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A series of FAQs on how to discuss race with Black people, by @absurdistwords, whose byline is 5'7 Black Male.
How to Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 1 — Beginner "So. You’re a white person looking to hop into a discussion about race with black people."
How To Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 2 — Intermediate "Now you’ve got a good grasp of the basics. [...] Q: No offense, but what about black-on-black crime?"
How To Discuss Race With Black People: FAQ Part 3 — Advanced "At this point, you’ve realized that acknowledging your privilege doesn’t mean that you are evil, nor does it mean that you have not struggled, worked hard or experienced hardship."

Why Lemonade Is For Black Women by Dominique Matti. "There is a specific betrayal in a Black man failing his daughter. [...] Even if she transcends them, even if she rises above the smoke, makes a phoenix of herself, a small girl inside of her will overcompensate for the parts of herself she believes to be intolerable — unlovable, disrespectable."

The Writing Life of A Disorganized, Antisocial, Black Single Mom with ADD by Ijeoma Oluo. "I sit and “listen” online, in person, on tv, in articles — to what isn’t being said, and I ask myself why."
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Older Queer Voices, a collection of writings.
As [personal profile] alatefeline says, put together specifically to highlight the voices of the LGBTQIA+ elders who are still with us and teach us how they have done survival activism and superb art in a time and place that hated them.

Essays, art and opinion exploring the lives of people living with disabilities at the New York Times, via [personal profile] jesse_the_k.
This is a weekly column, so there are a lot of articles to browse through. Here's one that spoke to me: Love, Eventually by Ona Gritz.

Welcome To The Anti-Racism Movement — Here’s What You’ve Missed by Ijeoma Oluo. A primer for folks just starting out with anti-racism, and a good reminder for the rest of us white & privileged folks. "Racial privilege is like a gun that will auto-focus on POC until you learn to aim it."

Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America by Chris Ladd. "Americans with good jobs live in a socialist welfare state more generous, cushioned and expensive to the public than any in Europe." (Of course, those good jobs are meant for white men.)

The Problem With Facts by Tim Hartford, via [personal profile] supergee. How the tobacco industry intentionally sowed doubt to continue profiting from a cancer-causing product, and how their tactics are being used by the current US administration. This one makes me sick to my stomach.

Always Go To The Funeral by Deirdre Sullivan, via a friend on the occasion of a former coworker's unexpected death. I was surprised how many of our former coworkers planned to go to the funeral, and she pointed me to this. I have felt extremely awkward at funerals where I felt I didn't belong, so I think it can go both ways. But the larger message stands.
In going to funerals, I've come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life's inevitable, occasional calamity.
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This Is A Letter To My Son by K. J. Kabza. Science fiction about a trans kid, and people finding their way. The writing is full of light, and full of deep emotions handled just right.

via [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, who edited the story.
sonia: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
Paying attention to our limits helps us compassionately care for ourselves.
Cherish Your Limits

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

Waiting list
My schedule has been full and I have continued to receive calls from new clients, so I started a waiting list. I'm both delighted to be in demand and chagrined to turn down people reaching out for help. Based on past ebbs and flows, I expect to have more room in a month or two.

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: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
We are entitled to complete autonomy over the insides and surfaces of our bodies.
Healthy Entitlement: Discern Your Domain

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

Wellspring of Compassion ebook update complete
You can now order the updated Wellspring of Compassion ebook, with current weblinks and better formatting, for $4.99 directly from me (epub, Kindle, and pdf), or Amazon (Kindle only) or Apple iBooks (epub only). If you already own the Kindle version, you can update it via the Amazon "Manage Content and Devices" page.

French translation
My article The Betrayal of Not Being Heard has been translated into French by Armelle Pernet for Association Internationale des Victimes de l'Inceste. If you understand French, take a look! Ne pas être entendu, un sentiment de trahison.

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: Presence After Trauma cover (Presence cover)
Apparently I haven't been posting these! Perhaps I've been a bit distracted by current events. Here, have several in a row.

Emotions are meant to move. Giving them more space allows them to flow and change, peak and ebb.
Counter the Feelings Police

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

Presence After Trauma available as ebook!
You can now order Presence After Trauma as an ebook for $7.99 directly from me (epub, Kindle, and pdf), or Amazon (Kindle only) or Apple iBooks (epub only). The ebook includes all the illustrations.

Wellspring of Compassion ebook update
The next task is to update the Wellspring of Compassion ebook with what I learned making the new one. If you already own Wellspring of Compassion as an ebook and you want an updated copy, email me and I'll send you a new one when it's ready. I'll update broken web links and remove repeated images, so it will be a somewhat smaller file.

