Retiring From Web Career

Today I celebrate the formal decision to retire from my career in Web development, education, outreach, advocacy and any other role related to the Web in a public capacity.

Next up: Living with and for humans rather than with and for human ideals.

I will continue to use the World Wide Web as a tool for outreach, but as of today, I am not just tired, but finally, finally accepting that it’s time to retire from a career that was truly mind-blowing. As in, it blew MY mind!

Upcoming projects include:

  • “FOR THE GRACE” – A documentary series of conversations with diverse sections of human society to break down barriers of misunderstanding and demystify truths about how people end up on a given path.
  • “THROUGH THE CRACKS” – A first-focus in the proposed FOR THE GRACE documentary focusing on the homeless in the USA.

My current role is to take care of my medical health, to support my family here in Nevada. I will be helping to caregive along with my stepfather my beloved Mother as well as two personal friends who are going through very difficult times and we are healing each other in real-time rather than the amorphous Web.

As I work through the inevitable horrific stacks of paperwork and documents that come along with disability, economic failure, loss of a spouse along with mortal illness in myself and close family and friends, there is an opportunity for me to take advantage of the V.A. programs if they continue to exist by the time the paperwork is in to return to school, where I intend to finish my Ph.D. in Media and its impact on Society, which is where I left off in my studies. This time, however, the focus puts society rather than media first, which was not the way I approached it in earlier academic work.

What I will or won’t accomplish is not the relevant point, what is relevant is that it is clear that my time as the Web’s “Fairy Godmother” is over, and I am very happy to step out of that environment and into one where human beings interact in a much fuller way with one another.

May you all find your way to live long and prosper. I am grateful to the hearts and minds who have allowed me to live, despite its difficulty, an absolutely and utterly extraordinary career experience.

With all my love and forever gratitude, Molly

FOX News Takes the L FTW!

Firing Bill O’Reilly is the happiest news I’ve heard since prior to Obama being elected president the first time. This, if we last long enough in the interim, may be a sign of firings to come. And I don’t mean missiles, or misdirection on huge bombs while a payload free “non” nuclear test goes on without anyone paying attention in the Nevada desert. But no one reports on that. Biz as usual.

Hey, conspiracy theories aside, the fact is we have a long history of say, even the CIA not admitting that Area 51 (and that’s one of many on that base, a mere 65 miles out of Las Vegas) even existed until 2005! Whose to say the next one isn’t deployed armed? Or worse? This regime, and I believe Bill O’Reilly is one of the voices that fueled this fiery hell in which we have found the USA and the world is out to annihilate as many people not like themselves as possible. Of course, once they’re the only ones left, they’ll be figuring out other ways to lessen each other cuz someone’s gotta scrub those gold toilets.

I’d love to get Penn and Teller to debunk a few of those magic tricks! Look over here “great big bomb kills a few in a show of nonsensical force while the other hand drops a real nuclear bomb on its own people.”

If you hadn’t heard about it, you can read up on it using your own source of Fake News. In the meantime, I just about peed my girly panties listening to Colbert (and Colbert) have a hella good time with his/their loving farewell to this pile of human garbage I’ve had shoved in my face in every airport, restaurant, doctors office and waiting room with a TV for the past 15 years.

Fox News, you may just have one bone of journalistic ethics actually intact. Albeit a small and likely we can survive just fine without it bone, but maybe there is one. And that to me smells a little like less like the foul waste of hatred and ridicule to come from that man’s horrid face and disrupted mind and a little more like at least there IS a line. Whether it applies to the current President Lying to State (or is that for, or on, or perhaps in…) is another story for later. Right now, I’m sucking all the sugar outta this sweet moment I can.

Enjoy!

Journey To Sinaloa

close up of art with red tinting from cover of book

When in the heat I starved for love,
instead I ate plantains.
I learned that love
is not a thing of sex between us. It is
the smiling boy with sweet mango juice
dripping from his innocent chin it is his
his laughing sister running on
the railroad tracks beside.

The plantains were stripped
of their green and red skin. We
put them in a frying pan on the naked beach
and watched the butter burn them brown.
I put one in my mouth too hot and burned
my tongue
a taste of all things not yet known to me.

Various dead cattle were strewn on the tracks.
Mark was horrified at their starvation
and looked away. I saw their multi-colored coats
as prophecy, and behind them
the gravel mountains a calling of God. Oh, this
is a tilted land –
if I love it will it disappear?

I drink a too-sweet Coca-Cola and see the
carcass of a feline on a street in Hermosillo.
I am fascinated by what parts of her flesh
have fouled, and where the flies still eat
Mark turns his head. He does not want
to know,
not then, not any time,
that here is the center of the world. This is
our future, to lie beside this road, to die
in the screaming streets of Mexico
beneath revolutionary slogans
painted on the walls.

