Meditations for Queer Femmes — Just A Question

Like me, my father was a writer. His approach to his art, though, was really pretty harsh. “It’s just a question of will power,” he would say. “Just a question of sitting down and getting it done.” Throughout his life, that’s what he did, my driven parent, setting himself a writing task, flogging himself unmercilessly until he’d completed it. Then, on to the next and the next and the next.

It was a method that worked for him, but as hard as I tried – and that’s pretty hard for an only child who wants nothing more than to please and be like her dad — it didn’t work for me. I was left with unfinished projects and a poor opinion of myself as someone who had no will power whatsoever. A bad writer, in other words.

It took years for me to understand that I’m just a different kind of writer from my dad. Different. Not bad. For me, it isn’t just a question of sitting down and powering through. Well, of course, sometimes it is. But before the sitting down might come the drifting around. The taking a walk. The talking with other writers. The reading, the hanging out with friends, the cooking. The making room for thoughts and ideas, the ones bubbling up that can’t be forced. In other words, doing what my dad might have called goofing off. But if I push the way my dad pushed, I’ll wear myself out. The writing I do won’t feed my soul in the way I need it to so that I am inspired and refreshed and can go on writing.

Art, writing, living: I just don’t think it’s just a question of sitting down and getting it done. It’s not just one question at all, but a series of calls put out to the universe and so many, many ways of listening to the come back of hints, suggestions, inspirations, surprises. So my darling and femme flowers!

Let us here together listen. Relax our shoulders. Smile up at the sky. Meander.

Close our eyes and allow it all for a moment.

May you revel in it, your unique and happy, your beneficial and beloved dearest and situated place in this ol’ wide 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.

Published in: on April 25, 2022 at 9:27 AM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes — Queer Care

I was lucky enough this winter to be able to spend a lot of time in Provincetown, where I rented a lesbian-owned condo for a few months. Backed up onto the cemetery with a view of the monument and the big open sky, this lovely spot held me and fed me as I wrote and reflected and wrote some more. A young gay man rented the small basement unit below me, and we shared the washer and drier, texting each other politely now and then. I loved how every few days he cared for himself by cooking a delicious, hearty meal, the rich smells drifting up my stairs.

I walked everywhere, every day. Down to the bay to see the water birds, the light on the water, the tide coming in and going out. Over to the Beech Forrest, where moss and lichen glow and where later there will be mushrooms. Along the bike path into the silent dunes, past pockets of cranberry bog. One morning it started to rain as I was coming back from the rail trail, trucking along the street to my condo, pretty much resigned to getting wet. Ahead of me, a butch was putting out her trash, and I admired her cuffed jeans and cute bowling shoes. She’d had the foresight to bring an umbrella, I noticed. As I drew up alongside her, I realized she was waiting for me.

“Would you like to borrow my umbrella?” she asked, smiling. “You could just bring it back later – I live right here.”

Shy, surprised, I politely declined, thanking her and saying how refreshing the rain was. We wished each other a good day and off we went. I smiled and smiled as I walked home, enjoying the feeling of being seen cared for by another queer.

We have found so many ways to care for each other, we sweet alphabet soup people. Lesbian-owned land where you can go for respite. Nods on the street: I see you and if you need something, ask me. The bars and cafes and neighborhoods; clinics, support groups, and clubs. All of Provincetown. When I was younger, just coming out into the astounding realization of my queer power, I used to fool myself that I could make all the world come to me, adapt to me, share with me. That can happen, but golly does it take a lot of energy and can so often end in heartbreak. How much more satisfying and strengthening to show up for queer community and send out love where love will be reciprocated.

Dear, dear, dear queer femmes, how I treasure your presence in my queer world. How you enrich the very fabric. How grateful I am for your wisdom and creativity and whimsy and perseverance and delightfulness. Thank you for your nourishing food, your offers of shelter and caring, your laughter, your marvelous company.

I am so grateful for your queer care today.

Published in: on April 18, 2022 at 8:58 AM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,