Forcing Their Will on Us

There are two men sitting on the Supreme Court who have been accused of sexual misconduct towards women. Those same men were among those who voted to end the right for a woman to have control over her own body. It feels, to me, like what those two men were accused of doing to individual women, they are now doing to an entire collective nation of women – forcing their will on us. And it seems to me they are among the LAST people who should have been given that kind of power over others.

I Found Hope Yesterday

I was feeling discouraged this morning. No, “discouraged” is an understatement for what I was feeling – what I was feeling was something beyond that. As I was posting on FB, my friend, Kathy, commented that she could use a hug and said she’d be working to register voters at the Mount Vernon YMCA. Coincidentally, I needed a hug, too. I also needed to get some groceries. So I got in Rosalita Ipswich O’Molenovich and drove, first, to the supermarket, and then to the YMCA.

When I got to the supermarket, I saw a man standing on a corner with a sign indicating he was in need. And the thought that came to me was, “I maybe don’t want to be on this planet right now, but maybe I can do some good while I AM here.” So I parked and walked over to the man and asked if I could get him something in the supermarket. He said he was really hungry, so I asked him if I could get him a sandwich, and he said yes. I bought my groceries – including TWO quarts of Paul Newman virgin lemonade – and then picked up a sandwich for the gentleman on the corner.

When I brought him his sandwich, I realized he was probably pretty thirsty, too – it’s hot here today – and I realized the second quart of lemonade was for him. He smiled and thanked me and took the sandwich and lemonade from me.

I was already feeling much better.

After the supermarket, I drove down to find Kathy at the YMCA to exchange a hug, and met a whole lot of other really cool people, too. There was young Roran with his rainbow drawings, a woman who helps victims of domestic violence, a couple people who work with Planned Parenthood, and folks from PFLAG of Skagit County. And meeting these people – brave and compassionate and caring people – has given me back my hope.

It’s Too Big for Words

I know.
I can’t find the words.
It’s too big for words.
So much seems too big
for words these days.

It’s hard to wrap my head around
the fact that we live in a country
where we are all at the mercy
of other people’s religious beliefs.

Just know you’re not alone.
You have a world of mothers,
and fathers, aunts and uncles,
and sisters and brothers
standing right there with you.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Why Watch This?

Why watch this? That’s a fair question. It’s caused some self-reflection here, and that’s always a good thing, I think.

Why did I watch?

-I still feel traumatized by what I saw on television on January 6th. I saw heroes in capital police uniforms holding the line at risk to their lives to keep our democracy alive. I saw a Republican vice president and the Republican senate majority leader make the choice to stand by their oaths of office and finish the job of counting the electoral votes right after their lives and the lives of other other legislators had been in peril. I saw bullies and thugs trying to force what THEY wanted on the rest of us (the majority of whom elected Biden president in a legal election). I saw bullies and thugs chanting to “hang Pence” and threatening the lives of public servants who were just trying to do their jobs.

– I wanted to see the heroes publicly acknowledged.

– I wanted to see the bullies and thugs publicly exposed for what they are.

– I wanted to see the liars and cheats publicly confronted with their lies and cheating, and I wanted those who blindly believed in them to finally come to see they’d been misled.

– I wanted to see the insanity and terror of January 6th publicly addressed.

The United States should not be run like it’s some organized crime syndicate by a mob boss who expects his “underlings” to “find him 10,000 votes” – and is surprised when they don’t go along with his insanity.

It Is Time, My friends

My dear Humoristian hooligans –

It is time, my friends. It is time to blast the world with over-the-top joy. It is time to roll out our big cannons of jocularity and good will and rain humongo missiles of love and kindness upon the mental landscape. It is time to step up to the front and lock arms with one another and protect the battered, bullied and beleaguered with the unbreakable shield of Love and Truth. We are in control here. With Love leading the charge, we are not the beaten, but the unbeatable. May the bullies, bigots, and busybodies be transformed by your unbreakable courage. May the stodgy and stingy be transformed by your irrepressible good will to all.

The time for the kind-hearted has come!
Amen.
Karen

 “Your influence for good depends upon the weight you throw into the right scale. The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.”
Mary Baker Eddy

Flower Doodle by Karen Molenaar Terrell

The most romantic, over-the-top feel-good marriage proposal I have ever seen in my life. Ever.

