Of Rain On Rooftops | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.


and it is in night…

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
tingtingtingthrumthrumthrum…

Source: Of Rain On Rooftops | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Protected: This Painful Threshold (For The Healing Circle, inside and out)

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Reclaiming Jesus

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

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

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

Do justice.  Love mercy.  Walk Humbly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Reclaiming Jesus

Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.

May we all find the grace to become as Bartimaeus.

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!

Source: Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Heaven’s Bleachers (For John)

It was a golden time,
a stretched out place back then,
twisting up and over there,
and underneath the sun and more…

a yawn opened in heaven’s floor
and down to earth came Joy and more…
he was and is our so much more…

When John had horrid accident
(Lafayette screamed outloud to Moraga)
and whistles blew so shrill, so quick,
while McElhenny dodged Nomellini oh so neatly

(but poor scared children could not know the drill)
and thus their roar for glory yet to come…yet to come
left them there bereft and frozen

while Joyful John slept, waiting…

and there in Heaven, bleachers full
gasped and held their breath…
one and then year two
until the smile that broke a thousand
cold cold hearts wide open once
again cracked the cold and silent night

and Heaven’s Bleachers roared in joy!

Quicksilver baton twirling,
sigil of the coming glory
and the battered Captain Tittle
smiling humble, signing Y.A.
and the whole beloved story
for a faithful fan of Joyful John
and his undying confidence
in Red and Gold forever held
in jubilance and wriggly ecstasy…

And as that silver wheel spun high
and slicing thru the pale blue sky
the years twirled out as quick as lightening
and slowly Heaven’s Bleachers swelled
with lookers on who cheered and held
the living in their love…

Until the Niners strong and true
(St Clair, RC Owens, Perry, all there)
emerged to follow greatness on
and on into forever…

and even Easter Bunnies stopped
with making eggs to cheer for Rice
and call out loud to old John Brodie…
Image result for john brodie ya tittle
These many years since then, it’s come
The Wicked Witch of Martinez, thrum
and screech and fear it brings to try
and make our Joyful brother cry
Related image
but we stand firm with him and sing
and Heaven’s Bleachers full do bring
their tidings here to us this day
that Joyful John is needed here…

STAY.

For earthly throng still cheers our team
Beloved Niners, see it gleam, as glory gathers
there beneath the coming dawn so gold, so red

The Leap

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.

Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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: Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes


wave ever rising
hanging there eternally
wave ever falling

Source: Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Where The Light Passes In | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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 )

The Straight Way So Crooked

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

Situla (Sans Images)

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 wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and
wait, hushed and
clutching me

my
alabaster
jar

this
empty
situla

still reeking
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
(eyes shut)
at the inside
of the veil…

as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
gives way
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

Situla

Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and wait,
hushed and clutching

me
my
alabaster
jar
this
empty
situla

still reeking
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
Image 004
(eyes shut)

at the inside
of the veil…
as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
surrenders
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

Some Older Poetry That I LOVE

“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!

And falling
into that seeming nothing,
yawning and gulping, well
it is but a dropped stitch
in the Banners over me
of You.”

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)

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

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

the absence of jazz,
the absence of spice,
the absence of that
jagged noise of exultation
and thus there is no
purity and nothing
quite acceptable
enough…”
barcelona_above_by_coigach-d9gyhp2
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
gathered close
outside the house
just like a mama bird who nestles
down so gentle on Her chicks…”
tumblr_ny9okxgwbf1rsj4s9o1_1280

This Speckled Star-Lit Night

A Look Back That Inspires

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes.  That literally happened.

So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

try and imagine how this felt, and feels…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…and would we please teach him, teach them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

and then I woke up.

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

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

Until this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is not a chance.

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

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

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

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

Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam

 

via Updates about my life

Nina Simone Sings It True

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

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

People…CONSTANCE!!! (“Constance” is a moniker for “Constant Reader”, btw…)

So what is UP??  Why is this gem getting so little attention?  Is it because I use Pig as a metaphor for Someone?  Is this a bridge too far??  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  If that is true, it misses the heart of both the pig and the Someone.

