Spider Teller

25 May 2015

3/18/15

Spider Teller

I am a storyteller. Always have been. My mother said I first started telling her stories when she was trying to potty train me. My mother was a storyteller as well as a writer. She wrote poems, essays, reflections on facts she read about, family history, and journals in her later life. I started journaling when I was thirteen, recording my thoughts on the mysteries of life: boys, sex, the crazy way people acted, questions about my future.
I can easily state – I am a writer. But the words stick in my throat when I try to say – I am an author. Some reluctance to commit myself; some fear of failure, holds me captive and prisoner from those words. For to be an author is to claim ownership of the words you use, the characters you birth, the plots that have grown out of your experiences like sticky webs from a spider. Some part of me does not want anyone to know I am an arachnid. It’s alright to have silvery, magical webs filled with dew in the early morning. It’s rewarding to have others admire the intricacies of my creations, to marvel at the designs and layers there. But it’s the gritty purpose of those delicate but strong webs that I shy from. Webs are meant to provide a hungry belly with meat. Spiders are, after all, carnivores. If I tell the stories of someone eating someone else: their soul, their sexuality, their life, their heart, their being: everyone will see my spiderness. Life isn’t pretty or magical. It is dirty and full of pain. But I am a spider, so I shouldn’t care about the feelings of the captured readers or the fact that in the end, I’m going to devour them for my stories.

BAMorris

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4/4/15

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

We celebrate because a battle has been won. But not the war, I’m afraid. Equality has been enforced. People who love someone of the same sex can now marry in many places in the U.S.. They can marry and call themselves husband and husband, or wife and wife. They can file taxes together; claim medical benefits as a spouse; inherit property; live safely as a couple. Hurray for all those couples!
But, in the very next breath, someone has been plotting and planning a way to deny these couples an equal place at the table of America’s bounty. Governors of Indiana and Arkansas agreed to sign bills that would allow businesses that don’t approve of homosexuality to refuse service to gay couples. Hmmm. How will that business know someone is gay? A gay person does not have a set of horns growing out of their head. They don’t have rainbow colored skin.
These new actions feel so like the 1960’s. I don’t like “those people”, so I refuse to serve them. Didn’t people fight back then to create laws that said no one could discriminate against a type of people? Period. That would mean because of their race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, or because they had horns growing out of their head. So, why has the Federal Government allowed states to say it’s okay now to discriminate against anyone? It isn’t!

BAMorris

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Vagrant

25 May 2015

4/4/15

Vagrant

I love exploring the origins of words, and the transformations they have gone through over the ages.
Take the word vagrant. It probably came originally from the Old French words waucrer or wacrer, meaning to roll, or wander. That meaning in itself has no connotation attached. I’ve wandered through woods on a beautiful day: no destination in mind, and no purpose other than to enjoy the magic of a forest and its life.
Fast forward to the time of Middle French and Middle English, about 1150-1475. Huge changes were taking place. The English language began to borrow greatly from the French language. Feudalism began to disintegrate. There were several wars during this time. Many men, and women, were cut adrift from the settled life of belonging to the land, and therefore the landowner. Men joined armies to fight in far off places. With no land owners to return to, many just kept traveling. It was hard life, but a free life. A new way of life. Once again, no negativity attached to it.
However, when landless men gathered together, and became a lawless band, then perhaps the word vagrant took on a sinister tone. Today say the word vagrant and instantly a picture come to mind of some street person: dirty and smelly; homeless; annoying and begging from passersby; somewhat threatening and very disgusting.
My question is: Why can’t a vagrant be someone who chooses to be free from clocks, restrictions, ownership, and society’s ills? By definition a vagrant is just someone who likes to wander where their spirit takes them.

BAMorris

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Advance Guard

25 May 2015

4/5/15

Advance Guard

I go for a walk with my little dog in the twilight hours of early morning. She runs reconnaissance in front of me, nose to the ground and tail straight up like the flag of our expedition. She is following a nose map from some overnight visitor. The map informs her of who and when and where. When she comes to a marking, she stops to smell, then leaves her own calling card to say, “I trump you!” And when it’s time to turn back home, I click to her, and she stays to sniff one last whiff, and then runs ahead of me, once again the forward scout for the battalion of Mom and Foxxi.

