Depression

Subdued discontent rests

Heavily on my shoulders

The weight crushes my spirit

Leaving turbulence to claim

The muted turmoil inside

Causing my instability to shine

I feel I’ve already lost the battle

so-much-depression
http://www.tmsaugusta.com/depression-csra/

Hey Friend

Been thinking about my friend

Been missing her laugh

Smile

Stories

Warmth

Joy

Hope she’s doing well

Hasn’t forgotten about me

Yet

Just wanted to let

Her know

That she’s been on my

Mind

Hope I’ve been on

Hers

Friends
Friends

Kind Blindness

Silent whiteness 
Covers my heart 
Shields of ambiguity 
Protect my mind 
Leaving me wrapped in fog 
To stumble over headstones- 
Fallen angels with messages of grief 
Cracked at the tip 
Broken in the center 
No escape from the truth 
Mirrored darkness in my soul 
Knot of pain in my heart 
The light is blind 
The good all fail 
Innocence cannot last forever 
Breathe the dark 
Forget the pain 
Pull on past the storm ahead 
Leave agony in the abyss 
Feel the uplift of the soul 
As the veil falls down again 
Comfort combats a foot-hole in your mind 
Your everlasting pain forgotten 
Go through life in a blur 
Pretend nothing ever goes wrong 
Live your life in a state of kind blindness 

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/snow-angels/
https://www.pinterest.com/explore/snow-angels/

I Am

The fact that I exist is not just provocation for me to be treated like an object.

This past weekend, I went out running. When I stopped for a moment to stretch, an old dude driving down the street came to a complete stop to tell me how great my ass looked and that my bouncing chest made him happy. What the hell makes you think I want ogled? I don’t care if you glance as you drive by, but please, freaking keep it to yourself. I didn’t invite your comments. It’s was 80 degrees out, so yes, I was wearing yoga bottoms and a tank top, but that doesn’t matter.

It wasn’t an invitation.

But this wasn’t something new. Not for me or for any other woman.

We deal with leerers, potential rapists and kidnappers, stalkers, and chauvinists. I’ve been followed home, had guys offer to buy me “whatever I wanted” as long as I agreed to go home with them, and been denied promotions.

When I was younger, 19, maybe 20, I was working at a women’s clothing store. An older, kind of creepy, gentleman came in to shop for “gifts,” but he never bought anything. He insisted that I help him pick out items, but he would shoot down each suggestion. While assisting him, he made some off-putting comments that didn’t sit quite right. But I was young, and tried to smile and ignore them. Each time he came in, he stayed for a couple of hours, browsing, while I tried my hardest to avoid him.

After the 3rd or 4th time, I refused to help him at all. But he asked for me anyway. By name, of course, since he’d read it off my badge. After I refused, he came back in every day for almost a month straight. Finally, near the end of this, he brought in a big gift bag and left it with the girls at the front counter, who had quickly gotten in the habit of hiding me in the supply room when he was around.

The bag was full of lingerie.

The next time he came in, we called the cops and he was banned from the store. On a few different occasions, after leaving work, I caught him following me. I can still clearly see his silver Chrysler.

Around the same time this was going on, someone broke into my apartment. I was living right off campus and the cops thought it was another college student playing a prank on me. But I wasn’t convinced. The person who came in rearranged some of my “personal” items and left me gifts of candies and flowers. I was freaked out. I felt safe nowhere.

I moved. I changed jobs. Thankfully, everything stopped.

Of course, this could have ended much, much worse than it did. And I know many women go through those worse endings, but does that make what I went through ok?

No. Unequivocally, the answer to that question is no.

Men: we are not objects put here for your amusement. For your enjoyment. For your pleasure.

We are not lesser beings. So what if this stomps on your ego. We don’t deserve to be belittled and discriminated against. We don’t deserve to be reduced to our sex. Our gender roles.

Smile and nod is how we’re taught to survive. I had a gentleman make inappropriate comments, stalk me, and buy me lingerie. Someone broke into my apartment, played with my panties, and left me gifts.

And all I could do was smile and nod, or run and hide.

The thought that this is what we have to go through because of our gender is not an empowering one. No one wants boxed into a role, or treated like they are only as important as the sum of their physical parts.

I am more than that. I am more than an object. More than a sex toy or a plaything.

I am a woman. An intelligent being. A writer. An artist. A creative soul. An activist. A vegetarian. A wife. A dog-mom. I am unique. I am loved.

I am.

And I am more than you will ever know.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bRqKmjMgms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bRqKmjMgms

One Planet, One Chance

For our 17th anniversary, my husband and I went to Carolina Beach. It was our first trip there and I was amazed by how beautiful the beach was – especially at sunset. There’s nothing like watching the moon come up over the water.

