Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rabble Rousing Again? Discourse on The World's Oldest...

Every now and then I put up a diatribe of sorts, a rant or protest. They are not really meant to offend anyone but I am sure they sometimes do. However, I figure after living seven decades and counting I am entitled to my opinions and maybe the rest of the world is too LOL. So here is my latest of such. You can quit reading, unfriend me wherever or challenge with a comment--in fact I really wish people would do that more.  I do enjoy a good debate! Without further ado here is:

The World’s Oldest…

If prostitution is truly the world’s oldest profession then I would say religion is the world’s oldest “racket.” Let me digress just a moment on that word. Random House says:
            Racket: 1) A loud noise or clamor, especially of a disturbing or confusing kind
2) Social excitement or dissipation
3) An organized illegal activity
4 ) A dishonest scheme, business, activity etc.
5) (Slang) a) an occupation or livelihood, b) an easy or profitable source of

When we think of the crime or practice of “racketeering” several of these definitions fall into that image. So, when I place organized religion in the realm of racketeering, I especially see numbers 3, 4 and 5b as applicable!
Once some tribal shaman or ‘witch doctor’ found out s/he could exert the power to tell someone, “Go kill Flintstone; he is a bad guy possessed by evil spirits,” we’ve been on a endless downward spiral. More atrocities have been committed in the name of religion than any other cause I can find.
Do not misunderstand; I truly believe and fully accept that every person needs to have some spiritual aspect in their lives and that we are all able to and should worship whatever we call the Divine in our own way with total sincerity and faith. It’s just when this gets institutionalized and organized that everything goes to Hades.
Let’s look at history since I tend to be an historian of antiquarian matters, perhaps a sociological historian if there is such a thing.  Religion is such a divisive and dangerous concept. How many pitiful people have been stoned for some so-called “sin”? Burned or tortured for “witchcraft”? Enslaved and abused to serve those who claimed to be spreading the true gospel and bringing our “Little Brown Brothers” into the fold of one or another branch of Christianity? You can look at the Jewish faith, the Islamic or Muslim faith, even Hinduism and belief systems as diverse as Voodoo and Mithraism. Perhaps various Pagan cults did practice human sacrifice as the Romans alleged. I cannot prove or disprove that. But always violence and atrocities!!
 The whole course of history is bloodied and littered with the shattered bodies and lives of those who have been persecuted because of their beliefs. Oh, they all probably expected to go straight to some wonderful Paradise for their martyrdom. I have not been there yet to see if they are there and are happy or not but I have grave doubts—pun intended.
Even in my early teens, I had started to learn about different denominations and found the falsity of my earlier idea that all Christian sects were basically the same. Each one claimed to believe in God and follow Jesus but how to do this varied widely.  And all of them said in so many words, “If you do not believe and behave exactly as we tell you, and of course tithe rigorously, you are going to hell!!” 
"Whoa," said I, naïve and unlearned as I then was, “How can they all be right?” And it hit me soon that if they were not all right then most or all of them must be wrong! That was when I made a strong shift away from all organized religion and began to build my own belief system and follow it quietly and independently. I’m still there. I set foot in churches—or synagogues, temples, mosques etc, under protest and only when a funeral demands that I show respect.
I do not care if you are Jim Jones, Miscavage, the Pope or the leader of any other sect, denomination or cult, you are a racketeer. You are using a position of power and influence to drive people to do your bidding, whether or not you claim to be speaking for “God” or “Allah” or whomever. You are extorting money out of your followers in a fraudulent way, claiming this is necessary to do the Deity’s work and for them to show good faith, although in most cases it is going to your personal lifestyle or at best to a bloated and overblown structure of edifices, edicts, and empire.
The Mob, the Syndicate, the Cartel and all the other organized and feared collectives of criminal activity are mere pikers when you stand them up beside organized religion! I would humbly suggest that all proclaimed religious leaders in the world be rounded up and incarcerated for the rest of their life spans and any new ones who spring up be arrested immediately and made to join them. In time this plague on humanity may fade away and we can all march to our own spiritual drummer and apply our energies and resources to the cause of real humanity and charity to one another.

