Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hardy, AR


Maybe we should all disconnect to this level. Go back to something like a house phone that can be carried anywhere in the world. Could this phone be the most lo-tech device being made right now?

Everyone needs a phone, but do we need to carry around miniature computers/cameras?

Friday, September 23, 2011


Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying."

My initial response to this snippet is to think of all the times that someone in my life has not followed their words with actions. This could be anyone, and I am not thinking of one specific person, even so the thought persists. Blame, blame, blame. Yet that lowers me, especially I assume, in Emerson's eyes.

My internal dialogue should be one of asking myself if my actions are yelling so loudly about something else that the things I posit to be true are being doubted or overshadowed completely. Are my words true?

I certainly try. I certainly fail. Sometimes, occasionally, I live up to something worthwhile. Hopefully one day, I'll listen more. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Reading Annie Dillard has left me feeling as though I need to look more closely, to see nature appear and reappear, to feel the present moment, to see if evil is lurking near; is that really evil?

How can I make the time to catch more than a simple glimpse of things and see them from a different perspective in my hurried day to day life?

Those are the thoughts of the day, week, lifetime...

Sunday, September 18, 2011


On Friday my daughter turned three years old. It was a beautiful day, not nearly so hot as the day she was born, and we woke her with singing and birthday cake. As I brought her down the stairs, she rubbed her sleepy eyes, and didn't get too excited. I asked, "Nora, is this a good way to wake up?" She answered, "I don't know if you should have woke me up for this..." My mom said that this won't be the first time I would like her to get more excited about something than she will. I did the classic "look-straight-ahead and do not smile at all" on any ride, be it at a county fair or outside of Wal-Mart when I was a tot.

Nora seems to have grown up more in the last few months than I've realized. I have to almost study the past to clearly see all the changes. She dresses herself these days and spits out toothpaste. Those are so minute, but from my perspective so important. She has complained about her friends at daycare not always playing with her, and I know that she has some of my qualities to overcome. I can never really decide if I'm a loner at heart or not. I know I desperately miss time to myself when I don't get it.

There are so many changes to log away, and I hope I find the time to do it all. Nora is always telling me that when she gets big and I get little, she'll let me buckle the top part of the car seat or buy me ice-cream cones. She says I can pick out my own clothes and that she'll sometimes take a bath with me. I love the logic. If she is getting bigger, then at some point I must have to get smaller.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


There has been a lot of talk about being drug tested to receive government assistance since Florida is now doing drug testing. Many people think that this should be done in every state.

I disagree. I feel like a random home inspection once a year would take care of the problem, as was suggested by a friend. I can see some of the pros to drug testing, but I think that the better solution would be to inspect homes, because then more truth comes to light. Most people can prep for a drug test and pass it regardless, which happens quite often in other circumstances.

What really bothers me about this whole thing is one argument for drug testing in particular. The "I have to get tested for work, so you should have to get tested to not work" line really gets me.

It is a privilege to work. Employers' have the right to expect certain things out of their employees or potential employees. The assistance that is given to citizens by their government should be there regardless.


Converation with the girl:

Nora: I can swim by myself. I can swim by myself. I have water wings.
Me: That's pretty cool, Nora. Water wings are pretty awesome.
Nora: Yeah.... But, I can't fly now.

Just making sure you all knew that water wings do not give you the ability to fly.

This post was due Friday, and now I am playing catch-up.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Counting the Beats - Robert Graves

You, love, and I,
(He whispers) you and I,
And if no more than only you and I
What care you or I ?

Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Cloudless day,
Night, and a cloudless day,
Yet the huge storm will burst upon their heads one day
From a bitter sky.

Where shall we be,
(She whispers) where shall we be,
When death strikes home, O where then shall we be
Who were you and I ?

Not there but here,
(He whispers) only here,
As we are, here, together, now and here,
Always you and I.

Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

The first time I read this poem, I immediately noticed two lovers one close to death. Then I looked at the poem as an image in and of itself, and I noticed that it looks like the lines of a heart monitor, the beating of a heart displayed through words. For me, nothing could be more lovely.

