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Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

racism Archives

Dear America: a call to wake up

This is a time of mourning, for me. Of grieving for another America, one that we seem to have lost touch with in recent months (perhaps years…?). The America my father, my husband, my sisters and so many of my […]

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of outsiders, refugees, and the sound of hearts, breaking

Perhaps it’s because I lived so many years in places where I was the ‘outsider.’ Perhaps it’s because 10 of those years were spent in Muslim countries. Perhaps it’s because I’ve traveled. A lot. As have my children, my husband, […]

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when will we ever learn?

During the Việtnam War, there was a popular folk song covered by several artists ~  Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Written by Pete Seeger as an anti-war song, it continues to be one of my favourite anti-violence statements. Yes, it’s about […]

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talking, listening, and pretending to engage

Yesterday I spent far more time than I’m comfortable confessing on the FB wall of a colleague (& friend). It was a discussion (as many are these days) about Baltimore. My friend had posted a piece by a young woman […]

passion vs anger, and poetry to bank the wrong fires

While I’m passionate about many things (politics, tea, food, books, poetry…), I usually only get really angry about a few things. The main one is mean people. I know: ‘mean girls.’ But seriously? If you’re mean to my friends or […]

the importance of being artists

This is a love song to the power of the arts. It’s also a bit of a book review — in praise of a book so strong it will shatter your preconcieved notions and crack your heart open like an […]

day 25 of Thanksgiving month: gratitude in the wake of #Ferguson

Today, in the wake of Ferguson, my beginner’s heart is breaking. There seems so very little to be grateful for. I wasn’t even going to write. And then I thought — there is one sad, terrible thing for which I […]

dream big, think hard: for #Ferguson

Sometimes, when I wake up in the small hours of the night (as I often do), I lay there thinking. Last night, I was thinking in part about how lucky I am in my two sons. How proud of them […]

What did George Fox say? or, the Quakers vs. the Puritans

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, trying to make sense out of the craziness rampant in too many American city police departments. The newest idiocy is the story of a St. Paul, Minnesota man who was, basically, tased for sitting […]

my mother’s heart and #Ferguson

This is my wonderful family. These are my infinitely fallible and perfect sons, my perfect daughter-in-law (known in my writings as DIL), my beloved. And this is a story about empathy. Both of my sons look — to anyone outside […]

heartsick reprised

I use this image alot in my blog. I wish I knew who first created it — they deserve my undying admiration & gratitude. Because to me, this is beginner’s heart. It’s what I think of these days, especially, as […]

heartsickness, the ’60s, and Ferguson MO

I write daily. Often it’s a note to family, or a response to a friend or colleague. Sometimes revising creative work, and usually this blog. Lately, the blog has probably saved my blood pressure (normally quite low). I write to […]

#iftheygunnedmedown, or, America’s open season on young black men

The tragic shooting of Michael Brown is only the latest in a series of such tragedies. Unlike in some cases of continued horror, I am not inured. This time, in fact, Brown’s horrible death cries out for more than FB […]

So, what colour is Santa? Or Jesus, for that matter? And why the HECK should this be on the news??

I tend to go off, as we all know. And a newscaster from Fox News (I won’t name her, but you can find the article here; she doesn’t deserve more publicity) just lit my fuse. Santa, she says, is white. […]

in praise of grandparents

I L♥VE this letter from a grandfather to his gay-hating daughter. The idea that there is shame attached to gender makes me crazy. I can’t imagine disowning a child for anything, and something as fixed as gender identification?? If it […]

race & gender & class, or, how Trayvon Martin died for our sins ~

When I recently posted a blog concerning white privilege on my FB, a long-time friend & colleague asked, “At what point do we quit beating our chests?” Here’s my answer, and a warning: it’s long. But I did cite resources! […]

what’s wrong w/ the Martin/Zimmerman ‘trial’ ~

It’s not okay to kill people. Ever. It’s sometimes necessary, but it’s never okay. We grieve — even when execution is, as the Dalai Lama said about the death of bin Laden, the only way to avoid more deaths. We […]

race in America, and the dilemma of forgiveness ~

I’ve never cared for Paula Deen. Didn’t watch her on TV more than once or twice. Didn’t buy her cookbooks. Don’t even care for her kind of cooking, these days. I also think that people need to NOT use the […]

revisiting microagressions and social justice (and what white people get out of both) ~

 I spent most of June this summe, in a graduate Institute with teachers of all grade levels (k-university), in several content areas, and from varied backgrounds. The seminar lasts for three weeks. During week 2 we discuss cultures: what each […]

labels ~

Each year, in the summer graduate seminar I help direct, we do a roundtable about the cultures students bring with them into our classes. We try to invite different perspectives, highlighting cultural and social differences that may not be familiar […]

Previous Posts

saving the world
I can't save the world. And it makes me crazy. I can't even save individual people. Or cats & dogs. And that makes me crazy, too. Because I'm a fixer, ...

posted 7:51:19pm Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

a happily full-isa calendar, and a thank-you to Jimmy Carter
My calendar for the next few months is filling up quickly. And while usually that makes me feel overwhelmed (and I confess to moments of that still!), my ...

posted 9:25:31pm Jan. 31, 2016 | read full post »

temper temper
I don't have a terrible temper. I can take quite a bit of hassle, as long as it's just about me. No one will agree w/ you all the time, nor will everyone ...

posted 3:16:38pm Jan. 27, 2016 | read full post »

beneath winter
In winter, much happens out of sight. Magic is uncurling beneath piles of frost-blackened leaves, beneath the glistening canvas of snow. In dormant hives, ...

posted 1:30:36pm Jan. 22, 2016 | read full post »

the art of interdependence
I love reading my horoscope. I won't go so far as to say I believe it, but often it really does hit the nail, etc. Spot-on, as a Brit friend of mine would ...

posted 2:15:50pm Jan. 18, 2016 | read full post »

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