Monthly Archive for July, 2017

I reject your raft

you think you are the ocean
and you offer me a raft
of blackness
or womanness
fatness
or queerness
dis-ability
or my migrant nature
or something other other other

you say my humanity can fit there
can be defined by the surface
by what is seen
you don’t even grant me the depth of icebergs
the more beneath the sea
because you believe that you
you are the water
the essence of the world

i tried to make this raft my self
to string a few together and call it vast
but even though i make it gorgeous
an intricate slip of mystery and memory
it is always dry or drowning
always too small for all of me
and everyone else you want me to share it with

we are all seabed to bay
we are all storm and calm
we are
each of us
the whole realm of the moon
we are tired of clinging to the raft
we are not born of scarcity
there is no rule in heaven or earth
that we must follow

i am as god as you are
i reject your raft
i move away from you
towards forever
in wave after wave after wave

– to the slightly racist individual who (didn’t mean to but) thought she could shrink me

the scale of epiphany

all of my adult life i’ve navigated depression. it doesn’t show up in obvious ways. but i know when it’s running the ship.

i lose touch with the miracle, the clarity, the deeper compassion that allows me to move through the world and it’s sharp edges. i notice myself getting drawn towards my favorite things that numb me, it gets foggy around me, hard to see clearly, hard to ask for what i need.

turning inward brings me back. sometimes it’s extreme – like i have to go all the way to where its darkest and find the little light.

often its just moving through cloud, gray, a heavy gray that resembles the nothing from Never Ending Story because that’s the formative threat-of-apocalypse narrative of my life.

the last us election sent me into the fog. i wrote and worked and drank and smoked and got all cranes in the sky…but…i couldn’t get away.

so i’ve been moving through. into the unknown. into my own not knowing, more precisely. some people may know what’s going to happen, i believe that they believe.

but i don’t know. and when i try to imagine beyond a certain point, there is static as often as vision these days. i think we’re in a crucial place of making a viable future, and we might not make a compelling case for ourselves. i believe we have all the potential. but are we willing to practice anything new?

i have been working with groups and movements i believe carry portions of an answer i can imagine living inside.

i’ve been slowing way down. no one likes this. everyone likes it in theory but they still want their things attended to. it’s OK. i got a turtle tattoo to whisper ‘go slow’ in my ear.

and Sunday i took the day off. not just from work, but from chores. i looked at piled dishes and travel laundry and unswept floors and said ‘it’s my day off. i am not doing you.’

i slept so well last night. woke up and read the Ursula le Guin rendition of the Tao te Ching. then i read several graphic novels, between calls for interesting work and the (super amazing exciting deep sweet awesome) new podcast i’m recording with autumn, which included a talk about our summer bodies. in the midst of that conversation i realized and remembered how much i’m loving my whole body these days.

i put on the trolls soundtrack and danced while cleaning the house. i checked in on my heart, my mind, my body, my spirit. i cared for myself in many ways, and planted several seeds for things i want to do/experience in the next few months. i made a gorgeous dinner and ate it on the back deck in my fanciest robe. i listened to Bruno Mars and Superfruit to intentionally let the music lift me.

i feel a fog dissipating, a fire burning. and again the small epiphany: oh, the balance between solitude and togetherness! oh, using the body feels good. oh, no is a compete sentence and emotion. oh. the miracles continue. even when we aren’t worthy, grateful, gracious or even aware. the miracle is the river that doesn’t stop.

Oh.

someday soon I will become irrelevant

someday soon i will become irrelevant
i will say something out of line
or outdated
you will learn of my contradictions
and cancel my existence

maybe someone will say
but she meant well
she worked hard
stop making assumptions
but it will be too late

everyone shrinks the world in a different way
some say there is no other
we are the same
the world of possible emotions
is the smallest one we share

others make it bearable with walls
us, smaller and smaller, on this side
them growing on the other
all this quiet interior
all that time to fill

in some ways i anticipate it
love is a wave that comes in
with the promise of leaving
i think i’m drowning
then i catch my breath

we need each other
but only as much as we can handle
all that other-way-of-being
you, you can let go of myth me
i breathe out, that was never me

in the dark i see fireflies

in the dark i see fireflies
they are like we are
sparks sometimes shining
rarely in rhythm
rarely together
but beautiful

in the dark i see longing
yawning open, wet and hungry
never full, never fulfilled
star teeth gnashing
(who can swallow scalding food)
and beyond that, a constant empty

in the dark i see memories
distorted by ego
we love being wise
we hate the learning
we love being right
but we’re usually wrong

in the dark i see dreams
and the long distance
between the constant fire
i yearn to be
and the brief flashes
i can pull off

in the dark i see the moon
saying ‘nothing is constant’
even a rock caught in light’s orbit
even these constellations are
a flash across infinity
that brightness doesn’t last

but the dark is forever

black band on flesh

last summer i started wearing a black cloth band around my arm as a sign of continuous black grief and resistance.

over the year i felt the commitment spread through and over me until i was mostly wearing black in my clothing. it made me feel aware, spiritually protected, connected to my life’s work.

as i’ve slowly returned to the bright colors and patterns of happy style, i have needed to feel that band in my flesh. today my friend Vanessa, an incredible creator and black queer tattoo artist, put it on my body. ?

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