Then I thought about death, about the verb "die." The Oxford English Dictionary says that to die does not only mean physical death, but that it also means "to experience a sexual orgasm. (Most common as a poetical metaphor in the late 16th and 17th cent.)" If this does depict an orgasm, then the climax must happen during the volta (turn), when the narrator states, "Yet the huge storm will burst upon their heads one day" (l. 11). And the idea of such uncertainty occurring at that moment is quite intriguing, from a poetical standpoint.

There is a sort of vague hopelessness inherent in this very intimate scene. The narrator knows that the future will not be good, that like all relationships things must eventually end, for one reason or another. Even though the woman has questions, she is resolved to let them lie, wakeful but silent, as she and her lover lie in the last line of the poem.

Is this piece about the death of a relationship or the death of an individual in the near future? Have they just made love? Is someone being less than honest? Those are all things for the reader to interpret.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No more cartwheels in a white jumpsuit on the beach. Now ladies can safely hide in bamboo and watch as two men battle over her vag, and it is all because of Summer's Eve. Ladies, take your hoo-ha back to the old days with Summer's Eve! (Note: Women have now been reduced to one part of the body through this ad. That's a problem for me.)

Ways to Prevent Sexual Assault - In a handy poster format


Thursday, July 14, 2011


It’s those sticky fingers
reaching upwards,
glazed with supper’s residue,
holding a bite
of something
resembling a strawberry.
As I open my mouth to say,
“No, you eat it”
her tiny hand rushes
into my mouth,
leaving me chewing
that pink blob and saying,
“Mmm, perfect.”

-Lauren Adams

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The assault on Planned Parenthood continues. In Indiana they have voted to cut all funding from the program. This measure also makes it illegal for a woman to have an abortion after 20 weeks, unless she is going to die, basically.

How is it that states can vote 66-32 against an organization that does so much good?

Growing up in a very conservative and fundamentalist Christian household left me ridiculing women who chose to have abortions for a large part of my life. Then I woke up to realize that my body is sacred and mine alone. I should be able to choose what happens to my body. That type of thinking only leads to the obvious decision to stand for other women's right to their own fucking bodies.

Why are we fighting for this now? Does this seem completely obvious and ridiculous to anyone except me? I mean, how can you trust me with a child if you can't trust me with my own body?

Yet all of that seems to be beside the point. State governments are still attacking Planned Parenthood. I stand with Planned Parenthood. If you stand with them, then be sure to call or email your Representatives and Senators. The Arkansas Representatives can be reached here. The Arkansas Senate members can be reached here.

Just remember that even if you are against abortion, you probably aren't against preventative care, which makes up 97% of Planned Parenthood's services. These services go to women, men, and teens who cannot get this treatment anywhere else. Planned Parenthood offers so much more than abortion. Know the facts. If you are making an uninformed vote or are misinformed about an issue then you are hurting more than just yourself.

Monday, April 18, 2011


In Live for a Living Buddy Wakefield writes in the passage titled "Wrest" some thing that I think may be one root of the problem we seem to be facing today. He says, "For my first 23 years, I was scared into believing in a God who would eventually and literally burn forever anyone who did not strictly adhere to His laws as written by man in a book using language that has long since been subtly mutilated."

This text that so many people are basing their lives on is one fraught with fear and reward. I remember getting "saved" when I was five years old. I couldn't sleep late one Sunday night. I was frightened of dying in my sleep, and if I died, then God (this mighty and worshiped being) would send me, an innocent child, to the pits of hell to burn with other sinners forever. Of course, as I became older I rationalized that God wouldn't do such a thing to a small child, but this is the same book that says if a person strikes his mother or father he shall be put to death (Exodus 21:15).

