Are People Books?

my books…
my true treasures
faithful and constant.
always there,
waiting for me…

they never cry off
as too busy,
too tired,
too too too too…
they’re always
there always…

each time
there is something new,
something I didn’t see the first
(or second or third or fourth)
time thru…

I swear that books
write themselves,
add things based on
the currents we have
connected to them
like veins,

and what we are living
somehow informs them
and they change in accordance…

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A Difficult Movie Moment

Hi Constance…so many fun holiday movies to watch!

Okay, I admit it…I am a sucker for all those cheapo ABC Family TV movies, Christmas Romances one and all…but there are some classic ones to boot.  Ya know, the first 2 Home Alone movies are pretty dang good.  Of course I love any version of A Christmas Carol, and it has been my life long vow since I was a 5th grader to keep Christmas better than Scrooge did, after his visitations, that is.  I love A Christmas Story and my word Christmas Vacation is always always funny and poignant…way too many phrases are now part of Jane and my vernacular

“I don’t KNOW Margo!!”

And then you get to the true classics…Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and others…

…and then the one.

The one that I dread.  The one that has defeated me, every year since the first time that I saw it when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

It’s A Wonderful Life.

Now this is a wonderful movie, objectively speaking.  No question.  I have watched it at least 30 times or more…and every single goddang time…I want to die afterwards.

Why?  I can hear you asking me that…why, ‘Rissa?  WTF??

Well, I will confess to you why.  Because I am convinced that if I ever saw what George Bailey saw…life without me ever having been born…well, I have always been certain that everything would be better and everyone around me better off.  It would be the opposite of what George Bailey experienced.

I know it isn’t a rational thing to believe…I have dissected these thoughts ad infinitum, and they still kick my butt…every single freaking year.

So this year, I am going to leave the old Savings and Loan to the Baileys.  I think I will watch “All I Want For Christmas” instead…or “Miracle…”  Hey, it is at least bluntly honest when Susan Walker says “I believe…I believe.  It’s silly but I believe!”

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Breaking the Gender Covenant | On Being

Breaking the Gender Covenant | On Being.

and

Gender and the Syntax of Being: Identity and Transition (a podcast)

Can I just…say…wow.

Joy Ladin has shared some incredibly important and significant ideas at the link above.  I have read her book

Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders

It is incredibly moving, deafeningly poetic and lyrical, and it captured my life as very few accounts have been able to.

In the article I am linking to, I can assure you that she gets it right, and while I never was forced to break the gender covenant with my wife, it has happened to me in other areas to the extent that I can verify her words as true in my own life too.

So…Constance:  it goes without saying that it is the right thing to be kind to transgender people, to be kind to everyone…but there is a deeper reason that I post this.  Are you able to read this article, synthesize out of it the core issues of becoming, and then find a way to apply them into your own life and experience?

There are ways that you too are “transgender”.  Oh no, I am not talking here about biology and the mind-body dichotomy.  Rather, I am talking about you the spirit inside you the body, and ways that this is often just not a good fit…you yearn for something more, something beyond.

I am talking about you the entity in this world, as if you the entity is your “internal sense of gender” and the world is “your exterior genitalia”…there are times when the fit is so wrong and so alien that you feel as if you would explode.

That is the place that is of greatest interest to me, Constance…because it is in that place that you and me and all of us are on the same sojourn to congruence and wholeness.

Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness

I remember
last Christmas,
lingering in my mind
midst memory’s fogs
and memories
…just grey mists now,
swirling and coiling
back on themselves,
roiling forward
from the past
and boiling over
into this morning,
this day…

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this time sitting
in the midst of ashes
dead and flat remaining
from that cold conflagration
of becoming thru the fires
of that season.

Friends, job,
name, family,
reputation,
all consumed
by fire,
all revealed as
morsels of the moment
(that lasted 55 years and still just a moment)…

last year,
I had it all
at least in the eyes
of those who don’t matter,
I had it all…especially
the awful yawning
void of nothing
gaping inside
me, most real
inside me,Processed with VSCOcam with x1 preset

I remember
the day after Christmas
reduced me to a place
in the hills adjacent
to the place a woman
took her own life
this year,
reduced me
to screaming incoherence
because I had run out
of words to scream and
I had just begun
to scratch the surface
of what there was
to scream about,
that awful
substantial black
nothing.

that day,
it was a close matter
a razor’s edge tumble
into red greedy flames
burning long and low
all year until
they blazed in fury fanned
when smothering shrouds
were snatched away sudden
in torn and tattered strips
to consume the bribes
and chains of nothing
clothed in costumes.

This Christmas,
nothing has been exposed,
revealed as the imposter
it still masquerades as.
I am empty of screams
but full of me and
ready to receive
the Promise of words
to give voice to
what’s unspeakable, unnameable,
to dress that wound
infected with nothing
and salve it with
the scratchy tickle of truth
and set free we
shadowbound to be
our shining selves,
casting shadows
instead of being flat
and cast by them.

It is the season of emptiness, and places
prepared by pain are hungry
for the Presence
and the Promise
that only emptiness contains.

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Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 1)

Healing Charissa

“ Grandpa! Please, please tell us a story,” the young children exclaimed.

They were seated in the lap of a man who had seen many, many years. His gnarled, rough hands were like the branches of an oak tree, and his hair was thick and full, and white as snow. His face was a harvest apple in January—wrinkled and browned, but sweet to the taste. He was old as the hills and yet his eyes…full of light and joy, tears and grief, brokenness made whole… they made this old trooper seem like an eager child on Christmas Eve! He gazed down at his grandchildren, Young Frederick on his right knee, sweet Caroline on his left.

