Tentative Transitions

My last post was over a year ago and it makes me smile to read the poem I left to a woman who is no longer in my life but whom I cherished for a moment.

Meanwhile I am dreaming new dreams, singing new songs, and building new castillos.

I’m headed to a new frontera in a few new months as I begin work toward my MDiv at Claremont School of Theology.

I am thinking about reviving this blog that holds so many years of my history.

I have paper diaries dating back to about 1981 or 82. Every now and then in adolescence I’d run into an old diary with blank pages. I would cringe at how silly and babyish I sounded in younger years. Then I would pounce upon the remaining pages hoping to reinvent myself. Now with the weight of wisdom on my shoulders I seek not so much reinvention as authenticity and rediscovery.

Perhaps these blank digital pages may be part of that journey as they have been part of many other journeys.

Song

I’ve been missing from my blog for too long and I thought this would be an appropriate point of reentry:

Can a smile be a song?
Spending hours tracing mental
outline of light and shadow
ripples of color in flight,
I wish I could paint her
I wish I could sketch her wicked smile
a smile that starts in her eyes and
sweeps radiant across her face.
And the way
her smile
heals something in me
that I didn’t even know was broken.
I wish I could capture
the texture of her skin under my eager
fingertips
the softness that makes my mouth water
or the way her words make me
hope fear long believe stretch laugh want surrender dream
Or the smell of her on my fingers
lingering, infuriatingly persistent like
my own desire
overflowing.
I wish I could dance her
that my body could move and sway
reach and connect
undulate and extend
to tell a story of desire
transcending.
But her beauty defies words
defies colors
puts them to shame in her radiance
defies movement.
She
defies definition
with the curve of her sassiest smile.
I’ll sing of her then:
raise my voice to God
and give praise and thanks
that she exists.

That she is so wonderfully made.



Beauty!

Hibiscus

I recently got a new camera for my trip to San Antonio with Cookieboi!  I’ll be posting more pictures but this was from my first shooting adventure here in Long Beach.  I love this place! One of the things that struck me when I first visited was how gloriously beautiful the flowers are and they are everywhere.

Skydiving!

I haven’t been posting much in months, but last weekend’s adventure is blogworthy and time is not entirely against me today!

This last Saturday I got to do something amazing, truly amazing.  I went skydiving.  Oh wait, let me be clear, I went with my friends, but I was NOT about to pay money to jump out of a plane.  Just not my style LOL but yes, it was still AMAZING.

A new friend had shared with me that she was going on her first jump and one thing led to another.  My friend C has been threatening me for a while with making me jump with her on a major birthday.  I beat her to the punch by (along with another of her friends) giving her a birthday present she’ll not soon forget: skydiving!

So I got to go for emotional support and in case I needed to catch anyone.
Being the motherperson I am I was super anxious but entirely committed to this experience. And I had warned them about the lectures that were to come if they so much as stubbed a toe!

Few things humble me more or bless me more than having someone share their dreams with me.  To see my dear friend make a dream come true in such a dramatic fashion, and see the big ass smile on her face still moves me.  I was part of it.  As I waited on the ground for mah peeps to float down safely to me I had to ponder a lot of things (especially to avoid thinking about gravity).  I was thinking about my position as observer.  I was talking to someone recently about how I don’t do team sports because I’m not especially good at them (okay I suck at everything except volleyball) and I am not competitive and I hate being the one to make the team lose, I hate the spotlight and the feeling of not belonging.  I was explaining how I am a fantastic cheerleader though!  I love to watch, to encourage, to heckle, to support.  But sometimes I overrely on my role as supporter and forget that I can take risks myself as well.  So I’m revisiting the ways in which I participate in my own life. I am looking to live every day more and more.  And that’s a mouthful coming from me because it’s not like I’m a wallflower now!  But I hold back.  And I don’t want to hold back anymore.  My adventure may not be jumping out of a plane but I am called to many other adventures.  And I am going to boldly enter them.  I want my freedom!

My friends were expecting a life-changing spiritual experience and in many ways it was for them.

I was expecting a nerve wracking other-centered experience and in some ways it was but it also ended up being intensely about me.

