1940s: My Mother’s Kitchen…

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A few blogger friends are facing some heat over their steady flow of anti-Bush posts. Where do we draw the line? How much of our personal side should we show on our blogs? Or should we not express our feelings about causes, politics, economics and religion on a blog that also represents us professionally?

Isn’t that the idea of a blog? I didn’t start a blog to leverage my business although it certainly could and may be a great idea. Many newcomers are drawn to blogging as a business tool or publicity stunt.

And yet, that’s not what drew me and many I know to the world of blogging. Despite the fact that the ‘role of the blog’ has changed over time and will continue to morph as their value unfolds, I’m not sure the “feeling” that creating a blog post invokes for so many of us will change.

We may create new blogs with different voices on different topics as the tools evolve. Today, I see the blogging experience in a way that many women view the world.

I remember sitting in the hallway floor as a kid, listening to my mother and her friends talk in this 1940’s kitchen.


They would connect about everything over tea and sometimes a martini — their children, their husbands, Vietnam, politics, whether they should get a part time job. They would chat about the neighbors, community support programs, family get togethers, the church where they volunteered or the annoying woman in town who just joined their Bridge Club.

I’d listen eagerly and later, go find where the men were hiding out, only to discover that they were watching a sporting event on TV….and barely talking at all.

I think of my blog like I do my mother’s kitchen, which was warm and inviting. I vividly remember the colors, the smells, the texture of the carpet, the soft yellow walls, the faces and personalities who passed through over the years, the left out pie on the counter after a gathering.

We all had a favorite room we retreated to as a child and today, as an adult……you know, the room where we go to disappear and just be ourselves.

When I log on, I’m entering one of my favorite rooms, a place where I can think, express, be myself – just like the women in my mother’s kitchen.

Here, I write whatever comes to my mind; things that I’m passionate about, people I care about and issues that disturb or alarm me.

It’s my view and politics are one aspect of my view and everyone else’s view who is passionate enough to write about the Bush Kerry circus. If you believe strongly in something, you stand up for it. Your medium may be through the written word, music, dance or lectures, but bottom line, you stand up for it.

These are the things that make us feel “alive”…..beyond the wonderful physical experiences of feeling warm rain on your face, seeing a sunset and remembering how lucky you are, feeling the force of a strong wave wash you to the shore, running barefoot on a beach or rolling in autumn leaves with a child.

Beyond the physical are our emotions about a particular issue and our political bent represents many of the issues so important to us – from education and the environment, to war, the economy, civil rights, the aged and healthcare.

And aside from our leanings to the “the right” or “the left,” doesn’t it really boil down to integrity? Who do we believe? Who do we ultimately trust?

After living in ten countries around the world, it shocks me whenever I am referred to or labeled a liberal. A liberal for wanting Bush out? When I look at the hundreds of people I know who want Bush out, I’d hardly classify them as liberals, certainly not the media and Republicans definition of a liberal.

Is it liberal to be in one of the highest income groups in America and not be able to afford a house on your own?

Is it liberal to want to put an end to another Vietnam before we kill more innocent people?

Is it liberal to expect the government to be fiscally responsible?

Is it liberal to want to see tax cuts hitting those of us who make less than $200K per year?

Is it liberal to want to enforce stronger regulations on those who can bear arms in a country that has seen a steady increase in violence over the past decade?Is it so radically liberal to want more money spent at home to improve the quality of our schools and healthcare system?

And is it really so liberal to want to ensure the security of medicare and programs like it, so we don’t end up dying in the stark nursing home my grandfather landed because economically he had no other choice?

When you can truly express how you feel through a vehicle you ‘own,’ one which has the potential to touch and impact others, we need to do it every step of the way even when we feel the heat from the narrow minded few.

Speak your mind – on your blog, in your kitchen, at a dinner party, on an airplane.

Go into that favorite room and voice “it.” That voice, “your voice,” is what makes us feel passionate and alive. Certainly not an un-noble way to live.


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