spooked in ny

The moon is red, and all day long I’ve heard whispers – london, caught something, be careful. I hadn’t seen the news, woke up surprised it was late and ran from meeting to meeting. Got the red black and green pumas I been wanting, and some $5 ‘pashminas’ on canal, saw sofia, and my sister (whose office looks out over the WTC site, that hole in the earth, cement hole with nj transit running through the middle which I can’t even comprehend, started a day by journeying through that tragic space), trina and reshma, this tibetan I promised I’d help, my therapist – I wanted her to see how happy I am – and then shonali.
Pg.

I travel all the time so I need to believe that plane-of-death are a moot strategy, when the rumors solidified into facts I couldn’t feel it, I can’t take that into account emotionally, I don’t want to live with that kind of fear…but…yeah ny is a mess right now. Being back reminds of how much since 9-11 I have loathed going underground on the train – I almost never have to do that in cali, I forgot how much that sets stress into me.
Pg.

It rained so all the people spooked by red alert security on the train were thwarted, no trains running anywhere I want to go. But I’m minutes from jalen, hope he’s still awake.
Pg.

Someone who I think never notices me called today to say there’s a noticable difference when I’m not in the room.
Pg.

Tomorrow is as packed as today. Ny again, and I feel like an observer from a place of light, strolling these dark streets I know so well. This is where I honed my survival skills. Ah I’m here, jalen awaits!

loving california

While I must admit I am excited to be in ny this weekend and see family,
see friends, I am Loving california. The weather, my life here, its
truly a delight. My friendships here get deeper daily, there’s an
intentionality to things here I really appreciate. I daresay I may get
homesick for the West when I next leave it.

I sat yesterday in a meeting of funders and organizers around environmental
justice, and it made clear again how much I don’t identify as a comunity
organizer. I organize, my brain is an organizing mind, but I lack the
patience I see so prevalent in these lovely people. My work, big vision
strategic work, is to make their work visible and fundable and fresh, to
ensure less repetition of failing models…but I have a great respect for
those who started somewhere, are driven to sit with a community for a lifetime, shifting. I am not from
a place other than the military, my counter-recruitment work is the
closest I come to bringing it home.

Lately my identity has been more and more clearly that of an artist – not just the singing, i’ve been drawing again, dancing again…I
love creation, I love weaving together the current iteration of all that has happened. I
love to organize what I see and learn into something beautiful.
i love to bend over backwards 7 times to make sure justice can flow to those with the most need. when i visit my family, and build with them over the issues that effect them, that effect me, i know my place is not with them.

Found poem:

Heard last night at a bar: "I was born in the sky, its funny to you but that’s my life."

Poem:

I was born in the sky

On the way

We aren’t where we began anymore any day

I haven’t had a country but

I know one makes you fight

I haven’t had a nation

But you who love borders love me

Boxes, histories – shared fantasies

Earlier today is a lie

I don’t even remember my birth

Its laughable

and! and – I might never find a pass,

A way to cross out of this place

Nebulous birth is that prison

There is only the ocean and the fire

And that long term desire

Called love

So, can we take a moment for how hard love is. All around me love is falling
apart, being tested. The shadow of the valley of death, that’s love,
moments before its realized. Nothing is worse than the anticipation of
loss – putting yourself on the line and being rejected. I have seen the
rejection on so many faces lately, its brutal, its so brave. The stories people tell themselves to get through it…I have one friend who keeps it so raw and real, it’s about not wanting to be alone anymore. It’s an edge, gets under your skin.
I am no where near the edge, i am nearly to the point of watching shadows on a cave wall and noticing patterns when it comes to that sort of engagement.

Well – I am in love…

I am in love with morningstar ‘sausage patties’. 2am snack? Circular
soy!

Safe and sound, downtown baby brown. i am devolving from lack of response!!

