I not only woke up this morning, minus an hour for Daylight Savings Time, but I was missing 3 whole months, and now I’ve just realized I’ve lost an entire year!
Time flies when you’re having fun, as they say.
I’ve been wanting to sit down and post a few things to this website, I just haven’t found the time lately. I think I may be suffering from hibernation distraction.
What is that, you ask?
It’s a serious mental degeneration that happens when those who normally should be hibernating during the Winter months, find themselves wrapped up in so many activities, they’re distracted and lose track of all sense of days or time. Instead of wrapping up in a blanket, they’re focused on other things so they don’t notice Winter is upon them, until Spring arrives and they wake from their sleepwalking-through-Winter, only to discover the clock’s been ticking away the whole time, but they haven’t stopped long enough to take notice. I think it’s a definite medical condition but I don’t think they make a pill for it.
Soup and bed rest, maybe.
At this point, I can’t even tell you what I’ve been busy doing all year. A lot of reading, studying, conversing with total strangers, admiring the beauty around me – which I used to ignore a lot because I was so focused on running away from this place. And I’ve been raising a bear cub – which is a full-time job, if you ask me! Kiwi is still growing strong, and intimidating, and every ounce of her is a ray of sunshine in my day. I think she’s helped to make this year go by faster.
I’ve been so distracted, my favorite holiday – Groundhog Day – passed me by this year without me even noticing until it was almost St. Patrick’s Day! I think I need to make an appointment for a medical checkup. That’s so not like me. I did acknowledge Chinese New Year. The day after it arrived.
I’ve been taking a lot of gardening classes lately.
It all started because a friend of mine wanted to know how to become a certified Master Gardener. By helping her get registered for the course, I decided to renew mine. I’ve been a Master Gardener for almost 20 years. A lot of things have changed. Back then, our lives – and our health – weren’t threatened by GMOs or EPA unregulated pesticides. I was aware back then of how quickly our heritage seeds were disappearing and it was one of the motivating reasons behind me getting my Master certification. Monsanto has been determined to become the global source for seeds, which is not a good thing for humankind, for more than 30 years. I wanted self-preservation. I wanted to be able to grow whatever I wanted without having to beg, borrow, or steal. Looking back, I’m very thankful, and I know I made a wise choice.
I didn’t have to renew my certification.
When I became a Master Gardener, it was for life. Now they require a certain number of hours, in-class, every year, to maintain your certification. I will always be taking community ed classes. I enjoy learning – and it gives me a chance to network with people who share the same goals I have. And sharing is a huge factor in the garden community. It’s refreshing. It makes you become more aware of how much selfishness exists in this world.
Another activity I’ve enjoyed this Winter is spending one day a week at my friend’s house, watching something on Netflix.
She has tv.
She has Netflix.
Together, we’ve managed to turn that into something fun.
We take turns making a part of a meal, then we watch Netflix – or The Cosmos series – every Sunday. It’s almost like our new religion. We share a meal and ideas. It’s very enriching for both of us. I highly recommend you try it. Just pick someone and invite them over – or invite yourself into their living room, if you’re like me and don’t own a tv. Offer to make a soup or a dessert or whatever – even if it’s Chinese Takeout. Share. Learn. Expand. Grow. Enjoy. Communicate. Enrich your lives.
Nothing is more worthwhile than spending time with a friend, while learning about something new. And eating. It’s a ritual worth savoring.
Another ritual that I’ve been pursuing with another friend of mine is taking pictures of antiquish things – things that survived through Yesteryear and now, for whatever reason, gets overlooked as we humans rush by, forgetting to notice it anymore. One of the locations was an abandoned ghost town out in the middle of Nowhere Land. I found beauty in discarded, rust-eaten tin cans and metal siding, and nails that had wormed their way through the shrinking lumber used to build homes and storehouses in a bygone era. I felt that if I didn’t snag them in the net of my camera lens, they might deteriorate and vanish before my very eyes.
The sagebrush was more healthy than the dilapidated buildings.
As I walked among the ruins, I felt the presence of those who suffered to make a living off the land. I felt their joy of survival and their sorrow of having to leave it all behind when the land could no longer support their growing needs. They had no choice but to move on. It held treasures – the kind you can’t buy – and a lesson all its own – that it only shared with those who were willing to stop by, listen, and read its worn pages as their feet walked where settlers once walked. I plan to partake in antiquish wisdom more often.
Maybe a bit of carpe diem lifeism inspired by “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” has rubbed off on me? Maybe it’s been there with me all along? Maybe Persephone’s been gathering forks among the ruins of Hades’ cavern and the shiny stuff is floating to the surface? Maybe…
“Beautiful Things Don’t Ask for Attention”
~ James Thurber, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Maybe they just wait, quietly, to be discovered.
Only then, can it truly be appreciated for its worth. A thought worth sharing, as I try blowing out the candles on another birthday cake that can’t be extinguished because of the dragon at the top of it.
Photos from “Yesteryear”
Winter Humor Pictures:
“Look here, McGinnis – hundreds of bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string… Someone was after a few of this guy’s favorite things.”
I stare at the moon whenever I look up at the night sky. I’m mesmerized by it. I’m healed by it. I’m comforted by its glow.
And when it’s not there, I miss it.
A week ago, I looked at the sliver that was the quarter moon and thought it reminded me of a moon sleeping in a hammock ~ and the hammock was tied between two stars. And the glow from Venus was its nightlight. It made me smile to myself.
Tonight, the moon is no less beautiful. It’s called a “mini” moon because it’s the smallest in size of all the full moons we’ll encounter throughout the year. It’s also called the “Wolf Moon”. To me, it was like a peeping-Tom through my bedroom window. Its glow reached out and touched my skin.
I bathed in it. While I listened to Lawson Rollins (on Amazon HERE) play his guitar.
A few months ago, I went to a guitar exhibit at my local museum. It was very interesting. There were all kinds of guitars on display – famous ones, metal ones, Spanish ones, ancient ones, even modern plastic ones. There were guitars made of beer bottles and lunch boxes with just one string. And there were guitars with 12 strings. There was a guitar on display that had 6 arms, mechanically playing a song. There were guitars without guts. And some without heads. Some were just sketched on paper ~ just a thought that evolved from someone else’s head. I never dreamed I could see so many different guitars in one place. I’ve been to the Music Experience museum in Seattle. That museum is impressive – but this museum exhibit was nothing but guitars. And they were mind-bending all on their own.
The most amazing guitar on display, in my mind, was one called the “Crossroads Guitar”. The details in the craftsmanship made the soul of the guitar come alive and howl even though it wasn’t even being played ~ It just hung on the wall for all the visitors to see. If you blinked, you’d miss it. I have a picture of it that I’ll upload later. I’m out of time right now. I spent too much time basking in moonglow tonight. I need to get to sleep. I’ll try to share the pictures I took at the museum with you before I make another post on this website.
In the meantime, I want to share with you some of what I’ve been listening to lately. Maybe Lawson’s music will speak to you too.
Tonight, it was “Promise” by Lawson Rollins ~ A perfect “moon” song.
But I Love, LOVE, Love Lawson Rollins’ “Santa Ana Wind” ~ It reminds me of my childhood in Southern California. And I want to get out my blender and make margaritas! It’s Hot -and- Spicy!
And a taste of “Fire Cadenza” will leave you breathless too…
~ Have I told you about my love affair with bridges? ~
The problem is all inside your head.
The answer is easy if you take it logically.
I can help you in your struggle to be free.
I hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued.
I may even repeat myself. At the risk of being cruel. As I drop off a key – to life – while I explain some about the 50 ways… to love love.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” ~ Jim Elliot
Sometimes my world is like magic. Often. Things just seem to jump out at me. And they all fit together nicely. I just have to be paying attention. I try.
Sometimes they’re the simplest of things. Sometimes they’re more complicated. But when they leave, I’m forever changed. Knowledge, once learned, cannot be unlearned. It’s a gift from the universe. Whether it’s a painful lesson or a bliss-filled “Ah-ha” moment, you’re never the same person you were before the lesson. We evolve.
