As We Know It: Selected Personal Social Media (text, 2014)
"An Aquarian is as dingbatty, brilliant, genius-oriented, and patty-cake as they come. Two Aquarians together are exactly twice as dingbatty, brilliant, genius-oriented, and patty cake as they come. Now you get the picture -- the kind of picture you get when you gaze into one of those loopy mirrors in a carnival fun house. For Aquarius is the sign of genius and insanity, and it's often difficult to draw a fine line between these two virtues."
- Linda Goodman's Love Signs
"I fall off the edge of my mind." - Britney Spears
It's slowly striking me that numbers, letters, symbols and words are really cool, interesting, powerful and sometimes beautiful attempts to explain and describe the inexplainable and indescribable - that is, reality as we know it and intersect with it as thinking, feeling, spiritual beings within physical bodies. I think the real reason these maths and languages work so well for us and transcend social and cultural boundaries is that, at the root they are as limited in their ability to ultimately describe as we - all people, everywhere on this planet - are limited in our capacity to perceive with the senses we've been given or developed. I think this is what makes the commonalities we find among language and numbers and modes of expression that pour out of those, like literature and music, so beautiful in spite of the surface variations. It's not that they hold any objective power it's just that they further articulate upon the subjective experience that is living as a human and a body. I won't say there is a reason or isn't, but one thing we can at least hazard with some objectivity is that our senses are very limited, and less commonly agreed on but I believe no less true is that our languages and over-arching thematic ideas and perceptions of what the world, the universe, life is, our cosmologies, are at once enabled by and enable that limited ability to perceive. Just a thought. Carry on.
"In Life's name and for Life's sake, I assert that I will employ the Art which is its gift in Life's service alone, rejecting all other usages. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way; and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, when it is right to do so -- till Universe's end."
-The Wizard's Oath, Diane Duane
Oh sweet Jesus bright son of the eternal Goddess where do I start? I’m just going to try and catch up with what’s happened.
So I teach yoga now. And somehow through all that, as possessed as I was by the idea of leaving the restaurant industry, after nearly 12 strange and beautiful and soul-flaying and life-enabling hard hard hard hard years, by the time I finished my course at the end of December, which is one of the most important things I’ve ever done, I really had come around to really loving the restaurant I was managing. I mean, not so functionally, the food was shit, I worked for and with some real psychopaths, but having so many people depend on me, feeling that external validation of making this big hourly and really just having all this responsibility while also so much freedom and flexibility, it was really working for me. I paid off my credit cards, I was teaching yoga as an apprentice and just really feeling like I was on the right path. I kept turning all these cards for riches and material wealth and security and I just knew that I was on the way to being rich, stacking up things to pay for, video shoots, all of this mess. And I showed up on a Tuesday and they told me that it would be the last night. They were getting bought out and pulling the plug. And I just have to say there are several layers of trauma to this, having the rug yanked from another thing is just really what it boils down to, I mean I love and miss the people, miss fielding calls and texts from my support staff in Spanish at all hours of the day, miss the weird prestige of professionally dealing with lame celebrities and nouveau riche whatevers, but really it’s just, I weathered losing Grant there, cried in those bathrooms, poured myself into that place and making money and those people as a way to cling to normalcy, to some security and steady, and that’s gone. And I guess that’s the lesson there. What am I looking for? What is this money for?
Well, it’s for the videos to finish out the Window cycle, and it’s for recording my next record and all of this other stuff, but it’s also for stupid shit that I don’t need, decadent food, loads of online shopping. I find it hard to limit myself because I really find it hard to care about money, and having extra, I know, isn’t going to protect me from any loss of security or health or property. Nothing is going to protect me from death, from my own, from that of my friends, of everyone, and at the end of the day it’s not like that’s wrong, life and death are so inextricable as to almost not beg division, but our lives are structured in such weird and fucked up ways societally, institutionally, that our deaths become traumatic, weird and devastating.
That's the question I'm addressing here. one of the answers is there is no answer, obviously - why else would we find ourselves born into bodies and forms with such limited sensory abilities? Ours is to experience from this perspective, not to see it all. But linguistic, magical, spiritual, emotional, physical, all are valid, substantial perspectives and aspects of the same experience or idea, not contradictory as some need to think at all, and no it really doesn't matter, but by that token it does, it's important that space be held for each of these aspects to flourish, they are all interconnected …
I hurt myself. After practicing the same style of yoga exclusively for years, and then amping up my practice a ton in the past year, especially in the past 6 months during teacher training, my inner thighs and hamstrings got super stressed out and suddenly found myself in all of this pain. I had to finally see a physical therapist who explained - duh - that I need to vary my movements, branch out in my practice and exercise and find a balance between work and rest. Everything seems so obvious in hindsight.
I feel my body, current injury notwithstanding, we’re working through it, is in a really good place, but my mind races and whirs and strikes and snaps and careens every which way just as it always did, well maybe not like it was a year ago, or even 6 months ago, there are these startling moment of quiet, of peace, of clarity. I consider my inner realm to be a great ocean, and a lot of times the surface does appear really peaceful and calm, still like glass, probably with a sun rising and setting perpetually in the distance, just beautiful, but I will always be aware of the great beasts swimming at the darkest depths, these giant whales of feeling, so huge as to exist on some totally other plane as everything else, or even deeper, greater, these leviathans, these monsters, dragons, serpents, violent, crazed, angry things, angry for good reason, for powerful reasons, but dangerous all the same.
"I am nature, the universal Mother, mistress of all elements, primordial child of time, sovereign of all things spiritual, queen of the dead, queen also of the immortals, the single manifestation of all gods and goddesses that are. My nod governs the shining heights of heaven, the wholesome sea breezes, the lamentable silences of the world below. Though I am worshipped in many aspects, known by countless names, and propitiated with all manner of different rites, yet the whole round earth venerates me.
The primeval Phrygians call me Pessinuntica, Mother of the gods; the Athenians sprung from their own soil, call me Cecropian Artemis; for the islanders of Cyprus I am Paphian Aphrodite, for the archers of Crete I am Dictynna; for the tri-lingual Sicilians, Stygian Prosperine; and for the Eleusinians their ancient Mother of Corn. Some know me as Juno, some as Bellona of the Battles; other as Hecate, others again as Rhamnubia, but both races of Aethiopians, whose lands the morning sun shines upon, and the Egyptians who excel in ancient learning and worship me with ceremonies proper to my godhead, call me by my true name, namely Queen Isis."
- Apuleius, "Metamorphoses" (translated by Robert Graves)
I have been more focused on the neo-pagan idea of transcending dualities completely, like taking male and female for what they are, and need to be, strictly for certain biological purposes, and leaving them at that, because as much as the universe seems to organize itself around this idea of duality, when you really think about it the question or difference of yin and yang or black and white or ebb and flow really become moot, because you can't have one without the other obviously, why even cast a difference at the end of the day? 1 and 0 are obviously different ideas but you can't have 1 if you don't have 0, and vice versa, also sounds very airy. Something that I cite a lot in interviews etc is the idea of the quantum computers they have in development at Google where the chips are actually transistors on these super cold surfaces of liquid nitrogen, that allow the data to pass so slowly over them that they can register not just 1 or 0 at once like a normal computer chip but 1 and 0 simultaneously, exponentially multiplying their computing power but also opening up all these weird ideas of possibilities etc, I've always felt my gender to be something like that, or all genders really, like Schrodinger's cat in a way. Starhawk references quantum theory a lot too as far as the idea of the spiral flow of energy in magic and in the natural order of things, how there is always the ebb and flow of the wave, life and death etc, and how you look at anything one way you see a particle, others a wave, there are just so many myriad ways of seeing the universe, it seems to follow this beautiful natural order like a heart, beating slowly and rapidly, expanding contracting consciousness and energy in and out of form and reality, but of course past that there is bound to be something totally imperceptible that makes up the layers of reality past and beyond and behind and in and out of that, so it just makes me come back to thinking that the idea of duality really is pretty moot, it's an easily applicable lens but I don't really know that it serves us in the esoteric community or in mainstream thought even. I also feel like the idea of yin and yang and more traditionally Eastern cosmologies are also pretty rooted in patriarchal modes of thought, as much as any other traditions, except for actually paganism ... at least that I've found yet. So basically yeah that's how I feel about duality. Numerology of course has a lot of power but it's not really the lens I choose, I feel like numbers allow a lot of funny subjective interpretation, not that I'm an anthroposophist by any means, but I feel like even our whole number system is skewed towards one way of thinking.
Yeah, I mean the flipside is A, it's important for me to emphasize the feminine ideal just based on the time and history we find ourself in and with, and I also think that female allows for kind of everything where male is kind of limited, in this way that may also be an exotification of the feminine ideal as a drag performer and Goddess worshipper, but there is just something really powerful about the ability to sustain life and procreation within one's body, obviously it also grosses me out but whatever. but B, is that, if looking at duality is really important to you than go with it, anybody, I think every language is valid if it's working for whoever is using it in a way that doesn't harm them or others...
At the end of the day I think if there were meaning to be found we would already have it. I think ours is to keep asking.
Chez Deep got flown to Glasgow last weekend to perform. A dream of mine and all of ours, getting an all-expenses paid trip to another country to share our art and performance for a ready audience, and they were ready, they stood and watched the entire time, not just politely but engaged, totally with us. It was amazing. The weeks leading up were, honestly, traumatic, but beautiful. It seemed every rehearsal needed to turn into a series of interventions for each of us in turn, for the different habits of mind or action that were inhibiting ourselves and thus the group, but when the eye of the group turned on me I couldn’t deal, I ran away like a fucking coward, I attempted to shut down, and I am, well not me, my insane mind is honestly powerful enough that I almost did it, I almost shut it down, closed off, left the group, disbanded, (the logical end to that process being me jumping off a building, at least that’s where my mind goes, not in a practical sense but in a very real and focused intentioned sense, and intentions, whether we act them out literally or not, will always affect action and destiny, in my experience), but Goddess bless it, they wouldn’t let me. They refused to let me shut down, especially after I’d come after each of them in turn, forced them to confront their issues, now it was time to confront mine. It hurt. I am a powerful violent often mean person, just like the air, the sky, I fashion myself so ubiquitous, so ever-present and aware and omniscient and elementally calm, but when the storm gathers, and I start to fling lightning bolts around, that is not elemental, that is pure human, all my fear and hate and anger harnessed to my elemental power, even more so by yoga, by meditation, that’s the scary thing, the “stronger” I get mentally and physically, the more energy I can channel, but where I choose to put that is still coming through my ego, through my shit, and as much as I preach clarity of body, mind, heart and purpose, I am not clear, not yet, and maybe will never be. But right now, I am open, and I am aware, in a way I have never been, of exactly what I need to work on with myself, and I am continually astounded and humbled to find that a group that I ostensibly started, but that really just formed around me, with me, naturally, they are here to support me through this, to support each other, and hopefully show the world this new model of life, of collaboration, of power-within and power-with-eachother, power to sustain life, to create life, to change the world in a new way.
"The world is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a long path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment; every sin already carries grace within it, all small children are potential old men, all sucklings have death within them, all dying people - eternal life. [...] Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good - death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me. I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary for me to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary world, some imaginary vision of perfection, but to love it [...] and be glad to belong to it."
- Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
So you know, I see where I’m going, or at least I see what I’m working on, but I’m not sure where it’s going to take me. On the good days I am humbled and thrilled and feel so blessed and see blessings everywhere. On the bad days I feel haunted, burdened, tired and infinitely sad. If you follow my Twitter you may know of the Prophet who came into my life shortly after Grant left it, looking like him in many ways, in dress, wielding the same power that Grant and I had with words and thought in greater measure, and struggling with the issues of manic depression that Grant and I both dealt and deal with but in greater intensity. While he has calmed down, I still really can’t figure why such a person came into my life, what is the lesson in falling in love with such a rippling, crackling living bolt of lightning that so lacks direction and focus? To show me how much I lack focus, balance, for all my regimented diet and exercise and yoga practice and rules and control issues? To show me how much harder I could have it, or maybe how much easier but how little difference that makes?
I’m confused about what the future holds, go figure, but I know the spring of strength I’ve found and tapped as needed from within myself hasn’t even been fully mapped and may never be fully comprehended in its depth and intensity. I know that happiness, that fulfillment and true purpose rests in this giving over to the forces that are infinitely grander and more expansive and transcendent than I, than Alexis or Alex or whatever even mythologized concept of myself on this planet I can conceive, but that just as the old adage goes “As above, so below,” these ideas of scale are fairly moot at the end of the day, divinity is immanent within everything, everything is sacred, and thus the idea of sanctity becomes moot, just as male and female, black and white, night and day, all these imagined dualities we are socialized to see and experience fall away once you can really worm your minds way out of that way of thinking, it’s all important, it’s all very very important, and also totally banal, so we have no choice (or all the choices) but to live in a way that continually seeks to align our shifting purpose with the beautiful shifting spiral currents of the Universe, the Goddess, the All and One and None and Every and ???!!! …
"The surprise, for me, is that the accruing weight of these departures doesn't bury us, and that even the pain of an almost unbearable loss gives way quite quickly to something more distant but still stubbornly gleaming. The dead have departed, but gestures and glances and tones of voice of theirs, even scraps of clothing, reappear unexpectedly, along with accompanying touches of sweetness or irritation."
- Roger Angell
It’s pretty anthroposophical to imagine that your image and memory and impression of someone can somehow tie their entire being to the physical plain. Just how your image and idea and perception of a living being is different than the being themselves and their image of themselves etc your memories aren't a chain on a sprit. There is no absolute spiritual existence just like gods and Goddesses we all exist simultaneously on so many different realms in so many complimentary and seemingly contradictory aspects. The Goddess is the Tree of Life is the Serpent is the Madonna is every woman and man and is the planet itself and the moon and the sun and the universe, as is each person and spirit. It's like saying if someone calls you a dog you become a dog. Aspects and memories and shreds of people live everywhere. Some strong held intact by the people they leave behind, some embittered and angry by trauma around their life or death, but there is always a reality where they moved on, became One with All again, because outside of our perceptions of time and space individuals or selves were always One to begin or end or never even exist with ...
I think this is the most common pratfall of esoteric thought or truth seeking, is this idea that once we transcend the dualities of life and death there still must be some absolute truth or reality around which the spirit world organizes itself, but that simply can't abide. Even in new Wicca we (loosely aligning myself there, mostly due to how much I embrace the teachings of Starhawk) seek to embrace the ambiguity that allows for all perceptions of all realities to exist, all aspects of the Goddess to exist simultaneously, not contradictorily, certainly not always or ever literally, knowing that on some "end" of the spectrum we are all One (which even is a really loose concept that, the universal everything of well everything), rather than one - one self, one ego, one experience. I think that we are so socialized towards this duality, this notion that we are these bodies, these selves, these identities, and what we see and experience is so real as to be immutable and absolute, even when our unique subjective perceptions seem to outright contradict that of another, or that of the collective codified social perception. Even when attempting to transcend that we still find ourselves clinging to this idea of objectivity, that there is some universal truth out there that can be measured and counted and doesn't change when in truth the things out there that really don't change are so far beyond our perception as to basically render our entire concept of change moot, at least in MY severely limited view. The fact that you would consider it dangerous to remember or invoke your dead is really sad to me, to see what I perceive as that socialization run so deep. Living and dying are entirely natural, as are honoring and living in the memory of our dead, those are the original gods, the ancestors of the living, this is how we know we are who we are, this one unifying cycle we all exist within. There's nothing wrong with death, but the ways we live and die at this time definitely aren't natural. There is nothing dangerous to anyone but possibly you about the way you choose to remember your dead. The dead have already moved on, been born again, never existed, created the world ...
I never said it seems strange or debated that emotional ties to the spirit of the dead exist, I just am arguing against the absolute existence of that or any spiritual reality as a state that prohibits other complimentary or even contradictory states. read what I said again. if we are going to grip to absolute anthroposophist objectivity of the spirit world, in effect rendering the spirit world or esoteric, metaphysical planes, however you want to call them, no different than the empirical, physical realities that esoteric thought attempts to transcend or side-step, then why even market these modes of thought as different at all? Might as well just be reading the Bible with everyone else, make it easy on yourself. It's time to transcend these dualities, like the duality of real or unreal. That's not the question we should be asking ourselves in terms of the dead.
Everything is real, as real as it is perceived by one person, everyone, or even no one, it exists. Which renders nothing "real" as we know it. So the question is basically moot. I look at all duality this way. You can't have the value 1 without establishing that it is not 0, so the different between the two, between all or everything, really becomes moot, as it's not really about their separateness as two states or differing aspects, if the only thing that defines one is that it is not the other. Duality is a metaphysical joke born of gripping so tightly to the basic dualities of male and female which are only ratified as different by the establishment of the patriarchy only about 4,000 years ago. Look into the religions and spiritual paths that predated even what we consider the most ancient and sage modes of thought of the Far East, the world that came before was not one of Us and Other, not All or Nothing, but a world of free-flowing fluid infinitely connected Everything, all perceived, all real, all valid and important. Time to take the growing pain of having lived this global myth of duality and move to a new stage canvassing all of these. We are smart enough, our brains are capable of barely glimpsing this other, deeper, arguably "realer" or "truer" way, it's there, it's time ...
"Pornography and art are inseparable, because there is voyeurism and voracity in all our sensations as seeing, feeling beings." - Camille Paglia
"We know that art, particularly religious or mythical art, reflects not only peoples' attitudes but also their particular form of culture and social organization. [...] Goddess-centered art [...], with its striking absence of images of male domination or warfare, seems to have reflected a social order in which women, first as heads of clans and priestesses and later on in other important roles, played a central part, and in which both men and women worked together in equal partnership for the common good. If there was here no glorification of wrathful male deities or rulers carrying thunderbolts or arms, or of great conquerors dragging abject slaves about in chains, it is not unreasonable to infer it was because there were no counterparts for those images in real life. And if the central religious image was a woman giving birth and not, as in our time, a man dying on a cross, it would not be unreasonable to infer that life and the love of life - rather than death and the fear of death - were dominant in society as well as art."
- Riane Eisler, The Chalice & The Blade
"For if we are all interconnected parts of the body of the Goddess, then pain in any part, no matter how small or how far away, is in some measure felt by us all."
"Evil is being involved in the glamour and charm of material existence, glamour in its old Gaelic sense, meaning enchantment with the look of things, rather than the soul of things.”
- Kenneth Anger
"Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief."
-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
And you know I’m depressed. I want love and I’m lonely. And I punish myself for it because it’s not cool to be this person that I am so thrilled to be, surrounded by this beautiful tapestry that I’ve woven together out of the weavings of so many others that have come before and are with me now, of music and art and magic and story and song and all of it, it feels really foolish to be sad and lonely. But I am. I haven’t been in a “real” relationship for over four years. That feels like a long and also very short time. I want to let myself off the hook. I want to remember that I actually am still suffering the loss of something I had with someone that, for all intents and purposes, was everything I’ve ever wanted in a person, personified, my savior and soulmate, and now I live in our house alone, sleep in his bed alone, breath his memory alone, of course with friends, with so many beautiful friends, and other soul mates, but no one is in that gap, that space in my life that I felt so acutely forever until I met Grant, and feel again now, even though I feel him with me always, it hurts a lot. And of course I look towards meeting other people always comparing them to him, a cruel punishment for everyone involved, and my friends say I should go see a therapist, something I prescribe to almost everyone, but I just can’t imagine what someone would tell me about death that I haven’t already experienced firsthand. Death is natural as life, our way of life is not. Death cleaves holes that may not heal and that is the way of life. I strive to change our unnatural way of life, that attempts to cleave us apart from the natural processes of everything, and I tell myself I am, that the only thing that matters is that, this holy work of moving and changing, and I must stay happy throughout to sustain and maintain the work, and the quest for happiness brings me back to loneliness, and the memory of this summer, just before he died, when I felt that happiest I’ve ever felt. It all feels like a lie I tell myself to pacify the futility of life, though I know it’s not futile, and I know on some level it is all a lie, and most obviously the way of life I seek to change, THAT is a lie, money is a lie, power is a lie…So I will lie too? Or perhaps I am telling myself the truth, I AM changing the world, slowly, surely, or at least tending the torch to pass it on to those who will continue the work, until the king dies and the serpent slithers in and we all reap the sacred fruit of metamorphoses and freedom once more.
"We see our God in the wonderful order and lawfulness of all that exists and in its soul as it reveals itself in man and animal."
"Decide what is sacred to you, and put your best life energies at its service. Make that the focus of your studies, your work, the test for your pleasures and your relationships. Don't ever let fear or craving for security turn you aside."
I know probably not anyone reads this but I love to hear from any and everyone going through anything really, let’s talk, I’m here, you can contact me here or better at email@example.com or even text me 913-515-6474. A lot of this transparency, this openness, I now see is totally performed, I am only ever as open as I allow myself to be, and there will always be things I hold back, maybe that’s a necessity for survival, or maybe I’m just still trying to reach an ideal that I can’t yet, but either way I’m trying. I miss you Grant. I love you all.
You know, I grew up in a climate of extremes almost identical, if not possibly more extreme, than New York, so the nearly two years I’ve been here the seasons have felt pretty casual to me, but this winter was extremely hard towards the end, and it really has me thinking on maybe the first real Spring feeling day, that maybe there is actually a lot of importance in the seasons and the weather and the way it affects us. It takes totally different aspects of strength, emotionally and physically (same thing), to sustain and thrive in the extremes of summer and winter, and while I think it’s important not to let something as huge and eternal and unchanging as nature bum us out, or become the only common topic of conversation, I don’t think that we do ourselves any favors dissociating from what the sky is doing or how it feels to go outside and what kind of things we have to do to prepare for each day. We are all actually so intimately connected to what’s going on out there, so I think it’s actually super important to honor these times of change and transition as reflections on the way that our bodies constantly change and transition in huge and tiny ways forever, and how life is just a slow transition from one state through many to another.
So, for me, this Spring day was really magical. I felt the Goddess in a lot of ways, getting back from Glasgow has made me relish anew how many beautiful churches there are in New York (just as there are over there), and made me really examine today my feelings on the immanence of the Goddess and how they intersect with my feelings about religion as represented by churches (and The Church) and by buildings themselves. I feel Her in every icon in every church, even those intended to present as specifically male, but also in the churches without icons, the simple missions that actually don’t have crosses, for whatever reason, and beyond that, in every home, in every building. Everything we have wrought on this planet, whether you want to perceive of it as for better or for worse, is a part of the grand cycle of nature, just like a bird build’s a nest, we stack stones on stones and array girders and concrete and stucco and plastic into forms that reflect the needs we have, the things we want to see enacted in physical space.
It’s so easy to look at the buildings of New York and think of them all as external manifestations of the Empire of imperialism and patriarchy, in which we all definitely live, and the existence of which is definitely an important step towards changing it, but there is also so much more to life as it is manifested in the semi-permanent physical structures of culture than that. It makes me think of certain musicians whose politics or imagery don’t necessarily line up with mine as (what I’ve been fashioning myself) a transcendent feminist, but whose music nevertheless is so beautiful and divine that it takes me so swiftly to the same places as someone whose politics and music mesh with mine. Like, Pink Floyd, Bryan Ferry, dudes who really solidly objectify women in and out of their art, but still render really beautiful music onto the planet (you can take issue with those examples, but this is a phenomenon that crosses all genres, as my taste does), so what am I left to do with that music?
For me, I think transcendent feminism is an act not just of radical honesty, with ourselves and with the actual structures of power and control and misogyny in place not just in our culture but in our minds and emotional landscapes, just by party of our being born on this planet at this time, but also one of radical faith and radical fantasy. I have faith that I can find what I need from their music to make their presence on my iTunes playlist (which is super important to me - her name is Asherah and I’ve been editing her almost daily in many forms for going on 7 years now) justified and actually very important. The divine and actually the divine feminine flows through that music just as any other, and I can alter my relationship to their videos or work so that objectification becomes deification, ratification, even if the feminine ideals they ratify are only thought of as feminine as a reaction to the illusory masculine ideals of patriarchy. Because really, what are feminist ideals if not reactions to patriarchy? We as queens shave our faces and often our bodies for drag, to embody femininity, and transwomen and ciswomen alike and yes even cismen all perform their assigned or chosen or divinely ordained gender presentations in often arcane and extremely difficult (and some could argue, re: high heels, unsustainable) ways. Are we ratifying gender roles that were drawn up as a system of control when we deify the divine feminine in the Goddess, or are we actually (as I envision) ratifying the mutability and mercurial nature of those roles. When I put on drag, REAL drag even more so, tits and hair and shit, it feels as feminine as it does overtly aggressive and exaggerated, like warpaint, which, though we like to think of it that as something masculine, actually makes me just feel infinitely and beautifully HUMAN. Are women not strong? Fierce? Can a woman not kill with her bare hands like a man? Have you seen a woman give birth? This is really tricky territory, which brings me back to transcendent feminism as an act of faith. Everything really just comes down to your relationship to the concept or object or person in question. I have faith that I have the power within me to sustain a relationship to aesthetic imagery, material and cultural structures and ideas and people that may not agree with my life practice, whose very being may seem to contradict my practice, but that through that strength, that faith, actually don’t contradict at all but complement and even mirror it. The church, the building, the Empire State Building aka the Empress, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, I can make this a part of my feminist canon, appropriating from the oppressor you could say, but not in a reactionary way, in a way that builds a new foundation, a foundation of resistance and eventual change. Because I don’t think I can change a world that I don’t love, whole heartedly and without fear.
