…and in the cool
of the quiet evening
it was women walking
silky, as yet unseen
in the garden.
Silver shears caught
slivers of sunlight,
captured them gently
like butterflies netted
with meshed moonlight
and given to a special
catch and release program
to each bush they bowed
in authority and grace
from verdant relieved stems
smiling and murmuring
in the gloam
and moving on
by with eyes
so full of mirrors
they saw nothing
else and everything else
as reflections of reflections,
having used their silver
30 times in their
this is about
under the clouds.
by noises here
and there too
I am truly honored and not a little surprised that anyone reads here…let alone FOLLOWS here!
Lately, I have been working on a book of my original poems, handwritten and hand painted…thus, a lot of my creative impulse is expressed there these days.
Fear not! LOL! I have many drafts for poems, and when I get this book done I will return to my typical writing.
I also write a lot on Facebook these days…so you can find me there and read more of my thinking (unless you are a troll or a person from my past who supports trump the absolute fucker, or a person from my past who says I am going to hell…we will have a contest, you and me, on Judgement Day. You, like the prophets of Baal will have all your writs, your decrees, your dogmas and fears and traditions and hatred, and you shall testify mightily while They listen to you.
And I? When it is my turn, I shall simply say “I plead the Blood of Jesus and Confess His Mighty Name”.
We’ll see who wins).
Anyway, thank you for reading here, this accounting of a life in transition, trying to be close to the Ones I love most…and trying to deal with the loss of the ones I love most.
I wrote this 4 years ago…a lifetime ago…when I first began to see I really really REALLY had a shell over me…and that it was possible to live free.
I want to challenge you today, especially if you are cis-gender and not transgender: what shell are you living in? What transition must you make as a soul, one that is not a transition of gender, but your own answer to the call to “cross-over”?
Are you called to cross over into creativity and leave behind the world of grubbing for money?
Are you called to cross over into true relationship with God, leaving behind the shell of conservative evangelicalism that is nothing more than a gateway to the gas chambers, with a sign over it saying “Welcome to Hell?”
We all are called to trans…from death to Life…from works to Grace…I pray you find your courage and begin!! Cus the water is fine.
“It caged me in its cold confining bars.
Long have I been its lost and longing thrall,
its tenant-serf of weary plodding on.
It’s clung, tentacled round my throat, my eyes,
and darkness was its cruel confederate
who caged my strong uprising Ne’er-Say-Die…”
Source: Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes
This, another poem from last year, comments on life like a vapor, yet must be captured within you, there in your body…
the fog gathers, nesting
over the deep quiet glen
dialing down sunlight
damping every sound
in this gloam my supple soul
nestles in, gives up control
and ceases struggle to be good,
or important, or subtle…
look for the off kilter doorway
find where the street has no name
enter between the curb and the gutter
to stand in the light just the same
as the saints and the mystics before you
had to stoop and to crawl and to cry
for the straight way that looks oh so crooked
to the jaundiced and natural eye
Two years in, it still applies.
This is talking about my own life, my own family…and yours, too…because all of us have this brokenness. The evidence is irrefutable.
This poem is all about forgiveness…trying to give it and trying to receive it…and the incredible revelation that it is impossible.
There is no trying…there is only becoming.
“…And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit,
no escape from agony,
pitstop from pain…
all we can do is
exchange suffering’s form
and it’s face, from our own
for the pain of another…”
Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed
frost crystals clasping
I rise and wait,
hushed and clutching
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.
I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think
the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
at the inside
of the veil…
as I travail
as I writhe
to give way
and this coming
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
as the roses
the alabaster jar
“talking with you
sometimes is either
a slap in the face
or a slammed door,
and yet the Void…gaping gulf,
it is but exhalation
in the Light of your shadow!
into that seeming nothing,
yawning and gulping, well
it is but a dropped stitch
in the Banners over me
The Fall of Ancient Time (A contemporary Re-write of Psalm 5)
“…Barcelona, 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)
of heart and soul,
song and deed
and strong intention.
Barcelona, my sacrifice
so droll, so dirty is actually
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
City of Bones
“like the way
you touch my ankle
when we sit upon
the floor there,
by the fire
in the speckled-star-lit night
outside the house
just like a mama bird who nestles
down so gentle on Her chicks…”
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.
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,
This is from 1976…and how I never knew about it until today is beyond me. I have mocked and mugged over the song “Feelings” since it first hit the air waves…it is a piece of crap song.
But listen to what this incredible human does with it…what she says with it…what she doesn’t say…
Please…this is what I want to do with my Poetry
Happy Birthday, Dearest One…
…but i will never sorrow o’er that day, that moment
when Heaven spoke and told me of Their gift,
and my heart was blessed forever after.
i remembered, all day long…and sang.
If i ever forget, may my hand forget to live,
and may i forget to breathe again.”
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
and yet again…”
It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)
and then pulling, parting, LO! Beyond the blue It Comes, it comes,
The Pig steps forth majestic, shaggy, Wild with Wonder,
Pig of Power Looming larger than the sky from which it bursts
in sounding sniffing grunting thunder hooves a rumble tumble tango
striking sparks in their first touch so terrible and taut with cracking
sound of sizzle snap and clacking tap-dance Prince Pig prances slapping
touching earth, made into holy place, and touching down in France
and also somehow, every other place as well…
‘Tis red and ruddy, bristles stiff like forests, thick like brambles tangled
heaving bunching with each lurching hidden graceful step…
What is this Thing, this Scion stepped down from Beyond and then stepped in,
this Archetype, this Power pulsing reddish brown totemic wonder
of an Uncreated Creature Come to sniffle, root the earth
and dig the children of the clay out of their seedbeds into day
where they will grow in deep delight of our Delight and Love and Grace…
deliberate it shrinks, so slow and funny, so intentional,
soon become short, ordinary, just a snuffle huffle snorting
porcine pot of piggy, trotting almost dainty, dancing
deep connected to the wonder hidden in this ancient dirt
so new and old and full of life just waiting to be sniffed out, found
discovered there deep in the wombs and be drawn out from earthy tombs…
look quick and see it…hiding there…beneath that “used pig” thin veneer
and human truffles laugh and jeer yet if you listen you can hear
the Pig inside the pig just laughing as it shuffles, snorts and sniffles
each and every human soul (human truffles if you really wanna dig deep into Truth)
the Pig roots rough and ragged thru the forest, sniffing, grunting, rooting
sloughing with its trowel snout deep thru the red red red rich dirt
running deep down to the core and in the middle of the deepest
scents of mother earth the scents of birth, the scents of womb,
oh, NOT a trifle, scent of truffle waiting to be sent from tomb and tussle…
the sheep are walking gracelessly, unaware and grazing in among the vines
and looking down their noses at the rumbly Pig
deep in the fields and forests pregnant…
sheep so sleepy, unaware that buried there are toads both dead and yet alive
and full of death and parasite that’s also camouflaged, disguised
to look like truffles…sheep cannot discern, distinguish which is which
and what is dead, relationship of death and just a rancid bond…
and what is still just waiting, still, to be uncovered in its shell and be delivered here…no trifle!
But the Pig, it knows the secret of what really happened in the forest…
that smells like roadkill lacking graces to just let go and return, that tastes
like tin foil soaked in vinegar, metal, and electric acid anti-truth
the Pig, it knows those puffy toads so poisonous…but leaves them buried
deep entombed where they belong…to root out truth found deep in dirt
so red, so rich and truffly and toothsome to the soul…
Toads or truffles, that is what
The Pig came down to give to us, a choice…our choice…
but we must be rooted out and snuffled deep
and ripped into our very bones and breathe so deep
the earthy scents of just becoming
as blood like liquid dirt that pulses,
courses thru our veins like rivers,
rivers in our noses
just like truffles…
by that disguised
and worn out
old Used Pig
Yesterday…it felt like a dream. I was thinking of that beautiful Psalm
“When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream! Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongue with singing! Then they said among the nations that the Lord has done GREAT things for them.
“The Lord has done great things for me…
“She who sows in tears shall reap in joy. She who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing her sheaves with her.”
It was like a dream to me…or rather, it was like waking up.
I think that is what death will be like…we shall fall asleep, and when we wake, we are shocked and stunned at the THICKNESS OF REALITY that we are swimming in!! What we shall see…what we shall hear…what we shall taste…
But yesterday…the children are seeing me, and it is spreading like a case of holy measles or chicken pox lol!! My lil shadow cadre is growing…and I have spotted some little torn ones and sent them the message without words that they can talk to me with words or with eyes…and that is a good and sacred Mama thing of which I think I will not speak…but it is VERY good.
