The Satyr

Oct. 22nd, 2016 11:57 am
neversremedy8: (Book Lover)
In August, I wrote a lyrical poem, "The Satyr's Gone," about the loss of my sexual identity since the traumatic birth experience I had at the hands of an abusive doctor. By sexual identity, I mean the loss of my sense of self as being, at my core, a satyr.



But in September, I worked on a project, which involved reading old diary entries of mine, and it helped me see my sexual desires in a new light.  I saw patterns in my behavior, and could deconstruct and unpack some of it to examine.  Enough so that I can, over time, decide which parts were really me, and which were learned behavior or a reaction to harm that was done to me.



I'm still processing it, but I feel a little more myself again.  Though I doubt I'll ever be as I was, possibly never as overt in my sexuality and desires, when I do express them, they will be authentic and completely my own.  I will make choices that honor what I really want and respect my internal boundaries, which I violated many times because I felt I had to.  Because I felt they were expected of me, and sometimes because I'd been (quite literally*) trained to do so.



I'm taking things slowly.  Letting myself revel in small pleasures and acknowledge them for what they mean to me, especially those that I hold in secret, private moments.  Because at those times, I have a chance, without the distraction of someone else's desires, to fully examine them and claim them as my own for later exploration.



Last night, I drove to and from a restaurant to pick up dinner for my family.  Since my car stereo hasn't worked in over a year, I opened Pandora on my phone to help keep me awake and alert.  I don't do it often because of the cost of data streaming, but sometimes I need it.  Everything that played on the chosen station was in synchronicity with my life. And then an INXS song came on, and it crept into me, and reminded me that the good feelings I have listening to it came from a time before my trauma.  It came from a time when I was entering puberty, and my desire was my own.  I listened in the car to the song, listened to the sensations in my body and the resonance it held, and I knew without doubt.  The satyr was a part of me then.  She was there in me, developing, growing, and full of the desire for life and pleasure, before he'd ever laid his hands on me.



Elation and tears came as I drove home, because I knew without hesitation or doubt, that this sense of self was my own.  Not shaped by the desires of those who wished to control me.  And it isn't just this one song, but a chorus of artists who kindled similar feelings in me at the age of 11 or 12 or the early part of 13.







*TRIGGER WARNING:



When I was 13, my step-father who'd raised me since I was 2 decided I was fair game. He molested and raped me, groomed me for prostitution, and rented me out to other men who raped me under the assumption I was 1. 18, and 2. a willing prostitute.



I told my mother shortly after my 14th birthday, and she called my biological father who helped pay for plane tickets to get away.  I've had PTSD since, though I was, until recently, managing it better



The traumatic experience of my son's birth brought back everything, fresh and new.  I've spent most of the last three years celibate because I needed to find myself.  Small gains often resulted in sliding back.  Now I feel as if I can truly move forward little by little, and with it, reshape my sexual identity.
neversremedy8: (Cecilia After Death)
While in Germany, there were habits I was forming I wanted to hold onto, but upon my return to the States, immediately gave. While there, I was eating better, since there weren't very many refined non-wheat flours with which to provide me gluten free baked goods. I took my vitamins religiously. But there were things I told myself I would do or do more of when I got home and haven't:

1. Drink teas (incl. tisanes, herbals, etc.) -- at least two cups a day. While in Germany, we were constantly making tea, and I'd placed the big basket of tea offerings right in the open where we could easily grab, brew, and drink them. It made me feel comforted, it hydrated me in a way I didn't feel drinking the heavily calcified water there, and it added to my feeling of physical well-being.

2. Spend more time with friends and attend more Soulfood Books events. I've done half of this. I have pushed myself to attend more social events and keep my visits with friends even when I wasn't feeling at optimal health. However, I've only visited Soulfood twice since returning -- not including brief visits to grab a chai or stop in to say hello -- once for their anniversary party, and once for my mother's memorial service. With so many people I love living far away, whether it be across the lake or across an ocean, Soulfood is a place I can go, socialize, be healed, and not feel exhausted or judged by those around me. It's a place where being social actually rejuvenates me.

3. Spend more time outdoors, go for walks, and explore the world; spend more time moving, less sitting. While my initial return from Germany left me with a five day fever, and I was horrendously weak afterwards, I've not been going out for walks even half as much as I did while over there. In two weeks, I must have walked twenty or thirty miles both with someone and alone. We gardened, explored the neighboring town, went for long walks through the nearby cities, and organized the house. I spent a lot more time on my feet or moving around than I do at home. Even without a car, I had plenty of things to do to keep me going, and even with the distraction of the internet, I spent far less time sitting down. I know there are places near our house we've never gone to that might be quite enjoyable, I can see some of them on the map. We live within walking distance of a decent park on a lake, but except for a couple of visits in May when I was insistent and remembered this lesson, I've not been back.

I post this here as a reminder to myself, and an encouragement for others to poke me when I forget. I need to follow through on these lessons. They're far from the only ones I've gained in my grief, but these are the ones I've had trouble following through on.
neversremedy8: (Following the Path)
I had an experience of sorts today. After dropping Ana off at the site for her annual testing, I walked fifteen blocks to Haller Lake, and then a bit more until I found the beach access. My first memory took place on Haller Lake. For the longest time I thought it was a dream, until I told my mother. I couldn't tell from my memory/dream whether I had been in a stroller as a baby, or as an old woman in a wheelchair, either way, I'd been taken by two women -- family members -- to this little shore to feed the ducks. She explained not only was it a memory -- and a stroller -- I'd been 8 months old. The other woman was my grandmother whose house we lived in near the lake.

So, today, I walked to Haller Lake on a chill and overcast day, where the wind shook old rain from the leaves, and I wound down the windy path filled with tiny, pink clover flowers, until I reached the pebbled shore with only enough dry-ish land to stand on without moving too much. Two men were fishing. We had a pleasant exchange about the type of fish they were catching -- trout -- and I stood against a terraced part of the tiny garden above and watched the water and the sky. I compared the memory of my eight-month-old self to the beach proper, and tried to assess what was true, what had been true, but not changed, and what was a fuzzy illusion.

It had been a grey day much like today, the building I remembered in my memory was a fence stretching out into the water. The trees were taller, and having been so much smaller, the beach had been immensely wide. There were no ducks, but two trout hanging off one man's line in the water, one of them slowly flipping its tail in the last throes of death. I stole a pebble from the beach, rinsing it of soil in the gentle lapping of the water.

I wished them both success in their catch after a time, headed back up, and stopped to take one more look -- and a few pictures -- and headed back up to await my daughter's completion of her testing. Along the way I picked flowers for her, and realized if I'd been eight months old, then I'd have been there in May. I had come back to "the beginning" 33 years to the month. I took strength from it, and saw it as a sign of renewal.

