Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life Is.......

When I was small, my first memories are of being held, coddled and played with by my parents and my relatives and I thought, "Life is warm and caring."

When my father left us in my fifth year, and I watched my mother cry, I thought, "Life is scary and troubling."

When I suffered a severe burn on my hand as a child, I thought, "Life is physical pain."

When I would play with my toys or my sisters and friends, I thought, "Life is fun."

In school, I thought, "Life is working and learning."

When I approached and reached puberty, I thought, "Life is confusing and full of strange feelings and thoughts."

When I became interested in boys and had my first serious boyfriend, I thought, "Life is being in love."

When I was a single, pregnant teen, sent away by my family, abandoned by my lover, alone, frightened and told I was unfit to raise my own baby, I thought, "Life is about debasement, loss and shame."

Each time I gave birth and felt that wonderful feeling when I held my child, I thought, "Life is about fleeting moments of joy."

When I met, married and lived, day to day, with my wonderful husband, I thought, "Life is mature, comfortable yet still exciting love."

As I struggled on, as we all must, through all the different highs and lows of life, I learned that life is all of that and, grief, peace, worry, fun, fear, loss, serendipity and epiphanies. Some manage life better than others. Some can't deal with it at all and decided to opt out. Others in my life have shown me the meaning of courage, self-honesty and, as my late aunt put it, "keeping on, keeping on." My husband honors his lost child by making his life the best one he can make.

But the most important thing is that I think life is worth living. In all its joys and sorrows, it is a miracle created by the Universe and something which each person makes as good as they want it to be despite the pitfalls.

But that good life can only be made in the environment of true freedom, where with rights come responsibilities to each other and our world and where each person is free from ANY kind of oppression, be it physical, financial or spiritual. We must be free from the dogma of the self-righteous. We must be free from ignorance, want and hunger. We must be free to learn, to explore and to be enriched by art, science, literature and music.

That is why we must not let the direction that is being taken by the extremist Right determine our future. We must say NO to fascism in the name of religion and NO to corporate person-hood and the idea of alms to the rich. I don't know about any of you, but none of my family, friends and associates are named Exxon Mobile. We must continue to say NO to racism and the encroaching idea of a Christian theocracy. This country was founded by people who felt strongly that the Church and the State should always be separated by law and logic.

So, to counter this, we must say YES to progress, YES to equality, YES to compassion, and YES to all Americans sharing the load.

When we do that, we are saying YES to a life worth living for ourselves and the generations to come.

Footnote* A friend posted this quote and I thought it appropriate to the news of the day;"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side." — Aristotle

Monday, August 22, 2011

Send 'Em In

The GOP candidates arrive for another debate! It's Tea Party Time!!

I never thought I would see the day that a group of candidates for the highest office in our nation would deliberately tell whoppers, misinform voters and generally show their racist bias in such an overt manner. I know that there have been lies told by politicians from day one in this nation and others. But to do it in such an in-your-face manner is criminal. The fact that there are those who buy into these lies is just plain sad.

For years, the lies about adoption persisted. The fact that the truth is coming from those of us who experienced the mistreatment, grief and shame makes no difference to the spin doctors. We just get dismissed as bitter and angry.

Now, we are being lied to about everything we know to be true and they just don't care. Faux news will make things up as they go. The GOP candidates try to rewrite history. They don't know as much as a 6th-grader knew about history and civics in my day.

We are approaching an Idiocracy and, if you don't believe me, go visit the "Birthmom Buds" on Facebook, listen to a speech by Mispeak Bachmann or try to argue with an avid "birther" about the fact that the President WAS born in the US. Willful ignorance is going to take this nation down if we don't stand up, not just for the rights of individuals as put forth by the Constitution, but for TRUTH.

I can see the drive for open records being detoured by the Corporate Congress and the state leggies who have had their palms greased. I can see no chance, at all, for the "sinful, sexual" Mothers to even ask for, much less receive the justice they deserve. How can we when we still have idiots who use the old "no one held a gun to your head" and "you're the one who spread your legs" arguments and think them valid?

