I Think It’s Memory (For JP)

There’s deep green truth
in the spectral grey heart
of this ghastly pale notion
haunting our desperate minds:
our own truest blue heart
is most deeply discovered
in desperate ragged edges,
jagged, sharp, contrasted,
in tight precipice moments
(both high, and oh so low).tumblr_nr3s43ffiK1rn12zko1_500It’s on those thresholds,
in those moments
of “life”, of dismal death,
weighted and full moments
where indecision and decision
wrestle for supremacy,
where comfort lulls,
boredom deceives,
and indifference dulls…tumblr_nqy1drd2ru1qc6wuio8_r1_1280Tell me, what’s the essence of a heart
delivered from this life lived badly
to a certain death well-died?
And there and back again
into life lived and risen
from the bony spectral grip
of that small death called

Iris Fox ©2013 Gretchen Powers all rights reserved

Iris Fox ©2013 Gretchen Powers all rights reserved

I think it’s memory,

(and of course courage
to forget what is dead
and press on in pursuit
of those matters that matter)

to bravely (courage)
recall (re-member)
those things long ago
when first love was
fresh, free, fragrant…
that gives us perspective
to risk a decent death
and choose to lay down all
in hopes that we will rise
before the Great Rising.tumblr_np4plshztV1tv3g49o1_1280It’s when we remember
in poised precipice moments
that we can see most clearly
how our affections flow
and what and who we are…


what we remember deeply,
all that we have ingrained
into identity assumed
(like costumes for the play)
it’s far more likely we’ll recall
when crisis, pain or comfort make it
hard to remember anything,
the deep memory will hold against
temptation of forgetfulness in
“the Forgetful Green.”tumblr_nq9w38M1RM1qat5pio1_500If we refuse to actively remember
the story in which we participate,

(moments where God
has acted mightily,
the times humanity
has learned in tears
of reality and immortality,
of the autonomy of God
even in this)

then in sickness and in health
undoubtedly we will forget
that memory even is a thing
in this world that’s forgotten
and bids us forget as well.tumblr_nmlz7sSJYH1u3o58go1_540Lay aside the panaceas, cure alls,
life supports, and take up courage
to embrace a good death given
Die a Decent Death, in faith
that such thing does exist!

What is a good death?
The question’s asked and answered
by people who mourn and lament,
who weep at gravesides lingering,
who live and die and live as those
who follow That One gone before
in boldness and then risen high
above the false finale of
the gasping gaping grave!

A decent death, a certain hope…

I think it’s memory…
I think it’s memory.tumblr_mnjid9PJp21ry9w1bo1_500


Dear Reader, I Just Heard You Wondering

How did I get where I got?  How you got left behind?

You could have come along, if you would have.  You could have called.  You know where I live, you could have come over.

You still can…if you have the courage to.

Or the desire to leave behind useless old ways.

Either way, there is dead weight that must be let go of to come where I am.

I can’t really say it feels like a loss…it more astonishes me than anything else, that relationships I thought were fairly deep and strong had the roots of dandelion fuzz but lacked the ability to travel on the wind.tumblr_noth7qlFGk1r2zs3eo1_400

“Who Are We To Judge…”

Constance, I likely will not post an awful lot about the Jenner Transition Announcement until she gets further underway.

I totally, utterly get where she is at right now.  She is thinking things about how she is not that worried about pronouns, and how she is willing to overlook the othering and policing that is going on right now, yadda yadda yadda…she feels a responsibility to other transgender people to effect a graceful transition with dignity.

But deep down inside…all those things are hurting her, affecting her, wounding her.  She doesn’t need me adding to the cacophony of noise surrounding her (and all of that exacerbated because of the family dynamics she married into). Eventually, she will begin to find her bearings and her voice, or if she already has, she will begin to express it in her own unique ways.

But I will be commenting on things that orbit her transition, things that are revealed and illuminated as a result of her decision, and here is one of them:

On my Facebook page, a friend linked to an article about her transition.  That article is here:

Bruce Jenner’s declaration creates an opportunity

What was telling was in the comments on the Facebook post, all generally very supportive, but one stood out to me.  It simply said “Who are we to judge…”

“Who are we to judge…”

Constance, do you see why that comment jumped out at me?  Yes?  Jot down your thoughts about it…or No?  No you do not see anything odd about that comment in relation to gender identity?

Well, Cis-Constance, imagine yourself being introduced to someone, and them very kindly and sagely assessing you and then saying to you and everyone “Who are we to judge…” and then shrugging as if to say “to each their own”…


as if your gender identity is something that is up for judgement in the first place!

as if your gender identity is an article of clothing that you simply decided to wear that day.

as if your gender identity was a moral choice you made or make.

Gender orientation is put into the same classification as sexual orientation and then judged as a moral choice, and this is simply incorrect and unfair.

There is orientation that is a given…and then there are behaviors that descend from choices that we make as creatures who are moral creatures and subject to moral constraints as determined by God and current cultural climate (and those are rarely congruent, btw)…the behaviors themselves are what I choose to do…but the orientation is who I was born to be.

Orientation is not moral behavior.  It is simply the given baseline.

You as a cis-gender person are never subjected to the statement “Oh…you say you are a (fill in your biological chromosomal state).  I see.  Well, who am I to judge?”

And that, Constance, is the very epitome of cis-gender privilege!

Don’t get me wrong…I love the compassion that is at root behind the commenter’s post…but gender orientation is not a matter subject to judgement any more than race is, or that there is a brain in a skull, or that there are arms and legs on a human.

The deep underlying ignorance that is being exposed in the light of gender-education right now is the notion that gender-variance is a moral issue!  The deep presupposition fostered in our binary is that any person who is cross-gendered is by definition subject to moral assessment should they decide to authentically live out who they are in spite of the external casing they are housed in!!

Do you see this?

The commenter is correct:  we are not the judge of one another and should not judge one another.  But the issue that she applied this moral principle speaks volumes of how far we have to go yet as a culture, and why we transgender people are subject to such tremendous othering.

Even the way we are supported is often times OTHERING!

I have the same internal response when people say to me “Hey, whatever makes you happy makes me happy”…and they are sincerely “for” me in terms of their willingness to accept me.

But they have no idea just how deeply they sentenced me to more time in the gender penitentiary.

“Mr. & Mrs. Cis-Gender Constance:  Tear down this wall!!2008-5-10 Auschwitz No 11 - Final 2-1-2009 750