“Edge places fascinate us, because at heart we too are seeking the edges, the places of risk and unknowing. We long to embrace our own wildness. We feel alive when we live from our wild hearts, breaking out of the boxes of convention and expectation, and growing in trust of ourselves and the deep wisdom that emerges from our bodies and the world around us.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Self-Study Online Class ~ Earth as Soul Care Matrix: The Wild Heart of Ministry
Where are the edge places in your life? Where are the places of risk and unknowingness where you experience both fear and joyful anticipation simultaneously? How might you set your wild heart free?
Whatever your understanding of the devil, to me he exemplifies that being….sowing dissension as he goes and wallowing in the chaos of it all. And then saying it never happened.
It can only be done by “not-think”…and while I truly do not think Trump will be elected, I absolutely guarantee this: if he does get elected, and you voted for him, you will find yourself sitting in the aftermath of the tragedy that will go down, and your spiritual ancestors from Germany in the 30s will haunt you like Marley haunted Scrooge…and you will BEG that it is not too late to right the wrongs…because for them?? How do you make up for the literal slaughter of millions of Image-Bearers?
She paces Pharaoh’s estate,
marble steps, the bristling tops of trees.
She is restless in her routine.
Couples arrive. She scans their faces,
and the oil stains under the Pharaoh’s SUV.
Every day the headlines scream
plagues, locusts. Another naked child explodes
himself in the market, a frog croaks,
startles soldiers armed to the teeth.
Asiya sits at Pharaoh’s dinner table
with the neo-conservatives nightly.
Why do they hate us? A mystery.
Asiya twitches, passes the pâté.
That they slave to build us pyramids
is only free market forces at play.
The salmon is delicious. We
are entitled to the treasures
of the desert, and to dine in peace.
Asiya fidgets with her blue earring,
lapis lazuli. What is wrong with me,
she thinks. She slips away from husband,
guests, to the back porch by herself,
and scans the blue shining serpentine
river for a twitch, a movement,
for a basket in the reeds.
– From “Hagar Poems” by Mohja Kahf
If you are someone from my past and you read here, I want you to know something.
You are welcome to read here.
If you are someone from my past, and you are genuinely open to learning new things, updated understandings of the ways that technology has revealed realities regarding gender and DNA…if you are willing to meet me…Charissa Grace White…and truly receive me as you would any human being you had met and were getting to know, then you are welcome to be in contact with me.
But know that my choice to transition is not up for debate…it is made and done. To debate that with you would be as silly as debating with you whether or not it was the right thing to marry the person I chose. So I will not allow this…I will not put myself at the end of your firing range to become your scapegoat for the social ills you so deeply dread.
And finally…if you are someone who reads here while thinking of me as that freak who is a “man” but is deceived and deluded by the devil and is now under demonic influence for thinking “he is a woman”, then just GTFU…ur dum. Holding this position is like boasting about how stupid, intractable and ignorant you are of the incredible body of literature on the subject. You ought to be asking yourself why you are so deeply upset over this! Why does it bug you so much?
I am by far a better person than I ever was before…more of what people have always loved about me and less of what people have always despised about me.
Just go away if you are in that latter category…I don’t care how long I have known you. The length of time you have known me is directly proportional to the ought you are obligated to in connection with me! You ought to be more compelled to read the literature…you ought to be more compelled to know the open flower and stop worshipping the tightly closed bud.
There is a male who flat out broke off a relationship that was over 3 decades old, because I “had crossed a river he would not cross”. He has had zero contact with me since. This in spite of how his actions violate the very gospel he claims to love. This in spite of the countless hours we spent together, the countless actions of service and love and support, the walking thru darkness on his behalf…
…clearly the issue is on him.
But I bring him up to tell you that his is the party you want to go join if you are in that latter category.
I am me…free…and flying. You can fly too, if you would actually take responsibility for your choices and your failures to choose…your fate is in your choice, and may you find surrender to Love as you choose…
I take a picture
think about it)
(the shutter shudders)
(the lens blinks)
and a reduction
becomes a memory
Last year a wolverine broke loose, came slashing and gashing, ran up and down
canyons and cliffs and crittering quick up tree-trunks with such fierce red claws…
Snarling and yowling the haunting roar raged, moaned and cursed with such
hunger, such fury, that flurry of wood-thirsty teeth insatiable, free from hiatus and
running heart birthed straight from Their Great Altar There which purifies
all things with Holy Fire so freeing, so cleansing…wafting austere like pure Incense
arising, in billows and plumes and ash, ASH, everywhere and in perpetual
Wednesday, marking the Cross on all things there…within.
the fire had time to make up…
One Hundred and Fifty years to turn…and it was said to be
A Great Mosaic Burn.
