Sunday, September 13, 2009

All I Know Is What I Think I Know and God Knows I Could Be Wrong

It's been a day, but a good one. Strange in some ways with unexpected turns of events. Now in my life, an unexpected turn of event could be finding an Ensure bottle amongst the beer cans by the side of the road when I pick up trash, which I did today, making me wonder if some nutritionally deficient elder delinquent is riding around and tossing his Ensure bottles out the window as he finishes them. If so, it's sort of funny but not really. It's only a half mile piece of road and I filled up two tall kitchen garbage bags and left some trash behind. There are things even I won't touch and I'll touch almost anything, including dead roaches to take to my chickens.

Note: Chickens prefer cockroaches to cashews. Yet another reason to love them.

I also found this:



I think we could entitle this one, She Don't Love Bubba Anymore.

Or maybe, "Percival, You Have Broken My Heart In Two."

Hard to say but it's safe to say that someone has torn this gentleman right out of the picture.

Then later on, when I went and took the trash I'd collected down to the trash place, the man who works there sometimes asked me if I was going to Chaires Crossroad. Well, I was not. Chaires Crossroad is about ten miles away. However, there was a young lady who was at the garbage place who needed a ride to Chaires Crossroad and I just felt so sorry for her that I said I'd take her.

She got in the car and I apologized for being dirty (I was, having been on garbage patrol and then doing some yardwork) but she said that was fine and we chatted a little as I drove and she told me that the man at the garbage place had told her it was too dangerous for her to walk down that road as a lot of black people lived there.

Being my usual calm and diplomatic self I said, "That old prejudiced son-of-a-bitch!" Okay. The term "mother-fucker" may have also been in there somewhere.

Turns out the girl herself was from Turkey and had been adopted by a black father and a white mother and she was mad at her father with whom she lives and was walking to her grandparent's house near Chaires Crossroad and I don't know if they are black or white but their name is White and I know this because it said so on their house. "The Whites."

Could I make this stuff up?

I told her I'd walked down that road many times and the only time I'd ever felt in danger was when I went down a dirt road where obviously insane white people live with their insane dogs and yes, I felt I could have been in danger when a rottweiler lunged at me and the man who owned it just stood there and looked at me with his beady eyes and did nothing while I was peeing in my pants and telling the dog to GO HOME!

Okay.

I got myself so worked up over the old guy at the dump I almost went and told him off but I didn't and I don't know if I should be proud of myself or ashamed.

Sometimes you just don't know what the right thing to do is. Can I get an amen on that?

Which leads us to the fact that in my over two years of blogging I think I've gotten one negative comment before the great Twitter Incident this past week and I've gotten a few since then. The last one is a woman who desperately wants to know when I think Lily's baby became a human and not just an "inconvenient blob of tissue."

Well, you know, I can't answer that question and I keep telling her that in the comments but she won't buy it. Obviously, she wants me to admit that Lily's baby has always been a human, from the moment the sperm hit the egg until now. Well, I just don't know. Like I told her, I don't think an acorn is a tree and I don't think a fertilized egg is a chicken, although there is certainly the potential there. I also told her that my opinion about abortion is that if you don't believe in them, you should not have one.

Otherwise, let each and every woman decide for herself.

But the question is a good one. When does an embryo or a fetus become a human being? And is it a sin to stop one from becoming a human being?

What I really think is that the potential for being a human isn't a human being. And I also think that either I don't really believe life is sacred or else I believe it's so sacred that to allow a human embryo to become a real-live baby human is such a huge and sacred thing that it should be considered carefully. Bringing a child into a world where there will not be enough to eat for it to develop properly or where there is no health care or where the mother knows she is not fit to raise a child because of emotional, psychological or other reasons doesn't seem like honoring life to me. Mother Nature always errs on the side of too much. You should see the number of acorns that drop out of the trees some years. If every one of those grew up to be an oak tree, I wouldn't have ground to walk on and let's face it- the ground couldn't support such a growth of trees.

