To All From My Past Who Read Here

Hi.

If you are someone from my past and you read here, I want you to know something.

You are welcome to read here.
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If you are someone from my past, and you are genuinely open to learning new things, updated understandings of the ways that technology has revealed realities regarding gender and DNA…if you are willing to meet me…Charissa Grace White…and truly receive me as you would any human being you had met and were getting to know, then you are welcome to be in contact with me.

But know that my choice to transition is not up for debate…it is made and done.  To debate that with you would be as silly as debating with you whether or not it was the right thing to marry the person I chose.  So I will not allow this…I will not put myself at the end of your firing range to become your scapegoat for the social ills you so deeply dread.
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And finally…if you are someone who reads here while thinking of me as that freak who is a “man” but is deceived and deluded by the devil and is now under demonic influence for thinking “he is a woman”, then just GTFU…ur dum.  Holding this position is like boasting about how stupid, intractable and ignorant you are of the incredible body of literature on the subject.  You ought to be asking yourself why you are so deeply upset over this!  Why does it bug you so much?

I am by far a better person than I ever was before…more of what people have always loved about me and less of what people have always despised about me.

Just go away if you are in that latter category…I don’t care how long I have known you.  The length of time you have known me is directly proportional to the ought you are obligated to in connection with me!  You ought to be more compelled to read the literature…you ought to be more compelled to know the open flower and stop worshipping the tightly closed bud.
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There is a male who flat out broke off a relationship that was over 3 decades old, because I “had crossed a river he would not cross”.  He has had zero contact with me since.  This in spite of how his actions violate the very gospel he claims to love.  This in spite of the countless hours we spent together, the countless actions of service and love and support, the walking thru darkness on his behalf…

…clearly the issue is on him.

But I bring him up to tell you that his is the party you want to go join if you are in that latter category.

I am me…free…and flying.  You can fly too, if you would actually take responsibility for your choices and your failures to choose…your fate is in your choice, and may you find surrender to Love as you choose…
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That Eye Unblinking (A Holden Lament)


Last year a wolverine broke loose, came slashing and gashing, ran up and down
canyons and cliffs and crittering quick up tree-trunks with such fierce red claws…
Snarling and yowling the haunting roar raged, moaned and cursed with such
hunger, such fury, that flurry of wood-thirsty teeth insatiable, free from hiatus and

running heart birthed straight from Their Great Altar There which purifies
all things with Holy Fire so freeing, so cleansing…wafting austere like pure Incense
arising, in billows and plumes and ash, ASH, everywhere and in perpetual
Wednesday, marking the Cross on all things there…within.

the fire had time to make up…
One Hundred and Fifty years to turn…and it was said to be
A Great Mosaic Burn.

At last to feed its need to cleanse a forest fat with care, beneath the watchful eye of
Moses there, beneath his rod extended, as if the sun stood still again, and trees grew
up and great in grit and girth like Children of the sun, see how fat they had
become…See them, their indifferent eyes unblinking, safe, satisfied and

self-centered and all together, such a stand of forest land, secure, untouched…
so sleepy, nodding off with rusty Time’s tock-ticking Heartbeat softly crooning
to ossified great forest stands so very grand that didn’t know they needed
Severe Mercies to come with fire and hot kisses from the Phoenix.

It had not chosen cleansing
It did not know it’s need
for resurrection, for refining

For fire comes to cleanse and make new everything it can consume and challenge all
it cannot touch to understand that TRANSFORMATION’s the destiny
of every-thing with the courage to crawl out from underneath the letter and run
from the rod and leave behind the tyranny of the typical to the flames…

and walk away from Moses, into freedom in liquid-gold fireworks,
free from the cares of the world that cling so fierce and so easily entangle us,
choke our lives in hoary growth and lullabies lulling us fast to sleep,
a Sleeping Beauty Bride on her bower of soft and easy privilege.

She like an eye unblinking
safe in her cloister so fair
deaf to Her loud Divine Dare.tumblr_nfiksuYzYz1twolrlo1_500
And (just like that forest or Sleeping Bride), there amidst that red hot bloody conflagration set another eye, a forest eye, unblinking sightless eye and
woke up wide awake in terror tribulation, hushed in dread anticipation and fear and with helpless petitions arising, not like incense but like signals…smoke signals…

to Moses?  To God?  To the Universe Fire come down to feed?  Protected by roads
cut with care and foresight, that Eye Unblinking sat there in fright…
and Holden its breath and leaning against a wolverine dread come at last to
consume the dead, to rip that forest wide open and slash the woods to crimson rags

dripping bloody with flame and red flurries…
wrapped in silver sheets reflective, shiny
(or were they merely space age burial shrouds?)

It never blinked, that Eye, and all was shrouded safe, cocooned within
and underneath the rod and the Letter, striding secure thru the Red Sea Fire
escaping the sharp teeth of wolverine the Eye remained preserved amidst
a work that renovates the face and gives a skin-deep makeover, but leaves

the sleepy years untouched and undisturbed on laurels long gone brown
with age and loss of life though all appearances would say that Holden is
alive and well and safe from that destructive hell of fire and fear…yet
none could name that something still so desperately needed a root canal of flame!

for all the Who’s in Holden sigh
for yesteryear, forgetting that it’s
the thief that steals tomorrow.

And this year, one year later in the same Unblinking Eye I rolled in on the waves
and wind (Charissa, meaning “Grace” but named “Char”-issa, “Ashy-one”) seeking
to drink of the life that flows through a village untouched by anything that fell
outside the Mosaic burn and no longer shrouded outside but just maybe mummy

rags still wrapped so tightly around a heart perhaps long grown so slack, so sleek
and oh so fat just like that forest was last year before God gave a wolverine to rage and feed, and cleanse, renew…I saw History on display and windfall fruit rife
on the ground and satisfaction ruled the day, and familiarity won the race

and wore her shiny tangy plumy purple tinsel crown…
Golden Apples, everywhere and casual and everyone was on the in,
societal, and fire roads cut secure and ohh soo straight.

So I said Hi and reached with blinking eyes that squint into the light,
oft times in fright of storms and lightning flashing forth…and found
my blinking words rebuffed by cool and hooded eyes that had seen it all,
eyes satisfied and cynical cus been there done that, ho-hum…done much worse

I ran aground on fire roads and that Moses curse of long ago still Holden Court
over long hearts that found consuming fire fearful, dreadful and to be avoided
at all costs by any means…and thus She stands this very day…Holden Village
on cusp of…petrification?…or on that hot edge of the Phoenix Way!

Holden, Eye Unblinking, ensconsed
in the forest, last year just as this one,
in a forest cleansed to living bone, and Holden?

