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).

Hybrid SoMo

Behold the Soccering
(or listen here)

I am a soccer, tennis, riding, violin, hiking, trampolining, biking, chessing mom who drives a hybrid with two car magnets on the back. PSA: my brake light is out and, no, I do not carry jumper cables.

Hybrid because when I purchased the car in 2007 I wanted a Prius, but was expecting twins (one survived! *SonHerisme enters center stage through the small undetected trap door*), so I compromised with a larger hybrid car and that is that. This makes me a Hybrid SoMo on soccer days. I have spoken. This is the way.

Yesterday was such a day. Glorious, jacket-still-required sunny, and soccer game a-callin’. One of SonHerisme’s teammates got stuck at home when her mother’s car wouldn’t start and dad was out of town. We gladly picked them up to carpool to the game. Which, in hindsight, we should’ve arranged anyway because the game was a good 20/30 minutes away in a little town in the Catoctin Mountain Range. (we were masked with flowing fresh air, judgementors)

Oh – are you not familiar? Have you ever heard of Camp David? The occasional three mighty helicopter parade gliding across the valley and up the mountain range to the meetings of the deciders of the things? Yes, that Camp David! (oh, there you are, Peter! This is, btw, what I say every time I peek-a-boo at my stats and it shows readers from the UK. Hello and Welcome to you, Peter! special xo to you!) At least now we are no longer deeply cringing and frantically scrolling through Twitter to figure out what freakish hellscape narrative an orange cringtastic moron has incanted into being. But, I digress. Where were we? Oh, yes, soccering… carpooling… the things of the mommies with the busy childrens. Also, racism.

I did not want to go to this soccer game. I prayed for rain – which was supposed to happen, and did happen but not to the extent of causing the game to be cancelled. In talking to other soccer parents, I was not alone in not wanting to go to this particular soccer game.

The area of our county hosting that soccer game is a known hotbed of KKK leadership, rallies and general overt racism. No one wants to go up there, except to go to the State Park and then leave. Proud Confederate flag flying is abundant in this area. It has gorgeous natural scenery dotted with racist tropes and racist attitudes.

Our sweet soccer team is co-ed and most definitely represents our country/city being multi-racial. No token person of color, rather the majority of the team are not white. I hadn’t thought about it before now because I am in a privileged position to not be forced to think about it most of the time. I am white. SonHerisme is very light skinned most of the time. The potential consequences of our co-ed multi-racial team heading into a KKK dominant town to play a game of soccer, became very real yesterday.

Meandering up the sloping altitudes to the game, our carpool companions expressed concern about going to the game (Dominican background). The conversation went something like this:

She:  Why did you say you aren't looking forward to the game?  Is the team really tough to beat?
Me:  I don't know anything about the team.  I just really do not like this area.
She:  It is pretty up here.  Why don't you like it?
Me:  The people in general seem to be unwelcoming to outsiders and I just do not feel comfortable here.
She:  Oh, wait.  Is this about them being racists here?
Me:  Yes.
She:  I heard about that and the KKK.  Yeah, that's not good.  
Me: No.
She:  Well, we'll see what happens.  I wish the game was cancelled too. I guess I shouldn't try to buy a house up here!
Me:  I just cannot imagine what it feels like being a person of color around all of this knowing how uncomfortable I am as a white person.  I am so sorry.
She:  Yeah, it is weird and uncomfortable. 

At the game, our team parents sat in the same general area. At the far end of the park, beyond the soccer field, there was a playground. One of the younger soccermate siblings wanted to play on the playground. At first his mother okayed it, then I saw her take a quick look around and call her son back to her. She turned to two of us and said, “I forgot it isn’t safe for us here. He can’t go by himself.” They are people of color. They know.

After the game, SonHerisme told me there were two kids in the pre-game team huddle near to tears with anxiety over playing with racists and how they might be treated or get in trouble for touching them.

These conversations are so very uncomfortable, but also so desperately necessary. I was unsure how to step into this, but it happened and I am so glad to get this uncomfortable topic rolling.

