Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The smell of saltwater, fish & seaweed & decomposition, the crisp ocean breeze is stronger here. Climbed on two borrowed wheels today after endless hours of slumber in that dark cave of a bedroom. Keep my feet moving in circles, feel the burn in my thighs as they reignite and remember this motion that I've all but laid to rest for the coldest stretch of months, since I returned back to the north. Lungs full and aching with the effort, pulling wide open the space around my heart, empty space creating a vacuum to move more blood, life's energy manifest, through conduits of capillaries to feed my hands and feet, my muscles and my brain all the oxygen I can extract from this seabreeze.

I came out here to clear my head, let the wind push through me, release the iron grip around my heart that closes me up from fear of connecting, turns me inward, backward to a childhood steeped in lessons of the mizerly hoarding of affections, of seeing stress answered with controlling behavior and emotional indifference. I hate that this lives in me still, feels like an unwelcome growth, like my living tissue mutated into a form foreign to my spirit by the forces of the culture I am surrounded by. I am committed to the process of continuing to see this sickness for what it is so I may heal and return to residing fully in this body, in all of it's imperfect, deep feeling joy & exhilaration, pain & stiffness, passion & fear inherent in the experience of flesh and bone. I am body and breath, I am not a concept.

In those moments when I feel the beast that has made a resting place inside my guts, but is not me, raise its ugly head to spit words through my mouth, to recoil my limbs from entanglement with my lover, to lock tight the entryways to my heart, I must acknowledge these demons. They must have helped me survive something or I wouldn't have ever permitted them residence. But I am working now to create new patterns and systems, founded in the old ways, the circle, the spiral, in birth & death, in living in relation to all beings, that will return me to my body and the body of community, inextricably entwined in the web. So how can I breathe through these moments? Give a nod to the beast and bid him farewell.

Perhaps it's time to work with image, not just words, to make a picture of what this occupation looks like. So I might cut out this occupation to give way to what I grow toward, like bird wings lean into the wind, like all green-bloods move toward light.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Emerging from Hibernation

Synthesis. Of the element of air, thought, intellect. This is a time of putting together many threads. I have been on the receptive tip for some time now, taking in information from a multiplicity of sources. This is part of the ebb and flow over time in the cycles of things, honoring where I am. There are manyfold steps all keeping to the path, many perspectives. Like moving around the labyrinth, the medicine wheel, to return in overlapping layers, every time deeper and closer to center, to truth of living in right relationship.

I return to the base of my creative intention, check myself on my concern for "being seen" for the sake of fulfilling an ego-driven quest, reflect upon this in the many communities I've tread through for years. Spending time outside the U.S. reveals to me some of the assumptions I've taken for granted. That there is somehow inherent self-indulgence in the work of being an artist/activist/magic-maker. This feels now like a vain American take on things.

For some time, I've been exploring the reality of my expression serving as a channel for energies, truths, needs greater than purely my own. How can I listen ever more deeply, with humility, to increasingly wider circles of existence, digest, synthesize and offer this back in a way it can best be received and affect change in relationships? In identification of kinship? If we feel in relationship and kinship to all that is, we cannot conscionably continue to destroy in our daily activities, dealings, in supporting the systems and institutions that are so out of balance and out of control.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stories of a Black Sheep

I feel like an ancient deity with many arms, capable of simultaneously holding so many seemingly contradictory truths. The way death brings people together. I will be the last arrival of all my siblings and cousins to make it to the desert to gather around my grandfather's death. It takes this to get us all in one place. I don't feel my own deep sorrow over his passing; I'm thankful he went peacefully and I have compassion for those who were close and will miss him most.

For myself, I am the black sheep that strayed far, far from the flock and it was the judgmental law that he laid down that led my father to keep me a secret for years, preferring to let the family wonder where I could've disappeared to rather than risk being seen as the failed father of a beautiful, brilliant genderqueer tattooed tranny. Me, who sees animals and entities in the swirling cream clouds in my coffee. Me, who is probably the most closely and purposefully acquainted with death of anyone in my family. Me, who still, at thirty years old, anxiously labored over what kind of wardrobe felt respectfully "gender appropriate" and also still myself enough to wear for this occasion.

