Reminder of moving!

I’ve decided to consolidate all my blogs under one roof;
Sign up at dkatiepowellart to keep following!

2014 9 LOJONG SUNFLOWER copy  2014 9 LOJONG SUNFLOWER copy  2014 9 LOJONG SUNFLOWER copy  2014 9 LOJONG SUNFLOWER copy  2014 9 LOJONG SUNFLOWER copy

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Moving everything to dkatiepowellart.me

I am moving everything over to my other blog, dkatiepowellart now.
art and spirituality, in my mind, can’t be separated,
especially as I am now through the beginning stages of learning watercolors
where I was posting a lot about learning this and that…
*trust me, not a pro but not baby steps
switched from acrylic to watercolors*

and I am back to art journaling, but with watercolors, and want ti all in one spot.

Buried my mom last year, and as she went into hospital
then hospice I had no time to come and write here,
but art journaled every night just to relax and get whatever out of me.

So my lojong pages may start back up (over there)
and really, as I am an integrated human being
I think my blog should be too.

So starting a new journal this new moon
*I always think that is auspicious when
the new journal coincides with the new moon*

and this is where I will be: dkatiepowellart.me.

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Mother: Being Locked Out From Your Loved One

I’ve started this post several times…
About dementia, about sudden changes, and each time I don’t get far
and now it has come to this “ending” of sorts.
writing about my mom, dementia, grief, the whole thing.

“My Mom has stepped into dementia.  It comes and goes,
and it makes her angry and horrid and sad and confused and…” 1 May

“I’m packing my mom’s apartment tomorrow.
I have about 4-5 hours to go through her place and…”  17 June

“I just cleaned out my mother’s home. It was sad, stressful,
and I was making decisions for the whole family.
Mitchell was amazing, taking care of me while also
shlepping, loving, driving hours, all that.
Being present for my sobs then understanding that
I had to turn way and get to work (limited time).
The truth is that being real is being in the moment with emotions,
but real emotions are rarely anger at the loved ones around us…”
20 June

If you saw an earlier version of this, I took it down on
advice of counsel, and am re-posting it with revisions.

I am sinking into grief.

I don’t want to call it depression, because I’ve been there, and my depression
had no thoughts, no thang you could point to and say, “THAT makes me so sad.”

I’ve never seen so much cruelty and lack of caring in my life.
Has it gotten that much worse or was I blind to it?
I don’t mean I was unaware of wars, rape, brutality, but I didn’t see it in so very many people on a daily basis.  I lot of it centers around greed or power or ego…
A lot seems to stem from a lack of reflection on just how crappy a person
is in a given moment, just the meanness-for-fun or
lack of caring in ANY way about the human being in front of you…

This week has changed me:

Some nurse? doctor? at unnamed hospital in Southern Oregon told someone
that some family member was pushy and angry with them.  I can’t imagine who that is,
as there are only three of us, and it wasn’t me, and my niece doesn’t call
(she is a nurse and we know when she calls as it is for a specific reason)
and would never be an ass unless someone had a child of hers hostage,
and it apparently was a woman, as they decided it was me.
I’ve not had reason to be snotty, they’ve done a good job, or so I thought,
with my Mom, who can be out of the box with her dementia.
But it resulted in me being banned from getting any information about
my mother or asking any questions about what I’ve heard.

They do not want to hear that whomever was rude was not me;
there is no possibility for a reconsideration or review.
No one asked me for my side of things, though truth be told
I wouldn’t have one as the entire thing is no where near true…
I’ve tried talking to patient relations; she shined me on…
And yes, after them poking the bear boxed in a corner (me)
several times I now have yelled at them.

What to do?

Here is where it gets depressing… Really sad… I am frankly amazed.

My brother is DPOA, and I was fine with that as he is retired
and I run a business that is 60 hours a week.
I can’t always pick up the phone and I can’t run her legal case.

I let him know what was going on at the hospital and he did nothing.

NADA.

Still hasn’t.