I’ve been taking kundalini for like a week now and we greet and depart with the words “Sat nam” which are roughly translated to mean “truth is my name.” For me it’s not that we’re constantly swearing that who we are, what we are, what we think or believe is true and that something else is false, but that we are actually speaking to something that is beyond the self, beyond the limited perception we enjoy as humans, something deeper, broader, and for lack of a better word, truer, something that changes less, and transcends us the people and is actually All of Us. Recognizing that within me I must also recognize that in everything I see. The immanent Goddess is alive, and She is everywhere. In winter, in the death of a friend, in the empire of men, in the Church in all its forms. You’ve tested me, and I love you for it. Let’s all go out into the Spring together
So … yeah hi Fazebook. xo
It's freezing outside again because the Earth, like all of us, is in a time of upheaval of which we may only be seeing the beginnings. We are all reflections of Her; our larger organism and consciousness and all the societies and social structures we have wrought upon the earth, all Her mirror. As we move into Aries, into Spring, into a new age, we feel old habits for what they are and look with the primal fear and excitement about the unknown towards the new ones. Many of us can't help but look at everything happening in the world, trying to take it in full with our tiny eyes and huge but still human hearts and see that the basic organizing principle upon which the dominant cultures on this planet are founded is subjugation: of women, of people of different colors, classes, tribes and creeds. We see that in order to ratify and enforce these divisions, every facet of our lives has had to be shattered to pieces, striated, modulated, held separate like the processes in industrial engineering or the tiny particles of plastic and carbon which hang alienated but still violently potent in our oceans and skies. We see that just like those modulated factory processes, to which even popular music is a victim these days, are nothing without the broader themes and strains of continuity inherent, without the shared common goal. We see even within the bickering and warring moral majorities of this globe, there is somewhere deep down a pure intention for everyone. We see the Earth, Her body and the dramas played out on its surface and the players who act them out are not separate, are not modular but all so tightly interwoven as to be a wonder and miracle of the power of the human imagination that we could even come to perceive them as such. We see the very real political and social reasons why these structures of power which infect our very thoughts were forced upon us and we see their ultimate end. Change comes suddenly and violently from nature but its end is not violence but the continued ebb and flow of the natural cycle of life on this planet and as it extends through the stars, everything simple a matter of, well, matter exchanging energy, infinitely throughout space and time and state, from end to beginning again. We see that in the broader strain of conscious life on this planet, even these strange and often horrible days will come to cohere within the broader continuity, as we delve into our shared past and dive towards our shared future. For Spring, for Aries, for my new Age, I speak aloud my intention to see the world, whether through the means of my art or some practice I've yet to discover, so that I can form a more full and real picture of the Earth and the peoples on Her and within Her that I constantly read about and describe in the abstract, and become more fully aligned with my purpose, whatever She wills it be, on this planet. I see the grand designs of my role here as She, the Whisperer, speaks them in my ear every day and night realized in ways I can't imagine. I see love and I see movement and I see change and I fear but I don't look away. Namaste, sat nam and blessed be. <3
". . . Will matter then be destroyed or not?
The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots.
For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
-The Gospel of Mary 4:21-24
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”
― Frida Kahlo
“To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.”
- Henry Miller
“B: here it is without pants
the pants are brgiht blue
A: what does it mean to you?
B: being put together
looking sane and composed even when i'm not
also it means help me with my throat chakra color blue
A: love that
B: also i think it means being brave to wear such a silly outfit
its colorful but its also traditional
A: yeah it's important to feel comfortable expressing yourself
B: i realized when i was a kid that my family made me think music wasn't something they enjoyed
and that i don't know how to feel the love people give me for my music
A: probably because you don't know how to feel love for yourself ?
B: sodoff with that you wanker
A: just a logical suggestion
B: its only with music, and its not always
A: I don't think that's entirely true
B: i think self love as a concept is kind of foolish
duty and perseverance are more important to me
like, if i tell myself, i love myself, that's not really going to work
if i do things i love, that works
A: it's a practice just like anything else
obviously you can't just tell yourself you love yourself
B: self love to me means talking oneself up
A: though if you do that enough for long enough you may
that's because you are insecure and kind of hate yourself
so you rail against the very concept
sorry, I'm calling you out on this
B: my lack of self love?
A: if I were to sit here and identify a root to almost everything you deal with it's that
B: i feel fine with myself when i do the things i have to do
A: that's a broad concept that means a lot of things
it means self-care
B: and i dont think a person should feel good if they aren't doing the right thing
A: feeling fine with yourself is one thing
doing "the right thing" hinges on taking care of yourself. you can't take proper care of yourself if you don't properly love yourself whole heartedly. so you can try to do the right thing and that may compel you towards self care as you realize that you are capable of amazing things, but it's useless without self-love
the self is an illusion
A: the self is an extension of the All, and if you do good things for everything outside of the self but ignore the self itself, you're not benefitting the all at all
I'm on one today and would just like to remind the world that we would not need something as vital and powerful as a day to celebrate transgender visibility if the cultural conception of gender as it seems to have infected the entire world were not some gaping chasm between man and woman; a gaping breach, the navigation between which requires one to step completely outside the bounds of what is considered normal, right, or even worthy of life; the institutionalized perpetuation of which is used as justification, even up to the point of being treated as divinely inspired (by many faiths the world over, not naming any names...), for the disenfranchisement, subjugation, assault and murder of women, transwomen, transpersons, queers and all people every day. I often wonder if it would be as easy as it is within our society to continue to divide people amongst the social strata of race, tribe, creed, etc, were we not so fundamentally divided across all of those bounds by this idea of gender. Would we be able to horde the natural bounty of the earth from which we all live for the few who look like us while those that don't starve and perish? We each exist to serve different roles within the human organism. Living in gendered bodies allows us such a diverse array of genetic expression as a species, blessed be. And yet somehow this fact has been used to divide our entire cultural cosmology in two: man and woman, black and white, good and bad. If not this, than that. Must be either, or; no in between. This is not how the world works. This is not how the universe functions, internally, externally, now or ever. Everything is in between, is transient, changing. Life is a blink before dying and living again. Every man is a woman but for a few microscopic tweaks of a chromosome, a gene, a flush of certain hormones present in everyone. Every one is a part of the whole. You are me and on and on, and when one of us suffers we all do. This shit fucking stresses me out, man, I haven't been able to get out of bed today. I have infinite time right now just to practice yoga and write, and I can't even decide which of the two projects I'm working on I should be working on - should I stay focused to the one that ties accordingly with the music I'm working on now, or should I let the process flow naturally? My social life is totally scant, and yet I sit here wasting endless hours scrolling through Fazebook posts about nightlife and this and that, feeling kind of marooned on the fringes of a world that I used to feel revolved around me. I want a DJ gig with a good sound system and people who understand what I'm playing, or is that just some vestigial vanity of a time when adoration of people I barely knew meant success to me? One thing that's amazing is I am making the best music I've ever made in my short time on earth, blessed be...I just feel myself so drawn in so many different directions, but I'm an air sign, perhaps I can just go in all of them at once. THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL'S JOKE. I am the Fool and the High Priestess and the Lion and the Tree and the Snake. Queen of Heaven and Earth and Sea, ha Asherah, for all the blessings You have showered on me, thank you and blessed be.
It's been a couple of weeks, but I'm honestly still kind of shocked. 6 years ago I walked into Mama's a shy kid with a lot of food service experience under his belt and a lot of self-doubt. I was wearing Seth's Micky Mouse t-shirt and had no idea what I was doing moving to the Bay Area or how I was going to make it work, but Mary Foster took a chance on me and altered the course of my life for 4 years. That restaurant and community supported every artistic endeavor I launched in my time in San Francisco, they taught me a hell of a lot about how to run a restaurant that truly cares for its employees and most of all they trusted me and taught me to trust myself, in spite of my crazy outfits and all my insane nights out, I always managed to get to brunch in the morning for work and there I found my anchor. The day after she passed I found that tee shirt randomly wadded up in a corner, and immediately flashed back to that interview and that shy, scared kid. I can't believe I went to a job interview in a tee shirt?! I'm just feeling really grateful and really sad that I didn't get to come back and show Mary how much better I'm doing now, but I know she knows. Thanks for the memories George Marino, Amanda Lynn Benway, Sherry Jean et al <3 ...
My window is open, my eyes are clear, my body is singing, it's summer, a merry Beltane to all ya'll. May the blessed union of my breath, my body, my thoughts and my actions cleanse, purify and create anew in Her name, for life's sake, amen, namaste, blessed be. Time for some hot yoga ... <3
Constantly, randomly beset by how happy I am that I gave up drinking. I guess it's been about a year since I nipped one, but close to 2 since I made the decision, and I just wanna say I'm grateful, and it's so fucking possible, you know what a freak for booze I used to be, if you can find it in yourself to fill that space with positive things, the world will really take care of you (even while challenging you to do and be better and better and better ) ... It's cool. Life is crazy. Anybody wanna talk about this stuff I am always down for it. <3
I really hate the constant maligning of social media via, what else, social media. It seems like a huge cop out to identify this technology as negatively altering our thoughts and behavior while ignoring the technology that REALLY alters our thoughts and behavior, like guns, bombs and bureaucracies, just to scratch the surface. It also seems like a really convenient way to sidestep any responsibility for the shared ways in which we socialize, communicate and express ourselves. I’m reminded of the quote by Plato fearing the widespread use of the written word would diminish the human capacity for memory, which seems comical now, even as the written word itself often seems like it’s on a commercial short-list for planned obsolescence. I don’t think it’s naive or optimistic to see the Internet as something so completely miraculous. In all its disavowal of concepts like the collective unconscious or over mind, science turned around and delivered us a material manifestation of that exact concept into our laps. Of course, the question of access still applies, but this technology has spread so far and wide and connected so many people, I really just choose to find it amazing, and it really is a choice. I feel like Fazebook, as I like to call it (stole it from the video at the beginning of the Bodies exhibit tbh lol), is a collective blog, a shared continuity of information linking so many disparate people. Or at the very least, maybe we could all inspire ourselves to treat it as such, to treat every way we use social media as a reflection not just on ourselves, but on our friends, loved ones and even strangers, on the whole itself. I would suggest that our shared reality is an extension of this idea, and would benefit from its application, as well. If we could only see how every thought, every action, reaction, word, blessing, curse, slur, every dollar spent or joke laughed at or ignored, was not only shaping our reality but that of everyone around us, maybe the world would be a little more chill, and our timelines full of less bullshit. Which isn’t to say I’m perfect, by any means, read below for very recent explorations of ways in which I have used this technology for ill, but I can also say that the near-quantum speed of thought that some of this shit works has always vibed with me, because when I change my mind I change it, and of late I have really been focused on, at the very least, letting all the energy I put out, through this, through my magical, dangerous phone familiar, and through real life interactions, even with all the beautifully maddening and challenging people that love to come into my life and mirror everything about myself that frustrates, be for good. And you know I don’t moralize often or really at all, I would suggest there is no good, no right, there is just a big crazy plan I can barelyy scratch the surface of with my limited perception. Cosmologically I don’t believe so much in knowing whether the changes I want to see in the world or in people are right, or as they should be, so I pray every day that my will comes in line with Hers, and follow my gut. The things I feel the strongest about, the things I feel like I will literally die if I don’t do, I trust those, and mold my life around, and let all the other bullshit fall away, or at least I’m trying. LOL the places my mind goes. I’m really just saying stop posting such Goddess blessed bullshit and be nicer to each other, but yeah … Call me, maybe?
I am not this identity. I am not this skin, I am not this body, I am not this face, this mind. I am not these emotions, though they are valid. I am not these memories, though they are important. I am not any of these names, nor any of the words used to describe me by myself or others, though any of them could be apt in any certain moment in time. I am not my age. I am very old and very young. I have not been born yet. I am dead. I am not my desire. I am not my ambition. I am not my fear. I am not my pain, though it is valid, and important. I am not my love, for it isn't truly mine, though through me it is all powerful. I am not my breath, though it does sustain me. I am not my limitations, for they can never truly limit me. I am something that defies description by even the oldest, holiest tongues. I am something ordered and chaotic. I am utterly boundless and very tiny. I am the sound, the song that rings in everything at every moment and far behind and beyond where any need ears to hear. I am a tear and an ocean and a sea of stars. I am the Goddess and the Void and neither at the same time. I am the space between moments, the potential between ideas, the place where everything ends to begin again. I am me and I am fine. I am just saying...
I just love this whole idea of every person on earth deconstructing the concept of the self via all these different medium all the time using a colloquial term that includes the word self it trips me out and excites me. I don't even see myself in the way I used to anymore I just see this really interesting vehicle for myself? It's a process.
"By telling our stories, we must force our churches to hear what we have suffered and the ways in which we have gotten through. We must pull them away from their domesticity and otherworldly preoccupations and force them to deal with the nitty gritty of bread and justice. We must come together in a new way - consciously, politically. Our stories are of individuals, but only as they are told collectively do they move us forward. In the process of telling our stories as a conscious, political act, we begin to define ourselves and our reality. We cease, thenceforth, to be defined by the men who run our churches, by the corporations who project our images, or by the men in Washington who seek to control our destinies.
We begin to identify not with the privilged, whom we have always been taught to emulate, but with the comon people of the earth. A colonialist church has never been able to understand how the first could be last and the meek inherit the earth. Such knowledge is the beginning of Wisdom, who is personified in the Old Testament as a woman, wild and unladylike, shouting aloud in the streets for bread and justice because no in the synagogues, the courts or the legislature would listen.
As we collect our stories, they begin to shape themselves into a body of experience - a kind of litany - that can no longer be denied. They become the means for a collective self-expression that feeds and strengthens those who are able to hear.
Through the telling and retelling of our stories, the inessentials are gradually sloughed off, until only the veins, the life-bearing vessels remain. It is then that we begin to see the patterns of triumph, steadfastness, of salvation and liberation inherent in them. We discover what it was in women's experience that has kept women going through tragedy and devastation, through the daily rituals of feeding and caring. We discover the secret that keeps hope more alive in the oppressed who are conscious of the source of their oppression than in those who do the oppressing. Only then can we name that which has brought us through as the God of our experience - not the God of an alien and imposed culture. Only then can we distinguish with any clarity the truth prophets from the false."
- Sheila Collins, excerpts from Theology in the Politics of Appalachian Women, delivered as a speech in New Market, Tennessee, 1977
“From a planetary perspective, truth is seen as the coconstruction of truth regimes. Our understandings of the world and the technologies of those understandings begin to create those worlds that we are persuaded most toward. In other words, one of the reasons modern science became so pervasive is that its truth regime–including the medical, communication, and transportation technologies derived from its way of understanding–is quite persuasive. It gives us results; it gives us things. However, at no small cost: atomic bombs, environmental ills, species extinction, global climate change, and gross economic inequities are just a few…Every truth regime, and its corresponding habits for becoming in the world, has benefits and costs, and this is what it means to understand truth from a pragmatic perspective. From a planetary perspective, the question is not which truth regime is really real, but rather toward which truth regimes do we want to live? Given the costs of the contemporary truth regime of the globalization of free-market capitalism and its modern scientific technologies, I would argue we need ways of becoming into the future that respect the multiperspectival reality of the becoming planetary community”
- Whitney Bauman, Religion and Ecology: Developing A Planetary Ethic (2014)
I just want to air something. A little while ago I got called out and rightly so for using the descriptor Jew in reference to someone being rich. My immediate and offensive reaction to being called out was even more the indicator of how actually wrong it is to use something like religion or ethnicity as a descriptor, how it becomes actually super pejorative especially in the context of a long-standing stereotype. I feel really bad about that situation but also super grateful as it was a huge learning experience for me. I've often kind of felt myself above or sort of side-stepping the care that I have demanded for many years from those around me in regards to language and prejudice, being a member or adjunct of a few marginalized communities, but the fact remains I am an for all intents and purposes male presenting white person and regardless of how I look or who I am or anyone's level of privilege really, language is really powerful, especially considering my open identity as a practicing witch, and my "innocent" use of descriptor really was hurtful in that sense and hiding some prejudices I was harboring even from myself.
That isn't meant to say that I am sitting on secret anti-Semitism, but that I have been guilty of late of drawing really broad generalizations about establishment religion, especially the Abrahamic faiths. For context, I grew up super religious, and I had and still consider myself to have a really strong relationship to God. My traumatic exit from the church came in a really strange way, because I was openly gay member of the Methodist congregation where my father still works as music director for a matter of years, and was supported and accepted, for the most part. I would even go so far as to call that church a little New Age in some ways. When we joined the head pastor was a single mother of three adopted children, and we enjoyed a succession of super diverse lay members and pastors, including a lot of women. The experience which finally pushed me away from the church was an eventual split, almost neatly down the middle, of the congregation based on the establishment of two African-American preachers, pastors who were such a huge part of my family (including the late Denise Hygh, may she rest in peace) that the so blatantly racist division that occurred was so deeply traumatic for me and my family that I really never recovered my relationship with a brick and mortar established religion. Now I am eternally grateful, not only for having my eyes opened in such a bold way (not that my parents, who are really brilliant and wise people, hadn't prepared me for the cold hard facts of racism in America from day one, because they had) to the realities of life in this country and also opening my way to explore all the diverse and bizarre expressions of the Spirit that I've found myself exploring these ensuing years, culminating in what I consider my homecoming to the Goddess.
I do cast broad generalities about the Abrahamic faiths. They do worship the same God. Allah and Yawheh and their people, regardless of their particular prophets or lack their of, are fucking people, and as such are capable of all the beauty and ugly that we expect from any subset of the population. My issue has never rested with individuals but with the collective, established influence of these faiths on the cultural slant of society, the deeply ingrained morals of female and human subjugation that are written into their very scriptures. But at the end of the day these generalities and in fact these realities speak in no way to the actual reality of oppression as it exists in the world today. Yes, any fundamentalist sect raises a lot of really valid and important questions about the dualistic ways in which their populations are influenced and, I would argue, controlled, but is a denial of the spirit the way to go, as atheists claim? Are we to antagonize these faiths because of questions of fact and historicity, even as the secular world mythologizes and transforms history and, in fact, reality in just the same way? I definitely stand corrected in not measuring a valid critique of established morality and religion with a sensitivity for all the persecution that each of these faiths and really every person on this planet has faced and continues to face. Even those of us that stand at the top of the heap, so to speak, the white European and Americans, oppress each other as much as we oppress anyone else, and, I would argue, nobody is served in this system of human subjugation, neither the oppressor nor the oppressed.
I definitely don't have answers here, but I'm trying to ask the right questions, and ingratiate myself with every person and idea on its own terms rather than approaching it only from my context, which I think is really a colonial attitude. In yoga we've been encouraged to "befriend the enemy" which isn't to say that anyone is my enemy, but is something I've taken forward as a reaffirmation of my faith and relationship in the beauty and glory of Yawheh and of Allah, whether you choose to syncretize the two together or not, and of Christ, easier said than done, especially when I already have a mighty and imminent and loving and healing Goddess within me, but it makes me think of this: I asked a friend from Israel once what he really thought about the Palestinian Occupation and he said this, paraphrasing: The state of Israel isn't going to go away, neither is the state of Palestine, neither are the atrocities experienced by either in the past, so rather than thinking of would have and should have, we have to move forward.
We all have so much right and reason to feel traumatized by religion, by establishment morality or really ANY establishment, by our parents, but those things are not going to go away, they really never will, and leaving them behind will just leave a big wound, and I think has in a lot of people's lives and on a societal level. We have a right and a responsibility to take men to task for perpetuating thousands of years of patriarchy, we have a responsibility to take ourselves to task for all the personal enslavements on ourselves we assent to and reenact on others in the so-called "developed" world and beyond. We have a right and responsibility to be angry. But if that anger just perpetuates the same paradigms from which sprung this oppression in the first place, what good are we? I think of the Hare Krishnas, really beautiful and innocently chanting to God as they see It/Him/Her, and of the Sikhs with whom I study kundalini now. Yes they language their divinity as male, but does that mean the Goddess isn't present, does that mean their point of view is not valid? What if we could approach every person on THEIR level, could be strong enough and sure enough to do that, so that every Jew actually is a Chosen Person, whether you bow to their God or not, every person really is as special or right or blessed as they hope and strive and believe themselves to be. The thing I love most about the faith of the Goddess is the stated embrace of ambiguity, the articulation that there is no one way, but several, and that faiths and view-points that seem to be contradictory on the surface can actually be complimentary or even in agreement with just a shift of consciousness and perspective. Can we show the world how to live together by letting our daily actions affirm our immanent value and the value of every person, regardless of who they are or what they believe?
Like, sure, Paganism works for me because I love that a transfeminist deity that predates the cultural conception of gender is at the heart of the practice, just in the same way that I'm registered with the Green Party because, while they don't actually hold any "power" within our puppet "elected" PAC oligarchy of a government, their stated ideals are so beautiful in line with mine that I couldn't consider registering any other way anymore. But if everyone were like me, we wouldn't be having this conversation. We are all in these imperfect bodies for the same reason, on the same planet, basically all trying to achieve the same things: happiness, holiness, wholeness, for ourselves and our loved ones. If we could just extend a little bit of compassion I think it would go a long way. I don't really know, because I'm seriously still working on it, so hard, every day. There is a part of me that fucking hates every one of your cretins lol but I'm trying to love.
Anyway just thought I'd get that off my chest. Let the trolling begin hahaha love and light.
"Any conversation which does not include the context of the journey of the heart is by definition untrue to who we are as human beings."
"Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything. People kill one another over idols. Wonder makes us fall to our knees." Gregory of Nyssa.