I’ve had an opportunity – yes, I call it an opportunity – snack on that word for a moment and feel its definition – to watch a boat load of documentaries and old movies over the holidays. I look forward to them more than I do the food. Did I say that out loud?
The food is always basically the same… turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, veggies, dinner rolls and pie. The only variations are the flavors that accompany the main dishes. A few things may be thrown in for good measure. The documentaries are the spice. The variety I crave.
This year I made fresh peach pie with the peaches from my local farmer’s market I collected at the end of this Summer. A friend sent me a text that evening, after tasting it for the first time, that she would “kill someone for my peach pie”. I laughed, but in my twisted head, I could think of a few people I could give her a list of. I’ll be sharing my recipe for the pie later on my site – a special request from another friend. I also made a combo of pumpkin and pecan pies. I’m in the process of mailing one to a friend of mine in San Diego, California. I had to get creative to think of a way to mail a whole pie through the postal service! I’ll just say it includes lots of bubble wrap and duct tape – which are multi-purpose items. *wink*wink*
I’m also sending my friend a jar of homegrown honey collected from the almond fields in California. If you’ve never tried the cornucopia of flavors honey brings to the tastebuds and your idea of sweetness is a packet of “pink” or “yellow”, I can honestly say you’re missing out on the Land of milk and honey life is all about!
Life also brings lessons for some of us and we’re meant to share what we’ve learned so others can experience those lessons without the side-effects they bring. We have an opportunity to teach. It’s our obligation to learn. In order to learn, we have to be ready to take it all in and process it – digest it – and store what we need in the gray matter of our own abyss and if we’re truly listening, we also hide bits of it in our souls. The info changes the shape of our souls forever. We expand beneath the shell of our skin. And if our close friends are paying attention, they’ll notice the change. They’ll see we’re different somehow. Our thinking will tattle on us. We can’t hide it for long.
There are others we’ll encounter who won’t notice a difference. Then there are those we’ll come into contact with who won’t know who we were before the change. The evolution within will have already taken place. Over time, we may not even remember who we used to be until a reminder, sent from the universe, jumps out at us like a ghoul in a spook alley, or a frightened pussy cat. It will either make us laugh, or cry. But it’ll remind us of what once was.
“There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand you without you speaking a single word.” ~ Unknown
As those of you who know me or have been reading my website know, I don’t watch TV. I watch documentaries, or independent films – whenever I get free time. A few days ago, at work, I was involved in a conversation with a co-worker who was telling me about a guy in his kitchen who was “doing everything wrong. He was even making Jello-O backwards. He almost burned the kitchen down!” as he re-counted his Christmas to me and his roommate sitting next to me. Not knowing him that well, I asked if the guy in the kitchen was his brother. He looked at me across the table and said “No. He’s… Ummm…” and I instantly knew. He didn’t have to say anything more. I looked at him and his roommate and said “Got it. He’s just ‘Um’.” and they both laughed and said “Yes.” and the co-worker confirmed that Um was his partner. I must explain that I live in a very conservative, small town. To admit openly that you’re gay or lesbian or anything other than straight is a quick way to tie a noose around your own neck for a public witch hunt. It’s still legal here to fire someone or refuse to hire someone based on their sexual orientation. I think it’s morally wrong and offensive to judge anyone based on what turns them on unless it brings harm to another. I don’t see how what goes on behind someone’s bedroom doors affects them at work, unless it’s someone who’s slept with more than half the people in your office and that’s the way they got their promotion over you at work.
Maybe you just need to brush up on your sex-book reading some more if you want that promotion?
I’m kidding. It’s just that I had to deal recently with a co-worker who called a friend of mine a “man-whore”. First, this individual I’m talking about is a gossip-monger. I can’t sit near her without getting physically ill from all the gossip she spews out on a daily basis. Those who sit near her actually “feast” on it. They’re delighted to give her tasty morsels they’ve managed to collect. Secondly, if she really knew the definition of that word, she’d know that a man-whore is a male. My friend is female (and also a co-worker of mine). If she took the time to really get to know my friend, she’d know my friend just gets along better with guys than she does women. Thirdly, I know that the gossip is coming from someone with low self-esteem. She feels better about herself by tearing someone else down.
I reported her.
Doing it made me feel better. I must watch a lot of documentaries because another co-worker – a “feaster” – rudely intruded into a conversation I was having with someone sitting across from me about their brother who was “born racist”. This is the same co-worker who currently loves “Um”. Um’s lover is also a fan of Ayn Rand. I had to school him on socialism and why it’s not the same thing as communism and it’s a healthy, necessary element for any society. And why Ayn Rand’s book(s) of fiction is toxic to humans. Yes, I have interesting conversations at work. I’m like the “enlightened one” my co-workers seek out to ask me what I think about something. They also never fail to ask “Where did you grow up?” because my views are “so different” from those who obviously grew up here, according to them. They’re surprised to find that for the majority of my life, I did grow up here. It’s helped to shape my much more diverse views. I sought refuge from the conservative spoon-fed dogma they preach here. Then they ask “Why do you still live here?”. It never fails. As I tried to explain that people learn racism and hate – they aren’t born with it – the feaster said to me “How do you know that, Leilani? Did you watch it in a documentary?”. I knew immediately it was the offended, ignorant, red-neck inside her screaming to try and put me in my place. The conversation didn’t include her but she felt the need to take an opportunity to intrude when it came up. It was her habit. She didn’t wait for me to answer. She moved on. Like a coward, she ran.
Among the documentaries I’ve watched recently was “The Loving Story”. It happened after this conversation, but it’s one I wish the feaster had seen. It’s a story about true love. And it’s a story about pure hate, if hate can ever be considered “pure”. I want to give it to her (the feaster) wrapped in a blue ribbon, in the shape of an equal sign for Christmas next year! It’s my habit – to education through communication.
I also watched “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel” – a tasteful film with interview footage to kill for! I’ve also seen “Pink Ribbons Inc.” where the I.V. League conversation (they start to speak at the 1:10min and 1:52min mark in the clip) re-shaped my soul. [WATCH a Clip of the movie HERE ]. I hope you’ll watch the movie so you can hear their testimony. I’ve also finished reading the book “The China Study” that makes me want to stand in a parking lot at a local grocery store with a billboard across my chest that reads: Purchase Cancer Inside – with an arrow pointed toward the entrance, like a carnival ride ticket-taker. The book reinforced, even more profoundly than I already understand, how the food choices we make affect the quality and length of our lives. This is something I’ve known for more than 15 years. Something I wish someone had told me when I was in my teens. But this book took that knowledge even further. I’m ashamed to admit that I had the book for at least 3 years and I never got around to reading it until now. It wasn’t until someone in a community group I meet with almost every Thursday night took one look at my salmon salad dinner and knew that I hadn’t read the book but asked me if I had anyway. It was his way of starting a conversation with me. I went home, dusted off the book, and read it from cover to cover – audio style. It changed my life forever even though I’m just getting started on making those changes. I love books like that. I love documentaries that can do that too. The ones where you’re never the same again, in a good way. You learn. You grow. You become courageous.
“I learned: The best way to change the world is to change yourself.” ~ Joe Cross, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
Another documentary that has changed my life, in a good way, forever, is “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross. [Click HERE to watch a trailer.] Just listening to Joe with his accent is enough to hypnotize me. I could listen to him read a dictionary and that’d be enough for me. However, I believe Healthy people = Healthy planet. After watching his generosity to a roadside stand owner, his thoughtful Thanksgiving contemplation on a grassy knoll, his kindness to a stranger reaching out to him by phone for help who lives an entire continent away, and his determination to share his profound knowledge with others so they don’t have to suffer as he’s had to, it makes me love and respect him all the more as a human being. He’s a man on a mission. And he has the physical evidence to back him up. What really caught my eye in the film was the name attached to the food pyramid: T. Colin Campbell. Dr. Campbell, PhD., is also the author of “The China Study”. [Explore his website HERE.] Joe doesn’t make this connection in the documentary, in fact the pyramid is only in the film for less than a minute, but I recognized Campbell’s name on the chart because I’d just finished reading the book. A book I’d picked up on a whim. A whim that often happens to me while strolling through bookstores.
