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So, I’ve recently come across an article that I personally believe holds the most truth of anything I have read in a long time. It is in regarding to American Policies towards the environment, nuclear arms, and just the general destructive nature of the Western world in particular and the decisions our government makes. I’ve recently posted it on facebook, and I just appreciate what I wrote and captured with it, so I will reiterate it here, along with the link to the article:

amazing article from Chomsky. Simply because we happened to enter into the world on this particular continent, does not mean we have to be blind to the truth.

And yup. This is a long article, but well worth the time for the load of knowledge that will be dropped on your face.

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/04/noam_chomsky_america_is_accelerating_the_apocalypse_partner/

“It’s not that there are no alternatives. The alternatives just aren’t being taken. That’s dangerous. So if you ask what the world is going to look like, it’s not a pretty picture. Unless people do something about it. We always can.” – Chomsky

Reflect upon it.

Peace, friends.

cOnnection

“You’re gonna do real good up there.”
Sally, the heroin addict sat with one knee up with her hand on her knee,
she was shaking her other leg, she was eyeballing the clock until she got her fix.
Sally was a woman I had worked with (name changed to keep confidential), we were sitting in a court in Baltimore. She had always been in and out of court- I had helped her quite a bit. I told her I was moving.
It was interesting because she and I had quite a tumultuous relationship.
“Fuck you, you stupid bitch- you’re not doing shit for me,” was a voicemail I had heard from Sally one random Thursday morning. Enter some more explicitives, you get the point.
Time to time again I wonder where Sally is, and what’s going on in her life. She and I certainly ended on good terms when I left
So did I and Scooter girl (what a coworker of mine would call a client of mine).
Of course advocacy is my strong suite, it’s what I live for.
Connection.

She was sad, it was understandably so.
A part of her life, was lost.
She ventured forth my way, came inside.
Escaping the stale air of routune and slumber,
We walk along the green grass.
She takes my hand, we continue to walk.
Through the path and through the fields, up a slight hill.
Amongst stood a tree with a rock at its base.
The rock held their angst and bottomsides so they could take in the view.
It was the view of the mountainside.
The time was early spring, so the snow still capped it’s temples.
What you lost, has already been reborn- proof is in this,
Look amongst you- this view and the beauty it bestowes.
The love you feel is the agony you fear,
there is a balance in everything.
With life, there is death, with death there is life.
It is recycled, replenished.
The forms are changed, but the evidence remains.

Epidemic

**DISCLAIMER: THERE MAY BE SENSITIVE MATERIAL THAT SOME DO NOT WANT TO READ. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED**

Epidemic from dictionary.com is defined as: (of a disease) affecting many persons at the same time, and spreading from person to person in a locality where the disease is not permanently prevalent.
When we generally think of an “epidemic”-what do we think of? AIDS, cancer, cholera…the plague. There is one epidemic that we as human beings, as a society-and as a world fail to recognize: violence against women.

I currently live in Vermont, and there has been an event in a community within the state that has pushed me to write this post. It is the strangling homicide of a young woman, teacher, mom, daughter, community member, a woman named Melissa Jenkins. No, I did not know her-however I don’t need to.
When untrained eyes view this story, they do not see the links between this murder and domestic violence. However, from reading many articles and hearing information about the case, all of the components are still there. The male perpetrator of the violence, had made advances (gaining power) towards this young woman, which were ultimately turned away(lost control). Somehow, the male’s wife (yes, wife) was also involved in this murder. Was she going along with this act? Was she coerced into killing this woman just as this young woman was coerced out to “help” the couple? My rapid brain asks many questions.
This is an extremely, horrifying event that has occurred-and so many lives have now been affected. Her own child being the most affected. My thoughts are with the community during this time of need. Although not knowing Melissa personally, I have met many women like her.

If you don’t know me personally, then you don’t know my line of work. However, for the past number of years- I have been working in the field of domestic violence as an advocate for women attempting to escape/deal with/understand a life of violence. A common question I hear is, “Wait-there can be domestic violence towards a man by a woman, right???”
My answer is: absolutely. In any relationship where there is a dynamic of power and control exerted by one party over the other party bringing fear to that person-that is domestic violence. I won’t go into more details about what that looks like because that really isn’t the point of my post. However-
statistically, the perpetrators of domestic violence are primarily men perpetrating against women. It gets more complicated when you add the LGBTQ community in, and yes-domestic violence certainly happens in those relationships as well. However- in my years of being an advocate, how many men have I met that I truly can say, they were a “victim” of domestic violence based on my expertise and knowledge? 1.

That is one man, whom I will never forget.
However, how many women have I met that were true victims of domestic violence? Hundreds.

