Bizarro World

When I was young, I read comic books as much as I could. I loved the Superman family (especially Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes). Sometimes the writers seemed to run out of ideas and published some really dumb concepts. Bizarro Superman, from Bizarro World was one of those concepts, but always good for a laugh.

This is from 1960. From hipcomic.com

Things in Bizarro World were recognizable but just not quite right. It confused both the Bizarros and the “real” world. (I feel as if BW might not go over as well today, though apparently the tradition still lives.)

Bizarre? No, good. Grass is growing on our new little hill and a flock of killdeer has taken over the bank.

In conversation with…well…with everyone I’ve communicated with about our lives, I’ve heard tale after tale of how life has just gotten strange recently. More than one person has said, “I feel like I live in a different world,” or words to that effect.

Ack! Giant spider eats wasp! Bizarre!

I’m right there with them. Things have happened in the past few years that have made my world unfamiliar. Recent elections. What the heck? People mass shooting each other so often it’s become commonplace. I don’t get it. People shooting up infrastructure that supports innocent families and businesses because…why?

Breathe, Suna

That’s just the big picture. People are getting weird sicknesses. Families are falling apart no matter how hard they try. My generation is trying to figure out how to support elders who spent all their money but expect…stuff. I’m pessimistic about the future.

Bizarro World.

Regular World with noms

Honestly, I’m so glad I have dogs and horses and they are still acting like dogs and horses. I need something consistent and not weirdly out of left field.

Ommm

I just feel like the world is so odd and unpredictable that I don’t want to make much effort. So I got my 2022 snow globe that says “love is love.” And some tree candles. No real tree, just a few decorations. Many say “peace,” which seems bizarrely impossible these days.

Spot my overly subtle Yule decor.

How about you? Are you in a ball of pessimism like me? What’s bizarre in your life? What helps you keep it together? Sunsets? Full moons. Here are some, anyway.

How Not to Deliver a Fridge

I’m hard to annoy lately. Most times I just let stuff go after a minute. But dang, it’s so irritating to watch people making mistake after mistake and not being able to stop it. But I do now have a little refrigerator in the tack room!

Rustic, ain’t it?

So, Lowes finally told me I could have the one I wanted if black was ok. Of course. Who cares? They were to deliver it today. I was concerned, since we got another welcome inch of rain, so it’s wet here.

Muddy but bigger! Go pond!

They called after the rain stopped and I went out to direct them to the little red barn. The truck showed up, and to my surprise they drove down the driveway about as fast as you’d drive down a paved road. I was concerned, but got them to stop. I told them to turn right at the tractor and go to the red barn.

Zoom! They didn’t spin out, but they turned wide and went through the deep puddles, leaving fine ruts. I watched, assuming they’d go to the end of the drive and stop.

They did not stop, as you can see.

Instead, they suddenly veered left until they got to the back of the barn, veered left again, slammed on the brakes, then gunned the engine to back it up perpendicular to the barn. Uh. Okay. Just give me a fridge.

I went to open the doors, which now work right since my son and I shimmed the stairs with a rock. I turned around and there was a dude carrying the fridge in his arms. They didn’t need a dolly. They could have stopped at the end of the driveway. the dude proceeded to dump it on the floor and started to leave.

I asked if he was going to open it. That surprised him, but he did it. After taking a bunch of pictures (not sure why) the driver made me sign for the delivery with a bright pink pen. No problem. I set myself to plugging my new buddy in and rearranging stuff.

It blends in. Yes all my ribbons are on the desk. I keep forgetting to bring string to hang them on.

I finished pulling all the tape off the doors and realized I could still hear the delivery truck. I went out. Shoot. For reasons only known to Hot Rod Harry, the driver, he’d backed up to over by the chickens, slammed on the brakes (I heard it) and tried to rush out.

Yep. They were stuck. ON OUR SEPTIC FIELD. They were trying to use our fence poles for traction. I said to just stop. I’d get help. Hot Rod got out and took more pictures.

DOOFUSES

The tractor pulled them out after they received a bit of a cursing out for driving so wrong for the conditions and not paying any attention to where they were. Hot Rod took MORE photos.

