Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Opening My Eyes to the Plank

Today a video for Level Ground (www.onlevelground.org) was posted online with links in the organizations FB page. Level Ground was founded by good friends of mine several years ago, and is also an organization I work for and believe in. Because the interview which we posted was with a controversial person in the Christian/Queen communities (former head of Exodus Ministries, Alan Chambers) all five of the comments which have been posted in regard to this video are vitriolic and negative. And I understand that, I have watched and been a part of recent conversations around Tony Jones. I believe in the importance of calling out harm that has been done and the need for people who have been harmed by people, especially those who do so in the name of God or Religion, to speak to this over and over again so that such horrors will not be allowed so passively.

And yet being a part of an organization filled with queer people and queer allies, I also feel frustrated with people who, as far as I know, are not participant or connected (except through very outlying realms) to us and our mission, being vitriolic because we held a conversation with someone who has for most of their life held a differing perspective than most of us hold. We as a community and arts festival are trying to create spaces for deep and meaningful (hopefully redemptive dialogue) around issues of sexuality, faith and gender...this takes commitment to sit with and struggle with those who do not share your views...it doesn't happen and can be undermined in online forms. Yet this is the space we live into in our hyper-mediated world. So what to say to those who push for an us/them in a situation that for hopes sake demands the ability to see each party as flawed human. Social justice and movement forward cannot happen when we see the other as "less than human".

Monday, February 23, 2015

when you brain goes all crazy on you for no good reason just when you need it to work properly

Life over the last year and a half has been filled to the brim I got married, my now spouse applied to Phd programs and is now waiting to hear back as to whether or not he got in, I wrote a few papers for academic conferences, and other things happened..In addition I have also been suffering from major writer's block which means that anything which isn't on a deadline (ie blogging and personal writing) gets lost in the shuffle. Or rather it becomes "things that can sit on the back burner until it burns up or bubbles over".

And yet tonight I have a bit of time and crazy land running around in my head so here I am in a empty classroom on a monday night, typing my first blog in ages and ages. There are so many things floating around in my brain right now but the biggest one is the chaos and long standing friend, depression. (Yep that right folks just because you are coupled with a great person doesn't make the madness of your brain less, in fact I have found that the security of a safe healthy relationship actually ratchets the mad voice up exponentially). Depression is one of those nasty little secrets that effects everything but is so hard to explain to people who haven't experienced it...especially when you are a functional depressive as I am. Functional depression means that I can hold down a job although it will not use many if any of my best most engaging skills, it also means that I struggle to go to social events specifically those where I don't know many people, and that outside of commitments I, the extravert, find my self to often only wanting to be cuddled up next to my partner or sitting with a good friend in my home.

Simply said it is crushing, and the worst part is that it just makes me look sloppy, lazy, and anti-social. It also inhibits my ability to move forward and set goals for my future and career path because....da-da it is coupled with anxiety telling you in BIG SCREAMING voices that anything you want or need in life "You will FAIL to get because of said anxiety and depress" that "Even if you try there is something fundamentally broken about you that leads to these cycles and pattens" and then it all seems to happen...in maddening self fulling prophesies.

Like today...a month ago I set up an appointment to see a Psychiatrist, at the suggestion of my California Mom and Therapist and a few good friends,  to see if they might be able to help. Even setting up this appointment was a struggle against myself and last night into this morning I had anxiety around this appointment but I had done it and I was going to follow through. So spouse and I get in the car and go to the doctors only to find out that because of our new insurance I needed to have a recommendation from a primary care doctor to not pay $250 which we don't have. I nearly burst into tears...it had been so hard just to do the work only to have it shatter. I was able to get into the primary care doctor but it still took 45 minutes of working up to making that phone call...ie a lot of mental energy. And this is what it is like to struggle with this every little thing that for most people would be a minor inconvenience is a huge wall or hurdle for someone who has depression and or anxiety.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

a little lesson or some random ramblings

I've been doing vocational discernment over the last month or so, one of the key elements I planned on doing after ending the position in TV (another story for another posting). My task this week is to grieve, my vocational director believes (and I do too in theory when it doesn't relate to me) that we have to process through emotions or they become stuck in our bodies and spirits until we let them out. So because of some of the stuff we talked about in last weeks session my task over the past six days is to grieve at least twice for ten minutes....which should be a simple task right?

