like a river running…
dipped in for a drink
a pipeful, a turbine twist
and then running on
alone and so much more
ever questing to the sea
and no one knowing
what passed by
in the night unknowing
like a river running…
dipped in for a drink
a pipeful, a turbine twist
and then running on
alone and so much more
ever questing to the sea
and no one knowing
what passed by
in the night unknowing
I had it all together
rows and blocks
neat and trimmed
even if they sat
ragged round the edges
like clouds, like shadows
and then artesian wells
of soul, of spirit
of color riotous
those edges ragged
like clouds, like shadows
welled up out of
and I am
smoke drifts on the wind
vanishes to who knows where
my soul, wind and smoke
It’s here, upon the threshold…
—hallowed (hollowed) spaces—
Thresholds are lurking in between
where veils are thin indeed
It’s here that we discover
the Shine of unseen presences
wait for us on the way.
We’ve chosen to attend the call
of our elysian journey
whether it long desired
or if it struck unbidden
like lightning from the hidden
We court holy disruption
just asking to be broken
and laboring to break
ourselves forever open wide
arriving in transition
We do confess this molten truth:
old structures have imploded
the old ways, habits, patterns
no longer serve to fill us
no matter how we gorge…
for the old has listless fallen off
And the new? Not yet emerged.
We put the Powers on notice
we’ve come to risk and open
ourselves, we’ve stopped our grasping
our frantic desperate scrabbling
for how things used to be,
We invoke every mystery chance
to change course, change perspective
And drain the unexpected cup
communion bread and wine
of earth, and of Sublime
We say yes! Take these moments
the journey takes us on
we become pilgrims, we resist
the siren call seductive
of mundane muddy matters
We feel it! things are changing
we hear the invitation
to open up ourselves and reach
Beyond, to mystery waiting
We walk into unknowing,
allow ourselves to shatter,
to be broken wide open
to receive gifts far bigger
than our tiny flat perspective
could even start to ponder…
Back home again we shall arrive
(perhaps before we’ve started
perhaps when we’ve departed)
we, salmon selves, return to us
in dawning spawned awareness
of the rooting inner journey
And what is left, remaining?
The water singing, sending
fingers in the air, as mist
to the regions
across the bridge
and thru the gate
and home to the Singer
In the water on the mist
This is from 2016, and I think it is very relevant to right now, because there is so much here you have missed.
I really do not know how to interpret your “gifts”, quotations used because you have often used money to obligate, to create hierarchies, to…gawd, who can ever really know?
The heck of it is that I have zero trust to ever really find out, because I don’t think deep down that you are really prepared to understand that this is an existential path instead of a moral one.
Regardless…this day from 2016 is a really good day to take a look at, in that it records several really fine poems and a couple essays that are palpable…this one being the most salient.
…you say that I think I can do what I want and pronounce it all forgiven by my belief in my “make-believe god”? You say that I think I can justify whatever I want and call it a “Road to Damascus” experience?
You think wrong.
You will never know the depth of the pain and sorrow for each and every time that I have fallen short…
…and you also will never know the hurt and pain you caused me with your false accusations of abuse and physical harm, your violent anger and threats of murder…your false memories and placing words in my mouth that I never said or even thought…
You will not have a way of knowing that even in your falseness I see that as my own fault because I did not do a good enough job to birth you into wholeness and understanding of truth…and instead, you go on forever about things that are so insane as to be befuddling to me.
No. I am blood guilty of sins of commission, and sins of omission as well.
But I place my faith and my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and in His Cross…and I ask Him to see me thru.
I trust Mama to Defend me, Advocate for me, Sustain me, Console me, and Comfort me.
I will do so all of my days, no matter how good or bad I was each day, no matter how deeply I fail or how high I fly.
This will never change, though I hope and pray that I will, continually becoming more like Jesus’ Lovely Heart by the Grace of God poured out liberally.
And there are others too…who read here like Nicodemus…you from the past, who used to come out into my working environment so you could criticise me, call me unsubmitted, tell me how I had no rule over my soul, and basically oppose every thing I attempted…I know you read here and think me tragically deceived, fallen away, or (one dude, you think this) in the clutches of “sexual sin”…
you think that being transgender is an act of sexual fulfillment, which absolutely cracks me up…like, I guffaw when I consider your ignorance and assumption.
You all have missed me in the midst of your judgement.
Here is me: this song forever, along with the other ones I have posted this morning.
If you want to understand me and be in my heart, you must understand and accept these songs. Whether or not you adhere to the songs is not my concern…that is up to you and your own convictions and choices. I seek to love and accept you regardless, from you who say you dreamed of murdering me for years to you who shake your head and waggle your beard because you have judged me outcast and shunned.
Sometimes I need to make these declarations.
Today is one of those days…and I am still here…like Papillon…I am still here…clinging to the precious Bleeding Side of Jesus.
As do you, ttaf supporter…though ye be old, ye waste the time of your life when you are MOST free to live by the true core of your faith, suffering no loss…yet ye value your gruel as if it is the very Lamb’s Wedding Feast.
Woe to you.
“Moment by moment, choice by choice, they begin to drift from their calling, and no one close to them ever tells them while they’re still humble and amenable enough to listen. The power they accrue begins to gradually silence dissent or to remove it from view altogether.
“These men end up spending their entire lives breathing solely in the intoxicating air of sycophant’s praises; never protected from their own hubris, never cautioned against their recklessness, never alerted to the ways they’ve lost the plot or begun leasing off large sections of their credibility for temporary rewards.
“Surrounded on all sides by genuflecting yes-men and women lacking the intestinal fortitude to push back against the toxic sludge pouring from their lips, they begin to feel more and more comfortable and even emboldened in it.
“As they do, the teachings and the words of Jesus become less and less useful, because those things begin to testify loudly against them, they start to clearly voice their opposition—and so they begin to silence them too.
“They learn instead, to bask in the applause of the salivating multitude, who gladly amen their every bitter word, no matter how reckless or incendiary—when they should be teaching them how to love more expansively.
“As the hateful choir cheers their ramblings, they grow more and more delusional, more and more comfortable bowing before the golden idols of their ego and ambition. With each day they slide further down the slope…”
ttaf supporter: it is not true that God will be displeased with you if you oppose ttaf on the basis of Jesus’s words. You live in the New Covenant, and not the old. The old is completely fulfilled…and thus the idea that some Cyrus “king” is what God wants is utter bullshit.
What God wants is what God has always wanted…and what is that? If you have to ask, what kind of Christian do you really think you are?
Ask James…he will tell you.
“I have attended dozens of Christian nationalist conferences and events over the past two years. And while I have heard plenty of comments casting doubt on the more questionable aspects of Mr. Trump’s character, the gist of the proceedings almost always comes down to the belief that he is a miracle sent straight from heaven to bring the nation back to the Lord.
I have also learned that resistance to Mr. Trump is tantamount to resistance to God.This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself.
They want it all. And in Mr. Trump, they have found a man who does not merely serve their cause, but also satisfies their craving for a certain kind of political leadership.”
This is you, ttaf supporter…you failed the test. Repent now to avoid an experience like the rich man who longed for a drop of water from the tip of the beggar man’s finger.
“The devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me” (KJV Matthew 4:8-9).Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” (KJV Matthew 4:10).
Jesus said no. He chose not to trade service to God for a chance to rule over all the kingdoms of the earth.
But today’s evangelicals have given in to temptation. They have taken the deal, trading in any sense of morality or godliness for the chance to rule — for a chance to fashion the country in the image of what they have come to believe is right, but is by no means in the likeness of the One they claim to serve.
She rides, Her horse
grey and shadow
She bleeds silver
i melt into Her
wet rivers, dripping
slick with desire
swollen with devotion
aching with longing
until i am breathing
Ahhh, how I love this poem!!
So, new readers and potential “Constances” (Constance is the name I give to those who become “Constant Readers” and is my deep thank you of gratitude and wonder):
The best way to interact with my blog right now if you want to access all the living work and art that lives in the marrow is via the calendar in the Right Hand Column.
You can use that to jump around to various days.
Here is the important information though: it displays the current year…SO, to access a previous year and month, please scroll down to the BOTTOM of the blog and see the footer calendar (located at the very bottom left).
There, you can select a drop down menu that shows month to month from year to year.
What I find fun is to go to today’s month in other years…and then pull that down from the menu and load that page. Once it is loaded, use the calendar on the Right and click on the date…if I posted on that day, it is hyperlinked to that day’s postings…
And in this manner you can not only access my poetry, but the context it was birthed in and thru…and I think that it begins to show the depth and breadth of my heart’s reach.
