Posted in Being human, family, friends, Monday / lundi / lunes / måndag / Monntag

I’ll never write this one if I try to explain it all either.

Understand guys — I wanted to make y’all a post. I know exactly how I want it organized. I know what I want to put in it. And the whole point is showing you I love you. But for whatever reason, I can’t write it as intended. It’s like walking through sludge until I’m surrounded by bramble and can’t find my way out in any direction. Then my head gets tangled up in everything else and I run off and don’t write.

The reason it was going to be so complicated was because I wanted to really pay tribute to each of the individual people in my life who currently count to me as family. This is difficult for many reasons. One reason is juggling privacy concerns — who to use names, who to use initials, what details to leave in, what details to leave out, what details to change. I’m not talking about legal limits on privacy, I’m talking about my attempts at common decency. Which are sometimes stricter.

So there’s a post I want to make, and I’m trying to make it. And I think I’m gonna succeed at making it, at this point. But this is the lead-in to it — that again, I’m having issues with trying to get everything said. So I’m trying again for allowing myself to write without writing as perfectly as I want to.

Because if I had my way?

I’d have a drawing for each and every one of you, or a photograph. And a little bit of commentary. And it’d all be done so that only some people were identifiable, and only in some ways, and so forth. And that’s just not how it’s gonna happen.

The most likely outcome is I’m gonna write a summary about my relationship to y’all and what it means to me, but without as much personalized touches as I would like. And then maybe the personal touches will trickle through to the light of day in the end when I’m done writing all this other stuff.

But for now? This is all I can promise. This post here. Because I already wrote it. But I am pretty sure I will be able to at least write a couple short posts. Where “short” doesn’t necessarily mean the post is short, it just means… something in my brain leading up to the post is shorter than it would’ve been otherwise.

This gets a little bit carried off into corners of my brain it’d never come back from — if I were to explain to you the communication and cognitive issues that I am having here? If I took more than just these couple sentences in this short paragraph, to describe it? I would never get the post written. So this paragraph has to be all, for now. Suffice to say temporal lobe epilepsy does not make for being an efficient writer.

Anyway I’m gonna go and try to write the best post I actually can write, as opposed to what I want to write, and that’s gonna have to be good enough.

Posted in Being human, Blogging about blogging, Days of the Week, fear, Friday / vendredi / viernes / fredag / Frietag, Topic Themes

Fear for Courage Friday

In Life’s name and for Life’s sake, I assert that I will employ the Art which is its gift in Life’s service alone, rejecting all other usages. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way; and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, when it is right to do so — till Universe’s end.

Wizard’s Oath from Diane Duane’s Young Wizards and Feline Wizards series.
fear for courage Friday
Fear for Courage Friday

…To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage…

Wizard’s Oath

This is a Friday topic about facing fear.

Many people who know me have compared me to Neville Longbottom. In that, like me, he started out timid and afraid of everything. But by the end of the series, he’s faced up to so many of his fears that he commits feats of extreme courage. Including deliberately facing the Cruciatus Curse, a spell that had been used in the past to torture Neville’s parents until they couldn’t function anymore. He faces up to his worst fears and then some to protect other children — and adults, but especially other schoolkids — from Voldemort’s followers.

Gryffindors like Neville are known for their courage, but people from any House can be courageous. And I’d argue that the different Houses emphasize courage in different ways, and different aspects of courage, although any kid from any House can of course have any kind of courage for any reason. The kind of courage Neville shows — putting himself into terrifying situations in order to protect others — is both emphasized in Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Like Neville, I have a lot of traits of both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff and I do identify a lot with his character.

Part of all these new blogging ideas have to do with facing my own fears. So having one of the Friday topics be facing fear makes sense.

Mind you, fear isn’t bad in and of itself. But there’s allowing fear to guide you by giving you information, and then there’s having your entire life dominated by fear. And I don’t want my entire life dominated by fear.

I have a friend who says she chooses one new brave thing to do every day, and then does it. That would sound like an exercise from a self-help book without the background knowledge that my friend came out as bisexual and soon thereafter as a trans woman in the wake of the Orlando shootings. She isn’t screwing around, she knows what’s at stake, and she knows she wants to put herself out there both for her own sake and that of others. She doesn’t want to live her life in hiding. I had a similar reaction to those shootings, like I wanted to be more visible despite the danger. For many reasons, too complicated to explain if you don’t understand already.

