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interdependence is iterative

interdependence is one of the elements of emergent strategy that i have been studying (and, i thought, embodying) over the past few years.

i love it theoretically – no one is alone! in an ideal scenario of radical interdependence, we would take from the planet what we needed to sustain ourselves, and care for and protect the place and life forms of home. we would take from each other what we needed, what we lacked, and offer to each other from our abundance. its a lovely idea and i am slightly obsessed with cultivating it, particularly in movement spaces.

this past month i have gotten some practice in it, and really noticed the iterative nature of interdependence. what i have been studying by being hyper aware inside my life is how much being interdependent is a series of small repetitive motions.

i am excited to share observations anytime i am able to from inside an experience, and that isn’t always possible. much of this past month was hard in ways i couldn’t move through my mouth or fingers with any coherence.

the feelings were clear, though…

perhaps not all feelings fit inside of words anyway. it is presumptive to ever assume we are understanding each other, but what a balm it is to feel understood, or even just held tightly when your spirit is dancing beyond comprehension.

the things i had do repeatedly towards interdependence:

1. be seen.

initially with defensiveness (i am not like you say i am) even/especially in the face of experts (i have diagnosed myself, i know what is wrong with me).

and then, perhaps, without agency. because being seen is actually non-negotiable, though i can hide or i can determine my level of grace and relationship in it.

on so many levels, interdependence requires being seen, as much as possible, as your true self. meaning that your capacity and need are transparent.

meaning even when i don’t want to look in the mirror, i am (and i choose to be) open to the attention of others.

sometimes i start with my w.o.e.s., or those with whom i am co-evolving through friendship. i show something i’ve been hiding, and hope i’m still lovable. this generally goes better than could be expected, every single time.

i have also tried starting out naked on a hard table under a bright light, shivering from the cold of so many strangers’ eyes.

i can walk towards this ‘being seen’ and experience the beauty of releasing all that guard and protection, that miracle distortion. or i can resist it and only be seen in moments of trauma and loss of control.

but i will be seen, and the more i open to it, the gentler and more necessary that attention feels.

(as i was writing this i was reminded that interdependence is basically the song lean on me in practice: ‘for no one can fill those of your needs that you don’t let show.’)

2. be wrong.

there is nothing like the wrong feeling of being an intuitive witchy healer and having to be told something indisputable about your body.

particularly if you’ve already done the thorough work of disputing said something. out loud. at a volume that might, by some, be described as unmedicated anguish level. it’s pitiful wrong.

the easier ‘being wrong’ is for you (the faster you can release your viewpoint), the quicker you can adapt to changing circumstances. adapting allows you to know and name current needs and capacity, to be in relationship in real time, as opposed to any cycle of wishing and/or resenting what others do or don’t give you.

sometimes there isn’t one definitive truth (my favorite situations).

and sometimes there is one and you can’t see it. (least favorite. least.)

just at least consider it, that place where you are wrong might be the most fertile ground for connecting with and receiving others.

and in a beautiful twist, being soft in your rightness, as opposed to smashing people with your brilliance, can open others up to whatever wisdom you’ve accumulated. i am grateful to all the people who were softly right about me this past month when i couldn’t see my own needs.

3. accept my inner multitudes.

an honest self would agree to some self-care practice or limitation that would protect my recovering wounded body. and then another – honest, even earnest – self would almost immediately act against that agreement.

i’d be half bent over to lift something when the voice of one of my precious beloveds would slip through – ‘seriously what the fuck are you doing?’

(my loved ones are pure molasses sweetness.)

there is a me that wants to get that sugar devil away from me for good. there is a me that can’t go through physical trauma without ice cream, can’t even imagine that.

the more i accept this, the more i can share my contradictory truths with those who can support me, help me move towards my best self.

i am not turning against myself, i am multitudes. the tide to be turned is a process of inner alignment, those who wish to support me need me to be vulnerable with that inner contradiction.

