The Thoughts I’d Be Thinking

“The most confused you will ever get
is when you try to convince your heart and spirit
of something your mind knows is a lie.”
Shannon L. Alder

I’ve been struggling in my mind to make sense of the violence and hatred in our country at this time. I’m tempted to use the word bigotry but that dresses up hate a little too much for what I’m feeling. I keep trying to tell my mind that all is not lost and that hope for a better country is still alive. This latest school shooting has me really questioning whether my hope is ill-placed and whether our country is in the process of its fall.

“If you aren’t outraged,
then you just aren’t paying attention”
Lisa Borden, The Alphabet of Avoidance: Simple Solutions to Immediately Replace ‘Bad’ Habits with Something Better…or Even, Nothing at All

Well, Lisa, I’m outraged. I’m so angry that sometimes I have to back up, sit down, take a deep breath and crochet. That usually works to calm me down a bit. The fact remains that I feel our country is careening out of control with a mad man leading this wild and hateful parade. Those men and women in Washington, DC that we counted on to keep control are simply counting–their ill-gotten gains from lobbyists. They are why we mere citizens of this country cannot have nice things.

“When any worthwhile thing is done in the world,
it’s usually done by somebody weird.”
John Sandford, Outrage

Well, John, I’m nothing if not weird. It is my fervent prayer to whatever forces keep our Universe moving right along that there are enough of my weird companions to keep us from dissolving into a puddle of hatred. It seems that most of our leaders hate women, people of color, poor people, disenfranchised people, homeless people, veterans, children and old people.

“People get addicted to feeling offended all the time
because it gives them a high;
being self-righteous
and morally superior feels good.”
Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Well, Mark I do not feel self-righteous and I do not feel morally superior. I feel really, really pissed off! At the same time I have asked myself these questions:

  • When did we decide it was OK to have guns so that we can kill other human beings?
  • When did we decide that the color of our skin or having a penis or the glory of a vagina makes any difference in our humanness?
  • When did we decided that education was always, always, always going to be served last with the scraps from the oligarchs table?
  • When did we decide that children are not our future so we need not feed them or care for them?
  • When did we decide that our votes become meaningless because our politicians have free reign through gerrymandering and the electoral college to make them meaningless?

“I am not so afraid that I cannot see the truth.”
John Sandford, Outrage

John, John, John—I am trying not to be afraid of the truth I see. I can tell you right now that I am scared shitless John!

“Timidity is the silent acceptance of bondage”
Constance Friday

Oh, Constance! Thank you for bringing me back from the edge! I am a woman who curses a lot and really fucking enjoys it. I refuse to be silent and accept the many bondages are society puts on us including, women do not curse. Holy shit! Of course we do!!!

“If a Martian were watching our television shows, he’d conclude that guns were more common than hammers. They’re not evil themselves–they’re tools–but everywhere you go, bad people have them. It behooves the righteous to at least know how they work.”
John Sandford, Outrage

Yes, John you are correct that guns are more common than hammers. I know how a gun works I do not think however, that we all need semi-automatic assault rifles that have only one purpose—killing human beings.

“They grew up thinking that all conflict is injustice.”
Madam Secretary

Yes, Madam, we did BUT I’m here to say that injustice is not separate of conflict until it becomes the norm. I’ve no wish to let our current social and political frenzy become the norm and keep justice at arm’s length. I pissed as hell and I’m not willing to let this go unanswered. The 2018 elections are coming and so are the angry women of our country. We are awakened, alive and coming for you!

Vive La Femme!

In And Out Of Africa

In And Out Of Africa
Painting by Jane Garrison, 2014
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2017

“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Focus on your character, not your reputation.
Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

For the past few years I’ve been a member of the Greater Issaquah Toastmasters Club.  It has been a great experience, filled with many blessings,  in spite of the 30-45 minute drive which seems longer in the darkness of winter. It has been worth every minute of time I have spent with this marvelous group even if I whine about going to the meetings!  One of the members who has become a great friend and mentor is Jane Garrison. She is an artist, master gardener and incredible person. About two weeks ago, she gave a speech about this painting and what it meant to her. It was inspiring to say the least BUT she surprised each of us at the meeting with a gift. The gift was a holiday card she made for each of us with this painting on the cover and her speech on the back. With her permission I’m posting not only a photo of the painting but her speech.