This is an old blog post (September 14, 2013), but it came to my thought just now and I thought maybe Pride Month was a good time to repost it:

Okay, I just watched a youtube clip that still has me wiping the tears from my face.  I was so moved by this clip – so completely inspired by it.  It went waaaay  beyond your typical proposal of young man on bended knee proposing to young woman – no, this proposal included a choreographed dance to Billy Who’s upbeat song, Somebody Loves You, and an ensemble cast of parents, friends, youngsters, oldsters – all there to support the handsome couple. This marriage proposal was testament to the power of community and the power of love. And part of what made the proposal so extraordinary, for me, was that the couple wasn’t a man and a woman at all – the couple was a man and a man… in Salt Lake City… Utah. And… did I mention that their mums and dads were there? Friends? Little girls in pinks tutus doing cartwheels? Babies? If you haven’t seen this clip, you gotta watch it – you just gotta!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4HpWQmEXrM

This is the way it’s supposed to be. Acceptance. Support. Celebration. Love.

I look forward to that day when every citizen can share in the exact same rights as every other citizen of our land. 
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Gift of Being Trusted

It was a busy intersection in bustling mid-day traffic and I’d just pulled up to a right-turn yield sign, ready to slide myself into traffic when there was a break in the flow. I glanced to the right and saw a young Black man with a shopping cart full of belongings, waiting to cross to the island on the other side of me. He saw me look at him – I think I smiled – and he pointed to the island – he was asking if he could go ahead and cross in front of me. I smiled and pointed to the island, too, and raised my eyebrows and nodded my head – indicating that he was good to go. He nodded his head at me and crossed in front of me – trusting me – and we gave each other a “have a good day” wave.

And I know this seems like just a litte thing, but I can’t tell you what it meant to me that this young man trusted his life to me as he crossed in front of my car.

That’s how communities function, isn’t it? We’re all trusting each other with our very lives – every day of every month of every year that we’re out there, moving amongst each other.

Let’s Say We Had a Choice

So let’s say we knew, for instance, that our world was heading towards its doom. Let’s say, for instance, that a superpower had invaded, unprovoked, a neighboring country and was pulling other nations into a world war. Let’s say that a tyrant had somehow managed to build a following and get himself into power in our own country, and, after losing a legitimate election, was doing everything he could – criminal, illegal, dishonest things – to get himself back into power. Let’s say that there were more guns than people in this country (120.5 for every100 people, let’s say) and that it didn’t look like our country’s leaders were going to try to get control of that any time soon. Let’s say that more than 311,000 students had experienced gun violence in schools since Columbine. Let’s say that plastics, fossil fuel consumption, overuse, misuse, and abuse was destroying our oceans, land and air. Let’s say that even the basic right to have control over our own bodies was being threatened. Let’s say there was talk of Civil War. Let’s say things looked like complete crap here.

What then? Would we give up? Would we just resign ourselves to our collective fate and spend our time here shivering in fear, waiting for death, holed up in our hidey holes? Or… would we use our time here to try to find solutions? Would we view every new day as another chance to love and be kind and to make a new friend and make something beautiful?

Let’s say we had a choice.

Trust. Love Wins. Always.

Yesterday – before I knew – I felt
this sudden deep sense of loss.
It was like a shadow passed over me
and I felt cold.
And scared.
And I found myself reaching out
in my thoughts to the power
and presence of Love
that I’ve come to trust
is always there for me –
even in the darkest times.
I asked a question
that seemed odd and weirdly
morose at the time:
“Will you be there for me at the end?
Will you help me through?”
The answer was immediate –
I felt enveloped in this warm
blanket of love. “Yes. Always. Trust.”

I’m going to hang onto that –
through the cries of “Civil War!”
made by the brainwashed and misguided;
through the shrieks of “More guns!
More guns is the answer!”
by the terrified and confused;
through the schemes and screams
of the financially entitled
and politically powerful,
of the bigots, busybodies, and bullies.

“Trust. Love wins. Always.”
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

Thoughts on Gun Control From a Teacher

Yes, emotional and mental health is a huge problem in our society. People are feeling without hope, discouraged, unloved, disrespected, shamed and humiliated and bullied. We live in a culture that’s big into shaming each other – it’s not healthy. And we need to address all of that, for sure. But all of that is going to take time. You can’t just put a bandaid on that kind of hurt and call it “fixed.”

A more immediate thing we CAN do is put restrictions on guns. I can understand people owning guns for hunting or recreational target practice. But I see no reason why the type of rapid-fire weapon used by that high schooler should be on the market for anyone to buy. That just seems insane to me.