Sunday, May 27, 2012

brick in the wall

Is it anger or envy, profit or loss
That we would choose to kill the child
Roger Waters

photo by Michael Yon. Story.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


in waters deep and fire cold
as fears rush forth and threaten old,
I watch my hand's intent unfold;
I hope I splash before I go.

unanswered prayers and furrowed brows
remove the sky and moon somehow;
my pain is freshly felt, but how
your gifts bathe me in gold.

my lover breathes His grace on me,
the window widens what I see;
I bask in setting suns and plead
to splash before I go.
  © afterthoughtcomposer

Monday, May 21, 2012

Clearcutting the Amazon

found on

"The Brazilian Congress has just passed a catastrophic forestry bill that gives loggers and farmers free rein to cut down huge swaths of the Amazon. Now only President Dilma can stop it.

Fortunately, the timing is on our side -- in weeks Dilma will host the world’s biggest environmental summit and insiders say she cannot afford to open it as the leader who approved the destruction of the rainforest. She’s facing mounting domestic pressure, with 79% of Brazilians rejecting this new bill. Now, if we join them we can turn up the global heat and push her to axe the bill, not the rainforest.

Dilma could make her decision any day. Let's get her to veto the bill now...sign the urgent petition to stop the Amazon chainsaw massacre and if you have already signed -- send this to everyone."

GO HERE to sign the petition! Not much time left to do so.

-It is calculated that there are more trees in a twenty five acre section of the Amazon than there are trees in the whole United States (source)

-The Amazon hosts the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world...[and] accounts for about 10% of the world's terrestrial primary productivity and 10% of the carbon stores in ecosystems (source)

- "If the legislation goes into effect, it could allow landowners in the Amazon to reduce obligatory forest cover to 50 percent from 80 percent, and could lead to the loss of as much as 190 million acres of forest, according to the government’s Institute for Applied Economic Research" (source)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

what people may think

photo by amanda pratt
If any person has been given any advice, it is this: "You shouldn't care what people think of you." In my younger years, I was grateful for this logic as it trained me, many times, in the art of Schoolyard Survival. Anytime I was picked on, bullied, made fun of or teased, I would repeat to myself (internally, of course), "I do not care what you think of me." It may have been a lie I told myself, but it helped all the same. It helped me hide; it helped me pretend my way out.

In recent months, though, I have begun to question the validity of this oft' repeated adage. Only ever given in times of hardship, or as an offering of false pride, this advice is shared as a way to help us reject the things we do not want to hear, regardless of validity. It also teaches avoidance instead of confrontation. Accepted wisdom suggests that we should care when the words and thoughts of others are good: complements are to be cherished, framed and hung, and applied with vigor to aching self esteems or overinflated confidences. Insults and criticisms, on the other hand, are to be discarded - of course! - because you are not to care what people think of you. If you are made fun of, act nonchalant, because you don't care. So you see there are two sides to this conversation: one which abhors and hides from criticism, and one which delights in the complimentary. But I ask you, where is the middle?

Truth be told, I have always cared what people think of me, and still do. I want to be liked, cared about, loved, thought to be beautiful and have people laugh at my jokes. More than that, I want to know if I am communicating well, alienating people, or hurting feelings. In reality, I have spent far too much time trying to convince myself that people like me, care about me, think I'm beautiful and funny, without ever knowing it full well. I have hurt people and not known it until much later, I have spoken out of turn and ignored the signs I did so. This is just one of the problems with 'not caring' - eventually, as an act of the subconscious, you will enter a moment where you should, and you won't. At current, I am stuck in an awkward dichotomy: caring but not wanting to, and not caring when I want to. What I would love is to remain neutral, for my self esteem to be stationary and separate from commentary; none of this flipping around with the social weather. In other words, I want my self esteem to be self sufficient.

The issue is forcing itself upon me as as of late. I am in regular contact with women and men who act worse than the girls in my high school. They satiate on the humanity of others, and puff themselves above it. They love you until you leave the room. They praise your work until you are out of earshot. They value the Better Story, not the Truth. I walk around daily, in amongst these people, knowing some in this circle are speaking more often of me than to, and I admit it is hard to handle. There is no way for me to gauge where I stand with them. Regardless of the advice, I care. It matters to me how I am perceived, because it matters to me how I effect people. I can not separate the two. And yet, I have begun to let myself graciously understand the difference between an opinion and the truth; I know who I am, and a rumor won't change that. If I let them, the lies can make me stronger.

Perhaps instead of encouraging people not to care, the advice should be reworded: Don't let what people think cripple you, and don't let it effect your pride. Find and put yourself in the middle. DO care about your reputation (important) and your reactions (yours only). The goal should not be an act of separation - "ignore the thoughts and feelings of others, especially if they don't like you!" - but rather, the goal should be to act from a place of stability and love, regardless of opinion. Stay in the moment and learn how to respond appropriately. Care actively about the person who thinks ill of you. Define your boundaries and teach people how to treat you by treating them well. Speak up for yourself, and learn what matters. Use criticism from others as a way to learn about humility and grace, don't ignore it. Accept your faults and grow up past them, don't deny they exist; let them strengthen your resolve and your back bone.

Care, but care about the right things.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

for every kind of Mom

"To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you."

 Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 4, 2012


There are some who gain their strength
solely by strong holding others,
making faces instead of using words, speaking loudly as they push.
All notice, none object; all praise, I suspect.

Talk nice talk nice talk nice;
I leave;
talk cheap talk cheap talk cheap.

Their opinions are formed not as opinions are formed,
but as contradictions are,
for the sake of being contradictory,
for the sake of making small of me
as a way to shame;
as a way to raise

I can not understand these people,
should not name them,
can not wait for the day I learn how to speak to them
without becoming, for the sake of it,
strong holded
and shamed.

I can not speak into it,
rally against it,
or believe I can change it.
I can only muddle through it
pray in to it,
and try not to become the environment
into which I have been placed.

You speak nice at me, but 
there is poison in the way.
© afterthoughtcomposer

found on pinterest