Meditations for Queer Femmes – The Joy of a Sloppy Mind

The sleuth in a 1994 mystery novel I just read is an early computer programmer. In one scene, a panicked client calls her after having lost an important document. The sleuth finds out the client has been forgetting to back up their data and proceeds to have a little fit.

            With a sigh that was closer to a growl – how could people have such sloppy minds? she thought savagely – she sat down at her desk and picked up the phone.

            I kept reading, but I wasn’t really paying attention anymore. Instead I was having a wee spot of PTSD made up of memories of excruciating afternoons sitting with my father as he tried to help me with my high school algebra as well as many, many moments in academia and at work where I completely failed to understand things linear, logical, and supposedly self-explanatory. “You’re smart!” my father would say. “Just think it through!”

            But my smart just didn’t work that way.

            Like the sleuth’s hapless clients, I have a sloppy mind. At least, when it comes to algebra and details like remembering specifics about computers.

            It’s taken me years, but I am much kinder to myself now than I used to be when it comes to things like being forgetful or losing track of details or getting really anxious about, say, balancing my checkbook. If I need extra time or a helping hand for those things, it’s balanced out by my ability to see the big picture, intuit what a student will really connect with, noticie interesting and subtle craft details in a book I’m reading, seeing gaps where a little community organizing will make all the difference. My strengths – my heart’s work – place me outside of the mainstream, but they are strengths nonetheless.

            My own dear queer femme sleuths, what are your strengths? Might it be that they are positives that you’ve been taught to discount or not to notice? I know you show up, clean up, free up, rise up, whip up, move up, lift up, zip up, grow up, and generally are on the up and up all day every day. Do you notice the work you’re doing that hasn’t been held up as “real work”? Do you allow those who do notice it to love you, praise you, thank you?

Today, my singular, dearest and darling hard working queer femme geniuses, celebrate your life-giving, soul-loving, queertastic, essential and influential WORK!

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

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! And stop by on Mondays for a bit of sacred femme space.

         (Above quote from Something to Kill For by Susan Holtzer, St. Martin’s Press, 1994)

Published in: on February 6, 2023 at 3:55 PM  Leave a Comment  
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