Monday, December 17, 2012

On Pants

Music: Because I Have Been Given Much-LDS Hymnal
Mood: Sober Contemplation

Hello, only me again. 

I was inspired to come back and write today about pants.  Yes, pants; those wonderfully warm and cozy garments that fill the closets and cubbie-holes of most American households.  If one would have told me 2 weeks ago that I would have spent the better part of the last week and a half defending my right to wear pants I would have told them they were crazy--but I would have been wrong.

Wear Pants to Church Day (an event on 12/16/12 organized by the Mormon Feminist group All Enlisted) has meant many things to many people.  To a raving segment of orthodoxy represented on Facebook it surely meant that not only was "The End" near, but it prompted all sorts of reactions ranging from "I don't care, but..." to actual death threats.  Yes, you read that correctly, death threats.

Doctrinally, women are of course not prevented from wearing pants to Church because honestly it would just be silly.  However, in Mormonism sometimes culture can so invade doctrine that to the untrained or unconcerned mind the two are literally inseparable (cue raving Facebook masses).  This event was to be a sort of launch pad for further action with the ultimate goal being gender equality within The Church.  It was a brilliant idea.  It was a visible way to both raise awareness, and to honor our baptismal covenants to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort.

But mourning over pants, are you for real?  Yes.  Previously I had of course heard many stories of people being shunned or ostracized because they did not fit a particular mold within The Church (I have even experienced it myself, but not due to clothing) but this past week I have heard what amount to horror stories of unrighteous dominion, ecclesiastical abuse, and un-Christlike attitudes aplenty.  These stories ranged from women being talked about behind their backs or even in front of their faces for daring to wear pants all the way up to those who were actually turned away from meetinghouses for something as sinful as bifurcated attire (for shame!).

I knew I needed to be involved from the beginning, but these stories, and the reaction from those who would willingly cast these people off so they can remain in their comfortable bubbles was something that I just could not sit with.  I knew I was in.  There was an event page set up on Facebook that was ultimately taken down that at one point had over 2,000 people who had indicated they would wear pants and/or purple attire (purple being a color historically associated with the suffrage movement) on 12/16.  The news media including print, television, and the internet had picked up on the story in a few major cities including internationally.  There was much ado about us women and our pants.

Despite many links, explanations, and borderline manifestos it never seemed to get through to the detractors that it was never about the pants.  The pants were always a symbol.  The pants were a way for us to say that we were here, and that we care.  A way for those sisters who have been hurt when they should have been loved to know that there was someone who wanted them there, and someone who understood their pain.  That under our watch no women would ever be turned away or ostracized for wearing pants again.  We had put a high-heeled foot down and were making a stand. 

Pants day came and went.  It was relatively uneventful for me personally (I was the only woman in my ward wearing pants, although there were several people in purple but it could have been a coincidence).  As the day rolled on though, and pictures poured in of happy smile after happy smile in pants and purple graced the fMh Facebook group it started to really stir something within me.  Some of these people (including myself) who had been hurt by their brothers and sisters were back.  They had gone back to show support for others.  While the pictures rolled in so did the stories.  Some were bad, but mostly they were good.  A new friend in the ward, a secret feminist on your side, finding out family or a loved one were going to wear pants/purple to show their support for the disenfranchised as well.  It was uplifting, and I truly believe it is what our Heavenly Parents would have us do.

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."-John 13:5

I will be proud one day to tell young women or even my own child that I was there.  That a time presented itself for me to stand up for what I believe in, in defense of others and I took it, and now things are different.  All the horrible and exasperating comments of the last week can't touch that knowledge--nothing ever will.

Quackin' in my pants.

Monday, July 30, 2012

In the valley of the blind...

Music: None
Mood: None

Hmm it seems I was wrong, I guess I wasn't going to burst into daily writing when I got back.  In fact, I am putting forth a huge effort to even have myself write today.  My life is relatively dull, but it is mine.  I live it day to day trying my best to be my best.  Sometimes I slip and fall, sometimes I crash and burn, and sometimes I wake up a millimeter ahead of where I was the day before.

All of this is not necessarily something that lends itself to being read by outsiders who have no real knowledge about my internal workings.  The minute by minute struggles that I keep to myself, and the triumphs and setbacks that can only be understood by the person who experienced them.

I don't like the notion of "giving up" my blog, but I would also hate for people to check it expecting something and I have gone a long time without an update.  I am on a journey right now.  A journey which (at least by my incapable hands) cannot be documented.  At first I felt there was wisdom in a blog, but now I feel that it does more harm than good for me to cement in writing what are sometimes fleeting feelings and emotions.  You will have to trust me that it has come back to bite me on the ass on occasion.

I may update here and there sporadically, but I cannot make any promises.  Possibly the best bet if you are interested is to subscribe to my blog and then receive an e-mail when I update. 

