Monday, May 23, 2011

Milk of Human Kindness

My momentum has not yet returned, at least not at full strength. The rage has not yet dissipated completely and leaks out all over the joint when least required. The need for momentum and impetus and action has, of course, not diminished, either. If anything it has increased.

I really appreciated all your suggestions and have kept them rolling around in my head all week as I try to just keep doing what I can and not being too hard on anyone. I credit that discussion with how nicely my Friday went. Due to circumstances beyond my control I hadn't been to a voice lesson in about a month. Due to lack of momentum I hadn't prepared as much as I felt I ought to. I knew I wouldn't get into trouble for it and I knew I could wing it with ease but I still felt nervous about going back. While my teacher is welcoming and creates a safe space for exploration she challenges me and knows exactly the tasks that stretch me the most. I wasn't sure I had the emotional wherewithal to stretch or meet challenges.

Halfway down the block on the way to the subway I had a realization that this lesson was for me. (I am brilliant, no? Let me explain.) This was a situation where I was, at the core, paying someone to take care of me. It follows then that it's OK for me to go to that place and ask for the care I needed and not feel bad about it. So I did. And it went really well. And she sent me home with a lot of homework that seems suddenly quite daunting but I know is right.

Halfway down the block to the return subway I had another realization. This time it was about my singing and it's something I think I'll share later.

The caretaking revelation has stayed with me for a while and has, I think, touched off a recognition of other things. Today, for instance, I was browsing through news blogs and saw a photograph of Harvey Milk as this would have been his 81st birthday. I was struck by how handsome I think he is. He is not quite as goofy as Sean Penn portrayed him. Or maybe he is but that honest look in his eye casts a different light in the photos. I wish he were still here.

He's not and there's nothing to be done about that. There are plenty of other things to be done, however, and Milk's 81st birthday seems as good a time as any to do some. Another spectacular person, loving dog chick and friend to this blog, Sueb0b, is going to turn 50 in a few weeks. She has decided to...well, she says it better:
"...because I feel so blessed and have pretty much everything I could ever need, I am asking people to get involved with charities, if they are so inspired, in honor of my birthday. And in honor of caring, humanity and all that good stuff. I am featuring a different charity every day for 50 days leading up to my birthday to give you plenty of chances to get involved. I started on May 18. I wanted to give a voice to different good works around the globe. If you ARE inspired to take action, please leave me a comment and let me know that you did. This is all I want for my birthday – to spread some love and kindness."
Today, while catching up on blog reading that stacked up over the weekend I flagged two of SB's recommended charities that spoke to me. Firstly, there's Write Girl, a California-based organization arming girls with communication skills that spring board them into the rest of their lives. It values all kinds of writing and believes in expanding the experience of students rather than narrowing it. It's a concept so simple and so roundly ignored these days that it brings tears to my eyes.

Secondly, there's a group called Accelerated Cure for MS. I have one specific personal connection to MS and a few tangential ones. One of the more frustrating things about it is that it is, arguably, not a direct diagnosis but one that one comes to when enough other things have been ruled out. We don't know nearly enough about it to combat it properly. Accelerated Cure is fighting to collect more data and have findings more widely distributed. I know it doesn't seem like much of a scientific breakthrough to be in favor of shared results and interaction between researchers but, if you do even the tiniest bit of reading, you know that's really not the way scientific research (and, more motivationally, its funding) works here.

Despite not feeling like doing much to save myself I do want to boost these organizations both on their own merits and to honor Sueb0b and her generous idea. These might be the two you like. You might like another one she's already talked about or you might want to keep reading for the rest of the 50 days (and beyond!). I'm sure you'll be inspired before the candles are lit on her cake.


  1. I'm clicking through that writegirl link as soon as I'm done here.

    You freaked me out. Every morning, I do a "today in history" during our morning circle, and I was KICKING myself that I missed Harvey Milk's birthday today. Then I double-checked and decided not to kick myself; his birthday would have been yesterday.

  2. i didn't know Accelerated Cure existed. thanks for the link.