Sunday Yardening

Aug. 20th, 2017 06:08 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is sunny and hot, ugh.  I made it out to water plants and pick a pepper for Doug's supper. 

Poem: "To Appreciate Small Victories"

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:01 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kyleri, [livejournal.com profile] rix_scaedu, and [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "anxiety" square in my 3-1-17 card for the Disability Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings. It features prison inmates, group therapy, a show soup with some goat features including syndactyly and prey instincts, references to adaptive equipment, vulgar and intrusive talk, spitball leading to a prey reaction, refusal to apologize, speciesist language, discussion of disabilities, adoption issues, learning to compensate for a lost hand, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

checking in

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:48 pm
syntaxofthings: A boiling planet of fire, the text "Starfire" ([Planetary] Starfire)
[personal profile] syntaxofthings
Thursday: 12-hour day at school.
Friday: in bed most of the day recovering.
Saturday: 3 hours of intense class (lots of discussion and a professor acting intimidating), then baseball game!!1!, then a midnight movie.
Today: may need some gentle self-care, despite desperately needing to do homework, study, etc. because tomorrow I have a meeting in the morning, physical therapy in the afternoon, and possibly receiving whatever the eclipse needs to awaken in me. It already feels harsh, because I'm so tired from doing so many things and my body hurting so much. And yet my "so many things" is most people's normal. I'm so tired of not being able to do nearly as much as most people my age.

Oh yes, and I need to do some planning today, and my head feels like mush. Need to make sure I have enough to eat this week. Keeping myself alive and able to do things takes soooo much energy. I get so down about it.

Meh. I'm never sure what to write or how I want to present myself. Survival, and my current priorities school & some social engagement, just takes too much out of me to be much more than that.

Heroic Action

Aug. 20th, 2017 01:35 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Three drag queens save a gaybashing victim.

"Growing up gay, I’ve been picked on and bullied and there comes a time when you fight back and you don’t care if you’ll get hurt or what happens to your wig."

<3 heroic speeches.
labelleizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] labelleizzy
I tried something new on Thursday evening.

for some reason I've been reluctant to participate in events run by a group that several people I know are pretty enthusiastic about. The group is called the Human Awareness Institute. (abbreviated as HAI.)

my therapist has been encouraging me to give them a try, it seems that for the kind of touch and affection that I've been craving in my life, this group has good results for a bunch of people.

Long story short; I've recently decided to try more new things for the first time. And I do have to allow for there will be some new things that I'm not gonna like.

Fair enough.

Got to help a friend with a burning man project for a couple hours after therapy. Went to grab a burger and fries after that, and then lost myself in the internet while eating, enough that I had to bolt outta Five Guys and still showed up 15 minutes after the start time of the darn thing. Great.

I did manage to just BE, on arrival, which is a triumph considering how socially anxious I used to be. (I have done a LOT of therapy.) They've got a friendly looking dude (I liked his vibe) helping do sign-ins and the speaker is already in process. I join a circle of chairs.

She has a pretty mellow presentation style, comfortably but nicely dressed, like she could easily do yoga or go out to a midrange restaurant in the same outfit. She's barefoot, we all are, we left our shoes at the door on request. It's definitely that kind of house.

it's a mild digression from the main thrust of this post to describe the decorating style of the living room; but there's a ton of statues and structures with Asian elements, from what I could tell from a blend of cultures. Stylish, classy, pretty expensive by my guess, but... a bit in the Ordered All My Furniture From Pyramid Collection aesthetic. I don't know. It didn't *bother* me, but it left an impression.

Okay. so we're listening as she talks a bit about what HAI does, their goal being to sort of love yourself into wholeness or something. (yes, I started out a bit skeptical.)

I'm feeling actually, like I'm pretty darn whole, I've just struggled to find healthy and happy poly relationships with people who we have mutual levels of interest and similar kinds of dating goals. And I've been a witch for over twenty years now, I've done a LOT of work on my soul wounds and childhood stuff, relationship stuff. Basically I've worked on all the ways I've ever been hurt or have hurt myself. It was a lot. I had touch averse emotionally distant parents and I was the only nerd in a neighborhood full of jocks. I was lonely and grew up HUNGRY in ways I, as a child, couldn't feed myself.

This has been a longstanding research project for me. A *lifetime* of research unlearning the habits that made me miserable, finding teachers and teaching myself more about how to be happy, content, how to ameliorate the places of need and heal the soul pains of my life.

ok.
Gosh, I kind of want to name and shame them by describing the kind of techniques they used to force us into intimacy with complete strangers.

