I Am A broken girl And I Am

I am a broken girl and I am

not so easy to love like
carefree normal confident girls
next door in cotton and flannel and lace.

I live inside a fortress and I hide

inside shields and my soul
lives centuries in seconds
I am a survivor of wars
that break the strongest
men so flimsy.
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Can you love me so strong that mountains
collapse into the dust of quiet surrender?
Can you melt my doubts and burn my soul
hotter than cold death and abandonment?

Can you endure my very worst days and stand

me not knowing that I am beautiful,
can you erase the thousand tormenting words
the sibilant whispers from hell’s pits of isolation and horror? tumblr_nycmluCX5a1qat5pio1_500
Can you stand that I am thinking even now “Why would you?”

Why would anyone?

I run from you,
but do you see that I run
far slower than I could?
Do you even know
what that means?

Why won’t you chase me?
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Could you provide me anything
that I can rely on, any routine
that will be as sunrise and sunset
again and again?

Could you give me a pet name?
Could you kiss me, touch me?
Then do it again, and again.
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I am a broken girl and I am
thirst itself so strong that Sahara is oasis.

I am a broken promise but I love
with loyalty that is the stars
commitment to shine in the night.

I am a broken girl and I am
dust_and_ashes_by_art_de_viant-d6ci8m9

via I Am A broken girl And I Am

Under Galloping Moon

it’s a
foggy caul
a skein,
night’s skin
here under
galloping moon.

She rides, Her horse
grey and shadow
She bleeds silver
mercury drops
quicksilver seeds

i melt into Her
wet rivers, dripping
slick with desire
swollen with devotion
aching with longing

until i am breathing
underwater, under
galloping moon.

9 political cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are still relevant today.

Well hello there Supporter of ttaf!  

Here is the good doctor who you assiduously made sure I read.  In fact, you taught me to read from his books!

This is a great skill to have, and it takes a much more active brain than watching Fux News all day ERRR FOX NEWS…

It stuns me that in this time of information access unparalleled in history, you have stuck your head even deeper into the sands of superstition and suspicion.

I finally understand what you mean when you say “Make America Great Again!”

You liked it better when racism was explicit and unconcealed!  You liked it when you could call people of color whatever name you decided…like “negro” or even worse…when you could “Jew prices down”, when you could mock Asian people’s beautifully shaped eyes…all the while telling me Jesus loved the little children of the world…

You want to go back to the days when people of color were “allowed” to live so long as they kept their head low and slunk around out of sight knowing their place, and you liked being able to shake your head sadly when some “boy” forgot his place and got hisself lynched.

Well, I am glad you gave me the tools to free me from your heinous ignorance and xenophobic fears…and I weep for you, whining and crying all about how you are getting cheated of your golden years when you can just be an old crank and vote for whoever you want.

You do have that power…the problem is you are voting for an out and out racist who is committed to harming people who are Other (whether racially, religiously, or identity)…

you are voting for a misogynist who wants to erase and kill your very own child…because the funny thing about evangelicals is they keep producing children who are variant:  sexually, gender, ability variant…

because you want an indulgence…

I am revolted by your callousness.

The legendary children’s author had some thoughts about “America First.”

Source: 9 political cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are still relevant today.

A Podcast About Gender And Science

Hi Everyone…

I have been listening to this podcast which is pretty good about getting some of the latest research out here where it can be digested and grappled with.

It is highly affirming of gender as being a continuum, both in existential experiential terms and in physical biological terms.

I highly recommend it, especially to that one from the past who reads here and makes an annual contribution of double grace.  This will be very good for you as you are growing and jelling in your realizations.

Radiolab Presents: Gonads

Reclaiming Jesus

Please go to the link to read this whole thing if you fancy yourself a Christian and yet think that the absolute fucker is God’s Anointed.

He isn’t…and you’re worshipping a false god if you think he is.

Yes.  I am Charissa Grace White, and I approve this Message.

Do justice.  Love mercy.  Walk Humbly.

We are living through perilous and polarizing times as a nation, with a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches. We believe the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake.

It is time to be followers of Jesus before anything else—nationality, political party, race, ethnicity, gender, geography—our identity in Christ precedes every other identity. We pray that our nation will see Jesus’ words in us. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

When politics undermines our theology, we must examine that politics. The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace, rewarding good behavior while restraining bad behavior (Romans 13). When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”

It is often the duty of Christian leaders, especially elders, to speak the truth in love to our churches and to name and warn against temptations, racial and cultural captivities, false doctrines, and political idolatries—and even our complicity in them. We do so here with humility, prayer, and a deep dependency on the grace and Holy Spirit of God.

This letter comes from a retreat on Ash Wednesday, 2018. In this season of Lent, we feel deep lamentations for the state of our nation, and our own hearts are filled with confession for the sins we feel called to address. The true meaning of the word repentance is to turn around. It is time to lament, confess, repent, and turn. In times of crisis, the church has historically learned to return to Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Lord. That is our foundational confession. It was central for the early church and needs to again become central to us. If Jesus is Lord, then Caesar was not—nor any other political ruler since. If Jesus is Lord, no other authority is absolute. Jesus Christ, and the kingdom of God he announced, is the Christian’s first loyalty, above all others. We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Our faith is personal but never private, meant not only for heaven but for this earth.

The question we face is this: Who is Jesus Christ for us today? What does our loyalty to Christ, as disciples, require at this moment in our history? We believe it is time to renew our theology of public discipleship and witness. Applying what “Jesus is Lord” means today is the message we commend as elders to our churches.

What we believe leads us to what we must reject. Our “Yes” is the foundation for our “No.” What we confess as our faith leads to what we confront. Therefore, we offer the following six affirmations of what we believe, and the resulting rejections of practices and policies by political leaders which dangerously corrode the soul of the nation and deeply threaten the public integrity of our faith. We pray that we, as followers of Jesus, will find the depth of faith to match the danger of our political crisis.

I. WE BELIEVE each human being is made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). That image and likeness confers a divinely decreed dignity, worth, and God-given equality to all of us as children of the one God who is the Creator of all things. Racial bigotry is a brutal denial of the image of God (the imago dei) in some of the children of God. Our participation in the global community of Christ absolutely prevents any toleration of racial bigotry. Racial justice and healing are biblical and theological issues for us, and are central to the mission of the body of Christ in the world. We give thanks for the prophetic role of the historic black churches in America when they have called for a more faithful gospel.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the resurgence of white nationalism and racism in our nation on many fronts, including the highest levels of political leadership. We, as followers of Jesus, must clearly reject the use of racial bigotry for political gain that we have seen. In the face of such bigotry, silence is complicity. In particular, we reject white supremacy and commit ourselves to help dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate white preference and advantage. Further, any doctrines or political strategies that use racist resentments, fears, or language must be named as public sin—one that goes back to the foundation of our nation and lingers on. Racial bigotry must be antithetical for those belonging to the body of Christ, because it denies the truth of the gospel we profess.

II. WE BELIEVE we are one body. In Christ, there is to be no oppression based on race, gender, identity, or class (Galatians 3:28). The body of Christ, where those great human divisions are to be overcome, is meant to be an example for the rest of society. When we fail to overcome these oppressive obstacles, and even perpetuate them, we have failed in our vocation to the world—to proclaim and live the reconciling gospel of Christ.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT misogyny, the mistreatment, violent abuse, sexual harassment, and assault of women that has been further revealed in our culture and politics, including our churches, and the oppression of any other child of God. We lament when such practices seem publicly ignored, and thus privately condoned, by those in high positions of leadership. We stand for the respect, protection, and affirmation of women in our families, communities, workplaces, politics, and churches. We support the courageous truth-telling voices of women, who have helped the nation recognize these abuses. We confess sexism as a sin, requiring our repentance and resistance.

III. WE BELIEVE how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, and the prisoner is how we treat Christ himself. (Matthew 25: 31-46) “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” God calls us to protect and seek justice for those who are poor and vulnerable, and our treatment of people who are “oppressed,” “strangers,” “outsiders,” or otherwise considered “marginal” is a test of our relationship to God, who made us all equal in divine dignity and love. Our proclamation of the lordship of Jesus Christ is at stake in our solidarity with the most vulnerable. If our gospel is not “good news to the poor,” it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:18).

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the language and policies of political leaders who would debase and abandon the most vulnerable children of God. We strongly deplore the growing attacks on immigrants and refugees, who are being made into cultural and political targets, and we need to remind our churches that God makes the treatment of the “strangers” among us a test of faith (Leviticus 19:33-34). We won’t accept the neglect of the well-being of low-income families and children, and we will resist repeated attempts to deny health care to those who most need it. We confess our growing national sin of putting the rich over the poor. We reject the immoral logic of cutting services and programs for the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. Budgets are moral documents. We commit ourselves to opposing and reversing those policies and finding solutions that reflect the wisdom of people from different political parties and philosophies to seek the common good. Protecting the poor is a central commitment of Christian discipleship, to which 2,000 verses in the Bible attest.

