Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Creating Change 2019

Well, folx, it’s getting to be that time again; time to hunker down with hundreds of queer organizers, activists, teachers, artists, educators and more to reconnect, get inspired, talk about sex, healing, fun topics, difficult topics, share information, laugh our asses off, and give each other so much love.

It’s a little bit up in the air if I’m going to attend this year, but even if I don’t, my heart will be in Detroit, this January, especially with my brave and brilliant colleague Mimi Gonzalez as she presents her generous and much-needed workshop, “Truth and Reconciliation: Healing the MichFest/Trans Divide”. I love you, Mimi!

Not everyone can get to the Motor City this January, but here’s a challenge: what will you do in the spirit of Creating Change? Let me know! I will be dreaming and taking action right along with you.

https://www.creatingchange.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.”)

 

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Queer and Clear

Aspiring to keep business hours with my email: M-F, 9-5. Thank you for your patience!

 My signature line is a small step in giving myself more mental space. We queer femmes are so dang busy. There’s just a lot to keep track of, in so many arenas. We’ve got our families, our jobs, fields, interests, and more to ride herd on, and then there’s all the queer stuff: shows, books, all the kabillion things online, and news, news, news. The more we see, the more there is for us to do and think about and the less time and space there is for us to settle down and reconnect to our most sacred and enduring femme heartbeat, that queer engine keeping us afloat.

I’m old enough to have lived through many of the changes plaguing us, from typewriter to keyboard, from letters to email to however people are communicating today, from phone to PHONE, from books to e-readers, from vinyl to however people are listening to things nowadays. It’s been utterly insidious, the creeping crud of technology lapping at our ankles, our knees, our asses, rising higher and higher, and even a proud luddite femme such as myself finds herself gasping for breath. And now, as my butch and I face more transition than we’ve run into in years, prioritizing our own dear dreams, our health, our marriage, and honoring the gifts we’ve been given in order to gift the world, are all we’ve been talking about lately. Doubling down on these imperatives is impossible with all the noise. An example: as thrilling as it is to know about umpteen new queer shows, I am learning to just be content that they exist. Rather than figure out how to find them, let alone make time to watch them, I would rather put energy into unsubscribing to all the stupid things we already have, given that those subscriptions come at a steep price, and wouldn’t I rather be: meditating, doing something outdoors, making love or cooking or doing a puzzle with my butch? Fuck yes! So I choose not to invite them in. This can be hard, really hard, seeing as how I grew up and came out with such an incredible deficit of queer, but it’s worth it, especially since I am now dedicating myself to turning inward. To honoring my simplest self.

Who are you, my dear femme bunnies, deepdown in your queer femme souls? When do you let her come out hopping, ears flopping? Despite the ever-increasing hoopla, there is still so much time. So much space. So much quiet. It just takes a slight shift in focus and there it is again, in the sunrise, in the full moon, in the scooting clouds. Make time to notice passers by, the little girl who smiles at a dog or has a full-blown and very public tantrum. So delightful! And all so much a part of our world when we notice, a direct line to our own precious queer humanity.

Today, my darlings, try turning it all off and then peeking inside your rich and marvelous queer femme dreams. What you find there is medicine. Is sustenance. Is gold.

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.”)

 

Published in: on November 26, 2018 at 5:27 PM  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Wisdom from Chrystos

As we approach the National Day of Mourning, I have been rereading and meditating on Chrystos’ 1988 book of poetry, Not Vanishing.

Here is the intro to that beautiful book:

Because there are so many myths & misconceptions about Native people, it is important to clarify myself to the reader who does not know me. I was not born on the reservation, but in San Francisco, part of a group called “Urban Indians” by the government. I grew up around Black, Latin, Asian & white people & am shaped by that experience, as well as by what my father taught me. He had been taught to be ashamed & has never spoken our language to me. Much of the fury which erupts from my work is a result of seeing the pain that white culture has caused my father. It continues to give pain to all of us. I am not the “Voice” of Native women, nor representative of Native women in general. I am not a “spiritual Leader,” although many white women have tried to push me into that role. While I am deeply spiritual, to share this with strangers would be a violation. Our rituals, stories & religious practices have been stolen & abused, as has our land. I don’t publish work which would encourage this – so you will find no creation myths here. My purpose is to make it as clear & as inescapable as possible, what the actual, material conditions of our lives are. Hunger, infant mortality, forced sterilization, treaty violations, the plague of alcohol & drugs, ridiculous jail terms, denial of civil rights, radiation poisoning, land theft, endless contrived legal battles which drain our wills, corrupt “tribal” governments, harassment & death at the hands of the BIA & FBI are the realities we face. Don’t admire what you perceive as our stoicism or spirituality – work for our lives to continue in our own Ways. Despite the books which still appear, even in radical bookstores, we are not Vanishing Americans.