Admittedly there will still be some diversity but there will also be far fewer reasons for anyone to hate another soul because they do not believe as you do, as some Racketeering “Boss” says is right!  Yes, think about it: isn’t religion the world’s oldest racket? Isn’t it time we outgrew this flawed and basically wicked delusion and rose above its constraints? 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Love poems and Shadows

Ordinarily I do not tout any of my commercial writing on this blog and I will only make a very small exception to that rule today. My last post I talked about “Dusty” and “Tuan Perak” who were special friends, guides and much more to me as I struggled though things many people experience at five to ten years younger than I did. The connection between them and my published work will be revealed shortly

I left home much later than the average person did in the 1960s because of my efforts to make a real go of the business I worked in with my Dad, breeding, buying and selling and training horses and mules. I dearly loved those animals and ‘stuck it out’ for them through some fiercely difficult and painful times. Finally though, I realized there was truly nothing more I could do to save the situation.  Bad things happened to my family and even to some of my beloved equines, but I admit a lot of it came about due to Dad’s proclivity for making powerful and dangerous enemies by his own twisted ideas and plans and speaking out for causes that were then very unpopular. But that’s another story.

 At any rate, those two very special men kept me afloat and gave me reason to live when I felt sure there were none left. They shared a birth year but little else—except me perhaps. They did not know each other or even really more than a tidbit or two about each other’s existence for they were part of different worlds. As had been my habit since my early teens, I wrote a lot of verses for both of them, poetry I collected and published in my one formally published book in the genre,Walking Down My Shadows.  I call that thick volume my “autobiography in verse” since it follows at least the romantic aspects of my life from the age of about twelve until the years right after my husband’s death in 2003. The book is on Amazon in both print and electronic forms and is probably priced a lot higher than it is worth, at least to most people, but in some ways it is the most honest and emotional work I ever penned.

The blue cover shown above is Vol 1 and the green Vol 2 in the ebook form. The cover of the print version is half in each hue.  Here then are a few samples from its pages, the first two dedicated to “Dusty” and the next pair to “Tuan Perak.” I loved them then and I love them still.  Each of them is an indelible part of the tapestry of me, body, spirit and mind. Words are all I can give now but they are a heartfelt gift—still.

A Promise  (3-21-65)
Whatever happens, I love you
However far you stray,
I’ll always wait here for you
And think of you each day.
Though miles may separate us
And much may come between
Forever with me are the dreams
That in your eyes I’ve seen.
Whatever happens, I love you,
Please do not forget.
At first I fought against it
But now there’s no regret.
When problems all surround you
And you’d like to run away
Remember that I love you
And find the strength to stay.
When worries overtake you
And doubts come crowding in
My heart is there beside you
To help you fight and win.
Whatever you do, I love you.
Hurt me if you must
As long as you keep loving me
You have my total trust.
When the road is muddy,
When the job is long,
My love is there beside you
Be it right or wrong.
Never give up hoping
That love will find a way,
That I will be with you
For keeps, Dear One, someday.

One September Night (9-20-65)

T’was an Indian summer evening when
I wandered down the hill and then
Found myself at last with you
Doing all that I’d longed to do
     The many lonely nights that I
     Would sit alone and sadly sigh.
     Finally we stopped and found we were shy
     ‘Til you arms encircled and drew me nigh.
 Clasped against you sure and tight
 I knew at last love’s sweet delight,
 Knew what I’d waited for and missed
 As time and time again we kissed.
      I melted then with each caress
      And wondered how, I must confess,
      You could make your strength so tender.
      Your gentleness won my surrender.
Did my broken sighs not say to you,
“I’m yours to do with as you wish to do?”
I said things I’d never dared before,
Returned each kiss and begged for more.  
     Soft as a shadow was your touch
     Which told me you loved me so much
     You could check your heart’s desire
     And subdue its flame to gentle fire.                                                
Your heartbeat steady I could hear,
A strong sure rhythm beneath my ear.
I lay there limp in your embrace
And wished myself no other place.
     For I longed to stay right there forever
     And wished we would be parted never.
     Your words of love I cannot recall
     Exactly but I treasure all

Sunday (6/69)

Was it just yesterday?
The air was warm, in motion.
Your eyes were warm, deep and still.
Metallic in the sun, your hair
like water rippled by the wind.

