Toxic little rumors and poisonous little lies
circumvent veracity and cloak it in disguise,
poisoning perception, holding truth at bay,
obscuring what is truth in favor of hearsay.
“Toxic” was one of the last WordPress prompts and although it was less than a year ago that I ran this response, I think it warrants repetition. I fear we’ve all been driven to toxicity by the preponderance of lies told by our leaders as well as on the internet. Even those of us who do not know we lie have fallen victim to this toxicity by reblogging and repeating on Facebook and Twitter facts we have not verified. I’ve been guilty of this as well. I’m trying to be more careful.
I saw this wonderful tirade by Audra Alexander on a friend’s Facebook page. I tracked down the author, who generously gave me permission to run it on my blog. Since there was no button on her blog to do so, I couldn’t “reblog” it, so here it is in its entirety. I hope you visit her blog, URL given below, to tell her what you think !!!! I think she’s captured perfectly and in an entertaining if irate fashion what is going to happen when Kavanaugh is confirmed:
Kavanaugh is going to get confirmed, we all know that. A lot of women will be very angry. Some might even take to the streets. But this won’t be the tipping point. There won’t be a tipping point, there never is. There will just be the subterranean lava flow of women’s anger – slow, blistering, savage and inexorable. We’ll go to bed angry, we’ll get up angry, we’ll drink our coffee and fix the kids’ breakfasts angrily, we’ll drive thru car line and to work angry, our male colleagues will ask each other if we’re on the rag, we’ll eat silent lunches with rage and we’ll pick up groceries on the way home with vengeance on our hearts. We’ll kiss our partners and our kids goodnight wrathfully. We’ll cry hot, silently screaming tears in the middle of brushing our teeth. We’ll go to bed angry. We’ll get up angry…
Nothing will seem to change for you. But the mother of a 32 year old man will suddenly snap at him to “Grow up!” when he complains that he’s pretty sick of frozen dinners lately. That quiet chick 3 cubicles down will show up out of nowhere and tell a gathering of dudebros that she’ll report them to HR if they don’t shut up. They’ll call her a bitch under their breath as she turns around, but she won’t care. The teenage daughter will ask her dad if he’d still find it funny if she was the punchline in his favorite joke. He’ll scold her for talking back and look at his wife, who will look back and say nothing. Another daughter will say nothing to her father – ever again.
The anger will shift, seismic but unseen. Before the lava used to burn us to ash on the inside. It’s bubbling over now. Enough of us have ripped open our bodies to let the boiling soil of our lives out that the heat itself causes fires. Sure, you can put one or two out at a time. A single flame is easy to catch. But the lava is elemental and everywhere. Kavanaugh will be confirmed. And in less than a generation he’ll be a petrified ash fossil, frozen in a rictus of agony in the new Pompeii. Nothing will seem to have changed, until it’s too late. The lava of our anger is going to cover the earth and bury you.
Here is her blog. Check it out! https://scarletvirago.com/2018/09/28/lava/
My friend Margaret Ann Porter wrote this tribute to her friend and gardener, Valentin Paredes, and has generously allowed me to share it with you. Other than just being a heartfelt and beautiful piece, I think it is important that people in the U.S. get a true view of what one Mexican man is like rather than depending on the stereotype portrayed by some of our “leaders.” People are people, no matter where they live. One reason I so strongly support travel at a young age is to make young people see that we are part of a world community made up of all sorts of people–good and bad–sprinkled pretty evenly over the globe. Here are two of the lovely ones… both the portrayed and the portrayer. Margaret and I both live on Lake Chapala in Mexico. It is the largest lake in Mexico surrounded by a number of little towns and villages. (Because she doesn’t have a blog, I am including the entire text and photos of her tribute here.)
My gardener Valentin Paredes died today from cancer. He was only 50. There are people who come along in your life who change you for having known them. Valentin was one of those for me. He was a simple man from a tiny lake village called Mezcala, born in a mud house and sent to work in Chapala when he was only 14. He learned gardening on a hotel crew and found joy in the work, and was so proud to be included in the gardener culture here at Lakeside. He taught me that those guys walking down the street with machetes and rakes and water hoses in their hands all know each other, and they know what’s going on in this town.
Valentin became our gardener 12 years ago when we bought our house. He’d already been working here for four years for a Mexican lady before we Americanos showed up and at first, he was timid with us. Later I learned it was because, in the hotel business in Mexico, Americanos don’t always send their best people, often they send their mean and rude people. After a few weeks, though, we understood each other and he became a terrific employee. He just couldn’t do enough for us, and even acted as handyman whenever we needed it. Sometimes after his shift, he’d leave me a flower arrangement for my table.
Vale had a tender heart about living things. He rescued baby birds and possums, and even took pity on the leaf-cutter ants, showing me how if we let them strip the rose bushes, they’d come back beautifully and without rust. (It works!) He was pals with our dogs and cats, and he’d even prune plants and I’d find the clippings taking root in a series of pots that he’d planted on the back patio. “But … they have life in them, Señora,” he’d explain when I complained about the crowds.
Most of all, he enjoyed new ideas, and whenever I’d give him one, he’d embrace it fully and, if it was actually bad idea, which it often was, he’d come around with a different plan, always approaching me in full deference. “Señora, I understand your plan, but what if we did this instead?” I’d heartily agree — relieved, really, because I am not a natural gardener — and then he’d create something wild and beautiful. I often felt uncomfortable with the whole “Señora” thing, but early on I learned that in his culture, a friendly distance from the ‘patrones’ was good policy.
How I will miss hearing the gate slam at 8 a.m., knowing that Valentin is arriving to do his work. It was one of the most comforting sounds I know because, for 12 years, that man was a dependable, committed and generous part of our life. His very presence taught me what those words really meant.
I will miss you, Valentin, and I’ll never forget you. I’m so sorry you lost your life too soon. You were a better man than most.
I love this poem that Sarah wrote for dVerse Poets this week. I’ll prime the pump, then you need to go to her blog to read the rest: