Transition

Today at work, a colleague originally from Russia told me the reason nobody uses those templates we spend lots of time creating is because they are temporal – from the root of “template” – never meant to be permanent. I responded with two or three feeble words in Russian — “spassiba” and the rest.

It’s with this in mind that I consider the word “transition” and attempt, in my mind, to make it into some sort of fun trip – like “transit” – to somewhere fun instead of through an awkward and perhaps scary time (unless you’re on Muni, which lately has taken to a more peculiar usage of the transitive form).

Nothing, we’re told, is permanent, but to my daughter, embarking in a couple of short weeks on a major transit from preschool to kindergarten, I want to represent nothing less than my permanence to her. If you’re scared, hold fast: it’s an exciting time and you will do so well, and Mama and Mommy will always be there for you.

As I even think this her body grows an inch, she skyrockets, learns more in one minute than I have all year, sees things anew, and has in fact permanently brightened my life.

There is no template I can create for this. In one single instant, flashing by, I understand life.

The Rhinoceroses -- in 2008

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What Year is This Again?

The news from Philadelphia today — specifically from the Valley Swim Club — is not very pretty: Pool Boots Kids Who Might “Change the Complexion”:

“When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,” Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.”

Minorities not allowed? Really?

My girl went to a summer camp last week here in San Francisco. She was nervous about fitting in but the people were all great, and it turned out to be a great experience for her. I can just imagine the heartache and confusion she would have endured if others got up and left right when she walked in — if (so-called) authority figures told her she was not allowed.

Be sure to watch the video at the news link above. I wish I could take all of these kids and give them a great big hug… or at least a place to swim.

Watch news coverage below.

GO Equality California!

One of the biggest and most painful complaints levied against the No On Prop 8 campaign is that the campaign failed to use images of real gay people and their families in the official ads.

As sad as Prop 8’s passage was, what a sea-change there’s been since then. After so much pain and real harm by its passage, we’ve had a national dialog like never before. With now five states on the side of marriage equality, “the arc of  moral history” appears to continue to bend towards justice — even as we speak.

And we’ve learned — a lot.  And shared — a lot.  Equality California, in a major evolution in campaign messaging, has just announced that they are featuring *real live gay people* and their families in their newest ads.  They listened and they got it.

Thank you Equality California, and come on everyone: Take a look at last. Don’t be afraid to find out there’s more in common between “your lifestyle” and “my lifestyle” than you might have thought.

Read more about Equality California’s campaign at http://www.eqca.org/winmarriageback.

Quick Stop on Planet Earth

The great Harriet Rasaka left the world yesterday at nearly 97 years of age. We passed by this fact during our stopover in Ashland and then later for lunch in Eugene, on our way up to Portland.

Even at 97 years old, death is unplanned. Those of us who can be are flexible, dropping or taking our work with us on the homing path back to the place of services — the place of saying good-bye. But good-bye feels so incomplete. I still see Harriet in my dad’s car, borrowed again for this trip, in the parking lot at Fred Meyer’s with the door ajar. How we laughed when the police called my dad, thinking that she was stealing the car.

I see her reading “One Fine Day” on the couch in Seattle to her great-grandchild Lucy. The same book my mom used to read to me.

I wear the shirt she gave me for my birthday just this year. I see her in the picture Leanne took just a couple weeks ago — sharp as ever, beating Leanne at tri-ominos.

I wish I could see her more and I wish I could have known her for more of her incredible life, but mostly I wish I could see what she’s seeing now, in the unique way she experiences it through her own self, as she continues her journey after being incredible and much loved during her stay on Planet Earth.

Love You Harriet.

E pur si muove!

And yet it moves!


Galileo’s Telescope and some history – “The Instrument that Changed the World”
edhiker

Had a quick conversation with Ellen via Twitter this morning about telescopes, since she’s shopping for one with her 7-year-old. Leaving aside all the tangents I want to travel right now, like about how I cried the first time I saw the Moon in a telescope, it occurs to me that Galileo’s telescope was one of the most disruptive technologies ever created. (And we think the Internet changed things!)

He created this thing — the telescope — and then observed, carefully, the spots on the sun. And then he knew from what he saw that the Earth indeed moves — and is not flat.

That caused such a ruckus that he was forced to recant it lest the Heavens fall straight out of the sky. He did recant, and yet was still deemed so dangerous that he remained under house-arrest till his death. (And it took us centuries to pardon him, by the way.)

And so we created this thing — the printing press (thanks @chadmaglaque), the Internet, mobile devices — and we observe. And we let people know. Your notions of the news, of human rights, of relationships and of family and of marriage are changing. And it causes a ruckus. And one day, maybe centuries from now, truth wins.

Blood




Sale

Originally uploaded by moyalynne

Blood is on my mind — exactly, not exactly, approximately, and completely figuratively. A few quotes, which my body chooses, through its common organ, to randomly connect:

My heart is a big red liquid pump that gets stuck all the time.
— David Sobel

But these are tainted years, ours; the blood of men far away
tumbles again in the foam, the waves stain us, the moon is spattered.
These faraway agonies are our agonies
and the struggle for the oppressed is a hard vein in my nature.

Perhaps this war will pass like the others which divided us,
leaving us dead, killing us along with the killers
but the shame of this time puts its burning fingers to our faces.
Who will erase the ruthlessness hidden in innocent blood?
— Pablo Neruda

Colony-stimulating factors are glycoproteins which act on hematopoietic cells by binding to specific cell surface receptors and stimulating proliferation, differentiation commitment, and some end-cell functional activation.
— NEUPOGEN® package insert

If I could, I would take your fever in me. If I could, but I can’t do anything.
— Will Johnston

And I know it well…
— Bon Iver

I Go to the Hills


We Found Maria!

Originally uploaded by moyalynne

So we climb to the peak of 2008, turn around and look down, but also gaze ahead. I’m eager to be done with 2008 and on with 2009, but 2008 was not all bad.

Things I liked:

  • Getting married
  • Working on @NoOnProp8
  • Snow just off of Highway 280
  • Sing-a-Long Sound of Music
  • Listening to random music
  • May in the California Supreme Court
  • Rescuing the Bumblebee Queen
  • Meeting friends – new and old (well, “long-time”)
  • Being part of an exciting and disruptive project at work
  • The California Academy of Sciences
  • Sazerac
  • BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE
  • Surprise chocolates
  • The Public Library
  • Seattle
  • Twitter and Facebook doing the tango
  • Hope, in general
  • Obama
  • All my family
  • LUCY and LEANNE. Turn the world around.

Things I could have done without:

  • My brother’s bout with chemical warfare
  • Proposition 8
  • Insomnia
  • Going to work instead of toward the snow
  • Cancer in general
  • Being part of an exciting and disruptive project at work
  • Proposition 8
  • Iritis (whatever the HECK that is)
  • Proposition 8
  • Fighting of any kind
  • The disappearance of money
  • Proposition 8

Looks like things are generally good, in the balance.  All things in perspective; I look forward to that in 2009. Many mountains to climb ahead. I promise to work my hardest, help, and hope.

With love to all and good hiking boots,
-m