#MeToo (Trigger Warning)

I have been thinking about sharing my story for many years. With the #Metoo movement trending, I think now may be the time. I am not looking for sympathy or pity. I am not looking for attention. And I feel a little pissed that I need to even say that I am not. What I am doing is sharing my story so that some can garner a greater understanding on how violence, sexual assault, and misconception is rampant in our culture. I am one of countless women you will encounter in your life time who have been changed forever by someone who is abusive. We have been told to be quiet about it. We have been told we will be judged about what happened to us. We have been told that it was our fault. We have been told that if we share we might be a preexisting condition. We have been told our story is not a worthy of a public audience. I reject what I have been told. I now share my story.

I have been raped 2 times in my life. The first time was when I was 17 years old. It would be considered date rape since I knew my attacker. He created a circumstance which lead to me having to spend the night at his house. We were just “friends”. I trusted him. In the middle of the night he attacked me. I froze. I did not move, I did not scream. I was paralyzed. My temporary paralysis made it a little difficult for him. But he kept trying. I remember falling back asleep with tears streaking down my face afraid to move.

When he drove me home the next morning, I did not speak a word to him. But he had a mouthful to say to me. He told me that if I said a word about it, he will tell everyone I am a whore. They would believe him because his family had money and I would be trying to ruin his reputation. He also said that I had to have lunch with him every week or he would tell everyone what happened. He picked me up at school every week for “lunch”. I would sit there and barely speak, he would go on and on about whatever. When he would drop me back off at school, he would always threaten me.

It took about 3 months for me to tell someone else what had happened. But once I did, it felt like a great weight had been lifted and that next week was the first time I did not go out to lunch. As soon as someone else knew my story, it did not feel like  it was a secret anymore and I no longer cared who he told. I don’t think he ever told anyone. But I sure did, even those who refused to believe me. But I let him torture me for 3 months.

The assault itself was bad. Yet, it was the emotional trauma I suffered week after week that did me in.  And the only reason I even told anyone was because my best friend saw a change in me and asked what was going on. Her and her mother listened and gave me support and the strength to stand up for myself.

The second time I was raped was in Milwaukee, WI at the GenCon gaming convention. I was 20 years old. I do not want to go into all the details. This event touched many lives and many that may read this blog. I do not want to trigger them.

I was raped by a stranger who got access to the hotel room I was staying at. I was heavily intoxicated from the night before. I was passed out. I was awoken by my friends asking me if I wanted that creep on top of me. (A bunch of us shared a hotel room at the convention.) I was not fully aware of what was going on. I awoke hours later by myself in the room. I knew something was wrong. My body felt violated. I had a foggy memory and pain in places I should not. Confused and emotional, I took a shower to wipe off the feeling of being dirty off. (Did not know I should not take a shower.)

Later I began to put the pieces together. Several people were coming up to me an asking if I was ok. Once I had confirmation as to what happened to me, I feel apart. I called my boyfriend at the time. He could not understand me and thought I told him that I cheated on him. It took one of my friends telling him they were taking me to the Police Station for him to fully grasp the situation. He eventually met me at the hospital.

At that time, Wisconsin law stated that you could give consent intoxicated. Therefore, even though I did not know the person and had witnesses, the police would not even going to question the individual. They said I could of consented and not remember. The rapist was from a well-established family in Milwaukee who was doing his residency as a medical doctor at the local VA hospital. Did I want to ruin his life? My rapist was also known to my witnesses. He was helping run the convention and was friends with the organizers. When my friends went to the organizers of the conference, the organizers took my rapists side and let him stay at the conference.

I still went to the hospital and had a rape kit done. My boyfriend at the time met me at the hospital. I stupidly insisted to stay at the conference because I was not going to let some asshole ruin my vacation. (Probably made this choice because of the first rape.) My boyfriend booked a room and regaled me with boring stories of WWII military maneuvers so I would fall asleep.

