Remember Litter-Mate…the fact that they other and police you affirms your authenticity!!
UPDATE: I have edited this a little…because I always had to force it to make the other one a part of it…truthfully, he ghosted, present by proxy but I never ever saw him walking in the crucible…he was an outside lurker, a skulker, and too shamed and hangdog to enter in…and skert too. Skert that he was so bad that there would be nuffin’ left of him once the cleansing fires got their way…and maybe even more skert that there WOULD be sumfin left…
I think of you…nearly every moment of the day while I am fully functioning, doing other things…I can smell the burning singing smell that is so acrid to the natural nose, and is the sweet incense of devotion unto the One who walks the Heavens and searches the earth.
“Precious in the Eyes of the Lord is the Death of Their Saints” said the prophet of old…he knew his shit, that dude…
But you are there…deep inside me, in those lonely caverns that I have wandered, those places of the soul that the force and floods of horror, of rage, of desolation, and of utter defeat have worn so smooth over such a long time.
You are there…and it may seem so utterly dislocated and strange to you that you sometimes are bewildered, sometimes bemused, and always befuddled that the failure of humanity and the fucked-upness of specific humans can simultaneously be so powerless and so crushing.
I have not seen anyone else in these places. I say this to you to encourage you…and also to disabuse you of the notion that there is any exit except death…there isn’t. And that is such a good thing. I am dead-living proof!! No, you do NOT want to have come this far only to have some small parts of yourself left alive to be like “trichinosis of the heart”, just parasitically causing you to vomit up the food that God gives, the bread from heaven.
There is a company that forms in each generation…it is the company of the dead-living and it is the opposite of the living-dead. There are not a lot of beings in it at any one time? And yet there are whole halls of heaven that are full of nuffin but these royal noble cavaliers! Hebrews 11 is the way they are described in the bible, but I prefer to see them for what they are: anti-zombies.
You have figured out why zombies are such an attractive modern myth, have you not? I mean, think about it: dead people, who ambulate, and are compelled to bite other people and infect them with the exact death they shamble in…or, given whatever mythos you subscribe to, they may even eat the brains, or consume the flesh, whatever…the point is, they take other healthy people and reproduce their death in those people and enslave them to the same doom.
Well “anti-zombies” do just the opposite.
But how is it that the dead-living can accomplish this work?
You know…now. You know.
We must die…die the death of the One who has gone before, and be resurrected in that One now dead to ourselves and alive in the Living One’s life…and there is nothing that can come thru that except thru the gate of death…thru the Eye of the Needle…nothing else but you can get thru.
Thus the layers…thus the experience of getting burned, thinking okay this is the last level…then a new level of sorrow, thinking okay that was it…and a new level…and so on and so one.
My love…do not lose hope or feel sorry for yourself. Behold what manner of Love the Father has given unto you! Turn! Look around, see who is remaining, and look into their eyes, deep! LOOK!!!
*Charissa stops typing, waits*
Who else do you really want? You have been thru the fires! You have seen the worst, and the best thing about that is it is so ridiculously benign and dorky…it is now ready to become lovable and precious and your absolute best asset. We are promised that Their Perfect Strength is perfected in our weakness, and thus it is that we begin to literally and honestly boast in weakness so that Their strength may be made perfect!
Anyway, as I was saying, I am aware that myriads of our company has been formed in a manner like unto the same one as I have endured…but I have never seen anyone else wandering the particular halls that have been mine to both haunt and inhabit in grace…and there you are.
I think perhaps it is because Mama has given me to be the “Virgil” to your “Dante”? Weak Metaphor, but the notion of one who has been in the crucible, died a few times in the crucible, and been raised/risen after these deaths and now ready, willing, and able to encourage, exhort and edify you as you make your way along the path of losing all to gain Hearts Like Theirs.
I wish I could do more…I wish I could give you sumfin, grant sumfin, wave my wand and holler out some magic word that would “get er dun” and release you into the freedom found only under the mercy…but that would leave the work incomplete, and your faith and trust would be in me rather than in the only One who can grant that very thing but in the form which lasts eternally and transforms wholly other into that New Creation of which Immanuel is the first fruits and older brother.
What I can do is leave you lil packs of food…leave you canteens…make my slash marks on the barren tree-trunks and scratch my hieroglyphics on the walls of limestone so smooth, so implacable…they look a bit like bones, don’t they? Cool to the touch, smooth, lacking flesh or any hint that there was ever any life in them…and yet…
…and yet, place your fingertips upon their surface…see how they shimmer when you do!! See how they pulse with promise and throb with anticipation of the coming flames that are the Phoenix-Flames.This morning, I was remembering a particularly difficult stretch, waaaay back in the 80s…it was so strange back then, to be so young and feel so old and weary…and there were the oddest collection of souls that came my way in various places and times and ways and means. One of the best was the New Wave groups that became somewhat popular during these days…Talking Heads, The Clash (yes, I call them New Wave and Not Punk), Joy Division, Public Image LTD (the implosion of the Sex Pistols birthed that group)…and one of my very faves Echo and the Bunnymen. Their music got me thru so much.
