We celebrate what we should commiserate

This story of Spielberg’s daughter breaks my heart. I knew by her 2nd or 3rd sentence she was traumatized and abused.


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Omar’s Immigration Fraud

“As of this morning, I can’t find a story in the Minnesota media that follows up on the Daily Mail’s report that Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother in 2009 for fraudulent purposes. It’s not breaking news. We — Preya Samsundar, David Steinberg, and I — have been telling the story over the past three and a half years. The underlying story is Omar’s reign of terror seeking to suppress” this information.
Read More Here: https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/02/omars-reign-of-terror.php?utm_source

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In transition

Under construction. Transformation. Discovery. All of these words, and perhaps I will find others to add, contemplate, work through, endure or triumph.

I am 57. I have been married my entire adult life (since I was 20). My identity was not wholly wrapped up in either motherhood or marriage, but both of these are significant parts of who I am, not the whole, but a large part. Relationships are important to human beings and there’s nothing to apologize for or regret in that. Marriage is a meaningful part of one’s identity- until it isn’t. It defines your space, both physically and emotionally. It informs part of your interactions with others. It’s even part of your tax identity. Until it isn’t.

Oh, legally, still married. Emotionally, physically, there is no other half in my life. There is a forbidding, ominous presence in the background, but not as ‘partner.’ More like a virus I need to avoid triggering.

And meanwhile. I am figuring out how to reconfigure who I am, what my future will look like, post-amputation of this thing I thought was an other self, a complementary part of my whole, but was in fact, more like a tumour, a cancerous growth, sentient, but utterly alien.

I have written before about how I never feel at home anywhere, and I prefer to travel. But that is unlikely to be in my future, and maybe it is time to stop being an epiphyte and start extending some tentative roots. Making my space mine instead of partially somebody else’s, deciding what I like, what I don’t, what I will do with my time, what I won’t, what groceries I buy and which I no longer purchase, what and how I prepare meals- these are all new tasks because nobody’s opinion but mind matters. Little things are strange, new territory even where to put the trash can and what size bags to use (I can’t life the size we formerly used, so I downsized to a size I can carry by myself, and stopped using a bin altogether so I don’t have to lift it out of the bin). These are so much minutiae, boring, unimportant, trivial, yet part of a new definition of my life. I don’t hate it. Some parts I absolutely love, some I don’t. But the sheer number of them is sometimes too much, too overwhelming. And yet, it is not unfamiliar, either. It’s the culture shock of moving to a new country and not remembering how to use their phone system, or how to find the bandages in the store, or what to do when this country has no unscented laundry soap. So many new decisions, new ways of doing, being, living, planning. And that brings with it both joy, curiosity, interest, and decision exhaustion, and sometimes anguish I discard old, nonviable, and I now know, false ideas about the partnership I thought I had and the future that went with that.

I find it amusing, and also comforting, that in my very random but constant reading this month, I keep ‘accidentally’ picking up books that complement each other in addressing the topic of finding and being our authentic and true Self, not in a psychobabble, secular, and selfish egotistical way, but who am I, really, what are God’s plans for me as a single grandmother tied down, however affectionately, by a severely disabled nonverbal, still in diapers, 32 year old who requires constant care and attention 24 and 7.

The ReWired Brain: Free Yourself of Negative Behaviors and Release Your Best Self

Beyond Self, The IMitation of Christ

The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery

Dennis Prager’s Rational Bible: Exodus commentary

The mystery If I’d Killed Him When I Met Him by McCrumb (a random mystery picked up at the library that turned out to feature half a dozen different adultery and abandonment of wives too old for young models)

Even Feet of Clay, but Terry Pratchett and Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale.

All of them have had something to say to me this month, something pertinent, timely, applicable. It’s fascinating to me how good books do this for us.

