Meditations for Queer Femmes – Yesterday We Bought Some Chairs

               

They were expensive. We’re not sure they’re the right fit for us, for our dining room table, for our house. They seemed good in the store, and the truth of the matter is, neither of us ever wants to spend time shopping, so we just went ahead. And maybe we shouldn’t have.

That morning, we’d been over to the North Bridge in Concord, paying tribute to my aunt’s life.

My Aunt Connie, small-town Iowa girl through and through, was quite sure she’d lived near the North Bridge during the Revolutionary War. When she visited a few years back, she stood on the bridge entranced, remembering seeing those famous events with Minutemen and all the rest unfold. My cousin told me they’d talked about this previous life just a few days before she died. He also told me she’d torn up the obituary she’d worked on over the years, saying all her friends are dead and no one else cares. My uncle, the youngest and last sibling standing, told me there won’t be a memorial service “with some idiot dribbling on,” but that next spring, two of my cousins will take their parents’ ashes to a special place in the mountains.

Yesterday, I gathered late fall flowers, ferns, and herbs from our garden and tied them up with a bit of yarn. Tex and I made our way through the gorgeous day to Concord and joined the many tourists on the bridge. No one noticed as I tossed the bouquet into the slow moving river, and no one bothered us as we leaned on the railing, leaned on each other, to watch until the bouquet had floated around the bend.

My queer femme readers, probably we should have left it there. Remembering family, honoring a matriarch, opening our hearts to the mystery and grief. Calmly moving through the rest of the day with that sacredness.

It’s not that the chairs or so awful, or that we won’t be able to use them. It’s that we pushed ourselves to do something “useful” without really paying attention to this time of loss and necessary grieving. My aunt’s death came on the heels of the death of our dog from which we are still reeling. There is so much loss, in our lives, in the wider world. It’s ok to slow down. It’s ok to be together and mourn.

My mortal queer femme sisters, with your To Do lists and your good intentions, might you not rather put them down for a moment and watch as leaves fall, as the river slowly makes its way to the ocean, as your heart beats to that own unique rhythm no one else possesses?

Today, when the veil is very thin, remember and mourn. Remember and share the memories. Remember and celebrate.

Mortal, all. Human, all.

I hold you and am held by you.

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. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

Since 2016, I here at The Total Femme have done my best to post thrice a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy Dingy on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on you know when. I’m pulling back the reins now, darlings, and going down to once a week, this Meditation. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from you. Send me your poetry, your musings, your art, your wonderful you, and I will love you and hold you and feature you right here. So let me hear from you! thetotalfemme@gmail.com. And stop by on Mondays for a bit of sacred femme space.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Who’s In Your Arms?

We came home from Women’s Week this year to a terminally ill dog. He’d been having spells of feeling yucky, but it turned out our sweet Cairn boy was sicker than we knew. We got home Sunday. Vet on Monday where we got the devastating news. A home euthanasia vet on Wednesday.

Thatcher came to us as a puppy 13 ½ years ago, from a breeder in Vermont situated right near Thatcher Brook, thus his name. I carried him home on my lap, wee little fellow that he was. We promised him we would take care of him for his entire life. We knew that responsibility would hold many surprises – both of us have children in our lives, after all, and elderly parents – but we knew we would stay true to our promise.

Wednesday evening, Thatcher snuggled in Tex’s arms. The truly wonderful, compassionate vet administered a sedative. His chewing slowed, he slept. He snored as Tex gently cradled his beloved body. The vet did what she needed to do. Thatcher snored. Then he stopped. I’m weeping as I write this, but we couldn’t have asked for a better, more peaceful death.

As we navigate our way through the grief of losing such a dear friend, I keep thinking back to how completely Thatcher was surrounded by love. Promise fulfilled, responsibilities carried out to the best of our abilities. Safe in his most favorite person’s arms.

These days, for so many reasons – you have your own, my darlings, I know – Tex and I have less vim and vigor than we once did. Our reach is not as long, our capacity for dealing with stress, negative or positive, much diminished. This is a hard thing to parse through, and we make mistakes all the time trying to do more than we actually are able to enjoy. The events leading up to and including Thatcher’s death have given me the inspiration to look inward. Look at who’s in my arms. Recommit to my responsibilities to them. To myself. To making the time and allowing for the energy, which can often mean not doing that next wonderful thing to make room for the wonderful thing already in motion.

Angels and angels, who do you carry with you? Who needs you in ways that no one else can provide? How are you managing? Some of those we hold can’t or won’t reciprocate, I know this. Others, perhaps, hold you just as tightly. Are you at peace with the bundle in your arms, in your heart? Are you holding it in a way that allows you to also tend to your own deepest and most sacred needs?

Today, precious pets, take stock. Readjust the weight a bit, perhaps. Anyone or anything you need to gently put down? Or pick up? Look in your generous, lively, beating hearts, my loves. It’s all there, the information you need.

And you, my queer femme community. Feather light and rock solid.

We are in each other’s arms.