There were several activities we worked on during the 75 minutes I was in attendance; there was a cycle of hugging and another cycle with an uncomfortable kind of "make eye contact with each person before clasping hands at chest level and then each of you kissed the other's hand", there was a kind of confession time where you partnered up and the script was, "if you really knew me, you'd know..." and then you make a series of stream of consciousness shares with your partner while they listen with attention; then you switch and you listen with attention while they share. The last thing that I can remember is a kind of touching exercise; you each take about five minutes to cup and stroke the other person's face. IDK if they were expecting me to hold eye contact during that; I ran out of eye contact spoons about halfway through.

(do neurotypical people have zero problems holding eye contact with someone else for long periods of time, +/- 5 minutes? Unless I know and trust someone I have trouble holding long eye contact with them.)

at the end of the alotted time our hostess collected us back into a circle and talked some more about the longer, full weekend HAI workshops. I was feeling weirdly ungrounded but still mentally present, and in this case took note of the cost of the weekend as being cheaper than one night in some of the places Jeff and I have stayed (they were NICE rooms okay) but I was feeling like the cost was still prohibitive.

like, I know if I wanted to, I *could* afford that weekend, but my gut feeling was saying, "nope that's too much".

I'm glad I trusted my gut feeling. I definitely didn't want to sign up for anything based on this artificial feeling squashing together of people who didn't know each other.

and I mean, I KNOW THAT you have to meet people before they can become friends, but ... okay. Let me fast forward to on my way home, for a second.

Okay. Driving home. Reflecting on the evening, and why do I feel uncomfortable. Ungrounded, a little like I'm floating above my own head. I am literally operating on autopilot, and I've got the gps in my little Prius going, and somehow I *still* am so lost in my own mind that I miss the freeway turnoff for my house.
Which I *rarely do*, but okay.

I'm *exhausted* when I circle round and actually get my car parked in front of my house. exhausted and *starving* which usually a greasy burger and fries will hold me three hours EASY.

I check my internal resources and I try to *ground*
and I ... like, there's almost nothing *there* to ground *with.*

WTF??

There's *always* something there. It may be sluggish, or it may be stuck, but I've *always* got plenty of "juice".

It's a bit like you're used to a Las Vegas neon display, but suddenly you look and all that's there is a few tired glowsticks scattered around instead.

I'll be honest. It feels like someone(s) in that workshop are energy vampires and I got fuckin' DRAINED.

I've never spent (or not in YEARS) so much time being forced into proximity without having some kind of buffer; social chit chat, physical space, the ability to go introvert for a little while if I needed to.
I've always been able to either ground or shield, or both as needed.

I'm not some N00B witch, I can shield damn well if I need to, I know how to protect myself energetically, but I didn't, because the nature of the exercise was, I thought, to foster a chance at intimacy.
(with strangers)

... I think they're either playing with forces they don't understand, or someone's, consciously or unconsciously, harvesting personal energy from people. Or maybe it was just me? IDK...

Like I got a very fluffy "love and light and we have the power to /love the world to wholeness/!" vibe off them, maybe, MAYBE they have the best intentions running the thing, and as the folks who've been doing it for a long time, the hosts all feel well grounded themselves.

... just UGH. no.

Not my bag. I have communities I can work within and call on for comfort, acceptance, hugs, positive kinds of eye contact, I do not think I will be returning to that community.

Instead I will return to my ecstatic dance community, try out the Contact Improv dance classes locally for physical touch and flexibility and challenge, and join the political action group that some friends from my ecstatic dance (Open Floor) community have started.

I will make more lunch dates. More art dates with friends, more activities that feed me in MY WAYS.
I will do more of the Witchy Shit (tm) that I love and that feeds me.

because yeah. That shit wasn't fun for me at all and I don't wanna do that again.

Poem: "The Bamboo That Bends"

Aug. 19th, 2017 06:05 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "family portraits" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

Saturday Yardening

Aug. 19th, 2017 04:50 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is mostly sunny and hot.  :P  We picked up three piles of grass, and I filled the trolley with sticks to dump in the firepit.

Lots of butterflies out, though, and bees.  Yay bumblebees, boo sweat bees. 

Poem: "As Couples as Possible"

Aug. 19th, 2017 03:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the August [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "hobbies" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest.


"As Couples As Possible"


A dancer fell in love
with a mathematician,

their affection stymied by
his love of all things body,
her love of all things brain,

until they discovered
square dancing.

