Five Star Friday's 223rd Post Is Brought to You By Ellen Ullman

This week's Five Star Friday is brought to you by the line between oversharing and sharing enough, an outbreak of conscience, the highs and lows of getting sober, negative and positive freedom, the need for better Christian teaching about sexuality, male sexual aggression, acceptance and love, more acceptance and love, a family bed, growing up ashamed of being gay, human generosity, and

Ellen Ullman

:

ellen-ullman.jpg
The therapist could not budge the patient from her syllogism. She replayed it throughout the hour, 'stuck in a single organization of events.' Seeing it from the other side (from behind the wall, as an observer), I understood the obsessive quality of such an attachment, something comforting in holding on to a smug, all-seeing knowledge, even a sad or hurtful one; something that let the patient control the precise amount of pain she administered to herself.
     — Ellen Ullman, By Blood

Happy Friday!

"

Rita of El Rito

" from

Trudging Through the Fire

:

I kept seeing a very lonely person. Someone needing somebody, and knowing that I was the last fucking somebody they needed. She was getting all hurt that I wasn't engaging more, and I couldn't seem to pull away fast enough. For both our [sakes].
I kicked myself for not buying two more six packs.

"

Why I Write About My Baby

" from

Lyz Lenz

:

I daily walk the line of overshare on this site. I try to be truthful and intentional. Loving and honest. I don't always make it. I want my daughter to see that I loved her, even when I struggled. But I am a daughter, I know that she won’t always see that.

"

Telling Your Friends You're Sober

" by

Michelle Tea

at

The Bold Italic

:

The general public does not understand alcoholism. They don't understand drinking problems, and they don't understand sobriety. People think you can just cut down. They don't get why you can't at least have a glass of wine at dinner – as if you've ever done that! They're baffled as to why you can't smoke pot or pop a recreational Xanax. At first their lack of insight may be painful. But as you become more familiar with your situation, you won't need their understanding as much. The only important thing is that you understand that you can't drink.

"

Three Years Sober

" from

The Extraordinary Ordinary

:

Maybe it's time to go easier on yourself by quitting things and starting others. Quit fighting the inevitable truths and start making choices that help you walk around with your head held high in the light. And try to remember, it's not bad to accept yourself exactly as you are, the dark and light and the middle.

Please ignore the entirely unnecessary gender bias in the following piece:

"

Freedom From... Freedom To

" from

The Art of Manliness

:

...the advantage of cultivating a rich wellspring of positive freedom is that while a man's negative freedom can be taken away by others, his reserve of positive freedom is an untouchable power source that can sustain him no matter how his external conditions change or what dire circumstances befall him.

"

Rules for Christian Sex and Rules About Rules

" from

Slacktivist

:

...I'm not saying anything goes, I simply want you to treat your "biblical rules about sex" exactly the same way that you're already treating the biblical rules about money. I want you to take the exact same hermeneutical approach that you are already taking to every biblical teaching on wealth and possessions and apply that to biblical teaching on sexuality. Then treat both sets of teachings — and other people — with more respect than your current practice seems to do with regard to either subject.

"

A Letter to the Guy Who Harassed Me Outside the Bar

" by

Emily Heist Moss

at

Role/Reboot

:

When will someone make a gender-swapping plug-in for real life? Where's my magic button, the switch I can flip to show men like you what it feels like on the other side of your "jokes" and "compliments"? Maybe the first time someone comments on your ass in public you'll take it as a compliment, but what about the next 12 times? How will you like having a private conversation interrupted so that some dude can get in a lame sexual pun or a rude gesture to impress his friends? What about your personal space? How do you like sharing that with aggressive strangers?

"

Face It

" from

The Wink

:

Somewhere between mom and woman and dressing room and dinner table I need to once and for all shake this idea that I am supposed to be a way other than I am. It's fine to try on other personas for fun, but the body I have, the talents I do and don't have, these are things to cherish, not hide. Thirty nine years into being me and I revisit this theme with great frequency, although I am getting closer to understanding that there isn't a miraculous finish line to cross that will herald my having become a grown up, or having figured things out, or that I will ever truly outgrow the awkwardness that is living. You and I, we will be unsure. There will be foibles and face plants, but there will be moments when we each feel alive with the knowledge that we are a kind of strong, beautiful or amazing that has never come before.

"

The Hole In the Middle of the Bed

" from

Mary Tyler Mom

:

Some of my sweetest moments occurred with Donna between us in bed. And some of my most terrifying. Feeling her breath on my cheek, being tickled with whatever little tuft of hair she had left. Hearing her whisper sweet nothings into my ear. Counting the stitches from her scar behind her left ear. Those are priceless memories to me. The other side of that coin are the hours I spent awake in the middle of the night, imagining what our life would be like without Donna, as I looked at her, tears falling down my cheeks. Then there were the times I lie awake monitoring her breathing, after the cancer had moved to her lungs. Fucking cancer.

"

So We Had a Fire

" from

By Any Other Name

:

Call me naive, but I think the vast majority of us wants nothing more than to be needed. Wanted. Embraced.
And I know the smallest bit of light still conquers darkness.
It does.
It did.

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