Tag Archives: autobiography

– Glad I shared a Smile that day…

Short story: glad I smiled at someone I did not know -who thanked me, and made me grateful to be alive, back in 2005. And also today.

Less short version of the story:
Ok, so after a useless day yesterday of only 1100 words written, and desperate fears of 8 more days zero, (I have another 10k words to write), I was reflecting on the use, or lack thereof, of my life.
moving morose meditation on beauty to bottom…

When I lived in Izmir, that summer I took long walks on Saturday afternoons. I had the habit of smiling, or at least nodding, to every person I saw because frankly, I hoped someone would smile or nod back at me. At least acknowledge me as a fellow human being, as I tried to do, even passing the homeless people lining the streets as you go into the Metro (DC).

So, I nodded at a lady in passing, never met her, just kept going because I was too tired to say Gunaydin (Good Morning/afternoon in Turkish), and my Turkish was only rudimentary any way.
Then I heard a call behind me. I turned to see that woman walking back toward me, and her eyes were glistening.
She put her hand on my chest, nothing scary, nothing sexual, just an ordinary safe contact, and said, in very simple Turkish that was clear and slow, that in five years in Izmir, no one had every greeted her. She thanked me, and I nodded in return, too moved to get out even one word of Turkish. We both turned and went our own ways. And now, over ten years later, I am glad that I smiled at a random person whom I had never met, and never saw again.
I hope that I can share that joy with …
Everyone.

On the uselessness of being beautiful:
I have always hated being called pretty, beautiful, fine, foxy, etc, and being thanked for existing by some guy who apparently thought I was the equivalent of a painting on the wall for him to admire. well, not so useful. But when YOU (any of you, dear readers!!) smile, you too are beautiful, no matter what you look like. You are beautiful, and USEFUL, when you smile at another human being just to acknowledge that he (or she) too, exists, and is worthy of recognition as a human being.
Smiles, (2000 more words to go, it is 3:30pm -aghh!!)
Shira
24 November, 12015 HE

19.2.12016 edit via old LJ post from 2008-11-28 00:19:00

“kalbin temizmis”

“Feeling very grateful recalling a friend telling me ‘my heart must be pure’ to have found her just when I needed her, to help another friend with a CV.

Feeling grateful for the lady in Izmir who expressed such appreciation for a simple greeting in the street, and the other lady in Izmir who told me that our half hour conversation on life (in Turkish) was worth more than any English lesson.
Grateful for those whom I have helped, and for those who help me, for my dostumlar, my truest and closest friends, who really are family for me.
May I always remember your love, and love you all in return."

(STILL grateful!!  :-)  Peace, ...)

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
19 February, 12016 HE

– Why we should be doing Tai Chi (and training pigeons) in the Parks

First of all, it gives us something in common with our future conquerors, ok just kidding!!

First of all, it is a Free way to socialize in a non-superficial way.
Second, it is physically and mentally health-full (free) activity.
Third, it teaches part of the skills needed for physical self-defense.
and
Fourth, it teaches moving meditation, needed for emotional self-defense.

Did I mention that being together thing, next to other folks of all ages, especially those older folks, who know how to do it all best for having done it for years?
And did I mention the FREE thing, as in spend no money, just move slowly in the public park?

1. If the first point needs explaining, please let me know.

2. I think everyone knows the health benefits of Tai Chi.

3. Many people may not know that this Soft side complement of Chinese Kung Fu is required by many instructors, like my own Shi Fu, in addition to the so called hard side, the fast Kung Fu. The same blocks and attacks or counter-attacks are used, but as slowly as possible, forcing you to develop your balance and stong muscle coordination.
4. On emotional self-defense, of which I believe meditation is an important part, having the strength of sternum to straighten your back and say “I Refuse” to a big drunk guy can often come from your memory of many expensive Tai Chi lessons after those expensive Kung Fu lessons. Worked for me. Again, ask for details if interested, please.
Ok, time to make dinner, too bad the baby lima beans I remember as a kid no longer seem to be around. Oh well, just have to train those pigeons to go fetch some decent corn and beans. Oh, no more carrier pigeons either. What, did Tom poison them all?
Peace,
In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest

21 November, 12015 HE

– Writing a novella feels like playing Frida Kahlo, frighteningly enough…

Now I know why I avoid writing. And Frida’s story.
People came up to me after every production of that play to tell me how amazed they were, how I looked like the splitting image of Frida, and was I Mexican or Mestisa. Well, yes, as an African American of light skin with Cherokee blood, yes, I am technically a mestisa. And the splitting was happening in my own head (maybe more afa my roommates were concerned).
It’s not just to be more practical, find paying work, mend the shirts and weave a few more belts to give as birthday and holiday gifts. Those are all ‘legitimate’ reasons to avoid my writing, but I know deep down why I avoid it. Just as much as why I am compelled to write, anyway. On chapter 9 of my 50k word story, I feel the same pain, but emotionally mostly, that I felt when I played Fridah Kahlo in a community theatre for a few months. And I didn’t even have a speaking part. I just danced with furniture and la-la-lahed a bit. Nevertheless, by the end of the 6 week run, I was having back aches and depressions that made my roommates ask if acting was not a bad idea, and whether I had multiple personality disorder (sorry, now they call it Dissociative Disorder, which actually is more acurate…). And I had to ask if they were right.
Writing this damneable novella makes me feel like I am right back there, stomach cramps and all, and it is liberating yet terrifying at the same time. Can I now face what I was not strong enough to face then, and do it in a way that is not too terrible for others to read, even others who have not lived through such things? Can I write a book that other folks will actually want to read, yet taht will move them so that they can understand the perspective of someone who grew up in various types of pain, and more importantly, so that they will be moved to want to learn more about how to help all of our society, by learning how to help all of us work through our individual and collective pain and help each human being reach his or her full creative potential? Can I overcome my own fear to even get to a place to really really want to do that, and then, can I do it?
Thanks for reading this, and even more thanks my friends, if you can add your pebble to building the new edifice that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr spoke of, when he said that the structure that produces poverty needs to be rebuilt.
Here’s to rebuilding, pebble by pebble,
let our mourning not be in vain,
Peace,
Shira
16.11.12015 HE