* * *

Notes:

"As couples as possible" -- Work as a couple whenever possible. Re-evaluate the formation after each part of the call.
-- Square Dance Dictionary

Dance is a popular form of artistic exercise.  Geometry is the mathematics of shape.  Put them together and you get the math of square dance.

Compliments: giving, receiving,a vow.

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:39 pm
labelleizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] labelleizzy
Words are my stock-in-trade. I use them to make things and to explore the world. I go to them to learn and be comforted and to figure life, or pain, or puzzles out.

I come from Livejournal/Dreamwidth, before Facebook, when words were always what you used to tell a writer you enjoyed, appreciated, or interacted with their work. This is well before the "like" functionality was implemented across the internet.

Complimenting artists on their art, writers on their stories, wasn't something I could do, growing up pre Internet as I did. And it's thrilling as hell to be able to, like, tag @dduane and say, "thank you, your books helped me through a painful, awkward childhood where I frequently felt lonely and unloved, and I remember them fondly thirty years later."

One of my favorite poets said she could live three weeks off a really good compliment and nothing else. :) Psychology has done studies on the need for praise and compliments in developing and maintaining a healthy emotional life.

We need them, compliments and praise, but we shy away from giving them. Why is that? I have theories, but this isn't the place and time for that right now. Let me tell you a very short story instead.

I dig tattoos, both in the same way that I love art generally, but in a deeper way too. I have several, am planning several more. Yesterday at the service center, the lovely young man who checked me in, very well mannered, had lovely forearm tattoos: greyscale roses twining around words. (I tried not to stare, I didn't want him to feel uncomfortable)

So I'm admiring his art but didn't have the right kind of courage in that moment to tell him his art was lovely. The shading, the composition, the ballsiness of being a Hispanic dude in maybe his middle 20's with visible floral tattoos, all of these impressed me.

I'm waiting for the shuttle to take me home while they work on my car, reading on Tumblr, and I run across the why-guys-send-dick-pics thread, why women don't, and don't like them, how men don't receive compliments so women complaining about compliments is like the women are speaking in ancient Greek, incomprehensible. One comment that just nailed it was, "one person who's dying of thirst is watching someone who is drowning"

(digression:. if you find that extended thread/conversation, please tag me so I can keep it, or throw a link in comments to this? TYVM!)

And I thought, REAL compliments feed us. And I don't have students anymore who I can lift up in that way, but I do that with friends, and I do that on Facebook and Instagram and my other social media. And I do that for authors whose work I like (I need to make a long appreciative list tagging a bunch of y'all) and maybe, like my beloved friend Janice was doing years ago at Renfaire, I can start making a point of doing this in meatspace interactions again. Giving heart felt compliments. Nothing hollow, nothing that's got a hook in it, nothing manipulative.

Just a gift.

I mean, this thought passed through me in a flash, feeling nothing like it does now to write it all down.

And then the young man with the roses came through with a clipboard. "Oh, you're Liz, aren't you?" I smiled and nodded. "The shuttle's ready to take you home, have a good day," and I half blurt "oh thank you, and I hope you don't mind me saying? (He turns back, slightly surprised) That I love the shading on your rose tattoos. They're really beautiful!"

Folks, the LOOK on his face... I could see what ten year old him looked like when he was really happy. He looked for a flash like kids do when they catch a ball in the stands hit by their favorite player on their home team. He looked SO HAPPY, his smile changed his face completely.

I'm so glad I said something, that I got a second chance to put a look like that on someone's face.

This is a thing I vow to do more of again.

Compliments keep the soul alive in a world that's trying it's best to kill our souls with dread, fear, and despair.

You know: They lie when they say kind words cost nothing: they cost effort, and courage, and willingness to take the risk, ability to let go of an expectation of return. But I have the energy and the commitment and this is something that I can look for opportunities to put out into the world.

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Aug. 19th, 2017 04:11 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open with a theme of "Moving the Body."


What I Have Written

"As Couples as Possible" is today's freebie.


From My Prompts

Poem: "The Whole of Civilization"

Aug. 18th, 2017 05:05 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette.

Read more... )

Bust of Lincoln Destroyed

Aug. 18th, 2017 04:27 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
So this happened

The same principle behind this leads to this and this.

I told you so.  I have been saying and saying that when a society starts pulling down statues, it tends to mushroom, because people get it in their heads they can destroy all the art they dislike.  Sure it's tempting.  Everybody loves to pull down something they hate and stomp on it.  That's very gratifying.  But it's a bad idea because it destroys the past and then nobody has nice things for a long time.  It also sucks when other people pull down stuff that YOU like just because THEY don't, and there is probably not one piece of art on the planet which is liked by everyone.  

Seriously, people, stop doing this shit.  Unpopular art can be moved to a place where it won't annoy folks, but destroying it is counter-civilization.

Poem: "Lycoris"

Aug. 18th, 2017 03:31 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.


"Lycoris"


In spring, the strappy green leaves
emerge from the fertile earth
but bring no blossoms.

The leaves turn yellow,
then brown, and fade away.

In summer, surprise!

A sudden resurrection
out of the dry bare ground
raises flower stalks like magic,
pink lilies spreading themselves
in the sun like naked ladies.

* * *

Notes:

Lycoris is a type of lily with many different names including resurrection lily, surprise lily, and naked ladies.  Both my parents and I have these, and they're beautiful flowers.

Today's Adventures

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
We went up to Champaign today with family.  Mild weather, nice day for an outing.  :D

World Harvest keeps improving their stock of tea and spices.  \o/  Regrettably the cumin and ginger bottles don't fit in our spice rack. >_<  But I found some other stuff I haven't seen in a while so I'm happy.  Also the food selection on the Strawberry Fields side is improving.  The beef pie is a tasty little thing.



My partner Doug and I tried the gansito split at El Oasis. Gansito is a Mexican junk food similar to a chocolate-covered twinkie. I imagine it would be awful by itself, but is quite good with ice cream, either mixed in or like this, split with several scoops of ice cream in between.  Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla topped with whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry.  <3

Barnes & Noble continues to grow more annoying.  Twice I had someone stop and ask if I needed help finding anything.  Well no, you already broke the bookstore, so you can't fix that.  I need to browse by looking at a batch of similar things arranged by topic.  Now that you have dispersed the new books among the old books, this is impossible, unless you want to go hand-sort the new ones for me.  The cookbooks are splodged together, some by topic, others by author or title.  So instead of having all the special diet books together, organized by name of their theme, which would be easy to browse, they're all scattered over a couple of bookcases.  Someone actually asked me if I knew the titles I wanted.  Well if I knew the titles, I'd be able to find them myself! It was yet another damning example of how the store is catering not to bookworms, but to people who don't usually go into bookstores.  I guess they've been hyping electronics often enough that they're getting a lot of traffic that can't even find a help desk.  0_o  It's gotten to where just being asked is an irritant, another reminder that I'm no longer their target audience.  Jesus, lady, I was helping shelve library books when I was four.  >_<  I did find a couple of books to buy, but it's not fun like it used to be.  Bah.

At Wal-Mart I found a new pair of shorts.  Things that make me ridiculously happy: garments made of that silky, ventilated fabric that's almost never used on girl clothes, only guy clothes.  These shorts are lined and have contrasting trim around the edges.  I first got gray with pink trim to go with some tie-dye shirts I bought.  Then I got the turquoise with white and tonight the black with white.  I wanted the cobalt blue, but so far everyone's been out of that in my size.  I'd be happier if these had pockets, but I like the fabric enough to tolerate the lack.  They're really comfortable and really, really genderfucking awesome.  :D

Promoting a Better World

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Everyone's all in a lather about the mess in Charlottesville.  I generally prefer to sidle around the attack and then counterattack directly at the opponent's fundamental goals. In this case, they want to promote racism and violence. So I can undermine their efforts by promoting:

Conversational Skills
http://www.sandbox-learning.com/Default.asp?Page=152
http://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Social-Skills

Tolerance
http://www.mmsa.info/sites/default/files/downloads/pages/Tolerance.pdf (teaching)
http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Tolerant-of-Others

Diversity
http://diversity.appstate.edu/celebration/why/
https://www.uww.edu/learn/aboutdiversity/approachdiversity
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241553

Nonviolence
https://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/listen-carefully-think-first-respect-everyone/
https://www.k-state.edu/nonviolence/Season/64ways.html

African-American Poetry
My favorites include Maya Angelou, Robert Hayden, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, and Phillis Wheatley.
http://www.theroot.com/20-black-poets-you-should-know-and-love-1790868612
http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets_african_american.html

If you want to poke a bigot in the eye, you can go shopping for things made by black writers or crafters, or you can buy multicultural-themed material from any author.  I've got a fluffy family dinner with multiple ethnicities in "Dinner at Donnie's" ($171) in Danso and Family.

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Jenny "Wren" Starling

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