The Power of Seven Years

The power of seven years… Do you know about seven year cycles? There is a ton of research out there on how, over seven years, we change completely on every level; physiologically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. As I swim, Pensieve style, through and spill forth onto the page my own six cycles of seven personal histories and stories (That’s right! I’m in my 42nd year as I write this.😉), I am especially reflective on the one I am completing. I call it “The Rise of Mother” and it has been especially transformative. As I prepare to begin my 7th of 7 later this year, my ”mother into sage” cycle, I am taking the new year to reflect back on the themes upon which I focused my past seven years. I never liked resolutions but rather “Year of”…. Here’s are the past seven culminating in my 2019 theme. I find setting it down in print and speaking it out into the universe sets its course. So thank you to those who take the time to read. I hope it can offer possibilities for your own reflection and intention setting.

Let’s begin…

2011: The Year of Celebrations. Elena chose us to be her parents. And I began to know the signs of our society’s destruction deeply in how it could affect this life I had helped usher into the broken.

2012: The Year of Transitioning or deciding to Rise from the Flames or Go down in them… This blog post captures my beginnings of movement thought and work: https://missypieandmrsir.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/will-2012-rise-from-the-flames-or-continue-to-go-down-into-them/

We also moved to Baltimore this year.

2013: The Year of Frugality and Fern completed our family. This was the year the flames engulfed me into the movement work of my life. Here is a little reflection on the broken: https://soelfetole.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/the-broken/

2014: The Year of Consequences, Mourning, Last ditch efforts for living inside the box, and being apart from my love.

2015: The Year of Liberation, Community, and Self Directed Learning

2016: The Year of doing my damnedest to build a school and Elena’s mantra, “It’s pretty scary, let’s do it.”

2017: The Year of Survival… of Rising Up… Of Revolutions… Of All Definitions Applying…

My personal mission statement was, “Guided by my intuition, I will create opportunities for learning and self-expression that connect me to all the beauty that life offers.”

2018: The Year of Deep Connections Only. Here’s what I said on Jan. 2, 2018, “The latter part of this year my soul has been speaking to me deeply and I have been actually paying attention to myself for the first time in my memory. Retreat. Withdrawal. Quiet. Reflection. Deepen connection only. So I am listening. This will be my year to withdraw into only that which feeds my soul. I’m going to be selfish for the first time in my life. Truly take care of me. Feed my creativity. Feed my needs. Only engage in what will sooth my soul. I’m going to say no a lot. I’m going to seek deep human interactions rather than surface. I want to talk about what is moving each of us. I am going deep inside as I’ve ignored for too long and I’m going to heal myself. I’m ready. It’s finally time. And the creative being that will emerge is going to be a reckoning. Watch my rise. Watch my revolution.” 2018 was more than I could have ever imagined when I wrote what I did above. It was every bit of that and more.

2019: The Year of Listening. Taking Time. Manifesting as I’m compelled and guided within.

Humanity…

I’ve been thinking…

Humanity wins in the Thai cave rescue. When community, government, and private sector come together to reunite these children with their families all I can think about is the wonderful news coverage and spirit surrounding this rescue. How the world rallied for these boys! And I wonder why so many fellow Americans are reading about this rescue and praising God for these boys’ safety and at the same time condemning children on the border to be swept away from their families in a government inflicted flood of separation.

Tommy got me thinking about this last night. He said that he’s glad these boys are being rescued but the news is exploding with this alone and has moved on from the children being held away from their families in border prisons right here at home… The media has moved on to the next headline…

Those “detention centers” aka prisons are just as, and I would wager much much more, isolating as spending 18 days on the ledge of a flooded cave. Except those boys in Thailand had each other, knew each other, and had a coach who they knew and was reassuring and keeping their spirits up, as coaches are want to do. The soccer team was together.

These children in the detention center are in a dark cave of our government’s making and they are on that same ledge with all the other children ripped away from their parents. And the flood waters are rising and a ton of people are outside the cave protesting that they are there. But their parents aren’t in the crowd nor are they being nurtured or reassured that their children will ever get back to them. Instead they are in another cave system. And the government, our US government has sealed the caves off. No rescue coming. And arresting the few who are crowded around the entrances to the cave to fight for those trapped inside. No records that can easily connect the children sealed off in one cave to the parents sealed off in the other cave. And the government and a huge swath of the population chanting that these human lives deserve this fate simply for crossing a border in retreat of a broken homeland, in which previous US government intervention can almost assuredly be traced in part to their nation’s systemic problems to some extent.