– Seeking reviews: Stayed on Freedom’s Call: Community Cooperation…

Seeking reviews for my second book, available for free, on Community Cooperation and shared history in the Nation’s Capital (applicable all across the USA):

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21532511-stayed-on-freedom-s-call

Open Archive: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnFreedomsCall

WP : https://shiradest.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/stayed-on-freedoms-call.pdf

ShiraDest, in the year 12015 HE

Edit:  1st Walking Tour: Early Integration Neighborhoods of DC -Shepherd Park
Many thanks to those who joined us for this tour today!
Join us, if you missed this one, or again!, on Sunday, 8 Jan. 2012!!
Please feel free to leave feedback and suggestions for me on the reply comments below!
Peace.  Join us for a musical walk back in time, to the turbulent times of BlockBusting and Cooperative struggle to integrate neighborhoods, drawing together White, Jewish and Black neighbors to form a new and unique thing of beauty.
(The response to this tour, particularly by Andra, inspired me to continue with the Black-Jewish Cooperation Tours, and then to write the book…)
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
23 February, 12016 HE

– What is spirituality, and why do I care? Four reasons….

A woman came up to me, after a Zembekiko at a Greek festival in the Boston area, and asked me
‘What do you feel when you dance?’ -I had to ask her what she meant; she explained that I seemed to be in another world, as if I were having a spiritual experience, when I danced.
Upon reflection, I had to admit that she was right -the beautiful music of the Mediterranean, the Balkans, even of those wild places where men danced with swords in hand, or like Zorba, gone mad with grief -those mournful yet insistent strains pulled me into some place where life existed. A place, maybe the only place, where I felt alive.

For me, spirituality seems to be that thing that gives meaning to life, a reason to keep going day after day, eating, breathing. Why bother? Because there is beauty in this world, and each person has a particular way of looking at it -a distinctive way of seeing the world.

For me, writing makes me understand and remember how it felt to be alive, throwing myself into the air, reaching into the clouds, stretching into the breeze. When the words overwhelm me, refusing to leave me alone, writing them down is the only escape.
But then, they demand to be pondered.
The emotional work always follows the meaning -is it possible to be happy, and why does that matter? Action matters. But thoughts and feelings affect actions.

So I use four criteria to order my days:

1. An action that gives meaning to my life: either dance or write each day,
2. A thought that adds to my emotional stability each day, either comprehending my reasons for feeling/behaving a certain way, or meditation on some feeling and the causes behind that feeling, leading to a decision on how to classify and use that feeling in the future.
3. A physical action that furthers my goals for reaching my body’s fullest potential (running a marathon, for example), and
4. An action that furthers my goals for developing my fullest personal intelectual potential (reading a certain number of pages in Turkish, for example).

For me, these four things represent my personal responsibility to reach my fullest potential as a human being, spiritually (if that exists), emotionally, physically and intellectually. Now, I wonder if and how I can help others do the same?
Shira “Holocene/Human Era” Destinie
20 August, 12015 HE
Bretagne

Current Mood: calm
Current Location: A world that should be safe for ALL
Current Music: Imagine -John Lennon

Tags:

abuse, adultriteofpassage, health, jogging, marathon, meowvision, novel, survivors, tools, writing

( Cut: Semaine 11, jour 3; jeudi = session dur pour la semaine

4 km marche/course ‘J’ selon le plan, donc j’aurais du marcher/courrir, mais je trottins si lente que je me suis permets de trottiner tout les 4 km…)

J’ai commencé ventre vide et très fatiguée à cause du temps gris:
marché 5 minutes pour m’échauffer,
km 1: 12:34
km 2: 10:07
km 3: 10:10
km 4: 9:16
Totale de 4 km: 42:07 en trottinant si lentement possible sauf le dernier km.
12 minutes de marche en refroidisant.

Je remarques (mon Bescherelle, il est où ?) que j’ai senti meilleure le dernier km, quand je me suis permis de trottiner plus vite. Par contre, j’ai commencé à sentir mes gennoux aussi après quelques minutes de trot plus vite. 😦 aufff…
20.8.12015 èH )

– start Autobiography from a full CV?