Back the damn truck up… I began thinking of the coincidence
that he threatened me the day this happened,
when he thought I wasn’t in agreement with him.
(I was in agreement, but why confuse facts. 
He is hard of hearing and has a temper and I’ve been working with his crap for months, biting my tongue with the goal of my mom’s well-being always in my mind.)
Apparently he is fine with me not having access to information about her.
Maybe he even instituted the lockout, as the story they are telling is not true.

Further, this has carried over in medical orders from the hospital
to the facility that she has been parked at… another story.
They won’t give me information on her…
they would not confirm that she was there TO ME.
They called my brother instead of calling me back.
NO coincidences.

Listen up folks, this is serious shit:
in today’s strange legal world if you are not on the approved list,
you cannot even know if your loved one is present in a facility.
Even if you are a direct relation.
So IF your loved one is missing and you are calling to ER rooms,
they cannot confirm that a person is there.
I guess that means you have to call the police now?
The police can go have a lookaround and then confirm she is safe, at least,
but it is doubtful they can tell you which facility she is in….

My brother is professing ignorance, sort of… but not really.
He has said it isn’t true, as if I’ve made mistakes about this.
I don’t make those kind of mistakes.  I pushed each time.
He hasn’t bothered to change it…
he acts like he believes I waged war on some medical practitioner.

But the simple fact that he would do that to me, and to her
is filling me with anger and grief.
I am the one who has been writing her daily, sending her things to cheer her,
and telling her I loved her… He is performing a service.

When my own brother was dying and for a time he did not want to see his son,
I honored that and also told his son that we were trying to change his mind…
Before the end, they reconciled and I am glad for it.
I would not have locked his son out just because I was pissed at him.

Mine isn’t a perfect mom, and has done some truly shitty things as an adult mom.
She raised four kids by herself (with help from her parents) when our
deadbeat father decided he didn’t want to pay child support.
She didn’t try to kill herself in front of us; she took responsibility for us.
She didn’t leave us crying alone when we were kids, kept us healthy,
she cuddled and loved us and made sure we were safe and
did our homework with us and gave us confidence.
She tried to give us opportunities and a better start in life.
We didn’t have cigarettes put out on our arms and
we weren’t sexually or physically abused.
She didn’t bring asshole dates home to grope us or beat us.
She was FUN, and taught us ALL how to have fun with no money.
She was a great cook — a GREAT cook, and adventurous.
She wasn’t perfect, but she didn’t abandon us when the going got tough.
I seriously doubt any of us could have gotten anywhere without her parenting,
and most of the fuck-ed-up-ness in adulthood any of us continued to exhibit
beyond our middle 20’s is because we didn’t bother to clear the crap that our parents
handed down to us.  ANYTHING that anyone is still bitching about over the age of 25
(“my parents did this or that to me and that is my excuse…”)
is frankly their own damn fault.  So I say grow a pair and do for her in this time
when she is helpless, and alone, and stuck.

I could not do this to any human being.

I have no idea how she is today, and no way to find out except wait
until my brother decides to call her and report to us…..
I fought for several days to try to change this.
I have no power in the situation and it breaks my heart every time I think of it…
first thing in the morning and as I am winding down my day to sleep,
and each time I paint an object and as I go through her things,
it makes my heart ache for her well-being.

I cry as I am writing this…
been crying a lot the last couple days as it all sinks in,
and there is more to this story,
a family pattern of punishing and withholding love.

Moral to this story, best make damn sure the one
you make your DPOA is not a real ass with another agenda.
And no matter what, get it in writing signed
and notarized for/from all your loved ones that
no matter what some damn DPOA says,
you have permission to have information on them…
for-fucking ever. 
Information, sending messages, and the ability to say
you love them directly to their faces.

 W16 7 16 PENTALIC BLUEPRINT PALMS 03 SQ  W16 7 16 PENTALIC BLUEPRINT PALMS 03 SQ  W16 7 16 PENTALIC BLUEPRINT PALMS 03 SQ  W16 7 16 PENTALIC BLUEPRINT PALMS 03 SQ  W16 7 16 PENTALIC BLUEPRINT PALMS 03 SQ

©D. Katie Powell.  My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites.  Art (unless stated) is also by me; please link to dkatiepowellart.