Don’t hide beneath me. I desire you no longer
if you do not face truth. Love is truth,
and staring at death. Love is knowing these green mountains
and the blue infinity of this sky. Love
is the plantain burning my face to
remind me that
I am.

Love is a toothless woman begging
with scarred, brown hands. Love is
the abuela washing my hair. Love is
not you.

You are not the center of the world.

Love is the giving of this fruit. Love
is the tasting of this fruit. Love is the staying
in the center in the moment in forever
not not not
looking away
no matter how horrid and certainly
not ever how beautiful.

When in this journey I hungered for God,
instead I counted my fingers.
I learned that God is not a thing of verity between us.
God is the ancient woman collecting pesos for prayers
God is her greedy son watching.

My fingers were raw and stained with nicotine. I put
them in the ancient woman’s hands and watched
our colors clash and blend. She grasped me in a wretched
but solid way –
a touch of things not known yet to me.

Children ran wild about the bus station. Mark was
horrified at their wanting and looked away. I saw their
multi-colored faces as prophecy, and behind them the
lake of scorpions the reflection of the universe.
Oh, this is a tilted land –
if I put it to my lips, will I disappear?

I drink a bitter Corona and see a scorpion boldly walking
across the filthy floor. Mark turns his head.
He does not want to know
not then, not any time
that this is the center of the world. This scorpion is
our future, tenacious against throngs of humanity,
stinging when necessary and sometimes not,
hiding in the dry bed of a Sonoran lake
beneath green and yellow mountains that look false.

Don’t hide beneath me. I will desire you no longer
if you will not face truth. Truth is God and staring
at chaos. God is knowing these green mountains
and the white nothingness of life. God is this woman
squeezing my hand to remind me that
I am.

God is toothless, begging, starving and sad. God is
a fiction to read and remember. God is not you.

You are not the center of the world.

God is the giving of this fruit, god is the tasting
of this fruit. God is
staying in the moment in the center of forever
and not not not
looking away
no matter how horrid and certainly not ever
how beautiful.

When in motion I hungered for stability, instead
I stood between the cars of the train.
I learned that stability is not a thing of stasis between us
it is the swaying of these old, green trains it is
the hoards of people inside and out.

The train was stopped by a bomb. The bomb left the
train track before us twisted and consuming. I left the train to
look and burned my eyes –
a vision of all things not yet known to me.

Many people were teeming in the ditch below the tracks.
Mark was horrified at their confusion and looked away.
I saw their caged and multi-colored parrots as prophecy,
and behind them the burning pyre a calling forth of destiny.
Oh, this is a tilted land.
If I push it, will it disappear?

I drink bottled water and see a train filled with revolutionaries
pass on the parallel track. I am drawn to their grim faces, their
guns, their unbelievable youth. Mark turns his head. He
does not want to know, not then, not any time
that this is the center of the world. This is our future,
these men and guns, the bombing of a train track near
Guaymas is the tale of our tomorrow.

Don’t hide beneath me. I will desire you no longer if you
will not face what is clear. Stability is staring at change
and drawing it to you instead of away. Stability is
these green mountains and the orange heat of this fire.
Stability is the fact of revolution burning in my mind
to remind me that
I am.

Stability is the ancient train carrying us slowly
through Mexico. Stability is not you.

You are not the center of the world.

Stability is the giving of this fruit. Stability is the tasting
of this fruit. Stability is staying
in forever in the center in the moment and
not not not
looking away, no matter how horrid and certainly
not ever how beautiful.

When exhausted I reached for sleep, instead I walked the jungle.
I learned that sleep is not a thing of power between us.
It is the peace in the laughter of bullfrogs in Sufragio. It is a
quiet conversation in Spanish with a kind and handsome man.

The jungle was really a sub-tropical oasis. I found it by accident
when the train was derailed. I bought cigarettes and lemonade
from an eight year old boy. I drank the lemonade made from
sixty lemons –
the scent of all things not known yet to me.

People came out of the hot train and stripped to their underwear.
Mark was embarrassed at their humanity and looked away. I saw
our multi-colored bodies as prophecy, and beneath
the viejas hands
washing my hair the power of God. Oh this is a tilted land.
If I breath it, will it disappear?

I let the vieja wash my hair and cool me with the water. I hear the
singing of men and am fascinating by the closeness
of these people.
Mark turns his head. He does not, cannot know
not then, not any time
that this is the center of the world. This is our future, this dancing
at the side of a derailed train, this human touching, this living in
the moment of the hour of the day by the banana trees and
bullfrogs.

