Just Plain Sarah

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

A new chapter begins!

Shedding almost everything I own to move to Chicago in sixteen days. I’ll also be starting a new job as a web developer on Monday, before joining my new team in the office at the end of the month. Basically, everything is awesome and changing and I’m so ready for the adventures to come!

We had a lot of trouble with western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide and we had to ask some of them to leave.

They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out again.

Instead they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to ask them to leave.


~A Rwandan talking to a western writer, Andrew Solomon, about his experience with western mental health and depression.

From The Moth podcast, ‘Notes on an Exorcism’. (via jacobwren)

This is so important.

(via cesperanza)

(Source: facebook.com, via yellowhairedrobot)


Fast food workers struggling for a wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize participated in a nonviolent civil disobedience action last week. 

This is Emily Nguyen (ponytail) and Kalia Vang (visor). Emily is 20 years-old and a sophomore at Sacramento City College. She’s worked in fast food for a year and a half and makes California minimum wage ($9 an hour). She says, “I’m just working to breathe, to stay alive. I’m not really living life. We won’t stop till we meet our destination, till our wages go up.”

 Watch the emotional video of their arrest here, and be sure to support them on Facebook here!


(via hohomylad)


Moon to Moon Blog: Free Spirit Spheres and are  set among the tall trees of the west coast rainforest of Vancouver Island, Canada.


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We strongly encourage for ALL participants to RSVP for this helps us with accommodations. Click HERE to RSVP; It’ll direct you to our a Facebook event. If you DO NOT have an Facebook account, RSVP via email SDFatSwap@gmail.com.


Embroidered Leaves by Hillary Fayle. (photos: Natalie Hofert)

Lustiktwitter | pinterest | etsy

(via moniquill)

After spending three years in the Bronx, documenting the life of street addicts, and after countless frustrations – seeing friends relapse, friends beat-up, friends harassed by the police, friends thrown in jail for long stretches for minor offenses, and a friend die – I finally felt that I had done something unquestionably good.

Still, whenever my path detours into kittens, I get an uneasy feeling that helping animals can be a distraction from helping people.

In my time documenting the homeless, I run across stray cats and dogs regularly and, when I write about them or photograph them, I immediately get a flood of responses – one that almost always surpasses my stories and pictures of people.

I do get amazing offers to help people, including donations for blankets, books, socks, clothes and even just money, all of which is appreciated and all of which comes from a very good place. But I just get more interest, both in money and offers to help, when the subject is an animal.

Especially cats.

Why? Because helping animals is ethically easy, and because helping people – especially addicts – is complex and often filled with judgment.

It’s not just that people ask the question, “What if they use the money for drugs?”: it’s the unspoken subtext when people think (and say), “The kittens didn’t do anything wrong. They don’t deserve their plight – they are innocent.”

Implicit in that sentiment is that a homeless addict is not “innocent”, but an agent of his or her own mistakes. It feeds into the stereotype that all addicts are lazy, that they are all weak and that they all lack willpower. It plays into our belief as a society that their fates – addicted to drugs and living under a bridge, for instance – are somehow all their fault.

That narrative is appealing because it allows us to abdicate our collective responsibility for a society – and an underlying set of public policies – that accepts and even ensures that a portion of our society will live on the streets, that some of us will be addicted to drugs, and that some of us will just have to deal with grinding poverty – and the traumas that often follow from it.

It is uncomfortable for many people to contemplate that perhaps homeless addicts are just as smart and just as ethical as anyone else. It requires us to come to realize that maybe “success” (as society defines it) has to do with luck, with being born in the right place and at the right time, and with being subject to laws and law enforcement that are designed to help instead of hurt you.

(Source: bartonfinks, via fattyacidtrip)

“I think women’s studies saved my life, but I don’t know what that means. Maybe that I’m not good at anything else – that I failed at being normal, that I failed at falling into line, that I failed at being everyone else, that I’ll never talk to God. Maybe it means that the closest I will ever get to mightiness is uncovering everything that’s damaged me and smashing every surface standing in my way. Maybe it means nobody’s invented the right hero for me yet, or that I need to be a hero for someone else.”

(In)visible Stimming in a pre-Asperger World


I am in my early thirties. I’m from a multi-generational spectrum family. Half a dozen years ago, none of us had an autism diagnosis. Now, with only a couple of exceptions, most of us have an official or self-diagnosis of some flavour of spectrum.

Diagnosis for me wasn’t a surprise, but rather, an affirmation of a difference about myself that I’d never been able to pin down, not with introvert, not with PTSD, not with dissociative identity/median. None of the labels fit, or fit for long. Autism did.

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