Meditations for Queer Femmes – Game Girls

            This afternoon when I called over to the Memory Care to talk to my mom, she sounded a bit flustered. I asked what was going on, and she said, “The lunch situation is not the best situation.” It took her a long time to get out the details, and I’m still not sure I understand exactly what happened to make her say that, but basically, like all of us, she’s dealing with other people. And once she finally managed to get some words out, she had a lot to say.

            “They want to be in control,” she said. I sympathized.

            “It’s all right in the way I can take hold of it,” she told me reassuringly (she doesn’t want me to worry). “I can more or less do the words, the things that I have to keep going. I can manage it, but it is a little on the difficult end. It is a bit of a drag, but I’ve managed it so far.”

            “Yeah, Mom, we just have to keep going, don’t we?”

            “That’s the only thing I can do, and I’ve done it so far. It’s the only thing you can do if you’re going to get through the things you need to. Some of the people are mostly the good part of what happens. There are people who are very good hearted.”

            Recently, a friend of the family told me, “Your mom has always been a very game girl,” and went on to tell me how this very upright and honorable university professor shocked her colleagues and students by demanding quarters and rushing off to the slot machines during a professional conference held in Las Vegas. You’ve got to try and fit in with local customs! That is certainly something she always taught me. At 90, with vascular dementia making it more and more difficult for her to express herself, she is still a game girl. Still working hard to fit in with local customs, be polite and not cause a ruckus. Find the good parts of where life has taken her.

            Dearies, precious hearts, my buttercups, I know that you are also game girls, finding love and humor and joy in and between the scary, sad, difficult, and dreary places your lives have taken you. I see it in the swing of your hips, your giggles, your songs, your kisses and hugs. I see it in our femme community of healers and lovers and artists and sisters and beloveds.

            Today, take hold of it, be aware of it, how you manage and move through and forward and beyond.

            Your neighbors, your family, your co-workers, the people you pass on the street, they are all – we are all – so much the better for your sweet, generous, big and fabulous femme hearts.

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.

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Living for the Apocalypse

Today I was much on the phone with my mother’s health insurance company as I sort out claims and coverage.

            “Do you mind if I place you on that hold?” says the agent, and I listen to the same strange riff of repeating music. “Ooh, wah wah!” sing the ladies, and suddenly I’m having a slight out-of-body experience, rather common lately, to tell you the truth, where I sort of float sideways and stand beside myself, thinking, “Hmm, what exactly is going on here?”

            My 89-year old mother just got out of the hospital, and is currently receiving 24/7 home health care at her assisted living facility. There wasn’t a diagnosis for her changed behavior and constant dozing, but one of the aides told me that my mom had been up six times the night before, wanting to get ready to go down to breakfast. I guess every time she wakes up, she has a sense of urgency that she needs to be somewhere. Which, come to think of it, might be a big reason her behavior was off: she has completely exhausted herself.

            It’s pretty obvious that she needs another level of care so that her energy and attention can be gently redirected and she can get a little assistance staying in the reassuring present moment without stressing that she’s got something else she’s supposed to be doing. That’s what I was working on today for her – ooh, wah wah! – as I waited on the phone. I am very glad to do it, too, because she can’t manage on her own anymore; she can’t even express what might or might not be troubling her.

            Oh darlings, aren’t we, too, a bit weary of living for the apocalypse? Waiting, preparing for the very worst? How might we get off that hamster wheel? Give our belabored adrenals a rest?

            Sweet petals of femme daintiness, times are strange and getting stranger. Some things we have absolutely no control over, and yet they affect us and will direct us into a frenzy if we aren’t careful.

            Do, oh do, be careful with yourselves and your direction today, my lambs.

            Let the apocalypse recede with the ooh wah wahs, place it on that hold, and stay here, with me, with yourself, with the dear and the good and the present.

            Deep roots, feet on the ground, as the old wise world goes round.

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 graduate school and life life life, I will post as I am able, Mabel.