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love

E. E. Cummings (1894 – 1962)

It Is At Moments After I Have Dreamed

it is at moments after i have dreamed
of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
when(being fool to fancy)i have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile
(it was through tears always)and silence moulds
such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms
are filled with fascination, when my breast
wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

—turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
i watch the roses of the day grow deep.

joni mitchell – down 2 u

Everything comes and goes
Marked by lovers and styles of clothes
Things that you held high
And told yourself were true
Lost or changing as the days come down to you
Down to you
Constant stranger
You’re a kind person
You’re a cold person too
It’s down to you
It all comes down to you.
You go down to the pick up station
Craving warmth and beauty
You settle for less than fascination
A few drinks later you’re not so choosy
When the closing lights strip off the shadows
On this strange new flesh you’ve found
Clutching the night to you like a fig leaf
You hurry
To the blackness
And the blankets
To lay down an impression
And your loneliness

In the morning there are lovers in the street
They look so high
You brush against a stranger
And you both apologize
Old friends seem indifferent
You must have brought that on
Old bonds have broken down
Love is gone
Ooh, love is gone
Written on your spirit this sad song
Love is gone

Everything comes and goes
Pleasure moves on too early
And trouble leaves too slow
Just when you’re thinking
You’ve finally got it made
Bad news comes knocking
At your garden gate
Knocking for you
Constant stranger
You’re a brute-you’re an angel
You can crawl-you can fly too
It’s down to you
It all comes down to you

NO WAR WITH SYRIA

Five reasons military intervention in Syria is wrong
By Matthew Fitzpatrick
Posted Wed 28 Aug 2013, 3:54pm AEST

There is something superficially appealing about the notion of forces of freedom overthrowing Syria’s oppressive government. But events are rarely that simple, writes Matthew Fitzpatrick.

The gassing of civilians by a military force is a crime and those who order it and carry it out are criminals who should be brought to trial.

The international community has such a court – the International Criminal Court – an institution which now has the world’s more brutal political and military leaders looking over their shoulder for fear they might be extradited to the Hague to answer for their crimes.

If Bashar al-Assad is found to have used poisonous gas on his own population, as almost certainly seems to have been the case, then he must be put on trial for crimes against humanity.

This, however, is a world away from the notion that the international community should militarily intervene in the uncontrolled violence of the Syrian civil war.

The situation is complex, but at its simplest, here are five reasons why military intervention in Syria would be the wrong response to the most recent gas attacks.

1. As the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have demonstrated, the civilian death toll from external military intervention quickly comes to exceed that which prompts the intervention in the first place. Killing more Syrians than the Assad regime itself is no way to pay tribute to those killed by their own government.

2. Within Syria there is no military power that would welcome or support external military intervention, particularly from Europe or the United States. While the beginnings of the ‘Arab Spring’ phase of the civil war saw some Syrians engaged in a struggle for a democratic Syria, these voices have been drowned out by the sound of the weapons fired from rival militias. Alongside Assad’s troops, Hezbollah and Iranian military troops are fighting Lebanese Salafists, Al Qaeda and the ultra-Islamist al-Nusra Front. The only thing that all of these groups have in common is that they would welcome the opportunity to attack Western armies, no matter how altruistic their underlying motivations might be.

3. Internationally, there is no consensus that would offer a risk-free intervention. With Russia’s Vladimir Putin still deeply supportive of Assad (although Saudi Arabia is attempting to lure him away with the promise of oil) and China strongly opposed to external intervention, there is virtually no chance of a UN mandate sanctioning military action. Unilateral action by Britain, France or the United States against Syria would risk broadening the conflict into another Cold War, while also inviting regional players such as Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey or even Russia to become even more heavily involved than they currently are. Such a broadening of the conflict is in nobody’s interests.

4. Intervention would only make sense in the context of an attempt to achieve concrete political or military objectives. None beyond ‘something must be done’ or ‘there is a need to respond to a provocation’ has been offered. There is no plan for stopping the multidirectional violence, much less rebuilding the nation. Simply bombing Damascus or Aleppo to assuage the conscience of the West that they ‘did something’ seems like the worst form of symbolic politics.

5. Perhaps more abstractly, a civil war is the most fundamental and brutal attempt to answer the question of who exercises the monopoly on the control of violence that underwrites the power of the state. Artificially inflating the power of one favoured but weaker faction to seize control of the state invites later challenges to this power in the not too distant future. Unless an indefinite guarantee of military support for the weaker faction is offered, that weaker faction (no matter how enlightened) cannot realistically be expected to maintain control over the state. The utter lawlessness in many regions of Libya today is the most recent example of what happens when outside powers back weak forces they deem to be on the right side of history in a civil war.

There is something superficially appealing about the notion of the legions of freedom on the march, overthrowing the forces of oppression. Events are rarely that simple.

