Five Reasons Why You Should Never Say, “Sh*t happens,” to a Survivor.

It is rude, insensitive, and totally offensive. It negates the impact of brutal systemic crime on the lives of a child, adolescent or adult. Anyone who minimizes criminal violence depicts the height of desensitization or compassion burnout. This is usually the reality for social workers, not average citizens. It is like telling someone whose spouse, child or parent was murdered, “Get over it.” It can take a multiple-trauma victim or survivor from zero stress to 100 in a few short seconds. The last reason is why I cannot say more right now.

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Bill of Sexual Rights

I have a right to my own body. I have a right to my own feelings, beliefs, opinions and perceptions. I have a right to trust my own values about sexual contact. I have the right to set my own sexual limits. I have a right to say yes. I have a right to say no. I have a right to sexual pleasure. I have a right to be sexually assertive. I have the right to be the initiator in a sexual relationship. I have a right to be in control of my sexual experience. I have a right to…

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Celebrating the Poetry of Mary Oliver

IF  I  WERE There are lots of ways to dance and to spin, sometimes it just starts my feet first then my entire body, I am spinning no one can see it but it is happening. I am so glad to be alive, I am so glad to be loving and loved. Even if I were close to the finish, even if I were at my final breath, I would be here to take a stand, bereft of such astonishments, but for them. If I were a Sufi for sure I would be one of the spinning kind. Mary Oliver….

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“Dreamwood” by Adrienne Rich

  In the old, scratched, cheap wood of the typing stand there is a landscape, veined, which only a child can see or the child’s older self, a poet, a woman dreaming when she should be typing the last report of the day. If this were a map, she thinks, a map laid down to memorize because she might be walking it, it shows ridge upon ridge fading into hazed desert here and there a sign of aquifers and one possible watering-hole. If this were a map it would be the map of the last age of her life, not…

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My Heart’s Longing …

  My heart’s longing is for a peaceful world and that warring factions everywhere somehow wake up to the senselessness of continuous destruction, bloodshed, and killing. I yearn for a bliss-ninny’s contentment in love. To find the eternal satisfaction popular media romanticizes. To be soaked in happiness and appreciation for all that I have, instead of focusing on innocuous things that matter little. My heart’s longing is for the ability to one-day continue my education and complete as many degrees as I want. This is not just because I must be a ‘woman of letters’, but to satisfy myself at…

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“Lean In” a Quote from Pema Chödrön

“The next time you lose heart and you can’t bear to experience what you’re feeling, you might recall this instruction: change the way you see it and lean in. Instead of blaming our discomfort on outer circumstances or on our own weakness, we can choose to stay present and awake to our experience, not rejecting it, not grasping it, not buying the stories that we relentlessly tell ourselves. This is priceless advice that addresses the true cause of suffering – yours, mine, and that of all living beings.” Excerpted from “Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears”,…

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My Courage

Many people say I’m courageous. I understand that. However, most of what I’ve done is not fuelled by self-confidence. It’s powered by my will to live. Strong emotions provoke my flight-or-flight response.  I struggle with these highs and lows daily and thankfully have noticed that aging puts things on a more even keel. Whether to appease my inner critic or not, today my courage is about saying the following: I haven’t lied about a single thing that happened to me. I didn’t even embellish. In fact, I’ve held back so much out of embarrassment, shame, and anger.  This is also…

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“Personal Ad” – New Blog Post by Terry Gibson

Multi-faceted, passionately aloof woman, lover of foreign accents (or bad copies of same), known to do stand-up comedy in front of dozens, and then be dubbed the ‘quiet one,’ seeks a fellow human being to adore or enjoy the following: Silence for days on end. Then, without warning, I will burst out singing. Who knows what and who knows when? Still laments a long-gone and sordid affair with–yes, I’ll say it–the common daily mail. My pupils still dilate and hands shake at the thought of each single piece. Envelopes were big and bright—canary yellow, green like lime, crimson red or…

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“Glass” by Takako U. Lento

They were dancing as if swimming among the rocks. We stood by the wall, drinking beer out of the green-labeled can. We talked about shadow plays, operas and how your friend’s father witnessed Caruso break a goblet by his forceful voice. I laughed, wishing I could break the thin but inevitable glass between me and your world.   Takako U. Lento  

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