At last to feed its need to cleanse a forest fat with care, beneath the watchful eye of
Moses there, beneath his rod extended, as if the sun stood still again, and trees grew
up and great in grit and girth like Children of the sun, see how fat they had
become…See them, their indifferent eyes unblinking, safe, satisfied and
self-centered and all together, such a stand of forest land, secure, untouched…
so sleepy, nodding off with rusty Time’s tock-ticking Heartbeat softly crooning
to ossified great forest stands so very grand that didn’t know they needed
Severe Mercies to come with fire and hot kisses from the Phoenix.
It had not chosen cleansing
It did not know it’s need
for resurrection, for refining
For fire comes to cleanse and make new everything it can consume and challenge all
it cannot touch to understand that TRANSFORMATION’s the destiny
of every-thing with the courage to crawl out from underneath the letter and run
from the rod and leave behind the tyranny of the typical to the flames…
and walk away from Moses, into freedom in liquid-gold fireworks,
free from the cares of the world that cling so fierce and so easily entangle us,
choke our lives in hoary growth and lullabies lulling us fast to sleep,
a Sleeping Beauty Bride on her bower of soft and easy privilege.
She like an eye unblinking
safe in her cloister so fair
deaf to Her loud Divine Dare.
And (just like that forest or Sleeping Bride), there amidst that red hot bloody conflagration set another eye, a forest eye, unblinking sightless eye and
woke up wide awake in terror tribulation, hushed in dread anticipation and fear and with helpless petitions arising, not like incense but like signals…smoke signals…
to Moses? To God? To the Universe Fire come down to feed? Protected by roads
cut with care and foresight, that Eye Unblinking sat there in fright…
and Holden its breath and leaning against a wolverine dread come at last to
consume the dead, to rip that forest wide open and slash the woods to crimson rags
dripping bloody with flame and red flurries…
wrapped in silver sheets reflective, shiny
(or were they merely space age burial shrouds?)
It never blinked, that Eye, and all was shrouded safe, cocooned within
and underneath the rod and the Letter, striding secure thru the Red Sea Fire
escaping the sharp teeth of wolverine the Eye remained preserved amidst
a work that renovates the face and gives a skin-deep makeover, but leaves
the sleepy years untouched and undisturbed on laurels long gone brown
with age and loss of life though all appearances would say that Holden is
alive and well and safe from that destructive hell of fire and fear…yet
none could name that something still so desperately needed a root canal of flame!
for all the Who’s in Holden sigh
for yesteryear, forgetting that it’s
the thief that steals tomorrow.
And this year, one year later in the same Unblinking Eye I rolled in on the waves
and wind (Charissa, meaning “Grace” but named “Char”-issa, “Ashy-one”) seeking
to drink of the life that flows through a village untouched by anything that fell
outside the Mosaic burn and no longer shrouded outside but just maybe mummy
rags still wrapped so tightly around a heart perhaps long grown so slack, so sleek
and oh so fat just like that forest was last year before God gave a wolverine to rage and feed, and cleanse, renew…I saw History on display and windfall fruit rife
on the ground and satisfaction ruled the day, and familiarity won the race
and wore her shiny tangy plumy purple tinsel crown…
Golden Apples, everywhere and casual and everyone was on the in,
societal, and fire roads cut secure and ohh soo straight.
So I said Hi and reached with blinking eyes that squint into the light,
oft times in fright of storms and lightning flashing forth…and found
my blinking words rebuffed by cool and hooded eyes that had seen it all,
eyes satisfied and cynical cus been there done that, ho-hum…done much worse
I ran aground on fire roads and that Moses curse of long ago still Holden Court
over long hearts that found consuming fire fearful, dreadful and to be avoided
at all costs by any means…and thus She stands this very day…Holden Village
on cusp of…petrification?…or on that hot edge of the Phoenix Way!
Holden, Eye Unblinking, ensconsed
in the forest, last year just as this one,
in a forest cleansed to living bone, and Holden?
I heard the Spirit resounding The Word that Fire must fall upon a village that mirrors the forest that kneels all around…She said that She has a fiery crown and Holden is that forest fat and ready for the Refiner’s Fire, the Cleansing Burn that
resurrects those vital dry bones waiting…but She must choose that fate and blink…
Yes, we must welcome Fire Fate from God and let the dead wood burn,
and blaze, and feed Mosaic Ways to the flame and trust the Good God of the Fire
to keep her safe underneath Their Name and resurrected, cleansed, renewed
and ever delivered from stain and shame!
Let the rod be cast into the fire hot and be consumed!
For Moses died on Southside, short of Zion is his tomb!
And find us Lovely on the Northside, once again the Spirit’s womb!
Letter cannot take us there, nor blaze of past great glory fair
We must eradicate those roads of preservation that we wear!