If it was yesterday . . . .
The wind blew our words
away, but eyes spoke clearer.
In no mime of love, we lay
apart, looks only touching.
And the grass is crushed where we lay.

And it was yesterday.
Your hand, leaf-brown,
tender in its strength,
I might have touched
but didn't, couldn't. . .

So where is yesterday?
Your face, unsoftened angles,
is still in my eyes but
the line is drawn again
black and plain between.
                                                      Still, the grass is crushed where we lay. .

Love is Saturday Afternoon (3/70)

A hand in yours, a hand in mine
And our vibrations all combine…
She is not mine, nor really yours
But through her innocence secures
From each of us the love and trust
That we dare not give to just
Anyone, completely. Daring
Veils your hesitance, and sharing
Sensitivity I but fall,
My shyness is not veiled at all.
            Walking thus, I wonder whether
            She would have us brought together
            If she held, in small brown hands
            The clue and key to fate’s commands.
            Strange little changeling, pixie-elf;
            I swear I love her for herself—
            Although I guess it’s helpful too
            That she is so much like you…
            I’m humbled that her love I share
            And weep for the child I’ll never bear.
Alone, my steps soon lost their lilt.
Tired again, I could but wilt,
Slouching home with burdened arms
And heart-remembered old alarms.
Conscious that I could not belong
And fearing that to wish was wrong,
Yet remembering, still I think
The lovely warmness of that link—
A hand in yours, a hand in mine
And our vibrations all combine.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Two Special Heroes

In recent times I have shared a Father’s Day Tribute in which I mentioned there were others in my life who were very influential besides my own Dad.  A few posts later I opened up a bit about learning positively what my brothers and I went through in dealing with what I know was mostly our father’s mental health issues did constitute abuse, whether or not it was intended or done wholly in a rational or reasoning state. Then in yet another post I shared some drawings I made of some of my teenage “heroes” and crushes without going into a lot of detail about the subjects.

Most of them were not significant in the overall run of things and there isn’t much to be said about them, really. From about age sixteen into my early twenties, I had little social life outside of school, which I completed with my graduation in 1962. I was working as a “cowboy girl” part time during the last two yeas of high school and then full time—like about twelve-sixteen hours a day, 24/7/365—after that until I finally left home and started college in  September 1966.

From 1964 until I began to keep company with my future husband in the spring of 1971, there were two men who were mentors, true friends and at times lovers. I credit them both with my survival through some very trying and difficult times. Without the rocks they became for me to cling to, I would have been swept away into some kind of tragedy, either suicide or another now unthinkable end. Yes, they were both older by a number of years and were certainly “father figures” to some degree, but also more and less than that.

I like to think my devotion to each in turn and the deep, basically unconditional caring I offered filled some needs for them even as their bond sustained me.  I still feel I had a connection with each of them that went back well before the current lifetime and that I will see them both again in a future incarnation. I also thank my guardian angel that I did not fall into a connection with someone who was abusive, violent and further degraded me and eroded my very shaky confidence and sense of self worth. In that I was so very blessed. Both were completely opposite of that! For the privacy of any surviving family each may have still in this world, I will not use their names and only a general description or identification--and the portraits I drew of each of them.

Lines and shades too harsh
I wasn't happy with this!
“Dusty” was a skilled carpenter and in construction. The work took him  in and out of the Verde Valley for several years. We met somewhat by accident and did nothing except talk for about a year during which time we built a deep respect and affection for each other. I knew he was separated from his Catholic wife who was fighting divorce and that he was trying to win the custody of his young son. Of course my parents did not approve since they deemed separated equal to not single, but that really did not matter to me. We remained close until after I had started college. About that time he lost a job and had to go elsewhere to find work and we were never able to get back together although we had planned at one point to get married once he got his life straightened out. At times I have regretted that never happened, so I wrote a novel, Relative Dangers, to give us the happy ending that life did not. Much later I leaned he had passed away in 1993 after suffering from asthma much of his life, a condition not helped by dusty environments and  the irritants of his work.

