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Reiter's Block

Reiter's Block
Weblog of Jendi Reiter, poet, editor, Christian convert, ex-lawyer, ex-New Yorker, and professional curmudgeon.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Articles

Nancy White: "Your Father, Your Son"
2012-05-23 20:05:00
Nancy White directs the prestigious Word Works Washington Prize poetry book series, a contest that she won for her first book, Sun, Moon, Salt, in the early 1990s. She also taught English at my high school, St. Ann's School, so I have a special affection for her. However, even if we were strangers, I would still have fallen in love with her newest collection, Detour (Tamarack Editions, 2010). Detour explores the breaking apart and remaking of a woman's identity in the middle of her life, through a son's birth and a painful divorce. Subject matter that in a lesser poet's hands would be merely confessional here takes on a haiku-like precision and open-endedness, intimate yet unbounded by the confines of one person's experience. This feat is accomplished through White's use of the second-person voice and the way she narrates major events obliquely, through peripheral details described with quiet beauty. As a feminist and now the mother of a baby boy, I was particularly moved ...
More About: Parenting
David Kato Prize for Poems About GLBT Rights: Spring 2012 Winners
2012-05-17 15:38:00
This spring, I once again sponsored a themed contest as part of the Alabama State Poetry Society's biannual awards. The David Kato Prize gives awards of $50, $30, and $20 for poems about GLBT human rights. (See my prior post about the Fall 2011 winners.) David Kato was a Ugandan gay activist who was murdered last year because of his human rights work. The ASPS and the Spring 2012 winners have kindly permitted me to publish their poems below. (We haven't received confirmation from the 3rd Prize winner but we will add that poem later if possible.) First Prize Coming Out by Emily Grimes-Henderson She came out of her closet Left her husband Lost her kids And in the light of day Recovered her true self Says she knew when she was six She was different Nearly lost herself trying to fit The world?s prescription Said it was like looking through the Wrong end of a pair of binoculars You just can?t see a damn thing Or find your way. Now she lives with fear, Frightened of ...
More About: Rights
Chip Off the Old Block!
2012-04-16 17:12:00
Welcome, Shane Steven Cohen! Born April 7, 2012, adopted April 9.Blogging will be light for the next 18 years...
More About: Parenting
Unspared Sons
2012-04-07 17:32:00
Yesterday, Good Friday, I attended the Stations of the Cross liturgy at our church. As we walked through the episodes of Jesus's condemnation, crucifixion, and death, one phrase from the first station loomed largest in my thoughts: "He did not spare his own son, but delivered him over for us all" (Romans 8:32).If you believe, as I now do, that a primary aspect of the Good News is the decoupling of power and domination, this verse could be read as a rejection of nepotism -- a statement of God's total solidarity with all people, from the lowest to the highest. When human beings acquire wealth and power, we tend to give preferential treatment to "our sons", the ones we consider our kind of people, hoarding more resources for them than they need, at outsiders' expense. Jesus's parables portray God as king, land-owner, judge -- all positions that humans have used to dispense unfair advantages -- in order to underscore that God is not that kind of authority figure, and neither should ...
More About: Bible , Episcopal , Sons
Adoptive Families Are Queer Families
2012-04-04 17:38:00
Truth Wins Out, a watchdog organization battling homophobia and "ex-gay" misinformation, reports today that seniors at Minnesota Catholic high schools are being forced to attend lectures about the superiority of "traditional marriage", in which the presenters bash not only same-sex couples but single parents and adoptive families. At DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, for instance, the presenters (a priest and a married couple sent by the diocese) called adopted children "sociologically unstable" and implied that their families were not normal. Fortunately several brave students spoke up against this bigotry.There's much to discuss here, and I encourage you to read the Truth Wins Out post (and donate some money to these guys). What I want to highlight is the natural alliance between gay/lesbian and adoptive families, a connection whose full potential has not yet been realized. Yes, straight married couples who adopt children -- your family is queer, too. Stay with me for a momen...
Support Access to Justice for Low-Income Massachusetts Residents
2012-03-25 21:34:00
Community Legal Aid is the state-funded civil legal aid program serving low-income and elderly residents of Central and Western Massachusetts (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties). Massachusetts Justice Project is its federally-funded counterpart. The two groups have teamed up to raise money through their Access to Justice Campaign 2012. I just donated and hope you will too. CLA and MJP have just one attorney available for every 7,000 needy clients in Western Massachusetts. Their services help our neighbors save their homes from foreclosure, secure protection from domestic violence, prevent elder abuse and fraud, and much more. Here's one story from their brochure: After leaving an extremely abusive relationship, Maria* continued to be harassed and threatened by her abuser at her subsidized apartment. She was afraid to go outside, and could not do the work program required for her receipt of welfare benefits. As a result, her benefits were cut off, a...
