Monday, August 29, 2016

Hot Humid August Day!!

Hot humid summer day & the energy level is quite low.  Wishing there were a nice bed available for a nap on crisp clean sheets and cool pillows.  Not so!  Am waiting to teach a class and the heat & steamy weather makes it challenging.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Responses - Ten Minute Timed Writing Prompts - Vermont

Responses - ten minutes timed writing from prompts.  Goddard campus - near the Tea House
Sam tied the strings to his apron around himself; and looked up.  
“Another grueling day!”
It was still so early, most were sleeping.
The basket is full to the brim with brie and fresh bread.  Charcuterie, and assorted pickles.  Delectables!  Sweets!~  Yes.  The basket includes lemon bars and a sweet raspberry torte with chocolate layers.  Orangina and red wine with crystal tumblers for picnic use - nothing too fragile.
The picnic is in the fall on Georges Island.  Took a ferry and am glad for the crisp, cool breezes before winter; before the ferry stops.
Myself and my girl.  My California girl, who’s stayed in Boston to be with me.  She’s game for everything!  She’s ready for new experiences and adventures.  I’m hoping she’ll fall in love with Georges Island, as quickly as she’s fallen in love with me.  Having her with me…..
At seventeen, I knew myself so very well.  My special-ness, my intellectual prowess.  I knew to the core, I was destined for ‘great things’ - significant and phenomenal contributions to society.
As a child, and on the very precipice - the edge - the one more step to adulthood.  Not womanhood, as I have & still do think that gender and roles attached to gender are superfluous -- driven by ignorant people.  It’s totally about our “human-ness” - our humanity.  A belief then and now.  The mind, the thoughts, the articulation of questions - that’s critical and important.  That’s who I am!!!  Thought seeking wisdom.
At some point in my life, I forgot that or maybe didn’t forget, but put it aside -- deep down -- in another realm.
I’m truly happy - content-alive - when thinking and learning; when the journey includes philosophical ‘pause’.
It is not the norm.  I’ve always been different in this way.  I was not interested in rollerskating or clubs (unless it was drama) and seldom had interest in those frivolous, scheduled time with friends.
Give me an idea, an issue, a problem and let’s discuss and come together, collaborate on a solution, a dissection - of it.
Inspiring writing - to block - my initial sense is to use and think about obstructionist concept. An obstacle - full stop.  I think about soccer, as I am a Master Spectator of the sport.  “The block” - defenders - teamwork defending the net or is it really about the individual and the focus on the game?  Block to win!  Block to shift power.  Perhaps, defenders and blocking isn't it afterall. The running through, around or over or under - the block is the thing.
Is this why I love the game - so?  And the players?  The ever-so clever players - strategizing as a team and strategizing as an individual.  Has soccer and the intricate play and energy become an idealized frame for my life?
I haven’t ended all the time for this prompt. I’m blocked.  
I am so very happy to be here - at Goddard - in the garden.
Sitting, feet dangling over the concrete wall.  The sea wall, built up to keep the sand, surf and small cottages within the lines.
My bottom on the concrete wall and it’s feeling rough on my upper thighs, where the skin is bare and the material from my shorts doesn’t protect me from the roughness.
I’m sitting up - straight with my hands flat on either side of me - securing myself on the wall.
Looking out - the blue sky, fluffed up - white clouds - static not moving today.
I hear the rhythmic sea, with gentle clapping at the edges of the tan sandy beach.  The sea, foaming, ok - so, delicately and dancing and a ballet - strong and not.
“All’s Fair in Love and War”  Is this a truism?  Human nature, a hereditary piece of men and women compelled to get the ‘win’.  Win the prize - power & to prevail - no matter the ‘What!”.
My truth and journey is counter - “cliche”.
I’ll have to stop.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Love - jk cosmos (writing group prompt)