Inked20190809_194703_LI

I was happy and loving everything.

But then.

As we sat on the beach, we watched a sea gull land about 3 feet away from us. Where it promptly ate a cigarette butt.

We were horrified.

From that moment forward, I made it my mission to pick up every piece of plastic, every cigarette butt, every piece of waste that I saw. And I saw a lot.

It’s funny how many things we gloss over. On a normal day, I would’ve said that I don’t see that much small plastic litter. But that was before I started looking closer. Now, I realize that it’s everywhere.

It’s literally all around us: tiny pieces of foam, lighters, cigarette butts, wrapping paper, straws, q-tips, rubber bands, and other misc. pieces of trash.

Once you start looking, you can’t stop. And the more I see, the more I pick up. I know that these tiny pieces of plastic, these benign-looking – they ain’t hurting anything – pieces of plastic, are actually hurting everything. The small pieces that don’t make it into the trash? They get washed away in the rain. Where are they washed to? Into the sewers and drains. Where does this feed to? Into our drinking water and into our oceans.

There are enough videos and articles and pictures of what’s found in the decomposing stomachs of various animals already out there, so I’m not adding any to this post. At this point, we should all know that the “disposable” plastic that we use will outlast us all – on average, it takes 500 years to decompose. Knowing this, it makes it impossible for me to keep living the way that I do. I don’t know if I will ever be a “zero-waste” person but I know I need to produce less waste. We all need to produce less waste. I have to change. We all have to change.

We only have one planet. We only have one ecosystem. We only have one go-around. One chance to make it in this world.

We’re all in this together. Let’s start living like it.

https://www.treadright.org/
https://www.treadright.org/

The Amazon Is Burning

The world’s most important ecological system, the Amazon, is on fire.

The Amazon has been called the lungs of our planet – understandably so, as it produces approximately 20% of all of our oxygen. It is one of the most bio-diverse places, home to thousands of unique species, and home to hundreds of indigenous tribes.

And it is on fire.

The smoke can be seen from space. São Paulo, on Monday, was blanketed in darkness at 3 p.m. Organizations tracking fires in the Amazon say that there’s been an almost 85% increase this year. This is thanks to loggers, ranchers, and a pro-business friendly administration that was elected this past January.

This has to STOP. The planet cannot survive if this continues. If you believe the earth is a gift, then protect it. If you want your children / grandchildren / nieces / nephews / anyone that you care about to have a planet to inherit, then you have to care. You have to do something to change. We all have to do something to change.

We can no longer stand idly by. We can no longer watch as our planet, our home – the only one we have – is destroyed.

If you’re like me, then you’re wondering: What can I do?

Here are a easy things.

  1. Sign this petition on Change.Org. Join the almost 3.7 million people who have already signed, demanding an inquiry and accountability.
  2. Donate. Here are a few organizations which have received 4 out of 5 stars on Charity Navigator, which is a non-profit organization that evaluates transparency, financial health, and accountability. From CBS.News:
  • Amazon Conservation Team fights climate change, protect the Amazon and empower indigenous peoples.
  • Amazon Conservation Association accepts donations and lists exactly what your money goes toward –– whether it’s planting trees, sponsoring education, buying a solar panel and preserving indigenous lands.
  • Donate to the Rainforest Trust to help buy land in the rainforest. The organization has saved over 23 million acres and counting since 1988.
  • The Rainforest Foundation is committed to making sure donations made reaches projects such as supporting environmental defenders, indigenous advocacy organizations and deforestation monitoring.

Please, help any way you can. Please, make a difference. Please, don’t let our planet die.

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/pictures-amazon-rainforest-fires-in-brazil/9/
https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/pictures-amazon-rainforest-fires-in-brazil/9/
Capture
https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/pictures-amazon-rainforest-fires-in-brazil/9/
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https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/pictures-amazon-rainforest-fires-in-brazil/9/

For more information on what’s going on and what you can do, please visit any of these websites: CNN.com, DailyMail.co.ukCBS.com, Vice.com, DemocracyNow!.org and MSN.com

 

Rant

Generally, I try to avoid discussing politics, religion, or any other hot topic items in my blog. The idea is that I don’t want to offend anyone… But… I’ve started wondering, if I don’t discuss the things that matter to me, then what’s the point in blogging? Now, I know it’s impossible to never offend anyone but I want everyone to know, it’s not my intention. I hope, instead, to spark conversation and thought.

With that said, there are several things I am passionate about. I am an environmentalist, feminist, vegetarian, an activist. I believe in equal rights, education, fair policies, helping those in need, and fighting for what’s right, among other things.

And since this is the case, occasionally, I’m going to rant about that stuff here. Hopefully, you’ll join in the conversation.

Activism-quote-by-Alice-Walker.jpg