Later as I contemplated the realities of the Bible, as I studied other thought and theories, when I finally took some looks into evolution on my own, I found that things were not making sense. I spent two years trying to rid myself of the fear of giving up my "belief" in God, a belief that hadn't truly been there in some time. Now I have overcome the guilt of natural and healthy human desires. I realize that I do not need a reward to be kind to others, and I find that I am far more compassionate towards others.

There is this control exercised in the Bible, given to men or parents or God, that has pervaded the thoughts of western civilization. Now many feel as though the are in control of other living things, that the Earth and her creatures are human's possessions to rule. When will the vast population realize that the Earth and her creatures can all survive easily without humans, yet we cannot survive without her and her creatures.

All of these thoughts lead me to want to work towards change. I find myself pondering what I can do between work, motherhood, and just trying to make it. I can work to better myself. I can recycle and compost. I can talk to others about the things that I know that they may not know. Maybe I can convince one person to buy less during the next year. Maybe I can explain to one woman that women's beauty products cost more than men's products of the same nature.

I have realized that feminist doesn't cut it. Humanist. That's a difficult title.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

more more more

I see the construction and the more, more, more, and I am weakened. Why can people not live simply? There are electric choppers and audio books and MEDIA. Why can't we write and think and read? It seems that people continue to let someone else do more for them. Clean my house. Cut my hair. Create my art. Tell me my opinion.

There is a tribe in some far flung country that escapes me now, and others are trying to get the rights to cut down the trees. This culture has survived with its pristine ways for centuries, but because they do not use running water, others think they can just take that away. What gods do they believe in? They can die from the common cold. There is little sickness. They have mud homes and gather food, garden...

There is a part of me that longs for such a life, to be free of all these walls.

I want to eat with my dirty hands, see women deliver child after child, learn to truly garden and be content with what surrounds me. These people do not leave a small radius of the earth, and they do not want to do so. A plane flew over with long-range lenses to give the world a glimpse of what might soon be destroyed. The people there looked up in astonishment, never having seen such a contraption so closely. Did they cough from the fumes?

I wonder if I could ever live in that manner? Now that I know of everything else, of the world, is it possible for me to give it up? Could I give up my bed? Maybe. Could I give up running water and hair cuts? Maybe. Could I give up my books and my longing to see the world, to be a citizen of the world? I doubt it.

There are so many people whom I wish to educate, but not them. I want them to stay where they are doing the same rituals that they've done for thousands of years. They are good. They are educated. They know so many things that no one can even imagine, not me and not you. They understand the language of the animals and the trees. That is brilliance.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

what's your story?

This post is based on a blog post written by the Organic Sister called the “It’s Not You, It’s Me (Except When It’s You)” .

When I read the above mentioned post I realized a few things about myself. The Organic Sister is good at making me do that.

I’ve been trying to be a more authentic person, to be true to myself, to allow myself to be honest with everyone. This has been a difficult journey, because many of my opinions and perceptions are vastly different from the ones that were taught to me as a child.

I’ve been frustrated lately because I felt the people who have been closest to me my whole life didn’t show me all that I could do as I became older. Now I am beginning to understand that they showed me what was best in their minds and hearts. I shouldn’t hold a grudge towards the people who have helped me become who I am now. They did the best they could, and now it is my turn to do my best, and for me, the best does not include unnecessary bitterness or anger.

I’ve written before that I felt like the choices presented to me were to marry (young), own a house, have babies, teach public school, and stay close to home. I’ve been planning my wedding since I was a small girl, and now all of that seems… confining. I no longer wish for a wedding of any kind, and I wonder if it would have ever been on my mind if it hadn’t been put there by my family and society at large.
Now I see families telling their children the same things, and I feel like these children are being limited. I want to step in and tell the kids that there are other choices. But if I do that, then I am giving their parents and them the burden of my story and my reality, which isn’t their own. It is my responsibility to do my best now that I am an adult and raise my own child to know about all the opportunities and discoveries that await her.