Posted in autobiography, compassion, loss, memory, stress | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Cherished Blogfest 2017

The first time I heard a lojong teaching, I took a few notes, scribbled in my journal alongside some architectural building schematic.  I was under twenty-five.

In my late twenties I bought “Training the Mind” by Chogyam Trungpa
at the Bodhi Tree (RIP best bookstore ever).
His book literally fell on my head, and I buy all books that fall on my head.
I skimmed it but did not resonate with it, and found some wording to be so
CATHOLIC (I was a recovering Catholic at the time),
so I tucked it into a stack that would become several shelves.

Then I read Ani Pema Chodron’s Book “Start Where You Are” in 1994, twenty years later, and as are all her books, it was excellent.  She referred to this little blue book,
the “real thing” by her teacher, Trungpa.  It took you through the slogans in depth.
I tried to find it in bookstores, but by now I was living in a provincial
little town with a small New Age bookstore.  No luck.

 

Of course, you know it was the book I’d barely cracked!

As I have always done when learning anything, I kept a journal.
I can’t really learn any other way.  Copying the slogans and teaching comments, adding my thoughts, and committing them into my journal puts them into body, heart and mind.
I used one of my red Okina journals and began, in 1994, writing notes from the two books, Trungpa’s and Pema Chodron’s, a very good book for beginning steps.
I sat in silence at the Blue Mountain coffee shop every morning and read and contemplated and wrote about each slogan, sometimes spending days on
commentary by Trungpa, and turning the coffee shop into a sacred place!

I’ve worked through the blue book a half-dozen times like this,
adding post-its and adding a sketching Okina,
and adding a couple of other commentaries.
I can read my early thoughts about the slogans as well as maturing thoughts.
Now it is a thoroughly messy and cherished journal!
If I had to grab just one book now it would be the two books together as one.
If not two, then my red journal, my notes on the lojong.

Of course, the practice is none of this.
It is a breathing practice.

I see dharma (literally, “truth”) — in my case these teachings — as a lifeline to sanity,
a path to mental health.   Studying the teachings is a path to lightheartedness, to basic happiness or joy, and a salve in these awful times in which we live.

Pema Chodron spoke once about the moment when you realize the teachings are about yourself in the world; that connection, once made, I think, is hard to turn from.  Teachings, whatever kind are a lifeline for you, illuminates a path to
know yourself intimately, to stop running away in addictive behavior
which ultimately causes you and yours more pain (drink, drugs, shopping,
surfing Instagram endlessly to avoid — my newest),
and to put your foot on a path which brings more joy even in trying circumstances.

For my most recent study, which was stopped for reasons I can’t discuss, here.

For information on the breathing practice, look here — and get a teacher, ultimately!

Cherished Blogfest 2017 October NOW!
Want to join?  Tell us about a cherished object
and no, you don’t have to paint…
Then sign the Linky List so we can come visit you!
#CBF17 is our hashtag.

©D. Katie Powell.  My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back  to dkatiepowellart or zenkatwrites.

Posted in autobiography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Busker

(reposted from dkatiepowellart.me)

Cello Man plays at the entrance to PSU Saturday Market.
We enjoy him, and have often given him money.
I think there is an unwritten rule or agreement about the musicians,
because rarely does one drown out another or move into the other’s territory…
There is a lovely symbiosis to how you move through the large college market, listening to the cell then a lovely drum then Hawaiian ukulele then violin.

Until late August.

An obnoxious dad set up his precocious 6 year old keyboard talent at the entrance,
and proceeded to turn the volume waaaaay up.  He not only drowned out Cello Man,
but blasted us all and could be heard all over the park.  I was offended,
and I think other people were too… He tried it again a week later,
and Cello Man disappeared — but then so did the 6 year old, finally, blessedly.

We did not know why Cello Man did not return.
He was not at PSU.  We missed him.
We asked the market info stand about him.
So odd that they didn’t know what happened to him, “the Busker?”
He sat across from them every week!

