Archive for June, 2008

Platitudes and hope

I know that when a door closes a window opens.

But I am tired of crawling through windows.

I know that silence is golden.

But my voice demands to be heard.

I know that I am powerful beyond measure.

But I want the comfort of protection.

I know that good things come to those who wait.

But sometimes I’m impatient.

I know that if you love something you have to let it go.

But I want to hold on to what I love and cling to it.

I know that time heals all wounds.

But the more time passes the more wounds I amass.

I know that the darkest hour is just before dawn.

But I want to sit in the radiant sun.

I know that great minds think alike.

But I don’t know why there aren’t more great minds.

I know that that which does not kill me will only make me stronger.

But I don’t need to bench press a house.

I know that hope springs eternal.

No buts.

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Times They Are a-Changin!

Upcoming South Coast Chorale Concert (and appropriately titled n’est pas?)

Saturday, July 12, 2008 – 8:00PM
Center Theater at the
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $35

2008 will be a year of change – both in our country and in the world. Be there at the inaugural concert at our new home theater, as we present music that celebrates SCC’s first 18 years and looks to the future with excitement and pride.

Come on out and support this fabulous femme!

Pasos

There are times when my footsteps fall heavily. There were dark times when I struggled to walk from my bed to the bathroom, felt like lead was flowing through my veins, angry heavy resentful painful numb hideous lead.

And there are times when I skip down life’s paths and stretch my arms out to embrace the sunshine on my upturned face.

And there are times like now when my steps are in between FUCK! and Yay! Syncopated rhythm of pain and hope, fear and confidence, loss and adventure. Ow! Ow! Ow! Blessed blessed. Ow fuck! Don’t wanna! Yay! What next!?!

Within the space of minutes I shift. And even that is okay. I’m still moving and there’s no stopping me now. I am looking at the world through new eyes. I am strong in new ways. I am capable and defiant in new ways. It’s my time.

I love this feeling of anticipation, this knowledge that amazing things and people and opportunities and love are coming into my life.

Mis pasos firmes marchan adelante.

I love the feeling of sand between my toes.

I love the feeling of hot pavement under my thin sandals.

I love the soaring grounded feeling of delicious high heels.

I love the way my steps trace dreams on the ground as I dance.

I love the way my body moves.

I love the certainty that my steps are taking me on great adventures.

As is often the case, a poem/song came to mind:

Caminante, son tus huellas

el camino, y nada más;

caminante, no hay camino,

se hace camino al andar.

Al andar se hace camino,

y al volver la vista atrás

se ve la senda que nunca

se ha de volver a pisar.

Caminante, no hay camino,

sino estelas en la mar.

~Antonio Machado

Creo

I believe in education not as an institution but as a living breathing reality.

I believe in children and youth.

I believe in love.

I believe in the power of words. In language as a social tool that can affect lives and effect changes profound and real.

I believe in social justice. In our right to thrive.

I believe in la raza, which does NOT mean the race, it means the collective power, roots, blood, culture, love, passion of my people.

I believe in change.

I believe in dreaming.

I believe in passion: passion for life, passion for learning, passionate dreams, sexual passion, passion for justice, passion for beauty, passionate conversation, passionate love, passion for change.

I believe in hands: hands that hold, hands that create, hands that reach out, hands that are open, hands that touch, embrace, sustain, fuck, create, build, transform.

I believe in light, bright blazing sunlight, dancing bright flicker of flames, inner light radiant and real.

I believe in the healing power of ocean breezes and the kiss of ocean waves.

I believe in everyday heroes.

I believe in music. I believe in bodies moving and dancing feet.

I believe in good food, good friends, laughter and tears shared.

I believe in honoring pain.

I believe in bridges.

I believe in transgression as transformation.

I believe in community.

I believe in gender expressions that are non binary and defy simple categories.

I believe in everyday miracles.

I believe in respect.

I believe in the sacred flame burning in every living creature.

I believe in recuerdos.

I believe in love songs.

I believe in voices.

I believe in strength though diversity.

I believe in soft clean sheets.

I believe in overcoming.

And I believe in life.

Desierto

One of the blessings that comes with my current borderland is the opportunity to dream new dreams, big dreams.  My life is changing in unexpected ways, unforeseeable ways and it’s time for me to create and move forward.

This process is painful as much as it is empowering.  It requires a lot of work and a lot of work that must be done alone, spent in my own company, spent toeing the line between solitude and soledad.  This new crossing in my life is demanding in ways I hadn’t experienced in my life to this intense extent.

It’s not just my work situation that is requiring courageous reexamination, it is my Life.  The ways in which I walk through the world, the people I surround myself with, the relationships I enter into, the ways in which I communicate, the ways in which I relate to the sacred, the ways in which I relate to my body and sexuality.  My whole Life is moving further along this path, and I can’t quite see what’s around the next bend in the road.

My new crossing requires a new difficult balancing act.  Surrendering my control, my need to know how, exactly how, things will work out.  Admitting to myself and the universe that I don’t know, and that I’m okay with that, or at least I’m learning how to be okay with that.

It’s hard sharing dreams, big dreams, soul dreams, with people.  It’s especially hard sharing these dreams with new people, with people who don’t have a vested interested in my heart and soul.  It’s hard to do this work without giving in to isolation, without allowing loneliness to consume me.  This is a hard journey and I’m traveling light.  I’m shedding baggage as I go, leaving behind old hurts, leaving behind old disappointments, leaving behind battles lost, leaving behind fears, and leaving behind me the tools that numbed me, that provided escapist ways of coping.

