe* buh bye ParentsHerisme’s investments… SHITSHOW alert

also – holy moses y’all there is a show called, “Discovery of Witches” (see top image) which now I recall seeing a billion ads for but cannot watch because of the reasons too much to speak about. Maybe I can handle the book? Doubt it. *sigh* trauma brain. I often describe myself as having witchy hair – but it is nothing like the woman in the show pics!

Hoop Loop

(or listen here)

Maybe cycle of insanity – I do not know

When you were little, did you practice screaming just to see if you could do it? Just in case you needed to scream, you would know how so that people could hear you? I would go into the woods behind my house and try it out sometimes. When we moved away from the woods and into the outskirts of a European city in my 6th grade year, I tried to find a screaming practice place, but I couldn’t, so I stopped practicing.

My screaming practice resumed when I went to university.

The main road between my house and my university (about 30 minutes away but felt like a million) is route 27, aka the highway to heaven. It is a dinky little twisty farmlandish 2 lane road leading up to an isolated liberal arts university. Its “highway to heaven” moniker was a result of so many fatal/near fatal accidents along the route due to a bunch of crazy privileged university students zooming up and down with various levels of illegal substance brain effects. I drove a very very old baby blue VW beetle bug car at the time. I loved that car so very much. When it broke down (often), I could usually temporarily fix the problem with a bit of this and that (metal twist-ties) to get me on my way. On very hot days, I used my 2/55 air conditioning – roll two windows down and drive 55mph. With the engine heat blasting across the floorboard, I would hang my left foot out the window for a bit of extra cooling. Sometimes I had a companion in the passenger seat. If my companion was a girlfriend, we would sing Judd harmonies on the 30 minute drive. Most of the time, I was on my own, free spiriting down 27, dreaming of the life I would be creating or some current boy-man infatuation.

While Highway to Heaven driving, I often wondered about seeing things without looking and would close my eyes and count seconds (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…) as I pushed the gas pedal down hard, driving as fast as I dared. Sometimes I would play a passing game of how many cars I could pass in one go – forcing my little baby blue buggy’s speedometer to hit its highest marking point. Other times I would scream as loudly as I could, over and over until the painful terror decibels scratched my throat raw, just to be sure that I could still do it. I would practice with the windows rolled up, windows rolled down, with passengers, or alone. Don’t worry, I always gave my passengers warning and gave them the option of participating too. Some of them did and they were great screamers!

I stopped screaming when I left that university and that cozy little blue buggy was replaced with a sleek 4-door dark green (tan leather interior, natch) respectable Toyota. I thought this was how life goes. You grow, mature, get the things under control, put on your grown-up panties, and the things of life-ing life themselves right up.

f^cking bullshit as it turns out

A critical piece missing in that narrative is knowing that control is an illusion outside of how your mind processes life. Also, that there isn’t a prescriptive path that works out for most people. Many things (emotions, experiences) sometimes are in a loop. You age, of course, as you move along the outside, or stumble into feeling stuck on the inside, or float untethered on the outside. I see it is a seasonal loop like a circular calendar hoop. I teeter and totter here and there and everywhere – but there’s always the forward movement of something cycling in this life.

And cycle I must – we must. On my cycle, if I do not do routine things in an exact order, I cannot remember if I have done them or not. Regular things disappear very quickly from my brain. I cannot remember if/when I took a shower unless there is a little towel on my pillow from sleeping with wet hair. I cannot remember if I ate food unless I leave the dishes in the sink until I do final cleanup in the evening. I cannot remember if my teeth are brushed unless my toothbrush topper has been moved as a reminder that I already did that. My patterns and rituals of each day. And as far as my lady cycle, I have never been great at tracking it other than if I couldn’t remember the last time I had it, and I was thinking about menstruation, then it was time in the next few days. Of course, as I am slipping into olden lady times, this will no longer work. This is one reason why it took me so long to recognize what was happening in my marriage – I truly could not remember things well enough to see the deception. Oiy my broken braniac.

There is an abundance of information about an overwhelming amount of things combined with regular life happenings (at least regular for my life). Climate, Health rights, War, Treason, Resource Allocation, Data Brokerage, etc. Along with MrexH wanting to send SonHerisme a birthday gift, knowing I am months behind on the court ordered weekly updates (YUP still doing these), MotherHerisme’s ailments and care, FatherHerisme’s ailments and care, SonHerisme preparing to move up to a new school, sweet puppers need more teeth extracted, my house/deck/garden need attention, and me… well I am… eh, who knows? I am not walking with a steady gait around the loop, that’s for sure.

In honor of chaos overload, I decided to try a scream in my 14 year old car. I was driving past a farm on my street (not the goat king farm, a corn/soy rotation farm field before the little bridge – I live on a long road) and decided to see if I was brave enough to scream, or even if I could remember how to scream.

I took a few very deep cleansing breaths before grabbing the steering wheel firmly at 10 and 2 with both hands, finally pushing out a monstrously high pitched horrific scream from the darkest pit of my stomach. Then I burst into a crazy fit of giggles – at myself, alone in my car, on a country road rainy day.

I’m sure I’m fine.

My throat hurt for days. But I am glad that I did it.

A little girl in the back of my car last week told me how lucky SonHerisme is that he gets kisses when he gets in and out of my car. She wishes someone would kiss her too. She says her momma (single mom with past addiction issues, parent of two awesome kids) gives her kisses about five times a year because her momma is just too sad on the other days. I want to hold that momma and give her all of the comforting soup and tea in the universe. We are breaking our babies, y’all. Check on your neighbors. I’m the neighbor driving next to you screaming in my car to get the things out of me so that I can drive the babies home, be there to receive their worries and lessen the burdens placed on them, and to give ten million kisses to SonHerisme. And by screaming in my car, I mean internally horror film over-paid under-skilled actor screaming whilst exuding a bizarre sense of calm. Until I can no longer hold it in.

Hope is still here somewhere. I see evidence of it every time I plant something, or take my leftover lettuce, leeks, celery and such, attempting a new growth from the leftover stems.

I see evidence of hope when another crazy busy momma takes a moment out of her day to acknowledge the realness of us. I see evidence of hope in a 6’2″ 13-year-old creative learner’s hazel golden caramel windows to his soul. I see it in all of our babies walking around experiencing the things of life.

Yours in constant off-balance of hope and chaos,

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I secretly cried y’all. For a hawt minute I welled up when my teensy tinsy giant newborn baby-boy-teen-man told me he would empty the dishwasher and fill it up for me, at the same time a thoughtful husband of a very sweet friend, sent an old video to me of him singing(he’s a professional singer/songwriter) a Happy Mother’s Day song with their then tiny toddler baby girl… We need our village people. Even if it is one or two people, we need them so very much. If I think on this right now, I will break until I river myself out. I wish a squeezy village for you too.

COVID is insanity y’all – please take good care of you and your community. Health/Humane rights are insane to debate y’all – please take good care of you and your community.

Fire Dancers

(or listen here)

I took SonHerisme to our little outdoor stage by the creek behind the downtown library a few weekends ago. He happily ate an enchilada (meant to be a quesadilla, but the woman couldn’t understand me over the phone through my mask with the loud background of humans and music), some little chocolates from my handbag, and a shared piece of pizza with a buddy. I ate my vegetarian pumpkin bolognese (sans spinach! haha!) on tumeric rice before I left home because I never ever know how my body is going to react to life. We sat with a few hundred other community members and tourists to watch the Fire Dancers perform by the creek. One of the performers is a well-known substitute teacher in our local private schools, who is also famous for her hula-hooping. Small towns, whatcha gonna do? They all have their amazingly fun, diverse, quirky little art communities, and I love ours. Everyone kind of kept their distance for the most part from each other, and we were outside. A very few amount of people wore their masks. SonHerisme and I wore our masks when everyone was sat watching the show.

This was a teensy moment in our teensy lives which filled me with an instant glow of warmth for the everything of everything in knowing that the everything is also the nothing.

While we were sitting there: births happened, deaths happened, bombing happened, drinks happened, torture happened, parties happened, sex happened, travel happened, cooking happened, eating happened, dancing happened… all of the things of the global humans were happening at the same time we were focused on the fire dancer at the creek with our masks on with friends and community – and ultimately none of it matters to anyone who is not in those specific moments. Occasionally even then it barely registers with those in the experience, after the experience. Being liberal, conservative, gay, tall, queer, short, beautiful, ugly, able-bodied, trans, employed, homeless, talented, clever, ultimately means nothing in these life moments. Had perfect grades? Perfect attendance? Top sales? Highest bonus? None of that means anything other than you had some privilege combined with support and a lot of luck – which may or may not pan out as contentment/success/health or some other measure of whatever you were achieving. All of these narratives are basically a crapshoot towards something. Towards life as it is.