IV. WE BELIEVE that truth is morally central to our personal and public lives. Truth-telling is central to the prophetic biblical tradition, whose vocation includes speaking the Word of God into their societies and speaking the truth to power. A commitment to speaking truth, the ninth commandment of the Decalogue, “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16), is foundational to shared trust in society. Falsehood can enslave us, but Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). The search and respect for truth is crucial to anyone who follows Christ.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life. Politicians, like the rest of us, are human, fallible, sinful, and mortal. But when public lying becomes so persistent that it deliberately tries to change facts for ideological, political, or personal gain, the public accountability to truth is undermined. The regular purveying of falsehoods and consistent lying by the nation’s highest leaders can change the moral expectations within a culture, the accountability for a civil society, and even the behavior of families and children. The normalization of lying presents a profound moral danger to the fabric of society. In the face of lies that bring darkness, Jesus is our truth and our light.

V. WE BELIEVE that Christ’s way of leadership is servanthood, not domination. Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles (the world) lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-26). We believe our elected officials are called to public service, not public tyranny, so we must protect the limits, checks, and balances of democracy and encourage humility and civility on the part of elected officials. We support democracy, not because we believe in human perfection, but because we do not. The authority of government is instituted by God to order an unredeemed society for the sake of justice and peace, but ultimate authority belongs only to God.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT any moves toward autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule. We believe authoritarian political leadership is a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good—and we will resist it. Disrespect for the rule of law, not recognizing the equal importance of our three branches of government, and replacing civility with dehumanizing hostility toward opponents are of great concern to us. Neglecting the ethic of public service and accountability, in favor of personal recognition and gain often characterized by offensive arrogance, are not just political issues for us. They raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.

VI. WE BELIEVE Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these.

WE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED for the soul of our nation, but also for our churches and the integrity of our faith. The present crisis calls us to go deeper—deeper into our relationship to God; deeper into our relationships with each other, especially across racial, ethnic, and national lines; deeper into our relationships with the most vulnerable, who are at greatest risk.

The church is always subject to temptations to power, to cultural conformity, and to racial, class, and gender divides, as Galatians 3:28 teaches us. But our answer is to be “in Christ,” and to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)

The best response to our political, material, cultural, racial, or national idolatries is the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Jesus summarizes the Greatest Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:38). As to loving our neighbors, we would add “no exceptions.”

We commend this letter to pastors, local churches, and young people who are watching and waiting to see what the churches will say and do at such a time as this.

Our urgent need, in a time of moral and political crisis, is to recover the power of confessing our faith. Lament, repent, and then repair. If Jesus is Lord, there is always space for grace. We believe it is time to speak and to act in faith and conscience, not because of politics, but because we are disciples of Jesus Christ—to whom be all authority, honor, and glory. It is time for a fresh confession of faith. Jesus is Lord. He is the light in our darkness. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Source: Reclaiming Jesus

Repost of A Call To Repent

From 2016…my thoughts on the popular evangelical christian “shotgun passages” they use to blanket condemn anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual.  I am reposting this because I sense that there are many readers from the past, several of whom have issued blanket condemnation of me and others like me…and who I have not seen or exchanged a single word with for many years…and yet they somehow know the state of my eternal destiny and current connection with God…

It makes me so sad…but not for me, actually!  For THEM!  So cocksure, so sage and sad, caressing their chins ever so mournfully and yet so piously, rubbing their beards…and wallowing in their own human pride and selfish piousness.  People who claim titles like apostle and prophet, pastor and teacher…

people who Lord it over one another and practice a spirituality that is actually “homo-sect-uality”, and in fact the epitome of that abuse of power that Paul describes in the 1 Cor 6 passage, wherein an older powerful man exploits a younger and vulnerable boy…

I have seen (and experienced) that very exploitation myself.

It is my true hope that scales would fall off their eyes, as they did my own…where I discovered that the REAL transition of my life was transition from a self-righteous pit of death and striving towards a humble and broken compassionate vessel of the Love and Generosity of God.

There is also a link to a blog post by John Pavlovitz, and his listening experience to true christians who have been condemned by others…

“…Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…

and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…”

Source: Love Wins (at John Pavlovitz’s blog) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A Look Back That Inspires

Something happened today which prompted me to want to repost something that I wrote in January of 2014…so long ago, and yet only 4 years…

In order to understand where I am at emotionally and spiritually in light of the event which transpired today, you need a bit of a refresher…an understanding that the repost at the bottom of the page was written BEFORE so much took place:

I wrote the words I am reposting before I wrote about the beginning of the shunning from the spiritual culture as defined by the vast majority of Christian Evangelicalism…these words, which talk about the nearly total experience I have had with Christians from my past (there is one…ONE person who has verbally, physically, emotionally and spiritually received me who is from my past.  She did so with tears of joy and literal kisses all over my cheeks and forehead, and was stricken as she thought back to the prison I was in and she was amazed that God had loosed this captive so wonderfully).
I wrote them before I wrote about a baby step of coming out that was looming…and ended up being a devastating attack and shunning by the time it played out.

I wrote them before I wrote about the shunning that happened on a monolithic totality in regards to every single friendship from the past which happened when I came out…I received a letter from a person that I had known for 30 years…a person that I had worshiped beside, shared many meals with…a person who had lived in our home…a person who I had walked alongside as they sojourned thru the valley of the shadow of an addiction which nearly destroyed family and self…a letter that shunned me in the Name of Jesus, The One Being who welcomes me constantly and says that His Blood is enough and more than enough for me…

I wrote them before I wrote of the public shunning that happened, when it was the searing abandonment in public circles.

I wrote it before the 21 Gun Salute took place, that professional execution I endured…that death, and the subsequent resurrection from those Phoenix Ashes…

I wrote about it before the horrid attacks coming from supposed Christians which were filled with literal perversions, profanities, and exhortations to kill myself…all given in the name of Jesus of course.

Yes.  That literally happened.

So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?

This:  there is a man from my past, a person that I met in the late 80s and who I was in close proximity with until the year 2005…this man operated (and perhaps still does?  I really do not know.  Lord knows that I have grown up, been pruned back, become more and become less, been adjusted, and healed of terrible blindnesses…so I do leave room for the possibility that this has happened with him as well.  But I do not hold out a shred of hope, or a scintilla of expectation that this has happened, for the need of those who are deeply in thrall to a certain assumption and paradigm to punish me and punish me utterly is far greater than the ability to actually live out the sacrificial Love of Christ that went straight for every single person who was “yet dead in sin”…and not just to the so-called righteous)…

This man operated under a deep orientation that assumed all the doctrines related to “submission”, and truly felt it was the loving thing to enforce that notion…I have many many hurtful memories of those years, from the comments regarding my supposed “cheesy grin” that I supposedly wore (likely, it was whatever mask was on me during the deep dissociation of living trans in a male role and carrying the burden of remembering every detail so I could forget that I was a woman, and thus related to the fracturing events of early childhood) to the interactions which accused me of seeking to utilize my role as a worship leader on Sunday morning in service of self, to the utterly devastating final blow given in such “sad sorrowful tones” which said that my father was suffering and dying in the way he was because I was not properly submitted to “the leader” of this group…

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that every single one of these actions was done from true conviction that it was the right and loving thing to do, based on the paradigm in which he (we) swam…indeed, I myself interacted with people who approached me for help and counsel as they struggled with their sexual orientations in light of the teaching assumptions we were under…and I gave the “answers” I had learned…and I grieve over that…so deeply…

I myself bought into attitudes and distortions of good teachings that I sincerely and 100% believed, and I thought those with other understandings to simply be sinners who were seeking to justify remaining in sin yet still retaining connection to God, and I simply…well, I simply did not have an ounce of compassion…

I shared the privileged view of the privileged…and had NO CONCEPT of the Other…

And it wasn’t until I was no longer “one of them”, not because I resigned membership in privilege, but because when I transitioned I was executed swiftly…

In the personal-relational realm
In the spiritual-religious realm
In the professional-economic realm…

So I know that the intention of those times was, within his own heart and self, “good”…

We also shared many other times too…good times where somehow who was submitted to who wasn’t that important and was never even thought of…such as working on each other’s houses…putting out a fire that started on a hill and nearly burned the entire area down…eating meals together…

Those years…I believe it was about 17 years…during those years I did a lot of dying, and had a lot to die to…and that place was the crucible of purification, in which I gained much wisdom thru death to self.  I was so fractured…so young…and so deeply in the grip of dysphoria and dissociation which was the hidden reef under everything in my life.

He did not know anything about this…neither did I.  And looking back, sooo many things just SHOUT it out so loudly, and while it is occasion of grief and mourning looking back, it also is comforting to know that at least there was a reason for it!

Well…Charissa’s Grace Notes is a public blog.  And this man is a reader…regularly…how frequently, I really could not say, but based on my own internal tools I have as the creator, I suspect it is fairly regularly.

How did he even know I had a blog?  I have not exchanged a word with this man for years…a good 7 years before I even transitioned, and certainly not a word since transition….God forbid!  I am pretty sure he would not, and I KNOW I would not because I decided in 2014 that I would never again submit myself to spiritual abuse and attack from anyone to whom I was a priori a demon-possessed hell-bound apostate.

It is obvi that he found out about my blog via word of mouth…because it is funny:  the biggest evils that scripture has volumes of teaching about (the tongue, the heart) are so easily ignored in Christendom in order to condemn the phantom evils which scripture never even speaks about (gender variance and orientation)…and wowsa did the word spread like fire!!