I am so very blessed.  This time two years ago I was spending time where I wasn’t really welcome and had not yet moved to California.  This time last year I was dating someone I was crazy ambivalent about, I didn’t have solid friendships, and I certainly wasn’t financially stable.  I am in such a great place in my life.  I am so amazingly and abundantly blessed.  I am fabulously single, I am free of many ties that were holding me back, and yet solidly grounded in some great friendships.  I am stable.  I am connected. And, I am looking forward to the holidays on my own terms.

I have been cultivating roots and now I’m ready to test my wingspan.

Reflection

A few new friends were checking out my blog and remarking on this and that and so I got to come back and see what I’ve posted through the *gasp* years I’ve been doing this. It’s really crazy to see how far I’ve come on my journey and just how much things change (and just how much things don’t change). It’s hard sometimes when reading a blog to remember that it’s not static. Sometimes people will ask me about an entry that I wrote two years ago and it takes me back.  It’s been a crazy few years and while there have been some rough patches I wouldn’t trade ‘em.  I’ve had some serious changes, some serious shifts, some serious joy, some serious growth, some serious self-affirmation, some serious wtf-ery.  Wow.

Some things are like going back and reading old diaries where there’s shit that still makes you cringe a little bit even though it’s been decades. And a lot of stuff just makes me really stand in awe of the amazing person I am and continue to become.

In addition to my little self-indulgent little reflection I figured it was time to out myself LOL and give a linky link to my Christian Queer Grrl blog where I do a bit more writing these days. I’m not by any means abandoning my borderlands, this is in addition to, not instead of but part of who I am today means that my faith, my relationship with God, and my ministry are becoming more and more important and deserve their own place.  No, I haven’t turned into a stick up my butt (in a bad way even) Christian.  I haven’t turned judgy or conservative and boring.  I know because there’s plenty of people who would have told me!  I am still irreverent, sassy, sparkly princess me.  And yes, I’m still angry.

http://christianqueergrrl.wordpress.com

You don’t have to kiss ‘em to know they’re a frog

People who have known me for a while and those who love me will be the first to tell you that discernment is not one of my strengths.  To put it mildly.  Yes, soy pendeja.  I’m the fool who was married to someone who cheated on me throughout the years of our relationship and I had no clue.  Yes, I’m the same one who thought it was a good idea to get involved with an alcoholic (oh and then another…) except I didn’t realize they were pretty much alcoholics until I was all up in the mess.  I’m the same one who didn’t realize the obessive codependent clusterfuck  of a butch I was dating for a minute had DRAMA written all over him.  Yep, that would be me. 

See, my problem has been that I would get really sucked in by the Potential I see in people.  I can look at someone and see God in them.  That’s amazing and beautiful.  And I love myself for it.  What I hope for is to balance that perspective with some more reality.  I may see the amazing, loving, caring, transluscent being who is made in the image of God but I have to also learn to see the whole package.  Potential is great.  I’d rather date reality.

My butch guru and bestie Cookieboi has become my inner voice of reason at times.  He has called me out more times than I care to think about, nothing is too sacred, not the relationship with his buddy (bros over hos be damned) which he declared disaster in the making and so it was; not my off again on again fling which he repeatedly addressed with an efficient “what the fuck are you still doing dating that fucknut?”  Some of his pearls of wisdom from my dating experiences have included:

“If he wanted to be with you he’d be with you.  The end.”  Ouch!  He was right. 

“Why the fuck do you want to win?  You don’t want the prize!!!”  Oh.  Well shit.  He was right.  I didn’t.

“She doesn’t deserve you.”  Hmmm.  Who knew?  Right again.

“I will personally kick your ass if you go out with that boi again.” 

or

“You want I should kick his ass?” (Usually this in response to my weepy tale of some butch’s asshattery)
I was talking to someone recently who was  surprised to hear how my dating life is going these days.  I’ve been single for two years now.  I’ve had a few close calls but nothing serious.  I have dated quite a bit though.  And I’ve had fun doing it.  But I know better than to jump into shit.  Recently I haven’t been dating much.  I have been out on a few dates in the last months.  First dates.  No seconds.  As I was telling someone about one of my dates (who beeteedoubleyou was HAWT!) and how it just had DISASTER written all over it I realized what has changed for me.  I don’t have to kiss ‘em to know they’re a frog.  I don’t need to come back for a second date.  I don’t need to take that pause to make up some excuse for the bullshit I see right off the bat.  Is it possible?  Have I actually been putting into use a bit of discernment?! 