I mean every day it feels like I discover layers up on layers of residual emotions, whether they come guns blazing from out of no where or slowly rise like a in coming wave...my emotions are here and will not be silenced. Except that they are, I cannot for the life of me sit in grief (any other week in my life and I would be seen trying to quell the tide with every sand bag in my power) but this week nada. So with one day left in the week I wonder why? Why can't I allow myself to sit in the grief even for twenty minutes? What if this unaddressed grief is the very thing at the core of my exhaustion and disassociation (both of which are terribly unhelpful when one is working on a paper to present at a conference and a stack of other writing to do). And yet I can't bring myself to that space.....so I stumble in fits and starts to get close to the task at hand. I try reading, recalling, movies and music but so far my heart is locked up tight, the funny thing is I know at some inopportune time this great wall of grief is going to come tumbling out of me. 

Saturday, August 03, 2013

the beauty of the unexpected....

I sit here in Los Angeles on a cool August night, waiting for the parents of the child I am watching to come home and listening to the Mary Lambert song "This Heart" on repeat. There is a huge list of things I should/could be doing but my heart says that I need space to write and reflect on the vast changes of my life over these last eight months. So I find that keys click and thought bumble out....

Eight months ago on the second day of my final winter quarter at Fuller (January 8, 2013) I got a text message (because that is how these things happen now days) that changed my life, not only because of the information it contained, but also because of the perspective shift it brought tearing through me. The message was from my friend Emily S's mother...she wanted to let me know that they had found Emily dead at her own hand that morning. She would have been 26 the following month. I got that message just as I was pulling up for after school pick up for the same child I and in the house with right now. While it wasn't completely unexpected, this message this reality, it cut through me like a jaded knife ripping open pieces of mending that I had't thought about in years. One of my dear friends the amazing Jen, sat through all of chain smoking grief stained chaotic thoughts that night in such a beautiful manner of which I am eternally grateful for...she is such a bright presence in my life and will be I am sure.

The funeral/memorial service for my dear California Em (I have several Emily's in my life you see) was the most horrific fucking experience I have EVER had. It almost drove dear sweet best friend to curse and swear in church!  After leaving before making a terrible scene, we decided to celebrate and grieve Em with cigarette, shopping and alcoholic beverages. We remembered meeting her because I was smoking and Shi liked her shoes and things were good...

A week later I was in bed the night before Shi and I were to fly out to Salt Lake City for the Sundance Film festival racked with grief and pain and disbelief. It should also be mentioned that Ashely and I had sat through Django Unchained that night so part of what I was emotionally/spiritually feeling could have also been connected to the trauma of watching that film. Anyway all of this to say that I was not in the happiest of spaces that night. So there I was laying in bed facing demons and darkness and pain and grief, and out of that desperation I asked and in a sort of biblical (or not so much) way demanded three things of God by my birthday, August 23. 1) a good relationship with a good man, which might have the possibility of being "THE RELATIONSHIP" 2) a good job in somewhere in the music, film, or television industries that I loved more than I hated and paid more that just basic bills 3) and a new place to live which would bring growth and inspiration. Like insecure Gideon I was laying out fleeces hoping that if they came I might finally believe deep in my soul that God is good and isn't against me.

Less than three months later I met the man that I plan to spent the rest of my life with...a man who was standing there by my side for the last two year but I haven't had the eyes or the heart yet which was ready to see him and see outside the image I had of my life and my love. Maybe met isn't the right word rather I was given eyes to see the one who had been there all along who had been tender and gentile even as my friend. The man who brought me a rose just because on a night where another man who I was sleeping with had broken the bit of my heart I had offered him. And bing bang boom check the first fleece off my list.

And then about two months ago while drinking beer and homemade pizza I told a brother-like friend have jokingly we should live together...two nights ago we signed the lease...he is good and kind and Andrew and Bobby (and Bingo the dog) both inspire me to create more and more. I have watched the two of them work so hard to get their bands out there and heard.

Which comes to the last request...a job. So that one isn't in the bag yet, but you know God had sometime left to get her shit together (smile it's a joke). Yet God has been encouraging me every little step of the way...sending the message in slow bits that I will be taken care of. Over the last several months I have interviewed for several TV jobs (all good but ultimately not the right fit). The wonderment is that each of these interviews came at a time where I was starting to despare...literally the thoughts of "oh shit, I should give up and resign myself to nannying" came into my head and with in hours I'd get a call or email about an interview. All this time I have a friend who's husband is a producer on some high profile gigs at NBC, but I know that I can't ask her to call in a favor unless my schedule is totally open and as a last resort. Three weeks ago in a panicked moment I emailed her...and on wednesday I have an meeting with her husband. It is almost my birthday and it is looking like all three requests will be filled with their own quirks (like a smaller room or not on my timing or something totally beyond what I was imagining).