“When we lose one blessing,
another is often
most unexpectedly
given in its place.”
C.S. Lewis

Without further ado, Jane’s speech:

You probably look at this painting and
wonder how I could be so naive, such a
suburban, American point of view. I
painted it a couple of years ago during
the Boko Haram crisis. At that time a
man from Africa spoke at our local
Rotary club. He had been on of the
“Lost Boys”. His story was so terrible
that I didn’t want to bury it.
I wanted to remember it and all its terror from
both human and wildlife threats.
I wanted to remember, so that I could
appreciate my situation and be
thankful every day, even though it
seems rather tedious at times. Here’s to
our good fortune in this country.
Happy Holidays!
Let’s enjoy the season,
appreciate what we have
and remember
how lucky we are.
—-Jane Garrison

My wish for you and for me is that we always remember how incredibly lucky we are and that we care deeply about all of those around us whether family, friends or those far away people we have never met. Many blessings to each of you and may your days be filled with light no matter how cracked!

“You have to participate relentlessly
in the manifestation of your own blessings.”
Elizabeth Gilbert








I Can’t Say Anything Nice: BUT I Can Stand In My Power

Hydrangea Aging, 2017, photo by Glenda Clemens

“My father had taught me to be nice first,
because you can always be mean later,
but once you’ve been mean to someone,
they won’t believe the nice anymore.
So be nice, be nice,
until it’s time to stop being nice,
then destroy them.”
Laurell K. Hamilton, A Stroke of Midnight

I am having trouble being nice. I am struggling these days about a lot of things. So I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been writing because I want to be a light in the darkness, a voice crying out in the wilderness and a fighter for equality. Yet with all the current angst in our society with the liars, the cheats, the sex scandals I’m finding it difficult to say anything nice. So I am finding myself in a miasma of anger and futility. So be fair-warned if you read one more word: THIS POST is not me being nice to make you feel better. This is me spilling my guts in words about what we as a society are going through.

“If a man whistles at you,
don’t turn around.
You are a lady not a dog.”
Niall Horan

Well. No one has ever mistaken me for a lady but I’ve sometimes been called a bitch (as if being a bitch is a bad thing!). Men do not whistle at all women. Just some. It is here that I have to say, I love, love, love seeing a beautiful woman BUT when I look at any woman I feel and see beauty. So why would we ever base beauty upon only what our eyes behold? Why would women struggle so with beauty? Why are women, in general, not aware of how we objectify ourselves?

“Some women attract desire.
Others do not.”
Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl

I’ve been having thoughts—they are present every time I think of sexual assault—that we as women are underestimating ourselves and our thoughts about our appearance. We have sold our beauty of the altar of the external. Every day I see advertisements about how to make my hair look more full, how to make my skin more vibrant and young, how to have fuller eye lashes, how to eat or drink just the right thing to make me a skinny, beautiful woman. What if advertisements talked about men and how to make their penis appear bigger than it really is like push-up bras make women’s breasts look like they have bigger tits? We would be appalled at telling men they would only be desirable if we could see how big their dicks were and then judge whether or not it is good enough. Why do my skin, eyelashes, tits need to be something different than they are to be desirable or even acceptable as a woman?

“The depths of her thoughts
will have you never
wanting to surface for air…”
Maquita Donyel Irvin, Stories of a Polished Pistil: Lace and Ruffles

Is not my starting to wrinkle, 67 year old face becoming enough as it is? Are my eyelashes not beautiful enough? Is my obviously abundant body not beautiful to more than just Rubens? Are the thoughts in my head not valuable? Is my love not enough?

“You only fix something, when it’s broken.
And you – are far from broken.”
Abhijit Naskar, The Bengal Tigress: A Treatise on Gender Equality

When I’m not feeling so much angst I know that I am enough just as I am BUT I have a sneaking suspicion that there are some lessons we as women could learn (and probably might have already learned). If we focus on becoming externally desirable we should not be surprised when we are judged by our external experience. (You have no idea how much courage it takes to have written that)! If we focus on fitting in we should not be surprised when we fit in but may not be happy. If we focus on what is wrong with ourselves we should not be surprised when others find fault with us. Maybe I’m wrong–but I don’t think so.

