Friday, May 30, 2014

Knowing where things come from

Our society is set up so that we don't know where the stuff of our daily lives comes from.  Food, clothing, cars, homes -- all we know is if we pay money, then we get that stuff.  How many people who eat chicken know how to slaughter a chicken? How many people who wear cotton clothing know how to grow cotton?  How many people who ride in cars know where the materials for the car came from?  And when we are done with stuff, we put it in the trash.  How many people know where it goes after that?

Sometimes journalism tells us.  In December 2013, NPR's Planet Money told us about the making of a t-shirt.  The CNN Freedom Project researched slavery.  That is, we think of slavery as from the past, but they told us about things that are going on now. 

We put money in the bank.  That doesn't mean that they have a vault of cash that belongs to us.  They are investing our money.  What are they investing it in?

My employer gives me a choice of retirement plans.  One of them is called socially responsible.  It invests in McDonald's, Pepsi, Ford, American Express, Procter and Gamble, and Time Warner.  That's not what I think of when I think of socially responsible. 

Things get tagged as "socially responsible" or "green," and we think that means we should buy them. 

Our society makes it easy to be a blind consumer.  It's hard to dig deeper. It's hard to be a responsible citizen.


Time rushes by.  I am so busy.  Work. Morris dance. Time bank.  Radio show.  Family gatherings.  Chores. I'm just caught up in it, focusing on the immediate deadlines.  I need to make choices about how I spend my time.  I will have a little more leeway in my schedule in July. How will I spend that time? Some many things I want to do:
  1. Morris dance camp
  2. Time bank conference
  3. See my family -- various people in various places, so this is really more than one item on my to do list
  4. Go to the ocean
  5. Stay home.   Take some time for reflection, writing, meditation, communing with nature.  Catch up on projects and chores.
  6. Figure out what to do with my life.  Find another way to earn a living.  
It is tempting to go with items 1 and 2, because there's where my inertia is now.  I think that instead, I need to find a way to focus on 6.  It's a hard one to do, because there's no clearcut way to accomplish it.  

One way to start is to think about what I want to do.  I have a lot of ideas.  I've had the same ideas for years, but I just keep going in circles because I haven't managed to move from swirl of ideas to implementation.  I know that I like to work with information in support of a community that values what I have to offer and is working toward goals consistent with my values.  I care about:
  • Education.  Helping people to grow in knowledge, skill, critical thinking, compassion, and wisdom. Helping people to understand nature and society.
  • Restorative justice.
  • Sustainable living, renewable energy, the transition movement, small business, organic agriculture, permaculture.  I would not be an expert in these areas.  My expertise might be in education, and my employer would educate people about these things.  
What can I do to move my life forward? There are a few approaches I can think of:
  1. There are two organization that seem to be working toward all of the above things.  One is a college, and the other is a camp.  I give money to these organization.  I check their job postings.  I did ask once at one about volunteer work.  Both are some distance from where I live.  I could make a trip there, but I couldn't volunteer there on a weekly basis.  Maybe in July I could take some vacation time to visit one or both of those places.  Maybe I could find a way to be involved in a short term way.
  2. Maybe I could get involved in more of the things happening in my local community.  I'm over-extended now.  Maybe I should quit Morris dance and join the transition group instead.
  3. Are there skills I can develop? One of my problems is that I'm not sure what I can or want to offer.  I like working with databases and web sites and statistics, but I'm a real amateur at it.  If I could focus on something and develop my skills in that area, then I would have something to offer.  
Sometimes people get in a rut. They say they want to do something.  They keep saying it for years but they never do anything.  I see that in others. I see that in myself.  I don't want to be that person.  I'm struggle to break out of the rut.  

Living in a corporate culture

They talked about Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.  They did not say anything about the food co-op or the farmer's market.  

I was so alienated I didn't bother to say anything to them.

I'm polite. I have a hard time telling people I think their values are bizarre.

Most of my society thinks they are the normal ones.


I've always loved to dance.  One of the reasons why I chose the apartment I live in is because there is a large living room floor directly above an office.  The office is usually unoccupied when I am home.  That means I can dance around the living room all I want without disturbing the neighbors.  When I dance around the living room, I am filled with joy.

