A gentleman caller

WHAT IT WAS:
A gentleman I thought had left the scene called this evening to ask me about my day.
(AND whatta a day it’s been.) Since I require immediate medical attention tomorrow morning, he told me he would pick me up, stay with me through aforementioned medical intervention, transport me to his house and provide a soft place for me to fall and recover for 24 hours per doctor’s orders.

WHAT IT FELT LIKE:

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Lyrics on my heart today: “Don’t mind if I fall apart; there’s more room in a broken heart.” Carly Simon, Coming Around Again

A Letter of Hope from Henry Rollins

I hate “we’re fucked.”

I mean, I don’t want to shame anyone who has said it, thought it, or posted it. I have too. But as a philosophy, as a statement of belief, I hate it. Because it means you’ve given up.

We are absolutely NOT fucked.

Things are so bad. This country has taken a turn that I could never have predicted. It is absolutely fascist, nativist, and extremist. It’s every bit as scary as it seems.

But we are not fucked.

I read a long-form article on the Russia hacks in the New Yorker not long ago. However much you think that influenced the outcome, it was an instructive piece of journalism. There is very little indication that there was a specific political agenda that was being wished for. The goal was simple: Sow chaos and undermine the faith of Westerners in their own institutions.

This is really important to think about right now.

I have a high regard for Mueller and I think his investigation will have some influence. But don’t wait on him to save us. He can’t. And don’t wait on impeachment. I would support it fervently, but it is nothing to bank on. And especially don’t assume Trump can’t win again. He absolutely can. Our best bet – better, even, than all of our protests and actions – is actually voting.

It’s so square. It’s so old-fashioned. Many of us involved with the hard-left or anarchist scene have been trained to disregard it.

Fucking don’t. NOT NOW, guys. It is the best tool at our disposal. Yeah, you can say that they will sabotage it, reject it, whatever. “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, don’t create troubles before they exist. Anything seems possible to me right now, but it remains the case – despite hacked voting machines and gerrymandering – that there is no known mechanism by which our government can deny massive voter turnout.

Take back the House in November. Then take back the Presidency in 2020. The worst thing we could do is pretend that these are givens. I never, ever, ever thought that this piece of shit could sit in the Oval Office. I was so humbled by my error. Therefore I assume he could take it again – I know he could – unless we accept the threat as real.

When we say, “We’re fucked,” we roll over. We defeat ourselves. We do their job for them. Don’t do that. We are NOT fucked. We are in a fight. It sucks. It’s hard. People are suffering. The earth is suffering. It will get worse.

You know, since everyone loves the Nazi comparisons, there were people during the HEYDAY of the Third Reich who NEVER said, “We’re fucked.” They said, “We’re in a fight.” And you know what’s interesting? Nazi Germany went from the worst regime in the world to a liberal democracy within a lifetime.

Look at Japan. Take the historical view. Stop pretending that the worst of what’s happening now is what is going to always happen. This is what is happening RIGHT NOW. That’s all you know. If you think it’s going to be this way forever, read a book.

Countries slide into fascism for long periods. It happens. Countries also have short-term extremist right-wing governments. Happens in Europe all the time. They get voted out. The threat remains. The threat of fascism will remain in America in a way it never has before. It’s a real movement. But we’re not fucked. Not even close. We can get off the ropes in the mid-terms and knock them out in 2020. But only if we stop saying that we’re fucked, and start seeing this as a fight.

I’m no Pollyanna. Things are so unutterably bad that I walk around in a constant state of nausea and horror. But you have to take the historical view, and you can’t lie down and say we’re doomed, or else they have beaten you.

Again, I don’t want to shame anyone who says, “We’re fucked” as an emotional reaction. I get it, I really do. But if you say that as a historical reality, then you SHOULD be ashamed. We are so far from being fucked. It’s time for that warrior spirit, from everyone.

 

Our best bet, actually our only realistic bet, is to mobilize the vote. There has always been a silver lining to this situation. I have always hesitated to state it, for fear of sounding like I am not taking the horror seriously. Fuck that; I do. But there has always been the possibility, there remains the possibility, that this is a time when our country faces up to its worst reflection, sees it truly, and breaks the fucking mirror. A time when the last bastion of white power and male supremacy and oligarchy attempts to enact fascism, but the antibodies of the American system and American multi-culturalism kick in to reject it.

Where do you want to stand in that equation? As someone who rolled over because we’ve have had two awful years of shit that much of the world has already experienced many, many, many times over, so you decided that we’re finished and done for? Come on. Look at Europe, look at Africa, look at Asia. Back and forth with this shit, and much worse.

I have your back. Get up. Here’s my hand. Let’s fight.