While a practice novel can be autobiographical, it seems to me that a true autobiography is also good for each person to write.  It validates your life, helps you look back on what you have learned, and shares those lessons in a more structured way than a novel (and maybe in fewer than the 6 drafts that it took me to realize that my first practice novel, Creator: Friend or Foe, RealDraft6Creator Friend or Foe Beginnings is more an anger work than a novel…). So I start by annotating my CV, using middle school and high school dreams that I learned not to share (like wanting to be a dancer but hushing that up after being told that it is better to study engineering and put food on the table than to study dance and be homeless…): Shira Destinie PROFESSIONAL SKILLS Writing, YaCy Search Engine, Ubuntu, Stayed On Freedoms Call, Research, Data Synthesis, Public Speaking (sample handout: WesleyMetropolitanMemorialUMCtalk), Spanish, Biblical Hebrew, Turkish, French, Teaching Mathematics, Teaching English as a Second Language, Unix systems administration, Network Security OBJECTIVE To increase community cooperation and renewable energy usage. EDUCATION ICA certified Spanish speaking and listening: fully fluent, 11 December, 2012 University of Bath, England, UK: Master of Philosophy (MPhil), research degree, thesis through Department of Social and Policy Sciences, awarded 2010 Boston Academy of English: Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate, awarded 2004 Rivier College: Master of Arts in Teaching, taught degree, (major: Mathematics, minor: Spanish), awarded 2002 University of Baltimore: Bachelor of Science, taught degree, in Computer Science, awarded 1993 The United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, Midshipman 4th Class, 1988 Paul L. Dunbar Senior High School, Washington, DC, Pre-Engineering Program, Graduated June 1988 George Washington University, Hi-Scip, program taking courses while at Dunbar SHS, 1987-1988 (Eng. Drawing, Modern Israeli Hebrew, Jewish History 70AD-1200AD) CONTINUING EDUCATION Motor Coaching Skills Workshop, Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC, 28, November, 2012 Sarajevan Sephardic folk songs (Ladino), Flora Jagoda, Alexandria, VA, 2011- 2012 Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), Tutor refresher training: 2010, 2011 DC LEARNS Adult Education Training Core Skills Workshop, Foundations of Reading II, October 2010 Pilgrims and Pearson’s courses: Teaching English, May 2005 NH Teachers of Mathematics Conference, March 2003 5th Annual NH Jewish Educators Workshop, November 2001 LISA 2000 UNIX Systems Administration Conference, October 2000 PAID EXPERIENCE Founder: SHIR Tours, English/Spanish language step-on tours for international tour groups on motor coaches, Singing Walking and Step-On Tours featuring Black-Jewish Community Cooperation in Washington, DC, November 2011 to Present Adjunct Professor of Mathematics, Montgomery College, MD, August 2011- May 2012 Freelance Tutor: Mathematics and Biblical Hebrew, Washington,DC, 2010 to Present Mathematics and English Tutor, Spanish Interpreter, Independent contractor for Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), Washington, DC: Synthesizing and simplifying lessons, Spanish interpreting February 2010 to May 2011 Hebrew Tutor and 5th Grade Hebrew School Teacher Bethesda Jewish Congregation, MD: February 2010 to October 2010 History of Economics Lecturer University of Anahuac, Mexico: Researched, prepared and gave lessons introducing economic philosophy and history in both Spanish and in English, Fall 2009 Contract ESL Teacher Berlitz Istanbul, Yasar University Izmir, Turkey: Applied creative pedagogical techniques to make English accessible for native speakers of Turkish, 2004 to 2005 Substitute Teacher NH, MA Schools, 2002 to 2004 Hebrew School 3rd and 4th/5th Grade Hebrew School Teacher Temple Betenu, Nashua, NH, September 2001 to June 2003 Math Teacher and Unix Systems Administrator SERESC, The Brentwood School, Nashua, NH: taught high school math, designed web sites, gave Unix classes, 2001 to 2002 Adjunct Professor NH Community Technical College, Nashua, NH, CS175 (taught required course “Introduction To C++”), Fall 2001 Senior INFOSEC Engineer MITRE Corporation, Bedford, MA: Investigating and writing research reports on software applications and operating systems, Security on Linux, FreeBSD, Apache, IP Filter. Solaris 5.x, Apache SSL, Postgress, AppShield, TCP/IP LANs, sendmail, SSH, Qmail with VI in C, Excell, PowerPoint Presentations, May 2000 to December 2002 System Architect I Safety Net Solutions, Hampton, NH. Unix security, NFS/SunYP, RCS, “make files”, training peers at Volpe FAA center, 1998 to 2000 Unix LAN Systems Administrator Aspen Systems Corporation, Rockville, MD, Unix LAN Security, Raptor firewall, FTP, DNS, Perl, C, HTML, 1996 to 1998 Contractor System Administration on SCO 5.0.2. HTML, CGI, PERL, 1996 Programmer Analyst Disclosure, Inc. Bethesda, MD, HTML, CGI, PERL, C and C++, 1995 to 1996 Associate Software Engineer Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), Columbia, MD 1994 to 1995 Technical Assistant (Hubble) Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, 1992 to 1994 Data Entry Technician, Work Study University of Baltimore Library, 1991 to 1992 Store Clerk Dunkin Donuts, 1990 Summer Engineering Intern, via Morgan State University Kraft-General Foods, White Plains, NY, Summer 1989 Bakery counter staff, part time White Plains, NY, Summer 1989 Pharmacy Technician, P/T (during High School) People’s Drug Store, Dupont Circle, DC, 1986 to 1988 Summer Engineering Intern Naval Surface Weapons Center (NSWC), White Oak, MD summer 1987 Laundry employee White’s Laundry, Lynn, MA, summer, 1985 CLASSES and WORKSHOPS TAUGHT Mediterranean Dance in Historical Context teacher, Takoma Rec. Ctr, 2013 -cancelled “Community Debt Remission,” DC Beit Midrash, 20 August 2012, Washington DC JCC Economic Democracy, seminar, 5 and 12 April, 2012, DC Social Forum, Washington, DC “Shared Monetary Governance and Economic Democracy as 1/2 of Participatory Democracy”, Occupy DC, 13 November 2011, seminars at both Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square, Washington, DC. “Community Building and Shavuot,” DC Beit Midrash, 6 June 2011, JCC Washington “Mishnah Gittin and Community Empowerment via Local Currencies “Mifnei Tikkun Ha-Olam””, DC Beit Midrash, 16 August 2010, JCC Washington, DC “Green Money and Community Empowerment: Local Currencies as a project of Tikkun Olam”, Adas Israel, Tikkun Leil Shavuot, May 18th-19th 2010, Washington DC Greek Folk dance classes for community via BathLETS in Bath, England and la Casa de la Cultura in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, 2007, 2009 1 hour classes on Tablet Weaving and “Why Barcelona is Really a French Town” taught at annual SCA Pennsic Wars, 1998, Western Pennsylvania, USA Tutoring fellow student pilots at Tuskegee Airfield for Negro Airmen International, 1986 PUBLICATIONS/Reviews Book: “Stayed on Freedom’s Call” ISBN 978-3-659-24756-9, LAP Publishing, March, 2014 Practice Novel: https://shiradest.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/martin-luther-king-rabbinical-commentary-poster-inspired-a-novel/  (not published) Article: “Black and Jewish Cultures in Washington, DC: Shared History and Shared Mandate” Tifereth Israel Menorah, September 2013 Article: “Chayei Sarah & Toldot: Authoritative vs. Organic Processes ” Tifereth Israel Menorah, January 2011 Peer review of article submitted for publication in journal IJCCR, November, 2011 Article: “Widening the Sukkah: the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Shared Monetary Governance” Gather the Jews Blog, October 31, 2011, accessible online at: http://www.gatherthejews.com/2011/10/widening-the-sukkah-theoccupy- wall-street-movement-and-shared-monetary-governance/ Article: ‘MONEY AND PARTICIPATORY GOVERNANCE: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE‘ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15(A) ISSN 1325-9547, 2011 Article: ‘A Theoretical Framework for Shared Monetary Governance’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15(A) ISSN 1325-9547, 2011 Book: “Shared Monetary Governance”, ISBN 978-3-639-26780-8, VDM Publishing, August, 2010 MPhil Dissertation, June 2010, Social Policy, University of Bath, ILL: The British Library. Selected Poems in: “Poems from the Cranberry Room”, ISBN978-0595291557, iUniverse, Inc. Publishing, 2003. Poem: “Lost in a Rose”, Concrete Wolf Poetry Quarterly Issue Number 2, Summer 2001. SINGING ENGAGEMENTS Mrs. Herron Ford´s Theatre song reenactment: Marian Anderson, 22 July, 2012 “Occupy Shabbat” Niggun requests: Jewish Occupy DC., Friday, 11 November, 2011. Jerusalem Day Performance: Ring House Senior Center, Rockville, MD, June 2nd 