I do not want to be a part of sitting on my privilege while my neighbors are suffering. I am awkward. I am VERY awkward. I will keep trying to do this hard thing of opening up to difficult uncomfortable conversations in the interest of humane compassionate action.

I am writing a letter to the soccer league requesting that we no longer travel to that area for games. It is too much to ask people to go to a space where they are overtly discriminated and othered. This is my anti-racist activity today.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps It is a Monday kind of Tuesday in a million ways including that I wore a shirt with a pencil eraser sized hole strategically placed on the top of my right nipple… I’m sure it’s fine. Where did I wear this shirt? All around Georgetown. I’m fine. I’m sure it’s fine. Black fitted shirt, nude bra, not cutsie small bust – it’s all fine. Moon’s in Scorpio y’all. I’m fine.

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

T.H.I.N.K.

(grabbed from MMUN twitter)
(or listen here)

It’s that therapy/anger management/co-parenting divorce seminar acronym making the meme rounds again.

is it Thoughtful?
is it Honest?
is it Intelligent?
is it Necessary?
is it Kind?

I am a learning active anti-racist and address that we have a lethal epidemic of racism in this country.

Thoughtful? I will actively promote love and acceptance of all humans regardless of race, especially concentrating on those groups who are being oppressed.

Honest? I actively participate in institutionalized and systemic racism every single day and I will do better to call this out and change my behavior, especially by no longer tolerating family members’ racism.

Intelligent? Humans should be treated humanely. FULL STOP NO NEGOTIATIONS

Necessary? YES because we are killing and incarcerating humans targeted because of our systemic racism. These are our neighbors, classmates, soccer buddies, dads, moms, aunties, uncles, friends and fellow humans.

Kind? It is most definitely a kindness to stop hate speech and actions, racist speech and actions. Being kind to racism is never ever necessary. They have no seat at the table – ever. Humane treatment? yes. Kindness? no.

We are killing people – especially people of color – for existing. Until we face the truth of who we are as a culture, we cannot move forward. We cannot sugar-coat the truth of who we are and how we came to be. If this sounds like a “telling you” rather than a “sharing with you,” (and you are white) then stop and THINK yourself for a minute about where you stand in your truth of being an active anti-racist.

The story of Maya Angelou asking someone to leave her home and never return because they made a racist side comment, stuck my heart in such a way that my voice within my own home has become much more firm over the years. This is not an easy road, especially when you are surrounded with abuse, deep denial, and wilful ignorance. However, this is a necessary road for me.

Do you know what 7th grade boys do? They start puberty. They play with LEGO. They think Black Panther and Falcon are the coolest dudes ever. They want extra whipped cream on their ice cream if they can con you into it with their little boy/new teen big eyes. They belly laugh at Chris Pratt slapstick and love the kindness of the dad in Four Kids and It (wish monsters help!). They are learning algebra. They are writing a “dear diary” entry as if they were a witness to the Crusades as a Muslim and another as a Christian. They are coding virtual fantasy amusement park rides. They are practicing real life portrait sketches with shading techniques. They are learning to cut their own toenails. They are writing journalist interviews for characters from Zach’s Lie. They are hugging dogs and kitties. They are still needing comfort when spooky things scare them in the dark. They are dreaming of being powerful compassionate men doing important things one day, and working on practicing those things.

While they still have adults to help take responsibility for them, they are making bigger mistakes to push boundaries in order to figure out how to be.

Justifying or pointing out the humanity of a 7th grade boy should be unnecessary. But, in our culture, it is. A shitty unbelievably popular journaltainment person referred to a 7th grade boy as a “13 year old man,” because the boy was not white and was lethally shot by a police officer in the chest while he stopped running from them and turned around with his hands raised as the police demanded.

Who are we?

Justifying the targeted murders of non-white people. Meanwhile, insisting on spreading a lethal virus in the name of freedom.

My soulgutbrain hurts today.

