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A young woman, 20-something, bright, said more people get cancer recently because evolution tends toward entropy. I said, uh, no, bad mutations get eliminated over time, and she said well, the Bible says we used to live so much longer, and I said, I like my woo and science kept separate, and also the Bible and science. The Bible is not historical! And she said we'll have to agree to disagree on that, and I was sputtering internally for a good half hour.

She attended public schools in a small town in Oregon, not religious school as I would have guessed. I've run into this wall with her before, where she thought she could assert something as fact because she felt like it, or change the meaning of a word, and now I see the underpinnings. I can see that I know so much more than she does (about how to *think*!), and she can't, and she's asserting her view as valid. Microcosm of our political situation. Reality bats last...

I did mention the dinosaur feathers in amber. (So cool!)

I wonder if in twenty years or so she'll be sadder and wiser, or if she'll continue to be hermetically sealed against actual thought. She can't *learn* with her current framework!

Small Yawps

Dec. 5th, 2016 08:13 pm
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You can post and email a letter to our Electoral College electors here:

This is the letter I posted (also see below). Note that I had to send the email myself to the email addresses they provided. I went ahead and did that, and immediately got a few dispiriting auto-responder replies. But, I did something, put my small "yawp!" out into the universe for a result I desperately want.

Speaking of yawps, I also donated to this GoFundMe, recommended by a friend who knows the people involved, to help acupuncturists travel to Standing Rock to help out there. Send Us Back to Standing Rock. They are still planning to go back, despite the Army Corps of Engineers pausing the pipeline, since some people will still stay in camps, and it looks like the area still needs defending!

Dear Electors )
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As you move through difficult, triggering events in the present, bring along all the healing tools you have learned over time.
Withstand Ongoing Trauma

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

I'm working on formatting the ebook version of Presence After Trauma. It should be available by the end of the year. The print version is available from Powell's, Amazon, and directly from me.

Signal app
I installed the free Signal app on my phone, which easily encrypts text messages and phone calls for privacy. You can use it to contact me at my same number. Regular texts and phone calls still work, of course.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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I donated. Even if it doesn't change the election outcome, it makes me feel better that someone is DOING something.
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The Election, Lao Tzu, a Cup of Water by Ursula K. Le Guin
I will try never to use the metaphor of war where it doesn’t belong, because I think it has come to shape our thinking and dominate our minds so that we tend to see the destructive force of aggression as the only way to meet any challenge. I want to find a better way.

Rebel Well: A Starter Survival Guide To A Trumped America by Heather Corinna and s.e. smith at Scarleteen

Marissa Lingen suggests searching on "muslim center your_city your_state" (without the quotes) to find organizations to support.
I found Muslim Community Center of Portland not too far from me.

On the less uplifting side, here's a report from the Portland protests this evening. Arresting protest organizers for no good reason.

Donald Trump was right: THE ELECTION WAS RIGGED. In his favour.
Voter suppression in action: The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program checked for "duplicate voters" by first and last name, without even middle name or Jr/Sr or birthdate, so they took way more people off the rolls than Trump's margin of victory in those states. Mostly Black/brown people of course.

Also, [personal profile] tim has put together a couple of longer linkspams: week one, week two.

I think it all feels unreal because it's just too big and awful, and we're still seeing it from the outside as it bears down on us.
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I wrote this up for someone I know, so I'm posting it here too.

One piece of advice I've seen recently is for trans people to get a current US Passport, because there are laws currently in effect that let a physician state that the person has had "appropriate treatment" rather than specifically requiring surgery, etc. Then they'll have ID in the up-to-date name & gender, which will make other things easier.

$110 (standard fee) + $25 (execution fee) + $60 (expedited - optional, but recommended in the current political situation) + $15 (passport photo at Walgreens or wherever).

Federal passport information
Updating gender:
Applying in person:
Passport Acceptance Facility search:

They'll need a doctor who would write a statement that they've had appropriate treatment. This is an example.

They'll also need a legal name change. *

Name Change Info
Legal Aid Services of Oregon:

The following is specific to Multnomah County, Portland, OR. Look up your county online.
Name change for a minor child:
Name change for an adult:

* According to this website, maybe you can get an updated passport with an affidavit, rather than a legal name change.
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My US passport expires in mid-2017, so I'm renewing it now. I expect the passport office to be swamped soon, if it isn't already. The regular processing fee is $110. You have to send your current passport with the application.

