Right Now I’m Just Right

Aunt Junie told me she’d heard these words once in a CS lecture:
“It is never too little; too much; too late; or too soon.”
And now, as I wake in the middle of the night, these words dance
in my thoughts as I gaze up at the moon.

I am never too old or too young,
too heavy or too thin,
with too little time or too much
to do what Love needs me to do,
or to feel the power of Love’s touch.

I’m neither too rich or too poor,
too masculine or too feminine,
too dark-skinned or too light
to be the perfect expression of Good
right NOW I’m just right.

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

An alpine butterfly flits among the flowers on Table Mountain. Photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell.


Let’s Stop Dehumanizing Each Other

At a time when we desperately need to come together and support the good in each other – at a time when we need to do away with stereotypes and stop dehumanizing each other – it was very disappointing to see the headline in the paper today. It felt like a punch in the gut. It’s time for people of privilege to stop using “Karens” as their scapegoat – as a way to show that they are allies to the disenfranchised and that they aren’t bigots. In actuality, people who use “Karen” as a pejorative are revealing their bigotry – their sexism and ageism – by using the name in this way.

Using “Karen” as a label for a racist isn’t funny or clever. It’s mean. Those named “Karen” feel pain; they cry and mourn and grieve and deal with mental health issues just like everyone else. And this kind of bullying hurts – I have at least one friend named “Karen” who has contemplated suicide in the last year. Using “Karen” in this way does not add anything good or kind to this world. And this world is in desperate need of kindness.
Karen Molenaar Terrell

It’s HER! SHE’s the One with the White Privilege!

Self-censoring myself, stowing word-sabers –
sarcasm and snappy satire – in the scabbard,
and becoming the saint of scrubbed and sanitized
sacchariney sweetness
so as not to seem sensitive, insecure, vulnerable
so as to seem safe, secure, strong, unsusceptible,
so as to seem above the spikes and spurs
because we all know the scapegoat should
never sound off – her job is to be stoic
and suffer in silence for your sins
when the song stops and there’s no seat for her
– she’s the one still standing for all the other
people of privilege to paste the sign on
and establish that THEY are not racists,
maskless, vaccineless stooges
(strangely, establishing their biases
in their efforts to seem bias-less)
but – suffering succotash – it stings!
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Karen Meme: As If We Don’t Already Have Enough to Deal With

Dear Huffington Post:

You’d think a writer named “Ron Dicker” would be one of the last ones to use the “Karen” meme in his story.

Until now you’ve been one of my go-to places to get information – progressive, smart, witty and wise. But that just changed, for me. It turns out your writers, too, are bigoted, unkind, bullying, and mean-spirited. As if the inhabitants of our world don’t already have enough crap to deal with right now – dying friends, dying family, dying planet – let’s perpetuate that whole “Karen” thing, right?

Note: The maskless woman was named “Terry” – not “Karen.”

Words, people. Words matter. I expected more from your writers than old labels, unoriginal thought, stereotypes, sexism, ageism, and bigotry. What good were you adding to the world by using the Karen meme? How is that going to make our world a better place?

I am sorely disappointed.
Karen