Give it a go…I rather love this poem, with its little oinky rhythm and pace…
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)…

Source: Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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

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

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

 

Source: Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina)

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…

Mille Chiens!!!

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

pig…Pig?

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…Image result for sheep grazing in a vineyard
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

Just…Becoming…

as blood like liquid dirt that pulses,
courses thru our veins like rivers,
rivers in our noses

just like truffles…
rooted out…
by that disguised
and worn out
old Used Pig

Going Out Weeping, Returning Rejoicing

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…

…talk about #SOULSTROLLING !!!!!! Kayce Stevens Hughlett !!!

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…

Just.
Weep.
Them.
As.
You.
Sow.
Your.
Seed…

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!!!!

Kayce Hughlett – live it to give it_blog – On grief, owls, & pilgrim’s pockets

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.

❤ you always, Soul Sister!!

Source: Kayce Hughlett – live it to give it_blog – On grief, owls, & pilgrim’s pockets

That Rock…There | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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…

Source: That Rock…There | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Convenience of Giving Up | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It was my knees that began to ache
from bending over, my hands that
occasionally encountered some
stinging or biting insect of one
kind or another, my muscles
that would cramp my
fingers and hands
from relentless
weeding and
digging…

Source: The Convenience of Giving Up | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Jacob’s Half-Sister | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.


“…the stone under my head grows soft
and i think about my long ago
half-brother, and his ladder.
i search the brooding night sky
for mine, my eyes
pleading like puppies
hungry for milk

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 stone,
that living stone had legs
to wander, God’s house sojourning
from place to place and time to time
ever wandering…
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…”

Source: Jacob’s Half-Sister | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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,
captured
by Your face,
Your gift,
Your grace…

waiting…for that one grain of sand
to start an avalanche within me
of hope, nay!
of Hope…

Source: Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It was a couple years ago that the rage was the coming “Super Moon”…

This was my heart poem for that event…

“i sat in peace, calm and still
while whirling around me
excited and thrilled

the people stirred, woke up
and looked outside at the moon
hanging serene in the sky and unchanged

pictures were snapped…”

Source: Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Another older poem…based on an overheard conversation, and then what I “saw” as I looked up…

I saw her, hair caught,
transfixed on dancing
wild breezes that lifted,
poofed, primped and pinched
braids and bangs and barettes and her eyes
lit with that autumn afternoon fading fire
gleaming from behind the clouds
carrying water for Miss Autumn in Her sudden rush and approach.

Source: Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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

Source: Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

For JD | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this for a friend who occupies a very distinct and unique place in my life and history.  She is a woman that I have never met, exchange conversation with “occasionally”, or at least compared to other friends…she is of similar spiritual ilk and call, and is cut from the same cloth as me.  My beloved one and only knows about her, knows her…and we have never been anything other than what we are:  “Litter-mates”.

If you have ever had a dog who had puppies, then you know what litter-mates are…pups born at the same time from the same conception…and they are together until around 8 weeks when they all blast off to their families where they live…litter-mates are more than close…they are simply litter-mates…siblings.

My friend is like that to me, and when I first encountered her, I flashed on so many more things than I can write about, but HAVE written about here, and here, and a few other “here“s too…

This poem was written in that blissful innocence and joy that two people have when they meet and just know they are fast friends and sisters forever…it is my heart, flowing and pouring forth such beauty that it is capable of retaining from the Beauty That Comes With Poetry…it was in the moment and will always be my pure commitment to her, my sister.

And then I discovered to my horror and defilement that it has been used to accuse…that JD and I are accused of being “lesbian lovers”!!  Remember, we have never met…and that I myself am accused of being a “predator” who was “grooming” my incredible friend (whom I have never met, and whom my one and only till death we do part beloved knows about and rejoices in)…that I was grooming her for…this part I still do not really comprehend.

It is two years later…and my poem is now covered in shit and filth…from a literal whore-monger and thief and also from a religious dementor who is so deranged she makes the Pharisees look like the blessed meek.  One of them is sex addicted…and both of them are self-addicted…and I find out that they violate this poem, they violate JD, and they violate me…and I feel so sick and nauseous at this…this absolute shit.