4. ask for, and receive, what i need.

can you drive me to the hospital?
can you explain what is happening to me?
can you stop my pain?
can you open this water bottle?
can you help me stand up and sit down?
can you open the door?
can you put my bag in the overhead bin?
can you bring me groceries?
can you drive me to the airport and actually park and help me bring my suitcase inside?
can you hold me while i cry?
can you heal me?
and so on for what feels like forever…

and most of all, the childlike request inside of story telling: can you listen while i feel this?
again?
again?

i’m learning that interdependence is not about the equality of offers in real time. i had to ask most of these things of people i didn’t necessarily know, or knew but wouldn’t be able to offer anything to in the foreseeable future. i had to trust in that karma-ish idea that the support i’ve offered in the past or will offer in the future would balance this scale which felt so me-tilted.

over and over and over i offered up my small self and was held in big ways. thread through me, again, again.

the result of this experience is that i feel so much more woven into the world. i still anticipate my independence, my default can-do self space. but i don’t want to sever any of this connecting fabric between myself and all of the incredible people who held me through this past month, saw me, corrected me, held me in my contradictions, met my needs. i want more of my life to feel this interdependent, this of community and humanity. i love knowing how incredible it feels to have a need met, to be loved and cared for, and also know how incredible it feels to meet an authentic need.

it’s data, all this learning. tender data.

y’all who fed, held, carried, cleaned, transported, protected, scolded, listened and loved up on me through this…i’m in really love with y’all.

Support Stories for Chip!

Dear Mr. Samuel Delany,

I didn’t start with Dhalgren; I had to build up to that. I started with a slender, beautiful volume containing Nova and Babel-17, on display next to a picture of you. You looked like family to me. Then I read Dhalgren, at times turning the book sideways in my hands, looking under and around it for clues, feeling the world. This was a new way to read: feeling everything, relinquishing the familiar. You made me blush, you made me start considering the decimal system to measure my new loves, you showed me how brave it is to write yourself into the future as an object of desire.

And then I read in your autobiography that you were living these explorations of pleasure as a radical, world-changing practice. Your writing and life suggested to me that pleasure was a way to claim race, class, ability, body size, beauty, gender, and other marginalizing tools as distinctions of sensual relevance, potential delights in a delicious world. I call myself a pleasure activist and a sci-fi writer, and I thank you for being a beacon in the dark for strange, beautiful, black desires and liberations.

With respect, love, and gratitude,

adrienne maree

Give today to support the Stories for Chip campaign to fund an anthology of fiction and essays on honor of Samuel Delany (who made my life today by commenting on this note on the facebook)…if you’re not familiar with his groundbreaking work, go read all of it!

your pain is your own

my pain is my own.

i have been aware, lately and again, of the desire to compare pain. i think science fictionally, so i often live in a mythological world where my pain is invisible.

even to me.

i sometimes have the feeling of coming up short for an explanation of why i hurt the way i do. others are going through far worse situations. i layer on devastations every day from my loved ones, from my timelines and newsfeeds.

and yet, i’ve been crying again. tears particularly for me, for my grief and loss.

tomorrow is mother’s day. i’m blessed that my mother, and her mother, are still here, and that we are not only in a good place, but i would say in right relationship, with lots of love, respect and transparency present.

i miss my father’s mom. and i have a lot of people in my life for whom mother’s day is a day of grief, sadness, tenderness, memory, and longing.

i enter this mother’s day with a vastly different reproductive system than i had last year. i hold my half system tenderly and reach out to my grieving community with an awareness of how small my hands are, compared to a mother’s hands.

inside my hurt, i know there is pain i can’t imagine, even as i offer something to counter it.

i believe we have the right to take up space with our full emotional lives and processes. pain, anger, joy, ecstacy – it’s all our right to feel.

right now there is so much pain to feel, and the healthy move is to feel it. we are increasing our capacity to hold and transform pain as individuals, as communities, as societies.

we fear pain so much, and yet it is part of how change happens.