And the cave is flooding. And unless the community, government, and private sector come together to save them they will be lost. And that isn’t happening. At this point even if they are saved, the damage is done. The isolation of the cave and their reason for being put there has changed them all

irreparably.

But the Thai boys got out and are being cared for and get to go back to their lives and families who were just waiting for them to come home. The children on the border were fleeing home and then were ripped away from the only home they had, their families. But they are not being rescued. And if they ever are rescued, the damage and trauma of being shut up deep in the detention center cave system far from the love of their families is going to manifest in them and in you, United States of America. Their suffering will come back for you and it won’t be a daring, beautiful, dangerous, deeply considered Thai cave rescue. It will be a blight on your history of blight upon blight. And those precious, beautiful, captured, resilient, tortured child souls of the flooded and sealed border detention caves and their stories and their energy for change to their situation, to where they rest and call home, and desire to be reunited with those they love, that will tear further the already threadbare fabric of this nation, furthering it’s overdue unraveling.

#riseup #totherevolutions #alldefinitionsapply #totheunraveling

Local inclusivity

I was going to hit up the women’s march and activist conference today here in Nashville but the conference sold out… I wish they had allowed for more space so that everyone who wanted to attend could have attended.

Maybe next year they can host the conference in a space big enough for all the women who want to attend to be able to do so. Music City Center could hold more people. I just wish there had been space for everyone.

It’s interesting that I just read an online Tennessean article published last night promoting the conference and march with no mention that it is sold out. And yet the separate link to the conference just takes you to the march with no link to anything related to the conference and no indication that it even exists. Sigh.

I had a friend who was waiting to get paid to purchase her ticket this week. And I’m sure she wasn’t the only one. She was even proactive in attempting to get her ticket over a week ago and sent a message to the organizers about the financial aid option which was available to those who couldn’t afford tickets because she was worried they would sell out before she could get paid and buy the ticket and they never responded…

This is what we are talking about when we say that these kind of opportunities look great on the outside but when you dig down a couple of layers it becomes not so intersectional or inclusive. Either do a conference separate from the march or open these opportunities up to everyone that want to be a part of the whole march experience. Since the conference isn’t an option to all who want to attend, I’m going to sit out the free march this year, which feels like a sloppy seconds culmination to the conference that only a small percentage of the interested can attend…

I know nothing is perfect and maybe next time they can get this right but I’m not at all convinced anyone really wants to get it right because look… we women have had over a hundred years to take into consideration all the women in our communities and our nation… ALL OF THEM… and we are still fucking this up. I’m not at all surprised… but I’m still disappointed.

I’ll be filling my day surrounded by badass women just the same. And we will be discussing how we can make the spaces we occupy more inclusive and intersectional. To however you rise up, be it at the march or in your own revolutionary ways today, may you honor all women in your plans and consider every woman’s story in whatever you are planning, practicing, enjoying, etc. Cheers. #riseup #totherevolution

Haiti.

ON THIS 8TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE, LET’S BREAK DOWN SOME US/HAITIAN HISTORY:

Here’s how US policies, many enacted by Bill Clinton in the 90s, for which he has apologized for because he sees the error fully decades later, are why Haiti was the poorest nation in the world before the 2010 earthquake. “Free trade” agreements allowed US industry to come into the the capital of Port-au-Prince and provide “employment” opportunities to “help” bring Haiti out of agricultural independence and into the “industrial revolution” to aid US capitalism. 🙄 So Haitians left their agricultural lifestyle that was providing for their needs and went to the city where “jobs” awaited.

So we in the USA got to buy cheap clothes and wares from Walmart, Kmart, and Target made in Haitian factories and we started exporting food to Haiti to line the pockets of American agriculture and feed all the people of Haiti who no longer fed themselves because they were working to make cheap clothes for Americans aka “progress”… 🙄 So in 2010 a huge proportion of the Haitian population were living in the worst conditions imaginable in the city while their countryside lay in disuse and eroded neglect. Their government had historically fucked them over on many levels as had the US.

And when the earth literally opened up and swallowed them in 2010, we started kind of paying attention… Kind of. These people have more strength and grit and resilience through the worst this world has to offer than anyone in any government position in our nation. And Haiti is just one nation among so many negatively affected so that the USA could prosper. May we someday pay dearly for the sins of our nation. That’s the facts. #riseup #totherevolution

Learn more about US policies under Clinton here.