We are no longer trudging up a long hill. We are climbing Everest with no equipment except the frail rope of truth. Like everything else in this corporate culture, truth has become a commodity and can be anything anyone wants it to be if they have the money and the connections. We have entered the Twilight Zone of American politics. Statesmen have been replaced by celebrities and proselytizers. There is NO government of, by and for the people. It has become the playground of the Kochs and the Murdocks and the DeVoes and their ilk.

It is a truly bizarre circus and the clowns are truly scary. But we must have clowns, so send 'em in. Oh. Don't bother. THEY'RE HEEEEEER.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Of Forests and Trees

I have come to ponder, recently, if I have kept my focus too narrow in recent years. While I was speaking out for justice for Mothers from the EMS and open records for adult adoptees, a lot was happening in the good, old US of A. For instance, we were slowly being bought up and sold out by corporate interests and their government toadies and we woke up, one day, to a massive recession and fears for our futures. Say what you will about bubbles and busts...someone screwed us over.

Suddenly we had Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Ann Coulter, Rick Santorum, and all the rest of them stirring the under-educated and over-churched to a frenzy. Where had I been? I had been dismissing these wannabe editorial pundits as insignificant and then I saw what they had managed to do. They played to the lowest common denominator and they played it well. I mean, how smart can the teabaggers be? They claim a Christian faith but revere Ayn Rand, a misogynistic, declared atheist whose only good point was her ability to write.

I have pondered on this quite a deal. I have done some ranting as well, but the conclusion I have come to is this. If we allow certain groups, such as the Tea Party, the Far Right Republicans and ALEC to control our government, buy out our supreme court, use racism, fundamentalist Christianity and hate to force their way into power, we can say hello again to maternity homes, forced surrenders and social engineering. All the progress made in the areas of women's rights and health will go down the drain, there will be thriving back-alley abortion operations and birth control will be tightly controlled by the powers that might be.

Education is suffering and the Dumbing Down Of America is almost a fait accompli. What else can one think when MSNBC gives an hour or more to the wedding of some bimbo reality star? How else does one explain such TV hits as Parking Wars and Storage Wars? Why are science and nature programs no longer on mainstream networks? Why are PBS and NPR having constant beg-athons?

As Wall Street and CEOs play fast and loose with our livelihoods, America, the land of the free is going down the toilet and into history along with Rome, The Old British Empire and all the others that fell of their own weight and greed. I believe it will not be an alien invasion, global warming (REAL, by the way), an asteroid collision or a nuclear attack but a rotting from within that will bring us down. It may take another civil war to save us only this time the lines will be drawn in ideology, not northern and southern boundaries.

We have presidential candidates that are totally ignorant about history and the meaning of the Constitution. They want to take it away and substitute the Bible and to Hell with the First Amendment. We who want justice and redress don't stand the chance of a snowball in July if these dogmatic dumb asses manage to win the nomination and election. Single motherhood will go back from being a choice to being a sin. A Corporate Theocracy isn't just science fiction material but a real and present threat.

It took me taking a step back from all things surrender and adoption and looking at the big picture. And my tree was part of the forest. I am 66 and while not exactly ancient, I know that I am not going to be around for the big show that may or may not happen. All I can do is try to work to save the forest so that we can still breathe and then work on my tree. It will probably be those coming after me who will see the results, unless the corporate takeover is complete. We did not see our sons, fathers, daughters, sisters, brothers and friends die in foreign wars to allow this to happen.

My son and I are discussing a trip to DC so that we can participate in the "Take Back The Dream" rally. I am signing petitions, writing letters to congress, the senate, our President and newspaper editors. I am supporting those who want to hold the line against a takeover of our government by the corporations and fundies. Living in a theocracy is no fun. Ask people in Iran, if you happen to be in a place where they can answer you honestly.

I am feeling the earth move as the shades of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams (the elder...not the little boy), Paul Revere and all the rest rail in anger at the blatant rewriting and skewing of history. Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt (boy, do we need another 'trust-buster' like him), FDR and JFK are probably in tears, if there is an existence after death. Or maybe the railing and the crying are just me acting for them. This is certainly a piss-poor way to honor their memories by taking what they worked so diligently to create and making it unrecognizable and serving only the financially and theologically "elite."