We concluded they were city folks. No one drives fast on wet ground, especially on someone else’s property. I hope the photos can prove why he was late to wherever he was in such a hurry to go.

Time for a deep breath and send kind thoughts to those guys. Hope they made it home.

I think they caused damage more than the refrigerator is worth. Oh well. I have tiny ice cubes making in my tiny freezer and sparkling water cooling off.

My Decorating Style is “Dated.” So What?

I got myself in a bit of a tizzy last night while I was randomly clicking on “news” items in my Facebook feed. I landed on a clickbait article about how to achieve the very important goal of not having your home look like your grandmother’s home. According to the author, this is a horrible thing that must be avoided at all costs by following their wise decorating advice.

I have a wall clock. Those are ridiculous, says the clickbait writer. I think they meant those ones Joanna Gaines used to put on every house she did. My wooden owl clock from Germany makes me happy.

I scrolled down the numbered list (because numbered lists get more clicks) while ignoring the same ad for a watch that repeated every paragraph or so. As I did, I saw most of my decorating choices on the list. I am woefully dated. My house looks like someone’s grandmother’s house.

Fake flowers. Ick. We are told to buy real ones and throw them out. Who has that much money? I enjoy my obviously fake flowers. You can look away.

Wait. My grandmother, at least one of them, had really cool decorating taste. She had all this excellent Stickley furniture, a really cool art deco kitchen, and all kinds of fascinating collections of objects. I’d be happy to have a house that looks like hers.

Decorative plates that aren’t for eating off of? Ridiculous. How about empty wine bottles? That wasn’t on the list, but I bet it’s bad, just like pictures of chickens painted by the guy who tiled your floor or bronze baseball gloves that were once your father’s real one.

Wait. My house does look like hers. I have some of her furniture and much of her art. The rest was Mom’s. Mom was an artist. She had taste, even if she DID choose “Early American” as her style.

The clickbait person hated wallpaper. They haven’t read all the lates magazines who declared wallpaper to be back in just in time for everyone who’d wallpapered their homes in the 80s and 90s had removed it all. This is tasteful 2000-era wallpaper.

All these exhortations to get rid of anything that was popular in a decade prior to the current one strike me as mass consumerism at its worst. Throw away those perfectly functional kitchen cabinets! They are oak or cherry! Those are bad, outdated woods! Ick! Right. So all those poor trees live their lives in vain and how other trees have to give up their lives so barely used kitchen items can be replaced.

They railed about putting fake plants up on the shelf above the cabinets. I can’t argue with that. They are dusty. And ugh, look at those cherry cabinets! (They are REAL cherry wood and custom made – not getting rid of them)

And ooh, you can’t have the wrong color granite! Go dig up another mountain and get today’s color. Those beautiful rocks from the 1990s must go!

The article talked about Precious Moments figurines as being unfashionable. I am not fond of them either, but if you like them, keep them. Not everyone will like all my horse figurines.

I’m really glad that a movement toward sustainable decorating is starting to emerge. People are realizing that if the things in their home still do their job, they don’t have to go away.

Crochet. It is true, doilies collect dust. I happen to like pansies.

And at the same time, not everyone has to be “modern” and non-grandmotherly. I’m old enough to be a grandmother, so if I want a doily, dammit, I can have one. (Here’s a secret: modern furnishings were popular with many of your grandmothers – your grandmother or great grandmother might have had mid-century modern during the middle of the previous century.)

More doilies? At least I made this in the 70s and it’s bright orange.

So, I’m sticking with my cherry wood finishes. I like reddish wood. And I like natural stone, which is often brown or tan. So what? And I proudly display my mother’s collection of hand-painted floral plates right alongside the ones I bought for myself. I like them. And I decorated my house for ME, not whoever determines what’s “in” this month.

Rocks, wood, brown things, clutter. So what? I’m happy.

Please keep what pleases you in your own house and don’t throw away your stuff just because someone tells you it’s not cool (or whatever the current word for cool is; I’ve used that word since 1964). And don’t hide your needlepoint. I just want to stab whoever said to hide it and not display it with a blunt tapestry needle, even though I’m a nonviolent pacifist. Flower lover. Hippie. Maximalist.

