“The humanism bypass. I did it for years. I saw glimpses of someone’s potential, their beautiful soul, their loving heart, and told myself that this was who they truly were, ignoring all the rest. But the rest was what destroyed. The rest is where they lived most of the time. The rest was no illusion- it was them, too. This self-destructive pattern was birthed in two places: (1) my deep desire to see the best in my difficult parents. Not for them, but for me. I needed to believe that there was something kind and caring living inside of them; (2) a misplaced projection from my own self-concept work. I held the belief in my own potential, as a way of overcoming the shame I carried. But I made the mistake of assuming that everyone else was just as eager to find their light. Of course we all have glowing potential. At the core, we are all magnificent beings with profound capacities. But how many of us fully actualize it? At this stage of human development, not so many. The trick is to hold the space for two things at once- a deep belief in everyone’s possibilities, and a deep regard for your own well-being. It’s okay to pray for everyone’s liberation without joining them in prison. Pray from outside the prison walls, while taking exquisite care of yourself. It’s okay- you can’t do the work for them anyway. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries… don’t leave home without them.” Jeff Brown
“Jonah-like we all have to be spit out of the belly of family and cultural assumptions, a new person, freed and unqualified. But this is one of the purposes we have seen for dark nights of the soul: to prune, to cleanse, and sort out the essential from the illusory. We have to do something with our anger other than suppress it or vent it. There are a thousand possibilities, but each of them has to honor the emotion while giving it form and meaning. Ultimately, you transform your anger through a channeling of your life force, and this liberated vitality gives you your presence as a unique personality.” Thomas Moore [Dark Nights of The Soul]
It’s time to get back to the book I started, finish it and set it free. Onward.
Find your way, dear one, through the Texas crowd of bullshit dancing with Georgia delusion. They never cared ‘though they now happily circle ’round the corpse of our relationship with our parents who so eagerly extort. And lie. In Jesus name.
Welcome to Fundieville Family Fallout and the gruesome truth-avoidance trample posing your celebration.
We can’t see you unless we see you thus and so. And so, we can’t see you. This they call love. Forced reconciliation is their game, like the rape they supported many years ago by their silence and criticism of the victim, by their balking at “too much detail” and then declaring a shortage of detail as their excuse for not giving a damn sooner. They. Love. You. Goddess help us all.
And we have no rights. But we send you our love from here and we watch all the buzzards circling ’round the fallout. Who knew? Texas grows buzzards strong, thin and tall, gingery “sweet”! Sincerity not required to throw a party there. Just gloat over the wreckage and pose for the pictures as they betray sisters and sisters. And most of all, as they betray the one who can’t truly speak for herself.
Happy Birthday, Biz. I can’t want this terrible time of people killing preciousness in the name of love, love they’ve never known, shown or been. Be safe and know we miss you something awful…
when the blooms fade and the song’s pause stops my heart
and my mind poses questions like, “why and what is the point anymore?”
and I hear “I feel so sorry for you…” echoing and kicking around
in the dark corners labelled “them” and “those”
their daggers finding flesh
when the smiles and sweetest laughter grow bitter haunting the halls
of doors and doors between passages and choices
when the known disappear and the wrinkles whisper mortal fear,
I crumble here and there
while the rivers release the second feast
and the utterances of grief and bankruptcy are dogged
but not necessarily gladness
or even gratitude
just this relentless eternal presence filling
(that same presence from when, way back when and then
a 4 year old singing fullness from within)
filling up all the holes, pockmarks smoothed, lines shining
and nothing undone that has already done the damage
no carnage reversed, no bodies resurrected,
no Lazarus release, no proof,
no Messiah, no keeper and no savior
but love keeps on, keeps the soul singing seeds
in the silence after
Play the audio that follows for my own reading of “After” to get a feel
for how it’s meant to flow…
We used to dance and hug there on the dance floor
and through fields
and by rivers
a dance made real by the body of our bond
the inevitable creation of souls in unity
and many, many times I fought hard
to ignore the hatchet thwhacking at
the legs, arms of our shared body
I forgave when the first arm hit the dance floor
I really did. I promise.
(and when you berated me for my lack of forgiveness
whenever I mentioned you were actually swinging the hatchet at we
I forgave that too but I can’t do that anymore)
And again, when a leg…
see, crutches can be worked into a dance of sorts
but you can be sure that dance is, well,
it’s a unique dance.
Even someone in a wheelchair can get it to move
and groove to a rhythm made real
by the arms that steer and well
so, when there are no arms, no limbs left
and no medics around to stem the spill
and stop the inevitable chilled corpse
from being exactly that
there’s no dance, no matter how much you forgive
and there’s a bit of the ptsd response in the presence
of those who wield hatchets in the name of love
see, when you grow up in the presence of such
it takes a while to realize how often
those hatchets accompanied statements of “love”
and how often your own projection of your own love
distorted what was really going on
and you stand there, seeing the carnage
and the bits strewn about
as you read, listen, hear those here and there
waxing on about forgiveness
and how it is so important
and you want to take the bits and parts
the arms, the legs, the blood all over
and just shove it in their faces, smear it on their expert cheeks
and ask them to take a huge bite out of the forgiveness cure
see if maybe they can dance with it.
Careful, the floor can get very
depending on who your shared body
Don’t mind me. I just have this problem
and forgiveness can be such a pill,
that great big high for filling up the holes.
But it doesn’t re-grow the body.
Look up. See the ceiling?
All it represents?
Run fast, run far.
Forgiveness is not the only
sustenance needed to keep a we alive
Sunshine, let the sun shine.
Love that refuses bullshit
important than that roof
you beg to keep over your head.
Let me be clear: Especially that roof.
Even and especially God(dess) doesn’t fit there.
Even and especially s/he will not be mocked
though the blood of Christ be tossed
all over the reaping.
blue pieces array overhead
where we meet, greet our losses
our only gain
beyond ancient rubble
why did I believe in the whole of you?
only pieces remain…
And the quiet imparting space
for those tRuthbits not allowed
Words fail today for many reasons but mostly because our beloved Naji passed after 19 years on this planet. He has anchored and nourished our family in as much time. And we are grateful. It has been particularly challenging since he decided to sprint towards the finish line as soon as I left town. He knew. This is what the dying do. They wait until you can’t cling another second because you’re otherwise preoccupied. And they leave. We had to assist his passing and it was attended beautifully by Naji’s beloved Marion, eldest of our family. She held him and held herself together while he quietly and peacefully slept his last.
Naji is felt more powerfully today than I’ve felt him in a couple of years. He’s coming through as happy, relieved, grateful. He will forever anchor us as we hold to all that he gave.