I may be repeating myself with the entire de-Nihilism thoughts.

Also, I continue to not know if I am making sense.

Here’s the thing: ParentsHerisme’s plan for what will happen to them as their health declines is that I should decide how to handle it. FatherHerisme is struggling with another infection combined with cognitive decline. MotherHerisme continues with her ulceration struggles, with support from the ultimate coven at Georgetown (MGUH much?). ParentsHerisme’s plan for their finances, estate settlement upon death etc is that I should decide how to handle it. People of the Internets… I am daunted, and most likely in need of a Fleabag priest with a pocketful of absolutions x3000 for the confidences. And by that I mean the lack thereof.

I am imagining what our country, our communities, our homes, our families will look like over the next 20 years as these boomers become ill and transition out of this existence. By then I will most certainly be the olden lady doing all of the yogas in the woods with my trusty dog companion and *fingers crossed* that in-ground heated saltwater swimming pool next to the cabana with composting toilet, outdoor shower, and barrel sauna… *dreams away into another cup of tea*

In reality, I see a heinous boomer legacy of disregard for humanity whose consequences will be brutally felt by GenX/Millenials as GenZ+ mature and discover just how disgustingly slimey the general white patriarchal boomer footprint has been on this country and the world.

Harsh? Yes indeed. Do I love ParentsHerisme anyway? Yes I do. They were systematically fed and brainwashed throughout their lives. By the time the structures were falling in a manner which effected them, they have been in too much shock to see truths through the gaslighting. And, frankly, the guilt is too much for them to bear. So they retreat into their privileged safety of fear-based moral superiority. FatherHerisme will no longer watch his once beloved programs on earth sciences because in his words (prior to recent cognitive decline), “they’re just trying to make me feel awful for existing and I don’t agree with that.”

*sigh*

Ironically, any mistakes made by the rest of us have an expectation that once we know better (which we should’ve known in the first place), we should do better (of course, after being shamed and blamed). Which makes me think that on the occasion when I can no longer hold my tongue with MotherHerisme, I imagine that I too must be diving into the shame and blame as my anger surfaces over things like Trumpcultianism and all of the ramifications of that horrific debacle, climate, education, economics, health care, etc…

Recent firey Examples:
1. Your generation and younger are so angry and resentful all of the time because you are the first generations to expect to get things without working for them
2. I cannot go to the doctor I want to go to because my insurance changed because of Obama-care
3. Why do I have to pay so much for my bills when people on welfare get brand new iphones to stand on the street corner and use
4. With Obama-care no one over the age of 75 is allowed to get treatment anymore - they aren't worth it and are put on a death list to just die
5. Your father isn't even listening to me on Facetime, so why should I bother to call him anymore
6. These women just want to be famous otherwise why would they come out of the woodwork years and years later, out of nowhere, and just start accusing these hard working family men of rape
7. I have earned everything I have. I have worked hard for it all and now everyone just wants to take it away and give it to people who don't even try
etc etc etc  

Multiple times each day I can hold myself back, not engage the crazy ingrained gaslit brainwashing, and keep my focus on the core love of it all. Other times, not so much. Like the fire dancers twirling all of the fires about, always balancing the fires, trying their best to look competent, courageous, interesting, skirting spiritual at times, and fun… mostly never getting burned, but that takes a helluvahlotta damn sweaty twisty bendy practice.

Love, Ms. Herisme (internal fire dancer) xoxo

Abortion is health care. You don’t want people to have access to this health care? Stop male reproductive organs from ejaculating sperm inside of female reproductive organs. Forced vasectomy much? Provide top quality equitable access female reproductive organ health care, including abortion as needed, based on the person’s decisions about their health with their health care provider. Universal health care much? And now you know how I feel about the shitty state of the current SCOTUS Ridiculosis dangerous disgusting news.

