Friday, September 11, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Psalm 34:1-14 (NRSV)
I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD, and was saved from every trouble. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. O fear the LORD, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want. The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
In pink and profit
Humanity traffiked through the one way mirror
Honest as a hieroglyph
Or a scale of cyclopses
I always blamed her mouth, a stiletto thin spike of focused light, the little girl perpetually poised
Over the magnifying glass
Or that's the way it seemed
I used to believe in kindness diligently, watched her hands like garderners through wax fruit and
Before that last back handed
Compliment about a lost shoe
I palmed a prism
And never said her name
it was highschool
In a closet
Of psychic ties
Too obscure even for a scientist to recognize,
And I swallowed the things she said
eyes and limbs divorcing from
Their logical conclusions
And limped back from love in monochrome
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
So, the sleep doctor suspects my oversized tongue(?) is choking me at night, evinced by the swamp of drool on the pillow. This, in turn, disrupts the sleep cycle and this, in turn, contributes to my feeling like being run over a truck in the morning. Or afternoon. Really, any time. This explains why no amount of sleep has been refreshing for the last six years. Cripples, he said, in so many words, frequently have this problem.
He also said that I didn’t open my mouth wide enough. Of course, that could have had something to do with the wooden stick halfway down my throat. On Thursday, I get to sleep at the hospital, connected to wires and monitored by a camera.
Angel starts rousting me out of bed at 7:30 tomorrow; And, today, well, was the first step back to sanity. Today, I made it to every class. Objectively, it’s not a huge step but it feels so much better not to be drooling onto a pillow or hyperventilating in the hallway.
This morning, Fayne walked with me to my first class. And, then, later Joey appeared again. He showed me some of his art work (how cool was that? he’s really good, too). He inquired about the pinched, lemon expression, and I told him going to class was freaking me out. A next-to-complete stranger, he offered to walk me (ok, not so much a stranger anymore).
This was very cool. The morning I saw Fayne, I’d prayed for help. The anxiety was becoming too much. The fear was going too far and I allowed it to push me into a box the size of a cigarette package. Smaller. Monday was as far back as I could allow myself to recoil without springing in all directions, and, lo and behold, Fayne appeared and sent the e-mail to my professors that I feared sending. Today, I talked to all three of them. And will keep communication open (hear that, me?).
The coolest thing, though, was that I prayed that someone would walk with me. The length from the dorm to the batten center allows for too many u-turns. Bushes. Shrubbery. In the hours implicit in anxious minutes, there is too much room for retreat. It would be better God, I prayed, if the walk wasn’t so solitary. If there was yet another sign of the kindness in the world, of the reality of grace after all this terror.
When Joey said he’d walk with, I almost cried. Another one of those kairos situations.
Why is kindness always so surprising?
Oh well, let it be a surprise; it means it’ll always be this awesome.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Recently, I read an article by a man who compared rape prevention to locking the doors on a house. In his opinion, women could drastically decrease the chance of getting violated sexually by taking the proper precautions. I would agree that, in general, being safe is a wise decision. But, of course, the statistics fly in the face of his premise. As it turns out, avoiding dark alley ways and bad parts of town are not the most effective ways to ensure safety because, according to RAINN, 38% of rapes are committed by friends or acquaintances, 28% percent are committed by intimates (there is an underreported phenomenon of partner rape), and 7% are committed by relatives. Stranger rape is far less common than alarmist images of masked men hiding in the bushes suggest.
A disproportionate number of rapists are people women trust.
On the comment section of the article, there was also a discussion about how often alcohol is involved, and how women put themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
This is, at best, gas lighting. And, considering the aforementioned statistics, it is also largely irrelevant because, again, rape is often perpetrated by people who have gained the victim’s trust. In no way can this be construed as the woman’s fault.
This article is just another insidious case of “blaming the victim” (“victim” is a horrible, horrible word); the author of the article presenting the “she was asking for it” fallacy in a more rational disguise. It is not primarily the responsibility of the one raped to “protect” herself, it is primarily the rapists responsibility NOT TO RAPE. If the RAINN statistics are accurate, a woman would potentially have to be on guard at all times, with every man in her life, in all places. Even at home. She might never be raped, but she would probably suffer a heart attack from all the stress.
Besides, if it was a less controversial topic in question, say, murder, few would even think to condemn the victim for her own death; it would be seen as a tragic crime, summarily unacceptable, and the murderer would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Of course, I think I understand where the writer was coming from. Rape, since the seventies, has been a highly volatile, political issue championed by feminist groups; It is only natural, when any group gets angry, when there is a public outcry, there will be a back lash in its wake. People naturally get defensive. In this case, since women are statistically more likely raped than men (more on this later) and men are statistically more likely to be the rapist, I believe cases of rationalization of the sort mentioned above, men fear they will be demonized, mistrusted, and hated in the public eye (not to mention falsely accused by cunning opportunists who seek to work the system). Or, perhaps, for average decent, good man the idea that anyone else could behave in such ways is incomprehensible. These reasons would explain what seems to me, more willingness in men to deny or down play the serious damage caused by rape and the rage expressed by women over this issue; And, perhaps, why rapists on average spend no more than five years behind bars.
