My young children are growing. It seems the more independent they become, the more of my interaction they need. I am continuing the resistance training (physical and societal) on a much pulled-back scale and feel quite fine with stepping back from the community to nurture my young. I’ll be back when they’re old enough to be involved and vocal about what matters to them, too.
There is a very wide array of marches, stories, demonstrations, injustices, natural disasters, battles and more occurring globally. I’ve gone back to school and am re-tooling myself to be an educator…formally…using strategies and my enjoyment of researching to be the best curator of knowledge (this is a phrase that’s been lodged in my brain for the last week), I can be. By way of an example, just this morning , with a wince and a smile, I began planting seeds of suggestions into other teacher’s ears about adding a hothouse laboratory classroom and raised bed gardens to teach the district recommended curriculum with multicultural practices, introducing STEM and agriculture knowledge I want to see it so badly and see what it would look like to raise a generator of students in a more active model than “sit and take”. I want to see what “motivated to learn’ looks like in this generation of elementary school students. During the staff meeting, some sort of teacher life coach was telling us that the most successful schools were returning to the Socratic method of education. I could only nod.
All that to say I’m just updating the space that has been quiet too long with some context to the radio silence. I haven’t given up my fight or fire, I’m just too tired to blog about it. I leave it to others for the time being.
Spir°it: Breath of Life
As Imbolc is also known as Candlemas – 40 days after Christmas some religions celebrate the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth to the temple to be blessed and redeemed. It is there that the Goddess Bridghe took him into her arms and under her wing as his nursemaid. Once again, bright flames, it is time to lead the world by the hand (or the ear) to bring balance back into the world and reclaim female divinity. It is with that love, we lift our energies up to become stronger, and unified. We channel the energy of the globe of women who stood up for human rights and we drum and dance and sing to expand it. When we have danced a frenzy, we send it out to the peace-makers, the water protectors, the women teaching, farming, creating in every form, and strengthen the movement into the future. Raise your energy. Raise your voice.
My friend shared a quote by Maya Anglou, saying, “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”-Maya Angelou
It really struck me in a few different ways as I have been struggling this year. Struggling. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. I’m in a place of acceptance and gratitude again, but the season is climaxing and if you sit quietly enough you can sense it. I digress.
I responded, “What about the ones who are Learning to love themselves and others as the same time?”
I respond, “What about those who have a hard time loving themselves, but wish to reflect back the love you shine.”
I feel the underlying truth of Maya Angelou’s words, but if love begets love. If love responds and grows and encompasses all it touches (which I see and experience regularly), then perhaps accepting the being’s offer of love, nurturing it and returning it can ripple out in revolution.
I am weaving my shirt. I will use the sleeves to hang my heart on.
Part two: The space we sit in. I have been emptying our space at home of things that are broken, things that no longer serve us. The trick is to not replace it with more things, but to leave space to breathe and play in.
Likewise, I often fill my hands with community work and engaging my young. Not earning a paycheque drives me to work harder to demonstrate my worth. It’s a modern illness that I struggle with. I have decided that I am going to dedicate my extracurricular time to one cause for one year and focus the rest of my energies into my home space and allowing rest and daydreaming and other things that will lead to production. Or into employment, depending on what happens this month.
Part three: I have openly invited folks to come out and help me break concrete on a future date; it’s a reclaimation project to plant drought tolerant plants into roundabouts. I aim to influence the replanting to include herbs. None took me up on it. I am looking for a companion to do random community projects with. Someone to be playful with. Someone who enjoys outside and activity and affection. My wife does many things with me (More so now than ever), and she is an awesome mate. Community stuff is not her bag and she supports my going out and doing stuff. I bring my kiddo with me, because he’s human shaped and wants to be involved in the things I’m involved in. The folks who I meet at the events are generally much older than I am, or monogamous. #polyproblems
And now we move toward the harvest season
I was barefoot chillin’ in the garden, crushing fragile eggshells left over from our breakfast onto the wet soil housing la verduras (the vegetables) that I had so lovingly sown and protected from seed. I had planted pole runners with the hopes of finding something to let them train up, but had not. The plants were weaving and twining around themselves, so heavy, they had fallen over, but grew on and I learned something valuable. I often do in the garden.