I am not posting current writings because I am mostly keeping notes and drafts, filling my artistic ditty-bag. This is because I am doing other projects that involve visual arts and creating thru that means, as well as new spiritual practices and involvements.
Besides, I find that I must cry out against the thing with human skin that shits from its heart every time it utters something…that thing ttaf which is the mere familiar of the multitude of monsters that have become the living dead without even knowing it.
This poem though…what a treasure and delight to me it is. I think I captured it just right.
like a babe in fresh blankets
snuggled and seeing,
quiet and jumping
in jammies with footies
singing of safety,
hot chocolate and nibbles,
then raindrops on rooftops
She will always have this in her life stream.
Right now? Oh Supporter of ttaf, you will always have in your life stream the fact that you voted for a monster and empowered the suffering and destruction of your fellow human beings strictly on the basis of their skin color, or their religious orientation, or their sexual orientation, or their gender identification…
…or to feed the mouths of the war monsters who are making money off the prisons that these sufferers are being interned in.
And you imagine Judgement Day. You imagine yourself hearing “Well DONE good and faithful servant” and you remind yourself of the times you prophesied in Their Name and cast out demons in Their Name and done many wonders in Their Name…
and yet you overlook that you have partaken in and identified with lawlessness and the workers of such horror!!
You sigh, and feel grief when you read this because you think I am deceived and demonically oppressed…but I tell you that you are the deceived one, oh elect of God who think yourself unassailable…you cannot even see it.
Let me ask you this: do you agree that Jesus said that if you have given a cup of cold water or a shirt or a crust of bread to the very least of the human family that you have given it to Him? I am not asking you to interpret it right now…just answer the Q: do you agree that He said it? (Hint: check Matthew 25 first).
And that brings us down to it…where is the least…who is the least…what is it to give them a cup of cold water…
What is going to remain in your life stream? An act of courage in the face of Empire?
Or a pathetic vote in the name of an idol called ttaf?
Elin Ersson refused to take her seat on flight at Gothenburg airport until man being sent to Afghanistan was removed
These are the kinds of things which disqualify ttaf from any serious consideration or pretense to the title of “God’s Anointed“, as the evangelical right has christened him in an idolatrous orgiastic frenzy of drunken power preservation.
Can someone have a horrible background and then have a Road To Damascus experience and become justified?
HOWEVER: When this is genuine, we ALWAYS see a degree of honesty and authenticity and congruence that results in a complete OWNING of one’s past, a transparent willingness to completely take responsibility for it, and not one scintilla of seeking to cover it up.
We see NONE of that with ttaf.
ttaf supporter: quite simply, you support a monster (bad enough), and you do it in the Name of Jesus (far worse).
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)…”
I am reposting this prose essay that I wrote in 2015. Based on current readership, I think it might hit some hearts that are perhaps now harrowed by grief and plowed by sorrow, and tender, softened by trial to receive seeds of humility that may grow and blossom into the fruits of compassion.
At least…I hope so.
It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping……and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles.
Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.
I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face. I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever. Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.
Constance: if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!
This post goes out to any reader who claims to love God in the “traditional, evangelical sense”…who believes in the Apostles Creed, who believes that the Great Commission means that your life as a christian is defined by how much you witness, how often you go to the building referred to as “the church”, and who sees themselves as “one of the saved” regardless of anything else because of a sinner’s prayer prayed in the past.
Jesus said that there would be deception so great that even the elect would be deceived, and He told a story about how the sorting of the saved will take place: who and what people were doing with “the least of these” being the winnowing fork.
If this fits you, then you turn from reading this article at your peril.
What I have posted below is an excerpt. I recommend clicking here and getting to the speech directly.
May you be awakened from your anti-christ position and support of ttaf (that stands for Trump The Absolute Fucker)…and may you find the grace to return to your first Love, and actions befitting its expressions.
This speech was given by Dr. Labberton at a private meeting of evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, on April 16, 2018. The following has been edited from his notes for clarity and to give context to excerpts that have been disseminated elsewhere.
“…this is not a time of pressing on. I feel a personal urgency to stop, to pray, to listen, to confess, and to repent and want to call us to do the same. Only the Spirit “who is in the world to convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) can bring us to clarity about the crisis we face.
