Resting my brain

here’s a poem.

Quixotica

these teasing thoughts of work vs play

flicker in and out throughout the day

i am proud of all that i have done

but the war continues in defense of fun

dreams of magic and wonder and light

persist through the day and into the night

they frolic around inside my head

fed by beauty seen and read

they fuel my movement through this life

and are shelter and shield from stressing strife

always mine, they are my own

evolving and increasing as i have grown

what would we be without our dreams

but dull, austere and loveless beings

Rihanna

I was on CNN.com watching videos this morning and I watched the Showbiz tonight piece on Rihanna’s “racy” new single art. One thing that really got under my skin was that one woman had the nerve to call the photo “empowering.” Theres a certain level of sexiness I’ve come to expect from my celebrities…and then there’s just plain over the top. Rihanna doesn’t need to do this to sell a single. Everyone knows she has talent! There are a lot of pretty girls in the world, show me something I haven’t seen.

You know what’s empowering to me? A woman with brains, talent, and classic beauty. That’s sexy. Sexier than some half-nekkid pop singer. I don’t want my future daughter to look up to these images of sex and…not much else. Why don’t we give our scientists and novelists and astronauts more of a celebrity status? Women who publish research, women who write books, women who go to space; those are women to look up to. Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful and empowering singers, but I look up to them for the message they send and their impenetrable sense of self, their genuine character they express.

Rihanna was beaten by her boyfriend and didn’t have anything to say about it. Stand up for yourself woman! Tell the world that you’re not gonna take that! She doesn’t publicly speak out against anything. Aside from her vocal talents, Rihanna the individual has no voice. What’s the driving force behind the photo? Let us see what’s going on inside that head. Any celebrity can strip down and sell their image with sex. I’m sure it was very difficult for her to get whisked away to some studio, sit in hair and makeup and have professional stylists dress her and professional photographers take her picture. She’s just using the tragedy of her abuse to brand herself and sell records. That’s. not. empowering. to. me.

Polanski

In 1977 Roman Polanski pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13 year old. He gave her champagne and sedative drugs and against her wishes performed oral, vaginal, and anal sex on her. He served 42 days in prison for the crime, and when he learned that he was likely going to be sentenced to more jail time, he fled the country. He did agree to pay a settlement from a damages claim filed by the victim in the amount of $500k. It is not on record that he ever paid the full amount. He went on to continue his film career and make money, directing movies “The Pianist” and “Oliver Twist” amongst others.

He is no doubt a talented artist and has made valuable contributions to the film industry; however some of his colleagues seem to think he is above justice. This infuriates me. I don’t care how much money you have or how many good movies you’ve made, nobody is above the law! Crime doesn’t pay, period. The victim doesn’t want to push for him to get more jail time, she probably, understandably, just wants that part of her life behind her. Continue reading

Self Image

venuscabanel

Alexandre Cabanel's "Birth of Venus"

Today on google, for fun I decided to look up how to be writer. I started typing “how to be” and I stopped, because two of the suggested searches were “how to be anorexic, ” and “how to become anorexic.” I am but a young woman of 24, and I am lucky to have been blessed with a good metabolism. I’ve been thin all of my life. However that doesn’t translate to a positive body image my whole life.

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Zen Mentality

Zenhabits.net is one of the few blogs I read regularly. It’s been one of those weird days for me so I’d like to leave you with a thought from the most recent post on Zen Habits titled “Life is Poetry:”

Each of us lives a life that expresses who we are, reacts to the world around us, shows our passions, reflects our deep river of feeling and being.

We might sing out in joy, through our words and actions and expressions, we might hide in fear and pain, we might lash out in anger. Every thing we do, everything we are, expresses.

Gandhi’s message was his life, and yours is your life. What message are you giving the world, through your actions, how you live, how you treat others, what you accomplish, how you choose to be, every moment of every day?

Are you an angry rant? A ballad? An epic poem?

Perhaps a sonnet, a limerick, a haiku?

If your life is a poem, what do you want it to say? What would you rather leave out? What will the essence be?