“A beautiful woman is like a painting
and remains beautiful no matter how old she is.”
Chloe Thurlow, Katie in Love

If this quote is right, what is the cause of the turmoil in our society around women and men and how they interact and treat each other? We talk about root cause. David and I have been having discussions about toxic masculinity as being a possible answer to the root cause. However, just because we now have lots of powerful men behaving badly and being caught at behaving badly doesn’t mean that men bear all the responsibility for this. I’m NOT saying that those women are to blame for the horrible things that happened to them. I am saying that in general, we women have a responsibility to ourselves and an acceptance of ourselves. If we consider ourselves only as a physical body that must fit some mold of desirability then we should not be surprised when we are treated as sexual objects.

“Say to yourself, I am perfect, the way I am.
Say to yourself, I am beautiful the way I am.
Say to yourself, those who do not accept me
the way I am, do not deserve me in their life.”
Abhijit Naskar, The Bengal Tigress: A Treatise on Gender Equality

I started this blog years ago wanting to express myself as a woman of power. I am forever grateful to the Feminine Power courses I took and the women who have supported me in my Feminine Power journey. But even among these women there is still a lot of anxiety and concern about our external selves. I have a sneaking suspicion that if we work as hard on accepting and loving ourselves just the way we are we will be stronger and an expression of the fullness of being a woman. It doesn’t mean that we will never be treated poorly. It means that we will build each other up JUST THE WAY WE ARE. Women: we need to quit judging each other. Women: we need to accept each other. Women: we need to stand in our power together. Women: we need to be this:

“…unforgivingly, and forcefully magnificent…”
Maquita Donyel Irvin

Just as the Universe created us.





The Defecator In Chief, Ourselves and #METOO!

“Feminism…is not ‘women as victims’
but women refusing to be victims.”
Gloria Steinem, The Trouble With Rich Women

Those of you who have followed me over the years and read my posts may notice there is no photo in this blog post. I would love to have a photo of Donald Trump on this post but I’m not willing to be sued for copyright infringement and line his greedy pockets just to have his ugly face on this post. Come to think of it, why would anyone want to see his face?

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass. But she’s got to be young and beautiful.”–Donald Trump, 1991

I’m not young and beautiful. I am old and tired and I’m fed up with Donald Trump’s face and mouth. This week he flubbed dealing with the deaths of four service men and defamed the character of Frederica Wilson who is a United States Representative. When his defamation wasn’t enough, General John Kelly jumped on the Trump defamation train to add his voice. They should both be ashamed of themselves but they are not. The worst thing they did was to deflect the conversation away from sexual harassment and sexual abuse that ALL women in America deal with in some form or another every single day.

“You could see there was blood coming out of her
eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
–Donald Trump about Megyn Kelly
(because she didn’t let him off the hook with her questions).

Where we should have a leader, we have a mysogynist who openly talked about grabbing women by the pussy. He has publicly attacked many women verbally and that is sexual abuse. For example he said about Arianna Huffington that she was unattractive both inside and out and that he felt her husband made a good decision when he left her for a man. I think Arianna is a beautiful woman inside and out and that stands up for women over and over again.

“We need feminism because degrading phrases like “walk of shame” are commonplace in our social vocabulary, yet these are only applied to women; whereas men in the same situation are praised by their peers and seen as nothing more than ” a guy who got lucky”, by the rest of society.”
Miya Yamanouchi, Embrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women

Throughout my life I have listened to men say things that are supposed to be funny but are not but I laughed going along to get along. Blonde jokes, women driver jokes, women and their appearance jokes–you’ve heard them all too. I’ve heard veiled comments that men would NEVER say to another man. I stood there silently and said nothing. I’m through with being silent. I’m through with letting jokes about women be OK with me. I’m through with not speaking up and out. The time has come for me and many other women and men.

“They’s a time for sitting still and praying
the wind blow over you,
and they’s a time to rise up and face the storm.”
Lalita Tademy, Red River

Here are some of the debasing things that I’ve personally heard (this is not ALL I’ve heard or experienced):

When I lost a lot of weight, a man in our family said,
“Look behind you; I think I found it.”


When I went to a job interview with a doctor looking
for an office nurse, “Come on. Relax. Drink
some wine and we can really get
to know each other.” I didn’t drink
and didn’t get the job.


