lounging with lovers

I lounge in bed with my lovers. Surrounded by pens, journals, pages typed and notes torn from drawing pads. My phone plugged into a portable speaker- changing music as it suits my mood. I write and edit and swim with my thoughts. Wearing creamy soft striped pajamas- very masculine, but tailored for the feminine- with red silk bra and cheery pattern panties underneath because it is always nice to feel sexy & smart, but even more so when it’s to make an effort for no one other than yourself: to remember you are always worth your power.

I never wear underthings that aren’t beautiful. It is a rebellion, perhaps, against my mom’s line that you should keep “period panties,” meaning having some old, not so nice panties available for the days you bleed. The purpose being that you don’t mess your good things during that shameful period time. I take the opposite tact: you should never wear less than beautiful underthings.

However, during your cycle, you should wear your nicest items. It is a time of rebirth and power. Your body is smashed with hormones and you can either let them bring you down through the patriarchal ideas that a woman’s body is turned against her and weak or you can embrace them … embrace the pain for the life and creative force it’s pushing out. Embrace the blood for its power. Embrace your swollen breasts and belly for all the feminine energy they represent. Never wear less than the best underthings for you- relish in the secret knowledge of the items you bear closest to your most vulnerable, but powerful parts. Envelope your breasts and yoni in the softest, prettiest, and best items you own. If your style be modest athletic or laciest of girly frills, embrace that and know the beauty you deserve. If someone else gets to see your secrets, the luckier for them, but do it for yourself. You deserve to be adorned as the goddess you are.

the time you don’t have

What can you do in the time that you say you don’t have?
What can you write?
What can you draw?
Where can you walk?
Who can you reach out to?
With all the time we spend scrolling our thumbs …
What could we be learning?
What could we be making?

What, simply, could we be asking of ourselves that instead we do not
even know we are seeking through all the places we won’t
remember each time we draw our finger across the screen?

Next time, next time you think, “I should go for a walk …” or “I should write something” or “I should ask invite so and so tho dinner,” don’t say, “But …” Don’t make an excuse, instead, open the door and move … pick up a pen and write … reach out to your friend and plan. Maybe it’s only 10 minutes or a wisp of the need to see someone, but it’s the onlies and just a bits that add up to the all.

This is your life, don’t stash yourself waiting for something better to show up because you are what you got.

to be loved

to be loved and to love,
simply as you are.

honored
for the inherent validity
of your humanity.

to be desired,
admired,
supported and safe.

to dare a bigger life.

to share a love
modeled on God’s
love for us,
is all that should be asked,
it is really quite simple.

breathe.

the
walls
are your
protection,
your isolation.
vulnerability, let go.
stop running and open your heart. now breathe out the pain.
/stay in the present, explore edges unknown, the places you find in-between your heart and mind/
your heart and mind will convene to create your intention.
a life well lived is in balance,
constant adjustment.
just let go
give in.
breathe.
live.

cup of tea

it all just stopped …
they put their guns down
made tea
set out some food
opened the gates.
we showed we do not hate …
instead just who we are-
working class brothers and sisters
far from home
alone
scared and scarred
just wanting to hold those
we love again

how many could be saved with a simple cup of tea?

generations at war

In high school, to protest the first Gulf War, I sat vigil on a median while it snowed. In civilian clothes, for fear of retribution, soldiers from Ft. Carson joined our silent vigil. Thirty years later, American forces never truly left and oil continues to be traded for blood. Thirty years later, the guise of goodwill and nation building lifted, the profiteers and pilfering politicians have learned nothing but to send another generation into battle- saving their own children to inherit their place in political office.

America’s leaders, what is right about any of this? Being there does nothing to make us a better country.

At 19, because I protested so loudly before I could even vote, I joined the military to serve our country. From an first generation American grandfather who was dropped behind enemy lines in WW2, I believed in an America that protected the weak and welcomed the stranger. I had yet to learn the history behind the glorified ticker-tape of the victor. I joined the Navy to serve a nation based on freedoms for all. I served, to be able to always defend those who embraced our rights through protest at any cost.