How many plants would just grow if we let them. Greening a city would be no work at all nature does it on Her own
I feel like everyday people are asking me what I think about astrology, or voicing yays or nays towards the "reality" of astrology, or professing or denying a "belief" in astrology or some such mania. I think there is generally a lot of misunderstanding around this system, and we are also living in a really unique time of huge forces shifting towards what I believe is an emotional singularity of renewed and reaffirmed interpersonal connection between people and all life and matter on this planet and beyond, so people are feeling super sensitive and at once seeking higher truths while retreating from truths that make them afraid, especially ones that seem to run counter to established modes of thought. Let's just be clear on a few things. I'm not an astrologer or an expert, simply have had a lifelong relationship with this system and a lot of experience with attempting to understand people and myself through it. Astrology (or for that matter magic, energy work, spirituality or religion...) does not run counter to science. Each are very specific systems or lenses, if you will, through which we can view the infinitely complex collective experience we call reality. In my perspective, we are never going to find hard and fast truths through any mode or system of thought - and the ones that tell you they have THE ONE TRUTH are the most suspect! But if we allow the systems to overlap for a moment, I've always thought it seemed fairly scientific and in fact rational that the heavenly bodies exert a powerful influence on our lives. Just entertain for a moment the generally agreed upon physical cosmology of reality: our bodies are mostly made up of liquid molecules, spherical in structure. We know that the moon in Her orbit around the Earth exerts influence on the movement of the tides of the ocean, also just a mass of molecules in liquid state, while we also know that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and the Sun is spiraling in constant motion on the arm of a continually spiraling galaxy of suns, which swirls amidst innumerable galaxies in increasingly large and difficult to conceive terms out into the universe ad infinitum. All of these bodies, from the planets and suns, to the molecules and atoms of our bodies, are generally understood to be spherical in structure, all exerting on some level a pull on one another, an exchange of energy as radiation and heat pulses from star to planet throughout the universe. Is it really that far fetched to affirm that these gigantic celestial bodies have at least a tertiary influence on the way things move around down here? I think it is only a matter of perspective. But beyond that, and this isn't really what I'm tryna talk about right now, but this notion of "belief" in astrology just seems silly. To paraphrase Starhawk, nobody is asking for your belief in a lion or celestial scorpion in the stars who is exacting influence upon you. Astrology just affirms a system of archetypal behavior patterns within the infinite array of human emotion and interaction on this planet, and attempts to make a little sense of it. Every culture has a form of this, and they are all equally valid to my understanding, but it's also important to remember that much of these codified understandings of the stars and their influence stretch back so far beyond science's first imaginings. Science is just a system of looking at things, too, a series of hypotheses which can never truly be proved. I quote the recent hypotheses amongst physicists about the existence of gravity as actually just a function of thermodynamics all the time to draw clear the point that science will never truly make any absolute statements. The hypotheses will always remain to be tested, though there is also plenty of evidence for the quantum fallibility of the scientific method as it comes through our specifically limited sensory and belief arrays. This notion of belief is just so damning. Clearly science has given us a certain understanding of the way a lot of layers of our world work, but it has also fallen dramatically short of explaining a whole host of what encompasses the human experience and this is where, at least for the most basic, fundamental of starters, astrology comes in. I would encourage everyone to just open up to any system that you can find and use that resonates with you, for as much understanding as one can glean, without gripping and attaching hard and fast to anything, just simply opening the mind to perspective, I think can be really important, and in fact is one of the most important ways in which we improve ourselves and the interactions we have with people, and fill them with love. Another question that astrology initiates ask a lot is just what is the Sun sign, as it relates to the Moon sign or Rising, etc, does it even really matter? And I've come across recently a copy of Linda Goodman's Love Signs that has a really beautiful way of describing the Sun sign. It's more than just YOUR sign, because we know that there are so many other celestial influences at play in the moments of gestation and birth, but the Sun does indeed imprint a very powerful archetypal understanding of reality and also brings to each of us a unique challenge, to be achieved, often several times, before the soul can pass on to the next sign in the cycle, as she describes it. So I'd like to list how she codifies the Sun signs as the Twelve Initiations Of Love. This is just one way of looking at it, but I find it really interesting and some may find it helpful. Especially as we navigate this transition into the Aquarian age (and this is very tantamount to what I consider my work, being an Aquarius and also constantly finding myself drawn together with similarly minded Aquarians), I think it's important to really affirm and remember what should really be valued on this planet, principally love, but how to do and live that in a society that attempts to repress and control all emotions? Someone just said to me today, "The concept of love has brought so much suffering into my friends' lives and no one knows how to talk about that." Indeed. It reminds me of death in that way. So...let's fuckin talk about it! <3 Sign, archetype, central truth, challenge ... "ARIES - the infant - "I am" - to teach that love is innocence, and learn that love is trust TAURUS - the baby - "I have" - to teach that love is patience and learn that love is forgiveness GEMINI - the child - "I think" - to teach that love is awareness and learn that love is feeling CANCER - the adolescent - "I feel" - to teach that love is devotion and learn that love is freedom LEO - the teenager - "I will" - to teach that love is ecstasy and learn that love is humility VIRGO - the adult - "I analyze" - to teach that love is pure and learn that love is fulfillment LIBRA - marriage - "I balance" - to teach that love is beauty and learn that love is harmony SCORPIO - sex - "I desire" - to teach that love is passion and learn that love is surrender SAGITTARIUS - knowledge - "I see" - to teach that love is honesty and learn that love is loyalty CAPRICORN - experience - "I use" - to teach that love is wisdom and learn that love is unselfish AQUARIUS - idealism - "I know" - to teach that love is tolerance and learn that love is Oneness PISCES - submission - "I believe" - to teach that love is compassion and learn that love is ALL" (from Linda Goodman's Love Signs, 1978)
I'm just gonna free-associate this one because it's MY Fazebook and I can do what I want with it, at least for the time being, right? Just like this my body, my persona, my identity, from which I finally find myself de-attaching just enough to be able to see these concepts for what they really are, fleeting, ephemeral, nebulous ideas, just that, not some linear objective truth, which is what the ego would like you to think it/you are. You're not! The truest part of you is the part that transcends all of that ego, all of that chatter, those stories about who you are, and of course what you're NOT, the part that lives and breathes on a deeper plane and is connected inextricably to all the other parts of itself that breathes life into every other person and their crazy ego (and the trees and rocks and everything else, too, I might add). Tap into THAT part. Some say it resides in the core, some say it lives as a halo around your aura, probably both are true, but seriously, connect to THAT, make judgements from THAT, connect to THAT history, that reality, use your current form and identity for good, not for fear, not for running from death, not for hurting those around you or turning a blind eye to those that are hurt because you and your government and everyone around you are letting their egos drive and fleeing death, which is a natural end to these naturally finite bodies and egos. Our culture is the ego run rampant. You wanna talk archetypes, which everyone seems to want to, but I usually don't, because Jung was a product of his time and super sexist and dualistically limited in his thinking, and the true archetypes run deeper than our current conception of history can fathom, and don't really exist like that, as a set of rules or divisions between the parts of our lives. I prefer to think about aspects, the many faces of the Goddess who takes many different forms, simultaneously, representing the myriad complexities of life in the world, in this shared reality, breathing and moving energy around in patterns that would be making Her smile if we hadn't torn down her temples in the name of a pack of maurading god-heads across the planet who were just man's ego and fear of death made manifest, hadn't burned all Her daughters, Her sacred shapers, the witches, at the stake and fashioned Her images into the devils of our modern myths (The Serpent, Tiamat, Eve, etc) or perverted Her image into warring tools of the state (Athena, Minerva, Ma Kali...) or twisted Her into a subservient (but resplendent and wise) repressed Virgin whose only role is to bear the ego-maniac godflesh sons of the ego-maniac god-head all-father to martyr himself in self-defeating anxiety over the true nature of consciousness. Nah, we aren't here to live like this, though She lives in all of it all the same, we're here to experience all the myriad ways that life can be experienced in these bodies, and that can't be achieved the way our society is structured, with the majority of us dying before we reach even middle age, and living shackled by poverty, hunger, slavery and spiritual subjugation in life, nah that's not what we are here to be doing! And you know what I feel the first step is? I feel it so strong it's beyond a feeling, it's like the sensation I've started to codify within myself as I work with energy, even though my practice at that is still fledgeling, it's something beyond a feeling, or sensation, not tactile, but a sort of force, a desire almost, kind of in the back of my throat, behind my third eye, at the base of my spine, in the pit of my stomach, all at once, that's the feeling I have towards the world, towards "my" work, because yeah it's Alexis's work, it's Alex's work truer than that, but those ideas are just tools for the REAL work to be done. It starts with a digging in, a looking inside, a cleansing of the pain and trauma that root us to these bodies, to these minds. And then a fostering of connection, an affirmation of what was always there, the Oneness of all, just like the challenge I was talking about of being an Aquarius, that's our challenge as a planet for this Aquarian age, to learn that All truly is One, because real talk, we failed the Piscean challenge, the challenge for that age was to learn that Love is All, and what did we learn instead? Love is too big, and too scary, and doesn't pay enough lip service to our delicate ego, as individual people or as a society, so we must flee it, even as we enshrine it in a glass coffin, we flee it because we flee death, we flee nature, we flee the cycle of life and death and love and loss and endless rebirth, as if we could somehow rewrite the beautiful cosmic order of things, we even assert that life and death, love and pain are opposites, we attempt to split nature down the middle as we have attempted to split humanity down the middle, into these nebulous ideas of "man" and "woman" and the splits, the divisions spread like disease which we all bear for all the pain and trauma this way of living has gifted us. But we are entering a new age, and it's time to meet this new challenge. I meet a lot of Aquarians lately, and throughout my life, but particularly lately who all seem to struggle with the same issues as I but on varying levels of extremity, and I don't know really what the difference between me and them is, other than somehow along the way I learned that I can be my most powerful teacher and totem and friend or I can be my own worst enemy, and thus the enemy of all those around me. I fled people for too long, because people hurt me, and I hurt them, and I didn't know how strong I truly was, strong enough to hold space for their hurt without perpetuating it via my own. Maybe the difference to be honest is that I spent 11 years waiting tables, knowing as I did that my parents didn't have the means to catch me if I fell, so for all the self-defeat, all the attempted suicide of alcohol and drug abuse and pure insanity, I always managed to drag my ass out of bed and get to work on time, because I knew at the end of the day I was alone, but through that loneliness born out of fear, I found something out. Not just me, but nobody on this planet have ever been alone. It's not possible. You can take your space, take your time, Goddess knows I do, I'm in this room, a place I inherited from the Aquarian brother I've loved the most, and from his loss I've learned the most, like all the time alone, but I know he's here, and I know that wherever I go, all ya'll are there, too, inside me, as I'm inside you. Christ missed the fucking message, ya'll, his own, if he did indeed exist, which doesn't matter, up on that mountain, crying, "Why, God, why do I have to die?" Or at least that's how it goes in the musical, one of my favorites. You didn't have to! I mean of course some day we all do, but you don't have to string yourself on a cross and hang there until they jab you with a spear and your friends swaddle your body and inter you in a cave. Maybe the lesson here is in the Virgin they enshrined as they enshrined the still beautiful message of Christianity within the glass coffin which is the National State. Maybe we should all go fucking talk to our moms, and see what they think about us hopping up on that cross so willingly, though it's not like our motherfucking asses won't be complaining the whole way, that's for sure. Maybe you don't have a mom, but Mothers are everywhere, as She is everywhere, and they may not always look like women, but talk to them, see what they fucking say next time you wanna martyr yourself, sever your potential at the root and retreat into a life of fear, of money worship, because those dollars will stave off death, I'm very sure. I met Death this year. She's not the enemy. Death is natural. The way we live is not. And change starts with YOU. With ME. Same thing.
Ahhhhh to be constantly shown answers in every way shape and form and not have the gifts or patience to be able to make them palatable for others. Actually we all know I do have the gifts I just have yet to find them and put them into practice yet. I guess we will all get there someday. I'm constantly confronted with the problems of others and, at least in this country, constantly shown simple ways that these could be taken into hand. I mean simple in theory, extremely difficult in practice, I know, and yet I don't even really understand, because every change I've ever made that has lead me to where I am has felt so completely necessary as to make me feel like there never was a choice. With everything. Yoga, drinking, all of it. I just fucking KNEW. Part of my personality I guess, I'm fucking extreme, and you know I've dealt with some extreme shit this year, and through my life, so I'm sorry that I hold myself to such intense exacting standards (which means I'm, yeah, often disappointed in myself, or trying to be better) and that extends to the way I hold others. I'm trying to mellow. I mean I have mellowed with it a lot but it's really hard for me to not comment on the statuses, ya'll, it's basically impossible. Take it with a grain of salt. Know that you are so much more than you have ever imagined a person capable of. I see it, I wish you could, too.
It's cool. I actually realize that I need to just chill out on the commenting. It's not productive to use my energy in this way for any involved party. I've taken it upon myself to be some messenger for fear of losing more friends to all the insanities of life that abound but in reality the messages are all around and inside you. The universe is in a constant state of communication and I can't do the listening for you if you've made the choice to turn your focus elsewhere (as we are all socially conditioned to do). So Ima be here on my wall, twitter etc wilding out as usual, but I will no longer take a status written as an admission of want for comment. I mean obviously it is but I'm playing a different game and don't need to go out seeking folks who need help when there are plenty who have come and asked for it. It's reciprocal. I am such a social animal. I crave all these interactions and connections because I feel deep down we are all connected, with these bodies, this physical reality just a series of barriers keeping us from that, but there is a purpose to that, a purpose to that alienation. I think to teach us to overcome it, but I can't rely on Fazebook for social interaction and discourse. I live with some of my best friends. I wised up and deleted the hook-up apps (speaking of time wasting) but I am coming out of my tunnel of grief and post-addiction alienation and going out again and having life again, so y'all can catch me out there and I'll leave your statuses alone lol. I should write less of these too and be writing more of my next book but we all on our own path even me lol.
A couple pearls of wisdom from Doña Leova, the healer I saw today: "You have to learn not to drown in a glass of water." I went into the experience sure that the nagging thigh injury (the injury which lead me to start exploring all the different yogic and magical systems that I've been lucky enough to start dabbling in over the past few months, while renewing my love for vinyasa, including my current membership at the kundalini studio, whose guru, Yogi Bhajan, considered la Doña his personal healer, which is how I was able to experience her) had an energetic, emotional component, and while it surely does on some level, she assured me that it was mainly physiological as she cupped and massaged and yanked and beat me with stones. I shyly remarked that I had been studying and practicing Wicca and that her description of elemental balancing within the body and world had seemed very similar to those traditions. I also told her that all my life I had felt drawn to be some sort of healer, first through Christian seminary, later through more esoteric means, but had been absolutely terrified of pursuing that path, as I felt I was not good enough of a person or strong enough to ever do it. I guess on some level I was expecting a lightbulb moment, where she would say, oh I can totally tell, you're meant to do this, and here is how to do it, but instead she demurred that there are many ways to heal, many ways to do everything, and all of the things I am learning I should take and use the ones that work for me and let go of the ones that don't, and then she said this, "A candle doesn't try to heal the darkness, it just shines." I feel good, grounded, and able to do what I have to, without a lot of the pressure I was maybe putting on myself about it. I can be the candle I need to be I guess. Thank you beautiful wise woman :) <3
I have like a million op-eds to write on here but right now all I can think about is all the amazing people I have known, everywhere, and how many of them - friends from deep past, recent present, far future even - have converged on my life in New York the past two years and how lucky I am to know them all. There is a very specific magic to be made in cities like this, with so many people living in such close proximity, the air really just sings with it, and if you're not careful but most of all clear you may end up asking for something that you don't really want. For me I've just been asking for radical acceptance of whatever path She needs me on, however difficult that may be or far from the things I think I desire that may take me. Another beautiful thing La Doña said: There are so many ways to honor Nature, the Earth, the Elements, Life (caveat: Death). So many. We gonna make it, ya'll. <3
Thoughts while reading Carol P. Christ sitting in a rocking chair while my family plays cards nearby, on the back porch of the most haunted hotel in America, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas...I've seen one non-white person the whole time I've been here. I've seen three non-white people in the surrounding 100 miles on Grindr. This town is very spiritual and there are many witches, but I never feel comfortable surrounded by white people, especially not superficially or even genuinely nice ones, because I cannot help but wonder how they would treat me if I looked differently from them. Of course I look differently from everyone down here, I have no eye brows, I carry myself in a way that most people don't, but I am constantly beset by paranoia lately as I find more and more strength and muscular development through yoga, and more and more confidence, while existing less and less in drag or whatever you want to call what I do. I call it drag because I affirm and appreciate the tradition of drag, deeply and fully, understanding that this means so many different things for so many different people in and outside of the tradition. Drag is my spirituality. It was never about taking it on or off, about shedding or donning an identity. To quote Gina LaDivina, Alexis is my ultra-ego, the personification of everything I am and could be, crystallized and amplified. Sometimes, especially after I started to discover the real ability to "pass" as close as I ever could, through makeup and dress and manner, I realized I was donning something like warpaint, something that allowed me to do things I couldn't have achieved dressed as I did with the same energy, at least I thought so then. That confused me. I felt my drag was almost hyper-masculine in a way, but why? I got into this with people on twitter one day when I said that if you think masculinity is the enemy then feminism has lost. I believe that because I believe if there is an "enemy" it has to be this idea that masculine and feminine ideals and values are somehow inherently different. You mean to tell me women aren't strong, or intelligent, or angry, or violent, or assertive, or powerful? That men aren't receptive, emotional, impulsive, irrational? How can that be a feminist argument? Which I guess is why I ultimately consider myself a Transfeminist, asserting the divine truth of feminine values not as natural antecedents to masculine or patriarchal values but as something purely transcendent, though it really is only languaged that way to assert the continued existence of the patriarchy as it stands in it's nebulous phalanx of human subjugation. I feel like calling myself a humanist or a trans humanist would be to assert that we are all on an equal playing field right now which we aren't. I'm nervous to be thought of as a white person who feels guilty, or who attempts to sidestep awareness and ownership of my privilege by insinuating myself into narratives of prejudice and inequality as a, now, for all intents and purposes, occasional drag queen. When I got to New York I found myself in a scene that was nothing like the drag scene I lived in as Alexis nearly full time - minimum 3 shows a week when I left, often 5. I didn't have Homobiles to shuttle my ass for donation from club to club. Then I quit drinking. Then my best friend died. I don't like to step out dressed on flat shoes and my body doesn't put up with the heels I like to wear if I have to hobble to the train and then to the club. My life is different. But my gender will always be something I don't cleave to. I've often said in interviews how inspired I was by the idea of quantum computing, where transistors exist on the surface of liquid nitrogen and the 1s and 0s can exist for nanoseconds as 10 or 01 at once, exponentially increasing their processing power. That was my gender, I knew then, that was my identity. Though it has always been a facet of my privilege as a white person, I know deep down that trauma and gnosis have let me let go the idea of identity for the most part. I wear the wigs I need to when I do, queering and embellishing this body and this identity when I need to, but I still fear being thought of as a colonizer, as an imperialist, because I fear I am one. I speak Spanish, I pick up any language super easy, I date guys from every ethnicity because I think everyone is beautiful, and sexy, and they all strike me as different and strange. I have been fetishized. I did sex work for a long time, mostly as a man, but you know I have been with so many tranny chasers, or queen fuckers as I like to call them (thanks to Bambi Lake), and been called a tranny, a lazy tranny, and a bitch, more times than I can possibly count, and a faggot, too (and I don't think any one community can claim ownership to slurs like those, to speak on that mess, and avoid using them for the most part and think everyone else should but am wary of attempting to control the language of others...). People used to ask me all the time if I was transitioning, and I still consider my preferred pronoun she, as I consider almost everything's proper pronoun to be she, reaction or resistance I don't know, but I'm not moving from a binary to a binary, and I don't know that anyone ever truly is, though I feel like everyone is in a constant state of movement, of transition, as we age, grow, our biologies reflecting our thoughts, feelings and the things we are taught to believe about ourselves, the stories we tell that become our identities. These are all in a state of constant transition as we hurtle through space with more empty space between our atoms than actual mass, bodies within interlocking matrices of energy that expand outward in beautiful and complicated patterns that only the Goddess can truly understand, though maybe She actually doesn't, and that's why we are here in the first place, as sensory arrays to help her understand. I don't want to be that white cis-gendered white person that's constantly harping about gender and race as if they know what it's like to be black or trans. I don't. I never will. But being with my family has made me realize why it was so uniquely traumatic to grow up in our society, in Lenexa, Kansas, even with my massively tolerant and supportive family, even in a church with two black pastors, experiencing all the diversity that I was lucky enough to experience. I keep telling my mom, "You just don't understand what it's like for me." She always counters, "And you don't know what it's like for me!" That's true, I don't, but I can say that your experience is enshrined within the cultural narrative, as a white woman, for better or worse, and even on a surface level as a white gay man mine isn't, my experience of not just survival but prosperity and strength, those stories aren't told. And go deeper to how I really identity, and we don't have a narrative that includes quantum gendered subversive prostitute substance abusing witches, we have to make our own, have to appropriate and reclaim the narratives of women who triumphed in history, or tortured artistic souls that died tragically, as reminders not to go that way, to pass the torch and share the story for the others like us, but before I got old enough to start actively doing that it was deeply deeply traumatic. And I'm still working through that. I know the idea of intention vs action is dangerous bullshit when we start to talk about race, or RuPaul or whatever, so I try not to just have good intentions, but actually speak from a full awareness about what I'm doing, so I just want to hopefully affirm, I'm not afraid to be the white superficially cis-gendered man talking about race, misogyny and gender, because I think all the white and cis-gendered people should be as upset about these realities as I am, and I truly think that those that aren't actively working to change them are actively working to perpetuate them! I don't care if that makes me feel crazy, and I can persevere through my doubts and fears of being seen as appropriating narratives that don't belong to me. I am upset and I think everyone else should be too. This reality, this patriarchy in all its insidious forms hurts everyone. And ... I don't know what I'm doing exactly to change things, other than screaming out here in the wilderness, lecturing my family about tokenism and letting my politics bleed into my writing and music. What happens when I get rich and famous? Do I give all that money away? I don't know what's right but I'm willing to keep screaming and keep asking the questions I guess. Also I shouldn't have had that cheesecake at dinner I feel like I'm hosting an alien parasite. Love and light.
Ok, I've easily been to hundreds if not thousands of drag shows over the past near decade, all over this beautiful and ugly country of ours, Aemerica as I like to call her, and I just have to shout out Macy Rodman Severely Mame et al for putting on one of the if not the actual craziest, punkest, most time- and space-displaced party I have ever been to, last night and every fucking week. And FUN. It's a powerful talent to be able to hold space for such a diverse group of weirdos and make everyone feel safe to let themselves SO loose and I am endlessly inspired by these gals. Drag is alive, the Goddess is alive, and I have so much hope for the world because of it/them/us?! Cool. Thank you!!!
I think it's really interesting, and obviously very important, that this year everyone suddenly seems to be questioning the values espoused by the advertising associated with gay pride events all over the Occupying States of Gaymerica (or the Occupied Territory of Turtle Island), but if you were so put out by the white-washed, heteronormative, upper-middle-class lifestyle commodifying corporate ad machine during this one week of the year, how come your ass wasn't complaining about the prevalence of that shit during EVERY OTHER WEEK OF THE YEAR, in almost every other product, movie, show, event, pop song and through basically every form of media you could imagine, all the damn time? I wish we could widen our scope and not lob criticism at a big, easy, but, I would argue, very important week like Gay Pride, aka Gay Freedom, but at the Western capitalist regime itself, which has seemingly absorbed rich gay white men into its ranks as weird, heteronormative courtesans to its ruling classes. If you really want to disrupt corporate lifestyle culture, think about how much money ya'll asses is giving to cigarette and liquor companies on the regular, to luxury fashion conglomerates and Beyoncé's record label, all the time, every week of the year. It's important that we can safely celebrate who we are, but we should be aware of the continued cost of our being here and able to do so for the %15 in poverty in this country, the millions of native people displaced and killed whose nations still live under occupation and apartheid, not to mention those who can't even hold hands on the street for fear of violent death because of the reactionary regimes and exported Western cultural values in place because of generations of colonialism all over the world. Obviously our domestic marketing and media should be more diverse, but is it really the content or the whole idea of marketing luxury items when most people on this planet are denied access to the basic fundamentals of life? Think about it. Happy gay pride, ya'll, and I will see ya'll asses at some fancy hotels in Manhattan, quietly spinning my subversion, we can get stoned and talk about life. <3
The Goddess Minerva/Athene represents peace and grace within the patriarchal capitalist empire and the power of the Divine Feminine to subvert men into servitude, even as we reach through Her towards a world where no person need ever serve another. Blessed be.
If I could just figure out how to measure my sense of self-worth and general satisfaction by the amount of friend requests I receive on the daily and how cute and interesting ya'll all look (well, most of ya'll lol) I would be so happy. I mean ... I'm being facetious but seriously. Where do all of these cute people come from?
So, I'm just home from my very first ever Gay Pride aka Gay Freedom aka Gay Prowess completely sober from everything, not even marijuana, and I have to say I feel amazing and I had so much fucking fun tonight, so that was cool. I think I am just empathic enough that I can get faded all on my own but still have a ton of energy to dance and go crazy and not feel like I'm going to implode into a black hole and wake up in the morning feeling totally chill so ... life is awesome. Tonight was amazing. <3
The world can be a really intense place but it is not your enemy. Consider whatever boundaries you hold to constitute yourself as a staging ground for how you interact with the world. Chances are, if you treat yourself like an enemy, the rest of the world will, too - in any way, from the food you eat and the choices you make to the way you narrate your life or address your feelings. But flip that story around and treat yourself like your closest and oldest friend, actively loving and caring for yourself, practicing compassion for yourself when you make mistakes, giving yourself a lot of leeway to fuck up and explore and love fearlessly, then your dealings with the world outside will for the most part follow suit, and the interactions that don't will find a you that is dramatically more prepared to love anyone like a friend, even when they are still trapped in the mindset of treating you like an enemy. I think in this way, the boundaries between self and other start to blur and fall until you realize that everything is so deeply connected that everyone and everything deserves love and compassion, even those who have woven institutional webs of seeming steel to trap the world in the model of fighting the "enemy." Just something to think about.
I inherited this knife along with the bedroom, bed and many other ideas tangible and not as much from Grant when he passed over. It was originally his grandfathers', made in 1917, and has been a beautiful aid to me during ritual this year. It reminded me immediately of Tanith Lee's the Birthgrave, long my favorite book (Grant having been one of the only friends of mine who actually read it on my recommendation, and understanding how that book affected my life) and holy text, in which the immortal and flawed demi-goddess Karrakaz is offered the Knife of Easy Dying by her shadow, to avoid an eternal life of pain and struggle, but refuses. By inking this permanently, I hereby decree to always face the struggle and pain fearlessly, to never give up hope for a better world right here, right now on this earth. The knife or athame also represents the element of air, what ties me to my Aquarian family in our age, and reminds me to balance the power of my thoughts with appreciation for all the other elements that keep air in check. I miss you dearly, even as I feel you near me always. Thanks to Karen Glass for the beautiful work. Love and light and blessed be. <3
I have so many things to say about America, Western culture and the cultural conception of the state throughout history that I don't even know where to start, but this is kind of what I'm writing this next book about, vaguely, so I may just keep it to that. Some OpEds are a little too deep for Fazebook. I will say, even living awash in a legacy and perpetual present rife with so much pain and suffering, I encounter so much beauty on a daily basis. I am super grateful to have been born where I was, in Kansas, to the family I was, and to have lived and survived such a wild life from California to New York. It is a constant process and practice for me to reconcile the reality of being an unwitting citizen of a violent imperial nation that espouses hollow ideals to which an outrageous portion of its supposed united citizens aren't privileged enough to ever gain access, with the reality of how beautiful and inspiring the mystery and challenge of New York City has been for me. I've come such a long way since my favorite catch-phrase was a flippant "Gay Pride, ya'll, Happy Fourth!" during a time when I really had no questions for the supposed American dream, but the ensuing years have taught me to question EVERYTHING, and I think that is possibly the truest message to be gleaned from a day like Independence Day. Start by staring into the mirror long and hard, and open up your critical third eye to EVERY SINGLE THING YOU SEE, every thought, every feeling, every pattern of behavior and speech, every thing you value. If you're anything like me, most of that won't change, but some of it should and will. Be brave and remember on this day all the people, both human and animal, who have labored in shackles, seen their homes and cultures erased, seen their families killed, all in the service of the ideals for which America supposedly stands. I here a lot of talk about living in a post-colonial world, but colonialism is still happening, imperialism is still at work, we as New Yorkers live at the seat of the Empire - not the original one, and possibly not the last, though we can hope and work and pray. There are still slaves working fields on this planet. There are sovereign nations and tribes who lack recognition. There are millions who are deprived access to the basic foundational needs of water, food and shelter, in ruined ecosystems hacked apart by war and capitalist manifest destiny, and it's still happening, every single day. That's what I choose to think about on the Fourth of July. I was born in the Occupied Territories of Turtle Island. I am empowered by my Goddess and the pain I see and experience on the daily to disavow the idea of the state, the idea of capital, and the idea of a "freedom" that "isn't free" of the cost of the lives of others. I pray for and to a world in which all souls rejoice in unity and union and knowledge of our universal Oneness, on a planet without borders, boundaries or needless pain. A-freaking-men and namaste! xx
Of course I went to this deli based on the name today but it really got me wondering about the way we objectify goddesses and all deities within corporate branding culture. Making deity into something separate that is supposed to work for us rather than something intrinsically a part of us that we should be working with for sustainable life. Just a thought. Nike...just do it lol
I love all the punks who trash on Coke and Pepsi owning and bottling Naked Juice, Odwalla etc and their very real, very nasty political presences in the underprivileged world, but turn around and have no qualms about guzzling cheap beer and liquor. Who do you think bottles that garbage and markets it to the poor, Green Peace? Lol
Seems hella basic but something I realized during meditation is how much the energy changes if you allow a little smile in.
I was walking home musing to myself about how lawless my neighborhood can seem sometimes, and how, seemingly no matter what happens, our street will always be littered with trash, like not just a few things, there are just heaping mounds of trash everywhere, and crazy industrial junk piles all over, the same bizarre rusted out things I've been seeing for two years, which for me is part of its charm, for sure, but also piques my OCD just enough to wonder what it all means. Do you know that friend, who has kind of given up on their life, or lost sight of what gave their life meaning, or maybe they just never found it, or were afraid to grab it when they saw it, or continually turn away from it (because the universe never gives up trying to show you yourself, trust) but will never quite push themselves over the edge in an extreme way, but gets hellov wrecked whenever they go out and has a perpetually trashed room and doesn't answer their texts with any kind of normal rhythm and just generally destroys everything they touch? But you still love them? We all have that friend. Most of us have been that friend at one time or another. That's totally America, ya'll. Every one of us, regardless of privilege enjoyed or denied, even those straight cis white people superficially living and reifying the American "dream" in full embodiment, knows deep down that this shit is whack, that the dreams of us few are the waking nightmares of many, but for the most part, the idea of actually stepping away from the herd into the great, horrifying, beautiful void of the mysterious unknown, to actually turn against the tide and try to change things, is so much to confront when you've spent your whole life ceding your power to hierarchy and spiritual/material authorities within culture, church and government, so we all just say fuck it, and we fucking litter our brains out all over these beautiful, twisted cities of ours. It's like we know industrialized existence is (not completely, but definitely for many forms of life) a blight on this earth, so we care for our cities like we care for our bodies, aka not at all, just guzzling oil and alcohol and drugs and trash and negative feelings, because we can't actually bring ourselves to make changes to collectively atone for what our existence really means for most of the life on this planet. If we were really the human, American, Western, white exceptionalists we culturally make (hollow, distorted, masochistic) claims to be, don't you think we would keep our rooms a little cleaner and eat a little more kale? Like, not to say that Japan doesn't have a pretty riotously imperial at least recent past, and haven't made many environmental gaffs over the years as well, but maybe there is something beautiful to having (even as fucked as the idea of a Western cabal telling another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do, because they dared to invade another nation, this is to darkly comic it's sick) not been able to have a military for so many years, and having such a different relationship to the idea of nature than our stupid asses do over here, because (only because my parents went to Japan, cuz my dad won a trip, I didn't like read this in the Wikipedia) they do not litter there, everyone fucking puts their trash in their pocket and moves on with their life. I just think it's funny the way the cultural meta-organism manifests itself in reflection of the micro-organism of the individual. Just another dispatch from the Occupied Territories of Turtle Island lol ...
