There is much more at stake than the risk of “vote shaming.”

simple water color art of mountain silhouette with fire and clouds behind it
simple water color art of mountain silhouette with fire and clouds behind it
“Fire on the Mountain, “ water color by the author

The other day, my 16-year-old son looked up from where he was hunched over his computer, slogging through the day’s online schoolwork, and said to me sadly, “It’s weird that I’m going to be alive during the apocalypse.”

He was not referring to the pandemic. He was talking about the “Climate Countdown Clock” in New York City, which helps ring an alarm regarding the remaining seven years before the climate emergency becomes an irreversible global catastrophe.

Watching my children lose hope for the future, is quite possibly the saddest things I have ever witnessed. I want to fight back with…

Why Delegates are Voting No on the 2020 Democratic Platform

As a 2020 Delegate to the Democratic National Convention, I am voting “No” on the proposed Platform. I hope you will join me and the many other activists speaking out today as we advocate for taking healthcare further. We work on behalf of all Americans — for the betterment of everyone — because we believe it is the only right choice in front of us.

Here is why:

  • The platform is an aspirational document. It is foolish to start with the incremental solution in a document that is supposed to lay out our highest goals. …

You have more control than you think you do.

I know who to blame for the increased numbers of mass shootings in the United States, and it’s not the President. We are not thinking from a very nuanced place when we blame him. We need to instead be thinking more about what is missing in our culture that used to be present, where our own actions are encouraging divisive politics, and how we can take some responsibility for shifting the trend away from terrorism in our country.

In other words, it is critical that we think about our own behaviors instead of the President’s, in order to save ourselves…

The story of my biggest hero. My grandfather fought and won the hardest war imaginable to me, and protected the people he loved, when he came home from WW II, a changed man.

My grandfather, my hero, Hugh McCall “Mac” Daniel.

My grandfather was on a ship, off the coast of Africa, during World War II. He worked as a dentist on the ship, and had an honorable discharge at the end of the war. However, when he came home, he had a psychotic break that resulted in my grandmother sitting with a hatchet, outside the door of my three-year-old mother’s room, in an effort to protect her.

These are facts that are supported by my mother’s retelling of them, over many decades, and by the historical records of the ship where he was stationed and the letters that were written…

Sharing a rape survival story helps exorcise the demons. It also reminds me of how survival was a matter of waiting for each day to pass, so that the assault got smaller and smaller in my rearview window.

Some characters and locations have been changed.


Art School, Baby

I started art school in the Fall of 1986, in a small mid-western town. I lived in a beige, one-bedroom apartment down the street from the school, with a roommate who had been assigned to me based on first-year housing questionnaires.

She was a confident and independent girl with a quick smile and an easy, friendly manner. Extroverted and with a long list of things to accomplish, she would breeze into the apartment chattering at full speed. …

A poem that uses (and links to) one other on Medium.

Left to my own devices,

late at night,

I would discover I can dance

& sing — and

twirl around, pound the floor with my feet like there are things to kill.

Only, not with my body — just simple words, one & then another.

I love this free-form Medium. Where everything looks beautiful & where

we read these easy, swinging, gorgeous words that

dance, or stand perfectly

still, on white



one after the other. We all know

they were made for us. Just us.

— New friends, that’s what they are.

Tag, you’re it, now.



How I discovered my guardian angel and began to trust myself over all others, at the age of sixteen.

The true story of how I lost my virginity & became a hand-me-down girl.

Emilie Mitcham

mediator, painter & mother of four boys

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