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Guardians Covenant

Out there, messages linger, ghosts of forgotten transmissions drifting through space, sometimes they mean something, sometimes they are just small bits like “This is Ripley, last surviving member of the Nostromo, signing off”

(highly paraphrased from the book adaptation of Alien 3)

To say I was really getting excited about a new movie in my franchise is to belabor something quintessentially obvious if you know me. If you know me not, substitute some series or particular thing you love and think of new content, a new part of that world being explored, why and how did the events that led to your favorite story line come to be? Imagine they gave you the budget, the choice director? Imagine all the shiny things you thought it could be?

Now imagine going to see that world, to be immersed in a an expansive other world, to completely sublimate yourself for a few hours away from the real world to dive into something that MEANS something to you.

Now, as you are watching it, as you are hopefully yet skeptically giving it a little slack on the leash.. ok.. maybe a little more… ok.. this feels weird… but maybe.. no they aren’t going anywhere with that point… maybe this is where we get back to plot… nope? ok.. umm little more slack… little more… and the leash slips away… somehow you are left looking at your hands and wondering just how much rabid weasel crack they had to do to create this shitshow.

Alien: Classic horror/suspense/sci-fi elements that not only were internally consistent but set the stage for a pretty epic arc, it was about a first encounter, procedure, life, loss, corporate greed, betrayal, and survival. How do you survive against something so completely Alien.

Aliens: Action/sci-fi second chances(Ripleys, Newts, asshole Gormans) unanticipated consequences, growth, corporate greed, people first, redemption for synthetic persons

Alien 3: Action/sci-fi horror, ass end of the verse, with the refuse of humanity, still surviving, corporate greed, humans first, last chance and lost chance, the circle is complete, Ripley is lost, but refuses to let her loss lead to further loss. Swan dive into molten metal

Alien resurrection:

 

 

Stories

Words and connections and bridges and metaphors and similies, like a stew. It only starts to be amazing when the heat gets going. Put a character under pressure, under a low simmer for too long, Find a way to make the situatin really cook, what they are made of, character, elements, story, all starts to melt away, fat, bone, broth, the blend and change becoming not what they were but something, some marvelous thing that is more than it’s components. Stories become more than a line, more than a feeling, they become the part of and inspire us to become more of them. Welcome to the Guardians of the Frikkin Galaxy indeed. 

hobbits choice

Scraps and bits and all I am,

Confetti Kaleidoscope

listen, LISTEN, in symbols spoken trite

Twinkies of thought, cream filled confections

perfection in design, I Am

that icing, and sometimes steak

meat and raw and sprinkles

all within

Here’s my Fiction And my Truth

They were always the same for me.

hallelujah …

I heard that there’s a secret chord that David played and it pleased the lord

one step, next step all on their own path

I walk a lonely road, the only road that I have ever known

one step, next step prevail upon momentum

and I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad

one step, next step catch a breathe

time can bring you down, time can bend your knees

one step, next step trembling path

full of broken thoughts I cannot repair

one step, next step and know

for what it’s worth it was worth all the while

 

 

She

She entered in, late night pixels and poems

screen words and shared sympathy

curvaceous vocabulary tested me

honeyed tongue my muse

an ephemeral lover

of song and thought, pain played its part

loss and lost and losing

mind and matter shifting

aether maelstrom

then on her shores I fell

for a while

the best breast pillow

love lingered, languished and lived again

alive, again

her heart mired, trapped, then freed

her wings, trembling shook and flexed

strength of brother within

brought her without

and off again

to love again

to inspire again

all the while

She is

was

and always will be

She

 

It’s been a while between words…

Ok. Need a breath, need a break, but also need to devote time to the Resistance.

It’s been one hell of an emotional week and so many things are happening I’m literally feeling frazzled and distracted. It’s like I’ve been stuck in WalMart for the last year and just want to get out. That’s how it feels and I’ve just come on board with this fight.

I’ll have to admit the first time I got shook enough to go to a protest march, it wasn’t for Sandy Hook, it wasn’t for Black Lives, the LGBTQ crowd, it wasn’t for the Water Protectors our First Americans. It wasn’t for Immigrants, our next Americans. It was for the Women’s March.

I really want to think of myself as a good person. I work hard. I struggle. But…

My field is sexist in that 3/4 of men and women have a strong preference for a female therapist.  The idea that a politician can tell me what I can and can’t do with my body terrifies me as it is strongly intertwined with the fact that no matter how far we’ve come there is still a unshakable belief that a woman can’t be trusted to make choices for herself. Sexism is a tangible thing that I have felt. I understand it. I feel like I can fight it. I get it.

