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
My teacher gave me a compliment of the highest order this afternoon. She told me that from our original conversation she had considered me a visionary. Think about that. It was intimidating and flattering and I handled it fairly awkwardly. Because I do. But, it really flattered me and I am feeling like a poser. Here’s to trying to connect the dots in order to strengthen the kingdom.
There are several overlapping areas of my life that light up my “happiness board”. Gardening. Geeking out. Anything my baby and my beautiful wife. Social Justice and intelligent resource allocation (Putting stuff where stuff goes best).
I went to a meeting the other day with a group of amazing individuals who are part of a larger local network, working so hard to bring about the changes I want to see in the world. It’s a mini-Nirvana. They’re the Puyallup Watershed Initiative. (PWI). I’ll post more about the connections later. For now, you should see what they are doing to build Cascadia.
I am feeling the connective spark again and it’s a big sigh of relief.
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.
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.
This afternoon I watched a training video on work place violence and bust into tears, so that was special.It took me aback because I’ve only ever once been close to a potential situation with a shooter. In that situation the security guard was able to talk the guy down before things escalated to emergency.
I think the video triggered a lot of anxiety I carry (like much of the population) around making this choice to work and not be close to protect my child from such outcomes that we read about often.Notice I’m not giving into the anxiety, merely acknowledging it.
Jr has been walking around saying stuff like, “it’s lovely to see you, you amayyyzing mummy!”and “Mummy want to build a tower, too?” I have to share that because we just spent a 2 hour period of melt down screaming match over nothing (we could discern), and wait for him to moderate his emotions.
Everyday he comes home from play-school with a “report card”. On his report card they talk about the lesson of the day, whether or not he napped, whether or not he ate lunch and any special notes the teachers may have for the parents. So far the report card says “play, play” or “color” once, but mainly it’s been stony silence. This kid is good at that, even on paper. Today it said, “Campfires!” So apparently we’ve hit on a common ground. Fire. I’m a pretty proud momma right now.
That’s progress, lol
I’ve begun to re-dedicate myself to walking and getting healthy. I have been shedding emotional skins and though I’m feeling a little tender I’m finally ready to share in the public sphere.
Jae is happier than I’ve ever seen her. There’ve been a lot of developments, but mainly they involve waiting on the doctor’s office to contact her about scheduling an appointment with the endocrinologist, who has received the psych eval and gp clean bill of health. *deep breath*
I’ve been nurturing new relationships with old friends and new ones. I’m looking forward to a little time in the woods in the very near future. I’m feeling spread thin.
Good news, everybody! Jae came out to her family. She spoke to my family. She went to HR and has begun putting together her medical care team. I’m a proud wife.
For the most part it was a non-event but I am shocked at some of the emotional turmoil I’ve gone through over it. The anxieties that I’ve carried and didn’t even realise include being rejected by the straight community, and being rejected by the gay community. Does that surprise you? Well, I’ve had some less than stellar reactions to being bisexual from women I’ve hit on for their various reasons – none of which had to do with a personal relationship with me. It was a very limited experience (we got married really young), so I’m keeping my heart open to the experiences as we emerge socially.
I can’t imagine what Jae’s been going through, and hopefully she’ll post it out for us all. Here’re the top questions I’ve been asked that I didn’t see coming and have blown my mind. Here are my answers, for better or worse. On the flip side, no one has asked Jae any questions, whatsoever, which we both find really odd. Not even questions like “When did you first suspect/feel this way?”
Are you okay with her seeking out a male partner?!
Wait, what? I said that my husband wanted to transition to being female, not that she was straight. We’re still happy. In fact, I’d say this has opened us up to a new level of intimacy and joy that was missing due to a rather large emotional barrier. On the other hand, as one half of a newly polyamorous couple, If she decides that is an avenue she’d like to experiment down, I’m happy to give her a safe environment to pursue exploration. As long as it’s safe, sane, consensual and everyone is respectful, then, great.
What if the pumpkin gets bullied/teased for it?!
Kids can be cruel….humans can be cruel. Hopefully we’ll find the support system and community to help give him the tools to react in a thoughtful way that will prevent any out of control situations from occurring. He’s blessed to be living in a changing world where recognition is being given to a wider spectrum of experiences than that of the binary gender system we were raised with.
Was this a surprise?!
Yes and no. Based on our relationship there were flags. When I asked her, she denied it and I let it go. It was a surprise when she finally sat me down and had that conversation.
I think this experience has highlighted how out of touch we are with modern sensibilities when it comes to dating/courting/”sexting”. You’d think we were an older couple for all of that but I’ve only started my 30s! Still, it’s been interesting. I feel blessed for the acceptance and love that has met us from our family and friends – most notably my father who told Jae he loved her as his son or daughter.And Jae’s sister who said she’d always wanted a sister and was glad to reconnect.