Tag Archives: equanimity

You Can’t Argue with “Okay.” #rights #guns #marriage #America


Man, what a month.

So much going on.

The prisoners escaped from NY prison



Confederate flag debates

Gay marriage protected by the Supreme Court.

Obama singing “Amazing Grace” which was written by a former slave owner, at the funeral for the mass murder in Charleston.

I don’t know of a time in my recent memory when so much has happened of such a magnitude in such a compressed timeframe.

I woke Friday to the terrorism news in France, Tunisia and Kuwait — about 60 people have died as a result of insurgency violence that occurred while we were sleeping. Did you know about these incidents?

Then a couple hours later, the news about Supreme Court and marriage rights.

The night before, I got slammed on Facebook for posting a meme about a bunch of Republicans who bashed a college loan refinance bill. I’ll never share another one of my father’s posts again. Never. That’s the second time I’ve gotten burned — and not just because it was hysterical, but because it was incomplete. 

So I knew the next day was going to be rough, regardless of what was on the SCOTUS docket. I had no clue.

It was like I turned on my computer and the entire world changed.

But it hasn’t, much has it?

I mean, we still live and breathe. We still have to pay taxes. We still love our kids. We still drive cars. We still buy more than we need. We still practice hypocrisy and jealousy and reactivity.

The anti-side of gay rights says that homosexuality is an abomination. They speak of God and Scripture and Jesus and Corinthians and Leviticus and all the words of the Gospel which decry homosexuality. But then they say God will judge in the same sentence that they say gay people will go to hell. But isn’t that God’s decision, if you really believe in Him? You can preach the Gospel, but it’s never your decision to speak for God. Catholic priests think they’re supposed to do that. It’s so funny.
It’s no one’s business, really.
All this hate and fear and arguing and finger pointing feels so very much as though the line demarcating the “other” side is getting fainter and fainter.
What we once thought were opposite views, are so radically close to one another in tone that they are almost identical. The two-sided coin is getting very thin from wear and tear.
All people want their rights, and the U.S. Constitution says they should have them. I dig that. But the arguments become anemic when one starts denying someone else’s rights.
“I want gay marriage but you can’t have your guns.”
“I want my guns but you can’t have your healthcare.”
“I want my healthcare but you can’t have your birth control.”
“I want my flag but you can’t remind me of its history.”
It all reminds me of a scene in “Friends” when two characters were yelling at each other for taking the last pieces of bread and they were each accusing the other of being selfish. 
Just because you disagree it doesn’t mean there’s hate. Just because you agree it doesn’t mean you’re OK with everything else.

I don’t really have an opinion on gay marriage other than to say it’s about time. I certainly don’t have a negative opinion of it. If gay Americans pay taxes, then they should be afforded the same rights as anyone else who pays taxes. I wrote the other day, that on that basis, if you decide to exempt gay couples from paying taxes, soon everyone will file as gay. I was trying to be humorous. No one laughed. I wonder if people think that if gay people are allowed to marry then all of a sudden their children will “turn” gay.


Well, no. If one of my kids discovers he is gay, then I will take a deep breath. Not out of shame, not out of hate, but because I know 1) it takes guts to be who you are; 2) regardless of all the rainbows all over the place, the world is hostile; 3) the odds of having a grand baby in our lineage are cut by 50% without an effective and successful sperm donation and fertilization and pregnancy via surrogate from my kids (but I also recognize that the world is overpopulated and that children are children and they all just need loving homes).

So I’m deciding, starting now, to conserve my energy. My oldest son is finally starting to learn how to drive. We go out for 45-minute stints every day, starting in school and commuter parking lots. Today was day 3. He’s getting better. Today he and his dad (my current and first husband) went out in the rain and took our smaller car. He prefers my big SUV because he can see better, but he likes the tighter steering on the smaller car. I need to conserve my energy for him and my other sons and my household and marriage and laundry and my sanity. I’m tired of fighting. None of these changes affect me. I don’t think the country is suddenly going to be alright with matrimonial bestiality and allowing people to marry children. It’s going to be alright, I really believe this.

It’s summer. Let’s chill out, the weather makes things hot enough as it is.

So I’ve decided, that when I don’t agree with someone, I’m just going to take a deep breath, say nothing or just say, “Okay” and I’m going to keep on doing what I was doing before: taking deep breaths and trying to say nothing.

Wish me luck.

Thank you.

30 Days of Jung — Day 28: #Lifestyle #Bias #Prejudice #Individualism #Society #Culture #Psychology #Openmind


There is no “one-size fits all” of life.

Welcome to Day 28 of “30 Days of Jung,” my series, wherein (soon, I will start repeating myself, like now) I take a famous quote of Carl G. Jung‘s and try to make sense or refute or invert or disembowel it or where I turn into a heaping pile of mush because of it in 1,000 words or less.

If you don’t know who Jung is, he formulated the theories of introverted and extroverted personalities, the stages of individuation, the basis of the “Meyers-Briggs” personality (INFJ / ESFJ, etc.) tests. He’s a “father” of modern-day psychoanalysis. In short, he’s a badass. But he’s dead, so he can’t be with us today.

Here is today’s:

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”

C.G. Jung

I tried to find a word for the tagging in this post’s headline that was one word for “open minded” and so I plugged in its opposite, “bias” and then I found its antonym, “impartial” which was fine, but the problem with using that word for me is that it’s already a negative; it’s canceling out its initial meaning, so I won’t use it.

My husband came up with “free” but I can’t use that in a headline; it’s too out of context. Too… free.

I’m sitting here on my deck in the wake of last night’s ruling in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. I’m not a current-events writer; I don’t see the need to get my undies in a bunch that way, there are always apolitical reasons to get my undies in a bunch… so today’s post will maintain that neutrality.