When I close my eyes me veo sola, dressed in white, pelo suelto, naked of masks, of makeup, of jewelry, of facade, of contrivance, of defenses, sola en el desierto, rodeada por sol y arena, expanse of land with nowhere to turn but inward.  The vision I want is of me in community, I want friends, I want a partner, I want children, I want family.  And yet I’ve come to understand that in order to get there in order to reach that I need this time alone to grow and heal.  I need this time alone to not look to others to define me, validate me, I have to SEE myself.  I have to be my own witness now.  I have to come through for myself and step up. I have to walk my talk and sit with my beauty, sit with my fear, sit with my failures, sit with my dreams.  I have to take this time to invest in the most important, precious and beautiful relationship I will ever have: my relationship with myself.  I don’t know how long this will take.  No se si pasen semanas or meses o anos inclusive.  And I have to commit with this in mind, that I don’t know how long it will take.  I have to make the commitment y aceptar that I don’t know how far I’ll walk alone but I’m in it.  And what I do know is that I am going to emerge a more fully me than ever, I know that I will emerge powerful beyond belief, and that I will emerge beautiful and amazing.
I’ve been moving in this direction for some time now, and the time has come to commit.  The time has come to invest in myself in new ways.  The time has come to sit with fear and know I’ll come through this.

And yet do this without isolating.  A balancing act I’ve never been good at.  I isolate in unhealthy ways sometimes, hiding from people, hiding from hurt, hiding from disappointment, taking refuge in loneliness, in anger, in hurt.  The safety of familiar feelings ironic yet comfortable.  This time I have to do this differently.  And through this whole year in my life I’ve been doing it differently.  I’ve been reaching out in ways I didn’t think I’d be able to, I’ve been building friendships that sustain me, that give me room to grow, that give me room to love.  I have to learn now how to balance this intense need to go through my time in the desert and yet not cut off the people who are part of my networks, people who are good for my heart.  And trusting myself to decide when and how and who.  And allowing myself to allow new people into my life and my heart as I move on this journey.  And allowing myself to let old people back in.

When I was young I would fantasize about joining a monastery or a nunnery.  I wish now that I had the means and the time and the luxury to take a long spiritual retreat.  But that too is somewhat escapist.  I need to learn to create that for myself right here in my daily life.  I need to learn to do this in my space, whether I be walking down Magnolia, steps unconsciously keeping the beat of passing reggaeton, or in my room which is my place and where my reality is around me inevitably and inescapably real, whether it be clothes needing to be folded, checkbook needing to be balanced, or a painting begging to be completed.  I need to learn to walk this way, centered and strong.

Siento que todo cambia, y que si sigo este camino, no habra vuelta atras.  I can never go back to being the person I was before, participating in some of the fucked up ways I’ve participated.  I can never go back to hiding my light.

Not only can you not shake hands with a closed fist but you can’t embrace the universe and the adventure of life with arms crossed over your chest to guard corazon.  You can’t embrace love with a closed heart.  You can’t celebrate life with fearful steps.  I am becoming.  I am evolving.  I am going to soar.  Esta nueva frontera que voy a cruzar es completamente desconocida.  I trust myself to know the way.

Freedom

I am blessed.

I have been going through an intense growing period in my life for the last year and I’m constantly amazed.

And here’s the latest lesson I’ve learned:

Okay doesn’t always look like we expect it to.  It isn’t always packaged the way I would like it to be but lo and behold, it’s all good anyway.

I’ve recently been freed from a situation that was not supportive of my living with integrity and honor.  I’ve been freed from a situation that was not working toward my greater good.  I would not have chosen these circumstances but nonetheless I’m blessed and I’m free.

I’ve been let go from the organization I was working with.  It was sudden, unexpected, and ultimately unjust given a lot of circumstances that i don’t feel like getting into right now.  I’m still reeling from the blow and the feelings of betrayal of not having my contributions, efforts, hours of hard work be valued or recognized and of being set up to fail and blamed for things that were not in my power to control.  I’m hurt, I’m scared, I’m very sad, but I’m also blessed and free.  I had been struggling with issues and contradictions within the organization, I’d been struggling with inconsistencies, with a lack of freedom to do what I do well and with inadequate supervision.  and devaluing of staff and volunteers.  I was not ready to call it quits but that decision was taken from me and now I’m free again.

Even as i struggle with the sadness, with the loss, with the blow to my ego, I also see that it’s okay.  I’m okay and this is an opportunity to find new ways to make a living that are in line with my values and passions.  It’s an opportunity to evaluate my decisions, my relationships, the ways in which I participate in the world.

i’ve discovered amazing sources of support where I didn’t expect them.  I’ve also been disappointed by the ways in which some people have checked out.   I am blessed to have this opportunity as well.

I was talking with a friend of my heart yesterday about the great things I’m dreaming and about the courage and strength that I have learned in myself.  I have an opportunity to do amazing things, it’s only my fear that stops me and I’m in a place where I am able to examine my fear and I am able to see my awesomeness and taste courage on my tongue.  I was reminded of a piece by Marianne Williamson that has been on my mind lately and is now fueling my new adventure:

Our Greatest Fear

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

It’s time to make some changes in my life.  I have been doing amazing things.  I have been manifesting amazing blessings in my life.  This latest blessing comes in a strange package but I have no doubt that it is leading me to the next level, to the next glorious adventure and to new ways to make a difference in the world I walk in.