The Loom

toomuchworldtosave2

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
-Emily Dickinson
Monday, June 20, 2016 6:13 AM
Thousand Oaks, California

 

It isn’t that I haven’t been writing, because I have been.

It’s just that I haven’t been writing and posting my thoughts here, on thislifetomake, as I have been for nearly two months now.

First the surgery on my hand made it physically impossible.

Then, the world stepped in and upped the ante, as the world often does, with the horrifying mass murder in Orlando, Florida last Sunday.

And I simply had nothing to say beyond the sadness, rage and fear I expressed in Not What, Why? 5 Questions and A Prayer. I asked my daughters if they would post their eloquent and heartfelt sentiments and I am very thankful to La Belle and The Badass Bunny for doing so. (You Cannot Take Away Our Love – Perspective on the Orlando Shooting from The Badass Bunny and Be You. Be Loud. Be Proud – Perspective on the Orlando Shooting from La Belle). And then, The Dude, the girls and I were all current with one another and joined the rest of the country and the world in quietly and respectfully mourning the dancing, singing, joyous 49 who were lost and the 53 and innumerable others forever damaged by the brutality, and incomprehensible violence, hatred and intolerance of 1.

It isn’t that I am no longer sad, mad or afraid. Because I very much am.

But there are not enough words to calm, soothe or assure myself, or anybody else.

There is too much world to save.

I can only think of two things to do today.

The first is to stand up and stand with both those who can and cannot today, helping to create space for their dignity in feeling however they choose to feel.

The second is to offer hope to those who want hope and to hold the hope for those who cannot bear to carry one more thing.

Hope that it won’t always be this way. Today’s feelings and emotions will evolve into tomorrow’s. And tomorrow’s will evolve into the next day’s, then the day after that.

Just like the sun will set on today, Monday, and rise on tomorrow, Tuesday. In between, there will be a moon and stars and my mad, sad and scared.

Things will evolve. Slowly. Like the days of the week, like the mad and the sad and the scared.

Anyone who has ever told me differently has just had a different experience. Not wrong, not bad. Just different.

Over time, mad and sad and scared have become threads I’ve had to work into the story of my life, alongside the threads of happiness, sorrow, joy, bittersweet, hilarity, wisdom, regret and every single other feeling and emotion that is part of the human experience.

I did this by sitting down ( or, sometimes, by lying down on the couch in my pajamas), at the loom and spinning them into the fabric of this life I had to make. It happened as the sun went up and down, as I saw all the hours of the night, as the weeks, months and years passed.

The Crazy Quilt that is the story of my life so far was put together not piece by piece, but thread by thread and it was stitched together by me.

And I didn’t even know it.

I am at my loom this morning, at the ass-crack of dawn, like I ususally am. Coffee, smokes, pen to paper (still so painful, but it hurts more not to, so we are at “The Juice is Worth the Squeeze” part. But just barely.)

And you are at your loom too.

Even if you don’t know it.

And from me at my loom to you at yours, I am hoping, wishing, praying, and offering you love, friendship, courage, strength, wisdom and grace.

 

 

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Be You. Be Loud. Be Proud – Perspective on the Orlando Shooting from La Belle

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Yes, hi, hello.

La Belle, here.

After my sister, The Badass Bunny, expressed her feelings (beautifully, I might add) on the Orlando shooting…Maman asked if I’d be next.

And, well, I graciously accepted.

A little about moi:

I am a straight female in a committed relationship with the man of my dreams. I’ve been a strong, vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community since before I really even knew what that meant. See, my very best friend in the entire world is gay. And, well, because of the way that whole thing works, he’s been that way since he was born. My mom and his mom were BFF in high school, so when I say he and I have been friends forever… I mean it. He’s one of a very small handful of people that I would, literally and actually, step in front of a moving train for. And we’ll be ride or die, best friends, until we’re old and wrinkly and he’s sitting there french braiding my hair until we walk hand and hand into the bright white light (dramatic).

When The Badass Bunny came out to me as bisexual when she was about… 13 I want to guess… it wasn’t surprising. I had a lot openly gay friends coming in and out of our house growing up, and I feel that fostered a safe place for my sister to be open with me. When she came out as lesbian to me a couple of years ago, we laughed because what came next at, almost the same time, was her saying “Not that you couldn’t have guessed…” and me saying “Nothing I didn’t already know.”

We laughed. We hugged via text. And then we started talking about something else.

Because really… it’s doesn’t matter. I love and support my sister regardless of her sexuality because, well, it’s not really any of my business who she decides to smooch.

I can’t wait until the day when “coming out” isn’t a thing anymore. I never had to “come out” as straight.

Throughout my short time on this planet I’ve marched… I’ve fought… I’ve argued… and I’ve cried in an effort to help others see that gay people deserve equal rights. I’ve seen some victories… and I’ve seen some things that have shattered any hope I have for a possible future where we don’t have to keep talking about this. Where it can just be the norm. Where it just isn’t such a big deal.

What happened in Orlando hurt me, immensely. I woke up to the news and sat there, numb, next to my mom, and numbly watched CNN for hours. When they cut to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaking live at the Gay Pride parade, that’s when the tears came.

I stayed quiet on social media for a while, something I don’t normally do (on social media or in real life… let’s be honest here). I didn’t feel the need to post “Pray for Orlando” or “I stand with Orlando”. Instead… I had individual conversations with my best friend… my sister… and those close to me to check-in… and see if they were okay.

But then… I started to feel a little guilty. I didn’t want to say anything until I had the right thing to say. I didn’t want to just shout into the void. And then, it hit me. I wrote this… and it made me cry. So that’s how I know it was the right thing to say.

I’ll warn readers now, there is some profanity below. But I won’t apologize for it:

I haven’t posted anything about Orlando because I didn’t think I needed to. I felt like my actions spoke louder than my words and everyone around me knew where I stood. But as the days pass, I find myself feeling a little guilty for not speaking out against the actions of that psychopath and speaking up for all of my people. So here it is:

I’ve been an ally of the LGBTQ community for as long as I can remember. It’s a community that’s always welcomed me with open arms with a loud and proud declaration of self. That was something I could so heavily connect with, and have continued to connect with to this very second. I’ve attended parades, marches, and vigils celebrating and will continue to support and love this community until I die.

What happened at Pulse Nightclub hit me deep. It felt like a gut punch. To think that my sister, my best friend, and the literal dozens of other incredible members of the LGBTQ community that I hold so, so dearly to me live in a world where they are targeted with such violence makes me so fucking mad I could scream. And you know what’s the worst part? I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t know if it’s gun control, I don’t know if it’s mental health, I don’t know if it’s radical Islamic terrorism. But what I do know is it has to fucking stop. We live in a beautiful world with so many beautiful opportunities and we cannot let these motherfuckers stop us.

So be loud. Be fucking proud. Be you. Live your best fucking life and make any crazed motherfucker that tells you your wrong regret the day they ever said it. Spread love. Fuck hate.

I love you all so much.

You Cannot Take Away Our Love – Perspective on the Orlando Shooting from The Badass Bunny

Hello everyone,

This is The Badass Bunny. I’ve been brooding over this Orlando Tragedy, deciding how to put my disappointment in this country, the fear I feel for my family in the LGBT community and the overall fear I feel for anyone who dares to be different into words. Fear is not a word that is in my vocabulary, as you can tell by my nickname. Sure, I’m scared of spiders, but spiders are usually small and inconsequential. They do not effect my life and haven’t harmed anyone that I know or are in my community. But, a few days ago, my life was changed because even though I was not in the Orlando night club where Omar Mateen committed his atrocities, I can feel the pain and fear reverberating through the emotions of my friends in the LGBT community and our allies.

My perspective is unique and limited to few; I am a gay woman. Growing up, all of the signs were there. I got to choose what I wanted to wear, and often times went with the more male centric options. I didn’t have boyfriends, I didn’t talk about boys and I was as quiet as they come. My following post comes from years of identifying as gay, and the hurt and experience that comes with it.

I hope you enjoy reading this, and get some insight into what it’s like to live as part of the LGBT  community. Before you read what I wrote though, please read the linked article below. It is an open letter to Omar Mateen, and I think you will better understand my words if you read this persons words first.

An Open Letter to Omar Mateen

June 13th, 2016

Today, I read this article, because today for the first time in my life I am afraid. I am afraid that this small, somewhat liberal town, holds the person who has some sort of vendetta because I did not get to choose who I love and is willing to show me what that vendetta means. Today, I decided not to go to San Francisco Pride for my birthday because I do not trust the world we live in.

So the thing I ask to Omar Mateen, and the other violent people like him, and the other homophobes out there is… Do you think being part of the LGBT community is easy? Simple question. Yes or no answer. I ask this because Omar and people like him intentionally hurt people, but they do not understand the daily pain these people face.

The answer is no. The answer is that in a world full of people, being gay means your dating pool shrinks. It means people you have never met already hate you because of something you can’t change. It means watching out and being ever vigilante because of those people who believe hateful rhetoric from militia groups, religious groups and other sources and are willing to show you their opinions through hateful words, violence and even just being shrugged off as an outcast.

So I ask you, regardless of whether you are gay, straight, bisexual. Read this. Read this and understand for a second what it’s like to feel the fear that the LGBT community do on a daily basis. Read this and magnify your fear by the 365 days that are in a year, and know the anxiety and fear that comes with just being who you are.

So now my second question I pose is… what are you going to do so that fear doesn’t have to exist for the people who can’t change who they love?

Not What, Why? 5 Questions and A Prayer

 

What is this world coming to?

It’s a question asked colloquially, mostly rhetorically, often accompanied with a heavy sigh, as we shake our heads ruefully.

The world answered, definitively and without question, once again.

This time it answered at a nightclub early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida.

The world has been answering this way a lot.

Maybe it’s time to start asking a different question.

Why is the world coming to this?

And maybe it’s time to stop asking rhetorically.

Because 49 innocent, joyful, singing, dancing souls didn’t have to die.

And the countless, blameless people mourning them throughout our nation and the world today don’t have to be in mourning.

The man who murdered was a private citizen with a legally purchased assault rifle and known to the FBI. He was investigated not once, but twice, for boasting and bragging of his interests and associations not only to known terrorists organizations, but that he hoped to die as a martyr to the terrorist cause.

So.

Let’s start there. With that one paragraph.

Because within that one paragraph are some possible leads to accountability and answers.

And, with accountability and answers, maybe we can get to the solutions.

And not one more fucking time.

A Prayer

I’ve lost people I’ve loved and cherished to death and each time, it felt like and left a hole in my heart. 49 human beings with families, friends, friends of those families, friends of those friends. 49 people with acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, room-mates. 49 people someone knew from church, from the grocery store, groomed their dog, mowed their lawn, babysat their kids. 49 people who was someone’s best-friend, someone’s lover, someone’s blessing, someone’s soul mate, someone’s one true thing…so many, many punched-out hearts. I pray, I wish, I hope for comfort and peace in the blessed memory of the 49 beloved who dance in another place. And for the quick and complete recovery of those who were hurt in all the ways one can be hurt by such horror. My heart is with all of your hearts.

5 Questions

But my rage would like some answers. Why are there no policies and procedures in place at the Federal Bureau of Investigations to ensure someone with not one, but two investigations, does not remain under some sort of surveillance?  Why was an assault rifle sold to a man on an FBI Watch List? Why are gun sellers not lawfully responsible for selling weapons to individuals who then proceed to use them as weapons of mass murder? (We have laws holding bartenders responsible for selling alcohol to over-imbibed patrons. Why do we not hold gun sellers accountable for their deadly weapons?) Why has this country not taken a single legislative step to ban assault weapons since the last time one was used to publicly mass murder innocent people?

My rage is asking.

And it’s not asking rhetorically.

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“And now the bodies are piled so high,
 you couldn’t hide them if you tried.” 
-The Elected  “Go for the Throat”

Glatitude List-June 10, 2016

mama and baby bunny

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. -e.e.cummings

Friday  June 10, 2016  4:56 am
Thousand Oaks, California

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful to God for reminding me that as long as I stay on His path, I’ll always find the high road.

mama and baby bunny I’m glad today will end with family, friends, a movie and Pizza Pizza here at The Peach

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful for my sobriety

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful The Dude not only cooks, but is a true Renaissance Man and also does windows.

mama and baby bunny I’m glad I’m not an octopus. Surgery on one hand is quite enough

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful for a basket of fragrant essential oils, and for the kind friend who gave them to me to help my hand heal.

mama and baby bunny I’m glad I got to light a candle, say a prayer, remember my dad, and honor him on what would have been his 75th birthday.

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful to  have a husband who knows and understands how much this means to me.

mama and baby bunny I’m glad La Belle will bless our home with her laughter, her beauty, wit, and warmth this weekend.

mama and baby bunny I’m glad Elizabeth Warren told The Donald what’s up for real in her televised speech yesterday. Way to take the gloves off Sen-a-tor!

mama and baby bunnyI’m grateful my children are healthy, happy, and well.

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful for the 19th Amendment.

mama and baby bunny And glad to know my daughters are, too.

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful for Schwink’s beautiful blooming bouquets, and that everywhere I look I see my friend.

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful for my friend GordoDarls (who would now like to be known as “Gotham Gordo” but will always be GordoDarls to me) and souvenirs from The Big Apple.

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful for my bunny slippers, my woobie, Mac & Cheese Movies, Mad Men on Netflix, pineapple juice, pajamas, and prayers.

mama and baby bunny I’m glad The Dude still calls me his bride.

mama and baby bunny And also that he still thinks I’m pretty (“I think you’re pretty, too.” -La Belle)

mama and baby bunny I’m grateful that I got through this week’s Glatitude List without him hijacking it like last week (but only because La Belle typed it this week, and she knows how to act like a Lady at a keyboard).

cute-bunnies-tongues-6And then, there’s The Unspoken Bunny. Which is a deep, indescribably fulfilling glatitude for glatitude itself-the awareness that this, in and of itself, this thankfulness is the essence that carries me, from strength to strength, in this life I have to make.