I realize now, how delusional that was because the wars we fight now and forever in our history have had nothing to do with defending our rights. The wars were and are about the money and those who hold the power of industry and militarization. Even the idea that we must embrace our freedoms at any costs is ludicrous. Those freedoms- those inalienable rights- should not have to be fought for in repeated fashion. Furthermore, those inalienable rights most certainly have nothing to do with those who live on the land of the Middle East or what is under the crust of its land.

I once thought I would want my daughter to share my journey, to serve the country I believed in enough to go to battle for, but that is no longer my desire. I will never encourage my daughter to join the ranks of our military. Instead my daughter will know of my journey of protest. Though it seems a fruitless battle in opposing further invasion and murder for oil. We will join arms and let our faces be seen and voices be heard. It may be of little use, but it puts us on the right side of history.

The unfortunate continued battles for our freedoms are not won on battlefields. They are fought in the war-room living rooms of America, planned out by the most common, but bravest of citizens. Freedoms are won in our streets, at counters, in front of clinics, in schools each day. Freedoms are won by artists and writers who move people to action. Freedoms are won in jail cells and court rooms. Bullets and wars are made to create diversion and division- to sustain the status quo. Freedoms are held by the fearless. Those who hold their ground in the face of others who would rather draw blood for perceived differences and the mighty dollar than to sit and talk about our commonalities.

My daughter may go to war, but it will be for those who do not have a voice. The immigrant, the child, a woman’s reproductive rights, our environment and natural resources. Our fights are many and growing each day, but they are not in the desert lands of the Middle East. Our fights are in the streets, homes, and classrooms of America. Our fight is to recognize we are no better than the next person. Our fight is to regain the humanity that is quickly being lost.

slowly

Slowly moves the ground
beneath the fallen acorn.
Times tells stories not in days, but years.
Roots appear
spread and hold to rise.
We see the tall tree-
branches splayed
to shade
and protect.

It is a masterpiece
not to be known
in a day,
its power in the time
we did not witness.

Power in the patience
of its roots reaching deep
to build the base
from which it spreads
great strength.

01/02/2020

untamed places

I’m not a guy so I can’t say with any certainty, but my spitball theory for why many men are skittish about period sex is because of the unknown energy and possibilities that are held within the blood a woman sheds each month. Primal and often taboo, menstrual blood and associated pain / PMS is a variation on normal and not something a man can solve or fix. He can’t help a woman get through it faster or make the blood less. A woman’s cycle is not to be fixed, it is to be honored.

It’s a space to give space and listen. A time to honor a woman’s body for the shedding of a potential life it did not get to grow. It is a time for creativity and reflection on the power we hold. Regardless, if a woman has zero desire or an absolute passion to bear children, a woman’s cycle is a monthly reminder of her design to bear life. That design is the power of a mystery she can channel into so many variations. That mystery of creation is a topic that has been so deeply hidden that many women don’t understand it, fear it, and feel shame around their menstrual blood. For the women who have come to a place, to be in connection with their feminine power, her menstrual blood is nothing to fear, but a mystery to celebrate. That awareness is a rare and beautiful power.

For a man to be ok with, even embrace, sex with a woman moving through her period- to not mind being marked for a time, cleaning together, or falling asleep amongst sheets that hold the smell that is theirs- says he is able to share a deep vulnerability with a woman. For a man to accept the untamed beauty of a woman during the days she bleeds, to share her body and hold her in such a complete form of primal acceptance is to say he honors and accepts her fully as a woman.

holiday blues

My 7th Christmas was greeted by the death of the man I knew as my Dad. He had gone into to see the doctor for a flight physical, had a major heart attack and never came home. There was no goodbye, just an open casket and a mortician who forgot to sew Dad’s eyes into sleeping position. I saw his bright blue eyes and decided he wasn’t really gone. So long as I didn’t say goodbye, he would come home. As long as you don’t say goodbye, everything will be okay.