More About: Support , Income
Gemini Magazine Is My Happy Place
2012-03-24 21:05:00
My poem "Depression Is My Happy Place " was published today in Gemini Magazine , one of my favorite online journals, as an Honorable Mention winner in their 2012 poetry contest. You may enjoy it (or you may not) below. Also don't miss the 2nd Prize poem by my friend Gerardo Mena, "A Nursing Home Boxer to a High School Volunteer". Tony Mena is not only a talented poet; he's a decorated Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran and a musician. Check out his website. Depression Is My Happy Place that lake waits anytime for me to slip under its threaded green hush i don't need summer or parking to arrive where my hurtling family is already one less depression is easy to get to even on holidays the standards are lower than church or kindergarten you can run with scissors there but you probably won't bother it's my tight light box where i turn back the sun to a pale hum i don't need fattening pills or fermented dizzy bottles i can spin it on my own straw into lead because a lead house ne...
More About: Site News , Poems
Myth-Busting the Family
2012-03-23 23:18:00
The humor site Cracked.com might seem like an unlikely source of wisdom, but this article by John Cheese, "4 Old Sayings About Family That Are (Sometimes) B.S.", offers better advice about emotional boundaries and manipulation than many therapists and clergy provide. If I had a penny for every time a religious leader has enabled an abuser with the Fifth Commandment...I could do some serious damage with my piggy bank. From the article: Myth #4: "You Have to Help Him, He's Your Father!" (or Mother, etc.) Why We Say It: You owe your parents everything. Without them, your entire existence would have been abbreviated to a latex reservoir tip swatting that shit out of the air like an NBA center. They put food on the table and a roof over your head, and by God, the least you can do is be there for them in return. As adults, we expect the same from our own kids -- a return on our investment. And that's a perfectly logical, reasonable request, isn't it? "I helped you, now you help m...
Poem by Freddy Niagara Fonseca: "Books"
2012-03-21 18:40:00
Freddy Niagara Fonseca is the editor of the anthology This Enduring Gift: A Flowering of Fairfield Poetry, featuring work by 76 talented poets who all happen to live in Fairfield, Iowa. He's given me permission to share this lovely poem of his from the anthology. It puts into words why I feel such delight and magical connection when I find a well-thumbed book in a thrift store bin. E-books have many advantages, but they can't do that. BOOKS Sometimes, when I think of the vast wisdom ever contained in books? countless scriptures of all creeds; scrolls in indecipherable languages; tomes of science; the great Library of Alexandria destroyed by fire centuries ago, priceless knowledge gone; thousands of books burned by the Third Reich; books still held secret at the Vatican; hieroglyphs in Egypt and whatever Atlantis must have contributed to the written word; books simply lost and never retrieved; others molded, fallen apart, discarded, and all the many books I?ll never be ...
More About: Books , Poem , Freddy
Grace Beyond Accounting
2012-03-21 14:13:00
The St. Sebastian Review is a biannual online journal of creative writing by GLBT Christians and allies. In the introduction to the third issue, released today, editor Carolyn E.M. Gibney writes about what she has learned about grace because of the love she shares with her partner: I was raised Presbyterian with a Calvinist bent, which meant that I was taught as a child that I ? everyone ? was totally depraved. That any possible goodness that seemed to come from us was in fact the grace of God pouring through us. This meant that grace was the source of every good thing, the right focus of our deepest thanks. As harsh as it sounds, and sometimes was, there are worse things to believe in than the ubiquity of grace. Even so, in this context, the word ?grace? seemed to me to take on a counter-intuitive meaning: rather than obliterating the calculus of good and evil, as the word seems to imply, it offered instead that there was a debt too great for any one human to pay ? namely, our depr...