Rise. Fight. Revolution.

In 1980 my baby brother died at 9 days old because of a series of events by Baptist Hospital nursery and then newly opened Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital which in modern times would have been resolved with a malpractice law suit that would have possibly changed laws that helped families like ours. But you know what Nashville lawyers and lawmakers, many of whom were family friends and fellow Vandy grads, told my parents when they came to them with so much evidence to show malpractice on many levels?! They told them to mourn the loss of their son and go live their lives. That was 1980 and Nashville was a small town then. Prayers for the loss of their son should have been enough. They never were though. My father slowly went mad and my mother, an angel on earth, powered through and made ends meet for her family because that is what had to happen. I remember that story every time something happens that can easily be prevented and it just goes to show that not much has changed in the good ole USA. Keep your head down and don’t rock the boat and mourn the loss… Well I’d rather die in revolution for a better world than praying through all the bad with no action. No parent should have to mourn the loss of a child for negligence. That’s society’s job in a democracy to take up the fight for those who have been burdened by community negligence. No, my brother isn’t coming back and neither are the countless people dying or dead from off the chart hurricanes that are a direct consequence of humans disrespecting the earth and mass shootings wiping out vast numbers of innocent lives. But future loss can be prevented if we fight so that families affected can mourn and then help prevent others and possibly our future selves from the same end. So pray all you want. But you better also get off your ass and find a way to fight. #riseup #totherevolution

Caribbean Aid

Want to help out the islands after these monstrous hurricanes have destroyed so much? Here’s what I’ve got for now…

Dominica

http://dominicarelief.org/ – government sponsored

https://www.gofundme.com/hurricanemariarelief – private citizens sponsored

Virgin islands

https://www.virgin.com/unite/bvi-community-support-appeal – Richard Branson (I know… 🙄But he has the connections) is working in aiding a rebuild plan of sustainability. Read more here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/19/sir-richard-branson-calls-marshall-plan-british-virgin-islands/

Puerto Rico<<
ou can see from the article above, Puerto Rico was an important link to the rebuilding efforts of the smaller islands. They began assisting in immediately following Irma's destruction two weeks ago without regard for their own financial issues or the fact that they may be in line of fire for another monster storm…They are out of commission for possibly months thanks to Maria's gut punch. Help them recover here.

https://hispanicfederation.org/donate/ – Lin-Manuel Miranda has partnered with this org to help relief efforts.

http://www.losambulantes.com/help-puerto-rico/ – list of ways to help PR

Stay tuned as more efforts are added. And in the long term… Don't discount these places as you plan your vacations and travel plans in the coming years. All these islands will need your support so make plans to visit them and spend your vacation money on their economies. That will be a tremendous value for them and for you. I promise that once you experience the beauty and strength and warmth of your brothers and sisters on these islands you will forever be better for knowing them.

Thanks for your support. Please share this post far and wide. #dominicastrong #puertoricostrong #virginislandsstrong #riseup #totherevolution

Foreshadowings to Fruition…

Today, we await word from my husband, Tommy’s, granny and auntie as well as many other friends and family, the morning after Maria, a category 5 Hurricane, literally destroyed the approximate 7×35 mile wide island of Dominica.

And now we brace for Maria’s return to the ruins of Irma, this time with potential to strike St. Croix, where Tommy’s mother lives, which was the one Virgin Island unscathed by Irma’s wrath. And the rest of the Virgin Islands either don’t know what’s coming or know with foreboding awareness that they will have incredible problems handling any new storm because it has barely been two weeks since their obliteration by the largest hurricane in recorded history.

Then we have Puerto Rico, who despite being in the worst financial ruins of its time, has been acting as an elder sibling to its smaller Caribbean islands, staging the post Irma rescue efforts for its brethren. And Maria is headed directly for it.

We have beloved family on every single one of these islands.

And if I’m being honest, all I can think about is how for almost two decades I have been watching the disrespect we heap on this earth and I have been predicting that too much has been ignored and the layers of broken will all begin to present themselves and we will no longer be living this easy life many of us live here on this earth that we disrespect. And our fellow humans are living this destruction environmentally, politically, financially, etc. and it’s only going to get worse and it’s only going to happen faster and faster to more and more of us. And it’s too late to stop it.