In fact, the person mentioned here even swore to me that he considered it his spiritual service and duty to God to out me to every single person he met, lest he be tainted by my “sin” of intentional self-deception and thus have my blood on his head.  Yes…these sorts believe this:  “If you see your brother approaching destruction and you do not restrain them, their blood is on your head”.  They interpret this old Proverb as the license to attack anyone doing anything that is to them “a sin.”  He told me that he needed to warn every single person he could that I was anathema and not to be received among “the brethren”…

try and imagine how this felt, and feels…

So anyway, I know that the man I am writing about this morning found my blog fairly easily, but after hearing the words of the tale-bearers, those morsels of gossip that go down so sweet and titillating…

But he has stuck around…and has been reading…for a long time, if I am guessing right…and because I am made who I am, and because of my heart towards God and understanding that I have been made thusly to break down walls and uproot lies and then to plant and build true kingdom attitudes, I have held out hope…a very very teeny tiny shred of hope…

…that maybe he has done the work, read the research…maybe he has examined the scriptures and his own assumptions…maybe he has the courage to know that in spite of anything he might believe about gender variance, the person he knew was truly a child of God and is still one now…that maybe he has met other transhumans…

I am not optimistic about this, or myopic…the odds are VERY slim.

But this man has done something, not once, but twice.

He has contributed money to my transition fund, each time choosing an amount which is significant to me as the number of my name.

But I am leery.  It is not inconsistent with the old assumptions of that paradigm to do acts of charity or service for those considered lost and perishing.  It is thought of as heaping coals of fire upon the head…it is thought of as setting an example…and sometimes it is flat out a genuine expression of God’s heart of love.

How do I know this?  Because I have been there, done that…myself.  Previously.

I am also skeptical and very wary because one of those donations referenced my children…and there is a huge assumption in play in those circles that a righteous relationship with God is able to be detected in the condition of relationship with one’s children and other family.

(Remember the remark about my dad suffering because I was “not submitted” and “rebellious”?)

It is not by any means whatsoever a stretch to see that particular donation coupled with that particular remark about my children as the “coin of unsanctified pity” and ultimately as a dig, a cut, an arrow shot in hopes of providing a wound that cleanses and restores…and if it was that, it was an arrow that shot and wounded and brought death because there literally is not a cleansing and restoring relatable to gender variance and orientation.

God knows there are plenty of areas in my heart that need adjusting and cleansing…it just so happens that being a woman who was assigned male at birth is not one of those areas, anymore than anyone need repent of their gender orientation, or their hair color, or leg length.

So I am very wary.  (Oh yes:  the donation this morning simply said “thinking of you”…and that was both a very simple comment and a very pregnant comment.)

The first time it happened, I accepted the donation, spent it on my legal costs in fact…yeah, dude…you helped me change my birth certificate, a great day in my life!!  LOL!!!!  But I did not reply or interact with the person, because I do not expect that interaction to be life giving and healing, but rather to be a battle and ordeal.

And then it happened again, this morning, and this one is significant to me…

…you see, just before the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve morning in the early morning, I dreamed about this person!  In the dream, Jane and I had a place we were building up in the hills.  We went up there one day to do some work in our structure, which was framed and roofed and wired and plumbed, but lacked sheetrock or siding and finish work trimming…and when we got there, we were shocked to discover that the entire area around us had been developed and had structures on it of various states of completion…all told, the area had around 30 houses, where there had just been ours and a lot of wild land.

We looked around a bit, confused and concerned, when who should approach us but this man who donated to me this morning!  He walked up to us and called out to us…and looked me full in the eyes and greeted me with “Hello, Charissa, may I walk close to you?”  I was very taken aback that he used my true name rather than my dead name and that he knew he needed to ask permission before moving close to me!!!

I said yes, and watched as he approached, and saw tears in his eyes.  He extended his hand to shake hands, and I impulsively brushed his hand aside, greeted him by name, and gave him a hug.  He did not shy away from the hug OR from the double reminders of who I truly am…and then he broke the embrace and held my by my shoulders at arms length and said that it was really good to seem me, Charissa…and his tears were streaming down his face.

I motioned around me and said “So what is happening here, and why are you up here?”  Meaning the development and his presence where there had been nothing but our house and no one but us.

He looked down in what appeared to be sorrow or shame or conviction or regret, I really couldn’t get a good read on it…and then he looked up and said to us “I am so sorry, and I have been wrong.  God has been working in my heart…in our hearts…and we wanted to learn.”  I said “Who is the we you refer to and what are you sorry for?”

He said he was sorry for all the same things that I sorrowed over about what I used to think regarding LGTBQIA issues and Christian teaching, he was sorry about the same things I sorrowed about in terms of the expression of God’s heart in such a cancerous and poisonous way that evangelicalism has become…and that most of all he was sorry that he had automatically condemned transgender people to the label of (fill in your favorite slur, I am not using it today)…

and he said that the “we” he referred to were all people from this little group that grew up, insular and inbred, from a “school” that he helped to start and keep going…that around 30 people all had this deep repentance and wanted to walk away from that old set of beliefs, and that he had bought all the property around us, in order to live close to us and learn from us…

…and would we please teach him, teach them?

Well, Jane and I looked at each other, shocked, suspicious, wary, and on the verge of running.

(Credit: Tyrus Wong
Tyrus Wong, Bambi (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper)

But one this is so clear to me…more clear to me than nearly anything I have ever heard from God:  It is completely and utterly inviolate to me that God Themself planned and intended to create me as I am from the start:  A Transsexual Woman, who would grow up wounded and fractured and driven to God as my only hope of salvation from despair and ruination…and that it was a very sobering thing to Them to do this, for They knew full well the horror and pain this would be to me…and each of Them stepped forward and said “I am enough for her”…and the reason for this is that They had assigned my life destiny to be a prophetess to the people of God who forgot the Heart of God…to speak to them of God’s Heart for the ones who are slaughtered in every realm and sacrificed on the altar of gender…

and that it should be easy for those people to receive me and God’s message, for in those old days I doubt any of them would have thought I was hell-bound, and in those days virtually all of them thought that I heard from God regularly…even though “there is so much wrong” with me LOL!

And so because of that mission, that quest…and yes, the desire to set them free of their blindness and prejudice and hatred, we did not run…but stayed…and said that we would consider it, but had many things to be worked out, many boundaries to be defined…

The man was joyous in our response and agreed to this…

and then I woke up.

Of course, since this was a dream, I interpret the details and events symbolically. I got up from bed and sat and thought and prayed for awhile, wondering what in the world I was dreaming about that dude for!!!???  I had not even thought about him for a couple of years.  Jane held similar puzzlement about it…and we both thought that it was talking about “a neighborhood of understanding/teaching/thinking/transformation” rather than an actual sub-division, and we saw both the man and the people he referenced as symbolic of that whole group of “white, cis-gendered, straight, evangelical Christian conservative” human beings who literally have NO IDEA how much they are bequeathed things on the basis of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender purity, and their religious understandings.

So we said a quick prayer…and I promptly forgot about it.

Until this morning.

Here is this comment “Thinking of you” and this monetary amount…and the dream rushed back…along with all the wariness, suspicion and other emotions which come from the experienced trauma and trial of those years.

The crucial thing to know is this:  a bell, once rung, cannot be unrung.  A woman who gives birth is always a mother, even if the child dies.  There is no “going back” because there is no back to go to.

It is this way with me:  I will never go back.  He is dead, Caterpillar Dude…he is no more.  He is the “back” and is gone.  So there is no “going back”.

Any “kind indulgence” will not “induce to repentance” because there is nothing to be repented of in terms of my transition!  As to repentance of any kind?  Oh yes…the continual joy of beholding Jesus and being transformed by degrees from the glory of the letter which kills to the glory of the Spirit which is life…yunno…the same repentance we share in common.

I am not sure what I will spend this amount on…probably on my HRT, and this is a valued and well received gift.

I am always open to the generosity of heart and spirit that flows in God’s economy from they that have abundance to they that have need…and would always in that spirit welcome such donations/gifts…other gifts I have actually passed on to others in far greater need than I.

But if the spirit and intention of the gift is anything related to “getting me to go back”?  To “repent” of “gender heresy” and “assume my old name and role?”

There is not a chance.

Those things are further from me than East is from West.

And if that spirit and intention is thus impure, then I consider the donation to be “the spoils of Egypt” and still put it to good use.

Wow…what a ramble, eh?  If any are still with me, thanks for reading patiently.

Blessings to you today from our wonderful counselor and our comforter and the lover of our souls,

Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam

 

via Updates about my life

Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I think this is among the handful of poems that I really feel good about, from the point of view of technical craft…I think I really hit the sweet spot and was risen above a mere hack or journeyman kind of poetess…

I wrote this, pretty much the first true poem I wrote after a seminal crushing happened to me and I was worried that my creative fonts had been polluted forever…thank God this worry was unfounded, as this beautiful little creature shows.

“…You were a wordless humming song
and tidal in my veins you moved
in rhythm, rhyme, in time to that
strumming music tidal
joyous humming in the dancing of the waves
and sand and wind and sky.
We walked each day steady
across those shores ever reaching
to the sea and the sea ever running
back to sands and sunset ever blessing
everyday each moment with its many colored kiss
in hues of pinks and purples, oranges, yellows, hues of bliss
in reds and blues, and greys… you…
always grey lining blue of mine with you,
in silver shot straight thru
with grey shot thru my blue.
We knew each sunset,
whiled away another day
closer to that sunset last
and that final mystic gateway
at the end thru which we enter
Lone and sundered, hoping that we yet may
walk together on a new shore
where there are no sunsets because
there is only sunrise
sunrise
sunrise
yet again
and yet again…”

 

Source: Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

On Seas So Grey | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A couple of years ago…and utterly slipped from my mind, but oh how I remember it now…what a beautiful word, Re-member…
What’s it like, on the grey seas
in the silver wind, with sails
so green and full and billowing?

