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learning curve

2016 November 23
by Rachel Turiel

Dear Ones,

It seems to be a time of accelerated, painful growth. Not like the growth that may or may not happen while sitting contemplatively on the beach in Kauai, but more like the growth that happens when you realize that you’ve been obliviously insulated by your own white, heterosexual privilege; or when trying to truly understand (rather than only rally against) some of the forces that create racism, sexism and mistrust of “the other.” As head of the Anti-Defamation league said in an interview yesterday, “This is a wake up call.”

thanksI am reading this. 


This helps too.

I’m finding more questions than answers. Like, how to listen even when someone’s words make you flinch. How to seek news from sources other than what you consider to be gospel (and then noticing the accelerated flinching this causes). How to act without contributing to the divide. How to hear the needs behind someone’s opinions, even those opinions launched like a smoking grenade into the crowded spaces of social media.

Let me know when you’ve got it figured out, ok?

Until then, we’re doing what we can. Like, hosting a community letter writing campaign so we can let our lawmakers know our values. Followed by some fierce potlucking and soccer.

We’re also engaging in the ever effective dog therapy, which may be the shortest, cheapest route to glimpses of inner peace.


Also, I cut Col’s hair, feel free to compliment him on it!

Yesterday we crammed our house with children, and I would have never known when Col and Rose were babies, that a houseful of sweet kids playing a ruthless game of Monopoly was all I ever wanted. Later, they played a round of Quiddler while drinking tea. Can we just skip the rebellion part of adolescence and stick with this track? I’ll provide the tea and boardgames.


Dan and I climbed up the shale hills behind our house to watch the spectacular moonrise, discussing how we wanted to devote part of the kids’ Christmas break to contributing to the well-being of others. And then we butchered a roadkill deer and traded half of it to a farmer for 20 pounds of onions. Which, I don’t know, somehow seems connected.


I would have loved Col’s new cartoon creation even if they were cigarettes, but thankfully, these are “crayon guys:” Mike and Bob.


Rose’s cartoon character is called a “twid.” The boy twids have two horns, the girls have bows and when Rosie casually announced that there is a third gender: unitwids, which have one horn, I wanted to leap into the openness of her mind while giving her a standing ovation. Instead I said, “Oh unitwids? With one horn? Cool.” Because this is the kind of thinking that is going to change our world.


Girl twid with unitwid friend.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I so hope you are gathering with people who contribute to your well being. Here’s a little something I wrote about gathering and thankfulness, two things which feel a little holy right now.

p.s. How’s your learning curve in this post-election season? Please do share.

p.p.s. If you subscribe to get e-mail notifications of new 6512 blog posts and haven’t been, things seem to have been a little wonked-up in that dept. My blog goddess Mary Beth is helping me work things out. We’re trying MailChimp as a new way to e-mail subscribers. If you were previously subscribed and are not getting new notifications, consider signing up on upper right. Right, Mary Beth?




3 Responses leave one →
  1. November 23, 2016

    Yup. Unicorns and Unitwids united! You exist, I exist, they exist. There is a place for everyone on this Earth and beyond. Let’s gather our strengths and weaknesses for preserving all of Life! Let’s begin with our soils and souls, to be nurtured with compassion both. And gratitude.

    Hugs to you and your family, Rachel <3


  2. Solyssa permalink
    November 23, 2016

    Twids:) Thanks for my favorite mail full of musings on all the important stuff! It’s just like sitting down with a cup of tea, makes me feel warm in solidarity.

  3. Susan S permalink
    November 23, 2016

    Hooray for Twids! And Sneetches and everybody else. I agree with Emmanuelle, there IS enough room for everybody.

    Hooray also for potluck! I honestly, sincerely believe that potluck is the key to world peace. Sitting down together, sharing each others’ food, we can’t help but learn about each other and see each other as “us,” rather than as “them.”

    I also sincerely believe that another large, significant factor that will promote change is getting more involved in my community. I had been thinking of volunteering in the school system to help teachers help kids learn. I think that’s critical. However, my heart is with growing food, and so this summer, I’m going to garden my keister off to grow as much food as I can to donate to the food bank, to local church organizations, anybody who is hungry. The reason I decided this is because, while education is terribly important, I don’t think we can reasonably expect kids (or even adults) to learn when they are hungry. It’s about making sure everybody’s primary needs are met. I can grow food and give it to others who are hungry. That’s my plan so far.

    Wanted to mention that one of the things I am specifically thankful for this year is your family. You routinely show me a way to live the way I want to live and make me hopeful that all is not lost. Susan

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