Tag Archives: healing

Turkish Tuesdays, smiles, and feet as mass transit!

(Originally posted in2020, but still pertinent, if not more, today:)

Back when I lived in Izmir, I walked everywhere. Izmir does have a good bus system, btw, with a convenient Kent Cart system, like London’s Oyster card and DC’s SmarTrip card. Yet, some days, I just preferred to walk.

Yet, good Public Transit is crucial for those who cannot walk (and remember that increasingly large parts of even the American population are aging out of the ability to drive safely.  Note that I did not say the ability to drive, but the ability to do so safely…)

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

  Görüşürüz  Sevgili Arkadaşlar!   

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the words “friend” and “close friend” into Turkish.

2.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses that word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fiction, which is my personal way, hopefully to encourage empathy-building, cooperation, and inclusive thinking.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, or Lupin & $ episodes

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

handwritten chapter one semi-detailed outline from 2019...

Happiness vs. Meaning, or Just You, vs. Giving Back to Community?

Looking back on this post in March, 2022, I see that Toni Morrison’s advice was more apt:

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,”

in her  1981 speech at the Ohio Arts Council.

  Do Better is that book, for me…

(Back to earlier post:)

Here is where I am in my reflections on previous year’s mental health states, and where to go this coming year, given the temptation to give up and find the nearest convent that will have me:  I will continue to look for meaning, rather than listening to what others insist ought to make me happy.  Looking back at previous years, I can at least see progress.

“…and just the other year, in 2016, my cousin expressed the similar belief that I’d been destroyed, writing me off as hopelessly depressed, yet treating me like a pariah and leaving me alone constantly, denying that there were any family get-togethers, dinners or bbqs for the holidays. Just as Dad was abandoned, except that I have never drank nor used drugs. With family like that, who needs enemies?”

karamsar, dark or negative thinking, really?

A person in Izmir accused me of being thus, for refusing to bring a new life into this world. I beg to differ…
…nor am I an anti-social ascetic who’s been emotionally ruined by my childhood.”

So, it turns out that I’m not getting as much done as I’d planned on, not being the influence for good that I’d hoped to be, AFAIK.  As some around me urge me to look to my own benefit, rather than giving back to the community, to just help my little circle and that will make me happy, I wonder whether we live on different planets.  Happiness is not my goal, but rather meaning, and what gives me meaning, satisfaction, is knowing that I am giving back to the community, whoever that is (I don’t know), knowing that I’ve contributed in some long term way to change or bear witness to a system that needs changing before many people can have full agency in their lives.  This is something that my privileged insister seems not to want to hear or understand.   Nevertheless, it is back striving to contribute to the good, and to give back to Community, today.  

May we all be Seal in the Book for a meaningful New Year,

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

         Action Items in support of Community and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Share of two different reasons to give back to the community, as you see and define it.

2.)   Share your thoughts with your other social media or IRL friends, and tell us how it went, please,

3.) Write a book, story, blog post, or tweet that explains your views on giving back to community.  Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

B5, Hakan:Muhafiz/The ProtectorLupin, or La Casa De Papel/Money Heist Reviews,

Holistic High School Lessons,

 

Shira

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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 21): River

        Part  20 (Into The Night), was last Sunday…

       Our ride in the carriage, that night, seated back to back as Anna and I were, was at least sure against the winter chill.  I’d laid an extra blanket over little Tilly, then snuggled back up against Anna.  At some point during our ride, she had turned to cradle me in her arms as we slept.  I awoke nuzzling the inside of her neck, and rose with a start, as I saw our Tilly observing me.  My cheeks began to burn as I wondered how long she might have been awake.

 

“It’s ok, Miss Willow.  Your servant Joe Wright is here to keep us safe, Missus.”

 

I was so relieved, I hardly knew what to say.  “Oh, Tilly, you don’t need to play our game here.  We are alone.”

 

She shook her head most insistently:  “Joe told me that we are never to end this game, Miss Willow, until we are free up North.  All the way north.”  She looked at the window, covered against the cold, and against prying eyes, and inched closer, whispering, “we never know what ears may be up against this door.”

