Posted in Feminism, Updates and Musings

#MeToo (I’d like to hold the hands of all the people in a nightmare just now, if you’d like me to.)

TW: sexual assault

My voice is only an echo of thousands
which are only a fraction of the hundreds,
thousands, millions, billions of people
who could say with quivering or strength
certain and confused, beautiful voices
me too
And this is the way to sum up in two words
what there are no words for.
And we are the women and the gender queer
and the men folk and we are broken sometimes
and patched in places
and whole, whole, we are whole humans
and we are real.
Speaking or silent
Mourning or raging
unforgiving and reconciling
or all of the above.
And I have turned my stories into soil
to grow the flowers that are my strength
but at 2:45 in the morning
I do not remember this.
I wake not drenched in cold sweat but cold panic
the nightmare is that
tangle in the sheets
the nightmare is my stomach in my throat
and it tells me I am 20, 19, 18, 17 again
being held down by arms I trusted
16, 15, 14, 13
being yelled at by voices
I do not know
(voices that tell me exactly what I am worth:
one fuck and a dead body)
and I know it is not real in this moment
but my clenched jaw
and the curve of my spine to protect my heart space
and yoni power
and the gut ache
that wants to vomit out memories until they are unrecognizable
know that it is alway real
and it’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 years later
and it is real less often
than it used to be.
But it is real, still
and again
and still.

10.18.17

 

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Posted in Poems, Travel

Seattle Sunshine in IV Parts

I.
Here, the water licks the rocks
and says follow me
and the child snaps anger
pouring from his lips wetter by far
than the lemonade that has been forgotten
I am a guest in this city
floating into a framed photograph.

II.
This child dances across the road
arms full of plums as her father watches
cigarette smoke filling the spaces of his mouth
where words might fall out
and the neighbor receives them
trying to recall the child’s name
and the plum pie recipe at the same time
a grin escapes this exchange
and lands on my face.

III.
The long admired and the long time admirer
sit down to become friends.
The coffee today is black tea with almond milk
and the conversation is community, turning gardens
home and nests and staying on the sidewalk my
eyes try to excuse me by saying “I’m not quite sure
of how to be a grown up yet,”
but six eyes hold mine and say “yes,
we too have felt this way.”

IV.
The dishes in the sink
were washed as it rained yesterday.
Today, I knew which shelves they belonged on.

Posted in Photographs, Travel, Unschooling, Updates and Musings

Reflections on Joshua Tree

IMG_4520

Growing up in New England, I had a vague image of what the desert would look like, and feel like—and it didn’t necessarily bring to mind an image of abundant life and color.  However, it took Joshua Tree only a matter of moments to begin to reveal to me the magic that is life in the desert.

Sunrise turns the mountains purple and the sun greets the morning sky with vibrant colors.  I climb from the tent and walk around the house to lean against the Joshua Tree.  A rabbit flits across the ground in front of me, and I breathe deep—this is the first morning I spent in Joshua Tree back in November.  I had arrived at night after many days of travel and fallen fairly immediately to sleep.  Although I spent only a few days at Opuntia Garden Farm in November, by the time I was thoroughly enchanted and knew this place would feed my burgeoning fascination with permaculture well.

Arriving again in Joshua Tree in January, the colors welcomed me again. The pastel shades of green on the shrubs and trees, the browns of the ground, the yellow straw in the swales, the deep green of the leaves in the kitchen garden, and of course, the vibrant blue sky.

On my first evening of my internship stay, Maya and Damian and Oliver welcomed me into their sweet desert home, filled me with delicious food and warm tea and over candles we each set intentions for my stay.  Then it was time to wrap up in sweaters and scarves to head out to a cozy camper to sleep.

My days in Joshua Tree floated into a sweet feeling of timelessness. Early mornings were greeted with delicious green smoothies or sometimes pancakes. Later mornings would be filled with projects on the land, and then time for lunch and an afternoon lounge in the hammock underneath the old mesquite tree.

Through talking and eating with Maya and Damian I began to gain a greater understanding of using trees as a truly sustainable food source. Though I have often enjoyed treats from trees in Vermont, such as maple syrup and apples, the trees in the desert are vastly different than the trees in Vermont that I know well.  Inspiring in their abundant life with little water intake and their ability to take in and utilize so much sunlight, it was lovely to learn about the different species around the property.

I got to collaborate on many projects during my stay.  It was lovely to dive into building happy compost, brewing compost tea, digging a channel to harvest rainwater, and making bread from acorns I helped process.

There were countless joys in each day, from digging my hands into the bottom of a swale to feel moisture even weeks after a rain, hearing joyful children on the trampoline, feeding the chickens, getting to know everyone who lived on the land, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, and even pulling the last spine of a choya bud out of my bare feet.

Ultimately, there are no words to capture the wonders of my stay, but I feel blessed to be able to begin to convey the gratitude I feel for my time spent on the farm, getting to know the land and the people, and getting to throw my body and heart into every project, conversation and moment I was a part of.  With a little water, some beautiful plants and a whole lot of love Opuntia Garden Farms is a place overflowing with what I can only describe as magic.

2.21.17

 

 

Posted in Photographs, Travel, Updates and Musings

Thoughts from the Pinacates

the sun retreats behind a cloud. I open my eyes, having forgotten for a moment the height to which my body has carried me.  Beneath: her footsteps carry her crunching across the blackred rock and I witness her descent. My own feet burn, bare for lack of boots which lay moistened beyond use from the rain last night down below, below a far reach.  My muscles slumber within my skin.