It’s true Magic.
“When ordinary people do a simple thing, it changes the world.” ~ Barbara Brenner, Pink Ribbons Inc.
I’d like to think I intentionally buy things but I’m learning that as an anti-consumer advocate, things – especially books, movies, and even people – come into my life because the universe has sent them to me. They’ve chosen me. Not the other way around. Universal Magic. And if I’m listening, I’ll hear their words and connect the dots. And if I can, I’ll put that magic into words to share it here with all of you.
“One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others”~ Lao Tzu
I found myself in a local bookstore yesterday. I went there on purpose. I always do. I was on a mission. I was looking for a cookbook called “101 Juice Recipes“ by Joe Cross. I was looking for other books too but I hoped I’d find his book. I realized recently that, if I’m a hoarder, I hoard books – especially cookbooks. But only the ones I truly treasure have the honor of living in my home with me. It’s a true love affair. What can I say?
I looked in the cookbook section and the Health section. Not there. I was disappointed. As I stood there, looking through the books on the shelf, I noticed my musical hero, Paul Simon, singing in my ears over the speakers in the store. I love Paul. He writes songs with the ink in his heart. It was his “50 Ways” song. One of my favorites.
I grew up, thanks to my friend, Fred, with Paul as Simon & Garfunkel. [You can see from this "Boxer" performance that Simon "had it". The song is one of my favorites because of the lyrics, even though "Garf" butchers it. I'd sell my left nut, if I had one, to see Simon and Sting (my MOST fav) in concert this year!]
I recognize a Paul-song like I’d recognize my own child’s voice. As I stood up and turned around, there was the ever-familiar Sex-Book section. I noticed two things instantly: 1) It was a mess. Books were flopped over on their sides and there were huge, open gaps on the shelf. 2) The color that stood out was hot-pink.
Why are there so many books about sex in hot-pink covers?
Are women the only ones to read them? Are book publishers trying to target market to women? In my experience, men need to read more. Women are the ones with their noses in a book on the commuter bus into downtown Seattle. Men are staring out the bus window with an empty look on their face. Clearly, the majority of Oprah’s book club members are women.
How manly is it for a man to take a bright, hot-pink book about sex with him to the Barnes and Noble check-out counter? And why were most of the titles of these books geared toward women? My personal fav? “Power of the Pussy”. That’s no secret. Were all the books-for-men the ones that were missing and causing the huge, open gaps on the shelves? Where were the bright, baby-blue ones? Who knows? But I couldn’t help make the connection between the “50 Ways” song and the Sex-Books slapping in me in the face as I stood up and turned around. I felt like I needed to get back down on my knees.
All kidding aside, I walked over to the check-out counter and asked the clerk for the CD they were playing in the store and bought it. That’s just the kind of girl I am. When I see or hear something I love, I take it home with me and I make love to it – cover. to. cover. Beneath its covers. But I have to truly love it. I spent the night with Paul last night. It’s a Simon Sunday. And if Paul were reading this, I could find 50 ways to make him blush. In shades of Hot-Pink. No jacket required.
1. the part of the mind that is inaccessible to the conscious mind but that affects behavior and emotions.
synonyms: subconscious, psyche, ego, id, inner self
The scientific world is not a constant. There are always scientists working to either prove or disprove something, somewhere. I’m often challenged by those who find out I’m an environmental scientist and want to discuss why THEY believe “global warming” isn’t a warming at all since they’re freezing during the Winter.
Whenever someone approaches me for debate and the first words out of their mouth is “global warming” I immediately know they’re working from a mindset based on old data – 30 year old terminology – and therefore, I know it’ll be a losing battle to engage their questioning. They’re simply not ready to hear what I have to say on the subject. Personally, I wish the scientific community would start calling it what it really is: A “climate crisis“.
In my world, I’ve also been exposed to a lot of those who are atheists and assume I’m one because I’m a scientist. Since I’m a scientist, how can I possibly still believe in God? According to these people, belief in God and the study of science cannot co-exist in the same being. I must say, I don’t necessarily believe in “God” in the same context they might define “god” and I may not believe in “god” in the same context organized religions define “GOD”. I do believe there’s a “web” of invisible energy emanating from each of us and through each of us and into each of us, just by being on a living planet. I think I’ll just call it “god-ness“.
A simple way for me to explain this web of energy, or god-ness, is to say that if we were to stand in front of a burning fireplace, hold out our hands to warm them by the fire, then take this warmth and hold hands with another human being in the room, their hands will become warm simply by touching ours. However, the warmth came from the energy given off by the burning fire in the fireplace – the burning of wood (that was once a living tree, made of carbon) or from natural gas (that was gathered from decaying plant material, made of carbon) can be shared, or exchanged. We are made of carbon. We absorb that energy and transfer it, through holding hands, with another being made of carbon. Eventually, that heat leaves our body and we must search out another heat source, or start the whole process over again. We never actually see the heat and energy exchange, but we feel it.
Morphogenesis, the process by which things that are the most similar build on one another. We all need energy. The energy from the burning fire is different only in that it’s an energy that gives warmth through the process of destroying carbon it gets the energy from – it burns it up. The vessel – our hands – capture and contain that energy long enough to share it with another vessel. A sort of atomic chain reaction.
If you take this simplification of morphogenesis and realize that we’re all a vessel of captured energy, everything around you becomes an energy generator, even invisible ones. Open your unconscious eye to it and you’ll begin to see what I’m alluding to.
Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. (born 28 June 1942) is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and ten books. A former Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize. He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow, before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society, he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University.
While at Cambridge, together with Philip Rubery, he discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport, the process by which the plant hormone auxin is carried from the shoots towards the roots.
From 1968 to 1969, based in the Botany Department of the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he studied rain forest plants. From 1974 to 1985 he was Principal Plant Physiologist and Consultant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, where he helped develop new cropping systems now widely used by farmers. While in India, he also lived for a year and a half at the ashram of Fr Bede Griffiths in Tamil Nadu, where he wrote his first book, A New Science of Life.
From 2005-2010 he was the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project funded from Trinity College,Cambridge. He is a Fellow of Schumacher College , in Dartington, Devon, a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences near San Francisco, and a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.
He lives in London with his wife Jill Purce and two sons.
He has appeared in many TV programs in Britain and overseas, and was one of the participants (along with Stephen Jay Gould, Daniel Dennett, Oliver Sacks, Freeman Dyson and Stephen Toulmin) in a TV series called A Glorious Accident, shown on PBS channels throughout the US. He has often taken part in BBC and other radio programmes. He has written for newspapers such as the Guardian, where he had a regular monthly column, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Times, Times Educational Supplement, Times Higher Education Supplement and Times Literary Supplement, and has contributed to a variety of magazines, including New Scientist, Resurgence, the Ecologist and the Spectator.
Books by Rupert Sheldrake:
A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation (1981). New edition 2009 (in the US published as Morphic Resonance)
The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (1988)
The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God (1992)
Seven Experiments that Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (1994) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Institute for Social Inventions)
Dogs that Know When Their Owners are Coming Home, and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals (1999) (Winner of the Book of the Year Award from the British Scientific and Medical Network)
The Sense of Being Stared At, And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind (2003)
The Science Delusion (2012, published in the US as Science Set Free)
Sometimes when I think about making a post, I begin with an idea but by the time I actually find time to sit down and write, it morphs into a new being – a new kind of creature that I couldn’t have imagined prior. It’s as if there’s a force, greater than myself, out there bringing me information and it’s up to me to piece the bits together. It’s not until I begin to write that it hurls itself upon me – like a dragon coming at me, waiting to be slain or conquered. I charge after it without fear. I write as quickly as I can before the ideas leave me.
About a week ago, a friend showed me a picture she saw in Facebook. It was a man being arrested for public drunkenness. He continued to drink right in front of the police and the caption read “Don’t give a fuck“. It left an impression on me.
