(I wrote this piece a couple years ago, and it is sadly not an isolated example of injustice when it comes to household violence against children and women in particular.)

Dear Judge McKeon,

A 40-year-old Montana father raped his 12-year-old daughter. Repeatedly.

You sentenced him to 60 days, of which…

The small man
Builds cages for everyone
He knows.
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the
Beautiful
Rowdy
Prisoners.
— Hafez

A old prison cell with a bare bed and light entering from above through a tiny window.
A cell at Eastern State Penitentiary

The beautiful, rowdy prisoners.

It is their ghosts I think of as I walk…

Power Outage, August 20, 2019

I like the sound of the cars, passing lonely on the rainy afternoon street, the way the sound of the rain rises up like a wave crashing, then falls softly to patter. …

James Baldwin quote, written in chalk on a boarded up window.
James Baldwin quote rendered in chalked calligraphy by David Ostrowski, in Newport, Kentucky. Photo by author.

“Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin

I was struck this morning by the feelings that came up in a fastwrite about childhood. …

Last night I woke in the teeth of the storm, shaking in a strange bed in a strange place. This time, it wasn’t a dream.

I woke to thunder so loud I could feel it course through me, over and over, the way a bass beat at a rock concert…

…art connects me to hope

I came across this pencil drawing titled “the news scares me” that I did several years ago. (Seems it’s not a new trend, the news, being scary…) This is a reminder to anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed by the state of things not to despair, but to keep doing whatever you can do to make the world a better place, in whatever ways are within your means. Small actions, large actions — just take action. Do what you can do. Meet the world with love. And laughter. And anger. And hope.

Do something to find and spread the light inside you.

My first sketch of 2019

Happy 2019.
It′s started off rocky, and my heart is feeling heavy for reasons both external and internal. Familiar questions echo: bouncing from the global to the personal.

Why are our societal systems often so cruel to the most vulnerable, the most innocent? Why do we so often hurt the…

Elaine Olund

I try to imagine what the world could be, and see how it really is.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store