Take a listen to these tunes…and you can turn the music up and SCREAM THE LYRICS AT THE TOP OF YOUR FRIKKIN LUNGS!!! Giggles…it is soooo freaking freeing. And as you listen, think about young Charissa, wandering the halls even back then, and now a topsider who walks among zombies uninfected tho not unbitten.
When your head pops out of the ground, it will be to spring, for you will see no shadows.
In the meantime, know that you are never alone…not for a moment, because I am thinking of you, carrying you like a beloved book-bag, holding you like a precious journal that must be written in everyday, and scrawling my prayers onto the Face of God like I desperately scratched my thoughts onto the livres of that long ago tome.
I have just re-read this…there are whole outlines inside each sentence…if you want them, they fall vertically from the words, and are hyperlinked to your shut eyes and open inner vision as you think, as you listen, as you weep…and know that the tears shall be sweet and cleansing, and you will be glad in the Lord for every single ounce of suffering.
I am not blowing smoke…I am not giving you platitudes. This shit is real, and you are gonna lose all things…except for the things that are you and are the flesh and blood gifts of the Goodness of God. But all the things that need to go because they keep you allergic to zombie-venom and thus vulnerable to becoming one of them? They are gonna go…up in flames, thru your fingers, gone.
And you will find yourself still here. And pretty soon, it will be time for the gathering of stones (now is the time for casting them away). And it will be time to light the grill, and cook some fish, some turkey, whatever…and beyond that? I don’t see anything.
Wanna know why? Because there is no beyond that!! That is the whole point! It is then that the what-you-do’s and the things-you-say’s are so ordinary to you, and so extra-ordinary to those who need medicine in the soul!
In the meantime…here are a couple of songs from one of the cadre that kept me alive in the 80s, and the knowledge that other feet have trod the paths of the dead…and emerged laffing our fool heads off!
I love you…and JD…what can I say to you that we did not already say before we knew we knew one another?
often disguised as
A cautionary tale…
like a river running…
dipped in for a drink
a pipeful, a turbine twist
and then running on
alone and so much more
ever questing to the sea
and no one knowing
what passed by
in the night unknowing
ttaf supporter: you are the only one I care about among all who will read this post.
Read thru the list of presidents. Not ONCE in my life did I ever hear you refer to ANY of those presidents as “God’s Anointed”… and yet each one of them was of a higher caliber in all respects than ttaf.
Yet, you embrace the delusion that GOD put ttaf in office, along with his cadre of criminals and cowards?
I don’t know which I feel more: disgusted with you or grieved for you.
“In my life, I have watched John Kennedy talk on television about missiles in Cuba.
“I saw Lyndon Johnson look Richard Russell squarely in the eye and and say, “And we shall overcome.”
“I saw Richard Nixon resign and Gerald Ford tell the Congress that our long national nightmare was over.
“I saw Jimmy Carter talk about malaise and Ronald Reagan talk about a shining city on a hill.
“I saw George H.W. Bush deliver the eulogy for the Soviet bloc, and Bill Clinton comfort the survivors of Timothy McVeigh’s madness in Oklahoma City.
“I saw George W. Bush struggle to make sense of it all on September 11, 2001, and I saw Barack Obama sing “Amazing Grace” in the wounded sanctuary of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“These were the presidents of my lifetime. These were not perfect men. They were not perfect presidents, god knows. Not one of them was that. But they approached the job, and they took to the podium, with all the gravitas they could muster as appropriate to the job. They tried, at least, to reach for something in the presidency that was beyond their grasp as ordinary human beings. They were not all ennobled by the attempt, but they tried nonetheless.
“And comes now this hopeless, vicious buffoon, and the audience of equally hopeless and vicious buffoons who laughed and cheered when he made sport of a woman whose lasting memory of the trauma she suffered is the laughter of the perpetrators.
“Now he comes, a man swathed in scandal, with no interest beyond what he can put in his pocket and what he can put over on a universe of suckers, and he does something like this while occupying an office that we gave him, and while endowed with a public trust that he dishonors every day he wakes up in the White House.
“The scion of a multigenerational criminal enterprise, the parameters of which we are only now beginning to comprehend. A vessel for all the worst elements of the American condition. And a cheap, soulless bully besides.