Now I'm not equating oak trees with babies, exactly, although maybe I am. The acorns which manage to sprout and thrive and grow into trees are tough and persistent and the trees they grow into are sacred in my opinion.

What I'm saying here is that I believe that every baby born deserves the best life possible. That doesn't mean his or her parents need a fine house to live in and an entire wardrobe from Baby Gap, either. When my oldest ones were born we had squat and yet, they had plenty of everything they really needed, most of which was love.
And ideally, every child born would have enough of that to make anything else adequate.

But that's not the case. And if a woman knows that she is not able to raise a baby in the way a baby deserves to be raised, I believe she has the right to acknowledge that and terminate the pregnancy if she wants to.
That's that.

There are too many children on this earth who are not being raised in love or with enough food or attention to let them grow up to be normal human beings with normal problems. They grow up knowing nothing but anger and neglect and hunger and sexual and emotional and physical abuse and by the time they're adults they're probably either in jail, addicted, or raising another child the same way they were raised. Is this what we would call humanity?

Listen- I've heard plenty of survivors of sexual abuse say they wish they'd never been born and these were often professional white women. They wished they'd never been born because what they'd endured as children had so profoundly affected them that they knew they would never be happy or okay or even content. And that's just survivors of sexual abuse that I have happened to know.

What is humanity? What makes us human? Our DNA? Yeah. Sure.
But what else? Compassion and the ability to love. I think so. The right to be loved.

I think in a perfect world all children who have the tenacity and strength to make it through conception and development and birth would be born to a mother who recognized the Christ child in her baby, the Buddha she had birthed.

We don't live in a perfect world. There are women who give birth not through love but through a haze of despair, through the smoke of the crack pipe, through the inability to even know the huge responsibility that bearing a child entails.

That's what I think. That each and every child deserves a parent who wants it and who will welcome it and who will take care of it. And don't talk to me about adoption. I've yet to meet the mother who gave a baby away who is at peace with that decision to the point where she doesn't dream of that baby all the time, who doesn't mark birthdays with tears, who doesn't wonder in her heart what it would have been like if she could have kept her baby.

Look- this topic is too big for me. And who gives a shit what Ms. Moon thinks about it? Really. My opinion doesn't mean a damn thing. I have known women who were adamantly pro-choice who, finding themselves inconveniently pregnant, could not bring themselves to get an abortion and I have known women who were as adamantly pro-life who have had abortions.

This is the most private, most serious decision a woman can make and it is not up to me, or to you or to a law-maker to make it for her.

And finally, let me say that the cozy little blog world I have inhabited for over two years now suited me fine. I can deal with people who read my words and disagree with them. What I cannot deal with is people who read my words and want to change me.

I am fifty-five years old. I have done a few things. I have lived through some things. And I know what I believe. This is not to say I am closed-minded. I cherish other opinions. I have readers who have vastly different opinions than I do on religion and politics but they read me and I read them because I know they are thoughtful people who base their opinions on their own realities and who are not afraid to speak the truths they have come to learn.

That's what I'm thinking about tonight, September 13, 2009. I am not here to make you think the way I do and you are not there to make me think the way you do.

But bless all our hearts because we are all at least thinking. And that is part of what a human does. A part of what makes a human being.

At least to my mind. Which is the one guiding the fingers which write these words on a quiet night in Lloyd, Florida.

42 comments:

  1. I am late to the party, but thanks for welcoming me anyway. I'm still catching up on the old blogs, reading random ones who's tags pique my interest, and they're all interesting, and honest and open. Why someone would choose to hang around and argue abortion, religion or anything else with you is beyond me. Seems pretty rude, but my internet experience has opened my eyes to how many types of rude are out there, typing away. Scares me most of the time.

    Anyway, I find myself nodding and agreeing with most everything you have to say, and I'm glad you're out there saying it, giving voice to my version of reason and sanity. Thanks.

