Intention

I woke up this morning with a word in my head, a word that my brain batted around in feline fashion like a ball of string, until my thoughts became so entangled in it, I decided that I’d better get unknotted.

In 2018, the world saw a lot of conflict, and that is the understatement of the year. But it occurs to me that much of it could have been avoided, or at least mitigated, if we’d remembered one thing: intention.

We have lost an appreciation for, and an understanding of, the indispensable factor of intention…and its sibling, motivation.

This past week I saw it in sharp, tangible perspective, when an internet intrigue blew up into absurd proportions.  All the outside optics seemed to clearly delineate who was ‘offender’ and who was ‘victim,’ however, once the intentions of both were weighed, it became obvious that those labels should have been reversed.

It is a lazy righteousness of headlines in which we are living. We don’t look into details, read the narrative, understand the individuals.  We read the labels, react excessively, and file accordingly. In our efforts to be progressive and accepting, we have helplessly looped around and become puritanical in our treatment of people for the sins of being human.

Do actions and words have consequences? Decidedly so. However, the current climate has demanded consequences of ‘sinners’ that are completely incommensurate with the sins. No longer are apologies even remotely acceptable; they will only be entertained if they come along with a complete devastation of the offender’s life, or, more hypocritically, with a large monetary sacrifice.

I taught high schoolers for 1.5 decades, and I saw the result of this concept of “cancelling” humans for their faults. Teens have grown more cautious…failure and error could cost them. A generation that is fearful of risk is a generation that never tries, never succeeds, and never discovers the solutions that we will undoubtedly need to survive the challenges plaguing our world. 

So, why have we grown so intolerant of fallibility? On one hand, there is the backlash that has come from decades of unpunished and casually dismissed abuses. You can only back a group of people into a corner for so long before it comes out swinging. And many abusers have justifiably caught it on the chin this year. 

On the other hand, there is the stark reality that we, as a species, have a crippling dearth of love. We don’t care about each other; we care about appearances, ‘likes’, the oh-so-sanctimoniously intoned “justice.”

But is it justice to exact upon the oppressor the exact oppression that we are railing against? How can we make positive change when our steps to do so are negative? 

We’ve gotten to the stage where our excuses for demanding blood boil down to: “He did it first!” If that rationale didn’t work for us as toddlers, it certainly doesn’t as adults.

So, if I had one word to take into 2019, it would be ‘intention.’ Consider the source of conflict, and then, evaluate the intention. 

Because I will make mistakes; you will make mistakes; we ALL WILL MAKE MISTAKES. And if we demand the decapitations of all who do, soon there will be no one left to wield the axe.

Happy New Year. Keep your heads.

We

An ekphrastic poem based on a painting by Anthony Pinata

Audiobook release this fall featuring 17 artists!!!

A little less than a year ago, I was at the Jentel Foundation in Wyoming, writing my new poetry book.
As the weeks passed, it became very clear to me that this book was the second half of the story that began in ‘Crisis’.
Then, one night while making dinner (Ok, Madelin was making dinner; I was drinking wine), we got into a discussion about the requests I’ve gotten to record an audiobook and my radically fast speaking voice. Post-dinner, the idea hit me like a lightning bolt in the shower (where all the best ideas occur) and today I am happy to announce that I am in the finishing stages of a multi-media work called:

THE RELEASE AND RECLAMATION OF VICTORIA KERYGMA

Featuring the talents of Sean McHugh, Vito Viscuso, Christie Insley, Heather Wood, David Atkinson, Justin Lee Dixon, Arno Nurmisto, Justin Hoekstra, Madelin Coit, Anthony Pinata, Mary Zimmer, Nancy Atkinson, Stephen Lyons, Renee Piechocki, Grace Méridan, and myself, this is the largest collaborative work I’ve ever undertaken!

The audiobook will feature BOTH Part 1: Crisis, and Part 2: Revelation, PLUS my new original song entitled Resurrection, produced by Arno Nurmisto. Also included are original art pieces by Justin Hoekstra, Anthony Pinata, and Madelin Coit, three of the incredible artists I lived with for a magical month in Wyoming. 🙂

Cover art was hand-drawn by my dear friend and multi-talented artist himself, Nesto Rhea.

Audio production has been beautifully handled by Vito Viscuso

THE RELEASE AND RECLAMATION OF VICTORIA KERYGMA
will be available in digital AND hard copy, so stay tuned for the release date!!!!

Artist: Nest Rhea
Artist: Nest Rhea

“The Spider Accomplice…The next evolution of rock”

The Spider Accomplice

The Spider Accomplice is back on the web, arranging our latest compositions for the new CD,’Los Angeles: The Abduction’. Get ready for all the energy,diversity,and intensity that you’ve come to expect from our tenacious trio!

And if you want a refresher on our EP, ‘Los Angeles: The Trap’, you can here it HERE!

The Spider Accomplice brings mainstream rock music back to where it’s supposed to be, with rich melodic songs that have the eye of an artist, as opposed to the dark slog that much modern rock can be. VK’s crystalline vocals are the star of the show, but the band backs her up with textured songs that more than carry their weight. This is the next evolution of female-fronted modern rock…” ~Bloody Good Music

Why.

The wooden cross loomed through the windshield as we turned onto the rural street. Surrounded by balloons, candles, and teddy bears, its bright colors belied a dark secret.

But that’s why we came here.

Thin green branches snaked across the inscrutable path…. I hadn’t expected thorns.
Yet they scratched at my bare arms, then my fingers, which were slapping away the voracious mosquitoes…who would willingly come out here?

We picked our way across the mud and weeds, past orange tags tied to trees and bushes. I paused once to stare blankly at discarded blue rubber gloves in the brush. The tiny trail opened into a clearing…was this it?

Instinctively, we hushed and stared at the stamped-down, hardened ground. I strained my senses for a hint of you, but any trace that might have once been there had been excised by searchers and police. I shuddered, remembering how I’d heard that the volunteers had found you by smell…how long had you been out there?

And then in a rush, all the other questions came: Had you suffered? Had you been frightened? Did you call out for help? What happened? Who is responsible for the grisly scene that warranted that wooden cross?

As we slowly extricated ourselves from the overgrowth, we built hypotheses. But as we followed each one to its conclusion, inevitably, a piece would fall away, and the whole construction would crumble. Every theory had holes; no explanation held water.

Back on the pavement, I shielded my eyes against the Texas sun and surveyed the landscape. Suburban homes, green lawns, washed cars…A place where neighbors were neighbors. How had your absence gone unnoticed? So many claimed to have seen you walking, as you always liked to, up and down that very street…did it not seem odd to them when your trips stopped? How had your body decomposed, undiscovered, for a month in a woods so small it took us ten minutes to walk the length of it? Why were we able to? Wasn’t this a crime scene?

Everyone here mourns you, yet no one knows you. For if they did, they would know the girl who survived. They would know how you weathered all the rain life threw down on you, and they would never believe that you suddenly succumbed and walked into the storm.

Like we know.

But that’s why we came here.

We brought with us everyone who loved you, laughed with you, cried with you, and misses you. We’re all here. And we’re not going anywhere.

Until we all know the truth, we will stay. As long as it takes. You are NOT a faceless urchin, lost in the woods. A nameless example of arbitrary evil. You are a redhead, a bassist, a giggler, a teenaged child of Christ, and you ARE:

Abigail.