Can I Just Say AMEN!!!!?????

“Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

Rosemarie Urquico

Reposting an amazing Post on Being a Parent of…

a non gender conforming child.  Oh, how things have changed.  Where might I be if…

ah well…read on:

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A Thousand Heartbreaks

A Thousand Heartbreaks

While sitting around drinking coffee Sunday morning I came across this post on Raising My Rainbow and it broke my heart. On so many levels. This blog is about a gender nonconforming first grade boy named C.J. and his family. He dresses like a girl and plays with traditional girl toys. He’s amazing. You should read all about him. And, of course, he has a special place in my heart because my daughter Eliza lives between genders. She’s a badass if I haven’t mentioned it lately and so is C.J.

But recently C.J. wet his pants at school because he was being bullied in the boy’s bathroom. Little boys were peeking through the stall cracks trying to see if he had a penis or a vagina. Intimidated, C.J. stopped going to the bathroom at school and peed in his pants. After drying their collective tears, C.J.’s mom found herself at his school, in front of his teachers and principal, fighting for him. I have been there. And I know I will be there again.

We are mothers of children who don’t fit into the binary boy/girl paradigm our culture subscribes to. We are mothers of children who wear ill-fitting boxer briefs because they don’t make them to fit a girl’s frame. We are mothers of children who wear colorful bracelets and pink skirts but have to use the boy’s bathroom. We are the mothers who drag ourselves to the principal’s office, to the swimming pool, to the soccer team to explain once again that our child is different and fabulous. We are the ones who stand firm footed, square-eyed with people who don’t understand and tell them she’s amazing, she can really kick the ball, that she will be on the team, that she won’t wear a swim shirt unless she wants to, that it is okay to call her by the name she chooses even if it’s Frederick. We watch from the front row when she rocks a double-breasted suit at her guitar performance and we tell her every single day how lucky we are to be her parents. We are grateful for her. For him.

And, yet, we are tired. We live one step away from an off-handed remark, from a misplaced comment, from the seething rage we feel every time someone says something unkind to our perfect, loving, generous, brave children. We keep our children in a bubble as best we can, we pay for private schools, we live in small spaces, we try every day to live from a place of love and not fear. We hold them close at night and tell them there are other people like them even though we don’t know any of them. We tell them every day that they are so incredibly loved and we hope like hell the love and acceptance we’ve shown them will pay off, will protect them.

We harbor the kind of worry that is so profound it catches in our throats when we try to explain it. Because we can’t explain it.  We know our gender creative children are exactly who they are meant to be and in the dark moments that is more comforting that you can imagine.

While our children are breaking trail in front of us, we walk close behind with bright lights to search the path ahead. We are vigilant, we are strong, we have one eye on their safety and one eye on their self-esteem at all times. We allow stories like C.J.’s to break our hearts a thousand times so that we keep fighting. We take a deep breath and let it out because we know that if a child cannot safely go to the bathroom at school while dressed in clothes that make him feel comfortable, we have a long way to go.

Can’t get enough of Savagemama? Read more of her stories here!

On Yielding

There is a style of life that is aggressive, taking and conquering and always advancing and planting the flag of one’s own orienting Structure…the beam of one’s being, the beacon of your way of meaning, whatever it might be.  Many find what looks like success with this style.  Many who are humanist, atheist, positivist, even Christian.

But I find this to be a style that when it is all said and done is still oriented with humanity at the center, at the pivot point, at the crux.

Is that a sufficient foundation?  Can it hold, neath the stress and strain and weight of all existence?

There is a style that is passive, one that embodies the heartfelt axiom that all is fated beforehand, and beyond influence or control, and thus one must surrender and simply allow the waves to wash and crash and carry wherever they have whim or are driven by other forces impersonal and random.  And I find this style to still be at its core one with humanity at its center, for if it is true, why even say it?  It is spoken with the notion that its articulation will help others…but help them…why?  To what?  If all is ordained already, it is moot whether you help or not help, and thus vanity.

Humanity itself is a declaration of meaning!

So there is a 3rd way, the way of Yielding.  This is one that has at its core a white hot passion and confidence, no…a KNOWING that there is meaning, there is pulsing and throbbing like a quasar a Heart that is the Signifier from which all things are signified!  In this way is the understanding that this Heart is able, is willing, and is active to constantly work to show forth Beauty, Truth, and Mercy.  To do other than to make an active choice to yield is to inhibit the actions of this Signifier.

It…the source of all water.

We…the faucet, and we may or may not be tapped in depending on our choice of faith (yes, you all, everyone, have made faith choices).

Our will the spigot, cranked by the choice to yield or not, either open or closed.

Not my will, but yours be done is a statement of a way of life.  One simultaneously so easy and so difficult in that simplicity.  And yet, in that yielding is an austere mountain to conquer, and that mountain is the notion that we somehow can do something in and of ourselves and our own innate strength that has more significance and permanence than merely adding to history’s catalogue of vanities.

In stating my life mission, I invite you to participate in the simplicity of its towering Glory and yawning Depths of Grace.

Yielded vessel, Yielding Blessing.

Not that I have obtained it, but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind, I press on towards that upward calling of The Hope of Glory in the Father of Lights.

Won’t you join me?

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The Harp of Hope

For upon my heart will I play my song,
plucked and strummed and tapped
with fingers of faith-full thoughts and Hope,
Assured that I belong.

For Hope’s not hope that only wishing
waits in resignation.
Hope sings, soars, and gladly yields
And echoes Faith’s Vibration.

I dare not hope in my own strength
for strength is but illusion.
I rest instead in Their own Rest
and dwell there in Collusion.

HA! Trite and amusing rhymes
occupy my busy and anxious soul…

And give space and time
To Choose, to know Whom,
and Play the Harp of Hope

Amen.
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