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. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

Since 2016, I here at The Total Femme have done my best to post thrice a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy Dingy on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on you know when. I’m pulling back the reins now, darlings, and going down to once a week, this Meditation. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from you. Send me your poetry, your musings, your art, your wonderful you, and I will love you and hold you and feature you right here. So let me hear from you! thetotalfemme@gmail.com. And stop by on Mondays for a bit of sacred femme space.

Published in: on October 24, 2022 at 2:48 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – Lesbian Laughter

My husbutch and I just spent a week in Provincetown for Women’s Week and an RVW rally. Ok, now, that’s a lotta lesbians! And everywhere I went – walking down Commercial Street, sitting in venues, browsing in Womencrafts, meandering on the beach, relaxing at the campsite – I heard lesbian laughter.

From the big butch bellow to the snide dyke cackle and every giggle, titter, snort, and jiggly belly laugh in between, the streets were alive with lesbian merriment. Oh, what music to my ears it was! The sound of my people gathering together and enjoying themselves.

Sacred space.

There are so many kinds of laughter. The lesbian comedians in the house last week know this. Mimi Gonzalez, Jennie McNulty, Poppy Champlin, Lisa Koch (aka Sister La-BEEH-a), Kristen Becker, Suzanne Westenhoefer, Judy Gold, Robin Tyler, Fiona Goodwin, and Vicki Shaw (best drag king name ever: Mike Hunt) all know that we need to laugh together. Laugh with sympathy. Laugh to help ease the pain (those of us in 12-step know how full of laughter are our healing rooms). Laugh to celebrate, mourn, mend, remember, forget.

The greater the challenges, the more we need to laugh together.

Laugh today, my darlings. Look up any one of the above comedians and have yourself a wee chortle break.

Breath.

Giggle.

Onwards.

Since 2016, I here at The Total Femme have done my best to post thrice a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy Dingy on Wednesday, and Femme Friday on you know when. I’m pulling back the reins now, darlings, and going down to once a week, this Meditation. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear from you. Send me your poetry, your musings, your art, your wonderful you, and I will love you and hold you and feature you right here. So let me hear from you! thetotalfemme@gmail.com. And stop by on Mondays for a bit of sacred femme space.

Published in: on October 17, 2022 at 4:48 PM  Comments (2)  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – WHAT DAT NOISE?

When my son Seth was wee and my son Owen was even more wee, we went on a camping trip at Yellowstone. In the middle of the night, Owen’s wee but extremely loud voice woke us up.

WHAT DAT NOISE? he hollered, then hollered again. We listened.

Wolves.

The other day, I took a walk on the Battle Road Trail in Minuteman National Park. It was an utterly gorgeous afternoon, breezy, blue, leaves beginning to turn. I could hear woodpeckers, blue jays, squirrels, chipmunks. I mean, I could hear them in and around the road traffic noise from nearby highways, not to mention air traffic from Hanscom Airforce Base. It was that familiar New England feeling of being in a peaceful wooded haven yet surrounded by the human world’s racket.

This was the day after I’d had a routine breast cancer follow up with my oncologist and I was carrying a lot of noise of my own.

I’d taken a work break and forced myself to get out of the house, in part because Tex, my spouse, had asked for my promise to do something beautiful that day. She is well aware of how hard it is for me to shake myself free of the death grip of stress.

Even though I’m holding steady cancer-recovery-wise, I still have a lot of anger. Despair. Wishing I had something concrete to blame, in that human way we all are familiar with. Hard to not blame ourselves. My therapist recently retired, and her parting words to me were: Stop being so hard on yourself! There’s nothing wrong with you!

Still, there is so much noise in my head. Walking. Driving. Eating. Sitting. Some of the time it’s very low grade, but some of the time it drowns out everything else.

Golden, vibrant orange, lovely fall colors that you are my femme sisters, is there also noise around you, in you?

I know there is.

Wolf blessing and loud frightened questions.

Woodpeckers and fighter jets.

Good news and steaming, boiling anger.

As I greeted the ranger dressed like a Minuteman who gave me a cheery wave, as I hopped out of the way of a serious walker who came very close to clipping me with his walking pole as he hurried by, I got to thinking. A bit of meditation.

Well, I thought. Here I am. Is it any less beautiful because a big rig is passing by? I perhaps would enjoy it differently without the air brakes, but I’m enjoying it all the same. My limbs and my anxieties are loosening. I’m more and more in my body and less and less in the What Ifs.

My loves, I know that wherever you are, it isn’t perfect. There are abundant irritants disturbing your peace. But you are so vibrantly, irrepressibly alive in it, in the middle of it, sweet pumpkin pie lattes, alive and bringing all your femmetastic queer delights to the world.

Ah, dearests.

Allow.

Allow.

Let it all sound.

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. Would you like to offer up a Meditation of your own? I would love that! Send it along to me at thetotatalfemme@gmail.com.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three or four times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday, Femme Friday on Friday, and (new for spring 22!) the occasional Sometimes On A. 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 October 3, 2022 at 5:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
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