I know I have threatened this before but I am sooo tired of the one way dia-blog. If I don’t start getting some commentary I’m gonna quit the blog on my birthday and call it a day.

smooches

nearing the end

so much things to say…

this past weekend i went to the social venture network‘s ‘gathering of women entrepreneurs’ and got flipped over excited about what is possible for ruckus. i’ve been moving in this direction – how do we secure the longer term support we need for the work we do. it’s really hard to even consider being financially stable when i have spent so much of my time crafting my post-capitalist analysis. but maybe i’ve mentioned it on here, that i am less inclined towards either/or analyses…where one super system has to end for another to come to pass. i actually haven’t seen that function occur, not in cuba, not in france, not in south africa – some version of what exists is all that can move forward. the work we do requires travel, gear, supplies, food, healthcare…i have to plan for that.

i met all these women who have started and run socially responsible businesses. really inspirational, grounded powerful women. i learned a ton, and i sang for them, and got invited to come in an official capacity as a singer to the next gathering! so there, my dream to sing ‘for real’ in cali is coming to pass. plus, the singular joshuagabriel is now in the bay and wants to make music with me. its time for a cd, to admit i just love singing more than roughly anything and it’s when i feel closest to non-existence, in a wonderful way.

i drove to and from the conference – asilomar – just finding more and more aspects of california to love. and me being me, at the conference of women, i of course met a gorgeous man, our masseuse, who felt like a friend i’d known for a long time. i think that is perhaps more common in cali. the other night i met this woman on the train who liked my hair and turned out to be an intern for SOUL, a training program i have a lot of respect for.

on the way home with the rented car i decided to really get my move on, so i went to bedbathandbeyond which is really kind of phenomenal, replaced my electric toothbrush and finally feel orally clean again! got an actual pillow (i’ve been surviving on a decorative pillow in a regular pillowcase), and this laundry bag that’s like a bookbag cause it appears i might have to actually start doing my own laundry again after years of dropping it off. also got tons of trader joe’s supplies and can now eat food in my own house!

and now, advice in a vacuum:

Blocks and working around them, that’s what life’s about. Its hard to
advise on next steps but I have a practice which has worked for me –
free writing or having someone repeat a question to me. The question to
write about or answer is: why am I here? What you do in life should
always answer that question. Don’t waste your time, even if you can only
get a partial answer. Work from there. Its not a public endeavor – only
you really need to know, each person has those private answers to live
up to.

wednesday i head to ny SISTER TIME!! – the weekend after that i think l.a., and then? JAPAN!!

the best post ever!

i don’t know if i should even say that title, is it audacious of me to think that this deeply in i might bust something out that makes your heads spin, my intimate little audience? i am just going to try to do something great.

let’s see…where can we go that we haven’t gone?

hmmm…

ok

i am ready to give up my cool, that’s part of this amazing post. i am ready to admit that:

i don’t know exactly what a members only jacket is!!!

in my life sometimes i have stumbled into cool – totally an accident, someone taking a liking to me or me picking the right pair of shoes or something and suddenly: cool.

a couple years ago, i picked this fresh little deep brown jacket off a thrift shop rack in albuquerque and it was so – unique and adorable. and  brown, which i love, der. and it fit just right.

then the first time i wore it, someone said, ‘Sweet! Members Only!’ i paused, wondering why someone would yell at me, especially a phrase antithetical to my life ideology. but everyone was saying it. i eventually chalked it up to the large windows of the 80s when i was in germany. a lot of things are chalked up to the 80s for me – when everyone knows the words to a song and i just know the tune? 80s. when everyone laughs about a reference to ‘Alf’? 80s.

i mostly forgot this "members only" mystery, then last night i was at jessamyn’s birthday party and her rommmate/wifey was wearing a black non-"members only" jacket and j’s bro walked in with what appeared to be, yes it was – a black Members Only jacket. wifey praised it, and i remembered – what the fuck is this Members Only jacket thing??

so this morning i am wearing my Members Only jacket, and i am looking it up on wikipedia! here goes…

wait for it…

hmm.

NO WAY. it really IS an 80s thing! check it:

"Members Only is a brand of clothing that became popular in
the 1980s for the "Members Only Jacket". While they made other
clothing, they were mostly known for their brand of jackets. They came
in many colors, including grey, black, white, and burgundy. Their tagline, "when you put it on something happens", also gained fame.

Today, the jacket is widely used as a static reference for outdated
apparel, as is shown in various television shows and other media. The
jacket is often fodder for sitcom jokes."

woulnd’t you know.

well there you go. my accidental cool moment is ACTUALLY fodder.

i am multi-tasking, and the other tasks are reading a grant proposal that is in excellent shape, getting directions for my weekend, and having a remarkably deep im conversation with a woman who is breaking through to a deeper level. it’s what can be called a mirror conversation, let me introduce this concept to you since i either came up with it or everyone else knows about it from the 80s…when someone is having a moment of such total emotional clarity that their words become a mirror in which everyone can see a truth for themselves.

the usual is more like a muddle – where folks wish wish they could see any truth, anywhere – but instead we get lonely cause nothing seems to apply, nothing comes close enough to our particular story.

on that note: last night i had an excellent talk with my dear dear friend daniel, and it reminded me that with dear dear friends all the conversation is never enough, there’s always whole other sheaths of material to present and deconstruct. icebergs, mountains, some sort of glorious visual that goes forever underneath it all and connects to everything – that’s what its like looking at a loved one. with all the little emotional cubbyholes where we sit hiding and shivering a bit like ‘i’m hiding, find me, stay away! come here already!!’

i am finding dear friends all over waiting for the long dark conversations, i am feeling so much more willing to be vulnerable – not the way i am here, but really in there.

now. i am off to listen to the ramones, another thing i am salvaging from the 80s! now i will admit that i suspect they are actually from that other period i have a hard time admitting i don’t know ALL about called Pre-Birth, but i am just going to associate them with my comfy blind spot. although i am amazed daily at how much of the crap that happened before i was even born that i am expected to know, chronologically, and with an analysis and all of that.

ok, that’s all for today, i think the members only experience is a perfect example of something that’s really just a short jacket. i’m here with my little truth waiting for a whole blooming jungle to come all around me and admit it’s beautiful. have a nice day!

oh, an example of good friendship:

(10:12:43) adrienne maree: i wrote u at gmail!
(10:12:59) Sofia: kewl
(10:13:35) adrienne maree: ick
(10:13:43) Sofia: what
(10:14:03) adrienne maree: that spelling is starting to gross me out
(10:14:14) Sofia: COOL

the holy land

yesterday i had a quick lunch with one of my freshman college roommates. because of a disagreement with my father on who my neighbors should be, i ended up on the all-girl’s floor my first year in ny. the bulk of other women on that floor were jewish. i, having grown up in germany with some time in georgia, had – to my knowledge – no prior experience with jewish people whatsoever. then i met s – my first orthodox jewish friend. suddenly i was wondering why god would want jews to walk without an umbrella when it rained on shabbos, trying to wrap my brain around the idea of becoming untouchable when you were on your moon. and what did i have to share? i taught her to dance from the hip,  that you could never overanalyze any situation involving a crush. there’ve been years we didn’t speak, years in which s became a wife and mother of two, an actuary instead of her sophomore dream of a florist. we sat down at the only place she can eat in oakland, a spot called ‘the holy land’. we made it maybe 10 minutes before she brought up the situation in the middle east, and got my honest answer. she handled it well – but it was one of those moments where you have to hold tight to all the things you love and respect as the real world blows up around you. didn’t i say i hate politics? it’s so personal.

i tried to share stargate with jessamyn the other night but you really can’t start on a random episode in season 8. it made me consider that sharing sci fi is hard, so much goes into my love of it.

after a few nights of conversations with amazing women, i was going to ponder here if we were just in an age of silly men who can’t fully show up. but then today several men have done amazing things for me and women i love. so hurray men, those of you who do show up are dope as hell! somedays you know, i have my own gendertypes.

now, back to wishing that some very cool remarkably wealthy human or alien would walk through the door of my office and offer to become our patron so we could just focus on program for a few  years!

muzak

my most beloved stalker, tanjila islam (not the scary one), is in san francisco – cover your windows and cling to your walls! she’s coming to pick me up from work and then who knows what will happen. she’s about to move to afghanistan, and whenever we hang out she tells me scandalous tales of dubai and/or nepal.

today has been a fairly good day, after a super lightheaded day yesterday. i had my first moment of real work challenge today, it was interesting. i’m sure the first of many. c’est la work.

last night i got to spend hours in good conversation, some of it on the topic of the future 5000, the next level of the future 500 project that dropped a few years ago. future 5000 is an online database of youth organizing that will allow folks to see who is doing what and why and how and where and with how many people and what the demographics look like and the press needs, fundraising needs, all of it. the potential for local, regional and national alliances with all of this information at our fingertips –  everyone would have some space in this realm. from the perspective of movement building, it’s so desperately needed it’s not even funny. so getting to spend time with it’s director Jessamyn as this project grows is exciting – she so clearly understands what needs to be done and how to do it.

i am biased, i want to have a direct action sub-network living in it, like i want to have a direct action circle in ibrahim’s bloc network when it launches. i love the idea of us all finally using the web to our benefit beyond the reach of rupert murdoch, on our own terms. so it was an inspiring night, an exciting night. it’s also been nice to get to know jessamyn, an excellent person really.

