Sitting in my dimly lit living room, I can see the sun set between the slatted blinds. My sweet enormous dog it splayed on the cool tile floor, taking long slow pants. It’s been warm. I slowly inhale the end of a left over joint. Lauren Hill spills out of the pathetic speaker on my phone. I alternate between a trail guide book, Ram Dass’ Still Here and Alice Miller. Long slow pauses of nothing make time feel funny. I feel alone in my finger tips, the ligaments in my elbows. It’s so strange to not have you here to touch. To collapse on the couch next too. Or to even just be with. The oscillating fan brings short bursts of I need a jacket and then a slightly longer pause that welcomes in the rolling tide of heat that encourages you to breathe deeper. You’re breathing. That’s good.
Happiness is summer nights.
Singing Feliez Navidad in the middle of June.
Over lapped words and belly laughs.
Dog piles that last too long.
Hop scotch and scooter tricks.
Happiness is eight years old.
Happiness is more and merrier.
I fall in love
every single day with someone or something.
They’re rarely ever good for me
I like sweet things, good nature, and sentences laced with laughter.
I have the capacity to finely dice you into bits
I’ll julienne your confidence to little shreds
Really provoked though.
I’m growing soft in my old age
I let more and more things float on by me.
I see everything in its core truth,
you see I simply have a finite amount of energy
I must be compelled.
I have a body
a human body
finely woven fibers of magic
that I get to exist in for now.
This is evolving, always. Aren’t we.
For my boyfriend’s honest poem that will bring you to your knees:
There’s this picture that my boyfriend took with his arm splayed out as far as he could stretch to fit our whole family in the frame. That photo, four wide smiles all piled on top of each other, that’s my life. Do you know that Jos Stone song, Spoiled? It’s that kind of love. And now he’s sick. I want just one person to tell me how I’m supposed to feel okay about that. In my heart of hearts I’m just so sad.
The Galapagos Islands are an active volcano hot bed. The islands move at rapid speeds, they survive for millions of years and then slowly prepare to die. As their land turns barren most of the native species leave to live on the other islands. But the problem is that some of them have evolved on that island. The Waved Albatross and Sea Lions still travel to the desolate seaside cliffs of Espanola’s south side. The Waved Albatross, is a huge bird with an eight foot wingspan. They fly for six months to reach the island once a year. The way back to those cliffs is ancestral and instinctual.
These birds can live for up to fifty years and they pair for life. They will wait on the shore for days until their partner to arrive from another part of the world. Once a year the world’s entire population of Waved Albatross are on this island at once. A blanket of white dots stretched across the rocky terrain. When the mates find each other they start executing a dance of sorts where they clack their beaks together in a way that reminds me of the gentleness that takes over when playing swords with a kid, gentle but playful. They take turns incubating their egg, each one sitting for two weeks at a time. They raise the baby and then fly their separate ways. Until they meet again the following spring.
That’s what this love feels like. Like coming home. An old familiar home that I can feel in my bones. This is simply not our first spring together.
I would fly for six months without stopping to see you again.
Humans are funny aren’t we. If you think that you’re more than an ape with a really big head you’re wrong. That doesn’t deny the collective conscious, the magic of this big blue spinning rock growing life. But it does make it awfully inclusive, never forget that you are among your peers just in animal or plant form.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
There are only so many times that I can hear, you don’t matter, before I ask that person to please exit the box seats of my heart and find a spot way in the back. The nose bleeds are a perfect place for people like you. Suddenly, your opinion becomes more and more faint. I will never control what comes out of your mouth but those sounds now are just a whisper lost in the crowd of cheers. Your face just a pixilated blur and I’m tired of squinting to find you.
Once upon a time there was a little blue eyed baby born in Kansas.
Why the universe decided that this lifetime was to be spent with you people I may never understand.
bad choices and consequences on point, stippling around all of the majestic parts, waving their arms.
but then again Walt Disney turned out to be an asshole.
And somehow she lived happily ever after.
Since this year began I have been very much confronted with the reality that all of this, absolutely all of this, is the curriculum of life.
We have this sense that life happens along a timeline, that it’s linear at worst. The promise of an upward trajectory pinned to the lapel of every kindergartener in America, shoot for the stars lad.