Maybe it is the picture that did it in their minds…which is stupid because each woman has on her swimming suit, and even if they did not it would STILL not necessarily say anything!!  The picture represents the utter joy and abandon that comes when one is cleansed of all extraneous distraction and burden.  The water is the Divine Flow…the exhilaration is freedom.

Asshole Pervert:  I will never ever talk to you or have any contact with you ever.
Religious Dementor:  YOU I will give a chance if you ever find the One that you doll up in your shitty clothes and filthy rags imported in from the Law so you can feel like you are adding your work to the work of the One who said “It is FULL” which is usually translated “It is finished” and it means “It is totally summed up and completed”.

Sadly, for me?  This poem will ever be shit-stained by a monster and poisoned by a daughter of the slithering viper of poison tooth…but I know Mama will cleanse it, and those stains will at last be the colors which make JD and my friendship even more close, and even more surrendered to the Holy…to the good.

JD…Jennifer…I love you with my whole and true and innocent heart, dear Litter-Mate and fellow prophetess.
i clothe myself in wonder
for you, i wrap myself in night
i am your pirate plunder
you can have without a fight

the milky way my shining sash
the moon my pendant true
and cricket song my lingerie
i give myself to you

you there, so strong, so brilliant
straightforward as blazing suns
your ready laugh, your brewing storms
the way your rivers run

from mountains high, jagged austere
you flow into the sea
for you i wait, indigo here
for you to give you me

we…night and day bonded and true
and joy our wonder-fates
you wrapping me, me inside you
Mama’s happy litter-mates

Source: For JD | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Keepers

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

“Scars”, the Illustrated Version

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.

Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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…

Source: Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.  ❤

PS:  Pay attention to the line length…just a hint

Listen…
you can hear
my words in waves
breaking on your beach
and celebrating…

lament at long last left limp
in clammy depths
‘neath the surface of seas
of blessed forgetfulness
and chuckling…

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,
we break,
on this shore gently
and joyfully too
we break…

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…

Source: On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Come, My Love | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Related image

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…

Source: Come, My Love | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Reflections | Charissa’s Grace Notes

SO loving this old one…”old”…HAH!  Just a few years, very early on in transition…and a word play via homophone leads the way in this one.


The scent of our home,
funky quaint and riddled
with books and bikes,
and the long laid scent of family.
The scent of the kitchen,
yesterday’s dinner
and the overlay of croissants
like fierce french washer women
scrubbing away all other scents.

…the scent of our clothes,
and our laundry soap…
the scent of the air cooler,
that of the soft night air
waltzing in,
slow and sleepy
from her night out
amongst the stars,
and carried in drowsy
on cricket wings…

…the scent of popcorn
shared on the couch,
of our wine wafting
from bottles possessed
by only the last 12 drops,
our lil garden outside,
and the auto sprinkler
which has come on to water
in the dark and the cool…

the scent of your currents,
your deep distant observing soul
that hangs back and watches,
even in the midst…

i do go on…

from here…from now…
in the sweltering heat,
where you and I lay,
you sleeping,
me watching you sleeping,
soft face limpid and languid…here…
listening to tides of eternity
race round and round
inside our veins, our universe…

i do go on…

Source: Reflections | Charissa’s Grace Notes

There, Brown And Small

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

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

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

there, brown and small

Sleeping Skin to Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Three years old and holding up VERY well!!

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

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

An Eclipse Of Grace

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
recently buried

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)

called alt-
and hate
and patriotism

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

sooon  soooon…
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.

