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Tapati
22 May 2023 @ 02:22 pm
City lights can be structured to avoid the haze of glare that obscures our stars. Learn more.

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Tapati
24 December 2014 @ 01:05 pm
Thinking about this story today and my Great-grandpa, George Lee Elschlager.

Christmas Eve 1965

When I was 7 my great-grandpa was in the hospital and he was not doing very well. We all knew that he might die. It was Christmas eve* and my family went on with their celebration for the sake of my cousins and I. After dinner we left Grandma's house in a rural Iowa town and went to spend the night at my aunt's home a few miles away. It was snowing heavily and very windy, and the power and phone lines went down. We were cut off. We went to sleep and at about 4 in the morning both my mom and Aunt Gin heard my great-grandpa, Lee, call their names. It woke them both up. I was in bed with my mom, so when she woke up I did also. They lit a candle and sat and talked about it. They wanted to call the hospital to check on him but the phone was still out. Finally they got back to sleep.

The next morning--Christmas Day--as soon as phone service was restored we received a call. He had passed away at the exact time they were hearing him call their names.

Merry Christmas~

*Christmas Eve was a big thing in our family, more so than Christmas Day. I always wondered why until a German woman I knew shared holiday traditions in Germany. It is apparently from our Elschlager side that we chose to have our dinner and gift exchange on Christmas Eve. In Germany the tradition was that the tree would be secretly decorated (if there were children) and brought in on Christmas Eve, fresh and green. In the olden days real candles would be used, safe only because the tree had been freshly cut.
 
 
Current Music: Silent Night
 
 
Tapati
28 November 2014 @ 01:56 pm
My godmother, Grace, requested this to be read at her funeral:

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”

― Henry Scott Holland, Death Is Nothing at All
 
 
Tapati
05 November 2014 @ 04:54 pm
I was thinking the other day about how quick I am to correct someone when they talk smack about a group of people I am not a member of. Yet I didn't correct a former friend for years as she made one ableist and fat phobic comment after another because my self esteem was affected by my depression and illness and I was afraid to lose her friendship. When you become isolated you are desperate for human connection. TBH, it wasn't fair to her either to not speak up right away and enforce my boundaries.

I promise myself that I won't be silent like that again.
 
 
 
Tapati
28 October 2014 @ 11:14 pm
If I'd known this back when I had children in an abusive marriage I'd have left sooner.

Excerpt:

"A sizable body of research has conclusively proved that childhood domestic violence—either observing or experiencing chronic, uncontrollable violence in the home as a child—causes cognitive and emotional damage that goes much deeper and lasts much longer than we ever previously suspected.

"The chronic exposure to the stress of living in a violent home changes the neural architecture of a child’s developing brain. It significantly impairs regions that are essential for learning, memory, and the regulation of emotions. It actually lowers IQ and slows development.

"In fact, prolonged exposure to domestic violence is no different from what soldiers experience in military combat, but because it’s happening to a child whose brain is still developing, the results are often more traumatic and lasting."

Read more at:
http://brianfmartin.com/2014/10/28/the-price-of-growing-up-with-domestic-violence/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=sm&utm_content=np&utm_campaign=bl&utm_term=102814
 
 
Tapati
11 October 2014 @ 05:15 pm
QOTD  
"No one is ever free until they tell the truth about themselves and the life into which they've been cast. Write it down; tell it to a friend in need, or a stranger who needs diversion. We are all here to be a witness to something, to be of some aid and direction to other people."--Tennessee Williams/Interview with James Grissom/1982/
 
 
Tapati
On Deciding What Counts: Elizabeth Ellen and What Makes A Victim

Mallory Ortberg responds to a victim-blaming essay by Elizabeth Ellen regarding two recent stories of rape and statutory rape in the literary community. (see http://gawker.com/hip-alt-lit-editor-quits-public-writing-career-after-ra-1640785729 for more background.)

Excerpts:

"The first time I said No, the first time I turned my head away, the first time I crossed my arms over my chest and walked away, the first time I said “What are you doing?”, the first time I displayed a clear and obvious distaste for what was being done to me rather than with me should have been enough. That expectation — that the person saying No should be prepared at any moment to fight someone else off – is an undue burden."

and...


I would argue that if a person has committed rape; if a person has sought to overwhelm and override the will of another person in order to physically and emotionally dominate them, then bringing the rape to light is in fact the best possible thing that can happen to that rapist. It is better to bring rape to light then to hide it. It is better to apologize for a crime committed against another person than to try to pretend it never happened. You cannot apologize until after it has been acknowledged that you did something wrong. You cannot be redeemed until you have admitted you need redeeming. You cannot move on before you pay for something. Someone’s life can never be ruined because they were forced to publicly acknowledge that they committed rape.

You can ruin your own life when you rape someone else. You have ruined your own life from the inside out.

I do believe that it is possible for many people — for most people — to be redeemed for what they have done wrong. But forgiveness cannot come first. Forgiveness can never come before the hard work of acknowledging, of atoning, of apologizing, of enduring punishment, of changing.


see also, for definition of sexual assault and consent: http://www.care.uci.edu/general/Sexual-Assault---Defining.aspx
 
 
Tapati
05 October 2014 @ 03:44 pm
18 years ago I gave David a card that asked him if he would be interested in dating me. I was too shy to ask in person. The next day we met at Erik's Deli and talked for hours. Eventually we got engaged and in 1998 we were married. We have the ups and downs of any married couple with illness and accidents and job losses.

I will not claim that we are a perfect couple. One thing I will say, we try always to be kind and respectful and I think that's helped us avoid the bitterness that can creep into relationships when people don't feel they are being treated well.

I think kindness builds up a reservoir of goodwill that helps you through the hard times.