If I Could Give You One Thing

Something opalescent and petal pink

It’s surface rounded and perfect like new skin;

When the sun shines through it high jacks light

Casts tremulous rainbows across the room

See those bubbles where your eye shines big?

There are sugar spun clouds floating within

Little girl, if I could I’d give you everything.

I  have blown my heart into this moon-shaped thing

It’s strong enough it won’t burst from touch

That it might serve faithfully a lifetime long.

Something whole and singing with joy—

Just in case you need a vase to catch your tears.

 

 

 

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What I Learned When I Was Ten

Frogs laid jellied eggs in spring

Suspended in swollen waters

Waiting to splurge their growing tadpoles

Into knee-deep eddies of Leach Creek.

Salamanders dragged pale tangerine bellies

Slithered across black ooze of mud

At shallow green safety of water’s edge

Disappearing eelgrass supple into the deep.

Fir trees offered pitch-pocketed trunks

Weeping golden sap in the July heat

Gifting Resin-coated palms after scramble

Heavenward into swaying bowers of evergreen.

Spoiled boys in their dusty surplus tent

Erected hastily in the neighbor’s yard

A warzone of dirty gang secrets and forcible deeds.

I begged them not to hold my legs

I dared not enter those woods again.

Twitter Suspenders Unite!

Greetings to all radfemispherians,

I may have last known you on twitter, I began that in 2009 and had 1,800 whom I followed and earned same as loyal followers.

My handle began as SurvivorThriver, advocating for the healing and rights of women and children victimized by incest, molestation, rape, trafficking, porn, prostitution – the whole nine yards of radical feminism.  I identified as a feminist in 1969 at tender age of 16 yrs old.  It was the Vietnam war, and Civil Rights issues were forefront.  We united as women, blacks, gays, lesbians, poor and disabled peoples to work together for anti-war and people’s progress.  It was a heady time.

Over time, I trended on Twitter towards gender critical thought and writing.  I feel that gender ID is a pernicious and anti-female totalitarian ideology which, as Salon said in 2007 in “How did the T get in LGBT?” article that the “T came from outside and above LGB”.  Thank you Soroya Schemaly, that hits a bull’s eye right on the core of transgender ideology.

Why was I first banned from Twitter last month?  I said “Transwomen are men” to Morgane Oger in British Columbia.  Or I said to a trans activist “You are a man”.  I earned my release from twitter jail after 12 hours.  Lasted a week before suspension.

I re-birthed goody charly the worm handle at dzongsar to CJAngel (transposition of real name) at wormliness but was discovered there within the week and permanently suspended for “violent threats”.  I believe that was in response to TRA telling a radfem to “suck my balls” to which I responded, “I’d rather bite them off with my incisors.  Crunch”.   Suspended, and a subsequent account I attempted with new email, etc., denied due to suspicions of some twitter sort.

So, my “I’m B-A-C-K” was short lived.  So, what now is a permanently twitter-suspended radical feminist, nicknamed Charly with a self-ID as an angleworm since grade 6 and a deeply rebellious nature supposed to do?

If you are on twitter, share my blog and I promise to write as radically real feminist content for my Femisphere friends.  And, I want to collect your blog links so that I can continue learning from and admiring the world of powerful women.

Feminists and gender critical alike are welcome to link to my blog, and I promise to read yours.  I plan to have a new sock account if the goddess allows, meanwhile, I will show up here.

My blog is dedicated to all the strong women of the world, and to those who cannot as yet speak their truth, stand up for what is right for themselves or their families, and help bring ALTERNATIVES together to outskirt the patriarchy!

We can do this!

PS:  I’m newbie to WordPress so any constructive criticisms welcome.  Old radfems can learn new tricks!

 

 

And, Then There Was You, Melinda.

I was 21, living in the houseboat with new husband, he was 23.  This was a dirt cheap funky old turn of the last century houseboat.  I’d moved in there with my girlfriend, switched her out for a husband and we had an extra bedroom leftover.

Watched TV late nights, saw a commercial for the need for foster children.  I thought I was grown up.  Married.  Had dropped out of college and had fulltime job and he finally got a job.  We were acting grown up.  And, we had an extra bedroom.  Why not?

He and I got state licensed as foster parents.  Unusual, but with a competent case worker we got hooked up.  There was an immediate and pressing need – a young woman who wanted to stay in her school district in the north end but no foster homes available for her so she was in juvie.  OK, we’ll take her.  Voila, two weeks later we met Melinda.

At first you just looked at the floor.  Down.  You were quiet.  Afraid.  Went to school, enjoyed your friends.  We called ourselves “foster friends” because it was obvious that at 16 she was more like a peer.  We were a foster family happily in the houseboat until her father demanded a hearing.

