Editing Opinions

I thought I was almost finished. It’s a bit short but I said what I had to say. I called it “Virgin-Martyr.” It’s my memoir. An editor said the title was too collegiate. OK, I got it, so I changed the name to “Woman-Be Quiet.” This is what I was told from the moment of birth. No, I don’t remember it, but my mother told me that the nurse handled me roughly and said, “Be quiet, be quiet, right now.” I wasn’t and haven’t been since. There seems to be a pattern of people telling me to be quiet. So many women of my age and after learned to stifle their voices (Archie Bunker) and after awhile closed their minds. As I grew older men would take offence if I spoke up, oddly, so would women. When I had a 10:00 appointment to buy our children’s uniforms and was still waiting at 11:30, I would complain about the lack of respect for a woman’s time. I was sure if Dad was there to purchase something that was mandatory and couldn’t be purchased anywhere else, things would move along. The other women would gaze at me with no comprehension, the why don’t you be quiet look. I always have trouble with injustice and let’s pretend. I have trouble with uninformed opinions. Tell me what your belief is based on and we can talk. Tell me how you formed this opinion and I will respect it and perhaps agree. Just don’t tell me to be quiet.

Christmas and such

The stress, the stress everyone running around, spending too much money on things that will be forgotten. This afternoon we are joining 15 4th graders to make gingerbread houses. Our super creative daughter-in-law, Annie, does this every year. No gifts given, just fun for her daughter and friends. Annie doesn’t mind the mess the kids make even though the couch is new and the tables are set to work in the living room. Perhaps time spent with those we love and those we want to make smile is the best gift. Give the gift of your time, it is the most precious.

Two Geriatric Nuns are caught embezzling.

Once again the Catholic Church said they would handle it. Then families spoke out. The people in Torrance, California, sacrificed to send their children to St. James School paying $4,400 per kid. It’s my bet that those families weren’t taking trips to the casino and living as well as the two nuns who took from them. Somehow an audit was done about the same time as a woman found out that her tuition check was endorsed by one of the nuns. Makes me wonder if it would have come out at all if she didn’t complain. As usual, the pastor, one Msgr. (seems they all are Msgr.) said, if the nuns came to apologize …”if you’re going to sit here and throw tomatoes at them, no, I don’t think they ought to come.”  Well, la de frikin‘ da. Why shouldn’t they face the people they cheated? Torrance isn’t a rich town. It’s a nice town, but not rich. A lot of the people probably can’t afford to waste tomatoes. Good grief if a priest or nun doesn’t know right from wrong who does? Why should they be protected?

So these two gamblers said that there was no money to upgrade the school and programs for the kids. They are under “supervision of community leadership,” This means that they will get everything paid for without working. I think they should get new “habits,” orange jumpsuits. It would be good to see them back at the school as the janitorial team, but then someone hardworking would lose his job.

When will the Catholic Church understand that a crime is a crime and no one is exempt.



We Will NOT Be Quiet

The LA Times had an article this morning about sexual abuse in black churches and how women have deferred to these creeps for years. My memoir, Virgin-Martyr, addresses why girls and women do not stand up to these insults and how we are trained to be quiet.

Now the Supreme Court Nominee, Kavanaugh, is being accused of sexual assault when he was 17 and drunk. His accuser has everything to lose. Anita Hill still gets hate mail. So why would this woman expose herself to what she knew would come? It is because she is still injured by the assault, not physically, but deep in her soul. She was raised to be quiet and so she has been, until now.

Wouldn’t it have been right for Bill Clinton to say, I’m an ass and always have been. Trump’s lies are too many to even start on. Think about how he speaks about women and his life, three wives and who knows how many porn actresses. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear Mr. Kavanaugh say something like. I was really young, and stupid. I shouldn’t have been drinking. I will apologize to her in person. I am not the person I was then and I don’t think anyone is. I am truly sorry.

I would respect the man and believe he has grown up. If he lies, even if he gets on the court, he is just another liar.  God knows we have enough of those. He still has to look at himself and he will know.

Two books that address this issue. “Down Girl” by Kate Manne and “Rage Becomes Her: the Power of Women’s Anger.” by Soraya Chemaly. Women will not be quiet. We are beginning to speak, make that shout whether anyone believes us or not.

It is the time of the White Buffalo and things are changing.

VACATION

California has been hot, hot this summer. We don’t have air conditioning so things are cranky in the house. Particularly with me. I don’t do well in extreme heat or cold. I left my blog for other writings. The memoir, Virgin-Martyr, is coming along and I published two poetry books.

One book is “View from the Sycamore.” It focuses on family roots and the California where I grew up. Of course everything changes but this nearly empty land on the ocean, The Best Coast, is hardly recognizable. So my poems are a bit melancholy but also about the beauty of the Dakotas, California and nature in general.