Don’t hide beneath me. I desire you no longer because you do not
face
what is real. Sleep is trust and knowing the rhythm of time. Sleep is
this lush crevasse in a wider, desolate land. Sleep is the rocking of
old women and babies. Sleep is not you.

You are not the center of the world.

Real is the giving of this fruite. Real is the tasting of this fruit.
Real is staying in
the center
the moment
forever
and not ever looking away, not matter how horrid
and certainly, certainly

Not ever how beautiful.


Molly E. Holzschlag, written in 1983, first published in the chapbook “Looking for God in a Bowl of Fruit” Copyright 1995. Independent poetry series featuring socially aware writers. All chapbooks are hand-crafted, use original artwork, Kenaf and recycled papers. From Stained Glass Press, Concord, North Carolina, USA.

Who Is My Family?

picture of molly in black and white

If the Web is really what I worked very hard in hopes of it becoming – a platform for social as well as a technological peer-to-peer have/need approach to the world – then this post should stand as one of the most important things I have ever done whether you understand that or not.

In the past year we’ve all had devastation of some sort, none of us gets out of this life without extreme pain. That the entire world is chaotic and in what I perceive to be the darkest of times in my 50+ years here appears to be the general sentiment of the vast majority of humanity speaking up.

My work ethic isn’t a healthy one. I’m insanely over-productive because of a damaged, hard-wired belief that my entire being is worth nothing, and that I have no right to life. This was what my father told me both in action and in literal word for word communication. That I amounted to anything at all is down to my strong mother and ME.

And in the near past, the one man that ever loved me for who I am as I am, my husband Ray, who is in hospice and will die within the week. A noble and great soul, a US American Hero, a social justice warrior, a rural physician who took care of this nation’s poor and disenfranchised, street people – for nothing more than a thank you or some eggs and chickens or just because. That’s the man I married – a person far greater than I. And that is who I am losing, a piece of myself that is also far greater than I.

I could have sat out this entire life and career on disability as I received that 100% at the age of 24 (so 30 years, longer than the Web). But I couldn’t. So what I did accomplish in this world and for our industry while dealing with the unfolding of what was a 30 year brutal and rare disease because doctors thought I was “just depressed” or “malingering” is impressive to me. It mitigates, at least slightly, the overwhelming sense of self-hatred and failure that’s been my main demon since I was a very small, and once very joyous, little girl.

I remember the first day I went to work at Opera Software, I climbed up a hill through feet of snow and was exhilarated. I was also hemorrhaging, and did it anyway, my blood on the white fjords of Norway an image imprinted on my brain not as sorrow, but as pure resolve and courage to live life no matter what.

A person doesn’t do what I did for money. I did it for idealism. For reasons to improve the world using the digital medium – the Internet, and yes, I was here before the Web doing this – and then the WWW for the entirety of its lifespan, albeit not my own.

I have social and financial needs as my family and friends are all far away or engaged in terrible losses or issues of their own, or really just faux friends, moronic ex-lovers and others who I foolishly thought love would heal. I have a cowardly and unethical blood sibling who considers himself a social advocate but shows me absolutely no empathy and who has not seen me in more than two years despite living mere miles (I’m told) from me.

Weakness is the man who thinks himself more important than the rest of the world.

Where are my friends with “Net Worth” – so many of them have it and they aren’t around. Where are the wealthy employers who don’t recognize it’s against Federal Law (as we still know it as of this second) to terminate a disabled woman in good standing and on medical leave much less at such a time? My advocates, attorneys and ombudspersons are the only ones now standing up with me, at my side. I have to burn others to be okay? How is that possibly conducive to peace, kindness and everyone’s dignity? It isn’t. And yet, it was so easy to burn down mine, so at what point do we continue to turn the other proverbial “cheek” as it were?

Want to break a digital and social divide and help me as I watch my husband leave this world and our beautiful time together, as I struggle to regain my own health, as I move to another state where I can get the resources and protections afforded to me that Arizona simply does not have the resources nor social stability or market to provide? Want to fill in the gaps of humiliation, abandonment and the disposal of what I recognize as my often chaotic, manic and hyper-intense but ultimately loving and decent human BE-ing?