The judge gave you back to him.  I had to watch you lower your head and follow him out of the courthouse.  I could not believe this could happen.  The case worker, Sharon, was shocked.  The father had pleaded, “Please judge, let my daughter come home.  I love her.  And, these two hippies aren’t even married!”.

Richard and I had not come prepared with our marriage certificate and because the judge in real-time could not ascertain the legitimacy of the father’s concern, he erred in returning Melinda to the step-father and her mother.  And, one older full sister, and the younger stepsister’s house.  Nearby.  Right up the hill.

Two weeks later you would call me at work one morning.  Breathless.  You had to flee in the night, had been kept locked naked in your bedroom with nightly lectures and increasing verbal abuse by the step-father.  One night the door left unlocked, and bare naked as all the clothing was removed from the bedroom to prevent her freedom and to humiliate her at all times kept naked – she was able to creep down the stairs she told me and put on some clothes in the front hall closet – and run.  She had run to a friends and didn’t know what to do.

We hid her at a friend’s house for a few weeks.  The case worker kept in close touch, where was Melinda?  We denied knowledge.  Case worker persisted in helping us understand that hiding and running wasn’t the best choice, that she needed to go to school and not be at such risk.  The case worker said that because of what the step-father had now done, there is no way she would ever be returned to her home. Trust me, said the case worker, its in Melinda’s best interests.

This time the step-father pleaded his sorry and regret hadn’t done anything, she was lying, but he understood she was not coming back to his house.  At least, said this hateful angry ex-military abusive prick, to the judge, “Don’t let her go back to their house.”  He pointed at the hippie husband and me.

The judge remanded Melinda to a group home in the south part of the city.  She felt threatened, didn’t like it.  Within a couple of weeks she was gone.  Gone.  No contact gone.

We had grown to love our Melinda.  Her gentle caring nature emerged.  Friends said she smiled and laughed in new ways.  She was bold in her wit and teasing.  The case worker called her a survivor.  The case worker said that she had the strength to get away from her abusive dad and run while her older sister did not.  The younger sister being biological daughter was not in as much risk, but Melinda we were told was flowering into her own person now that she was free of his reign of terror which we had also heard little about.

The case worker kept in touch over a few years.  I divorced the hippie husband a few months later.  I quit my job and went back to school and I lived with a social work student who was a lay psychoanalyst.  The husband had taken photographs of Melinda.  Black and white 8 x 11.  He sent them to me last year when cleaning his house.

I saw Melinda one final time.  She called me on the phone.  I had not seen her or heard from her in five years.  I now lived with an artist, a weaver and was writing and studying massage therapy.  She said she was at the airport, could take a taxi and see me for five minutes but no more.

Melinda arrived and stood in my sun drenched living room.  The taxi was waiting outside.  She gave me a small Polaroid of herself in a military uniform in a palm-roofed bar with another female soldier, said it was Phillipines.

One small fact that lay between last seeing Melinda and this final visit at my house, was that her father had taken a gun into her mother’s real estate office in Clearview WA and had murdered her mother.  And, shot himself.  Just as he had always threatened.  And, he’d threatened Melinda as well, but she was scared for her life and so afraid to tell us that.  The case worker hd contacted me about this murder-suicide, but I had no clue where you were, Melinda.  No clue.

Then your telephone call and appearance in my Queen Anne living room, your words deliberate, slow, rehearsed, careful, “I came to see you one last time.  I will not be able to see you ever gain, but I wanted to tell you this.  Thank you for saving my life.  After I was put in the group home a boyfriend said he would take me to San Francisco.  But he took me there and prostituted me.  For two years.  Then I got away, and managed to get my GED and went into the military. ”  She put the Polaroid in my hand, went on, “I’ve found a way to be economically taken care of for the rest of my life.  But I will not be able to be in touch with you.  I want you to know that I plan to have children, but I will never be with a man.”

The picture was taken at the Phillipine outdoor bar with her and another woman in uniform now made perfect unspoken sense to me, she didn’t have to tell me it was her lover.  And, I’ve always wondered what her name was.  I still have that instamatic picture of you Melinda.  And, the other pictures that Richard took in 1975.  Your beautiful liquid brown eyes and  the impish full-lipped grin, your freckles, your crooked front teeth, your curved bow smile, your own curly head of red-brown hair.

I have never known to this day what you have ended up doing in life, honey.  I haven’t given up looking, but even with prospect research skills I have not found you.  But, I have never forgotten that last time I saw you.  I was 27 so you were 22.  You said you wanted to see me one last time and tell me that I had saved your life.  I trust you have been safe since then and everything worked out.

We loved each other and clung together and both survived – the case worker let me know after the step-dad’s  death that we could very well have been targets of his violent rageaholism at any time, the court was mistaken to have listened to this murderous psychopath.