One of my better sketches...
The other man was a professor at Northern Arizona University. I will call him Tuan Perak a phrase in the Indonesian language a bit difficult to translate. I became his protégée and enjoyed a great deal of advice, assistance, encouragement, support and simple friendship from him. I became casual friends with his wife and often babysat their daughter who told me she was adopted and became very fond of me—and I of her. We were actually quite circumspect although there were many on campus who believed we were carrying on an affair. That only happened very briefly after I had graduated and left campus and was more accidental than planned.  Still he had a profound influence on my life and indirectly caused me to go into Civil Service. At his urging I attempted to get into the Foreign Service, passed the written exam and went to an oral interview in Los Angeles. They turned me down due to lack of experience and probably the needed poise and assurance; I was better but still lacking there! So I went into US Civil Service instead, my second choice.  We kept in causal contact for many years and I remained a friend of the family. He died from lung cancer, very suddenly, in 1996.

So on a day of no particular significance, I just want to publicly thank both of them for the invaluable help and support they gave me. You two will always be heroes to me and I truly do hope to see you “on the other side” and perhaps have a chance to  continue the relationships again in some future life. In this one, I cannot repay either of you but I hope the rest of your lives after we parted was perhaps happier than what part of it had been before. Know you are thought of often and very fondly by one who was once a lost, confused and troubled young woman to whom you showed great patience, kindness and a special kind of love. Go in peace and harmony wherever you now walk.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Tribute to Unconventional Education

In general as my kids and now grandkids have done through it, I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with the American education system. Since the Dewey and similar influences began eighty years ago or more, we’ve seen our institutions of higher learning shift to crank out “teachers” who are now chiefly a miserable mating of baby-sitters and brain-washers. They have been so indoctrinated in the politically correct and essentially liberal socialist views that more and more is deemed unsuitable and not needed to create complacent and obedient young workers or in some cases, non-workers, who will go meekly along and support the party line, whatever it be, kept happy with professional sports and feel-good talk shows!
Home schooling has become a major force as more and more troubled parents choose to take their offspring out of the sausage factory—er, I mean  the public school system—and give them real experiences, wide reading opportunities and in some cases less exposure to the pervasive “peer pressure” for sex, drugs and rock n’ roll activities or again in some cases, whatever religious teachings they feel suitable.  Others are seeking charter schools, alternative schools, parochial schools and similar variations. 
I do suspect that in some instances this diverse and semi-uncontrolled education may have negative results where children are not exposed to a wide range of material, opportunities, culture and the like, but only in a few instances. In the long run, I have generally found most home or alternatively schooled children grow into well educated, independent and useful adults, good citizens and definitely not “sheeplike” in blindly following what the media tells them or the politicians orate with fingers crossed behind their backs!
Student body at Camp Wood AZ
first row, 2nd from left
I cite myself as one example. I did attend public schools but in may ways I was home schooled for all practical purposes since I attended  small, rural schools of one or two classrooms and my father was my teacher for five of the eight grades of grammar school and what is now often called middle school. Then I attended eighth grade and high school in a semi-rural and somewhat insular community. Strangely though, despite a seemingly ‘underprivileged’ background, I managed to make honor roll grades through high school and was valedictorian of my class of about sixty two students. Enrolling in college a few years later, I maintained a 1.5 average and obtained two degrees in four years. I still say much of my education came from HKU and the life experiences I had outside and apart from the formal schooling, but I did not stumble or suffer seriously as I went through the normal channels.
As another example, I put forth my friend, Helen Hegener. Now in middle age, she has a list of accomplishments that borders on amazing. She and a former husband were pioneers in getting home schooling accepted first in their home state of Washington and later nation-wide. She edited and published a magazine for home schoolers for twenty four years and during and afterwards has continued to be active in journalism, working with several Alaskan newspapers after a move to the north 49th.,  More recently, she formed a publishing company and has written almost a score of books on Alaskan historical subjects, all impeccably researched, painstakingly edited and thoroughly professional in every aspect. Of course she also home schooled her children and all of them are successful, productive citizens as adults in a variety of fields.
As a military brat, she traveled widely with her family but missed many years of formal or official schooling to become self-educated by visiting many places in Europe to include museums and historical sites, and reading constantly from early childhood.  This was the basis from which she turned to home schooling her own family and became an advocate for the movement.
Here and there I see subtle shifts in scattered districts–including a gardening project in the grade school curriculum, adding more field trips and outdoor activities, supporting science and technological experiments and projects outside the normal curriculum.  Best of all, allowing more independent pursuit of subjects, reading material and activities to which the child or young person turns of his or her own desire and interest. Perhaps in time we will return to a system whereby the entire classroom is not dragged down to the lowest common denominator, ostensibly so that no one feels belittled or left out.  That is “nice” but not practical or progressive!
Instead, we should provide more leeway for students to develop to their fullest potential, giving more attention to the gifted or talented students who are now often bored to tears and thus become discipline problems, disruptive or drop-outs. If they are challenged and given free rein to progress, they will do so and those special abilities or intellects will not be suppressed and lost! We need all the bright and inquiring minds, the initiative and entrepreneurial spirit and independent thinking we can foster! We have way more than enough under-achievers so we surely do not need to foster and encourage that behavior.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Lighthearted Look Back