 So the moral of the story 1) there is so much beauty in things no going as you planned but b) God does show up and give good gifts @) sometimes (most of the time) you have to lean in to what is being offered and trust that you are a well loved and delighted in image of the eternal God. YOU ARE LOVE...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Honesty and accepting the fact that you might have fucked up a bit is hard. Sometime it is hard because of who you have to apologize to and sometimes it's hard because it means admitting to someone else you care about that you breached a boundary which wasn't yours to breach. I am more of the duck and run variety, the quiet passive one who smoothers everything, avoiding conflicts and shrapnel at all costs. Yet there are those of whom I cannot avoid the call of truth with something about their nature that compels me to break down walls and let all of the dirty hidden things be seen. If I stand before him naked in more than just the obvious and he doesn't run does that mean he might be one of the chosen ones? With shattered hearts revealed and selfish actions all layed out across the table I stand waiting for judgement. Part of me knows that you will not leave but that dominate part of me worries that you might. This radical honestly and love thing is not a cakewalk and yet I find over and over again in certain spaces I am driven to engage with it. To be solid. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

i am learning something i should have had from birth...love and confidence in myself. some how along the bumpy buggy ride that was childhood, these key thirvival elements were thrown out and submission and insecurity came in as survival tools to fill their place. it's funny really that a woman of my years should still be bound by the lacking of her five year old self. that she should be so parched for love, encouragement, and affection that she almost fears their entry into her well, abet misshapen, life because her need might overwhelm everything. yet with tenderness and vivid imagining i am slowly repairing these cracked pieces of my heart and mind.

Monday, February 04, 2013

the other

My lover stands before me divided. Caught between the unraveling and the new season..I wonder as the sorrow and grief cloud his bright eyes if I will make it into the newly constructed life after the old is dismantled?
 Am I long term or a bump of regret on this journey's road. I want to have staying power, to be vivid and bright enough to shine through, having weathered the storm to enjoy the sun's return. Alas I fear it may not be.
For far to often my story is that of secondary character...the one of vague remembrance. And as this realization sinks in, the realization that I mean next to nothing to this man...my heart cracks a bit more than I intended it to. So tomorrow again I will be alone contemplating the absence in my heart and bed, the unfilled void of desire which still stands empty and uninhabited after twenty years of wanting. Is my path to always be the forgotten other woman?

Friday, December 07, 2012

attempting to walk away

I lied to you, told a little fib...it was this, it didn't take days or weeks for me to like you...I like you was interested the moment I met you. But we ladies aren't suppose to want or admit our desire so something in me held back, truth be told again something in me still holds back. I knows or says it knows that you are not capable of being present with me, that you my dear are not here. But I ignore that voice to a point and keep barreling along breaking and hiding the tiny pieces of my heart, hoping for the movie ending instead of reality. The reality is that really for now at least this should end. I want to much and you have little to give...and that coupled with all the other chaos in your life, means it breaks you for us to be like this. Even as I hold you or you hold me that tenderness sears you deep. Your chaotic heart and mind can't process the love or whatever you call it that I could offer. Too raw is your untangling, too close to the source of it all. Do you know that I would split and do split myself for you, try as be as I can to be a harbor. Even still to your night-vision eyes my harbor looks as vast and consuming as the ocean. So this then should be set down. I should give up the fight and walk away. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012


She's one of those authors who sits in the back of your head waiting until something needful bursts open like ripe fruit and your heart is ready for the beautiful and gut-wrenching experience Flannery has to offer. I recall the utter heartbreak I had reading her story, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" as well as the abject wonder of grace briefly revealing in the horror of death. The element that catches me in her work through is not so much the horror O'Connor presents but the absolutely powerful belief in hope that gives context for her stories. She tells these at times hard to encounter stories because Flannery with her whole being believes in a great hope so powerful that the tiny seed of faith planted by a sincere murder victim can be part of that which leads him out of distorted versions into the true calling of prophet. It is this hope which cuts to the deepest core of my broken and battered heart. She inspires and encourages me to tell stories to reveal that kind of hope to call forth truth and to live the divine in to the day-to-day. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

the need and the failure to keep it in check mark my desperation. the cool calmness is a barely held mask and it breaks my heart every time i have to fake it. too much and not enough and never what was actually wanted, these cross sections of my shattered self ravage whatever is truly good. so it will forever be i am afraid. the empty bed, the empty heart, the gaping hole of me. so there we are you have seen only the tip of the iceberg and it's beauty and wonder just isn't enough. doesn't matter the why or the reason it's gone to bed for ever and ever again. there is no lover's kiss for this sleep beauty forever in a coma will she be. always looking from the outside in....