when movements builds, there emerges a constant battle of pain. some of this is righteous, necessary, an awakening process. ‘why can’t anyone see my pain?’ is a legitimate question in a world where supremacy and oppression make so many of us invisible. the primary way supremacy works, in fact, is to erase the humanity of others, in order to enact genocide, or implement slavery, or, in other less overt but still dangerous ways, live in the realm of believing your life is more miraculous than the lives of others for purely superficial reasons.

our fear leads to stagnation, inflammation, emptiness. it is a wisdom, learning to be with my fear, our fear…to know when it is intelligence.

but we can’t let our fears silence us.

we have to be careful of internalizing the ability to embellish or erase the miraculous emotive nature of others. this can happen a number of ways.

there is a way to feel invisible and self-erase, make ourselves small, quiet – swallow our truths.

there is a way we can create the conditions in which no one wants to look in our direction because we can only see our pain, and diminish everyone else’s.

there is a way we can become obsessed with attempting to compare our pain to the pain of another.

there is a way we can prioritize the grief of others, ignoring our own brokenness, our own need for healing.

the thing we each have some reference for is pain. the thing we cannot imagine is the pain of others.

i have been reflecting on the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. i think that is only true if i take time to turn and face the places that hurt the most. not concerning myself with comparison, but rather with the longing to integrate that suffering into a stronger self.

what doesn’t kill me makes me weep, makes me over, makes me new…makes me me.

afrofuturism and #blackspring (new school, #afroturismtns)

welcome to #blackspring!

today as we speak there are actions happening across the country, and here in new york, a massive round of future claiming.

we tend to think and speak of afrofuturism as the far off future, something beyond our current comprehension and planet. but now is the only moment. AND we hope things will be different in the next now. AND I must admit, i am excited about the near future.

what are we about to do after this winter of discontent?

we have been escalating tactics in the face of flagrant injustice.
escalating tactics because we charge genocide,
we charge homicide,
we say no more killing us,
we say no more reckless obstinate impunity,
We say no more white supremacy in governance,

because, we say, black lives matter!

an afrofuturist assertion.

because we see something other than the normative truths of this place…we see something that is NOT here…

we see the future, cast over this devastating present moment.

we see,
and we believe.
we know,
and we bend the world to assert and embody that black lives matter.

that, to me, is the heart of afrofuturism, as i choose to understand it. labels don’t excite me so much, but concepts turn me on. the concept of seeing and creating the future from a perspective that has the lineage of an african seed, of something older and other than western, feels healing to me.

we, of that displaced diasporic seed, who involuntarily reach back to the motherland in our dreams, have been scattered so far from each other.

and in spite of all the odds, we have been resilient.

i cannot speak emotionally about the journeys of the other seed clusters, though i am seeking stories all the time, reading nnedi okorafor and ben okri and credo mutwa and wanting to know more.

but i can speak of the grief stricken journey of the kidnapped african…

and the abused, raped, enslaved, lynched, uprising negro, or in the language of white supremacy, the ‘nigra, or nigger';

the beaten, vilified, billyclubbed, legally unlovable, disobedient and organizing afro-american, or again ‘nigger';

the tokenized, mistrusted, mistaken, misguided, self-loathing, entrepreneurial, hoodwinked and bamboozled, boot strapped, assimilating african american, or ‘nigger';

and the divergent, underpaid, unemployed, sugar soothed, imprisoned, resistant, resilient, awakened, politicized black. Or ‘thug. or nigger’.

so this is a shout out to the uppity nigger beyond all space and time. all along this journey, those who some saw and see as particularly ‘uppity niggers’, i call afrofuturists.

they, we, have cast our lot forward.

lately I’ve been obsessing over the afrofuturism and justice orientation of slave era blacks, because our situation today feels so terrifying, and exhausting and sometimes hopeless, and there’s so much trauma and grief to bear, and yet we survived THAT.

not individually, but collectively.

not all of those black people were afrofuturists, but to focus on afrofuturists in the black social justice tradition, i would note that:

africans leaping off of slaver ships were afrofuturists.
slave era parents teaching their babies a foreign alphabet in the candlelit dirt were afrofuturists.
black women dissociating themselves through to tomorrow while being raped into motherhood were afrofuturists.
those who raised the children of violence and those who chose not to, all were predicting the future and articulating their choices.
slaves who ran to freedom, and slaves who ran to their deaths, were afrofuturists.

it is the emphasis on a tomorrow that centers the dignity of that seed, particularly in the face of extinction, that marks, for me, the afrofuturist.

and of course there are the big ones, whose names have made it through the erasers of history books, into our mouths – harriet, sojourner, frederick, john, malcolm, james, ella, martin, nina, june, toni.

octavia.

now it is our work, and the exciting thing about this time is that we are learning to name ourselves, our distinctions and solidarities. our afrofuturisms and black springs. developing enough of a common dream language that we can be that much more explicit about the real futures we are shaping into existence.

we are touching the future, reaching out across boundaries and post apocalyptic conditions to touch each other, to call each other out as family, as beloveds.

‘all that you touch, you change. all that you change, changes you.’

we are making ourselves vulnerable enough to be changed, which will of course change what black existence means.

octavia butler, who gave us that philosophical spirit poem of earthseed that I just quoted, is a bridge for many of us, between this world, and the narratives that pull us through to the next realm, or the parallel universe, or the future in which we are the protagonists.

this is the essence of octavia’s brood, the anthology of original science fiction from social justice movements which walidah imarisha and i had the honor of co-editing. walidah couldn’t be with us today because she is visiting the political prisoner sundiata acoli, but she sends her love.

what we are all up to, this changing the world willfully, is science fictional behavior.

because all organizing is science fiction.

we are creating a world we have never seen. we are whispering it to each other cuddled in the dark, and we are screaming it at people who are so scared of it that they dress themselves in war regalia to turn and face us.

because of our ancestors, because of us and because of the children we are raising, there will be a future without police and prisons.

yes.

there will be a future without rape.

without harrassment, and constant fear, and childhood sexual assault.

a future without war, hunger, violence.

with abundance.

where gender is a joyful spectrum.
where my nephew would not be bullied for his brilliant differentness.

where each of our bodies is treated like sacred ground, whether we have insurance or not…that one is very real for me right now as i am coming off of a surprise major surgery a couple weeks ago, and that, in addition to the urgency of our movements right now for black lives, and for the planet, all has me in a much closer consideration of the future.

octavia’s brood is 2 essays and 20 pieces of original and beautiful visionary fiction from largely hesitant and skeptical organizers, with breathtaking appearances from some folks who have been creating this kind of work long term – tananarive due, levar burton, mumia abu-jamal, and others.

visionary fiction, (a term which walidah coined, this was what made me start following her all over the internet til she said yes to this anthology) visionary fiction includes sci fi, speculative fiction, fantasy, magical realism, myth, all of it. in addition to this intentional genrecide, visionary fiction intentionally explores:

how change happens from the bottom up,
how change works in collective ways, disrupting the single white male hero narrative,
centering marginalized communities…meaning we are the center of the story, as opposed to the sexy and unbelievably stylish sidekick.
and visionary fiction is hard, and realistic, and hopeful.

it’s neither utopian nor dystopian, its more like life.

in real life, we may make it to a future full of gardens and bicycles, but we may not get to choose who is there with us, and we may never get to leave it.
we may get rid of gentrification but not without violence.
we may get to travel to parallel universes, but only by feeling completely insane in this one.
we may learn to use dissociation and other responses to trauma as a way to teleport and heal, but not without losing our families.
we may create the key to a liberated technofuture, but have to live a life on the run to keep it from being weaponized.
our black skin may become special and valued, but then we have to fight to keep it from those who realize melanin is better for surviving increased sunlight.
there might be angels, but what if the good ones get kicked out of heaven for trying to help us.

