Thursday, August 10, 2017

Is North Korea attacking Moses Lake, WA?

Disclaimer #1: Regarding the title question--NO! Or at least, it's highly doubtful that North Korea or anyone else considers Moses Lake an upcoming target. But if you read the measly 4 paragraphs in this article, you'll understand the reason for the title.

Disclaimer #2: Regarding the following article--The years have been changed to protect the innocent...and the youthfully aging author...And yeah, that's as close as I could come to having a sense of humor when dealing with something so serious. 

When I was ___ years old, still in grade school, I had a panic attack because I was afraid the Gulf War was going to come to Moses Lake, Washington and kill everyone I knew. It surely sounded absurd to a grownup, and probably even to a less intense elementary schooler, but to me, it seemed perfectly plausible. In one of the most compassionate parenting moments that I can recall, my mother posted a 3' world map in the hallway next to my bedroom and marked it with places we should talk about: Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Washington DC, New York, LA, Seattle, and Moses Lake. Her main point was to show me that the military action would probably never reach little ol' Moses Lake.

Granted, it didn't prevent me from crying about all the people who would lose their lives in the Middle East, or from worrying that someone else (apparently like Iraq) would topple the U.S. government in D.C. and change the way we all live as Americans...Again, I realize that probably sounds ridiculous to most Americans now...But her map did in fact comfort me every morning and night as I passed by.

Somehow though, here we are some ___ years later, discussing North Korea's potential nuclear attacks on American soil. Specifically on the contiguous 48. And even more shocking to the elementary version of me, potentially on the pacific northwest where my mom's map taught me how unimportant Seattle, and Moses Lake, would be in a military attack strategy.  But it seems that Seattle might in fact be within North Korea's nuclear strike range! And on top of that, I now have friends and family in Seattle, CA, NY, and D.C., and practically every other part of the USA. So I find myself actually trying to understand how things might play out in the coming year. I've started looking through a variety of hopefully reliable sources (as all good researchers, and English teachers would tell you to do!) so I know that even the experts have conflicting conclusions about how likely an attack is here in the great PNW, or on U.S. soil at all.

And even though the adult version of me has learned to steady the nerves that wracked me ___ years ago, the child version of me is still likely to pop up at some point when dealing with a topic this intimidating. So I figured I'd be proactive and start collecting resources that will help me understand what is possible vs probable regarding our current tensions with North Korea, and what steps we should take to be prepared in case anything should happen. If I find any sources with potentially interesting, insightful, or helpful ideas, I'll post them here. And if anyone out there is willing to share your resources with me, you're welcome to pass them on and I'll post them here as well.

Disclaimer #3: Regarding the invitation to share your links--This is not an open invitation to create arguments about what should or shouldn't be happening in a political sense, only an opportunity to educate people about what might or might not be taking place. A place to post logistical considerations. Thanks for helping us stay on topic. (Sincerely, your former neighborhood English teacher)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day

Here I am again, after months of writing things and not posting them. I have in fact had a lot on my mind. (Those of you who know me personally are not at all shocked, I'm sure, but maybe someone out there doesn't yet realize that, so I felt it was fair to say.) But my whole life, I've done this thing where I have too much to say so I say nothing for a while while it bubbles up inside...then I try saying something and it all comes whipping out like a hurricane of then I go back to bottling it up and stating my need for "processing time." Guess that's what's been happening with my sporadic posting for the last few years too. Who would have guessed?

Then there's this other thing I do when I don't know what to say--I obsess over a song, poem, essay, etc. in which someone else said what I couldn't. So to that end, I'm directing you to a few two articles by a cause that I admire very much: To Write Love on Her Arms. If you haven't heard about them yet, I hope you'll follow the final link below to learn about their origins. And I hope the first two links encourage you to be a little stronger, or kinder, or more confident, or more understanding, or more of whatever is missing for you. We all have different battles to fight in this life, so whatever yours might be, I hope you find the support you need. 

TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski responds to the death of Chester Bennington

World Suicide Prevention Day: Stay. Find what you were made for.

It all started with a story.

I'll leave you with one of my (many) favorite quotes from the TWLOHA page...It revitalizes me and reminds me of how important it is to be compassionate AND strong for others when I feel like I can't give anymore. THIS is how true, life-changing love is shared. Not by thinking, or by acting once. But by continuing to take action.

"We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don’t get to choose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won’t solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we’re called home."