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  2. Gorgeous post.

    I have to admit that my favorite part is the Turkish hitchhiker and the Whites. One of my writing teachers/mentors told her class once: You just can't make that shit up. It's really one of my favorite sayings, or should I say MAXIMS. (And have you ever seen the show with Larry David when he goes to the airport and picks up a black family from Katrina named the Blacks? Oh, my Lord, it's funny).

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  3. Elizabeth- http://blessourhearts.blogspot.com/2008/03/if-its-wrong-to-love-larry-david.html

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  4. Mel Carrol- Isn't it lovely when we find our own tribe?

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  5. Ms. Moon, I don't often comment on "hot topics," but the right to choose is so very important to us as women - all women. Just because I can't fathom ever having an abortion does not give me (or anyone else) the right to tell someone else they can't. Bottom line, end of story.

    Who is to say when an embryo becomes a human? How far will it go? If abortion was made illegal, what's next, birth control?

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  6. I'm so behind! Oh. I need to get to reading in a hurry.

    I agree with you. I do. And the way I see it, I just shrug & smile when I don't.

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  7. Here we are in 2009, in the land of freedom and all that jazz, and a huge portion of our population is arguing for rights to be TAKEN AWAY from women and their own bodies.

    I'm with you all the way on this issue, Ms. Mama Moon. None of us know the point at which cells turn into a human beings, but what we do know is that there are already so many people on this planet, so many children who are left without love, food, clothes, educations, and families, who aren't being taken care of. And I'm sorry to say this, but without legal abortions, we would have so many more needy people.

    And one thing that I have always thought about is, what if I had been one of those aborted fetuses? Well you know what? I don't think I would have cared at all, because I wouldn't have known what I was missing. But I guess that's where people probably feel so differently, because afterlife and religion plays into that.

    Anyway, I am glad I was born. I have a mighty good existence here in this world and in this family.

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  8. Ms. Trouble- I need to learn that shrug and smile thing. I am too hot-headed.

    HoneyLuna- You are so wise. So innocent and so wise. May and I were talking about that this evening. I love you so...Mama

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  9. coming from a childhood of powerlessness, i see any motion to remove CHOICE from me in any form as a direct threat to my personhood.

    no one but me can decide for me, this goes from what i eat cheese on to what i decide to to with my ovaries.

    again, i have issues with anyone who considers the 'preborn' or whatever the hell terms they use as being more important than the folks already walking this earth in suffering, esp. the children.

    can't they just donate to sally struthers and leave the rest of us the hell alone to make our decisions?

    xxalainaxx

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  10. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Abortion: the ultimate child abuse" and I said outload, to no one, "are you fucking kidding me?" Yeah, it would be so much better to be born and endure physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

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  11. My dear god--I have somehow missed all that in the comments, and not sure how.

    But this line "Mother Nature always errs on the side of too much." made me stop in my tracks and you are so very right, and no one can understand that unless you have spent time in nature and understand it.

    You always make me stop and think. I just love you is all.

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  12. Wonderful post Ms. Moon. We share the same view on so many topics, but you have a way of expressing it so eloquently. Thank you for being so bold.

    By the way, love the new header picture. I showed A and she fell in love. If you sell I told her we could buy and we would have a chicken coop too!

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  13. Another excellent post that I love! I'm going to borrow some of your words that echo my thoughts and feelings and will give you credit for them again.

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  14. Amen to all of that.

    You sure are courting controversy this month. Stirring up the internet.

    Just to add to the problems, I have to say (in no way disagreeing with you) that I am a little freaked out by hearing about partial birth abortion. I would not like to be a lawmaker or health professional involved in that. Because I would have a sneaking suspicion that some humanness slips in at some point in the process. While still believing that a woman is the only one who can decide about her own body. I suppose in America you'd have to be very brave to work in an abortion clinic anyway.

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  15. Amen to all that, Ms M. I agree about the oak trees. Completely.

