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Righting a Wrong

I sat on my mini-couch with my daughter to my right and my grand daughter in a bouncing contraption placed upon the worn coffee table in front of me. We chose to watch Oprah’s Where Are They Now show. I wasn’t prepared for the story to come. Oprah aired a few segments about a woman in 1993 who applied to go to the military college, the Citadel. She got in and then was promptly denied admission once it was learned she was a woman. After a court battle, Shannon Faulkner won the right to attend the academy of her dreams. She stayed two days and promptly left after the intense hatred, hazing, bullying, and pressure she endured. The You Tube clip begins with a little taste of the energy directed toward her by the community. Then, Ms. Faulkner continues her update with what transpired after leaving The Citadel. Two hundred plus women have now attended the academy and she went on to graduate from another institution. Citadel alum and...

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Something Fishy Is Going On

Taking my seat in a large auditorium church, it is day two of a much anticipated conference.  After a few minutes of sitting I notice something smells fishy.  I raise my hands to my face.  No, it’s not my skin.  My skin smells like the just applied “Falling in Love” lotion I lathered on after my shower. I pull softly on my blue and white guaze top and smell the corner of it while looking around the room as though I always do this and it smells freshly laundered.  Nothing.  Then I look to the right.  There is a woman with short brown Liza Minelli cut hair, a ruddy face and overexuberant disposition.  I lean into her to hug her and eeeek, it is her.  She stinks.  She smells of, not old seafood from a diner platter the night before, but from “I took raw salmon skin and rubbed it on my body this morning as my new lotion.”  I couldn’t believe it.  My gag reflexes set in and...

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Art as a Form of Forgiveness

In the midst of it all she chose color I sat listening attentively, taking in the message of the room when the speaker read a poem she’d written celebrating her daughter’s pink hair.  At first I felt a gulp in my throat followed by shallow breathing.  With my stomach in knots and my heart aching, guilt began rising.  I witnessed contrast.  Where this loving mother had celebrated the bright colors of her daughter’s hair, I had criticized mine.  Yes, my daughter also was one of the many with bold hair choices in her teen years.  Beginning with her natural soft brown mane, she became pink, dark blue, and midnight black.  My response?  Not poetry and celebration.  Criticism and shame.  I was afraid of how she would be perceived by others and instead of my bold lead in beginning the love train, I felt a need to prepare her for “out there” which really reflected “in here.”  I squandered an opportunity to love. Returning home I headed to my computer to write...

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