They trap and capture us and cut us off from Grace unhindered
so we, like the forest, turn dull and dry, reduced to deadwood’s kindred!
I see Holden cleansed by Fire, and crying Holy tears when Holy
Spirit has free reign again to fall in fires that restore
and interrupt Sleeping Beauty’s snore and dead trees gone,
that speck removed and blinking eyes await the Dawn!
And animals can come again now welcomed
and bathe released in Grace and Precious Holden,
His Eye now blinking free and shining fair in Jesus’ Face.
Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!
To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night
that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,
“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”
Shine into the darkness
of brooding quiet forces
that do not want you there.
Radiate into those shadow grey spaces
that don’t claim the name of place
and thus do not receive or comprehend you…
shine on loudly into that sinister lurk.
Your bones deeply grasp
their independence from person,
place or thing…they embody
the stringy collaboration
with you and you alone.
They do not need anything’s
skunky permission to be
or to do or to sing into the
communion of the stars
of courage and anthemic
soaring adoration of LIVE!
Some would shine like the sun…
but you, like the moon
are magnanimous and magical
in your mystery and simplicity
and your goodness and gift radiates
in glowy glimmers and clear silver
beams bouncing off soft evening meadows.
They wait for morning, in
that sinister lurk, that cold
and sinister lurk, while you
mount up…big, bony,
beaming gentle in the soft
that sable cotton brilliant
I wrote this last year related to the events current…and this morning I am struck in how all that has changed is the temperature…which has gone up and up and up…
…and half our nation has lined up behind the likes of someone who truly believes they can simply fire the rest of the world…
I think your heart is called by canyons,
you find them, or…do they find you?
But all across creation’s face
the creases, clefts give you their Grace.
You have left labors to themselves
and sweat and tears behind.
You put your nose into the wind
and cleared your clever mind
And headed west, west, west of West
to canyons once again…
but these are running, bloody, wet
with nature’s life blood pure
So sit…it’s called a river out here
but you know its bone-truths
It’s really still a canyon dear
So be renewed…be clear
At last we finally
have come down to it,
perched here on this edge
of sun-bleached splintery white planks
and darkly stained with shadows and blood.
I hear the wind winding
thru the distant trees wistful,
insistent and full of desire for
golden times long past and golden
songs sung oh so long ago.
It saws its way, the wind, it saws.
Forth and back, across again
that one long thin strand fixed just so
to that grey ancient, heavy beam
that I can barely see because
history’s speck embedded
in my eyes and clawing,
and clouding my ocular
true blue vision.
But as I stand here, on the edge
of gone for good at last, and I
behold the hushed and held tense breath
of the gawking crowd…I remember
Tuscany and us
when we were young and ageless
and we ran the fields like wild-fire
in joy and wreck-less free abandon…
we ran…and ran…and
free we ran…
I recall vineyard embrace, green
in the cool night sprawled beneath
the glitter-glare of celestial songs
taken form and sight in night
and flying, shooting, never landing
never ending, never…
except in our hearts,
our ageless hearts,
we Lords of Tuscany,
we Ladies of the Meadow
And time it stood still while we swirled
and then somehow twas we stood still
and everything turned round about us
here at the end
in the hangman’s
noose as the reaper
plays along upon
his shimmer-scythey harp
and the rope
and croons and
begs me to
But I remember
Gold and Fire
and glowing embers
and in me…
We Ladies of the Meadow
We Lords of Tuscany
“Humility invites us to let go of our hold on productivity as the measure of our worth and discover the deeper value of who we are.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD Creative Flourishing in the Heart of the Desert: A Self-Study Online Retreat with Hildegard of Bingen
Who might you become if you stopped defining yourself in terms of what you do, and how productive you are?
the cuckoo clock so pasty white, so dull
ticktocks its hands to point at the orange cull
and jumps out crazy, chiming, shrieking shrill
the wall is trembling in its echoes still
CUCKOO CUCKOO CUCKOO CUCKOO
and reason is a stranger, quite alone
*trumped* by gibbering stupid wallowing fear,
as the clock strikes 13 past 13, I hear
the slouching shambling hungry beast come near…
and something, something, something, something, something
is very very very very wrong
in this world
so off kilter
“Sometimes when we return to our practice after having left it for several days (or weeks, months, years)
we often have a deeper appreciation for what we have lost than if we had not strayed. Beginning again is essential.
We fall away, we lose our will to persevere for so many reasons.
The problem is not with the waning of our inner fire and perseverance, but with not returning again at all.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Self-Study Online Class ~ Pilgrimage of the Soul: An Online Art Retreat
The next time you fall away from your practice whatever it is,
can you remember to remain open and compassionate to yourself
and simply begin again, without criticism or judgement?
