It’s not like the world’s gonna end…oh wait…

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It’s hard to write about this. It’s so painfully personal. And frighteningly real. I would have a difficult time being a memoir writer.

I’ve started watching this series Quicksand. And I finished reading a book called “House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery“.

The book takes a look at the life of the writer of Anne of Green Gables. Or, in actuality, the struggles and obstacles she faced as a woman, and as a woman writer. And it’s terrible, according to my read of the book, terrible that such a talented, imaginative, intelligent girl/woman was constantly shafted, exploited, her dreams denied, her talents sidelined, and faced such heartbreaking limitations imposed on her by the world. Terrible that I can’t look at this book, and say “I’m so glad things have changed–for myself; for every girl going through girlhood right now.,” when it didn’t happen for me. And girls, now, are still not getting their big break, their chance to be an actual, valid, respected person. We are all still being told in a thousand and one ways how we aren’t good enough. And that’s on a good day. We also face actual physical horrors, or the fear of them, every minute of every day. We can get attacked, murdered even, and the perpetrator generally gets off with just a slap on the wrist, if even that. Because women still don’t matter in the eyes of the world. And I have never been more glad that I haven’t brought a daughter into this world; that at least I had the choice not to reproduce (even though I STILL constantly get asked, and then judged, because I’m not married or have children) a world and society that will not respect her individuality, encourage her strengths, and give her space and support to develop as a person.

It’s a whole system that is designed to create insanity in women, of the bipolar kind. A system that creates a schism of the spirit and mind, no matter how strong you are.

And we are still doing it to young women.

In a Quicksand episode last night, they called the girl out for having an unseemingly, criminal, and threatening personality shift–a witness had stated she had become (according to the subtitles) “cocky…arrogant” and that was part of the tactic used to establish her guilt in the crime by the detective.

Wow. I haven’t seen the end, but, goodness, she’s definitely guilty on that alone. How dare a young woman be cocky, assertive, and sure of herself? Much less arrogant?

And, yes, I’m being sarcastic.

And it really got me thinking. Well, expanded a train of thought.

What would society be like if girls, young women, and mature women weren’t constantly demeaned and sidelined?

Where would the world be if girls and young women weren’t taught that they were inferior just on the basis of their gender?  Would we even still have distinct genders, in full, tolerant actuality?

If they weren’t constantly told–by their families, by their teachers and mentors, by their peers, by advertising, by their bosses and co-workers, by their friends and romantic partners, et al–how they should be and how they shouldn’t be? How they should talk, walk, look, act, behave, dress. and then when they attempt to be all of the things they should be, they are criticized for still not being good enough for the world. Subject to a barrage of put downs, insults,  and stereotype- and limitation-based language, sold a false image of happiness they can earn only through marriage and having children, and yet disparaged if they aren’t happy because they are taking for granted or downplayed in the eyes of the world.

What would happen if girls and women were not only allowed to be themselves, judgment-free, but were also fully and completely supported to dream dreams; to be creative, expressive, sensitive, assertive, confident, powerful, determined, demanding, arrogant, and anything else they can think of to be successful and happy and fulfilled, on their own terms?

(P.S. I watched the movie Unicorn Store.)

What do you think the world would look like if women were treated like actual humans?

What would society look like if girls and women came first (among humans)?

If more girls were encouraged to be artists, scientists, engineers, writers, or anything else they wanted to be, at an early, formative age?

Why are schools still propagating standardized education that only serves to suck every ounce of creativity, intellectual curiosity, and exploration of self out of children?

And why is this discrimination and sidelining still going on against girls and women in the 21st century?

Would there be climate change?

Overpopulation?

The huge increase of animal (and plant) extinctions and animal exploitations like trophy hunting?

(I’m not upset that they world might be ending, but I am so gutted by the thought that animals and other nature is stuck with humanity on this human-created sinking ship.)

What do you think the world would look like?

Would it end up the same?

Think.

Write.

Create.

Draw.

Paint.

Change the world.

Change your world.

Because, it seems, fantasy is still only world open to women. Our inner, magical world. Despite all the attempts to ban women from thinking fancifully (among all the other thinking ways that society attempts to curtail women and girls), it’s one of the few avenues of independent thought and feeling available to women. I’m going to live in mine, to preserve it, and to keep it my own. And society be damned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collaborating with the Little Fears Creator!

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It was a fantastic experience to work with the designer (and storyteller) of the delightfully deranged Little Fears.