I heard the Spirit resounding The Word that Fire must fall upon a village that mirrors the forest that kneels all around…She said that She has a fiery crown and Holden is that forest fat and ready for the Refiner’s Fire, the Cleansing Burn that
resurrects those vital dry bones waiting…but She must choose that fate and blink…

Yes, we must welcome Fire Fate from God and let the dead wood burn,
and blaze, and feed Mosaic Ways to the flame and trust the Good God of the Fire
to keep her safe underneath Their Name and resurrected, cleansed, renewed
and ever delivered from stain and shame!

Let the rod be cast into the fire hot and be consumed!
For Moses died on Southside, short of Zion is his tomb!
And find us Lovely on the Northside, once again the Spirit’s womb!

Letter cannot take us there, nor blaze of past great glory fair
We must eradicate those roads of preservation that we wear!
They trap and capture us and cut us off from Grace unhindered
so we, like the forest, turn dull and dry, reduced to deadwood’s kindred!

I see Holden cleansed by Fire, and crying Holy tears when Holy
Spirit has free reign again to fall in fires that restore
and interrupt Sleeping Beauty’s snore and dead trees gone,
that speck removed and blinking eyes await the Dawn!

And animals can come again now welcomed
and bathe released in Grace and Precious Holden,
His Eye now blinking free and shining fair in Jesus’ Face.

Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!

To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night

that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
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Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,

“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”

The Best Gifts In The World

I find this quote significant for me on this day.  Thanks to the best gifts in the world:  the soul friends who have joined my journey…Gifts of Healing Presence from God to cleanse and heal the horrors of abandonment by unfaithful and fearful humans who even after 3 decades did not have the wherewithal to go the distance.

There are several significant people who walk with me, both in person and online…both groups are not large but wow are they substantive…thank you for walking me into me.  ❤

July 13, 2016
“The tradition of soul friend reinforces the communal and corporate nature of Celtic spirituality and the dangers of traveling the spiritual path alone. A soul friend helps to offer us the courage needed to say yes to the big dreams being birthed in us. They help us to gain clarity over places of self-deception and denial.”

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
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Taking Communion At Pride

In the 57 years I have spent on this planet, I have taken communion tens of thousands of times.

The most recent of those times was at Pride in Portland Oregon on June 19th, 2016…served to me by Pat Christiansen while a gypsy troupe danced to insistent almost militant drumming behind us…

I closed my eyes as I took the elements, just as I always do, and looked to Them to see Them, to taste and SEE that the Lord is good…and I saw the Sacred Flaming Heart Icon…pulsing…beating…THROBBING…in time to the militant drums, and I was certain that this is the heart of the Risen Lord who wears the Two Edged Sword and Eyes like Fire…

The Heart was pulsingpulsingPULSING

There was a frame around the Heart, and it was getting bigger…and it was pushing against the frame.

The frame began to splinter…and then at last, the Heart gave a MIGHTY PULSE and burst the frame, shattered it and splintered it, and then grew bigger and bigger until it utterly enveloped me and I knew it was off to the far reaches of everywhere.
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The nightclub’s name is Pulse.  The city is Orlando…which means “Famous Land, Land of Renown” and lesser meanings of Times of Importance.

I find the entire experience prophetic and insistent…and I wonder…
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…are you going to stay inside the frame?  The Heart has left, departed…gone outside the city gates.

Are you going to sit and imagine Jesus coming to earth to kick ass on all the people you do not like…yunno, sort of like the Pharisees did and when Messiah showed up and punched them square in the conscience they got so mad they killed Him?

Or are you going to understand that God is stirred in Mercy and Compassion to the point that those things become the consuming fire of Light and Love and each thing they touch responds according to its matrix of being…if it is true it becomes pure and if it is not it simply is consumed.
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Stand with The Sacred Pulsing Heart.  The time is now.

If you wanna be in the “next move of God”, it isn’t with the so-called prophets and evangelists who seek after gold dust and commit adultery on a mass scale while the crowd has what amounts to a spiritual cluster-fuck.

No…it is in the highways and byways, where Mama compels to come in, and the Heart races to rush out.

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Bullets Flying Everyday

Nightmares.

That’s how I have been…lately.  See, someone asked me “How have you been doing, lately?”

Nightmares.
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It was a common question asked in a common way.  When I answered that Orlando had really shattered me, she shrugged and said that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and that we just had to deal with it.

Indifference mixed with derision that I was “emotional” and “unprofessional”.

And I flinched under a fresh hail of words which might end up being something else…let me explain.

Here is why I have had these nightmares of being chased, being hunted and slaughtered, being tortured and tormented and left to suffer and die:

Because this man took action in the real world as an avatar of what our culture throws every single day…words.

Every.
Single.
Day.
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As you read here…people from all walks of life…you statistically are cis-normative and as such you swim thru the waters of our culture with the current, finding it easy to slip and slide thru waves of words which wash over you and pass downstream without even a scratch.

But that is not the case for me…for millions in the LGTBQIA community…for tens of millions of others who are not privileged…and ultimately, it is not the case for you.
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Every day words are slung around by trigger tongues shot from missile silo hearts loaded with radioactive fissionable words and those words destroy over and over and over.  But bodies do not drop to the ground right away and we think that there is no effect.

I have read hundreds of so-called christian messages that say God hates LGTBQIA people, that God is punishing us for what we have “sown” (but it is implied that God doesn’t punish a cis-normie cus they are not … what?).  I have read people who are celebrating and saying they wish he would have killed more people.

In a strange way, I think this man was more honest about things than the vast majority of haters, because he actually did it:  he actually took instruments of death, and looked human beings in the eye, and shot them down in hatred, in horror, in fear.

But you?  You who use your words everyday on others and shoot them dead in the heart?  You who sit three thousand miles away and use words to hurt and silence and kill?  You who cast stoney words?  You who use chemical weapons of mass destruction in the name of “hating sin” and call that “loving the sinner”?
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You are him.  And anytime, anywhere, any of us indulge our evil and hating hearts with our words?

We are making our Our Own Private Orlando.  Our own little abattoir of blood and bone and terror.

I read a FB friend who was so eager to decry the so-called terrorists of radical Islam that she momentarily forgot to carry the slaughtered in her heart…a gentle and indirect prompt stirred her, thank God and to her credit she took down the post and remembered the true enemy…but I tell you this:

Every single slur, every single sarcastic remark, every single angry slam, every single troll comment is a bullet.

And I have nightmares because all this man did was precipitate into the physical world the death and destruction and rape and violence and horror and rage that surrounds me, assaults me, overwhelms me every single day.
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Yes…I remember the days before I came to myself…and I was like any other typical white privileged christian who thought they did not hate anyone and yet made casual callous jokes and had no awareness of anyone different than me as a hurting human being…and I will always bleed over those years of blindness, for they indeed qualify me as chief of sinners.