This, in a nutshell, is privilege. I didn’t have to worry because they came for those “thugs” and “fags” and “dirty Mexicans” and those “Muslims” I was against it, but.. to be honest… I never marched for them. When my own family used terms like that it made me cringe like when I’d hear my grandpa say “Nigger”. But, I never spoke up, or when I did and got a look I’d back down. Gods, it’s something you know is wrong but, why fuss? I mean old people will just be prejudiced and that’s the way it is right? Except those words, those hateful ideas that separate us and put all our problems onto a group, any other group than ourselves, those are what lead to the current administration and it’s fraught ideals that somehow there is someone else to blame.

We are to blame. For poverty. For racial divides. For suicides. For annexations and liberties taken by our government that to this day, January of fucking 2017 still disadvantage our Native population. At least if you start out disadvantaged you don’t go corporate to fuck your neighbor over for a percentage. We understand working for large corporations that there is a bottom line. Meet the bottom line and you get the breadcrumbs. We’ve felt so safe with our middle class breadcrumbs. If we look around at other problems we might have to get involved we might have to speak up.

Looking at a coloring book in the local Barnes and Noble because it caught my eye. It said Women of Power. I thought about all the times as a woman I’ve held my tongue to avoid conflict. To avoid being shrugged off again, dismissed again. I thought to Speak Up … that is a God-damned super power. To Speak Up and say NO. This isn’t right.

“Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.
This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, YOU move.”
J. Michael Straczynski, Civil War: The Amazing Spider-Man

This isn’t the country I’ve been raised to believe existed. Astronaut Barbie promised me the Moon. Sesame Street taught me that neighbors from different countries were to be friends and that we’d share what we know and do and they’d share what they know and do and it’d be pretty awesome. Hamilton (the musical) promises hope and if we can think our way out, write our way out. We can still be great. We can be what the forefathers imagined.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp

OMG, If you have the brain right now, go read this too. I want to go dig up Georges corpse and cuddle with it. What a brain.

They’ve come for my friends, blamed my friends and by extension me. I’ve heard that since history class in 5th grade and it’s what it feels like now. Guess what though? Those that have been in this fight, they came out and marched because they’ve been in this, skin in the game, literally, just waiting for the rest of the world to acknowledge the issues. BLM, Native Americans, Immigrants, they marched with Women, who make up parts of all these segments, but whole movements came out for us, we pushed back. Across the world a message was heard. Lest any forget, We are here, We MATTER, We Care! They came for them first and they are holding on by a thread, waiting for reinforcements. Let us be even half as strong as they have been in this battle. Let us listen, let us learn and let us be un-afraid to SPEAK UP ever again.

 

Women of Power

I need a hero. I’ve been thinking about the rise of the super hero movies and how great it feels to see some of my heros on the big screen. Thor I’ve always had a soft spot for, and Thunderstrike came out just as I was in High School and loved having a more mortal kind of hero to admire. The Maxx even if he wasn’t really the hero of the story, he was .. symbolic. He Meant Something. Mattered. Struggled. A hero was never perfection for me, and the closer they got to being human, the more entangled the path of Hero became, the more it meant to try. A hero isn’t a hero just because they were the strongest, fastest or bravest. A hero was the one who got back up after everything they’d been through and looked the problem in the eye and “planted themselves like a tree by the river of truth and said. No. You Move.”

She texted in the middle of a work day. Mind you she doesn’t say much. It might take you years to know if she was serious or just that dryly sarcastic. There is a march coming up in Chicago. Chicago is full of people you might have noticed. Also going there involves being in a car or train for several hours with people. Still, she doesn’t do things like this. It means a lot. It means a lot because speaking up and saying something isn’t something good girls do.

I’m a girl. Woman. Person with female genitalia probably because of double dipping on that good old X chromosome. What does that mean? What is has meant is to me is that there are always certain expectations the culture I grew up in has in regards to my role in that culture. How and when I should marry, or how and when I should have children, how and what I should wear, who I should talk to, what kind of work I pursue.

I’ve grown up pretty insulated from the worst of it, pretty liberal urban areas when I was a kid. I thought we were a post-sex, post-race kind of society, where I could grow up to be an astronaut if I wanted (Thank you Sally) I could do anything, but man that boy really likes you, isn’t that sweet! You might grow up and marry him someday and have kids of your own and wouldn’t that be great?

Over time you learn that you’ll be who you damn well please and that you don’t actually have to do anything anyone expects you to. You’ll get friends with all kinds of different experiences and read more and learn more. Sure if you want to hold your own door open that’s fine. Except when it isn’t, except if you have an idea in a conversation and say anything people will smile and keep talking then someone else will state the same idea and all of a sudden it’s great! Tom that was a really terrific idea! Except to this day you’re still regulated on what you can wear and how that influences criminal behavior. Except that down to your very internal reproductive system you are told what you can and can’t do with your own body.