I get really dazzled just by looking out my window at all the maples out back and realizing just how many leaves are on those trees. So many!!! The sound of the wind moving through them is like nothing else I've ever heard.
Today in hot class I was thinking a lot about this idea of stillness that we see fairly prevalently in yoga and meditation practices and spiritual traditions of many kinds. While laying in one of the many savasana we take during what my studio calls the fire sequence, which is a fairly stationary alignment and strength focused practice very different than the style of yoga we also offer that I teach, which is called vinyasa, I really started to trip out on this idea of being still. So many people ask me before and after vinyasa classes what vinyasa really means, and how this style contrasts from other styles. Vinyasa refers to the transitions we take between the postures or asanas, so it's the way in which we get in and out of the pose. The practice - especially in my personal experience - is about bringing together breath and movement in a way that all the processes of all the bodies - energetic, mental, physical, etc - start to flow seamlessly and with clarity and ease. I say a lot during my classes to let the mind have a break during this time, to let the thoughts fall away. There is a lot of talk in meditation of the monkey mind, that hops around from thing to thing, flinging thoughts into the forefront to assert the dominance of the ego in a world that constantly establishes hierarchy of some egos over others. This so-called "stillness" of the mind, or quiet, or often the analogy of a pond without ripples, is used and is supremely useful, and has been for me, especially as I've pursued study of kundalini, which places an increased focused on, well, focus, on strengthening the mind so that it can stay still in those quiet meditative moments. I've found this whole experience totally invaluable for my life, in as much as I live in my head and let my thoughts run rampant sometimes, and for the moments when I do want my thoughts to actual dominate, I feel like I can just think, do and be more efficient, can manage stress and direct my focus with actual ease, and it feels, honestly, amazing.
The thing that I realized today, though - laying in a pose where we encourage stillness and the embrace of rest, of cessation of movement as an actual facet of the work required in every pose - is that nothing is ever still. Ever. In a world where even gravity seems more and more likely a function of the forces of thermodynamics that keep our universe the expanding spiraling ever-moving phenomenon that it is, when even matter itself actually seems to be just another occasional, and often mercurial property of energy, to be still would be to cease to exist, to be nothing. I often think in terms of the cardinal elements of many magic or esoteric systems, in more of a divinatory than foundational sense, I might add, and think about the different ever-changing elemental compositions of just a body, like, am I mostly carbon, bones, matter that will return to the earth, or am I mostly water as science suggests, or am I air, the breathe of life and respiration an essential property of almost all life, the thoughts I think as much a part of me and influence on my self-definition as anything, or am I fire, the sparks of life, the synapses and discreet but powerful nervous system, the even more discreet (and arguably more powerful) energetic matrices that make up a body within all the different hyperobjects and hypersubjects of our planetary collective superorganism, the impulses that drive me to act. What am I the most? But the truth it seems is that, as we look scientifically or spiritually, what I am mostly is empty space, void, mystery, my atomic nature really mostly just a lot of tiny things orbiting around each other but mostly just space between, as is the planet, as is the solar system, the galaxy, ad infinitum, all of us in such constant motion that our minds cannot even perceive of it, cannot even perceive of the orbit or rotation of the planet we call home, because it's that fast, that constant. We almost certainly never occupy the same space in space-time more than once in our lives, so what are we really looking to find when we embrace this stillness, this rest, this quiet, what are we actually trying to do here? Because to become truly still would seem counter-productive, even destructive, would be to freeze, to wrench ourselves out of synch with everything we know and are defined by and between, all of these ever-shifting contexts that make up our lives.
I often say during spinal bending exercises in class, remind spine how flexible it is, even as we move through the rigid world outside, stiff with hierarchies, power dynamics, state borders, personal boundaries, encapsulating definitions of who we are and what we can be. Another lesson that leads me forward in this stream of thought is when we practice balancing postures, like say, tree pose or vrksasana. I caution students that just like a tall tree or skyscraper, balance while erect really relies on the ability to move, not on the ability to be rigid, so it really becomes a mental exercise of noticing and flowing with the minute movements we feel when we try to find stillness in a one-legged balancing posture, rather than stiffening or fighting against these movements, which only results in toppling over, just like a rigid skyscraper would simply tumble if it wasn't able to sway with the wind, or a tall tree would come uprooted if it weren't immensely pliable. It brings into mind a new concept of strength, of pliability, and indeed I find the brunt of my Wiccan practice where it intersects with my yoga practice involves meditating as a tree, evoking strength through that metaphysical metaphor, simultaneously grounding myself to a strong core and center of the earth while embracing pliability and strength through growth and flexibility, the ability to grow in different directions when I need to, to sway in harsh winds when I need to. But this brings me to what my real point here is, is that stillness will always be an impossible and purely metaphorical idea. Just like our bodies, our minds will never truly be still, be empty, and maybe that's the whole point. Maybe what we actually seek when we look for stillness, when we activate the breath and train the mind to be focused, sharp, still, quiet, maybe what we are really aligning ourselves with is the movements of the Earth, of our star the Sun, of the solar system and our galaxy and universe and all of it, maybe that's what the real striving point should be, not moving within a herd mentality but within our own particular, special and beautiful orbit, "in the flow" as some New Thought writers have said it. Maybe when I'm actually resting in savasana, is the only time I am really moving in exactly the way that I am supposed to be moving, in tune with everything else. It's just a metaphor, I guess, just like anything - a person, identity, a science, a practice - these are all metaphorical definitions that we make real by embodying and practicing. This idea suddenly makes so much more sense to me and has I think opened me up to a whole new phase of my practice, so I thought maybe it would be helpful to share.
I fucking love yoga! lol. I love living! I love having a body! It's crazy how far I have come since I first popped in that Yoga for Beginner's DVD.
The world can be a really intense place but it is not your enemy. Consider whatever boundaries you hold to constitute yourself as a staging ground for how you interact with the world. Chances are, if you treat yourself like an enemy, the rest of the world will, too - in any way, from the food you eat and the choices you make to the way you narrate your life or address your feelings. But flip that story around and treat yourself like your closest and oldest friend, actively loving and caring for yourself, practicing compassion for yourself when you make mistakes, giving yourself a lot of leeway to fuck up and explore and love fearlessly, then your dealings with the world outside will for the most part follow suit, and the interactions that don't will find a you that is dramatically more prepared to love anyone like a friend, even when they are still trapped in the mindset of treating you like an enemy. I think in this way, the boundaries between self and other start to blur and fall until you realize that everything is so deeply connected that everyone and everything deserves love and compassion, even those who have woven institutional webs of seeming steel to trap the world in the model of fighting the "enemy." Just something to think about.
The concept of family shouldn't have to include a metaphorical or practical subversion of your dreams or desires.
I've always worked, since I could, since I had my driver's license, even after I wrecked my first hand-me-down car first week, 87 Corsica, my dad let me drive the 77 Pontiac Bonneville aka The Battleship to work, not like I had to be working so much I just did as much as they scheduled me, I had nothing else going on but a mild social life and video games, I probably wouldn't have felt the need to work so much, slash my parents probably would have suffered to give me more money if I gave two shits at school but I didn't, had horrible grades, slid by on my freaky intellectual ability to sit down in front of a test on subjects I knew nothing about and still get an A, to write a paper about something I knew nothing about the night before it was due and get an A, but I've always thought the kids who actually worked hard were the real smart ones, but where are they now, and where am I? Still working. I had two jobs in high school, and then three, and I don't remember how I managed three schedules, and it's not like I was starving but I wanted gas to drive my friends around and I wanted to buy cigarettes for my dudes who were kissing me when they weren't with their girlfriends, well that was one dude in particular, but I always liked being the one with spending money, always liked rolling up to 7-11 knowing I could at least get whatever I wanted in there within reason and not have to sweat it, my attitude towards delis and money now, at least I can go ham in the organic deli wherever and not sweat it, even if I got mad debt and no savings and my extra money is going to music videos and my new tattoo obsessions, I always worked and it's always been fine.
I waited tables in truck stops and alternative cafes and then got to New York and fell ass backward into fine dining and blinked and I was a manager at a nice place in the city making sure Padma Lakshmi got her latte and pastry and the nice big table where her team could sit and do whatever people like that do, place where Amanda Bynes holed up in the bathroom doing her makeup for an hour and when I tweeted about it E! DMed me asking for details and I tweeted at them all high and mighty, or maybe I just thought about doing it but just didn't answer, and for awhile that was my identity, especially after my soul mate died almost a year ago, at least I was a manager, I manage people, in effect, I am really good at controlling people, at bringing all of our egos in line with the hierarchal status quo that says brown-skinned people work the shitty jobs and we call them Support Staff and lighter skinned people, or the articulate educated brown ones, work the less shitty jobs and make more money, yes I worked really hard to bring us all in line under that system, I managed the Support Staff specifically, wrought some fucked up filial affection out of those kids, really loved those kids, busted my ass keeping up with the Dominican slang and started to really feel myself in a masculine way so they would respect me, but then it was yanked out from under my feet, kind of in the same way but no way near as traumatic as when Grant was yanked out of my life, but it devastated me in a different way, that whole month before I was turning cards that were Pentacles, I had paid off my credit cards, was paying out people for this show way in advance, and still working full time, good money considering after the scheduling, the money stuff, putting out the numerous fires, I still had a lot of time at that job to just chill and text and fiddle with the lights and the playlist and drift around and just chat to the people.
I went through my 200 hour yoga teacher training last fall same time, grieving and barely holding on to my humanity, but when I came out of it I had this idea, that maybe I loved my job, it had paid me there (though I turned some tricks in August to get me over the hump, got gonorrheah from the same John that gave it to me the year before in the same month, at a different room in the same hotel, and he didn't even remember meeting me the first time, or asking me to shit in his mouth, nice guy though. Nurse who gave me the shot, old Jamaican lady at my neighborhood clinic where the girl who works the front desk is Cher and always calls me by my name, even when I'm on the phone, she's all, "This Penney?", where I cried one time because one of the doctors actually took the time to ask me how I was, when I told her I did sex work, she just wanted to know that I was ok, I'm crying now thinking about it, the nurse gave me the shot for gonorheah the second time in a year she says, with no other mention of it, "Now I ain't gonna see you back in here for this again." Stuck me in my arm with that awful shot, but not as bad as the first one, that one ruined me.) (Also the day I was to pay for my training, I was going to set up a payment plan but this wingnut who moved into the apartment upstairs of the restaurant begged and pleaded to let his movers move his couch through the restaurant and up the fire escape, I gave a flat NO WAY knowing how intense our D.O. could be about disruptions to service, but then I asked her she said to be a good neighbor and let him do it, and he gave me $300, which he had been offering from the beginning, and said to never mention it again, and I pocketed that cash and walked to my first night at teacher training and paid that tuition in cash in full, free and clear, and we never mentioned it again, that fucking nut case and his nut girlfriend who moved in and made him move the couch out, I let them take it out the same way no bribe, I never took a bribe before in my life and almost felt awful about it but I actually don't care, I used it for something good, something that changed my life).
Starting school I went into that room grieving, assuming not a soul could understand what I was going through, losing a friend like I lost, even though my first and best TT buddy and I had met at Grant's memorial, though I didn't recognize him then, didn't see anything then except the lanterns all you amazing old friends of his lit up and let fly while his band played, that was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, I've never cried so hard in my life. But pretty soon I realized everyone in that room had felt pain like that, or something in some way analogous, that's why we were all there, or at the very least we had all felt alienated, felt different, like we didn't belong, and this is something I used to attribute to the human condition but now I know in my heart it's not us it's the way we are forced to live, it's the atomization and fragmentation of families and communities and selves by the forces of rape and domination that keep capitalism and Western culture and white male hegemony moving, but even after TT, even after that job was yanked out from under me, Pentacles not warning me of impending wealth but impending whole planetary shifts of my self-perception and how I sustained myself, I carried my grief around like a curse, like a weapon, bludgeoned people that I was just meeting, particularly men off the hook-up sites with it.
If you don't know, which you probably don't, I took Grant's room after he passed, because who the hell else was I going to let take it? And after his step-dad took all the stuff he could carry back I was left with the rest, and I folded my clothes amongst his, put all my things in his old dresser - I mean hell, "my" dresser in my old room he gave me, anyway - I went through everything, socks, underwear, wife beaters, decided what I would reasonably wear, and put the rest in bags in the hall closet, probably will eventually donate it. That was my penance for losing him, the chore I had to do to be able to benefit materially from my best friend's death, take over his big nice bed and big nice room and inherit this household that I paid a deposit on over two years ago sight unseen just based on a tweet from him after hanging out for one night, I won the lottery in all this, he paved my way to New York, covered my rent before I got my promotion and wasn't making ends meet yet, not by a long-shot, and this is how I dealt with his loss.
But I bore his death like a cross for most of this year, I really did.
I have called myself a lot of things - a Christ, a Goddess, a nobody, a monster - but this year I got really creative, a death priestess, an archangel, a void witch. More importantly, I divided everyone else into categories and phylums of who had seen or felt or experienced enough pain, enough sorrow, classified myself with those that had felt the deep piercing anguish of being forcibly separated from the one you love by dimensions or planes of existence or non-existence, living and not living. I have always felt different. I have always been different. It's true, most people would agree, I'm not average and if you read my last (first) book you know I'm not normal, but even in interviews I said, this is my effort to show that we all are basically the same inside, whatever blah blah blah about that cycle of work, it's true, but I had no idea what different was then, I look at pictures of myself with Grant or even before I met him and I see a child, and I get angry, because I had no idea what was in store for me then, and I had known PAIN then, I had known ANGUISH, I had known HEARTACHE, I had laid in bed and questioned myself for motivations for being alive, and motivations for being dead, and found no convincing argument for either side, and somehow still managed to drag my ass to work to wait tables, drag my ass into drag onto stage to lip synch for my life, and still I knew nothing of what was in store for me after I got that phone call that morning, but suddenly now ... As much as I feel the events of my life have cleaved me apart of that person I was, I also look to the events and phenomena of my life that give me metaphors or wide enough idealogical breadth to not have to cleave anything apart, that make everything seem part of a cohesive whole, I have many of both and maybe it's not that, or the other, but somewhere in between, or none and all at once that's really the whole idea here, that we can look at anything and find reasons to see irreconcilable difference, or beautiful harmony.
The reason I wrote this is because in chair pose today with one of the teachers who has really been instrumental in guiding me through so much of this awful messy crazy life of mine, though she probably doesn't really know it, though I've told her, she's just been there for me in the yoga room, on the mat, in heated rooms and rooms simply hot because we are all moving and breathing and sweating so much, but she really inspires me, as so many of my teachers, mentors, who are now my co-workers do, she said in chair pose, like everyone's least favorite post, though honestly I always loved it early on in practice because at least I knew where I was supposed to be roughly, she said, Make a choice to love this, because the alternative isn't so good. Make a choice to love this. It reminded me of when I was walking past the Freedom Tower randomly after a train snaffu, good thing I got that unlimited card, and though, I love that stupid tower, I mean I hate it, and I fully understand the reasons why fundamentalist Islam decided to fly planes into the old ones, because we are an instrumental part for why extremism exists in this world, our Cold Wars and World Wars and Green Revolutions and missionary work and tourism and all of it, we waste food and the world starves, we force our truth regime of science and Capitalism down everyone else's throat, and you wonder why some nutcases are able to inspire so fully this violent extremism in a bunch of young kids who ain't been nothing but oppressed their whole lives, culturally, materially, so they turn around and oppress the next lower person on the food chain, their women, sound familiar? So they knocked our buildings down and we put up one called Freedom, which is beautiful, but who the hell is free in this fucking country that we stole by committing genocide on a culture that was ravaged by disease we brought over, yes we, white people we are the ones who need to be held accountable for this, be strong, accept it, WE did this, and we continue to live and work and play and party and rage and turn up on this land we pretend to own, these fragmented states united under what? We don't even afford the indigenous tribes native to this land the dignity of ambassadors, the Department of the Interior deals with them, yes, the people who deal with the wildlife and our "natural" "resources," are native peoples living on forced reservations after centuries of cultural genocide a natural resource? And we privatize our prisons and the systems that supposedly keep people out of jail, like diversion, probation, etc, and use extortion to fund our bloated inefficient beauracricies, and shame and punish inner city teachers for low test scores while hacking and slashing every single social service and subsidy, and pretend that it's not racial, pretend that there aren't whole generations of black men bred to fill prisons, and people ask me why I don't go out in drag anymore for fun, because my feet hurt and I'm fucking angry when I get in drag, because Alexis is a force of nature bread of virile hatred for the conditions that created her, that I slowly have rehabilitated into a sort of angry healer or psychic first alert system, I feel pain, this hurts, it hurts to live here and look at this and not know what to do about it, help, we need help over here!
Make a choice to love it. I make a choice to love the Freedom Tower. Fuck Obama, but I make a choice to love that a whole generation of black kids now knows that they could be president some day. Fuck Israel, but what are we gonna do about it, really? Make a choice to love. I don't know how this works beyond chair pose, which I do love, even as it stresses out my 6 month persistent thigh injury, from doing too much vinyasa, for too long, and not varying my movements enough, which has been a blessing in that it guided me to the hot room, to kundalini, to all of these alternative ways of moving equally beneficial that compliment vinyasa in so many ways, I really do smile in chair pose, and I do smile at the Freedom Tower, I think it is beautiful, and maybe that's just because I'm gay and I love dicks and long straight things and things with lights that glimmer in the haze of the city like skylines from anime I used to watch on Saturday mornings as a kid on Sci-Fi, and I do love men, I look at every little boy, these little ass hole kids of all ethnicities that make fun of me in my neighborhood, these twenty-something douche bags that I serve at the bar I work at now who never worked a real day in their lives and want to talk about my tattoo and my ponytail with their crew cuts and cuff-links and whatever bullshit, we are all just trying to embody the things that society has made of us, maybe even I am just filling a role, Goddess knows there have been people like me, like us, in every generation, we are the ones that move things around, not necessarily forward, but around, and I guess something that I realize is that, I can make a choice more immediately, more importantly, to love the things about myself. I worked my whole life. I can love that. Maybe teaching yoga full time isn't for me right now, or ever, maybe I will never support myself with my music, maybe I will and be miserable, maybe if I could just make a choice to love...
I tried to work a different style restaurant for these 6 months to supplement my government aid, where the hierarchies weren't as clear, where the food was vegan and gluten free and the people were conscious and the boss used to be a Bikram manager and abrasively shrieked at us that we were "Change makers!!!" and I left every day smelling like gross unhealthy vegan food and all the gluten free pastries had highly refined and toxic agave in them and the people still sucked sometimes, everyone I worked there I loved, really, but I wasn't making change there, so I am back at a nice place, with brown bar backs, where white people run the show, but I try to at least bring something of what we say in kundalini is our radiant body to it, I try to make it clear to them that my ego isn't wrapped up in subverting theirs, I just want to make my money and make everyone feel good, and yeah I told myself I was done with food service for good, done with the idea of service, but maybe I can make a choice to love that about myself, because of all the strange places restaurant work has allowed me to see, in workplaces and out, like I love Nickelback, because my supervisor when I was 16 at Perkins in Olathe, KS, Carol, who I would drive home to the trailer park in Gardner after work, where she lived with her husband who was sometimes on meth, sometimes methadone, who she had chosen to stay with even though they took away her kids because of it, that part really gets me, one time that song, "You Remind Me" was playing in the kitchen, and of course like every 16 year old alt-punk I was rolling my eyes at it, but she said, with not a shred of irony, "This song is about my life." I can choose to love these things about myself. And I can choose to love the death I have seen and experienced, because it has made me so much stronger, and more able to love, and accept love. We can choose to let our pasts define us, to freeze those traumas in place and cripple us slowly and eat away at us gradually, or we can choose to see them not as banes but boons. The same with history, I think, globally, planetarily, we can choose to see the patriarchy, all this pain, the bombs in Gaza, in Pakistan, in the Ukraine, the NYPD, the Holocaust, whatever, as this deep, defining defect in human nature, or we can choose to love it for all the lessons we can take, and forcefully, angrily, powerfully love this fucking bullshit into something that sustains life and doesn't burden each and every one of us with the looming apocalyptic despair of powerlesslness and pain living under patriarchy. I am attempting to choose love.
Also Ani Difranco kind of sounds like Shakira.
It feels like I've been writing this all week or month or year really. My OCD is such that whenever something significant happens in my life I immediately start counting towards or away from milestones - it's been 6 months since then, it's 7 weeks until it will have been two years, etc. The flip side of this is that the day Grant died, July 26th of last year, is the day that time stopped existing for me in the normal way. I considered myself to have been someone well versed in death, trauma, pain, life even before this happened, but nothing in my life has ever been like this last year has been. I feel like I have crossed a line or veil that sometimes I comfort myself by thinking everyone eventually crosses, and sometimes disturbs me to imagine that in some lifetimes people may never cross this veil, may never know love this profound and lose it in such a profound way. But I don't like to talk of Grant's passing in terms of loss because through knowing him and yes even through "losing" him, I have gained so much. I thought I knew things before, but I knew nothing. I thought I knew love before but I only knew love with terms and conditions and boundaries and limits and that's not what I felt and still feel for him and from him but also back then my heart was closed. And maybe it's not open now but I am at least aware and working on it. Back then I maybe still was figuring out or fearing my purpose, or many purposes, my very existence, hedging my bets on superficial indicators of what I should do next, but now I know that whatever happens, however painful it is, my path isn't necessarily meant to be clear but it is meant to be tread, boldly, fearlessly, with nothing but a nod and a smile given to obstacles, to those realities and scenarios that would seem to throw me off, to drag me down, to get me to stop. I am so strong and I am so proud I feel like I glow in knowing how proud he is of me and everything I've done and am doing. My heart breaks for your family; for your friends, for everyone who ever met you. You were such a brilliant and powerful presence in every life you touched even for a second, and still so humble and kind, so tolerant of so much bullshit. I ache for those people who maybe haven't reached this milestone feeling stronger or happier. Goddess knows it has been hard for me. The hardest thing I have ever EVER experienced and probably ever will, to be honest. I have never cried like that. I have never felt so incomplete. I felt pain that has come to eclipse all the pain I have ever felt combined. But I have grown and changed and adapted. And I've been so lucky. Not only were you the means and motivations for me to move here, the support system once I got here and realized that I was here in New York to completely raze the life and ideas I had about it and build it anew, but in passing you left me with so much beauty and magic. I sleep in your amazing bed every night. I wear your hat everywhere I go, your wife beaters, your fucking boxer briefs. Your knife is on my arm for the rest of my life. Maybe it's weird but it feels so right. You showed me how to be better than what society tells us a man is, stronger than the weird woman I knew myself to be, left me with such huge shoes to fill but after I woke up, maybe in October or November, or maybe it wasn't until May, or even fully until now, that I realized that I had survived your leaving, I knew I could fill them. I hope all the others you left behind feel you as strong as I do. You've come to me in dreams. When I'm feeling the saddest, when I curl up in your bed alone and really start to hurt for you, all I have to do is whisper your name to know that you're there. At certain hours the hairs on my neck bristle in the way that tells me you're moving through the room. Things move around and creak and the wind hits the chimes and I am unnerved but comforted all the less. I trust that for the most part all that you are has moved on, but the nature of time and spirit and memory being what it is, I know there is a part of you that lives in all of us and watches over all of us. I am so grateful to have such a powerful ally on the other side. I am so grateful to know that at least one person like you existed in a human body on this planet. I strive to love the way you loved - with no fear of seeming weak, with no thought to whether you would be loved back in the right way. I'm afraid i don't know what else to say. I'm afraid that this is suddenly goodbye. I know it's not. I wish I would have spent more time with you. I yearn for all the things we didn't get to do. I am constantly meeting new and beautiful people, some that even remind me of you, and thinking how much you would have enjoyed each other, or wondering if you had a hand in our meeting. I hear you in my music, in the songs we never got to write. I had an idea that turned into a theory today which is this: the only way that any one of us will achieve anything approaching happiness is by working and questing and devoting our entire lives to changing the world in the ways it needs changing in the exact ways that we can and are meant to, in these specific bodies, in these specific times. Every one of us. Nothing should get in the way of your real life, your art, your love and passion. Job, money, family society, it may make you feel and seem crazy but I am writing this from the other side of that decision, where I can finally see there have never been sides at all. I really miss you Grant and I know I always will. I thought this anniversary was Monday but then I got a google alert on my phone. What I had written in my calendar in the days after it happened on this day was simply your name. Grant. I hope that in all the years that are to come, however many they may be, I can remember to affirm joy on this day, and love, and strength and beauty and growth and music even in loss. Thank you so much for everything. There is so much I found in this relationship and continue to find that completely defies description and on some level that will always madden me as I write songs and stories and poems and look for the way you made me feel in every friendship and relationship, in all the ways I act towards others attempting to be strong enough to be that for them even when I don't feel that from them, but on some level I guess it's just perfect. Some things we will never be able to describe fully to another but that's ok as long as we keep trying. I miss you buddy. I miss you calling me darlin'. I have this idea that when we truly meet again in form it will seem like no time has passed at all. Thank you for everything.