And on that note, I hope that you all are doing as well as you can be out there. I believe in you!

De-Nihilism

(Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

I have been thinking about something different than nothing matters nihilism.

If there is such a thing as optimistic nihilism or relief nihilism or some other wording which represents that everything that is happening everywhere is made up bullshit which only momentarily means something when there is a collective who agrees it has some meaning. It could be a positive, negative, neutral, humane, inhumane, destructive, constructive meaning, but it is relative to whatever narrative we are telling ourselves about it. What the nihilistic path, where nothing really means anything, can show us is that clearly the only thing left is the warmth, the love, the soul, the light is what is left from the stripping away.

Love

With all of the happenings of all of things over these past few months, love is all I have left. Which I think is most likely all I have ever had. The struggle comes when the distractions drag us into other beliefs. Inevitably whatever we have been dragged into or to, leaves us wanting because ultimately none of it matters.

All that matters is love.

I am not saying it is easy. I struggle every single day either accepting or refusing to accept what is swirling around inside and outside of me. I find my center when I can strip everything down to love.

Nihilism helps as a reminder of how to get back to that core.

It is all a crapshoot. Lucky, unlucky, beautiful, unable to recognize self beauty, recognized worthiness, the “right” school, the “right” grades, the “right” whatever – is just whatever. You may be privileged or lucky to stumble into one of the “right,” things. Or you may work your ass off and never achieve any of the “right,” things. If you can drop into whatever love you have stored inside and move from that place (with almost constant redirection, at least in my case), I think that is all we can do. Nothing matters except for love.

Anyway… I have an 11 page summary of FatherHerisme’s high medical drama since January 2022 which, out of love, I will spare you from being subjected. As of today he has been moved into a long term rehabilitation skilled nursing care facility and, at last report, is eating a grilled cheese sandwich ON HIS OWN (a HUGE FREAKING DEAL).

Last night I had a toasted gf bagel thin with dill pickles, swiss cheese, and spicey wine mustard (exactly zero spinach involved!).

If you decide to eat a grilled/toasted cheese sandwich today, I hope you can embrace that act of love for yourself. So very many craptasticacity happening globally and personally, I hope we can keep our focus on love and on the doing of the things which reinforce healthy love.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

This all sounds corny, I am aware. I am older – reaching that point where nothing else matters but love, recognition of love, acts of love and struggling to maintain in that arena. Otherwise, I am fairly certain that my soul will implode. Currently I am writing to my Governor from a place of love, imploring him to do the humane thing… again. That’s how I do. Hoppy Easter/Passover/Ramadan bock bock.

Récit Receipt

(Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

It is as such a time of movement in narratives about what has happened/is happening/will happen that I find myself unable to linger over much at all.

My eyebrows are numb.

There have been hospital visits, cardinal pairings, airplane travel, pop-up blooms, critical medical decisions, fire dancers, piano plunking, architects, kids in mental health crisis, zip-front bras, zydeco, powers-of-attorney, a wandering kitty-cat, grotesque wound care, super spy new neighbor, pot, drum beats, rock skipping, and rose water infused mango lassi… plus the news of goings on and friends with COVID.

Y’all

I found “Random Acts of Kindness” cards I promised to use on 3.6.2020 and R. Buckminster Fuller 37cent stamps whilst cleaning up.

What even is happening everywhere? Is anyone else feeling the cognitive dissonance with horrors of humanity being marketed, virtue signal rated, with collective decision making based on the resulting populism rather than facts?

I’m just – we are all just – I mean, please be gentle and give yourself grace and space. I will attempt the same here (with my mask on in shared enclosed public spaces, thank you and you’re welcome).

Also, my front door is broken (have I mentioned?) and a new one will be here at the end of NEXT MONTH and it is costing $$$$ wth. It will be Forsythia colored with black surround though, so, yay me, while other’s homes are being obliterated.

During lunch today, I sat directly in the enveloping warm sunshine, ate my sweet kelly green spinach (natch), closed my eyes and listened to the sounds. I heard at least five different bird sounds accompanied by the woodpecker banging on about the benefits of bugs-in-tree bark. My first thought was how many of these sounds are universally peeking through all of the human horrors being inflicted around the world.