I've always loved to dance.  I've always loved dancing around where I live.  The other thing that I've always done, on and off, and try to do more official kinds of dancing.  They don't work out, but I keep trying new ones.

I took ballet when I was 6.  I did not do well and it did not last that long.

As a child and teenager, I had a little experience with square and contra dancing, and also went to school dances.  In junior high, the boys had to ask the girls to dance.  It was all partner dances.  So I went to the 7th grade dance and I went to the 8th grade dance, and at each once, I got to dance one dance.  In high school, a group of girls could dance together, so I got to dance more, I didn't have to wait for a boy to ask me.

In college, physical education classes only lasted for one quarter, which was half a semester.  I took one quarter of Israeli folk dance, and one or two quarters of modern dance, but other quarters I was busy with other physical education classes, including yoga, swimming, and self defense.

My first year after college, starting my first job was enough to keep my busy, but after one year, I moved to a different place, and near that place was an aerobics class.  I took aerobics for most of the three years that I lived there.

Then I went away to graduate school.  My exercise consisted of all the walking I did, to school and to grocery shopping.

After school, I was unemployed for a  year.  After getting settled in my job, I took aerobics.  I did that for several years, until it ended.

In years after that I tried ballroom, swing, contra, English country, modern, and jazz.  Ballroom, swing, contra, and English country require a partner.  I hate that when I can't find a partner, I have to sit on the sidelines.  Those kinds of dances are not for me.  I really object to the idea that you are not allowed to have fun unless you have a partner.

Modern and jazz were tough.  I had no experience with jazz dance, and only a few months of experience with modern dance.  I was in a class with people who had been doing it since they were 5.  They were college students, and I was in my 30s.  I did not last long in that environment.

Then they started offering Nia classes at work.  I liked that.  I kept doing it as long as it was offered, which was a few years.

Next up was tai chi.  I took that for 9 months.  I quit when we got to the end of the 24 form because my teacher seemed annoyed with me for not being good at it.

One year after quitting tai chi, I started Morris dance.  I've been doing that for just over two years now.  My experience with Morris dance is like my experience with ballet, modern, jazz, and tai chi -- I'm terrible at it.  I don't mind being terrible at it.  What I mind is when other people get annoyed at the fact that I am terrible at it.

There are some things I like about Morris dance.  I like the way it's about celebrating the coming of spring.  I like the way it's about keeping alive a tradition of my ancestors.  I like dance that's about performing.

The style of dance isn't everything that I need.  I like dance that's more about full body movement, like Nia or modern dance.  If I had the time and energy, I would Morris dance plus other kinds that have more of that full body movement.

For the future, I'm signed up to take tai chi this summer.  Two things I haven't tried yet but would like to try are sole synthesis and  dances of universal peace. I may try a zumba class (I've done zumba at home with a video.) I may some day try again to take modern or jazz, if I can find a class for middle-aged, fat beginners, instead of being with a lot of young fit people who have been doing it since they were 5.

Dancing around the living room fills me with joy.  Going out in the world and trying to follow someone else's instructions about how to dance is often frustrating.  I do okay with exercise classes (aerobics, Nia), but I hate sitting out partner dances, and I seem to annoy the teachers of performance dancing (ballet, jazz, modern, Morris).  You'd think I'd be content to just dance around the living room, but I keep trying new ways of going out in the world and trying to follow someone else's instructions about how to dance.  I think it's because I want to learn and grow.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


One woman lost her job.

Another woman lost her mother.

Another woman, 35 weeks pregnant, lies in the hospital, 35 weeks pregnant, semiconscious.

I go to my  job and tell people they are filling out their forms incorrectly.  At Morris dance, I worry that I have nothing to offer, that my dancing sucks and that they don't want the other things that I can do.  I tell myself I'm going to do laundry after work today, but I'm so tired when I get home, that once again, it does not get done.

Such a gap between what is important and what my life is.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Once More With Feeling

Just watched "Once More With Feeling."  She really captures where I'm at:

Every single night, the same arrangement
I go out and fight the fight.
Still I always feel this strange estrangement
Nothing here is real, nothing here is right.
I've been making shows of  trading blows
Just hoping no one knows
That I've been going through the motions
Walking through the part.
Nothing seems to penetrate my heart.
I was always brave, and kind of righteous.
Now I find I'm wavering.
 I can't even see
 If this is really me
And I just want to be alive

She's not telling her friends how she is hurting because they just try to press her to be okay, and she's not okay.  The only person she can talk to is someone who knows darkness, who can be present with her in darkness, rather than pressing her to be cheery.  She doesn't know how to go forward.  She goes through the motions of what she has to do, but she knows it's not right and she doesn't know any way out.


