Queer Femmes Respond – Remembering My Father

My father died a year ago today while I was in the middle of treatment for breast cancer. I’m remembering him now in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. He would have been so interested in what’s going on now! He was always impressed by the extremes people will go to – extreme sports, extreme beliefs — and was himself what he called “a health nut,” and driven in so many ways. Until he became too confused because of Alzheimer’s, he ran every day, even if it was more like a shuffle as he approached the age of 80. He once wrote an entire book in 7 days, a chapter a day. His very last book, he wrote non-stop, night and day, getting chilblains in his feet.

Once when I was visiting my folks, I was startled when I turned on their car and Rush Limbaugh’s invective blared out of the radio – my dad liked to keep an eye on extremists. Trump would have fascinated him. And as someone who wrote a science fiction novel in the 70s in response to overpopulation titled Reduction, he would also have been fascinated by COVID. What will happen next? He would have wanted to know! He was unfailingly curious.

He was also a very loyal friend, and an eclectic but loving parent. I never doubted his love for me, for which I am so grateful.

My dad’s last years weren’t at all what he expected. He didn’t expect to lose access to certain parts of his giant brain, the parts he relied on his entire life up until then. He didn’t expect to die without his family gathered around him at the very end.

As I let myself cry today, just whenever the tears come (they are here as I write), I know this is how I’m responding to the pandemic, to the march of time, to life. “Now he can be with you as his complete self,” my mother-in-law told me when my father died, and that is true. I can remember him as he was when I was small and we went up the block to the library, me on my tricycle. When I was a teenager and he would kindly look up and make time and room for me when I invaded his study, desperate to talk about how fucked up everything was. As a young adult when, again, he would patiently listen to everything I was discovering in therapy, apologizing for past mistakes, agreeing, giving me space to learn and grow. As an adult when we worked together on editing projects and read and critiqued each other’s writing. And as a parent when he went on adventures with my kids and supported me through an incredibly stressful divorce. I was just getting to know and accept him as he was at the end of his life when his life was over.

Even though I still feel guilty for not being there with my father when he died, I know he forgives me. I know he knows I love him.

My response today is to forgive myself for not being able to fix everything, certainly not what’s going on in the world, certainly not what happened in the past. My response today is to remember the things I’m grateful for. I had – have – a great father. Imperfect and human, but wonderful and vibrant and full of the joy of life.

May we all respond with joy and love and forgiveness today.

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 September 18, 2020 at 9:13 AM  Leave a Comment  

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Serenity By the Sea, the Provincetown Roundup

In gratitude to the spiritual healing I’ve experienced from being a member of Al-Anon, I want to give a shout-out to the wonderful Provincetown Roundup, now in its 33d year. Tex and I were lucky enough to be able to attend two years ago; this year it will be online. I love Al-Anon just in general, but the opportunity to be surrounded by other queers in recovery is a true gift. See you there?

Serenity By the Sea, you get one pingy-dingy! To everyone who works so hard to make this beautiful event happen every year, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Thank you for surrounding us with so much love.

https://www.provincetownroundup.org/

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.

Published in: on September 16, 2020 at 12:25 PM  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Right Now, Back Then

Over the weekend, Tex and I decided to make curry. As she was looking up a recipe on the computer, I had a sudden memory of a couple I’d met sometime in the early 90s. One or both of them were professional cooks, and they proudly showed me their custom-made bookshelves that housed literally thousands of cook books. I wonder if they still have them?

Even if you were born with a cell phone clutched in your wee little fist, technology changes so quickly these days that even you are probably a bit dazed and confused on some level, all the time. And for those of us who grew up writing letters on actual paper, talking on the phone with an actual cord connecting it to the wall, researching things in actual books and journals, and looking up directions on an actual paper map, the contortions we’ve had to make over the years are monumental. For every older person who has taken to this ever-changing technology like a duck to water, there are countless numbers of the rest of us, who dread the word “upgrade” and whose ability to deal with today’s latest exciting online amenity is rapidly giving up the ghost.

I know, we’ve more or less gotten used to it. I remember figuring out email. I remember when you couldn’t get a person on the phone anymore. I remember travel agencies going out of business and libraries trashing card catalogues. Over and over, I had to roll with it. I got used to it, or rather, I complied, because there was no way of fighting it that wouldn’t rob my life of joy. There’s no point in getting frustrated – say, with this new editing tool thing I have to navigate on this very site just to post on my blog – but it does take its toll. And this weekend, remembering those people and their wealth of cookbooks, I had a moment where I realized how incredibly hard I work to deal with the technology that runs the world, every single day

When our younger son, Owen, was very small, he used to come up and give us affectionate pats, just cuz, just for love. Another toddler I knew used to say, with great generosity, “I so proud of you!!” Today, my darlings, my doves, give yourself a little credit. Take a moment to realize everything you do just in order to move through the world, do your job, watch that thing recommended on that site, talk to people, find out what’s going on. You are working so hard, dear sisters, so hard, even if that knowledge isn’t in the forefront of your consciousness and even if no one ever notices. Today, give yourself a loving pat, filled with the innocence and expansiveness of a little child. Acknowledge that hard work. Dearest dears, good work, good job. Be proud!