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: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
This month I made a donation to Outside In because of the assault on trans rights going on everywhere. Their mission statement is, "We help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency." Their website also says, "The point of return." They have a low-cost medical clinic, and I associate them with being very trans positive and helping trans kids who end up on the streets (which is a lot of them).

I'm finding that I want to keep my donations local, or at least make them to smaller local orgs that won't be the first organizations people donate to nationwide.

I also put up a yard sign from nwgsdpdx, which I had guessed was NorthWest something something Portland, but turns out, fabulously, to stand for Nasty Women Get Shit Done (in Portland). Their yard sign sales have raised over $10,000 to subsidize rent for incoming refugees as well as making the neighborhood look firmly welcoming. I was more than happy to fork over $10 and carry my sign home.

Free downloads of their great graphics available in 8 languages so far. Graphic based on a design by Jason Maxfield.

Check out this awesome sign! )
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Why Does Dating Men Make Me Feel Like Shit? by Emma Lindsay
Usually instead of saying “I am turned on by that woman,” a man will say “that woman is hot.” The first phrasing places the locus of control within his own body (aka, in a way, making it “his fault” if he gets turned on), the second phrasing places the locus of control within the woman’s body (making it “her fault” if he gets turned on.)


This article explains rape culture. Men locate control of their sexual feelings in women instead of themselves because they feel ashamed. Wow. I've noticed the shame, but never understood it this clearly.
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On Belonging by Kate Leth

"I don't count because I'm in a relationship." "I don't count because I've only ever kissed one girl." "I don't feel like I count in the queer community because I have a boyfriend." "I want to go to pride but people always scoff at me and my partner." "I'm not gay enough." "I'm not straight enough."

It's not something any of us bring up at the dinner table unprovoked, but I have heard it over and over again.
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As it was introduced on twitter: Content warning for PoC. White folks, this video can be a first step for talking to our “colorblind”/ignorant/racist family members.
Blakc parents explain how to deal with police by Jason Kottke.

Made me cry. Made me think. Made me want to spread it far and wide so people understand the weight of our already existing police state.
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How to Talk About Race by Natalie Kim. A quick, clear comic.

Malkia Cyril: Net Neutrality Is the Civil Rights Act for the Internet by Mike Ludwig.
In 1965, when the Civil Rights Act was passed, it was passed to ensure, to prevent discrimination in housing and transportation. It was basically the act the ended legal Jim Crow. And net neutrality prevents legal Jim Crow online. It prevents people without means, who are disproportionately people of color, people without wealth, small businesses, independent artists, regular people, it prevents them from having to be tracked into a subpar and inferior internet experience and internet life.


Rebel Girls: 33 Badass Women Leading the Resistance (On Twitter) by Carmen Rios. I take issue with some of the descriptions and selected tweets, but still, putting this here for reference.

I feel like one thing the “queer is a slur” crowd overlooks... by Alexandra Erin, via [personal profile] tim.
If “gay” is trying to appeal to a bigoted admissions board by being smooth and shiny enough to slip in, “queer” is challenging the admissions board to accept or reject you on your own merits as you exist, and challenging the bigoted assumptions that underline the power structure as revealed by this. It’s bypassing the admissions board by creating your own infrastructure for sharing resources and information.


About Southerners On New Ground via [personal profile] elainegrey. A cool organization that came up in the same conversation as the previous link.
Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.


I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah by Kieryn Darkwater. Somewhat off-theme, but explains a horrifying piece of what happened?!
Homeschoolers may make up a small portion of students as a whole, but they are loud, have time and can be activated with one email blast.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
I went to Unite Oregon's No Ban No Wall rally in downtown Portland yesterday with a couple of friends.

I'm glad I went! )

We stood for an hour. My back hurt by the end! Rallies require able bodies (or assistive devices). I have mixed feelings about going to more rallies myself. I'm glad they're happening. I like adding to the count of people there, connecting with other folks resisting, and feeling the support of the speeches. At the same time, I'm not convinced it's the best way for me personally to resist. Still thinking about that.

I guess my objection is that I'm not sure this deserves the Tikun Olam tag. It's definitely resistance, but did I make the world a better place, even incrementally, by attending?

Erik Loomis says Keep Protesting!
As I and many others have stated, if you ever wondered what you have done when Adolf Hitler took power in Germany or Francisco Franco in Spain or Augusto Pinochet in Chile, well now you know. You would do exactly what you are doing now. If that’s going into the streets, then great. If that’s complaining about protestors or whining about liberals or whining about the left, then that’s what you would have done in 1933, 1937, and 1973. Only you can stop Trump. So do it.
I suppose in that context, yes, attending rallies does incrementally make the world a better place, or at least tries to keep it from getting worse quite so fast.
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You’re not just imagining it: the Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump vote totals do look rigged by Bill Palmer. This post supports my immediate post-election intuition that the results were rigged.