Deep gratitude to Chrystos, for their poetry – I urge you to read “I HAVE NOT SIGNED A TREATY WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT” this Thursday – and for their generosity and wisdom and love of their art.

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.”)

 

 

Published in: on November 19, 2018 at 4:58 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Femme Friday – The Femme in the Picture

This year at our annual SAGE Table, we asked participants to send in pictures so we could have a slide show. There were some really cute ones, of kids at the Drag Prom, family shots, dykes with their pets, and more. Throughout the evening, though, I kept an eye on one particular black and white photo, probably from the 1950s. In it, a butch/femme couple faces the camera straight on, not really smiling, but looking pretty satisfied with themselves.

Last night’s beautiful photo reminded me of other old pictures of queer folks from the past. In these photos, queer story shines out at us, still brilliant, but also so mysterious. What were those daily lives like, after the camera snapped and time continued on its way? I especially love coming across old pictures where there is a femme, like the one last night. I always wonder, who was she? How did she experience herself as a lover, a partner, a participant in a life she was almost certainly not expected or raised to live? What did she call herself? What did she call her lover? How did they talk about who they were and what they did together?

I imagine she was sometimes, maybe often, angry at the isolation, the cruel messages from family and society. I bet she got pissed off at her butch here and again, who would have had her own struggles. And I also see joy in those old pictures. Defiance, a cheeky “we’re getting away with something and you can’t stop us” attitude that I recognize. The way it all falls into place as you find yourself, body and soul, in the arms of the kind of person all those men never were and never could be and then that person revs up your turn-on higher than it’s ever been revved before.

Did the femme in the picture think about how precious she and her queer friends and lovers were? Did she know, in her femme heart, how much a part of nature her queerness was? Like Anna in The Well of Loneliness, did she make every effort to embrace and find beauty in the hidden world she now had access to?

We know so many sad stories, the drinking, the violence, both within the queer community and coming from straight people, the isolation, mental and physical illness brought on or made worse by the ravages of oppression, but that wasn’t everybody’s life every single minute of every single day.

When I look at her smiling or hugging her butch or cutting up with friends in wild costumes or kissing the head of her little dog, I want to allow the femme in the picture to have had a full, complex life. Not just a trajectory of grief, and “oh it must have been so hard back then aren’t you glad we live now and there’s equal marriage.”

The femme in the picture certainly had her sorrows, but I know in my own queer femme heart that she also had sweet get-togethers with friends she loved, good relations with at least some of her family members, acceptance into a community where she was appreciated and seen for who she was. Oh, and didn’t she have a whole lot of mind-blowing sex, honey baby? She did, of course she did.

Deep gratitude to the femme in the picture. Her life is an integral part of the queer femme history that blesses and informs our present-day queer femme lives. 

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! New Femme Friday feature for fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

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.”)

 

 

Published in: on November 9, 2018 at 5:17 PM  Comments (4)  
Tags: ,

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – FREE LEONARD PELTIER!

The National Day of Mourning is coming up, and for as long as I’ve been going to it and for much longer than that, a letter from Mr. Peltier is read, and, as we march through the streets of Plymouth afterwards, we chant, “Free Leonard Peltier!” May this be the year that Mr. Peltier is there in person.

Leonard Peltier Freedom Riders, both two- and four-legged, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your dedication and fortitude; thank you for your giant hearts and the love you bring.

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/news/leonard-peltier-freedom-riders-reach-white-house-after-1-500-mile-spirit-ride-aZX2UJuTHEqGHBvOoApb4w/

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.”)

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Crow Prayer by Miel Rose

For the earth, for each other, for community and caring, here is a prayer by my dear femme sister, Miel Rose. May our collective love align with the power of the universe to shift us all towards deep and lasting healing.

Bless Us, Crow

Let us find the right tools

For the right job

At the right time.

May the faith we hold in ourselves

And our own capabilities

Never waiver.

May our connection to Source

Remain strong

A constant line to nourishment

To wisdom.

When we are bogged down in the details

Let us gain inspiration from you

And fly to the tallest vantage

To survey the whole.

With hearts overflowing

We thank you.

Miel Rose is a witch and healer living and practicing in Western, Mass. She offers her gorgeous wares, femme-made and filled with femme love and healing, including hand embroidery, sacred votive candles, altar cloths, skin medicine, magical honey sweetened chocolates and more at her etsy store, flame and honeycomb.

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.”)