The next day, I was going to my friend’s hotel room to meet a bunch of people for dinner. I was in the elevator and a floor later my rapist stepped in. The elevator was packed with people. But I will never forget that ride up a few floors which seemed like forever. I got to my friend’s room, broke down and asked him to take me home. That night three of my male friends drove me back to Chicago.

This time I told my parents. I was soon in counseling. This counseling would last on and off for years. I would get triggered and have to go back. I could not sleep. I was scared of being in hotel rooms. It affected my relationships. At times, it affected my work when I was working in university housing.

Today, I am strong. I get triggered less often and when I do, I recognize it. I don’t watch certain movies. I still have the occasional issues with hotel rooms. I have a loving partner who is supportive and understanding. I have many friends who made sure that I was OK. Many of those friends were amazing men. Whether they stayed up all night with me because I was scared to sleep, or encouraged me to go to counseling after a work training triggered me, or just held me when I needed. I was lucky to have both male and female advocates. You know who you are and I am grateful for you being in my life and helping me on my healing journey. (Paul, Jeff, Eric, Michael, Glen, Wendell, Tim, Tracy, Jenny, Mary, Dino, and so many more.)

25 years later, the assaults are still fresh in my mind. But I learned that I am a survivor. I have also learned so many women have stories just like mine. When we hide these stories, it makes society complacent. I want the world to hear these stories. This is not the time for complacency. It is the time for action. When so many states are trying to change their definitions of what rape is, we need to stand and say NO! When rape culture invades our everyday existence, we need to scream back, you will not make me a victim! You will not make me worthless!! You will not make me at fault! Get out there and vote! The midterm elections are important and we can change the landscape of our state and federal government by electing people who will give us justice and a voice. I am a survivor.

Vote With Your Feet And Tax Dollars: What you can do without a Dept. of Education and the EPA

I have been thinking about the possible elimination of the Department of Education and The Environmental Protection Agency. We will see the Republicans add more agencies to their elimination list. But right now there are two House bills to eliminate the Department of Education and the EPA, H.R.899 and H.R.861 respectively. The bills have been referred to their respective committees.

I know people are all up in arms about the possibility that these departments will be eliminated. One thing we must keep in mind is that it is very difficult to eliminate government agencies. There are about 4,400 employees in the Department of Education and about 15,300 in the EPA. This is about 20,000 people the government will have to either absorb or layoff. What a public relations nightmare. President Trump has tried to make PR gold with saving 1000 jobs. What can this look like if he lays off 20,000 people? In addition, it is difficult to layoff career civil servant employees in the US. These people have strong unions and power of their own. But it has happened before. Government agencies have been eliminated.

All presidents since Regan have talked of eliminating or restricting government to be more efficient. Depending on what side of the aisle you sit on, your reasons for elimination or restructuring will be giving power back to the states, efficiency, and/or cost savings. When Obama tried to eliminate the Commerce Department in the Consolidating and Reforming Act of 2012, there was opposition from all sides. The move would have eliminated 2,000 jobs over time and divided some of the agencies work over 5 smaller agencies. As objection to the bill grew from special interest groups, the bill was buried in committee. There are many special interest groups and unions who will fight the elimination of the Department of Education and the EPA.

Let us imagine a U.S. in which the Department of Education and the EPA are dissolved, does it mean it is the end of regulation as we know it? No. The job of regulating will go to the states. All states have some form of the Department of Education and EPA. The problem is that state agencies will create and enforce regulations in varying degrees of consistency. The U.S. is a large country with vastly different cultural norms from region to region and state to state. Even with Federal and local agencies oversight, situations such as the Flint, MI water crisis, coal ash from Duke Energy in water in North Carolina, and Coal mining company Alpha Natural Resources polluting the water in West Virginia continue to happen. I would expect more of these environmental disasters.

