Category: Uncategorized

No One Wants An Abortion

No one wants to have an abortion. Let’s just start there. It’s not something a woman does because she wants to have a surgery that will leave her with memories and questions for the rest of her life. She doesn’t want to always be able to look back and ask herself would it have been a boy or girl? Who would it have been? What would she have been like as a mother to that being?

The right to have an abortion is perhaps one of the greatest signs of motherhood. Afterall, the mother’s role is to do the best possible for the being in her womb. Sometimes the best and the hardest is to protect that being from a life of pain and want. Sometimes the best and the hardest is to protect them from abuse or from severe health conditions that would make living impossible. Sometimes the best and the hardest is to protect them from entering a world in which they will be treated with hatred by the people who are supposed to love them. There are so many reasons that a woman may choose to have an abortion. None are so simple as she wants one. All are about doing the best that she can for the being that grows inside her and for herself as well. The mother’s relationship with herself, with the world, and with her understanding of God will all change, but she will have done what she needed to do to care for herself and for the being she carried.

How can the court be so cruel to these women and unborn beings? Without legal abortions these women will not be able to save the beings in their wombs from lives of ongoing pain. If they try they will risk their own lives. What will we have won to lose both the mother and the fetus? Maybe it is these women who would risk their lives for the well-being of someone who they will never know who should be in charge instead of these judges who are willing to force them to put their lives at risk.

Back from the Break- More Thoughts Today

I was visiting my family last weekend and stopped at the Farmers Market in West Bend, a town in Wisconsin not far from where I grew up. It’s changed a lot since my youth. It’s good to see. First of all, there’s a farmers market. Secondly, there were people there who didn’t look like me, not a lot, but some. That was good to see. Our small towns are so much more when they aren’t those white bread places, soft and squishy without much to them.

I stopped at a little gift shop in hopes of finding a new journal for myself. It’s been a while since I’ve written my blog or my daily journal for myself. A nice journal that welcomes me helps. I found one with flowers and a bicycle on the cover, nice shades of blue and green. I haven’t been writing every day, but I am starting to open it and free write again.

It always amazes me what thoughts start to percolate when I write. This morning I was out at Indian Lake with my dog, Buddy. I was sitting with my journal while he explored the field and did a little wading in the water. I found myself thinking about where we’re at today. Here we are in this time of pandemic, drought, racial/social/economic unrest, huge wildfires, and all the rest. I can’t help but wonder if we are coming to the time of the seventh fire. Are we coming to the end of this chapter of life or is this simply just another round of challenges the same as faced by generations before us that only seem larger than life because we’re the generation facing them?

What power do we have, if any, to determine our direction? I have to believe that there is some power, that we can make choices that will mold the society for the time to come. I was thinking today too of the world I grew up in and the stories that I was told. I grew up in a home where the bible was much more than a table decoration. I remember sitting in bible studies that my mom hosted in our living room. I recall when Sr. Patricia used to bring communion to our house when Mom was too sick to go to church. I’ll admit much of my beliefs have evolved and I haven’t attended mass for years, but I still like that Jesus guy that we talked about back then.

No, I’m not going to encourage anyone to follow Jesus. Follow whoever you want or just go your own way. What I’m wondering about, what my writing and thinking is drawing out of me as I think about this time of so many challenges that we’ve been going through is the disparity between that man of love and caring and who the stories said gave all of himself that we might live and the followers who’ve chosen themselves over all the gifts he shared and have refused to care enough to do such simple small things like masks and vaccination or a list of other little things of showing care and love for their fellow beings. I simply don’t understand. It seems to me like what I once knew as sin and now might just call sadness.

Trying To Be a Writer

I think I’m a writer. I really do. That’s why I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Well, I obviously write a blog too that’s really not for kids. But, I think I’m a children’s book writer or that at least I could be.

It’s so challenging to figure out how to be a writer of children’s literature. I have this vague understanding that I need to set some goals for myself, but no grounding from which to base those goals. In most of my work I’ve been able to find a clear goal. The group I’ve worked for has wanted to stop strip-mining, cut the use of pesticides, or teach people to organize in their own communities. In this situation I find myself looking at it and saying, “Okay, I know I want to write children’s literature, but what is that? Who’s my audience? What would success be?” It seems so broad and I’m not sure where I land in the giant world that includes everyone from Dr. Seuss to J.K. Rowling.