In keeping with the topic I wrote of last, I have been reading old journals but that is not all a grim or difficult exercise. There was a lot of fun, adventure, and mischief in my life all the time I was growing up which perhaps took a bit longer for me than for some people due to the fact I did not really get out on my own until I was a few months past twenty three. That reasons for that  are somewhat wound up with the issues I mentioned earlier but also just "how things happened."

Anyway, in those pages where I recorded happenings, thoughts, dreams and impressions, I see a clear thread of a trait that has followed me all my life.  Yes, I have been fascinated by romance and love since I was twelve years old! That happens to be when I began a diary or journal that I maintained until my marriage at age twenty eight and then resumed about a year after my husband's passing. It's a way of keeping in touch with myself, I think. Anyway, over the years I had a lot of crushes on guys, most older and quite a few very unsuitable, at least when viewed with an adult's clearer eyes. But then, that too is part of life. Nothing really bad ever came of it, for which I thank my guardian angel since I did tiptoe along the edge of some deep and stony chasms at times. I never tripped, never fell to perdition. Thank you, Powers, for your care!

I had been interested in art to a degree only a bit less than writing, and from about my mid-teens on I also had a habit of drawing sketches of many of my heroes. Some were from memory, a few from very rough sketches  made in real-life observation and some from photographs. I am not a great artist but I did some fairly good caricatures that captured  traits and distinctive features enough that those who knew the subjects could probably recognize them. Most are long gone now but even if they are not, I am sure they are greatly changed, being as a rule somewhat older than me and I know I do not look much like the girl I was then! So just for giggles here are a few of those portraits, labeled with the nicknames or code names I used for the subjects. RIP former fancies!




El Rey

Bret Maverick

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Looking in a Dark Mirror

I'm not sure now where I first decided to check it out,  but an almost frighteningly powerful book arrived while I was away on my trip along with several others. The second evening home I picked it up and began to read... That was a real OMG moment and I stopped, reeling, staggered in a mental and soul-deep way,.feeling too much emotion and ah-ha recognition pounding through me. Of course I had recognized and known in a basic way for much of my adult life although I had never quite labeled my experiences so bluntly, but this definition and portrayal of parental abuse had an impact like a large meteor crashing on me.

Many of you may be too young to remember Roberta Flack's song, Killing Me Softly but lines from that song ran through my mind. How could this author, even if she has been a counselor for many years with a doctorate in related fields  look into the past and describe so closely events and issues in my life? Of course I realize that the difficulties my brothers and I had were far from unique. The peculiar combination of environment and situation with the particular forms of abuse we suffered were a bit less common perhaps, but so many people will see their troubles in this book, just as I am seeing. No family and no parent is perfect; it is only when those imperfections become constant, violent or virulent and very irrational that severe damage occurs.