Today I was thinking about the old movie called “Flatliners“. Good grief! It’s almost hitting its 25-year Anniversary since its release! It’s a movie about some college students in med school. A group of them get together in an abandoned building and use equipment stolen from a hospital to “shock” them into flatlining – stopping their heart long enough to discover what it’s like on “the other side” of life. To actually die, and then those witnessing the death bring the “patient” back from the dead. As the movie progresses, the ego of the students takes over and they begin to challenge one another to see who can stay dead the longest. I won’t tell you what happens, in case some of you reading this haven’t seen the movie.
While thinking about the drunk, about death and about just not giving a fuck, I realize that even though I secretly wish I could publicly not give a fuck – I do. But inside, I really don’t give a fuck what other people think. I haven’t. For a very long time. I think I abandoned the “Give-a-Fuck” after I graduated from High School and all the so-called friends I had back then were religious – I quickly realized they no longer accepted me when they found out I wasn’t. It was at that moment my life changed and I no longer had to put forth an effort to fit in – on the inside.
I admire those who just don’t give a fuck – on the outside.
The flatllining college students eventually didn’t give a fuck whether or not they could be “brought back” – they did it for the sheer enjoyment of discovery. They wanted to experience what death was like and return with that knowledge and understanding.
How different would our lives be if we had prior knowledge of what really exists in the beyond?
How different would our lives be if we had existing knowledge of how our current lives turned out?
Would we allow that knowledge to shape our current behavior? Would we suddenly not give a fuck about anything else? Would we no longer care what other people think?
I’ll never stop caring about what happens to others or the planet – but what I’d really like to change is not giving a fuck – on the outside.
Hygiene will always be important to me simply because it is. What I’m talking about is the ability to just SAY what’s on my mind. The ability to scream if I feel like it. The kind of wanton abandonment that precludes caution. To travel the world with only a backpack. To walk away from it all and do what I want to do. For once. To get flat-lined.
I see it in others. I want it.
I wonder if it’s possible to get flat-lined and still return from it. Do those who no longer give a fuck on the inside and the outside ever return? Does it take dying to know what it’s really like to live? To free yourself from the fear of what anyone thinks?
What does it take to become a flat-liner? Do you need a group of other people standing around giving you shock treatments and cutting away at your soul until you eventually bleed to death? Do their words finally wound you to the point of pushing you beyond the point of no return? I find myself admiring people from certain socio-economic regions of the U.S. – New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, East L.A., Compton. To me, these people have guts. They have a fighting spirit that comes from survival. They’re gangster-tough. They’re not only street-smart, they can cut you in half with their tongue and never leave a mark, except on the inside. They’re the pitbulls of the population. They’re the prize-fighter in the ring of humanity – they win, or at least that’s what it looks like from where I’m sitting in the front row. Someone else bought my ticket. I just showed up for half-time. And now I want to collect on the winnings.
I want to twerk like the world’s watching and I don’t give a fuck. I honestly didn’t “get” why the U.S. was so appalled about Miley. I was cheering her on. I’d been twerking before I even knew there was a word for it. Miley just gave it a name. Are they going to censor dictionaries now because it contains the word “twerk”? Madonna was my hero. She talked about teen pregnancy, about sex, about it all, and she wore the pointy bras on the outside to prove she didn’t give a fuck on the inside. BoyGeorge said it with makeup and a rainbow of colours. That man had the best eyebrows anywhere in Great Britain! And Cyndi Lauper sang about vibrators and being proud long before Miley was even an embryo. And no one had even heard of Lady Gaga – who makes me wish Halloween was year-round!
I also realize how freeing it is to become a flat-liner. I confront half-truths all the time and banish lies like a warrior on an almost daily basis. That part’s easy for me. The one that’s hard for me is the outward flat-liner – the one who behaves inappropriately, although I’ve been known to laugh during a funeral and to cry when I’m moved by a public speaker – in public – in daylight. I didn’t give a fuck. What I worried about was whether my mascara was smeared.
It’s harder for me to wear something outlandish or take a piss in the bushes when I’ve had too much to drink, or tell someone, to their face, to Fuck Off when they’ve pissed me off. My brain is thinking it but I’m far too lady-like to allow what I’m thinking to dictate what comes out of my mouth.
Over the last year, I’ve been morphing into a flat-liner. It takes a lot to push my buttons. But today I found my handbook ~ my rulebook, you could say…
70,000 people “Like” it. I like those 70,000 people. I want to be friends with all of them!
And the music video that made me laugh myself into that new realm of Fuck-Off-dom. Avicii with Nicky Romero “I Could Be The One” ~ Strange and unruly. Unruly. I like that word. I really, really do. I think Alice called it “muchness“.
Behandelt die Frauen mit Nachsicht!
Aus krummer Rippe ward sie erschaffen,
Gott konnte sie nicht ganz grade machen.
Willst du sie biegen, sie bricht;
Labt du sie ruhig, sie wird noch krummer:
Du gutter Adam, was ist den schlimmer? –
Behandelt die Frauen mit Nachsicht:
Es ist nicht gut, dab euch eine Rippe bricht.
Be lenient when handling womankind,
She’s made, you see, out of a curving rib,
God could not make her straighter than he did,
Don’t try to bend her, or she breaks, you’ll find.
And if you let her be, her curve grows greater;
Poor goodman Adam, that is worse a matter.
Be lenient when handling womankind:
A broken rib does you no good, you’ll find.
Here’s my tweet: [In Full, including the reason for the tweet(s)] – You can click on each picture to expand them for ease of reading. There were more than just Jerseygrl5 who either sent me tweets, including SamanthaJaneS and BonnieBell, or they gave me a FollowFriday (#FF) as a compliment – which only made me cringe because I no longer followed or supported Sam or Bonnie. I’d been quietly DM-ing those people behind the scenes for 6 months and I’d grown tired of it. I’d also told Jerseygrl5 to stop including me among tweets with them several times, but she didn’t seem to “get the hint” so I publicly posted it – contrary to what BrigetteSeppa seems to think. Yes, Brigette, I did see it – and you could do well to heed your own advice and DM’d it to Bonnie. I don’t follow you, or some of the others. You and Bonnie follow each other. What’s your excuse? And, for the record: Bonnie ALSO followed all of the people she sent the above tweet to and they followed her. She could have DM’d them. I guess the DM comment only applied to me, eh? Brigette. Practice what you preach, so they say. Yes, I’m going to expose all of you here, except for the ones I still have a bit of a soft spot for. I still know their motives but they haven’t pissed me off, yet. I’m well aware that each of you talk to those John follows, often, just to get him to notice you. I’m also aware of when you completely abandon someone he stops following – like they have the plague. You also attack those who disagree with him like a bunch of hyenas in heat. Yet, you preach empathy and kindness and Christian-like values. You’re two-faced, and it’s obvious. To help you understand, I’ve decided to publicly post the evidence here – so their words will speak for themselves and the truth cannot be deleted or hidden, even though a lot of it has been deleted already (6 months had lapsed before it surfaced again. Sam and Amanda deleted their tweets immediately – for fear that John would see what they tweeted). I hope I’ve included enough evidence here so that you can piece it together for yourself. It’s their words, not just mine, that I will share with you. As Bonnie says, “Let the truth speak for itself. There are two sides to every story.” Now you can hear my side and see the proof for yourself – in pictures – “the entire situation that created this [so-called] farce” and decide who’s telling the truth. I’ve had a long – almost 3-year – history with most of them, dating back to December, 2010. I know their behavior very well. Here’s a tweet to one of them:
@SamanthaJaneS @politicasplash It’s a lesson of forgiveness and compassion and I refuse to honor MDC by saying his name http://bit.ly/fiRRID — Leilani (@LuckyLeilani) December 13, 2010
[Click HERE for the Link in the tweet to Sam] Here’s a tweet of Bonnie talking to me in Nov. 2011: And one of Sam and I talking in Nov. 2011:
RT @SamanthaJaneS: no way shut you eyes my hair is wrapped in a towel lol RT LuckyLeilani: SamanthaJaneS Hello Sam ~ I see U :) <~~ LOL! — Leilani (@LuckyLeilani) November 30, 2011
But it was ReneeRoman300 who befriended me while talking with John on Twitter. She and I would spend hours sharing music and laughing about the silliest of things – all because she said “Hello” to me. (Yes, I’ve noticed the hyenas now have a “Music Friday” to take the place of what Renee and I had started. Again, Copycats!) The rest of the “Jungle Crew” came later once they saw how much fun we were having together. Sadly, jealousy has taken its toll. Medusa and her ugly step-sisters seem to be alive and well in TwitterLand! Yes, believe it or not, we used to have a lot of fun and games together. Our 1-Year Anniversary marked by a tweet from ReneeRoman300:
It wasn’t until my birthday last year, when I returned home from a visit to San Francisco, that the ugly side surfaced and I became fully aware of how much I was being monitored on Twitter all because someone had “favorited” and “followed” me.
