Charting a course

Preparations are underway for a month long road trip (and hopefully explosion of multi-media content). The current top choice for route goes down the pacific coast, then east to Key West, then winds back to through the mid-west. The multi-media content explosion will include interviews, hopefully with some of you about what faith means to you, the fears you’ve managed to face, and the fears you haven’t managed to face. Fill out the contact form on the home page to let me know if you have a story you want to tell.

The Marshmallow in me wants to trade in my car and get yellow Nissan Xterra for the trip but, you know, pros and cons. My current car is a Toyota Prius C and I love it. In some senses it’s a perfect car for a cross country road trip. For instance, it gets amazing gas mileage (52 mpg), in that way the only thing better would be a Tesla which I definitely can’t afford. Trading in the Toyota for a yellow Xterra would give me space to carry camping gear though and, while I’d love to stay in hotels at every stop (hello Holiday Inn Express pancake machine), camping would save some money.

If anyone has any advise on vehicle choices, or lodging choices, or cities I should stop in, or anything at all, don’t hesitate to comment or tweet at me (@faithvsfear).

Violence

The home I grew up in was violent. Saying that sounds like my mother beat me which is not the case. Her violence was never directed at me, or my brother, or our pets, or any living things, it was mostly directed at the furniture, and walls, and doors of our house. In fact, most of the time I don’t think my brother or I were even the catalyst for the violence, although we were kids and sometimes kids do things that make their parents angry. I think my mom’s anger was usually brought on by the frustration of trying to drag us above the poverty line, working as a legal secretary, going to law school, dealing with the discrimination and harassment that women face in male dominated industries, all whilst trying to raise two kids.

Regardless of what caused my mother’s anger and subsequent violence, and regardless of the fact that the violence wasn’t directed at me or my brother, it was still pretty terrifying to witness and had a lasting effect on me. It’s probably the primary reason that I a non-violent person. I’ve never punched so much as a pillow much less a person. I’ve never even slapped anyone. I’ve never fired a gun, or touched a gun, or even actually seen a gun outside of muskets and the like in museums. One time, in my early twenties, I got super angry and I threw a hair brush and it totally freaked me out.

The thing that always struck me the most about my mom’s outbursts was that it never seemed to make her feel any better. It made me feel like violence is never right.

There are two responses to violence and by far the more common one is to respond in kind with more violence. I won’t say that nothing has ever been accomplished through violence, that would be incredibly naive. Normally wear my naivete like a badge of honor, but even I know that violence has brought about change, sometimes even positive change. However, when I see the cycle of violence repeating over and over in the world it only makes me sad.