Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Five Star Friday's 203rd Edition Is Brought to You By William Gaddis

This week's Five Star Friday is brought to you by relativity, a grieving parent, trigger warnings, addiction, a major life transition, a list, and William Gaddis:

I see the player piano as the grandfather of the computer, the ancestor of the entire nightmare we live in, the birth of the binary world where there is no option other than yes or no and where there is no refuge.

     — William Gaddis
Happy Friday!

"It's All Relative" from Tanya Geisler:
When next you meet someone and find yourself reciting the "it's easy for them" story, take pause.

You don't know what their fight has been. What demons they've wrestled to show up. Which parts have been shut down so that others may thrive.
"The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion" by Roxane Gay at The Rumpus:
Every so often debates about trigger warnings flare hotly and both sides are resolute. Trigger warnings are either ineffective and impractical or vital for creating safe online spaces.

It has been suggested, more than once, that if you don’t believe in trigger warnings, you aren’t respecting the experiences of rape and abuse survivors. It has been suggested, more than once, that trigger warnings are unnecessary coddling.

It is an impossible debate. There is too much history lurking beneath the skin of too many people. Few are willing to consider the possibility that trigger warnings might be ineffective, impractical and necessary for creating safe spaces all at once.

The illusion of safety is as frustrating as it is powerful.
"What They Say" by Chris at Glow In the Woods:
Some things that don't kill you make you weak and fragile and bitter and sad. Some things, like losing your child before they had a chance to make a breath or live a day, make you hollow and desolate and open your eyes to how bad life can get. The strength I relied upon to live through that terrible experience came from who I was before he died.
"For Maggie, Who Lost Her Lobster" from Momastery:
Maggie, do you know that I really, really, very much miss drinking? That it's so hard to live in my intense and jumpy and pounding heart and swimming head without anything to take that edge off? Do you know that I take lots of medication to keep me from flirting too closely to that edge? And even with the meds, that edge is where I have to live. Knowing it's there, but keeping my back turned to it. No turning towards it. No peeking over. No dangling my toes off it. The edge, for me, means death. Not for just my body anymore but for a soul and a family and a blog and a voice and a revolution.
"Five Things Not to Do When You're Making a Really Big Change" by Lauriewrites at BlogHer:
Kicking yourself around for doing any of the dumb things I just told you I did will not serve you. It hasn’t served me, which is why I’m going to stop right now. No one embarks upon major, voluntary life change without a certain measure of discomfort, because it is hard. Objects in mirrors are indeed larger than they appear, but they don't have to loom over your shoulder and freak you out, either. Remind yourself of the good stuff and what you do right, too.
"13 Thoughts That Aren't Related" from Karen Rivers:
Remember to be grateful for what you have. I don't know to whom you should be grateful, I just know that when you stop and forget to be, a crack forms. At bedtime, we have been talking a lot about why we are lucky and my son is fixated on us vs. people who live in tin shacks. He wants to know where the tin comes from and how exactly they are built. I think he is missing the point, but then again, maybe I am.
Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next Five Star Friday. If you have read a really good piece on someone else's weblog, submit it by Thursday at midnight CST to have it featured on Five Star Friday.

And because you are a fan of finding good new writing on the internet:

You and I Are Going to Change (a minimum of) 40 People's Lives Forever

50 Things Adults Do