Things I would not have thought about two weeks ago while renewing my passport:
  • The regular processing time is currently 4-5 weeks. Should I spend an additional $60 to expedite it to make absolutely sure it comes back to me before the inauguration on Jan 20?
  • No, I don't need my passport right now, I'll leave the expedited processing for people who need it.
  • I wonder if I'll get my passport back, and how long it will take.
  • I wonder if I will really regret this decision.

I am deeply afraid.
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We the People ask President Obama to immediately appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court

I signed this, and I don't usually sign petitions. Grasping at straws, but this seems like a good one. Oddly only 2000-ish signatures so far - I would expect it to be flooded by many more hopeful straw-graspers.
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I feel like I've been kicked in the chest, and have to remind myself to take deeper breaths. I see people bargaining, grasping at straws, and my own grasping flares up. Maybe the electoral college will go rogue, "faithless" (but Congress would undo that immediately), maybe California will secede (hey, take Oregon with you!). Maybe someone will investigate for election fraud and there will be a do-over.

I see people blaming Hillary Clinton (seriously?!) instead of blaming the voters who voted for openly racist, misogynist, abusive Trump (personal responsibility much?!) and the voter-suppression tactics that prevented people who wanted to vote for Clinton. Here's a great writeup from Shakesville If Your Election Postmortem Ignores Racism and Misogyny, It's Probably Wrong by Aphra Behn that covers a lot of those points.

I hold space with my clients, who react with bewildered terror to seeing an open abuser given so much power and approval.

I see notice of a memorial gathering in Boston for [personal profile] tam_nonlinear who killed herself in despair over the threat to her health coverage. I only knew her tangentially. Her death in despair adds to that breathless grief.

I don't need my ACA health coverage to stay alive, but it feels reassuring to have it, to feel like I matter enough to have it, even with a $3,000 deductible and premiums over $200 a month. Part of the breathlessness is the pure spiteful meanness of it all. Causing harm, taking away protections, it's all destructive.

I need this to be different, better, to be fixed. This is wrong, broken. Grief is trying to come to terms with something that should not be, and yet is.

Link: Heart

Nov. 9th, 2016 06:21 pm
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A loving, empathic comic strip response to our election: Robot Hugs: Heart


Nov. 9th, 2016 09:46 am
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I keep hearing the echo of Trump saying, "The election is rigged!"

I'm torn between "Apocalypse!" (I didn't want to find out what Germany 1933 felt like) and "we'll make it through somehow" (too bad about the Supreme Court, though).

Good to remember that I'm not shocked and grieving alone, that there are many of us reacting similarly. I'm posting to add my voice to that collective support.

Our political system has been gamed. It needs overhauling. We don't want the people currently in power to be the ones to do it, though!

One breath at a time. One foot in front of the other. Giving myself time to move through reaction into action.
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My very smart, very kind friend Pavel has posted a Kickstarter for a book of his original puzzles, to be solved with paper and pencil.

Logical Leaps and Landings: an Adalogical Ænigmas Collection. See some examples of puzzles and read more about Pavel's Puzzles. The Kickstarter is funded and the book is complete, so you're guaranteed to get a book out of this in time for the holidays! Take a look, and contribute if you feel so moved.
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I kept expecting this story to end abruptly or go sour, bitter, but it didn't! It kept going to a satisfying, satisfactory ending, and it kept its sweetness in the face of bitter circumstances. I like reading about people being kind to one another.

Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El–Mohtar.

via Pretty Terrible Links Roundup
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I am bisexual. I am in a heterosexual relationship for the first time in 16 years. Neither of us performs our gender in socially approved ways. I don't shave my legs or wear makeup or hide my competence. He doesn't dominate conversations when he is the only man present, nor try to dominate me in other ways.

I've been thinking about [personal profile] tim's recent post Allyship, empathy, and etiquette. quote and thoughts )

I'll keep thinking about Tim's definition of allyship. It's a new angle for me.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
When the nervous system is chronically irritated, it transmits sensations more strongly and is more likely to interpret strong sensations as pain.
Protect Your Irritated Nervous System

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

Presence After Trauma cover


"Presence After Trauma", cover unveiled
"Presence After Trauma: Reconcile with Your Self and the World" is very close to complete. After a final editing pass, I'll upload it to LightningSource and order a proof. When everything looks right, I'll make it available for sale, sometime this month. Check the book's web page for updates.

