Mont Blanc is the highest mountain
in Europe. It sits on the border
between France and Italy.A black-headed gull walks in the snow
on a wall of the Palais de Chaillot
while the Eiffel Tower sings laments
in the background.The wetlands of Camargue are found
between the between
of the Mediterranean Sea
and the Rhône River delta.
Not one of these silly random facts
can unring that bell,
can unsay that hate,
can un-rip those shreds,
can mend up those shards.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain
Come to my town, my street
come to my house, to me.
Come find me, bags packed and parked
in the hall like puppies puddly-wriggling
to take a walk…come take a walk with me.
I will ride shotgun with words for shells
And heart for sound and I will
hit the target every time.
I will sing to you, for you
I will sing of the roads we wander
and make each strange unknown place
known and forever written in your heart
for I am a
Cartographer of the Heart
I am a Poetess, and I would
belong to you and you alone
if you would but just stop by
and say how you stroll.
I will make you groan,
I will make you thrill,
and bring you home again
and again and again and
your fire will never go out
for I will feed my limbs
to the licking flames of
for I am a
Cartographer of the Heart
I am I, and waiting…
…you who wrote vociferously to deny me becoming, deny me growth…
…you who wrote to deprive me of my innate destiny to have a perspective, walk thru life and the years, and then have a new perspective from a new place…
…you who wrote to deny forgiveness by telling me that I was unforgiveable…
…you who wrote in denial of a Grandfather’s wisdom that a wise person changes their mind and a fool never…
…this post is for you.
I am free of your judgments. Take them back to the grave you choose to live in, I want nothing to do with them.
Give me a chance to be responsible and to give and take and live and learn and forgive and be forgiven…give me a chance to be the person I allus was and not this fabricated golem you have created to tell yourself what you think you need to be…give me that chance and I will take it.
But to gas-light me, castigate me and condemn me all the while denying me any means or opportunity to walk forward?
No…Charissa will not play that.
Take it all away and best of luck to you…as for me, I will live in forgiveness, give forgiveness, receive forgiveness, love, laugh, and know that I am perfectly imperfect.
I mourn that you deny me the opportunity to walk a life with you…but from the looks of things you are far more the loser.
When you’re given a diagnosis later in your life that somewhat explains for some of the terrible things you did,
mistakes you made, behaviours that make you want to bang your head against the wall.
You can’t write a letter to anyone you’ve ever cared about and say,
hey sorry, part of my behaviour back then stemmed from this apparent mental illness.
It doesn’t work that way. It’s not an excuse, it’s a mess.
But, for the rest of my life, I will search for moments full of you.
“This stress includes individual experiences of prejudice or discrimination, such as family rejection, harassment, bullying, violence, and victimization. Increasingly recognized as an aspect of minority stress is “institutional discrimination” resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or omit LGBT people from benefits and protections afforded others.
“Individual and institutional discrimination have been found to be associated with social isolation, low self-esteem, negative sexual/gender identity, and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
“These negative outcomes, rather than minority sexual orientation or gender identity per se, appear to be the key risk factors for LGBT suicidal ideation and behavior.”
I am sharing this truly scintillating essay, and the pull quote above is the core for me.
I just wanna say that I was raised white…but I was…raised white. Fortunately for me, I was never inculcated with racist bull shit, to the point that in college in the 80s I had a dear friend literally shock me when he told me I was the least racist person he had ever met…and yes, I did hear and note his use of the word “least”…which said volumes to me but in a language that I could not decipher or understand.
Well…since coming to terms with myself and understanding my gender journey, my life has changed in shattering ways, stunning and transcendent ways…but most importantly of all I was delivered from the ocean at last…
and became aware of so much that I never knew, could never see, even as a fish in the sea has no clue that it is in the sea.
I understand the comment of my friend now…”least racist”.
I wish I had the words and ways to let my friends, acquaintances and loved ones who are subject to that which they are subject to for the absolute worst and most insignificant of reasons KNOW that I get it now…
Oh, I will NEVER get it for the reason that they are made subject, anymore than any cis-gender person will ever “get it” in any way other than developing a deep and sincere sympathy and resolute commitment to love and live that love…
But I do get it now, the persecution, the othering, the abuse, the hatred and the fucking demonic unreasoning irrational stupidity of those besotted and drunk on the luck of the draw and the fate of biology.
My friends, and you know who you are…this post is for you…may I always find the joy I have found in solidarity with you and the love of your deep suns of being that shine undefeated and undefeatable! May I always have the heart, the eyes to see and to be inspired time and again with your indomitable spirit, will, but most of all your LOVE which just fucking never quits, CAN never quit.
You have no idea, the moments you have dragged me thru…you bearing the hate directed at you due to skin and me bearing the hate directed at me due to a variation on skin but essentially a common thing we walk in…times I was on the way out, and I would read sumfin, hear sumfin, think of sumfin…and be inspired and lifted up in your heart of hearts.
Now? I can at least have the means to find the remaining privilege I have and divest myself of it intentionally…it doesn’t always go, it is stuck to my skin color…but at last it is not stuck to me.
I regret only that it took as long as it did for my understanding and seeing eyes to catch up to what my heart must have known for my friend to tell me what he told me. We intersect…and for the rest of my days on earth I am expanding that intersection with every ounce of love, faith, hope, grace and mercy that is mine.
To the rest of my friends: please take it in faith that your privilege is there, is stuck to you, and is a legacy that you can use if you will but set your heart in a frame of humility and ask that your eyes be opened…hopefully you will gain insight without experiencing it being ripped away…but if that is what it takes, it is better that this occur rather than go thru your life blind while thinking you see.