Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

While these photos aren’t showing me all the way down, down I was going!I’m grateful to have these photos because Hurricane Irene’s flooding washed out the area two weeks after these photos were taken.  The town will remove the bridge this spring because of the flood damage, so I’m glad I got to jump one more time.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Stepping Up

Autonomy.  Sovereignty.  Freedom.  Choice.  Personal power.

Those are words I try to live by, to live up to.  All of those were taken from me, or excluded from my world as a child, but there is a war on women happening more regressive than anything I’ve known in my lifetime.

I fought for my rights, took back my power, planted my flag on my hilltop, and drew my sword.  I lost ground many times, but managed to return, even when my chances looked dim.

The abortion debate angers me so much.  If you are ‘pro-life’ then don’t have an abortion.  I am not ‘pro-abortion’, but I am pro-choice.  If a woman gets pregnant, and for whatever reason, does not want to have that child, she has more rights than that zygote growing inside her until it becomes a fetus, and able to survive on its own.  Religious zealots, mostly men, want to take away women’s self-determination.  For those of us who don’t believe in a God, or have other beliefs than these control-freaks are trying to impose upon all of us, we need to act.  Now, religious men are trying to take away women’s access to birth control through government!  Ever hear of separation between church and state?  Apparently those creeps never did.  Insurers do not have the right to cherry-pick what they will cover.  If a zygote-is-a-person measure doesn’t pass in Virginia, they want to pass a law forcing medical providers to use a vaginal ultra-sound on women seeking an abortion – an invasive and unnecessary procedure designed solely to punish women getting abortions.  It will be state-mandated rape with a foreign object because a woman could not refuse it.

Women’s bodies are not breeders.  I will not stop fighting for personal sovereignty, and no other human being has the right to tell me what I can and can’t do with my body.  It’s my body, not yours.  I don’t believe in your so-called ‘God’ that you purport to honor, even though you fight against helping anyone once they’re out of the womb.  You call women ‘welfare-queens’ and parasites sucking off the system, while forcing them to have children they didn’t want and can’t afford.  You tell them they should have that baby and give it up to those who can take care of it, but that being is part of that woman, and if she doesn’t want to grow a child inside of her only to have some other person raise it, who might molest, beat, or neglect that child (as often happens in this sick world), then the decision is between her, and her belief system.  There are many ways to terminate a pregnancy without needing a doctor, so all the twisted people out there killing abortion providers will not stop abortion from happening.

Keeping abortion safe and legal actually saves more lives.  Women will abandon unwanted children in bathroom stalls, throw them in dumpsters, and so many other horrific acts because they feel powerless, and shamed, and for whatever other reasons weren’t able to terminate a pregnancy before resorting to such dire measures.

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where abortion wasn’t necessary?  Wouldn’t it be astounding if there were no child abuse, no molestation, no rape.  Has rape, molestation, and child abuse stopped yet?

The people who yell the loudest about morality, are usually the least moral people.  I know three people whose fathers were ministers, who molested them, and raped them.  Three.  That’s just me!  How many more are there out there?  Two weeks ago, officials arrested a local man for having, and distributing, child pornography.  The article detailed how many of the videos show rape and torture of children as young as four.  Four.  I don’t why I kept reading.  Maybe I felt that taking it in would lessen some of the impact for those children, for all of the harmed ones.  I seriously questioned whether I could stay alive one more day on such a horrible world, and yet grateful that I’m not a perpetrator of sexual violence.  I’ve never had a successful love relationship, but at least I’m not perpetuating that particular evil.

Abortion is not pleasant, and is never an easy decision.  If you think women use abortion as ‘birth control’, maybe you should ask why that could be?  I have known many rape, molestation, abuse, and neglect survivors. One in three women are raped and/or molested in her lifetime, in the United States alone, usually by family members or ‘friends’.   That needs to change, and while I wish perpetrators could face potential execution as punishment for sexual crimes, I am doing what I can to raise awareness, work on interventions and preventions, and get more prosecutions (with long-term jail sentences).

When violence against women and children has stopped, then we can think about abortion in a different context, if it’s even a necessary conversation.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

One of my deepest regrets is not getting to sing with Hans Sven Poulsen again after he visited the commune/cult and recorded “The Wonderchild Family” album with a group of us kids.

Hans had invited me to come sing with him in a benefit he was going to do for the Children’s Hospital in Boston after he finished his recordings with us.  I wasn’t able to get to Boston, and a few months later, Hans found out he had cancer and began treatment for that, eventually leaving for the West coast, and then back home to Australia.

In June of 2000, my son and I went to Australia to meet and stay with my pen-pal whom I’d been writing to since I was twelve.  I managed to track down Hans and got in touch with him so my son and I got to visit him and his wife in Melbourne a few days before our flight back to the U.S.  He had suffered a stroke back in the 1990’s, but had done much to rehabilitate, and was again playing music and working as a music therapist.

Perhaps everything unfolded perfectly, or maybe my desire wasn’t stronger than my fear, but I’ve always thought that if I had sung with him at the benefit concert I would have ‘been discovered’ or somehow made connections to start my singing career.

If getting the life I wanted when I wanted it meant that I wouldn’t have had my son, then I’m less remorseful, and seeing as there is no way I can know that, I choose to believe that having my son was the best opportunity I took.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.

BW (Black and Whitey) The Cat

When I was fifteen, I spent a lot of time with friends who had a couple of cats.  Shemee, and Black and Whitey, but we called her BW.  Shemee, a big black male, would often spray on the television (sometimes while we were watching TV – the brazen cad), and a couple of other areas, and BW was a slender girl who would also ‘spray’ in the same areas after Shemee had sprayed.  My friends had Shemee neutered shortly after he started spraying, but he continued to spray (although my friends seemed to think that the operation would end his spraying).  BW continued to ‘spray’, and would often try to mount Shemee, but Shemee would slap her down.

Both were indoor/outdoor cats, and my friends had hoped that BW would have a litter of kittens before they got her spayed.  BW seemed to think she was male, so I doubted she’d ever have kittens.  There was a big white Tom cat with one blue and one green eye who roamed the neighborhood.  He was usually sweet-natured to humans, but you could see from the chunk out of his ear, and other scars that he’d been in a few fights.

A few years went by and BW still did not have kittens, so my friends assumed she was barren.  One of my friends saw the big white Tom catch her later that year, and we wondered if she’d have a successful litter, and if she’d realized she was, in fact, a she.  The big day came, and BW was in labor.  She had a box in the closet lined with some soft rags, and was mewing piteously for a while, finally birthing – one kitten.  She was a good mama though, very attentive and sweet.  She stopped trying to spray the television, or mount other cats after that too.

Her kitten was an all white male, proving to have one blue, and one green eye as he grew.  My friends let BW get pregnant once more before getting her spayed, and she had a litter of six that time.

BW was a special cat to me, sleeping with me the times I stayed over my friends’ house, and always coming to me for attention.  My friends moved away a year or so later, and I never saw them, Shemee, or BW, again, but they remain fondly in my memories.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Life On Earth’s Blog, 2010 – infinity.