Pause Passion & Translate Joy in Tragic Times

This is why they say “kill your t.v.”:

I did it.  I know I shouldn’t do it, but I did it anyway.

The news.  Ok, well, Inside Edition.  But really, any form of news can transport me into a chaotic space.

Honestly, I was hoping for something other than constant coverage of the devastation in Japan.  It is heartbreaking, and so WAY beyond my capacity for comprehension.  Unfortunately, the little things that are happening all over the world are like aftershocks, or even, small shifts that lead to earthquakes like the ones we’ve recently witnessed.  Earlier, while on the phone with a friend, I mentioned how I just yearn, so deeply, for people to come together before catastrophes occur.  Is that too much too ask?

Well, that’s a loaded rhetorical question.

So, before I proceed with my personal contribution to an effort to spread positivity across the world, I want to say the following:

I have very strong convictions about very controversial issues.  I consider myself a feminist, not because I’m “for” or “against” one side or another, but because I believe people, all differences aside, deserve equally dignified and respectful treatment in all areas of life.  That includes access to health care, equal payment, equal opportunities, encouragement, and overall safety.  For this reason, I support many feminist, anti-racist,  and LGBTQ organizations.  For similar reasons, I am pro-choice.  I actually recently came across a self-proclaimed conservative who summed up my beliefs on this issue better than I ever could.  She and I shared similar beliefs on the issue.  But we’ll get back to that.  I’m an avid advocate for survivors of sexual violence.  I don’t know what else to say about this, except that it is probably the issue I’m most passionate about in my life.  It is part of the incurable hope that has simultaneously driven me and stunted me.  Often times, the epidemic of sexual violence is so overwhelming to me.  Between the epic silence that has protected perpetrators and re-victimized survivors; the simple misogyny in our daily lives that perpetuates such violence; and the judicial/systematic/structural abuse of victims… the issue can easily ignite to an atomic level of exasperation within me.  The discrimination of fat people irks me, royally.  Mental illness and the stigma attached to it, are issues that require much open discussion and mind-blowing testimony.  When a lot of people are scared to bring it up, I tend towards feeling the tug of necessity about proclaiming its role in my life.  The same goes for suicide.  For the most part, I encounter little opposition on the issues of anti-racism (probably because it has become so taboo to be racist, not because racism doesn’t exist), fighting sexual violence, and even mental illness (half because people don’t know how to respond when I bring it up, and half because everyone has some sort of experience with it).  Mostly though, on the approach of queer issues, abortion, details of sexual violence, suicide, and especially feminism, all are met with trepidation.  This anxiety occurs on both sides, because these are issues that people either don’t want to talk about, or that collide in passionate and sometimes violent opposition.

I also think it is important to notice that these issues intertwine in many, many ways.

***

“At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.”

-Italian Proverb

***

On that note, though, I’m starting to realize that we all share far more common ground than we realize.

***

“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

***

When I started to accept that I need to listen as much as I expected to be listened to, my eyes began to open.  As proud as I am to be passionately political and shamelessly liberal, I’ve started to meet people who fall somewhere on a spectrum, rather than being drastically positioned at one extreme or another.  I recognize now, that you can call yourself whatever you want, but chances are your a healthy mix of a lot of things.  I used to be terrified of that concept.  It felt safe to intensely oppose one side or another, by labeling and placing everyone in one of two boxes.

The world is so freaking expansive, though, you can’t fit that many people into 2 boxes.  It gets cramped.  I’ve had to drop the whole “if you’re not with me, you’re against me” idea, and honor the fact that we can oppose AND agree on all sorts of things.  As important as community is, our life experience is very individual to us.

I think that was probably more long-winded that I was intending.

I mentioned the movie “Crash” in my post yesterday.  I think this movie sums up my point.  Basically, there is a potential for good and bad within all of us, no one fits into a box, and when it comes down it it… we may be living extensively multifaceted lives, but we’re doing it on the same f*ing planet.  If nothing else, can we start with that commonality?

I know… idealistic and sentimental.

Well, bugger off… a woman can dream, can’t she? 😀

So, in yesterday’s post, I believe that I, with good intentions, referred to everyone who has ever helped me, as a TOOL.  As true as that may be (i kid)… I meant it lovingly.  All of those things/people are basically my foundation, my safety net, my loves, my crisis coping skills, first-aid kits, and my lights.

I’ma take it down a notch today and share something little that brings on a glimmer, or gently fuels my fire on the daily.  I might just start ending each post with something like this.  🙂

Time to get silly.

I got this one from a friend today:

***

***

“Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.”

-Uknown

 

*sigh* … big day tomorrow

 

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