“When we remember the sacred dimension of the world, we are freed from a life lived primarily from a materialistic perspective, where consumption becomes the primary goal. We no longer need to dominate and acquire more and more.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Self-Study Online Class ~ Earth as Soul Care Matrix: The Wild Heart of Ministry
I lit myself on fire last night, so deep within the forest green, deep in the dark, and black with night, this full night of birth and dreams and true becoming in earth brand new.I found the center…
I find this quote significant for me on this day. Thanks to the best gifts in the world: the soul friends who have joined my journey…Gifts of Healing Presence from God to cleanse and heal the horrors of abandonment by unfaithful and fearful humans who even after 3 decades did not have the wherewithal to go the distance.
There are several significant people who walk with me, both in person and online…both groups are not large but wow are they substantive…and yes, KS, friend…all of our time talking in GR and EE…thank you for walking me into me. <3
July 13, 2016
“The tradition of soul friend reinforces the communal and corporate nature of Celtic spirituality and the dangers of traveling the spiritual path alone. A soul friend helps to offer us the courage needed to say yes to the big dreams being birthed in us. They help us to gain clarity over places of self-deception and denial.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
the bitter pill?
The pill that’s come
to dull our conscience,
cushion comfort, corners
nipped just so, sides longer
than tops and bottoms,
that exquisite little
with imperfection and
medicines (or are they drugs)
a realization of dread and
despair. I wonder if those
crooning songs seduce,
in an orgy of
or if they masquerade as friends to draw close,
sidling up so near to shove those pills dry
down our throats in rough and rooting
thrusting fingers ripping without a
drink to help them go down and
we, our own spoonful of sugar…
until we lie in thrall to
those fell jailers…no
no one but
In Response to Nadia’s Misdirected Email, I State Exactly What I Am Looking For Balance. The ability to stand on one foot, on a tightrope, and juggle AR-15s, ethics and dollar bills, w…
It takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak.
— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
and now it all melts
under falling skies
it’s the shining blood of stars
dropping and everything
spinning and melting
down under just
touch of that stricken star’s
living draining dying
and I wait
hope for morning
but know it in my bones
that everything’s sadly
melting, falling so fast
in slow motion away
swirling down to
“For the desert mothers and fathers, the monastic cell was a vitally important place.
It was both literal reality, a place where the monks retreated to experience a deep stillness.
Yet it is also the symbolic place within us where we welcome in the fullness of our experience.
Consider holding this image of an inner cell during this journey – the place within where you can
retreat and be present to the fullness of your experience.”
— Christine Valters Painter, PhD The Self-Study Online Retreat ~ Women on the Threshold: The Wild Heart of Longing
“…now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42)
Can you feel it
bouncing off steel beams
ricocheting off raw stone,
the sound of gunfire
off in the distance
grim and getting closer
in cold grey shuffling
it’s the sound
broken relationships bloody
gutted in the streets
and played out
before our eyes
horrified and haunted
we weep tears of disbelief
to the cold deaf earth
we sweep bodies like trash
into the yearning yawning earth
and yet we still will not
in this season
in this time
and Byrds sing
it’s not too late
but we have chosen
we have sung the zombie songs
and joined the charnel choirs
of the living dead because
we lacked the simple courage
to be the dead living…dead living!
we have chosen fear
we are drunk on distrust
we rave raw in revenge
we are sickened because
we ate only anger
and no one leads
no one guides
to whom shall we go?
who shall save us
We shed another’s blood
when we run out of answers.
They shed Their own pure blood
as Their one and only answer.
We kill, buried in despair.
They rise, giving us hope…
but will we open up our hearts
and see Them shining in our brother,
hear Them singing in our sister
irregardless of skin color
or religion, creed, or dolor?
Or will we just sink away
and slink away and dwell behind
those naked fig leaves and all truth
hidden from our eyes?
“Brigid sees the face of Christ in all persons and creatures, and overcomes the division between rich and poor.
Our practice of inner hospitality as monks in the world is essentially about healing all of the places we feel fragmented, scattered, and shamed. One of her symbols is her cloak which becomes a symbol of unity.
All can dwell under her mantle.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Self-Study Online Class ~ Sacred Seasons: A Yearlong Journey through the Celtic Wheel of the Year
“In monastic tradition, there is great value placed on both conversion and stability. I think of conversion as always being willing to be surprised by God. Conversion calls us to remember that we are always on a journey, that we are always growing, that we have never fully arrived. It calls us to great humility, and the more we grow in wisdom, the more we realize how little we actually know.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Self-Study Online Retreat ~ Practicing Resurrection through Creativity and Archetypes
“As human beings seeking to live meaningful lives, we hunger for some kind of structure, a set of practices that challenge us and help us to grow. Yet, if our rule is too rigorous, we can become suffocated by legalism.