That's all for now, and I am sorry that I was not able to fulfill the hopes I had for this blog on my return.  Perhaps a blog is just not the format for me after all.  I have thick walls surrounding me for a reason.

Release The Quackin'

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Addio trentuno!

Music: Diane-Guster
Mood: Ssssssss

Hello again all.  Today, as many of you know is the last day in my entire life that I will be 31.  I cannot say that I will miss it, and honestly I have much higher hopes for 32.  Even though this past year has been peppered with many instances of my making changes for personal improvement on a whole I still found 31 to be disappointing.  32, you better shine for me.

I am going away on vacation tomorrow.  I am not sure how long I will be gone for, but I am crossing my fingers for 3 weeks.  While I am gone I will not be updating, it's true, however I plan on updating voraciously when I get back.  Since I want this blog to sort-of function as a journal I need to improve my journaling and really try and write everyday if I can.

I really love my birthday (hate the weather though) so it is a good opportunity to do some real nitty gritty soul searching evaluations.  Where am I when I turn 32 in relation to where I was last year?  Two years ago?  Five years ago?  Ten?  It is okay to have pitfalls every once in a while, but if I am stagnant, if I am not progressing as a person than I am doing nothing.  While certain aspects of my life and personality cannot be compared these many years later I can at least gauge it by how I feel about myself.

For instance, ten years ago I was still within the bonds of marriage (and living together).  I loved my ex-husband very much, and I still do, but I was stagnant.  I was doing nothing to improve my own life, or our lives as a married couple.  I was simply floating wherever the currents of anger, frustration, disappointment, etc... took me.  I was not living my life, my life was living me.

Right now again I am sort of trapped where I am (geographically, and somewhat emotionally) but I plug away at "the little things" every day that when piled together will serve to gain me a net win.  A net win, me??!?!?  Mister, I like the way you think!

Quack you when I get back.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Should I stay or should I go?

Music: Children of the Revolution-(cover by) Violent Femmes
Mood: F-I-N-E-Y

Let's be honest, I am not keeping up with this blog.  The days seem to be flying by and then all of a sudden they are away from me before I even think about it.  It is already almost my birthday again.  I could swear I just had one of those last year!  Anyway, I don't really have a lot to say, I just thought I *should* say something.

Sometimes I wish I were part of a religion that allowed for some sort of full-time commitment whether that was a Nun, a Monk, etc...  I am hopelessly human and so have a hard time casting off the shackles of an imperfect world and imperfect human nature in order to commune with God.  My attention span has almost turned to zero, and a short attention span is one of the most unhelpful things when seeking religious communion or affirmation.

I read every day.  I read and read, and read trying to find something, to feel something, to know that I am not out of reach.  That my stiff-neckedness has not overtaken me and my heart congealed to the consistency of a boulder.  The goal is to be teachable, to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  Instead, I am trapped.  I am not puffed up with pride, but I am the opposite; I am dragged under while the weight of self-doubt and sin swirl around me and engulf me.

What can I do?  I wouldn't really classify it as a crisis of faith, I would more say it is an ongoing crisis of self-esteem.  In my head I know I have a divine nature, in my heart it applies to everyone but me.  Ramblings, really.

It rained quite hard yesterday.  It was wonderful.  I regret not being outside when it happened.  It came and went relatively quickly.  I haven't seen a driving rain like that in quite some time.  It was comforting.  Jack disagreed, he took refuge in the closet until it died down and then sought out the comfort of my waiting lap.  He approached so cautiously that I am sure he thought that I was the one who made the rain happen.  I had gotten back in from my walk a very short while before it started.  After the heat and sweat of the walk a nice wet kiss from the earth would have been just the thing.  Still, it was beautiful to watch and I am grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to experience it and the world--even as if from a great and spacious building.

Quack-set Hut  <~~~makin' it great.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Music: (Stupid) Party Rock Anthem:LMFAO (or whatever the hell)
Mood: Scatter-Scatter-brained

Believe it or not, I have been busy.  I have been trying to have as little downtime as possible lately.  That is not to say that I am constantly moving or something, but I have been doing more reading, and I have also undertaken the daunting task of finally trying to get all my genealogy notes in order.  Plus, I am still doing Independent Study classes, and working on my health as well.

Phew!  Lots of work.  I have slacked a lot on my writing though.  That makes me sad.  I don't really know what I was expecting to come of Ben's story, but once I really started writing it I started to develop high hopes that it would turn out to have been a great project for me.  I still think it is a good project, but I am sort of lost as to how to get where I want to go.  I have a vague idea of where I eventually want to wind up though.

As I was writing that last paragraph I completely realized it is a metaphor for my life.  I have a vague idea of where I want to end up, but almost no idea how to get there.  In between time is-a-wasting though.  I am trying to keep my head on straight though.

Stretching, breathing, thinking of ways to improve and attempting to implement them.  This is how I am spending my time pretty much.  I have "let myself go" for so long that it is possible I may be trying to tackle too much self-improvement at one time, and if I start to feel overwhelmed I will scale it back, but for now I plan on plugging away and trying to improve what I can, and let go of the rest.

