Tag Archive for 'transformation'

dancing with hopelessness

lately i have found myself to be a combatant behind enemy lines wherever i am in the world. the sounds of death are constant – either the current blasting or the sound of news anchors telling me numbers. sometimes the numbers are more overtly related to me – black people, people from the u.s., queer people, women and girls. other times they are less overtly mine – parents, people of a specific faith, people who speak one of the million languages or dialects i couldn’t comprehend. still human, children.

since i was young i have been blessed and afflicted with empathy, when i hear or read or see suffering i feel within me some response.

a restlessness – something must be done.
numbness – nothing i can do.
rage – why are you so evil, why are you not better than this?
shame – this is how humans spend our time, taking from each other and plotting each other’s death?

when i was in my twenties this set of feelings, sparked by what was happening in the world and fed by traumas in my body, pushed me over an edge of not wanting to be alive.

i know so many people who know what that feels like, to have suicidal memories. when i think of that time it is very gray, and, honestly, calming: if i can go, then i don’t have to keep feeling all of this. i don’t have to keep wondering if anything i am doing matters. i, i, i – who is i, what do i do/mean/need/take responsibility for?

i don’t feel suicidal now, since i walked out of that world of shadowed edges and paranoia and self-obsession i have never returned.

but our shared reality (if we are even slightly awake) is depressing. violence coming in from every direction all the time, with those in power committed to maintaining and growing power instead of learning to thrive on our miraculous spaceship. if people aren’t at least somewhat depressed and disappointed by humanity it’s hard for me to trust them.

and yet i am oriented towards solution and joy. i can feel myself fighting to lift up and move forward somehow. i am pressed to generate new strategies for moving through emotions that are larger than i know what to do with, larger than any community i am a part of knows how to hold. i love sugar and alcohol and weed as much as anyone, but my spirit has been needing more – more clarity and space to feel, more life.

my days are full of new rituals and ancient ones that have me feeling both closer to and further away from humanity at large.

here are some of the small and personal rituals that allow me to be in relationship with my growing hopelessness, to dance in real time with all that is happening.

i imagine myself a dragonfly. or an owl. an orca. a spotted cow. i let myself wander into the experience – flying, chewing, living out in the world, being wild, solitary, communal. we think reason makes us superior to everything, but when i let myself wander the experiences of other species i see there are so many ways to live without a focus on death, which seems to be the primary thing we use our reasoning to generate or avoid.

i light candles and speak into the flames the names of people and places that need light, concepts that need air, the things i need to let go of before the next in-breath, the things i can’t let go of but are too heavy today.

i also tell water what i cannot carry and then pour it into bigger water. if i am outside i find a river. a creek, a lake. lately i use my shower in this way too, i imagine it moving over me like a mother soothing a child. i imagine the cloudy heft of sadness moving through the pipes and systems, droplets to waterfalls, wetlands and deltas, into the gulf of mexico, into the ocean.

i burn sage, frankincense, cedar, palo santo, dhoop sticks, incense. i feel the smoke moving through me, cleansing, inviting a relaxation of everything in me that holds on to life too tightly, knowing i am more powerful when i am relaxed and flexible and soft.

i give time – quiet, meditative time – to tragedy and grief. i let my mind encounter the river of souls floating up out of our comprehension. when i hear something new and violent has happened, i pause. maybe it’s a prayer i whisper, an incantation, a spell – something less than words and more than breath goes up with those souls. if i know a number i set a timer and give a minute to each stranger, each possible beloved. i meditate on those who are precious to me.

i do my practices – tarot, somatics, yoga, words.

time, smoke, water, breath, practice, shapeshifting.

and healing circles. bringing myself into a circle with others, circles of two, circles of hundreds, to remind ourselves that we are also always with each other, cultivating something better than this horror, making more room to grieve, to be numb together, to be stricken and clueless together, to hold on to each other.

with several of the circles we have gathered our pain and heartache and hopelessness and actually pushed it down into the earth together. she is so big, with so much capacity to transform the toxic into the fertile. sometimes she is the only living thing i fully trust.

