No one was pretending
Right there with you. Every word. It shouldn’t be so hard; it’s made so by those who want to break or dissolve every one of us and force all lives, all of life, into molds they find acceptable.
Thanks so much for the reflections here. There's no surprise in the hypocrisy of the current (supine) majority legislature's desperate grab at control (That is some big-assed government.) But it still takes my breath away to think about and to wonder at the terrible consequences for our friends and relatives who have to endure such fuckery. Righteous indignation is certainly a reasonable response. I share it. But I want to do something helpful and hopeful, kind and considerate, loving and lasting. I think and hope I can exercise a daily kindness in acknowledgment - seeing and scknowledging in the way you describe the little one you encountered. That was an encouraging observation. Cheers, -Nigel
Anger is powerful when its directed at injustice, and shaking us out if complacency.
Seeing and accepting people who they are, as they are, enriches us all. A difficult concept in our zero sum society, but it starts with a refusal to accept the harm to innocents just trying to live their already challenging lives.
Highly recommend "Erin in the Morning" whose newsletter today talks about the army of lawyers now challenging these inhumane trans bans.
Chris, thank you for providing this space. It's one of the few places I feel true community - in the sense of commune and honest, respectful communication. I hide, or choose not to express, my true thoughts in most of my encounters (with sister, mother-in-law, good old friend, etc). I'm weary of the pretense, too.
The fascists' fear-based rage against their chosen targets elicits my rage and fear. This common space you provide keeps my rage from being a solitary thing and saves me from drowning in despair. So, thanks, Chris. And thanks to Sarah for sharing her experience. Aligning the Glacier's Ghost is an intriguing title!
Be ready for more attacks on democracy. State legislatures are taking over the cities’ power to govern themselves, to control progressive areas. See Jackson MS, Knoxville TN,Florida, and soon more. It’s the orders coming from think tanks. Because the right has seen how easy it is to control a state, to elect extremists on that level, and take over.
The last time I was trolled en masse on social media was when I expressed something as simple as “why do we feel the need to impose our roles and ideas on the people me meet? ;Tell me what you are so I know how to categorize you, and decide how much respect you should get.’ Respect everyone, isn’t that easier?” I understand why people choose new names now, ones of their own making. No baggage.
I’m proud that the people of Missoula have risen up against actual tyranny, and I hope they can overcome those hateful old white women who keep filling all the seats so Zooey can’t sit outside the chambers and serve the people who elected her.
Imagine being so miserable you must thrive on hatred and crush the joy of others. Or don’t. I used to think “understanding” was the key, but they do not want to be understood. They want to lord over us. And the only defense against that is to push back in numbers. They feel persecuted by our very existence, that is how they incite their hatred to exterminate and silence us, so you may as well fight now. If you want for the barbed wire fences it will be too late.
I watched a ceiling fan whirl in my teaspoon in Dar Es Salaam. 1980.
I love all of this and am with you. Hierarchy is a bane that needs to vanish. I loved this line: "But if there is any chance that some divine magnificent consciousness is going to stir from the mud of a riverbank or the duff of a forest or the slickrock of a desert or the tidepool of a coastline as the result of the love in my beseeching – and I believe there is, there always is, such a chance – then I'm going to keep doing it." That's exactly it. We keep doing it. And knowing you and others are out there feeling the same way gives me solace in the midst of fury. Also love that poem. Hell yes.
Not sure if you saw but Zooey Zephyr proposed to her partner at a queer prom and the speech and the joy of everyone in the room made me feel great joy right alongside them all. In the midst of everything she is having to face, she responds with love and it's beautiful to see. https://youtu.be/6jF8rfyvVdk
Your description of the child with the non-gendered name made me tear up. I hope they live in joy, as much joy as possible before the world crushes their free spirit.
(Though, TBH, no matter how you identify, the world crushes your spirit pretty much anyway.)
"it was never mine to hold alone".
"I pledge allegiance to no one"
May we all find some moments of grace and beauty in these days so filled with madness.
Thank you, Chris, and Sara. The image that comes to mind in this moment is the one where people offer flowers to soldiers. The work is the feet on the street, yes, and it is also stoking the fire of love and compassion, even and especially when the flame feels weak, lest we forget what this is really all about. It really shouldn’t be this hard, you are right! Maybe I’m just a hippie, ha, but I hope there is a day in my lifetime, even if I’m decrepit and wrinkly, where we aren’t fighting each other like this anymore. It takes so much energy to prop up hate. Aren’t we all a little tired of it by now anyways?
Thank you for this. I cannot tell you how tired I am of being told that this body--old, non-binary, queer, disabled, less productive than ever--is disposable; nor how tired I am of counting the complaints against bodies like mine coming from people who are so frightened of anything different they can only imagine human life in the narrowest of terms.
I love the life in this place, however far it reaches: beyond the horizons I can see, beyond the blue of the sky, beyond the faintest stars. Even deep into the threads of the shitty carpet on the floor of my apartment where tiny creeping things munch on the organic debris the cat and I drop from our bodies--and sometimes from my breakfast--as we rumble around above them.
I do not love the arbitrary lines we have decided to draw around this vast, awesome mess. I do not love that we then declare those lines to be divinely imposed bounds of ownership and right. On some levels, these lines are easy to step over or simply ignore. On other levels, they poke and bind and chafe every day and night, endlessly.
I love that queers and allies gathered on a bridge in Montana. The kids, I hope, are going to be alright. But my god are some getting mangled.
My partner Kaspa is nonbinary and so I am ESPECIALLY grateful for your presence in the world, Chris, and for your - I was going to say allyship but that sounds a bit overcomplicated somehow - for your friendship. 💚🙏🏻
These truth words of yours, Chris, “It shouldn’t be this hard” and “I think people who care are constantly exhausted,” are all I have the energy to type in support right now…
Chris and Sarah,
Thank you for this. I just restacked it. Please continue to share info on Sarah’s book- I couldn’t find it on Goodreads which is where I store my want to read list. I have felt similar confusion and rage about this- especially as I teach students who must face a world that is not committed to their safety in so many ways...my husband reminded me just like you do here though that we are not alone. In fact, there are more of us, than there are of them. More of us who believe every human deserves to live a beautiful life, who just want the most basic of things, for our kids to learn...have friends...to grow a garden. In the words of Rising Appalachia, “my voice is tiny and so is your bit put them all together we make a mighty roar.” Grateful.
I've been feeling really gutted by the latest mass shooting in Texas and needed to read these words tonight. Thank you.
“We are all divine spirits on a divine earth, made divine not in spite of, but because of our wild differences. Human and non. All in it together. Beautifully.” 💞