Of his many Little Fears characters, I selected Durthi, the plant shaman…

(Available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/657781326/durthi-portrait-a4-minimal-art-print?ref=shop_home_active_10&frs=1)

Check out the story, illustration, and video here: https://littlefears.co.uk/2019/05/05/the-shot-not-heard/.

It actually gave me chills when I listened to it, and I wrote the dang thing!

Read his  books if you want to meet the rest of the creepy, yet charming, Little Fears!

Drifting Thoughts: Without a Sense of Place

Home.

A word both tangible and illusory.

One of the most problematic words in language.

Most people feel incomplete without it.

Others, tragically, have learned that home is a false concept of security and warmth.

But many still look for it.

Even life’s wanderers.

Even me.

And I never wanted to stay in one place.

Three years, max, and I feel the desire to move on. Especially now, feeling a geographical dislocation in this high desert.

I still want to burn bridges.

To leave a wake of delightful chaos and destruction in my wake, however inconsequential.

Enough, I say. I’ve had enough of this place.

It’s okay to be a stranger. To be out of place and step no matter where you go.

But then I got tired.

I didn’t expect that.

To wake up a stranger in this aging body that I have trouble believing is still mine.

“Own it.” (No, thank you.)

What do you do when noplace wants you?

I found a cover letter for a job with a local company back in 2007 in my files. I applied when I lived here before. I’m back in this locale, and have applied to the same company quite a few times recently. It felt so silly, wasting all that recent effort that (in a random. passing realization) still hasn’t wanted to hire me.

I felt like Don Quixote. My whole life a series of tilting-at-windmills.

What do I do with a whole bunch of middle-aged angst? Excusable in the young, sometimes, but all these mixed emotions as an adult? It’s not allowed. I’m supposed to have it all figured out.

But what if you just realised you never even had the chance to figure it out when you were a kid? To not be who you were, inherently? To be taught that everything about you was somehow implicitly wrong, but then get slapped with the wake-up call that maybe, just maybe, that might actually not be true?

An entire sense of self just stolen, and you didn’t even realize the extent of the theft?

How do you go back and recover it? And why would you, at your age?

But you’ve exhausted all the possibilities. Or it feels like it. Physically, you can’t do the working-three-jobs solution you did when you were young. Jobs that sucked but gave you the illusion of independence. Of home.

But I was homeless within four walls. I didn’t own anything. I had nothing.

So I opened the door to a different room. An internal door. A door that led into creativity. Maybe not into the room of being an artist the way I always wanted as a child. Or the violinist. Or a million other lost dreams.

I was so scared.

But I opened it anyway.

I took the gamble.

And now I can’t close it.

But, why would I? So many years just trying to fit in. To conform. To keep my head down. To not rock the boat. To dress for the workplace. To work, at the cost of everything. A starving artist without even the comfort of art.

And guess what?

The gamble’s working.

I’ve had more acceptance the past few years as a hopeful writer then I have had in an entire lifetime of just trying to “get a job”.

So much support, even in rejection letters. Journals, editors, magazines–all mostly offering valuable feedback even when my stories or articles aren’t accepted.

And they are so nice.

And, even more astounding, my articles and stories are actually being accepted. At a mind-blowing, pinch-me-I’m-dreaming level. Even other writers are wonderfully supportive. I want to give acknowledgements to all but I’m forgetful in my old age sometimes, so I don’t want to leave anyone out. But you know who you are. If you follow me on Twitter, or look at the blogs I follow, and share via social media, you’ll find them. Or ask, and I’ll be glad to share links to read/purchase my works. And I try to be as supportive as possible in return, but I struggle with time management. As in there’s not enough time in the day. I feel like ambitious, hardworking Hermione, who still needed a time-turner to accomplish everything she intended to do at Hogwarts.

Have I arrived?

Not yet.

But, for the first time, I feel the inklings of what it would be like to have a sense of place. A connection. To not be the outsider eternally looking in. And I want to say, don’t let people take away your dreams. To put you down. To steal your sense of self. Even if you’re not making any money. Better to be broke and happy, then miserable and eking out an existence at a dead-end job. (Having said that, I still have a day job. *laugh*)

And, maybe someday, I’ll have roots in an actual community, too. In Glasgow. Or in Europe, somewhere. A little sea cottage by a tumultuous ocean, even. Surrounded by wilding trees, and roses by a blue front door.

Home.

 

 

( Feel free to share links to your actualised dreams, or write about them, in the comments below!–Willow)