I also thought briefly of "The Princess Bride" and found myself repeating it to the mom in my head:
INIGO: I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I will stay. I will not be moved.
neversremedy8: (Cecilia After Death)
I signed up many months ago for MeYouHealth's Daily Challenge, wherein I receive a suggestion each day to do something to make my life healthier and more enjoyable. There are specialized tracks for people who want to focus on a particular area of life, which are unlocked by earning points through completing challenges, and encourage others on the site. Thus far, it remains free to use, and I hope it continues to do so.

Sometimes, the challenges are boring or I can't complete them. Today, mine opened my eyes to my own development. Since I had just finished a good posture track, I was back to the general mix-bag everyone gets when they haven't paid tokens for a focus. The challenge today was as cliche as the self-help books it can be found in: to draw a pie chart and divide it up between time spent on a given activity. As I stared at the email, I understood this was an exercise I had completed years before, and it no longer served me. When passing a challenge, they offer people the chance to respond as to why they chose not to complete it. This was my response:
My life is not a pie chart. Too many things bleed one into the other. How am I to categorize what I do on a daily basis, when my life isn't segmented? As a work-at-home writer, personal chef, and homeschooling parent, everything is a great flow. I can take a look at my day and recognize when I've spent too much time procrastinating from what I want to be doing, but sometimes I also see that those hours spent following links online ended up inspiring a new story, or educating me on how to make a new meal, or teach my daughter something intriguing. My life has grown and developed passed the need for pie charts. Pie charts are now a form of procrastination, and only feed into my Virgoan love of organizing for the sake of organization. It doesn't give me more time, and from experience, I know it will never fully address the way I live. So, today, I pass on this activity.


This understanding may be more profound to me than anyone else reading, but it's in the recognition I better understand, as I look back, how I've developed. My life, as it stands, isn't easily segmented and boxed. The colors meld and blend as if on a palette . . . and I like it that way.
neversremedy8: (Curiouser and Curiouser)
With a quick flash, and a case of mistaken identity, I found myself on the receiving end of a series of one-line emails from the maintainer of a writing-themed blog. Even after admitting in the first round of emails my name had no correlation with a girl in another state, the questions continued to come. At first, I appeared to be keeping his interest, and then, with one careless choice on my part, the flow of questions ended.

Looking back, I could see that by sending him a link to a piece I had written on the subject we discussed curtailed (and subtly implied a desire to end) the discussion we were sharing--two strangers across the digital divide. As in many situations in my life, I stuck my toe in the water to test its temperature, and then dove in with little assurance for maintaining the delicate balance the water held.

Perhaps the silence would have come anyway. Perhaps my answers had already said enough, and once proving I was nothing like the hoped-for other, he grew bored and turned back to driving. I started analyzing my own caution in the discussion, the unwillingness to throw myself forward, and then, shoving it all out there. It's a pattern, and one few people appreciate--I'm not even sure I appreciate it.

Yet, what was it really so simple as a choice to provide a link instead of a clever answer? There is also the inescapable, unknowable element in life that turns a mistake or happenstance into interest, and an interest into tedium. It's never just one thing, but it's often the final thing, the catalyst or linchpin, bringing with it a host of change whether desired or not. Sometimes the reasons add up, whittle down, or fade. At others, it comes as a cataclysm, an abrupt and absolute alteration of life.

This was a small thing in my life, to be at first someone worth considering, flattered by the attention of someone who thousands of others wanted to speak with, and then dismissed as swiftly without word. A product, in part, of my own choices. Yet it's happened so often, no wonder I remain cautious at first. There are people who knew me when I was younger, fitter, more able to be true to my core self, and more able to feel at home in my body as a sexual being. They recall clever banter in emails, over the phone, or late nights in an Italian restaurant.

Too often, I find the requirement, the expectation, for that level of constant wit, exhausting and not worth the effort. I want more and more for people to speak plainly, to avoid the circuitous games of saying what is meant, and for intent to be on the table for all to see, rather than guessed at both at the beginning and end of interest. Is it laziness as a writer? Or can I claim to be hoarding my wit for the words on a page? At least with the written word, I can be witty. My verbal responses, on the spot, especially with people who make me nervous, never come out as intended (assuming my own intent managed to stay with me throughout a given exchange, for too often it flees to a mystical land where I cannot reclaim it until after my opportunity passes).

I could also claim disability. Being chronically ill tends to sap one's strength for healthy banter, the repartee of the educated elite (or elitist, though I try to avoid the latter).

But ultimately I want to understand this element. While it often falls outside the control of the one it affects most, there are clearly some who understand its nature better than I, and are able to shape it, and make use of it as a magi would use arcane forces. They wield arcs of lightening pulled from this energy, and wrap it about themselves to appear more fascinating, draw in others.

Perhaps, though, the pursuit is not worth my energy either. Perhaps it is better I continue to do "my good work" and plod along, in hopes that someday the wisdom of how to direct opportunity comes to me without forcing it. Given what I know of those who attract the unknowable force, it seems all they do is work toward their goals, and the rest falls where intended by their own hands, or some other, equally unknowable source.

Somehow, having felt flattered to be considered by someone others consider worthy, makes the disinterest* harder to accept, even though I had not invested anything in the brief exchange (really, it was quite brief, less than a dozen response cycles), or sought it out. My self-worth is stronger than this episode, yet I feel down because of it. Why? How odd my brain. I'm giving myself good advice to drink more water, get more sleep, plow through my to-do list, and create something today. There are projects, both writing and home, which need my attention. I'll push my way through this unattractive funk, and find it again, I know, but I don't understand why this one incident brought about such inner drama, nor do I like being someone who lets the little things bring her down. There are far bigger issues to attend!


*(For all I know, it's a total overreaction on my part--well, it's already an overreaction either way--but he might just have been busy. And what is it I hope will occur? To be liked? I'm already liked by many people! Stupid, stupid brain. Give me happier chemicals, damn you!)
neversremedy8: (Lolita Complex)
(link to article)

This is advice I sorely need to take. Not that things "just happen" to me anymore (I'm conscious and responsible for my decisions, even when they're the wrong ones), but rather, I need to to start making decisions that honor who I am. There are wonderful people in my life to whom I can't say no, even though I don't feel comfortable with their actions. There's a lot mixed in with that: a submissive-streak, enjoyment of receiving praise, and a desire to not offend or hurt the other person.

Frankly, I turn into my blushing 10-year-old self, and at 10, I didn't know who I was, what I wanted needed, or how to ask for it (or say "no" when offered a choice that didn't honor me). But I was an excellent teacher's pet, kept quiet a lot of the time, and was eager to please, even at my own detriment. Receiving approval meant more to me than being hurt or uncomfortable, and sometimes, when I'm starved for affection, it still does. This often translates as a love of flirting, even when I have zero desire to engage with the person sexually, but I don't state that for fear of losing the emotional boost flirting provides.