“I’d never have sex with you. That would
be like grinding up a great steak
to make hamburger.” (another doctor)


“She said, fuck me and make it hurt. So I
hit her with a brick and fucked her.”


“You know if you would lose some weight
I might be interested in being with you.”


Putting his loaded gun on his desk, my
Boss said, “Now let’s talk.”


“I’m the best fuck you could ever
have. I’m willing to fuck you,
if we hurry. I’ve got things to do.”


“You can’t be a good Life Coach.
You are too fat to be good for anything.”
(That was recently on Twitter)

Between the horror of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the deaths of those four men in Niger and many others dying on foreign soil, the Russians invading our voting booths and social media, the legislators raping our medical system and tax code to line their pockets and the tearing down of women’s rights our President has plenty to talk about and has an obligation to work on for our country. Instead, he chooses to open his vile and horrible mouth and defecate on each and every person in America with the vilest words being about women.

“People may not realize the damage that they are
doing by placing the blame on the victim ~
but that doesn’t lessen the
damage that they cause by doing it.”
Darlene Ouimet

I am not sure Donald Trump realizes the damage he is doing. How can any of us be sure of anything he says or does?  Sadly, even if he does realize the damage he is doing, I don’t think he cares who or what he hurts in the process. He seems to be totally lacking empathy and concern for our country as a whole. It seems his only concern is himself.

When someone tells you who they are,
believe them; the first time.
–Maya Angelou

We knew these things about him before he was elected: he is a liar, mysogynist, cheater, abuser, bully, money grubbing egotistical creep. He bragged about using other people’s money to line his pockets and seldom spending his own money. We knew he promised glibly things he would never and had no intention of delivering. Yet enough Americans voted against their own best interests and put him in the White House.

“We mute the realization of malevolence-
which is too threatening to bear –
by turning offenders into victims themselves
and by describing their behavior
as the result of forces beyond their control.”
Anna C. Salter, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists,
And Other Sex Offenders

We have a malevolent man in the White House. I know that those who voted for him thought he would do good things (I’m trying to understand how this is possible) but he is doing nothing good and a whole lot bad. The forces of our government are not beyond our control. We do not have a direct path to force him out of our government but we do have some tools we can use.

  • We can stay aware
  • We can support each other
  • We can call and call and call our legislators
  • We can write and write and write our legislators
  • We can protest
  • We can vote out those who will do nothing and who support the horror show in Washington DC
  • We can quit excusing bad behavior
  • We can quit laughing at brutal, sexual jokes
  • We can support and love each other

Howling at The Moon Because Peace of Mind is Far Away

In the final analysis,
the hope of every person
is simply peace of mind.
– Dalai Lama

I know, for me, simple peace of mind is my goal. It is hard to do with our current world situation and it is made harder still because our world view is so available to us daily. We see the our world daily on television, the internet and email. Sometimes it feels that the insanity invades my peaceful world purposefully. Then I laugh and say, “You silly goose! No one cares about your peace!”

The most beautiful thing
we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and all science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger,
who can no longer pause to wonder
and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead:
his eyes are closed.
– Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein has always been a voice of reason. So when I’m feeling oppressed and hammered by our current world views I have some tools in my toolbox that help a lot.

  1. Other voices of reason and humility and grace like Albert Einstein
  2. Hummingbirds outside my window
  3. Crocheting doilies as mandalas
  4. Petting my dog Lucy
  5. Taking a deep breath

BUT. Sometimes I just need to be a coyote on the high plains howling at the moon. I need to pull a Cher and slap someone and say, “Snap out of it!” I need to scream at the television and say (with apologies to John Snow), “You know nothing!” I need to pound on the table with my fists as a former Camp Fire Leader said, “My needs aren’t being met.” I need to cry for all the pain and lack of love in our world.

You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

– James Allen

OK. I agree with the concept that my thoughts bring me to where I am and where I will be. What I have difficulty with is living in a world where bigotry, hate and plain old meanness exists and is prevalent and appears to be valued, encouraged and glorified. I really do not understand what there is in the human spirit makes us divide ourselves in groups of star-bellied and non-star-bellied (apologies to Dr. Seuss). Why can’t we be more joined and more loving and more giving and more understanding and more kind.