In regards to education, it might be a good thing that education regulation goes back to the states. Most of us in education hated No Child Left Behind (or as I like to call it, No Child Left Untested). It put unrealistic expectations on overwhelmed teachers and cash strapped schools. It forced teachers to teach to a test rather than encourage thoughtful engagement and creativity. But once again, state to state differences may become incredibly obvious. There are many poor states in this country and public education is expensive. Access for disabled and special education students is even more expensive. The quality of your student’s education may become more than just what school district you live in, but what state you live in.

There are states which are doing great things. The nation has followed California on environmental policy time and again. The number of states looking to institute free community college is growing after Tennessee was the first to institute it in 2014 and Oregon followed shortly after. So with this in mind I have some advice. Move. If over the next few years we see more federal power going back to the states, find a state which aligns more with what is important to you and your family.  I know it might be scary or hard. I have moved across the country twice, once to each coast, and lived in Europe for a short time. I think it might be time to vote with your feet and tax dollars.

References

Congress.GOV. n.d. H.R.861 – To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed February 9, 2017. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/861?q=%7B”search”%3A%5B”Environmental+Protection+Agency”%5D%7D&r=2.
—. n.d. H.R.899 – To terminate the Department of Education. Accessed February 9, 2017. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/899/actions.
Pianin, Eric. 2013. “Why Obama’s Pitch for Government Reform Hit a Wall.” The Fiscal Times. February 20. Accessed February 9, 2017. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/02/20/Why-Obamas-Pitch-for-Government-Reform-Hit-a-Wall.
Wikipedia. 2017. United States Department of Education. February 9. Accessed February 9, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Education.
—. 2017. United States Environmental Protection Agency. February 7. Accessed February 9, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Environmental_Protection_Agency.

 

 

 

Amateur Moves? Trump’s first week in

I have been thinking about all the gag orders for the executive agencies which the new Trump administration has attempted to put in place. At first, I thought the moves were a sign of not understanding how government works as well as a bit of paranoia. I thought that these moves were those of an amateur. Now, I am not so sure.

In my opinion, there are two types of take overs of a company, department, or office. The first is the wait and see approach. Someone comes in at the top and watches how things work for awhile. This person takes time with each employee and learns about their jobs, frustration, successes, and so forth to get an understanding of the organization. This executive is looking for buy in, trust, incremental changes, and eventually loyalty. I usually like this type of leader.

The second take over I have witness is one of control and power. The individual who comes in does not care about what you do in your job, how you feel about the company. They want to make change sometimes for change sake. This type of executive feels that they already know the solution and just starts instituting their vision. Usually, people below them feel unheard, not valued, and soon disgruntled. I find this type of leadership is selfish. Sure, it can help create  change quickly, but you ostracize large swaths of people. Eventually, it will bite you in the ass. Unless you have absolute control and no problem with firing.

I think Trump is that latter leader. He and his administration have a vision. They really do not care what people think. It is about ego and control. Therefore, for those of us who watch government, we might see amateur moves such as creating executive orders with out the guidance of entities who will be necessary for implementation as being a huge mess and not understanding how government works. We might see gag orders as paranoia and wanting to frame the  message. But I see the top executive of the US come in and take over. Purposely creating  fear. Purposely creating confusion and chaos. Purposely creating misinformation. His administration does not want your buy in.  Your marches and rallies will not work on any of them. They do not feel that their boss is the American people. He is Emperor and you are an ant.

I am not saying do not protest or march or create alternative twitter accounts. Actually, I think we need more of them. I want to suggest we rethink our strategy. We will not change Trump’s mind. He has too many yes men around him. We need to let those in power who can stand up to Trump know that we have their back. It is time for our congress people, career government employees, journalist, whistle blowers, academia, artists, activists, and everyday people send a message. WE WILL NOT BE BULLIED. WE WILL NOT FEAR. WE ARE YOUR BOSS. If all goes well, this might not be the age of declining democracy, but an age of the activist citizen.

