Sunday, December 30, 2012
Kicking Out A Jam
I took a dive on ABC Wednesday this week because I didn't finish my post for X yet, and it's already Saturday night/Sunday morning. I don't really feel like I've been working the prompts properly, and if I'm not putting in the effort to do a good job then what am I doing? I talked about this a few posts back, and I've been halfway stalled ever since. I've gained some new readers, and it's given me reason to think about what my blog is about, and where I want to go with it in the context of having more of an audience response, or using it as a platform to discuss issues and/or ideas, as well as a place to share my writing and pictures. I have talents, and if I'm not using them as a means to communicate with the world around me, to make a difference in both my home and global communities, then I'm just wasting my time. for instance, I used the word 'I' 14 times in that paragraph, and the word 'me' 6 times. that's the kind of self-indulgent posturing that makes social networks the hotbed of snarky narcissism they seem to be (personal opinion).
since my kid has been on Winter break from school, and we've been so busy relaxing and enjoying each others company, I've been able to step away from the computer for a bit, and spend some time interacting with actual humans out in the world beyond my four walls. it's been quite pleasant, though challenging, to disengage from the news, and to ignore the causes I tend to immerse myself in on a daily basis. who am I to lie on my couch and watch a movie with the boy while our European cousins are forcibly evicted from their homes, women are being raped and beaten to death in India, the Middle-East implodes on itself, an unacceptable number of people remain unnecessarily imprisoned here in the US, our environment is systematically poisoned on a global scale, anarchists are going before Macarthyist grand juries and getting locked away indefinitely for refusing to inform on their contemporaries, and a First Nations chief is on hunger strike in an attempt to engage her nations' 'leaders' in dialog over policy? and those are just the stories I know about - and I left out the issues my homo/transsexual brethren are facing in Uganda, and everywhere else. animal rights? gmo's and Monsanto? what am I forgetting? oh yeah...school shootings and censorship issues...the slow silencing of a people. more injustices in a day than I can tick off on my fingers.
while I know we all need to take the time to disengage from the bombardment of awfulness that can smack us in the face every minute of everyday if we're paying attention, it still feels as though if I'm not doing something for someone else, than I'm not doing anything worth very much at all. yes, I'm a single mom, and I do a hundred things every day for my boy, but even though we are financially disadvantaged at this time, it still feels like we're living pretty high on the proverbial hog. even though I have no idea how the rent is going to get paid, or the car insurance and gas, the electric bill, the phone, the internet, the food, or our one luxury, the boy's karate class, I still feel so incredibly blessed to be alive and healthy, with a healthy child, and all the benefits of our collective good energy. the people we Americans voted into office are (hopefully not) about to throw my meager unemployment check over the nearest cliff, at which point, we will be done for in terms of all the above listed expenses, including kissing my dream of a Master's degree goodbye, as I won't be able to afford to continue to attend school (though that one may have to go on hold either way - the institute of higher learning I attend seems to think it's perfectly fine to charge single parents who have to bring their kids with them for lack of other options nearly double what other students pay).
but we've entered the age of Aquarius, of the Sixth Sun, a new Mayan B'ak'tun - so I'm worried, but I'm also not. I don't seem to be feeling the same old government sanctioned panic that they tend to spoon-feed to those who can't see the fnords. the blogs I read that actually say something about these various causes and issues inspire me to follow their example. I'm finished being a pawn in someone else's game, and I'm looking to remove myself from the board permanently, so I'm hoping to help facilitate change through the use of my talents, which are writing, and photography. it's almost funny, but I had a conversation today with my son about photography, and how I learned to roll my film in the dark, by feel. this led to a further discussion of how to develop film and make prints, and the decline photography has suffered from due to the advent of digital imaging. luckily, we live in a town that has a 'center for photography', and I intend to make use of it to re-familiarize myself with a field I had to let pass me by while I was in the early stages of figuring out how to be a mom on my own, and starting a home hat-knitting business so I could earn a living while raising my baby.
