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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