 

“That is right.”  How long had Anna been awake?  I’d not felt her move a muscle, but she was surely listening.  How did she do that?  Just then, I recalled the question which had been burning within me as we went to sleep.

 

“Miss, sorry, Joe, you said something last night about seeing Old Mary soon.  What on this Good Lord’s earth were you talking about, pray tell?”

 

Anna flashed her most devilish grin.  It was the one that promised shocking things to come.

 

“What say both of you,” she had managed to lower her voice another octave, to sound like a young boy, if not a man, “to a spot of breakfast, before I answer that question?”

 

“I am starving!”

 

I was amazed at how quietly this child could shout.

 

“Tilly,” I teased in my finest soprano whisper, which is not an easy thing to do, “you are always starving, HoneyChild!”

 

We all fell to giggling as quietly as we had whispered, as we shared out the cornbread Mrs. H. had given us to breakfast upon.  Even cold, that aroma was enticing.  It had been all she’d had to hand, so we knew we must make do on that one meal for most of this day.

 

When we had each had three chews and a swallow of our meal, I looked up again at Anna, my head tilted insistently at her, as I waited for my reply.

 

She finally rewarded me:  “Do you remember the white men who met us where we stopped with the wagon?”

 

I nodded.

 

“They were expecting to see four of us, of course.”

Of course.  I still recalled the despair of that parting.

 

“Old Mary was meant to carry you and Little Sally, while Captain here,” she lifted her head up toward the front of the carriage, “is sturdy enough for both Miss Mary and myself.  Since it was just you, they almost took Old Mary back with them, but I told them that two horses were better than one.  That is why she is here again, tied up back as the spare.“

 

Old Mary was here!  It was a pity that I had no apples or carrots for her.  That thought brought to mind the memory of my Miss Mary, for some odd reason, singing one of our favorite songs.  I wished I could go now, down to some peaceful river, thinking about a good way, a better way than this world’s way, to pray.

 

There came a knock at the carriage door, and I realized that we had not been moving for some moments.  I wondered how I had managed not to notice.  All was silent.  Another knock came, this time in three sharp raps, followed by two light knocks.  Anna nodded, and Little Tilly cracked the door open just enough to see the pair of blue eyes looking back at us, and opened it wide enough for the doctor see in.

 

“Joe, it is here that I must leave you all.  I bid you god speed.”

 

 

I saw the barest lift of his hat just as the doctor stepped back out of view, allowing our Joe to exit the carriage.  The door had clicked shut, and we’d started up again with nary a sound.  Now, we were on our own, and our safety depended upon me.

 

I decided that this was a good time to pray.

       This is the continuation scene in my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Parts   20 (Into The Night)19 (Peculiar Gifts)18 (Mouth of Babes)17 (Testing)16 (Power)15 (Knowledge)14 (Words)13 (Interruptions)12 (Gifts)11 (Punishment),  10 (Warmth),   9 (Found)8 (Lost)7 (Rock)6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.  It is my personal contribution to Project Do Better.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

   Comment: You can see how her C-PTSD is healing, in the love of this chosen/found family…

Turkish Culture and (mental) Health Care

Watching Hakan: Muhafiz has been reminding me of things I saw, but didn’t really understand until some years later, when I worked in Turkey. This is an update of a post about one of those observations.

I was very surprised, when I lived in Izmir (aka Smyrna), to see how supportive Turkish women are of one another, even in cases that I found very surprising.

A coworker of ours, a young woman, was apparently rather heavily in debt, as she came crying into the office I shared with two colleagues, one originally from Istanbul, the other originally from Bulgaria, but of Turkish origin.  Both of them turned to our younger colleague, jumped out of their chairs, and ran to hug and comfort the woman, as I tried to understand what was happening, and whether a doctor was needed.  They explained that they had both heard earlier about her troubles, and that it was just something that needed talking out, and led her into a nearby empty classroom to sit down.