The other is called, “The White Buffalo.”  The plains Indians, particularly the Lakota Sioux, have a legend about White Buffalo Woman. She came to the people and brought the Sacred Hoop and Pipe. She told them she would return to bring harmony to the earth. When she walked away, she became a white buffalo. The legend continues that when a white buffalo calf is born it will signal a time of the feminine consciousness ascending and bring accord to all people. The white buffalo calf has been born. This book is overtly feminist. Women have found their voice. The Me Too movement may cause ferment for awhile, but a problem must be identified before it can be solved.

This is not to say females will take over or want to put the male down, the idea is balance. “Male and female He created them.”  I believe we need to come to equipoise. But then I’m a Libra and carry the scales to make sure.

 

Churchill and us

 

I wrote about Churchill and his use of language before. I think his wisdom and stability came from getting away, giving him time to regroup and ponder.

Winston Churchill contributed his success in life to conservation of energy.

“Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.”

Old Winnie must have been very good at conservation. He lived long, was an accomplished painter and great statesman. He had a good marriage, which they worked at, with his “darling” Clementine and was an astute judge of character.

His ups and downs in public life went from the depths to near canonization. During the “Battle of Britain,” he was able to move himself to a quiet place, conserve his energy, and come back refreshed.

The most endearing trait or talent that he exhibited, to me, was his marvelous and unique command of the English language. I was too young to hear him first hand, but when I watch old films and hear him say, “We will fight on the streets…we will never surrender.” I know one of the main reasons the English people found such resolve. Where did he find this strength?

I see so many friends caught up in the battle of daily like. The frenetic pace of what could be a peaceful life, ramped up by their own addiction to adrenalin, every minute scheduled, rushing from place to place, unable to say no, unable to schedule their own time. They are unable to spend time alone, to reflect, to access just where it is they are rushing to, or is it running from.

Churchill’s conservation of energy gave him time to reflect, to ponder, to consider his own weaknesses and strengths and take that conserved energy and lead his people through war to peace.

We need to conserve our own energy and lead ourselves to peace.

BOUNCING BACK

How in the hell can I ever bounce back when I have dribbled around the corner and down a dark hall?  It seems the “I can do anything all by myself crowd” of “attitude is everything,” have always had everything including money, health and energy.  It’s pretty easy to put on a happy face when the rest of your life doesn’t hurt.

My Dad used to say that “When you have your health, you have everything.” I got so tired of hearing it.  He was a semi-pro baseball player and a college gymnast. He taught school in the winter and farmed, plowing with mules, in the summer. When he was left with heart disease, severely weakened after a bout with rheumatic fever, he said he felt “taken out of life.”

I would give him pep talks on doing the best he could and keeping a positive attitude.  I can’t believe he didn’t slap me, but then he was too weak to slap me.

My Aunt Alma told me growing old gracefully would be the hardest thing I would ever do.  Since I wasn’t young gracefully, I’m finding it nearly impossible to advance with any poise.

My biggest fear is that my health won’t improve. Usually age doesn’t bring vigor. This may be the best I’ll ever be.

When I was in India, an astrologer told me I would live to be 96, but I would linger.  Some days I think this is the beginning of the lingering.  What length of time does “linger” connote, one year, six, twenty?   The holy man also told me I would never have to worry about money. “Money will follow you, “he said.  I keep looking back for it, but so far no shadow.

On the hospital equipment we see the blip of the lifeline.  It gets scary if the lines are too extreme. We all know what a flat line means. So perhaps bouncing back means a low loft, not a total recovery.  Maybe seeing the highs and lows of the arc of the ball, even if slight, is the best there is. Maybe bouncing back is a nice steady small arc every day, and maybe that’s what it should be.

DAVID

 

Well, they don’t make men like David anymore, beautiful, every aspect perfect, from his curly hair to his marble toes, always young, frozen in time with a sensual mouth, ivory ear and unseeing eye. A person to admire, two and a half times as tall as an average man.

This copy lies broken on the meeting table.

Maybe there are men like David, too many really, fragmented, chopped in pieces each part admirable but separate. A lack of integration the psychologists would label him.

What has happened to the men of the world as the women fight for equality? Have women chopped their complementary yang into pieces? Are our lovers and sons, the good men, fragmented like the pieces of David on this table? Are they now objects to deride?

The shops now have tee shirts for young girls that read “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.”  When my daughter, who has two girls of her own, objected the store owner said, “Well, we’ve sold out.” That seems to always be the most important thing.

Discernment is an unknown word. Ridicule is the basis for TV shows. If women want equality and respect, they must give it. We need to pick up the pieces of David and use our nurturing power to make him whole again.

