Friday, October 14, 2016

More important things

A friend of mine forgave me this week for being merciless and cruel to her during a political discussion. She taught me that there are usually more important things in life than being right.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Loose Woman

They say I’m a beast.
And feast on it. When all along
I thought that’s what a woman was.

They say I’m a bitch.
Or witch. I’ve claimed
the same and never winced.

They say I’m a macha, hell on wheels,
viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone,
man-hating, devastating,
boogey-woman lesbian.
Not necessarily,
but I like the compliment.

The mob arrives with stones and sticks
to maim and lame and do me in.
All the same, when I open my mouth,
they wobble like gin.

Diamonds and pearls
tumble from my tongue.
Or toads and serpents.
Depending on the mood I’m in.

I like the itch I provoke.
The rustle of rumor
like crinoline.

I am the woman of myth and bullshit.
(True. I authored some of it.)
I built my little house of ill repute.
Brick by brick. Labored,
loved and masoned it.

I live like so.
Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow.
Rowdy. Indulgent to excess.
My sin and success–
I think of me to gluttony.

By all accounts I am
a danger to society.
I’m Pancha Villa.
I break laws,
upset the natural order,
anguish the Pope and make fathers cry.
I am beyond the jaw of law.
I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy.
My happy picture grinning from the wall.

I strike terror among the men.
I can’t be bothered what they think.
¡Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!
For this, the cross, the calvary.
In other words, I’m anarchy.

I’m an aim-well,
loose woman.
Beware, honey.

I’m Bitch. Beast. Macha.
Ping! Ping! Ping!
I break things.

Sandra Cisneros

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Art of Making Possible

My entrance into the world of so-called “social problems”
Must be with quiet laughter, or not at all.
The hollow men of anger and bitterness
The bountiful ladies of righteous degradation
All must be left to a bygone age.
And the purpose of history is to provide a receptacle
For all those myths and oddments
Which oddly we have acquired
And from which we would become unburdened
To create a newer world
To translate the future into the past.
We have no need of false revolutions
In a world where categories tend to tyrannize our minds
And hang our wills up on narrow pegs.
It is well at every given moment to seek the limits in our lives.
And once those limits are understood
To understand that limitations no longer exist.
Earth could be fair. And you and I must be free
Not to save the world in a glorious crusade
Not to kill ourselves with a nameless gnawing pain
But to practice with all the skill of our being
The art of making possible.

"The Art of Making Possible"
Poem by Nancy Scheibner 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Charlotte is on fire.

I'm not sure who took this photo. I wish I knew so I could give them credit. But it was taken on the exit of I-85 next to my boyfriend's house in the middle of the night on Tuesday. That's when the protests got ugly, and an dull haze of fear and rage fell over Charlotte, North Carolina.

The protests began peacefully but quickly became violent. I began contemplating whether or not I should drive to my boyfriend's house this afternoon, knowing it could be really scary.

I've never had to be afraid when I got in my car that I would end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, or that I'd be pulled over for a minor traffic violation and lose my life within the hour. I have not felt this, mainly because I am not a black man. I am lucky in this way, because many people in my community feel that fear every time they put their key into their ignition.

And they wait for change.

And they wait.
And they wait.
And they wait.

I was scared for the first time last night. For the first time in my life I had to feel what black Americans feel every time they put on their seatbelts. It was so unnerving, so uncomfortable. The havoc that kind of stress can wreak on your system over time can break you down.

My city caught fire last night. I wasn't there. I don't know what happened. I didn't see anything firsthand. I don't condone the destruction of private property. I hope that these long nights of protests-- the peaceful ones and the not-so-peaceful ones-- can bring about a positive change to my city. I hope that the black community of Charlotte will feel the effects of their lives improving. I hope something will change that will give back to them the dignity that has been denied them for so long.

And I hope all of my super racist friends unfriend me.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


They tell you that losing weight won't fix you, but as a girl that's always been fat, I didn't really believe them. [Side note: Have you ever noticed, it's always the skinny people who say shit like that?]

What's worse than being fat, I thought? What's worse than looking like I do now? What's worse than taking up more space than everyone else, yet still feeling totally invisible?

Lots of things, it turns out. But it's interesting how easy it is to wrap those toxic thoughts up and carry them with you wherever you go.

I have lost forty pounds.
Forty. Pounds.
That's a 5-gallon jug of liquid.
A microwave.
A medium-sized Border Collie.
A toddler.

I thought that losing that weight meant instant confidence would fill me and love would immediately find me and my dream job would fall in my lap and suddenly I'd feel good about myself and look great in everything I wore and my money problems would disappear. How I came to this stupid, skewed logic is unclear, but-- spoiler alert-- that's hardly what has happened.

I am, however, dating an amazing man. He likes me as I am right now, and I'm having a really hard time wrapping my mind around it. He is one of those people who eats mindfully and healthfully, so I find it easy to continue toward my goal of losing forty more pounds when I'm around him. He encourages me to be the best version of myself, but appreciates exactly who I am right now. And he never picks on me for being a vegetarian. Quite the opposite, actually. Having his support has been incredible and invaluable to me as I push forward in my journey.

Still, that tiny voice in my head says that I don't deserve him... because I'm still big. Because my butt isn't big enough. Because my arms are still flabby. Because I have no muscle tone in my thighs. Because my boobs are so big, they make me feel frumpy due to poor posture. None of my clothes fit and I'm breaking out from stress. How could he even want to be seen with me? How could he even look at me without his stomach turning?

These thoughts-- the same thoughts I had when I was forty pounds heavier-- are still there, like ghosts.

In my yoga and meditation practices, I try to practice radical self love and acceptance for where I am in all aspects of my life. I try to honor the journey that has brought me here, and the lessons I'm learning as I walk onward. I think, though, that shedding these inner demons will be significantly harder than shedding the pounds.

Old habits die hard I suppose.

Art by Sophie Rambert