Between the day of that last visit with Melinda and now, I have gone on to raise two daughters of my own.  I was too stricken with grief to ever be another foster friend because the state wrenching you away not once but twice too great a cost.

But, then again, it’s ultimately perfect.  The natural great perfection.  Things are perfect in some larger ways we don’t realize at the time.  And, human beings are like vitamins for each other, with completely different daily dose requirements.

Sometimes when we love, we only get a summer or a few months of each others one precious life.  And, sometimes that is enough nutrient, we exchange what we are meant to exchange.  Feed each other some essential soul element not found in any other human being on the planet.  And, then we are gone from each other.  In one moment, you turned and scampered to the waiting taxi.

Did you become a spy?  You were street wise, beautiful, militarily trained and successful apparently, maybe it was spook work.  Or some big illegal foreign black market fandango. I hoped for the former.  But, I know wherever you went, you were a survivor and I had no right to be fearful for you.

How grateful I remain for that late night TV commercial that brought you, Melinda, into my life.  I wouldn’t trade those two years with you, Melinda for anything.  In some strange way your love helped one day save my own one precious life – the vitamin of love you gave me and the strength of your warrior strong nature as you severed ties with your past to sail into your uncharted future – I learned over time that I was a survivor, too.

Back at you foster friend wherever you are!

Where are you, Belinda?

Kindergarten hazy memory.  We were both living on base in Germany our daddies part of the Post WWII military vigilance.

I don’t think we talked.  I saw you running.  You were always running.  Your gold nimbus of curls bouncing on your shoulders, and flying behind you where I followed.  Your wild horse energy loved to run.  So run, you did.

Run, Belinda, run.  See Belinda run.  Chase Belinda in the sun.  Run Belinda Run Jody run run run.

We ran to the edges of the school yard, my pursuit of your laughing and joyous flagrant for total disregard for girls before who could not yet be made to walk.  She emboldened my own wild horse nature.  That is all I remember of you, Belinda.

Daddy came home one day and had a serious talk with me.  The MPs said that two little girls had climbed over a barrier.  Didn’t I know there were places that nobody could go on a base?  Yes, I had to nod.  I’d been born at Dugway Military Depot after a fertile reunion of my parents in Kyoto had conjured me, but the Japanese and US governments did not have citizenship agreements in place so I had to be birthed on another continent.  I knew when I was five, that I was in a place called Germany and would some day go home to a land of the free and home of the brave place.  I’d been on two inter-continental flights there and back.  Momma said we’d help win the war and the people were glad we were there.

Daddy told me the MPs yelled at us but we scampered away, “Didn’t you see the sign?” No. Shook my head.  No.  “It said Halten Zie” he boomed.  Even then I was devious, feigned innocence, shook my head, “Oh, no, daddy, I can’t read German”.

But we two, you and I, Belinda, we knew full well what the signs meant.  We knew what the sawhorses were for!  There wasn’t any nook or cranny that we hadn’t run to upon or over in our single minded pursuit of free running.  We never spoke.  I only knew your first name.  And how happy the sight of your tangle of gold curls all over your shoulders and down your back which lived in the air all around your jumping with joy and running with glee aliveness.

One glorious summer of chasing you, Belinda and feeling free.  Then you were gone.  I felt bad.  No more running.  I had the guilty feeling that the MPs had taken your family away – so contagious your great wild heart and mine – even at age five the scandalous freedom of a young female body was a cause for policing.   You had been taken from me.  My greatest happiness to have found you and then not even a goodbye.

When we ran, Belinda, for those few sunlit far away and long ago wild horse rampages around the army base – you and I were in our own land.  You were my gatekeeper to this delicious unbounded joy of running so fast that we left all the guns and tanks behind.

Pattonville.  1958.  Where are you, Belinda?

Overnight Happiness

I found myself one day living in a state of constant regret of my past, continual fear of my future and humor impaired in every waking moment.  I mean Humor Impaired Grade IV, serious. How did this happen?  Why was I angry all the time?  What was I angry about?  I sat with that question until the first answer emerged from my grick.

I was angry about things being simply just the way they really are. From large to small, I was irritated at almost everything – everything was an impediment or annoyance to clamber over or around.  It was so embarrassing when I dug down and realized that my pin-prick ready anger was simply over things being just the way they were.  It could have been anything – objects misplaced, dropped pens, all first world problems.  It didn’t matter!  I was roiled and resistant to my every waking moment.  I was pissed as hell.

So, after sheepishly accepting this anger problem and seeing it as a mere smokescreen for a ridiculous and unsustainable personality defect, I started to realize that under my bluffoonery of aggression as a primary defense, I actually was feeling scared shitless.

It hit me, that I was actually scared shitless all the time.  Scared shitless feels like whoa in the nether regions of the soul.  So I sat with that until I realized that what I was actually scared shitless about was that I was afraid that I was going to fucking blow up.  I mean, my body burst – all the patch jobs I’d accomplished in my life “fixes” for my inner tube were going to blow and my cells and blobs were going to blast all over the room and walls.