I've had the occasion to say this to a lot of people in a lot of different ways today, for a lot of different reasons, but I think it's something everyone should hear. YOU have so much beauty to bring to the world and nothing should get in the way of that. Whether it's alcohol, drugs, the expectations of your family or society, a bad relationship, whatever it is...Please don't allow yourself to be prevented in living the life you are supposed to live. We are all here in these bodies for so many interconnected reasons. Nothing should stop you from doing everything you know you should be doing, deep down, even if on the surface you feel purposeless, we all have that deep, driving desire, that urge to do something that seems to defy all logic of who we are, even as it also offers a glimmer of hope, of a path that could actually knit together all your disparate elements into a unified whole. Do that! Challenge EVERYTHING you know or think you know, every assumption, everything society tells you, your education tells you, your parents, your family, your church, your friends, even your deepest held truths, challenge each and every one of them, and hold them up to this test: is this helping me achieve my dreams? Is it hindering me from achieving my dreams? Is it hindering another from achieving their dreams, from living their life, in direct but also indirect ways? Hopefully many of your deepest held truths will stand up to this challenge and in fact show that they are helping you achieve your dreams, but even I, having lived my life for over a decade in basically the craziest ways I could imagine, find on a regular basis that some of the ideas I've held on to the longest aren't actually helping me at all, but hindering me. Most importantly, challenge your fears. Inspire yourself to let those go! Impress yourself with your courage! The thing you fear is often the thing that you're really supposed to be doing. Do that! It's okay to be afraid, it would be kind of insane if you never were, but what's not ok is letting your reaction to fear rule your every move, limit the life you feel like you can live. If following your dreams seems to take you on a path that goes so far outside of what anyone could ever say is normal, fucking do it! I'm out here in the wilderness with some insanely beautiful people living an insanely beautiful life, it's really ok! WE have responsibility. All of us. I believe and feel the Goddess flowing immanently through and within everything. I know that even the patriarchal, plastic, materialistic, dualistic, imperialist, violent forms in which our culture has found itself are as "natural" and a part of nature as any tree, rock or circle of witches dancing around a fire, just in the same way that I know my fears, my anger, my hate, my violent tendencies, my suicidal tendencies, my laziness, my judgements, these are all a natural part of me, too, but just in the same way that these attitudes beg to be addressed and ultimately quelled in favor of acting on the principles of love, compassion, care, sustenance, so does our culture beg to be challenged. It isn't helping people achieve their dreams. In fact, it's hindering them, through rape, violence, genocide, murder, colonialism, slavery, misogyny, racism. I know the Goddess exists in every spec of life but I know this is not Her design, this world we find ourselves in, where we share and reblog and retweet and cry and rage and scream and still we don't feel like we're doing anything, still the kids are dying in Gaza, an estimated 27 million people live in conditions of forced labor aka slavery, the plastic gyre swirls in the ocean and disintegrates into tiny particles that have already invaded our food stream and blood streams, industrialized sugar addiction rages, women are denied identities, people of color are denied validity, plants and animals are pillaged, abused and harvested in unsustainable quantities and the oceans continue to rise. This is not what She wants. This is not Her dream, Her design, some lesson She's devised to teach us how to love. She already taught us how to love, just by the nature of our being, and we turned away, spat on Her, called Her a devil, a dragon, a Satan, and cheered as our so-called gods slew Her, over and over again in story, myth and "holy" doctrine. This is our world that we have created, and it's time we step up and make the changes, within ourselves, that will echo out through our interactions and change the world. It's not going to be any easier to effect this shift than it was for me to, say, stop eating gluten, or stop drinking, to drag my fucking ass to yoga every day and sweat and cry and breath and sink into my hips and face all the pain I'd stored there all those years. But now that I've done it all, that I do it every day, I know I can never go back. And I trust that that moment will come, maybe in 100 generations, maybe in the next, when we look back at all this trauma and pain and all the things we did, singularly and collectively, to perpetuate it, and wonder how we ever could have, how we could ever go back. I know this world exists. I see it in my dreams. I can fucking taste it. But it starts with YOU. And ME. And US. You have so much beauty to bring to the world and nothing should get in the way of that. <3
Happy Lughnasa / Lammas everybody. This is a beautiful time to reflect on all the seeds we have sown in our lives and start to reap the fruits of that labor. Also a great time for cleaning and cleansing, to make room for the coming harvest and open ourselves to receiving abundance. We can also honor the light bearers of myth and story today - Lugh, St. Joan, Kulkucan, Prometheus, Krishna, Lucifer, Jesus, even Lady Liberty, and meditate on how to be light bearers in our own lives as we work to cultivate the seeds of the world we wish to see. And of course all blessings to the Great Mother, whose love and energy grow the flora and fauna that are her body and feed ours. Sow to reap, reap to sow, work is love, love to grow. Namaste and blessed be!
Today I was wondering, as my program works us up the chakras in tune with the elements and explores all of that, what about the other way around, from crown to root? I know everything flows a lot of different ways. I didn't ask my teacher about it but kept wondering and then wandered by the bulletin board and lo and behold this seminar was being held tonight about manifesting ideas into the physical realm by drawing energy down from the crown, to the root, and all the different steps from imagination to physical manifestation. It was too real and too real to my life tonight. Of course I was crying. It's really cool to just be in a place where everyone speaks the same language as me roughly, and everyone roughly is working to make the world a better place through self-care and healing modalities. Totally eye opening. Of course I was relating everything back to the book I am working on and how challenged I am by putting in the writing work (third chakra zone) because it's so solitary and seemingly pleasure less, and I'm still not quite sure what the solution there is, even as I'm totally on track with my next record and all these other things I'm working on, it's like, do I involve someone else, make them hold me responsible for writing an hour a night? Start a writing circle where we just sit and write together? Get someone to read these drafts and encourage (or discourage lol) me? A lot of people were asking about relationships and money, and her advice was, if jt serves the greater good, chances are the universe is going to put a lot more wind in it's sails. Which really made me think, I do think there is a "greater good" and I do believe that every challenge we face, even on a global historical level in which everything seems so dire, is an opportunity to learn and grow. How would we know utopia if we hadn't have gone through all this garbage to find it? In the same ways that I know how good I'm doing personally only because I can reflect back on all the times in my life when I wasn't doing so good at all, when I was actually hurting myself and others on a regular basis. So that's good. And yeah you know if I found a relationship that would serve my art and healing and whatever you want to call this life practice of mine, that would be cool, so uh yeah my number has been on my Facebook this whole time, I prefer texts but cold calls are fine too lol. But really the most powerful thing she said was during a visualization at the end, we were asked to see our versions of heaven on earth, whatever that was for us personally, and then for our communities, and globally. I saw a world where women and men are born and raised as equal and necessary parts of one cohesive whole, a peaceful loving planetary community united and strengthened by mutual appreciation of all our myriad differences, where all our beautiful technologies - spiritual and material, which are the same in this world I see - are used to distribute the bounty of this planet to all, to be consumed in sustainable ways. She then asked us to expand that out in little ways, how we could make this earth a little more heavenly for ourselves and for others. Schedule a vacation, pursue a dream, give a panhandler $1 of $5 or $100 (her prosperity meditation - "Enough with plenty to share." !!!), all of these little ways, and then to draw that energy down and she had us all touch the earth to see it become real. "We can do it." She affirmed. And I totally believe her. We can totally do it! That's when I started crying lol. I love my life. I think I wanna go back to school? And get a degree? And continue to teach and share yoga and spiritual practice. And continue to be a full time artist. Why not, right?
We totally have the resources and technology for everyone to be working and living in ways that spiritually fulfill them and still leave time to have as much fun as I did tonight (slash as I manage to almost all the time) and it really just comes down to a pervasive psycho-spiritual culture of identities and values fomented by fear of death and an atomizing denial of the interconnectedness of all people and things, within the individual and as it is mirrored at regional, continental and global scale, as rooted with the advent of patriarchal values of misogyny and gender binaries and racist, tribal and sectarian hierarchies. It all seems so simple, though the application of any solution or several layers of solutions will of course be appropriately complicated and most likely mind-bendingly difficult to institute. I don't really know what the answer is, but my question remains, why doesn't everyone get to feel as free as I? A freedom born of much pain and ecstasy, on the razor edge of many layers of oppression and privilege. I really wish this insane thirst for life and experience and connection and relation for everyone.
Today I would like to bring my awareness just for a moment to the really unfathomable amount of people on this planet, each of whom are living within a totally unique context with totally unique perspectives on the world, and affirm with love and compassion each one of that totally unfathomable plurality of views, beliefs, loves, losses, hopes and dreams. Every single one of those people is as important as the sum total of our species, and every single one deserves to be valued and empowered to know that they are a beautiful microcosm of this beautiful, bizarre species. Sending love to everybody. Yogi Bhajan said, "We are all one mala, one rosary, linked with one thread to the breath of life."
I have a confession. (I have the flu). (Don’t fucking comment on this if you don’t read the entire thing, please.) A lot of people may not remember, but on New Year's Eve of 2009? A young black kid named Oscar Grant was shot in the back by a BaRT cop who claimed he was reaching for his tazer. I watched the video when it surfaced, kind of on an odd lark. I had basically been eschewing, or running screaming as much as I could, living the life I was living at the time, politics on some phony ideological principle that they were bourgeois, that they weren't relative to my life, wrote them off as something my parents continually told me someday I would come around and wake up to with the same passionate fervor that they had. At the time I didn't believe it, and I did my best to patently ignore most current events outside of music and pop culture. But I clicked the video. And I watched him get shot. And I listened to the girl gasp and scream "They shot him!" I felt sick and I cried and I tried to forget about it.
Later, I watched the riots in downtown Oakland on YouTube. I was living in the east bay then but nowhere near downtown but it suddenly all felt very real and present and close. I thought about cops. I have always had an avowed compassion for authority figures - probably owing to some sexual fixation, tbh - I thought about my high school sculpture teacher who condemned pigs outright in her Birkenstocks and drapey black monochrome uniform. I thought about the compulsion to become a cop, or a member of the military. Sometimes it seemed like an attractive out - like I could just surrender myself to that paradigm and still feel free tog flourish within it. I have always thrived with at least some outside structure. I had a lot of actually positive interactions with cops in Kansas City. The same two always seemed to be breaking up parties in midtown, but calmly, obviously having bigger fish to fry. My first night in my first apartment I witnessed a shooting and gave a statement and I saw that officer a lot in the ensuing years, even once at Chili's lol. He always seemed to remember me and asked how I was doing. Of course we were both white.
My high school was pretty diverse. Probably not as much as I like to rnemeber it, but there was a lot of mixing of cultures and races there and it got pretty wild, with 3,000 kids. I've spoken at length in a lot lf contexts about my first experiences of observed racism - because no matter where you are, white people on this planet at this time are never entitled to claim they have experiences racism. Absolutely never - and how devastating they were, but things got murkier the older and I got and the more drugs I did and the more I drowned my brain in booze. I remember a girl in my sewing class who was late in a pregnancy passionately disavowing my seicaloty, telling me she would never allow her son to be gay. I replied that it wasn't something anyone could change, even more than she could change the color of her skin that was born with. She fucking flipped, standing up and screaming that she had no choice to have been born black and Native American. How dare I compare my sin to her skin color! I mean yeah, her not having a choice was my point, but she didn't get it, and the teacher shushed us. At lunch that day her brother walked up to my table, me and like two nerds lol, and said if I ever so much as talked to his sister again he would shoot me in the face, geaturing towards his belt as if he had the piece right there. I stood up and walked to the principles office to report him and I was told that I had equated her race with a sinful act, and was in the wrong, and assured that he didn't have access to a gun. Lol how did they know?
Like I said, things got murky, they get murky with age. I taught myself Spanish to communicate with the hot ass dudes that cooked at the restaurant I worked at, cozied up to their sisters and cousins at school trying to be down with them, I mistakenly enrolled in a slower track math class and stayed on the slow track the whole time, because I thought the kids were cooler. The classes were, I don't know f this is obvious or racist to say, but they were more diverse on the slower track. I made friends with a girl from Afghanistan, a black girl who got me, had a diamond E on her gold tooth and left when she got pregnant, scruffy white trash dudes who laughed at the sci if books I read during breaks. None of this really matters, but in the ensuing years I tried to fashion myself as friends with everyone, as someone who experienced much, but kids were mean, people were scary. I saw that shooting. I got chased several times wandering around midtown and downtown Kansas City - by far not even remotely the most dangerous areas - by dudes, had my house robbed several times - once by a crack dealer I let crash my couch, my bad. By the time I was living in Oakland and watching Oscar Grant get gunned down, I had formed some really toxic associations, with many people.
Men I wrote off patently as sexual objects and obsolete abusers and destroyers, women as their willing partners in crime, the girls that sneered at me on the train, that rolled their eyes when I waited on them and snuck backstage during our drag shows, grabbing our tits and asses and bemoaning how fat we made them look. But I let myself really slide into hatred when it came to black people. Of course, I was still sleeping with any man I could lure into my clutches, and of the punks, the artists, the weirdos, I enjoyed the friendship of people of all colors and creeds, even decrying racism openly with my new politically aware friends in the Bay Area, disavowing the racist jokes me and my friends would make in Kansas City, pretending ourselves as somehow part of a punk exception from any and all moral accountability. But I let some things fester within me. Living and working in Oakland, I had 10 year old kids walk up to me, shove me and call me a faggot, black teens cross the street to surround me in a circle and tell me to get the fuck out of their neighborhood with my faggot ass walking around shirtless (asking for it?), had literal packs of teenagers chase me on several occasions, me running as fast as I could in kitten heels to reach the train turnstile and the relative safety of the subway platform, though I was threatened there, too, and aboard the train, where strangers tended to look away as if I wasn’t being publicly accosted.
Hopefully it’s obvious that I’m not writing this to demonize black people, nor is this an attempt to write myself or white people, or white queers or trans (or whatever I am) people into the narrative about race, but like it or not, we are a part of it. We are all a part of this racially striated society. I want to make amends for the attitudes I held during that time. I want to make amends for the things I said. Though I know there really isn’t a way to do so. I just want to get it off my chest.
The belief that I held, when I watched that video of that kid get gunned down, while lying on his stomach, with his hands bound behind his back, was that if they hadn’t have been fucking around on the train, it never would have happened. I’m crying because I’m really disgusted at myself not just for thinking it, but for actually having the gall to say it out loud, I’m not sure to who or how often, but I know I did. That was a dark time for me. It came to a breaking point a couple of years later, so disgusted with society was I, so confused about my place in the world, that I had finally theorized that the only reason I could possibly have been put on this planet, ostensibly in the body of the global oppressor but feeling like an aberrant mutation, all my sexual urges and desires pointing me in the exact opposite direction of “normal” men and women, telling me not to procreate, that the solution had to be patricide. I was put on this planet as an agent of the apocalypse. Mother Nature was sick of us and she was using queers as her first wave of world destroyers to wreak havoc within society and eventually over-populate the straights until we all simply went extinct in a hedonistic refusal to procreate. I LITERALLY, ACTUALLY, WHOLE-HEARTEDLY believed this was my purpose. I didn’t care about people. I obviously didn’t care about myself, looking back at all the things I was putting into my body in retrospect, I didn’t care about my parents, to whom I delivered this decree with toxic glee, even as I wept, feeling the terrible burden of one who must, at the very least, conceptually, ideologically murder one’s direct ancestors.
Side note, maybe also racist, you decide, hopefully someone calls me out for this but not another racist white person from my high school, I voted for Obama the first time. My ex and I, politically ignorant as we were, simply took the Bay Guardian’s who to vote for page that year and voted exactly as they said, liberally, like Democrats. I was living in the East Bay when he won, when the day cares on my block- down the street from Malcolm X High School, and you KNOW those motherfucking kids gave me SO much hell every day for my looks as I wandered to the deli across the street - erupted with cheers of, “OBAMA! OBAMA!” And honestly for all his faults, which are myriad, and the faults of the system, for which you can’t really blame the figurehead, but also, who else are you supposed to blame, besides all of us, which I also do…, I do deeply believe in at least the rhetoric that Obama espoused during his first run up to presidential election. I was inspired then, and I find it inspiring and beautiful that forever after these years, every black kid in America knows that they could some day become president, at least the men …
But that brings me back to these interactions, and these attitudes, and how sick I feel about the things I said and did then. To make a long and painful story of an uphill journey towards self-realization short, I read a passage in Anatomy of the Spirit that completely altered my life, in which Caroline Myss describes what an imbalance of the first chakra feels like - depression, malaise, full body lethargy, etc - and describes the relationships that rule this energy center, which are: One’s relationship with one’s family, and one’s relationship with the tribe or society at large. My world came crashing down when I read that. I was sick, so sick then - had been sober for months and was only feeling bad for it, even without the life altering daily hang overs, and I couldn’t figure it out. The saying of fake it til’ you make it really rings true in this situation. No I didn’t come to a radical compassion or whole hearted embrace of the world and every person on it and my family in that moment, but I did have a flash of realization, that if I were to survive, and thrive, and do the things I knew I wanted to do, and have any hope of changing the world in the ways I wanted, no felt deeply, divinely compelled to see it changed, I had to fucking switch my game up. So I did, or at least I started.
Which brings me to where I am now. I’m not trying to say that I was harboring some deep-seeded racism like what you see on tv right now in Ferguson, or all over Facebook feeds, or Twitter, or everywhere all the time, and I do mean EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME, if you aren’t seeing it OPEN YOUR FUCKING EYES, but it was a shade of that, and I feel badly about it. It didn’t change the way I treated anyone. I remember driving cross country moving to California with my then boyfriend, who was a decent deal older than me, and him telling me I had to clean up and show less skin in these podunk towns lest we get jumped, and I got on my high horse and told him that I enter every situation expecting people to respect me, knowing that I will respect them, and thus they treat me accordingly. This worked very well for me, to a point, but of course there were still the aforementioned black kids, and something I realized is that yes, knowing I am not going to call someone a racial slur to their face is way different than actually respecting someone, and their history, and the history of their people and the struggle that they face, that we all face, every day. We live in a deeply racially divided society. When I got to New York I was kind of unabashedly bummed that everywhere was top 40 hip hop all the time (which was reserved for the lesbian parties in SF - the queens all listened to house music), and I vocally decried mainstream hip hop culture for its materialism, and for the conscious self-hatred and inter-community hatred it inspires within the black community. You see all these fucking dudes hating on each other because their sneakers aren’t clean enough, they don’t have the latest model, their rims aren’t fancy enough, this is a gross stereotype but it is real, this culture has been enshrined within the mainstream and sold back to the people for and from whom it originated at the cost of their lives, in many cases, in the same way that crack was thrust onto the streets of cities across America. There are forces at work in this world that have many vested interests in keeping black people poor - and, yes, many white people, and latinos, and all kinds of people - and white people rich. This isn’t just a question of the way every person on the street treats every other. But that is a question too.
I guess I’m just trying to say I’m disgusted with myself for having held on to these ideas, about black people making their own lot, about a black kid deserving to be shot, just because some black kids, or many, have fucked with me on the train. Say nothing to the way the black community treats its trans women, but are the whites any better? What about the queers? We all remember Mathew Shepherd, yo. It seems so earth-shatteringly hard for white people to accept that they have a privilege of experience that is so far outside the experience we have enshrined with our institutions, our economies, our “public” schools, our prisons, our police forces and their policies, our political system where money equals a vote, for everyone who is not white to have. Yes, white women have it hard too, in ways I can’t even imagine, trans or whatever as I am. Queers, trans people of all colors, whatever our purpose - and there are so many - have it hard, too, in ways maybe even some people of color can’t truly fathom. But that’s not really the point.
I don’t want to condemn people, my friends, white people in general - though I easily could - our ancestors, or even myself, I just want to come clean. I did wrong things, I held wrong attitudes, I said hurtful things, even if my intention wasn’t to harm, and in order for me to move on and make the world a better place, I have to atone for it. And I believe that is what the worodl needs, right now. Yes, it starts at home, with your personal interactions, with your thoughts even, but it’s not enough to just not be racist, because we live in a society founded on racist principles, constitution or not, on a continent we stole from brown people we massacred and lied to, and then forced our brown slaves to pave over and build anew. That reality is not going to change, and if black kids are going to stop getting shot, and trans women are going to stop getting killed, and our cops and military and politicians are going to retain their humanity, it has to extend out, past the self, past your family and your immediate friends, off of your Facebook wall. Because at the end of the day, this shit isn’t working for anyone. White people keep black people down because they are afraid, but there is always someone at the top, and someone below them with a knife waiting for their back, even when you get so high up that it’s only stuffy white men, those men are suffering to. We are all suffering, and I’m making a personal step towards atonement and assuagement by saying, I fucked up, I recognize my immense privilege and I vow to use every fucking breath on this planet to work towards changing the way things are.
I guess that’s my Ferguson post.
I want to follow up on the way that we, whoever we are, interface with others. I am very anethema to the idea that when you see a group of young black men coming, you cross the street, even if you are a single white woman or whatever, in Brooklyn or wherever...New York is a police state, where white people have protections that non-white people simply don't. I have actually often said that it's the white men that I am afraid of out here, in the East Village, in Williamsburg, because they don't know shit, they don't know how to handle their liquor, and they have nothing to lose in a system that will infinitely protect their terrible behavior. So I want to institute a new social policy: it's called Man Watch. Because men are a problem; across all races, ethnicities, faiths, classes and creeds. I see men of all shapes and sizes treating women badly on the subway - strangers, loved ones, you can hardly ever tell - lashing out at women at random, shouting profanities (with mad love and respect for the "mentally ill" and the misinformed prophets), leering, jeering, tongues wagging, groping, grabbing, following. Men are a problem, are in fact, THE problem, and we all need to keep our eyes wide and fucking open and ON THEM, and let them know. Which isn't to say that I consider myself confrontational, in fact I take great pains to be a de-escalator of conflict as much as I can in public, but I have also made peace with the fact that I may have to, at some point in my tenure in Brooklyn, New York, or the world at large, have to break my pacifist streak and lay hands on another, because of some of the shit I see out here. So, you know, if you feel able to do so - and I hope that you feel strong and empowered as I, but not enough to recklessly endanger yourself physically or otherwise - it is up to all of us - the queers, women, trans people, transvestities, witches, weirdos, and men who aren't scared pieces of shit - to keep an eye out, and make all men aware that we are holding them accountable for their actions, that they are being watched. I learned something from the women who raised me. It's called The Look. It can melt steel. If you want I can teach you. It works wonders on an out of control male ego lol. Love and light. <3
ALSO, I figured out the key to (at least MY) life being chill, in this decidedly un-chill world. Form healthy habits, align yourself with a higher purpose, express yourself in ways that connect you to others, and find a way to at least keep paying the minimums on those credit cards, that doesn't make you want to die, even as you constantly practice un-attachment to material things, at least capital. Attach to your body, love it, and love those of others. I have learned so much from losing one I love. The things that used to lay me low don't do so as easily as they used to, or at all. The things that lay me low are staggering in scale, and still I feel hope. Just musing. I'm very happy right now. I'm taking Saint Joan's Wort only on Fridays (The Goddess' day). I'm not bipolar; I'm an intuitive empath. I'm practicing developing these special sensitivities in ways that will help me sustain this practice for my life, which I intend to live to see hopefully the year 2150, and hopefully find tools to help others do so as well. Curses can become blessings, it's just a matter of perspective. Blessed be.
When I half woke up this morning I had a vision of Grace Jones in the role of Maria in The Sound Of Music and it was beautiful.
Honestly I feel like every airplane contrail is a message not to despair the superficial defects of our current way of life. Everything is always already a becoming something new
A read to myself: it's important to balance the reification (and in fact possible deification?) of sexual relations in the face of millennia of socio-psycho-cultural demonization of sex (for the purpose of widespread behavior modification, hinging on the subjugation of women, for the purpose of ensuring patrilineal capital inheritance) with all the other myriad and beautiful ways that two people can interact. Sex does not necessarily always have to be the basis, background, subtext or purpose of a relationship. There are so many things that people can do together to affirm life together. Which is not to say sex shouldn't be held sacred, but only as it balances with the sanctity of all the other aspects of our lives. You know what I mean?
I find it really troubling the way gay men talk about female media figures. What makes you think that you are in any way privy to the pressures or decisions that have gone into what constitutes someone's career in popular culture today? I understand that these figures take on a sort of pseudo-religious pseudo-political status in our society, because of a near total lack of meaningful culturally relevant and accepted religious systems and a gaping chasm between our actual public officials and their supposed constituencies, but I still find it really sad the way we feel like it's ok to talk about women (because we really aren't talking about male pop stars in this way, ever) like this - about who they sleep with, and why, and the things they say and do. And I'm saying this as someone who has spent a lot of time delivering a lot of opinions about female pop stars and actresses and models and tv personalities from couches and Myspace bulletins and Facebook and Twitter etc. I just think it's really important to remember that they are people, first and foremost, who are actually just trying to perform a service and make a living off of it, for the most part. Which isn't to say these figures should be free of critique, but unless you are some saintly ascetic who has renounced all material possessions and quests tirelessly at every second for social justice and economic equality,the critique should be way more constructive and not just a bunch of nasty pejorative about who's dick she is sucking. That kind of language is at the heart of why queer people are still not fully enfranchised citizens of most societies, because we are too close to the butt of globalism's joke, women. So just fucking think about the shit you are saying. That's someone's mother, daughter, sister, etc. We all live in this wack Bazarro world global capitalist colonialist nightmare, but it's not going to change if we just sit around pointing fingers and attempting to legislate the already violently over-legislated lives of women in order to bring them into accordance with our values. That's what the patriarchy is already and as queer people we are supposed to be different than that. Ok rant over.
On a different note, I am really really proud of us. There is a palpable shift happening right now and I have so much faith in the potential to create meaningful radical change at the core of our cultural systems on this beautiful planet. It's happening.
