The Time for Silence is Over

theycameAfter spending a day grieving for the country I thought I lived in, and coming to terms with the hypocrisy and idiocy of roughly half of the citizens of the US, I have come to some conclusions.  First, to me, voting for someone who has espoused so much hate and bigotry means that the voter is willing to overlook such behavior for whatever reason. No one who spewed as much malevolence as Trump has any business running this country – a country that, at least on the surface, promotes “liberty and justice for all.”   I’ve had people tell me that this is God’s will – it true, it’s not any God I would worship.  I’ve also had people tell me that they voted for him to shake up the system, to get someone in there who isn’t part of the established status quo, and because they agree with some of what he said. Technically, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, with 59,814,018 votes to Trump’s 59,611.678 votes.  This does console me a bit in that the majority of people in this country are good people who see Trump for the racist, misogynistic, bigoted bully he is.  However since the people in key states are not, the electoral votes went to Trump, making him the de-factor winner.

On his second day as President-Elect, Trump has already started to make his plans.  Apparently he has a list of “enemies.” He’s considering some of the most unqualified and frankly terrifying people for his cabinet including Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich for Attorney General, and Sarah Palin for Secretary of the Interior.  Chris Christie is also being considered for secretary of Homeland Security, with Rick Scott as potential secretary for Health and Human Services.

He’s already chosen Myron Ebell to lead the EPA transition.  A known climate change skeptic, Ebell was called a climate criminal by Greenpeace, and was censured in the British House of Commons due to his views on climate change.  One of Trump’s campaign promises was to “get rid of [EPA] in almost every form. We are going to have little tidbits left but we are going to take a tremendous amount out.” (Trump, March 2016) Much of Ebell’s work Is funded by companies like Exxon Mobile, Koch Industried, and Murray Energy Corporation, on record for constant criticism and litigation concerning the EPA.  They are the largest coal producer in the US, thus having the most to lose in the clean energy movement.

Presumably, “shaking up the system” means having people in power who are not part of the established structure.  Now that the man at the top is a definite political outsider, how will that work?  Given his list of cabinet choices, he’s not really holding true to that.  Not only has he chosen career politicians to populate his cabinet, but the ones he’s considering have proven themselves time after time to be the worst of the worst when it comes to governing all the people, not just the highest dollar contributors.  How is that anything other than politics as usual? In addition to that, the GOP is now firmly in power in most areas of government.  These are the same elected officials who made it possible for jobs to be shipped overseas.  They enacted the policies that Trump directly benefited from in his business life.  Even his “Make America Great Again” caps were made, not in the US by US workers, but in China.  Imported via trade agreements to make them cheaper – those same trade agreements he is now promising to dismantle.

Voters also say they wanted someone who would fix the economy.  The actions Trump is threatening to take could very well tank the economy.  For those Trump voters who bought into his tax policy proposals, it has been estimated that he will increase taxes on working and middle class families by virtue of eliminating personal exemptions for taxpayers and dependents, and removing the head of household filing status, which single parents and caretakers use, the overwhelming majority of whom are single mothers.  That accounts for 35% of all children in the US who will be reduced to further poverty in the name of “fixing the economy.”  These tax changes will directly harm the very people who voted to put him in office.  Who gets tax cuts under his plan?  Rich people and corporations, of course.  In addition, with the now Republican held Senate and House, Paul Ryan may just be able to end Medicare, food stamps, and Medicaid.  Expect to see a lot more hungry children and dying elderly.  Since repealing the Affordable Care Act is also one of Trump’s priorities, those elderly won’t be able to get private insurance, either.  But let’s focus on “shaking up the system.”

Effectively raising taxes on the poor and middle class and putting even more money in the hands of the 1%, backing out of trade agreements without viable alternatives, and wrecking the environment are the things he has promised to get done in his first 100 days, albeit in terms that are less blatant.

There’s so much more to say, but this is already too long for a blog post.  I’ll be writing more.  Perhaps I’ve just gotten to an age where seeing someone decide that hating and racism and mysogyny and bogotry can be ignored because a person “just wants change” is wrong on so many levels I can no longer excuse it. If people want change, and I have no doubt they do, there are ways to facilitate it without marginalizing and brutalizing large groups of people. If people want change, they need to get out and make it happen. If there’s one thing this election taught me, it’s that time-proven lesson about what happens when good people sit by and do nothing. I’m not willing to overlook the secondary message in this election – some people matter less than others.