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! (“…ifit’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 September 14, 2020 at 5:09 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Queer Femmes Respond – Liz Nania on Art During the Pandemic

Back in May, Liz very kindly dropped by to talk about public speaking and her response to the pandemic; and I’m so honored to have her back again today!

Deep gratitude to Liz for her dedication to art and soul, for sharing her most recent Speaker Sisterhood words with us, and for responding with such nuance, vulnerability, and love to the times we live in now. And for sharing pages from her sketchbooks! Breathtaking!

Do you have something in your life that’s just for you; something you do on your own that feeds you, maybe keeps you sane, or possibly just fascinates you? And do you find yourself, during COVID-19, fighting yourself to do that thing?

For me, that’s my art-making. I’ve made art continuously since I was little. As a kid, I’d come home from school and hunker down with some crayons, glue, paper, toilet paper rolls, whatever was handy to make something with. As a teen, a time of turmoil for so many of us, the high school art room was my sanctuary. After school I’d go home and embroider one of my drawings onto my denim shirt, or crochet a really ugly sweater vest with long, tangled fringe. In my senior year, after filling out college applications for art school behind my father’s back, I managed to get a scholarship to the art program at Boston University. Four years later I became an art teacher in elementary schools, then in junior high, and then with adults.

Eventually my career as an art teacher ended, but I continued making art for myself. There were many years of painting, then designing metal and rhinestone jewelry and tiaras, which became a small business for several years. Now my primary art mediums are painting with wax and mixed media, and also fiber art, where I make collages using vintage textiles and embroidery.

Of course, there are always side avenues to tempt me. For a couple years, I’ve been fascinated with books, especially making books by hand. And that seems to be my most guilty art pleasure of all! As a productivity junkie, this one really trips my alarm system. These books I make become sketchbooks, and I fill them with little paintings, notes, sketches for future projects, or collages; but mostly, just abstract colored ink paintings, totally spontaneous, completely intuitive, made without one bit of forethought or any plan at all. Page after page of loose, slightly landscapish paintings in a hand bound book, that no one will ever see. It’s very easy for me to do. It takes no planning. In fact, the ease of it sometimes makes me uncomfortable: am I a lazy artist? Am I not challenging myself?

Since COVID emerged in March, I feel absolutely exhausted at the thought of starting a big painting or a month-long fiber art collage, the stuff I usually love doing, (and also work I feel “justifies” having my art studio space.) In daily life, and in the art studio, I often feel like I’m slogging through two feet of water; life just takes more effort. Lately, all the art I can manage to do is make sketchbooks and fill them up.

Meanwhile, my Productivity Demon goes absolutely batshit. He screams, “What a waste of time! You have a beautiful art studio, and all you want to do is doodle with colored inks at your desk! No one will ever see them! They’re not even good art! And making your own sketchbooks? Cutting all those pages, figuring out how to painstakingly stitch them together, making the covers, hours of technical labor that you’re not very good at, and so SLOW! Who CARES? For godsake, you could buy a blank sketchbook in a minute, like you used to do, and be done with it!”

My Productivity Demon is the brother of “The Art Committee”. The Art Committee always has tons of helpful criticism while I’m making art, trying to dissuade me from ever enjoying or appreciating my work. They’re relentless and sneaky. And mean! They work devilishly hard to suck every ounce of joy right out of anything I do on my own, anything that’s only purpose is actually, joy. And play. They tell me, if you think you’re a serious artist, then you know the only Real Art is work you can exhibit or sell. Huh, that’s a good one, because it’s COVID-19, and nobody’s actually buying art. But that doesn’t stop the Productivity Demon!

So I get derailed, and I try to direct my art attention towards other things, anything but filling up sketchbooks with private paintings. I’ve got a long to-do list! And we’re in a pandemic, and I’m unemployed, and now my career is in jeopardy, and I’ve been taking care of my mom which is a challenge, and we’re on the brink of an election which could extend the reign of an ignorant fascist who is hurting and killing people, and running our country into the ground. This is a lot.