But no more…and now I can see how each and every time christians say that God is punishing the LGTBQIA community with actions like this, and that God is angry and pissed off because They feel mocked and thus slap us down, and that we are reaping what we have sown when in fact we had nuffin to do with how we are made…each time this is the attitude?  They have made the sacrifice of Love that Jesus made for us on the cross null and void…

…and they nail us up there…and they nail their shadow and sin there…and they are the ones who vent their wrath and fear and loathing…on us there…and they have made Jesus sacrifice to be in vain.
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What I am trying to say is this:

Each and every time you speak in insensitivity, unawareness, privilege, hatred, anger, prejudice, and judgement?

You are the Butcher of your Own Private Orlando and the hearers of your words your victim.

I am gonna go out to the world today and walk in that hail of bullets, that storm of bullets flying everyday.

And when I show how they wound me?  I am gonna be the one jeered at, the one others recoil from with the forked fingers thrust at me with the christian evil eye ward…
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When you stop killing with your words, creatures like that killer will not have nearly the power waiting to channel as an avatar of a culture of hate.

Nightmares.
I am having nightmares.
I am a pincushion of death-words thrust into me…

Let us wake one another up, for the hour is getting late.blood_moon_forest_by_pastorjwallen

I Await Your Sacred Steps

I dashed this off…
well, actually it just
shouldered its way
from my soul
and forced me open
and muscled forth.

No…
it is not polished,
or even much good,
but it is insistent
that it wants to be…
just as it is…
unfettered,
untamed,
unedited…

on fire and fierce.
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let its blood
trickle across your tongue,
down your throat to infuse
you with starfire unquenchable,
with the seeds of birth that come

when nebulas collapse
so that new stars
can be born.
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Will you let
something new
and unkillable
catch fire
in you today!!??

Will you rise
up unshakeable
though ye tremble,
undefeatable though
ye weep?
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Yea, weep
and mourn,
grieve and wail
on the mountains…
and drink this philter
as you pour your tears
like rain upon these bloody
sands so desperately needing
the touch of falling stars to ignite
the birth of light again in this dark night!
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Carry this fire inside
you, Prometheus returning
to those gods weak and beaten
and frightened in a pulsing night
cowering before their creatures
unfettered and held hostage
to hate and darkness…

bind it to your forehead
bright diadem of Hope
and going past the fallen
crumbled thrones of old gods
doddering and wetting the bed
of their comfort and ease…

and hail
to the Halls
of the Risen Lamb
slain and shining ever
in Love, our Sun/Son/Lion!!!
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We march
on Saturday.
We march
on Sunday.
Friday,
though you be bitter
and seem so final,
you are nuffin to me!
I have fought
thru 5 decades
of Fridays
to get to this
time and place.

And
I see
Abraham shining…
I see
Martin and Martin
there, glim’ring…
I see
Susan and Harriet and Joanna…
Joan and Hildegard,
Thomas and Peter
and John…
I see them,
a sea of those
gone before
who beckon,
exhort…

A panorama of the Milky Way over Indian Head Cove in Bruce Peninsula National Park

Yes, weep…
pour it out,
and then
TAKE IT UP,
your tears now
jewels of fire
and precious
and eat them,
living coals
feeding the fires
of new stars
in your souls…
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I await you
in the streets of life,
and I shall never
be silent,
I shall never
stop or waver…
forward!!
Onward!!

We have come this far by faith,
and we shall not turn back now.

See the enemy posture…
covering that cowering fear
as we loom, our faces bright
and fair with Love
and Mercy and Justice
our diadems and Mama
and Jesus Avatar of Love Eternal
our Sovereigns…
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I await you.
This is your time.

Come out this weekend, ye privileged!
Cast your crowns in the gutters
so they can find purchase and grow
and their roots tear down
the walls of Massa’s farm.

Come.
Out.
Ye.
Shining.
Chosen.
Singing.
Ones.

I await your sacred steps.
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Unfurling From A Set-Free Throat

I still struggle to dig it out,
that splinter you shoved into me,
down my throat without so much as
a shot of whiskey or
a shot in the dark.

and you are so certain, sure
of how to walk the world
and all her streets unfurled
when really you are justifying
dwelling in your fear.

But you look so damn normal and together
while I am flailing in the maelstrom of myself.
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Here is what you do to me:
Idealize
Exoticize
Misunderstand
Validate
Vindicate
Vilify
Victimize
Re-traumatize
Reframe
Take out of context
Murder mysteries

You lecture me, slay me with
hidden sneers and resurrect me with
empty scripts and steal my mystery…

and mysteries become stories
and stories become reality
and stories shape the mind
that tells and gives them shape.

stories about “them”
stories about “me”
stories about “you”
stories that isolate us,
separate and set us apart
from the world at large.
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You simply have no clue of how
the mind can terrify, filled up
with anguish, upset, turmoil, fury,
the mind makes meanings out of shadows
and is too easily taught
to fear what it does not know…

And that is your biggest blindest blunder:
You do not know what you do not know
and thus you fear the healthy YOP
unfurling from a set free throat!
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Your mind assumes what it cannot
make out clearly or take out easily.

It’s a survival tactic.

But it inhibits you from being open to learning.
It inhibits you from being students of life.

You’d be well-served to sit our assumptions down.
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A Potent Surrender

Trusting is just such a powerful challenge
to lay down my life without knowing for sure
it will ever get picked up again…by…anyone.

a potent surrender to God (and to others)
that commends my only possession (that’s me)…
to the Hands and the Head and the Heart of all things.
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A turning away from the will to possess,
from power and reflex to cling and to clutch
with brazen heart, hard face and bravado whistling…

afraid in the night of the Breaking Day Coming…
the willing embrace of a breaking that gives birth
to wholeness and health…well…trusting is just such

a challenge
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A Whole Bucket Of Water (Dedicated to Allyson Katsufrakis)

 

three women
are left widows

Ruth
Naomi

Orpah
(hers a different story)
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one left (missing tooth in the wind’s mouth)
one bereft (missing river in the bank) and
one rooted in the cleft (present)

Naomi without water
on fire with despair
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Ruth without a plan
on fire in the air
choosing simply never leaving
just simply remaining…

there
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no matter what the cost
allegiance to the weakest
boasting in the vulnerable
feeding the dessicated
and comforting the desperate
and calming those who rave

when women stand together
for the sake of one
no matter what the cost
they stand, they hold…they save
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it reminds me of the marvel
the wonder and the mystery
of Jesus in humanity
at home in shared adversity…

we all of us “Naomis”
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As Jesus walked among us
“the very least of these”
and chose to share our horror
and chose to face our death
and bears now on His body
the marks of His great love

He shows God’s solidarity
He is our loving Ruth
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The Difference Between

the difference between living and dying
can be found in the difference between
the Grand Canyon and the Milky Way
Another way to say it is

mutual dependence
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Living               Mutual Dependence               Dying

We need the solidarity of the reaching skies
in swathes of silk and shades of grey
to close that gap completely
all the way
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Solidarity…
Mutual Dependence…

trump cards over torture and unbridled ego…
habits that engulf so many with such ease and lack of effort

Adversity sometimes coaxes out
the best and the most beautiful
in human beings but only if
the sky can partner them
thru the gap
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between

that unrelieved thirst
that threatens to engulf

and the utter madness
of misdirected sanity.

