Tomorrow she would go through the green door. Tomorrow, not today. This is how it must be. Today, she had to pass it by, with its peeling paint and the missing name-plate. Whose name had been there before? Was it absent to make space for her? Who would answer these questions? Today, she would finally stop to admire the climbing vines, the red flowers. She would smell deeply of their scent, accepting it as a gift, as incense, as an offering to her, or a blessing. Or a warning. She’d walked by this doorway every day for a dozen years. Tomorrow, she would place her hand on the door, take a deep breath, and walk inside, knowing that she would never pass through that doorway again. Tomorrow marked the end of her old life. But just today, she would live as she always had.
Georgia and Alabama have recently passed abortion laws that
are in violation of federal law.
Here are some points to consider –
Unplanned pregnancy can create poverty. This is why there are
so many food drives, baby supply drives, and school supply drives. Did you know
that in America in 2001, over half the pregnancies were unintended? And half of
those were from contraception that failed. (I’m sure there are more current
figures but I suspect they are similar.) I challenge all my pro-life friends to
propose a real solution.
On a related note: perhaps it is time for all women in
America (not just Georgia and Alabama) to stop having sex with men. I wonder
how long it will take for their partners to petition the government to provide
free, 100% effective, side-effect free contraception.
What we need is perfect contraception, where there are no
unintended pregnancies. That will solve this issue (and many others).
Abstinence isn’t something everyone is capable of.
When every anti-abortion person is willing to adopt every unintended baby, then I will know they are pro-life. But as it is, when they say they will kill a mother who has an abortion, they are not pro-life at all. They are for forcing women to have children that they know they are unprepared for. They are creating further poverty on every level – children who are unwanted, growing up in homes where there isn’t enough time or money to afford them.
Lizzie McPherson was young for a widow, but she didn’t let that stop her from her dream of being a boxer. Even when she sat for her formal photograph announcing her new status, she wore her new gloves as a sign to her friends and family of her intentions. Perhaps it was a warning.
Now that she no longer had to answer to a man, she was free to live as she had always wanted. As a maiden, she was under the authority of her father. As a wife, that role passed to her husband. She wasn’t allowed to make any legal decisions without their say-so. Sure, she could decide what she wanted to wear and what food to buy for the household. She was even allowed to pick out the books she wanted to check out from the local library. She understood that this was a rare exception, granted to her by the magnanimity of her spouse. He’d even signed a form, on file at the front desk, letting the librarians know she had free rein.
In the 27 years that branch had been open, only two other women had been granted that privilege. Had the others not known it was an option? Or did they not care? Maybe they were content to read the same old boring stories over and over. Sure, there were new books every week, but only the character names changed and the locale.
Lizzie wanted more. She wanted to be surprised by what she read. She wanted to be surprised by life. She didn’t want to know how the story ended until it ended. If it was predictable, why spend the time reading it? Life was too short for that. Lizzie was busy enough with all the chores required to run the homestead that she didn’t have time to waste on silly books.
James, her dearly departed husband, had moved them out to the wilderness the day they got married. Neither of them had set eyes on the parcel of land that had been allotted to them by the government but that didn’t matter. It was take it or leave it and no second chances with the land grants game. They decided that no matter what, they’d stick with it, come rain or shine, come harvest or famine. What other option did they have? The opportunities to start a life together were few and far between in their town – and the same was true all over.
Just too many people in too small a space. Only the elderly were staying there now, with no youngsters to fuss over and no jobs to go to, what with mandatory retirement. All their needs were taken care of, even food and personal care. They had no worries. Those were for the next generation, the ones trying to set up a family and get their household established. Marriage was the first of many hurdles to being a full citizen.
James took Lizzie out to the plot that very day, right after they’d shared the wedding cake with their family and friends. That act sealed the deal and cemented them as legally joined in the eyes of the law of the land. The plot was three hours away from the town they had known all their lives, and it had nothing on it. Their wedding night was spent in a canvas tent, without even a bed. Their wagon had just enough room for one or the other and they had thankfully agreed that shelter was more important than comfort, even on that night.
From that day onward she wore his clan tartan to tell one and all that she was claimed. Now, a widow, she wore it to fend off possible suitors. She was done with belonging to someone else, done with having to adjust herself to someone else’s whims. She’d had it relatively well with James, but she’d served her time. Now she could live as she wished. It was the best of all possible worlds.
Boxing wasn’t the usual pursuit for a lady, but she’d taken it up out of self-defense. The trouble began with her cousins at family picnics. The male ones, of course. They thought nothing of chasing her down and demanding a kiss, or worse. The adults, if they noticed at all between beers, laughed it off as childish games and told her to play along saying “boys will be boys”. It was then that Lizzie knew she’d have to take matters into her own hands. Literally.