Let’s see…what did I do? Well, I am working for a brilliant young teacher who frankly has a chance to really make a mark in teaching should she discover this as a life long and intense passion. The fact of her name is also a promise to me…of this I maybe can write about later.
This teacher is giving me permission to help, truly help and I lack the words to say how this feels, after being in a place where it seemed that other agendas dominated the subtext.
At recess, I played soccer, I told stories…oh by the way, I am WAAAAYYY OLDER than a thousand years old!! I am so old that I know the stories of every single tree around our playground, and I know how to hear the language of all the little grasses and bushes that the trees protect…but I am NOT a MILLION years old because then I would be a dinosaur!!! (Yes, I did say all that, and I DID turn into a dinosaur, but very briefly…I quickly was me again laughing and joying!)…
I taught them how to walk on this little divider/container that looked like a balance beam, and soon I had 20 plus kids walking this little balance beam that probably was a good 200 feet or even MORE, all around the play structures…and OH MY GOD!!! It was soooo fun…
They were using gross motor skills, FINE motor skills, and in their minds???
Sometimes we were on a high wire at the circus…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of ALLIGATORS…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of PUPPIES wanting to lick our faces…sometimes there were people watching ready to give us medals if we stayed on…it was truly fun. Truly. FUN!
Did you have any fun yesterday? Like…FUN? Did you play yesterday?
Human beings need to play…every single day.
Staff is genuinely warm, welcoming…all things are going well.
It is only two days in…and these two days feel like waking from a dream…waking from the captivity of purification.
It’s always worth it, friends…the purification…so much so that you can even seek it out, if you are a Fool like me LOL! You can intention for purity…do something that is a ritual for you…it really doesn’t matter what it is, because it is the intentionality of your being which attracts Mama’s Eye and Heart…
I used to burn incense…but as my asthma got worse, I once asked Mama if I had to do that and She suggested that it was the incense of my Song She loved the most…and BOOM!!
Now I just burn me…
It is important for you to know that as I write these things, I sit in stunned wonder and actually laugh out loud at the ABSURDITY of it all!!
I GET TO PLAY…and I GET TO LOVE…and I GET TO TEACH…and I GET TO BE…
and in the moments, yunno the ones…when a little is flummoxed or triggered, or their lil brains have flipped and they cannot process the rationality of things…and you just sit there and say “omg Mama wtf am I gunna do???”
And She drops something down like a feather…or it PLOPS up from the soul-geyser and splats into your mind…or you sniff the inner breezes and smell Her near…or you notice some lil cue…
IT IS HER!! ANYONE CAN DO THIS!!!
Mama says this morning “Whosoever will, let her come to Me and come quickly, for it is your DESIRE that determines your DESTINY! Desire will determine which path your foot finds, and once you find that path it will pull you along, push you along, draw you in and up and IN AND UP…until…”
…until you laugh like Charissa.
I am like one who dreams.
Oh, one last word…yunno those verses I quoted above? Those are saying something very important.
She who goes forth weeping, sowing in tears, sowing her seed? This speaks of a very important principle in farming and also spiritually…
See, Mama and Jesus and Father (insert your own name(s) for Divine God here) give us food yes…They give us bread. BUT THEY WANT MATURE WHOLE FRIENDS TO WALK WITH!! Because Their Love and Joy is Great, and They LOVE to share that. Each person who comes merely multiplies EXPONENTIALLY the available Love and Joy to be shared…so yes, They feed us…but more importantly They TEACH us and DEVELOP us…just like I am teaching Their jewels.
And so here is the key: Besides the bread, They give us SEED too!! We generally finish the bread…quickly. And when our tummies rumble like Pooh Bear, we nibble a kernel of grain…and WTF that is YUK!! Tasteless, toothy-breaky…what do we do with THAT!!
And we toss it away and sit, feeling forlorn and lost and abandoned and have ourselves a pity party and invite our friends over and have P when we should be having T (make the joke in your mind)…
But after awhile we notice that those seeds we tossed away are growing!!! And Mama instructs us in the lessons of seeds…
Jump FORWARD…and NOW look at she who walks, weeping…and yet sowing seed!! She has learned that she cannot discard the seed corn!! She has to keep it, and she has to walk, weeping to water what she is sowing.
