New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted
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Archive for the ‘Windy Cooler’

Getting Satisfaction

July 03, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Family, Windy Cooler

Living and Loving with One’s Whole Heart

by Windy Cooler

I haven’t been adding much new content to my blog. At some point it seems every blogger says something to this effect, breaking a several month’s long silence. I think I haven’t been writing because what I actually want to write about is so different than what I used to write about. Doing justice to the hope and happiness I feel, simultaneous to the grief and anger, is, well, hard. Mostly I don’t try to do it justice. Do I have anything to offer someone I don’t know? Well, I don’t know. (more…)

On Forgiving

January 07, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Family, Windy Cooler

All the Foolish Things in This World…

by Windy Cooler

My neighbors across the street lost their house to fire a few days ago and one, an elderly woman, lost her life. Two other neighbors have been displaced because we share walls in our neighborhood, and they share walls with the house that burnt. It took about 20 minutes for most of this to happen. Flames came from the roof. I was home with my six year old. It was horrible.

The following day news reporters came to interview the occupants of our court. What do we have to say? It was horrible? I refused to be interviewed because it felt like participating in tragedy porn to say anything. Other people came and took photos of the shell of a house, where our neighbor had died, on their cell phones. I have no idea why.

And then there is the part where most of the rest of us, people who are really quite close and live together well, did not truly know the people in the home that burnt. They were very quiet. We do not know how to help and the house is a daily reminder of this. There is helplessness in this and some grasping of a lesson and just pain, which varies from person to person. (more…)

The Beloved Community

November 29, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Randall Amster, Windy Cooler

Strengthening the Ties that Bind in an Era of Alienation

by Randall Amster and Windy Cooler

As we move into the winter of 2012, the days are getting shorter and the sociopolitical realities put before us seem, in some ways, to be darkening by the minute. How is it that we do not know how to live in the world, in those ways that have sustained and advanced the human experiment for eons? Today we have reactionary, regressive policies masking as “progress,” replacing the reciprocal bonds of authentic community with the wafer-thin ties of social networking and, in the process, turning our alienation and dysfunction into a nouveau spectacle. During the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, for example, a reporter for the Jerusalem Post actually asked residents in fear for their children’s lives if anyone could give an interview about how the shrieking sirens were affecting pets. It is so taboo to speak of what really matters with the people who matter that we have to be encouraged to do so. (more…)

Living, Loving Meaningfully

August 21, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Politics, Windy Cooler

The Revolution Will Not Be Anti-Social

by Windy Cooler

I have been ruminating lately on how much I am looking forward to school starting up again for Ob, my six year old son, because of how deeply I enjoy my time with other parents picking up their kids after school; how meaningful, powerful, and frankly, political, much of that time is.

Most of us are women. One is a grandfather and one is a stay at home father, married to the only woman he ever dated. We are very different people, religiously, in age, in personality, in class background and country of origin, to some extent, racially. We talk about everything and we have a huge impact on each other’s lives.

We jokingly call ourselves, after the suggestion of one of us, a poet and homeschooling mother, the “Playground Coven.” I usually write for activists, and I am doing it here, despite myself. I think of us sometimes, in that light, as a kind of Bughouse Square. (more…)

A Mother’s Day Manifesto

May 11, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Family, Windy Cooler

Promoting Personal and Communal Responsibility

by Windy Cooler

“Bite this stick,” the doctor might have said as we birthed our children a hundred years ago. The grunting,  whimpering, sobbing, pleading, sweating, stinking, bleeding nudity of motherhood channeled into that sweet gag, silent, as the towels mount to soak up all of the  nasty animal we are as we labor with the promise of life. Bite this stick.

To date, my most popular blog entry (Of Mice and Moms), is one in which I refuse the bite the stick. It is  vaguely about Mother’s Day and it is, honestly, the kind of screaming that does not produce life. Birth is a channeling of the pain, down, not up into the air,  pushing through it, sinking, a kind of focus that for all the animal smell, is what is truly animal. But the response from other mothers, and even fathers,  people in general, to my scream was huge.  I was a little taken aback. We are angry. We are sad. (more…)

Journey Home

May 07, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Family, Windy Cooler

Falling into the Poles…

by Windy Cooler

The color and quality of the light here is, I don’t know, dense. I always feel like I am being pushed into myself, quieting, sinking, falling through what is me and through the floor of the Earth when I walk alone here, visiting what seem like the ruins of the civilization I was part of eons ago, like the last survivor of Pompeii, when it was I who left. This is Montgomery, Alabama.

This is where I was a teenager and where I spent my early years as a mother, the place where I worked as a projectionist in a neighborhood theater, a non-profit one screen art house, called The Capri. Alabama is where my mother’s family has lived since before the American Civil War, in a small, ever flooding town called Elba, just north of Mobile. I am hardly a survivor as I burn and push through. I used to fancy myself one, feeling the need to keep on breathing through poverty and constant shaming, breathing and birthing a creature I could be proud of. The irony though is that surviving made me ashamed. And birthing is falling too. (more…)

The Personal Is Political

January 27, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Family, Politics, Windy Cooler

What’s Alinsky Got to Do with It?

by Windy Cooler

This Sunday, at the Friends Meeting I attend, I shared a long, rambling account of my personal soap opera, which is what I call it, my life, my relationships, when I am not willing to be vulnerable about it all, but I still need to vent, and well, my reality, when I am, when I am willing to share.

Short non-vulnerable version: there is a divorce, there is another long-term romantic relationship gone bad, so bad in fact I have begun describing my feelings around it as a “deranged ghost that lives outside of my body” as I search and search myself for any truth to which I can hold — to hang my feelings of love — then there are are things like a diagnoses of PTSD, which I suffer from, and for good reason, and my struggling to finish a degree program in which I am writing a thesis on solidarity behavior while I struggle with a general grumpiness about solidarity in my life and the unnerving prevalence of a philosophy of personal liberation in our culture that says, wrongly, it is actually a philosophy of community. (more…)