“So!” he boomed. “‘Tis a story you be wanting, is it my sprites? Well then! ‘Tis a story you’ll be getting, only then you’ll have to run off to your beds! For tomorrow we celebrate HIS birthday, and GLORY what a celebration we’ll have, eh? Frederick, throw some more wood on that fire whilst Sweet Caroline and I scoot closer to it.”

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Frederick jumped down to obey. The old man rose with his granddaughter under one arm like a kitten, and with a casual flick of his wrist he tossed his huge oaken chair about three feet closer to the fire, like it was made of twigs. He sat down, and Sweet Caroline squirmed up his chest and wormed her arms around his corded neck. “Grandpa,” she said with a solemn face, “Tell us about your journey. Tell us about Him.”

“Yeah!” Frederick chimed in excitedly as he launched himself upon his grandpa. “Tell us about when you were The Light King, and when you went to see Him when He came, and about Gillae and Brownie and—“

“Whoa, slow down my bumpkins,” interrupted the old man. “You’ve heard that story so many times it must be nearly worn out from the telling! Surely you’d rather hear about how your papa, the King, killed the ugly dragon, Ba’alzamon,LK074

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or about how he rescued the beautiful Princess Katherine
and made her his Queen and your mother?”LK025
“NO GRANDPA!” they shouted in concert.

“Tomorrow ‘s the Day–—His day and it’s your day too, said Frederick.

“Yes, Grandpa,” said Sweet Caroline. “It’s my favorite story, to hear how you met Him and everything. Please, Grandpa, oh please?”

The old man sat looking back and forth between them as if caught deep in indecision. He glared at them in mock irritation while delight danced in his eyes. The children sat in suspense, hardly daring to breathe, hearts straining with desire to hear the magical story.

Sweet Caroling looked at Frederick, and had a giggling fit. Frederick shushed her with an agonized frown and the darkness of the night pressed in through the windows as they huddled close to the fire. The room was full of lamps, all of them unlit and dormant. The fire popped and crackled fiercely. The old man drew in a deep breath, held it, just to build the suspense and then exhaled in mock resignation and secret gladness.

“Oh very well you smooth talkers. The tale is yours for the telling.” Frederick let out a whoop and Sweet Caroline accompanied him with gleeful clapping. “I swear! You two could talk an elephant out of his trunk while making him feel he was the talk of the town for the bargain! Okay then—gather close and settle in, and you shall hear the telling of

THE HEALING OF THE LIGHT KING

He took a deep breath, and began…

Overview and Comments on an Original Christmas Story

Hi Constance…so last year at Christmas time, I published here a long original Christmas story, called

The Healing of the Light King

Clicking on the link will take you to the post in its entirety.

This is the Christmas story written from the perspective of one of the 3 Kings who goes on a journey with the other two, following that brilliant steady star that had appeared.  But the king is dying, from some ailment unknown, and so brings along the supplies needed to bury him in the likely event that he died on the way.  And if he made it, well, he would make those burial spices his gift to the royal personage that the star in the heavens spoke of.  After all, the spices were quite valuable.

Along the way, the king is abandoned by his companions when he has a seizure and they think he has died, and he is discovered laying unconscious in the fields of some shepherds.  They have just experienced some extraordinary events of an unprecedented nature and as they share these things with the king, they discover that their destination is the same place, the same Person, and so they set off travelling together.

They meet this Person, and something astounding happens to the King…and he Becomes…

…well, you will just have to read it to find out, now won’t you?

Here is the killer to me though:  this story moves me as much as anything I have written…ever.

And yet only one person pushed “like”.  And historically?  Other than when I read it out-loud to my kids when they were little, I have never received any sort of response to it!!  No response of any kind.  Not one time has anyone said “omg that is the most boring stupid thing I have ever read”…or “omg that was delightful!”

Nothing.

I even solicited input from readers a few days after posting it here…and what is totes ironic is that the post soliciting comment got a few likes.  Apparently, my plea for feedback was more interesting than the story itself!  But as per usual, no comments on the story.

Hey, I can deal with being told that I sucked and just am a very bad writer…I can deal with hearing that the story needs work and were I to ever to get any feedback on it I would work it in rewrite until it sang.  But apparently it isn’t even bad enough to create even that reaction!!  Giggles…now that is bad!!

Well…screw all that.  I like the story.  It is fabulous, imaginative, inclusive of diverse elements and taps into the Mythos of Christmas.  It touches on the Mystery of it, the Magic of it, and the Majesty of it.  Whether or not I wrote it very well has nothing to do with the story and what I saw when it came to me.

Maybe the problem is that it is a bit long?  It takes a while to read it.  I have heard that the modern mind has a short attention span (makes me so G Damn happy that Tolkien did not write in our day, or I likely would never have read TLOTR because no one would have published it!), and that is one way that I am very much not like modern minds, for mine is convoluted, complex, intricate…my thoughts and ideas take notions, nudges and knowings and weave them carefully.  And of course then there is the whole issue of being guilty of producing too much content.

Whatever.  I am who I am.  I am what I am, and I am not going to apologize for that, any more than the mighty Mississippi apologizes for feeding the sea.  I like the story so…

…so this year, I am going to re-post it here, but just a little bit each day.

Maybe it’s good…maybe it isn’t…who really knows?  But between now and Christmas, I will dribble it out here.  And if you want more?  Well that is the cool thing about blogs…you can go back in time!

Merry Charissa-mas!

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