BAMorris

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Amazonians

22 May 2015

5/22/15

Amazonians

We teach our girls to
Be nice, be ladies:
We should be telling
Them to be warriors.
Teach them instead to
Be kick-ass Ninja
Amazonians.
Not take anything,
Either in love or
War, from men who do
Not empower them.
Never accept less
Than equality.
At the first blush of
Patronization,
Pack up your heart and
Body, and check out.
Then never again
Would our daughters cry:
Broken bodies, souls.

BAMorris

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Black in America

22 May 2015

3/31/15

Black in America

You cannot escape the fact
That you’re Black
In America.

The American Dream.
If you work hard enough.
Study, get good grade.
Go to the right college.
Act a certain way.
Join the right clubs.
Become an agent of good,
For equality, for change.
Then it will all work out.
You will be treated equal.
You will somehow become
One of them.
The unspoken message
You grew up on:
“You can be whatever you want.”

But you can never stop
Being a Black Man
In America.

BAMorris

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10/24/14

Life Is Not an Arrival

When I was younger, and found myself in a struggle, I always sought a higher path to help me make sense of my problem and show me how to travel out of the darkness. I always found a way. And when I found myself on solid ground, I’d think, “I have arrived. This is what I have been working towards all this time!”
Eventually I’d find myself in a new crisis. Somehow the old answers no long brought the peace and guidance they once had. Some might say I have been a voyager, sampling many the existential and metaphysical wines of the world in my life. I have explored (in no particular order): EST, nature study, John Gray Seminars, Shamanism, A Search for God, ARE, Quaker meetings, dream study.
I have come to realize two things. Once, I am a complex being. And no one method heals all the wounds of life, so I have sampled many beliefs and kept the parts from each that spoke to me. And two, life is not about traveling a journey and finally reaching a point, and then staying there because this was the purpose you’ve been working towards the whole time. The purpose is the journey, and all you learn on the way. Reaching the end is inconsequential. Because peace is fleeting, and the journey itself contains the message.
When I find myself with an issue these days, I ask myself: What am I to learn on this particular journey? What can I heal in myself as I travel? I focus on the path and all that surrounds it, not the “light at the end of the tunnel.”

BAMorris

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Snowing Leaves

21 May 2015

10/26/14

Snowing Leaves

It’s snowing leaves. Drifting down they come in groups of twos and threes, doing some Swan Lake ballet we can’t hear. Then like a slow snow fall, the drive gradually becomes covered with a rich ruby carpet. It’s snowing leaves.

BAMorris

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Carl Djerassi

21 May 2015

2/8/15

Carl Djerassi

Carl Djerassi has died. For those of us who came of age in the 1960’s, Carl Djerassi was a hero. He was the father of”The Pill.”
His research, and subsequent creation of a birth control pill for women that prevented conception, ushered in the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s. He gave women control over their bodies, and thus their reproduction. Today women have available to them many avenues to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Back in the early 1960’s that wasn’t so. Women had to depend on a man’s efforts to prevent conception (and those didn’t always work), or simply forgo any form of sexual activity. It was a time of strict moral values: of “good girls” and “bad girls.” Most often bad girls were simply the ones who had an unwanted pregnancy.
With Dr. Djerassi’s invention, he set women free. They became free to be sexual beings; to choose when and if to bear children; to pursue a career and a successful marriage; and to be more than the vessel of childbearing, i.e. ovaries and wombs. Thank you Dr. Djerassi for your gift to womankind!

BAMorris

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The Scapegoat in Rape

21 May 2015

2/8/15

The Scapegoat in Rape

Something is wrong with a society when a woman is raped and she is ashamed to seek justice for being raped. Something is askew with our values when a woman takes on the guilt of that rape, instead of catapulting it back on to the perpetrator. What change has seeped into our mindset that tells women that they are at fault if they are assaulted? I would hope, and pray, that every woman who has had her body invaded, her integrity besmirched, her selfhood violated, would come up screaming to the world that some filthy predator has stalked and attacked her. But that isn’t the way at all. Women don’t want anyone to know about the deed. They won’t contact the police. They won’t press charges.
And so, an predator is left free to rape again. And again. Another innocent victim becomes the prey. Something is very wrong with a world where this is the norm.

BAMorris

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