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!

 

 

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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

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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.

 

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

“Can I borrow fifty bucks?”
“What?”
“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:

 

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I’m Frankly Amazed

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

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
Socrates

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.
“Ever.”
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.

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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.

Henry Higgins, Why Can’t A Man Be More Like A Woman?

Katy with her doll. Dress designed and crocheted by Glenda Clemens.
Photo by Glenda Clemens, 2017.

“The Sacred Bombshell knows
that her creative feminine energy
is a catalyst.
She remembers her womb wisdom.”
― Abiola AbramsThe Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love

I’m pretty riled up this morning. There was a post on Facebook of an article on men interrupting women. You can read this article on Fortune Magazines website. The thrust of the article is that if women will just act more like men they will not be interrupted as much. Poppycock! Why would we ever want to act like what we are not?

Why do women say “I’m sorry” so much?
One of my favorite self-love sermons is this:
Resist saying ‘I’m sorry’ so often.
You are not “sorry.”
You are magnificent beyond measure,
perfect in your imperfections,
and wonderfully made.”
― Abiola Abrams,
The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love

My response to any man interrupting a woman is: “I know your mother worked hard to raise you to have good manners. Interrupting is bad manners. You may speak when I finish.” Why oh why would I ever undermine my own sovereignty by acting like something I am not. I am not a man. I am a woman. I behave like a woman. I think like a woman. I live like a woman. AND I have brain power you have never even imagined–IF–you think that because I don’t have a penis I’m somehow less than any man.

“The feminine political voice is personal.
It’s intimate.
It’s caregiving and life enhancing.
It’s about bringing more love,
caring and justice into the world.
It’s also fierce and determined.”
― Tabby BiddleFind Your Voice: A Woman’s Call to Action

As women, Henry, we have no need to be more like a man. Would it be easier, Henry, if men were more like women? Yes, of course it would. That isn’t how the Universe is made. It is made of differences, of opposites. Everything and everyone in the Universe attracts and repels. So what if we work on attraction, Henry? How would that be?

“If we are to be women in power,
then it must be power on very different terms.
We have to find a new source of energy.
New structures of power.
Ones that don’t deplete us or our environment.
We need to run our lives on sustainable energy.”
― Lucy H. PearceBurning Woman

For me, there is no need for a woman to be more like a man. There is no need for a man to be more like a woman. BUT I will howl at the moon protesting any man who thinks I should not speak because I am not a woman. I will shoot fire from my soul dare any man think I should not be powerful. I will dance naked in the moonlight and sunlight proving my being to be equal to any man.

“What a hundred caring,
courageous and conscientious
women can achieve in ten years,
would take a thousand men a hundred years.”
― Abhijit Naskar

Now perhaps that quote is true I do not know. What I do know is that if we all work together in our own true essence, loving and caring deeply for each other and welcoming all into the circle, amazing things will happen. Women, do you want to be more like a man? OK but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t end well. Men, do you want to be more like a woman? OK but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t end well.

We have waited so long for permission to know
that it was our time, our turn on stage.
That time is now.
Our voices are being heard into being.
They are needed.”
― Lucy H. PearceBurning Woman

We do not need permission to be on stage and raise our voices. The time is now to boldly walk onto the stage and speak, together. Men and women working together as equals can bring peace and paradise to our planet. Until we are working together as equals things will continue much as they are now.

I’m Not Just A Granny!

A new doily “Katy” designed by Glenda Clemens, 2017.
Photo by Glenda Clemens 2017

“My grandmother started walking five miles a day
when she was sixty.
She’s ninety-seven now,
and we don’t know where the heck she is.”
― Ellen DeGeneres

I’m not just a granny or grandmother or grandma and I sure as hell don’t walk five miles a day! I might sweat and I don’t like to sweat.  That’s not the point of this post but I did want to be clear.  It turns out that because I crochet doilies and I love doing it, some people actually attribute to me characteristics that are surprising to me. Well, fuck!

“This is a place where grandmothers
hold babies on their laps under the stars
and whisper in their ears that the lights
in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven.”
― Rick Bragg

That’s nice Rick Bragg, but that’s not me.  I am a bleeding heart liberal who loves to cuss and loves to crochet doilies. I’m not some sweet little granny sitting around being all lovey dovey with everyone she meets. I’m a grandma who loves fiercely and crochets obsessively and believes deep in her gut if I don’t say “Fuck” at least one time a day I risk dying.  If I love you, and most of you I do, I’ll stand with you no matter what–unless spiders are involved. If you keep posting photos of big ugly spiders I’ll unfriend you on Facebook.

