Hello and Welcome to my Warm Heart!
I hope everyone is keeping warm and cozy in this cold snap a lot of us are having. Here, in northern Florida, we just absolutely freak out if the thermometer goes below 70, and … today is waaaaay below that. There was a layer of ice on my birdbath this morning, and lasted until well past ten, when the sun finally came out and shined its majestic smile upon us. Since then it’s getting warmer by the minute. Ahhh, that’s what I love about living in the South. I used to live more northerly, but no more. We all learn from hard times before. I learned I don’t like to be cold. Others learn from all sorts of uncomfortable situations, feelings, and events.
So much has happened since I last had time to sit and share with you. We’ve celebrated the holidaze; I’ve launched my next book (“In the I” —Amazon link here); and most exciting of all!—My beloved consort Carter has retired from his working life! Yaaay for him, yaay for me, and yaay for us all getting through another holiday season. Whenever folks ask me, “So, are you retired?” I answer, “We artists never retire, we just die!” Ha, that always gets them thinking.
And it’s true. By artist I mean writer, musician, poet, moviemaker, dancer, painter, amateur or pro … anyone who lives to create feels the urge roaring in their bloodstream all the time, up to the very moment of their last breath. Needing to create doesn’t shut off just because we get to a “certain age” or have put out a certain amount of “work” … or met with “approval” or … god forbid, “Success.” That word success is absolutely relative anyway, we all know that. Like I tell Carter, my consort, “Health is wealth, so therefore we’re zillionaires!” He scoffs at me, but I know it’s true. As long as a person enjoys a healthy balance and can appreciate the small things of life, every breath counts and they are rich rich rich beyond measure!
So that brings me to the title of this post. What little thing is really on my mind right now.
Since I wrote the #MeToo #UsToo post at the end of November, some major changes have happened as a result of many people coming forward and FINALLY! talking about “the upspeakable.” Just a few days ago a major step forward was made when professional women of Hollywood (actresses, directors, producers, agents and lawyers) declared “#Time’sUp” in this NYTimes article laying out ways that the entertainment industry will take real steps to safeguard a new era of male-female interaction in a historically oppressive workplace. It’s a new, much more open, much more honest time now for women’s rights. And the #MeToo movement is directly responsible for this transformation. I thank that pig Harvey Weinstein for being such an awful person to finally have brought down the house of cards upon which much of the professional world has revolved, and I do mean taking advantage of a person inappropriately because of their gender. It’s fit and proper that a clear resolution comes from the entertainment industry, as this is where the #MeToo movement originated.
I myself have never suffered in a work environment. Not since before I was 20 and told “young lady, you come down from that ladder!” back in ’66 in Nantucket, Mass. when an elder of that island-town told me I was breaking the local law by doing “manual labor,” i.e., house-painting with my male friends. I applaud all men and women who have been involved in this current effort of making the old sexual games revealed to the sun of Truth so they can be forever banned to the archaic den of iniquity. I fully support the way our society is opening up to making substantial changes as a result of the brave people (males and females alike) who have gone out on limbs to tell their stories in the #MeToo movement.
Now I want to share something painful that happened to me, personally, as a result of my writing my own truth in that post to which I referred above.
Shortly after it was public, I received a harsh text from a distant member of my family for speaking my honest truth, and as a result, I’ve had to let go of that relationship, which was not very close in the first place. But family, nonetheless. I was forced to step back even further than I had been because of this person’s (a female) inability to understand the importance of honesty in these transformative times. For some reason, this person took personal offense about my speaking out as a “victim of sexual abuse myself” and wrote me that she “was forced to defriend me.” Ha, how social media has taken over for us what we are incapable of discussing. Sad. Apparently, my words touched a place in this woman’s heart that couldn’t be opened by honest communication. So we have parted ways. In my post I made no mention of how, whom, when or where, only that I was speaking authoritatively as “as victim of sexual abuse.” That was enough for her to “defriend” me, although I do believe we are still relatives.
Speak truthfully (and not just in books) I must, and speak I will. Additionally, I will stand by anyone who speaks Truthfully to help our world become a more loving, accepting, and FREE place for us and our children to thrive in. I will turn from anyone, relative, friend or stranger, who does not allow truth to be spoken of in kind, clear words. I will not accept being told I must conform in order to be a certain “kind of” relative. So I wish that woman farewell, hoping one day she finds true peace in life, wherever, however she can find it. But certainly it isn’t with me.
It’s important to me, as a person first of all, but as a spiritual activist who arts, secondly, and as a woman, lastly, to be able to always speak my truth. As an artist who writes my words are weighed as much as any image I present. Words are tools. Words have spiritual power above what most people understand they are capable of holding. And to withhold words in order to not create tension, or ripples in the fabric of an otherwise “happy family” is an even worse crime, in my opinion, than casting dispersion upon certain people and no longer wishing to be associated with them. I will never withhold my Truth. I will, however, wait in a timely fashion, before presenting any Truths that may hurt another.
I remember my hero Maya Angelou once saying something to the effect of: I speak my Truth. But I may not speak ALL my Truth. I’m going with Maya on this one, folks!
I promise to always speak my Truth, and pledge here, furthermore, to always do even more so! If anything, I will reveal MORE and damn the queasy relatives who want to muzzle my comments. My close family and friends understand, because they live with me, see the love, the kindness, the respect I hold for all beings. But distant members of my blood family — they don’t know me. They only think of themselves when they read some words in a blog post I wrote, and think it has something to do with them.
What I write here has to do with expressing myself as an artist. Okay, one who writes, and uses words as sacredly as an iconographer paints a saint’s face, or a marble sculptor approaches a rare piece of snow white Carrera marble. To me words have the power to transform confusion into understanding, acceptance into tolerance, and yes, they can change even hatred into love. Any folks who get offended by my offerings — goodbye! I hope you find your satisfaction elsewhere. The world is a big place. Big enough for all of us.
And what a glorious thing that is!
Have a fabulous beginning of 2018 everybody. We’re off to a magical start, so far.
All love, teZa aka LordFlea