As a feminist, I can appreciate the concern of men (Since even the label “feminist” will inevitably bring fire). Judgment volleyed at an entire group because of a few is also injustice, whether it be leveled at men, women, or green headed goat herders. In fact, there is already a politically charged buzz word for it. Prejudice. And, well, prejudice and sexism is part of why I’m writing this essay.
All this said, however, since articles like the aforementioned are still written, I don’t think, as a society, we understand the gravity of sexual violence. One in six women is sexually assaulted or raped. Furthermore, one in thirty three men is sexually assaulted or raped. Victims are at a significantly elevated risk for depression, PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal ideation. Of course, the numbers do not even touch the phenomenological, the sense of shame and violation, the inability to trust so commonly reported by “victims.”
To shed the formality of the essayist and be completely honest, even as a third party, without personal experience, the fact that I’ve seen so many people, usually men, dismiss rape as relatively unimportant pisses me off. (It’s also a shame because we, as women, want and need our brothers to stand up with us. Men can help stop rape. See mencanstoprape.org).
Sexual assault and rape are bad enough. Denial that sexual assault and rape matter, or the subtle implication the victim is really in the wrong, however indirectly, is worse and only compounds the problem.
The clinical term for this denial is called invalidation. Martha Lineham, creator of Dialectic Behavioral Therapy, writes this: Invalidation has two primary characteristics. First, it tells the individual that she is wrong in both her description and her analyses of her own experiences, particularly in her views of what is causing her own emotions, beliefs, and actions. Second, it attributes her experiences to socially unacceptable characteristics or personality traits. Furthermore, invalidation is linked with self-destructive behavior. A self-injurer, for instance, invalidated as a child, might think her feelings are “wrong”, and punish herself for those “bad” feelings by cutting, burning, or otherwise harming herself. Invalidation has also been implicated in the fragmentation in multiple identity disorder. In the mind of the invalidated, there is insecurity about the integrity of his or her vision, his or her view of the world.
For the rape victim, her right to sovereignty over her own body has already been compromised by the rapist. The integrity of her vision, the magnitude of her pain, should not also be robbed from her as well by society. I have heard it often said that woman are more likely to blame themselves for the injustices perpetrated against them. Perhaps this is why, according to RAINN, something like only half of sexual assaults and rape go reported and only six percent of rapists see jail time. Women aren’t sure it was “wrong”, or “genuine rape”, or if being manipulated or emotionally battered into having sex counts as sexual violence (it does!). When people, already dealing with the fallout of sexual violence, have to wonder “Did I really fight him off hard enough” or, “was it my clothing that drove him completely over the edge”, there is something profoundly immoral occurring.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Nature requires no description, no speech whatsoever; an exquisite seascape does not need to borrow my voice, it has its own; though, it is necessary for me volunteer my language anyway, to edit my ego into the iconography of beauty.
Tonight, I stole out onto the deck for a quick smoke before bed, but found myself, instead, unmoving, arrested by a night scene. All day, the wind had been threatening storm, had been ripping at the ocean. All day, I sat in the house, unthinking, intentionally unaware that a miracle of grace roared outside the window.
If the universe had a breath, I thought, the ebb and wave on the shore would be it; its pulse and vital sign the noisy collapsing of white caps.
On the horizon, the dark sea and dark sky were cleft only by the visible light of two ships trawling. There, where the two planes converged, I sensed something like the focal point of infinity, and with it, an irresistible gravity drawing out my soul. Something about the darkness, the ambiguity of forms, accomplishes this; when there is little light to distinguish shapes, it is easy to imagine the rest of the power and glory forever and ever, amen.
I stood for an hour, dizzy, head spun, at the immensity of the horizon; the immensity of whatever forever truly is.
The sea knows much more of God than I will ever hope to. Hallelujah.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Granted, the Graham Greene references have been copious in my blogging lately because he's been a project in one of my classes. However, there is so much I relate to with the guy and his work, especially the catholic trilogy: the agnostic nature of his faith, his struggles with morality/his lapsed catholicism, his complex characters and his bipolar disorder (which imho explains the rest of his problems). Sarah Miles is something of a mentor, especially with my history of unwise relational attachments...Today, I ended my own "affair". And, got my dad back. And, my heart. All in one day. It'll be difficult to put into words. It began this morning, and the prayers of my mother and I. This weekend, I decided I would put an end to this "affair" and would also give my dad a letter explaining the anger I had towards him. This morning, my brother was worried about getting through his entire lesson plan while dad was feeling sick. My mom and I prayed first for Lucas, that his day would go like he needed it to go. Then, we prayed, at nine a.m. that dad would feel better before getting my letter. We then prayed I might have the strength to go through with the break-up, and that R and I would not be alone together in the dorm. Because, well, when we're alone, stuff happens. Inevitably.
Today, this love thing was extremely easy. Conversations were rich, full, and real. And I wasn't holding back and I wasn't afraid! Then, R told me she's commuting for a while, her parents want her home. We didn't spend the night alone in this room here together!