Enjoy each moment as the perfect syllable, recognize the lyrical in the everyday, and sink your teeth softly into that cold delicious fruit.

At the end of the post is the poem “This is Just to Say” by William Carlos Williams and it talks about plums. I would like to leave you with another poem with a subject of fruit:

The Orange by Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all my jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.

Fire Ecology

I’ve been wanting to write about fire for a long time. It is an important component of a healthy ecosystem, and many people are completely unaware of the ecological benefits of setting the woods on fire.

Forest fires are a naturally occurring phenomenon. You go for a while without rain, everything dries up, then a storm comes through and lightning strikes a tree, boom: forest fire. It’s probably a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea. Long ago, fire would burn continuously across the landscape. As a result, many plants and animals adapted and now depend on fire to survive and propagate. The Native Americans weren’t stupid, they knew fire was important. They burned to clear underbrush and to create land to hunt. Europeans, long removed from living in harmony with nature, then came along and changed America forever.

I grew up thinking forest fires were an evil, Bambi-killing destructive force. Forest fires will always have their casualties, but from death comes rebirth. Let me paint a picture for you… Continue reading

Pork

Pet Pig by Arnicas on Flickr

"Pet Pig" by Arnicas on Flickr

I do not eat pork.

I stopped eating pork when swine flu came about. NO, I did not think I was going to get swine flu from eating pork, as far as I’m concerned flu is flu no matter what combination of letters and numbers you assign it. But why did swine flu make me not want to eat pork? Well, I thought of how similar pigs and humans must have to be to share a virus, and when you think about it, pig corpses are widely used as stand-ins for human bodies in medical and other scientific test scenarios. Pigs are also very intelligent and emotional creatures. They aren’t always the cutest things to look at, and I’ll admit they are damn tasty, but something just doesn’t feel right about eating pork.

Pork is just as healthy as any other meat, when properly cooked it’s a good lean source of protein. But the same can be said about every kind of meat. Dog meat is a healthy staple in eastern countries, and its advocates would probably tell you it’s delicious. Why do we feel that it’s wrong to eat dog meat? Because dogs are smart, dogs are our friends, we wouldn’t raise them to eat them, the dogs would not live fulfilling lives, it’s unjust…etc. But pigs are arguably smarter than dogs, and capable of the same companionship with humans. Pet pigs are nothing new. But we still eat them? Why? Is it because they are uglier than dogs? Because their bodies limit them from doing cute tricks? Let’s face it: pigs are discriminated against.

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Butterflies

Gulf fritillary at the farm by Vickis Nature on Flickr

"Gulf fritillary at the farm" by Vicki's Nature on Flickr

When you think of a butterfly what do you think of? A bug with big pretty wings? A monarch? A tattoo?

At my current position as an AmeriCorps volunteer, I’ve had the great pleasure of learning about these fascinating creatures. We had some volunteers come to the park and spruce up our neglected, existing butterfly garden. It was decided that the butterfly garden needed a kiosk with butterfly information, and I got the lucky position of creating that information. I put a lot of research into the information, working closely with Dr. Leesa Sward, a park volunteer and college professor. Since working on the project I’ve developed a great fascination and appreciation for butterflies.

To a lot of girls my age, a butterfly is a symbol. A symbol of beauty, metamorphosis, and carefreeness. To me, they are also a member of the order Lepidoptera, crucial pollinators of flowering plants, and food for birds and reptiles. I am amazed at the transformation they make from caterpillars to butterflies. Imagine growing a shell around yourself, losing your human form, and emerging as a bird. How does that happen? It’s science I know, but it’s magical that it even takes place. Perhaps that is why they are so fascinating to me, because they were once something else.

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Hello world!

This is the obligatory first post.

I’ve had many blogs in my time, all with no consistent subject matter. To you, this one probably won’t be any different, because you’ve probably never heard of me, let alone read a past blog.

This blog is going to be about… what I want my life to be about. This is an outlet for the things in my head; the things I learn, the things I know, and the things I dream of.