Skimming swift and dangerous, light
on the waters while the crew scrambles
‘neath that Captain loud and bellowing?

Stinging spray by facefuls founting
up from waves slosh-frothing, faithful
and fateful leading cross the edge

to horizons promising much more
of the same and something different,
something different, too.

Source: On Seas So Grey | Charissa’s Grace Notes

There, Brown And Small

I am not
the only one
here, brown and small
wearing a mask

so fearsome, fell
created from
conflicted heart
streaked red and blue

colliding with
my resting soul
green on those hills
those tumbled hills

there, brown and small

Sleeping Skin to Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Three years old and holding up VERY well!!

Somewhere in the dark,
in the warmth of black-red
before we woke up swimming,
surfing sultry heartbeats and
waves of new bones growing
green and rooty-fibrous,
we navigated bold our
seas secure and buoyant,
our universe and listened…

Source: Sleeping Skin to Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A Hot Summer Day And A Deck | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Two years ago…a very nice lil poem about the poems walking around in skin…
and it works on the gender dysphoria level too…as a poem to self.

Try it, see if it reads to your you?


a hot summer day and a deck
the sun it glints off of my glass
the sweet-tea ginger peach muddle
the mint wafting from sweaty ice cubes
floating, cooling, melting, disappearing

my peach is sweet, tart, it’s just right
fuzzy-firm against longing loved lips
I turn perfumed pages so eager
the story unfolds right before me
on a hot summer day and a deck

the book of you writes itself page at a time
it expands in my hands and the cover
wanes old/new, it waxes familiar
to my touch then *gasp* “I never knew you”
every turning page snatches my breath

because I’m not sure if the next one
will be there, it could be blank or worse
it might write itself while I am reading
words forming from nowhere, just scrawling
in the high summer light on that deck

I can’t put it down for the life of me
I smell you in air as I fan those thin pages
flipping backwards but not ever reading ahead
(there is no ahead to be read in this book)
I miss you this hot summer day…

Source: A Hot Summer Day And A Deck | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Come Home To Yourself | Charissa’s Grace Notes

My dearest heart of hearts.  She alone stood steadfast, faithful, amidst her own dealings and sortings and studyings…and she transitioned WITH me!

She NEVER left, shunned, or re-wrote our history to suit her current mood, as a couple have done.

She never othered or divorced as so-called friends of three decades did…

This poem is my attempt to express how I felt/feel about her, and her soul and her love.

She is the truest person I know…even when she is searching for that truth…and I love her with my bones.

PS:  It is written in my favorite meter…because I want that rhythm to speak to the central most shining thing about my darling:  her steadiness.

It all seems like a dream…like I woke up
into Real life and there you were, grinning,
that crooked lil smile and that small dimple
at your mouth’s corner, honey cupid bow.

It was as if we happy-laughed forever!
And cried for ever too, both all at once.
It was as if my torrid fever broke!
Things clear now to me, I’m in on the joke

regarding the us that we were…we are.
How I must have puzzled you, my dear!
Befuddled you and discouraged you too,
for you saw my real red and pulsing heart,

and underneath, the shade of deep dry rot…

Source: Come Home To Yourself | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Outer Rim Of Ruin

I walk around the outer rim of ruin
and ruin walks the inner rim of me
and ivy climbs, caresses every beam
as I surround and caress every bone.

The ravens, hated birds of spite just sit there
and croak in harsh and squawking dark duet
their song of ruin running on the old walls
and dripping down in tears inside of me.

The empty windows stare on desolation
the broken columns gnash the air in sorrow
the floors are jumbled messes of despair lost
lost trying to just get from here to there

But still I walk around the outer rim
and still it walks the inner rim of me
I wait for that return, that restoration
When love comes home, comes true, and I’m set free

Reaping Waves | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was a couple years ago…”viking” is metaphor for “patriarchy”…and the rest should follow naturally…


I’m no Viking, not me!
Charissa Grace?
Pshaw…I do not sail
on waves like crops,
oars for ploughs
and battle lust for seed.
I shudder at the thought!
Of harvest moments
in peaceful lands
and no limits but my lusts
and the certainty of loss
at the end of Ragnarok…

Source: Reaping Waves | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Microphone cut after Mormon girl reveals she’s gay at church

Hey…this heinous and evil action is not unique to this one church, alas.  It is standard operating procedure in evangelical cultures.

But notice something particular…read the article and notice:  she was not doing any sin.  She was not sexually sinning, she was not defaming anyone else…she was simply being authentic and vulnerable.

That list in 1 Corinthians 6 which is used to rape, pillory, and execute LGTBQIA humans “In the Name of Jesus” is a list that refers to actions taken which flow from an unredeemed heart…here they all are:

sexually immoral
idolaters
adulterers
thieves
greedy
drunkards
slanderers
swindlers

…and of course the infamous supposed ban on same sex relationships which was actually speaking to the unequal and evil power dynamic practiced in those days by men of power over young and exploitable boys…very similar to how today’s Rape Culture looks.

Sexual immorality is a perversion of sex
Idolatry is a perversion of worship
Adultery is a perversion of relationship
Theft is a perversion of property rights
Greed is a perversion of desire
Drunkenness is a perversion of pleasure
Slander is a perversion of truth telling
Swindling is a perversion of relationship

…and the practice that was mistranslated by the KVJ translators is simply a perversion of sex no different than sexual immorality…

Not one of the root things is in itself an evil!!
This list is by no means exhaustive…but what is exhausting is the evil idolatrous, slanderous, swindling undertaken by millions of so-called Christians EVERY SINGLE DAY who carry it out in Jesus Name…and ignore all the other things in the list.

You’re merely a sinner in need of God…unless you are a homasexshul.

Truthfully?  It is your own guilt and shame which you scapegoat onto LGTBQIA people as a sop to your own guilty conscience.

This girl is far closer to the kingdom of God than the rest of them put together…because she is authentic!!

I suggest you try some…you may end up having a few less “Lord Lord when did we see You’s” to answer for…
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A video of a young Mormon girl revealing to her congregation that she is lesbian and still loved by God — before her microphone is turned off by local…

Source: Microphone cut after Mormon girl reveals she’s gay at church

In Arpeggio Miles | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Ahhhh…omg how I LOVE this poem!!

I wanted to talk about gaps, about distances…
those that exist on a vast continuum of connection,
and yet no matter how close you get,
you never really can connect…

the gap between two people, regardless of closeness…
the gap between the earth and moon in spite of gravitational pull…
the gap between us and ourselves…
the gap between stars…

and I wanted to also talk about connections, too…

and of course, it is a simple love poem at heart.

I encourage you to spend some time with it,
and perhaps even linger with some of these
metaphors and layers of meaning…

it’s a rich poem and I am quite happy with it.


Prelude:
There is an indigo bunting
outside my window singing
in the moonlight streaming by
a million miles an hour.

But it is not the window
on my mind tonight…
I keep returning to that door
the one between you and me.…

Source: In Arpeggio Miles | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A Post By John Pavlovitz

I want you to know, to see…Why.  Why I can never ever trust you or be in relationship with you so long as you are not only not bothered by trump the absolute fucker, you also actively support him

These words below, the italicized being trump the absolute fucker’s actual words…and the words below that the words of my friend John Pavlovitz, who says it so well:

“‘I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.

I did try and f*ck her. She was married.I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping.
 
She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture —
 
I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

Yeah, that’s her. With the gold.

I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p*ssy. You can do anything.’

“There were plenty of moments before and since of course, but looking back this was a pivot point—one that changed me irrevocably. It made me feel estranged around people I used to feel at home with and it derailed my hope that decency would prevail.

“And so in many ways this was the moment of my emancipation from feeling obligated to make nice with them; because despite his woefully malignant words and everything they pointed to about his character, his predatory behavior, his misogyny, his indecency, his infidelity, his disregard for the humanity of women, 62 million adults, many of them professed Christians essentially said “This is my guy.”

“And if you were among those who said it, you can justify it or rationalize it away or spin it any way you want—and I’ll politely but unapologetically tell you you’re full of it.
“You can pile every real or imagined boogeyman in front of me as a reasonable defense, but at the end of the day you elevated the man who said these words and was guilty of this behavior to the highest office in our country, awarding him the greatest power—and that is solely on you. I will not share the blame with my silence.”
If you want to read the rest of John’s essay, click on over here:
I cannot.  I cannot treat you the same anymore, having seen what lurks beneath, now that trump has torn off your mask.  It is for me as if you are asking me to welcome David Duke as okay…or the KKK as okay…or a rapist as okay…
And it grieves me…deeply.  Because I thought perhaps that trump would be the impetus to place country over party, and to move you along into the wisdom that years bring…I was wrong…and “so be it”s rain down…because why?  You think it a sin to not support a rapist who is the choice of all the white men in your party?  And instead you double down…
it literally sickens me.