The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry.
– Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Yep. Jesus told us this too. Holding on to love doesn’t work. Only spreading love and kindness around makes any difference in the end. We can’t have enough big bombs, soldiers, politicians or money to make a better world. Only love and kindness can make a difference. I’m holding on to love and kindness. I hope you will too.

“If you are driven by fear, anger or pride
nature will force you to compete.
If you are guided by courage,
awareness, tranquility and peace
nature will serve you.”
― Amit Ray

Have a little peace today. Have a little love today. Have a little kindness today. AND don’t forget to spread that shit around. This is the fertilizer we all crave!








The Sorrow I Feel

Water Fountain at Paramount Theatre, Seattle, Washington (photo by Ray Clemens)

“What a sad era when it is easier
to smash an atom than a prejudice.”
Albert Einstein

The sorrow I feel in my very being is so profound I find myself unable to do much other than sit and crochet. It helps to keep me from crying when I crochet but not much more than that. I’ve been thinking about how could I possibly write a blog post that would be meaningful in the light of the voice of our President who spews hate and bigotry.

“Those who will not reason, are bigots,
those who cannot, are fools,
and those who dare not, are slaves.”
George Gordon Byron

Since I have no desire to be a slave and abhor the possibility that my ancestors owned people and called them slaves I was really struggling with it all. A friend of my daughter Lorien who became a friend of mine wrote really stirring words this morning.

“In this country American means white.
Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
Toni Morrison

So, with her permission, I’m sharing the words of Theresa Santiago Adams in the hopes that you will be moved as I was to consider this point of view and that indeed ideas can become effective weapons for good if we use them.

“Books and ideas are the most effective weapons
against intolerance and ignorance.”
Lyndon B. Johnson

“I have been uncharacteristically silent the last few days since the tradgedy in Virginia. I think because I have been trying to wrap my brain around what happened. And why. And how.

For the last 8 months I have been telling myself that this is not the country I love. Not the country I grew up in. But it is, isn’t it? Racism has always been here. Hate has always been here. So why do I feel so betrayed by and out of place in my own country?
And I realized, I do not feel betrayed by the Nazi’s. I am disgusted by them. Horrified by their actions. But they have always been true to who they are. No, I feel betrayed by my own kind. By the so called Progressives. Why? Because this, all of this is our fault.

It is our fault because we were so focused on Hillary or Bernie that we failed to come together for the greater good. We failed to see what was right in front of us. During the campaign, 45 told us who he is. He shouted it proudly. He displayed his ignorance and bigotry and racism like peacock feathers. So proud of the hate and violence he incited. And still we dismissed it as a joke. Dismissed him as a joke.

Millions of voters stayed home. A great many of them in protest because the person they wanted did not win the ticket. So while they/we all saw and heard what was happening, we failed to stop it. All it would have taken was a vote. Your vote. I say “your” because I voted for Her. Was she my first choice? Not necessarily. But she won the nomination. And it was my responsibility as a citizen of this country to vote for the person who was NOT a racist, facist, white supremacist piece of shit.
The fact that so many of my fellow citizens did not take that responsibility seriously is why I feel betrayed. We cannot blame the Republicans. They came together. We did not.

So while many posts call out the Rep’s saying “you own this”. It’s actually us, the Liberals, the Progressives that own this.
Many of you behaved like selfish, spoiled, stuck up children and when you didn’t get your way, you pouted. Don’t get me wrong, the Rep party is full of racist, misogynistic, Nazi fucks. But they have never hidden who they are or what they believe. We as Liberals wanted to be “nice” and not call names or rock the boat. Go high when they go low. Look what they got us.

So I hope that all of the events of the last 8 months, the Nazi rallys, the hate crimes, the cop shootings of black men, the terrorist acts, the attempted dimanteling of our democratic system; I hope all of it has been a wake up call to you. And the next time you have the opportunity to do something about it, you will get up off your ass, pull on your big boy/girl pants, suck it up and do what is right for the greater good. Because if you don’t, you cannot call yourself an American.

I will grant you that some of these events would have happened regardless of who won the election. But they would have been few. And they would have been condemned. Instead, they have been held up as the standard to which 45 aspires. Hate and violence in his name. With his approval and encouragement.

