Sweet 15

At the outside of a Sweet 15 coming out party 
held inside our Farmers Market building.
Is this the version of femaleness these teens are to emulate?
Last minute rehearsal before the performance inside.
Ah, those raging hormones, the drama of being young.
 Such loveliness
I wonder what will become of them?
 Will they get the support to become the powerful women
they have the potential to become?
The kind of women that will not need to conform,
but will be empowered to make their own choices,
(not hormone driven.)
As regards partnership,
 will they chose based on shared values,
rather then short term attraction?
As regards motherhood, 
will they be free to have kids, or not?
Will they make use of birth control?
As regards religion,
will they be allowed to believe or not,
will they truly own their own bodies?
As regards careers,
will they pursue an education, or not?
Will they have a choice to stay home or not?
Will they have partners that will want to share 
in the work at home
in the raising of the kids?
I hope this little girl
will know her own loveliness
and will have the options
to create a life of her own choosing.
Individuation is a long, arduous and ongoing process.
 This image off Interesting Factsss on fb
explains what was on my mind better then any words.

Right Of Way Denied

I took Sumo along on an errand on bike early this Sunday morning, while traffic would be still light and the air still cool. At the crossing we stopped, I pushed the buttons  and waited for the lights to turn green for us and then attempted to walk across. But this being the community we live in, the one driver to share the road with us chose to speed up during his left turn and to deny us our right of way!

My first reaction was fear for Sumo as my little Yorkie/Poodle/Maltese has a tendency to veer off and take up inordinate space, be it on the road or in bed. But my well behaved little guy was exactly where he was supposed to be, on heel, unharmed, relief.

A variation of this happens all too often and of late I tend to get infuriated way too often. For 18 months now I have been a pedestrian or bicyclist while my van stayed parked at home. I wore my bright, colorful summer dress, I really was not that easy to overlook. I had only a few more seconds left for crossing on green (another peril when cars from the opposite direction want to make their right turn before their light turns.) So when I watched that driver pull in to the parking lot,  I rushed after him, my stomach in knots, to give him a piece of my mind. The driver, an older, gaunt and a bit scruffy looking man emerged from his vehicle, came  toward me, his eyes red and in tears - he apologized! He stunned me when he said he came to apologize. I told him that he scared me and I pointed to my dog. Now both of us in tears we stood outside Trader Joe's as he promised me to pay more attention!

We are all in this together, we share and sometimes collide in time and space, please pay attention, especially when on the road and in particular when behind the wheels of a potential deadly weapon. I know lack of attention from myself when lost in day dreaming or when I am preoccupied. I have made mistakes as well, took an easy illegal turn, tried to get ahead of someone a bit or a lot slower, I have attempted shortcuts. Please remember that we are all in this together and pay the attention  that we, our kids and our pets deserve!

Sadly a woman on bike downtown was hit by a female driver and hospitalized with critical injuries only yesterday, June 27th. Alcohol did not play a role for once we were told.

Lust For Luscious Intensity


Lusting for luxurious, luscious intensity
during another parched (relatively) bare, 
over-heated season in the high desert.

Thumbs Up

Looking after our 'hood, the Santa Fe Railyard, this man, a single dad, only recently saved the life of a man who had ingested hand sanitizer. That man ended up hospitalized for about two weeks. Our law enforcement officer expressed to me that the social problems he would  encounter while on duty would tear at his heart. An eighteen year old girl "still a baby" he said, cussed him out and wished him dead when he had responded to a concern about a naked woman in the back of our teen center. He suspected 'the baby' was on bath salts. On another day recently he had come upon a woman, drunk, in the brutal hot sun, unable to move. Badly beaten, she had suffered bruised ribs. His own son did not want to go to summer school, because the bathrooms for the use of those still very young kids had awful graffiti.  Our officer expressed to me a wish for more of a focus on social issues and less on war mongering.

Thumbs up to those that enforce the law with compassion.

A Virgo's Worst Nightmare

Dirty
Darn, this cat likes to roll in dirt, 
I guess to mask his scent for better chances in his hunt. 
I am afraid he likes birds and their eggs,
I don't mind my cat keeping the mice on their toes. 
Of late he has no inclination of coming home for the night.
I fear that these bites, 
are not love bites and are not signs of affection,
 despite the fact that they were sustained 
while the planet Venus crossed our Sun.
My pretty kitty seems unconcerned.
The other night, 1:30 a.m., I woke to high pitched screeches,
my cat again in an altercation with yet another opponent,
so uncivilized!

