The 351st Five Star Mixtape Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Esmeralda Santiago

This week's Five Star Mixtape great blog roundup is brought to you by tracing a helix, a better perspective on disability, focusing on more than just the women when it comes to reproduction, a complicated relationship with cats, loving blackness, confronting the unimaginable, the brilliance of selfies, ableism, a sense of invisibility, and Esmeralda Santiago:

 by David Shankbone (own work) [ CC BY 3.0 ],  via Wikimedia Commons

by David Shankbone (own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

How can you know what you're capable of if you don't embrace the unknown?
— Esmeralda Santiago, Conquistadora

Happy reading!

"When I Grow Up" by Miki Mappin at Miki Mappin:

As I grow older I feel less wise. A negative take is I feel bewildered. A more positive interpretation is I feel wonder. Is this a kind of wisdom? Sometimes I think life goes around in a circle, and I keep coming back to insights or fears I have had before, without progressing. But a circle is two dimensional. If you add the dimension of time, going around the circle traces a helix. From one point of view it may seem like I keep coming back to the same place, but from another, I’m moving on.

"Is Disability Misery?" by Ania Onion Bula at Alyssa and Ania 'Splain You a Thing:

Most of our society subscribes to the medical model of disability that sees any and all deviation from the norm as something that has to be cured.  Proponents of disability justice often point to the social model for disability instead, which suggests that the true problem with disability is not some flaw that needs to be cured but rather as an individual characteristic that happens to differ from the average, such as for example homosexuality differs from the average, etc.

"The Case of the Missing Perpetrator" by Rebecca Solnit at Literary Hub:

This mystification of reproduction is full of missing men and missing access to resources. The CDC’s highlighting of unintended pregnancy in the United States raises the questions of how maybe better access to reproductive rights and education and healthcare might have more to do with reducing unintended pregnancies than asserting that all reproductive-age women not on birth control should not drink alcohol (a mandate that ignores how many women get pregnant unintentionally while actually on birth control).

"We Also Once Had a Cat We Named Rudy Blue Sonny Boy But There Was No Segue In This Post for Talking About Him" by Erica Mullinex at Free Fringes:

It’s been under the couch since August 2015. When it dies, Joe had better not be offshore. By the time he gets back, there will be a carcass waiting for him that looks like a science project gone very very wrong, and the rest of us will be in a hotel room.

"About Writing While Loving Blackness and Hurting White Feelings" by Luvvie Ajayi at Awesomely Luvvie:

Beyonce’s unapologetic Blackness has heartened those of us who see ourselves in her, and it has offended some people who don’t think she represents them. There have been oceans of white tears for folks to swim in since it happened.

"A Meaningful Life" by Turia at Res Cogitatae:

When I was in my early twenties, I definitely knew people who had “perfect” lives… People who had never really encountered serious obstacles or problems.

Now that I’m in my mid-thirties, I don’t think I know anyone like that anymore. Life and the universe have slowly, inexorably, crept up on all of my friends. And we’ve all lost something or someone.

"Selfie: The revolutionary potential of your own face, in seven chapters" by Rachel Syme at Medium's Matter:

Maybe it is a big deal to finally se herself ther, standing in the same frame as the grand artistic cano. Maybe she is willfully utting herself in the context of the art, and then putting the other people who follow her feed in the context of the ar. Maybe she is adding layers of context to the world, not flattening her own experience.

Those who cannot see this, who refuse to see this, are just not yet fluent in her visual anguage. If they want to reach her, and others like her, they will have to learn.


We are writing the story of how we want to be seen.

"The Utter Humiliation of Being Disabled" by Cherry at Unbuttoned:

I stare at every single interactive sculpture in this giant cave of a room, I look down at the mirrored floor, scratched from thousands of feet marks, and hopefully a few wheel marks too. I see my wavy, wobbly, swaying face. I mouth the words "None of this is for me."

"Fading" by Rowan at CrossKnit:

When you’re invisible, you do whatever you can to be seen. You do whoever you can, if they see you, and you don’t look back. It doesn’t matter anyway; you’re a vampire’s reflection, a heat shimmer on a summer road.

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