The past 24 hours have been a lot of fun. Good in a myriad of ways. A day that was for the most part unplanned but developed in delightfully unexpected ways. Isn't that always the case that when you actually are looking, or paying attention, you see things or notice things you would have otherwise missed. That was one of the huge things about quitting alcohol. It was like cataracts were taken out and I had/have this new brightness around me. I see. Holy crap! I see stuff. When my hands started to work again was so awesome. I was so scared that the shaking would be permanent. It was like when I had double vision and I was so afraid it would not go away regardless of what doctors and nurses told me. The vision cleared, and recleared again when the shaking stopped. Hurrah human body and tsk tsk on me for putting mine through so many hurdles
I digress a bit. and perhaps this post won't be a funny one, but maybe it will after I write the "serious" stuff. But serious stuff can be fun/funny too. And often I find it better to palate when it is. But what is currently on my mind isn't funny, regardless of how it is spun. I did go to jazzercise and the final song Love Make the World Go Round is one I really like. Perhaps not as much as Lady Gaga's born this way, but I really like this song.
During the song and driving home I started thinking about hate and disclusion and how much vitriol EVERYONE is pushing around. Liberal Conservative Progressive Tea Party Communist Fascist, neoconservative, green, independent, libertarian, freedom party, bob ross, walt disney, inanity, idiocy Party. But every party real, imaginary, binary whatever, when pushed to the extreme they spew such vitriol and hate and ignorance. It makes me sick. And reminds me why I am working so hard to not live my life in extremes but nuzzle down into those delicious creamy grays.
I have started buying t shirts as a way to make my statement of protest. I am picky with what I wear. I refuse to put on anything that could be conceived as overly aggressive, un-inclusive, or a restatement of someone elses words of ignorance or hate. I get the nasty woman, nevertheless she persisted, not my president, etc. but I won't wear them. No. I will wear tshirts or tank tops that say they tried to bury the seed but little did they know it would grow or resist ignorance and embrace science or resist or strong woman or womans march keep marching or all humans are equal. But I search carefully. I came really close to buying a pair of rainbow toms, if they were $15 dollars cheaper I think I would have. And I am sure I will be getting a gay pride tshirt or tank sooner rather than later. When I remember I wear a rainbow bracelet. Talking to my dad I think I mentioned something about wearing my views and if people think I'm gay that is fine. I don't care. He looked a bit surprised and like he was about to say, but you're not gay and then got the implication of what I was saying. I am happily heterosexual, but if me showing my support means that others think I am gay, bi, trans, whatever that is ok. Because it should be ok. It should not matter. It got me thinking though of whether it was all talk on my part. I did not buy the shoes, even though I wanted them, and did not order the gay pride tshirt I saw Neil Patrick Harris proudly displaying on a Facebook Ad. But I have saved the Pride bracelet for about a year and a half and do wear it when I remember.
Part of this questioning is I saw an article in the Star Trib about hate crimes happening at Olaf, my alma mater. I have had mixed feelings for a long time about Olaf. It was a really tough for years for me. I discovered I have Seasonal Depression, had a horrific head injury, lost two grandparents, a beloved art teacher, and had an art professor who burned my love of painting and 2D work for a while and made me question ever so deeply my love for art and if I was good enough. It was a really, really tough for years and at times I have regretted going there. But St. Olaf is a good school. It is a progressive ELCA based liberal arts school, that is about 98% Caucasian and mainly upper middle class to wealthy. It is a school of privilege and I was lucky to be able to go there. Hate crimes happened at Olaf. As I write this my first instinct was to type "oh nothing bad, no one was brutally attacked or raped or..." and then I stop and kick myself in the ass. IT DOESNT MATTER IF IT WAS A LOOK A NOTE A TRIP A PUNCH FLIPPING OVER YOUR CAFETERIA TRAY IT IS A VIOLENT HATE CRIME. AND ALL THE WORST AS IS IT DOES UNDER THE GUISE OF THE NIGHT WITHOUT THE SPINE OR COURAGE TO PUT YOUR FACE TO YOUR STATEMENT. And why do KluKluxKlans wear white masks? From reading about it I think my school is doing the best they can and I am so proud of the students taking up a protest to the point of boycotting classes. If I were still a student I would be there doing that myself. And what kills me is that I display my own ignorance, naivete, or blindspots when my first thought is no one was physically harmed. They were mentally and psychically harmed. Race, culture, passions become and are a huge part of your identity. Being attacked in a way that devalues the core of who you are is worse than a cut of a bruise. Those heal. When you and your core, what makes you who you are, is attacked it undermines you to the point of not having anything solid to stand upon. You live in quicksand. Always drowning. As I have aged I have gotten to understand the depth of the ethics Olaf stands upon and realize how greatly I do agree 100% with them. That I am really proud of being an Ole. I don't think of my time there as a fun time. Not at all really. But a time of growth and a community that I still am a part of and keep tabs on even if it is just through facebook at times. And right now my heart is hurting so badly for those at my school who have hurt and I am filled with sadness and shame and anger that a fellow Ole could do that and shame for those who know and stay silent.
So that is what J.Lo had me thinking about around an hour ago. Love is Love is Love. I have come very close to buying a tshirt that says that more than once. Perhaps today will be the day. As that is what I think needs to be expressed ever more in todays climate. It is nebulous and it is scary. But love and dialogue and trying to understand why someone is different. One of the Olaf students who was attacked made a statement to the person who went after her "my name is so and so, my po box is so and so. leave a note and let's talk. Congratulations to her,. Talk about bravery and responding as I hope I would have the gumption to do. Thoughts for a Monday morning. But they will steep and simmer in the back of my head and I will figure out how to do what I can to help resist all of this negative change.
So to lighten up Monday a bit as it is important to think hard, but it equally important to laugh and enjoy life. Yesterday my church voted to approve the call for a new pastor. She is fabulous and the vote was 60 yeses to 1 no. I wore my sparkly silver chucks to celebrate what I hoped to be a joyous day, also thinking of the wizard of oz and a friend at church had worn red sandles thinking the same thing. Great minds! And the three clicks worked as the vote was 60 yes to 1 no! I was also invited out to a cidery 30 minutes outside of town to watch drone racing. It was really cool! I did get my first sunburn of the season, but don't really care! A guy close next to my friend and I had a video screen on a tripod that was connected to one of the drones, so we got to see the race "drones eye view." FUN!!! A friend and I then met for coffee at Mudhouse and had really good conversation. Walking to get some food we ran into the reincarnation of Fred Astaire and it was so so so cool! I have never seen someone tap so well in person before. Sitting outside watching him reminded me of all of the wonderful unexpected moments of joy the downtown mall has given me. You stumble upon a tap dancer or violin solo aria and get swept along with it. I gave the performer money and hopefully made a new friend as I told him I thought he seemed cool and wanted to hang out sometime and I was throwing my business card in his bucket. So here's hoping he emails me as I really want to know how one learns to tap like that. Curiosity is a marvelous thing!
NYT Crossword done, coffee drank, exercise completed, hard thoughts had, and if I stop this clickity clack on my keyboard and clean I can have a hot date with my wheel this afternoon after spending an hour hanging with my small buddy at the Library or Discovery Museum. Swirl Girl, my darling, it is time to get messy!