First, I need to give you a link to a message (in TwitLonger) that Bonnie posted in response to my two tweets to Jerseygrl5 (that I posted a photo of at the beginning of this page).
Click HERE to read what she wrote. Please do! This post will make more sense if you do. Go ahead. I will patiently wait here for you…
Now that you’ve heard what Bonnie had to say, it’s time for the evidence to speak for itself… As I said, I had gone to San Francisco for my birthday. I mentioned it on Twitter INAPRIL (2012) to those I knew lived nearby – hoping for a chance to meet-up with them:
And here are 2 more replies in April (2012), confirming that I talked about going to San Francisco 4-1/2 MONTHS before I went there:
Yet, Sam had the nerve to tell me I had inconvenienced her on a HOLIDAY! As if I had the power to change the date of my birth!
RT @SamanthaJaneS LuckyLei Neither do I. :) Plans need more planning not on holiday time. << Making mental note. My bday. My bad. — Leilani (@LuckyLeilani) September 4, 2012
By tweeting me THIS on Sept. 4, 2012 – Note, she has deleted her tweet but you can see by my reply, exactly what she said to me – AFTER I returned home (the bottom tweet was the first, the middle was the second, etc.): I had invited everyone I regularly chatted with in Twitter and that I knew lived near San Francisco to join me to celebrate my birthday. I even planned to meet them for lunch. My tweets have disappeared from twitter but I was able to find some that were picked up by the Twitter SFO-Ping bot: When I returned, I responded to a question tweeted to me from ReneeRoman300 who asked me how the meet-up went. I replied that “they had chickened out on me”. I never named names and Renee had never mentioned any names in her tweet to me. Suddenly, Bonnie jumped all over me and demanded that I delete the tweet because, according to her, it was “insensitive”. I re-read what I’d typed to Renee and didn’t agree. All I had said was that “they chickened out on me :D ” – Simple as that. I never said why or what Sam’s excuse was. Bonnie was the one who mentioned that. As you can see by this next tweet I wasn’t feeling well myself. I’d come down with a cold that day and thought that maybe I hadn’t been thinking straight or that I had misunderstood their intentions: That was tweeted at 11:56pm. I had left San Francisco that afternoon and had just barely gotten home. I had replied to Renee between flights, at the airport. The argument with Bonnie and Sam went on until well after 3am the next morning. I was very tired from traveling and being sick with a horrible congested cold, I gave up and went to bed, only to see more “airing of their dirty laundry” the next morning, as well as Bonnie’s snarky comments about me to other people who followed me… Basically, Bonnie and Sam were dictating to me what I could and could not say on Twitter. Sam was quickly denying attacking Renee but if you notice, she never denied attacking me – because she knew I was telling the truth. You can read the rest of Sam’s TwitLonger message HERE. I had Blocked both Sam and Bonnie back on Sept. 4, 2012. I never received the message but came across it later while having to search for the evidence. As you can see, the whole thing is still there – April 1, 2013. Bonnie also claims in her TwitLonger that the whole thing happened “a year ago” when, at the time, it had only been 6 months – exactly. Seems her memory is a little “off”. And if she sincerely had no intentions of getting involved again, then why did she? Bonnie was policing what she and Sam felt was a personal attack against Sam for cancelling her meeting with me. Little does everyone know, Sam waited until an hour before our lunch appointment to tell me she wasn’t going to make it. The whole thing felt “deja vu” to me but I let it slide. I’m naturally a very flexible person. I don’t make high-pressure demands (or even low-pressure ones) on other people. The only thing I do demand of them is that they treat me with respect and they’re always completely honest with me. I can smell an agenda or dishonesty from 10 miles away! I never make excuses and I always take responsibility for my actions. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. You can read more from Renee’s tweet to all of us HERE, including my replies. This is also a copy of the tweets between Renee and Bonnie in December, 2012: And this is my tweet calling them “the Cusack Bully Twins”:
@reneeroman300 Seems U had same experience I had with the Cusack bully twins. Oddly, a bully doesn’t realize they’re even a bully. Sad. — Leilani (@LuckyLeilani) December 16, 2012
I’ve known about Sam’s fantasy of being the British version of the woman in “Serendipity” since I first encountered her. She’s as fake as a 3-dollar Euro, including her false teeth. Besides, Sam, you should know – a Capricorn Sagittarius (A fire sign, which is even worse!) and a Cancer is a B.A.D. combination! And I know you’re reading this because you’re as nosy as Queen Elizabeth and as bossy as she is too! It must have really bunched up your panties in a wad to discover he had started following me?
And as for MinouChatte (Amanda), you make a better porn star than an anthropologist. You’ll have a great career with Hustler magazine when you grow up! And yes, I did notice your tweet asking John if he liked LuckyCharms the day he favorited me. I just chose to ignore your obvious childish jealousy. All I have to say is, No wonder your mother’s step-mother’s mad at you! You spend all day taking pictures of yourself in front of your parent’s bathroom mirror. She can never use the bathroom! [Case-in-point: From Sept. 30, 2013 Did you hike your clothes up high enough to show enough skin? Free porn.] Grow Up! It’s obvious you’re still living at home with your parents – or your Aunt, when your mother step-mother kicks you out of their house and then you rant about it like a spoiled brat on Twitter. I got tired of reading it – that’s why I no longer follow you.
As for Jerseygrl5 (Lisa) – Are you so stupid to think that what I tweet isn’t already being seen by John? Do you also not realize that because I was following you, I could see you copy and tweet my tweets to John? Taking credit for my tweets without telling him? Do you also not think that I know your Agenda – to tweet him everything he’s interested in, on a silver Twitter platter? You talk to everyone he follows in hopes you’ll get noticed. It’s your passive-aggressive plea for attention. You’re begging. That’s the same tactic used by Sam, Bonnie, Sadiesniece, Brigette, and a couple dozen other women. Every single one of them is after the same thing you are. It only works for a little while.
I’m flattered that you’d think I’m quality enough to copy but if I can give you some advice – it would be: There’s only one original. That spots already filled. Stop trying to be a copycat. It doesn’t look good on you. Besides, it makes you rather boring. It’s also why I Blocked you. You must have injured your brain in that car accident you had. Yes, I know you’re dazed and confused by it, but this post should help clear things up. You can no longer copy what I tweet and disguise it as your own. It’s called plagiarism. Look it up. And I’m sick of it. Need proof? P.S. There’s more where they came from – to save space here, I didn’t post them all. I think you get the point.
The tweet you copied from me:
My tweet that I Rt’d with green RT:
The tweet you stole from me 5 minutes later:
As for the rest of you, I will soon be un-following you too. If I haven’t blocked you yet, it’s because you haven’t pissed me off to the point that I feel the need to. Don’t mistake it for ignorance. I do see and know exactly what kind of stunts you’re trying to pull. Get OVER yourself! It’s not healthy. John has WAY MORE served up to him on a silver platter – Daily. And in person. Twitter is NOT a cyber bar, the last time I checked.
While I’m at it, MagentaGurl – Holly – or whatever you’re calling yourself lately, you’re a fucking psychopath!