Her Own Vampire

She was divided, rent
and torn to pieces
clinging to night
in the brunt
of day

she swirled
and melted down
outside

lying in coffins,
in caskets

(her heart her soul)


so black, beneath the dirt
so red inside desire
so bright and filled
with longing

she was her own grave
and when night fell
the earth moved
and trembled

and her brown-streaked
and desperate hand curled
into a claw carrying
crescent moons of dirt
deep beneath haunted
and hungry nails

as she undead
to her ownself
rose from the grave
to wander in
the night
reaches

she was her own vampire
diminishing, growing all
at once becoming
and draining

herself into

Herself

Sands and Shadows and Pearls, Deconstructed

So I wanna give a lil glimpse to how I weave poems into poems…this is Sands and Shadows and Pearls, but taken apart into its strands…you can read each strand, and then go back and look at how I juxtapose to create Poetic Harmonics…this should create some depth and distance in the metaphors and implications of waking, dreaming, shadow, sun and what casts the shadow.

I hope you will work with it some… ❤

tumblr_n8uexsxvE21svnysso1_1280
I do shed tears, these days
I also shed dreams too
I dreamed, last night
I also shed tears too

I think…yes.

I dreamed that I walked lands crying
and my tears fell on red sands glistening

my tears

my tears on red sands sizzled
because I had no shadow,
they had no shadow

and then in that glaring sun unbridled,
that staring star unfiltered
they became pearls
of white
and ivory
and pink
they
became pearls
of My Mother,
the Mother of Pearls

and then I saw,
Her, walking there,
sowing in tears
and reaping in pearls
with nary a diamond
in sight
life_in_color_by_bojan1558-d5xq6zb
and She turned to me,
She bid me pick them up
and take…eat…and I did
and where they lay
the sand was gone

and green grass jumped lush
into my eyes with verdant glee!
And the pearls tasted like honey

and the pearls
became glory within me
and I rose up on glory,
I rose up in glory,
glory within me
and glory in the air

and I saw my shadow,
distant and crumpled
and pinned to the ground
for always by arrows
and spears and the knives
of those children
of red sand and shadows.

And just as I began to wake
I realized that ever
would they gather there,
around that shadow
pinned and empty
of all save their vitriol and hate

while I walked free but achy
across the red sands,
with no shadow
between me
and that stark sun
except for the glory
that’s given by pearls
plucked from green grass
so verdant that used to be
red sand so hot
on which was shed precious
tears without shadow.

So I wake, each time

I wake and realize
I do not need a shadow
to stand between me and the sun
and some something
to tell me that I am, I am.

I am.

I just need those tears
shed on sands red and glaring
become pearls from my Mother
to wrap me in glory
and glory wrapped in me
and no shadow my shadow
forever

and pearls

(and nights…it is strange
to wake and find the wet
residue of sorrows dried
and digging at the corners
of my eyes),

(like tears).

(last night…it is strange
to wake and find the dry
remnants of dreams moist
and pressed, pushing into
the spaces between me
and my pillow)

(like dreams).

(my tears glistening,
not the sands, they lay leering,
skulking, glaring flat and angry)

(the ones in my dreams,
the ones with no shadow)

(the tears and me,
not the sands and dreams)
tumblr_n7toayaEkz1sifsb9o1_1280

(my tears)
(like the armpits of abalones,
who also learned to live
without shadows)

(my tears,
not the abalones,
or the red sands,
or the shadows)

(born of tears shed on red sands glaring,
tears glistening and without shadow)
(not shadows or sands)
(because diamonds have shadows
and slinky songs and glittery platinum
brittle best friends)

(the pearls, not
sands and shadows)

(like shadows flee daylight)
(and clear thirst-quenching
shadow-clearing life)

(and the pearls of my Mother,
not the sands and shadows)

(not to day,
not in night,
I wake to me)

Teetering On The Precipice

To Trump Voter:

You are against divorce.
You say you hate porn.
You hate Hillary for reasons that you cannot link to anything
except the onslaught of attack from the 90s…

So therefore you are gunna vote for a man who:
Sends Gingrich and Giuliani to attack Hillary because HER husband
was unfaithful but SHE HERSELF WAS FAITHFUL…
He himself also attacks her on this basis…
Image result for woman being stonedWhich means that between Gingrich, Giuliani and Trump they have 9 wives…

NINE!!! NINE WIVES!!! Which means that you are supporting a candidate
that is ANTITHETICAL to EVERYTHING you claim is core value.Image result for hate and horror and fear
You get angry and defensive when this is pointed out.
You say the media is lying to you about this, and that
Fox News is the only one that tells you the truth.

Even though the internet gives the ability to check out multiple sources for yourself
so you CAN find out who is telling the news straight…if you want to.Image result for hate and horror and fear
But you would rather sit…and pull Fox News’s lies around
you like a snuggly warm dirty diaper around your brain.

Yes…it is warm…but you now have the WORST case of mental diaper rash.

Do you know that Trump..your Presidential Nominee…
uses his DIRECT COMMUNICATION LINE (Twitter)
to TELL YOU to look at a sex tape of some woman
that he has already insulted, bullied and verbally abused…
Image result for man shaming a woman

AT THE SAME TIME WORLD LEADERS ARE EULOGIZING Shimon Peres…

let that sink in.

Trump is raving about sex tapes and everyone else is being world leaders…

SOOOO….when the sex tape search was conducted???

NO sex tape found with Hillary…
NO sex tape found with the person he accuses…

ONE SEX TAPE FOUND!!!

Do you know who is the star?

(It’s a hard Q, given what I just wrote…it will shock you,
cus NO ONE would or could imagine this person doing a sex tape…NOT)
ughsogross
Donald Trump. Your Nominee.
Leads off the tape pouring champagne on women…and it goes downhill from there.

I am outraged, upset, and deeply DEEPLY grieved that you sit…
and tell me that God wants Trump…tell me that the christian thing to do
is put Trump in place…give your support to the evangelical right who have
SOLD THEIR FREAKING SOULS TO THE DEVIL and climbed in bed with Trump…
Image result for hate and horror and fearIt’s like watching Donald Trump and you his supporters
commit sex tape atrocities EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Yes, this whole election has been like A Clockwork Orange,
and being forced to watch such perversions…
Image result for a clockwork orangethe perversion of a formerly Grand Old Party,
and the degeneration of a whole expression of Christendom
into masturbatory self-worship at best
and adulterous profligate orgies of hatred and fear.

He disgusts me…deeply.
You disappoint me…sadly and intensely.

And after all of the above, I STILL find myself utterly unable
to purge myself of my intense and literal keening…and grief…
Image result for hate and horror and fear…for you.

Fallen! Fallen! Oh! The Beauty of Israel is slain on the mountains!
You were once swifter than eagles! You were stronger than lions!
Tales of your renown circled the world in scarlet threads of redemption.
Your reputation was faith, hope, and love!
Image result for hate and horror and fear
Fallen! Slain! Your lips once held rubies of love, pearls of wisdom…
and now your mouth is an open grave of worms and maggots.
You were robed in scarlet…you had ornaments of gold
but now you are wrapped in filthy rags and rotten blood
and ornamented with skulls and the teeth of your enemies…
Image result for hate and horror and fear
Once your song smelled sweet of salvation
but now your very breath is death, and your speech is STENCH
and you stink of hypocrisy, adultery, idolatry, and your medal of honor
is nuffin but a divided heart.

WEEP AND HOWL!!!
REPENT!! REPENT YOU HYPOCRITES!
large
Let your sorrow no longer be for those you condemn to hell
but for yourselves, and PRAY that it be godly sorrow
which produces repentance!

I am distressed, I am in mourning and my sun has set.
I remember when your love was sweet, sweeter than song
and I flounder in this night of long knives and zombie moans
Image result for hate and horror and fearBut I shall wait for dawn unflinching
I shall see the rise of the Morning Star
and the oppressed shall sing again
and the fatherless shall be gathered
Image result for gathering the fatherless
for justice shall come, in rivers and waves
rolling in righteous streams
to cleanse…to heal…

I write with no expectation of a metanoia…
I write in Hope, that Great Holy Spirit is in this world…
7c1b01c939ddfa7aab9987910b2d7828
to convict humans concerning deviations
and woo with Love.