Every time something like the Virginia murder, yes murder, happens, it chips away a little more of my soul. I find it harder to see the good in people. And with every hate filled tweet, Nazi rally, hate crime or act of cowardice and injustice, it puts one more nail in the coffin of my time here in the US. Never in a million years did I think I would leave the borders of my beloved country for more than a few days or weeks at a time. Now, I’m making plans to retire and spend the second half of my life in another country. Because I can’t bear the weight of what’s happening. I can’t watch my country get dimanteled and devoured. My time here is nearing an end. And it makes me weep.”

“All our silences in the face of racist assault
are acts of complicity.”
bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism

Thank you Theresa Santiago Adams for your amazing words. I hope every reader has a feeling of the need to stand up for what is right for our country so none of us has to leave in order to not be devoured by the hatred and bigotry.

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry,
but by demonstrating that
all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die,
it can introduce the idea that if we
try and understand each other,
we may even become friends.”
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now





The Bully In The Pulpit: He’s taking us for a mean and crazy ride

“I would rather be a little nobody,
then to be a evil somebody.”
Abraham Lincoln

Have you ever been chased by a bull? I have. I was 12 years old and running across a field to tell my father, and other workers harvesting peanuts, that lunch was here and ready for them to come eat. I didn’t see the bull until he stood up and turned toward me. I ignored him and kept running toward him. Then he started running at me! I stopped running but he did not. So I turned and started running back to where mother was. There was a barbed wire fence between me and her. I ran as hard as I could and jumped through the fence. The bull stopped at the fence bellowing and pawing furiously at the ground. I still have the scar from the fence down my left lower leg.

“Bullying builds character
like nuclear waste creates superheroes.
It’s a rare occurrence
and often does much more damage
than endowment.”
Zack W. Van

I am left wondering and questioning this morning:

  • How big will the scar be on America when Donald Trump, our elected bully in the pulpit, is no longer the president?
  • How long will it take for the scar to become faint and not be causing us pain on a daily basis?
  • Will the scar be like 911 and cause us sorrow when we think of it?
  • Will the scar be like the Cold War and cause us fear when we realize how dangerous the time really was?
  • Will scar cause barely hidden hatred of each other as the Civil War caused?
  • Will the scar make bullying common place and acceptable behavior?

I do not know the answers to any of those questions. What I do know is that we have a terribly flawed bully sitting in the Oval Office of OUR White House inflicting wound after wound on our nation.

“If you’re horrible to me,
I’m going to write a song about it,
and you won’t like it.
That’s how I operate.”
Taylor Swift

I thought of Taylor Swift this morning and her statement above. At first look it is mean-spirited BUT when I see the word “song” I realize what the beauty of her way of doing things really means. When you are horrible to her she turns your bullying, spite, jealousy, hatred into art. Not only does this help her to heal it helps others to heal as well.

“One’s dignity may be assaulted,
vandalized and cruelly mocked,
but it can never be taken away
unless it is surrendered.”
Michael J. Fox

Why have we surrendered our country to this mean and cruel bully Donald J Trump and all his Trumpsters? I’m not sure but I have a sneaking suspicion it is because we didn’t like Hillary all that much and Bernie had his chance stolen from him by the DNC and after all we didn’t  really  believe that DJT would win. I remember the shock and horror and weeping when the results came in and Hillary had lost. I know she didn’t have a great message and didn’t do some of the road work with the masses she should have and didn’t give a positive message to the world but rather kept trying to out-punch the orange haired bully. None of that matters. We voted him in whether we voted for him or not. We surrendered our country to this maniac and his crazy house band. Now what are we going to do?

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice,
you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse,
and you say that you are neutral,
the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Desmond Tutu

I don’t know for sure what each of us as individuals can do. I do know none of us can remain neutral. To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, we each have to do, what we can, where we can, in the best way we can to conquer this bully. We have to write about it. We have to shout about it. We have to call our legislators about it. We have to post on social media about it. We have to not let ourselves become complacent.

Below is a video of Taylor Swift singing her song “Mean”. I thought it would be inspiring and uplifting after this ranting post and it some ways it is but for me this morning it made me cry. At least she is playing the banjo and hearing banjo being played is always a good thing.






Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Whatever I Damn Well Please!

