Roll With It

This is my first post of the year and we are already four months into 2014!   What??!!!  Nevertheless, I needed that break.  There have been so many “downs” starting the end of last year and continuing through this year that I needed time to process.  In that time, I’ve discovered a wealth of flexibility and strength.  Which is awesome.  In tarot there is the wheel of fortune which is interpreted as karma or forces beyond human control.  There is an ideaology about the wheel.  If you ride on the rim you are crushed under its downturn.  However, if you ride on the hub you may be turned upside down but you are not crushed.  This a metaphor for life as everchanging and unpredictable.

Riding on the hub is nothing more than understanding how to let go.  Letting go doesn’t mean giving up.  It means understanding that you, ultimately have no control so you may as well roll with it.  “It” being whatever comes or goes.  The good and the bad.  No one can stop change.  It is inevitable.  Do what is required of you and then roll with it.  When painful events happen if you can do anything to positively change things in that moment, do it.  If not, turn in, toward the pain, accept it as best you can and move forward.  Roll with it.  We are all moving toward the same end.  Death.  So while you are living make the decision to love the life you live and ride it til the wheels come off.

I am not a hater either

Let me just say for the record.  Mrs. Carter did the damn thing.  As she always does.  In mentioning her in some of my posts I tend to use her as an example of how this society can be somewhat maniacal about celebrity.  But let me just make this clear.  Beyonce is one of the most talented and hard working performers to come along in this “modern musical landscape”.  While I’m not a die hard fan I had a few of her singles on the playlist.  Because of the buzz about her latest self-titled release.  I had to go to iTunes to listen to samples.  Well please believe me when I say I downloaded the entire experience.  I don’t like every song but the ones I like, I love.

Beyonce is an electrifying performer and she is passionate about what she does.  I admire her business sense and talent and while I have issues with some of the images and people this society chooses to lionize and the reasons they choose to do so, I am not a hater and I give credit where credit is due.  Frankly, I don’t have to give it to Beyonce she walked in and took hers from the jump.  So kudos to her.

I am not a slut shamer

I find myself very confused by today’s music. I used to be able to hear the first note from a performer and tell you exactly who he or she was, but not now.  Admittedly, at this point, I only listen to my playlist of old school soul and R&B, Motown classics, and a little neo-soul.  I’m also trying to decipher classic jazz.  So keeping up with modern sound and trends is not my top priority.  However, I have noted the highly sexual nature of the modern musical landscape.  Especially popular music.

Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga are all seen by some factions of feminist thinkers as symbols of the feminine empowered.  Whether or not we can agree on the quality of these women’s talents, their work ethic, discipline and ambition is undeniable.  Because of these qualities they are at the top of their games.  How they market themselves, I’m assuming, is their choice.

Any advertising executive will tell you sex sells.  it’s just that simple.  So I do not question some of  these women’s decisions to capitalize on what are essentially assets in the world in which they dwell.  Breasts, ass, demonstrations of sexual activity, more than a few people pay to see that alone.  No it’s not their decisions that concern me.  It’s the categorizing of those actions and decisions by some as empowering.  Empowering to whom?  It may be empowering to the performer, financially at least, but what of their female consumers?  What of young impressionable girls watching and concluding that this is not just a form of power but the only form they know and trust.  It is imperative that they know the difference between a marketing ploy and true feminine control and responsibility.

While a woman’s right to decide includes the sexual and the consequences of sex, it is far from exclusively about sex.  A woman who chooses to put her body and sexual prowess on display is not necessarily empowered or empowering.  I know there exists a double standard when it comes to men being overtly sexual and women doing the same.  I understand that this double standard is a by- product of ideas about the roles women are supposed to play versus the ones they choose to play in this society.  So much of the power women in western society have fought for and gained has centered around their right to choose to do and be who they choose to do and be.  Understood.

But when did we lose sight of the difference between challenging harmful social constructs and displaying genitals and breasts for the purposes of selling a product.  There is a difference.  And this recent trend of accusing anyone who seeks to argue the difference as a “slut-shamer” is not helping the debate.  There are myriad forms of feminine expression and some of the most powerful have nothing to do with sex.  I think it has been firmly established, in a large part of western society at least, that women can express themselves sexually and not be considered whores.

Part of establishing that fact early on in the feminist movement involved women demonstrating that being overtly sexual was not the exclusive domain of men nor should it be.  In the sense that they were challenging oppressive and limiting social beliefs they were empowered and empowering.   You don’t hear men saying, “Did you see how I thrust my pelvis at the women in the audience?  I felt so empowered.”  It’s not groundbreaking, pioneering, or even shocking at this point.  Not in America.  Hell there are many examples of women wielding sex straight to fame and fortune in this society. Women should feel free to express themselves in whatever way they choose.   But let’s be very clear about what is empowering and what is simply a form of power wielded.

 

 

 

I eat meat

Often I walk a thin line between wanting to share my writings and wanting to maintain my little cocoon of existance.  After all, when you share, people want to discuss and interact.  I’m a hermit by nature and while I can be quite talkative, I tend to prefer my alone time.  But I love to write and explore the inner-man and some things I want to share.  So I share.

Enter one of my friends who reads my posts.  She wanted to know why I post my blog to facebook but don’t answer her messages.  I explained to her that my blog posts are set up to post to facebook and twitter automatically and there are times in my life when I completely disconnect from both.

This friend also happens to be a fellow Christian and wanted to know why I write and share some of the things I share.  As they are not holy.  I explained that I have not arrived at a place where all of my thoughts and actions are holy nor do I seek to project that impression.  I am a human being. That is not an excuse.  It is truth.  What writings I do share, I am fully aware, reveal a great deal about me, good and bad, but I share them anyway.  If you are able to hear then hear.  But if you are not then forgive my shortcomings and pray for me.

About That Sexy

Let me tell you about my sexy. 

This sexy ain’t got nothing to do with perky breasts and a jutting ass. 

My sexy is a living thing.  Quick and changeable. 

Dynamic and familiar. My sexy is that of old.  Magical. 

That old black magic of another kind. 

Draw close!  Listen to the tale of my sexy. 

My sexy builds kingdoms and destroys civilizations. 

Lord have mercy!  My sexy populates universes and brings desolation upon the masses. 

You.  Ain’t. Ready. For. This. Sexy!  My sexy is a cauldron, boiling sans the wand. 

My God!  I got that way back sexy. 

My sexy withers warriors and troubles the elders. 

Who can stand before my sexy?  It’s a new thing as old as the foundations of this world. 

Shut your mouths at this sexy.

This sexy ushered God onto this Earth and stood rooted to watch Him leave again. 

Bootylicious?  What in hell has that got to do with my sexy?! 

Baby you don’t know sexy.

If you knew sexy, you would stand in one place and command all you survey. 

You don’t have a clue about this sexy.  But if you should ever learn of this sexy. 

How to wield this sexy.  Darling Heart, no other sexy would do.

© copyright 2013

Nothing Personal

Our inner-space is where Spirit dwells and it is vast and deep.  Most people avoid trips inside themselves for this very reason.  It is much easier to skim a clearly bound surface than it is to risk being swallowed by the void.  If I had a choice in the matter I suppose I’d take the surface route.  But I am a person who, it seems from birth, needs to know what’s going on inside and why.  I am hypnotized by emotion and at one point, totally ruled by the same.  I am blessed and cursed by that fact.

So it has been with this latest thing and the pain it brought through me. I went in to sit with it a while.  I’ve been watching it evolve and resolve only to assert itself again.  I’ve watched and wondered how without physical violence a pain could feel so absolute, resolute and personal.  It has lost its original potency I’m glad to say.  Such things do, over time.  I’ve learned new things this go ’round and I’m occupying newly discovered spaces within and I am so glad I see new possibilities.  There were wonderful spaces where I was able to not take the pain personally or claim it as “mine”.  It was simply present in my experience at the time.  It’s not new for me.  But I forget so easily how to go about it.  It’s not difficult in the light of day but, Lord, when the night comes…

Whenever I do remember I understand how Paul could say, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”  They are two sides of the same coin pain and joy.  They can not be seperated.  Living is the experience of both and if you want to live fully, take them both as they are without resistance. It’s not personal, it just is.

Waiting and Watching

All of my spiritual/emotional growth spurts have happened during and following painful experiences.  I mean, obviously, I’m that person who’s always checking in with myself, taking my emotional temperature, so to speak, so I’m always looking for opportunities to grow beyond pain and struggle. Not that anyone ever could grow beyond pain and struggle but I’m one who has spent a lifetime trying.  I share lots of insights and brave little statements but if I’m really honest with myself and anyone else, I’m always trying to grow beyond the pain.  What I mean by that is to grow beyond the capacity to be hurt.  So I do a lot of growing and stretching in the process.  But for all my attempts at escaping pain in my own way, it is at the most painful times in my life that I have grown the most.

So during this recent trial I have, as ever, been searching and watching for the things that transpire within.  Driving home today I was watching, turning the issues over in my mind but mostly watching, and then it happened. The pain was no longer a personal thing.  It was no longer a negative thing and certainly not a positive thing.  It was simply a thing.  Something present at that moment but no stranger or more harmful than furniture in a room.  I watched it but did not own it.  It was a part of my experience not the experience itself.

This has happened briefly before but I am forgetful, especially when I’m stretching away from painful emotions.  In my panic I tend to forget.  Today I remembered and the pain became a friend passing through. Nothing has changed.  There is still sadness in me because of a recent occurrence but now I’m just watching.  I wonder what will become of this?

Waiting and Wondering

Lord I hate it! I hate it when I think I know who I am and where I’m going and then, BAM! Knocked down. Something has, once again come along and tested the mettle I paid so dearly to accumulate and shown me exactly what it’s worth: Doodly Squat!

I remember a short period where I thought I had this thing figured out and I was eager to share. Little blurbs of wisdom seemed to fall from the sky and I wanted others to know and feel how I felt. I felt strong and whole. I felt sure.

Right now sure is the last word I would use to describe myself and because I’m Christian I believe that Jesus made me whole but I damn sure don’t feel that way and “strong?” **Place Snort of Derision Here**. I feel broken and doubtful and weak and I just want to feel safe and secure and SURE. I mean if nothing is sure but change, I’m wondering right now when my “change go’n come?”

I wonder what new tool will come from working to get pass this pain? If life were a video game, I’m sure I’d earn some magical new tool, like a healing ruby or an ass-kicking sapphire. Something! Anything!

I’M WAITING

I Remember

When I was a little bitty thing, I learned my paternal grandparent’s’ phone number.  I remember being proud to recite it to whoever asked.  To this day I can give you that phone number and the the phone number to my grandmother’s house remains the same.  Children’s memories are long.  When a lesson is learned it truly is like riding a bicycle.  Good or bad, the lessons we learn and the experiences we have as children follow us into old age and even through dementia.  I remember one Alzheimer’s patient told me the exact date of his first day of school.  He described with great detail the one room building they first walked to and the name of the teacher who greeted him.  He remembered meeting his best friend that same day but he could not remember his daughter’s name or even that he had one.

When I think of the power of memory and it’s roll in our lives, I am overwhelmed.  So much of the quality of our lives depends on what we remember.  Those things we hold dear and those things that cripple us all have there power in memory. What is supposed to be a tool has become weapon. For so long in my life, I have thought of myself as “less-than”, unimportant, broken.  I learned these ideas from those who loved me as best as they could.  Sometimes I was told but most times I was shown that I am not worth very much at all and though I can’t recount exact conversations, dates or places the lessons remain with me just the same.  These are the memories that cripple me and steal my life force.  If I could only forget just those things, those feelings.

When I think of that Alzheimer’s patient there is another thing I remember.  He was a happy little soul.  He greeted everyone with a hearty “Good Morning!” and his smile was electric.  As if compelled to do so, he began to relate the story of his life, or the part that he remembered anyway and it pleased him.  It kept him warm and safe against those times when some other memory lurked in the background like a shadow, threatening to take that joy away.

When I can remember, I decide not to engage my shadow stuff.  That stuff that lurks in the background awaiting an opportunity to steal my joy away.  When I can remember, I take life for what it is, here and now, not what I was told it would be or should be.  When I can remember, I face the feelings that a memory sends and I allow them to pass into forgetfulness.  When I can remember, I remember that joy is not a frame of mind but a state of being and If memory serves, I remember that trouble don’t last always but Spirit does.  When I can remember, I remember that I am a child of God, made in His image.  I am not broken.  I am whole.  I am weak but strong in Him.  I am not lost.  I am found.  So that those who enter my life for the first time see that I have remembered who I am and they act accordingly and those who have been there all along yet do not agree that I am that I am,  pass on through and are quickly forgotten.  At those times I remember that I am me.  And that is enough.

I’m feeling some kind of way

I’m feelin’ some kind of way.  I remember when I first heard that phrase.  I’m feeling some kind of way.  I didn’t know how the speaker was actually feeling but somehow I knew what she meant.  It seems when I have those days I wake up out of whack.  As if my emotions have displaced like a joint.  A vague low level pain is constantly humming just below the surface and no matter what I do I am not moved from this feeling.  Life goes on around me.  I carry on conversations as if all is well but I’m still feeling some kind of way.

It’ feels as if I’m being visited by a ghost, The Ghost of Hurts Past.  Things and events that happened to me long ago left a residue and ever so often that residue is disturbed by whatever and I end up feeling some kind of way.  I feel vaguely, the way I was supposed to feel at the exact moment the hurtful thing happened but I could not feel all of it at the time, lest the hurt crush me and thus, totally destroy me.  So I must’ve jammed that pain down as far as it would go and felt only that which I could stand at that time.  But I neglected to go back and see to it.  It just crouched there in that place it was jammed into.  Now because I didn’t acknowledge it properly, honor it fully and process it to leave completely, it comes up in little dusty clouds when it is disturbed by something.  Whenever there is a shifting inside me, I feel some kind of way.  I realized during one monumental meditation that I have crafted my life in a way that causes minimal shifting. :-)  I don’t want the pain disturbed, but that means I my life has been shaped by pain and the desire not to feel it.

So I set aside time to pull up my sleeves and do some rambling deep down inside myself.  I sit quietly and allow what wants to come up, to come up.  I acknowledge it, feel it as completely as I can and watch it go.  Sometimes when I do this I feel as though I’m grieving, and I am.  I am grieving the passing of a companion who has been with me for some time and it bears witness of a great hurt.  The more I do this, the less vague emotions I have.  The more I confront my pain in the time and place it comes, the less pain is buried inside me.