Martin Watkinson and Gaea lost their house in a fire.
We’ve bought two of their downloadable albums here.
You can also donate (crowdfunding) here;
what has happened is bad, he has medical issues,
and they need so much help.

I need to track him down now that I’ve done his portrait.
His playing is so lovely.

Posted in compassion | 7 Comments

From On Being

One of the few online mags I read regularly.
This was so short I lifted it instead of giving a few lines and sending you on.
Go visit them… Krista Tippett started this uplifting mag.

The Blessing of Friends Who Weather the Storm With Us

My friend Ilyse and I have been friends for a long time. Sixteen years and counting. In the course of that time, I have had the pleasure of seeing her graduate, go to graduate school, get married, and have two kids. She’s seen me raise four kids, hit rock bottom, get back up on my feet, and find love again. We’ve both been through a lot.

When my life was going through a ton of upheaval, there was a conversation that Ilyse and I shared. It was a sweet, simple conversation, one that has stayed with me over the years.

It was one of those times that I was in my lowest of the low moments: unsure, vulnerable, and shaky. It is in these moments when our hearts are breaking that they, sometimes, break open. In the middle of a tear-filled conversation, she leaned in, looked me assuringly in my eyes, and said, “I am in your boat.”

Sometimes your life feels like you are cruising on an ocean liner, everything is going smoothly. Other times, like that time, it felt like I was in a tiny boat, going up and down on turbulent waves that were crashing all around me, cresting over me.

“I am in your boat.”

How lovely to know that I was not alone in that boat. How lovely to have family and friends, people who assure you, “You don’t even need to turn around to check to see if I am here. I don’t care how small your boat is. I am in your boat.”

They are the ones who tell us:

“If your boat goes up, I am going up with you.
If your boat goes down, I am going down with you.
Up or down, I am with you.”

Over the years, I have thought more and more about Ilyse’s simple words of wisdom, this lifeboat that came straight from her heart. Yes, I needed help. Yes, I was drowning or in danger. But I was not looking for someone to send me a rescue boat. I had my own boat: my life, my kids. I didn’t need to be rescued from this boat. I needed to learn to survive, and even thrive, in this boat. The ocean may be now calm, now stormy. The best of friends are the ones who are with us come hell or high water — or the security of a shore.

There’s more. There is a grace about not having to turn around to check to see if our closest friends and loved ones are in our boat. Sometimes it takes all that we have to breathe, to row, to stay afloat. And we don’t have the mental energy to check to see who, if anyone, is in our boat. Blessed are those friends who reach forward, gently placing their hands on our shoulder, around our waist, to let us know that they are with us.

We learn a lot about the people who stay in our boat during the storm. Sometimes it’s exactly who you expect. Sometimes there are those whom we expect to be in our boat, and at the moment of deepest crisis, they go missing. Maybe they were trying to survive in their own boat. It’s been said before: Whenever possible, be kind; you never know what battles others are fighting.

Sometimes there are people whom you knew were close to you, but it is honestly a pleasant surprise to find them sticking right with you, right behind you, faithfully in your boat. When you get to the shore of safety, these are the friends to cherish. One lifetime is not enough to live this gratitude.

In life, learn who’s in your boat.
Cherish them.

Learn to be in others’ boats.
Cherish them.

Cherish your boat.
Cherish your ride.
Cherish your life.

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Posted in compassion | Tagged | 12 Comments

What’s in A Word?

Elora Nicole’s post moved me so I have gone back and reread it several times.
Magical writing, must read.

What’s in a Word?

It started with a word.

I was sitting at a stoplight, praying about my word for 2016. It was October. I remember leaning against my window and the chill on the glass surprising me.

I have words for every year. Normally, by this time, I know my word. I kept wondering why I hadn’t gotten a word yet. I wondered if I missed it somewhere. I wondered if I would even have one. It wasn’t like I was resisting a word, but for the past five years, my words have been anything but kind. While I was curious why I hadn’t received one, I wasn’t actively pursuing it.

I was hesitant. But that day, something had me thinking about it.

So I’m sitting there, praying about my word, and I whisper under my breath —

I think it might be rooted.

