Friday, January 29, 2016

Women Who Write

Unseasonal slice of spring
splashes light across my desk,
interrupts my morning write,
lures fingers from the keyboard.

I set aside my daily task
and reach for other keys.

Morning sun steamrolls
across damp fields,
trailing vapor
that dissipates in thin air.

I shake winter from my wings
to skitter up and around
and up some more,
listening along the way
to hikers chatter like chickadees
celebrating a fresh-filled feeder.

At the crest, above distant valley floor
and so close to sky, I wish that I
could fly, could soar,
could be both large and small.

My slow descent savoring
January sweetness gains
blessing of a stranger’s car,
newly parked beside my own,
door open.

Our greeting extends
into connection – however brief –
between two women who write.

I tuck the moment in my heart.

January 22, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

May The Force Awaken Us All

I’ve seen the new Star Wars movie twice now and have fallen in love with BB-8 and Rey.

In that order.

BB-8 charmed me even more than R2D2 had those many years ago.

You see, I’ve seen only the first Star Wars and this latest release. I’m not sure why I missed the others. But when The Force Awakens promised the original Han Solo, Luke and Leia, I couldn’t miss it.

Now I’m hooked on that little round droid and her powerful human, Rey (way to go, Daisy). Okay, I know that without Poe, the two would not have met. Still, the story is theirs. It belongs to Rey and BB-8.

As a lifelong feminist, I was thrilled with the powerful, resourceful yet sensitive Rey. Of course her droid would be intelligent, perceptive – and female.

Hooray, I thought! Hollywood finally recognizes strong female characters. After all, even Han Solo cautions Finn that women always find out the truth.

And in the end, the two who are left, the two who are in charge, are Leia and Rey. And BB-8.

I did some browsing, looking for more information on the droid. One of the sites began with two questions:

• Wait, is BB-8 female?
• What does that mean?

The first question could have been written by anyone, male or female. The second? Definitely male. At least, I believe a woman would have written:

• Wait, BB-8 is female?
• Hallelujah!

What a disappointment, then, to find that Disney left Rey out of their new Monopoly game. An eight-year-old girl wrote in protest, saying, “girls matter.”

Both Disney and Monopoly-maker Hasbro are now scrambling to include Rey – and hopefully BB-8 – in their games and toys.

May The Force awaken us all to the power and wonder of women.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The End of Our Empire

Last week, a forwarded email proclaimed the end of the United States in 2016. Or, at least, the end of the U.S. as we know it – and that the demise of our democracy would inevitably be followed by a brutal dictatorship.

Some well-reasoned arguments were used to blame the current administration as the cause.

I wanted to respond, but have kept my fingers off the keyboard until now. Here, on my blog, no one need read it, no one need respond, and I get to ‘moderate’ any comment submitted.

In 2006, I attended three lectures on the Fall of Empires: Roman, Spanish and British. At the end of the last lecture, a man asked if the lecturer saw parallels for the U. S. today. Remember: “today” was June, 2006, well before the 2008 elections.

He replied yes.

The man then asked, “Can we turn back?”

He answered, “Maybe” We were headed for that cliff, but there was still time to change direction. The dilemma: even if we want to do so, could we?

Long before I sat through those lectures, mere days after 9/11, I wrote a letter to the editor that was never published. In part it said:

“I hope our government won't use events of September 11 to justify massive vengeful acts in foreign lands.

The God of my understanding does not take sides, but gave us intelligence and free will. With those we can do great good or great evil. With self-awareness and self-control, may we avoid the latter.”

We all know what happened after that.

Perhaps it is inevitable for powerful nation-states to crumble in some way. Everything points in that direction. I, for one, would be happy to see the U.S. draw back from the role of worldwide cop.

But whatever happens, I don’t believe we are destined to fall under brutal dictatorship as the email proclaimed. Look at Great Britain. No longer a super-power, yet certainly not a dictatorship. May we learn from them.