SonHerisme, 7th grade, will turn 13 this upcoming summer. He is 6ft tall and filling out his shoulders and chest in man ways. His voice has deepened. He is well spoken. With his COVID respectful mask on, he is frequently mistaken for a High School Junior or Senior. He has Hispanic heritage. He still plays manhunt in the dark with his buddies.

I just

I just cannot

Love, ALL OF US xoxo

please, I beg you, give my baby and his peers grace, space, accountability and boundaries for the mistakes they will naturally make, and please DO NOT SHOOT THEM

another thinking thought: When we normalize removing children from their primary caregiver at 6 weeks old and force them to “behave” and “follow school rules” starting at 6 weeks old, when do they have the space and grace to make mistakes and learn from them? When does their learning happen? Where is the appropriate space and grace for them to temper tantrum, break down, make mistakes and safely recover, express their natural raging emotions?!!? Ah, yes, this is another post. ciao

Bee Charmer

(my pic, Elizabethan era quote)
(or listen here)

Today I saved a lost and worried buzzing bee who arrived without warning into my home because the sun was shining brightly and we had been carrying on a conversation outside while I was eating my lunch (spinach natch) and the bee wanted to continue our quiet lunch tête-à-tête but I had inside work to do. RUN ONs RULE The tiny bee quickly became disoriented and so frantic that it couldn’t listen to reason anymore.

I grabbed a lovely empty glass jar (I am a recovering jar addict) and an old Christmas card I recently found tucked away inside of a puzzle gift, and followed the bee, guiding it towards a sunny window. I do this with errant wasps too. The lure of potential outsidenesses seems to give them pause enough that I can catch them. And that is what happened today. I caught the window screen settled bee underneath the glass jar, gently sliding the Christmas card underneath the opening. The bee jumped when it felt the card slide underneath its tiny bee toes, and it jumped up into the jar. I held the card on top of the jar mouth and turned the jar over to hold the bee inside and walk it back into the garden.

The bee did not appreciate my efforts at first. It was buzzing the mighty anger buzzes. You know what’s funny? If you leave the jar upright after removing the card, it takes the bee a long time to figure out it can fly up and out of the jar. Same with wasps. However, if you lay the jar down on its side, the bee (or wasp) will fly right out the opening then fly away searching for its new adventure. Or perhaps they are playing a trick on me so that I’ll feel clever knowing something about them when I really know nothing (Jon Snow).

Some days I pretend I am a bee charmer. Not nearly Idgie Threadgood level bee charmer, but I try here and there. buzz buzz buzz

Today we also had a local tragedy wherein gunshots, chases, and breaking a military base barrier resulted in hospitalizations and death. Nobody is charmed.

SonHerisme was blissfully attempting to coax a former champion jumper to cantor with ease up and down a grassy hill while I watched from my perch on a giant fallen oak trunk when my phone buzzed with the alert that his school was on lockdown. Note: we were not skipping school as he has remained virtual and his first googlemeet started after his early morning ride…so… step aside judgementors. Expecto Patronum and all that.

I was sitting with another parent I have known for over 6 years who also has two children attending the same school as SonHerisme. Also, she is a police officer.

As we scrolled through various e-media to figure out what was happening in our little community, she shared with me how police morale is extremely low at the moment. They are all frustrated by what they see as the public’s lack of understanding for the situations their positions put them in, as well as their dedication to their communities. There are bad seeds in every culture. It’s not just that statistically and historically, people of color are approached differently by law enforcement, it is that there are huge holes for checks and balances at levels and institutions outside of the officers directly facing the public. There are courts stacked against people of color. Prison officials (for profit and government run) failing up with white supremacy. There are teachers discriminating against children of color, setting them up for failure. It is an entire system stacked against people of color leading to a terrible white person becoming a police officer killing a black man on camera. This is hard stuff.