Did you know you have to water your dreams with the tears of your broken heart? Water what seeds you have with tears, copious and wept unafraid and unashamed…you can FLY at Mama with tears, of rage, of fear, of sorrow, of grief, of pity-party-ing, of whatever…
and behold…you shall DOUBTLESS come again, REJOICING, and bringing in your sheaves behind you.
Your sheaves are NOT stalks or wheat or ears of corn…your sheaves are your OWN littles (mine are these jewels of Mama)…yours are…well…
What ARE your sheaves? Only one way to find out: go forth with your tears into those barren fields!! Your tears shall wash away the salting of the enemy and purify the dirt…EARTH…and behold, your seed will fall from your broken hands which feel as if they shall never again hold joy in them…
but I promise that you will, as you weeping walk and sow…and sow…and sow…and just when your bag is empty you shall be back where you began…but at a DIFFERENT PLACE ON THE SPIRAL!! (you DO realize that history does NOT repeat, but rather it spirals?? And in your personal history, you revisit places over and over and over…except that you are “higher” or perhaps “lower” or perhaps “deeper” or perhaps “on dry land” or perhaps at last “swimming or flying” or…you get the drift)…
If your hands are full…start tossing seed…it is your promise of future harvest but MUST be sown in order to yield to you the fullness of your dreams…and weep…weep…weep…
And if your hands are empty…then dry your eyes, square your shoulders and look again…and again…and again…peer into the darkness intently…
and when you get discouraged, think of Silly Charissa…and be encouraged, for I tell you truly: If They will do it for ME???? I freaking GUARANTEE to you that They will INDEED do it for YOU, because I am truly the least…the very least of the baubles in Their Treasure House.
Love to you all this morning…LOVE to you in thick creamy schmears!!!!
It was a year and 9 months ago, give or take, that I first encountered Kayce Hughlett…she and a friend, Betsey Beckman were to lead a spiritual retreat that I just knew I was supposed to go to. The tale of how that all worked out is a wonderful one to be told some other time.
What I am trying to say is that as a result of encountering Kayce, I gained a friend, a sister, and yes, a mentor of sorts…she is deep waters without being brackish or strangely tinged with divers minerals…She has written a novel that I absolutely adored and endorse…you can read a review at the link, and of course find it on Kayce’s website and Amazon. It definitely had me mindful of a college text called Three Faces of Being which was an existential psychology text that influenced me greatly.
Anyway, Kayce wrote this particular piece a year ago…and she used language that I found myself using yesterday morning on a post I wrote for Facebook…a post that I was writing before I had read or even knew about this post of Kayce’s…it was when I was finishing about the last third of my post that I saw she had posted this on my wall…and I kept typing, eager to see what Kayce had sent me.
After I posted, I clicked thru and started reading, and I was delighted at the synchronicity of Mama’s mind, and the flow of things that spiraled from a year ago ahead…and then back to three years ago…
I highly recommend Kayce’s writings…please consider being a regular at her website.
Ohhhhh…I really really love this poem! It is quite similar to “In The Edges“, in that it contrasts the various realities swirling around me but not really mine…but that poem had a more insistent message to tell.
This one is painting a picture, using words on the canvas of your heart…
Clouds overhead, grey, full,
breaking, gathering can’t decide
which direction they are going,
whether they are hunkering down
thick and juicy or simply socializing
in a vaporous convocation that is all
twisty twaddle and no rushing rainfall.
It doesn’t matter, really. No, really.