all of this and much more is explored in the book. these are writers who mostly didn’t identify as artists, as writers…and yet, we argued, their lives are acts of futurism and creation. when they returned to us on our deadline, and instead of the ten pages we begged for, there were 40-50 pages of new novels and character visitations.

the stories are beautiful. we went through 6-7 edits for each one, loving them up. sheree renee thomas, the editor of the dark matter collections, advised us and let us know they were great. john jennings crafted the cover for us – and created a glyph system, a glyph for each story which is incorporated into the cosmic space of octavia on the cover. i don’t have copies here but if you order online at ak press, use the code octaviafs and you will get free shipping through the end of may. octaviafs.

so…imagination is one of the spoils of colonization, which in many ways is claiming who gets to imagine the future for a given geography. losing our imagination is a symptom of trauma. reclaiming the right to dream the future, strengthening the muscle to imagine together as black people, is a revolutionary decolonizing activity.

when we were in the editing process, these narratives felt important and interconnected – now as i reread the book obsessively, the whole thing feels so audacious. it is massive, the visions of these organizers are in no way small.

and in that way we hope we honor octavia butler’s legacy. she never wrote us a small problem, or a small vision. she offered us nothing stagnant. to speak of her protagonists, i use the term emergent strategy – strategies that create and move complex systems and patterns through relatively simple interactions. if you have noticed a flock of starlings move through the air in a pluralistic dance, or seen geese share leadership moving south, you have seen my movement vision, and what i believe octavia offers one case study after another for:

leading that centers relationship,

decentralization and interdependence,

adaptation…or being in right relationship to change,

resilience, the capacity to accommodate and integrate change,

transformative justice – going to the root of the problem and transforming the conditions instead of just getting punitive and righteous about symptoms,

fractal (or the idea that patterns repeat across scale – the spiral on your finger echoes the spiral of the galaxy, how do we become the small,scale version of the large scale changes we seek?)

and finally creating more possibilities, as opposed to current strategies which seek to narrow options down to one path forward…

some of the key practices that show up in octavia butler’s work, and in octavia’s brood, are collaboration, compassion, curiosity, romantic and sensual and non-possessive love, play, mediation, and the patience that comes from seeing ourselves in a much longer arc of time than we are encouraged to see in the instantaneous culture of the modern world.

so along with touring the book and reading stories to people, we are offering workshops that blend visionary fiction and social justice, in ways we hope are elegant.

one is a training in science fiction and direction action, which we’ll be offering a taste of here. in this we plan actions in some of our favorite sci fi worlds and apply the lessons to our current work.

two is a collective sci fi writing workshop, where we use collaborative ideation to build a world that is a living solution or testing ground to work through a current local issue.

third, i have been offering trainings in emergent strategy, and emergent strategy facilitation. and on one level i am talking about adaptation and resilience and mushrooms and schools of fish and spirals and stardust and stuff.

but what i am really asking, what we are all really asking, what octavia was asking, is how do we who know the world needs to change begin to practice BEING different?

how do WE have to BE for justice to truly be transformative? not them, that massive amorphous them
that is also us,
in our heads and hearts,
or loves us,
or is tired of this shit but is family to us…not them, because maybe they don’t recognize yet that these changes are the key to human survival.

but us, us who are awake and awakening? how do we need to BE for black lives to matter? what do we need to HEAL in ourselves in order to offer a future of any real peace?

or to become the protagonists of this human story – and earn the flip of the page of all the sentient life in the universe?

to claim the future as a compelling place for our miracles?

this is everything.

science fiction is not fluffy stuff. afrofuturism is not just the coolest look that ever existed. the future is not an escapist place to occupy. all of it is the inevitable result of what we do today, and the more we take it in our hands, imagine it as a place of justice and pleasure, the more the future knows we want it, and that we aren’t letting go.