If a duck didn't know how to spell, he would probably say


P.S.-Doesn't this book look so awesome? 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Head Wigs Part 2

Music: Origin of Love-Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Mood: Nettled

Coming to better understand myself was like solving the world's worst rubik's cube.  I struggled, and fought, and attempted to will my way in but it would not work.  I needed to breathe.

Only through reflection in calm moments was I able to make as much progress as I did.  Currently I find myself stymied on another seemingly endless and immovable plateau.  I have taken some solace in scheduling.  I have a morning and evening routine that helps keep me grounded.  It is holding on for dear life to any port in a storm.

This period of inner turmoil has taken me by surprise.  I thought I was doing relatively well for a long time.  Not good, and certainly not ideal but I thought I was passing.  I was wrong.  My ability to communicate has broken down and I often feel myself either lashing out at people (whether necessary or unnecessary) or I feel like they are lashing out at me.  I am having trouble getting my balance.

I am under a lot of pressure right now both from outside forces, as well as the pressure I put on myself.  One of my friendships seems to be falling apart for no reason that I can really discern.  Every time I try to probe my feelings on it it becomes too upsetting because I am left with the sneaking suspicion that my friendship was not nearly as valued as I had thought it was.  The shame of foolishness and vulnerability adds to the sting of the unfolding of these events.

However, like Hedwig, I must press on.  I must wrench my chin skyward even when the forces of gravity weigh so heavily I feel my very spirit is being crushed.  The monumental effort to live, let alone laugh and love saps me and leaves me exhausted.  I live to fight another day...

Quack-in sie Deutsch?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

2 yoots

Music: LDS Children's Songbook (yes, the whole thing)
Mood: Fuzzled

I am taking a quick break from the Head Wigs series to answer some questions posed by Deb-a-leb-a-ding-dong over at her blog Kicking Corners.  Here are my answers to some of the questions followed by 11 things that I love.  It is a good exercise in gratitude.

1. Why did you start a blog? So I had someone to talk to.

2. What have you learned about yourself from blogging? I don’t know that I have learned anything about myself, but it is definitely interesting to see my feelings at different times cemented to be perused at a later date.  I am hoping that it will help with perspective.

3. How do you blog and still get things done around your house? I don’t blog enough or have enough to do around the house that the two will ever come into conflict.

4. Why is blogging better than Facebook? Because while I cannot say what I am thinking 100% on my blog, I certainly can’t even come close on Facebook.

5. What is the last book you read? Hope Rising by Kim Meeder

6. What is the last live performance you saw? The Decemberists

7. What is your favorite children's book? Since Harry Potter for some reason is still classified as a children’s book I will say the entire series.  As far as *true* children’s books go I will say Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day.

8. What is your favorite typeface? Your mother.

9. Would you ever put your cat on a leash? Yes, but not to take him for a walk, more as extra insurance against running away for vet visits or traveling.

10. Who would play you in the movie version of your life? 
I honestly don’t know.  I don’t even want to be me, so I can’t imagine wishing it on someone else.

11. Love the tourists or can't wait for them to leave? They don’t really bother me.  They’re people like any others.

1. Soy milk or regular milk? I’ve never had soy milk, so regular.

2. Favorite sport to watch? Why? In person, basketball; on television either tennis or baseball.

3. Sitcoms or reality television? I guess sitcoms, but by and large I am uninterested.

4. Laptop or tablet? Why? Laptop.  My fingers are too fat to be effective with a tablet.

5. Which person has influenced your life the most? I really don’t know.  I have known so many wonderful people in my life that it would really be remiss to pick only one.  Some are higher up as far as influence than others but I am grateful for the patience and love of many people.

6. Which would you most hate to be without, television, computer, or cell phone? Probably cell phone.  I am afraid of getting lost, so if I can always call and get directions it makes me feel better

7. Which would you hate to be without, your hair or a body shape you liked? My hair.

8. Where would you rather live, high-rise or suburbs? Why? Neither.  I prefer cities, but a high-rise is out for me.  I am a-feared of heights.

1. I love written correspondence.  I will save it for years and years.
2. I love my birthday.  I was born on my great-grandmother's 86th birthday so it will forever be a link between us.
3. I love ice cream cake and the little black crunchies that come with it.
4. I love peaceful moments of reflection and the satisfaction they provide.
5. I love black and white photographs.
6. I love to sing, especially when my voice is behaving and I sound good.
7. I love when I can help others by imparting any knowledge I possess.
8. I love Jack's "I'm hungry, get up and feed me." meow.
9. I love to discover the meaning behind names.
10. I love to learn about subjects that interest me.
11. I love walking in a heavy downpour.

That's all for now, I will return with the 2nd installment of Head Wigs soon.  I am still thinking it through.

Release the Quack-en!