2011. Melodic appearance, Stagehand and Director´s Assistant for script blocking as Frida Kahlo: “Variations on the Death of Trotsky” Theater at First, Somerville, MA 2004. PRESENTATIONS / TALKS Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach Drash, “Passover and How Time Banking can Ameliorate Modern Day Slavery” Classic Residences, Chevy Chase, MD, March 29th, 2013 Dvar Torah for Parashat Reéh, on Time Banks as Part Two of Community Empowerment, Tiffereth Israel Synagogue, Washington, DC, August 27th, 2011. “Community Empowerment via Time Banks” , Wesley UMC, Washington, DC, March 27th, 2011. Dvar Tikkun on “TakomaTime”, Tikkun Leil Shabbat (TLS), Washington, DC, December 17th, 2010. Parashat Re´eh -“Time Banks: Loan Remission Step Two”, Dvar Torah at Adas Israel´s Traditional Egalitarian Minyan, Washington, DC, August 7th, 2010 “La Gobernanza Compartida del Dinero”, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico, June, 2009 “Community Empowerment through Local Currencies” at The Bell, Bath, UK, July 2010 “Shared Monetary Governance” Poster Presentation at 2008 Heterodox Economics Conference, Cambridge, UK, July 2008 Departmental presentations: Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, 2007, 2008, 2009 “Is Nothing Sacred?” Storvik Storytelling competition, Post-Pennsic Dessert, MD, 1998 Community Organizing and Outreach Volunteer translator for La Cimade, Lorient, France, March 2015 to present Grant Applications Advisory Review Panelist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ FY13 Community Arts Grant Round #2 (CAG), March, 2013 Planning and facilitating “Family Values through Film and Babylon 5” series, 2011, 2013 Planned, hosted and facilitated: “The Princess Bride” film and discussion Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 “Muppet Treasure Island” film and discussion Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 Founder and facilitator: telephone-based Interfaith Prayer Circle, 2010 to present Planned, hosted and facilitated: Fourth Multi-Ethnic Evening of Song, May 22nd 2011, Muhlenberg Park, Connecticut Ave, NW Third Multi-Ethnic Evening of Song, March 27th 2011, my home, Washington, DC Second Multi-Ethnic Evening of Song, Jan 30th 2011, my home, Washington, DC Multi-Ethnic Evening of Song, Sunday, Dec 26th 2010, my home, Washington, DC Propsal: Proyecto Abuela Vida, Public Libraries: Merida, Yucatan, and Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, México, http://www.academia.edu/1658959/AbuelaVida 2009 Proposal: “Aprendizaje Participativa: Teatrales” Shira Destinie Jones con Hébert Serrano, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, and Oaxaca, México, Viernes 24.7.2009 Activist, Bath Stop War Coalition (SWC), Bath, England, UK 2006-2009 Founder, University of Baltimore chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)/Computer Science Club, 1992-1993 CANTORIAL VOLUNTEER CONTRIBUTIONS Chanted Megilat Esther, Chapter 7, Havurat Shalom, Purim 2004, Somerville, MA Chanted Parashat Vayikra, 2nd Aliyah, Zoo Minyan, March 2010 Washington, DC Chanted Hol haMoed Pesach, 2nd, 3rd Aliyot, Adas Israel TEM, April 2010 Wash., DC Chanted Parashat Bmidbar, 6th Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, May 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Ki Tavo 4th Aliyah, Zoo Minyan, August 2010, Washington, DC Led Kabbalat Shabbat part of service, Ruach Minyan, August 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Netzavim-Vayelech 2nd Aliyah, Adas Israel Traditional Egalitarian Minyan, September 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat HaAzinu 7th Aliyah and Maftir, Adas Israel Synagogue, Traditional Egalitarian Minyan, September 2010, Washington, DC Led Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv, Ruach Minyan, September 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Sukkot Shabbat CholHaMoed 4th Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, September 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Bereshit 5th Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, October 2010, Wash., DC Led Shabbat Maariv service, Ruach Minyan, October 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Noach 5th Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, October 2010, Wash., DC Led Kabbalat Shabbat, Ruach Minyan, November 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Vayishlach minchah 1st Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, November 2010, Wash., DC Chanted Parashat Vayishlach 1st Aliyah, Zoo Minyan, November 2010, Wash., DC Chanted Parashat Vayeshev 1st Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, November 2010, Wash., DC Led Shabbat Maariv service, Zoo Minyan, December 2010, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat VaYigash 2nd Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, December 2010, Wash., DC Chanted Parashat Vayera 3rd Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, January 2011, Washington, DC Led Shabbat Maariv service, Ruach Minyan, January 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Mishpatim 4th Aliyah, Adas Israel TEM, January 2011, Wash., DC Led Kiddush and Mezumin by invitation, Ruach Minyan, April 2011, Washington, DC Led Kabbalat Shabbat, Ruach Minyan, May 2011, Washington, DC Led Shabbat Maariv service, Ruach Minyan, June 2011, Washington, DC Chanted for Rosh Chodesh, Adas Israel morning minyan, July 2011, Washington, DC Chanted for Rosh Chodesh, Adas Israel morning minyan, August 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat VaEtchanan 1st Aliyah, Adas Israel Shabbat Minchah and Monday and Thursday morning daily minyan readings, August 2011, Wash., DC Chanted Parashat VaEtchanan 1st Aliyah, Tiffereth Israel, August 2011, Wash., DC Chanted Parashat Shoftim 6th Aliyah, Tiffereth Israel, September 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Ki Tavo 1st Aliyah, Adas Israel Shabbat Minchah and Monday morning and Thursday morning daily minyan readings, September 2011, Wash., DC Chanted Parashat Ki Tavo 1st Aliyah, Tiffereth Israel, September 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Shmini Atzeret Aliyot 2-4, Tiffereth Israel, October 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Toldot 7th Aliyah, Tiffereth Israel, November 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Miketz 6th Aliyah, Tiffereth Israel, December 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Yayigash 4th Aliyah, Tiffereth Israel, December 2011, Washington, DC Chanted Megilat Esther, Chapter 7, Tiffereth Israel, March 2012, Washington, DC Led Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv, Silver Spring Egalitarian Minyan, March 30, 2012 Chanted Shabbat Pesach days 1 and 8 #1, Tiffereth Israel, April 2012, Washington, DC Led Psukei D´Zimrah (Shabbat) service, Tiffereth Israel, 26 May 2012, Washington, DC Chanted Shavuot DayI 5th Aliyah, Tiffereth Israel, Sunday, 27 May 2012, Washington, DC Chanted for Rosh Chodesh, Tiffereth Israel, Sunday, August 2012, Washington, DC Chanted Parashat Bo, Aliyah Rishon, Ohr Kodesh, 17 January, 2013, Chevy Chase, MD Chanted Parashat Yitro Rishon, Ohr Kodesh, 28, 31 January, 2013, Chevy Chase, MD Chanted Parashat Yitro Rishon, Tiffereth Israel, 2 February, 2013, Washington, DC Chanted for Rosh Chodesh Chanukah, Women of the Wall service at Adas Israel, Friday, 14 December 2012, and Monday, 11 February, 2013, Washington, DC Chanted Megilat Esther, Ch. 7, Tiffereth Israel, 23,24 February 2013, Washington, DC Led Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv, Classic Residences, 29.3.2013, Chevy Chase, MD Chanted for Rosh Chodesh for Washington Women of the Wall, 11.4.13, Tiffereth Israel Led Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv, Silver Spring Egalitarian Minyan, 19 April, 2013 Chanted Parashat Emor Shlishi, Tiffereth Israel, 27 April, 2013, Washington, DC Led Shabbat Maariv service, Tiffereth Israel, 3 May 2013, Washington, DC OTHER ACTIVITIES Joined Women´s Chevra Kadisha of Greater Washington, DC January, 2013, Sang Negro Freedom Spirituals, Sephardic ballads, Hebrew and Spanish songs: Takoma Park Open Mic, Modern Times Cafe Open Mic, The DC Center for GLBT Rights Open Mic and poetry performance nights: 2010- 2012, SERVAS hostess, 2003-2005, Volunteer Receptionist Latino Community Center, Nashua NH, Summer 2002, Exercise and cleaning/care for horses, Nashua, NH and Puerto Morelos, MX, Fencing, Weaving, Markland ‘Battle of Hastings’ Reenactor, Capitol Area Food Bank Volunteer (1997), Civil Air Patrol, National Capital Wing (cadet Lt. Colonel -1987, Bolling Cadet Squadron, Bolling AFB) (1985-1989), Israel Scholarship: Council of the Great City Schools (November, 1987), Tuskegee Summer Flight Scholarship: Negro Airmen International (1986), passed FAA Written Exam for Private Pilot (1986) to be continued…

