The Humanist

Backs turned to me, posted at each corner. Waiting. On the lookout for what is to come or what may come. Protecting the citadel I think (ah, that would be me, folks).

I glance up. Why do they not look at me today? I cannot get too far away from these two when awake. Both ‘Under Boot’ (think Rise of the Guardians), weaving to and fro between my legs. Marking me with their cheeks or a drive by body rub to say “Hey there mama, I love you. <3” Yeah, I smile, I love you too. *bend over to plant a flutter of kisses along a furry back*.

Two cats, in truth, are ignoring me-Nah-it is a cat vocabulary for I wanna hang with you (but don’t touch me!).

My mind is distracted.
I look up again. Check out to see who sings “Get It On Tonight” (Pandora is streaming)…oh yeah, Montell Jordan. *purse my lips-breathe deeply* How many years has it been since I shared myself with a person to this song?

*shaking head* Does it matter?

IT does not so much matter-it speaks of intimacy. Physical, sexual, emotional intimacies as a human; I keep a lot close to the cuff as an adult. If I don’t know yah, it is pretty much a sure thing you do not know me. *smirking* Proximity is a valuable asset- I maintain close tabs on pretty much at all times.

In the world of over-sharing, I think I know too much about folks.

I think I can pretty much identify folks political views based on their FB posts or tweets.

One person posted jokes of the incumbent leader of the free world (cannot get myself to say the words of what is technical title will be) shit…Friday is coming. Better get my thoughts in order before chaos ensues and muddles my visions with reality regarding that National Truth about to unfold tomorrow.

Another person posts images of a 20 something or a 15 something kneeling down and attempts to post an innocuous statement, “What do you think?” My thoughts are (based on comments) you do not think like I do; there is oppression all around us and as a woman, a mom, a Brown person, a human-I choose to champion those kneeling to fight oppression.

Yet one more person posts memes about men. Hm is he/she struggling w a partner or is he/she poking jabs at the alignment of a couple? And if so, well, be a single pringle until those truths can become aligned in a positive manner? No? *smiling* (I just did the same thing as the ‘What do you think?’ the person did right. (There I go again! Yikes. WTH folks. SMH at myself.)

Then there is my favorite person. The one who pokes jabs at common sense with posts. By my interpretation not in a bad way rather in a ‘Duh! Did you JUST DO that?’ kinda way. I look at comments underneath the posts and I find the most delicious jabs and humor and fun. Now those are something to read. A voyeuristic alignment of folks who get the ‘Duh!’ inferences with me. A place where I can add to the conversation in a light way.

K, with all that in mind-I have a lot of questions- a friend calls me a Humanist. I like that. Truly. I have looked the term up several times- as I continue to see things around me and I grow (in age and social intellect) I uncover nuances to further refine my interpretation of what I envision a Humanist to be

Humanism (v) (n) Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity. Informed by science, affirmed by art and motivated by compassion.

Can that be? This friend is so on point? Am I a humanist? What does that look like in a single day?

Yesterday, how was I a humanist?

I spent a delicious day with middle school girls at a STEM conference at a local university. I walked in this place, a keeper of education where 20 years earlier I did not ever think I would belong. That woman 20 years ago (me) was broken, sad. Pushed down through the oppression of a partner. A married single mother, uneducated and writhe with social responsibility for three children. *lips pursed again, tongue twisted inside my mouth-eyes narrowed* That woman did not belong here – not yet – she was not done growing or gaining experience. THAT woman did not know- her experiences with oppression, distrust, sadness and self-doubt would become me. Here, in the now. Push ahead to yesterday, at the STEM conference, I am leading a workshop-entrusted by folks to share my science-based IT knowledge with middle school girls. Really delicious folks! Seeing the girls engaged in knowledge, in a safe place-amicable and open to learning. I walked the young women through the application. Guided the girls to use the IT tools I brought with me shared with me through work and a partnership built on previous collaborations the woman 20 years ago would not have had the courage to broach. To me, I saw these young women as possibilities to evade oppression, sadness, self-doubt. Really, really beautiful.

Those two cats I mentioned, yeah, we stream Pandora for them too when we are gone-bird and nature sounds fill the air at lowered volumes, as cats have really really sensitive hearing. I started the day w Jill Scott streaming softly. Organizing my thoughts and mental schedule of where I will be. I find comfort in the organization of the day. I know where I will be with intent. Not a lot of thought after that as I am confident I will see things that bring me interest and will, in turn, push me forward to experience more things. I saw a display a vertical installation. Oversized thumbtacks holding up cut pieces of paper affixed to the wall which I interpret as a massive cork board. I find myself gauging the dimensions of the paper of the thumbtacks-of the script used on the torn pieces of paper. I review the piece from the front. From the side. Hm, is my parting thought. Nice. Smiling I move onward.

As I leave my assigned room I see a facilities worker cleaning the floor. I hear the hum of the machine he is pushing. I smell cleaner in the air. I know the odor comes from the chemical he is using to clean the floor. I look down. Slow my gait to get a better look. “Wow, I want that at my house,” I think, followed by, “is that made in a smaller version?” I smile. Can you imagine a machine like that?  I remind myself, “ It is called a Swiffer, lady (w/ Dawn grease/dirt cutter in the mixture no less).” I move onward.

I am heading to lunch here is where things get interesting as I have access to people. Yep. Other adults in teaching and a chance to network with folks. I make a friend *smiling* (the term friend has changed through the years for me). In this case, it is people who I intend to befriend to experience a shared moment of interaction over a meal. I was the first to sit down. 5 other folks joined me. Ironically-yes an irony one of the women was a woman who came to my room earlier. She was lost. She appeared at my door wearing her wonderfully practical navy quilted coat and cream knitted scarf and gloves. Her beautiful silver hair combed into a sleek bob. She was breathless. Clearly exacerbated. Flustered. Cheeks pink with apprehension. I greet her with a, “Hello, can I help?” She breathes a sigh prior to sharing her story. “Oh, you’re lost. I know where the hospitality room is located,” I state. Here she is now at my lunch table.

20 years ago, that woman (me) never envisioned herself a part of this group in IT.

A Humanist no less.