I regularly visit the bodega on my corner. The workers are quick to smile and make an impact on my morning. The moment is filled with a sweetness, a camaraderie and it is nice, for me, to have spontaneous moments of being part of something nice. It is nice.
Yet this morning, it was scary. There were new visitors in the bodega – two street urchins who were loudly announcing the problems of the world. Their eyes looking left to right, trying to catch the attention of anyone to latch further. I have learned from past experiences – how to avoid this type of latching. So my eyes averted, looking towards the bodega cat, making clear my presence is simple, my mind bland, there is no draw from this one.
those of us familiar with one another, our eyes gloss over and do not gaze, we do not acknowledge with one another the oddities happening. We know it will spark the street urchins.
I left. the worker had to stay, the man who was waiting for his sandwich to be completed had to stay, the two street urchins stayed.
Walking on the path back to my home. and I feel the anger and hopelessness.
Returning later, with my 20 dimes (I pay in coins, it’s my thing, the bodega says “money is money and we like change!”) and asked the worker, was everything ok? those were strange visitors earlier. He said, yes it was unusual. they declared many things and complained about the menu and that only one worker was available.
It felt that had any of us behaved differently, someone would have died.
Outside/ InsideThree improbable outcomes actually did occur. Stanley made a box cake, Francoise adopted her former boyfriend’s parakeet, and Stella turned from a cat into a garden fairy.Improbable or obvious these three transformations may sound, I assure you that each took decades of inspiration to create and exacting action.Let’s start with Stanley.
2021, You were a smooth operator, starting the year with a boisterous joust, you gave a tease to the world, we anticipated the lightening rod of change to strike. So we could exhale and stop holding, our breath. O2 for so long is abrasive to the lungs.
And you never jousted.
2022, can you teach me to commmit to the practice of love?
I sat next to a woman who looked like a hag. Her long hair is course and mostly gray, and white where once it must have been blond. She’s sat with her walking stick and wearing flowy clothes, giving the impression of being dressed by layered scarves. She certainly was not, or was she?
My chicken salad sandwich is unopened, wrapped in customized paper.
“Would you like to share a sandwich with me? It’s chicken salad, do you eat chicken?”
Oh, yes. That would be nice. Let’s share, if you are able. The hag is polite. She asks what i do for work, we comment on the nice sandwich.
“I used to work on Private Bank operations at Citibank”
I learn she no longer works there and is currently in charge of non profit funding, and it is very rewarding. She suggests that i seek a job in non profit financial accounting. She thinks I can do it and find personal rewards.
We part and I know. This beautiful hag, who i couldn’t help seeing / gazing into her faces, wasn’t really telling the truth. she has many faces. But I want to believe in our moment anyway.
several academic papers recognize that men who strangle are the most dangerous offenders. If a victim is strangled even one time, studies show she is 750% more likely to be killed by her abuser.
This morning I read the news of Gabby Petit’s death – strangulation.
Domestic / Intimage Partner violence is a silent killer of women. It does not get shared on social media broadly. it is no different to “I Can’t Breath” yet it is mostly ignored by society, especially during the past 18 months.
Now I am very angry. Including people who want to make this a race issue. Women strangled by men occurs across all races. Women are dying.
It’s too close to familiar, to see you in my sleep.
I rather that you had just abandon me. Your life in existence, at the same time as me living mine, would have brought comfort. Not knowing where you are is too much. You are now too elusive and forever more. This annoys me.
The haunted sensation. The dreams you bring are haunting me.
I walk around. A lonely, solitary person.
My body daily virtually floats – as though I am the floating soul and not you.
I sat up and took notice. The streets were vacant and my mind whirling. Is the virus this alarming? Am I naive to believe that pandemic lock-down is harmful, possibly even more scary than the virus?
The news was filled with horror and yet, I did not calibrate with the tiny nook of the world which I reside. The reality of a new virus (“novel”) was never in doubt and yet, the response from leadership caused me my heart to stand still. And then slowly beat again, and then pound in rage. How Dare They.
How Dare They take down basketball nets from public spaces, parks and schools. How Dare They tell adolscent boys and girls that there is no outdoor sport. How Dare They – in a country with where heart health and obsity continue to grow – tell the inhabitants to stay inside. How dare they close libraries and keep open liquor stores.
What society closes libraries and keeps open liquor stores? Not a good one.
Watching the world be decided by people “making it up on the fly” -> I wanted to protect the aged. I wanted to be part of community decision making.
I was unable to grab the strength of my own conviction and act. My mind whirled and I watched in dispair, I shared my concerns with many people who then branded me as MAGA, although my concern had nothing to do with politics.
In a liberal society -> I watched the world “liberal” shift to mean Totaliarian. In a liberal society we invite all voices to the table, yet slowly opinions viewed as contrarian were edited and dispelled quickly. Word Salad and Gaslight has become the dominant course of things.
The seat for Elijah has certainly stayed opened. Except the seat is not for Elijah but the fictional prophet the board wishes to conjure.
I knocked at the door and asked a question, following was disinvited from the dinner.
The tools to find your totem, spirit animal, goddess archetype have been valuable for people to self identify. A tool to locate “personal power”. For me this identification is romantic and whiles has some value in the practical world, also has limitations if you rely overly on its chimera and dangerous. Dangerous if the type was described wrongly by many for a long time. Examples of this are Medusa and Hestia. Two iconic female archetypes that are explained by the literature/mythologies in way that I do not see as complete.
The idea of social justice is not far removed. Finding a topic and chasing it without first getting an eye on the landscape. This might be what is happening in the world today. It’s deriving value from how others evaluate the situation, rather than putting forth your own investigation first.
Doing social justice, in my view, is a form of honoring human dignity. Some movements have performed this beautifully, while others are messy and even advocate extreme violence (including some of our female elders in Women’s Suffrage.)
So when writing Social Justice, I am considering how to place myself in approach and tone. Where on the spectrum to satisfy where to reveal the lie. Kindness and compassion can have its merit to truth in surprising ways. while in our culture, sarcasm and blunt/striking words can provoke a resonse that claims the reader (at a minimum) to respond with a reaction. Is the goal to shift through tragectory changes over time, or drop bombs and see the scatter of efforts? Are either leading to actual predicable patterns? Probably not. Yet I wonder.