In & Of Itself: Derek DelGaudio’s documentary of Self Realization

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Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

“Every secret has a unique weight to it, and you can only carry it for so long”. Who I Am: my identities, my definitions of myself. Watch *In & Of Itself* on Hulu starting today.

In & Of Itself. Link to trailer.

I had been endeavoring to live like this for many years, but coming out of my 6 week coma in 2014 I lost all sense of who I (or others) thought I was and through dissociative integration a new and radically authentic identity was born. You can never…

Healing from Developmental Trauma

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Hello canyon, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again. Image by author.

What does it mean to belong? Not to another person, not to a family, not to a community but To Belong: to feel a part of one’s surroundings, to the world, to be present in the Universe. Imagine, if you will (which goddess knows I could not until fairly recently) if you felt you did not Belong. When others have looked out at the canyon in my backyard, oohing and aahing over it’s grandeur, I could not comprehend what it meant that I was part of the world I was born into and currently living in…


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I couldn’t remember walking in through the rounded door behind me. I was in a small vestibule, but one that did not open into a larger room as one would expect. There was a stairway spiraling up the center of this room. The vestibule was circular. I walked two dozen steps around the central stairs and found myself back at the rustic wooden door…did I come in through that door?… its panels held together with wide straps of a steely gray metal, its hinges and handle glistening.

A queasy feeling came over me, my stomach tightened into knots, my…


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Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

Now you know
your brother’s gasps
your sister’s screams
so long deaf and blind,
wondering at the millions
marching in the streets,
your not knowing was
a recipe for disaster.

Jk Mansi © 2020

Thanks to Owen Banner’s prompt Recipe, and his excellent recipe here. Thanks to the Chalkboard team, including Kathy Jacobs & Harper Thorpe.

There is no way out but forward.

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This is the hope of all sane people, but not our reality tonight amidst the justified rage that fills the streets where we live. Source

With rage so great it makes your heart shatter,
When screams are unheard nothing else matters.

What is the definition of the normal people want to get back to? The normal from before the COVID-19 quarantine, from police violence, from racism, from the complicit deaths of black men and trans-women? We as a society in allyship with the marginalized and demonized, with the victims and the survivors, with those for whom this country has never been the safe haven touted across the globe, have to untangle how to create a new normal, because the old normal has never ever worked.

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Photo by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash


The truth about equality on Earth seen from afar

This poem is a part of “Equal People,” Our Human Family’s anthology of international poetry on equality and inclusivity.

I see the world not in black and white
but in wrong or right, dark and bright.
My body has learned to freeze or fight
wear boulders on her shoulders to
keep me from flight. Despite the gray
I’ve begun to see, not every thought is
in white and black, abundance or lack.

Beliefs form from experience, not
everyone believes in one lot. What
brought you forth is your own god, or
one whose form is too celestial to spot. …

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Photo by FERESHTEH AZADI on Unsplash

“Laugh today, you’ll cry tomorrow”.
Confounding words of joy and sorrow.
Mothers to daughters, keep women quiet.
Took years to learn, I’ll never turn
tears to laughter without trying crying.

Thanks to Harper Thorpe and the rest of the Chalkboard crew. Especially to Kathy Jacobs for her great prompt for the times, Balance.

Jk Mansi © 2020

Have a Happy Weekend (if you can still tell the days apart!)

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All images in this essay are from the signage at El Arroyo Restaurant in Austin, TX.

This Tex-Mex restaurant’s famous marquee sign, whose black letters tell a new joke to passing motorists each day, is featured in “El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs: Volume One.” And there’s already a Book 2 plus a mini book out!

Laughter improves your resistance to disease!

Jk Mansi

To know where you're going find out where you've been. I strive to be joyful. I read. I write. I’m grateful.

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