Suddenly, talking about my art feels trivial. Our country is in crisis. And, so is my little world. So, for me to keep my head above water and connect to peace and happiness on any ordinary day, I’m drawn to the little things; the latte my husbutch, Sandy, makes me every morning – the blue jays and cardinals we know by sight, and have named, who come to our railing for their breakfast and dinner; hot days at the beach – online concerts – neighborhood walks and bike rides, and occasional backyard visits with local friends on weekends. And making little books, personal and intimate art, never to be seen or judged or sent into the marketplace. Just small wonky books filled with notes and paintings of inner landscapes, my own personal inner landscape of the moment. I still don’t know exactly why I make them. But I’ll sit down at my desk with my mixed feelings, the Art Committee and the Productivity Demon hissing from their perches in my brain, and I’ll grab a paintbrush and just dip it into the ink.

About her art, Liz says: Much of my painting is abstract, but I do create some representational work, too. My art explores love, time, celebration, being a woman and a lesbian, social commentary, and other things dear to my heart. And my textile art is unapologetically feminine; it’s even more girly than I am!

See Liz Nania’s work: www.liznania.com, and on Instagram at liz_nania_art.   

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 September 11, 2020 at 11:34 AM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Breaking and Healing

I recently read Nnedi Okorafor’s lovely book, Broken Places and Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected, where she talks about how a botched operation that left her paralyzed from the waist down – what she calls “the Breaking” – was the beginning of her path to being a writer. In her book she mentions the Japanese art of kintsukuroi, which, Roshi Joan Halifax tells us in her blog post “The Golden Repair,” “is the art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold or platinum mixed with lacquer, so that the repair reflects the history of breakage. The ‘repaired’ object mirrors the fragility and imperfection of life— and also its beauty and strength. The object returns to wholeness, to integrity.”

Nnedi and Roshi Joan, you get one pingy-dingy each! Thank you for reminding us that broken does not mean The End, and that frailty, human and otherwise, can add to our understanding of what it means to be human, what it means to find strength.

http://www.nnedi.com/books/broken_places_outer_spaces.html

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.

Published in: on September 9, 2020 at 5:47 PM  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Queer Femmes Respond – “COVID Consumption” by Jill Klowden

Many a year has passed since Jill and I first met as new lesbian moms creating community for ourselves and our babies. We remain connected by so many shared memories, challenges, joys, and sorrows, and by our powerful femme sister love!

Deep gratitude to Jill for her beautiful, wise words, her vibrant queer and healing presence in the world and (lucky me!) in my life!

COVID Consumption

I have become a consumer of books, of loving looks, of love, of phone calls, zoom calls, of homemade food, of neighbor conversations, of long walks, deep breathing, long slow stretches and mindfulness

I am a giver of time, an ear, a glimpse, a touch, a vision, an angst, of good food grown from my garden, of poetry, cut flowers and backyard yoga

I am a holder of space for growth, exploration, development, laughter, deep dives into racism, into the meaning of life and of its counterpart, the non-meaning of everything

I am no longer a consumer of two showers a day, perfume, clothes, dry cleaning, high or low fashion, gas, nail salons, hair cuts, eating on the run, flying by or stopping by.  

I am a holder of space for intimacy while impotent, change that is unintended, intentional living, tears, grumpiness, sadness, grief, fear and loss…and love. 

Jill Klowden is a long-time public defender, an activist for Black lives and humanity, a queer mom of two compassionate humans, an ecstatic recent grandma – a “queerma” – an unabashed lover of people and all things beautiful, a faithful partner, a mindfulness practitioner, motorcyclist, a Jew and a proud fem.

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 Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family and Annette Gordon-Reed

On the way to the park with our dog yesterday, we ran into a friend, a fellow middle-aged white mom. After we’d managed to recognize each other under our masks, I asked how she was doing.

“Living safe in my nice house on my nice street, wrapped in my white privilege!” she replied.

She sounded so depressed and guilty, and while I know what she means and perhaps how she feels, reading Annette Gordon-Reed’s book, as I’m doing right now, shows me how incredibly ancient and evil white supremacy is and helps me try and situate myself as I continue to figure out what my responsibility and agency is in the current moment and going forward.

Annette Gordon-Reed, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your incredible scholarship and your brilliance in depicting the world of Sally Hemings and her family. Thank you for extending compassion and love to those people whose full lives were left out of the written record for despicible and obscene reasons, but who are an integral and deeply important part of American history.

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

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.

Published in: on September 2, 2020 at 5:28 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Day In, Day Out

We just got back from a week in Provincetown, staying in our friends’ beautiful rental, on a quiet street in the East End. Despite everything that’s going on, we had such a lovely time. We were able to rest and renew, thanks to the queerness, the gorgeous light, the bountiful ocean, the presence of friends. I realized I’d been nurturing a bit of agoraphobia, and was able to address that, becoming more comfortable operating out and about within parameters that feel comfortable to me. It was a gorgeous week, and I’m not talking about the weather (for me, all weather in Ptown is gorgeous!).