i have met some excellent people recently – last week kicked it with tshaka barrows, who works with ophelia at cjny and they are both laid way back in the cut of good.

one of the people i met at the party this weekend is sf-based and wants to kick it. why yes.

i’m also scheduled to see some much loved folks soon in New Orleans, Detroit, L.A., Canada, NY, Arizona, Japan. Plus my mom is coming to see me. Next weekend I’ll head to NY for sisters and early birthday celebrations, and we’ll have a sister Thanksgiving in DC. Then the family is going to do Christmas in California. Dunno why I’m telling you all that – it’s just really exciting to me, all this family time.  Family family, friend family…

But first, Asilomar this weekend for a Gathering of Women Entrepreuners. I get to sing there!

Until you hear me, here’s some music to find and listen to:

texas – group that did an import album with wu-tang clan years ago. i love the songs ‘say what you want’ and ‘polo mint city’
www.jdaveybaby.com – just go and listen to all that they have on the site. looks and feels good. thanks ibs.
and annie sampson – heard her cover of ‘its all over now, baby blue’ in a bar, found it cool.

this is my first night to be the last person in the office. its pretty exciting. i love working alone in a space, turning my music up and getting on a creative train of thought.

everytime i spell love i mispell it ‘lvoe’ and have to correct it. i wonder if that means anything in particular. perhaps after its all said and done it will turn out i simply didn’t have the instinct to spell out my needs 🙂

tempations abound

all these little memories of recent encounters keep coming up that i absolutely want to share with you but alas, alack – i am pretty sure my mother is reading this! momma can you hear me? momma can you see me? but really, you don’t need to know. you can live without it, y’all haven’t been inactive i’m sure!

i had drinks last night with a lovely woman who told me a story of how she sat up one night from a deep sleep completely in love. woke up in love. we were sitting at a darling spot called cafe van kleef, which i fell in love with and am going to try to get a singing gig at occasionally, that’s the final piece of the full california life i aim to have. its nice to sit around with talking poets and relanguage the crossing of lines, the falling in and out of states of obsession and need. i also enjoy the way it comes over you, an emotional shift. are you in love or just open to it. what do you need to happen next?

also spent serious good time with a dear friend this weekend talking deeply about anxiety and doubt and knowing yourself well enough to not need as much from others as they fear you do. so interesting. i am fully in the zone of having outlined my arena of desires, needs, issues, etc – and if its not in that box, i can’t really be bothered by it. makes for much more interesting and clear conversations.

speaking of, i promised i would relay some of the conversations my main night time bus driver has had with front seat passengers. one in particular stands out so sharply. i can’t really comment on it in any way, it was just an insane, painful, funny, crazy thing to overhear.:

driver: i saw m— the other night
passenger: for real?
d: sho did. she ain’t ‘changed cept for the skinny
p: yeah, no meat on them bones, dunno how she gets work anymo’
d: well, when she gets it, i give ’em the look
p: i bet you do
d: how you gonna follow a whore on a bus for business?
p: (laughter)
d: (laughter) damn shame
p: (laughter)
d: sometimes i tell em tho
p: no sir
d: yes sir! a man’s got a right!
p: well they made they choice
d: naw, they ain’t make THAT choice
p: does it hurt her business?
d: oh she gets mad, you know – ‘how you gonna tell on me!’
p: how do you do it
d: i just say, m— you gettin another one sick?
p: holy shit!
d: (hard laughter) yeah, the dude gives pause for sure at that
p: (laughing too hard to talk)
d: and some of them ask, sick what?
p (yelling): de aids mu-fucka de aids!
d: (laughing) no i don’ even say!
p: no need, hum
d: at that point, you dumb enough to keep goin, you get what you get!
p: for real tho!
d: (laughing) m—‘s a sexy little one tho. really a damn shame. and sweet as all hell, a good girl, one of the best.
p: she sho is sexy. shit – i almost went with her one time!
d: no you didn’t! not on this bus!
p: true. you take care of me – always get home.
d: you take care of you! it’s yo stop! (laughin) see you t’morrow.
p: yeah if you see m—
d: yup, i’ll blow up the spot again!
both laugh as they part ways.

do y’all pay attention to this net neutrality stuff? it’s coming sooner that you think.

and that’s it for today 🙂