Meditations for Queer Femmes – Elemental

Driving down to Provincetown this weekend, I was briefly behind a work truck from a company that does clean up after damage by storms, fires and flood. We don’t have earthquakes here (yet), but I bet that would be included if this was California. All four elements, each one with its own particular abilities.

Although I am not usually a fan of fantasy, Tex did get me to read Laurie J. Mark’s Elemental Logic series (Fire Logic, Water Logic, Earth Logic, Air Logic), which I thoroughly enjoyed because they’re so wonderfully queer and loving and political, with a sense of humor to boot. After seeing that truck, I thought about Laurie’s books and her take on the properties of each elemental logic. Then I started wondering what element I am most connected to.

I’m thinking air, or more particularly, wind. I just love a windy day! It refreshes me and jazzes me up, makes me feel present and alive. I also grew up practicing tornado drills and know the power wind can have. And more mundanely, if I don’t cover up my ears but good when I’m out in the wind, I will totally get an earache. The destruction caused by floods and storms and fires and earthquakes are hardly personal on the part of the elements; the elements just are. It’s up to us to draw our own conclusions. When we pay attention, learn and listen, keep lightfooted and inventive instead of rigid and stubborn, we can learn how to work with the elements. This is something we desperately need to do on a large scale around climate change, but here I would like to talk about how we can also learn so much about ourselves.

If I deny the power of the wind and go out without covering up my ears, I’ll get sick. If I prepare myself, however, I can learn so much. The wind circulates, doing exactly what it is meant to do. If I pay attention, this element has a lot to teach me about my own strengths and weaknesses, just as it can power a windmill or blow down entire neighborhoods. For example this ear situation: I interpret that to mean that I don’t always do the best job of listening to myself, and when I don’t, it spills over into not being able to pay attention to what’s around me or to listen very well to others. That’s a lesson I can work with.

I know as a queer femme, there are many times I have felt isolated, invisible and without a working community lifting me up and lovingly holding me. Stepping out into a glorious windy day can blow some of that burden right into the stratosphere, because I am reminded that we queer femmes are part of the natural systems, just like every other human being.

What connects you to those natural systems? Which element seduces you into a more spiritual and holy place? Which of the four calls you, teaches and inspires you, humbles you, uplifts you?

Whichever it is, the next time you are worshipping at that particular altar, know that I am there with you, wearing a good warm hat and leaning into the fierce and cleansing wind. Queer femmes, all, today remember the elements and open to their lessons. Allow them to bring you closer to the heart of love.

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.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Walking on Sand

I walked on the beach a lot when we were in Provincetown recently. It was cold and windy but the light, as always, was effulgent. Looking down, there are stones of all colors, shells, crab limbs dropped by sea birds, seaweed, bits of trash, including pieces of broken glass that need to cook a lot longer before they get to call themselves seaglass. Looking up, there’s that light and the ocean moving.

It’s not that easy to walk on sand. You have to use your core, and even if you do, it makes you sore in muscles you don’t usually think about. A wave might soak your shoe. But every time I started to feel tired or think it might be better to take my walk on the street, I realized that I was smiling and that really, I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

Maybe something about the bracing difficulty of walking, something about the beauty and the wind and the uncooked seaglass – I don’t know what it was, but out there on the beach I found myself mulling over identity. If you think you know what someone’s identity means, it’s easy to ignore the reality of their life. Example: the many people, straight and otherwise, who refer to Tex as my “wife”. They know I’m gay, they know I’m married, so obviously, the person I’m married to is my wife. As misassumptions go, it’s not the worst one ever; nor is it the end of the world when the two of us are referred to as “ladies”, but it’s irksome. One reason for this is that if people think they know your identity, it can give them license to ignore what that identity actually means to you. It is a false sense of knowing that can close them off to the rewards of keeping an open heart and taking on the challenge of observing, asking and stepping into the unknown. It is a reminder to me when I find myself making assumptions about what someone’s identity may imply.

When first I found my femme, I was uncertain, so I clung to what I thought were requirements. I bemoaned the fact I couldn’t walk in heels due to physical issues, that I wasn’t a high femme, or what I thought a high femme was supposed to look and act like. Happily, those moments passed with minimal damage and I have since learned many enlightening lessons about myself and about other femmes. Queer femme feels so roomy to me now. So much still to explore, because identity is always moving, always revealing more. I’m so curious, so grateful, so inspired by queer femme.

Queer femme sisters, love yourselves this week. Love yourselves by making time to walk on the beach or in the woods or by water of any kind, where you can let your thoughts drift and touch on things sublime.

Every Monday (or Tuesday), 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.

 

Published in: on November 28, 2017 at 3:31 PM  Leave a Comment  
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