When I was in high school, I thought I might want to become a writer.  I thought that meant that I had to be either a novelist or a newspaper reporter.  I knew I wasn't cut out to me a newspaper reporter, because you have to be kind of persistent about trying to get people to talk to you, and my attitude is if people don't want to talk to me, I should respect that.  I attempted to write several novels, and enjoyed it, but in time I came to see that writing novels was not my thing either.  I'm not that imaginative.  Now I think that the kind of writing I do is to write my thoughts and observations.  Sometimes it's mostly introspective, while other times, it's about observing other people and writing about what they say and do.

 Anyway, when I was a teenager, I thought that the only ways to earn a living as a writer were as a novelist or a newspaper reporter.  But I look at things I got in the mail, and I realize that someone was paid to write them, and I realize that there are a lot of ways to get paid to write that I didn't necessarily think of.

I have a clothing catalog that says
Splash through a creek.  Hose down your horse.  Get doused in a downpour.  With DuluthFlex Dry on the Fly Pants, you'll be comfortably dry before you can say, "Where's an umbrella."  
I have an alumni magazine from College of the Atlantic.  Each issue starts with a letter from the editor.  In this issue, the letter from the editor starts with a paragraph about how it is the anniversary of the publication of The Maine Woods by Thoreau.  Then it goes on to say
The founders of the College of the Atlantic -- inspired by Thoreau, among others -- created a school in which students are immersed in firsthand experience.  At COA, students connect directly to their subjects -- to learn for themselves, much as Thoreau did, aided by faculty catalysts -- whether studying biology, history, literature, art, or land use planning.  This kind of learning hones self-reliance and keen observation, qualities crucial to thriving in our unpredictable world.
And another piece of writing, which unlike the others, is not something I got in the mail:
As the summer heats up, we often try to start our routes as early as possible to avoid the mid-day sun. Please remember to have your trash and recycling out by 8 am so that we don't miss it. Also, if you don't already have compost service with us, summer is a great time to start. Putting food waste in the compost helps keep animals and flies away from your garbage bin, and keeps the smell down. Compost service is free for our customers who already have trash & recycling service with us. Contact us and we can sign you up.
So it's not always obvious how a person can earn a living as a writer.

And it's very much not obvious to me how I can earn a living.  Not that I necessarily want to be a writer.  Well of course I would be doing some writing as part of the job, but writing might not be the thing that defines the job.

Friday, May 23, 2014


in your dreams you can be what you are
in your dreams you can love with passion
in your dreams you don't have to make sense

in your dreams the cloak of sleep enfolds you
treasures you
in your dreams they can't tell you what to do
because if they try
you can knock their table over

in your dreams you leap and spin and twirl and swirl
you dance with the stars

in your dreams you love
and no one tells you no
no one tells you that's not who you're supposed to love

in your dreams you knock down the pompous betrayers
who talk and talk and act so friendly

in your dreams there is no injustice
no poverty
no violence

in your dreams your sleep is peaceful
in your dreams your days are strong

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Madeleine L'Engle

When I was a teenager, I was a fan of Madeleine L'Engle.  I bought as many books of hers as I could.  That is long since past.

Now I am not much impressed by her work.  One thing is that certain things repeatedly in her books:

  • the alcoholic parent or parent-figure
  • the alcoholic parent or parent-figure who makes sexual advances on the child
  • a beloved mother figure, not a biological mother, a passionate artist
  • the disruptive child adopted when his or her parents die
  • the wise, kind, older man who comforts and counsels the main characters
  • the awkward misfit girl in boarding school
  • the girl in boarding school betrayed by a classmate who was once her friend
  • the attractive young man with pale skin, dark hair, and tormented soul
  • the beloved child, a boy about 5-6 years old
  • the death of a beloved child
  • the wife struggling to forgive betrayal by her husband
  • the priest, the doctor, the scientist, the musician, the writer, the actor -- this seems to cover most of the career options in her world
  • the vehicle that veered onto the sidewalk and hit a child
  • people being injured or killed in car accidents
She wrote from the prejudices of her time.  She came from a world in which everyone was wealthy, well-educated, white, and heterosexual, and you can see how this leads to certain assumptions in her writing.  I think that in later books she struggles to expand, but falls short of the mark.  For example, in A House Like a Lotus and A Severed Wasp she struggles to accept homosexuality, but to me it comes across as if she is saying we must love everyone, and judge them only their kindness to others, and not on their distasteful sexual proclivities.

I most recently read The Love Letters.  I hope none of my loved ones read it and think they ought to adopt its attitudes.  It was written in a time when it was normal for men to have careers and women not to. In that situation, if the woman wants more from the relationship than the man does, well, according to L'Engle, she just needs to live with the imbalance.  It seems to me that if she found something to do outside the home, whether a paid job or volunteer work, but some way of being useful to the world at large, she would be happier, and so would her husband, because she would not be looking to him for all her fulfillment.

That book also comes from a time when pregnant women thought nothing of drinking alcoholic beverages.  And a time when, according to L'Engle, women who refuse sex with their husbands because they are angry are just as sinful as prostitutes, because in both cases, they are using sex for personal gain.  In this book, the husband refers to a particular sexual encounter with his wife as "rape."  She in no way suggests that this sexual encounter was wrong.  In fact, afterwards, the wife is filled with love for her husband.

And it's a book in which a wife must love her husband and honor her commitment to him, even if he is cruel to her, puts her down, cheats on her.

The racist, sexist, heterosexist, and classist attitudes in her writing are so invisible to her, because they are a part of her culture.  They are part of her world view.  She is a person who thinks deeply about moral questions, but there are some things that she just can't see.

Imagine what it would be like to live in that world.  What would it be like to be a wife and to feel that you are at fault if having no work outside that home leaves you feeling unfilled? What it would be like to feel you must be a bad wife if you fail to forgive when your husband puts you down and cheats on you? What it would like to feel you must submit whenever your  husband wants to have sex with you?

I do appreciate that love is about giving, that it involves sacrifice and compromise, that I also believe that I have my own core, and that I need to look out for myself as well, and that I must leave a relationship if that relationship diminishes me.  

And of course, as Madeleine L'Engle wears the blinders of her time, so I wear the blinders of my time.  And as she cannot see her blinders, neither can I see mine.  The age difference between L'Engle and me is about the same as the age gap between babies born this year and me.  So some day, babies born this year will look back at my writing and be appalled at  how blinded I was by the prejudices of my time.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Names in Restless

In the commentary on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Restless, " Joss Whedon says
Somebody actually pointed out to me something that I hadn't noticed, which was that they talk about letting something tell you its name - and then later on Riley talks about naming things. Specifically, the idea of the more feminine and masculine versions of how to experience the world. In the feminine version of letting it come to you and the masculine version of conquering it and codifying it yourself.
The two conversations which Joss references went as follows:

Tara:  You'd think she'd let us know her name by now.
Willow: She will.


Riley: Buffy, we've got important work here.  A lot of filing, giving things names.

I don't see it as masculine vs. feminine.  I see it more as spiritual vs. material, or druidic vs. modernist.  For me, druidry is about letting things unfold, seeing things for what they are.

There are three other references to names in this episode.

  1. Willow asks Tara,  "Have you told me your real name?" and Tara replies, "Oh, you know that."
  2. The former robot-demon Adam appears now as a human government agent.  When they are talking of names, Buffy asks him "What was yours?"  He says, "Before Adam? Not a man among us can remember."
  3. The first slayer, speaking through Tara, says, "I have no speech. No name. I live in the action of death, the blood cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute ... alone. "

It seems we must have names in order to be connected, to be known.  Willow and Tara are connected, so Willow  knows Tara's true name.  The first slayer is alone, and has no name.  Adam's past is lost, so his name is forgotten.

Too many things

I am doing too many things.  I don't have time any more to read, write, clean, get organized, go for a walk, meditate.  I'm not really a druid if I don't do those things.

I'm doing too many things because I can't bear to give any of them up.