Within minutes, a dozen of our colleagues, all women, all lecturers of English, had pulled the chairs into a horse-shoe shape, with this young woman at the head of the U, tissue boxes at the ready, listening and commiserating with her as she cried and explained her problem of having too many credit card bills.  I excused myself to go to the ladies room, astounded, at the time (2005).  Now, in 2020, I look back and realize that this was essentially a cultural stand-in for mental health services.   Untrained, and not trauma-related, of course.  But it is something, still, a support system, which many people lack, especially in the United States.  Especially those who struggle with childhood traumas or PTSD.

Ten years later, looking back on that, I found myself pondering social isolation and mental health from a different perspective.  I found an article related to overcoming PTSD via new neural pathway creation, and wrote:

Bloody hell -so that’s how it works!!

While she doesn’t do any brain mapping herself, Chard says this altered biology makes sense based on the fact that, as children, we are only just beginning to conceptualize the world by organizing experiences into categories. She gives this analogy, which she uses with her clients: “You see a two-year-old run up to a dog and say, ‘Doggy!’ And then she sees a cat, and she doesn’t have a schema for cat yet, so she says ‘Doggy!’ Mom says ‘Kitty,’ but everything four legs and furry is doggy until the child develops more categories.

“And then I look at my clients and say, ‘Where’s the category for child abuse?’ When you’re five, there isn’t one. The brain doesn’t have a place to store that kind of event, so it ends up bouncing around—not stored well at all in terms of a past, processed event. So what we do in therapy is bring it up, process it, make neurotransmitter connections, make sense of it with a new schema, and put it away.”

from: http://www.research.uky.edu/odyssey/spring03/puttingaway.html

Ok; now I see why it is important to re-call the experiences rather than either try to forget, or plan B.  Thank nature that the brain is sufficiently flexible (I was diagnosed in 1994 with PTSD and still criticised by a partner in 2013 for looking around all the time and jumping when a bus went by, but I thought I was being discreet -at least I no longer have major panic attacks…)

ShiraDest

March, 12015 HE

So, it turns out that social support can help, but with pre-verbal age traumas, talking can also help. So, yes, talking does help.  Interesting…

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different representatives you can write to about local health care services.

2.) Ask your reps how to increase mental health care services in your area.

3.) Share  with us in the comments, here  other ways that you feel our society could Do Better, please.

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin,  or $ -coming soon…

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Stories, TV, and mental health

   Can a story make a difference to our outlook, or even to our lives?   

Certainly for me, sometimes even a mere television show can make a difference, as in moment 2:20 of this 7th episode of the first season of Spanish Public Television’s “El Ministerio del Tiempo.”

In the very first scene of this episode, a major character is shown, years before the present date, about to take an action that would prevent her from ever contributing again.  She is standing on a ledge, about to leap to her death.  But the person who will become her mentor, leading her into an alternative that few people know even exists, recruits her to the new job by telling her that if she jumps, those who wanted her to fail will be over joyed.  Then he says:

“No los des ese gusto.”

“Don’t give them that pleasure.”

 

And so begins the meteoric rise to heights at that point never attained by a woman, let alone a lesbian.  If such a story can move even one person to keep going, is it not valuable for the mental health of us all?

 

Action Items:

1.) What, if you wish to share, was a TV show or film that made a difference in your life?

2.) How would seeing a character on a TV show decide not to commit suicide influence someone else’s decision?

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via  GoodReads,

Vote, Teach and Learn (PDF Lesson Plans offline)

and
my Babylon 5 review posts, if you like Science Fiction,
and
a proposed Vision on Wondering Wednesdays: for a kinder world…
   

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil

the year 2021 CE =  12021 HE

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

 

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Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Minbari Mondays, And The Sky Full of Stars, and Remembering…

This is the continuation of our fictional letter (reviewing each film and episode of Babylon 5) that I receive each week from Ranger Mayann.

Here is her 10th report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this report, in your Earth year 2258, it is the second year of operation of the station. This  incident revolved around the guilt of surviving when others did not, and why it is important to remember. 

It is important to remember, even when one has acted shamefully, as our Gray Council did that day in torturing Sinclair.

