Meditations for Queer Femmes – Game Girls

            This afternoon when I called over to the Memory Care to talk to my mom, she sounded a bit flustered. I asked what was going on, and she said, “The lunch situation is not the best situation.” It took her a long time to get out the details, and I’m still not sure I understand exactly what happened to make her say that, but basically, like all of us, she’s dealing with other people. And once she finally managed to get some words out, she had a lot to say.

            “They want to be in control,” she said. I sympathized.

            “It’s all right in the way I can take hold of it,” she told me reassuringly (she doesn’t want me to worry). “I can more or less do the words, the things that I have to keep going. I can manage it, but it is a little on the difficult end. It is a bit of a drag, but I’ve managed it so far.”

            “Yeah, Mom, we just have to keep going, don’t we?”

            “That’s the only thing I can do, and I’ve done it so far. It’s the only thing you can do if you’re going to get through the things you need to. Some of the people are mostly the good part of what happens. There are people who are very good hearted.”

            Recently, a friend of the family told me, “Your mom has always been a very game girl,” and went on to tell me how this very upright and honorable university professor shocked her colleagues and students by demanding quarters and rushing off to the slot machines during a professional conference held in Las Vegas. You’ve got to try and fit in with local customs! That is certainly something she always taught me. At 90, with vascular dementia making it more and more difficult for her to express herself, she is still a game girl. Still working hard to fit in with local customs, be polite and not cause a ruckus. Find the good parts of where life has taken her.

            Dearies, precious hearts, my buttercups, I know that you are also game girls, finding love and humor and joy in and between the scary, sad, difficult, and dreary places your lives have taken you. I see it in the swing of your hips, your giggles, your songs, your kisses and hugs. I see it in our femme community of healers and lovers and artists and sisters and beloveds.

            Today, take hold of it, be aware of it, how you manage and move through and forward and beyond.

            Your neighbors, your family, your co-workers, the people you pass on the street, they are all – we are all – so much the better for your sweet, generous, big and fabulous femme hearts.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Bear, Lift, Fly

So much loss. So much grief. On micro and macro levels, here right at home and all over the world.

I can sink some days in sadness. Sadness I must bear.

The other day, an article about how to travel more comfortably came across my desk. Just a little piece of fluffy filler, but it had such an excited vibe to it and was so hopeful: we can go places again! One suggestion the article enthusiastically offered to make getting from here to there a little less painful was to not carry heavy shit.

Ha! Don’t carry heavy shit! That simple yet quite tricky suggestion reminded me of the book title Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein joked about when I saw her speak, It’s Easier Than You Think; It’s Harder Than You Can Possibly Imagine.

Don’t carry heavy shit.

Well, I am carrying heavy shit. We all are. So that’s not an option, really, but what about finding ways to bear it? Redistribute the weight, bear up, lift?

What if there’s a way to release weight elsewhere to make the heavy shit we have to carry feel just that smallest bit lighter?

I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night a lot lately. We’ve just gotten the inside of the house painted, so everything had to be moved out and moved back. There’s so much energy passing through, so many memories, many of them incredibly painful. So much we’re carrying around.

Plus, I have so much stuff! Books, records, cds, chotchkes. I adore collections and I have some really nice ones, believe you me! I love them so much, and it’s so satisfying to pet them and coo to them, oh, you lovely bookshelf of incredibly interesting and diverse social justice books you. You darlings!

Still. All my sweet collections require energy from me for their housing, their upkeep. They themselves also house various kinds of grief, like paths not taken, family fuck ups, reminders of pain. Lately I think they’re less keeping me company and lifting me up as draining me.

I want to send them back out into the universe where someone might need them more than I do, need them like I did when I found them, but it’s hard to let them go. I’m lucky, though, because with just a little bit of up-front work, I can find good homes for them. Womencrafts in Provincetown for my feminist book collection and LexPride’s library in Lexington for queer books, for example. I loved and enjoyed them when I read them, or fondled them after bringing them home from a yard sale, or whatever it may be. That love and enjoyment is part of me now. And I have other things I’d like to be doing that require my increasingly limited energy. I have books of my own to write!

Brilliant diamond lovelies, you and I are carrying such a lot. There is so much in this mortal world that we hold on our shoulders, in our hearts. That is to be human. That is to be alive right now. But today I’m asking you, what can you put down to make that burden a bit easier to bear? Where can you allow some lift in your lives?

And, oh, my sparkling queer femme sisters, oh! What might you find yourselves doing once your burdens are less weighty? What wonders might redistributing the load make room for?

Where will your travels take you now?

