Aunties, Uncles, Safe Harbor

It’s just the way I grew up, and I thought everybody had this, and I still think everybody should. Be good to your people. It’s just a thought for the holidays.

Growing up, my aunties and uncles were safe harbor.
Sometimes kids need a safe harbor that isn’t a parent.
Everyone benefits.

Happy all of it from my home to yours.

Scouting Gun Control Issues

So I wrote the post (pictured above) after news of a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado. This is on the heels of a mass shooting in Georgia. I wrote it right before I went to bed, and I was feeling just done with the madness. Well, if you are a thinker or a writer, as usually happens, once I laid down in the quiet, the thoughts flooded in.

A little more on this….

Everything I said in that post is 100 percent how I feel. They’re my thoughts. My wish is that I knew what to do about it, knew how to effect actual, lasting change, but my belief is that it’s not a gun problem, but a heart and soul condition. (Shameless plug: I think I have a blog post about that somewhere.) I used to think that we just need to ban every single kind of firearm, but my thoughts on that have slowly, continually evolved. I still wish we lived in a world where they didn’t exist, never existed at all, but I can wish that until the cows come home and it won’t change a single thing. So….

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Learn better; do better. Thoughts evolve, and that’s okay.

My thoughts on gun control are evolving as over the years I have come to understand and see how these types of laws can affect communities that aren’t White, and communities that sit in the lower income brackets. This is true of so many of our laws and beliefs. I believe in our 2nd Amendment as I understand it (not in the fear-based, bastardized version so many self-appointed “patriots” vomit out), but I don’t believe just anyone deserves to own a firearm either. So what are the correct parameters? I doubt we’ll ever find agreement on this either.

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The Black Panthers showed up and we clutched our pearls.

Remember that time in 1967 when the Black Panthers showed up on the steps of the California State Capitol and then-Governor Reagan (R) and his NRA cronies decided we needed gun control laws right away? Well, I don’t remember because I was barely 3 years old, but it’s not hard information to find. But yes, the NRA wanted gun control laws after that incident! (If you never stopped to wonder “why,” here’s your chance.) What I do vividly remember many times is White men and women parading, storming, and protesting at various state capitol buildings, other federal buildings and lands armed to the freaking gills. What I also remember about those incidents is the government, the twisted NRA, and many so-called patriots saying NOTHING and doing NOTHING about it. Essentially, what I’ve seen is blatant inequality, and the silence I hear is actually an action, a stand.

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Well now, that’s a problem.

So there I was with a pretty strong thought about guns and owners, heels dug in, rock solid sentiments. The problem is it centers my own personal fears and knee-jerk reactions rather than the whole picture. It leaves out the welfare of a whole lot of people. Is this the crossroads or a complete shift? I guess I’m not totally sure yet, but I know it is different, and I know that if my thoughts or actions contribute to hurting another group through inequality or inequity, then that’s a clue that some shift needs to happen. It’s a clue tapping at me letting me know that something is unbalanced, unfair, and requires more thought. I have always chosen to be a scout rather than a follower — someone who continually seeks out a higher consciousness and willing to change direction when or where I see I can do better. I’m not afraid to find out I’m wrong. I’m not afraid to change. I’m not afraid to realize my thoughts may have been imitated without thought and it’s okay to change direction. All of that might piss off some folks, but that isn’t always what’s most important. So I adjust, transform, or switch directions.

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So here I am with little direction, nagging thoughts, armed with a scout mentality.

I’m going to stay in this inquiry until I have a solid direction. It’s important to me that the footprint I leave on others isn’t one on their backs. It’s important to me that my activism supports our Black and Brown communities in equality. It’s important to me to self-examine regularly and make sure I’m in alignment with what I say I want in the world, and that I’m not aligned out of fear. I’m going to have a conversation with a friend of mine whose ideas have also changed around gun ownership, whose ideas were much like mine and have also evolved quite a bit over the past year or so. I was invited to go to a shooting range event by that friend, and my husband and I are going to attend. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never shot a gun in my life, and they’ve always scared me. I have no clue what I might learn, who I might get to talk to, but I’m open to it all because personal evolution is calling. I’ll blog about my experiences and thoughts.

Always choose to be a scout.

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Revolution won’t happen without evolution, revelations, and reevaluation.
Debora Lynn Garcia

👉 Me, Myself, and I 👈

Good, bad, or indifferent, I’m the common denominator in every event and circumstance in my life. If I get to take credit for the celebration and praise-worthy instances, I must also take responsibility and credit for the lackluster and substandard occasions as well.

The way in was me, and so it is for the way out. If I want more, then I stay the course. If I want change, like everything else, that movement begins with me as well.

Simply because I’m human and share the planet, life sends me surprises. I may not be responsible for that, but I am still at the center of the space created from my own response.

A Day In the Life of a Sensitive Soul

Sensitive soul
Seized by ugliness
Surrounded by meanness
Hemmed in by damage
I absorb it all down through my soul
My cells weakened by it all
My soul can’t take another hit
I wonder why I am so sensitive
Why I attract damaged souls
Irrationality finds me under every glimmer
Why can’t I be Teflon

My soul craves peace, but it eludes me at every turn
Teases me at every corner
Calls out to me behind every door
Blows by the window
Wafts by my face
Flits about my nose
Taps me on my head
Brushes against me
Before it whisks away, never to stay

Too hurt to reach out anymore
Too tired of being turned upon
Too unsure of what to do next
Too bewildered by misunderstanding
Longing for days that won’t come back
Regretting choices that can’t be turned around
Betrayed by promises never fulfilled
Saddened by bottomless circumstances
Disillusioned by treacherous souls
Weary from forcing smiles
I dream of days of do-overs

It all affects me
Family, friends, health, the news, the world
I am paralyzed today
Unable to move
Laden with the weight of it all
Absorbed by my super soft cells
Like an infinite sponge
Incapable of wringing it away
Disabled by my thoughts

Knowing how some that call me love would see this
Only stumbles me more
Shoves me down further
Smothers me like a sack
At once stirs up fiery anger
And echoing sadness in a mix
That anchors me in my hole
Filled up with my own slippery thoughts
They don’t understand
And see me with eyes that lack empathy
I don’t need sympathy
But I know it’s a rare gem that feels it, too

And now the clock is speeding up
I have but hours to climb up
To fix my face, my home, my meals
To adjust my thoughts, finish my tasks
To find my smile and practice my laugh
Before my time is no longer mine alone
Because the day is more important
Because the few who rely on me mean more
At least that is what I tell myself, but really
Because only sensitive souls are supposed to know

                       by Debora Lynn Garcia