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Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 8.08.05 PMfrom “The Traveler”

We are on the cusp of launching our bold Indiegogo campaign.  Just putting on the finishing touches, polishing up our perks and getting ready to invite you to become a part of Little Fictions, Ragged Memoirs, my most ambitious dance theater project yet.  Watch for it!  (We will let you know, of course)

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Jules

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Last night we lost our beautiful Jules.  He was diagnosed one week ago with an osteosarcoma in his front left wrist.  We thought we had more time.  But last night the leg shattered and the screams echoed through the whole valley.

We were blessed that he could die at home, surrounded by his family and even his other mother, Bimala  was there via Facetime from Korea.  The love of his life, Guinnie, was by his side the whole time.

Jules had a sweetness and innocence that you would not guess from his 90 pound body, his fierce racing tears around the pen and his big, deep bark.  He was a major racer, retiring at 41/2, which is a long career in the greyhound world.  But he was a tender boy, a honey boy, and my most favorite thing was to lie with his back pressed into my front. That was my way of earthing.  I was not the only one.

Last night, his death brought in a roiling, muscling storm – wild slicing lightening, blasting thunder and winds that tore the rest of the lilacs from their stems.  This morning, the wind is there and so is a deep burgundy iris, the first of the season.  Jules.

This morning, before I was awake, a hummingbird fluttered outside Pam’s study window, darting here and there and then staring at her intently through the glass.  Jules.

Jules – always beloved, always present, always in our hearts.  Thank you beautiful boy.

other

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I heard a group of speakers discussing the racial, socio-economic situation in Baltimore and across the country on the Diane Rehm show.  One speaker spoke of “othering”  in reference to how we treat people who live in the ghetto.

Stephen Jay Gould coined that term to describe how we separate ourselves from others – making them less than, alien, disgusting.  We do it with animals.  We do it with women.  We do it with blacks, Muslims, and anyone that makes us uncomfortable because they do not fit into our particular, narrow, socio-political compartment.  Because they are NOT US.  Because they have a vagina or a tail.

What I wanted the speaker to do was connect the dots.  Women have been othered for millenia. Slavery was abolished in this country before laws of coverture that subsume women’s rights and regard her as property.  Why is no one remembering that?  Why is no one seeing that as part of the whole cloth of oppression, othering and fear of what is different (has a vagina, is black, is Jewish, loves someone of the same sex).

I watched Amy Schumer’s brilliant sketch 12 Angry Men sketch on Inside Amy Schumer.  In it, she walks a very delicate line between an ugly, acidic portrayal of sexism, and the excruciating othering of one’s own body and gender.  Heteronormativity, the heart of the case currently before the supreme court, is another, sickeningly pervasive way of othering.

The fissure created by events in Ferguson, North Carolina and Baltimore is an opportunity to look at things from a bigger perspective.  A chance to fly very high so that we can see the landscape of oppression in the broadest way possible.  Will we do that?  Will there be a conversation?  Only if WE talk, and keep talking and start feeling.

 

 

 

 

 

help from Mary

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Do you need a little help today?  Here it is – more help from Mary Oliver.  Do you need reminding that there is just this moment, and so taste it and swallow it whole?  Listen to this.  It is a gift from Brain Pickings, and the ever generous and brilliant Maria Popova.

THE FOURTH SIGN OF THE ZODIAC (PART 3)

I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.

Mary Oliver