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on August 1, 2022 at 4:06 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Not Gunna

Aren’t there days when you just feel like you’re not gunna? I mean, where you’re up against this responsibility and that responsibility and this email and that text and something you forgot, something you’ve been meaning to do, someone who wants something, a promise you made but that keeps getting put on the back burner, the vacuuming undone, the greens you bought a week ago waving limply at you every time you open the fridge, you know, things like that, and you keep saying stubbornly, “I’m not gunna.”

It’s not that you aren’t a responsible person. It’s not that you don’t get the job done when the job needs to be done. It’s just that sometimes you need a little moment of fiery fuck you. Of giving it all the finger for just a few fine moments. Or to be a little less potty-mouthed, to turn some of that responsibility-taking-care-of energy in on yourself, to give yourself a sweet surrounding of respite. There’s so much damn stuff out there (and in here) that we actually can’t manage, that is unmanageable, at least by one sole femme, no matter how determined, no matter how principled, no matter how hard working. For me, that stuff can pile onto the stuff I do have control over and topple me but good. If I don’t give myself the medicine of a few not gunnas on a regular basis, that is.

I might not gunna cook today.

Not gunna call my mom.

Not gunna do the laundry.

Those aren’t all that hard, since we’ve got leftovers; I saw my mom yesterday and she’s doing great and is benefiting from time for herself getting used to the new facility she’s in; and I still have clean clothes.

Harder are things like I’m not gunna fret about all that I can’t change, from near and from far; I’m not gunna lose myself in a book when I’ve got a writing deadline coming up; I’m not gunna give myself a hard time about all those other not gunnas…

My magical and marvelous femme sisters, let us try today to not gunna the cold pricklies that can sometimes swarm us.

Today, let our not gunnas be generative, warmfuzzy and comforting, rejuvinating and restful.

Let us allow ourselves some not gunnas that contribute, in the end, to all the wonderful gunnas that we have ever and always inside.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on June 6, 2022 at 10:43 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Good in an Emergency

I have always prided myself at being good in an emergency. An early memory of this skill is when I was around 10. A friend and I were doing a little dawn skinny dipping at the beach when we noticed a local man watching us creepily from the shore. Our clothes were near him and it was getting lighter by the moment. My friend panicked, but I immediately came up with a plan: we march determinedly out of the water, as quickly as we can, ignoring the stupid guy, snatch up our clothes and run. We did it and it worked. Thank goodness!

There’s something about an emergency that focuses my attention and calls on my problem-solving skills in a very satisfying manner. I almost kind of like it. Everything else falls away, there are no distractions, just the one thing to deal with. In a way, it’s easier to deal with an emergency than to parse through the increasingly baffling mega-ton of stimuli thrown my way during any dull day. I understand and sympathize with those folks who routinely manufacture emergencies, who crave that excitement and challenge. I wonder sometimes if I might be one of those folks myself.

In Al-Anon, I’ve learned that the only thing I can control is my own response to things. Lately, what with one thing and another, I’ve been observing myself as challenge after challenge pops up in my life. Health challenges, my own and those of others in my family; troubling and dangerous local and world events; relationship challenges, and it goes on and on. There are no shortage of challenges! In reaction to these, I can flare and run into the nearest phone booth to change into my super hero outfit (and very fetching it is, too!), feeding my ego and rushing to the rescue, or, maybe, I can try and be a bit more mindful. Disrupting quieter, more generative and soul-nurturing daily rhythms and activities such as tending to my art, keeping up with friends, taking quiet walks, meditating, reading (ok, I never stop reading, never mind that one), in short making sure that I keep weaving sweet threads of consistency rather than giving all my energy to a mindless drop and rush, rush and drop, serves me and those I love so much better.

Magical queer femme sugar plums, I know you see the suffering and that you, too, reach out to offer succor. Your healing presence in the world is beyond compare and brings so much relief. Today, though, my most excellent dears and darlings, spend one quivering butterfly-wing moment sinking down into the steady heartbeat of day after day after day, sun and moon and wind and rain. Earth abides and you abide here on her. Abide a while and reconnect to that immense calm.

That way, my hope for you and for me, is that after the emergency – and perhaps even during – we never lose sight of that immensity. We never completely lose ourselves.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Regroup

Lately I keep using the word “regroup.”

“Let’s sit down and regroup,” I’ll say. Or, “After that, we can regroup and go from there.” “I just need a moment to regroup and I’ll be right with you.” Why am I so in love with this word lately?