I have heard stories of women being pushed.
I have heard stories of women being isolated from their friends and families.
I have heard stories of women being loved, and then manipulated.
I have heard stories of women being bitten.
I have heard stories of women being beaten with bats.
I have heard stories of women being punched, dragged, kicked.
I have heard stories of women being told what to wear, how much makeup to put on, who to talk to.
I have heard stories of women with weapons held to their face, necks, backs, heads.
I have heard stories of women being chased with cars.

I have heard stories of women being accused by their partner of being cheaters, and then beaten because they denied it.
I have heard stories of women being threatened by their partners: to kill them, to chop them up, to bury them alive, to hurt their children, to kill their pets.
I have heard stories of women’s limbs being broken.
I have heard stories of women being sexually violated.
I have heard stories of women’s “womanly body parts” being ripped off.

I could go on, but I won’t. There is one primary word that is repeated in that montra, “women”. We have a new coming value of equality and making sure that men and women are on equal playing fields-however there has been, and continues to be an epidemic of oppression of women.
I attended a conference in Washington DC about a month ago: The 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters. This was an amazing experience. It was where 1600 women from 96 countries around the world, got together in unity to learn from each other, and share with each other stories of pain, victimization, hope and survival. The one thing that was so astounding to me was that this truly was, aglobal issue. 

Recently, the government of the United States is having a debate whether or not to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act which is a federal fund that provides financial support to domestic violence agencies, advocates, shelters around the country. VAWA actually provided my salary for a time at my previous job.
The fact that there is even a debate about this, absolutely astounds me. The argument for NOT authorizing it is because it will give illegal immigrants experiencing domestic violence, a way out, it “promotes divorce” and “creates an ideology that all men are guilty and all women are victims.”
Sigh. If there is someone with black and white thinking looking at that? Maybe they will see it that way. However, if you and other advocates like myself do this work (and YES! I also know MALE advocates!!), you will understand that it’s not a generalization- it’s a reality.

My message to the US government is to please, PLEASE, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act in order to be able to assist those women who DO live in fear everyday of their lives.
For women reading this post, thank you for your time. Stay strong, and support your fellow sisters in urging lawmakers to reauthorize this bill.
For men reading this post, thank you also for your time. I do not think that all men have the belief system that they feel it is right to be violent towards a woman. In fact, there are many men who do not. However-STAND WITH US! WE NEED YOU IN THIS AS WELL! Hold your brothers accountable for aggregious acts towards women, and stay respectful.

We ALL need to respect each other, regardless of race, creed, religion, sex, gender or ethnicity.
Violence is learned, not innate.

Winter is certainly upon us
Montpelier, Vermont – view from highway 89

a photo by me, Krista M.

Add i Ction

As I sit here in front of an illuminated screen, I can’t help but think how different this would have been twenty years ago.
If I had the inclination to “write” I would be grabbing a pen and piece of paper.
Swirling my fingers around to make sense of the scribbled lines,
But instead I am tapping. Tapping. Tapping.
Into a story that has no real plot or ending,
Simply my thoughts that need to jump out of my brain.
Leaping, bounding through the outback was a grey kangaroo.
Didn’t expect that, huh?
We all have our place in this mind boggling abyss,
It’s sometimes too much for us to handle.
As incense burn, I satisfy a hunger, a habit, what feels like a need.
It is inside each of us, we just all satisfy it in different ways.
Attend church, opiate of the masses, it will make you feel like you are doing a good deed.
Another helping of this spaghetti meal? Don’t mind if I do,
Venti Latte, Cappuccino-why, daily-sometimes two!
Need to get in some running, crunches-5 miles a day is key!
Marlboro lights, how about a pack?
Michelob, Coors, sometimes both if the night is young,
Add on some vodka, tequila, bloody mary’s too
After that, some video games will make the time fly by- being in another world, another dimension.
Roll a blunt, pass it around the room
Tap out your vile on the plate glass mirror, snort it up quick and fast
Adderall, Ritalin and Oxy’s too-
A variety of pills that become either crushed or dissolved
Each allows a different feel, depending on your past.
Small pinches on a track lined arm means escape for those that love the letter H.
We all seek pleasure,
We all have pain.
Acceptance that we are all alike, the choices we make are what differ.

A poem by me, Krista M.

NaNoWriMo update

I am halfway on track for NaNoWriMo, that is actually better than I thought I would be. I have a few different stories written with no real plot or connection between any of them. I guess I will figure that out somehow. I’m trying to think of other ways to push myself creatively….

Anyone else having NaNoWriMo woes already? :)

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