Meditations for Queer Femmes – Bits and Pieces

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of the usually-incomprehensible notes I write to myself on bits of paper, and since I’ve been decluttering and clearing out, I’ve come across a lot of them lately. For example:

equality ploy – “I kill off straight victims, too –”

vice & sleazy

slowing down – traffic rules

and breathing? So impt. (illegible) summers – For youth & adults; What is the next iteration of queer community sans the secret handshake? What do we count on each other for, expect of each other?

This gross feeling of justification – see? It’s really bad. I’m justified in stepping out of it all “It feels foul & yet – I couldn’t stay in.

Patti Smith? “Faith and Grace” “All I need is a little” made me cry. Playlist of rock and roll God albums. In my heart I’m a rock & roll hippy child. Queers in town: bathe in our music, our culture here at home – not in a bar, only in Ptown, have to go elsewhere to get –

and finally:

stretch and Bend – husband not doing it right – ratatouille

Oh, we have so many ideas, don’t we, my lovelies? So many projects, all going at once, in so many areas of our lives. Physical, artistic, spiritual, for money, for love, this responsibility, this hidden or not-so-hidden dream… And it all comes bubbling up like a spring, never stopping, always replenishing, always there is something more. If I lost all my bits and pieces, I would still keep having my interesting, quirky, silly, goofy thoughts, some to follow up on and some just for fun.

Today, dear sisters, revel in your beautiful ideas, the ones that come to fruition and the ones that don’t – they are all part of your unique and precious gift to our wounded world. And if you’ve a mind and a little time, send some of your bits and pieces along! I would love to see them and share in the bounty!

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise 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 June 29, 2020 at 4:50 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Femme Friday – Queer Femmes Respond by Watching Franchesca Ramsey

Maybe just go watch this, either again or for the first time. It’s important to laugh, learn, get back to it.*

White People Whitesplain Whitesplaining

*the definition of “it” may have shifted during the journey: please be careful when opening overhead bins.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Protests? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

 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.

 

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Awakened Action: Women Leaders Speak to Race, Poverty, Climate, and the Pandemic over at Upaya!

The day began with meditation, so wonderful. And then the speakers. These incredible women are such deep thinkers, fierce warriors, compassionate leaders; I couldn’t tear myself away from this harrowing, hopeful, inspiring day of truth telling. These women and their work are a gift, and if my heart has to be broken over and over in grief and despair, I am grateful to have their company.

Here’s who spoke:  Dekila Chungyalpa; Christiana Figueres; Jane Fonda; Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD; Sensei Wendy Johnson; Sensei Kritee Kanko, PhD; Stephanie Kaza, PhD; Diana Liverman, PhD; Joanna Macy, PhD; Rebecca Solnit; Heather McTeer Toney, JD

Awakened Action and Upaya, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for connecting spirituality with activism and for providing such a varied, beautiful, necessary program.

https://www.upaya.org/program/awakened-action-women-leaders-speak/?id=2326

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

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 recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

 

Published in: on June 24, 2020 at 7:54 PM  Leave a Comment  

Meditations for Queer Femmes — Catbird Morning

This very early morning on my walk, I almost bypassed the park, thinking the grass would be too wet, but then I remembered there’s a whole fenceful of blooming honeysuckle so I backtracked. There was a catbird on the ground in front of me, a beautiful, sleek, grey lovely. It hopped and flew a little, but didn’t fly away. I followed. It hopped onto a rock at the entrance of the park. I followed. We continued until it did finally fly off, right over the magnificent honeysuckle. I stood smelling and listening. The honeysuckle was full of bees.

I have been roiling with grief and anger, sometimes unbearably. All my life, I have had these spells, but they’re so much more epic these days, or rather, what sets them roiling is so huge. I can’t argue myself out of them, I can’t bust out a toolbox and fix them (although I have many tools, collected over the years, that come in handy), I certainly can’t “be reasonable” – I just have to get through and to get through I sometimes need to sit and sometimes need to move.