And these glorious people who have nothing to do with the disgusting decisions of first world nations are again at the front lines of the destruction we have selfishly wrought in the name of progress and industrial revolution. You’re damn right it’s a revolution. And it won. Industry won. We see it’s toxins destroying our earth’s livability every day. It’s been fighting us since the 1800s and it has caught up and will keep winning. Every year I gets worse and this year is braking records. Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the raging fires out west are just a vivid example of what’s been coming for a long while. Society will not withstand. The flames are all around us and there is no person or policy that will protect us when the earth is done with our nonsense.

Get yourselves and your family prepared for the future that we all are responsible for destroying. Teach your children how to care for what’s left of the earth they still have and prepare them to live in an unsustainable wasteland be side that is where we are headed.

We don’t need your prayers. We need your actions. We need your votes. We need your children to grown up and understand that they are the ones that are going to be living in a very different existence than humanity has known. #riseup #totherevolution

In Response to Someone I Love

A dear friend of our family posted on Facebook yesterday something to the effect that she and her husband worked hard and sacrificed much in their lives for their children to be educated in a private school, attend college and ensure that their needs were met. And every bit of that is true. She raised three wonderful children who are grown raising another generation of wonderful children. But then she went on to say that it made her sick that kids in college that have a good chance too, I guess like the one she and her husband worked hard to provide for her own kids, and have student loans, whatever that has to do with anything I can only imagine, are wasting their time “tearing down statues when they could be working hard to have a good future for themselves.” I was not silent.

Before I tell you my response, I must say that I have ignored for the most part posting anything to her wall for two years as she has promoted her support of Trump and the bigoted hateful ideas he spewed during the election. I mourned her as I did many last year who I basically caste into a category of “I will never forget your direct choice to side with hate.”  I choose instead to be very vocal on my own wall and then anyone who doesn’t like it can unfollow or unfriend me if they have a problem with what I have to say.

I have no doubt that many of you out there have experienced similar situations with people you love over the course of the past few years as race has been at the forefront of our lives. It’s always at the forefront of black lives and more recently a constant in many white lives, much to the dismay of many of them…

As I said, I am very boisterous on my own wall in response to people in my life who choose to side with Trump and his hate, who choose to misunderstand the Black Lives Matter movement as the new civil rights movement of our time. Those friends and family who continue to believe the lies spread about Black Lives Matter, who is continuing to fight for the marginalized and for an end to systems and policies that are literally killing black and brown lives simply because of the color of their skin and because of fear and hatred. Systems and policies and laws that both the Republican and Democratic parties have propagated based on white supremacy but given a “color blind” name like the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, the privatization of the prison system, the growing militarized police state, the guarantee that if you are a felon you may never vote again, the school to prison pipeline put in place shortly after “desegregation” began. All these systems, laws, and policies that both our conservative and liberal white elite controlled government backed fully. Both sides in this case are absolutely to blame… If only Trump had been referring to the three branches of our government when he said “I think there is blame on both sides.” If only he had been speaking of the bigoted government that made a home for his rhetoric… If it walks like a new Jim Crow, and talks like a new Jim Crow, it’s a new Jim Crow… Michelle Alexander did that research.

But after what happened in Charlottesville on Friday night, after listening to our bigoted president’s response about blame on “both” sides, after sitting with my girls and explaining to them what kind of country they are living in and how hard we are fighting to change their future for the better, I had to directly respond to my friend, someone I have loved my whole life and who I know loves me and my family. And yet that is simply not enough in this nation at this time. I encourage each and every one of you to do the same. Respond. Speak out. Do not remain silent. My sister just reminded me of Elie Weisel’s quote, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Please steal any and all parts of my response if they can help you speak out. Now is the time to choose your side.

Here was my response to someone I love in regards to students, in Charlottesville who, let me repeat, thinks are wasting their time “tearing down statues when they could be working hard to have a good future for themselves.” ….

I wrote, “They are doing just that. Working to have a good future for themselves as well as supporting a good future for everyone in this nation. We will have a nation that either eliminates white supremacy and it’s blatant forefathers who lost the war and regardless of a lost war the bigoted policies that still pervade every crevice of society or we will build a new nation where that is eliminated from its foundation. Statues are a start and should have been gone long ago. Send them to a museum and tell the story of the civil war properly. We were founded on liberty and justice for all white men. Women were a far second and black people were slaves who kept this nation running smoothly and upon whose backs “democracy” and capitalism advanced. The civil war was the beginning of ending that. The civil rights movement got us a little closer.