I love my needlepoints, even with cherry wood frames.

I’m glad I got that off my chest. I’m now going to go hide in my distinctly non-modern tack room and not read any articles full of ads that are written just to get people to buy stuff. Trends. Ugh.

No, Not Me, a Clone

Oh friends. I have a wee vent. I’d like to have a lot of words with whoever came up with those “clever” clones of Instagram accounts that show up in the Messenger app with people’s names and photos and say brilliant stuff like, “Hello hope you are doing?” (today’s) or “Hello, how are you doing today?” All these things do are waste the time of the cloned person, because they have to repeatedly let people know that no, it’s not them, it’s some bot.

No, that is not me at right (or below, if you’re reading on the phone). Do you need to check with me to be sure? Nope, not at all. Just look at it.

  • Is that how my name normally looks? Nope.
  • Is it from a Facebook account? Nope. (I only message from there.)
  • Does it have any posts or followers? Nope. (My actual Instagram has my name spelled normally and has a bunch of posts and followers.)
  • Does it say “New Instagram account?” Yep.

If the answers you get match these answers, then you don’t need to let me (or whoever has “messaged” you) know about it. There’s nothing they can do.

What you can do is block and report the account.

See this message I got back in July from “Anne Hutten?” I knew it wasn’t from her. Name spelled wrong, 0 posts and 0 followers, new Instagram account, and the typical message. I looked at the bottom of the screen. I clicked Block. If I had clicked Report, I would have told them that she was pretending to be Anne and answered a few questions. The message would have disappeared. I was just lazy and didn’t do it, which is good, so I can show you the example.

How can you prevent this?

You can’t, sad to say. These bots just go grab people’s pictures and mess with their names to make a fake account. I’m not even sure what they do if you respond. I could only find endless sets of instructions to report and block the accounts.

I’m to the point where it takes me a few seconds to block and report, then go on my merry way. When I get cloned, I end up spending a lot of time saying that’s not me and giving instructions to people who are trying to help me out by letting me know something I can’t do anything about.

I guess enough people fall for these things and let the cloned account ask for money that it makes it worthwhile for them. That means they’ll keep cloning. So, let’s not panic, just go on with our lives.

Now, if someone hacks your account, it’s a different story. That’s when someone takes your legit account over. That is something you need to report to Facebook, Instagram, or whoever, and work with them to take care of the problem.

I searched Facebook for me. Looks like I’m safe. Haylee Sue Ann seems to be a real person.

To find out if there are extra people pretending to be you, by the way, you can simply search Facebook or Instagram and see if there are “fake you” people out there. (Don’t report actual people with the same name as you – it’s a big world out there!)

Oops, in addition to the Haylee person, there’s a fake Instagram me. They have been reported!

OK, hope that helped. Here’s a quiz. Review the images below and see if you think they are fake or real.

Oh yes, I wanted to assure you that I do have an Instagram account that’s legit. Some people even look at it! I have no urge to be an Influencer of Insta-famous, so I am perfectly happy with my numbers.

Hasta luego.

Life. Challenging. Frustrating.

Drew agrees. He had to learn hard lessons today. Look at him kicking up dust and swishing.

I hope whoever deals with me and my family and their challenges and frustrations will be firm but patient and kind, like Tarrin is with a confused and annoyed horse.

Love to you, readers.

When Your Feelings Are No Longer Squelched

Note: I realize I am a privileged person who has nice things, food, shelter, and a good education. My family that speaks to me does their best to support me. And I am NOT blaming other people for my perception. That’s on me! As I repeatedly state in my personal blog here, I’m grateful for that. No need to point that out to me when I share that I’m struggling.

Feeling bad can distort your perception of reality just like a weird mirror on a trailer.

I feel like shit. I was feeling okay for a long time, and now I realize it is because, like so many people these days, I had used medication to numb my feelings and help me cope with reality. Reality, today, especially if you’re a woman in Texas, Yee-Haw USA, sucks.