Saying what is on your mind is god-damned super power. I passed the Marvel *TM Women of Power! Coloring book in the Barnes and Noble and had the thought that this is perhaps what it is about. Women saying …well… anything. To some degree I’ve been afraid of saying what I really think for fear of sounding like one of “THOSE” women, the ones who take themselves too seriously, who are too sensitive, who are just women, trying to speak their mind. When I think about it, sometimes, just speaking your mind IS a god-damned super power. Not being afraid, and making it so that those behind you don’t have to keep fighting up this hill. Till all assumptions are blown away by actually meeting and getting involved with people and caring about ALL of them as people. As individuals who have the rights to their own bodies, to be treated as equal citizens.

We are so damn close, in moments you can almost forget that you aren’t one of the boys.  You might think that you can be taken seriously as an individual. Then you get in a serious situation and you realize there is a different way you are treated based completely upon assumptions of your gender. No matter how much respect you think you have earned, no matter how much you’ve worked with someone, there is something very deep in our culture that just others the ever living crap out of you. We can do better, I read it in comics, I see it in movies, grand old stories that inspire us. We can be better. We can change assumptions and start treating people like, well people.

Testicles are amazing, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying “Down with men!” I’m saying “DOWN WITH THE IDEA THAT THERE IS A DEFAULT!” “UP WITH THE IDEA OF JUSTICE AND LIBERTY FOR ALL!” To those that are even more marginalized, I will always strive for understanding and discussion and inclusion for all. I am privileged and though I fear for my body becoming something the state can legislate, I promise to not turn a blind eye and to keep working to bridge the gap. To fight the ideas that systemically regulating us into some kind of default power structure is ok. I don’t know where to begin but speaking/writing is something I can do, so I will do as I can. Please always feel free to call me on bullshit and or have honest discussions looking for solutions as a people.

I bought the comic book. I’m marching in Chicago. I’m going to speak my mind, not with out fear, but in spite of it.

Day 7

I was watching the officers face as I was wheeled over and it looked like he’d had a rough day. I imagine he was on duty when everything went down so I’m not sure how much overtime he was on but it was beginning to show. “Officer..”

“Smith” he said. I smiled because of course Agent Smith was here to help. He stood up and and offered to relieve the orderly. “Can we speak down at the station?”

“I haven’t called for a ride yet so yeah as long as you can get me there I can get home from there” Rats, who was up at this hour anyway, it must be close to 6am by now. I was good with heading out. Maybe we’d take long enough I wouldn’t feel guilty asking for a ride from a friend.

I sat in the backseat of the cruiser. I don’t know if it’s this way for everyone but I always feel a little guilty around police. I smiled nervously. Luckily the last dose of pain meds were starting to kick in and the relief alone made me feel kinda tipsy. I looked out over our little community. It was suburby and green. The main street leading from the hospital took us through the fast food corridor, Oh food. Yep the drugs had kicked in, I was ravenous. My backpack however was in the front of the cruiser. I wasn’t sure if it was acceptable to ask if he pull over so I could get out and get it from the front seat but I was about to gnaw my arm off in the back, add to that my penchant for stress eating and I was doomed. Officer Agent Smith looked back at me. “It’s been a long day I’m sure Miss MacCowan how are you holding up back there?”

You can’t ask for a better opening “It’s been rough, but as bad as it sounds I’m pretty hungry right now, I’ve got some bars in my backpack if we could pull over for just a moment I swear I’d be your best friend.” A shadow flicked over his face but he smiled back warmly.

“I’ll do you one better, how do you feel about pizza?”

“Oh man that would be AMAZING!” I could barely hide my relief

“Excellent” He said “It’s been a hell of a shift for me so a little chow while I wrap up questions would be great”

“Dude, you feed me and I’ll help you stamp, write, file,  whatever office gophering you need I can do!”

He chuckled “Good good, now the first serious question, how do you feel about fruit on your pizza?”

“Are you married? I’m all in for Hawaiian!” It seems silly, but when nothing else in your life is going right, a simple meal seems like some attempt at normalcy, some control. Also, dude, Pizza.

After picking up the pizza and getting to the station we found a little unused conferency type room and sat down with our prize. After I demolished 3 slices I leaned back and sighed. We had eaten in an amiable sort of ravenous silence, understanding and sharing a moment that was significantly more relaxing that the previous what, 15 or so hours had been.