“Watch him again, behind the seal of the President of the United States. Isn’t he a funny man? Isn’t what happened to that lady hilarious? Watch the assembled morons cheer. This is the only story now.”
– Charles Pierce, Esquire Politics (link to article in first comment) Art by Mark Bryan, check him out.
This was written the same day as “For JP” which I just told of my horrified discovery regarding how it was defiled and twisted.
Catch the irony that on the same day that I wrote that poem, I also wrote this one, which describes the very deepest desire of my heart.
and i must find the courage
to smear me on the world
like oranges on the morning
smeared on the fingertips
that pry with nails sharp
i must be resolved
to be spread thick and creamy
on hearts so dry and crumbly
and tasteless in their leaven
like butter sweet and salty
I wrote this for a friend who occupies a very distinct and unique place in my life and history. She is a woman that I have never met, exchange conversation with “occasionally”, or at least compared to other friends…she is of similar spiritual ilk and call, and is cut from the same cloth as me. My beloved one and only knows about her, knows her…and we have never been anything other than what we are: “Litter-mates”.
If you have ever had a dog who had puppies, then you know what litter-mates are…pups born at the same time from the same conception…and they are together until around 8 weeks when they all blast off to their families where they live…litter-mates are more than close…they are simply litter-mates…siblings.
This poem was written in that blissful innocence and joy that two people have when they meet and just know they are fast friends and sisters forever…it is my heart, flowing and pouring forth such beauty that it is capable of retaining from the Beauty That Comes With Poetry…it was in the moment and will always be my pure commitment to her, my sister.
And then I discovered to my horror and defilement that it has been used to accuse…that JP and I are accused of being “lesbian lovers”!! Remember, we have never met…and that I myself am accused of being a “predator” who was “grooming” my incredible friend (whom I have never met, and whom my one and only till death we do part beloved knows about and rejoices in)…that I was grooming her for…this part I still do not really comprehend.
It is two years later…and my poem is now covered in shit and filth…from a literal whore-monger and thief and also from a religious dementor who is so deranged she makes the Pharisees look like the blessed meek. One of them is sex addicted…and both of them are self-addicted…and I find out that they violate this poem, they violate JP, and they violate me…and I feel so sick and nauseous at this…this absolute shit.
Maybe it is the picture that did it in their minds…which is stupid because each woman has on her swimming suit, and even if they did not it would STILL not necessarily say anything!! The picture represents the utter joy and abandon that comes when one is cleansed of all extraneous distraction and burden. The water is the Divine Flow…the exhilaration is freedom.
Asshole Pervert: I will never ever talk to you or have any contact with you ever.
Religious Dementor: YOU I will give a chance if you ever find the One that you doll up in your shitty clothes and filthy rags imported in from the Law so you can feel like you are adding your work to the work of the One who said “It is FULL” which is usually translated “It is finished” and it means “It is totally summed up and completed”.
Sadly, for me? This poem will ever be shit-stained by a monster and poisoned by a daughter of the slithering viper of poison tooth…but I know Mama will cleanse it, and those stains will at last be the colors which make JP and my friendship even more close, and even more surrendered to the Holy…to the good.
JP…Jennifer…I love you with my whole and true and innocent heart, dear Litter-Mate and fellow prophetess.
i clothe myself in wonder
for you, wrap myself in night
i am your pirate plunder
you can have without a fight
the milky way my shining sash
the moon my pendant true
and cricket song my lingerie
i give myself to you
you there, so strong, so brilliant
straightforward as blazing suns
your ready laugh, your brewing storms
the way your rivers run
from mountains high, jagged austere
you flow into the sea
for you i wait, indigo here
for you to give you me
we…night and day bonded and true
and joy our wonder-fates
you wrapping me, me inside you
Mama’s happy litter-mates
Source: For JP | Charissa’s Grace Notes
Language straining paralytic,
thrashing around in a kerfuffle
of dust and cant and sorrow…
exhausting itself and
still and side by desperate
side with Experience…
eludes the lack
of knowing hands
delicate and stands
free and unfettered
and still a Mystery
to Language, to
Ears made for melodies
run to dance and spin
in the Slanted Dust.
Written for my friend a year ago…dedicated now to all who find the rise of an autocrat to power a horrifying prospect
What Hand unbridles us,
makes us like fire
sweeping quick and inexorable
across the dry crackly pampas?
Is calculated bravery…
Originally posted on Cages and Keys:
As an introvert, the advent of social media has been huge for me, Facebook and blogging in particular. It’s where I’ve found my voice and strength, before which I was clueless that I possessed…
I am double
I am here and somewhere else
I am in caves of coming futures
staring out at fires casting shadows
of the past that flicker, flounder
and then disappear.