If you’re reading this far, then you care or feel guilty and you can put that to use by doing one or more of the following:

  1. Donate money. Yes, I’m done feeling like a beggar. I was paid 1 dollar to every man’s 10,000 for my keynote talks. I received 4% of gross earnings on a book that made the author a lot of money and me around 565.00 USD. I did not know I was giving so much away for free, and back then I was young with life ahead and could have used that money to not end up homeless and penniless and buried in medical debt now for both me AND my husband’s care that was not covered by insurance – more than a quarter of a million dollars. So yes, sure, go ahead if so inspired and donate via my GoFundMe medical fundraiser please: ThanksMols!
  2. Offer accessibility rights advocacy and orgs money and time. My preferred organization is of course Knowbility and they need you. Go and do something good so others have opportunity. They are a loving and caring group and will move the universe if it is within their means. Give them some means – sweat, commitment, kindness, work, money.
  3. Stop perpetuating a Web and Web apps that are inaccessible and harmful. For me, this has especially harmed me with the lack of user controls in motion graphics, flickering animations, too many moving animations on a page – um, these are well-known legally binding issues. Learn WCAG, use the rules, adhere to them, advocate for them and if you don’t know how – get in touch with someone who does. Better yet, HIRE someone or a full team to advise you of your legal obligations to your site and app users, engineers, employees and the world. THE WEB MUST REMAIN AN ON-RAMP FOR HUMANITY.
  4. If you have other resources that can help at this time – I have a household filled with furniture, clothes and items that have value but am too exhausted and overwhelmed to sit here and try to organize a sale. Do you know of a fair liquidator for household furnishings, art, appliances and so on?
  5. Do something kind for another person. Not spontaneous acts of kind. Intentional acts of kind. Every single day.

Thank you.

This domain still for sale

black and white dramatic pose

If you want this domain, contact molly at molly dot com.

Asking 150,000 USD cash to non-pornographic, non drug promoting entities.

If you want this domain for those two activities, then the offer must begin at no less than 317,000 USD with a right of refusal to any buyer deemed to be engaged in human exploitation for personal gain.

Thank you. As always, folks are free to donate to my GOFundMe medical campaign fund at:

Thanks Mols!

End of My Day

Dying husband. Brother who hates me so much he can’t even tell me why after two years. Sick Mom. 118% rate hike for #Arizona due to dismantling of Obamacare and the mass exodus of medical insurers. I hate what has happened to my country, to my family, to this nation and to this world. I used to think I was so loud and obnoxious I hated myself.

If all this has served ANY purpose, it’s that I now realize I am a lovely human being who is quiet and calm compared to the world leader pretends and tyrants and fundamentalist annihilators of life. There are some people who really just want to see the world and humanity burn. I’m not one of them, but for those of you who do, may the fire that is my being leave you in the pain caused to every decent human around you.

I have worked so hard to find the love and forgiveness in my heart for even the people who have unjustly and in some cases unknowingly caused me personally more pain than any human should bear. I want to curse you. I want to hurt you. I want you to feel what I feel and understand the reason you’re feeling it is because of your wrongs.

I will own mine. EVERY damned one. If I did it, and I was the harm-doer, then I will do everything I know to set things right. And there’s a line.

You, my friends, rushed forward online with everything a human could possibly want or need during this really bad weekend. And still, not one person showed up.

Not. One. Person.

Don’t get mad at me if you tried. Hear me out because this isn’t about those people reaching out letting me down. It’s about what the hell is wrong with ME that this is the pattern I’ve set in my life and it iterates without escape. I know some people tried, some called and even said they’d get on a plane right away! It’s extraordinary and meaningful and yet there is some loop in my life that I always end up right here, without the support I could use.

My husband filled that role. No one else has ever been able to because I don’t LIKE being helped and it makes me feel ashamed and weak and yet here I am spilling my guts all over the Web’s floor. I am grateful to my core for those that reached out and actually did help us find at least a bridge solution.

But I’m empty and I’m alone and that’s been the story of my soul – blamed for 35 years because I have medical illness and disability – as if I haven’t done everything a human being can do to course correct? They didn’t even know what was wrong with me until the year I got treatment – 30+ years of wrong treatment, wrong diagnoses and the absolute horror of being told by my doctors, my family members and even ultimately myself that it was malingering, depression, personality issues, behavioral problems and that I was a very, very bad girl who should be punished with a sentence no lighter than death.

If you think I’m joking, let me clarify: When I was 13 my father burned my face while yanking me by the back of my head and telling me I was a terrible child (I had done nothing wrong – truly nothing) and that it was his right as my father not only to discipline me, but that he had every intent to kill me.

And despite that being the last night he was ever allowed near me and I would never see him again and only hear of his death 13 years later through a series of seemingly unrelated events, I continued to carry out his judgement by attempting to annihilate myself whether through drugs, alcohol, self-harm or otherwise.

I yelled, I screamed, I cried out for help so why am I still crying? Is there any place I will ever find rest or love or merely be able to interact with a friend or family member again without them either trying to control me completely or think of me as a malicious, vindictive person? I don’t understand how anyone can think that, and if they do, how can they possibly know who I am?

There are good times. There is joy. There are bad times. There is pain. There is also oxycodone which I’m going to take because I’m in a lot of pain. But at the end of it all?

There is really only now.