Reality is hard on a personal level as well. One thing that medication did for me was enable me to sort of sit back dispassionately and watch how life goes on at the soap opera known as the Hermits Rest Ranch and not let it get to me. Things happen, people do things, I get stuck in the middle of situations I don’t understand. With medication, I just say, “Oh, that’s just so and so being who they are…no need to internalize the consequences.” So, I am able to deal with the kinds of treatment I normally would be devastated by pretty well. I’m able to forgive and just drop things, knowing that we’re all messed up and doing our best.

The best or worst thing about the medications (depending on how you look at it) is that I am able to resist the urge to stand up for myself or call out behavior, knowing that every time I’ve done so for the past few years, I’ve been gaslighted or been treated to that classic technique of being blamed for causing my own problems. Me standing up for myself tends to go horribly, horribly wrong. And it achieves nothing other than upsetting others. So, I’d rather not stir the pot, since I know I’m no better than anyone else, with my sarcasm and things I say when stuff leaks out that aren’t kind.

Now is my life horrible? No. There’s great stuff in my life and right here at the Hermits’ Rest. I was generalizing about difficult experiences that aren’t constant but that, if I’m being honest with myself, are hard on me. Of course, knowing what a hard person I am to be around, I know I’m very taxing on everyone who has to be around me! My only point is that the medication made it easier for me, and that I’m having trouble now that I am feeling things harder. I don’t want to subject the people around me to un-squelched Suna!

Would I like to be my authentic self in my own home? Yes. I could probably relax more. Is it a good idea? No. This is not a safe place to share feelings about the state of the world or my inner dysfunction. I crave peace and love. So, sometimes I have to sacrifice to get one or the other. Don’t we all? Perhaps.

I’d love to share some of the challenges I face here in my personal blog, because I think it’s good to present a balanced picture of life, which is imperfect and not always easy. But there is a long list of things I’ve been requested to not mention. That makes my sharing of my life sound often like I’m living in a paradise of privilege with no problems. But that’s not true. There are health issues with everyone in this family but me (and obviously I have a mental health issue). We have a business that is struggling, I think. Not really sure. I sometimes feel unsafe in my own home, since I’ve given up a lot of my firmly held beliefs so that others can do what makes them feel comfortable. And those vague generalities are as far as I can go. Holding things in can make them leak out in weird ways when you’re unmedicated, though.

For example, there are dreams. Oh my gosh, I have been having horrible dreams about people from my past berating me for all the mistakes I have ever made. That’s quite the parade, let me tell you. My estranged son, his father, numerous people I dated, my father (always my father, who is the reason I am so afraid of being yelled at), friends from high school (including the one I did not have a baby with when I was 17), ex bosses. Whew. I wake up and read bland news items about nature to get the dreams out of my head. They keep coming. I would like to re-squelch them.

It’s overwhelming. I am not coping well.

If you’re my friend in real life, reach out to me sometimes. I suck at reaching out. I hate to intrude. But I realize that vaguely saying I’m not feeling well isn’t too useful either. These are hard times. Many of us are struggling. I’m not alone in having a genuine meltdown and personal crisis. But I want to admit it and say that I’ll listen to YOU if you want to talk.

And I love every single imperfect person in my life. That’s why I’m still here rather than checking out, which is mighty tempting right now. Well, that and the horses. I can’t leave the horses, too. And dogs.

Next, here is what bugs me.

Things I Want to Say (some borrowed from my spouse)

Anyone who has managed to read through my mental health drivel now gets to read genuine opinions by uncensored me. If I piss you off, unsubscribe, block me, or stop speaking to me. You won’t be the first. But people like me keeping quiet, I think, has helped the world get to where it is.

It is every-so ironic that the woman-hating judge Clarence Thomas claims to be an “originalist” and that every word in the God-given US Constitution must be taken literally is not even a PERSON in the original constitution. He is a black guy! FFS!

It is every-so ironic that all the gun worshippers who also claim to worship the God-given US Constitution don’t realize that if we really went by it in its original and perfect state, as delivered by God from Mount Vernon (or wherever it came from) don’t seem to realize that if they are too poor to own the property on which their homes have been set, they would not get to vote. Only land-owners who are also genuine 100% man-humans got to vote in the version handed down by the Blessed Forefathers.