MrexH is Hispanic, as I have mentioned before. Before he became very ill, he was a little over 6ft tall, weighed about 270lbs, appeared quite intimidating and was frequently profiled for extra security checks when traveling. The police were involved multiple times in our domestic violence situations. Yet, all of us survived. He resisted arrest and exhibited dangerous erratic psychotic behavior while in custody. Yet, all of us survived. He violated a protective order after threatening to murder us. Yet, all of us survived. He threatened family members, friends, some involving police presence, yet, all of us survived. How is this with the same police culture in our community? We have a well known open presence of the KKK locally (hello ignorance maximus). We have a police chief under constant scrutiny for racial and misogynistic words and actions. Yet, we all survived.

It has to be something about the local leadership not only inside of our local police department, but also rigorous support by other local institutions (courts, schools, detention facilities etc), which keep the nasty lethal systemic institutionalized racism in check.

I don’t know enough about it obviously and am approaching from a white lady perspective of course.

I do wish that instead of blanket shame and blame, we would take a closer look at places where things are working better – not the fool’s errand of perfection – but, better. I wish that I could take an honest look at my participation in promoting systemic institutionalized racism and then have the courage to change. Expecto Patronum to get rid of the gaslighting racist demented dementors from public works and policies.

I doubt the answer is just more training and cameras for police. Although the cameras are a truth telling tool for sure.

Oh yes, and I like bees. Bees. We aren’t like bees at all and it would be great to admit that first. We are not all born to mindlessly work at the rule of some central ingrained instinctive dogma until we die. We have choice and information to make choices. I admire bees for what they bring to the table. I hope that we can bring so much more. Good luck us!

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. I also anthropomorphize like nobody’s business and the horses know this and believe they are in charge, making it difficult for me to decide to ride because I do not want to hurt their deep feelings of majesty, so there’s that

pps. Self truthing is hard

Not Knot

Who’s there?

Me

Me who?

That’s right!

Do you remember that Shel Silverstein poem about the Mehoo?

I know that the image is difficult to read. If you click on the link you’ll see some of his work. If I add an audio to this blog, I’ll read it for you. Anywho, I like the door image and I like the poem. I do not know Mr Silverstein and he is dead so I will never know him, other than what I imagine him to be through his work. He must have been funny and enjoyed loose clothing so that he could belly laugh a lot, n’est-ce pas? If you have read anything about him which does not match this description, kindly keep it to yourself and permit me to have this image of him, please and thank you and bless you and may the force be with you, this is the way.

The barn-ish door is also lovely. I would very much like to be worthy of having a barn door. I’m not. However, every week at riding lessons I have an opportunity to open the big real-life barn door to the indoor arena as the riders walk their sweet horses up to the indoor ring. It is gigantically huge, heavy, metal, and sometimes stuck in squishy squashy mud. I find it a personal win when I can open and close the door on my own. It’s the little things. Truly. This and my imagination are all I have. Well, that is a lie – SonHerisme is here too xo and I do have some irl friends (it’s true!).

I also have my hair. A lot of hair. It’s fine, but there is a lot of it and it is primarily unruly with tangles. I gave up on it years ago and now mostly tie it in knots on top of my head. It’s so weirdly straight/curly/wavy/red/brown/blonde/now some white/gray that I do not need any hair-ties or pins. I wind the hair around and around and tie it onto itself giving the appearance of intention, which is instead more laissez faire- ish function. Rare hair trims outside of me diy youtubing it, because I cannot be bothered with fixing it just so, using product/tools, or even brushing it. Unfortunately it is also quite tangley and I am tender-headed, so I try to brush it out at least every-other day, but it is a time and arm/shoulder/neck muscles commitment. I’m afraid to like it too much because then it will surely fall out or change texture or color in a way that makes me hate it. It’s my trauma showing again – ta daaa!

Why share?

1. I am trying to write regularly (again)

2. I am trying to break the spell of anytime I like something about myself it tends to implode

3. I need to be doing something creative

4. Perhaps you will feel less crazy and alone when you read my posts (and maybe giggle)

There’s always one friend in the friendgroup who appears nice enough, but slightly (or mostly?) odd. Then you find out their backstory and its all out cuckoo crazy cats to the point of unbelievable. Every time you see them there is always some new unlocked level of crazy swirling around them, and it is isn’t ever the OMG THAT is crazy AWESOME, crazy – it’s the holy shitballs wtf is she doing to attract all of that crap, crazy? (psst…. it’s me… boo!)