my indigenous story is one of physical and cultural colonization – i am cut off from direct knowledge of what my ancestors learned to use in this way, how they listened to earth and learned to care for each other, to move grief and hopelessness through the body, to live beyond overwhelming emotions. because no matter how awful this world can be, i cannot be more than i am. i face a broken world, i think my most healing offer is wholeness. i must be whole in myself, in the community i am accumulating each day.

i notice what produces a sense of release, space and good energy in my system, i listen to healers, i ask permission. i have learned from everywhere, i hope i will keep learning. i am weaving together my lineage and experience into a song that i can move to.

i am learning to dance with my hopelessness.

this will be america

my friend jodie reminded me of this piece i wrote a few years ago about being an american revolutionary, particularly section 6. she has reposted that section in the past, calling it ‘america, i must love her':

you cannot shirk responsibility for this country
you cannot shake off these atrocities
its a bloody birthright
all children are born into blood
you have to grow up by growing down into the soil
past the burnt bodies and broken buildings
built on broken bodies and broken promises
built up, bloody borders
borders you live in whether you want to or not

you are the ones we’ve been waiting for

it was hard to revisit the poem in the shock and grief of orlando. and it feels important to remember my own responsibility in this place. i sit in the spirit of grace lee boggs and octavia butler, knowing i, a post-nationalist american-born revolutionary, need to do the hard work of taking on america, and shaping the future that can grow from this place. so.

    this will be america

we are strewn across the street
or the sticky sweet floor
where we called ourselves home
where we got ourselves free
now slick with our blood
this
is america

we are heads bent knees bruised
guilty in hushed prayer
god’s words telephoned across time
to tell us: everything you need
is made of fire
this
is america

we are children, somebody’s children
we are innocent children
we are wayward children
we are violent children
and we fight and we grieve like children
this
is america

we are warriors brought home in whale bellies
to fight, to die on this soil
in an unnamed civil war spilling all our borders
on one side is humanity
and we cannot see the other side
this
is america

we are bruised broke-open fruit
a piled mess under ancient trees
which will only grow with us
we permeate the roots, seething, seeding
we will never go anywhere else
this
is america

we are born with our dignity
we look beautiful weeping, waging love
when scared we sashay the tar streets
press together in the steaming darkness
sweating out freedom songs, love songs
this
is america

we are growing and falling apart
and we are absolutely terrifying
we are stunning funghi, transforming this toxic soil
we are swallowing our dead
becoming worthy of our miracles
this
is america

we cannot separate now
there is nowhere else, no escaping ourselves
millions whisper rituals into dirt and flesh
millions, millions hold each other, raging, changing
fecund with our sacrifices
and this
this will be america

and our future will inhale together
to sing out a bright axe ooh
and remember the names of our martyrs
as we offer each other abundance
as we finally, finally learn we are love
and this
this will be america

thank you to dani, jodie and autumn for holding this with me

lighting candles for orlando, and for all of us

lighting candles of liberation and nirvana for the 50 souls in transition from the pulse nightclub in orlando. i hope they are holding each other in the journey.

lighting candles of inner and outer healing for the injured, may they recover and be supported from the trauma of what they survived.

lighting candles of grief for the queer, trans, latinx and black communities of orlando for this massive loss – we are family, i mourn with you. what a massive loss.

lighting candles of protection and solidarity for my muslim and arab beloveds as this country does its favorite thing – using one phobia to feed another, deflecting blame after creating the conditions for nothing but hate. grateful for those who reached out to me today in love, and who received my love in return.

and lighting candles of fierce love for all of my friends and family who participate in major religions that espouse homophobic beliefs. however you call god, the weight of hate crimes against QUILTBAG people is partially yours, the struggle falls on your frontline. i extend my warrior energy behind you as you fight the ignorance and hate mongering within your sacred houses.

