My older brother received a call at two pm on a Thursday,
That his roommate from college
And best friend from high school;
Overdosed and died,
Last Wednesday night.
My brother is 25 years old.
He missed three days of work, sat at home in the dark,
And cried for the first time in six months.
This is not poetry.
My father is very, very sick.
He sleeps for seven hours,
To build up a half hour of strength,
Just so he can pick me up from school.
He hasn’t been well in over a year.
He prays every night, “Thank you God, for making this happen to me, and not my children.”
I am swallowed in fear,
That soon enough, he will go to bed,
And never wake up.
This is not poetry.
There are thousands of people,
just to have one more day,
In hopes that it will get better.
You people glorify sadness,
and long for your death,
because apparently life,
is just too much of a burden.
Wake up, your ignorance is sickening.
Your life is thousands of times more beautiful,
Than your death will be.
A friend and I were out with our kids when another family’s two-year-old came up. She began hugging my friend’s 18-month-old, following her around and smiling at her. My friend’s little girl looked like she wasn’t so sure she liked this, and at that moment the other little girl’s mom came up and got down on her little girl’s level to talk to her.
“Honey, can you listen to me for a moment? I’m glad you’ve found a new friend, but you need to make sure to look at her face to see if she likes it when you hug her. And if she doesn’t like it, you need to give her space. Okay?”
Two years old, and already her mother was teaching her about consent.
My daughter Sally likes to color on herself with markers. I tell her it’s her body, so it’s her choice. Sometimes she writes her name, sometimes she draws flowers or patterns. The other day I heard her talking to her brother, a marker in her hand.
“Bobby, do you mind if I color on your leg?”
Bobby smiled and moved himself closer to his sister. She began drawing a pattern on his leg with a marker while he watched, fascinated. Later, she began coloring on the sole of his foot. After each stoke, he pulled his foot back, laughing. I looked over to see what was causing the commotion, and Sally turned to me.
“He doesn’t mind if I do this,” she explained, “he is only moving his foot because it tickles. He thinks its funny.” And she was right. Already Bobby had extended his foot to her again, smiling as he did so.
What I find really fascinating about these two anecdotes is that they both deal with the consent of children not yet old enough to communicate verbally. In both stories, the older child must read the consent of the younger child through nonverbal cues. And even then, consent is not this ambiguous thing that is difficult to understand.
Teaching consent is ongoing, but it starts when children are very young. It involves both teaching children to pay attention to and respect others’ consent (or lack thereof) and teaching children that they should expect their own bodies and their own space to be respected—even by their parents and other relatives.
And if children of two or four can be expected to read the nonverbal cues and expressions of children not yet old enough to talk in order to assess whether there is consent, what excuse do full grown adults have?
“Sexuality, too, is fluid, and many people seem to struggle with this, to the point of being actively repulsed and confused by the idea that sexual orientation does not necessarily remain consistent throughout someone’s life. This attitude is harmful for those who do experience shifts in their sexual orientations, but it also stifles conversation and exploration, as people who may be confused about their sexuality who receive this kind of messaging may experience harm that takes years to undo—and in some cases, they may never recover, because they are never given an opportunity to learn who they are and be themselves.
Take, for example, the heterosexual woman who later develops an attraction to women, and begins to identify as bisexual or lesbian. She may have experienced this attraction throughout her life and not picked up on it—perhaps she didn’t meet the right woman, or she was living in a repressive environment where homosexuality was not accepted. Or maybe her sexual orientation actively shifted. The attitudes of those around her will be dismissive and unpleasant, as people attempt to erase both her past as a heterosexual and her present as a gay or bi woman.
Though her sexuality has shifted, she remains fundamentally the same woman. Her past history doesn’t magically vanish, and she may even look back on it with fondness or gratitude for the relationships she had. Likewise, people may move through other sexual orientations depending on circumstances, their current stage of life, and other factors; the asexual who later realizes he’s gay, the lesbian woman who develops a bisexual attraction.”—Yes, Sexuality Changes, and Yes, That Is Okay | this ain’t livin’ (via brutereason)
Salaam, hope you're well. :) Can you recommend me some good books about the Palestinian struggle please?
Walaykum as salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu! Alhamdulilah I’m well I hope you are too?
What I’m going to do for you, anon, in light of you asking so nice, is write up a masterlist of stuff to do with Palestine and Israel. I’ve been meaning to do something like this for a while, so thanks for the impetus!
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine — Illan Pappe
Peace Not Apartheid — Jimmy Carter
The Question of Palestine — Edward Said
The Gun & The Olive Branch — David Hirst
Disappearing Palestine — Jonathon Cook
Imperial Israel — Michael Palumbo
The Politics of Dispossesion — Edward Said
Gaza In Crisis — Noam Chomsky & Illan Pappe
The Fateful Triangle — Noam Chomsky
The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy — John Mearsheimer
Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions — Omar Barghouti
(I’ve left out, purposefully, opponents of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) like Finkelstein and the New Historians of Israel (except Pappe). I’ve included two books by Chomsky (an opponent of BDS and liberal Zionist) because they are really valuable sources.)
This list is not exhaustive. There are far too many sources to cite for violations of prisoners rights, house demolitions, illegal settlements, the blockade of Gaza, a history of apartheid Israeli policy.
Maybe one day I’ll expand this some more. This is a fraction of the sources I’ve collected over the past 3/4 years alone… now imagine, the subjugation and ethnic cleansing is roughly 100 years old.
Enjoy this list, I’ am not your educator but these people have taken the time to write about their personal experiences/lives/poetry/statics/facts on racism and sexism and intersectionality that is often times ignored. But simultaneously all happening at the same time in the same…
You simply cannot talk about the rise in popularity of vipassana meditation in the West without talking about Dipa Ma. She was a Bangladeshi meditation teacher of Theravada Buddhism and was known for surviving deep and traumatic experiences in her life and challenging the gender stereotypes that existed in Buddhism. She taught many American Buddhists, including American white Buddhists who would later on become prominent teachers themselves.
“Genocide, the physical extinction of a people, is universally condemned, but ethnocide, the destruction of people’s way of life, is not only not condemned, it’s universally celebrated as part of a development strategy.”— Wade Davis, Dreams from endangered cultures. (via engenderandendear)
“Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.
Depression is humiliating.
If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too.
Depression is humiliating.
No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.”—
“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft….When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”—The Kite Runner (via tatqiq)
“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.”—Leo Buscaglia (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
“Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says. ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now. So I love you. Go.’”—Maya Angelou (via offbeatjaz)
“It’s impossible to learn a completely different way of thinking about things without unlearning what one has already learned. And I think it’s important to realize that, because it’s often the case now that people think about education as the acquisition of new things as if it were an unproblematic and promising process simply of adding to what one already knows or thinks. And the truth is it is transformative, and that means upending a whole set of assumptions about how to see things, what’s possible, what’s real.”—Biddy Martin (Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 2)
“But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely — or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.”—Oscar Wilde (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.
It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they are made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.
It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch; to love and let
go again and again. It pesters to remember
the lover who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.
I can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bonding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice, hunger
and anger moment by moment balanced.
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days… Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me…So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling…”—Aldous Huxley, Island (via creatingaquietmind)