Easter Weekend

Last week was a busy week at work, and thus cut way into creative thinking time.  But there were a couple of highlights:

First, on Thursday night I went to a Poetry Reading Open mike…as myself!!!!  The reception there by the people was so amazing.  I was completely accepted with not even that sort of concentrated intentional choosing that people often engage in when they don’t fully understand what they are seeing but are at heart very decent salt-o-the-earth types and extend amazing kindness and compassionate interaction.

But the poets there Thursday simply treated me as a person…from the start.  It was so cool to be able to not even think about presentation at all…and then afterwards one super cool lady came up to me and said, “Hey, I hope this is affirming, but I want you to know your body language and gestures are very girly.”

I.     WAS.     THRILLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My internal self, feeling free, simply was who I am, and I was delighted.

I read On the BeachGhostsGrace Ain’t EasyChrystal Clarity,  and “…having eyes but not seeing…”

there may have been one more that slips my mind.

It seemed to me that Chrystal Clarity gained a HUGE reaction!  People seemed to really like it…I do too, as it was that moment when I realized what was past had truly been left behind, and what was coming was indeed real and could be received as the miracle it was…revisit that one?  I think it is standing up well.

Each poet there had pretty good stuff, and most had amazing stuff.  One person blew my mind, the skill and ease and depth and “arrogant-humorous-humility” that only someone who is talented and knows it, but is not enslaved by it can have.  I loved that person’s work.

I learned from each poet…heck one person actually made me feel sorry for a rattlesnake!  LOL!  And I HATE rattlesnakes!  Giggle!  (Way to go Francis!)

We left the next morning for the beach, a wonderful community on the Long Beach Peninsula.  We stayed at a place called Adrift.  Let me just give an unqualified recommendation based on the friendliness of the staff and the well run nature of the place.  If you are in to creature comforts, you will need to book a suite, as the rooms are pretty much like comfy dorm rooms…opulence is not the watchword!

But everything else was fabulous…and here was what broke my heart with gratitude:  not one time was I othered, policed, snnered at, disdained, ignored, or avoided.  I was treated like a queen (and I don’t mean in a fetishized sense!  🙂  )  I was granted the same status as anyone else:  honored guest.  When I feel confident enough to be me publicly, I am not flamboyant, or effusive in appearance.  I go for flowing things in my favorite colors (pinks, silvers, shades of blue and purples, and brown accents).  I wear jewelry that seems nice, and also age appropriate for my chronological age.  But it is definitely not what most people expect to see from someone who is a couple inches over 6 ft tall and weighing around 200 lbs.

Plus I still have my beard as my ultimate line of defense…for work, mind you, as I still have a few years of transition to go until that is all that’s left to do.

Anyway…I actually told some of the staff a little of my story, and was so treasured by them.  I sat in the restaurant (which is good food, I class it as gourmet pub food…or pub food but done with an elegance and deft touch that was clean and fresh and very flavor-able) on Saturday night, and I was so overcome by the sense of wholeness and well being and actualization that I just silently wept, tears streaming down my face so overcome with grace and compassionate mercy on me.  Such an amazing night before Easter Morning…best one I have ever had.

We walked on the beach, rode bikes, talked, ate, went to the chowder festival, and visited our favorite art gallery…up in Ocean Park, the Bay Ave Gallery.  In this small space is a remarkable aggregate of truly fine art, interspersed with very nice and reasonably priced “tourist-oriented” arts and crafts, things to commemorate a beach weekend.

I have purchased several paintings here, and my favorite artist, Bette Lu Krause has become a good friend and kindred spirit.  She graciously gave me a couple of hours on Sunday to tell her my journey of the last few years, and was so touched to learn of how her art had literally saved my life several times, staying my despairing hand from doing mortal harm to myself.

She gave me a painting.

She.     GAVE.     me.     a.     Painting!

It would take too long to tell of its content and nature and origin…but I was so touched I simultaneously burst into tears and danced in glee.

And of course, keep in mind this was on my very first Easter Sunday as an out Transgender woman!  How wonderfully prophetic and full of promise.  The implications stagger me and humble me, and greatly stir me to embrace life and hope, and turn away forever from despair and sorrow.  Oh, yes there will be plenty of those things along the way…but never again to be sorrow’s toy!

Thank you, Adrift and staff, and Tiffany one of the owners…thank you Bay Avenue Gallery and the gracious and visionary Sue Raymond…

…and thank you Bette Lu Krause, fellow walker of the spirit road and lover of life.

Love, Charissa

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PS:  if anyone is interested in a resurrection story involving water and a cell phone I would be happy to share!  Lemme know…