Ah…and the skies like banners unfurl
The Difference Between
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On Living The Gospel

It is not so much our slogans and statements, our creeds and commitments as it is the way we walk them out with our flesh and blood.  Documents are empty hulls of potential…and every single day that we truly live those commitments we give them flesh from our flesh and blood from our blood.
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The challenge posed by staunch commitment to broken people is that you then will have dealings with broken people.
This can be troublesome if you unconsciously expect that broken people will live and act unbroken. If you dribbled a crystal globe, and it shattered, and then when you touched a piece and it cut you or poked you, the challenge you would be facing would be full blown in how you reacted to being cut.
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That is where the reality of creeds, statements and slogans truly emerges…the ones who react in shock or outrage or horror are the ones who thought that globe was a basketball. The ones who recoil in horror or anger or disgust are the ones who believed it was a soccer ball.
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That is the distilled essence of walking out the Gospel: realizing that it is a message that attracts the hungry, the lost, the broken and it is not the creed which transforms but the living Presence of Christ IN that creed that does the work of healing and restoration.
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Which means to live the Gospel is to be inconvenienced, to be confronted with wounds that stink and are infected, to change the emotionally and spiritually incontinent…and to do it in patient joyful tenderness.

Someone can make their point with stern words and terse actions…it is not hard whatsoever to understand a point that has been made…and someone else can walk their love with gentle hands and consistent presence, and then ask for whatever they want as the broken heal, and slings are discarded and casts are cut off and the lame begin to walk.
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And then…deeper…closer…at the pulsing core…the revelation that is couched in those words from the cross “Forgive them Father…they do not know what they are doing.”

Those words have such compassion and understanding in them…they assume that most people would do good things if they REALLY KNEW the impact their troubling actions are having.

It’s such a good thing that we are coming to the place where we can even see that our statements and commitments and creeds have a unique calling to be expressed in our current climate…

it’s an even better thing when we count the cost…

it’s the best thing of all when we keep going and the word(s) become flesh.
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and Roses

sometimes I wonder about my life
here in darkness, here with bones
here in this hole in the dust.

who knew that a hole could be full
of anything but blank and black?
It’s full of me, and full of bones, and back

lifted, arched towards the sky
an umbrella raised to shelter some
deep work of resurrection and roses.

and roses.
Incarnate Dead
Roses, and Holy Saturday
that is my life, caught between
the knitting needles of time and its end…

hung, strung, in one
big long wait in darkness
and no sound and no breath.

outside, I hear rumors of things
like stars wheeling and cards dealing
and people crying, lonely sighing

and roses.
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“The Art of Blessing the Day” by Marge Piercy

The Art of Blessing the Day

This is the blessing for rain after drought:
Come down, wash the air so it shimmers,
a perfumed shawl of lavender chiffon.
Let the parched leaves suckle and swell.
Enter my skin, wash me for the little
chrysalis of sleep rocked in your plashing.
In the morning the world is peeled to shining.

This is the blessing for sun after long rain:
Now everything shakes itself free and rises.
The trees are bright as pushcart ices.
Every last lily opens its satin thighs.
The bees dance and roll in pollen
and the cardinal at the top of the pine
sings at full throttle, fountaining.

This is the blessing for a ripe peach:
This is luck made round. Frost can nip
the blossom, kill the bee. It can drop,
a hard green useless nut. Brown fungus,
the burrowing worm that coils in rot can
blemish it and wind crush it on the ground.
Yet this peach fills my mouth with juicy sun.

This is the blessing for the first garden tomato:
Those green boxes of tasteless acid the store
sells in January, those red things with the savor
of wet chalk, they mock your fragrant name.
How fat and sweet you are weighing down my palm,
warm as the flank of a cow in the sun.
You are the savor of summer in a thin red skin.

This is the blessing for a political victory:
Although I shall not forget that things
work in increments and epicycles and sometime
leaps that half the time fall back down,
let’s not relinquish dancing while the music
fits into our hips and bounces our heels.
We must never forget, pleasure is real as pain.

The blessing for the return of a favorite cat,
the blessing for love returned, for friends’
return, for money received unexpected,
the blessing for the rising of the bread,
the sun, the oppressed. I am not sentimental
about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote
with no more feeling than one says gesundheit.

But the discipline of blessings is to taste
each moment, the bitter, the sour, the sweet
and the salty, and be glad for what does not
hurt. The art is in compressing attention
to each little and big blossom of the tree
of life, to let the tongue sing each fruit,
its savor, its aroma and its use.

Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.
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“All Means All”: A Meaningless Circular Statement

I love words…they are so powerful, so magical.

They are alive, they pulse and glow and they do things and go places that you might not mean for them to do and go…and this is especially the case when we use them carelessly and just spew them out because we can.

The biggest problem we face with words is that we forget that they mean something…and when we do that, we set them free to impose a meaning in a situation that controls and distorts reality from what is consciously heard on the surface of the words.

For instance:  saying “everything is red” is a meaningless statement, by definition.  “Everything” means all conceivable existing things without exclusion”…and thus, red would not exist, because how could there be any state of being or place of perception that was other than red and thus giving meaning to red as something distinct and identifiable?

We only know red in contrast to other colors…thus, it is impossible for “everything” to be red.  The more accurate statement would be “It was red as far as the eye could see” or some variant on that approach.

Recently, I heard someone posing a so-called logical argument that “All means all”, and thus there was no need to delineate who is included in “all”…imprecise shortcut thinking that ultimately is lazy and sloppy given this society we live in where “all” has meant white anglo saxon and protestant for about 300 years.

“All” needs some defining additions, some inclusive categories, because in America (alas) we have lived in blatant contradiction to our incredible founding documents…and in the church we have followed the way of the culture and turned out the poor, the needy, the wrong colored wrong gendered wrong orientated…

So what does All mean?

Let’s define it with something that says “included in our list, but not limited to just this list”…yeah, intentionally worded in an awkward way, because there are some really beautiful crafted statements extant that can be adopted…such as the great ELCA “Reconciling In Christ” statement…it gives specificity and depth to the platitude “All means all”.

As to the fears of “being branded?”

I think it would be pretty cool to be branded with the ideals of RIC to the point that when people saw me coming they said “Omg here comes that Charissa…she is branded with the Reconciling in Christ position that all are welcome to come to Jesus!”
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Enough Water

“A tear is enough water to float a desire to God.”
Charles Spurgeon

Oh God
it is on oceans that I float
my heart to you, my heart
tragic and Titanic and full
of broken dreams

my tears feed every ocean that
ships sail upon so free
and so, will my desires, prayers,
and longings come to Thee?

but as the passenger disembarks
and clambers from the boat
so I distinguish me from my desires,
they mere ships

to sail the oceans of the heart
to catch those winds so strong
and carry me home to You,
God…for this I ever long.