lighting candles under the asses of anyone who still can’t grasp the need for deconstructing the gun/violence-worshipping culture of this nation. you sound unworthy of the miracle of life you have been given.

lighting a candle at the intersections, that we may all see that we are not separate, we cannot separate. last night i gave a speech on abortion at an undisclosed location, kept hidden for security reasons that root into the same violence that was wrought in orlando. i am abstaining from sugar in solidarity with jasmine abdullah richards, who is behind bars for standing up against the violent policing of this country which disproportionately devastates the same communities that were targeted in orlando. i am grieving comrades who have been killed in the line of their work to push back against hate. all of this is connected, us – black, queer, trans, differently abled, immigrant, woman, arab, indigenous, asian, fat, nonbinary, nonmainstream in any way – wanting to live and love as we are – and those we are up against seemingly dissatisfied with disagreeing and leaving us alone. they must take everything, have everything, and kill what they cannot understand. we must hold tight to each other and grow, become indivisible.

lighting a candle for myself, that in this moment of rage and grief i can stay in touch with the truth and beauty of my precious, sacred and very queer life. i choose to live my life guided and motivated by love rather than hate. i know i am free. i know love is what sets and keeps me free.

i found this helpful – some practical tips from suzy steffan via my sci fi sister lisa bolekaja:

A few things straight cis or trans and non-straight cis people could do today and every day to support LGBTQIA people:

1. Listen to queer people.

2. Listen to queer people of color. This hate crime happened in diverse Orlando at Latinx night at the Pulse. That very much matters.

3. Text us, snapchat us, tweet us that you love us (do not include “no matter whom you love”) and you’re thinking about us today.

4. Don’t deny that this was a hate crime.

5. Don’t make this about Islam. It’s not. It’s about transphobia and homophobia. Oh, and access to AR-15s.

6. Ask local LGBTQIA groups how you can help.

7. Don’t accept one nanosecond, not ONE, of victim blaming from friends, relatives, or religious representatives.

8. If you go to church and your pastor doesn’t mention Orlando or does it in a hateful way, speak up right then or walk out at that moment, and find a new church. Same for any religious organization. You can help your religious organizations be better.

9. Donate blood *AND* tell the FDA to lift the ban on “men who have had sex with men” donating blood RIGHT NOW, as in RIGHT. NOW.

10. Trans and L/G/B cis people of color get killed at disgustingly high rates. You, yes, you, straight/cis people, *have to* speak out against HB 2 and all the other transphobic “bathroom bills” out there.

11. If you have money, you could send it to Orlando (if you don’t live there), or you could help fund your local QUILTBAG organizations. Some links in the comments.

12. If you don’t have money, which I *certainly* understand right now, get books by authors who identify as LGBTQIA out of the library, and recommend them to others.

13. You might, as I have this ugly awful morning, try to get your local politicians to support a vigil for the LGBTQIA communities.

13a. But when that vigil happens, listen to the community to see if we need you there. We might need you as a buffer zone. We’ll be holding each other and crying and singing. You be our security.

13b. Be sure to ask those politicians to get the buy-in of local grassroots and “official” queer/trans rights groups. It’s important for cities and states and the country to support us, but not without our organizations as well.

14. Read up on LGBTQIA herstory and history. (Some suggex in the comments, eventually.)

15. Post about Orlando. You don’t have to share the news stories, you don’t have to share the details, but show us that you see us and that you care about us. We see you when you don’t.

16. If you have QUILTBAG employees – and you do if you have employees! – check in with them today and in the next few days. Have their backs. Be prepared to help them out, to fill in (without asking them to give up paychecks).

17. If you have QUILTBAG students – and you do if you teach! – give them extra love and space to process. Not by singling them out, of course, but by publicly mentioning your horror at the hate crime and privately letting them know that they can take more time as they process.