so. start this black spring, start with black lives matter. its the afrofuturist activity of this moment. embody the concept that black lives matter. no matter what your background is, no matter what your struggles are, let black lives matter fill you up, believe it, practice it being true.

all along the journey, all of the afrofuturists i named from movements before this time, all they have been is unapologetically black, uncompromising in their right to take up space. will you promise to do that?

i love you.
black love.

obsidian is the world (22/30)

Write a pastoral poem (a Shepherd or shepherdess on nature and love) (on earth day, a poem about loving a planet)

baya is floating
the vertical fields
she sings songs that make
the shmardue wander close
they prance in out round
her feet bare and bright
with golden sand

she doesn’t know earth
she doesn’t long for verdant lush leaf
she knows sunsets last for days

she loves sleeping in the sunlight
she never uses her grav belt
she isn’t scared of flight

i suspect she would be a fighter
if there was a war over these fields
or the black green iceland
whose melting in the sun
is all the river we know

i hope her whole life is this
wandering and learning her stars
rooting into the precious soil
forgetting in her bones the earth i loved
that bloody miracle
leave it to the men

baya is spinning again
upside down, walking the lavender moon
which aya wants to name vula

the earth children run towards and after her
different against gravity
already orienting towards her center

the only thing i want is her safety
for her to be free from our lineage
for us to be far enough away
that we can’t hear the
celebrations of war, the bloodfall
the only thing i want is her
dancing through the air

say no more (14/30)

prompt: write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue.

what follows is isolated from
e—‘s memories shortly before aya’s mind sweep.

is baya asleep
there’s something to say

she sleeps, she wakes,
it does not matter

my beloved
i cannot give you my life

did i swallow your soul…
and will you stop touching me?

my love never fills you
you want my mystery, my obsession

you hold me like a stone holds water
wasn’t i beautiful just then?

let me always love you
we are more than our bodies

but i can’t look at you every day
and you don’t long for me

then let’s stop looking at each other
through the lens of what we were

i have no other view
than this stark vantage of heart

but you don’t see me
you watch some fantasy, memoir

say no more.
i won’t be without you.
there’s no one else for you in this space or time.

say no more.
let’s be strangers, comrades.
tomorrow is baya’s. not yours. not mine.

Baya (13/30)

Prompt: write a riddle.

i tried to but mostly i just wanted to tell the birth of baya (bay-yah), the first child born to women, the first child of obsidian. composed of stardust from a new solar system.

the reason my back bends
the sweet longing that wakes me from dreams
the seed that bursts into jungle
the miracle amongst miracles between us

why she runs towards strangers
why i run away

my little and fully formed alien
my heart, with her own desires
born hovering in air
turning to fly home to the breast
screaming her name at us

a star beam taking us future

counter lesson on currency (8/30)

write a palinode. And what’s that? It’s a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem.

    counter lesson on currency

yesterday
queen aya taught you
‘when we came here,
we left behind
systems of getting
without doing’

which is not precise
but you cannot pinpoint
those who forsake memory
and live only in afterglow

the first currency of this planet was favor,
the first value love

the founding queens
played creation games
with each other
everything you see now
results from their vigorous
winning and losing

the first planetians to find here
looked to aya’s glittery smile
after each dusty task

she only saw e—,
and did not notice us

she held seed bursting ideals,
and we held her,
myth and magic…
stories and misquotations

it was never enough to
simply exist, to revel in the
abundance of our miraculous lives

we had to also be marvelous
fantastic and fascinating
complex, kind and mysterious
stunning as the pallique sea

then she would feed you
everything

the first ones to die here
were simply dull stardust
hard workers with no brilliance
they never caught her eye
they withered, reaching for her
she was ignorant
always shifting the center
always in motion

it shamed her to devastation
when she realized what was happening
when she knew that in spite of her pretty thinking
she was money dirty

that currency of attention,
so hard to trace
is why the queen wears the
moonshade veil
so that we understand the cost of immeasurable beauty
and are fair with praise
and always look for the light

revisiting the sugar cleanse

Sugar is snow. Sugar is drug. Sugar is statistically proven to strip me of my dignity and my health. And yet.

