The Spirit of Discord

I got into a rather heated argument with my mother last night. To oversimplify the argument – I believe in facts and she seems to struggle with them. While we are both spiritual, she is a devout Catholic and I am my own high priestess, thank you. I bring this up not to throw shade at my mom, but because of a mindset that she and many Christians seem to share that was brought up at the end of the argument – that the Spirit (for non Christian peeps this means God in the almighty sense) does not want discord among it’s followers. Jesus was the Prince of Peace after all.

Except –

No. That is a gross interpretation of who Jesus was, what he came to do, and how he spent his time on earth. As well as controlling and unhealthy interpretation of the term peace at all.

Jesus came to fuck shit up. Not with swords, granted, but definitely smashing the patriarchy. Whenever he would get into public arguments with those who opposed him – *cough* the uber religious groups *cough* – he would prove his point and humiliate them to the point where they PLOTTED HIS MURDER and then MURDERED HIM. Like. This was not a man who said ‘Let’s let bygones be bygones.’ He said, “You’re wrong. Your idea of God is wrong. The way you control the people by misrepresenting God is wrong. And I’m not going to stop trying to change things to free the people from *you assholes*.”

Jesus brought discord. Jesus refused to stay silent. Jesus brought peace to the oppressed by speaking out for them, by refusing to stay silent when threatened. He was not here to bring peace to the oppressors by soothing their conscience or telling them that we all make mistakes but they meant well. He called them rotten tombs. He told them a prostitute had a purer heart they theirs. He called them out on their double standards. He called them out on their hypocrisy, gluttony, and performative holiness. He hurt their feelings.

Performative holiness: in case anyone needs a modern day example – donating ones 400k salary to “charity” while one lines one’s own pockets with millions from taxpayers by paying one’s own fees to golf at one’s own resort with one’s entourage.

Jesus made people HELLA uncomfortable. ESPECIALLY his own family. Or do we choose to selectively forget when he refused to come home quietly with them and instead denounced them as his family? They are the ones who changed their tune in the end and became his followers – not the other way around. He did not respect his elders more than his truth. He did not leave them to God and continue his work quietly and peacefully. He called them out and left them on read.

Peace is not keeping my mouth shut during holidays. The Spirit in me gives zero shits about how uncomfortable I feel, or how uncomfortable my family feels, because discomfort from hard discussions is not oppression. Being called out is not oppression. Being called not nice things on the internet is not oppression. Being cancelled because you’re a racist is not oppression.

Being afraid to leave your home because of the high chance of death is oppression. Having your places of worship burned because of the color of your skin is oppression. Having those who swore to protect and serve murder you in increasingly high numbers with no consequences is oppression. Having your land stolen from you and polluted while you are kept in poverty and denied autonomy and recognition is oppression. Being gaslit constantly that your poverty, lack of education, and living situation is entirely your fault from not hustling enough when you make half as much from the same work as someone whose skin is lighter than yours and has a dick is oppression. When your culture, language, and appearance are regarded as inferior for the simple reason that it is different than those in power over you is oppression.

Being told happy holidays instead of merry christmas is not oppression. Having national holidays for a religion that is not your own is not oppression.

I would do well to take a moment to remind people that to the privileged, equality looks like oppression. That doesn’t mean it is. It’s just not privilege anymore.

Having Eid be a nationally recognized holiday doesn’t mean you have to celebrate it. Something nonchristians have long known about easter and christmas. Consider it a bonus day off. Watch football or whatever it is you people who when it’s not about you.

To sum up: No. I am not going to be silent in the name of peace – that’s not peace. That’s silence. They are not the same thing. Yes, the Spirit is the Spirit of Discord when it comes to calling out oppression, bigotry, sexism, racism, classism, and any other type of injustice. The God you claim to worship would not stop talking even as they put him on a cross and left him to die of suffocation or exsanguination.

And make no mistake about it, they put him up there because he was right. Because he exposed their rottenness and revealed that the rot they railed against in others was not the blight they proclaimed it to be but a symptom of the very oppression they inflicted upon them.

Man if that isn’t an accurate af description of modern day republicans what is?

I digress.

Black lives matter. Happy Diwali! Indigenous lives matter. Healthcare is a right. Reparations are the only way forward. Climate change is real. Trans lives matter. Gender is a creation of society not nature. Equal rights for all. Love is love. Billionaires should be taxed until they aren’t billionaires anymore because hoarding that much wealth while people are homeless, starving, and dying from lack of access to healthcare is a monstrous act. Etc ad nauseum.