 

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

~Martin Miemoller

*Note:  Given the hatred that is now running rampant in this country, I have set comments to moderation.  If you have a dissenting opinion, you’re welcome to it, but write it in your own blog.  It’s free!  It’s time to people to start working for their 1st Amendment rights – at least on my blog.

**I am Jewish, but I wanted to quote the poem in it’s entirety.

***Cross posted on two of my blogs – PandoraKnits and Utopia Missed.

Yearly Update

It’s been a year.  A good one, a bad one, a trying one, and a long one.  It’s really closer to a year and a half. I did get croned, just not when I thought I would.  We got to PSG, and it was wet.  Really, really wet.  It was so wet, we were flooded out.  The pictures are from the Wild Hunt article on the event.

Parking Lot Campground Tents

 

It was crazy.  Water was up to our knees.  If we hadn’t had the camper, we would have floated away.  Several people lost their cars and all their camping stuff, but amazingly, there were no people injured, and close to 1000 people helped each other, supported each other, and vacated the campground in an orderly manner.  Needless to say, the croning never happened.

Fast forward to this year.  It was beautiful, albeit really, really hot.  The temps were close to 100F with humidity in the 80-90% range.  Around 800 people still came, and it was great.  I participated in all the croning activities, but it was so hot and I was so miserable.  I had a pleural effusion – a pocket of fluid in my lung – and breathing under normal circumstances was difficult.  The heat and humidity made it almost intolerable.  Then, in the middle of the week, I fell out of the shower house and badly sprained my ankle.  Thanks to the above and beyond assistance of the medical crew at PSG, I was still able to complete the week and go through the ceremony.  It was, though, not what I’d hoped it would be.  Certainly not due to anyone other than me, though.  I was physically miserable, and having a very bad time with depression.  I felt I could have gotten so much more out of it if I’d been in better condition, mentally and physically.  In the end it was a wonderful and moving experience, but I almost want to do it over so I can be completely present and invested in the process.

fire

 

PSG minus 14 days 14 hours

Getting close, peeps.  We’ve got the camper open and airing, and the water tank disinfecting.  The faucet has a leak, but we’ll worry about that after the trip.  Sarongs are washed and ready to wear, and my new dresses arrived.  My croning staff has had the bark stripped and is ready for some sanding, then sealer.  staffI’m going to mount a stone in the top.  Moonstone, amethyst, garnet?  Which one?  You can’t see in this picture, but the top has a small fork in which to mount the stone.  I’m leaning towards moonstone, since I already have one.  I was also thinking of mounting a couple of marble in some little outcroppings at the sides.  More pictures to come.

Also needed is a chair to serve as my throne, and a crown.  I’m not ashamed to say I feel a little silly having a crown and a throne, but I won’t be the only one so, so be it.  I have a chair that I’m going to paint.  Here’s the designs I’m using as inspiration.

chair4 inpiration

 

 

 

 

chair3

chair1 chair2

 

 

 

 

 

The purple paisley is the top contender. Although I love the moon on the table.  The chair is very similar to the bottom right chair, but with two slats instead of three. No arms.  I have to decide today and get the paint.  It will definitely have purple and black and red.  It will also be a work in progress, since I can’t hope to finish it in two weeks.

The crown is another thing altogether.  I’m hoping to find something once I get to Stonehouse.  I’m sure some vendor will have something.

I’m knitting, of course.  I have a pair of kilt host that were commissioned awhile ago, and I need to finish them very soon. One is almost done, and should be finished today.  The other will be started tomorrow and hopefully done by next weekend.  They’re going to be beautiful!  They would make awesome boot socks, too, with a sweet lace cuff you could fold over the top of the boot.  The yarn is Nature Spun by Brown Sheep in Ash (720S) and the pattern is Highland Scottische Kilt Hose, by Nancy Bush.

kiltsocksNot a great photo, since I’m in my office and it’s raining outside.  They’re an easy knit, other than the decreases to shape the calf.  That was tricky since you’ve got two lines of lace that converge on a third.  Other than that, though, they’ve been a fun project.  The book is awesome.  Along with the patterns you get some knitting history on the socks, something Nancy Bush excels at.

folksocks

Get the book.  Even if you don’t knit, it’s a great read.