Green, green and there is so much life here. Like the moon, they say. All volcanos, all rock, all lifeless, but my senses speak of other truths. Magic. Always magic, wherever I am.

Previously I glistened in the sun, warm beneath my sweater and my overalls, made more of dirt than corduroy.  Blossom, buzz, breathe.  This is pure, ecstatic bliss.  Finally arrived and gently, I wake.

As the wind shares her enthusiasm, the sound of the family below dissispates and I am immersed in the desert language.  One that speaks of savoring each drop of water to create ghost flowers and spiny fruits.

I enter timelessness, in love with this time, free.  I am each creature whispering along the rocks. I, exquisitely and permanently, a guest, become further within myself, entirely removed from all sense of I.

Eyes flutter shut, I promise wakefulness to a later moment.

2.28.17 Pinacates, Sonora, Mexico

Posted in Feminism, Poems

Letter to my growing womanhood | further acceptance of uncertainty

Dusky moonlight under the joshua tree, if I were to speak to you in half lit, ill-writ memoirs, my voice is husky even to stay still and I am all splinters and chaos but perhaps this is just the wind, for I sit still.  I look closer to the ground, sink in, take a microscope to my swelling heart, eyes well and fumble to grasp all the instances that came for her to beat just so.

Somedays, then, I cry.  I am afraid I do not cultivate my own garden enough, well, or well enough, even the tears help me to expand. So it is the days that I do not cry that are the scariest of all. But then, I bleed.

All scars, all blood. The color of heartbeat, the color of life, the the color of lust, I bleed, I bleed, I bleed, I bled.  I have not bled freely in months, I wonder where the blood went, I wonder if I have bled dry. I miss the blood.

I recollect, collect, know that I know how it feels to vibrate, vibrant, this is the quiet corner, corner myself in mind of my time of meeting you, first time. And I recall the scent of blood. Whetstone curdle cry, sharpen knife for the kill. To nourish the earth all things must die, to nourish the earth all things must live. To each of us our perfect time. Jack rabbit, jack nimble, jack quick, quick then, quicken, pause and I’ll light the candlestick and I’ll kiss wet lips and I’ll cradle me, cradle thee, cradle me, crack.

I, lost in thoughts, I lost then, but better to lose the thoughts to pass time than to lose a whole mind as pastime. Again to each of us in the perfect time. Always struggling to keep time, or release.  And I’m trying, or gambling–a gander, a goose, geese, a guess, and who will please me but I. Fly south with me, I am tired of being alone. Don’t follow me, I’d like best to on my own. Two feet, the moon waits closely to become the brightest circle in the sky. Call my blood, and she does.  Call my blood, it remains within my skin. Life, my blood, she is.

And I wait. Even in the waiting I calm myself to the garden. Breath becomes breathe becomes ease.

Here I grow again, here I grow. Here.

2.6.17

Posted in Poems

Stardust

Stardust

if this is what we are all born of, when did we become separated? And when did that separation begin to lead to fatality, borne of fear, borne of not wanting to be alone, borne of not wanting to be alone so badly we forget that we are never alone. Even within our own skin billions of microorganisms working to keep us breathing, keep us moving, keep us alive in these bodies. I shoulder the burden, or try to, take the mantle of what ill has been done since before my time. My ancestors borne on the backs others, refused to look down, or just refused to see. I fall into their footsteps, fitting the well trodden path and wonder: so they were of the old, so they were of the North Country, so they were of my heart before I was borne, so what.  Love does not render perfection, nor cure all wrongs. But it elevates, creating space to grow the good, tend the well-intentions, begin to breathe into the rest. Stitch the wounds back together. Breathe. Pass your sister the needle and hold her while she witnesses her own pain. Stand strong in ceremony, together. Nurture each other.

Heal.

When this is done, it will be time to brush away the dust,
made mostly of skin, mostly of stars, mostly of us.

1.29.17

Posted in Feminism, Updates and Musings

As White Women We MUST Do Better

A reminder to myself and my fellow white sisters:

We must stand, now we know this.  We must march, we must call, we must make our voices heard, it is time. For many of us this is the beginning.  For many of us this is a turning point where we say “THAT’S ENOUGH” and we mean it. For many of us we know we will not sit down or stand down or be beaten down until we have been heard, been listened to and feel respected.  For many of us–young, white women, we were born into a world where our rights to health care had already been fought for.

But as white women, we must do better than this.  We must look and know that for so many people this is not the beginning. This is not the beginning at all, but another hurtle. As white women we must not say “this will be a long four years.” We must say “We’re in this. Until it is fixed. For all of us.”

When we say “this white woman didn’t vote for Trump” this is the equivalent of saying “Not All Men,” or “All Lives Matter.” 53% of white women voted for Trump. Someone I know, someone you know, someone each of us knows voted him into office. We must shoulder this responsibility, educate ourselves and each other. We MUST hold each other accountable.

We must look our wounds in the face, our injuries that say “it has not been easy for me. I am not straight, I have been raped, I don’t get paid as much as men, I’m tired, I have a right to be scared,”
And then we must let those voices go. Cradle them, love them, hear their truth but do not let them deafen other voices, other needs.

We must fight not just for ourselves, but for all humans–for disabled people, black people, indigenous people, Muslims, LGBTQIA+ people, those in poverty, immigrants, people of color.

As white women we must be willing to be called out.  As white women we must be willing to see our privilege and dismantle it.  As white women we must know that it is OUR job to educate ourselves.  As white women, we MUST call each other out when our feminism is anything less than intersectional.

And we must fight not just until our safety is obtained but until ALL women–all  people know safety, know freedom, know equality.