How do you say goodbye?

How do you say goodbye to your mother? How do you say goodbye to the person around whom your awareness has circled for decades? To the person who gave you life? And saved it, more than once? Continue reading

Pro-life is not.

In an exchange with Senator Thom Tillis about Planned Parenthood, the reality of the pro-life lobby struck me as never before. Particularly in light of yet. another. mass. shooting, it is painfully obvious.
Planned Parenthood Action sent a letter around to which many of us applied our names. Tillis was one of the lawmakers who responded. Here is my final response to him. There is just no reasoning with people who think the way “pro-lifers” do.
Mr. Tillis,
You responded to a recent letter I sent you about Planned Parenthood with what is obviously a form letter. Normally I would let it pass, but I feel the need to reply.
The fact that you and other so-called pro-life legislators focus your ire on Planned Parenthood’s supposed profit around abortion is appalling and disgusting. They do not “profit” by this funding, and their federal funding does not pay for abortions. Full stop. They barely stay afloat, serving otherwise deeply underserved communities, and they do so much more than merely abortions.
You’re not pro-life at all; you’re pro-birth, and the babies whose lives you’re so adamant about saving are forced to be born into families that cannot afford to feed them, or become the living reminder of a rape, because you refuse help to them once the little precious things arrive in the world. Your self-righteous posturing around religious freedom is exactly antithetical to the intent of religious freedom as codified in the Constitution. You are making a statement in favor of a specific religious dogma that is irrelevant to many of this country’s people and has no place in government; it is absolutely not your place to legislate Christian morality. Especially when that moralism isn’t especially Christian, but merely controlling.
Put your Bible away, or if you must cling to it, remember that Jesus said to feed and care for the poor, and placed no conditions around such charity.
Gutting Planned Parenthood’s funding does irredeemable harm to the health and well being of families who cannot afford healthcare. Cancer screenings, basic health checks, emergency care — these are only a few of the things you’re eradicating by cutting their funding.
Add to that your continued support of the NRA, and your hypocrisy is complete: you’re not pro-life at all.
Face it.
You’re pro-death.

I Believe Her.

The Carolinas suffered immensely from Hurricane Florence, which sent many people inland and wrought terrible destruction for miles. Filthy water is emptying into the ocean and seeping into aquifers, properties have been destroyed, rains continue even now to cause flooding and further damage to already vulnerable areas.

Mother Earth is not happy with us. Storms are more frequent, more destructive, and getting worse every year. We cannot continue to attempt to impose our will on her. Gaia’s memory is far longer and her patience is wearing thin. She can do without us, but we cannot do without her. Continue reading

How to Kill Your Mother

There’s a lot of attention in the media right now on opioids and the epidemic of overdoses and deaths, both from prescribed and black market access. Political grandstanding on penalties notwithstanding, it is a serious problem, and the trail back to the root cause is convoluted, murky, and highly fraught.

Let me tell you a story about how a country doctor and an award-winning hospital nearly killed my aging mother because nobody was paying attention.

Continue reading


Emma is the face and the voice of determination and courage.
Emma is the face and the voice of a generation that





Go Emma go.

Manchester, United

I’ve written ad nauseam in the past about the mass killings that occur with alarming (and alarmingly increasing) frequency in the world. I’ve been struggling to say anything about #Manchester for a few reasons, mostly that others have already said it and I’m tired of words without actions.

But I finally have this to say: don’t use it as an excuse to smear more hatred on an entire people, or an entire religion. This vicious act has no more to do with Islam than Westboro Baptist or Timothy McVeigh have to do with Christianity.

The overwhelming majority of practitioners of Islam are devoted, loving, thoughtful, caring, delightful — and most of all, they’re human beings.

The people who carried this out are Muslim in name only; they do not live the tenets of their own faith. They act on a spectacularly narrow and cruel version of it, just as extremists/fundamentalists of all “faiths” do. They have allowed fear, anger, lust for power, a desire to subjugate creation in their own image to overtake their humanity.

Do not hate Islam. Do not even hate religion. Act to stop those who would terrorize creation in its name.

Love one another.

Day One

Today’s post is mostly images, as I process what I felt and witnessed today during what is turning out to be the largest protest in U.S. history. I’m talking about the Women’s March, and all of the sister marches both here and around the world. Continue reading

Day Zero

Oh, where do I begin?

Other, better minds than mine will do the job of analyzing the inaugural speech of Donald Trump. I read an annotated transcript and saw so many red flags I hardly knew where to start. Like the world-shattering demagogues in whose footsteps he follows, he resorts to nationalistic speech, broad strokes of bleakness that conveniently forget the fact that he is one of those who has enriched himself ruthlessly at the expense of pretty much everyone with whom he’s come in contact. He talks of unifying the country, completely omitting the fact that he has just appointed some of the most divisive, hateful, and self-serving nightmare creatures imaginable to his new cabinet.

I suspect that his (and his cabinet’s) vision of “unity” has less to do with coming together across social divides and more to do with silencing dissent and difference. That’s not unity; that’s oppression. He wants a country peopled with compliant women and brutal men — a nation of Stepford Wives and their owners.

This, then, is where I will begin. Continue reading

The problem with leaderboards

We live in a culture that fosters toxic competition in everything we do, and it is in large part why we as a people are on the verge of social collapse — and I include the current political climate in that, when you trace the roots to both the supremacy of profit, the whole “my god is better than your god” model, and the deep-seated xenophobic nationalism that has overtaken us. Continue reading

An open letter to my family (and yours) on rape culture

We live in a society that insists we forgive. There is a lot of wisdom in forgiveness, but we lost sight a long time ago of what it really means.

Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness, and it doesn’t mean that one must be nice to the person who did the damage. Forgiveness means understanding, and understanding means having a grasp of what factors led to the offense. Continue reading

An army of safety pins

This week has been staggering. A presidential campaign season that was divisive, ugly, contentious, and wrong for so many reasons resulted in the election of a brilliant marketeer, canny carnival huckster, a reality TV star with no experience in politics who really just wanted to add another notch to his gun belt. Or, perhaps more appropriately in this case, to his bedpost. Continue reading

The Aftermath

There have been a great many analyses — and rather more accusations — floating around the ‘net about what happened, exactly, this election year. Some are deeper and more complete than others.

Root cause analysis is a must in the aftermath of one of the most divisive campaigns in American history. Pointing fingers at this group or that will not accomplish the task. There are highly complex forces at play here. Yes, on the surface it’s easy to say that “racists won”, or “I couldn’t vote for either one”, or “Dems didn’t turn out to vote”. But it’s much deeper than these factors, or even a combination of these factors.
Continue reading

The Day the World Changed

Today is Election Day in the United States.

It’s my plan to avoid most of social media today. My timeline on Facebook this morning is full of vitriol from all sides, desperate messages imploring people to vote, screaming memes that grab viewers by the throat and threaten Armageddon if they don’t vote the way the poster does. All sides are doing this, not just the Big Two. Continue reading

Weaving New Stories

Not long ago, I took a Facebreak: I left Facebook and just stayed away (other than automatic Twitter and blog reposts) for two or three weeks. I loved it. I slept better, my mind was more clear for work, and I regained much of my emotional equilibrium (not to mention my blood pressure). Continue reading

The Hidden Path

The author’s journey is a difficult one: often surprising, mostly frustrating, deeply satisfying. Continue reading