Delenn gladly gave the knowledge of our biology, while confirming the sacrifice made by your Doctor Franklin, for us when we were your enemies. She was also the first to know that the Commander was missing, and the one, after Sinclair saw her in his memories, to welcome him back home.

And to protect his lie of not remembering…

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira:  This episode has one of the most telling Ivanova quotes:

 “Mr. Garibaldi, there are days I’m very glad I don’t have to think the way you do.”

And through Sinclair’s eyes, we see the absolute despair of volunteering to fight an unwinnable battle, and fighting anyway, in the hope that your death can buy just enough time to save a few civilian lives.

 

That was part ten of Ranger Mayann’s letter on the history of the Babylon Project.  It can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5: Season 1, Episode 8, which I mildly recommend.  It’s an important episode, and those who like epic space battles will be happy with some scenes in this episode, but for me, as a survivor of long-lasting childhood trauma, it was hard, and is always hard, to watch this episode. 

I can feel the Commander’s grief at having lived when all of his friends died on The Line, and he alone of his squad, not to mention the vast majority of pilots who volunteered to “hold The Line” died.  I know that pain of wondering why I got out of it safely, when so many around me did not.  Events from the past can impact our current lives, and must be understood in context.

Also, do not borrow from knee-cappers!

Sorry, I did not shed any tears at the death of this idiot Ensign Red Shirt (does it seem like the gray guys from security always seem to get killed off in each episode, kind of like back in…).

On the other hand, this does remind me that we do need to do something about those predatory Pay Day lenders…

 

See Ranger Mayann’s 9th report, from last week on hate crimes.

and then

her 11th report: Minbari Mondays, Deathwalker, and Context for Understanding,

To see all of her reports, see the B5 Reviews page

    : https://shiradest.wordpress.com/b5-reviews/

 

-Shira

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on guilt, and surviving trauma, if you will.

2.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how this episode of Babylon 5 could help that process.

3.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

 

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Hakan: Muhafiz/The ProtectorLupin, or  La Casa de Papel/Money Heist Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

 
 

Shira

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Minbari Mondays, The War Prayer, and Empathy for the Other

This is the continuation of our fictional letter (reviewing each film and episode of Babylon 5) that I receive each week from Ranger Mayann.

Here is her 9th report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this report, in your Earth year 2258, it is the second year of operation of the station. This station which has so much of the love of my people, even when we were not loved there.

This report revolves around two intertwined incidents, both of which relate to the other, and to the need for empathy among all sentient species. You humans, just as we Minbari, continue to learn this lesson.

 

While one of our revered poets was on the station to visit with her old friend, Delenn, since before she was either Satai or ambassador, a terrible series of crimes was committed. The crimes affected not only the person of our Poet, but also the sense of safety, or lack thereof, for all of the vulnerable aboard the station. Even vulnerable humans, despite the attacks being carried out by human beings.

Attacks of hatred always carry a double message: one for those who were directly targeted, and one for those who were not directly targeted, but as members of the “in” group are also being reminded to “stay in line,” as you Humans put it.

Our Ambassador Delenn, and her friend, our well-known Minbari poet, were brought into closer contact with Ambassador Mollari. This series of incidents helped set Mollari, I humbly assert, on his path to possible redemption, as our Poet showed him a needed insight.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira:  This episode is one of my favorite episodes!

I think of this as the tight shoes episode!

We get to see love and hate up close and personal, and a beautiful opening, with two friends discussing the maturing of a poem begun long ago. Garibaldi makes a still valid and saddening point about the hateful attacker, as he grunts that there are

too many who agree with them, and too many more just don’t give a damn.”

I love the conversation between Mollari and the Minbari poet, where he snaps that

I would expect such logic from a poet,”

and she comes back with a beautiful reminder that

all sentient beings are best defined by their capacity and need for love.

This episode has an excellent juxtaposition of love and hatred, with the consequences of both linked through an inter-generational exploration of an existence without love. That would be the existence of ambassador Londo Mollari.

