Friday, September 21, 2007

leading with his heart

Mayor supports effort to overturn state ban
By Jennifer Vigil

September 20, 2007

A tearful Mayor Jerry Sanders made a dramatic shift yesterday, explaining that he can no longer oppose same-sex marriages because he does not want to deny justice to people like his daughter, who is a lesbian. Link to full story.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Precipice: Prologue


1. A very steep, perpendicular, or overhanging place; a cliff. 2. The brink of a dangerous situation.

I have a tale to tell. It's a story about fear and risk and instinct and trust and friendship. It's about facing the metaphor that seems to be currently defining my life and turning it into something physical that I can look at, touch...conquer. Kimm and Jen decided to take me on a journey yesterday, and I'm pretty sure they planned it as an intense therapy session for my soul. Which I desperately needed. And which they instinctively knew.

I can start by saying this: the journey began at the foot of the Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park. (click here for a nice column about the trail.) And with me staring straight up at a thousand feet worth of rocky terrain and hanging cliffs, wondering how the hell I would overcome my fear of heights to take even the first step. As for the rest of the tale, it's going to take me days to process everything that happened. I need to wait for the right words to take shape in my head and when they do, they are certain to find their way to The Slant. Along with photos. And a video or two.

Since I don't have the words at this moment, I'm going to lean on Marge Piercy, like I often do, to get this tale rolling. There were many, many moments yesterday during that long climb when a single line of hers kept running through my head...navigating by chart and chance and passion I will know the shape of the mountains of freedom, I will know.

The first thing I did upon arriving home late last night was to find that poem.

The Perpetual Migration

How do we know where we are going?
How do we know where we are headed
till we in fact or hope or hunch
arrive? You can criticize,
the comfortable say, you don't know
what you want. Ah, but we do.

We have swung in the green verandas
of the jungle trees. We have squatted
on cloud-grey granite hillsides where
every leaf drips. We have crossed
badlands where the sun is sharp as flint.
We have paddled into the tall dark sea
in canoes. We always knew.

Peace, plenty, the gentle wallow
of intimacy, a bit of Saturday night
and not too much Monday morning,
a chance to choose, a chance to grow,
the power to say no and yes, pretties
and dignity, an occasional jolt of truth.

The human brain, wrinkled slug, knows
like a computer, like a violinist, like
a bloodhound, like a frog. We remember
backwards a little and sometimes forwards,
but mostly we think in the ebbing circles
a rock makes on the water.

The salmon hurtling upstream seeks
the taste of the waters of its birth
but the seabird on its four-thousand-mile
trek follows charts mapped on its genes.
The brightness, the angle, the sighting
of the stars shines in the brain luring
till the inner constellation matches the outer.

The stark black rocks, the island beaches
of waveworn pebbles where it will winter
look right to it. Months after it set
forth it says, home at last, and settles.
Even the pigeon beating its short whistling
wings knows the magnetic tug of arrival.

In my spine a tidal clock tilts and drips
and the moon pulls blood from my womb.
Driven as a migrating falcon, I can be blown
off course yet if I turn back it feels
wrong. Navigating by chart and chance
and passion I will know the shape
of the mountains of freedom, I will know.

Marge Piercy

Sunday, September 09, 2007

secret of life

try not to try too's just a lovely ride.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I am part of the load
Not rightly balanced
I drop off in the grass,
like the old Cave-sleepers, to browse
wherever I fall.

For hundreds of thousands of years I have been dust-grains
floating and flying in the will of the air,
often forgetting ever being
in that state, but in sleep
I migrate back. I spring loose
from the four-branched, time -and-space cross,
this waiting room.

I walk into a huge pasture
I nurse the milk of millennia

Everyone does this in different ways.
Knowing that conscious decisions
and personal memory
are much too small a place to live,
every human being streams at night
into the loving nowhere, or during the day,
in some absorbing work.

(Mathnawi, VI 216-227)
Rumi, 'We Are Three'

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

shameless self promotion

from my pal, virginia throckmorton, host extraordinaire of lesbian radio:

very early sunday morning and not a car on congress is moving.
you lace up and stare down munjoy hill touching one last time
the pink quartz heart in your front pocket.

you shove off the side of a just-waxed 1969 red mustang parked precisely in the lines and begin the downhill roll. the name of a goddess comes to mind as you pick up speed, spreading lesbian molecules in your wake. the hill becomes shriekingly lesbianated and you smile. real big. near the end of your ride you make a promise to find your radio
just as soon as you get home. it's time.

lesbian radio
molecularly lesbianating every thursday afternoon

this week

Carolyn Gage - Lesbian History Grove
Darlene Huntress - Amazonian Politico
Jen Hodsdon - Lesbian Radio Co-host
Jill Barkley - kick-ass amazing activist
MaryEllen Hitt - absolute photographer

this is the show that will make you a lesbian just by listening.
don't miss it.

Lesbian Radio - because we can

Thursday afternoons from 1:30 until 3:00
wmpg 90.9 and 104.1FM
streaming online at wmpg,org
wmpg is community radio for portland maine.
my space too

Lesbian Radio because we can

Sunday, September 02, 2007


late last night, as i was walking to the car after meeting some friends at styxx, my mala unravelled and the bracelet fell to the pavement, all the little beads rolling here and there and everywhere along spring street. i stood in the street and stared at the ground for 5 minutes as if i was frozen. i thought about trying to pick them all up and string them back together. put a few in my pocket but knew i'd never find 108 beads in the dark. irretrievable. gone. my overworked mala, beads that i had counted, one by one, thousands and thousands of times. every morning and every night in meditation, and so many times during the day, absently pulling the bracelet on and off, counting counting counting. and always finding some quiet comfort from the ritual.

there i was standing on spring street at 1 in the morning, alone and a little cold and a lot tired and ready to burst into tears over a broken string of prayer beads.

i felt at once terribly sad and ridiculously silly. they were just beads after all.

this morning, i emptied the pocket of last night's jeans and found a few of the beads, mixed in with the loose change. a hint of regret passed through me. and all day my left wrist has felt naked without the bracelet wrapped around it. i have reached for those phantom beads at least 10 times. i feel off-balance. out of the center.

i am not oblivious to the significance of this feeling. or to its timing.

if i am honest, i can see that "off-center" has been my state of mind for a few weeks now. with or without the beads.

i know myself well enough to understand that part of this is connected to the changing of season. summer is fading away, the hint of autumn inching closer. and while fall is the season i love the most--there is so much beauty in autumn that almost always i am overwhelmed by it when i let myself really truly pay attention to what is all around me--this is also a time when i most prone to a quiet, blurry sadness that sits just below the surface, just underneath my skin.

and i know it's there right now. that almost-heaviness. i have sensed it, felt a subtle but significant shift in me. i feel myself turning inward. i am on the edge of a quieter, more introspective place. there is that little twinge of melancholy in my belly.

i am not really afraid of it, this sadness that sits in me. it's not unfamiliar. but this time around, i want to understand it. i want to be able to hold it and accept it, and maybe figure out where that sadness comes from. because maybe when i do, it will become lighter. or maybe disappear altogether.

i have the thought that the mala beads falling away is no coincidence. their unravelling is a lesson. everything is impermanent. happiness. sadness too. like the seasons, it all comes and goes and comes and goes. change is really the only constant, it is never idle, it is always weaving itself in and out of everyday life.

and like the seasons, i am always changing too.

i look through my mind's eye. see a new and different place.

a new and different me.

(do you see it too?)

listening to...