 

It can’t become hip to give up. It can’t become hip to say we are fucked. Look at history. People have been so much more fucked than us, and won. If you truly believe we are finished, I’m sorry, but you were the first to fall. Stick a fork in you, turn you over, you’re done. I don’t want to see you do that, if only for the selfish reason that we need you.

Do all the protests, do all the direct action, make all the phone calls, then mobilize in October and November. That’s when we can get off the ropes and start punching again. Take the long view, my sisters and brothers. Don’t let them take you out of the fight.

And if you need me for anything, I am here.

8 Quotes for Wild Ones lost in the Unknown. 

  
via: elephant journal

These days, the path ahead is not clear; the only thing I can see is the unknown and through my own practice and my relationship to the God of my own understanding, I know that this place, the land of I-don’t-know and what-comes-next and how-will-I-pay-my-rent is one that I must allow myself to settle into until it is time to move from this place.
And so, as I sit, in this place of uncertainty, of worry of my own financial security, of my ego saying Hurry up, we’re falling behind, the only thing I can do is listen to my heart rediscover her rhythm.
I read and sleep and rest and walk and play and practice in my tiny apartment in a big city, surrounded by love, getting personal with the unknown and I turn to those that have come before me and walked their own paths for inspiration:

“I promise I shall never give up, and that I’ll die yelling and laughing, and that until then I’ll rush around this world I insist is holy and pull at everyone’s lapel and make them confess to me and to all.”

~ Jack Kerouac
***

“I made it the mantra of those days; when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet along with my socks, when I lay alone and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me?The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth that it was true, I said it anyway: No one.”

~ Cheryl Strayed

***

“I exist as I am, that is enough,

If no other in the world be aware I sit content,

And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,

And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,

I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.”

~ Walt Whitman

***

“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy—all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.”

~ Cassandra Clare
***

“A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.”

~ John Steinbeck
***

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

~ Paulo Coelho

***

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”

~ Ayn Rand

***

“But secretly I knew I had been transformed, moved by the revelation that human beings create art, that to be an artist was to see what others could not.”

~ Patti Smith

***

“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”

~ Sylvia Plath

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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I hereby proclaim my acceptance of The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. It sorta makes me feel like an ass to proclaim such a thing, however, to be seen as an inspiration to anyone really is an honor in my mind. Especially someone else who dares greatly in the blogging arena. So thank you to Ann, of GrubbsnCritters for bestowing this honor. You have encouraged me to keep going numerous times in our short aquaintance. That means a lot to me. Anything to that end is acceptable. ONWARD!

As with awards, The “VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD” comes with rules:

  1. Display the award on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers, link to them, and notify them about their nominations.

Seven, maybe not so interesting but still worth mentioning, things about myself:
1. I am a supporter of marijuana legalization even though I am not a user. This is worth noting in my book because I think many people are under-educated on the subject. Before you develop a staunch stance on any topic, please know what you’re talking about. Here’s what I want you to know about legalization: a.)Marijuana does not fit the regulations for scheduling a drug as illegal. b.) Marijuana has medical benefits, especially for those of use that have chronic illnesses and pain; and c.) Accidental drug overdose from prescription drugs is fast climbing the chart of top killers around the world. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather ingest a natural, well regulated plant than a chemically derived, big pharm, engineered pill any day of the week.
2. I always wanted to have 3 children, two boys and one girl, in that order and I did, despite a miscarriage and only giving birth twice.
3. I used to be registered as a Republican. (gasp!) – lol
4. I have 4 tattoos
5. I currently have teal hair color.
6. I have been diagnosed with two incurable diseases.
7. Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” is hanging on my bedroom wall.

The people I am going to nominate are those who have inspired me personally. To those receiving my nomination, please do not feel obligated to accept or post. Just know that I think you’re special and wanted other people to take notice and be inspired by you :
1. The Bloggess – thank you for inspiring me to keep it real.
2. Kindness Blog – thank you for inspiring kindness.
3. Out of Great Need – thank you for keeping mindful and hopeful in thriving with mental illness.
4. After Midnight: A Christian Bipolar – thank you for leaving the light on.
5. Silverliningmama – thank you for inspiring my courage muscle.
6. ReinventionDiary – thank you for inspiring my shoulder angel
7.TheCompassionateGardener – thank you for inspiring my self-compassion
8. UncommonGraces – thank you inspiring me to embrace being a bossy gal.
9. MeganBuggsJourney – thank you for inspiring my inner little girl to fight
10. Ray Ferrer – thank you for inspiring what’s left of my sight and my home.
11. Dances With Fat – thank you for inspiring me to dance like nobody’s watching and to not care if they are.
12. Playfully Refined – thank you for inspiring me to doodle again.
13. 90Days to Spiritual Enlightenment – that you for inspiring me to shine one.
14. blahpolar – thank you inspiring me to laugh in the face of bipolar.
15. European Travel Adventures – thank you for further inspiring my wanderlust.
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Liebster Award

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After over a decade of blogging here, there, but not everywhere, I was most appreciative of being appreciated and being nominated for the Liebster Award. It’s most appropriate since the word Liebster is my favorite German word, the word for beloved, that my Opa used to call me. Also, it is a way of paying it forward, acknowledging other bloggers and I adore the principle and humanity of paying it forward. Thank you, Ann-Grubbs n Critters for thinking of me.