What I will briefly mention though is something completely banal and unexciting: gun laws.

I do not begrudge anyone for owning a gun, so long as it is legally carried, permitted and all that. I have issues regarding the type of guns that are somehow necessary when we’ve already established our freedom from England, but I don’t bother going into that.

I have friends who hunt. I was listening to a book on CD on our way home, Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup. It’s the personal memoir of a Maine widow whose husband, a Maine State Trooper, was killed while on his way to a call and her fulfillment of his retirement plans to become a minister. She became an ordained minister and chaplain for the Maine Parks and Forest agency. In her book, she talks about the men and women she works with and how they are mostly hunters and how she honors their lifestyle with new eyes because the way they eat, the way they kill deer is humane and cruelty-free in that the deer are free-range, organic, they are not born and raised for slaughter and for processing and pumped full of hormones and medicine; they eat what we provide, leave for them; they run and leap and mate and sleep in nature. When a deer hunter kills, s/he makes use of all of the animal, nothing (or not much) goes to waste and that the natural environmental fauna partakes in the ecological remnants and their circle of life continues with the intervention of man’s skill and weaponry. I emphasized the men and women she works with because I am fully aware that there are people who waste the animals, who kill not with reverence and restraint but with avarice and gluttony. Those are people I am not denying exist, but they are not people I’m going to talk about.

It put everything I’d thought about hunting on its head.

I ate some venison this week. My cousin is a hunter and he gave to us some of his venison as a gesture of gratitude for our hospitality earlier this summer while he was traveling. He killed the deer with a bow and arrow.

My kids were reluctant, “BAMBI?!” they grimaced and groaned.

“Yes, Bambi. Or his dad. Or his mother, cousin, distant relative from New York because I don’t know where Bambi was born, but I think it was California near the Disney studios… but yes, and it’s called ‘venison.’ You will try it because this is one animal that wasn’t raised for slaughter and we will honor it…” I said, smiling wildly and hoping they heard me.

They looked at me like I had three heads.

My cousin gave us the best part, the tenderloin, and on the way home from that trip when he presented it to us with a warm and sincere smile, we all listened to the Kate Braestrup story in the car.

Two days later, I prepared it in a way that I’d never prepared a meat before: with a quiet intention, gratitude for the deer. My knife slices were deliberate and kind. I felt an unusual sensation: a connection, if you will, to the animal. My husband partially softened strip bacon and I wrapped it around each tenderloin medallion, used a toothpick to hold it all together and they were grilled on our Weber out back. I served a salad I make frequently of spinach, red onion, tomatoes, avocado, strawberries, bleu cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

The food was presented to the children. I have to say that they seemed to eat it differently, with an awareness, a softness I’d not expected.

My eldest had heard about this very recipe that my cousin had prepared for us all a few summers ago and didn’t tell us it was venison until after we’d taken our bites. I didn’t feel betrayed then, because I endeavor to be open-minded and I was his guest and I’d never refuse something that someone so clearly worked hard to prepare and share with us.

We can all go to a butcher, select some NY Strips, put them in some marinade and grill ’em, but what a hunter does, what my cousin did is so different: they set up for a couple hours ahead of the trip, they wait, they take their shot and sometimes they fail, sometimes they don’t on their first shot. Then they have to prepare their kill for transport. It’s hard work; it’s not for the meek and fancy. I honor my cousin and anyone who does this for hobby or sport with the honorable intention of expressing their gratitude and appreciation for the animal they kill.

This is the kind of gun control I can get behind. This lifestyle, of the hunter, is likely not for me. I prefer several degrees of separation between myself and my food, but maybe I should could revisit that mentality; that if I choose to eat an animal, that I should could will consider and express my sincere gratitude for the life it gave for me to live mine.

This isn’t about activism to me; this won’t make me watch “Food Inc” or “Forks Over Knives” any more readily than I would watch “Bowling for Columbine” or “An Inconvenient Truth.” I can’t easily tolerate such parity, but I allow it in others; I would never deign to tell someone else how to live.

I have a strong interest in physical health and mindful eating and exercise. I just do. I have seen what its opposite, mindlessness, does: blown-out tendons, my own calves when I ran too far in new shoes, aching muscles when I lift too much, vitamin deficiency, narrow-mindedness and judgement; then there’s another side of that coin: obesity, health risks, depression, structural breakdown and arthritis pain due to inactivity. There is no RIGHT WAY for anyone, but there has to be SOME WAY for all of us.

Expecting tomorrow to take care of itself and hoping that tomorrow will allow us that 45-minute slice of time to change clothes, lace up, get the water bottle, get the iPod (or whatever it takes, I have lots of gear like that, I love gear), turn on the treadmill or make sure the kids know where I will be and what route I’m taking … all that, takes preparation, but not a lifetime.

All I know is that health is paramount. I see what neglecting health does to all of us. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to go for a walk today or a run or a skate or a stretch: don’t be. Start today.

So yeah, there is no one-size fits all. I don’t tell anyone how to live their lives; I just hope that by doing my best to live mine in a way that works for me that I’ll maybe be inspiring to someone else; and I am always looking out for inspiration from someone else. This yoga retreat coming up is going to rock my world… in so many ways… I know it. I’m a little afraid too. But I do know this: I have my intuition to help me.

Right now, a gentle breeze is passing over my face and I’m listening to Patty Griffin singing “Burgundy Shoes” and she’s at the part (2:00) where she’s echoing herself, “sun … sun … sun … sun …” I can’t help but be inspired by the fact that every moment is a moment to recognize and celebrate our individuality and our commonality.

Thank you.