In This Age

I have  been away from the blogging sphere for awhile. My year of the Divine Feminine was a bit of a bust.  That is OK. What matters the most is that we get back on the horse and keep trying. I am jumping back on.

I am feeling a call to write and create again for several reasons. 1) I am in a place in my life where I have the time. 2) I have been overflowing with ideas and need to expose these ideas to the world. 3) I feel secure in who I am and who I am is complex and a bit dangerous for the time. 4) People of all walks of life need to find a way to have their voice heard. 5) I need to do my part to stand up to the authoritarianism I see developing in my country.

My goal is to write in this blog weekly. It might be more or could be less. I will try to occasionally add some new poetry. But this blog will now be more about the world around me and how artists from all mediums must use their voice in this age.

I look forward to sharing my ideas, opinions, and citations. I look forward to sharing my original poetry and the occasional favorite.

Divine Feminine: Week 3 If You Fall Down, Get Back Up

Week 3: If You Fall Down, Get Back Up

Well, I really stuck my foot in my mouth. Week 1 I am writing all about responsibility for your intentions and living up to you resolutions and what do you hear from me for 2 weeks, crickets. Yes, I was sick. But look how quickly we get side tracked by life. It would of been so easy to say, forget it, I missed two weeks. No one will even notice I am not writing anymore. But I would notice. I would know I was not being true to myself and responsible to my intentions for the year.

The message is to get back up, keep going, start over if you need to. Many of us have these amazing dreams inside of us. Life happens and you get side tracked. There are work, school or family responsibilities. Maybe you or a family member have been ill. There is always something in the way of our passion if we let things be in our way.

When I think of the Divine Feminine at times like this, I know I am someone amazing. We are all special because we are all divine. Therefore, I deserve to give my dreams and passion an opportunity to flourish. And our resolutions are part of our dreams and passions. Losing weight or quitting smoking might be your dream of a healthy, happier, sexier you. The Divine Feminine reminds you that there is a community of support to help you not only dream big but succeed. All those support groups we develop, attend or see in social media are grounded in a modern sense of community. I say join as many as you like. Our sisters and brothers out there need us and we need them. And since we are all divine, the encouragement and love we show others is the Great Mother working through us and bringing more love into this world.

So, this posting is really late, 2 weeks late. But maybe I need to think creatively and be gentle with myself. I did say 52 weeks, I did not say 52 weeks in a row. Ah, I can breathe now and ask the Goddess Kwan Yin to help me have compassion and mercy for not only others, but also myself. It will be with compassion in which I will pick myself up and start all over again and pursue my dream of sharing the Divine Feminine with all of you. Namaste!

 

Mother of Mercy

Lady of Love

Let compassion pour forth

for strangers and those I love

Remind myself

present I shall be

daily striving to

give others the best of me

Remind myself to be true

to the world but my own self too

Kwan Yin

Please hear my soul

Let us all work to

make this planet whole

 

 

 

Divine Feminine: Week 2 Self Care (two weeks late)

I do find it a bit ironic that the first post of the new year was about resolutions and being responsible for your intentions, then I immediately fall off the wagon. Really, I was ill and so was other members of my family. It became important for me to practice self care. Thank Goddess I did. I was the first one to get sick and then one of my sons and my husband, then my son again. It has been a challenging and stressful two weeks. Therefore, I am doing 3 blog posts in one week.

Week 2: Self-care

Every time I get sick I hear my Great Grandmother’s words in my head, “You can’t take care of others if you do not take care of yourself.” Wise words of the Divine Feminine. Remember, the Divine Feminine is the realm of community, love, and support. We are beckoned to help others and it can be difficult if you are not in a position to help. If I did not take the time for myself when I was ill, I would of been in no position to help my husband and son. But it means so much more than just when you are ill. So many of us are stuck in the hustle and bustle of everything around us. We do not slow down. Oh, and if you are a parent, you do everything for your kids and usually sacrifice the time you need for yourself. You need time for yourself. You need time for self-care. As individuals, we need to feel connected to our inner and outer selves.

