389th Friday Blog Roundup
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the shooting in Dallas. Verna McClain approached Kala Golden as she was carrying her three-day-old child to her car and shot her to death, snatching the newborn from his dying mother’s arms and driving away.
As the article states:
Ligon said McClain’s statement to investigators indicates that she shot the mother as part of a wider plan to kidnap any child and that Golden was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“There were statements as indicated in the arrest record that were made by Ms. McClain that led us to believe that, in fact, this was an intentional act on her part,” Ligon said. “Not that Ms. Golden was targeted specifically, but that this was part of a plan to kidnap a child.”
For a few days, they hadn’t released the reason for the intentional act. But, of course, we all already knew that the choices were infertility, pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Because that is the reason always given; it fulfills one of the media’s regular roles for women who have experienced infertility or loss. We are either selfish, desperate, or murderers.
The reason was released on Thursday: miscarriage.
The headline says that she “Has an Excuse You Won’t Believe.” Except I will believe it because it’s pretty much always the reason given when we have one woman murder another woman and there is a baby involved. Like, for instance, this one about another infertile woman who wants to steal your baby.
For once, I’d like to find an article that talks about how damaging our lack of ability as a society to discuss loss and empathize with people who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death can be. One that points out that baby stealing is the extreme, but closer to home are millions upon millions of women and men who are unable to talk about their loss due to the not-so-subtle ways society tells them to shut up and suck it up. I don’t know; one that doesn’t sensationalize loss but instead points out how common it really is.
This week, I was sucked into several hours of “school” — by which I mean I and 26 stuffed animals all learned how to write and speak Chickatanian, the ChickieNob’s made-up language. And just when I had hit my saturation point, thinking about the tofu fried rice I wanted to make downstairs for the love of G-d, I would be told that I now needed to go to room 1 (Chickatanian is taught in room 3) and learn all about apps, cars, and new computer products created at the Wolvog’s imaginary computer company (did you know that they have 50 factories and employ thousands of people? Well, did you?). Sometimes Josh would call during school and I’d whisper into the phone, “save me.” But that’s the point: no one could save me. It was like Misery, except with less Annie Wilkes and typewriters and more small children reminding me that they could always send me to see Mrs. Twiskers, the principal.
When I first heard the principal’s name, I assumed that they were saying Mr. Whiskers, our cat of earectomy fame. But no, this was Mrs. Twiskers, and she was not invisible as I had originally assumed since… you know… there were only three people in the house. The part of Mrs. Twiskers was being played by the knob on the bathroom door. Though I was assured that she was a stern principal who would not deal with my nonsense.
Wanting to make tofu fried rice is not nonsense.
The real start of MFA Sunday School is this weekend. A lot of people answered my request for topics, so I’m still sifting through that. But I’ve written the first few lessons. How to find time to write, character development, getting through writing obstacles and rejection. So excited to be writing about writing again. See you on Sunday morning with that.
We’re at the midway point for The Analogy Project. Have you written your analogy?
And now the blogs…
But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before. In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:
- “Finding Your Tribes” (The Smartness)
- “Baby Loss and the Pain Olympics” (Stirrup Queens) — thank you, Kathy!
- “2012 Book Spine Poem Gallery” (100 Scope Notes)
- “Baby Clothes in my Attic and Hope in My Closet” (A Blanket 2 Keep)
- “Real Success Stories” (No Kidding in NZ)
- “Happy Easter and a Visit with Gabrielle” (Adrift on a Dandelion Breeze)
- “Normal” (Littlemanbig)
- “Sestina” (Where Love and Chaos Reign)
- “Lessons Learned” (From IF to When)
- “Titanic – Part II: Haven Exploration” (Bereaved and Blessed)
Okay, now my choices this week.
Something Out of Nothing has a beautiful post about her mother who died two years ago. Every single paragraph is verbal love, the words carefully chosen and arranged to honour a life. She writes of her grief over the loss: “Not for the memory of my mother, all that remains of her now and what I will carry with me the rest of my life–the birthday cakes and French braids, homemade dresses and school plays. What I mourned, even in those first moments, was what will never be. My mother never holding my child in her arms.” It’s an amazing post.
A Half Baked Life has a post about The Listserve and the responsibility the owners need to bring to the project, especially as they tread on emotional territory. The question becomes who is responsible if the listserve devolves into name calling or hate speech? Bringing in an example of allowing her five-year-old to use her stand mixer, she concludes: “But maybe the analogy is more appropriate when conceived this way: the makers of the stand mixer, which is a tool, are not responsible for the quality of my cake, or for my five-year-old’s fingers. I also think that the responsibility rests on the users. After all, they’ve signed up for this experience.” Food for thought.
Glow in the Woods contains a gorgeous post by Mrs. Spit about grief being a form of magic. Always a great writer, Mrs. Spit weaves the time of day — the gloaming — into a play on words over the simple phrase: “see, magic.” It’s one of those posts that are so carefully constructed that they defy description: you just need to experience it.
Lastly, A Woman My Age has a post about the woman she thought she’d become vs. the woman she became. This thought sent chills down both arms; it is so so so brilliant: “So now when I feel a wash of sadness for not ever being one of “those” women wearing size 4 Lululemons with a baby in a sling and a toddler in tow driving a Volvo through a cute part of town, I remind myself that I have never been the other woman. I have just wasted a lot of time wishing I was.” Now go read the whole post.
The roundup to the Roundup: A tragic murder gets explained via miscarriage. I have become a student again. MFA Sunday School kicks off this weekend. Don’t forget the Analogy Project. And lots of great posts to read. So what did you find this week? Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between April 13th and April 20th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week? Read the original open thread post here.