Even though you had your page set to “private”, TweetDeck still sent me a notice that you were favoriting EVERY.SINGLE.THING.I.TWEETED. Seriously? That’s why I Blocked your Ass! Crazy Bitch. Take the hint I wrote above for Jerseygrl5. Don’t copycat me. I can’t stand it. I also know about your other accounts. Stay away from me.
In the end, it took TWO weeks to recover from the cold I caught on my way home from San Francisco. It’s one of the worst colds I had:
But it doesn’t compare to the verbal assaults and female cattiness I’ve endured on Twitter all because someone chose to follow me. I’m stronger because of it. I’ve learned a great deal from you ~ And from him. I’ve been inspired by his enthusiasm for doing what’s right. I hope he’s been inspired by me and that we’ll continue to share what we know. As for all of you hyenas – And you know who you are! – Don’t bother trying to lie your way out of this. The facts speak for themselves. You should be ashamed of yourselves, but I know you have no clue how hateful and bitter you truly are.
If you spent as much time on Twitter ~ waiting for him to tweet or digging up information that you know will be the perfect, juicy morsel he’ll enjoy ~ As you did helping out in your own communities, the world would have been improved by 3 years! That’s a lot of wasted time. Again, shame on all of you!
Why did I wait 6 months to post this evidence? Frankly, I’ve been busy changing my little corner of the world, helping to improve the lives of others and making a difference where I was able. I’m also a very patient person. Waiting gave things time to surface. It gave things time to brew, ripen, mature and expose the truth. You’ve thought I’ve forgotten all about it. Surprise!
Remember: Bitterness leads to Botox. It ain’t pretty!
As my wise grandmother used to say “Lie down with dogs and you’ll get up with fleas” ~ Surround yourself with Good. Love. Loyalty. Happiness — Leilani (@LuckyLeilani) November 18, 2013
It’s taken exactly 45 days for this to have full impact.
As I suspected, I didn’t even have to tweet the link to it. Each of you went looking for it on your own. You’re the ones who decided to read it for yourselves. Now you’re angry because I told the truth, using evidence that you disclosed publicly yourselves. I used your own words to shed light on a bunch of bullies, but you turn around and accuse me of being the bully.
The irony of it all!
And you disclosed myprivate, personal information (most of which was inaccurate) in public tweets, once again, proving how unaware of your own twisted behavior you are. You react with anger, instead of understanding and awareness. Did I immediately lash out at each of you? No. I took 6 months to post this. I slowly gathered evidence you gave me. I didn’t have to go far. You had provided it yourselves in your own tweets, videos and photos. If what I had to say was so offensive to you, why did you post it, say it, or do it? You even use threats against me in hopes that it would intimidate me simply because I have the courage to stand up to you. I dared to be brave enough to hold a mirror up in front of you.
You cannot fool me. I know exactly when each of you read what I posted on my website because your behavior changed immediately. Some, within an hour of when I posted it on 10/3/13. Yet, you pretended that you weren’t aware of it until just a couple of days ago (11/14/13). I have the evidence, but I think I’ve shared enough of your evidence. The shock factor worked. And that’s exactly what I had intended. It’s what I had to do to get you to stop harassing me simply because John happened to follow me.
Now, you’ve gotten exactly what you wanted.
@MagentaGurl I have Her blocked I just wish a certain other person would stop following her
No, Brenda, I have YOU Blocked. You were the one who followed me, off and on. And as for me, the drama I’ve had to endure because of jealous women (and even some men) will stop too. You haven’t been the only ones – you’ve just been the worst.
I’d like to make one thing very clear – this is my website, not a blog. It is about my life and my thoughts. I’m entitled to that. There is nothing I’ve said here that you have not already said in public. However, disclosing my personal contact information and soliciting others to provide it is a cyber crime and I’ve reported it. What happens to you is not up to me. You made your own decisions. A typical behavior of a bully is to blame others. The only one you have to blame is yourselves. Look in the mirror. Obviously, it was enough to cause some of you to lose sleep. I haven’t lost any sleep over it. You felt the need to ask others to unfollow you if they also followed me, or to unfollow me. Why don’t you unfollow them if it bothers you so much? Is it because you still relish being able to tell other people what to do? You’re the one with the problem. And you are not the first problem in my life that I’ve encountered. You’ve been on the warpath since 11/3/13 when John stopped following most of you because, in your mind, you think he unfollowed you because I asked him to. I’ll let you think what you want. You swallow your own poison. He does what he wants. He has a mind of his own. Just as I do.
So, Bonnie, Samantha, Lisa, Brenda, Brigette, Holly, Amanda, [and Imnocent (Y), Debbie and Sally] – there are 10 of you against one of me – You’ve managed to chase off others who used to talk and follow John, but I was the only one with the courage to stand up to you and expose you for what you are. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
And to prove that I was right (dated Nov. 3, 2013, shortly after John unfollowed)…
This point forward, you pull my tweets without credit… you are blocked, I don’t care who you are. — Brenda Cowan (@Sadiesniece) November 3, 2013
Tonight, I watched a documentary called “Bridegroom”. It was shown in an auditorium in my SmallTown, Idaho (population 60,000). It is only the 9th showing in the World, including a film festival where it won numerous awards.
It’s a story about love.
It’s also a story about hate.
Yesterday, I put on a white shirt and gathered with just over 100 other people in my community to support an ordinance for non-discrimination that was being voted on by my city council. We arrived 2 hours before the city planned to open the doors to the public for the hearing. We attached red tape, in an “equal” sign, across the front of our shirts to signify what we stood for. It was our attempt at letting those who attended the meeting know that we were there, in silent support, to make a visual statement.
We refused to be ignored.
Those who opposed the ordinance claimed we were in the street, blocking the entrance to the city chambers and not allowing others to enter. Of course, we knew the truth – respecting the Fire Chief’s request to leave a clear pathway, 3-feet wide, on the sidewalk (barely enough room for us to line up, single-file, as close to the building as we could stand). We stood there, in the hot sun, to show we cared and that the ordinance was important to us.
Once inside, we sat through 2 hours of general meeting business. Then, it was time for the council to decide on whether or not to pass a non-discrimination ordinance to protect the LGBT community. There were already ordinances to protect against sex, race, or religious discrimination, but there wasn’t anything to prevent someone from refusing to allow an LGBT couple/individual from renting or buying a home, remain employed or not be fired because of their sexual orientation, or refuse to allow them in a restaurant, hotel, or any other public venue – such as a grocery store. Yes, discrimination is alive and well in SmallTown, America. It seems to thrive in the Rocky Mountain region, where I currently live. It is because of so much discrimination against diversity that I’ve found it difficult to live here. It’s beautiful but has a dark underbelly that’s painful for me to stand by and watch. In its defense, I must say that it’s greatly improved over the last 10 years. It’s dying a slow death – but Hate is dying.
I was proud to support those who were being persecuted.
It came time for the city council to hear public testimony – in support of and of those who opposed the ordinance. The line quickly grew until it wrapped half-way around the room. I had no intention of speaking when I heard about the hearing. I wanted to attend to show that even someone who is straight, like me, believes in equality. As I listened, I quickly realized that I couldn’t sit there and remain silent. I had to speak up.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
I heard one man stand before the council and tell the public that as a landlord, it was his right to refuse to rent to an LGBT couple because it was against his religious moral values.
That was the last straw.
Once I heard that, I stood up, walked to the end of the long line and waited until it was my turn to speak. As I waited, I heard the testimony of others. Those who opposed were basing their decision on strictly religious opinions. Those who were in support of passing the ordinance had either personal experience of discrimination – including bullying and threats, or they had friends, neighbors and family members who had been discriminated against.
One of those who stood up to testify was a 12-year-old girl. She, from all outward appearances was female. She even sounded female, but she had been born a male. If she hadn’t spoke up, no one in the room would have even known about her very personal battle with acceptance in the community. She and her mother had been kicked out of a grocery store when she was little because she used the public restroom. This is the year 2013 and this happened in my community. She begged the city council to pass the ordinance so she didn’t have to live in fear.