I sometimes wonder if forcibly crashing up against the prickled rebar surrounded concrete multitudes of grief and loneliness provides us insights into the infinitely joyously peaceful depths of love and presence that we would have otherwise never even noticed. Does it? I would like to be so present that I feel worthy of being present at all, in order to help SonHerisme feel worthy and loved for the always and forever to pass on to his circle of life people. How does this happen? Intention? Prayer Prostration? Ingestion? Magic?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Update on the Goat King’s domain: The pigs and turkeys have joined forces with the sheep, while the goats have been separated, I assume for breeding (?). The chickens have abandoned the entire goat-dom (I assume for greener pastures where they roam freely in large open spaces with all of the food/water and friendship they could ever want – grant me this moment of peace until I am able to acknowledge that they are either in someone’s soup or pet food product).

yeah – best be getting my gratitude meditations on and handing out my kindness cards with a piece of candy or $ to bring positive balance back to my day and maybe roll over to yours as well 🙂 Keep on rolling little tootsie rolls

Hatch and Release

(Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Think back to when you were pregnant (and chose to carry) – or your partner was pregnant – or anyone you loved was pregnant – or when you saw a pregnant person. What did you imagine about that teensy tinesy growing bit of life inside there? Did you wonder about what they would look like? Did you worry about the birthing process? Did you plan on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, cloth diapering, disposable diapering, elimination training, or some combinations? Did you mentally calculate how old you might be when that baby might begin walking, talking, going to (or graduating from) school? Did you imagine how much love and connection was about to be unleashed into the world, as it has perpetually been since the beginning of humaning? If you were not the pregnant person, did you feel deep slices of pain at not being pregnant and having the moments of questions and wonders for yourself? I have been able to carry one successful pregnancy which took me years of loss, work, money, and dumb luck. My soul feels the raw grief of no pregnancy too. I still find it difficult to be around pregnant people, unless I already know them very well (which is a limited circle).

Truth be told, being pregnant is surreal. You know that a human is forming inside of and being completely sustained and nourished by your body and the unique placenta organ you are growing. You can feel the changes as your body temporarily morphs into more than itself while sustaining the growth of another body. You feel swishy pushy movements – sometimes in fluttery awe, sometimes kick squiggle uncomfortably. Your other organs get squeezed out of the way making breathing and digesting a challenge. It’s an amazing wonder what fully functioning biologically human female reproductive systems accomplish with a little dose of male generated support. This is the entire experience of the entirety of humans since and until the foreverness of humaning humans. Without those successful pregnancies, we lose everything – no economy, no future, no innovation, no humans. It is counterintuitive that the encompassing entire processes aren’t venerated, protected, supported, and valued more as a community, culture, society, species. I’m not talking about wacky pro-lifer style or mega-watt baby-momma industries. I am really talking about developmentally, mental and physical health, appropriately valued.

Little tiny nuggets of DNA mush grow into bigger squishy mush. Then transition into kidney bean shaped lumps where they begin to grow some stuff of future humans, then become a fetus and eventually *fingers crossed* a successful live birthed baby. Of course this all depends on an extreme amount of luck and biology.

There is a squeezy cheeked little baby transitioned earthside! The baby learns how to process basic necessities – breathing outside the womb, more freedom of movement, how to obtain nutrition, what feels safe and comfortable, muscle control, walking, talking, navigating relationships, and other things of the humans.

Then we release our tiny puffin headed muffin babies out into the world. Some at birth, some at 4-6 weeks, some at 4-6 years, some at High School, University, or adult times, or somewhere in between there. At some point, if all goes well, and they are not shot dead at school, dying trying to flee fascist/abusive assholes, or impaired/killed by a rampant virus which could have been prevented by prudent ethical adult actions, they are released for their unique experiences with others.

What are we doing to cultivate healthy contributing humans? The food/health care/housing/safety/education/resource scarce people are on my mind – and I’m sure yours as well.

Why do we hold such cultural disdain for the humans involved in gestation/birth/child rearing but hold them up on a crazy pedestal when we want to push some patriarchal fascist bending agenda? Protect the sweet babies from being separated from their parents, unless they aren’t the white kind of worthy. Protect the women and children from all of the scary things, unless they too aren’t the white kind of worthy, then whatevs.

