What sonnet are you writing?

lots of good links for ya below so we can know know, see see, and do do

but before i launch into that – im still blue Betty’s gone – its just hard for me to accept.

Birth of a Deaf Woman by Betty G. Miller
Birth of a Deaf Woman by Betty G. Miller

Dr. Betty  G. Miller, Mother of De’VIA, Deaf woman to earn a Doctor of  Education in Art Education from Penn State University and an honorary degree from Gallaudet University and the GUAA Alice Cogswell Award (would Gally pls put up the video of Betty accepting the award) and numerous art shows – many of them being One Woman Show, long time partner of Nancy Creighton, teacher, scholar, counselor, recovering alcoholic, out lesbian, dear friend and much much more, is no more on this plane.  My grief is thick but im so glad she existed and still does via her works and her spirit.

When our daughter learned of Betty’s passing she said –

“Mrs. Whatsit is gone?”

and i said “Yep”

and she said “Oh I’m so sorry.  I wish i had a picture of her with her hat and shaw and knarly cane like when she blew in the door that one night.”

this made me laugh hard and happy cuz it gave me a mini-flashback on how back in 2008 when Betty had her one woman RETROSPECTIVE show at NTID’s Dyer Art center one evening we had a gathering of local folks at our home in honor of Betty and Nancy and when they arrived – Z pulled me aside and signed/finerspelled “is that M-R-S W-H-A-T-S-I-T?”  She really did look like a character out of our favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time ,and since Mrs. Whatsit had wonderful powers I found it very fitting.

so im kinda just feeling like life is good – how it keeps sending things my way to help me celebrate the good folks.  OF course i wish i had done more and i wish there would be a huge collective sigh going out but if i listen well enuf i can feel it.  The folks who know and love her are sighing and the folks who are just learning of her departure are realizing we are loosing gems and founding mothers and fathers of the art of truth telling.

“You mean you’re comparing our lives to a sonnet? A strict form, but freedom within it?”  “Yes.” Mrs. Whatsit said. “You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.”

~ from A Wrinkle In Time

Thank you Betty for writing such a beatiful sonnet with yours.

To see Betty’s resume for all the things she has done http://bettigee.purple-swirl.com/resumesbios/artresume.html and visit the Purple Swirl Arts Giftshop for cards, ornaments, calendars with Betty’s work on them (see left side bar for more items) http://www.cafepress.com/purpleswirlarts/199602 

so now for some other news items as im in a rush but want to make sure ya know about this good stuff:

– Adrean Clark’s We the People petition to recognize ASL as a community language and a language of instruction surpassed the required 25,000 to make its way to Obama and require a response from the White House – still gathering signatures (approaching 28,000 as of Dec 12, 2012 see and sign petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/officially-recognize-american-sign-language-community-language-and-language-instruction-schools/CRPw2JLk

They now have a pix campaign going – asking folks to hold up a sign with the wording of “I am an American.  Recognize Amercian Sign Language” ASLfor.us   They are asking folks ideas for future actions for ASL for America at http://aslfor.us/listening-campaign/  Looks like my comment is pending. Hope folks will share their POV too and click clickasl stand pix with sign.  Cool to see so many folks from other countries joining in to support.  Cant find Jean Murphy’s Irishlady’s nice vlog of all the pix yesterday now so if anyone has it – link me.  Kudos and thank you to Adrean Clark for jumping at da sun and getting so many good folks to join in.  To all who signed, tweeted, fb, etc etc THANK YOU.  I’ve added other testimonies folks have vlogged about what ASL means to them at: https://handeyes.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/dear-obama-vlogs-and-petition-in-support-of-asl/ scroll down for the testimonies

this is an important campaign because many disenfranchised groups assert themselves by indicating that while they are “different” from the majority or the folks in power they are still Americans and want that promise of “all folks being created equal” to apply to them.  so keep standing folks and maybe read I, Too, Sing America by Harlem Renassiance poet, Langston Hughes. Love this poem and poet and see De’VIA artist, Susan Dupor’s Deaf American painting.  Love this painter and educator.

– Dr. Steve Emery of the UK has an entry up about the Deafhood and Genetics conference – hope folks will visit it.  it is LOADED with important info.  (my old wordpress template – so nice to see an old friend ; )  http://tigerdeafie.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/the-show-goes-on-deafhood-and-genetics-part-1/

– UN CRPD – all i got to say is the republicans who voted nay deserve the WTF award.  Seriously taking all my power not to don a wig and sign out about that bonkiness.  No worries they gonna bring it back to the floor and the lies r gonna be brought out to the light of day to kill off that b.s.   the UN CRPD has NO risk to US sovereignty, pushing mercy killing, awarding too many HC parking spots at fundalmentalist churhes, or promoting abortion.  If the Republican congress folks are so worried about sovereignty they should rectify what we done and are doing to Native people’s sovereignty.

– The Planet – YIKES>  the mother is screaming!  wake up folks wake up.  The Mayan prediction was probably – geez u all r gonna be mistreating the mother mighty bad and she gonna have to set u straight.  Saddest thing about our destruction of the planet is the folks who are gonna be affected the worst by it at first are the ones we seldom listen to – plants, animals, indigenous people, poor people.  It’s horrible folks.  And guess who caused this mess WE (We the people of the planet) are in?  mostly corporations and their GREED.  Resist folks.  try to live more simply.  and CARE about others.  To the Tar Sand and the no fracking fighters thank u – most especially the hunger strikers.  You are in my thoughts.  To the victims of the typhoon Bopha in the Philippines – our hearts go out to you and your families.

