Monday, June 18, 2018

The Gleam of a Thousand Stethoscopes Underneath the Moon

I came home to a birthday present from a friend here that was bought from a childhood friend of mine back home in Detroit. It was so thoughtful for them to connect in that way. I feel very loved. (I'm also completely sugar high at this point in getting through the gift.)

There's so much to savor from the past few days. It will take me a while to be able to digest and formulate.

For now:

1. Yes, I will admit that I loved my outfit at the Daddy's Social Club event.

2. Good things and magic are moving.

3. We can have our desires and goals and dreams. We just can't be attached to how, exactly, we get there. Be open to what leads you when almost every part of your body tingles with what is right.

4. I am reeling at the love that is in my life, and I am grateful in a way I may never be able to adequately express.

and

5. So much love to everyone out there. Sometimes the people who hurt are the ones who are hurting the most.



Be well; be loved; 

k.

(Image: Chiharu Okunugi by Mote Sinabel Aoki for Harper’s Bazaar Japan Oct 2015 via genetic-freak tumblr)

The Back of Your Bathroom Door


Just past midnight. Today was so many good faces.  Queers I grew up with. Queers I organized with. Queers who influenced me for better or for worse. All grown up.

Also: Bad ass Palestinian DJs.

So many good connections with people (old and new) who inspire me to reach for more and who remind me that being a friendly person out in the world doesn't make you an idiot: It makes you human and it makes you an effective organizer.

(pause)

I will leave your key here in Ohio when I go. It feels fitting, somehow. Home touching home. Both of which are yours, neither of which were ever truly mine.



be well; be loved,

k.
(image: Eric Ruby via untrustyou tumblr)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Tender Daytona


It is very, very late or very, very early depending on how you look at it.

I'm not really sure how to describe the past 48 hours.  They are sublime in their details. Both beauty and decay.

D telling me about his trip back to Vietnam and being able to meet family of his he has never met. Us having conversations about love, friendship, life and the conversation we had about the suicide zine he was working on, years ago.  He drove 40 minutes to come see me and it makes me feel loved. When he texted me afterwards to tell me that I am a valuable part of his life, it made me feel loved even more so. He is one of those friends who means so much to me but one can never really articulate the anatomy of how/where/why.  It simply just is.

B told me of a conversation he and I had lifetimes ago on the porch of a domestic violence shelter and how/why it impacted his life in a positive way. He told me of a book he has been writing and how one of the main characters is based off of me. There were a lot of tears in the conversation. The good kind.

N, I am not sure how to encompass this. How is it that a gay bear and a gender weirdo could have the luck of connecting so deeply so long ago and still feel the same golden connection of friendship? Old souls. Deep friendship.

Casey and I walked and walked and had so many conversations about so many things.  All the while under a sky I have forgotten the expanse of. I don't know if there is something I enjoy more deeply than walking for hours without a destination in the summer evening in Ohio.

I'm listing these things and leaving so much out. Sometimes it is overwhelming to know that the people you love and admire love and admire you back.  It seems like such a basic or obvious thing.  It's  not.  It's not something I would ever take for granted.

(pause)

These things and stories and sentiments are of a foundation made of years and, in some cases, decades of knowing each other.  They are the people who do or do not know each other yet still have the same, consistent story of who I am and what I am like. This foundation is what alerts me to something undeserved. This foundation is what shines a light on the contrast of some things that have happened in the course of the same 48 hours with a person I have known for a relatively short period of time, but have cared for very deeply.

(pause)

Blame doesn't really compute with me. With the exception of situations involving force, systemic oppression, or captivity:  I get into situations through my own agency. I get out of these same situations through my own agency as well.

This is true of everyone.

The details can be lengthy or short, but it all comes down to decisions. I set limits as I need to. They are set for me. They don't imply blame. I don't blame you. I never have.

Blaming the other person:  I just don't think in those terms.

(pause)

There is always a point when you let go of a loyalty you wish was earned. It is slow. It is gradual. Letting go of a loyalty I wanted to give might always be hard.

Last night I felt it loosen to fall away.

I won't throw it down, nor will I throw it in a face: There is nothing admirable in shaming love or belittling feelings.


I will simply watch it dissolve 
and feel the heft of its weight

slip from my fingers.


May the endings in our lives, of all kinds, occur with a presence of profound love. 



be well; be loved,

k.

(Lisa and Anne Bosveld, by westografie via genetic-freak tumblr)

I'm not sure how this fits, but Paulo Freire's ideas of love being an act of courage, not of fear and thus love being a commitment to others and to liberation influences something of this.  Here, when he speaks of liberation, I am thinking more in terms of the liberation of oneself and each other from trauma, from history, and from hurt. Keep trying; keep fighting; keep knowing that the compassion you have for yourself becomes the compassion you show for others becomes how you continue to cultivate compassion for yourself. And on and on in love and courage.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Sundown Shadows



A moment of solitude in between adventures made necessary due to the telephone interview I will be taking within the hour.  No one is in the house I am at.  That is intentional.  I am sprawled across the most comfortable king size bed with short shorts on. That is intentional, too.

I am here in the midwest now.  Holy shit it feels so good.  My bones, again, are moving back into place. Swearing and toughness and tenderness all in the perfect amounts.

I've been thinking, lately, about a dating relationship of mine that has ended for good and how much, although I want to be friends at some point, in this moment it feels like such a weight and stress has been taken off of me.  No more melt downs. No more yelling at me. No more being emotionally punitive. No more just being, well, cold in a way that just doesn't feel loving at all. She's been going through so much in life, but one can only accept the ricochet of what one is willing to accept. I care about the person truly, but am currently feeling the warm honey glow of being in a midwest town during Pride Weekend surrounded by people who know what it is to love the shit out of each other and go so fucking deep with not all of the words.  To go deep believing the best of each other.  To go deep because we can and want to. At the same time, there is that odd ghost that pops up. Places I know she would love or love to photograph. People she would enjoy and who would enjoy her. 

In time if it feels right to me.

I have a good track record of folding former lovers into the folds of my life as my best of friends. But the commitment to holding onto each other was always there.  That hasn't felt to be the case with this one, and that matters to me. Sometimes people are so used to doing things fiercely on their own that that is the main and only road they know with a few exceptions.  And I don't want that.  There are things to be fierce about. Fiercely individualist or self sufficient isn't one of them for me. Interdependence, support, community and collaboration towards lesson. That is something to be fierce about. It is the ability and desire to allow people to depend on you and for you to depend on them that is one of so many ways that trauma is undone. And, for me? That is where it's at.  Being brave, stupid, gentle and smart. Lace your fingers with mine and show me who you are. I'll do the same.  Life is so rich and beautiful and even overwhelming at times with the beauty of those that are okay with looking silly in true attempts to connect.  I love every person who strives toward that.  That includes me.  And I guess that is the lesson of all of this.


be well; be loved,

k. 

(Image: En. .bLanc. via ilmiolabirinto tumblr)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Do Not Love Half Lovers, or, How to Bask in True Love: A Guide for Firefighters, Managers and Exiles

Do not love half lovers.

Do not entertain half friends.

If you accept then accept it bluntly: Do not mask it.

If you refuse, then be clear about it:  For an ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance.



-excerpts from, Do Not Love Half Lovers, by John Siddque





I can't get over the amount of love I have seen in the past four days.  I would act as if it is luck, and one part of it is.  The rest of it, however, is years of cultivation of love that has taken so many forms over the years.  I can't get over how many loved ones I will get to see, how, where, and why. 

 Currently at the airport.  The soundtrack?  Is this. 


Also to be filed under "fuck yes" poems:  The Guest House


This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.


Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.


 The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.


Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


-Rumi


I will have more to say, and soon.  For now, I will say that it has to do with the love and compassion of what Bessel Van der Kolk refers to as Firefighters, Managers, and Exiles. Holy healing hell of love.


Be well; be loved.

I will see you soon and, perhaps, you'll let me touch your heart and I'll let you touch mine.


k.

(title: the title of a poem by John Siddque.  First two lines are from this bad ass poem.)
(image: from the beginning of this week with beautiful people and in celebration)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Tried and True Direction

And just like that, pre-6:30am, the family you have built comes into view and everything else fades to black.

k.


Pendings: A List


News comes today.
Breathe.
When someone who loves you never asks you about your art.
It was nice to get flowers.
The people who are worth it are the ones who show up when you need them to.
This week.
He has something for me and he hopes that I like it.
Sweet boy.
Life moves on.
Consistency will always win with me.
Death.
Airline tickets.
It's hard to have the family I do in moments like these.
Oakland.
Hold me until I can't cry or breathe anymore.
I met you on the fourth floor of that famous old building when I first moved here.
Diagnosis or results; birthday; job interview: in that order.
When you love someone: Engage.  It is not just suicide prevention. It is something even larger.
Tender hearts, always.
Growth.
There are some people that will always go to anger. I am so thankful I am not one of them.
There is so much change and growth that can happen within one year. Thank you, J.
When you love someone enough to make sure everything is okay. 
Seeing people helping other people out.
Tenderness.
Tenderness.
Tenderness.
Open.
Vulnerable.
Anger. Beauty. Emotion.
Put your hand on my back. Leave it there for an eternity.
Honesty.
To the people who are bigger than the moment they find themselves in.
It's not about the substance use. It's about the instant disappearance of the person.
You are more lovable than what they taught you.
Boundaries are not rejection.
It is too sad for me to think of all your lonely dinners.
The music outside of my window at night.
Purity of heart vs selfish hearts
Just close your damn eyes and jump into the belief that you are loved.
When fear is better than being afraid. 
The two of us walking in the rain.
Take care of each other.
Wish fulfillment (the thing and the Sonic Youth song).
Going within.




May you never feel you have to coax the love out of anyone who claims to love you. You should be showered with  love in little and and big ways, everyday.



be well; be loved,

k.

(image: Human heart showing vessels at the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia Photo credit:  by Robert Clark via malformalady tumblr)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dreamscapes, or, the Man in Red Chiffon Who Appeared Between Two Elevators in my Dreams


Dreams, while traveling, tend to be the most accurate. The most clear in their symbolism.

Last night in my dream, I was sitting next to Bakke, a former partner of mine who, to this day and probably forever will stand as the most calm, stable, safe, protecting and unflappable person I have ever been partnered with.  I was sitting between him and another former partner of mine I felt safe with (possibly Bradly) who both were wearing similar outfits of dark jeans and flannel button downs.  I remember thinking that, although I didn't care much for flannel, that tonight it was appreciated because I was flanked by it and, when it comes down to it, flannel - like cashmere- is one of the fabrics that is closest to dressing as a teddy bear in a socially acceptable way in public.

In any case. The three of us were sitting in stadium type chairs. There were rows of people next to us, behind us, and three rows in front of us. We were at some type of event, although it was was unclear what kind it was.  I knew there was a dinner. I knew that it was important or fancy even though people's dress did not reflect that.

Suddenly, a woman in a uniform stood up in front of everyone. It was not an actual uniform, but rather, the type of regular street clothing that can be worn to imply a uniform.  She seemed angry about something.

She pulled out a small gun. What is she going to do with that? I remembered thinking.

She then placed it under her chin, slightly pressed against the U of the underside of her jawbone, and shot herself.

Her body fell to the ground.

I stayed seated between the flannel of Bakke and Bradly as people ran to her body.




be well, be loved,

k.

Postscript: Thank you to Bakke and Bradly who are both people who I've dated for long chunks of time who made me feel safe, offered deep stability, and were consistently very thoughtful. Relationships can be sites of healing trauma and other weird shit. These were two examples of that, without doubt.  They aren't the only ones, of course, but I recognize the reasoning that it was the two of them that appeared in this dream, and why.

(image: By Juan Madrid via untrustyou tumblr)

Saturday, June 9, 2018

I've Got This Nasty Habit: When I Need Something, I Just Reach Out and Grab It




One of the things about being psychologically stimulated in all things sex is that you can get away with doing just about anything, un-clocked, because it's all how you look at it.  Like asking a hot femme who she goes to for waxing/sugaring because you're read as a femme and, from what you've observed, this is a perfectly acceptable question even though you think it's completely insane to ask someone that.  Then, you go to that exact person. And, as it turns out, the woman rubbing sugar on your stuff ends up telling you all of the complimenting things said femme has said about you. An accidental messenger that doesn't understand the language they are reciting back.

It's something of self-topping.

It's something of flirtation.

It's something that no one wearing their vanilla visors would ever be able to catch.

Pure enjoyment.

Oh my, Ms. Sugar, what your hands have in common.

(What? Arrest me.  It will just turn into a scene, anyway.)


[pause]

"Can I ask you about your hanky?"

It's such an obvious and odd question.  They know enough to know that it's sexual, but they also test it enough to ask permission.

I'll answer.

There's no way I'm going to let them hear me tell them no, mid-day and with nothing earned.

[pause]

It's been months of this.

My heart true as ever.

Somehow, I'm still being accused of the most basic violations I would never commit.

What can you do when you're locked out and there are twists to be turned and rug burn to be caused?

A gentleman is a gentleman

is a pansy is a pansy.

But, in the end, I am a hopeless romantic:

When I fuck her, I'll use both of my middle fingers so that I may feel closer to you.




be well; be loved,

k.

(title: Fugazi. I can't stop listening to the Repeater album.  I know, I know. So meta.)
(image: Alexandra Kehayoglou, "Shelter for a Memory" made of 100% natural wool. Click on the image to see it up close)
Feeling the Freedom 90 lyrics, yet again, tonight.

I won't let you down
I will not give you up
Gotta have some faith in the sound
It's the one good thing that I've got
I won't let you down
So please don't give me up
'Cause I would really, really love to stick around, oh yeah
Thank you, George Michael, for your blatant and an unapologetic faggotry.  You were an inspiration to me and mine.