I've spent the last year working to understand my body, improve it, and seek ways to be healthier, to minimize the impact disability has on my life. I'm proud of my small successes, and I can also see there's a long way to go, both physically and emotionally. It starts, I believe, with me deciding in each small moment to give critical pause to the choice offered, and consider it in light of my experiences and needs.
neversremedy8: (Sushi)
The bagger at Trader Joe's asked me how my day was, and I said, "It keeps getting better." He said he liked that, that the outlook showed that no matter how bad things start out, the day improves along the way.

Of course, I meant that I woke up in too much pain to stand up straight and walk without hobbling or using a cane, but I slogged through some writing, finally FINISHED MY BED SIDE TABLE PAINTING PROJECT* (*glee* pics forthcoming when I can get downstairs and sit without pain), and then Craig took me to target="chiro">see a chiropractor who was wonderful on all levels. Afterwards, we made it to Rikki Rikki in time for the start of their happy hour, which meant discount prices on exemplary sushi with fresh, giant pieces of sashimi. I had to wear a big belt that the chiro called "velcro city," but it's helping me walk without a cane and sit upright. So when the bagger made the comment, I was already blissed out despite the pain.

When we got home, I mentioned that I'd never been on a chiropractor-sushi date before, and we took out all the garbage/recycling stuff. Then I did something very big, I walked around the corner to where a police officer was sitting and watching traffic, and I said hi, introduced myself, and let him know that if he needs water or a bathroom while he's on our property, he's welcome to come say hello and we'd be hospitable. Why is this big for me? Because ever since the big to do with my former step-father, I haven't been able to talk to a cop, no matter the circumstances, without having a panic attack and shaking afterwards. So I took initiative, hobbled out there in my velcro corset, and shook hands with the man keeping my corner safe. I felt exhilirated, came back, took pics of my knobs* and had two big glasses of water (the chiro wants me to drink a gallon--ha!).


*PROJECT:

A while back, I bought sample sized paint pots from McLendon's with the plan to paint the second hand bed side table I've been using. It was pale blue and stained and the bottom drawer stuck. I wasn't able to sand down the drawer enough to get it to not stick, but I did make the whole thing look better. The body is now nightingale purple (very dark, sumptuous), each drawer knob is turquoise and has an original symbol I created painted in gold, and each drawer represents the four elements. The top drawer is "pumpkin orange" with a symbol for earth, the second is "blushing red" (more pink) with the symbol for air, the third is "dahlia yellow" with a symbol for fire, and the final one is a dark cerulean (I forgot the actual name) with the symbol for water. I put a second coat of paint on each drawer, but the second coat of each is brushed on in waves or lines that emulate the element. I took pictures, but like all good things, y'all'll have to wait. I'm just pleased as punch to have started and finished it. It took extra time because of all the health bumps over the last several days, but it's done. The earth symbol isn't symmetrical like the sketch I drew, but the other three look fab.

Ooh, and the pharm just called, I have Tylenol Codeine awaiting me to kill the pain. Mwahahaha.
neversremedy8: (Cleverly Disguised)
Quick question, simple and easy. I might try any of these (well, almost any), but I'm not holding out hopes for any of them to be feasible--just some take more risk than others. Answer honestly, I'm not super serious about the poll, but I'd like legitimate opinions. Transparency poll is useable and viewable by all. Thanks!

[Poll #1767602]

Oh, and after last night's post, I remembered I had this image floating around. It's the kind of parent I want to be, even if I wasn't the kind of boy that parent once was:

neversremedy8: (Sushi)
UPDATE [March 18, 2012]: Hey look! Most of this is now on a Listmania! list on Amazon for easy viewing and purchase!

Because I've had a growing interest in this topic since my first class with Holly, and because I keep talking about it with people who ask me for resources, I thought I'd present a more comprehensive list about what's been on my mind lately.

books:

  • Gaia's Garden, 2nd Edition by Toby Hemenway
    Recommended by Ana's upcoming Farm Camp, I ended up getting very interested in plant guilds and getting an idea of how to create mini gardens that I might actually have the energy to care for.

  • How to Get Your Lawn Off Grass by Carole Rubin
    This is one of the first books I read at the library and then purchased after reading Pull of the Earth (see below). It gives a brief overview of utilizing native plants appropriate to your region (in the U.S.) and a list for each of said regions in order to get you started.

  • Edible Forest Gardens, Vol. 1 & 2 by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier
    Went searching for these when I first heard about the Edible Food Forest being planned and implemented in Jefferson Park as I type this. I was so inspired by what I'd been reading about/talking to people about regarding this I had to see for myself. I have both volumes from the library and I'm trying to get through them quickly before they have to be returned (no renewals on these in-demand books).

  • Pull of the Earth by Laurie Thorp
    This is the ethnography that got me started, thanks to Holly. This is what called me to give gardening another chance, and to start looking into methods of sustainable living and teaching.

  • The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
    Another rec. from Ana's upcoming Farm Camp; it was the first of the books on their recommended reading list she and I read. It may be fiction, it may be short, but it's golden.

  • Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets
    From the guy who showed us through TED that we can save the world with mushrooms, my shroomy, mycologist hero!

  • Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier
    A book by one of the two authors of the two volume Edible Forest Gardens set above.

  • Northwest Essentials: Cooking with Ingredients That Define a Region's Cuisine by Greg Atkinson
    Found this on a shelf at PCC. Flipped through it. Covet now. Totally in line with the principles of sustainable gardening and utilizing the local ecology. <3 <3 <3

  • The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour
    So long before I fell for permaculture, I read a sci-fi novel titled Lucifer's Hammer that scared the survivalist tendency into me. It was the beginning of my search for books on how to live with the land should the need arise, and in my sixteen year old pursuit, I ended up finding this book at Half Price Books, had it destroyed in a flood (ah, irony) several years later, and ended up paying a great deal for another copy off of Amazon in recent years. I love this book for its details (lots of pictures, lots of very clear ideas of how to do a variety of things). I hate this book's contradictions, because really, when you're living a post-apocalyptic setting, where are you going to find unblemished glass jars and plastic sheeting? Still totally worth having to pay full price.

  • Back to Bascis by Abigail Gehring
    Along with the book above, this too was a great Half Price Books find. I don't think I have a copy anymore (see above), but it can easily be found at libraries and the like.

  • The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer by Joel Salatin
    I am so grateful for the recommendation of this man's work. I may not agree fully with is politics, but his farming sense is quite an inspiration. To see the details of this book in action, check out his film below.

  • Growing Unusual Vegetables: Weird and Wonderful Vegetables and How to Grow Them by Simon Hickmott
    The title offers you exactly what it says: a list of unusual vegetables that either aren't commonly found or have fallen out of style, but are wonderful to have around. Ground cherries, for instance, are incredible, and Lamb's Lettuce (a.k.a corn salad) are greens that you can keep enjoying in mild winters. Easy to read, simple descriptions, knowledgeable instructions for care.