Once upon a pre-covid time, I was at a friend’s dinner party (very casual, very relaxed, very much a regular part of our friendgroup routine, very much always included piles of kids happily running around with sticks and mud and giggles – *sigh* I miss pre-covid and my sweet babe) – I was at a friend’s house with a merry mix of people I knew, people I sort-of knew, and people I did not know. Some of the adults gathered in the kitchen to enjoy adult beverages and conversation, when one of the women began talking about her brother re-entering online dating. As she was describing the “crazy women” he was meeting online, it hit me that I was the ONLY single person at this dinner party and my personal situation was even wackier than the women she was describing. I was/am the crazy. That shit that was sobering. I left the room and wandered with the kids outside for a bit (flashlight headbands in the woods y’all – it was glorious!), then did the koyc hug round and left.

Things that have changed since that dinner party

  1. My baby SonHerisme is now a giant
  2. MrexH is not within driving distance of us
  3. I am noticeably older (white curls peeking, lady fronts drooping, yo)
  4. COVID shut the everythings
  5. My personal boundaries are more firm
  6. I am mostly a Mehoo Pooh with frequent Eeyore rising and knots of hair on my head

How are you?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

koyc = Kiss On Your Cheek (shamelessly lifted from an old entanglement)

ps. Like you, I continue to be horrified at the way we allow racism, white supremacy, and white male rage to go unchecked. Please check in with your neighbors. Fighting racism and violence is the responsibility of us all – especially those of us who ride the coattails of our whiteness. Please reach out, check in on your neighbors, and draw firm boundaries with racist behaviors. We are not okay without accountability.

The EV Race

Why are we in such a rush to judgement over every little thing but when BIG HUGE GIANT in-your-face-obviously-inhumane things occur, we’re all, “meh, it’s probably not THAT bad and we shouldn’t rush judgement?!!?!?!?!!!!”

We have a lethal issue in our country (beyond COVID deniers) – a serious case of Enabling Violence. Violence against people of different races, different beliefs, different gender identities, different partner connections, different abilities, children, the elderly etc

It is as if we are in a scramble race to see who can get control by demonstrating their supreme power over another group through enacting violence against them – emotionally, physically, lethally.

How are we not at a point in our existence as humans on this round beautiful bountiful earth where we can recognize that others are okay to be others, whether by nature or nurture? The only exception is dangerous illegal behavior towards others. Who gets to decide what that is? We do, and we should be doing much better at identifying what that is and how to cope with the inevitable outliers who wish and do harm to others. We have got to stop dehumanizing others. We have to demand that this stop.

Failure to recognize what is happening when white men kill versus anyone else, especially non-white people existing in the path of a racist, misogynist, abusive, mentally ill white man, is unconscionable. It is so nonsensical that people of privilege find it utterly unbelievable even in the face of indisputable facts.

I just do not get it.

I cannot wrap my mind around how anyone cannot see that the white racist man went on a racist killing spree murdering Asian women. He was able to dehumanize them on multiple levels to such a point that he took their very right to exist under his control, sending a clear message to any Asian/Woman/Immigrant/Sex Worker/Working Class Person that their existence is within his right to control. Dehumanization, abuse at its absolute worse. This is domestic terrorism.

I cannot wrap my mind around Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland and on and on and on hate crime upon domestic terrorism upon hate crime… What is it that we are not seeing?

That we are enablers of violence. That we are enablers of racist institutions. That we are enablers of racists. That we are racist.

Why can’t we see this? Are we hurting our tender privileged feelings because we are good hardworking people? WTFingH We are all good hardworking people, just some of us do not have to worry about racism, and many of us do. That is the only difference. If you are not worried about racism, then you are enabling racism (unless you are a very young child who has not yet been trained in the ways of the racist and the racist enablers. In which case, why are you reading this? Baby prodigy, I suppose. Well, congratulations, baby prodigy, you are clever and a racist enabler).

