spit!

it’s mentioned a few times on the packaging, and on paper, it doesn’t have the same effect (maybe it’s the exclamation mark? that shifts everything). there it is, that little word that means slobber and words and either way here, you’re being encouraged to do it with enthusiasm.

and then i’m saying “no, i don’t want to  passively participate in research” and then i’m sitting there trying to decide whether i should let them store my “sample” for up to the next ten years and that totally creeps me out and then i go on this long mental run-on sentence about cloning myself and the entire sci-fi scenario pans out in front of me.

it’s late night in northern California, after all.

but yes – i’m squicked by the idea of spitting into a tube and sending it to someone. saliva in a tube and someone opening it, days later. ERRRRPH.

i just can’t, pretty much. even writing about it doesn’t bring on the total effect but if i sit back and simply live it for a second… oh, UGH.

nope, i don’t even care that they will have a map of my genetics and where i’ve wandered in the world. my world. i don’t feel special enough for that to honestly matter. I am, however too paranoid to plainly agree to participate in somewhat-undetermined research; none of the suggested projects in which i might willingly assist in with my broad “consent”  intrigue me. i choose not to. i wonder how much of their side of that they will also live up to. trust no one.

But store my sample for ten years? Totally gross, yes, but at this point if I could clone my dog I might actually think about it.

Lately I’ve noticed her snout getting whiter. Though she still looks and acts like a young doe, my dog is going gray. She has deer eyes and a coyote smile and will love you until you fall over, and she is aging, just like me.

So I pause over that decision and I wonder if storing my DNA sample for up to the next ten years might of be of service to something (not saying someone else would want to clone me because I was the best dog they ever knew because I am terrible, really. i’m not a malicious person, but i don’t think i do the best job at being human, regardless. enough of my DNA, hopefully just the best of it, has been granted to my daughter, who is six right now; an entire genetic replica is not necessary by any means and as with any successful genetic collaborations, there are some things that perhaps should end with me now that they have tried themselves out and have found themselves lacking).

My therapist laughs when i ask her how other humans do things. I don’t know how to do this, I say, and she laughs, and she tells me i’m not actually doing that badly being human. I attribute it to the earth I have been given this go-around; without it I would not be able to stay grounded.  Even so I am a bull in a china shop.

Is it worth anything to anyone other than me? Perhaps, if they randomly find that alien gene, and then they’ll go “oh wow yeah here’s one of those” and they will flag my account and alert me immediately, and it will explain everything, this struggle i have with understanding the insanity of my species on any level; it is far too apparent to me how much bullshit we put up with for and with each other, and this is how humans mostly relate. No, I do not understand it at all and I flail.

More than likely it will be of little interest to anyone other than me; the results it holds will be as lackluster as any, destroying my romantic visions of the Levant and the Ottoman Empire and those frankincense-scented dreams.

 

 

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being butthurt is part of the process.

If you’re following events and people at Standing Rock closely right now, you may have seen a post going around from Mia Ritter-Whittle, addressing white women. It is not easy reading, and she does not mince words.

The most important part, and the part that I keep seeing come back at me from my fellow white women, is this:

Unless you actively support Indigenous women and two-spirit people in your own damn lives, unless you’re working to undo the power structures that allow you to be a ‘donor’, unless you’re selflessly following Indigenous leadership when it comes to Indigenous movements, I personally don’t care too much about your solidarity. Unless you’re working to DECOLONIZE and not RECOLONIZE, your solidarity ain’t real.

OUCH.

Suffice it to say it’s caused a lotta butthurt on Facebook as people face this.

I get it. No one wants to be told their Facebook “I Stand with Standing Rock” profile photo is worthless and whatnot, or that the money they’ve sent, or the posts they’ve forwarded, the solidarity marches they’ve attended, or the all-pervasive white guilt, is worthless.

There’s a whole lotta butthurt on the PLANET right now though, and some of this is coming from people with 500+ straight up years of dealing with genocide and cultural theft, which is still happening to them. And somehow you’re surprised you’re getting the cold shoulder?

I’m not an expert on decolonization (it’s a learning process). I’m getting that this is not my struggle, that no matter how many tipi ceremonies i’ve been in, how many peyote songs I can remember, or the fact that I own a couple of pendleton blankets, a flute and a frame drum , that great-grandpa was from Pine Ridge and I know a bunch of native people does not make me a good ally. Neither does showing up at Standing Rock unless I can come prepared with more to share, keep my mouth shut unless i’m asked for my opinion, don’t get butthurt when i’m not invited to ceremony, do what I’m told, and remember that first and foremost, it’s their struggle for their sovereignty and protection of their sacred. That the rest of us may benefit from the indigenous concept that land and water is sacred, and that water is life, is a bonus, for sure. These indigenous ideas, well, they’re on to something, and they always have been. I hope that when the day finally comes that they’re responsible for the land again, they’ll let me stay.

 

 

oh the times…

Suffice it to say I feel so far removed from new york these days. I have never had the chance (or desire, really) to see what sprung up out of the giant hole where the world trade center once stood. I never went back there.