By the way, I read in a book (I know, I’m one of those doomed intellectuals who use those as sources of facts) that the MEN who wrote the US Constitution were, in fact, people, not deities. They drank, swore, cheated on their chattel…err…wives, owned slaves, and made numerous errors, like humans do. Not gods. Not perfect. Not able to predict the future.

And didn’t the God in the Bible used by most Christians say to not have any other gods before HIM? Wait a minute. Guns? Constitutions? Trump? Aren’t those not Jehovah?

DO NOT TELL ME TO VOTE. I VOTE IN EVERY PODUNK ELECTION IN THIS PLACE. I EVEN HELPED ONE PERSON WIN, ONCE. EVERY OTHER REASONABLE CANDIDATE, I DID NOT HELP.

Besides, the people or entities who are creating the society we live in today have nothing whatsoever to do with this illusion that we are voting for who represents us or that those people represent anything other than money and power.

Information Rather Than Advice: Again

Another thing they used to say in La Leche League was that we preferred to give information rather than advice. I’ve talked about this before, but I have feelings about it. So here I am again.

When we were helping women with their babies, we’d let them know what we knew, what the current research says, and what our friends had experienced with their babies. Women would listen to all the information, then make up their own minds about what would work for their families. We had run into so many mother-baby pairs that we knew what is best for one might not be the best for another.

A mother-baby pair where the baby is the mother’s size

And you know, people seemed to like that approach. Lecturing and saying “you should” often makes people shut right down. People tend to dislike hearing that they are wrong, and often spend a lot of time justifying their own actions rather than taking in new ideas and considering them.

Goldie likes it when I read her a bedtime story

I’ve chosen to take that approach and apply it to potential “arguments” and conversations. Ooh, and I also apply it to exchanges on social media. I find my own self shutting down when I mention an issue I’m having only to find half the world telling me what I should do. It feels like people are ordering me around, even though I know perfectly well that, in their minds, they are giving suggestions! Thus, I try to answer anyone’s questions to make it clear that I’m just giving one data point, not my authoritative expert declaration.

See, now she’s all snoozy.

As I recently read, the older you get the more you realize you aren’t an expert at anything! You know you have more to learn. The more you know the more you realize you don’t know, or something like that.

After 4 years as a Master Naturalist, I know I don’t know much at all about the nature of Texas. But I’m happy.

I got to thinking about this when I was reading a book (Getting along with Horses: an Evolution in Understanding) by Crissy McDonald, the spouse of Mark Rashid. She talked about mentioning sharing a photo of a horse that was hobbled (a way to keep them from wandering off when you don’t have a fence). Now, she knew what she was doing, the horse had been trained to be comfortable with the hobbles, etc. But people on social media just started yelling at her that she was abusing animals…before asking her pertinent things like what the horse’s experience with this was, how was she using the technique, etc. There was no effort to be curious about what she shared.

Sigh. Been there myself! Seen it happen to others so many times. I know that there are people who increase their self esteem by putting others down to build themselves up. I know there are people who honestly believe they are experts on most things. There are folks who just love to argue/debate. There are people who just don’t know much social etiquette. Like Crissy, I do my best to send good thoughts to people like that and simply not engage. You’re not going to teach these “experts” anything. They don’t want YOUR lecture any more than you want theirs, right?

Buy the way, I’m done with cat butts for a while. I gave 8 of them to Dorothy tonight.

So, treasure those around you who are willing to pass out information and let you decide for yourself how to use that information in your unique situation.

Wait, one more cat butt! Meow!

Consider, after reading all my information, using the techniques of just offering up things you know, experiences you’ve had, or opinions, not getting all invested in whether your input is acted on. Perhaps the other person has something going on that makes your information inapplicable, and that’s no reflection on you (or me).

Well, I got that off my chest. Two rants in a row. Whew.

People before Things

I’ve been thinking about this saying we always used to bring up when my kids were little and I spent a lot of time with women who chose a pared-down lifestyle so they could stay home while their kids were young.