90 days

jasmine abdullah richards was sentenced today to 90 days in jail.

for lynching.

she is the first black person ever convicted of felony lynching. it is an outrageous charge. i keep seeking other words for this convergence of feelings, but only outrage comes close to accuracy.

this is a moment every black person, particularly those participating in visionary organizing and protest to assert that our lives matter, need to internalize. this is our 90 days.

it is more than an individual punishment, it is a test of our interconnectedness, our alertness, our attention.

we must practice sustaining this story and our connection to jasmine beyond the life span of a meme or trend.

tonight i rocked the babies to sleep and somewhere in there i too drifted – it was a long day and i was not really awake or asleep, suspended between tired and responsible, listening and dreaming.

it is so much we are expected to hold, it is easy to drift away from what we most care about, most long for.

today there was an unaccountable young rapist in my face, electoral extremes as part of my social media feed celebrated a woman presidential nominee and part complained of shady election mishaps. i wore purple all day for Prince’s first birthday as an ancestor. there’s so much all at once. so we drift.

but jasmine is one of our freedom fighters. her captivity is tied to our liberation.

when the news came this afternoon i felt relief that it wasn’t four years, and anger that it was even one day.

the nibblings, who were my reaponsibility today, noticed my emotions and asked me what i could do. and i thought about it.

of course continue my work, we always continue to fight our local-global fight in so many ways. but i kept coming back to the words jasmine shouted in the courtroom, echoing assata across time: it is also our work now to “love each other and protect each other”. what can i do to love and protect jasmine?

i mapped out 90 days on the calendar. it ends on my birthday in september. it’s three months. this amount of time has already flown by twice this year. for jasmine’s sake I hope it flies by now.

what leapt to mind was a spiritual commitment to keep my attention on her every day until she is free. to not let her fall away from my heart as the changes keep coming. to think of her, to feel these 90 days with her.

so i reached out to some friends – i have been in a practice of shifting my relationship to sugar with a group of other social justice beloveds. five of us (so far) have committed to being in collective practice over the next 90 days, in jasmine’s name. we will practice with our bodies (mostly abstaining from added sugars, one person is cutting out caffeine, one is also doing a 12 sun salutation yoga practice, another is doing a practice of free dance) to stay mindful of jasmine’s revolutionary work during this time, and to ensure that we feel these next 90 days.

i am sharing this here as an invitation. how will you #standwithjasmine?

update:

– lena gardner offered the tag #solidaritywithjasmine

– we’re up to 91 people now!

– Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism joined!

– Malcolm X Grassroots Movement joined!

– there’s a facebook group for those who want to join, just let me know if you want the invite! <3

love is becoming a safe word

love
is becoming a safe word
one i use
precisely
when the risk is greater
than my courage

and i mean
slow down with me
and i mean
take my hand
and i mean
i want time with you
to see you whole

from this miraculous portion
we call a life
i want to give you truth
i want you to see me
off stage
and outside of wonder

love is becoming a safe word

i can taste the near-loves
with discernment
and say
oh that is unparalleled desire
oh that is a broken bowl who senses the gold in me
oh that is a new sibling
and
oh that is the future

and moving through
fields like curtains
i find what love is:
reflections of my self
that make me uncompromising

i find what love is:
a house where the windows
are gone
and the doors are all open
and i feel contained
and content

i feel what love is:
growing from gut heart
intelligence
to the edges of my body
an ecstatic yes
to who i have been
am
and am becoming

saying absolutely no
smiling visceral yes
showing this, not that
a very specific please
and so much thank you
all this love in action
gives me more of my life

and with this
aliveness
i write more poems
i grieve with my whole memory
i rage from the root
i care with no bitter edges
i accept what is
i surround myself with
sweetness, and excellence
and i create
with each next breath

and it is all delicious
it is all exquisite
it is all opening
it is all
love

lemonade. masterpiece.