“Can I borrow fifty bucks?”
“I’m short until payday.”
“You’re short every day.”
J.D. Robb, Festive in Death

Day Lily
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2017

I love JD Robb and Eve Dallas and the short quote! And that gorgeous flower in my garden created for me by my husband brings me joy and light. I am a blessed, short woman. The blessing does not come to me from the outside. Rather the blessing is of me and reflected in my life, loves and surroundings. That doesn’t mean, however, that I sitting around OMing to the moon and stars, living a quiet life in my garden while the World melts away. Nope. I’m a living, breathing woman and sometimes I breath fire.

“I was not born to be forced.
I will breathe after my own fashion.
Let us see who is the strongest.”
Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

I’m more than a little pissed today but I’m also more than a little scared. It seems to me that the World I live in is trying to careen out of control. Two things tripped my trigger today and made me think of Eve—yep the one all Christian men–and some women–blame for their lustful urges and every poor decision they have made throughout history.

“Shall the day of parting be the day of gathering?
And shall it be said that my eve was in truth my dawn?”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I want to set the record straight as far as I see it. Eve is not the reason some men are shits but she is a convenient scapegoat for their poor choices and bad behavior. The funny obverse side of that coin is that these same men are scared bloody mindless of her! Paul Ryan can’t have women around him with sleeveless clothing because that makes his appendage rock hard standing at attention. The Donald can think of nothing more than blood when a fearless, powerful goddess stands in front of him. Why can these men not see that Eve, the goddess of our beginning (at least mythologically) is the dawning of their own personal truth?

“Often blaming, is a trait of a childish soul.”
Toba Beta

Now I do not like casting blame. It feels like a betrayal of my grandmother who would chastise us if we tattled on each other. In all her soft roundness and sweetness she was a bulwark of doing what’s right in word and deed–at least that is how I’ve chosen to remember her. So I’m not blaming Paul Ryan or Donald Trump for any wrong done to me or by me but (excuse me grandmother) I’m tattling on them to the Universe! What wickedness exists in these men that they would drag women kicking and screaming back to the caves of our beginnings.

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences
attending too much liberty than to those
attending too small a degree of it.”
Thomas Jefferson

I’m here shouting at the top of my voice “I’m a free American and my liberties are mine to savor and rejoice in NOT yours to abuse and stomp upon!” If you so-called leaders of our country cannot rejoice and savor liberty with me and every woman, child and man on our planet then get thee behind me and keep your hands off my sleeveless clothing and bloody rags of creation itself. You are not worth the spit I would hurl at your faces.

“I was not born to be forced.
I will breathe after my own fashion.
Let us see who is the strongest.”
Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

And now for a bit of real independence (which we have learned this week Trump’s supporters hate:






I’m Frankly Amazed

Sunset on Mt. Rainier, 2017.
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2017

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

Every time I fly home to the Seattle area and see Mt. Rainier, I’m in awe and amazement at her beauty. For professional photographers she is a never ending font of beauty and art. For me I’m amazed every time I see this mountain and when flying I can never resist pulling out my smart phone and taking a photo of her through the window of the airplane. I plan ahead for this and so always reserve a window seat on the left-hand side of the plane just to be sure I’m able to see her beauty and wonder.

“Amazement + Gratitude + Openness + Appreciation = an irresistible field of energy”
Frederick Dodson, Parallel Universes of Self

However, sometimes my amazement is not for the beauty of our world but the contradictions in the society in which we live. Sometimes I’m so amazed I’m just pissed. Yep I go all the way from the sublime to the profane in just a few seconds. What do I consider profane? Not the profanity I use to express it but the amazement at the obvious contradictions about professed religiosity and the messages of spirituality. That’s where I am this morning.

Yesterday on Facebook because I loved
the absolute joy and love I felt for Katy:

Katy Learning Crochet
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2017

Now, if you are anything like me, you smiled when you saw that photo. It was a natural and loving response to a girl becoming more and more and more. It has 18 likes.

Yesterday, I posted this meme
Because I was amazed at the contradiction
Between someone who professed religiosity
And the obvious lack of spiritual honesty:

In 19 hours it has received 2 likes. I’m left asking the question: why?