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RECongress “Transgender Lives in the Church” Talk (Transcript)

Wow.

This is one of the most amazing things I have ever read, and I cannot recommend it enough. Please please PLEASE take the time to read this.

Thank you Anna…brilliant and beautiful like you.

Catholic Trans*

This is the text of a talk I gave as part of a panel on “Transgender in the Church” at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, CA on February 27, 2016. You can order the audio here (#5-12).


Thank you all for being here and showing interest in this topic. Really, truly, thank you.

All of a sudden everyone is talking about “trans” issues… and I’m like wait, that’s me. I mean… my story’s kinda weird and everything, but whaaat!? And the thing is for 21 years no one cared about that story. It was a “phase,” or I was “experimenting.”

There’s the activist side of me, the philosophy major that kinda wants to give you the ABCs of trans issues. After all, we’re at an educator’s conference. But the thing is what we’re dealing with here isn’t primarily a movement or phenomenon; what we’re dealing with here are the…

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Afloat In Holy Black

in the silent frosty middle
you know the place, it dangles
from a frayed and rotted rope
by its twisted, broken neck

never climbing to the heavens
never rising, never sinking
finally to hell…suspended
still-born in the dead black moment
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struck hard by fiery unjust suffering
lightening bolts of frozen mystery
electric silence of a God
who seems to become floaty-fog…

…and go missing in that moment…
that cold and lonely hour of greatest need.
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And Defiance?
And Hope?
And Memory?
And Wrath?

Or Mercy?
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God’s absence…ever-present metronome
clicking seconds tangible
but measured in life’s lurking horrors,
haunted concentration camps

shrieking dust-wreathed empty chairs
silent tables lacking breath
just one long open exhale
lasting always occupied

by aching absence of the Loved ones
gone…just gone…replaced by absence…
lurking pervert, shadow present
of God Absent in the hanging

in the hollow hanging black…
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Or is it
Holy Black?  Yes.
Afloat in Holy Black.

In the times of Holy Black…
This Holy Black when God seems absent
in our need, we are too small,
inconsequential lost in mystery

I ask where is God? Where am I?
Where is Divine Mercy Sweet?
How can I (or anyone)
Slip that rough coarse choking rope?
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I go forward
They are not there,
backward, but
I can’t perceive Them.
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When They act on the left,
I cannot behold Them;
They turn on the right,
I cannot see Them.

And yet I find in anguished cries
against God’s absence, They are present!
Present in my blank assumption
that Their Silence equates absence

and tenacious faith in God
who seems so distant from our pain,
and silent to our acrid cries,
and absent from our acid world.
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In the face of certain suffering
how else can I affirm God’s presence
in my midst except by taking
issue with injustice in this moment

of God’s long apparent ringing absence
God’s abandonment in the midst of towering suffering?
My protest against God’s pressing pregnant silence
would be deprived of dignity and meaning

if there were no Presence behind the Silence.
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mercy and justice are enthroned
in a higher heaven still
and in this Lenten season,
in our hungry self denial
as we blindly grope around

in that towering Spiraling Darkness
of our own imperfect vision
and our wakened apprehension
of our God, we will to wrestle
with God’s absence so we can come

to experience the presence
of God in a different way
not that hanging purgatory
twisting in the idiot wind…no
Us and God…Afloat in Holy Black

“I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye has seen you.”
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It’s On…

it’s on the naked branches
stripped bare by winter lashings
frozen crushings and dim light
dark night and the howls and owls
and the lonesome silent music
of lost longings and long waiting…
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it’s on the roof built solid
so snug against the cold
and cupping all the golden warmth
that glows inside the heart
and sings inside the soul
of Spring returning fast…
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it’s on my face that Mama splashes
all Her Love, Her Grace and Peace
She beautifies my ashes
She oils my grieving heart
She clothes me in Her Raiment
and purifies my spirit

and I sing once again
reborn and free again.
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Afloat In Holy Black

it’s a thousand points of light
stark against the black
reflected in my eyes
refracted in my heart
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a thousand thousand times
in gold, in yellow hues
embedded in the sable soft
stuck in molassess skies

amber warm and endless sloe
i feel the tête-à-tête
vibrate around me, in me too
and I begin to know

that I will never fade, burn out
or disappear in black
for I’m a thousand points of light
afloat in Holy BlackThe stars on the ceiling of the vault. Mosaic (mid 5th)

Meditations On Suffering

The journey difficult and hard,
black and blue and bitter cold
upon the road thru long days old
and vales of death and darkness.

In hardship and travail we walk
and most of us will quit before
we reach the end, and yet that end
is still a mystery so vast…
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It strikes me that of all the ways
to make appeal to human hearts
They chose to magnify the cost
and left rewards as afterthoughts.

What exactly is Their point?
What is promised with this pain
and sacrifice…and…what?  Comes next?
More mumble mumbo turbo trouble?
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Fatigue and hardship hand in hand
in times of darkness shared in light?
Not the cheery words that humans
think they need and want, but turn from.

Jesus looked at His best friends
and told them that in this hard world
they could be promised suffering
and then He spoke a miracle:

“Have courage, My dearest friends,
faint not! For I have overcome
the world and all that is there in”
And pain’s denied sour last say!
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Somehow the Son of God joins us
within it all and thru it all
So what exactly is success?
Is it simply winning? Tell me!

Because something shines beneath!
Something lurks Gold and Beyond!
I smell victory past defeat
and virtue is its own reward.
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You Who Accuse…

…you say that I think I can do what I want and pronounce it all forgiven by my belief in my “make-believe god”?  You say that I think I can justify whatever I want and call it a “Road to Damascus” experience?

You think wrong.

You will never know the depth of the pain and sorrow for each and every time that I have fallen short…

…and you also will never know the hurt and pain you caused me with your false accusations of abuse and physical harm, your violent anger and threats of murder…your false memories and placing words in my mouth that I never said or even thought…

You will not have a way of knowing that even in your falseness I see that as my own fault because I did not do a good enough job to birth you into wholeness and understanding of truth…and instead, you go on forever about things that are so insane as to be befuddling to me.

No.  I am blood guilty of sins of commission, and sins of omission as well.

But I place my faith and my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and in His Cross…and I ask Him to see me thru.
I trust Mama to Defend me, Advocate for me, Sustain me, Console me, and Comfort me.
I will do so all of my days, no matter how good or bad I was each day, no matter how deeply I fail or how high I fly.

This will never change, though I hope and pray that I will, continually becoming more like Jesus’ Lovely Heart by the Grace of God poured out liberally.

