I will be at the Dreamspinner Booth at Salon du Livre (Paris Book Fair) with TA Moore on 25 March 2017 from 12-2. I will also be at the Reines-Beaux Booth on that Sat AND Sunday and I will share those times when I get them.
Many of us have the dirt of other lands on our feet from when and where we’ve come from. I speak as a Native Hawaiian, an Asian, a Caucasian with some dabs of stuff we’re kind of iffy on where exactly.
I am the friend of people who are one ethnicity and of those with many, some more than mine.
I’ve eaten the foods of many a people, some I’ve liked and others I have not. I have eaten the foods of my own people, some I’ve liked and others I’d sooner scrape my tongue raw than eat again.
America is at its best a nation of people. At its worst, it is a nation of people.
We are all shades from pink, ivory, yellow, brown and hints of green… my apologies to my youngest sister for dyeing her skin with food colouring one Halloween because she wanted to be the Hulk and my mother left us unattended with access to a snorkel, a bathtub, food colouring and a gallon of white vinegar.
We speak many languages and even if we speak the same language we struggle to understand one another. And sometimes we even give up trying to understand one another. We shouldn’t. But we do.
We love cats. Or dogs. Or both. Some of us have children. Others cannot even imagine having a goldfish. We drink coffee or tea and sometimes hot chocolate. Some like juice and others love milk. Some do not turn on the lights after Friday’s dusk and others have an altar where a knife stands for fire and a wand is for air.
We’re all different. We’re all the same.
Tomorrow, perhaps say hello to someone you do not know. Smile and nod at a stranger. Hold the door. Or let someone into the lane you’re driving in. Don’t yell at the kid crossing your lawn. Perhaps understand the person in front of you in the line to get coffee might be struggling to keep themselves together.
Remember that perhaps you are the happiest person in the room or maybe one day you won’t be the saddest.
Listen to music you love. Take a deep breath of a scent that reminds you of someplace you think of as home.
Carry yourself across the threshold. Marry your own soul. Love your own heart. Do not be ashamed of your tears.
But most of all, don’t forget how to laugh. For God’s sake, breathe for just a moment and don’t let your mouth forget how to smile.
I’ve not been around much these past few weeks, mainly because of well… America’s kind of been bat shit crazy and I went up to Ithaca to visit with Greg Tremblay to celebrate his birthday with his friends and family. I’ve also been hammering at Dim Sum Asylum so that was something I needed to scrape out of my brain. I was immersed in the love of an adopted brother and his family, including his cat and dog. Despite the icy landscape and small planes, I’d do it all over again because that’s kind of what life is, walking through the cold to get to the warm.
I came home with a bit of a head cold or sinus icky and to a cat who really needs love. Like REALLY needs love.
Much like all of us right now.
There’s been several huh moments for me over the last week. I won’t get into the politics of life but I know I need to have less fuckery on my brain and more centering because focusing too much on the crap floating about makes me crazy and I can’t write. By all accounts, I have nothing to lose in the changing environment but that’s just a pissy ass way to look at things. I feel strongly about standing up to injustices. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t write what I write. I am not a gay man or woman, I am not a Muslim, I am not a Jew. I am not Black nor am I Hispanic.
But what I am is resolved. Because we should all have equal rights. I firmly believe in this. And I will always fight for those rights.
Over the past week I’ve been contacted by a couple of people who pretty much spent spewing a lot of anger and vitriol at me because I “didn’t understand their side of things” with regards to how they voted or… in one case, I’m not exactly sure what the problem was but somehow I was evil incarnate. None of these conversations went the way they probably thought they would go. I wouldn’t know because when I asked “How did you think this was going to go? In your head, I mean. How did you think this was going to spool out?”, I got no answer.
First things first, if you’re entering into a conversation to challenge or convert someone to how you think, plan ahead. Or at least begin the discussion knowing what you need to say and what you hope to accomplish in having that discussion. If it’s simply to tell me you’re going to delete my books from your Kindle because of XYZ, then I can’t help you.
Because I sure as fuck am not going to stop speaking up.
If you want to have a talk about how you got to where you are now… in your thinking… then that’s great. We can do that. But be prepared for me to agree with you on certain points and handle that graciously. Yes, I agree we need to have good healthcare and yes, the system needs work. Yes, I agree we should worry about feeding our own, taking care of our own but building a wall makes no damned sense. We agree on a lot of points but we might just disagree on how to get there.
But getting there shouldn’t damage or subjugate others. Making someone else’s piece of America less doesn’t make someone else’s more. Once again, this isn’t pie.
What a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that we’re a symbiotic nation. What happens here spills out into the rest of the world. Like it or not, we’re a part of the world’s nervous system. We cannot adopt a single focus view. We are not Christian. We are not Muslim. We are not Jewish. We are not Buddhist. We are all of these things and yet none of them. We are multi-cultural and multi-racial. To ignore that is to adopt the dumbest, most narrow view of America. And none of us can live in that America.
I will not live in that America. And I will not let that America happen.
So, sure… delete my books, unfriend me, block me, do whatever you need to do to make your life narrower but please know this, I will still speak up for you. Because I believe you need a healthy, safe life, your children need a good education and most of all, that if you have someone in your life who is at the most vulnerable of spots in their souls. I will speak to protect them.
‘Cause that’s what America does. Protect. Thrive. Grow. Expand. Embrace.
I will not go gently into a night of someone else’s crafting. I will light every fucking candle I can and raise my voice to break the stifling silence. I hope you will join me, regardless of how you feel we should solve problems. It is the darkness and silence that is our ultimate enemy, not each other, so I beg you to join me in that fight before we lose our way because we cannot see each other any more.
* Views expressed in this post are those of the author and not of KittehDoodle Tremblay.
Today is the beginning of the Year of the Rooster and I am visiting Greg Tremblay in Ithaca, New York. It’s a milestone birthday for him and well, there’s snow. A lot of snow. But it’s falling gently and right now, it’s lovely. I have no intention of going outside in it until later but it’s pretty.
Wanted to wish you all a very happy New Year! May you enjoy health, wealth and happiness.
For those not marching today, be safe and be strong.
I will have the same message for anyone I come across. I want the best for you. For us. For our children. For our parents. For our grandparents.
I won’t judge you for what you call God. I won’t judge you if you don’t have a God.
I don’t care what shade your skin is. I don’t care if you are darker or lighter than I am… which is about the colour of a vanilla latte without foam.
I won’t judge you for the gender you are or the one(s) you fall in love with.
I don’t care if you drink coffee or tea but I will admit to giving you the side eye if you put milk into the mug before your tea unless of course you’re drinking from bone china.
What I do care about is your life. I would like everyone to have the opportunity to learn all they want to learn and to experience as much as they want to experience. I’d like people to try new things and I’d like people to say it’s okay if their friend tries a new thing and doesn’t like it.
What I do care about is you. And I will defend your right to be all of these things, do all of these things, because there are people actively working to make you less than who you are, who you can be, who you want to be.
Our lives should be about the freedom to explore our humanity and to celebrate it as we gather up the seconds and minutes, the sunrises and sunsets, we have available to us.
Our world is about balance. Our lives are about balance. If someone tries to tip that balance…tries to take away our freedom to love, to worship, to exist as a person.. then yes, we need to stand together and say No, I Care.
So be safe, be strong, be happy… but most of all… be.