More About: Grace , Accounting
Prisons Withhold Medical Care to Coerce Inmates Into Snitching
2012-03-02 23:15:00
The FACTS Education Fund, also known as Families to Amend California's Three Strikes, just sent me this newsletter about coercive withholding of medical care from prisoners in Segregated Housing Units (SHU). The SHU is a form of restricted or solitary confinement imposed on prisoners who are accused of gang connections, which often happens based on secret evidence or arbitrary prison politics. Once there, prisoners are put under enormous pressure to "debrief", or inform on other suspected gang members to prison officials. This report from American RadioWorks, "Locked Down: Gangs in the Supermax", gives more background on this process. In the FACTS newsletter, Alfred Sandoval, a prisoner in California's Pelican Bay SHU, describes why he joined last year's hunger strike to improve prison conditions. Sandoval reports that guards withheld family visits and essential medical care from terminally ill prisoners to pressure them to debrief. An excerpt: A few years ago, a close friend ...
More About: Medical , Care
Poetry by A.C. Clarke: "Woman Made of Glass"
2012-02-29 20:45:00
A.C. Clarke's "Woman Made of Glass " won the 2011 Grey Hen Poetry Competition for women over 60. This contest offers a top prize of 100 pounds and is now accepting submissions through April 30. I came across this exquisite poem while updating our Winning Writers contest database listings. The author and contest sponsor have kindly given me permission to reprint it here, since it's no longer available on their website. Woman Made of Glass She can't remember a time before she knew to be careful. No-one told her. She knew. Her mother used to squeeze her hand so tight she felt it crack. She's never risked touch since, spent childhood dodging the heavy arms of aunts, washing the smears of fishmouth kisses from her skin. She saw a glass frog once, its guts clustered in its belly like pale grapes, its small heart pittering: took to covering herself - high collars, sleeves to wrists, thick tights. Like an old maid said her mother. No boyfriends yet? the aunts would dig. ...
My Story "An Incomplete List of My Wishes" Wins Bayou Magazine's Fiction Pr
2012-02-29 20:03:00
My short story "An Incomplete List of My Wishes" has just won the James Knudsen Editor's Prize in Fiction from Bayou Magazine, the literary journal of the University of New Orleans. Contest judge Joseph Boyden said, "This gorgeously written story snuck up and walloped me. It's beautifully conceived and executed. A gem, with a last line that made me shiver."Thank you, Mr. Boyden and Bayou! The story will appear in the spring 2012 issue. Order a copy here. Meanwhile, enjoy the opening paragraphs: An Incomplete List of My Wishes The best funeral I ever went to was Wallace P. Chandler's. I didn't know him hardly at all, I just went because everyone else was going, and because his death was unexpected it seemed important. You know how it is, on a warm and buzzing May afternoon, with those bits of tree fluff lazing through the air, and the campus seeming half-empty but tense with last-minute cramming, all those boys and girls discovering where's that library their parents paid ...
More About: Site News , Story , My Story
Massachusetts Three-Strikes Sentencing Bill Draws Criticism
2012-02-27 02:30:00
Hat tip once again to Lois Ahrens at The Real Cost of Prisons, who sent me more articles and a factsheet from Families Against Mandatory Minimums about three-strikes sentencing. Here's FAMM's summary of how the legislation currently pending in the Massachusetts statehouse would change our existing three-strikes law: Current law: Requires maximum sentence for any felony conviction if defendant was previously sentenced twice to three or more years in prison. Parole is possible after serving half of maximum sentence. Bills passed in November: The House and Senate both passed habitual offender bills. Both bills rewrite the existing habitual-offender law and add a new section to the law. In other words, both bills provide two different ways to prosecute someone as an habitual offender. How bills would change ?3-strikes? law House bill ?Option 1 ? changes to existing law: ? Removes requirement that prior felony convictions must result in prison sentence of at least three years. As...
More About: Criticism
Donal Mahoney: "Ash Wednesday"
2012-02-24 00:01:00
A day late (due to travel) but hopefully not a dollar short, I wish my readers a blessed Lent. This season, I am giving up worrying about my friends' problems. Worrying, of course, is different from praying. I hope to pray more, relying on Jesus's care for all who are dear to me, and remind myself that it's not all on my shoulders. Meanwhile, faithful Reiter's Block reader Donal Mahoney seems to be thinking along the same lines, with this wistful poem about the difficulty of rescuing a friend from the past. Thanks for sharing. Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday I saw Quinn again, first time in years, sailing the streets, weaving through people, collar up, head cocked, arms like telephone poles sunk in the pockets of his overcoat, the brilliant pennants of his long red hair waving over the stadium where years ago he took my handoff, bucked off guard, found the free field, and heaved like a bison into the end zone. Tonight, when Quinn wove by me muttering, I should have handed ...