When I was much younger, I was always talking about sitting my butt down and “getting my life in order.” I really thought I could do that – it was just a question of making a few lists and having the will power to follow through and everything would be smooth going, baby – but I am just that titch wiser now. I think my urge to regroup is related to my youthful desire for order, though. Coming at it a little differently. Now it’s less about imposing order and more about pausing, listening, learning, taking stock. Gathering the wherewithal, knowledge, and strength to carry on.

Middle age and beyond has brought a grand panoply of life. Sighs of exhaustion, frustration, ecstasy, wonder.

Met the love of your life but she lives two states away and you can’t move because of a custody agreement?

Regroup.

Family catastrophes involving kids, parents, spouse?

Regroup.

Cancer diagnosis and the ongoing aftermath?

Regroup.

Worldwide pandemic?

Regroup.

Regroup in order to calibrate the new information with the old steady me, that heartbeat of self that never dissipates, no matter how smallsmallsmall her voice becomes.

Owen, our 23-year old, is about to roll off to Japan, following his heart to a place he’s dreamed about living for years. He’ll be on his own for the first time in his life. We were talking last night about how exciting it is that he’ll be able to learn about himself in solitude, from small things like how he likes his kitchen arranged, to deep philosophical ideas and how he handles life with no interference from family or roommates. My wish for him is that he grows in his understanding of who he is and that that knowledge surrounds and carries him, through all the rigors and joys.

Regrouping for me is about touching in again to my knowledge of self.

All these things that have happened to, in, around, and about me: I know I’m still steady.

I know I’m still in there.

I just need a moment to regroup.

You, my queer femme posse, you busy, lively, lovely doers and goers and fixers and creators and lovers and believers, go there with me now:

pause and breathe

pause and close your eyes

pause and hear your unique and precious heartbeat

pause and regroup, my sweethearts,

because no matter what happens

your core of majestic femme, your wisdom

stays molten and alive.

Gather yourself.

Listen to that heartbeat.

Regroup.

And carry on.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes — Just A Question

Like me, my father was a writer. His approach to his art, though, was really pretty harsh. “It’s just a question of will power,” he would say. “Just a question of sitting down and getting it done.” Throughout his life, that’s what he did, my driven parent, setting himself a writing task, flogging himself unmercilessly until he’d completed it. Then, on to the next and the next and the next.

It was a method that worked for him, but as hard as I tried – and that’s pretty hard for an only child who wants nothing more than to please and be like her dad — it didn’t work for me. I was left with unfinished projects and a poor opinion of myself as someone who had no will power whatsoever. A bad writer, in other words.

It took years for me to understand that I’m just a different kind of writer from my dad. Different. Not bad. For me, it isn’t just a question of sitting down and powering through. Well, of course, sometimes it is. But before the sitting down might come the drifting around. The taking a walk. The talking with other writers. The reading, the hanging out with friends, the cooking. The making room for thoughts and ideas, the ones bubbling up that can’t be forced. In other words, doing what my dad might have called goofing off. But if I push the way my dad pushed, I’ll wear myself out. The writing I do won’t feed my soul in the way I need it to so that I am inspired and refreshed and can go on writing.

Art, writing, living: I just don’t think it’s just a question of sitting down and getting it done. It’s not just one question at all, but a series of calls put out to the universe and so many, many ways of listening to the come back of hints, suggestions, inspirations, surprises. So my darling and femme flowers!

Let us here together listen. Relax our shoulders. Smile up at the sky. Meander.

Close our eyes and allow it all for a moment.

May you revel in it, your unique and happy, your beneficial and beloved dearest and situated place in this ol’ wide world.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on April 25, 2022 at 9:27 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes — I Can See Myself in You

“Would you read this?”

We were in a thrift store, in the book section, having a blast.

At first glance, I wasn’t sure about what my friend had found for me. Take This Bread: The Spiritual Memoir of a Twenty-First-Century Christian by Sara Miles, seemed at first glance to be a book by a Christian for other Christians and therefore not really for me, but then I read the back. The author is a white, left-wing dyke journalist, raised athiest, who has a conversion experience after she randomly walks into St. Gregory’s, a groovy Episcipoal church in San Francisco. Now we’re talking!

Heck yes, I’d read it!

Raised as an athiest myself, I’m always interested in religion and faith: why do people believe the things they do and how does it help them live their lives? Sometimes my interest is completely pruient, like when I read about cults, charismatic leaders, and their bizarre goings-on, but I also like more nuanced and sober discussions of spirituality. And I was up for having this lesbian, whose identity so closely mirrors mine, talk to me about how come she ended up loving Jesus. Not to convert me, but just to talk about it.

It turns out, her faith has a lot to do with food, bodies, and community. I love those things, too. She wants to serve and to live among people of all kinds, not just others who agree with her and with whom she has most things in common. Me, too!

