One Big Union

one big union.jpg

So excited to see this show today! Joe Hill was a labor activist and musician who was executed 100 years ago for a murder he may or may not have committed. This Plan-B Theatre original play contains Hill’s own songs, recently released to the public domain, and also highlights his work with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, who visited him in jail here in Salt Lake, and went on to co-found the ACLU.

rebel-girl

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was the inspiration for this 1915 battle hymn.

Plan-B is the only theater in the United States that produces entire seasons of original works by local playwrights, with emphasis on socially conscious themes and issues. It’s owned by one of my dearest friends and his husband. http://planbtheatre.org/

It’s a relevant stage experience, following a week that has seen boys at a local football game chanting, “Grab her by the p*ssy!” and a white van trolling Rose Park, a Salt Lake City neighborhood rich with immigrants, screaming, “Trump is President! Build the wall!”

Don’t mourn… ORGANIZE!
joe-hill

*****

It was amazing! Very emotional at times, as they were describing precisely what we’ve been living with this week and for the last 18 months.

I have to go to more shows at Plan-B! I’m so cheap. I always say, “Next time,” and next time never comes. If nothing else, I should be supporting my friends. The real reason, of course, is that theater transforms us! It makes us think, laugh. It gives us a break from everyday and all that that entails, but it can also light the fire of our own creativity. Above all, theater connects us. This was wonderful.organize

All Strong Women Are Called Bitch

nasty-womanI woke up Friday morning, suddenly aware that my belief that election stress hadn’t gotten to me was, in fact, a coping strategy to hide from what now feels very much like trauma! It broke my heart to see how disconnected I’d become from my emotions just to survive this shit. It was alarming, because I try to look honestly at myself and what my feelings are telling me. I was hiding from pain!

Post-election is going to be ugly, too. There will be no ideal reconciliation, or even real workability, but thank god this part is OVER. The longest, most vitriolic election in modern history. I feel like I’ve been beaten.

I ached again for the little girl who grew up in a violent home, who developed that coping mechanism just so she could breathe. I read once that Depression isn’t merely a pervasive low feeling, but the absence of all feeling, eventually the inability to feel. A person crying “the tears of the damned,” I call them, will do anything not to feel them. Not to feel. They stop being able to feel at all, even the good stuff. It’s horrible, and it comes from hiding from pain.

I would have thought that I had a special radar for noticing when that technique was creeping into my life. I didn’t see it at all! You hear the buzz words “election anxiety” everywhere, and I had perched myself above it, in very much the same way I would leave my body during violence that I thought would kill me. When I saw it – her – I ached, and went in again to be the grown-up I needed when I was a terrified little girl.

I decided that I will no longer watch any news or footage of any kind until Wednesday, and I haven’t. Of course, it’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it. But I’m not permitting the sound bytes into my life anymore. I’ll know tomorrow what happens tonight.

At one point Friday, I was praying and dancing – with my new beautiful mandala hand drum – and putting peace and healing into the meditation/energy bubble I’ve described before. I had this vision of Hillary Clinton ushering in a reconciliation era. I felt almost elated! I danced and celebrated, and put all of my love into that vision.

The next day, I woke up feeling like such an idiot! I’m so stupid! Hillary won’t be permitted to lead our national recovery. They’re going to eviscerate her! They are going to make her pay so hard! They will never stop trying to SILENCE THE WOMAN. And they want the rest of us to witness what happens when we dare to speak.

I felt like crying. I felt hopeless.

And then I didn’t. Immediately, I thanked her again. She is the only woman who could break this final fucking ceiling. Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, SHE has opened the door at last for women to be taken seriously in U.S. Presidential races.

The United States hates women as much as it hates black people. It’s shameful that it’s taken so long for a woman to break through that insistent wall of fear and desperation. Germany has Angela Merkel. England has Theresa May, and the Iron Lady was taken seriously decades ago. Israel had Golda Meir a lifetime ago! She was born in 1898!

But not here. Never here. Here, they don’t want to hear. SHUT UP, said white male privilege to every woman and every person of color. “It is the existential fear of displacement from a world that has slowly – too slowly, for too long – been chipping away at white male supremacy.” -Rolling Stone

Hillary Clinton was the woman to break through that blockade, not because her place in history is that of a peacekeeper. That woman is a warrior! She’s strong enough to take anything they say and do to her. And only that woman can handle what’s coming after she’s elected. She’s a battering ram! And she’s willing to do it.

So I’m grateful. I don’t love her perfectly. That’s a childish world view. Politics is messy business. No one is 100% happy 100% of the time. That’s dictatorship. But Hillary Clinton is among the most honest politicians (Deal with it), and she’s accomplished things across both sides of the aisle, that make the world a better place. That has been her aim.

Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll see any of that ever again. This bipartisan bullshit is an attempt by the Republican party to bring down everyone if they can’t have their way, exactly as they want  it. It’s so dangerous. It breaks my heart.

And that’s where I come in. I have to learn my limit of exposure, and pray. Ironically enough, I’m a warrior, too. But it’s in this way that I came to my calling, which is to heal. Myself. My friends. My family. My neighbors. My world.

I can’t get bogged down by the futility of it all. I just have to believe in my ridiculous mystical bubble – and I do – and send all of my love into it. I can imagine myself into real visions of peace and cooperation, and when that sight takes the pain from my heart, I pray and pray and pray. “Let the world feel this, NOW. Let everyone who sees this in their heart send the power of their healing into the bubble, too, and make it grow!”

“Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better.”
-Maya Angelou

drum

Here she is again. I love this drum so much! She is a healer! I love her voice.

Tonight, I will go to a belly dance class, and come home to work on my next mandala. In this way, I’ll hear none of the nonsense that I don’t need. It’s done.

I’ve found that the repetition of each rotation brings on a trance state, where the mind forgets its being-ness, and what’s inside comes up. I’ve caught myself putting hatred and anger into these beautiful lines and curves, but Sacred Truth stops me. I really feel like something else jumps in and says, “Not here! Not this!” So I redirect my thoughts, and pour love, joy, healing, humor, and everything beautiful about my inner nugget into these drums I’ve come to love so much. They contain prayers and magic!

Kumbaya, bitches!

womens-suffrage

Boys Club

boys club

I agree that her comment was reactionary and ridiculous, but his, to my view, was shockingly invasive. By linking all women with those working in the sex industry, simply because we have the same parts, he made the entire audience, including me, think of that woman’s genitals. Humiliating for her, shameful for him.

And completely off topic, by the way. He didn’t answer the question. He just used age-old misogyny to deflect the issue. Her question was stupid. An informed reply would have been far more powerful. I find this more and more disturbing upon reflection. So much degradation against women isn’t even perceived, much less replaced by equity, enlightenment, discourse, respect, and cooperation.

Disappointing also is the fact that this “haha!” is spreading on the web, touting his reply as clever, cute even. “Oh, he shut her down!” No, he didn’t. He simply demeaned her. It’s the 50s! “Don’t you worry your pretty little head.”

In modernity, it’s far more crass. He’s talking face-to-face with a woman he does not know and referring to HER sex organs. He’s talking about HER vagina. And it’s funny. It’s disgusting! And how many thousands of people – according to this meme – obviously see absolutely no problem with that? I can’t even touch on the subject of being equipped by nature to be a whore. Those with a penis are allowed to “Be all that they can be,” in the Armed Services and the world, while women are here to get them off. Still!

Imagine being a woman in the military! I really can’t. Rape is rampant and we all know it.

I know we don’t live in an equal society, but I’m not consumed by differences in the way the genders are perceived and treated. This one just got under my craw. How can people be passing this along to one another thinking his little zinger is so funny, and no one notices the larger message to young girls? If their parents don’t catch it, how can we hope they’re teaching their daughters the truth about their value? I guess I really didn’t believe that this generation was receiving the same message ours did, where their entire worth resides.

Am I truly only seen as emotional and vaginal?

Makes the mantra not so trite: I AM NOT MY BODY.

Incidentally, how many of you have been raped? I have. My best friend, too. That’s too many in a small population of girlfriends. It’s attitudes like this general’s that slide under the radar as harmless and keep women and girls in danger, viewed as commodities. Parts.

(My lifestyle put me in danger, but my bestie was an 18 year-old virgin.)
(I still didn’t deserve it or do it to myself. A rapist did it to me.)

Makes the mind swim with the reality of sex trafficking in the larger world. How blessed I am to live in such comfort, leisure, and safety. Comments like General Cosgrove’s keep us turning a blind eye to a problem that isn’t ours. It may seem like a leap, but I believe these casual, seemingly innocuous views of a woman’s worth and the pervasive acceptability of dismissing and degrading The Anonymous Her is symptomatic of a greater global sickness.

(I believe that gender inequality, while harmful to women in obvious ways, also short-changes our boys and men. We’re all in it together, yo.)privilege(My cousin had this quote on his Facebook page so I clicked on it to save and post here. Not even kidding, it’s from “Women’s Rights News.” Yeah, if you want to think about my body in the context of the Republican Party, geez! Don’t even get me started! It begins to make more sense why he posted this. He and his awesome wife are very, very, VERY politically active here in town.)
in this togetherPolk & Broadway
San Francisco, CA
1/3/13 – 2/11/13

I voted on this billboard in October 2012 at San Francisco’s Burning Man Decompression. http://dreamermadwoman.blogspot.com/2012/10/san-francisco.html

End Soap Box