Don’t get me wrong, there are still a few people whose potential I am mesmerized by.  I just know by now to stay the fuck away from them.  They are not good for me right now.  And at least one of those people I don’t think I will ever allow into my life again in any capacity.  He used up his chances.  Love him, forgave him, and I can honestly say I harbor no ill will but I just don’t think he can be in my life without hurting me.  I kissed that frog and I’m over it. 

Those people whose potential I am mesmerized by have taught me so much.  Those people whose potential I love/d also love/d me.  And they taught me through that how I was being unkind to see only their potential and not their reality.  They could have potentially been loves of my life but in reality were just broken people running from (or toward) their own demons.  By loving their potential I was asking them to be someone they couldn’t be at that time.  So I have released them from my life. 

And I learned, from them, from my many first dates, from my smart butch friend, that I don’t have to be guarded, I don’t have to shut down, I don’t have to build walls to keep people out, I just have to use my brain and follow my instincts.  When in doubt I just call my buddy who will tell me what’s up.  When in doubt I’ll think about how my mother would react to someone.  When in doubt I try to be my own best friend and think, is that the person I want my best friend to invest in? 

I don’t have to kiss them to know they’re a frog.  So I date even more selectively than ever, which means not very often at all but it’s okay.  I’m sure the prince is out there and in the meanwhile I continue to be my sparkly princess self.  It’s all good.  No frogs need apply.

Silencio

(Algo medio viejito que me hizo pensar en una de mis amiguitas…)

Mientras más fuerte se hace mi voz, menos le temo al silencio.

Ahora sé que cuando callo no es porque no hay espacio para mi voz, sino porque elijo callar.  Aún donde no hay espacio yo abro uno si lo necesito.  Pero he aprendido, con el tiempo, lo mucho que habla mi silencio.

Con mi silencio le digo que la amo.  Con mi silencio le digo que es ella para mi un tesoro.  Con mi silencio le digo que estoy aquí, que la distancia no me toca ni me aparta.  Mi silencio la acaricia y la acobija.  Porque ella conoce mi voz en lo oscuro, ella conoce mi voz en tinieblas, como se conoce el aliento de la amante que susurra en el oído un “te deseo” sigiloso.  Ella conoce mi voz y conoce mi silencio.  Y espero que sepa el anhelo oculto en lo que se calla.

Where were you when

When I heard the news I was in a meeting interpreting from English to Spanish on the fly because our trainer spoke only English and some participants spoke only Spanish. I was intent on my task, glued to the spot when suddenly my phone started vibrating. Normally I would have ignored it but something, a small still voice inside, told me that I should not overlook this particular text! I look at my phone and see only one line. Michael Jackson died today. My homie has an odd sense of humor so for a moment I took it as a jest taking a second to reply with some sort of “for realz??” reaction. Sadly the news returned in the affirmative but I had to set my mourning aside as I continued with my meeting.

Later that evening a friend was helping we move some boxes into a garage to then move them into my new place next week, a nice exercise in transitional dadaism. Of course we turned to the topic of Michael Jackson as she shared with me that the first concert she ever went to was a Jackson Five concert her sister took her to. Reminiscing and talking about what Michael Jackson did for Black People The World Over we smoked our cigarettes sharing a spontaneous moment of silence.

Later still that evening I was kicking it on the stoop with a different friend. It was significantly later. And I was feeling good, I’d been partying sall good. My friend is very obviously queer. You can’t look at hir and be uncertain, you will instantly assume and you’d be right to think ze’s queeeeeerer than a two dollar bill and proud of it.

So the neighbor comes over tells us he’s gonna kick it with us. He is obviously drunk as is his friend. They launch into a long story about a ticket they got for loitering because they were drinking at the park and not 21 and who knows what else they were up to. They’re young and stupid but not malicious. Just kickin’ it No bigggie. So then The Friend starts talking about the cops and then starts launching into how they are Fags and Homos and Lovers. He’s saying this to an obviously queer person yet he has no malice against us. He may have been reading my friend as male or he may just be responding to the odd misogyny/objectification/constructionof masculinity and machismo that makes it okay for females to be gay but gay men are a threat. Either way he’s going OFF.