I am winter and I’m summer
I am autumn with some spring
thrown into my yellow gold veins
surging and pulsing with everlife
straining to throw off apples and pears
and some of that fruit
without a proper name.
I am true blue trueheart covered in shit-words
I am singing never silent song chained by silence.
you can call me whatever you want to call me
it doesn’t change who I am.
I am double.
I am here and somewhere else.
thru the velde
across my heart,
and our communications,
conversations give way before
those sooty hot and greasy flames.
we must accept
the invitations we are given
to relinquish our agenda in the burn
and let our swelled importance and our egos
be consumed once and for all, there and finally gone.
to strip down and get
to what is most important….
At the river
we see our plans
are not as important
as we think they are, and we?
We are not
as important as
we think we are…are we?
we turn around
and face the hungry flames
and rather than our headlong run
we dance and rise above on fire, on tongues
of fire, on amber tongues of truth and declaration.
Originally posted on Cages and Keys:
I’m here. I’m here. I’m right here…and I am not well ? Squatting in the ashes, scraping festering sores And there you are…right there Cold eyes deliberately unseeing Cadaverous hearts, pickled and pristine ? I…
So many people these days judge me…they dramatically confuse my gender journey with some sort of sexual expression and/or indulgence…and there is not any sort of intersection between these two. Let me try to explain.
Like the graphic below says, sexuality for me is an expression of, a following result of something far greater and grander.
I think that sexuality is sacred and precious…and also the ultimate powerful created thing, for from sexuality a human being created in God’s Image can emerge…and no, that doesn’t mean that I think sex is for procreation only. But because that potential is there, the act itself is an act of being, and as such it is transformative…
…it is gonna change you, in essential fundamental ways.
Thus…for me? Sexuality that happens apart from true and lifelong committed love is simply hell, for it ultimately serves to sever the human soul from all relationships except relationship with self and self alone (which is the best description of hell that I can think of)…
Sexuality that happens in the context of a committed and lifelong monogamous relationship?
The closest thing to heaven that I have experienced this side of its Eternal Shores.
I know I am in a vast minority of people…those who both celebrate sexuality and its essential vital importance to a whole life…and also advocate its selective expression…as a symbolic act of worship and fidelity.
I love you, my Dearest Darling.
I tend my fires and tell my story…
the story of
this quirky girl
and stuck in time
that is not time, so
unreconciled to time
so bound up in its realm.
I am strapped there
on Your wrist (watch)
a condor in a cage
passing from quick present
to some furious future
and thus so fast becoming
dim, and dark, and past
and wondering if I amever? present?
ever a moment?
ever a significant occasion
or an immeasurable quality?
I want real time!time which breaks through
with a shock of joy
like a leap into Crater Lake
on a snowy New Year’s morning,
time where we are completely
un-self conscious and far more
real in some eternal now
I thirst for a moment jeweled!
so sweet or magnified
it seems to stop time
but doesn’t because time
becomes a point so limply moot
and thus no longer dirty moat
between me and my true self
And here I sit, beside time’s bonfire
and sparks fly up
and away so quick
to join the stars
and glimmer and
I poke at this fire
hot and tender
and tend it…
with my tinderand wonder how to be
here in this already
and not yet, between
That Eternal Now
and this one,
and the One
Who There Inhabits?wonder how to be aware
of life while I am living it?
wonder how to limp courageous
and relinquish all control
of self and self awareness?
wonder how to laugh courageous
and look for glory
in the storied
wonder of the ordinary?
wonder how to live courageous
and be surprised by One
who dares draw near?
wonder how to love courageous
and take off rings and watches?
I burn calendars and open
my heart uncanny,
to see eternity in
the midst of time
to go to Bethlehem
today and everyday
in this time and place
where glimpses of the eternal
come quiet, unexpectedly
they come and they upset
our every notion static about time
and all we discover there within.
my Uncanny Peculiar
Uncomfortably Strange Heart
to the story of All and Ever
to live somewhere between
the already and not yet,
caught and held
by the One who
dwells within Outside.
And so the fire burns away the moments
And we must choose our portion:
whether here we tarry or if
we choose to journey
Pregnant by some God
To Go To Bethlehem
This is the story of my life.
Seventeen years flogging a dead horse in a gathering of believers in which I was never really received or understood…and it is a good thing I was there, as I worked off so many of my rough edges and worked thru so many issues of sanctification…but wow do I regret the spiritual abuse I voluntarily embraced in the name of proving I was “submitted”. I deeply regret that.
