Whytest

(Photo by Rahul Pandit on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Do you ever hear something that enters the depths of your ears like the smoothest yellowist not-too-sweet gently warmed custard? Murmur of poems. yummmmy

I would like to be pentagoning or decahedroning back, but I can only ever figure out the circle back to poets.

"To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals."  -David Whyte (poet writer human)

I got sucked into the massive mind muck again last night. I climbed out enough to play with SonHerisme a bit and then drowned myself in list making. It’s the opposite of rest, but it is distracting enough to at least get my breath and carry on with the things that need doing before collapsing into bed. Missed my shower though. I hate this grief process. I know its necessary and I am meant to feel it and embrace it to move forward to the blessings that are just around the corner waiting for me (blah blah platitudes blah). For today, I cannot stand myself and I am letting that be.

PIVOT

Our tiny town had a unity march again yesterday. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, unity is a good thing. Promoting unity in a culture built on and institutionally conditioned to be racist, is a good thing. Acknowledging that a marginalized disproportionately targeted group of people are worthy of humane consideration and treatment is a GOOD THING. It’s a good thing for all of us. Despite my understanding of herd mentality, I truly struggle to accept the reality of inhumane frenzy thoughts, words, and actions with the increase in access to information and community that we have had for many decades. This struggle of mine is an indication of my whiteness. I recognize that I am privileged to be able to step back to even ask the, “why,” rather than fighting against being trampled on.

We all know that the welfare momma is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that the storming of the US borders by criminal Central/South Americans is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that humans, regardless of any biases, deserve to be treated humanely - yes?  
We all know that access to food, water, shelter, healthcare (including basic necessities health care), education, and purpose for all humans benefits all of our survival - yes? 
We all know that marginalizing people is destructive for all of us - yes?
We all know that we live on an over abundant planet with an over abundance of creative humans - yes?
We all know that by sharing our resources increases all of our wealth - yes? 
It isn't a pie.  It isn't a zero sum game.
Unless we make it a pie and zero sum game, and then we ALL LOSE no matter where you stand.

During a conversation about the unity march and SonHerisme’s latest read and school discussions on being anti-racist, MotherHerisme insisted she has never been a racist. She doesn’t see people’s color (ummmmm….). As long as people are nice and work hard, that’s what matters to her (ummmmm…). She even ate dinner with a black family when she was in school (ummmmm…). She just doesn’t want to have to give her money away to people who don’t deserve it because she and my father worked hard for their money (ummbrainglitchmmmm…).

My mouth popped opened and this is what came out: MotherHerisme, we all want to see ourselves as good, kind people, and as individuals, most of the time, all of us are.

The reality is that you were raised in an openly racist home and that you are a racist by your words, actions, participation in and endorsement of racist institutions (examples like STILL BEING associated with the Republican Party and others).  
You absolutely can see that my skin is lighter and that XXXX's skin is darker - you can see the color of people's skin and it influences your opinion of people (examples like assuming the darker skinned people taking up a parking spot you want are just going to be clogging up the aisles in COSTCO because they bring in all of their extended family so maybe COSTCO should have a time for people without extended family, while you are getting ready to bring two carloads of family in to shop with you). 
EVERYONE WORKS HARD - EVERYONE. Who is not working hard?!!?  Who has met someone who is not working hard?  I bet if you have it is a white privileged teen - everyone else is working hard.  Actually, even that privileged teen is working hard, even if it's internally, they are working hard. WTfreakingH does "working hard," even mean? You and daddy worked harder than the single mom with three crappy minimum-wage jobs who has no retirement or savings because she has been constantly struggling to raise her child and survive? Who isn't working hard?  Who doesn't deserve to eat, have clean water, go to the Dr? Who exactly are you talking about?
The mid 1950's in Montgomery, Alabama - what do you think would happen to that black family if they refused to be kind to you, to bring you into their home or to feed you?
Again with the divide between worthy and unworthy humans - who isn't working hard?  Is it me that you're talking about?  Because we do have family members who describe me this way. Is it me, and then SonHerisme, that do not deserve humane treatment? Who is it exactly that is deserving of being treated inhumanely?  

Context – my parents have always worked hard and are also products of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of their time in history.

FatherHerisme was raised in extreme poverty, losing both parents at a very young age. He was raised by his older sister who quit school and got married so that she could take care of my father and he wouldn’t be sent away. She tried to also keep their three sisters, but the two youngest were taken by their father (different father than the older children) and the sister closest in age to her, ran off and got married when she was in 8th grade. Welcome to Kentucky in the 1950’s. A local librarian gave my father a job as a shelver when he was in High School because that’s where he was always hanging out. This librarian also paid for my father to apply for college and to take his entrance exams. My father attended a prestigious private engineering school with scholarships and Army funding (he served for some years after college), and spent his entire successful career as a chemical engineer with the same company.