Then an amazing thing happens. The Neighbor silences him. Tells him to knock it off. Not in a “you should not use homophobic language because in doing so you are participating in the system of oppression that also keeps us brown men down…” but in a quick and efficient way. And everytime The Friend made some asinine gay bashing comment The Neighbor was like nawww man. Including when he was expressing his concern that he thought the cops were going to “touch his cock.” Yup. I had to refrain at that point from remarking.

And apparently part of what defused the tension with the fuzz was The Neighbor making some kinda comment about Michael Jackson’s death. Complete with a reeeediculous little high pitched thing he thinks sounds like him. Right. So of course we have to linger on the subject. And The Friend is talking about how people were crying and shit about Michael Jackson’s death. Not him. He didn’t cry. No way man he wasn’t about to cry. Apparently he will admit to crying when Anna Nichole Smith died. But when he got the text about Michael Jackson he didn’t cry. He assured us repeatedly naw man he didn’t cry. He was cool. He didn’t cry. Not him. He’s a man. Then he went off on some molestation rant. Yeah The Friend’s got some issues. And finally before I managed to escape (my friend had managed to bail) he went into a long story about summers spent with his sister and his nephew and his grandma and going to Houston and the great times he had and how he hates summers now. So much sadness. I managed to extricate myself with the help of The Neighbor and wish them both a good night.

So much sadness. We be so broken and fucked up.

Including Michael Jackson.

Teacher Camp Out LAUSD

This is going on at the Middle School my school feeds into and several other schools in the community.  More to say on it but just thought I’d post since I saw the cameras and drama as I was coming back from a meeting today.

Footage

Long Beach Pride

Not bad for an old church lady Pride was fun and I think outreach was successful.  While there were some people who scoffed at the offer of blessings (we had lollipops with Bible verses stapled to them for Love, Friendship, Finances, Family, Hope, and Health) most people received them well.  Some people were quite excited at the invitation and some were interested by the concept of apologizing for the wrongs of the Christian church and offering an open door.

One woman in particular touched me.  My friend was carrying the box with lollipops and was approached by a group and when he started stuttering I stepped up (only to later discover I was possibly cock blocking too, ooooops!).  One woman said she was agnostic.  I said cool, no problem.  Frankly I don’t think my ministry is to ‘convert’ people, I think my ministry is more to bring people BACK to church who have that seed of desire or faith already in them.  I’m here to do some watering.  I have no desire to push religion on anyone.  Someone tells me they aren’t interested, I bless them and carry on.  Another woman though took the blessing enthusiastically.  I explained who it was from and what we’re about.  I talked about how we want to acknowledge that many people have been hurt by the church and tell them it’s okay to come back.  I spoke more eloquently then of course in one of those moments where I am given words when my own are insufficient.  She told me I was about to make her cry.  I invited her warmly and offered her a hug which she accepted wholeheartedly with her shades quickly pulled down to cover her misty eyes.  That woman blessed me by showing me her heart.  She blessed me by allowing me to share with her the importance of this church and this ministry to me.  I am keeping all the lives that touched me this weekend in prayer, in hopes that they will find their way to one of the many churches in our community, but her I especially have close to my heart because she had the courage to show me her pain, and the obvious hunger.  I hope she too finds her home!

It was fun singing on the float on Sunday, when I wasn’t trying to keep from falling midsong, especially seeing people singing along with us in the crowd.  And waving enthusiastically, giving us love.  I am glad I was able to represent and be a presence in my community. I was definitely blessed by the experience as much as I was tested, tried and stretched at moments.

I know a lot of my friends don’t understand and it’s perplexing to some people to see me as a church lady but most people have been very affirming and genuinely happy that I have found a church to call home and that I am more at peace with myself these days.

So yeah, pride was different but still awesome.  Still got my flirt on, still hung out, still danced for a bit, but coming from a different place and invested in different ways.

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