Monday at the Movies

For years, Red Dawn was a favorite of the rightwing nut jobs who love to imagine themselves saving ‘Merika with their guns.  Who knew that, the whole time, they were cheering for the Russians?

Sunday Ballet Blogging

On Listening for the Call

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This is lovely.  Here’s a little taste:

Now I want you little sisters to remember this one thing if you don’t recollect another thing: dying ain’t the worst thing that’ll ever happen to you.  The worst thing is to die before you get your call.  And let me tell you the truth as I know it.  You there, you lean in and listen well.  Some folks don’t die at all.  Some folks just leave. The wild will call and they’ll be gone, just like that.  And the choice between the two is yours.  You can die off like some poor ol’ feral cat, or you can leave when the call comes.  And it will come one bright day, whether you answer or not.  But you’ve got to listen, you know. The loudest words ain’t never said out loud, and the wisest words are plain and barely spoken above a whisper.  And the wild’s call will only whisper; it won’t come hollering like a banshee in your ear.  So listen, gal. Listen good and listen long…

Picture found here.

Just Do The Next Right Thing

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~ Mrs. Whatsit

I don’t know about you, but November 9th was one of the worst days of my life. (And in the past two years, I’ve lost three close friends, all unexpectedly and WAY ahead of their time, and the 21 year old cat who kept me sane in graduate school and had been my boon companion for my entire adulthood, so I know from bad.)

I got a taste of what real depression is like, and it was horrible. I literally could not get out of bed. I laid there in the dark and cried off and on all day. My spouse periodically came in to bring me food I didn’t eat and beverages I didn’t drink. It felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest and a vise crushing my head. It was miserable. I was miserable.

Aries that I am, though, on Thursday morning, November 10, I woke up and said to myself: “Self, that is enough wallowing. It’s time to do something.”

But what?

There’s this thing called the Paradox of Choice, when you’re faced with so many options you become paralyzed, incapable of choosing anything.

That’s how I felt. The problem of trying to stop a dangerously unstable, profoundly unqualified, proudly ignorant demagogue from ruining the country is so big – and so important – with so many potential angles of attack that I had no idea where to start.

That’s when I remembered what a very wise friend told me a number of years ago, and in a wildly different context: “You don’t have to know the end of the path. Just do the next right thing.”

OK, I may not, as of 9:17 am on Thursday, November 10, have known the full and exact most effective plan to #ResistTrump, but I could think of one good thing to do: donate some money to renew my membership in the ACLU. I could think of one more good thing to do: sign up to be notified about local training to run for office with Emily’s List. I could think of one more good thing to do: sign up for my next few volunteer shifts at the local food bank (something I’ve been doing monthly for the past four years, which is definitely one of the perks of running your own business). I could make sure my financial house and papers are in order. I could call my Muslim friends and make sure they know where we hide the spare keys in case the shit comes down on them, because when it happens, it happens fast, and if you need to get the fuck out of Dodge, the WORST thing you can do is be where they expect you to be, like your home or office. I could take on my industry for their poor response to the election (yes, I really did that, and so far, it hasn’t ruined my career).

The past two months have been difficult for the MAJORITY of voters (+2.8 million) who voted for Hillary Clinton, and this is just the warm up. Barack Obama is still in the White House, at least for a few more days. #TheResistance is only going to get more difficult from here. And I’m not always going to know the path – neither are you. But you can take the next step. You can do the next right thing in front of you. And so can I. And all those steps will eventually add up to the marathon we’ll all be running in the coming months and years.

Image found here.

Simple Ways to Survive and Resist

If you think that access to abortion isn’t going away during the Trump/Pence presidency, you are kidding yourself.  And once abortion’s gone, they’re coming for birth control.  One way to protect yourself is to get sterilized, now, if you do not want to have any more children than you already have.  If that is not an option, another way to protect yourself is to stock up on birth control.  That would mean buying condoms and storing them according to the directions on the package.

Women and their male allies are also stocking up on Plan B.  Plan B, according to its website is a form of:

emergency contraception is a backup plan that helps prevent pregnancy when taken within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The sooner it’s taken, the better it works. It contains levonorgestrel, the same hormone used in many birth control pills—just at a higher dose. It should not be used as regular birth control, because it’s not as effective.

The website has additional information concerning how to use Plan B, possible side effects, efficacy, etc.

Plan B is available in drug stores where it is sold over the counter.  You do not need a prescription.  You don’t need to show an ID and there is no age requirement.  It reportedly has a shelf life of four years.  I’d advise paying cash.  However, the Plan B website provides a downloadable coupon if you’re willing to provide some information.  Although they say it won’t be used for any other purpose, they won’t necessarily be able to safeguard the information if, for example, they get a subpoena or Congress orders them to turn over the information.

 

hat tip to Nine Ravens for info on the availability of coupons.