In any event, before we take the trip to redress, justice and reform, we need to make sure the vehicle is in running condition. I shall keep a close eye on my tree, but I need to get the nasties out of the forest. Anyone want to help?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beating A Dead Horse Can Be Good

You say either and I say eye-ther
You say neither and I say nie-ther
Either, eye-ther, neither, nie-ther
Let's call the whole thing off

You say tomato, I say tomahto
You eat potato and I eat potahto
Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto
Let's call the whole thing off

But oh, if we call the whole thing off then we must part
And oh, if we ever part then that might break my heart

So, if you wear pajamas and I wear pajahmas
I'll wear pajamas and give up pajahmas
For we know we need eachother so we
Better call the calling off, off
Oh, let's call the whole thing off

You say ahfter and I say after
You say lauhghter and I say laughter
After, ahfter, laughter, lauhghter
Let's call the whole thing off

You say Havana and I say Havahna
You eat banana and I eat banahna
Havana, Havahna, banana, banahna
Let's call the whole thing off

But oh, if we call the whole thing off then we must part
And oh, if we ever part then that might break my heart

So, if you say oysters and I say ersters
I'll eat oysters and give up ersters
For we know we need each other so we
Better call the calling off, off
Oh, let's call the whole thing off

The battle of the "B" word has erupted again, on a Facebook group. It began, as far as I can tell, having entered the fray a bit late, by an adopted adult who was really angry at her mother and carried on by a mother or two who felt themselves to be the righteous voices of reason. It was impelled forward by hostility and a lack of understanding.

Now, if it were just a matter of pronunciation, as in this cute ditty, above, that Fred warbled to Ginger, I think it would be relatively unimportant. But, in this case, it IS important. I can refer many people to the article by Diane Turski, "Why Birthmother Means Breeder," or I could speak about the fight of African Americans to be referred to in a dignified manner, but there are always, it seems, those who want to push us back into our dusty niches.

Yes, to all. LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT. Can you hear me? This is an issue brought about by the civil and human rights of the mothers being decimated, especially during the BSE. We were defined, then, as being deviant, delinquent, careless young sluts. Most of us were just frightened girls who loved, maybe not wisely, but too well. We were judged and found lacking by the evidence of our humanity and passion.

The author and serial adopter, Pearl Buck, first used the term "birth mother" in the 1950's. The early founders of Concerned United Birthparents left out the space in the middle of birth and mother and thought they had settled the issue. What happened, however, is that the industry and society took off with the term and the meaning became one that is anything but dignified and respect-worthy. It is used against us to reduce us as mothers and women. It is used to pre-define a surrendering mother before she even thinks about surrender. It is a tool and a ploy of the industry and social engineers. It is a way for those who adopt to deny our motherhood as many would like to deny our very existence.

It's funny that they also apply the word to unwed fathers. A man can't be a "birth" father because he didn't give birth. Ergo, as one mother pointed out, wouldn't that make the males in the equation "Ejaculationfathers?" It is, and always will be, a term of denigration. There is no way you can take the term, as the adoptees were able to do with "Bastard," and make it one of "in-your-face self-respect." Perhaps, if we were to call ourselves "Sluts," that would have more of a ring? No, not really. A bastard is not responsible for the circumstances of their birth. We were forced and coerced and we need a sobriquet that recognizes that fact and the fact that we require respect. "Slut" just plays into the stereotype.

If Gandhi, Martin Luther King and many others realized the importance of how language is used, why is it such a battle for Natural Mothers to insist on being referred to in a dignified and respectful way? We are only trying to claim that which was ours before we were stripped of all autonomy and thrust into a cycle of grief and shame. Shame is not acceptable any more. Self-respect is essential to anyone making a mark in the battle for inquiry and redress and reform.

So save your, "it doesn't matter" speeches for to-may-to/to-mah-to. I am not a walking uterus, a breeder for the infertile or a non-mother. I am a Mother, or, if you insist on differentiation, a Natural Mother.

You can call me a birthmother all you like. But I will not answer you.