– Why Share Your Story?

For similar reasons to why ALL should write a book

Protect Others via:

Protect Others: Tell Your Story (Please Help Break the Silence-Shame-Intimidation-Exploitation CYCLE …)

How can telling your story, as one friend told me, protect others?  I suppose that as one progresses, and learns

how to overcome, those lessons learned along the way can help prevent that same harm from befalling other

vulnerable people.  But how?

1.
Well, if the first childhood memory is one of sad anger, of loss, the green Caddy driving to NYC may impede, for a

lifetime, that love of large cars and of the Big Apple that so many Americans seem to boast.  If that memory is

tied to a borough where the kids rejected you, and your next memory was of being locked in a room, at 4 years of

age, hearing your mothers screams as furniture fell and things broke in the living room, as her boyfriend beat

her, how do you use this to protect others?

By coming up with a plan for teaching children to protect themselves from silence, from shame, intimidation and

from exploitation, via:

A New Adult Rite of Passage:  http://meowdate.dreamwidth.org/6177.html

2.
If one was sexually abused at 6, and told not to tell, how do we protect children from parents who can protect

neither their children nor themselves?          -Teach kids that Silence = Death, because silence can lead to

suicide, after a few years.

3.
If one took refuge from bullies by running and retreating, how to undo that shame?  -Teach kids that we ALL have a

right to our personal boundaries, to equal bodily respect, and to equal human dignity.

4.
If one was refused self-defense because “young ladies don’t fight” but they can come home in bruises that will be

ignored, how does one learn to stand up to intimidation?  -Teach kids that if you stand up, you might or might not

be hurt today, but if you cower you WILL agonise for years to come.