Sugar is laughter. Sugar is energy. Sugar is of nature, a perfect sweetness in the right balance.

I’m seeking balance again. I feel like I crawled out of the grief stricken battle ground of 2014 with chocolate smeared on my face, and weight that I’d lost the year before (arduously, hardest thing I ever do) returning so easily that I felt guilty for ever trying to leave it behind. I had the moment that I think all people of glorious size have: is this just how it’s supposed to be? Should I just stop fighting?

I adore my body. I spend a ridiculous amount of time walking around naked saying yes goddess octaviafridanina thank you for this body! And also too, I adore health. I love this body best when I feel like I can make intentional healthy choices that my body likes.

I’m also a bit of a hypochondriac (Oh shit is this celiacs? Diabetes? Whooping cough? Do I have a tape worm alien parasite? No? No? But how do you really know? Oh…health insurance? But I’m an artist. Hmm. But what if it’s…and so on) so healthy choices are my best way to avoid paranoid journeys through the haunted house of Web MD.

The best thing I’ve done for myself related to health, in terms of how I’ve felt, was a deep examination of my relationship to sugar. It’s in all the things I like, and it makes me mindless around food. I can order and consume a pizza with no presence whatsoever. When life gets tough, as it did last fall, I can sort of look up and find that somehow there’s an empty ice cream pint on the coffee table. Then my body and energy are all messy trying to remember who I am.

So I declare it here.

I am a Virgo creator in springtime.
I am a self loving human who smashes to-do lists and walks directly towards what I long for.
I imagine worlds and generate possibilities for a living.
I can do this!

So I’m doing another sugar shift starting today. I don’t frame it as a cleanse in my heart, because this is a long long process of unlearning sugar as comfort and rediscovering health. Something like 50 people are doing some version of it too on Facebook (let me know if you want in).

Some tips from last time, and for travel:

– know the possible meals I can have for the day, both what I create and what’s possible when eating out. Time travel to the hardest one and make a plan. Build up to trusting myself to hold the line in the moment.

– be a snack warrior. Have things in my bag that will actually get me through. For me that’s trail mix and tuna.

– decide my adaptations beforehand. Some folks are doing the cleanse with fruit, or with specific grains, or one glass of white wine in the evening. Again, decide what I need to get through it and then lock it in. It’s only 21 days.

– drink so much water. Big glass with fresh lemon in the morning and then keep the bottle in hand all day. When I think of food, drink some water before taking any other action. My skin will praise dance (after the initial toxin flush breakout which I will welcome as indications I’m actually doing it…and not pick at!).

– move my body. Whatever movement feels like a celebration in my body, I’ll do that. For some people it’s running. For me it’s dancing. I’m alive! Act like it.

Those are the main things I can think of as I begin again this humbling daunting necessary journey.

I’m doing this while book touring, so I need all your love and sweetness now. If you see me, you can ask about the cleanse, but mostly ask me how I am, tell me I’m glowing and give me a big hug.

I’m going to seek the pleasure in this experience. Blow me kisses.

Napowrimo 2015

it’s Napowrimo time!! i commit to writing a poem a day for a month. this year I’ll try to have a sci-fi touch to my poems, we’ll see what happens.

first prompt: write a poem of negation.

queen aya regrets

show you love?

i’ll show you everything i know
but these are not the memories you seek
not the softer smile that blurred
as the ship lifted away from time

i cannot show how you survived on laughter and the visible heats of your skins
i cannot show you the small world where you and —-, in the too near sun, became the Queens

tasting batrimatri and stogo and shelmiiz

nothing remains of that period
{you wrote of succulent 17 hour days and adulation that changed the air around you to murder}
except these rumors you reference, from your own historic poems, which you know must be exaggeration

no one loves like that

and anyway
the memories were erased
at your request
my queen