“I thought grandmothers had to like you.
It’s a law or something.”
― Mary E. PearsonThe Adoration of Jenna Fox

Nope. We do not have to like you. We’ll probably love you, feed you, clothe you and make you a doily or two or a hundred. But. We do NOT have to like you! Having said that, I think my grandchildren are the epitome of what grandchildren should be. That’s because their Momma’s raised their parents to be good parents so the grandchildren are great.

“And I can’t die easy thinking
maybe the menfolks
white or black is making
a spit cup out of you.
Have some sympathy for me.
Put me down easy, Janie,
I’m a cracked plate.”
― Zora Neale HurstonTheir Eyes Were Watching God

Assuming that I’m a sweet, adorable, cuddly grandmother because I crochet incredibly beautiful doilies (that’s really not bragging–IMHO) just pisses me off. So this is me:

  • I am a rebel at the core of my being.
  • I hate it that we have a card carrying member of the Idioti in the White House.
  • I rage against the man who is our current Representative because of his mean and spiteful stances again the people he is supposed to serve.
  • I despise hackers! Yeah I know they have shed some light in dark places but they have compromised all of us and our ability to enjoy the open borders that the internet has given us.
  • I stand for equality for every single human being on the earth. Your white skin, tiny hands and tinier penis do not impress me.
  • I loath spiders and they scare the bejesus out of me so fucking quit posting them on Facebook!
  • I love to crochet doilies and lace. It helps keep me centered and keep me out of prison and keep you alive.
  • I’m a cracked vessel (and so are we all): that’s how the light gets in and shines out.

“What she showed me was, Yes, I am Grandmother as she is; there is no separation, really, between us. And that, on this planet, Grandmother Earth, there is no higher authority. That our inseparability is why the planet will be steered to safety by Grandmother/Grandmothers or it will not be steered to safety at all.”
― Alice WalkerNow Is the Time to Open Your Heart

Having said all of that, I have doilies to crochet and people to piss off on Facebook and coffee to drink and Morning Joe to watch. I love you all and always will, but if you don’t start playing nice with all of us, that can change.

Imagining And Creating Love

Suncatcher #2, created from a pattern by Grace Fearon and photographed by Glenda Clemens, 2017

“Imagination is everything.
It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
― Albert Einstein

Imagination is the key to a creative life. I’ve been crocheting for many years but recently I’ve been creating Sun Catchers out of doily patterns and they are a big hit. I’ve made these and doilies as gifts for family members–whether they like it or not! Someone asked if I would make a Sun Catcher for her and let her pay for it. So my husband and I talked about what would be a fair and reasonable price for both myself and the customer. During the process he asked, “When are you going to make one for us? I’d like to have one hanging in our window.” I dropped all other projects and made the one above for him/us to have in our window.

“Creating means living.”
― Dejan StojanovicThe Shape

For me, the above quote is true. Whether is is writing, cooking, crocheting, knitting, or speaking creating is the root of all my happiness in life. I don’t care so much about the finished product of my creation but I care deeply about the process and what the creating does for me.  So as Valentine’s Day approaches and I work on kindness and love, I dropped all other projects to create a Sun Catcher for David. For with every stitch, yarn over, chain 4 and double crochet in the 4th stitch from the hook I was imagining love and creating a deeper reality for my life.

“I’m always thinking about creating.
My future starts when
I wake up in the morning and see the light.”
― Miles Davis

That’s how it is for those of us who create. I dream about creating. I think about creating. When I wake if I’ve not settled on what to create today, I pick up where I left off yesterday and continue creating what is already started. I don’t really understand how anyone can live without creating or how they can love without imagining how that love will be and how they can create the love they desire. For me, there is no other pathway.

Become a dollmaker,
there are NO limits to your awesomeness,
you can create anything you can imagine and more!”
― Gayle Wray

I’m a doily maker not a doll maker but I have discovered that there are no limits to what I can create if I put my mind to. This week, I’ve been imagining love and it’s relationship to my creativity impulses. It is simple for me. When I create anything I do it with love in my mind and heart. So when I give a gift of a Sun Catcher or a doily it is imbued with love. Now that I’m going to sell some of my creations I hope the receiver will feel the love that is in every stitch.

“Love is all you need”
–John Lennon