More About: Episcopal
Gay News Roundup: Marriage Advances, Teens Struggle
2012-02-18 22:26:00
First, the good news: Marriage equality is advancing. Gov. Christine Gregoire signed legislation this past Monday that will make Washington State the seventh in the nation to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. On the other side of the continent, the New Jersey legislature passed a gay marriage bill, only to have it vetoed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Proponents of equality have until December 2013 to try to gather enough votes for an override. Meanwhile, the Maryland House of Delegates narrowly passed a marriage equality bill yesterday, which the Senate and the Governor are expected to approve. So, it gets better, right? Well, yes and no. GLBT teens in non-affirming communities are still extremely vulnerable. They're bearing the brunt of the right-wing backlash against the integration of gay and lesbian adults into mainstream institutions. This month Rolling Stone published a must-read feature article about the teen suicide epidemic in Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin ...
More About: News , Teens , Roundup , Gay News
Boston Globe Critiques Three-Strikes Sentencing Plan
2012-02-17 22:56:00
Lois Ahrens at The Real Cost of Prisons, a Massachusetts prisoner advocacy site, forwarded me this editorial from Northeaster University criminologist James Alan Fox about potential overbreadth in the three-strikes sentencing bill currently under consideration in the Statehouse. An excerpt follows. ...By current statute, third-time felons charged and convicted as habitual offenders must serve one-half of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole consideration. Crafted in response to two particularly high profile murder cases involving repeat offenders, both the Senate and the House bills call for increasing the threshold from one-half to two-thirds of the maximum sentence imposed. But the more significant change comes with the second portion (Subsection b) of these bills, which makes those habitual offenders who had committed one of a long list of nearly 60 crimes ineligible for parole consideration (as well as ?good time? reduction). These prisoners would need to serve ...
More About: Boston , Globe
A Three-Strikes Prisoner Speaks Out
2012-02-16 21:47:00
Last month I wrote about how Massachusetts is considering a "three-strikes" sentencing bill. I asked my prison pen pal "Conway", whose poetry I've often shared on this blog, to share his thoughts about the unjust impact of such legislation. A nonviolent offender, Conway is serving 25-to-life in a supermax facility in California for receiving stolen goods. The "EDGE" program that he mentions was a youth mentoring program that he taught in before he was transferred to his current facility. Conway is a talented writer and artist who used his skills to help at-risk youth find safer outlets for their negative emotions.Here is an excerpt from the letter he sent me last week:****"...So the Mass. State House is contemplating a three-strikes bill? Didn't or haven't they seen that it broke New York's budget and California, which supposedly had one of the largest economies, has now begun sending prisoners to five other states because of overcrowding.California has been forced by the Suprem...
Call for Anthology Submissions: Survivors in Solidarity with Prison Aboliti
2012-02-16 17:02:00
This call for anthology submissions is reprinted from the Survivors in Solidarity website. Hat tip to Lois Ahrens at The Real Cost of Prison s, a Massachusetts-based prisoners' rights weblog, for alerting me to this project. Working Title: Challenging Convictions: Survivors of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Writing on Solidarity with Prison Abolition. Completed submissions due: April 15, 2012. Like much prison abolition work, the call for this anthology comes from frustration and hope: frustration with organizers against sexual assault and domestic violence who treat the police as a universally available and as a good solution; frustration with prison abolitionists who only use ?domestic violence? and ?rape? as provocative examples; and, frustration with academic discussions that use only distanced third-person case studies and statistics to talk about sexual violence and the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). But, this project also shares the hope and worth of working toward bu...
More About: Site News , Call
Sunday Non-Random Song: Whitney Houston, "The Greatest Love of All"
2012-02-12 18:22:00
I was grieved to learn today that pop diva Whitney Houston died this weekend, at the young age of 48. Sadly, like many brilliant performers, she struggled with addictions and unhealthy relationships. Her hit song "The Greatest Love of All" was a favorite anthem of mine in the 1980s. The theology of this song may offend some Christians, as too redolent of the "cult of self-esteem", but personally I believe that you can't hate yourself and love God at the same time. He made you, didn't He? Was He wrong? Accepting yourself as lovable is a necessary part of believing that God loves you, not merely as an idea but as a lived psychological reality. Also, a certain amount of self-love protects you against making an idol of religious teachers, who can be a great help in proper perspective, but shouldn't substitute for your own knowledge of God inside. Sometimes the Spirit will "lead you to a lonely place" where you must "find your strength in love". Sending God's love to you, Whitney, ...