In the case of Syria, it is certainly not the case that military action will offer a straightforward righting of wrongs. Rather, military action invites a series of unintended knock-on effects which could escalate the Syrian conflict in such a way as to endanger the lives of far more Syrian civilians.

EVE ENSLER – IN THE BODY OF THE WORLD

THIS IS THE MOST RIVETING HONEST BRILLIANT BOOK I HAVE EVER READ
EVE ENSLER IS WHO I HOPE TO BECOME
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Divided
A mother’s body against a child’s body makes a place. It says you are here. Without this body against your body there is no place. I envy people who miss their mother. Or miss a place or know something called home. The absence of a body against my body created a gap, a hole, a hunger. This hunger determined my life.
I have been exiled from my body. I was ejected at a very young age and I got lost. I did not have a baby. I have been afraid of trees. I have felt the Earth as my enemy. I did not live in the forests. I lived in the concrete city where I could not see the sky or sunset or stars. I moved at the pace of engines and it was faster than my own breath. I became a stranger to myself and to the rhythms of the Earth. I aggrandized my alien identity and wore black and felt superior. My body was a burden. I saw it as something that unfortunately had to be maintained. I had little patience for its needs.

The absence of a body against my body made attachment abstract. Made my own body dislocated and unable to rest or settle. A body pressed against your body is the beginning of nest. I grew up not in a home but in a kind of free fall of anger and violence that led to a life of constant movement, of leaving and falling. It is why at one point I couldn’t stop drinking and fucking. Why I needed people to touch me all the time. It had less to do with sex than location. When you press against me, or put yourself inside me. When you hold me down or lift me up, when you lie on top of me and I can feel your weight, I exist. I am here.

For years I have been trying to find my way back to my body, and to the Earth. I guess you could say it has been a preoccupation. Although I have felt pleasure in both the Earth and my body, it has been more as a visitor than as an inhabitant. I have tried various routes to get back. Promiscuity, anorexia, performance art. I have spent time by the Adriatic and in the green Vermont mountains, but always I have felt estranged, just as I was estranged from my own mother. I was in awe of her beauty but could not find my way in. Her breasts were not the breasts that fed me. Everyone admired my mother in her tight tops and leggings, with her hair in a French twist, as she drove through our small rich town in her yellow convertible. One gawked at my mother. One desired my mother. And so I gawked and desired the Earth and my mother, and I despised my own body, which was not her body. My body that I had been forced to evacuate when my father invaded and then violated me. And so I lived as a breathless, rapacious machine programmed for striving and accomplishment. Because I did not, could not, inhabit my body or the Earth, I could not feel or know their pain. I could not intuit their unwillingness or refusals, and I most certainly never knew the boundaries of enough. I was driven. I called it working hard, being busy, on top of it, making things happen. But in fact, I could not stop. Stopping would mean experiencing separation, loss, tumbling into a suicidal dislocation.
As I had no reference point for my body, I began to ask other women about their bodies, in particular their vaginas (as I sensed vaginas were important). This led me to writing The Vagina Monologues, which then led me to talking incessantly and obsessively about vaginas. I did this in front of many strangers. As a result of me talking so much about vaginas, women started telling me stories about their bodies. I crisscrossed the Earth in planes, trains, and jeeps. I was hungry for the stories of other women who had experienced violence and suffering. These women and girls had also become exiled from their bodies and they, too, were desperate for a way home. I went to over sixty countries. I heard about women being molested in their beds, flogged in their burqas, acid-burned in their kitchens, left for dead in parking lots. I went to Jalalabad, Sarajevo, Alabama, Port-au-Prince, Peshawar, Pristina. I spent time in refugee camps, in burned-out buildings and backyards, in dark rooms where women whispered their stories by flashlight. Women showed me their ankle lashes and melted faces, the scars on their bodies from knives and burning cigarettes. Some could no longer walk or have sex. Some became quiet and disappeared. Others became driven machines like me.