There was something about that word that called to me, something about grounding and breathing and remembering who I am in this flesh and bone. I thought it might be a hint. I looked out the window, contemplating, and the answer hit me square in the chest. It was the most audible I’ve ever experienced the Spirit’s voice.

“Your word will be mother.”

My breath hitched. My heart flinched.

And then I started to weep.

I didn’t share anything about my word. In fact, I wrote about the reasons why I wouldn’t be telling anyone other than my closest friends and family. This was not meant for public consumption. This was going to be an internal shift — an intimate pull toward what caused me the most pain. I knew the truth: my words are never about the obvious. Not really. So even though there were implications beyond what I fully grasped in that moment, I focused where I could: the mother heart of God.

.::.

Next came the message.   (CONTINUE…)

Posted in autobiography | 2 Comments

Elizabeth Semende, Poet

Lovely poet… please go visit her!
Touched me in light of recent losses.

To Have a Friend

To have a friend is to hear a melody reek amidst a veld.

To place your eggs of hope on the selvage of a replete basket.

To have a friend is to believe.

To have a friend is to entrust.

To have a friend is to coil your love on a broken spool.

To wear her scars and pour your heart on the flame of her burdens.

To have a friend is to love.

To have a friend is to be loved.

To have a friend is to cultivate a bond on the barren grounds of earth.

To sow a family on the fecund realm of your heart.

To have a friend is to care.

To have a friend is to be blessed.

Posted in autobiography | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Fire

Originally published on dkatiepowellart.

It is a pitiful drawing, altogether too cheery,
but it was the middle-of-the-night and I had only my watercolor-filled pens.
I was horrified about what I’d read in the Oregonian.
*yeah i know i should not be reading puter in the middle-of-the-night*
They are pushing for leniency and have a “kids-will-be kids” attitude,
regarding the teenagers that tossed the firecrackers into the gorge.

NO!

I’m not on the side of the death penalty, but to write that these “children”
(oops, 15 is not quite a child…. more a minor) should not be charged
with a crime as an adult and do time because they
DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES is insanity?
Any one of my friends would have understood the consequences at 12, let alone 15.
We knew this was an evil, destructive, malicious act, just like
firing a gun at someone, beating up on someone, rape, or lighting a cat’s tail on fire.

Do people raised with a computer and games
between their fingers not understand real life?
Does this mean they are mentally ill?  (Not having a grip on reality is mentally ill.)
How could anyone not evil (and do NOT tell me teens can’t be evil) do such a thing?
And for those of you who don’t know, there are signs all along the trails about
fire and firecrackers and other ways fires can start.

*view from our studio window last night*

This morning the Eagle Creek fire has met the Indian Creek fire and is a force of
20,000 burning acres.  At our studio an hour away (40 miles as the crow flies),
we can’t see far, and outside you can’t breathe.  Falling ash.

 The cops caught the kid (all of them), fleeing.
They talked to him, they had an eye witness who identified him.
They let him go. The Feds or the State Police must charge him (them).
Then there will be a trial and they should do time, the ones tossing doing the most time —
But, like bullies, those that watch are complicit.

I fell asleep early last night, and so, just after the full moon, I woke.
Middle-of-the-night I spent angst-ridden over the losses: the animals, the trees, the human casualties (we don’t know yet), the human losses in dollars, jobs, homes, buildings.

I had nowhere to go with my sorrow but to do a gratitude post.

A special thanks to all who are fighting fires!

*the last image is of my home fire station, laguna beach*

Posted in courage, guidance, journal, loss | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Elephants

I wept… nothing bad, just amazing lady and people doing good work for orphaned elephants.  http://www.dailyliked.net/elephant-orphans/

Posted in autobiography | 7 Comments

WE can do this hard thing….

A thought for the day, as we look into the future of the USA…

Posted in autobiography | 2 Comments

Charlottesville

This is for Linda Hill’s one-liner Wednesday, today’s word is “wordless”.

Posted in autobiography | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Grace of Ritual

I am double posting this week, on dkatiepowellart and here,  journaling.
I’m writing an online art journaling class and if you are interested you
may want to follow or drop me a line.  No drawing experience necessary.

