Monday, October 08, 2018

I'm Holding Up This Space for Me

In light of the Kavanaugh hearings, there's been a lot of talk of whether or not to unfriend people on Facebook, whether it's productive to "argue about politics" online, etc. They're the same discussions we rehash over and over, though they never really lose relevance.

My Facebook page, blog, twitter is for me, first and foremost. I don't hold that space up for others unless I decide to do exactly that. I hold up space for discussion every day: in my classroom, in my online classes, and through my work which is in service to others. My anger, my inspiration, my personal struggles, I choose who is privy to those. I choose carefully.

I use my Facebook privacy settings like they're integral to my well-being...because they are. I have Facebook split into some specific groups:

Restricted - This usually includes folks I grew up with or those who live in my hometown whose views are wildly polarized to mine. I live in, arguably, the most conservative district in an already-conservative Texas. I've actually had relatives ask me, "Do you get death threats?" for some of the things I post, and the answer is no. No, because I choose who sees my political postings. I know my audience and I control my message.

Friends - I post to my Friends list usually when it's a well-worded, fairly kind, or personal post of interest to those around me. Family pictures, funny memes of a crowd-pleasing variety, animals videos.

Public - The very least of the categories...artwork, more crowd-pleasing or funny posts, profile details like photos or headers. The basics. Stuff I don't mind my students seeing if they're creeping.

I've had lots of folks I care deeply about, suggest that I stand up as an example to those who disagree with me. Be a beacon of light and hope. Be kind. Put out positivity. Sadly, I'm human, and sometimes I don't have it in me. Sometimes I just want to say "motherfucker" and rant.  See my recent Facebook memes. I'll say it again.  I hold up space for myself. I hold up space for myself online. I love sharing with friends, I love feedback, but at the end of the day, I'm doing my rational discussing of the issues with people in person. That's my job every. single. day. I hope something I've written along the way touched or inspired you, but mostly I'm interested in inspiring myself to keep going, to keep fighting, to keep believing in and taking action, and learning more about my own white feminism, ableism, etc.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

today's rage

Barbara Kruger, "Untitled (Your body is a battleground)," 1989.

Before 45 was elected, I wrote this post about losing my "voice" after sexual assault. Well, hey, almost two years later, and after that garbage fire election I stopped writing and reading. Two of the things that make me feel most "me." Surprised? Not really. Disappointed? Yes.

But here I am. It's Blasey-Ford testimony day, and I tuned in for about 5 minutes. Long enough for Ford to tell them she's 100% sure it was Kavenaugh (not a thing that gets confused, in my experience), and then they went to recess, and the news commentators on a network I normally like discussed her girlish voice.

So now I'm sitting here in tears, listening to angry music, and not watching any live streams. I called and berated my Senators, and I'll write some #postcardstovoters here in a bit, and I'll continue to feel rage. Delicious, righteous rage. RAGE.

All we have right now is our rage and our voices. That's it. Republicans have made up their minds, so grab a friend, talk to someone undecided or moderate, and when you have a flat tire on election day, or an awful sinus infection, or it's just a shitty day, go vote anyway if you're physically and emotionally able.

Vote them out.

To hell with them all.

Monday, August 27, 2018

I Read It Twice Already: Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

Blogger was drunk in my previous draft. Let's try this again.

I sat with this book--Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans--for almost a month. I'd listen on audio for a while, rewind, start over, listen some more. After a while I became so desperate to annotate that I ordered a physical copy. After I'd finish a chunk of the audio, I'd re-read the physical text and write notes, observations, and underline...a lot. 

"Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay. Undaunted by the Bible's most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture's mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God's loving and redemptive work in the world."

In short, this book should probably be titled "Reading the Bible Like a Reader" but that's not nearly as catchy. Not convinced that Jonah was really swallowed by a whale? Unsure about miracles? Many-headed beasts with 10 crowns? 

RHE (my pet name for her) jumps into interpretations that integrate culture, history, and the instances when whether or not the stories within the Bible really happened just don't matter. This book looks the Bible's most confusing bits straight in the face and insists we can uphold a Christianity about inviting people to the table rather than asking them to leave. 

I admit, I'm already reading it again (on audio and in print). 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

In the Books, a July 2018 Wrap-Up

As I mentioned in my previous post, my reading went a bit bananas in July with the arrival of my Kindle. Here's a quick wrap-up and mini review of the books "In the Books" for this month.

Dog Man #2 A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey - Greyson loves this series to bits. I wasn't overly impressed with the first book, but this one definitely grew on me. There are plenty of fun classical literary references here for the adults.

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans - This when reading really got its claws back into me. Rachel Held Evans is my favorite progressive Christian writer and memoirist. Her writing is equal parts thoughtful, beautiful, and smart. I listened to Inspired on audio--the best way to read her work--and I ordered a paperback copy while I was still listening in order to read and annotate. So yeah, I read it twice at once. lol

Bird Box by Josh Malerman - The result of Twitter recommendations! I asked my fellow readers for recommendations to scare the poo out of me, and this one fit the bill. It's about a mother and her children, set adrift in a world where they must remain blindfolded to avoid being driven to homicide by...something. While this book is scary as all get-out, it's also complicated and dreamy in a way that reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's The Road...but I liked this one even more.

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt - Good, old school horror! A three hundred year old witch walks freely around Black Rock, appearing in homes, making a regular circuit through town, and generally bleeding into the background. But aren't those pesky townspeople always their own worst enemies? Read it and see.

Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist - Another audio selection, Niequist writes about her daily life...the ordinary and extraordinary. It's not a new concept, but Niequest has a delightful writerly voice. I listened to this one on audio and almost wish I hadn't. Her reading is VERY FAST (I thought I had the speed up), and it loses some of its glory. I think I would've liked to slow down and read the words on the page myself.

Matilda by Roald Dahl - A re-read/re-listen. I never get tired of it.

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol - I loved Ghosts by Brosgol, but I liked Be Prepared even more. Young Vera desperately wants to fit in with her friends, and she wants to go to camp! Her mother, though, sends her to a Russian sleep-away camp that is not quite what Vera was expecting or hoping. Think lower-key, introspective Lumberjanes.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - A great graphic novel in every way. This was another re-read. Just pick it up already.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne - So. Much. Fun! Another winning Twitter recommendation, this one is about Lucy and Joshua, high powered work rivals who just happen to have some sparks. A very endearing novel when the characters weren't always so endearing.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay - A thinking person's horror novel. A family's young daughter is seemingly possessed, or is she?  This novel is also a lot of fun with plenty of shout-outs to classic horror, both literature and film.

Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel by A.W. Jantha - Hocus Pocus is always a good time and a MUST, even in July. The actual Hocus Pocus novel was JUST LIKE the movie which made it a nice comfort read, but the sequel was a new delight. I didn't expect much from the writing, to tell the truth, but it was good!

Don't call it a comeback! Ok, do.

What have you loved lately? 

Images by Freepik