‘beyoncé is fully in her power and is inviting you to be in yours.’ celeste faison, sitting on couch of the house im staying in in oakland where we are watching lemonade.

with love. this is not a review and this is not for folks who ain’t see it yet.

this is my third time watching and i am looking for a flaw but all i see is

warsan shire poetry
kahlil joseph’s eye
blackness behind and ahead

beyoncé’s heart and brilliance and collaborative spirit
lemonade

mervyn marcano said ‘lemonade on HBO was a visual masterpiece. beyonce’s curation is on another level. some of our best living artists collaborating to make magic. streaming the music now, but that visual piece stands on it’s own.’

y’all. y’all.
it’s black love
the next chapter of Her visual album, with direct responses
to partition and jealous and drunk in love and blue and to herself
just then
across both the visuals and the lyrics

‘grief sedated by orgasm
orgasm heightened by grief
god was in the room

sometimes when her nipple was in his mouth
she’d whisper oh my god
that too was a form of worship’

black womanhood and our pain and our irresistability and our grief
from serena’s perfection
to the mothers of the slain

the adoration of the natural world
water everywhere
moon to flood
reflection to truth

nina and malcolm
zora neal and toni

the journey all over black america
the love of black girls and griots
the use of witchcraft, magic, dreams and spells to heal the heartbreak

jay-z’s eyes

transformation, transformative justice
the power of love, vulnerability, walking away until you can be seen in your wholeness –
truth and reconciliation
‘there is a curse that will be broken’

daniel jose older said ‘beyoncé wrote the great american novel and made it into a music video.’

celeste said, ‘thank you Bey- from this black women. this is surely a part of our story. the relationship, the dad, the slain boys. this conjuring, setting prayer, this is the prose of a spell and the breaking of curses. yes. y’all – this is a prayer. a testimony and a fierce warrior call.’

to reiterate this is not a review, its a godbless and thank you after three days of tears, knowing how important it is to give artists the glory and gratitude they earn while they live.

idrissa louise said, ‘Prince had a premonition and said “they gone be alright”‘. she is not speaking in hyperbole.

i know beyoncé had to consider delaying this because we just lost Prince and to go thru with this she had to know she was offering something that would be good, now.

beyoncé took us inside. herself and ourselves and all the women before us. through love and politics and spells and fashion and mirrors. and babies, here and lost.

orgasm and grief.
miscarriage and release. resurrection and life.

‘so we’re gonna heal’

letting a baby go

there is more blood than i can comprehend
my mind is full of the idea of the blood and
in the weeks after
i say more about this abundant blood lost into my body
than the baby
i look at the pictures
which seem to be from a planet of darkness
a claustrophobic place
i can see how you could get lost in there
i had a lover who was supposed to be light and casual
and then another
this is sometimes my way
and but this time
between one and the other
in the space of a month
i became with child
i was pregnant
and i don’t live a child friendly life
not in my body
the whiskey, the weed
the travels
the long nights creating in the half dark
i am a certain kind of woman
i love the woman i am
did the baby notice this
did the baby understand me so clearly
and turn it’s miraculous life
into a passing trauma
was i unworthy or unwilling
was he underwhelmed, unimpressed
was she unborn for any reason
a year of study has yielded no answers
only more tenderness and more
and this truncated
immeasurable love
this theoretical love
this vigor for a wholeness
no longer material
but magical
little lost one i want you to know
i have thought of you often
lived a parallel life with you
expanded into a great goddess full of you
labored for your entrance
nursed you from these magnificent breasts
rocked you past midnight
shown everyone your beauty
i have thought of how you were already whole
even if you were never viable
even if you got lost
as i often do
you were just like your mother
rooting everywhere
regardless
and yes
i have looked for you
in every other child
but you are nowhere to be found
outside my heart
so i know this
i know you would be 4 months old today
and i would always track time by your breath

i know everything i can know about you
and i will always love you
and i will always
always
love you

healing my knees one meaning at a time

turn the whole body to face the future
line up the ligaments, the gut, the heart
anything turned backwards will snap
and shimmer
and suffer

the meniscus is shaped like a gasp
like faith
it can get unmoored
like faith
it is more dangerous when broken
like faith
it is only healed through use

immobilize the doubt in the joints
until you learn to use it wisely

focus on this one thing,
and then the next one thing
that is enough

swallow only what your body needs

dream of dropping sweaty low
dream of running on the beach
each step could be a disaster, but
each step makes the next step more possible