It was important for us to let our children know we valued them more than fancy homes, cars, clothing, etc. I still feel that way.

Altar for a person I care about

To me, my family and friends are my greatest treasures (along with my horse and dog children). I value them way more than my house, my swimming pool, my turquoise jewelry, or she sheds. I guess I thought most people were that way. But no, I’m finding out otherwise.

Dog I care about more than any things she might break with her tail!

A Personal Story of the Problem with Things

Here’s what’s been blowing my mind recently. Remember the book club I was in with my neighbors at the Bobcat house? To me, the books were secondary to the people in the group, who always treated each other kindly and accepted each other for who they were, as different as everyone was.

Now, I never lived there full time like Anita did, so I only saw a couple of minor judgmental things said about some of the women. I mostly heard stories of fun gatherings, music, and laughter. Anita was included and I was usually invited.

Then, a “thing” got in the way, combined with misunderstandings and lack of communication. That’s always a deadly combination. Apparently a lost item of clothing was more important than friendships. This hit me like a ton of bricks. People thought Anita had stolen a denim jacket and given it to me. When I wore it to the last book club I attended, someone tried to take it, and acted like they didn’t believe it was mine.

They sold these in many boutiques, apparently

I ended up feeling guilty, like I’d done something wrong, but had no idea what. When Anita and I were pointedly not invited to the next two book clubs, I realized my “friends” had put their need to blame Anita (and me, by association) for a lost object above their years of friendship. Wow. And no one would talk to us about it. I did ask for someone to tell me what was going on. Crickets.

Of course none of our actual friends wanted to get involved. Who could blame them? They have to live there. They need to be cordial! And they only hear one side of the story, about how important the jacket was and how awful we must be to take it and “rub it in their faces.” And I, myself, knew I’d only heard one side of the story (and little of that, since it wasn’t a topic of conversation in Cameron, where we were dealing with getting a house finished). I figured I’d never know what other issues there were, and just wrote it off.

But it was really bothering Anita. She is my friend. I place her before things. So, I went to the store where I bought my jacket and got the receipt. They keep a record of everything there! I wanted to be sure everyone knew I owned my jacket, since it was so important to the group in Austin. I didn’t tell only the people who seemed to be so angry, because I wouldn’t put it past them to not share the info in order to maintain their version of events. people do that to protect themselves.

Courtney came through.

I’m under no illusion that proving I paid for my own clothing made any difference. From the earful I got from someone I’d really valued as a friend before, it became clear that Anita and I were back to being the unpopular kids, just like back in high school. All sorts of things had been misinterpreted and negative motives assigned to words and actions. Heck, I’d hate us if I’d done all the things I found out Anita and I’d supposedly said or done.

In high school I’d have tried and tried to get back in with the cool girls. Today I am just sad to lose friendships over things. It reminds me of what Lee keeps telling me, which is I can get myself into emotional trouble when I assume people mean well and like me for who I am.

Still. I actually still care about my former friends and have fond memories of them. I can see their point of view given their perception. I empathize with the people from that group who remain my friends. I’m so sorry I put them in an awkward situation over an inexpensive piece of clothing. Their friendship is more important than any things. I like them, just as they are.

My hope is that there are people who can forgive me of my less than ideal jokes, accept my cluelessness about situations I’m not a part of, and can deal with my oddness. If you are one of them, I’ll return the grace to you.

Life is too short to waste on judgment. I’m surprised this stuff has festered in me for so long. Time to forgive, forget, and let go.

Thoughts and Actions, Please

Today I’ve been feeling sick. I’m not a gun lover in the first place, and now I feel like we are all just waiting for our turns to be someone’s target. The cynic in me feels that the people who run the US care only about themselves, their families, babies (up to the moment of birth, at which point they are worthless), and guns.

[Some of you may want to stop reading now and go enjoy some Fox News.]


What has sucked the wind out of my sails the most is how I’ve seen regular folks reacting to the endless shootings of people who just happened to be living their lives in the wrong places.

I burned candles in their honor, but won’t stop there.