5.
If one was physically and sexually abused as a teenager, with all the blame heaped on a 15 year old, how to learn

not to exploit nor be exploited?  -Gandhi and Frankl cite adult choice and power: UpHold your Values and Create.

6.  Only then is one ready to be An Adult: http://adulthoodchallenge.dreamwidth.org/318.html

(This is the real answer to Millie’s question:
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/7591180-answer-to-millie-s-question-on-education)

((and a summary of the Adulthood thread: http://meowdate.dreamwidth.org/tag/adultriteofpassage))

ShiraDest,
April, 12015 HE (Holocene/Human Era)

(original post at: http://meowdate.dreamwidth.org/12873.html earlier today….)

– Babel: The block of marble from which a short story may be released

This began as part of my practice novel, or should I say, my practice autobiography in story form?  -fr. ‘Angels: Friends or Foes’ and CFoF: Book 1 Beginnings

Many thanks to N. for emailing to say that this story made her think of worker’s rights (she is an HR recruiter) in a new light.
Worker’s right are also Human Rights…
Shira,
November, 12015 HE (the Holocene Calendar)

Babel

Shouting to make himself heard over the din of the other workers, the new finisher introduced himself to his coworker, whom he had not yet had time to meet.

Benim adım Kahraman. Yeni geldim bu gün buraya.” While introductions took time away from getting the job done, they sped up the process of work over the long time, since work teams tended to work more quickly and fluidly together when they knew one another and which sets of words each person preferred. The protocol in introducing oneself was to use his own preferred words, in the order he liked, and the reply would tell him what the new coworker´s preferred words and word order were. It might be hard to figure out how to order words sometimes, but in general this system worked well for showing politeness while getting the job done simultaneously. That reduced the need for work breaks and small talk among the workers, improving production dramatically. They were all keen to get this job done as soon as possible. At least all of the human workers were. Their Guardians were mostly less than thrilled with this idea, since their charges kept dying in rather large numbers. The directives against interference made it very difficult to do anything to protect their charges, for those Guardians who cared to try to do so, since their original ‘minimal interference’ directives had shaped most of the currently existing Guardians. The newer guardians, instantiated with the new generation of human beings born after the Great Death, had a slightly different set of instructions than the oldest Guardians, who were instantiated for the handful of human beings still living who had been born before the Great Death. These more wide ranging instructions allowed a bit more leeway, but most guardians did not use that leeway, since the supervising guardians discouraged initiative. Now that the human population was beginning to recover from the Great Death, more and more new guardians had to be instantiated for the new baby human beings. If this guardian did not know better, it would seem that report reception acknowledgment times were slowing down, and that the new guardians were taking longer after conception reports to be instantiated. Whether this was a result of the Great Death or not, who could say. Most human beings told the story as one of a great flood, although a small number preserved the more accurate version, including the two great storms which had come together at the same time that a sea quake in the ocean closest to the two great rocks sheltering the sea from the western ocean produced a great tidal wave which overwhelmed even the great civilizations on the largest islands in the eastern section of the sea on whose shores the humans had clustered. When the flooding was compounded by a great tsunami a few days later, from the other side of the two great rivers, overwhelming both of those rivers which watered the crescent shaped land between them, to the east of the original warm human settlement area further south, nearly all of the cities which the human beings had ever built were lost. Some few survived in the mountains, isolated human settlements to the north, but so many of these died out that eventuality nearly all of the humans alive had ancestors whose homes were destroyed by these coincidental storms and waves. Such a shame that they had not yet invented ways to save themselves. It might yet happen that this experiment could fail simply because the humans might not advance quickly enough to avoid being wiped out by the freak accidents of their home planet environment. Then again, they could also wipe themselves out by altering their environment too much, as they were already beginning to do. But at least the spirit of cooperation was beginning to grow amongst them, even if for the wrong reasons. The ethical code to which the Creator was allowing the newly instantiated guardians to encourage the newly born human beings to adhere to was, as the Light Bearer was rumored to have said (no one had seen her, outside of the guardian of the very first newly born baby girl, now a woman, who was under direct orders from the great Creator himself not to speak to the newly instantiated guardians) that this ethical system needed strengthening and far greater levels of encouragement and interference on the part of the guardians. This was becoming a source of controversy among the newer guardians, now that greater levels of free will and autonomy were also being allowed for newly instantiated guardians. As the human population grew, the Creator was taking a more and hands off approach, it seemed, to the new human beings. He decided to send a welcome message to the guardian of this newly contacted human being, to find out how things would go. The response was “Look to your own charge.” Ok, that settled that.

Bana o matkap verir misin, yanındakı adamı söylebilirmisin acaba? Sesim onu gelmiyor benden çünkü.” Leaning into the ear of his fellow finisher.

They were working up on the highest floor that had thus far been completed by the basic workers, who had laid the bricks on this level and moved on to lay bricks on higher levels, while the finishers came behind them, mounting beautiful polished stone and olive wood ornamentation as a facade in front of the brick-filled exterior walls of the rising tower. King Nimrod paid the finishers more, as long as you had the skills and did not mind bowing down and burning incense to the King and his favorite celestial deities, some of whom demanded renunciation of honors to the Light Bearer as a prerequisite to honoring themselves. It could be a high price to pay if your only wife was one of the few left who insisted on honoring the Light Bearer as an equal partner and Creatrix along with the Creator, whom everyone knew was the great father of all of the gods. They had all taken oaths, upon being inducted into the Guild of Finishers, that they would neither honor any of the forbidden deities, such as the Light Bearer, or the Black Maiden that some called Artemis, and others called Athena, who was a virgin, but paradoxically also a fertility goddess and protector of women, nor allow members of their households to do so. Those deities required their followers, who could be men, but usually were all women, to train girls and women in the military arts, and even in the riding of horses, which was new, and a difficult feat, generally reserved for only the greatest of the warriors. They even had the gall to claim that it was women who had first learned from the Light Bearer how to cultivate and press olives, and even how to sail and navigate in ships which everyone knew were direct gifts from the Ancient Warrior himself to King Nimrod, upon the event of Nimrod´s apotheosis. Such silly woman-worship was going too far even for a cultivated and enlightened fellow like himself, who allowed his wife to honor such silly female deities. One had to humor his wife if he was not yet rich enough to support another wife or concubine. At least his only wife knew how to cook adashim. That dish would be worth selling your birthright for, if you were someone who had a birthright to sell. Here, unless you were an astrologer, only King Nimrod got the privilege of inheriting land, and also of favoring every new bride with his divine royal services on the night of her wedding, if she was a virgin. That made the institution of the birthright pretty useless, as well as making the new bride more difficult to please. Brides always boasted about how wonderful the King had been on the wedding night, but then, it was worth both of your lives if she did not boast about the King, really. King Nimrod paid well if you were a good skilled laborer on this tower project, but he was also known for occassionally throwing couples into the furnace if he thought they were making him look bad. So, deserved or not, thought, her new husband then had to try to measure up to the King´s reputation, that is, if the King did not decide to keep his new bride for the royal harem. Many women claimed they were glad to be too homely to keep the King’s interest, since he was not rumored to treat the women of his harem with much kindness. While the harem floor was rumored to be paved with gold, it was also said to be a gilded cage from which many women wished to escape.