Another person who testified was a male police officer. From outward appearances, he was a she. He was married. Employed as a police officer and was the only transgendered officer on the force in SmallTown, Idaho. He had only been “out” in the open as “herself” in the last 6 days prior to the meeting. His wife was attending the hearing with him.
I learned that gender comes in all forms that night. There are no clear lines.
We are as diverse as the colors of the rainbow when it comes to our human forms – inside and out.
As I listened and took a few notes, thinking about what I was going to say when it came my turn to speak, I realized that even I had experienced discrimination. As a woman, when I moved from Seattle, back to Idaho several years ago, I approached a farmer who had 12 acres for sale. There was a sign posted and I had plenty of money to pay for it. He refused to talk to me or sell it to me strictly because I was a woman. He told me that straight to my face. I was appalled. I’m also determined.
I kept talking to the farmer and he wanted to know “who” I was. I’m not talking about “who” but “WHO” I was – he wanted to know my last name and the last name of my parents. I gave him the name of my grandparents because they were the ones who had raised me most of my life in Nearby, Idaho. It wasn’t until he heard their names that he began to warm up to me – and relayed the story about my grandfather’s mother who, after the farmer’s mother died during childbirth, took the farmer and his siblings into her home – my great-grandmother – and raised the children as their own. The farmer’s father was busying trying to run the farm and didn’t have time to spend tending to his own offspring. It was my great-grandmother who took 6 children, besides her own, into her home and stopped them from being split up and sent to relatives, outside the state of Idaho. For that, the farmer was grateful. It was then that he agreed to sell his land to me. I was proud of my great-grandmother because I’d never even heard about her sacrifice until the farmer told me, and my grandfather has long-since passed away, but I was still angry and hurt that the farmer had such hatred toward me in the beginning just because I was a woman. I had experienced discrimination. I had also been asked if I was Mormon by a landlord I wanted to rent a home from just prior to buying the land. I was offended and knew that it was illegal but rentals were few and far between in SmallTown, Idaho and it was one of the few who allowed pets.
I also thought about the fact that every single person in that room, when they arrived, stood up and pledged allegiance to a flag, as one nation, indivisible – undivided – with liberty and justice FOR ALL, not just those who fit into a neat little gender box, with a bow in a particular color, on the outside – depending on how those who opposed the ordinance wanted to view them.
I also thought about Martin Luther King, Jr. – his words echo inside my head, often. I could not remain silent. I refused to allow the city council to ignore the ordinance or remove whatever they felt was offensive to members of the Mormon/So-called Christian community. I spoke on behalf of all those who were parents, straight and female. I told the council that I was happy to see an equal number of male and female council members. I explained to them that there was a period in America’s history when women weren’t even allowed to vote. I told them I had experienced discrimination and for me to remain silent about something that mattered to me was against my moral values. We cannot afford to leave such an important issue up to the community to self-govern because as the testimonies given prior to mine showed, discrimination is rampant, left unchecked. It was up to them, as leaders in the community, to pass the ordinance, taking a firm stand against discrimination and allow our community to be diverse.
Even though the hearing made national headlines, eight hours later, at 1:30am, the ordinance didn’t pass. However, I spoke to one of the council members afterward who gave me their word that it would be revised and not just swept under the rug. It became very apparent to many of us in the room that several of the council members had “sold out” because they were up for re-election in November and their campaign funds were from very wealthy and prominent Mormons in the city who opposed equal rights for LGBT, or women. Two of the women on the council had sold their souls to the Devil.
After watching the movie tonight and hearing that we were one of just a handful of cities to show the movie publicly, I have felt the power of change that just a few people can create, if we work together and remain determined to fight against hate.
I do believe Love is more powerful than Hate.
And the power of just believing is a force to be reckoned with. When we believe, all things are possible. There is no limit but the very limits we place upon ourselves. When an immovable object meets an unstoppable force, the power of will overrides and moves over the object like water around a dam or air around a skyscraper. It cannot be stopped. It only appears to slow down. And the only thing to stop it is to give up on it.
I haven’t experienced the kind of hatred many of those who testified had. I considered myself very lucky indeed. It made me want to throw up when I heard some of the stories. I was repulsed by the violence people could do to another human being.
Ignorance must be stopped.
I have an intolerance for intolerance. And it’s up to me to stand, united, with other human beings, to demand they be treated with equality, love, respect and acceptance – for just being who they really are – on the inside, as well as the outside.
I’m including the video, “It Could Happen To You”, made by Shane, one of the people the documentary was made about. He created the video on Utube after tragedy struck him. If you’d like to watch the trailer to the documentary, “Bridegroom” click on [THIS LINK]. To order the movie, Go [HERE] – Please note: Movie set for DVD release on November 19, 2013.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
And when you watch the documentary, you will understand what I just said… to all of you reading this. May we all seek first to understand, then to be understood. Tomorrow, I will wake up in the morning and participate in the first-ever Gay Pride Parade in SmallTown, Idaho.
In the metaphysical gemstone world, Obsidian is a stone of “transformation”. This particular Obsidian (semi-precious gemstone) was born from the activity and eventual death of an ancient volcano called “The King’s Bowl” in the desert of Southeast Idaho. I gathered the stones myself the day before my birthday (8/30/13) from a mountainside near where I currently live and made them into an individual charm for each of my closest friends as a gift to say “Thank You” for being my protective shield in life. You enrich my world by being yourself and you paint it with the simple gift of just being a good friend.
With strong protective properties and as a truth-enhancing stone, Native American Indians gathered and shaped Obsidian into arrowheads to hunt for food and they believed the stone was a gift, as a tool, from their ancient guardian spirits. It’s also closely related to the “Apache Tears” – a stone which is cherished by many for the legend it gave birth to. In modern times, surgeons use Obsidian as a surgical blade because it has such a smooth and sharp edge – preferred over surgical stainless steel blades.
It’s associated with the base or “root” Chakra, helping to “ground” you. It’s also associated with the astrological signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius and the elements of Earth and Fire. It not only absorbs negativity from your environment but also helps to shield you against it. It’s believed to draw out mental stress and tension, stimulate growth – urging exploration of the unknown, opening up new horizons. It brings clarity to the mind and clears up confusion. It’s associated with metamorphosis since it was created from the rough earth, into smooth, shiny volcanic glass. It helps you to know who you truly are.
“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.”
~ W. Somerset Maugham
Obsidian dissolves emotional blockages and past trauma, promoting qualities of compassion and strength. It’s believed to be an especially healing stone. It aids digestion and detoxifies the body, reduces arthritic pain, joint problems, cramps, and warms the extremities.
Black Obsidian is particularly powerful and creativity-enhancing. It increases self-control and allows you to let go of any unbalance in your world. It provides support during change and dispels unloving thoughts.
As we journey through life, we must transform to survive. Leaning on our friends when the waters get rough and the skies get stormy, we find strength in each other – giving what the other lacks, or just being a listening ear without passing judgment. Sometimes, just sharing common ground and happiness, providing fertile soil for growth and inspiration.
I hope my gift to you that originally came from the Earth and that was made with love, brings you all the magic I have to share. I hope it shields you from negativity and helps bring you clarity and truth. May we enjoy many more years together and laugh through all our tears. I give you all the love and understanding I have to give and above all, I cherish your friendship.
Slideshow of Photos When I Gathered Your Gemstone:
If sunshine was a cookie, it would be “Lemon Bars”.
I’m sharing a recipe from a friend of mine I met early on in Jr. High and we stayed friends all through High School. As I mentioned before, I went to a Mormon college. Tracy was one of the girls who went there to find a husband. I was there to get a degree. She was college roommates with a bunch of other girls she knew from our hometown school. I was roommates with 5 total strangers from all over the U.S. Tracy and I had different goals in life once we became adults.
To be honest, Tracy became friends with a girl in the last 2 years of High School who liked a guy who asked me out on a date. I agreed to go out with the guy as “just friends”. After I agreed, one of my other friends told me about this girl liking this guy. At the time, I didn’t think going out with a guy to a dance, dinner and to a concert with a bunch of his friends would weaken my friendship with Tracy. I didn’t know just how much this other girl liked this guy – and how much influence she had on my friend, Tracy. I soon found out there were several girls in my High School who had a serious crush on this guy. I had a crush on someone else.