For a few hours, Badlands National Park was bad to the bone in defiance of Trump by Darryl Fears. The strain of the constant official gaslighting shows more clearly in contrast with the joy of seeing plain truth spoken from an official source. Trump told National Parks, NASA, USDA, EPA, etc. to shut up, and someone at Badlands National Park - didn't.

List of "unofficial" national park and other government agencies by Alice Stollmeyer. Resistance! Shifted over to unofficial accounts where they cannot be silenced.

White House insider: Donald Trump thinks his own staff is committing “mutiny” against him by Bill Palmer. I'm learning a lot from following @RoguePOTUSStaff.

Wikipedia article on De-nazi-fication. I hadn't known this happened, and it's encouraging to read about how it already happened (at least) once, because we desperately need it in the US too.

How to survive in intersectional feminist spaces 101 by saroful. Lots of great advice in this post. There's pushback about the title in comments.

How To Help The Cause When You Need Help Yourself by Carrie Cutforth. Active compassion for your mental illness is a form of resistance.

The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies. Thinking about what I might want to have on hand.

What You Learn Doing Abortions After 20 Weeks by Dr. Jen Gunter.
sonia: US Flag with In Our America All People Are Equal, Love Wins, Black Lives Matter, Immigrants & Refugees are Welcome, ... (tikun olam)
In my weekly folk dance email, which goes out to 140 people even though only four or five come to my groups, I sent out a few videos of songs and dances with Muslim backgrounds, in acknowledgement of the heart-breaking Muslim Ban enacted in the US yesterday.

Bulgarian dance Staro Pomaško is named after the Pomaks, Bulgarian Muslims. Here it is danced by Dunav in Israel, led by Yves Moreau, who originally taught the dance. He sings along a bit, too. We have sheet music for this, so we'll sing it at the next singing group meeting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPcWpM6HAGw

Nardanina is a Muslim Georgian song. Here is Aragvi Project singing it for a bit, then video abruptly cuts to other beautiful Georgian songs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQUcxQ9jcCE

Jazzy version of Nardanina, complete with trumpet solo!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmDRQ0sLmLM

Seems like the threatened white supremacist march in Montana didn't happen (yet), so I directly contributed $100 to the Montana Human Rights Network for my January financial action. I figure they'll help Jews and Muslims.

Dread

Jan. 24th, 2017 11:55 am
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I'm feeling dread and despair as I watch the Republican fascist agenda unfold. Muzzling the USDA and other government agencies from talking to the public. Dismantling the ACA by every sideways tactic possible. Immediate international gag rule from even mentioning abortion as a healthcare alternative. Introducing federal anti-abortion legislation. Leaving the UN? (Haven't heard if that actually passed.)

Here and there we hear sparkles of abusive legislation blocked. In Arizona, Ethnic Studies have not been defunded. Rah. But each fight is so hard-won, and there are so many of them.

How are we going to survive? How is this happening so fast? People keep saying trash fire, dumpster fire. It feels like the world is on fire. Something will survive, something will grow back, but not necessarily us or anything resembling our world as it is now.

Right after the election I was deciding whether I needed to flee immediately. It doesn't feel like that would even help, although it's good to remember it's still an option. Even if I decide to rebuild somewhere else, this is my world and it is being destroyed with vicious speed.
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One dark December evening, I was biking through a small commercial district, using a high-powered light and reflective gear as always.

As I approached the 4-way stop intersection, a white lady in an SUV-van type vehicle ran her stop sign to turn right in front of me. Then she stopped to parallel park. I stopped behind her to wait for opposing traffic to clear so I could go around her.

She backed her big SUV-van type vehicle straight toward me! I jumped up and down and yelled. She stopped and opened the window and gestured me around her. I said, "Watch the hell out!" She said defensively, "I didn't see you!" As I biked past her, I said, "That's the problem!"

I hope she learned something. I suspect she didn't.

As icing on the cake, someone yelled from a house across the street, "... fuck ..." It might have been, "Shut the fuck up," directed at me, but since I couldn't hear it clearly, I'm going to keep hoping it was directed at the lady's poor driving and judgment. Let's pretend it was, "Wake the fuck up!"