It is a difficult lesson to learn. It was difficult for me to learn. I was a workaholic and defined myself by my occupation for many years. As a single parent, I always felt guilty when I took time for myself, therefore I did not do so often. Then a miracle/lesson/wake up call happened. I suddenly lost my full-time position. I was thrown into a space where life slowed down drastically.  I did have a toddler at home, but I had so much free time. It ended up being almost 3 years of self-care and self exploration. In the end, I learned how to meditate, accept myself, and re-prioritize what is important in my life. I had a spiritual awakening.

The Universe/Source/God/Goddess/Powers that be, or what every you want to call it will make you slow down. If you do not take the time to be good to yourself on a daily or weekly basis, you may have to learn the lesson to slow down the hard way like I did. Word to the Wise, take a moment and take care of your self. The Goddess is there to help and support you. Why? Because she calls on all to help and support others. You can’t take care of others if you do not take care of your self.

If you are looking for a Goddess to inspire you towards healing, especially if you are ill, research ACESCO. She was a Greek Goddess of Healing and Curing. Call upon her to help you to remember to be gentle with yourself and to take time for rest and recuperation when you are under the weather.

 

 

 

 

52 Weeks of the Divine Feminine: Happy New Year, Week 1

Happy New Year!!

It is the beginning of a new year and once again many of us have set up goals or resolutions. In most cases, these goals are to let go of something like extra weight or bring in some sort of materialistic need like a new job or more clients. All this is well and good. But I have always felt the average person rarely goes beyond themselves when setting goals or resolutions. What about your impact on the wider world?

I have some friends out there who are all about goal setting. In one of our social media groups, they posted a spreadsheet of goals. I, admittedly, did not read it. But I posted that my goal was to just be this year. Just be in the moment. Wow, that would be life changing for me, be in the present moment. But honestly, I added a few more goals to my list since a couple of weeks ago. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Be present
  • Meditate more
  • Be kind to others and myself
  • Be of service to others
  • Show more compassion to others and myself
  • Stop the negative speak about others, circumstances and self
  • Be the best version of myself
  • Write on this blog for 52 weeks
  • Lose my extra weight

So, what does creating goals and/or resolutions have to do with the Divine Feminine? The Divine Feminine requires you to be responsible for what you do and say. It is more than the Golden Rule to harm none. It is a responsibility to be true to ourselves and the actions we take. When we create goals, we are setting our intentions for the year. We are announcing we will be responsible for these things we have deemed important for the year. And the Goddess wants us to let go of the things which no longer serve us. Learn those lessons and move on.

When we set goals, we are no only stating we want to do more of this or that in the new year. We are letting go of the opposite of our goals since the opposite action no longer serves us. The letting go is also a responsibility. For instance, when I state I want to be kind to others for the upcoming year, I need to work diligently to not be mean or hateful to others. I want to let go of whatever caused me to possibly be mean to someone last year. It could be my insecurity or frustration. It could be my circumstance or ego. When you state your goals, it is important you understand why you are choosing to work on a particular aspect of your life.  The Divine Feminine beckons you to dig deep for understanding.

Furthermore, the Divine Feminine does not belittle you when you make a misstep. She shouts for you to pick yourself up and try again. Learn those lessons and move on. Take responsibility for what went wrong and try anew. And this is what I view as a great difference between the Divine Feminine and patriarchal religion/spirituality.  In a patriarchy, someone else is responsible for you and only they can give you forgiveness or strength to move on. It takes the responsibility of your actions away from you and gives it to someone/something else. Which also gives them power over you and your actions/soul. And if you do not have responsibility over your actions, you can say and do what you want without a care of how it affects you or others around you. You can always claim the devil made you do it and have some priest, pope, christian god slap you on the wrist, tell you to pray and all is forgiven. No need to fix any of the damage you might have done. No need to fix how you did things in the first place. Keep on keeping on.