A Poignant Moment

Last week as I walked back from the park, along an alley behind the Farmers Market, I noticed a lanky, pimply faced kid huddled in a corner as he held a burning cigarette between stubby, raw, red fingers. Why, I have wondered so many times before, so I asked. His response was "I am addicted." In turn I responded that I did not buy it, he was too young to suffer from a true addiction. As I followed his eyes, I noticed the little, old woman beside him, also holding a burning cigarette. "It's in the family" he said, "I started at age 12." I kept on probing, truly trying to understand. "Why, are you rebelling?" "No." "Have you gotten the information on what the smoke does to your lungs, have you seen the images?" He answered by saying that he knew it was a "filthy habit."

I then shared about my own experience. 14 years old I had started to steal cigarettes from my Dad, a non-smoker, that he kept in a drawer. They were those cute, small, trial-sized packages of Camels or Marlboro. Ah, their advertisement sure worked on me then. Get them early and get them good, very effective. I was troubled and I rebelled, no doubt. Soon I would sneak out of our school to smoke in a nearby doorway with another outcast of sorts from my class, a sensitive, but also clearly troubled gay kid.

One day an Austrian yoga teacher got the better of me as he instructed me in asanas. He would exclaime about the sorry state of my body, unable to bend this way or that (it may have been a failed attempt of his to win me over as a student,) Well, I had my last cigarette before those instructions. It had not been an actual decision, my frontal lobes had very little to do with what unfolded. I had simply lost my desire to smoke and then supported this change of attitude with right, rather then 'stinking thinking' (as 12-steppers like to call it.) I gave myself good reasons why not to smoke.

If I remember right in those 5 years of smoking I had worked myself up to at least half a pack a day by the age of 19. Smoking in Switzerland was very common. As teens we frequented coffeehouses thick with smoke. Arriving, unsure, trying to look cool, out would come a cigarette. For a while I had been in to those long sweet and dark ones and later it was super cool to roll my own from Drum tobacco, still around these days. But all of this gone in one moment, after one person made some critical comments. I was very, very lucky.

Back to the kid with what I assume was his grandma, I assured them that I did not mean to judge or lecture them, that I truly had been curious and hoped they had not minded my asking. The kid, now here comes the kicker, said "no, it's o.k., most adults when they see me smoke actually look away." He welcomed my concern! I placed my hand on my heart and bowed ever so lightly and wished them well as I walked on, moved in a profound and startling way.

Conundrum

I reject the two party system as neither party seems to speak for me and both are rather infuriating. But primaries are for Democrats and Republicans only. That is how the game is played now, no wishful thinking will change that. So we Independents are left in the cold, or do we feel the heat? In any case our progressive Mayor lost his bid to the House of Representatives by a few measly votes, less then 200. With a few of us Occupy rebels at the polls we might have had a Progressive fill the empty seat in the House of Representatives, a most important place vacated by the Speaker of the House. Darn, I feel conflicted about this. I want to believe in Democracy, although the Super Pac monies make it a challenge, make it seem more like buying votes, flooding the people with slanted, sometimes blatantly wrong sound bites. Anyone that claims that votes can not be bought does not know the power of suggestion, the subconscious mind and the mind numbing effect of repetition.

But I do want to believe in democracy and so I did sign up to 'wo-man' a polling station, a first for me. Waking at 4 a.m. to be on time at the place of voting was doable. Staying put until dark to accommodate a trickle of voters for 12 hours was manageable as well. Our polling machine took a total of only 288 votes during that whole day. And that was more then some of the other precincts could claim. 5 poll workers at one station for 14 hours cost the state a miserly $700. The cost of a very expensive voting machine, it's maintenance, all the paper, the printing, all the organization, think of it all for - 288 votes! Almost as many voters did not show. We destroyed about 250 unused ballots. One single vote comes at an outrageously high expense to the government and in turn the people.

I was welcoming and impartial to all voters and did my best at not expressing any political or personal opinions. Not even when our former Mayor, our very first Hispanic and female Mayor showed up, the one that garnered a lot of controversy over her tenure, but I never regretted having given her my very first vote as a newly US citizen, back 20 years ago.