When my father was dying of cancer, he said that dying of cancer was his worst fear. We talked about dealing with fear of death and dying. And I said that as far as I could tell, the only thing to make a difference to deal with that kind of fear is to find the deepest form of love — a property of the universe, not an emotion, in this case — and follow it wherever it goes.

My father took that advice and ran so far with it that my only fear is I’ll never be able to live up to his example. He died well, and bravely, and with love.

I have a few friends whose courage has been making national news with everything ADAPT is doing to try to secure rights for disabled people in America right now. It makes me proud to even be able to think to myself, “I know these heroes personally…” and not have it be some sort of inspiration porn thing.

Another friend graduated from college as a nonspeaking person with developmental disabilities and made a movie about it. Which anyone who’s been even just the first in their family to go to college knows is gruelingly difficult and full of new fears to face every day.

Honestly one of my fears is that I’ll never be as brave as so many of my friends and family and people I’ve known. I know a lot of really tough-as-nails people. But suffice to say I know a lot of really brave people and I hope it rubs off on me Neville-style. Unlike Neville I think I’m genuinely a Hufflepuff deep down, but courage isn’t just a Gryffindor thing.

But at any rate, this is the Friday topic for anything regarding fear, courage, facing fears, and things of that nature. Hopefully I’ll eventually have things to fill it up with.

My friend suggested that writing about my fears is itself a brave thing to do that can benefit other people. I think she is probably right.

fear for courage Friday
Fear for Courage Friday

Posted in Blogging about blogging

Writing when you can’t write well.

I am having trouble writing. I am having trouble doing most things. All of my energy is getting sucked into survival and I’m just trying to hold my head above water.

But a few tips for just getting things written and published on your blog or elsewhere:

  • Publish even if you don’t feel like your writing is exactly what you meant or wanted to write. It still may be more valuable to the world than staying silent would be. (I got this tip from Ruti Regan. Thanks Ruti!) Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect, and it wouldn’t be perfect if you waited till it met your standards anyway.
  • Think of what you would want to read and haven’t seen written, then try to write it.
  • Use footnotes, side notes, and other ways of separating off tangents from your main text.
  • If you were going to put something in a footnote or parentheses or something, try leaving it out. You may not need that level of detailed information in your post anyway.
  • If you want to leave things in (like footnotes, side notes, etc.) but it makes your post impossible to write and/or read, then consider leaving those things off but writing a separate post with them inside it.
  • Consider breaking your writing down into smaller chunks, possibly linking the posts together, and use that writing as separate blocks (especially in WordPress’s Gutenberg editor and similar block-based editors), or new posts entirely.

Posted in poetry

A couplet my brain made

And somehow in the richest nations there’s still places where the kids are starving-poor
Yet in the barren wastelands some save their last water for the stranger at the door

I feel weird taking credit for this one.  It jumped into my head fully formed, more like remembering a song you’ve heard or a dream you just had than writing something.  But it expresses something important about the world.  I don’t usually write couplets, so that’s weird too, but it is what it is.

Posted in Blogging about blogging, language

Explanations

I’m finding that there are many posts that I want to write and can’t.  Because they all require explanations.  Well, they don’t require explanations.  But without explanations, they can create a lot of confusion.  And then people don’t know what I mean by things.

But then the explanations are hard to write, too.  So a post that would be easy to write without an explanation, just doesn’t get written.  Because the explanation would be much harder to write than the post itself.  But without the explanation, the post itself isn’t going to make sense to people.

And yeah this mostly goes back to language use.  And having to explain practically every word I use to make sure people know exactly what I mean by it.  And maybe if people would acknowledge that English is a living language, it would help.  And maybe if people would acknowledge that words have multiple meanings, it would help.  And maybe if people wouldn’t try to force words with twenty meanings to have only one meaning, it would help.  And maybe if people would realize that the same word can have a different meaning for each person who uses it, that would help.  And maybe if people would recognize the existence of language disabilities (which are not always readily apparent to the average person), that would help.

But for a lot of people — they don’t.  So you have to explain everything, or risk being so grossly misunderstood that it’s almost better to have written nothing.  Because if you don’t write all the explanation, they can literally take you as meaning the opposite of what you actually said.

It took me forever to write that post dealing with how I use different words regarding genderlessness, and that was one of the easiest of such explanation posts I had planned.  There’s another one I have to write now, that’s twenty times as hard even though it’s mostly only about one word.  This kind of thing makes me want to give up on language and hide under a rock.  At least there might be interesting fungus under there.