Every time we agree to use a $20 bill, we are enabling racism. Every time we question the racist experience truths of our non-white neighbors, we are enabling racism. Every time we allow UncleSoandSo talk about “those Black Cheecane-o (that’s how he says it) women have it made because they get all the scholarships, promotions, and welfare money with their babies, basically stealing my hard earned money. If you want to succeed in this country you have to be a Black Cheecane-o woman and you can write your own ticket. Some of them even have the lesbian ticket to lean on.” I’m serious. wtf

Every time we allow racist behavior in our homes, in our community, in our courts, in our government, we are contributing to greasing the cogs of racism. We are ALL doing it. We are all responsible. But the white people, us, we are the most responsible for not calling it out even in ourselves.

I spoke about one experience of my own ingrained racism in a hospital.

Here is another share of how I know I am a racist and must be a vigilant and active anti-racist even inside of myself. When I was married to MrexH (which came with it’s other issues, of course), we traveled a bit here and there to see family. MrexH has Hispanic heritage. I thought it was hilarious when I would show up places, like job interviews, and people were expecting me to speak Spanish and to have some Hispanic look about me – which I absolutely do not (red blonde hair, green eyes, white and freckled, English/Scottish/Swedish heritage). It was a big joke to me. While I am embarrassed that I do not speak Spanish, it’s more vanity than necessity (which is a privilege). When MrexH and I would go into an airport, I would linger behind to see if he would get profiled as he claimed he would. It happened every time unless I walked up to him when I saw security approaching and held his hand as if my whiteness legitimized his existence. Apparently to the security people it did legitimize him. This is hard to admit, but if MrexH was being an ass, I would pop into another line, leaving him to deal with security on his own. They pulled him.

I never spoke about this with MrexH, and he is an unwell person, so I am unsure about his perception of events. I do know mine, though, because I purposefully contrived them. I knew institutionalized racism was happening and I played it to give myself and SonHerisme a break, albeit a tiny one in the occasional airport or other tourism site, from MrexH. I am ashamed for using racism to my advantage. I did it. I knew exactly what I was doing and I did it anyway. Like the beautiful insecure woman who changes her behavior to be more deferential when she’s with a misogynist she needs something from and hopes to just get it and get out of there before anything scary happens – I pulled out, or put away, my badge of whiteness legitimizing MrexH’s existence in those spaces at those times.

So there. There’s my racism share.

I have done better since then. Going through the legal system, civil and criminal, taught me a lot about facing my own racism too – but not for sharing today. I am raising an anti-racist anti-dehumanizing son. I am doing the best I can today. I do think that if you do not understand racism and dehumanization are serious crisis concerns in this country, then you are at best an enabler of those things, and most likely a racist yourself. It’s a hard realization, but it is the truth I know for myself.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Anti-Racist booklists/resources because I am forever a librarian

Mea Culpa

For your Consideration: Idris Elba as Aaron from Titus Andronicus (by my historical pretend acquaintance, William Shakespeare):

“Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day…”

When you told me that I should be willing to take the fall because I always get forgiveness… I did it and you cursed at me for being manipulative.

When you told me that I laughed and smiled too much to ease hard things… I tried harder to charm you to smile and spend time with me.

When you told me that my breasts were too big and I wasn’t tall enough to be attractive… I bought shoes with heels and minimizing bras.

When you told me that I should know better than to hire, “those kinds of people who only belong in kitchens or on a janitorial staff,” and formally disciplined me for, “insubordination,” having conducted interviews for other positions with non-white people… I requested a transfer to another branch of the company for personal reasons.

When you told me that I needed to put your penis in my mouth and let you touch my body because I needed to get used to it and ready for what I would need to do when I was older… I did it without question and kept even more quiet.

When you told me that I was too homely to be seen with you or for you to continue dating me after you aggressively pursued me for months until I gave in… I silently carried that pain forward and remained friends with your friends to show what a good and forgiving person I am.

When you raped me the first time… I did not argue or fight back.