And there are others too…who read here like Nicodemus…you from the past, who used to come out into my working environment so you could criticise me, call me unsubmitted, tell me how I had no rule over my soul, and basically oppose every thing I attempted…I know you read here and think me tragically deceived, fallen away, or (one dude, you think this) in the clutches of “sexual sin”…

you think that being transgender is an act of sexual fulfillment, which absolutely cracks me up…like, I guffaw when I consider your ignorance and assumption.

You all have missed me in the midst of your judgement.

Here is me:  this song forever, along with the other ones I have posted this morning.

If you want to understand me and be in my heart, you must understand and accept these songs.  Whether or not you adhere to the songs is not my concern…that is up to you and your own convictions and choices.  I seek to love and accept you regardless, from you who say you dreamed of murdering me for years to you who shake your head and waggle your beard because you have judged me outcast and shunned.

Sometimes I need to make these declarations.

Today is one of those days…and I am still here…like Papillon…I am still here…clinging to the precious Bleeding Side of Jesus.

 

And Gold All Underneath

Behold, the darkness thick and lurking, growing
like ennui in my soul, in my heart doomed and waiting
in this long moment, seemingly forever
it will remain, this painted grey, this second…
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this minute is an hour is a decade
and I exist here…floating in the nothing, growing-shrinking…
it defines me as some-thing…no…as Some-one
whose breaking renders her unbreakable…
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The growing darkness lurking, insubstantial,
The river Ennui flowing out to nowhere, to everywhere
The shocking joy and wonder also shining, in
This painted grey, and gold all underneath.
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A Performance Lecture on the Theology of Gender

I have seen this wonderful man in person and very much enjoyed his presentation.

I am posting this for anyone curious about a theological perspective about matters of gender, presented in dramatic performance and gentle words.

 

1O Things This Christian Doesn’t Believe About The Bible | john pavlovitz

I don’t advocate consulting the Scriptures for an accurate understanding of matters of sexuality for the same reason I wouldn’t want a medical text from the same time period guiding a surgeon taking a scalpel to me.

Source: 1O Things This Christian Doesn’t Believe About The Bible | john pavlovitz

Sanctuary– For JD

Remember Litter-Mate…the fact that they other and police you affirms your authenticity!!

 

30 Years Previous (For JD)

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…
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Dearest Litter-Mate:

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.tumblr_ntxz2cvGXA1s5neh1o1_500
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.
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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.tumblr_nq5vc0hxpU1qz9v0to5_1280

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!18c3032daf033968d7ebd9cd091f3a2e
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…barcelona_above___revisited_by_coigach-d9h3eeg
…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.wg441_ghost_1This 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.
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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.tumblr_llz2o0zzP51qisir0o1_500
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!tumblr_nyhozchyuh1qat5pio1_400
I love you…and JD…what can I say to you that we did not already say before we knew we knew one another?

 

The Song Of Loss And Gain

Steeples and graves stand marked in memory,
by a crucifixion making way for the last to be first,
and the guilty pardoned, making way for
the creature and The Creator

(the Dying/Living One Living/Dying,
dying/living here, within me too,
I who lack in every grace
to just die already,
so full of Great
Grace to live
always)
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it’s a sign so mysterious and standing
at the core of history the core of the world.

CORE:
suffering,
death, tragedy,
and sad sorrow He
(Supremely human He)
submitted willingly hanging
doggedly broken and bleeding
holding our infirmities in
His bloody Holey Hand
(He’s Got The Hole
World In His
Hand)
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it’s a gift of forgiveness
and assurance, depiction
of the depth of divine mercy
and hope of God and us.

Is this querulous song enough
to quiet restless running thoughts
and ease unanswered questions’ ache,
that burn so cold in hearts laid low
in suffering, hearts whose hope is seized
and despair left laying in its wake
(suffering-wake)
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But we must carry willingly
defeat and thirst and emptiness
through to the end of darkness, to
the end of self, and to the world’s long waited end
bringing meaning to suffering and peace to hearts in pain

in this symphony of blood
in this song of loss and gain.
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Advent Poem: We Wait For God Comes Near

I cannot shake this snowflake-season
and its many unexpected discordant moments
of Christmas preparation somewhere between

red hot errands at the mall

and

the soul felt its golden worth.
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But this discord can be a door to the kingdom
where Jesus is from, Jesus that Heavenly Immigrant,
Jesus that Redemptive Refugee come to our
dark little houses of trinkets and treasures
and useless electronics of technicolor
sentimental uselessness.

We wait like stones wait
(gritty and granite and grey)
to cry out in loud refrain…
we wait, we wait but we wait not
in vain and not diminished though we are
discomforted while we wait earthbound and heavy,
and grow large in excelsis deo expectations longing
1422220803140628_tallfor redemption and relief,
for peace on earth,
goodwill to all,
release from darkness
loneliness, disillusionment,
we wait for God comes near
to this world as we know it.
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Advent Poem: Seeds of Sorrow

The end of exile and darkness
began at the manger of Jesus,
where seeds of sorrow sprouted
(sorrow Theirs and ours)
in Joyful Birth, and drawing
near to earth from heaven
as angels’ song is hushed

in holy hesitation
as Jesus Christ is born.
Image 005

He, God’s seed of sorrow sown
into the earth in Hope
of such Divine rejoicing
and harvesting of many
children returned Home
and exile at last over,
that exile self-imposed.

Advent Poem: Holy Wassail Wine

God,
rest Ye…

here in the midst
of the mess and the malls
and the masses of middling
and the muddles of mercy
needed, so badly needed.
pdx streets
Let nothing

Masquerade as something
filling hearts so full
(of nothing…nuffin)
that they “feel full”
and still hunger for
bread become stone
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For
Jesus Christ was
born upon this day,

again in the sound of muzak
again in the tread of tired
tramping feet tiptoeing
around grapes of wrath
unstored in stores
tumblr_n1rsamJlVP1rq9ek2o1_500
again…be born
again upon
This Day

O tidings of comfort and joy!
For the final word
is not dismay
and darkness shall not
have the final say!
tumblr_ngv59rzGaL1r3fkjno1_1280
here is joy
enfleshed,
mingled with
sorrow like
Holy Wassail Wine
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Advent Poem: Who Can Say?

So long ago and far away
e’en though the miles are under one
and echo still in wonderment
we trimmed a tree with love and grace
and feasted on such shining face
that echoed 4 in that bright place…

and in my heart I live there still
and see the shine and smell the green
and on those wings I rise and thrill
above these deserts low and mean
while angels gather near the earth
and I wait for the Baby’s birth

and understand this thing…at last
I am here to see the sights
and feel the joy and hear the song
I’m here at last…it was sooo long
and who can say what’s best, and true
to be locked up and yet have you

or be bereft of everyone
and have the birth of me be done?
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Advent Poem: Unfeigned Without Reserve

In the midst
of this storm
of pain
these clouds
of hurt
these winds
of death

I stand and on
You do I call
and ever trust
and ever long

For You to bring
Your peace on earth
and those who call
upon Your Name

to lay down useless weapons grim

And lift their hearts
to Light again

and love unfeigned
without reserve

tumblr_nyyadtqi7B1todjipo1_500

My Baby Loves God Like A Boss!