Nevermind that we enable/wage/witness war with direct mental and physical health effects on displaced families. Nevermind that we deny access to healthcare based on a person’s access to wealth. Nevermind that we deny quality education environments (including food/outdoor time) to developing humans. Nevermind that we fail to recognize domestic violence and child abuse as the cultural-normative things they are, and address them as such with practical, appropriate, and honest approaches. Nevermind that we expect/support/respect little to no parental/newborn bonding and birth recovery when we absolutely KNOW how this affects both the person doing the act of growing and birthing the new human, as well as the new human – both physically and mentally.

Bringing human life into the world and providing developmentally appropriate physical and mental support to grow that human into a functioning member of society is THE most important role for those adults who chose to do this. And it should ALWAYS be a choice an adult person has full agency over making for their life, their body. How else are you going to exist if no functioning humans are birthed and raised up, at the very minimum, satisfactorily? All of us have a stake in supporting healthy and safe human growth and development. Life is a fucking miracle – literally and figuratively.

Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is healthy and supported by her partner and professionals in the manner she has chosen to bring forth her birthing experience with access to high quality healthcare. Somewhere right now a sweet soul is being birthed Earthside through a mother who is frightened about her own health and safety, without partner support, in a manner she did not choose and no access to healthcare due to circumstances far beyond her control. Why aren’t we more reverent and careful with life?

ANYWHO – my point is that SonHerisme is registered for High School, which is a huge step towards release. He is outgrowing his little Montessorian nest, on his way to outgrowing the cozy sweet momma nest I’ve made for him. Friends’ sons are registering for Selective Service (get your shit together, humans). I am most likely going to pack away the remaining children’s books on my shelves and remove the “Princess Room” sign from my office door (former bedroom for back-in-the-day visiting NiecesHerime who placed the sign but are much too cool for that now). My other observation is that I will be masking forever since not only is SonHerisme ill aFREAKINgain, but the woman at the pharmacy checked my ID and had me remove my mask to verify that I am old enough to purchase cold and flu medicine. WHAT WHAT (ignores the reality of my tiny newborn boy-teen-man hawkey bat superhero wild turkey puffin muffin head bear is approaching the final trial flight years before adulting times).

I am pained for humans in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, Syria, Palestine, Eritrea, and all of the places where our collective humanity is failing basic humane consideration (including the U.S.). Which I suppose is the human experience but sweatergot y’all it is A LOT and I believe we can tone it the fuck down. Today this pain translates into these…

...notes to my own self:
See and humanely speak truths for what they are
Donate to a local school (time, money, supplies)
Write a "thank you" note to a school staff person - they are the backbone of your entire community and they are wiped out from vitriol, overextension, and misplaced expectations
Pay more attention to your BOE vote (in this country) as well as your Representatives
Do more to encourage cold turkey-ing our dependence on burning dead dinosaurs

If I could intertwine our beautiful mismatched fingers, hold your soft hand and gently walk with you, I would do it forever and always. As a compromise to this, my most and best and specialist favoritist person from the beginning of time to the end of time, I have made sure that you always get to carry a comforting centering piece of me in your sweet, gentle, kind, hilarious, creative, intelligent, and loving heart. This is a wish carried by parents from forever until forever. When I look at the humans from all over, I wonder how their hatch and release people are being loved by them as well. We surely do not intend for these miracles of life to do irrevocable harm unto others.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

I’m all over the place with the everythings of the happenings. We all are.

Is there a time coming when we can stop pretending there should be public sphere room for, or pretend that they aren’t who they present as, and openly honestly acknowledge that there will always be, groups of extreme people who are incapable of sustaining humanity (abusers, murderers, fascists, misogynists, racists etc), and attempt to cease allowing them to dominate the direction of humanity, or maybe at least our communities? That would be great. koyc (kiss on your cheek, COVID neg natch) thanks

I’ll be on the back deck, with my cup of tea, watching the cardinals and mourning doves chitter chatter in their Winter goodbyes and Spring Preparations. You’re welcome to join me as I ground myself into reality as much as possible. Fair warning – it is muddy out there, so boots are recommended. So is popcorn. Very very extremely dark chocolate plus amusing anecdotes are also most welcome. And sparklers. Well, now it sounds like a little party. An intimate deck party to bring a moment of joy into the swirl of humaning chaos. Okay – sys