MotherHerisme was raised in a military family (Army then Airforce) where her ambitious father became a Colonel and head of the ROTC program at a large southern university. Growing up she lived in California, Virginia, Japan, Alabama, France, and very briefly in Ohio. She met, got pregnant and married my father when she was working as a secretary in the Pentagon. FatherHerisme was temporarily at Fort Belvoir for specialized training while stationed in Germany. She was 19, he was 24. A rushed January wedding in Germany followed by the April arrival of my sister. ParentsHerisme raised three children, lived in Ohio (USA), Germany, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are both always themselves and insanely photogenic. I am lucky to still have them and to know them.

Also, I am not woke. I am just me and am a product of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of my time in history. Free to be you and me, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers – all of the people showing us the ways of unity, consideration, healthy boundaries and acceptance. In my smaller than a grain of teensy crushed glorious stardust glass particle sand moment of this particular lifetime, I am trying to guide the humans in my wee circle towards recognizing the infinite circle as they can. Anti-racist, pro-unity, pro-acceptance and healthy boundaries. Many days I am failing. I’ll just keep going until I cannot.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Have you found yourself Yankovic-ing songs?

It’s not the pale you that incites me, that scares and so frights me. Oh no, it’s just the whiteness of you. (sing to the tune of the soulful Norah Jones, Nearness of You – jippity jolly good funnesses).

Difficult to Believe (no know)

(pic me, *sigh* words also, me)
(or listen here)

They say biggity jiggity doo doo, and I believe it because they said it. I know that they know because I am in the know of knowing the things needed knowing about because they told me I know what they know. And now, thanks to me, you know too. What you do with this grandiose knowledge I have magnanimously bestowed upon you, is up to you. Exclusively fyi, though, you are a complete non if you dismiss what I am telling you that they say and you or anyone else dismissing the knowing of the things they say, deserve the ultimate comeuppance consequences since as I told you, they know and I know that they know because they told me that I am in the real know. Now you do know.

They say that justice was done with the guilty verdict for the police officer.
        They are incorrect.  That was not justice.  That was a spark of accountability only sparking as a result of directed public pressure force. Real time case in point: Ma'Khia Bryant. dammit :,(
WE KNOW THIS
They say that if only people comply with the law, the law will keep them safe.
       They are incorrect.  The laws only serve us as well as the people paid to interpret the laws represent us with  humane values.
WE KNOW THIS
They say that wearing a mask is stupid because they *have been vaccinated *have antibodies from previously having COVID *masks do not protect us from infection *COVID issues have been blown out of proportion.
       They are incorrect.  Read any ethical reputable epidemiologist's/virologist's/public health professional's positions on COVID and look at the reported statistics (knowing most health statistics under represent public infection rates).
WE KNOW THIS

They told us climate change is a hoax. They told us a college degree guaranteed employment. They told us we could be successful if we worked hard enough. They told us that welfare mommies had babies to stay on welfare and watch television all day. They told us that organic food was unnecessary. They told us that buying a $400K house for $360K gave us instant $40K equity.  They told us that looking perfect equated to our personal value and worth. They told us as soon as we drove a new car off of the lot, it instantly decreased in value.  They told us Muslims would kill us if we let them take over the world because we are not Muslim.  They told us that adults did not deserve to have equal rights in choosing a partner/healthcare/adoption.  They told us that birth control was women's problem.  They told us that we needed to get used to putting a penis in our mouths early and often so that we would like it and be ready for when we had to do it as an adult.  They told us that it was a not rape but a duty when you are married. They told us that children should be ignored and forced to be quiet unless spoken to. They told us that having a meticulously manicured lawn was critical.  They told us that everyone deserved a chance to prove their worthiness for healthcare.  They told us so very many things.
       They were incorrect.  
WE KNOW THIS
       We also know that, like our forefathers in regards to slavery and the treatment of native Americans, they knew better and deliberately chose over and over again to not do better because they were afraid of sacrificing their own privilege.

From Generation X on down, we have never known a time of given “if you follow the rules” personal economic hope, yet we have carried the burden of responsibility and shame for these tropes. Our lives have been dominated by an overwhelming generation whose defining aspirations blinded them to personal responsibility to humane existence. There is finally a rise of a generation who by numbers alone, will steer the future of humanity. The intense gaslighting and institutionally endorsed inhumane indoctrination of our culture is tough to combat.

So many things to wade through.

As the tide shifts on defining acceptable behaviors for the rising generations, we can either help tip the scales to knowing the truths of things or saying no to humaneness.

In this country, it appears that our voting power is evenly divided on if people should be treated humanely, or if we will give into our indoctrinated fears to justify treating people inhumanly. The tipping could go either way, which is painfully difficult to believe, but so apparent. Progression or Fascism, choose your own adventure!