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Without further ado here are my own nominees for the Liebster Award:

1. Playfully Refined
2. Reinvention Diary
3. The Compassionate Gardner:A ministry of hope
4. The Schizo Effect
5. I am a Girl I can do this

I hope you’ll accept my nomination. I thank you for being gracious and brave enough to put yourself out there. Keep going! You can start by answering these 11 questions:

1. What inspires you?
2. If you were President, what’s the first thing you’d do?
3. What was the most important day of your life?
4. Favorite comfort food?
5. Favorite color?
6. If you could choose another name for yourself, what would it be?
7. What made you start blogging?
8. What do you do to relax?
9. What song best describes you?
10. Mountains or Beach?
11. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Here’s my own responses to the questions asked of me:
#1. Describe yourself in 3 words
Loyal. Compassionate. Resilient.
#2. How did you decide the name of your blog?
I just knew I needed my own place. Stephie is a name only those closest to my heart use and I’ve always loved discovering the parts of a city that make it original. So, Stephieopolis.
#3. What do you find challenging when it comes to blogging?
Writing for myself. I often feel guilty for not writing about my kids and loved ones more, but I regress. This is my place.
#4. What’s your pet peeve?
What’s not my pet peeve? That might be easier. Hmm. Lying. I can deal with anything so long as its the truth. I never need a lie.
#5. Last meal before you die – what would it be?
Bacon Cheeseburger w. BBQ sauce, steak fries and a milkshake. Or Filet Mignon with Fettuccine Alfredo and a glass of red wine. Would depend on the day.
#6. Your Top 3 bucket list
A missions trip. See the Northern Lights. Meet my great grandchildren.
#7. Favourite quote?
Make your mess your message.
#8. Cats or Dogs?
I own both but, dogs.
#9. One thing about you that readers don’t know
I have played the piano at The White House.
#10. What’s your take on bloggers’ award such as this?
It’s nice to be appreciated.

And the 11 random random facts:
1. My favorite artist is Gustav Klimt.
2. I have been proposed to 5 times.
3. I was a back up singer for Barry Manilow.
4. I was born in Belgium.
5. I dont like scary movies.
6. I suffer from wanderlust.
7. I have a repetitive nightmare about tidal waves.
8. I love oddities.
9. I would love to take a pole dance class.
10. I grew up in the Washington D.C. metro area.
11. I have a rare autoimmune disease.

🎶 Dream reader, I believe you can get me through the ni-ight🎶

Reader, you have no idea how many dark nights you’ve seen me through. You help me have new “perspectacles” that find the silver lining on every stupid, black, little rain cloud that follows me. I’ll be the first to admit that can be annoying as hell. Sometimes my positive repositioning makes me roll my own eyes. Sorta like when you have a booger plaguing your nose and you have no choice but to stick a finger in to dislodge it. Disgusting, yes, but also immensely satisfying.

The struggle is real.

Now that you’re here, I just want to thank you for daring greatly to be so vulnerable in exposing your flaws. It allowed me to immediately recognize them as my own and erase all doubt and shame. I laugh about it now. I see the beauty in my own disastrous exsistence. Like taxidermy.

For that, I am forever grateful.

Keep doing you, boo.

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My newest and dearest ink

The Japanese refer to sakura (cherry blossoms) as a symbol of life.

After their too-short bloom, the cherry blossom falls to the ground and is scattered about by wind and rain. It is in this life cycle that their blossoms become truly anticipated and appreciated for all their beauty. Similar to their Japanese association, cherry blossoms serve as a symbol of love in the Chinese culture thanks to their herbal lore.

In addition to Japanese and Chinese roots, the cherry blossom also lives a path of enlightenment thanks to Buddhist beliefs.

Existing only in the present moment has long been the basis of Buddhist beliefs along with the daily reminder that we are here but only for a short time. Much like the cherry blossom. life is short and sweet. These flowers can also represent wisdom. Only once the blossoms begin to open and unfold is the beauty of the flower revealed.