Accepting the reality of white privilege doesn't mean having your pain invalidated or the legitimacy of your struggle challenged. We are all in pain and we are all struggling. Everything is relative and also deeply interconnected. I know many rich white people and I have made and continue to make a significant portion of the money that funds my art waiting on them and I can confidently say their spirits are in shambles, their emotional lives are fractious and deeply lacking. The karmic guilt for generations of atrocities runs deep and is in fact shared by all of us. The ease of life that material wealth seems to guarantee acts like a drug, numbing and distracting, and is ultimately as fruitless and destructive as any drug for the user. So, I'm never going to sit here and tell you white people don't hurt or struggle. I am white and I hurt deeply and I struggle much. What accepting and owning up to your white privilege means is accepting that as hard as it gets for you, there is still an overwhelming amount of institutionalized support and protection or you and your kin and your way of life, your way of struggling, your honor and good name, and this is enshrined in the media, in litigation and legal practice and in economic and educational opportunity. These are not secrets. This reality is all around us and we as whites in the West have exported it so violently for so many years that this reality is basically global. The cruel joke is all the white people this system still leaves behind, the estimated 50 percent of people experiencing food insecurity in this country annually who are white, but who nevertheless still enjoy life in a culture which enfranchises even their starvation just based on the color of their skin. That's what the creation - and it is a creation, because we are all one race, one species, after all - of race does and is for: to keep people down and justify it. It isn't the same everywhere all the time and the tables could easily turn on white people in a second or a millennium, and the tragedy will remain the same. This isn't actually about white or black people it's about all people. Today I thought about dualism in hot class as we were talking about the duality of seemingly conflicting pressures in certain poses that actually work together to hold us up while we stretch vertically and back bend etc (dancer's pose or standing bow pulling). Duality is such a hot topic and a real go to talking point for so many in terms of so many things, especially western occultists and religious folks, and always causes me so much concern because it has been used to justify so much division and subjugation amongst our species in terms of the gender binary, amongst the Terran community in terms of man vs nature, in race relations in terms of the creation of the idea of black vs white, but I realized this idea doesn't have to necessarily give me socio pause if we can just reestablish what it's really for. Man and woman, day and night, these aren't opposites. These are points on a circle or scale and parts of a unified whole. Why should duality have to be about opposition when it's really just about balance? Obviously this is a superficial reading of race relations, the differences between blacks and whites actually being purely practical superficial questions of surface morphology owing to just a few thousand years in different climate regions, but the practical reality of what it means to be black and white in America and what it has always meant is a truly night and day dichotomy and that is wrong. There is no balance there. There is no justice until we live in a society in which every single person is singularly enfranchised and supported and enshrined as sacred and valued. So ... Let's do this?
David Glamamore nominated me for the gratitude challenge and I can't really say no to her and you know my ass loves to talk about what I'm hateful for. 8 days, 3 things a day. I can handle this. 1 I'm gonna start off by saying how grateful I am for all the luminaries that have supported, inspired, guided and challenged me throughout my career in drag performance and beyond, Glama being one of them. I have learned so much about how to live and share love on and off stage and am eternally grateful. Mica Sigourney La Moni Stat Dia Dear De De DeVille Cody Critcheloe Ron Megee Stanley Frank Ambrosia Salad Seth Bogart Brande Bytheway and so many more! Love y'all. 2 I'm incredibly grateful for all my yoga teachers past and present and on a broader sense all of the spiritual teachers I have had the miracle of experiencing. So endlessly inspired by people who devote their lives to holding space for others to discover themselves. 3 Super grateful for my biological family and all of the joy and challenges they have helped me through, and my chosen family here and all over the world. On that note, I'm only gonna nominate 4 people for this lol read em and weep but only do it if it resonates Hari Nef Bailey Stiles Colin Self Sam Banks Xxxo
Gratitude day two: 1 I'm grateful for the path that has lead me to finding Wicca in my life, a practice that finally seems to knit together all the weird disparate strains of my life, which had seemed to conflict and contradict, into a holistic cosmology that puts me in a position to take care of myself and align myself with the rhythms of the earth as best I can. 2 I'm grateful for my mother Sue Penney for all the wit, music, culture and strength she inspired and bestowed me with throughout my childhood, and for having the vocabulary of performance and stagecraft instilled in me from an early age. I wouldn't be the artist I am without her influence. 3 I'm grateful for music's enduring presence in my life, in the depths of my deepest sorrows and at the cruxes of all my most ecstatic joys, and in all the in between moments. I consider music to be my truest and most original connection to the divine. I'm deeply grateful for the people who have enabled me to make and share music with the world: my father Blair Penney , Iggy Romeu for inviting me to join my first band, my first producers Morrie MegaLo Pauline Hasima Adeptus Aydın André Ferreira , my enduringly patient and talented producer Nick Weiss , the mercurial and powerful Jamie Crewe for helping me realize my path as a song-writer while also sharing the most incredible songs and allowing me to make them my own, and more recently, angel of music Michael Beharie for helping me take my song-writing to entirely new places. Plus all the weirdo geniuses who have bought my records all over the world, and the people that have put them out, especially Jacob Sperber for taking a chanceand pressing me to vinyl for the first time. Love ya'll. Thank you!! PS I'm debuting new music at Bushwig in just a few hours!!! See you there! <3
Okie, gratitude day three. 1 Infinitely grateful (even if I have to constantly remind myself of it) for all the people and situations and realities that have challenged my sense of myself and forced me to evaluate the way I react to challenges. Sometimes I allow these situations to teach me how to deal with difficult people, sometimes I allow them to illuminate the ways in which I am actually a difficult, or selfish, or fear-driven person, and usually it's both. So, you know, shout out all the haters, grateful for ya'll, and all the people who have patiently dealt with my own hatred at times. 2 I'm grateful for all the living beings who have given their lives so that I could live mine: cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, lambs, many different kinds of fish, even the occasional deer, frog or cephalopod, (and hopefully some insects someday, when I strum up the courage) and of course all the human beings whose labor and sacrifice have allowed me to have food on the table at every meal, even in my leanest times, and to the sun and moon and bountiful, beautiful terran plant life that supports it all, really just grateful for life itself. How's that?! 3 I'm grateful for this body! That submits to so many bizarre pursuits and passions of mine and brilliantly complains to me in the ways it needs to when I'm not taking care of her right. Thanks baby. xx
Sometimes I feel like that little kid in the video after the dentist gave him drugs. Just in a constant state of stunned awe at the beauty all around me. Is it going to be like this forever?!
GRATITUDE day 4 lol everyone's probably so sick of and/or just not reading these, but personally it's powerful, so it continues ... 1 Grateful for Bathsalts!! and Macy Rodman & Severely Mame for creating and maintaining a space that so many can call home, that I'm stoked to tell my friends about and that specifically denies anyone's attempted avowal at New York or Brooklyn being dead, boring or basic. This place is fucking alive with manifold talent and a lot of brilliantly nice people who totally get it, and they all converge here on Monday nights. This party has totally reaffirmed my faith in drag and queer community in general, and really is one of the best parties I've gotten to go to in my long and storied history of party hopping from coast to coast lol. So stoked they let my weird ass up on that stage. <3 2 NEW YORK CITY in general ... I struggle so hard with this place, what it means to be white and American and living here, at what costs this confluence of people and culture and capital has been created and who is bearing the brunt of those costs, whose very blood actually built this place, but that's something I struggle conceptually with in regards to this country in general, and with my perception of the world, because, though I've only seen a tiny slice of it, it's hard from my perception to find a place now that hasn't suffered from the effects of American, European or general Western colonialism and the export of Western imperial capitalist values. But at the same time, I'm immensely grateful for the way moving to New York has impacted my life and values and the things I have been shown and am shown here on a daily basis. I have learned the power of being a witness, and the delicate balancing act of witnessing is what I struggle with every day, and it's that struggle that gives me life and keeps me going. And I am just so grateful to have found a time in my life where the energy of all these people serves as inspiration and ecstatic boon, though it's not always easy. I love it here and I truly have love for everyone I interact with deep down and the experience has changed my life forever. 3 I'm grateful for BOOKS, so much, and the pleasure and growth I experience from reading. This was my escape for so many years, but now it's a practice I carry through to actually help me engage more fully with who I am in relation to those around me. Especially grateful to have experienced my world through the beautiful prismatic lenses of so many incredible women writing today and throughout history - Tanith Lee, Doris Lessing, Ursula K. Leguin, Alice Walker, Kij Johnson, Anais Nin, Virginia Woolf, just to name a few. Thank you for giving me stories I can find myself in, after years of struggling to do just that.
I had this realization that I should treat everybody Facebook page like it is their home. Maybe close friends I would go to their home and tactfully comment on something they say or do, if it came up in conversation, but I don't really think I should feel as entitled as I do to just imperially reign in on every little status, while also trying to be like flip and funny in the next breath. So I'm just going to get hella domestic and focus on my home, over here, on my page, and if somebody wants my comment they can just message me for it lol. Just trying to be respectful and not feed my constant compulsion to speak on everything at all times.
I don't understand how seemingly every single respectable man working in popular music, across all genres, can only talk about women in terms of bitches or pussy or at the very least vaguely intimated sexual conquest or infantalized stereotypes. Am I just supposed to accept this and shut up and listen to Drake because at least the beats sound sensitive? It just majorly irks me, abstracted from the actual daily physical harm to women this type of language enshrines and protects, when people in this country try to cop this attitude like, no matter our imperialist ills, we are still some shining example of cultural evolution. Like, we're not. Also, fuck Iggy Izalea! I actually can't.
Gratitude day 4?! It's midnight I'm a little late. Today was crazy. 1 Infinitely grateful to Elizabeth Jaeger Sam Cate-Gumpert and Michael Zelenko for coming together to help me become a published author by making an abandoned dream of writing a book into a piece of work I'm super proud of. Y'all are amazing thank you!! 2 Grateful for all my fellow Aquarian brothers and sisters who have, through their similarities and vast differences from me continually inspire me and teach me so much about myself. 3 I'm grateful for my home and all the people whose presence and influence have helped me create the sanctuary I've lived in for over 2 years. Grateful for all the homes across the country I've had the privilege of living in. Xxxo
And it continues. Gratitude day 5. 1 Especially on a day like today, but always I feel something like shame and embarrassment at the legacy and lineage of the country I was born a citizen of. This is a society founded on theft, lies, genocide and very selectively applied ideologies of freedom, whose imperial legacy and current practice, in concert with that of Europe, have violently and very specifically created the fractured, impoverished and traumatized world we see today. Every freedom we enjoy, every privilege, material or spiritual, comes at the expense of so many others, and it really makes me sick and is hard to bear. So I am infinitely grateful to the people of many creeds and communities within America and the western world who through activism, art, awareness and compassion inspire me to hope for a brighter future, where pledging allegiance to a state ideology doesn't have to come through actively or passively endorsing violence, colonialism and capitalism. Amen and thank you, you know who you are. There are so many of you, I'm so impressed. 2 I'm grateful for comic books! The relationships I have with the characters whose lives I've been reading about for the majority of mine have taught me so many things about the nuanced space between good and evil and the expansive possibilities being a human can support. I'm grateful for the economic privilege to be able to buy new comics every Wednesday - remember I don't spend money on alcohol lol - and support an under appreciated art form. If you want to see what I'm talking about, check out Brian k Vaughn as Fiona Staples' Saga. 3 I am grateful for all the underpaid or enslaved laborers throughout history and in the present whose work and toil has kept my ass supplied with clothes, food, toiletries, jewelry, technology, etc ad naseum, for as much as I try I can't escape the way this exploitation continues to enable my life and the lives of all those who live in the privileged world. May your labor be a lesson and hope for us all to enact a better world of meaningful work and equal material and spiritual access for all. Blessed be.
Irritated by comments on someone else's post ... holding fast to my resolve not to comment ... so will post here in I'm up way too late slurred nonsense ... This idea that cultures in the so-called "Third World" are intrinsically homophobic and misogynist because they have not yet "evolved" to the place where the so-called "First World" has is absolute racist xenophobic and just historically unfounded bullshit. There are cave-paintings of men having anal sex in Zimbabwe from thousands of years ago. The first Portuguese explorer/colonizers on the continent noted the bizarre plurality of gender relations, including culturally normative tranvestitism and transgender, all over Africa. Homophobia and the demonization of homosexuals and gender non-conforming peoples is a very recent colonial export to many parts of the world that came hand in hand with violently forced conformity to Christian values ... So don't sit here and try to veil your racism in neo-liberal human rights "concern" without an awareness of the so-called "civilized" world's part in shaping the values and conditions we see at work today in so much of the world.
Gratitude day 6 ... 1 I'm grateful for my name (seems timely) or names rather. Alexis started out as kind of a read (to which I ultimately owe thanks to Jonny Makeup!), became a joke and a way to fuck with new people, introducing myself as female with a limp wrist while presenting male, and then became the repository of my dreams and aspirations as a DJ, drag performer and ultimately singer writer and artist. I really had to grow into Alexis and it's taken me so many years to fully understand all that this person is capable of being. I'm so infinitely grateful to have had this experience, and continue to be having it, cuz I really don't know what she and I will get into next. Also grateful for Alex, whenever I wanna work a job and not have them immediately know I'm some gender terrorist, and grateful for the whole gamut Alexander Blair Penney. It sounds so patrician but the Penneys were broke ass (but also Freemason!!) farmers for like 4+ generations lol. I love it all. Thanks mom and dad and everybody. 2 I'm grateful for the way I look. A lot of people don't realize how much a skinny white kid can grow up absolutely despising the way they look in every way. I hated how out of proportion everything was. I hated my prominent sternum that stuck out under my shirts. I hated my knobby knees and my pasty skin that flushes red anytime I get embarrassed and how in athletic and uncoordinated I was and all of it. But I really have grown up to be someone I aesthetically appreciate and adore. From forcing myself to go naked at parties for years in KC to just get over the way I felt about my body, to finally finding a guy who appreciated me, and then sexualizing myself as feminine, I really figured out that whatever this body wants to do, as long as I take good care of it, is gonna be good and if I love the way it looks chances are most people will too. I faked it til I made it but I made it! 3 I'm grateful for the way I FEEL. I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life. I also spent a lot of years in close relationships constantly diagnosing mental and emotional disorders in others before I was finally able to come to grips with all the ways a western psychiatrist would probably diagnose me a couple years ago. And though I haven't sought that diagnosis, because those doctors are not healers they are cultural enforcers, seeking out language and framework and tools to understand my sensitivities has brought me to a place where at least I know what to expect from myself and more or less how to care for myself. As many bipolar people have come into my life and acted as glaring mirrors into my roller coaster biorhythms of depression and mania, I have finally learned that that diagnosis is like a spell I don't need to cast or a deity I don't need to invoke. I've discovered a movement of people identifying instead as intuitive empaths, the adoption of which has had a huge difference on me in just a few months. I am so intimately in tune with the feelings of others around me and spiritually I know that extends to the entire human family. In times of upheaval and violence I feel it like it were happening in my bedroom, and always have, because the world has been violently heaving since I was a child. It doesn't necessarily make it easier to deal with. I struggle with suicidal thoughts on a really regular basis but that's what this tattoo on my forearm is ultimately for. I choose life and I choose to experience these sensitivities as a blessing. I notice more than most and that makes me the ideal witness. I'm not going to waste time imagining what I would be called if I were in a different culture I'm just going to spend time deciding what me and people like me should be called in this culture, at least those of us who want to learn to hone these gifts and share our stories so they may be able to help others. So I am Alexis Blair Penney. I am an intuitive empath, a practicing witch, a yogi, an artist, a mystic, a channeler, a conduit, a nerve and a witness. I feel what others won't and I won't shut up about it! Namaste, satnam and blessed be!
Gratitude day 7 ( why do I feel like I've lost count and missed one? ) ... 1 I'm grateful for PUNK for being my first savior, for it's perpetual and enduring influence on my life and art and to all the people that brought it into my life and have inspired me to constantly challenge myself and every twisted inch and iota of the power structures and hierarchies we call civilization! Grateful for the knowledge that I don't need capital or cultural enfranchisement or access to pursue my dreams and create my art. 2 I'm grateful for YOGA. I can't say it enough. I have been given the tools to transform my life and finally understand all the warring pieces of myself as a unified whole rather than a self-contradicting mess and it feels so good to know all I have to do is breath. 3 I'm grateful for each breath. Every single one even when I'm tired and asthmatic and gasping and pissed at myself for not sleeping and smoking pot and having fucked my sinuses up putting drugs in my nose for so many years. I have done so many things to destroy myself for so long and yet here I am still breathing and learning and loving every fucked up minute of it or at least trying to. Grateful for this life.
I have a new resolve to never turn down a conversation, with a friend, a loved one or a stranger. It could be my last chance to talk to someone, or theirs. I have lived so long attempting to "curate" my social experience, as if I could somehow know who I will end up learning from, when some of the most illuminating moments have come from people that I had absolutely no initial interest in interacting with whatsoever. I realize now that, even if on a superficial level neither of us seems to be learning or gaining anything from a conversation, energetically there is so much shared whenever two people interact in any way, and that's a beautiful part of life that I should never thwart out of fear or weakness. I'm still a weirdo Aquarius loner, I can't do it always, but I'm definitely gonna try.
Gratitude day 7 (I checked I'm on the right time I just did two day 4s and no day 3 lol) ... 1. Grateful for MEN. Hear me out. In a world of millennia of violent self-destructive and misogynist patriarchy, I have known so many incredible male-identified beings that have never failed to give me hope for a future where the fact that we are born in gendered bodies of vast morphological spiritual and practical plurality doesn't necessitate a delusional dualistic foundation for all cosmology and society and psychospiritual interaction. I believe that all people are inherently just trying to survive the best way they know how. Society looms and threatens with violence when we step out of line and challenge the aberrant habits that have lead us to where we are, but I have known so many men of all walks of life and levels of privilege to fearlessly do so that I will never give up hope for a better world. That world is here and now we just have to make out! Shout out all the hotties. 2. Grateful for FEMINISM for providing me an access point and framework for understanding why the world is the way it is and how it doesn't have to necessarily be so. 3. Grateful for the experience of LOVE ... Loving and being loved. For being the single most challenging experience I face every day, keeping this heart that just wants to stay covered up and buried in a psychic vault open and expansive and inquiring and compassionate. Opening myself to love has meant at every turn opening myself to pain and I finally have realized the beauty of that, and the strength inherent within me to be able to hold space for my diverse emotional experience and that of everyone I interact with. I know I have never made it easy but thanks for loving me and forcing me to be present and engaged in these moments. You know who you are. Xx
Gratitude day 8. Interesting numerology for this challenge so I have 8 gratitudes for the last day. I'm grateful for salute bows. I'm grateful for ustrasana. I'm grateful for tree pose. I'm grateful for utkatasana. I'm grateful for kale. I'm grateful for collards. I'm grateful for marijuana. I'm grateful for the Goddess. Blessed be y'all xoxo
"Artists have burdens that ordinary citizens don't know, the ordinary citizen has burdens many artists never touch." - Patti Smith
"It occurs to me that I am America."
- Allen Ginsberg
Liking/favoriting as a devotional practice of honoring the inherent value/divinity of people and their social practices.
Goddess grant me the strength to enact your work within a city society and empire which seems to deny and subvert you at every turn. Goddess they can never quiet or deny us, says the Gorgon on your chest, the snakes ringing your armor. Women are holy, sex is sacred and all bodies are valuable. Blessed be.
Forget the particularities of the platform, with all respect to my disrespected and disenfranchised drag sisters, can we all just take a step back and think about what we are putting out into the world via social media? Starvation, poverty, war, police brutality, ecological crisis, all funded by short-sighted corporate interests perpetuating further centuries of gender, race and class division and subjugation ... And your ass wanna be on here complaining about the default type face on Ello? Can we all not expand our perspectives just slightly to include something not limited to our own immediate superficial experience, especially those of us privileged enough to live in the west in never before seen material luxury at the expense of the "rest" of the planet? In our society, social media is arguably the most pervasive and most accessible form of expression, possibly that has ever existed to date. This is how we create our reality, that thing we all share and co-create together. Your word, your energy, your magic, whatever you wanna call it, is powerful. Everything you put out will inevitably be reflected back to you through your personal reality as much as it will also ripple through the worlds of others and affect more change than any of us could possibly fully fathom. Everything wrong with this planet right now seems easily located as a dramatic and habitual lack of perspective and informed forethought on the part of many many people over many years, as well as a lack of faith, in favor of fear. We horde resources because we fear recrimation should we share with our neighbors who are different. We violently oppress and control sexuality because we fear death so much that we must grasp at immortality through patrilineal material succession. We fear the mystery and beauty of nature so, even as it will perpetually reflect itself within us, that we conceptualize ourselves as someone separate from the world which has birthed us and somehow its callous violent master. And rather than thinking through the effects of our actions we retreat further and further into readings of the past to continually justify our violent short-sighted presents, somehow missing the experience of the present altogether. It may seem insane or radical to find analogue between Facebook statuses and the state of the world after centuries of global imperialist industrial capitalist patriarchy, but there is most definitely a connection. And it also may seem hypocritical to those who have read my effusive and compulsive twitter breakdowns for the last 5 years or so, but make no mistake, I know what I'm doing, when I air my deep plunges into depression I know that it's connected to all of this, and I am attempting to sound the alarm. Things aren't going right! This shit hurts me! I don't want I be a witness to this shit anymore! We gotta wake up y'all and it starts with every one of us. This is the world we are creating every single day. What do you want to see on your wall, in your world?
I'm honestly curious. People really want to dismiss me as delusional, simplistic or (gasp) idealistic. I honestly believe, factually, rationally, and as an article of faith, in the future. I believe that we can end capitalism; we can end the culturally enshrined devaluation of all life in favor of capital value. That we can end the violence and division based on class, race, gender and sexuality. That the human planetary community can bring our consumption and existence into balance in a way that sustains life for the entire planetary community, human and otherwise. And I believe that this can be achieved without a violent decrease in population due to starvation, war, genocide, nuclear detonation or some other method of culling the population. That is absolutely NOT to say that this can be achieved without radical, dramatic, whole and entire systems change at every level and in every country, home, mind and heart. But someone actually told me today they believe that the human race could only be made stable and sustainable for the rest of the planet at a fraction of our current population and that is an idea - that I am working towards a peaceful future, but only for a select few that at some point will have to be chosen, even if only by fate - that I am really uncomfortable with. So I just want to honestly ask - without citing the myriad theories and authors and ideas and reasons why I believe this - what do you think? Of course everyone dies. That is a really powerful and natural part of life. But does it have to go down like this? Can we find a way to feed 10 billion without starving the rest of the planet?
I've been so good about going to bed but I accidentally saw dawn today
You want to start a revolution? Treat a stranger, through your words and actions towards them, as if they were inherently the most valuable person in the world (they are). If you can't do that, try a friend or loved one. If you can't do that, start with yourself. It takes practice. Constantly remind yourself that you are inherently valid valuable and important just the way you are, right now. Then move on to your friends, loved ones, strangers. It takes practice but it gets easier every time until hopefully every stranger, every idiot and creep and weirdo and "crazy" person. I don't mean apologize for the harmful behavior of others. I don't mind submit to cruelty or abuse. Just treat everyone as if they are inherently valuable. Again...it starts with you. You are valuable!
Yes yes yes, I totally get the side-eye at national coming out day, I get the side eye at establishment gay and queer community (though I like to think that establishment gay people are a little different than queer identified people, right?), I get it all. Just wanna shoutout my parents for raising me in an environment in which my sexuality was never really anything other than interesting (embarrassing) dinner conversation. I was even out in our church, my grandma is 96 and couldn't give two shits, that's great, the world is great in a lot of ways, but I think a lesson we can all take from this is to remember that there are so so so many things beyond your forced binary sexual predilections that society violently urges us to hide or forget about. I'm a former sex worker. I've struggled with alcohol and drug abuse and addiction my entire adult life. I struggle with anger and violent tendencies and using my voice and language to abuse and control. I most likely would be considered bipolar had I ever submitted to a Western psychiatric evaluation and struggle daily with depression and manic compulsions. I choose to see all of these things as just a part of the beautiful fabric that makes up my beautiful life and I choose to speak widely about these parts of my past present and future not because I feel my experience typifies the general experience with any or all of these issues but because I know very well that many people don't feel or literally don't have, facing threats of violence, the agency to speak about these things as they relate to their own personal lives. Seeing as I have somewhat made a career out of talking about this shit at this point, I find myself compelled to exercise this freedom and privilege I feel at being able to come clean about all the things I've felt at different times in my life were necessary to do to survive. I wish for everyone on this day and every day to feel that agency and freedom; to feel that they can share their story without fear of subjugation, damnation or violence. I see a world without shame in our future and it's great, let's get there.
A little gem from one of my kundalini teachers Angad today, "Recognize the privilege of being yourself."
I thought a lot today about that "privilege to be yourself" comment earlier, in reference to it being Indigenous Peoples' Day, and how many people have died and had their culture destroyed and rewritten so that we could have the privileges to be ourselves right here, right now ... I don't know what there is to say, really, other than the fact that I think we all need to wake up to the true history of how we got here, why, and by what means we stole this land from so many tribes and nations, to most of whom the idea of ownership on parts of the earth Herself must have seemed really ridiculous or possibly as barbaric and ugly as it truly is. Attempting to make peace with my presence here and look to a future where we attempt to atone for the sins of colonialism, I don't know realistically that, like, writing to your congressman is ever going to alter the fact that, say, we don't actually recognize the surviving First Nations tribes within American as actual sovereign nations but rather as "domestic dependent nations" which are governed by the Department of the Interior, which is the section of the government that "presides" over wildlife and national parks. These people aren't animals they're fucking people. Or I think a lot about the particular peoples that inhabited the places I've lived and currently live. Have you heard of the Walking Treaty? We wrote up a complicated treaty about what kind of allotments we would allow the disease ravaged tribes that inhabited what's now New York and then just turned around and reneged on it completely with no second thought. It's kind of insane the way we conceive of America as Americans, while we don't teach this shit in schools, theft and lies and genocide. I'm happy to be here, and I could never moralize what has happened in the past to create this present, but it's still happening, people are still suffering, basically everyone involved, so I think it's important that as we attempt to look towards a better future we really mercilessly challenge our self-serving ideas of history. Did you know that so-called "Indian termination" policy was the official doctrine towards tribal - federal relations until 1970?! 19 fucking 70 ... Fucking bananas. May all that has come before serve to teach us, that we may learn from our myriad mistakes and see a better world where freedom means what it purports to, and may all those that died and suffered to create this present travel in peace. Blessed be.
