Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Altar Women Making Majors out Of Minors

It's hard to get that altar cloth lined up just right
when a child's body is rotting underneath.

Bull S(hi)t

for the Reeds

We couldn't make you care
even though we ripped down a curtain made of children's bones
even though we broke open our souls like pomegranates
even though we wept tears on the roots of dying oaks
even though we walk this path on broken knees
even though we know every word on the pages of this heartbreak
even though we let you drink from our jugular veins

You ran away
Lips bloodstained and indifferent
and trampled roses along the way
singing, "They know nothing,
And this isn't blood on my mouth."

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Offering to Queen Anne

(For M.L.)

All I have to offer on your behalf
is my rage
my grief
the ache I feel
to love you
and see you thriving
slaying your dragons
and feasting in meadows
as yourself.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Faith Found, Never Lost: A Heretic's Reverie

This isn't a story about losing faith,
because I didn't lose my faith
but I don't mean that in the way
you would think.

There were many times where I thought it was gone.
It mattered little whether I had left it
Or it had left me.
I just wanted it to be over
because the yoke was far from light.

But faith, on it's glorious own, has never left me, nor I it.
<here she stands a heretic, but she can do no other> 

In the thick hedge of confusion, of real Christian...
...obsequious submission...
...obtuse trust...
...filthy rags...
...deserved torment...
...God the Father only...

my soul rankling and asking
but what if otherwise? 

The poet wrote that we are hedged on all sides
But the vines reached up and grabbed my throat.

I clawed until my palms were bloody
and I ran into the open meadow
And here
I can breathe
and stretch
and simply be
and found the peace
that I was promised.
(Because what they said 
would come to pass
Never did

And what I did receive
 had so many strings attached). 

The poet was right about this thing:
all things, all sides, within, without.
She's there, She's me, I am Her, we are One.

I didn't need the hedge to tell me where I began and ended
Because if we're One
I don't.
<"This is the most dangerous hubris."
"It would be if there were any other Mother.">

This isn't a story about losing my faith.
This is the story of Faith stripped of every nonessential
as I shed off each vine and threw it behind me
flicked a match and
tossed it into the ground
watched the seeds come to life in rich, dark, scorched soil
and ate every good thing for food.
Because if it's good then it's good
and no tales from men long dead
will tell my soul otherwise. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesday's Brief Rant: The Fall of Patriarchal Empires

This awesome shirt available for sale here
My friend Gemini is a history buff and yesterday she discussed the struggles between feminism and race relations in the 19th century. Another friend responded, "When you describe life for women in the 19th century, it sounds like life in the 21st for women in Christian Patriarchy." 

This is why it's so important to combat ultra-conservative sects. They may seem fringe to so many, but their impact looms large in the lives of the women (and men! patriarchy is not good for anyone!) they destroy. I'm happy to see the empires of IBLP, Vision Forum, Pearls, Duggars,, etc, fall as survivors band together on the internet, find support and courage, and say, "Absolutely not." The internet has been a phenomenal tool in destroying the stranglehold these toxic leaders have had on so many. 

Lest one think I am only pleased to see toxic ultra-conservative leaders fall, I have also supported those who wrote against progressive evangelical Tony Jones, and called out Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber for their abject hypocrisy in how they handled Julie McMahon's allegations of abuse. And Mark Driscoll, while not as extreme as Gothard and Phillips and Pearl, is someone that also deserved to lose his pastorate for the horrible way he controlled, manipulated, lied, and abused others. 

Abusive tactics are not limited to any one sect, but there is a particular additional toxic element when it is fused with hyper-specific gender roles. And that's why I care about these "fringe" sects, because they are destroying the lives of real people. Their lifestyles are not quaint, they are poison.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Baptized Among the Elements: A Release of Rage and Despair

I found an old church bulletin in a binder, filled with the names of people who had betrayed their own alleged values so egregiously that when I discovered their betrayal, my world spun out of control. Leaders who turned a hurting woman's testimony into a knife and held it against her throat, lest she dare speak again. The reprimands and lack of support leading to shallow reconciliation and diluted repentance, when the victims deserved much deeper restorative justice.

New Year's Eve was a rough day for me personally. My struggles with my health had steadily improved, and then I was suddenly hit with a fever and intense cough. But I felt empowered by watching Tarantino films all day, and resolved that in the New Year, I would let go.

So while the fireworks exploded around me, I stood in my yard with a lighter and tin bowl full of water. I watched as the names of particular leaders burned and I let out all of my rage, my heartache, my despair.

The ashes hissed as they fell into the water. I submerged the remainder of the paper into the bowl, and went into my yard. I knelt down and took soft, drenched earth into my hands and began to dig, and dig, and dig. I pulled the soggy remnants of the paper out of the bowl and threw them violently. I filled in the hole with the soil, and then poured the ash-laden water on top.

It was at this moment I lost my mind, but in the most beautiful way possible. I splashed around in the mud and puddles in my yard as it turned midnight. I covered myself in mud and water and danced. I prayed my favorite prayers, Christian and Pagan, and I stood up on the deck with the light behind me and watched as my frame cast a large, feminine shadow onto the yard. I thanked the Goddess.

Baptized by fire, by smoke, by earth, by water.

And I let it go. It wasn't forgiveness. As I've said before, fungelical brainwashing has so entirely destroyed that concept by harming my young psyche that I don't know if I can ever reclaim it. But I let go of expectation that others would care, or would have their hearts broken by the same injustice, or would try to change it, or would ever change within themselves.

I stopped caring if they thought I was a heretic, or a sinner, or a flake for being ill, or "too" sensitive, "too" deep, as if depth and empathy were character flaws.

As Elsa sings in Frozen, distance makes thing seem small, and the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all. It was a symbolic fuck you to those who proclaimed love/grace/justice, but only on their own terms, and I drenched it in the sacrament of nature. 

Craig saw me and was horrified and laughed at me as I came in the house. The logician philosopher shook his head at his mystical poet.

I took a warm shower and scrubbed and cleansed and put on essential oils.

I scrubbed my feet with an exfoliating lavender and honey scrub, because in the New Year, I am standing in new places.

And then I put on my black clothes and placed a rose quartz stone around my neck. 

Standing in new places. 

I finally had a baptism I can be proud of. 1/1/2016.


Reborn among the elements.