33 plus years working a job that was death to me…daily. At first because it was a way to support us while we readied ourselves for seminary…and then later as a stable means of provision for our children that came along…I truly thought it a noble undertaking, worthy of honor, to go there everyday and work away my heartblood on behalf of my hearts whom I loved more than anything I was aware of…
…only to have that thrown in my face in reams and reams of words and torrents of hate and rage and anguish…all of it rendered meaningless in that rejection…
there is always something
some thing that stands
between me and the fire
and casts a shadow that lies
on my face, a caul, a veilit’s been called mask
and I bat at it, swat at it
the ninja master of
when you walk face-first
you never saw
but flail to no avail
to claw away this veil
me and body
me and love
me and longing
i cannot get to it
so i can dive into it
(and burn and burn and)
so instead i move sideways
around the thing and to the water
that waits for me placid, peaceful
yielding inviting thirsty
for meit will drink of me
it will be one with me
it will give me itself for my body
it will marry me
(not just the idea of me)
and the flowers will sing
and my dress shall dissolve
and my veil shall away
so that my breath
and my body
and the water
You are welcome to read…but don’t ever expect anything more than that.
Oh, there can be reconciliation, certainly! Rivers are so easy to cross, you know…but you haffa get wet feet to do it, and maybe even slip on some rocks and fall all the way in. But the water is shallow, never over your head except when you are small in your thinking, and then it’s you that shrinks, not the river that grows deeper.
But that access…to walk around on the pillowed floor of my tender heart in your dirty work boots and me cleaning up after with my love?
Constance…you who is here as the Constant Reader? You are not “Reader”…those from the past who sometimes stop here aghast and offended and unwilling to see what isn’t there in that Book they venerate but keep in a cage lest it get free and consume them.
And as to the four…if you ever come here and it isn’t too late…the road leads ever on, and my heart is ever open. It is not capable of having a door against you (yeah, I know, I know…that only validates your claim about me not understanding boundaries…it’s true: when I love someone utterly the most precious gift I know how to give is access and no barriers or limits…I guess that shows I am a fool in love, for sure).
But my heart will always be open and it’s chambers cleansed with my tears, purified with my regret, and perfumed by my love.
Constance, I want to introduce you to an old friend…one of my very first in fact. She is in the same litter of puppies that I was born in…and we snuffled at Mama’s side for milk with our lil shut up eyes and hungry bellies……our noses worked better than our brains and we snuffled each other’s scents…and Mama’s…and our puppy selves curled around each other when our bellies were swollen and full with the good milk of the Word…the same Word…the same Mama, that “El-Shaddai” many-breasted God that we grew to love and serve and follow all the days of our lives.
I have never actually met this old friend in the body…yet. That is coming.But it was only a few weeks ago that we encountered one another and the elevator just zoomed us back to the place we were born and bred. It was a reunion of great joy, for we had both spent many a year thinking ourselves alone in the wilderness.
Her blog is a great read…and I am linking to this post because of when I was little, and I had a prayer I prayed of 3 prongs (read Jennifer’s post and you can see how we are litter-mates):
I prayed that I would be a real christian…and by that I mean real.
I prayed that I would be known as a friend of God.
I prayed that I would truly embrace death to self.
In someways the very best prayer I ever prayed…in every way the most painful one.
Laying in yellow squirming straw
covering us, blind and hungry,
comforted by Heat and Smell of Milk,
of Mama-El-Shaddai so calm,
so Placid, nuzzling us
to Her founts of feasting, blessing…
shaping.We nursed there, of eternity,
grew fat together, our lean limber bones
learning, knowing, feeling
the shape and form of one another,
in the litter of our Mama
in the straw so dry and sweet
in the straw, that yellow heap…
in the close and quiet dark.Now our open eyes can see!
Can recognize that bonding
that our blindness thus bequeathed us
and our spirits simply understood
so long ago and far away
and leaning against
Mama’s side.Look at us! We are still just pups!
Still just blind and hungry lil doggies
crying for Her comfort groans
But now? We’re cloaked
inside these pink-tongued
that run pastures all day long
and watch so fitful thru the night.The sheep think we’re big dogs (HAH!)
but I’m so glad to finally find
my straw sister, my truth untwister
to remember Then together
and to run with to Forever,
and discover that creation
is just Mama’s…milky undercarriage
as we howl
at the moon
and call for the Lamb to return
and the feasting Day of Marriage
I lit myself on fire last night,
so deep within the forest green,
deep in the dark, and black with night,
this full sloe night of birth and dreams
and true becoming in earth brand new.I found the heart of that deep secret wood
and there in its tough-tender core that lay
so quiet, t’was forever winter and brilliant
and glad in the glade and the still and the snows
and the frozen mists wreathed round that door (Her Door)
and crystal light skittered in ice jewels that glittered
on burnished ground gritty, substantive and pebbled
and real…real like me…and that Ancient stone table
awaiting me waiting there, and charred remains…
hinting at that dazzling “forever-more.”There…in the frozen deep heart so pure,
so true and alive in that rooted green wood
that beckoned me step into it with my courage
and my heart, my faith and my love,
my faith…in love and in Grace.