Words for Wednesday

ireland
North
~ Seamus Heaney
I returned to a long strand,
the hammered curve of a bay,
and found only the secular
powers of the Atlantic thundering.
I faced the unmagical
invitations of Iceland,
the pathetic colonies
of Greenland, and suddenly
those fabulous raiders,
those lying in Orkney and Dublin
measured against
their long swords rusting,
those in the solid
belly of stone ships,
those hacked and glinting
in the gravel of thawed streams
were ocean-deafened voices
warning me, lifted again
in violence and epiphany.
The longship’s swimming tongue
was buoyant with hindsight—
it said Thor’s hammer swung
to geography and trade,
thick-witted couplings and revenges,
the hatreds and behind-backs
of the althing, lies and women,
exhaustions nominated peace,
memory incubating the spilled blood.
It said, ‘Lie down
in the word-hoard, burrow
the coil and gleam
of your furrowed brain.
Compose in darkness.
Expect aurora borealis
in the long foray
but no cascade of light.
Keep your eye clear
as the bleb of the icicle,
trust the feel of what nubbed treasure
your hands have known.’
Picture found here.

She Who Hears the Cries of the World Potpourri

  • Ivo is especially good at explaining the “how” of magic.
  • Carri Ferraro has written a lovely poem about hurt, and healing, and blessing new beginnings.
  • And, Niue Brown is writing about the process of being in flux.

I don’t know where I am, I’m not entirely sure where or if I fit, and that’s fine. I don’t know where I’m going – there’d be no fun in it if I did. Journeys into land and story, maps and labyrinths, dreams and possibilities are part of my sense of trajectory, but I’ve no real plan. I’m open to what comes, waiting to see where the awen takes me.

Sometimes, we just have to trust the process.

And, sometimes, we have to seize control.

One way that I’m seizing control was suggested to me in a Tarot reading centered on the Queen of Swords.  I’m making a list of “Nagging Tasks that I Have Needed to Take Care of for a Long Time Now.”  Those tasks are ALL going to be completed by Imbolc.  What’s on your list?  Have you made a will?  Can you find the tools you need in your shed?  Have you cleaned out that bed table drawer?  Do you have two weeks’ worth of clean underpants in your drawer?  Is there a shelf in your pantry with lovely things to serve unexpected guests or have you (this is a Southern thing) tucked away a tin of cheese straws?  Do you have your Congress Critter’s phone number on speed dial?  How about the local hypothermia hotline?

  • Echidne speaks for me.  I am going to squish the head of every white man ‘splaining to me that I should shut up about women’s rights.
  • I’m inclined, as I usually am, to agree with Richard Louv about this:

Not everyone has the ability to seek out nature in difficult times. One must acknowledge that inequity, and another reality: The people who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy or the people of the drowned parishes of New Orleans or the irradiated mud fields of post-tsunami Japan found no solace in the natural world.

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Still, in dark or difficult times, one human impulse is to find kinship with other species and connection to elements beyond the headlines, where we feel larger forces at work, and know that all things must pass.

At the saturation point, the rush of water on a stream or a sudden storm on a high trail or a discovered quiet corner of an urban park is preferable to the inundation of media coverage that, hour after hour repeats itself, until our response to the pain on the screen seems to move beyond empathetic to gratuitous. How much of modern life is spent adrift in vicarious experience, second-hand reality, in the endless war brought to you by liquid cleansers?

We do need to know about world events and tragedies manmade and natural, and there is no ignorance quite so unattractive as prideful ignorance. But we also need respite from the kind of media static that so often seems drained of reality.

In a virtual world where information overload, especially the untrue, diminishes what we know, a little raw authenticity and gratitude can be a welcome relief, and prepare us for what comes next.

So perhaps we can be excused for escaping the bad news for a few hours or days, as we lean into the wind slashing across the river, or see a trout rise, or watch a Harrier hawk glide close along a field, and on the long walk home step over the perfectly white bones of a cow that has not survived the winter, though we have, and not only survived but thrived.

  • Janet discusses the astrology of January 20th. 

    Unlike Janet, I don’t feel even a little bit sorry for him.

Imagine the world you want to live in. For me, it’s a world where we are all more environmentally conscious, where we support the arts and cultural institutions, where everyone is valued. So, you know, I try. I take public transportation, I buy organic produce, I try to recycle. I buy yearly memberships to the art museum. I splurge on the ballet, because I want to live in a city with a ballet. I subscribe to newspapers I want to make sure survive. I try to be a good, effective teacher — fair to my students, kind but also challenging them to write better, think more deeply.

I want to live in a world with less consumerism, where repairing items is valued over buying new ones, so I mend my clothes. I take my boots to the cobbler to be re-soled. I want to live in a world where literature matters, so I buy books. I support small businesses and environmental causes.

These things also make me feel better: they make me feel as though at least I’m doing something, not simply accepting things as they are. Because, and this is the last thing I’ll say, no one person will save the world. Trust me on this: no one is coming out of the sky to make this world better. We all have to do it ourselves, one small gesture at a time. But those small gestures add up to something much larger, which is the whole point.

You are not responsible for saving the world. But we are all responsible for doing our part.

May it be so for you.