“The paradox of the spiritual life is that it needs a healthy balance of structure and freedom to thrive. This is the paradox of the creative process as well.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
It is not pretty
It is not comforting
for I rub our noses in it,
is too much for me
and horror, hate is
all I see this day
go to the parades,
the barbeques, the picnics…
go to family and friends
and fireworks and fun…
with these words
stuck in your craw and
mashed down in your marrow,
and know that this is
the truth of where we are come,
where we have been led because
we will not lead and now we stand
on precipices and drunk upon our past
and deluded in our dreams of futures
that are just not real.
I am glad for our constitution
one of the major leaps
towards true liberty
in world history…
but omg just baby steps
and not a signal that we have
arrived and can stop walking…
we must see how insidious
we have been taught
to play the fiddle
to scenes of horror
that would warm
the cold dead bones
of Nero his ownself.
from the trappings
and tentacles that croon
to your swooning soul and seek
to pull you down into an addict’s
wet-dreamy tragic death
and make good your escape
while there is still a crack of time,
a sliver of hope milky moony white
and weakly glowing still
in this crashing night…
for it will break indeed
in tsunamis of terror
not brought here
from foreign lands
but homegrown in
these places we did not
attend to carefully
upon your bed,
whisper a prayer
and ask that you be
just delivered of a sliver
of that silver privilege,
slippery that squirms away
and wriggles fierce to live like that
insatiable chest burster of Alien…
PLEASE DELIVER US TO TRUE LIBERTY
and do not rest until
all can breathe until
all can breathe
We are waltzing in this Danse Macabre,
spinning thru the fogs of night
while day is faltering in light
and our feet cannot stop or halt
but bloodytapping tripping faults
See the fog dense, packed with fear
the terrifying new terrain is here
and each one drinking bloody cups
raised heedlessly and lifted up
against the screaming skies…
We are now there.
You must not
is our Promised
What is happening here at home?
In “America the Great”? We roam
the “Homeland” in this late
hour dolorous and dangerous
we have been washed away by hate.
What has happened to
“The American Soul”
What the fuck is that, anyway?
at the cliff’s precipitous edge
and the fall is long deadly
but we have no recourse.
We have no recourse
because the only cure
has at long last become a curse
disparaged in our danse macabre
and mocked by all our ringing words
writ long ago as cover for
the drinking cup, the bloody cup
we lifted up in “Freedom”‘s name
and filled with slaveblood’s cursed stain
and now here in this hour dark?
Reason bleeds to death before our eyes.
midst the fiddling of the powerful
and bodies littering the floors
of offices and restaurants
airports, clubs and nursery schools
and still we dance the Danse of Fools
How many families will be shattered
and offered up unholy terrors
on the altars of our dark god
foolishness? And how we lecture
constantly wrapped in our privilege
disguised as Amendment Number Two
(it’s number two alright)
and truth dies screaming in the night
morality and reason run
in terrified time and treason comes
to exterminate the drunken dancers
dead on feet dead to the horror
of the screaming suffering beings
that they dance upon and call it
streets of gold…welcome to hell.
Welcome to Hell.
swimming in clouds
wreathing grey sheer granite
face, wedding veil lace
shimmering in the distance
and the river
sinewy twisty arrow
shot from austere heights
slim and yet so fierce
yet framing that
that defines all
“Richard Rohr tells us that when we move through life in a driven way we are being propelled by the ego.
When we allow ourselves to be drawn forward, lured ahead by what shimmers, we are moved by the soul’s desires.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD The Self-Study Online Class ~ Earth as Soul Care Matrix: The Wild Heart of Ministry
I will never turn back. I will never not Love God…why do you keep making that a condition? When God has chosen (for what reason I know not, certainly not based on any merit I have, being the …
and I didn’t even
know I was sleeping
inside dead wood and
splinters waiting for
a spark or a coal
The hate and ignorance
of the petrified forest
is matched only by
Your manifest mercy
and glorious grace.
And now I am awake
and walking free
in living flesh
I’m a butterfly carved of bone
white, bleached, sun-baked bone
my wings are just my lungs
spongy-red and wet but free
inside my chest is open space
soaring chasms awaiting light
butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved of bone
I am diamonds in the night.
I don’t believe in boredom.
I think it is code for
and I simply
I laugh when
I see people
the only time
I look bored is
when I am laying
in my casket, waiting.
Who has not asked himself at some time or other:
am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?
— Clarice Lispector
sitting around a table small
and caught by the heartstrings,
just a player on that stage, all
the rest again make up this gathering
of those who see the task as fencing
in, fending off, wriggling away
from what this Troubler of Israel is bringing
and defining her place, her place to stay.