  • Ancient Herbs by Marina Heilmeyer
    Ok, this may not be a great book for exclusively native plants, unless you live in the Mediterranean, but it's an excellent resource for someone like me, trying to create a mixed, sustainable polyculture in her backyard that serves as a source for food, seasoning, and herbal remedies . . . and who is a bit of history enthusiast. Every two pages, Marina has written a description about a selected herb, its common properties during the Classical Greco-Roman period and writings related to it, instructions on how to grow it, and a beautiful illustration. It's a simple, elegant book I didn't want to return to the library. I copied every page by hand that had some herb I didn't want to forget. Of course, I own the book now (as I hope to own all of the books on the list I have yet to purchase).



films:

  • The Future of Food
    If you don't hate Monsanto yet, and if you watch Michael Moore's Capitalism, A Love Story or know anything about Hawai'i's colonization you probably already do, you will after watching this.

  • For the Next Seven Generations
    I haven't seen it yet, but it came highly recommended. I missed the screening in Seattle, but watched the trailer and talked to one of the staff members working to promote it.

  • Establishing a Food Forest
    That two volume book set above? Totally connected. This shows Geoff Lawton in Australia teaching students the basic nature of a forest, and then takes them out into his fields and shows them how to do it hands-on. From there he shows different forests at various stages of growth and his own personal food garden complete with charming gate. He even explains that you don't have a fly problem, you have a lack of chickens, and you don't have a slug problem, you have a dearth of ducks.

  • Food, Inc.
    It's a film along the lines of Fast Food Nation but shows more about what's being changed and different ideas (including those of Joel Salatin and the creator of Chipotle restaurants) on how to go about making said changes.

  • Mad Cowboy
    If you really like beef and don't think you could ever, ever give it up no matter what, don't watch this film. If you're concerned about the meat you're eating, thinking that some of that cattle or pig might be tasty, you might want to check this out. A fourth generation cattle rancher explains why he's now a vegan. Yum! This movie is why Ana and I finally committed to giving up cattle and pig meats after resisting for so long.

  • Polyface Farms
    Joel Salatin shows you exactly how he runs his farm from pasturing his chickens and cattle to creating ponds to considerate forestry. It's a great visual compliment to his book The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer.

  • Dirt!
    This is a fabulous documentary about the thin, life-giving layer between us and death. It's even a great for kids! For the most part, the stories are up-beat, informative, and occasionally supported by an anthropomorphized dirt particle. You heard me. I really got a kick out of thise film, and my daughter wasn't overwhelmed by a doomsday message for the first half of the film. We love Dirt!

  • For the Next Seven Generations: The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
    It wasn't what we were expecting when I ordered it, but it was an incredible experience. It was inspirational to watch these thirteen grandmothers meet in one another's home countries, discuss issues about what they most want to change and how to go about it, their meeting with the Dalai Lama, and even their perseverance at the Vatican. This doesn't feel like a documentary. There's almost no narration, and there's no doom-and-gloom message to bring to light. We're just invited to enter into their sacred space, witness their actions, and decide for ourselves what we might do to support their efforts or learn from them.


  • projects



    farm camp recommended resources
    (This list is pulled directly from their web site without embellishments or fancy coding on my part. There are some redundancies between this and my own resources above. Not all of the following materials were available via KCLS.)

    Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway & John Todd
    Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison, for larger permaculture designs
    The Foxfire Book series in many volumes
    The Earth Manual (Heyday Books, Berkeley) by Malcolm Margolin
    The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono
    Building United Judgement, and A Manual for Group Facilitators, (The Fellowship for Intentional Community) by the Center for Conflict Resolution
    Waterlily (University of Nebraska Press) by Ella Cara Deloria.
    Lighting the 7th Fire (documentary from Upstream Productions) by Sandra Osawa.
    I Heard the Owl Call My Name (movie by Tomorrow Entertainment) based on the book by Margaret Craven.
    Botany in a Day: Tomas J. Elpel's Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families (HOPS Press)
    Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Lone Pine)
    Peterson’s Medicinal Plants and Edible Wild Plants (Huoughton Mifflin) for Western North America
    (Peterson’s) Poisonous Plants, both published by Houghton Mifflin
    Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West by Michael Moore
    Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed, and Primitive Cooking (Wood Smoke) video available through hollowtop.com
    Northwest Trees (The Mountaineers)


    You're probably thinking, "Raven, you suck at gardening. Why would this be of such an interest to you?" Or maybe I'm the only one thinking that, but after spending two years of concentrated study with a determination that I was finally going to make headway in the way of sex educators, spending time focused on areas where I might be needed (but there's no funding), and speaking with and learning from people in the business of sexuality awareness and education, I realized there were plenty of well-versed, open, established people already doing great work. After years of beating that beleaguered Think Kink corpse of a horse, in the hopes I could resurrect it with sheer will power, I finally get it. The places I thought I was needed, really didn't have a place for me after all. Sexuality is still a big issue for me, and one for which I will strive to support in terms of education, policy making, and accessible information, as a volunteer, but it's not my place.

    It's something I was struggling to come to terms with even as I worked on my final two quarters at the UW. Sexuality is important, but there are bigger issues, more pressing and immediate ones that, if ignored, make all other things moot. If we don't work to change the way we interact with our planet and our resources, there won't be people to make policies about sex, and there certainly won't be people worrying about who's having it, how, and with whom. Who cares about bickering over bdsm or homosexuality when there isn't enough water? When the ground is cracked and dry, and food won't grow?

    And this has been building. It started with science fiction as a teenager who suddenly started wondering about survival thanks to books like Lucifer's Hammer and Parable of the Sower and Mother of Storms and The Sheep Look Up. It budded as I looked for non-profits that worked for protecting what resources we have, and rebuilding--regrowing?--the foundations for a real future. And the moment I began to read the, I admit, somewhat sappy Pull of the Earth, I started to hear a call I'd been ignoring for a long while.

    I may not have the physical stamina or fitness to dig and plant a lot, I may not have the experience to lead a group to create other food forests like the one being grown in Jefferson Park, but I'd like to be a part of it. Maybe with my skills learned from Holly and other amazing teachers who gave me tools to gather people together and get them working for a single cause, I might be instrumental in assisting some meaningful, lasting change that makes the world better. Even if only a little. Isn't that why I started on this path in the first place?

    I seem to always be living up to my Virgoan stereotype; I live to serve. Isn't it funny how ten years ago I hated those words? I was just looking through a too-narrow lens. Maybe I should be grateful to my illnesses that have led me to a point where my own self-image and physical prowess have compromised my modeling, my dancing, and my pursuit of great sex. If I'd been pre-occupied there, I wouldn't be here in this moment, thinking about how to take part in something greater than my own self-indulgent decadence.

