Democracy in Action

DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS3

I said the pledge of allegiance this weekend alongside 100 of my neighbors. The sound of our voices reciting the pledge in unison, with hands on hearts, gave me goosebumps. I was attending my first caucus and I was excited.

My daughter attended with me and we walked to the caucus site, a few blocks from our home, at the local middle school. We preregistered so all our paperwork was in order when we arrived. We were given name tags and directed to our precinct table, a long cafeteria table with benches. We made fast friends with the twenty or so folks in our precinct.  I recognized a few of my neighbors and folks I’d met out on the walking trail – there were smiles and waves from across the room. My daughter saw some familiar faces too.

The caucus was scheduled to begin at 10:00 am, and right on schedule the Caucus Chair, a young man with a big voice, rose and welcomed us to the Washington State Democratic Caucus. The room erupted in cheers. He read a welcome statement and reviewed the process with us. Each precinct would need to elect a chair, a secretary and someone to tally the votes. He reviewed the agenda and said that if we stayed on schedule we could be done as early as 11:30 a.m. The caucus would officially begin at 10:30. He pointed to the far side of the room and announced that they were serving coffee – Starbucks coffee, and snacks! I needed caffeine – not really, but I never turn down Starbucks coffee!

At 10:30, we elected a precinct chair, a secretary and a tally person. We passed our pledge sheets to the Chairperson and waited for the initial tally. We had a couple undecided folks who asked questions – wanted to know why we supported one candidate over the other. Several people spoke – eloquently and passionately. I spoke too. I hadn’t planned on it – sometimes its better that way. I spoke from my heart, about the kind of America I want to live in and leave for my children and grandchildren. I spoke about how no one should ever tell you that your dreams are too big, or that it can’t be done. Our only limitations are those we set for ourselves. The table cheered after my impromptu speech. I blushed. The undecided were now decided and we were ready to elect delegates to the Legislative District Caucus.

Our Chairperson asked if anyone was interested in serving as a delegate – initially no one raised their hand…but my neighbors pointed at me, the fellow behind me whispered, “You go, represent us.” I raised my hand. I looked at my daughter and she volunteered as an alternate. Two 18 year old High School students, who I’d come to know, raised their hands, and our precinct chair said she’d go too.  We had our four delegates! Our table cheered – other tables around the room cheered too as their delegates were selected – some even started chanting. You could feel the energy in the room!

We filled out our  golden tickets, posed for a photo and exchanged contact information. New friends were made, bonds were formed, walking dates set.  We had just participated in our American democracy – peacefully, as a community. I was so happy that my daughter was there to share the moment with me. The caucus adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

I’m proud to be an American!

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A to Z Blogging Challenge – Theme Reveal

atoz-theme-reveal-2016 v2

Okay, so I’m a bit competitive! I hear the word “challenge” and my ears perk up. A friend told me about the A to Z blogging challenge and I thought, “sure I can do that!”
It doesn’t seem to matter that I have little to no experience blogging. But that’s the point I suppose – to immerse myself in the blogosphere and learn! I equate it to learning to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool. Hopefully, there are lifeguards in the blogosphere with floaties for those of us drowning in alphabet soup.

Here’s how it’s gonna go down – for the entire month of April (with Sundays off for good behavior) I will be participating in the blogging challenge. Starting with April 1st (no foolin’) and the letter “A”.  I will blog my way through the alphabet – clever, huh?
But why Sue? – You may be asking. How does that saying go? … “Repetition is the mother of skill”. At some point, I hope to be good at this blogging business.

Oh, and they suggest we choose a theme for our alphabet soup of blogging … drum roll,  since today is the big reveal ….  I’m going with the spiritual side of life – A Mystic’s Journey through the Alphabet”. Are you excited yet?

Let me beg forgiveness from my friends and family now for blowing up your social media next month – please don’t be a hater, block me if you must – or “like” my blog posts and create some good Karma (K is for Karma). For those willing to stick with me through the month, I will be forever grateful (G is for Gratitude).

Twenty-Six days and counting (P is for Patience)! See ya on April 1st!
~Sue

Memoir – Life as Fairy Tale

Once Upon a Time

A few years ago, I began working on my autobiography. Last year, during the November NaNoWriMo (National  Novel Writing Month) I added another 50,000 words. Okay, I can feel my Nanowrimo friends cringing – I know that makes me a “Nano Rebel” because an autobiography is not a novel – but 50,000 words are…well, 50,000 words!

My autobiography was approaching a sizable mass, but it read more like a chronology of my life – snore. In an effort to learn how best to tell my story, I read Tristine Rainer’s book, Your Life as Story – Discovering the New Autobiography and Writing Memoir as Literature.  I was intrigued by the idea of writing a memoir as literature – a memoir that reads like a novel. 

Several writing exercises and prompts are outlined in Rainer’s book, but for me, the most revealing was the challenge to write your life story as a fairy tale. She challenges her reader to engage imagination with memory. She references Joseph Campbell’s, The Power of Myth, in his words,

“This I believe is the great Western truth: that each of us is a completely unique creature and that, if we are ever to give a gift to the world, it will have to come out of our own experience and the fulfillment of our own potentialities, not someone else’s.”

The fairy tale challenge rules limit the exercise to two pages – good, I can do that, I thought. The purpose of the exercise is to help reveal the themes within your life. Your choice in fairy tale genre is the first big thematic hint. I chose Cinderella – don’t laugh! My choice in the fairy tale was vindicated when the author confessed to choosing Cinderella too. But your story need not be limited to fairy tales of the past – make up your own if you want.

I am sharing my fairy tale below for those who may be interested. The revelations in my fairy tale are now the themes woven throughout my memoir. My autobiography outline was a great source of information, but my memoir, if done well, will be a work of literature.  Continue reading

The Voice(s) in My Head

The Untethered Soul 
I read Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, three times. I highly recommend the book to anyone seeking inner peace and a better understanding of our human experience.

My third reading of the book was with my “Soul Sisters” book club. We met each week reading a chapter out loud. Afterward, we discussed what we learned and how to apply the spiritual lessons in our everyday lives. The lessons from Singer’s book have been transformative for me.

One of my greatest discoveries, although there are many, was an understanding of the incessant chatter that goes on in my head. In the first chapter of Singer’s book we learn about those voices and by chapter two we’re spending time observing the voices. I want to share my revelation about the voices in my head by way of a little poem I wrote. Continue reading