Here is what i do remember: it was an ordinary day, a sunny day at the beginning of fall, and i was getting ready to ride my bike into manhattan and go to work. Instead, i left my bike flat in the hallway and ran to the roof, moments before a collective, citywide scream as the second plane plowed into a building, knowing i was standing on my rooftop watching thousands of people die, then watching the towers fall and knowing something wasn’t right – the way they fell was far too similar to the way the Purina plant in Brooklyn fell during its planned implosion just a few months prior.

The flag-waving frenzy that ensued, the free air conditioners, vacuums and air purifiers FEMA provided while telling us that air was “safe to breath”, the “missing” posters of suburban husbands in their white button-downs and ties, the exhaustion and sadness on the faces of first responders and rescue teams – it was a lot. It was intense. It was hard for me to express what I was feeling. What i saw looked like something out of a Hollywood movie. It was hard to believe it was real. When does anyone ever witness a plane flying into the side of a huge skyscraper and exploding? It has taken me years to sort this out.

New Yorkers slowed down for a minute tho, and suddenly everyone was kind. For a minute, we were a people united in a horrible, shared experience and that New Yorker way of dealing with shit: we took to the streets, expressed ourselves, and got stuff done.

9/11/01 was the death of thousands, and the birth of my full, acknowledged disillusion in so much. It was the day “we the people” took on a whole new meaning, a day a new faith was born in me, a deeper compassion, and a righteous indignation and rage that has been growing and refining itself since then as i learn how to be a true, peaceful warrior and how to use these potent expressions of power in an effective way.

There are people in this world who suffer these terrors and tragedies daily. Like so many of the New Yorkers that died on this day 15 years ago, they are everyday people with wisdom, lives, loves, and families, at the mercy of governments and war machines (aka “terrorists”). They are, daily, watching their worlds crumble around them and feeling the kind of horror, pain, sorrow and loss we got that one massive glimpse of so many years ago.

Never forget. Power to the people. More compassion. More love.

censorship

let’s just say it’s been a trip down memory lane tonight.

it’s one of those trips that’s made me come back and wonder where the hell i actually am right now. whose messy little cabin scattered with toys is this?

there are those good, wholesome things about life here, for sure: fresh air and mama friends, raising a little girl and channeling my warrior princess, eventually becoming a queen… i am a queen, her queen.

Emerging from the chrysalis, though, and in learning to use my wings, i sometimes forgot where I’d come from, how i’d once writhed my way through life.

that undulating, youthful thing, she was fearless with a strong sense of morals and loyalty and thus, never expected to have to explain herself. facing a blank page was an adventure that looked toward a horizon: to fill one you had to cut the mind loose (and very often hold the bladder). to experience the story writing itself like that was to experience the story multi-dimensionally. what could not be in this one, perhaps was how it went down in another, and there was so much thrill and joy in exploring that, using my mind to answer what ifs.

in my imaginary world, where the catalog of human emotions is encyclopedic, those words would just fly out and land in their appropriate places on the page. i went there without question: i must be trusted to go there because i will always concoct stories. That’s my safe place.

maybe fifteen years ago, i was offered a job at a house of discipline, located in a non-descript building in midtown Manhattan.  I was hired to work the front desk and it was the absolute dream experience for an acute observer with a sense of adventure.

i learned some things. the slight distance from it now is healthy though it feeds me to this day. It still gives me things to think about, things i should probably be spanked for.

what a need it can be sometimes, to feel like you have a place where it’s safe to play in a way that doesn’t involve censorship.

I am a moth-winged queen but that squiggly fat grub, she’s in there, caged and slightly sedated at the moment but oh, she’s in there, trying to remember how it is to writhe and what it boils down to, really, is this:

i wanna dry hump my girlfriend in the corner of a bar where we are all adults and then come home and fuck my wife (relax they are one in the same). and then we can wake up the next morning and be good and really happy parents.

 

fold over but don’t collapse.

at 4am, i woke to find the skylight above my bed filled with stars.

wide awake in the wee hours, i understand this as a time to pray, so at this moment i stepped outside, bare feet on wet deck, gazing up at the spacious mystery.

there was no verbal prayer, there were no words, no platitudes, no random cheesy internet memes passing through, no workshop-speak… just gratitude. just seeing my place in the space again. feeling wet summer air and coolness after days of 90 degree heat.

i returned to bed where my little girl was sound asleep next to me.

i noticed that once again, she’d wiped boogers on the wall next to her head. i wondered where the cat was. she never came in. the dog, asleep in her bed at the foot of ours. oh how much i have to love and clean up after.

at 5am, i got up again. i unfurled a yoga mat and sat for a morning practice.

ujjayi breath, folding over and then arching my back, stretching out the tension, feeling the warmth coming on, the energy, the metabolism boost… folding over and into this, relishing the dawn light – as a mother, these hours of dawn and twilight are mine and mine alone… in them, i need to fit another universe entirely. these are the hours when no one else needs me.

“Mom?”

I hear my old stories kick in. I can’t do anything except mother. I am too busy for self-care. I am sucked dry from need.

It takes everything, everything, to rewrite that story.

I breathe deeply as I fill my cup again and bring her some water. Go back to sleep, I say. It’s too early. I will be here for you when it’s time to wake up, and I will be happy, ready to serve again. And dutifully, sweetly, she does. Within mere seconds I hear the deepness of her rest take over again, the heaviness of her breath as she so trustingly sinks back into a land of dreams… this balmy, post-rain summer air so peaceful, so energizing, full of so much promise for this day.