I guess the reason ultimately why I identify so "hard" as Wiccan is that in all my life, of so many insane drugs, ecstatic sex, life altering yoga and kundalini experiences, even taking into account powerful religious experience in my youth (and all of these experiences are very comparable) (and I'm still in my youth), nothing quite feels like it does to sit down, cast a circle, call the corners and commune with the Goddess. I am so grateful to have found a metaphysical framework for my life and work and spirit that so fully describes how I feel rationally, intellectually, emotionally, about the world and my place in it, but also provides such a powerful but open-ended and polydoxical tool set for aligning my energies with all the energies at work within every moment. I get all busy with work and recording and drag shows and whatnot and don't get to sit and work a little ritual for awhile and then I finally carve the time out and it's like, "Oh, yeah, that's what it feels like to be alive and thriving." Just feeling mad grateful right now. Blessed be ya'll.
“For all things alter, nothing is certain. For day follows night, night day; then comes day again. The apples ripen, the apples fall, the birds peck them, seeds drop from their beaks - and somewhere new apple trees begin to grow. That is how it is, a circle, a ring. And the world turns." - Tanith Lee, Volkhavaar (1977)
I realize the true work is not to appreciate people for what they could be doing or will someday do but for exactly they're doing right now.
I would like to offer up a mantra to whomever feels compelled to use it and describe a better world with me: The government's power is very limited. The government exists solely to shelter, protect and sustain all life - human and otherwise. The value systems from which government arises and which government endorses and reifies are based on the inherent validity and plurality of all life. The government creates and sustains space for an infinite plurality of belief systems and cosmologies. This is the world I wish to see. So mote it be. Peace and blessings ya'll.
"A name is a wave function that transports an idea from one mind to another."
- Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life (1987)
My pain is not a shield or a knife; it doesn't protect me from others, divide me from them, and it's not a tool to be used against them. My pain is a river that connects me to the pain of others. Our pain flows together forming tributaries rushing towards an ocean of hurt and tears and gathers strength and we get free on the way. This is an affirmation and an aspiration. At times my pain is an ocean, at times it is a blade, but I'm working on it/me. Pain is an indicator. Fear is a response to danger. Neither of these feelings are wrong or bad, it's just a question of what we do with them ... <3
Word to the Mother. I always bring her pennies because the meek shall inherit the earth or whatever and the lowest monetary currency seems a fitting gift for the denigrated Goddess. Did you know that Ovid's Medusa was a beautiful maiden until she was raped by Poseidon in Athena's temple, for which she was punished, by Athena, cursed with her snakes and stone turning countenance, later to be murdered and emblazoned on Athena's shield forever. The patriarchy in action. Miss Minerva is a polarizing figure for me, and of course in the Empire State we only have access to the Goddess in her Stockholme syndromed conspirator aspect but it's still Her and I'm grateful for that. Blessed be Ma.
I identify as a "tube made of coiled proteins"
In midtown searching for a witch hat.
Duality is one step, one perspective, amongst many, not a foundational basis of reality. Duality is not a binary split, not perfect polar opposition. Duality is simply difference, variety, plurality.
I think at their heart, religion or spirituality exist to give one a cosmology and framework for relating the singular individual human experience to the experience of others, human and non, and the forces of the universe and place it all within a coherent cohesive picture or whole. So when I see people reacting to events, people, Facebook posts, political issues, etc, purely from the tiny lens of their superficial (meaning the identity we form / have thrust on us based on superficial identities within our superficial society) selves, I just feel sad for the lack of pervasive spiritual paths that give a framework that doesn't shrink a person's world view or force them to be in a victim - villain mindset with the world, as most of the dominant religious paradigms do. But you know there are a lot of alternatives out there, a million books or google docs on it, just take a deep breath and find something new ...
Took my first kung fu class today and signed up to train with them for a month. Life is so rich and strange. Blessed be
The cool thing about the zodiac ... and all my little preferences about what signs I like and trust and what signs I kind of subtly side-eye, with love and compassion to all (or at least attempted) ... is that ... anyone, any sign, any "kind" of person, astrologically, can be a vessel, can embody human potential so fully and be a conduit for art, beauty and energy. Literally anyone. Even ... a Capricorn or Taurus lol just kidding. I love you all.
Today I read that the word angel meant messenger originally
Also I'm done with the political commenting, even on my own posts ... or at least this is an idea that I am going to try and stick with. I will post what I want ... and ya'll weirdos can sit and fixate on the one point that seems to challenge the world view you've created based on the superficial identity society has assigned you and vomit all over the comment section to ya'll little hearts content. It's not my job to sit and nit pick and defend points that I've defended for months or even years. None of what I believe or have realized or seen is like something I made up, it's all woven together from my experience practicing and studying various spiritual and metaphysical traditions and also just fucking walking around, waiting tables, looking at the sky, flipping tarot cards and talking to homeless psychics, all kinds of shit ... And you know I totally get it, I do my share of sticking on semantics or things in a post and going off on a tirade just because of that, too, and that's something I'm just trying to get away from all together ... Ehhh I lost my train of thought, some angels showed up, and now it's 7 am and I've had the most magical Samhain, blessed by so many friends here and "gone" and I'm feeling incredibly blessed and lucky for all of it. But I'm still gonna stop with the commenting lol. Bless the spirits, bless the ancestors, bless the Goddess, her daughters, her sons the Gods, the elements, everyone. Blessed be.
The upswing of occult and spiritual themes in media right now is because our culture has been starving the souls of its constituency for so long that people are literally desperate for a dialectic that actually speaks to the exceedingly surreal and unexplainable experience of living in the time we do. I'm so tired of seeing my actual religion - which includes yogic philosophy, wicca, astrology and other forms of divination, and human energy theory -dismissed as something that science has "debunked" as if western science has ever actually proven or disproven anything lol you know that's not how science works right? They don't even have a fully wrought model of gravity that applies to the entire known universe! Look it up its on Wikipedia lol. Obviously to me it's because our maths and sciences still depend on delusional foundations - like the extremity and foundational objectivity of binary numerical values, for starters, which really just don't actually reflect in our subtle quantum mysterious universe - but these assertions of true and false are also so firmly rooted in imperialism and the spread of globally industrialized capitalist patriarchy that it really bums me out to hear so called progressives and radicals violently dismiss a world view such as mine or that of my loose but wide and deep network of intuitives, witches, healers, empaths and spirit workers, based on something like western science and evidentiary inquisition and cleave to that as if there could ever be an objective model of truth in this universe. You either hear an outright denial of religion - though western science has always already grown and existed within context and conversation to the dominant religious models of the times in which its existed - or just an outright denial of those faiths that don't nominally accord with the dominant western model - as if your prayer and my spell work are somehow unequal just because I pray to a Goddess that lives within me and is me and whose presence exudes and embodies every single thing (an idea that is actually just taken for granted in much of the so called Eastern religions) and a Christian, Muslim or Jew pray to a God that supposedly transcends all of humanity (really just a reflection of the idea of patriarchal authority and a method for controlling and limiting ones access to their own divinity and radically powerful human potential). So maybe think about that before you go off on how you don't believe in astrology or cleave to science as if it's no as radical a step of faith to give your life over to some kid who was foolhardy enough to steep his life in academic debt while learning a static fractious mechanical model of the body and medicine aka a doctor, or any of the other stalwarts icons emblematic of so called "secular" western scientific ideology. While your doctors were still blood letting for bad humors, my witches were treating women and people with the herbs (and getting persecuted for it) that would someday be stolen from the people, commodified into medicine and turned into big corporate pharmaceuticals interests and patents. My tradition attempts to align ourselves with the very rhythms that make up life in the universe, fundamentals like the movement of the celestial bodies, the sun moon and stars and the changing of the seasons, while your scientists fear death at the urging of their Abrahamic forebears and compatriots so much that they've attempted to place themselves outside those rhythms by industrializing and commercializing en masse the very things we rely on to live, the way we grow our food, the water we drink, in ways that if taken to their end point seem sure to bring death to us all. Think about what truth regime and value system you really want to endorse the next time you want to dismiss something as not real. Magic is real. And those of us in the west exist at a miraculous cross roads where we actually have so many choices that will affect the entire world. How about we choose to endorse a value system that values all life?
Affirmation: my hair is a marvel, my body is a miracle, my face is a triumph. Every person is a wonder of cell division, macro and micro biological cooperation and community engineering and genetic design reflective of the self organizing principle of consciousness in energy and matter. My blood, spit, sweat, shit, are all sacred talismans speaking to the sacred cycle of birthing, living, growing and dying. Blessed be.
Got a new stone from my kundalini studio. Moss agate. This is the stuff I keep in my pocket every day for practical / magical reasons (most magic is very practical ...) but I keep losing stones. I think maybe it's appropriate because the stones are there to ground excess energy so it may be necessary to habitually lose them and return them to the world.
In my utopian vision, we don't gender a person until they are old enough to decide for themselves. And then the choices are infinite and plural (quantum if you will) and never binding. In terms of American politics, the current binary conception of gender and all things that we are trained to perceive as fundamentally dual, having two choices is not really a choice. Nor is making a choice under duress and threat of violence a choice.
Deity is collective human potential personified. Collective human potential is deity incarnate. Blessed be.
Came to church to meditate and open my chakras and talk to Yaweh and Asherah and get on grindr and text lol
Don't know why I'm so self-satisfied when people who make a big deal about leaving Fazebook find their way back. I guess I just think, this is a part of our world now, better to deal with it and whole heartedly be here than not. Or else you might as well just drop off the grid altogether and go forage in the woods somewhere (believe me, I totally get that this option is extremely attractive, I live in New York) ... but I don't believe that anyone can ever truly be "off the grid" ... Even the lonerest of the loner animals in the wild have to meet up and fuck every once in awhile, and they have to eat ... We are all one superorganism, one family, not one of us an island ... At least that's what I have to tell myself every day, when some rich person is awful to me at work, or the news from the world just makes me want to disappear, I know I can never truly part from the ties to my fellow beings that make me, me. So why should I even try. The same way I can't ever divorce my mind or spirit or energy from my body, not in this lifetime, so why try? Why not try to be as embodied within this human experience within this human community as I can, for all the faults we all share ... ?
If you want to truly know and understand me, come hang out in my room for an hour and hear the music comes on.
What do you think Liz Gilbert's apocalypse plan is? Or does she even have one? I'm being serious.
What are your plans for the apocalypse? Asking in complete seriousness.
Have you noticed the effects of retaining capital for too long on things like the skin and eyes or am I crazy? it's like it's own very strange drug.
Trying to move some things off my todo list and out into the universe.
The thing about the model of science that exists in our culture today, is that it can show us a list of ways to kill, maim, cure or heal, a mile long, but it can't tell us why we should or shouldn't do any of those things. It daily delivers us a massive glut of data to show all the ins and outs of how global industrial capitalism is destroying our environment but offers no reasons why we should care. That's my problem with Western science.
Affirmation: Sleep more. Write more. Love more. Listen more.
Affirmation: Know that you know.
Walk into the drag show last night, immediately am handed a mic and asked to explain prana to the audience lol love my life.
Affirmation: I know that I am beautiful. I know that I contain multitudes within me while still remaining, at this time, in this body, me. I know that I know things that can't be explained or proven and that makes them no less real. I know that there is something within me that is greater than the sum of just these parts, that is also in you, and you, and you. I know that when this body dies, much will still live on.
Supernatural = Metanormal ?
Everything is real and I know exactly what I'm doing.
Love to this person that sometimes posts up at East Broadway and plays haunting flute in the middle of the night.
It's not so much about me or those folks I consider to be my similarly spirited kin being so very different than most people, and more about the fact that most people are actually, at their hearts, so very different, and so much more intricate and complex and strange and unique and beautiful than the rolls and molds that society and culture attempt to solidify and stratify us into.
Home from marching with the protest for awhile. It was bewildering and completely inspiring. I cried a lot. Made me remember when my mom took me and my friends to picket against the Westboro Baptists outside of the Kansas City Star when I was like 16. In my blood. I also had a sudden epiphany that I wanna wear my kundalini hat all the time now. So. Good day overall. Heart broken and open.
Affirmation: Every day I move energy. Every day I seek to deepen and clarify my knowledge of myself so that I may more fully embody and exemplify love and justice and the value inherent in all life. Every day I mindfully address fear and violence in myself and my dealings with others in an effort to more fully integrate my behavior towards myself and all other life with the system of agreements by which I practice my life in this body. Every day I address the deep sorrow I feel as more and more life comes under the devaluating violent rule of global industrial capitalism and white supremacist patriarchy, let it pass through me and allow it to inspire me to continue forward, to change myself, to be change and create change. Every day I love. Every day I hope. Every day I smile. Every day I speak up. Every day I fight. Every day I love.
Affirmation: I greet every challenge as an opportunity to deepen my self-knowledge, grow and change.
Mantra: Don't. Read. The. Comments.
I am trying to write about gender dysphoria and patriarchy and all of these things and I just kind of can't at 4:53 AM but I will say I am very thankful. To be alcohol free, to be alive, to have found holistic and constructive language that lets me bring my pain and experience and awe and terror and terrifying love into a circle of sorts, so that at this point everything I have done, everything I am and am becoming, actually makes a lot of sense. And these may be the ramblings of an insane person, but really that's all a matter of perspective, and I'm just feeling very inspired and alive. My work is laid out for me ad infinitum, not always visible, in fact mostly waiting to be discovered, but knowing it is out there is great, and a big thank you to all the angels and healers and teachers and lovers and friends and allies along the way. Loving this Sagittarius energy. Let's keep changing shit. Love and light, satnam and blessed be!
Also enough with the "riot" shaming you materialist Stockholme syndromed sad sacks. This system isn't working for you neither, it's just killing you a lot slower and in a lot more subtle ways, but the minute the body count starts coming out of your communities, your story may be different. There is an unfathomable sun of rage that I have just barely tapped at times in my life ... Knowing that something about me beyond my control makes me less of a person in the eyes of churches, states and other people. Now I know that in a capitalist state, we are all less of people, when labor is only valued for the capital it creates, none of our lives truly matter. But I'm not trying to pull some liberal intersectional queer equivocating. Because black kids are getting gunned down in the streets. In literal droves. And we should all be fucking rioting, I feel such a strange pain that I'm not, and the people that are literally risking everything in Ferguson and all over the world to give body to a dissenting voice are my fucking heroes.
I am a star. And a vast solar system of thoughts, feelings, energies and experiences revolve around me and will forever. But there is an important moment in life when I came to realize, that I'm not alone in the universe. Over there is a star with a solar system operating under similar terms, but completely and compositionally and perhaps even conceptually different. And over there another one. And another. We are actually a cluster of stars in an arm of a galaxy of stars revolving about in a vast spiraling web of innumerable trillions of stars, each with their own set of stuff revolving around them. But the whole system exerts influence on me, I feel the gravity or attraction within entropy of all of us together, no matter how vast or far. In fact the forces that keep us all in this dance or the same forces that make me a star in the first place, for I was born of other stars, and when I die and dissolve my energies will disperse and eventually coalesce to form new stars, and it seems like this process will go on for more star lives than I could possibly account for. That's important.
I need to affirm to myself ... It's ok if I want to spend my two free hours today laying in bed listening to music and reading. It doesn't matter how long it takes to write this book or whatever. Maybe that's counterintuitive like maybe I should be on my own ass every damn day but I kind of feel like, I take like 12 hours of classes a week and work two jobs, I can chill on lashing myself for not writing every day? I dunno what do you think?
I've spent a lot of time attempting to open my heart, mind and all my bodies to the will and wisdom of the divine consciousness, the Goddess, etc ... and the interesting thing is not only the things that I have suddenly found myself loving and appreciating that I couldn't let resonate before, but finding the things that I still don't really appreciate ... like dubstep. It's just not happening for me lol.
You would think that in a world where someone looks like this is given an international endorsement deal we wouldn't have to take to the streets to prove that the color of someone's skin does not change their inherent value, or even to take to the streets to show that all life on the planet is Inherently valuable, as we saw during the peoples climate March ... But we do. Have to. And you know change doesn't come in a straight line or like stair steps. Change comes in circles and spirals like everything. There are ebbs and flows and we have to continually circle back to our core beliefs and remind ourselves of them sometimes every day. I am valuable just the way I am. So are you. So is everyone. The only things that need to change are the ways in which we have culturally globally ceded that value, that true power, to ideas like states, churches and banks. That must change but I believe we will and it may seem silly but I find Conchita Wurst crazy ass in this magazine doing her thing proof and inspiration for that lol. Blessed be.
What else ... Oh so thankful for all the family, friends, community and FOOD I experienced yesterday. Last year for thanksgiving I was super depressed and forced myself to stay home alone and it really sucked. This year I'm on herbal mood stabilizers which while pitching me a little or a lot towards the manic side are definitely helping me keep my head up and in the game. Solitude is important but life is too short to spend fucking around bummed out when I could be stuffing my face with the people I love. Also have made huge leaps and strides towards finding a productive constructive and sustainable way to language what some might call bipolar this year, finding Wicca, kundalini, and the language of intuitive empathy rather than western psychiatric disease - prescription bullshit model. If anyone is struggling and wants to talk hmu and thanks for hanging with me through all the crazy times. Love and satnam and blessed be.
Shoutout all the yoga teachers in my community and all over. I consider us/ya'll soldiers on the front line of a specific and very important movement for cultural change. Very thankful for the love yall share and all the space yall hold on the regular.
The crazy thing is, anyone knows me knows my natural state is like a bemused half smile, a Mona Lisa smile if you will, but the minute I pull my phone out to take a pic it's like that scowl just takes hold of me. I don't even know I'm doing it. My natural state is actually smiling and crying lol.
I never had a job before where I was comfortable enough to officially be Alexis. That's significant. Blessed
Wow. I have learned so much this week. Even just today. About myself and my life and spiritual and artistic practices, which are basically all in the same. I want to affirm how blessed I am to have this life, to have survived all my personal attempts to thwart myself from living it, and to have the privilege of time, space, perspective, awareness and abundance to be able to fully devote myself to the project of understanding myself and guiding my growth. I am like ... really pretty speechless about what's going on in the world right now, taken in conversation with all the histories from differing perspectives I've read going back to the beginning of time itself, and it all wants to be really staggering to the ego, to the soul, to the Goddess even, at least it feels that way sometimes, but I also want to affirm the staggering kindness I've witnessed in my life, the charity, the patience, the compassion and all the love I have felt and received and witnessed throughout my life. It's going to get harder, and we are going to get stronger, and we will mindfully usher in a better age. Faith in this drives everything I do. Satnam and blessed be, ya'll. Take care of yourselves, integrate with your technologies, tell your friends you love them, whatever it takes.
This leads me to my MAIN point - IT'S CAPITALISM! That's the problem! A global value system that has been exported and forced upon every populated continent by industrialized violence and subjugation that removes all inherent value from life and labor and places it in the hands of a few materially "powerful" people and the currency and supportive value systems their religion mandates as foundational. When we think about progress in the West it has always been founded on the subjugation and exploitation of resources and people in Africa and elsewhere. This is not an American problem this is a problem stemming back to the earliest days of what patriarchy deems as the dawn of civilization - aka when most of this shit started to actually go down. I know it's a really hard pill to swallow, that literally everything you've ever been taught or told or socialized to believe about yourself, your country, your history and your way of life not only is a lie but is a lie told to not only keep you in permanent submissive ignorance while your actual human kin are slaughtered in droves, starved and manipulated into supporting this system, which is also, fun side effect, destroying our actual planet, the only one we have at this point, I know it's hard, but it's necessary that we all cross this bridge before we can move on. Question everything. I have a reading list a mile long if you want to start digesting some alternative perspectives on who we are, where we come from and how to change where we're headed, before we literally all die. I'm looking at you, establishment liberal apologists!
Affirmation: Mindfully engaging with any person, no matter who, or for how long, in any context, is spiritual practice.
I am going to say it calmly. Disarm all police. Dismantle the military industrial complex. And kindly remove your corporate money from our farcical representative government. These are my demands.
Blessings to all of you. Very inspired and affected by the people coming together to voice dissent for change in this country.
Love and blessings to all of my family living with HIV and all the caretakers and loved ones, choosing to love and value and care for yourself in the face of a culture that does not value life as it careens towards certain death. You are hope. You are inspiration.
Someone accused me of being flippant in advocating for total disarmament of police and total dissolution of the American military industrial complex. So I have to address that. These are not new ideas. Not for me and definitely not for this country. The natural effects of living in a society that values human and non-human life only in relation to how it can be converted into material capital funneled into the hands of the ruling class are not new. This didn't start with Ferguson. We can trace these problems all the way back to the several places and times in which patriarchy seems to have arisen, going back for a few thousand years at least. But we face a completely new day, with more people, more effective technology in terms of how quickly a person can be killed, and less and less resources as out of control industrial consumption on a global level literally sucks our planet dry. Death is natural. Death is important. What is unnatural is the premature end of literally millions of lives after lifetimes defined by subjugation, deprivation from access to even the most basic human needs and total psychic humiliation in a system that no matter who you are is designed to crush your will and instill the heirarchy of the state within your mind so that you continue to subvert and destroy your own personal power. What I think most people don't see about what we see with the out of control militarization of police, the privatization of the prison system and even vast swaths of the criminal justice system, and the completely out of control military defense budget and policies which direct our destructive imperialist military occupations and the actually horrifying continuing legacy of covert CIA operations and murders abroad, is that this isn't just about white supremacy, because it isn't just about the black bodies being gunned down in the streets in droves, the underserved non-white poor whose segregated school systems serve only to fill the prisons with young black men, nor is it just about the brown bodies abroad living and dying under the heel of the American military's boot, forced into extremism by the destabilizing effect of western colonial exploitation. What it really is about is the capital that those bodies generate. The government (and the people whose taxation supports it!) pays the defense contractors who arm our police force. The government pays the private contractors who build and staff our prisons, who run private probation and legal defense firms, who extort fees from the people who get wrongfully arrested, and provide kick backs to judges for convictions. The government pays exorbitant amounts to private companies for the chemicals and machinery with which we execute prisoners. And many of these same defense contractors are who the government pays to arm our military abroad and staff their bases. These companies in turn funnel money back into the campaigns of the politicians who vote for policies to perpetuate this system, and now even directly use that money to secure votes under the auspices of the Citizens United decision. So it is about black bodies. And white supremacy. Racism. And misogyny. But that we will never change until we truly understand the motivation that drives a person to divide up people into these taxonomies of oppression for capital exploitation. It's money. Follow the fucking money. There is no Illuminati there are only a bunch of fucking dudes scrambling around for as much money as they can get their gross little hands on. For millennia now. Because truly this is where patriarchy comes from. Why did the first monotheists need to destroy the culture of the Goddess-worshipping peoples who pre-dated patriarchal civilization in many places at many times? Because the women, as bearers of life, were the center of society, meting out resources in pseudo-socialist fashion from the temple centers which were also the center of the family. Paternity meant little and the property of the temples passed down matrilineally. The Goddess they worshipped didn't advocate fear or transcendence from death in fact she was death. But then along comes these packs of roving dudes who feared death so much they had to cling to immortality in the only way a man can truly try - through material succession, via his sons, whose lineage he secured by subjugating and dominating the behavior of women so that he knew who they were sleeping with and when. Entire holy books and movements were written for the sole purpose of consolidating this power over women and tribes viewed as threats to this new material power (Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the legacy of this phenomenon, though in fact the Vedic Bhagavadgita and many of the Norse poetic Eddas are religious documents of just this same initial conception of patriarchy and it's conflict with the preexisting cultures). This is where slavery comes in, and the taxonomies of differences between people which as these cultures expanded grew to encompass different colors and races. Power, money, fear of death, fear of the natural cycles of life. It literally all comes back to this. So going back to now, no this is not a trendy or flippant statement for me to make, that these systems must be subverted and dissolved now. (How eerily similar the military industrial complex is to the carbon industry in the way the government has just given it a free pass and kickbacks to literally destroy our planet, and of course they're very interrelated on many levels.) This goes beyond Republicans. This is Democrats too. We are all complicit in what's been happening. The argument then becomes, how does a police man defend himself? Well if the government stops flooding the market with guns, it would be very surprising to see that maybe this nebulous idea of these throngs of drug selling black criminals present in the popular imagination wouldn't have to arm themselves in that way either. What does a gun do? It kills. It doesn't deter. It wasn't made to maim or disarm. It was made to kill in the most effective way possible. This also means we will have to look at the drug policies that support the cartel violence the media associates with the drug trade in America. Fucking teach the cops kung fu and give them that fancy light weight Kevlar and task them with actually helping people, with becoming servants of their communities, and watch the world change. People also say, but what about the Muslim extremist phantasm looming in popular conception, what about the Middle East? We step the fuck back and let these poor people figure out the mess they're in because of us. Or send them our spiritually grounded kung fu Kevlar cops and task them to actually serve. Who put Saddam Hussein in power and armed his militia? Who toppled the regime of the Shah of Iran? Who toppled socialist regimes all over South America to make way for coups by totalitarian dictatorships? The fucking CIA dude. This world wouldn't be such a violent mess if every inch of it hadn't have been used as a staging ground for the Cold War of America vs our imperialist megalithic twin sister Russia. So now we pull back and let them figure themselves out for once. It's not a time for hard facts and statistics and defense. This country is a body. The planet is a body. The disease and prescription model of western medicine has failed us all as individuals and it is failing to holistically treat the body of this planet. We are like an alcoholic driven to psychosis by their own over indulgence and violence. We have to stop. We have to intuit and listen and learn that to grow sometimes means to take the weaker position. To put the guns down and accept what violent repercussions might come as a result of our legacy. And move forward from there. And start caring for all of our people. And watch as people start to hate us less. And the world becomes a different place. This goes for all the western countries in Europe and now Brazil, etc, but I deliver this idea for America because that's where I was born and for better or worse I'm prepared to stand up and attempt to see the free and just society this stolen blood soaked land was christened as.
