The assignment was to write three paragraphs, each one focused on a word beginning with an initial of my name.
C is for Criminal
My name is Carole and I am a criminal. I am not a bad criminal, but a good one, who causes good trouble, the kind of trouble recommended by John Lewis. I was arrested for climate disobedience, for trespassing at a coal powered plant. The first time I was there, I removed buckets of coal, which were very heavy, by the way, but the police ignored the fifteen or so of us who were present. So, we alerted the police to our return date and invited our supporters to be there with us about a month later. There were hundreds of us present in September of 2019 when about seventy were arrested, including me. We were all handcuffed, transported in a police van, jailed for an afternoon, then released on bail. Over a period of months, I attended several hearings, at first in person where many friends joined us, all wearing red for solidarity. The last in-person hearing was on Valentine’s Day, 2020. After Covid emerged, the hearings continued on Zoom, where friends also joined us. At my last hearing, some months ago, I accepted the opportunity to present a personal statement to the judge, was found guilty, appealed, and am awaiting trial.
Y is for Yes
My middle name is Yolanda and my often-used word is Yes. I respond yes to many invitations — some from individuals, some from organizations, and some from inside of myself. Let me present examples of each. The invitations from individuals will probably sound the most familiar. They include invitations to meet family or friends for coffee, dinner, a show, or to go for a walk. I like to say yes and will make every effort to accept most invitations, which I believe many people do. The next kind of invitation I believe is less often accepted by many. They include invitations by organizations to be involved. I like to be involved and am in climate and social justice groups, in Quakers (my religious group), in political groups, including supporting favorite candidates for office, and in social groups, such as writing and book discussion groups. The third kind of invitation is from within myself, perhaps my heart or soul, and is often in alignment with other invitations that I welcome. My newest one is to begin a bible study, for the first time in my life. I have accepted that internal invitation and will soon begin. Once again, I have said Yes.
R is for Reinvent
My last name in Rein, now pronounced the same as rain. When I was growing up, my family pronounced it with two syllables, as in reinvent. I have always loved that word and have sometimes reinvented myself. When I was young and had no idea what I wanted to be or do when I grew up, I always knew that I didn’t want my life to be boring. To me that meant my life would involve change, that I would reinvent myself periodically. I have done that in various ways, as many people do, including religion. After growing up Catholic, I spent decades following an Indian guru and meditating for two hours a day. For the past thirty years, I have been an active Quaker. My career has also been varied and, I am happy to say, I have loved every job I’ve had — selling blueberry muffins at Jordan Marsh, selling children’s photos by phone (remember Olin Mills?), reinvented as a systems analyst, a computer specialist, and corporate technology management, ending as a special ed teacher, teaching algebra. Now, I am happily retired, a criminal, still saying yes frequently, still not having enough time for everything I want to do!
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