Lovely queer femme sisters, you too have sorrows and we all have the sorrows of the wounded world. May you connect with her and with yourself as best you can today, even if it’s the teensiest of direction switch. She is in you and of you and around you. The moon is growing and the Solstice resonates and illuminates. May you be human today. May you be reminded.

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.

 

 

 

Queer Femmes Respond – Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation edited by Karla Jay and Allen Young

Look out, straights! Gay sisters and brothers are self-realizing, turning it out, turning away from the miserable, inactive liberal path, turning our backs on straight-fronting and that whole adjustment school! With homosexual self-assertion, we are going to wear our gowns all year round, and we are telling it like it is: we are not sick or depraved, we are integrating our personalities, rejecting the pig mentality and shouting, “Off the couches, into the streets!” We will no longer be your group freak and we are going to grab the Man by the crotch and make him howl! Better blatant than latent, baby; gay liberation is revolution for all people, by the people. RIGHT ON!!!

The above pastiche is from the 1972 book, Out of the Closets, a compilation of essays, poems, biographical pieces, interviews, and manifestos. Tonight, my Historical Queer Book Group will be discussing it, and that is one of the ways I’m honoring Juneteenth: paying attention to queer people’s radical history, discussing how things have changed, how things have stayed the same, what we can learn from the gay liberation movement of the 60s and 70s. I gain strength and joy from reading what the queer organizers and activists who came before me have to say, their wisdom, their mistakes, their hope and fervor. I am inspired by so much of what they did, can learn from the issues they were passionate about, some as relevant as always and still being addressed, some that are relevant but have been set aside, some no longer as pressing – all of it food for thought as well as very good and educational company in the current world strife.

May your Juneteenth be filled with inspiration and good company, also! There is no one way to show up and we need all of us with all of our various gifts and abilities. Do what you can, where you can. You are necessary and precious, and we are in this together, working and learning from where we are to add to the healing.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

In honor of the gorgeous calls we were privileged to hear last night from a couple of screech owls, I want to hold up the Cornell Lab or Ornithology for its beautiful mission: to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. If you’re loving the baby robins yelling for worms, the fierce cardinal pairs screaming at your cat who’s just trying to get a little peace and quiet (mm hmm), the flickers sticking their long beaks into ant nests or any other bird wonder wherever you might be, do consider donating to or otherwise supporting the Cornell Lab or your local Audubon or other nature preserve.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your love and care of birds, the incredible amount of information on your website, and for all those amazingly cool bird cameras!

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Screech-Owl/sounds

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

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 recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

 

 

 

Published in: on June 17, 2020 at 3:04 PM  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Proud

It was a hard weekend. The weather was gorgeous and I am safe and well, but my emotions were running wild. I was dwelling on the past, being hard on myself, tumbling in a river of despair and grief starting with myself and expanding to all the world. Sadly, I’ve spent a lot of time in that raging river, especially when I was younger, before I knew I was queer, when I thought I was completely broken. It’s disturbing and astounding to me how comfortable it can be to immerse myself in that familiar unremitting misery. How stubborn about it I can be.

This past weekend was Pride in Boston. I couldn’t go last year because I was so sick with chemo, so I had really, really been looking forward to going this year, especially to the Dyke March. Everything went online, so I certainly could have participated, but in my shitty mood, I couldn’t be bothered. Then, with the last few drops of healthy and at the very last minute, I managed to get in the car with Tex and go haring off in search of the LexPride car caravan Pride parade in the next town over. We put on our Pride beads, and Tex wore her Provincetown rainbow tank and I rocked my Fierce, Femme & Fabulous hot pink top, a gift from a friend. The parade was winding down when we grabbed a spot at the very end of the line, a rowdy caboose, cranking Le Tigre and the B52s, waving our tiny rainbow flag and shouting, “Happy Pride!” out the window. It was wonderful.