Love - jk cosmos

He met me at the airport, greeting me as I stepped off and into his arms.  Harris was the most passionate man and lover.  How could I not love him?  How could any woman refuse him? I met him in a cafe in Athens on a boulevard near King George Hotel, at a time of upheaval in Greece.  The conversation turned to love and life and the ‘what ifs?’.  I fell hard and most of my plans were rearranged to be with him.  Greatist love?  Certainly greatest passion.
Stepping off the plane, I felt something else, and certainly not love.  Looking at his smiling eyes, and admiring his handsome face, masculine face; masculine everything.  I was embarrassed and turned to Mario and turned to my true and beautiful romantic love.  The man I met on Skathios in the airport and the one where there was such a magnetic and compelling pull; an energy and total understanding.  Love is more than the passion, isn’t it?  I knew that physicality was important and held his tender, generous love close to my heart.  I said ‘Yes.’ when he asked me to marry him; Harris - that is.  Yes, after three brief weeks of being together, he brought me to his family; to meet his family and it was all quite wonderful; a happy, joyous time. Harris was kind, hmm, I said that, didn’t I?
Mario, the guy, the love, the one that held the world and life in such a similar way, that I truly and totally fell in love.  Love, a concept about more than one or another level of affection?  Of passion?  What, exactly, is that one true love?  I have considered so many variables, so many features and definitions of love.  He, too, had large brown eyes, and curly, soft long brown hair; dark brown, mahogany brown with tendrils falling beyond his collar. Beyond, his broad shoulders and most amazing energy, beyond his tall and slender build, Mario had a warmth and kindness and gentleness that was magic.  He was very intelligent and talking with him went beyond a conversation; it was a knowing and a similar view of what is important. He was gorgeous!
What can I do about Harris?  And how to let Harris know that I will not be marrying him? It’s not possible to marry and live a life together, when I have fallen in love with someone else. It’s unimaginable to love this lovely man, when my soul and very being must be with Mario.  
And so, I kissed Harris and I knew it was over between us.  I kissed Harris, and I felt Mario’s gaze upon me, a gaze of understanding and of love.  I kissed Harris and we left the airport; it was the beginning of an unraveling between us.  Harris knew, or should have known.  I wonder still if that kiss betrayed my change of heart.  Harris and I continued and we went along together for a few days only. I decided to return to the States and I promised to plan a meeting with Mario. And yet, I  hadn’t altogether broken it off with Harris.
Mario had been open and insistent; both - at the same time and I knew that I would be making plans to visit him in Swaziland, South Africa - his home.  I also knew and felt a secure and laid-back energy, a warmth of love that was between us.  I was confident that we would marry and welcomed being with him for the rest of my life.
Home, and my closest and most lovely and loved confidant, my father, agreed that I must go and visit Mario in Swaziland.  Relief and a renewed knowing of gong to him and being with him; and my father had been open to that possibility and approved.  There was no impediment; I started to plan my transfer of business to someone else, so I could leave.  I spoke with Mario, long and yes, expensive conversations.  We were in agreement.  We were in love.
And then, my father died.  He suddenly and quite unexpectedly had a heart attack and died.  He was not old, he was my best friend in the world.  He was my co-conspirator, supporting my leaving to go to my love, my Mario.  
My father’s death most certainly delayed my plans to reunite with Mario.  And, then, as people say - life goes on.  I never made that trip.  I spoke with Mario often enough for the following few months and then I married someone else.  Mario called, sometimes, and we spoke for hours.  I knew that I had made a most terrible mistake.
When my marriage ended, Mario offered to come to the States, to be with me and my sons.  To renew our love, in person, in real life and real time and without any illusions.  I wanted him to come and to be with me and my young sons.  I cried so many days and nights about the loss of our chance to be together.  I was already in the fight of my life, a custody battle with my former husband that took over any chance of happiness.  After, most likely, too much thought, I asked Mario not to come to the States as I might lose my children.  He deferred his trip, he agreed to my request.  I loved him even more.
He married after meeting a Dutch woman on a cruise.  They have twin daughters and Mario and I lost touch.  I think of him and I love him.  I regret not letting him come to help me, to love me and to heal my soul with his love.
I think of Harris, the man I had agreed to marry and wonder if he thinks of me.  Does he think of me as someone who betrayed him or someone that truly let him go for reasons beyond both of us?  I wonder even more so about Mario and if he’s had a joyful, loving life.  I hope so and I sometimes think that I should plan a trip to Swaziland and go there to see.  I should go to see his life in a country too foreign, but so beautiful, a country that my father told me to experience before he died.  One that I should experience before I die.
I am now beyond middle-aged.  I am now nearer the end of my life than the beginning or the middle and I am trying to think about what makes me happy and where my love is.  I have loving sons and I love them dearly; but not that long ago, I had a choice to go to Swaziland and marry a man who loved me and to a life that would have been quite different than the one I have lived.
There was a moment in time, when I fell in love with a man with brown eyes and a gentle soul and I am grateful; very grateful to know love.

Adjunct Faculty Gig - love students, love vibe - wish there were more in terms of security & quality of life....