More About: Music , Song , Random
9th Circuit Rules Prop 8 Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
2012-02-07 22:47:00
The 9th Circuit , the federal appeals court based in California, today upheld the trial court's ruling that California's Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. This referendum, narrowly passed in 2008, stripped same-sex couples of the right to marry. Here's a quick summary from the San Francisco Chronicle's website: A federal appeals court declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional today, saying a state can't revoke gay rights solely because a majority of its voters disapprove of homosexuality. In a 2-1 ruling, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Proposition 8's limitations on access to marriage took rights away from a vulnerable minority without benefiting parents, children or the marital institution. "Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite...
More About: Marriage , Gay Marriage , Rules
Tupelo Press Poets Talk About Their Faith
2012-02-06 22:29:00
The Poetry Foundation website has posted a substantial excerpt from a forthcoming essay collection from Tupelo Press , A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith . This volume, edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler, gathers reflections from 19 accomplished poets about spirituality and the craft of writing. Here are a few choice passages to encourage you to read further. The book can be pre-ordered now and will be released in March. Jericho Brown: "Hope is the opposite of desperation?it?s not as comfortable as certainty, and it?s much more certain than longing. It is always accompanied by the imagination, the will to see what our physical environment seems to deem impossible. Only the creative mind can make use of hope. Only a creative people can wield it. "Today I believe that anything one visualizes consistently becomes reality. Isn?t that what prayer is? Maybe that means my beliefs have not changed at all: lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring. I am a belie...
I Don't Know What I'm Talking About
2012-01-27 17:02:00
"Truth is I thought it mattered. I thought that music mattered. But does it? Bollocks! Not compared to how people matter." (Chumbawamba, "Tubthumping")I used to think theology mattered. Because, for a long time, I understood ideas better than people...Because I hated how it felt when certain authority figures didn't trust my word, and played armchair psychoanalyst to accuse me of motives I didn't possess...Because I saw the suffering in the lives of friends who acted on impulse, and who never sought the guidance of tradition about what was moral and good for human flourishing...Because I experienced emotional chaos and "gaslighting" in my family and unchecked bullying in my peer group......I overestimated the importance of explicit, conscious beliefs, as compared to subconscious beliefs and psychological patterns, as determinants of people's behavior....I imagined there could be a system of thought that would make people humble and trustworthy, and insulate their community agains...
More About: Talking
Two Poems by Louie Crew
2012-01-18 20:59:00
The poet Louie Crew (a/k/a "Quean Lutibelle") is an Emeritus professor of English at Rutgers University, and a widely published advocate for GLBT Christians in the Episcopal Church. He has kindly permitted me to reprint the two poems below, which were recently featured in issue #99 of Caught in the Net, a poetry newsletter from the UK-based writers' resource site The Poetry Kit. Thanks also to The Poetry Kit's Jim Bennett for permission. Check out Louie's list of recommended poetry publishers here. Don't Hang Up Don't hang up, I'm not a heckler. I NEED your help but I can't tell you my name. I'm in a phone booth while mom buys groceries, so I won't take long. I heard your talk show and I'm scared. Last summer, when I was just thirteen, I balled with a guy I met at the bus station. Now I've got these purple spots all down my stomach. I drink five shakes a day and I have lost fifteen pounds in just three months! I'm afraid to go to our doctor cause he's my dad. H...
More About: Poems
Cindy Hochman: "Self-Portrait in a Concave Knife"
2011-12-27 20:37:00
When the Big C meets the Big D, all you can do is laugh. At least, that's where poet Cindy Hochman's survival instinct takes her. Packed with more puns than a Snickers bar has peanuts, her chapbook The Carcinogenic Bride (Thin Air Media Press, 2011) brings energetic wit to bear on those modern monsters, breast cancer and divorce. She kindly shares a sample poem below. To order a copy ($5.00), email Cindy at poet2680@aol.com. Hat tip to Gently Read Literature for bringing this book to my attention. Self-Portrait in a Concave Knife Here comes the carcinogenic bride! Here comes the survivor-in-chief! Wanna see my balance sheet? This will be my Checkers Speech! There goes my stale mate We once lived in an altared state He cleaned my slate, I cleaned his plate Here is love in fission body in remission, missionary position Here is my inner elf,      my quirky self, my non-existent wealth,      in sickness and in he...