I am speaking of Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward. She has also written Emotional Blackmail (which is a phrase I have used a long time and thought I coined but clearly not so!). Another book on a similar subject is The Emotional Incest Syndrome by Dr Patricia Love.   They are all about familial and other relationship dynamics and how they can become or be dysfunctional, and cruelly damaging to those who endure them. In some ways I wish I had come across a lot of this information long ago. Both the definitions and suggestions with potential to help people work their way past the scars and angst, or to avoid making the mistakes that were made in their lives with their children and partners and allowing the past to overpower your present.can be invaluable.

I am not a huge fan of what I call "psychobabble" and the whole 'we can fix you' industry with its buzzwords and often pompous assertions that, "It's not your fault" (that you are messed up, use drugs, fail in various ways etc.) because all these bad things have happened to or been done to you. I eschew a victim mentality and will not fall into the trap of pretending I am vindicated and do not have to own my many adult life errors. We are all still ultimately responsible for how we respond to and deal with the trauma that everyone has to some degree during childhood and young adult years.We are all some kind of survivors. Do we build and grow on the hardships or sink beneath them?

In some ways maybe my brothers and I were fortunate. There was no sexual abuse and physical abuse was not too prevalent. There were no drugs or alcohol involved. But the verbal and psychological abuse at times was truly brutal. For much of my life, I was ashamed or embarrassed to even think about it very much although I did have a sense that my first twenty three years colored the rest of my life in both subtle and blatant ways. To some degree I now come out of the closet after many decades. Perhaps it is time. Most of the people who had any connection to me at that time are long gone; classmates and friends did not know a lot or even care, for the most part. It won't even create the smallest scandal!

To all who have locked these hurtful memories in a mental back room in a tightly sealed "too hard" box, please get a copy of this book. It will be hard reading but in the long run it will help if you can make yourself accept and deal with it. It is not a panacea and you should not expect a miracle cure that wipes away all the blots and shadows. That is not possible but gaining some understanding is a step toward healing. In very few cases was there real evil intent on the part of the abusers; often they did not realize what they were doing, much less why.

What happened then was not your fault; how you deal with and rise above it as an adult is, however. Perhaps you cannot confront those who hurt you; they may be dead or too ill and aged to react at all. That is okay, too. You do not even have to tell yourself that you forgive them. Some things are unforgivable but I truly believe there will be a time of accounting, and confronting if necessary,. There is another realm where we have to look openly at our personal karma and perhaps face those we have harmed and been harmed by. Then we may possibly decide to give life another try and make it better with those people. I think I would like that.

Go in peace and seek harmony!

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Thought for Independence Day

Thomas Payne, one of the architects of the revolution we celebrate today, was a fiery and flamboyant journalist and essayist. He did not serve as a leader nor a military man but proved the adage "The pen is mightier than the sword." Speaking of the times in which he lived, the mid to late 1700s, he said, "These are the times that try men's souls."

Sadly, despite all the progress (?) we have made, one could say the same for today. We may not be embroiled in the great civil war of which Lincoln spoke in his immortal address yet it feels to me as if we are drawing perilously near to just such an event.  The chasms of division and the mutual hatred and disrespect on both sides grows increasingly war-like and I fear for the future. I may not be Thomas Payne--although in one past life regression I found myself a young man working under his direction as a "printer's devil" and would-be author until claimed by consumption. At any rate, here is my essay on the current developing chaos and a fervent wish for change that is real progress for not all change is progress in any way!   Today, go in peace--please!