Resilience is doing what one must and noticing the journey along the way.
It is telling stories (true though they may be) to yourself and your family and the divine that you have purpose and hope. It’s embracing the pain and the beauty and the fragility. I’m not breathing easy, by any stretch, but I am peaceful and I am grateful.
I’ve officially declared 2016 the year of love. Getting off-line more often and investing time and physical labor into personal and environmental areas of my life. Every year is a year of love, so this isn’t as radical as it sounds.
In a moment of wyld, I hacked my hair off. It was really cute the first day. It takes styling in a way that long hair doesn’t and YouTube tutorials have failed me. I’ve hacked my hair off a few times before and I really like the feeling, but I’ve been asked a few times now what my gender pronoun preference is.
It’s weird. Sweetly weird. Androgyny is a comfortable place, but I prefer the female pronouns and I share as much when asked. Which I have been. Anyway, I am suddenly meeting all these girls who may be interested, or …do you know my gaydar is horrifying. Truly. I assume everyone and no one is flirting, all at once.
Things are going so well on many levels. After many months of practice, Jae and I are communicating underlying feelings to things that normally set us off into a passionate conversation. We’re physically touching more. It’s been a sweet spring. Especially in the face of one big-feeling-toddler. Seeing her become bolder and sweeter and crazier has been fun.
Another change is, as of yesterday, we’ve re-started our whole food diet. It’s such a culinary challenge that brings great rewards. Joey is detoxing from the sugar, already. So, I know we’ve made the right choice. I’ve picked up where I left off and got my benchmark in today as to what my starting point is, physically. The only place to go from here is healthier. I’m excited my wife is joining me in this, as well.
Since I left the church many moons ago, Christmas has brought me a myriad of emotions. The oddest being my bursting into tears every time I attempt to sing carols. Well, this pregnancy has brought me a lot of tears.
Tears of joy, tears of anxiety, tears of amusement, tears of anger – I haven’t stopped leaking since week 4. But, all the crying seems to be drying up as I enter the 3rd trimester and we enter the Christmas season.
I found myself singing my favorite carols on the street corner yesterday, while waiting for my bus to arrive. Because I can. And, miracle of miracles, not a tear was shed! Sure, I got a bit choked up during “O Come All Ye Faithful”, but no tears were lost and my voice was clear and I felt good. It was lovely. I may have left behind the church but I love the music, especially the more archaic hymnals. Their sentiments are beautiful.
Either way, I’ll take this gift and be glad.
What Christmas miracle are you waiting for?
I’m not quite ready to return to the writing-sphere, though I am itching to get back into it, specifically in regards to my permaculture/gardening blog Concrete Connection. Jae has been an awesome helpmate in getting the garden pushed further and further along. I’d lost a lot of motivation there, for a few months.
The one year anniversary of my mother’s death has recently passed, and we’re healing but it’s still fresh. The pumpkin is right on track, developmentally, to be a raging threenager. Ooh! Toddlers are a lot of work! And now we’re expecting a kiddo 2.0 for late January. I’m pretty sure if one kid is hard, two is insane, but we’re thrilled to open our hearts and our arms to another little life.
I’ve got some prioritizing and organizing to do. I’m working closely with my o.b. to keep my health and poppy’s in good shape. (I’m calling kiddo 1.4 “poppy” until we know more about his or her sex – (s)he was the size of a poppy seed when we found out I was pregnant.) But, I don’t have enough energy or hours in the day to tackle every project that sounds like an amazing idea, even with the beautiful and tireless wife’s help. I’m grateful for the harvest season and praying we can get a late harvest out of the garden and sow the seeds for an early start next year.