Oh contraire said the universe. Life is at best a pendulum. The more that it reveals it’s truth to me I see that it works the exact same way that a slinky does in any sort of motion: unpredictably and likely to get into a miserable knot that will take you the whole car ride to Grandma’s house to undo. Despite everyone’s best efforts to pry, bend and mold you back to the shape that they think you should be you-I will always have those little bent parts that never go back together quite the same.
So, here we are just space and energy removed from our box marching down the stairs, bringing joy, innocence and the guarantee of frustration to the world. Things will get tangled and there you will be all bent out of shape, mastering your next move. Because that’s what you do- move.
Take a seat, let’s chat about this, it’s long over due.
One of my many muses Erin Brown posted a snippet from her most recent book about not being afraid to embody the word bitch because no one knows what it means any way.
I have had a very different experience with this word. The meaning is always contextual. And I’ve been called it a lot. It comes in two varieties, “You’re being a bitch” and, “You’re a bitch”.
Being a bitch typically comes from those around me who are more emotionally evolved. They distinguish being because they understand that I am a person with a myriad of ways of being, hats I wear, tasks I do, and conversations I have. What they unconsciously know is that being a bitch indicates a behavior or behavior pattern. We are not our behaviors, simple. Our behaviors are our personality, and our personalities are the vehicles for our souls.
Please consider this next time that you think someone is bitchy or a bitch. Actually they are acting in “that” way. It’s the “that“, that’s subjective.
[Sorry to nitpick the semantics, but words have power.]
So, let’s talk about that.
First we have to understand that our ways of being are adaptive to our environment. Personalities are the way that we have found that works for us to show up in the world and receive the feedback that we want and need. From this place we can unpack the bitchy behavior.
Yesterday, I was asked to conceptualize my family of origin as a square, and each person in it took up their own organic shape with their personalities (i.e., means to met needs) My shape (and your shape) is thus the negative space. Here’s a little drawing to help illustrate the point:
Today, I wanted to stretch this a little further. Imagine the box as our entire society. Now sprinkle in patriarchy, gender scripts, financial power, politics, our education system, opportunities, shame, sisterhood, joy, race, your neighborhood, your inner dialogue and every single interpersonal relationship that you’ve ever had. Dang that box is crowded.
And where are you? You’re (I’m) that squiggly blue bit trying to make sense of it all, integrating, wanting to be seen or not seen at all. We accommodate and respond to every single thing around us in a fraction of a second always! You might be going with the flow, you may be making waves and you might be chillin’ under the surface of the water. Or if you’re a human you flex in and out of doing all three.
These are usually unconscious decisions. We’ve laid down these patterns in early childhood, solidified them through our teenage years and are carrying those shells everywhere with us as adults. Seeing that can be insightful, it can be painful, but it can also be liberating.
Here’s what I know to be my truth. Sometimes people perceive me to be a bitch. And that’s their assessment of me that I’m not concerned with changing. Because I know all of me. I know the expansiveness of my soul. I know all of the roles that I step into on a given day and I hold loving space for each of those. So, when the environment is just so and I feel the impulse to express myself in a way that is strong and firmly rooted in what I believe to be true I do so. I step into my power. I’m not afraid of it and I’m not afraid of what “you’ll/they’ll” think of me when I do.
The goal in life is not to be liked by everyone. I have a laundry list of other goals that will always, always be vastly more important than this one.
Here’s the second part. Yes, we all wish that our childhoods were more ideal. Wish that our past and current situations demanded less
bitch power and more along for the ride. But, you can come to respect that those and this situation were not that.
Many members of my family worked doggedly to break me down. Strip me of my opinions. They were massively confrontational. I spent too many of those formative years at war, screaming, hitting, crying, fighting for my voice and space. Fighting to simply be in a way that aligned with my conscious.
In those early years I didn’t just learn to fight, I also learned to choose my battles. To be impeccably informed. To spit facts like fire out of my mouth. They taught me to tap into a deep well of inner strength. I also learned a lot of coping strategies that I’m actively dismantling. Yet I respect them, because they got me to where I am now, in tact.
The girl who you may call bitch, know that she is so much more. She is a fortress and a butterfly. She is who she needs her to be. She is perfect.