    UPDATE: I just added a few more resources above, and realized that I'd forgotten to mention three contributing factors to my interest in this line of querying, namely: The Sheep Look Up, a book written a few decades ago but, sadly, not too far off on a vision of a polluted and unsustainable future, Fast Food Nation, one of the big whistle-blowing books of this decade that seemed to be one of the big pushes toward more interest in where our food comes from, and Supersize Me, a film which already convinced me I'd done the right thing by giving up fast food after reading the book previously mentioned. The more I think about where this interest comes from, the more I realize how far back this interest started; some seed planted when I was quite young is finally beginning to bud. ^_^
    neversremedy8: (Too Much Style For Her Own Good)
    My defunct web site comes up for renewal in August, and instead of paying $5 a month in hosting a site I'm not updating and has a name that no longer serves me, I would rather create a new domain name that reflects the change in direction my life has taken.

    For those not aware of it, in middle school, back when I wanted to be a game designer or computer programmer, I decided I was going to own a company called Raven Images. Sadly, by the time I reached adulthood, some plastic novelty company that produces nothing of worth or value in the world had already taken ravenimages.com. At the time, I grudgingly created ravenimages.net, and I promoted my own modeling as well as that of other plus-sized models of the time. Later, it became a place where I promoted other talents of my own. Now? I don't have any of my web design software, and I don't have the time to hand code anymore. August gives me a deadline to acquire new software and begin work on a new site.

    What do I want now?

    Not a blog. I have blogs. I have more blogs than I have time to update. I have a domain I need to set up for a specific topic blog, but it isn't a web site. What I need to create is a site that still holds some info about me (writing, resume, recommended resources, links to all the freaking blogs, a few shallowly personal items, et al), but also provides resources I create on the following topics: homeschooling, permaculture, and sexuality. Yep. Not kidding. Mix THAT together, why don't you.

    So, think you know me well? Don't know me at all but have some ideas? Want to fling poo at me for sport? Have at. I'm open to any and all suggestions, but if you fling poo, you'd better have brought a sponge and some orange oil for cleaning up your own mess; I'm not into scat, you dirty monkey.
    neversremedy8: (Mr Flibble is Very Cross)
    I used to like using eHow articles for certain projects or gaining insight into the methods people employ to do . . . almost anything. But now that I get paid to write articles for eHow, I don't trust the ones I find on the site. Wow. Talk about an obvious case of undervaluing myself and my work.

    Coming to "voice" this (I haven't said it out loud, but writing it is as good as . . .), I suddenly realize how often I have done that. Any place willing to employ me for skills I don't think are up to snuff must not be very good. At least, that's the underlying message I'm telling myself when I don't trust that other eHow articles are worth their salt, despite using several in the past to work on crafts or other manual projects.

    Also, I'm feeling embarrassed about oversharing on someone else's blog. Things I've never said in a public forum are now copied and multiplied across several mirror sites, and I don't know if it would do any good at all to just erase them. It's a truth that makes people uncomfortable, and it probably doesn't need to be spoken. I've contacted the individual running to blog to see if he would like me to remove my comment, but . . . the damage, at least to those who didn't need to know that, is done. I don't even know why I thought it was a good idea to bring it up. Exhaustion?

    For anyone who doesn't know it, I've had a trying week (1, 2, 3), and this morning is not looking any better. Ana was caught playing on her laptop with only two days left until she gets video games back. There's another week added on. And Taigil has a gash on his back left paw that I have to monitor and clean every hour to make sure it doesn't get infected.

    I also feel run down today, and there's a lot for me to do. Having a clean environment would make me feel better. Finding the energy and strength to get through the cleaning is a major challenge today.

    I know I haven't been posting here much. The holidays made it all the worse for me to try to get any connecting done online, and I'm now posting and updating in far too many places. If you are curious, I'm posting most in the following:

    http://willowandbirch.wordpress.com (homeschooling blog)
    http://neversremedy.wordpress.com (where I'm hosting the "Improving Raven Project" updates)
    http://www.facebook.com/neversremedy/

    If you come to my LJ directly, I have all (or at least most) of my relevant links on the left hand side panel. I apologize to all of my friends here who have stuck by me on LJ; I come from time to time to read, and I know I don't comment often, but most of my time on LJ these days is logged in at my writing journal. My co-author and I are almost done with draft zero of book 3, and then we'll put the finishing touches on book 1 with one fierce, glorious editing pass that'll leave us frothing at the mouth for weeks, and then we'll present it to an agent.

    I'm rather nervous about this prospect, and if I don't get over my undervaluing ways soon, I might end up not trusting anything the publisher sells if they also sell my work . . . and that's just self-defeating, but I am my best saboteur, it would seem.

    How does one defeat oneself in order to preventing defeating oneself?
    neversremedy8: (Bugs Bunny Whacko)
    There are a number of goals I have, and I constantly wonder why I never get through all of them. So, I started by writing out a list of things I wanted to be doing each day, then a list of projects that need to be done around the house, and a list of things that explain what healthy means to me. (I started several sheets in a GDocs spreadsheet project, fyi.)

    I took these priorities and went back to the first sheet in the group and wrote those things I'd like to do on a daily basis. I left the topics broad (e.g. learning time, help Ana with schoolwork, wash/groom time, etc.), and in the next column assigned a number (in hours) for how long I thought it should take me to do it, or how long I'd like to allot to that activity each day. I included the important things such as making/eating meals, sleeping, and writing. I began to add other important things that I usually have little or no time for or simply don't push myself to do: reading, playing games with the family, taking vitamins, exercising regularly, and so forth. I even added in things that I want to be doing but never get done like craft projects and house cleaning and reorganizing projects.

    Then off to the side, I used the SUM function to add up all the time from my column. Know what I found? I think you can guess.

    Even with my significantly conservative time allotments (rather minimal, reasonable times), my goals required 26 hours in a day. Worse than that, they allowed for no amount of down time or vegetation. I did put in time for meditation and time spent with family, but there's no room for projects or activities that go longer than expected, for time alone without a requirement to be active, nor a chance to read a favorite book.

    What does this tell me? The expectations I have for myself and time use are unreasonable. If I want to honor my body by providing it with sleep, supplements, and good food, I can't compromise on those times. If I want to honor my personal development and potential income, I must put effort into writing, learning, and meditation. If I want to honor my family, I need to spend time with them.

    It also makes clear the need to shift priorities from day to day, and decide which priorities are interchangeable. For example, I could either blog today or surf around. I could either work on a craft project or play a game with the family.

    Also, some things don't need to be done daily like I believe they do. If I only give half an hour to the Eila books on nights when I've chatted with Sera for an hour and a half, that reduces my demands. If I use Ana's weekly day off on schoolwork for my own projects, then there's another few hours I could have flexible across the week.

    But as it stands, I don't even have enough time to read my favorite web comics, let alone learn a new skill or language. Even my time allotted for writing is rather minimal.

    Time to reevaluate, and take it easier on me when my to do list doesn't have check marks next to everything by bedtime.
    neversremedy8: (Ziggy Ciggy)
    I know that somewhere beneath the layers of fat, illness, and doubt, there lies a burgeoning wild [beast] waiting to get out and recreate the world, but I'm still stuck in this floating bubble where I can't seem to move outside of my own fear of moving forward. There's an alien cannibal inside me desperately blind for all the sequins and velvet and vibrant color it wants to spring out into the world, but the world isn't made for springing of trapped beasts and their nefarious nascent notions of nightmarish no-that-won't-work . . .