The Tyranny of Labels

Religion is to give humanity hope and government to give them reasoned guidance and protection. Yet over the eons, more brutal and bloody wars have been fought for religion or system of government than even for gain. Though in the end, it usually boils down to a conflict of power by someone or several someones although religion and politics are the magic terms used to inflame the masses into action.
Would that we were capable of life without labels, without authority save our own under the Supreme Authority. Then we could live without war. But will mankind ever be so improved? Nay, never, one would say, looking to the lessons of history. Civilization is the thinnest and most fragile of veneers, and we are all raging beasts beneath it. It is a sad farce with which we have deluded ourselves.
No form of government is intrinsically “bad.” Rather it is those who govern that make a system either bad or good.  A “good” ruler or dictator can make a utopia of his or her land while a “bad” democracy can result from misjudgment by its electors. “Communism” and “Capitalism” can both work if the leaders are fair and clear-minded and the people believe in and trust them and the system. It is only when we feel threatened by the fact the world holds others who believe differently from us that a system becomes a problem. It is only when we make a jihad over differing labels that peace is impossible.
Do not call me “conservative”, “Democrat,” or “Baptist,” like it is a curse. Do not say “Catholic”, “liberal” or “monarchist” in the same tone and manner as “bastard” or “whore.” We do not need to live in a tyranny of labels. We could stop doing so tomorrow, today, even right now! Are you not weary of it, too, brain, bone and soul?
Although there will always be minorities of some kind with a degree of prejudice and hatred, we can work to overcome this. Must we really think, “We are flat and they are fat; we hate them?” or “I am light but you are bright, so I shun you?” Life would be utterly boring if all of us were exactly alike in every respect. For the most part we welcome and enjoy those differences. Therefore, why should we be repelled to violence and ostracism by some while we enjoy and espouse others?  Do we really think we are so perfect that we should play deity and make everyone else over in our own image?
To the ancient Romans, a “barbarian” was a stranger, one who spoke not Latin but an alien tongue that sounded like gibberish. Barbarians were less than human, somewhere between beasts and demons. Then there were heretics, those whose spiritual beliefs were at variance with those held by the rulers or upper class. What a threat they were simply by existing! They must be converted or put to the sword! Despite these measures, they still might gain adherents and eventually become the majority, making others the heretics.

Hatred is the son of fear begotten by ignorance. Yet how heartily do we adopt and accept this illegitimate orphan and nourish it to strength and power! We starve our children to feed it and deny our own humanity to its demands. Let us endeavor to kick those stupid labels aside and respect the way strengths of difference make the whole better. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Back home--kind of!

I have been away and also been silent for a bit. I have been tied up with getting some works going at new publishers, so far just my erotic romances, both straight and LGBT are in the queue. There are still four Gwynn Morgan books available at Mundania but I am not sure for how long as I really want to rework some of them. Those and the OOP ones  will be --probably--self-published within a few months to a year, at least started that way.

Where was I? Alaska, where else! Yes, Women Who Run With the Dogs is still an ongoing effort and it will probably be in that category for at least a year more. I'm chugging along on it but this one is a real heart book and my most ambitious and challenging literary effort to date.  To follow some of my adventures and efforts there, you can visit  gwynnmorganalaska.blogspot.com. This trip yielded the most progress yet and pretty well met my expectations which I had feared might be too high.

Here is my prize photo from the trip. At the Iditarod Committee's annual meeting/picnic and musher sign up day for the 2017 race, I actually got my two heroine lady mushers in one place, squeezed between than and had a picture taken! That is the amazing Deedee Jonrowe on my right: breast cancer survivor, marathon runner and 31 time Iditarod finisher. Yes, she is still racing! And on my left is Aliy Zirkle, three timer in second place, and top five the last five races. She was a special heroine in this year's race coming in 3rd after some terrible experiences on the trail. Believe me, they are real rock stars --they shine and rock with the best 'cause they are!--and they're also wonderful, warm and very down-to-earth ladies. I love them both like sisters.

Yes, I will be back doing more memoir pieces and sharing some verses, maybe more old tales and other fun stuff  very soon. Meanwhile happy Independence Day weekend to all. Be safe and be grateful for our wonderful freedom and space to live our lives as we choose, paid for by the red blood of many soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guards and marines!  Darn right I am patriotic; I love my country with all my heart although I cannot say as much for the government most of the time.

I'll leave you with two poems. They may be old and a child's simple words, but I stand by my sentiments to this day!

          My Flag
I will always be true
To the red, white and blue
As it waves on flagpoles high
Flying,flying, in the sky
                        GMW, 1952

God bless America;
   Keep her strong.
Stop the people
   Who do her wrong.   

GMW, 1955
 Yes, I say amen to that today!