Get out of here with your Pax Romana bullshit.

It’s the most wonderful time

Or it would be if I didn’t live in a place that often decided 74 degrees was an acceptable temperature for Christmas day. So I have my white plastic Yule tree so I can PRETEND it might be a tad chilly while tears leak down my cheeks as I watch twinkle lights flash against dead, wet, brown, grass. Truly, the stuff of dreams. Instead of an adorable pink nose and rosy cheeks, it’s the season of stuffy noses and dodging heat exhaustion when I wear my sweaters in defiance.

That being said, despite it being two weeks until Thanksgiving, I have everything I want for Yule. My son asked me yesterday what I wanted for Christmas this year. I wanted to tell him something, but I couldn’t think of a thing.

I have my family, my two life partners, my children. I have a wonderful house, a full pantry, a switch lite and more games than I have time to play (which, btw, head over to kickstarter and support My Time At Sandrock), crochet hooks and enough yarn to last me weeks, cook books, socks, dead day hoodies, slippers, prozac, and everything else I could possibly want. Today’s mail contained the cherry on top of my best friend sending me a new mask made with fabric entitled “Dick Monet” and it’s utter perfection.

Its 41 days to Christmas and I don’t want a thing.

And yet I want ALL of the things. I want universal health care. I want a basic universal income. I want everyone who voted for Trump to undergo mandatory therapy and logic classes. I want actual equal rights. I want reparations. I want justice. I want to abolish the police. I want gun control. I want forgiveness for student debt. I want white wallstreet crime to be punished in the way black weed possession is – harshly and to the full extent of the law. I want science to be seen as truth again and “alternative facts” called lies once and for all. I want news to be news and not driven by advertisement revenue. I want Bernie Sanders for president. No. I want Stacy Abrams for president.

I have everything I could want, except peace of mind. Knowing my life is balanced on a delicate house of cards that could be knocked over at the smallest accident and no government or family is going to protect my family’s right to stay together. Honestly, I just try not to think about it. Because when I do, I don’t sleep.

And I’m not the only one. My generation, my avocado eating Millenials, mostly feel some variation of the same. Even the cis and straight ones. Gen z is its own mess. Gen X wishes they had the funds of the boomers but they just have all the judgement. Even the poorer boomers are scared. This wasn’t the future that was promised to them. They followed the rules. Why are they alone and sick and worried about how long they’ll survive retirement?

So this year, I guess, my Yuletide wish is this – that we can hang on long enough to change it all. Because when we take a collective sigh of relief and a step back from the ledge – that is when we will truly be unstoppable. When we save ourselves, perhaps we can save the earth as well.

Every Damn Day

My dad died when he was 60. He was a writer. A brilliant one, in my opinion. Albeit I believe his talents were wasted in writing technical manuals for John Deere, he did have an ‘advice’ column that did quite well. Yes, it was also about tractors but the man knew tractors. And they always do say, “Write what you know.”

He loved writing. He was good at it. He could tell a story like few people I have ever known. And yet, once, when asked if he could do it all over, what he would do – I shit you not the man told me he’d be a weatherman. Meteorology really did it for him.

Sometimes that story floats back into my head and I wonder – what would I change if I could do it all over again?

Well. First off, I’d yank myself right out of college because that was utterly useless and expensive. Secondly, holy fucking shit would I go and get myself diagnosed with depression and anxiety and stop thinking that level of unease in literally any social situation is normal. There’s introverted and then there’s ‘wow girl you need prozac’ and I am definitely in the second category. But other than useless debt and finally having a semi normal social life – I wouldn’t change much.

And that’s when it hit me, today. I wouldn’t change much because I’m still reeeeeeeally fucking young. My dad died relatively young (fuck you cancer) and I’m barely half his age.

This is the age to DO it. To change whatever you want to because you can (except the kids, I’m stuck with them, but they’ve started to grow on me) and NOT just coast *stressfully* through the next two decades.

So. In a completely out of character move I am starting now. Today. Not tomorrow. Not when I finish getting the aesthetic just right on my WordPress. Not on Monday (despite how enormously tempting that sounds) but today. And then tomorrow. And then every. damn. day. after.

I am going to write.

Because unlike my closet meteorogically inclined writer father, my dream is in fact to be a writer. And writers write.

Sometimes they write what they know. Sometimes they write what they don’t. Sometimes they write what the dream, hope, wish, fear, and imagine but one thing they all have in common is simply this: they write.

So I write. Today. Tomorrow.

I’ll see you then.

Enough. Enough now.

In life you raged

those you claimed to love bore your handprints

and cursed you in your final breath

your chains still rattle

your mothers tears echo across generations

haunting us all

your son’s greatest achievement in life

was being the opposite of you

beloved by his children

cherished in life and mourned in death

his peace rankles you still

Enough. I hear you. Your pain is acknowledged.

Your cry for help heard. For your son’s sake, for my father’s sake,

I will help you. I will give you a final voice,

I will hold you one last time, like a mother,

and sing softly that everything is going to be okay, and you are loved.

I will listen to your mother, and your mother’s mother.

I will listen to her father and all those who came before,

I will free them all. The chains will fall. You will be together.

Enough. Enough now.

No longer will your anger burn through our veins, your lack of control assault our emotions, your pain roar through our breath. Enough now.

Twenty years now you have yelled into the abyss. Enough now.

Let us do it together.

I will raise you up. I will pray for you. I will give you an offering to sustain you.

You are not alone. Not anymore.

Enough. Enough now.

Home

Three years ago I wrote something that was such truth it’s depth eluded me at the time.

I kissed the woman who is now my partner for the first time. We neither of us didn’t understand polyamory. Or what we were, or could be to each other. We were so trained by society to see each other in a certain way.

But even then, I knew. I wrote the words. Kissing her felt like home.

It’s been a year now since we have been back in each other’s lives. We’ve decided its the closest thing to an anniversary we might ever have.

So I want the world to know, that what was true then, is even more true now. Kissing her feels like home. Everything about her feels like home. The way she holds me, the sound of her laugh, the sparkle in her eye, the way she shifts from one foot to another while reading a book while standing. The way she smells, the softness of her skin, the feel of her feet tangling with mine in the night, the shape of her. Home. Home. Home.

I don’t have anything more than that. I wish I did. She deserves the world. But today, that’s what I have.

It’s more than love. It’s more than destiny or past lives or infatuation. She is home.

I love you, Satya. With all of me. Happy Anniversary.

How Many Times

Today I found a magnesium supplement that was clearenced and hell yes I bought it. I bought one for me, and another for my bestie because American women are almost always magnesium deficient and it can drastically lower our stress levels. And as I swirled it into my water, I began thinking of how much better I feel, and look, and how the general aura of my life trends upward when I have a rather lengthly self care ritual in place.

And I began to wonder, is it because of the things that are done during those rituals, or is it the act itself? Hear me out. Because yes, hydrating and a solid facial and a warm cardemom and rose hip almond milk before bed all have proven benefits. But my question is, are they enhanced simply by the doing?

We have all heard that talking kindly to plants has actual effects on their growth and health, especially when compared with talking to them harshly, even if watering schedules and habitats are identical. And we know that to some extent, this is true for humans. Well, actually, especially true for humans.

But I’m not talking about negative self talk here – I have depression and anxiety, thanks, and sometimes my thoughts are indeed out of my control and I’m not talking about self care as a way to wrangle in my less than flattering self commentary.

Plants can’t really choose much. They are planted and that’s about it. They grow, hopefully. Create offspring. Survive. They cannot move nor decide the temperature, nor the rainfall. And while I do believe there is a definite type of information system embedded within them, I don’t think that any plant can have a bad day mentally.

But we can choose, and indeed have to choose, constantly, every day. Our entire life is made up of choices. From the minute we hit snooze in the morning to the minute we roll our eyes at our partners who seem to have no problem sleeping in an unmade bed.

And as a mother, a partner, and the homebody, I spend a whole lot of my day choosing to do things for others. And don’t get me wrong, I choose to do so joyfully. I enjoy cooking (most of the time). Laundry has its perks. Dishes are the devil but they mean that we have eaten that day, so I can get over it. I homeschool the kids and its insanely gratifying to watch them learn and play. I could definitely be a better housekeeper but let’s stay on track – most of my day is spent focused on others. In fact, the few things I do for myself are often tacked onto others. I do get my morning cup of coffee, but I get it immediately because my partner needs it before he goes to work. I do make myself a lunch, but I do it because I’m making the kids one anyway. I do sit and play Animal Crossing for a half hour to try and regain my sanity after school. I do allow myself to go to bed stupidly early because I am a human anomaly who genuinely just needs that much sleep. Haters gon’ hate – sleepers gon’ sleep.