The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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…”

Source: The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Tears Of Grace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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

*non-light*…

Source: Tears Of Grace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Come Home To Yourself | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and underneath, the shade of deep dry rot…

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

I Think It’s Memory (For JD) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

 

A poem about death, and why persist when we are creatures who simply are unable to accept that death is all there is…
A poem about life, and how to find it, how to secure it and most important how to keep it by giving it away…


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)…

Source: I Think It’s Memory (For JD) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Breaking Beans | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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 snap of those fresh green beans
the smell of fresh linen
infused with lacy scents of
fresh baked bread lingering

the sound like
*past* and *present* and *future*
punctuated with
period.  period.  period.
and my heart the ellipsis that lingers

like the freshly baked bread…

Source: Breaking Beans | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Butterfly And Bone | Charissa’s Grace Notes

And again…aren’t we all?  Butterflies carved in Bone?I’m a butterfly carved of bone
white, bleached, sun-baked bone

my wings are just my lungs
spongy-red and wet but free
inside my chest is open space
soaring chasms awaiting light

butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved in bone

I am diamonds in the night…

Source: Butterfly And Bone | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Inside Dead Wood And Splinters | Charissa’s Grace Notes

An older poem about transition and the power of congruency


You woke me
and I didn’t even
know I was sleeping
inside dead wood and
splinters waiting for
a spark or a coal
from Your
altering
Altar

The hate and ignorance
of the petrified forest
is matched…

Source: Inside Dead Wood And Splinters | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Refresh My Thirsty Roots (For Melissa)

It’s the wind, fresh splashed
with wild rain and then dashed
across slate and sand and then

strained thru my window
thrown open and grasping
for beyond and beyond and…

then scent simply there
and all around me sent,
in my hair and nose and lungs,
as if I were the tree
and that old gnarly oak
out there was me

except that I am
sitting beside you dear,
laying there in your
innocence and cheer
still fresh from so far
away before you came

Before you were
sent so near to me,
oh my lovey,
lovely, my girl…

I sit, and drink of you
as you refresh my thirsty roots
forever until Forever.

Burnt Offerings | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.

These words are my offerings burnt
singed in fires of pain and hurt
written as gouts of bright blood spurt
from my contrite soul.

I take treasure from my heart
pleasures, pains, my every dart
burn them for a brand new start
the incense of my spirit …

Source: Burnt Offerings | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Summer Snapshots in Haiku | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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.


rain-filled ruts reflect
an apple red summer sky
that highlights brown hills

in the wind my skin
revels amidst bitter-sweet
echoes of that day

wind, you will have a
terrible time smothering
my soft clarity…

Source: Summer Snapshots in Haiku | Charissa’s Grace Notes

i sit in winds | Charissa’s Grace Notes


i sit in winds
and let my shawl flow
loose around me
and lifted like wings

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…

Source: i sit in winds | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Unfurling From A Set-Free Throat | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am gunna begin reposting older poetry, here on Grace Notes…because Facebook is a wasteland of the driest thirstiest most stingy desert sand that has ever been. Proverbs would say that Facebook has two sisters:  “Give” and “Give”.

My older work is good…at least, in my own internal scales of what I like and do not like, it weighs out as treasure.  I feel it in my bones…it RINGS of true truth.  But it is unwieldy, this blog, in getting to those older poems…one must make time and space to even find them, let alone to eat them and digest them…

…because my poems are not immediately burnable carb calories…

Anyway…here they are, such as they are.

This particular poem is about finding my voice as symbol of finding myself.  It examines paradigms and presuppositions, and advocates for freedom from old superstitions and lies…and freedom to timeless Truth.
I still struggle to dig it out,
that splinter you shoved into me,
down my throat without so much
as a shot of whiskey or
a shot in the dark.

and you are so certain, sure
of how to walk the world an…

Source: Unfurling From A Set-Free Throat | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Turmoil Of Spring


I am wearing the turmoil of Spring in my hair
I have worn it so young and so old
It’s for you that I wear Spring so zestfully there
For your heart, I am wearing Spring without a care
For your soul, well I wear Spring so bold.

But you rush thru the seasons so fast and so blind
Looking into the future so blurred
It’s for me that you strain your eyes, trying to find
Something different, a lodestone to anchor your mind
Alas, you miss the damage incurred.

I guess pacing is part of the problem, my dear
You pull hard, while I toddle along
For whatever our eyes rest on, touch on, hold near
those things take flesh and blood then they stoke up your fear
And they co-opt your voice and your song.

Can we walk thru the seasons together, our hands
Clasped gently yet joined as we wait?
You can see far, rejoice in the coming of that
I can see up close, making the moments grow fat
While the seasons just slip out the gate.