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.

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