There is massive swirling of the tides and I want SonHerisme (and all sons/daughters) to be filled with as much resilience and resourcefulness as possible for himself, for his future family, community, country, and world.

F you – you do NOT know this so please stop setting up hope shame!

There is some seriously real crap we need to work on. Hope shaming is counterintuitive WE KNOW THIS – seriously this shit pisses me the frick off almost as much as a discussion on institutionalized food and childcare – GAH! Sometimes shitty things are just shitty and heavy and weighty and better days are not coming. Better moments? YES. Days? Who the fuck knows? My heart is heavy every day for the babies I lost, we’ve lost, and I have zero hope that they will appear or of having another pregnancy, so for the love of G-d, STOP HOPE SHAMING so that we can get to work on naming, owning and correcting/processing/moving through shit (please and thank you).

I am trying y’all. I know that you are trying too. I see/hear you and appreciate you and your efforts! The things I will keep doing are the trying, the day-to-day routine, the positive contributions to my community and home, the naming of the things, and the difficult/easy/painful/fulfilling conversations.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps maybe it is tmi above… then again, so many of us have been sexually abused as children/adults I often wonder why we are not speaking about it more openly? I mean it is another thing we publicly condone as a society, yet privately and institutionally we pretend it is not happening thereby allowing permission for it to continue… so why isn’t it an open conversation topic? Wondering how it is condoned? That is another post (unless someone else wants to short and sweet it?).

also, things are of the heavy. I feeeeeeel the collective exhaustion and I send the {{{hugs}}}

finally, none of this means that I am not spending time appreciating and being grateful for the lovelies irl

  • smiling moon
  • perseus, leo, gemini visible
  • return of the bats
  • SonHerisme riding, soccer, violin, and tennising up the town (plus academic achievements)
  • dandelions reign supreme
  • a text with link to beloved old timey Harry Connick Jr. song
  • homemade bacon ice cream (for MotherHerisme, as I am a no-bacon lady for the reasons, but it looked very pretty)
  • i read an entire book of adult fiction (WHAT???!!!??? IKR!)
  • windy, sunny, rainy, snowy, hot, cold back-and-forthing Spring weather
  • a hand written marker letter to the goat king down the street (this should be a post!)
  • Vinny Thomas and Kylie Brakeman (twitter that up, y’all)
  • fluffy cozy blankets
  • you xo ciao

Like a Bird

Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport illustrated by Bryan Collier
(or listen here)

“We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters,” Martin Luther King Jr. 1964 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

This was posted by a friend today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and it has been sitting with me all morning.

Humanity has infinite ideas which sometimes intersect and sometimes do not. Most of us are interested in these ideas manifesting in a humane way. A rabid, vocal, temper-tantruming, violent group of people (and those under their influence) are interested in ideas manifesting in a way which separates worthy and unworthy people. They see only themselves (not even their influenced supporters) as fitting into the worthy bubble which will then control the rest of humanity through fear. Maybe my proportions are slightly optimistic, maybe wistfully hopeful (?).

It’s a sloppy venn diagram! JOY!

We have the power in numbers to hold those extremists in check with boundaries and accountability. Those who are under their inhumane influence need to see this accountability as much as we do.

We know how to live together as brothers and sisters, even when our ideas clash, as long as our ideas include a basic regard for humanity. It is the inhumanity which divides. We are not two sides, we are a zillion billion infinity trillion humane sides with an outlier portion of inhumanity. Let’s love each other 3000 and do the hard work of educating ourselves (links to resources for adults and children), being actively anti-racist, and holding inhumane outlier actions accountable. Let’s be the MLK Jr. legacy, and other ancestors who advocated for humanity legacies (grammar police, stand down). My unsolicited two cents of brainiac leaf sharing.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps If you started singing Nelly Furtado at the title, then we are twinning (and old)! Peaceful healthy moments to you today #carryonpeacewarrior #carryonhealthwarrior

in addition: lots of very awesome people have mid-January birthdays in my circles. Shout out end-of-lent-celebrants’-prizes!

Noetic Noel

Read below or listen here:

Circular talking power philosophers know stuff that we mortals can only digest in bite sized banal platitudes.  This is my way of saying, “I am not a philosopher and only dabble in grabbing potentially resonating pithy wordsies, so STOP JUDGING ME when I make inevitable errors in interpretation of which you, of course, will know infinitely more than I.”

Am I jealous of super clever philosophers?  Yes.  Yes, I am.  shhhhh wraskely wrabbit

I am most definitely a dreamer with an overactive imagination which sounds like I could be drawn to understanding and engaging in adept philosophical convo… sadly, no.  Or perhaps, lucky for all of us, still nope.