I have not once been here…at this table
to be made glad over, to be thanked
or complimented or told I’m able
to do, to be, amazing…it’s to be spanked
that I am called there
to be yanked that I am hauled there
to be flanked by falderal there
sitting around that table
scrawled across the
face of old envelopes
poised to pounce
into a pot of poetry
or an essay or
you think, wonder
where the meaning is
in the pot or in
the one who
…I remember, sweet fields of red clover, green stalks soft and new, tops dipped in crimson, just before being baked by the shimmery sun but after they’d stripped off their equinox frock…
Source: Deaf Earth’s Denial
In the 57 years I have spent on this planet, I have taken communion tens of thousands of times.
The most recent of those times was at Pride in Portland Oregon on June 19th, 2016…served to me by Pat Christiansen while a gypsy troupe danced to insistent almost militant drumming behind us…
I closed my eyes as I took the elements, just as I always do, and looked to Them to see Them, to taste and SEE that the Lord is good…and I saw the Sacred Flaming Heart Icon…pulsing…beating…THROBBING…in time to the militant drums, and I was certain that this is the heart of the Risen Lord who wears the Two Edged Sword and Eyes like Fire…
The Heart was pulsing…pulsing…PULSING…
There was a frame around the Heart, and it was getting bigger…and it was pushing against the frame.
The frame began to splinter…and then at last, the Heart gave a MIGHTY PULSE and burst the frame, shattered it and splintered it, and then grew bigger and bigger until it utterly enveloped me and I knew it was off to the far reaches of everywhere.
The nightclub’s name is Pulse. The city is Orlando…which means “Famous Land, Land of Renown” and lesser meanings of Times of Importance.
I find the entire experience prophetic and insistent…and I wonder…
…are you going to stay inside the frame? The Heart has left, departed…gone outside the city gates.
Are you going to sit and imagine Jesus coming to earth to kick ass on all the people you do not like…yunno, sort of like the Pharisees did and when Messiah showed up and punched them square in the conscience they got so mad they killed Him?
Or are you going to understand that God is stirred in Mercy and Compassion to the point that those things become the consuming fire of Light and Love and each thing they touch responds according to its matrix of being…if it is true it becomes pure and if it is not it simply is consumed.
Stand with The Sacred Pulsing Heart. The time is now.
If you wanna be in the “next move of God”, it isn’t with the so-called prophets and evangelists who seek after gold dust and commit adultery on a mass scale while the crowd has what amounts to a spiritual cluster-fuck.
No…it is in the highways and byways, where Mama compels to come in, and the Heart races to rush out.
“We will never be the same again.
But here’s a little secret for you—no one is ever the same thing again after anything.
You are never the same twice, and much of your unhappiness comes from trying to pretend that you are.
Accept that you are different each day, and do so joyfully, recognizing it for the gift it is.
Work within the desires and goals of the person you are currently, until you aren’t that person anymore,
and everything changes once again.”
Originally posted on Catholic Trans*:
The silence has been deafening. My dear fellow Catholics, your silence screams; our ears are ringing. Tragedy has struck. Yes, much needs to be grieved; and yes, I know everyone grieves in their own way.…
Take the things you learn from this and apply them to other areas…and you will be able to see that you have met the enemy…
you’ve been running canyons
looking for yourself
that beautiful wild girl
who sat there in the dust
and wrestled with that trike
while others just looked on
(they had forgotten joy)
and cursed you with perspective
above and to the right
that made you second guess
and work hard in the night
to be the perfect one
and get them off your back
for good, for evil too
but it just distanced you
and gave you space to run
in canyons made of bones
along your Sangre River
still looking for yourself
alive and free and wild
well, Baby, you have found her
she thrives though she is short
and the sun’s rays are slant
they still can peek down deep
to feed you evergreen
I have always seen you
I see you still, here, strong
and still, delicate, fragile
and still indestructible
growing wild and free
That’s how I have been…lately. See, someone asked me “How have you been doing, lately?”
It was a common question asked in a common way. When I answered that Orlando had really shattered me, she shrugged and said that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and that we just had to deal with it.
Indifference mixed with derision that I was “emotional” and “unprofessional”.
And I flinched under a fresh hail of words which might end up being something else…let me explain.
Here is why I have had these nightmares of being chased, being hunted and slaughtered, being tortured and tormented and left to suffer and die:
Because this man took action in the real world as an avatar of what our culture throws every single day…words.
As you read here…people from all walks of life…you statistically are cis-normative and as such you swim thru the waters of our culture with the current, finding it easy to slip and slide thru waves of words which wash over you and pass downstream without even a scratch.
But that is not the case for me…for millions in the LGTBQIA community…for tens of millions of others who are not privileged…and ultimately, it is not the case for you.