This episode also shows the importance of the role of love and visits to the sick by their loved ones in healthcare.

That would be the empathy part of healthcare.

 

That was part of Ranger Mayann’s letter on the history of the Babylon Project.  It can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5 Season 1, Episode 7: The War Prayer, which I most highly recommend.

See Ranger Mayann’s eighth report, from last week.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on hate crimes, bullying, and cultural dominance, if you will.

2.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how this episode of Babylon 5 could help that process.

3.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
ReadWrite -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

, Vote, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans offline, but no links…)

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Free copies are available at https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…

Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesday, walking as self-health care, and Glad I shared a Smile that day

Two people now have told me that this shared smile (during the 14 months I worked in Turkey) was indeed a contribution to society, even though no monetary exchange and no formal recognition was involved. Time to readjust my thinking on what makes a contribution to society, and my ability to contribute (more compassion for self and others allows greater contribution).

I walked alot, but the bus system is also pretty good in Izmir…

Inspiring Critical Thinking and Community via Books, Lessons, and Story

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…

View original post 407 more words

Thoughtful Thursdays, writing, and community vs. self-Health Care

This post dates from almost exactly five years ago, during NaNoWriMo, while writing a mere 50k word novel (more like a novella) which I am very appreciative to see being read and even enjoyed by a fellow blogger of much loved virtual acquaintance. The process of writing this short novel took me through some introspection that I hope will be helpful to others. It also makes me wonder about the role of community versus individual work on trauma recovery, and … I am a plotter, by the way! 🙂 Planning out the timeline and locations was enjoyable, and a bit cathartic, as I brushed the dust of the setting off of my feet, emotionally.

The tension between writing for myself and writing for others hangs over my head as I plan my current WiP (now, in 2020), rather far removed from this, my second NaNo novel, in 2015, in both time and mindset, given that I’ve escaped the situation that gave rise to this particular novel(la).  Yet that tension between over-sharing of emotional elements vs. writing for an audience remains, as trauma leaves its indelible mark, in the themes that return over and over again, even when settings, genre, and characters are all different.

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 accurate…). And I had to ask if they were right.
Writing this damnable 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 that 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

I think that this post dates from the day after the Bataclan attacks, in Paris.

So, it turns out that I did finish writing the 2015 book, rewriting twice, then throwing out part of the third rewrite.  More on my continuing striving with my thought next time, if you don’t mind?

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of community inclusion that you can take right now:

1.) Consider the dichotomy between individual trauma recovery (with the attendant need to share that trauma in order to feel heard) and community tranquility.

2.) Share your thoughts on the role of the community in helping trauma survivors to feel fully included in community with us in the comments, here, please.

(Did I mention that Universal Health Care with extensive early childhood severe trauma therapy would really help many individuals, and thus, society as well??)

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Turkish Tuesdays, Health Care, and Neville Longbottom and Harry as kids with PTSD?

It is interesting to see how different cultures hide the mistreatment of kids.  The Brits seem to be a bit more up front about it, but also more harsh than say, Turks, who adore children.

I am being lazy and re-reading HP2 to work on my Turkish reading, instead of continuing to slog through something by Orhan Pamuk, because I am just too tired (and I am starting to hit words like bequeath while watching my favorite family TV show of all time: My Magical Mother! (Sihirli Annem!) so it really is time to get back to some reading to keep up my Turkish.

But back to Nevile -I identified with him immediately: I was the one walking into walls in Middle School, forgetting everything, and being told to come down out of the clouds.  Now I know (and we see in later books with Neville) that these are symptoms of childhood PTSD, which presents differently than with adults.

So please, for the love of God, Humanity, Children and the Human Race, or at least for the love of the planet and the potential creativity of the human race, please look out for such signs in kids and try to understand and help them rather than yelling at them.  Don’t let them turn into Invisible Children, or worse.

In Solidarity with All Kind People,
Peace via Cooperation and Non-Cooperation,

ShiraDest
5th of December, 12015  HE

  Görüşürüz!    

Action Items in support of health and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to help abused kids in your area.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses that information, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)