find the caught place inside
press against it on purpose
healing is erotic

find what is heavy within
lift it slowly
grasp that the tension is aliveness

be the certain footsteps in the dirt
trust the earth to hold you
use the entire body to move
to hold on to the softness
to love the self

revel in your commitment to fluidity
meditate on dancing
honor your cellular resistance to cages
honor your inner pleasure seeker with the scorpio moon
be an invitation to now

stop turning your head to some other place
relinquish other peoples’ lives
watch where you are walking
be where you are standing
listen

don’t numb the pain,
it holds your instructions
your boundaries
your permission to sit down, lay down
the ease that awaits you

don’t dismiss the pleasure
no matter what is broken
you still thrill
still undulate when you hear music
venus is in your 7th house
goddess is your calling

finish the motion
then start the next motion
you have so far to go

wedding speech (renna and geoffrey)

image

welcome. thank you all for being here. renna and geoffrey thank you for letting us all bear witness to the love you share.

i am holding a box with the beloveds’ rings in them. after today, geoffrey and renna will wear these rings every day of their lives to symbolize their commitment to each other. and they have asked us to bless their rings, to each take a moment to hold them and silently imbue these rings with our love and best wishes for their future. i am going to pass these around so that every person here is woven into that future. (don’t open the box! and…do your most efficient blessing.)

so. we are here today to celebrate good news. renna and geoffrey you found each other – congratulations!

congratulations to your families, to those who created you, to your friends, to every life experience that has shaped you both to be so awesome for each other. well done.

really, what a miracle!

love is always a miracle.

not just dating or crushes or even relationships, all of that is miracle development work.

in this big world where we somehow sift through our portion of 7 billion people and find those beyond our families who we can love unconditionally, you have found each other.

and this is a heartbreaking world. so you have to be making choices along the way, staying open hearted in the onslaught, healing, reopening, being available to scar your heart on the sharp corners and jagged edges of other people’s growth.

and your own.

you have to be willing to be seen in your wholeness. and wholeness is a nakedness, we are taught to only show our faces, our hands. on a hot day some elbows and knees. but love is letting someone see us all of a piece, the imperfections and scars and stretch marks. the funny shaped this or that. the messy mornings and exhausted evenings, the times when we laugh so hard we snort, the grief that has us laid out unbathed and unbothered on the floor. our pettiness, our insecurity, our beauty, our ecstasy. our humanity.

i work as a doula and so far in every birth, there is a moment when the birthing parent says, ‘nope. can’t. mm-mm. i will go now.’

because miracles are inconceivable. even though they happen daily, and even when they are happening…its impossible until it is done.

and in love we do the same thing. we get to the edge and look down to the depths of ourselves and realize we can’t see the bottom. the feeling coming through is too big to speak with our small mouths, to feel with just our hearts.

then we jump, fall, fly, speak, commit: i love you. forever. you are a piece of my wholeness.

and whenever this feeling occurs, it is life itself, moving up against terror and danger and unworthiness.

true love is always political – it is always a way of being a warrior, asserting a future in spite of and in response to the past.

love is the best of sentient life’s gifts.

in this world where we cultivate hierarchy, otherness, enemies, borders and never ending consumption, love is a balm.

love counter offers equality, togetherness, comraderie, shared land and life, and the deep sleep that comes from having exactly enough.

we need to love each other.

and as we prepared together these past few months, renna and geoffrey and i noted the importance of this particular union.

these two lovers before us today, a syrian woman and a black man, bring with them mutual legacies of persecution. both come from peoples who are in utmost danger in the places they call home.

i was just traveling outside the us, on the same journey these two are about to take for their honeymoon – and i was asked a few times how, why black people don’t flee america, given the frequency of state violence against us. and i was in places where syrian refugees sit in family units on street corners asking for mercy.

stay, go, there is no right answer, no safe geography in this interconnected world.