Feeling a poke in the arm disturbed him from his revery:

“Eh, şey … o istedigim matkap bana verir misiniz, lütfen?’

Oh Right! He had forgotten all about the drill his neighbor was asking for. He was happy to ask the guy next to him for the drill if only he could make himself heard above the din of the other workers. Looking over, he saw that there were two drills within reach of the other worker. The closer one was a simple hand drill with a small crank, good for making holes in the olive wood ornaments which they were hanging on the facade face. But the drill that was slightly farther away had a larger crank handle, was heavier, and could make holes in even the polished stone they were using to make the facade. Asking a person for something like that, which takes away from his own work productivity, was always best to do using the favorite words of that person, if you knew which words he liked. It also helped to make you look more cooperative, which boosted one’s chances of getting to become a supervisor. He could reply using his own favorite words, so that the man feel like he was creating a bond with his coworker. This was encouraged on this project because the King wanted to building to be complete within his lifetime, if possible, which was a daunting undertaking. So, using his favorite words, he asked his coworker which drill he would like:

Claro que sí. Yo me llamo Sueño. Cual de los dos taladros quieres -lo que está más cerca, o el otro que es capaz de hacer huecos en la piedra tanto como en la madera?” switching words, out of politeness to his daydreaming coworker, Kahraman patiently responded:

lo más cerca por favor.”

Sueño responded with a nod, to which his Guardian sighed, worrying that Sueño´s daydreaming might bring him to a bitter end. As Sueño leaned over to speak with the worker next to him, to ask him to pass the drill, a brick from the level above them fell on his head, dazing him, causing him to lose his balance and begin to fall. Since there was no rail or safety net on or below the scaffolding, due to the fact that the wrok could be done faster that way, his neighboring coworker, the newest finisher, Kahraman, reached out to grab him and prevent him from falling.

“Well Done, Sir!” beamed Sueño´s guardian with pleasure, and recieving a:

“Just look to your own charge, and do not interfere!” response from the guardian of Kahraman.

The human foreman on that level also saw Kahraman reach out to support Sueño. Seeing this act of cooperation, which was also forbidden on the grounds that the priority in this workplace was on speedy production, and thus anything which slowed down the work was forbidden, the foreman shouted

“You, there! Leave that daydreaming idiot be to fall and get out of our way, and you get back to work, if you wish to remain part of the Finishers Guild!”

As Kahraman turned his head to see whta the foreman was saying, he too lost his balance, and then both Sueño and the heroic Kahraman, still clutching the arm of Sueño while reaching for the edge of the wall, nearly grabbed a handhold, but instead his hand reached a brick, which broke loose from its still wet mortar, and both dreamer and his would-be rescuer fell to their deaths.

As the two men were falling to their deaths, a worker shouted:

“Oh, now, look, a brick has been lost from the finishing level! Damn it, now we will have to waste time to re-lay that brick, and slow down our progress!”

at this all of the foremen began to shout at the workers, saying:

“Yes, yes, the lost brick is a shame, and so is the brick that we lost from the upper level, but stop worrying about them and get back to work now!”

As workers, lamenting the loss of the two bricks, resumed thier work, the bodies of Kahraman and Sueño lay crumpled at the base of the tower, each man moaning in his death agony, unheeded by the workers moving bricks, mortar and finishing materials around them. The bodies would be buried after dark, when no more work on the tower could be done.

Kahraman and Sueño´s guardians each reported the fall, each waited beside his human charge, recording the last breaths these two human beings would draw.

“Relax,” One guardian whispered in the ear of his charge, deciding to offer encouragement, “have no fear, your pain will soon be ended, and you have done well in your life, cooperating and helping others. Go in peace back to teh clay from which you are formed.”

The other guardian, as his charge breathed his last, only recorded and reported on the dimunition of the human population. Both of their deaths went unmourned.

As this was happening at the base of the tower, the foreman at the top of the tower, heedless of the tradegy playing out far below, was giving orders to raise the standard of the King:

“Now we will install the new tool which the King´s wise men have created to see what the gods are talking about. Now we shall begin to become one of them ourselves.”

A strange looking stone wrapped in coils of iron was hoisted to the top of the King´s standard. At once, the guardians began to hear static on several frequencies at once, as if someone were attempting to broadcast across a wide band but with too little power to have a clear signal. Upon reporting this, the Ancient Warrior decided at once to investigate in person. This was a far more advanced technology than they should be able to come up with yet. Either they had a genius working for them, which was possibe, or the young Light Bearer was interferring again, this time far too much. As the Ancient Warrior observed the humans at work, and noted the high level of cooperation in the building of the tower, he had an idea. If the young Light Bearer had helped them, by createing a tradition going back to the first woman, of cooperating, then perhaps it was time for him to see what these human beings would do when an obstacle to that cooperation was placed in their path. Reaching in, so to speak, electromagnetically to the original plane separating the corporeal part of the universe from the rest of the experiment-box, he sent a pulse, stretching his essence around the experiment-box universe, making a small change which separated the neural pathways of every human being then alive, and flipping a bit in the DNA to ensure that newly born human beings would also have this change. He waited to see the result.

