What White Privilege Means

I grew up in Abington, Massachusetts during the 1990s. My family home was not the standard. I didn’t really have neighbors. Yeah, there was a house semi-close to us but it only held an elderly couple – nice people but not the best playmates. On the other side of my house? A graveyard…quiet neighbors, really.

So I spent a lot of time in the woods, which surrounded most everything else. It was a great back then, the deer population hadn’t quite blown up yet so deer ticks were still few and far between. It was also fairly young, for a woods. Maybe 150 years old?

It used to be farmland and you could tell this as you walked through it. Stonewalls stood, long abandoned, cutting through the woods every few hundred yards or so. They’ve held up surprisingly well, despite not being cared for in over a century. While the landscape has definitely changed, these walls remain – as does the occasional farm antiquity.

When I walked in those woods – then and today – I am reminded that history does not have clear cut endings. Periods don’t end, get obliterated, and replaced with something new – not usually. No, instead the new typically grows over the old. It disguises it, but it does not remove it, not without effort.

Some of you may have guessed where I’m going with this. The woods I grew up in can be seen as society. They grow, they change. Species settle in and get pushed out (plants and animals). Vernal pools form, marsh deepens, only to have both dry in the summer.

But the bones of the land change much more slowly. The stone walls are still there and may very well be hundreds of years from now…unless someone makes the effort to pull them down.

stone-wall2

Continue reading What White Privilege Means

Why Bernie Sanders?

Okay, I promise to get back to the writing-centric articles soon. Cross my heart. That said, it’s 2020 and the race for the presidency feels like it’s been going on for four years already (partly because President Trump never stopped holding rallies). It’s exhausting – I get it. Heck, I’m more political than the average person and I’m annoyed by how much political news there’s been…and its overall lackluster quality.

So, if you would allow me to climb up on my soap box. I want to tell you about a senator for Vermont and why I’m voting for him. I also want to try and convince my centrist friends out there to please, rethink your political vision of America.

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What I Learned Creating the South Shore Writing Initiative

I figured I’d take a break from talking about Star Wars (there’s still at least one post coming on Dual of the Fates) to talk about something much more personal. Four years ago, I was missing writing in a big way. I should clarify – I missed my writing community. In college, I had been surrounded by other writers (read: geeks, nerds, fellow deviants). We’d go out, talk character design, plot structure, world building – it was great. But this community existed in Montreal, and I – through a series of bizarre realities and tragic events – had to move back to Massachusetts.

While I still have friends up in Montreal, it’s hard to maintain a sense of community when you live 7 hours away by car. That was at the end of 2013. Fast forward to Fall 2016 and I knew I had to do something to reconnect with the writing community. I had gone into Boston several times to visit GrubStreet and – while they are incredible people – I didn’t really feel that sense of belonging that I was looking for. I won’t get into more now other than to say I believe GrubStreet’s organizers and I seemed to be on different wavelengths with the function/importance of writers.

So, with no place at GrubStreet and no sign of a writing community on the South Shore, I decided to do something crazy: Create a community around me.

Continue reading What I Learned Creating the South Shore Writing Initiative