As seen adjusting her undergarments in public, Carisa Miller–Writer, Humorist, Nut-job–is an Oregon native, living in Portland with her exceptionally patient husband, two fireball daughters, an ill-tempered cat, a dog she's allergic to, and horrendous PMS. She has written for Voicecatcher Journal and Brain, Child Magazine, directed and produced Listen To Your Mother:Portland 2014-2016, and in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, created the political education and activism resistance resource site, Not-Up-For-Grabs.org.
"The thing I like best about your writing, is how funny you think it is." -My Best Friend
I do not deny it. I am most amused by my own self. It probably has to do with how much time we spend together.
Besides entertaining, I find me rather weird. It used to make me feel lonely. Then I noticed most everyone is under a similar impression of themselves. That helps.
Writing the ridiculous, amazing and frustrating details of my humanness, most often through self-deprecating humor, is a way for me to be okay with who I am. It’s a way of putting feelers out, to poke around for bits of sameness in others.
I am fascinated by the human condition, and tend to dwell on one concept in particular: how each of us is so differently the same. Our individuality affects our perceptions and interpretations. It is what makes us unique but it is also divisive. It sorts us into separate genres: hippies, yuppies, artists, business types, smooth and hard criminals. But our shared humanity reminds us we're all made of the same basic ingredients. We all seek love and understanding. The parts of us that are alike have tremendous power to unite us; to facilitate compassion and tolerance, if never complete understanding, of our differences.
It seems we are all flopping and floundering through life, alternately seeking and falling from grace. Learning how to be, while being, is awkward. It’s more comfortable when we laugh together about it, even through the parts that make us cry. (Perhaps especially through those parts.) Recognizing the humanness in one another and the humorousness in our humanness keeps us from wallowing in our struggles.
"The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."-Mark Twain
Storytelling reinforces the human bonds between us, communicates our existence. Sharing our stories is what we do, all day, every day, from our beginning to our end. It is how we teach and learn about each other, the world, absolutely everything.
"Once upon a time..."
"When I was a kid..."
"You won't believe what happened to me today..."
While humor is my main vehicle (gets great gas mileage) I do, on occasion, take a spin around the block on profundity. Partly because it's a fun word to say and partly because sometimes, when I’m trying to tuck a meaningful message into a joke, it slips out and drops directly onto the page of its own accord. What can you do?
With all my might I aim my words to ricochet off funny bones and lodge themselves in empathetic hearts. I invite you to laugh with me, at me, at life and at yourself (because I'm making fun of all of us). I'll try my best to occasionally say something that resonates in you, to light on a tender spot or conjure a fond memory, so that we can better identify with one another, acknowledge our sameness, and celebrate our natural oddities. While that all sounds fairly meaningful, make no mistake: my writing has so far manifested in such forms as anecdotes told in the voice of my horrendous PMS, and the obligation I feel to keep every copy of National Geographic Magazine. It’s a process.
Not-Up-For-Grabs.org is a female formed and guided source promoting education and activism through the sharing of existing resources as they emerge in the specific wake of the 2016 presidential election. We share news, calls to action, events, human/environmental rights supporting organizations, relevant art, etc. which support and encourage peaceful resistance and work against the normalization of hateful, discriminating persons and actions. We are ALL rights oriented: Women's Rights Are Human Rights, Love is Love, Black Lives Matter, Science is Real, No Human is Illegal, Stronger Together, and all the kind, loving, and inclusive rest.
Listen To Your Mother: Portland
Carisa Miller directed the annual production of Listen To Your Mother: Portland, 2014-2016, along with producer Susan Domagalski Fleming (far left in 2015 cast photo), as part of Ann Imig’s brilliant live show/social media project which "celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood–in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor..."