Meditations for Queer Femmes – Good in an Emergency

I have always prided myself at being good in an emergency. An early memory of this skill is when I was around 10. A friend and I were doing a little dawn skinny dipping at the beach when we noticed a local man watching us creepily from the shore. Our clothes were near him and it was getting lighter by the moment. My friend panicked, but I immediately came up with a plan: we march determinedly out of the water, as quickly as we can, ignoring the stupid guy, snatch up our clothes and run. We did it and it worked. Thank goodness!

There’s something about an emergency that focuses my attention and calls on my problem-solving skills in a very satisfying manner. I almost kind of like it. Everything else falls away, there are no distractions, just the one thing to deal with. In a way, it’s easier to deal with an emergency than to parse through the increasingly baffling mega-ton of stimuli thrown my way during any dull day. I understand and sympathize with those folks who routinely manufacture emergencies, who crave that excitement and challenge. I wonder sometimes if I might be one of those folks myself.

In Al-Anon, I’ve learned that the only thing I can control is my own response to things. Lately, what with one thing and another, I’ve been observing myself as challenge after challenge pops up in my life. Health challenges, my own and those of others in my family; troubling and dangerous local and world events; relationship challenges, and it goes on and on. There are no shortage of challenges! In reaction to these, I can flare and run into the nearest phone booth to change into my super hero outfit (and very fetching it is, too!), feeding my ego and rushing to the rescue, or, maybe, I can try and be a bit more mindful. Disrupting quieter, more generative and soul-nurturing daily rhythms and activities such as tending to my art, keeping up with friends, taking quiet walks, meditating, reading (ok, I never stop reading, never mind that one), in short making sure that I keep weaving sweet threads of consistency rather than giving all my energy to a mindless drop and rush, rush and drop, serves me and those I love so much better.

Magical queer femme sugar plums, I know you see the suffering and that you, too, reach out to offer succor. Your healing presence in the world is beyond compare and brings so much relief. Today, though, my most excellent dears and darlings, spend one quivering butterfly-wing moment sinking down into the steady heartbeat of day after day after day, sun and moon and wind and rain. Earth abides and you abide here on her. Abide a while and reconnect to that immense calm.

That way, my hope for you and for me, is that after the emergency – and perhaps even during – we never lose sight of that immensity. We never completely lose ourselves.

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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