Despite the above, I am drawn to this Noetic Noel season where it seems we are all brought together by knowledge we’d rather not have. 

We’d rather not know hundreds of thousands of people have/are dying from COVID-19, or know another hundreds of thousands of people infected, some with long-term consequences, due to our collective disregard for basic science and humanity.

We’d rather not know what it is like to be governed by abusive, misogynistic, gaslighting, treasonous, criminal narcissists.

We’d rather not know what it feels like to see friends lose income and worry about their mortgages, rent, food, electricity, water, schooling etc.

We’d rather not know that a significant number of our neighbors continue to be in the initial spiral of textbook victims of abuse: denying its very existence, lashing out at helpers despite vast evidence that their own suffering is brought on by the abusers. (The awful bit of autonoetic consciousness, I suppose – cue philosophers for correction on this)

We’d rather not know how awfully deeply painfully lonely and despondent this holiday season feels while we muster whatever cozy happy Christmas we can find for our sweet only child who is feeling the pangs of isolation from his buddies too – and at the same time immensely grateful that we are so far healthy, so far still able to get our mortgage and bills paid, so far still plugging away with the everyday to feel grateful for the things we are dumb lucky to experience in this life (oh, wait, that might be just me). 

thought break side note:  It JUST started snowing a beautifully magic lovely gentle lush snow outside which is predicted to transform into a full-on winter storm of inches and feet later!  I love weather – all weather.  I love that it changes and makes up something different as the seasons change, or the day, or even the hour.  Weather is pretty amazing when you have the stupid lucky privilege of enjoying it in a safe way. 

Sending warmth and safety wishes out to all and I’ll pack up donations again today to deliver tomorrow when I can safely leave my crazy steep mountainside driveway in humble acknowledgement. 

But, of course, now I cannot wax on about our collective painful Noetic Noel because the snow has enchanted me.  Tea break and then I’ll be back. Stash brand Licorice Tisane. FYI, I am American, therefore I soak the hell out of the bag before plopping the soppy thing out and into the trash.  You’re welcome for that visual!  Oh, but yummmmm soothing hot liquid (not of the G-ds, though – that distinction is only for smooth silky so dark I will take over your life coffee).  Unless I am out and order a chai, I take all of my tea straight up (no milk, no sugar), altering the bag soak depending on the tea with black tea soaking the least amount of time.  It is possible that on certain days I drink vats of tea.  My kettle is a trooper to put up with me knocking that “on” button over and over and over throughout the day. 

And now you know something about me irl other than my wandering brainiac and bumpy history. Huzzah!

aaaaand back to Noetic Noel…

We do have some peek into hope here with the upcoming presidential change.  Of course even that is tainted as the gaslighting abusers continue their rhetoric and intimidation tactics, stirring up those who are already prone to doing their dirty work. 

Nothing mentioned here is difficult for some of us to understand (too many, really).  Many of us predicted all of this with uncanny accuracy since this is not our first time at the gaslighting abusive narcissistic mental illness yo-yo rodeo.  It is quite painful for us to watch you all experience this too.  We would not wish this mindfuck on our worst enemy. 

Unfortunately, recovery is painful as well.  I have not worn my wedding ring since June 2014 and still occasionally feel phantom weight from it and reach to twist it around.  It is like a gut punch when that happens.  Sometimes I think about taking it out of its storage box and putting it on just to try and distinguish the real weight of it from the phantom weight.  Like maybe that will break the spell of my own disturbing grief/recovery/whatever cycle.  I haven’t done that… yet.  I am not sure if I ever will.  But, I do think about it. As I also think about when my inevitable nervous breakdown is coming. Perhaps it is always bubbling out in bits and I cannot see it – I have no idea really. Tra-la

All of this has me thinking about how very connected we are in this space of abuse exposure compounded with isolation.  I do not subscribe to conspiracy that somehow places blame on our current leadership for the creation of COVID-19, but I wholeheartedly blame them for our current condition/isolation/economic and emotional strains.  Making it not unlike textbook abusers who use gaslighting and isolation to keep victims victim-y.

I am sorry that now we all have this personal experiential knowledge about abuse.

This is hard stuff.

New leadership will help but is not the answer to us moving forward.  If we look there, we will be disappointed and angry with them because they cannot be held responsible for anything other than a helper role. 

I feel that we are our own answer to moving forward. Embracing the knowledge of our situation, our roles with their privileges and limitations, and then using that knowledge as we move through our feelings, I think is the only way to reach our own versions of forward. 

I know it is hard. 

I know we will all feel that soul breaking whole body aching painful loneliness. 

We will all desperately want the comfort of the memory of how we thought our trusted neighbors had our backs with the most humane basics, not realizing that they too were being set up as victims of abuse who’s refusal to recognize it results in them lashing out at others in most inhumane ways. 