After that, each year, the holidays washed over me with a renewed sense of loss and sadness. I have lots of snapshot memories of moments during the holiday season, but no set memory until I was 19. I walked into my shop, joking around with my shipmates, carrying a letter from the woman I had begun to call my stepmom- my blood father, Ken’s, wife. As we laughed, I opened her letter and pulled out an obituary. My grandfather had died two weeks before and now I learned Ken was also dead. I was just getting to know him without my mother’s jealousy overshadowing our relationship. In fact, I had cancelled a visit, while I was home on leave to see my dying grandfather, because she was being overbearing. Ken had told me he understood- family is complicated- and we talked of plans to spend a week together during the next summer. He failed to mention his terminal diagnosis of throat cancer- thanks in no small part to a 2-pack a day habit.

I leaned against the lockers, everything was spinning as I slid to the floor in tears. The annual holiday blues had already hit that year and now another was gone without a goodbye. I was so far from anything that felt like me.

My boss said, “What the hell happened?,” and I handed him the envelope. He read it, handed it back, “Go clean yourself up. You can’t get home, so you best get to work.” I did as he said and the next hours were spent methodically ratcheting bolts off a tailpipe- there were 96 and I was small enough to do the job with the engine still in the plane. It was a job I hated, but a godsend because tears could silently stream down my face and no one would know.

Many years passed before the next holiday death. My marriage of  9 years ended on December 19, 2013 and three years later my grandmother would die on the morning of December 19, 2016. We weren’t close and were often at odds. I accepted I did not have a “grandmotherly” grandma. Stories from my mother and her siblings, made me grateful I never had to live under her roof. That being said, I sat with her that Saturday and spent a couple hours doing what I could to make her more comfortable. I rubbed her once strong legs that resembled the bark of a dying tree, and combed her hair because I knew she liked to be pampered. I dampened a cloth with her favorite root beer and placed it to her dry, cracked lips. I told her I knew we were never close, but she is why I was here. She birthed my mom and for that I would always appreciate her life. Both the passing of my marriage and my grandmother were truly more of a relief than deep sadness. Those losses were filled with a grief for the hope of the worlds they represented more than the the actual relationships.

For so many years, I used a big emotional shovel to push through each day of December and it didn’t get much easier. Over the last decade, my daughter’s uninhibited joy has helped, but the days can still drag. All that said, we are in another December and this year is finally a bit better. I am in a place that is the end of an incredibly purifying couple of years. The whole mythology of being burnt down so a phoenix can rise- yeah, that shit is painful. I can’t describe it in only a few words, but suffice it to say it might be an emotional grease burn that has been lanced, come close to healing, then reinfected, finally scarred over, and the scar is finally nearing a healed state. Yeah. That pretty much sums it up.

At the beginning of the month, my daughter caught me crying. She put her hand on my shoulder and asked, “Mama, why are the holidays so bad for grown-ups? Everything is so beautiful, but grown-ups are sad and mad.” I told her that lots of things happen in life and, at least or me, some really big, emotional things have all happened during the holidays so when the lights go up my heart gets heavy. She sighed, “But that all happened then. Now we have each other and the holidays are magic.” With that, I promised her I would find the magic again.

This month has been spectacular. The first Christmas I can recall being truly happy. We put up a big tree, I hosted a Solstice dinner, will go to Christmas Eve midnight mass with friends and spend Christmas with family I love. I’ve said a lot of prayers and a few final goodbyes. I opened my heart to greater forgiveness and the true possibility of new love. I have no idea what is in store for the next year, for we are only promised today. There may be more loss or there may be only good things, but I do know I’ve done the work and I have the support and tools to hold the course, whatever that course might be.

longest night

And with that revolution done, our days begin to extend.

Light lengthening until enough warmth lures the first growth of spring

to push from the hibernation of their woody places.

Rest continues …

the change won’t be sudden

until is, then, in what seems a day

BOOM 

Trees and bushes will be alive with color and the world will sound a little bit brighter.