the only way forward, the only safety, is love. to love ourselves and each other, not just in spite of the messages from the world that tell us not to, but as our act of resistance. as our evolution.

to reject the narratives that say we are separate. then to love each other, unconditionally:

you are lovable
i can forgive you
i can see you whole

we can love
we can love in ways that heal our legacies of persecution and trauma and heartache and loneliness and small thinking

we are whole
we can only remember that together

love taps us directly into that force of life that is greater than ourselves – god, creation, the tao, the way. it reminds us that even in the course of our mundane, frustrating, funny, ever improving lives, we are always miraculous, we are all, already, pieces of divine light moving through this world.

so thank you renna and geoffrey, for weaving your lineages together into a future, for increasing human resilience by choosing love.

thank you for the ease and maturity of your union. it is so healing to be around you! keep it up.

thank you for turning towards the work of opening up to each other, trusting each other and nurturing life together.

james baldwin said ‘love is a growing up’ – you two embody that. for myself, for us, as individuals, and for the species, but thank you both for growing towards the sun and the light.

now it is time for the vows.

(the lovers exchanged gorgeous vows to each other, each based in gratitude that the other person existed, incredible love, and promises to each other. they had the following vows for the community)

community, i am going to read your vows now, and if you can make this commitment, please respond with ‘we do’.

Community, as Geoffrey and Renna’s extended kin, do you promise to do your best to remain sane and loving.

To intervene with hope and possibility during the darker times.

To communicate honestly, past the ‘masks of composure’.

Intervening with truths, perspective, humor and time as needed.

(We do.)

Do you vow to rejoice together, and mourn together, and to delight in each other, helping to ensure each other’s optimal well-being and fullest potential?

(We do.)

three additional highlights:

1. the music! there was a zaffa band to lead the bridal party in and out, and dj emancipation spinning with curator ola khalidi supporting. emanne and i want to manifest being a brown feminist radical love team for sacred unions :-)

(i danced for the first time since my injury – music heals.)

2. meeting a couple who were older and had found each other as ‘spirit-loves’ three years ago. they had such ease, sweetness and gratitude to be in each other’s presence, showed so much care. it is never too late for love.

3. geoffrey’s uncle spoke on behalf of his brother, geoffrey’s father, who passed when geoffrey was young. i wept at the beauty of this responsibility, this love, and then goosebumps moved over my skin, over the crowd – that long gone father spirit swept through the room and we knew the union was good.

so grateful to be part of it – here’s a few pictures of this incredible day:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

in semi-poetic response to my mri

technology means i can get an instant notice on an app that my mri results are in.

and i can wade through the foreign language of Medicine enough to feel daunted. vindicated.

i knew something was bad wrong inside my left knee, the knee of my heart. i have aligned all my ways of knowing, these pictures are confirmation more than revelation.

there are a few words i understand – there is a tear at the root, and there is a difference in the meniscus i was born with. it’s always been different, perhaps always leading towards this moment of dysfunction.

it’s humbling to mostly not understand what i am reading, these big english words, all of which i want to use in scrabble, and otherwise want nothing to do with.

the data that something is torn and there’s a reason for my pain that can show up on a magnetized picture is also a relief. my pain is rarely so clear.

my knee is changing my outlook on life…

my heart has changed

chambers open inside chambers and i feel infinite

i need my whole self
i need my boundaries
i need my life’s work
i need my tenderness

the more i explore myself with eyes of love the more vastness i can comprehend

heart opening is a part of any other healing that my body needs

the knee bone is connected to the heart
no matter what the doctor says – she only thinks of me for fifteen minutes at a time

this sacred body is becoming my obsession

my damaged always-full moon
coming out of the dark

i have been a witch
now again now turning inwards
anyanwu, flesh on my tongue
learning to heal
with imagination and marrow and attention

i just needed a destination for this black magic
my lineage
we know to find the joy at the torn root
we know to dance with fingers pointing north
we know our bodies are our inheritance
we turn our prayers
into tomorrows