Then I went somewhere else. I went outside what I thought I knew. I went to the Congo and I heard stories that shattered all the other stories. In 2007 I landed in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. I heard stories that got inside my body. I heard about a little girl who couldn’t stop peeing on herself because huge men had shoved themselves inside her. I heard about an eighty-year-old woman whose legs were broken and torn out of their sockets when the soldiers pulled them over her head and raped her. There were thousands of these stories. The stories saturated my cells and nerves. I stopped sleeping. All the stories began to bleed together. The raping of the Earth. The pillaging of minerals. The destruction of vaginas. They were not separate from each other or from me.
In the Congo there has been a war raging for almost thirteen years. Nearly eight million people have died and hundreds of thousands of women have been raped and tortured. It is an economic war fought over minerals that belong to the Congolese but are pillaged by the world. There are local and foreign militias from Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. They enter villages and they murder. They rape wives in front of their husbands. They force the husbands and sons to rape their daughters and sisters. They shame and destroy families and take over the villages and the mines. The minerals are abundant in the Congo—tin, copper, gold, and coltain, which are used in our iPhones and PlayStations and computers.
Of course by the time I got to the Congo, I had witnessed the epidemic of violence toward women that scoured the planet, but the Congo was where I witnessed the end of the body, the end of humanity, the end of the world. Femicide, the systematic rape, torture, and destruction of women and girls, was being employed as a military/corporate tactic to secure minerals. Thousands and thousands of women were not only exiled from their bodies, but their bodies and the functions and futures of their bodies were rendered obsolete: wombs and vaginas permanently destroyed.
The Congo and the individual horror stories of her women consumed me. Here I began to see the future—a monstrous vision of global disassociation and greed that not only allowed but encouraged the eradication of the female species in pursuit of minerals and wealth. But I found something else here as well. Inside these stories of unspeakable violence, inside the women of the Congo, was a determination and a life force I had never witnessed. There was grace and gratitude, fierceness and readiness. Inside this world of atrocities and horror was a red-hot energy on the verge of being born. The women had hunger and dreams, demands and a vision. They conceived of a place, a concept, called City of Joy. It would be their sanctuary. It would be a place of safety, of healing, of gathering strength, of coming together, of releasing their pain and trauma. A place where they would declare their joy and power. A place where they would rise as leaders. I, along with my team and the board at V-Day, were committed to finding the resources and energy to help them build it. We would work with UNICEF to do the construction and then, after V-Day, would find the way to support it. The process of building was arduous and seemingly impossible—delayed by rain and lack of roads and electricity, corrupt building managers, poor oversight by UNICEF, and rising prices. We were scheduled to open in May, but on March 17, 2010, they discovered a huge tumor in my uterus.

Cancer threw me through the window of my disassociation into the center of my body’s crisis. The Congo threw me deep into the crisis of the world, and these two experiences merged as I faced the disease and what I felt was the beginning of the end.

Suddenly the cancer in me was the cancer that is everywhere. The cancer of cruelty, the cancer of greed, the cancer that gets inside people who live downstream from chemical plants, the cancer inside the lungs of coal miners. The cancer from the stress of not achieving enough, the cancer of buried trauma. The cancer that lives in caged chickens and oil-drenched fish. The cancer of carelessness. The cancer in fast-paced must-make-it-have-it-smoke-it-own-it formaldehydeasbestospesticideshairdyecigarettescellphonesnow. My body was no longer an abstraction. There were men cutting into it and tubes coming out of it and bags and catheters draining it and needles bruising it and making it bleed. I was blood and poop and pee and puss. I was burning and nauseous and feverish and weak. I was of the body, in the body. I was body. Body. Body. Body. Cancer, a disease of pathologically dividing cells, burned away the walls of my separateness and landed me in my body, just as the Congo landed me in the body of the world.

Cancer was an alchemist, an agent of change. Don’t get me wrong. I am no apologist for cancer. I am fully aware of the agony of this disease. I appreciate every medical advance that has enabled me to be alive right now. I wake up every day and run my hand over my torso-length scar and am in awe that I had doctors and surgeons who were able to remove the disease from my body. I am humbled that I got to live where there are CAT scan machines and chemotherapy and that I had the money to pay for them through insurance. Absolutely none of these things are givens for most people in the world. I am particularly grateful for the women of the Congo whose strength, beauty, and joy in the midst of horror insisted I rise above my self-pity. I know their ongoing prayers also saved my life. I am in awe that it happens to be 2012, not twenty years ago even. I am gratefully aware that at just about any other point in history I would have been dead at fifty-seven.
In his book, The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee says, “Science is often described as an interactive and cumulative process, a puzzle solved piece by piece with each piece contributing a few hazy pixels to a much larger picture.” Science, then, is not unlike a CAT scan, a three-dimensional magnetic electronic beam that captures images as it rotates around the body. Each image is separate but somehow the machine makes them seem like one.
This book is like a CAT scan—a roving examination—capturing images, experiences, ideas, and memories, all of which began in my body. Scanning is somehow the only way I could tell this story. Being cut open, catheterized, chemofied, drugged, pricked, punctured, probed, and ported made a traditional narrative impossible. Once you are diagnosed with cancer, time changes. It both speeds up insanely and stops altogether. It all happened fast. Seven months. Impressions. Scenes. Light beams. Scans.