I get home too late or I get home too tired to make dinner.  I try to get by eating something small and simple.

I wake up in the night because I am too hungry.

I don't get enough sleep because I am too hungry.

I get home the next evening, and because I didn't get enough sleep, I'm too tired to make dinner, so I try to get by eating something small and simple.

The cycle continues.  It is not good for me.

I should be brave enough to give something up.

All God's Critters

The chorus of "All God's Critters" by Bill Staines:

All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
And some just clap their hands, or paws
Or anything they got now.

It reminds me of the philosophy of time-banking -- that everyone has something to contribute.

It also reminds me of my own struggle.  I can't figure out what is my place in this world.  Am I one to sing, one to clap my hands, or one to clap my paws? Or is there something else I can do?

A house concert and the cycles of life

The birth of my nephew inspired me to do a radio show with a theme of family. I played songs about a number of things related to this theme, but one song that was particularly in honor of my nephew's birth was "Child of Mine" by Bill Staines.

Four and a half years later, I was in a room in which Bill Staines was singing that song while my nephew frolicked about, ignoring the music.  He was making a loop, jumping off the bed onto a futon on the floor, through a folding chair, and back to the bed again. 

It was a house concert, attended by maybe two dozen people, mostly friends and family to each other.  As I sat there seeing the children frolicking, it struck me that people have been gathering together for music in the evening for millenia.  Some things change.  It was not always the case that people were invited to such gatherings by way of Facebook.  It was not always the case that my nephew was one of the frolicking children.  His father was born when I was 15, so he was the one who was the frolicking child when I was in my teens and 20's.  And before that, when I was about 4 or 5, I was the one dancing about while the grownups sat. 

This time of year, the new green leaves appear on the trees.  Each autumn, the leaves fall and die, but each spring, new life awakens.  These are not the same leaves that were on the trees last year, but the follow the same patterns.  And so too do humans follow the same patterns -- birth and death, joy and sorrow, childhood and old age.  The cycles stay the same year after year, but the faces change -- each generation, different individuals go through these cycles.

The morning after a concert, I went to a cafe for coffee and a scone.  I went to that cafe once before, two years ago.  It was my brother who found it.  I don't live near it, but I had traveled to the area for the concert, so I took the opportunity to pay the cafe a visit.  I sat in the same seat that I sat in two years ago.  Two years ago, my brother sat across from me.  He never will again.  He has left this earth.  I stared out the window so the people in the cafe would not see my tears.

The cycles of life are eternal, but each individual who passes through these cycles is unique and irreplaceable. 

I want to record people's stories so that we can remember those who have gone before.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


When I woke up in the night, I felt contentment.  That is not something I have felt lately.  My real life has been troubling me.  I realized the contentment must have come from a dream, so I thought back on what it was.

In the dream, I thought, "Oops, I got a PhD.  Now I will be even less employable than I was before."  The dream started at that point, when the PhD was over.  I did have the knowledge of the past events though -- I had gone to school because I had been laid off from my job.  I had gotten a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania.  Now I was living somewhere in the area, not Philadelphia, but eastern Pennsylvania.  (Later, in my subsequent dream, I saw a post card of Harrisburg, and though, "yes, that's where I was in my previous dream.")

Anyway, having just gotten a PhD, I was feeling a bit frustrated.  "I don't want to be a professor!" I exclaimed.  "I don't want to be a researcher."  I think those I said, and then I thought, maybe didn't say, that I didn't want any kind of high-falutin' job that a person with a PhD would get.

There was a room, like a motel room, and they gave me a job as caretaker of the room.  All I had to do was remain in the room 8:30am-4:30pm four days a week.  And in return, it was my room, I lived there.  That is what made me content.  In the dream, having a place to live was the only thing you needed a job for.  So now that I had that, I didn't have to go looking for a high-falutin' PhD job.  The only thing left that I had to do was what I wanted to do, to look for like-minded people.  I thought about how I knew a lot of good people in my old life [the one that is my actual current real life].  I went through the ways I had met the people I knew in my old life, and decided that in this new place I was living, I would go out and meet the folkies, morris dancers, and time bankers.

There were two people who were kind of like my employers, they were like in charge of the room, they had given me this job as caretaker of the room.  I think they already knew and liked me.  Maybe I had lived in the room while working on my PhD.  I liked these people, but they were not the like-minded people I wanted to meet.  One was a man around my generation, maybe a few years older than me.  He was kind of large, kind of overweight.  We lay in bed together in the room, arms around each other.  It wasn't sexual, just snuggly.  It was family.  The other was a younger woman, smaller, thinner.

There was also a woman who was like a neighboring vendor.  She didn't own the room, but she was working something like a deli counter in the room.  I think her name was Becky.  The man introduced me to her.  She was cold to me, but it wasn't personal, she was like that to everyone, so I didn't mind.

Because I wanted to meet folkies, the man told me that tomorrow morning he would be performing at an open mic at a coffeeshop, and I could go with him and he would introduce me to people.

In the other dream that I had later, I was going to a concert with friends.  They were a couple.  We all three sat in the front.  It was a tandem car.  Both of my two friends were driving.  The man on the left in the traditional driver's seat, and the woman in the middle both had steering wheels, gas pedals, break pedals, etc.  The woman was someone I've been thinking about a lot in real life, someone I want to be friends with.  The man was not anyone I know in real life, but was similar to the man in the previous dream.

The concert was in a city, possibly Philadelphia.  I guess maybe we lived outside of the city.  The journey to and from the concert involved driving through a city anyway.   There were a lot of turns onto little roads, it was a complicated route. The two drivers knew the route, but the roads were unfamiliar to me.  I could not tell if they had some sort of GPS or if they just knew it in their heads.  In the dream, I was with them in the car driving to the concert, then at the concert, then with them driving home.  It was daylight when we were driving home, which does not often happen in real concerts.  I don't remember listening to anyone perform at the concert.  I remember being very high up in the seating.  The seating was like that, it got higher as you go up.  I remember talking with my friend (the female driver of the car).  That was when I saw the post card of Harrisburg.  We also decided to go down to ground level, maybe to look at a shop next door, or just to see people.  We were remembering past concerts we had been to, and people we had talked about before.  We were talking about people who were there.  She pointed out someone she knew and told me the name.  We had talked about that person before, so I was trying to remember about who that person was.  There was someone who had two names, a married name and a maiden name, so my friend was like, "That's Miss Newman, do you know who Miss Newman is?" and I was like, "Is it Mrs. Berger?"  No, it wasn't, and I kept guessing.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Stuffed animal

The original question was what kind of stuffed animal to get, for when I need something to hug, not what is my spirit animal.  I don't want something wild, like a bear.  A goat might be sufficiently domestic, even though it is not something one would normally snuggle up with.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spirit animal

Last year at an event we were supposed to each say our spirit animal.  I said I don't have a spirit animal, I have a spirit tree, the maple.

In the past few weeks, I've been feeling like I want to get a stuffed animal, because there are times when I want something to hug.  I started looking for one to get, and found I didn't want to make a quick purchase, I wanted to make sure I got the right one.

The first thing that came to mind was a goat, because I have always liked goats, and I have some history in college of being called a goat.

Then I noticed that nearly a month ago, I took one of those silly quizzes, and it told me that my spirit animal was the bear.  It said:
The Great Bear is found on nearly every continent, in nearly every color. The magic of the Bear is extremely powerful and healing for others. Like the Bear, you have limitless strength. You are a guide for others on the river of life.
I like that bears are associated with sleeping in winter, living in the forest, being strong, and eating plants.

I like that elephants can dance, but I don't really identify with elephants in other ways.

I'm also drawn to llamas.

But I think it's either the bear or the goat.  

Tired and whiny

"I'm tired and cranky and whiny," I said.

She understood that.

But then I started telling her about my life, the specific things that were bugging me, making me feel unloved.  I know they hit me harder now because I am tired.  But she starts reasoning with me, trying to explain that I shouldn't be bothered by these things.  I just told her I feel this way because I'm tired.  Does she think she can reason be out of being tired?

But it's not only that I'm tired.  These things do bother me.  It bothers me that no one values what I have to offer.  I wish someone would just tell me I'm okay, just as I am.

I have one good friend, but he is doing something else today.

I wish there were a lot of people who cherished me as I am, and who didn't tell me my feelings are wrong.