“It was a hunger that had to do with the bodies of strangers,” she writes, thinking about what brought her to church, to running a food pantry, “with offering everything we had, giving away control, and receiving what we needed to live. Communion. I wanted communion.”

That sounds a lot like what I want to do with my own writing, with my activisim, with my life. And it turns out, I do have a little bit better understanding of her connection to Jesus, although I don’t think it’s for me. I do get the visceral desire for connection, though, not just to other people, but, for me, also to the natural world, to all the creatures and plants and bodies of water and the earth.

It’s humbling that I can see myself in someone who believes something I’ve never felt a pull towards, that I pretty much fundamentally don’t even get. Humbling, and kind of cool, too.

My sweet seekers, my divine darlings, in which alien mirror do you see a glimmer of yourself today? What is making you stretch? What is something you’d never thought had anything to do with you that can give you a sparkle of inspiration? Faith that isn’t yours but that communicates something meaningful, as long as you stop for a moment to listen with an open heart?

Where do you see your human-ness reflected today?

And from there, take a leap, let yourself revel in the question: What is the conversation you want to have with the world?

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Think Again

The other day I drove down a street I don’t usually travel, and as I went over a bridge built over a culvert, I passed a middle-aged white man, rather sunburned in the face, who was holding two signs, one in each hand so you could see them coming and going. They said:

THINK THIS BRIDGE IS SAFE? THINK AGAIN!!

When I first thought about writing a post inspired by this guy, I was thinking about how my life can feel rather directionless or without rudder and how interesting it is that there are people like the bridge guy who seem to have a very, very clear idea about what to do with their time, intellect, physical and mental energy. A singleness of purpose, which, while kind of appealing to someone like me who’s always questioning if I’m doing the next right thing, can easily turn into an unhealthy and even frightening obsession. (That same week, for example – not like you really need an example these days — I’d driven through a nearby town center where a Trump-sign waving older white guy was screaming, “WOMAN!!!” at a passing driver, for some reason that made sense to him, I suppose.)

When I first started thinking about this post, I wanted to ask you, fearless queer femme sisters, about the touchpoints in your own lives, the things you keep coming back to, the places where you meet yourself over and over again and know who you are. For me, part of the answer I think is about the lens through which I view the world, my interest in what makes community, what role art has in healing, what is justice, history, family. Being curious, trying to be fair and kind. Refocusing on the complex and joyful rather than the negative and simple. I wanted to ask you what your passions are and how you keep them from overwhelming you, from becoming the only thing you focus on. I can get very caught up in my head and way too interested in what is wrong with everything, for example. I have to then further catch myself and gently redirect.

Along with my curiosity about passions and anchors and joy – and truly, I would love to hear from you! — I’ve also found myself thinking a lot about that bridge. The one we think is safe but isn’t. There’s something really wrong with the foundation, I expect, and it could give out at any moment. Maybe right when you’re driving across, thinking only of heading over to the farm to pick up your flower share and will you get more zinnias or go for the sweet-smelling carnations? And maybe you’ll be hurt and maybe you won’t, but things will be shaken up and in the aftermath a safer bridge might be built, or maybe something even more wonderful, like the stream being allowed to run free and wild.

Tex’s mom had a stroke when she and her husband and Tex were on vacation together. She recovered almost fully, and made it home safe and well. Today, though, she’s back in the hospital for something else that may or may not be related, and Tex and I have our healing candle burning again and are discussing whether or not Tex might need to make another out-of-town trip.

We’re thinking again about what we thought we knew. I was just listening to a Pema Chodron talk where she says you can meet the inevitability of impermanence, of dying and death, with curiosity and even joy, because this is the way things are. She says it way better, of course, but I’m mulling it over. I’m remembering my father dying, how engaged he was. He knew we were there, but he was busy. I don’t think he was scared, it didn’t seem like it; it was more like he was very occupied with something very important. I’ve had deep, painful regrets about not staying with him that night, but right now I’m thinking that it’s ok. He would have wanted us to take care of ourselves rather than stay overnight in that facility where there were no beds for us or even comfortable chairs (I was still undergoing cancer treatment, my mother was mentally not well, and Tex was exhausted with caregiving). I know he knew we loved him. Maybe I can let go of some of my guilt.

Maybe I can think again about something I thought was really solid but isn’t.

And maybe you can, as well, dear, dear complicated and beautiful beloveds.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on August 16, 2021 at 4:33 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Where Am I In All This?