I’m sure people feel more comfortable liking an adorable girl learning a difficult task at the age of 5 than liking (or hating) a meme that points out a publicly avowed Christian stealing. Not just pocketing a candy bar at the grocery store (although I believe stealing is stealing) but stealing and smuggling incredible, irreplaceable pieces of the history of Iraq.

“Congratulations,” he said.
“That was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.”
His expression was a mix of awe and disbelief.
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

What I really want to know is how many Christians are comfortable with him doing this? How many are not hitting the like button because they want to pretend it didn’t happen? How many are quickly willing to forgive him but not call him out for his misdeeds? How many don’t see the absurd and pompous arrogance and contradictions of this man publicly stating his Christian beliefs were why he didn’t want to allow his female employees contraception but has no problems with stealing historical artifacts?

“You failed -your fart was not silent,
my nose heard it’s deafening noise.”
Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

I feel your discomfort with this post. I’m not very comfortable with it either. BUT. I have a stronger feeling that our discomfort for this post is not nearly as important as our collective willingness to excuse wrong doing is some people while throwing stones at other people who are honestly pursuing life, liberty and happiness. I’ve heard and  those words somewhere other than here before.


Occam’s Zebra: Dreaming the improbable

Dreaming our lives into being Zebras.

Beginning. Doily and photo by Glenda Clemens, 2017

Occam’s Razor simply state is that common things occur commonly. A Zebra is not a common sight in most parts of our World.

“Kids think with their brains cracked wide open;
becoming an adult, I’ve decided,
is only a slow sewing shut.”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Remember when your mother told you: “You can grow up to be anything you want to be”?  I do know that not all mother’s say this but many I know, including myself, have said this to their children . We say this out of love rather than out of the expectation that indeed you will dream to be something and then grow up to be that.

“You gave too much rein to your imagination.
Imagination is a good servant, and a bad master.
The simplest explanation is always the most likely.”
Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles

As a child, we all imagined many great things that were going to happen to our lives and our becoming. When we grew and began to interact with the World, even the Universe, outside the protection and loving embrace of our mother’s arms we discovered reality and our dreams became simple fantasy not something that could become.

“No more things should be presumed
to exist than are absolutely necessary. ”
Mark Haddon,
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

And as we grew and grew, the possibilities became less and less. We began to embody Occam’s Razor even though many of us had never heard of it nor if we had thought it applied to our lives. In the medical world where I’ve worked since the age of 14–that’s 52 years–we have had Occam’s Razor so pounded into our brains that it has become a part of how medicine is in the 21st Century. In clinic settings we often say, “When you hear the sound of hooves, think horses, not zebras”. Often this is the right thing to do as one of the corollaries of Occam’s Razor is that common things occur commonly. Horses are common in the United States but Zebras are uncommon.

“God has a sense of humor.
Don’t believe me?
Just look at a zebra and tell me
what was going on in His mind that day.”
Kim Gruenenfelder

Well, Kim Gruenenfelder, I’ve no idea what was or is going on in the mind of any god on any day. I do know, however, that if you are a young boy or girl in parts of Africa, Zebras may indeed be much more common than horses. I’ve been watching Sense 8 (and trying to make sense of it) on Netflix while I crochet.  A mother and her son are walking across Africa and pass a herd of Zebras. The boy says to his mother, “I wish I was a zebra.” The mother’s answers, “You would make a very beautiful zebra.” Then she says, “Don’t worry. As long as we are together something good is going to happen.”

“Some day you will be old enough
to start reading fairy tales again.”
C.S. Lewis

The mother’s voice in this brief scene reminded me that all of us have dreams and most of them never come true, even if all we have in mind is that we live a happy and safe life. I’m beginning to understand how much of my life I’m limited myself listening to the strident voices around me saying I could not do or become my dreams. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, maybe I’m getting old enough to read fairy tales again. Maybe I’m getting old enough to capture a few of my dreams and live them. Maybe, just maybe, there is a Zebra in my front yard.

“Most people don’t grow up.
Most people age.
They find parking spaces,
honor their credit cards,
get married, have children,
and call that maturity.
What that is, is aging.”
Maya Angelou

If you are not ready to meet your Zebra’s or have never heard of Occam’s Razor, here is a link for you: Occam’s Razor.  Otherwise I recommend looking for Zebra’s and stop aging.