You can see my updated photo here:

The Art and Labor of Maintenance article
I wrote The Art and Labor of Maintenance for The Recompiler, a feminist technology magazine. If you're curious about my other career as a software engineer, or you wonder how people keep those old systems running, check it out.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Try a new narrative: "My perceptions and responses make sense. I am intrinsically good. I am doing my best with the resources and knowledge I have."
Prefer Narratives with Hope

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

"Presence After Trauma" in progress
Formal copy-editing for "Presence After Trauma: Reconcile with Yourself and the World" is in progress - thanks, Carrie! I already incorporated suggestions made by two early readers - thanks, David and Robyn! Author photo session is scheduled for this Monday, and I put together a draft of a cover. It's happening!

Bodywork class: Leg and Foot Series
Amy Bennett, LMT, BCSICM is offering a class in the functional anatomy of the leg and foot. I highly recommend Amy as a skilled and knowledgeable bodyworker and teacher. I'm already signed up!

November 5-6, 2016
14 CE hours, 9am-5pm $280.00
510 NE Dekum St, Portland, OR 97211
Class space is limited to 8 students.
Contact Amy to sign up.

Two classes: Yoga, and Self-Compassion
Tracy Thorne, L.Ac. passed along information about two new classes in Portland: Trauma-Aware Yoga, and Mindful Self-Compassion. Contact me if you would like me to forward you a flyer for either or both.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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Akimbo Comics, dark stories and their uses, by b. patrick. Each time I look at this, I see new little details that make it all fit together even better.
via [personal profile] recessional

Also relevant, To Almost 25-year-old Me by Katie Brookins. "Your life is a house and the house is on fire." How narratives help us take action.
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Less stress, more productivity: why working fewer hours is better for you and your employer by Itamar Turner-Trauring. This is specifically about programming, but I imagine it might apply to other problem-solving jobs as well. When I was working 25-30 hours/week at a programming job, I was told I was at least as productive as most of the full-time programmers. I would not have been able to tolerate the job physically or emotionally full-time, so it worked out well for everyone.

After gentrification: America's whitest big city? Sure, but a thriving black community, too. by Beth Nakamura. A great followup to an article I posted earlier - let's support the Black community Portland does have. linked from the previous article, Black-owned businesses in Portland. A great place to browse for local businesses to support.

10 Badass Disabled Women You Should Know About by Carrie.
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Individual skeletons and gender by marina
Very cool detailed post by a current student of forensic anthropology. No you can't identify an individual skeleton's gender by the shape of the pelvis or length of the leg bones. I've been thinking, "Yes, but..." about this, in the context of Tim's comments on my pelvis article. I finally pinned down that yes, an individual person with any pelvis can be any gender, but there are statistical patterns. In the aggregate, men tend to have longer legs and narrower pelvises than women. I care about this because anatomy illustrations almost always show a narrow pelvis without even discussing how pelvises vary, and I don't want to contribute to that erasure.
via [personal profile] tim

Lament of the Twelve Sisters: A Tisha b’Av Story by Rabbi Jill Hammer
I love Jewish stories that focus on women. I had never heard "With each of the sons of Jacob was born a twin sister. —Rashi"
On Tisha b’Av twelve ancestor-sisters gather to weep. On other days it is only the One-who-Mourns who weeps over the sorrows of the world, but on this day, the day the Temple was destroyed, they all gather on the Mount of Olives to remember the razing of Jerusalem and the suffering of exiles all over the world.

The 7 Jobs Capitalism Asks of All of Us by Talia Cooper
This piece makes so much sense to me. It speaks to the ways I don't fit into corporate jobs, and the ways I haven't fit into typical relationships. I like that it has 7 forms of positive resistance as well.

Study: Catholic Hospitals ‘Dump’ Abortion Patients, Often Refuse Referrals by Nicole Knight Shine
I didn't even go looking for this, it just popped up in a Shakesville news post shortly after I posted (locked) about feeling unsafe having health insurance through an overtly Catholic company.

Pods and Pod Mapping Worksheet from the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective, "Building Transformative Justice Responses to Child Sexual Abuse"
This is much cooler than the title sounds.
Your pod is made up of the people that you would call on if violence, harm or abuse happened to you; or the people that you would call on if you wanted support in taking accountability for violence, harm or abuse that you’ve done; or if you witnessed violence or if someone you care about was being violent or being abused.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Imagine a kind friend saying, "I believe you. It's not you. You're doing all the right things."
Trust Yourself Despite Everyday Gaslighting

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

"Presence After Trauma" draft complete
I set a goal of finishing a draft of "Presence After Trauma" by the end of July, and I did it! I added another section and rearranged the articles, which meant I needed one more. This month's article will be in the book. Now it's off to the copy-editor, and I get to work on the cover and adding the interior illustrations.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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