We will all feel the phantom weight of the ring and feel for it on our finger before we simultaneously feel it is missing like a hole punched in our hearts and remember what it really represented in our lives. 

We might feel the need to try that ring of abuse back on again and again until we can distinguish it from phantom comfort.

We might live the rest of our lives never knowing what healthy external comfort feels like.

It is a Noetic Noel fuh reals y’all and I am here with you in the thick of the emotions and hard knowledge of needing to recognize the abuses in order to set them down and move forward.

It is lonely out here. 

Hug those you can (even virtually).  Receive what you can.  Give what you can.  All things when and if you can.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Gentle reminder that I am not a mental health professional by anyone’s standards. I am a mommy, daughter, auntie, friend, cousin, neighbor, survivor, dreamer, writer, librarian, reader, shower-singer, giggler, nature enthusiast, cooker of foods, lead gillie, and (first time I am ever saying this) ex-wife. Please do reach out to a mental health professional for support, and linger here for simple-minded musings of a wild haired noetically challenged lady loon.

F’ing Wineberries

IMG_1970

7 years ago today, Facebook (who cares so very much about me natch), allowed me to post this picture of wineberries growing wild (albeit invasive, apt) on the rocky hillside of the land which I currently occupy.

7 years ago today, the day after celebrating sweet puffin bear SonHerisme’s 5th birthday, I struggled to make sense of and piece together my quickly unraveling life having no idea how truly awful, terrifying and excruciating things were about to become.  None of the puzzle pieces would fit – it was as if I was desperately carefully jamming together paper, wood, plastic, cardboard and invisible cut pieces from multiple puzzle kits with zero instructions, support or guidance.

I planned SonHerisme’s party to be at a large local park with fields and play equipment aplenty.  Potluck so that everyone could be invited and gather together on a hot summer afternoon to socialize while children could happily run free and wild, full of birthday party sugar.  MrexH (then still MrH) was alarmingly overtly not interested in the birthday party (he left about halfway through) and actively aggressively angry about  discussion or preparation of the birthday party, taking his anger out in frightening tantrum outbursts primarily directed at SonHerisme.  It was heartbreaking madness.

MrexH justified his behavior because I was not a good mother, I was not a good wife, I was a bad friend, I served rice and potatoes at the same meal which was not hot enough to justify being a proper meal (throwing the full plate tantrum on more than one occasion), I wasn’t controlling SonHerisme well enough, I was overly controlling of SonHerisme, I bought too much fruit, I didn’t buy enough fruit, I didn’t empty the trash often enough, I emptied the trash too often and was wasting trash bags, SonHerisme didn’t eat quickly enough at meals, SonHerisme ate too quickly at meals, SonHerisme cried too often, SonHerisme needed too much of my attention, I woke up too late, I got up too early and awakened MrexH up, I read to SonHerisme too much, I needed to do more academic work with SonHerisme, I didn’t exercise enough, my taking time to exercise was selfish (while he hired a personal trainer and went for weekly massages), I didn’t make my hair attractive, I spent too much money on haircuts, I didn’t buy attractive enough clothes, my clothes were too revealing and on and on and on, day after day after day.

This pattern increased in frequency.  It did not matter what I did to change myself or help SonHerisme, MrexH found something multiple times each day to justify his anger towards us.  He threatened to leave us, to take away my access to finances, to move us to another state where we wouldn’t constantly be trying to leave the house to spend time with friends and family.  These are usual abusive patterns which I did not recognize, even though I knew that something did not feel right (then the murder threats – well, you know the story).

Also for sure in our physical relationship, things were not right at all – but, that’s for another discussion.  Or not.  It’s a difficult and uncomfortable topic for sure.  I understand what marital rape is now, and I did not know before.  Enough said.

 

You think you are clever and on top of things, until the universe pops in with a great big HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING – then the universe might show you how much you are not paying attention, until you do.

 

So, thank you Facebook algorithm, for reminding me how the universe can work.

 

It occurs to me that we are all getting a HUGE – FU, YOU KNOW NOTHING from the universe at the moment.  Not dissimilar from my own personal experience (this is true, the opposite is true, the other thing is really true, but that is really really true, you’re the one with the problem, no you are, I know you are but what am I, I’m in charge, it’s their/your fault, etc).

This is why those of us who have experienced and survived abusive relationships are super sensitive at the moment, recognizing once again the familiar patterns of bullshittery shitstorm shit being flung about.

We are desperate to communicate to you how much we all need to be paying attention.  Even in isolation while thousands are dying, many of us are still not listening.  Instead we passively disassociate trying to mentally jam mismatched mixed media puzzle pieces until we can cobble together some skewed version of how all of this will make sense as reflected by the memory of our comfort alleged safety zone of January 2020.  All the while, in real life, being fucked over, again but worse.