I sat with that image in my mind.  My bits blown onto the ceiling walls and floors was graphic.  When I pictured my inner tube body with overlapping patches blowing – I thought of all the little fixes I’d applied to myself over time to try to appear normal in order to cover my possibly horribly personality defects lurking underneath.  I was a complete life patch job!  Bicycling for 3 months in New Zealand on metaled and unmetaled roads taught me that inner tubes do blow!  I sat with that awareness of this magma stirring inside and threatening to pop when virtually the only thing I could do was sit still and grip my knees with my hands.  Hold on, breath.  Look at that patch job blow.  She’s about to blow.  But she didn’t.

Then I realized that my actual greatest fear – that I’d blow up and disintegrate into small cell bits – was an reality and eventuality for my body someday.  I was actually reading my biological blueprint accurately and that ultimately, my borrowed cells, this star dust transmitted through foods my mama ate when I hid in her belly – all this matter, this star dust – was going to come unglued.  And, as a human being, I am in reality a cellular patch job.  A temporary glued-up living human being.  We are mosaics of electrons and neutrons and somewhere a Higgs Boson does something and we’re alive!  And, someday it all goes away.   My greatest fear was actually just the way things are – my cellular patch job was a clear analogy to what my body was teaching me.  I was seeing inside my molecular structure the fact of my impermanence, that one day all these patched together pieces and parts would fall apart.  Dissolve.

But still the wave of scared shitless emerged time and again.  Starting with a few curls of subconscious fear state it would grow.  I began to have panic attacks.  My practice remained the same.  Sit still when I felt most turbulent, hold my knees to remind myself that I was alive and that I was not flying apart in real time.  Fear is a wild ride.  But, I also knew that my emotions are not the real me, they are great rivers coursing through my days and nights.  They have a life of their own, but they don’t define me.  I am not my emotions, they flow through me because I’m a human being.  Thank you, therapist Cynthia.  Your last name starts with Z.  You helped me to stay present for myself even in the pit of fear until I could watch it’s appearance and finally its cessation.  The rampage of fear is impermanent and I am not my emotions.  I learned to to listen to it.

Anxiety still plagued me for a long time, years.  I lay anxious on my bed, hung out anxious on my couch, felt anxious at every turn.

So, I sat with that!  Anxious.  There it was.  In the stomach.  Neck.  Jaw.  Clenched root chakra.  Shallow breathing.  Panting.  Anxious.  They gave me medication.  A disorder.  I got off the medication, it took a while.  The anxiety was like a black Persian cat constantly whisking about in my space, stirring up the air, restless and insistent.

I sat with my new friend anxiety.  And, over time I realized.  How greatly I was  misinterpreting the signals from my own body.   My body is an electromagnetic biochemical organism.  Three years of uni nursing school gave that orientation to me.  What I was actually feeling in my body was the intermittancy of physical processes inside.  I sensed the gaps between heart beats.  The pulses and swishes of blood.  The little electrical ignitions that powered some Krebs cycle of my cells.  Breath, pulse, heart, muscle movements, this living machinery is alive!  And, it is gappy.  All these systems operating in homeostasis.  Seamlessly.

I had been misinterpreting my very basic physical experience of being alive in a temporary human body as anxiety.  But it was not anxiety at its root.  When neutrally experienced – yes, with my hands on my knees albeit more lightly cradling them – my thought that I was anxious was really my misunderstanding that these feelings were really simply the sensation of aliveness.  The thrum, thrill, dip and spill of aliveness.

I think Hindu call it satchitananda.  The bliss of being alive.

Walking myself through this valley of death in recovery from PTSD took years.  I think the key was my commitment to patience.   And, doing everything I could to be kind to my inner child, my woman, and to take good care of this miraculous biomachine every day.

Releasing me from garden variety anxiety through a combo of meditation practice and psychotherapy is what what led me to what I call Overnight Happiness.

Don’t get me wrong, Overnight Happiness took a long time.  I’m 63.  But, I don’t get mad at inanimate objects for lying inconveniently on the floor or get pipped at people for saying words.  I try to live as well and much in the present moment each day while fully accepting this is a term-limited gig on earth with one precious day no guarantees.

I now enjoy tuning in to the tingling, subtle and multi-dimensional feeling of aliveness as pure impersonal and non-conceptual underpinnings of my physical existence.  It was never anxiety all along, just the miraculous pulsing, flowing, sparking aching, gasping, sleeping, weeding, blabbering, wholeness of being I Am.

Ta da!  Overnight happiness.

I think it is really radical when women are in our bodies, alive and ecstatic.  Just the way we really are.

Happy Radfemisphere!