My Baby loves God like a boss!

She ain’t no red-light winker
or Fleet Street wanker
when it comes to
loving Them, HELL NO…

She’s a street walking swinger
as long as that street glows golden
and is called The Way, or just plain
Beautiful, or if that street is a market

and she will buy Their wares…
pearls here, pears there,
peas and poultry right next
to peace and praise…

Ahhh…

My Baby loves God…loves God like a boss!!
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Advent Poem: This Waiting Time

Sometimes frost grips limbs
once lean and limber in the wind
now long grown stiff and creaky
and I hear them crack and groan
in those sticky clutching fingers
cold and frosty, fingers
cold and frosty.
Processed with VSCO with t1 preset
Sometimes ennui (cold)
grips my soul (grown old)
and in its grip I groan
(groan old) and my soul
(my waiting soul) runs
around my heart and
around my heart

as the clock’s tail
ticks and twitches, chases
its tail like a cat relentless,
(useless) and that (waiting)
that frosty cold difficulty of waiting
remains there clinging tightly
in the fading day.
But Advent…

Advent
Advent comes again
and gives her gift.
In the cold and dead of winter,
trauma seems to sting much deeper,
and healing for the broken parts
of my life…and the people that I love?
Seems so much harder to obtain…
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When it comes to these things
things so staggering and important,
healing, peace and goodness
on the earth, freedom from suffering,
well…waiting is hard, so hard and painful.

But in these moments I’m remembering
I’m troubled in soul and looking
for something transcendent, greater
than the hurt and pain and suffering,
something, someOne warm enough
tumblr_nvsyj8Csu51tweelio1_1280
persistent, faithful, warm enough

to breathe on us
to break the ice
and give us life
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Long familiar sweet hymns play
wherever I go, I remember
I am poor, imperfect, waiting for
the God Who comes down,
Comes Down, God With Us
Emmanuel! Hosanna!
In the Highest Holy Fire!
tumblr_mbreiw9fEy1qaxmg0o1_500
and I feel again
the gentle nudge
of a knock deep
at the door
of my small
and icy lonely
heart.
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Advent is the time of waiting
waiting for the One (the One)
Who embraced body, embraced sorrow
Came to show us all the fullness
of just being home, present, and real.

And we are long reminded in
our cold dolorous longing
what we’re longing for actually
a WhoWho, Who we long for,
God…always coming nearer to us.
tumblr_nxyvx0qB8d1sbg1lmo1_500I have found a place
inside (in Advent, inside you)
that place where once
you die, you…
you come Alive…
A place where pain
and pleasure weigh out
just the same
and all that’s left
is only Love,
tumblr_nveprpyg6U1tdo940o1_1280And every sorrow touched
by the wild gold Promise
that in this very place
(of waiting)
Jesus has been born
(is born)
and will be born
again and again,
and again
breaking thru
tumblr_nvtonjz7IJ1qam6uto1_1280that icy grip
thawing out
our longing hearts,
melting all
our sin and deaths
so we can
laugh again.

If It Were Not

I remember a time
when it seemed
quite obvious to me
that God was
what I wanted.

God-shaped vacuums
hearts restless til
they rest in God
the Holy God of faith.

But did I dare to sit
before this God
without this mask

(the one I didn’t know I wore)

is this longing
in and of itself
an assurance
of God’s presence?

What would longing be
if it were not?
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Advent Poem: To Go To Bethlehem

Uncanny, peculiar,
uncomfortably strange,
I tend my fires and tell my story…
tumblr_n40izwKWgH1s5neh1o1_1280the story of
this quirky girl
overly-intelligent
and stuck in time
that is not time, so
unreconciled to time
so bound up in its realm.
tumblr_n5np124LJd1s5neh1o1_500I 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 amtumblr_n3ng7oK9xj1s5neh1o1_1280ever?  present?
ever a moment?
ever a significant occasion
or an immeasurable quality?

I want real time!tumblr_nyhnrwYzEl1qllucco2_1280time 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!
tumblr_nycmluCX5a1qat5pio1_500a moment
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
tumblr_mz5pbxrvwe1slvh08o2_1280And here I sit, beside time’s bonfire
tumblr_nvpeukM0QC1u7b31go1_1280and 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 tinder636e5f6d27dbf806212c969a3560ca33and wonder how to be
here in this already
and not yet, between
That Eternal Now
and this one,
and the One
Who There Inhabits?tumblr_nxgij6jzXP1rnl2wvo1_1280wonder 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?
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I burn calendars and open
my heart uncanny,
strange peculiar…
tumblr_nfi2j2A3Sf1t043jao1_500to 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.
and in the east her long shroud trailing
I open
my Uncanny Peculiar
Uncomfortably Strange Heart
to the story of All and Ever
ending Never

I choose
to live somewhere between
the already and not yet,
caught and held
by the One who
dwells within Outside.
tumblr_ny2xn8zBkj1trdezwo1_540And 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
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My Peculiar Love, Arise!

JP, look up, arise
my Peculiar Love!

You tumble still
wracking rocks
wrenching ravines
clawing cliffs
and scratching
with nails broken
and bloodied in the plunge.

No…I have not left
your side, your side
(it’s only bruised, Love)
so vulnerable to that lance
and the stinky rough
warhands of that coward
masquerading as a shepherd
covering for a rapist

And on that note remember
He who lays by your side
He who took the lance
He who went all the way
coming to common terms
with loss
blind as wind…

But I float now…see?
You will too soon…

And this is waiting…
there…and so I lay these words of care
upon your lips like mountain blood
white and clear and clean and cold
to slake your thirst with sop
(not hyssop)
of beauty, healing, Promise…

Oh my Love…my Love Peculiar
the day will come to
Arise

and join me in the Liberty
you prophesied when you spied
your baby’s heart eternal.

The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

“Suicidal behaviors in LGBT populations appear to be related to “minority stress”, which stems from the cultural and social prejudice attached to minority sexual orientation and gender identity.

“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.”

Source: The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

This.