It doesn’t matter, because in either case
the sky is constant behind them,
skimming the tops of mountains
and the troughs of wishy-waves
briny and stretching to the spines of stars,
The story of clouds is just pages turning
in The Big Blue-Black Book of Sky…
This poem is written in recognition of all that culminated in the legal name change I obtained three years ago today. I am very happy with this poem, rich in allusions and metaphorical double-backs…
It will reward the diligent who read it and then meditate on it. Resonances emerge like poetic harmonics and sing of many strange and holy waters.
but my ladder is my heart.
i know that, finally,
and the skies will open
only as my heart pries open
to spit the pearls formed
within this shell-shocked soul
the stone under my head becomes flesh
and i think about how jacob named
that stone, that ebenezer memory
of open skies and accessible heavens…
bethel…and it echoes in the dark,
rings midst the stars and
chimes in cloudy choruses.
that living stone had legs
to wander, God’s house sojourning
from place to place and time to time
the stone of Scone
stone of destiny
stone of coronation
old, red, sandstone
the stone under my head becomes red
and throbs and thrums and thrills
my soul open and searching the skies,
and i sense it will speak
as it spoke so long ago
and whisper my name,
my new name from heaven.
but it pushes me to listen elsewhere,
my answers not from
rock and sand and ruin
but from the Cornerstone Rock
and its bloody open hand
red and throbbing and thrumming…”
This poem is the sister poem to another one I wrote on the exact same day, several minutes earlier.
It was three years ago, and it was the day of my court hearing which would change my name legally…it was a huge day of excitement and anxiety…and it led to my professional execution less than 2 weeks later.
Ohh, but even in the loss of so much, it is worth it…for in it were the seeds of becoming.
I hope you enjoy one of my own personal faves
…and me…spit up and emptied
and waiting for You
to fill the silent spaces
that ate grace and jeered
while feasting on my food.
me emptied, waiting …
and my heart,
ego-stained and washed clean,
by Your face,
waiting…for that one grain of sand
to start an avalanche within me
of hope, nay!
This was written the same day as “For JD” which I just told of my horrified discovery regarding how it was defiled and twisted.
Catch the irony that on the same day that I wrote that poem, I also wrote this one, which describes the very deepest desire of my heart.
and i must find the courage
to smear me on the world
like oranges on the morning
smeared on the fingertips
that pry with nails sharp
i must be resolved
to be spread thick and creamy
on hearts so dry and crumbly
and tasteless in their leaven
like butter sweet and salty
The keepers are all that remain, the ones
with both feet anchored to Earth
and their hair being pulled by the stars
to the Milky Way and Beyond
They’ve learned how to swallow it all, it all,
the medicine of ghostly tragedy
they can hear the high keening stories
the stories of tender hearts’ piercings
The keepers, the ones that remain, remain
they keep the connections to meaning
they keep the transitions so sacred
and they bridge life and death with their bodies
they become that bridge, graceful, suspended, suspended
unseen and constructed from blood
and composed in the song of the blood and the sweat
and revealed in the sacred teardrops
and they stretch over oceans with skin, with their skin
they anoint with the oil so sacred
of trauma endure-ed and conquered
by outlasting its flailing last gasps
and they hold in the dark, in the still dark
like an armor that never needs donning
and that never need be taken off
they are Mama’s Heart in skin and bone
The keepers are all that remain, the ones,
The ones too stubborn to leave
the ones too persistent to wipe out
The keepers alive in Her flame
I am so enjoying posting old work for a while…
certainly so many things rushed out of me in the trauma flow that
many nuggets got carried further downstream than where people stand to pan for the gold.
I’m often told I’m confident
(like the march of blazing sun
across the hills of night
awakening each day)
I’m told I look like rushing waves
that roll in from the sea
and pounce upon the sand
in joyful swelling sounds
This makes me laugh inside my heart
because I’m more like fog
that silent moves unsure
which way it wants to go
But still committed to the march
inexorable and slow
to be true to myself
in soft embrace sold out
to be completely there
and wrapped around all things
I cherish in the hug
of insubstantial presence
there, and yet untouched.
Ahhhh…last year I wrote this to try and express how closely the ecstatic and the erotic dance in me as I connect to poetry and the words enter, flow and exit…
I’m asked sometimes if I write erotic poetry, and I allus laff and ask “Why?”
The question is like asking someone if they are eating McDonald’s french fries during the best feast of their life…
So anyway…this poem is about Poetry, about connection with the Divine, and yes, it can be about connection with the person you love to…connect with.
PS: this selection is towards the end of the poem…there is a staircase that gets you there, but you have to decide whether you ascend these steps, or descend them…either one is wow!!
…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…
I wrote this for the first human other than my dearest darling to really see me, Charissa…she has never not seen me. She has never seen him, even though she knows all about him, and I have told her everything about him that matters and also that she has asked…
I would tell her everything without reservation…but sometimes, she simply is bored by him, because he is an absent caterpillar and she loves the butterfly.
