Archive for Not @ Sex (!)

June 3rd, 2020

On Aspiring to Awareness and Having Much to Learn

Many people who haven’t known me for more than twenty years likely aren’t aware that I used to want to be a cop. So much so that for four and half years, from age sixteen to twenty-one, I was a Police Explorer in my hometown. The Police Explorer program is a branch of the Boy Scouts that allows youth to serve as limited-involvement “cadets” with police departments. I wore a uniform and helped with things like directing traffic at college football games and foot-patrolling neighborhoods on Halloween to help ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters. Explorers also attended bi-montly meetings that discussed and taught about different areas of police work and accompanied officers twice a month on ride-alongs during their shifts.

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March 24th, 2020

The Work of Realizing What We Truly Are

I missed an opportunity.

Several months ago, perhaps approaching a year now, I happened to tune in to one of Tara Brach’s videos via Facebook Live. I arrived in the middle of it, and she was talking about loving and having compassion for others. I tuned in right about the time she said, “As soon as you perceive threat . . . the reptilian brain goes into fight-flight-freeze; it happens quickly. So we get angry or hurt or afraid and contract and we get cut off from the parts of the brain that are responsible for compassion. So that’s one way that we get blocked [from experiencing love and compassion]: when we perceive threat.” (Emphasis mine)

A few days later, an awareness entered consciousness in me as I was driving. It was not preceded by a conscious recollection of Tara’s words. But it was in response to them. It appeared all at once and was essentially this:

If it is true that compassion does not tend to be activated unless we feel safe, then those of us in relative safety are on the front lines of evolution: It is our job, our fierce and immediate and unrelenting job, to love. To love right now. To love everybody. With everything we have. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, there’s a part of us that doesn’t understand and doesn’t know how to do that. But that is our calling right now, and it is of utmost importance. If we are in a position of privilege that allows us to not perceive a direct threat right now (e.g., American citizens, white, cisgender, straight, currently financially secure, and/or many other manifestations of privilege), then we are the ones who must lead the mantle of love, do the hard work on the cutting edge of the evolution of humanity. We cannot lay this burden on people who are not actually safe right now—the LGBT community, those who aren’t white, those wishing to run from violence and instability to a place they have heard has less of those things—and must attend to the immediacy of the threats they are under. This is our job. Right now. And indefinitely.

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October 8th, 2018

The Vote of White Women in America and the Intersection of “-isms”

I wrote this post about a month ago. I didn’t post it then, as it seemed somewhat unrelated to immediate goings-on and to come a bit out of nowhere. That of course has now demonstrated itself to be a staggering irony.

There are many people (largely women of color) who have recognized the manifestation of what I write about here for some time. Though a lifelong liberal who has always voted Democratic, I am late in realizing it, largely due to oblivious privilege and not having to recognize it. I had planned to publish this post closer to the November midterm elections in the United States. Given that recent events in the US have brought this phenomenon into stark relief, now certainly seems close enough….

In contemporary human society, within every race, ethnicity, group, there have been female and male members. Obviously…that is how they reproduce. So within every group, however pitted these groups may be against each other, there has been (in modern society) the internal juxtaposition of a hierarchy between women and men. One of the most profound and pervasive distortions that has developed in the human species has purported to see the feminine, which we’ve generally (and superficially) perceived as represented by women, as inferior, subordinate, and weaker. The inaccuracy of this is stunning, but I’ll likely save the elucidation of that for another blog post.

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October 3rd, 2018

It’s Only Natural…Or Is It?

When I see claims about what is “natural” in contexts using natural as an argument for adhering to a particular behavior, I tend to wrinkle my brow. The argument—what is “natural”—seems a dubious one to me in that numerous things in which we have engaged historically and currently don’t necessarily seem natural.

I’m not sure what’s natural, for example, about inventing and building a cell phone and using it. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be done, just that I’m not sure what seems “natural” about it. To go even further, medical interventions, especially in contexts involving modern medical discoveries and technology, seem to me they could be deemed “unnatural.”

So if the postulation is that we shouldn’t be doing things that aren’t “natural” (I have seen non-heterosexual behavior or attractions, for example, labeled as such) or should stick to engaging in what is, I wonder exactly what those parameters would entail. And in wondering that, I question further that if one does not postulate that everything “unnatural” should be eradicated from our existence and pursuits, then why should some things considered not natural be? How are these chosen, and why is this criterion applied selectively?

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June 25th, 2018

The Literal Power of Love

 width=When I was five years old, I got lost at Walt Disney World. I remember the moment I looked around and realized I was in a sea of people, none of whom I recognized, and that I didn’t know where my family was. I immediately started crying, and within seconds, a gentleman approached and picked me up. He asked if I was lost. I said yes just as another gentleman approached and asked the first if I was lost. The first gentleman answered in the affirmative as my increasingly anguished wails grew louder.

The next thing I remember, I was in what seemed like a lounge of sorts. There was a couch, and I sat on it sobbing while a few grownups spoke kindly to me about how I was liking Walt Disney World and what kinds of things I liked to do back home. I had no concentration for any such conversation, however, because I didn’t know where my parents were or what was going to happen to me. The prospect of never seeing them again and not having any idea how they might find me brought forth an emotional overwhelm I couldn’t begin to describe then and am still at a loss to articulate now, 36 years later.

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