Fascinating also to recall, as I write this, a time 36 years ago when my shiny new husband told me he thought I read too much and should take a sort of break, read a little less. I knew it was true that I neglected housework for books, so I was willing to work on that. I asked what he had in mind. Six months, he said. He thought I should go without reading anything at all, even a newspaper, for six entire months. That was so ridiculous I didn’t give the issue another thought. “Six months?” I asked incredulously. “No. I won’t. That’s impossible and unreasonable.”

Ironic in light of the fact that I now know he wasn’t willing to deny himself his own media of choice for even half that time, but that was not an issue he was ever willing to confess.

At any rate, in my pursuit of change and discovery of the real me under the layers of years of a different life, a different self, that’s one thing that isn’t going to change, the books.

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If you know the acronymn, my apologies for being a bit crass. It’s a feature on Redit, appparently.
I only just heard of it. Somebody will post a real life story of some issue and ask if they are being the jerk or if the other party is (only instead of jerk, it’s a body part beginning with A), and then Reddit users may ask a few clarifying questions and then vote. The possible votes are, as I recall, yes, it’s you. No, it’s them, and nobody is the jerk in this story.

People are so weird. All of us.

A few years ago a much admired godly older woman at my church was gently but firmly critical of my tastes in reading- one, too much reading (who has time for that), and 2, too many mysteries and that’s so dark and not uplifting. She would tell me a story about a woman who was fearful all the time until they discovered she read mysteries and when she stopped reading them the anxieties all went away, concerned but pointed look. (as long time readers know, I have PTSD and there is a discomfort there with really grasping what this means. They aren’t really comfortable with mental health issues that actually influence how you live your life. It’s okay to say you have Depression if you have Overcome, that kind of thing).

I tried to give her suggestions a fair hearing, but my murder mysteries of choice are classic cozy types, Sayers, Marsh, McInnes, Wentworth, Allingham, so I just could not take it seriously.

Then I discovered that her favourite television shows featured vampires and werewolves and she preferred more suspense/violent movies over romances (as do I), and I had to laugh, a lot and at both of us. You see, my first reaction was a sort of smug sense of superiority because who has time for television shows and if you do, why that drek? This was before my K-Drama addiction had taken hold, you understand. Other shows she liked a lot featured a body count three or four times higher than my little cozy murder mysteries, just they were often supernatural in nature, done by monsters or aliens or super villains, but they didn’t fall under the murder mystery genre so she did not see them the same way at all. And, of course, neither did I when I first learned about her tastes in television. I never said anything to her, though, because there didn’t seem to be a point. I just laughed at both of us, privately, to myself.

On the inside, where it’s really smug.

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China: Who Can Help?

Here are some links about the Corona virus, and I am not sharing them because I am personally worried about the virus in America, I am not. I am worried about the people in China and other totalitarian governments (LIke North Korea). It’s heartbreaking. Over the last year I’ve probably read half a dozen solid books on life in North Korea, including the famine of the 90s, and my heart is sore for these dear ones who have no reprieve, who are killed for being caught praying, who often don’t even know what prayer is for or who Jesus is as the lock down on religion has been more successful than that against the virus.
The Corona virus is still far and away from most of us reading this. Pour that same energy spent worrying about this virus into praying for the people of China, North Korea, Hong Kong, and other places. Pray for our hearts and eyes be open to opportunities to help in some way.

https://youtu.be/xUVovJlgnFc Woman wails for help from her apartment balcony in China: ““My husband is dying! Help! Can somebody come? Help! Sorry, I don’t want to harass you, but I really don’t know what to do, Who can help?””

80 cities quarantined. College dorms converted to hospital wards. https://www.theepochtimes.com/more-than-80-chinese-cities-under-quarantine-due-to-coronavirus-as-wuhan-converts-school-dorms-into-isolation-centers_3231532.html

Citizen journalist who was asking questions about the virus has gone missing in China: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10922967/chinese-citizen-journalist-missing-wuhan/

Who can help? Dear Lord, who can help?

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