By the way…where do caterpillars go when the enter the chrysalis?
I love you Dani…you are my first friend and my dearest heart of friendship…special and distinct from the many friends and sisters I now have. ❤
lament at long last left limp
in clammy depths
‘neath the surface of seas
of blessed forgetfulness
midst the shells and sand swirling,
rejoicing surf returning resurrected,
remembered, sanctified by sorrows
faced and sorted…yielding
wholeness certain, sure…
on this shore I break,
on this shore gently
and joyfully too
on that shore
that someday shore
we will unbroken break
on that shore and in that circle
by and by…in that circle
by and by…
Come, my love…
walk out in the river with me on waters
still and soft beneath our souls
and slightly giving underneath our feet
the surface dips and we will sink
but never past our ankles, just deep
enough to get our hearts wet, soaked
in mysteries of our journey-dance
and underneath the Moon-Glow Glance…
I am not
the only one
here, brown and small
wearing a mask
so fearsome, fell
streaked red and blue
my resting soul
green on those hills
those tumbled hills
there, brown and small
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…
we are down to it now
here in the land where dragons
have forgotten their names
and deny their children
who loved them
Puff and Jackie are no more
it is now all sturm und drang.
A monster has arisen
and graves quiver and tremble
as fingers long thought dead
scritch scritch scritch
on those coffins so
and show that they live
and gibber in glee
with prospects of release
scritch scritch scritch
but the moon has not forgotten
does not forget her beloved
now hot and baking in the
disjointed unhitched sunlight
called not-Puff (Sturm) not-Jackie (Drang)
the moon has made her move
and soon will shed her grace
a respite from unrelenting baking light
An eclipse of Grace is coming
to save from the eclipse of Grace
found in this screaming perpetual
day without softness
without tender coolness
and velvet still…
I hear the moon move
in the dry drumbeat of bramble
as I pass by, smelling their
desperate intense perfume
the canes of thistles move
in the wind like bones
and sing to me
beneath the croon
of probing beams
that are definitely
way more than they seem
the sky will bend and yield
as moon she rides in day
and comes to eat, to take within
her belly all the taint
of poison so-called light
our moment of escape will then present!
a moment, chains can break and curses rent!
in dark while others fall upon their face
we who watch well an eclipse of Grace…
can learn there at her knee, her royal knee
and small eclipses everywhere we’ll be
from our burnt courage burnished bronze in heat
as we the moon and grace together greet
and mercy kisses truth…at last they meet
may things be healed by our eclipsing feet.
This poem is the antidote to “The 25 Hour Yesterday”…and it is attempting to write about redemption, and how it is only relational and never NEVER legal. You want to see changes in this world? Then change your relational dynamics…with yourself…with others…with the Divine…
“…It is the Valley of Dry Bones,
the charnal parched and bony strand
with bone-dust laying down for sand
that walking comes The One Who Knows
and singing re-creation songs
and the truths we tell make harmonies
to reach the very stars…”
I wrote this poem in 2015…taking on the topic of privilege, and how it devalues everything it touches…like entropy works…especially erasing the humanity of those who serve privilege to the same degree that they exercise it over their fellow human beings.
Supporters of trump the absolute fucker, I am taking DEAD AIM at YOU.
Some of you ttaf supporters think I am mean…but you are wrong. If you were to wake up, there will come a day that you will thank me for keeping you from a fate FAR worse than death.
In the poem, there are italicized lines. They signify to the reader that the reader is to “sing them in their mind” with the tune that corresponds…
“…We stand before God today
even though entropy
we stand before God
as Their Potter’s clay
of the present moment,
shaped not by nostalgia
for what once was,
for who God was,
and ever will be.
that fierce urgency of the now
within a world in need
not of more pointing fingers
and dividing speeches, but of
people willing to rise up
and work as if we now already
are God’s people willing
I deferred entropy yesterday
It was the least I could do.”
This poem is from 2015, and a deep immersion in that wonderful book Women Who Run With Wolves…
it was the tale of Bluebeard that chilled me the most. Indeed, it is the one MOST applicable to a transwoman.