    As for me, I'm adrift in that indecisive post-graduation realm of knowing what my heart most desires to be doing, what my body's limitations are, and the reality of needing an income I'd rather not have to go out and bother with, if not for the rent coming due and the holidays approaching (although I think all of my gifts this year will be handmade). I seem to be running out of time and funds to be sitting on this, so I've set myself a deadline to get my act together, and try both the conventional methods of earning money, and the preferred, alternative methods, and let the cards fall as they may.


    Yes, that's a bit better, but it's not. Because even that's a mask to hide the pain and the insecurity and the lack of assurance and the fear and the doubt and the stagnation and the what-the-hell-do-I-do-now? that I don't want to confront, and instead I don't write, and instead I search for answers in the link-hopping into late night insomnia, knowing there are no answers out there. Only in here, but it's so quiet, and the answers are frightening. I want so much to just have a plan laid out, but it's not there, and it's not there, and it's not there, and for a quadruple Virgo with high anxiety, this only makes the inertia worse. I'm not taking the safe path. I'm not even taking the risky path. I'm slowly sliding toward the edge of the great Gap Chasm and I'm doing absolutely nothing to stop it.

    So I end up writing to my co-author trying to explain why, after three hours of sitting before a blank post page, knowing exactly what I want to show, and even feeling through the language, I can't help my fingers make their mark. The constant din beneath the waves that sings of the mediocrity of my words only makes it worse.

    I've spent so much time looking up images, getting inspiration, and pursuing other paths that each of them inspired, that it's now too late for me to write. I'm planning to work on the actual *writing* tomorrow morning. I'll let you know when I finally post. Three hours of staring at this screen, and all I have are pics, links, and lyrics. :P

    It's all here in my head, and I'm still not able to push it forward. The flavor just hasn't hit my tongue.


    But what a day; I almost felt the tickling of my true self again. Maybe that's why I'm a useless lump now.

    Raven Jennifer Demers got kissed by an alpaca today. On the mouth!

    What do kangaroos, shinto shrines, and peacock feathers have in common?


    [livejournal.com profile] damashita and I went on a nice little road trip with the kids today. Got out, got air and sun and socialization even, although rather shy at that. Got to the kangaroo farm early, had lunch late, took detours, kissed llamas and alpacas, and blessed ourselves with river water near the okami statues. Ana even suggested the quiet time post-return. Quite lovely. Needed to be done. Burned the yellow chakra candle, but now I'm feeling the unresponsive flesh in which I live, and the dreams I've not pursued, and the lingering feeling that my writing is mediocre and even if it isn't, I'm running out of time and money (mostly money) in which to prove myself before the corporate world demands my soul in exchange for scraping by again, and I don't want to return to that world, I want to make a new world, and why can't I find the courage to say what needs saying and the bravery to present myself in a way that'll get me hired so I can stay home with my daughter and work towards ends that matter to my heart?

    And I took the night off of our daily writing chat. After Monday's revelations, I didn't see any harm in a break. Neither did Sera.

    Raven Jennifer Demers reordered the universe in under 45 minutes with help from her little friend Fibonacci Sequence. What's next on my agenda?


    And all I can see in my head is Aithne in suspenders. Aithne dancing with bison. Aithne golden in the sun, and I can't get it all out on screen or on paper, because it's heartbreaking. Because he's not real and he's not mine, and I'd never be able to live up to his standards, but gods, to be with him or be like him, I'd not care.

    And I'm still desperate for my wife.


    *Quoted text from recent emails and FB entries.

    Parkour

    Feb. 28th, 2010 10:34 am
    neversremedy8: (Smug Rogue)
    Before I head back to my writing journal for the week...

    It's insane, I know. A 31 year old, 260 lb. woman with bad knees from years of dance thinking of even aiming for Parkour training as a goal, but that's exactly what I'm doing. I don't know how long it will take me, or if I'll ever really be able to leap tall buildings in several clever steps and a few hundred rolls (it'll probably look something more like this and nothing like this), but my ideas are never small and easily achievable, unless I'm planning my attack on the dishes. Since I don't have the health insurance to check out my knees and see if they need surgery or just some good physical therapy, I'm starting by researching the latter so I can work to strength the muscles around my knees to give them better support (it isn't going to hurt them, at least). My upper body strength isn't as good as it was when I carried Ana around everywhere, and my core muscles need improvement. So, plan of action: strengthen, build stamina, and tone up some of the core. Then we'll see where that takes me.

    My brain, of course, likes to remind me how easily distracted I become. It says things like, "But Raven, what about poi spinning? You've got old socks and tennis balls up there, and you never, ever put them together and practiced!" This is true, but that has more to do with logistics (or so I like to tell myself, since it's warm earlier this year, I could do this in my own yard). If the learning experience requires getting to some place that requires transportation other than my feet, then it's a logistical negotiation. As it is, I'm still trying to negotiate Ana's aerialist classes.

    But what I'm talking about starting only requires my environment at any given time, and we have lots to work with: exercise ball, yoga supplies, my old portable ballet bar, stairs, floor, and a big, tangly backyard.

    Perhaps by the time I make these changes within myself, I'll have the means to get around more and find instructors who can show me the next steps.

    But seriously, I can't keep living in pain and illness all the time. In mid-June, I graduate, and I'll need to seek out a form of employment (assuming my co-author and I haven't found a publisher and been told we're the most promising thing since [insert famous author here], and they lavish us with money all within the next four months), which means I can't take two or three days a week off for sick days. Even with this degree, without my Masters, I won't have many options as an anthropologist, and I dread saying this, but might have to revert back to my customer service/administrative skills to survive.

    *laughs* I typed that with a straight face. We all know that the jobs I've had in the past don't provide a living wage, and the degree I'm getting, while useful on many levels within any job or work with other people, isn't likely to swing a lot of weight for money anyway (link clicky! it's worth it!). I'm starting to wonder if I should put in my proposal for next quarter's independent study the provision of time for me to look into grants and non-profit jobs that can best utilize my skills. Something tells me it'll be ok with Holly, so long as I put in further networking with the RSOL/CFCWashington and local reps.