Similarly, I have gotten angry and frustrated when I hear women say the sexist things that keep women in the societal spots in which we seem stuck.
A few months ago, I became obviously annoyed when I girl spoke highly of her experiences of strip clubs. There are a couple of issues there, like the objectification of women and the way that sex workers in general are treated like shit. But instead of calmly thinking about what I would say and making an actual point, I became bitchy. I didn’t do any good, I simply showed others a side of myself that I don’t like. I was later told how I’d acted, and that too made me angry, but now I see that I was acting immaturely and from an inorganic place.

Now I need to learn to own my reactions and my stories and my past so that when I interact with others, they see the best parts of me, so that I am giving myself and those I love the best parts of me. I need to realize that my stuff isn’t the reality for everyone else and allow them to have their reality. I can share my stories and thoughts with others in ways that will make a difference, and if I am doing it from an authentic and loving place, then I am doing my best. It isn’t my job to make others speak and act from the same sort of place as me, but it is my job to come from that place myself.

Now come the challenges.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Alta published this untitled poem through Shameless Hussy Press. It satirizes middle-class feminists who could not begin to grasp the realities of her life as a single-mother caring for her two children.


that chick is so REVOLUTIONARY
she dresses poor on purpose.
She eschews the boozhwa comforts like
washing machines, males lovers, &
flush toilets. I mean she is
EVERY KIND of revolutionary!
She’d bum off her friends before she’d work
in a counter-revolutionary government job!
(How come she can afford to be so revolutionary?)
I mean, this chick is SO REVOLUTIONARY,
she laughs at housewives, agrees that
we’re an inferior breed.
She would never have had a kid if she could have
an abortion instead? Get it? This chick is
super chick ta daa!
Even her period glows in the dark.

Ruth Rosen writes in The World Split Open about how feminists appear humorless. She points out that, “Fighting for institutional and cultural change required determination; excavating sexual crimes called for convincing debate; ignoring gratuitous insults required the patience of a saint. Rape and domestic violence weren’t funny, nor was sexual harassment. Male jokes about feminist goals only deepened activists’ anger.”

Today we are sadly far from solving the problems of rape and domestic abuse. There is still anger to be felt at every turn. It would seem that the hurtles of defining rape would have long been behind us, but instead we are now not only hearing “new” discussions about what is considered to be rape, but also looking at a provision to be passed that would give doctors the right to turn away a pregnant woman needing an emergency abortion to save her life, and the doctor has the ability to allow a woman to die because he does not want to give her an abortion.

Still even in the midst of such mind-boggling things, humor can be found. Feminists are seen with a sense of humor more than ever in the present, but tell a man that you’re reading a history of the women’s movement or anything that may slightly ring of the f-word, and you’ll be met with a sad smile and shake of the head. Even reading a book can be revolutionary!

It is moments like this that still occur in everyday life that bring my anger to a boil. This has happened more than once, and I work on a college campus. I don’t forget that I’m in Arkansas (ever!), but I do realize that I am on a campus.

These is no class devoted to Women’s Studies or Women’s History (that I have been able to find) offered for me, an MA student in the English department. How can it be 2011 and this still exist? There isn’t even a course to read literature written by women alone, which can cover so many backgrounds and time-periods.

These are the things that make me continue to research and study, on my own. These are the things that make me realize that feminists are still needed, actively working today. These are the things, the every day occurrences that keep pushing me forward. This is my vow and my please.

Do more. Read more. Spread the word more. Use social networking to spread the cause. Find the articles that mean the most to you and comment intelligently on them. Laugh at feminist humor and share it with your friends. Encourage women artists of any and every discipline. Love yourself and be yourself.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

the girl

She's been sick. Pneumonia (so they say).

For three days my daughter has clung to me. It's such a moving experience. To feel the heat radiate from her small body, the rapidity of her heart, the inability of her lungs to keep normal time. "I not feel bad, I not go back to doctor." Precocious little thing.

She's well now. It feels grand to be the ultimate comfort object. It feels suffocating to think of my child being so ill.

She's a ballerina, trouble-making, realist once again. And she's only two.