My gratitude was easier even though it was a tough week.
Politics is effecting me, making me so sad.
While we try to live in the present, we also look to the future,
as Chagdud Rinpoche once said, “with a little bit of hope.”
The hatred, the pulling apart of our basic rights,
and feeling a bit old to be fighting this when in fact
we are still working long hours to make a business run,
is making it hard to see the future with any type of upbeat dreaming.
I hope this shifts during the eclipse time.

*spoiler alert… this is not all happy happy silly silly.
it is more like life than that….*

Gratitude was easy, though.
Our insane cats kept us both laughing, even to the point of laughing
long after the fact seeing the visuals I witnessed this week!
*giggling now*
It started with my water cup lid going missing.
I have to have a lid on the water beside my bed or trust me,
small tongues will shortcut into my water glass instead of walking to their bowls.
*i love them, but they would go to my glass
after stretching their legs into the air to clean their tuchies!*
I looked everywhere, under the bed, in the b ed, and finally gave up.
Next day I found it in his toy stash!
*i could see him in my mind’s eye trotting this huge lid out in front of him like
an African lip plate, bat ears out to the side, big as ever!*

Grateful for the good news: Oregon intends to protect the ACA on their own…
despite what the feds do.  Thankful for people, color, work, and acts of forgiveness.
*especially the grace of forgiveness. 
true regret, contrition and forgiveness bond trust over time.*

Then back to the crazy cats again, as they stole dowels from Mitchell’s woodworking pile,
continued to hide Julie’s ice cream sticks everywhere, and then the funniest thing yet,
Yamantaka decided he loves pea pods.  Raw.
Begs for them and carries his everywhere.  Such a strange and funny cat!

The new moon and lunar eclipse fell (in the Vedic tradition) with Ganesha..
We did a Ganesha Puja and shared our intention for the next cycle.
We do this and use the lunar cycle to mark the time we share it.
I entered our intentions into my journal…
*a bit too personal and involves others to share*
I’ve also been listening to Ken Burns “Roosevelt” and caught this quote by Eleanor…
roughly.  I had to look it up… very timely for NOW.

When you write in a journal you really get to see the changing tides of day to day…
Up and down, sweet and sour, joy and sorrow.  It is a bit like riding on a swing.
Stubbed toe, unable to walk, scoring a sweet Coronado platform rocker
to reupholster for resale (or to keep, if we like),
horrid painting days one day then the next, a good day…  Round and round…

While looking at gratitude, it has been years since we’ve had a good burger.
I grew up with butcher’s and growers and ranchers and
was used to good meat from people who killed humanely.
*my mother tells the “horrid” story of her dad patting the animal
then shooting it, while she munched at In n’ Out, a factory burger…
at 95 I’m not going to change her to see he was being kind.*
I don’t like the current state of meat industry and we won’t eat it unless it meets our criteria… no hormones, no GMO, no feed lots, humanely raised and dispatched.
We’ve found good beef from a local rancher and again enjoy an occasional burger.
Mitchell piles his high with everything on it, a true West Coast burger!

To hear about journaling classes,
follow me on Facebook or check out my new,
improved website dkatiepowellart.com

Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook,
Pentalic HB woodless pencil,
a host of pens and inks and watercolors —
my favorite is the Platinum Carbon Pen with
Platinum Carbon ink waterproof cartridges.

Posted in autobiography, buddhism, family, journal, memory, prayer, spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

10 Ways to Fight Hatred

I am so upset about the comfort zone that many feel about venting their hatred.
I do think that this has been under the surface and
perhaps bringing it to the surface is good in one way; shadow material is dangerous.  Bringing it to light perhaps will allow those that are put upon to see that there is a groundswell of us that are not bigoted (even if naive) and will stand with them.
I don’t know.  But it is here and how do we deal with it? 

10 Ways to Fight Hatred

by the Southern Poverty Law Center

This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities.

Introduction

Hate in America is a dreadful, daily constant. The dragging death of a black man in Jasper, Texas; the crucifixion of a gay man in Laramie, Wyo.; and the stabbing death of a Latino immigrant in Long Island, N.Y., are not “isolated incidents.” They are eruptions of a nation’s intolerance.