May God have mercy on us all
and deliver us NOT from Donald Trump…
but from our divided avaristic hearts
that led us here to the precipice of self
on which we now teeter.
Image result for hate and horror and fear

A Pregnant Late Summer Moment

when fireflies all held their breath
and neither glimmered nor glammered
but just held…held…
a8be024e76c02d63380169dabe10299c
when soft tealights strung in trees
waltzed together in the breeze
soft, faint, sun-kist and sad

and you
and me

dancing into the velvet night
of hanging silks and wattled wine
and I am yours
and you are mine
f4d7c58c36a80275870fa8b3f383cc34

Singing In My Holy Heart

It took me there, it broke me there
on a sandy sliver midst some smooth black stones
so silent, sitting at the edge of this lake longing,
this tarn quiet, dark and clear

from deep inside my mouth
I felt my wet heart rise, surge burst…
I would’ve screamed forever

idididididididididid
tumblr_nfiksuYzYz1twolrlo1_500

scream forever
but cannot get sound past the breaking
past the past and into and over
and thru
me

I’m so full (there’s more)
I can’t take any (more)
I struggle to breathe
and then I relax
into…(what?)

herherherherher
HerHerHerHerHer
HERHERHERHERHER
cc688176d6d8a1a4cbb21a69a06e8bf8
pushing deeper
into-from
my mouth

and I desperate while stars dance
burst, birth, explode, rip right from my heart
my lungs my breasts bright surging
glorygloryglorygloryglorygloryGLORY

I am me spread-eagled
beneath Her velvet verses,
(me)
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my legs slick, straining against air surging
ebbing, words liquid raging flowing pushing
tearing thru me and me and me
quicksilver soul, a lake, a mirror
shattered by this Stone
unseemly and perfect,
Huge and Lacey
Light and Heavy
Her (r)ock
mmmmm

flung down from faraway
(who knows where?)
and into this lake
(mmmmmmmmmm)
http://ziza.es/2009/06/02/Fotorecopilatorio.html
and a million murmuring moaning circles
pushing outward sliding downward
groaning upward thru this water
sainted, and that Air, each circle
almost pulls me beneath under
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I am buried living-forward
I’m resurrected dying-backward
I am stained forever always after
with that pungent glory,
with Her Glory running down
my chin and from my lips so wet
and thus I shiver deep within
all the way from my down-low throb
to the very roots of my
ecstatic shining hair
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She pulls Her hand out, slowly wraps
Her arm around me…I curl up
and drift off, musky fragrances anointing,
smearing my eternal cheeks

singing in my hol(e)y heart
singing in my whol(e)y heart
singing in my holy heart
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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…
MC78
…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.

holyspiritfireluke316

Ode For Orlando

I saw the stars fall in the night
it was dark and closing in
as I lay paralysed and still
and shivering in deathly fright.

In waves and showers down they plunged
as sable curtains tore and trembled
in the hand of some great evil
threatening to eat the sky
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But somehow, each one shot to me
and landed in my shaking soul
and burned within me fierce and fell
and banished fear and made me whole

Until I burned with stellar fire
and shone in gold galaxy gleams
my heart a starfield bold, untamed
for Mercy’s greater than hate’s schemes!
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And so, though Nebulas collapse
let them fall fast to this earth
into your open mouth and heart
Not for destruction, but for birth

Of new stars brilliant, unshakeable
that shine with Justice and with Joy
Children born of grief and ash
Who rise above hate’s cruel slash
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This is our birth, our ne’er turn back!
A thousand stars, a million dreams,
A myriad songs and voices shout
We burn bright…our light…

will never…never…burn out
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Rape, Hook-Up Culture, and Sacred Sexuality

This Brock Turner rape case…rape culture…and yet there is still such a strong advocacy afoot in our culture for the de-sacred-ization of sex.

I have written in other places of my own views and axioms regarding sexuality and expression. These views involve the assumptions that sexual expression and interaction is the…THE…most powerful relational interaction in the created realm because it contains the potential to summon forth a fragment of God and a being full and free and possessed of free will.

I have mentioned my assertion that sexuality needs a suitable container in the same way that nitric acid needs one…how each one has the power to do mighty and epic things and each one has the potential to do grave damage…

I have opined that the container best suited for sexual activity is a long-term monogamous relationship that is deeply undergirded by sacrificial love.

And, alas…in spite of my best attempts to convey that this position is not motivated by ANY feeling or belief that sex and sexuality is in any way “bad” or wicked or evil or dirty or to be limited to procreation only, I stand accused of wanting to “police” other people’s sexual choices and/or actions…

Does the one who wants to rescue a jumper from a skyscraper want to police them in their despair-induced mental state?

I dunno how to answer that accusation except to say that in my own life, I have had few sexual “encounters” (read partners)…and those encounters have each and every one been one thing in the moment…and resulted in brokenness, hurt, and sorrow in the long run…until I met my love and began to build together that bulwark of trust and mutual support that became our temple of love…

Hook-up culture is antithetical to this. It places the value on the pleasure of the moment and it gives a version of reality that “ought to be”, attributing all things that slide sideways from that desired “ought” to the residue left over by the bad teachers and bad teaching that sex is evil, bad, and to be avoided…and that it is THIS teaching that causes the broken and shattered deadness inside when sexual contact outside the sufficient container results in the same thing that contact with nitric acid does when it is not safely interacted with.

And yes…when I posted those opinions on Grace Notes, I heard from so many people that I had no right to police their choices, their activities…etc. etc…but I found it so telling that they shifted the ground and asserted that I wanted to police them, when I mentioned not ONE argument for policing activity, but instead advocated for consideration of the sacred dimension of sexual interaction for we…divine image bearers and creatures…who have the exact power to create a being with free will…

But I digress a tad…because I wonder this:

I wonder if sexuality had been celebrated as a high and sacred thing to be used and experienced with great care, would Brock Turner have done this thing? Would the events of the evening have gone down the way they did, with the copious alcohol and the diminishing of judgment?

So many have made insensitive and unaware statements and ended up blame-shifting onto the victim and I am deathly skert of doing that here…I certainly do not in any way shape or form say that “if she had this” or “if she had that”!!

IF BROCK TURNER HAD NOT RAPED HER, SHE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN RAPED!!! Full stop.

But also…if that sacred presupposition was a bit more vital, a bit more viable…

“BAH!!!  You’re soo old-fashioned, Charissa!!”
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Honor And Shame: Yes, All Men

Climb that hill you Sentient Beast
Burdened by your Greed, your pride
Haunted by your stinking fear
Rotted deep inside.

Carrying your mouldy loaves
Stolen from The Lord of Old
on the day five thousand fed
from His blessing told.

Shame is under your right arm
Honor carried by your left
As you sneak around, you snake
In eating you’re bereft

Love Wins (at John Pavlovitz’s blog)

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/04/03/love-wins-moms-lgbtq-children-share-stories-part-2/

Most of you who read here are already following my friend John’s FB and blog. If you aren’t, you should be.

But I am sharing this for those of you who aren’t following John, who love God dearly, and yet still struggle with NT teaching (actually lack thereof) regarding sexual orientation. You KNOW deep in your bones that you are wrong to conflate someone’s state of being with someone’s behavior…and yet you live in such fear that somehow God will punish YOU if you are not mean and nasty to someone who’s being is something that you do not believe can be.

Here is the problematic passage, out of 1 Corinthians chapter 6, a passage in which Paul is speaking prescriptively to a body of believers who were so caught up in judging one another’s activities that he had to castigate them for their reprehensible hatred. He moves to a rather broad net of behaviors that he casts, designed to cover every single person who may think they had standing to boast of their own righteousness, and then he begins to teach about how the behavior of each can bring dishonor to the entire body of Christ, as we are all together comprising the Temple of Holy Spirit…and then he concludes with a discussion of the topic of sexual immorality (which he leaves remarkably undefined btw, but would most certainly include the sexual behavior of heterosexually oriented human beings.).

My purpose here is not to break down the mistranslation into English that happened during the translating of the KJV in 1612…there are scholars who understand the nuances of the greek text far better than I. Rest assured that with a bit of Google-fu you can locate many articles that will help you become informed.

LAY ALL THAT ASIDE FOR A MOMENT THOUGH…

Here is the reality of what goes on: Cis-het Christian who lives in fear that you will offend God if you do not hate and reject LGTBQ-oriented human beings, I am talking to you!!
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Here is the passage:
“9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…

and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…

…and like electric barbwire your eyes SEIZE those english words about homosexual behavior that is the equivalent of a heterosexual choice that is unbalanced and abusive (which is what is being called out by Paul, btw!! Any sexual relationship that is exploitative and destructive to either partner is wrong, regardless of sexual orientation!)…and you make them into your scapegoats, and you WRITE OFF ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS WITH YOUR FAT BUTTS FIRMLY IN THE SEAT OF JUDGEMENT!!

You know this is wrong…you F**KING KNOW that it is WRONG! So you make up platitudes about how you love the sinners but hate the sins…yeah I call supreme bull shit on that one! Because if you did? You would extend to EVERYONE the exact same pass you give first yourself and then everyone else YOU deem is worthy of it.

You need to repent, and I mean right now, and climb down out of the judgement seat and work on taking the friggin LOGS out of your eyes that you have been beating God’s little lambs with incessantly!!
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The irony is that Paul ends that passage with words about the works of Jesus to wash, sanctify and justify whosoever will believe in Jesus, and goes on to say that ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL!!! And yes, all things are not helpful and many things are indeed harmful.

But his point is that the Work of Christ is GREATER THAN all human behavior and renders judgement of one another as not only null and void but likely a far more insidious and poisonous sin than any of the listed behaviors.

Humans are born, created in Their Image and given a certain being. Among the aspects of that being are our sexuality and our gender…and each of those aspects together with EVERY OTHER GIVEN ASPECT OF OUR BEING is to be brought to our Precious Lord and presented to Them as our suitable offering of Love, and then LIVED OUT as THEY lead us, according to the LIFE that is in THEM and thus flowing into and through US!

Our gender orientations can thus be reflections of the glory of God and mirrors pointing to Their Love and Grace.

Our sexual choices and behaviors can thus be reflections of the glory of God and mirrors pointing to Their Love and Faithfulness!!

And GOD FORBID that we take any aspect of our given beings and use it as a club on someone else’s precious head!