Faculty at a local college - oh, happy Day!  Teaching Freshman Comp - fabulous, energizing & quite the coup!
The year was 2001, and my teaching gig as Adjunct Faculty had just begun!  Sigh! Lovely!
Slowly, I sought out & was assigned more classes at other local colleges.  Slowly, I concluded my Court-appointed criminal cases and did not seek new clients!
Transitioning from the very lucrative career of law & criminal defense was a process - one that I welcomed, after years of litigation & clients on the precipice of their lives with freedom at stake -
I welcomed being in an academic setting; with colleagues and students and my writing and my books!  That was the beginning and my idealism and innocence precluded any acknowledgement of the realities.
Reality!  Get another terminal degree and your appointment as a full-time lecturer is assured!  Well, no - that was a fantasy!  Why didn’t anyone tell me?  Why did ‘they’ let me spend five semesters, countless hours reading, annotating and writing?  Yes, and writing my name on student loans every term; signing up for debt - with a happy heart that the full-time ‘gig’ is just around the bend.
It’s still somewhere around the bend - that job, that secure, benefitted lovely job.
HA!  I’ve taught at so many colleges and had diverse, and yes, crazy schedules - teaching days and nights - even Friday nights in the ‘hood’ to piece together a life - a job rather, that supports my life.
The consistent good news is the students and being a part of their new-found passion for or renewed passion in learning, discussions - discourse on issues & truisms that matter.  No matter their competency - I love being in the class - facilitating, nudging and listening.  I’m younger for it, after all these years.
Being an adjunct faculty means random assignments of classes and numerous colleges, with Administrators that don’t seem to look at that ‘required availability form’.  How they figure what and where your classes will be is mind-boggling and nonsensical.
So, how to put it all together?  Perhaps, the trick is just - saying ‘Yes’.  ‘Yes’ to everything offered.  Hope for the best!  Nerves of steel and whispered prayer.
Beyond that, the pay is not a liveable wage and to diminish the very little value given to adjunct faculty - the payroll schedule and tendency to hold funds until way into the semester translates to no funds for rent, electricity - yes, ‘turn off’ of gas and electric is not uncommon with adjuncts - and the norm of ‘no funds’ and lack of timeliness.
How to align these problems to a solution?  Teach more, tutor more, take any job to pay bills and keep on moving; the keep on moving mantra is mine.  There are many, yes a multitude my club.  My peeps are phenomenal, humorous, smart - and very poor.  This particular common denominator is shameful-shameful to the US, the society we’ve become; and that shame shifts to us, despite our smiles and pushing forward.
It is shameful to be poor in America.  It is shameful to have multiple graduate degrees, be smart and engaging and teaching and poor.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Who asked the writer for a personality profile.  Tsipras is a phenomenal leader; he's Greek.  He cares
& he's passionate.  What can be said of US leadership - the greed and self-interest & lobbyists running the gov't. Greeks deserved some good faith negotiations, no matter the personalities. IMF walked away, World Bank & leaders of EU not only snubbed Greeks, but seemed to think they're entitled to continue the austerity to gain interest on the original investment.  Reading prize-winning economists & Lagarde agrees that Greece cannot sustain the hard-line agreement of the past.  The point is Greece gained nothing at all in the negotiations; therefore, Greeks should be on the course of self-determination.  They should restructure and move forward with tourism industry and their own management of the government. Greece should consider taking a 'sweeter' deal from Putin and collaborate with other lenders offering a better agreement.  Why not?  Greece has gained only more debt and hardship when trying to sustain w/ harsh terms agreed to by former Greek leadership.  Tsipras & Yanis are brilliant.  This writer has not done his due diligence on the history or economics, in my opinion.  Some effort on research & changing the tone of this article would be fairer to the people involved in such serious matters.
Social justice & advocating for those unable to do so has been the most significant part of my life force, energy & thought. Working towards effectuate positive change is my life & passing on what I know to my sons & my students.  Critical thinking & analysis - concepts & idea person- it defines me. A dose of good humor required in the mix.  jk cosmos

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greece v EU & Germany, in particular!

Greeks attended meetings and went into negotiations to restructure the debt and original debt payments - to the disdain of Germany IMF & World Bank.  Initially, the talks seemed to have some 'pause' to revise & rework the debt & allow Greeks to have some hope & sense that they could live and meet basic needs.  Well, that was so short-lived, the question becomes whether or not Merkel and EU ever truly had good faith efforts and best interest of anyone beyond the interest rate and pay-out???

My sense, after reading and researching, is that EU has not only been paid the original debt from Greece, but continues to set up the nation to pay more and use predatory tactics to do so; while Greek consumers have little or no funds to purchase - thus the economy spirals downward.  Closed businesses, lack of food, shelter & medical care results and continues to be the outlook for Greece.

Greece is taking on refugees and continues to pay the debt; without any relief for native Greeks.  How can the EU be so inhumane to a fellow nation?  How can the leaders truly advocate this oppression?  The greed and lack of leadership to appreciate value in other than monetary terms has resulted in the breakdown.  The true leader finds more to analyze than numbers, interest and time for payments; truly the concepts of micro & macro economics includes other variables; none of which EU has considered.

My assessment of current events between EU & Greece is that the Greeks MUST vote NO / OXI.  The gravity of the NO vote is offset by the balance of Greeks being able to self-determine, to write off the debt and not pay one more Euro - nothing/ nada to EU.  Greeks may find a 'sweet' deal with Putin, who's on the sidelines ready to loan funds to this country.  I would say 'take the deal' & keep the faith.  Greece is quite able to succeed with tourism and to continue to restructure and revamp.  I am in support of Greeks, passing on any collaborative nexus with EU and being independent and of one mind; promulgating new legislature for the sole benefit of Greeks.