Every day words are slung around by trigger tongues shot from missile silo hearts loaded with radioactive fissionable words and those words destroy over and over and over. But bodies do not drop to the ground right away and we think that there is no effect.
I have read hundreds of so-called christian messages that say God hates LGTBQIA people, that God is punishing us for what we have “sown” (but it is implied that God doesn’t punish a cis-normie cus they are not … what?). I have read people who are celebrating and saying they wish he would have killed more people.
In a strange way, I think this man was more honest about things than the vast majority of haters, because he actually did it: he actually took instruments of death, and looked human beings in the eye, and shot them down in hatred, in horror, in fear.
But you? You who use your words everyday on others and shoot them dead in the heart? You who sit three thousand miles away and use words to hurt and silence and kill? You who cast stoney words? You who use chemical weapons of mass destruction in the name of “hating sin” and call that “loving the sinner”?
You are him. And anytime, anywhere, any of us indulge our evil and hating hearts with our words?
We are making our Our Own Private Orlando. Our own little abattoir of blood and bone and terror.
I read a FB friend who was so eager to decry the so-called terrorists of radical Islam that she momentarily forgot to carry the slaughtered in her heart…a gentle and indirect prompt stirred her, thank God and to her credit she took down the post and remembered the true enemy…but I tell you this:
Every single slur, every single sarcastic remark, every single angry slam, every single troll comment is a bullet.
And I have nightmares because all this man did was precipitate into the physical world the death and destruction and rape and violence and horror and rage that surrounds me, assaults me, overwhelms me every single day.
Yes…I remember the days before I came to myself…and I was like any other typical white privileged christian who thought they did not hate anyone and yet made casual callous jokes and had no awareness of anyone different than me as a hurting human being…and I will always bleed over those years of blindness, for they indeed qualify me as chief of sinners.
But no more…and now I can see how each and every time christians say that God is punishing the LGTBQIA community with actions like this, and that God is angry and pissed off because They feel mocked and thus slap us down, and that we are reaping what we have sown when in fact we had nuffin to do with how we are made…each time this is the attitude? They have made the sacrifice of Love that Jesus made for us on the cross null and void…
…and they nail us up there…and they nail their shadow and sin there…and they are the ones who vent their wrath and fear and loathing…on us there…and they have made Jesus sacrifice to be in vain.
What I am trying to say is this:
Each and every time you speak in insensitivity, unawareness, privilege, hatred, anger, prejudice, and judgement?
You are the Butcher of your Own Private Orlando and the hearers of your words your victim.
I am gonna go out to the world today and walk in that hail of bullets, that storm of bullets flying everyday.
And when I show how they wound me? I am gonna be the one jeered at, the one others recoil from with the forked fingers thrust at me with the christian evil eye ward…
When you stop killing with your words, creatures like that killer will not have nearly the power waiting to channel as an avatar of a culture of hate.
I am having nightmares.
I am a pincushion of death-words thrust into me…
Let us wake one another up, for the hour is getting late.
I dashed this off…
well, actually it just
shouldered its way
from my soul
and forced me open
and muscled forth.
it is not polished,
or even much good,
but it is insistent
that it wants to be…
just as it is…
on fire and fierce.
let its blood
trickle across your tongue,
down your throat to infuse
you with starfire unquenchable,
with the seeds of birth that come
when nebulas collapse
so that new stars
can be born.
Will you let
in you today!!??
Will you rise
though ye tremble,
grieve and wail
on the mountains…
and drink this philter
as you pour your tears
like rain upon these bloody
sands so desperately needing
the touch of falling stars to ignite
the birth of light again in this dark night!
Carry this fire inside
you, Prometheus returning
to those gods weak and beaten
and frightened in a pulsing night
cowering before their creatures
unfettered and held hostage
to hate and darkness…
bind it to your forehead
bright diadem of Hope
and going past the fallen
crumbled thrones of old gods
doddering and wetting the bed
of their comfort and ease…
to the Halls
of the Risen Lamb
slain and shining ever
in Love, our Sun/Son/Lion!!!
though you be bitter
and seem so final,
you are nuffin to me!
I have fought
thru 5 decades
to get to this
time and place.
Martin and Martin
Susan and Harriet and Joanna…
Joan and Hildegard,
Thomas and Peter
I see them,
a sea of those
pour it out,
TAKE IT UP,
your tears now
jewels of fire
and eat them,
feeding the fires
of new stars
in your souls…
I await you
in the streets of life,
and I shall never
I shall never
stop or waver…
We have come this far by faith,
and we shall not turn back now.
See the enemy posture…
covering that cowering fear
as we loom, our faces bright
and fair with Love
and Mercy and Justice
our diadems and Mama
and Jesus Avatar of Love Eternal
I await you.
This is your time.
