Torn. Thoughts on #Yesallwomen

I’m really torn about the #Yesallwomen tag. It is starting to sound like an airing of grievances. I have my own list, trust me. I thought about posting it. But how will this heal us? Men and women are both feeling alienated and misunderstood and threatened. What can we do to teach boundaries and compassion and respect? How do we build a bridge? What can we as a community, as a culture, do to stop the psychic pain that causes these outbursts of random violence?

This isn’t about gun control.

It would be stupid to think that banning guns will do any good. The cat is already out of the bag. If we ban guns, then only the “bad guys” will have guns. That isn’t safer. That is actually more dangerous. I’m not saying everybody needs to have a gun either. I’m saying that it is too late to even talk about gun control. In the last two examples of mass murder a knife was used. It isn’t about guns. It is about violence. What pushes someone to the point that they kill?

We need people control. We need self respect, and respect for others. We need for everybody to learn how to establish and enforce and respect boundaries in themselves and in others.

This isn’t about mental illness either.

Involuntarily committing people just because they are odd or different is a very dangerous idea. There are reasons why people have to present a clear example of being a danger to themselves or others before they are involuntarily committed. It is to prevent someone being essentially imprisoned without cause.

If we committed every person who was different, fully half the population would be in a mental institution. Who would get to decide what is “normal”? Who would be in charge? If you vote differently, don’t make enough money, go to the “wrong” church or no church at all – you are different. In you go. Sure, the idea of committing all the “crazy” people seems like a good idea, until you are the “crazy” one, according to someone else’s standards. You haven’t done anything wrong, but they think you might.

See how this sounds?

Speaking from the perspective as someone who has voluntarily committed herself twice, mental hospitals aren’t a great idea. A mental institution is not a place to learn how to be healthy. It is not a place where you are taught good coping skills and how to deal with the “real world.”

It is more like a holding cell. It is a place where you get medicated to the point of being a zombie. Of course people stop taking their medications when they get out. They don’t see the point of them. They make them feel terrible. The medications often make it harder to be a human being, not easier.

It would be better if mental hospitals taught people how to prepare healthy food for themselves, how to choose an exercise routine they can stick with, and how to interact with other people in a healthy way. If you can’t handle life before, you certainly can’t handle it when you are on drugs that make your thinking processes fuzzy. It is better to teach people how to be people first.

We need to rethink everything.

We have failed our boys. We have failed our girls. We have failed as a culture. These no longer random acts of violence have taught us this.

How do we change? What can we do to heal this rift?

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Rock with holes

I found this rock at a thrift store in Boone, NC.

rock2

It cost a dollar. I was on the lookout for something to use as a “talking piece” when I do a circle. That is the thing that you hold while you talk, and everybody has to listen. Then you hand it to the next person.

But I also like cool rocks. I have a collection of rocks from all over.

I was wondering what could have caused these holes. Erosion? Animals?

I Googled “rock with holes” and came up with the most likely option so far – pholad boring.

“Pholads are small bivalves that bore holes into shore rocks a few centimeters across, living their lives inside that shelter and sticking their siphuncles out to filter the seawater. If you’re at a rocky shore, or if you suspect that a rock has once been there, then look for these biological holes, a type of organic weathering. Other marine creatures make marks in rocks too, but the real holes generally belong to pholads.” (From the article “11 Types of Holes in Rocks” on the Geology section of About.com)

These pholads are known as “angelwings” because of the shape of their shell.

pholad4

Here are some pictures from that article.

pholad3pholad2pholad1

Then this started a whole line of thinking. The rocks themselves are made of limestone, which is, in itself, derived from other sea creatures’ shells. Many animals with shells lived and died, and their shells degraded and got compressed together and shaped into a rock. So these modern shelled creatures are actually living inside the remains of other shelled creatures, which are many many years distantly dead.

Also, I find it interesting that these creatures have a shelled body, but they feel the need to dig a hole into a rock for even more protection. They never leave this hole. They live their lives here. Reminds me of some people I know. They’ve traded in safety for boring.

But, back to the rock with holes.

This is known as “bioturbation.” It happens any time a living creature disturbs soil. Sea creatures do it, insects do it, animals do it – including humans.

Back to the About.com article – “One of the agents of organic weathering, bioturbation is the disturbance of the soil or sediment by living things. It may include displacing soil by plant roots, digging by burrowing animals (such as ants or rodents), pushing sediment aside (such as in animal tracks), or eating and excreting sediment, as earthworms do. Bioturbation aids the penetration of air and water and loosens sediment to promote winnowing or washing.”

Cool, right? And I just thought it looked like a potato with the “eyes” cut out. I’d seen rocks with these kinds of holes before but never knew how to look it up. I’m so glad that a search term as simple as “rock with holes” was enough to get me on the right track.

Later I was playing with it and found out that the holes can be used in a flute-like manner. Yes, this means I can play my rock. More importantly, it means that I tried to play it.

I’m glad I’ve gotten back to the state of being a child.

Edit 7-4-17:
I have learned that rocks with holes all the way through are sometimes known as “Hag stones”. From the Etsy shop “SeaMadeDesigns” – – “Hag stones, in folk magic systems, these are often believed to ward off the dead, curses, witches, sickness, and nightmares. They are also used as windows or doorways to see ‘otherworlds’, invisible spirits, or how a being ‘really’ looks beyond their physical image. They have always been deemed a rare and treasured stone.” The item description also refers to them as healing stone, Odin stone, adder stone, fairy stone, alter stone