Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Free the Mind

I had the good fortune of seeing this movie recently.  It was amazing to watch a movie about something I know so well and to finally feel like someone else knew it too.  I'm grateful for movies like these being made that help me feel more normal about my own response to trauma.

There are so many of us walking around with these injuries.  I believe that the more our society can understand trauma and its effects, we will be better able to respond and prevent it.  Understanding is a key step to empathy: the balm of Gilead for PTSD.

Please go see this when you can.  Here is a list of the screenings.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Culture of Contracting

I'm watching the hearings about and can't stop wondering a simple question.

What the government needed was really great internet coding to create a tight and secure system for people to buy health insurance.  So, why didn't they hire a bunch of the best and brightest programmers into the government.  Build both an amazing site, and an amazing team.  That team could then help modernize all of government.  All for the low-low cost of their salaries and benefits.

They just said has cost $500B so far.  I bet the team could have been hired for life for that amount and gotten much more done, in a much better way.

So, why are we contracting rather than hiring?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

how sinister is the shutdown?

i can't shake the feeling that someone is betting to win financially on a US default.  this type of economic upheaval always benefits someone ... or so it seems.  so, who is beating against America on this one?

congressman are living off the government but punishing those of us who work.  these guys just hang out like a fraternity in high school, with free fancy dinners, private dorm, a high dollar gym, amazing health insurance, and they make 4x's the average american.

in this 5 minute video, Congresswoman Speier explains clearly some of the damage the shutdown has had on our domestic security:

DC seems to have become the axis for the vortex of the global economy.    cranes dot the skyline as they elevate it to heights l'enfant warned Americans to avoid.  we are selling national treasures to the most mediocre of bidders, destined to pay the highest bribe rather than contribute the most good.  (btw -- sign this petition to help stop the selling of these treasures)

vince gray (this is a primer to his (& posse) scandals) is using this time of chaos to perform a heroic hail mary before he is indicted for selling the city to the sleaziest of bidders.  the man has promised to create the greenest world capital, but has appointed a zoning commision who insist on a 3 story underground parking garage for every high rise they build.

someone is gaining something from all this ... who is it?

Friday, 11 October 2013

National Coming Out Day

today is national coming out day*, in fact the 25th anniversary.

i'm queer.

i've been queer since the day i was born.  i believe that i was queer even before i was born.  that whatever this combobulated mess of carbon and energy is that makes me, me ... is still a mystery to me, but i know one thing.  i'm queer.

i'm not really sure what queer even means.  i've been smeared as a queer plenty of times.  i play sports.  i love dresses and elegancy. cooking, fashion, and prancing, running, jumping, leaping, sailing, swimming, scubaing, gardening.  i love worms and soil.  i like being alive, sometimes.  i kinda figure if i have to be here, might as well make the most of it.  i hate categories.

i claim queer because it provides to the listener the confusion i feel when asked.

we all have a purpose.  in fact, we all have the same purpose, to love and be loved.

love conquers fear.  love is kind, pure, wonderful, peaceful, cooperative, humble, joyful, silly, warm.  we can project those feelings out from ourselves into the world.  we can look at what we need, and try to give it to someone.  we can turn our focus inward or outward it doesn't matter, if you look for love you can find it.  and if you look for fear, you can find that too.

love is the antidote to fear.  families are torn apart by something as beautiful as love.  it  makes reason stare!

i did a gender edit on the Mormon church's proclamation on the family.  when the mormon patriarchal culture is removed from the text, it teaches a much kinder philosophy:

ALL HUMAN BEINGS -- each oNE of us -- are created in the image of God. We are all, spirit children of heavenly parents, who love us.  We each have a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and future identity and purpose. 
IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, we, as spirit children knew and worshipped God and accepted a plan. This put us on a path to obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize our divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally. 
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood. 
Parents have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live.  Parents will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations. 
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage is an essential ordinance. Children are entitled to parents who love each other and are committed to loving them.  Parents must remember that the next generation is always closer to God than the previous generation, so your child is your King or Queen in the making. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, parents are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Parents must remember that their primary responsibility is the nurturing of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, parents are obligated to help one another as equal partners. 
WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. 
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

ahh, much better ;) 

this video is of a mormon family with a teenage son who is gay and out.  the mother explains a bit of how having a gay son changed how she saw the world and the gospel.

this is a guide for family and friends of LDS LGBTQ folks -- you can get it for free by providing your email address. you may then be asked to participate in the follow-up/evaluation research.  or you can go to this site and order it for $10. 

may we please please please stop fighting and have a loving, solutions focused conversation?  can we lay down our weapons of war, bury our hatchets, and humble our pride to ask for the forgiveness we each need?

imagine if each person who read this blog called someone that they owed an apology, and paid up.  it would be contagious.  we could start a pandemic of forgiveness.  it would probably counter our pandemics of suicide, untreated mental illness, and violence.

imagine if we returned to those we judge and rejected and repented of one of the few crimes Jesus Himself explicitly commanded against?

can we listen to the pain we've caused with understanding rather than protection and projection?

let's have a real conversation about how to heal things.  it starts inside the family and works its way out.

U2 ~ "One" '92 (Directed by Anton Corbijn) by seasonwitch


Learn about Coming Out Day

Living Openly

However you identify, HRC and its Coming Out Project hope these guides help you meet the challenges and opportunities that living openly offers to each of us:

Are You a Straight Ally?

Check out A Straight Guide to LGBT Americans to learn about the emotional spectrum that people typically feel after someone comes out to them and find easy ways to learn more and demonstrate your support for LGBT Americans and equality.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

waking up

waking up out of this darkness ain't easy.

it requires a full turn.  a whole new type of vulnerability. the type of vulnerable, when you are completely/entirely seen, known, understood, and beloved.

it seems to also require the seeing of the invisible.  not just seeing "them", but ensuring that they too are completely/entirely seen, known, understood, and beloved.

the turns brings about peace.  first from within and then can be spread out.  peace will reign one day.
in order for it to happen, we first have to believe such a day is possible.  then decide that not only is it possible, it's inevitable.  then do your duty to make the inevitable, reality.

frankl talked of an ability to find peace in the concentration camps.  peace and joy run so much deeper than circumstance.  the patience can last an eternity, or it can seem, because once there is peace and joy you hold eternity in the moment.

i saw my good friend lora's brother today.  seeing erik was wonderful.  it reminded me so much of a time in my life that was full of hope and surety not only that a better day was coming, i was going to help build it.  i was so excited about this adventure we were all on to build a peaceful world.

life can start again.  i believe in resurrection and i believe some resurrecting can happen now.  i believe it is, in part, a return to the pure and true self.  the hopeful, optimistic, compassionate, forgiving, happy-go-lucky, fun-loving, jovial, trusting, creative, honest, true self.

seems like it shouldn't be such a hard task.  but right now, finding all this hope and happy is pretty tricky.

wake up videos: