Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Black cat down a paw

The black cat has ideas. Lots of them. Thanks to a fantastic break from my usual routine, my brain now somewhat resembles that of an actual feline chasing a laser pointer. I might still be looking for my voice, and yeah, I'm wondering if this might be how it feels to have ADHD, but man, I have a lot to say!

Unfortunately, I can't say it all just yet, not just because of the whole where's-Waldo game I'm playing with my voice, but also and mostly because I have a torn tendon in my left shoulder, which happens to be on the same side as my writing hand. If I don't get it surgically repaired soon, well, I prefer not to follow that particular train of thought. So if you're reading this, please send thoughts, prayers, positive energy, whatever it is you normally send.

Meanwhile, here is a preview of possible coming attractions:

5 Things I Learned Grading AP French (that I might write about more later)

  1. We need to put ourselves and others in situations where we can all be our best possible selves.
  2. Some episodes in our lives put us both wholly in and wholly out of our comfort zones. That can be an energizing place to be.
  3. Even introverts are not meant to be wholly solitary. One of my new friends put it perfectly... I'm an introvert learning to be an extravert. Glad to know I'm not alone!
  4. Our culture needs to start valuing labor in human terms. Our work should serve people, not the almighty dollar.
  5. In spite of the scary state of the world, there are places where people of many backgrounds come together to do good work. I believe this spirit of collaboration and community is meant to grow and spread.

Finally, to conclude, a pair of unrelated bonus thoughts that the black cat may chase down later, when she gets her left paw back:
  1. Thoreau wasn't wrong. We should all go back to the woods at least once in a while. And turn off your #$%^ cell phone when you do!
  2. It gets harder and harder to leave my personal empire state of mind, aka Upstate New York. I don't know what to do with that just yet, but I know it's there.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Finding a voice

According to the stats kept by Blogger, here are my three most-viewed posts:

1) Kidneys vs. Brains
2) Why the Black Cat?
3) Some things are NEVER okay

They are way ahead of most of my other posts, and I've been wondering why.

I think I might know now.


The first and third are about giving a voice to people whose problems our culture would rather ignore: the mentally ill, especially children, and women, especially those victimized by male aggression. The other most popular post is also in its way about voice, given that the Black Cat -Chat Noir- is the part of my soul to whom I've given free rein in this blog.

Yet there are many days that I don't know what the Black Cat is supposed to say or how to say it. I have a voice, and apparently it's a decent one, at least on its best days. Yet how do I know when those days will strike? And how do I keep that voice true to itself and all the things I want need to say?

Hard questions.

As my blog description says, I want to write the beautiful, funny, sad, and strange. Yet if I face facts, I tend to be on a soapbox when people read me most. Is that then my true voice? The one on the soapbox? Soapboxes are all well and good, and Lord knows I love to prance around on mine. But is that all there is?

What about the rest? Can the voice declaiming from the soapbox also translate the extraordinary world that surrounds her on every side? Can she convey the beauty in the strange and the strangeness of the beautiful? Can she claim in writing the sometimes biting, sometimes silly humor that gets her through the day?

Or is the soapbox on behalf of the silent and the silenced her truest home?

More hard questions, questions to which I have no answer. If you do, please tell me. And if you don't, well, please just keep on reading. Maybe we can find my voice together.