I have a vitamin container that comes with me whenever we travel. Before leaving home, I load up each section with my C and D and the rest of them. In the past, I’ve hated to see the empty sections, signaling the end of vacation. Last week, however, to my surprise, I found myself contemplating the empty sections with gratitude: each one meant another lovely day in Provincetown, another day resting, going to the beach, seeing friends, allowing for down time in a place that is intensely healing to me. Those days were piling up, not being lost.

Beautitious ones, your every day contains moments of joy and lovely surprises, whether on vacation or not. What have you gained today, what has made you smile and will remain in your memory as a balm? A happy pet moment? A delicious fruit incident? A sweet text; a caress; a child in the park singing at the top of their lungs? How nutritious to the soul it is to notice these joy infusions, to let them fill you and fulfill you, to let them pass through you leaving stardust behind! Dearest darlings, there is so much that is beautiful! Let’s connect there today.

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 August 31, 2020 at 11:05 AM  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , ,

Queer Femmes Respond – Queer Femme Artist, Janine Evers

All through the dog days of chemo, I could look up and feel calmer, feel loved, when I saw Janine’s painting on the wall. I am so thrilled to hostess my dear Janine, with her wisdom and her beautiful art!

Deep gratitude to Janine for her big heart and her beautiful art and her all-round absolutely wonderful Queer Femme self!

Since the Corona virus has forced us to slow down, pare down, be cautious, pay attention, and simplify, I’ve found that this has affected my art as well. When we all first went into quarantine back in March, I thought that I’d definitely take the opportunity to make lots of art. But as I tried to jump full steam ahead, I became aware that it wasn’t comfortable to make art in the way I had before. I’ve learned to slow way down, and not force the muse. I’ve become conscientious of not making more “stuff” to take up more room in my small home, and in this overcrowded and polluted world. I’ve been making these little mixed media works on paper, just 5 ¾” x 8 ½”. I’ve been keeping them simple and thoughtful; careful not to overwork them, and finding my way back to making art simply for the joy it brings me. Back before art school, galleries, and the pressure to “succeed” as an artist.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2212UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2211UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2210UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2213.jpg

Janine Evers is a Queer Femme Artist who lives and works in Provincetown. Her colorful, abstract paintings are influenced by the land and seascapes of the Outer Cape, and, particularly by the marine life that is found along the bay on walks during low tide. You can see more of her work at Four Eleven Gallery, Provincetown, Mass.

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 August 21, 2020 at 3:51 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Normal

Today I went into the liquor store and picked up a 4-pack of hard cider, a cold and refreshing beverage I normally indulge in a few times a summer. Not last summer, when I was full-on doing chemo. Not earlier this summer because of being in quarantine and then later, not quite knowing how safe it was to head out given my still-compromised immune system. Lately, I’ve been venturing out a bit, though. And today, despite all the changes at the packy with the lines on the floor and the masks on the employees and the hand sanitizer at the door, going in there to buy cider felt normal. Indeed, that’s what a sign on the door said: Thank you for your patience as we adjust to the new normal.

All kinds of different things may constitute the new normal for you, my sparkling darlings. You may be taking care of an elderly family member, drawing on strengths and a gracious and creative patience you never knew you possessed. You may be connecting with your work in ways you never dreamed of. You may have lost work and found something else, moving through shifting emotions with awkwardness or cluelessness but coming through nonetheless. Your art may have morphed into something delightfully obtuse or huge or teeny weeny. You may have taken up an old hobby or delved into obscure corners of your psyche or reached out and found long-lost friends and relations. The new normal has so many directions for us.

We live in times where so much is becoming more visible. It used to be normal to have racist American Indian mascots, for instance. Normal for the majority of white people to dismiss white supremacy – to not even know what that was or how it serves and benefits white people and what kinds of destruction it wages in its rage and hatred. Normal to consume without thought of the effects of consumption; normal to take our life on earth for granted. But normal is not ignorance and ignoring and wanting everything to be ok. I think normal is less about what we got used to, often thoughtlessly, and more about finding a true and enduring connection to yourself, to reality, to how to live in love and faith and respect.

Every day is a new normal.

Luscious cupcakes, take a deep breath and breathe in the world. Feel your own precious essence. Think about how and when and why you feel your own best most grounded queer femme self. Think about when you feel the most normal. Promise me that you’ll find your way there every day. Close your eyes.

Find your way there now.

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 August 10, 2020 at 4:48 PM  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,