We white lady feminists need to make sure we see the more vulnerable and less powerful women of color, disabled women, lesbian women, trans women, immigrant women around us, rather than focusing only on the oppression of Christmas shopping we experience.
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Preserve, Protect, and Defend by David Remnick, who tells it like it is.
Where is the slightest evidence of this magical transformation? Where are all the sober counsellors, the newfound ethics? Where is the competence, the decency, and the humanity? The reality is that the Donald Trump of birtherism, of Mexican “rapists,” of Muslim registries, of “grab them by the pussy,” of bankruptcies and lawsuits and colossal conflicts of interest—this is the same Donald Trump who, with his hand on Lincoln’s Bible, is taking the oath of office, vowing to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.


via Onyx Lynx
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Friday, 20 January 2017 I did five sessions of bodywork for trauma, cleaned the house, and hosted my weekly Balkan dance group. We had a fun time and folks thanked me for providing a distraction. I continue to strongly believe that connection, community, music, dancing, singing are important parts of resistance, surviving, and thriving. We need things that knit us together to counter the forces that strive to divide and destroy us.

Saturday, 21 January 2017 I biked up to Council Crest (one of the highest point in Portland) with a friend, shopped at the big downtown farmers market on the way home, went to a writing workshop I signed up for months ago (The Body & Writing), shopped at the coop on the way home, got a flat tire repaired (SIGH, thank goodness the nearby bike shop was still open because I did not have the energy to wrangle with it myself), and now I'm posting to Dreamwidth.

100,000 people at the Women's March in Portland!

500,000 people at the Women's March in DC! (with some good signs)

Some more good signs, especially this one. Never Again!

Pictures from Women's Marches Around the World including lots of US Cities, Canadian cities, European cities, African cities, South American cities, Bangkok, Antarctica (!) and Tblisi, Georgia. Highly recommend scrolling through these! In snow, rain (hi, Portland), sun, so many people showing up.

I am so encouraged that so many people are marching! And in the name of women! I'm a little sorry not to have been there, but also relieved. I really really don't like to be hemmed in by crowds. On the way back from the bike ride this morning, I heard singing from the rally on the South Park Blocks, then saw a few people walking across the Broadway Bridge with signs, then saw a MAX train packed to the gills headed downtown, then saw a few people walking down 7th Ave near where I live with signs. One with a pink hat.

I'm hoping to acquire me a pink hat. Great sign of solidarity, hope, and again, encouragement. We all need our hearts lifted, supported.

Tomorrow I'm (probably, if I have the energy) going to a Safety Pin training on confronting hate in public spaces. Then in the evening taking my turn running the International folk dancing group down at Reed. I'm kinda peopled out, and at the same time, I want to solidly connect with people resisting.

This training is at a synagogue, and I'm finding it especially helpful to connect with other Jews. As a rabbi said at a meeting I went to last week, we know this. We have lived this for 5,000 years. There's a shared felt recognition of how much this is like the late 1930s and how BAD that is. A grounding, comforting, validating antidote to the ongoing gaslighting out there.
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what resembles the grave but isn’t by Anne Boyer. What it feels like to resist, and resist, and resist.

Next Steps. I went to an amazingly well-organized and supportive gathering of Jews for Resistance, and this is a website they (already!) made offering next steps in Portland and online.

Safety Pin Box from @RissaoftheWay and @LeslieMac. Women of Color say, if you're going to wear a safety pin, support us financially and with your actions.

Resistance Manual, a project by StayWoke. Open Source list of ways to resist.
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Google Quietly Removes “Fake News” Language From Its Advertising Policy by Brennan Suen & Tyler Cherry
Google says no no no we're still against fake news, but continues to allow verified fake news sites to use AdSense.

We fight for Rep. John Lewis because he has fought for us by Melissa McEwan on ShareBlue, telling it like it is as always.
Critics of those who are taking up space in solidarity with Rep. John Lewis are levying charges of reflexive partisanship. But we are not fighting for him merely because we are Democrats; we are Democrats because people like him have fought for us.
I am so relieved and grateful that we have a leader like Rep. John Lewis stepping forward, and I see the irony that a Black man might work harder than anyone else to save our asses yet again.

The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear by Adam Gopnik. Music is protest.
And so the inability, so far, of Donald Trump to get any significant musicians from any of those traditions, rock or country or blues or Broadway, to sing at his Inauguration is not a small comic detail but a significant reflection of this moment in history. It reminds us of just how aberrant Trump and Trumpism is.


ETA: Human Rights Group Portrays U.S. as Major Threat, Citing Trump by Mark Landler. Nothing we didn't know, but it's good to see a major organization saying it out loud.
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