She took up boxing secretly of course, but it didn’t matter. She was much more confident, much more certain of herself. Somehow the boys knew not to hassle her, and for many years she was single because no one had the gumption to tangle with her. This was fine by her. But then James came along. He didn’t ask her to stop boxing. He was proud of it, in fact. He was the first man that was able to befriend her, in part because he didn’t see her as a conquest but as a fellow person.
This was unusual to say the least. No man thought of a woman as his equal in those times. But James wasn’t usual. He was a s/he. S/he’d been raised as a girl until it was time to go to school. Then her parents changed her name and her clothes and nobody knew any better until Lizzie came along. This was why they got along so well. They were part of the same club, as it were. They didn’t agree on everything, of course. Nobody does that, no matter how much they have in common. But they got along better than many other couples, and in private, they even boxed. Maybe that helped too.
The photographer tried to talk Lizzie out of wearing the gloves for her portrait, but she wasn’t budging. She no longer had to prove herself or make space for other people. It wasn’t that she was pushy, or that she had to have her way all the time. But she was done with shortchanging herself to make others feel rich. Perhaps boxing had taught her that. She wondered what else it might reveal to her about herself.
Something I’ve been thinking about – the “healthcare” system is really just “disease management”. Insurance doesn’t pay for organic food, a gym membership, a nutritionist, Art classes and supplies, for instance. But they will pay for drugs that deal with the symptom but not the root cause. I propose we change the system.
A friend of a friend commented I’d be the one that would give anything to be in that right line, but hate that I’m in the left one.
I said Little changes add up. It is worth leaning over to the other line. I started doing that 10 years ago. You can do it!
She said It’s a way different situation. But I appreciate the advice! I do believe that some people absolutely need the left one. 🙂
Me True, we all have our own paths.
in reality, I wanted to say more, but I know that she isn’t ready for it. And
that is part of my lesson in this. To allow people to do things their way, even
if there is a safer, healthier way.
Every day there is a prize drawing. But you must be present to win. What do you notice? Don’t judge it good or bad. It is a gift to you. Sit with it. Study it. Welcome it. It is here to teach you something about yourself.
If you are lucky, it will crack you open, teach you something about yourself that you never knew because you kept it hidden in your secret core, the place even you were too frightened to speak about.
If you are lucky you will learn of your own secret power to transcend to be to love to heal.
If you are lucky there was the white butterfly beforehand to remind you that you are going to die. Maybe not today maybe not tomorrow, but soon, sooner than the television would tell you to believe, sooner than the newspapers will know
that before you know it death will be upon you as a friend inviting you to come out of your straw house, the one you built with your own hands with sticks and mud hoping to fortify yourself against his request, no, demand, that you leave your supposed shelter and step forth unencumbered into your true sanctuary.
For other cultures know that death is sometimes more than death, just like life is sometimes more than life, but only if you let it, only if you stop holding on so tightly.
Morris wasn’t pleased with the bicycle instructor that had
been assigned to him. He was more OK with the idea that it was a skeleton than
the fact it was an “it”. How was he supposed to address it – Mr.? Mrs.? Ms.?
Then he started to wonder why women got a different title when they got
married, but men stayed the same. But he didn’t have time to wonder very long
He needed to know the correct title so he would seem like an
appreciative student. He looked again at his assignment slip – Terry Hasenmiller.
No help there – that first name could go either way. He decided to settle on
“Teacher” as a safe bet.
After the preliminary instructions when it was determined
that Morris wasn’t a complete beginner at cycling, the instructor decided to go
over all the tips and tricks on how to maintain a bicycle. “As my teacher
always says ‘if you take care of your tools, they’ll take care of you’.”
Bicycles weren’t for exercise in those days. They were a
necessity in a culture that seemed to be going faster and faster. A bicycle
(never a “bike” according to Terry) was what made it possible to get a job or
an education other than just from what was around you. The bicycle was the
great weapon against mediocrity and even poverty. With a bicycle you could
pedal your way out of whatever you’d been born into and make for yourself a
better future. You were no longer limited by your circumstances – you could
This attitude is why Terry was still alive – in spite of
being a skeleton. Terry didn’t let something as common as death put an end to a
good life. Terry hadn’t always taught people how to ride a bicycle, but it made
sense now. If it weren’t for the bicycle, Terry would never have known there
was a different life, ready for the taking, just on down the road. If it
weren’t for the bicycle, Terry would probably be just like everyone else in
that town – poor and content with a sixth-grade education.