The View from the Other Side

“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

Sun Tzu, Art of War

Sometimes it feels like Washington DC is a war zone, with the battlefields on the House floor and in the television studios.  So it is good to take stock of the different view points and values are, if they’ve shifted, and reassess what you believe, instead of what someone tells you to believe.

One of the searing topics during this GOP primary circus is surprising; women.  The debate on contraception and abortion legislation inherently are skewed to only one half of the populace.  Perhaps some of the resentment comes from being born a woman and not having a choice but to be a part of the contraception and abortion issues.  I am sure if you polled young women today, they would rather be asexual and not have to deal with these issues.

From the beginning to the end of the legislative process, it seems like women are looking at the process from the outside.  Trying to voice their opinions through a bulletproof glass.  The critics even raised the question of “Where are the Women?” in The Washington Post, and other media.

So here are some GOP women their own words:

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Dan Shui

i came across a folder with photos- actual physical pictures printed on paper.  i remember a time when people took the time to pick and choose which to take to the photo store and have made into tangible images.  there is still something magical in the touch of a book or a picture in your hands.  the feel of the paper, the weight of something means everything to your senses.  while staring blankly at a screen, feeling nothing is cold indifference waiting for some inspiration that will never appear.

it was an odd mix of photos, some old, some newer.  i don’t remember the last time i printed out photos. thus the oddness of finding some, like an archeologist finding artifacts from another life.

the photos that struck me the most were the ones form taiwan.  it’s funny how a mere image captured on a piece of paper can bring back such powerful memories.  looking at each picture, i distinctly remember when i took the photo.

a few were taken one day when i took a solo trip up to the northern part of taipei near the wharfs. this was one of the closest places to the sea you could reach within the city limits, and a short train ride from the city.  i ended up staying all day, watching the sunset, lingering over the horizon on the water.  the sun must have hit the beach from behind a mountain at just the right time to give it a soft golden look.  way before instagram, i was surprised at how much this picture could have been produced from an iPhone app today.

as i held each picture i could close my eyes and bring myself back to that wharf.  i could almost smell the salty sea breeze, hear the chattering of taiwanese school children in the background.  there is another picture of a man sitting on the side of the embankment, sentient, silent, stoic.  is he watching the sunset like i am?  is he waiting?  but something compelled us to linger long after the sun had set, leaving a haze of orange, fiery embers to simmer on the horizon.  this was one of the last photos i took during my year-long stay on the beautiful island that is taiwan.

i’d like to think the old man was searching for something, absolution, resolution, an answer; like me.