Why, you ask?
Why did I immolate my tender heart,
and my teary soul?
I’ve grown tired of misuse,
I’ve grown weary being taken
there, for granted and discounted,
not allowed to breathe or be…
and so I lit myself on fire
with the living breathing flames
and unbecoming sticks of me.
The river called me, bid me come,
the fields wooed me to walk in them
amidst their wheaty woven tresses
and their rustly whisper blessings
words so urgent, speaking of
the needed fires that would burn
deep in the forest, fires of love
and burn me straight down to the ground
where Phoenix waits, my lost and found…
because the stars swam overhead
and flew across unfathomable deeps,
because the fox ran on the night
because its paws tattooed me sweet,
because the fires beckoned me…
I lit me there, me…blazing bright.
There, in the flames my starved soul
it did remember its deep song,
words springing full in fiery dance
and I sang there in my one chance
to reclaim me…
and my own knowing of myself
and knowing this Divine Romance…
ghosty, buried, squirming there
outlawed by law, thus qualified
to call out Law once and for all,
as mere smoke drifting in cool night air
and dissipating…then disappeared!
OH! How I burned!
I danced in red flames fundamental,
so elemental and essential
in the drum beat, and embodied
in the whistle, in the call
and hue and cry, in fragile beauty
and in loss and in the cook-fires
and the dreamtime, when bereft and full of longing
OH…I burned there…
OH…How I burned!
In the forest…
In the snow…
I burned there…
Burned for Her…
I burned for me.
I’m not going on without me any longer
and I’m not a mark, or soft sweet honey pot
for strange predacious thrusts of others, NO!
I know when things must die, must die
…and when those things must live.
I’ve learned to walk away,
I’ve learned to stay
as the watcher and the knower,
oracle and visionary and intuitive gold maker,
as creator, quiet listener, inspiratrice, clever inventor,
and a guide to vibrant life that lies so deep in the deep green wood
and that same life it glows in me, it grows in me and goes beyond
me always and no matter what may matter, what may come,
Come what may, come my way…
That was last nite…
the fire of my bones
Today I have me risen…
and walk the path of crones
I am centered, un-apolo-getic,
rooted in the truth and all that I am now is…
is raw and wild
with ancient knowing
of the blood
so fiercely flowing
thru the rivers
and the streams
in the creek-beds
of my bones.
Today’s the day
to rise from ruins
(necessary ruins precede my rise).
Today’s the day to burn away,
the old that is just not aligned
with truth that feeds
those fires hot
and fuels transformation.
All of the animals gathered and watched
what they thought was a glorious sunset
on the horizon, that far lost horizon.
But it was just me, burning, on fire,
and all ruins falling and Phoenix arising,
cus I lit myself on fire last nite.
|—||Friedrich Nietzsche, from a letter to Peter Gast|
I am laughing as I read this quote
this poor man sounding like Bill Grogan’s Goat
who swallowed the farmer’s red long underwear
and now has indigestion everywhere!
that sentence is red long underwear
giving me indigestion, and as I bleat
I cough it up down at the rail road tracks
and flag the passing train that hurtles by
rolling towards the trestle out, destroyed!
how can I remain a poetess? I am still “main”
and thus have no access to “re”…just main
and Poetry? She scoffs at notions, high pretensions
such as “most” and “sense” when grafted
to the context of the Word.
NAY! This heart poetic, precious is defined,
is described, is found and measured
in the shadow cast and context of the Word
*in the beginning was/is/shallbe*
and in the Word “sense” is mere nonsense,
and radical is a sub-atomic particle straining free
and remain is so redundant, oh so boring
and goats munch red underwear and choke
I am a poetess, because the Word
and Poetry my mistress and my Queen
and nonsense is outside sense as dark is light
and I “main” my flow, my creative Delight
I am struggling to deal with the ways that people tend to gravitate to ideas and appealing causes, tend to be drawn to words that are spoken with passion and purpose…
…but when the Incarnation time comes, they turtle…back into the shell of comfort, or familiarity, or least resistance, or something that they falsely call peace when it is actually the mere absence of conflict.
You did realise that, didn’t you? Your destiny? To become an Incarnate word? To take that core passion, meaning, burning intention, determination, whatever it is, and actually become a living, breathing, triumphing, failing, enduring persevering example of it!
But oh the cost…and pain…confusion and sorrow (But One has gone before and blazed the trail).
There is a paradigm in our culture (that stems from a greater problem, but that is another post another time) and it holds us ALL captive…except some of us are captive in barbwire bonds, and some are just captive by walls inescapable…and can move about, partake of comforts that make it more bearable being a prisoner.