It is important to be aware of our actions and change our course if necessary. The Divine Feminine asks that of the world. See injustice and stop it. See pain and expel it. See hunger and feed it. Change our individual courses to bring about a better version of our world. Being the best version of yourself can help the world be a better place. Therefore, I challenge you to write or rewrite your goals/resolutions. What are you willing to be responsible for and to let go of to be the best version of yourself and help create a better 2015 for everyone? (Oh, and if you mess up, there is a New Moon every month to help you reset your intention. Just state what you are willing to let go of and what you want to bring into your world. The Mother will hear you.)

 

New Year Wish
Oh Mother, I ask of thee
For love and responsibility
Show me where I can do better
Become a spiritual trend setter
Remember always who I am
A blessed child in a blessed land
Show compassion wherever I go
Oh Mother, so many do not know
Of your gentle heart and loving hand
And our need to take a stand
To save our world and move beyond
The greed which has been spawned
By small minded men and sheeple
Masses of apathetic people
One by one, we need to infiltrate
Create love where there is hate
A smile, a gesture, a way to be
Oh Mother, I ask this of thee

-Heather Reed 1/2/15

2015 Here We Come

It has been awhile since I have blogged. When I created this blog, I had a mighty idea and was full of intention to share my poetry and self with the world. But life can get in the way of the creative and the blog took a back seat to kids, work and relationships. Now is the time for me to set my intention for 2015. This time around, I am giving myself firm direction and expectations. I need to reignite my creative life. I need to write not about the past, but the present and future.

In 2015, I will be writing weekly about the Divine Feminine. It will be 52 weeks of poetry and commentary on the Feminine aspect of the Source, God, the All, Divine or whatever you chose to call it. My goal is to twofold. This will be an exercise for myself to connect with the Goddess as well as bring love and awareness of the Divine Feminine into the world. I dearly desire that my words touch others to expand their minds and hearts and understand the need for the Feminine in the world.

What is it that I mean when I say the Divine Feminine? Besides meaning the Feminine aspect of God, it has many layers to me. Religiously, I connect with the Divine Feminine through recognizing the Earth as Mother Earth and the many goddess as manifestation of this energy which we humans can connect with and call upon. I respect the Divine Mother as strong, worthy and equal to the Male aspect of God. But the movement is more than religious. I recognize the traits which have been associated with women and mothers need to be a respected and desired in the world’s culture. Some of these aspects are: love, nurturing, community, justice, generosity, kindness, equality, helping others, interconnectedness with people and nature, and serving the greater good.

For me, bringing the Divine Feminine into focus is attempting to help balance the world around us. The world is out of balance and this can be seen in many different facets. Greed and the maximization of profit has created historical income inequalities in the U.S. as well as damaged many communities around the world. There are 45.3 million people who live in poverty in the United States. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014) In the world, 3.14 Billion people live on less than $2.50 a day and 80% of the world’s population live in a place where income inequality is growing. (Global Issues, 2013) The Earth is being pillaged with no foresight to future generations. Religious fundamentalism is rampant globally which is harming women, children and men. This fundamentalism is gaining power in many governments in the world, not just the theocracies of the Middle East we in the West demonize. There is a War on Women in the U.S and in the world and it is so much more than abortion and birth control. It stems from the religious fundamental idea that women are the seeds of sin and need to be controlled. Which justifies the negative and harmful treatment of women across the globe. Respecting and acknowledging the sanctity of the Feminine is needed to combat power imbalances of the world.

Please join me in bringing much-needed love, joy and kindness to 2015. Let us journey through the year and see where we can bring the Great Mother back into the conversation.