So the rememberance of feeling and looking better while practicing nuanced self care isn’t a radical change of increased hydration and rubbing my face, but consistently choosing myself throughout the day. Constantly showing through my actions that I. Am. Important.

And it is THAT choice, not my lovely smelling moisturizer, not my magic infused tea, not stretching or deep breathing, that hastens the positive outcomes.

So perhaps the more nuanced self care leads to better self for the simple reason that it requires us to choose ourselves more. Every additional step is an additional declaration that we matter enough for this. How many times in a day can I tell myself that I matter? How many times a day can I do something to communicate my worth to myself?

I have some things I’m going to start doing again and most of them revolve around my nightly routine now that the kids are going to sleep easier and I actually have a solid half hour between when they go down and when I do – but I want to invite you – everyone – to choose themselves more.

How can I support you in that? How can we help each other choose ourselves? Because we’re worth it. We’re worth the effort. This is not about expensive creams and supplements – this is about washing our face and making the hot water for a tea packet.

Tonight I am going to moisturize my face and do the rub thing that has a fancy name that is apparently very good at preventing wrinkles. And in the morning, I will think of other ways to specifically communicate to myself, through tangible action, that I matter. That I am important. Not because of what I give to others, or contribute to society, but because I exist.

Tell me – what is your favorite way to say ‘I matter’ to yourself?

Food: Meditations

Today is simply some thoughts I have had about food today.

Fasting was definitely invented by a woman who decided she was DONE cooking for everyone for a hot second. Including herself. “I’m gonna call it a cleanse and go to bed.”

I miss real food. Though that’s difficult to say as I’m not sure I’ve ever had it. Suddenly, I’m longing for fruit not covered in pesticides. Water that was treated by mountain streams. Meat that wasn’t given antibiotics from birth. Cheese that was made using milk that wasn’t filled with puss. Bread that was made using wheat that doesn’t destroy and inflame your intestines.

My female partner has a tendency to cook as if she is feeding 3 adult gerbils instead of humans and I have the tendency to cook like I’m feeding 3 adult silver back gorillas instead of humans and why are we like this.

Autumn was made for stews and shawls and throws not 79 degree weather, Texas. I can’t even enjoy my damn cinnamon rolls.

I hex every narrative of a woman who decided that her body’s worth was in its appeal to others – be it curvy for bearing children, thin for being sexy, soft for being safe, hard for being an enemy – nope. Everyone’s body is their own. The end. Thanks.

Celebratory Carbs

It is not a secret that I have been a barely functioning human for most of this week. My kids have eaten A LOT of sandwiches and cut up carrots. And mac and cheese. Because my stress frazzled brain could do that. Tonight they are getting a legit dinner of pretty much whatever they want because holy prozac I am in a great mood. And I cannot emphasize ENOUGH just how much dessert we’re going to eat.

But for the first time this week, not because of stress and my body depleting its already highly limited seratonin like a Hummer’s gas tank in stop and go traffic, but out of sheer joy.

Yes, we have so much work to do. 70 million people voted for Trump and not all of them are blithering psychopaths. There is so much justice work to be done, so much policy work, so much community work. We have so many bridges to try and rebuild with the rest of the world, we have a reckoning in our schools when it comes to teaching science and reasoning skills. I cannot possibly list all that is left to be done, but for today – for today – I will celebrate.

I will celebrate Stacy Abrams. I will celebrate Kamala Harris. I will celebrate AOC and every other progressive who won their reelection campaigns. I will celebrate that there were more out there voting for love, for hope, and for justice than those who turned a blind eye to overt white supremacy, violent sexism, and a total lack of integrity that honestly still shocks me.

Celebrating is not only important, it is vital. Every win. Every inch forward. We don’t stop and the first time I hear someone say ‘post racial’ I will squirt them with lysol from afar – but we breathe for a hot second to replenish our spirits.

I sat tensed and tight and nauseated for 4 days. 230,000 American families lost more than their peace of mind. More than 500 children remain separated from their parents after being brutally (and unlawfully) ripped apart. I cannot even count the number of murdered black men and women and children because so much of it is swept under the rug. I was angry and disgusted for 4 years. But BIPOC have been pushing for equality for 400 years.

We are not even close to done. I will leave a better world for my children, and for their children (should they choose to have any because we’d BEST have better birth control options by then). And let’s be honest, we will be led to a better, more just, more beautiful future by listening to, supporting, and following black women.

