Category Archives: Political

Philosophy, Political, Social Justice

In which the Universe sends me the most obvious message of all time

Over the weekend terrible things happened. And many people I know were devastated and angered. And they wondered where they would find the energy to fight darkness. I know I did. My life is hard. I am a single mom to two kids dealing with their own special needs. I am self-employed. I am a full time student. I struggle with depression and anxiety and numerous nebulous physical symptoms that leave me tired before I even begin to deal with my immediate responsibilities, let alone fighting injustice. My friends and I talked about this as we drove down to the vigil here Sunday night (“I’ll go if you go.” “Okay I’ll go if there’s coffee”). We all agree that we don’t have to attend every single event, we don’t have to do All the Things Every Time. But we also agree that it hurts not to. We are not sure how to balance that. t what point is it legitimate to not do An Important Thing, and at what point should we try to rally for one more rally?

I don’t have the answers.

But a funny thing happened at the vigil. It’s almost stupid it’s so blatantly obvious, but I swear I am not making this up.

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We are standing there lifting our candles and singing “This little light of mine/I’m gonna let it shine” and my candle starts to go out. Just mine. Some small breeze wound through the crowd and hit my flame, but not the flames around mine. So I brought my little light down and sheltered it until it was strong again, and until the little breeze went away. When I lifted it up, it shone as strongly as those nearby. The Universe was reminding me how community works.

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The estimation was that more than 1,000 people attended this vigil. Not every one held a flame, and sometimes our flames needed tending to, or went out entirely and needed to be refueled by a generous neighbor. But look at the crowd. Look at all those lights. They are working together and it is not obvious whose flame isn’t lit at this moment because, as a community, we are strong.

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I still don’t know the answers. I don’t know where the line is between when I’m legitimately too tired and when I can push myself a little farther. I’m sure I’ll have to reassess every time. And I’m sure I’ll make mistakes sometimes, either pushing myself too far or not taking my turn when I can. But so long as we just do our best – our honest best – the community has got our backs.

Looking for ways to contribute? These links have some ideas.

5 Valuable ways to use your white privilege to fight anti-black racism

Women’s March: How to get involved

Get involved in the fight for black lives

How to fight white supremacy after Charlottesville

Delving into the Psyche, Political, Social Justice, Spirituality

Women’s March on Washington (San Diego), January 21, 2017

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I am Pagan and I call myself a witch, but I don’t do spells. Not the usual spells Wiccans do, anyway, with an athame or crystals or candles. I’m simply not called to them in any way. I think I’m a little too Atheist for them to speak to me. I have a need to be grounded in a spirituality which is very tangible.

But last night I took sharpies and poster board and did magick with them. I sat with my friend Sofia and made all these signs. I think this is magick. When you create some kind of art, any kind, even if it’s just markers and poster board, you’re constantly thinking about what you are doing. This is a prayer. Knitting a baby blanket is like a prayer for that baby. It is mind work. It is magick. It is spellwork.

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And then we took those signs and joined I-don’t-even-know-how-many other people on the streets of San Diego to show the world that we exist, that we are taking back our power, that we are here and not going anywhere. And we were answering the call of marchers on the other side of this country, this continent. And they were answered by marchers in countries around the world, on every continent, even Antarctica.

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This is spellwork, this is magick, this is a prayer that we all, of every religion and culture, can do together. We raise our voices together and send messages of hope and power together. Of course it’s magickal; of course it’s prayer.

But it won’t fix anything, said my inner voice. It’s not enough.

Of course not. Prayer is not the world’s work. It’s the spirit’s work. As Bethany says, prayer doesn’t change things. Prayer changes the pray-er. We still have to make the phone calls. We still have to vote. We still have to be aware and educate ourselves. We still have to stay conscious.

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But I came home today and, after napping for two solid hours, I watched a White House video and read some news stories without having to scroll past them before I could allow that horror, our new reality, to sink in. This sounds simple enough, but I’ve not been able to do it for weeks now. My mind’s eye is purposely not making eye contact with the concept of this new president, of his inauguration.

So that’s what the spell did: it gave me renewed strength. Where before I was too weak to do the work of the world that needs to be done, when surrounded by my sisters and brothers in that March today, and throughout the world, I was recharged. The spirit’s work lifts a person up to get the world’s work done.

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This is spellwork. This is magick. This is prayer.

Philosophy, Political, The Zebra

Thanks Be to the Vogons

I know I complain about the Vogons* a lot. And they deserve it. In fact just this week I’ve spent 3 hours on the phone trying to sort one problem and another 20 minutes on the phone not even speaking to ANYONE AT ALL to sort another problem.

But the thing is that my kids have always had good and reliable medical care through the state. It makes the Vogons worth it. Very, very worth it.

And now, as of this month, I finally have insurance I can actually afford to use and keep. I have insurance that I don’t have to consider dropping so that I can keep affording food when paychecks are low. I have insurance that I can afford to get basic blood work or other labs without having to make payments for the next six months (or just avoiding altogether). I have insurance where I can afford to get an X-ray if necessary for this wrist that’s been fucked up for months. Or an ultrasound, if necessary, for this pain in my side that’s almostbutnotquite gone.

I’ve heard a lot of people unhappy with this new Affordable Care Act, and some have even wondered who could ever have wanted such a thing. So I wanted to write you to tell you who could want such a thing. Me. I could.

I make a point to be grateful to be American. Because truly my country protects its citizens with rights not afforded to people in other places on the globe. And I hope it doesn’t sound trite or privileged to say so, but I am well aware that everything down to my clean water readily available is something I am lucky to have access to and to benefit from. But then I remember how my country, for so long, literally did not give a shit if I lived or died. I consider health a basic human right (wacky, I know) and medical care was just not available to me for a long time at all, and then only at costs so high I could not afford to make regular use of them (and I was lucky enough to mostly not need it). Sometimes the US breaks my heart.

I’m not going to debate health care here. I may not even approve comments that debate it. Don’t get all weird about freedom of speech, either. Because that mean the government has to grant you free speech, not me. And while I normally love the exchange of information, even (especially?) in the form of debate I’m simply too tired and busy right now to sponsor such a thing here.

I’ll also add that I see flaws in this program for sure. And I do have sympathy for those who are frustrated by it, or for who it may be failing. But I wanted to write this to put this out there: it isn’t all bad. It’s working. We can keep ironing out the kinks, I hope. And, someday, I hope we move on to fully sponsored government health care. So that any person can walk into any hospital and just, like, get care. Madness, I know. But it’s where we really need to be to ensure that everyone actually does have access to health.

So, thanks Obama. Really. I’m not mimicking that hilarious meme at the moment, I’m being genuinely grateful. Thank you. So much.

(I’ve got to run. Here’s hoping the typos aren’t too bad!)

*”Vogons” used here to describe Earthling Human government organizations that make me so frustrated I want to stab puppies. The actual term refers to Galactic Alien government organizations that make people/other creatures so frustrated they want to stab puppies. I assume. Douglas Adams never wrote about stabbing puppies. That’s not canon. Except to this blog. It’s canon to this blog. I should stop talking now.