 

We need help.  Vetted professional help.  STAT ASAP and all of that.

 

Why aren’t we listening to the helpers?

 

The teachers, principals, school staff who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy education for our children.

 

The nurses, doctors, mental health, healthcare workers who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy people.

 

The scientists, virologists, public health experts, epidemiologists who know what needs to happen, if they are given a hot minute to collaborate and really, honestly, safely propose true developmentally appropriate, safe and healthy community behaviors.

 

THEN, after we hear from these learned experienced folks, who already have massive amounts of experiential real life and professionally validated data from years of collecting it – THEN turn to the economists, big business, multibajillionaires to fund what the experts tell us need to be done to keep us healthy and functional as family, neighborhood, community, county, state, country, global citizens.

 

In the meantime, we are playing a dangerous game of roulette with human lives which cannot ever be replaced. Through the virus, through racism, through bigotry, through discrimination, through misogyny, through accessibility, through general basic inhumane behaviors we are emboldening the dangerous mindset pushing roulette to egregious heights of engagement.

 

We can no longer afford to pretend otherwise.

 

We could never afford it.

 

We were pretending we could because the largest block of voting and economic power in this country has remained stagnantly in charge for at least 55 years, and told us that pretending we could afford it was the only way to gain and maintain a position of privilege and power, which is the ultimate measure of our morality and justification for our behaviors (no matter how inhumane).

 

I suggest they were and are wrong.

I suggest we can do better.

We must pay attention and act in decisive, humane, trickle-up ways, or we will continue to be unwillingly painfully fucked.

 

The good news is that every single community in our country, in the world, has helpers!  Look for the helpers.  Once you find them, listen to and support them so that they can listen to and support us as well.

It took me some time to recognize I needed help – I almost got us killed – and then to listen to the help (feeling the actual present threat of death helps to open your listening ears, but I do not recommend it).  Somehow I listened to the helpers.  I believe that you can do it too.

 

Go Humans!

Courage Humans!

I believe in you!!!

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

#carryonhealthwarriors #carryonpeacewarriors #ilikeyou

HASHTAGing it (BOITT)

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I have everything and nothing to say at the moment.

Please check on your family and neighbors.

Please be kind.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps.  If you need a break from the heaviness, since you cannot snuggle and hang out with my sweet little SonHerisme, google “Greg Davies.” I know I’m woefully over-late to that party (BIOTT), but holy heck he is full-on funny! Sweet baby BeeGeeZus, I hope he isn’t a misogynist/racist/bigoted douche.  If so, apologies!!!  If not, you’re welcome! And if by some totally bizarre COVID induced Thanos-esque universe twist, you ARE Greg Davies: apologies and thank you for making me laugh and take good care of yourself – healthy wishes to you and yours!

pps.  Be kind and spread your love – we are all hurting and our family, neighbors and friends of color, extra systemically so. {{{Hugs}}} and courage humans #listentothem #startwithIjeomaOluo #thenreadStamped #thenreadandlistenmore

ppss.  BIOTT = Blame It On The Trauma  Admittedly a victimy copout, but there it is nonetheless.  I can take your judgement, don’t worry.  I happen to be an expert on that bc BIOTT!

I like you xoxo

Womenomics 101

Welcome to the basics, class

Humans, humans, humans, listen up!  Until we cease and desist from glorifying willful ignorance over acceptance of facts surrounding human existence, we will continue to reap what we sow.

 

The following are basic human facts (female associated with she/her, and male associated with he/him for these examples, however I do recognize and appreciate there are many gender/non-gendered combinations of humans):

 

We exist because some male parts and female parts connected, reproduced, and were carried by a female for an acceptable gestational period whereupon we were birthed.  ALL OF US.

 

Before a female human carries a potential new human around in her body, she must have begun menstruating.  Female human bodies release an egg every month throughout a large portion of their lives, which then sits and waits for some male to potentially release sperm to be introduced.  Basic reproduction, right?

The reality is that the meeting of the egg and the sperm rarely happens (given the amount of times both are available and released).  So instead, the female human’s body cleans itself out every single freaking fracking month by bleeding.  We bleed out what doesn’t grow into a new human.  Bleed bleed bleed bloody blood.  Sometimes its painful as frick (ovarian cysts for the win!), sometimes we stop it with drugs, sometimes we mother nature it up all over the place and bleed into silicone cups which we then dump out and use the blood as fertilizer in our gardens.  The point is that female humans BLEED every month.  What the devil is so flipping difficult to comprehend and accept this?

STOP taxing menstrual supplies.  They are not items we “decide to buy.” We need to function in society and we, female humans, BLEED EVERY MONTH.  (screaming it just in case you did not understand before this)

STOP punishing 12-year-old girls that need to be excused from class because they are in mind numbing pain from menstrual cramps/ovarian cysts etc.  They are female humans that BLEED EVERY MONTH and the alternative is that they become pregnant asap (hello beginning of time and pedophiles hiding under the patriarchal flag and females dying during childbirth).