This was the kind of guy who would have played music outside my bedroom window if I’d let him. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t see the movie “Say Anything” until almost 25 years later. Unlike a lot of females, I didn’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling all over when I watched it. I got huge pangs of guilt. If I’d watched it any sooner, it would have just made me feel even more like a clueless heel.
At the time, I had guys come up to me who were convinced I was “the girl (Karen) in the Last American Virgin” movie. I have yet to see it. During that time, there were a lot of bubble-gum-movies I didn’t see. I guess I was too busy being a teen… or a Diane Court.
First, make the crust.
I made these Lemon Bars the other day.
As I was making them, I was thinking about Tracy. Whenever I’d go over to her house to visit, her mom would make us these cookies. By the time Tracy and I were old enough to be left alone in a kitchen, I think we were making them almost every weekend in the summers. Whenever I make them now, I think of her. It doesn’t help that the recipe, written on a yellowing index card, is in her handwriting; a very distinctive, draftsman-style, slanted print instead of cursive.
Prick the crust with a fork to prevent "bubbling"
When we were friends, Tracy would always tell me I was funny.
I have to admit, she’s the one who made me laugh last. She ended up marrying a guy from High School named Stacy. No, I’m not kidding. I think it’s pretty funny. I guess it’s better than a guy named Dick, but I’m getting a little off track. I tend to do that in the summers when the weather’s warm… and it’s the weekend… and I’m in the kitchen. I can lose myself in thought – and cookie batter.
Pour the filling over the baked crust
I have to laugh at all the crazy, love-sick, girl-drama I caused by finally agreeing to go out with this guy. At the time, it wasn’t very funny. I don’t even think he knew the drama it would cause. I don’t even know if he’s aware even now, of the drama he caused by asking me out.
Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut in squares when cooled.
If sunshine was life, it would be laughter. And now you know the whole story behind the bars.
2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
Confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. lemon juice
Mix 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar together. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a well-greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Combine eggs, granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup flour in a mixing bowl. Mix well with an electric mixer. Add lemon juice. Pour over baked crust. Bake for 25 minutes longer or until a light, golden color. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Cool before cutting into squares.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
~ Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
Knowing that I am about to take a journey of a thousand miles doesn’t make writing this any easier. I am about to share with you things I haven’t made public until now. I have only talked about these things with a few people I have allowed to get close enough to me over the years. I have a lot of friends but I didn’t make really good, true friends until I was much older. Growing up, life was very difficult for me. I was subjected to abuse, neglect, and things no child should have to suffer through.
I am number 7 of 8 children. Only 7 survived; 6 girls and 1 boy. They are all my half-siblings and I have another brother from a step-mother on my dad’s side. My real dad died in a car accident when I was 6 but my parents had divorced long before that. Practically from the moment I was born, my life has been a living miracle. I was raised by my grandmother, “Mrs. B” as everyone called her, for most of my life. It was the time spent with my mother that can fill the pages of a novel and which has brought me to this site, to share my life with all of you reading this.
I have often been told by those who know me and hear my story that I should write a book about my life. I have kept a journal for 31 years and consider it my therapy and believe it’s one of the reasons I have been able to deal with the demons in my past as well as I have. I guess, in a way, by writing about my experiences here, I am finally writing that book. And I am willing to share with you a lot of the things that happened but what I am not willing to share are the specific methods used to torture me as a child since I vowed to myself long ago that I would never disclose that information. I don’t want anyone reading my words to get any ideas on how to torture a child without leaving a mark.
It’s an epidemic in our society ~ One that I believe has gotten much worse since I endured it. Even though I managed to live through all of it, I have often wondered how I managed to turn out so different than my siblings ~ That one in eight ~ who went on to break the cycle of abuse, thrive, live a healthy life, and arrive at a place where I can talk about it with all of you. How is it possible that I didn’t turn out to be a criminal or an abuser? How is it possible that I have managed to be “normal” when my mother and siblings aren’t? How is it possible that I was able to move on and not dwell on what happened? How is it possible for me to talk about it now? And above all, why am I so happy?
I was told by my grandmother (my mother’s mother, Mrs. B.) that I was barely three months old when she and her husband, my grandpa Warren, drove from Idaho to an orphanage in California “to get me” and my siblings. She said they waited and waited for what seemed like hours “for the women to bring me out”. She said she didn’t think they were going to let her have me – that I had already been adopted out and they were too late – until finally one of the women brought me to my grandmother and explained that they couldn’t find any clothes for me to wear and that was the reason for the delay. To hear that I was laying in a crib naked, at three months old, somewhere in an orphanage in California, makes me shudder to this day. Of course, I was too young to remember that.
What I do remember is how happy I was while living with Mrs. B. ~ a “brown-purse-carrying-woman” who only “graduated” from the 8th grade (Girls weren’t encouraged to go beyond that grade in school during the time period she grew up in). Undeterred by this, she managed to own her own restaurant during one time in her life. She was an amazing woman who lived to be 88 years old and whose words still echo inside my head every now and then when I am searching for wisdom ~ some of the pearls I will be sharing with you.
I’ve always felt like I was lucky and blessed throughout my life. I just didn’t realize how lucky I was until I heard Country Music Singer, Jimmy Wayne, say that only three-percent of kids who are exposed to abuse and neglect grow up to “survive and thrive” (as I call it), becoming productive members of our society ~ I didn’t realize I was a “Three-Percent Girl” until February 5, 2010. I still cannot get the words out of my head. It has taken me a month to overcome the tears and sadness and overwhelming shock I felt when I realized I was only one of THREE-percent. Three lucky pennies who have managed to pay back to society what others have lost.
This site will go on to live long after Jimmy has finished his walk from Nashville, TN, to Phoenix, AZ. I am going to be sharing with you not just what happened to me as a child, but also talk about my mentor, Fred, who is a HUGE reason I believe I survived and became such a well-rounded individual and I will be giving him an opportunity to write, in his own words, what it was like to be a mentor to me and how that happened. I am going to share with you my thoughts as I look at the world through the eyes of a three-percent girl, including articles, statistics, resources, experiences I’ve had in the past, such as volunteer work I’ve done, as well as since Jimmy has begun his Project Meet Me Halfway campaign and the sister site, ProjectMMH.org began. I’ll be sharing some of the fun things I do every day, including some of my recipes, pictures, and ideas. And of course, some good laughs (because those of you who know me from Twitter, know I can hardly keep a straight virtual face!) and since I’m an environmental scientist, I will be talking about the environment ~ which, surprisingly, ties in very neatly with the problems we are having in our world today with teen homelessness and the mission that brought Jimmy and I together, on the same path, where our two worlds collided and helped you and I meet on Twitter (something I knew nothing about until 2 months ago!).
I am new to blogging as well, so forgive me if it takes a little while for me to figure it out – I’ve been on a crash course for a few days now. I also encourage you to post a comment – which, I believe, will be hidden until I can decide how to best manage them – if you have questions. I will be happy to answer them or find the answers for you and post them in upcoming blogs. I hope this will be a two-way channel of communication since I truly believe the only way we can change the epidemic is through education and communication.
This website is a view into my world as a 3-percent Girl ~ A way of sharing with others my past, my present, my thoughts, my questions, my answers, and my adventures. It’s my desire that in some small way it may save a life or inspire “hope”. Therefore, I hope you enjoy the walk with me… into my future
~ Leilani (who considers herself a VERY lucky girl!)
P.S. For those of you who have stumbled upon my page and want to learn more, click on the hyperlinks I’ve provided in my pages and they will guide you to more resources. Just click the back arrow on your web browser to return to my site. Don’t forget to bookmark my page too! Thanks for visiting and I hope we can one day share a cup of coffee, some good laughs, and a great conversation, face-to-face.
“Hope is a waking dream” ~ Aristotle
HOW TO CONTACT ME: Follow Me On Twitter ~ To send me a personal message, you can ask me to follow you back and then send me a DM.