Friday, November 13, 2020

The stuff of horror

Tomorrow is Diwali and I want to get this down in the hope that I will be able to set it aside for a little bit. I've been carrying it around since yesterday when I read a thread on Mona Eltahawy's Twitter (since then, I've seen a few news outlets calling it the "Kashmore Tragedy"). The details are so horrific I can't say them out loud without choking and I don't really think I could pass it on to anyone else.  

But the story keeps going around in a loop in my head, knotting now and then around the old nodes: the precarity of being a single mother; how difficult it is to love and grow a girl child in this fucking patriarchal world; the horror of captivity and unending rape; lives where people move across the country for a job that pays about 250 dollars; knowing people are out there victim-blaming--saying things like 'bad choices' and 'where is the father?'; what care and support are available to the mother and child; why support wasn't available to them previously; the courage it took for the mother to go to the police instead of prolonging the cycle; if the police treated her with respect; the bravery and compassion of the ASI (assistant sub inspector?) using his wife and daughter as decoys to catch the rapists; were the ASI's wife and daughter given a choice in the matter; worried for the ASI and his family now that his name and likeness are all over media; knowing there's so much more abuse I'll never even know from within safe spaces in families, communities, and professional + emergency services. Why are so many men/humans such trash? 

On the Enby parenting group, one parent recently asked what our own lives might have looked like if we had the freedom of gender choice we support for our children. I know I've always wished for genderlessness, especially in professional settings. And in so many other settings, I'd have loved the possibility of having what Wanda Sykes calls a "detachable pussy."

Thursday, November 12, 2020

"Stare at each other like TV"


Probably one of my favorite lyrics right now, and not constantly in a romantic way. Sometimes it's the little ones I want to stare at... also trees.

In other news, Covid cases have been spiking on campus, so I'm moving everything online especially as students are being encouraged to go home. It's so disheartening after so many have been so vigilant and careful. And my classes were going to share research presentations next week too. Anyway.

Like most people, I feel I've normalized some stuff like going to the store, getting massages, etc. because it felt nicer not having to worry for a ninth month. But we ought to be worried

This story about a smallish wedding reception (55 guests) leading to "three separate Covid-19 outbreaks that infected 178 people, putting three into the hospital and killing seven more" where "none of those who got seriously ill or died even went to the wedding, and many lived 100 miles away" is a sad and awful unsnooze call for me. I don't know that I could live with being the cause of someone's decline+/-death in this way.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Believe in open-minded people



Dr. Ibram X. Kendi in our Presidential Speaker series (via Zoom) tonight and here's my question and his response.

How do you decide whether or not to engage with someone who may put you in a position where you have to argue for your humanity/human rights?

Well, remember there are people who are close-minded and people who are open-minded. 

So someone may believe in voter fraud, and you may bring them some sources and say: there is no significant voter fraud. 

And they may say: [I] don't trust your sources

So you ask them: Ok, what sources do you trust? 

And you go and find material from those sources and they say: I don't trust those sources anymore

Those people may have closed minds. And when a person's mind is closed, I try to not spend my time on them unless they are really close to me. 

I'm going to spend my time with the open-minded people. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

I keep dying

                     1                                                   2                                                     3

    But was it Camus who said      Wasn't it the butcher who said        Perhaps it was I who said 

    Autumn is a second spring       he'd operate on my identity            my tongue was wronged--

    when every leaf is a flower?     until I had slowly been bled           as while I prayed and read 

    Yet I know that I am dead         into kindness and serenity?          and inherited freedom songs,

    and dead-er by the hour           Not sure anymore--it maybe          my mind, raveling like a knot,   

    in my sad and furious head.     only leaves were actually shed.    forgot--sick tyranny lies ahead. 


Monday, November 09, 2020

And the leaves are gone

Just two weeks ago, we had this.

Another busy day, but busy like treading water and informed by sadness every now and then. 

I keep getting messages about students being on "medical leave," which is code for "tested positive for Covid," so I'm worried about them. In one class, it's all the students to whom I've had to mime pulling up their masks as reminders, so I worry too about what they did when I wasn't around and who else might have been impacted by all of this.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

The Start of Something

The 
Pumpkin Spice and Fundamental Rights cakes got made (and eaten); a neighborhood celebratory bonfire was attended; toasts were made; picnics were packed and consumed. I'd say the new regime is better already. Ha.                                                                                                                                             But seriously, we need to do better. Marianne Williamson (of all people!) sounds the call in Newsweek: "Now a battle will rage for the soul of the Democratic Party. And well it should. It's been needing to happen for a very long time."

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Ding-Dong; Be Gone!

Where were you? I had just finished interviewing prospective students for scholarships, when Big A showed up with a grin, and Nu and I knew right away. 

A bit anticlimactic ultimately--I blame CNN's rampant use of the thesaurus for two days of headlines (Biden on the cusp, on the verge, on the threshold). On the other hand, it solidified B's lead well beyond conjecture and allowed saner Trumpers to back away (?). Don't know; don't care RN TBH.

Here, Scout is tired of election news as the rest of us watch Vice-President-elect Harris and President-Elect Biden's speeches and marvel at decency and parseable sentences and earnestness on the podium. 

Big A teased me about my (presumably wide-eyed) gawking--but no shame here. Who believes in America's possibility more than an immigrant, after all? Lots and lots of work ahead to be sure, but now there's a chance where before there was only survival.