Monday, January 26, 2015

Trust your self.

I once opened a fortune cookie that read:
You should listen to yourself more often.
I hung it on my fridge with a piece of Scotch tape.


I see it still, and sometimes wonder: How different would this world be if women did this, instead of listening to those who demand trust, instead of earning it?




Cindra Ladd writes here and proves it is never too late to speak  your truth. 


If history teaches anything it is that truth can come in bits and pieces.  Or sometimes, a landslide.


So why speak out at all and why now? The simple answer is that it's the right thing to do. The truth deserves to be known.  
We are only as sick as the secrets we keep. Once those secrets are spoken aloud, even if to just one person, they lose their power.
Thank you, Cindra Ladd.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV.



Why aren’t people listening to these women? Is it because most of this allegedly happened so long ago? Is it because some of them went into Cosby’s hotel room alone? Is it because there are no polaroids? Is it because he’s so famous? Or is it just because they’re women?


---Larry Wilmore




When it came to light that actor Stephen Collins had sexually abused three girls, some of the commentary sounded like this, "But I loved him!" 
Meaning, I loved the character he played on TV
On TV, he was a minister.
And a father of 7 children.


I attributed some of the initial shock at the Cosby allegations to the fact that we loved him. 
Meaning, Heathcliff Huxstable. 
Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable: devoted husband, father of 5, funny face maker.


Beyond Heathcliff, we loved Cosby, or the man he played in life: charitable, comedic.


There can be such kickback when we don't want to acknowledge  what I will label "difficult stories" presented to us, especially when they challenge an already formed loyalty.


As these stories continue, it doesn't appear that we are as attached to the TV personas as much as to the need to have 300 confirmed victims, a semen stained dress, a time limitation on when this this could have taken place, eye witness accounts, and a description of what she was wearing.


May we listen as these difficult stories come forth, and remember how very hard it is for someone to speak about something for which they know they will be further attacked and discredited. 


This is why it has taken so long.
This is why there are so many.  Women are finding strength, years later, in finding that they are not the only one.


Can you imagine being a lone voice saying, I have something to say about the man you adore and revere. 


Good luck to that lone voice.


We still confuse power with greatness, and persona with goodness.  They are not the same. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From a Source You Can Trust



“I don’t know why it’s so hard to believe women.  You to go Saudi Arabia and you need two women to testify against a man.   Here you need 25.”


---Jay Leno on the accusations against Bill Cosby



Monday, January 19, 2015

The Dream, The Nightmare

Listening to recorded speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., alongside interviews from those closest to him, I notice something:


his utter discouragement. 


Somehow, when I have read about him, I have formed in my mind a figure so strong and so invulnerable to the forces that he had to move against in order to speak a truth that needed to be heard.


We honor him fully today, but he was not supported in his time, and over time, this led him to doubt. 


He did not doubt the truth that he spoke.


But he had times that he doubted what use it was.


What use to speak the truth, and have it fall on deaf ears?


What use to live by truth, and have it be discredited, rejected, demonized?


He was not immune to weariness.  He had times he wondered if he should just take a position as a preacher, and lead a church, as he was trained to do. 


He moved through doubt. 


In this speech, A Time To Break Silence, he begins with this as the foundation:


"I cannot remain silent." 


He may not have wanted to continue to live a mission which seemed to bring so little response.  But at the core, he felt he had to.  His words:


We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace....If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.
 
Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter -- but beautiful -- struggle for a new world. 


Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? ..... Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Listening

"Almost all of my pictures with children have their mother holding them.  Would you could hear them talk, their philosophy would astonish you." 


--Mary Cassatt


Mother And Child XI - Mary Cassatt - www.marycassatt.org

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

10,000 Piece Jigsaw

For a child, it is in the simplicity of play that the complexity of life is sorted like puzzle pieces joined together to make sense of the world.
--L.R. Knost

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Best People In The World

Julia Child said, "People who love to eat are always the best people."


I'd like to expand the Best People honor to those who send books in the mail.  Because books are what I keep finding in our mailbox, and it makes me feel lucky.  Like, I know some of the best people in the world!


The books are not for me.  But because I live here, I get to read them too.


Last month, our friends from Connecticut sent C Clementine.   She arrived in the nick of time, because once you are done with the dozens of Junie B. stories, there is a little hole in your heart.  Clementine will fill it. 


This month, a friend sent Miss C two autographed books from the series Getting To Know The World's Greatest Artists


Frida Kahlo
and
Jacob Lawrence



The friends who sent the Clementine book are mothered by a woman who is a Good Mailer.  This means if you visit her and leave something behind at her house, she will promptly send it back to you.
While here over the summer, as she and her daughters were packing up to drive hours back home, we tore the house apart looking for flip flops.  Black flip flops.  When they were 30 minutes gone, I found the flip flops under a pile of dolls.  I have them all set in a bag to send along.  I am aiming to go from Terrible Mailer, to SubPar Mailer.  If I can get them sent before the year is over, I will have  made progress.  Who needs flip flops in December?  Doesn't matter.  Baby steps. 


The friend who sent the autographed artist books lives in Boston, home of adorable book shops.  Last year, she sent C a book called The Great Serum Race.  Miss C wrote the thank you note on her own:
Thank you for the book about diptheerya. 


Everybody needs a good book about diptheerya to cozy up with on a cold winter night. 


While reading about other awesome books, I found a website that supports all sorts of excellent children's stories.  Also, they sell  Frida Kahlo socks.  And, Zora Neale Hurston shirts.
A Mighty Girl.
Have you been to A Mighty Girl?  Next time you must buy something, stop by.  It is mighty wonderful and full of delightful books.  And did I mention, Frida Kahlo socks?


Frida Kahlo Knee Socks
Their Eyes Were Watching God T-Shirt
The Girl With A Brave Heart