“My wife, and yes I’m married, hates pineapple. So, thank you. I don’t get to order my own pizza very often as she can tell if it’s even ordered on a separate pizza the smell just makes her sick”

“Oh man, I’m sorry, that’s kinda rough. At least my Pops and I are both happy with the same pizza” “Crap, I need to tell him” I frowned, he leaves for a couple weeks for the first time since I’ve known him. He leaves me in charge and I manage to get the building burned down. I feel like crap just thinking about the conversation I’m going to have to have.

Smith tilted his head at me “What are you going to tell him?”

“That when he woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me to get out of the house. I ran into a… stranger on our porch, and she punched me” I gestured at my face which was starting to feel a little tender again from chewing solid food. I glowered, my blood pressure starting to rise “and then she went through our things.. my things.. everything was turned upside down, and then… fire?” “Why would she even do that?”

He made a sympathetic sound “ok, back up, Pops called you?” I nodded. He sighed. “What time was that?”

“2:13 this morning, gods… it feels like a week ago, but it was so early, I just couldn’t believe he called then, I have to call him back.”

Day 6

Good old George. Remember? Nice guy. He was sitting on the end of my hospital bed. “You look like shit” He smiled gently. I almost regret not getting serious with him. Still he was one of the rare few who actually seemed to get where I was with my own baggage and seemed to just go with the flow.

“Thanks, you should see the other guy!” I attempted a smile back and was acutely reminded that my nose does not want to move. Through all the swelling on the front of my face there was still some serious damage underneath and OUCH. I blinked back tears from the pain. Oh man, breath, good. It’s a quirk with me, I hate crying in front of guys.  Broken nose pain crying at least I feel like I earned, never mind if the tears served to release from more than one issue. I sniffled. A lot.

He endured round 2 with patient grace, he really got it. Letting me get through the worst and just handing over tissues and a cup of water alternating as needed until I got things under control again. “You know, it’ll tarnish your image as the resident grouch in training if this gets out”

“It’s a good thing I know where you sleep and will kick your ass then” I managed a smaller but still appreciative smile. “I really need to get back and see what’s left, make calls, figure out what to do”

He smiled “Way ahead of you.” He had put all my belongings together in my backpack that I had almost forgotten. It was a go bag that I kept as an overnight bag or in case of zombie apocalypse. Pops laughed at me, but it felt like such a security blanket right now that I was glad for my weird and geeky ways. “I noticed your Cliff stash was empty so I picked up a couple. Seriously no one needs to talk to you until you’ve eaten. I remember that much”

His thoughtfulness was too much to handle, but I stood up, taking my time, and gave him a big hug. Then stepped back and halfheartedly punched his shoulder for good measure. “Probably a good idea as the Jello this morning had surprise applesauce at the bottom… and I’m just not sure I can take that kind of torture again” I rifled through my backpack and found an old pair of work jeans and my Rainbow Dash t-shirt. I made a shooing motion for him to leave.

“Look, I know you are not big into that letting people help you thing. Seriously though, you have friends here, and I’m here. Just, let me know if you need anything, even if it’s just a coffee or a distraction.” I glanced over at him. I couldn’t really articulate, but was grateful for the thought.

“George, I, just, thank you. For everything you’ve already done” suck it up, you’re tough but at least acknowledge the lifeline.  “and if there is anyone in town I’d call for help, you are that person for me” His arms were around me before I knew it and I got the Hug. Georges hugs were almost a form of communication of their own and maybe that’s my favorite thing about him. Somehow he said “I’ve got your back” “I miss you” and “I get baggage, do your thing, I’m here” all at once.

“Ms MacCowan?” “Effie MacCowan?” I glanced at the doorway and saw Sammamishs finest.

“Uh, yes officer? I’m sorry I’ve been tied up, I have a list of people to call and I need to report the break in and the fire and.. ”

“Ms MacCowan, When you get checked out at the nurse’s desk please come see me, I have a couple questions for you, I will wait in the hall” with that he turned and stood just outside my door, which I thought was a bit much but given the break in I was relieved to be honest. I still hadn’t processed the whole event but my world was significantly less secure than it was yesterday.

George smiled at me again and waved his way out then did the “call me” thing with his hand next to his ear and closed the door.

I got dressed and came out to the desk where all my discharge papers were waiting to be signed. Then I got the stinkeye from the nurse as I was apparently not supposed to be up and dressed and ready to go looking like an overgrown raccoon and still smelling faintly of smoke. She glanced at the officer though and let me sign my way out. She did insist on that weird wheelchair protocol thing hospitals do, so I sat in the chair provided by the worlds most bored orderly and motioned that I was supposed to check with the officer on my way out.