STOP punishing any age female human for tending to their basic needs as females, who bleed every single damned month, unless they are pregnant or on prevention drugs (which you don’t want to pay for either).

STOP pretending like menstruation is an anomaly – EVERY female human from the beginning of time has bled every month once she hit puberty until menopause, unless pregnant or dead.

START incorporating your newfound knowledge of females monthly menstruation and behave in a humane way when considering your positions on menstrual supplies, gynecological care, birth control, and shaming policies associated with every human female’s monthly experiences.

 

Speaking of birth.  We have ALL been there – all of us.  You may have had the privileges of not only being birthed, but also of giving birth.  Since the beginning of time, females have been impregnated (by choice or by force), grown an entire new organ dedicated to nourishing the developing human while gestating, and given birth (through a temporarily insanely stretched vaginal canal or through surgery).

All of these things take immense effort and time and have lasting effects on a female’s body and brain.  Why do we continue to pretend that it does not?  Female humans are meant to strongly bond with their baby in order to provide for them. As it turns out, human babies cannot instinctually care for themselves.

Female bodies go through all of this change, growth, traumatic birthing, loss of new organ, bodily nourishing a new human through breastfeeding and strong bonding to protect the human race – and then walk away from the infant at 6 weeks to return to work as if nothing happened?!!?  As if we are still not feeling the effects of our bones stretching to massive capacity in a 24 hour period and then shrinking?  As if we are still not feeling the pull of tender tears or stitches?  As if the future of the human race carried in this tiny package we just expelled from our bodies, no longer needs nourishment?

6 weeks is so arbitrary and has only to do with ill-informed misogynistic men deciding that was when a female could resume her sexual intercourse duties – fyi.  THIS is what we are basing our care for newborn infants on.  Super seriously.

 

STOP being against females birthing and caring for human babies.

STOP forcing females and entirely-dependent-on-adults-for-survival-ideally-in-a-secure-developmentally-appropriate-single-bonding-nourishing-relationship babies to separate prematurely.

STOP pretending as if birth, lack of birth, adoption, fostering, loss of child, miscarriage etc do not affect adult humans.

 

All of you shamers and blamers, LOOKIT HERE:

Humans are having sex, are always going to have sex, and occasionally procreate.  Some humans cannot afford birth control.  Some humans do not have access to birth control for other reasons.  Some humans are forced into sex and pregnancy.  Some humans defy birth control and still become pregnant despite their best efforts.  The access to birth control or abortion is difficult or non-existent for most.  Female humans will continue to become pregnant, by will, inattentiveness, or by force. This is LIFE at its life-iest.  Stop punishing females for being pregnant and giving birth to our future.

When you punish them, you punish our future. 

Nourish the female and baby.  Give them as much time as they need to recover from coming into this world and providing the vehicle for coming into this world.  They need food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene facilities (toilet, shower, washer etc).

STOP making them come to the pediatrician 2 days after giving birth and waiting with their precious new life in a room full of germs.

STOP making them bring the future of the human race into Social Services to obtain food stamps or other assistance.

STOP forcing dissociation and detachment by institutionalizing infants at 6 weeks old.

STOP pretending like our childcare system is even close to adequate or affordable in order to shame females into “real work”

 

Dudes, if we can afford to subsidize multibillion dollar sports franchises, we can afford to take much better care of our females and the babies they birth.

Humans, sometimes we are idiots and treat each other inhumanely.  STOP doing this.  STOP pretending that just because you are not having the experience, you are on some moral high ground that others should aspire. STOP and check your racism, classism and bigotry if you are tempted in the slightest to be all, “well, they get pregnant to stay on welfare and I’m not giving up my hard-earned money for laziness.” STOP punishing your own future!

START checking on your neighbors, supporting your local domestic violence shelter, finding who needs support at your school and bringing supplies in to your school counselor for them.

Oh yes, and VOTE

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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

Ciao, Chanderdeep

IMG_6518

It has been a while.

“May,” you say?

Well, yes, and thank you for noticing.

 

Like you, I am scrunched, sandwiched, overwhelmed, isolated, lonely, frightened, alive and all of the things.

 

MrexH’s whereabouts are currently unknown, in case you were wondering.

 

I tell SonHerisme all of the things that would indicate that we are safe and everything will be okay.