There is irony in the fact that now I struggle to find clothes that do not feminize my form. They have managed to accept my transition and shift their language to "he". I think they were so grateful just to have me around again and hear what I've been up to in life. But to wrap their heads around this formerly gregarious little girl who was always playing dress up becoming a boy who is not at all like the sports-watching, car-obsessed, cookie-cutter suburb family man, perhaps that is too much to ask. I don't really care how they see me, to be honest. They don't need to fully understand my life.

The mystics and the healers have always been poorly understood by their contemporaries. We are profoundly blessed in this modern age of travel and communication to have found our own connected covens and rabble-rousing crews.

So I go into this remembering my kinship to earth and sky and all that surrounds and supports me. I call on my acquaintance with death's gatekeepers to guide me and I call on the deepest well of compassion I know to allow me to hold space for the grief of my family, that I may be a channel for their healthy release, so they might become freer and deeper and more aware and grateful for this. So be it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Samhain Reflections & Back in the Big City

November 3rd, 2010

Back in the city and I feel like my heart is breaking out of my chest...remembering crouching down low under brush and moving quietly like foxes over the landscape with companions also feeling the wet moss, twigs and sapling firs brush them in exquisite detail. Heart to heart conversations with those who see into my hurt like I'm wearing it proud on my sleeve. Understanding presence and ground beneath my feet and listening wholly and giving freely to my community. Lurking around the edges of the fire, keeping watch over the east gate, turning my face outward to the ancestors, spirits, sky and trees beyond our tight circle, then spiraling back in to tend the fire we all gather and conjour around.

And now I feel like I'm bouncing off all this cement -- it's too hard, it doesn't hold me, I don't fit in here in any sense of the word and my heart was not welcomed in this which masquerades as my homecoming. I am still not the first nor the tender concern of the one I share breath and my most vulnerable aspects with. And all the other lovers I've kept are falling away and usually I'd find myself grasping desperately, sending out lines of communication madly just to receive something back from someone somewhere to help survive me for today. Today I just can't. Today I let go instead and open myself to finding where I need to be. Because this whole scene is not working, my spirit suffers gravely and I deserve more. I am capable of shining this beautiful and needed light from within me in ways that touch others and change them and this place and this love dull me. Keep me always on the run, always dodging shadows and protecting myself savagely. I do not like what I've been becoming here.


November 16, 2010

I'm whittled back to a stump now. The outer tough bark of me shredded off over time of trying to love well enough to save someone from their shadow. If someone doesn't want to help themself, the best thing, the only thing we can do is to put up our hands and walk away. Thank you to my guides for that.

The chill is creeping in to late California fall. The moon's peering down on me in this painted alleyway of corrugated tin and potted plants and barbed wire. She reminds me of the movement ever present and of the pull we have on each other and on all things. I choose to sever the energetic ties that no longer serve, the ways in which I've bound myself that keep me sabotaging myself and mistrusting my wisdom. I can be this whole, beautiful, contrary creature, crafting a nest for my heart and choosing with intention where I extend my heartstrings.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I have become more interested recently in this idea of “useful debris”. Perhaps some of this is moving to reside in a much bigger and more densely populated urban area. There is trash everywhere here, especially in the poorer neighborhoods and industrial warehouse zones where I spend a lot of time. This existence is always a challenging dichotomy for me, the gritty urban reality which often foments such brilliant creativity and vibrant community on one hand, the rural wilder forest reality where the natural cycles and lives of creatures prevail on the other. I felt for years that when I finally pushed myself out of the nest of my hometown, which occupies a particular balance between green space, human community and artistic outlets with the urban, that I would move toward the more wild spaces. In the open places the wind and the birdsong are louder than the traffic and I am greeted each morning with a clearer mind for my practice rather than the sometimes inspiring, sometimes hopelessly muddled noise of the city dwellers.

The scavengers have been most present with me, the ones with whom I cross paths, who peer at me from under brush, watch me from power lines’ perch, scamper away just as I am approaching and seek me out in dreamspace. The bald-headed vultures who consume and make use of that which is too rotten and rank for the taste of most. The raccoons who have adapted so stealthily to city life by pawing through the veritable mountain of sustenance and shiny treasures we throw out routinely. The crows who flock often together and speak constantly of their critique while daring to swoop down for French fries or pastry crumbs dropped in the middle of busy streets. The skunks who leave their bold olfactory marks behind after their forays into our refuse. What are these messengers telling me?