“…As I have sought that conviction, here is what I have come to believe: The central crisis facing us is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been betrayed and shamed by an evangelicalism that has violated its own moral and spiritual integrity.
“This is not a crisis imposed from outside the household of faith, but from within. The core of the crisis is not specifically about Trump, or Hillary, or Obama, or the electoral college, or Comey, or Mueller, or abortion, or LGBTQIA+ debates, or Supreme Court appointees.
“Instead the crisis is caused by the way a toxic evangelicalism has engaged with these issues in such a way as to turn the gospel into Good News that is fake.
“Now on public display is an indisputable collusion between prominent evangelicalism and many forms of insidious racist, misogynistic, materialistic, and political power.
“The wind and the rain and the floods have come, and, as Jesus said, they will reveal our foundation. In this moment for evangelicalism, what the storms have exposed is a foundation not of solid rock but of sand.
“This is not a crisis taking place at the level of language. This is not about who owns or defines the term “evangelical,” and whether one does—or does not—choose to identify as such.
“It is legitimate and important to debate if and how the term “evangelical” can currently be used in the United States to mean anything more than white, theologically and politically conservative. But that is not itself the crisis.
“The crisis is not at the level of our lexicon, but of our lives and a failure to embody the gospel we preach.
“We may debate whether the word “evangelical” can or should be redeemed. But what we must deal with is the current bankruptcy many associate with evangelical life.
“This is not a crisis unfolding at the level of group allegiance, denomination, or affiliation. The varied reality that is American evangelicalism is evidenced in this room.
“We have no formal hierarchy, leadership, or structure and form no single organization, but are sorted and divided today as we have been—for better and worse—for much of our history.
“This is not a recent crisis but a historic one. We face a haunting specter with a shadow that reaches back further than the 2016 election—a history that helps define the depth of the sorrow, fear, anger, anxiety, and injustice around us.
“Today’s egregious collusion between evangelicals and worldly power is problematic enough: more painful and revealing is that such collusion has been our historic habit…
“Today’s collusion bears astonishing—and tragic—continuity with the past.
“Right alongside the rich history of gospel faithfulness that evangelicalism has affirmed, there lies a destructive complicity with dominant cultural and racial power.
“Despite deep gospel confidence and rhetoric, evangelicalism has been long-wedded to a devastating social self-interest that defends the dominant culture over and against that of the gospel’s command to love the “other” as ourselves.
“We are not naïve in our doctrine of sin that prefers self over all, but we have failed to recognize our own guilt in it.
“Our professed trust in Jesus has not led evangelicals to die to ourselves, but often to justify our own self-assertion—even when that means complicity in the suffering and death of others.
“The scandal associated today with the evangelical gospel is not the scandal of the Cross of Christ, crucified for the salvation of the world.
“…it is the scandal of our own arrogance, unconfessed before the Cross, revealing a hypocritical superiority that we dare to associate with the God who died to save the weak and the lost…”
I laid down on a rock
to have myself a sleep
the lichen whispered in my ear
of mystery-wonder deep
and even though the clock
spun round, toward death did creep
the rock just waited, patient, near
for me to make the leap.
this is about
under the clouds.
by noises here
and there too
Come down to the old brown barn with me.
It waits under the milky moon dripping, travelling,
the pearly moon freshly dunked
in far and sighing opalescent seas
and then come flying, fat and flitting swallow here,
to these far mountains and awaiting our arrival,
peaceful you and shivering me.
Come dressed in silks and sighs
and nothing else remaining.
Come adorned with slings and arrows
to lay down long at last in love
unfeigning, unfainting here,
in the end of battle.
The barn sings low and swinging
all our wonder up and ever outward
while the silver moon is clinging
wringing high and deeply dipping down
into the gulf dividing us asunder
from the gods and from ourselves…
and the mountains…
ahh…the mountains there
so tall, so stark
and unrelenting in the dark
the mountains dare to root down and reach up
and hold everything together
as it twirls, spinning.
beneath the stars so bright
the mountains hold us tight
and all together in
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…
From last year…I really love this lil beauty!
Do you know the place where the light passes in?
That’s where you’ll find me when darkness is seeping
from crevice and cranny while Spring trudges weeping
I sit in the place where the light passes in.
You’ll find me there singing of beautiful life
and of faith like pure gold burnished shiny with hope
as my tears fall like diamonds so soft in the wind
In that place where the light, where the light passes in…
(continued at Source: Where The Light Passes In | Charissa’s Grace Notes )
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
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…”
I admit I am surprised that there has not been more interest in my recent poem “Situla“. Perhaps it was layout?
Situla means “a bucket for Holy Water” by the way…Here is the poem, laid out without any images…
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
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
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
“Yet as ugly as followers of Jesus creating distance from him is, it’s a far more vile act, when in depravity they claim proximity; when they stand proudly in the world and commit the greatest of atrocities upon humanity—and contend that Jesus consents to it all.
It’s hard to imagine a greater illustration of Christians losing the plot than when they defend predators. There are few bastardizations of the life and the message of Jesus, as complete and grievous as taking the side of rapists and pedophiles and genitalia grabbers—but this is where we are now.
“With the Evangelicals embracing Donald Trump and with those now rallying to the defense of Roy Moore, this is what we’re watching in America: the least of these being thrown to the wolves by the supposed shepherds…”
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 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!!!!
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!
It was a couple years ago that the rage was the coming “Super Moon”…
the people stirred, woke up
and looked outside at the moon
hanging serene in the sky and unchanged
pictures were snapped…”
I really like the moon metaphors…
This was written the same day as “For JP” 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
Sometimes I am asked if I illustrate my poems…but please PLEASE note this:
All images are found online unless I specifically state otherwise that they are either pics taken by me or drawings done by me.
This particular illustration is from a major book I am working on for my friend. It is unique and one of a kind. It will be the only one, and were I to illustrate it all over again, the exact same poetry, it would look completely different.
I am really really happy with Scars though…I think I might never attempt it again, as it feels like it captured it. Oh…and for you who need a lil help mining for the diamonds, here is a lil “key” to the poem.
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…
I think prophetesses are cray cray,
sometimes cackling, always peering
deeply into foggy noggins
past the eggy soggy boggins
at the slick silver toboggans
shimmering in dancing air
to run the ride down truth’s face fair
and standing in the circle broken
hearing profound wholeness calling
symphonies of glory sounding
Mama all around in Wonder
spilling, splashing peeling thunder!
All the while the people slumber
neath the broken blankets lumber
over shards and nails and thorns
while Wonder blows her Golden Horns
and wholeness plays that glory
oh that glory
Yeah, we cray cray,
looking at this shattered world
blemishes and ugly cuts
just like punches to the gut
so why do we think differently
and call out so instinctively
that this ain’t the “Supposed to Be?”
Why do we think we were fashioned
made for wholeness, transformation
by a beauty big enough to
embrace life as well as death
that gurgles in the swamps of dazed
and drunken creature comforts crazed?
It’s seen, a fleeting flashing glimpse
in roaring subways rumbling
a quiet act of kindness given
a cup of water cool and sweet
to quell the fires and cool the heat
of hurt and hate and slaughtered meat
just dim glimpses, visions dark, muddled
when we see the face of God
and recognize what we have yet
to see, and know we always knew it…
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…”
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…
butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved in bone
I am diamonds in the night…
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.”
I just have to share this article here…I hope you reach into your suitcase of courage to read this look in the mirror. If you consider yourself a christian, I challenge you to repudiate these tendencies in your own heart…and if you do not consider yourself a christian, I wish to apologize deeply for the horror show that has been inflicted on you by those who claim the Blessed Name…and do so in utter vanity.
“The 2016 election demonstrated an especially high level of insincerity, shamelessness, poor judgment and pathological egocentricity among Christian evangelicals. James Dobson, who once said of Bill Clinton, “Character does matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country without it. How foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world,” and then said of Donald Trump, “I’m not under any illusions that he is an outstanding moral example. “It’s a cliché but true: We are electing a commander-in-chief, not a theologian-in-chief.”
“The evangelical Christian message is loud and clear. They care for no one but themselves. Their devotion is to the version of Christianity they have created, which calls for ruthless abandonment of immigrants, women, children – even their own – and anyone else who doesn’t fall inline with their message. Social justice, which is mentioned in Bible verses over two thousand times, has been replaced with hardline political ideology. Principle over people. Indifference over involvement. Judgment over generosity.
“Every generation redefines what it means to be, or belong to a religious group. Religious ideologies, interpretations, and doctrines are fluid. But whatever it is, or whatever it becomes, is made by the people who belong to the religion and what they collectively decide to make it.”