Why I Get Very Concerned When I Am Called Names…

The men became enraged once they discovered that Nettles was transgender, according to prosecutors and a fight broke out.

Dixon punched Nettles in the face, making her to fall to the ground and strike her head on the sidewalk, causing a serious brain injury, said Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Viorst.

Viorst alleges that Dixon brutally beat Nettles and “struck her repeatedly as she lay on the ground” while “driving the side of her head into the pavement.”

The indictment charges that Dixon used the sidewalk as a “dangerous instrument” to cause Nettles’ death.

via Brooklyn Man Arrested for 2013 Death of Transgender Woman Islan Nettles – Hamilton Heights – DNAinfo.com New York.

Constance…why?  Driving face into sidewalk…enraged at a gender orientation…punishment of a capital nature for the crime of…what?

Being “a dude in a dress”?  Being a “he/she?”

…and I am the one who has been judged as demonized…

*tears*Paolo Troilo


…but greater strength They will give

I have never ever found that God will make life easier.

Whatever it is I face, it never gets easier.

But I have also found that there is always an offer of greater strength…but not strength like humans see strength, it is Their strength that is offered…and that strength is made perfect in the crucible of our weakness.

In effect, you have to glory in weakness in order to become strong.

There is another name for the strength They give:  Grace.

Never made easier, but greater strength They will give, in grace upon grace.


In Hope of Dust and Ashes

We start this life with bright expectation,
each sunrise morn of discovery and
eventide of hope, our lifetime passes
and time flows like tides constantly in waves

that wash in over us, the same and ceaseless
yet we, in ever-new anticipation
of a new day differ-ent, something yet
to be discovered in the shell-pink dawn,
we lift our hearts up cheery with bright song.tumblr_nkijfepxvE1s6fchho1_1280But there are ashes from the desperate fires
that we assemble in the long sloe nights
so cold upon those yawning yearning shores,
when stars hide behind black clouds of unknowing
and oceans hide in mists of dank despair,

and we are forced to burn all our Hosannas,
those palms fronds of our hopes so optimistic
waved innocent and arrogant and prideful
because we hadn’t seen the moon’s dark side.tumblr_njh7l88RC31tsumipo1_500We built frail fires from those brittle branches
and clutched at weak warmth, bathed in dim wan light
and marked ourselves with those imposéd ashes
and mourned those days we sang truimphantly
unknowing of the coming loss of all
our innocence in suffering…

and sorrowing…

and death and…

we all fall down…

and we are mindful of our common crown,
our destiny of dust wreathed round our foreheads,
that destiny of dust around our hearts,
that destiny of dust from which we came

and thus departed

that destiny of dust and our return…

to dust returned,
from dust departed, dust returned,
from dust departed, dust returned,
from dust departed, dust returned,
from dust departed, dust returned,
dust returned…tumblr_mvt5wq6eGf1suq7neo1_500And it is only at this place, in ashes
after our hopes and dreams have burned to ash
and we have lost our hope and optimism
that we can finally see that stony path

and squinting, see the bloody foot-print outlines
left by the One who goes before our hearts,
the One who walks the Via Dolorosa
the One who, living, there lays down His Life,

the One who shows the way of self-denial
the way of sacrifice, relinquishment
entirely unnatural, the opposite
of every longing of our liquid hearts
that want to feast upon self-preservation
and turn from bitter cups of self-denial…tumblr_ne0li72EJb1qgk7mfo1_1280And we must choose the place that we will walk:
the ceaseless shores of our naked ambition
and never finding ending place, or home?
Or…walk the path of ashes with this Shepherd
and lose our lives completely to His care
and thus spring from the ashes like a phoenix
leaps from the golden flames to live anew!

Ashes are the opposite of owning
the mirror image of self-preservation,
the sign-post of the way of life He offers,
the insignia of the lifestyle that He models,
the mark He makes forever on His own
writ large in His own blood mixed with the ashes
of hopes consumed and dreams become dry dust!

This is the downward journey to the highest place victorious,
the deeps of Sabbath Rest and Victory Won.tumblr_njn61sFcPS1tsumipo1_500Regardless of the gods you say you follow,
we all share in a common destiny:
“From dust you’ve come, to dust you shall return”.
Like Him, we too shall die, Life’s pressing question
becomes…how shall we live?  How shall our lives
this day respond to death’s reality,
and answer to Life’s strident invitation
to leave all of our privilege and status,
and turn from lives marked for success and promise,
and turn from some potential undefined,
and turn from false things that we think are true,
and let go of wealth, power and consumption,
and deny that false god:  accomplishment
and dare to love our enemies with candor
and dare embrace the heady risk of peace
without one stray thought of self-preservation,
take courage to live for the sake of others
and for the sake of Him who shows this way,
the way thru death, the way of blood and ashes,
will we walk in valiant hope in dust and ashes?

We can sing our songs
of life in dust and ashes
and thus return to God
our dust redeemed.tumblr_mujjr2KMSj1sohz2fo1_500

My Honest and True Assumption

Constance, let’s face facts.

This woman is never going to be seen by the eyes of this paradigm.  It ain’t gonna happen.  Too many layers of judgment, too much weight of assumption, and not enough understanding of the nature of gender orientation and where it resides in a human being.tumblr_nkbhxsERto1qccjsuo1_1280I am never going to be “pretty” in the sense of how human eyes grown in the world in which I live perceive beauty.  My only possibilities for beauty lie within my soul…in my heart…in my spirit…in that inner life that my spirituality and theology teach me is the truest reality anyway and the only one that extends eternally.

Mama, please give me a hunger for true things that outweighs the longings that plague me, that cry out from each and every chromosome that finds itself at odds with the spiritual DNA that flows from (what, my brain?  My soul?  My heart?) me…

I close with this quote I ran across, and make it my goal…kindness, good humored, smart, and strong of heart.

We get so worried about being pretty. Let’s be pretty kind. Pretty funny. Pretty smart. Pretty strong.” tumblr_nkakqbLCV81r7huino1_500