So I applauded everyone for voting and congratulated them and made absolutely sure that their vote got counted properly by the machine, - while all along I was not able to place my own vote. 20 years ago I had signed up as a Democrat and I had tried to vote for Clinton, but in the newness of my experience, my first vote as an American Citizen, I had fucked up and had made a mistake. At that time voting by machine, corrections were not possible. But these days paper votes are fed to the machine and mistakes can be corrected and were, although only a few times at our station. Luckily Clinton did not need my vote to win the presidency then. While he made some serious mistakes like Nafta and the bombing of civilians, and dumber ones such as Monica Lewinsky, I still respect the man and his mind, no one is perfect.

My conundrum is that I do not wish to belong to either of the dominant parties, but neither do I wish to dis-empower myself and exclude myself from the ability to place my votes. Voting is not only our right, but also our duty. Not voting seems immature, but then always voting for the lesser evil seems simply wrong too.

At first I signed up as a Democrat, then switched to the Green Party and when that party got emasculated in a for once joined effort of Democrats and Republicans, I wondered before and after Obama's election if I should switch back and join the Democrats once again. But now after 3 years of Obama, when Guantanamo is still not closed, when indefinite detention is still practiced, when Osama got killed, rather then brought to justice, when drone attacks have become the norm, along with the killing of civilians, not joining the Democrats is my means of saying no, I do not accept, I object!

So we have all those voters that do not show up, simply ignore the hoopla, and refuse to participate. And the hoopla is obscene, the pac monies outrageous, the allegations absurd, the lies blatant, the waste of time and resources mind boggling. I detest what we have to look forward to until November when we have to chose between the outgoing guard of the Patriarchy, Romney who will be all too happy to lay the pipe lines, desecrate and rape our earth in the name of oil and money (and neither for the American people, as the oil tends to be sold elsewhere and we know how it goes with money.) Cronyism is alive and well, no doubt. On the other side we have Obama who shattered our hopes for real change and made cynics and non-believers of too many. I am afraid many will simply ignore politics altogether and will simply not show up when it comes time to vote.

I will vote for Obama as an Independent (not one that does not dare to declare an allegiance, as the state labeled us Independents during the Primaries) God-dess willing, but with no joy in my heart and no hope, but only a desire to avoid worse.

Magic Love Bus

 Here today

 at the Farmers Market,
in Santa Fe,
the City Different,
in The Land of Enchantment.
 We recognized each other from 30 years ago.
the Chatanooga Cafe
on the Haight
in San Francisco
 Occupy had become too divisive
she said.
 So they took their message 
of peace and love
on the road.
What an awesome home
 and performance platform!
The Magic Love Bus,
here today
and gone tomorrow.

Glo

Glo, 
the Native American grandma 
that made having an exhausting yard sale worthwhile. 

She wandered apparently lost in to my yard on the look out for a particular garage sale. She did not know then that she was exactly where she was supposed to be! Exhausted she sat down and started to talk about her grand kids and then her life. Almost ready to leave, she spotted a two-piece outfit. I insisted she try it on and after some protest she did. Glow was full of surprise and delight to have discovered an unexpected, almost perfect fit.
All giggles and wiggles we experimented with my long silver shawl and matching silver hat. Finally, I remembered a pretty teal lacy blouse, a bit too tight, but a piece of clothing that might serve Glo as motivation to go back to singing and dancing to her beloved Raggae music, despite a daughter not thinking such befitting to a woman of her age. Does she not look like a million bucks? Grandma is ready to attend the School of American Indian Art's graduation where she works as a teacher. Graciously Glo allowed me to capture her on my camera. Here she tried hard to look serious (although I loved her warm and goofy smile.)

The clothes (except the hat) were such an obvious match, they belonged, so I gave them to her  along with a few trinkets for her grandkids, still toddlers. The wonder of it is she accepted with grace. Giving things away I learned during my yard sale is not all that easy, some just can not accept what is given to them. Glo is a special woman with stories to tell, some of them not too pretty, so she thought she may tell those to me first. I thought I might give her my old iBook so she can write those tales of hers down on her own computer. She expressed determination to leave her legacy for her children and grandchildren. We parted, no longer strangers, with a warm and long hug. 

Glo made an exhausting yard sale exhilarating. Passing things on is only in part about money, more so it is about giving, sharing, honoring things and people, about finding good homes for items no longer needed, rather then contributing to an ever growing heap of garbage in our throw-away  modern societies, it is about living green and recycling as much as it can be a show of kindness and generosity.