Sue Westwind's Most Recent Posts
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PULL THE KNIVES FROM YOUR OWN BACK
Recently on Facebook I shared the excitement of trying to write my first blurb (an endorsement for another author’s book that is cited on its cover). The effort invoked for me the trouble I’d had getting blurbs from women authors I knew or who had stated they’d look at the
DEAR MOUNTAIN LION: PLEASE HELP ME
What I know about you I’ve heard on this thing we call Facebook. We are the people in houses at the edge of your habitat, where we type onto screens our scuttlebutt about the neighborhood. On Facebook I read that you have walked into backyards, mounted deck steps, and passed
WHAT KIND OF NEW YEAR?
We see the idea of kindness packaged these days in every way commerce can cook up. You can buy kindness cards, sweatshirts, stickers, books, mugs, plaques, pillows, and calendars. But which came first, the heart’s longing or the marketing opportunity? Memes about kindness grace social media posts galore, and our
SOLSTICE ODE TO WINTER WILD
This is a hymn to the longest night, To darkness that decimates the light, Long hours we question, wonder and stew: What crouches beyond in next year’s new? Forget the calendar and January one. Heed the sky, the revel’s begun. Winter as solstice, an astronomical fact
ECOSEX GEMS TO SAVOR
I wondered: how many ecosexual passages might be contained on my bookshelf and in the library books currently piled on my desk? They were everywhere! I started with poetry texts I’ve had for years that I knew would yield delicious fruit. It just mushroomed from there—excuse the food imagery, more
FOR THOSE STILL SWIPING
After mourning for a time—a widow—I moved like my lonely-heart brethren to inhabit the online dating sites. Someone remarked that the endeavor was like a cage fight with too many participants. Things do move fast. Whole lives dismissed with a swipe left. Specious flattery handed out with less substance than
MY MOTHER, THE MIRROR
She was 96 and lucid to the end. Today I found another of those little containers she saved—it once held bath gels when I gave it to her as a child. Repurposed to hold her broken rosaries, there were many, garbled into a ball of bead and tarnished wire. I
THE COLORS, THE DEATH, THE INWARD HAUL
(Warning: contains scenes from our very bad year) “A kinship with death makes one a better lover, an old hag once told me . . . “ —Danielle Dulsky, Seasons of Moon and Flame It had been while. My visits to this conservation district taper off during tick
THE GREEN FUSE, LIT
“The force that through the green fuse drives the flower/Drives my green age . . . .” Dylan Thomas I sing the body eclectic, a mix of sparks, age, rage, and change. Everyday an erotic challenge, every day nearer its end. I named what I am—earth-eroticist—once my womb finished its
WHEN A WOMAN NEEDS A FIRE IN THE NIGHT
In my backyard nook, the moonlight’s dear silver calls. What a project it was! A woodlot lumpy with garbage—former tenants’ milk cartons, clothes on hangers covered with a thin layer of dirt, and the detritus of the landlord’s begrudging repairs–shingles and flashing, nails, board rot. The glass! Shards everywhere in
A sinuous hulk on the horizon, stark contours to its gray lift, its body hovering over the oak-trimmed prairie. So much sky above calls attention to this butte where no such thing belongs. But wait, it’s manmade. A working quarry—sand, gravel, and rock—piling its dredge and baking in the sun.
FREAKS IN THE FAMILY
A dear friend sent a copy of the 1932 film, “Freaks,” banned for 30 years and finally vindicated as one of the best horror films ever made. The film used real circus “acts”—conjoined twins, dwarfs, persons with microcephaly, total amputees—who exact revenge on the able-bodied circus performers that torment them.
PSYCHIATRISTS UNBOUND: TWO FOR THE REVOLUTION
One is a church-going Christian, the other is skilled at Kundalini yoga. One believes there is a place for medications; the other has thrown away her prescription pad. One is focused on the brain, the other believes that “fear is the sickness.” Two authors, two books, psychiatrists unbound from the
FOOD INGLORIOUS FOOD
This post was rough-drafted before Covid, with its drive-thru food pantries, empty grocery shelves, and threats of food shortages. There’s a mountain of evidence that what you eat can be agents of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders—but with pandemics and natural disasters abounding, eating healthy seems secondary to staying
NEW WORDS FOR WHAT WE FEEL
It’s all happening too fast to effectively dialogue about. The virus that lingers . . . the suffering from fires, floods, and hurricanes . . . species lost and human communities displaced . . . the Earth speaking back to careless human greed? Or is it that pointed and awful?
THE PRIESTESS IS MAD
Originally posted at Mad In America blogs, where it reflects more of its times: Trump as president, the George Floyd tragedy, more. Who calls herself a priestess–and what’s she so mad about? Or is she mad as in crazy? Or both? A priestess might be a woman considering the various
FRESH GRIEF: NOTES FROM A NOVICE
How like human beings to map the stages and micro-stages of grief. We are obsessive about self-reflection, a forgivable pastime, but the first urge to define healing stages must have been because the experience hurts so badly we want to help others going through it. That’s a tender quality of
TRUMP-DAD: WHY WE STALL, SHOCKED OR SHAMED
There is one thing we are not discussing about Donald Trump. Please, I don’t want to alienate any reader here who finds it in their heart to admire him. My worry is that a close look at his behavior from the angle I’m about to attempt will irk you because
BEAUTY AND TERROR OVER THE WEEKEND
Natalya kicked the windshield, smack bam yikes. Three times and it was bad, making three horrible holes with those radiating lines, webs where no spider spun a thing. It had happened before. I told caregivers not to put her in the front seat, but what to do when one showed
WHEN FAMILIES DON’T WANT TO HEAR
Once my father said to me, “It seems like you’ve always been running away from home.” A grown woman at the time, I’d lived in three different states before returning to Kansas—home. The context of his remark is entirely lost now. No doubt he was couching a criticism into another
VITAMIN N (NATURE): THE ECOSPIRITUAL CURE (An Excerpt from LUNACY LOST)
Excerpt from Chapter 7, “Moon Over Flint” Note: Sam is my brother with “schizophrenia.” The chapter refers to his first psychotic break, when he quit his job suddenly and took off for the coast believing his boss was out to kill him. Note: The Wohler Madness is so named within
THE MAKINGS OF A QUEST: WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY FAMILY?
Update, 2022. I re-read this after attending a local, newly formed autism support group. “Nina” is now 25. All other attendees were parents of young children, and despite decades of the autism puzzle unsolved, they were focused on making the public schools fix their children. I understood their hopes, fearing