When you subsequently raped me on occasion… I became detached and unresponsive during the acts. Until you threatened my son.

When you told me all of the reasons that no one liked me… I believed you.

When you told me that I was selfish for wanting to get pregnant in my 30’s… I tried harder to include you in my pregnancy journey to win you over.

When you told me how glad you were that my baby arrived with light skin… I laughed and pretended like I did not understand what you were talking about.

When you mocked me for being quiet and avoiding eye contact at the dinner table surrounded by unhealthy people during the terror of my separation and divorce… I made more food for you and more space for you in my home.

When you bypassed my home alarm and locked doors to enter my home through the garage coded entry panel without my knowledge or permission after being expressly asked to be sensitive to our continued terror at lethal threats from MrexH who HAD been arrested trespassing on the property violating a court order… you blamed me for being jealous of you and alarmist.

When I insisted on taking my niece to the pediatrician after she was molested (with her parent’s permission as they were unwilling to take her, but wanted her to go when I pointed out this was a necessary responsibility) but was unwilling to be accompanied by another adult non-family member, entirely unrelated in any way to the incident or any profession related to the incident, to the appointment… you blamed me for be jealous and unreasonable for suggesting that her medical appointment was not a spectator event.

When I caught your decades of lying about your paternity… I held my tongue to protect your familial relationships.

When you screamed at me for returning your daughter to your home because I was experiencing a miscarriage and had to get to a hospital… I still tried to make our relationship work.

When you voted for racism, bigotry, criminal lies, bullying and narcissistic abuse… mea cupla.

Because I have let things slide for too long. Until I didn’t.

Once my son was threatened, I realized instantly that what was happening to me in my marriage was somehow wrong. It took me years to accept that what happened was rape, was abuse. Which sounds completely unbelievably ridiculous, I know. Even today I sometimes have to go back through the original documentation to truly understand exactly what was happening to my son and to me in my home.

And my own culpability, which was allowing it. Which was not being informed enough to understand and allowing that to continue.

I almost got us killed.

We are killing ourselves trying to make it okay that people we love, or people who show love in some areas of their lives, are actively welcoming racism, bigotry, misogyny, criminal narcissistic abuse in the leadership with our country.

Oh – that’s right. They have excuses:

  • the direction of the country (WTF?!?)
  • potential financial gains
  • abortion

As long as we remain racist, bigoted, fear-based, lying, criminal, narcissistic abusers – you’re good with that because someone somewhere in the tippy top 1% might have financial gains which you equate with morality. Then you can watch from your high moral horse as those less moral, less human, less worthy are kept in their places or eliminated altogether because what do they matter anyway? Also abortion? Remove penis shooting sperm threats = abortion solved. NO ONE wants viable pregnancies aborted, you dumb asses. But until we have control over men spewing sperm creating unwanted pregnancies, PLUS adequate basic care for women/parental people/children, there has to be a safe medical option for uterus wielding humans. Stop trying to control women’s health care and START taking care of basic human needs so that abortion becomes irrelevant.

I am fucking sick and tired of making excuses for accommodating you.

You are not a good person no matter how many lovely things you do, if you endorsed Trump or his sycophants. You are not. Even the mob, murderers, dynastic conquerors, Saddam Hussein, the executors of the Spanish Inquisition did lovely things for family and community on occasion.

Also, I am not perfect – none of us are. But the opposite of an openly criminal oppressive racist narcissistic abusive regime is NOT PERFECTION. It is basic human decency.

We can argue about politics and I welcome political discourse.

This is not political discourse.

This is absolutely a referendum on your humanity.

I calls it how I sees it. I see you and I will no longer remain silently fucked.

Mea culpa that we are in this position today because I have not held you responsible for your callous inhumanity before. It is my fault and I am working hard to correct my submissive permissiveness.

Amen

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps – In case you were wondering, the “you” ‘s listed above are not all the same person. Strange, isn’t it?

HASHTAGing it (BOITT)

IMG_1857

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was is because one of them was super silent?

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

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

I deeply apologize, gentlemen.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

How about you?

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

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