Yes, I do recognize that it’s a bit much to consider my own work to even be in the same universe as either of them as I’ve never published a book. I must admit that I do find something wishful to dream about in the story of Rowling once struggling to make ends meet and then publishing Harry Potter to become a billionaire.

There must be somewhere to start here, just a few words each day or even each week, an exercise of the mind. It will appear and grow I am sure. For now it remains on paper, but keep your eyes open. Maybe it will show up in cyberspace sometime soon.

We’ll See What Happens With the Book

Okay, I promised myself that I’d get back to writing my blog more consistently again so here I am hoping to return to a consistent pattern of writing. It’s good to be writing and to be thinking about writing, thinking about how it happens that the words wind up on the page and the story is told. My blog is mostly a space to let my brain spill out and simply see what happens to pour out onto the page, but it is also a tool to help me dig a bit deeper for other writing projects.

One of my goals for the this year is to draft a children’s book. I’d love to say “write a children’s book” but that seems to me to suggest that I’ll have sold the idea to a publisher in the next eight months as well and that seems a bit more audacious than I feel is warranted. I do have a couple of ideas in the starting phases. Two first drafts have gone to my writing group and come back with lots of comments, none of which was “this is brilliant!” So, it seems second drafts are the next step.

Still, poking at the corners of my mind are Uncle Walter, Tory McKannikan, and Jackie Soup. They’ve not appeared in the stories that I’ve written so far, but it seems that they warrant a series of their own, a set of adventures. Uncle Walter is loosely based, I think, on two old friends of mine. He’s a mischievous, but wise fun loving fellow. Tory McKannikan was my alter-ego when I was a little girl. She was a super hero who could do all the things I couldn’t. She was always saving the world. Jackie Soup was her best friend and husband. Yes, I married (or at least my alter-ego did) when I was probably about five years old. Jackie was a giant. He was also kindness personified.

Wow, there’s a realization I hadn’t expected. I had a dream last night. I’ve had a lot of dreams lately. It seems to be a healing process brought on by some herbal medicine I was prescribed some months ago. In last night’s dream I found myself stuck on a tall, tall pillar of sand in the middle of a huge pit that was at least a mile deep. I called out for help. The man who came and lifted me off the pillar of sand, cradling me to his shoulder as I cried asked me where I’d been and why I hadn’t called to him in so long. It was strange. I was both adult sized and yet I was tiny. He was small and yet he was a giant tall enough to see over the mile deep pit. I think my childhood imaginary love may have found me in my dream. He still loved me and cared for me, helped me, and made sure I was safe. Dreams are amazing things. I can only hope that my Tory McKannikan is finding her way out to take on new adventures and soar to new heights. We’ll see what happens with the book

Starting the New Year

For the last few years I’ve posted my New Year’s resolutions here. This year I am a bit late, but that’s okay. 2021 seems to be getting a slow start separating itself from 2020, I can do the same. We humans have a strange time to start a new year these days anyway. It’s not the solstice or the equinox. It’s not the beginning of a new season. It’s just a day it seems to me. Anyway, moving into the goals for the upcoming. First, we start with my resolutions from last year.

  1. Getting my seizures to stop
  2. Getting to my goal weight
  3. Reading at least 12 books
  4. Cutting my screen time

Well, I got my VNS and my seizures have been been roughly cut in half and those I have seem to be less intense. So, I’d say I did pretty good with that one. On getting to my goal weight, honestly, I haven’t really worked on it. I feel pretty good about not gaining any weight and actually losing a couple of pounds during COVID. I think it’s a goal that I can let go of. I think I’m on book 15 or 16 now. A few of those were ones I read before, but they were good enough to read again. So, success on that goal. I can’t say the number of hours by which I’ve cut my screen time, but I feel certain that I have cut it. I took Facebook off my phone. I go out hiking and to dog parks more often. I’ve made a regular practice of daily guitar and piano practice, time for household tasks, and reading time all of which take me away from the screen. I’m guessing that I’m probably dropping 1-3 hours a day. I’d say I did pretty well in 2020 toward reaching my goals.

I think 2021 will be for continuing some these goals and adding in a few new ones.

  1. Becoming seizure free
  2. Reading at least 12 books
  3. Continuing to keep my screen time in check
  4. Writing a children’s book
  5. Finding my Ikigai (Japanese concept meaning reason for being)
  6. Getting back to being intentional about exercise 3-5 times a week

This should keep me going and keep me flowing. Wishing you all well in this year to come. Take good care.