  1. The last we were made aware of, MrexH was in Puerto Rico and riding out Maria (the storm, get your head outta the gutta), with his parents.
  2. Puerto Rico is far away from us.
  3. MrexH’s parents live at the top of a huge hill in a concrete house.
  4. Hurricanes do not blow down concrete (roofs yes, concrete no).
  5. They live across the street from a monastery full of nuns and their church.
  6. The monastery is concrete and built into the side of the hill.
  7. Nuns are helpers and community support.
  8. MrexH and his parents have been through hurricanes before (nothing like this, of course, but let’s keep that between you and me).
  9. As soon as someone has any news of MrexH’s whereabouts/condition and his parents’, they will phone us (it’s what I’m telling myself too).
  10. We have an alarm system on our house.
  11. We have our own community of support.
  12. Mommy is brave and strong (this might be a bald faced lie, but I say it anyway).

 

This, plus my mother’s continued health issues, plus her doggies had to have surgery (yes, I am caring for them as well), plus regular life crap, equals one stressed out lady (that’s me).

 

This leads me to how I end up on a screen chat with Chanderdeep from Xfinity Comcast, regarding my current subscription and how I am suddenly blocked from channels that I had a week ago.

 

Screen time at my house only comes on weekends and accompanied by SonHerisme, who is 9 and mostly wants to play video games with me.  Otherwise, I have perhaps 10 minutes on select weekday mornings, to watch a television show that is just for me.

I watch my rare 10 minutes on my first release vintage iPad whilst slowly inhaling the aroma from my coffee and taking lazy sips.

For 10 minutes.

10 minutes.

That’s all I need to start off my day.

10 freaking fracking flooming blooming minutes.

(cue doggies wanting out/walked/fed, HerismeMother awakening needing coffee/bandage change/pills, SonHerisme needing cuddles/stories/breakfast…)

 

Chanderdeep tried his/her best to help me, eventually implementing a temporary fix.  I told Chanderdeep how much I knew that the world was suffering, people are suffering, deep painful suffering, and my first world problems were selfish and stupid.  What I didn’t tell Chanderdeep, was about my sacred 10 minutes.  I didn’t tell Chanderdeep that SonHerisme and I have been at risk for murder and my brain needs a break.  I didn’t tell Chanderdeep how my mother screams and cries when I have to change her bandage twice each day and my brain needs a break.  I didn’t ask Chanderdeep how he/she was doing.  I didn’t ask Chanderdeep how I could alleviate some of his/her suffering or daily life pain that we all experience.

I thanked Chanderdeep.

I wished Chanderdeep a successful remainder of his/her work shift.

I wished Chanderdeep a lovely peaceful life.

 

Chanderdeep wrapped up the conversation asap, as you can imagine you might if some strange lady wanting cable access suddenly dived into a place of wierdo-schmierdo-I-want-validation-for-my-sellfish-needs place.

 

So, yes, I am struggling with more than cable access (which I haven’t even dignified with finding time to watch for those 10 freaking minutes as SonHerisme’s nightmares have returned post-hurricane convo), Chanderdeep.  I am sorry that you have to listen to looney tunes such as myself.

I might be spiraling a bit.

Truly, from my heart, I send you tons of peaceful successful vibes and my hopes that someday I will redeem myself to you.  For now, I say, “Ciao, Chanderdeep,” until another day, my screen chat Xfinifty guide.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Couple Out

img_4378

 

After the neighbors across the street moved away, a new couple moved in.  I do not remember anything about the family that moved away, because I was so young.

I do remember the couple that moved in.

They lived across the street, until I was long grown and gone from my parent’s home.

We were forbidden to run across their manicured lawn. They did not have any children.  However, they always kept their eyes on the children on our street, and never hesitated to call our parents if they were worried or disapproved of our behavior.

Yeah, my parents were called a few times (kissing underneath the only streetlight on our street – teenagers have mushy brains).

Many people on our street had the nastiest attitudes and words for that couple.  My mother and our next-door-neighbor lady, were always trying to include and defend that couple with our neighbors.

But, the couple knew they were outcasts from the general neighborhood.

As a child, I found this completely confusing.

To me that couple seemed to have happily and contentedly figured out an answer to what seemed to be, a very difficult issue in our Midwestern white middle-class suburban culture.

 Whenever the mommies gathered, there were a million complaints about their husbands, typically rounding out with a unanimous disgusted, “ugh, MEN!” sigh.

Whenever we were left in the care of our daddies babysitting (showing my age here, GenX all the way!), there were a million complaints about their wives, typically rounding out with a unanimous disgusted, “ugh, WOMEN!” sigh.

 

To me it seemed like the couple across the street had magically figured out how to smooth all of those issues out by finding each other.

This couple were together for over 60 years,

when they unexpectedly died within a month of each other. 

 

I annoyed the hell out of them.

I thought they were great.

I was given some of their furniture they wanted me to have when they died.

I still have it.

 

 Mr. Mike and Mr. Paul 

Trailblazers for normality of consensual humans humaning

 

Coming out day is today.

Humanizing {{{hugs}}} all around

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo