Disruption

You can be a “good person” and still be a white supremacist.

You can be in the process of becoming an ally to People of Color and still be a white supremacist.

You can “have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior” and still be a white supremacist.

You can have the best intentions and still be a white supremacist.

It will take our whole lives to begin unraveling white supremacy. But it won’t be finished. Not even with daily practice and sacrifice and awareness and deeds. We start the work now; we seed it, knowing we will not, can not know the flower.

I was born into the dystopia of white supremacy. I have supported and continue to support white supremacy by going to my day job and buying the things and following the rules.

I am a white supremacist and so are you, my white brethren, who were born into this nightmare called America. We cannot bypass acknowledging this reality and hope to undo it. We cannot lay it down, shirk its weight, or turn away from this responsibility.

Putting our hands to tearing down this world that lulls us to endless sleep is the most important thing we will ever do.

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Leviathan

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I dreamed of a cold, dark place. Dawn two hours away; just enough faint, blue light to make out shapes. Cold. So cold. A vast expanse of ice with tall, jagged mountains far off in the distance. This place was open and stretched  on so far that I could almost sense the earth’s curve. I was aware of the planet’s girth and weight, and her neutrality vis-a-vis me.

A reckoning was coming. A massive creature that had evolved to kill, main, poison, suffocate, and petrify humans. Leviathan. Four eyes. Eight limbs, each tipped with a new and horrifying way to die hanging from it.

I stood on a long, narrow road that went from nowhere to nowhere, surrounded by ice. Ice that used to be hard and solid, but now was spongy, destabilizing. It bobbed up and down when I tried to stand on it; black frigid water seeping up over my feet. So I stood on the road. That narrow desolate road.

And it came. As I watched now from 1000 feet up, I saw it sliding down the road. Faster and faster. Leviathan came down that road and there was nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. It was coming and this was The End.

I meditated the morning after this vision and breathed way down deep into the bottom of my breath. Exhaling 10, 12, 14 seconds, letting the terrified sobs engulf me. Ugly crying. Heaving until I finally pulled in enough air to fill my lungs again. And I knew in my bones that this is the flower born of slavery’s seed.

When you stack human bodies inside a ship’s hold and chain them there for weeks on end and then sell them like cords of wood…. when you do that you plant a seed. A malevolent seed. And you may not care what fruit it grows. But someone has to harvest that fruit. That strange fruit.

And so we shall. It’s coming. Reckoning. And it is dark and cold and furious beyond imagining. Seven generations. The seeds of our undoing were sown in this land.

Genocide. Murder. Slavery. Objectification and commodification on a scale never yet seen. Capitalism is its fruit. Capitalism is born from the seeds of slavery. And we can no longer profit from it. We can no longer remain safe and comfortable.

Leviathan doesn’t care whether we see it coming. It will come nonetheless. And the flower that is born from the seeds of our way of life dying? They may be beautiful and glorious beyond current imagining. But the seed cannot know the flower.

Little Boys

How many little boys never get to snuggle on their father’s chest, or feel that closeness with another man, without being preyed upon?

How many little boys never get to cry in their father’s arms, or feel that closeness with another man, without being shamed for it?

How many little boys never get to feel vulnerable or scared in the presence of another man without being attacked for it?

How can we keep ignoring these wounds and also expect to grow as a people?

We cannot.

We are collectively dying, smothered under the weight of all that unacknowledged pain.

Look to your little boys and see where you can listen to their wounds.

It will hurt.

Don’t look away. Don’t plug your ears. Don’t harden your heart.

We ignore them at our peril.

Little Boy, Abandoned

The last few weeks, I’ve been *really* pissed off about men “holding the door” for me. Unrealistically so, it seemed, given what I know of my patterns. Something just didn’t make sense. I finally had to acknowledge I didn’t quite know what was going on, and that was okay. I would continue feeling and giving voice to this piece that felt like so much bottled rage.

From the perspective of inside my body, my rage feels like it comes from two directions: up from my genitals and down from my esophageal sphincter (where the esophagus meets the stomach, right in front of the solar plexus). The part in my stomach, I can clearly feel is a result of swallowing decades worth of rage.

Don’t talk back. Be a good girl. Smile. Don’t make a scene. Be kind. Stop throwing a fit. Forgive and forget. Tone it down. Smile. It’s not that bad. It could be so much worse. Make the best of it. You’re just crying to get attention. You’d be so much prettier if you smiled.

GULP GULP GULP

Those phrases encapsulate my experience of being born in a female body. They are the oppression and coping mechanisms I learned from my mother, grandmother, aunts, teachers, sister, and peers—all the females in my life. Horizontal violence tastes like swallowed rage, tone policing, and denial; and it feels like poisonous burning embers in my gut.

The rage coming from my genitals has been less clear, more obscure; it hides in a way I haven’t been able to put my finger on. Actually, that’s not quite it—from an embodied point of view, I’ve been able to hear my vagina and clitoris and uterus, but I haven’t been able to hear my asshole. I can hear the “female” parts of my genitals, but not the “male” one. I knew my asshole had something to do with my father wound, but the particulars have remained hidden, occluded from my newfound ability to feel into these parts.

And then, one morning while meditating, I found out why. There’s an abandoned little boy living in my asshole. A horcrux.

He’s younger than the little girl who also lives at the bottom of my psychic well. He’s also far more fragile, volatile, violent, unrestrained, and incoherently angry. He’s the one that NO ONE has ever been able to or wanted to see. Not even me. They wanted to see a girl because I had a vagina, but I’ve always struggled to “act like a girl,” to become what they projected on me. It always felt like an act. A cheap suit.

From the perspective of this new part, my father wound story is that he DID see the little boy, which is why he raped my asshole, and then left us to deal with and suffer through the consequences. After my father left, no one wanted to or had the attention to care for a rage-filled, 5-year-old boy in a girl’s body who was carrying around the seed and memory of a vicious sociopath.

So they walked away and left that little boy behind in the dark. In his stead, they welcomed the (mostly) quiet, compliant, and less volatile little girl. This little girl took his place and, along with it, inherited the heavy burden of trying to convince everyone Christina was actually a girl. Even though she knew otherwise. She knew who she stood guard over; who she protected down there in the dark.

A little boy who has forgotten what it’s like to be held in loving arms. A little boy who was good for nothing more than getting fucked and holding his daddy’s shame. A convenient little boy that an entire family could abandon without remorse because they were also wounded and hadn’t the resources betwixt them to see. A little boy whose resentment and rage and sense of betrayal has bloomed like a vengeful and terrifying mushroom. Tended, carefully, down in the dark.

The little boy who lives in my asshole.

He’s the one who doesn’t want adult men holding the door for us. He’s confused why everyone thinks he’s a girl. He’s confused as to why anyone would think he isn’t smart enough or strong enough to open a door all by himself.

He doesn’t want to smile at those men for “being polite.” He doesn’t want to allow their eyes to rove over our body, assessing, condemning, or desiring us as we walk by. He refuses to play the fucking chivalry game.

Because most important of all, he doesn’t want those men getting BEHIND us. He knows what it feels like to be preyed upon. He KNOWS what it feels like to be terrorized, for your asshole to clamp down and literally vibrate in terror. To be so terrified of the pain that you believe you’ll die. Waiting there, in the dark, for death to come.

I don’t want to be reminded of that terror when I walk through a door; even if it’s JUST THE TINIEST AMOUNT. I shouldn’t have to feel like a piece of meat when I walk through a door. I resent feeling like property to be admired or abandoned at their whim.

So, no. We don’t want you to hold the fucking door for us. Because we aren’t going to give you power over our asshole. This is OUR body and it is OUR right to claim this space.

This time, you get to walk in front of ME, motherfucker.

My Martyr

She touches nearly everything I do. She’s always been here, since the beginning. Ever present. Vigilant.

Daddy was terrified and ashamed of who he was and what he wanted to do, so he made Martyr carry a chunk of his load and blamed her for being so sexy. Like he used to be.

Mommy was terrified and ashamed of who she was and what she’d been forced to endure, so she made Martyr carry a chunk of her load and blamed her for being so precocious and huge and full of her self. Like she used to be.

The system was terrified and ashamed of what it had become by killing and raping and plundering, so it made Martyr carry a chunk of its load by pressing on her wound and leveraging her inability to say No.

Pushing me. Pushing me. Pushing pushing pushing me.

So much panic and anxiety and terror.

Martyr feels the terror that lives under all that panic. She pushes me to go faster as she tries to match Mommy’s panicked, frenetic energy. Survival energy. She was driven by it and she used it to drive me. Faster faster faster.

Martyr has made going faster and matching panic energy a virtue. When I’m fueled by panic and pushing myself, I find comfort in the belief that my suffering is noble. How virtuous I must be if I can rush to get everywhere and fulfill the needs of those waiting for me.

I’m doing such a good job. Good girl. HURRY UP FASTER

It soothes Mommy and she praises you for matching her speed, for getting it done. All you have to do is close your eyes and hold on tight. Tight tight tighter.

Run until you can feel the heaviness in your chest, the shortness of breath that signifies panic and terror and worry and anxiety. Match it. Feel it.

“Are you scared now?” asks the Martyr. Good. Thank you for feeling me.

Martyr doesn’t believe it’s ever going to be okay. She can’t relax. She can’t slow down. Her life depends on her load of inherited terror and shame reaching its destination in one piece and if she lets go…. if she drops it, it will shatter into a million pieces.

And it will All Be Her Fault.

Impressions and Depressions

Sink down and depress into the Earth; feel your shadow reflected against Her gnarly roots.

Breathe down and out, empty the lungs, and feel into the chaos at their depth where breath ends.

Push… release… let go… drop.

Collapse into Earth’s embrace.

Shudder, diaphragm

Ache, heart.

Churn, belly.

Sob and heave.

And then come back to center; the channel.

Breathe and breathe and breathe and breathe.

Let the Earth reflect the impression that body makes upon Her.

Let the perineum and solar plexus and diaphragm and heart mirror reality and what is so for the body.

The central channel represents the Earth, but inside.

Inside me.

It is the root, the trunk of who I am and the chakras are its knots.

Inasmuch as I allow peers to impress themselves upon me, I also do this with my self and my channel and the Earth.

As I feel who I am and trust that felt sense, I can more vulnerably and powerfully impress my self upon other people.

The manifestation is that much more clear because the Earth has already shown me an image of who She sees me to be.

Surrendering to Impression

Surrender doesn’t seem to be a very popular practice around here. We avoid it, actually. Fight it. Demonize it. We don’t want to surrender, and especially not to reality. Because the reality of this world often involves losing; our autonomy, our agency, our power, our bodies, our opportunities. It hurts. In this corner of the galaxy we’ve been taught that surrender hurts because it’s almost always at the losing end of an imbalanced, vicious, structural power dynamic. One that’s designed to punish huge swaths of Us just for being alive.

There are those with power and those who surrender, we’re taught. Be one, not the other.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been presented with chances to view surrender through a different lens. I find myself at the intersection of somatic meditation, peer counseling, and technical phone screens. And the feeling I’m most aware of, the action that keeps calling my attention is breathing; the motion of my breath as it suffuses my body and then whooshes back out. How it impresses itself upon me, my breath. I repeatedly surrender to it and allow it to permeate my parts, organs, and cells all the way out to the edges.

My breath and I are seeking a balance of power. How far will I allow it to touch and impress itself upon me? How deeply will I surrender to my breath and allow my shape to change as I accommodate and then accept its pressure on my muscles, bones, and cells?

How far will I exhale? Can I follow the breath down into the place where it accommodates me? That place where I empty my lungs fully and drop beneath the air line to inhabit the space where cells do all the breathing. Where chaos takes the form of a heavy energy ball in between my solar plexus and sacrum, suspended between inhalations.

Paying attention to my breath at this level strengthens my embodied sense of Self, which I also refer to as my intuitive or subtle body. It anchors me inside my awareness so that I can better feel the undercurrents of conversation. The tiny ripples and streams of unspoken desire for validation and acknowledgement that are present whenever two humans communicate.

I can better hear the subtle voice behind the speaking voice when someone tells me about an experience they had. When they’re nervously laughing about having done something they regret, I’m feeling inside my body and asking the question “Where do I feel what they’re saying?” What part of me vibrates or lights up or aches when I hear their nervous laughter? When I laugh nervously, which parts in me are trying to hide behind that laughter?

There’s a whisper or a scream or a wail beneath almost every spoken word. But your ears can’t hear it, your body feels it. What that wounded part is trying to convey isn’t a word, it’s an experience. A felt sense, like an impression.

Tapping into that awareness helps guide my response, it helps me feel that other person. I can remember what it felt like the last time I nervously laughed after having acted regretfully; using that as a reference point, their experience now makes sense to me. And so I actively seek to receive their impression of regret; I want to feel them because it not only helps me empathize and connect with them, I also get a sense of their Self-ness.

The brilliant, funny, warm, lovable, caring person whose behind all the complaints, stories, and blaming. The passionate, amazing human who is part of my community, whether that community comprises peer counselors, co-workers, or beloveds. Sometimes that person is applying to join one of my communities.

Part of my day-job involves phone-screening new engineering candidates. In addition to reading their resume, I have a set of questions whose answers are supposed to give me a sense of the candidate, a feeling of who they are and how they might fit into my team from a technical qualifications perspective. So I ask the questions and furiously type out their answers to the best of my ability, seeking to log only the pertinent pieces, the pieces that answer the question most fully and accurately.

And yet underneath all that talking and typing, I’m breathing deeply into my belly. I’m trying to feel that person on the other end of my headphones as transmitted through their spoken voice. I’m trying to tap into and feel their conversational undercurrent. Using my breath as a vehicle, I’m asking my body to surrender and make enough space for their Self to impress upon me.

The thing about impressions is, they hang around. Like a ghost or the whisper of an exhaled breath. After doing a phone screen or counseling session, that person stays with and haunts me. I continue to hear their voice. I can feel what I perceived to be their Self.

In the hours after surrendering to someone’s offered impression, I feel genuine love for them. I can feel them inside my body, such a small and tender thing. Potently at first, held in the transitional nest I’ve carved out for them, and then slowly fading away.

I surrender to their leaving and I surrender to their impression. There is great power in my choosing to do so.