 

On a Personal Note

tumblr_msmojqYPa41rly3kto1_500This year I turned 56.  Sometimes it seems young and other times it seems old.  Mostly it feels in between.  My hair is gray by my own wishes.  I won’t color it again.  I wear almost no make up.  I rarely wear a bra.  I know, TMI.  I have a bunch of saggy parts and I’ve lost a lot of body strength, although that could be regained through exercise. I wear what I want, when I want.  Sometimes I sleep naked, and I no longer worry about my husband seeing all the saggy bits. After all, he has a few, too.

I express my opinion more and more, with far less concern about how other people feel about it.  I hope I don’t offend people, but if I do, so be it.  I feel clearer than I’ve ever felt before, and I have less tolerance for bullshit.  I feel like there’s not enough time for crap.  Don’t believe in climate change?  How do you feel about gravity?  Because it’s not a belief kind of thing.  Don’t like gays?  Then we should probably not be friends, because if you write off a whole group of people because you don’t agree with how they live their lives, then I’ll be applying that logic to you, personally.  Don’t like people who don’t believe in your God?  Also should probably part ways, since your religion is your business and mine – or rather my lack of belief – is mine.  I’m pretty sure you’ll get what’s coming to you when you die whether I believe or not.

I know I’m being deliberately confrontational here, and that’s fine.  Because that’s who I’m becoming.  For the first time in my life I am starting to feel strong.  I’m even beginning to see my tendency to cry when angry as a strength, and not the weakness I’ve been taught that it is.  I feel that my point of view is at least as important as anyone else’s, and possibly more important than some – those who take for truth everything they’re told by the biased media, and refuse to find out for themselves what it’s all about.  If that’s you, then maybe we can’t be friends anymore, either.

I’ve spent the past 50 years of my life keeping my own council, staying in the background, and putting everything and everyone before myself.  I have valuable opinions, informed opinions, and often controversial opinions, and now I’m going to be expressing them more.

I’ve stopped expecting people to know what I want and started telling them.  If I need something to be a certain way, its my responsibility to either make it so, or let people know that’s the way I want it.  The kitchen rug needs to be vacuumed?  I used to wait until someone else noticed and did it.  Now I do it myself, or ask someone to do it.  I actually may just get rid of the damn rug and eliminate the problem altogether.  The same with all the crap that needs to be dusted.

All of this is to say that I’m moving to a new stage in life.  I’m crossing a bridge, so to speak.  I’m moving from the me that is all things to all people, to the me that is just…me.  I’m working towards liking those parts of me I agree with, and letting go of the parts I’m not ok with.  I’m acknowledging that if I don’t do something, it’s ok, but the consequences are mine to own.  Slept all day and didn’t do laundry?  Ok, but that might mean the next day is spent doing whatever I blew off to sleep.  I’m’ owning my decisions.

Part of crossing this bridge is acknowledging that I am no longer young.  Not really old, either, but definitely not young.  The world looks at me and sees my gray hair, my well padded body, and my laugh lines and dismisses me as being less vital.  That part is not ok, but I can’t change our society.  I’m actually more vital than I’ve ever been, in my opinion.  I feel more alive than I have at any point in my life.  I could say I just FEEL more than ever before in my life.  In a good way.

In celebration of this change that has been taking place ever so slowly over the past 10 years, I am participating in a croning ceremony at the Pagan Spirit Gathering this year over the Summer Solstice.  A croning ceremony marks the final stage in a woman’s life – something that in ancient times was common, and among more “primitive” cultures still exists.  There are pagan, Jewish and many other croning rituals.  For me, at PSG, the week will be spent preparing with meditation, a sweat lodge, challenges, and other activities, culminating in the ritual at the end of the week.  I’m also selecting a new name, to embrace the “new” me – Macha.  She is part of a triple goddess, the Morrigan, representing war, fertility, earth, and protection.  I feel that this gives a true representation of my self, as I see me.

I only wish that certain people could be there with me – my sisters Laura and Vicki, and my closest and best friends: Cheryl, Susan, Tina, and Teryn (who I haven’t seen in 22 years but is often in my heart), and my daughters and granddaughters: Kaitee, Susanne, Brooklyn, Callie, Charlotte, and Harley, and my daughters-of-the-heart: Meghan, Ashley, and Jenna.  These are the women in my life to whom I hope I am a blessing, and who are a blessing to me.  I hope by embracing this new phase of my life, I can show them not only who I am becoming, but also what great changes await them in the fullness of their lives.