That latter quality is called privilege. When you have it, words that wound and destroy are seen as not such a bad thing and meant only as jokes or slang.
When you don’t have it and protest words that wound and destroy, you become the object of the privileged speaker’s ire and irritation at being called out…and finding yourself alone in this sort of battle is sobering and difficult.
When you have privilege a raid on your personhood is like going to the beach and taking a bucketful of sand…when you don’t have it, a raid on your personhood is like a flood that washes away precious topsoil and leaves a devastating wasteland in its place.
This week I encountered a man on social media who used diminishing and objectifying vocabulary to describe how he became aroused as a teen-ager regardless of what the women were wearing. He purported to be a supporter of women, an opponent of Rape Culture and an advocate for women as subjects and not just objects of the lusts of men. He seemed to value being somewhat flip and “hep”, because he used this term to describe lusting after a woman: “Bone Out”.
Constance, if you are reading this as a human being who has spent time in male spaces where they believe themselves to be alone with themselves and no female people present, you will recognize this term as slang for masturbation accompanied by fantasizing over whatever poor unfortunate woman has the burden of being his fantasy object, and in this fantasy she will do, be, say, or act out whatever it is he wants (or thinks he does). You will also know that after you are finished “boning out”, you will have unconsciously internalized (in varying degrees) some of this fantasy as “how women really are” and “what women really want”.
Constance, if you are female…how do you feel inside when someone who purports to be an advocate advocates for you while talking about “Boning Out” and blatantly says that it doesn’t matter what you wear, it is going to happen?
Well, I called him out on it…first with a somewhat rhetorical “Wait, whaaaa? What did I just read?” (or words to that effect, I cannot quote them because I blocked this person after our next exchanges).
Aaaannnnddd, what do you think this advocate did? Check himself, and say “Oh wow, sorry ladies, I apologize for my slang, and I really do see how in trying to make a point that dress codes are irrelevant I inadvertently revealed that I was gonna lust after you whenever I wanted to”…hmm? Seems a gracious response, yes? Or do you think he got huffy, aggrieved and touchy, blame shifting any objection to what he said over to the objector?
Now keep in mind that this thread was vitally active with intelligent women who were making informed and insightful thoughtful comments and expressing their hearts over how these dress codes are designed to oppress and other women and keep them in places of exclusion in the paradigm.
So I commented further and sought to point out that his vocabulary was coarse at best and lowered the level of discourse and destructive at worst because of the way it objectified and sexualized women. I tried to point out that he had obviated his support of abolishing dress codes by flat out stating that he would lust after a woman regardless of what she is wearing!
Let that sink in.
He then went on to defend his position that school attire should be like work attire: “business appropriate”…and that is not a bad idea, by the way (the fact that many people do not want to go into business not withstanding)…and yet still couldn’t see that the problem was not the dress code!
The problem is in the attitude of males who believe it their right OR their inescapable biological destiny to lust after women for the sake of their own satiation sexually. So we know that this person would “bone out” over a woman in business attire, or snowsuits, or bikinis, or the latest chic shade of grey.
Scattered throughout his man-splainin’ were jabs at me, turning it back on me and basically claiming to be intention-wise such a champion of women…and he doubled down on his slang with scatological vocabulary and a tone of anger in his words that I took as his clear intention to intimidate me into silence…
and he also doubled down on his blindness and tone-deafness, by making comments about his propensity to get aroused over whatever women were around. He did not own this as his own issue! He said that women give him a chubby!
So Constance, you women out there…be it known that you now have a new role: to be a Giver! YAAAYYY…um no yay, because you are now a giver of chubbies.
Oh, and “chubbie” is a cute word which is used to cutify the male erection…I suppose calling it a chubbie was supposed to make me coo like it was his mischievous unruly puppy that makes messes here and there but will be oh so loveable if I just pet it and feed it.
No matter what you are doing, whether you realize it or not, you are a giver of chubbies to men. And what are these poor fellows to do, being such a downtrodden oppressed group, except to take this gift and…yeah.
Well, I appealed to my sisters who had been speaking so lively and true…was I wrong? Was I out of line? Was everyone just so impressed with his wit, his scatological riffs more reminiscent of Richard Pryor than Dice Clay? Would they let me know? Or, if I was right, would they come to my side and help me try to educate this man?
