Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Goodbye, for now

I want to share two things with you today.

The first is that I am putting Wanderlust on hiatus. I’ve been on a sort of quasi-hiatus for a few months, posting only sporadically. But I’ve decided to make it official. I’m not shutting down permanently. But for the next few months there is a great deal of transition in my world – big changes -- and I need my time, energy and focus on the home front.

For those of you who are disappointed about this, don’t worry, I’ll be back before too long. For those of you who are expressing glee, steady there. Read to the end of my post.

When I was in the throes of trauma last year, I needed to write. A voice within told me to just keep writing. The engagement and phenomenal support that came from the blogging community was so healing. I could spend the rest of my life saying thank you and it would still feel inadequate.

Today, that same voice is telling me to be silent and to pull my energy in. So I’m listening and trusting.

This is exciting and scary all at once. But more exciting than scary.

Second, I want to share one important thought with you before I go. Bear with me for a moment as I give you some backstory that informs this thought and also explains the cringe-worthy color of my blog today.

As you are probably aware, the Susan G Komen Foundation, a multi-million dollar charitable foundation supporting breast cancer research and preventive education, has been in the news a lot lately. The Foundation is best known for the Race for the Cure and selling lots and lots of pink products (for the cure). They’ve raised a lot of money for worthy causes. That’s awesome.

However, they came under fire for cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides breast exams for a predominantly low-income population. The maelstrom (which appears to be well documented by internal memos) is that the move was politically motivated because PP also provides abortions.

Since then journalists have been digging deeper into the organization and what they’re coming up doesn’t sit well with the public. For instance, Komen has partnered with weapons manufacturers to produce pink handguns (for the cure). For the record, firearms are the second leading cause of death by injury in the U.S.  True, I googled it.

One story, however, particularly bothered me. The Foundation has aggressively sought to censor other organizations that have used the language ‘for the cure’ in their campaigns, claiming trademark infringement. They have filed lawsuits against over 100 other organizations, mostly small, local groups.

According to this article, one family, which runs kite-flying events (Kites for the Cure) to raise money for lung cancer, received a letter from Komen’s lawyers saying they owned the word ‘cure’ and to stop using it. They also reportedly told them never to use the color pink in conjunction with their fundraising. 

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been involved in too many legal dealings the past two years.  And maybe it’s because I’ve had my own words pulled from my blog and thrown back at me in a courtroom, in what I can only presume was an attempt to distract from the crux of the matter under litigation.

But when I read this last article about Komen, it struck me as simply ridiculous. At best.

There’s a lot I don’t know, but here is one thing I do.

Each of our lives is a dance and we get to choose its orchestration. We hear the music. We decide how to express it. Maybe our dance takes the form of a painting or a ceramic mug or, hey ho, a blog. Maybe we express it by nurturing a sick child or creating a loving marriage or getting an education. Maybe someone we love dies of lung cancer and we are inspired to start an organization to fund research into the disease so that, god willing, one day, we can save someone else from the loss we endured. Maybe we become a monk or a teacher or a financial consultant. Maybe we BLOG FOR THE CURE ™! Maybe we go silent. Maybe we turn our site pink to express our dedication to creative expression (but only for a day, because…ugh…pink).

Maybe no one else sees our dance; or they see it and they call it mediocre.

There will always be those who seek to quash our creations. I hate that, I don’t get it, but it’s true. I read it once in the Manual for Surviving Humanoid Life on Earth.

You know what? Don’t let them.

No one can tell you how to interpret the music in your soul. No one can tell you to stop expressing your creative genius – and each of us is a creative genius. No one owns you or your words or an idea or, for heaven's sake, a color. Don’t accept the boundaries that someone else might place on you.

You owe it to the world to keep on. We're waiting breathlessly to see your dance.

Me, I’m not quitting my dance. I’m simply taking it off-stage for a while.

Over and out, geniuses.


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