    This is completely concise and reasoned and I really can't see how anyone could disagree with it.

    Not even the roaches bit, much as I'd prefernot to think about them.

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  16. Ms. A- I wish.

    Steph- That is exactly what I'm saying.

    SJ- Look at the number of eggs every woman is born with. Look at the number of sperm in every drop of semen. We are overblessed with our abilities to reproduce if all goes normally, which I admit doesn't always happen.

    Mel's Way- Oh my goodness. We are not selling at this point. Maybe in ten years. Who knows?

    Nola- Thank-you.

    Joy- It's for free.

    Mwa- Yes. That's why abortion is such a hot topic. I am not taking it lightly, I tell you. And the people in this country who work in abortion clinics take their lives in their hands every day.

    Ms. Jo- Well, maybe it's just my chickens.

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  17. I get all caught up in the idea of who gets to decide whose life has more value, the as-yet-unborn child's OR the mother's? and that right there is what makes me feel so strongly that women should be allowed to choose. I look at the girls (and they are technically women, as they have birthed babies but they are still girls, little 14 year old girls who are mamas) in my daughter's school and it makes me mad-that they have a really, really hard row to hoe and maybe-probably-aren't going to have much beyond what they have right this minute, and to escape from it they might marry any guy who prmises them the world and sometimes it might work out but mostly it doesn't, and I think of all of the missed potential, and have to question what mother fucking idiot piece of shit with money and support and resources falling out of his/her rich asshole could look at this scenario and say, "You HAVE to have this baby because it's life has value." What about her life?

    Yeah; I feel pretty strongly about this one. I am pro-choice, obviously, but I am also pro-life; I want these girls to be able to choose their OWN life over some unformed baby's life, if that makes sense.

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  18. Kori- It makes a lot of sense to me.

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  19. I agree 100% with choice. I personally could not have an abortion, after trying so hard to have my kids. But that crack whore down the street from me with 5 kids under age 10, running the streets and always in trouble while mom sleeps off her hangover...she could definitely have made some better choices. Those kids will grow up with nothing, and will probably make a lot more babies who will, in turn, grow up with nothing.
    It just pisses me off.

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  20. Ms. Moon,
    I loved the acorn analogy. Also, I love you. And I am pro-choice, also, of course. My Grandma taught me that the only thing in this world that is mine and that I have a right to make decisions about is my own mind and body. I have no right to make decisions about anybody else's body, just mine. If we start telling other people what to do with their bodies, we may as well live in Nazi Germany.

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  21. Well hell, you raised me, you know how I feel about the abortion topic. What really burns me is that nobody gave a shit about this until DOCTORS got involved because ladies would go to midwives for "getting rid of troubles" (I know it's annoying to quote something you can't cite, but I remember that's what it was called at some point from something I read when I did a report on this in high school) and that took business away from the doctors. Money money money. So the doctors got all sanctimonious about it and made it into a moral issue WHICH IT WASN'T. Your metaphor about the oak tree is very apt. Nice. Finally, I also have to say that I have seen what happens when someone has a baby they don't care about and it is heartbreaking.
    On a completely different topic, my bad kitten loves cockroaches too! I almost get excited when I see one because I think she is generally bored and it makes her so happy to hunt them down, kill them, and play with their mangled little corpses. Sometimes, when she is feeling especially giving, she puts them in my shoes.

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  22. Rachel- Yeah, that's really what the world needs, right? I mean, who are we to judge who can and who should have children and who shouldn't? But let's face it- some people do not take the responsibility the situation requires.

    Marsha- Thanks for the amen.

    Ms. Bastard- Your Grandma was wise. And RIGHT!

    May- I agree. Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing a kid who is not being cherished and cared for. NOTHING. And Pepita is such a little doll and so giving and caring. My chickens just eat those roaches up and they don't leave me a thing! Selfish little birds. But I love them.

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  23. Thanks for writing on this topic with such passion and clarity.