    Enough tangent! The short of it is: I'm working to become the man I always wanted to fall in love with me. Or Marlene Dietrich. Either, way, I think I'll enjoy myself more. ^_^
    neversremedy8: (Lion and Me)
    I am scared to say that I'm not sure where I am at this point in my life. At least not with anything other than my writing. My final project for my methodologies class was (and I knew this as I wrote it) very impersonal, very distant. It was a cover letter that put very little of me in it and spoke more as a general introduction to a book that had me as only a teeny-tiny player. I'm not sure if Holly will address that when we meet on Wednesday; she seems to praise almost everything I do, much as other teachers have. The only real constructive criticism I've received came from a TA who was way off base and hostile and from a classmate who has been in at least one class of mine every quarter since I began. This academic enemy, by the way, hugged me during our last class on Friday. Frightening. *laughs*

    I have discovered some things though, that perhaps might help me tease out over the next few months where I'm at, or at least see what's on the other side of graduation. (A prospect I'm dreading even as I push onward; I had the opportunity to try for a fifth year and go for a minor, but I decided I needed to wrap this up and get it done. Who knows what will await me by summer.)

    Oh right, discovery:

    1. I greatly enjoy collecting life histories (for any ethical purpose that honors the person sharing his or her story).

    2. I find immense fulfillment in catalyzing and inspiring other writers to push past their blocks. Talking through and collaborating on even a short scene or assisting in the editing of a poem has made me feel a sense of pride I don't usually experience except with some of my cooking or the times when I finally do something *right* as a mother, and even then, it's different.

    3. I want to become the person I've always wanted to fall in love with. I've spent too many years waiting for someone to come make me all better, to love me the way I deserve, yet I've never bothered to do it for myself.

    The first two I can do for as long as I work in anthropology and among writers. The third ... well, we all know how difficult it is for Raven to make a long-term commitment to herself. Creating good habits, prodding me to move forward ... it's really a miracle to me that everything clicked the way it did this summer for me to start writing regularly. Why must overcoming procrastination be such a soul-wrenching struggle? The battle to conquer inertia*.

    As a non-sequitor, I would like to assert my opinion that ancient Greek philosophers were old sacks of steaming gases. Anyone who believes that they actually understand the nature of the universe simply by accepting a certain mode of perception, and thus are elevated to a superior class above other humans, loses status in my estimation.

    *Not the law of physics, just the resistance to my own personal, metaphorical movement (or lack there of).

    Win!

    Sep. 5th, 2009 06:19 pm
    neversremedy8: (Cleverly Disguised)
    I realized this afternoon that I survived my twenties with my ideals intact.

    Follow-Up

    Nov. 11th, 2008 04:22 pm
    neversremedy8: (Speaking with Spirit)
    Last night I posted something in a rather narrow filter for only specific people to read about my feelings of inadequacy in various parts of my life. Today's post is was an evolution from the day before, all part of the process. I then responded to the comment on last night's post that I couldn't find the words for at that point. That comment seems like an important enough follow-up to the changes in myself that it deserves its own post. (Names eradicated to protect the successful.)
    You didn't make me feel bad. I made myself feel bad by measuring myself against someone else. Please don't censor your sharing, it does help me more than I can say. If I see myself reflected in your words and find my reflection inadquate, it is not in any way your doing.

    Recently I have reconnected with people of my past. G. is a successful actress and evey playwright (she just had a tour of her play), B. is now a man and a successful writer of erotic non-fiction, V. lived out her dream of being a fashion model and is now a rather successful photographer. And now you've made a major change in your life where you've followed the knowledge of exactly what you needed to do and went out to do it. Your (ally'all's) experiences are inspirational.

    I just look at all of what each of you have achieved, and I feel that I don't have the same level of success. I may blame my choice to have a child young, or my procrastination, but I think a lot of it has to do with not being ready to accept my "good work" in this world. I think I don't see myself as successful, because I don't have the tangible, material success to show for it. I don't have a novel published, I didn't explore my acting abilities (assuming I really had any talent other than an early exploration into it), and I'm not living exactly they way I wished to be (not that I think anyone is necessarily living exactly the way you wish, but I mean to say that there is a great deal of resonance in each of your environments with who you are and what you do).

    But I'm starting to wonder if my success is in claiming my good work, in realizing what I need to do and pursuing it. I got into a college pretty much on my essay alone--a college that rejected me out of high school despite my grades and extracurricular activities. Maybe they knew then what I didn't know: that I wasn't ready yet. Getting into university without having to work an outside job is a huge success, even if it's not as tangible as a published book or the royalties that come with it. Being aware of my flaws and working to change my behavior, a long process indeed, is a success of mine. I think I often feel like a failure in these areas because I want everything NOW and I want to be able to hold my success in my hands, not just have some abstract idea of achievement. You know?

    Yes, you know.

    I love you. Don't blame yourself or use this to censor your words. Be well.
    And then there's something I can post later that I wrote about the very basic needs I have in seeing my own self-worth. I'll post it later, even if y'all're tired of reading my "oh-so-amazing-inner-revelations." ;)

    Oh and tonight: Repo! The Genetic Opera Aren't I lucky? Ana thinks I am, and she backed it up with examples. Very cute examples. ^_^
    neversremedy8: (In the Looking Glass)
    It took me two and a half hours to open and close code the interview transcriptions from my conversations with my great aunt Alice. While I did it, I used my TA's suggestion of semantic fields to help me organize certain categories on which I wish to focus for my 5-8 page thesis/ethnography. My thesis paragraph and concept paragraph are both due on Friday. This procedure was totally worth it. No matter what thesis I choose (and I have not yet found the right words to frame my thesis), I have all of the data I need to back up the claims I might make. This is huge to me. I feel very reflective of my own values and views of myself in this light--like I'm more aware of why I have this view of myself that I'm not good at constructing sound arguments, and it stems from Rockie's constant demands to know where I came up with certain ideas, this need for me to always cite my sources, even in casual conversations. Now I have all of my sources cited for this paper, and all I need to do is construct an argument and fill in the pieces with the data I collected. I've never really felt I could do such a thing competently. Even my paper on Sunday, while I had reems of notes on my readings, didn't feel very sound, in part because I didn't give myself enough time to reflect.

    Ana's teacher and I had our conference yesterday afternoon and discussed Ana's lack of reflection in her reading. I realized I did something similar, for although I can glean quite a bit of information from a reading, I don't usually dig very deeply into it. I've gotten by most of my life on being able to write bullshit and getting an A on it, because even my casual perusal was usually analytical enough for the average human. Now I have a chance to prove to myself that with a combination of passion, reflection, and serious delving into the data provided, I can create a valid, deep, structure argument. A sound one. Just this morning, I ran into Marco, one of the dads at Giddens and he mentioned needing to write today. I inquired into his project, and he said his "fall project" was looking at the food consumed during year 1 BC. I had a mock conversation with him in my head about how I'd never be able to handle writing non-fiction because I'm not good at backing up my arguments and I didn't want to publish three hundred pages of bullshit. At least with fiction, I can create a universe in which my arguments are always sound and everything works to my rules--and let's not forget the use of poetic language that is often found lacking in historical non-fiction. Anyway ...