the job market is brutal for us over-40's, and my education helps maybe not at all. A friend whom I admire recently raved about a new colleague, citing her 'tall and skinny' as a factor in her sales numbers. as a 'short and fat', I'm very well aware of the 'tall and skinny' girls relative carte blanche, having once been slender myself, and able to wear heels of a height I couldn't even imagine, now. I've worked a few high-end sales jobs, and while I did well, no one in their right mind could ignore the political dynamic of one's appearance, no matter how rude and/or wrong it is to do so. I got out of sales, though, because it made me feel dirty. many of us have barriers to work that push us down the list of possible hires, and if you've taken a gander at my 'freebooting' page, you can see the evidence of my spotty and shoddy work history, based on jumping from one useless job to another, with the exception of making and producing my own arts and crafts. it's hard for someone like me to work in any industry whose main goal is to take your money from you. that's why I went back to school - to attempt to be of service to humanity, and to my communities both local and global. but even academia has it's prejudices, and as previously mentioned in the case of my college, one of those is single-parenthood.
speaking of which, I need to take a moment to state how amazing my boy is, and how much I love him! he's such a doll, and even at his worst, he's not all that bad, so again, I feel incredibly blessed in this journey that began almost a decade ago, with me wandering pregnant and homeless through the Vermont winter to bring him into this beautiful sad world, and how much he's improved me in all things. yet I lay awake at night and worry about how to help him reach his full potential, and not be too negatively affected by stigmatization, marginalization, prejudice, and outright racism. on top of that, how to protect him from his mentally unbalanced grandmother and her continued attacks on our sanity through her attempts to put me in jail and take custody of him? I can't afford a lawyer to fight her in court, and the public defender assigned to me doesn't seem to see the issue with any of it, and is treating me as if I were a criminal for bearing a child out of wedlock in the first place. the boy's father is listed as his next of kin in case the worst should happen and I go down someday someway, but he doesn't have any money, either, and wouldn't stand a chance against my mother as she would surely make a case to find him unfit as well. keep in mind, I have been the sole support for my child from the moment of his conception, and there's not a reason in the world anyone who knows us would think that my son is being raised in anything other than a loving and supportive environment.
I have to take time every day to just Stop - take a deep breath, and remind myself to get back to what's good, regardless of all the evil and negative energy threatening to overwhelm me at any given time. don't we all? well, I know a few folks who manage to manifest love in their lives on a more constant basis than most, and while from where I'm sitting, it looks to me as if I had their lives, it would be easy for me to live that way as well, I also recognize those who come from places way more ugly than me, and do a whole lot more with a whole lot less. these are the people I look to for inspiration - though many times, their accomplishments tend to shame me into a nearly catatonic state of self-loathing). so how do I become an agent for positive change? where should I apply my efforts, and with whom? I am a traveler and a storyteller - I have studied mythology and sacred space in the classroom, and engaged with it on a global level. I have built labyrinths and done ritual, I have engaged with Sufis, Shamans, and medicine people from many different places and traditions. I have been in the cities and lived in nature, I have lived and loved and given birth, given advice, held hands, patted backs and offered my shoulder to countless friends and acquaintances, lifted the darkness from many an eye, but still feel left out in the cold way too often. I have cried out for help and been ignored more often than I've been answered, and yet...I still feel every single one of my blessings helping me back up every time I get knocked down, so I guess I'm somewhat of a fighter, though I've switched my position from offense to defense as I've grown older and infinitely wiser - even as I remain pretty darn stupid.
please do feel encouraged, dear readers, to offer your suggestions, criticisms, hopes, and fears for me and mine. I ask for and accept your prayers, and offer a nod to your damnations. I fling myself without fear or trepidation towards the love and the light, and ask for the continued blessings of the Universe, without which, I would surely have faded from view long ago, unmissed and unmourned. I want to give a special shout-out to my new followers/readers/friends - thanks for being here! - and encourage you to comment and offer your wisdom when and where you can. I need all the help I can get, in a world that seems bent on my destruction. I appreciate each and every one of you.