Bias is a human condition, and American history is rife with prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other differences. The 20th century saw major progress in outlawing discrimination, and most Americans today support integrated schools and neighborhoods. But stereotypes and unequal treatment persist, an atmosphere often exploited by hate groups.

When bias motivates an unlawful act, it is considered a hate crime. Race and religion inspire most hate crimes, but hate today wears many faces. Bias incidents (eruptions of hate where no crime is committed) also tear communities apart — and threaten to escalate into actual crimes.

In recent years, the FBI has reported between 7,000 and 8,000 hate crime incidents per year in the United States. But law enforcement officials acknowledge that hate crimes — similar to rape and family violence crimes — go under-reported, with many victims reluctant to go to the police. In addition, some police agencies are not fully trained to recognize or investigate hate crimes, and many simply do not collect or report hate crime data. A definitive study by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2005 estimated there are about 191,000 hate crime incidents per year.

The good news is …
All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices.

This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities.

Whether you need a crash course to deal with an upcoming white-power rally, a primer on the media or a long-range plan to promote tolerance in your community, you will find practical advice, timely examples and helpful resources in this guide. The steps outlined here have been tested in scores of communities across the nation by a wide range of human rights, faith and civic organizations.

Our experience shows that one person, acting from conscience and love, is able to neutralize bigotry. Imagine, then, what an entire community, working together, might do.

Continue here…

Posted in autobiography | 2 Comments

WATWB: Ietef Vita: Healing His Community!

Ietef Vita:  Educator, Hip Hop Yogi, Youth role model!
This is good news… On so many levels.  For him, for his community, for our planet!

Interested in lifting the vibration in the world with stories of compassion and positivity?  Sign up in the
WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below to
join us and be visited on the last Friday when you post your article!  Please help spread the word via
the hashtag #WATWB.

Click here to enter your link on this Linky Tools list…

Posted in compassion, prayer | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Yakity-Yak: Don’t Talk Back!

“Yakity-Yak… Don’t talk back!” Jerry Leiber + Mike Stroller

Bikerchick got this one going for me… you know, when another person’s blog spurs you into writing as you didn’t know you had so many stories to tell?

Talking to yourself OUT LOUD is dangerous, though it is less dangerous now because people will simply think you’ve got an ear bud in and are on the phone.  Inner voices we all have and they are usually crazy negative.  If you meditate daily they get louder for awhile (5 years) because you begin to really notice how noisy they always were then you just don’t give a rats ass (another 5 years) then they begin to die down.
Maybe.

Since he doesn’t read blogs YET (even mine), I can out him. Mitchell has begin talking OUT LOUD to himself.  I have a new rule in the studio… you have to say when you are talking to a cat or to yourself.  Of course that rule, like most of my attempts to bring order into chaos, is not followed… If he knew he was talking out-loud he would NOT do it.
Maybe.
*now maybe he will begin reading my blog at least*

Mimi talked out-loud when doing chores, and was extremely animated when doing it.
I can mimic her and it cracks me up .
*next post should be about making yourself laugh… i do, all the time.
i find myself hilarious.* 
I think it was like this: “Damn irritating man sits on his ass all day watching tv…”
She is excused for this… they lived alone on a ranch and he was a lazy ass!

Cats and dogs don’t count. In fact, if more people talked to their cats more people would have interesting and lovely cats instead of cats who run for the door to stay out all day because they talk to the squirrels to get their conversational needs met…
Mitchell sings to ours, and they follow him like the Pied Piper.
*singing to cats… another blog post idea*
Ours talk back… and sometimes I understand. When I don’t, my bad.
Sammy squeaks, and his mouth moves a lot like a computerized cat mouth moving…
Yaman goes off yakking loudly when he wants company…

I am counting it as One Liner Wednesday because it was another one-liner post that moved me to write stream of consciousness.  And nobody ever does one line!