As Tex said, you gotta bring your cute, your joy, and your happy when you go to Pride, and that’s what we did.

Sisters dear, may you bask in the glow of Pride today. May your Pride – our Pride — feed you and comfort you in the midst of frightening and difficult times. Throw on a little gay music and let the rainbow love soothe you and fill you and center you in queer delight, that your spirits are revived and you know who you are and where you are.

Happy Pride!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaSD7RRkTfg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoeavIT6xKg

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise 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.

 

 

Queer Femmes Respond – The Thick of It

I am not in the thick of it. For the past year, I’ve had one clear goal: heal from breast cancer. Already, my world had been circumscribed, and now this. And yet, all my study as a white woman learning about racism, my organizing work, knowledge, experience, compassion, desire for connection – none of that has disappeared.

Connection is so important right now. As is acknowledging grief. I know that when I pass over grief and explode into anger and a yelling, accusatory, “Let’s fix this right now and also, let’s find someone to blame!” attitude, the results are never satisfactory or long lasting.

So I may not be in the thick of it, but I am present. Where might my voice make a difference? How can I be gentle with myself so that I can stay with this work for the long run and ensure that my deepening understanding is communicated in my art, in everything I do? How can I invite into conversation rather than condemn out of hand potential allies and other white people who are also lost and grieving?

These and other hard and relevant questions occupy me today and will continue to do so, because I am in it for life. With gratitude and love for all of you, for all that you do, I am yours in the struggle.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

 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 June 12, 2020 at 6:01 PM  Leave a Comment  

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Pandemic Password!

I am already yearning for Women’s Week this year and I know you probably are, too, but in the meantime (and we don’t know how long that meantime will be, alas), check out Jennie McNulty’s game show, Pandemic Password, with Vickie Shaw, Roxanna Ward, Karen Williams and Dana Goldberg. I haven’t watched it yet because I’m waiting for when me and Tex can sit down and guffaw together, but you have my permission to dig in immediately!

Jennie, you get one pingy-dingy! Thanks for your big gay sense of humor, for making us laugh, and for spreading the goofy gay love!

https://www.facebook.com/jenniemcnultyfan/videos/175046593549815/

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

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.

 

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes — Honor the Gifts

Recently my spouse Tex, who is in hunger relief, forwarded me the newsletter of a local food rescue organization. “Scroll down to see someone we know!” she wrote, and sure enough, there was one of the youth who was in the Homeschoolers Queer Straight Alliance a couple of years ago. She is currently going to be participating in a fund raiser in her role as a winner of Chopped, Jr. I surprised myself by bursting into tears.

I loved being the adult advisor for that QSA. It was such a joy and so much fun that I often discounted the hard work I put in. But just because something comes easily for you doesn’t mean it’s not relevant and important.

This young queer won Chopped, Jr. when she was a member of the QSA, and she donated part of her winnings to the Trevor Project. Another project she started was to raise money for binders which she sent to trans youth in the south who weren’t able to purchase them on their own. She was an enthusiastic and hard working part of other efforts made by the QSA, too, cooking up a lot of goodies and helping decorate for the Drag Prom and queering our QSA table at Town Day. Her family was supportive of her identity, but in the QSA she was able to work with an adult queer (me) as well as other queer youth of all different identities in looking at the atmosphere in town, in the homeschooling community, and in the world, and figuring out what to do to promote education about queers and social justice in general. I helped make that possible.

My bumble bee beloved queer femme sisters, you, too, pollinate and effect change wherever you go. Whatever your gifts, whatever you do, when done in love, it matters. Hold yourself in love, hold your gifts in love. Today, honor your gifts. Today, remember something you’ve done far in the past or just last week that made a difference in someone’s life, or opened up positive possibilities that weren’t there before. Honor that moment. Those are the things that add up, those are the things that pull love into the world and help it grow. We need love to grow.

I am grateful for all that you do. It is an honor to be in your company.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise 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.