So here’s to you, Stacy Abrams, Vice President Elect Kamala Harris, and the Squad – and so many others – tonight I raise my fork full of cake to you. You have brought us here. And I pledge to support you, and teach my children to support those who come after you, as we make the work a better place.

P.S. I also feel the need to say that while I am a self professed grandmother in that I am usually in bed before 9, and tonight will not be an exception, I will be glued to my phone to hear President Elect Biden speak. Because for the first time in 4 years I not only care what the President Elect has to say – I trust that he will speak the truth.

Come to me RPG Avatar

I don’t want to be here, banging my head against writer’s block that is 3/4 stress induced and 1/4 imposter syndrome determined to be heard. I want to be losing myself in a farming RPG, a grand adventure, or quietly exploring a world like the mystical witch that I am. Basically, I’d love for some escapism at the moment.

Gaaaaaah why is it that I love grinding in games so much more than real life?

What I find interesting about my deep (and, at times of high stress, desperate) need for escapism is this: upon inspection its actually a really insightful road map for who I want to be and what I need to be working toward.

Herbalism, permaculture, spiritualism, and FFS a colder goddamn climate so I can enjoy being in nature. I am a witch of the woods not a goddess with stank pits, boob sweat, and active bitch face. Do you know how good I look with a cute pink nose? It’s a helluva improvement from flushed face with an ash white upper lip and eyes glazed with heat exhaustion. Gimmie some mittens and a proper pair of boots. And let. the bugs. die.

Maybe that’s the key – sit for a moment, and escape. Go somewhere that is not overwhelming, and open my arms wide. Take a deep breath, hug everything I see, and bring it back with me.

God of The Fairies

I laugh as the wind blows the long curls off of my daughter’s face and she smiles at the gentle touch. “Thank you, Wind Spirit!” I say.

My mother is visibly uncomfortable. She prefers to thank the God that made the wind. Which. In my opinion, is kind of like saying thanks to God instead of the chef that made your food because God made the chef. Which, while technically true, is also kind of rude.

Then again, she has also definitely been friends with people who thought it was appropriate to leave those little Christian preaching notes as tips, so – rudeness is definitely a different thing to them.

But here’s the thing, I don’t think the Wind Spirit is separate from the Goddess who made it. I just think its easier for me to converse with and understand a Wind Spirit than it is with me to understand and converse with an infinite being of many planes who is so far beyond me I can’t even fathom it. So I talk to the Wind Spirit. And the Water Spirit. And the Spirit of our home. The Spirit of the land. Understanding that they are all one and the same. Separate and together.

In the same way that Goddess and I are not truly separate. But perhaps, not truly together either. Humanity has its oddities and mysteries. The Christian mystics used to know this. But now, if it’s not an old English translation that was butchered by an angry King to suit his needs and fuel the sexism and desperate need to legitimize white supremacist power grabs – it must be demonic.

For the longest time, I felt like I had abandoned Christianity, but as I remember more about the history of this complex faith, I feel like I’m beginning to understand that I just abandoned what old white men said about Christianity. I refused to force the Spirit inside into the small box assigned to it.

Over and over again the prophets, understanding Goddess far more than the priests, were still killed by them for blasphemy. How this unholy body of ‘patriots’ and ‘militia’ think that they are the only true believers – speaks volumes to just how much they do not understand their own history.

I didn’t abandon my Goddess. I abandoned the idea that I was by nature evil and wrong, and the only way to atone was blind obedience – not to the Goddess – but to men who claimed Her power. I abandoned the idea that I needed any intermediary between myself and my Goddess. I abandoned the idea that my Goddess was anything other than entirely Herself.

And ffs, I set on fire the idea that my Goddess gives a single fuck about ‘borders’. Or that She is indifferent to white supremacy. Or that She loves unborn babies more than Mexican toddlers. Or that She respects white fear more than Black Lives. Or that women should be obedient to ANYONE. Or that gender is a Goddess construct. Or that Jesus said anything about sexual orientation. The list goes on.

So I will always be a Witch. A woman who is her own and communes with the Goddess as the Goddess calls – and not by the prescription of any other, be it mother or preacher, lover or friend. I will see beyond. I will dream, and pray, and cast, and light candles, and read cards, and meditate and stretch and talk to trees. Because that is how I Witch. To Witch is to live as a free woman.

To Witch is not to turn your back to your Goddess – but to finally, finally see her face to face.