Posted in autobiography, cats, funny funny, journal, memory, storytelling | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Detour

Posted in autobiography | Leave a comment

Must Read

Well this is just about the best thing I’ve read in ages….
Copying just enuf to get you over there….  Trust me.
I laughed but it is also chock full of good ideas.
I read just enuf to know what is going on and only from reliable sources…

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WATWB: Pema Chödrön on Fear and Fearlessness

Lifting the heart is why I participate in We Are the World Blogfest.

Fear is one of the issues most of us are dealing with…
Most of my techniques to deal with fears are Buddhist teachings,
and the faith I have from growing up in a Methodist/Catholic family
where people were quite resilient and positive.

The idea of turning to ward the fear is HUGE, and possibly if we all could learn to turn into the fear we would not be so very unconscious and fleeing from our world’s problems.

 

There are more messages like this out there.
You simply have to open your eyes and heart.

Interested in lifting the vibration in the world with stories of compassion and positivity?  Sign up in the
WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below to
join us and be visited on the last Friday when you post your article!  Please help spread the word via
the hashtag #WATWB.

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Posted in buddhism, compassion, courage, journal, memory, mind, prayer, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

SoCS: Admit it!

socsbadge2016-17The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is:
admit.”  Write, no editing, 15 minutes.
Visit to see what others are writing and try it!!

Admit it!  You are worried about our country!
I don’t care if you are a Republican or Democrat, if you are not worried then you haven’t got a pulse.  (Did I just call Trump supporters zombies?)  My friends from both sides of the aisle are all talking about what is happening in Washington!
I have to admit I am not usually political but I cannot stop checking in
several times a day to the Guardian or the Washington Post to see what is happening NOW…  and NOW… and NOW!  I admit, I’m stressed by the crazy man and his cohorts.
I have trouble focusing at work and find myself wandering around the studio.
I’m afraid of where this is heading and if it will stop!
Last night before bed I heard the voice of reason.
(Admit it — you’ve not heard that voice in our government lately.)
It spoke to what I’d want to say if I were in a Town Hall.
Without further ado, I give you the voice of reason, because I’ve got nothing…

“As with many of my fellow Americans, I don’t consider myself partisan politically – never have. I am a registered independent voter and have been for most of my life. With that in mind, I submit the following:
None of what is happening at the top of government now is normal. None of it. And no one should normalize it. No one.
We have a President who lies without a second thought. Big bold lies that are easily disproven. That is not normal.
We have serious allegations around obstruction of justice by that President. That is not normal.
We have an FBI director fired for insisting to continue pursuing a serious investigation into the sanctify of our republic. It has never happened before in our history. That is not normal.
We have a hostile foreign power attacking and undermining our electoral process. That is not normal.
We have an Attorney General under a serious shadow of association with said foreign power, with indications that there is much more to this story than we yet know. That is not normal.
We have Federal judges, our closest foreign allies, and the free press under scurrilous attack from the President and his enablers. At the same time we have despots praised. That is not normal.
We have an Administration fanning the flames of division over race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and gender. That is not normal.
We have an overhaul of our entire health care system being written in secret on a rapid time frame. That is not normal.
We have a sordid confluence of the President’s business interests and his political power. That is not normal.
The list could go on and on.
What concerns me even more than any of these items is the fact that they are largely being met by a shrug or excuses from most Republican elected officials. Even many Democrats seem overwhelmed and are inclined to let some of this just ride. That may be how politics works. But this is bigger. It’s about our nation.
We are shifting the goalposts for our democracy. We are failing to be outraged by the outrageous because there is something even more outrageous that always seems to hit the news cycle. And that is dangerous.
What gives me hope is we have had waves of abnormality in our country’s history. And we’ve had times when what we would consider now to be not normal, like segregation, was considered normal. What has centered and saved our country time and again is civic engagement. I believe that most people in this nation don’t think any of this is normal. And they could very well vote out those elected officials in both parties who are normalizing these outrages.”   Dan Rather, posted without permission…

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©D. Katie Powell.  My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites.  Art (unless stated) is also by me; please link to dkatiepowellart.

 

Posted in autobiography, stress | Tagged | 10 Comments
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