I would like to give sincere thanks to this wretched election cycle for bringing to light so many of the topics that have lain dormant, roiling beneath the surface, begging to be addressed.
have not reached any conclusions or solutions, and for those of us who
have been on any healing process (whether small or large, physical,
emotional or mental) we know that it can get worse before it gets
better. Old wounds are being ripped open again, plenty of our citizens
are aching on both sides of the proverbial aisle. I'll share some of my
thoughts here, but I'm not offering solutions either, really. I am
(mysteriously, somehow) optimistic that once we all have a chance to
feel heard, we can find some common ground - even though -
Anger abounds, recriminations, accusations, and fear-mongering seem rampant.
in the middle of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth hope flowers
innocently in me. In my core, at the center of my being, I am grateful
that we are facing these difficult conversations, and facing our shame,
facing our hatred.
We each host all the feelings of
betrayal, of black lives and of blue lives, the disdain for immigrants,
and the gratitude for the courage our ancestors showed immigrating
themselves, the disgust and shame and guilt and rage for ever having
such a thing as rape, such a thing as abortion, or such a thing as
machine guns in the hands of mentally unstable people, in the hands of
children, in the hands of terrorists. And the disgust and shame and
guilt and rage for having allowed men of certain privilege off with a
slap on the wrist, or forcing women with unwanted pregnancy to travel
hundreds of miles or carry the child to term or pay $25,000, or not
having responded with legislation in the wake of Sandy Hook, or Fort
Hood, or Colombine, or Newtown, or San Bernardino, or Isla Vista, or why
is this list so long and seemingly never-ending when we have the
ability as a people to limit access to the tools for mowing down dozens
of people in a matter of minutes --- not just the ability, the responsibility.
lost the thread for a minute there...a sea of unshed tears, of
hopelessness and frustration with a deadlock-stalemate-checkmate which
would be alright if so many lives were not lost in this fight over
power, over money, over legislation. I do support our right to bear
arms. If those arms aren't semi-automatic killing machines. No one is
coming to confiscate the hunting rifles, at least I'm not...I think
we've suffered enough tragic losses to introduce better regulation,
longer waiting periods, and maybe having certain priors should
disqualify a person from buying certain kinds of fire power...And more
regulations equals more jobs...
And wherever we
turn our gaze, the floodgates of opinions and facts and emotion have
opened, and people are sharing their pain, their hearts, their minds.
Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, and I see the shining hope bursting
out of the deepest darkest abyss, a female black police officer shouting
her outrage in a video on social media and being seen and validated and
heard and supported. This world of false dichotomies, the suckers
choice of pretend fences, as if there is a simple right or wrong, or a
clear path or solution.
And refugees are merely an idea
to most of us. I have made many friends through the dance community,
and even dated a handful of men from Mexico or Guatemala. Maybe you can
imagine being separated from your family, but this is different.
Living in fear of being deported. Living here and knowing if you went
home to visit you would not be able to come back across without risking
your life. Sending money home. And then finding out your brother was
killed in a car accident, and you haven't been home in 7 years, and you
can't go home to bury him. It's still only an idea to me, but it is an
idea that breaks my heart. And you hope you can be hired to do work
that will pay you, without cheating you because who can you turn to if
the boss doesn't pay you what they promised? And what kind of a boss
will hire an illegal immigrant, other than one who knows they can pay
them less than any other kind of worker? What a land of opportunity!
How can I want to close our borders when most of our American population
is descended from immigrants ourselves? Hypocrites. And yet, my heart
hardens and my blood runs cold at the thought of living daily as they
do in Israel, and Syria, and Pakistan -- hugging their loved ones not
knowing if it will be their bus that a suicide bomber boards that day. I
am uncomfortable with that level of paranoia, and so far have been
blessedly shielded from that constant true terror. But somehow my body
understands the threat as real, and I cannot help but wonder and worry.
And the amazing courage of a member of the LDS
faith sharing on facebook about her late-term (but necessary) abortion.
Sometimes the worst choice is upon you, and at that moment you need the
love and support of your doctor, your family, and your community.
Federal and state governments do not get to weigh in, do not enter the
equation. She humbled me with telling her truth, in spite (or maybe
because of) the ideals she is raised with. Thank you for stepping into
the light with this gut-wrenching and tragic personal loss. Along with
at least a half a dozen more who felt compelled to share their painful
stories in response to the presidential debate. Women who might
otherwise have hidden in the shadows, giving comfort to countless other
women who did not know they were not alone, and that they are not
murderers when faced with their own death or the unsustainable lives of
their unborn angels. Silence is tempting, and comfortable, but these
brave souls stepped into the light to comfort others, educate others,
and change the narrative.
And more women finding
the courage to come forward and share #whywomendontreport, and the
eye-opening stories that might give people pause rather than further
shaming the great fictitious gender divide. The writers blogging about
all the things women face on a daily basis and are expected to accept.
Actually, no, there is no expectation...expectation assumes that it was
on a list or on anyone's radar...but so much is so deeply buried in the
subtext and underpinnings of "how things are" or "how the world works"
that not only is it not an expectation, it's barely even been
identified. So well hidden, many (men and women alike) might even from
within its very framework question its existence. Non-binary gender
identity may be what saves our human race. Transgendered men and women
may soon be called upon to bear witness and be our mediators in this
battle that has been boiling beneath the surface for hundreds of
years...because only someone who has lived life in both hormonal states
can tell us what the common ground can be.
authentic human stories people are finding the courage to share are
ugly, repulsive, heart-wrenching, volatile, triggering...and what can be
born out of this wreckage might just be empathy. Bring out the worst,
let it boil over, let the world feel seen and heard...
the brave souls will continue to come forward as they have been doing
lately more and more, sharing their personal struggles and overlapping
loyalties. We need, now more than ever, to come together in hurt, and
in healing...and take action to weave our narratives into a new
Thank you for visiting!
The Double Meaning behind the blog title 'Dream Follower:'
First, for 14 years I was a ballroom & social dance instructor, and have studied both leading and following. I feel that learning to follow is full of nuance and is often misunderstood. I made it one of my personal goals to become a really excellent follow on the dance floor, and will probably talk a lot about the art of following - both in and out of the context of dance.
Second, I am a huge fan of author Michael Ende, probably best known for The Neverending Story. The book is incredible, and the first film captured some of the essence. (Please don't watch the other two films...I urge you to read the book though!) Anyway, at least twice in my life I have been caught in a storm of my own indecision, and my inner Moon Princess yelled to my inner Bastian...'Why don't you do what you dream?' I tear up even now as I write this little blurb. The tension between being practical, keeping my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds (at the risk of compromising my inner vibrancy, true self, and who knows what else)...and reaching for my true dreams (at the risk of losing everything) is still a very real struggle. In fact, one of those struggles lead to my 14 years of teaching dance, so we can see which voice won the battle that fateful day when I was staring at the want-ad...
And so I strive to be two kinds of Dream Followers in my life. One has to do with connecting with others, and the other has to do with connecting with my inner Moon Princess and the world of possibility that opens when I do...