Here I am, in the midst of the slow, lurching death of industrial decay, mustering some understanding of my own present place in this bigger picture. Learning the lessons of the scavenger, making a life out of the cast-offs, reinventing ancient skills with the manufactured means at my disposal, adapting to this strange life without giving up the essence of my creature self. I had this well-practiced in a place in my home, where at least superficially voice was given to the need for open spaces where trees and critters have a chance to flourish. This place is different, it calls for the ingenuity in me if my feral self is to survive where the urban hustle attitudes prevailing, with the neverending noise of traffic and trains and fights on the street, and the very real energetic density of this many souls all moving to and fro endlessly.

The muse that speaks to me in this place is of a mumbling, hermitty collector. A small hooded creature most often spotted pawing through others' bins of garbage or the sparkly bits that tend to gather near railroad tracks, who can disappear on a dime by side-stepping realities at first unwanted notice. I can’t help but wonder what this creature is going to do with all those gems and pieces of broken toys and lengths of wire and flattened springs and twisted sticks they find. Perhaps they only show up to spark my imagination.

My precious tender heart must find a safe and well-protected place to call home if we are to survive this particular adventure intact. Time, perhaps, to continue the spellwork I begun on stage at home…I recognized the tearing and restriction of having my heartstrings strung up in so complicated a manner between so many in that place. I lovingly gathered them back and began to weave a soft resting place for that most sacred beating drum in my chest. I held it close to me in sweet reverence and understood this to be the place from which I could most truly give with my whole self. So now I have taken this heart to a new home where its very survival seems to be threatened. What now to take care of this intuitive listening organ?

Monday, October 11, 2010

When writing feels more urgent than eating

I've been thinking a lot about presence. I've been noticing how I'm changing as I get older, that how I'm interested in connecting has shifted. I am much more interested in quality and depth of relationships. It all comes back to that ability to be present and participate in one's life, not just getting a list of things done, but actually living in the moment as it's happening from time to time. This is the intention.

I've been missing this lately. Part of moving away from my support network. I've been missing it in my sex. The deep ache in my body that reaches out for another warm, moving, living in their flesh and their heart and this world. But this gulf in me of missing is about seeking that presence of multiple levels.

If we are to come together to push hard into each other, to feel the expanse of skin on skin creating friction that builds, to find crevices and bones to wrap our hands around and cling to, sing to, speak to...then you need to be here. This experience of passion and tension cannot be one way. I can create that for myself; this desire is for the sharing, the magnetic, incomprehensible force that blurs the lines between yours and mine, meeting in the in-between by choice. To see what we can craft with all these bountiful resources of imagination, primed, ready, waiting to pounce.

Friday, September 24, 2010

On $$, pain and resources

Today I'm figuring how I can juggle money around between various debtors to pay for fixing my truck, so that it will keep running, which enables me eek out a bit more of a living doing massage when I can find the clients...Moving has helped me to appreciate the vast wealth of resources I had available to me in my hometown. I understand resources as connections and networks that facilitate me trading my skills to meet my basic needs, rather than as the money itself. Connections open up opportunities, and I had many of them back home. The capability to earn a living. It's harder here. I do have some folks trying to pull strings for me to help scramble some extra work, but the 20 hours a week packing boxes in a warehouse certainly isn't going to cut it. I know myself well enough by now to see that if I do that repetitive stress job much more than 20 hours a week, I will damage my wrists and hands, which are valuable to me for so much more vital work than packaging someone else's product, not to mention kill my spirit. I'm not cut out for the 40 hour a week grind doing the same thing all the time, especially when it's not particularly engaging more of my brain and passions. Honestly, I don't think most of us are cut out for it; some of us can just cram down the reactions deep into our bodies and psyches to keep plugging along more easily than others.

This is such an old, tired story. I don't think I am anywhere near as decimated by economical disenfranchisement as so many others, even in this city, but I feel the strain of this capitalist beast, nonetheless. It manifests in my body, my shoulder locking up tight toward my head after working a twelve hour stretch yesterday. Couldn't sleep. Puts a gloomy cloud over my head to be in pain all the time.

I am so thankful this has eased some from being the daily phenomenon it was when I was still injecting testosterone into my body. More slight muscle structure equals less tension and daily pain for me, this is good. This decision about what I'm putting into my body has also opened up the floodgates for my emotional life to move again. Tears come easily, when they were blocked up behind a thick and impenetrable dam for years. I cannot hide from the tender quiet words of my heart. Thankfully, building my heart a sturdy home inside this chest is much more a challenge of internal resources.