– there was a conference in Germany this week re: Deaf folks and Place – hoping someone will put some of the good stuff in one place as following the tweets was hard but valuable.  Im just greedy for the good stuff that is non-destructive and illuminating.

– the BSL ZONE has an outstanding program out – EVOLUTION OF BSL.  it is NOT to be missed folks – meaning WATCH IT NOW and share ; )  http://www.bslzone.co.uk/bsl-zone/evolution-of-bsl/

felix adress– holiday time now – lights of the menorah have been delightful.  hope folks will take the time to write Felix Garcia a letter.  He is a Latino Deaf man who has been in prison for decades for a crime his brother has since confessed to.

Send him a card folks.  it doesn’t have to be a sonnet.  If you want a note back – include a stamp. 

there is more stuff that has passed my path but im in a hurry so for now enjoy all the typos as the spell check is off on this computer somhow and i havent had any time to proof read and ive misplaced my reading glasses and i can already feel my brain doing those brilliant dyslexia mix-ups.

ill try to tidy latter.  but if u dont mind a neat mess – this is the place




6 thoughts on “What sonnet are you writing?

  1. I contacted Pat Bliss who is actively working with attorney to free Felix. Pat is seeing Felix’s attorney this week which I was told that he is one hot shot attorney. There is another woman in graduate school working on his case too.I also got an e-mail from the guy who developed website for Felix that he has been staying in touch with him. I am impressed that hearing people are very interested in his case and working on it too. Where are Deaf people? I know you did your part. Thank you, Patti. When I hear from Pat next month I will see what she wants me to do. Henry who developed the website said Felix is incredibly lonely. I plan to write a letter to Classification Officer to see if he can install Vp calls for Felix. NAD does nothing nothing and nothing. I sent Felix $25.00 which Henry said it would help Felix to buy batteries for shaver etc. I just sent him some stamps and envelopes too.

    I plan on ordering some magazines and books for him. We can send magazines/books but it has to go through publishing company. We can’t send him anything except 20 stamps, 5 enevlopes and 10 papers. Felix can receive books and magazines (4 ) per day. We can send him information from website (15 pages in one mail only). They can use JPay through website which money will arrive next day or they can send money order to Department of Corrections—not to Felix. The address is:

    Florida Department of Corrections
    Inmate Trust Fund
    Centerville Station
    P.O. Box #12100
    Tallahassee, FL 32317-2100

    I hope readers will send him some money $5.00, 10.00 or 15.00 will do wonder. Pat will spend time with Felix on Christmas. Bless her. I told her she is an angel.

  2. Oh penny

    this is all wonderful information you have shared re: things we can send to Felix and the various people who are trying to help his case – especially Pat. The Innocence Project can’t help because deals with cases involving DNA right?

    It would be great if the NAD sent some of the amenities to Felix. I’ll definitely keep in touch with him and find out what types of books he might like .

    Again – im very grateful for all you have shared here.



  3. I do not know anything about The Innocence Project. What does DNA stand for? I read about Felix from your website and other place but I was too occupied and did not pay attention to it until last August. When I hear from Pat again I will follow up with Felix case. All his appeals are exhausted and next step is to get clemecy from Governor of Florida. Really sad. Felix’s family set him up and now he is staying in prison for life. As soon as I know more then maybe I can talk to the attorney to see if he can get NAD involve to work with him. This attorny is doing pro bono on Felix case.

    No one is allowed to send amenities to Felix. We can send money through JPay or Dept of Correction, order magazines/books through publishing company. That is about it. When Pat gets back I will see what she thinks about Deaf community and I write letter to Classification Officer to install Vp and maybe also put Felix in cell by himself for safety reasons. I am not sure if they are working on this or not so I will wait until Pat returns. She is from VA and visits Felix–not sure how often. She knows more about Felix than us.

    I want People to know that he talks about God and Christ in his letter which I think is because he is incredibly lonely and he found God for comfort which is good. I enjoyed reading his letters because we have same belief but I want people who practice different beliefs not to feel disturbed by his letters. He writes pretty good.

  4. Penny
    Thanks for the additional info

    I understand folks have to route funds and books via the address u gave and should use the address In the pix in the blog to write directly to Felix – right q

    Pls do give us an update after u hear from pat

    Yes his English is good and while I might not share the same beliefs as Felix I do appreciate his faith and devotion. I also sppreciate what u have shared

    Thank u

    Not related to this blog except for the header question of what kind of sonnet we want to write w our lives – I’m utterly distraught that our country is protecting an antiquated provision in our amendments over the welfare and safety of our children. No one needs a semi automatic weapon

    I’m weeping



  5. Yes you use the address in the pix to write directly to Felix. I hope many Deaf people will write to him because he is innocent. Pls watch 8 vidoes of him. Heart wrenching and sad to see that guards treat deaf inmates inhumane.

    Sonnet…you mean poem? I don’t understand your question about what sonnet we want to write about.

    Yes Nation weep last week when kids were slaughtered by young male. I weep and weep for little kids. I hope NRA will now hear legislators, senators etc to bring strict law and yes semi automatic weapons need to be permanetly banned. We don’t need them in our home.

  6. penny – i too hope folks will send Felix a card for the holidays. if folks r on FB pls do circulate his addy and the Mother Jones’ article about him.

    I did watch some of the interview videos – very upsetting indeed. Hence i appreciate his letters all the more because his faith allows for him to be very forgiving and good despite abysmal conditions and injustice.

    re: ban on assault weapons – i think it will materialize but we, the people, gotta keep pushing for it

    re: the sonnet – i was referencing the quote from a Wrinkle in Time in this blog entry. the concept that our lives are sonnets – verses in a poem and what we decide to say with our lives is up to each of us. i am appreciating what u are saying with your life

    thanks again



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