“20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body[c] and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

I can guarantee you, however, that your current inner judging of the LGTBQ community is a leprotic infection deep in your soul and in actuality you heap up for yourself such a severe measure by which you shall soon be judged.

NOW: go read John’s post of testimony after testimony of people who were given the severe mercy of deliverance from being judgmental assholes and gifted with the grace to be free to love God with all their hearts and to truly love their neighbor without reservation or secret bias.

May God be true, and love win.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/04/03/love-wins-moms-lgbtq-children-share-stories-part-2/

The Back Of Forever

i long for it
the feel of that
soft silk, hot
from the press
smelling of spice
and hints of
far away orange
scrawling over scarlet

the summer breeze
which sings of forever
but implies coming sorrow

and hear it
there in around
the dry and straining
vines digging in
stealthy red earth
jory loam and chocolate
windblown loess laurelwood

and long
i sit long
for it,
that wind
from the back
of forever

and here and gone.

Untitled XVII

Powerful…I cannot BUT reblog

Speaking Voiceless

I wore a sparkly skirt today.
A female colleague says she likes it,
says, “that’s how you get guys
because they notice your butt.”
I am silent.

Let me paint a scene:
a lecture hall, packed
with my department, 100 people,
and two legends in our field about to speak.
I wore a sparkly skirt today.
A female colleague likes it,
says, “that’s how you get guys
because they notice your butt.”
I am silent.
I am silent.

Poem by Annie Jadin, speakingvoiceless.wordpress.com.

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On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

I simply have to press this…I am the victim of stories that intimate people tell about me that are lies.

Flat out.  They lie, because of many reasons, and I think all of the reasons are understandable:  my transition, their own cognitive dissonance, it’s easier to scapegoat me than accept that their life is the way it is as a consequence of their choices…it doesn’t matter why they lie.

I still love them, because I cannot do otherwise.  I am incapable of not loving them.  But the consequences of that lie are stunningly strong and toxic.

My only hope is that they come to their senses in a way similar to what happened here in this article.

************************************************************************************

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realize that your memory of an event is not actually what happened? A few years ago I was talking to someone about a pretty life-altering event that happened…

o-COURTROOM-facebook

Source: On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

Me Moon

when you speak of me
you speak of weeds and brambles
thorns, nettles and stoney ground.

when you think of me
it’s craters and dark
and bare landscape stark
and lacking curves.
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I am gardens, moon, roses, sea.
I am me, in bowers and blooms
and labyrinth beds of unusual growth.
I am small trees and tall firs 
fragrance stirs, honey bees

I am Grace in the echo
of the moon’s deep wells
I am tides reaching and running
yearning and aching

I am reflected light
soft yet bright
sometimes yes often no
but always…always…
always aglow

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Please…think of what you know.

the endless ache of bones
the songs sung in your marrow
the shadow in your eyes
the light that holds your heart

think of who you know

vertigo
when gravity gives up
finally worn out
in my grave insistent
persistence at breathing.
tumblr_o46w3ckPYT1s93t2co1_540And why…yes, this is important
the why of me
dancing on desolation
rhyming in respiration
overthrowing tables of treason

and though it is dark,
it is not night, My Love,
no.
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it is the season of silence
that speaks, that sings
sings in me garden
sings in me moon
sings in me roses
sings in me sea
sings in me
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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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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…

View original post 2,930 more words

We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

We all have a responsibility to end sexual assault. Denying transgender people their civil rights is not the way to do that.

Source: We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

A truly stunning well reasoned defense of my right to be.

Do you know that in most places transgender people are not recognized as who they are unless they have surgery…and at the same time the surgery is classified as “elective” and thus not covered by insurance…AND is also denied unless the person who needs the surgery obtains the permission and affirmation of 2 separate psychiatrists and surgeons?

Can you see that double bind?

“You are not a person unless you are committed enough to have surgeries…but we are gonna make you pay for them with your own money and they cost in the mid to high 5 figures…AND we are gonna make you prove yourself to at least 4 separate people…only then are you allowed to be a real person.

“Oh…and before you can even start this process, or get hormones or anything else, we are gonna require that you live as your claimed gender identity at least 2 years, after which we MIGHT give you hormones…

“What’s that you say? By requiring you to live as your claimed gender while denying you the means by which you can physically fit in we are endangering your life from transphobic transmisogynistic men? Well, you are wrong. WE are not doing that…YOU are…with your damn stupid insistence upon being a person who is differently bodied than you are gendered.”

You see the double bind?

It reminds me of how amateurism was created in sports to try and keep POC out of the leagues, because only the rich and privileged can live and train full time and not need to be paid, because they already have their money.

In the gender area…only the gender-rich and privileged can make the rules that shut us out.

And then we are told that our life matters, that we have worth, etc…just not enough worth to be made whole. Just not enough

another way of saying not enough is

worthless

And that is why it is important to let us go peepee like any other human…that is why it is important to speak of us as subjects (you/I/we/she/her) and not objects (it/that/he-she).

I Am Eve

shhh…let your words speak silence
between the worlds I travel in
while holding sacred tension
in my loins, my heart and core
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do not knock me into knowing!
I must dance, delicate and light
in order to Unknow and enter
Mysteries Highest, Deepest Delight.

I mustn’t find my way to answers,
rather, forget to remember them
and lose my questions in the
silence spoken silent
and resounding.
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I am not ignorant,
I am not naive!
I am not foolish…
my name is Eve
and I am crown
to all creation
and forging trails
unknown into what
he knew and
then discarded and
I must simply
thus Unknow.
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Standing on the diamond threshold
at the pearl crossroads
living emerald heart
and pulsing ruby blood

My body is the gateway
and my soul’s forgotten
questions and the music
playing deep within
celestial night.

I am Eve.
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A Poem By Susan Spileki

I like this poetess so much.  This poem touched me in a deep core…I am posting the poem, and then linking to her original post as well.

Shyly, X. Tries Her Hand at Poetry the Morning After

Four hundred nights I must have watched you sleep,
The dying fire catching the gold in your hair.
Your sweet breath rose and fell and rose again
With the rhythm of your dreams I was not in.
I did not see you clearly, not at first.
Experience makes innocence seem weak.
Not until you fought beside me did I see
That you had steel in you and your own light.

You were a secret I felt I had to keep.
I could not ever let you catch me stare
When you, eager, scratched the parchment with your pen
Or dutifully cut our dinner, gill from fin.
But it was the long spring nights that were the worst,
As I lay by the fire, cold and bleak,
Knowing my desire could never be
More than a whispered dream of warm delight.

I could not know how time would make you weep.
The violence of my life you chose to share
Would take your light and heart and try to rend
Them apart, a battle you could not win.
Your pain, my fault; because of my past, cursed.
What changed it all was tragedy. We are Greeks.
We never take life easy. You and he
Married, deflowered, widowed: one day, one night.

The poets say that what we sow, we reap.
I had to make it right. I could not bear
To see you in such pain, my more than friend.
My vengeance had little glory, was messy, thin,
A deed I had to do, although perverse.
And after, it was hard for us to speak
Of any of it. The silence between you and me
Crashed through the trees behind us like a kite.

It took a few more months for you to steep
In your grief, to face the morning air
Without mourning his reaching of life’s end,
His power over you and its long romance.
You threw large stones into the watercourse.
You say you did not dream. Tears on your cheek
Kept my hand from touching your knee
To “comfort,” a self-deception I had to fight.

Then, one evening I heard you moaning in your sleep,
Crying out my name, demanding more!
You were tearing at your clothes and then
Reaching for me. I felt my whole world spin.
I touched your face. I thought my heart would burst
As your eyes flew open, blushing that I could see
All of you now seeing all of me

Finally! At last! And then, all night…

by Susan Spilecki 2015
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https://buildingapoem.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/the-problems-of-the-epic-fantasy-fan-poet-reportage-character-and-style/

“Oh, you’re trans? But you look so good!”

What Cis People Say To Trans People Vs. What We Hear

“Oh, you’re trans? But you look so good!”







Rory Midhani for BuzzFeed News

Meredith Talusan is an LGBT Staff Writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Meredith Talusan at meredith.talusan@buzzfeed.com.
Illustrator:  Contact Rory Midhani at info@rorymidhani.com.

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

Say Not A Word

Hush, Love…
say not a word
as I sit here in light
and desire is wafting
in shivery delight

see how it settles
and falls out of air?
Here, on my shoulder
precipitates there in
a silvery sheen of dewy desire
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my love a
melty hot flower of
mmmmmm
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say not a word, Love
but if you wish
you may bend close
here, to taste of my neck.

The Final Coming Thaw

I am floating on free seas held captive
in the ice of your remove and shrewd appraisal.

My heart passion like living rock moving
red and liquidy, red like plasma pulsing
scorchy and inexorably drawn in hungry
longing for the icy stillness of you.

And where we meet, I melt
you, steamy/dreamy, and yet
you run quick-cold to the reaches
and rime-rimmed rocks and reefs…

And there I sit, captive in you
and waiting for the thaw of Love
to be finally completed.

City of Bones

Barcelona,
oh City of Bones
laying hot and dry in the sun
beating down on streets, on tombs
and tiles so red over white and so hot
and shimmering radiant still,
oh ye bones!
barcelona_above___revisited_by_coigach-d9h3eegBarcelona, City of Bones
Baking before the gates of the Sun,
I sacrificed my purity for thee, such as it might be
(my purity, not my sacrifice)

Purity…
of thought,
of mind,
of heart and soul,
purity of
song and deed
and strong intention.

