All the things he may not know

I wonder if he knows that I drive fast on the highway singing at the full volume to songs new and old. The songs I sing boldly proclaim my feelings for him.

I wonder if he knows that I mostly only write in my journals when I am angry. The words he would find scattered around do not tell the story of my love.

I wonder if he knows that I both love and fear the passing years. A graying  beard and laugh lines suits him well.

——-

Inspired by my love and the daily prompt: wonder.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/wonder/”>Wonder</a&gt;

Uncompromising

Please help me remember a time when we could work together.

Once, our people valued compromise. Differences in opinion were not reasons to scream insults. There was power in restraint and a common code of decency.

Please tell me that my hindsight is not just rosy nostalgia.

Part rosy and part true. Our people have a history of hate and bigotry. Waves of white supremacy have swept through our country. So many people lost their lives and livelihood to weak people driven by hate. Over and over again, the bigots have been defeated when decent people unite.

Please tell me how the old battles were won.

Many people spoke up and stood side by side. Many people risked everything to speak against hate. The risks were high but the cost of being agreeable in disagreeable times is too much to accept.

Please tell me everything will be okay.

There’s good reason to hope.

The marginalized voices have much to say. Are you ready to listen? They are ready to lead. Are you ready to follow?

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/uncompromising/”>Uncompromising</a&gt;

Messy

The conference room was glorious. One wall of windows looked onto the bay. White sails sparked on the brilliant blue water. A pastel patchwork of houses adorned the hills. From here the city looked pristine.

Of course, she knew that appearances can be deceiving. People love to believe in the smooth glossy perfection.

She gave them what they wanted. Curls tamed into a smooth professional spunky bob. That horrible hand drawn tattoo on her collarbone expertly concealed with scar hiding make up.

She chose a cream suit, the only concession to the artfulness of her page existence was an on trend silk blouse. Gone were the layers of jewelry that brought music to every gesture. Gone were the long auburn curls and the brightly layered scarves, blouses and skirts.

The bird of paradise was now a appeared to be a dove.

Oh who was she kidding. She was never a bird of paradise, she was a raptor. A soaring raptor who caught the up drafts and soared high over the golden headlands seeking pray in the fog cooled earth below.

—–

Today’s prompt inspired me to rewrite the opening of a longer piece.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/messy/”>Messy</a&gt;

Above

The library was out of free glasses. Every store for miles was sold out. I moped around with no desire to look at shadows. The clouds rolled in.

I looked away and lined and used my sunglasses to shield my phone camera lens.

Some how the combination captured a reflection of the partial solar eclipse. You can see the crescent in the darkest part of the cloud.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/above/”>Above</a&gt;

Imagine

With a little imagination, we can do anything.

No more spoon fed ideas!

Puréed politics is as unpalatable as over-cooked carrots spun through the food processor.

Talking heads in 1950s suits telling us what to think is so retro (and not in a good way like that mid-century modern you’ve been eying).

If your words are sharp, short and fire rapidly, think for a moment: have you heard this before, in exactly this way. If you have you know you have been memified.

Let everyone know, our brains are not empty waiting to be filled with their memes that crowd out original thought. Imagination needs the space that the memes take up. So throw them away like moldy cheese.

We have been playing it too safe. Think of your worst ideas.

The worse the better.

For brilliance rises not in the safety of acceptable ideas that carry no risk. Brilliance bursts into life from outrageous ill conceived unconventional thoughtS.

Failed ideas are the food of the precious few.

You cannot fail if you open a void

and imagine.

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/imagination/”>Imagination</a&gt;

Really looking

Glazed eyes brushed past the crowd congregating. It was easy to imagine uniformity and conformity. It was easy to imagine that they all were from the same town, went to the same schools, thought the same things, avoided all the same mistakes. Mistakes that I always stumbled into.

I wore the uniform to hide the differences: the half smile.

I mastered the language to hide the difference: small talk and ask a lot of questions.

For years I navigated in and out looking like I was never touched by fear or sorrow.

Always surrounded by others and always alone.

And then I looked deeply. An accident perhaps. Two conformists side by side on a train. The lights flickered strangely and dimmed, a moment of uncertainty and shelter in the brief darkness. I looked at my right hand , clenched in the ring that stopped me from falling.

I briefly brushed another hand.

I followed the white knuckled hand to an arm, then to the shoulders, then the neck and then the face of a stranger.

I really looked and he looked back, both unguarded.

It lasted but a moment but the impact lingered. The suited stranger was not fearless or untouchable.

For the next few days, I experimented. I walked through public places seeking strangers eyes. I would lift my mask briefly and a relief would spread across their face. Unguarded eyes would look back before continuing on.

A million private joys and pains showed though in micro expressions.

Imagine my surprise.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/congregate/”>Congregate</a&gt;

Crazy people with guns

Why the gun control versus mental illness debate is dishonest and dangerous distraction.

First and foremost. The majority of people with mental illness are not violent. It’s quite easy to say, “look at that horrible violent crime. The perpetrators must be mentally ill.” The media look back at mass murders reinforces a stereotype that pathogizes people who seek treatment for mental health issues.I’ll repeat because we cannot say this enough: the vast majority of people with mental health issues are not violent.

Pro gun republicans and libertarians are planting a false debate that gun control should not be an important part of the solution. “It’s mental health!” they say (or immigration, depending of the color of the perpetrators skin).

The truth is the policies that republicans push eliminate the very safety nets essential for people with mental health issues.

You know those adults on Medicaid that are demonized as not working enough for the republicans? People with untreated mental illness are more likely to be unable to maintain steady employment. Their Medicaid is their ticket to essential mental health care. Republican states are queuing up to add able bodied adult work requirements for Medicaid that will most surely impact people with mental health and substance abuse issues.

If they are able to sustain employment and have private health insurance, the affordable healthcare act (ACA) ensures that mental health benefits are included in their plan no matter what state they live in. The GOP opposes essential health benefits. Along with prenatal care, mental health services are targets of the “I don’t need it so why should I pay for a plan that covers x” mentality.

It’s no secret that the National Rifle Association (NRA) makes significant donations to politicians, heavily focusing on republications. Again, Trump and the republicans have proven through policy that access to weapons trumps public safety and the needs of people with mental health issues. Any attempt to implement common sense gun legislation is targeted with a two prong attack: legislation and heavy propaganda. This article from 2012 documents NRA’s highly effective social media reach.

The NRAs propaganda is highly effective. Most Americans advocate for common sense gun legislation yet the debate is entrenched and we are mired in inaction. Democrats are not looking for an unconstitutional ban on guns. Yet the NRA political campaigns would suggest that we are divided. The social media campaigns seek to push Americans apart when it’s time for us to come together.

Sadly, there are too many moments when children who are killed and their families are in my thoughts and prayers.

Too many.

My heart aches.

And I never want to become numb to the grief. I never want to become desensitized. I hope you don’t either.

I want our grief to mobilize us to unite and take action. My faith tells me that I have a responsibility to be part of the solution. That prayer and action are linked.

I want common sense gun restrictions. I want a robust safety net for people with mental illness. I want effective treatment. I want my elected officials to break the grip that the NRA has on them.

I am an engaged citizen and I vote.