valerie

i warned michelle today would be tough
dakotas first shots
i was an old pro
mom of 5 and all

yet i was unable to stop
the tears flowing
as i tried – embarrassed –
all the tricks i know

bite the inside of my mouth
open my eyes wide
breathe thru my nose only
squeeze the back of my calfs tight

nothing works

my new baby girl
has cracked open my heart
leaving me powerless
reeling and raw

i remember crying at coffee commercials
in 1995 – right after parker arrived
every gurgle – smile – smell
swept me away

“i never knew love like this before
now i am lonely never more”

each and every child
has performed this miracle upon my soul
CLEAR the doctor screams
as we r jolted back to life

and death now
its familiar silent whisper
echoing all around me
a sound tattoo

life and death
love and loss
pain endures
on we go

my freshman college professor
assessing my talent said
“miss o’donnell”
“the part of rhoda morgenstern has already been cast”

i knew back then – in 1980
that i would one day tell her this – to her face
and we would laugh together
as we have

since day one
on a balcony in marys apartment
i have adored valerie
and i still do

it is possible
in one lifetime
to lose
many mothers

a baby born

i have a new baby
she smells delicious
cooing and blinking
welcome to the world

life has on occasion so much joy
babies anchor me
to souls here and gone
2 connection

which is how we cure lonely
together
humans need each other
plugged in and present

michelle is glowing
a first time mom
she has fallen in big love
pure grace in motion

life unfolds
revealing itself
over and again
ebb and flow

change
the only constant
i remind myself
when doubt sprouts

i am 50
woman grown
mother actor
public private

one

children arrive
parents depart
while u r on display
fame – muse as prey

i don’t know jodie foster
we have a few mutual friends
from what i have heard
she is kind smart and shy

i have admired her from afar
cheered her on as she soared the show biz skies
braver smarter prettier better – but still
i saw parts of myself in her

on we go – each of us
toward unknown tomorrows
thankful for the shared humanity
that moves us all forward

oh – p.s.

SHAMELESS is back on
everybody rejoice !!
frank is home
i have the tingles

a few days after

looks like its time to go
detox
a complete break
toward the positive

i managed to not watch it
til yesterday
and already …
like trying to scream underwater

says pink
on her brilliant new cd
the truth about love
the woman is right

i have had only small sips
knowing one gulp could take me out
just enough to feel the floor weaken
chutes and ladders

christmas is coming
and with it miamis sun
heart healing always
warm me i pray

gonna try to wean myself
from the net
its become
too intrusive

“let me not hit up my twitter
like its a crack pipe -
keep the browser closed”
said ze frank

a ze a day
keeps the gloom away
i want to thank him for that
thank u ze

so off i go
back to reality
without the virtual
back to reading and writing

and being here
The Sweetness – YouTube

pink – the truth about love

“The Great Escape”

I can understand how the edges are rough
And they cut you like the tiny slithers of glass
And you feel too much
And you don’t know how long you’re gonna last,

But everyone you know, is tryin’a smooth it over,
Find a way to make the hurt go away,
But everyone you know, is tryin’a smooth it over,
Like you’re trying to scream underwater,
But, I won’t let you make the great escape,
I’m never gonna watch you checkin out of this place
I’m not gonna lose you
Cause the passion and pain
Are gonna keep you alive someday
Gonna keep you alive someday

I feel like I could wave my fist in front of your face
And you wouldn’t flinch or even feel a thing
And you retreat to your silent corner
Like you decided the fight was over for ya,

Everyone you know, is tryin’a smooth it over,
Find a way to make the hurt go away,
Everyone you know, is tryin’a smooth it over,
Everyone needs a floor they can fall through
I won’t let you make the great escape,
I’m never gonna watch you checkin outta this place
I’m not gonna lose you
Cause the passion and pain
Are gonna keep you alive someday
They’re gonna keep you alive someday

Oh, Terrified of the dark, but not if you go with me
And I don’t need a pill to make me numb
And I wrote the book on runnin’,
But that chapter of my life will soon be done

I’m the king of the great escape
You’re not gonna watch me checkin outta this place
You’re not gonna lose me
Cause the passion and pain
Are gonna keep us alive, someday
Yeah the passion and the pain
Are gonna keep us alive someday, someday

The Anarchist Soccer Mom

Friday, December 14, 2012
Thinking the Unthinkable
In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.

The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”

“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”

His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”

That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.

“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”

“You know where we are going,” I replied.

“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”

I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”

Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.

The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with….at what age did your child….were there any problems with…has your child ever experienced…does your child have….”

At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.

For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”

By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.

On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”

And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.

I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.

According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map). Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.

When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population. (http://www.hrw.org/news/2006/09/05/us-number-mentally-ill-prisons-quadrupled)

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail, and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011 (http://www.npr.org/2011/09/04/140167676/nations-jails-struggle-with-mentally-ill-prisoners)

No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.

God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.

This story was first published online by the Blue Review. Read more on current events at www.thebluereview.org

 

 

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