Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I Stop

I Stop I speak up because not all abuse leaves bruises, but it always leaves scars. I speak out because not all violence ends a life, but it always stops one. My life stops every time another priest or politician is accused, Until I remember I can breathe. My life stops leaving me sleepless and circling my aching heart When the man who put his hands on me is deified, His good works eclipsing my pain I stop. I stop my life for a few seconds, for a day, for months, totaling years to tend the scars and grieve. I stop, unable to feel focused and joyful Until churning thoughts are sorted and, exhausted, my world is set to rights again. Stop with me from time to time to witness my pain and grief and anger. Stop with loved ones and strangers alike and be still diverting the world around us while we gather ourselves and whisper for the 10000th time, "This was not my fault."
Sarah Gowan 2019

Monday, June 17, 2019

Change is Hard

This is a Very Long Share about process, particularly for those people who are exploring gender-free terminology at their dances. (It might be useful for other folks, too.)

Many of you know that my youngest child is transgender. When he first started clarifying his identity in his late teens and early twenties he figured out that he was indeed a he and he chose a new name for himself - Noah. His father and I completely supported him in his discoveries, but oh lordy was it hard for us to make our own transition. For 20 years he had been our sweet girl Emma.

Emma Bemma, 
Emmaroo, 
Em Bem the Baby-o, Up she flies and away she goes!

And now she was he..
Noah the creative, 
Noah the snark (and, might I add, the funniest person I know),
The persistence of Noah

I love my Emma/Noah in all of her/his identities, but changing names and pronouns was an exercise in frustration for both of us. Neural pathways had been set pretty firmly for a long time and rerouting them felt impossible. Fortunately for me I raised a very loving child who instinctively understood that time and patience would succeed where exasperation and impatience would not.

So we made an agreement where I could refer to my memories of him up through high school as being about Emma and everything after as being about Noah. This worked great for several years. I hardly ever messed up on pronouns when telling Emma/Noah stories and I felt like we had reached a compromise that I could not only live with, but feel very positive about.

And then an amazing thing happened. He became my Noah. My baby stories were about my sweet boy Noah. My grade school stories were about my mischievous boy Noah. High school, college - all about my boy Noah. He had found his true self and had gifted us the time to discover the real him in our present as well as in all of our memories.

For those of you who feel you can't possibly change, I want to give you the time to reroute your thinking at your own pace. It may take months or even years, and that's OK - brains are complicated things. It will probably feel strange and artificial and even impossible and you might feel frustrated and pissed off. Don't worry, there are friends who will hold your hand and say, "I know, but it will be OK - let's be frustrated together and find a way to laugh through the awkwardness of change".

For those of you who are moving ahead more easily, you have a choice; you can dismiss, and ridicule, or you can reach out to those who are struggling and remember your own challenges and what made you successful. I encourage you to be the reason people will WANT to change.

One last thing: The best parenting advice I ever got was from a nurse when my first darling boy Garrett was born. She said, "I know you're scared, but all you have to do is love him and everything will be OK." The second best advice I got was from my dear friend Maria. She said, "Whenever my kid throws a fit I ask myself, What is he trying to learn?." Now as a parent of grown children I realize that this wisdom informs how I want to deal with most difficult situations in my life and it all boils down to two simple questions:

What are we trying to learn?
What is the most loving thing I can do or say in this moment?

Be kind. Be patient. Be loving. 
Be human. Be funny. Be imperfect. 
And keep learning and loving as hard as you can.

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[EDIT: POSTSCRIPT
I've been ask to clarify that while Noah was OK with me using his birth name under special circumstances and with his consent, many transgender people do not want their birth name aka "deadname" used. If you aren't sure, just ask them.]

Sunday, May 12, 2019

2003 Martin HD-28 for Sale

I'm selling my 2003 Martin HD-28. All original hardware, some light surface scratches and dings, but no cracks or warping. Includes a brand new LR Baggs Anthem SL Acoustic Pick-up and original (also slightly worn, but structurally sound) case.

Asking $1800 +shipping (price negotiable - make an offer!)
contact Sarah Gowan   ssgowan@gmail.com



















1961 Gibson J-45

For sale - 1961 Gibson J-45 ADJ (Adjustable Bridge) Serial #040927

Well-played, but still has that great Gibson great sound (it's hard for me to let this one go!). It's very playable as is, but you will probably want to to have some work done on it - no one has touched it in years.

(Note: These are not the original tuners! If you're looking for a collector's item, this is not the guitar for you. Also the case is beat to hell and back - you'll need a new one soon!)

Best offer starting at $2500

contact Sarah Gowan   ssgowan@gmail.com















Monday, December 24, 2018

Home Alone


"I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!"
--Donald Trump Dec 24, 2018 12:32:44 PM
#HomeAlone

Monday, December 17, 2018

Merkin Miller!


The twittering this morning is all about Stephen Miller's very obvious spray-on hair. #StephenMillersHair #MerkinMiller