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.tumblr_lh6nzks1YS1qgnixvo1_1280

Grace In The Gulf

It is in that gulf
that vast distance
between

that meadow hanging
on the wondrous mountainside
beautiful for situation

and cupping the wind
in its song-chamber bowl
and sounding like angels

and that desert looming
that desperate dryness
and filled with the winds

and the wails of the desolate
and the bleach-ed dry bones
that confound Ezekiel

That gulf is witness
and proof of the Heart
that freely pours Grace

until it is full,
that emptiness stark
repulsive in being

Charissa the Graceful
Full, overflowing
and liberal of gesture

Charissa Bereft
and so empty and jagged
and a curse on the lips

Both of us Mama’s Girl
One speaks of Grace Given
One speaks of Grace Needed

Lord
In Your Mercy
Hear my prayertumblr_nxpoelGzkM1thfeewo1_500

This Knowable And Yet Unseen Fine Line (JP)

What is this mystery
that imbues us with mercies,
that makes us worthy?

What Hand unbridles us,
makes us like fire
sweeping quick and inexorable
across dry crackly pampas?

Is calculated bravery even that?

Calculated?
Brave?

Or is it that opening,
limitless in love,
that casual bravery that
sets apart stark and unique
and truly free?b1673501d5fca66b3e993d2bc501e1e0The bright light and sounding fury
of your sharp inhalation as you stand
just on the verge of this blessed virgin
landscape, uncharted territory and at last
without a method for its mapping!

Your miraculous secrets
can now be made known,
open to the depths
of your deep core!
God,
the planet’s very core
trembles at the prospect
of you unearthing your mysterious you!

Face them down, confront them,
hair gleaming in the moon,
eyes ferocious, feminine
in the sun and perfect chaos
of a new creation being born!!
Image 001Wreak havoc in the hearts of those
who fear lord foul and want to break you open…
they only serve The Sacred Heart
which alone can touch you only
with the Mercies and the Grace!
They hate what they cannot control
and deem you far too much
but I ask them how could you
ever be too much
or anything but
too much

when you can fly above
those lofty snow-graced peaks
and you can warm those
star-kissed ocean-swept
beaches and speak to trees
in profound whispers in
the dead of night
or in the desert
at dawn?c50b02754305b6be20888171bf70747bChange and transformation beats,
a drum within your soul,
that elegantly crafted
straightforward chorus
and procession of passion
and purpose and melty-love!

The notion of you resurrected
sends battalions bowing, backwards
and rejoicing that they caught sight of you
there beside our Sister Joan
and the silver noble mantleb5473fdc349efbc7662f819b33488761
she wraps you both within!

Oh Ship Graceful!
You with the stubborn faith
and ridiculous courage to dare
the tempestuous seas of transformation!

Oh you dark and light pulsing!

Oh you unstoppable hurricane spinning!

Oh you warm rain and gentle embrace
glowing with Mama’s swaying rhythms
and untameable electricity and containing
the very formula for birth!

Let your passion become elixir,
life-force, fuel of legions of the lost
destined to be found!

Let jewels drip from your lips
to the mouths of we your sisters
and send us sailing on clouds
and lay us basking in light!

Let your heart be a home
and golden chamber
of comfort soft
and yet unyielding!
But now, sit in deserts
and wrap yourself in silence
while your spirit howls at the moon
and sings the songs of freedom
from the palace of yourself
restored to you.

Let your temple you
be that magnetic masterpiece
of completely unconscionable strength
and grace and majesty untwisting time
with every bump of your Holy Hips,
every twist of your spine fro and to.

And do not neglect your softness
at the heart of you, of your force.
Carry yourself like breezes in sweet meadows,
swaying like the willows in joyful moving hymns.f7e25dc7979f521a11c72e4d682257f6Remember to be small
when you speak stars
from your very lips.

You are a walking
breathing, living
temple in whom
our Mama
dwells
and
beautifies
so stark and lovely
that the very stones
give up their tears that
lay so petrified and still!f4c2fcbd902e9591ccb29be508b5d1eaAnd so…sister exhale gently.
Let your lungs blow ancient magic
and conjure blooming flowers in the exhalations.

You are Mama’s Girl and are becoming
as a goddess by comparison to the dead
who shovel shit upon their brethren
dead and buried.

This is my solemn promise and exhortation,
I who have dwelt a season at the heart of a scream
and now stand ever in the Red Wonder of Her Heart

join me here…
the water is just fine
in this knowable and yet
unseen fine line.c224a8d81d3e2f32afa2f3931428ca2b

 

Leaving Behind Red Cup Christianity

This.
Homerun.
Drop mic.

john pavlovitz

RED CUP

Christians, I think we’ve been exposed this week.

I think the world has seen us clearly and we’ve seen ourselves—and it isn’t very pretty.

We’ve all witnessed that our faith tradition has become so small and so trivial and so terribly malnourished that it can now fit into a little red cup.

It’s all right there in the palms of our hands, in full view of the watching world.

This Red Cup Christianity

… thrives on the fight. It needs an enemy to exist, a battle to feel vital, a cause to rail against to give it weight and meaning and urgency.

… is born in privilege. It expects to be catered to and to control in all situations, not realizing that this was never promised nor necessary nor normal.

… defaults to feeling persecuted. It perceives everything less than completely conforming to it as an assault and attack and injustice.

View original post 310 more words

Only Different Now (Mindful of JP)

Be yourself only
different now
somehow
with all
that
grief.tumblr_mubepqA5O41qznczoo1_500In case you ever
thought that
you were just
a being, just
a humble
presencetumblr_lx4e3kosSN1qzwaddo1_1280you are not just
anything, you
mean something,
more than that
you mean
everything,tumblr_mplmt2mrm41rfp1lho1_r2_500because everything that
means something
beats inside
of you.Image 003

Irrevocably Loved By God

there dogwood lingers
lost in long and cooling nights
side by side with sassafras
brooding over browning grass

and sumac stands
with red oak and sheds
leaves in broad daylight
while maples paint

in crimsons, scarlets, purples
yellow brush upon the air
and splashed across
the transom of my heart.tumblr_nxd364udX81qat5pio1_500winds and rain come now
and colors muddle, fade to dull
and make their ready to fall down
into the soil dark that croons

and calls them to their fall.
and I am shattered in this fade
of yellow birch and maple red
the flower of spring is there unmade

and frost laments now come in lace
and nibble at my tender face
and precious profound beauty
here and gone and metumblr_nx6vxz9xeX1rum5sfo1_1280that hardest of hues to hold
as my life falls in leaves of days
is here and gone in just a wink
and nothing gold can stand untouched

and how is it, Eternal One
can love so strong and fierce this shade
who passes from the day to night
and fades into the mists?tumblr_nwyhsqnAN61rf0rtjo1_1280

 

 

A Prayer For Healing

Into the compassionate womb of your Love, Oh God
I bring my deepest needs, my strongest hopes, my greatest fears.
Give me tears for my grief, a voice that I might cry out unto You.
Give me words, that I might say what is most in my heart.
Give me courage, that I might always seek the healing You have to give.
Let me always offer my suffering to you, so that if healing does not come,
wisdom, justice, and compassion maybe its fruit.
A life offered to You, Abba God.
Amentumblr_nx9k8eT4EU1uufoudo1_1280