Come out this weekend, ye privileged!
Cast your crowns in the gutters
so they can find purchase and grow
and their roots tear down
the walls of Massa’s farm.
I await your sacred steps.
I saw the stars fall in the night
it was dark and closing in
as I lay paralysed and still
and shivering in deathly fright.
In waves and showers down they plunged
as sable curtains tore and trembled
in the hand of some great evil
threatening to eat the sky
But somehow, each one shot to me
and landed in my shaking soul
and burned within me fierce and fell
and banished fear and made me whole
Until I burned with stellar fire
and shone in gold galaxy gleams
my heart a starfield bold, untamed
for Mercy’s greater than hate’s schemes!
And so, though Nebulas collapse
let them fall fast to this earth
into your open mouth and heart
Not for destruction, but for birth
Of new stars brilliant, unshakeable
that shine with Justice and with Joy
Children born of grief and ash
Who rise above hate’s cruel slash
This is our birth, our ne’er turn back!
A thousand stars, a million dreams,
A myriad songs and voices shout
We burn bright…our light…
will never…never…burn out
This Brock Turner rape case…rape culture…and yet there is still such a strong advocacy afoot in our culture for the de-sacred-ization of sex.
I have written in other places of my own views and axioms regarding sexuality and expression. These views involve the assumptions that sexual expression and interaction is the…THE…most powerful relational interaction in the created realm because it contains the potential to summon forth a fragment of God and a being full and free and possessed of free will.
I have mentioned my assertion that sexuality needs a suitable container in the same way that nitric acid needs one…how each one has the power to do mighty and epic things and each one has the potential to do grave damage…
I have opined that the container best suited for sexual activity is a long-term monogamous relationship that is deeply undergirded by sacrificial love.
And, alas…in spite of my best attempts to convey that this position is not motivated by ANY feeling or belief that sex and sexuality is in any way “bad” or wicked or evil or dirty or to be limited to procreation only, I stand accused of wanting to “police” other people’s sexual choices and/or actions…
Does the one who wants to rescue a jumper from a skyscraper want to police them in their despair-induced mental state?
I dunno how to answer that accusation except to say that in my own life, I have had few sexual “encounters” (read partners)…and those encounters have each and every one been one thing in the moment…and resulted in brokenness, hurt, and sorrow in the long run…until I met my love and began to build together that bulwark of trust and mutual support that became our temple of love…
Hook-up culture is antithetical to this. It places the value on the pleasure of the moment and it gives a version of reality that “ought to be”, attributing all things that slide sideways from that desired “ought” to the residue left over by the bad teachers and bad teaching that sex is evil, bad, and to be avoided…and that it is THIS teaching that causes the broken and shattered deadness inside when sexual contact outside the sufficient container results in the same thing that contact with nitric acid does when it is not safely interacted with.
And yes…when I posted those opinions on Grace Notes, I heard from so many people that I had no right to police their choices, their activities…etc. etc…but I found it so telling that they shifted the ground and asserted that I wanted to police them, when I mentioned not ONE argument for policing activity, but instead advocated for consideration of the sacred dimension of sexual interaction for we…divine image bearers and creatures…who have the exact power to create a being with free will…
But I digress a tad…because I wonder this:
I wonder if sexuality had been celebrated as a high and sacred thing to be used and experienced with great care, would Brock Turner have done this thing? Would the events of the evening have gone down the way they did, with the copious alcohol and the diminishing of judgment?
So many have made insensitive and unaware statements and ended up blame-shifting onto the victim and I am deathly skert of doing that here…I certainly do not in any way shape or form say that “if she had this” or “if she had that”!!
IF BROCK TURNER HAD NOT RAPED HER, SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN RAPED!!! Full stop.
But also…if that sacred presupposition was a bit more vital, a bit more viable…
“BAH!!! You’re soo old-fashioned, Charissa!!”
we had wine
rose wine, pink
blushing with laughing
joy in the midst of
a light crushing
we were in Provence,
and it was warm and sultry
but not thick or sweaty in that
yellow light seeping out of
the ruddy dirt
it’s a long time to
where we were, from
here in Salamanca midst
minarets and tall turrets
of sandy stone
but I can
still pour rose
in glasses, Provence
in glad glissandos
It is the “Beyond”…that place we all know deep down in our core exists…is there.
To argue it does not exist assumes its existence in order to even have ground to stand on ontologically.
It is what I am striving to touch, pierce, and funnel back here in my poetry…and I call it “Poetry” with a capital P…and it is a place and a state and a thing and a flow all at once.
“In cultivating photography as a contemplative practice, the camera becomes a tool to develop our ability to see more deeply, clearly, and truly, beneath the surface realities of the world around us and into the sacred presence shimmering in the world.”
— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice