Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hermanitas Introduction to the Vision Space

Mi'ja, I recognize you
I read through your scars and find kinship

With a saddness that could drown a bright moon
You walk wearily through a world that has done you no favors
I want to scream, "Smile, its too soon! It can be better!"
Yet I know from experience, any holler sounds like degradation, no matter the content

You've learned the armor already
You know that to leave your home with any measure of safety
You must brace yourself for the disrespect that is to come your way
From men, whose lack of emotional education, leaves them with sex and anger as expression for every emotion they ever bottled away

Mi'ja, I recognize you
I read through your scars and find possibility

Understand that it has nothing to do with you
Every time they look at you as if your clothes are strewn on the ground
It is the ghosts of what they feel they need to prove
They are looking at what they imagine is comfort, in emptiness they know not how to fill or even name

Understand that on the other side of the armor you hold so dear
Is this world full of light you can barely comprehend
If only there were ways to show you the joy that could dust every moment of your being in this crazy world
A joy so large, so vast, you could not doubt the grace that exists for you when you let the armor go

Mi'ja, I recognize you
I read through your scars and find the path

There is no one in this world that can promise to keep you safe with any measure of certainty, including you
And I would like to say I remember the day this discovery did not fill me with terror
I would like to say I remember a moment, when the cradle of my gifts freed me of my fear
I would like to say to you, that you reach a moment in life, where adventure becomes more important than refuge
But I would be stretching truths past their elasticity

It isn't an epiphany or a realization,
You don't wake up one day knowing and believing the world to be your playground
Your heart doesn't let go of all that hurt in one swoop
Healing is a collection of love, persistance and vision beyond a discipline I knew I had
Yet there it was.

Mi'ja, I recognize you
I read through your scars and find myself

Reaching to take off the armor or feeling safe is not enough
Getting to the top of the mountain bears little fruit without the view
There are mornings where every smile is a championship and laughter is an all-stars game
I heard it said once love is as much an ability as it is a feeling

Mi'ja, get yourself able.

I am too familiar with worlds dipped in sorrow
And I find every metaphor and smilie for a world of light inadequate
How do I paint you the picture of a freedom so liberating and absolute that fear becomes a triviality
How do I scuplt you a mold so full of grace that you welcome the challenges you used to dread
How could I ever sing you a song so sweet and blissful that you know what its like to be whole

I stand before you a product of the many people, whose happiness I saw but could not figure out
Having read the entries of a life I can barely believe I've lived
At once at ease and apprehensive about the hurdles to come but an absolute certainty in my jumpers ability... and yours

Mi'ja, please know that my humanity does not allow for perfection, and I claim nothing of the sort
I am full of grace and likely the least graceful messenger you may ever meet
And though I can't paint, sculpt or sing you into a vision of completeness
I can stand here with my scars and tell you that it exists for you as it did and does for me
And one day both of us will dance in that vision with our sisters radiant with the music of new dreams we can only start to touch

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Marrying Myself

I did the most loving thing I've ever done for myself this weekend. My heart is so completely full right now. As the blessings wash over me and my world feels the impacts of loving out loud, I wanted to write a little about the experience.

Over the holiday’s, I had a thought that went “What do you do when you truly commit to yourself? How do people celebrate commitment?” then I thought, “Well they get married,” I proceeded to think “I can’t marry myself though,” and then decided that being in this wonderfully beautiful space required so much hard work, that a celebration just as big as that very work was exactly what I wanted and I would do this for my birthday.

Getting to the day was a journey, one that I'm sure God was really amused about. I received the gammut of reaction. Some people laughed at the idea, some shared in my joy, others couldn't understand it, and at the end of the day the very thought process that brought up the desire for the event was tested. This was really good for me. I appreciate every last piece of each side of the coin. It made me really firm in my purpose and very introspective about 1) Whether I truly believed in what I was doing, and 2) Whether or not I was ready to do it.

When I thought this up, I think I had this picture in my head around doing this for myself and what that looked like. And step by amazing step, my community of friendship stepped in and took the reins of the big day. I watched as these people, that I loved so dearly, put into action all of the love they had for me. This was also a test actually, because it really made me allow others to love me. Being on the receiving end of that love is not an easy task for most of us. I give it well, but receiving it is a challenge because my relationship to self-worth hasn't always been so great. My friends bought and cooked all the food, set-up the decorations, created schedules, gave directions, tracked the arrival list, created the ceremony, brought the bubbly, and kept me relaxed and laughing. I was bathed, just bathed in love so absolute and thick that my heart nearly exploded from my chest.

I wish I could describe to you the day. It was rich, like a good chocolate cake. There was just so much love there. I loved how much openess there was about love. Unabashed adoration that we all gave each other. It was remarkable. I am so incredibly grateful. Grateful to my friends/family for being so understanding and loving of my flights of fancy. Grateful that they were able to open their hearts to an unorthodox expression of self-love. Grateful for all the work I've done to be in a space that would allow me to actually let-in an event centered around loving myself without having to cut down any piece of it or myself. Grateful to God for the amazingness of his grace to give me this as a foundation in my person.

My best friend in his toast talked about our essential nature. How in its truest form we were meant to exponentially give and receive love, like an undying fountain, regenerating ourselves as we give. This reciprocity was one that I discovered in the last couple of years. Life is a process and I will be chipping away to continuously become better at receiving and giving from authentic places, places that come from wholeness. This weekend I got to celebrate the understanding and clarity that the first leg of the journey provided. I found myself feeling so very healed, and so very free to love and be loved as a result. And let me tell you, it was quite the party.

Recently, I was reading this story by Paulo Cohelo and his preface said something like this... There are builders and gardners in this world. A builder will work up building and dutifully build and cement and labor until their construction is done. They will soon after find themselves trapped in by the very walls they have labored around. A gardner lives in a much more uncertain world. The gardener understands that it will plant much, and not always see the fruits immediately. The gardener struggles much more because they have to constantly survive the harshness of the elements, water, and care for their garden. A gardners work is never done, because it requires constant attention for growth. Then he goes on to say that garndeners can always recognize other gardeners. Each always recognizes that in the growth of each plant lies the growth of the whole world.

Thank you all for being a part of my garden, for allowing me to be a part of yours, for the depth of your love, and your willingness to always push us closer to the beauty and bounty of the gardens we deserve. I am blissed out friends. :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

25 Facts About Yours Truly


Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people, then click publish.)

I was just on the phone with Nia and she says to me “So when are you going to get to do your list of 25 facts about you.” Haha. And here I thought I was going to skate on it. However, I am in a writing mood today, so here goes:

1. I am currently watching the movie Dirty Dancing, that I saw while I was in fourth grade. At the time I had no idea what it meant that Penny was knocked up, but had an audible reaction of “Oh! I get it!” in eighth grade when I found out what it meant. Aw, innocence.

2. I have a playlist on my iPod called “Some of us are Rockstars” and I play it at least once a week and sing to my hearts content hittin all sorts of bad notes, but not really concerned.

3. I also have a playlist called “I feel like dancing with myself right now” and I put on a full on show all the time.

4. I cry at everything. Sad movies, happy movies, kindness, puppies, you know, everything. I just can’t help but be moved by all of the things that make our world beautiful.

5. My favorite Sesame Street character when I was a kid (and you know now) was/is Grover. Something about how neurotic and goofy he was appealed to me.

6. I learned English both from Grover and the “Young and the Restless” and I’ve had a creative vocabulary ever since.

7. I write poetry in secret. I don’t really show it to anyone, and it’s my way of expressing lyrically.

8. I’m going to marry myself in April for my birthday. It took me a long time to be as committed to my happiness as I currently am. I allowed myself to make mistakes, take risks, create boundaries, and make tough decisions. It’s been a journey and I want to commit to myself, and its going to be a great party.

9. The people who know me the best know how truly goofy I am. I don’t really show that side until I’m comfortable.

10. I love jewel tone colors. Red primarily but green, blue, purple, anything that sparkles just makes me want to smile.

11. I love Disneyland. It was the first place I truly got to be a kid. I threw a penny in Snow White’s wishing well every visit from 14 till now at every trip. I was once a tour guide there.

12. I saw my first musical/play at 18. It was RENT and it blew my mind.

13. I absolutely love my cousin Jorge and we’re friends in real life. I mean, my family is pretty great in general, but it’s always felt like he was the first person to believe in everything that I could become. He gave me my first novel (Jonathan Livingston Seagull) and I think it was foundational to how much of a dreamer and doer I became.

14. I have had a lot of people tell me “I’m too emotional” like it’s an expletive. I always wonder what I’m supposed to do with that. I can’t really help having a really strong emotional core, and I think it would probably be pretty toxic to bottle it up. It’s my soft heart, and it’s been through a lot of rough and tumble, I think it’s a miracle it’s still this soft.

15. I’ve been to 11 different countries, but I was 18 before I even got on an airplane.

16. I have this thing for Otis Redding music and I love, love, love that scene in Pretty in Pink where Ducky dances to “Try a Little Tenderness” because it embodies how that song should be performed.

17. I think I’m meant to live in New Orleans and Miami before ever picking a place to settle down in. I just love the quirky bright vibe of those cities.

18. Dolores Park is my favorite place in San Francisco. Nothing beats sitting down with a burrito and a book in Dolores Park.

19. I love running. I never in my whole life thought I would say that. But it’s really a pretty wonderful to have that space for your head.

20. I make really great food, but nothing beats my shrimp cocktail and guacamole.

21. I think about my little brother every morning when I wake-up and pray that his planes fly safely (he’s a pilot)

22. I have phenomenal friends. I love them and they are like my family. They are one of God’s greatest blessings to me.

23. I love Salsa music. My favorite song is by Celia Cruz “La Vida Es Un Carnaval”. Ayyyyy, no hay que llorar, la vida es un carnaval, es mas bello vivir cantando!

24. Rey Faustino Jr. is my best friend in the entire world. I’m glad we met when we were kids, because growing up would have been so much tougher without him.

25. I have rediscovered my love for Clementine’s, I love peeling them and having the juicy sweet pieces pop neatly into my mouth. It’s such a yummy snack. And when I’m feeling really hood with it, I’ll put some Tapatio hot sauce on them. 