This is cute I kind of love it I got to thinking about this idea of junk drawer animism where materially and spiritually we are all in some part defined by the detritus which are by nature defined by us and our movements but I also got to thinking they must have a machine that winds up those premade rubber band balls you can buy cUz this shit is very time consuming and that made me think about automation within industry and how maybe we should be reversing that trend because actually the only people that truly benefit from the increased profits reaped exponentially via the innovations of the late industrial era are really the CEOs and upper up's in the pyramid scheme of capitalism so like those guys could definitely take a paycut and we could really alter the perception of time and value that persists within the globalized industrial world by returning to this style and pace of production uhh I don't even know back to the rubber band ball
Somewhere in the last couple of years I've realized that life, for me, is the practice of improving the way I live, how fully I connect with the divine and most importantly (or actually the same thing) improving how I connect with other people. I am vehement and passionate about inciting sweeping radical psychocultural change because how the fuck can I truly connect with our divinity in a consistently practiced way when every day I am watching people that are ostensibly a part of me oppressing, abusing, exploiting murdering other people who are also ostensibly a part of me? It's fucking psychotic. This is a call to the yogis and Mystics and artists and spirit workers. "Tat tvam asi." Thou art that. The other person is you. Think about it.
I will say one more thing. I don't really find it fair to come right out and say, queer people you should be on the streets too. When in history have queer people ever felt safe or that their presence was sanctioned in a group of angry straight people, no matter how righteous and just the anger? The fact that I feel physically embodied and confident enough (and masculine presenting enough tbh) to go march is a privilege that a lot of queer people just do not have. And I have had to work my ass off to feel comfortable enough in this skin that I know I can peacefully resist violence. But I will say this: at the very fucking least, ALL YALL ASSES should be posting this shit up on Facebook every fucking day because the cops brutalize and abuse us too and the system that oppresses one of us oppresses every one of us. Or didn't you know you're still scum in their eyes whether you gay married or not? You know how this feels. You are not safe. No one is safe. Use your voice.
We really need to flip the whole damn script. There are roots and reasons why we live in a white supremacist patriarchy. Take a long hard look at the world capitalism has created and how your lifestyle is inevitably embroiled within it and what do you really see? This isn't just politics. This is the soul and spirit and psyche and heart of our country as a whole and each one of us as individuals. Change needs to happen on our streets, with our police all the way up to the top and down to the bottom but that can't happen out there unless we start to let it in, in here.
Tbh I feel really inspired and alive and excited about it all right now. The pain is real in all my bodies but I know we all share it whether we can acknowledge it or not but so many people are waking up and voicing it, I just can't help but feel really vivified. I also have to stop saying that every time I have a good day it's because of the herbal mood stabilizers. It's like ... I don't freak out about my dependency on food whenever I eat it to not be hungry and die, these herbs are a similar gift from the Mother to sustain myself in similar ways, so I just need to smile and be grateful that I have so many ways to not just survive but really thrive and try to sustain all life around me as best I can. We are all really lucky to be alive. But the dead are all a part of this too. Matter, energy and spirit, it's all a dance and I pray that someday hopefully soon we will look back on this period of history as the time we fell very hard but learned and grew so much...
Trigger warning: this story is really really devastating. Now post publication, the trust of one of the victims is being called into question, which I also find, honestly, really devastating. In a culture in which literal thousands of years of rape have been canonized as history, nation and society building, in which "our" most prevalent and revered religious texts explicitly describe not just endemic subjugation and violence of women but rape, as well, in which we are violently enforced from before our very births to codify every aspect of our being, feeling, self-conception and behavior into a binary system that teaches us that half the population are strong and half of them are weak, and anyone who falls anywhere outside either of those fallacious extremes are threats to literally be destroyed, media outlets are still calling into question the legitimacy and validity of victims of sexual assault, in the name of a completely illusory cultural conception we like to call objectivity. We live in a literally psychotic time when people who hear voices that don't accord with what the people in power want us to hear are spurned and left to wander the streets, and a species that is dependent on gendered bodies for survival has somehow convinced itself that it is not one but two. There is no reliable objectivity in this world and our very conception of what truth is has to change. Man, woman, hetero, homo, black, white, these are all ideas that serve to sustain the current model of truth, the current model of values (where capital in the hands of the few ruthless and violence enough to consolidate it through coercion and murder is valuable and everything else is not). It's not just that white supremacy needs to be reevaluated. It's not just that misogynist patriarchy needs to be subverted. It's not just that capitalism needs to be remolded. James Baldwin asked, "How do you know you are white?" I'm asking, how the hell do you know you are a person? But anyway, read this horrifying story and think about the way you treat the women in your life, yes even you, fags, queens and trans people (and how we treat the feminine identified, femme prestening, the fey ... and how we treat those parts of ourselves, possibly most importantly ... damn ... ).
Affirmation: Conditioning and clarifying all my bodies, mind and heart for the channeling and embodiment of energy consumes my life and I and every one around me benefit from it.
Pro-tip: Anytime you wanna say "ugh" just say "wow" instead. Way less qualifying of a reaction.
Why we complain about the rain when water is literally life? Just as capitalist patriarchy pits us against one another it also paints Mother Nature as our enemy rather than the gracious and beautiful host She is. Rain is beautiful. So much to feel, so much to release. Blessed be.
Love and blessings to all the people experiencing winter while living and sleeping on the streets or in homes without heat. I literally cannot imagine and my heart breaks for the way the poor, the under privileged, the elderly, those living with addictions and those living with alternative mental perspectives are forced to live in the neo-feudal dynasty of western capitalist patriarchy. The cycle of street to jail to hospital to shelter to street is just one more way the criminal "justice" system and state institutions of this country abuse those who won't or can't become pawns at the bottom level of the malicious pyramid scheme of capitalism in this culture, and it squanders the stolen tax dollars of those who have. Every person by right of birth deserves a sustainably created roof over their head and a supportive community. Decriminalize homelessness now. Dissolve all fallacious land rights now. Food and housing for all, now.
Shaking my damn head at white people saying they are "tired of everything being about race" or that they see "people as just people" or my favorite one (and I will definitely admit to a certain misplaced pride at having a meta-diverse community of friends and lovers), listing all the friends or family or associates they have who aren't white which somehow justifies holding and spreading seriously (and I know this is subjective) damaging opinions about race and what's currently happening in Shemerica (Aemerica?) or the Occupied Territories of Turtle Island right now. Breath in. Breath out. I am tired of hearing about race too. I am very aware that race, like gender and sexuality, is a social construct designed and implemented for the purpose of keeping people in competition and disempowered within the hierarchies of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy; that it has also been used as a way to justify the western exploitation of the rest of the planet, the profits reaped by which is one of the only reasons we can consider western countries to be "developed." As a white person who has found a highly convincing passing male presentation, it would be very easy for me to bounce from yoga studio to yoga studio all day as I do, interacting with people of all races in these tiny little oases of at least vague egalitarianism and just otherwise stick my head in the sand and pretend that people are just people and we do live in a post racial society. That would be very easy because I am white. I walk around with marihuana on my person almost all the time and I'm never stopped or frisked or verbally abused, let alone brutalized or shot at, by the law enforcement officers whose stated purpose is to protect me. Because I'm white. (Which isn't to comment on the violence we as queer or gender non conforming people face from the public and institutions, but it's different because I can look and act as queer or as not queer as I want, interestingly enough). I literally can look right through cops as if they're ghosts and never register their existence. Because I'm white. I have such a deep and long history of shop lifting and petty theft (that I've long since left behind) but I can walk into any store without registering a second glance. Because I'm white. This is called privilege. Oh my Goddess I can't believe I'm still spelling this out for white people. But I know they don't teach you this shit in schools. The media basically wants to refute its existence. But the privilege of being white is that you can just pretend like everything isn't about race. Because our race, socially constructed and amorphous as it is and always will be, is in power and has been for a long time. Open your eyes and realize that this isn't some scam to further disempower you, white people, because I do know personally and painfully all the ways in which everyone is disempowered under this system. This is actually everyone being tired of talking about fucking race and tired of witnessing and experiencing institutionalized and media sanctioned brutality and violence. This is gerrymandering restricting voting rights and unequal funding and segregation of schools and petty discrimination by dirty looks and racist jokes and police brutality and everyone saying they're fucking tired of it. Let's all be tired of it together and change it but until it changes we don't get to shut this conversation out or down. It's time to shut this system down. Omg I can't believe I have to explain this to people I'm actually friends with. It doesn't matter how many black friends you have! Breath in breath out end rant.
Suddenly very aware of the responsibility inherent in having been given so many powerful tools of radical self-transformation that most people will never know exist.
I am honestly really inspired and impressed all the time by the 18-22 year old set that I encounter yall are really exciting to me. I also always want to be like, cool so let's date when you're like 5-10 years older lol.
Free Chelsea Manning.
Waiting on a holiday party for one of those "too big to fail" banks or hedge funds or something. The bland banality of what passes for evil in real life is really underwhelming lol.
I kind of fucked up I wrote and had published a book exposing a lot of intimate details about a lot of peoples' lives in orbit of mine with really no regard to their feelings about it. Like in the past couple of years. I wrote it and edited it in a crazy alcohol / sudden sobriety fueled fugue state and I was so insecure about my ability to write that I felt I had no choice but to cleave directly to as much "objective" as I saw it then fact as possible. I honestly think it all serves the work and I am proud of it but it's been a very crazy couple of years slash year or so and my heart is so different in the way I deal with people and now I'm feeling like I really maybe wrongfully exposed some people in ways I shouldn't have so explicitly and I feel badly about it. It's come up kind of a lot including with my parents etc so cumulatively ... I dunno. I won't say I'm sorry in a blanket statement I think that would be inauthentic but I will say I've empowered myself to write fiction now lol.
Aquarians. Everyone. We can show people how to be their own leader. We can show people how to be their own Messiah. We can show people how to be their own deity.
The thing about the Who I'd Like To Meet algorithims being updated in a really crazy way including whatever terrifying and hilarious deal Grindr or Scruff have made with Freakbook, is that all of those people are now seeing you too and having the same reactions lol ... wait he was a ...?! lol
If I seem to be telling people to do yoga all the time, which I am, it's for one reason. Every single person on this planet, you and I included, deserve it. Every person deserves to feel valued. Every person deserves to feel compassion for their self. Every person deserves to feel like they have adequate tools to navigate this insanely stressful and violent time we find ourselves in. Every single person. I was standing on the train platform today and this man was screaming in my face and spitting on me and I was just kind of standing there, smiling, probably making too much eye contact which kept perpetuating the situation, but I didn't want to look away, and I didn't really fear for my safety having just left 2 hours of kung fu, and I don't really seek confrontation with people who are clearly just having conflict with themselves. But after he wandered off, still screaming, some people came up to ask if I was ok and this woman said, "Man, it sucks to be you tonight." To which I replied, "No, it sucks to be him." It's not fair for someone who is clearly having such a hard time grappling with what consensus (who consented to this, really?) reality looks like, to have to wander the streets and subway tunnels engaging in confrontation with people like that. Our society has clearly failed that person, but to be honest, I feel more kinship with him than with the people who look around and see what's happening in the world, if they choose to see it at all, and don't feel like screaming. I feel like I want to scream in everyone's face to wake the fuck up, why aren't we all screaming, all of the time? But I know, through my practices, that there are much more constructive and self-sustaining ways to channel those feelings and that energy. Which is where yoga comes in. Just do it. Or don't. But know that if you look around the world and what you see disturbs and stresses frightens and enrages and takes you to the depths of human sorrow, you are not alone, you are not insane, you are in fact very normal and very sane. But you may also, and this does not contradict, feel ecstatic joy, and love, and compassion, and union and unity and oneness with all life and maybe even the pavement and the buildings and the cars, with everything, and that's not crazy, either. Everything is possible and everything is sacred and everything is valuable and for those truths, and to share those with others, I give my deepest gratitude to the Goddess for bringing yoga into my life, for starting me on this path. Satnam and blessed be, amen.
Epiphany: Anxiety is a self-centered attempt to exact control through worry over things that are completely outside of not just your control but your appropriate realm of influence or even outside of possibility. This is a natural side-effect of individual and collective disempowerment by the various institutions that make up the patriarchy, via violent trauma and pervasive socialization. The disempowered person, naturally also living in a state of fear, attempts to take control of things, people and events far outside of themselves or their influence by worrying, enacting scenarios that haven't, may never or possibly will never happen, and avoids situations altogether lest their expectations and anticipations be refuted or, sometimes worse, confirmed. Truly no person can control anything, but we have a limited ability to influence our breath, through which all other forms of so-called self-mastery are achieved. The general antidote or at least one of them is to find things that empower you to surrender that attempt at control, knowing that you are powerful enough to confront any eventuality with peace and poise. So like do some yoga lol duh. Not that youtube shit go do it in a room with other people. It's different. Trust. Ok good luck lol.
Privacy is an illusion that we have been sold to make up for the fact that all of our lives and the life and inherent value of everything on the planet have been institutionally devalued by capitalism. We are socialized to believe that we are only what we own, that what we own is only as valuable as the capital that bought it, that we are all distinct and wholly separate individuals in constant competition with others for said capital, and that nature reflects this competition in every exchange and that the natural world can be reduced down to these transactional exchanges which somehow perfectly accord with the socio-economic system we are all violently forced into before birth. The system dictates that we are only as valuable and powerful as we are materially wealthy, but is also striated and stratified in such a way that only a very select few can be actually wealthy while most will constantly struggle to accrue enough capital to afford even basic amenities like food, water and shelter. Many will never afford these and will die because of it. Kept in a constant paradox of desperately striving to possess capital for personal empowerment and value (and survival) in a system perfectly designed to keep capital out of the hands of most people, we must grip onto the things that we can possess that we perceive to be ours and ours alone, and grip those for dear life, in a desperate bid to own something, anything, as much as we possibly can. We grip onto emotions - pain, fear - trauma, our identities, as we perceive them, which naturally furthers and perpetuates and solidifies these ineffable ideas and energies. Privacy is one such thing that we grip onto for dear life, the last vestige of dignity that capitalism seems to afford us, while actually reinforcing the alienation and traumatic individuation by denial of collective union that reinforces the cultural systems which make privacy such a commodity in the first place. Individuality is a truly important and valuable lens through which to view the human experience, in some ways, at some times, but when taken as canon in denial of the truth of the collective unity of the human organism and that of life itself, it fractures and destroys. Every person is a product of so much collective experience, genetic striving, energetic exchange, and so on ad naseum ... do you know that you are more bacteria, fungi and virus than you actually are you? And past that, you are actually more empty space than anything? What indeed is a person then? What is this thing that needs to claim ownership on its thoughts, themselves confluences of thoughts had eons before you, thoughts being had all around you ... Of course I'm not saying the NSA should be fully licensed to use your emails against you or whatever, or that the capital funneled away from feeding, clothing and housing people should go to power their inane servers, that must be literally so numerous and vast, to archive all this actually inane bullshit, but it is definitely something to think about ... Why is privacy important to you? What is yours? What is ownership?
If it's not nourishing with you without side effects or profoundly expanding your mind or improving your character ... Why ingest it?
Wishing I was out there today/rn but of course I'm at work. Today I was having a stupid fantasy of all the rich contracting some disease but then I realized that they already have one! Ok thanks yall have been great have a good night.
Affirmation: my center is a lot lower than I usually think.
Let it be known I'm tryna be green buried when I die. Don't let the government touch my body.
So real. Been talking about this a lot because people in the West have been sold a massive delusion that the difference between our countries and those of the condescendingly described "developing" world come down somehow to us just being better and more profitable. The comparative wealth and luxury which we enjoy here has always been founded on the violence and subjugation of people of color here and abroad. Period. Capitalism is still predicated on slavery and slavery like conditions. Period. There are roots and reasons for white supremacy and they all come back to the people raking in profits while most of the world starves. "Slavery did not die because it was unproductive or unprofitable, as some earlier historians have argued. Slavery was not some feudal remnant on the way to extinction. It died because of violent struggle, because enslaved workers continually challenged the people who held them in bondage
Affirmation: Every single moment is an opportunity. History pivots around every second and nothing is ever too late.
This drunk guy came into the deli just now and of course walked right up to me and started telling me his story, pretty loud and in my face, about how he is a citizen and not a criminal but he has a drinking problem. I asked him why he was doing that to himself, and he asked me what did I know, I told him look into my eyes, I've drank a lot, he tried to tell me he's older than me and has drank and seen more, and I told him he doesn't need that shit, he said he does, he just likes to have a good time, he does need it, and I made him look me in the eyes again, real deep, his gaze was blurry but we met eyes and I told him, "You're perfect just the way you are." And he smiled and shook my hand and walked away. And all I can say is that it made me feel better. Oh yeah and "Chandelier" was playing on the deli radio hahaha.
Laugh it up and whine and wallow and throw your shade. 2014: the Year of the Brat is almost over. I'm trying to decide what to christen 2015. Year of the Sainted Mother? Let's all sustain and support life together and be better than we ever imagined we could be. You want people to think lives matter, smile in their face like they do. Because they do.
This idea and that of Santa and naughty and nice going back to the tradition's inception speak less to me about the surveillance state and more to the looming threat of violence and material disempowerment for those that dare to step out of institutionally established moral and cultural paradigms. And btw the police state is now.
I just want everyone to know I'm in my room alone in drag eating sustainably sourced sardines and caraway crackers listening to Judy Garland.
A lot of people talking about depression right now. Personally this is the first holiday season in my actual entire memory that I haven't been acutely depressed or anxious or on the brink of total corporeal dissolution. It feels really good but you all know generally how and why I'm here and none of that really matters. The only piece of advice I wanted to offer is a truth I have found which is this. We feel things for a reason. This is mindbody's way of letting us know what's going on. With us, within us, without us ... For our intuitive and emotional bodies, these distinctions really don't matter all that much. Which isn't to say that every time you feel sad you have to go on some crazy witch hunt for what's making you sad and eradicate it. It just means that maybe if you can kind of just notice the feeling, maybe examine where its roots might lie or maybe not (because some of them they are DEEP), honor the feeling for exactly what it is, then maybe you can also let it go. These things are always changing. To paraphrase Yogi Bhajan, feelings are like road signs. If we swerved for every one we would crash the car. Pay attention, maybe heed it's warning maybe not, keep driving. Personally I wouldn't have to stretch for a hundred reasons why I could personally be depressed, and then all I have to do is take a cursory look at what's going on in the world now and what has passed since the patriarchies started writing things down, and there's 1,000 more reasons to be bummed. (10 million Syrian refugees wandering in the desert! Black children murdered in the street, in droves, since white men set foot on this land basically!) It's fucking depressing! But do you really think that Goddess in all her infinite embodied mysterious wisdom put your ass here to be crippled by depression about it? Nah. Honor your feelings. Respect what they mean. It's inspiring to feel. It's powerful. Our society and culture at large attempt to anesthetize any feeling in an attempt to monetize all of them. We don't have to live like that. It's ok to be depressed but it may require some creative script flipping to not let it ruin your life (as it almost did mine, for many years)!!! And as always, do more yoga. Crying on the mat is the best.
Anyone known me long enough has probably heard me say "Who am I?" In joke a lot but today I kind of realize that question is no longer such an issue. Forever I felt I was this impossible person created by bizarre and banal circumstance and experience. But now I realize I have used those experiences and circumstances to consciously and mindfully create this person, under the tutelage of many amazing teachers from all different paths. Feeling really blessed and grateful rn. Satnam yall.
It's fucked up that I actually think I have an idea of what they are missing here with the currently prevalent cosmology among western scientists that rests on this idea of dark matter and dark energy that can't be detected and why the expansion of the universe is accelerating. I think there is a spiritual component that's being missed here. Matter, energy, sure, but what of consciousness, spirit, the self organizing principle, the Goddess? Call me crazy... Lol
Believe it or not this deity chose me to wear his image on my body kind of intense
"The holidays" are so cheezy and problematic but also so transformative, layered over so many generations of overlapping traditions. There is really something about these liminal times. Facing change. Making peace with what has come and what is. Fearlessly facing all that can never truly be known until it is felt and experienced and made real in its coming. The turning of the year. I feel so blessed and really just bursting with joy to be right here in this moment. Satnam and blessed be ya'll!
Ok here are my thoughts on Christmas and life and technology and reality, at least for tonight. It's going to be really hard for me to not look at my phone before I go to bed. Maybe it's something I'm gonna have to work up to. Maybe for 30 minutes and then hopefully an hour and hopefully they just start making phones that don't alter our brain chemistry in such at least mildly undesirable ways or unsustainable we could say. But you know that's what I realize is the heart of the problems with our technology and the technology industries and the cultural institutions that support them and their ideologies and cosmologies. They are barreling towards change and nominally affecting and instigating change in the human, in society and in the self, without even a rudimentary understanding of themselves often times, of the singular self or ourselves collectively, in groups and as a larger sort of meta organism. Because if most people working in these fields had a mindful appreciation of what's going on they would be advocating for very different kinds of changes and instigating them in very different ways through technology. But I think this is hopefully changing and will come with time as the boundaries between disciplines and fields and institutions start to break down, built as they are on such shaky often imaginary conceptions. The other thing I realized today is that we all have so much in common spiritually. I mean duh but hear me out. We all, no matter where you're from and what tradition or confluence of traditions you and your ancestors emerge from and exist within, we all have the shared history of our ancestors living and breathing practices that honored how inextricable their lives were from the earth and the animals and plants and other humans and elemental forces and everything and the planet Herself, in all these different ways. We all have that in common before the so called "dominant faiths" came to dominate the globe - Abrahamic and Vedic being kind of the main branches extant now to be simplistic and reductive about it. Another thing we all have in common is that no matter where you live or who you are, we have all suffered in some way the effects of Abrahamic and specifically Christian colonialism - physically, nationally, culturally, spiritually, psychically - from oppression to genocide to slavery to capitalism, the monotheists have waged their wars and pushed their agendas on every continent at this point. And you know in the past that was a really painful thing for me to realize, and it is painful and should be felt and honored as such, but we don't have to let that experience continue to define us. Our collective traumas should bind us and unite us so that we can do things differently in the future, starting right now. That's our task for 2015. Honor the pain and let it open us to a whole new way of thinking, a whole new structure for consensus reality. The future is totally unknown but in other ways has already happened. It's happening now.
Pro-tip: Get your material life in order before you dive head first into the esoteric and the occult. They walk hand in hand and are in fact facets of the same thing but a basic foundation is vital for any meaningful spiritual exploration. Much of Western occultism fails to address the body and matter and earth emergence denial that is canonical for institutionalized Western religion, which is why I find Wicca to be so powerful, but the culturalized norm is so powerful that in every tradition we see a widespread and General lack of care and regard for our bodies and our material well being. Start by caring for your body, your relationship to your family and society at large, even if it's just a change in the way you approach it, get your home life in order, find work that supports and grounds you and find ways to not let it destroy you, and find a positive physical practice that empowers and strengthens and clarifies your body (yoga). This is some of the most powerful magic there is. Root to rise. Blessed be.
I wasn't gonna do this but it's kind of fun. It's been a really powerful year for healing and transformation. Super grateful for all the love and support and acceptance I've been shown from so many different families and communities. So blessed. Satnam ya'll.
Treading the fine line between being someone who has dealt with a lot and someone who is a lot to deal with.
"Interestingly, many scholars believe that Asherah’s tree functioned in the Garden of Eden parable. Because Asherah’s name was increasingly tied to Yahweh’s in the folk religion of the area, the patriarchal elite may have found it necessary to propagandize against goddess worship by integrating the story of the fall of mankind to the tree which was clearly associated with Asherah."
Oh the people they challenge me so much. irl, online, they challenge me when they're here and then I'm challenged by my solitude, and I guess that's just the whole thing, and all I can do is be grateful for it and the experience of being a person in connection with so many other people, with so much life, human and otherwise, with so much matter and energy and consciousness and all of it. Thanks. I'm grateful for this challenge.
*wrenches and tears and slowly peels closed heart chakra open* *transforms into 8-armed winged She-Hulk* *Howard Dean yell*
Great story, though the one glaring absence in all of this is the role our spiritual lives play in confirming or subverting the value systems that got us into this mess in the first place. 2015 it's fucking on. I'm gonna make pamphlets about earth-based spiritual practice, Gaia theory, human energy, imminent divinity and the Goddess and start handing them out?! Why the fuck not. Beats the hell out of the fucking Lighthouse right??! Lol "If these are the values of our society then I want to be an outlaw in that society.”
I realize ... That my entire life ... I have spent tryna "meet my man." And you know love is great and I have met some really amazing men, but I'm telling you now, 2015 is about FRIENDSHIP. Friends, allies, community, collaboration, ... The men they can come and go (and I'm tryna always stay friends lol trust) but I'm here for art and sweeping change and self-awareness and connection. Ok cool glad that's out of the way lol.
2015 year of love, year of the Mother, the Sainted Mother, the Messiah, when we learn to be our own messiah, each and every one, year of the kombucha mother lol, of the mycelium networks, of the tree, of the Tree, of Yggdrasil, of rivers, of snakes, 2015 how loving can I be in every possible interaction, 2015 year of compassion, year of the soul, of doing something for your soul, 2015 year of love.
I'm so in love with all of my friends and with the potential for great change and collective beauty I see in so many people right now. Thanks for inspiring me. This year definitely been totally bananas lol. Satnam and blessed be
2015: How is my value system reifying oppression? 2015: I'm still kind of a mess, it's ok? I'm not stable, I'm dynamic, I'm consistent in my movements towards balance and alignment with the self-organizing principles of life. 2015: The more people I unfollow, the more random weirdos show up on the feed, can't I just look at everyone? 2015: Hold me. 2015: I love you. 2015: I have a lot of work to do.
2015: DO MORE YOGA lol
2015: Sleep is a priority, eat for nutrition, ingest for sustenance, move to survive, worship change to grow, worship myself, worship everyone else, every breath is a reaffirmation of my decision to live ...
The way I know the Goddess lives in Mary is how hard She feels Herself in icons lol you go girl.
2015: more selfies, more self care, more deconstructing the self, more self aware, more Colin Self lol, more self-identifying with all others, more self love.
I'm at work tonight. I'm grateful to work with people j I actually love somewhere that doesn't make me want to light things on fire. I'm tryna be as insanely nice as I possibly can be to every customer tonight but I also got to thinking, sometimes shade can be a positive force to inspire change lol. 2015: here's to shading mindfully.
So grateful for this vortex of ever changing elements and phenomena that I call my body for putting up with as much as she has put me through. You and me baby, til the wheels fall off lol.
2015: 2Unlimited live at Kansas City Gay Pride 2008.