When activism is no longer a fad, fashion statement or whim that’s when I’ll say cautiously optimistic we’re winning. I love the conversation that is happening around the globe, at the forefront thanks to some fierce, brave Hollywood power women speaking out and banding together, Oprah, women in entertainment, and a few good men but we must be careful not to lose momentum, or become complacent. Bullies, poverty, LGTBQ rights, injustice, inequality, racism, sexual harassment, basic human needs, inhumanity and social imbalances are the all too prevalent reality. Perhaps the next big, fancy award show or event, or any social platform where women have to stand up we should all wear red. Even in auditoriums and schools across the nation.
“Red, is the color of blood and fire, associated with meanings of love, joy, strength, leadership, courage, vigor, willpower, vibrance, radiance, and determination.”
When our young girls no longer feel the need to cower, hide their bodies under layers of bulky protection but feel empowered enough to express themselves and not overexposed, or embarrassed we’ll be winning. To stand up for our sisters and brothers that is beautiful truth, and activism in the making. Be bold enough to stand up, be brave enough even when it hurts, and be kind enough to stick up for the less fortunate. Let’s face it Hollywood is setting the stage, but we the ‘common, everyday people’ need to be the A-listers. Because our freedom, our little girl’s and boy’s innocence and equality has absolutely nothing to do with fame, and everything to do with harsh REALity. We too are the dreamers, the born activists of a lifetime who stand for harmony, safety, peace, equality and positive change.
When they zapped my brain, I did not recognize the nurse who had been there all along.
I recalled my mother’s face, worry lines and all.
I forget sometimes with all these cells coarsing through veins, tripping up emotions that things came easier once.
Life was uncomplicated, and I took it for granted.
It was the little moments I shrugged off, the nothing less than important.
Vital lessons of joy and exhilaration.
With no electronic distractions and tortoise shell healing, I ventured out.
Creating fairytale landminds of imagination.
Words, oberservations, storytime coffeebook tales and me.
Those were the happiest, carefree minutes I can recall.
Where did the feisty, rebel rouser go?
One bad-seed simple cell becomes a life so jaded, so messy complicated.
Most days I am angry, sad, inconsolable, regretful longing.
Most days I’d rather be dead than carry the weight.
Most days I wish to hurry them along.
Stupid, stupid wild child be quiet and let me think.
Other days I long for a reboot, sunshine and a fresh start.
Palm Springs, majestic mountains and course sandy beaches.
The bloody burden of living.
To hell and back.
Am I allowed to say this?
Surely you’ve felt out of sorts.
No, no, no sour grapes please.
The vines are frozen solid anyway.
To choose life even when it stings.
To follow love.
To take a naked selfie.
And a big, big, big long look in the mirror.
Self-love requires discipline, conviction and a healthy dose of rebellion.
Post it notes are positively lovely.
Dreamy reminders that stick.
Even when all roads feel exhausted.
To choose the smallest room for living and sit in stillness.
That is torture and pain.
That takes courage.
That is patience.
Self-awareness and empathy are no small feat.
One red cell quantifies a fate.
I am not mean-spirited or selfish.
I am too damn honest.
Scribbling words you may not wish to hear.
Few have traveled where I visit.
You have not embodied this small room.
Egocentric, over-eccentric, paranoid, panicked, depressed, suicidal, and manic at times.
It’s all mixed-up.
The ugliest parts housed right alongside the beautiful.
So be it, mind of mine.
Some cells went haywire.
Others did not.
Shock me back to your absurd reality.
Fucking crazy, isn’t it?
To think we are all dying differently.
Call me a rebel rouser.
Insanity feels perfectly normal to me.
This picture popped up in my memories today on Facebook and made me smile. Michel and I fought, a lot. He thought I was spoiled. I was. We argued, a lot. I’d only learn in time and the passing of years what he meant. I learned so many lessons from him. How to live a simple life, to love and respect nature, to take long walks everyday, (like ten miles burn your ass and legs walks), how to laugh at yourself and others, how to work out, how to eat clean, and how to be here now. How to love. People, animals, life. The basics. All of it. Sometimes when I walk the nature trails with Lupe I can hear him, “hurry up connasse” and so I pick up the pace. And thank god for the days spent in his company in the sun, the fondest memories that a person shares with you are the ones that sustain us. I do the dishes, make my bed and celebrate another year (however hard, tragic, and chaotic) around the sun. Lost loved ones leave open wounds that become stitches in our hearts, scar tissue and eventually leaving room to mend. To grow, and to learn. The heart expands even when broken by time and circumstance. Love lives on the wind that blows frigid and in an instant, Spring appears changing her course once again. Nature’s seasons were Michel’s happiest, simplest magical place and I am still learning how to be present like him. My New Year’s wish for you is that you never give up, even when the physical pain of losing a loved one or perhaps even yourself feels impossible, keep on pushing the boundaries, stripping away all the nonsense, the baggage, the noise, and trusting you will fill the empty spaces with love, and relearn to walk again. To die young is not the natural order but a life lived full, simple and serene is a gift to be opened with gratitude, compassion and humility. Go ahead make your mistakes. Like the worst, wildest fuckups you can dream. And if you’re lucky they’ll be a person, or persons who will challenge you to get up and walk tall again and again. The nostalgic pictures help us remember we were here, and life was good. I forget sometimes reverting back to that spoiled girl, only for a moment. And then I remember how lucky in love I have been.
I couldn’t imagine a life without words to give us meaning, purpose and stability on a planet that is four billion years old. Words tell us that earth is the only planet whose English name derives from Old English and Germanic. Words. Use your words, use your voice, and write it down. Write out most intimate dreams, hopes, and desires. We are merely spectators allowed the shortest visit, to marvel in scale on foot, or in the imagination of childlike wonder. Words to describe discovering grainy salt, grass, cement walking barefoot and alive. Words help shape us, make us civilized. Words make mothers weep and poetry lovers swoon. Do not take away my words, bullies of the 21st Century. I am civilized, and educated. I am a solemn observer of atrocity, hatred, abuse of power and ignorance. I am a profound lover of words, their safe keeper; shape shifter, and documenter of these modern times. I am here for the briefest visit; the observer.
I understand I cannot stay. Let me type fast all the beauty and magic I’ve seen and felt on my skin, and type slow my tears with intent the unfairness I’ve witnessed.
I met a mesmerizing “transgender,” with Rapunzel spun golden hair and sequins of kindness spoken softly from her lips. She was a goddess of feminity dressed in fine linens and a moral compass. I discovered she, he, they were different than me and yet so much better. She wore no sense of “entitlement,” only flecks of humanity. I remember floating in my mother’s womb, the concept “fetus” before time was linear or had a name picked out. I was free, embryonic fluids dancing and lulling me like the salt water I adore. I was “science-based,” a human without form, without ego, without judgment, without all the messy noise that comes with living. I was pure love, alive and in waiting. I was nearly human without the hate and the truest, purest form of freedom and “diversity.” Nothing is guaranteed, not even tomorrow, nothing is predetermined, or “evidence- based.” Not one word is yours to take away, not one thought, not one vision shall be banned. I exist now until stardust reclaims my bones therefore I will use my words with honor and integrity. We are nothing without the words, their stability and dignity carries us home.
The banned words include “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
I had the craziest dream.
Sweet Gardenia blossoms grew immense enveloping firestorms and chaos, masquerading all traces of ash and burn.
The intoxicating scent of sweet perfume permeated the clean air, creating nursery rows of safety bubble greenhouses.
A young girl’s innocence remained pure and virtuous.
Flowering freedom rained dewdrops of kindness.
There were no guns, no mass graves, no starvation, no rape, no death.
No dead children.
No hate. No hate. No hate.
White rapids filled the streams replenishing and purifying waters.
Dirty DNA was washed clean.
Gardenia, Fig and Jasmine were the new currency whilst greed, power and ugliness got strangled, suffocating.
In the dream state, time was no longer a linear concept, and bountiful floral gardens grew happy.
Everyone had their own space to paint rainbows, waterspouts, and imaginary firestorms.
Humanity bore green buds of fragrant possibility where wishes and dreams flourished, fruit bearing trees.
Gentle desires on the wind of a someday, some glorious day, and a somewhere different.
Sweeter than here.
Where Gardenia, Fig and Jasmine blossoms grow through the cracks blanketing away all fear.
I had the craziest dream, and wrote it on the petals adorned in her hair.
Whispering wishes of a new pathway to love.
Floating away, and landing in a stranger’s thoughtful ear.
Believe that you are better than
Believe that if you haven’t lost someone you love
To Mass Shootings
You are blessed, the lucky one
Pretend it won’t ever happen
Pretend it’s impossible
Pretend doesn’t work much these days
It can’t happen?
Not today, not in your town, not in your house
The one safe space
And then indulge me
Close your eyes
Feel for a baby’s hand
A small child, maybe your child
So innocent and pure
The hand feels wet and cold and you cannot stop the chaos
The screams are all around you
You hear them as if locked in
Stuck in a nightmare
You cannot wipe the blood from your hands soiling your jeans
Pretend is only one day away
Reality states there’s a dark tomorrow
Believe you care enough to make a difference
Believe you can make a difference
Citizens of this great nation
Believe you have the right to say
NO MORE VIOLENCE
NO MORE VIOLENCE
NO MORE GREED TURNING A BLIND EYE
I pray, I do but my prayers seem futile and nobody hears them
Until I remember
To be beholden
To believe in the toil and dreams fulfilled by our forefathers
Believe in your legacy
The past is our great teacher
And the present needs a new healer
Believe in the peaceful resisters who are protesting the ugly regime
The reign of terror
Believe in your gut
Believe in your voice
Believe in your heart
And stand up
Do the right thing
Let your conscience be clean when you lay your head down
Believe your life matters more than an AK-47, hatred, or idiotic, ignorant opinions
How you live is up to you
How you die well that is the disturbing, frightening question of the times
Believe that humans are inherently good
Be a good human
And stand together for everyone’s right to an honest, purposeful life
I must not forget, never ever forgo this one shot at an honest life. A well-played beginning, the hold on tight middle, and a serene, admired, beloved end. I have been given this offset jewel of a life for a reason.
Loosening my grip on the serrated edge, I grab tight to the rafters overhead.