It is so easy to forget where you came from in the day to day ordinariness of life, you forget.  But not this week, no not this week.  And believe it or not I’m not talking about the inauguration, exactly…  I’m talking about young people who don’t know what they don’t know and how that could possibly have happened.  Complacency.

When well intended becomes an excuse I have to question just how much well intention is going on and who is allowing it.  An email that came across my laptop this week rocketed me to parts unknown.  A separate Instagram post did the same but that will need a whole another post.  Both of them sent by 30 somethings, both of them reeked of naiveté and a lack of historical reference. You remember historical reference don’t you?

When a woman separates people who are in the same position by gender, having interacted with the man first then letting the others know that she thinks, “This info might be of value to you ladies also” so she’s passing it along I damn near fainted.  “You Ladies”???The eerie feeling that comes over you when you know you’ve seen this before is jarring and infuriating. This from a woman who never wasn’t allowed to wear pants to work. Pants to work, yeah that.  It’s a real juncture for me because it was in my lifetime.

I am so grateful that I had the presence of mind to direct my rant away from her and check to see if I was overreacting.  Am I being an asshole or did this just happen? It happened. Thank you to the two souls that heard me out and let my rant go on until it couldn’t any longer.

Long story short I cooled off enough by the NEXT day to have a kind conversation with her and explain that what she did, no matter how well intended, counteracted everything that old women like me had ever fought for. Seems funny now to be having a conversation about wearing pants to work… I hope she could hear me, I hope she understands, I hope she’s reading all about the Women’s March on Washington.

The one good thing that may come out of a Trump presidency is a resurgence of women uniting in all things female.  I am disappointed that I didn’t go to the march and I can’t explain why I didn’t go as I’ve been an advocate for women my whole life.  Perhaps I underestimated the power we still have.  I’ll figure that out at some point.  But I will be in full participation of the 10 Actions/100 Days follow up. Every 10 days we will take action on an issue we care about.

“The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.”  Gloria Steinem

In whatever way you can, I hope that you will revisit an historical timeline of women.  What we have today hasn’t always been, what we have tomorrow may be diminished or lost entirely, adopt a beginner’s mind assume you don’t know what you don’t know and seek historical reference. Ask someone about their experience it may surprise you.

The Women’s March was unprecedented in its size, its peaceful intent and execution, it is yet to be seen if it accomplishes what will be necessary for women to maintain and boost their status in this country, particularly during this term of office. To those of you who marched I applaud you and thank you for your magnificent representation of us all.  That said, I am cautiously optimistic for the first time in more years than I even realized.

Enjoy some of the pictures of the march courtesy of News and Guts, Dan Rather’s newest venture in reporting.

Black Swan


black-swanAt it’s most simplistic a Black Swan is a bird, yes, but it is also an unexpected event, beyond normal expectations with a “things will never be the same” aftermath. Hindsight usually plays a major part in the aftermath of trying to rationalize “what just happened?”.

There’s plenty of that going on now, however, when I took this picture the day after the election there was only shock.  Joyful shock in the Republican party and just plain shock in the Democratic party.   My post from that day:

black-swan2The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb: What we call a Black Swan is an event with the following three attributes:

First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

I stop and summarize the triplet: rarity, extreme ‘impact’, and retrospective (though not prospective) predictability. A small number of Black Swans explains almost everything in our world, from the success of ideas and religions, to the dynamics of historical events, to elements of our own personal lives.

And so what of the impact on our personal lives?  I admit I am privileged and I live in abundance, really I want for nothing but what I’m learning is that there are so many of those who want for basic necessities. There are so many of those who are struggling to make ends meet. There are so many of those who’s jobs have vanished and not been replaced.  Trump found a way to reach them and they made their voice heard.  In the aftermath, in the first 100 days, will Trump be able to follow through?  We don’t know but there is every indication he won’t be able to reach many of these people with what he promised.  Because as it turns out just about every President never delivered on their campaign promises…bless you Jimmy Carter you tried like hell.

The results of this election brought home for me the lack in our education system nationally and our education overall.  What are we teaching and to whom.  What are we allowing? Of all the dedicated teachers I know there isn’t a one who feels supported in their endeavors.  That is a sad state of affairs that seems to be revealing itself in the aftermath/rationalization of this Black Swan. In kind, how can we educate ourselves when we insist on getting our information from the mainstream media?  I’m learning the value of the numbers we rely on GDP, jobs reports are so antiquated they can paint a triumphant or a dismal picture at the turn of a page. I’ve long ago given up watching the news but found myself sucked into the hysteria during this election.  I vow not to let that happen again, there are far better ways to stay informed.

Of all the rhetoric I wonder how all of those who bore the brunt of the racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist, rude and hurtful remarks will fair.  I wonder how we’ve not allowed ourselves to see just how much hate there is in this country.  One of the most valuable things I’ve learned from the #blacklivesmatter movement is that once you allow yourself to see it, whatever it is from that list above, once you allow yourself to see it you will always see it.  I see it everywhere and I’m weary of seeing it and I’m doing what I can to counteract it.

And this is what I’m also learning.  Everything begins locally and spreads so I’m staying local and vigilant and engaged with my time and my financial support.  It’s important not to get overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done, it is the next right thing that is important.  The next right thing on the local level.  The conversations with neighbors, the engagement in local government, the support of groups who are fighting for the disenfranchised, the support of your voice.

