Away From Words

This piece was first published on Sep 10, 2015. I thought it might be time to circle back, plus back to school means back to busy busy for me! If you’re a first time reader, let me know what you think, and if you’re on repeat, well, do the same! xxxooo

 

Man creates divisions. Labels and categories. Lists of ingredients that make up our individual peace or community discord. Political parties create further divergence and careers choices further separate our education, lifestyles, even viewpoints. Over here are our scientists, heralded as those to solve the unsolvable while the engineers continuously redesign our pathways and roadways and pipelines and even the vehicles that move us; labeling deems some as teachers in a school building while the rest are only students despite the grey lines these labels cross over within the school building. The law abiding stand on one side of the bars and those who transgress reside firmly on the other yet of late we too often must question the validity of each stance. Bound by these allotments we trudge through our dull days. Yet somehow, almost miraculously, living in defiance to every man-made divider are those that challenge the status quo: the artists existing among us. Instead of maintaining practicality and order, their daring shapes and colors mystify emotion and intellect. In an artist’s hands every medium is played with, messed up, combined anew to create a different vantage. For me, lingering in one sorrow, an afternoon to view the old masters to the new ones is like drinking a nutrient rich and satisfying smoothie, lifting me beyond compartmentalizing into a free floating joy.

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Trust a Teacher

If you know a teacher or have a teacher friend or relative, or your kids are headed back to school, please, please, be extra kind to those in front of the class, virtual or otherwise. Teachers are venturing into unchartered territory, still, even after those long months last Spring and this summer and even now. This year teachers are remote or hybrid or in-person or some combination of all three, and they are training for these scenarios on the go, repairing the plane while they’re flying so to speak. They need your kind words. They need your continuing support. And everyone involved in this educational system, teachers and parents and students, need to foster resilience, in spades. We all have to be ready for everything and anything that might be coming our way. As we know it will crash on us. Wondering how might we survive?

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Looking for hope

I want to acknowledge the pain and suffering of the family of Jacob Blake and the whole Kenosha community. When I originally planned this post last week, I was desperately looking for hope and joy and the positive. Yet right now outrage is the only appropriate emotion, faced with another unthinkable tragedy, another black man shot down reprehensibly by a police officer. But even rage feels reductive. Enough is enough an empty refrain. And yet, where do we go from here?

I applaud the Milwaukee Bucks for using their power and privilege to say no more. For all the NBA, WNBA, players and owners and coaches, as well as soccer and baseball teams, boycotting their games in solidarity, this is indeed a strong compelling statement. We have to stand together to end racism and the evils associated with this corrupt system at the core of our divisive nation.

At the same time we have to look for signs of hope, to reach out to each other, to unite as a country. Last Saturday, in a desperate attempt to find something to lift us up, we drove around town, and a bit further, and found many such signs, planted in yards everywhere… Right now hope does seem lost, but it’s not. It’s right there waiting for us to dig it out, to rise up and demand it, to breathe it back into our lives.

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