-”Bana o matkap verir misin acaba?” one worker asked the other, who looked at him oddly, and then replied, with a shrug:

-“Bueno no sé por que, pero es que no entiendo lo que quieres decirme. Me puedes repitir en otras palabras, por favor?”

and the original worker looked, a quizzical and confused look on his face, and replied

“Fakat anlamiyorum size, neden hiç bilemiyorum?”

Chaos began to spread throughout the tower. Workers and foremen unable to understand one another began to shout and curse, and even bricks began to fly through the air.

The Ancient Warrior, hearing the reports of the guardians and seeing the chaos for himself, felt satisfied that the human beings building this tower would not be able to resume work for quite a few generations to come. He was not the only one to hear the reports and see the chaos.

Suddenly, the Light Bearer appeared beside him, clearly furious at his actions.

”What have you done?!  They no longer understand each other!” The Light Bearer had beamed a broad spectrum pulse message directly to the Ancient Warrior from the corporeal side of the experiment-box and then flown to see for herself.
“Oh, that.  Nothing, really, I simply closed off some of the language circuits in their neural pathways. It does not even affect them if they decide to learn to speak the other languages anyway. It merely requires them to exert a little bit more effort to understand one another. I decided that their  languages needed to be confused because they  were getting along too well.  You know whether they like it or not they need to be forced to spread out and fill the entire Earth. Remember that you, Young Light Bearer, did agree to this.”

“And just exactly how do you think they’re supposed to cooperate now that they can’t speak to each other, pantomime? Some of them are already so frustrated that they have given up trying to speak with others who do not share their favorite words. In fact, you have forced them to become even more insular and isolated within these small word groups because now they will have to spend time deciding what order in which to put the various words which they share, and how to agree on the expression of different sets of timing and situational variations using those same words. It will take them years to develop standard ways of expressing themselves, even using those same groups of words, before they can even communicate in these small groups. They may well kill each other before they find a way to cooperate amongst themselves now! How do you expect them to make progress after you have done this to them?

Believe me I am sure they will find away.  This  batch seems to be interminably rebellious far less biddable than the last two batches of sentient beings.  Besides you were invited to the conference.  If you had been there perhaps a decision would have been different young  Light Bearer.  It was your choice.  Your rebellious decision to remain away only hurt you.  The experiment will continue to run with or without you. Although you do realize that you risk becoming too enmessed with these beings staying on the corporeal plane so much.  Far too disorienting to be with physical beings when we have no physical bodies.  Surely you can see how your attitude is changing. Why don’t you see reason and come back up here with me.  Let us continue the experiment without any interference.  After all that is the point of the experiment to find out what these beings will do getting a set of ethical  directives with no interference from us.  We can’t very well find that out if you are constantly interfering and they are also spreading the information that you so foolishly giving them amongst  one another, now can we really?

Don’t be so egotistical.  That committee decision was made by a group of supervising  Guardians who always do what you want them to do.  And the idea that these human beings need to spread out and fill the earth is not a foregone conclusion.  How much can the earth sustain, to take you away if they begin making drastic changes to their environment.  Simple tools is 1 thing but if they manage to create other more advanced kinds of tools and weaponry the earth  will not be able to support very many of them.  To mention the fact that you yourself have admitted that they need some sort of guidance above and beyond the rudimentary ethical system that you have given them.  Those orders are very ambiguous imprecise and difficult to implement as a matter of fact.  Do you ever wonder why they don’t follow your orders?  If you have any questions, which I never seem to see you ask, about what they are doing with the orders and the ethical system you have given them then why did you not come to the corporeal plane yourself to see what’s going on.  Reports from the supervising Guardians do not suffice to give you all of the information about the activities of the human beings and the reasons for those activities.

Look, what reasons could they have? All I am interested in for the purposes of this experiment is the outcome.  The objective is to see how they will behave given minimal guidance and a clear set of ethical  guidelines.”

“First of all that is my very point. Your system of ethical  guidelines is not clear at all.
Second of all providing them with a set of guidelines at all is in itself interference.
And third, the fact that you have deliberately created a set of sentient feeling beings capable of doing harm to 1 another makes you responsible to interfere in order to prevent cruelty torture and oppression. For those reasons and because my voice is not heard by you I refuse to be a party to the oppressive experiment with you have insisted on creating yet again. You all but destroyed the entire population of sentient and non-sentient  beings once during this experiment.  It has already created an extensive mythology among all the human beings which will not disappear no matter how much you confuse their languages and make them spread out.  And your interference, which you  decry so much except for when you interfere, is actually going to do more harm than good for the human beings who attempt to follow your ethical guidelines.

ShiraDestinie, TellYourStory Date: (MEOW CC Date) 26.9.12014 H.E. (Holocene/Human Era)

– Here it is -the Real Draft #6! How (NOT) to Write a Practice Novel, CFoF, Book 1: Beginnings;

Organisation is definitely another key element of writing a novel.  Too many backup files and changes in one directory make for lost edits -a novelist’s nightmare.  This is why I prefer paper.

Here is the real Draft #6, with major changes to the chapter headings, and far cleaner prose, but still two main hero(ine)s :  RealDraft6Creator Friend or Foe Beginnings

ShiraDestinie, 26.9.12014 H.E.

– How (NOT) to Write a Practice Novella: “Creator, Foe”

And here is a novella version, about 35k words, of Book1, with the sex, poetry and more torn out.

Creator, Foe

ShiraDestinie, 26.9.12014 H.E.

The last version of the  novella, actually at 60k words: CFoF CFoFNovella toPost