It’s not just the sincerely uttered “thoughts and prayers,” because I know that’s what people in a certain social group say when they just don’t have anything else to say. No, it’s people who say the ONLY thing you can do to help dead children, teachers, grocery shoppers, and such is to pray.

“My tradition teaches that prayer without action is just noise.”

Rabbi Jack Moline

As my friend Lynn pointed out to me, you don’t hear many ministers saying that. You hear them calling for change. At least the ministers I’ve heard. Rabbi Moline is one of them. Another quote from him:

There is no tradition that, at its core, would justify the massacre of children at school, grandparents at the grocery store, or congregants in a house of worship. And there should be no faith leader that sits idly by while the people we have dedicated our lives to ministering to are slaughtered. Prayer works only when it softens the hardened heart and opens it to the message of healing and justice that flows through every tradition’s scripture. Prayer works only if it leads to confession, contrition and repentance. Prayer works only if it is not an excuse for inaction.

NOTHING PREVENTS THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION MORE EFFECTIVELY THAN A BULLET

Worse than this, I’ve seen people post that it’s not so bad all these people are dying, because that way they get to go meet Jesus and hang out with their deceased relatives sooner rather than later. I’m sorry, but WTF. It’s hard for me to imagine their pacifist god-figure wanting people do die early in a massacre just to hang out with him. Um, I hope they draw comfort from that.

Not a fan

I got so upset that I ran to my trusted sources for words of comfort, words to help me remember who I am, and words to steer ME via my beliefs. My Christian spiritual leader, Jim Rigby reminded me of these words by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”

MLK

And then Jim talked about having the courage to be gentle and find hope as I respond to the hurt I am feeling right now. He is right, of course:

Greek culture had a word for “gentleness” (praus) that actually could meant “power under control.” It was sometimes used for a powerful animal that had been tamed. Today “gentleness” might refer to finding the courage not to use violence to solve all of our problems. Before we can tackle the problem of gun violence we must first ask ourselves an important question: Does our nation have the courage to be gentle?

Guns are no replacement for the civic virtue of courage. This nation cannot be saved by military grade weapons in the hands of cowardly spirits. Human decency requires the bravery to steer by our hopes not our fears.

Jim Rigby, Facebook

While all that helped me spiritually, I still am faced with even more blatant 1984-style language and proclamations by civic leaders that my head literally hurts. Why are guns more important than children, I keep wondering? Why is “freedom” more important than protecting the mentally ill and dangerous from themselves and others? I’m not alone. From Richard Stone of Taylor, Texas:

I got in a row on one of the local community pages about arming teachers. Saw this over on Twitter a few minutes ago and now I can’t wrap my head around the cognitive dissonance.

Richard Stone, Facebook

He then quoted someone else who finally put into words what has been causing my hurt:

“I heard this point yesterday and can’t get it out of my mind – TX politicians don’t trust teachers to choose books, but they think arming teachers is a good idea.”

Bethany Albertson

I have a child who is a teacher. He just celebrated five years at Austin ISD and I am proud of him. He was raised in a gun-free household, as was I, and as I have been until things changed around here. I do not want to see him having to protect his students from killers. I want him to teach history and even hide some facts in among the state-mandated stuff. I want him free to care about his students, but also feel free to criticize or discipline appropriately, when necessary, without worrying that kid will come back and shoot him the moment they turn 18. Holy crap that is just plain dystopian. I’m nauseated.

And don’t tell me to move. I’m from here, too.

Anyway, I’m not a crazed snowflake who wants to snatch people’s possessions out of their hands. I’m a mother, a spouse, an aunt, a nature lover, and just a regular human who wants to feel free to have opinions, live in safety, and feel free to spread love, kindness, and even lovingkindness, around the land.

Breathe, Suna

But to also speak up. So many folks I know have been afraid to say we need to do something about the gun worship culture here. Why? Because of gun worshippers. Not hunters, not safety officers. People who literally LOVE the things and don’t give a shit how many people have to die because of it.

Some bunny loves us all. Me.

As so many people I know have been asking, how did we get here? Can we make things better. I want to help.

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