    I've been rather stressed... )

    And the funniest part is, I now have the budding skills of an ethnographer and could print out all that I just wrote about my experiences today, open code each line, create semantic fields, and go back to close code everything in search of points to back up any themes I might wish to focus on. I could gain greater insight into my own views of self, health/sickness, values, and cultural beliefs. Ha! No matter the grades I get, this is the type of learning I was looking for when I returned to college. Gaining more of the skills I feel I need to be a whole, well-rounded human being. I could even manage to analyze my language for patterns in use and how they might connect to cultural contexts.

    Oh, and did I mention that my attempts at begging worked? The prof for the BIO-ANTH 477 class, which requires a pre-req in BIO A 201, which I don't yet have, gave me the add codes anyway. I'll get to take a class on viewing human gender evolution in a variety of cultures. Yippee!

    Also, yesterday, I sat down and brainstormed the ideas of what my values are for education on becoming a whole human being. I told Ana what I was about, and backed it up by saying, "and you know that these are my values, mommy doesn't actually possess all of these ... yet."

    I began with the quote:
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    -Robert A. Heinlein
    Emphasis mine for all things I have thus accomplished. I would add a few things to that (e.g. birth a baby), but the concept is what interested me most. That to be whole, one must have exposure to and experience in the basics of a broad range of topics. I told Ana I would type up my ideas later and formulate them into something more eloquent. I asked her if she'd like to read it when I was finished, and she nodded her head adamantly. (I know I did take a look at educational goals I would have for a school if I designed one, but they looked more at classes, and I realized that what I really should like at for my expectations of self, daughter, and future projects, is not a range of classes, but a range of values that could be achieved by a combination of classes, experiences, and other elements.)

    At some point I also need to take another look at the recent death and death-related experiences I've had in the last year. I think Ana needs more coping skills offered to her as well, since her main one currently seems to be to ignore the world and plunge into computers and video games. But that's an entirely different post.

    I'm out of time now. I need to go get Ana. With my short amount of time left, I could read more of the Hmong book, write up notes for the bio-med timeline I have due on Friday, or write notes for preparing my thesis. I think I've already ruled out reading, because I can do that any time. Note writing seems like a good idea, since I'm so clear and organized in my thoughts right now.

    Whatever you take from this, please remember to always take breaks when you feel yourself overwhelmed. Real breaks aren't escapist, they are the exact opposite. Real breaks bring you back into your body and recenter your being on all levels. Find your path to achieving this when you need to. Love to all. Be well.

    VOTE!

    Nov. 3rd, 2008 02:19 pm
    neversremedy8: (Solidarity)
    First, let me share [livejournal.com profile] squidflakes' endorsement for Obama, because he hits on so many points that many of us are focused on and concerned about.

    Yesterday, I mentioned to Craig that I sometimes think of Gore (our Presidential-Elect in 2000) as our sovereign-in-exile. It seems appropriate to me that after eight years of his work to change our environmental policies through media and community discussions, that we should be looking again at an election that may suffer the same election-stealing tactics that the 2000 election did. This isn't so close a race, and yet the Republicans are once again up to their voter fraud tricks, and trying to divert attention from it through accusations against those "vile and evil liberals" (i.e. us) of doing exactly what they do themselves. So, keep copies of the mounds of articles coming from the media already about voter fraud on the Right, because if we don't, those bits of proof may disappear after tomorrow.

    On the other side, if Obama is elected and recognized as the President-Elect, let's hope that he and his family are kept safe during and after the election. We've lost too many important leaders to the whims of the mad and prejudiced.

    BTW, when did "liberal" become a bad word? And when did being a liberal equate being less of a patriot? Rhetorical questions, but they bother me often.

    P.S.
    I think I nailed that midterm today.

    "57 academics just punched the air."
    neversremedy8: (Default)
    ...I've been waiting too much, but there are times when I feel there is nothing more I can do, or I don't want to face the little chores and steps I need to take to get to certain minor goals.

    Yes, I need a job, really need a great one that pays well enough to support Ana and I without assistance. There are two problems in this: 1) The unemployment rate is horrendous (Washington State has dropped to only the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the country). 2) I don't really want to do the jobs I'm qualified for. I've found some great Administrative Assistant positions, some of them don't require a BA (Ha! If I had a BA in *anything* I wouldn't be looking for this type of job!), and some are actually within my means of transportation. However, I look at the job requirements and the long list of duties and tasks to perform, I know I *can* do them, but I'm loathe to actually be expected to do them.

    Expectations and Guilt, two things David and I've talked about a lot lately. He's a great sounding board and he's able to clarify much of my own confusion I can't see through. I have difficulty with expectations, I don't like being *expected* to do things, but I like to do them as a surprise or out of the kindness of my heart. I love to be asked to do things, but when someone makes an expectation I resent it. Then there's the guilt... David says I carry around a lot of guilt, often for things that are too minor to have guilt over, and others which I didn't mean or can't go back and change. He says guilt is holding me back from much of what I'm doing, if I keep thinking about what I've done (or haven't done) and obsessing on it, I'll never be able to move forward to correct my mistakes.

    Sera hasn't called, she hasn't written, and I wonder why I even bother putting the choice to her. It's a big choice she's leaving up to me regarding our daughter, and because I haven't seen her in person long enough to talk with her in the last three or four weeks, I can't even tell her what the decision is which she needs to make. I resolved myself not to call for some time, and then I finally caved this weekend. I called her at work, she told me how very much she missed me and Ana, and she was going to call. She didn't. I called her the next day at work, she said she'd call, and she wanted to come over Sunday night, she just had to check her schedule. She didn't call, and I didn't bother to on Sunday. What's the point? If she's determined to avoid me and to disappoint Ana, then she'll never know what happens, and I won't allow this cycle of disappointment to continue. It's either Ana or no Ana, Raven or no Raven, it can't be whenever the mood hits her, change of plans at the spur of the moment, and skipping out on Christmas after six months of planning because she's afraid. Yet how will she know this? Does she even read this journal? I can't allow her to do this to Ana, I can't allow Ana to grow up with so much disappointment and resentment directed towards Sera. But I won't tell this to Sera on the phone, only in person. She hasn't posted since December, I have no idea what's going on in her life.

    It's a world of frustrations, but somehow I keep smiling. Had to take Ana to the doctor's yesterday, only to find out she's healthy. Probably having trouble at daycare because of emotional issues, not physical. She didn't require I carry her most of the way back. The rain had left us, the clouds were gone, it was blue sky and white sun. Ana walked by my side for four long blocks. Such a wonder. She's been "shh"-ing me, and she's become possessive of her toys, tells everyone who tries to play with her favorites "no" very firmly and takes the toy from them. Another mimcry of me, mixed with her determination to have her way. So cute. This morning she woke up, pulled her big rag doll I got her for Christmas out from under the covers, sat it up and gave it a big hug. She then turned it to face her, talked with it, tickled it, and played peek-a-boo. The smiles and giggles were a blessing this morning.

    This is the joy of parenthood, the reward for the hard work, but I'm still waiting for a miracle to come ... to help us free ourselves from State obligation, from fear, from frustration, and to build our foundations for the future.

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    neversremedy8

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