But policies are still as rooted in place as the statues of the Confederacy are, that allow for white supremacy to thrive. And a lot of white people are not liking the laws that have changed that put everyone on equal footing as it should have been all along. From that equal footing people can work hard or not and reap the benefit or not… From an equitable playing field. But as we stand right now there is still much work to be done to establish equal footing for all Americans.

My daughters are going to walk around in a nation that isn’t propping up losers in a war about whether or not their state had a right to hold them as property. We can go to a museum and read history books about the bigots of the Confederacy. But this nation is moving fast toward liberty and justice for ALL and my girls and my family will be working overtime (day jobs and then volunteering our extra hours) to dismantle white supremacy based statues, policies, and laws and there are a lot so we have much work to do. We are coming for all of them. We are just getting started. Blacks were slaves for hundreds of years and have technically only been “free” for about 55 years. So we all have a ton of work to do to ensure they are truly free and through their true freedom we can ALL be free. There’s no either or but the fight for ALL to be equal and that isn’t true yet. But it will be.

So buckle up! These young people aren’t having it anymore. They are going to go to school full time, work, and use student loans and in their spare time use their voice to help dismantle everything bigoted in this nation. It’s all coming down. White people should have always been living in a country where everyone has the same baseline of privileges that white people have always been afforded in this nation. I know plenty of black people who have worked just as hard as you have and are still in poverty because of policies that kept them so. We are all simply fighting to dismantle a system that has worked to uplift a few at the expense of the rest. We will have liberty and justice for ALL or we will work to create something else truly founded on that. No body is trying to take anything away from anyone. This movement that we are a part of just wants to be afforded the same policies that have propped up white people, especially wealthy white people, for centuries in this nation. And we are never going to stop until those rights are truly everyone’s and the policies and laws in place that prevent that are obsolete. And there are a lot of white people, black people, Hispanic and Latinx people, and black and brown of many descents, every religion and no religions under the ecplipsing sun, who are becoming a fast majority and who will have liberty and justice and everyone who isn’t ok with that will either get on board or revolt in a way that will cost lives until we truly have a nation where ALL LIVES MATTER. ALL OF THEM. Your family, my family, the refugee family, the immigrant family, the black family living in poverty, the white family living in poverty, the Muslim family, and the Christian family, the Jewish community, the Catholic community, the Muslim community, the hindu community, the protestant christian community, the atheist community, the liberals conservative and everyone in between. All of us. And there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. There is nothing wrong with our groups that are working to change this system so all of us are free. That is at no one’s expense and all of us in this nation’s gain. And any voice that casts out entire races, religions and genders for their own gain, as white supremacist bigots do, as the men and women who carried torches in Charlottesville on Friday night did, (alt right, nationalists or whatever names they have that hold the white man as the highest in the land) will be defeated. Either people are working for everyone to have the same right as everyone else, like these students were Friday night against, or people are bigots. There is no in between anymore.

And furthermore, sadly, despite the fact that I am working my ass off for all of this, I believe entirely that it is too late for any of it to actually work and I think revolution is near, the terrible war kind not the beautiful internal magical kind. I think that there will be war here on this “land of the free” and the “home of the brave” is going to be tested dearly. Because freedom is subjective now a days. Facts are subjective and it’s too late for reason in a nation filled with such hatred towards one another simply over being truly free. So I’m raising my girls to be a force for liberty and justice for ALL in what may come after this nation’s fall. Because we are beyond divided. We are beyond any promise of agreement on any of this and it’s too late.

So my family will continue along with those kids in Charlottesville protesting bigotry and hate, to use our voices in this democracy as long as it stands as a democracy and then if we are here after it all goes down in flames then we will rise up and help to create a community, or state, or nation, where liberty and justice for ALL can be established from the beginning on the backs, blood and sweat of ALL of us working together. It will take the open mindedness and love of beautiful children like my girls and your granddaughter, who I love dearly, to create it but I believe in them. So may the hard working students on financial aid in Charlottesville and across our nation standing up to hate and bigotry continue to do so and use their free voices to speak out against any symbol or policy or law that casts one race over another, that props up and gives credence to a despicable time in our nation’s history that must be remembered for its inhumanity rather than be honored with accolades and statues and flags. May they do it for “a good future for themselves” as well as their fellow Americans.”

 

#totherevolution #alldefinitionsapply