The pandemic took me in a lot of ways, but one of them was not cleaning out, sorting through, getting rid of accumulated stuff in the house. In fact, I probably brought home a few things that you chucked out onto the curb. A tasteful bag that says I LOVE IRELAND for example (I gave it to my son, Owen – he was ecstatic! — so maybe it doesn’t count?), as well as a couple of lovely old-fashioned soup bowls that we use almost every day (while you now have lots of space in your cupboard for your modern matching set).

This very morning, I walked by another clutch of temptation, the dregs of someone’s yard sale arranged attractively on the lawn. I stopped to browse, that old urge to rescue and find a fun use for surfacing most dreadfully. But I walked on by! Calmer thoughts prevailed, I am happy to say. I walked on by, bringing to mind how many things I have squirreled away in my own house, waiting to be discovered, rescued, found fun uses for. Even set out on the curb! Or otherwise redistributed. Is my zine collection from the 90s still ok up there under the eaves of the attic? Wouldn’t it be fun to flip through Rachel Pepper’s zine, Cunt? Or one of my old favorites, Office Supply Junkie? Ah, those were heady days! And given I haven’t crawled back there to look at them in, oh, 15 years at least, perhaps they could be moved on to a more appropriate and useful location? If the meeses haven’t gnawed them up for nesting material, that is. I could go up there now to find out! (Maybe later.)

No matter if you cleaned your abode down to the nubbin or if you’re still up to your eyeballs, you have your stuff around you, queer femme phoenixes, and it might have something to tell you. As we transition into whatever comes next (today is the Solstice, after all), what can you divest yourself of? What might you like to see again? What makes you sad, or happy, or deeply relaxed? Might you let one go, repair another, put the last on your alter or give to your friend who needs it because she’s going through a hard time?

We are always changing, ever moving, loving, living, breathing works of human beauty and wonder. I know however, that the space where I live is not always a reflection of that change, that movement, and I can feel very stuck, energy-wise. Today, darling ones, look around, really look. Breathe. Feel all parts of yourselves, inside and out. Ask yourself: Where am I in all this?

Proceed with all love and queer femme blessings.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) And…as I go through graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.

Published in: on June 21, 2021 at 11:13 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – At Capacity

Last night I dreamed that everyone in my life had spontaneously stopped wearing masks and that we were going about our pre-pandemic business just willy-nilly. Every so often I stopped to marvel that no one was wearing a mask, me included, and then I went back to whatever dreamy thing I was doing.

Even in the dream, though, I knew that what we’d decided to do was recklessly dangerous, and that’s the feeling I woke up with, despite how lovely and nostalgic it was to be going around sans face covering.

Last week, I suffered a great disappointment having to do with my writing career. When I got the news, I completely lost it and started sobbing, and the sobbing went on for days. I’m pretty tough when it comes to rejections – writers have to be — but this one broke me wide open. At some point, I realized that I was sobbing my heart out not just about this particular rejection, but also about everything that’s going on and has been going on, from the deeply personal family stuff to local to regional to national to world.

I’ve just been at capacity, and I think I really needed to let some of that grief go.

What do you do, sweet femme sisters, when you’re so full up with despair that you maybe don’t even realize it? Don’t realize it because we’re so good at carrying on, at getting the job done, whatever that might be, at showing up for others and sometimes forgetting to show up for ourselves?

Like so many towns, ours didn’t allow door to door trick or treating, so we missed the yearly fun of sharing information with Tex’s mom about costumes at the end of the night. (Last year, she got a Santa and we got a gumball machine.) Instead, we parceled out candy into 6 little bags, Tex whipped up some water color cards with mask-wearing pumpkins hollering Happy Halloween! and I put on my mask and delivered them to the 6 kids in our immediate neighborhood. Everyone was doing candy search inside, and I even got to wave at a couple of dressed up toddlers (a skunk and a cat, so cute!).

Reverse trick or treating: a quick little idea that we might have dismissed if we’d caved into the general angst. A quick little idea, but it brought a lot of joy. Is there some small connection you can make today, oh, my darlings? To pull you back into sweetness, laughter, love, and delight?

Even if it’s wee, a daily reminder of the positive side of being human can go a very long way. I am going to try and remember that, try to recognize those impulses in myself, and not be so quick to dismiss quirky ideas as silly or impractical. Sometimes silly is exactly right!

May you discover a pround, silly little idea today!

(I know I wasn’t going to post until I got my carpal tunnel sitch taken care of, but I’ve missed you and I’ve missed this practice, and we need each other right now, so I put on my splints and sent you some sugar! Might do it again sometime soon, too… MWAH!!!!)

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

Published in: on November 2, 2020 at 4:36 PM  Comments (2)  
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