On Good Example

Barbara Bush has left us. I loved that woman. I wish I could have known her personally. She had a “smart mouth” and a great sense of humor and of family. Even with their wealth, her life was hard. Anyone who has lost a child knows this better than I. George was gone much of their marriage. She moved so many times to join him, but even then he wasn’t in the house. Six pregnancies and 6 births isn’t easy. Raising so many is even harder. She did a stellar job.

I love her sense of self. Her gray hair and her comfort in her own body were examples that we don’t see in our x-ray woman society. She knew that a healthy society begins in the home and tried to teach the rest of us.

She was a real partner to George, she walked next to him, not behind him. I don’t think he would have it any other way. She gave us smiles and that rare, rare thing an example to look up to. Rest in Peace Mrs. Bush. We will miss you.

Spring & Such

Yesterday there was a road runner in the front garden. It looked like a juvenile and scared. She flew up onto the fence and looked a bit bedraggled. The last time I saw such a bird was in the back garden maybe 20 years ago. He was tall as the 3 foot fence and had a lizard in his beak. I always think of road runners as desert creatures, but actually So. California is desert. Irrigation fools people. Why is it so thrilling to see a wild thing in the garden. With all the building going on we are getting more congested, more traffic, more pushy people and less water. There is still a canyon nearby and the bay. Do people realize the wonder contained in these places? I would love to see the quail come up from the canyon and visit the garden. Now and then we see a bobcat sauntering across the patio. We keep our little dog inside for that reason, but it’s the bobcat’s territory and as far as I’m concerned I yield to him. We used to hear the coyotes at night, now they must slink into neighborhoods to find food. We took their hills and arroyos and built too damn many houses with no gardens or space between. I wonder if we as a species will ever learn what is important. Will we ever learn to share this beautiful earth? I hope the road runner hangs around awhile..Beep beep.

Blessings, Bubbles

Whose Idea Was This?

Little girls are trained to be nice. Don’t talk back, be a “lady,”

whatever the heck that means. We read about women who allow their personal boundaries to be cut to the ground. Why? Are they so unsure of their talents and worth? Do they need to demean themselves for fame or to keep a job? I am sure that the lower income single moms are more vulnerable but the fear belongs to many women.

No is a complete sentence. I will not, is just a bit longer.  Little girls are sassy. Little boys stand up for their rights.  A female athlete is seldom seen photographed in her sport. More often she is posed, like a cosmetic or clothes model. Nearly every society has moral rules for the girls and “boys will be boys” for the men. Dignity is everyone’s right. To be treated with contempt is wrong but to accept it is unconscionable. Why do women acquiesce  to rude and vulgar treatment? In my view and my book “Virgin-Martyr” it is because we are sent to the boot camp of self-deprecation very young. Many women accept that attitude and the self-effacing manner that comes with it.

When I was raising my children I tried to have the same standards for the girls and the boys. Yes, raising them was different, but each child is different.

My mother and grandmothers worked the fields, did the cooking and canning, made the clothes and birthed and tended the children. My mother told me she worked harder than any man. It was not a lack of respect for the hardworking farmers. It was an awareness of their own strength and what they did and could do. They were true partners.

Girls need to learn that they are worthy of respect. Perhaps then, they will not need to demand it.

Blessings, Bubbles

The California Pear Flag

It began on the morning of 14 June 1846 when thirty-three  heavily-armed  American-born settlers — led by Captain Jebediah Bartlett and his two lieutenants, Albert Bosc and Emmanuel d’Anjou — approached the home of General Mariano G. Vallejo, the Mexican comandante-general of California, they  demanded he surrender the Sonoma Plaza fortress to them. Even though he was a Mexican citizen, Vallejo, an advocate of the American annexation of California , told the intruders he was sympathetic to their cause. They arrested him and sent him off to incarceration at Sutter’s Fort.

They proclaimed the Republic of California and decided that they needed a flag to fly over Sonoma. They gave the new flag a red stripe and a star like the new Republic of Texas. Bartlett wanted the flag to be an emblem of the agricultural aspect of California. He was the largest pear grower in the state. Since he was a forceful man he decided  a pear would be just the thing.

They drew the new flag on a piece of brown fabric and sent it to a flag maker. The flag maker happened to be the nephew of Abe Lincoln’s wife. Which is just a note and aside. At any rate, when the fabric arrived with the desired design, either the handwriting was poor or the ink had run. Pear looked like bear or perhaps he didn’t like pears or Bartlett. So we have our California Bear, which is a good thing for Cal and UCLA. Instead of the Bears and the Bruins they could be the Anjous and the Bosc or perhaps the Bartletts, hard to make into a fight song.

1st flag of the California Republic

California Pear Flag