I got most of my centering information from Dan Rather’s posting during and post election.  I got most of my rage from the posting of Facebook tirades, bullying and glorification of the rhetoric that people believe won.  I will gather my strength from the continued learning and doing and using of my voice.

Taleb states that a Black Swan event depends on the observer, that couldn’t be truer in this election.  He goes on to say that what may be a black swan surprise for a turkey is not a black swan surprise for the butcher.  It is up to us to do our best to observe what will be right for this country and it’s many diverse inhabitants and avoid being the turkey in four years.  I remain cautiously optimistic that the checks and balances and our greater conscience will prevail, this is my America the country I believe in and Trump is now the President (because Democracy…),  and I want very much for each of us to believe in it also.


Clothing Pet Peeves List

Clothing Pet Peeve

As illustrated so beautifully by Sarah Andersen, are clothing companies aware that bras exist?

Or that not all women are size extra small/double zero/you should eat something?

Or that the ones that actually do eat something may require something called a dart in their clothing. Anybody remember those?

Or that larger women do NOT require the arm hole in a sleeveless top to measure 22 inches and fall somewhere around their waist.

That what they do require is a larger width between those arm holes……Yes that might require an inch or two of extra fabric, which we are already paying for if we are plus sized.

Do you think they realize that larger women might also be petite at the same time? You know short…

They might want to rethink the longer-in-the-back styles for big breasted women because those girls actually require more length in the FRONT. You know that beautiful shelf that’s created when you’ve got a bust, yeah it hikes things up in the front.

Does anything get cut on the bias anymore, you know the most flattering cut for every single body type under the sun, on the planet?

No, none of this. Think it will ever change? Not likely. Why in this trend-a-minute, use the cheapest-fabric-and-labor-possible would any clothing company want to raise their awareness? They wouldn’t. So unless you’re willing to spend triple the price you’re paying, find yourself a good tailor, or drag out the sewing machine invest in yet another wardrobe of camisoles and suck it up.

Aggghhhh but find yourself a tailor anyway.


Back Where I Belong

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“Don’t wish me happiness I don’t expect to be happy all the time… It’s gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all.” ― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Each year I spend my vacation by the sea.  On the Cape.  Usually by myself.  And a dog or two but only Toti Nonna now.  She isn’t really considered another person, she’s a phenomenal creature all to herself.  And each year I feel as Pablo Neruda does… “It’s well known that he who returns never left”.

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I don’t sight see, I eat out less and less, I’ve stopped bringing back souvenirs for everyone, I simply go and exhale. I have rituals and traditions.  I drink my coffee on the beach each morning because there is nowhere else it tastes better or cools off to just the right temperature.

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We have a routine, our morning walk on the beach, journal writing, photo walks, the farmers market and spending time with friends.

It seems I come by this honestly.  My grandmother, my father’s mother insisted that she be taken to the sea at least once a year.  She needed the sea air, needed it. I never understood it until it crept into my own life.  I must always get back to it.  The smell of salt air and cedar are life sustaining to me.

It’s my hope to get back and never leave at some point, I feel that coming closer and closer each time I find it harder and harder to return, even to my beloved Stowe Lane.

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For those of you that believe I’m idealizing the Cape, the sea, the way my hair feels and the way my skin turns bronze and the way all my aches and pains disappear even though I’m sleeping in a completely different bed you’re wrong.  Your opinions are appreciated but I get it that life goes on wherever one ends up evidenced in the fact that I’ve ended up on Stowe Lane.  I get that you arrive with all of your stuff and your work and your imaginings, I’m under no delusions that a place changes things.

My work is becoming more and more solitary, the changes in the industry are taking care of themselves we are no longer that upstart company with an entrepreneurial spirit. I’m no longer interested in being the inherent dowager queen or a formidable force.  When I think of the word retirement I know I won’t stop working but I’ll be doing joyous work, teaching, writing, gathering and preserving stories.

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The people who so desperately needed me are standing so beautifully on their own, my obligations to others are becoming fewer and fewer and my responsibility to myself is gaining momentum. I am looking ever forward to getting back to the sea for good where I can be that woman in the neighborhood, the gardener, the writer, the teacher, the woman whose home is always wafting the neighborhood with delicious aromas and who can always be counted on for a laugh or a listen.  I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus when he said, “May the outward and inward man be one.”

I am looking forward…

It’s A Legacy Thing

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There are so many things that could be considered legacy things that you couldn’t even begin to categorize them all.  An ordinary legacy thing is something that is, well, ordinary.  The things that are often overlooked, taken for granted, summarily dismissed until something brings your attention back to them, then they become a thing. The ordinary legacy things are always there, always useful, always within reach, until they’re not.

There are legacy thing stories in the everyday tangibles like my screamin red coffee cup or park benches and in the intangibles like birthday parties or on and on.  The choices are endless.

Rather than expound on them in print I thought it might be fun to explore them through video like my screamin red coffee cup.  Not only do I love typing that but I could say it a million times too.

For those of you who receive these posts by email you’ll have to click through to the site in order to see the videos or hear the audios until I figure that whole thing out.  I’m sure it will be a legacy thing at some point.

I expect you’ll enjoy my two cents in two minutes and I’ll not hear the end of it.  Please comment away to make this interactive, I’d hate to see my audacity go to waste!