I really like some of the images in this poem, some of the phrases…”shuttering houses and shuddering hearts”…
I hope you enjoy it, and end up being able to flow as your own tears of grace.This time of day…“l’heure bleue.”
I know it as “the gloaming” and was conceived
in it’s glimmer glisten and was born
in its radiant dark glitter-glamouring.
It’s the glamouring that the earth casts
when she hides from the hunters who roam the world
and gobble up the quiet dark and then rough-belch
their choking smothering counterfeit-communion
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?
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…
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…
AAHHH! Wowsa…again with the metaphor choice that I love!!
Green Beans…human “beans”…and again you can launch from there. I really REALLY like how this one turned out, sitting here a couple of years later.
the sound like
*past* and *present* and *future*
period. period. period.
and my heart the ellipsis that lingers
like the freshly baked bread…
This was a couple years ago…”viking” is metaphor for “patriarchy”…and the rest should follow naturally…
I’m no Viking, not me!
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…
PLEASE: Read this out loud, and zero in on the rhymes as the key to where to place your meter. Lovely, lovely effort, this.
Does it wish its way up there?
Does it woo with song and dance?
Notes so sweet floating on air
to paint and wash and seize its chance
to smear its bloody beauty stain
upon the sky’s face once so plain
just blue…and now in wonder-grains
of beauty brief that won’t remain…
I lost time today…
An older poem about transition and the power of congruency
The hate and ignorance
of the petrified forest
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:
…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…
This story is very parallel to my own.
I encourage reading it, especially for the understanding
of a Gospel of Incarnation rather than a Gospel of Law.
“Transgender teens with unsupportive parents have a suicide rate 13 times higher than their peers. They are the most at risk group in the nation. Most of those unsupportive parents are Evangelicals.
“I have been in personal contact with thousands of LGBTQ individuals and their families from seven countries on four continents. Almost without exception these souls are Christians who have been ostracized from their churches and/or families. They always ask the same painful question, ‘What do I do now?’ I feel the weight of the responsibility.
“In my previous work, I hoped to save people from spiritual suffering. In my current work, I hope to save people from dying.”
Paula went on to state: “I do not care about their (evangelicals’) brand of orthodoxy.””I have no interest in debating it. It is of little interest to me.
However, I do care about their orthopraxy, how they practice the Christian faith. I find it lacking. I find any religion lacking that leads with judgment instead of leading with acceptance and love.”
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.
But it is not the window
on my mind tonight…
I keep returning to that door
the one between you and me.…
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.
This is an older poem, and I really like its rhythm. Try reading it aloud, for you will find that the sound of the words shapes how you say the coming ones.
I take treasure from my heart
pleasures, pains, my every dart
burn them for a brand new start
the incense of my spirit …
We have nurtured
A small sprout
A tiny spring
We fed with time
We watered with tears
Our endless selfish bull shit
Gave food to this living child
Of ours… Our love, Love
This garden of delight
This torrent of life
This fire of fires
here and there
then and then
again and again
more and more
Written long looong ago, when this lil crabbie “Cancer”
was becoming friends with a lil scorpion Scorpio…
a match made in heaven and forged on earth.
It was trying to project into the future,
based on the past and spoken in the (then) present.
I hope you enjoy it. I know
if you met my beloved you would admire her as I do.
There is a tenderness
in your eyes
in your voice
so I can never
tell whose mother
or little girl
you might be
and even I
must believe it
in your eyes
such a tenderness…
Over the years I have jotted down uncounted numbers of haiku…
because it is a powerful tool in capturing imagery and heart flows…
and recently, I have been trying to focus more
on the process and reason why haiku is that tool,
that “turbo-charger” of the imagination, if you will.
I think it is that deep awareness of the nature of “nothing”
that one finds in the heart of much eastern spiritual thought.
Here are some of my attempts to find
the confluence where east meets west
and the waters mix.
in the wind my skin
revels amidst bitter-sweet
echoes of that day
wind, you will have a
terrible time smothering
my soft clarity…
and as it unfurls
the hard ground exhales
and i become light
as i sit in winds
my heart rises up
when liberty sings
though limbs sit so still
though limbs sit in winds…
look for me, search
in my solid words…
and you will miss me
in their sparkle-spazzle
and solid spunk echoes.
i’m in the spaces
in between my words
shining and shim’ring