More About: Self Portrait
Reiter's Block Year in Review, Part 2: Best Fiction
2011-12-27 02:13:00
For me, there are two things that take a good story to the next level of greatness: fully human characterization, and a connection to wider moral-philosophical themes. And not just any themes. I want a narrative that is aware of tragedy without being defeated by it. A narrative that values equality and diversity, and hints at how we can move in that direction, without glossing over the contrary impulses in every human heart. Throw in an appreciation of art's power to undermine dehumanizing ideologies, connect it to God somehow, and you've got me hooked. The books below were not only my favorite novels of the year, but will also be favorites for years to come. Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (first published in 1980; expanded edition from Indiana University Press, 1998) Imagine the Bhagavad-Gita as a Punch-and-Judy show. What do the legend of St. Eustace and particle physics have in common? In this unique novel, part mystical treatise and part fantasy-horror fiction, two millennia h...
More About: Fiction , Review , Part
A Christmas Thought
2011-12-25 17:28:00
Coming home from Midnight Mass last night, as I gazed up at the stars that shone brightly in the crisp cold atmosphere, I had the thought that there were two ways to interpret this sight. Intellectually, I knew that I was seeing immense orbs of fire burning light-years away, dwarfing our little planet, not to mention the quiet street where I stood. Emotionally, though, I felt that the canopy of stars was a cozy and hopeful sign for us down below, a celestial response to our joy. What a miracle, I thought, that the earth's atmosphere is made in such a way that we can see these faraway lights. How kind of them to stoop to communicate with us!So too with the Christ child. God is infinitely powerful and huge, the creator of those stars and galaxies whose scope we cannot imagine. Yet God also comes down to us, offering us a way in, a point of connection that is on the scale of the human heart and mind. Come, Lord Jesus.
More About: Christmas , Bible , Thought
Audre Lorde on the Spiritual Power of Eros
2011-12-19 22:34:00
Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was a black feminist lesbian poet and activist whose work continues to inspire creative writers and political movements today. This essay of hers, "The Uses of the Erotic", was reprinted on the alternative spirituality site Metahistory.org.It resonated with me because of my experience of eros in my own writing, and how it led me to greater confidence in a queer-affirming theology. I believe that any ideology that alienates a person from her erotic self must eventually cut her off from personal knowledge of the divine. (I'm not talking about a true vocation to celibacy, but rather the shame-based repression of one's erotic nature, whether acted upon or not. I would imagine that a healthy celibate person acknowledges and mindfully sublimates desire, without aversion or self-delusion.)For me, the erotic is where I most completely will myself, commit myself despite risks, and wake up to the consciousness of myself, at the same point where I am also most complet...
More About: Power , Spiritual , Eros
Sunday Random Songs: Scrooge Edition
2011-12-18 21:44:00
All the forced good cheer and baby Jesus kitsch on the airwaves this time of year grates on my barren little heart. If you agree, you may enjoy these seasonal travesties that you're not likely to hear in Macy's anytime soon. John Denver, "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas) This is not supposed to be funny. But I am a sinner.   South Park, "Christmas Time in Hell" String up the lights and light up the tree, we're damned for all eternity! Kinsey Sicks, "God Bless Ye Femmy Lesbians" From their hit album, "Oy Vey in a Manger Suggest your own favorites in the comments box!
More About: Music , Songs , Random , Sunday
Mended Souls, Better Than New
2011-12-18 01:40:00
A friend who is a sexual abuse survivor loaned me Renee Fredrickson's Recovered Memories to help me be a better ally and represent these issues more accurately in my creative writing. I'd like to share these words from the book's final chapter, as an inspiration to anyone recovering from trauma. On display in the Freer Museum in Washington, D.C., are ancient Zen ceremonial bowls renowned for their delicate beauty and fine craftsmanship. Over generations of use these lovely porcelain bowls became cracked and chipped, and some had whole pieces missing. Rather than being discarded or devalued because of the damage, the porcelain was repaired with gold. The gold adds strength, beauty, and value to the bowls, and the sacred bowls are marvelously enhanced by the repair process. So it is with survivors. You were damaged as you grew up, and the more abusively you were handled, the greater the damage. When you undertake to repair this damage, you replace bitterness and sadness with unde...
More About: Souls
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