Nov 12th

I'm gonna channel Debra Hyde this time, and pimp some favorite links of interest. I'm not as clever or cute as she so I won't go on for too long today.

First of all, a very brave group of women indeed, the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan. These are the women who are teaching other Afghan women to read, write and other forbidden skills under the ever present threat of death. The women who are bearing living - and video - testimony to the international community of the treatment of women in Afghanistan. Some of the evidence presented on their website can be tough to stomach in its brutal reality, but it is incontrovertible and convincing. The site is offered in English, Persian, Italian, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. When you enter you'll see a little pop-up window. Go ahead and click on it and pick out a tshirt or other little doodad - it'll not only give them further exposure but it'll send them a few bucks, and who knows how much good you can do with the price of a tshirt in a nation with an average annual income of $200. Set aside the fun and games for a little bit and find out what these women have to say. It couldn't be more timely.

And now, on the lighter side, I've finally found a cartoon that speaks to me. [Well, also Georgette turned me on to the current thread of Boondocks, where for a few weeks now they've really hit me on the head with their askance view of our international terrorism crisis... but that isn't what I came to write about today]. Panther sent me one of Jake The Rake's cartoons and I just about lost sphincter control. Jake is a polyamorous bisexual critter - sound like anyone you know? I just sat down this evening and went back over the year or so of intermittently published cartoons and laughed and laughed and sent them off to friends and laughed and Goddess knows I needed that. I guess you've 'arrived' when you can find a cartoon that speaks directly to your own little sub group of a community. This is it for me.

There's a lot going on right now. War, disaster, John Ashcroft, the American Family Association, and other evils.

There are matters local and international that are simply out of my ability to influence significantly. I have friends dealing with a medical crisis here in town and a older father dealing with failing kidneys out of town, and I'm frequently working to generate healing energies for both. The hardest thing to do can be to just sit back at home, do my energy work, and flow good energies out. At the same time - and this has been the hardest thing for me to grasp - I have to work on making myself strong and healthy inside and out. If I can do that, I can better give family and friends what they need, rather than just act on impulse or worse yet be the one who needs. To get a dollar's worth of healing, you have to gather a large number of nickels and dimes. Little bits like these above - the raw courage of the RAWA and the loose burlesque of Jake, along with my own strengths and the group of straight talking, loving and supportive friends I have close to me - are some of the coins that can add up to dollars for me, and are some of the things that make life good.

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