Open Mother
Mother, open your eyes.
We hear the tales.
We hear the lies.
Mother, open your ears.
We need the songs
To calm our fears.
Mother, open your mouth.
The star is in the North
The fire in the South
Mother, open your heart.
Let it spill forth
A cosmic restart.
-Heather Reed 12/22/14

References
Global Issues. (2013, January 7). Poverty Facts and Stats. Retrieved from Global Issues: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
U.S. Census Bureau. (2014, September 16). About Poverty: 2013 Highlights. Retrieved from U.S. Census Bureau: https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/

Stuck and a Bit Angry

I have been feeling stuck. Some part of it may be because we are down to one car due to the other needing a new transmission. I have been in the house a lot this week. But it is more than the need for human interaction. (A toddler barely qualifies for human. I think he is part monster.) I feel as if I am wading through molasses this month. For a while now, things have been progressing. Spring brings vitality and fertility. It is a new beginning and we can witness it just by looking outdoors; flowers are blooming and trees are sprouting leaves. But I feel like I am not moving forward.

I have thought it might be that I am spending too much time reading stuff online. It saddens me to see how our country and our government has been hi-jacked by crazies. Of course, not all are crazies, but the media covers so many of them that it becomes difficult to believe there are politicians who have common sense or fully understand the underlying beliefs this country has shaped for itself. And many of the fights we have to now engage in were won decades ago. And this fight I speak about is Women’s right over her own body. I am not talking about abortion, I am talking about our bodies. In Mississippi, there is a woman who was arrested for manslaughter because her child was still-born. In Virginia, the GOP has recommended a candidate for attorney general who tried to pass state legislation which would have required a woman who had a miscarriage to report it to the police within 24 hours. In addition, the police or medical examiner would have to authorize the disposal of the remains. Violation would have been a class 1 misdemeanor. There have been more than 400 documented cases in the US in which women were arrested or detained for a miscarriage or stillbirth.  It is laws such as these and politicians create who them which inherently say that a  woman can not be in control of her body and if the body does not perform in a prescribed way, it must be criminal. Bodies do not work that way.

I feel I am stuck because as a society we are stuck. I feel I am stuck because as a woman I am stuck. I am dumbfounded at the complete lack of intellectual discussion in our elected halls of government on the right to privacy (women’s bodies), medical knowledge and law. I am beginning to feel I am a criminal in my fellow citizens eyes if I want to control my menstrual cycle or make decisions which are in my and my families best interest about a pregnancy or if my own body chooses to make the decision for me. Women are not criminals just because they have a female body.

I do understand it is all about power. Most of the politicians who are creating and passing this type of legislation are men. For some reason, men have once again become scared of the sacred vagina and its magical power to birth life. The religiosity of some segments of our population have become frightened of the rise of women in general. Therefore, the answer is more women in power. There needs to be a force to combat the ridiculous  extreme views on women. And who knows women’s issues better than women?

I wrote a poem in 1994 which I feel illustrates our apathy as a society. I was writing a paper on political apathy for my Political Theory class at the time. I feel these goof balls have mostly been elected into office because of our nations political ignorance. And our ignorance stems from apathy.

 

What is this world we live in with its majestic towers of white?

Dusty winds of wetness and chilling tales of fright.

Crimson snow would work better to relate the underlying theme.

It would surely wake us from societies sleep induced dream.

Yet, we close our eyes and picture the world in which we believe

has no violence or hunger or a soul that anguishly grieves.

The world has taken notice of our sleep encrusted eyes.

We drown ourselves in blindness and continue to believe the lies.

A wake up call is what we need and crimson snow would do.

A shock to society to rip the blinders from you.

 

Happy Anniversary

I wanted to write this entry weeks ago, but my mother was in town and just did not get around to it. My husband Tracy and I’s wedding anniversary was on March 21st. We have been married for 3 years. Yet, our love story spans 20 years. I met my husband a month or two before my 20th birthday. I believe it was September 1992. A friend introduced us at a bar. The story from my husband is all his friends were talking about this girl Heather and he felt he had to meet her. He met up with his friend Paul at the Apple Pub where I frequented. For me, it was lust at first sight. He was tall and incredible handsome. We played footsie under the table. I remember kissing him that night. My head swam and I knew that someday I would marry him. It was a “you just collided with fate” kind of feeling. And that was a very strange thought for me. At 19 I did not want to get married any time soon. I thought maybe sometime in me early 30’s I would think about marriage, but I had school and a career to create first.

