Meditation for Queer Femmes

A femme sits in meditation. Thoughts arise. According to the instruction, she’s to think, “Thinking,” and let the thoughts move on, as thoughts do. Nonetheless, her body tenses with anger. So many people lately have let her down. She knows relatives have voted for this new, hateful administration. Also, her social justice work for queer youth and community has been compromised by colleagues who have abruptly withdrawn. She knows why some of us need healing time, but she can’t help feel upset at those who have left the fight. Anger vies with compassion. Thinking. Breathe. Tears well up. Images of despair appear: the torture of queers past and present, of black and brown people, the destruction of culture, of lives; landscapes ruined by war, mining, fracking, drilling; polar bears struggling to survive, bees, butterflies, manatees, bats, orangutans and so many more; refugees trying to escape, drowning. More and more images come and the tears spill over. What can she do in the face of so much misery, so much history, so much hate? Thinking. Breathe. Now she moves on to contemplating her drug of choice: sugar. It would be great to have some candy just about now! What kind does she want the most? Thinking. Breathe.

When the timer goes off, the femme stretches and sighs. Will she ever get through those 20 minutes with even a modicum of a calm mind? Maybe not. Probably not, knowing her and her busy, busy brain. But she is more and more confident that those 20 minutes of meditation help her in ways she may not ever completely understand. She trusts this. Surely, she is now situated more solidly in her body, her queer body. With which she braves the world every single day. Her queer body taking up space, loving her butch, her babies, her parents, her friends and colleagues, and, as best she can, all of humanity. The whole wonderful world. Her queer body, strong enough, despite it all, to follow her queer soul and heart. To love and work and flame as she is meant to do.

Every Monday, I will offer a Meditation for queer femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was a fabulous straight femme, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.


Published in: on December 5, 2016 at 11:19 AM  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes

When my grandmother died, I inherited her book, Meditations for Women published by the Abingdon Press in 1947. I think she got it from her Methodist church. It contains 365 meditations, each month written by a different woman, each month a different theme. Though not a Christian, I am comforted by this sweet book, especially when I come across passages my grandmother underlined. I have long wanted to follow in these women’s footsteps by writing meditations for queer femmes, to offer spiritual solace. Here is a beginning.


We femme caretakers often stumble when it comes to the job of taking care of ourselves. Our heart’s work makes it easy for us to know when a kiss, a cute outfit, a kind text, a care package of just-baked cookies, an old-school card sent snail mail will lift the spirits of one of us brought low by circumstance (and there’s a lot of circumstance this November). We can organize a community-building get-together at the drop of a hat, make community connections and encourage our colleagues like none other. But how often do we find ourselves on the outskirts of these life-giving events, casting an eye over the snacks and drinks to make sure everyone is provided for, never fully joining in the laughter and conversation ourselves? This November, let us commit to parsing out where, when and with whom we find reciprocity and healing. Let us commit to spending time with people who give as well as receive. Let us commit to spending time alone, unplugged, in healing solitude. Our work as community organizers and activists is more important than ever. That our souls remain healthy, love-filled and joyous undergirds everything.


Published in: on November 21, 2016 at 6:47 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,