    Here's why your comments mean so much to me on this - you make points slowly and gently, circling around and touching all of the salient issues tenderly and respectfully.

    Your writing is always a favorite shaded tree and a cool glass of lemonade.

    Mary

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  24. There's a difference between the acorns that fall and fail to grow at the hand of mother nature, and those that fall and get trod on, or take root and get destroyed by man.

    No?

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  25. Mary- Well, hopefully sometimes there is an icy shot of vodka to go with that lemonade. But thank-you for putting how you feel about my writing in such beautiful words. And thank-you for feeling that way.

    Daddy X- Well, not really. Man is part of mother nature in the grand scheme of things but I get your drift. And as I said, it is not a perfect metaphor.

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  26. Hmmm, following that to it's logical conclusion then every thing man does is purely an extension of mother nature.

    While it may actually be true, it's not something I would be comfortable with seeing used as reasoning for many actions.

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  27. Daddy X- Too true. You are right.

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  28. Unfortunately, I think I am ;-)

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  29. Daddy X- About acorns at least. And men (and women in this case, especially) must be able to have the right to use their reasoning and the truth of the individual situation. That's what I think.

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  30. Undoubtedly, without freedom of choice we have nothing. That must be upheld.


    I'll never be able to stomach some of those choices though.

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  31. Daddy X- And you will never have to make that choice and I am glad of that.
    But here's more on the acorn thing: If a person clears out all the little sproutlings but a few and tends them and waters them and makes sure they are not nibbled by rabbits or birds and makes sure they get enough light and are not crowded, those are the sprouts which have the best chance of growing up to become magnificent trees.

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  32. True, but what of the ones that gotten rid of to make way?

    Could have been equally magnificent.

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  33. Daddy X- Perhaps. But not if left untended. Not if all the sprouts were left. It would be so crowded that none of them would probably grow. In fact, a baby oak tree hardly ever makes it past a few inches under a mother oak. Not the right environment for an oak seedling. The acorn must be transferred to a better place for it to grow by an animal or a human. As I said- Mother Nature errs on the side of too much. Wait until ET's milk comes in- you will see what I mean.

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  34. i totally agree abortion is a deeply personal decision and I think of it as the choice someone makes when they don't feel like there are any other choices. Its vital that women can have the procedure safely and cleanly. And I too admire those who work at the clinics (what a crappy, dangerous but oh so necessary job!) I wonder if all those pro lifers would open their homes and raise all those unborn children they'd like to save?? I think not. Women have been doing this since the year dot, just like we've been birthing babies since the year dot

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  35. I think this metaphor dance will only expose my ungraceful self.

    I understand your direction, I just can't conceivably agree.

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  36. Anna- No one wants to make that choice. NO ONE. But sometimes it must be made.
    I agree with you- this is part of being a woman. Another one of the very, very hard parts of being a woman. We can create life and that is the most amazing thing of all. But we are NOT oak trees. We don't create life and then go on with our business. We MUST nurture and sustain that life for many, many years. For the rest of OUR lives, as far as I can see. Or as long as we are able. And even if the pro-lifers DID take in every unwanted baby, how is it fair to a woman to be forced to create a life and then to give it away? NO! I refuse to believe this is right. I refuse.

    Daddy X- I very much respect your words and your opinions. I really, really do. We do not have to agree on everything and it would be beyond strange if we did.

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  37. Dear Ms High Priestess of the Batshit Crazy,

    "I think in a perfect world all children who have the tenacity and strength to make it through conception and development and birth would be born to a mother who recognized the Christ child in her baby, the Buddha she had birthed."

    I found this particularly fascinating as I have been rolling around the possibility of the "Hail Mary" prayer being interpreted as a homage to all women who produce children... wherein the children really are God incarnate, we just don't recognize them.

    Great post, as always.
    Amen, Aho and selah,
    xoxo

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  38. Ms. Fleur- Interesting idea. Amen, Aho and selah to you, too. (What did I just say?)

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