We had spent a few months after that first meeting chasing each other, yet always missing each other. Finally, we ran into each other right after Christmas. We went on our first date to the Metro and Smart Bar. This date has always been the best date I have ever gone on in my life. No date has topped it. But that was it, one date. Later he said  he was not ready for a relationship at the time and was just dating. Of course, that spring he started to go to college where I was attending and I had to watch him saunter past me almost daily. I would go all gooey inside and he would just smile and keep walking. Yet, I still felt I was going to marry him. Of course, I wrote poems about him.

Look upon his shinning face

Watch him walk with style and grace.

See his eyes, a mystery.

Oh, what is to become of me?

I went away to Grad school in DeKalb. In September 1996, I saw him again at a wedding. I remember being so nervous when I got to the reception. The wedding was full of emotional turmoil for me. Mike was there, an ex-boyfriend who cheated on me the year before ending our 3 year relationship. Oh, he had the nerve to bring the girl he cheated on me with even though they were not longer dating. Tracy was there stag. And I came to the wedding as friends with another ex-boyfriend of mine, Jeff. I got drunk before dinner. But something magical happened within all the drama, I had a great time. And there was drama. Jeff left me there and Mike purposely was flaunting the other woman. But I danced most of the night with Tracy and he drove me home. Later that week I called Tracy and soon we were really dating. I use to pick him up at the train station in Geneva, IL and he would spend the weekend. We had 3 nice months together. Than he moved to California. Our parting was bumpy. I was a bit immature. He was running away from his life in Chicago.

Marry me to the moon, since my hand has waded in deeper waters

 The sun can no longer shine its brilliance upon my skin

And my dreams float somewhere way up there

In April 2006, I was living in Southern California as a divorced single parent. My romantic life was non-existent and I yearned for love. One night, I was at my parents’ house in the Californian desert  sitting alone in their backyard. I looked up to the night sky and spoke my heart. I told the stars exactly what I wanted and needed in a man. Then I saw a shooting start. It was my first time I ever saw a shooting star. I knew in my soul the universe heard my plea. Almost a month later, I had a dream. I was at my parents’ old house in Chicago. They were having a party. I was downstairs in the basement (my old room) and Tracy was walking up the stairs. I stopped him and asked him why he was there. He said cryptically, “I have been here the whole time.”  I woke up. I immediately felt I needed to call him. I went to work and told my friend Kristen about my dream. She thought I should find him and thanks to google people search, I did. He was in Chicago. I called my friend Kelli and told her about the dream and what I found. She said I needed to call him. I did that evening.

It had been 9 1/2 years since I spoke to him. I called. When he answered he acted like he did not know me, but then said, “Heather I would never forget your voice.” We talked for about a half hour and  he asked if I wanted to go for a beer. I said  I could not; I lived in California. How funny. We began talking on the phone for a couple of months. I finally came to Chicago for a week visit late June.  We feel madly for each other. By the end of July, I had a job offer out of no where (never even applied) to come back to NIU and start in August. I packed my bags and the rest is history.

Like a masterpiece waiting to be painted

All the colors no longer tainted

with the mysteries of the past

ghosts we thought would haunt us to our last

I pick up a brush with your hand in mine

paint a picture that is simply divine

We look upon it day by day

Love painted it, they will say

My husband said the most wonderful thing to me on our anniversary. He said I was the love of his life. He never said that before and I am sure he has not felt this way all these years. He loved and loves me, but it took him some time to reconcile his past. I just have to say, I knew it all along. Happy Anniversary from the love of your life.

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