Well hello, sunshine.

15 Nov

You’ll notice a little house-cleaning has been underway here at TMIForever. That’s because a while back I decided that I would use this lovely readership I’ve built here and this “safe place” we have established here to discuss some taboo, “tmi” subjects: politics and religion.

My good friend Lemmons once said, “Politics and religion are my two favorite subjects. I don’t know what everyone else’s problem is.” That tickled me, and it suits me well, too. I can discuss both and rarely get angry when differences in opinion or philosophy are discovered. I’ve yet to meet a person with whom I agree on everything anyway.

I have, however, become very upset when I feel attacked because of my beliefs. I’ve felt “treed” before, like prey. Remember how Chuck used to get so angry when discussing politics with me that he would fly off the handle and I’d wind up in tears? I’ve never understood the anger some people feel when they encounter diversity. Is it fear? What in the world do y’all think I’m gonna do?? “One day she’s blogging about her Marxist ideas, and the next thing you know she’s setting up an Occupy tent city with her commie pinko queer buddies and planning topless nature walks with her gang of hairy-legged hippy girlfriends.”

Seriously, y’all. I have a good number of regular readers who live outside of the Deep South, many of whom have never even visited here.

Let me tell ya, this is one amazing place. It is beautiful. It’s inspiring. It’s fun. The smells, the sounds… even when you’re alone the nighttime bugs serenade you. There’s always music, some of the best music you’ll ever hear, even if you search the world over twice. The people… there’s nothing like ’em. Colorful, entertaining, industrious… story tellers, too. Man, the story tellers we are so fortunate to have. And the stories … they’re woven in honeysuckle and poured out in drawl so thick it could transform bathroom door graffiti into poetry.

Plus, we have tomatoes in the summer. I know other places do too, but not like ours, vine ripened in the sweltering Mississippi heat and oppressive humidity. They are damn fine.

The South is not a difficult place to live. It’s hard to think of leaving most of the time.

There’s just these two things…
1. Mosquitos
2. Intolerance/Fear

I’m not sure why so many people in the rural South are afraid, and I don’t know exactly what frightens them. I know change is hard for many people, regardless of where they hang their hats, but mercy are Southerners terrified of progress.

It’s weird the progress Southerners fear, too. Like they appear completely fine with a few select food manufacturers monopolizing the market and genetically modifying their meals, pumping them full of chemicals, mimicking natural tastes and selling “food” that kills people via cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity…

But let people of different races start breeding and they’re fanning themselves in a frenzy, wondering why the entire world is oblivious to our final destination when the road is so straight and we’re clearly traversing it in a handbasket.

Still, as a church friend of mine likes to say, “We don’t live in a war zone. How can anyone say it’s ‘hard’ to live here?”

True story… but just because you don’t have a brain tumor doesn’t mean passing a kidney stone isn’t painful. The truth is that living in the Deep South and being different, not sharing the prejudices that have such deep roots in our clay soil, that can be a scary existence sometimes. And a lonely one.

When my mother was a teenager, someone who lived the way I do and voiced opinions that I’ve voiced would have had a brick through her window and a cross on her lawn at best. At worst, she’d have her uppity ass put in her place by being raped and beaten into submission… or killed.

Ann Moody was a young black Mississippian during the Civil Rights Movement. She was born and raised in Mississippi and has some stories that will cause you to lie awake at night, scared despite being over 40 years away from the monsters you fear. She had been working to register black voters in Canton when Dr. King delivered his most famous speech. I remember her stating, (paraphrasing to the best of my recollection), “Martin Luther King getting everybody excited about his dream, his dream… in Canton we were so busy trying to keep from getting killed that we never got a chance to sleep, let alone dream.”

Is it that bad now? NO. Of course not.

The South is slow to change, but cut us a little slack. Have you driven on a country road with us? Listened to us talk? Shoooot, we don’t like rushin’ thangs.

But when it comes to basic human decency and tolerance for diversity, we honestly deserve a cattle prod to our collective rear end.

Beautiful stories are unfolding all around us here in Mississippi. And sad, heartbreaking tales as well.

I’ve been downhearted (baby). I’ve been hurt. And I’ve been ashamed, because I hurt people… or at least, for a moment, I intended to hurt them. I don’t want to use my words against people.

I’m so glad I have this community to which I may return to request support and love. I know I’m safe and embraced here and I hope y’all feel comfortable here too.

We all need a safe haven, especially us spiritual misfits, the religious renegades. This is my place.

Take your shoes off and sit a spell. Cuss if you like. Try not to hurt anyone. Apologize if you fail in that, and try again.

Forgive: Yourself. Me. Each other. It feels good, and Yeshua stressed the importance of forgiveness. Regardless if you’re religious or not, I think we can agree that forgiveness and reconciliation feel good, if nothing else.

Let’s get together and feel alright, amirite?

Seriously, just be kind and you are all welcome here, to experience my journey with me or to offer up your own story. Let’s just try not to hurt each other. I’ve experienced a lot of pain and felt myself the target of a good deal of animosity. I’d like to at least maintain this cyber refuge as my bastion against the hostility directed at not just myself, but everyone who is “othered” and outcast.

Thanks for listening, every one of you. I believe the Divine Spark exists within us all, that it is universal. Namaste y’all.


One Response to “Well hello, sunshine.”

  1. LaLemmons November 25, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    I love love love that picture! Takes me to that special place…I love to stare dreamily out that window… Good post and glad to see you’re back at it!

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