Barcelona, my sacrifice
so droll, so dirty is actually
sterility masquerading
as purity and thus is merely

the absence of jazz,
the absence of spice,
the absence of that
jagged noise of exultation
and thus there is no
purity and nothing
quite acceptable
enough.
barcelona_above_by_coigach-d9gyhp2

Gladly do I lay it there
(my sacrifice, not my purity)
on the bony altar of your burning eyes
hung there above the freezing flames
of your sharp haughty sniff and thus
do I seek sanctuary in the fires of
your hunger, games appeased and satiated.
Image 002 And these words I leave
(my longing words so red, so sharp)
along the edge of your wet teeth,
hard teeth so white and glistening,
and there, blurred,

there they mingle
with your breath,
with the liquid you
and thus become
inflammable and ready
to leap up like the Phoenix
to take their ease in air and be
us, there, us there
be us there in the air.
Rise

And this city here,
right in plain sight and swaying
in the salty breeze blowing in stiff
off the racing aching blue seas,
this City of Bones dancing on air

with my words
there in air
like banners in the wind,
like thirsty golden kerchiefs
flying midst meteors, comets,
midst stars in the night

flapping in the solar flares
and furies of the sun and lapping
up the finest purest beams
of silver, argent grey moonlighttumblr_nw4iwesgqi1s2clnyo1_1280

And those fires
(of the night)
my words those silver fires
streaking, shooting across
the vast expanse of velvet
black thick nothing, silver flames
curling, licking at the bones
of the City hanging
in the deep dark void
shimmer And the music rounding there amidst
those handy banners sounds like owls
talking soft and hooty in the wind-torn branches
and our hearts are slender limber flexing long flagpoles
and we fly our flags of love like maidens flying
tokens for our champions…tumblr_o03sa8dubM1unv2uco1_1280Together we all

(words and banners and bones)

shine upon your battlements

Barcelona
City of Bones
tumblr_o0nbw71noA1r2zs3eo1_1280

This Children’s Book About Sex And Gender Is A Total Game-Changer

I saw this article online, and found it interesting and insightful.  I wanted it visually up here on Grace Notes…

Sex is a Funny Word is revolutionizing the way caregivers can talk to kids about their bodies.

Seven Stories Press

Sex is a Funny Word is nothing short of revolutionary. Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s newest book is brilliant in its approach to giving caregivers and educators the tools they need to talk to kids about their bodies. Not only is it “the first trans-inclusive book for kids,” but it also uses inclusionary language and diverse representation across race, ability, gender, and sexuality, to hone in on the most important aspects of discussing sex and bodies with kids aged 8-12. It is the second in a trilogy of books – the first, What Makes a Baby, is a beautiful, balanced, and many-gendered explanation of baby-making for kids aged 5-8.

(While Sex is a Funny Word discusses body parts, gender, touch, and other topics related to the word “sex,” it doesn’t delve into reproduction — intercourse is being reserved for the third book, planned for release in fall 2017, which will be geared toward older kids.)

Although I could have made this a list of the 7,000 things that Sex is a Funny Word does to revolutionize talking to kids about their bodies, out of respect for everyone’s time I’ve narrowed it down to ten. It was really hard to do.

1. Representation of all bodies should be the norm, rather than an exception.

Seven Stories Press

Small bodies, large bodies, disabled bodies, many colored bodies, pointy bodies, curvy bodies, wrinkled bodies, all the bodies are illustrated and present throughout every page ofSex is a Funny Word… in the same way that all of these bodies exist among each other in actual, real life!

Though representation of many bodies shouldn’t be revolutionary, most of our media – children’s books included – showcases white, thin bodies in ways that are often ableist, sexist, homophobic, and trans-exclusive. In this way (and many others), Silverberg and Smyth’s contribution to the dialogue is revolutionary: finally young people have a way to see all bodies (including their own body) represented. Yes.

2. Honesty + information = kids’ confidence.

Seven Stories Press

Kids pick up on the nuanced way that adults speak about sex, sexuality, bodies, and gender. Which means when those adults avoid talking about certain topics (or particular body parts), kids notice. When adults withhold information, kids wonder why. Often, they assume that these avoidances occur because something about those particular body parts or feelings or questions are wrong or bad.

Sex is a Funny Word talks to kids about their parts, their feelings, and their questions in an honest and matter-of-fact manner. What’s more, the authors also address the fact that grown-ups sometimes avoid these topics, but assure kids that this isn’t because there is something wrong with any part of them.

3. Gender is complicated… and kids know it!

Seven Stories Press

Silverberg and Smyth are committed to showcasing gender as much more than a binary system from the very first page of the book – the table of contents points to the chapter on gender under the heading “Boys, Girls, All of Us.”

Silverberg told BuzzFeed News, “Most of the progressive sex education books that are available actively exclude gender nonconformity and trans kids. They do that simply by saying that there’s only two things: there’s boys and girls, and boys have penises and girls have vulvas, and that’s the story. So they don’t say that it’s bad to be trans, but it just doesn’t exist anywhere.”

4. Conversation > silence.


Seven Stories Press

While Sex is a Funny Word is certainly a book that kids can devour on their own, adults are highly encouraged to participate in the conversation. There is a message in the introduction specifically for caregivers and educators that encourages them to read the book before giving it to the child – better preparing them for the conversations and questions that will certainly follow. It goes on to explain, “We’ve provided the framework and basic information about bodies, gender, and touch, and we’ve left blanks that only you and the kids in your life can fill in.”

While this book is an important tool in helping kids better understand themselves, talking with family members and loved ones about that understanding is necessary — not to mention powerful. Kids listen and learn from the people they care about more than anyone (or anything) else in their lives!

5. “Justice” is an essential word when speaking about bodies.


Seven Stories Press

Bodies exist in the world in many ways, and not all bodies are afforded the same rights and the same protections as others. Silverberg and Smyth understand and contend with that reality, because – aha! – kids have bodies, and rights, too.

{Image p 29, “Justice means that every person and every body matters.”}

What happens when young people are able to talk about their bodies and understand them in a social justice context from a young age? My theory: Incredibly important awareness, and a foundation for speaking up for equality far into the future.

6. Privacy isn’t just for grown-ups.


Seven Stories Press

Kids, just like anyone else, deserve privacy — but oftentimes, they are made to feel that nothing, not even a quiet space, is theirs for the taking. What’s more (and this goes back to the “private parts” vs “middle parts” illustration above), requests for privacy are sometimes met with suspicion, especially where kids are concerned. The truth is that even young kids may want to keep certain spaces or feelings to themselves. When conversations happen around privacy, it can lift a lot of the shame that young people feel when they do want their own space, and allow them to better explore and understand themselves, their bodies, and their feelings.

7. Consent matters at every age.


Seven Stories Press

Each and every person (children included) has different ways that they like, and don’t like, to be touched. Silverberg and Smyth tackle consent in age-appropriate ways, explaining that sometimes we may want to be touched, and other times we may not want to be touched. Using a hug as an example, they also explain that while sometimes we may want a hug at first, we may feel like we don’t want one later… and it is always okay to say so.

This conversation around consent happens in the chapter on “touch,” which then goes on to talk about “secret touching,” or sexual abuse. Silverberg told BuzzFeed News, “I knew we needed to deal with sexual abuse in the book because often sexual education books don’t do that. That makes no sense to me, because it’s part of people’s reality. One of the really painful and complicated realizations I came to early on when I was writing this was that a lot of kids who read this book will have already experienced sexual abuse. We never write books for those kids. The only books that are written for those kids are dark, scary books about sexual abuse… I want those kids to pick up this book and find themselves in it.”

8. Families come in many varieties (and so do crushes)!

Seven Stories Press

As you might imagine in a book that has already included many genders, many body types, and all-around inclusion of multiple identities, Sex is a Funny Word also showcases several renderings of what a family might look like, and also leaves room for many sexualities in its “crushes” section.

Again and again, on literally every page, Silverberg and Smyth reinforce that all sexualities are valid, all bodies are beautiful, and all identities deserve a space (within this book, and within the world at large!).

9. Kids understand their own feelings.


Seven Stories Press
More often than not, we tell kids that they don’t understand their feelings – or, even worse, that we as adults understand their feelings more than they do. Validating a child’s experience of their own body and their own identity allows them to explore those feelings, and establish a healthy relationship with themselves and those around them. Beyond this, the authors also touch on how the perceptions (and assumptions) of others are not always in line with the way we experience ourselves.

There may be no more powerful message than allowing kids to trust their feelings, and giving them the confidence to share those feelings with those close to them.

10. At its heart, this book is truly for kids.

Above and beyond anything else, this book – every last page of it – is made for kids. While it exists as an incredible tool for caregivers and educators, it puts the experience of young people at its core and validates their feelings, ever-shifting and growing as they are, at every turn. It encourages questions, it gives a voice to those whose voices are often silenced or hidden, it acknowledges experiences that can be confusing or scary, and it tells the truth, 100% of the time.

“I’m moved by it all the time,” Silverberg says. “I still sometimes cry when I read these books – in nice ways, and sometimes in not nice ways. Sometimes I cry because I wish that I had these books when I was growing up.”


Seven Stories Press