Pursuing, a guest post

Shannon Herrick.

For the enforced moments of pause.
In line.
In traffic.
At the piano lesson.

Especially for the waiting that is too short a time to dive into more than a row or two of knitting, but long enough for the brain to move from idleness to pursuing.

It’s when the magic happens.

In snippets of time that feel deliciously stolen from boredom.

~Shannon Herrick
Day 7: waiting

Post-Racial USA (guest post)

Holding “both/and” instead of “either/or.”651d184b026fb7ecd9f9e6575e822f6b

We so desperately want to live in a post-racial America, but we don’t. We have to talk about race no matter how uncomfortable or painful, because it still determines the vastly different lived experiences of white and black or brown people.

I still think of this incident with shame. Something like 10 years ago, I locked myself out of my house. Because my dog was inside, I couldn’t wait until the next morning to call a locksmith, so I convinced a friend to break the window in my backdoor. My friend, a young African-American man, didn’t want me to leave him alone in my living room. He was afraid neighbors would report the noise we made breaking the glass and call the police. Imagine the police arriving to find what clearly looked like a break-in with a young black man in the house.

We laugh about it now, but our reactions at that moment speak volumes. What was to me, in all my white privilege, a flighty loss of keys that could easily be explained if the police arrived was for him a potentially dangerous and even lethal situation.

When I look at the video of Eric Garner being subdued by the police, I do not see a man resisting arrest. But others see something I don’t see. The myth of the big, scary black man is powerful, and I don’t doubt their fear is real.

No matter how many times I look at that video, the only frightening thing I see is the police officer who put him in a chokehold while others pinned him to the ground. I am furious he is dead. It doesn’t matter if he had 1,000 prior arrests, he shouldn’t be dead.

How can we not be overwrought with grief that 12-year-old Tamir Rice is dead? A white boy of the same size and age playing with the exact same pellet gun would be alive today.

So we protest in all our fury and sorrow with no apologies for too many black lives lost. That doesn’t mean we don’t also mourn for Officers Lui and Ramos, who were assassinated by a madman. We know police officers are workers doing very dangerous jobs. They are also the heroes who valiantly saved lives during 9-11 heedless of the risk to their own.

We can have two seemingly opposing thoughts at the same time, because both things are true. When we say ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬, it doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter. It isn’t oppositional to white lives or police lives but to institutional racism. Talk of institutional racism angers people; they call it race baiting. But we have to talk about it, because it exists and silence is killing us.

Sandi Vito, New York, NY

Hobby Lobby Hocus Pokus

scotusI lifted this from a friend on Facebook for how she SO deftly illustrates WHY this SCOTUS ruling matters to WOMEN, no matter their party, religion or stance:

So, this guy sits down next to me at the bar and falls into conversation with some friends about his dentist and his crown and some decisions he has to make and then the C word appears and he realizes there’s a female in earshot and he turns to me and says, “You didn’t hear that, of course,” kind of nice-like, and I say, “I most certainly did,” and he starts to apologize and I say, “And, by the way, I’m a dentist.”

So, now he’s totally fucked and takes a second to consider his options. Choosing badly, he goes with, “You’re . . . a . . .den . . tist? . . .dental something?” and gets the death stare but marshalls on relentlessly, “I mean, you’re a dentist? Not like the office manager? Or . . .?”

And I had to ask him: “Why would I say I am a dentist if I were not a dentist?”

I mean, for the sake of humor, I’ve dropped some untrue punchlines, but I always clarify quickly that I was making a joke. Or, at least eventually I do.

But it is 2014, and I am knocking on the door of 50 years old, and some dick in a local bar still feels totally at home throwing the C word around and acting as if there’s no way a “girl” is a dentist.

And you wonder why some people watch SCOTUS rulings like the old country read tea leaves.

Dr. Patricia Gibbons, DMD.
(with permission)

A Week Away -or- The Fish is Dead, by Gail Chaine

553739_10150738184878746_537908745_9645142_904561274_nThe pile of damp towels is mildewed.
? Various items have fallen off the walls?
… you know, what I mean.

But the blueberries are ripe and sweet,
despite crabgrass growing in the patch.

He, took me right to bed…
She, let me kiss her on the top of her head.

It’s good to be home, even though
the fish is dead.

(Gail Chaine, July 2013)