I also decided to draw the interaction to a conclusion so far as my end was concerned because in social media an artificial connection exists that does not lend itself well to “Iron sharpening Iron”…you have all been there I am sure…emotions rise up and swamp intellect and good will is washed away and insult and invective become the implements of war in Sarcasm’s hand, until blood and entrails are the media for the pictograms that death carves into the scene. And all that carnage between two Image Bearers who have never met, never knew each other even existed 10 minutes before, and have no idea who and what the other person is…
…the wrong that is inside us just gushes out like a geyser…
…why does it almost never happen otherwise when there is a sharp difference of opinion or misunderstanding? No, better to just end it, after all the beginning of a quarrel is soo much like starting to relieve one’s self: once it is going, it is nearly impossible to stop until you have voided your bladder, and then it’s too late, you have defiled everything in the stream of your waste.
And also, I blocked this person, because I have stepped in it before with men just like this guy who then become relentless in hunting me down and virtually assaulting me online, and rest assured they make sure that I know that I am transgender and what they think of it…as if I had not ever known or heard. And when you are told that you will be ambushed and killed by people that others think is a great guy, well it messes with your heart.
And no, this guy did not say that to me…at least not that I know. Because I blocked him preemptively.
This all happened on someone else’s domain, and I did not feel the freedom to deconstruct his arguments and address them one by one…and I truly believe that he was so angry and defensive it would have made it worse. I also did not think to copy them all before I blocked him so that I had a record, and I do not want to unblock him in order to do that…
…so these are my recollections…but really…these are the things I felt and experienced…
and they left me feeling bruised and insulted…
No one else said anything…what was so obvi to me was either not true, wasn’t visible, or was so scary that no one else would step forward and stand with me. And that is what was the most deeply discouraging, because then I wonder if I had been a cis female would someone have spoken up for me? Was everyone silent because I am transgender, and openly so? Is my courage like trying to put out a volcano by carrying teacups of water to the violence one by one?
If I am silent, it continues. If I speak, it attacks, and continues.
Well, I am speaking. Here…on Grace Notes…and I am saying it is not okay for men to hide behind the notion that their arousal from being around women is something they cannot control…I know about this first hand, and it is indeed possible to not do this! I am saying it is not okay to talk both sides against the middle.
And that way? At least I can live with myself.
In sorrow and tears,
Constance, I think I have posted about this previously, but I think this layout here is succinct, accessible, and easy to digest. Ya know, I have been thinking about the backflips that some people do, the contortions they knot themselves in so that they can preserve a way of thinking about a topic and not have to deal with changing a point of view…
…sadly, they place that point of view over a person far too often, and end up contributing to a tragedy.
It really is the ultimate in idolatry…a human life slain on the altar of the idol of their point of view.
Thank God there are parents like these, who understand the appropriate reaction to the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance.
This is must reading. It gets to a very dangerous assumption: that only monsters or freaks commit rape.
Sadly, rape is committed by loving fathers, normal husbands, common brothers…in short, by ordinary non-monster men who think it is their right to take what they want sexually from these other-gendered objects created merely for a man’s use and pleasure.
This message underlies major sections of some theological beliefs and it is based on a complete misunderstanding of the true nature and essence of who woman is…
…this attitude is inculcated at every turn in our culture today, and sadly women internalize much of this within themselves and end up being vulnerable in ways they would not otherwise wish to be.
how much is enough?
I ask this because…growth.
how much is enough?
is growth a candy-cane, a barber pole
spiraling and twisting twins of
life and death entwined?
or is it a mountain trail,
switchbacks and double overs
and 2 steps back for every 3
each time you’ve gone a hundred.
and sometimes you just march in time
or stay beside a bush
to see if there really is a bird in it.
oh wait! maybe growth is
the wind, catching us up in it
like kites to kiss the sky and dance
while our bones are picked clean
by its breezy nips and us clutched in
airy talons by our hips.
if that is the case, then
the answer is never!
Growth is never enough.
No, what we need to go along
with the never of growth, is loyalty!
Cus loyalty is either there,
or not there…no one can be loyal
only when they feel like it!
you either are, or you aren’t…
so spin that barber pole of
growth and loyalty
while we wait, and wait,
10,000 little prayers like
fluttering fingers in God’s face.
your hands are muddy from
digging and investing in growth.
my hands are hot from
stoking and cuddling fire!
together, we can answer the question
that cannot be uttered by only one person:
When you look from the tops and the corners
of your glance at the walkers thru deserts
of this world full of pain-gilded glories…
Use Soft Eyes.
See, they may be on journeys much longer
than the scope of your heart can consider
bearing burdens of mute tongue-tied stories…
Use Soft Eyes.
Under placid and neutral expressions
that deflect any prying mean fingers
lives eternal unending awareness…
Use Soft Eyes.
Let your countenance radiate kindness
like Niagara gushing relentless
with a laughing voice full of compassion…
Use Soft Eyes.
Travelers talk, and the story
will spread of the human oasis
who generously sees, so determined, to
Use Soft Eyes.